The aftermath of what Scarlet had done wasn't taken lightly from her mother and aunts, who all gave her a good scolding about how fists don't always resolve a problem.
Blake and Juliet were sitting with dopey smiles on their faces as they looked at Stewart's black eye, while mumbling to each other about how good a punch Scarlet threw.
Vanessa stayed indifferent as she squinted her eyes at the man that was sat with an icepack to his left eye, on the recliner.
"You don't just punch someone like that!" Laura yelled at Scarlet, who was sat beside Vanessa on the carpet while she iced her quickly bruising hand, occasionally glaring at Stewart.
"Look at your hand, you just didn't hurt him, you hurt yourself too." Wanda -Juliet's aunt- lectured as she pointed at Scarlet's hand.
Lauren, who had quickly helped her brother up off the ground after Scarlet had punched him, was sitting on the arm rest of the recliner while watching the Payne women grind Scarlet with lecture after lecture.
"Don't tell her family that Katie cheated on her with you. They don't know that Scarlet is gay." Lauren whispered in Stewart's ear, making him look at the blonde in disbelief. "What!" Stewart whisper yelled as Lauren shrugged. "They also think that you cheated on her."
"I repeat, what!" Lauren ignored Stewart as she looked at Scarlet's bruising hand with worry evident on her face.
"Just so you know, Scar took kick boxing lessons when she was in high school." Blake came over to warn Stewart as he looked at him with evident fear. "Hasn't she ruined my face enough?" Blake shrugged with a smirk before he went back to sit with Juliet, who gave Stewart a wink.
"Is her whole family like this?" Stewart whispered in Lauren's ear who broke away her stare from Scarlet to look at her brother. "Like what?"
"Dysfunctional." Lauren gave Stewart an unamused stare as she shook her head in disappointment.
"He's the one that started this all!" Scarlet yelled to her mother and aunts as they took a pause in lecturing her. "He should leave right now!"
"But I just want to apologize!" Stewart spoke up from beside Lauren as he stared at Scarlet. "Apologize? Do you even know what that means?!" Scarlet stood up and was gonna approach Stewart with her fists clenched, but she was stopped by Vanessa, who had also stood up and stopped the woman by placing her hands on her shoulders.
"Don't." Vanessa looked into her sister's eyes that were filled with rage. Scarlet looked back into Vanessa's eyes before she backed away. "At least ask him why the hell he is here, anyway?"
"He can't just fly here out of New York to beg me to come back, if he wanted me back, he would have sent someone else in his place." Scarlet spoke as she sat down beside Blake with a glare sent Stewart's way.
"I was here to see Lauren; she wasn't answering my calls." Lauren grabbed Stewart's shoulder as an attempt to make him stop talking. "I sent her here to get you back, but she stopped taking my calls after she came here. I was worried about her."
Lauren internally prepared herself as she looked at Scarlet, who looked back at her with confusion. "But she said that she came here to comfort me, to be there for me."
"Ha-ha, no. I sent her, in return for an ice-cream sundae." Stewart chuckled, not sensing the tense atmosphere that was now filling the living room.
"You're lying!" Scarlet had nothing else to do but to deny the claims as she didn't know for certain if he was lying or not. "No, I'm not lying, ask Lauren." He looked at Lauren, who had her head bowed as she tried to not look at Scarlet's hurt filled eyes.
"But she said... you said you were here for me!" Scarlet yelled at Lauren as she stood up abruptly while pointing a finger at the blonde's direction.
Stewart shrinked in the recliner when he saw the raw anger in Scarlet's eyes as she tried to take it out without doing anything bad to the blonde that sat with her head down and tears already welling up in her eyes.
"You lied to me." Scarlet didn't know what was worse, the thought that Lauren had lied to her or the thought that she hadn't expected it from her. Not knowing what to do, Scarlet did one thing she knew how to do best. She rushed out of the living room and then out of the house, slamming the front door behind her harshly.
"I think I peed a little." Everyone's eyes that were staring at the doorway of the living room turned to Stewart as he smiled nervously. Juliet and Blake were the ones that burst out laughing like hyenas as they spoke incoherent words in between.
Laura, who looked at Stewart in horror, immediately told the man about the bathroom which was down the hallway. Wanda and Judith looked at each other before they went over to Lauren, who was still in the same position as before.
"It's okay, honey." Wanda spoke up as she stroked Lauren's hair which were falling around her face. Lauren sniffled a little before she quickly embraced the other woman, crying into her chest.
