She knew this bed.
Or, at least, she thought she did.
Waking up, Reese felt like she was prying her eyes open from a coma, the lids heavier than they’d ever been in her life, her head aching in a way that felt less like a migraine and more like an axe through her skull. She willed herself to pick up her head. She insisted that she open her eyes.
That’s when she remembered the alcohol. And as soon as she remembered it, she felt it. Sloshing around in the pit of her stomach like a fish in its bowl.
She remembered the party. Her party. Turning twenty-six had been a pretty big deal, so throwing the party had been a pretty big deal, too. Bottles had filled the trash can. Shots had caked their throats. And God, had they thrown them back.
Open your eyes, Reese, she told herself. Open your stupid, alcoholic eyes.
And by some miracle, her left pupil graced the world again.
But this was not her room.
That was not her vintage dresser.
That was not her rose-colored wall.
Lift your head, Reese. Lift your morally-questionable head.
Again, the pep talk worked. Slowly and painfully, she dragged her body upright, which was covered up by a fluffy gray comforter that was also, coincidentally, not hers.
This was not her room, but she did know it. She knew the sheer, golden curtains. She knew the ornate mirror next to the closet door.
This was Sophie’s room.
If she was here, then where was Sophie?
That’s when she saw him. Beside her, a tan back with broad, man shoulders tucked into the comforter beside her. A nest of black hair on his head and beneath his armpits. And he was snoring, she noticed now, lightly.
“Holy shit,” she whispered. She could save this. If she acted fast. She placed her hands on his skin, very tentatively, shaking him awake. “Lane. Lane, get up. Lane—”
He didn’t get up.
So, she decided to bolt.
If she could just find her clothes.
Scattered around Sophie’s room, her clothes fell like evidence. She tugged her pants over her legs, shoving her underwear into her pocket. She slipped the shirt over her head, her bra nowhere to be found. Probably under the bed. She’d need to get it later.
Get out, get out, get out.
Reese opened the door.
And Sophie did, too.
Sophie’s face, normally sunny and disgustingly kind, had a warranted look of confusion caked over it.
Reese thought fast. “Morning! Man, what a night, huh?”
“What the… did you two…” Sophie connected the dots, seeing her boyfriend lying naked in the bed. Then yelled, “LANE!”
“Sophie, it’s not what you think,” Reese said.
Because really, who knew for sure?
Yes, Reese had been naked in bed with Sophie’s boyfriend.
Yes, they’d both consumed enough alcohol to stock a liquor store.
But did that necessarily mean that Reese had hooked up with Lane? No, it did not.
Lane sat up. “Oh my God, Sophie.”
“Let’s all just take a breath here,” Reese said.
She hadn’t seen it coming.
She hadn’t seen the fist until it connected with her face.
She hadn’t seen the punch until she felt the sting of her cheek.
“Get out of my house!” Sophie yelled again.
Reese pressed her hand against her cheek, buckled over, not knowing if Sophie was yelling at her or Lane.
“Okay, okay,” Reese said, backing up, surrendering. “I’m just going to go to my room and—”
“Get out, get out, get out!”
That one was definitely directed at Reese. “What about him? He cheated on you, not me.”
The fire in Sophie’s eyes could burn a village.
Reese ducked the next swing of Sophie’s arm, and charged into the living room and out of the house, calling back, “Okay, but I want my bra back!”
Wendy answered the phone on the first ring. “What’s the damage?”
“Well, I screwed up. And it’s all your fault. Where did you go last night?”
Driving away, Reese knew that she’d crossed more lines than normal. She could feel the faintest bit of guilt settling into her stomach.
Sophie’s my friend, she thought. She’s my friend… right?
“I’m at Vivian’s,” Wendy said. “Are we talking bail-me-out-of-jail bad or pregnancy-test bad?”
Reese gritted her teeth. “That is one messed up scale. You see, what happened is—”
Reese didn’t sugarcoat it.
She spread out every detail like food at a picnic.
This always went the same way: Reese would tell her story and Wendy wouldn’t judge. That’s why Reese loved her. Wendy always listened intently before she doled out her advice. Sometimes, Reese would even take it.
“Oh God,” Wendy said. “You really did screw up.”
“Ya think? Now, I’m kicked out of my place in last night’s clothes and all I want in this world is a mountain of ice cream. Or maybe a breakfast taco. I’m too exhausted to decipher my own taste buds.”
“Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re not going to like it.”
Reese tapped her foot on the brake, crawling to a stop at the red light. “I swear to God if you tell me to come to Vivian’s—”
“You need a place to crash. Plus, I’m here until tomorrow. We can have a good old fashioned slumber party.”
Reese was almost sold. “Just let me get through this work day first.”
They were filing soon.
And she was already so late.
Not to mention un-showered.
“Hey, it’s better than your mom’s house,” Wendy reasoned.
“I hate it when you make sense,” Reese said, groaning.
Reese let her head fall against the steering wheel.
She’d completely forgotten about her family birthday dinner tonight.
“Okay, I’ll see you tonight after my birthday dinner from hell,” Reese said, sighing. “I’ll be the one with the melodrama.”
“See you later, little home-wrecker.”
Out of all the bad things Reese had done, which was a rapidly growing list, somewhere near Bible-length at this point, sleeping with another girl’s boyfriend had never been one of them.
And it kind of made her sick.
More accurately? It made her sick how much it didn’t make her sick.