Title: Measured Approach

Fandom/Pairing: Popular, S/B

Author: Harper

Rating: PG

Archiving: This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm with the rest of my drivel. Kim is kind enough to house it.

Disclaimers: I do not own them. I’m not making any money from this, and I hope the creators don’t get overly offended at my hi-jacking of their creations.

Spoilers: Post-“Booty Camp”. Since this is the second story in this vein, I’ve decided that’s enough to consider it a series. I think I’ll call it Revisionist History.

A/N: This is un-beta’d, so please ignore all mistakes. Comments are always welcome, no matter the flavor. I’ll be at xfjnky2@yahoo.com.

“I wasn’t really planning on having our first date at boot camp,” Brooke muttered despondently, arms draped loosely over spread knees as she sat on the stairs connecting the first and second floors of Kennedy High.

Leaning over so that she was resting against the blonde’s side, head cradled on the other girl’s shoulder, Sam said softly, “Think of it this way. It’ll certainly be memorable.”

“Maybe,” Brooke drawled dryly, “but I wasn’t counting on it turning into a group affair.”

Not that she’d ever planned on being sent to boot camp in the first place. Josh, Harrison and Sugar Daddy deserved it, certainly, for the way they’d leered at Lily, the way they’d made her feel uncomfortable. And Nicole most certainly deserved it, her homophobic rants against Freddie Gong just the latest in a long string of various harassments. She was even down with Mary Cherry and Carmen deserving it, since setting up a spy cam with a live feed from the boy’s showers was a bit over the line. But if she and Sam had done anything, and she wasn’t at all willing to admit that they had, then it was minor. Certainly not deserving of a weekend spent in army greens trying to avoid the spittle flying from Drill Sergeant Rock Glass’s mouth during every second of angry diatribe they were forced to endure.

Not that it was all bad. She was most definitely enjoying the unexpected touching, and the lack of antagonism from a surprisingly sedate Sam. Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was camaraderie built of their ordeal, but the feel of Sam pressed up against her, soft hair tickling her chin as the brunette’s head pressed trustingly into her shoulder was nothing short of heavenly. She hadn’t really expected Sam to be so forthcoming with the physical contact, and maybe under normal circumstances she wouldn’t be, but she was going to enjoy it for as long as she could.

Tilting her head slightly so that she could see Brooke’s eyes, the hazel a soft, golden caramel in the dim light streaming in through the windows, Sam asked hesitantly, “What were you planning?”

After the tentative decision to give the thing between them a chance, Brooke had taken the initiative. The self-aware part of Sam realized wryly that Brooke had probably done so knowing that, left to her own devices, Sam would keep them trapped in a near artic progression. Either way, she’d kind of liked the idea that she was being pursued, and Brooke’s shy smiles and coy evasions when she’d pressed for a hint of what they were going to do on their very first date had been disarmingly attractive. Her abortive attempt at dating Leo aside, Sam wasn’t really all that conversant with the rules and strictures of romantic interactions. She didn’t know the formula, having never really had the opportunity to exercise it, and the anticipation of the unknown had made her positively giddy. Even her friends had noticed, the uncharacteristic good mood instantly arousing their suspicions.

“Oh, I had it all figured out,” Brooke said blithely, smiling down at Sam. “I’d swiped the picnic basket from the basement, secretly managed to assemble a collection of all your favorite foods and conned Sugar Daddy into using his fake ID to buy a bottle of champagne. I was going to take you out to Ryder’s Ridge,” she said, referring to a well known but still relatively reclusive local make-out spot, “dazzle you with my thoughtful planning, get you slightly tipsy, convince you to gaze at the stars with me and see if I thought the mood was right to make a move.”

“What kind of move?” Sam asked, enchanted. Reaching out hesitantly, entwining her fingers with Brooke’s, she cuddled even closer to the blonde. Wondering vaguely if she was easy, Sam realized the mere description of what Brooke had been planning was enough to make her want to allow and actively participate in any moves the blonde was anticipating making.

“Well,” Brooke said, suddenly finding it difficult to breath over the rising tide of excitement sweeping through her, “maybe I’d have started off with trying to hold your hand. Hopefully I would have gotten away with feeding you during the picnic part of the evening, so by the time the star-gazing and move-making rolled around, you should have been completely receptive to that.”

