"The things I do for you," Samantha Green sighed, plopping into the seat in front of Ethan Walker. He allowed himself to smile.
"You know you love me," he said. She rolled her eyes. "But thanks for having lunch with me anyway. I was going to kill myself if I had to stay there any longer."
"And we can't have that happen now can we?" she teased, her smile lighting up her face.
Had she always been that pretty? Ethan couldn't remember. He had been best friends with her older brother, Steve, since grade school. Any memory of her before this summer was of an annoying little girl. Since Steve had gotten engaged and moved six hours away to live with his fiancée, Ethan had been left alone. He had taken to coming and visiting Steve's little sister when he was lonely, and a very close bond had formed. She even let him call her Sam, a feat which no one else on earth could pull off without getting punched square in the nose. Having graduated two months earlier, Sam was about four months shy of turning 19 and looked mature beyond her years. Even at 22, Ethan still felt the younger, more immature of the pair.
"So work's that bad today, huh?" Sam asked conversationally, smiling briefly at the waitress who set a glass of water down in front of her.
"Huh," he agreed.
Ethan found himself staring at Sam. She wasn't gorgeous in any conventional way. She wasn't an exotic beauty that men stopped and stared at when she walked; Sam had that nature-girl look that although she did not realize it, appealed to countless men nonetheless. She was tall and skinny, borderline gawky, with long masses of naturally wavy auburn hair that was always pulled back in a clip. She had large, expressive turquoise eyes rimmed in long, dark eyelashes that had never seen mascara in their time. Contrary to the stereotypical redhead, she had naturally tanned skin without a hint of a freckle. Wow, thought Ethan, she's really gorgeous. Even just having a casual lunch with him, lounging around in old, faded jeans and a black tank top, Sam looked in her element.
"I'm not eating," Sam said bluntly.
"Why not?!" he exclaimed.
"Money," she replied. "Or lack thereof."
He snorted and scoffed. "I got you covered. Eat."
"You're not paying for me Ethan," Sam said patiently. "Too much like a date. Too weird for words."
"You wound me," he said. "I'm too weird to date?"
"Well duh," she said.
The waitress came back then and took Ethan's order. Much to Sam's protest, he ordered her some food as well. After the woman left again, Sam and Ethan fell into a silence, each lost in their own thoughts.
"Heard from Steve lately?" Sam attempted.
"A few nights ago. He asked about you."
"Did he? Why couldn't he just ask himself?"
"Why can't you just ask yourself?" he shot back, receiving a cold glare. "He went big brother on me. Threatened to kick my ass if I ever so much as lay a finger on you in a non-platonic sense."
"Which won't be so hard considering it would almost be illegal for you to date me."
"You're 18. I can date you."
"Why are we arguing about this?" Sam asked suddenly, trying not to laugh.
"Passes the time, doesn't it?" Ethan said, laughing as the waitress set food down in front of them.
"It does," she agreed.
After they finished eating, Ethan paid the check and the two went outside to sit on a bench out there so Ethan could smoke.
"You need to stop smoking," Sam said for what had to be the millionth time that summer.
"Thank you Mom," he said, exhaling slowly towards the sky.
Soon, Ethan had to go back to work. The pair stood and made their way to their cars, which were naturally parked next to each other. As they always did when they left each other, they hugged quickly. But for the first time, Ethan gave Sam a quick peck on the cheek and jumped in his car, speeding off, leaving Sam with an expression of shock covering that naturally pretty face of hers. It would be a week before they would see each other again.
Every night, Sam lay awake in her bed thinking of Ethan. She was approaching obsession, which was insane because he was four years older than her. Not to mention her brother would be delighted to kill both of them should they try anything.
"I have money today," Sam said triumphantly, this time sitting directly next to Ethan in the booth at the restaurant.
"You want a medal…?" he asked.
"No brainiac, I was just saying. Oh forget it," she said, throwing herself back into the booth, arms folded tightly across her chest.
They didn't talk much after placing their order, but that wasn't really unusual. Comfortable silences were common between Sam and Ethan; it was enough for them to just be around each other.
"So how much money do you have?" Ethan asked.
"Not much; twenty. Why?"
Ethan had made up his mind at 3 in the morning; he was going to flirt with this girl until she didn't know what hit her. It was driving him crazy how she just kept invading his thoughts and his dreams. How inconsiderate of her.
"I'll love you forever and ever if you lend it to me," he said, mentally slapping himself. WHAT kind of a line was THAT?!
"And why on earth would I do that?" she asked, trying to ignore the fact that his arm was slowly creeping around her shoulder.
"Am I not worth twenty dollars then?" he pouted.
