Samantha is in for a surprise in Excerpt 13!

November 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I think that it has been a tough year all around, but I am hoping that 2009 will bring many wonderful surprises and blessings.

 

Speaking of surprises, Samantha is in for one of her own…

Excerpt 13

Nick stared aimlessly out the kitchen window.  He wanted to stop her.  He wanted to make her admit that she still wanted him as much as he wanted her, but something deep within him wouldn’t allow him to make the overt gesture.   He heard the car engine purr as it circled the front of the driveway.  Disgusted with himself, he stormed upstairs to his room slamming the door behind him.  He paced back and forth as the enormity of the situation hit him, his fists clenched so tightly they hurt.  She had actually done it.  She had walked away from him again!

A knock sounded at his door.  For a split second, he thought she might have changed her mind.  Relief swept through his body as he crossed the room in quick strides pulling the door open.  Derek stood on the other side, his eyebrows in a furrow.  This was definitely not going to be pretty, he thought as he stepped back to allow his brother to enter. 

“What?” he asked, his frustration with the interruption evident. 

Derek stepped inside, closing the door behind him.  “Samantha told me about the two of you,” he said in a clipped tone, as he leaned back against the door. 

Nick walked over to his dresser staring down at the family picture.  The perfect family.  What a joke?  The animosity between him and Derek would never go away.  The conversation they were about to have would make sure of that. 

“Yeah?”  He didn’t turn to meet his brother’s smoldering gaze.  He couldn’t.  Talking about Samantha with his brother was like lighting a stick of dynamite.  It was bound to destroy everything in sight. 

“Yeah,” Derek replied, taking the few steps to stand beside him.  His arms crossed over his chest, his jaw clenched as he offered Nick a steely glare.  “Well, I just came to tell you to leave her alone.” 

He snorted a harsh laugh.  Derek was telling him to leave Samantha alone?  “It’s none of your business, Derek,” he warned, barely able to keep a hold on his temper.  “Just leave it alone.” 

Derek took a step closer to him.  “It is my business,” Derek fumed.  “Leave her alone.” 

Nick spun around to face him, his fists clinching at his side.  “Not this time,” he said in a menacing voice. 

“Yes, this time.  She’s mine, do you hear me?” Derek yelled, shoving Nick with one hand. 

“That’s where you’re wrong, little brother.  She will always be mine.  Always,” he enunciated the last word to make sure he was understood.  He grabbed Derek’s arm, pushing it away.  Derek pulled his arm out of his grasp taking a swing at him.  Nick ducked easily deflecting the blow before barreling into Derek’s middle.  They both fell on the floor, wrestling in an attempt to gain the upper hand.  Nick’s fist connected with Derek’s stomach causing him to grunt. 

Suddenly, the door to Nick’s room swung open startling them both in mid-swing.  Their gaze flew to the door, fists poised for the next anticipated blow.  Gladys stepped inside the room shaking her head as she looked down at them.  “Would you two stop all this ruckus?  If your momma finds out the two of you are fighting, she’ll be heartbroken.” 

They both struggled to their feet, their gazes still locked in battle.  Bruises were already becoming visible from the blows they inflicted on one another.  Gladys stepped in between them.  She turned to face Derek.  “Now listen here.  Nick’s given in to you one too many times,” she explained firmly. 

“What do you mean by that?” he asked angrily. 

“You know what I mean.  And you’ve been using it to your advantage for a long time.” 

Derek offered her a disgruntled snort as reply, before looking away.  “You shouldn’t be fighting each other,” she commanded.  “And you,” she exclaimed, turning to glare at Nick.  “You made your bed.” 

His eyebrows shot up. “Me?  You’re blaming me for this?” 

She sighed, her anger rising.  “Yes, I’m blaming you.  If you’re unhappy about Samantha leaving, then do something about it.  Stop walking around here like everyone’s out to get you.”  She shook her head walking over to the door.  “Now, if you two don’t stop fighting, I’ll tan both of your hides.  And I don’t care how old you are.” 

