“Thanks for stopping by, Whitney, but I’ve got to go now. There’s somewhere I have to be.” If I wasn’t already so pale I’m sure it would look as if the color had drained from my face. “Ever…I’m so sorry. Truly.” Whitney told me sympathetically. I know she felt bad for me but the last thing I wanted was her pity. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault. It’s theirs.” I declared before racing up the stairs, back to my bedroom. I then rifled through the clothes in my closet until I found the perfect outfit. A leather jacket and combat boots wasn’t something I would’ve normally worn but I was a different person now and it was time to embrace that.
I could hear Mama and Whitney chattering away furiously but they froze like deer in headlights when I came stomping through the parlor. My mother had firmly positioned herself between me and the door that lead outside. “Get out of the way, Mama. Please.” I asked politely but with force. “I can’t do that, dear. You have to stay here and keep away from the prying eyes of the people that live in this town. No one else needs to know that you’ve returned. At least not until we know more about the details of your…situation.” She explained. “First you didn’t believe me and now you want to keep me hidden? Make up your mind, Mama.” My fists were clenched at my sides. I hated the thought of my plan being thwarted.
“Of course I believed you! But it made more sense not to.” She admitted with a wry smile. “How about some tea? We’ll all sit down and get comfortable. We have a lot to catch up on.” Mama motioned for us to follow her to the kitchen. “Where’s Clay?” I’d just noticed that he was missing. “He went out for some air. I’m sure he’ll be back soon.” Mama answered quickly then she turned around and filled the kettle with water. “These boots sure do hurt my feet.” I groaned. “Would you go upstairs and get my slippers?” I asked Whitney sweetly. “Sure.” She nodded. “I’ll be right back.” As soon as they were both distracted, I quietly slipped out into the night.
Even though it was dark, I knew the way to Lance’s house so well that I could’ve walked there blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. Not that it mattered now though. I finally came to a stop in front of large window that looked into the dining room. There was a light on inside. I could see Lance and Dani seated at the table, having dinner together. She suddenly brushed her hand against his and then he gazed back at her with such adoration that it made me wonder…had he ever looked at me like that?