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Treading Water

Novel By: PurpleSky

(FINISHED) (SEQUEL TO THIN ICE) Sam and Doug's friendship is still going strong, yet the saucy encounter between Sam and Doug's dad is still in the back of both their minds. Against all odds, Sam has actually managed to find a long term boyfriend and Doug is starting to make friends. But when Steven turns up again, ready to destroy everything, will Sam resist temptation or press that looming self-destruct button? View table of contents...


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Submitted:Jul 25, 2014    Reads: 356    Comments: 3    Likes: 2   

Sam looked a little frazzled as she made her way up the car park to meet Doug. He sat on the bench, watching her as her eyes shifted from side to side and her forehead wrinkled deep in thought. His heart started to sink. There was clearly something on her mind.
"Hey." He bounced to his feet with a smile that pinched at the corners. There was a moment before Sam's eyes finally reached his. He watched her curiously. "…how did the lunch date go?"
She gulped. "I have to tell you something."
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end at the gravity in her voice. "Okay…"
She shifted awkwardly on her feet and hugged herself, curling her painted black nails into the sleeves of her oversized plaid shirt.

"Jason works at Millon's and Whites."
His eyes brighten for a moment. "Hey, my dad works there."
"Yeah, I know. Your dad's his boss."
Doug's whole body seemed to shrink. His face fell. "…oh."
Pain yanked at Sam's heart. "I saw him. We talked. I wasn't going to tell you but I thought you deserved to know."
"What did you talk about?"
"He cornered me, Doug." She was almost pleading. "He was talking about…what happened. I told him it was a mistake."
"He's still into you?" Doug's voice was dead an detached as he looked at her.
She nodded, feeling dirty just at the thought. "I just thought I should tell you."
"I'm glad you did. But can we just forget about it? You're never going to see him again, right?"
Sam nodded. "I won't go back in that building, I promise. I'm so sorry, Doug."
He just shrugged, looking lifeless as he turned and headed towards the college doors. "C'mon, we're going to be late."

Sam could help but feel the cold vibes coming off Doug as they spent a free hour together. He wasn't talking much and avoided eye contact. Maybe she shouldn't have told him. But it was too late now. They just needed to move past it. He was able to move past her sleeping with Steven in the first place, right? But she guess the encounter just opened up an old wound for him. It surely felt that way to her. Nothing had ever come between Doug and Sam's friendship until his dad came into the picture. And they both thought he was gone. He had left Doug's mum and left Sam's life.

Sam couldn't help thinking that it was a pretty big coincidence that her boyfriend just happened to work for him. It's like there was a bigger power drawing them back together. And it sickened her that the thought made her a little weak at the knees.
But she wasn't that person anymore. She needed to believe that. She was with Jason. Happy.
He's boring. Face it, Sam. You're not a relationship type of girl. You're fun. You're free. You're naughty.
No. She had changed. Her relationship with Jason was great. It was exciting. She liked being someone's girlfriend. It made her feel special. There was more than just lust in Jason's eyes when he looked at her. Was it love? It was too soon to tell. But she could see herself falling for him someday. When she finally let herself be vulnerable enough to let Jason in fully. But that thought still made her chest tight.

In the corner of her eye, Sam noticed a car slowing down as she walked home from college. She had walked Doug to his bus stop before heading in the opposite direction.
Probably someone asking for directions, she thought, rolling her eyes. She ducked her head into her chest and carried on walking. But now the black BMW was cruising beside her. Starting to feel a little on edge, she hurried her pace. Then she heard the mechanised hum of the window rolling down and her heart sped up.
"I thought that was you. You're hard to miss."
The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and her jaw set at the familiar, charming yet smarmy voice. Her nostrils flared with anger as she turned and glared at the irritatingly handsome man gleaming at her.
"And here was me thinking I had gotten rid of you," she sneered.
"Awh, Sam, don't be like that." Steven pouted then he nodded his head to the passenger seat. "Get in, I'll give you a lift."
She let out a huff of disbelief. "Erm, no thank you."
"I need to talk to you."

She gritted her teeth and sped up but, of course, Steven was able to match her speed.
"Leave me alone, Steven. Do you know how sad you look right now?" She glanced around. "You look like a creepy peado."
He arched an eyebrow. "That would be true if you were a child." His eyes raked up her body. "You are hardly a child. Please, get in the car. I just want to talk. Get in the back. You don't even have to sit near me."
She eyed him up and down warily. He was still in his work clothes. A well-fitted white shirt that showed the outline of his muscles and black dress pants. "What could you possibly want to talk to me about?"
He flashed her a shark-like grin. "Get in and you'll find out."
Against her better judgement, Sam grabbed the handle to the back door and Steven stopped his car so she could climb inside. She slipped into the leather seat adjacent to him and slammed the door, dumping her bag by her feet. She sat scowling at the back of his head and she could see by the tightness of his cheek that he was smiling as he drove them down the road.

"So, what do you want?" she asked.
"You, for starters."
Sam went to grab the handle as if ready to haul herself out of the moving vehicle.
"But I wanted to talk to you about Doug," he added.
She relaxed. "What about Doug?"
"How's he doing?" He glanced at her through the rear-view mirror and her heart contracted when their eyes met. Such big, beautiful blue eyes. She could almost kid herself to believing she was in the car with her best friend and not the man she despised.
"He's fine," she clipped. "Doing much better without you."
"Did he ever find out about our steamy kitchen encounter?"
Her face flushed and she was glad that she was wearing a baggy shirt so he couldn't see how hard her nipples were. "You nearly ruined our friendship."

"So you told him?"
"I couldn't lie to him. He's my best friend."
"That explains why he's so mad at me."
"He's mad at you because you're a dick. You were never around and you had an affair," she snapped.
"You know he has a mega crush on you, right?" He looked at her through the rear-view mirror.
Sam's face flushed again and she looked out of the window. She remembered the taste of Doug's lips. The way he was so nervous about getting undressed in front of her. And she smiled sadly. "Not anymore he doesn't."
"So, he wouldn't mind if we go for round two?"

Sam's heart stammered and her eyes shot to Steven. They were pulling up into closed off car park. He knocked off the engine and got out the car, leaving her alone briefly before sliding into the backseat with her.
Sam's eyes were wide and fearful as she looked around the small, empty closed in space he had parked them in. No one was around. They were completely alone.
She grabbed the handle of her door but Steven leaned over her and pressed her hand flat against the car door. His breath was hot on her neck and she whimpered.
"You don't want to do that," he whispered, brushing his lips across her collarbone.


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