Chapter Eleven

"I believe we had a bet," Eli smirked as he laid the blanket out over the crisp grass.

"About me not being able to be bad?" Clare rolled her eyes, "Eli, honestly…I mean I know I have a reputation for being a saint but I really am not that much of a goodie-good. That being said," she sighed, "I am not just going to do something…deviant all because I feel like I have to prove something to you."

Eli smirked, "You're just chicken."

"Duck."

"Ahh…where!" Eli jumped. Clare giggled, "You are such a pain in the butt."

Clare sat down on the blanket and began to make the sandwiches, "So are you sometimes. It's a fact I've just come to accept."

Eli made a fact at her, and bit into the sandwich she handed him, "Yum. So, other than this picnic, is there anything else you want to do today? Anything at all?"

Clare thought it over for a bit as she nibbled her sandwich, "No," she shook her head, "I honestly don't know. I just want things to be…normal. I want my parents to not fight and I want my dad to stop hurting us. I want my mom to be my mom again. I just want…"

Clare didn't even realize she was crying until Eli reached up to wipe the tear off her cheek, "Nothing is normal, Clare. No matter how normal something seems, it never is."

"I guess," she sighed, looking out across the water, "I just…it's hard thinking back on the times when things were okay, and knowing they'll never be that way again. We used to go on family vacations. We used to go on road trips and travel and we'd blast music and my dad would sing along to show tunes," Clare smiled at the memory.

"My dad used to take Shawn and me to the movies every weekend. Before he started drinking. He'd go all out too – popcorn and candy and the biggest sodas I'd ever seen."

"Why do things change?"

"No idea," Eli stretched out on the blanket, "but what I do know, is that you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."

Clare blushed, "Eli."

"Well, it's true."

Clare laid down next to him, and he pulled her close to him, "Clare, I mean it. You're beautiful and you're perfect. I know your life seems really messed up right now, but just know that I'm here and I am not going anywhere. I promise you. I'm here and always will be."

"Thank you," Clare kissed him sweetly, "that means a lot to me, Eli."

"Now," he grinned, "about that bet…"

"Eli!"

"What?" He smirked, "A bet is a bet, Blue Eyes."

Clare rolled her eyes. Eli was positively impossible, "Fine," she sighed, "I just don't know what to do."

"You were the one that suggested this bet, if I remember correctly."

Clare chewed on her lip for a bit while thinking it over, "Get up. We're going to the SuperSave."

"Why?"

"You'll just have to wait and see," Clare grinned mischievously.

Eli raised a curious eyebrow, but didn't press the matter any further. Instead, he helped Clare pack up the picnic and together, they headed towards Morty.

"I'm excited," Clare giggled as Eli backed Morty out of the parking lot.

"Well I'm excited to see what you have up your sleeve," Eli smirked, "watch it be something lame like sneaking into a movie or something…"

"Shut up!" Clare teasingly smacked him on the arm, "although…I haven't ever done that before."

"Remind me to make a list."

"Maybe someday," Clare bit at her thumbnail, "I think you'll like what I have in mind."

"Can't wait."

"It's dangerous. It could get us in big trouble."

"Big trouble? Clare Edwards and 'big trouble' don't really go together," Eli grinned.

He had to admit, he couldn't wait to see what she was planning. She needed to just do something wild and crazy. Eli glanced over at her and saw a smile tugging at her lips. She was happy. Yup, this was exactly what she needed to get her mind off of everything.

Eli, on the other hand, had a million thoughts on his mind. Shawn was going to kill him over that broken dish, and he had to ask if Clare could live with them. It definitely was not going to be fun going home later. Shawn was awesome, but when it came to Eli, he could be pretty strict about certain things. Eli just prayed Shawn would agree to let Clare crash at their apartment.

She desperately needed someplace. She needed out of that house and away from her parents.

"Just you wait," Clare giggled, "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with what I have in mind."

Author's Note: Short, but I wanted to start a new chapter with Clare's little surprise. Can anyone guess what it might be? Hint: I doubt they have Walmarts in Canada so SuperSave is like a Walmart. Hehe…this is fun!