Chapter Seven

The trip out to California was awesome. Regina was great, she let Sean and I call all the shots along the way, where we ate, what we ate, where we slept, it was awesome, it was like being a little kid again and going on an adventure.

I did finally find out what was in the trunk by the way. The trunk was jam-packed full of camping stuff. Tents, sleeping bags, bug spray, fishing poles, you name it, it was there.

"No wonder there was no room in the trunk for our bags." I gapped at the collection. "How'd you get it all to fit?" They laughed, "Practice." Sean said.

We'd decided to camp out one night and were unloading the trunk, well, Sean and Regina were unloading, I was standing back afraid that the contents of the trunk would come flying out at us with one wrong tug of something. The campground Sean had picked was amazing. Each site was sort of secluded from the others and they all had rock wall fire pits with grill tops propped against them. We made a trip to the grocery store after the tent was set up and got hot dogs, buns, condiments, stuff for s'mores, Oreos, and ice cream for dessert.

We spent the evening around the fire remembering all the antics the lot of us kids had gotten into growing up and laughing our heads off. The stories included the one time I'd been able to get back at the McGowan boys for all the horrible things they'd done to me.

We'd been living just outside of Boston at the time and visits with the McGowan's were frequent. My dad had just finished building me a tree house across the creek from our house, where I could still be seen from the living room windows, but I still felt like I was all by myself away from everyone. My revenge was sweet. The McGowan's had come for a visit one weekend I'd rigged the bridge that went from our backyard to the other side of the creek to my tree house and when the parents sent them into the backyard I called them across, when they hit the center of the bridge it collapsed, and all of the boys (except for Caleb and maybe Ian) became soaking wet. I laughed my butt off soo hard that afternoon, as did the grownups. All of the boys except for Sean were really mad at me. Sean just looked down at me and said "I guess I underestimated you. Didn't think you'd ever try to get even.", and smiled at me before going inside to dry off.

"That was when I knew you were feistier than you ever let on." Sean told me. I laughed, it was true. Very rarely did I ever let that side of me show, but as usual Sean was one of the few people who saw through me and saw who I really was.

I wasn't quite ready to go to bed yet when Regina announced that she was turning in, and I took advantage of being by myself (since Sean had disappeared a little while earlier) and just stared at the fire, thinking back over the last couple of days.

"So what'd you do to tick Evan off?" I jumped. I hadn't heard Sean approach. "Don't you know better than to sneak up on people?" I demanded, waiting for my heart rate to return to normal. He laughed.

"But it's so much fun! Don't change the subject though. What'd you do to Evan to tick him off so much?" He sat down next to me.

"Other than not flirt back and refuse to go to some party with him, nothing." He snorted, "That's a serious enough crime as far as Evan's concerned. Forget for the moment you turned down a party invitation with the school's best athlete, you refused to flirt back with the school's hottest guy. That's a pretty big offense as far as Ev's concerned."

"The school's what?" I had not just heard Sean call Evan hot.

"No joke. He's been voted "Class Hottest" every year since he started junior high. It's sort of gone to his head, but seriously Meggie, watch your back. Evan's got a mean streak a country mile wide. I don't think he'd try anything with you, what with you living under the same roof and all, but you never know." I shuddered. Sean's comment confirmed some of my darkest thoughts about Evan. Thoughts I hadn't even really allowed myself to think. I stared into the fire. What exactly was Evan plotting? What was he capable of doing? No, forget I asked either of those questions. I didn't want to know. All I could do was pray that Sean was right, that Evan wouldn't have the guts to try anything under his own parent's roof.

"Penny for your thoughts." Sean whispered, reaching over and tucking a piece of my hair behind my ear. I looked up. There was some strange emotion there in his eyes. Something akin to love? No, Sean was twenty, and I was only sixteen. There was no way that Sean would ever think of me as anything more than a little sister. Or was there? My mother had always said that boys tease and pick on girls they have crushes on. Was that what all those years of torture were about? I stared into Sean's eyes, hoping for further revelation, he was leaning closer to me, our faces barely inches from each other…

"Megan honey, it's getting late, you should probably think about coming to bed now. If you see Sean tell him to douse the fire!" Regina's call scared the crap out of both of us, we must have jumped a good six inches out of our chairs. Sean muttered something under his breath.

"What'd you say?"

"Nothing." He got up and grabbed the two buckets of water we'd draw earlier from the nearby creek and tossed one over the fire. It sputtered and went out, and after another minute, the second bucket got its contents dumped over the fire pit to make good and sure the fire was out. Sean went into his tent. It took me a minute to realize I was standing in the pitch black in the middle of the woods but when I finally did I moved faster than I have in a long time and dove into the tent I was sharing with Regina and crawled into my sleeping bag.

Regina didn't talk to me as I settled into to go to sleep, which left me (unfortunately) plenty of time to think. Had Sean been about to kiss me? Were my crazed girlish fantasies right, did he actually think of me as something other than his little sister? I turned over and curled into a ball on my side and prayed for sound sleep to come quickly. I would deal with the McGowan boys in the morning, after a good nights sleep and a good breakfast.