Title: The Harsh World of Adulthood
Rating: PG-17 for later scenes
Warning: This story depicts scenes of trauma on both a physical and psychological scale, relating to what the aftermath of a car accident can bring for the victim as well as for the person who witnesses it first-hand.
Disclaimers: Don't own Popular or any of the characters, if I did, this show would never have been axed!! Enjoy & leave feedback.
It is often said by many that a terrible and traumatic event occurs in front of someone as if it were in slow motion or so fast the person who witnesses it doesn’t have time to react. Sam McPherson would’ve probably believed the same notions had she not found herself in such a position. It was the night of the prom of Kennedy High and it had been going relatively smoothly until Brooke McQueen had clashed with Sam over the matter of Harrison’s affections. The two of them went at each other’s throats as was the usual manner in which they engaged one another. It was very rare the times when Sam and Brooke would willingly be in the other girl’s company and be friendly and civil with each other. For the life of her, the journalist could not work out the pathological need she seemed to have to constantly battle with the captain of Kennedy High’s cheerleading squad. At first, she put it down to a deep-rooted belief that Brooke was a mean-hearted and self-centred bitch who didn’t care what person she trod on as long as her popularity was maintained. However, this had changed more of late as Sam had spent more time in Brooke’s company and got to know the blonde more as one of the most beautiful people she could ever hope to meet, inside and out.
Not that she had ever considered confessing such truths to anyone, she still had her pride to protect and if her friends believed she hated Brooke more than anything else, then she wasn’t about to squash that illusion. However, that particular night had seen the two girls once more go at it, clashing over Harrison of all people. Sam had known Harrison all of her life basically, she knew he was a sweet and funny guy and not really that bad to look at. But, her feelings had never once gone beyond the realms of friendship for him and on this night, they had stayed firmly in those boundaries. Something else had stirred in her heart that night, when Brooke had demanded that Harrison choose between herself and Sam. It was a feeling that almost roared in Sam’s head in the aftermath of Harrison’s decision; he chose Sam over Brooke, resulting in the blonde running from the school in tears. Sam had followed in hot pursuit, her heart breaking at the thought of Brooke being completely hurt and devastated over something so trivial. Her heart all but stopped when she saw a bright blue Jaguar XJ220 speed along the main road, completely out of control, hurtling straight towards Brooke.
“Brooke, look out!!” Sam’s voice echoed in the still night air, but it oddly felt as though the cry had come from someone else. Even as her eyes witnessed Brooke stop in the middle of the road, completely rooted to the spot in fear, the luxury sports car sending her flying over the hood as though she was merely a toy being thrown away by an annoyed infant, Sam’s brain refused to accept what was happening as being real. It all seemed to be something played out by her deepest nightmares, even the sickening thud Brooke’s prone form made when it hit the tarmac behind the car. This all seemed like Sam to be something from a dream, her body completely numb with shock and her heart all but stopped beating. Only Harrison racing up and grabbing her around the shoulders shook Sam out of her stupor as her brain finally registered what it had witnessed and her mind screamed it back at her. Brooke’s been hurt, Brooke’s been hurt, Brooke’s been hurt!! She could be dead!!
“Sam!! Are you all right? What happened to Brooke?!” Harrison’s hysterical questions rang through Sam’s ears, but she found herself remaining surprisingly calm in spite of what she had just seen. Her body had seemed to switch itself onto autopilot as she took out her mobile phone from her handbag and dialled 911. She whispered the details of the emergency down the phone to the operator, staying unnaturally composed and when she hung up after giving all of the necessary details; she pushed her way past Harrison. Her eyes gave the Jaguar car a look-over as recognition dawned on her. There was only one person in town who could afford such a rare and luxurious car, only one person insane enough to try and kill Brooke with a speeding car, only one person who would even attempt to drive a valuable car while heavily intoxicated. Her suspicions were confirmed when she approached the driver’s seat of the vehicle, which had crashed into the side of a building after hitting Brooke. Nicole was slumped into the now deflated airbag unconscious, her head bleeding quite a bit from where fragments of glass from the windshield had cut in.
A million thoughts and emotions ran through Sam’s head, she wanted so badly to grab Nicole Julian by the throat and punch the living daylights out of her for what she did. Just keep hitting the supreme bitch of Kennedy High, make her feel even a portion of the pain and agony now surging in Sam’s heart. But her eyes caught sight of Harrison and Carmen, who had came from somewhere but Sam wasn’t sure where. They were crouched over Brooke, checking her vital life signs and supporting her until help arrived. The bay of vengeance which Sam’s heart had been crying abruptly died away and once more began tugging and almost reaching the point of not beating at all. It was new, yet familiar, this feeling of her world falling away and her feelings of being pathetic. Her dad had slipped away, taken from her by a terrible disease and Sam had been powerless to help him, only instead having a front row seat to his suffering before he eventually found peace and relief. Tears pricked her eyes, but she was determined not to let them fall. Brooke is not dead!! Brooke cannot die, she can’t dammit!! I won’t let her!!
Kneeling down beside Brooke, Sam gently swept some hair which had been sent askew onto the other girl’s face. There were a few scratches and cuts on her face but otherwise, Sam felt that Brooke looked as though she was merely sleeping. Her breathing was soft and gentle, the sweetest sound that Sam thought she had ever heard in her life. Hopefully, this would not end in the same tragic way her father’s battle with leukaemia had. She was so caught up in her thoughts, her internal hopes of what may or may not happen that Sam hardly noticed Carmen wrap her arms around her until she felt a tight cuddle. Her eyes never once left Brooke’s face, not even for a second, while she silently prayed for some inkling of life. In what seemed like another lifetime, the ambulance arrived and the paramedics began pulling and prying at the driver’s door of Nicole’s car. A soft murmur and some slight feel of movement caught Sam’s attention and she looked back down to Brooke.
“S-Sam?” the soft, whispered word from Brooke almost broke Sam’s heart. Without thinking, without even caring about anything aside from the moment, Sam lowered her head and placed a feather-light kiss on the blonde’s forehead. Some of her tears spilled down onto Brooke’s head as well, as her fraught emotions finally gave way.
“I’m here, B-Brooke,” her voice faltered, strained with pain, sadness and joy, “how are you feeling?” Brooke’s eyes fluttered open and they gazed around hazily at the surroundings. She took in Carmen and Harrison’s worried faces, the wreckage of Nicole’s car, the distraught visage of Sam.
“Not too good,” her reply was still eerily soft, “everything hurts, S-Sam.” Before she could reply, Sam felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned to face a male paramedic with a stretcher. Moving out of his way, Sam took hold of one of Brooke’s hands while the young man put her neck into a brace and signalled to his colleagues who had been settling Nicole on the ambulance to help him. Once they were all gathered around, the medical team counted a few times before lifting Brooke onto the stretcher with their hands linked underneath her. It pained Sam to see Brooke’s eyes fill with tears of pain, while all she could do was gently rub her knuckles with her own hand. As she stepped into the ambulance, the male paramedic who had been first to approach Brooke spoke gently to Sam.
“Are you family, Miss?” he asked politely, “It’s just, only family can ride in the ambulance with the victim.” Shaking slightly as the shock her body had been under started to wear off and the gravity of the situation hit full force, Sam stuttered slightly as she replied.
“I-I’m her s-sister,” she barely kept her calm when talking. The paramedic nodded in understanding before going upfront while a couple of his colleagues sat in the back with the patients. It was a tragic scene for them and it may as well have been all three of the girls who had been hurt by that car. Carmen and Harrison could only look on as the ambulance sped off out of sight, before walking forlornly back to the High School to tell everyone else what had happened and contact Jane and Mike to update them. This was a prom night nobody would want to remember, but they would have no choice in the matter.
Hospital walls, so blank and sterile, completely devoid of any sign of life. Sam began pondering why hospitals are always painted in that sickening eggshell white; it was the most depressing sight she had ever seen in her life. Since arriving at the hospital, Sam found herself with nothing better to do than stare at the plain white wall directly in front of her. She lacked the focus or desire to read one of the magazines sitting on the table in the centre of the waiting area; it all seemed surreal and unimportant. Brooke had been rushed straight into the theatre as soon as they had arrived, after she had been crying for the ambulance ride over. Her face had gone a deathly shade of white due to the tremendous pain she was in; Sam had done her best to comfort the injured girl while the paramedics administered a strong dose of morphine. After a few seconds of the pain killer entering her system, Brooke had succumbed to unconsciousness. The paramedics had explained to Sam that due to the pain her sister was in, it would be better if she was asleep rather than awake until the doctors could treat her injuries and assess the damage. Nicole remained unconscious throughout the trip, which Sam knew was a good thing for her own sake. She wasn’t sure that she could keep her cool at that moment if Nicole decided to wake up. Now, she was sitting alone, waiting for news of Brooke’s condition or even a sign of their parents’ arrival. Anything other than the relentless boredom, the drawn-out nothing which succeeded the previous adrenaline rush would be welcomed. Aside from news that Brooke’s dead. Trying to ignore her mind’s negative path, Sam closed her eyes and forced herself to think of something other than the situation she was in. With nowhere else to go, her mind began circling what her heart had been screaming at her all evening. The thought of Brooke hurting after Harrison had chosen Sam had left Sam’s heart roaring and telling its owner to go after the blonde. It had also been screaming that Sam didn’t want to date Harrison, that she really didn’t care if he chose Brooke over her. Then, when she had been standing in the street and witnessed Nicole’s car slam into Brooke and send her flying, it had almost stopped beating in sheer terror. For too long now, her heart had been trying so hard to make itself heard over Sam’s incredibly busy and stubborn mind. Every fight with Brooke McQueen had enraged Sam’s heart; it had been burning furiously at the horrible things sent in the direction of the blonde while also reeling from the insults sent back. Perhaps you’re in love with her, ya idiot!! Before she could react to this mental revelation, Sam was joined by Jane and Mike.
“Sam, oh honey, are you all right?” Jane rushed over and took her oldest daughter in her arms. Finally caving in to the gravity of the situation, Sam began sobbing into her mother’s shoulder. Her entire body shook with the force of her tears although they were silent. As long as her mum was around, it was fine for Sam to let her emotions out like that. The overwhelming feeling of safety, warmth and home had gathered around her just by this simple embrace she found herself in. It was as though nothing bad or hurtful could reach the journalist as long as her mum was there. However, she was surprised when she felt Mike’s strong arms wrap around her as well and it made her heart lift slightly. Now she understood better why her mum had fallen so deeply in love with this man, he was so caring and understanding. Now I can see where Brooke gets that from, it’s certainly not from her mother. Thoughts of Brooke and if she would ever wake up again made Sam cry even harder. All she wanted was to hold her soon to be stepsister and never let her go. Just so her brain would register that the blonde was going to be fine and so her heart would stop hurting so badly. Not long after the parents had arrived, the three of them were joined by a doctor who coughed slightly so as not to interrupt them too abruptly. He was a slightly older looking gentleman, with flecks of grey through his dark brown hair and his steely-blue eyes contained weariness in them. Sam couldn’t help but wonder how funny it was that she should notice details like this when a terrible and traumatic event had just occurred.
“I presume you are the family of Brooke McQueen,” he said gently, “the ambulance team told me of your refusal to leave her side when they put her into the ambulance, Miss. Well, I have some good news on your sister’s condition. She’s resting at present, the injuries she sustained are not life-threatening and she has not had any damage to her spinal cord in any way. However, she has suffered a deep fracture to her pelvis and her right leg has been broken in several places from the thigh to the ankle. We have no choice but to operate on her to insert pins internally to hold her pelvis together and to keep the bones of her leg aligned. Also, she will have to remain in hospital for at least a couple of months while her leg heals, as we will have to fit some external hardware to keep the bones in place while they knit together.” Mike asked the question that Sam wanted to ask, but too afraid to voice in case of the answer.
“Doctor, my daughter’s the cheerleading captain of her school,” he whispered, “Will she ever recover enough to resume cheerleading?” The doctor smiled sympathetically at Mike, he truly hated seeing families of patients that came through the hospital doors in anguish. He knew if it were his daughter, he would truly be beside himself with worry.
“I’m afraid that Brooke will be unlikely ever to be capable of taking part in any sporting activity ever again,” he replied gravely, “her right leg has sustained terrible damage, such to a degree that she will only be able to walk again after intense physiotherapy. I’m terribly sorry.” With these words, Sam could almost hear her world and Brooke’s world come crashing down around her head. As much as she had appeared to hate the entire cheerleading squad, she knew how much cheerleading meant to Brooke. If she heard that she could never do her favourite physical activity ever again, Sam wasn’t sure how she would handle it. Her eyes were now looking restlessly around the hospital reception area once again. The sick waiting to be seen, the people sitting to learn word of their relatives or friends. Each of these things seemed unimportant yet terribly significant at the same time. It was all so bittersweet. Brooke was alive and if the doctor was correct, then she should make a complete recovery. However, she would never be able to do one of the things which in Sam’s view gave her reason to get up every day.
“Can I see her?” the emotionless tone her voice had taken had surprised everyone aside from Sam herself. She purposely avoided the looks of alarm and concern being displayed on Mike and her mum’s faces.
“You may go in to see her if you wish,” the doctor responded kindly, “however, due to her injuries, we have had no choice but to keep her in a medicated coma. Until she gets her operations tomorrow, it would be unfair to allow her to be fully conscious as she would be in unbearable pain.” Sam was already walking through the doors to the room where Brooke was being kept before the doctor had finished talking. Only one thought was prevalent in her mind now: to see Brooke again.
Lying, hooked up to a ventilator with a drip full of morphine hooked up to her hand, Brooke never looked a more tragic sight to Sam than at that very moment. Her face was a pale shade of white, which Sam guessed was due to the injuries underneath the surface. She had a few cuts on her face which had been cleaned and covered up; it broke Sam’s heart to see the blonde lying there so helpless. She looked half dead and as though waiting for the other half of her to catch up with that bit of news. Nothing made sense to Sam anymore; her entire world had been turned upside down in the space of one evening. Although Brooke had not been killed outright by Nicole’s car, the impact of the accident on Sam had been as bad as when she lived through her dad dying. She knew, though, that Brooke would need her in the months ahead. She couldn’t run to her mum every time she felt like curling up and dying because her world had been ripped out from beneath her feet. There were some things even your mum can’t shield you from, Sam realised that to make the step into adulthood, and she would have to learn to stand alone. Pulling a chair up to the hospital bed, Sam sat and took one of Brooke’s hands in between her own two.
“Hey, Brooke, you know you really don’t look that good as road kill,” her attempt at bad humour even made Sam roll her eyes in disdain, “ok, bad joke I know. But, seriously, if you got hit by Satan’s fancy car to maintain your popularity or get back at me, then it really wasn’t worth it. I feel bad enough as it is for our fight over Harrison. I just want you to wake up, be healthy again and for us to get out of here and be home. God, Brooke, please fight back and forgive me for everything!!” Unable to keep a tight rein on her emotions any longer, Sam burst into tears and buried her face in the soft covers on Brooke’s bed. She remained like this until she cried herself to sleep.
