A Tangled Truth (Stonewall Investigations #3) ~ Page 2

Nope, none of that. It was just some random reaction.

Except I couldn"t look him in the eye.

The previews came on then and the audience quieted, and I couldn"t have been happier.

Mark Masters

Wow. Okay, that was weird.

Liam"s hand just rubbed against mine, and he completely changed. He was sitting all straight in his chair now, and his eyes were pinned to some commercial on the screen about a local investigative service. I was usually good with noticing little things, and I was definitely noticing the change in Liam. Which was also kind of good because then that meant he wouldn"t notice the quick shiver that made my shoulders dance the second our hands had touched. It wasn"t like it meant anything, but still, I was kind of happy he missed it.

I was also pretty happy he couldn"t hear my heart, which was beating way faster than it had been a few minutes earlier. Oh, and my stomach"it was doing this weird twisty thing, and not to mention the damn butterflies, which I was sure was probably just indigestion, but still, it was a weird feeling that spread from my belly and up and out. It was warm and light and made me smile as I took a big gulp of my Coke. But then I quickly smothered the smile. It was just me being happy at getting a chance to hang out with my best friend, nothing more. It didn"t mean anything else. I couldn"t possibly like him. He was a boy, my best friend. That didn"t happen. At least, I was told it wasn"t supposed to. So whatever dumb, silly feelings I was feeling, I had to pretty much ignore them. I knew I loved Liam as my best friend, but that was it. Nothing else.

So then why by the middle of the movie was I wishing I could put my arm around his shoulders, just like all the other couples were doing around us"

By the end of the movie, I was sniffling. Liam knew that sound.

"Really touched you, huh"" he said as the lights came up.

"Hmm"" I asked, playing dumb, looking down so he didn"t spot any rogue tears.

"The ending. I heard you sniffling. I didn"t think a bunch of dinosaurs could get you going like that."

I laughed, thankfully able to control my weird outburst of emotion. "Right, yeah, it was just everyone finally being happy and safe I guess. I don"t know, man. I probably just need sleep."

Liam laughed, grabbing the trash around us. He was wearing a gray T-shirt with our high school’s logo on it and a pair of black gym shorts.

"Oh shit, it"s the dynamic duo!"

I recognized that voice, and I went right into defense mode. It was Sean Huntsman, the resident bully and someone who"d had it out for the two of us since freshman year. I was pretty sure it was because the head cheerleader had a massive crush on Liam, and everyone knew Sean had a thing for her.

"You two on a cute little date"" The tone turned mocking.

I stood up and faced the craphead. He was wearing a shirt with his football number on it, his blond hair buzzed short, and his green eyes looking like they belonged to a snake.

"No," I said simply. "Come on," I told Liam, already moving down the aisle as the crowd started leaving the theatre. Sean followed, his gang of rock-brained sidekicks right on his tail. We heard his jeers as we walked out through the big lobby, practically swimming through the crowd. I couldn"t really make out what he was saying, but I didn"t want to. I just wanted to get out of there with Liam. Maybe we could head to his place where I was sure there"d be some killer brownies waiting for us on the counter.

"What an asshole," Liam said, coming up next to me as we walked out onto the New York City street. The subway station was only a few blocks away. I looked at my watch and realized it was nine o"clock. "Aw, dude, I should probably get home. I told my mom I"d be back before nine thirty."

"Same," Liam said. "All right, man, see you tomorrow, then. You"re coming over, right""

"Yeah, for sure," I said, smiling. We clapped hands in the air and shared a quick hug before we turned to walk in separate directions.

"Aww, you fairies aren"t going to kiss goodbye" Come on, look at Liam. He"s practically pissing glitter."

It was Sean, and he had me getting really angry. He could call me whatever he wanted to"I didn"t care too much"but I knew Liam was different. He would tell me how the names bothered him. How he would think about it all the time. And that made me so damn mad.

"Sean, stop it." I stood on the corner of the busy street. Sean was surrounded on both sides by his two goons. One"s nose was bent from a fight he"d gotten in during the beginning of the year; the other one looked like a sentient hyena. For a second I wondered if I had made a mistake, but then Liam showed up at my side.


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