The Jock and the Geek(3)

By: Sidney Bristol

It was summer. Everyone took a little time off in the summer, right?

Samantha peered at her phone and bit her lip.

“Will you stop?” Lily swatted at her hand.

“I’m checking out the rankings.” Sam pushed her sister’s grasping fingers away. She didn’t expect Lily to get that this was a Big Deal. The dojos at the heart of DC were hotly contested for worldwide bragging rights. It wasn’t just about Sam—it was about the whole team.

Besides, it wasn’t like she had anything else to do. Getting sacked because her dad was now the Secretary of State royally sucked. About the only thing that had gotten her out of the house in the last six weeks was playing this game her older sister Rashae had gotten her hooked on. Sam was too busy walking around and meeting new people to get sad or depressed. She’d gotten a lead or two on a new job opportunities thanks to her addictive new hobby, but so far they hadn’t panned out into anything she was interested in.

“Stop it. People are going to start talking,” Lily muttered under her breath.

Sam knew it. She was well aware of how appearances could alter a vote, change a person’s options… The public responsibility to maintain appearances could be debilitating at times, which was why she’d always fiercely guarded her private life. Watching Rashae get torn apart for doing what she loved taught Sam that very important lesson. She had to keep something for herself.

“I’ll be back.” Sam slid her phone into the pocket of her gown.

Lily muttered something under her breath but let Sam go. Lily had taken the smart route and gone into law. Having dad promoted was a feather in her cap.

Rashae got some blow-back, but her world was so separated from politics that it didn’t matter to her. Sure, Dad’s people hated how people pointed at her and the costumes she made, but it didn’t really matter.

But for Sam? It was a career ender.

No one wanted to have the Secretary of State’s daughter as head of their PR department, for fear of appearing to be in the secretary’s pocket. It’d been one thing when dad was just a Senator. She could work for someone else in Congress and still be considered impartial. But not when her dad was the Secretary. Too many people were waiting to see what he would do and how he would handle the current political climate.

It was a hard job, but her dad was up to the challenge. She was proud of him and everything he’d accomplished. But it still sucked to be her. And it wasn’t as if he was unaware of the impact his choices had on his daughters. He’d told her first, before the others, about the opportunity. Even asked her permission. She’d known what this was going to do to her career, and yet, how could she say no?

They were living history.

Someday she’d look back on this with pride.

But the present sucked big hairy toes.

Sam paused near the curtains and glanced around. Lily was right. Someone was always watching, but not the important ones right now. AKA, her sister, mother or father.

The coast was clear-ish!

Sam ducked out onto the balcony, a place she hadn’t ever been allowed while living under her parent’s roof. Her mother claimed bad things happened on balconies, even in the White House. Sam had suspicions about her parent’s activities on balconies, but she kept those to herself. There was only so much about her parents she wanted to know.

“Shit,” she muttered.

Still not close enough to the dojo to pick up the signal.

The red team had lost the dojo maybe an hour ago. Sam hadn’t been in range, but the team chat had been on fire, calling for anyone in range to show up and take it back, and never mind that the public areas of the White House were closed for tonight’s dinner. The regular White House contingent were all over her to help lead the attack. Too few of their people were within range. Besides two servers, a chef and maybe one or two other people, she was their best chance for reclaiming the dojo.

Getting fired was hell, but a blessing to her Monster Master career.

She was so focused on the screen, on putting one step in front of the other, she didn’t even realize she wasn’t alone.

“Hi, Sam.”

That rich, deep voice was so close she could feel it rumble across her skin.