Squeezing Brooke’s hand, Sam laughed as she said, “I think you would have been right about that.”

Grinning widely, looking down at their entwined hands with a hint of pride, Brooke said, “I guess so. Since that wouldn’t have been a problem, I probably would have cleared off a spot on the blanket I was planning on bringing and tried to convince you that star-gazing was best accomplished from a reclining position. More precisely, with me reclining on the blanket and you reclining on me.”

Snuggling in infinitesimally closer, bodies already practically melded together, Sam murmured, “I think you would have been able to convince me.”

Biting back the whimper she’d felt bubble embarrassingly close to erupting, Brooke said unsteadily, “I probably would have been satisfied with the reclining and the star-gazing for a little while. After all, I wouldn’t want to move too fast and scare you off.” She paused at Sam’s chuckle, then continued, voice dropping perilously close to a sensuous whisper, “When I’d decided that you’d been lulled into a sense of security, I probably would have stepped up my attack.”

“Attack?” Sam quirked, a slight smirk teasing at her lips.

“Attack,” Brooke verified. “My carefully planned attack on your ability to remain rational and sane. I think I want you highly irrational and insane, in a good kind of way.”

“I see,” Sam said with a hint of amusement. “So, what was the next phase of the attack?”

“It depends,” Brooke replied thoughtfully. “I guess I would have taken advantage of any opening. Say, for instance, there happened to be a slight breeze that managed to blow your hair into your face. I could have casually leaned up on my elbow, fingers brushing against your cheek as I tucked it back behind your ear. The position would have given me ample opportunity to lean down and kiss you, which I’m fairly confident you wouldn’t have minded at all.”

“Sounds highly plausible,” Sam nearly croaked, throat suddenly dry.

“Of course,” Brooke continued mischievously, “maybe the breeze would have been a little cool. Maybe you would have shivered, and I could have wrapped my arms around you and pulled you even closer to keep you warm. My hands would have been on your back, and I could have trailed them up and down, my touch making you shiver instead of the breeze. I think you probably would have liked it, and when you looked up at me, I wouldn’t have let you speak. I’d have kissed you, and you wouldn’t have cared.”

Unconsciously licking her lips, Sam said dreamily, “It sounds like you had every angle covered. It also sounds like I’m remarkably compliant.”

“True,” Brooke admitted readily, tone slightly arrogant. Giving Sam a regal and highly self-satisfied grin, she continued, “I even had emergency contingency plans in place in case the ever so handy breeze didn’t materialize. For example, I could have taken full advantage of our reclining position and the access it gave me to your body, probably with light touches at first. You know, trailed my fingers up your arm, skimmed them across your belly. If the position was right, I could have put my lips by your ear, let my breath tickle your skin. I would have waited until I knew you couldn’t take much more, then I would have leaned over as if I were reaching for something on the other side of you. But, by that time, I think you would have been dying to kiss me, and I would have let you.”

“Brooke, are you trying to seduce me?” Sam asked, hormones reaching critical mass, on the verge of exploding. “If so, you’re doing a frighteningly good job of it.”

Brooke let that sink in, smile widening. She’d decided to commit herself to this particular course of action, and if there was one thing about her that remained constant, it was her ability to focus. She was disturbingly good at regulating control, though Sam did sometimes manage to penetrate and damn near puncture that barrier, but since she’d decided to turn that control over to the focus of wooing Sam, she didn’t think that would be a problem. She wasn’t one to buy into clichés, exactly, but that thin line between love and hate seemed to be absurdly miniscule as of late. It was the only reason she could give herself for the way she was acting, taking the role of the aggressor where she’d always been the pursued. She had to admit, though, her inner teenage boy had come out in full force. She’d found herself carefully calculating moves that would get her closer and closer to mutual nakedness, and part of her couldn’t help but be a little embarrassed about it. Not so embarrassed that she’d stopped planning, but embarrassed enough to feel guilty when she was actively doing the planning.

So, voice a little higher than normal, her nervousness playing out in her tone, Brooke said, “Is that true?”

