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100 Magic Items for 5e Pt. 15

Past Posts

Items 1 - 5

Items 6 - 10

Items 11 - 15

Items 16 - 20

Items 21 - 25

Items 26 - 30

Items 31 - 35

Items 36 - 40

Items 41 - 45

Items 45 - 50

Items 51 - 55

Items 56 - 60

Items 61 - 65

Items 66 - 70

71.      Ring of Race Changing

Wondrous Item (Ring), Rare,

This ring is crafted of simple silver; the band is etched with different letters from all languages of the realms - some unrecognisable to any living person. Every morning the player wakes up taking on the features of a different race according to a D8 roll. If the player is already the race rolled the character is unaffected that morning (Or roll again; DM’s choice). Every morning the player loses the abilities of the previous days roll and takes on the new effects.

1 – Elf. The players’ ears grow long and pointy, and any facial hair they have grown becomes patchy and light. They become more slender and agile gaining 5 additional movement speed.

2 – Dwarf. The player wakes up having grown a large beard if they are able. They also appear to have gained a few pounds – and have acquired a taste for ale. The player also gains the “Stonecunning” and “Dwarven Resilience” traits.

3 – Halfling. The player takes on a cheery disposition to life and a newfound love for music and performance, also becoming noticeably shorter (Player is still considered the same size) They gain the “Halfling Luck” trait.

4 – Tabaxi. The player becomes covered in fur, and their pupils become slit, as well as gaining a penchant for mischievous curiosity. Additionally, they gain the “Cat’s claws” and “Feline Agility” traits.

5 – Half-Orc. The player gains thick, strong muscles, developing an underbite and pronounced teeth. The player becomes proficient in intimidation and gains the “Relentless Endurance” trait.

6 – Tiefling. The player’s skin takes on a tone of red or purple, their eyes turning red and a tail sprouts from behind them. They gain a darkvision of 60 feet and the “Infernal Legacy” trait.

7 – Triton. The players take on a tone of the blue or green in their skin and hair, as well as growing gills on their ribs, cheeks or similar area. They take on the “Amphibious” trait and they suddenly gain a kinship with marine animals gaining the “Guardians of the Depths” trait.

8 – Gnome. The player becomes stout and short of leg finding themselves more in tune with nature, they gain the “Gnome Cunning” trait and their size becomes small if it wasn’t already.

72.      Symbol of the Lich Slayer

Wondrous Item, Very Rare, Requires Attunement by a Cleric

This holy symbol is made of weighted gold, crafted in the shape of a sun and its rays. A cleric who is attuned and uses this symbol for their holy symbol gains resistance to necrotic and poison damage. Additionally, when using the “Turn Undead” ability the target has disadvantage on the saving throw.

 

73.      Bouquet Staff

Staff, Uncommon

This staff is a long hollowed out clay tube filled with potting soil. Every day 1d4 flowers grow from the top of the staff, with a max of 7 flowers. When the player presses a button on the side of the staff, causing one of the flowers to explode in a plume of pollen and colour, casting the “Colour Spray” spell. The player can explode multiple flowers at once, casting the spell at one level higher for every flower exploded.

74.      Guardian Shield

Armour (Shield), Very Rare, Requires Attunement

A glorious steel kite shield, symmetrical jade patterns adorn its front side. As a bonus action you can cause the shield to levitate moving it up to 30 feet to occupy the same space as another creature. When in the same space as a creature that creature gains +2 AC. The creature attuned to this shield cannot wield a weapon in their shield hand while using this effect, guiding the shield telepathically with sematic gestures. The player can move the shield 30 feet as a reaction or call it back to their hand as an action.

75.      Soul Tether

Wondrous Item (Rope), Uncommon, Requires Attunement

A length of ethereal rope invisible to a layman’s eyes. The character attuned to this rope ties it around their torso, once tied the rope becomes a tether directly attached to the living energy of the creature. The player may then tie the other end of the rope to another creature’s torso – this creature does not become attuned to the tether. The tethered creatures can not exist on different planes of existence – whenever one is sent to a different plane (such as the astral plane), the other tethered player is also summoned to that realm appearing in a spot within 30 feet of the other tethered creature.

un-beta'd, not checked, spur of the moment writing.

(This idea has been in my head for years. It’s 1am and I can’t sleep so here you go. Probably delete tomorrow.)

Paul is pulled slowly from sleep, a gentle tugging of his senses. When he finally blinks, the bedroom is completely dark, but he senses something is off.

He tries to move but his body feels sluggish, almost in slow motion. His eyes are adapting to the darkness, and finally he can make out a figure in the corner; his heart pounds in fear at the unrecognisable person.

But then it begins to move toward him, and rather than feeling scared, Paul feels relieved, if slightly confused.

It’s John.

“Shush now, Macca.”

He can see him now. There’s the familiar twist in his stomach; the feeling he always gets when he sees John. Excitement, anxiety.

“Now listen, Paul, ‘cause I don’t know how much time I have.”

Why are you here? Paul wants to ask, but his mouth won’t form the words. He hasn’t seen John for months, maybe longer. Yes, they’ve called one another, Kept in touch, been on good terms, but this is … different.

“Christ, stop panicking. Listen. I’ve got to go.”

“What?” Paul finally manages to mumble, still unable to move from where he’s laid in the bed.

“I’ve got to go, mate. It’s my time, an’ all that,” his face looks pained, like he doesn’t know how to say it. “Gonna be fuckin’ shit for a while, but you’ll all be alright after a bit. But not too soon, ‘ey?”

Paul doesn’t know what’s going on, but there are tears welling in his eyes, and he wants to leap up and grab John, ask him what the hell is happening, but he feels almost paralysed.

John is crying silently.

“Listen, I love ya. Always have, always will,” John says in a rush, “You were right, Macca, we were never meant to be together, not properly. It wouldn’t have worked. But that doesn’t change anything, d'ya hear me? It doesn’t change a thing. And if i could do it all over again, Paul, you and me… I’d do it exactly the same.”

“Johnny…”

“Gotta go, Paul. Be strong. Look after that family of yours. And do me a favour. Don’t think about all the shit, alright? Don’t think about the fights, and the arguments, and the bitchy songs. Just think about me and you, in your bedroom at Forthlin Road, two lads with a hell of a life ahead of them. I’ve got to go, Macca. Paul. I love you.”

Someone is shaking him then, and when Paul blinks the room is brighter. Linda is in the bed next go him, her beautiful face lit up by the bedside lamp.

Paul moves to sit up, relieved at being able to move, and it’s on the tip of his tongue, I just had the strangest dream, when he looks at her. Her face is pale and there are tears in her eyes. She’s clutching the bedside telephone to her chest. When she speaks, her voice is quiet with shock.

“It’s John. He’s been shot.”

Some more thoughts on Swan Queen and CS

1. I keep thinking about the scene where Emma was gathering Hook’s stuff to throw away. They did not have to put Henry in that scene. But they did. They did not have to have Henry interact with Emma even when he was in that scene. But they did again. What Henry did in that scene was showing zero concern about Hook’s absence and his mom’s breaking away from Hook. He only just took his headphone off for a second and asked “You OK?” It is very interesting.

2. The underworld true love test: What Emma did when tested was to put Hook’s life (for all she knew he was going to be killed if she abandoned him for her heart) over her own. The thing is, think about it, Emma (at that time, not the unrecognisable selfish and bullying person we saw for most of Season 06B) would do the same whoever that person happened to be. She would do that for her parents, for Henry, for Regina, for Robin, for Zelena, or even for a stranger, she would save them first. That’s just who she is (or was, should I say?). Not because she and Hook shared true love. Also, a big plot hole is, there was no guarantee that Emma would go through the test with Hook. What if someone else accompanied her?

3. Sharing one heart: I always find the sharing one heart thing very interesting. We know Snow and Charming could do it because they share true love and their hearts beat as one. Then in Season 5 Episode 20 (the underworld true love test episode), Emma tried to share her heart with Hook, which did not work. Why would Emma think of using this method is beyond my understanding. Snow came up with that idea because David lost his heart. Hook did not. He just died is all. Why would sharing a heart be the solution? I feel that it was just a clumsy way of bringing this heart sharing topic up, to make certain point. Question is, which point the writers were trying to make.

I personally think it is to hint that CS was not true love. We see that Emma held half of the heart on the way to put it in Hook’s chest, but before the heart touched Hook, Emma’s body suddenly rejected it. So they had to put her heart back. Hades’ explanation was that Hook had been dead for too long and his body had been rotting, hence it would not work. I don’t buy it. Firstly, it was not like the heart started failing after it entered Hook’s chest (hence affected by the rotting mess, whatever you call it), no. It started failing before it touched Hook. So it seems to me whatever caused it, it was not Hook’s body rotting on earth. Secondly, we just saw all the Dark Ones some rotted for hundreds of years having no problem finding a way back to life - if Hook’s plan succeeded. Nobody seems to think their body rotting would be an obstacle, so…

More interestingly, in the wedding episode, one line in the lyrics of Snow and Charming’s number caught my attention: There is powerful magic when two hearts are one. Again, they brought up this heart sharing topic. Sure, it could be nothing significant, just to make it rhyme. But it is interesting, isn’t it, to remind us in the CS wedding episode that someone did not manage to share a heart.

