Never Say Forever

“So I called City Hall for you…” Sam told Kaleah as she was exercising the next morning.
“And?” Kaleah asked, out of breath.
“And…apparently you have to apply within the first 2 months of living here in order to get a job.”
“Why? That makes no sense…”
“I know…apparently it’s to show dedication to employment or whatever…I don’t know. But you better get down there today before it’s too late…you’ve almost been here for 2 months.”
“Okay, thanks.”
“No problem.” Sam took a few steps forward to walk away, but something caught his eye.  

“Your butt looks good in those shorts, by the way.” He teased. The statement took Kaleah off guard and caused her to get distracted and fall.
“Oh my god!” She yelled as she was hanging on for dear life. Sam couldn’t help but to laugh and walk away. 

“Sam, get back here!” Kaleah yelled when she finally was able to step off of the treadmill. Sam kept laughing and walking away towards the stairs. Kaleah ran after him. 

“Was that a bad thing to say?” Sam asked when Kaleah caught up to him.
“Yeah…it was!” Kaleah pretended to be mad.
“Why? It’s just an observation.” Sam couldn’t tell that Kaleah was kidding.
“Yeah but it’s not a fair one…” Kaleah started to smile. “I mean…you singling out my butt makes the rest of my body feel bad.” Sam started to catch on.
“Well…” Sam responded. “Would it make things better if I say that your chest looks nice and perky when you wear that tight sports bra?” Sam couldn’t help but to laugh again. Kaleah giggled and wacked Sam’s shoulder. 

“Look at you, Sam! You’re flirting! And you said you were bad at it…” Kaleah teased.
“I said I was bad at flirting with pretty strangers…not pretty friends.” Sam corrected. Kaleah smiled as she felt his subtle compliment fill her entire body with warmth. ‘He’s too cute…’ She thought to herself.  

Kaleah got showered up and headed towards City Hall. When the song Pictures came on the radio, Kaleah cranked it and instantly thought of Sam. ‘He’s not my usual type…’ She debated with herself. ‘But then again, neither was Hank or Tyler. He is really cute though…and there’s something about him that makes his persona so damn unique! Oh god…please don’t tell me that I like him!’ Kaleah fought with her thoughts the entire way there.  

As she walked up the stairs to the giant building, she passed a beautiful red-headed girl in who she had never seen before. As she walked passed her, she noticed something fall out of her head. It was a hair extension.
“Um…” Kaleah started giggling as she picked it up. “Miss?” The girl stopped and slowly turned around. “I think your hair fell out.” Kaleah tried to keep her laughing to herself, but couldn’t really help it.
“Oh my god! How embarrassing!” The woman took the hair piece from Kaleah’s hand and clipped it back into her head. 

The woman was Brianne, but Kaleah hadn’t known that. She examined her features—her perfect porcelain skin, her carefully engineered jaw line, her plump lips—Kaleah had never been jealous of another girl’s looks before, but she found herself jealous of this ones.
“I’m Kaleah.” She said, sticking her hand out to shake. “You must be new around here? Well, newer than I am anyways. I’m sure I’ve walked around this area a million and one times and never seen you before…” Brie took Kaleah’s hand and greeted her.
“Yeah, I am new. Well…sort of. My name’s Bri….” She stopped herself, reluctant to give her real name in case her new acquaintance knew Hank. “…Bri…Brittany.” She was finally able to say.
“I’ve lived here for almost two months now and still have yet to meet a girl.” Kaleah laughed. “Where are you from?”
“From here.” Brie accidentally said.
“…You just said you were new here.” Kaleah grew suspicious. Brie knew that she had to keep her identity completely secret until she knew who this Kaleah girl really was. She scrambled around her brain for a good save.  

