Angrily, she stood and dressed as quickly as she could. She found her shoes under the bed and grabbed them, not even bothering to put them on.
But he said he was going to make you a star, she reminded herself.
She stopped mid-stride and gasped.
It didn't matter, Rachel had already fled the room.
"I cannot believe this!" Rachel muttered angrily. "I. cannot. believe. THIS!"
Rachel whirled around, attempting to tug her arm free. "It looks like my best friend is screwing my brother!" she yelled, casting an ugly look towards Haley.
Rachel jerked away violently. "You forbid me from sleeping with your brother! Remember?! God forbid I sully your brother! But I guess it's okay to fu..."
"We were going to tell you today," Johnny tried to explain, leaning over again to block Haley from Rachel. "We..."
Rachel grimaced when Johnny said 'we.' As though they were a fricking couple. "What about Alan?" she asked snidely. Little Miss Goody-Two Shoes was cheating on her boyfriend! "Did you even think about him before you fu..."
"They broke up last night. I was comforting her..." Johnny interrupted Rachel again, hoping to calm her down so they could discuss this rationally.
"Oh yeah! Sounds like you comforted her all right!" Rachel sneered with a half-laugh. "All night long, huh?"
Johnny heard Haley gasp behind him.
Pushing past Johnny and Haley, she stormed upstairs.
The boys bolted up in bed, disoriented by the lights. "What?" Rio asked sleepily, rolling over to face Rachel. "What's going on?"
"We're leaving!" she snapped. "Get up and get dressed."
Johnny glanced past his sister and saw the worried faces of the boys. "Rachel, if you'd just take a few minutes to calm down..."
"I am calm!" she said shrilly, betraying her lack of calmness. "Rio! Now!"
Jason's head jerked towards Rio.
Rio's shoulders tensed and he looked down. "I'm not going," he mumbled, less confidently.
"If I walk out this door without you, I am not coming back for you," Rachel threatened. "You'll be dead to me!"
"I mean it!" she repeated, stabbing her finger in Rio's direction again.
Rio kept his gaze down, not meeting Rachel's eye.
Rachel waited a few more seconds before sniffing in disgust. "Fine! You've made your choice!" she snapped, whirling around and storming down the stairs.
"She didn't mean it," Johnny told the boys hurriedly before racing after her.
"Let's get dressed," Rio said, turning towards the dresser.
"Wait!" Jason said, grabbing his arm. "Who was Uncle Johnny sleeping with?!"
She grabbed the suitcases and pushed past Johnny and Haley.
As she walked out the front door, she still held out hope that Rio would join her.
But he didn't.
"I'm ready whenever you are!" she announced flippantly with a big, fake smile.
Mr. Keaton clapped his hands together. "Excellent!"
Johnny smoothed his hands down her shoulders. "I know," he said sadly. It had hurt him to see Rachel in such a rage. It hurt even more to see the guilt and embarrassment stamped across Haley's face. "It's going to be okay," he told her. "Hey, look at me..."
Haley took a shuddering breath. "What am I going to tell Rio?" she asked tearfully. "Oh Johnny, what have I done?!"
Overwhelmed, she leaned her head against his shoulder and cried.
"Do you think she's gone for good this time?" Rio asked at the same time Jason demanded, "You slept with Uncle Johnny?"
Rio scoffed under his breath, "Don't hold your breath." He glanced over and glared at his uncle. He'd ruined everything.
Jason turned in his seat and eyed Uncle Johnny. He didn't seem like Mom's type.
Rio nodded. "Yeah. Nadine was bringing her cousin Vita to hang out."
"Well, go out and have some fun. I'm sure everything will be settled by the time you get home," Maritza said soothingly.
"Hey, nice to meet you," Jason said, shaking Vita's hand.
"Hi," she said, flipping her long, blonde hair back from her face.
Turning to Rio, she searched his face. "What's wrong, baby?"
Rio shrugged, not wanting to spoil the special day by talking about Rachel. "Nothing."
Nadine looped her arm through Rio's, well used to his brooding silences. "Well, come on then, Vita and I set up a picnic!"
Everyone grabbed their food and slowly ate. Vita met Nadine's eye across the picnic basket and arched her eyebrow. Nadine knew what that look meant. Vita wasn't having fun.
Jason glanced up and smiled weakly. "Yeah. Tryouts are next week. I'm looking forward to it."
"Are you any good?" Vita asked, looking at her cuticle.
Jason grinned cockily. "I can run circles around Rio!"
Rio threw a grape at Jason.
"Wow!" Jason said appreciatively, watching Nadine kiss Rio. Holy cow - he wanted someone to kiss him like that! Uncomfortably, he shifted in his seat and snuck a glance at Vita.
"Get a room!" Vita said, jealous of the attention everyone was giving Nadine.
It almost made it easy to forget about the awful morning.
Maritza felt her stomach flip with unease. "Oh plumbbob, I'm not sure I can take any more bad news today," she said haltingly. She hadn't had a chance to tell Charles about Rachel, yet.
"I'm so sorry, Maritza. I just need to get this out first," he said, the worry evident in his eyes. "Long before I met you, I put in papers to join Doctors Across Borders."