Disclaimers: Mine, mine, all mine! *insert evil laugh here*

Sex: Duh!! J

WARNING: I do NOT give permission for this story to be reposted in ANY changed form: change of character names, title storyline, etc. That is considered stealing and I will seek legal action.

Note: For my precious Sebastian “Bubba” : September 1999 – March 2010. I love you with all my heart, my baby boy. Thanks for coming back to see me.

If you'd like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com .


Lost And Found


Kim Pritekel



Part 4


Sam chuckled at what she saw on TV, sipping from her bottle of water. A glance at the DVD player clock told her she'd been sitting as a couch potato for the past four hours. Her gaze returned to the show she was watching, somewhere in her mind wondering if perhaps she should get up and be somewhat productive. That thought didn't have time to fester before she heard a knock on her apartment door.

Socked feet falling from the coffee table to the floor, Sam pushed up from the couch and padded over to the door, tugging it open. Surprised by the visit and not the visitor, she looked up at Claire expressionless. She was still pissed and hurt.

“Hi,” Claire said softly. She held up a large box. “I come bearing gifts. The guy at the store said it was easy to set up in a doorway, and could be used for pull-ups or on the floor for pushups, or other stuff I don't remember now.”

Sam's gaze fell to the box with the colorful illustrations on it. “Thank you. That was thoughtful.”

“Well, it's not a home gym – I'm working on it – but I figured it was something for now. And, you can take with you wherever, too. It's small, and everything.” Claire realized she was beginning to ramble so stopped. She picked at the corner of the box with a fingernail for a moment. “Can I come in, Sam?”

Sam nodded, walking back into her apartment, leaving the door open for Claire to enter and follow.

Claire set the box on the small kitchen table then walked over to where Sam had plopped down on the couch. Tentatively she sat, too, glancing at the TV. “What are you watching?”

“Rerun of America's Next Top Model ,” Sam said dryly. She knew she was acting childish, but she was still stung.

Claire watched the show for a few moments, though mostly to gather her courage rather than because she cared which model was about to get eliminated. “Do you mind if we talk for a minute, Sam?” she finally asked. “I mean, if you want to continue watching your program instead-“

Sam clicked off the TV. “Nah, I've seen this cycle before.” She turned on the couch, giving Claire her full attention.

In the hot seat, Claire tried to think of what she could say to make Sam understand. “First of all, I'm sorry about this morning. You were being so kind to me, and I pretty much shot you down.” She forced herself to meet Sam's gaze. “I'm sorry.”

Sam absorbed the words for a moment, wanting so badly to fire off questions at Claire, but knew that would do no good, so instead she simply nodded. “Apology accepted.”

“Good. Thank you.” Claire let out a long breath. Now for the hard part.

Seeming to read Claire's mind, Sam reached out, placing a tentative hand on Claire's. “Hey, let's try something, okay? I'll ask you a question, which you answer, then you ask me one, which I answer, and so on. Maybe find out some more about each other, and then maybe it won't be so overwhelming.”

Claire felt relief flow through her, her smile lighting up the entire room. “Okay. A bit of quid pro quo.”

“Exactly!” Sam returned the smile, removing her hand from Claire's. “Okay. Let's start simple. What's your favorite color and why?”

“Hmm. Well, I have different favorite colors for different reasons.”

“Okay, so either pick one or tell me all.” Sam relaxed back against the arm of the couch, enjoying where this was going. She just wished Claire would relax a bit, as she sat ramrod straight, hands tucked into her lap.

“On a personal level, I love the color yellow, and the reason is because it's such a hopeful color. You can't help but feel warm when you're around it.” She smiled shyly at Sam, hoping the blonde didn't think she was silly or childish. “My favorite color creatively is red. It's such a bright and vivid color, yet has so many hues and can evoke so many different emotions.”

“Okay. So, what do you want to know about me? If anything,” Sam smirked.

“Keep it up and I may not,” Claire warned, though the twinkle in her eyes gave away her teasing. “Hmm. What do I want to know…” She studied Sam for a long moment then looked away. “Not sure what to ask,” she muttered.

Sam was so amazed at how quickly Claire could go from a cold hard woman to an intelligent and sophisticated one, then to an almost child-like innocence. The craziest part was, it could all happen within the span of one conversation! “Anything. You can ask something as simple as what's my favorite ice cream flavor to what is my life story. Whatever, I'll answer it.”

“What are you most afraid of?” Claire asked at length.

“So much for easing in,” Sam laughed, receiving a grin in return. “I am most afraid of feeling trapped somewhere, like I can't breathe. By this I don't mean literally, like I'm afraid of confined spaces. I mean trapped in that I don't have room to grow as a person or room to be true to myself.”

“Stifled,” Claire supplied.

