"One of these days, Morgance, you're going to get us all in a big heap of trouble," Casady muttered, then was flooded with embarrassment when he realized he'd been speaking aloud. If there was anything he didn't want to be, it was someone who talked to himself on a regular basis.
Brookie, who was leaving with the other pupils, put a hand on Casady's shoulder. "Hey, congratulations," she said, smiling bravely.
"Are you disappointed?"
Shrugging, Brookie looked away. "I mean, it would've been nice to be chosen, but..." Her voice trailed off, and she blinked away a veil of tears.
"I'm sorry, Brookie."
Standing up a little more straightly, Brookie smiled again. "It's okay. It'll be okay. I hope you have fun, Cass."
Cass. That was sweet. "Thanks. Ah, you, too. I'm sure you'll have a good time with the others."
"Yeah," Brookie said. She gave Casady's shoulder a last squeeze and then followed the others out of the room. Before she left, however, she tossed a wink over her shoulder.
Vinnia, who had watched the conversation, cleared her throat. "Are you ready?" she asked Casady and Lisha. "We'll go into the rehearsal room when Morgance returns." Was it just Casady's imagination, or did he hear a tone of frustration in Vinnia's words?
Lisha rolled her eyes. "She won't show up. Just you wait and see."
"I think she will," Vinnia said, just as Morgance entered the room.
"Well, here I am," Morgance muttered sulkily. "I'll have you know that I don't intend to follow any of your directions, Vinnia."
"I thought you'd say something like that," Vinnia replied coolly, which only caused Morgance to stiffen and bite her lip in anger. "Now, let's go to the rehearsal room. We've got quite alot to cover."
If Morgance and Lisha had been anyone but Morgance and Lisha, Casady would have been excited to be part of the chosen group. Now, however, he found himself dreading the festival with every fiber of his being. There was no telling what the two enemies would do.