"Samantha," he whispered in his dark silky voice. Sam's skin tingled deliciously with just one word from him. A smile played at her lips as she waited for him to call her again. Her silent prayer was answered as he murmured her name. "Samantha." That same delightful rush washed over her like the warm waves that rippled by her feet. She stretched languidly on the sandy beach, and her eyes fluttered open. She was home.
She sat up and glanced at the familiar seashore of her childhood home. Sam knew it was only a dream. It had become a familiar one. The ocean glowed with unnatural shades of blue as if it was lit from beneath. The sky swirled with clouds of lilac and lavender. She stood up and relished the way the soft, pebble-free sand felt on her bare feet. A gentle breeze blew Sam's golden hair off her naked shoulders, and her long white nightgown fluttered lightly over her legs.
She closed her eyes and breathed in the salty air. He was near. She could feel it. Her blood hummed, and the air around her thickened. She'd come so close to seeing him many times, but she always woke up just before she found him.
Not this time.
This time she would stay on the beach and call him to her. It was her dream after all, and she was getting tired of coming up empty-handed. Eyes closed, she tilted her face to the watercolor sky and waited. Her heartbeat thundered in her ears in perfect time with the pounding waves.
"Samantha," he whispered into her ear. She stilled, and her mouth went dry. He was standing right behind her. How the hell did he get there? Where did he come from? Why couldn't he stand right in front of her where she could actually see him? This was supposed to be her dream, her fantasy. Jeez. Can you say intimacy issues?
Sam jumped slightly and sucked in a sharp breath as large hands gently cupped her shoulders. She should open her eyes. She wanted to open her eyes, but the onslaught of sensations to her body and mind had her on overload. Samantha shuddered as he brushed his fingers lightly down her arms leaving bright trails of fire in their wake. He tangled his fingers in hers and pulled her back gently. Sam swallowed hard as his long muscular body pressed up against hers. He was tall, really tall. She sighed. If he looked half as good as he felt, she was in big trouble.
"It would seem that you've finally found me," he murmured into her ear.
Sam nodded, unable to find her voice amid the rush of his. She licked her dry lips and mustered up some courage. It was a dream after all. Nothing to be afraid of. She could always wake up. But that's what she was afraid of.
"Why don't you ever let me see you?" she said in a much huskier tone than she'd intended. She pressed her body harder against his and relished the way his fingers felt entwined with hers.
He nuzzled her hair away from her neck and placed a warm kiss on the edge of her ear. "Come home," he 3whispered. His tantalizing voice washed over her and he seemed to surround her completely. Body. Mind. Soul. Every single inch of her lit up like the Fourth of July.
"Please," she said in a rush of air. Sam wrapped his arms around her waist and relished the feel of him. It was like being cradled in cashmere covered steel. Leaning into him, she rubbed her head gently against his arm. He moaned softly and held her tighter. The muscles in his chest rippled behind her, and his bicep flexed deliciously against her cheek. "I need to see you."
Eyes still closed, she turned in his arms as he said softly "Samantha."
Sam tumbled out of bed and landed on the floor with a thud. Breathing heavily and lying amid her tangled bedclothes, Sam stared at the bland white ceiling of her soon-to-be former apartment.
"Talk about a buzz kill," she said to the empty room. "Typical. I can't even get good sex in my dreams." She puffed the hair from her face and pushed herself up to a sitting position. Sam grabbed her cell phone off the nightstand and swore softly when she saw the time. She was going to be late. Crap.
The steamy August air swamped Samantha the moment she stepped foot onto the cracked New York City sidewalk. On any other day the stifling summer streets of Manhattan would drive her crazy-but not today. Sam smiled. Today was her last day of work. No more horrid tourists with even more horrid tipping skills. No
more nights spent fending off her married and truly unfortunate looking boss. No more waitressing at T.G.I. Friday's in Times Square. Thank God!
Sam let out a large sigh, a mixture of exhaustion and relief, and slipped her aviators on with a cursory glance up to the towering buildings. She squirmed slightly as sweat began to bead on her brow and trickle down her back. Adjusting the heavy backpack, she wove her way through the pedestrian-riddled city and nestled the small iPhone ear buds snuggly into her ears. She hit shuffle on the slim iPod. A familiar tune filled her head; she couldn't help but walk to the beat as she wove her way through the minefield of tourists. Samantha mumbled the occasional "pardon me, excuse me" as she navigated the slow-moving gawkers in Times Square. Why did they feel the need to stop and look at every skyscraper? This was another part of living and working in New York City she definitely would not miss.
Sam trotted down the steps into the subway station and pushed her sunglasses up onto her sweaty head. She swiped her card in the turnstile and slid through the narrow gateway toward the platform. Stealing cursory glances at the various subway-goers, her attention was captured by a young woman who was clearly fresh out of college. She reminded her of herself-about ten years ago. Sam smiled and shook her head as the train screeched its way up to the platform. The hot air blast that accompanied it actually provided momentary relief from her sweaty state. She pushed her way into the crowded train with the rest of the subway rats, and her gaze wandered back to the young co-ed. She sat almost expectantly on the seat across from her, as if her lifelong dream may come leaping to life right in front of her at any moment.
Sam vaguely remembered that feeling. She had moved to the city right after college graduation. The moment she had that BFA in hand she packed it all up and moved to the Big Apple. As a young artist with age-old dreams, the city seemed the only logical place to go. It held the promise of excitement and glamour, a far cry from the sleepy seaside town she grew up in. Clearly promises were made to be broken. The young girl glanced up and caught Sam's eye. She delivered a quick, shy smile before looking away. Sam couldn't blame her. No woman in her right mind would maintain eye contact with a total stranger on a city subway.
The train shuddered to a stop in Grand Central Station, and Sam made a speedy escape into the muggy, bustling crowd as she switched trains for SoHo. She had one more loose end to tie up before she could officially leave NYC.