Samantha sat on the plane across the aisle from her father and Taysia, sipping her soft drink. Her dad booked their Sulani flight on the same one that stopped in Del Sol Valley just so they could fly with her.
Being with her father and the rest of the family had been nice, but she was ready to get home and see Dax. She missed him – a lot.
Watching her dad and Taysia made her smile. They were just – happy. She didn’t know how else to describe it. Tyler was lucky to have someone like Taysia as a stepparent instead of Ragnar. He was her boss and he was bossy – it was his way or no way. She almost laughed at the thought. She wasn’t sure what her mother saw in him. He was night and day different from her father. But then, her mother and Taysia were night and day different too. Maybe her parents just weren’t right for each other.
When they finally landed, Sam put on her sunglasses and cap, then grabbed her bag from the overhead. Her father hugged her tight before letting her leave the plane.
The hat and sunglasses were to keep people from recognizing her and approaching her in the airport, especially since she was alone. One day, she would be a real star and would need bodyguards to travel with her. Or maybe just Dax would be enough to scare them off. That delicious scar on his face made him look tough and scary. Actually, he was a teddy bear, at least he was with her. She couldn’t wait to see him.
“Samantha!” Someone called her name. Fortunately it was her mother’s high pitched voice she heard. She looked around to find her and thankfully she was alone and Ragnar wasn’t with her. She wasn’t ready to see him. She just wanted to go home and call Dax.
Samantha automatically pasted on a smile for her mother, just like it had been ingrained in her her whole life. Always smile. “Mom! Hi.”
Her mother hugged and kissed her check. “Is this everything?”
“Yes. I didn’t check anything.”
“Good, lets go,” said her mother, “Ragnar, the darling, has the limo circling. I’ll text him that we’re on the way out.” She quickly texted and instantly got one back. “Ah, they’re out front right now, let’s go sweetie before they have to circle again.”
There went Sam’s good mood. Her mom loved being chauffeured around. It was cool, but just called more attention to herself. She grabbed her bag and followed her mother to the waiting stretch limo. Now she’d have to make nice with bossy ‘Ragnar the Rotten’ as the cast privately referred to him. At least he seemed to like her. Plus, he did help her figure out some of the scenes she struggled with. And, he was keeping her around for another season, so she shouldn’t complain. She’d just kiss his cheek and smile, just like her mom taught her. Then she’d just put on a swimsuit and hang out at the pool.
It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Ragnar was in a good mood and didn’t cross examine her. She was able to quickly make her escape and was now sitting by the pool. It felt so nice to be in the warm sunshine after the freezing weather in Newcrest. Before she got comfy, she got out her phone and texted Dax.
Sam smiled a real smile this time. Dax was coming over. She lay back, closed her eyes and let the warm sun lull her into a light sleep while she waited.
She vaguely heard a door close somewhere faraway as the sound of the softly circulating pool water pulled her deeper into sleep.
Then she felt something tickling her face. A bug. Ewww. She brushed it away and hit something solid. She screamed and bolted straight up, her heart pounding.
“Hi Sleeping Beauty!” said Dax through his laughter. “You need to remember this feeling. The look on your face was priceless.”
“You scared the crap outta me Dax!” retorted Sam still trying to get her wits about her. “It’s not funny. My heart is still racing.”
“Exactly! Internalize it babe. Seriously, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I was trying to wake you without startling you.”
“All I have to do is think of your smirky face and I’ll scream again.” Samantha was over it, but was trying not to give him the satisfaction of laughing. She was happy he was here.
He put his hand over his heart and stuck out his bottom lip in an exaggerated a pout. “I’m crushed,” he said, “and here I thought you wanted to see me.”
She smiled at his theatrics. She couldn’t help it. The actions didn’t match the package and it was just funny. “You make a better bad boy,” she said.
“So, how can this bad boy make it up to you?” he said, smirking.
“Theeeere’s the Daxton Matherson I know and love. Kiss me, and I’ll consider it even,” she said grinning.
“I didn’t think you’d ever ask. Come here.” Dax pulled her on top of him making her squeal. Then he kissed her passionately. When he began to put his hands on her she pushed away.
“You’re awful,” she said as she sat up.
”But I missed you,” he complained.
“Well, that’s not what I meant when I asked for a kiss,” she said as she scrambled off him and got back on her own lounger. “I don’t need Mom or her boyfriend catch us.”
“Hah, RtR wanted us to be a couple so he shouldn’t care, he’s probably rubbing his hands together in glee hoping the paparazzi is taking pictures.” protested Dax.
”That doesn’t mean we have to put on a show for them or my mother. Mom wouldn’t even let us date until I turned 16. And you’ll be 20 next month. So there is that too. She could still decide to put a stop to it if she thought we were having sex.”
“Whatever. So, how was your visit and the wedding?” he asked obviously changing the subject.
