Laurel heard the front door close and immediately raced to meet her before she could get to the sanctity of her room. She had no idea who was going to show up after the wedding, but she hoped it would be the nice "Sutton."
"Laurel," she responded in surprise, "How's Mom?"
"How do you think she is?" Laurel scolded, "Her marriage is falling apart. My question is why did you have to go to the wedding? What was so important that you had to be there, with her, instead of here with Mom?"
"Alec was arrested for Derek's murder," she explained in defeat, "And I sort of knew it was coming. I had to be there for Thayer and Mads."
"Alec killed Derek," Laurel repeated, "And you knew about it? How many secrets are you keeping?"
"Laurel I'm sorry," she cried, "I want to be honest with you, but you have to trust me when I say this is something you don't want to be involved with. There's a lot of shady stuff surrounding my adoption that I don't want you to deal with right now. I promise in time I'll tell you everything, but right now you have to be okay with being in the dark."
"Sutton I'm your sister. I thought you understood that you could tell me anything…I guess I was wrong."
Laurel tried to leave, but she grabbed her arm, "Laurel please listen to me. It's not because I don't trust you. It's because I don't want to see you get hurt. Please Laurel, trust me on this one."
"I don't know if I can do that," Laurel admitted, wrenching her arm from her grip, "This sounds dangerous and reckless. If you got hurt I don't what I would do. We've gotten so close over the past few weeks and I just don't want to lose that. Please don't push away from me too."
"I'm sorry," she responded, "It's not up to me."
"Then who is it up to?"
"I can't tell you," she stated, almost crying.
"Fine," Laurel relented starting to walk away, "You know I thought you were different. I thought you understood what being sisters meant. I thought I could count on you. I guess I was wrong about that too."
Laurel heard her choke on her tears and considered turning back to her, but that would kind of defeat the purpose. She wanted her to understand that she wouldn't put up with this from her. Laurel knew she was better than this. She knew that she was capable of compassion and honesty and that was all she wanted from her. She believed in her. She just wanted her to understand that.
Emma sulked down the hallway to Sutton's bedroom. Laurel was angry with her. Her friends' dad had just gone to jail. Everything was all messed up and confusing. How had things gotten so bad? Why did everything have to be falling apart right now? She shut the door to the bedroom and was about to change into sweats when she saw Sutton sitting on her own bed.
"What the hell, Sutton?"
"It is my room after all," Sutton responded, "How did the wedding go?"
"Alec and Rebecca got married. Then Alec was arrested for Derek's murder. You know typical wedding drama," Emma responded, stepping into the closet to change. She'd already pulled her jacket off and was pulling off her dress as she talked. She grabbed a pair of sweats from the shelf and stepped into them.
"Poor Mads and Thayer. They must be so devastated."
"Since when do you care about anyone but yourself?" She questioned, poking her head out of the closet and sliding her arms into one of Sutton's few cotton tees.
"That hurts Emma."
"I'm sure you'll get over it," Emma responded, walking out of the closet. She stepped over to the jewelry box and took off her earrings and necklace, "What are you doing here anyways?"
"Getting an update on the happenings of my life. I know today was a big day and I'm sure you've told Kristin about the locket so you must be dealing with that as well. I'm just making sure my stand in is still doing okay."
"Seriously Sutton, you're still trying to pull the whole concerned sister thing with me after everything you've done."
"And what exactly have I done?"
"I don't know. Let's start with the letter you wrote to Ted and Kristin making it sound like I was a psychopath hell-bent on stealing your life. Then there's the time you tricked Ethan and lured both him out to the cabin and made out with him in front of me. Finally, to top it all off you took advantage of being alone on that ranch and kissed him again and then lied to both of us about it to tear us apart. That's not even including what you did to everyone else. You have yet to prove you are capable of being honest about anything, so don't expect me to start believing you now."
"Careful Emma," Sutton warned, "Remember it's my life you're living."
"You never let me forget," Emma mumbled, turning away from her sister.
"What is your deal today?"
"Alec was arrested," Emma shouted, spinning back around, "Mads won't talk to me and now Laurel thinks I don't trust her and thanks to you the one person I would talk to is the last person I want to see."
"Ethan? You mean the boy you stole from me," Sutton accused, getting off of the bed and heading toward the window. She whipped her head back around for dramatic effect, "The one that was mine first and you took out from under my nose."
"I did not steal him, Sutton. He chose me."
"And I'm supposed to believe you didn't do anything to persuade him."
"Need I remind you that Ethan and I never slept together," Emma responded taking a step closer to her sister. They were standing nose to nose as she continued, "that he never even got me out of my bra. From what you've seen of my life, do you seriously think I'm some seductress?"
Sutton remained silent.
"He chose to come to Homecoming and he chose to kiss me. He chose me, because I didn't care what people would think if we were together. He hated your games and your lies and how you were stringing him along. He got sick of you treating him like everyone else in your life, like dirt."
Sutton's hand connected with Emma's cheek. Her head turned slightly and Emma immediately reached for the mark, remembering all the other times it had happened. Sutton had less force behind it, but more intensity.
"Looks like we're not so different after all," Emma retorted.
"Don't you dare tell me about my own life," Sutton spat, getting right in her twins face, "I've lived it for 17 years."
Sutton turned away from Emma and walked to the window. Emma was way too tired to deal with this right now. "Just tell me what you really want, Sutton," Emma stated, defeated, "I'm too tired and exhausted to figure it out."
"I told you I'm just checking in. If I had known you were going to attack me I would've just stayed at the cabin."
"Well you know everything that happened. Rebecca and Alec got married. Alec was arrested, and Kristin found out about Rebecca and Ted. All hell has broken loose and we've got a front row seat to it."
"Well that's not very optimistic," Sutton stated, "I thought you were supposed to be ridiculously optimistic or something like that."
"Not a whole lot to be optimistic about, Sutton."
"Sutton," Laurel's voice called from the door, "Can we talk?"
"Just a second," Emma called, then, in a lower voice, "You need to go now. I'll stop by the cabin later. Okay?"
"Fine," Sutton sighed, "I'll leave you to deal with all of this. I mean you are better at it than I am."
"Sutton, go," Emma ordered, pushing her toward the window.
Sutton climbed out and before she could say anymore Emma slammed the window in her face. She was done tolerating Sutton anymore than she had to. She stepped toward the bedroom door and watched Sutton disappear from sight. As soon as she was gone she dared to open it.
Laurel looked at Emma with apologetic eyes, "I'm sorry Sutton. I didn't mean to get upset out there. I just wish you trusted me enough to confide in me."
"Laurel I told you before I do trust you. It's just that I care about you and I couldn't bear it if you got hurt on my account."
"I don't care," Laurel cried pushing past Emma and into the bedroom, "You are obviously carrying some huge secret and it's starting to take its toll. You've been walking around her, looking more and more exhausted by the day. I'm worried about you."
"Well stop," Emma demanded, feeling the tears well up in her eyes, "I don't deserve it."
"You've been there for me more times than I can count recently. Please let me return the favor. What is going on?"
"I'm sorry," Emma cried, "this is not your problem. It's not your fight. It's mine. I'm sorry Laurel, you really do just have to trust me."
"Fine," Laurel relented, "I'll trust you, but realize that I know more secrets about you than you probably even realize."
She stepped past Emma and stormed back out of Sutton's bedroom. How had this gotten so out of control? She was lying to Laurel and she knew it. She was trying to keep herself together with this whole Ethan thing, but failing miserably. Mads didn't want to talk to her. It was all too much. Emma collapsed on Sutton's bed and curled into a ball. The tears began to fall and she had no energy to make them stop.