Sam walked up to the door. He lifted his finger to the bell. It hovered for a minute and then he quickly snatched it away, turned around and stalked back down the path. He got as far as the first streetlamp when he stopped, pulled himself together and walked back again. This time he was going to ring that damned bell. He had surfed 20 foot waves off the coast of Australia. He had sky dived over Namibian deserts. He had thrown himself off a 200 metre high dam in Switzerland. But this was probably more terrifying than that.
Grace opened the door. She was still dressed and her coat was only half on, one sleeve on, the rest of it hanging down her back. She looked a little dazed.
"Is he still here? If he is, I'll go," Sam said quickly.
She just stared at him with big blue eyes. He looked back at her, nervously waiting for a response.
"You are really hot," she said, slurring her words slightly, and then she leaned forward and vomited on his shoes.
The morning brought bright sunlight that seemed to pierce Grace's retinas and slice into her brain. She lay for a while, unable to open her eyes, trying to stop her stomach from churning. Her pillow was pleasantly cool, but her face was clammy with tequila smelling sweat. Her stomach rolled ominously. Pain was good. It stopped her from thinking about anything else.
Then a warm hand rested on her forehead and a lovely deep voice murmured, "How are you feeling?"
She reluctantly forced her eyes open and saw a naked brown chest inches from her face. It smelled much nicer than her, of warm sleepy man. She had a sudden urge to lick it.
Holy shit! What the hell was a naked Sam Anderson doing in her bed? Then her next thought was, she must look absolutely awful and she wrapped her arms around her head, and muttered from under hair and skin, "What happened last night?"
"I carried you to bed after you threw up on me. You were hammered."
"Did we -?"
"No," Sam laughed, "You weren't in a fit state," and then added, "You tried though."
She groaned inwardly.
He was still laughing. "You made me strip but by the time I had finished you were snoring."
She groaned outwardly this time.
"Not very complimentary," he said. "It's just as well you told me I was hot."
Oh no, she remembered saying that. She wanted to curl up and die.
"I am so sorry," she muttered still covering her face.
"No worries. It was an interesting night."
Then Grace suddenly remembered the rest of the night; the look on Brandon's face when she had asked him to stand up and she had taken him outside and explained that she couldn't marry him. It would have been easier to bear if he had shouted at her, but he had just shrugged and walked away. She also remembered the look on Sam's face after he had blurted out that desperate 'No!' Should they talk about it, or should they pretend it had never happened? The denial option was their usual modus operandi.
She lifted her arms away from her face and looked at him. He wasn't laughing anymore. He was deep in thought. The sunlight slanted across his naked torso. She looked down and the quilt was draped enticingly across tight abs, his happy trail signaling towards what was beneath. Grace's mouth went even drier than it was already.
Sam looked up at her, his dark eyes solemn.
"Are you going to marry him?" he asked.
"No," she said.
He smiled, dimple appearing.
She gulped and closing her eyes asked, "where does that leave us?"
There was silence.
"I don't know," he said.
Shit. She kept her eyes closed.
A hand cupped her cheek and a thumb swept across her bottom lip. It was a surprisingly erotic gesture and she expelled the breath she had been holding, trying to stop the growing excitement in her groin.
His hot mouth settled where his hand had been and she could smell him fully now. She had to stop herself inhaling big gasps of him. She had missed that smell so much.
His hand glided under the quilt and found her belly, his fingers trailing down to her pubic hair. She was so close to throwing herself against him, wrapping her legs around him but she pulled herself together and with one big heave sat up.
Her head swam from the hangover and the arousal.
"We can't just go back to the way it was before," she said bravely.
"No," he agreed.
"So…" God, did she have to make all the effort?
"It's complicated," he said. "There's JD, and the business, and I might want to get back to surfing…"
He was never going to grow up was he? He was always going to be thinking about all the other options he had, all the other adventures he could be having, all the other blondes.
"You know what," she said, getting out of bed, not caring she was naked. "I'm going to go it alone for a while. You get back to JD and concentrate on him." She pulled her robe off the hook on the back the door.
He was staring at her as if she had started talking in tongues.
"But -" he began to say but she had already left the room.
Her first thought as she went down the stairs was that Lisa and Briana would be really disappointed.