Chapter 4.47 – The Man in the Mirror

Note: Long and Picture Heavy – well more than usual. 😁

Del Sol Valley

Things felt almost normal for Sam during the first couple of months following the ‘meltdown’ over her series being cancelled. That’s how Levon referred to it anyway. She’d almost lost it again when the NDA arrived, but then he reminded her, everyone had to sign one. So she signed the stupid NDA and moved on.

After that was behind them, she and Levon spent lazy days and hot nights together until his filming started.

Then reality hit hard when Levon’s days began to get longer and longer. He was at the studio at least six days a week and sometimes seven. Some of the scenes needed to be filmed on location, so he could be gone for several days, leaving her home alone.

Then there were the outdoor scenes that needed to be shot at night, so when he was home, he was there to crash. Intellectually, she knew it was normal to have extra long hours, especially in the beginning. But that didn’t make his long absences any easier to take.

She was sitting there alone once more, and decided to call Ragnar – again. He was clearly getting irritated with her. “Samantha, I already told you, we are negotiating with the Screenwriter and the Producer. We should have something agreed upon in the next two weeks. Once that’s done, we’ll start casting calls and that will likely take a couple of months, and then filming will start one or two months later. Just enjoy your down time. Lord knows between you and Levon, you don’t need to worry about money.”

“It’s just hard sitting around like this,” she said knowing she sounded whiney but she couldn’t help it. “I’ve never not been busy.”

“You’ve earned the downtime. Go to the spa. Take up yoga. Go shopping. Your mom would be happy to go with you. Or call some of your girl friends. Hang out.”

“Just please let me know as soon as you hear anything at all.”

“Of course Samantha. Bye now, I have work to do.”

She hung up and put her head in her hands. Potentially six more months? Of doing nothing. She almost laughed when he said hang out with your friends. Sam didn’t do friends anymore. They couldn’t be trusted. So then, who did she trust? Her mother? Not 100%. She always sided with Ragnar. And definitely not Ragnar. He tricked her into signing a contract with nude scenes. She was pretty sure her mother was in on that too. She knew he was serious about the new series they were working on, but what if it fell through?

Then her thoughts drifted to Levon. Could she trust him? She wanted to, but he was never around anymore, only coming home to sleep. They hadn’t had sex in almost a month. And it was less than satisfying. He wasn’t nearly as affectionate as he was before he started filming. Normally, he had a healthy libido, which led her mind down another path. His new co-star. He was with her more than he was home. Was that why he didn’t seem interested in sex anymore, and not just because he was exhausted as he claimed?

She had to stop that train of thought, because now her eyes were stinging with tears again. If her eyes were swollen and puffy when he got home, it would just cause an argument. Her phone buzzed on the table. She picked it up. It was a text from Levon. ‘Gonna be late. Don’t wait up.’

The tears she was trying to hold back ran down her cheeks. She almost threw her phone across the room, but managed to put it back on the table just as it rang. She looked at the caller ID hoping it might be Levon calling to tell her he was coming home after all. Instead, it was her brother. She couldn’t talk to him, not in the state she was in, so she let it go to voice mail.

The phone beeped indicating a message, bringing a smile to her face. She picked it up to put it on speaker to listen. “Hi Sam. It’s Tyler, well I guess you already knew that. Anyway, I wanted to call since we haven’t spoken in a long time and apologize. I guess I’m not a very good brother. I want to be better. And I had some things to tell you and ask you. First, I wanted to thank you and Levon….” The beep indicated the time for leaving message was over and cut him off.

The phone rang again, and she let it go to voice mail once more. And sure enough after a minute, there was another message indicator, so she clicked to listen. “Hi. This is Tyler again. Sorry, I guess I tend to ramble. Its probably part of my ADHD. Anyway, I wanted to thank you guys for coming with me to the Blue Velvet. Oh, I already said that, or did it get cut off. Anyway, I’m dating a girl I met there.” Then in a whisper he said, “Okay Kiera – shhh,” then he raised his voice again. “We’ve been together more than 4 months now. She had a question and so did ….”

Now Sam couldn’t stop the smile that split her face. Tyler. She loved him so much. And then she knew. That’s who she could trust. Him, along with her father and Taysia. Her other family. It made her sad they were so far away, but still, she was happy that Tyler was dating someone and that she might’ve helped make that happen.

The phone rang again and she actually laughed out loud. He was going to finish his question. She decided to answer this time. “Hi Ty,” she said, doing her best to sound happy.

Oh. Hi. I just left you a couple of messages. You can delete them.”

“I was in the shower. I thought I heard the phone ring. What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

“Yes. Everything is good. Really good. Sorry I haven’t called more. I know you’re busy with your show and I didn’t want to bother you.”

Sam almost snorted a laugh. Since the last episode was scheduled to air next week, there would be an announcement right after that it was cancelled. He would know soon enough so she decided to spill. “Well, I actually haven’t been busy. It hasn’t been announced yet, but the show isn’t being picked up for another season. Please don’t say anything until it’s public. It’s gonna be announced next week.”

“Oh wow Sam, I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It’s okay,” she said with forced gaiety, “Ragnar’s working on a new series. I just get to take a mini hiatus is all.”

“What about Levon? Is he gonna be in your new series?”

Sam gritted her teeth to keep the bitterness out of her voice. “No. Actually, he’s already started work on a different one. It will be announced around the same time next week along with some trailers. It’s an action packed sci-fi drama. A lot different than what we did before. He’s loving it so far. So, my dear brother, you just got two big scoops. But please, I had to sign an NDA. Don’t tell anyone. Swear it.”

“Oh, okay. I won’t. Of course not. Tell Levon congrats on the new series. The reason I called was to tell you thanks again for coming to the Blue Velvet. I met someone there and we’ve been dating the last 4 months. I probably wouldn’t have met her if not for you and Levon.”