Brooke’s surgery went ahead the following morning, with Sam staying in her hospital room like a sentry. She had only left the room to change out of her prom dress and to visit the toilet. Mike and her mum had been in to see Brooke before the operation and left Sam clothes which she had changed into as soon as they had left to return to look after baby Mac. Now she was waiting impatiently, staring once more at the blank white wall directly in front of her, this time in the room where Brooke’s bed sat. Watching, waiting, not really thinking about anything other than wanting to see her blonde awake and well again. When did she become your blonde exactly? Too mentally drained to pursue where her mind was going with these thoughts, Sam closed her eyes and silently waited for the hours to pass by before Brooke was back. The nurses had offered her food, but the brunette refused to eat anything given into her.
Eating was the last thing she wanted to do at that moment, nothing mattered to her apart from Brooke being brought back to her. It seemed like such an insignificant occurrence to wait for, but for Sam it was the most important thing in the world to her at that time. Not long after three in the afternoon, Brooke was wheeled back in. Her right leg was encased in a metal cage-like structure, pins going into her leg from several points. The surgeons had changed the blonde into a hospital gown prior to the operation, but Sam couldn’t help but wince as she looked at the cast brace which was covering the entire length of Brooke’s leg, from thigh to ankle. There were small holes doted along the support where the pins could go under and pierce the skin to keep Brooke’s leg supported internally. Sitting on the floor, back against the wall across from Brooke’s bed, hugging her knees, Sam silently vowed not to sleep until she had seen Brooke was awake and well. The sleeping girl was no longer hooked up to a ventilator or a morphine drip. Eventually, she would awaken from her deep slumber and Sam would be waiting.
The afternoon slowly bled into night. Sam was no longer aware of being tired or being full of energy either. Her body and mind had both gone completely numb, it almost felt as though her joints had frozen in the position she had sat in earlier in the day. Her mum and Mike had popped into check on both girls in the early evening, trying to make small talk with Sam, who didn’t budge from the floor. Jane had even tried to persuade her daughter to eat something, but Sam just wasn’t in the mood to humour them. Feeling disheartened, the couple left their daughters alone in whatever personal hell and prison they were now locked in. It was solitude, their hearts and minds closed off from the world surrounding them; all joy in life had left them. With Brooke, a terrible car accident had rendered her shut off while in Sam’s case, deep untold emotional despair. A shared abyss, one which neither girl it seemed could get out of without the other’s help. Just as the sun began to rise in the dawn sky, Sam heard a groan so soft that at first she thought it was her mind playing tricks on her. Every little sound had drawn her attention throughout the night. The soft sweeping motions of a nurse’s overshoe, the rattle of a trolley full of different kinds of medication. Nothing had escaped the journalist’s attention, while she waited for a sign of Brooke being awake and alert, even if it was to give Sam abuse for the fight over Harrison. Or maybe because she had shouted at Brooke in the first place, which had caused the cheerleader to stop in the path of the oncoming car. If only she had moved, shoved Brooke out of the car’s path, maybe even pulled her back so both of them would’ve avoided Nicole’s drunken rampage. These possibilities began circling in Sam’s mind, taunting her and tormenting her, dragging her further and further into deep remorse and guilt. Finally, a soft cry louder than the previous groan broke Sam out of her stupor and she immediately clambered to her feet.
“Sam?!” Brooke’s voice had never sounded so beautiful to Sam in all of the time they had known one another. The frailty of the tone also touched her deeply, moving her to the point that for what seemed like the millionth time in the past twenty four hours, her eyes glistened with tears. Standing so fast after sitting in the same stiff position for hours meant that a shot of muscle cramps sped through Sam’s body. Gritting her teeth and shaking of the light-headed feeling that followed, she crossed the small room and sat down on the hospital bed beside Brooke.
“I’m here, Brooke, I’ve always been here,” her voice was full of tiredness and sadness, “how are you feeling?” Brooke could barely believe the physical condition Sam was in, there were tremendous bags beneath her eyes indicating a severe lack of sleep. Her face was also drawn in slightly and pale, suggesting she had not eaten for at least twenty four hours if not more. The brown eyes normally full of spirit, life and joy were now dull and full of the deepest sorrow Brooke had ever seen. Even the occasions when she saw Sam get upset over the death of Joe McPherson had not seen her as dejected or broken looking. Sitting up tentatively, mindful of her leg and a terrible dull ache in her lower abdomen, Brooke reached out and wrapped her arms around Sam before lying back down, taking the brunette with her. Gently stroking the devastated girl’s back, Brooke began humming softly before speaking.
“To be honest, I feel like I was hit by a truck,” her bad joke got a slight smirk from Sam, “and we both know I’m not far wrong with that comment. Now, while I’m wondering how the hell my leg ended up wrapped tighter than an Egyptian mummy, I think we both could use a bit of rest right now. You look like hell, Sammy; we’ll talk more later, though. Cuddle into me, being a single bed and all, we don’t have any choice on having space between us.” Too tired and numb to argue, Sam drew her legs up onto the hospital bed and lay in Brooke’s arms until sleep finally claimed her.
Later that day, when early evening had rolled in, Brooke awoke and looked down at the still sleeping form of Sam. The blonde was hard pressed to remember a time she last saw the other girl look so peaceful and unguarded as she was at that moment. Whenever Sam was awake, to Brooke her eyes always carried a somewhat haunted look, showing there was a terrible pain lurking just beneath the surface. Some dark monster, hidden from the casual onlooker and it was a likely probability that none of Sam’s friends or her mother knew what was haunting and chasing her so badly. This also made Brooke wonder if it was she alone who had been hit by Nicole’s speeding car the other night or if Sam had been damaged alongside her. Physical wounds healed a lot faster and quicker than emotional ones, she would one day be on her feet again, but Brooke doubted whether Sam would ever show the spirit and fire she did before. A thousand thoughts and questions were flooding her mind at that moment. What condition was her leg in? Why was her mid-region so painful and stiff that movement only made it worse? Where was Nicole?
The sun was slowly setting outside the hospital room bedroom; its orange glow casting a breath-taking silhouette over Sam’s sleeping face. Although Brooke’s memory was fuzzy from the car hitting her and sending her flying, she recalled dimly feeling Sam’s lips gently press against her forehead. She could not blame the brunette for the confrontation they had shared over Harrison. Truth be told, Brooke felt nothing but friendship for the boy she knew had loved her ever since their kindergarten days. There was someone she had been secretly pining for in the world, but it definitely wasn’t him. Her courage had failed her when it came to confessing her feelings for this special person, but her heart was still telling her to be honest. She had fled the school after Harrison had made his decision not because she wished he had chosen her instead, but because she couldn’t bear to see Sam in the arms of another. It had been that way even when Sam had been dating George, but Brooke had put on a smile and pretended to be happy for her soon-to-be-stepsister. Now, though, she knew she could no longer put on such pretences. Her cowardice with her feelings had almost gotten her killed and she could tell Sam had not survived intact either. She now had no choice but to admit to herself these feelings, hopefully one day she would be brave enough to tell Sam about them. She was brought out of her musings when she felt Sam stir in her arms.
“Hey there,” Brooke kept her voice soft and gentle, “How are you feeling?” Sam tilted her head so she was now looking into the blonde’s eyes. Brooke noted the eyes had lost the drained, barren look they had earlier that day, but instead contained the inner pain once more. Like all of the horrors of the world were chasing Sam and not giving her one moment of peace, determined to claim their quarry and make her lose herself. Sam’s mind was starting to absorb the information that Brooke was awake and on the mend, trying very hard to overwrite the nightmare that the blonde was going to die. Inside, Sam’s heart was breaking and crying with joy at the same time. So full of sorrow yet so full of joy at the same time, it was strange to her to be experiencing such a paradox of emotions. Brooke’s eyes were full of warmth and concern and not hatred or anger, which was another thing that went against what Sam’s logic had been telling her.
“I should be asking you that, you’re the one who got flattened by her best friend’s car,” Sam’s dryness made Brooke smile warmly, “I’ve now had sleep, so that’s no longer a pressing issue. Good thing as well, I think, Mum and Mike were looking at me as though I was damaged or something. At least now I can tell them I’ve caught up on my sleep. Thanks, Brooke.” The last few words were spoken in a tone which revealed Sam’s vulnerability to Brooke in clarity. Hugging the brunette tighter to her body, Brooke rested her head on top of Sam’s.
“Well, you’re welcome, Sammy,” her reply was still soft and gentle; “I’m not really sure how I feel right now. My lower gut region feels like someone’s punched me about fifty times, my leg looks like a really grotesque version of a shish kebab and I’m so hungry I could eat half the cafeteria contents from our school.” Both girls laughed at this remark before a nurse entered the room with a couple of trays of food. Sam quickly disentangled herself from Brooke’s arms and sat on the chair once more.
“It’s good to see you two awake at last, your parents called and asked us to keep an eye on you,” the nurse explained, “I figured you’d both be hungry after all you’ve been through. Eat up and I’ll give your parents a call.” Not needing to be told twice, both girls started eating ravenously.
When your world has been turned on its head, such an experience can be very strange and make everything which follows seem even more so. Sam found herself pondering dully how unusual a sight it was for her to see Carmen, Harrison, Lily, Mary Cherry, Josh and Sugar Daddy all in the same room and talking with each other and Brooke as though they had always been one big group of friends. The day after Brooke had awoken from her sleep, the mixed group of friends from school had come along to visit. Sitting around the hospital bed, either on the chairs there or on the bed beside Brooke, laughing and joking like old friends did when they got together. Sam remained sitting on the floor on the wall across from this scene, contemplating what she was witnessing. Nothing really made sense anymore, that much was proven the other night. To Sam, black no longer appeared to be black and the same could be applied to white in her world. Boundaries and set things were no longer intact; her mind was in complete turmoil. The only thing which made sense was to shut herself off from everyone emotionally, keep a large wall between them and her. She figured that this way, she would never be hurt by anything else again in an emotional context. The pain was too much, too great to take and Sam knew the wounds she already had she would carry for the rest of her life. It was too intense, too great a risk for her to ever take again. Opening her heart to those, allowing herself to truly feel love only brought pain in the long run. Even close friendship could bring its share of heartache and pain. Caught up in her thoughts, Sam could barely make out what her friends and Brooke were talking about.
“What’s up with Sam?” Carmen asked Brooke lowly, so as not to be heard by her friend, “she looks almost like she was the one hit by Nicole’s car that night.” Brooke sighed softly and gave her shoulders a brief shrug.
“She’s been like that ever since I woke up,” she replied, “I’ve not been pushing or prying to find out what’s wrong, but I can tell it’s deep and she not exactly wants to share it with everyone. What was she like when I got hit by Nic’s car?” Harrison and Carmen exchanged doubtful glances, which made the soft hair on Brooke’s neck stand on end. Something else had occurred that night, something which Sam’s friends had been reluctant to share before this point. Sighing, Harrison got ready to explain;
“She saw the whole thing, Brooke. Carmen and I arrived just after you’d been hit, we heard Sam’s hysterical scream of warning from a good distance away. She was completely numb, though, and acted as though she never saw Carmen or me appear. She called for an ambulance, then went to check out Nicole’s car. It looked like she was gonna kick the shit outta Nic, I’ve never seen Sam look so angry in all the time I’ve known her. Then, she came over to where Carm and I were waiting, beside you. She knelt down and took your head in her lap just as you woke up.” Brooke cut Harrison off as she relived what she could remember of that night.
“And she gently kissed me on the forehead,” Brooke’s words were a gentle whisper as she was lost in memories, “I remember her shouting out to warn me, before Nic’s car got me. It stopped me, the tone of fear and terror in her voice. Then, I couldn’t move because I just saw Nicole speeding towards me.” Before anyone could say anything else, a nurse came into the room and began ushering them outside. They were all complaining about it, but the nurse simply said “Visiting time’s over”. She never said anything to Sam, though, who had just remained sitting with her back against the white-washed wall. Once she realised that she was alone once more with Brooke, the brunette went back over to the hospital bed and sat down on it beside the blonde. Brooke could tell by the look in Sam’s eyes that her heart was breaking inside, she was carrying an incredible amount of guilt and regret inside. The two girls simply looked at one another for a few minutes, Sam welcoming the sight once more of Brooke being alive and looking relatively healthy. However, her heart was heavy as she remembered the news she would have to tell the cheerleader about her injured state. Entwining her fingers with those of Brooke’s hand which was nearest her, Sam inhaled a shaky breath and Brooke’s complete attention was waiting for what Sam would have to say.
“Brooke, there’s something I have to tell you,” Sam said, struggling to keep her voice steady, “well, a couple of things actually. First, I’m really sorry for the other night when you got hit by Nicole’s car. If I’d just let Harry pick you and be with you instead of demanding he choose me because he’s known me longer, then you wouldn’t have been out in the street that night. I hope you can forgive me in time, especially when I tell you the next thing. The doctor said it would me at least a couple of months before you’re able to walk again and it’ll be unlikely if you can ever do anything sporty ever again. I’m so sorry, Brooke.” Brooke was lost for words. She had just been told that she would most likely never be able to do cheerleading again in her life. Guess Nicole got what she always wanted; now she gets to be captain and the most popular girl in school. However, Brooke took in the dejected, broken form which used to be the head journalist of the Kennedy High newspaper, the Zapruter. Brooke knew her wounds would heal a lot sooner than Sam’s would. Things like popularity and being head cheerleader hardly seemed important anymore, considering the girl was lucky to just be alive. The knowledge as well that she would not be disabled permanently made everything else rest with Brooke a lot easier.
“Sammy, I don’t blame you for what happened that night,” her reply completely caught Sam off-guard, “it was as much my fault as it was yours that we ended up fighting over Harrison. With regards to Nic hitting me with her car, if it hadn’t been for you shouting out a warning to me, I may have been injured worse than I was. Nic could’ve hit me while I was running and that would’ve done worse damage, maybe even killed me. So, although I feel there’s nothing to forgive you for, if it’s what you need to hear, I forgive you, Sam.” Sam burst into tears and buried her head in Brooke’s shoulder. The blonde held onto the brunette as she cried out her pain, her whole body shaking with sobs. Sam needed her, needed Brooke to help unload some of her pain. The brunette knew at the back of her mind that she could never maintain an icy emotional distance from her future stepsister. Everyone else would be kept as far away as Sam could manage, none of them could ever dare to hope to get emotionally close to her. However, her heart was torn between sinking and swelling at the knowledge that Brooke could never be kept so far away. Sam’s heart was purring with content at the closeness to the object of its affections, the one thing in the whole world it wanted to keep safe and well at all costs. The myriad of feelings travelling through her body were upsetting Sam quite considerably, she really had no idea who she was anymore and was unsure of everything in her world. Brooke forgave her, in spite of the fact her argument with Sam was the reason she had been in front of Nicole’s car in the first place. Sam couldn’t help but feel it was her fault that the other girl would never do cheerleading again. It then caught her completely by surprise when she felt the softest set of lips she had ever known press gently against her forehead. Opening her eyes in surprise, Sam found herself looking like a deer in headlights at the amused grin on Brooke’s face.