With that, she slammed the door behind her.  They both eyed each other uneasily for a few minutes, before Nick broke the silence.  “What’s her problem?”

 Derek couldn’t contain the surprised chuckle that escaped.  “She thinks we’re still ten, and she can tell us what to do.” 

He threw his head back on a harsh laugh.  “Yeah, you’re right about that,” he agreed, rubbing his eye.   “By the way, nice right hook.” 

Derek smiled, his hand coming up to rub his chin.  “You didn’t do too bad yourself.” 

He extended his hand in front of him in a gesture of peace.  “Truce?” 

Derek stared at the offered hand for a moment before sliding his own into it.  “Truce,” he said. 

He couldn’t help but smile as he realized that whether she knew it or not, Samantha had finally brought him and his brother back together. 

 

The drive home was too quiet allowing her too much time to think about what had happened.  When she finally got home, she dropped the suitcase at the door.  She went into the bedroom collapsing on the bed.  Tears slid down her cheeks as she thought of all that had happened, tears that she had held in for far too long.  Why did things have to turn out this way?  And, why when she didn’t want to, did she still miss Nick? 

The next few weeks at work kept her thankfully busy.  The nights were tougher.  She tossed and turned each night, her dreams reminding her of what could never be.  She tried to forget him, tried to tell herself that this was for the best, but her heart rebelled.  A part of her had hoped that this time he would correct the mistake he had made so long ago and come after her.  But as the weeks went by, she realized that that was never going to happen.  She couldn’t even pretend that he had lied to her.  No, he had been brutally honest.  She just hadn’t wanted to believe that he could care so little.

She told herself that she shouldn’t be surprised.  After all, he had never promised her anything.  He hadn’t even said he loved her.  She knew that he wanted her physically; but, apparently, that was as far as it went.  Somehow, that realization hurt the most. 

She sat at her desk trying not to remember the way his body felt against hers when the intercom beeped.  An unwelcome blush crept into her cheeks.  “Mr. Daniels is on line three Ms. Chastain.” 

Her heart jumped into her throat.  Nick?  Was it true?  Could he really be calling her?  She walked over to her desk trying to still her wobbly legs.  She took a seat taking a deep breath as she tried to collect herself.  She grabbed the headset, willing her voice to sound calm.  “This is Samantha.”

  “Hi Samantha.” The voice that greeted her was not Nick’s.  Disappointment made her heart plummet. 

“Hi,” was all she could manage.  She hadn’t expected to hear from Derek again after the events of that week.

“Look, I was hoping that you might have lunch with me,” he asked, his voice filled with reticence. 

His offer stunned her.  What could they possibly have to talk about now, after all that had happened?  Hadn’t they all been through enough without rehashing everything? 

“Please,” the tone in his voice created the first crack in her resolve.

She had to admit that she had missed him.  No matter what happened between them, they had been close once.  He had become one of her best friends…until that week.  Still, it wouldn’t hurt to hear him out.  “Okay, when?” 

They quickly made plans to eat at their favorite restaurant ‘Renaldo’s’.  She spent the rest of the morning worrying about their impromptu engagement.  Had Nick told him that they had made love?  What would she say to him if he had?  Despite the confusing scene she had witnessed between him and Christina, she had no excuse for her behavior. 

Still, she had learned her lesson the hard way. She arrived at Renaldo’s to find Derek waiting patiently at a table on the patio.  His eyes met hers across the room, and he motioned her over.  She took a deep breath walking over to the table.  Derek immediately got up, pulling out her chair for her solicitously.  She sat down feigning a calm smile.  The waiter came over to fill a glass of water for her. 

They stared at each other for a moment, each unsure of how to begin.  Derek stared at her as she nervously fidgeted with her napkin.  “How have you been?” he asked evenly. 

She took a sip of her water feeling suddenly parched before answering.  “I’m fine.  How about you?” 

“Good,” he replied a little too quickly. 

Silence seemed to grip the table, only allowing brief moments of ease.  “Samantha, I want to apologize,” he began, startling her. 