“Oh God. Ty, did Levon give her a ‘tit-tat’?” She had to ask.

Tyler laughed. “I didn’t ask her. We didn’t see each other again until a couple of weeks later. But Sam, we should talk more. Maybe, since you have some time off, I could come to see you and bring my girlfriend. She constantly asks about you and Levon. It would just be for a weekend since we both have school. How about in 3 weeks so I can get cheaper tickets? It’s already getting cold and threatening snow here, so it will be nice to get to go somewhere warmer.”

“That sounds awesome. You can stay here, I have a couple of guest rooms. Cheaper than a hotel. Especially one in Del Sol Valley. And Tyler, I’m really glad you have someone in your life. By the way, how is Cassie?”

“She’s doing really good. She got a promotion. She’s now the Assistant Manager. She really loves helping run that bar. It seems like a lot of work, but if you like what you’re doing, I guess it doesn’t feel like work. I think she might like Cris, the owner, but she won’t tell him. You met him. The tall guy with the longish black hair?”

“Oh, yes. He was very nice.” And very good looking, she said to herself. Then she remembered she’d propositioned him. God, how embarrassing. She’d been pissed at Levon for all the ‘tit-tats’ he was giving out. She hoped Cassie didn’t know and never found out. “Maybe they’ll figure it out. And, yeah, work doesn’t feel like work when it’s your passion. I love acting, and in fact, I’m missing it terribly right now. It’s so much fun to pretend to be someone else.”

“Sounds scary to me.”

Sam chuckled. “Tyler, I don’t want to wait three weeks. You and …”

“Keira.”

“Keira. That’s such a pretty name. Why don’t the two of you come next weekend. I could really use the company. Plus I miss you. And Dad too. Maybe they can come too. I have room.”

“Oh … I don’t know if I want to sleep in the same room with Keira if they’re here.”

“I’m sure they know you’re having sex Tyler … Wait, you are, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” he said softly and she could hear his embarrassment through the phone. It made her smile.

“Okay. Just you and Keira then. Let me book the tickets for you. An all expenses paid vacation to see your sister. I’m really glad you called. I needed a friendly voice today. Your timing was perfect.”

“Keira’s going to be thrilled. I look forward to seeing you. Thanks for offering up your house and getting the airfare. It really does help, since Dad is still my bank.

*******************************

Two weeks later…..

Sam bought first class tickets for him and Keira. He wasn’t wrong, Keira was over the moon excited. Then when a limo driver stood at passenger pickup with their name on a board, Keira squealed. “It’s like we’re celebrities! This is awesome.”

Tyler shrugged. An Uber would’ve been fine as far as he was concerned. But he loved seeing her so excited. He felt like he’d more than made up for their fight at the graduation party. And the best part – it hadn’t cost his Dad anything.

They finally arrived at Sam’s house in the hills. When they got out, Keira pointed to the mansion you could just see in the distance. “That mansion is amazing! Not that this one isn’t, but – Oh. My. God!”

“Oh – yeah. That’s where my mother lives,” said Tyler.

“TYLER!” she squealed again making him cringe. “Can we go meet her while we’re here? Please, pretty please. I really want to see inside that amazing house.”

“I don’t think so. We’re here to see my sister. Maybe next time.”

“That sucks. I’d love to go swimming in that pool! Wait? Did you say next time?” Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

“Sure. I plan to come back and visit more often. And anyway, Sam has a pool. Come on.”

“Tyler!” said Sam when she answered the door and engulfed him in a hug. “And this must be Keira. It’s so nice to finally meet you.”

“Oh,” replied Keira sounding a little let down, “we met before at the Blue Velvet. I have a selfie and an autograph to prove it. Well, had an autograph. It’s gone now.” She giggled and put her hand on her chest.

Tyler groaned. She did get her chest signed.

“I’m sorry Keira,” apologized Sam, “I met so many people that night.”

“It’s okay,” she said, mollified by Sam’s apology. “Tyler and I weren’t together then.”

“Of course,” said Sam sweetly. “Well, come in and let me show you to your room.”

Tyler followed them inside, dragging both suitcases. Keira was asking a thousand questions monopolizing her attention, so he just followed along behind them.

Finally Sam led them into a bedroom. “I thought you’d like this room,” said Sam, “it has a great view of the city off the balcony and an en-suite bathroom.”

“Tyler! Look! It’s even nicer than our room at ‘The Grand Hotel’!”

“Wow,” said Sam, “You stayed at ‘The Grand’? In San Myshuno?”

Tyler groaned. “Don’t ask.”

“Oh Tyler,” scoffed Keira, “Don’t be a stick in the mud.” Then she turned back to his sister. “He took me there for a wonderful date. It was amazing.”

“Dad must’ve liked that bill,” said Sam clearly holding back a laugh. “Or are you employed now Tyler?”

“He paid,” admitted Tyler making Sam chuckle. “Can we please talk about something else?”

“Don’t be embarrassed,” scolded Keira laughing. “You always get embarrassed. Here Samantha. Look. We took pictures.”

“Please, call me Sam. I’m Samantha when I’m in trouble.”

Keira giggled and began to show her new BFF pictures of her and Tyler at the hotel.

Tyler almost wished he hadn’t brought her. He and Sam had such a good conversation over the phone and now it was like he wasn’t even there. It was just like when he used to come to visit his mom and Sam when he was a kid. No one paid any attention to him. He waited until Keira had exhausted all of the pictures before interrupting. “Sam, is Levon around?”

“He’s filming. He’s supposed to be home around 6:00, so I made reservations for us at the Rhapsody for 7:00.”

