Chapter 4.60 – Goodbye – Part 1

“Care to share the joke?” asked Taysia when she and Paige walked in from their shopping trip.

Sam looked up, embarrassed that she’d been laughing at her text. Walker had texted her while she was sitting in the kitchen nursing a cup of coffee, pondering what to wear. ‘Reservations are at 7:00, I’ll pick you up at 6:30 Scarlet.’ “It’s just Walker,” she explained, not wanting to share the Scarlet part, “he’s crazy. He made me go furniture shopping today, so he’s taking me to dinner tonight to thank me.”

“Walker bought us hot chocolate,” chimed in Paige.

“Ohhh, right, the man from the park? Furniture shopping huh?” asked Taysia as an eyebrow went up.

“Yeah,” said Sam, uncomfortable with Taysia’s insinuation. “He was at Ty’s party last night. He rooked me into going shopping with him today. Anyway, Paige guess what? He’s moving into the new house next door! He said they were closing in just a few weeks, that’s why he needed to shop for furnishings. I can’t believe he’s living in that big house all alone.” Then she thought, I’m living in an even bigger one all alone so who am I to judge? “So Paige, you need to go over and make him buy you hot chocolate all the time, he’s gonna need company.”

“Small world,” said Taysia, giving her a smug look. “When he gets here, please bring him, we’d like to meet our new neighbor.”

“Right, of course,” said Sam suddenly feeling a little weird. It seemed as if she were being asked to introduce her boyfriend to her parents. But he isn’t a boyfriend, she thought, just a friend, albeit a really good friend.

“I need to go get ready,” said Sam as she got up to leave, “if I can find something to wear. He’s gonna pick me up at 6:30. Do you think you might have something I can borrow?”

Taysia looked at her like she was crazy. “You brought plenty of beautiful designer clothes, but you’re welcome to go shopping in my department store closet.”

“Thank you!” said Sam, and followed Taysia to her and her father’s bedroom.

“Why are you so worried about your clothes?” asked Taysia when they got upstairs, “you’re gorgeous and sexy in everything.”

“That’s just it, I don’t want to look sexy. This isn’t a date, just two friends having dinner. I don’t want to send the wrong message.”

“Oh, I see – and you think I have matronly clothes,” replied Taysia, acting offended. “Thanks a lot,” she added, glancing down at her own cleavage. “However, I suppose my work clothes are a bit more conservative – but not really dressy. I suppose you can always dress them up with cute heels and jewelry. But Sam, do you really think he cares what you’re wearing?”

“Crap, do you think he thinks this is a date?” she asked.

“Well, he took you furniture shopping, that’s pretty personal, so unless he’s gay….”

“Well, I’m pretty sure he isn’t, but we never really talked about it.”

“Oh puhleese,” she said rolling her eyes, “you really like him don’t you?”

“He’s been so sweet, of course I like him.” Too much, she added in her head.

“Then you need to be very clear with him where you stand.”

“Exactly why I’m raiding your closet.”

“Right, okay then let’s try this,” she said and pulled out a black dress, “black is always good.”

“Perfect,” said Sam and hurriedly pulled on the dress and finished getting ready.

Sam took one last look in the mirror before going downstairs. Well, at least it doesn’t show too much skin even though it does hug my curves, she thought. God, why am I so nervous? Because I had fun today and I like spending time with Walker – probably way too much. It’s just that he makes me feel normal, but dammit, I’m not normal and I’m not Scarlet. I need to remember exactly who I am.

Sam had just settled on the couch to wait, when Paige came barreling down the stairs. “Walker’s here!” she announced and opened the door before Sam could stop her. “Hi!” she said, just as he was getting ready to ring the bell.

“Well, hello there Miss Paige,” he replied in his kind, yet sexy voice, “how are you?”

“You’re gonna be our neighbor!” she sang out excitedly, “Sam said we could get hot chocolate all the time now.”

“You bet,” he said and chuckled, “So where is that sister of yours?”

“Um, sorry about that,” said Sam quickly, trying to rescue him from Paige. When she rounded the corner, she say he was wearing a suit, and couldn’t stop herself from admiring how handsome he was. When he caught her checking him out, he grinned causing her stomach to do somersaults, just like it did the first time Dax smiled at her. But damn, she wasn’t 16 anymore, so what was wrong with her?

“You look lovely,” he said still grinning.

