Never Say Forever

“Look, Kaykay, maybe we should go sit down.” Kimmi sighed as she slowly turned towards Kaleah.
“Nuh-uh! Nobody is leaving this room until somebody tells me what it is you’re all hiding from me!” Kaleah hollered through her anger.
“Kimmi, seriously.” Sloane’s voice got softer—almost soothing. “Just…tell her.” Kimmi turned to glance at Sloane before she gave a small nod and a deep sigh.
“Your daddy died.” Kimmi said quickly. “Oh, Kaykay, I am so sorry! I know how close you two were.” Kaleah blinked.
“We’re here to make sure that you don’t try and go home.” Sloane added. Kaleah blinked again.
“Your mama told us that your daddy didn’t want his illness to upset your life any more. He knew he was gunna die…he didn’t want you to ruin the life you’re building here in Sunset Valley and try to be with him.” Kimmi spoke softly.
“Yeah and your mom sent us here to make sure you didn’t try to be with her…no matter what.” Sloane spoke just as softly.
“Hey, look on the bright side!” Kimmi tried to sound perky, but it was easily perceived as fake. “Mama suggested sending a couple of my brothers up here instead of us! You could’ve had a house full of smelly ol’ boys instead of having us here.” She forced a giggle. Kimmi and Sloane stared at Kaleah as her face hardened and her eyes narrowed. There was nothing but silence.

“Kaleah…say something.” Sloane’s annoying, stuck-up voice broke through the silence. Kaleah glared at her.
“What do you want me to say?” She asked in a piercing tone. “Thanks for not telling me that the one person I’ve been close to my entire life is dead and I had no idea because nobody decided to let me in on his little ‘hey I’m going to die’ secret?”
“Kaykay, nobody knew. Just your mama and your daddy.” Kimmi said, ignoring Kaleah’s nasty reaction. “If I would’ve known, I would’ve told you right away.”
“Oh really?” Kaleah snapped. “Just like you told me right away why you were really here? Kimmi…the entire day has gone by and you hadn’t even so much as hinted to this!”
“I tried and then you told me not to!” Kimmi snapped back.
“Hey, guys! Seriously. There are bigger problems here than who didn’t tell who what.” Sloane interrupted before things got any worse.

 Kimmi took a step closer to Kaleah.
“Look, darlin’, I know you’re sad right now but we’re here to be with you. You don’t have to get angry with us.” Kimmi sounded sad. “He is apart of our family too, you know. He may not be our daddy but he’s blood. We’re all mournin’ his loss.”
“We’re sort of in this together, Kaleah.” Sloane added.
“You guys are right. I bet my mom is a wreck.” Kaleah lowered her voice.
“She is.” Kimmi responded. “I talked to her before we left.”
“About what?” Kaleah asked suspiciously.
“Well we talked about me comin’ here, of course. It was just supposed to be me at first but stupid Sloane over here decided she would tag along.” Kimmi rolled her eyes.
“Well I’m going to call her. I’m going to go see her. She needs me.” Kaleah turned to the desk to grab the phone, but Kimmi grabbed her arm to stop her.
“No!” Kimmi hollered. “Your mama said she doesn’t want this to affect you the way it is affectin’ her. She said the best thing for everyone is for you to stay here.”

Kaleah started laughing. Kimmi and Sloane glared at her in complete confusion. What could possibly be funny?
“You think I’m stupid enough to listen to a woman in grief?” Kaleah said through giggles. “I’m going to see my mom. She needs me. She’s talking irrationally because she’s upset. Simple.”
“Are you sure you’re not being irrational because you’re upset?” Sloane said in her usual complaining tone.
“Sloane, there’s no need to back Kaleah up against the wall right ‘bout now. Back off.” Kimmi said boldly. “She is right though, Kaykay. You can’t go see your mama. She doesn’t want you to, and neither did your daddy. You need her more than she needs you right now and she just can’t offer you any support in the condition that she’s in. My mama’s takin’ good care of her for you. You don’t have to worry. Just worry 'bout yourself.”
“Kimmi! I’m not just going to stand around here and pretend my dad didn’t die! What about the funeral?” Kaleah’s eyes started to fill with tears.
“It already happened, Kaykay. It was today. It wasn’t really a funeral though. Just your mama and my mama spreadin’ his ashes across the river.”
“You’re kidding me.” Kaleah started to lightly sob, her shoulders gracefully jolting with every sob she took.
“Aw, darlin’. I’m sorry. He was a really good man. He was kind hearted, gentle, and always put the happiness of others before his own happiness.” Kimmi tried to comfort Kaleah.