The waitress set the food down, not even getting a glance from the two people sitting in the booth staring at each other. She walked away, a faint grin on her face. Something was definitely about to happen between those two. She'd been waiting for this for weeks. She even had bets going on with other waitresses.
"Depends on what you do to get the money," she said, proud of herself for not yet just jumping on top of the insanely hot man sitting next to her.
"I can try a few things," he said quietly.
Sam began fidgeting; she couldn't help it. Her hands nervously flew to the clip that held her hair in a ponytail. Before she knew what was happening, Ethan's seemingly steady hands had followed hers and had undone the clip. He helped her hair out of the ponytail, mesmerized by the auburn waves finally allowed to trail down her shoulders and her back.
"Why are you doing this to me?" she finally asked.
"Doing what?" he asked innocently.
"Ethan," she said warningly.
"Sam," he said in the same tone.
That's when he kissed her; something he'd subconsciously wanted to do for a long, long time. It wasn't some long, glorious kiss with violin music in the background. No tongue, no groping. Just a sweet, short kiss. It took Sam's breath away. It took her a few seconds to find her voice.
"I don't know if that was worth twenty," she teased quietly.
"Forget the money," Ethan said, abandoning all pretenses. H
He hurriedly pulled some money out of his pocket and pulled Sam up and outside. He practically dragged her to his car, which was parked around the side of the building; not many people parked there. It was quieter, not as easy to have nosy people watching him pathetically try to seduce a girl almost five years younger than him. Sam gracefully pulled herself onto his car and settled herself on the trunk. Ethan plopped himself right next to her.
"So where were we?" he asked.
"I told you that wasn't worth twenty," she said bluntly.
"Wasn't it?" he asked. She shrugged and tried to look bored and NOT give away the fact that all she wanted to do was rip his clothes off right then and there. "I can do better."
"I'm really not so bad," Ethan said, leaning forward and planting a gentle kiss on her lips. Sam's eyes fluttered shut. "I can actually fake that I know what I'm doing sometimes," he continued, moving his lips to her ear. Sam let out a long sigh as he began slowly and gently kissing his way down her neck. When his lips eventually touched her throat, Sam couldn't help it; she let out a barely audible moan. Ethan couldn't have been more delighted; hell, he was delighted that she hadn't yet killed him. "Worth it yet?"
"Almost," she whispered, eyes still shut. Sam honestly didn't want to open her eyes in fear that when she did so, this wouldn't be real. After 10 years of having a massive crush on Ethan, here he was practically sucking on her neck.
He kissed her again. A real kiss. One that made the waitresses peeking out the window sigh in happiness. It was every girl's dream to be kissed like that boy was kissing that girl out there. The head waitress smiled indulgently; what a lucky kid that girl out there was. She forced everyone away from the window then. It wasn't polite to stare at them, especially since hands were starting to roam now. She figured they didn't really want that broadcasted. She had to smile. They made an adorable, if slightly mismatched and odd couple.
Plus, she had just won 50 bucks from her coworkers.
After about 10 minutes, Ethan pulled away and glanced at his watch. He had to leave for work right then. Sam was breathless and squinted as she opened her eyes to the harsh sunlight she'd been ignoring.
"Well now that was unexpected," she said, blushing as Ethan held her in his gaze. They both laughed, trying to ease the tension in the air.
"Sorry that it happened?" he asked.
She shrugged and shook her head. She reached into her pocket. Ethan gritted his teeth to control himself as she slowly slid something into the pocket of his pants. He couldn't think straight considering all the blood in his body was rushing decidedly elsewhere in his body. Sam hopped off the car, kissed him lightly and turned to walk to her car, leaving Ethan to fumble into his car and sadly start the engine. After a few seconds, she turned back, the wind catching her hair and blowing it around her face like a halo, and threw him a wink, then turned back and continued walking. He had to smile. He figured he would definitely be seeing Sam a lot more often after this. He drove back to work, whistling the entire way. It was only when he parked and turned off the engine that realization dawned on him. He groaned out loud and slammed his head onto the steering wheel. He had just spent half his lunch hour passionately making out with Samantha (SAM, his mind screamed) Green. Baby sister of Steve Green. A one Steve Green that had just a week ago threatened him that he would make sure Ethan would not have the ability to ever produce children in the future if he laid a hand on the body of his little sister…which Ethan had just done. What a body, he couldn't help thinking. That only made him bang his head harder onto the steering wheel. Steve was going to cut off the most fun part of his body and then kill him. Then probably kill him again. And maybe a few more times after that just to make sure he was good and dead. Damn.
As he walked back into work, the funeral march playing over and over in his head, Ethan unconsciously slid his hands into his pockets. He frowned as his fingers closed over something. He pulled it out and had to laugh as he looked.
Folded neatly in his palm was a twenty dollar bill.