4. All the unfortunate parallels: just a few examples to make a point: First, in Camelot, there was one episode where Hook took Emma on a horse-ride and they ended up romantically kissing in a field filled with pink roses. Interestingly, in the same episode, the pink rose is the recurring theme. At the beginning of this episode, it was a symbol of the young love between King Author and his queen when they were kids. But it was also shown in the latter half of the episode that the pink roses turned to be a false appearance covering up the broken marriage, broken kingdom, that were both beyond amending. It was shown that Author used magic to charm his queen into “loving” him again, even though all was false. *cough* Doesn’t that sound familiar? ;)

Second, in S06E15, the very next episode after the first Hook proposal, there is a very interesting theme about Jasmine’s engagement ring. Except that it was not romantic. Jasmine lost her Agrabah after she was manipulated into accepting Jafar’s proposal and gave him the ring. I don’t think we need to discuss more about this parallel.

5. The red leather jacket: I was surprised to see that the writers in S05E20 (again, the underworld true love test episode) portray (on the face at least) the red leather jacket as a negative armour, a wall, a way of escaping rather than fighting and facing. I was surprised because throughout OUAT it has been shown as a positive sign, a parallel to Prince Charming’s outfit, and a symbol of THE Emma. Most striking example is in Season 3, when Emma got her memory back and was headed back to Storybrooke to save her family, right before leaving her apartment in Boston (or NY? Can’t remember), she said “just one last thing”, and brought out her red leather jacket to put on, with a very confident and very Emma smile on her face. So, yes, I was surprised. Then I was disgusted by how this protective wall armour theme was seemingly used to give context to what Emma said before the true love test. She said she guessed that she had her armour up for too long that she forgot she did not need it with Hook. More interestingly, we see in Season 06B that Emma was NOT wearing her red leather jacket most of the time. But in the wedding episode, before she finally needed to face the black fairy, she wore the red leather again. Same as the finale. I don’t really know why this was the case. But a simple explanation could be that she thought what she really was (a strong, badass, and kind woman) was an armour (symbolised by the red leather jacket), which she should not be needing around Hook. In other words, she thought she should give up what she truly was to be with Hook. That would not work obviously.

This also reminds me once again how Hook was always in the centre of the things that threaten to deprive Emma of who she really is. Her magic, for a starter. The sorcerer’s hat, the scissors, the cursed kiss (by Zelena), you name it. Regina on the other hand, was always the person that insisted on Emma being true to who she was. She was the one that admired Emma’s magic power and tutored her. She lost it at Snow and Charming when she heard that they agreed to let Emma give up her magic. She brought Emma back from her singing princess model. ;) She told Emma that Emma of all people should know that there was always a third way.

Trials and Tribulations Chapter 80

The storm was over.

Lauren was almost certain of that.

She’d known that it had been slowly passing overhead these last few months; in fact, she’d known it had been receding ever since she and Camila had sat down with Rachel at Jimmy’s diner and agreed to put their troubled past with her behind them. Lauren had felt that indisputable shift in weather almost immediately following that day. She’d been acutely aware of the subtle change of tide; how one day at a time the skies had gradually been clearing, the wind dying down around them both, the waves settling beneath their feet. However, it was the evening that she and Camila had laid with one another on the beach following prom that had truly marked its end. They’d stayed together that night under the stars (the two of them nestled against one another on the blanket that Camila had brought with her) until the sun had risen low on the horizon and bathed them both in its glorious light. Side by side they’d watched a new dawn break and with it, the storm that had been harassing them for the best part of the past year.

At last the turbulent water that she and Camila had been sailing had settled completely and instead of the ferocious waves that had been coursing against them at every turn they were faced with a sea so smooth that they had practically glided through it towards their ultimate destination.

They had finally made it.

Their difficult voyage had come to an end and they were no longer sailing to the promise of an idyllic paradise because they’d reached it. They’d weathered the storm together and all that was left for them to do now was moor in the harbour and step on to solid ground where the land was firm and unyielding beneath their feet; where the glow of the sun was warm against their faces, the bird’s song music to their ears and the landscapes undeniable beauty a compliment to their eyes. The only obstacle that still remained between them and this magnificent utopia was the impending trial, and it was so close now that Lauren could almost smell the sweet scent of the flowers which adorned the Garden of Eden that awaited them on just the other side of it.

“Ow,” Lauren complained as something solid collided with her ribs painfully and succeeded in swiftly diverting her attention away from her silent reflections. “What was that for?” she questioned, turning in the direction the assault had come from to find Dinah eyeing her closely.

Lauren had a mild look of annoyance on her face and couldn’t help but sound more than a little aggrieved by the sudden disturbance to her meditations.

“You’re staring,” Dinah laughed, her eyes flitting in the same direction that Lauren’s had been focused to find Camila building a sandcastle with Sofi closer to the shoreline of the beach.

“I am not,” Lauren said as her gaze returned to her girlfriend again.

“Yes you are,” Dinah disagreed, a throaty chuckle escaping her lips. “You’re staring at her and you have been for the last ten minutes.”

“I’m not allowed to stare at her?” Lauren asked her incredulous.

“Not at Sofi,” Dinah teased playfully. “She’s six. It’s a little bit inappropriate don’t you think?”

“God, you’re such an ass,” Lauren said, hitting Dinah on the arm and rolling her eyes at her friend.

She returned her gaze to Camila, a content smile appearing on her face as she studied the small brunette who was tousling her younger sister’s hair playfully. Lauren saw Sofi whisper something in to Camila’s ear in response to the gesture and the older girl threw back her head and laughed animatedly at whatever it had been.

“You’re smiling too,” Dinah observed; her voice soft as she studied Lauren.

The corners of her mouth turned up in to a similar expression reflexively at the green-eyed girl’s obvious contentment.

“It’s nice to see her so happy isn’t it?” Dinah asked, placing a hand on Lauren’s shoulder in understanding.

“Yeah,” Lauren said quietly, lowering her hand to Dinah’s knee and squeezing it lightly in acknowledgement, her eyes never leaving her girlfriend. “It is.”

They continued to watch Camila as Sofi scooted closer to her, the smaller girl wrapping her arms around her sisters’ shoulders affectionately as Camila levelled out the sand that they’d collected in their bucket in order to create another turret for their sandcastle. When she’d finished, Camila lifted one hand up to rub Sofi’s forearm tenderly and the smaller girl kissed her quickly on the cheek before taking the bucket from her grasp and tipping it upside down next to the rest of their creation. Camila leant forward on to her knees and carefully helped Sofi to lift the bucket up, the six year old jumping up and down excitedly on the spot when it came away and left a perfectly formed and ideally shaped pile of sand behind it. Camila held up her hand for Sofi to high five and the younger girl obliged enthusiastically, Camila’s fingers enclosing around her sisters for a brief moment before she released them again.

Lauren felt her smile grow wider as she admired the obvious transformation that Camila had undergone since she’d first met her. She was so different now that she was almost unrecognisable as the person Lauren had first encountered almost ten months ago. The deeply troubled girl that she’d approached in the school hallway had completely disappeared that night on the beach following prom, had vanished in to some unknown void that Lauren secretly hoped she would never return from.

Camila was so full of life now, so blissfully grateful for every moment, so carefree that Lauren couldn’t help but smile every time that her eyes fell on her girlfriend, no matter what the small brunette was doing. Camila could be sat, lounging on the sofa watching a movie with Sofi or quietly reading a book and Lauren would notice that her cheeks were starting to ache at the involuntary smile that had appeared on her face at the sight of her girlfriend. Lauren’s muscles were so unused to having to maintain the countenance for any prolonged length of time that they would protest profusely but she didn’t mind the discomfort it caused her at all. In fact, she welcomed it with open arms. She welcomed it because she vividly remembered every time that her girlfriend had sobbed violently against her chest until the verge of suffocating. She remembered with perfect clarity how Camila had been unable to face her reflection in the mirror, how she’d struggled to express herself, to complete the most menial of tasks with any particular ease. Lauren remembered how Camila had hated herself so vehemently that she’d rather have died than suffer another day in her own personal prison. She remembered every heart-breaking moment like it had happened just yesterday but instead of filling her with a melancholy that made her chest ache painfully and her eyes brim with tears, those memories now only served to remind her of the incredible journey that her girlfriend had made.

Watching Camila now as she played with Sofi, Lauren believed whole-heartedly that her girlfriend’s journey was definitely something that was worth smiling about.

It was because of this that despite her friends teasing, Lauren took every opportunity that she could to stare at Camila, to smile at her, to appreciate her transition from the despondent girl that had careened in to her life like a runaway train and somehow managed to blossom in to the one that sat before her now. Even from her position fifteen feet away Lauren could see the newfound energy that Camila exuded; she could see her recently discovered confidence, her relaxed and unfazed posture. All those troubled thoughts that had plagued her so much in the past no longer seemed to exist and instead of festering in a perpetual state of self-hatred Camila was now thriving in one of self-worth.

Whenever Lauren looked at Camila now she felt a sense of pride surge within her so unexpectedly that it took her breath away; the air in her lungs catching in her throat and making her heart beat furiously in her chest. It was pride that Lauren had felt when the anniversary of Camila’s accident had passed with barely even a mention from her girlfriend. She and Camila had been spending the day with the rest of their friends and Sofi at the park, the group taking a picnic with them that Jasper had attempted to sample at every available chance he was afforded. At one point, Ally and Normani had wandered over to an ice-cream truck with Sofi and Dinah to buy them all a popsicle, leaving Lauren and Camila sitting alone on the grass with Jasper and their things. Camila had been staring out in front of her, watching the rest of their friends as they tried to choose which flavour frozen treat they were going to buy, her left hand stroking the growing puppy sat beside her on the top of the head when out of nowhere, for the first and only time that day, she’d alluded to her past misfortune.

“It’s been a year,” was all she had said somewhat cryptically.

Her demeanour had remained unaffected as she’d referred to the accident, but the tone she’d used was soft and gentle instead of solemn and grave, as though the anniversary wasn’t a terrible reminder of something that had happened to her but a celebration of a year of her life that she’d almost missed out on.