“That was my way of thanking you for saving my life that night,” Brooke explained merrily, “plus also, I wanted to pay you back for that small kiss you gave me on my head.” Sam merely nodded before looking away nervously. So much was happening, it was hard to tell what was really there and what Sam’s heart was telling her it could see. Brooke could sense the trepidation and fear emanating from her friend; it definitely felt like Sam was having an internal quarrel of some kind. Not wishing to push the matter, but thankful that Sam was at least letting her close, Brooke turned on the TV she had sitting in her hospital room with the remote control.
“Right, let’s see what’s happening on Judge Judy today, Sammy,” neither girl spoke after this, just simply enjoying one another’s company and watching the TV.
High School, a zone of hell and irritation for any teenager. For one who had just seen one of their family members and dearest friends almost killed, both of these factors were increased in multiple proportions. Sam had no choice but to return to Kennedy High for her last couple of weeks of school before it closed for the summer. This did not rest well with her; the only thing she cared about was stuck in a hospital across town from where she currently was. Include the knowledge that Nicole Julian had only sustained mild whiplash after her car had crashed and was back at school as well with only a fine and a couple of years ban on driving and Sam wasn’t a happy person to say the least. Carmen, Lily and Harrison had all tried to get some semblance of the old Sam to make an appearance, not liking this new withdrawn version very much. However, Sam wasn’t taking any of them on. Existing from day to day was painful for her; time seemed to have slowed down around her so that one day bled into the next with a sense of decay. Nothing truly mattered anymore, her emotional walls were the highest and strongest they had ever been. Food had lost its relevance as well, with Sam only eating barely enough to survive on. Time with Brooke as well, although it filled Sam with tremendous joy and happiness, also hurt her beyond belief. She couldn’t shake the feeling they were living on borrowed time now, couldn’t quite shrug off the shadows of that fateful night from her darkest nightmares. It amazed her somewhat how someone could bring her such joy and at the same time such pain. It was as if she was living to be in Brooke’s presence but also this was slowly killing her inside. She also secretly hoped not to encounter Nicole unless they were in the classes they shared, in which case they could ignore each other. However, one afternoon during the lunch break, Sam was unfortunate to cross paths with her arch nemesis. She had merely been sitting in the bleachers outside in the afternoon sunshine, reading an old book of hers, when she had her sunlight blocked abruptly.
“Spam, thought the school stank of something funny,” Nicole’s trademark sneer accompanied her usual taunts, “had enough of hanging around hospitals, you decided to contaminate the school with your unfashionable presence?” Sam placed her book down on the bleacher she was sitting on, drew herself slowly up to Nicole’s eye level and stared warningly.
“I’m only going to say this once, Satan,” her voice was full of icy hatred, “get lost or I won’t be held responsible for my actions.” Nicole responded to this by stepping even closer so she was right inside Sam’s personal space. Now they were so close that their noses were almost touching.
“Ooh, what will you do, Spam?” Nicole replied coolly, “If you’re as good at giving out punishment as you are at saving family and friends from certain doom, then I have nothing to worry about.” These were the last words Nicole said before Sam hit her hard across the jaw. A mist of blind rage descended upon the brunette, she saw nothing and truly felt nothing. The emotional turmoil had given way so that she no longer felt emptiness inside either. Her only instinct was to hit Nicole again and again, keep on hitting until the blonde truly understood what it felt to endure pain. As she had only gone up one level of the bleachers, Sam sent Nicole sprawling backwards so she fell over the border at the bottom and onto the football pitch. Every pent up feeling of anger, every ounce of hate she had for the blonde finally was unleashed as she kept punching Nicole over and over. This violent tirade only ceased when Sam felt herself being pulled back. Somewhere, two sets of hands had grabbed her by the arms and were dragging her gently but firmly away from Nicole. Voices were talking, trying to reason and snap her out of it. Sam felt the blind rage subside slowly; it was as if she was coming out of a deep trance. Turning from one side to the other, she saw the voices and the restraining arms belonged to Lily and Carmen. The three of them were now sitting once again in the front row of bleachers, near where Sam’s things were still sitting, forgotten. As she cast her eyes back across the football pitch, Sam saw a small group of people were gathered around the prone form of Nicole Julian. It filled her with a sick sense of satisfaction to see the blonde lying on the ground, hopefully with at least some measure of the physical pain which she had inflicted upon Brooke. Guessing she had to respond to her friends’ pleas of reason and queries of worry, Sam turned to face Lily.
“She was in my light, hence she deserved what she got,” Sam then turned and looked at Carmen, “Satan almost killed Brooke and she gets to walk around the school as free as anything while Brooke’s stuck in hospital for God knows how long. I just sped up the karma factor, the bitch had it coming.” Inside, Sam could hear her heart roar in triumph, satisfied with her for taking care of the menace which had tried so hard to kill Brooke. Nothing mattered anymore in that moment, not even the sight of Principal Krubbs marching over to the bleachers with a face like thunder. She had got retribution, avenged the brightest being in her life and now she was willing to take whatever pathetic punishment she was dealt. Nothing could be worse than the mental prison and hell she was inflicting upon herself.
Brooke could only look at Sam in exasperation as the brunette sat on the floor across from her hospital bed. It had been a couple of weeks since Sam’s attack on Nicole, which had resulted in the blonde nursing a broken nose, a burst lip and at least a couple of broken ribs. Principal Krubbs had suspended Sam for the rest of term, with orders to Mike and Jane that they get some sort of counselling for the troubled teen. However, this was proving to be a one-sided battle as Sam wasn’t willing to help her parents. She had completely withdrawn into herself, barely talking to anyone and this included the blonde she couldn’t stand not being apart from for too long. Heaven and hell combined in one, sitting on a starch white hospital bed across the room from her. The greatest happiness in the world aligned with the strongest sorrow, these things were driving Sam ever so slowly insane. She wanted so badly to reach out and hold Brooke close, just let her in and show her the pain which was cursing through her veins every second of the day. Night only brought with it horrendous nightmares of when Nicole had smacked into Brooke with her luxury car. Brooke meanwhile was a helpless spectator to the self-destruction of Sam MacPherson. Her encased leg and internal injuries prevented her from leaving the hospital bed, her heart was roaring inside her chest with frustration at not being able to reach Sam and hold her close in her time of need.
“Sam, I’m asking you this once as I’m too tired to beg,” Brooke’s soft whisper made Sam almost jump out of her skin, “please get off the floor and come lie on the bed with me.” Sighing wearily, the brunette drew herself to her feet and walked forlornly over to the blonde. She curled up beside Brooke on the bed in the same manner she had done when Brooke had woken after her operations. The soft, rhythmic motions of Brooke’s fingers through her wavy brown locks were almost more than Sam could bear. It wasn’t long before the tears began to flow, the first she had shed since before her attack on Nicole. Brooke gently pressed her lips against Sam’s temple, whispering soft reassuring things into her ear as the young girl cried and released more of her pain. They remained like this for an indeterminable amount of time, neither of them really counting or caring. It dawned on Brooke that she was the only person that Sam would let close in any shape or form. This caused her heart to swell with joy and also made her all the more determined to find out what was causing the brunette such deep grief. Eventually, Brooke felt Sam pull back slightly in her arms and the blonde released her hold enough for the brunette to sit back as far as she wanted, but not relinquishing her grip entirely. The one thing which was keeping Brooke from turning into an emotional wreck at the gravity of her situation was having Sam close and the cuddles and hugs were also a boost in this.
“I guess I should tell you why I attacked Nic,” Sam said slowly, “seeing as I’ve not really given anyone a straight answer on that since it happened. You know how I hated Nicole before you got hit by her car, right? Well, imagine how you’d feel if you saw the likes of me, Mum or your dad get hit by that car. I don’t think there’s really a word of any nature to describe how I feel towards Satan now, I’d gladly kill her if it wasn’t illegal. She’s out in the world, walking around with hardly a care in the world, while you’re stuck in this place for who knows how long. Also, you’re looking at a lot of physiotherapy if you even want to walk again, Brooke, its things like this which piss me off so much. I’d love to give you the mobility and freedom you had before, give you back the popularity and the adoration you know you had before the accident.” She stopped talking when she felt Brooke’s hand entwine with hers. These small touches had become very important to Sam ever since the accident had happened. They let her know that she wasn’t alone in her private hell, that there was someone else in there with her who knew her pain.
“Sam, I know you feel guilty about the condition I’m in,” Brooke kept her voice soft and gentle, “but look at the good that’s come from this. Could you ever imagine us being this close if you think back to only six months ago? I know I wouldn’t have classed you as one of my best friends back then, though after my best friend tried to kill me, I’m not really sure who to trust right now.” This was only a half-joke, for the blonde wasn’t letting on to Sam just how badly she had been shaken emotionally by the ordeal. Sam could sense, though, the frailty behind the words and knew that Brooke was hurting on an emotional level in a similar way to herself.
“You obviously feel you can trust me, princess, otherwise you wouldn’t be so open with me,” Sam’s words rang true and offered comfort to Brooke, “I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but now we seem to be each others’ shoulder to cry on, pardon the pun. I feel like I can trust you more than most people at the moment, I know Mum and the others have been asking you to try and reach me where they can’t.” Brooke nodded in agreement before inhaling a shaky breath. Now she figured would be the best time to be honest with Sam about how she’d been handling things since the accident.
“Mum and Dad have been worried about me lately as well,” she couldn’t quite shake the shaky tone from her voice, “Let’s say I’ve not exactly been any chattier with them than you’ve been. I overheard the doctor telling them the other day that I should be fit enough to return home in a few weeks. They’re planning on removing this scaffolding that they’ve currently got on my leg, along with the plaster cast. From what I know, the next stage will involve me getting put through some gruelling physiotherapy and even then, there won’t be any guarantees of me walking again. He also said a good part of recovering from any injury is mental, but how can I see a good side to any of this?” Brooke didn’t realise she was crying until she felt Sam take her in her arms and hold her tightly. It did sink in more with the blonde at that moment than any before it; Sam could understand and feel her pain better than anyone else around her. The hell into which both girls had been thrown was one that only if they united to face could they hope to come out of stronger. In that moment, Sam made a silent vow to help Brooke in her marathon trip to full health. She would be by the blonde’s side every step of the way, not letting her go through anything alone if she could help it.
It was roughly six weeks after this that Brooke went into surgery for the removal of her external support. The time had dragged by in a slow and painful manner, with both the blonde and Sam terrified of what the outcome could be. However, after her emotional talk with Brooke, Sam had been more cooperative with their parents’ efforts to find out what was upsetting her so much. They had arranged for Sam to visit a trained counsellor a couple of times a week to talk things through. The counsellor, in turn, had been keeping in close contact with the family’s GP as the feedback from these sessions would be vital if Sam was to ever return to Kennedy High in the autumn. The verdict from the sessions up to the date of Brooke’s operation was that Sam had suffered a mental breakdown and was living with a mild form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Both of these things would require a long and slow recovery and the GP had stated how the outcome of the recovery process was not a certain one.
“Samantha could be stuck feeling like Brooke’s condition is her fault for the rest of her life,” he had said gently to Jane and Mike, “or she could return to something like her former self prior to the accident. I wish I could offer you better news than this, but I’m afraid that’s all I can say for the foreseeable future.” While this news had brought some relief to the couple in terms of knowing what was wrong with one of their daughters, it also added to the heartache they were feeling. Sam, meanwhile, was completely unaware of the potential bleakness of her future. Her sole concern was getting Brooke back on her feet and it hadn’t really occurred to her how close the pair of them had become. In fact, neither girl had really paid attention to how they were keeping each other going through this long and difficult time. However, the small glances and gentle touches had not escaped the awareness of their parents. Something was definitely growing between the girls and even their mixed group of friends had noticed it as well.
“So, should we take bets on how long it’ll take after Brooke’s operation for those two to admit their feelings to each other?” Lily piped up the evening before Brooke was due to go into theatre. Herself, Josh, Carmen and Sugar Daddy were walking along the street after visiting the girls in hospital. She only brought up this subject matter because Harrison wasn’t there and, as such, she knew such a topic could be raised without fear of him going into a homophobic diatribe about why gayness is wrong. As far as she was concerned, Lily couldn’t understand why love should be declared wrong or unnatural simply because it existed between members of the same gender. The others all looked at each other in some slight amazement. All of them had spotted the growing chemistry between Brooke and Sam, but Lily was the first person to actually mention it out of their group.
“I’ll take first bet, yo,” Sugar replied, “I’ll bet y’all that Sam tells Brooke of how she feels a couple of weeks after Brooke gets her operation.” This started a round of bets and good-natured arguing from the rest of the group. Lily couldn’t help but smile to herself about it. Now for those guys to get their heads together!!
Sam was sleeping in her usual chair in Brooke’s hospital room when the blonde was wheeled back in after her surgery. The brunette was jerked awake by the sound of the orderlies bringing Brooke back in and transferring her onto her main hospital bed. The steel cage which had been encasing her leg was now gone and this was something which Sam had been anxious for. The ugly structure had been a reminder to both of them of what had happened to them and it was also like a physical representation of the personal prison both of them had been thrown into. The past couple of months had indeed felt like a prison sentence for Sam, where she had shut everyone close to her out with very high and impenetrable emotional walls. As this time had passed in its slowness and feeling of relentless eternity, one very significant thing had occurred to Sam. She was in love with Brooke and her heart indeed felt complete and unwavering loyalty to the former cheerleader. The first murmurings of her mind and heart which stirred the night Brooke had been hit by Nicole’s car steadily had manifested themselves into insistent callings for Sam to tell the girl how she truly felt.
The counsellor as well had suggested to Sam that she be completely honest with Brooke about how she felt, but now the journalist found herself more scared than she had ever felt in her entire life. As far as she was concerned, there was very little if any chance of Brooke feeling the same way as she did. To come out with her feelings would surely ruin the close friendship which had slowly been forming over the duration of the time spent in hospital. However, Sam was also torn into telling Brooke of her feelings when she cast her eyes over the frailty of the sleeping girl. Life was too uncertain and short for important things to be kept secret, as no one could be certain when the opportunity for telling these things would be lost forever. She let her gaze pass slowly over Brooke’s sleeping form, taking in the physical condition of the girl. It struck Sam that she had yet to see Brooke looking more beautiful than she looked when she was asleep and trouble-free. Although her leg was free of the metal cage, it was now bound in a dressing which ran the length of Brooke’s leg. Lightly running a hand along it, Sam could feel how thick the covering was and inwardly became concerned by how extensive the surgery was which had been performed.
“Oh Brooke, how much do you have to go through?” she whispered into the silence of the room. The brilliant glow of the sun shining through the room window signalled the oncoming evening. Sitting down, gazing out of the window as her mind wandered, Sam didn’t hear her mum and Mike come in until they closed the door fully. She rose from her chair and gave them both a hug. They were interrupted when the doctor came in and walked over to Brooke to read her chart and see how she was.