“Yes, exactly. I'm most afraid of being stifled. Good one, Hobbs ,” Sam complimented, holding her hand out to be slapped, which it was. “Okay, what in your current life are you most proud of and what in your current life is most missing?”

Claire rested her elbow against the back of the couch and her temple against her raised fist as she thought about the question presented. “Hmm. Well, I'm most proud of-“

She was interrupted when scratching was heard on Sam's door. Sam jumped up and hurried over to the door, which Lily plowed through once it was open. She and Sam flopped onto the couch.

Claire absently petted Lily as she answered. “I'm most proud of my business and my home. As for what my life is most missing: easy, Tanner.”

“Is that bedroom upstairs for her?” Sam asked softly.

“That's two questions, Sam,” Claire smiled. “But yes, it is. It's silly I know, as she's a grown woman now – if she's even alive out there somewhere. But,” she shrugged with a sad sigh. “It's all that I remember of her as a child, all the things and colors she was into then.” She studied Sam for a moment. “The same questions to you.”

“Is the bedroom upstairs for my sister?”Sam teased, receiving a whack to her leg, which was followed by a claw, as Lily batted at Claire's hand. She hissed, looking down to see the small bit of blood from the scratch she'd received.

“See?” Claire chuckled. “Even Lily was punishing you for that.”

“Ha ha,” Sam drawled, licking her finger before using it to wipe off the blood. “Okay, so most proud of and missing in my life. Truthfully, the most proud of part is pretty tough. There isn't a whole ton in my life to be proud of, honestly.” That thought bothered her as she picked at the couch. “Damn. That's pretty damn sad.”

“Well,” Claire supplied, “you could go superficial and be proud of your body. I'm sure most women would give their right arm to have a physique like that. Or, you could go a bit deeper and be proud of the person you are.”

Sam met Claire's steady gaze, touched. “Oh yeah?”

“Absolutely,” Claire said, grabbing Lily with one hand as the kitten tried to use the back cushions of the couch to mountain climb to the top, razor-like claws picking at the material. “You've got a heart of gold, Sam, anyone can see that. I mean hell,” she grinned sheepishly, “you've put up with all my crap.”

“This is true,” Sam blew out dramatically. “I think I should earn a medal for that one.”

“Uh huh. Keep that up and that medal will find itself in a pretty uncomfortable place.”

Sam burst out laughing. “Claire made a funny!” She calmed after a moment. “But thank you, that's very kind of you. I guess I could be proud of that, I've just never really given that all that much thought. I can certainly be proud of the fact that I've learned how to use a jackhammer.” They both chuckled at that. “As for what I miss most in my life,” she sighed, giving that one some thought. The obvious answer would be her grandmother, but it was so much more than that. It was more like what her grandmother represented for her. “I miss – and not necessarily because I've had it as an adult – but love and stability. I'd love so much to settle down and come home to someone every night, you know? Someone to truly know and love me for me – good or bad. The same thing for me with them.”

Claire thought about that for a long moment and nodded. The thought was completely alien to her, as she'd never had that. Never had true understanding or acceptance. She had stability, but that was all her own making. She smiled kindly at Sam. “I hope you get all those things, Samantha. You deserve to be happy.”

“Thank you.” She took a deep breath, making sure she had Claire's gaze before she asked her next question. “Why are you so afraid of me?”

Claire was surprised by it and touched by the hurt in Sam's eyes. She felt herself soften. “I'm not afraid of you, Sam,” she said softly, placing an uncertain hand on Sam's knee. “You're going to love the irony of this: I'm afraid of what you represent, which is someone who could care about me and offer that olive branch of friendship and stability of emotion.” She shook her head. “I'm terrified of accepting that, allowing it then having it whipped away from me, like everything else in my life has been.” Claire fought the urge to get up and move away from the couch or even the apartment altogether. Instead, she made herself stay put and face Sam and face the hurt she'd put in those green eyes. She did, however remove her hand.

Sam sat still and quiet for a long moment, digesting all she'd just been told. “Wow,” she blew out after a moment. “So that's why you pushed me away this morning,” Sam said, a statement.

Claire nodded. “Yes.”

Sam tucked her legs under her body and turned to fully face Claire. “What happened to you, Claire? Will you tell me?”

Claire kept Sam's gaze for a long moment before she gave her a curt nod. “My mother used to lock us up in the closet,” she began, her eyes finding something, anything to look at other than Sam. “It was this tiny, filthy little closet that had shelving, so it wasn't like you could even stand up. We'd be in there for days sometimes.”

“Together? You and Tanner?”

