"I don't know. A few days, maybe."

"We have valuables. Your mother wouldn't like it, Caleb."

"Mom isn't here," I tell him.

"What about Leah?" Dad says. "She's almost as fragile as your mother."

The floor creaks, alerting us there's someone else in the room. It's Leah.

"Let him stay, Dad."


"Because it's the right thing to do. He needs a roof over his head, and we have one." She looks at me and gives me a small smile, as if we're in this together.

"Fine. He can stay," he tells me. "Caleb, I'm holding you responsible if anything is stolen. And he can only stay a few nights and that's all. While your mother might not be here now, this is our home and I have to respect the way she'd want it to be."

"Thanks, Dad." I'm about to head back downstairs, but I need to get something off my chest first. I look at Leah, then my dad. "I just want both of you to know that Maggie and I are going to be spending a lot of time together the next two weeks."

"I don't think that's a great idea," my dad chimes in. "She's the reason you went to jail, Caleb."

I look right at my sister and say, "Maggie's not the reason I went to jail, Dad. Right, Leah?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Leah mumbles. She retreats quickly and disappears down the hall.

"What are you thinking, Caleb?" my dad asks. "You're setting yourself up for trouble by messing around with Maggie. You're screwing up your life."

"You got it all wrong, Dad. I'm trying to fix it."



'm doing laundry in the morning when the doorbell rings. When I open the door, Caleb is standing on my porch with a steaming mug in his hands. "I made you coffee," he says, holding it out to me. "I forgot how you liked it, so I put in a little milk and sugar. If I had the money, I'd have gone out and gotten you gourmet stuff-"

"I don't need gourmet. You know that." I feel like everything is falling into place so perfectly, and it scares me. I take the cup and invite him in. "You didn't have to make me coffee at all."

"I wanted to. Besides, I figure we can talk to your mom and, you know, kind of break the news about us to her together."

"She's already at work," I tell him as I lead him to the laundry basket in the living room. "Sunday mornings tend to be busy at the diner."

I'm still not sure how my mom will react when she not only realizes that Caleb is back in Paradise, but that we're a couple now.

A couple.

I'm still trying to get used to the fact that we decided to make things official. It's so weird having him here, in my house, bringing me coffee just because he thought I'd want some.

"Did everything go okay last night after I left?" I ask as I pull out some T-shirts to fold.

He leans against the edge of the sofa, watching me. "I told my dad and Leah about us."

I stop folding and brace myself for the aftermath. "What did they say?"

He shrugs. "It doesn't matter."

Yeah, it does. But I know dealing with his family is a raw subject, so I don't press him further. The last thing I want to do is cause him more stress. He's dealing with enough just being back in Paradise.

"What are your plans today?" I pick up the mug and sip the warm, smooth coffee. It has just a hint of vanilla. I look at Caleb over the rim and wish I didn't feel like the clock is ticking when it comes to the amount of time we can spend together. The more we're together, the more I want to be with him.

"I was wondering if you want to hang out," he says.

"Sure. What do you want to do? I know Lenny and Julio are staying with you, so I'm sure you can't ditch them all day."

"We're all going frolfing. You know, disc golf."

"Frolfing?" I've never been frolfing before. I'm not even sure I can play with my limp. "Why don't you and the guys go play, and we can meet up after."

Caleb shakes his head. "Mags, you're going. It's kind of a date thing. We're playing in pairs."

"A date thing?"

"Yeah. Get ready, 'cause we're meeting on the course at eleven."

"I've never played. We're going to lose."

"I figured as much."

I instinctively throw what I'm folding. Oops. A pair of panties, which he catches in one hand and holds up. It's a neutral-colored pair, without any designs.

"Please tell me these are your mom's."

"They're mine."

One of his eyebrows go up. "Maggie, panties are supposed to be sexy. These aren't. I hope you have one of these in every color to bring to Spain."

I snatch them back and shove them to the bottom of the basket. "What's wrong with my underwear?"

"They're not sexy."

"They're comfy."

That makes Caleb laugh. "Just be ready at eleven. Enjoy the rest of the coffee before it gets cold."

An hour later, he's back to pick me up. He's got a bunch of discs in a backpack. I swallow my insecurity about playing because Caleb is so dead set on me joining them.

To my surprise, Trish and Leah are coming with us as well as Lenny and Julio. It's great to see Trish, but ... are she and Lenny a couple? They're arguing about something, and Leah and Julio are walking ahead of us, obviously having a serious, private conversation.

I guess we're all a bunch of mismatched couples-that actually fit.

"Where's Erin?" I ask Trish.

"My mom was taking her to the doctor today for a sonogram," Trish explains. "Hopefully she's having a girl. Boys are gross." She gestures to Lenny. "My case in point."

"You haven't even seen me be gross, girl," Lenny says.

