Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN: Here's the next chapter. Sorry for the long delay; I've been going through some pretty intense family drama and I'm moving tomorrow so it will be a while before I can update. There's a whole lot of nothing in this chapter but I needed to write something that wasn't filled with drama so here it is. The one conflict was pretty clever if I do say so myself. Anyway, I hope you all like it. Please review! Enjoy!
I woke up and sighed, keeping my eyes shut tight. Something was different…my bed didn't feel the same…
McKenzie stirred next to me. This was nothing new; McKenzie slept with me all the time.
Opening my eyes, I found myself in Jesse's room. The events from the previous day came rushing back and I bit my lip to prevent the tears from forming. I shifted positions and McKenzie began to wail.
I groaned and picked her up, looking at the clock. Was it really 9:30 in the morning? Had McKenzie actually slept through the night? If that was the case, she had to be ravenous with hunger by now.
Dread overcame me as I realized I hadn't put the bottles of milk in the fridge before falling asleep. Now I had nothing to feed her.
I trudged into the kitchen, not caring how atrocious I looked. Jesse was standing over the stove, flipping pancakes. He heard McKenzie's increased volume and turned around.
"Querida," he said smiling sweetly, but with some reserve, as if he didn't want to upset me.
I muttered and incoherent response and sat at the table. Jesse walked to the fridge and pulled out a bottle.
"You are a lifesaver, Jesse," I said as I took the bottle and began feeding my sister. The wailing stopped almost instantaneously.
"If I remember correctly, you're the life saver."
I shook my head, "You were the one who saved me from the fire and then from Kelly. Besides, I was only there to actually let you be…" I stopped, not able to finish.
"Don't think like that, querida," Jesse hurried to say, awkwardly hugging me so that he wouldn't disturb McKenzie. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be able to have this life together."
I smiled at Jesse, fresh tears in my eyes, but not because I was sad. These tears were ones of love and joy.
Jesse smiled back before returning to the pancakes so they wouldn't burn.
When she had had her fill of the bottle, I burped McKenzie, changed her diaper and put her down in the playpen.
I was finishing my second plate of pancakes when my cell phone started to ring.
I rushed over and answered with my mouthful, "Huwoa?"
"Suze, is that you?"
I quickly swallowed, "Sorry, Andy, I was eating."
"Oh, okay. We just wanted to let you know that there are no changes with your grandma."
"Please let me know if there are any."
"You'll be the first one we call," he assured me. "How's McKenzie doing?"
As if on cue, she started shrieking.
"I take it she's not happy," Andy laughed.
"Uh, I guess not. I should probably go see what she needs."
"Wait just one second…" Andy trailed off. I sighed and looked over at my sister. Jesse saw my obvious conflict and walked over to the playpen.
"Oh, Susie, you have no idea how much I wish you were here."
"Do you need me to fly out there?"
"No, you need to work."
What I really needed was for my grandma to be okay, but since it didn't seem like that would be happening anytime soon, I needed to be with her. "Mom," I started but was cut off.
"Don't you even think about getting on a plane, Susannah."
How could she know me so well?
Jesse was now trying to console McKenzie by rocking her back and forth. When that didn't seem to work, he began singing softly.
I tried to silence him but it was too late.
"Is that Jesse I hear?"
"What are you doing with Jesse? When we called CeeCee's house she said you were out picking up breakfast for everyone."
"Yeah, Mom, I am. I talked to Jesse last night and he knew I was upset so he said he'd make pancakes for me. I'm getting pancakes and then going back to CeeCee's."
Jesse gave me a look that clearly showed his disapproval. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic because, well, I hadn't lied about anything.
"Put Jesse on the phone."
Uh oh, my mom knew that Jesse couldn't lie to her because he was such an "old fashioned gentleman" as she put it. Technically he was but she didn't have to know that.
"My mom would like to speak with you."
"I won't lie," he mouthed before picking up the phone. "Hello, Mrs. Ackerman…Yes…Yes…No. Goodbye. I hope everything turns out well…I will. Goodbye." He turned off my cell phone and handed it back to me.
"Well?" I asked as I picked up McKenzie and began to soothe her.
"Well, what, querida?"
"What did she say?"
"She asked if we were at my apartment, I said yes. She asked if I was making pancakes for you, I said yes."
"And the 'no'?"
He smiled gently but with a hit of regret. "She asked if I was planning on letting you go to the airport anytime soon."
"See, Jesse, no lying. We both spoke the truth."
"A very limited truth."
McKenzie finally calmed down and I was able to put her back in the playpen. "The whole truth would have been too much for her to handle."
"What will people think when they hear I let you stay here? I've dishonored you. I'm so sorry, querida."
I walked over to Jesse and wiped a tear off his cheek. "No one has to know. CeeCee and Gina won't tell anyone."
"I hope you are right, querida," he whispered in my ear before enveloping me in his embrace.
I snuggled into his chest but stood up straight when someone cleared their throat behind me.