For the story so far, please read
The door opened. My hand formed a fist. I breathed deeply and unclenched my fist as I recognized the man in my thoughts. My shoulders sunk back into the chair.
“Jumpy are we,” Sam asked. His familiar Indy sneer in place. Sam always looked like I was a pesky kid even though I never asked for his assistance.
He shook himself and water cascaded off him then he slipped into the driver’s seat. His phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket.
“You a Dad yet?” he asked without any greeting.
I couldn’t hear the other end of the conversation but I assumed Sam was talking to my brother.
“Yep, Indy’s with me. She ran out of fuel again. Here,” Sam handed me the phone.
“Indy, fuel,” my brother didn’t waste words.
“It has been two years since I ran out of fuel,” I protested. “How’s Beth,” I attempted a verbal diversion.
“She’s getting sick of being in labor. Indy you need to get yourself,”
“Did you want to speak to Samuel again,” I interrupted him. Matt was good at lectures, must have been because he had given out so many in the military. Having a brother five years older than you was pretty annoying. A brief flashback came to me of my mother telling him not to parent me. I sighed loudly. The phone was dead. Matt had hung up on me without saying goodbye. We were rebuilding our relationship. It was not my favorite activity.
I looked at Sam as I handed back the phone. I was dripping, although now my face was much drier, the water was still dripping from my hair. Conversely, water just seemed to politely run off Sam, leaving him deceptively dry. He wasn’t of course, his clothes formed a second skin, clinging to his muscular chest and abdominals just like I wanted to. A girl could dream, could she not?
Just keep breathing, I reminded myself.
“Matt’s concerned for you,” Samuel spoke easily but I could tell he was hiding something else, there was a slight tightness in his voice. “He is always going to be protective of you, you are his only sister.”
“He left it too late to be protective,” I responded bitterly. Don’t go there Indy, I needed to stay out of the past. The past was dark and I had been steadily rebuilding my life. I took a deep breath.“Why did you kiss me? One minute you are shoving your mouth down my throat the next,” I asked.
“Be quiet Indy.” Samuel ordered me quietly and firmly and I silenced. I needed to think, not talking sounded like a great idea at the moment.
He started the motor and continued slowly down the road we had turned into. A while later he switched on the lights again and picked up speed. The headlights illuminated tall trees similar to those that had lined Forest Drive and a winding track wide enough for a small truck and not much else. Hopefully, no one was going to come in the opposite direction. A minute later we drove into a larger space. Rain thumped down on the roof of the car again and the headlights showed only grey sheets of vertical rain.
“This is my house,” Sam announced. “I haven’t finished building it yet so you’re going to get wet again.” He drove close to what I could now make out as stairs. A light came on automatically.
“You could drop me home,” I suggested.
“I could but I won’t. Wind is expected to pick up in the next fifteen minutes and that makes driving incredibly dangerous. I prefer not to call your brother out of the labor ward to tell him that I got you crushed by a falling tree.”
I sat there silently, I liked Sam, I liked him a lot. His controlling ways, whilst infinitely frustrating also gave me a strong sense of security and that scared me. What would happen tonight, what would happen if I stayed? That kiss had thrown me. What would unfold? Too many bloody questions in my head, at least I wasn’t shivering anymore.
“Are you going to get out,” he asked, a hint of tiredness in his voice.
“Thought you might need to order me,” I responded in kind. I was tired, I was mentally exhausted and I didn’t need guessing games. I was tired of the games, I was cold and wet and I longed to go back to the moment where he was kissing me. I wanted him to kiss me again, damn it. It was a long time since I had felt that much from a single kiss, a single anything in fact.
Sam grunted and shook his head as if to clear something from it.
He got out of the car and strode around to my side, opened the door. I undid my seatbelt and got out into the torrential rain, struggling through the mud in my stilettos.
“Fucking ridiculous shoes.”
I could have sworn I heard him mutter.
He lifted me up, he was warm, muscular and strong and he carried me onto the front porch. It wasn’t completely roofed yet. Samuel kept me close to him as he unlocked the door and pressed an alarm code. Lights turned on in the house. He beeped the car locked and placed the keys on a hall table, then let me down dripping onto his beautiful timber floors.
“Thanks,” I said stepping out of his warmth. He growled softly, so softly that I thought I might have imagined it. I looked down at my shoes, rather than have to see his eyes. The glistening red shoes were now brown and caked in mud.
“Damn it,” I said, using the hall table to bend over and take off my shoes. So what if I inadvertently gave Samuel a full view of my backside. He was a most confusing man to spend time with.
I stood now at only 5 foot 6 inches, positively short against Samuel.
“You need to get out of that dress.” He said, his eyes smoldering. “I should probably take you back to your house. You’ll be safer there.”
“Really, safer from what. You said yourself the winds were going to pick up and after the downpour there is going to be trees down all over the place. We might even lose power for a while. So I don’t see how I could be safer at my house by myself than in the home of an ex-soldier, a strong ex-soldier,” I smiled. “Towel please,” I asked him, opening the front door and placing my shoes outside so that they didn’t drip more mud onto his floors.
Sam disappeared around a corner. I studied the entrance to his house. It was not grand, but infinitely welcoming. A coat rack stood to one side with a place to drop your keys. A tablet had been embedded into the wall. It was dark at the moment. On the other side, there was an entrance into a large room that looked like a living room, but it was empty of furniture and instead hosted paint tins, scaffolds and assorted renovating things that I had no idea about.
“Here, use this.” The towel was super absorbent and I sopped up my hair and dress as best I could. He placed a towel at my feet and I bent down to clean up the floor. I can’t help if I may have bent down in what I hoped was a seductive way.