I don't want to, either.

"Explain how to play," I say to Lenny, diverting the argument. Lenny seems to be the frolfing expert in our group.

"It's simple. It's playing golf, but with discs instead of golf balls. Instead of eighteen holes of golf, there are eighteen metal baskets. The goal is to make the least amount of tries for each basket. Get it?"

"I think so."

Caleb takes my hand in his as we walk to the park. Not once do I feel like he's frustrated that I can't move faster. In fact, everyone slows their pace to match mine.

Only Leah seems uneasy. Every time she glances back at me as I walk along, she quickly looks away. She knows I'm aware she was the one who hit me, but we don't talk about it. I know talking about it will bring out raw emotions for both of us, so I avoid the subject.

Am I mad that Leah ran into me? Yes, but I can't change it, and I know she didn't do it on purpose. It took me a long time to come to terms with what happened to me. It used to eat at me every single day. I was mad and upset and felt so sorry for myself I pretty much stopped remembering what life was all about.

Then Caleb got out of jail, and I learned that life was worth living. He made me realize I should stop living in the past and enjoy the present, no matter what. For example, I can still play tennis, the sport I've always loved with a passion-I just have to play differently now. I can't run, but I can still hit the ball with the racquet.

I've come to terms with the accident and the result of it. The biggest problem is that Leah still struggles with her role in what happened that night.

I do wish she'd come clean and tell the world that she was the one who hit me, but doing that has major consequences. I'm not sure she's ready for those consequences. She may never be.

At the frolf course, Caleb hands me three discs. "One is for long range, one is for mid range, and this is a putter disc-only use it when you're close to the basket."

"Got it."

"Just so you know, Lenny, this isn't a date," Trish says.

"Then what is it?"

"It's me feeling sorry for you, because you're such a loser."

Lenny tosses his disc up in the air and catches it. "Okay, Trish, so if I'm such a loser you won't mind making a bet with me. If I beat you, you agree this is a date and you have to promise to scream at the top of your lungs that I'm a fucking stud and you've had a crush on me since you met me.

"And what if I beat you?" Trish asks, rubbing her hands together. There's fire in her eyes.

"Name your price."

I wince. I'm afraid of Lenny and Trish challenging each other, because whenever they're involved there is sure to be drama and craziness.

"If I win," Trish says, "you have to come to my house and clean my room ... and all of our toilets. For a week." She crosses her arms on her chest, looking pretty pleased with herself.

"Fine," Lenny says.

"Fine," Trish says. "Let's shake on it."

"Oh, no. We're gonna kiss on it."

He puts his arm around her waist and pulls her forward. I thought for sure Trish would slap him or knee him in the groin, but she doesn't. She kisses him back. I turn away, because it's sloppy and they make noises that should only be made in private.

"Ugh, I just lost my appetite," Julio chimes in as he watches Trish and Lenny go at it. "Break it up before Leah and I ditch you guys and go somewhere else."

As he says that, Kendra comes walking up to the frolf course.

"Hey," she says. "Sorry I'm late."

I step away from Caleb. "Did you invite her?"

"Yeah," he says. "I did."



aggie's shoulders are slumped. She stopped smiling as soon as Kendra showed up. I know things are tense with Kendra and Maggie right now, but as long as I'm in Paradise, I can't ignore Brian. And where Brian is, Kendra is.

I just didn't expect Kendra to come alone.

"Where's Brian?" I ask her.

"We broke up last night. The wedding is off."

"The hell it is," Brian says, appearing off in the distance. He's walking in a crooked line, as if he's on something.

"Go away," Kendra tells him.

"No," Brian slurs. He reaches for her. "You're my part„ net.

Kendra pushes Brian out of arms reach. "Not anymore."

"Can we start the game already and stop bickering, everyone?" Julio says.

When Julio talks, people listen. Even Kendra and Brian, who ignore each other even though they're partners in this game.

We start tossing our discs toward the baskets. At first Maggie is horrible. Her disc flies about ten feet in front of her, and she's not even using the putter disc.

"Flick your wrist," I tell her.

She tries, but the disc flies backwards and almost hits Kendra in the head.

Maggie's hand flies over her mouth as the disc whizzes past Kendra. "Oops, sorry."

"I bet," Kendra mutters.

Brian tells Kendra to be nice. She sneers at him and I think oh, buddy, you are going to pay for that remark later.

Moving from one fairway to another isn't easy for Maggie, who has to tread lightly on the uneven ground. At one point when she stumbles and falls, I almost offer to take her home.

"Hop on my back," I tell her instead, as we head to the next fairway.

She looks at me as if I'm crazy.

"Come on, Mags. It'll be fun."

"No, it won't," she says. When I take her discs and bend down so she can easily maneuver onto my back, she asks, "You sure about this?"