“I am new here…” She quickly said. “I mean, I was born here in Sunset Valley and moved away when I was in middle school. I just moved back a few days ago.”
“Oh, makes sense. So where are you staying?” Kaleah asked, completely convinced of Brie’s lie.
“With my old friend Ty….Tyson.” Brie was no good at keeping her story straight. “You wouldn’t know him…he pretty much keeps to himself around here. He lives out on the bluffs near the Landgraabs.”
“Oh, so he’s one of them wealthy people.” Kaleah teased. “Looks like you really got a good deal coming back here, huh? Staying in one of those giant houses….man, I’m jealous. I live in a crappy little two bedroom, two bathroom house about a mile down the road.”
“Well living by yourself…that’s a pretty decent size.”
“Oh, I don’t live alone. I have a roommate….Sam. Sam Fairchild.” Brie’s eyes widened. ‘Oh my god!’ She thought. ‘This is Sam’s roommate? The one who Hank cheated on me with?’ She grew a sudden interest in Sam, and Kaleah took note of it.
“Are you two dating?” She asked.
“Who, me and Sam?” Kaleah felt awkward while she looked for the right answer. “No…I mean, I think I might like him…but we’re not dating. “  

“Well if you like him, why aren’t you dating him? Is there something wrong with him?” She asked quickly, causing Kaleah to feel more uncomfortable.
“Um…no, there’s nothing wrong with him. It’s complicated. He’s like…my only friend, and my best friend at that, here in Sunset Valley and I wouldn’t want to ruin things, I guess.” Kaleah looked sideways at Brie. “Why are you so interested?”
“Sorry…” Brie bit her lip. “I guess it’s just been a while.” She said in reference to Sam.
“Been a while since what?” Kaleah was confused. Brie had to scramble for yet another lie.
“Since I’ve seen or talked to a woman my age.” She giggled. “I guess I’ve been away from girl gossip for so long that I need some serious catching up to do!” Kaleah laughed. 

Brianne and Kaleah kept talking and talking and talking and it seemed like hours went by before they finally realized that they had been taking up so much of each other’s time.
“I have to go…” Kaleah finally said, looking down at her cell phone for the time. “But it was really nice meeting you.”
“You as well!” Brie smiled. Kaleah half turned to walk away.
“Hang on…” She said, turning back to her new friend. “Sam is throwing this beginning of summer barbeque this Friday. Would you want to come?” Brie picked her brain of the memories from years ago when Sam first started the barbeque tradition. She remembered all the fun she used to have and, as much as she knew she should’ve said no to protect her identity, she had no choice but to nod.
“Do you mind if I bring a friend?” She asked, thinking about Tyler and how he wanted an opportunity to speak with Sam.
“Tyson?” Kaleah asked. Brie started shaking her head, unsure at first who she was referring too. When it clicked, she quickly started nodding.
“Yeah. Tyson.” She spoke firmly.
“Yeah, of course! The more the merrier!” Kaleah chimed. “See you Friday at 5.”
“Sounds good!” Brie started to turn towards the stairs, but Kaleah stopped her. 

“The address is 59 Riverblossom Road.” Kaleah stated. “Thought you would need to know.” Kaleah laughed. Brie mirrored Kaleah’s laugh, and was tempted to tell her that she already knew the address, but successfully refrained. “See you Friday.” Kaleah said, turning around as she wiped the tears forming in her eyes from laughing.  

‘What am I doing?’ Brianne thought to herself as she watched Kaleah walk inside the giant doors of the building. ‘She’s going to find out who I really am, and Sam…oh god…Sam…I can’t go. I shouldn’t go…oh but how I want to go!’ She felt frustrated and pondered her argumentative thoughts as she turned to walk away. 

Later that night, before Kaleah went to sleep, she went down to talk to Sam. She knocked only once before opening his door. He was lying on his bed, shirtless, reading a book by her favourite author. Kaleah felt jittery—as if she was a little girl again with a crush on a boy at school.
“Hey.” She said, walking towards him. “You read Mark Twain?” She asked in reference to the book.
“Yeah, he’s my favourite author. I can reread Huckleberry Finn a hundred times over if I had the time!” Sam smiled, not looking up from his book.
“I know! That story is definitely one of my all-time favourites! Not many people I know like Mark Twain’s work…they all consider it boring.” Kaleah responded.
“Not me. I think it’s fascinating.” Sam said. Kaleah smiled at him.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Not at all.” Sam patted the side of the bed next to him. 

