“What-what scares you?” Trevor grabbed a strand of licorice and wielded it like a microphone. “What are you afraid of Miss Valentine?” he said in his best mock-announcer voice before turning the licorice to her.
Images of her family laughing around the table sprang to mind. She bit her lip then played it off in an exaggeration of the action.
“I am absolutely TERRIFIED… of…” Luna paused for dramatic effect and everyone in the circle leaned closer to her. “…having all of my hair fall out.” Luna forced a bright smile, she was getting good at those, and then threw in a hair flip for good measure. The circle burst into chatter again.
She could almost make herself believe that losing her hair was her greatest fear until Luce caught her eye and ruined it. Figures he’d know she was lying. Luce signaled the door with a nod and walked away, not bothering to see if she would follow.
Luna didn’t bother to make excuses to the circle, they had already moved on. Luna took in a steadying breath. When she walked outside she was blasted with a wave of freezing air that tapered off to a constant cold nipping at her exposed flesh.
“Fine, why do you ask?” Luna moved to lean on the wall next to Luce.
“You can lie to them, but don’t lie to me. You looked shell-shocked, you know?” He pulled out a cigarette and lit it before looking up at the stars. “You recovered quickly, but I still noticed. What came to mind when Trevor asked?” Luce blew out a stream of smoke then shifted so that he was looking at her.
“My family. Happy.” Luna’s eyes started to mist up.
Luce lifted a brow but said nothing.
“I’m afraid of no one ever loving me. Really loving me. Wanting me around. Noticing when I’m not there… and actually caring.” She wiped at her eyes and turned to face away from Luce. “I’m afraid I’m always going to be the one standing outside looking in.”
She didn’t hear when he moved, but she felt when Luce’s warm arms wrapped around her from behind.
“It’s too late. Your fear can never come true. I already notice you, and so does Nick. And we both love you, so you’re doomed to never face that fear of yours.
She couldn’t bring herself to look at him, so she just listened as his comforting words warmed her from with in.