Chapter 26

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I woke in the morning, sun shining into my bedroom through my open blinds, a pounding headache behind my eyes and the stark realization that things between Sawyer and I were not as simple as they used to be. He'd disappeared before my mom woke up, leaving me behind a rather Sawyer-like, or in other words, dirty text message and a sweet goodbye. My head was spinning when I finally pulled myself from the tangle of the sheets wrapped around my legs, and for more than one reason. What happened last night had changed things between Sawyer and I, at least for me. Now when I looked at him I couldn't not think about that kiss. That stupid, stomach flipping kiss that turned me into a complete idiot the minute the wine entered my system. In hindsight, I should have known better than to drink after all that emotional turmoil. Especially with Sawyer. I'd been a wreck after kissing him and blowing up on Jack--my emotions were everywhere. And maybe that's all this was, my emotions playing with me. But there was also the possibility that I was simply coming to realize that Sawyer meant something to me, something more, and that was scary as hell. My heart was already in a fragile state, and I still wasn't completely over Jack. Adding another guy to the picture just made everything more confusing than it already was.

Still, despite my raging headache and utterly confused state, I somehow managed to slip into some comfy but acceptable day clothes and make my way out to the living room. Ty was lounging on the couch with Leah, his eyes trained on the tv, and old episode of friends playing. They both gave me good morning nods as I slumped down into the armchair with a grunt.

"Rough night? I heard you in the kitchen late last night."

Ty didn't even take his eyes off of the tv. "Something like that," I mumbled in response. "Hey, where's Emily?"

"Went to get her nails done with her mom."

"And mom?" I asked Leah.


I forced myself out of the comfy recliner and made my way toward the kitchen, the smell of coffee already clearing my foggy head. Mom was sitting at the kitchen table doing bills, twenty or so little white envelops splayed out across the table in front of her. She looked up at me as I entered and gave me a warm smile. "Morning, there's coffee in the pot."

I let out a satisfied sort of grunt and poured myself a cup of steamy hot coffee, adding a little spoon of sugar to sweeten it. "You're going to need it after all that wine you drank."

I froze before her, unable to formulate an appropriate response. My mother was still filling through her bills, eyes trained on the pile of papers in front of her. When she finally looked up at me, the disappointment on her face was clear. "Look Danny, I know teens drink, I'm not an idiot. I was your age once too. But I don't supply my teen daughter with alcohol, and I don't condone that behavior under my roof. You know better and you crossed a line last night. I'm very trusting of you, which maybe is my mistake but I'm honestly shocked that you would do something so incredibly careless."

She stopped and took a deep breath, her eyes narrowing in my direction. "You're grounded until I say so. And I want this house spotless today. Leah and I will be going to her doctor's appointment around one and then after we're visiting grandmas. When I get back, I want to see the floors sparkle, got it?"

I nodded my head in response. At this point, it was useless to apologize. My mom rarely got mad, and when she did, I knew better than try to talk it out. She just needed some time to calm down. And me? I needed to re-think the decisions I made much more thoroughly.

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