“Mm-hmm,” Sam hummed lazily, eyes drifting closed. She felt like she should feel like what she was doing was wrong. Consorting with the enemy and all that, but really it was far too pleasurable and comfortable for her to worry about compromised morals. Which was, in itself, a little frightening. But, she would deal with frightening later, when she wasn’t wrapped up in the feel of warm skin pressing against her and the cooling hint of lavender and vanilla that seemed to perfume the very air.

“So, let’s say that I was thinking about taking advantage of the non-existent breeze,” Brooke said, not quite recognizing the husky timbre in her voice, “do you think it would matter that we can’t see any stars and you aren’t even remotely tipsy?”

“You are trying to seduce me,” Sam murmured arrogantly, lifting her head from its resting place. Dark eyes sizzling into hazel, she added, “And I don’t think it would matter at all.”

Feeling her heart flutter, Brooke listened somewhat disbelievingly to herself as she said, “Not to question the lack of obstacles, but that was surprisingly easy.”

“You should be quiet now,” Sam growled, turning so that she was facing Brooke. Inching forward, she slid one leg behind Brooke’s back, the other easing underneath the blonde’s legs. “Why would you try to talk me out of something you’d already talked me into?”

“I must be stupider than I look,” Brooke drawled drolly, turning so that her back was against the wall behind her. A moment of slightly awkward maneuvering later, Sam’s thighs were resting over hers, faces inches apart. It was less than comfortable, the relatively narrow stairs not providing much in the way of space, but she was going to go with what she had.

“You don’t look stupid at all,” Sam quirked, trying to quell the bolt of nervousness that shot through her when she realized just how close the position brought her to some of Brooke’s more hazardous areas. “The outfit is very GI Jane chic. I think I like it.”

“You’re not going to develop some kind of military girl fetish, are you?” Brooke asked, voice a tad bit breathless. To be honest, she thought Sam looked disarmingly cute in the military style army greens as well, but she wasn’t quite sure she was ready to play soldier girl and captive enemy quite yet.

Reaching out slowly, tracing a finger over the sewn on bit of fabric bearing Brooke’s last name, Sam smirked. “Maybe. But, if I do I’ll just add it to my list right behind cheerleader girl fetish.”

Smiling shyly, immensely pleased with the idea that Sam had been checking her out in her Glamazon spandex, Brooke hooked a finger into the collar of Sam’s shirt, pulling her forward until their lips were mere centimeters apart. “Is that so?”

Nodding shallowly, caught by the rapidly expanding pupils holding her gaze, Sam whispered, “I confess.”

“I’m sure I’ll find a way to put that information to good use later, Private,” Brooke smirked, then closed the remaining distance between them. Their lips met tentatively at first, the contact still unfamiliar. Sam’s lips were the softest Brooke had ever kissed, her skin smooth where normally she felt the rough scrape of stubble. The long hair was different too, tumbling over Sam’s shoulders to tickle the backs of Brooke’s hands where they rested lightly against the brunette’s upper chest, fingers digging tightly into the thick material of the other girl’s uniform. As she deepened the kiss, pressing into Sam with more purpose, Brooke slid her hands up the other girl’s shoulders to bury them in that thick, sleek hair. The strands felt like silk under her fingertips, and Brooke moaned, surging forward as her excitement suddenly skyrocketed. Biting Sam’s bottom lip lightly, she moved unconsciously closer, the shift in position bringing Sam’s thighs to rest against the groove of her hips.

Tearing her mouth away, panting slightly as she took a minute to absorb the vaguely stunned look on Sam’s face, Brooke husked, “More.”

“Please,” Sam concurred, winding her arms around Brooke’s waist, tightening them suddenly, bringing Brooke’s body against hers forcefully. The unexpected move earned her a hiss of pleasure, and Sam descended recklessly, tongue swiping a broad path along Brooke’s lower lip as she lost herself in the kiss once again. And then Brooke’s tongue was meeting her own, was sliding against hers, and she dug her nails into the other girl’s back, hips rocking into Brooke unconsciously.

