A Beautiful Secret
Sam glanced over her flower garden to where Danny stood, on his garage, repairing his car even though that old Mustang was a lost case. She smiled at him and shook her head. What a stubborn boy, he hadn't changed since he was a fourteen years old.
Right now, both were twenty four and they had just completed a year of independency. After college, both started working, still at their parent's place and one year later they could afford their own house in a very small and quiet town near Florida.
Somehow, there still were ghosts around, so Danny installed a Ghost Portal on his basement with the help of his parents. After they found out their son was half ghost and were very proud of him, Danny could finally relax and rely of his parent's latest inventions to shove the ghosts back in the Ghost Zone.
"You're never going to make it." Sam laughed as she watched Danny trying to start the car.
"You'll eat your words when this beauty here starts and I take you for a tour around the Space Center in it." Danny replied. He had never taken her to the Space Center... but he had been a couple of times in her art gallery.
What about Sam's secret crush on Danny? Well, she chose to ignore it and call it sexual tension now, something completely normal and acceptable when your friends with a tall, handsome man, just like Danny. Besides, he was happily dating Emily for a year now and Sam was really glad he had forgotten his past crush on Valerie. Emily was a very nice person.
"Good morning, Sam" Emily said as she walked out of Danny's house wearing the same clothes she arrived in the night before.
"Good morning, Emily." Sam replied with a smile.
There was something Sam wasn't telling Danny, actually something she'd never tell him. She wasn't seeing anyone, but she didn't want to live alone anymore so she applied for artificial insemination. Yeah, she was dying to have a baby and she was just twenty four years old. She admitted it was stupid to have a child so soon, but she wanted it so badly... She still blamed it on the flour sack project.
"See you later Sam." Emily said, Sam smiled and waved from among her flower beds and saw as Emily softly kissed Danny on the lips before climbing in her car and driving away.
"Hey, Sam, leave the flowers for a second and come have lunch with me." Danny said, bending over their white picket fence that separated their gardens.
"Why? Your girlfriend won't cook for you so you're going for the last source?"
"Not really." He grinned. "I cooked for two and she couldn't stay so... why not?"
"I'll just accept if your house is clean. Yesterday it was disgusting."
"I promise you it's clean and smelling good."
"Okay, fine. I'll put my gardening tools back in the garage, just a sec." Sam said. Danny jumped over the fence to help her pick it all up and put back inside the box she kept them. "So... had a good time last night?"
"Oh yeah..." Danny smiled in a dreamy expression. "She's great."
"I was talking about her skills on acting..."
"And I am referring to-"
"Shut up, I don't want to know."
"You should, you might learn something and wouldn't spend all the nights alone, listening to those melodramatic songs." He said, while he carried the heavy box back to her garage. She followed him, cleaning her hands.
"I enjoy my nights listening to instrumental music while I paint, thank you very much." She said, taking her hat and her apron off, hanging them by the door.
"You're old enough to not believe in Prince Charming in a White Horse, then why are you waiting for one?" Danny asked her, finally setting everything in place. He closed her garage door and they walked back to his house, which was clean for once.
"I'm not waiting for anyone." Sam replied, opening the oven to check what he had cooked. Lasagna. She should've known it was something that was going to ruin her diet. "I'm perfectly fine on my own."
"You need someone to take care of you." Danny said, stepping in front of her to check the dish. "Set the table, please?"
"I can take care of myself Mr. Chauvinist." Sam answered. "Besides, whenever I need a man to open the pickle jar I can always cross the yard and ask your help." She stuck her tongue out at him.
"Yeah, that's true." He smiled, serving her a huge slice of the lasagna.
"You get that one, I'm on a diet. I'm not eating all that." She said, getting the knife from his hand and cutting herself a small slice, so small that it was barely a quarter of what he had cut before.
"You can't eat just that, you'll starve." Danny said, picking the knife back ready to cut her some more.
"I'm eating just that and that's final." Sam said. "Sit down and eat yours."
