At the end of The Purge, Stephanie looked over at Leta, who was waiting until the credits had finished for a possible extra scene.
She was hugging cushion from the sofa, legs pulled up close to her body. Her eyes were wide towards the TV screen and she was nibbling on the ends of her fingers. Strange, Leta didn't normally bite her nails. Had the film really scared her that much?
Stephanie considered moving closer. They had both consciously but discreetly moved away from each other and now sat at complete opposite ends of the sofa. The space between them wasn't much, but it also wasn't usual.
"Leta! You weren't frightened, were you?" Stephanie teased.
"What? No!" Leta shifted into a more relaxed position.
Stephanie wasn't convinced. She had seen how Leta's muscled had tensed. "Are you sure, 'cause you seemed pretty damn-"
Leta giggled as the cushion hit her best friend's face, cutting off her accusation. Stephanie threw it back, and Leta held it away from her.
Steph leaned over her to reach for it, momentarily forgetting how low cut her dress was. Leta rolled away.
"Uh, so, what shall we watch next?"
Steph, who had suddenly become self-conscious again, rubbed her right shoulder. She looked a little bedraggled, and some of her nervous plaits had come undone, making her hair more fluffy than it normally would be. She pulled at the skirt of the dress.
"I don't mind," she said. "I'm not fussed."
Leta grinned. "You just said the same thing twice."
"So I did," Steph's insecurity melted away.
They watched another film together, and this time Stephanie made an effort not to sit so far away from Leta. They realised that they had both had the same idea when a loud bang from the kitchen at a particularly scary moment caused them to reach for one another.
"I'll go and see what that was," said Leta. Stephanie followed her casually.
Leta really was pretty. She wasn't exactly thin, but compared to Stephanie, few people were. Leta was slightly muscular. Toned, the girls had discussed at one point. Stephanie liked the look of concentration on Leta's face as she searched out of the window to see if the noise had been a car door slamming.
"Um... Steph?" she turned around, and the sunlight caught the side of her face.
"Mm?" Stephanie avoided eye contact, not wanting to give away how long she had been admiring her best friend's face. Leta would... think that was weird, or something. She concentrated on plaiting yet another portion of her hair.
"Can I... talk to you?"
Stephanie's heart jolted, but she didn't let on. She knew what that sentence meant. "... What about?"
Stephanie's hands were heating up at a rapid rate. Was she really that nervous?
"Well I... I just wanted to say-" Leta let out a little yelp as flames flickered out of Stephanie's hands into her hair.