Claire shrugged. “Sometimes. I had five years of closet time before Tanner was unlucky enough to be born to that woman. My mother was a very cruel woman who had some pretty sick methods in everything she did.” She was silent for a long moment, trying to decide exactly where to go next. “My father left when I was three, and my mother was left to fend for herself. She was an extremely beautiful woman, and used it to get by.” Claire blew out a breath, her heart pounding as she tried to fight the memories from flooding in. “I remember when the men began to parade through the house. All different men: different ages, different races, didn't matter. Some were really nice to me.”

Sam saw the first smile of the conversation grace Claire's lips, but she herself remained stoic. She had a bad feeling in her gut. She didn't move a muscle, barely even breathed, afraid that if she did, Claire would suddenly close up again.

“Yeah, some were very nice to me, gave me candy and that kind of thing,” Claire continued, her eyes looking into the far off past. “Some were return customers, you see. Hell, I remember a couple guys that would come by just to chat with my mom. Nice guys. And then there were those who weren't such nice guys.”

Claire was quiet for so long that Sam thought maybe the story was over. She wasn't sure what to do: prompt her? Wait it out and let her go on her own time? Change the subject? After a few more minutes, Claire continued.

“My mother used to say I was earning my keep,” she said finally, meeting Sam's gaze for the first time. The blue eyes were so haunted Sam had to look away. “When Tanner came along, my mother used to marvel at how much we looked alike, considering she had no clue who Tanner's father was.”

The change of subject and tone was jarring for Sam, who tried to keep up. She was on an emotional roller coaster and wondered where it would lead. She was admittedly afraid to find out. The phrase “Be careful what you wish for” buzzed around her head.

“So, anyway, after several years of this, one of the neighbors got smart and called the authorities.” Claire met Sam's watery gaze. “Then the real hell began.” Claire felt a strange sense of liberation as she told her story. She'd never told it to anyone, but had been keeping it bottled inside instead. Honestly, if Sam were to leave the room, she'd probably keep going anyway, just to get it out.

Sam hopped up and scurried over to the kitchen, grabbing them both a bottle of water then rejoining Claire on the couch. “What happened?”

Claire took the bottle with a nod of thanks. “We were bounced around for a couple years, a nasty legal battle ensuing between my mother and our fathers. Finally, none of them were deemed fit to have us, so we were placed in a nasty foster home.” Her nose scrunched up at the memory. “The mother was nice enough, but the place was filthy: roaches in everything – including the food – and mice would run across you at night when you were asleep. They took us out of there and it just got worse. The living conditions might have been better, but the treatment was not.”

Sam felt her emotions growing as she listened to story after story of the girl who Claire had been was beaten, mentally and emotionally abused and finally, raped at age ten and then again and again as she became a woman. The tears were falling freely down her cheeks. She tried to stay quiet, as now she could tell this was cathartic for Claire: she was baring her soul. Time and time again Sam brought her hand up to try and wipe her tears away, but they were immediately replaced by more.

Claire was so lost in her mind that she didn't even realize what her words were doing to Sam. Finally, she stopped her story and glanced over at the blonde when she heard a sniffle. “Hey,” she said softly, her heart and emotions strangely numb and removed from her past. She scooted across the distance between them on the sofa, moving Lily to the other side of her. “Why are you crying?”

Sam lost it at that point, breaking down into all the pain she felt Claire had gone through for so many years, and fully understanding why she was who she'd become. “My god!” she cried, shoulders shaking with the impact of her sympathy.

“I'm sorry,” Claire said, not sure what to do. She placed her hand on Sam's back, hoping she'd stop crying. “I didn't mean to upset you.”

Before Claire knew what had hit her, she had her arms filled with a sobbing Sam. Her instincts took over and she cradled the blonde against her chest, resting her cheek against soft blonde hair. “Shhhh,” she cooed, rocking them slowly. “Don't cry, Sam. You don't need to cry for me.”

Sam pulled back at those words, her green eyes near glowing from her upset. “Then who will?” she asked, swiping at her eyes. “If I don't feel for you, who will?”

Claire had no answer for that, but suddenly realized that she herself needed comforting. Though she couldn't bring the tears to the forefront, she could still feel that lost, lonely girl who had no one to care: especially after Tanner was taken away from her. She and Sam clung to each other, each basking in the comfort the other provided with her mere presence.

“Nobody's ever cried for me before,” Claire whispered into the hug, eyes squeezing shut.

Sam buried her hand in the thick dark hair on Claire's head, holding her close. “I will always cry for you,” Sam whispered back, pulling them even closer together.

As the hug continued, the strangest thing happened: Claire felt tears threaten. She fought them savagely, but as she heard Sam's whispered words of comfort and support, she could no longer hold them back. Soon, a sob ripped from her throat, her entire being taken over by the anguish that a young girl had suffered at the hands of her mother, at the hands of strangers, and at the hands of Fate.