Lauren had been observing Normani and the rest of their friend’s when Camila had spoken but she’d turned to look at her girlfriend in response to hearing the words, surprised that they’d left her lips so casually and without any apparent prompting.

She’d studied Camila for a moment as she’d continued to subconsciously scratch Jasper behind the ear, the small dog licking enthusiastically at the back of her in response to the attention he was receiving. Her hazelnut eyes had remained firmly focused on the group in the distance and a small smile had played on the edges of her mouth as she’d observed Dinah lift up Sofi so that she could see the available options better. Normani had quickly done the same with Ally when she’d seen her friend assisting Camila’s sister and the three older girls’ had all burst out into fits of laughter at the gesture; Normani’s light-hearted mocking of Ally entertaining them all immensely. Lauren had approved of the way that Camila’s smile had grown wider as she’d continued to view the scene before her so she didn’t say anything in response to the comment she’d made. Instead she’d opted to simply reach down for her girlfriend’s free hand and squeeze it in silent acknowledgement of the reference, no further words needing to be said in regards to that fateful day.

That had been almost three weeks ago, on the first day after school had broken up for the summer.

Now Lauren sat with the others on the secluded beach where Camila had spent most of her childhood in adventurous recreation with Dinah. It was the Polynesian girl’s seventeenth birthday, so they’d all stolen her away from her house earlier that morning in order to allow her parents time to set up the surprise party that they’d meticulously planned. Lauren knew that Camila felt guilty for the fact that Dinah hadn’t celebrated her sweet sixteenth the previous year because she was so upset by everything that had happened surrounding the accident. So, as a result, the smaller girl had decided that she was going to do her utmost to help ensure that her best friend’s birthday this year was twice as great to make up for the one she’d missed out on.

“Ahem.” Normani cleared her throat deliberately, drawing Lauren’s attention back to the here and now again, the green-eyed girl having apparently slipped once again to her own musings “You do know that you’re drooling right?” she teased Lauren, a light chuckle escaping her lips as she observed her friend’s blatant fixation on Camila.

Lauren turned to the dark skinned girl and lifted a hand to wipe at her mouth in response to the remark.

“It’s not drool, its sweat,” Lauren informed Normani, shaking her head now that her thoughts were no longer occupied with ruminations of the past few weeks and the new version of Camila that had emerged like a beautiful phoenix from the ashes of a broken girl.

She returned her gaze to her girlfriend who had unintentionally made her an easy victim of her friends mocking and watched as she helped Sofi to collect some water in a bucket so that they could finish the construction of their sandcastle.

“Yeah, ok, whatever you say Lo; of course it’s ‘sweat’,” Normani said, making air quotations with her fingers as she’d voiced the final word out loud.

“It is sweat,” Lauren said in her defence as she glanced back at Normani once more and used the back of her hand to remove another layer of perspiration which was coating her forehead. “It’s really humid today so I’m going to sweat. I’d be concerned if I didn’t in this weather.” She remarked.  

 “Well, it looked a lot like drool,” Normani laughed as she lounged on a towel opposite the green-eyed girl.

She was propped up on her elbows wearing her bikini, her long legs outstretched in front of her as she sunbathed.

“Not that we could blame you if you were drooling.” Clare commented from her position on the floor.

The brunette had now become a permanent fixture of their group and was lying on her stomach next to Lauren with her legs bent up behind her head and her feet crossed over at the ankles.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lauren asked her a little too possessively.

“Just that Camila’s hot,” Clare answered indifferently as she flicked through the magazine in front of her. “If I had a girlfriend that looked like her I’d drool too. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Clare stopped what she was doing for a moment to glance in Camila’s direction.

“You’re just lucky she’s wearing a t-shirt,” she continued, noting the tight-fit, grey top Camila had on. “Otherwise you’d probably be sitting in a puddle of water right now.”

“Eww,” Dinah said, making a disapproving face at Clare’s choice of words.

“Not like that,” Clare responded, rolling her eyes and throwing a nearby tennis ball at her. “Would you please get your mind out of the gutter?”

“Can we please change the subject?” Lauren begged; feeling extremely uncomfortable that they were so openly discussing her attraction the smaller girl and the affect that she could have on her.

Lauren glanced back in her girlfriend’s direction and bit thoughtfully on her bottom lip as her eyes took in the t-shirt and snapback that Camila wore to protect her scars from the harshness of the sun, the new tissue fragile and more susceptible to burning then the rest of her skin. Camila had only recently shared with Lauren the advice her physician had given her after the accident had left her skin littered with the imperfections. She’d told Lauren how he’d recommended it best to try to keep her scars out of direct sunlight for at least a year; that if she did it would help to reduce the risk of damaging the flesh further and potentially causing the blemishes to become even darker and more obvious than they already were. Lauren had discovered through this new understanding that this had always been a large part of the reason that Camila had never taken her t-shirt off when they’d gone to the beach together. That all she’d been doing was following his advice to the letter. However, Lauren was also well aware that this hadn’t always been the only reason Camila had complied with the recommendations, that before they’d shared that night together on the beach following prom Camila had hidden her scars beneath her t-shirt because she was ashamed of them, because she was embarrassed that they marked her body and brashly displayed to the entire world exactly what she’d been through. Camila’s didn’t feel that way now though. Her insecurities in regards to her scars had been another unanticipated victim of prom night and she’d finally managed to defeat them, putting them to rest with all her other troubles and concerns relating to the accident. Lauren now knew without a shadow of a doubt that the only reason Camila continued to wear her top was for her own well-being; that it was done with the sole intention of protecting a body that she’d grown to love from any further injury. Camila wanted to value her body the way that it deserved to be. Shielding it from damage when at one time she’d been more than happy to inflict it upon herself was one way that she could do that.

“I honestly can’t believe Camila’s wearing a t-shirt in this weather.” Normani said observing her and Sofi’s progress from where she sat. “She must be so hot in that thing. I mean I’m hot in this and I’m practically naked.” She jested, gesturing to her bikini meaningfully.

“You might as well be naked wearing that thing,” Dinah returned light-heartedly, making a point of ogling her friend’s swimwear which was actually no worse than any of theirs. “I mean, damn Normani. Can we talk about your abs for a second?”

“No, we most definitely cannot,” Normani replied quickly, putting an end to that particular topic of conversation and swiftly returning it to the original one. “Seriously though, it’s fucking boiling today.” She stated as though they weren’t all aware of that fact despite Lauren having mentioned the exact same thing earlier. “How has she not dropped dead from heat exhaustion?”

“Leave her alone,” Ally objected gently before Lauren could do so.

She was using one of the many magazines they’d brought with them to fan her face as she watched the girl in question pinch Sofi’s cheek lovingly.

“Yeah, you know why she’s wearing it Normani. Do you really think she’d choose to otherwise?” Lauren asked her friend.

“Yeah ok fine,” Normani allowed. “I’m just impressed that she’s not self-combusted yet, that’s all.”

“You know, I’m actually convinced that the only reason she’s wearing it today is to stop Clare eyeing her up,” Dinah commented drily, a broad grin on her face. “I know Mila says it’s because her scar tissue is more sensitive to the sun or whatever but she didn’t seem to worry about that when she stripped in front of me the other day.”

“You do know that you pantsing her at the supermarket last week doesn’t count as her ‘stripping’ in front of you right?” Lauren asked shaking her head at the recollection of the taller girl’s prank. “They aren’t even anywhere near close to being the same thing you dumbass.”

“Sure they are,” Dinah disagreed indifferently.

“No they aren’t” Normani disputed. “Camila doesn’t actually have any scars on her legs Dinah.” She reminded her friend.

“Yeah and even if she did most supermarkets use artificial lighting anyway so why would she need to worry about the sun being a problem?” Ally added logically.

“All I’m saying is that I find it interesting that Mila didn’t seem to mind flashing some skin when Clare wasn’t around,” Dinah teased playfully.

“If I remember correctly Camz smacked you across the face really hard afterwards,” Lauren chuckled at the memory. “I’d argue that she definitely did mind.”

The Polynesian girl rubbed her cheek, the memory of the sting that Camila had left there with her right hand still vivid.

“Miss Lovato was right. She really could be a boxer,” Dinah acknowledged begrudgingly. “My face hurt for three full days afterwards.”

“You can’t really complain,” Ally said. “You totally deserved that slap Dinah. In fact, I kind of wish she’d hit you harder to be honest.”

“Well that was rude,” Dinah responded feigning insult.

“Doesn’t make it untrue,” Ally returned; putting down her magazine and picking up her bottle of sunscreen so that she could start applying a generous layer to her arms.

“It was her fault it happened,” Dinah informed them. “She made herself an easy target. Mila should know better than to wear sweatpants around me.” Dinah answered bluntly. “She knows better than that. She’s such a fucking idiot sometimes, I swear…”

“Dinah,” Ally complained drolly, “Surely you shouldn’t be using language like that when you’re pregnant. What about the baby?”

Dinah had told Ally and Normani about her pregnancy the first day of summer break and although they’d initially been shocked by the revelation they’d soon celebrated the news with her, both of them noting their friends obvious enthusiasm towards the unplanned turn of events.

“The baby can’t hear it,” Dinah said blithely in retort, waving her hand in front of her. “I’ll watch my mouth once it gets here but until then I can say what I want.”

“I still can’t believe that you’re going to be a mom,” Normani admitted, lifting her sunglasses up so that she could get a better look at the Polynesian girl.

“Me neither,” Ally seconded, “I’m happy for you and Siope, I am, but I’ve already told Troy that we’re never having sex again.” She said light-heartedly. “There’s no way that I’m ready to be a mom yet.”

