It has been like, forever but I've been having a rough time, and I haven't had Microsoft Office on my Netbook anymore and blah, blah, blah.
What matters is I'm back and have Office back on my Netbook so you guys get to have some updates.
This chapter is pretty light-hearted and happy…there is a little bit of angst, and there's definitely some Decepticons and some Machshifter being intrusive, but it's still a pretty happy chapter.
I promise that what you guys want to happen between Sam and Clara will soon, okay?
Clara smiled as she and Sam kissed each other intently, Sam stroking her hair and holding her close as he laid on top of her. She laughed a little calmly as Sam pulled back and looked her in the eye, stroking her cheek with his fingertips. Sam grinned at her and pecked her lips with his own momentarily, running his nose along hers.
"Something tells me you're going to kick me out…" Sam said softly. "Is it because I'm moving too fast because I can slow down. I don't want you to be uncomfortable or anything, Clara. I can slow down—I can move at snail speed if you want me to."
Clara laughed and shook her head. "Just the opposite, actually—sleep in here with me? It'll be like old times in the middle of the night when one of us had a rough night and snuck in, only this time you'll be falling asleep in here to begin with, Sampson."
"I like that idea, Clarabear." Sam admitted, nodding and then standing up to head to his room. "I should go put some night clothes on then."
"Or…you could just take your shirt and your pants off and sleep in your boxers." Clara shrugged, winking and then blushing a bit.
It had always been so much easier for her to joke with him when he was her best friend and he was dating other people. Everything felt so different now that he was technically her boyfriend…like everything had new rules. Clara just wanted everything to go back to being perfect, because she didn't understand some of these new feelings swirling around inside of her. She didn't understand how this could be so easy and yet so hard with him.
"Clara Ferguson, are you trying to seduce me?" Sam asked her as he pulled his shirt off over his head, Clara's cheeks turning another shade of red as they darted along his body. "Because I gotta tell you, it's working."
Clara found the strength to roll her eyes. "Whatever, Sampson. Just take your clothes off and come to bed."
Sam laughed as Clara did at how incredibly dirty that had sounded, but he complied and then rolled his eyes when Clara told him not to watch. It was her room, with her chest of drawers, and she wanted to put her pajamas on. She grabbed out the set she wanted and then pulled the shirt off over her head, squeaking when she saw Sam looking at her once the shirt was off. She used it to cover herself, Sam chuckling and getting out of the bed, standing in front of her.
"I told you not to look!" Clara chastised him, shaking her head. "What are you doing?"
Sam cupped her face, kissing her gently. "Just take your clothes off, leave your underwear on, and climb into bed with me, Clarabear."
"That's not moving at snail speed, Sampson—and it sounds extra dirty if you use the childhood nickname." Clara pointed out, protesting when he tried to take her shirt from her and move it from being in between them. "Sampson…"
"You trust me, right?" He asked her, smiling and nodding when she nodded at him. "Well, then…trust me now. It's just sleeping next to each other in our under garments, how harmful is that?"
"It might give you ideas when we wake up," Clara teased, but she kissed Sam and dropped the shirt on a nearby chair and then pushed Sam towards her bed, both of them still kissing until she got under the covers, weaseling her jeans off as Sam laughed and rolled his eyes some more.
He looked at her. "So you get to watch me take my clothes off, but I don't get to watch you strip down? That's not very fair, Clarabear—you're a tease."
"But a lovable one," Clara countered, snuggling up against Sam.
Feeling her skin against him made him just nod and pull her in close, kissing her head as she wrapped her arms around him and held him under the covers. Then after a little bit of bantering, Sam reluctantly got up to turn off the light—he'd wanted to watch Clara do it. Still, he wasn't pushing her, and he knew when to tease, when to push, and when to simply back off. Clara kissed him gently as he climbed back into the bed with her and then she turned over onto her side, Sam pulling her close to her and spooning her affectionately, placing a gentle kiss behind her ear before whispering a 'goodnight' and just enjoying having her there.