The shrill echo of a whistle followed by the sharp keen of a dog’s bark broke through the haze instantly, and both girls sprung apart so quickly that Brooke had to reach out, wrapping her hand around Sam’s forearm so that the other girl didn’t tumble down the stairs. Wide eyes looking at one another in terror for a moment, they slowly turned to face the bottom of the stairs, fully expecting to meet the wrath of Sergeant Rock Glass.

Strangely, the only thing they saw was a slightly frantic Lily feverishly pushing a large rolling laundry basket, Rock hot on her heels. Watching with bemusement as the Sergeant’s dog attacked the basket, quickly unearthing a screeching Carmen, the girls separately themselves quietly, inching up the stairs, intent on using the ruckus as their escape.

“I can see you,” the Sergeant snapped, and all four teens froze in place. Brooke and Sam shared a tremulous look, fully prepared to be locked in solitary for their indiscretion and unceremoniously outed on the eve of their first non-date. The loud thump of boots on tile reached them long before the stocky figure of Rock Glass edged around the corner, and Sam sank down so that she was sitting on the stairs, already shaking her head incredulously. Following the drill sergeant’s upward focus, both Lily and Carmen looked up to see Brooke and Sam sitting side by side on the stairs. Looks of confusion descended instantly, wrinkling twin brows as the two girls tried to figure out what the always antagonistic almost step-sisters were doing sitting together calmly, looks of defeat and frustration etched across both of their faces.

“McTwins, what do you think you’re doing? Lights out was two hours ago,” Rock barked, eyes narrowing in anger as he took in the sight before him. He hated disobedience and impertinence, and he’d just encountered both in only a few short seconds. It put his already cranky temperament even further on edge. “Unless sleeping on the stairs is an alternative therapy for an as yet unmentioned crippling back condition from which you both suffer, I suggest you bust ass back to your bunks, harrassers. And if you would be so kind, direct Ms. Esposito to the first class accommodations you’ve been offered during your time here since she has graciously decided to join our little party.”

Pausing to look at all of them meaningfully, Rock added sharply, “It would be in your best interests to rack as much shut eye as possible, ladies. Tomorrow we initiate Operation Emotion. Expect grueling. Expect heart wrenching. All of you will feel. Do you understand?”

“Ma’am, yes Sir,” Carmen snapped nervously, standing at attention, eyes staring sightlessly in front of her.

“Correct answer, private,” Rock Glass said appreciatively, circling around the duly chastened offender. Barely holding back a smile of self-satisfaction, he growled loudly, “Now, off to bed. All of you.”

Glancing over at Brooke, rolling her eyes, Sam pushed up off the stairs tiredly, watching with some amusement as Carmen and Lily scrambled off like scolded puppies. Extending a hand, pulling the blonde to her feet, she murmured, “Guess the date’s over.”


“So,” Brooke said nonchalantly, sliding into a seat at the kitchen table next to Sam, “you think Harrison’s butt is muffiny?”

Groaning, dropping her head into her hands, Sam muttered, “I was coerced into saying that. His ego is slightly more fragile than porcelain. The fallout from a less than positive response would have been nuclear in proportion.”

She was referring, of course, to the little role-playing session that had preceded their release from sensitivity boot camp. The fact that Rock Glass forced her to evaluate Harrison’s ass had been bad enough. When he’d tried to force her to touch it, she’d thought briefly that things were on the verge of meltdown. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Brooke’s glare increase exponentially the closer her hands had gotten to Harrison’s buns, and Sam was instinctively aware that she was in no way prepared for the undoubtedly cataclysmic consequences that would have come along with her compliance. So, she’d stood up to Rock, had let the Sergeant make the poignant point he’d obviously been dying to make, and had slunk back to her seat with an excess of relief. The pleased smile she’d gotten from Brooke had almost made the public humiliation worth it. Almost.

Quiet for a moment, Brooke suddenly leaned forward, mischievous grin and twinkling eyes immediately putting Sam on edge. “So,” the blonde drawled, thoroughly enjoying the other girl’s discomfort, “how about my butt? Is it muffiny?”

Brow quirked thoughtfully, Sam said slowly, “I don’t know if I’d say muffiny, exactly. Girl’s butts are different from boy’s butts, you know.”

