A/N I really enjoyed writing this chapter...enjoy!
"Hmmhmm, she went down in an airplane, fried getting suntanned, fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand, help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!" I warble along with the radio as I chop up chocolate. I love this song – it's nuts.
"She met a shark under water, fell and no-one caught her, I returned everything I ever bought her, help me, help me, I'm all out of lies! And ways to say you died."
I pop a piece of chocolate in my mouth. Yum. Wait…that wasn't a very good idea…unless I want Aunty May to come back to find the house in ruins…see, chocolate has this effect on me – just one piece and I go crazy hyper. Oh well, I'll just go outside and dance it off when I've finished making my giant cookie. Yes, I'm making a giant cookie, and eating lots of the cookie dough, because it's yummy. No, Aunty May isn't home – there is no way in hell she'd let me near her precious kitchen if she were.
I add the Smarties, Milky Way, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate to the mix, put it on a big tray and pat it down, shoving it in the oven. Now I have to wait…well about twelve minutes, I think…I'm not sure though…oh well! I'm just going to have to hang around a bit! Just as I sit down to finish off my homework (see, I'm good! I'm doing my work!) Trace's voice says Hi! in my head. I practically drop the book I'm reading.
Jesus, don't scare me like that! I complain. I swear I can hear him laughing from wherever he is.
Open the door! I've been waiting here for five minutes! He says. I blush – he probably heard my awful singing.
Coming, coming! I say, getting up, and padding into the front hall. I open the door to find him standing there, his motorbike parked in front of my house. I feel really happy, seeing him stood there like it's the most natural thing in the world.
"I am so sorry," I say. "I was making cookies…"
"And singing really badly!" Trace laughs, stepping over the doorstep.
"I do not sing badly!" I complain, hitting him gently in the stomach. "I was just getting into it, that's all."
"My brother Zed likes that song – he thinks it's funny," Trace says, following me into the kitchen.
"I'll have you know that I think it's great!" I say. "Oh, shit," I grab the oven gloves, and pull my cookie out of the oven.
"What did you do?" Trace asks in mock horror.
"I made a giant cookie," I say seriously, putting it on the cooling rack, then doing my best impression of an evil cackle, rubbing my hands together. "It has dark, milk and white chocolate in it, and Milky Way bar and Smarties."
"Dear Lord," Trace rolls his eyes. "You're gonna explode if you eat any of that."
"I know," I giggle immaturely. "That was the whole point of making it, silly. You can help me eat it if you like?"
"Okay…I was actually wondering if you wanted to come for a ride with me? On the bike."
"Okey doke. I'll put the cookie in a tin, then we can take it with us," I say.
"Good idea," he says.
"YUM! I WANT TO EAT YOU!" I tell the cookie in a loud voice.
"Lo…" Trace puts his hand to my head as though I might have a temperature. "Are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"Mighty fine and dandy," I say, getting out a knife. "I'm coming to get you Mister Cookie!"
"Lorelai!" Trace sounds worried now. "Step away from the knife!"
I pout. "I'm friends with Mister Knife."
"Step away from the knife," he repeats.
I let the knife drop to the table with a clatter. Trace picks it up, and cuts the cookie up, finding a tin and putting the bits of gooey and yummy cookie into it. I start to jump up and down. "Can we go on the bike now?"
"Yes, come on." Trace still sounds worried – I'm not sure he knew what he'd let himself in for when he came to see me.
I sit behind him on the bike, holding onto his waist as we ride up into the mountains. After about ten minutes, Trace stops the bike, and we walk for a way into the woods, holding hands. "This is one of my favourite places," Trace tells me unexpectedly.
"It's pretty," I say. The ride calmed me down – thankfully I'm not so hyper anymore, that would be awkward. We walk along in companionable silence for a little while, then settle in this awesome hollow tree that's ginormous and has a ready made seat and everything. I get out the cookie, handing a bit to Trace.
"This is one of my experiments," I tell him. "I'm not sure if it worked, or not."
I take a piece, and bite into it. "Yummy yummy yummy in my tummy," I say, shoving the rest of the piece into my mouth. "I'm not going to be hyper, I promise," I tell Trace, who's eating his own bit of cookie. "I got it out of my system earlier."