Sam took a breath and forced a smile through her nerves. “Thank you. Um – please come in – I want to introduce you to my parents before we go,” she said, “Uh – they wanted to meet their new neighbor,” she added quickly with a grimace, “have a seat, and I’ll get them.” Geez Sam, what’s wrong with you? she wondered, you’re sending all the wrong signals – first ogling him then fumbling for words.

When she walked back into the room with her parents, Paige had parked herself right next to Walker as if he had come just to see her. “Are you and Sam gonna get married?” she asked and continued talking without taking a breath, “‘cause if you do, then you’d live next door and I’d get to see Sam all the time and we could all go for hot chocolate and – ”

Before Sam could form any words, Taysia called out her daughter. “Paige! That’s enough, that’s very rude.”

Walker was laughing, seemingly delighted with Paige’s monologue. “It’s okay, Paige and I are buds, right Paige?” She nodded, so he stood up and put his hand out. “Mrs. Murdock, I presume? I’m Walker Kerns, your soon-to-be next door neighbor.”

“Taysia, please – and it’s nice to meet you too Walker. Sorry about Paige, she doesn’t have much of a filter, or apparently an off switch. Both Paige and Sam seem to think highly of you, so we’re thrilled you’ll be our neighbor.”

“Um, Dad, this is Walker,” said Sam, “Walker, this is my father, Ryan Murdock.”

“Ah, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” said Walker with a warm smile and stuck out his hand again.

“Same,” said her father, looking him over. “What do you do for a living Walker?” he asked clasping his hand.

What? thought Sam panicking, now I know where Paige gets it from. “Dad,” she gasped before Walker had a chance to reply, “Walker, we need to go, or we’ll be late.”

“It’s okay Sam,” replied Walker coolly, not taking his eyes off her father, and clearly not willing to back down from his question. “I’m an advertising exec at BCL in Willow Creek, I’m sure you you’ve heard of us. I handle all of our top accounts. If you ever need to run a new ad campaign for the gym, give me a call. We do both print and media advertising and would be honored to count Total Mind & Body among our best clients. I’d be happy to provide references if needed.”

“Walker, let’s go,” said Sam through clenched teeth. Not waiting for a response this time, she grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the door. It was like he and her dad were having some sort of dick measuring contest and she didn’t want to stick around to hear her dad’s response.

After at least five minutes of driving in silence, Walker finally spoke. “I guess I overstepped back there.”

“Yeah, you think? God Walker, what was that about?” Sam was still fuming about the whole exchange and her anger just spewed out.

“Sorry Scarlet, but what the hell kind of question was that anyway?” he asked.

“Sam,” she corrected and blew out a frustrated breath. He was more defensive than she expected, but he was right, it was inappropriate. “It was a Dad question I suppose, I guess he wanted to learn more about his new neighbor.”

“By asking about my occupation? Hell no, he wanted to make sure I was good enough to take out his little girl.”

“It’s not a date, and I’m not his ‘little girl’,” she said quickly. Too quickly based on the look he shot her, and now she felt bad.

“I wasn’t there to ask for your hand in marriage, so it was out of line,” then he huffed a laugh, “although Paige did already have us married and living next door.” She could hear the smirk in his voice. Arrogant much?

“Look, we’re here,” she said relieved, wanting the unpleasant conversation to end. This was probably a bad idea, I should’ve refused.

After valeting the car, Walker gently put his hand on the her back as they made their way towards the door and she knew it was a bad idea. She wanted him to remove it, and not because she didn’t like it, but because she did. Friends. That’s all we can ever be, so get those thoughts out of your head Samantha, she reprimanded herself.

“Oh dear, they didn’t tell me the reservation was for Samantha Murdock,” said the distressed host as soon as he saw her. “Please, have a seat at the bar for one second while I prepare a private table so you won’t be bothered by autograph seekers. Drinks are on the house.”

Sam decided to go along with him this time. She wanted Walker to see what her world was like. “Thank you very much,” she said with a forgiving smile, “that would be excellent.”

“Scarlet, why didn’t you just say you looked like her?” asked Walker after they were seated at the bar.

“Because Walker, I’m not Scarlet. And I need to stop pretending I’m not who I am – and so do you.” Walker was at a loss for words and she felt bad for being so blunt, but she needed to set the record straight. I’m not Scarlet, the girl from Newcrest, she repeated to herself, I’m Samantha Murdock, the actress along with all the baggage that comes with who I am and I can’t let Walker make me forget.

Finally he spoke. “I don’t think you were pretending, you were just letting go and being yourself.”

Before she could reply to what he said, the host was back, with a waiter following behind him. “We have your table ready Ms. Murdock. Joseph will get your drinks. Please, follow me.”