He wanted to apologize?  She was the one who had committed sins she would never be able to absolve herself from.  “For what?” she asked, her surprise evident.  Was there more to what happened with Christina?  Had Derek been committing sins of his own while she was with Nick?

 “I’m sorry that you saw me with Christina,” he replied guiltily, before looking away. 

Realization struck her in an instant.  She hadn’t wanted to admit it when they were together, but she could no longer deny it now.  “You love her, don’t you?” 

His eyebrows shot up as if he had been caught in the act.  He quickly looked away, but it was too late.  His eyes had already revealed his true feelings.  “I heard you arguing Derek, you don’t have to hide it from me,” she offered softly. 

His eyes met hers.  “It’s complicated,” he admitted. 

She gave him a sad smile.  “I understand,” she relented. 

“I guess you do,” he conceded, his head tilted to the side. 

Her expression quickly became guarded as she realized that he was talking about her relationship with Nick.  “Have you talked to him since you’ve been back?” he questioned. 

Her head turned to stare out at the flowers in a planter on the wrought iron gate.  “No,” she returned in a clipped tone. 

“He was pretty upset when you left, you know,” he continued.  “I’ve never seen him like that.” 

Her hand gripped the napkin that rested in her lap so tightly her fingers hurt.   “I don’t want to talk about Nick,” she replied firmly, her teeth grinding together. 

“I understand,” he said. 

They ate lunch discussing neutral topics like their jobs.  She couldn’t help how easily she warmed to Derek’s easy humor. No matter what, he could always make her laugh.  And, despite everything, he understood her.  When lunch was over, he escorted her to her car asking her to join him for dinner that Friday. 

For the next two months, she spent a lot of time with Derek.  They agreed to be friends, just friends, and somehow that worked.  She couldn’t help but believe that it was because that’s what they had truly been from the start.  Friends.  He even took care of her when she had the flu.  After the fifth day of her illness, he ordered her to go to the doctor. 

Samantha sat on the cold examination table feeling like she could heave at anytime.  She held her stomach wondering what was taking the doctor so long.  It seemed like they just moved you from one waiting room to the next…except this one had stirrups. 

Finally, the door opened.  Her doctor walked in shuffling her charts from one hand to the other.  His silver hair glinted in the light as he pushed his glassed a little farther up on his nose.  He sat on a rolling chair before her as he studied the notes on the page in front of him.  “Well, I have good news,” he beamed. 

Thank God, she thought without humor.  She looked up at him wondering how long it would take him to stop rambling and give her the prescription she needed to feel better. 

“You’re not sick, you’re pregnant.” 

Stay tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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Excerpt 12 will change everything!

November 9, 2008 at 6:25 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

 

I’m sure everyone is gearing up for the holidays.  I still can’t believe that Christmas has already hit the stores.  It is a busy time for me right now as I am preparing for the December release of my book, The Pleasure of Sin.  If you are looking for something to warm you up in the cold months ahead, definitely pick up a copy 🙂

 

As for Lake of Lies…

 

Samantha and Nick have given into temptation.

 

But will their indiscretion destroy everything?

Chapter 12

Derek stood in front of her, waiting for her to speak.  She licked her lips nervously.  How could she tell him this?  “What is it, Samantha?” he prodded. 

Tell him, her mind commanded.  She looked up at him her eyes meeting his.  “You know how Nick said that we knew each other before?” 

His eyes narrowed.  “Yeah?”

She avoided the intensity of his gaze.  “Well, it was more than that.  We used to date,” she explained softly. 

He collapsed beside her on the edge of the bed, his gaze focused on the floor.  His brows furrowed together as if he was trying to make sense of what she said.  She barreled on, knowing that if she stopped now she wouldn’t be able to start again.  “We dated for about a year.  I haven’t seen him since we broke up.  I moved away almost immediately.  Derek, I had no idea that he was your brother.  Believe me.  I would’ve told you if I did.” 

He turned to face her, his knee resting on the edge of the bed.  “Why didn’t you tell me when we first got here?” he accused. 

