Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chapter 8 {LYTD}

Oh hey.

Chapter 8

The first time Sam hit me, I didn’t see it coming. I knew he had a temper problem. I knew that he liked to yell and swear and hit things when he was mad, but I never expected one of those things to be me. I had never seen a flash of anger in anyone like I had in him in that flash. His eyes were almost red, like the Devil’s, and I knew I had finally uncovered a demon of his.

                        *                                  *                                  *

 I got used to the feeling of having my backstage pass lanyard around my neck because I helped set up and could watch my boy play the drums while making every other girl in the audience swoon at his charm and talent. Of course, they didn’t know I was backstage and they didn’t know I was his girlfriend, but that was okay by me. Whenever girls flirted with him, he acted all uncomfortable and did his eyebrow twitch and he would search the area for me, looking for an excuse to get away. I would just come over to him and watch as he put his arm around my shoulder and the girls’ faces would drop. It was a good routine for us; we both acted like crazy jealous fools sometimes, and showing that we needed each other like that calmed us down. But while Sam was popular with the girls in the crowd, I was popular with the boys in the bands.

It was a hot day, but I was stupid enough to wear jeans and a green tee with a black cami under it because I figured that there’d be a breeze. Yeah, try telling that to Arizona. We were hallway through the tour and had made it from New York to Arizona, traveling down the East Coast and across the South. This time of year got really hot, so the temperatures were in the mid 100-115’s almost every day. Yes, the heat was dry compared to the muggy torture of Massachusetts, but it was still not what we were used to.  The boys were gaining a fan base and loving every second of it. Plus, all of us had really become a family because the tour was a three week thing and we always set up together and kind of hung out together in the terrible heat. Nick and Matt were the closest to me because they played their set after us. While my boys played, I hung backstage with them and messed around, helping them with whatever they needed.
 “Hey Brooke!” Nick hugged me and smiled brightly when he saw me. Sam just waved. I knew he was trying to control his jealousy around them, since I insisted that I only liked them as friends only about every single night, and he was getting better at not taking our friendly hugs as a point that I wanted to break up with him. “Coffee?” Nick asked. He flashed his brilliant smile along with two deep dimples and handed me my starbucks. I had already had my morning wake-up cup, but it was cheap motel coffee, so my iced mocha really gave me the energy I needed to lug equipment and set up things.
“Thanks,” I said.
“I got a really big one because I figured you and Sam could just share.”
See Sam? He respected our relationship. He knew I was yours; you have nothing to worry about!
“Thanks man,” Sam patted him on the shoulder and went in for a sip. I swatted him away because I had even had my own sip yet. “Mine,” I said like a five year old. Sam shook his head at me like he was reprimanding my behavior. “Ours,” he corrected, taking a sip.
We sat down and Brian came under the tent from the van. “Um, you guys are playing right after lunch today and Nick and the boys are on after, okay?”
We all nodded. “So just get everything all set and relax for a while. We’re going to the merch tent right after, so Brooke and Kendall, be prepared to help Nick and Matt after their set too.”
“Okay,” we nodded.

