Authors: Julia Kent
Tags: #BBW Romance, #Coming of Age, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Fiction, #General, #Genre Fiction, #Humorous, #Literature & Fiction, #New Adult, #New Adult & College, #Romance, #Romantic Comedy, #Women's Fiction
Randomly Ever After: Sam and Amy
y Julia Kent
Copyright © 201
by Julia Kent
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
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This story is not meant to be read as a standalone. It follows the characters in the Random series -- in particular, Sam and Amy from the book
Random Acts of Trust
. In terms of the timeline, the events in
Randomly Ever After
take place about eighteen months after Sam and Amy got together. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
Keying in to the building where I now lived was still a novel experience. Moving in to share a bedroom with Sam, and an entire apartment with him and Trevor, still felt surreal. Sam and I had been together for
about eighteen months now
, and it made sense to take this step, but even a month after living together it felt...unreal.
Sam was doing laundry and I’d just finished classes for the day, ready to come home, shower, and head out to his big gig tonight. Now that Liam and Charlotte were back together, the band felt complete. Settled. Stronger than ever, and a big-city tour was on the horizon.
“Which key opens the mailbox again?” I mumbled to myself in the building’s foyer, finally getting it right on the second try. A bunch of junk mail, some letters with Harvard logos all over them (for Trevor, I assumed), some bills with Sam’s name on them, and—
A letter from my university. For
I raced to the apartment and flung everything but the letter onto the ground, kicking the door closed.
Did they accept me? Reject me? Oh, God, what if I opened it and I didn’t get in? Should I open this alone, or wait until Sam got home?
My hands shook as I opened the thin envelope, the yellow
forwarding sticker like a gut punch. I’d wondered why so
of my classmates in grad school in my library science program already heard back, and I hadn’t. I’d figured I was on a waiting list.
Instead, my move
from my tiny apartment into Sam and Trevor’s place
had delayed learning about my future.
Sam’s words from last year rang through my head a hundred times a day:
You’ll make a damn fine librarian, but you’d make an even better
I’d started my grad school program hoping that someday I might find my way to law school, back to the passion I’d held before I thought I’d ruined everything by beating Sam in the big debate our senior year of high school.
This past year I’d taken some law courses that counted toward my library science degree, and...
was right here in front of me in the form of fine linen paper that felt like a knife as I slid my fingernail in the envelope’s corner, opening up my future.
If they accepted me into the dual program, I’d need two more years to finish both my master’s in library science and law school. I’d be a JD, just like Trevor and Joe, though the school I’d applied to wasn’t Ivy League. That was fine—it was more affordable, less competitive, and I could take classes while finishing my library credentials.
The win that
haunted me from my senior year of high school was just one event in my past now, no longer the millstone around my neck, a weight of regret gone
Sam and I were back together.
One niggling th
thrummed through me as I slid the tri-folded sheet out of its casing and slowly, achingly opened it.
Why hadn’t I told Sam?
Hot tears filled my eyes as I sped through the words on the page, the only words I needed to read coming through loud and clear right from the start:
Dear Ms. Smithson,
We are pleased to inform you—
My breath caught in my throat. The words looped through my mind a thousand times in one agonizingly slow second.
We are pleased.
The door creaked open and a flash of auburn hair poked through the crack, followed by the distinct body of my love, my life, the reason I could breathe.
He carried a plastic
laundry tub with freshly-folded, clean clothes
, head bent down as he dropped the
next to the door and fumbled with a backpack. Gnarled hands flexed, broken bones mended but sore as they always would be.
“Hey! You’re home!” he said with a breathless quality I imagined I could easily match, if I could talk.
I looked up from the paper and just stared at him, transfixed.
We are pleased.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, alarmed and at my side in a rush of kinetic motion, towering over me and his warm, tender embrace so fast it crushed the piece of paper—the Golden Ticket—that righted so many wrongs.
That I was in Sam’s arms at this very moment was karmic. Pure. A perfect ending to a subject that, it turned out, needed more closure than I realized.
But I had a problem.
Why are you crying?” he murmured in my ear, his voice an amalgam of four and a half years of pain, a year and a half of joy, and my answer, I knew, would be infused with redemption. It had to be. Six years ago I thought my winning the debate against him had been my downfall, and I’d internalized my loss of Sam into some kind of fear of exerting my own power.
he past year and a half with him had proven how wrong that was, but I couldn’t shake it. Trauma plants seeds deep in the soul, and when those seeds grow and the leaves find sunlight, digging out the roots to kill off the plants forever seems like a never-ending job.
I hadn’t told him I was applying to law school. It had been my little secret, one I nurtured and enjoyed in a strange sort of way,
something that was mine.
mine. No one else, not even Sam, knew what I’d done.
And now it was time to share.
Pulling out of his embrace, I did what seemed most forthright. “Here,” I said simply, handing him the letter.
