Part 4: The Interloper, The Alchemist's Illusions

Chapter 34: Sleepover Talk

“You’re going on a date with him?!” Wyn said.

Linza buried herself under one of Wyn’s pillows.

They were meeting for lunch the next day, but Wyn had quickly moved them from the kitchen to the bedroom since this was, as she had put it, ‘sleepover talk’.

Linza was grateful to be able to curl up in a ball and hide as she told Wyn all about what had happened.

“Well, do you like him?” Wyn asked.

“I… I don’t mind talking to him! He seems not nearly as bullish as when I first met him.”

“And that thing… with the illusion… that was so sweet!”

“I know!”

“And he didn’t try to machismo, like, ‘oh I just did that on a dare’ or whatever, he just wanted you to know!”

“I know!”

“He wanted to know if you liked him or not and you said ‘all in a night’s work’!”

“I know!” Linza huffed and pulled the pillow over her face.

Wyn pulled it back. “So what’s the problem? You weren’t nearly this shy about telling me about Tanyth.”

Linza bit her lip. “Tanyth…”

“OH. Tanyth likes Grun, don’t they?”

Linza nodded.

“Well. Did they actually tell you that, or did you assume?” Wyn asked.

“They explicitly said they had a crush on him, remember?”

“Hm. Right. But don’t they like, have a crush on everyone?”

“Not me!” Linza had meant for it to come off as self-deprecating humor, but her voice had wavered and she just sounded pathetic.

Wyn sighed. “Well. It’s not like they own him. They know you’re going on a date with him, right? So it’s on them. They can be like ‘hey, sis’. Otherwise, if they’re not making a move, that’s not your problem.”

“But… It is my problem!”

“Why?”

“Because Tanyth is my friend!” And because she loved Tanyth, even if they didn’t love her back. 

“They’re also an adult.”

“Uuuugh.” Linza buried her face in the pillow again. “I don’t want to be an adult.”

“What?” Wyn leveled an incredulous look.

Linza sighed and lifted her head back up. “I don’t want to be an adult.” She pouted.

“Yes you do,” Wyn said. “I think you want to be very adult with Grun.”

Linza blushed. “Maybe, I…”

“Why do you feel like you owe Tanyth all this? Or better yet, just ask them if it bothers them.”

Linza had always admired Wyn’s assertiveness. “What if they say ‘yes’?!” Because as anxious as she was… she really did want to go to dinner with Grun.

“Then say, ‘Thank you for telling me. This is still happening. I hope we can still be friends’.”

Linza shook her head. “I could never.” She wished she could. Wyn was right. 

Wyn heaved a long-suffering sigh. “Alright. The kingdom wasn’t built in a day. Baby steps for you. Just go on this date with Grun and enjoy yourself okay?”

Linza muttered into the pillow again.

“What’s that?”

“I don’t have anything to wear.” She pouted. “He said I have to be fancy. So I don’t know if I can go.” Grun had flagged her down on the way back to the trolly to ask for her address and tell her when he’d pick her up and that she had best wear formal attire. He’d told her nothing else, though. He was clearly enjoying being mysterious.

Wyn gave her a flat look. “Dearest Linza. Have you forgotten who you’re talking to?”

Wyn’s closest was nearly as big as Linza’s bedroom.

And while Linza wasn’t as buxom as Wyn, they were about the same size and Wyn was an expert at knowing what things of hers would look good on Linza.

“Alright, alright!” Linza said. She should have known that Wyn wouldn’t let her off that easily.

“Yes!” Wyn grabbed her by the hand and dragged her to the closet.

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