Hey everyone!  Sorry for the delay of the release of this chapter!  I have just been so busy as of late!  Thank you all for your patience!  I will (hopefully) have the next chapter out within the week.


My sundays with Sam were surprisingly easy.  He was of course sarcastic and sometimes blunt.  He was always cocky and proud of himself but it always made me laugh.  I found an escape in those mornings that we had together and before I knew what was happening we were becoming the best of friends.  Besides James, I had never had many close friends.  Of course I knew many people and I was always polite, or tried to be anyways, but I never found that it was easy to make real friends.  I preferred the time alone with myself and the woods.  A paintbrush or a journal kept me company when I was alone and I grew to love the life I had.  Sam brought a whole new dimension.  He always brought me a new story to tell and one day I found myself drawing him in my sketches.  

"I look good!"  He laughed when I showed him. 

"Well I do try."  

Without a moment's notice he snatched the paper from my hand and ran farther up the hill grinning from ear to ear.

"Sam!"  I leap up and race over to where he stands.  He holds the paper high above his head and I silently curse the fact that he's so much taller.  "Give it back!"  

He pauses to think.  "Naw.  What would be the fun in that?"  

"Sam!  You're terrible!  I worked hard on that!"

"I know."  He says trying to be serious.  "But I've worked hard on something too and you're not giving me much credit."

I frown.  "What do you mean?"

"You know."  He says.  "All this time I've been flirting with you and you won't give me a kiss."  He winks.  "I'll only give you this back if you do me this one favor."

"Wha-"  He doesn't let me finish.  Before I can react I am pressed up against his chest and my lips are sealed shut.

"Please?"  He whispers in my ear.  

I stay silent and let him gently kiss my neck and then brush his lips across my cheek until they find mine.  I go limp in his embrace and feel the rough touch of paper in my hand.  I grasp onto my sketch but continue to stay where I am and to my surprise, I kiss him back.


When James came home that night all I could think about was Sam.  All day I had been getting these strange... images, I guess is the right word for them, in my head.  Sam's eyes were in almost every single one of them.  But the rest... the rest were filled with James', and so, instead of facing him by telling him what had been happening, I pretended to be contently asleep on the couch.  

He hung up his jacket and set the keys on the counter which sent a clanking sound into my ears.  Mumbling something to himself, I could just barely hear his footsteps as they made their way across the carpet.  Lifting my limp body, he took me into our bedroom and placed me under the covers.  
James kisses my forehead and whispers, "I'm really trying to be better.  I hope you forgive me now."  And then walks away.  

When I hear the water of the shower turn on I know its safe to move.  What was that all about?  More flashes of his face flood my brain, giving me a fierce headache.  I hold my head and groan.  This has to have something to do with the images. But they're just fictional right?  They can't be flashbacks.  Sam would have recognized me if I knew him before and James wouldn't be keeping a secret like this.  Right?  


The water turns off in the shower and I am forced to play the sleeping beauty again.  He climbs into bed next to me, the scent of him right out of the shower dragging me farther and farther into a deep sleep.


My morning begins to Bianca in the kitchen. The smell of sausage overwhelms my nose and so I pull on a robe and take my seat at the table.

"Good morning!"  She chirps.  "Did you sleep alright hon?"  

"Yeah."  I sound distracted so I ask her back.  "You?"

"Like a baby.  Do you have to go to work today?  I was thinking that if you didn't, I have the day off and we could take a trip to the lake."  She looks at me expectantly.

"Yeah.  Yeah, I think I can get today off.  I'll call Rick in a little while."

"Perfect.  Eat up and take a shower.  I have to run to the store but I'll be back in about a half an hour ok?"  She smiles and puts a plate of sausage and pancakes in front of me.  I begin eating as she grabs her purse and walks through the front door.  

"Bye!"  She yells before closing it and driving away in her car. 

I sigh.  I tell myself everything is ok.  And I take a shower.
When Bianca comes back home I've already packed us a picnic.  "Ready to go?"  

"Yes!"  She squeals and places the bags of new clothes on the counter.

When we arrive at the lake, I have almost completely forgotten about my run-in with Eliza.  Bianca and I swim for a while and then lay out to enjoy the summer sun.  My mind is completely at ease until I see them.
James and Eliza walk side by side, holding hands as they go.  Eliza is smiling her radiant smile.  I feel distracted by the moment until Bianca shakes my shoulder.  Everyone's eyes are on me. 

Both Bianca and James look like they've been hit by a train.  I have no idea why.  Eliza just stares at me in shock.  But she doesn't seem unhappy to see me.  The corners of her mouth shift upward into a smile but mine stay in a straight line.  The pieces all fall into place in my brain.  It doesn't make sense how they fit there, but for some reason I know that they can't be rearranged.  

I stand up, slowly and carefully.  My eyes stay locked on James. 

Without a second thought, my fist meets his face.

"What the hell was that for?!"

"You know darn right what that was for!"  I growl.

He punches me hard in the jaw.  I fight back, beating him hard.  Bianca and Eliza rush forward to separate us.  

"Calm down!"  Eliza yells.  She grabs James' shirt and drags him off of me.

Bianca is muttering to herself and fretting about my wounds.  But my eyes see only Eliza who staring at me with so much fear that my heart breaks.  

I look away.  "Bianca, we're going."


I drag her along.  

"We're going!"  I say forcefully.

"No!  I can't just leave them like this!"  She breaks away from me.

"Fine!  Then I'm going by myself!"

Eliza's sad eyes follow me.

I can't take this.  If what I think about Eliza is really really true... I've lost her.  I've lost her...

That same thought repeats through my mind as I leave Bianca and the others behind, not bothering to look back again.  A tear stains my cheek and my world falls from under me.
Please note, the rest of Grace's perspective will be told from when her and Sam first met and it will move forward until it reaches the point at which she shared her last kiss with Sam.  Hope you all enjoy!  