Megatron did not want to be bothered. In fact, Megatron was in the mood to rip some Autobots in half—or Decepticons, right then he wasn't too picky. All he knew was that even though Machshifter was in place, the only way that he could win this was to make sure that Clara and her sisters did what was expected of them. Megatron didn't want to be the one to find the Everflower…he wanted to be the one to harness its power.
"Sire, Machshifter has reported back in." Starscream explained with a sweeping bow. "It seems we are close at hand."
Megatron looked at the Decepticon before him. "Exactly how close, Starscream?"
"One necklace left to collect." Starscream said quickly. "Machshifter believes it's only a matter of time."
"I am tired of waiting…we need a Plan B." Megatron told Starscream, even though he was really talking more to himself than to the Decepticon.
"We kidnap Clara—force her last sister to take off the necklace." Barricade suggested out of nowhere.
More than anything, Starscream hated it when Barricade showed up and tried to make Megatron think that he was better. Starscream felt like he was just as good as Barricade was, if not better sometimes. Still, Megatron seemed to trust Barricade so much more with practically everything.
"Kidnap Clara…that does seem most beneficial." Megatron agreed with a nod.
Starscream nodded too. "I'll do it, Sire!"
"Machshifter certainly shouldn't—we need him to keep an eye on Sam Whitwicky." Barricade added, looking at Starscream. "You? I believe I am much more qualified—I have kidnapped her before."
Clara tried to take deep breaths as she searched for a way out of the car she was trapped in but there was no use—Barricade had her trapped. She knew that Optimus and Sam would come for her, but it bothered her that she was practically helpless. Clara was a lot of things, but helpless had never been in her vocabulary of description.
"What do you want with me?" She asked as she sat in the Decepticon who had taken the shape of a police car.
Barricade slowed down a little bit, but kept his doors locked. "Megatron wishes a counsel with you."
"I don't have anything to say to Megatron." Clara responded, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Then you can die—it's your choice, really, Clara." Barricade responded coldly.
Clara swallowed, not liking that option one bit. In the end, she agreed to go to Megatron and once she was there, evaded the questions long enough to be saved. She hated playing the part of the damsel in distress, but being saved by Optimus and Sam definitely had her in a better mood. It meant that they cared about her…meant that she was worth saving.
"I can do this, Sire!" Starscream countered, shaking his head. "I can easily lure her, as she has seen Barricade enough now to recognize him."
Megatron nodded slowly. "So be it, Starscream…but do not disappoint me."
When Clara awoke that morning, Sam and his clothes were already gone. Clara laughed a little and then got up and took a shower, getting out and blow-drying her hair before getting dressed. She then headed out into the main are and saw Machshifter, Sam and Leo already setting out some actually breakfast. Clara could tell that Sam had cooked and they both knew that though it was for Clara, Sam was passing it off as welcoming Machshifter into the fold.
"So, Mark," Sam was saying as Clara sat next to Machshifter at the counter on a bar stool. "What classes are you taking?"
Machshifter smiled a little bit. "I'm taking all the second level entry level classes I have to take for a general two-year degree…I went overboard on electives last semester."
"I hear you, bro," Leo agreed with a nod. "I need to take some core classes or I'm not ever graduating."
"Like you were before," Clara teased, smiling and returning Sam's kiss as he leaned over and kissed her gently, scooping eggs onto her plate from the skillet at the same time. "Sam and I will have to leave you in the dust."
She was looking into Sam's eyed as she said it, addressing Leo but not able to hide how happy she was that she and Sam were a couple. They were an actual couple. It had taken them a long time to get there, but they were together and they were trying. Clara wasn't trying to run and Sam wasn't pushing. The two of them could get through this if they tried and that was simply that.
"You two are disgustingly cute." Leo said making a face. "No PDA—new rule."
Sam rolled his eyes. "You don't make the rules, Leo, and trust me there is a really good reason for that."
"You're just upset that I'm going out on a date with you ex-girlfriend." Leo told him with a laugh.
