“That’s awesome!” He handed me my ticket, and while I did feel overly happy about his minor compliment, I only let the frustration show on my face. He walked to the theater, slowing enough so I could keep up with him. “Rumpelstiltskin. That’s really awesome. I’m gonna tell Ezra that.”

“Why? Are you guys like a family of goblins or something?”

Jack laughed, shaking his head, and then pushed open the door to the movie before I could question him further.

The movie had already started playing but just the very beginning. Many people were dressed up in costumes from the movie and throwing popcorn at the screen, so for once nobody noticed us sneaking into the back row.

Rocky Horror Picture Show was a pretty good movie and I did rather enjoy it, but either Jack had ADD or he had being evasive down to an art form.

Deciding to make the best of the situation, I followed suit and watched the movie. Jack was a borderline fanatic. He hadn’t dressed up in a black corset or anything like that, but he shouted right along with all the lines.

When “Time Warp” came on, I thought he might get up and dance, and he probably would’ve if there'd been enough room in the aisle.

Towards the end of the movie, I had settled back in my seat, and even his enthusiasm had faded a bit. My arm casually brushed against his, and I felt struck by his odd skin temperature again. His skin was soft and warm, but it felt more like touching fabric than it did like touching a person.

It was such an odd sensation that I felt like I had to get more of it. I pushed my arm over on the shared arm rest, very deliberately pressing my bare skin against his. The back of his hand felt impossibly soft.

He hadn’t pulled his arm away, but I felt his gaze so I looked up at him, finding a very perplexed expression on his face.

“Are you trying to hold my hand?” Jack asked, as if the idea were completely alien.

I was not trying to hold his hand, but I didn’t appreciate the way it seemed so offensive to him. What would be wrong with that?

“What if I am?” I stuck out my chin, ready to hold my ground and find out what would be so bad about hitting on me.

Without hesitation, Jack called my bluff and took my hand in his. It definitely felt like I was holding hands with doll or something other than another person, but then it started to warm up, his skin heating up unnaturally, and I pulled my hand from his.

“Okay. That’s just weird,” I whispered.

In response, he just shrugged, apparently deciding against explaining his abrupt temperature change.

We watched the rest of the movie in silence (or at least I did – he continued shouting lines and singing). By the time it ended, I had started yawning, and I knew that I’d have to call it a night pretty soon.

Not that I wanted to. Bizarre handholding and classified information aside, I really enjoyed spending time with Jack and I didn’t want it to stop. Not ever.

“I hope you had fun tonight,” Jack said when he pulled up in front of my place.

“I did,” I nodded. Only he could make frustration so much fun. “So… we’ll hang out again?”

“Of course,” he smiled, holding his hand towards me. “Let me see your phone.”

“Why?” I asked, but I was already pulling it out of my pocket and handing it to him.

“One second.” Taking my phone, he started scrolling through it and doing things that I couldn’t see from my angle. A minute later, he handed my phone back to me, looking rather mischievous.

“What’d you do?” I flipped it open and started looking through it, trying to see what he could’ve done.

“You’ll see,” he smiled.

“Oh, you are trouble.” Shaking my head, I shoved my phone back in my pocket, and he laughed.

“You have no idea.”

When I got out of the car, he was still laughing. Being with him was strangely exhilarating, but it also ended up a little tiring. Even when he wasn’t moving, he had so much energy about him, and it seemed to take so much energy just being around him.

I’d barely made it inside the apartment when I saw Milo looking sheepishly at me, and I knew there was trouble afoot. He leaned against the kitchen counter, all decked out in pajamas since it was past his bedtime.

I was about to ask what was going on when I heard the rather shrill voice of my mother, and looked over to see her sitting in the tattered easy chair in the living room.

“Glad to see you finally made it home,” Mom said.

Her graying hair was a frayed mess spreading out from her bun. Her eyes were unusually large, a feature that both Milo and I had inherited, making us appear much younger than we were. She lit another cigarette as she cast a cold glance at me.

“Why aren’t you at work?” I asked.

“They had a bomb threat to the building so they shut it down for the night,” Mom said. “They’re diverting all the calls to Edina’s station.”

“Oh.” I stood awkwardly in between the kitchen and the living room, waiting for someone to tell me what was going on.

“What were you doing out so late?” Her voice lilted at the end, taunting me.

“I don’t have school, and I don’t have a curfew,” I answered cautiously.

In theory, I might’ve had a curfew, but we’d never even talked about it and she always worked nights. On weeknights, I tried to be in by midnight, mostly because Milo would freak out on me.

The only thing Mom really kept track of was whether or not we went to school and passed all our classes. As long as I did that, everything else seemed fine with her.