12: Pommery

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'Everything's better with caffeine'

"Good morning sleepy head!" mum's radiant smile and voice bubbling with joy greets me as I enter the kitchen of this unfamiliar mansion.

I force my lips to curve into a smile to return her enthusiasm, while my eyes scan the remainder of the room.

Toast, sausage, and scrambled eggs, all piled on separate plates cover the stretch of the island in the kitchen, with six plates already set awaiting our arrival.

I drag a chair out and perch myself on it while greeting both Wesley and Ryan--who are already here with a polite smile.

"Coffee anyone?" Mum asks from her spot behind the stove.

"Black, no sugar." My words are echoed by another. My head spins to find out who, only for Enrique to claim the spot beside me.

"I really don't know how you kids drink this stuff," mum mumbles while placing two mugs of steaming hot goodness in front of us.

As the first sip of pure caffeine wrapped in a blanket of heat hits my tongue, my cells are energized and I'm consequently fully awake.

'What would the world be without coffee?'

I carefully place my now empty mug down, just as mum places a batch of freshly baked muffins on the island before taking a seat herself, my now caffeinated self takes notice of something.

'For someone who was so worried last night, she seems to be handling the news much better now'

There's a skip in her step this morning, and all this food? Mum never prepared breakfast--she hates cooking. And then there's this smile she has on since the moment I got here this morning.

Ryan as well seems to be at a lot more at ease than he did last night and now that I think about it so do the guys.

"The jet is fueled and the pilot is ready," Enrique reads off his phone before pocketing it. "We should leave in a few," he adds, eliciting a nod of agreement from everyone else at the table, everyone except me.

My gaze immediately lands on mum's, and as though reading the frown on my face realization strikes her.

"Oh, honey, I completely forgot to tell you," she explains, I raise a single brow wordlessly raiding my unvoiced question.

"After the break-in at our place yesterday, Ryan and I decided it would be best if we relocate to a safe house," she continues only to have my frown deepen.

"It's all temporary, I promise," she assures, predicting my unvoiced concern. "We should be back in two days, but three at most," she adds as an afterthought.

I take in a breath as I try to process all of this, and then it strikes me causing my gaze to snap back to hers. "When?" I ask and by her reaction, I know she knows what I'm referring to.

"It was a last-minute decision after you guys had been tailed we decided it would be the best course of action," she replies, offering me a placid smile. But I know she's lying to me.

"Can I talk to you?" I ask her taking her by surprise.

"Sure hone--"

"Alone?" I add cutting her off while side-eyeing the rest of the table who now have their entire attention on our exchange.

Caught yet again by surprise by my words, she doesn't respond right away, but agrees after a moment and excuses herself from the table.

I don't bother with such pleasantries, and just push back my chair and follow her to the living room area away from prying ears.

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