“Oh my god! Tyler! Rhapsody! There’ll probably be other stars there. And we’ll be with Sam and Levon!” She stopped abruptly and gave Sam a distressed look. “Oh no! I don’t have anything appropriate to wear.”

Sam laughed. “You can borrow a dress from me if you like. And Ty, if you didn’t bring a tie or a jacket, Levon should have something. I’m sorry I should’ve told you.”

“I’m good,” said Tyler embarrassed, “And I’m sure Keira brought some dresses.” Keira gave him a death stare. “But they’re all probably too casual,” he added quickly, as he knew that look well.

“Come on Keira,” said Sam grinning, “We can pick something out. I bet you guys haven’t had lunch yet. I’ll order delivery and we can eat by the pool. It’s a beautiful day.”

“That sounds amazing!” said Keira. “I did bring a swimsuit.”

Tyler sat on the bed as the girls took off, arm in arm, to Sam’s room to find a dress. He didn’t know what just happened. He lost his sister and his girlfriend. He decided to unpack and change into his swimsuit. He’d just go out to the pool and wait on them.

Tyler couldn’t watch anymore of the Levon & Keira show, so he excused himself and went to bed. He was fuming over how she was coming on to Levon with both him and Sam right there. And Levon was eating it up. He supposed Levon got that all the time and played along, but still, it hurt.

Thankfully, only a few minutes later, Keira came in their room and got ready for bed. He rolled over to pull her into his arms when she climbed in. They hadn’t slept together since the graduation party and he wanted to remind her who she was here with.

But, instead of letting him pull her next to him, she leaned up and started rapid fire talking. “Today was a perfect day!” she gushed. “Levon is soooo dreamy in person. Plus he’s charming and funny too. He even promised next time we came, he would try to get me on the set. And Sam. She’s nothing like you. She’s so outgoing and fun. She’s going to take me to a spa tomorrow! You’d never know you two were related. And Tyler, you should’ve seen her closet! It’s as big as my room in that tiny cracker box of a duplex. And, it’s filled with so many beautiful designer clothes, bags and shoes. God I miss being able to shop like that. But even then, I rarely got Prada or Gucci! God, I could do this every single day. Maybe Sam will adopt me!”

With her words, Tyler felt himself deflate even more than he had been all day long. He thought he’d finally have Keira to himself. After all of that, he didn’t want any part of her. She just insulted him at least three times in less than the minute and a half it took for her to rave about his sister and her boyfriend. It was clear he was a complete disappointment to her. He started to turn back over.

“Hey, what are you doing?” asked Keira and put her arm around him to stop him from moving away.

“It’s called sleeping,” he groused, “It’s been a long day and I’m tired.”

“How can you possibly sleep? I’m so keyed up. Get over here Tyler Murdock. Have some fun. We should be having sex right now. In Sam and Levon’s house. Oh my god. That’s such a turn on.” She fell back on the bed and giggled. “I bet that’s what they’re doing right now! I know I would be.”

“Shhh. Keep your voice down.”

“Sorry,” she said and sat back up. She grinned as she climbed on top of him and snaked her hand down his stomach and began to tease him.

“You’re not playing fair Kiera,” he groaned.

“I never play fair,” she purred. That’s all it took, and he was ready, even though he was still hurt and angry.

Because he was still mad, instead of being gentle and loving, he wanted to take her hard. In a quick move, he flipped them over so he was on top. He needed to be in control. “Maybe I’m not going to play fair either,” he growled. She giggled in response, pissing him off even more.

He shot up and rolled on a condom, then took her without any foreplay. She let out a little yelp, but was soon keeping pace. They both completed at the same time and he quickly rolled off of her.

Now he felt terrible. That wasn’t like him. He usually took his time and was gentle, and held her close afterwards. “Shit, I’m sorry,” he mumbled as he sat up. She had made him feel like nothing today, and he just felt the need for her to see him.

“What? Why?” she asked, still a little breathless. “That was kinda hot. Who knew?”

Tyler was disgusted. “I’m going to clean up,” he said instead of addressing her comment.

He went into the bathroom and changed into his pajamas. He went to the sink and splashed water on his face. When he looked in the mirror, he didn’t like what he saw. There’d been nothing loving in what he’d just done. Clearly she thought she’d just made him super horny, or maybe she was fantasizing that she was with Levon. That last thought just fueled his anger and he felt his fists clenching at his side.

He forced himself to calm down and finally left the bathroom to go back to bed. Keira was already sound asleep, so instead, he decided to go downstairs where he could put some space between them and try to try to figure out exactly what he wanted from her. He walked out of the room, and softly shut the door behind him so he wouldn’t wake her.

As he descended the stairs, he wondered what either of them really wanted out of their relationship. All he knew was that he never, ever again wanted to feel the way he just did. He’d felt worthless. In fact, the longer he was with her, the more confused and unsure he felt about himself. He’d known that she’d be excited to be here. That’s why he asked her. But still, her words tonight hurt him and he lost control when his anger took over.

When he got downstairs, there was candlelight coming from the dining room. He walked in through the kitchen and saw his sister sitting at the table with her head down.

Worried about her, he quickly forgot about his own problems. “Sam? Are you okay?” he asked softly as he approached.

She quickly jerked her head up and swiped at her face. He felt like he was intruding on a private moment but he couldn’t leave now. “Sam?”

“Yes,” she said quickly, “I‘m fine, I just couldn’t sleep.”

“Me either. I guess I’m a little keyed up. Keira’s asleep already.”

“So is Levon. He was asleep by the time I got ready for bed. Want a nightcap?” she asked.

“Sure,” he replied and sat down. What he really wanted was to find out why she was upset. She seemed to have had a really good time today with Keira. At least until Levon came home. Levon and Keira’s unabashed flirting must’ve affected her more than she let on.

