"So where exactly are you taking me?" Carson asked as she checked her make-up in the mirror in Lars' car. "Again, you'll find out soon enough" Lars replied while he made a wide left hand turn. "Fine" she said, crossing her arms and giving an outrageously pouty expression. Lars reached his right hand towards her and playfully tapped her on the nose. "Hey what did you end up telling your mom?" Lars inquired casually. "I told her I'd be with you" she replied matter of factly. When he heard that he looked like he was going to have an aneurysm. "At the studio. Dancing" she added, trying not to laugh at his momentary shock. "That was so funny" he quipped in a sarcastic voice.
They drove for the rest of the way in a happy, tranquil silence. "Well here it is" he announced as he turned into a long gravel drive. She turned her attention to the big white farm house at the other end of the drive. It had a screened in porch with a swing at one end and wooden rockers all along the porch. She noticed the twin chimneys on both ends of the house. Before she knew it he had parked the car behind the house. "You surprised?" he asked as he held the car door open for her. "Surprised? Yes!" she exclaimed as she stepped out of the car. "Good! That's what I was going for" he teased as he got their things from the back seat. "Who's house is this?" she asked, peering around. "My dad grew up in this house, his dad too. My grandfather lived here until he died, then after that we just used it as a summer house" he explained as he searched for the house in his back pocket. "And your grandmother?" she inquired, following him to the back door. "Oh she died when my dad was just a baby" he told her as he put the key in the lock. "I'm so sorry" she said sympathetically. "It's okay, it's not your fault" he replied while pushing the door open. He shut the door behind Carson and sat their things down on the kitchen table. "While you're busy exploring I'll go get the rest of the stuff" he said right before he shot out the back door.
For a moment she stood there staring at the place where he had just stood, grinning dreamily. Then she proceeded to explore the house starting with the kitchen. There was white, glass paned cabinets over the counter tops and a wide window over the sink with cheery red, gingham curtains framing it, and a matching skirt for the sink. Through the window she could see the most peaceful scene of a lake, complete with a tire swing and a dock. "Ah" she screamed when Lars sneaked up behind her. "Oh my gosh! You scared me" she said as she tried to catch her breath. "Now that's an understatement" he replied dryly as he wrapped his arms around her waist and gently rested his head on her shoulder. "Is that why you wanted me to bring my bathing suit?" she asked, pointing to the lake. "You would be correct babe" he informed her. "Aren't I always" she quipped. "Why don't you go change and we'll go for a little swim before lunch" he suggested. "Sounds great" she said. "Oh I should put the food in the frig" he remembered, releasing her. She walked over the table to pick up her tote. "Um where's the bathroom?" she asked. "Well there's one in the hallway upstairs and then there's one attached to the master bedroom" he told her. "And the stairs?" she questioned. "One leading into the living room and then there's some stairs behind that door right there" he replied. "Thanks" she said flashing a smile his way. He returned it and went back to his task.
Once she was upstairs she searched the rooms to find the master bedroom. Then when she found it she set her tote on the bed. She searched in her tote for her phone. 9:52 AM. No missed calls. No text messages. She place it back in her bag and pulled out her purple bikini. Then she walked over to the window next to the bed. She carefully pulled back the lace curtains and peeped out at a grand oak tree, which bore an old wooden swing. Even though she had never been a huge fan of the country or anything made before she was born, this was just what she needed amidst all the chaos happening about Olivia in town. Quiet.
"You get back here you!" Carson yelled as she chased after Lars. "You'll never catch me" Lars teased as he ran with Carson's towel above his head. "You always are the slowest in class" he said, egging her on. As soon as he said that she picked up speed and knocked him to the ground, grabbing the towel from his hand. "Whoa! Where did that come from?" he asked in amazement. "I'm pretty sure that came from me" she replied. "Well if I knew that's all it took to get you to pick up the pace I should have done that in class a while ago" he said, halfway teasing, halfway serious.