“Its times like this that makes me happy I’m a single lesbian,” Clare said. “No offense,” she added sincerely after a beat, meeting Dinah’s eyes.

“None taken,” Dinah acknowledged kindly.

“Wait, what happened with you and Rachel?” Ally asked Clare in realisation. “I thought you were going to contact her.” She said, recalling how Lauren had given the other girl Rachel’s full name so that she could look her up on Facebook.

“Yeah so I kind of changed my mind about that,” Clare began in answer to Ally’s question. “Don’t get me wrong she’s hot and everything,” she said, “but I thought about what you’d all said about her and I decided that the prospect of dating a complete sociopath wasn’t as appealing as I’d first thought.”

She paused for a moment and rolled on to her side to face the rest of the girls’ properly, supporting her head with one hand.

“I mean, I know that I might be desperate but…I’m not that desperate.” She said and the rest of the girl’s laughed.

“This is exactly why I enjoy you hanging around with us so much.” Dinah chuckled in obvious amusement at the most recent addition to their group. “You’re the most sensible lesbian that I know.” She stated, causing Lauren to roll her eyes subtly, “even if you did have me worried there for a little while.”

“Yeah,” Normani agreed. “It’s nice to hear that someone else isn’t completely mental.” She commented pointedly. “Lauren and Camila have lost their minds by forgiving her for everything that she did to us.”

“To us?” Lauren questioned; quirking up her eyebrow in response to Normani’s words. “What did Rachel ever do to you guys?”

“Um, hello?” Dinah said, seemingly dumbfounded that Lauren even had to ask. “She tried to mess with Camren.”

“Oh my God,” Lauren muttered under her breath on hearing the nickname Dinah had assigned to her and Camila’s relationship.

“No one messes with Camren and just gets away with it Lauren.” Dinah said defensively, continuing on undeterred by Lauren’s comment. “She was trying to sink my ship and that is completely unforgivable. I mean, who exactly does she think she is?” She asked, not really seeking an answer.

“A crazy bitch?” Normani answered regardless.

“Ok, firstly,” Lauren said neutrally, “Can you all please stop referring to us as Camren?”

“Oh come on Lo,” Ally complained making an unhappy face at the request, “It’s cute.”

“Plus, it’s much less time consuming then having to say both of your names when we refer to you.” Normani added.

Lauren groaned and shook her head, astutely aware that she was very unlikely to win this argument no matter how many times she tried.

“Fine,” she grumbled, momentarily forgetting what she’d been about to say. “Where was I?” she asked, her forehead creasing in thought.

“You’d just given us your ‘firstly.’” Clare prompted her helpfully.

“Oh right,” Lauren said remembering. “Secondly,” she went on firmly, holding up two fingers, “can we have less of the name calling?” she asked. “You know how much Camz hates it.”

“That’s why I’m doing it when she isn’t around,” Normani answered meekly. “Do you really think I want to upset your girlfriend? All she’d have to do is make that stupid face she does and I’d feel instantly guilty. No one here wants that, least of all me.”

“Upsetting Camila is like kicking a puppy,” Ally concurred regretfully, remembering back to the role she had played in the other girls’ admission to rehab. “We wouldn’t ever say anything bad about Rachel in front of her.”

“Can you just not say anything in the first place?” Lauren beseeched of them. “Help me out here ok? Camila’s so happy right now and I swear to God if any of you do something to change that I’m going to kick all your asses.”

“Alright Lo calm down, there’s no need to get violent,” Ally responded. “We won’t say anything in the future ok?”

“Speak for yourself Ally,” Dinah disagreed. “I’m not promising that.”

“I don’t see why you guys are so upset that Camz and I made our peace with her anyway?” she questioned. “You make it sound like we’re friends with Rachel now when we aren’t.” she informed them. “We just agreed to leave the past behind us and move on from what had happened. It’s not like I’m going to start inviting her to hang out with us all the time.”

“You do know that Mila told me that you’d invited her to sit with us the day that you’d spoken in the diner,” Dinah told her knowingly.

“What is with you two having to tell each other everything all the time?” Lauren moaned good-naturedly, her eyes roaming back towards her girlfriend for an instant. “Ugh, I can’t believe that she told you that.”

“Why? Were you hoping to keep it a secret?” Clare laughed at Lauren’s reaction.

“Kind of,” she admitted grumpily. “I was just caught up in the moment of it all, ok?” She confessed. “I thought that I’d try to be civil but contrary to popular belief I haven’t forgotten that she put me in the hospital. I might have forgiven her, but I’ll always remember what she did. I’m not foolish enough to completely let my guard down around her.” She confessed. “I mean, Camz is right, we’re all going to bump in to her from time to time so we should at least try and be nice to one another,” she recognised somewhat grudgingly.

“Mila has made you soft in the head,” Dinah noted, casting an eye at her best friend who was forging a make shift flag out of a stick and a candy bar wrapper to adorn her and Sofi’s sandcastle.

“Camz is just trying to be the bigger person here.” Lauren said with a hint of approval in her voice at her girlfriend’s generosity.

“Yeah but that’s because she’s soft in the head,” Dinah returned. “You don’t think her skull would have caved in so easily if she wasn’t, do you?”

“Dinah!” Ally protested shocked.

“What?” The taller girl said, lifting her arms in front of her innocently.

“Isn’t it a little bit insensitive to be saying that when the trial is starting tomorrow?” she questioned.

“So Mila can make jokes about things like that but I can’t?” she asked bewildered. “That’s such a double standard.” She moaned. “I mean, look at her. She doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the trial and she’s always making fun of herself,” she said, gesturing in Camila’s direction. “She’s so stupid now.” She went on, her tone affectionate. “She makes inappropriate jokes about it all the time.” She continued. “I can’t believe I’d completely forgotten that this is what she was like…” Dinah revealed. “She’s all perky and annoying again.” she stated. “Actually,” she paused, considering something for a moment. “I think she’s even more perky and annoying now then she was before all this.” She acknowledged chuckling. “God, I mean look at the little dimwit.” She instructed warmly, her tone betraying her fondness for her best friend as she pointed at her in the distance. “She’s practically glowing.”

“I think that’s sweat,” Clare chortled referencing Lauren’s earlier response.

“No it isn’t,” Dinah said resolutely and no one argued with her because they knew deep down it were true.

They all watched Camila for a moment from their vantage point, the girl at the centre of their conversation crouching low to the ground in order to allow her sister to clamber on to her back now the pair of them had apparently finished building their sandcastle. She hooked Sofi’s legs under her armpits and stood up, her sisters arms draped loosely round her neck as she wore a broad grin on her face and Camila started to carry her back in their direction.

“Who would have guessed she’d become such a little shit when she finally got over her depression,” Dinah grumbled, observing her friend as she walked towards them.

“You’re just pissed because she’s managed to prank you eight times in the last month and you’ve only managed to prank her twice,” Normani said, her eyes following Camila as she carefully navigated a path across the hot sand.

“I think my favourite one was when she covered your doorway with cellophane wrap and you got tangled in it.” Ally chuckled.

“What about the time that she put lemon juice and vinegar in Dinah’s water while she was in the restroom at Jimmy’s?” Clare offered.

“I don’t know,” Normani said thoughtfully, “I still think the batch of cookies she made using salt instead of sugar was the best. The picture I took of your face as you had your first bite is the best one I’ve ever seen of you.” She said, addressing Dinah.

“Dinah you have no one to blame but yourself.” Lauren informed her. “You’re the reason that she’s turned in to a little shit,” she reminded Dinah unsympathetically, a warm smile on her face at the recollection of the one which consumed Camila’s after each successfully carried out trick. “You started this prank war when you super-glued those coins to the corner of her desk. Do you know how long it took her to realise that’s why she couldn’t pick them up?”

“Yeah, but I’m with child now,” Dinah reminded them all, moving her hand across her stomach emphatically. “She should be taking it easy on me. After all, I didn’t prank her when she was recovering from her accident. It’s only fair that she pays me the same courtesy.”

“You’re such a sore loser.” Clare said perceptively.

“She isn’t winning,” Dinah scoffed offended at the insinuation.

“Yes she is,” Ally said simply.

“I’m just taking my time to formulate the ultimate payback prank that’s all.” Dinah shared with them all. “Then we’ll see which one of us is winning. My next prank is going to be better than all of hers combined.”

“Yeah, well good luck with that,” Clare said sarcastically, underestimating Dinah’s talent for friendly revenge.

“Good luck with what?” Camila asked, squatting down as she reached them so that Sofi could jump off her back.

She pulled her snapback off her head and threw it on top of her towel so that she could run her fingers through her hair and untangle the knots that had formed as a result of her sweating.

“Nothing,” Dinah replied quickly before anyone else could answer, not wanting to give up the advantage that an element of surprise would lend to her next prank.

“How’s the beach house coming along?” Lauren questioned her girlfriend meaningfully, quickly diverting the conversation away from its previous subject matter.

Camila met her girlfriend’s gaze meaningfully and smiled at her, the sight making Lauren’s cheeks ache as they were now prone to do, her grin having broadened exponentially.

“It’s not a beach house. It’s a princess castle.” Sofi said; overhearing the older girl’s question to her sister and answering before Camila could.

“My mistake,” Lauren chuckled and Sofi twisted on the spot from side to side bashfully, her facial expression making her look the spitting image of Camila when she was feeling embarrassed.

“It’s finished now isn’t it Sofi?” Camila said placing a hand on her sister’s shoulder tenderly.

“Yep,” Sofi said proudly. “It even has a flag so visitors know that the princess is at home.”

“That’s so awesome,” Dinah remarked sincerely.