Frowning, he took it from me, those green eyes filled with worry and confusion. His hands grasped the thick paper, eyes scanning fast, the knot of his brow shifting as his eyes widened with surprise, then the skin underneath lifting as he smiled.
The moment he looked at me I knew.
I knew, deep to my core, that Sam loved me. Me. The real me, power and all.
“You—wow, Amy—congratulations! You’re doing it! You’re really doing it!”
Sam didn’t just hug me—he grabbed me full force, as if pressing his love into my skin, cell by cell. He smelled so delicious, the mingling of his warm, loving grasp with his breath and his excitement making me smile.
I laughed through tears. “I didn’t want to say anything because what if they didn’t accept me? I took the LSAT tests and then—”
My words were cut off
y the most tender kiss, Sam’s arms winding around me like a cocoon, his cheek against mine, the world blocked out by each sigh, the sweep of his tongue so achingly sweet. I had to look up to reach him, and he bent down to connect with me. The taste of victory in me wasn’t from the paper he still held in his hand, but from the loving lips that explored me. Congratulated me.
“You don’t have to explain,” he said in a low voice, need rising up between us in more ways than one. “All that matters is that you made a decision, you worked your ass off, and all that hard work paid off.” He handed me the letter, his face split into a wide grin, eyes caring and admiring.
I let out a puff of air.
I’d been holding my breath without realizing it. “Yes, I did.
I mean, it’s not Penn or Harvard, but—
He made a face. “Don’t do that. Who cares if it isn’t those schools? It’s your school. And you’ll graduate with two degrees to their one!” He laughed without restraint, the sound vibrating through me, giving me heat and light and love.
“It’s more than that, I know,” he added, his hands holding my elbows now, one thumb tracing a lazy path along the soft skin inside the crook of my arm.
“You needed to right the wrong.”
My mouth went dry just as every pore on my body began to tingle. Yes.
—how did he understand me so well?
We’d been through four and a half years of misunderstandings. Through Sam’s horrific beating at the hands of his father. Through his mother’s ambivalence and complicity. Through my brother’s arrest, my mother’s denial, and through my smartphone getting lodged in my—
hadn’t been through that, but you get the point.
We’d been to the island of Eden, where I watched human beings play water sports (not
kind) naked on a beach wearing animal masks. Then I watched people wearing animal costumes having sex—in public, and in character. I’d finished a year of grueling grad school. We’d watched Trevor rescue a live chicken from being eaten by a snake on stage, and
Liam’s sex doll get ravaged by a horny snake.
If we could get through all that, surely we were meant to be together, right?
But in many ways, this moment—this very second, as I
Sam’s pupils dilate, watched the skin around his eyes move with mirth and appreciation, felt his fingers possess me without hurry, without rush, with a steady certainty that said we were together—
was a watershed
. Forever. This was it.
As I experienced that deep sense of calm, of a world tilted on its axis and made right again, centered and balanced, I reached for him through that sense of ageless knowing and said the only words that ever mattered.
“I love you so much.”
He stepped into me again,
eyes combing over me, studying me. A flush began right over my heart, warming my chest, my breasts, spreading down like wildfire.
“Now I have something in common with Darla,” he whispered, his fingers tracing lines along my lips.
“Darla?” I laughed, the sound like a happy sigh.
His arms snaked around my waist and he pulled me in, hard.
ur hearts slammed against each other, separated by bone and skin, but only divided by the laws of biology, for otherwise they, too would have embraced.
“We’re both sleeping with future lawyers,” he said against my earlobe, his warm mouth sucking on my soft skin, making me forget what we were talking about.
And I have something in common with her, too,” I gasped as his mouth continued working wonders.
“We’re both fucking rock stars.”
“No, you’re not,” he whispered.
He took my hand and walked toward our bedroom. “Not
.” And with an evil grin, he pulled me onto the bed.
“You have a concert in an hour!” I squealed as he pulled at my belt.
“An hour is more than enough time.” He stopped, face serious suddenly. Bending down to kiss me, he touched his
pants pocket, furrowed his brow, then gave a slight shake of his head.
“Nothing.” He gave me a nervous smile.
“It’s just...I was wrong. An hour isn’t enough time.”
I laughed, pulling on
belt now. “How much time do you need?”
Well,” I said, gasping as his mouth found my neck, sucking a path to my ear, “we have twenty minutes.”
“That will have to do.” His hands reached under the thin fabric of my shirt and under the thick silk-wrapped wire of my bra, palms filling with my abundance, thumbs on nipples that—
“Take it off,” I begged, already wet and eager, so excited by my triumph that making love with Sam felt like a victory lap.
ith whip-fast reflexes, he unhooked my bra and slipped it, and my shirt, off over my head, the quick chill of the room making me flush with need. I was cold, I was hot, I was rippled with desire, I was everything I wanted to be in this singular moment with him.