Waking up, I climb out of bed and race down the street and into Mason's, our local bakery.  "Good morning James!"  I smile and grab a blueberry muffin off the shelf before placing it at the checkout counter.  "How are you this morning?"  

"Good, and you Grace?"
"I got my own place last week."  My grin grows brighter.

"Well that explains why you didn't show up here.  You should have called, I could have helped you pack."
"I thought about it but I had it all taken care of.  Didn't want to bother you."

"You wouldn't have been bothering me Grace.  Next time you need help just call."  I look at him for a moment and then slip out of his gaze only to find the clock. 

"Oh! I've got to be heading out!  I'm going to miss the sunrise!  Visit sometime will you?  314 Hazel.  That's the address!  See you!"  I say popping the remainder of the muffin into my mouth and hopping out onto the sidewalk. 

With my hair curled up into a bun, I prance down the pathways and dance around the bases of the trees that line the way.  The fresh morning air fills my lungs giving me endless energy.  As I run, the land becomes an uphill slope and soon, I'm amongst a field of bright, yellowing grass, faded from the rays of the summer sun.  One lone tree stands in the center of the field, providing a gorgeous view of the roller coaster of valleys roaming in every direction.  I sit down, with my back turned to the tree's trunk just in time to catch the first rays of sunshine waking up.

My body slowly begins to relax and I close my eyes and take everything in.  A grunt from behind startles me.  I swing around to see a young man standing behind me.  A gasp leaps from my throat.
"Sorry."  He says with a smirk and a mocking tone.  "Did I frighten you?"

"Well, um," I stutter to get the words out.  "Uh, yeah.  Just... a bit."  

"What are you doing all the way up here so early?"

"I could ask you the same."

"I asked you first."

I sigh.  "Fine.  I'm watching the sunrise.  It's kind of a tradition.  You?"

He smiles.  "This is kinda my spot.  I come here too."  Like that wasn't obvious.

"But not on Sundays.  I've been going to this same spot since I was a kid.  I've never seen you before."

"I decided to change my day.  Which means, that you are going to have to change."  He explains by pointing his finger at me.

"Uh, no.  This is my spot."

He crinkles his nose as if to think and then replies matter-of-factly, "No, mine."

"No, mine."

"How about this, it's ours."

"Uh, no!"

"That's fine.  I'll just keep coming then.  But just so you know, I'll have to make life miserable for you."

I throw my hands up in the air.  "Whatever!  It's ours!"  Somehow I got the feeling he would make life with him much worse than it already was.

"That's more like it."  Smiling, he plops himself down on my side of the tree.

"You know if you're trying to be charming, your not really doing a great job at it."  He ignores me so I add,  "You never told me your name."

"You never told me yours."

"I asked first."

"Sam."  He responds proudly and then looks at me with waiting eyes.

I pause for a moment.  "Grace."  I finally say with an irritable edge.  "My name is Grace."

After planting a kiss on my lips James stands up.  "I've got to be heading to work."  He looks at me.  "Do you want me to drive you back to the house?"

"That's okay."  I reply.  "I'll walk.  It's just around the corner and it would be a nice change.  Thanks though."  

He smiles.  "Alright.  I'll see you later."  Letting go of my hand he walks down the hill before getting into his car and driving away.  After waving goodbye I walk over to the oak tree that stands alone on the hill.  My fingers run over two initials carved into the tree.  Funny, I think, I've never noticed this before.  They look so... familiar.  I laugh a little.  How could they look familiar?  Still though...  I trace my fingers around the outline of the letters.  Strange...

Needing to clear my head, I walk out the door and get into my car.  All I can think about is Grace.  This isn't fair!  To me or to Bianca.  Grace is never going to come back and Bianca shouldn't have to love someone who still is in love with someone else.  That thought drives me mad.  I am not in love with Grace anymore!  I'm... not... in... love...  It progressively grows quieter in my head until it's down to a whisper.  I'm not in love.  But not in love with which one is the question.

I drive the car around the curvy roads along the bases of the hills.  The scenery begins to clear my head a little so I continue on with not one thought to drive back.  There's only one place to go; Our place.

When I arrive, a woman stands upon the hill at our spot.  I walk over, not really caring.  I just need to be there.  I need to be the closest I can come to Grace.  As soon as I am near the woman turns around.  I almost jump back.  Her golden down hair is pulled to the side in a gentle braid and her lips are almost pale enough to match her skin tone.  None of this phases me.  It's when I see her eyes that I make a connection.  They're Grace's eyes.  

She glances at me nervously.  "Hello."  She speaks slowly and carefully as if ready to make an escape at any moment.  I don't blame her.  I would run from me too if it was the other way around.  "Hello."  She speaks again.  "Do I know you?"

I just stare.  "I... don't know."  She waits so I talk again, "I'm Sam by the way."

"Nice to meet you Sam."  She doesn't sound like its nice.

"What's your name?"

She hesitates.  "Eliza."  She says finally, scrutinizing my face.  Is there recognition there?  No!  I say firmly to myself.  

"So, Eliza, what are you doing up here?"  

"I come here sometimes in the mornings.  What about you?"

"Just coming to check on my tree."  I smile.  It's easier than I thought it would be to talk to her.  

She looks at me funny.  "Is that your initial on the tree?"  

Without even looking I reply, "Yeah.  My girlfriend and I used to come up here all the time.  We called it 'our spot'..."  My eyes drift into a haze as I remember.  I shake my head.  "Sorry.  I get kind of carried away when I think about her."

"That's alright.  I think it's sweet."  She smiles.  A crooked smile.  And all I can think about is Grace, even though I know it's not possible.  So much for clearing my head...