Sam's own tears dried up as Claire's began. She felt an almost obsessive need to hold Claire, to help her through this. She held her tight, placing small kisses on top of her head as she rocked her, encouraging her to let it all out.

“I've got you, baby,” she whispered. “I've got you.”

Claire felt as though her soul were bursting open for the first time in her life. She felt so many years' worth of wounds bleeding out through her tears, wounds which had simply been scabbed over by the steeled determination of a strong, stubborn girl and woman. Those scabs had been ripped off, leaving a very fresh and painful wound to feel the sting of fresh air.

An hour later, the two sat on the floor, a mixed bag of Chinese food containers between them. Using chop sticks and forks, they sampled each container talking. After the heaviness of the early afternoon, both were ready for lighthearted information and conversation.

“Are you serious?” Claire asked, tucking the tail end of an egg roll into her mouth. “You've been in jail?” She'd never felt so free in all her life. She felt as though a million pounds had been lifted off her shoulders by her confession and tears to Sam.

“Yes ma'am,” Samantha nodded, getting a good spoonful of beef fried rice. “Twice.”

“Oh my god!” Claire crowed around her food. “I have a criminal living under my roof!”

Sam grinned, shoving the spoonful of food into her mouth and savoring the flavors.

“That's okay,” Claire said, having swallowed her bite of egg roll. “I have, too.” She downed another drink of sake.

Sam nearly choked on her rice at the simple admission, especially after being chastised for her own! “Are you fucking kidding me!” She downed some water then coughed some more. “I want the story, woman!”

Claire grinned, pouring herself more sake and then some for Sam. “I was 16 and living on the streets.” She met Sam's gaze for a moment before turning back to her food. “Prostitution charges.”

Sam's jaw hung open until she realized just how entirely rude she was being. She downed the sake, grimacing at the awful taste. “Streets? Sixteen?”

“Yes, ma'am. Just when you thought my story was done….”


“I ran away at 16 and hit the streets. I had no experience or skills – except at one thing – so capitalized on it. I got busted, sat in jail for a couple days then got out. A year later an attorney for some great-uncle of my mother's found me, and I was awarded a ridiculous inheritance.” She indicated the room they were in. “Thus the palace you live in now.”

Sam stared at her long and hard. “Claire, will there ever be a day where you stop shocking me?”

Claire grinned, nice and evil. She raised her newly-poured sake, matched by Sam's. “Samantha, I could know you for a lifetime and I'll always pull a crazy white rabbit out of my hat.”

Sam snorted. “Amen to that.”

They clinked their glasses together and shot it back.


A blue light crept through Claire's consciousness. She opened her eyes to see the blue screen on the TV, the DVD they'd been watching long finished. It took a moment for her to get her bearings, but she realized her head was using one of Sam's breasts as a pillow, her arm tossed over Sam's stomach. They lay entwined on the couch, Sam still sleeping deeply. Claire lifted her head carefully, not wanting to wake Sam.

She studied the blonde's face, which was so beautiful in life. Now, in sleep she was even more beautiful with her features at peace, her lips slightly parted. Claire studied those lips, memories of their kiss Friday night coming back to her. She remembered how soft they were, and just exactly how they'd made Claire's body feel.

Deciding that wasn't a good place to go back to, Claire climbed off the couch, careful not to wake Sam. Standing, she surveyed the room, noting Lily asleep along the top of the back couch cushions. Their dinner plates were stacked on the coffee table, the containers long ago stowed in the fridge. A stack of DVD cases were stacked alongside the plates, askew from both looking through them to decide to watch next.

A glance at the DVD player clock told Claire that it was after nine p.m. They'd both woken up ridiculously early that morning, so she wasn't entirely shocked that they'd both crashed early. She ran a hand through her sleep-crazed hair as she looked down at Sam again: she was so at peace, it made Claire desperately want to rejoin her and share in that peace, but she knew it wasn't possible. Instead, she grabbed Lily – knowing that the kitten would make a mess on Sam's floor if she left her – and left the apartment, carrying her shoes with her to remain as silent as possible. Sam's apartment door closed with a silent click.


The work button had been pushed in full as over the past week Sam and Claire put in long hours to get the Christmas project finished. Claire had been given a second order for a large creation, so time was of the essence. Even so, to Sam's shock Claire had found time to play. After their heart-to-heart Sunday five days before, Claire seemed to be a different woman.

Sam had literally climbed inside the chapel to make sure the church spire was properly attached inside and out and wouldn't topple when moved. The building was only large enough for her upper body, so legs stuck out through the opening that were the “double doors” of the piece, which had yet to be added.

