Chapter 27

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Since I made my choice in the hotel room to not tell Leigh how I felt, I'd been strong. For about twenty minutes. Then I suggested sharing a bed and lay against him all night.

Yes, I'd been scared and tired, but there was so much more to it than that. Being held by Leigh just felt right. I hadn't slept that night, just lay with my eyes closed, enjoying his rising and falling chest, the feel of his feathers soft against my skin, the sense that everything would be okay.

When Pop put us under house arrest, I jumped at the chance to spend time with Leigh. I wanted to know if there was a shred of hope that he might feel something for me. I thought I'd seen a glimpse of attraction in the hotel room, but I was so emotionally wound up, I could have easily blown things up in my mind. I wanted to know for sure.

So, trying not to appear like a wanton hussy, I started sending out signals. Any excuse I could use to have him lay his hands on me, in a more-than-friends kinda way, I took it. Leigh would always help out. He would check my wing or stretch my leg, but it always seemed completely neutral. I dragged him out to the hot tub one night and he only seemed distracted. I even suggested Twister. Corny, but let's face it – I had almost no experience with guys. After a while, when I got nothing back but beige, I wondered if I should just let it go. Maybe I should just be content with Leigh as my best friend.

During one of those long weeks, I had been sorting mail in the kitchen and found a flyer advertising the film I'd wanted to watch with Noah at the movie house, was about to finish.

"Oh man," I said softly, thinking I was alone.

Leigh's voice came from behind me. "Oh man, what?"

I showed him the flyer. "I really wanted to see this. I missed it when it was playing in the city, now it's closing in town too."

"We could get it on DVD," Leigh offered.

"It's not the same. I really love the movies." I sighed in a moment of self-pity. "This is going to sound stupid, but ever since I was little, the cinema has been my safe place."

"Really? Why?"

I tried to explain. "Well, partly, it's the anonymity. Even in the lobby, nobody looks at other people. Everybody is always too busy watching their kids or buying popcorn or impressing their date. And once you're in your seat and the lights are off, you could have wings or horns or a second head and it wouldn't matter because nobody can see you anyway.

"Then there's the actual films. I love stories. And being able to slip inside someone else's life for a while, worry about someone else's problems instead of your own - that's the most amazing escape in the world."

Leigh stared at me, a little smile creeping around his mouth. "Well, that settles it. Let's go to the movies."

"Um, we are under pretty strict orders here, my friend."

Leigh shrugged. "Who cares? Pop is out of town until tomorrow morning, and we're bored. Besides, nobody's gonna be looking for us out here. We're miles from the city."

"I don't think this is your greatest idea," I said, trying not to sound like a naysayer. "What if those people are still out there looking for us? I don't want any bad guys associating me with this area and putting your home at risk."

"It was probably a one-off. But if you're that worried, look." He showed me the back of the flyer. "They have other cinemas. This one is a few towns over. We'll go there and you can relax."

I had one other question. "How are we going to get there?"

Leigh cocked his head and smiled patiently at me. "How do you think?"

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