When Sam went onstage, I handed him his lucky drumsticks and gave him a kiss. He always used the same ones because they were the ones he used the night he met me. That day he had just happened to buy a new pair and he says that it was their luck that brought us together. I gave him a quick kiss and they went out into that hot July sun to do what they loved.
I knew every single song they ever played and I still never got tired of hearing them. I had even tried to sing along, but the people backstage always looked at me funny and I got self-conscious. “Why’d you stop?” Matt asked. I jumped.
“Holy shit you scared me.”
He laughed, “Sorry.”
“I stopped because I can’t sing.”
“So what?”
“So… why would I submit myself to embarrassment?”
“Because you can.”
We started talking while he and Nick got ready to go on next. Nick was strumming his Taylor quietly in the background and doing his pre-show routine. He had to sing ‘Dust in the Wind’ to warm up his fingers. He was so innocent, and I think that’d what made him so damn adorable. “God it’s hot.” I proclaimed. I reached to the bottom of my tee and tugged it over my head. It was too hot for layers. “What is that?” Matt asked.
“Huh?” I turned my attention back to him, putting my hair in a ponytail.
He pointed to my jeans and what was peeking out from my waistband. It was the faded tattoo that Sam drew on my hipbone. The one only he was supposed to see. But… it was too late. Matt pulled at my waistband just to see what it was. “That. Did Sam draw that?”
“Cute. You guys are pretty serious?”
“Yeah. We just celebrated our five month anniversary like two weeks ago.”
“Cool. You guys seem pretty into each other.”
I looked over to the stage where Sam was drumming away, his serious drumming face on. “Yeah, we are.”
“That’s cool.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
He let his dimples show while he smiled genuinely. “Yeah, but she’s waiting for me back in Minnesota. I, uh, miss her.”
“Aw, that’s so sweet. I never have the chance to miss Sam, I’m always with him.”
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said with a nod, heading back towards Nick and making sure his own Taylor was in tune. Charlie loved finishing off the set with ‘Give a Damn’ because it made everyone go wild and sing along.
When the guys were finished, they headed off backstage all sweaty and pumped from the show. I high-fived them all and told them they did a great job, but when Sam got off, he wasn’t pumped. He was quiet and had a stern stare on his face. I tried to kiss him, but he pushed me away and started walking. I grabbed his arm and turned him around to face me. “Um, okay. What the hell was that?” I demanded.
He didn’t say anything. I shook my head. “Seriously, what’s wrong?”
“We’ll talk about it later.” He said quietly, keeping his head down.
“No, let’s talk about it now.”
“I said we’d talk about it later, Brooke. I have to go to the merch tent.” He said firmly as he walked away. I just stared at the space where he just was in awe. What the hell happened? “You okay?” Nick asked right before he went up to play.
“Yeah… super.” But I don’t think he was convinced.

I headed over to the merch tent and saw the boys signing autographs and taking pictures and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly jealous. Sam was putting his arm around other girls and talking to them, not looking uncomfortable because they were other girls but because he still wasn’t happy. I could see it in his face. His smiles weren’t real and probably no one else could notice, but I saw it. Kendall walked over to where I was and saw me staring at him. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Really? Sure seems like something.”
“Nope, I’m fine. Let’s just go finish listening to Nick and Matt so we can be done here. I want to leave this place.”
So we listened to them sing with their angelic brotherly voices and we helped tear down. When I was putting the wires back in their rightful places, Matt came up beside me to help. “Why aren’t you at the tent?” I asked.
“We want to get out of here, so Nick’s just doing it today. He doesn’t mind.”
Nick came back with another coffee for me about a half hour later when we were loading our stuff up in the van. “Thanks Nick, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“No problem.”
“Is everyone ready?” Brian called from the top of the stage. “We’re heading to California!”
We all cheered and I saw Sam coming back from the van. He looked a little less tense than before but he still wasn’t being his usual charming self. “Let’s go.” He said stiffly. Everyone else packed up and waved to us as they left the parking lot. He grabbed my hand and dragged me along with him to the Impala. He opened the trunk and stood there, staring at nothing. I went to the trunk to meet him. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I said. “Seriously, what’s with the cold shoulder? What did I do?”
He roughly pulled down my waistband to show my tattoo. “This.”
“What about it?”
“You let him see it.” He said this like it hurt him, with his eyes down and a shake in his voice. I couldn’t tell if it was anger or sadness.
“Seriously? You’re mad about that? It was an accident. I was hot so I took of my shirt and my tank went up a little too much.”
“Oh, I saw the strip show. Very classy.”
“Sam, I wasn’t stripping. I was hot.”
Now I could tell he was mad. He practically exploded. “You had to wear those low fucking jeans and take off your fucking shirt so he could see it. I am the only one allowed to see that. Me.”
“I know, but I’m telling you it was an accident. God, Sam, you need to calm the hell down.”
It was sharp, it was loud, and it was quick. I reeled back on my heels a little bit, stumbling backwards and finding my balance my holding onto the back of the car. “Don’t you ever tell me to fucking calm down again.” He spat. I just stood there, put in my place, frozen. My hand instinctively went to the site where it stung the most. My cheek burned and throbbed.
Sam slammed the trunk down and let out a deep breath. It must have been the longest breath ever. He realized what he had done, because when he spoke, his voice was calmer, but he didn’t look at me. “Shit! Brooke, I’m sorry.”
I stood there as he kicked around some rocks beneath his feet. “Did you hear me? I’m sorry.”
But I wasn’t having it. I walked away.
“Brooke. Get back here. Please.”
“No!” I yelled, running across the parking lot to a group of trees. He came sprinting to me; he wasn’t even mad anymore. My face had released all the anger he had. “Babe, come here.”
I clenched my jaw and stared at him. He tried to pull me into a hug but I pushed him away. “Don’t touch me,” I held my hands up like a barrier. “Don’t. Touch me.”
He ran his hands over his face, frantically. “Baby, Brooke… I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean-“
“Just… give me like five minutes, okay? Go back to the car. Give me five minutes.” I said sharply. “Please…” I wasn’t going to cry. I was not. going. to cry.
I knew he didn’t want to, but he backed off and walked back to the car, stopping to kick the ground furiously. “Fuck!” I hear him yell in the distance.
I stood there trying to gather what just happened.
Did Sam just…?
Yeah, he did.
Sam just hit me.
Sam got mad at me, I told him to calm down, and he… hit me.
I couldn’t even believe it.
And I didn’t quite know how to get back in that car, but I did. I walked to the Impala, opened the door and slid in; slamming it in the process. I pressed myself against the window so I could be far away from him. I just needed time to think. “Brooke…” he said softly.
“Sam, I honestly can say I don’t want to talk to you right now. So… just… drive.” I took my iPod from my pocket and put in my headphones. Ironically, the first song that came on was ‘Face Down’ by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I quickly pressed next and settled onto some Boys Like Girls. ‘Learning to Fall’ fit my mood, which didn’t even have a name. Was I upset? Was I angry? Was I sad because he just hit me? No, I was just… confused. Like, what the hell just happened? I never thought Sam would ever hurt me, because it just wasn’t like him. Even though he got mad sometimes, he was always gentle with me.
Maybe I was dreaming. Maybe I was going to wake up tomorrow and realize that I was right and Sam wouldn’t ever hurt me.  But as we approached California and Sam tapped my shoulder, I figured that I wasn’t dreaming. This was all real. “I’m stopping at In-N-Out.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said.
“Hun, you need to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said again.
He shook his head and sighed. “Fine,” while he rolled up to the drive through and ordered something. I put my headphones in and continued listening to music. When I did get hungry, I took off my earbuds and looked in my bag for some snacks. Sam just gestured to the bag in his hands. “It’s a little cold… but it’s still food.”

