“Aw DeeDee, you look adorable!”
Derek hates it when Laura calls him that, but of course that’s why she does it. It’s bad enough that he’s wearing this stupid costume.
“Laura, cut it out!” he snapped back.
She ignores her little brother, giving him a big hug and adjusting his bow tie. “James Bond is so the way to go. All the girls will love you.”
Derek wriggles out of her embrace and stalks through the woods, crunching leaves as he goes. “Why do you get to be a ninja?”
Laura grins at Derek walking away. When he looks back, she’s gone. She’s probably gone back in the house getting another katana.
Derek sighs. “You’ve wasted enough time, Laura. Let’s go.” No response.
“Laura come on.” Nothing.
Derek huffs a bit and scuffs his feet waiting for her to come back. She probably forgot something. Usually it’s Derek being absent-minded about things.
The silence stretches on, and he shuffles his feet a bit. Derek starts to get a little worried. He’s not scared or anything. He’s too old to be scared, and anyway Laura’s coming back in a second.
“L-laura? We’re gonna be late.”
They never really have to worry about being late. They can just run. But he feels like he has to say something. His eyes are going to start playing tricks on him if he stays in the gloomy darkness any longer. He stares down the road ahead of him, sighs, and turns back home to grab his sister and get going.
But something grabs him first.
Derek is hurled to the ground by a masked ninja. “SHIT LAURA WHAT THE HELL!”
Laura falls over laughing at the sight of her brother curled up in the leaves. She wipes tears from her eyes. “That’s why I get to be a ninja. Big sis is a pro!”
Derek mumbles something about his suit, and Laura hauls him up, brushing him off.
“Aw, I thought you didn’t like the suit.”
Derek makes a face at Laura.“I never said that.”
“Yeah, well now we’ll be fashionably late so everyone can stare as we enter,” she says, making a grand gesture. She gives her little brother a hug again as he turns red. She can’t see the blush, but she hears his heart kick it up a notch. Derek wiggles away, but he’s glad Laura’s going with him. Parties have never been his thing, and having a social butterfly for a sister makes things a lot easier.
“It’ll be fun. Come on, let’s run.”
The two kids practically fly around the trees with ease. The half moon dimly lights their way through the reserve and onto the main road. Laura’s always a step ahead, but Derek doesn’t mind. He knows that one day he’ll be old enough to catch up.