“Not trying to be rude, here, but really Kimmi? Do you think that talking highly about K’s dad is going to make her feel better? It’s only going to make her miss him more.” Sloane intruded.
“Then what do you suggest, Suh-loane?” Kimmi argued.
“Speaking poorly of him is a good start. I’ll go first.” Sloane cleared her throat. “Kaleah, you’re dad was selfish. The fact that he didn’t want his own daughter to know that he was dying is just plain conceded. He wanted to die without you nagging at him all the time. Selfish, selfish man. Rude, conceded, and totally unattractive.” Kaleah looked up at Sloane with piercing, saddened eyes.
“Suh-loane!” Kimmi hollered. “How dare you say those things!” Kaleah quickly pushed past Kimmi and ran for the stairs.

“Hey! I was just coming to get you guys. I ordered pi…” Sam tried to say to Kaleah. She kept running though, ignoring anything he tried to say. “..zza. Kaleah?” He hollered up the stairs. “Kaleah!”
“Sam, don’t.” Kimmi responded. Sam turned his attention to the two half-naked bodies only a few feet away. He could hardly get his thoughts straight at the sight of Kimmi in nothing but a mini bikini. He gulped. “She was just given some awful news. It’s best you leave her alone.”

“What the hell did you guys say?” Sam asked, annoyed. “She’s awfully sensitive, you know. You can’t toy with her emotions as easily as you can with other people. As her cousins, I would’ve assumed you already knew that.”
We didn’t say anything to offend her!” Sloane interjected.
“Yes you did, Suh-loane! You completely insulted her daddy! How would you like it if your daddy died and then somebody called him names?” Kimmi hollered.
“Wait! Her dad died?” Sam asked. Kimmi nodded slowly. Without another word, Sam ran up the stairs.
“Sam! Don’t!” Kimmi called after him. Before she had a chance to say anything else, he was long gone up the stairs. 

“Kaleah?” Sam didn’t even bother knocking. He walked in her room and heard drawers opening and slamming in her closet. “You okay in there?” He hollered across the room.
“I’m fine, Sam! Go away!” Kaleah snapped back through tears.
“You’re obviously not fine! I’m sure it’s not a good idea to take your anger out on your closet.” Sam grunted. 

Kaleah stepped out of her closet without even so much as looking at Sam.
“Please go away.” She said as she wiped the snot from her nose. “I want to be alone.”
“I think being alone is a bad idea right now.” He glanced into the closet. “You’re destroying your room.” Sam’s voice got deeper—softer—as he kept talking…almost as if he was finally understanding what was going on. “I’m sorry about your father.”
“You don’t get it. You don’t know the whole story.” Kaleah whimpered, still unable to look directly at Sam. “I’d like you to leave.”
“You don’t want me to go.” Sam said.
“Yes I do. I want to be alone. I have to pack.” Kaleah tried to turn back to her closet, but paused when she noticed Sam was slowly approaching her. He had his hands out, as if he was half-surrendering and half-welcoming Kaleah into them. She took a short look at the friendly arms, and quickly looked away. “They lied to me. They told me they were here to see me, but they’re really here to keep me hostage.”

“Hostage.” Sam repeated. “I think that’s a little harsh.”
“It’s true!” Kaleah snapped and turned to face Sam. “They said that I’m not allowed to go see my own mother! As if the death of my father shouldn’t even affect me! They want to hold me here against my own will. That’s being held hostage.” She pushed past Sam and tried to leave the room, but Sam instantly stopped her.
“Hey…calm down for a second. It’s me you’re talking to. You can trust me…” He spoke in almost a whisper and held on to Kaleah’s arm tight. She wanted nothing more than to push her sad face into his chest and weep until she fell asleep. She wanted Sam to hold her tightly and tell her everything would be okay. She knew that would cross a line and resisted with everything she had left.

“I have to go see my mom. She needs me.” Kaleah said as she ripped her arm out of Sam’s grip.
“Then go see her.” Sam said.
“Kimmi and Sloane told me that my mom doesn’t want me there. They said that my father didn’t want his death to impede on my life here.” Kaleah spoke as if she was explaining it to herself—talking herself out of going. Sam stepped closer to Kaleah and brought his hands to her cheeks. Kaleah stopped sobbing, but as she closed her eyes to the comforting warmth of Sam’s touch, two tears tumbled down her swollen cheeks. 

