Same disclaimers as the last twenty-one parts...

Please don't sue me; Sam and Brooke are college kids; feedback makes me very happy; thoughts; ((memories/flashbacks.))

Well, this is it! I started this way back in July, and now it's January. Hope this last chapter lives up to the rest of the story. Oh, and this chapter is R-rated again (sorry, Rattler3). So, for those of you who aren't interested, I guess you can stop around "Still not fully awake..." and skip down to "A loud and sudden..." Also, I'll have a longer Author's Note at the end, but without further ado, we have...

Chapter 22

Sam felt herself being pulled from sleep. Her dream had been such a nice one, though, that she didn't want to leave it. However, as her mind became more and more alert, Sam was beginning to suspect that her dream was continuing right into real life.

I might still be dreaming...but those lips and fingers against my skin feel remarkably real.

Sam kept her eyes closed, but smiled and sleepily ran her hand along the familiar form pressed against her body.

Now aware of Sam's consciousness, Brooke grinned into the crook of Sam's neck. "So, I finally managed to wake you up, huh Sammy?" she whispered.

Sam shivered at the silky textures of Brooke's voice, before murmuring in response. Over the previous months, Sam had learned that Brooke was often a bit...feisty when she woke up. And as Brooke often woke up before Sam, it made for some very pleasant mornings.

Still not fully awake, Sam simply sighed contentedly as she felt Brooke shift above her, spreading Sam's thighs and settling between them. Sam arched her head backwards, granting Brooke greater access to her neck. She purred in pleasure as Brooke nipped and licked at her pulse point, becoming more awake with every swipe of Brooke's tongue.

Finally, needing to taste Brooke's lips, Sam reached up to Brooke's face, urging her upwards. Brooke started off gently, but was soon practically attacking Sam's lips, with Sam pushing back just as urgently.

Sam was happy to realize that they were both still naked from the night before, as her hands swept across Brooke's body, memorizing every inch all over again.

This is definitely the best way to wake up in the morning.

Brooke's mouth was on the move again, making its way across Sam's jaw-line, and then reaching around to Sam's ear. Sam felt warm breath against her skin, before Brooke took Sam's earlobe between her lips.

When Sam finally opened her eyes for the first time that morning, she found Brooke directly above her, staring straight into her. Sam's eyes swept across Brooke's face.

I did that. The love and desire in her eyes. Her swollen lips. Her flushed cheeks. I love the fact that she's like that because of me.

Brooke's hand reached down between their bodies, her fingers eagerly exploring the increasing wetness at the apex of Sam's thighs. A single look could make Sam wet for Brooke, let alone all the passion in Brooke's impatient touch.

Sam moaned as Brooke brought her lips back to Sam's ear, whispering softly. "You feel so good, Sam. I love the fact that you're like this for me."

Since it happened fairly regularly, Sam was no longer surprised when she found that her own thoughts and Brooke's seemed to match perfectly.

Two lithe fingers slipped effortlessly into Sam, whose hips pushed upwards at the welcome intrusion.

They quickly settled into a slow and steady rhythm, with Sam rocking against Brooke's hand. Occasionally, Brooke's thumb would run over Sam's clit, causing Sam's hips to jerk upwards. Sam held on tightly to Brooke, as her breathing rate escalated along with the pace of Brooke's fingers. She repeatedly brought her lips to Brooke's, barely managing to speak between kisses. "Oh Brooke...don't stop...oh god..."

Brooke didn't respond in words, but uttered a soft growl from deep in her throat as she lowered her head to lightly rake her teeth across the skin of Sam's shoulder. Sam loved the feeling of losing herself in Brooke's touch. Brooke always seemed to know just what to do.

After a moment, Sam tugged Brooke so they were face to face again. She sucked Brooke's lower lip into her mouth and tangled one hand into Brooke's soft hair. The other hand reached to Brooke's tender breast, gently kneading the flesh beneath her fingers as a hard nipple pressed into her palm.

A loud and sudden knocking at Sam's door broke into the haze surrounding the two girls. Brooke yelped quietly as Sam bit down on Brooke's lip in surprise.

Sam's immediate and panicked reaction was to try to get away from Brooke as quickly as possible. Her frantic attempt to extricate herself from the tangle of limbs in her bed didn't go too smoothly, however, and she found herself literally falling out of bed. She reached out to try to grab onto something, anything, to halt her fall, but her grasp only managed to grab hold of the stuffed animal sitting on her nightstand.

(( "So I'm a dolphin, huh?"

Sam and Brooke were cuddled up together in bed, the morning after their date at the pottery shop, with Sam's hand idly caressing Brooke's bare back. Technically, it was already their second night together, but Sam had decided that the other time, so long ago, didn't count. The previous night was real; that was what she would consider to be the first time that she and Brooke really made love.

"Yep, you're a dolphin. And what would I be, if I were an animal?"

"Hmmmm. What would Sammy be?" Sam watched Brooke's face concentrate in thought, as she traced a finger around the contours of Brooke's features.

"I know!" Brooke turned to face Sam triumphantly. "You'd be a horse!"

Sam arched an eyebrow. "A horse?"

