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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