Haley blushed. "He took me out to the Bistro. It was really nice."
"AND?" Maritza pressed for the juicy details.
Haley giggled and playfully smacked Maritza in the arm. "What about you? You've been sleeping over at Charles' house lately!" she teased.
"I know!" Maritza sighed happily. "He's so wonderful!" Her smile faltered. Despite moving forward in their relationship, she still struggled with the fear of losing him.
She ignored the fact that they both stared at her with open mouths.
What?! She could be helpful!
She slammed the plates on the table.
Haley and Maritza shared a look. Christ, they always did that, she thought irritably. "Sorry," she apologized insincerely as she sat down at the table.
Immediately Rachel's mood lifted. She smiled at Haley. "Well, you're not going to have to worry about that, huh? We're like sisters!" she teased.
Haley nibbled her lip. "I don't know..." she hedged.
Maritza tipped the balances by echoing Rachel's eagerness.
Rachel shrugged. "Sure, why not?!" She jumped up from the table. "RIO!!!!!"
"Will you watch the kids for us tonight?" she asked.
Jason, who was nearby, shouted, "Hey! I don't need him to watch me!"
"Pleeeeease?" she begged. "Tia Haley never gets to go out!"
"Fine," Rio told her grumpily. If it was for Tia.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Rachel squealed, giving him a big hug.
Haley stared at her reflection. "Are you sure?" she asked hesitantly. "Do you think the red lipstick is too much?"
Haley laughed, tugging at her hem. "I feel like I'm playing dress up!"
Rachel laughed. "You promised you'd wear what I picked out for you!"
Maritza smiled. "Promise! Rachel should've been a stylist!"
Jason kicked at the floor and looked up at Haley with a grimace. "Aw, Mom, I don't need Rio to watch me!" he argued. "I can look out for myself!"
Haley tweaked her son's nose. "I know, sweetie. Maybe you can help him watch Junior! Be a good helper, okay?"
"Okay!" Jason said, running over to play with Junior at the activity table.
Haley fussed with her hem as Rachel told her a story about one of her coworkers. She felt so silly. Why in the world had she agreed to do this?
"Alan! Over here!" Rachel suddenly called out, waving towards the entrance.
Haley took another breath as her stomach flipped.
She glanced over at Rachel, so happy to see that she'd stayed true to her promise to avoid drinking.
Alan looped his arm through hers. "Let me be your knight in shining armor," he teased, looping his arm through hers and leading her outside.
Haley wrapped her arms around his and pressed herself against him, kissing him back just as passionately as he kissed her.
Nadine laughed. "He didn't want to miss out on anything!"
"I think it's cute!" Nadine told him. "You're such a good big brother!"
An awkward silence fell between them now that they were alone... sitting on a couch... at night...
Nadine smiled at him and nodded.
He was in heaven...
Feeling sorry for herself, she slipped over to the bar and ordered a Pomegranate Passion. Apparently a drink was the only way she was going to get some romance in her life!
Rachel stumbled to the door. She wasn't going to be alone another night...
"I'll be right back," Shaye said as he walked outside.
Rachel looked up quickly, wobbling unsteadily. "I just had to see you to tell you..." she said.
"But, Shaye! I've been thinking..." She began, readying herself to launch into her plan to make him love her again.
Rachel stopped and stared at the other woman holding her daughter. Why was she holding her daughter?
Rachel started to stumble towards the door when Shaye stepped in front of her, holding his hands out. "Whoa, where are you going Rachel?" he asked. Without turning his back on Rachel, he told Kea to go inside and put Shayla to bed.
Kea slipped away inside and shut the door.
"I'll call the police!" she yelled. "You think I won't? You can't keep my daughter from me!"
Shaye shook his head with disgust. "Rachel, you're drank off your ass. Call the police. They won't let you leave with her." He pulled his phone out of pocket and dialed a number number. Keeping his eye on Rachel, he waited until Haley answered. "Haley, it's Shaye. Can you or Maritza come pick Rachel up?"
Rachel growled with frustration. She couldn't believe he'd called Haley! Plumbbob, she couldn't take another one of Haley's lectures!