They were seated in a table back in the corner that was indeed private. “This is lovely,” said Sam, “thank you.”

Joseph busied himself placing their drinks on the table. “Would you like a minute? Or I could tell you about our chef’s specials,” he offered with a big smile.

“Can you give us a minute Joseph?” asked Walker.

“Of course sir, I’ll be back in a few to check on you.”

Walker was holding back a laugh. “I suppose celebrity does have its perks,” he said when Joseph was out of ear shot.

“Well, we’ll see how much you like the perks, because I guarantee you, there will be paparazzi when we leave.”

“How?” he asked.

“Are you kidding? The wait staff is already gossiping. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m asked for autographs before we leave. Be prepared to be plastered on the front of a magazine as Samantha’s new lover.”

Walker lowered his brow in thought. “Hmmm, I don’t work with many celebrities, mostly just up and coming actors trying to make a name doing a commercial, but when we do, it’s very low key. So I guess I didn’t think you being recognized was a big deal. I mean, it worked great today when you pretended to be a look alike – and you have to admit – that was funny as hell. Your cheeks got so red, that’s why I called you Scarlet.” Now he was grinning again.

Sam softened and smiled in return. He was right, it was funny and she had enjoyed it. “You do know you’re going to have to call and exchange that canopy bed. That won’t work for a bachelor pad, although it might come in handy to win over some unsuspecting woman.” She felt her heart squeeze a little at her own words.

“I’ll have you know, Scarlet, I don’t need a canopy bed to win over women. But just the same, I’m keeping it, it will remind of you.” Then he barked out a laugh. “In fact, my whole damn house will.” Then he had the audacity to wink at her.

God, what have I done? I should’ve never agreed to help him. “Nope, my dear Walker,” she said smugly, “it’ll remind you of Scarlet, not me. And now, Samantha Murdock is starving. If you’ll just look behind us, Joseph will come running. He’s been watching,” she added in a conspiratorial whisper.

Sure enough he was right there and they quickly ordered. Walker was sweet and didn’t order any alcohol even though Joseph would’ve gotten them a really nice wine – which would’ve been lovely with dinner. Sam sighed softly. I wonder if I’ll ever be well enough to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner again?

“Hey, are you okay?” he asked.

Sam quickly smiled. “Yes, just thinking about when I have to go home and back to reality. But I’m really excited about the new script,” she added with a little more enthusiasm.

Their dinner came and they chatted about nothing too personal, which was fine with her. Then Walker imitated Henry from the furniture store, which had her laughing again.

Soon it was already time to go and she suddenly felt silly that she had flaunted who she was. “Are you ready?” she asked.

“No,” he said and gave her a look that twisted her stomach in knots again, “the evening sailed by, we’ll need to do this again and soon.”

“I enjoyed it too, but what I meant was are you ready for the paparazzi. I’m pretty sure Joseph took pictures while we were talking and it’s already on social media.”

“He did?” asked Walker frowning. She just nodded and smiled.

Just then Joseph walked over and asked if he could have a picture with Sam. “Of course,” she said pleasantly and got up so they could get a picture together.

On the way out the door, as she had predicted, the Paparrazi were there. “Told you,” said Sam under her breath, as they quickly escaped to his waiting car and drove off.

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

One month later …..

“What’s worrying that pretty head of yours Scarlet?” asked Walker once they were seated. He immediately sensed something wasn’t right when he picked her up for their regular Saturday morning coffee date. She’d been quiet in the car instead of turning on the radio and singing along.

She gave him a weak smile at the use of his nickname for her and took off her sunglasses. She’d taken to trying to hide her identity again after being recognized at the restaurant. “Sam,” she corrected as she always did when he called her Scarlet. For some reason, she didn’t like the nickname, but he liked what it represented and wanted to remind her, so he kept teasing her with it.

Now he could see those gorgeous eyes, and they were filled with sadness. “Filming starts in two weeks,” she continued, “so I have to get back next Saturday to meet the cast and crew and get settled in. I’ve been looking forward to it for so long, but now that it’s here, I’m terrified.”

“Why?” he asked, doing his best to keep the disappointment off his face and out of his voice. He knew this day would come, but he wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

“So many reasons, mostly the unknowns and ‘what ifs’ are killing me. It’s going to be weird going back after being away for so long. And then, there’s not seeing you a couple of times a week. I look forward to our coffee dates, hanging out with Cassie and Cris, furniture shopping or whatever you throw at me. I’m going to miss my park friend.”