“It’s all going to be okay.” Sam whispered. “It may seem awful right now, but it will get better. I promise. That broken heart of yours that you’re trying so hard to fight against right now will never be complete again, but it will stop hurting. I lost my dad, too. Remember? To an illness just like your dad did. I know how it feels and I just want you to remember that I will always know how that feels. No matter what’s going on in that head of yours and no matter how crappy you feel, you can come to me. I’ve been there before so I understand.” Kaleah had forgotten that Sam had lost his father so many years ago. She felt better knowing that there was someone who understood her pain so well. Without another word, Sam kissed Kaleah’s forehead and left the room. For once, he didn’t linger and try to convince her right from wrong. For once, it seemed that Sam had left the decision of what Kaleah should do all on her own, with his arms wide open for comfort if need be. Kaleah felt a little at ease, and as she stood alone in her big room with nothing but her own thoughts, her broken heart began to burn and she fell to floor in tears. 

Sam made his way downstairs when he heard the bickering voices of the Morgan cousins watching an old movie with Tyler.
“Hey, sugar. How is she?” Kimmi asked as he approached them in the basement. Sloane and Kimmi had changed into their pajamas and Tyler was sitting there watching their bodies, jaw dropped. Between Kimmi’s half-naked body and Sloane’s silk covered curves, Tyler was in his own personal heaven. Sam couldn’t help but to giggle to himself.
Tyler, you come at the best times, don’t you?” He teased as he took a seat next to Kimmi.
“Apparently.” Tyler said, taking his attention away from the women beside him.
“Did the girls fill you in on the latest drama?” Sam asked.
"Yes we did. How is she?” Kimmi asked again.
“She’s…managing.” Sam said cautiously. 

“I should go talk to her.” Kimmi said through a sigh. She tried to stand up, but Sam grabbed her leg to keep her down.
“No.” He said, trying to ignore the sensation he felt when his hand touch her bare thigh. “She needs to be alone.”
“She’s gunna do somethin’ stupid!” Kimmi argued.
“No, she won’t! Kimmi, she’s a big girl. If there’s anything I know about handling Kaleah, it’s to just let her deal with her issues on her own. She’ll get through this.” Sam sounded more confident than he felt.
“She’s a Morgan. Morgan’s can tend to be a little outspoken and irrational. The things that are going on in her mind right now can not be pleasant.” Sloane added, not taking her eyes off of the TV.
“She said she was going to pack up and go see her mom.” Sam said. Kimmi gasped.
“Please tell me you talked her out of it!? Her mama specifically told us to make sure she don’t leave!” Kimmi tried to stand up again, but Sam stopped her—this time, making sure he touched her arm rather than her leg so he wouldn’t have to feel that sensation again.
“Relax. Kaleah may be a Morgan, but she’s not an idiot. She will do what she feels is right and it’s not fair to try and stop her.” Sam was surprised at how wise he sounded. The Sam from a month ago would’ve been the first one to run up there and convince her to stay. The Sam from a month ago would’ve yelled at her and called her irrational.

The four of them sat in silence for what seemed like hours. All of them pretended that they were focussed on the TV, but inside their own heads, thoughts of worry and fear consumed them.It wasn’t until they were about to give up and go to bed that Kaleah finally joined them. She snuck down the stairs, undetected.
“Ahem…” Kaleah cleared her throat. The second Kimmi heard her cousin’s voice, she jolted up and faced her.
“Kaykay!” Kimmi hollered in excitement. Kaleah’s eyes were big and swollen and shot with red streaks as if she had been crying.
“How are you?” Sloane asked as she jerked her head in Kaleah’s direction.
“Not good.” Kaleah responded through a raspy voice. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard, trying to fight back more tears. Kimmi approached her.

“We’re here for you, Kaykay.” Kimmi said softly as she pulled her cousin into a hug.
“I know that.” Kaleah whispered. “Can I sit with you guys? I don’t want to be alone anymore.”
“Of course you can, sugar!” Kimmi grabbed Kaleah’s hand and directed her into the living room.
“Look, Kaleah…” Sloane said as Kaleah positioned herself beside Sam on the couch. “I’m sorry for what I said before. I didn’t mean it. I was just trying…”
“I know. Your intentions were good, I get that. Next time, for future reference, don’t talk crap about someone who died. It’s rude and insensitive.”
“I’m sorry.” Sloane repeated, barely able to look Kaleah in the eyes. “I wish I could fast forward time and take it all back.”
“Suh-loane, you are so stupid! You give us blondes a bad name. It’s rewind time. Not fast forward.” Kimmi laughed.