She couldn’t face the look of betrayal she saw in his eyes.  She had never seen him upset or angry until they came here.  She looked down at her hands.  They were clenched together so tightly her fingers were turning white.  “I tried to, but you seemed so upset to be home that I couldn’t.  I’m sorry, Derek,” she whispered, tears gathering in her eyes. 

“Do you still love him?” 

That was the question she had been avoiding all night and all morning.  She stared down at her lap, hoping that he wouldn’t push her.  “Do you?” 

She got up walking over to stare out the window.  She couldn’t answer him.  “Oh my God, you do,” he breathed.  He put his head in his hands. 

“I don’t know,” she answered honestly. 

“But, do you love me?” 

She turned facing him.  “Yes, I do,” she replied, her voice shaking. 

He crossed the room to stand before her, taking her forearms in his hands.  “Then, forget about Nick.  We can make this work.  I know we can,” he pleaded earnestly. 

Tears slid down her cheeks, as she shook her head.  “I can’t,” she whispered sadly. “It wouldn’t be fair to either of us.”

“I don’t care,” he prodded angrily. 

“Derek, I can’t,” she repeated firmly.

His eyes narrowed again.  She took his hands in hers, pulling them away from her arms.  “I’m sorry,” she offered. 

He brushed her hands away, staring at her for a moment, before walking out of the room.  The door slammed behind him.  How had everything gone so wrong in one week?  She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath.  Biting her lower lip, she walked across the room, grabbing her suitcase.  After one last glance at the room, she walked out into the hall.  She took the steps slowly, walking into the kitchen.

 Margaret sat at the table sipping coffee, a newspaper spread out in front of her.  Gladys was cleaning the counter behind her.  Surprise registered in Margaret’s eyes when she saw the suitcases Samantha held.  “Samantha, where are you going?” Margaret asked. 

She took a few steps toward the table setting the suitcase down on the floor.  “I’m going home.  I was hoping that I could use a phone to call a taxi,” she asked. 

Margaret motioned for her to sit down.  She took a seat across from the other woman, just wanting to get out before she embarrassed herself by breaking down in front of the entire family.  “What are you talking about?  Isn’t Derek taking you home?” 

She shook her head, unable to think of a suitable explanation for what had happened between them.  “No, I would rather call a cab.” 

Margaret eyed her, as if trying to judge the situation.  “What happened, dear?”  The concern in the other woman’s eyes was too disarming. 

“I’d rather not say.  I want to thank you for having me here.  I had a wonderful time, but I really just have to get back, now.” 

Margaret leaned over patting her hands.  “Well, I’ll have Nick drive you, then.  There’s no sense in you taking a cab,” she suggested. 

Her heart rate quickened.  No, she didn’t even want Nick to know she was leaving until she was gone.  “No!,” she said, a little too sharply.  “Really, I can take a cab.  It’s no problem.” 

Margaret leaned back in her chair, clearly uncomfortable with her solution but unable to find an alternative.  “Well, alright, then.  How about I ask Thomas to give you a ride?  Would that be okay?  That way I won’t be worried.” 

“Okay, thank you,” Samantha said graciously.  She let out the breath she was holding.  The worst was over.  Margaret went to get Thomas while she waited in the kitchen.  Tears pooled in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.  She would not break down, not until she got home.  Home…It was so close, she could almost feel it.  Soon, she would be there, and she wouldn’t have to deal with Nick or Derek anymore.  Her heart ached in rebellion at the thought. 

Suddenly, the kitchen door swung open.  Nick stood silhouetted in the morning light looking down at her.  His gaze flew to the suitcase at her feet.  His brows furrowed together in anger.  He walked over to the sink getting a cup of coffee. 

Gladys, sensing the tension in the room, quickly excused herself.  As soon as she left, he spun on his heel to face her.  “Where are you going?” he bit out. 

She sat up a little straighter in her seat, refusing to be intimidated by him.  “I’m going home.  Your father is going to give me a ride.” 

He snorted a harsh laugh.  “Running away from me again, huh?” 

She turned away.  She warned herself to stay calm, to not let him rile her.  He was the most arrogant man she had ever met.  Arrogant and right, a part of her wanted to say. 

