Joe and Savannah both scrambled under the covers as Denise stood in his doorway catching them in the act, knowing that hell-fire was about to rain down upon them.
“Get dressed! Now!” Denise shouted before slamming the door shut behind her.
“Holy fuck,” Joe grumbled, raking his hands through his hair.
“Oh my god,” Savannah breathed quietly.
“I guess I don’t even get the courtesy of a knock anymore,” Joe scoffed.
Savannah felt like she was going to throw up. It was the third time she had sex in this house, but it was the first time she ever got caught – and it just had to be Denise. Savannah would rather it be anyone else – anyone else. Even Joe’s dad would have been better. Or Nick for God’s sake. Why did it have to be her? She was the most judgmental woman Savannah had ever met, and Savannah knew it was going to be held over her head for the rest of time. She could end up marrying one of her son’s, and Denise was still going to hold it over her – she just knew it.
Joe dressed with the quickness as Savannah lay frozen in his bed feeling absolutely sick to her stomach. She couldn’t think. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t function. She was in a state of shock.
“I want to go home,” Savannah said quietly, her face blank, her body tingling with fear.
“Van, baby. I am sorry that just happened. But we’re adults, okay. What can she do to us?” Joe said, immediately coming to her side on the bed. Tears were welling in her eyes just thinking about their terrible situation.
“They’re never going to forgive me. First everything with Nick, and now I’m having sex with you in their house,” Savannah said as the tears rolled down her face.
“It’s going to be okay. I will make this better, I promise,” Joe said, wiping her tears from her cheeks with the pads of his thumbs.
“I don’t see how you can,” she told him, feeling overly detached.
“I will make this right, I promise,” he tried to assure her, but she knew he wouldn’t be able to, even with his best effort.
“Van, please—get dressed,” Joe told her as he tossed her clothes onto the bed, but she didn’t move.
She couldn’t help but lay there thinking about everything. About how just a year ago, she was in his parent’s good graces when she was dating and getting proposed to by Nick. But through all of that, she was sleeping with Joe behind everyone’s back. She cheated on Nick and she knew they held it against her, especially because it was with another one of their sons. She cheated on Denise’s golden child, and it didn’t matter that Nick cheated on her too. She was so much worse because she was sleeping with his brother. She was the harlot.
But she fell in love with Joe. She couldn’t help it. At first there was so much guilt in her because she didn’t even like him – it was just his sex that kept bringing her back to him. But over time they fell in love, and still even now, Savannah was so in love with Joe and it didn’t matter to the Jonas’. It didn’t matter that they were happy with each other, because she broke Nick in the process.
Savannah looked up to see Joe zip up the black hoodie he just put on over his grey t-shirt. Whenever she looked at him all she could do was admire the man he morphed into before her very eyes. After everything they went through, Joe changed the most out of both of them. He was nothing like the immature boy she met nearly two years before. He was so good to her, such a good boyfriend. He would face the wrath of his mother for her – and he did already. He was so amazing. And she knew she might not deserve him.
“Nick came to my room last night,” Savannah blurted as she finally sat up in the bed. She was unable to hold it in anymore. She had to tell him the truth. She didn’t want there to be any secrets between them.
“What?” Joe choked out, his head snapping immediately to look at her with fiery eyes, waiting for swift elaboration.
“He woke me up,” she said quietly, unable to look Joe in the eyes. She leaned against the headboard with her legs up and her arms wrapped around them staring at his bed sheets.
“What… what happened?” Joe demanded.
“He told me he missed me and then… then he kissed me,” she confessed, feeling sick to her stomach.
“He what!?” Joe bellowed with his fists gripped tightly at his sides, his knuckles white. Savannah looked up at him to see his face turn bright red and she knew he was about to explode.
“I pushed him off of me. I told him to get out,” Savannah said quickly, trying to assure Joe as she let her legs slid out from the grasp her arms had on them.
“That asshole! Oh my god!” Joe growled, looking angrier than she ever seen him before.
“Joe, it’s okay. I handled it,” she told him as she got on her knees, pulling the blankets up against her naked body.
“He has a fucking death wish!” Joe snapped as his anger boiled over, and Savannah watching him stomp to his door and throw it open.
“Joe, don’t! Joe, just leave it alone,” Savannah shouted, scrambling up from his mattress, tugging his blankets along with her. But Joe was out the door within seconds before she could even reach him.
“Shit,” she grumbled under her breath as she, as fast as physically possible, threw her pajamas on.
“Nick!” She heard Joe bellow down the hallway and it made her blood run cold. This was not going to be pretty.
Savannah made her way out of the bedroom just in time to see Nick come out of the bathroom, furrowing his eyebrows in question at Joe, who was stalking toward him.
“What?” Nick snapped back at him with pent up attitude in his reply.
Without warning, Joe stalked up to him, pulling back his fist before hitting him square in the cheek. Nick fell backwards onto the tiled floor of the bathroom with a loud thud, completely blindsided.
“What the fuck!?” Nick screamed before getting up quickly, charging at Joe, smashing him into the opposing wall, luckily not taking out the drywall with them.
“Stop it! Oh my god! Stop it!” Savannah screamed at the two of them.