He marked his place in his book and put it on the floor next to him. He watched as Kaleah so swiftly laid her body down next to his, unable to ignore the heated tension that ignited when their bodies got so close. He felt comforted.  

“So I met someone today.” Kaleah started. “I hope you don’t mind, but they’re going to come to your barbeque on Friday.” Sam got nervous at the thought of Kaleah meeting another man.
“Oh…” He said, disappointed. “What’s his name?”
His?” Kaleah asked confused. She giggled to herself. “I met a girl, not a guy. Her name is Brittany. I bumped into her at City Hall and we got to talking and I ended up inviting her. She’s bringing her roommate, Tyson.” Sam felt relieved.
“Oh thank god!” He said, dramatically. “I was going to say…if it’s another one of your…um…interesting man friends then I wouldn’t want him here.” He laughed.
“Why not?” Kaleah asked.
“Well let’s just say… you’ve done pretty badly at choosing your lovers lately.” Sam laughed again. Kaleah joined him. 

“Well I’m sure I won’t make the same mistakes.” Kaleah exclaimed.
“Yeah, I sure hope not. Besides, I invited tons of guys to my party. Normal guys…well…ish.” Sam smiled.
“Are you going to introduce me?” Kaleah playfully asked.
“We’ll see…you’ll have to get on my good side for me to be that nice to you.” Sam giggled.  

“So how did your trip to City Hall go today?” Sam asked, changing the subject.
“It went…alright.” Kaleah said slowly. “I mean, the jobs they have available aren’t the greatest. They told me that I’m the perfect applicant for a job in the Newspaper Delivery Field.” Kaleah smirked. “That’s not a field! That’s a part time job that children under 12 can do!”
“Well, at least it will be something.” Sam said, trying to lighten her up. “Besides, you can always turn down the weird jobs they offer you and wait for one that sparks your interests. What about journalism? Or working at the art gallery?”
“Those would be good jobs…in theory.” Kaleah sighed. “Truthfully, I’ve never had a job before. I’ve only ever sold my paintings and stories and played my guitar for tips. Working is not fun for the creative minds.”  

Kaleah and Sam talked about different jobs and their interests for a long time. Before they knew it, it was after midnight.
“You should read me your favourite passage from your book before I head up to bed.” Kaleah said calmly. “It will be nice going to sleep with a good thought in my head.” Sam agreed and picked up his book from the floor. He flipped through chapters until he finally found the passage he was looking for.
“Prepare yourself. It’s a long passage.” He teased as he cleared his throat. “By and by he rolled out and jumped up to his feet looking wild…
“Oh, I love this part.” Kaleah said, closing her eyes to imagine the words spoken by Sam. Sam smiled before continuing.
…and he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place with a clasp knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn’t come for him no more. I begged, and told him I was only Huck; but he laughed such a…” Sam looked over at Kaleah who had drifted off into a peaceful sleep. Sam closed his book and sunk his body down next to her. He moved a piece of hair away from her forehead and listened to her slow breathing. “Good night, K.” He whispered before shutting off his lamp and falling asleep next to her, feeling completely at ease. 

The week came and went and before they knew it, Friday had come along and the barbeque had begun.
“Hot dogs?” A guy named Colin hollered over the base of the music. “How come you’re not cooking your famous hamburgers this year?”
“Calm down, Colin. These are just as good, trust me!” Sam laughed as he reached over to the table to grab his beer. He took a swig and went back to flipping the wieners, swaying his hips to the music as he did so. 

Kaleah had quickly learned how to mingle with Sam’s company, and before she could meet anyone else, she already had tons of guys asking her to dance. She found herself particularly fond of one guy in specific named Chris.
“You look gorgeous!” He said as they danced. “Sam told me you were hot but I never even imagined you would be this hot! Sam must’ve told you about me.”
“How do you figure?” Kaleah yelled over the music.
“He knows I like a girl who is confident enough to wear the kind of clothes you’re wearing. I’m guessing your wearing that shirt to impress me?” He teased. Kaleah laughed.
“Sorry, big shot, but this outfit isn’t for you!” Kaleah gazed over at Sam, who had served up the hot dogs and started mingling. He looked over from the woman he was talking to and met Kaleah’s stare. Chris made note of Kaleah’s distraction and looked over to where she was staring. 

