Max and her mom, Dr. Martinez, walked into the kitchen and I felt my heart stop. Since the day I'd set eyes on her she had held my heart, but I couldn't let anyone know, who would understand the needs of a hormonal bird kid? Hell, who understood the needs of a normal hormonal teenager? Logic told me this wasn't right, but logic wasn't often present with her in the room.
At that moment I heard Iggy come bounding down the stairs, he drew to a short stop and stared blindly at the scene before him, I should have known Ig would sense the tension in the room. Gotta be more careful, can't let your feelings show, not to the flock.
"Hey, Nudge!" Iggy called slowly, "Come help Max and Dr. Martinez with the shopping,"
I blinked as Iggy grabbed me by the arm and hauled me back up the stairs, listening to Max scolding us for our laziness disinterestedly. Nudge bounded past us, throwing a half-hearted glare our way as she realized we were avoiding the work. Not that it was particularly hard work anyway.
"Iggy, what are you doing? We should help…" I trailed off, feeling unaccustomed with the awkward sound of my voice, I usually sounded in control. Cool. What was I doing? I wasn't even surprised when Iggy paid no mind to my weak protests; they were so pathetic I wouldn't have escaped from Gazzy.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Iggy finally retorted after dragging me into our room and shoving me onto my bed. "What were you thinking?"
I felt my face flush and the skin beneath my collar burned with embarrassment, God, where could I even start? "I-I can't help the way I feel, Iggy, you must understand that," I added the last knowingly and noticed Iggy blush a little.
"Oh yeah, I've noticed how you stumble more when Ella's around, how flustered you get when you hear her step…" I let the sentence trail off, trying to distract him from my own desires but Iggy wasn't looking all that embarrassed. More like he was covering surprise. Was I wrong? Did Iggy like someone else? Maybe Max? Who knew, who cared, in fact, if it meant he forgot this whole Dr. Martinez thing?
"Don't try to shake me off the scent, Fang," Iggy said, a little overdramatically, I thought, "I know you like Max, and I am telling you: it is a bad idea. She isn't ready and it could mess with the whole flock,"
I knew Iggy couldn't see the surprise on my face, but the stunned silence that followed his accusation would be a stone cold give away. So I spluttered wordlessly for a moment and sighed in relief when he seemed to believe it. I sighed? Why the hell did I sigh? Iggy frowned and tilted his head.
"If you don't like Max, who do you like? The only other person in the room was…"
I pushed past Ig to the stairs, blushing fiercely, they were going to know my secret. "Yeah, well if you don't like Ella, who do you like?" I shot back at him, hoping again to distract him. Maybe it was Max and that's why he was so defensive of her.
Iggy sighed, looking blindly over the banister beside me, "Dr. Martinez," he exhaled the name like a caress and I felt a flash of jealously. At least he could admit it, I scolded myself and looked over the banister to watch Dr. Martinez smile up at the both of us, waving us down for dinner.