“You ready to get outta here?” I asked Amberlyn as the group dispersed. Some couples headed back to the dancefloor, some people went straight to the snack table, or stood around in groups, talking.
“Sure,” Amberlyn mumbled, still carrying her shoes and walking around barefoot.
“Would you like me to carry you,” I sneered sarcastically.
“Yes, actually, I would.” Her voice was nearly as sarcastic as mine. “It’s your fault my feet are torn apart and covered in gravel, not to mention freezing.”
“Fine, come on.” I scooped her into my arms awkwardly while she scowled. We didn’t even bother saying goodbye to any of our friends. Probably the angry expressions on both of our faces was a deterrent from anyone approaching us.
Without another word I shoved open the door between the foyer and the parking lot with my shoulder, leaving the same way she and Skyler had come in. We trudged along in silence until we came to my truck and I fumbled to open the door with her still in my arms.
With a little jostling I deposited Amberlyn onto the front seat of my truck but kept her legs facing out. I picked up one of her feet, being careful not to lift her leg too high that she’d think I was trying to look up her skirt.
I felt terrible. Her feet were a mess. I had a solution but wasn’t sure she’d be willing to trust me. I decided to just commit to my idea and hope she didn’t argue. After swinging her legs all the way into the cab of the truck, I pulled the seatbelt across her lap and clicked it into place. We still had yet to say anything to each other, and I avoided eye contact. Shutting the passenger door, I walked around the front and climbed in the driver’s seat.
“Where are you taking me?” Amberlyn asked when we passed the road that would lead to her subdivision.
“My house.” I didn’t explain further, and she didn’t ask any more questions.
My mom worked third shift tonight and wouldn’t be home for hours. The house was dark when we pulled in my driveway, but Amberlyn didn’t protest when I came around the truck and lifted her from the passenger seat, carrying her up the front porch steps.
Once again fumbling with my set of keys, I unlocked the door practically one-handed and flicked on the hallway light. Leaning against the wall, I kicked off my dress shoes, then lumbered up the staircase to the second floor.
Amberlyn didn’t question my actions when I took her through my mom’s bedroom and into her adjoining bathroom where a large garden tub sat ready with a variety of bath salts and oils and lotions. Setting her onto the side of the tub and swinging her legs in, I started the water and waited until I’d adjusted the temperature with just enough heat to steam up the room but not enough to burn her.
“I’m gonna go grab you some shorts and a t-shirt to change into so you can soak your feet,” I mumbled without waiting for a response.
My bedroom was down the hall and I pawed through my drawers until I found an old pair of sweat shorts that were almost too small for me and had a drawstring. I had a collection of t-shirts from my days in little league that my mom refused to throw away for sentimental reasons, so I found one that looked about the right size.
Back in my mom’s bathroom, Amberlyn was searching through the collection to find a bath bomb that exploded purple swirls into the water and must have felt heavenly because she moaned, and her shoulders relaxed.
“Here are some clothes,” I said, resting them on the little settee that nestled into the vanity. “I’ll go change out of my suit and be back in a few minutes.” I handed her a towel and pulled the door shut behind me.