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“Mom,” I said, overly cheerfully as I popped my head into the kitchen, trying to pretend like everything was fine. “I thought you and dad were both sleeping.”
She closed the fridge door, rattling more condiments, and took a bite out of a chocolate chip cookie. “No, now that you’re all grown, there’s absolutely no reason to wake up at such a god-awful hour. And when he goes to bed so early, it gives me plenty of time to watch whatever I want on TV.”
“It is the Hallmark season,” I said, leaning up against the threshold of the kitchen. I didn’t want to walk too far in because then I might not have the chance to come up with an escape plan, and I only had five minutes to dash through the woods and meet Will at our designated location.
“You’re going out then?” my mother asked.
“No, why would you think that?”
“Because you’re wearing those boots. The ones your sister said will get you laid on the first date.”
I sucked in a breath of air. “You heard that.”
“Holly, they built this farmhouse in the early 1900s. I hear everything.”
I threw one hand up silently, telling her to stop and then clutched the other against my chest. “I guarantee you that will not happen tonight. I was planning to take a quick walk down the trail to get fresh air.”
She nodded, but it wasn’t very believable. “Yes, I can see that. I often like to go for strolls in the woods wearing expensive boots and nice jeans.”
“I hear it’s this new trend everyone on social media is doing. I wanted to check it out for myself. It’s never too late to become health conscious.” I pre-laid the groundwork for my lie, but it didn’t seem like she bought it as easily as I hoped.
“Uh-huh. Well, don’t let me keep you,” she said and took the last bite of her cookie. “Oh, Holly…”
I turned again, already halfway out of the kitchen. “Yeah?”
“Don’t let your brothers know until you’re serious about him.”