“He’s a good guy.” Chris yelled in her ear, noticing she was looking at Sam. Kaleah snapped out of her daze and looked at Chris.
“Who is?” She asked. Chris laughed.
“I’m not stupid!” He said. “You obviously have something for Sam. That’s the real reason why you wore that shirt, isn’t it?” He accused. Kaleah looked back over at Sam.
“Yeah, you caught me.” She admitted.
“He likes you too, you know. I can tell.”
“How so?”
“I’ve known Sam since high school…we played lacrosse together. I was there when he met his first love, Brianne. The way he looks at you…well…it’s a splitting image of how he used to look at her.” Kaleah blushed at Chris’ story.  

“Sam…” Tyler approached Sam when he arrived. Kaleah watched intently as they started to talk. “Sam, please listen and don’t get mad, okay?” Sam looked away from Kaleah and paid attention to Tyler.
“I’m nearly drunk, Ty.” He said. “Whatever you say probably won’t faze me right now. I’m determined to not let anything ruin this night!”
“Good.” Tyler took that as his queue to start talking. “Then I can apologize without you freaking out?” 

Sam grabbed hold of Tyler’s arms.
“Ty, if you call me tomorrow, I promise I will pick up and listen to what you have to say. But for now, I have a lady to tend to!” He let go and slowly headed towards Kaleah. 

“Ahem…” Sam said poking the back of Chris’ shoulder. “May I cut in?” He asked formally. Chris laughed.
“Sure, man. Have at ‘er!” Chris patted Sam’s back before heading towards the food table.
“Look at you, all old fashioned!” Kaleah teased.
“What can I say? The ladies love it!” Sam giggled. They started to dance. 

“Are you having fun?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, tons! Are you?” Kaleah responded.
“Yeah! A lot more fun then I expected to have, to tell you the truth.” Sam smiled. “I’m having a lot more fun now, though, that I’m with you.”
“Aw, aren’t you sweet.” Kaleah smiled and started to look around.
“Hey, I haven’t seen your friend yet.” Sam said, noticing Kaleah’s sudden interest in her surroundings.
“Yeah, me neither.” Kaleah sighed. “Maybe she won’t show up…” 

Just then, she saw a perfectly done-up red head walking out on the deck.
“Oh! I think that’s her! Brittany!” She called, waving her arm. Kaleah headed towards her. 

“What’s the deal, Ty!?” Brie yelled before Kaleah could catch up to her. “I thought we were coming here together!”
“Brie, I wanted to talk to Sam before you got here and ruined his mood!” Tyler responded.
“Oh, that’s a real nice thing to say! Thanks a lot.” 

Brittany! Hey!” Kaleah chimed when she approached her new friend. She embraced her into a hug. “I thought you weren’t going to show up!”
“Yeah, I wasn’t planning on it but then I changed my mind. Cool party!” Brie explained, peering through the crowd to find Sam. Kaleah started telling Brie a story, oblivious to Brie’s obvious ignorance. Brie finally found who she was looking for. 

Brittany! Hey!” Kaleah chimed when she approached her new friend. She embraced her into a hug. “I thought you weren’t going to show up!”
“Yeah, I wasn’t planning on it but then I changed my mind. Cool party!” Brie explained, peering through the crowd to find Sam. Kaleah started telling Brie a story, oblivious to Brie’s obvious ignorance. Brie finally found who she was looking for. 

