At the first view of Scarlet’s leg, the face of Holden’s mom fell. “Holden,” she snapped. “Who is this?”
“Err, Mum, this is Scarlet… We were hoping to stay a few days.” Her eyes narrowed. Holden’s father walked out onto the porch.
“Holden!” He cried. “And… a lady friend.”
“Scarlet.” Scarlet told him, her tongue thick.
“How did you say you two met?” Mr. Thompson asked.
“We didn’t say.” Holden’s face was grim. Scarlet cleared her throat.
“We met at the college.”
“So you are a teacher, too?” Mrs. Thompsons’ brow raised. Holden shifted nervously.
“Um, no. I’m a… student.” Scarlet winced. The Thomas’ lips pursed simutaneously. “Holden helped me get slot for an exhibit at the museum and- it’s a long story.”
“Holden, a word.” His mother beckoned toward the den. “Holden, did I not tell you this would happen? And yet, you do nothing to prevent it! Your grandmother is turning in her grave!”
“MOM! Stop it! I tried to avoid it… but she’s just so friggin’ amazing!”
“Watch your language, Holden!”

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