“Are you feeling better at all?” Sam whispered to Kaleah, ignoring Sloane and Kimmi’s bickering. Kaleah shook her head.
“If anything, I feel a lot worse.” She whimpered. Sam wrapped his arm around Kaleah and Kaleah let her head fall into Sam’s chest.
“It’s just starting to sink in, that’s all. I hope you believe me when I say that it will get better.” Sam stroked Kaleah’s hair.
“I believe you.” She whispered as she closed her eyes and let Sam’s touch sooth her. 

Hours went by and the five of them remained in their places, without saying another word. It was nearly 5 in the morning. The sun would come up soon. Finally realizing how tired he was, Tyler stood up and broke the silence.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but it’s almost morning. I. Need. Sleep.” He said obnoxiously. “I’m out of here. See ya’ later.” Without waiting for a response, Tyler quickly headed towards the stairs.
“I think we should all get to bed. Kaleah’s passed out.” Sloane said, pointing at her cousin. Sam looked down at the girl in his arms and noticed her eyes we closed and soft snores were coming from her nose. He smiled in relief.
“I’ll take her to her bed.” Sam said as he shifted around to lift Kaleah.
“Be careful with her.” Kimmi said.
“Don’t worry. I’m stronger than I look.” He winked at Kimmi and slowly headed towards the stairs.

Sam plopped Kaleah into her bed and brought the covers up to her chin. He kissed her forehead and brushed the hair off of her face before turning to head out of the room.
“Sam?” Kaleah asked through a tired voice. Sam paused.

“Sam, don’t go!” Kaleah sat up in bed with an instant jolt. “I don’t want to be alone.”
“You won’t be alone for long, K. Kimmi will be right up to sleep with you.” Sam gave Kaleah a reassuring smile.
“You promise?” Kaleah asked as her eyelids got heavy.
“Yes, Kaleah, I promise. Go to sleep! You need rest.” He watched as Kaleah laid back down in her bed before he slowly left the room.

“How is she?” Sloane asked as Sam stepped into the hall.
“She’s fine. She doesn’t want to be alone, so I’m going to have to go get Kimmi.” Sam took a step towards the stairs.
“I bet she hates me right now.” Sloane said. “I’m an awful person. You should’ve heard what I said about her dad!”
“You already apologized. Kaleah already said she understood that you were trying to be helpful. Its fine, Sloane.” Sam smiled.
“It’s not though. I feel terrible.” Sloane lowered her head and shook it slowly. “How can somebody be so rude? How can I be so rude?”
“Sloane, just get some sleep and all will be well when we wake up. Talk to Kaleah about it later…you’ll see that it’s all okay.” Sloane nodded once. “Where’s Kimmi?”
"She went out front to watch the sunrise. Weird Okie…” Sloane rolled her eyes, going instantly back into her annoying self, before heading down the stairs and out of sight. 

“Kimmi?” Sam called as he went outside. “What are you doing out here? Aren’t you freezing?”
“No. I like the mornin’ chill. It’s soothin’.” She had her face directed at the sky and her eyes were closed.
“What are you doing out here?” Sam repeated.
“I like watchin’ the sunrise. There’s just somethin’ ‘bout it that makes me feel at peace with everythin’. It’s calmin’…soothin’.” Kimmi took a deep breath. “Watch it with me?” She asked softly.

Sam didn’t say anything. Instead he took a few steps closer to Kimmi. She opened her eyes and stared directly ahead of her.
“I think I should leave here.” Kimmi broke through the silence.
“Why? Kaleah needs you…” Sam said softly.
“I’m sure Kaleah hates me right now. I kept that secret from her when I knew I shouldn’t have. I done did her wrong. How could she need me when I’m such an awful person?” Kimmi lowered her head and let a tear roll down her cheek.
"Wow. You and Sloane are both so hard on yourselves. Sloane just complained about the exact same thing to me inside.” Sam grunted. He pulled on Kimmi so she could face him.

