At Vinnia's words, Casady knew that what he was about to hear would change the course of his entire future. Leaning forward, he listened to Vinnia's next statement.
"I need your help."
The statement was a bit of a letdown; Casady had been hoping for something far more cataclysmic.
"What are you thinking?" Rune asked slowly. Casady recognized the hesitance in his roommate's voice.
Vinnia looked down at her coffee and didn't speak for a moment. Trace's arm grew just a bit tighter around her, and she took a deep breath. "I've been watching the three of you. You're different in a way that could actually mean something. You could make a difference."
"Yeah, we know that," Morgance muttered. Vinnia shot her a silencing look.
"What exactly do you expect us to do?" Casady asked, keeping his voice as even as possible. He didn't want to betray his excitement and end up looking like an overzealous idiot.
"I don't expect you to do anything. In fact, I don't want you to walk into anything without knowing what could happen if you do." Vinnia reached across and tapped the table space in front of Morgance. "Listen up, Tiger."
Pulling a hideous face, Morgance "listened up."
Ever the cautious one, Rune raised his eyebrows and scooted a little closer to the table. "What could happen if we decided to...well, to do whatever you're about to tell us?"
"They could ruin your life."
Chuckling nervously, Casady leaned back in his seat. "That's a little dramatic, don''t you think?"
Trace glanced over at Vinnia, whose grip on her mug had grown tighter. Finally, Trace said quietly, "I don't think that's dramatic at all. I think it's completely true."
"Why?" Morgance's put-out voice rang out. "Have they ruined your life, Lover Boy?"
Jaw set with frustration, Trace said nothing.
Morgance continued. "I don't care what the cause is; I'm not going to Sing. Nothing you say can convince me! I'm tired of people using me to get what they want. This time, I'm going to think for myself. I'm not going to let people take advantage of me ever again."
Vinnia's head shot up. "What do you mean, 'ever again'? Have people taken advantage of you before?"
Silenced completely, Morgance thought that one over while Vinnia spoke. "If you're not in it for the long haul, then you've no business hearing what I have to tell you." Vinnia gave a long, pointed look at Morgance. "Maybe you're not made of different stuff than Lisha and Oliver."
Sitting up rigidly, Morgance exclaimed, "Now, that's not fair!"
"Isn't it?" Casady butted in. "That's who you're acting like, Morgance. What is it going to take to make you realize that, contrary to popular belief, this world doesn't revolve around you?"
"Okay, that's taking it a little far," Rune started, but Trace interrupted him.
"No, that's not taking it a little far, Rune. I know you don't want to see Morgance insulted, but the truth of the matter is, sometimes insult is required to make someone come to."
Morgance shot up from the table. "Do you want to know what I'm sick and tired of? I'm sick and tired of people using my voice - which none of you have even heard, by the way - for their own purposes! I don't care who I'm damaging by not Singing - I'm not going to change my mind!"
With that, Morgance whirled from the room.