Chapter Seventeen

After turning around to see Phillip and Jan, an arrow of shock sliced through Shawn's body, momentarily paralyzing him. In the center of the room, there they were, all over each other, their hands roaming along each other's bodies, their mouths inches apart and Phillip sitting right on Jan's lap. Now he understood why Jan had let him go and he realized that almost any other possibility wouldn't have pissed him off as badly as this did. He was kicking himself for not seeing this coming, he should have, especially after Jan had constantly mentioned Phillip once she had seen him stripping at the club. That had secretly annoyed him but this... this was a million times worse.

It amazed him when he suddenly came to the conclusion that he had actually liked Jan's attention. He had liked seeing all the devotion in her eyes channeled towards him, he had been proud of the fact that she had loved him so much that she had locked him in that ridiculous cage to get him to return her feelings. He had liked seeing her to do everything in her power to get him to love her, in some dark recess of his mind, he had enjoyed every twisted second of it. But now it was all ruined and there was no one more at fault than Phillip Kiriakis.

It seemed almost unbelievable that Shawn had once considered the g-string clad man in front of him his best friend. After everything that had went on during the past few months, Shawn didn't want to be Phillip's friend. Phillip had stabbed him in the back, Phillip had tried to steal Belle's love from him and now he was taking all of Jan's attention by throwing his body around and using his physical assets to get to Jan. It was more than just a coincidence that Phillip had diverted his attention from Belle to Jan at the same time Shawn had. Phillip was doing it on purpose and Shawn had no intention of letting the double-crossing bastard get away with it. Now that he was out of that cage, he would do everything he could to drag Jan out of Phillip's clutches.

To add insult to injury, Phillip and Jan still hadn't even noticed Shawn was in the room. Gnashing his teeth together furiously, he marched across the room and flicked off the stereo which had been blaring loudly seconds before. Almost as if pulled out of some kind of trance, Phillip and Jan's heads snapped up and they looked at Shawn. Phillip practically fell off Jan's lap after seeing Shawn and immediately got off of Jan.

"Oh my God, you mean you finally decided to come back?" Phillip exclaimed, still eyeing Shawn with surprise, "Where have you been, Shawn? Everyone has been worried sick about you."

"Like I'd tell you," Shawn narrowed his eyes angrily, "You probably wanted me to stay as far away from Salem as possible so you could take over everything that was mine. As far as I'm concerned, my life is none of your business anymore."

Phillip cocked his eyebrows upwards, "What's getting you so worked up? I never tried to take anything that was yours. What gave you that idea?"

"Don't play dumb!" Shawn bellowed, "You tried to move in on Belle while I was gone and don't even try to deny it because I saw everything. And now you're trying to steal my place in everyone's lives." Shawn made sure to avoid eye contact with Jan as spoke but there was something in his voice that let Jan know he meant her. A rush of triumph washed over her and she had to press her lips together to keep the victorious smile off her face. Her plan was already working. After Phillip had put the moves on Belle while Shawn was stuck in the cage, Shawn grown increasingly resentful of Phillip. And after realizing that Jan had given Shawn up for Phillip, there was no way Shawn's pride would allow him to let Phillip take Jan without a fight. Her scheme was pulling together even better than she had expected it to.

"Shawn, I don't know what you're talking about," Phillip scowled at the agitated man, "I was nothing more than a friend to Belle, which is a lot more than I can say for you. You weren't there for Belle at all, as a boyfriend or as a friend. If she isn't taking you back without making you beg, then I can't blame her. You don't deserve to win her back easily after the crap you put her through."

"I'm not talking about Belle," Shawn fumed, his eyes wide with anger, "Stop pretending you're completely innocent. You're guilty as hell and you know it. You're trying to take everything away from me and I was supposed to be your best friend! But I'm not going to let it happen so screw you, Phillip!"

Shawn lunged at Phillip wildly, his fists clenched tightly in front of him. He took a swing at Phillip's head but Shawn was so hysterical that Phillip easily ducked out of the way. Shawn jerked forwards from the momentum of the missed shot and it took him a few seconds to regain his balance. Once he was back on his feet, he looked ready to explode and his breaths were coming out in short, fast spurts.