“First of all,” Brooke replied dryly, “Should I be concerned about the amount of time you obviously spend checking out other people’s buttocks? Secondly, I do not concur that there is a great difference between girl and boy butts. Both require some amount of work in order to achieve muffiny. Both can have a certain buoyancy, a certain lift. In sum, a good butt is a good butt, no matter the gender.”

As if to prove her point, Brooke demonstrated by extending her hands in front of her, pretending to lift an imaginary weight. She looked so adorably serious and sincere while doing it that it was all Sam could do to restrain her incipient laughter. Instead, biting her lip nervously, not sure how she’d managed to get sucked into the conversation and quite sure that she didn’t want to continue it, Sam nonetheless said, “And I agree that you’re right, for the most part. There’s still a difference, though, and I can’t say that I would ever describe another girl’s butt as muffiny. I could maybe go with apple-y, but not muffiny.”

“So am I apple-y?” Brooke demanded, suddenly desperately needing to know Sam’s evaluation of her hindquarters. “I know you’ve looked. I’ve seen you.”

“When?” Sam protested guiltily, face already turning a deeper shade of red.

Rolling her eyes, sighing sadly, Brooke said gently, “You’re not so great at subtle sometimes.”

Slightly mortified, Sam huffed, “Whatever. Are you saying you don’t check out my butt?”

“Of course I check out your butt,” Brooke said dismissively. “When I can see it. How about investing in some tighter clothes, or getting rid of those tunic thingies you seem to like so much. They totally interfere with my viewing pleasure.”

“Uh, did you miss the whole sensitivity boot camp I thought we just attended?” Sam asked incredulously. “Or did you really just tell me to play up my sex object status so you could perv on me?”

“What?” Brooke asked innocently. “Did that offend you?”

“Strangely, no,” Sam said defensively, “but I do have the sudden need to be reassured that you desire me for my brains as well as my smoking hot body.”

Smirking, thoroughly enchanted by Sam’s look of consternation, Brooke scooted her chair back from the table. Standing, sliding in behind the brunette slowly, she eased the other girl’s hair back over her shoulder, baring the delicate shell of her ear. “Your brain,” she whispered, lowering herself so that her lips brushed against Sam’s flesh, “is definitely desirable. And I want a second date.”

“That could be arranged,” Sam said with a shiver, words trailing up to near squeak as Brooke’s hands settled on her shoulders, beginning a lazy massage. Desperately wanting to come off as calm and collected, she strove to smooth out her voice as she added, “Let’s see if we can actually make it to this one.”

“Don’t take up any causes or get me into trouble, then,” Brooke said dryly. She paused, evil smirk creeping over her features as she added, “Just so you know, I’m totally not adverse to between date make-out sessions.”

Letting her hands slip under the loose fabric of Sam’s shirt, sliding across the bare skin of the other girl’s upper shoulders, Brooke was rewarded with an awkward jerk and a startled gasp, Sam’s wide eyes swinging her way as her nails scraped lightly. “Brooke,” Sam exclaimed, voice perilously close to a whine, “we’re in the kitchen.”

“So take me upstairs,” Brooke murmured with an arrogant grin, one brow arching expectantly. “Show some initiative.”

“Has the startling increase in hormone production totally cut off all flow of blood to your brain?” Sam hissed incredulously. “Mom and Mike are in the living room watching TV.”

“Yeah,” Brooke replied dismissively, “the living room. As in, a room on the first floor, an entire floor away from the second floor. The second floor, of course, would be where our rooms are located. Our rooms with doors… doors that lock.”

“Mamacita is pushy, I see.”

Quickly growing annoyed, Brooke snapped, “Are you always this good at killing the mood?”

“No,” Sam shot back, “but I feel like I’m trapped in a cheesy afterschool special. Are you going to hand me a beer and a joint and reassure me that we won’t do anything I don’t want to do?”

Insulted, Brooke asked, “What are you saying?”

Eyeing the door leading into the living room warily, Sam said, “We’re going to your room. To talk.”

“Do you mean talk in a literal sense?” Brooke asked, slightly confused, though she dutifully followed Sam up the stairs and into her room. Making a great show of locking the door, she added, “As in, using words to convey meaning?”

