#NaNoWriMo Day 20: 42.8k (with excerpt)

I made up for my not reaching my 3k target yesterday, and then some. Class is starting back sooner than I thought it was and my sprained ankle is still causing problems. Hooray.

I’ve gotten through Mathias and Selene’s first date and some after-effects, including the beginnings of the next full moon. Mathias still doesn’t know Selene’s a werewolf and she’s in no way prepared to tell him. So she’s using the same thing she’s used a couple times: a chronic illness. It’s not wrong, exactly, just a simplification of the issue. If there’s any such thing as simple when it comes to chronic illness in the first place.

The family is also struggling financially, but the parents haven’t told their daughters, Selene and her little sister Phoebe, since a huge factor behind it is having to move around all the time to keep the lycanthropy thing a secret and keep werewolf hunters off their trail. Connor is taking some measures to help their parents with money.

We mostly hung out at my house after that. Formal dates were weird and I was nowhere near ready for the stress of another one. Connor wasn’t around much. At first, I thought he was avoiding Mathias so he didn’t stab him or something, but then he wouldn’t be around on days I didn’t have him over.

“Haven’t seen Connor much lately,” Mathias said one afternoon. Phoebe and I were walking with him to get pizza. I was sick of pizza, but the chicken shop sucked. I had never tasted worse chips in my life, aside from that one time McDonald’s gave us fries that were half-uncooked.

“He’s probably with the others,” I said. He sometimes liked to hang out with his friends without the spectre of his sisters hanging over him. I couldn’t blame him for that. If I had the chance, I’d want to get away from me, too.

“And Janice,” Phoebe added. “The hell kind of name is Janice?”

“Being that I’m on a truce, I’m not going to comment.”

“A nuclear non-proliferation agreement?” Mathias supplied.

“Something like that.”

“What do you two even talk about when I’m not here?” said Phoebe.

“Cold War metaphors, mainly.”

“Well, I’m glad you found someone as weird as you, sis.”

“There was bound to be someone out there.”

“Oh, so you’re finally on board the optimism train?”

Mathias laughed at us as he hurried on ahead to get the door. “Ladies.”

“Connor does the same thing,” Phoebe stage-whispered as she passed him.

“Well, she’s not wrong,” I added as I followed her inside.

Speaking of Connor, he was standing at the register. And promptly rolled his eyes as soon as he saw us. The three of us waved at him before we grabbed a table.

“Did you know he was working here?” Phoebe whispered.

I shook my head, slouching over the menu. “Is anyone super hungry?”

Mathias shrugged. “I could eat.”

“No way am I eating an entire pizza by myself,” said Phoebe. She poked the vegetarian pizza on the menu. “Wanna split that?”

“Sure,” Mathias and I said.

“That was creepy.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I said “Drinks? Anything other than Coke today, Mat?”

“Wouldn’t want to break tradition.”

“Orange juice for me,” said Phoebe.

“Runs in the family?”

“A lot of things run in this family,” I said, getting to to head to the counter. Connor had put on a good poker face in the time we’d taken to decide our order.

“What can I get you today?” he said brightly and I kind of wanted to tear my own eardrums out.

“Your customer service voice is disturbing,” I said. “One vegetarian pizza, a Coke and two orange juices.”

Connor scribbled down the order and passed it through to the cooks. “That’ll be a fifteen minute wait on the pizza. Your drinks will be out shortly.”

“Thanks.” I retreated to the table before I cringed myself into oblivion.

“I’m so creeped out right now,” said Phoebe.

“Glad it’s not just me.”

“Why wouldn’t he tell us he got a job?”

“No idea.” At least the Mystery of the Disappearing Connor was solved. Next mystery? Why the hell wouldn’t he tell his own sisters? He’d had odd jobs here and there before, but they were mostly small cash in hand jobs that lasted for only a couple weeks. But if the pizza shop was trusting him to handle customers, wouldn’t that imply he’d been working here for a fair while? At least long enough to have received some training and prove he could deal with working the register.

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