Sam felt Will’s arm around her waist. Sam couldn’t take her eyes off of Craig. She’d thought his power over her was gone, but her clammy hands and pounding heart spoke otherwise. He paid no attention to Lucy, but let his eyes roam over Sam. She fought the urge to gag as a hint of a smirk played around his perfect mouth.
“Jesus Christ, Lucy,” Will growled.
Craig chuckled. Lucy stayed silent.
“I’m guessing from the cool welcome, Samantha hasn’t spoken very well of me,” Craig said easily, offering Will his hand. “You know how women get after a breakup.”
Will let go of Sam so suddenly she stumbled. She caught her balance in time to see Will grab Craig by his lapels and shove him back against the street lamp. Craig’s head clanged on the steel.
“If you so much as look at her again, I’ll—“
“WILL!” Lucy and Sam screamed together.
A crowd was gathering around the them. Will pushed back from Craig, leaving the taller man leaning against the post. Sam put a tentative hand on his shoulder. She could feel his anger beneath her fingers. He blew out a breath.
“Lucy, I suggest you find another date. This one’s not welcome,” he said quietly. “Come on, Sam.”
She followed him inside, turning back once to see Lucy watching her, looking quietly triumphant.
The crowd around the bar was oblivious to the scene out front. Will ordered a Makers Mark for each of them. He downed his in two quick swallows; Sam sipped, letting it burn away the taste of bile rising in her throat.
Will set his glass down on a passing waiter’s tray and scanned the room. Sam watched him, afraid to look, to see Lucy or Craig amongst the blur of faces.
He was about to speak when they were approached by a slim young man in a gray suit jacket and tailored, snug jeans. He carried a business card, which he flicked out from between his first two fingers.
“Freddie Bluth,” he said. “Who’s your agency?”
Will took the card, his brow creasing.
“Your agency,” Bluth repeated.
“William Dryer,” Will said, offering a hand. “And this is Samantha Ellis. We represent the Atkinson family.”
“Shit,” Bluth moaned. “My boyfriend told me the new model was going to be here; that he was bringing a dark-haired date. Forgive me, but I saw your ass and assumed you were going to be the new face of my denim line.”
The younger man blushed furiously.
“What?” Will asked. The look on his face made Sam giggle. The release of tension raced through her veins and the giggle burst into full-throated laughter. Helpless tears rolled down her face while Will and Freddie Bluth stared.
“This is why I don’t do meet-and-greets, I always fuck it up,” Freddie said, looking between Will and Sam as she tried in vain to regain her composure.
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to excuse us,” Will said, taking Sam by the arm and guiding her towards the entrance, leaving Freddie Bluth standing by the bar alone.
Focusing on Will as he dialed his phone gave Sam the chance to recover. She sucked in the crisp air as they left the building.
“We’re finished here. Can you bring the car back around?” he asked. He disconnected the call, dialed again. “Iris? Yeah, it’s Will. Something’s come up. Call Miss Atkinson, she can stand in for me at the dedication.”
“We’re going?” Sam asked.
“I’m not waiting for a third thing to happen tonight.”
The assignment this week is to write a piece – fiction or creative non-fiction – in which jeans play a prominent role.
I don’t know if the jeans played a prominent role, but they did inspire me towards the somewhat absurd turn of events that lets Will get Sam out of there after the whole Craig/Lucy debacle.