He pulled a chair out beside her with such force it scraped the floor.  “Why is it that every time we’re together you go running away like a scared rabbit?” he asked in exasperation. 

She forced herself to face him.  She would not let him do this to her.  He was trying to make her feel like a coward and even if she was she refused to let him see it.  “The fact that I’m leaving has nothing to do with you,” she lied. 

His brows rose.  “Really?” 

She held his stare, silently daring him to challenge her.  “Really,” she replied, sounding more sure of herself than she really was. 

“Then why is it that the night after we have sex, your bags are packed?” 

She couldn’t help but feel a cruel sense of satisfaction as she let him in on the news.  “Because I told Derek about us this morning,” she explained. 

He flinched from the blow, and she felt a moment of vindication that she had finally unsettled him as much as he unsettled her.  “You told him?” he asked, looking down at the table. 

“I told him,” she repeated evenly.  The look of surprise on his face confirmed his shock. 

He had to admit that he had expected her to tell Derek the truth, but her timing was unexpected.  He hadn’t seen his brother all morning.  At the time, it hadn’t seemed unusual, but now everything made perfect sense.   If he had just found out that Samantha had slept with his brother, he would’ve been beating down Derek’s door.  Or did he know about last night?  “Did you tell him about last night?” he countered.  He knew the answer from the stricken look that crossed her face. 

“No.  I don’t want anyone to know.”

His eyes flared angrily.  “That bad, huh?” he questioned, trying to keep his voice cool when inside he was fuming.  So, she thought her night with him was a dirty little secret she could sweep under the rug?  Well, she was wrong.  If she wanted to play a game of truth, why not go all the way?

She blushed, the memories of their night together coming back to her in a flood of emotion.  “No.  That’s not what I meant,” she whispered. 

No, their night together hadn’t been bad. 

It had been too good.  But it hadn’t meant anything to him.  Her gaze remained focused on his, her breath caught in her throat. 

He was about to say something, when Margaret burst into the room.  She took in her son’s stiff posture at the table, before saying, “Thomas is out front, Samantha.” 

Samantha grabbed her bag, and stood up.  She started to follow Margaret through the kitchen door, but Nick grabbed her arm detaining her.  He looked deeply into her eyes.  The panic he saw there hurt him more than he wanted to admit.  He released her.  “Go, then,” he said in a tone that spoke of his weariness.  He turned away from her not wanting to reveal how deeply her walking away hurt.  She stared at him for a moment longer. 

There were so many things that she wanted to say; but, somehow, she couldn’t find the words.  No words could change what had transpired between them, nor could it change the course of the events that brought them to this point.  She took a deep breath.  She was about to walk away from him for the second time.  Truth be told, it was harder now than it had been a year ago.  She bit her lower lip searching for some amount of strength.  She closed her eyes wishing she had the guts to confront him, wishing she had the backbone to demand he tell her the truth about how he felt about her. 

But she didn’t. 

As she risked one last glance at him, she turned to walk away. 

Stay Tuned for more of The One-Nighter…

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Excerpt 11 of Lake of Lies is finally here!

November 2, 2008 at 6:19 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

 

With Halloween over it is time to get ready for Thanksgiving!  It’s also time to get ready for the release of The Pleasure of Sin which comes out in December from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.  I hope that you all will check it out!

Excerpt 11

The look on her face told him that his attack had hit its mark.  She pushed him away scrambling for her clothes.  He leaned back on one elbow, casually reclining where she had left him on his coat.  She tried not to look at his nakedness or the erection that was already building again, as she pulled on her underwear and began to reach for her bra. 

“Don’t tell me, you’re mad,” Nick chided, with a smile that didn’t meet his eyes. 

When she didn’t answer, he shook his head getting up to search for his boxer shorts.  She searched in the dark for her bra, stumbling when her foot collided with a rock.  He caught her in his arms when she would’ve fallen, but she quickly pulled away. 

“Don’t touch me,” she cried out. 

He cocked his head to one side insolently.  “First, you beg me to have sex with you, and then you don’t want me to touch you.  Which one is what you really want, Sam?” 

