“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Leanne groaned from the middle seat of the luxury SUV. Nick slammed on the brakes so she could let herself out of the car.
Sam climbed down from the passenger seat to help her. Liam and Rachel barely paused making out, and Nick didn’t even want to think about what Lyle and Miriam were doing in the third-row seat.
Getting roped into being the designated driver made Nick wish he’d taken just a sip of something that involved alcohol, so they’d have an excuse to pay a driver to get them downtown and back.
There was always the likelihood that his brothers would ignore the need for a driver and get behind the wheel themselves. That alone was motivation to maintain his sobriety in hopes of keeping his brothers out of jail, or worse. Not that their dad didn’t have enough money to bail them out of whatever scrape necessary. Still, better to avoid the need.
“Can we take a detour and drop Leanne off at home?” Sam poked his head in the open window of the car.
“Uh… yeah. I think that was decided about the time she puked on the side of the road,” Nick said.
“I’m feeling a little better now,” Leanne said, taking a water bottle and swishing out her mouth.
“Too bad,” Nick grumbled. “I’m taking you home.”
Nick pulled out his cell phone and composed a text to Adele. Your sisters are drunk. I’m bringing them home.
You let my sisters get drunk?!? Adele’s text came back almost immediately.
I was upstairs nursing a broken heart. You’re the one who left them here.
Whatever. Just bring them home, and I’ll deal with it. I’m better at nursing drunk people than nursing broken hearts.
Both scenarios are unfortunate. I’ll see you in a few minutes.
Nick tucked his phone into his jacket pocket and waited while Sam and Leanne got situated. He handed her a trash can just in case.
Daniel’s estate was only ten minutes further and none too soon. Leanne threw up again as soon as she stumbled away from the vehicle.
Liam and Rachel helped Leanne up to the house and handed her off to Adele.
“Why are we stopping again?” Miriam asked from the backseat, her voice slurred and sleepy.
“We’re home,” Nick said. “Time to come up for air.”
“When will I see you again?” Miriam whispered to Lyle.
“Dunno,” Lyle said. “I’ll call you.”
“What a load of crap,” Nick mumbled low enough so they wouldn’t hear from the backseat. Never had Lyle called a woman. It would be against his modus operando.
Nick kept his eyes trained away from the rearview mirror to avoid seeing any body parts as clothing was returned to the proper positions.
Miriam gave Lyle one last, lingering kiss before slipping out of the backseat. Lyle pulled himself over the seatback into the middle seat just as Liam returned to the car.
Liam opened the passenger door and demanded that Sam let him have the front. Sam reluctantly moved to the middle seat to sit next to Lyle.
“All right,” Liam said with a grin. “Let’s get downtown.”
“We’re still going to Pergamon?” Nick asked as he shifted into drive. “I thought we were only going there because Rachel wanted vegetarian food.”
“They also have the best beer selection,” Liam said.
“I am not interested in drinking beer.”
“You’re the designated driver, so it doesn’t matter what you want.” Liam punched Nick’s arm. “Now drive.”