When Lance woke up, he was sprawled on the bed with no idea of the time. The room was just beginning to get illuminated by the light of dawn and he was buck naked, lying on his back on the queen-sized bed in... not his room for sure.
Then the memories of the previous evening rushed into his head. He was in Cara's room. He remembered the marathon sex they had and how they both fell asleep due to sheer exhaustion. But right now, she wasn't at his side and he wasn't surprised. She must have come to her senses and become flooded by guilt, the same guilt he was feeling. Or perhaps it was hate, hatred for him and for what he had done? Would she report him to his mother? Oh, his mother! He jumped off the bed and went in search of his clothes.
He found his shirt on Cara's cosmetics kit and both his trousers and boxers near the door. He searched his trouser pockets for his phone as he looked around for his shoes. He found the right leg under the bed and the left one right behind the door just as he saw the missed calls from his mom. Quickly, he jumped into his clothes and went out of the room in search of Cara.
He had started out in a hurry, but as he approached the sitting room, he had to slow down. His heart pounded in anxiety. In what state would he find her? How would she react towards him? Would she even respond to him? He knew that given what had happened, things would never be the same between them, but just how bad would it get? Still, no matter what, he had to face her.
Taking a deep breath, he strolled into the sitting room, ready to face an angry Cara. He walked in, almost noiselessly, eyes down, but when he heard no sound, he was half-hopeful and raised his eyes. She was not there. His first thought was that perhaps she was in the kitchen or the bathroom, so he went back to try both places.
But she was in neither of them. Now where the hell was she? Outside? He went outside, walked round the building, but still no sign of her. He could call her, but he didn't have her number. He thought about leaving a note, but decided against it. What was he going to say anyway? He didn't even know her current state of mind and he wasn't going to risk making things worse than they already were.
Only when she heard the sound of his car speeding off did Cara decide to climb down from the attic. Even though she was sure that he had not come back into the house, she still tread carefully and noiselessly.
When she was completely satisfied that he was nowhere around, she allowed herself to breathe a huge sigh of relief. She could not bear to face him after what they had done last night. Yes, he started it, but she took over at some point. The thought that he could have forced her if she hadn't gone along did nothing to lessen her guilt.
She was the one to blame. The boy was just a randy teenager ruled by crazy hormones. She was the adult. The one who should have stopped things before they went too far, or should have tried to at least. She knew very well that if history were to repeat itself, she'd make the same mistake again. The truth was that she just could not control herself around that boy and she hated it! Did she really? Well, she wasn't very sure. But one thing was sure: if his mother ever found out, that woman would hate her for life!
Lance rushed into the house and found his mother in the middle of the sitting room, pacing back and forth with her phone in her hand and a worried look on her face. He stopped and stared, wondering what on earth he'd use as an excuse. Just as she brought the phone up to dial a number, she caught sight of him.
"Lance! Where've you been? Are you okay?"
She rushed to him, clearly relieved to see him.
"I was at a friend's," Lance croaked.
"What friend? I called all your friends, none of them knew where..."
"A new friend. Just someone I met recently."
"So why didn't you call to say you were staying over? I was just about to go crazy with worry."
"Sorry, Mom. I was uh.. ahem.. a little tipsy."
"You've been drinking?", she shrieked, shocking Lance and almost making him stagger. He had expected such a reaction, but not so suddenly. Hands on her waist, she fixed him with a stern glare and he quickly lowered his eyes to avoid receiving a 500Newton slap. After a while, she stomped off in the direction of the kitchen.
He waited for a minute before going after her. He walked into the kitchen looking the very model of submission and contrition. His mother paid him no attention; she was scrubbing the plates with a set face as if she had a long-standing grudge against them. Making sure to keep enough distance between them, Lance went about cleaning the kitchen counter and any other surface he could find. When he was done and there was nothing else to clean, he sidled up to her and whispered, "I'm sorry, Mom."
She said nothing, but he could see that her face was a little more relaxed.
"What can I do to make it up to you?", he asked meekly.
"Really?", she turned to look at him, a smile playing at the corner of her lips.
Lance knew he had just bought himself an enormous luggage, but he couldn't take back the words. Even if he could, he wouldn't. Anything was better than an angry Carol. So he swallowed, and braced himself for what he knew was coming.
"Yeah," he nodded with confidence he wasn't feeling.
"Okay then. I want the entire lawn mown."
"Okay," he said quietly and walked out.
Carol continued with what she was doing as if she hadn't noticed his exit. When she could no longer hear his footfalls, she allowed the long-withheld smile to engulf her face. Who would've thought? Lance had actually agreed to mow the lawn, something he had never agreed to do in the past! This would certainly save her a few bucks. Finally, she would get some compensation for all her anxiety!