Settling into her customary place at the foot of Brooke’s bed, Sam waited until Brooke was sitting in front of her, legs crossed. “Correct. Talk in the literal sense,” she said somewhat nervously, folding her hands in her lap primly.

Willing herself to be patient, Brooke said lightly, “Okay then. I can do idle chit-chat if it’ll put you at ease. What’s on your mind?”

You are on my mind,” Sam replied, voice shaded with bitter amusement. “Since the other day, you’re always on my mind. I constantly wondering what we’re doing, what I’m thinking to even consider this.”

“Are you backing out of this again?” Brooke interrupted impatiently. “Because if you’re going to give me the brush-off, you don’t even have to finish that thought. I’m completely over the whole rejection thing.”

“I’m not backing out of this,” Sam said vehemently, “just applying the brakes.” She paused, taking in a deep, fortifying breath before continuing. “I really, really don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Before, when it was only in my head, my head was more than comfortable going wherever the fantasy led. Now that it’s actually happening, I’m a little nervous. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying what’s happening. I mean, I like the kisses, I like the closeness. It’s just… I know you know this, and it’s horribly embarrassing but I’m going to say it anyway. I’m not really much with the experience, and I know you are. Or, at least you’re more with the experience than I am. And trust me, I want to be more with the experience, but I’m not quite there yet.”

Biting her bottom lip nervously, Brooke turned luminous hazel eyes Sam’s way. She felt as if she’d been chastised, as if she’d been a bad girl and was now being forced to confront her sins. It was ridiculously uncomfortable, especially given her unwanted introspective insight into the mechanics behind her desire to lock Sam in confined spaces and initiate full frontal contact. “Am I pressuring you? I mean, do you feel like I’m trying to rush you into something you’re not ready for?” she asked tentatively, afraid she already knew the answer.

“Not exactly,” Sam said hesitantly. “So far, everything’s been great and I want to keep on with the greatness, But, and I don’t want to come across like some total sexual incompetent here, but this is all embarrassingly new for me.”

Brooke’s shoulders slumped slightly as she processed what Sam had just said. Apparently, as had been her fear, her inner teenage boy had been pushing for too much, or at the very least had been giving the impression that she was more than ready for Sam to give it up. She was slightly disturbed by that. Wanting to jump her virginal almost step-sister like a starving woman presented with a particularly tasty pork chop wasn’t entirely sensitive, and after having just gone through her own intercourse debacle, she should have known better. Sex came with emotions, more than just the ones that should precede it, and she’d been consciously ignoring that. In fact, she’d been a total boy about it.

“I mean, don’t think that I don’t want to… you know,” Sam said weakly, growing increasingly uncomfortable as the silence between them stretched longer. Brooke was staring sightlessly, no doubt trying to find the best way to tell her she was a loser and to head on to greener and easier pastures, and Sam sighed, calmly awaiting the inevitable.

“No,” Brooke said, a little more forcefully than she’d intended, though whether she was reassuring Sam or protesting her own actions, she wasn’t sure. “I mean, I don’t think that. But, I’ve obviously given you the impression that you’ve got to put out or risk retribution, and that’s not true. I like you, Sam. I like spending time with you. I like kissing you. I like trying to check out your ass when you’re not paying attention. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening with us. Believe me, when it comes to this, it’s just as new to me as it is to you. I am sure I don’t want to screw this up or make you think I’m only in it for your smoking hot bod,” she continued, parroting Sam’s earlier words with a definite note of irony. “So, I can be okay with anything you’re okay with. You want to slow things down, then consider them slowed.”

Relaxing visibly, Sam said shyly, “It’s not that I’m not up for the between date make-out sessions, because I totally am. I just wanted to let you know that I’m not really ready for more than that right now. I don’t want to be one of those mixed messages kinds of girls.”

“Enough with the apologizing,” Brooke said sharply, then softened immediately. “You’re right. There’s no need to rush. As of right now, Operation No Nudity is in effect.”

“Operation No Nudity?” Sam echoed sarcastically. “Is that the best you could come up with?”

“I’m being sensitive and supportive here,” Brooke said, exasperated. “Don’t make fun of my operation names.”

