I nodded to Archie as Natalie's back was turned and left them to it. I understood why he hadn't told her the truth, but the story and circumstances still upset me.
The stairs were wet and slippery with the recent bloodshed and Busker was wagging his tail against my legs. I was finding it hard to walk down them. "Please don't fall, please don't fall, please don't fall..." I chanted in my head. Of course, it was inevitable that I fell. All I felt was my foot slip from the step and my weight be catapulted forwards.
What I expected was to fall and hit the ground, then to become covered in blood and guts that were still wet from recently being slaughtered. What I got was Otis catching me.
"Are you okay?" he asked, the concern heavy in his voice.
"Yeah." I said, standing up and moving away from him, embarrassed. His arms were still partly around me. "Look, I don't usually fall down things..." I started.
"It's fine." He laughed. "It wasn't every day we used to go around fighting zombies, but now it's as good as every other day."
"That's true." I said, laughing. "Where are the others?"
He motioned with his head, still seemingly reluctant to take his arms from around me. "They're through there. Look. I have something to tell you. I have something to confess to you Evie. I just wanted to say..." At that moment, Archie and Natalie came to the top of the stairs and saw, what looked like, a romantic moment between us. I turned back.
"I'd say we could come back later," said Archie. "But we need to get downstairs really. We aren't interrupting anything, are we?" He asked. It sounded as though he was upset, but when he had reached the top of the stairs he had been fine.
Otis answered before I could. "I just caught Evie as she fell down the stairs then and I was going to speak to her, but it doesn't matter. It can wait." He said, dismissively.
"Okay?" I said, unsure of what, exactly, was going on. With that, Natalie and Archie walked into the living room, but Otis held me back to speak to me. I found it strange, but I hoped Archie overheard whatever Otis was about to say.