Finally, when we got to the motel, the guys were all sitting outside in lawn chairs drinking soda. “Hey guys!” they said. I got out of the car swiftly, slamming the door behind me and went in quietly, only asking Nick where me and Sam’s room was. “Number twenty three,” he said. “Brooke,” he caught my arm before I could leave. “What happened to your face?”
My face. I hadn’t even checked to see what my face even looked like. I only knew that my cheek felt a little puffy. I smiled lightly at him, “I took a face plant when I got into the car,” I said. “I’m always tripping over everything all the time.”
I didn’t let him respond. I just headed to room twenty three and went to the bathroom to see the damage. There was a strip of purplish grey along my left jaw and cheek. It could pass as a fall, but I knew both Sam and I had to get our stories straight. The last thing I needed was for Brian to burst in and say, ‘I told you he was no good for you.’ And then laugh in my face. I mean, I’m sure it was an accident.
I changed into my pajamas and slid into bed, turning on the tv. Sam came in with a peace offering, a bag of crushed ice in his hand. He handed it to me and sat at the edge of the bed quietly, only turning around to look at me. “Brooke.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean-“
I cut him off these words again. “I’m fine.”
“You don’t sound fine.”
“Well I am.”
“At least let me see it.”
I showed him my chin and then snapped it away. “There. You saw.”
“Brooke. Look at me.” I bit my cheek and was tempted to look, but I didn’t. “Please,” he practically whispered. “Please, just look at me…”
I gave in and looked into his eyes and he crawled on the bed over to me. He gently examined my face and let out a whimper. “Fuck, I can’t believe… you have to know. Babe, I would never hurt you on purpose. I just… got so mad. I don’t know what happened. Please, please forgive me.”
I thought about this for a second. “Before I do,” I said, knowing that I would have to forgive him because I just loved him so much. And I knew he loved me too. This was a one-time thing and it wouldn’t happen again. I knew he was sorry, I could feel it. Every movement he made said so. The way his voice was soft, the way he caressed my cheek, the way he was beating himself up about this. “I just have to know why.”
“Why what? Anything.”
“Why you automatically assume I’m trying to do stuff to piss you off and cheat on you. I mean, I was honestly just really hot and needed to take my shirt off. I didn’t plan on Matt seeing it. He’s like my brother. I have no interest in him whatsoever. He thinks we’re cute. He misses his girlfriend.” I said.
“Girlfriend?” he gulped. Now he really felt like an asshole. And he should.
“Yes, his girlfriend.” I looked at him firmly, “So why?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Fine.” I reached over the bed and turned off the overhead light and crawled onto my side. I got under the covers and turned away from him, so I was facing the wall. Sam shifted at the edge of the bed and turned the tv off so it was just us and the dark. Who knew when Kendall and Brian were going to roll into bed? I heard him get up and go outside and he came in a few minutes later and got into his sweats. The toilet flushed, the sink sputtered, and the bed wobbled when he entered the bed.
I knew he didn’t want to upset me even more by talking to me, but he couldn’t resist. “Are you awake?” he whispered.
I didn’t want to answer him, because I knew I could just pretend to be asleep while he thought and thought about what he did. “Yes,”
He rolled from his back to his side to me, but since I was rolled over too, he was talking to my back. I felt little circle patterns against my spine; little kisses along my shoulder blades. But, I wasn’t awake for long, because the silent kisses made me fall asleep very quickly.