“Fuck you, you fucking piece of shit!” Joe yelled at Nick as they dropped down onto the floor and wrestled violently in the middle of the hallway.
“Fuck you!” Nick yelled back, hitting Joe as hard as he could repeatedly in the back with his fist.
“STOP IT!” Savannah screamed, trying to pry the two of them apart without getting taken out by one of them.
“You have your own girlfriend! Why are you trying to get with mine!?” Joe yelled as he got the upperhand and began punching Nick in his side, their bodies violently tangled with each other.
“She was mine first, you fucking prick!” Nick screamed loudly, his face red and aggravated.
“What the hell is going on in here!?” Kevin Sr barked loudly as he came down the hallway. Denise wasn’t far behind with a ghastly look on her face.
At the sound of their father’s burly voice, the two of them split apart. Both of them were red in the face and panting heavily as they scrambled to their feet. Tears welled in Savannah’s eyes from the stressful event and she couldn’t hold them back as she stood against the wall watching everything play out.
“What are you two doing!?” Kevin Sr erupted. Nick and Joe stood there, silently glaring at each other as their chests heaved with their heightened heart rates.
“This is unacceptable! You two have been fighting over her for a year now! I want this to stop right now!” Denise cried, throwing Savannah into the mix like a disgusted slur.
“God damn it. Stop talking about her like that!” Joe yelled at his mother quickly.
“Joe!” Kevin Sr snapped, sending him a verbal warning.
“This is fucking bullshit! She is my girlfriend! I love her! And you people disgust me with the way you’ve been treating her! She is a beautiful person, okay! And God, I can’t believe the way you fawn all over that hoe-bag Nick knocked up! What the hell is that?” Joe yelled at his parents. Nick didn’t even make a move to defend his baby mama and Savannah knew it was because he didn’t care to.
“Joe, you better watch that tone,” Kevin Sr snapped, warning him again.
“Dad, I love you, but if things don’t change around here, don’t expect to see me show my face for another year, if ever again,” Joe snapped, giving him an ultimatum, shaking his head with a look of disappointment. Savannah felt sick over everything. She wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
“Joe,” Denise gasped, holding her hand over her heart.
Joe kept steady, staring down the hall at his parents, showing him he meant what he said. They all stood there in silence for a few moments before Kevin Sr sighed, looking down at the floor.
“You’re right, Joe. You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry,” Savannah heard Denise say, and she almost lost her mind. She was admitting defeat?
“For which part?” He spat at her.
“Savannah, I’m sorry for the way we – the way I have been treating you. You deserve a little more respect than that,” Denise said, looking at her dead in the face.
Savannah’s eyes were wide with surprise, yet she couldn’t help but feel like she was just saying it to appease Joe so he wouldn’t disappear from their lives again.
“Thank you,” Savannah said quietly, bowing her head.
“We will do our best to make sure you feel welcomed in our home,” Kevin Sr added.
“Thank you,” Savannah said again, still unable to look up at them.
Breaking them out of the tense moment, Frankie walked up the stairs and looked oddly at Joe and Nick.
“Whoa, what happened to you guys?” She said with a smirk on his face.
Nick finally made a move and stalked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. And Joe grabbed Savannah by the hand, pulling her to his room.
“Door open, Joe,” Denise warned, causing Joe to roll his eyes.
“I can get a hotel,” he snapped back at her as he gripped onto the door and slammed it shut behind them.
“I’m a grown man and she still wants me to have my door open to prevent me from being sexual with my girlfriend,” Joe scoffed loudly. Savannah could still feel the anger radiating off of him, and it pained her.
She sat down on his bed, feeling shittier than she did the night before. She knew there was no hope, ever, that Denise and Kevin Sr were going to accept her now. She was the whore who cheated on Nick with his brother for months. Now she was the slut who was just caught having sex in their house, breaking Joe’s mother’s one rule. And to top it all off, she was the reason Joe and Nick got into a fist fight in the hallway of their home. There was no digging herself out of this. Not in a million years.
“They don’t understand,” Savannah said as she began crying into her hands.
“They don’t understand what?” Joe asked, sitting down next to her as he rubbed her back with his hand in a soothing rhythm.
“They don’t understand how much I love you. How much you mean to me,” she cried, feeling absolutely helpless.
“Oh, baby,” Joe cooed, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his chest, leaving a kiss on her temple.
“They don’t understand that we fell in love last year and that’s why things didn’t work out with Nick. It’s because I couldn’t love Nick anymore, not after you came along. I didn’t have anything left to give him because I wanted to give all my love to you. They don’t know this is real,” she wept into Joe’s hoodie.
“No one knows what happened except you and me, baby. And I still love you more than anyone ever could. Bring them on. I’m not scared. Our love is real, Van,” Joe assured her as he tipped her chin up so their eyes met.
“I love you so much,” she choked out as Joe’s lips came down to kiss hers.
He held her as she cried and he still held her even when her tears subsided. They just quietly laid in his bed together, holding one another.
Two more days. Only two more days and they were out of this mess.
Savannah was sure from that point on that she wouldn’t be leaving Joe’s bedroom – not until Christmas dinner that night at least. She was not leaving his bed or his arms – rules be damned. Joe’s room was peaceful and away from the people who hated her so much.
Simple, safe, and quiet. She’d be there for a while.