"You're my friend?"
"Would you have prefered the real answer?"
"Friend sounds suspicous. Brother would have been better. It's closer to the truth."
"I suppose you are right."
I couldn't help the smug smile. Jayred shut the cupboards and stretched, his back clicking loudly. I was sitting on the counter, wrapped in my old dressing robe and a big bar of Galaxy chocolate on my lap. I snapped off another row and sucked at it noisily. Jayred frowned at me so I slid off the top and put the rest of the Galaxy in the fridge.
I licked my fingers clean of chocolate as I waited for Jayred to change. He was back down in a few minutes, a towel wrapped around his waist. I looked up at him, suddenly worried. He put his arm around my shoulders, hugging me gently.
"You've done this before, Tala. Don't panic and just let your instincts take over."
"Where are the others meeting us?"
"The clearing by the water."
"See you there, Brother."
We walked out of the back door, on to the long, sheltered veranda. The clouds moved slowly overhead as we shed our coverings. And then, with a silky crack and a silent whimper, we leapt away and ran into the dark forest.