Power tool in hand, she checked each nut and bolt for security when suddenly she felt something drip on her forehead. Bringing a forearm up, she wiped it across, shocked to find something black smeared across her arm.

“What the hell?” she muttered, becoming even more of a contortionist as she folded her body to look up the hollow spire. As she did, more liquid fell onto her face, making her sputter and curse.

As Sam pushed her way out of the chapel – feeling like she was being born again – she was met with raucous laughter. She sat up, swiping a hand across her face so she could open her eyes. She saw Claire not too far away, a container stained black in her hand and laughing her ass off.

Sam got to her feet, wiping more of the goop off her face, no clue what it was. From the smell, she guessed it was chocolate. She smirked as she walked towards Claire, whose grin began to slowly fade the closer Sam got – and the further Claire stepped back.

“I was only joking, Sam,” Claire said, a bit of panic beginning to take hold.

“Oh yeah?” Sam said, her voice sugar sweet. She wiped off a bit of the gook, tasting it: sure enough, chocolate. “Yummmmmmmy,” she purred.

Claire continued to back up until she hit a wall with an OOMPH! Her eyes were wide, wondering just what Sam would do. She truly figured she would have been able to get away before now. But, the look in Sam's eyes – pure pay backs – had her nailed to the spot.

Sam, for her part as thoroughly amused. She wiped more of the mess off her face with two fingers, pinning Claire to the wall with both her eyes and her proximity: she was less than two feet away, one hand resting on the wall next to Claire's head. “You like chocolate?” she asked.

Claire shook her head. “Not really. Well, kinda, but only in hot cocoa and Snickers bars-“ she squealed as Sam's two fingers – covered in chocolate – were wiped down the center line of her face, neck and chest from forehead to her sternum.

Sam cackled, taking off like a shot, knowing that Claire had the lion's share of the chocolate in the container she still carried. She only glanced over her shoulder once, just long enough to know she was being chased. She burst through the doors that led from the first-floor workshop into the hall that led either to the front doors, the elevator, the front door of the warehouse or to the winding staircase that led to Claire's third-floor home.

Making a split decision, she plowed up the stairs, taking them two at a time until she reached the door, which she knew Claire kept unlocked. Once she reached the sliding door, she stopped, hearing dead silence. She stopped to listen, hearing only the pounding of her heart, the scent of chocolate all around her from where it had soaked into her shirt.

Suddenly, the elevator doors opened and Claire came out screaming, container of chocolate in hand and raised, threatening to dump over Sam's head. Sam screamed as well, pulling open the sliding door that would lead to Claire's spacious rooms, hoping to find some sort of sanctuary within.

Claire followed, not caring where the chase led, as she was bent on revenge! Once she entered her home, she stopped to listen: everything was quiet, dead quiet. She looked for a trail to follow, but saw nothing. Out of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room, she wondered where Sam had disappeared to.

She grinned to herself when she saw Lily book it out of one of the bedrooms, suspicious that that's exactly where her quarry had gone. Tightening her grip on the handle of the blender which had blended the chocolate, Claire made silent strides towards that bedroom, peeking around the jarred door. She saw nothing in the bedroom itself, so focused on the bathroom.

Sam peeked through the tiny crack she'd made between the closet door and the jam, watching as Claire tip toed her way into the bathroom. It took all she had not to laugh out loud. She waited until the coast was clear – Claire checking out the shower – then made her way out of the closet and stood in the middle of the bedroom, waiting for Claire to come back out.

Claire was confused, just sure Sam would be hiding in the bathroom. Disappointed, she made her way back towards the bedroom when suddenly she was grabbed, screaming as she flung the container, chocolate flying everywhere as she was pushed onto the bed, panting in surprise and exertion. She saw a grinning Sam hovering over her and smacked playfully at her.

“Evil!” she exclaimed, laughing with the blonde, whose face was still smeared with chocolate. An evil streak of her own gripped her as she raised her head and licked a bit of the chocolate off Sam's nose. “Mmm,” she moaned, grinning.

Sam was shocked. “I can't believe you just did that!” she exclaimed, nuzzling Claire's neck with her face, Claire squealing as chocolate was smeared all over her neck, hair and shirt collar.

“And I can't believe you just did that !”

Sam pinned her to the bed, excited in her victory. Her body was buzzing from Claire's antics, but she was determined to stay in control. As she looked down at the gorgeous woman beneath her, she couldn't help but notice her breasts heaving with every excited breath Claire took, her face utter perfection. Claire was even more beautiful in her excitement and playfulness.

Claire saw the transformation in Sam's face: from playful to serious: from serious to sensual. She felt her pulse race, blood flowing through her at a frightening rate, all headed south. Her hands were still pinned to the bed by Sam's strength, their bodies all but pressed together. She felt heat begin to flow through her, her body coming alive in a way that it never had, pulsing with a need that Claire didn't fully understand.

