The way to beat Luke," he said. "If I'm right, it's the only way you'll stand a chance. " I took a deep breath. "Okay. I'm listening. " Nico glanced inside my room. His eyebrows furrowed. "Is that. . . is that blue birthday cake?" He sounded hungry, maybe a little wistful. I wondered if the poor kid had ever had a birthday party, or if he'd ever even been invited to one. :Come inside for cake and ice cream," I said. "It sounds like we've got a lot to talk about.