After laying there for a minute he finally stood up, picking pieces of grass off of his wet arms. "So now that you have that towel back how about sharing?" he suggested with a charming grin. "I don't know, I really like this towel" she teased as she edged closer to him. "Are you saying you like the towel more than me?" he questioned, as he pretended to wipe a tear from his eye."I guess I might like you more than my towel" she relented, wrapping her arms along with the towel around him. "Aww
Finally she broke their bond. "As much as I like you I'd also like to take a shower" she said looking up into his ocean deep eyes. "Okay. But I must warn you the hot water sometimes shuts off unexpectedly" he informed her as he ran his hand tenderly over her damp hair. "O I don't mind, it's hot anyways" she replied. Then she pulled away from him, wrapping the towel securely around her. "I'll miss you" he called after her. "I know" she merely replied.
She cautiously stepped out of the shower, grabbing the towel from the towel rack. She wrapped it around herself and vigorously wrung her hair out in the sink. Once she was done she flung her bikini over the shower rod to let it air dry. She opened the door leading to the bedroom and closed it tightly behind her. She was just about to take her clothes out of her tote when she heard the careless slam of a door and Lars voice from downstairs.
"Mom! Dad! What are you two doing here?" she heard him exclaim in astonishment. "Well we should ask the same" Mrs.Hancock said with a girlish giggle. "Yeah, explain yourself" Mr.Hancock interjected. The Hancocks had the thickest southern drawls Carson had ever heard. You see even though Windsor Falls was a southern town most of the people there had a more northern, polished accent.
"Oh I just thought I'd get away for the afternoon, it's been pretty hectic back at the studio" Lars explained. "Looks like we had the same idea" Mr.Hancock replied. Carson hurriedly slipped her clothes on, trying in vain to keep silent. "So Laurence how have you been? You haven't called since midsummer" Mrs.Hancock inquired in a motherly tone.
Laurence? Carson couldn't help but let out a gregarious laugh. She quickly clapped her hand over her mouth. "Did y'all hear that? Son, do you have someone up there?" Mr. Hancock asked. Carson could hear him moving toward the stairs. "No, of course not! It's probably just some wild animal or something!" Lars assured him anxiously. "Well seeing as we're both here why don't we have a picnic on the lawn!" Mrs.Hancock suggested with excitement. "That would be great! Oh wait did you remember the rolls?" Lars inquired. "Oh my heavens! I can't believe I forgot the rolls!" Mrs.Hancock exclaimed. "Hey why don't I just run up to the store real quick and get the rolls" Lars offered. "Oh would you!" Mrs.Hancock said with appreciation. "Yeah, just let me get my wallet and y'all can set up on the lawn" Lars said. "Thank ya bud" Mr.Hancock said.
Once Lars saw them start to walk toward the front door he jetted up the stairs. Carson nearly jumped out of her skin when Lars came bursting through the door. "Quick! Get your things together! My parent showed up!" he whispered with urgency. "Yeah, I heard! What are we gonna do?" Carson said with dismay. "Don't worry about it! Just follow me" he said, grabbing her things and practically pushing her out of the room.
They ran down the stairs that led to the kitchen. Then they rushed out the back door. Lars unlocked the car. He threw her stuff in the trunk and hurried to the driver's seat. Carson laid down in the floor board of the back seat. He started the car and sped off.
Once she was sure they were far from the house she climbed into the passenger's seat. "Do you think they saw me?" she asked. "I sure hope not!" he said, casually glancing at his review mirror. "Well what's the plan now?" she questioned as she gnawed at her thumb nail. "I'm gonna take you back to your car, pick up some rolls, and drive back as fast as I can so they won't suspect anything" he replied. "Right, okay!" she said, shaking her head like a bobble head. Lars could clearly see how troubled she was. "Everything is gonna be just fine" he told her as he reached over and squeezed her hand affectionately. "I know. Laurence"
she replied, smirking. "You heard that?" he exclaimed with a laugh. "Oh yeah" she said, winking playfully. She could see him starting to blush. "By the way, why is it so such a big deal that you didn't have any rolls?" she asked curiously, chin resting on her hand. He cleared his throat and then responded in his best southern accent."Well as Mama always say, it ain't a meal without rolls".