When I did wake up, it was because Brian was pulling me out of bed. It was still dark in the room, but I could hear Kendall attempting to open the shades. “Nooo.” I protested, holding onto my pillow for dear life. When that didn’t work, I reached to the next nearest object that could keep me in bed; Sam. But he wasn’t there. “What the hell.” I exclaimed. I faced upwards at him. “Look, I’m up.” I said.
“Let’s go Brooke; we’ve got to get on the road. We’re playing at three and we have a three hour drive. Plus, that fall left a nasty bruise on your face. You look hideous.”
 “Thanks. Okay. I don’t care. I’m up. I’ll be ready in five. Now get the hell out.”
I got up and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth, combed my hair, threw it in a pony, and attempted to cover up the bruise that was on my face. But it hurt. And it was sore. By the time I was finished, you could only see a little bit of it, but I thought I did a good job of concealing it. I grabbed my duffle and met everyone outside where they were sitting on top of the van. “Hey sleepyhead!” they all waved.
I laughed. “You guys are hilarious. Hi.”
“Is everyone ready then?” Brian asked. We all nodded and headed towards our perspective cars. Sam was quiet. I got in and we kind of sat there for a minute. “Um,” he spoke up, though it was quiet. “I got you your coffee this morning,” he nodded towards the large cup of joe in the cup holder.
“Are you still mad at me?”
“Honestly? I’m over it. I don’t want to think about it anymore or talk about it anymore. Your just gonna have to promise me that you’ll back off about the whole Nick and Matt thing. And stop being so damn jealous; you are the one for me.”
 He nodded his head and bit his lip. “I promise. Nick and Matt are just your friends. I am the one for you.”
“Exactly.” I actually gave in and smiled smally. “So, can we just kind of forget this happened?”
He leaned over to kiss me, making his eyes scrunch up in a smile. “Yep. Forgotten. I love you.”
“Love you too, now let’s go to California!”
I tried to just push the way his face was so angry and scary when he hit me. I just imagined my Sam, the one who was jealous and it was cute; the one who just wanted me; the one whose kisses still made me swoon. That’s the Sam I wanted all the time.
By the time we had the windows of the impala all the way down; air conditioner on high, my thoughts on the day before were gone with the breeze with the wind in my hair.

                        *                                  *                                  *

“I heard you got into some trouble yesterday.” Matt said as we were walking toward the merch tent after the successful show.
“What? I didn’t get into trouble.”
“Really? Your boy wasn’t pissed that I saw your little tattoo?” he eyed me and my face suspiciously.
“Well… a little bit.”
“You shouldn’t let him get like that. We both know nothing was going on.”
“But he didn’t.”
“He doesn’t trust you?”
I thought about this for a second. “Apparently not.”
He frowned at me, “Well he should. You’ve never done anything wrong, right?” I shook my head. “Then he just over reacted. Don’t worry about it.”
“Okay, thanks Matt.”
“No problem!” he hugged me sideways as we reached the tent. “Babe!” Sam called, waving me over. I ran up to him and kissed him once. He was surrounded by a group of girls that were taking pictures with the band. Now I knew we were back to normal; he was uncomfortable. I felt the girls look at each other and asked themselves ‘babe? Why babe? Who’s she? Why is she kissing him? Grr.’ “Hey,” I replied.
“Um, Brooke, this is Danielle, Sarah, and Liv.” He said to them. “Ladies, this is my girlfriend Brooke.”
I smiled triumphantly and responded, “Hey, nice to meet you. Are you from around here?”
“Yeah… we live just outside of town…”
“Yeah. We, uh, really liked your cover of ‘I will follow you into the dark’.” The girl named Liv said. “It was cute, especially because you made it more upbeat. You can sure sing,” she batted her eyelashes at Sam. But, I wasn’t going to get jealous because he put his arm around me and kissed my cheek. “That song’s actually ours,” he looked at me.
“Oh.” Liv said. I guess she didn’t like it anymore.
“Well, ladies, it was lovely to meet you all, but we’ve got to hit the road soon.” Brian cut in. They hugged the rest of the band and high-fived Sam because he only had one free hand. Ha.