"It's alright…I'm kind of getting used to you being hyper," Trace says, putting his arm around my shoulders. I lean my head against his chest. "I think that air does to you what alcohol does to the rest of the world."
"Probably," I say. "Just as a general rule, chocolate is never a good idea, though, and sleep deprivation makes me go loopy, like I was earlier."
"Why are you sleep-deprived?" he asks gently.
"Nightmares," I say. "Every night. Since…you know…"
"Go to sleep now, if you want," he says. "I'll make sure the nightmares don't get you."
"Nightmares don't get me?" I ask, puzzled.
"Yeah," I feel him kiss the top of my head. "Like in the BFG – that kids book."
"I liked that book when I was small," I murmur, shutting my eyes.
A bird starts to sing high above our heads. The air up here is chilly, but in the circle of Trace's arms, I'm warm and comfortable. After a while of just sitting with each other, I start to fall asleep like he said, letting the feeling of safety and warmth lull me into dreamland.
I stretch, and yawn. I vaguely hear Trace say, "Thanks, Will."
My eyes flutter open – it's getting dark. How long have I been out? Trace's arms are still wrapped around me, holding me close to him. "Hello, sleepyhead," he hums. "How was your nap?"
"Good," I stretch. Then I notice the boy hovering just outside our little shelter. "Trace…there's someone watching us…"
He laughs. "It's okay, babe, that's my brother, Will. Mom sent him out with food for us."
"Hi, Will!" I wave. He comes closer.
"Hi," he says, shooting Trace a look. I feel Trace chuckle.
"Yes, Will, this is Lorelai."
"Nice to meet you," Will says, sitting down opposite us.
"Do you want some cookie?" I ask, proffering the tin.
"Oh, thank you," Will says, taking a piece. "This is yummy."
"I'm glad," I say. I see Will's face crease into a frown. "Wait, what's wrong?"
"Uh…you said…" he looks at Trace, who starts to laugh.
"You said what?" I turn around to look at him.
"I just warned him that you were a little hyper…" Trace says.
"I'm still waking up," I say. "What time is it?"
"Uh…damn," Trace swears. "Your aunt is going to be going out of her mind with worry!"
"Oh yeah…" I say, blushing. "I told her I'd be staying in…" I slowly get to my feet, taking the cookie tin.
"See you around, Will," I say, running a hand through my hair.
"See you Lorelai," he says, getting up and walking back into the trees. Trace leads me back to the bike, and gets on. We roar down the mountainside, back into Wrickenridge, slowing down as we approach my house. Trace parks the bike, and takes my hand.
"I can go from here to my house on my own," I say.
"Okay…" he says. He kisses my cheek again. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."
"Okey dokey lemon cokey!" I chirp randomly. "I'll see you then, too."
I cross the street, hearing Trace's bike start up again, and let myself into the house. Immediately, I'm pounced on by Aunty May. "Where have you been young lady?" she snaps.
"Uh…out…on my friend's bike…"
"You've been gone hours! I was about to phone the police! Have you any idea how worried I was? Who were you with?"
"I'm sorry," I say, lowering my eye-line. "I kind of fell asleep, and lost track of the time."
"Who were you with?" she repeats.
I gulp – I was really hoping to avoid this. "Uh…Trace. Trace Benedict."
"Alone?" she screeches.
"Uh yes…nothing happened Aunty May, I promise you!" I say.
"That boy is trouble! I want you staying away from him!"
"That's not fair!" I flare up. "You don't know him! He's a perfect gentleman."
"Who rides around on a motorbike," she snorts.
"Yes," I say, tossing my hair. "What is wrong with motorbikes?"
"You're grounded." She says sharply. "For two weeks!"
"That is not fair!" I yell. "Why? Just because I went out with a friend?"
"An unsuitable friend. Now go up to your room and stay there."
"Fine." I huff, turning around and storming up the stairs. Evil, horrid woman. I hate her. What is wrong with me seeing Trace? He's my soulfinder, for God's sake…but I can't tell her that! Urrghh!
I flop down on my bed, fuming, and lie there for a while.
Babe, are you alright? Trace's voice again.
Aunty May blew up. I'm grounded. I reply miserably.
How long? He wants to know.
Two weeks. At least we'll see each other at school.
Yeah…that sucks…I was going to show you another favourite place…oh well, it'll wait.
Okay. Nanight. I say.
Nanight. Sweet dreams.