today.You’re the only person I know left in Paris.”

A grunt. “Not many restaurants are serving stuffed turkey.”

“I don’t need turkey, just an acknowledgment that today is important. No one out there”—I point out his window, even though he’s not looking—“has a


He tugs his covers tight. “I’m from London. I don’t celebrate it either.”

“Please. You said on my first day you were an American. Remember? You can’t switch nationalities as suits your needs. And today our country is

gorging itself on pie and casseroles, and we need to be a part of that.”


This isn’t going as planned. Time to switch tactics. I sit on the edge of his bed and wiggle his foot. “Please? Pretty please?”



“Come on. I need to do something fun, and you need to get out of this room.”


My frustration rises. “You know, today sucks for both of us. You aren’t the only one stuck here. I’d give anything to be at home right now.”


I take a slow, deep breath. “Fine.You wanna know the deal? I’m worried about you. We’re all worried about you. Heck, this is the most we’ve talked in weeks, and I’m the only one moving my mouth! It sucks what happened, and it sucks even harder that there’s nothing any of us can say or do to change it. I mean there’s nothing I can do, and that pisses me off, because I hate seeing you like this. But you know what?” I stand back up. “I don’t think your mom would want you beating yourself up over something you can’t control. She wouldn’t want you to stop trying. And I think she’l want to hear as many good

things as possible when you go home next month—”

“IF I go home next month—”

“WHEN you go home, she’l want to see you happy.”

“Happy?” Now he’s mad. “How can I—”

“Okay, not happy,” I say quickly. “But she won’t want to see you like this either. She won’t want to hear you’ve stopped attending class, stopped trying.

She wants to see you graduate, remember? You’re so close, St. Clair. Don’t mess this up.”


“Fine.” It’s not fair, not rational, for me to be this angry with him, but I can’t help it. “Be a lump. Drop out. Enjoy your miserable day in bed.” I head for the door. “Maybe you aren’t the person I thought you were.”

“And who is that?” comes the acid reply.

“The kind of guy who gets out of bed, even when things are crap. The kind of guy who cal s his mother to say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ instead of avoiding

talking to her because he’s afraid of what she might say. The kind of guy who doesn’t let his ass**le father win. But I guess I’m wrong. This”—I gesture

around his room, even though his back is to me; he’s very stil —“must be working for you. Good luck with that. Happy holidays. I’m going out.”

The door is clicking shut when I hear it. “Wait—”

St. Clair cracks it back open. His eyes are blurry, his arms limp. “I don’t know what to say,” he final y says.

“So don’t say anything. Take a shower, put on some warm clothes, and come find me. I’l be in my room.”

I let him in twenty minutes later, relieved to find his hair is wet. He’s bathed.

“Come here.” I sit him on the floor in front of my bed and grab a towel. I rub it through his dark hair. “You’l catch a cold.”

“That’s a myth, you know.” But he doesn’t stop me. After a minute or two, he gives a smal sigh, some kind of release. I work slowly, methodical y. “So

where are we going?” he asks when I finish. His hair is stil damp, and a few curls are forming.

“You have great hair,” I say, resisting the urge to finger-comb it.

He snorts.

“I’m serious. I’m sure people tell you all the time, but it’s real y good hair.”

I can’t see his expression, but his voice grows quiet. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome,” I say with formality. “And I’m not sure where we’re going. I thought we’d just leave and . . . we’l know when we get there.”

“What?” he asks. “No plan? No minute-by-minute itinerary?”

I wal op the back of his head with the towel. “Careful. I’l make one.”

“God, no. Anything but that.” I think he’s serious until he turns around with half a grin on his face. I swat him again, but truthful y, I’m so relieved for that half grin that I could cry. It’s more than I’ve seen in weeks.

Focus, Anna. “Shoes. I need shoes.” I throw on my sneakers and grab my winter coat, hat, and gloves. “Where’s your hat?”

He squints at me. “Mer? Is that you? Do I need my scarf? will it be cold, Mummy?”

“Fine, freeze to death. See if I care.” But he pul s his knitted stocking cap out of his coat pocket and yanks it over his hair.This time his grin is ful and dazzling, and it catches me off guard. My heart stops.

I stare until his smile drops, and he looks at me questioningly.

This time, it’s my voice that’s grown quiet. “Let’s go.”

Chapter nineteen

There it is! That’s my plan.”

St. Clair fol ows my gaze to the massive dome.The violet gray sky, the same sky Paris has seen every day since the temperature dropped, has

subdued it, stripped away its golden gleam, but I am no less intrigued.

“The Panthéon?” he asks warily.

“You know, I’ve been here three months, and I stil have no idea what it is.” I jump into the crosswalk leading toward the gigantic structure.

He shrugs. “It’s a pantheon.”

I stop to glare, and he pushes me forward so I’m not run over by a blue tourist bus. “Oh, right. A pantheon. Why didn’t I think of that?”

St. Clair glances at me from the corner of his eyes and smiles. “A pantheon means it’s a place for tombs—of famous people, people important to the


“Is that all ?” I’m sort of disappointed. It looks like it should’ve at least crowned a few kings or something.

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