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Zapruder and Carrot Cake
By Ruby

Part Five


Waking up with a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach, Sam rolled over, Saturday had arrived. Glancing at her clock, she shot up suddenly as she realized she had exactly 31 minutes and 17 seconds before she had to meet her doom and somewhat surprisingly, she wanted to look nice for the occasion.

Hitting the bathroom and locking the doors just as Brooke turned a handle, she turned on the shower and stuck her head under the spray until the yelling stopped. Not having the luxury of time to linger, she gave her wardrobe a cursory glance before deciding on an outfit she'd once worn to the coffee shop, she remembered it because she had accidentally caught a look in the cheerleader's eyes that had sent shivers down her spine.

Shaking her head she decide that was not a good reason to wear something. Thought practically that a shirt that color would hide any blood stains she might pick up over the course of the day and put it on anyway. Donning a pair of black jeans and boots, she regarded herself in the mirror and decided she looked hot, which was wrong because this wasn't a date. Watching her tongue play with the inside of her cheek she mentally reviewed her wardrobe, nothing else sprang to mind and she didn't have time to change anyway.

Slipping out of the house, she walked as fast as she could to the appointed meeting place and arrived just as the blond pulled up. Nicole grinned, she hadn't been sure what she was going to do if Sam hadn't turned up. "You mean my threats of retribution didn't scare you away?" she asked as the door opened and Sam got in, noticing the eyes in front of her darken as Nicole took in the outfit.

The reporter grinned back, "You're all bark and no bite..." she frowned before continuing, "besides, you had to take it".

Nicole, who had just started to drive off, put her foot hard on the brake, making Sam glad she'd put on her belt. "If you're here through some warped sense of martyrdom, you can get out now".

Sam looked confused, "No I, I'm here because I want to be, I just... I didn't things would work out that way".

"People see what they want to see Sammy... and after all the years I've tormented them you can hardly blame them".

"I thought I could convince you to get rid of Satan, that's not going to work, huh?"

Nicole grinned unpleasantly, "not today, that's for sure".

"So, what are we doing?" Sam asked, the feeling of dread returning to the pit of her stomach.

Nicole glanced in the mirror, "Well we have an appointment for facials and manicures and then we're going clothes shopping. I have to be the presentable daughter at a gala mother's hosting, so I need the perfect dress. That shouldn't take more than about 4 hours, we can have a late lunch and then..." she smirked at the expression that had already appeared on Sam's face, "we can do something about your deplorable lack of dress sense!"

Sam groaned, "Can't you just kill me now? Do you have to torture me first?"

"Hey, I've a lot of pent up bitchiness that has to be released somewhere".

"Ok, stop the car..."

"Too late, you had your chance... now you're mine!"

Sam tried to ignore the feeling that coursed through her at those words and focused on words like 'manicure' and 'clothes shopping' instead, the scowl returned and Nicole laughed.

It took a while for Sam to realize that they weren't heading for any mall she knew and were in fact heading around the coast. Confused, she glanced at Nic who grinned but didn't say anything, pulling up a while later at what looked like a series of expensive boutiques. "Well come on..." Nicole said as she reached the door, turned and found Sam still standing by the car. "Don't worry I lied about the facial and the manicure" she sighed, folding her arms.

"What about the clothes shopping?" Sam asked suspiciously.

"Ah well, that you don't get out of... but I promise it won't take 4 hours, I just have an errand to run first".

Dragging along behind she saw Nicole enter a shop and heard an assistant greet her by name, looking around she saw some of the most exquisite jewelry she had ever seen. "Hello Antoine, I need these earrings looking at, the stone's a little lose in the left..." Sam wandered from display case to display case until she came to one that caught her eye. "Ready to go?" Nicole asked coming up behind her a few minutes later, she pulled herself away from the case reluctantly and nodded.

Moving on to the next shop Sam stopped and looked around, "Er Nic, I don't think you're going to find anything for a gala in here".

Nicole grinned. Moving purposefully, the cheerleader examined several hangers before picking one and giving it to Sam. "Go try this on".


"Remind me again what the bet was?"

Sam grumbled under her breath and went to change. Surprised to find that, not only did it fit, but that she looked good in it. Frowning slightly she heard a voice say, "Well, does it fit?"

"Yes, but..."

"Good, then put these on as well", more hangers appeared and she dutifully took the items. Finally chancing to come out she saw Nicole smirking, "see, not too painful, was it".

Sam, resplendent in a new bikini covered by shorts and a t-shirt, looked puzzled, "This is the clothes shopping you had in mind?"

"Unless you want to go to the beach in jeans" Nicole replied handing her a pair of sandals.

"I could have brought these with me".

"But then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of torturing you for the last two hours. Come on". Struck by that thought, it wasn't until she was outside again that Sam realized she hadn't paid. Voicing her concern, Nicole told her that she had an account and having lost the verbal scuffle that ensued when the cheerleader yet again played the 'What was the bet?' card, Sam huffed and got into the car.

Her mood lightened when they reached the beach a few minutes later and helping Nicole with a bag from the trunk, they set off across the as yet uncrowded sand. Putting the bag down and looking out across the ocean she heard her companion say, "Sam can you put...", turned, and when conscious thought returned, prayed her mouth was shut. The blond was waving a bottle of sunscreen in front of her face, at least she assumed that was what it was, being more taken by the bikini Nic had obviously had under her clothes, or rather the body in the bikini, "Sam?"

"um, sure" she said taking the bottle and swiftly applying it to Nicole's back.

"Do you want me to do yours?"

"No, fine thanks", she said sitting on the towel Nic had thoughtfully provided.

Nicole shrugged, lay down and closed her eyes, "So what articles are you doing when we've finished these? More dirt on the cheerleaders?"

"There's more, what haven't you told me?"

"Funny Sam, you know what I mean".

"Lily wants me to do a series on animal rights and..."

It had been, the brunette reflected several hours later, one of the most pleasant days she'd spent in recent memory. Having finally shaken off her fear of retribution, as well as her inhibitions as to how she looked in a bikini compared to Nic; she relaxed and began to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air and most importantly, the company. Nicole, far from being Satan, was charm personified, Sam almost believed she was flirting with her, then conceded that that must be wishful thinking. It was late afternoon and having eaten the picnic the blond had brought several hours ago, she decided that she fancied an ice cream. Getting up she asked Nicole if she wanted one.

"Sure" the blond said, handing her her shorts and T-shirt.

"Thanks, I'll be right back". Nicole looked after her, appreciating the view.

Wandering up the now crowded beach she spotted a man, unsuccessfully attempting to sell roses, impulsively she went over to him and bought one, before heading to get the ice creams.

Presenting her companion with the flower on her return, she noticed the look of shock on her face.

"Sam, it's beautiful" Nicole replied stunned, just stopping herself from getting up and kissing her.

Suddenly struck with the inappropriate nature of her gesture, Sam mumbled something unintelligible, blushed and tried to hand her one of the cones. Nicole meanwhile, was putting the stem of the rose into her mostly empty water bottle and balancing the bottle carefully on the sand so it didn't tip over. "Sorry" she said looking up and taking the ice cream from the outstretched hand.

"No problem" the brunette said, sitting down and looking out over the ocean, mentally kicking herself.

After half an hour of trying unsuccessfully to get Sam back into her former good mood, Nicole gave up and said they'd better be heading back as she had to pick up her earrings.

Having made the detour back to the boutique, they drove home in near silence, Sam only breaking it when the car pulled up a few streets from the palace. "I had a great day today, thank you".

Nicole smiled, "So did I... thank you for the rose". She leaned over and kissed Sam on the cheek.

Part 6

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