“Yes, well, it looks like Brooke has come through her surgery very well,” he said gently once he was finished, “she’s just sleeping off the anaesthetic now and should wake up tomorrow morning.”
“Doctor, what procedures did she get done to her leg?” Sam asked, her voice getting steadily angry, “I can tell by the thickness of the dressing on her leg it wasn’t just a case of taking out screws.” Almost immediately, Sam felt her mum’s hand on her left shoulder, trying to calm her down. The brunette wouldn’t be calm, wouldn’t relax the intense and angry glare she was giving the doctor until she knew exactly what Brooke had been through. Sighing, the doctor gestured for all the people in the room to step outside so he could speak without waking the patient. Once they were in the corridor, the doctor turned to address the other individuals with him.
“I thought it better that we have this discussion out here so as not to disturb Brooke,” he explained, “the surgeon found Brooke’s leg to be in a much worse condition than he had been led to believe. The bones in her shin and thigh have knitted well onto the steel rods holding them in place, but her knee was unsalvageable. The cartilage had completely disintegrated due to fragments of bone which had come away from her other fractures tearing into it and also because of her body’s attempts to heal itself. The immune system saw the torn cartilage as a foreign threat we believe and, as such, went to work and destroyed what was left. For Brooke’s wellbeing, the surgeon decided the best course of action was to give her a total knee replacement. I can’t say at this stage how this will affect her long term recovery, but she will need physiotherapy to get accustomed to the new joint before we can try to get her walking again. It will be a case of taking it one step at a time, I’m afraid.” After politely thanking the doctor for the update on Brooke’s condition, all three of them made their way back into the room where Brooke was sleeping. Sam crept onto the bed, wrapped her body around that of the blonde and stayed like that. Mike and Jane didn’t say anything to stop Sam from doing this, both of them knowing how each girl somehow understood the others’ pain. Tomorrow would be another day and everything could be dealt with then.
“Ow!! Can I say, I was misinformed about how sore physiotherapy would be to go through?!” Brooke yelled crankily at the physiotherapist who was bending her leg back and forward. The doctor, who was an older woman, merely sighed her impatience and continued making Brooke work. From across the room as always, Sam watched with a deep sense of sadness and guilt for what the blonde was going through. It had been a week since Brooke’s operation and this was her second session of physiotherapy to get her used to bending her new knee. It had been a shock to both girls when Brooke’s dressing had been taken off initially. Over a month spent in bed and no exercise had seen the muscles in Brooke’s leg shrink and the length of her leg was covered with a very long scar. It zigzagged along her thigh and shin and there were a number of holes from her thigh to her ankle where the rods from the external support had penetrated her skin. The area surrounding her knee was worse than the rest of Brooke’s leg, though, as the stitches were still in and her entire knee had become swollen and bruised. Her surgeon had visited to check on her condition and he seemed pleased with how she’d come out of the operation. Sam could still remember what he had said to try and relieve Brooke, who was on the verge of tears after staring at her leg since the dressing had been removed earlier that day.
“It looks a lot worse than it actually is,” his voice never wavered from that patronising tone which Sam had come to hate, “your stitches will be out in a couple of weeks and you should be able to go home then. You will start physiotherapy later on this week, which will see you hopefully become accustomed to your new joint. The physiotherapist will give you exercises to do at home in order to build up the muscle tone in your leg again. Take care, Brooke.”
These words had done little to alleviate the former cheerleader. Sam was burning with frustration and anger towards the seeming futility of the situation Brooke was now trapped in. She had been taking her feelings out on anyone close to her apart from Brooke herself by allowing her temper to grow shorter. Anytime that one of her friends had made an attempt at talking to Sam or tried to cheer her up, they simply got the brunt of the brunette’s fiery temper. Even her mum had been on the receiving end of Sam’s rage at the hopelessness of it all. She knew that Brooke needed her more than ever and this was the reason she was present at the physiotherapy sessions. Part of her promise to be by Brooke’s side included this and she could tell the blonde was grateful. Brooke was the only person who didn’t seem to get on Sam’s nerves these days and managed to almost calm her just by being there in the same room. At this point, Sam could definitely admit to herself that she was definitely head over heels in love with the girl. She desperately wanted to hold Brooke in her arms and never let go, not even for one second. This feeling immediately came to the forefront of her mind when Sam spotted Brooke sitting on the training mat in tears in front of the physiotherapist. The older woman stood up and said in much clipped tones:
“That’s all for today, you can go back with your sister now.” The look of impatience on the woman’s face coupled with Brooke’s tears of pain and distress was too much for Sam to bear witness to. She marched over and stood almost literally nose to nose with the physiotherapist.
“Would you mind stepping out of my personal space?” the woman asked Sam in a tone of definite irritation. Sam merely smirked before replying.
“I will, once you go over to Brooke and apologise for the pain you just put her through,” Sam’s voice contained a deadly tone of venom, “unless you do that, I will be more than happy to report to your supervisor that you’ve treated my sister in a very rough and unprofessional manner.” The physiotherapist, unaccustomed to being spoken to in such a manner, sneered at both Sam and Brooke before turning and walking out of the training room. Sam immediately knelt down at Brooke’s side and took the shaking blonde into her arms.
“Ssh, it’s ok, Brooke,” Sam whispered gently, “it’s alright, sweetie, I’ve got you. That heinous bitch won’t upset you again, I swear.” It was almost too much for Sam to bear when she felt Brooke bury her head in the crook of her neck. Immediately, Brooke’s pants of breath began to brush against Sam’s neck and she had to bite down hard on her tongue to prevent a moan of pleasure escaping. It again occurred to her how it was heaven and hell, being around this girl and not being able to be with her in the manner her body craved. One thing at a time, Sammy. Unknown to Sam, Brooke was having the same thoughts. Being held in Sam’s arms while she was feeling her most vulnerable was the sweetest thing for Brooke, but also the hardest. Sam only lessened the tight embrace she had Brooke in when she felt the other girl pull back slightly. She was rewarded when Brooke looked up and smiled warmly at Sam while her brown eyes were glowing with mischief and joy. It was the first time since the accident that Sam had seen Brooke’s entire face light up like that. She couldn’t help but smile back, giving Brooke the smile which made her melt inside and want to kiss Sam so badly it was almost unbearable. Sensing a new level of tension between them in those few moments, Brooke opted for a way to ease back into their routine.
“So, she’s a heinous bitch, eh Sammy?” her remark had Sam blushing a deep shade of red. However, sensing the relaxed nature that Brooke was in, she decided to play along.
“Yeah, well, she did make Bio Glass look like a nun in comparison,” Sam’s dry response had Brooke doubled over in laughter, “and don’t forget what I did to the last idiot who inflicted some pain on you. Last I heard, Nic’s nose is now sporting a rather prominent crook where I broke it. School will be fun in the fall when I get to see my handiwork first hand.” She was caught off guard when she felt Brooke’s hand slide into and entwine with her own. Although the two of them had been exchanging quiet touches and other small gestures of affection over the past couple of months, it was now occurring to Sam just how often these were happening. Brooke could sense the sudden tenseness in Sam’s manner when she had taken her hand. The blonde as well hadn’t noticed just how much she needed to feel Sam’s touch over the past couple of months until that moment. It was as if the cloud of pain and misery which had engulfed the both of them was now starting to lift. They were both seeing a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, a promise of a new beginning. However, Sam couldn’t help but retreat somewhat into herself and tense up. Nobody had ever gotten completely close to her emotionally; she had kept her guard up especially after her dad died. She could sense, though, that whatever Brooke asked of her, Sam would have no choice but to give. She could deny the blonde nothing and this was why she was edgy around Brooke as well as calm. Brooke for her part was also uncertain of what had apparently revealed itself between her and Sam. She could tell that Sam was also unsure and even more uptight about it than she was. Brooke knew that she would have to tread slowly and delicately with Sam; they were both still very raw with their injuries from the accident.
“I can’t wait to see what you did to Nic either, Sam,” Brooke replied softly, “Thank you for being here.” Sam found herself lost for words, which was a rare occurrence for her. Unable to find the right words, she simply went over to where Brooke’s wheelchair was sitting and brought it over. Once she had helped the blonde into the chair, the both of them left the training room. There were no words needed between them.
“Bet you thought this day would never come, eh?” Sam whispered in Brooke’s ear as she pushed her along in her wheelchair. Brooke suppressed the involuntary shiver that passed through her body at the close proximity of Sam and turned her head to look the brunette in the eye.
“You have no idea,” the husky tone in Brooke’s voice coupled with the darker shade her eyes had gone served to make Sam go weak at the knees. She hadn’t quite expected flirting to enter into the dynamic of her relationship with Brooke, but she knew that it wasn’t something that bothered her. It would simply call for more time spent in cold showers, late at night, when everyone else in the house was asleep. The day which Sam had commented on to Brooke was the day the blonde would finally return home. It filled Sam with a sense of pride at how far Brooke had come since the accident, or even since her leg dressing had been removed. Three more weeks spent with a different physiotherapist had seen Brooke grow accustomed to her new knee and some of the muscle tone return to her leg. Her stitches had also been removed from her knee and in their place was another scar to add to the long one up and down her leg. It was a delicate subject between them, as Sam knew how self conscious Brooke had become since seeing the scars that now marred her once flawless limb. She had insisted on wearing nothing but jeans or trousers since the stitches had been removed from her knee. This was the case even when the summer sunshine had been at its fullest and Sam knew Brooke would previously have worn shorts in the intense heat. Today, though, this all fell into the background as Sam wheeled Brooke up to the front door of the Palace. Reaching forward, mindful of the tugging sensation that still came from her mid-region, Brooke opened and pushed the door wide. Sam wheeled her in and they were both greeted with sudden yells and the faces of their friends and family.
Harrison, Mary Cherry, Sugar Daddy, Josh, Lily, Carmen, Mike, Jane and baby Mac in Jane’s arms all greeted the very shocked girls. Above their heads, pinned above the fireplace was a banner saying ‘Welcome Home Brooke & Sam’. Both girls couldn’t keep the tears from their eyes at this gesture of affection from those dearest to them. Jane handed Mac to Mike before enveloping both Brooke and Sam in an awkward hug.
“Welcome home, you two,” she said warmly, “we all felt like this day would never come, it’s so great having you both back here.” After giving them both a kiss on the cheek, Jane stepped back and took Mac from Mike’s arms so he could hug them. They were hugged by everyone in turn after that, both of them too overcome with emotion to really say anything in response. Once all of their friends and family had hugged them, Sam went over to her mum and took Mac into her arms to take over to Brooke. During their time in hospital, both girls had been missing their little sister like crazy and it lifted their hearts even higher to be reunited with the baby. While they hugged and played with the baby, neither Sam nor Brooke was aware of their loved ones watching the scene in front of them. It was almost as if the pain of the past few months was erasing itself in front of their eyes, with Sam and Brooke showing vestiges of their old selves in front of the group in the same room. After a short while, Sam handed Mac back to her mum and turned to face everyone with her trademark smirk out in full force.
“Come on, everyone, time to party!!” she said happily. Brooke smiled warmly at Sam, feeling her heart jump with joy at the sight of Sam’s smirk. It seemed to her as well that she wasn’t the only person overjoyed at the sight of Sam’s dazzling smile. Jane’s eyes were filled with unshed tears at the sight of her daughter smiling brightly and radiating peace and contentment for the first time in a long time. Brooke made a mental note of doing everything in her power to get that kind of smile from Sam as much as she could. Sugar Daddy then stuck on some CDs that he’d brought along for the small party and Jane wheeled Brooke further into the living room while Sam followed them to a table laden with plates of food. After they’d filled up a plate each of different things they wanted to eat, both girls made their way outside to beside the swimming pool. Sam positioned Brooke’s wheelchair so it was partially in the shade and partially in the sunshine before sitting down on a pool sun bed beside her. It disturbed her when she saw a fleeting shadow of fear and trepidation pass over Brooke’s face. It was her turn to reach over and take one of the blonde’s hands in her own and caress it gently.
“What’s the matter, princess?” she asked gently. Brooke dipped her head before turning and looking up at Sam through a curtain of blonde hair. Her hazel eyes were a window straight into her thoughts and feelings and she was laying them bare for Sam alone to see. There was fear, sadness and a look of something Sam couldn’t quite describe.
“I’m just scared, Sammy,” she whispered softly, “I know I should be happy that we’re finally home and all, but I know I still have some way to go before being anywhere near healthy again. I’m also ashamed, very ashamed of..” Her voice began to falter and her composure threatened to slip completely. Acting instinctively and without giving it a second thought, Sam reached her other hand out and cupped one side of Brooke’s face. She was more than a little surprised when she saw the blonde close her eyes and lean into the contact. Time seemed to stop completely in that instant when Brooke opened her eyes once more and gazed longingly at Sam. Her eyes were soft, warm and reminded Sam of melted chocolate. Sam’s heart was now firmly in her mouth as she found herself leaning closer. Every thought, every instinct in her body was screaming at her to kiss Brooke. Kiss away the pain and the fear; just use the simplest touch to show her affection and tenderness. Both girls had completely forgotten their plates of food, completely forgotten about the other people in the house as they found themselves literally nose to nose. They remained like that, neither of them daring to believe this moment true as they regarded each other with trepidation and wonder. A sudden rapping sound on the window behind them broke both girls out of their reverie and they turned to see Harrison looking at them with a look of pure anger. He turned and walked off into the house. Dipping her head in embarrassment, Sam turned back to face Brooke who was also looking uncertain.
“I know what you’re ashamed of, Brooke,” Sam said gently, “but you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your leg may not be devoid of scars like it used to be, but think of those scars as small testaments to your bravery. To me, they show just how much of an amazing woman you are by going through what you’ve went through and to still have your annoyingly effervescent attitude towards life.” Brooke smiled mischievously at Sam and gave her a punch on the shoulder in response.
“Well, what do you expect, Sammy?” she asked coyly, “I was a cheerleader, after all. You can’t be a cheerleader and not have an upbeat attitude towards everything in life.” Sam rolled her eyes in mock defeat at this response before shoving Brooke back gently.
“Perhaps that’s the reason I’ve always hated cheerleaders,” she replied, “you’re too damn happy for your own good.” Brooke leaned over so her face was right beside Sam’s ear and she rested her hand on Sam’s shoulder.
“From what I gathered, you don’t hate every cheerleader in the world,” Brooke was unable to keep her voice from dipping slightly and she felt a shudder pass through Sam’s body. Before they could say anything further, the girls were joined by Carmen, Sugar Daddy and Mary Cherry.
“Hey guys,” Sam said happily, “enjoying the party? Where’s Harrison?” She asked this, as she couldn’t quite shake the image of Harrison storming away from the window a short time ago in a foul mood. Before any of them could say anything, there was the definite scream of Lily’s voice carrying out into the back garden.
“YOU’RE SUCH A HOMOPHOBIC PRICK, HARRISON!!” Right after this outburst had carried outside and shattered the previously peaceful mood of the household, all of the teenagers in the garden heard the hard slamming of what they assumed was the front door. Sam, Mary Cherry and Sugar Daddy rushed into the living room where they found Josh trying to calm down a very irritated looking Lily.
