“Little help,” He finally sighed. I decided to not laugh at him and leaned over, making sure to cross my feet in case I slipped forward. He grabbed my outreached hand and we both froze. I almost pulled away at the jolt but stopped myself. He would've fallen if I did that. Probably just static I reasoned as he grabbed my other wrist with his other hand and nothing happened. He clambered onto another strong branch directly opposite me, leaning against the trunk.
“How are things in Cambridge then?” he asked.
“Boring,” I sighed.
“Haven't got a girlfriend yet then?” he asked.
“Just haven't felt … “ I trailed off, unsure how to phrase it.
“The spark?” he suggested. I nodded, staring at the sea of leaves surrounding us. The sky was starting to turn a dark purple shade. We would need to climb down before it got completely dark, otherwise we could easily trip and get hurt.
“So you haven't done it yet?” he asked. I shot my eyes back to him, blinking in confusion. A smirk formed on his face and it clicked in place.
“Oh, that,” I said, feeling my cheeks burn a little. “No,” I admitted, shrugging.
“Really?” Riley asked, surprise evident in his tone.
“Really, “ I echoed, “I'm not interested in messing around with someone I don't care about,” I added.
“Totally different attitudes there then,” Riley joked, his gaze looking at the landscape now. His grin faded as he stared ahead. “Can I tell you something I haven't told anyone? My dad can never find out, he'd kill me if he did.” Riley eyes moved to mine and he pushed away from the tree so that there was less distance between us. I sat up a little straighter, wondering what big secret he was trusting me with.
“I won't tell anyone,” I promised.
“I'm bisexual,” he said. I blinked at him. Of all the possibilities racing through my mind, that hadn't been one of them.
“Oh,” I said, “Erm, good for you I guess,” I trailed off. I had no clue what to say to something like that. He laughed at my tone, looking down at our feet hanging over the branches. Our knees were almost touching, though I thought the branches had more space between them.
“You could still have a girl for a soulmate,” I added.
“I don't know,” he murmured. “What about you?” he asked.
“What about me?”
“You haven't wondered if you could just not be into girls?” I opened my mouth to answer and hesitated. I'd questioned it myself before, but I figured it wasn't possible. The soulmate principle is part personality and part genetics I was once told. Which meant it was about having kids and two guys couldn't do that.
“Luca!” The sound of Karl's voice interrupted me. Riley moved back, widening the gap between us. Karl appeared below us, glancing through the branches with a raised eyebrow.
“It's Riley, I met him last time,” I explained, climbing down quickly. Riley followed much more slowly, careful with his footing.
“Oh, I remember you, nice to see you again,” he said to Riley.
“Same,” Riley answered.
“Uncle Peter's doing a BBQ, figured you wouldn't want to miss out on the food,” Karl said. I glanced at Riley, ready to ask him to join.
“I better head back too. My dad will be looking for me,” he said quickly. “See you later,” he added, a strange, determined look in his face when he said it. I started to say bye but he'd already fast-paced far away. I dropped my hand, not bothering to wave.
“How much longer until the blue feast again?” I asked
“Two days. Then the night after it's the blue moon. I can't wait,” he smirked.
“Me neither,” I murmured, still hoping I'd finally change for the first time. I glanced over my shoulder, remembering Riley earlier concern. “Karl .. “ I began, wondering if I was just being stupid.
“What's up?” he asked, pausing momentarily to look down at me.
“Do you think the vampires will come after us here?” I asked. He froze mid-step and let out a tired sigh. There was something agitated about his movements which didn't do a lot to reassure me.
“It was an ongoing debate for a long time when Stewart said the blue moon was going to be here, but we think ultimately the vampire aren't that dumb. We might get one or two idiots, but we can easily take care of those. I wouldn't worry about it,” Karl explained. I gulped at his words and silently nodded. I felt like I was worrying more now. If they thought there was the slightest possibility, then surely this should have never happened? It was too late now though. I hoped Karl was right.
Outside the tents Uncle Peter had set up some simple throwaway BBQ's. I could smell food cooking and heard my tummy growl. I hadn't even realised I was hungry when I had been talking to Riley.