Halie was feeling restless. Maybe she was even scared. OK, she was scared. But she was alone. Gage wasn't here like she thought he would be.
Well, he'd came in the middle of the night and she'd been happy to see him. Now, she wondered if she'd been drunk then. It was all so intoxicating. His smile and his touch.
She winced hard, thinking she'd been so wrong. But she didn't want to believe that. Not yet. Not now. Not after she'd been with him.
But she didn't know where she was. The lights were to stay out. No one was home. Now she wasn't so sure where they'd even slept together. Some strangers bed. Yes, she'd had sex in some stranger's bed. It wasn't even his room.
Probably some parent's room, she was beginning to think. She'd found pictures. Family pictures. There were two boys and neither one was Gage.
On her search, evidently, one was in college now. The other one was younger. A lot younger. Maybe even elementary school.
"If you hear anyone coming, just hide in the closet. You'll be OK." Gage promised as if this was just some sort of game. Everything was going to be fine. He talked about going back to England with her.
"Then I can hide in your room." He'd grinned. She knew he was teasing.
"My mum wouldn't care." She liked the idea of having her very own lover, at home. Well, she felt that way when they'd talked last night. But now it was dark again. A wind was starting to howl, and it was snowing again.
No Gage. Where was he?
Just then, she heard a car door slam. Then another.And another. Halie knew it was Gage.
No, not the heavy feet she heard outside the door. Someone was back from holiday. Suddenly, she felt like Goldielocks. What would they think? She'd finished off the milk and ate all the Honey Nut Cheerios. At least, she'd cleaned up after herself. Wasn't that obvious she was here.
But now her heart beat pounded so, she couldn't even hear. The closet. Hide in the closet. It was all she could think to do.
Cody could hardly wait to get back to his room. His cell was confiscated during winter break. His parents didn't want his grandparents thinking he was texting all the time. Well, of course, he was. He wanted to be with Spencer, after all.
It was such a miserable trip. He was afraid they'd never make it home with those wind gusts. Then the snow. At least he got the phone back once they were home. He hurried upstairs and texted Spencer that he was back. Of course, she didn't text right back. He guessed her phone might have been off, too. She was going to Florida.
Just his luck she had a tan and a new boyfriend. Honestly, he did trust her. She wasn't like other girls. She was sweet and her smile always made him glad that he'd found her. Or was it that she'd found him? They could talk about nothing for hours. Just hold hands and of course, kiss.
It was a sloppy beginning. Bumping heads. Her nose whiplashing his. But it was great. So great. He could never ever think of actually ever being this close to Vada. And to think he thought they were close. Not the kind of closeness, like Spencer.
It was all so giggly and silly, but he'd never think it bad. Because Spencer was amazing. She wanted to hold his hand. She liked his hugs. Cody couldn't imagine ever being with anyone else, and he'd missed her so much.
Finally, he unpacked his suit case and put his clean underwear in his sock drawer. He looked at his dresser, wondering where his Darth Vader pez dispenser went too. It was always next to his alarm clock, right in front of his pencil box.
He stared at the vacant space. He'd feel silly to go ask his Mom if she'd seen it. Why would anyone steal it?
He looked under the dresser. Even under his bed. Nothing.
"Is anything missing in your room?" He went to ask his older brother Van who treated his room more like a guestroom than his room. All his stuff was put away. He was only crashing here tonight and heading back to the University in the morning.
"Everything's fine here." Van gave him a dopey look and slammed the door in his face.
Sometimes, he thought maybe his brother was adopted. He could be such a cartoon character. Supposedly, he was a football player, but he came off more like a ogre.
Cody went back to his room to check for a text, but there was nothing. It was then he saw the closet door cracked a bit.
Suddenly, a chill came over him. Like maybe he wasn't exactly alone. He opened the closet door to face his fears and jerked on the closet light quickly.
He saw the winter coats, his stash of comic books and boxes of Legos. And then he looked down and saw sneakers that weren't his. He grinned. Maybe Spencer came over to surprise him.
But when he slid the hangers back, it was a girl. A girl he'd never seen before. He stared at her as if this was the weirdest Christmas present he ever got.
"Please, don't say anything," she said.
Cody was on mute. His eyes took her in.
"Who are you?" He finally croaked and hoped his Mom didn't hear.
"Do you know Josie.." She squinted as if she really didn't know her last name. "Jesus," she sighed "Her Mom is on the radio."
"Oh, she does the traffic report? She hasn't done it in a long time." Cody looked at her as if he wasn't much into guessing games. "I think I know who you're talking about." He rattled off a name that didn't sound like anyone she'd know.
"Where are you from?" Cody wanted to know. "You, sound funny."
She told him her name then and that she was from England. "Can I use your phone, to call my brother."
He hesitated. "I guess so. Is it a local call?" She nodded. He finally handed it to her. "We don't have a house phone anymore. We've got that family plan, that's way too expensive, thanks to my brother."
Soon enough she had her brother on the phone. It wasn't a very long phone call. She gave him back the phone.
"What are you doing here?" Cody wanted to know.
"Just hiding out." Her smile was pleasant enough, but he had to wonder if she had some kind of OCD he'd never heard about. This was really weird.