Sam felt so drawn to Claire in that moment and honestly wasn't sure if she'd be able to pull back. She forced a silly grin to her face. “Guess we've got one hell of a mess to clean up, huh?”

Claire was large in part relieved at Sam's abrupt change back to goofy, but the rest of her groaned in disappointment. Disappointment at what? What could Sam possibly do that would be a good thing in this situation? She was utterly confused.

With a nod, Claire sat up as Sam pushed off of her. She looked down at herself, noting places where Sam's chocolate-splattered shirt had rubbed off onto her own. “I am such a mess,” she muttered.

“You ain't seen nothin', lady,” Sam chuckled, indicating the room around them. When Claire had thrown the container, the chocolate had been thrown, too and had splattered the bed, the room furnishings, the walls and carpet.

“Oh shit,” Claire moaned, flopping back down on the bed.

Sam laughed. “Come on.” She grabbed Claire's hand and tugged her to her feet. “Let's get this cleaned up.”

Four hours later, Sam and Claire stood back as they watched a carpet cleaning company clean the even bigger mess Claire had made by trying to clean the chocolate out of the carpet in the bedroom. Sam was fully amused, her arms crossed over her chest. They were both freshly-showered after they'd scrubbed down the walls, furnishings and workshop, including the chapel Sam had been working on when Claire had gotten the fun bug.

“So, who knew you can actually be fun,” she mused, glancing at her boss.

“I'm not the total stick in the mud you have yourself convinced I am, Samantha,” Claire muttered, slightly defensive.

Sam looked at her boss – and, friend? – with a grin. “I haven't convinced myself of anything, missy. You do that all on your own.”

Claire rolled her eyes. “Tomato tomahto.”

“Well, you can enjoy your tomahtoes all on your own. Somebody's gotta work around here.”

With those parting words and a playful smack to a stunned Claire's butt, Sam left the room and the apartment. Claire stayed where she was, half-heartedly watching the crew clean with their machines. Her mind began to wander. She truly had no idea what had prompted her to start a chocolate war, but it had certainly been fun! She glanced over to where the bed usually was – as it was presently moved out of the room along with everything else – and couldn't help but remember the last few moments of their play. She truly thought Sam was going to kiss her, and as much as that thought scared the hell out of her – as this time it would be a real kiss and not one manufactured to repel unwanted interest – it had equally excited her.

Claire stepped out of the room as the crew needed to get to where she'd been standing. She perched atop the dresser, which was placed out in the hall and allowed her mind to return to those final moments. It was a rare thing that Claire Hobbs was touched by anybody; she flat didn't allow it. She wasn't a huggy person, no touchy-feely tendencies whatsoever. In fact, if someone got into her personal space, it was a fight for her to not rip the person's head off then shove them away.

But Sam… Over the past week, she'd touched or been touched by Sam more than she had in the past ten years combined. Starting with the very first time they'd met weeks before, to Sam being there for her in the kitchen after breakfast to their cuddling and falling asleep together on the couch. It had all finally ended with Sam lying on top of Claire on a bed in one of Claire's spare bedrooms, their bodies pressed very intimately together.

She felt a small shiver pass through her body at that thought as she hugged herself. Physical touch – and certainly not that of a sexual nature – had ever been anything she'd needed in her life. Other than perhaps from Tanner, but she hadn't seen Tanner in more than twenty years. But, with her body's reaction to Sam's touch, and the simple fact that she was allowing it, made Claire pause. Was this a sign that it was time to move on from her past, or was it something Sam possessed exclusively?

“Miss Hobbs?” one of the carpet cleaning crew said, unwittingly interrupting Claire's thoughts. “We're finished in here.

“Oh. Okay, good.” Claire hopped down from the dresser, relieved as she could turn off her brain for a bit as she took care of the cleaning crew.


Sam blinked the sweat out of her eyes, her arm and shoulder muscles burning as she did another set of pull-ups on the bar Claire had given her, and which she'd mounted in the doorway that led to the bathroom. She was pushing herself hard and she knew it. She also knew she'd regret it later when she could barely move.

Crying out as her arms gave out and she fell to the floor, Sam panted, her lungs burning as she gasped for air and her heart pounded in her chest. “Fuck,” she panted, leaning her back against the doorframe. She removed her weightlifting gloves and tossed them aside, running her hands through the sweaty mass that was her hair.

This had been her ritual for the past four days, since everything had happened with the chocolate war, ending up on one of Claire's beds. Sam had known instinctively that it would be a seriously bad idea to kiss Claire that day, no matter how badly her body had been begging her to do just that. They had worked well together every day after that, make great progress on the project, but Sam felt herself closing off more and more.