“Do you want to come and see it?” Sofi asked them all, holding out one hand for Lauren and another for Dinah.

“Sure,” Lauren replied, taking the offered limb as she pushed herself up in to a standing position.

Dinah stood up too and enclosed her fingers around the smaller girl’s delicate hand and Sofi began to lead the two of them to view the creation that she and Camila had worked so hard on. Both Ally and Normani shared a brief look with one another before standing up and hastily joining the other three girls.

“You’re not going to go and see it too?” Camila asked Clare, noting the other girl had stayed in place and was studying her closely.

“I thought that this might be a good opportunity for us to talk,” Clare said, ignoring Camila’s question and standing up in front of her.

“What about?” she questioned as she crouched down to pick up a bottle of water which was lying on top of her bag.

Clare took a step towards her and Camila uncapped the container in her hand and brought it to her lips to take a large sip.

“You know what,” Clare replied neutrally.

“I’m going to tell them,” Camila informed Clare knowingly, realising what the other girl was referring to.

She put the cap back on to her bottle of water and started picking at the label on it distractedly so as to avoid meeting Clare’s probing eyes.

“When?” Clare asked her.

“I’m just waiting for the right moment,” Camila told her, throwing her bottle back on top of her bag and finally lifting her gaze to Clare’s.

“You keep saying that,” Clare reminded her.

“I know but I mean it.” Camila responded; wiping her hands on the front of her t-shirt to rid them of the condensation the bottle had left on them. “It’s just never seemed like the right time.”

“Camila this has been going on for months…” Clare noted. “You’re shit out of time. You have to tell them now. You can’t leave it any longer.”

“I’m going to tell them,” Camila repeated more firmly. “I just don’t think it’s fair of me to drop it in their laps and expect them all to deal with it, especially Lauren and Dinah…”

“Camila, this is it, ok? You have to tell them tonight which means you’re going to have to drop it in their laps.” Clare said. “If you don’t tell them by the end of today then I’m going to have to do it.”

“No,” Camila responded quickly, running a hand through her hair. “I have to be the one to tell them.”

“Then you need to do it soon,” Clare encouraged her.

“I’ll tell them after the party later, I promise I will,” Camila resolved. “I won’t risk doing it before and ruining Dinah’s birthday though. It’s not fair on her. I already spoilt it last year. Today has to be perfect.”

“You just need to bite the bullet and get it over with,” Clare encouraged; placing a hand on Camila’s shoulder, “I’m a big girl ok? I can deal with the aftermath, whatever it might be.”

Camila didn’t seem convinced and glanced in the direction of her friends who were talking enthusiastically with Sofi.

Lauren seemed to sense she was being watched because she turned her attention from the smaller girl’s imaginary princess palace and tilted her head in Camila’s direction, a smile appearing on her face when she saw her girlfriend watching her. Camila returned the gesture in acknowledgement and Lauren broke the eye contact between them when Sofi pulled animatedly on her arm to show her something else.

“Are you going to be completely honest with Lauren about how much time we’ve been spending together?” Clare asked noticing the exchange between Camila and her girlfriend.

“If I’m telling her the truth then I should probably tell her everything.” Camila accepted, looking back in Clare’s direction.

“She’s going to be pissed when she finds out that we’ve been meeting up without her.” Clare recognised.

“She’ll be fine,” Camila dismissed easily. “It’s not like we’ve been sneaking around behind her back and having an affair. We’ve just been talking.”

“Do you think she and the girls will be upset that you waited so long to tell them?” Clare questioned, rubbing the back of her neck and feeling guilty that she was the reason Camila had withheld the information from Lauren for so long.

“I guess we’ll soon find out,” Camila replied, glancing over at Lauren who was explaining something to Sofi.

“I know why you’ve been putting off telling them and I appreciate it,” Clare said gratefully. “You were trying to protect me but you can’t any more. They have to know the truth before they walk in to court tomorrow and see me there.”

“I know,” Camila accepted.

“Camila they need to know that my uncle is the one that hit you.” Clare stated.

“I just don’t want them to blame you because of your relationship with him,” Camila admitted. “Lauren really hates him Clare.” She shared, knowing the words to be true even though Lauren had never actually expressed them aloud. “Dinah does too.”

“I hate him for what he did to you as well,” Clare admitted, “but he’s my family Camila and I can’t help but still love him regardless. My parents want me there tomorrow for moral support and I’m going to be no matter how guilty he is.”

Camila glanced between her friends and Clare uncertainly.

“I’m just worried about how they’ll react towards you when they know.” Camila disclosed. “What if they don’t want you hanging out with us anymore? I like that we’re all friends now…”

“It is what it is,” Clare told her. “I can completely understand if that’s how they feel. You shouldn’t feel bad about that. I’d probably feel the same way if the situation were reversed.”

Clare paused for a moment and took another step closer to Camila whose eyes had lowered to her feet which were kicking at the sand distractedly.

“Camila, my uncle ran you down,” Clare stated conclusively, pulling the brunette’s dark eyes back to her. “He hit you and left you in the road to die,” she said bluntly to hammer the reality of the situation home. “He was driving with a suspended license and he ran off instead of staying to help you to so that he could avoid getting in trouble. He should never have been on the road to begin with and he almost killed you because he was too stubborn to accept the fact that his heart condition meant he wasn’t safe behind the wheel of a car. He’s going to go to jail for what he did to you and he should…he should go to jail, even I know that.”

“God, I should have told Lauren and the others earlier,” Camila said sighing heavily, “but I just couldn’t bring myself to share this with them.”

“I know you didn’t want it to cause any drama,” Clare said understandingly, the pair of them having discussed it when they’d met up to talk about the newly realised link between them. “I understand that alright? After everything that you’ve been through you were all finally happy and you didn’t want to risk losing that but…you just have to be honest with them and tell them that’s how you felt…”

“Clare…” Camila began but she stopped when she felt someone tug on the back of her t-shirt.

She turned around to find Sofi standing behind her, the rest of the girls lagging a few feet behind as they approached.

“We’re going to go swimming,” Sofi informed her conclusively leaving no room for any argument from her older sister.

“You are?” Camila asked, tapping Sofi on the end of the nose with her index finger lovingly; the other conversation she’d been involved in quickly dropped in light of the rest of the group’s fast approach.

“Mmhmm,” Sofi replied. “I want you and Clare to come too,” she said, reaching for Camila’s arm. “Me and Lauren are going to have a fight with Ally and Normani so you have to be the spectacles.”

Camila laughed gently at her sister’s misuse of the word ‘spectacles.’

“You mean spectators,” she corrected the smaller girl.

“That’s what I said,” Sofi responded as Lauren came up beside her.

“You’re going to fight Ally and Normani?” Camila asked her girlfriend, lifting one eyebrow in a silent question.

“Sofi’s going to sit on my shoulders and try to push Ally and Normani over,” Lauren explained to her girlfriend.

 “Ally’s going to sit on Normani’s shoulders because she’s small too,” Sofi said quickly in explanation, her words rushing out of her mouth airily in her enthusiasm. “Then we’ll fight.” She buzzed excitedly. “So you and Clare have to come and watch with Dinah.” she said. “Please?” she implored desperately. “Will you come?”

“Of course I’ll come and watch,” Camila smiled, placing a hand on Sofi’s shoulder.

Camila started to take a step forward as the rest of the group also began to make their way to the water’s edge but Sofi dug in her heels and turned to face her sister stopping her immediately.

“No wait,” Sofi said pushing on Camila’s stomach to stop her in her tracks and almost succeeding in knocking her over. “You need to take your t-shirt off first silly.” She reminded her. “Otherwise it’ll get wet.”

“Sofi…” Dinah started to object to the small girl’s request, shaking her head slightly from side to side meaningfully when she looked up at her. “Mila can wear it in the sea if she wants to. She has a different t-shirt that she can wear later so it doesn’t matter if it gets wet.”

Camila looked in her best friend’s direction before glancing around at the faces of the rest of the group, noting their half expectant looks as they awaited her reaction.

“No but if it gets wet then it’ll be ruined,” Sofi said, not understanding Camila’s reason for wearing it. “Here, I can help you.”  She offered Camila, pushing up the bottom of her top eagerly to assist her sister out of the item.

Camila took Sofi’s wrist in her own and for the briefest of moments the rest of the assembled group thought that she was going to reprimand the youngster and refuse the aid the she had extended to her but instead she kept her hold on to Sofi’s arm and studied her sister closely while she deliberated what to do next.

“Ok, just for a little bit,” she relented, sighing heavily as she noted the confused look on her sisters face at having her hand detained.

She stroked Sofi’s hair with her free hand and crouched down in front of her so that they were similar heights.

“Thank you.” She told Sofi appreciatively releasing the six-year olds wrist so that she could grab hold of the bottom of her t-shirt. “I really appreciate you helping me because sometimes I get my head stuck,” she joked, sticking out her tongue and making her sister laugh.

“Me too,” Sofi said and Camila smiled at her.

Sofi quickly started to pull up on Camila’s t-shirt without difficulty, the older sibling lifting her arms in order to allow her to haul it over her head until it was completely removed. Sofi smiled pleased at her accomplishment and she dropped Camila’s t-shirt on to the towel at her feet out of the way.

“There you go,” Sofi said, beaming from ear to ear. “Now you won’t have to throw it away because the sea water made it all salty.”

Camila’s mouth curved up in to a small smile as she played with the hair at Sofi’s temple while the six year old lifted up a hand to prod carefully at the scar on the older Cabello’s forehead. Camila scrunched up her nose at the contact and wriggled it from side to side, making Sofi giggle noisily. 

