Chapter 3

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One hour, a bag of chips and an entire bottle of Victoria Secret perfume later (Olivia accidentally dropped it on the floor); we all walked downstairs towards the kitchen where I know my mom is.

Mom is standing in front of the island preparing what appears to be a salad to go with the burgers that I smell my father making outside on the barbeque. I notice some of the baseball boys are sitting either outside by the barbeque or are still in the living room playing Xbox. My mom turns to us when she hears our footsteps coming into the room.

"You girls leaving already? I thought you would at least eat something before going," my mother says but we all know she means that she doesn't want us drinking on empty stomachs. It's not like she is completely okay with us drinking but I hate to keep secrets from my parents, so rather they know about it than it becoming an issue in the future.

"We're just going to eat a burger and then leave, besides it's almost eight so the party only just started, we can't get there too early," Courtney explains to my mom and she grabs a few sodas from the fridge and passes one to each of us.

"Perfect! And you girls look gorgeous," my mom says as she gives each of us a kiss on the cheek, receiving a chorus of "thank you" from all of us.

I look outside to where my dad is grilling the burgers and notice the baseball boys outside are slowly making their way to the kitchen sliding door carrying trays of burger patties with them. Nathan suddenly looks up, catching me looking at him, and I quickly whip my head towards my mother hoping he didn't notice.

"Girls! I was wondering when the smell of my famous burgers would lure you downstairs," my dad chuckles as he walks over to my mom and kisses her cheek lightly. I chuckle lightly and lean against the kitchen counter.

"You know us too well Mr H, nothing beats your burgers," Olivia smiles at him and reaches over to grab a piece of lettuce from the salad bowl, earning a light smack on the hand from my mom; Olivia grins and blows her a kiss.

From the corner of my eye I see Zach sauntering up to Courts, who is talking to Quinn about some television series she's been binge-watching, giving her a once-over.

"Well don't you look absolutely edible," Zach says to her.

Courtney wrinkles her nose, stifling a chuckle with a cough. "I'm out of your league, now go away," she makes a half-hearted shooing motion with her hand. The room erupts into laughter at the second rejection of the day.

"Wow Zach, rejected twice in one day, you must be losing your touch," Olivia laughs. He stares at her looking as though he's ready to give a retort but thinks better of it and looks away.

"Alright kid's dinner is ready, grab a plate and whatever you're eating. Girls, come downstairs, burgers are ready!" My mom yells gaining everyone's attention as she walks to the bottom of the staircase calling up to my younger sisters.

I hear feet pounding from upstairs and seconds later I see two girls sprint into the room.

"Charlotte!" Madeline shouts and runs towards me and I just manage to pick her up before she tackles me to the ground. The seven-year-old ball of energy grins at me, showcasing her missing tooth.

"How was school Munchkin?" I ask and lightly tickle her stomach.

"Yes Maddie, why don't you tell your sister about what happened at school today?" My mother asks with an eyebrow raised. I turn my attention to the fidgeting girl in my arms. The room is silent as everyone waits for Maddie to start speaking.

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