Sam poured them both a shot of whiskey on the rocks. “Keira is nice,” she said when she pushed the drink to him. “She certainly seems to be smitten with Levon,” she added sarcastically.

Fuck, thought Tyler, she’s pissed. “Yes. I’m sorry about that. She talks about you two constantly. I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it. She’s just star-stuck I guess.”

“I suppose. She does seem a bit high maintenance though.”

Tyler chuckled. “Maybe. But she’s been patient with me.”

“So, I’m assuming she was your first and by default, your only.”

“Why is everyone so concerned with my sex life?”

“I don’t know, being intimate with someone is special, and can cloud your judgement. I just want you to be happy.”

That comment made Tyler feel even worse, maybe because it hit too close to home. There had been nothing special about what just happened upstairs. He swallowed hard. “You don’t think I’m happy?”

“Well, Ty, why are you down here talking to me instead of upstairs with Keira? Maybe it’s just because she was your first that you feel … I don’t know … obligated to her. No offense, but she seems more like a casual sex kinda girl. And believe me, in this business, I see it all the time. Sex is a tool for her, not a commitment. You seem more like me. Sex means more, something deeper. A commitment to that person, not just a good time.” She chuffed out a little snort. “I guess I’m an anomaly, an actress that doesn’t sleep around. And you are too. A handsome guy that was still a virgin by the time he was almost out of college.”

“I’m well aware I wasn’t her first” he said with a forced smile, “and I have no idea why she put up with my awkwardness. But I admit, I was jealous, or maybe just hurt by the way she and Levon were together today. She hung onto his every word. And she smiled more today than I think I’ve ever seen her smile. She doesn’t do that with me. So I came down to think. I’m sure it was just harmless flirting and I overreacted.”

“I wish you could listen to yourself Ty. She doesn’t have to make up excuses for her behavior, because you do it for her.”

Was he? He needed to change the subject. “Sam, why were you down here alone and crying?”

She let out a slow breath of air. “Busted huh? I guess – well several reasons. I don’t have any work right now – and Levon does. And yes, I was jealous and hurt today too. He looked at Keira like he used to look at me. And honestly, we’re not getting along great right now. Also, being with Keira today drove home that I don’t have any real friends. My last girlfriend … she …”

“The one that broke up you and Dax?” Tyler finished for her.

“Yep. At least Keira seems like she wants you for you,” she said and chuffed out a short, humorless laugh. “Well, unless maybe Levon is suddenly available.”

“Sam….”

“Sorry, bad joke. But really, everyone else wants me for what I can do for them, Keira included. You and Dad, you’re the only people that don’t care about all of this. I’m so afraid that Levon will leave me if I don’t start working soon. It’s plain to see that we’re already drifting apart. Someone in love doesn’t act like he did today. It just brought home how far apart we’ve grown. He told her more about his show tonight than he’s told me since he started filming.”

“Maybe you should come spend a few weeks in Newcrest. Take a break from Levon. Dad and Taysia would love to have you, or if you need more privacy, you could stay with Aunt Rea in their basement apartment. Then you could hang out with me, Keira and Cassie.”

“I can’t, or I would.”

“You can and you should.”

Sam smiled. “Maybe. But if I’m not here, Levon …”

“Levon isn’t Dax.”

“True, but … he’s not happy with me right now. And he obviously preferred Keira’s company over mine tonight. It’d be a bad time to leave.”

“Probably even a better time. Let him cool off. Let him miss you a little.”

“I don’t know. Outta sight, outta mind.”

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder?” challenged Tyler.

Sam huffed out a laugh. “Okay, you win. Give me a week to make arrangements and break it to him.” She held up her glass. “Cheers to the best brother ever.”

“Not the best, but I’m trying. And besides, I’m your only brother.” They laughed as they clinked glasses and downed the rest of their drinks.

He stood up and hugged Sam. “I love you sis. I wish we woulda been closer growing up. But now, maybe we can fix that. I think we both need each other right now.”

Go to Chapter 4.48 >>>>>>>

Go back to Chapter 4.46

A/N – I would like to thank Viktoria of CameronSaga for allowing me to use her Rhapsody Restaurant. It is completely mod free and works very well. You can find it on the gallery by searching item name: “Rhapsody” Café & Dining

54 thoughts on “Chapter 4.47 – The Man in the Mirror

  1. Pingback: Chapter 4.46 – Never Have I Ever | New Beginnings

  2. Uhhhh. Sam needs to find a hobby. Or get a dog. Or both. The dog will surely give her all the attention she clearly needs. Why is she waiting for Ragnar to get her another role? Can’t she just go to castings? I find her very clingy and non-independent. Shame.
    Keira was actually cute all excited like that. While Tyler was a complete killjoy. Can’t he be happy for her for one day? And I have no words for what he did later. Punishing her for having fun and having a great day because he himself can’t loosen up? What a jerk! You know what? Levon and Keira should definitely hook up and ditch the whiny Murdicks. That’s what I do! Ha!
    Well, the hair on Sam was really really pretty. At least she can still look good even if she’s a wreck.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sam is very dependent. She has always had her mother and then Ragnar controlling every aspect of her life. And telling her how great she is. She never had to make any decisions for herself and when she tried to object to the nude scenes, she was made to feel like her opinion was silly and wrong. Everything has been handed to her. And her mother and Ragnar act like her agent. So she depends on them even if she doesn’t trust them. She’s a mess and no doubt needs to stand up for herself.

      As for Tyler, I’m not sure seeing your girlfriend flirting blatantly with another guy is something to be happy about. At least she did come back to his bed. But then proceeded to say how great Sam and Levon were and they were nothing like him. I think I’d be hurt too. But he tried to rationalize that she was excited and that’s why she acted like she did. He knew she would be, and even said as much.