"But I said I had cooked for two and you're not helping me to get rid of this food." Danny sat down and poured himself some wine. "Seriously, you're fine, you don't need a diet."
"I need it and you're not the one to judge. No wine for me, thanks." Danny gave her an exasperated look. She had never refused a good wine before. "Don't make that face. Maybe in a month or two."
"A month or two of diet? Are you insane?" Danny cried out, sitting heavily on his chair in front of her. "Don't make me call your parents."
"Not that it would change anything." She said.
Danny cursed under his breath and Sam laughed. They enjoyed their Sunday lunch talking about what had happened that week. Danny finished the wine bottle by himself by the end of the meal and Sam laughed as he cursed himself for it. She lighted a cigarette and Danny told her for the millionth time he hated to see her smoking and for the millionth time, she ignored him, saying that it was filtered; it didn't ruin the atmosphere so she didn't care.
"You know, Emily is really a nice girl, but I don't think she'll bear with me for too long." Danny said quietly.
"Why not? She seems to like you a lot." Sam asked. She stood up and put the dishes on the sink. She put the half eaten lasagna in a small pot and opened the fridge to put it inside. "Jeez, Danny, your fridge is smelly, there's something rotten here."
"I don't want to look, that's disgusting." Danny said. He heard Sam sigh and she started looking at the leftovers and beer cans. "Anyway, I said that Emily won't stay for long. She asked me yesterday if I was serious about her. I think she wants to get married or something."
"She obviously doesn't know you very well. You're a chicken when it comes in commitment." Sam half laughed. She saw a rotten piece of bacon on his fridge and made a disgusting face. "I think I found it. You should clean your fridge once in a while. The piece of Italian bread I sent you three weeks ago is still here." She leaned over the fridge once more. "You know what? Only the beer cans here haven't passed their valid date. I'm going to throw it all away before you get a stomachache."
"Do whatever you wish." Danny grumbled.
Half an hour later, the fridge was clean, the smelly trash was outside and the dishes were clean and back on their place.
"Now you go to the market and buy some edible things, all right? I need a shower."
Sam returned to her house and Danny followed her. Frustrated that she could be so nice and clean his kitchen as if it didn't matter the fact that he was pouring his heart out about Emily to her. She was his best friend and advisor and she didn't give a damn about relationships. Sometimes he felt guilty for going out with his girlfriend while she was stuck at home with her stupid music and arts. Emily had said once or twice how much she liked Sam and wished to talk to her more often. Maybe Sam should get herself a boyfriend.
He'd have to do something about it.
She was going to kill Danny for this.
Somehow she let Danny convince her to go out in a double date with him and Emily the following Saturday. He promised her a handsome blind date. He didn't lie about the 'handsome' part, Josh was gorgeous, dreamily hot, with his blonde hair and blue eyes, but he was also a jerk and Sam just had to say 'hello' to figure that out.
When she stretched her hand to introduce herself, Josh's eyes immediately drifted to her chest with a grin. She felt like kicking him right there, but with Danny looking so happy with Emily in his arms, Sam decided to take a deep breath and bear with the man for tonight.
They went to a bar and Josh sat down by her side, while Danny sat in front of her, but he was too busy checking Emily's tonsils to notice that Josh seemed to be fascinated with her thighs, he couldn't get his hands off them. She shoved him off several times, but he returned to her, each time even more drunk, running his hands up until he forcefully put his hands under her skirt and she stood up abruptly.
"I'm going home." She said and when Danny untangled himself from Emily giving her a questionably look she smiled at him gently, ignoring Josh's grunt. "It's really late and I have chores early in the morning."
"Maybe we should go too honey." Emily said, standing up. "It's too crowed in here."
"All right. Let's get home." Danny said. Sam knew that if Emily hadn't suggested it, she'd probably be walking home alone by now or hear Danny's protests until she gave up and sat down for one more hour or so.