“Look. You and Sloane may have made a couple mistakes, but you guys are here. You guys came all this way just to be with your mourning cousin. Kaleah sees that, trust me.” Sam put his hand on Kimmi’s shoulder to comfort her. Kimmi’s saddened expression slowly turned into an understanding smile. “If you leave here, that would only upset Kaleah more.”
“How can you be so sure?” Kimmi asked. Tears started filling Kimmi’s eyes.

Sam pulled Kimmi in an embrace. It was a more intimate hug than Sam had intended and as much as he didn’t want to let her go, he knew he had to. Reluctantly, he pulled away.
“Don’t cry. Kaleah loves you. Give her time to be upset and you’ll see that she’s grateful you guys are here.” Sam smiled. Kimmi wiped away the tears that rolled down her cheeks and took a deep breath.
“Look at me.” She giggled. “I’m sobbin’ like a big ol’ baby.”
“It’s an emotional time. I get it.” Sam smiled.

Kimmi and Sam stared at each other in silence for what seemed like a really long time. The sun had risen, and Kimmi didn’t seem to care that she had missed it.
“Look Sam…” Kimmi finally said. “I may be from the south and I may be blonde, but I’m not an idiot, ya know.”
“What do you mean?” Sam was confused.
“I see the way you look at me. I see the way you get nervous around me when I’m in my bathing suit.” She took a step forward. “I saw the way you got nervous when you touched your hand to my naked thigh. I felt the way you tensed up when you just gave me that hug.”
“Can you blame me? You walk around wearing barely anything and you’re hot as hell.” Sam said in a seductive tone.
“I take it you’ve never met a southern girl before?” Kimmi giggled. Sam shook his head.
“Never.” He said.
“Well there’s one thing you should know about southern girls.”
“What is that?” Sam asked. 

Kimmi took a step closer to Sam, not breaking the gaze she had locked with his eyes. She took Sam’s hands in hers and gracefully rubbed her thumbs over his skin.
“We don’t hold back.” Kimmi said, mirroring Sam’s seductive tone. “If we’re attracted to someone, we tell them. We don’t keep our feelings hidden.” Sam gulped as Kimmi moved her body even closer to Sam’s.
“I-I didn’t mean to hi-hide them from you.” Sam could barely speak.
“Then kiss me.” Kimmi said. Sam wanted to. He wanted to kiss her more than he wanted to breathe air. He wanted to pull Kimmi’s half-naked body against his own and press his lips tightly around hers. 

“Kiss me.” Kimmi repeated. Sam used every muscle in his body to pull away.
“We uh…should get some sleep. Kaleah is going to need us when she wakes up.” Sam said reluctantly. Kimmi smiled.
“Suit yourself.” She giggled before turning around and heading back in the house.
‘What the hell is my problem?’ Sam fought with himself. ‘If a girl like that asks you to kiss her, you’re supposed to kiss her.’  Sam shook his head before he followed Kimmi inside.

Kimmi went upstairs to join Kaleah in bed, but when she got there, the bed was empty and Kaleah was nowhere to be seen.
“Kaykay?” Kaleah called throughout the bedroom. There was no response. Kimmi quickly headed back out into the hall and banged on Kaleah’s locked room only a couple steps away from her bedroom. There was no response. Kimmi headed to the balcony and sure enough, Kaleah was sitting on the swing staring out into the day. “There you are. What are you doin’ awake?” Kimmi asked as she joined her cousin on the swing.
“I couldn’t sleep.” Kaleah said softly, not taking her gaze away from the scenery.

“You really should get some rest, though, Kaykay.” Kimmi said.
“I don’t want to try and rest anymore. I’m not tired.” Kaleah said through tired, swollen eyes. Kimmi giggled.
“You’re not foolin’ anyone, Kaykay. You look awful.” Kimmi teased.
“Thank you.” Kaleah said, sarcastically.
“Well as long as you’re awake, why don’t you and I go get some breakfast? Then maybe we can go down to the beach and lay in the sun. It will be fun.” Kimmi suggested. “Just the two of us.”
“No thank you, Kimmi. I’m not hungry and I really don’t have the best memories of the beaches around here.” Kaleah sighed. “I think I’m going to go to work.”
“Work?” Kimmi asked, confused. “It’s Sunday. And why in god’s name would you want to be at work right now?”
“I like work. It will take my mind off things.” Kaleah said.