“Point taken,” Sam said consolingly. Then, hesitantly, she added “What do you say we find a suitable reclining position, preferably with you reclining on the bed and me reclining on you, and gaze at invisible stars?”

A hint of tension left Brooke’s shoulders, and she bit her bottom lip, looking up at Sam shyly. “You mean it?”

“You think you can make all of those promises and not deliver?” Sam growled, mock threateningly. “I’ll pretend I’m tipsy and you can pretend like your motivations for the star gazing suggestion were completely innocent.”

“And that’ll be okay?” Brooke asked, suddenly in need of reassurance. “And you’ll tell me if I do anything to make you uncomfortable, right?”

Resting a hand against Brooke’s shoulder, a sudden, hard push sending the blonde crashing back against the bedding, Sam grinned. “I promise.”

Easing over so that she was pressed against Brooke, head fitting comfortably into the other girl’s shoulder, Brooke’s arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her in close, Sam added, “And please don’t go overboard on the sensitivity thing. I really like the kissing and the touching and want there to be more kissing and touching. Like, lots more.”

“Okay, but if the sexual frustration turns me into an uber-bitch, then please realize that it’s not my fault,” Brooke said dryly. “There’s only so much action I can get from my right hand before I risk carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Head whipping around, dark eyes wide, Sam sputtered, “I can’t believe you just said that. Ms. Perfect admitting to a little self-satisfaction? Unbelievable.”

“How do you think I stay so happy and cheerful?” Brooke drawled, rolling her eyes. “Did you think that was all-natural? Besides,” she continued slyly, “you’re one to talk.”

Instantly flushing deep red, Sam asked uneasily, “Just what is that supposed to mean?”

“Maybe you think the walls to your room are soundproof,” Brooke teased with a smirk, “but I can assure you that they aren’t. Apparently, the sound of moans and breathless panting carries.”

“Okay… mortified now,” Sam said in a small, embarrassed voice. Burying her head in the crook of Brooke’s neck, she let out a little whimper. “I think I’m permanently scarred.”

“Aww, Sammy… that’s so cute,” Brooke cooed sarcastically, burying her nose in the soft hair tickling her cheek. “You’re shy.”

“You’re evil,” Sam shot back, voice muffled.

Falling silent, enjoying the contact too much to risk any more teasing, Brooke felt herself slowly start to relax. She was never really aware of all the tension she carried with her constantly until she found one of those rare moments that let her let all of it drift away. Lying in her bed, Sam cradled in her arms, she was hyper-aware that she’d found one of those moments. She’d never had one of them with Josh, their interactions always wrought with some kind of emotional turmoil or semi-forced physical contact. When she’d tried to find some measure of calm in his arms, she’d always been painfully aware that she couldn’t relax. Every time she tried, she seemed to grow even more sensitive, the pressure of his hands on her stomach like two bricks weighing down on her, the hardness of his muscles like laying against unyielding wood.

“I’m completely relaxed,” she said aloud, a hint of wonder in her tone.

Shifting, bringing her face out of its hiding place, Sam looked up at Brooke. True to her words, she looked peaceful and serene, and Sam relaxed in response. “Yeah,” Sam admitted, somewhat shocked herself, “so am I.”

Both took a moment to let the strangeness of the situation sink in. If asked, neither would have thought it would have been possible. They didn’t share comfortable silences and peaceful calm… they were more of the angry shouting and disgruntled pouting school when in each other’s presence. The change was more than refreshing – it was slightly surreal.

“Hey, Brooke,” Sam said shyly, suddenly ready to disrupt their moment of calm, “I think I feel a nonexistent breeze.”

Intensely pleased with the softly spoken words, Brooke eased out from under Sam, rolling up on her elbow so she could gaze down at the other girl. Sam’s eyes were unreadable pools in the darkness of the room, her face tense with expectation. Reaching out gently, she slid her fingers along the silk of Sam’s cheek, tracing over the contour of her ear to bury in soft hair. She felt a smile stretch across her face, the near perfection of the moment infectious.

Lowering herself wordlessly, invisible stars completely forgotten, Brooke brought their lips together for the first in an immeasurable string of kisses.

The End



Main Index