Sam approached them. Kaleah turned to face him.
“Sam!” She called, excitedly. “This is my friend Brittany! Brittany, this is Sam.”
“Kaleah…” Brie said, staring at Sam. Sam was staring back.
“Brie…what…” Sam started saying. “What are you doing here?” Kaleah was confused.
“This is Brittany, Sam. I told you about her. I invited her…” She remarked. Sam quickly glanced at Kaleah, but instantly turned his attention back to Brianne.
“Kaleah, her name isn’t Brittany. This is Brie…you know…my ex.” Kaleah’s jaw dropped as she paid her attention back to her friend.
“Is this true?” Kaleah asked. Brie nodded. “Why did you lie to me about your name?”
“It’s…complicated, Kaleah. I’m sorry.” Brie said. “Sam…can I talk to you?”
“Of course…” Sam said quickly.
“Alone? Somewhere quiet?” She confirmed. Sam nodded as Brie headed into the house. Sam couldn’t keep his eyes off of her.
“Sam…” Kaleah said, lowering her eyebrows.
“In a minute…” Sam responded—his eyes following Brie’s movements and his feet slowly starting to follow.  

Kaleah watched the old couple disappear into the house, leaving Kaleah outside alone with a bunch of strangers. She felt jealous—angry, even. She couldn’t understand why she felt this way. Sam wasn’t hers, but…why did she feel like he was being stolen from her? She let out a long sigh as her eyes began to fill with unwanted tears. 

“Sam, will you please just sit down?” Brie asked as they situated themselves in the basement, away from all the noise and distractions. “You’re making this feel really awkward.” Sam turned to face her.
“No, Brianne! Awkward is the fact that you lied to my roommate about who you were and ended up at my party, ruining everything!” Sam snapped.
“How did I ruin anything?” Brie snapped back.
“My entire night was going fine—PERFECT, even. And now, thanks to you, it’s all ruined. I finally got over you! And now…you’re here, sitting on my couch, in my basement, telling me to sit next to you! This is all too weird for me.” Sam shook his head. They stayed in silence for a few moments before Sam looked into Brie’s eyes. She smiled at him sweetly and patted the seat next to her. Sam powerlessly obeyed and finally sat down. 

“Now…tell me why you’re here!” Sam said boldly. Brie sighed before she explained the story she had told Tyler earlier in the week. Again, she started crying at the horrible memory. Sam couldn’t stand to see her so upset and when she nestled herself onto Sam’s chest for comfort, he automatically put his arm around her. 

“And Tyler can’t keep me around for much longer, Donnie took his car back, and I’m homeless! He’ll find me if I go to any of my friends’ houses. I just know it.” Brie sniffled. Sam rubbed her shoulder.
“Calm down, its okay.” Sam comforted her. “He won’t find you. You can stay here until your parents are back from their trip. Then, you can call them and explain to them what’s going on. Maybe they’ll come and pick you up?” Brie pulled her head away from Sam’s chest to look at him.
“You’d do that? Really? You’d let me stay here?” She smiled.
“Yeah.” Sam nodded. “You can take my room and I’ll take the couch. You can stay here as long as you need and don’t worry…if Hank happens to find out you’re here, I’ll deal with him.” 

Brie got really excited. She wrapped her arms around Sam’s neck and gave him a friendly kiss to thank him. However, the friendly kiss quickly turned on them. They gazed into each others eyes and passion started to overcome each of their bodies. Brie leaned in to give him another kiss, but Sam tried to pull back.
“What’s wrong?” Brie asked. Sam tried to find the words he needed to say, but he just couldn’t get them to come out of his mouth. Stuck at the end of his tongue, he shook his head and filled the gap until his lips met Brianne’s. 

Things got heated pretty quickly and soon they were full on into it. 

Sam couldn’t help himself. He was always powerless to Brie’s obscene beauty.

Flashbacks ran through Sam’s head. The memories of him and Brie filled his brain and made him kiss harder; stronger…he couldn’t fight his passion.

“Ahem….” Kaleah had come downstairs to see what was taking so long, only to catch them in the midst of their make-out session. Sam quickly pushed Brianne off of him,
“Kaleah…” He said as he quickly sprung to his feet.
“Nice going, Sam.” She said, tears filling her eyes. She ran towards the stairs and quickly made her way up. 

“I thought Kaleah said you guys weren’t dating…” Brie said once Kaleah was out of hearing range. Sam looked at Brie. “Now where were we?” She smiled seductively, reaching out to grab Sam’s hand. Sam quickly pulled his hand away and shook his head before taking off after Kaleah. “Sam!” Brianne yelled as she watched him run up the stairs. 

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