Page 23 of Saving Sam

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“I’m sorry, Sam,” she says, giving me a side hug. “Did he tell you why he thought it was a mistake?”

“Our age difference and dad,” I say, shrugging my shoulders.

“I can understand that. So what changed?”

“I’m not sure. He showed up at my place a month ago, telling me he wanted me. He struggled for a year, telling himself that it was wrong, but in the end, he couldn’t stop thinking about me.”

“Is this why you decided to come home?”

“It was part of it, the other was you and this little peanut,” I tell her rubbing her little baby bump.

“How do you feel about Connor?”

“I’ve always had a crush on Connor, and it’s only grown,” I tell her as a blush crosses my cheeks.

“Is he the reason why you left and chose not to be a firefighter here?”

“Partly, but the other was dad.”

“I’m not sure what to say about this. I mean, he was our dad’s best friend, but if you are happy, then I am happy for you,” Alisa says, giving me a hug. “I’ve only ever wanted you to be happy, I’m just concerned for you as well.”

“I know. I have the same concerns, more so from the fire department, and you, not really from the public.”

She nods her head. “Well, you don’t need to worry about me. I will support you no matter what, he just better not hurt you, or I’ll hurt him,” she replies with a laugh and I laugh with her.

“Thanks, Lis.”

“Always, Sam.”

We finish making the salads just as the guys come back in with the steaks.

Dinner went smoothly, everyone chatted, having a good time. There was no awkwardness, and that allowed me to relax. Alisa decided she wanted ice cream, so we are all making our way to the Cream Creamery shop. We are laughing as we walk into the shop when I almost run into another customer.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I say with a smile.

“No, it’s my fault. I never seem to be looking where I am going,” she replies nicely, then looks to the guys walking in behind us.

“Chief, funny running into you for the second time in two days, this must be fate talking to us,” she gushes with a huge smile.

“Carly, nice to see you again, meet my girlfriend, Samantha,” he tells her, grabbing my hand.

“Oh,” she says, looking shocked. “How old are you, dear?”

“That is none of your business, Carly, and very rude. Now if you’ll excuse us, we came to get some ice cream. Enjoy your night.”

“Ah. Yes. You too.” She leaves the creamery stunned, shocked and hurt.

I look at Conner, and he shakes his head, whispering in my ear, “Later. Let’s get our ice cream.”

I nod, knowing he will tell me all about it. I knew there was a possibility of running into potential ex’s of his. It’s not like he never dated before I came into the picture. I shrug it off, remembering that he called me his girlfriend, which makes me smile.

Connor and I order our ice cream, then Alisa orders hers. “Can I get a scope of the strawberry cheesecake, a scoop of matcha, a scoop of peach, with a dill pickle and a side of mustard.”

We all look at her, like she has completely lost her mind.

“Ma’am, we don’t have pickles or mustard here,” the cashier says with softness, like she knows this is a fragile statement.

Alisa’s eyes start to well up with the tears, and she asks, “Why not?” She looks at Matt, “I can’t have ice cream without the pickle and mustard,” she cries.

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