McKinley High

I own nothing, just my imagination and a desire for a story that makes people want to read more. Literary quotes are from Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird. Enjoy everyone!

Chapter 7

"Ok everyone! I know it's only the 4th week of school, but I've noticed that some of you are not completing the reading assignments given each week. So to make sure that everyone ENJOYS Ms. Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" I have randomly selected a few of you to read OUTLOUD so that we can get through this book together!"

Sam cringed when he heard Mrs. Anderson's words. Reading alone was already a struggle for him, and reading OUTLOUD was basically a death sentence. Mercedes on the other had loved any opportunity to perform and was hoping that she was assigned to read for the books main character, Scout.

"Please listen for your name, we will begin the reading today."

"Mercedes Jones-Scout

Finn Hudson-Atticus Finch

Kurt Hummel-Boo Radley

Sam Evans-Dill Harris

Mike Chang-Bob Ewell

Tina Cohen-Chang-Calpurnia

Rachel Berry-Miss Maudie

I'll give everyone 10 min. to go through chapter 1 before we start reading. BE GREAT everyone!" Ms. Anderson said

'What symptoms can I fake to get out of this' Sam thought to himself.

"Hey you!" Mercedes says as she runs over to Sam. "This is kind of cool; Scout and Dill are basically best friends, kind of like us!"

Sam looked at Mercedes like he was going to get sick, "Yeah well, I'm not doing this assignment, I'll just take the fail and go on about my business." Just like that Sam jumps up out of his seat and runs out the door.

"Mr. Evans, where are you going?" Mrs. Anderson asks

Sam ignores his teacher and runs out the classroom much to the dismay of not just his classmates, but more importantly his girlfriend Mercedes.

"May I be excused Mrs. Anderson; I'll be back before we start reading."

"Make it quick, Mercedes. And if you see Mr. Evans out there, tell him, I'll expect an explanation for his behavior before the end of the day." Ms. Anderson said irritated.

Mercedes ran out the door looking for Sam but could not find him anywhere.

"Hey, where are u? What happened back there?" Mercedes texted Sam

After a few minutes, Mercedes still had no reply from Sam. She was worried about him, but knew that being her next door neighbor he could only hide from her for so long. Mercedes headed back to class hoping that Sam was ok.

The rest of the day was a complete blur for Mercedes. They had at least 3 classes together and Sam was in none of them. After Glee club, Mercedes sped home knowing that she would see Sam and he would have some explaining to do.

When Mercedes pulled into her driveway, she went directly to the Evans home. Mary was on her way to pick up Stevie and Stacey and told Mercedes that Sam was in his room.

"Ms. Mary, did Sam say anything about what happened at school today?
Mercedes asked

With a sigh and a sad look on her face Mary replied, "Yes, he did and I'd like to tell you why Sam reacted like that, but I really think HE needs to explain it to you. He's in his room, make yourself at home, we should be back by 6." With that, Mary gave Mercedes a hug and was off to get the twins.

Mercedes was nervous about seeing Sam. She knew that things were bad when Finn and Mike told her that he didn't go to football practice. Mercedes walked quietly up to Sam's room. She stopped midway up the stairs as she realized she had never been in Sam's room before.

'My mom and dad are going to kill me if they find out I was in Sam's room alone without Mary or Dwight being here. This boy better explain himself.'

As Mercedes got closer to Sam's room she heard something.

"Curiosity was a Dill, OH SHOOT! I mean Dill was a curiosity" Mercedes heard Sam say.

"He wore linen shorts blue buttoned his shirt. CRAP!" Sam yelled "He wore blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt… that's better" Sam said to himself.

Mercedes was confused at what she heard. She listened for a few more minutes not wanting to make Sam think she was eavesdropping, but just wanted to make sure that what she heard was right. At hearing a soft knock on the door Sam replied, "Mom, I'm trying to read this book so I can be prepared for tomorrow, I'll take the trash out when I'm done."

"That's great; can you take my trash out too?" Mercedes asked with a big smile on her face.

"Mercy, what are you doing here, I didn't hear you come in?" Sam asked slightly embarrassed and blushing.

"I might ask you that same question Sam! Did you get my texts; I've been worried sick about you, why did you storm out of Ms. A's class?"

Sam looked at Mercedes knowing that she was not going to leave until she got the truth. They've only been dating for a little over a month, but Sam was steadily getting to know the sassy side of Mercedes and although sometimes it was quite a turn on, right now, he knew this was no time to play.

"Honestly Mercedes, it's really not any of your business." Sam said looking back at his book

There was a 30 seconds of silence letting Sam know that this would be the first and last time he would tell Mercedes that something was not her business.

"Excuse me, what did you just say?" Mercedes said very slowly

"Mercedes, my leaving Mrs. A's class has nothing to do with you, I have homework to do so unless you were planning to do your homework here, I need to get back to my assignment." Sam said with a stern voice.

"Homework, now that's interesting." Mercedes replied slowly and with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

"What's interesting?" Sam asked.

"It's interesting that you have homework when you didn't go to any of your classes today. It's interesting, that last week you said that Tuesday's were Sam & Mercedes lunch dates and yet here it is Tuesday and I had lunch alone, it's interesting that the boy who is always the first one at football practice, didn't go today, and it's interesting that your mom told me that you have something to tell me, but yet, here I am still in the dark not knowing what's is going on!"