      Maybe Keira and Levon should hook up and ditch the whiny Murdicks. I figure Levon is almost there already. He enjoyed having someone interested in him. A little narcissistic maybe. Sam used to be that way, but now that she’s not working, she has become clingy and whiny. He’s busy and doesn’t have time for her drama. Can’t blame him.

      Sam did look pretty. Her saving grace I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well written chapter, underlining all the inner turmoil of two of the three story protagonists. Maybe together they can help each other see the light, the bitter truth. Sam was right about Keira, she uses sex for her benefit, that was clear all along, which is toxic for a guy with all of Tyler’s issues. Any other man could probably handle her, not him.
    Sam is the same with different circumstances intensifying her dependencies, on approval, on being liked, on substances and on Levon, who seems to have understood that the life they are living isn’t usually full of love and rainbows, but as Sam remarked, ‘how can he use each other’. Maybe Keira would be perfect for Del Sol Valley, she has that down and probably wouldn’t get hurt by receiving it in return, just move on instead.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If Keira uses sex for her benefit (and Tyler’s too for the matter), then what Tyler does? He definitely didn’t use sex for Keira’s benefit this time. I’m sorry, but I smell a bit of a double standard here.
      The way I see it, Keira was happy and wanted to make Tyler happy too. I believe that’s a pretty normal thing. When your bf or husband gives you an expensive present, don’t you want to show him how happy you are? I’m surprised you didn’t comment on Tyler using sex to show Keira how uhappy he was, which actually bothers me much more.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Keira and Tyler have been using sex for each other’s benefit form the first time. What Tyler did was wrong. I don’t think anyone is disputing that. Keira was happy and wanted to continue living in her fantasy world which ended up with great sex. Whether it was to ‘reward’ him or some other motive is anyone’s guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, no double standard and nope, my hubby and I don’t swap gifts for nookie. 🙂 Since we are both not in college anymore, my situation is hardly comparable to Ty and Keira, first of all, we BOTH work for what we want and while we do give each other gifts, we are well aware that it comes from the same bank account anyway. And even before, I was the type of girl that while dating at least seriously offered to pay for a meal. To me, sex is used as a enjoyable past time, not currency. But that is beside the point.

        There is a tremendous difference between how, why and when Keira uses sex and Tyler. No, he overreacted but unlike her, he acknowledges it. I did not comment as I see nothing wrong here, unlike Tyler. She even liked it a bit rougher and who says sex always has to be handholding and hourlong foreplay? I don’t really see why Ty is so hard on himself. And I don’t even judge Keira, you do you girl, but know your audience. She knows very well he lacks confidence, so she deliberately uses him, knowing he’s hooked for fear of her dumping him (for whatever reason). A guy like Levon might play, but by his own rules and be a much more logical and appropriate type for her way of handling sex. I would like to reiterate, I don’t judge her for doing it per se, screw your way to whatever you want and need, but again, like I said, consider your audience. There is NO possible scenario that make that okay. And yeah, he uses her too, but that is where it all went wrong in the beginning. She used it as bait, now that’s what he want from her. Had she done it the long way on foot and gotten to know him the way most people get to know a potential boyfriend, the entire dynamics would be different (and let’s just be honest here, it was pointed out clearly in the way it was written that the only reason Keira even bothered with Ty in the first place when they first met was after she found out he’s related to Del Sol Valley royalty. Otherwise … well, ya know.)

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your kind words. Yes. Tyler and Sam have inner turmoil for very different reasons. Sam seemed very observant as to how Tyler and Keira were together, but can’t seem to put that Sam lens on her own life and relationship with Levon. She resorts to drinking and mind numbing drugs.

      I agree, any other man could probably handle someone like Keira. But Tyler has too many issues and is way too insecure to deal with her demands and still stand up to her. He caves and makes excuses for her every single time. However, I’m glad he’s finally thinking about what their relationship is really all about for each of them. Something he’s never done before.

      Keira would fit right in Del Sol Valley. She just needs to find a sugar daddy like Maribel did. She thinks she already has one is my guess.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Loved it as always – Sam is just stunning.

    Shocked at Tyler behaving so badly by showing his anger through sex. Kiera is a piece of work but nobody deserves that. At least he felt bad afterwards and it might be a turning point for him.

    I hope Sam does go back to her other family for a while. She will enjoy the relative normality being away from Del Sol Valley

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks! And Sam is indeed gorgeous.

      I think Tyler was very upset at losing control like he did. He’s beating himself up over it but is at least now questioning his relationship. They will need to have a very long talk. Which really, I don’t think they ever have had where he doesn’t back down. It’s time for him to stand up for himself. And not by using sex.

      I’m very happy Sam is planning to take a break from Del Sol Valley and experience normal. I don’t think she really ever has. Everyone she’s home, her celebrity is flaunted for some reason or other. Hopefully this will be good for her and give her time away to decompress a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent crafted episode. And sometimes pictures are worth 1000 words. the writing and the pictures made a killer combo. Kiera was a total fangirl, from past in presenting her boobs for an autograph, to flirting etc with Levon in front of his girlfriend Samantha and her boyfriend Tyler. Gushing at night to Tyler on what a wonderful day she had while putting Tyler down via comparison to Levon and Samantha. Talk about rubbing salt into the wounds here and not realizing it. Totally obvious to Tyler’s feelings, and not letting him get a word in edgewise. They are worlds apart. Tyler finally expressed his feelings with an abrupt wham bam thank you maam with out the thank you. And she says Wowie that is kinda hot… It is over for them. All I can say is at least he realizes, probably for the first time, the bad feeling you get for the wham bams that ignores getting a woman ready to enjoy sex. At least it was vanilla sex, not bdsm.
    Ragnar and Samantha’s mom are not doing Sam any favors. Sam does not know the heartbreak of seeking for parts, auditioning for parts, pounding the pavement for your craft. It shows. At least Sam and Tyler bonded, and I think Sams decision to spend time with her dad will help her in the long run. There is a life after work, Everyone gets 24 hours in a day but when the day is over it is gone and wont come back.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. This was a hard one to do and not make Tyler look like a total loser. He was hurt. And lashed out in a really bad way and he knows it. He felt terrible even though she thought it was hot. And yes, at least it was vanilla. But he knew it was wrong because of his motives, not because maybe she does like a little variety and is looking for someone to take control in the bedroom even while she needs control outside of it. Yes, it’s most likely the beginning of the end of this toxic relationship. I hope.