Wanda looked at Judith, who shrugged in response, patted Lauren's back before stroking it.
"What in the name of God is happening here? Can't you let an old lady sleep." Granny Payne barged into the living room with Pudding yipping in her arms. "Great timing, Grandma." Juliet spoke sarcastically as she went over to comfort Lauren as well after her fit of laughter was done.
"Why, what happened?" Granny Payne asked to no one in particular as she looked around the living room in confusion.
"Nothing." Vanessa answered her as she gave Lauren a glance before walking out of the living room to go upstairs. "It's a long story." Blake sighed as he went to get a glass of water for Lauren, as ordered by his mother -Wanda-.
When the Payne men and children had come back from their shopping spree, they tried to murder Stewart after being told the whole story. The kids were more willing to let him live after finding out that he had 'peed a little' in his pants. That was embarrassment enough to make him want to kill himself.
Blake and Juliet were sure to inform everyone about what had happened, leaving no detail out. Lauren was in the guestroom which was shared by the Payne children and she was wrapped up in a blanket, sulking.
There was no sign of Scarlet as she hadn't come home yet and Granny Payne was just as indecent as she was when Scarlet had disappeared the first time.
Pudding was yipping and bouncing around Stewart as if he loathed his presence, which could be the case since everyone in the family was looking at him with hostility except for Granny Payne, who was just seconds away from patting his back as if he had done something good.
Stewart wanted to go and talk to his sister but he was stopped by the two bodyguards who were sitting in a circle just outside of the guestroom with little action figures as soldiers.
Greg and the twins glared at him, until he disappeared out of their sight, before going back to playing with their action figures.
Lauren was bawling her eyes out, thinking how she had lost all of her chances of getting close to Scarlet now, when she felt her phone vibrating on the floor beside her mattress.
Picking it up with nimble fingers, she pressed call before putting it against her ear. "Hey, Katieeeee! How are ya?" Lauren could hear the slur in Scarlet's voice as she quickly sat up, while wiping at her eyes.
"Scarlet, are you...drunk?" It was a question which was asked out of disbelief as Lauren took the phone away from her ear to check the caller id, which undoubtedly said 'Scar'.
"Yeah, who else would it be, babyyy?" Scarlet hiccupped at the end of the sentence as her words slurred more than before. "Where are you?" Lauren asked as she got up off the mattress before straightening out her large t-shirt.
"I'm at a bar, duh." Scarlet giggled adorably but Lauren didn't have the energy to acknowledge it. "Which bar?" Lauren questioned as she put on a pair of shorts before wearing her flats.
Opening the door, she saw the kids playing but they immediately stopped when they saw Lauren. "Are you okay now?" Greg asked cutely as he stood up to look at Lauren. Lauren, who could hear the distinct giggling and slurring of Scarlet, just nodded towards Greg before making her way to the stairs while the kids followed her.
Reaching downstairs, Lauren searched for Stewart who was sat in the kitchen being stared at by the Payne men as they whispered in each other's ears. Even Kevin was glaring at Stewart even though he, himself, was scared of Scarlet.
Lauren found Stewart and quickly went to him. "Did you bring a car?" Knowing Stewart's travelling habits, she knew that he never travelled without bringing a car with him to the place where he was going.
"Yeah, why?" Stewart looked at her with a questioning look as he took out the car keys from inside his new pants pocket, that he had changed into after his little accident.
Lauren snatched the keys once they were out of his pocket before turning away to walk out of the kitchen. "None of your business."
Stewart stared at the retreating back of Lauren as he sighed before slumping in his seat.
"Where is Lauren going?" Juliet asked just as she entered the kitchen followed by Blake. "Yeah." Blake spoke as well.
"I don't know." Stewart spoke as everyone stared at him with questioning looks. "She just took my car keys. She didn't say where she was going."
Driving with one hand while the other clutched her phone tightly against her ear, Lauren knew that she was breaking multiple rules but she didn't care. All she cared about was the fact that Scarlet was hurt so much that she had took to drinking.
Everyone knew how much Scarlet hated drinking and how much she loathed people that drank, and tonight, she was the one that she hated.
Parking at the bar's parking lot, Lauren rushed out of the car without even locking it behind her as she went to the front of the bar.
Entering the shady looking bar, she immediately recognized the black-haired girl who was still holding her phone and drinking.