After that, we packed up quickly and were on the road again. “So, is it weird to say that I miss being alone with you?” Sam asked.
“Only because you want to make out.” I pointed out,
“Well…yes, that is true. But I still do miss it.”
“Hey, we get to share a bed every night, it’s the same.”
“Except Brian and Kendall sleep next to us.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well, we’re alone now.”
“Oh sure, let me just pull over on the highway.”
I laughed and turned up the music. “We can bribe Kendall and Bri to go out later.” I kissed his cheek and started dancing to the music. Sam grabbed my hand and we went off to San Francisco.

                        *                                  *                                  *

            It was two weeks since our little “issue” and my bruise was gone and it was our last week with everyone. We were heading back home on the tour, so we were in Nebraska and heading up towards Nick and Matt’s town of St.Paul to do a show in three days. Matt was really excited about it because he finally got to see his girlfriend. He showed me a picture, and she was really cute. She and Matt really looked like the cutest couple. She had long sandy brown and her name was Charlotte. He had told me all about her when I asked, and I told Sam all about her too, to make him not so jealous of Matt and my friendship.
And to add to the good times, we finally got some alone time. We hung out on our bed while Brian and Kendall went out for dinner with Nick and Matt. Charlie and the boys opted out and when they asked us if we wanted to go to a show for one of Charlie’s Irish friends, we still said no. After that, everyone figured we wanted to have some time to ourselves, so they left us alone for the night.
Eventually though one thing led to another and I was without a shirt, and so was he, revealing his tattoo. I traced my fingers along it gently, making him shiver. “I want a tattoo.” I said, matter-of-factly. Sam straightened up. “Seriously?”
“Because I can just keep drawing fake one’s for you.”
I laughed at him. “Nope, I want a real one.”
“Yes! Why don’t you believe me?”
“Because you got green when I got mine.”
“You’ll be there; I’ll be fine.”
“Belly button piercing is another option.” He leaned down and kissed my belly button, tickling me down and continuing. His lips were heading south, but he knew when to stop. My shorts were still on, so he just tried to graze his lips along the tattoo he gave me. This tattoo said, ‘Perfect’ on it.
I slapped his face and he dramatically acted as if I had had taken him down, but only so I could crawl on top of him and return the belly button kissing favor. It was a weird thing about him. He had this weird thing for bellies. I thought it was quirky, other people (SARAH) would think it was weird. This was why hooking up is done in private. “I’m not getting a belly button piercing. Get over it.”
“Not even a little tattoo there?” he grabbed a pen from the side table and drew in fancy tattoo cursive underneath my belly button that said ‘Cute’. I giggled and collapsed next to him.
“No way.”
“Where then?”
“You think it’ll be cute?” I asked. He looked at me puzzled, like I just asked a stupid question.
“Anything on you would be cute.” He kissed the inside of my wrist and smiled. Then I fell asleep next to him until it was morning.

