Erin was awake but refused to open his eyes, afraid that the sun would be blinding like every day. She reached out and felt for Hughes but he wasn't there. She squinted her eyes and looked around for the Australian Shepherd, but he was gone. In the hall there was a barking and howling.
Erin pulled the covers back and ran out the door in her tiny pajamas. She never got to go shopping a lot and her shirt was too small so it didn't hide her stomach. She ran all the way into the kitchen and saw Hughes getting some treats from Eli. She smiled and ran over, throwing her arms around the dog's neck. Eli smiled as Hughes' tail waged fast and turned to lick her face, not caring about the warm food Eli was willing to share.
"Hey cutie, what are you doing up so early?"
"I don't know, just woke up."
"Alright well, I was just about to go grocery shopping. Want to come?"
"Yeah!" Erin cheered; she seemed to be in higher spirits.
"Alright, but first we gotta leave a note for Clare." Eli smiled and wrote quickly on a little piece of paper. "Alright-y, let's go." Eli picked Erin up and ran with her outside to the car, listening to her uncontrollable laughs.
"Now go pick out anything you like." Eli told Erin, as he helped her down from the kid seat.
"Yep, whatever you want."
Erin smiled and ran down the whole hall of the grocery isle, looking at all the foods she normally didn't get to buy or eat. She grabbed all the snacks that she saw her friends eating and others that looked fun in her tiny arms, caring them back to the cart and only dropping a few items. Eli chuckled and ran to pick up the food boxes she dropped.
"Does your mom let you get all this stuff?" he asked, placing the last pieces of food in the cart.
"No, she says we have to buy food that will last long and is healthy, not junk food."
"Oh, well I'm sure Clare won't mind if we get her something. What food does your mommy like?"
"She once tried a chocolate covered cherry. Aunt Alli gave her a box and mommy shared them with me."
"Well, if she likes them so much why don't we get her two." Eli winked and walked over to where the candy was.
Eli and Erin were walking out of the store with a shopping cart full and almost spilling off the sides. Eli taking the heavy bags out of the cart, with some help from Erin. She was mostly looking around at all of the other stores. Erin and Clare had gone to less expensive store like the dollar tree, so it was new to see the big, glamorous buildings with displays in the long windows.
"Eli?" Erin tugged at his jacket.
"Yeah." Eli responded, still putting the plastic bags in the back of his car.
"Can we go to the store?" Erin pointed at JC Penny.
"Um, we should really get home cutie."
"Please! I just want some new pajamas. Mine don't fit anymore."
"Alright, I guess that's a noble reason." Eli smirked, closing the two doors and holing Erin hand as they walked to the store.
When Eli and Erin had walked into the house Clare was on the couch watching a TV show she hadn't seen in years. She smiled and came to help Eli with all the bags he was holding. Sure Eli had muscles and could life some heavy stuff, but the bags added in weight.
"Hey, how was shopping?" Clare smiled.
"It was good." Eli smirked back.
"It was soooo much fun!" Erin exclaimed. "I helped Eli with the groceries and look at all the things we got at the store!" Erin pulled out all the clothing from her bags.
"Wow, that's a lot of stuff." Clare glared back at Eli who looked at her sheepishly.
"I'm going to go put them in my dresser!" Erin cheered and ran up the stairs.
"You bought her all that?" Clare turned to Eli.
"She needed new pajamas and then it just kind of escalated."
"How much did all that cost?"
"Um, like," Eli pulled the receipt out, "$120."
"What? You wasted $120 on clothes for her?"
"It wasn't wasted."
"Yes is was, now she's going to rip them or get them dirty and then ask for more."
"And then I'll say no, this was a moment of weakness."
"Alright, because I don't want her to get used to having whatever she wants."
"Good because I don't want my little angel to become a diva."
"She will be as sweet and wholesome as ever." Eli smirked. "Maybe a little sarcastic."
Clare chuckled. "Okay, so what do you want for lunch?"
"Um, I don't know, I think I'll just make myself a sandwich." Eli said and went to gather his ingredients.
"I can cook something up." Clare offered.
"It's fine Clare, I can whip it up real quick."
"I know, but I thought this was how I was going to earn staying here?"
"Yeah, when I want you to."
"Okay." Care nodded and started to walk to the couch.
"Yeah, are we ever going to talk about that um," Eli paused; checking to make sure Erin wasn't around, "that kiss?"
"Um, well, I was thinking the fact that we kissed said it all."
"Yeah, but the last time we kissed you said you couldn't be in a relationship, is that still the case?"
"Well, I'm not sure. I mean things are better now. Erin and I are in a nice house, good food, clean, and no money problems, but the fact that because we are living together makes this tricky."
"I think it would be kind of fun. I can sneak across the hall late at night." Eli smirked.
"Yeah, but instead of parents walking in on us it'll be my four year old daughter."
"Just as risky and fun."
"Eli, I really like you, but I still don't know if I should do this."
Eli stared at her until she looked up at him. Without a second thought he leaned in and kissed her slowly. Clare kissed back, but kept the pace slow and steady. She stayed in place as Eli pulled away and looked into her eyes.
"Did you like that?" he asked seriously.
"Yes." Clare sighed.
"Then we shouldn't stop doing it." he smirked.
Clare smiled mischievously and pulled Eli back down by the back of his neck.