      Sam needs to learn the heartbreak and subsequent joy in working hard and then finally succeeding. She will learn from this, not from being coddled. But that is what she’s learned and what she expects. The bright spot was that brother and sister bonded over a shared misery. And maybe going home will help her out in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, we all reach certain points in a drama series where characters shock, disappoint, and sometimes sicken us. Congrats Ty and Sam! You just brought all my whats to the yard O..O
    The highlight was definitely watching them have their little sibling pow wow where they patted each other on the back for being so very swell, while their significant others were to blame for all misery and sundry– though, Tyler’s attempt at assaulting Keira was certainly a gem, and worthy of mention.
    These two make quite a pair, sitting up on their high horses, raining shit down on everyone else to make themselves feel better… or feel justified? While doing exactly nothing to change it, and exactly nothing to own up to being the arbiters of their own damn misery.

    Tyler was on it right from the start, being self-righteous about Keira’s excitement when she saw the limo. Ofc she was excited. That’s a normal reaction, who the hell wouldn’t be? You’re not a gd saint, Tyler, because you’d be fine with an uber. Clearly you fancy yourself like *so* above it all. This looks like him being a passive-aggressive brat the whole time, silently fuming in the corner, waiting for someone to notice his precious self, culminating in him wanting to punish his gf with sex… so you’re *that* guy now, huh? Oof.

    And then Sam! Nice one minute, sullen the next, completely fake with this girl who clearly admires you.
    “No offense, but she seems more like a casual sex kinda girl.”
    Where the hell do you get off making that deduction, Sam? That’s some judgey BS right there. You don’t know Keira from a hole in the wall, and you are fully projecting your own insecurities onto her. That’s some petty, vicious, and ugly. “Sex is a tool for her, not a commitment.” Shame on you, Samantha.
    And then she goes on to paint herself an Tyler as these victims with superior sexual morality. Just enabling and justifying hers and Tyler’s bitterness and insecurity. Of course Keira and Levon were having a nice time together, they were the only two people in the room open to having a good time and not sulking.

    The saddest part is, this all felt like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You push two people together by acting like a child, then have the nerve to be surprised later when they get along and possibly end up together. I honestly don’t know what to do with these Murdicks!
    Get yourselves together, stop blaming other people for your misery.

    Excuse me, I need to go hug a baby animal now…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, I knew this would be a controversial chapter. And lots of varying feeling about Sam , Tyler and Keira. And honestly, I never expected anyone to think Sam was anything more than a spoiled brat. She’s not been intimate with anyone but Dax and Levon so she thinks herself above the ones that use sex as a means to an end. And she feels Keira was doing just that based on the way she was dismissing a Tyler and flirting with Levon. She was protective of her brother. Not that Sam is justified in feeling better than the others. She’s clearly not.

      But I was a little surprised at the amount of vitriol for Tyler. He’s got so many issues with interpersonal relationships. Yes, he needs to grow up and quick. He’ hasn’t admitted to himself he doesn’t really even care that much about Keira and that he’s using her as much as she’s using him. Also, he doesn’t know about Sam’s abuse of alcohol and drugs. They both need to take ownership of their lives and quit letting everyone else make decisions for them. No doubt.

      Hug those sweet baby animals. ❤️

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I stand by my original opinion .
    Your story is great and I love your writing style. The various opinions and feedback are proof that you are doing it right. It is constructive criticism that you can use as a compass of sorts but it should in no way make you doubt your initial vision of your story and your characters. Fact of the matter is that even if you amend your story or character you will still offend or disapoint someone’s perspective. It is called life. Nobody is perfect and you can be the sweetest person and still have flaws. We all act out sometimes or feel entitled… even fictional characters, but clearly they are not forgiven so easily 😉
    Regardless carry on with your your great stories and stay true to yourself👍🏻

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for you. I’m glad you are enjoying it. Obviously you took time to not only read the very long chapter but everyone’s very varied responses. I do know that people will always react differently to different characters and expected this particular chapter might elicit many different opinions. Which it has. And I do try to use opinions as a compass as you say. Fictional characters indeed are not so easily forgiven. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate everyone’s comments and am humbled by them.

      Like

  8. Why is Sam so upset about an NDA? She works in this business for years, she should know the drill.
    AND she breaks it just a little later, telling her brother AND indirectly his gf that she never met before! OMFG that girl.
    Yep, Ragnar was right not to tell her.

    Funny how Sam knows she can trust her brother, who barely checks on her, except if he wants something- even if it was for Keira. And Ryan doesn’t call her more often either. Yep. Totally trustworthy.
    Ugh and why is she so needy. Why is Levon still with her? They have def dated longer than a year, right? Didn’t he get tired of non-stop babysitting her? Does he enjoy babysitting his whiny, needy gf? Does he need to be needed so much that he endures her?

    “And the best part – it hadn’t cost his Dad anything.” No, you let your sister pay this time, Tyler 😏
    For being so rich, actually both Sam and Tyler are very concerned about money. Ryan owns TWO gyms, if not even more by now, and he came already from good money. The kids shouldn’t really care much about that.