“What happened, Lily?” Sam asked, although she had a good idea. The Latino girl spun around to face the three of them and Sam could see the anger burning in her eyes.
“Harrison was walking around here like a bear with a sore head,” she explained angrily, “so I asked him what the deal was. He went off on a rant about muff-diving lesbians, how every girl he comes into contact with inevitably will turn out gay and how you and Brooke are now a lesbian couple. He then went on how it makes him sick and he hopes you’ll both burn in hell for this. That was when I let loose with my little rant back in his face!!” As she finished speaking, Lily was shaking from head to toe with barely restrained rage. Mary Cherry and Sugar Daddy stormed out the front door, hot on the heels of Harrison while Sam struggled to get her words together to respond to what Lily said. Her head was spinning on the remark Lily said about her and Brooke. Me and Brooke, a lesbian couple? But she’s straight and has always dated guys!! She was brought out of her thoughts when Mary Cherry came back into the house, looking flustered and almost as angry as Lily.
“Ah swear, that Joe boy’s gonna get a can of whoopass opened on him,” she declared, “He really is the limit, that boy!! Wait til Mama Cherry hears about him giving poor, innocent ol’ me abuse after implying relations between you and lil ol’ Brookie that not only aren’t true, but if they were, have nothing to do with him and his bible-bashing views.” Sam had to bite back a laugh when Mary Cherry described herself as innocent and she couldn’t help but feel a surge of love for the southerner. Acting on this notion, she grabbed a surprised Mary Cherry in a tight hug. She only released her grip when she heard her parents come into the room.
“I’ve called Harrison’s mum to let her know how he’s been acting,” Jane said calmly to everyone, “she’s going to try and have a talk with him about his actions here today. Sam, why don’t you go out and see how Brooke is?” Feeling the tension that was now prevalent in the room, Sam didn’t need to be told twice. She went outside and sat down on the sun bed beside Carmen.
“What’s going on?” Carmen asked her. Sam took a deep breath and told Carmen and Brooke everything that had just happened indoors. She also told them what Harrison had said to Lily about her and Brooke, although she failed to see Brooke struggle with this assumption in the same way she had done a short time ago. All Sam was concentrating on was getting her words out without showing her obvious nervousness about whether she and Brooke could be together. That discussion was for another place and another time if it was to happen at all. Once she had finished talking, Sam saw Carmen looking every bit as angry as the others had been and Brooke had a look of confusion on her face.
“Look, getting mad at Harrison right now won’t solve anything,” Sam said to try and lighten the mood, “Let’s go inside and continue the party without him.” She then got behind Brooke’s wheelchair while Carmen stood up and all three girls made their way inside the house.
Later on that night, Sam and Brooke were getting ready to make their way to bed. The rest of the afternoon and early evening had passed uneventful and everyone had a good time. Mary Cherry promised both Sam and Brooke that she would see about getting even with Harrison for his homophobic behaviour as she was leaving. Sugar Daddy had returned earlier on in the afternoon after trying to reason with Harrison to get him to go back to the Palace with him. This had proved unsuccessful, with Harrison giving Sugar even more abuse than he’d subjected Lily to. Brooke and Sam had appeared to shrug Harrison’s act of prejudice in front of their friends and family, but now that they were alone, both girls were feeling terribly insecure and unsure. They were sitting on the couch watching TV together for the first time in a long time. Sam had changed into a pair of clean pyjamas which had short bottoms so that they revealed her legs from her knees all the way down to her feet. Brooke was still in the denims and t-shirt she had worn all day. Both girls knew, although both of them were too scared to say it aloud, that Brooke couldn’t change clothes on her own. Mike and Jane had both gone to bed after making sure Mac was settled for the night and that both teenagers would be fine on their own for the rest of the evening. Now, they were sitting on the sofa together, afraid to touch each other even with regards to cuddling. Unable to take the tension a second longer, Sam decided just to address the unspoken issue between them.
“Look, I know what Harrison said about us earlier has made things a bit awkward now,” she turned to look at Brooke’s profile as she spoke, “but like Mary Cherry said earlier, it really isn’t his business if we do date each other or not. I won’t make any declarations of love to you just now, Brooke, and I’m not going to ask you to lay your thoughts and feelings out for me to pick at.” Brooke turned to look Sam in the face and the look of endless love displayed on her face made Sam’s heart feel like it had stopped beating.
“I don’t really know what to tell you right now either, Sam,” she replied softly, “I’m still very scared about how our friendship could survive if I told you I was in love with you and you didn’t feel the same way. I’ve enjoyed this new closeness me and you have developed over the past few months, it’s been the only good thing to come out of my accident.” Not waiting for an indication of whether it would be welcomed or not, Brooke leaned over so she had her head lying on Sam’s shoulder. Then, she threw one of her arms across Sam and cuddled right into her. She let out a soft sigh of relief at this simple contact, relishing in the feel of Sam’s warm body pressed against her. Sam meanwhile was equally overjoyed at the cuddle and wrapped one of her arms around Brooke’s shoulders and held her tightly.
“Well, I believe for the time being, we should just see how things go,” Sam whispered softly, “we know how uncertain life is and we also know that things change with time. I’ve really come to enjoy our closeness as well, Brooke. For now though, I believe tomorrow is another day. It’s important that you get a good night’s sleep and don’t think I haven’t noticed how you’ve been avoiding the subject of asking me to help you get ready for bed.” As she said this, Sam’s trademark smirk made an appearance while Brooke dipped her head slightly in embarrassment. She was also laughing at her own shyness around Sam when she remembered all of the times in the hospital that Sam was in the room whenever a nurse had helped her get changed from one set of clothes into another. You’ve got nothing that she hasn’t seen before.
“I’m just shy, I guess,” she admitted to Sam, “but I know I have nothing to be shy about around you. It’s not as if I have anything you haven’t seen before, right?” Sam motioned for Brooke to sit forwards on the couch so that she could get up. Then, wordlessly, she helped Brooke back into her wheelchair, turned the TV off and pushed the chair over to the stairs. The two of them looked at the stairs uncertainly, both trying to think of a way to get up there with the problem that the wheelchair represented. Brooke was then caught off guard when Sam walked to her side and took one of her hands in her own.
“The way I see it,” she explained to Brooke, “the only way we can get you upstairs to bed is if I support you while you hop up each step. We’ll leave the wheelchair here and it can be used in the morning again when you’re up.” Brooke nodded in agreement and leaned into Sam’s grip while she unsteadily got onto her one good foot. She steadied herself with the other hand leaning on the wheelchair for balance and then felt Sam take the hand she had a hold of and drape the arm around her shoulders so Brooke was now leaning on her for support. They took the stairs very slowly and steadily, timing it carefully so that Brooke could hop up each step and not lose her balance with Sam beside her. Eventually, they reached the upper floor and began to make their way along the hallway together. It didn’t take them long before both girls realised that they would have to part ways for the night in order to get to their respective bedrooms. Sam couldn’t help but feel her heart sink at the thought of not sleeping in the same room as Brooke. The blonde had became like a security blanket of sorts to the brunette, her very presence ensuring that she slept soundly and trouble-free. Over the past number of months since Brooke’s accident, being in the same room as her all the time was the only thing which kept Sam sane. Her heart and mind were both in agreement that they wanted to be with the blonde as much as they could be. Brooke turned slightly and saw the way Sam’s face fell. She too didn’t want to sleep in a separate room from Sam, so she decided to be brave and pluck up the courage to voice a suggestion.
“Sammy, I was wondering if you’d mind,” her voice was low and slightly hesitant, “sleeping in with me tonight. I know it may sound a bit childish, but I sleep better with you there beside me. If you don’t want to, I’ll understand, I just thought I’d ask.” Sam turned and made eye contact with Brooke, smiling with gratitude at the blonde’s apparent ability to read minds.
“I don’t mind at all, Brooke,” she replied happily, “I feel the same way.” Both girls made their way to Brooke’s bedroom slowly. Once inside, Sam couldn’t help feeling shy and awkward. She was standing in Brooke’s bedroom, about to help the other girl undress and then get dressed in other clothing. After she helped the blonde over to her bed where she sat down, Sam went over and turned on the up lighter lamp. It immediately bathed the entire room in a soft golden glow and Brooke felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of Sam. The warm light of the lamp cast an encompassing shadow over the brunette’s body, highlighting her toned legs and the different highlights of brown in her dark locks. She had to force herself to breathe and break herself out of the sexual trance she was slowly working herself into. Sam for her part was having difficulty keeping a rein on her own emotions and feelings. She was in Brooke’s bedroom, which shouldn’t have affected her too greatly as it was not the first time, but something was changing between them. Their friends and family could see it even if they themselves refused to admit it.
“Um, w-what drawer do you keep your nightwear in, Brooke?” Sam asked, struggling to keep the tone of arousal out of her voice. Brooke noted how Sam was purposely avoiding eye contact and she had a good feeling why this was.
“Try the top drawer of my dresser, Sam,” she replied. Brooke allowed her eyes to draw over Sam’s body when the brunette had turned away from her. Inside, her emotions were doing somersaults and she so badly wanted to reach out and hold Sam tightly and never let go. She wanted to shout from the rooftops how much she was in love with Sam, especially as the indications were that the other girl felt the same way. For the time being, though, Brooke knew that it was wise to take things one step at a time. Sam made her way back towards Brooke’s bed with a pair of pyjamas which were short style. She didn’t fail to see the fear pass through the blonde’s eyes and the glint of shame that accompanied it.
“Brooke, you have nothing to be ashamed of with your leg,” she whispered tenderly, “I’ll try my best not to look at you too much while we get you changed.” This proved much harder than Sam had initially anticipated. The warm glow of the lamp highlighted every curve that Brooke had through her clothes. Sam turned her back on Brooke while the blonde removed her t-shirt and bra and pulled on her pyjama top. A soft cough drew her attention back to help Brooke remove her denims and as she did so, Sam couldn’t resist the impulse to gently run her hand along Brooke’s scarred leg. She felt the softest of shivers pass along the blonde’s leg as she did so as well as the occasional twitch of muscle. It would take some time before this leg was at the same level of muscle tone and strength as the other one if it ever could be, but it had improved a lot in the short time it had been freed from its prison. Thoughts like these and more were passing through Sam’s mind as she gently slid Brooke’s pyjama bottoms on and was determinedly avoiding eye contact. Once Brooke was in her nightwear, Sam helped her climb underneath the duvet cover. After turning the up lighter lamp off, Sam crawled into the double bed beside Brooke. She was slightly surprised to feel Brooke stretch an arm across and pull her in tighter. In the hospital, due to the much smaller bed and the constant presence of the nursing staff, although they had been incredibly close to each other, Sam and Brooke had not dared wrap their arms around each other. Sam couldn’t help but relax and revel in this closeness once she had gotten over her initial surprise.
“Good night, Princess,” she whispered softly into the blonde’s ear.
“Good night, Sammy,” Brooke whispered back sleepily.
It was in the small hours of the morning, when the world was still bathed under the blanket of night that Sam found herself stirring restlessly. Images were haunting her, playing around and around in her unconscious mind and these were what drove her to full awakened state. This had been the case for her ever since Brooke had been hit by Nicole’s car and when Sam had found some ability to sleep. Not wanting to alarm the injured blonde or their parents, she had kept these things to herself. It was no surprise for Sam to find herself soaked with sweat or that her breathing was taking a bit of time to return to a steady rate. However, she was surprised when she felt Brooke’s slender arms encircle her from the side. Turning and feeling somewhat guilty for awakening the other girl, Sam gazed into the warm loving eyes that were gazing back at her.
“Bad dream?” Brooke’s voice was barely more than a whisper. Sam nodded embarrassedly before resting her head on Brooke’s shoulder.
“I’ve been having them for sometime now,” she replied equally softly. A silent stream of tears began flowing down Sam’s face, unrestrained as she instinctively buried her face in Brooke’s shoulder. As she cried and her pain began seeping outward, Sam was aware that her heart was steadily feeling lighter than it had been of late. Brooke’s delicate hands gently rubbed soothingly along her back, transmitting their warmth and comfort to the crying brunette. This simple and silent motion conveyed more between the girls than a thousand words could’ve done at that point. What Brooke didn’t want to tell Sam was that she had heard the brunette cry out in her sleep and she had been tossing and turning terribly before she had eventually woken. It had broken the blonde’s heart to hear her love cry out in such pain, with whatever demon was tormenting her not giving her some small mercy.
“I’m guessing it’s to do with our dear friend Nic,” Brooke enquired softly; “I wish I could heal your pain, Sammy, I really do. At least mine is mostly physical and it’s becoming less painful with each passing day.” She lowered her head and gently rubbed one of her cheeks against the side of Sam’s face, feeling the warm tears transfer over to her own skin. In such a moment of ecstatic joy and intense emotion, it’s hardly surprising that a person couldn’t understand or control how their body responded to it. Brooke was only aware of her own tears when she felt Sam’s gentle fingers stroke them away from her cheeks. The emotion in the room had risen to an intensity that threatened to burn the skin of both girls. Brooke couldn’t resist pressing her cheek fully into Sam’s warm and inviting hand. Sam’s eyes were aglow with a sense of wonder and clarity, her mind not really trying to understand everything that was happening for once. Her heart felt like it was almost bursting with the love it held for Brooke. She wrapped her arms tightly around the blonde and lay them back down onto the bed. Her fingers stroked and soothed Brookes face in an absent-minded manner, her mind and body not stretched taught with fears of the past for once. Brooke meanwhile was maintaining an equally tight grip on Sam while trying to repress the small shivers that were coursing through her body due to Sam’s innocent caresses. They remained like that for an indeterminable period of time, neither girl knowing for definite how long they spent in each others’ arms in silence.
“It was to do with Nicole,” Sam finally said quietly, “you don’t need to worry about healing me, Brooke. You do that with every day that you’re alive and well with me. I’m feeling a lot better already for sharing these things with you and just lying in your arms.” Brooke turned her head and gently nuzzled against Sam’s neck, clearly overwhelmed by the meaningful things the brunette had just said.
“Let’s try and sleep some more, Sammy,” she replied tenderly, “we’ll talk more in the morning if you feel up to it.” Sam moved so her head was lying on Brooke’s collarbone and the girls went to sleep in that position.