After we were dressed and went to Denny’s with everyone, Sam announced. “Brooke is getting a tattoo!” and almost everyone cheered. Except Brian. He didn’t look too happy. The Debate was ecstatic, and Nick looked as innocent as always. Matt rolled his eyes and said, “It’s illegal right? Because you’re seventeen?”
He sighed. “I know a guy that will do it for you.”
“I have an i.d. anyways; otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get into half the clubs.”
“But where?”
“Home; I got mine when I was sixteen and so did Nick.”
“Wait- Nick has a tattoo?”
Nick smiled and let his dimples shine. He looked at Sam, to make sure it wasn’t inappropriate that he was going to show me. Sam okayed it and he brought the collar of his shirt down to reveal a left peck tattoo that had ‘blessed’ on it. Matt had one on his bicep that wrapped around. I never expected them to have tattoos. Ever. Especially Nick.
“Wow, now I feel out of the club.”
“We all have tattoos.” Charlie said.
“Me too,” Kendall agreed. I knew she had one at the back of her neck (which you could never see unless she wore her hair up).that was a little heart and her name. She was dared by her friends to do it when she was drunk and she did.
“Alright, well then I’m going to get one.”
“Brooke…” Brian had to add his two cents. “I really don’t think getting a tattoo is a smart idea.”
“Come on Brian…”
“No, Brooke.”
I was getting a little mad at him. Why did he think he could boss me around? I didn’t like when Sam did it. “It’s a good thing I’m not smart then isn’t it?” I snapped. Immediately I regretted it. “Sorry.”
He held his hands up. “No. You’re right. If you want to get tattooed illegally, be my guest.”
Sam tightened his grasp around me and whispered, “You okay?” Into my ear. I turned to kiss his cheek and whispered “Yes,” into his. He kissed me back and everyone gagged and threw napkins at us. “Gross!” They teased. We just laughed at each other and finished up eating.
Today was our day off, so we decided to go to the beach.
We arrived at the Lewis and Clark beach place and found a spot next to the volleyball net. Sam sat down on our beach blanket and took off his shirt. He revealed his perfect tattoo. I whistled. “Damn, you lookin’ fiiiine.” He patted the blanket and I sat beside him. He put his arm around me and kissed my hair. “You smell pretty,” he said.
He kissed it again and let his fingers wander down my back to the bottom of my shirt to tug up. I was getting hot, so I took his tug as a sign that it was bikini time. I yanked my shirt over my head and threw it with my stuff. “I’ll race you to the water!” I kicked off my shorts quickly and darted through the sand and into the cool Nebraska lake. Sam raced after me and beat me into the water, diving in and getting his floppy hair all wet. He looked very cute. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he kissed me. Everyone else joined in the water but did the same gagging thing as earlier. “Jesus, stop with Public Displays of Nausea.” Charlie rolled his eyes. Nick and Matt dove in and now I really saw their tattoos in the sun. All my boys were getting stared at by the girls around. I did happen to roll with a very good-looking boy crowd. Kendall was equally as popular with the guys, and so was I, but they were probably turned off by the fact that Sam’s tongue was in my mouth the entire time.
We played beach games, went swimming and had an overall great day. I missed the beach, and I thought it was sad that this was the first time this year I had gone swimming. We all ate ice cream, and by the time the day was done, we were tan and tired.
                        *                                  *                                  *

“Why are you videotaping this?” I asked Nick as he got an up close of my face before I got my tattoo. I was clutching Sam’s right hand for dear life. “Babe. Let go, he hasn’t even started.”
Nick was laughing and filmed himself for a second. “Everyone, this is Brooke, getting her first tattoo.”
I rolled my eyes and narrowed them at the camera. “You hate me.”
“Hate and love are equally as powerful.”
“Shut up.”
“Ready?” The guy asked. I nodded, even though I wasn’t so sure. The place was legit, and the guy was really nice. Matt had signed my mom’s name on the paper even though the guy was the same one who did Nick and Matt’s tattoo.
The needle didn’t actually hurt as bad as I thought it would. It was like a four on the pain scale out of ten. It was seeing the needle indented into my skin that scared me more. I thought Sam’s hand was going to pop off when he said, “Hun, you’re not having a baby. Can you please stop breaking my hand?”
I relaxed. “Sorry.”
The man finished in about fifteen minutes and when it was over, Sam handed me my coffee. Nick was laughing hysterically and Matt was sitting in the sidelines just watching. I gulped down the large iced mocha and wrapped my arms around Sam’s neck, kissing him hard on the mouth. “Thank you for being here.”
“You can thank me… by getting your bellybutton pierced!” he smiled.
“Or other things,” I countered quickly.
“Other things work too.” He raised his eyebrows like he was saying ‘oohlala’ and kissed me again. Nick put the camera back on himself and said, “There you have it. Brooke Zamrock just got her first tattoo.”
Sam kissed my cheek and gave a ‘woo’ to the camera, and then… it was done.


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