Phillip shook his head in disgust, "Once a hothead, always a hothead," he muttered, "I don't know what the hell is wrong with you. You can't keep lashing out at people that care about you for the hell of it. If you keep doing shit like this, if you keep treating everyone like garbage and alienating yourself from your friends, you're not going to have anyone left."

"If I don't have anyone left, it will be your fault, not mine!" Shawn roared, "And stop acting like you care about me! You don't want me to be happy, you aren't my friend! You're so jealous of me, you can't see straight. You wanted to have everything I did, you wanted them to want you instead of me. You want what I have but you can't have it, I won't let you!"

"Shawn, stop yelling," Jan ordered him, finally jumping into the conversation, "You're not making any sense at all. Maybe you should go somewhere else so you can cool off."

"Jan, how can you talk to me like this?" Shawn's eyes burned into her with accusation, "How can you do this with Phillip? Can't you just come with me for a while? I need to talk to you about something."

Jan took a deep breath, fighting off the urge to agree to go with him. She had to stick to the plan and besides, she was kind of irritated with Shawn for ruining her lap dancing session with Phillip. Jan still wanted the hot, sexual no-strings attached fling with Phillip she was trying to make happen before she married Shawn. She knew it would drive Shawn crazy and besides, she did think Phillip was very sexy and she wanted to take his mind of Belle, temporarily if not permanently. It would be killing three birds with one stone- ultimately winning over Shawn, making Belle miserable and enjoying herself in the meantime.

"Sorry, babe, but that ship has sailed. Why don't you get your whipped ass back over to Belle's apartment before you make her cry?" Jan suggested, proud of the conviction her words carried.

"I don't want to!" Shawn's voice raised with each word he said until he was shouting again.

Jan patted his shoulder sympathetically, "I know how much you hate coming in second to Phillip. But you can only blame yourself. Maybe if you weren't such a jackass all the time, you could hold onto a woman."

"You don't mean that," Shawn's gaze pierced her but she forced herself to her voice cold and low as she replied.

"I do. And I feel really horrible for you, Shawn. It must be hard living in Phillip's shadow but it's easy to see why you do," Jan knew those words would cut him to the quick and the humiliation and hurt on his face made her want to immediately retract the words but she held her ground. Shawn just stared at her in utter silence before shooting one last furious look in Phillip's direction and storming out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him.

Phillip sighed and sat down in the chair Jan had been occupying before, "Sorry that Shawn came in here and interrupted us like that. I swear, I haven't been able to figure that guy out at all for the past few months."

Jan shrugged and walked up next to the chair, "I'm sure he would make a lot more sense if he didn't always fly off the handle like that. I don't think he even knows what he wants," she tried to push away the feelings of guilt surfacing after her harsh words to Shawn. You had to do it, Jan, she told herself, Without using tough love, he'll never respect you and appreciate you for loving him the way you do. Trying to keep her voice light, she pretended to be offended as she spoke to Phillip, "But you better make it up to me, you idiot. I can't believe you didn't lock the door."

"Oh, I'll do my best, Jan," Phillip smirked at her and tugged on her shirt until she landed in his lap with an unladylike thud. Jan giggled as he nuzzled his mouth against her neck.

"My hero," she cooed sarcastically, causing Phillip to pull his head up to give her a mock glare.

"Geez, Jan, you've got such a smart mouth. Why not try putting it good use for a change?" without letting her respond, his mouth took hers and his arms gathered her up and pulled her closer to him. His heated breath tickled the inside of her mouth as he pressed his lips against hers. His tongue circled the contours of her mouth and the deliciously sensual teasing was enough to take her mind off of Shawn Brady completely. His kiss somehow managed to rock her all the way to the tips of her toes and she pushed her own hungry mouth back against his with equal force. Phillip laced his fingers through her dark mass of curls, then began trailing his way down her spine, his fingertips digging into the soft flesh of her back. The friction of his lips rubbing against hers was amazing, it was driving her more crazy than kissing Shawn ever had. But maybe it was because Phillip had initiated the kiss, because Phillip had wanted to kiss her instead of it being like it was with Shawn- who tried to make it look like her touch did nothing for him.