"Sure. I mean, you've got plenty of hair for a long, thick ponytail..." Brooke's hand reached to tangle itself in Sam's hair. "...a big nose..."

"Hey!" Sam commented indignantly.

"Kidding! Your nose is perfect. I love your nose." Sam felt her indignation wash away as Brooke tenderly kissed the tip of her nose. "But seriously. You're wild, and beautiful, and stubborn, and strong, and independent..."

"And I just needed the right person to come along and tame me," Sam interrupted and completed the sentence for Brooke.

Brooke smirked. "Well I don't know that you could ever be truly tamed, Sam, but that's one of the best things about you.

"Okay, so I'm a horse." Sam leaned over to lightly graze her lips against Brooke's. "Just as long as you come along for the ride." ))

Sam heard Brooke groan in frustration, before giggling at the thump created by Sam's ungraceful tumble out of bed.

"Ow!" Sam grumbled to herself and then called out to whoever was at her door, "Hold on just a minute!" She scrambled to her feet, placing the stuffed horse back in its place next to the oddly-colored coffee mug.

Okay, how to make it seem like Brooke isn't here?

Sam turned to the bed and found that Brooke had huddled herself beneath Sam's covers. Sam tucked a few stray hairs underneath as well, and then quickly piled clothes and pillows on the bed, so that the lump there looked significantly less Brooke-shaped.

Satisfied with the appearance of the room, Sam went to answer the door.

"Naked! You're naked, Sam!" Brooke whispered urgently from the bed, apparently having peeked out at the last second.

Oh, right. Shit. Close call.

Sam grabbed a towel from off of the bed and wrapped it tightly around herself. Opening the door, she immediately launched into explanation. "Hey, sorry. I was just getting ready for a shower."

Katie stood there, smirking amusedly. "Ah, nicely done. I was wondering how you were going to explain the five hours it took you to get to the door."

Sam blushed, but resolutely tried to look as if she didn't know what Katie was talking about. "Anyway," Katie continued, "I came to warn you that Alexis called me. She's finishing up at the gym, but needs to borrow something from Brooke later, and wanted to make sure that Brooke was here before she came back to the apartment. Strangely, though, Brooke wasn't answering her cell phone, even though she's always awake by now, and yours wasn't on, so she couldn't check with you. Soooo, you probably have about twenty-ish minutes until she gets here. Just thought that you, and whoever else might be able to hear me at the moment, would like to know about the situation."

Sam couldn't help but smile. "Uh, okay, yeah. Thanks, Katie. I'll let Brooke know...if I happen to see her."

"Yeah, you do that. Well, my work here is done." Katie then stretched to look over Sam's shoulder, which was currently blocking the doorway. "Hi, Brooke," she called into the room.

"Hi, Katie," was the muffled reply from beneath Sam's covers.

Katie burst into giggles, as Sam good-humoredly pushed her back down the hall, before closing the door and sliding back into bed.

"You heard, I take it?" Sam asked Brooke, who had resurfaced from her hiding place.

"Yep, I heard. We should really tell everyone at some point, shouldn't we?"

Sam sighed, snuggling back into Brooke's body. "Yeah, we probably should. But I kind of enjoy just having you all to myself. Plus, I think Katie likes being the only one who really knows about us."

Brooke lay there quietly for a minute, stroking Sam's hair. "I'm not ashamed of you, you know. I'm not ashamed of what we have together. If we were in high school still, I would have cared. But now, I don't care what anyone else thinks. I mean, we're going to graduate from college this year! If, at this point, I was still so preoccupied with what everyone else thought, I'd never be happy."

Sam propped herself up on one elbow so she could see Brooke's face. "I'm not ashamed of you, either, Brooke. You know that, right? I love you, and I don't care who knows it. I'll happily shout it from the rooftops, if you want. In fact, maybe we should start right now. I LOVE BROO--" Sam started to shout, before Brooke clamped her hand down over Sam's mouth.

Laughing, Brooke briefly replaced her hand with her lips. She then pulled back and commented, "We don't have to start right this second, you goof. We have plenty of time. I like having you all to myself too. I just thought I'd bring up the idea."

Sam smiled, moving to kiss Brooke again. It was a simple kiss, but it felt electric to Sam. Because it was Brooke, and everything with Brooke was amazing.

I love this woman so much. I don't know what I've done to possibly deserve her.

"We'll tell them all soon," Sam promised. "Friends, the family unit, everyone important. But you're right. We do have plenty of time, because I plan on sticking around for quite a while. You're not going to get rid of me easily."

"Oh really? Well that's good. Because I plan on sticking around for...oh, I don't know. How about forever?"

Both girls lay there for a moment, simply staring into each other's eyes and smiling.

"I like the sound of forever."

If, after that crazy night freshman year, you had told me that I'd end up feeling like this, I'd have said you were insane, but...forever sounds perfect.

THE END!!!

A/N: Wow, I can't believe I finished it! I just want to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone for reading and sticking with me on this crazy ride! There were a number of times when I probably could have used with having someone as beta reader, but I'm happy with how it came out, even with only myself as editor. This is the first fanfic I ever started (though not, thanks to "Seven's A Crowd," the first one I ever finished), and you all really made it a wonderful experience!!