So Pru sipped.
“Now,” Ella said calmly. “What’s this I hear about the fountain and some wish going astray?”
Pru choked on her sip.
Elle rolled her eyes, leaned forward, and pounded Pru on the back.
“Willa told you,” Pru said on a sigh.
“Yeah. She’s cute but she can’t keep a secret. She doesn’t mean any harm, I promise. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Mostly she’s worried about you and thought I could beat some sense into you.”
“Metaphorically,” Elle said. “And plus she wanted to borrow some change so she could go make a wish, seeing how it worked out so good for you.”
“The wish was for Finn!”
“Well then, I’d say you got a two-fer.”
The next time Pru opened her eyes, the hallway light allowed her to see that someone was sprawled in the chair by her bed. That someone rose when she stirred and sat at her hip.
“How you doing?” Finn asked.
She blinked at the crack of dawn’s early light creeping in through the slats of her blinds, casting everything in a hazy gold glow. From outside the window came the early chatter of birds, obnoxiously loud and chipper. She moaned. “I’ve never figured out if they’re happy that it’s morning or objecting to its arrival.”
Finn smiled. “I vote for objecting.”
Her too. He’d changed, she couldn’t help but notice. Different jeans, a rumpled black T-shirt. Hair still tousled. Jaw still stubbled. Eyes heavy-lidded. He was without a doubt the sexiest thing she’d ever seen. Which told her one thing at least.
She hadn’t died.
He propped her up in her bed, tied her crazy-ass hair back and brought her toast. Cut diagonally. She just stared up at him. Was he a fevered dream? “Tell me the truth,” she murmured, her voice rough and haggard. “You’re a fevered mirage, right?”
He frowned and leaned over her, one hand planted on the mattress, the other going to her forehead. His frown deepened and he leaned in even closer so that she caught a whiff of him.
He smelled like heaven on earth.
She did not smell like heaven on earth, and worse, she felt like roadkill. Like roadkill that had been run over, back upped on, and run over again. Twice.
But not Finn. She pressed in close and plastered her face to his throat at the same moment he pressed his mouth to her forehead.
“You don’t feel fevered,” he muttered.
“No, that’s what happens when things are a mirage. In fact, last night never even really happened.”
Pulling back, he met her gaze. “So I suppose you remember nothing.”
“Nothing,” she agreed quickly. “How could I? Nothing happened.”
His lips twitched. “Nicely done.”
He smiled. And then dropped the bomb. “Tell me about the fountain.”
“On second thought,” she said. “Maybe I actually died. I’m gone and buried . . .”
She looked into his eyes, trying to decide if he knew the truth about her wish—in which case she might have to strangle Willa and Elle—or if he was just fishing. “Well,” she said lightly. “It was built back in the days when Cow Hollow was filled with cows. And—”
“Not the fountain’s history, smartass,” he said. “I mean why you were muttering about it in your feverish haze.”
Huh. So maybe Elle and Willa didn’t have to be strangled after all. “I was feverish and delusional,” she said. “You need to forget everything you heard. And saw,” she added.
“You wished for love on the fountain?” he asked with a whisper of disbelief.
“What does it matter, you don’t believe in the myth anyway, remember?”
“That’s not an answer,” he said.
“I don’t believe in the myth either,” she said, and he fell quiet, letting her get away with that.
Instead of pushing, he nudged the toast her way. “Eat. And drink. You need to hydrate.”
“You sound like a mom.”
“Just don’t call me grandpa.” He got up to go, but she caught his hand.
“Hey,” she said. “You went over and above last night. You didn’t have to do that.”
It was hard to hold his gaze. “Thanks for taking care of me.”