She pushed up off the floor on shaky legs, grabbing her discarded gloves and tossing them onto the kitchen counter as she grabbed a bottle of water. Draining more than half the bottle in one go, Sam leaned back against the counter, panting as she caught her breath. Her body running hot, she dumped the rest of the water down her sports bra, gasping at the coldness that flowed over her heated skin.

Grabbing another bottle – this time able to sip it like a normal person – she headed into the bathroom, intending on taking a shower. She was so confused, her body running hot indeed, but most the time it was because she was so fucking turned on by Claire and wanted her more than she ever wanted anyone! This news was shocking to her, considering she'd never found herself hugely interested sexually in a woman before. Yes, she'd messed around a time or two, but was typically drunk when she did. And never in those few experiences had she had all-out sex with one.

With a loud groan, Sam set her bottled water down on the bathroom counter and headed over to her bed, flopping down. She stared up at the high ceiling, her body beginning to cool from the exercise, but warm from her thoughts. She saw Claire's face in front of her mind's eye, Sam's own eyes sliding closed at the mental image. Claire Hobbs was truly the most beautiful woman she'd ever laid eyes on. She was also the most difficult, complicated, and potentially screwed up. Sam's eyes opened.

“What would I possibly want with someone like that?” she whispered. “She could make my life a living hell.”

Sam rested one of her hands behind her head, the other lying on the bare skin of her flat stomach. She could feel the warmth beneath her fingertips. Again her mind raced back to their play nearly a week before. That had all been initiated by Claire. She did seem to be opening up a bit. This train of thought of course led back to that magical day in the very room Sam lay in now: the day Claire had spilled her guts and they had cried together on the couch. Then later they'd cuddled and watched TV and fallen asleep…

“Fuck!” Sam shot up from the bed, her body beginning to once again betray her. She marched over to the kitchen table and grabbed her cell phone, dialing the number she knew by heart. “ Leon ? Come get me. I need to go out.”

Claire took a deep breath before she raised her fist to the door. She took one more deep breath before knocking firmly, confidently, though she didn't feel it. She could hear music coming from within, which was shut off before footfalls were heard heading her way. The door opened and Claire's breath was caught. Sam stood before her dressed in a short mini-skirt, her powerful thighs visible. A leather vest finished off the outfit, her cleavage abundant and striking. Claire finally made her way to Sam's face, noting the dark, smoky makeup she wore.

“Oh, uh…” she stammered, feeling like an old lady standing there in baggy shorts and a t-shirt.

“What's up?” Sam asked, looking at Claire expectantly.

“Well, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come up and hang out, but I can see you have plans.”

Sam gave Claire a small smile of apology. “Yeah, sorry. Leon will be here any minute, in fact.”

Claire felt like a fool as she took a few steps back from the door. “Well,” she said, her voice cool, face expressionless. “Have a good time.”

Sam watched Claire hurry off towards the stairs, feeling somewhat guilty, but then remembering that Claire was why she was leaving in the first place. She slammed the door closed and stormed to the bathroom to finish getting ready.

Claire stormed into her place, slamming the door behind her. “Fuck you, Samantha,” she muttered, marching towards the kitchen, Lily scurrying out of her way. “I can have fun all on my own, thank you very much.”

She stood in the middle of the room, hands on hips as she looked around, though for what she wasn't sure. Her eye landed on the cabinet above the fridge. She pulled a kitchen chair over to it and climbed, tugging open the door. Her small liquor collection was revealed. She sorted through various bottles of wine, one bottle of vodka, which she had no idea where it had come from, and then found the fat bottle of Grand Marnier.

“Bingo,” she said, tugging the full bottle out of the cabinet, even as she dusted off the glass. “Come to momma.”


The beat of the club music pulsed through Sam's bones, her body fluid grace as she danced to it, letting her body go and be one. The guy she danced with was able to keep up, his eyes feasting on Sam's body the entire time.

“You are so fucking hot,” he said into her ear, hands on her hips as he pulled her into him. His excitement was very obvious.

Sam said nothing, instead grabbed him by the face and pulled his mouth to hers. The kiss heated up instantly, their bodies moving together in virtual sex on the dance floor. She knew it would be so easy to lead this guy outside and get a quick release and be done with it. But, as she kissed him and allowed him to feel her up, she suddenly felt repulsed and utterly turned off.

“Hey, baby,” he exclaimed as he was pushed away. “What the fuck?”

Sam said nothing merely disappeared in the throng of fellow dancers and into the shadows of the club. She knew that the jackass on the dance floor wasn't who her body was calling out for, and was angry about that fact. She felt trapped and confused. She made her way to the women's restroom so she could think without that guy or Leon following her and bugging her for answers that she just didn't have.

