After thirty minutes we'd left Cambridge and were in one of the surrounding towns. Jeremy went onto a dirt road and pulled over near a wooden fence. I got out the car and took in the trees and bushes. Definitely private I thought.
“There was a sign back there saying private property. Is your house nearby?” I asked, leaning over the fence to see a house through the trees.
“Yeah, though its the other side. We're a big family, so we need the space,” Jeremy explained, leaning against the fence next to me.
“Do you all turn into the same thing?”
“Nope. Completely random. Though my grandmother insists our animal says something about our personality. I choose to disagree with her,” he replied with a laugh. I climbed over the fence easily and felt the long grass tickle my ankles. I'd never felt more at home since coming here. I breathed in the smell of dew and bark.
“This place is awesome,” I threw over my shoulder, expecting him to be further away but he was right in behind me. A mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
“Stay here,” he instructed.
“I am not going to be sneak attacked,” I said, crossing my arms.
“That wasn't my intention. But I need to get undressed back at the car,” he said. His smile suggested he really wanted to continue that sentence with an 'unless'.
“I'll wait here then,” I said, trying to keep my grinning under control. I turned around to face the trees and found myself wondering about Jeremy. If the guy was just like him, I'd be happy. Jeremy was kind and easy to joke with. Not to mention a hell of lot less likely to hurt me. I considered turning around but remembered what Jeremy had said. But how was I supposed to know when he'd shifted shape? I glared at the air.
“If you sneak up on me ...” I said loud enough that he'd be able to hear. Something brushed my leg and I automatically moved away from it. I had a moment of panic before I realised it was him.
“I … was not expecting that,” I said lifting and dropping both arms in the air. I was pretty sure he was grinning, if it was possible for snakes to do that.