She’s gonna miss me? he thought, I’m gonna be fucking lost without her around. I look forward to her smile and making her laugh. I can’t do that when she’s so far away. Damn, how did I get so attached when I haven’t even kissed her yet? And now it’s too fucking late. “So, we have a week?” he stated his question.

I have a week, yes,” she said and looked at him curiously.

“Then we have a week too. I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.” Not even remotely close.

She sighed softly before responding. “Me either, but …”

“No buts,” he said cutting her off. “Here’s what we’ll do – I’ll take the week off and we can spend it together doing crazy shit – fun stuff – before you have to leave.”

She cocked her head at his statement, looking adorable. “What kind of crazy fun stuff?” she asked, biting her bottom lip, the one he hadn’t yet kissed, but wanted to.

“We can go ice skating, decorate my house, drink hot cocoa by the fire, watch a movie, go bowling, have a picnic in the park. Whatever you want, we’ll do.”

“Walker … I don’t think so, that’s only going to make it harder for me to say goodbye.”

Walker grinned. “That’s my master plan.” Then he got serious. “Scarlet, I don’t want you to forget about me when you get back to the land of beautiful people and have to be Samantha Murdock again – with a new leading man dominating your time.”

“I could never forget my park friend … but Walker, please, don’t make this harder. I came today,” she stopped and swallowed hard, “to say goodbye.”

“So I gathered, but neither one of us is ready. So what do you want to do first?”

“You’re seriously taking the entire week off?”

Walker couldn’t keep the smile from his face, he knew he’d won. “Absofuckinglutely I am! So, you pick first and we’ll take turns, it’ll be fun.”

Her face softened and she smiled, wrinkling her nose. “You’re insane Walker Kerns. Okay, ice skating, maybe? Are you good? Because I’ve never been, I’ll need lots of help.”

There’s the smile I was missing, he thought smugly, imagining himself holding her while she figured out how to balance. A perfect first activity. “Ice skating it is.”

Go to Chapter 4.61 >>>>>>>

Go back to Chapter 4.59

30 thoughts on “Chapter 4.60 – Goodbye – Part 1

    • I like him too. He’s really sweet to her, even if she doesn’t like the nickname. And Paige is a hot mess. He bought her hot chocolate so he’s her BFF now. I do wish she could just quit, but she has too many internal issues to resolve before she’ll be able to make any changes I’m afraid. 😔

      Like

  1. OMG – my mind is boggled. So many conflicting thoughts here. First of all the obvious: awww!
    But somehow I cannot help but think “but”.
    Now what? So she goes back because she has to, her life it in Del Sol Valley, the only career she ever had, she is contractually obligated to film …
    He just bought a house in Newcrest, has a promising career which he seems to love and be good at.
    So now we’re doing a long distance relationship? Oh wait, not even a relationship. Maybe it will be in a week? Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Walker, stop calling her Scarlet when she corrects you, dangit. Just back off. 🙃 I think I like these two together, but he is so darned pushy! I hope he’ll chill the heck out when they’re hanging out, because at this stage he’s basically humping her leg. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I find Walker very annoying in this chapter. First he criticized Sam’s father in front of her. That’s a bad move, bro. The question wasn’t as a big deal as he made it sound. Then he kept calling her Scarlet despite her asking him several times not to. He gives me the impression of a guy who must always get his way.
    Of all the guys Sam dated, Levon was the nicest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The question itself wasn’t a big deal, it’s the way Ryan asked it. And Sam freaked out so I’m sure that gave Walker the okay to be critical. He half way started to apologize but she took up for her dad which probably pissed him off a little.

      And the Scarlet thing is starting to get to her, yes. She needs to tell him in no uncertain terms to stop. And I think he would. He probably has always gotten his way and she’s stumping him. Good for her. She knows it can’t go anywhere yet she enjoys being with him. He hasn’t pushed her for anything else, other than spending time with her. Of course, he would make it more if he thought she’d go for it. Probably why he calls her Scarlet, because she pretended to be different and he didn’t see that as her ‘acting’ but as letting him in.

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  4. Wow…I’m so glad Walker cooled it down and became just friends with her. He isn’t pushing and that just makes him way more sexy and tempting! And I love his plan of spending the week with her. Reminds me of how my hubby caught me when we were going to say good bye but in the end, our lives crossed again and I was so smitten I knew I wanted to marry him!!

    I can’t wait to see their week long date! I’m sure something romantic might come out of it. And yes, Samantha, it’s going to be hard to say good bye but I believe he’ll be on her heart and mind and maybe their paths will cross again.

    For good!

