Caught

Before I could even think to react, the lights in the backyard where flicking on and our mothers' happy voices could be heard as they made their way out onto the deck. Trevor and I quickly flew apart.

"I can't believe she's scared of that stupid mouse like Trevor is," my mom laughed.

She and Aunt Sarah stopped as they saw Trevor and I frozen in the backyard.

"Hey guys, didn't expect to see you two together tonight," Aunt Sarah joked as she shared a knowing look with my mom.

I squeezed past them on the way into the house, unable to make eye contact with anyone. My hand was thrown over my mouth to hold in the sensation of Trevor's lips gently pressed against it as well as my still brimming tears.

I made a B-line past my dad and Uncle Jake in the living room with all the kids and bound up the stars to my room. Digging around on my floor for my favorite pajama pants I was in my shower within minutes.

It wasn't until the shock of the cold water on my bare back that I realized the gravity of what had just happened. What had I done? What had Trevor done? What did this mean? Where did this leave us? Why did they have to chose right then to interrupt?

I took awhile to shower, letting the water wash away all the stress and pressure of the day. Plus, the half of a can of hairspray took awhile to work itself out of my shoulder-blade length hair. So much for gorgeous locks with a touchable feel.

Now onto the next delemia. Do I go down stairs and face that or stay locked away up here? Before I finished brushing the knots out of my hair my mother knocked on my door.

"Hey Mer, you mind if I come in?" she asked gently.

I swung my door open to admit her, but quickly shut it after she entered.

"Oh dear," she murmured, looking my feet, "the fuzzy penguin slippers are back. This was a pretty rough night, huh?"

"I don't want to talk about it mom," I huffed as I flopped onto my bed.

"Oh sweetie," she said as she sat gently on the edge of my bed, "I'm sure it wasn't all bad."

A flash of the kiss in the back yard appeared behind my closed eyes.

"You need to come back down though. The little ones are all crashed out on the floor and Zack is dozing off on the couch. We all want to hear about your night."

"Mom, I promise you that you don't."

"Well come downstairs. Sarah's making some leomade and some tomatoe grilled chesses so even if you don't want to tell us about it, come get some comfort food."

I was dying to ask her if Trevor had gone back but didn't want to add any fuel to her and Aunt Sarah's fire. Reluctantly I got off the bed.

"Atta girl Mer," she said as she rubbed my back.

She kept her hand on my back as she gently led me downstairs and to the kitchen. Dad and Uncle Jake were watching something about sports on the big screen while Aunt Sarah was making herself at home in the kitchen. Trevor was muching away on a sandwich in the finally chair on the end. When they heard us, both turned.

"Hey curly cue, glad to see you join us down here. Thought you may've been scared upstairs for good by those ghosts in the backyard," Aunt Sarah teased.

Trevor's cheeks seemed to flush slightly but he quickly covered it by taking a large gulp of his lemonade.

I took the bar stool farthest from his, tucking one leg up and resting my chin on my knee. Mom went behind Sarah to get me a glass of leomade. I caught the phrase "penguin slippers" before turning my attention to what ever game was on in the living room.

Mom and Sarah chitchatted about plans for the church picnic the coming day while the rest of us remained in companionable silence. It wasn't like the awkward ones that had hung around Tevor and I earlier, but one based off of years being one big family.

"So where's your date Emma?" Aunt Sarah asked.

Trevor choked slightly on his sandwich.

"What?" she asked, oblivious. "Isn't it normal policy for the date to come inside and meet the parents and the nosy neighbors? Where's the fun if we don't get to play the firing squad?"

"He, um, he couldn't stick around. He had an early curfew tonight. Plus, you guys weren't home so I thought it would best for him to go home, you know, teenagers need to be supervised these days and all that. "

"Mhm."

I could tell Aunt Sarah didn't believe me and i knew Trevor was just bursting to tell her the truth.

"Plus he got the firing squad when he came for pictures!" I fluffed.

"If you say so. I'm just curious to meet one of these boys you're dating Emma. If they're not worth bring round, they're not worth being with in the first place."

"Hey Mom, can you put another one of these on after Emma's comes off?" Trevor hopped in. I shot him a small grin of thanks before remember that things were weird now and quickly looking away.

Aunt Sarah was suffienctly distracted and served up my sandwhich before making another one. I couldn't help but smile at my two triangles with gooey chesse stretched between them. I was glad for the normalcy in the midst of all the weirdness tonight. Grilled cheeses were a Big Family tradition. We had them every Saturday night. They'd been a way for Mom and Sarah to make sure we got one night a week to be all together. Apparently the tradition had gone back to their college days with a contraband toaster in their dorm room. The sandwiches varied by season and what Aunt Sarah was working on a work. We served as her test dummy for some of the stranger items which appeared on her restaurant's menu.

We had settled in to this happy little life. What would happen now that Trevor and I had thrown it so completely out of orbit? Our moms had always joked about the two of us being more than just really close friends but how would they react when they knew that it actually was more than that?

It seemed weird that things could suddenly go back to the way they should've been a few years ago. This little grilled cheese sandwich seemed to symbolize a lot more than just a Saturday night snack.

When I finished I went and curled up on the couch with Dad. Trevor meandered over and ended up by my feet, fiddling with my penguins occasionally.

What seemed like minutes later I was awoken by Dad standing to pick up one of Trevor's siblings, and following Uncle Jake and Aunts Sarah out the door as they held the other two. Mom was waking her two that had fallen out on the floor and helping them up the stairs and into their beds. It was back down to two. My hazy brain wasn't capable of registering any awkwardness, much less creating any.

"I didn't know that you still had these," Trevor said quietly as he fiddled with the penguin's bow tie on my left foot.

"Why wouldn't I?" I asked groggily. "These are my comfort slippers. Their a socially appropriate version of a child's security blanket."

That got me a soft smile as Trevor stood up. He turned and offered me both of his hands.

"It took me weeks to find those," he mused after he had helped me up. "I was determined to give you the perfect present for being a teenager finally."

"Hey," I said as I feebly slapped his chest, "It was a whole four months after you. You act like it was a lifetime."

"Well, I'm glad you like them."

"They're perfect," I slurred slightly.

"I'm glad. Now off to bed sleepy head. I'll see you tomorrow."

He pressed a kiss into my forehead before steering me towards the stairs.

Author's Note

So I'm pushing 9,000 words since November 3rd. Not all of them will make it onto FictionPress just yet since I started writing out of order at first and my beginning became my end.