"Scarlet?" Lauren called out after she had reached her, making Scarlet turn around in her seat with a giggle. "Katie." Scarlet slurred with her half-lidded eyes as she threw her arms around the blonde who was definitely not expecting to get a hug after what she had done. But that's how drinking is.
"Come on, we have to get you home." Lauren spoke softly to Scarlet, who nodded her head as she got up off the bar stool, stumbling occasionally.
"I was waiting for you, ya know." Scarlet spoke as she poked Lauren's nose lightly with a giggle. "Just like how I did outside the school, for you to come out with a smile on your face." Scarlet slurred as she stumbled but Lauren caught her by grabbing her arm tightly.
"I always loved your smile." Lauren tried to ignore the slurs that were coming from the drunk girl but she couldn't because the slurs kept reminding her of how she didn't have a chance with Scarlet.
"Why aren't you speaking to me?" The two had exited the bar and were now in the parking lot where Lauren was leading them to Stewart's car. "Are you mad at me for drinking?" Lauren looked at Scarlet to see that she was on the verge of tears. "I didn't mean to drink, i-it just happened."
"I know." Lauren mumbled as she sighed before bringing Scarlet to the passenger side of the car and opening the door. "I'll drive." Scarlet spoke up as she closed the door and started to wiggle drunkenly to the driver's side of the door. "No, you can't, you're drunk." Lauren grabbed Scarlet's arm and stopped her from moving.
"But you don't know how to drive, Katie." Scarlet slurred as her half-lidded eyes were falling shut but Scarlet forced them to stay open. "It'll be okay, we're gonna go to your parents' house and you can sleep there." Lauren spoke softly just as she saw Scarlet's eyes trying to stay closed.
Scarlet nodded her head and Lauren opened the passenger door again, and this time Scarlet complied as she sat obediently in the passenger seat.
Lauren sighed before she got in the car herself, before buckling up Scarlet, who was now fast asleep with light snores coming out of her slightly open mouth. Lauren could feel tears trying to well up in her eyes as she saw how broken Scarlet looked right now.
And Lauren knew that she was equally responsible for hurting her as well as Katie and Stewart.
Parking the car in the driveway of the house, Lauren got out and went to the other side of the car, to get Scarlet out as well. But since the said girl was asleep, she knew that she needed help from someone. So, she went and rang the doorbell while waiting for the door to open.
It was Blake who had opened the door with a slight frown on his face, but his frown immediately turned upside down when he saw Lauren.
"You're back, I thought you left." Lauren shook her head before she grabbed his hand and brought him to the passenger side of Stewart's car. "Is that Scar?" Blake asked as he studied the way she was asleep. "Yes, she's drunk."
"What?" Blake's eyes automatically found hers as he quickly went to open the door and bring Scarlet out of the car carefully. Scarlet just hummed in her sleep before she snuggled closer to her cousin's chest as he looked at Lauren.
"Don't tell aunt Laura, she's going to throw a fit. I'll sneak her into the house, you just distract everyone." Blake spoke to Lauren, who immediately nodded her head before walking into the house calmly and casually as if nothing had happened.
"Lauren? Where did you go?" Juliet saw the blonde first and opted to question her while taking her to the living room where everyone was. Blake, who had closed the front door slowly behind him with his foot grabbed the opportunity to slip past the attention of his family, to go upstairs with light but quick steps.
Lauren shook her head before answering, "Just needed some fresh air."
"In my car?" Stewart snorted and everyone glared at him for even speaking up. Lauren nodded her head before throwing the car keys towards him. "You should leave right now, Art."
"What? But I just got here today." Stewart protested as he stood up from the recliner with a frown. "I don't care, just leave. You've done enough."
"You are my sister, Lauren. My little sister. I don't take orders from anyone, especially not you." Stewart spoke as he pointed a finger at the blonde, who was only seconds away from slapping him across his face.
"What else do you want to see, Stewart? Isn't this much enough? Isn't breaking her enough?" Lauren sighed out tiredly as she stared at her brother who' eyes softened. "I didn't mean to- "
"I know, but she doesn't know. Just leave, please." Everyone was looking at the exchange of words as Stewart sighed before walking over to Lauren, who was standing at the doorway of the living room.
"You have a lot to explain." Stewart whispered in her ear as he looked back at the Payne family before he walked out of the house, gently shutting the front door behind him.
Lauren quickly rushed out of the room to go upstairs to the guestroom as thoughts of Scarlet swirled around in her head.
She knew that nothing could happen now, because she already had found herself falling for the girl, with the broken heart.