Chapter 59: Would You Lie?

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Jesse knew, as soon as Caleb pulled the bike over, that they were going to stay in that motel, and they were going to have another good day tomorrow. He and Wynter sat with the bikes while Caleb went into the 24-hour reception to book rooms.

"White lies and rule-breaking for the sake of your emotional health," Jesse mused. "Wyn, I think our brother has finally raised his moral development to Stage Five."

"How's your emotional health today?" Wynter said, tired but happy. "He's doing it for you, too."

"If he cared about my emotional health, he'd get me a puppy."

"You want a puppy?"

"Everyone wants a puppy—what's the matter with you?"

She was, fortunately, too exhausted to take offense, settling for pulling a face at him.

Caleb came out of reception holding a grocery bag and the room keys. "We're in 104. Wynter, you're right next door in 105. I got us toothbrushes and snacks. There's a convenience store one block away if you need anything else. We can check it out in the morning."

First things first. "Is there free wifi?"

"Yes, Jess, and cable TV and a microwave and an outdoor pool if you wanna skinny dip in the moonlight."

The moon was hiding tonight—in fact, it looked like rain. They took the motorcycles around the corner to an undercover area, then climbed one flight of steps to their rooms. Wynter got her second wind when she saw her room, waltzing around the king-size bed like they were at the Ritz. Well, she didn't know better and frankly neither did he.

"Look at the tiny shampoo and body wash!" she squealed from the bathroom alcove. "Are we allowed to use these?"

"Of course," Jesse said. "Everything's included."

"Even the refrigerator is tiny!" She squatted down to take a look.

"Uh, stay out of there, okay?" Caleb said, toeing the door shut with his foot, almost trapping her nose. "Its contents are not included, and nor are they suitable."

"I saw candy in there."

"You saw three-dollars-a-bar candy in there. I bought Twinkies and ramen noodles from the front desk."

"That's disgusting," Jesse said.

"That's all they had. Hungry?" he asked Wynter. "Noodles for supper at our place."

"I'm gonna take a shower." Wynter went to turn on the water, and inspected the little bottles and soaps again.

Caleb and Jesse went to their room to dump the helmets and the robot and the contents of the saddle bags, including their phones.

"Guess I need to text Rosa." Caleb sat heavily on the edge of the bed.

"I can do it," Jesse volunteered, knowing Caleb wouldn't allow it. He didn't see the big deal. Yes, it was all a lie, but so what? Wynter didn't even want to go to Europe. She'd rather come to Seattle for the summer, and instead they weren't going to see her for weeks. She was going to miss his birthday. Plus, he'd willingly text a lie to Rosa to save Caleb from having to lower himself to that level.

Caleb tapped at his phone. When he was done, he turned it off.

"I told her we're stuck halfway to Richland, which is pretty much the case. Turn off your phone so she doesn't contact you." He found Wynter's phone among their stuff and turned that off, too. "She'll think they've gone dead. Which they almost have."

"Wow, more subterfuge. You're getting the hang of this. There are worthwhile lies, y'know."

"Maybe." Caleb didn't look happy.

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