    “No one paid any attention to him.” Why is he so jealous? Shouldn’t he be happy his gf + sister get along well? Every normal person is worried if the family will accept their new love, and he is jealous like a little kid.
    And how is it his concern if Sam wants Keira to borrow one of her dresses? He is so resentful about literally everything that she enjoys, and even feel so superior about not being materialistic, as if it was something evil.
    “She just insulted him at least three times in less than the minute” WHERE? Because she is excited about Levon and Sam, who were nice to her? It is again all just in his head. He has so many insecurities, he takes everything that is not about him or paying attention to him as an offense.
    When he left, Keira followed him “just a few minutes later” after he left moping, doesn’t that show that he is important to her?

    OKAY.
    I usually comment while reading, or I’d forget a lot on the run but I had to take a break here.
    What
    the
    actual
    fuck
    happened
    here

    He raped her because he is an insecure, whiney, miserable,
    AND HE EVEN THINKS SHE IMAGINED SOMEONE ELSE after he just abused her

    Flirting those two call it. While it is clear they both have such HUGE MASSIVE issues they call any attention that is not directed towards them flirting, so I seriously question that. Keira following Tyler just a few minutes later makes me rather think she and Levon just made the best of an uncomfortable situation with two sour pusses sitting next to them
    And what the fuck does Sam dare to judge Keira? She doesn’t even remember the first time she met her! Of COURSE, Sam knows, Keira must be high maintenance, and that Keira is just a casual girl (and how judgy Sam is about it!) OHHHH and imagine this, Sam the angel- an actress that does not sleep around! No, she just sleeps with any guy available to feel wanted- so much more intimacy! True love!
    “She doesn’t do that with me.” Of course not, Tyler you shithead because you are an asshole! And he just raped her, I-
    HOW CAN HE SIT SO CALMLY AND CHITCHAT with his delusional, whiny, needy, judgy sister, both pitying themselves

    “You and Dad, you’re the only people that don’t care about all of this.”, yeah including Sam herself! HOW could they go for TWO years and not even speak to each other?? I did not forget that!

    Audrey, you made me very mad with this chapter. I apologize that my words may sting, but I have to get it off my chest. Sam is incredibly entitled, but she can learn.
    As for Tyler, I will never be able to forgive him. No, do not apologize for him raping Keira, because that is exactly what he did, it does NOT matter that she enjoyed it (thank god, at least she only thought he was a little rough, and is spared the trauma), it does not matter for what ever she “used” him, because, honestly, what did Keira get out of this mess of a relationship?? One trip to an expensive hotel, one trip to Del Sol and about a hundred and twenty days of neglect and hurt from Tyler- and now this! He did it out of rage and intention to hurt her. That is the sole definition of rape!
    And honestly, some of the comments on this chapter are appalling. Yes, including you making up excuses for Tyler’s behavior. “He did a bad thing and he regrets it”
    Are you serious?? I know we are turning a blind eye on our characters because we love them so much- but seriously, you wrote RAPE. You let him rape his girlfriend. I’m shook. There may be reasons for how Tyler acts (though honestly, they are pathetic in my eyes, HE is pathetic), but please do not try and apologize, justify, or diminish what you wrote.
    I’m disgusted by Tyler.
    If you intended this, congratulations, I really admire your courage to make your main character the lowest POS. I am honest, this is not sarcasm. If not, PLEASE, read over what you wrote so far and think again. I can’t believe you would ever want to apologize sexual assault, it may be that your story took over without you catching up- it happens. But please be aware what you have told us readers with your story and keep your eyes open.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You stated: “She just insulted him at least three times in less than the minute” WHERE?

      I’ll answer this: Keira said, “And Sam. She’s nothing like you. She’s so outgoing and fun…You’d never know you two were related.”

      How is that not a diss???

      And yes, I count three strikes in there: Sam is nothing like him because she’s fun, famous, and outgoing. You could also infer that Keira would rather be with Sam than Ty when she says this: Maybe Sam will adopt me!

      I mean…a boyfriend would not like to hear any of this from his girlfriend who basically ditched him the whole day to spend with his sister and her boyfriend. Keira even flirted with the guy. All of it was bonkers and out of line.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SPOT ON! I don’t blame the guy for being frustrated and acting out and I think he already knows the relationship is going nowhere and that Keira is just an opportunist which adds to the frustration. He just needs to grow a pair, face facts and move on.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Okay. I guess I must live on another planet, bc I do not see how introvert, not famous and calm would be a diss- unless you have all those self-esteem issues as Tyler has.

        Like

        • And why are you getting personal here? I was merely pointing out something you didn’t understand. And btw, I have no issue with you personally. I do hope you have a better day!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry English is not my native language 😬 – I meant the impersonal “you”, not you specifically.
            There’s def a few people that may feel offended quickly, but usually it does not result in raping their s/o

            Liked by 1 person

            • Gotcha.

              That forceful sex was bad and made me feel uncomfortable because it came from anger which shouldn’t be tolerated…but…is it rape when she’s happy, not scared? Idk….would he have backed down if she told him to stop? Would we have felt better about it? Much to think about.

              Liked by 1 person

              • But of course!
                The definition of rape is that it comes out of the intent to control and hurt the other person, regardless of their feelings. He may have stopped if she asked him to, but the intent to was there.
                Keira was lucky she did not notice.

                Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay, I burst out laughing at this line: “And Sam. She’s nothing like you. She’s so outgoing and fun.”

    OUCH!

    If that doesn’t paint a real picture for you, Ty, I don’t know what will. UGH!

    Levon, dude! WHY are you dissing your special lady? I really don’t understand his pulling away from her. He’s always been her encourager and helper. But now when she needs him most, he’s basically checked out.

