Later that week, the students are having a memorial service for Todd, and Luce is struck by how superficial it all feels, because no one really knew Todd that well at all. Hey, if you're a YA author and want to kill off a character without making anyone really have to deal with the consequences, then just say that nobody really knew the guy…
Anyway, they're not even serving Todd's favorite snacks.
After the service, Cam sidles up to Luce and offers her a chance to talk—but not before asking her why she won't wear the necklace he got her.
Geez, Cam. Maybe between solving the mystery of Daniel and trying not to get killed in a fire, Luce has been a little busy.
Even so, Cam pours on some more charm, telling Luce how much he missed her while she was away, even though Miss Sophia told the whole class to give Luce space.
At this point, Luce begins to feel guilty for leading Cam on. She knows he's nice and that he's always been there for her, but she 100% has her eye on Daniel.
Girl really should break it off before things go too far.
Like magic, Gabbe appears—for the first time when we want her to show up—to reprieve Luce of Cam's attention.
Luce, grateful—for the first time—of Gabbe's intervention, takes the opportunity to slip away, and promptly runs into…
Can you guess?
If you guessed the Muffin Man, we're sorry to disappoint you.
Daniel, who immediately asks if Luce wants to "get out of here" (12.43).
What? Did Daniel just express interest in Luce in a non-confusing way? This has to be a trap of some sort. Either that, or Daniel's in a body-snatcher situation.
Daniel takes Luce back to the lake where they had first spoken about his elusive unavailability, and the first thing he asks her is if she wants to leave Sword & Cross.
Gee, Daniel, why would anyone want to leave Sword & Cross? It's such a lovely place, with its toppling statues and spontaneously combusting buildings. And let's not forget about the lovely and personable student body.
Daniel and Luce talk about whether Luce has another option besides Sword & Cross.
Luce thinks maybe all this is because Daniel doesn't want her around anymore. Maybe, she reasons, Daniel thinks she's seriously disturbed, and she is too damaged to be worth getting involved with.
To test this theory, Luce mentions offhandedly to Daniel that she sees things that she calls the shadows about once a day.
Oh, you know, day's been good: went to the store to get some yogurt, saw some shadows, same old, same old.
Daniel isn't buying the cute act, so Luce finally, truly tells him that she's been seeing these shadows for years. They visit her all the time now, and sometimes they get incredibly bold, invading her space and trying to push her around.
After taking this story in, Daniel replies not by telling Luce that he thinks she's crazy, or by running away screaming, but by saying, "That's never happened before" (12.115).
What does that even mean, Daniel? Were you even listening, or were you too busy thinking about something random?
When Daniel asks Luce to repeat herself, Luce clams up, not wanting to again relive the story of the thing that makes her crazy and a possible murderer.
And then it happens.
No, the Muffin Man doesn't show up.
Daniel and Luce almost kiss.
We say almost, because instead of actually kissing, Daniel disappears, again, leaving Luce alone, again.
The weird thing is that Luce can almost see the path that Daniel took out of the forest: a faint purple light is following the path he took, like a supernatural trail of breadcrumbs.
Does this mean Luce really is seeing things—first the wings outline, now this—or is Daniel some sort of alien snail?
Maybe Luce would be better off with the Muffin Man?