She blushes as her hand finds mine under the covers – it strikes me as odd, since this isn’t anything we haven’t done before. We’re lying on our sides as always, but there’s something different this time.

We’ve been sharing secrets again, as is our ritual.

“Rose?” she murmurs, uncertainty clear in both her voice and her eyes.

“Yes, Vera?”

“Can I tell you a secret? A real one, I mean?”

I nod.

Instead of speaking, Vera leans in, brushing her lips ever-so-softly against mine. “I love you, Rosalie,” she whispers shyly.

“And I, you, Vera.” I squeeze her hand .