Phillip nibbled and suckled on her lips, slowly teasing them apart until she opened beneath his mouth. He delved into every hollow and cavity of her mouth, stroking her the silky, wet skin inside her mouth until Jan thought she would fall apart under his skillful caresses. Finally, his mouth left hers and she inhaled and exhaled deeply, gradually regaining her composure.

"Phillip, I want you," Jan breathed. But when Phillip's eyes closed and he leaned back down to kiss her again, she pressed her fingers against his lips to stop him. His eyes opened and he looked at her in confusion, "But not here. I don't want to risk there being anymore interruptions from anyone. I want to have you alone, all to myself, somewhere where no one will get in our way."

Phillip inhaled sharply as Jan's fingernails lightly traced a path down his abdominal muscles, "I would love that." his voice was low and husky, "And I guess for the time being, I should get back out there before Bonnie comes looking for me. Where do you want to meet?"

Jan smiled coyly at him, "I can take you back to my country house after you finish here," she told him, a plan already forming in her mind, "Or will you be too worn out by then?"

"Does that mean the activities you have planned for us are going to require a lot of energy?" Phillip grinned, "I like the sound of that. And to answer your question, no, I won't be too tired."

"Good," Jan pulled herself off of his lap and smiled at him as she straightened out her hair and clothing, "I guess I'll see you then."

"You didn't have to leave the club early," Sami told Lucas as he unlocked the door to his apartment, "This could have waited."

Lucas pushed open the door and turned to look at Sami earnestly, "I didn't want it to wait any longer. I think this whole thing has building up ever since the night you..." The night you spanked me, the words surfaced in his mind but he pushed them away, "The night you tried to convince me to quit my job. Besides, I want to make sure you're okay after what happened back there."

"Of course I'm okay," Sami lied, truthfully still shaken by the unexpected turn of events tonight, "I asked for a lap dance and that was what I got. I'm fine with that."

"It was a lot more than lap dance," Lucas pointed out, "Look, I don't understand why you asked for a lap dance after you told me you didn't want anything to happen between us again but I couldn't bring myself to say no. I wasn't thinking about the aftermath, I was just thinking about you. And how much I wanted to touch you, to be inside you again."

"There doesn't have to be an aftermath," Sami replied stubbornly, feeling like one big, gooey mess inside, "We can both stay in our respective apartments, out of each other's ways and pretend it didn't happen."

"Dammit, Sami, no!" Lucas plunked himself down on the couch, "I don't want to forget, okay? It meant something. Didn't you feel it? Couldn't you tell how much I wanted you? Can't you see how much I still want you now? And I know you wanted me too."

"What's your point?" Sami asked, shifting nervously and not making a move to sit down. It was already taking all of her self-control not to run from his apartment, so even trying to sit down would probably be useless.

"I don't see why we should put a stop to it now," Lucas explained, "I think we have every reason to, you know, give it a try for a while."

"I'm not going to date a stripper," Sami informed him coldly.

"I didn't say anything about dating," seeing Sami's confused expression, Lucas quickly elaborated, "I just thought we could have a trial run, let things play out like they did tonight. Maybe two weeks or something. Do you get what I'm saying?"

Sami nodded, "So, if we just give in to... wanting each other for a little while, we can get it out of our systems, right? We're trying to take the edge off wanting each other so it isn't so hard to stop ourselves from losing control."

"Exactly," Lucas returned as Sami came over at and sat down next to him on the couch.

"So, it's just sex?" Sami managed to get out, a part of her wanting to scream and throw a tantrum in protest. It wasn't just sex, she loved him. If he would just quit his God damn job, it wouldn't have to be like this.

"Just sex," Lucas affirmed, his voice cracking as he spoke.

"Fine," Sami murmured, her hands twining around the back of his neck to keep herself from thinking about all the frustrating situation she had put herself in, "Two weeks, starting now."