Samantha sat in the darkened hallway, her eyes red and swollen from endless tears.
You're such a ditz, Samantha. Yeah, Jake loves you... in your dreams.
Startled, she looked up, sighing when she saw that no one was around.
God, Samantha, could you get any more pathetic? Now you're hearing his voice.
Slowly she stood and brushed off her clothes.
I totally bailed on Ted. He probably hates me now, too.
Just as she grabbed her purse and began to walk down the hallway, she saw a figure coming toward her.
"Samantha?" said the familiar voice.
She froze, wanting to run but wanting to stay at the same time.
"Go away, Jake."
He walked toward her, his features becoming more prominent the closer he came. Suddenly they were face to face. The urge to walk out was major, but she didn't want to look lame.
"What do you want?" she asked, not caring about the harshness of her tone.
"I want to apologize." He said softly.
"Yeah right. Jake, you already admitted in front of the whole cafeteria that you and Carolyn were making out, so just forget about it, okay? I'll recover."
"Will you please just hear what I have to say? Then if you don't want to see me anymore, I'll understand. But I won't be able to sleep at night if I don't at least tell you the truth."
"The truth?" I know the truth, Jake! You and Carolyn did all this to make me look pathetic. Well, you didn't have to try so hard, since I already am."
"Please?" Jake said again. His voice was so sincere that Samantha's anger seemed to lessen.
She sighed. "Okay."
"Can we talk over here?" Jake asked, pointing to the stairway.
He sat down next to her, looking into her eyes. "Samantha, I am really sorry you walked in on Carolyn and I. Definitely the lamest thing I've ever done."
"Just hear me out, okay?"
"Okay." Samantha braced herself for what Jake could possibly say.
"Carolyn cornered me in the gym and followed me into the training room. I just went in for a minute and the next thing I know, she's all over me. I was going to leave when I thought I heard... wait, was that you I heard in the doorway?"
"Yeah, but it doesn't matter now." Samantha said.
"Romeo and Juliet, right?" Jake asked, grinning at her.
Samantha found it impossible to smile back. "I stayed up all night memorizing that for you. It was supposed to be a surprise, but..."
"God, Samantha, you have no idea how stupid I feel right now." Jake said. "I should have left when I realized that Carolyn had followed me. I just figured she would leave, though. I had no idea she was that possessive. I'll never forgive myself for hurting you."
"It was pretty bad." Samantha said. "How could you, Jake? And then to not even deny it? Why didn't you just tell me the truth?"
Jake lowered his head. "I don't know. I guess I was afraid of hurting you even more. But Samantha, I swear to God, I didn't make any moves on Carolyn. Please believe me."
She swallowed hard. "How do I know you're not lying to me now?"
"He's not lying, Samantha."
They looked up to see Ted standing in the hallway.
"What is this?" She asked.
"He's telling you the truth. He told me about how Carolyn was bad mouthing you in the gym. I just heard Carolyn telling her version of the story to Tracy and Robin. I'm going with Jake on this one."
Samantha saw Jake smile at Ted.
"Well, this dude has got to bolt, so you guys... just have a good time. Jake, you can take her home, right?"
"What about your dad?" Samantha asked.
"Don't worry about it." Ted said, disappearing around the corner.
When they were alone again, Samantha looked at Jake. Then she saw something in his eyes...
Oh my God... he really was telling the truth!
She swallowed hard. Jake might not ever forgive her for calling him a liar. She sure wouldn't forgive herself.
"Jake, I-I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have freaked the way I did."
"So does that mean you believe me now?"
"Mmmm hmmmm..." Samantha said, nodding. "I don't blame you if you hate me forever. I deserve it."
Jake smiled. "No one deserves to be hated, Samantha. But here's something you do deserve."
Samantha grinned. "What?"
To her surprise he pulled her toward him and wrapped his arms around her. They were so close; she could feel his heart beating.
Then it happened...
Their lips touched, and the warmth filled her body. She ran her fingers through his hair, giving into his kiss.
Suddenly he pulled away, surprising her. What had she done wrong now?
Jake gave her one of his gorgeous smiles. "You're special, Samantha. Don't ever forget that."
As suddenly as it ended, the kiss resumed, the warmth returning to her body.
And standing out of sight in the doorway was Ted, watching them with a smile on his face.