“I can’t believe you talked me into this!!” Brooke exclaimed in a self-conscious tone. Sam merely smirked in a mischievous/tempting fashion which took the blonde’s mind momentarily off the reason for her nervousness. They were in the back garden together, the sun shining brightly above their heads and they were both dressed in their swimming suits. It had been a few weeks since their first night spent together out of hospital and Brooke was making great progress in her physiotherapy sessions. Sam had been at her side every step of the way, encouraging and helping the blonde in any manner that she could. Their parents and friends had all commented on how well Brooke was doing and now the girl was no longer dependant on a wheelchair to get around. A pair of specially designed crutches gave Brooke the support she needed as she slowly began to get the hang of walking again for the first time in months. However, Sam had also been researching into other things as well as physiotherapy and moving around on crutches that Brooke could try to further strengthen the muscles in her weakened leg. Swimming was the most obvious fruit of Sam’s research, as they had their own pool in the back garden. However, it had been tricky to convince Brooke to move around outside with something on other than trousers which covered her leg. Sam had been the only person allowed to see Brooke’s weak leg since they had gotten out of hospital. It had taken hours of gentle persuasion and soft words of encouragement for Brooke to agree to go swimming, to bare her weakened limb to the world. Revealing a sign of imperfection on an otherwise flawless body, well this was how Sam saw it and she tried to offer reassurance to Brooke that her scar did nothing to detract from her outward appearance.
“Now, it’s not as bad as you make it out to be,” Sam replied good-naturedly, “it’s just me and you, in our own back yard, while the rentals are outta town with little Mac in tow. Nobody’s seeing you in that swimsuit except me and we both know I’ve seen you in worse manners of dress before.” She couldn’t keep the slight husky edge from her voice as she said this, her mind casting back to when she’d seen Brooke in her underwear. This had occurred a few times before Brooke had been strong enough on her legs to support her own weight to change. Admittedly, Sam had taken enormous labours not to spend too long raking her eyes over Brooke’s exposed form on these occasions, but she had been unable to stop thinking about it since and they were definitely the reasons why her nightmares were almost obsolete now. Her dreams consisted more of a heated nature and involved the blonde she had come to share a bed with.
“That’s all very true, but I’m just not sure about this,” Brooke stated warily as she slowly waded into the shallow side of the pool. Immediately, she felt Sam take a hold of her hands and gently pull her out to a deeper section, so her body was floating but the brunette didn’t release her grip. She glanced down and noticed that Sam was balancing on her tiptoes in the water so her head remained above it. This small observation made Brooke smile and forget her insecurities about her body. She merely let her legs trail behind her body as she drifted; slowly kicking them in the water, wanting nothing more than to swim into the sanctuary Sam’s body offered her. Suddenly, Sam stopped being a slow and steady participant in these things and began to swim backwards, away from Brooke. She had released her grip of the blonde’s hands and was swimming away from her quite swiftly but not too fast.
“Nuh uh, you’re not getting close to me that easily, princess,” Sam declared teasingly, “if you want me, you’ll have to catch me.” Brooke could only look at the brunette, her mind struggling against the hormones that took the double meaning from Sam’s statement and kicking into overdrive. Her heart was now overruling her rational mind and she was now acting on instinct alone. She wanted to feel Sam’s body close to hers, needed it almost as much as she needed air to breathe. Her legs kicked with more effort than Brooke could remember ever making them do, her whole body surging through the water after Sam who always seemed to be just out of reach. Wanting, aching, needing Sam’s touch desperately and she barely noticed that Sam’s dark brown eyes had gone an even darker colour. The sexual tension of the past few months was slowly brewing to a head between the girls, in this swimming pool, as they chased each other around in the water. Soon, though, Brooke began to show signs of tiring, her weakened leg stiffening up from the labour it had been forced to perform. Her eyelids began to droop, her whole body slowly going limp in the gentle support that the pool offered her. A pair of arms enveloped her and drew the exhausted blonde in close, to where she could rest and not worry about her surroundings. When she had the energy to open her eyes, Brooke saw that she was now lying on the gently sloping bottom of the pool in the shallows in Sam’s arms.
“Guess someone got a little bit more exercise than I’d anticipated,” Sam whispered gently, “how do you feel, princess?” Brooke didn’t move her head from its position on Sam’s heart, just savouring this closeness and loving the intimacy. It was truly as if the rest of the world had disappeared and they were the only people left in existence.
“Why is it you call me princess, Sammy?” Brooke enquired after wondering for some time, “not that I don’t mind it, but I just often wondered why you refer to me as that?” She turned her head to look the other girl in the eyes and saw boundless love staring back at her. Unable to resist any longer, Brooke found herself leaning in and pressing her lips ever so gently against Sam’s. Part of her was screaming to pull back, that she risked destroying everything that had built between her and Sam, but that part of her was firmly shut up by the sensation of Sam kissing back just as passionately. The kiss wasn’t fast or hard, but slow and sensual, speaking volumes of passion to both girls. When they parted, they were both breathing heavily and Sam gently ran a slightly shaky hand down Brooke’s face, cupping her cheek ever so tenderly.
“I call you princess, because I think you’re as beautiful as one,” her words came out whispered, “and also because you deserve to be treated like one. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long, Brooke, that I love you.” Sam’s head was spinning as it comprehended finally telling the love of her life how she truly felt about her. After all of the heartache and pain, this simple admission almost made the trauma seem worthwhile to go through to end up at this place in time. Her heart was silent for the first time in Sam wasn’t sure when, its desires finally revealed to the world. Brooke placed a hand over Sam’s heart and could feel the slow and steady rhythm it had adopted. Whenever Brooke had listened or felt the beat of Sam’s heart prior, it had always been somewhat rapid, as if the girl was scared and nervous. Now, in hindsight, Brooke could see that Sam had been hiding a secret as well as she.
“I love you too, Sam,” Brooke replied lovingly, “I think we should get indoors, though, before we burn.” Both girls laughed at the fact that both of them had forgotten about the intensely hot weather, and how they must look silly lying in a swimming pool cuddled up together. They made their way back indoors, both surprised by the day’s events and also very much relieved by the results.
A few weeks after the incident in the pool, Sam was waiting in a small café in the mall downtown. Harrison had agreed to her suggestion to meet there after his old friend had called him up out of the blue, saying she wanted to talk. The girls were taking things slowly between them; just growing used to the fact the person they were in love with felt the same way. Nothing had occurred except for the odd soft and gentle kiss, neither of them even approaching the subject of French kisses. They were still sharing the same bed, enjoying the intimacy that they always had since the accident. Fidgeting nervously, Sam only relaxed slightly when she saw Harrison come in through the front doors and walk over to the table she was sitting at.
“Hey Sammy, it’s great to see you after so long,” he said enthusiastically, reaching over and giving her a hug. Sam returned the hug, feeling rather uneasy inside. Both she and Brooke had agreed to let their family and friends know about the new step their relationship had taken, but Sam had insisted on telling Harrison about it first. She remembered how badly he had taken his own mother’s homosexual relationship and silently prayed that their close friendship wouldn’t suffer the same fate.
“It’s great to see you too, Harry,” she replied with a strained smile. The friends chatted about anything and everything while they ordered lunch. It was as if they had only seen each other the day before, the ease with which they had fallen into conversation. However, Sam became unnaturally quiet as she picked at the tuna pasta she had ordered and Harrison immediately picked up on this.
“What’s wrong, Sam?” he asked, concerned, “Say, how’s Brooke coming along with her physiotherapy?” This resulted in his best friend flushing a dangerous shade of red at the mention of Brooke’s name. Sam reached over and tentatively took one of Harrison’s hands in her own, and then she took a shuddery breath while trying to compose herself.
“Harrison, I brought you here to tell you something,” she started slowly; “you’re the first person I’ve told out of my family and our friends. I felt it was only fair you should be the first to know.” Harrison’s eyes began to darken and his entire face seemed to freeze as his mind began processing what he was about to hear.
“You’re going to tell me that you’re dating Brooke, aren’t you?” his voice was laced with venom as he said the question. Sam could only nod slowly in silent confirmation, her eyes beginning to fill with tears at the sight of her friend’s anger and obvious disgust which marred his features.
“Fuck, Sammy, all these years you’ve made out how much you hated Brooke,” his voice lost none of its venom, “when all the time, you were pissed cos you couldn’t get a shot at her. Bet you hate me and Josh cos we got to have a go with the bike of Kennedy High before you did.” The loud, echoing sound of Sam’s hand connecting with Harrison’s jaw rang out through the café and drew everyone’s attention. She smirked when she noted the angry red mark which had been left in the wake of her hand before bending down and drawing her eyes level with Harrison’s.
“Now you listen to me, you little homophobic prick,” her voice was low and dangerous sounding, “you can give me as much abuse as you want, but you will not speak about Brooke in that way. If you ever talk about Brooke like that again, or our relationship in such a vulgar manner, I’ll make sure you won’t speak again.” With that comment, Sam turned and marched from the café, head held high with pride as other customers watched and clapped at her performance.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, Brooke was vegging out on the sofa, watching cartoons with Jane. She was enjoying this rare opportunity to relax with her soon-to-be stepmother. With the arrival of baby Mac and her own accident, Brooke and Jane weren’t often in the same room at the same time to enjoy each others’ company. Although initially Jane’s presence in her life had been unwelcome, Brooke was thankful more than ever that her father was marrying someone as amazing as Jane McPherson. She had shown the cheerleader more love and compassion in just over a year than her biological mother had shown in almost eighteen years. Although Brooke was secretly pining for Sam and longing for her return from lunch with Harrison, she somehow managed to keep a tight rein on her feelings. The slow pace at which their relationship was going along at was definitely frustrating the blonde. Although she had agreed to taking things slow along with Sam, having the girl of her dreams actually reciprocate her feelings had resulted in more than just one erotic fantasy. Sharing a bed with her girlfriend coupled with the sweet and gentle kisses they had been sharing, always stopping short of a full blown make-out session, resulted in a very sexually frustrated teenager. Even if they were to move on to the make-out session that all relationships inevitably came to would be something more than what she was currently receiving.
“I’ve noticed Sam seems more like her old self lately,” Jane’s voice brought Brooke out of her fantasies, “do you have any idea what’s brought this change about?” Brooke kept her eyes firmly on the TV, not wanting to meet the gaze of the older woman in case she gave herself away. I’ve got to try and keep a lid on this, I promised Sam I would.
“I’m not really sure, mum, but I’ve noticed a change in her as well,” she muttered, “perhaps something or someone’s keeping her spirits up.” Like me with my lips, pressed against her very full and luscious ones. If only I could be feeling those right now, running my tongue along them and enjoying their…
“Well, last time I saw Sam look anything as happy as she does now,” Jane pressed gently, “was when she was seeing George. I’m not blind, Brooke, I’ve seen the way you both have been looking at each other since your accident. Are you together now?” This simple question resulted in the blonde going a dangerous shade of red and dipping her head, unable to meet Jane’s gaze. She knew that she was firmly cornered and there was no way out of this situation other than to admit the truth. However, before she could make the dreaded response of truth, Brooke was saved by the front door opening and slamming behind the very irritated form of Sam. Her face was flushed red and both women in the living room could see the shine on Sam’s cheeks which was an indication of tears. Not acknowledging anyone, the journalist instead marched straight upstairs and a door could be heard slamming a short time later.
“We’ll discuss this more later,” Jane said, rising to her feet, “I’m assuming you know more about what’s got my other daughter upset than I do. Just, take good care of my Sammy and tell her you both have my blessing.” As she said this, Jane leaned down and gently kissed Brooke on the forehead before walking into the kitchen to go through to the back garden. Trying to get her head around the situation, Brooke tentatively got to her feet. The swimming sessions with Sam had become a routine and alongside the physiotherapy had done wonders for her leg. Now, she was strong enough to walk without crutches or a stick. As she made her way up the stairs and along the hallway, she could hear soft sobs come from Sam’s room. Quietly, she pushed the door ajar and saw the love of her life lying face down on the bed, crying into her duvet cover. It seemed that no time passed before Brooke was sitting on the bed, tenderly running a hand through the thick, brown locks in an attempt to soothe her.
This showed signs of working when Sam slowly stopped sobbing and sat up slowly to see the most beautiful hazel eyes looking back at her, concerned that something bad had happened. Letting out a smile that spoke volumes of gratitude and love, the brunette leaned in and gently started kissing her girlfriend. Brooke immediately put a tight rein on her hormones at the first contact, but this was severely tested when she felt the other girl’s tongue gently caress her lower lip for the first time. Opening her mouth and extending her own tongue to greet the visitor, Brooke moaned softly at this exquisite experience. Neither Josh nor Harrison could make her blood pump and her body sizzle just with a simple kiss, but Sam was well and truly pushing her to the edge. They lay down together, neither of them breaking contact. For Sam, seeing Brooke after the horrific showdown she had with Harrison a short time ago was the happiest moment in her life to date. One reason both of them had been taking their intimate relationship so slowly was that they were aware Sam was still a virgin. After having a bad experience with her first time, Brooke was adamant she wouldn’t let such a thing happen to Sammy.
“Hey, you feeling better?” Brooke whispered tenderly once they had broken contact. She kept her voice at a whisper in order to keep the huskiness at a minimum. Sam reached over and gently ran one hand down the side of her gorgeous girlfriend’s face. These simple touches had become common place between the girls, a manner of communication and reassurance to both of them.
“When I’m with you, I always feel better,” Sam replied, pouring all of her love into that simple statement. She laid her head on Brooke’s shoulder, soaking up the warmth and comfort that her girlfriend offered. They remained that way for a few minutes, just enjoying each others’ company.
“Harrison didn’t take it well,” Sam said finally, “he said some awful things about you and me. I slapped him hard and said I’d make sure he couldn’t say anything again if he ever dared talk about you that way.” Brooke reached up and gently stroked Sam’s cheek, wiping the dampness away from the tears that were there a short time ago.
“It means a lot to me, that you defended my honour like that,” she whispered gently, “mum told me that she knows about us. Just before you came through the door in fact. She wanted me to let you know she gives her blessing, so at least we have one person on our side.” This got a wry smile from Sam, who was tempted to come back with a witty and sarcastic comment, but thought better of it.
“Anytime, princess,” she replied instead, “why don’t we take it easy the rest of the day and we can break the news of our relationship to more of our family and friends tomorrow?” Brooke nodded in agreement, wrapping both arms tightly around Sam and holding her close. Tomorrow was another day; they would tackle it when it arrived together.
There was an awkward silence in the room. It stretched like a chasm between the occupants, a yawning divide which looked almost too wide to cross. Sometimes it was amazing how a single sentence uttered aloud could threaten to destroy years of close friendships and sisterhood. When it came to matters like these, however, nobody could ever be completely sure of the outcome of such revelations. Sam and Brooke were sitting nervously on the couch in the living room of the palace, watching and waiting for any sign of life from the other people present. Although both of them had been expecting it, the revelation was one of those incidents which a person expects but still isn’t fully prepared when it occurs. Carmen was merely gaping with her mouth slightly open while Lily just seemed to have frozen in time, even as far to stop breathing. They were holding onto each other while their brains processed the information which had been thrown their way. Meanwhile, Brooke gently ran one hand up and down her girlfriend’s arm in an attempt to calm her. They had agreed it would be better to break the news of their relationship to Sam’s friends before the likes of Josh, Sugar Daddy or Mary Cherry. The theory was, as they had known the brunette longer and all three of them had been through thick and thin together, this little piece of information wouldn’t shatter their closeness in any shape, manner or form. Now, though, it looked as though the reality was all but crushing this theory with each silent second that dragged by.