“You’re scar is just like Harry Potter’s.” Sofi told her thoughtfully still nudging the mark with her finger, the comparison only just coming to her. “You used to read it to me remember?” she asked her.

“Yeah I remember,” Camila replied, looking nostalgic.

“You said that Harry got his scar because he survived Lord Voulevont’s curse.” She enlightened her, completely mispronouncing Voldemort’s name. “You said that he was one of the most powerful wizards to ever live,” Sofi told her. “You said that his family’s love protected him and that…that’s why he was so powerful.”

“Oh god,” Dinah whispered under her breath, starting to tear up as she watched the exchange, already imagining where the conversation might be heading.

The Polynesian girl’s reaction earned her a smack on the arm from Normani who didn’t want Dinah’s noise to interrupt the interaction between the two sisters.

“So that means that you must be the most powerful witch to ever live,” Sofi continued, unaware of Dinah’s comment because it had been spoken so quietly.

“Why?” Camila questioned, amused by her sisters imagination.

“Well, because you have more scars then Harry has,” Sofi answered rationally.

She moved her fingertips to find the scar on Camila’s side briefly before they settled on the one in the middle of her sister’s chest.

“The accident…” Sofi started, looking at Lauren and thinking about how she was a unicorn and had been protecting Camila ever since it had happened, just like Harry Potter’s magical friends had protected him when he’d gone to Hogwarts. “It was…it was a curse too wasn’t it?” She questioned naively, her fingers grazing over Camila’s scar as she stuck out her bottom lip in concentration as she examined it closely.

Camila didn’t say anything immediately but she considered Sofi’s question seriously, coming to the conclusion that just as Harry Potter’s survival of the Avada Kedavra curse had been both a blessing and a burden, so had her survival of the accident.

“Yeah Sofi,” Camila answered, stroking her sisters upper arm with the back of her knuckles. “It was a curse but do you know what?” she said looking at all her new friends standing around her. “It was a blessing too.”

Sofi lifted her eyes to meet Camila’s.

“Is that good?” she asked uncertainly.

“Yes,” Camila replied. “It’s just like in Harry Potter.” She explained, lowering her voice to a whisper. “Do you remember how he made all his new friends after what happened to him?” she asked Sofi and she nodded in the affirmative. “He went to Hogwarts and he met Ron and Hermione and he had lots of crazy adventures, didn’t he?”

Sofi nodded her head again and looked at Camila’s friends who were stood around them.

“Do you have crazy adventures with everyone too?” Sofi asked her.

“Sometimes,” Camila admitted as Sofi’s small fingers traced the scar on her chest again, studying the blemish carefully with her dark inquisitive eyes.

“Did someone like Lord Voulevont come to steal your heartbeat memories away from you?” she asked Camila after a few minutes as she tried to piece everything together in her head so that it all made sense.

Lauren could see Camila tear up evidently touched by Sofi’s words and the way that she’d clung on to what she’d said to her that day they’d gone to the park together with Jasper.

“They tried to,” Camila told her, sniffing loudly and releasing a loud, audible breath as she tried to keep her composure.

She cast a quick look in Clare’s direction and met her gaze, their eyes locking on one another’s before Camila returned them to her sister. Sofi was pressing the palm of her hand against the scar that ran the length of Camila’s sternum, feeling the beat of her heart.

“Were you protected from the curse because mama and papa love you so much?” Sofi asked her simply.

“Yes,” Camila responded. “I was.”

“I love you too,” Sofi declared easily. “Do you think that I helped protect you too?”

“Yes,” she answered again, finding herself rendered almost speechless by her sisters openness. “You did.”

“I’m glad that they couldn’t steal them,” she said pleased, meeting Camila’s eyes and grinning widely, her white teeth clearly visible.

Camila picked up Sofi’s hand and kissed the palm of it softly, her lips lingering there before she pulled the smaller girl closer and kissed her again, this time gently on the top of her head.

“Me too,” Camila admitted and Lauren felt her eyes well-up at the heaviness of the words.

“You must be super magical,” Sofi said in awe as she prodded Camila’s scar again. “I bet that you’re stronger than Harry and Dumbledore together.” She complimented; smooshing her hands against one another to demonstrate her point as she’d uttered the final word. “I hope that I’m as magical as you are when I’m older.”

“You’re already magical,” Camila praised sincerely, feeling more than a little astounded. “You are super super wonderfully magical Sofi.” She said pinching the smaller girl’s cheek. “Everyone falls under your spell the minute that they meet you.”

“They do?” Sofi asked.

“Yep,” Camila responded, nodding her head. “You don’t even need to use a wand and that’s how I know that it’s true magic.” She said wiping at her eyes. “Only the best wizards and witches can cast spells without them.”

Camila felt Lauren put a hand on her shoulder supportively and she reached up one of her own to sit on top of her girlfriend’s gratefully.

“Are you still sad about the curse?” Sofi asked, noticing Camila’s moist eyes.

She glanced at Lauren, wondering whether she was holding Camila’s hand to make her feel better.

“I don’t want you to be sad.” Sofi told her thinking she’d upset her by bringing it up.

“I’m not sad Sofi,” Camila replied truthfully.

“Then why are you crying?” she asked her.

“It’s because I’m really really happy,” Camila told her, using her thumb to brush Sofi’s cheek.

Sofi beamed and wrapped her arms around Camila to give her a hug and kiss her on the cheek.

“So then…we can go and play now?” Sofi questioned hopefully and Camila nodded her chin against her sister’s shoulder.

“On one very important condition,” Camila said; pushing Sofi back so that she could get a better look at her.

She rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand again whilst Sofi watched her looking worried by her words.

“W-what?” she stuttered anxiously and Camila couldn’t help but smile at the sound as it left her mouth, remembering all the times she’d sounded just like that.

“I want to be on your team,” Camila shared with her. “I don’t want to sit and watch.”

“Ok!” Sofi agreed instantly, clapping her hands together before reaching for Camila’s hand and pulling on it.

Camila stood up and Sofi’s little feet drove them both instantly forwards towards the water as she tugged her sister along by the arm enthusiastically.

“Dinah are you crying?” Normani asked the Polynesian when she turned to follow the two of them and noticed the other girl hadn’t moved and was wiping at her eyes furiously instead.

“No,” Dinah said and Normani gave her a pointed look. “It’s just my hormones,” Dinah said as an excuse and Normani and the remaining three girls all laughed kindly at her response.

“It’s ok Dinah,” Clare said, turning around so that she could move towards the shoreline. “If I wasn’t a complete robot I’d be crying too.” She confessed, placing a hand on the taller girl’s shoulder as she came up alongside her. “That was probably the cutest shit I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” She said before wandering off and following Normani and Ally as they made their way to join the two sisters.

“Jesus,” Lauren breathed as she walked up to Dinah, following in Clare’s wake.

“I know right?” Dinah said to her, the pair of them turning to watch as Camila ran in to the water with Sofi, the two of them hand in hand.  “She’s so much like Mila, isn’t she?”

“You’re telling me.” Lauren agreed. “What is it with the Cabello’s and their goddamn gift with words?” she asked.

“Who the fuck knows?” Dinah returned. “Maybe their mom fed them books instead of oatmeal when they were growing up?” she suggested and Lauren couldn’t help a reflexive smile from playing at the edges of her mouth. “Where the fuck did all that even come from?” Dinah said swivelling around on her heels and wandering across the sand beside Lauren who had started walking towards the others. “Do they just pull that shit out of thin air or what?”

“No idea,” Lauren chuckled, turning to consider her girlfriend, who had managed to get Sofi on to her shoulders and was standing patiently waiting for Ally and Normani to assume their positions.

The two older girls struggled in their task and Normani’s grip on Ally accidentally slipped, causing her to tumble in to the water with a loud splash that made Sofi giggle. Clare quickly moved over to assist Ally back up on to Normani’s shoulders and between the three of them they succeeded in getting ready for the imminent battle to commence.

“What a bunch of fucking idiots,” Dinah laughed, watching as Camila bounced Sofi up and down on her shoulders in time with the waves.

“You’re smiling,” Lauren said noticing the broad beam which lit up Dinah’s features as she watched the group in front of her and repeating the Polynesians words from earlier back to her.

“Yeah, well I’m happy.” Dinah returned not missing the reference.

“Happy birthday Dinah,” Lauren bade her. “I hope that so far it’s been better than last year’s.”

Dinah surveyed the scene in front of her for a beat before answering.

“It is,” she confirmed. “It’s been better than last year’s ever since I answered the door this morning and found Camila smiling like a doofus on the other side of it.”

Lauren smiled at Dinah sadly, unable to really know just what last years’ birthday must have been like for her but able to conjure up a pretty good idea.

“Are you coming in?” Lauren asked extending a hand for her friend not knowing what else to say to her.

“Yeah,” Dinah said, taking hold of it and allowing Lauren to lead her in to the waves to join the others’ who were already immersed in their game.

For the next half hour the group took it turns to battle one another, Camila and Sofi remaining undisputed champions and defeating Normani, Ally, Clare and Lauren in differing combinations whilst Dinah refereed. It was only when the dynamic sisterly duo were up against Clare and Normani that they finally lost; Lauren resorting to underhanded tactics and tickling Camila’s stomach until her hold on Sofi slipped and the six year old dropped like a stone into the water. She appeared from beneath the waves a few moments later, laughing melodiously and imploring for Lauren to do it again as she jumped up on to Camila’s back in preparation.

“Sofi I need to have a rest for a minute alright?” Camila said; looking a little breathless and struggling to extract the youngsters’ limbs from around her torso until Lauren helped her out.

“Are you ok?” Sofi asked her worriedly.