    Great, charming chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sam’s progress is very remarkable, no drinking alcoholic beverages, being sober, staying off drugs, going to therapy. We can see the real Sam, who takes Paige to the park, interacts with Taysia and Ryan, genuinely friends with Walker. Not the Celebrity Sam out for thrills anyway she can get it. When a few months ago she was in the pits personally, pregnant, and losing it due to drugs and alcohol.
    The next chapter will be about the last week in Newcrest.
    Loved the positive chapters since the Pits in Del Sol Valley. Thank you for the crafting and story progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam is doing well. She has a good support system with Ryan and Taysia and Paige idolizes her. The the relationship with with a Walker has been good too. They had fun without alcohol involved. She even went to an event where everyone except her was drinking. Granted she hag a little meltdown, but Walker was there for her and helped her through it without judgement. Had he not been, I wonder if she would’ve turned to alcohol. So, the real test for her will be when she goes back to DSV.

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  6. Ha ha! I laughed that Sam would borrow Taysia’s clothes because she would not send a sexy signal 😂
    I understand Taysia was a bit offended.

    Wow! A man who makes Sam feel normal? …. that sounds really healthy 🥰
    Sam should not convince herself that she is everything else. She has listened too much to her mother’s manipulations over time.
    Normal and healthy do not have to be boring.

    Ryan’s tactless questions and Walker’s work and way of life made me laugh out loud. Paige is not the only one in the family who goes straight to the steel 😂
    Walker does not let himself be swept off the field, but when I look at the picture where Sam pulls Walker out the door, I can see Taysia talking to Ryan and I can not help but think that she is giving him a clear message. I think it’s funny … even though Sam found it annoying.

    It’s interesting that Sam thinks Scarlet is a role she’s playing, while Walker says it’s just the opposite. I think time will tell who is right. It’s conflicting because a name is not just like a new coat you can change. It’s a personal matter.

    Sam and Walker have become closely related and now Walker chooses to spend the last week with Sam before returning to the film studio. Anything can happen.
    What a cliffhanger! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. And yes, Taysia was offended. And I think Sam looked sexy even though she wasn’t wearing anything provocative. Poor Taysia feeling slighted by her step daughter! It was funny. Then Ryan becoming overprotective father. I’m so glad you noticed Taysia giving him a piece of her mind in the background. She was just as annoyed as Sam.

      And yes! I think time will indeed tell who is right about Scarlet. Is it her being her and letting go or is it really just a role,she was playing. Sam is afraid to feel normal because she’s never felt like she could do whatever she wanted. She always had to do and be what others expected. So being Scarlet spooks her.

      Anything can happen is true and we’ll soon see. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Chapter 4.59 – Furniture To Go | New Beginnings

  8. Pingback: Chapter 4.61 – Goodbye – Interlude | New Beginnings

  9. I wish Walker would stop calling her Scarlet. I’m not sure where Sam sees that he’s sweet. There’s nothing sweet about him here and the last chapter. He even took it personally at Ryan’s harmless question lol. For all he knows about the rumors on Samantha Murdock losing a child and breaking up with her ex, he can’t see why Ryan would be extra protective over her. Geez dude. The world does not revolve around you.

    Walker is full of contradictions, he says he doesn’t think Sam is pretending, yet he teased her last chapter that she was an “actress and could totally be his other half for a day to furniture shop”. And still in this chapter, he keeps calling her Scarlet, which is exactly the role he shoved her into. How is that allowing Sam to let go and be herself? And then in the next paragraph, he says ‘it worked great today when you pretended to be a look alike.’ What are you doing dude? Why are you making it hard to ship you and Sam together? I actually like Walker, but for this chapter, I have to agree with Sam. “Arrogant much?” and lets add ‘obnoxious and manipulative’ while we’re at it.

    And one month later he still calls Sam Scarlet. Lol dude. *facepalm*😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • He is a bit arrogant. She did have fun and he just wants her to keep on. Yet she is struggling to not be manipulated. Which is exact how it feels to her when he calls her Scarlet. Like she should be acting. Sadly I think he’s just trying to figure her out and she’s still pretty closed off. And to be honest, he started out thinking it was all game and now that he’s around her more it’s morphed into real feelings. But he’s still using the same tactics. Yeah. Not working dude. If she weren’t so broken she’d already have put you in your place.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gotta love Paige. She’s got the ‘little sister’ bit down pat.
    Why do I keep this tab open anymore? I keep forgetting.
    I’m dying to know how this is going to work out. Because I want it to work out. Somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

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