“Kaleah, I don’t think that’s a great idea. I mean, what if you lose your job?” Kimmi asked.
“Why would I lose my job?”
“Because you’re a wreck! Nobody can pretend that their daddy didn’t just die when he done did and what if that shows in your performance?” Kimmi was desperately trying to reason.
“I honestly don’t care, Kimmi. I’m only there for a couple months anyways and my time is almost up. I just…don’t want to be…here. I love you all and everything but I’m exhausted with you guys trying to make me feel better.” Kaleah stood up.

“Kaleah, I’m not gunna let you go and ruin your job.” Kimmi protested.
“Try and stop me.” Kaleah said through a piercing tone before walking back into the house. Once Kaleah was inside, Kimmi sighed and shook her head.
“That girl is stubborn.” She said quietly to herself. She looked into the scenery and started to daze off in her thoughts. Suddenly, Kimmi was interrupted when she heard a complaining voice in the backyard below her.
“Kimmi can handle this herself, I know she can! Auntie Krista…I screwed up. I need to go home.” Sloane sounded like she was about to cry. “Yes I know she’s upset…yes I know I was out of line…No, I don’t think she is going to forgive me. Her father died, for god sakes!” Kimmi rolled her eyes and headed into the house so she could go see what was going on with Sloane.

By the time Kimmi got to her, she was off the phone.
“What are you doing awake?” Sloane asked as she heard the footsteps approaching her.
“Kaleah’s up. She left to go to work.” Kimmi said. “I don’t necessarily feel like sleepin’ right ‘bout now.”
“Understandable.” Sloane sighed.
“So you’re gunna leave?” Kimmi asked sharply.
“You heard that.” Sloane said it as if it was a statement rather than a question.
“Yeah…ya know, it’s not a good idea to leave. Kaleah will only get angrier. And I’m sure she’s forgivin’ you by now.”
“I know.” Sloane said through a soft whimper. “Your mom said I can’t leave yet anyways. She said you can’t handle Kaleah on your own.”
“She’s right, I can’t. Look at me…I just allowed her to leave and go to work when I could’ve stopped her if I really tried.”
“I’m…sorry?” Sloane said sarcastically.

“What’s wrong, Sloane?” Kimmi asked, annoyed. Sloane quickly jerked around to face Kimmi.
“What’s wrong?” She hollered, tears forming in her eyes. “I am a terrible person! I’m stupid, ignorant, and totally superficial. I made my own cousin feel like crap because I talked shit about her dead father and instead of feeling sorry for her, I feel sorry for myself!”
“Sloane, relax.” Kimmi was taken aback by Sloane’s freak out. She had never heard Sloane put herself down before.

“How can I relax when I’m such an awful person? How come nobody ever told me how awful I was before?” Sloane hollered.
“Sloane, you’re not an awful person!” Kimmi hollered back. “Get a hold of yourself! You’re daddy is one of the richest men in California. You can have any man you want and you get everythin’ handed to you! You have a family who loves you unconditionally and a father that is very much alive. Quit feelin’ sorry for yourself and open your eyes! You have everythin’ you ever wanted and you’re life is absolutely perfect!” Kimmi was surprised at the words that came out of her mouth.
“You mean that?” Sloane asked, calming down.
“Um…I guess I do.” Kimmi responded.

“You know!” Sloane started laughing. “You’re right! You are absolutely right! I am such an idiot to think that I’m as awful as I thought I was. I’m just going to go get dressed, grab daddy’s credit cards, and head down to the mall. Shopping will make me feel better. It always makes me feel better.” She quickly nudged past Kimmi and headed into the house.
“Are you sure you don’t want some sleep first?” Kimmi called after her.
“No way! Who can sleep when there are clothes to be purchased and shoes to be worn?” Sloane called back before closing the back door. Kimmi sighed and shook her head. ‘We’re all gunna to be a mess tomorrow.’ She thought to herself. She fought with her thoughts about whether or not to go to sleep and finally decided that there was no point. She wasn’t tired and she would just lay in bed thinking about how messed up her cousins were. With another sigh, Kimmi headed towards the house to go take a shower. 

“Morning, Tommy.” Maggie said to the tattoo artist as she walked into the salon.
“Maggie, hang on.” Tommy said, stopping her from entering the makeover station.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Kaleah’s here…” Tommy spoke softly. “And she’s a wreck.”
“What is she doing here? It’s her day off!” Maggie hollered as she stomped into the station.