Mercedes was glaring at Sam as he was staring down looking at the book in his hand.

"Sam."

"Sam."

"Look at me, please. What is going on? Did I do something? I want to help." Mercedes voice was now cracking and Sam could hear the fear in her voice. It was this that made him come clean. The last thing he ever wanted to do was make Mercedes feel that she had something to do with this morning's events.

"I'm not a good reader." Sam said slowly and quietly

"What do you mean you're not a good reader, I just heard you reading before I came in your room." Mercedes replied

"What! You were eavesdropping on me! How could you do that Mercedes?" Sam yelled

"Sam calm down, I only heard a little, I couldn't tell what you were doing and I didn't want to disrupt you if you were busy." Mercedes tried to explain

"Really, so you're not going to go out and tell everyone that blondie can barely read." Sam was talking with sarcasm and almost in tears.

Mercedes stopped herself before she said something she would later regret. Then she looked him straight in the eyes and said, "No. I would never do that to you."

The tension between them was thick. Both of them realized that they were having their first fight and hated every moment of it.

Mercedes turned around to walk out of Sam's room. She gently closed the door behind her and went down the stairs. Sam sat on his bead having no idea what to do next. Mercedes had left her books in the Evan's kitchen and went to get them before she went home.

When she got to the front door Sam was standing there with bloodshot eyes and his hands in his pocket. "I'm not a good reader because I have dyslexia" Sam quietly said to Mercedes.

"Ok." Mercedes replied

"I ran out of Ms. A's class because even though I didn't want the class to hear me read out loud, it was really you that I didn't want to hear me. I didn't want you to think that you had a dummy as a boyfriend." Sam's voice continued to crack as he spoke to Mercedes, this time looking straight at the floor.

Mercedes put her books on the stairs, walked up to Sam, and laced her right pinky with his. His back was against the front door and instead of looking at the floor, now he was avoiding Mercedes eyes by looking toward the living room.

"Your girlfriend wears purple leopard leggings with the word Jelly across the bootie. I collect Hello Kitty and Flash Gordon lunch boxes, I'm part of a school club that is so hated that people throw slushies' in our faces, and I'm pretty sure that people think our basement is a dungeon where my dad keeps all the rotten teeth he pulls from his patients. And yet, I have you as my boyfriend. The cutest new boy ever" Mercedes said with a giggle

This made Sam smile as he turned his face to look at Mercedes and pinch her button nose.

"I would never be embarrassed by you. But I do wish you would have told me what was going on. I can help you."

"No, Mercedes, I can do this myself." Sam interjected

"Actually, no you can't. And why would you want to? You are very talented Sam. And I don't want to see you waste you're gift because you're embarrassed to get help. Did you know that Ms. A is also a reading specialist? She can help you and I can tutor you after school whenever you need it." Mercedes could tell that Sam was hesitant with getting help from his girlfriend. He knew that McKinley had support services for students with his challenges, but after he met Mercy he wanted to keep his dyslexia to himself.

Because Mercedes could tell he was not fully convinced of her plan, she stood on her tip toes and whispered in his ear, "Sam, I'll even give you a discount for my services. You can pay me in kisses and hugs instead of money." Sam's face immediately, perked up as his mind imagined what "private lessons" from Mercedes could be like.

"Get your mind out the gutter Evans. We'll be studying downstairs in the living room. If my parents knew that your sessions were THAT private, that window that you like to peep into will be bricked up so fast you'd think it was done by one of your little comic heroes."

Sam's eyes' bugged out of their sockets. "Seriously, do you really think I haven't seen those blonde locks of yours straining to get a glimpse of me at night." Mercedes said

Sam was speechless.

"Oh what, now you don't have anything to say?" Mercedes said with her signature sass.

"I like the Wonder Woman bra & panty set." Sam said with a smirk

Mercedes rolled her eyes, looked up at Sam and said, "Just for that, I'll be wearing sweat pants and long sleeve shirts to bed for now on."

Sam lost his breath and tried to recant his previous words, but it was too late, the damage was done and Mercedes was about to be on her way home.

Mercedes went to pick up her books, but before she could do that, Sam grabbed her around the waist, wrapped both his arms around her and hugged her as tight as he could.

"Sam, I can't breathe." Mercedes gasped

Lightening his hold, Sam bends down and says, "Mercedes, I don't know how to thank you."

"I already told you, hugs and kisses!"

With that, Sam turned Mercedes around and kissed her lips softly. She slowly wrapped her arms around his waist to deepen their kiss. Up until this point, their kisses had remained chaste. To Sam's surprise, Mercedes pulls away only to return with lips opened slightly to accept his tongue. They found a pattern that fit them perfectly and did not separate until they were both out of breath. Mercedes wrapped her arms tighter around Sam's waist as she heard the beating of his heart singing into her ears.

"You're the best, Mercedes." Sam said into the top of her head

Mercedes closed her eyes, still amazed at the blessing she had in her arms.

Thank you for reading everyone! I still cannot thank you enough for all of your wonderful reviews and messages. They make me want to continue this story even more. The next chapter is going to skip to the October where Sam gets to meet Jonah & Asa Jones! It will be fun, I promise! Happy dreams everyone-april