She fumed at his audacity.  “I did not beg you to have sex with me,” she hissed.  His laugh made her want to launch herself at him, but she tried desperately to reign herself in. 

“You could’ve fooled me.  With the way you were grabbing my ass, I thought I was going to come right then.” 

More than anything she wanted to knock that smug smile right off his face!  She picked up the first thing she could find, which happened to be his shoe, and threw it at his head.  Unfortunately, he caught it in mid air. 

“Thanks,” he said, looking down at it.  “I was looking for that.” 

“Oh, I hate you,” she replied furiously.  At the moment, she meant every word.  She hated the way he made her feel.  She hated the things he said.  Most of all, she hated that what they had just done meant nothing to him.  She told herself that it meant nothing to her too, but it did.  Making love with Nick had rocked the foundations she had built.  Whether he knew it or not or cared, she had made love to him.  And she hated the fact that, in his mind, he had only had sex with her. 

He flinched at her statement, but quickly recovered.  “Isn’t that always the way it goes with us, Sam?  You love me when we’re in bed, and you hate me when we’re done.” 

She reached down picking up his other shoe and leveled it at his head. 

“Don’t,” he warned in a menacing tone. 

She held the shoe up ready to throw it. 

“I mean it, Sam.  Do not throw that shoe!” he commanded. 

With all her might, she heaved it at him.  He dodged it, and it fell by his side.  He looked down at the discarded shoe not believing that she had actually thrown it at him, before turning to glare at her angrily.  “Now, what?  Aren’t you out of shoes?” he asked sarcastically. 

She fumed, reaching down to find a rock to hurl at him.  He barely got out of the way in time to deflect it.  Then, he came after her.  He grabbed her hauling her against his chest.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he barked. 

She twisted, trying to escape from the torture of his bare chest against hers.  “Let me go, Nick,” she cried out. 

One arm snaked down to imprison her hips against his.  Her satin panties did nothing to shield her from his manhood, which was prodding against her middle.  Desire swelled up again, and she felt her body softening against his.  Soon, he gentled his grip to a caress.  Her naked breasts crushed against his chest.  She saw passion cloud his eyes as he looked down at her.  Her body was responding to his despite her attempts to restrain herself.  Disgusted with herself, she pulled away from him so quickly he didn’t have time to react.  She hurriedly grabbed her clothes walking away from him. 

“Sam, wait,” he called out to her, but she didn’t listen. 

She walked as quickly as she could, putting her clothes on as she reached the neck of the path.  She ran up to the house to sneak through the back door.  She tried to avoid seeing anyone as she quietly climbed the stairs.  As soon as she was upstairs, she closed herself inside the bathroom.  She turned the shower on slowly removing her rumpled clothes.  Her inner thighs were still sticky.  She shook her head.  It was evidence of her betrayal, evidence of her failure to keep her feelings in check.     

Oh God, they didn’t even use a condom. 

What had she been thinking? 

Of course, there was only one answer to that question.  She hadn’t been thinking.  For once in her life, she had just allowed herself to be in the moment without thinking of the consequences, and now she was paying for it.  He seemed to have the uncanny ability to search out every weak spot she had.  Nobody else had ever gotten close to seeing the real her, the person inside. 

Nick had been in deep before she realized what was happening.  Now, it was too late to turn back.  She climbed into the shower letting the warm water wash over her.  She picked up the sponge scrubbing away the evidence of their lovemaking.  After she washed her hair, she wrapped herself tightly in a towel.  She padded back to her bedroom, quickly locking her door.  She slipped into bed, pulling the covers over her head.  She burrowed deep beneath them, as if they could shield her from the things she didn’t want to deal with. 

Tears began to slide down her cheeks as she replayed the events in her head.  How was she ever going to get over him a second time?  Hadn’t the first almost killed her?  Why was she destined to make the same mistakes over and over?  She was right back where she started. 

She had fallen in love with Nick Daniels…for the second time. 