When Maggie walked inside, Kaleah was getting ready to makeover a little boy. They had rules about making over children. Their mother or father had to be present, and they were no where to be seen.
“Kaleah! Hang on a second!” Maggie hollered from across the room.
“Not now, Maggie. I have a costumer.” Kaleah hollered back as she measured the boy’s leg.
“It seems a certain rule about present guardians has seemed to slip your mind.” Maggie folded her arms and gave a piercing look at Kaleah. Kaleah paused, and then rolled her eyes and she whispered something to the little boy. Maggie joined Kaleah to the side of the station. “What are you doing here? It’s Sunday, you know.” Maggie asked angrily.
“I’m aware. I needed to be here today. I just…had to be.” Kaleah looked over at the little boy, who was anxiously waiting on the pedestal.
“Giving makeovers to children without their guardian’s present is strictly prohibited at this salon! I thought you knew that?” Maggie was furious.
“Maggie, relax. The kid’s mom was just here. I think she went to the washroom or something.” Kaleah lied.
“Mom went to the bookstore across the street.” The little boy said through two missing teeth and a giant grin.
“Kaleah…” Maggie was tapping her foot. “What’s wrong with you? You look terrible, you’re messing around with our rules, and you’re here on your day off. Explain.”

“Maggie, I don’t want to talk about it. Just trust me when I say that I need to be here right now.” Kaleah said, fighting back tears.
“Fine.” Maggie had calmed down. “But you’re not handling any costumers today, Kaleah. Not when you’re this much of a mess. You are on clean-up duties for both me and Tommy for the day. And then when you’re ready to explain to me what the hell is going on, we will talk about you handling costumers again.” Maggie abruptly turned and walked away to tell Tommy about his personal clean-up assistant for the day. Kaleah shook her head and wiped her hand across her brow.

After Kimmi had showered, she headed down to the kitchen to grab something to drink. Kaleah was at work, Sloane was out shopping, and Sam was sleeping as far as Kimmi knew, so she just decided to run downstairs really fast in nothing but her underwear. As she was looking in the fridge for something to drink, someone cleared their throat behind her. Kimmi jumped and jerked her head.
“Sam!” Kimmi hollered. “My jesus, you scared me!” She kept her back facing Sam. Sam struggled with words at the sight of Kimmi’s bare behind. “I thought you were sleepin'.” Kimmi continued.
“I was…but I got hungry.” Sam managed to say. 

Kimmi walked to the counter, cautiously trying to keep her back facing Sam.
“Why are you naked?” Sam stupidly asked.
“Silly boy, I’m not naked.” Kimmi giggled. “I have my bra and panties on.”
“Why?” Sam stupidly asked again. He couldn’t believe how dumb he probably sounded and looked.
“I was getting’ ready…I didn’t think you were awake.” Kimmi explained.
“Where’s Kaleah?” Sam asked, quickly snapping out of his daze.
“She went to work.” Kimmi said quickly.
“What?!” Sam hollered. Without thinking, Kimmi turned towards Sam.

“It’s not my fault! I told her it wasn’t a good idea and she went anyways!” Kimmi hollered. Sam drew his eyes from the top of Kimmi’s chest all the way down her perfectly sculpted body. When Kimmi realized he was checking her out, she half turned away in embarrassment. “I should go change.” She said without moving.
“I didn’t mean to yell at you.” Sam said. “Why would she go to work?”
“She said she needed to be away from here.”
“Where’s Sloane?”
"Oh…” Sam could feel a hard lump forming in his pants as he thought of all the different things he would do to Kimmi right now if the timing was right. He tried to shake it off and headed deeper into the kitchen to grab something to eat.

As he tried to pass Kimmi, she tried to go the same way as him. They kept getting in each other’s way and awkwardly bumped into each other over and over again.
“Sorry… Um…” Sam said as he tried to turn left.
“I’ll just…alright…” Kimmi said she tried to turn right. 

They paused for a second and stared at each other. Sam couldn’t handle it any longer and he quickly leaned in and smacked a kiss directly on Kimmi’s soft lips.
“Sam…I thought…” Kimmi whispered, eyes closed and breathing heavily. Sam ignored what she was trying to say and leaned in for another kiss.

This time the kiss was longer—harder—more passionate. Sam wrapped his arms around Kimmi’s warm body and pressed her half naked torso into his own. The feeling he got when his bare skin touched Kimmi’s bare skin was indescribable. He kissed her even harder, his hand slid down the small of her back close to her butt. She moaned at the pleasure of his touch and, just as quickly as it began, it ended when the front door abruptly swung open. 

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