“I’m fine,” Camila reassured her. “You’ve just tired me out that’s all,” she said, adopting the same tactics Lauren had with her and tickling Sofi on the tummy. “You’re a little monster.” She teased good-naturedly. “You’ve got too much energy for me.”

“Hey, Sofi…why don’t we play tag?” Normani suggested, gesturing the small girl over to her and giving Camila a welcome reprieve.

“Ok,” she agreed easily, splashing over to the other girl and tapping her immediately on the arm. “You’re it!” she shouted as she bounded off again quickly.

Camila observed the game for a few minutes before finally wading back over to the shoreline with Lauren closely in tow.

“Hey,” Lauren said, coming up behind her girlfriend and placing a hand on the small of her back as they stepped back on to the hot sand and allowed their feet to sink beneath it, coating them with the small particles as they adhered temporarily to their skin. “Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

“Yeah,” Camila assured her, twisting her torso slightly and linking her hand with Lauren’s. “I just needed something to drink and a chance to sit down. Sofi is such a handful sometimes. I think she’s got the energy of seven cheetahs. There is literally nothing that seems to tire her out.”

Camila guided Lauren over to their things and reached down to pick up her t-shirt which she quickly put on before retrieving her bottle of water from on top of her bag and finishing it off eagerly.

“Wow, you really were thirsty,” Lauren noted as Camila recapped it and tucked it inside her bag out of the way.

“Yeah,” Camila returned, dropping on to her towel and wasting no time in throwing herself on to her back, evidently exhausted. “I don’t think I’m used to all this exercise. It’s making me dehydrated.”

“Why don’t you have a nap?” Lauren suggested, staring down at her girlfriend and easily noticing the tell-tale signs that she exhibited when her body was craving sleep.

“Aren’t you going to come and lie down here with me?” Camila asked ignoring the question and posing one of her own.

“It depends whether you’re going to sleep or not.” Lauren replied honestly.

“Why?” Camila questioned, pushing herself up on to one elbow to look at her properly.

“Well, because if you’re going to sleep then I’ll go back to the others and let you rest,” Lauren said.

“What if I want you to stay here with me though?” Camila hinted.

“Do you?” Lauren enquired mischievously and Camila smiled wide and stretched her uppermost arm out in front of her dramatically so that it was pointing at her girlfriend.

“So honey now,” she started singing playfully, her voice strong and cheeky. “Take me into your loving arms…” she persisted, sitting up on to her knees and crawling forwards towards Lauren, both hands now palm up in front of her imploringly.

“Camz…” she laughed but Camila continued on audaciously.

“Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars,” she went on, her face ablaze with amusement as she swept one arm in an arc above her head gesturing to the sky.

She reached for one of Lauren’s hands and held it between both her own as she carried on with her nonsense.

“Place your head on my beating heart.” She sang, pulling gently on Lauren’s hand.

“You’re such a dork.” Lauren chortled as she obeyed Camila’s silent command and fell on to her knees in front of her, landing on her own towel beside her girlfriends’. “What are you even doing right now?”

I’m just…thinking out loud,” she said frivolously and Lauren rolled her eyes, knowing that she’d walked straight in to that.

“You couldn’t have just said ‘yes’ instead of singing to me? Lauren asked her as Camila lay on to her back again and lifted up one arm so that Lauren could lie beside her.

Lauren complied and Camila wrapped her arm around her girlfriend’s shoulder, pulling her against her as she chuckled to herself.

“Are you telling me that my musical reply didn’t answer your question?” Camila queried.

“The only question it answered was whether you listen to too much Ed Sheeran or not,” Lauren teased.

“It is practically impossible to listen to too much Ed Sheeran,” Camila defended as Lauren buried her face against the smaller girl’s chest and started to draw delicate circles over her sternum with her index finger.

“Well you’d know,” Lauren sighed, turning her face and planting a soft kiss below Camila’s jaw. “You’ve had his album on repeat ever since it was released a few weeks ago and you’re still not bored of it.”

“Ed Sheeran’s album is a very handy tool when you’re in a relationship,” Camila revealed as she rested her chin on top of Lauren’s head. “Do you know how many great pick-up lines are on it?”

“Are you serious?” Lauren laughed.

“I don’t joke about Ed Sheeran’s lyrical genius.” Camila retorted evenly.

“Ok,” Lauren said, twisting away from Camila and on to her side so that she could see her better. “Why don’t you try a few out on me?”

“Ok,” Camila accepted Lauren’s challenge keenly. “I will.”

Camila sat herself up and looked at Lauren determined to be proven right.

“What about this one?” she questioned, cracking her knuckles and leaning closer to Lauren, her eyes looking in to her girlfriend’s deliberately. “I could look in to your eyes until the sun comes up.” Camila said softly, no trace of a smile or any glee in her voice as she spoke, her hazelnut orbs fixing on Lauren’s and making her girlfriend’s cheeks heat as she blushed.

Lauren knew that it was supposed to be a line but she also knew that Camila meant every syllable of what she’d said; her girlfriend’s voice full of affection and her eyes unwilling to surrender themselves to anything else except her green ones.

“That should not work that well,” Lauren said and one side of Camila’s mouth turned up in the corner.

“Tell you what…why don’t you put your open lips on mine and slowly let them shut?” Camila urged, leaning forward so that her mouth was hovering just in front of the taller girl’s.

“I fucking hate you,” Lauren said smiling brightly despite her words.

“Lauren…you know they’re designed to be together,” Camila told her seriously, quirking an eyebrow.

“Can you stop now?” she pleaded, her eyes dropping to her girlfriend’s lips and making her bite her own in an attempt to resist the urge to kiss them.

“Don’t fight it.” Camila said. “You know you want to kiss me now.”

“Nope,” Lauren disagreed, closing her eyes so that she could no longer see her girlfriend’s lips but failing to shake the image of them from her head when she could feel Camila’s breath tickling her skin tauntingly.

“Why not?” she asked, “I’m adorable,” Camila told her, changing her position so she could nibble Lauren’s ear lobe playfully.

She attacked it until Lauren opened her eyes again, her hands pushing Camila away as she tilted her head in order to avoid the assault.

“Would you just kiss me like you wanna be loved already?” Camila pleaded.

Lauren shook her head refusing to give in.

“Please.” Camila pouted. “Why won’t you just give me love?”

“Jesus, can you please not do that?” Lauren requested covering her eyes with her hand to avoid having to look at the expression her girlfriend often relied on to get her own way.

“Fine,” Camila grumbled, “but just remember that you need me, I don’t need you.”

“Why are you so fucking cute?” Lauren said exasperated, feeling her resolve break as she lowered her hand to look at Camila again.

“I don’t know…do you think it’s because I’m in the A team?” Camila questioned.

“Haven’t you finished yet?” she enquired and Camila shook her head.

“I could do this all day,” she informed her, meeting Lauren’s eyes confidently.

“I’d rather that you didn’t.” Lauren shared with her.

“Lauren, all I want is the taste that your lips allow and then I’ll stop, I promise.” Camila pledged with a smug look on her face.

“Ugh,” Lauren groaned, unable to stop the smile that appeared on her own. “Fine.” She relented tilting her head forward and kissing Camila who had shuffled closer to her, her lips connecting with her girlfriend’s perfectly, as though they really were meant to be together.

Camila gently pushed Lauren on to her back and rolled on to her front on top of her, their mouths still joined and her small hand planting itself firmly on Lauren’s side whilst the other one played with her hair.

“I told you he was a lyrical genius,” Camila said arrogantly, lifting her head to part their lips but continuing to stroke Lauren’s hair with her fingers lightly.

“His words are still nothing compared to yours though,” Lauren argued, the compliment coming easily because she believed it whole-heartedly.

“Yeah but you can’t blame him for that,” Camila started, meeting Lauren’s gaze. “It’s not his fault that he doesn’t have the inspiration that I do.” She said turning the commendation immediately back to Lauren and making her blush again.

“What is it with you Cabello’s and the way that you make everything that you say sound beautiful?” she questioned. “I’m pretty sure you could read the menu at Jimmy’s and it’d sound like poetry. Sofi is just as bad. It must be a genetic thing…” She mused thoughtfully.

“The Cabello’s are to words what the Jauregui’s are to being ninja’s.” Camila joked.

“We do make pretty good ninja’s,” Lauren agreed.

“I think it helps that you look good in black.” She said, taking Lauren’s mouth in her own again and kissing her deeply.

“Can you two please get a room?” Dinah grumbled, having meandered unnoticed back up to join them with the other girls. “You’re making me nauseous.”

“You’re pregnant,” Clare stated. “It’s probably morning sickness.”

“It’s one o’ clock in the afternoon.” Dinah noted.

“Well then it’s afternoon sickness.” Clare corrected in response to the information.

“Umm…guys…” Normani said when Camila and Lauren still hadn’t parted. “I’d like to offer you a friendly reminder that there are children watching this.”

“Yeah, plus Sofi is here too.” Ally said quickly.

“Are you calling me a child?” Normani asked as Lauren and Camila disengaged from one another grudgingly and finally looked up at the intruders on their private moment.

“No I was calling Dinah a child.” Ally clarified, smiling haughtily at her friend.

“It’s supposed to be my birthday and all I’m getting is abuse from everyone.” Dinah complained. “How is that fair?” she grumbled lowering herself on to her towel as Camila and Lauren sat up.

“That’s what birthdays are for,” Normani pointed out. “You didn’t think you could be the centre of attention and not get ridiculed did you?”

“You guys could at least tell me what time my surprise party starts to make up for it?” Dinah asked knowingly.

“You could at least pretend not to know about it?” Camila beseeched, as Sofi sat down in her lap.

She enveloped the smaller girl in her arms when she sat in front of her and rested her chin against the crook of Sofi’s neck as leant back against her chest.