“It was nice. My brother is such a nerd. I watched him play video games for a couple of hours. He’s not a snot nosed brat anymore. He was actually kinda sweet. And my cousins – the twins – they cracked me up. They finish each other’s sentences, or say the same thing at the same time. They constantly bicker back and forth without getting mad at each other. It’s so cute.”
“Must be nice,” he said softly.
Oh she hit a nerve. His family wasn’t dysfunctional and that was putting it mildly. “It is, but I have to admit, all together they are a bit much,” she said trying to play it down a little. “Daddy was so handsome though. And Taysia looked amazing, like a real princess. They shoulda had a great big church wedding. It’s only her first marriage, but she seemed more than satisfied with the small wedding at my grandparent’s home….”
She abruptly stopped as the realization of what she just said hit home. “God, I said that like everyone would automatically have more than one marriage. How sad s that? Well I only plan to do it once and when I do, I want the fairy tale. A huge cathedral with Daddy walking me down the aisle, my dress with a 10 foot train behind me. Just like a real princess.”
“Whoa. Wedding?” said Dax.
“Get your panties out of a wad,” she said and turned over. Dax turned around as well When he was settled she continued, “It’s every little girl’s fantasy, to look like a beautiful princess.”
“First of all missy,” said Dax, “I don’t wear panties and second of all, if that’s what you wanted, I’d do it. But honestly, a quickie wedding in Vegas would suit me just fine. As long as the end result was the same.”
“You really are bad boy,” she said and wiped the sweat off her face. “I’m hot, let’s take a dip.”
“Let’s do,” said Dax as he eagerly jumped up, quickly divesting himself of shirt, shades and shoes then dove into the pool.
When he surfaced Samantha sat on the edge and put her feet in and shivered. “It’s colder than I thought.”
“Get in here and I’ll keep you warm.”
Samantha giggled at the prospect and slid into the pool. Dax was on her in a heartbeat. He kissed her and pressed his body up to hers. He tasted like the chlorine in the pool. “I’ve been wanting you all week,” he said in between kisses.
“Not here,” she said, although feeling him against her was super hot.
Dax wasn’t deterred and continued kissing her. “Your mouth says one thing but your body says another,” he whispered, “and besides, they can’t see us in the pool.”
“You scoundrel,” she said.
“I’ll show you scoundrel,” he said with a wicked gleam in his eye. He slid one hand down her side and when he got to her bikini bottoms, he slid his hand inside.
“Stop it Dax, we’re not alone,” she said, but made no effort to move his hand away. He was right, they couldn’t see them in the pool, and besides she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
She heard the glass doors to the patio close and it was like a bucket of ice water was poured on their passion. They quickly jumped apart and pulled themselves up onto the side of the pool.
Ragnar walked over to the edge of the pool where they sat and was smirking as if he knew exactly what they were doing. “Don’t stay out here too long,” he said to them, “We start shooting again on Monday and I don’t want either of you sunburned. Maybe you two should just come inside and watch a movie. Sam, honey, Mari and I are meeting some friends for lunch. Will you be okay here until we return or do you want Dax to take you home?”
She looked at Dax and hoped he wasn’t grinning. Thank goodness he wasn’t. “Sure, we can go inside and do a movie,” said Dax, “Then I can take Sam home. Okay Sam?”
“Sure,” she said and then gave Ragnar her best smile, “thanks Ragnar. You two have fun.”
Ragnar started to walk off but stopped as if he’d forgotten something. He turned back around and pinned Dax with a hard stare. “Daxton, wrap it up. We don’t need any unexpected pregnancies. Being an item is good for ratings and gets the show free publicity. Unplanned pregnancies and abortions however aren’t the kind of publicity this show needs. Do it and both of your careers will be over before they start.” He didn’t wait for a response and turned on his heel and went back inside.
Sam watched, speechless, as he walked into the house. They knew. But how? They’d tried to be discreet. She watched him through the glass doors. He had a short conversation with her mother then kissed her. She had a sinking feeling maybe her mother sent him out to warn them. She was probably watching them the whole time.
She looked at Dax and he was fuming. “Who the fuck does he think he is? I’m not some stupid punk. I know what’s at stake. And even if you did get pregnant, then I’d be right there and we’d raise it. Unless you didn’t want to and then …”
“Dax, stop it!” He was only making it worse talking about babies and she felt tears beginning to form. “Come on,” she said, “Let’s just go inside and get changed. I’m not in the mood for a movie anymore. I just want to go home.” Sam got up. She knew she was acting like a spoiled brat, but she was upset.
Dax stopped her and put his arm around her as they walked towards the house together. She didn’t fight it, she shouldn’t be mad at him.
“Hey baby, it’s okay,” he said, “I didn’t mean to make it worse by yelling. You know we don’t have anything to worry about anyway. You’re on the pill and we always use condoms. Nothing bad will happen.”
Gahhh, she thought, he just doesn’t get it. She pulled away from him and stopped walking. “Don’t you see? It’s all weird now. Mom knows what we are doing and so does Ragnar! It’s so embarrassing.”
Oh, I see,” he said, “but what do you think they’re doing?”