Everybody climbed on Danny's car (not the Mustang, of course) and he drove them back to his and Sam's house. Sam was the first to get out. She said good night to them and walked to her house, her head up with dignity even though her heart was hurting because of the humiliating night.
She heard the car door slamming behind her and hoped it was Danny coming to ask what was wrong, but she had no such luck, who came running after her was Josh. She turned around quickly to see him, right after opening her front door. Inside the car she could see Danny and Emily making out.
Josh walked inside her living room before she had time to push him away.
In the car, Danny told Emily to go ahead and get inside his house so he could check on Sam.
"She looked upset." He said.
"She's just embarrassed to display affection in front of you." Emily laughed. "You're practically her brother." She got out of the car right after Danny and pointed at the closed front door. "See? They wanted privacy."
Danny saw the closed door, but couldn't brush the feeling that something very wrong was happening there. Sam never invited someone she knew just for two hours inside her house, much less a drunken horny man like Josh.
"Danny, don't go in there. You're going to walk in on them!" Emily said low and rushed. "Jesus, Danny, she just needs a good fuck and she'll be all right!"
The idea of Sam in bed with a stranger didn't sound well to him and that was what made him set his mind to go check on them. Emily growled un-lady like and stumbled inside his house.
Then he heard it. A crash and a muffled scream coming from Sam's house. His stomach knotted painfully with an icy rage. He broke into a run to her house. He didn't have to go ghost to reach it fast. God, if Josh touched her unwillingly he was going to kill him!
After another scream and a thud Danny ran into Sam's living room, nearly breaking the door in half. He took a look at Josh pinning Sam to the ground while she kicked and squirmed desperately under him. She had what looked like a broken vase on her hands, while he pressed her wrists together above her head and the glass was pricking her skin.
"You fucking bastard!" Danny snarled, grabbing Josh's drunken ass off Sam, tossing him across the room, letting his ghost powers slip, giving Josh a painful slam across the wall. Only, Danny didn't notice Josh was still holding Sam and she flew a couple of feet with him, falling over her coffee table, which broke in half. "Sam!"
Danny crouched down next to her and saw that she had a bleeding lip. Her eyes were open wide, with the air knocked out of her lungs, in shock. He touched her shoulders, but at that time Josh was back on his feet, ready to strike Danny back.
What had he set Sam up for? Danny cursed himself.
He smacked his fist in Josh's nose, hearing a crack. Josh fell backwards, blood spilling all over Sam's expensive carpet. Danny walked over to Josh and grabbed him by his shirt, tossing him out of the door, in Sam's garden, ruining her beautiful flowers.
"Don't you ever come near her again!" Danny shouted. He turned around to walk inside the living room again to help Sam up, when he realized that she was already up. He stopped on his tracks as he saw the sight. Her beautiful rosy lips were red with blood that ran down her chin. She had glass in her hands and she was standing on one swollen foot. She looked at him angrily and run, limping to the door, closing it on his nose. "Sam?!" Danny called, scared of what she might do in that condition. She needed to go to a hospital! "If you don't open this damn door I'll phase in!" He yelled, but as a response he just saw as she turned on the Ghost Shield his parents had given her. "Shit."
"Oh my God, what happened here?" Danny turned around to see Emily, very scared, staring at Josh, who had just stood up and was walking back to his car, which was parked in front of Sam's house, grumbling some things along the way. "He shouldn't drive in that condition."
"I hope he goes and get himself killed." Danny said, in a voice of pure hate.
"He was hassling Sam?" Emily asked.
"That's obvious!" Danny told her sarcastically,
"Don't you dare take out on me for what happened here." Emily warned him in a low voice. When Danny didn't answer her, she said quickly "I'll call it a night." Then she turned around, climbed inside her car and disappeared, driving past the speed limit.
There was nothing else Danny could do. It was when he noticed how swollen his hands were. He had hit Josh too hard for his own good. He nearly broke his knuckles. After nearly an hour sitting on Sam's door, he decided to go to his own house and take a shower to cool down.
