"And what did you think we were doing?" asked Diego, as Kayla's bedroom door closed behind his twin brother.
"Do you know Stacy?" asked Landers.
"I thought so," said Landers, as he led his friend into his bedroom. There was a fractured edge in his voice. "The two of you meant well, I realize that, but it was pretty obvious."
"You're right," admitted Diego, sitting down in Landers's desk chair as Landers took the bed. "I should have known better."
"Be more upfront next time," suggested Landers.
"Mmm hmm," Diego vocalized.
"Plans are still on though," Landers reminded him.
"Good," said Diego. "I'd hate to disappoint. The bases are all covered, right?"
"Yes," answered Landers. "As far as anyone knows, we are having a sleep-over tonight, watching the second Transformers movie and playing video games until our eyes bleed."
Diego smiled. "Excellent."
"So," said Landers, "you're headed to the campus now?"
Diego nodded. "I should have left five minutes ago."
"Alright then," said Landers. "But it looks like Dario and I will have company anyways."
"Oh?" Diego hung in the doorway, on his way out.
"Yeah," said Landers.
Landers tilted his head affectionately in the direction of his sister's room, "She knows how to empty machine gun rounds into zombie flesh better than I do."
"Hah! Hah-hah," Diego chuckled, his laughter buoyant and infectious. "I wouldn't have known."
"I know, right?"
"Puts a wonderful image in my head." Diego pulled back from the room.
"Could put worse," Landers mused.
"Goodnight," said Landers.
"Enjoy your third-wheeling," instructed Diego, as he gave his friend a wave goodbye and began to walk backwards, turning as he did, down the hallway.
"Don't lose control!" Landers called after him. "A proper pace is important."
Diego's steps thundered down the stairs. His tight jeans clung to his legs, pockets pressing two transit and subway tokens against his thighs. He grabbed his indigo jacket from the coat-tree in the front hall, and made his way out the front door. He slowed down then to close the door gently behind him. And he whispered to the house an obscure admonishment that intoned his frustration, before rushing off in a sprint through the darkness, "Enjoy your trike..."