Eva’s mind wandered back over the last couple of days as she danced. The cadet interview invite had said to go to the church. She had spotted a boy lurking outside like she was. As she was headed his way, one of the reporters spotted her and let her know that the interview was inside. The guy had come to her rescue and led the way through the throng. Eva had correctly pegged that the guy was a fellow cadet, but Walle hadn’t really joined the interview. Considering the disaster it wound up being, that probably was a good thing. Eva had gotten him to agree to go sailing with her and he’d taken it in stride when Olan, Pixie, and Cat had joined them.
Sailing had been a trip out of the past. The way Olan and Pixie acted reminded her of the way she and Brandon acted before they came to terms. She found out that Walle was in fact the kid who had showed her Penance’s Wolverine. Walle also knew how to handle a ship in a storm and had been really calm, cool, and collected. He’d followed her lead, but also taken the lead when she needed him to. Walle was the type of guy she’d always wanted, but had been too scared to actually go after. She’d always wanted someone who could accept her for who she was and who could see beyond her looks. Walle was that way, but he hadn’t shown the normal signs of interest so she’d been uncertain of his response when she’d hit on him up by the Academy Lighthouse beacon.
Eva smiled as she remembered how tentative he had been for their first kiss. It was so sweet and had brought stars to her eyes. Walle actually liked her back. They’d sailed out at first light after she’d cooked breakfast and taken Zak some coffee. They’d gone swimming and she explained what her tattoo was and meant. Brandon had taken her to his tat artist for the Lake Turtle on her tummy. She’d have to pay for it now that she was abandoning their boy in every port scheme and her parents would have to start worrying about him again. Eva had given Walle a gentle kiss as they got off the skiff and invited him to lunch.
When she’d gotten to the White Lady, she realized that Andrew and Brandon were going to try running Walle off. And that wasn’t what she wanted at all, she actually liked Walle. Shocked and stunned might describe her family and Walle too. He obviously hadn’t realized that he’d be meeting her family. She’d never brought a boy home to not be run off and her mom had given her some pointed questions while she painted her new jeans as Walle toured the White Lady with her Dad. Her mom had known the symbol of River’s Rest though and so she’d added it to the bottom of her new jeans under the lighthouse and added it to the graffiti on her phone.
Eva’s Mom had chided her in French to make sure that she took her phone in case she lost track of time. Eva never lost track of time and there was some look between her parents as she let Walle help her down and they headed off to the MechWorks. Death Bringer was as impressive as she’d remembered and actually getting to go somewhere in it had been awesome. She wasn’t the only one excited by their time in Death Bringer and watching the sunset over Sister Lake from out by the salt flats. Walle had even let her pilot a bit of the way while he kept the Wolverine balanced. He’d given her a gentle kiss before helping her out of Death Bringer.
Eva had sent Brandon a text while Walle changed for the party. Brandon hadn’t responded to “I got to pilot a ‘mech! He’s so nice. :)”, but he had been the first to spot her and Walle walking into the party with their arms around each other. Yeah, she’d been early to a required event for once in her life. Walle had dropped his arm, but still held her hand as they’d approached her family. And he’d acted nervous when she’d gone off with Penance for a talk, but Laura had been pretty neat. Enough so that Eva had slipped up and said something she’d been thinking about without having talked to Walle. Koty had picked up on it and made a big deal which made her blush. Andrew had made a choice comment that embarrassed both her and Walle. Walle had come to her rescue again by inviting her out to dance.
Eva looked at Walle and paused in their dance. “I opened my mouth and said what I’d been thinking without talking to you. Is it okay with you that I said you were my boyfriend? I do actually want you to be.” He responded, “I would be honored” before kissing her with actual passion instead of gentleness. Eva blushed as she heard Koty going “Ew, she’s kissing him” and Andrew and Brandon being vulgar. Eva just ignored her brothers and went back to dancing.