As soon as he closed the door behind him, Sam limped over to her phone and called an ambulance to get her. She saw her foot started swelling even more. She was sure it was broken. Three minutes later an ambulance parked in front of her house and turned the siren off. Sam managed to open her door and the paramedics took her to the hospital.
She had no idea why Danny didn't burst out of his house after her, but she was glad he didn't because at that moment she didn't want to see him.
Danny woke up the morning after, grateful it was Sunday and he wouldn't have to go work and see the pathetic excuse of a man that was Josh. He stood up quickly and took a shower. He glanced the clock after he left and realized that usually by 10am Sam would be out gardening, but with a quick glance at her ruined flowers told him that she wasn't coming out today.
He sighed and fixed some apple with cinnamon tea. Sam's favorite. When it was done he picked too big cups and went to her house. He knocked twice before she opened the door. He frowned sadly when he saw her. Her hands were bandaged and she had plaster on her right foot.
"You went to the hospital by yourself?" He asked, calmly, his stomach turning into a guilty knot.
"I called an ambulance and they were kind enough to bring me back a couple of hours ago." She said. Indeed, Danny noticed, she looked tired and she was wearing a robe over her nightgown, as if she was going to bed. He felt guilty for keeping her up.
"You should have let me take you there." He said quietly, noticing that she hadn't stepped away from the door to let him in. She was gripping the clutches tightly, as if she wasn't going to let him pass.
"I told you before I can take care of myself." She said, finally sighing and letting him in. She stopped when he held her from behind, offering her the tea. She accepted it after asking if he had put sugar in it and he said it was a diet sweetener.
He didn't offer to help her to the couch because he knew it would only irritate her more. He found the tea table gone and wet marks on the carpet, meaning she had scrubbed the blood off even though her hands were hurt.
"I'm going to buy you a new tea table." Danny said, watching her as she sipped quietly on her tea.
"That's not necessary. I've been up all night and bought one I saw in a website. It will probably be here tomorrow."
"You didn't sleep at all?" He asked her, again, feeling guilty for having slept like a baby while she had been up all night.
"How could I sleep?" She asked bitterly. "When I was nearly raped, got a foot broken and my house trashed?" She sighed "And you ruined my flowers."
"What?!" Danny suddenly was taken aback, his mouth hanging open. Was she angry at him? He had saved her from that bastard. "I saved you and you're pissed off at me? What did you want me to do? Calmly walk the bastard to his car?"
"You let him walk into my house why not escort him out of it?" She sat up straight on the couch, her foot was hurting badly, but she wouldn't let him see any weakness on her.
"I'm so sorry, Sam." Danny said, reaching out to cup her cheek gently, but she moved her face away from his reach, something she had never done before and it pained him more than anything.
"You have some shitty taste in friends." Sam said, giving the half full tea cup on his hands while she stood up, grabbing the clutches, making her way to her kitchen.
"You're right, after all I've got a best friend who's a selfish bitch and can't accept an apology!"
His words pierced her heart like a knife. It hurt more than breaking her foot, hurt more than cutting her hands and lip. She didn't say a word and started walking away from him. When he saw that she wasn't going to answer, he realized he had hurt her with his cold words.
"Shit, I'm sorry Sam." He stood up quickly and stopped in front of her with his hands on her shoulders. What he saw on her face was worse than what he had seen the night before. She was hurt, biting back her tears, as she shot him a glance of pure hate. He took his hands off her shoulders quickly, as if she burned him. "Fine!" He cried out, walking quietly towards the door.
"Danny, I've got enough problems now to deal with and I don't need you to add up more trouble." She said quietly, but loud enough for him to hear.
"Maybe it'd be better if I stay away from your life then. Take care of yourself." He said shouted before slamming her door closed.
This is inspired by an erotic romance I read last week. I hope you guys like it. The second chapter will come soon.