Flames flickered over faces just as bright and warm and volatile. I leant back on the heels of my hands, vaguely disgusted as my lips curled up without my consent.
“You’re such a shit, Banner,” he threw it across the crackling campfire at her, along with his boot. His eyes, usually so suspicious and jaded, held only the genuine pleasure and contentment that the rest of his expression implied.
She scoffed and dumped the shoe in the blaze, which caused a good thirty seconds of panic and screeching and, naturally, hysterical laughter from the whole group as it was recovered without too much damage.
This was us in our first chapter.
“Noise out here is not the smartest of moves, you know.”
We ignored him. As usual.
More giggling and scuffling and then someone’s hair was singed.
He flung his hands up in surrender, a gesture I had never actually seen used. Something a character out of a book would do, rather than a living, breathing human.
I guess that was what they were to me. Characters. This was all just a story.
He shook his head, glowered, “You can all fuck trees,” he muttered.
When I started laughing – completely out of my control – all he did was offer me a soft, exasperated smile.
Because it did not matter to us if he knew what he was talking about or if it was simply paranoia. Though, of course, it was the former.
Because this is where we became integral to the plot.