Twice in a Blue Moon

Page 27

Sam pushed up on an elbow. His hair was messy from my hands, his mouth swollen. “Why not?”

“Because it will make it that much harder when we go home.”

He didn’t say anything to this, he just stared down at me, half-amused, half something unreadable.

“When you look back at this,” I started, already hearing the unreasonable in my voice, “do you think you’ll remember it just as sex with a girl in London?”

Sam laughed, giving me a simple, “No.” He kissed me again. “I could have just sex with a girl in London if that’s what I wanted. I already told you I’m going to come see you. I like being with you just as much when we have our clothes on. That’s part of what I mean about the fantasy.”

Pulling back, I looked over at him, not entirely sure why this made me feel even more sad. No matter what my infatuated heart said, could there really be hope for us long term? Other women would eventually get this careful, attentive person, and I hated every single one of them. No matter how much bigger Sonoma was than Guerneville, there wouldn’t be anyone like Sam there.

When we stood, my legs felt rubbery. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted, I could have fallen asleep standing up, if required. Inside the elevator, Sam pulled me in against his chest. “Does your dad know you’re going to college?”

“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “I mean, I don’t really know how much Mom talks to him, but I don’t get the feeling that she tells him anything.”

“So you really haven’t heard from him?” Sam asked.

I reached up and pressed a fingertip to his comma scar. “He sends me things at Christmas. Usually something techy. He must not write anything, or Nana must take whatever note he’s written, because there’ll be a tag on it in her handwriting that says, ‘To Tate, from Ian.’ ”

“But not money? He’s a bajillionaire and—” He paused, and the corners of his mouth lifted in a small, apologetic smile. One didn’t have to be the most observant person to notice the way Nana calculated everything down to the last dime. Ian Butler might be a bajillionaire, but we were not.

“Not money. I mean, maybe but it doesn’t seem like it. But we’re doing okay.”

“Michael—a ridiculously rich Wall Street guy—wouldn’t send Luther and Roberta money to help raise me,” Sam said. “Forget presents. Sometimes I wonder whether he remembers that he has another kid.”

I thought this last part was hyperbole, but it was hard to tell. “Is Roberta still in touch with him?”

“She sends him cards on holidays.” Sam squinted, thinking. “I think they talk a couple times a year, maybe. But I know he never calls. If they talk, it’s because she’s calling him.”

“He sounds like trash. Is it weird that I’m imagining Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman?”

“Actually, that’s disturbingly accurate.”

“And it doesn’t bug you that he’s so . . . lame?” I asked.

“Honestly? Not really. Luther and Roberta are the best parents I could have had.”

God, he was so levelheaded. And what different lives we’d lived. Me, cherished, but held beneath two sets of very neurotic thumbs. Sam, given all the freedom he could handle—and then some—with just as much love.

The elevator doors opened, and we stepped apart. Usually, Sam went to his end of the hall and I went to mine, and we would wave at the door before ducking silently inside. But that night, he walked me down the hall to my room.

“I don’t like what you said,” he whispered outside the door, stilling my hand before I could use the key card. “Earlier. About it just being sex for me. You think I’m like that?”

“No. I don’t.” I looked up at him, taking in his tight, controlled expression. “It’s just this awesome-terrible situation. I feel more for you in the past week and a half than I did for Jesse in three years. And it’s going to end. It just . . . sucks.”

He pulled back, alarmed. “Why’s it going to end?”


He bent, cutting off my words with his mouth, the sweetest kiss that stopped me in my mental tracks. Pulling away, he cupped his hands to my face and looked me square in the eye. “Because nothing,” he said, “okay?”

I nodded, a little breathless. “Okay.”

Sam kissed me one more time and then hesitated. His cheeks flushed just before he admitted, “I think I’m falling in love with you. Is that crazy?”

Biting my lips was the only way to hold in my elated scream. Finally, I managed, “No. It isn’t crazy. Because, me too.”


I COULDN’T EVEN LOOK at him at breakfast when he and Luther arrived at our usual table, because I knew I would burst into a giant, stupid grin and Nana would not only realize that I was infatuated with this guy, but probably that we’d had sex and were pretty much thinking about only that whenever we were together.

I think I’m falling in love with you.

“Where’s Luther?” Nana asked.

But at this, I looked up. Usually Sam grabbed his plate after a quick hello and made a beeline for the buffet. But that morning, he looked haggard, pulling out a chair and sitting heavily down. “He’s still in bed.”

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