“Your parents have put a lot of effort in to organising it so at least try to act surprised when you arrive.” She instructed looking at her best friend who was sat beside her.

“I will,” Dinah assured her and when they eventually all arrived at her house a good few hours later to shouts and cheers of best wishes, she actually did.

“Are you buying this at all?” Camila asked Lauren who was standing behind her, her hands around the smaller girl’s waist as they watched Dinah walking around playing the shocked guest of honour.

“Not even a little bit,” Lauren said, rocking Camila from side to side gently in her arms.

“Wow, she’s a really crappy actress,” Camila laughed, her eyes darting to Sofi and Regina, Dinah’s sister, who were hugging each other excitedly in the corner of the room.

“At least she tried,” Lauren approved.

“I’ll give her an A for effort,” Camila allowed, “but she gets a D minus for presentation.”

“You’re such a dork,” Lauren chortled, kissing the side of Camila’s neck as they continued to watch their friend greet the numerous guests who had gathered at her house.

“How was that?” Dinah asked Camila and Lauren when she’d finally finished welcoming everyone.

“Awful,” Camila told her truthfully as Lauren said, “terrible.”

“Seriously?” Dinah questioned. “Did I not act ‘surprised’ enough?”

“You didn’t act at all.” Camila laughed. “I’ve literally seen better performances on the Disney Channel and most of the new shows on there are appalling.”

“Is this what you got me for my birthday? Insults?” Dinah enquired. “Do you at least have the receipt so I can take them back and exchange them for store credit?”

“I wouldn’t bother,” Lauren said, “the only thing you’ll be able to buy with it is an Ed Sheeran lyric.”

“I don’t know,” Camila pondered. “It might get you a Lego House.

“Ok, I’m done,” Lauren stated; feigning exasperation and releasing her hold on Camila.

She wandered off through the crowd to find Normani, Ally and Clare leaving the two best friends alone.

“Something I said?!” Camila called after her before returning her attention to Dinah.

“So if your insults aren’t my present than what is?” Dinah asked Camila with one hand on her hip as she waited expectantly.

“I thought I was going to be your present this year?” Camila put to her.

“Well then where the hell is your bow?” Dinah retorted. “You could at least look the part. I mean, Jesus Mila…you’ve made like zero effort”

Camila rolled her eyes and reached in to her back pocket to pull out a crumpled up envelope.

“Here,” she said, thrusting it in Dinah’s direction to shut her up. “Happy Birthday.”

Dinah took the envelope from Camila and opened it, pulling out a key on a chain.

“What’s this for?” Dinah asked her.

“When you figure it out you can have your present,” Camila replied evasively.

“Why are you so fucking annoying?” she asked, shoving the key in her back pocket out of the way.

“Trust me,” Camila said meaningfully. “It’s going to be worth it. You’ll love it.”

“I hate you,” Dinah objected.

“No you don’t.”

“No, you’re right. I don’t.” she agreed. “I actually kind of love you.”

Camila looked over Dinah’s shoulder to Siope who was approaching them.

“Hey,” he said, sliding a hand round Dinah’s waist. “Can I borrow her for a minute?” he asked, addressing Camila.

“Depends if you’re going to use that minute to take her up to the bedroom and knock her up again?” Camila returned.

“Mila!” Dinah exclaimed but Siope laughed unoffended.

“Consider that payback for all the grief you’ve given me and Lauren over the last year,” Camila said turning to Siope and telling him, “She’s all yours.”

She winked at Dinah and stepped past her to go in search of the rest of her friends.

“Oi Mila,” Dinah bellowed after her and Camila turned around to face the taller girl.

“Yeah?” she responded, lifting one hand to scratch her left temple and finding the now hidden scar there.

“Does this open something?” She asked and Camila just smiled.

“Maybe,” she replied ambiguously before returning to her previous endeavour and walking away.

“Remind me why I’m friends with her?” Dinah asked Siope and this time it was his turn to just smile at her.

Camila soon found the rest of her friends in the living room, either spread out across floor or occupying one of the sofas. When she joined them she took a seat on the arm of one of the loungers beside Lauren who reflexively pulled her into her lap as she continued to listen to Normani and Ally’s spirited debate about who Dinah should name her child after.

The five of them remained there for the majority of the party with Dinah joining them on and off as the evening progressed, ducking in and out of conversations with her relative’s and other family friends. Eventually, Dinah’s mum and dad brought a cake in to what was the largest room in the house and everyone crowded around the coffee table in order to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday girl and watch her cut the cake.

“Here you go,” Malika, Dinah’s mom said as she handed her daughter a knife which she took without reservation.

Dinah shuffled closer to the table and pushed the end of the knife in to the soft layer of cake frosting, recoiling almost instantly when the whole thing exploded in her face, covering it with white decoration.

“Shit!” Dinah cursed, discarding the knife on to the table and wiping the icing from her eyes.

She searched the room for Camila who was still sat with Lauren in one of the chairs. She was lounging back against her girlfriend’s chest coolly, Lauren’s arms wrapped around her waist and she held up nine fingers with a smirk plastered all over her face.

“Mila!” Dinah cried, gobsmacked that she’d managed to prank her once again whilst the guests around her laughed good-naturedly at the birthday girls’ misfortune.

“What?” she asked innocently.

“What the hell…” Dinah started, lifting her arms out at her sides.

“Oh yeah…” Camila said casually, appearing thoughtful. “I might have put a balloon in the cake. It’s ok though. Your mom and dad have another more edible one for everyone else.”

Dinah stood up from where she’d been sitting and walked over to Camila, all eyes in the room on her. Camila didn’t try to escape, didn’t try to move, resigned to her fate and the knowledge that Dinah was probably going to beat the living shit out of her.

“I’m so proud of you right now,” Dinah laughed instead, surprising the smaller girl, the Polynesian apparently impressed with Camila’s well executed and unexpected prank now that the initial shock had worn off. “Look at you all grown up. You’ve come so far…” She said removing some cake topping from her face with her index finger and smearing it over Camila’s.

Dinah leant down and hugged Camila tightly, taking the opportunity to rub her still coated cheek against her best friend’s and the smaller girl hugged her in return, not really caring that her face was also getting covered in frosting.

“You do realise I’m only going to come back at you ten times harder for this,” she whispered in to Camila’s ear.

“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” Camila replied, her voice also low, the noise in the room around them drowning out their conversation.

“You better watch your back Mila,” Dinah warned her, retreating from the embrace.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be waiting,” she provoked the taller girl.

“Are you going to give me my present yet?” Dinah asked, “You know I think it’s only fair that you do considering that you just blew up my cake.”

“Have you figured out what the key is for?” Camila questioned her as Lauren dabbed at her cheek with her thumb and removed some of the frosting from it.

She sucked on it to remove briefly before repeating the process again.

“No,” Dinah admitted.

“Then you’re just going to have to wait.” Camila reiterated causing Dinah’s countenance to turn in to one of frustration.

Dinah looked like she was about to say something but was cut off before she had the chance by someone calling her name.

“Hey Dinah!” Sofi and Regina called in unison and Dinah turned at the sound of her name only to be accosted by more cake frosting which Camila’s sister and her own had thrown in her direction.

“Ok,” Dinah said, picking up a handful of cake icing and throwing it at them both, “that’s it.” She muttered before reaching for another and starting an impromptu food fight in the lounge by throwing it at her cousin who then proceeded to retaliate by launching a handful of the chips he was still eating at Normani and Clare.

Chaos erupted in the room after that and Camila leant back in to Lauren’s chest and sighed as she watched; the sound of laughter and shouts of enjoyment filling the room around her.

“You’re face tastes good,” Lauren commented, removing another piece of cake topping from Camila’s cheek and licking it off her index finger.

Camila laughed and reached up to wipe at her own cheek with her thumb so that she could try out the frosting for herself.

“Mmmm, that is good but,” Camila started repeating the same thing again and this time tracing her thumb across Lauren’s lips, covering them in a think later of icing.

She smiled at Lauren and planted one of her hands against the side of her girlfriend’s neck as she twisted around in her seat to take her girlfriend’s mouth in her own. Lauren felt Camila suck softly on her bottom lip, her tongue tracing the contour of it to remove the icing that she’d put there only moments ago.

“That tastes better,” Camila exhaled, studying Lauren’s relaxed features and playing with her long dark hair rhythmically with her fingers.

Lauren kissed the hollow of Camila’s neck as the smaller girl allowed her eyes to roam around the room at the other occupants who were still preoccupied in friendly tactical warfare. She watched as Dinah smashed some of her actual birthday cake in Siope’s face and Normani was cowering with Ally behind the sofa, trying to avoid any further involvement in the whole affair. Finally, Camila’s gaze came across Clare who was standing in the opposite corner of the room and had just managed to use Sofi as a human shield against a stray skittles attack. Clare turned her attention to Camila when she sensed her watching and Camila felt her stomach drop at the realisation that tomorrow everyone would know that it had been her uncle that had been responsible for her accident.

“It will be tomorrow though,” Camila thought to herself as she listened to the sound of Dinah’s deep laugh and returned her attention to Lauren, who sat watching her affectionately, her fingertips playing with one of her hands, “because there’s no way in hell that I’m going to ruin today.”

A/N: Ok, so here’s the sitch…this is massively (sorry it’s so long) a filler chapter but I needed it to tie up a few loose ends before the story finishes. I’ve literally been up for a 24 hours so I’ve not proof read it or anything so please excuse any mistakes or errors. The next chapter is the trial, the one following that is Lauren’s birthday and then it’ the epilogue. Thanks for reading. I hope it doesn’t suck too much.