“Aren’t you guys gonna say something?” the irritated blonde finally asked, “At least Harrison gave Sam an earful of abuse when he found out about us!! I didn’t think I’d ever find an instance where I was grateful for that, but I think I prefer it to the silent treatment!!” The incredulous look on Sam’s face coupled with the manner in which both Lily and Carmen jumped out of their skins at Brooke’s comments on served in reducing the girl into a terrible fit of giggles. The situation was indeed becoming more and more hilarious to the other girls in the room and it wasn’t too long before all four of them were doubled over in laughter. While they were regaining some element of composure, Brooke couldn’t help but notice the way in which Sam was looking at her out of the corner of her eye. She didn’t want to draw Carmen or Lily’s attention their way, but the way that the brunette was looking at her was unbelievable. Her deep brown eyes were burning with what was undoubtedly desire, lit from behind with a fire of anticipation and mischief. The rest of her face was completely serious looking, with not even a hint of a smile forming on those luscious lips. This only served to antagonise Brooke’s libido even further, as she decided that this was the sexiest way Sam had ever looked at her. Thoughts of an extremely x-rated nature were swimming through her mind, like a song you can’t get out of your head but really you don’t mind being there. On the other side of the fence, Sam was struggling to get a rein on her hormones. The way Brooke had gotten so fiery and worked-up a short time ago at Carmen and Lily was the biggest turn-on she had yet seen her beautiful girlfriend do. Although both of them had agreed to take things slow, Sam was now mentally kicking herself for agreeing to such a thing. There was nothing more she wished for than to take the blonde in her arms and make love to her. However, her insecurities had alerted the journalist to the reality that she really had no idea how to make love to another woman. With guys, it was straight forward considering they really didn’t need much to please them and their bodies just naturally were designed to lock with a woman’s. This added to the knowledge that Brooke’s sexual experiences to date had been less than lacklustre and Sam had been worried that she wouldn’t be able to satisfy or make the blonde feel loved and secure.
“Sorry, we were expecting you guys to tell us this,” Lily explained apologetically, “it’s just one of those things that you know’s coming, but still catches you completely off guard. Don’t look so shocked, you guys. You’d need to be blind or in severe denial not to see the love you have for each other. Well, Carm, you owe me fifty bucks.” Carmen reached into the pocket of her jeans and took out her purse, looking positively sickened as she handed over the money to her best friend. The looks on both Sam and Brooke’s faces were priceless.
“You guys are seriously disturbed, ya know that?” Sam finally said when she found her voice, “using my love life for your own amusement. Why do I have the idea that you guys aren’t the only ones in our gang to use Brooke and myself for sport?” Shivers began travelling up and down her arm when she felt Brooke gently stroke it in an attempt to soothe the flustered girl. Both Lily and Carmen blushed with embarrassment, but they knew that Sam wasn’t really that mad at them. They walked over and enveloped the couple in a hug which threatened to squeeze the life out of them. It touched both Sam and Brooke that these two, along with everyone aside from Harrison, were accepting of their relationship. For Carmen and Lily, they were just relieved that the two of them had finally admitted to their feelings for one another and it was obvious to anyone who looked that Sam and Brooke made each other happy.
“Well, you guys were playing off each other for months,” Lily explained, “before the accident, with your relentless fighting. I saw after a while it was unresolved sexual tension which was driving you both mad. Josh took some time to understand it, as he still has a bit of a soft spot for you, Brooke.” The blonde lowered her eyes at this disclosure. She knew how much Lily loved her husband and how she always worried that she could never measure up to the cheerleader. It couldn’t be helped, though, that her love lay with Sam and not Josh.
“Hey, at least now you don’t have to worry about me stealing him back,” she replied trying to reassure the other girl. Lily smiled warmly in return, letting it show just how much that statement meant to her. Both she and Carmen sat down together on the other couch in the living room.
“So, are you both ready for school next week?” Carmen asked tentatively. With school starting back, it would be merely a matter of time before both Brooke and Sam came face to face with Nicole Julian. The supreme bitch of Kennedy High wouldn’t let either of her victims go about their daily business without hassle. Add this to the volatile presence which Harrison would cast and returning to school was looking less and less attractive. Sam was surprised yet reassured when she felt Brooke’s hand entwine with her own. This served to soothe and relax the brunette somewhat.
“We’re as ready as we’ll ever be,” Brooke stated honestly, “we can’t hide from Nicole forever. Now, why don’t we all go out and grab a bite to eat? I’m starving.” Both Lily and Carmen missed the double meaning behind that comment, but Sam couldn’t help but grasp it. Especially since the blonde was looking at her with hunger and desire burning in her hazel eyes. A brief but unmistakeable lick of her pink lips had Sam’s thoughts and priorities shifting southwards. However, they weren’t alone and the living room was hardly the most appropriate place for the girls to succumb to the hormones and love they felt for each other.
“I think we should head out to this new pizza place that just opened,” Sam suggested brightly, trying to snap out of her hormone fest, “I saw it advertised on TV. It has plenty of vegetarian dishes as well as meaty ones, so there’ll be plenty of variety for you to choose from, Lily.” All four friends grabbed their jackets and headed out the front door. For the first time since they decided to tell people about them, Brooke and Sam both felt things were looking up.
“I told you they would tell us the week before school started back,” Lily said smugly to Carmen as they made their way home. The afternoon had passed in a nice and happy manner, with all four girls enjoying a hefty lunch at the pizza place, which was called Deep Pan it turned out. None of them had noticed how fast the time had flown in until Sam looked out and noted how the sun had started to set. After biding farewell to Brooke and Sam at the palace, Carmen and Lily were taking things easy as they made their way back to their individual homes. Carmen rolled her eyes at her friend’s smug and bragging attitude to the revelation of that day.
“Yes, you were right; I gave you the fifty bucks we wagered on that,” she groaned in response, “but how are they gonna get through next week with Nicole in school? Things are going to be getting a lot tougher before they get easier I think, and that bothers me.” Lily didn’t respond straight away. She was worried as well about her best friends’ return to Kennedy High and inevitable encounters with Nicole Julian. They continued the rest of the walk in silence before they reached Carmen’s house. After a brief goodbye, Lily continued the rest of her walk home alone, mind racing. She simply had to think of a way to take care of Nicole if the bitch unleashed her claws too severely upon Sam and Brooke. However, the cheerleader was part of the second wealthiest family in town and this afforded her anything and everything she desired. Lily knew there was no way she or Josh could possibly contend with that kind of power. She made her way into the house still trying to think of a way to combat Nicole if such a threat did present itself. It only struck the young woman as she was drifting off to sleep that night in her husband’s arms one that had greater wealth and influence than the Julians. This resulted in Lily having a big smile on her face as she started to dream.
“That went really well, didn’t it?” Brooke asked Sam as they reclined on the couch together. Once they had got back to the palace, the girls had gotten changed into their nightwear and relaxed in the living room. It had been a busy day for both of them, not to mention emotionally draining. There was really no way either girl could have guessed the reactions from both Lily and Carmen and in that sense, it had been a leap of faith for both of them. After Harrison’s hostile response when Sam had told him, there really had been no way of guessing how the girls would take the news. Sam herself had been very shaken up emotionally by the events of the past few days, both good and bad. Brooke sensed this in her girlfriend and she made it her priority to reassure the brunette and let her know she wasn’t going through it alone. Sam was silent for a time as the day’s events slowly imprinted themselves into her memory. All of her best friends knew about her relationship with Brooke now and all but one of them had expressed their happiness at this development. Her mum also knew about it and she too had made it clear she was perfectly accepting of her daughter’s choice of partner. For the first time since she and Brooke had shown their love for one another and entered into a relationship, Sam’s heart was all but singing with elation. Although kissing Brooke and knowing the blonde loved her in return had seen the brunette in a great mood over the past few weeks, part of her mind had refused to relax and enjoy the euphoria of being with the girl of her dreams. Throwing an arm across Brooke’s midriff, Sam leaned in and nuzzled the slender neck of her companion. The immediate answering shiver brought a smile to Sam’s face as she gently began to nip at the tender flesh.
“I think there’s only one way to end this day on a high,” she whispered into Brooke’s ear, “wait here, I’ll be back in a second.” Brooke couldn’t help but whimper at the terrible sense of loss she felt when Sam got up and left the couch. The positive aspect of this was that she got to watch Sam’s butt as the brunette walked away and then leaned down in front of the stereo. Her hormones had been going insane all day and this view didn’t really do much to alleviate them. Before she realised what had happened, Brooke found herself being pulled to her feet and into Sam’s warm embrace.
Hey baby, when we are together, doing things that we love,
Every time you're near I feel like I’m in heaven, feeling high,
I don’t want to let go, girl,
I just need you to know girl,
Sam was moving slowly with Brooke as the young male singer’s voice slowly travelled into their ears. Turning her head inward, Brooke inhaled the warmth and beautiful scent which was unique to Sam alone. It was the most intoxicating smell she had ever known in her life.
I don’t wanna run away, baby you’re the one I need tonight,
Baby, now I need to hold you tight, I just wanna die in your arms,
Brooke’s lips found those of her girlfriend’s. Their love for each other poured stronger than ever before, two separate bodies longing to become one.
Hey baby, when we are together, doing things that we love,
Everytime you're near I feel like I’m in heaven, feeling high,
I don’t want to let go, girl,
I just need you to know girl,
I don’t wanna run away, baby you’re the one I need tonight,
Baby, now I need to hold you tight, I just wanna die in your arms,
Entwined and not wanting to relinquish contact, Sam stumbled backwards feeling her way blindly towards the stereo. Concentration was normally a skill which the journalist found very easy to master; it allowed her to do some of her finest articles for the school newspaper and generally did her in good stead in her classes. However, every ounce of concentration left her when Brooke’s soft lips began placing kisses up and down the length of her neck after they parted for air. Once the stereo was turned off, both girls made their way silently upstairs towards Sam’s bedroom. They never broke physical contact, keeping a firm grip by means of their hands linked. As they got into the room, Sam was suddenly paralysed with nerves. Although she knew she was ready to take this next step with Brooke, it was still worrying her slightly. Doubts circled her mind over whether she could please Brooke or if she would just add to another bad sexual experience for the blonde.
“Come here, Sammy,” Brooke’s gentle voice called her from her reverie. Crawling onto the bed so she was lying alongside her love, Sam couldn’t resist trailing a hand along Brooke’s exposed calf. She took added care to caress the scar which was still very visible. Brooke couldn’t suppress the shiver which shot through her body at this simple touch. They both looked into each others’ eyes, simply enjoying the mood and each other’s company.
“I want to make love with you, Brooke,” Sam admitted shyly, “I’m just scared in case I don’t do something right. I don’t want this to be something you’ll regret.” Brooke silenced the nervous girl by giving her the gentlest, most emotional kiss she had ever done. It let the brunette know everything that needed to be said, that she was ready to make that next step as well. Each soft kiss that was exchanged between the couple helped to soothe nerves and heighten their souls’ craving to join into one.
Brooke eventually pulled back and murmured something softly before leaning back in. She said gently: “I can never regret anything I do with you.”
Sam couldn’t help the groans of pleasure that were being uttered relentlessly from her throat. Brooke was kissing the brunette with more fire and passion than ever before. Each soft kiss exchanged further cemented their connection, sealing the love of both girls together and yet not gratifying them at the same time. For the first time in her life, Sam found herself viewing the clothing between her and her girlfriend as the biggest source of irritation. They had to come off, but at the same time, she didn’t want her hormones to overrule her head and rip the items from Brooke’s body. This was their first time together, so it was something they would both remember for a long time to come. Slowly kissing and nipping the tender flesh of the blonde’s neck, Sam placed one hand flat against her girlfriend’s side and gently slid it beneath her pink vest-style pyjama top. The shudder which coursed through Brooke’s body as the brunette slowly stroked the skin of her side gave Sam all the indication she needed that she was doing something right. Her fingers slowly caressed the skin beneath them, stopping torturously just below the breast, which only served to drive Brooke demented with desire. It felt so close, yet so very far at the same time. The gasps and gulps which signalled the blonde’s increasingly ragged breathing brought a smile to Sam’s face as she pulled back from Brooke’s neck to gaze into her love’s hazel eyes. Her fingers didn’t cease their merciless mission of torment, causing goosebumps to erupt on the skin they traversed so lovingly. Yet, they didn’t go high enough to touch Brooke’s breast, always stopping just shy of the tender underside.
“Saaam,” she moaned almost pitifully. The smile on Sam’s face turned into a full-blown lecherous smirk. She leaned in and began sucking slowly and longingly on the blonde’s lower lip, letting out low growls as she done so. It was amazing the brunette no end just how turned on she appeared to be making her girlfriend with just the softest of touches in the right places. Then, so fast she barely had any idea of it happening, Sam was aware her hand was no longer on Brooke’s side. The frustrated teen had taken it upon herself to shove her tormentor’s hand where she felt she needed it most at that moment; to cup her breast which had been practically screaming out for attention. Sam couldn’t help but close her eyes as her hormones truly began to cloud her mind. In all of the fantasies she had experienced concerning the tactile feel of Brooke’s unclothed skin, particularly her pert and gorgeous breasts, she never thought it would be like this. She slowly began to move her hand in a circular motion, her thumb rubbing against the erect nipple which it held. Her actions were gentle at first, but started to become more feverish and rapid as the heat grew between the girls.
The pants and gasps which flowed fluently from Brooke’s lips as if a language all of their own gave Sam a naughty glimpse of inspiration. She slowly hiked the pink top up while continuing her merciless assault of the breast she held in her palm, stopping once it was above the blonde’s chests. A ray of moonlight cast its iridescent beam through the bedroom window, highlighting the girl’s almost half naked body with its light. Sam could barely breathe or think, as she was literally struck dumb at the sight. This was surely the most beautiful thing in existence, at least in her eyes there could be nothing which would hold a candle to Brooke’s natural beauty. She was barely aware that her hand had stopped its task until she felt the unmistakable gaze of the blonde boring into her in a manner which was both hungry and curious. A pale hand which was hot to the touch palmed Sam’s cheek, imploring her to share whatever she was thinking at that moment with her lover.
“You-you’re so beautiful,” the stutter made Sam cringe inside as she spoke, “I-I just want to m-make you feel good, Brooke, b-but….” It made Brooke’s heart break to hear the normally vocal and expressive journalist have trouble expressing herself because of nerves. She could relate to what the other girl was feeling, as she too was experiencing it. The occasions she had been with Josh and Harrison were a world away from this. They lacked the sensitivity and almost instinctual feel Sam had demonstrated so far. She was also slightly fearful of completely submitting to another person in such a way, as neither Josh nor Harrison had made her feel worth anything. For them, it had merely been about them getting their own satisfaction. But, she knew that tonight would be an experience which would forever change her relationship with Sam, one way or another. She moved over closer to Sam so they were barely a breadth apart, her hand never leaving her partner’s face as she did so.
