**This week’s challenge went through a couple of incarnations before I finally got it written. But here’s what happened with driving under the influence and the morning after. Enjoy!**
The squeal of tires and the sound of the garbage bins being knocked over jerked me from sleep. I’d been lounging on the couch waiting for my boyfriend to come home from his friend’s birthday party, and I must have dozed off. But the shock of awaking to those noises had adrenaline pulsing through my veins. I hopped off the couch and scrubbed my hands over my face even as I walked as quickly as I could toward the front door. With a quick twist of my wrist, I had the deadbolt unlocked, and I pulled the door open. Micah was on the porch, swaying unsteadily, his hand raised toward the door with the wrong key extended. He smelled like a distillery.
“Jesus,” I whispered, reaching out a hand and grabbing hold before he could fall over.
“Hey, baby,” he slurred. He leaned heavily against me, and since I was several inches shorter and thirty pounds lighter than he was, I grunted under the strain. His smile was wide, and his eyes were unfocused.
“Christ Micah, what the fuck?” I ushered him into the house and made sure he was supported against the wall before I turned to shut the door. When I caught sight of his car in the driveway, with no other occupants, and the garbage cans lying on their side, my blood started to boil.
“You drove?” I hissed.
Micah’s grin just grew wider. “Yep!” He seemed pleased with himself. He gave a belch, then patted his stomach.
“What in the fuck were you thinking?” I bellowed. I was beyond angry. He could have killed himself! He could have killed someone else! What the fuck was he thinking? Clearly he hadn’t been, and I was honestly surprised. This was not something he’d ever done before, and I knew he knew better.
“Shh,” he whispered, wincing at my tone. “I’s fine, Kev. No big deal.”
Yes it fucking was. But there was no point in arguing about it now. He’d get an earful in the morning.
The next time I woke up, it was to the sound of Micah retching in the bathroom. I waited until he stopped, and I heard the flush of the toilet, before I burst into the room, letting the door bang against the wall.
“Good morning, Sunshine!” I shouted. “How are you?”
“Jesus fuck,” he muttered before hauling himself upright and shuffled to the sink. “Kevin, sweetheart, keep it down.”
“Nope!” I was using my outside voice on purpose. He’d pay for what he did last night with more than a hangover. “I want to know what in the fuck you were thinking driving yourself home last night.”
“I was fine.” He voice was quiet, and he scowled at me. “I only had three beers.”
I snorted. “You had more than that. You came home reeking of alcohol and barely able to stand up. Micah, what the hell? You know better than to drive like that. You could have been killed! Worse, you could have killed someone else. Tell me what was going through your dumbass head that you got behind the wheel!”
“Please stop shouting,” he said, sounding miserable. He brushed his teeth, and then sipped some water before he turned to me. I had my arms crossed over my chest, and stared him down. I couldn’t believe he would do something this stupid, this dangerous, and I wanted an explanation.
“I thought I was fine,” he amended his earlier statement.
Not good enough. “Well you weren’t. You scared the holy hell out of me when you got home. Thinking of you driving all that way intoxicated—”
“But nothing bad happened,” he interrupted.
“Oh my God, really? That’s your defense? You know damn well that was probably the stupidest thing you could have done. If there was no one sober, you could have called a cab or me, for fuck’s sake.”
He winced again, and I saw the shame all over his face. Good. He deserved it. “What do you want me to say, Kevin? It won’t happen again. Ever.”
I squinted at him. “How about you don’t drink again unless I’m there and sober to drive us?”
His eyes widened. “I’m being punished?”
If not drinking was a punishment, then he needed to grow up. I nodded, and stared hard, not backing down even a little. Finally he sighed, and his agreement was a grunt and a nod. Three years into our relationship, I knew that was as good as a promise out loud. Finally satisfied that I wouldn’t have to go through this ever again, I relaxed. Micah’s smile was pained but genuine, and he opened his arms. I went straight into them.
“I’m sorry I scared you. Thinking about it now, I scared myself a little. It won’t happen again, Kev.”
I nodded against his chest. “I love you. I can’t lose you. To death or prison.”
His kiss to my forehead was sweet. “I love you too. And you’re stuck with me for a long time.”
I sighed contentedly. That was exactly what I wanted.