Grace finds this offensive, no matter how Kammy explains it.  “So, you are keeping tabs on us.  You’re writing down our every weakness, planning how you might take us all down.  I am not comfortable with that, to be honest.”

    Faye waves this off.  “Grace, don’t let it bother you.  Think with your head and not your emotions, and you’ll find yourself upset that you didn’t think of this strategy sooner.”

    Making a popping sound with her lips, Grace concludes, “I don’t really have room to complain to Kammy about my feelings when I’m the one spying on her.  Kammy, can you at least honestly say you’re not actively planning to make use of these notes?  Also, why haven’t you written anything for Faye and myself?”

    Putting her hands on her friend’s shoulder, K.C. asks, “Do you really think I would want to intentionally hurt such wonderful, godly friends?  Even if you went haywire and I had to attack you, I would only do it to calm you down, not actually cause you pain or kill you.  And I don’t have notes on you two because I don’t have a need for them right now.”

    “Huh?” the girls say in unison.

    “Faye,” Kamron starts, “you’ve changed so much over the past year that whatever notes I might’ve had are useless now, and I haven’t figure out where you are quite yet.”

    Faye smiles and adjusts her monocle.  “Why, thank you!”

    Next, there’s Gigi.  Kammy simply states, “Grace, do I seriously have to even say it?  I love you, but your emotions are all the index cards I ever need.  We both try to tell you this.  Elf tries to tell you this, and you do well most of the time, but if my life depended on it, I’m sorry, but I might have to resort to attacking your emotions to save our friends from dying.”

    “So, you’d make fun of me or make me angry, just to win a fight?” Gigi, naturally, is upset at this, but now questions this feeling, or at least how to handle it.

    “It depends on what it’s for, babe.”  Kammy sees the need for a hug, so she gives Gracie one.  “When we spare, I don’t insult you, do I?  If it’s just for fun or practice, that’s one thing, but saving your brother’s life, or Lady Duplica’s, I hope you see would be a different story.”

    “Okay, just as long as that’s all you’re talking about.  I’m sorry I jumped to conclusions.  No, I’m sorry that’s all I’ve done since you stepped away for a minute.”

    “And while you’re busy apologizing, Big Sister,” Faye sharply switches the subject to another pet peeve, “why don’t you add Paul to the list?  I’ve been annoyed for a while with how little you talk to him.  He’s supposed to be your friend, but I can tell you make him feel very uncomfortable.”

    Shocked and highly bothered by this random scolding, Gracie blames Paul.  “It’s not your job to tell me how Paul feels.  That’s his responsibility.  He’s never complained, and I do try to talk to him, but he’s so shy most of the time, it’s like he depends on me to baby him every second we’re together.  It’s frustrating and I need a break.  That and everyone compares it with you and Elf, ‘Oh, ain’t they cute?  She’s treating him like that now, but one day, she’ll either see him for the man he is or she’ll end up old and alone with fifty cats.’  Do you know how that makes me feel to know everyone expects me to make it work with one, and only one, boy while they turn around and pressure my brother not to even look at girls for the next three years?  As a friend, Paul’s tolerable, but as a potential protector, I find his shyness disgusting, especially since we all tell him, constantly, how his lack of confidence pours into his combat skills.  Will I have to physically protect my future husband on the battlefield, too?  Most girls’ parents make it a common-sense prerequisite that the guy be able to protect the girl, but I’m stuck being charity for this boy, and I’m only fifteen!”

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