Ugh, she knew they were having sex. Had been for a long time, but that didn’t mean she wanted to think about it. “Gross Dax,” she moaned.
He put his arm around her again and hugged her to him. “Just, please, calm down babe and relax. You just got back and I don’t want to fight with you.”
His arms felt good around her and she did began to clam down a little. “Better now?” he asked. She just nodded without smiling and walked inside.
“Go get changed while I make a phone call,” he said, “and then I’ll take you home.”
“Who are you calling?” she asked out of curiosity.
“I have a prescription for medical marijuana. It takes the edge off. And I need to relax, so I’m getting it refilled. Then we can go to your house and maybe watch a movie. Forget about this shit. We are both wound too tight right now. Okay?”
“I didn’t know you smoked pot,” she said nervously.
“Not too often, just when I need to lighten up and chill, like now. RtR can be fucking intense, and it helps me keep my temper in check. It wouldn’t do any good for us to butt heads on the set now would it?”
“No, I guess not. Okay, I’ll hurry.” She figured since he had a prescription it should be okay.
When Sam and Dax got to her house, after making a quick stop along the way, he told her he needed to go outside to smoke so the house wouldn’t smell. She took him to the balcony off her bedroom which overlooked the front drive. That way they could see if her mother, or anyone else, that happened to drive up.
Sam hugged him from behind. “Thanks for being so patient with me,” she said. “I guess I can pretend like Ragnar didn’t say anything and Mom doesn’t know, even though I’m sure she does.”
Dax sighed. “Babe, you should try this. It’ll calm your nerves, let me show you.”
“I don’t know,” she said and stared into the street as he lit the pipe. She was nervous. She barely even had any alcohol.
“Let me show you babe,” he said as he inhaled, held it and then finally exhaled the vapor. She could see the stress leave his gorgeous face. “Ahh, so much better…”
He turned to her when he was done. “Your turn babe,” he said and handed the pipe to her.
She figured why not? It’s legal now. “Okay,” she finally said, “let me try just one puff.”
He added some more marijuana to the pipe and got behind her to show her how to hold it, lighting it for her. “Now, just inhale slowly and hold it.” He held her while she inhaled.
He was right, she quickly began to feel better as the stress left her body. If Dax hadn’t been holding her up she might have slid to the ground she felt so mellow.
Dax whispered in her ear. “Better now?”
She giggled a little before responding leaning into her boyfriend. “Much. Fuck Ragnar the Rotten!” she said and clamped her hand over her mouth. That was so unladylike. “What have you done to me?”
Dax took the pipe from her and laughed as he steadied her. “Sit down for a minute babe. You’re just relaxed. And anyway, I agree with you, but don’t ever say that to your mom. She’d faint. I’ll fix us some sandwiches, I’m sure you’re probably hungry. I am.”
“Yes food. Thank you. You’re my hero!” she said and giggled some more.
She followed Dax into the kitchen and sat down. Finally he brought over sandwiches and a glass of water. “Eat up princess Sam,” he said, “I have plans for us later. Maybe I’ll just spend the night here. Hell, they know we’re together.”
“No!” she said between mouthfuls, “I’d die of embarrassment.”
“Fine, love me and kick me out. I bet I could find someone else that would appreciate waking up with my arms around them.”
Sam was hurt. She knew he had girls flocking all over him. But he’d never said anything about it before. Her happy mood was tanking fast and she felt the unmistakable burning behind her eyes indicating tears would soon appear.
“Oh, hell, Samantha,” he said, “I was only teasing you. You know you’re the only one for me.”
“Honest?” she asked, unsure now if he really meant it.
He got up and walked over to her and pulled her into his arms. “Honest. Sam, I’ve wanted you since the first day I saw you. I haven’t looked at anyone else since we’ve been together. I’m sorry I said that. It was crass. You deserve better.”
“Such pretty words from such a scary guy. You look like one thing and act like another.”
He tipped her face to his. “Come on, let me show you how much you mean to me. And I promise to wrap it up.”
Instead of making her angry, it struck her as funny and she started giggling again. “Okay,” she said, and snorted causing another round of giggles to erupt.
Dax shook his head and grinned. “We probably have an hour. You know how long those dinners are. And I bet they go back to Ragnar’s anyway. But just in case….”
He didn’t need to say more. She turned around and led her sexy boyfriend towards the stairs to her bedroom so they could wrap it up. She tried not to giggle as she thought about it because he might think she was laughing at him, but she couldn’t seem to stop it.
He slapped her butt shocking her. “What was that for?” she asked as she turned to face him.
“Your punishment for laughing at me,” he said, his tone serious. But when she saw the corner of his mouth twitching to keep from grinning and she was relieved. He was playing with her.
“I’m sorry,” she said in mock reverence, and bowed her head while biting her lip to keep from laughing.
“Samantha …. ” he husked out and pulled her into his arms kissing her hard. Her sexy and passionate boyfriend. Out of all the gorgeous women that threw themselves at him, he had picked her.