“So, which one of you asked?” Tokugawa leaned forward over the table, gaze bobbing between Byzantium and Charon. Charon’s new collar was silver with a band of something that seemed to change in texture and color depending on the way the light hit it, and it matched four rings on Byzantium’s fingers.
They shared a look, new-Keeper and new-Kept, and a smile that was far too similar. They had that new-couple thing going on, where they seemed to echo each other in everything, despite or because of the fact that they’d been hanging out for most of their time in school together.
“Wellll….” Byzzie started, and then giggled. “Believe it or not, we were both going to ask the other one. On the same day.”
“You have got to be kidding me. To Tokugawa’s left, Rhine shook his head in mock-disgust. “Seriously? You two are too cute for words.”
“Oh, I think it’s sweet.” Nobody could miss the look Eire shot over Tokugawa’s shoulder at Rhine – well, nobody but Rhine. “They were so in sync about it. That’s how practice Keepings are supposed to be anyway, right?”
“What,” Rhine scoffed, “disgustingly cute?”
“No.” Eire sulked, which was also missed or ignored by Rhine, “mutual agreement. Like a real Keeping. Something they came to together and hashed out.”
“It’s sweet, sure,” Rhine grumbled, “but ‘like a real Keeping?’ Really?”
“Like a real Keeping ought to be,” Tokugawa interjected. Nobody wanted Rhine getting Eire all worked up again. “And I think it’s kind of disgustingly cute – but in a good way. Cheers, you two.”
“Thanks.” Charon leaned his head on Byzzie’s shoulder. “It’s going to be an interesting year.”
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