Nick came back into the party, his gaze flicking quickly over the crowd.  He wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone, and he certainly wasn’t in the mood to make idle chitchat.  Unfortunately, for him, at this party he was a known man.  He was stopped several times just trying to make his way to his room.  Once inside, he took off his jacket, which still carried the scent of her perfume flinging it across the room.  Who the hell needed her, anyway?  The answer came back in a flash.  He did.   

“No, I don’t,” he answered aloud. 

So, she regretted making love to him in the woods.  So, what?  At least, now, she couldn’t play the perfect girlfriend for Derek.  He had seen to that when he felt her body quiver beneath him.  He knew Sam too well to think she could casually make love to him one night, and still be with his brother the next.  No, she would have to break things off.  Hadn’t that been his goal from the beginning?  For her to own up to the feelings she obviously still had. 

Making love to her again had been inevitable.  He knew that.  To her, it was a secret that she would never admit.  To him, it had been an earth-shattering moment.  In those woods, he had finally admitted to himself that he was crazy about her.  Nothing he did seemed to help.  No matter how many women he took, he still wanted her.  He couldn’t lie to himself about it anymore.    

He shrugged out of his clothing collapsing on the bed, his eyes focused on the ceiling above him.  What the hell had he been thinking?  That he could sate himself with a rushed encounter in the woods?  Then, why did he still ache for her?  If it was just sex, he could handle that, but it wasn’t.  Damn it!  Why did she have this power over him when no one else did?  Where was she and what was she thinking right now? 

He could guess, and it wasn’t pretty.  She probably hated him for what he said, and she was entitled to.  Still, the look in her eyes after she realized what she had done had hurt.  He was only human.  Call what he’d done a defense mechanism.  Hell, call it whatever you like, but it was all the same.  When he was injured, he struck back.  It was in his nature. 

Besides, he would rather have anger than indifference from her any day.  He could deal with her anger.  She was probably cursing him this very moment.  He closed his eyes, knowing that she was about to cost him another night of sleep.

The next morning, Samantha woke up with a pounding headache.  She sat up in bed, her fingers massaging her temples as she once again cursed champagne.  She stumbled into the bathroom to get a glass of water.  She walked back to her room grabbing two aspirin from her purse.  After downing them with a gulp of water, she spread out on the bed for a minute to let them take effect.  Once it had subsided, she got dressed in a pink t-shirt and jeans. 

Today, she was going home, one way or the other. 

She heard a knock on her door as she pulled her hair into a ponytail.  “Who is it?” 

“It’s Derek,” she heard him say. 

She stood frozen in place for a moment, not knowing what she would say to him.  After last night, everything had changed. She walked to the door taking a deep breath, before opening it. 

“Hey, can I come in?” he asked, looking like a little boy who got caught stealing a cookie.          “Sure,” she relented, stepping back to allow him inside. 

He closed the door behind him, walking over to her bed to stare at the packed suitcase.  He turned to her his surprise evident.  “You’re leaving?” 

She walked around to the other side of the room.  “Yes,” she offered, her tone clipped.

“Why?”

She narrowed her eyes, giving him a look that let him know it would not be that easy.  He took a step closer to her.  “Samantha, if this is about last night…” he began trailing off. 

If he only knew, she thought.  Yeah, it was about last night all right, but not the way he thought it was.  It was about the fact that she had made wild passionate love to his brother.  She had to admit that seeing Derek kiss Christina had caught her off guard, but it wasn’t why she was leaving.  She had to get out now, while her heart was still marginally intact.  If she stayed any longer, Nick would surely use her vulnerability to his advantage. 

“I’m sorry that you saw that, Samantha.  I didn’t mean for it to happen.” 

She walked over to the bed, sitting on the edge of it.  She had to tell him.  This was the moment she had been dreading the entire trip.  It would be easy to let him take the blame when she left, but it wouldn’t be right.  He was wrong.  That was true, but she was wrong too.  Her shoulders were so tight that she thought they might snap.  “There’s something that I have to tell you, Derek,” she began slowly.  This was going to be one of the hardest things she ever had to do. 

Their secrets were about to be unearthed, and she just hoped that it didn’t destroy them both.

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies… 

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