Clara's ears perked up at that and she studied Sam's face as he focused on the rest of the breakfast he was preparing. She had definitely missed a bit of male bonding that was for sure…Leo dating Mikaela, huh? Clara didn't know how she felt about that, and even more, she didn't know how she felt about Sam being upset about it. The worst part was that he was trying to act like he wasn't upset for Clara's sake, but he most certainly was. Visibly, Clara could tell that the idea of Leo and Mikaela bothered him tremendously.
"When did this happen?" Clara asked cautiously, Machshifter watching them all rather intently.
Leo shrugged a little bit. "Last night. She called for Sam but he was in your room with you and Mark and I figured you weren't coming out, so she and I talked a bit, I asked her out, and she accepted."
"Obviously she's trying to make me jealous." Sam said aloud, cursing himself mentally when it dawned on him what Clara thought of that statement.
"Maybe she just really wants to give Leo a chance to change her mind about him." Clara offered as she ate some eggs, hurting a bit at Sam's tone of voice.
She didn't want to dwell on it, and part of her felt like Sam had every right to be a little jealous, but she didn't like it. Clara didn't like that it sounded like to her, that Sam wasn't as over Mikaela as he had been trying to make Clara believe and that hurt. She couldn't help that nor change the feeling and she had to just accept it.
"I'll be over there," Clara said suddenly, picking up her plate and heading over to the dining table.
Machshifter followed her over there and sat down next to her, Sam frowning at the two and Leo shaking his head. He wasn't the smartest of the bunch and he definitely needed to sort out his priorities, but Leo knew when a girl was upset. Leo wasn't even thrilled that Sam and Clara were technically dating now…but Clara was his friend and so was Sam. He felt like he owed them a little bit.
Even though he got on peoples' nerves, Clara had always had some faith in him, and so Leo always felt like he was indebted to her. As for Sam, he'd brought Autobots and Decepticons into his world and Leo had known from that point forward that everything that he had believed in was true. So if he needed to help them to stay together, then he needed to help them stay together. He had expected Mikaela to turn him down like she always did, so he was just as surprised as Sam.
"Look, dude," Leo said with a heavy sigh. "I will lay off the jokes about Mikaela because it's obviously too soon, but you have to stop cutting Clara out. Do you know how long that chick waited for you to get your act together? You're pushing her away and it's stupid, and we all have to live here, remember? Man up."
Sam was surprised that something so smart was actually coming out of Leo's mouth and he opened his mouth to counter him, but shut it quickly. Leo was right—if Sam kept pushing, whatever way that pushing was, he was going to lose Clara for good. He couldn't do that…he loved her. Sam needed to make this up to her and he had to make sure that Machshifter didn't make a move on her.
"I'm sorry that your boyfriend isn't over his ex yet…that's hard." Machshifter told Clara, resting his hand on hers.
Clara slowly took her away and smiled at him. "It's okay, Mark—they were together for a little bit so it's fine. First love is always hard to forget."
"He still shouldn't rub it in your face like that." Machshifter said with a shrug. "Want to go and take a walk with me? I could use the company…"
"Um…sure…I guess we could walk and tour and everything. Right after my eggs." Clara promised with a soft smile on her face.
Clara didn't mind getting to know her new roommate and potentially showing him parts of the campus that he hadn't seen yet. Sam wasn't happy to hear that part of the conversation, but he and Leo sat down and ate breakfast with Clara and Machshifter and then Clara went to grab her jacket. She kissed Sam swiftly to let him know that she was coming back, but Sam knew she was hurt. What was he doing here?
What none of them knew except for Machshifter, was that Starscream was watching them…waiting for the right moment to make his move. He wanted as little trouble as possible, and maybe Machshifter could help him with this. Then again, perhaps Starscream could do this without Machshifter and then Megatron had no choice but to be proud. That's it…Starscream could do this all on his own and Megatron would be proud.
"It's only a matter of time," Starscream said to himself.
Note: All right, so there you have it. The next chapter focuses on the other three gals and on Starscream stalking Clara, with of course some Clara and Sam in there. Feedback is always appreciated!