I went outside after dinner to watch the sunset. I did this every night because, well, it was just so beautiful, I had automatically taken a liking to watching it after the first time I saw it. Now I did it every night.
Tonight I climbed up the trunk of the tree and sat in the crook of the same branch as usual. I leaned back and closed my eyes, enjoying the feel of the evening sun of my face.
After a few minutes I started to get the feeling someone was watching me. I looked down to see Artemis, standing by the front door of the manor, looking at me. I smiled and waved, then looked away, back to the sunset.
Normally, he wouldn’t even have known I was here, because I would be shielded, but I was drastically low on magic, so tonight I remained I unshielded.
I didn’t look, but I could tell from the sound of crunching leaves and his shoes scraping against the side of the tree that he was climbing up next to me.
He perched on a branch a few feet away and and asked, “Does anyone know you’re out here?”
“No,” I answered as I leaned my head back and rested it against the tree. “I’m really not supposed to be out here, but I come out anyways. The sunset is beautiful. Usually I shield when someone comes out, but I’m low on magic right now and there’s no full moon until next week.”
“That’s not safe, you know,” he chided me. “For all you know, Opal’s hiding in the trees behind you, just waiting to strike.”
“Opal isn’t that patient,” I countered. “And besides, even if she was, she could have gotten me long before now. Why wait so long?”
“That’s what they always say,” he said darkly.
I laughed. “Don’t worry,” I reassured him. “I’ll be fine. I’m on my guard, I swear.”
There was silence for a minute. But then Artemis broke it abruptly. “Sam, will you go to the dance with me?”
I froze, then slowly turned to look at him. “What?”
He breathed deeply. “I said, will you go to the dance with me?”
I frowned, puzzled. “What dance?”
“Oh, yeah… That.” He looked embarrassed. “The school is holding one for the Fourth of July.” He looked at up at me from the leaf in his hand. “So, will you go with me?”
“Um…” I racked my brain for a reason to say no, but nothing came to mind. I looked at him, indecisive.
It must have been written on my face, because his eyes widened and he said, “It’s okay if you say no, I just thought it would save us both some trouble. I’m not saying it has to be like a date or anything, just as friends.” He hesitated briefly before adding in a low voice, “If that’s what you want.”
I was shocked, but I tried not to let it show on my face. Now I really couldn’t find a reason to say no. “Okay,” I agreed. “Okay. I’ll go to the dance with you.”
I watched his reaction carefully. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help the laugh that escaped me as I saw the shock and utter disbelief that flitted across his features. “You didn’t think I’d say yes, did you?” He didn’t answer. “Why did you ask then?”
“Jake made me,” he admitted.
I rolled my eyes. “So are you taking back the invitation?”
He shook his head, a half smile on his face. “No. Not at all.” He jumped down from the tree. “Goodnight, Sam.”
I yawned. “Night, Artemis.”
I looked back up at the sky. The sun had completely disappeared now, replaced by the moon. Tonight, instead of a full moon, it was a half moon. I sighed and sat up. Probably best to head back to the manor now, before I got caught. I sighed again. It wouldn’t be good if that happened. I jumped down from the tree and headed back into the manor.