Her stomach flipping, Daunis says she came to use the bathroom and retrieve her phone. Mike looks amused—and he kisses Daunis roughly. When she resists, he angrily says she’s been hanging on him all night and asks why she won’t date him. He even says he's not afraid of Levi at all, and he says Daunis and Jamie won’t last long. Suddenly, Mike becomes aggressive and says that Daunis isn’t better than him, and Grant is right: girls are distractions. He leaves the room. Daunis is shocked by Mike’s behavior; will she learn more unsavory things about her friends by helping with the investigation? Upstairs, Daunis lets Jamie put an arm around her. As she prepares to leave later, she tells the guys she wants to run on her own so she can go slower. Ignoring Levi’s teasing, Jamie says he’d like to run with Daunis.
Daunis hasn’t said much about Mike up to this point, but she implies in this passage that she’s always seen him as a pretty upstanding guy. His unwillingness to accept no for an answer and his aggression suggest that things have changed between them, and Mike himself is something of a predator. Daunis never expected to have to defend herself against people she considered friends, so this experience seriously shakes her up. Allowing Jamie to comfort her reminds readers (and Daunis) that Daunis does have some genuine feelings for him. It seems that when Daunis is suffering emotionally, she’s more willing to turn to Jamie for support.
Daunis sits in the backseat with Jamie on the ride home, appreciating that he holds her hand. She thinks it’s cute how excited he is about the Edwardses’ house and the opportunity to analyze the Supes’ games. When Ron pulls into Daunis’s driveway, she tells them about the photos she took of Grant’s bookshelf and that she couldn’t access client files in the desk. In case Mom is watching (she is, the light turns on), Jamie walks Daunis to the door and kisses her jaw. Teasing him for his poor aim, Daunis allows herself to kiss his scar.
Jamie might be 22 and an undercover agent, but in this passage, he looks like any other high school hockey player—and Daunis finds that charming and attractive. She’s learning true things about him, even if Jamie is ostensibly hiding most of his true self from her. When Daunis kisses Jamie’s scar, she allows herself to feel her real feelings for him and try to gauge if he might also have genuine feelings for her.
When Daunis steps outside for her run the next morning, Jamie isn’t there. This is disappointing, as Daunis has been looking forward to seeing him since kissing his scar last night. This morning, Daunis feels hypocritical as she prays for honesty. Jamie arrives as she finishes stretching. As they take off, Daunis says she’s skipping class to look for mushrooms today. Jamie tells her not to: she needs to go back to her life once the investigation is done, and maybe even go play hockey at Michigan. Daunis says that everything changed when Uncle David started helping the FBI, and she can’t play hockey. She refuses to say why—he doesn’t deserve to know about the “foolish” choice she made. Back at Daunis’s driveway, Jamie says he should run with the guys in the future. They’re just starting to accept him. She pretends not to care.
Daunis wants to be honest with Jamie—she has genuine feelings for him. Still, she can’t escape the fact that he’s a federal agent and not a high school student; he’s lying every day about who he is, and so their relationship is also built on a lie. Jamie tries to convey this to Daunis when he insists that she take her real life seriously so that once the investigation is over, she has options. He assumes one of those options is playing hockey in college, but Daunis continues to cagily tease the reason why she can’t play hockey anymore. Still, he tries to show Daunis how he believes they should act and prioritize the investigation when he insists he should run with the Supes. This reminds Daunis of where his loyalties lie, which is painful.
Daunis is almost done canvassing Duck Island, but the leaves are slowing her down—as is her promise to herself that she can skip class and deceive people, as long as she takes care of Granny June and the Elders. Taking Granny June to lunch eats into prime daylight, but it’s worth it. Still, Daunis avoids Auntie, as she’s afraid she can’t lie well enough to deceive her. Later today, Daunis has one more engagement that will slow down her mushroom hunt: she and Ron are taking the Booster Bus to Wisconsin. As Daunis enters the dining room with Granny June, she stops suddenly: Auntie is next to Minnie Mustang. This looks like an intervention. What did Daunis do?
Daunis is trying to figure out how much deception she can live with and what she can do to make the deception easier to swallow. Avoiding Auntie is necessary for Daunis because Auntie knows Daunis so well—the other Elders know Daunis, of course, but they haven’t been such a constant presence in her life the way Auntie has. However, Daunis can’t entirely escape her aunt, as she discovers when Auntie seems poised to stage an intervention.