One thing she did know was that she wanted to go home.


Claire stumbled, nearly spilling her drink as she made her way into the living room. She had no idea just how much she'd had to drink, but knew that her mind were filled with holes, her body feeling numb as one by one the strong Grand Marnier had dulled her senses. She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Her purpose had been to have to think or feel, but in the process, she wasn't sure where she was or why she was there.

“No wonder I don't drink often,” she slurred, flopping down on the couch. She glanced at the small mess she'd made as the orange-flavored liquor sloshed onto the material. “Ah shit.” As she looked at the liquid settling into the material of her couch she giggled then quickly sobered. “Fuck you, Sam,” she whispered, emotion stinging the backs of her eyes. “You think you're better than me,” she threw back more of her drink, coughing slightly at the burn that slid all the way down to her stomach. “Fuck you.”


Sam sat in the back of the cab staring out the window at the scenery that passed. She couldn't ask Leon to leave the club early, considering she was the one who'd talked him into going out in the first place. Instead, she'd found him after she'd left the ladies' room and had informed him that she was leaving. Once the cab had shown up, she'd settled in the back seat and had tried to decide what she would do once she got home, and why exactly she was heading home in the first place.

The cab stopped in front of the warehouse far sooner than expected. Sam glanced out the window to make sure it was the right place. Seeing that it was, she handed the cabbie fare and tip, then stumbled her way into the building. She rode the elevator up to the second floor, but as the doors opened on her floor, she decided to take it up one more flight.


Claire bobbed her head, drink in hand. She had turned her TV to a music station, her body swaying drunkenly to the beat offered. The music was supposedly from the 1980s, but she couldn't remember the song to save her life. It didn't matter as she was feeling the beat as she danced around her living room.

Through her haze she heard a knock at her door. She stopped – for the most part – her hips still reacting to the beat of the song. She set her drink down and danced her way over to the metal sliding door, switching off the lock and sliding it open. To say she was shocked to see Sam on the other side as a huge understatement.

Sam looked into Claire's eyes, able to see the glaze of alcohol in them. She said nothing, instead pushing her way inside. She had no idea why she was there, but knew that she was there for a reason.

Claire for her part, was shocked to see Sam standing at her door. She noticed the makeup was slightly smeared and didn't fully care why. Instead, she backed up as Sam made it clear she was entering, like it or not.

“What are you doin' here?” Claire slurred, watching as Sam slid the door closed then turned to face her.

Sam said nothing, her gaze settling on Claire. Her brain had stopped working, instead her body and need taking over. She walked over to Claire, burying her hands in thick dark hair and bringing their mouths together.

Claire was stunned for a moment, but quickly recovered. She grabbed Sam around the waist, pulling their bodies together as the kiss deepened. She moaned as she felt Sam's tongue trying to take dominance, her own battling back valiantly.

“Claire,” Sam moaned into the kiss, pushing her boss further back into the room, her hand moving up under the loose t-shirt Claire wore, feeling the hot skin of her side beneath.

Then fell onto the couch, Claire beneath Sam. The kiss continued, both women whimpering in desperation as one of Sam's legs insinuated itself between Claire's, her hips pushing into Claire's, demanding purchase for her need.

Claire gasped, her hands finding Sam's ass beneath her short skirt, pressing Sam harder into her as Sam's hips worked, both gasping at the jolt of feeling.

Sam left Claire's mouth, finding her neck and suckling on the skin she found there, her hips beginning to work harder, a desperate need filling her that only Claire could satiate. She felt Claire's hands on her ass, encouraging her to move faster. In response, Sam pushed up onto her hands, barely able to keep her balance on the giving couch cushions. She looked down at Claire through her drunken, lustful haze, able to see the need and pleasure that flushed her cheeks.

“Oh fuck,” Sam moaned, thrusting harder against Claire, her body thrumming with her need and impending release.

Claire brought her thigh up more, able to feel Sam's wet need against her skin. She threw her head back as she felt her orgasm starting, gritting her teeth as she urged Sam to push harder and faster.

“Oh god, oh god, ” she hissed, crying out as the pleasure overtook her body, sending her thoughts into oblivion.

Sam slammed herself into Claire, grasping at the last little bit that would send her flying, which she did. She ground herself against Claire's thigh, somewhere in the back of her brain hearing Claire cry out in release. She followed, reaching around to Claire's ass, holding their bodies together as she ground herself deeper, milking every ounce of pleasure that she could.

Claire clung to Sam, both panting as their bodies rested against each other. Deep inside she could feel a deep sense of regret, which she tried desperately to push away. She wanted to enjoy what had just happened, even if it had tapped into a deep part of her that was screaming to run away.

To be continued


Return to the Academy

Author's Page