For the story so far
“Indy,” Sam nudged me. Muted daylight was coming through the impressively large windows. The clouds seemed to be deciding if they were going to continue their downpour.
“Rise and shine sleepy head,” he said. I rolled over, enjoying the sense of calm that I felt. My eyes furrowed. I rarely felt calm in the morning. Oh damn, last night came flooding back, the broken car, Sam, the kiss. I smiled at that memory and then I frowned. Sam had slept on his sofa downstairs.
“I’ve just brewed a pot of tea. There is some food out. Come on Indy, out you get.” Sam’s voice was a deep gentle rumble and I attempted to rub the tiredness out of my eyes.
I reluctantly threw back the sheets. I’d gone to sleep in one of Sam’s shirts that reached well past my mid-thigh. During the night it had ridden up. I swore as tried to scramble out of the bed elegantly, pulling the shirt down as I went. The neckline scoped lower and I hoped I’d retained some modesty.
When I stood Sam grinned at me.
“You’re a lovely view for the morning,” he stated as he walked into the wardrobe and pulled a plain black t-shirt on. He was wearing all black now, black camo pants with plenty of pockets, two of which did not hang loosely. He also wore black combat boots and the t-shirt. Did he go out of his way to look sexy?
“Damn it, Sam,” I swore at him. He turned back to me.
“You know why I prefer you calling me Samuel,” he asked me. I shook my head and took the sweatpants he had in his hands. Then I slipped them on, except for the length, they weren’t too bad of a fit.
“Not sure I am interested in knowing, Sam,” I lingered over the Sam, letting my eyes rove over his solid, delectable frame.
“When you call me Sam, it makes me feel close to you. This close to you,” he stepped right up to me and I could smell him again, cloves, warm spices, rosemary. If I stepped back he’d have to hold me.
“Oh,” I said, “Sam.”
There was a coolness where Sam had been and I turned around.
“But I am not good to be with Indy. We all have things, we all have issues.”
“Really, you have issues,” I said, my voice dripping with disbelief.
Sam looked at me steadily. He held my eyes. “I have to control things Indy. I have to govern rigidly everything that I do. I ruin things, I ruin relationships if I don’t.”
My eyes raised, my chin dropped. “I know you are a control freak, hell just look at this place. Every single tool is in its correct location, your laundry is beautiful, the tiles are evenly spaced, the washing is all folded neatly. Maybe you need to let go a little. Never know where it would get you.”
“That’s the problem, Indy. I know exactly where it would get me and it wouldn’t be a good spot.”
I grinned and looked around the room, searching.
“Don’t suppose you know where my bra is,” I was willing to go commando but I wasn’t going without a bra and if I stirred Samuel in the process, I wasn’t going to argue. Pushing Sam to his limits took my mind off my troubles.
“You threw it in the wash; your bra is in the dryer at the moment. It will be clean soon,” Samuel answered.
“Did you enjoy the lingerie?”
Samuel grinned unashamedly. He nudged me towards the door.
“Your brother called,” he said as we walked down the stairs. “You are the proud aunt of an 8-pound little boy. They are calling him Samuel Tyler.”
“They’re naming the boy after you,” I chuckled. “Bet you hate that.”
The Sam I knew was not keen on anything that was in any way self-promoting.
“I tried to argue but Matt said he already had the birth certificate filled in so it was too late,” he sighed. I sighed. It was a bit like the morning after but without anything to be after.
“When can you take me to get fuel,” I asked him, for something to say, anything really. I didn’t want to get fuel, that would mean I would have to face my most pressing issue, the annoyance that was rapidly becoming less an annoyance and an actual problem. An image of the photo came to mind and my hand started to shake a little.
Sam headed downstairs and I followed.
We entered the kitchen. The room was beautiful, bright and cheerful.
“Not for a while, the storm did a lot of damage and Forest Drive is cut in both directions. It could be a couple of days before they get to clear the road. Most of the owners along the road are self-sufficient so they won’t be doing any clearing. Besides, Beth and Matt don’t want any visitors for a couple of days. Both Mum and the baby are fine but it was a traumatic and long birth so they all want a bit of quiet. Matt said he’d call you later when they all had a sleep.”
I poured a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea and sat down. I was famished but did not really feel like eating. Sam sat across from me and watched me. It felt a combination of eerie and comforting.
“Your phone rang again, I answered it because I thought it was Matt.” The spoon paused on the path to my mouth.
“Not Matt, I guess,” I responded. Oh Lordy, I hadn’t channeled not letting the police know anything voice for quite some time.
“Nope, whoever it was hung up as soon as I answered.”
I put the cereal in my mouth and chewed to avoid answering.
“Guess they’ll call back if it is important,” Sam was fishing.
“I like your kitchen,” I diverted the conversation.
“I felled all of the timber from the property.” Sam was still eyeing me, trying to read me, but I was good. I’d mastered the art of not feeling years ago. It was second nature to slide that face on now.
“Indy, I know you hide from Matt and Beth. I know you don’t appreciate Matt butting into your life and I know that sometimes everyone needs help. You are no exception to this.” Sam sat opposite me now. “What’s going on?”