    SO…

    I’m all for her taking a break in Newcrest. Maybe she’ll stay for a while and find something else she loves even more than acting? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. That was a wake up call for Tyler and Sam needs a break. Maybe she’ll find something more in Newcrest. That would be nice. Levon has been there but now he has a new adventure and has indeed checked out. He doesn’t want to deal with her drama.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You could say that this visit went exactly as I had anticipated (except for the part about “game over” and “happy ending”).
    Keira forgets all about Tyler in favor of his famous sister and her handsome actress boyfriend 😒
    As usual, Tyler does not understand what the game is about and feels humbled and forgotten.
    Or he does not think he understands the game … but you caught it exactly as it’s Tyler. Keira will without hesitation swap you out with Levon if she gets the chance.
    I can almost curse that she has not yet succeeded because it will set Tyler free.

    I love your long wordless picture story because it’s clear to see what’s going on between Keira and Levon, and it’s clear to see how it affects Tyler and Sam.
    They both deserve better ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 👏👏👏 Nicely written chapter, Audrey! honestly when I saw your author’s note saying it was picture heavy and long, I was super happy. Oh dear… Keira though… I’m still hanging on to hope for her, thus, the young lady has been kind of disappointing me lately. 😬 I know she’s young and wild, and that’s okay. But I have to be honest if I say things are kind of going south with she and Tyler. Though I like opposites, they’re starting to become too much so.

    And she was like totally hogging up Sam! Lol! It’s like hello you have a brother that misses you too! 👋👋

    I think Tyler just needs to give Keira a wake up call. That angry sexy had with her was him releasing so much that was bottled (no pun intended! 🤣) So it got converted to sexual energy. He’s angry with her, and I think that’s how he wanted to portray his anger. Maybe, I’ve never had sex when I was angry. It would usually be after. But this is just what I’m guessing.

    I really hope they can kind of grow together and maybe they will rub off on each other. she will be a little more compassionate and he will be less passive.

    Anyhow! Great job, I’m so glad Sam and Tyler had a little heart to heart in the dark dining room. That was my favorite part of the chapter! The bond those two have are amazing, I never want to see it fizzle away! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you! They are total opposites which isn’t terrible at all, but she seems to have no desire to meet Tyler even part of the way. Yes … she monopolized Sam and then Levon. Sadly it caused him to reach his limit and he just wanted her to see him. She needs to be more compassionate and he definitely needs to grow a pair and speak up and stick to his convictions. Maybe this was a wake up call for him not to let things fester.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the talk in the dark. I hope they are able to keep it going. They do need to help each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, I really hope this incident between Tyler and Keira is signaling the beginning of the end for their relationship. It’s not bad for someone to want to enjoy a little rough play now and then, but Tyler did that because he was so mad, and that says a lot for the nature of their relationship. And Keira managed to stay obnoxious even after that, with her “who knew” comment. Girl, that’s far from a compliment and you know it!
    I’m certain that if Levon made a pass at Keira, she would be all like: Tyler who? Lol. Such an awkward night altogether for the siblings!
    And of course, I hear the comments saying that Sam and Tyler both have great issues to solve themselves. Let’s hope they soon find their footing in this world (I’m not so optimistic about Sam though)!
    I did love this btw, and I love how you always shed a little more light to your characters with each chapter! Keira especially never ceases to amaze me with her self-centered actions. Perhaps she shouldn’t, lol.
    This was great! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am pretty sure this signals the beginning of the end. And yes, Keira is very self centered and no doubt be saying Tyler who. I’m not so sure that’s not what she was hoping for. Tyler and Sam indeed have issues, brought on by very different events in their lives. Tyler was fine until he got completely out of his comfort zone, which he needed to do, but with someone other than Keira. She is messing with his head big time. Sam just has no idea how to not be the center of attention or take ownership of her own life and stop being dependent on everything being handed to her. And of course, stop using alcohol and prescription drugs to cope with the empty feeling. She needs to stop feeling sorry for herself and take charge but had no idea how to do it. Hopefully going to Newcrest might give her a new perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Chapter 4.48 – Dinner with a Friend | New Beginnings

  14. I love that Sam and Tyler hada moment to talk to each other. It looks like they get along well and can support each other as compared to their partners at this moment. Tyler is right. I don’t see Sam clinging to Levon now being any benefit for their relationship and its about time she and Tyler patch up their sibling relationship too. I had a moment laughing at Tyler’s cluelessness when he was astounded how he lost his girlfriend and sister at the start. Bt I am facepalming at Keira’s cluelessness at the end when she jabbered on about Tyler’s shortcomings. Oh girl. I thought you were smarter than that. Bt Im kinda glad she isn’t. I don’t want her around Tyler. So I hope he finally gets that space to think about his relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. All I wanna do is more Keira bashing. Grrr.
    But I am looking forward to Sam going to visit Ty and them.
    Also, I’m dying to find out more of Cassie and Cris. But hubs wants to go to sleep, so… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How far are we that Sam – who drown her sorrows in alcohol and pills – is explaining Ty what Keira does? Although, she WOULD be the first to realize when someone is using a person. She’s been through it. I don’t think Levon and her will last long if they don’t talk it out. And it doesn’t seem like either of them is willing to at the moment. Sam has already surrendered before Levon’s decision and Levon is, well, distracted. It hurts but Sam doesn’t fight for him any more. I hope it will be over fast so she can move on and find someone better
    Keira and Ty, too btw

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s easier to see a relationship from the outside looking in. When it’s you it’s hard to be objective. Levon and Sam are probably not going to last much longer, and yes, she doesn’t even fight for it. Just accepts she is going to lose him. It’s sad. Lol. They both need to be over.

      Like

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