"Shit." Caitlin never said the word, but there were two things in the driveway waiting for them in the dark. The truck with the bed, and Zeke's family.
"What do we do?" Caitlin looked at Smed then Megan. She was so tired. Smed could tell by the way she dragged her feet.. They all reeked of their own sweat. This was not the way, Smed knew, Caitlin wanted to meet Zeke's mother.
"Just, just don't worry." Smed's voice was low. He stared at the predicument and walked slower than the both of them. They had just eaten from the dollar menu at MacDonald's and his stomach was still growling.
Megan took a step foward, but Smed came through.
"Ah, looks like you guys made it." He was all smiles as if he was just someone in the house. No one, special. He shook the mother's hand and took a good long look at his little sister. Half sister.Yes, they were both taller than he expected. "I think I saw a kettle in the kitchen. I know we have tea. I'll put it on."
"Who was that?" Smed heard Zeke's sister say as he walked past. He left Megan and Caitlin to their own devices. Mainly Megan, she chatted up, what a great guy Zeke was.
"You must be Caitlin." Zeke's mother hugged Megan.
"No, no, this is Caitlin." Megan told her.
Smed sucked in a breath not even sure he wanted to know how this was going to end. He found Sammi with the guys going up the stairs with the mattress. He showed them which room to put it in. Thankfully, they put the bed up.
"You guys have been busy." Sammi looked at Smed who just shrugged. When he closed his eyes and leaned against the wall of Caitlin and Zeke's bedroom, he thought he could crash. Next thing he knew someone had her arms around him and was kissing his lips as if she meant business. Now he was wide awake.
"Uh...I..I need to make tea." He unraveled Sammi's hands around his neck. "Want some?" It was all so awkward, and the guys with the bed looked at him as if they knew what they'd be doing as soon as they left.
Smed cleared his throat and slipped away. It seemed to take forever to get back downstairs and the tea kettle going. But there was time. Time enough for Sammi to make herself at home, sitting on the kitchen counter with her frayed cuttoffs. Smed stared at her knobby knees. He had to think what to do. She was a distraction.
Smed turned to find tea-cups then. He kept straight lipped as if he didn't even know she kissed him now. He was beginning to think that innocent look of hers was freaking sneaky now. Finally the whistle sang and there was Zeke with the girls and his family coming into the empty kitchen.
Smed slightly flinched as he nervously got the hot water in the cups.
"Smed, are you all right?" Zeke asked.
"Yeah. Sure. Fine." His eyes met Sheila's now. He tried to keep a smile in. He didn't need to be friends with these people. It was true he was a nuisance to them. But Shela hugged him as if were the best. Didn't matter how awful he smelled or if he looked pretty pathetic in his old T-shirt and khakis. Smed was beginning to wonder if maybe this kind of look attracted everyone, but Megan.