“You’ve already made me feel more special than anyone before you, Sammy,” Brooke whispered softly, “and you’ve not really touched me yet. Just keep doing what you feel’s right, babe, I won’t push you or expect anything from you. I love you.” She pressed her lips against the brunette’s in what was intended to be a soft and gentle kiss of reassurance, but which quickly escalated into a heated one of passion. For her part, Sam’s hesitations disappeared with those words and tender kiss which had been bestowed upon her lips after them. Her hands grasped where Brooke’s pyjama top had bunched up just above her breasts and slowly pulled it over the blonde’s head before tossing it somewhere onto the bedroom floor. She was about to lie down to feel Brooke’s completely naked skin beneath her body when the blonde non-too lightly yanked her blue vest-style pyjama top over her head and threw it into the gloom to join its companion. Her hazel eyes could clearly be seen clouding over with lust and desire, even in the room which was only lit by way of the moonlight cascading in.
The sight took Sam’s breath away along with the sight of Brooke’s upper half, completely unclothed. The nipples were standing out proudly, showing off an indication of how turned on the blonde was. The girls both clung to each other for an indeterminable period of time, their breasts touching and rubbing against one another. Every movement they made now was to truly seal their bond and love for one another, a manner in which the girls could truly become as one entity. Hands trailed slowly down sides, gently caressing over bumps and contours which were previously uncharted territory between them. Sam pulled back slightly and gestured for Brooke to look down as she took the breast she’d been previously caressing into her hand once again. She resumed her merciless onslaught of massaging it while rubbing over the nipple repeatedly with her thumb, moving faster and more roughly each time. This had the effect she’d hoped for as Brooke began to once more gasp and pant, but this time she also began grunting ferociously and started to arch forward into Sam’s hand. Watching as her beautiful girlfriend pleasured her, just how much attention she was paying to her, drove Brooke out of her mind. It suddenly felt as though her body had the consistency of jelly as the blonde sank back down onto the bed on her back, unable to remain sitting while she was being subjected to such delightful punishment.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Sam lowered herself onto Brooke and placed a lingering and loving kiss on her lips. It was designed to convey a message that anytime the blonde wanted to stop, the brunette would be more than willing to comply. Once this gesture had been delivered, Sam started to move lower and place gentle kisses over different areas of the beautiful body beneath her. Starting with the neck, she moved down onto the shoulders before trailing over the collarbones, keeping the kisses fleeting and barely touching. Brooke wasn’t sure if she was happy with this treatment, until Sam reached her breasts. Placing a few more delicate and fleeting kisses, Sam caught her love by surprise when she flicked her tongue over the nipple. This was followed up by her opening her mouth as wide as possible and taking as much of the breast in her mouth as she could. Alternating between sucking and flicking her tongue rapidly over the stiff nipple, a lecherous smirk once more made its way to Sam’s face as she felt shudders pass through the blonde’s body and heard loud and keening moans emanate from her throat.
The other breast which wasn’t receiving this treatment was not left neglected, for Sam was rubbing and caressing it with her hand while lavishing the one in her mouth with loving attention. Any margin of rational thought or fears left Brooke’s mind and her hands flew to the long wavy locks of the person making her feel better than she had ever done before. Her hips started to buck after a short time of this treatment, making their need to be touched made known to Sam. Inhaling and exhaling a shuddery breath, the brunette took the tiers of the pyjama shorts in her hands and slowly pulled them so the knot they were forming came away. She then moved her hands to the waistband of the shorts and eased them down the lithe legs of their owner. While she was doing this, Sam took particular attention to gently caress the scar down Brooke’s leg, even softly running her fingers along it as she was moving her way back up once the shorts were thrown onto the floor into the gloom beyond. This had became a habit of hers during the course of their relationship thus far, even though they had never been this far before. Every night before they went to sleep in each others’ arms, Sam would take some time and gently lavish attention on that which Brooke loathed the most about herself. As she moved back up and kissed her beautiful girlfriend on this occasion, this gesture spoke more volumes to Brooke than any other time it had occurred. Their kiss which had started as heated began to slow, it gradually waned into a more emotion-charged, tender display of caring and reassurance.
“We don’t have to go further than this if you don’t feel ready, love,” Sam whispered tenderly once the kiss had broken, “I’m perfectly happy to just lie here with you in my arms like this. Granted, you’re probably the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen in my life and my blood’s hardly flowing in the direction of my brain currently, but I can ignore that.” Her voice kept to a minimum to try and minimise the huskier tone her voice had acquired given her physical state, Sam allowed her eyes to trail over the complete nakedness of Brooke’s body. For the very first time, she found herself having access to gaze upon the scar which adorned the blonde’s pelvis, another permanent reminder of the pain and horror the girls had not too long ago experienced. This scar was significantly larger than the other one, cutting vertically from Brooke’s hip bone down to meet the one on her leg. There was also a section which cut across between her belly button and soft bundle of hair below. Powerless to resist, Sam trailed her fingers across this new area, tracing the ragged x-shaped testament to the bravery of her lover. On the other side, Brooke was physically trembling from head to toe. Initially she knew it was nerves which made her react this way once her complete form was laid bare to Sam’s scrutiny.
Even prior to her accident, the occasions she had spent with Josh and Harrison had left her feeling very self-conscious about her body. Both of them had barely taken the time to give Brooke’s body any kind of attention other than touching her in the manner stereotypical of many young males their age before going in for what they wanted, rather than asking what she wanted. The scars she would be left with for the rest of her life only heightened her feelings of inadequacy and part of her failed to understand why the gorgeous girl beside her would want to share her first experience of being with someone with her. However, these nerves began to melt away as she felt Sam’s gentle touch caressed over her marked body. The unmistakable fire of desire burned deep in the brunette’s eyes, but she was practising an amazing amount of self-control not to act upon her impulses and simply have her way with the blonde. Brooke knew she was being offered another chance to pull out of this if she wasn’t ready for it. Unable to locate the words to describe how she was feeling at that moment, the blonde took Sam’s hand which had never left her pelvis and guided it slowly to her thighs. There, she guided it up and down softly, while she could feel Sam’s grip tightening over the muscles being caressed.
Fighting furiously with her hormones, Sam slowly traced one hand along Brooke’s lithe legs and back up along her body while the other arm was cradling the delicate blonde as if she were a valuable treasure which deserved to be revered. The shudders she could feel coming from the other girl’s body both amazed and elated the brunette. As if confirming to herself that these were happening for the reasons she was suspecting, she trailed her fingers through the soft blonde bundle of curls and found a profound amount of moisture there. At a painstakingly slow pace, she drew her hand across the tops of Brooke’s thighs which parted a good distance. Savouring every moment and committing it to memory, Sam stroked the inside of the thighs, alternating from one to the other and delighting in the pulses and leaps which the muscles were performing just beneath the skin. Her resolve was being severely tested as she felt more and more wetness form and trickle down the legs toned with years of exercise and routines.
Her hand navigated northwards and she pressed it against the source of the wetness, feeling the heated skin which was also lying there and she was powerless to stop rubbing her hand against this delicate area. Brooke’s moans of pleasure and bucking hips didn’t do much to alleviate this as she was being driven to the brink by craving the unmistakable feel of Sam inside her. As the brunette pressed her lips against those of the blonde’s, that was the moment she chose to plunge a finger inside. Instantaneously, she felt the muscles clamp down hard on her digit and a rhythm was started. The girls stared into each others’ eyes as they moved together, never relinquishing their connection for a single moment. It was truly as if they were one entity as Sam pressed herself against one of Brooke’s thighs as she continued thrusting inside. Nothing else mattered in that moment except the union between the both of them. The blonde reached her orgasmic bliss first, falling over the edge with the beautiful brunette just seconds behind her.
“I love you….” Sam whispered hoarsely, “I, I just can’t find the words to describe how I feel just now.” Brooke couldn’t keep a tired smile from her face. If anyone at school knew there was an occasion where the editor of the school paper was rendered silent and speechless, they’d have a hard time believing it. She couldn’t really say much herself on how she was feeling at that point either.
“I love you too, Sammy,” Brooke whispered in a voice thick with unshed tears, “I never knew I could be so cared for in that way by anyone.” As the tears of emotion fell, it touched her even more so when she felt the softest set of lips she had ever known tenderly kiss them away from her face. The girls embraced and simply once more soaked in the reassurance and love which only the other person could offer to them.
“You deserve that kind of love and care for the rest of your life, princess,” Sam replied after a short time, “I intend to give it to you for as long as you wish me to. Now, why don’t we get some sleep?” This immediately brought protests from Brooke as she wanted to make Sam feel every bit as treasured as she had just felt. Sam made it clear in no uncertain terms that what they had experienced was for Brooke alone and there would be other times for her to experience it from the blonde. As they drifted to sleep that night, with the slow sign of dawn rolling in, both of them felt more content than they had done in a very long time.
The glare of the morning sun abruptly brought Sam out of her very sweet dreams. However, as the memories of the previous night returned to the forefront of her mind, any great dream which her imagination had conjured dissipated into the void from whence they had come. Glancing down slightly, the brunette was rewarded by the sight of Brooke draped across her body, head resting peacefully on one of her breasts. The sun bounced off the sleeping beauty’s naked form, accentuating the curves which Sam had paid great attention to only a few hours previously. It amused her as she observed how Brooke had one arm holding onto her rib cage while one of her legs was draped across her thighs in a similar fashion. There was no doubt who lay claim to the brunette’s heart and she wasn’t about to complain about this one bit. Lowering her head to place a gentle kiss on the flaxen mane just below her collarbone, Sam tried desperately to remember a time previously when she was so calm. Her mind which was normally going through a thousand thoughts at once, contemplating many ideas while on the go, was completely silent and still.
Her heart which usually was pounding ferociously and driving her to distraction with its drive and determination was now little more than a contented purring kitten within her chest. It felt to her that the rest of the world and its trials had simply faded away, ceased to exist completely. All that her conscious being was aware of was that moment in time, this space where she and Brooke breathed and them alone. A place where none could enter but them, a reality which they had created with one another and could never be taken away from them. Although she liked to check the time when she woke first thing in the morning, Sam really didn’t want to leave her haven sooner than she would inevitably have to. Time simply had no meaning to her in this place and she let her eyes close in preparation of a short doze until Brooke awoke. Her eyes barely closed before she felt a pair of soft lips press against hers gently. She found herself gazing into the deepest and most loving hazel eyes she had ever known. The tender smile which accompanied these served to make Sam’s heart swell even further with love for Brooke.
“Morning princess,” she whispered gently when she felt speech was possible, “did you sleep well?” Brooke dipped her head slightly as a flush coursed through her skin at the memory of the night before. She had no idea that being with someone in that manner could feel the way it had with Sam. Not able to find the words to sum up her feelings and thoughts, she instead gently traced her hand over the contours and smooth surfaces of Sam’s face. It was almost as if she had to commit every touch and scent to memory of this amazing person, and her blood was sizzling with desire as well. She wanted to do everything within her power to share some of the indescribable love and tenderness which Sam had shown her with the beautiful brunette. It became clear that her desire must have been showing in her eyes when Brooke saw Sam part her lips ever so slightly in a quiet gasp when her fingers began to make their way across them.
“Last night was amazing, Sammy,” as she spoke, Brooke was only vaguely aware of the deep husky tone which had crept into her voice, “I’ve never felt more loved or cared for in that way by anyone before you. I had no idea it could be that beautiful and I have you to thank for that.” This time when she kissed Sam, it wasn’t gentle but full of heat and passion which drew a rather loud moan from the recipient. Her lips slowly migrated lower from the luscious full lips down the smooth valley of Sam’s neck, her tongue slowly trailing along in force tasting the coat of sweat which was rapidly accumulating on the skin of the brunette. The sexual tension of the previous night was still heavy in the air around the girls in the bright light of the new day, something which neither of them was going to fight. With each brush of Brooke’s lips and every caress from her hands, Sam felt an indescribable longing building within her veins.
It was unlike anything she had felt before, a ferocious fire concentrating itself within her lower abdomen the intensity of which was increasing rapidly. Brooke was taking great delight in the reactions that were being elicited from her girlfriend with each touch as she made her way slowly south. Her fingers brushed the swell of Sam’s breasts initially before cupping them both in turn, paying particular attention to the nipples which were pebbled hard within seconds of contact. The feel of Sam’s fingers clutching at her hair almost in desperation made the blonde feel even happier as well as invoking a greater sense of responsibility. This would be the first time that Sam had been touched in this manner by anyone, the lingering memories of Brooke’s first time made her extremely self-conscious that this would not become a bad experience for the love of her life.
“Sammy, sweetie,” Brooke pulled back and drew a hand up to brush against Sam’s cheek as she spoke, “I want you to know, I don’t expect anything from you because of last night. If you’re not ready to take our relationship to the next stage, don’t feel you have to let me touch you because of last night.” Sam couldn’t help but smile warmly in response to the obvious concern in Brooke’s manner; she couldn’t recall a time when the blonde looked more beautiful or cute than at that moment.
“Princess, if I had any complaints about what you’re doing, I would’ve said something sooner,” she whispered gently, “there’s only one person I want to share this experience with, and she’s the hottest blonde at Kennedy High with an amazing heart to match. Let’s take this slowly, plus it’s not you merely touching me, it’s us making love, just like we made love last night. Come here, baby.” With these words, Sam gave the hand which was stroking her face a firm tug which brought Brooke down so they collided with more force than either of them had really intended. The good-natured laughs from both girls quickly dissolved into kisses which started off as gentle and caring, but changed into passionate and burning very swiftly. A very audible moan erupted from Sam’s throat as Brooke’s gentle hand moved lower down her body before halting at the waistband of the brunette’s pyjama shorts. Taking great care as if she was in no great rush, the blonde allowed her fingers to trail down the front of the shorts and slide gently up Sam’s inner thigh, which was shown fully when the journalist’s legs fell open of their own volition. A shudder passed through Brooke’s body as she felt the wetness through the shorts that had gathered between the previous night and the events of that morning.
She gazed once up at Sam’s dark eyes for confirmation that she was ready to take this next step and was greeted with a passionate smile and affirmative nod of the head. Brooke slowly slid her hand beneath the waistband of the pyjama shorts and started to stroke Sam in the most intimate way, taking her time to get her girlfriend used to the touch before going any deeper. Sam could hardly believe the feelings flooding through her body at this touch; it was the greatest joy and also not quite enough to satisfy the longing within her soul. She needed more otherwise she was sure that she would go completely insane if this sweet torture persisted. It was at the greatest moment of her torture that Sam felt one of Brooke’s fingers slide inside her. The sharp pain which shot through her system was quickly eclipsed by the experience of excruciating ecstasy. Both girls moved in a mirror enactment of the events which had occurred the night before, a dance which was older than time itself. As Sam reached the crest of her orgasm, she was amazed to find herself being held securely and tenderly in Brooke’s arms.
“I love you so much, Brooke,” she whispered hoarsely, “thank you for making me feel so beautiful and complete.” The blonde couldn’t halt the fall of tears at these heart-felt words. She softly kissed Sam before lying down beside her and cuddling in closely. The girls had found their own secret heaven and were determined to never leave this place.