Chapter 1

Sam is deciding on a new venture!

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Sam began her search for the perfect place to open her bar. She consulted her good friends, Brian and Cindy for a few hours. Being at their place of business had brought up the memory when David proposed to her. Her stomach churned. While rubbing her belly, Cindy checked to make sure was okay. She was fine she’d always say.
But she was far from fine. However, she never wanted to deal with it. She couldn’t deal with it. No way. Not now. Not ever. As they continued to discuss her new venture, she had to get out of there. But how to say it so they wouldn’t worry about her? She finished her beer and formed the words carefully.
“Okay guys, I’m gonna head out. Thanks for the encouraging words. I’m gonna go home and talk to Lucy about it as well,” Sam said.
Brian and Cindy hugged her deeply.
“Take care of our best friend, k?” Brian chuckled.
“Sure will.” Sam laughed.
They let her go and watched her leave. Sam got in her truck and began to play Her favorite Def Leppard song, Photograph. Fifteen minutes later, she was home. She hurried in and knew Lucy was home cause her car was parked first in the half circular driveway. She smiled wide as she entered the nook and saw Lucy on the couch with Burbank watching NFL Football. Lucy’s favorite team, the 49ers, were playing the Dallas Cowboys for the wild card spot.
“So, what did Brian and Cindy say?” Lucy asked.
Sam came in and sat on the couch. She smiled wide. “They think it’s a great idea and they will help me.”
They saw a commercial for the Tomahawk Axe place Sam’s won all her axes at in the last five years. She smiled wide at those awesome memories.
“The next axe throwing championship is eight weeks away. Do you have what it takes?” the commercial stated.
Sam smiled at seeing CJ Neilson, the owner. She knew she had to sign off on letting them use her likeness for commercials and promotions. That in part helped make her famous too.
Just then, Sam received a text message from an unknown number. She sighed. Even having to change her number from the last battle, people still somehow got hold of it. She checked the message and grinned.
You better enter the axe championship this year. I’ll look forward to taking the championship from you. Tossing axes is a male job, not a females. I find it disgusting that a female has been the Tomahawk Axe Champ for the last five years!
Sam shook her head. She’d never been threatened during the five-year reign of being champ. Why would this start now? She questioned herself.
“What’s wrong?” Lucy asked.
“I just got this text. Never in my five years as axe champ, have I ever gotten a text like this.”
“Definitely from a male. Of course, unknown number. That tells me they are too chicken to face you personally. You’d think with you having a new, unlisted number, they’d leave you alone.”
“Right! Goddamnit!” Sam swore.
“I’m so sorry Sam. You’d also think that with you being exonerated by the lord ruler himself, Seth. That people would love you.”
“I know right.”
“Are you going to enter this year?” Lucy asked.
“Do I look like I’m capable?”
“Man. Do you think then you will just have to give up your title to CJ?”
“Yeah. It sucks, but I can’t have that as my goal now. I was hoping too, but Theresa took that away from me!” Sam yelled. “The person texting me must know what I’ve been through.”
“Reply back, see if you can.”
“I usually never give into them.”
“Do it, I wanna see,” Lucy said.
Sam texted back. Whoever you are, I will not be entering this year. Unless you lived under a rock the past ten months, you know what I’ve gone through to save your life and the entire universe. Have a little compassion. Have a little gratefulness! She put four more exclamation marks for good measure. LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE! She also put. She showed Lucy.
Lucy chuckled.
This message cannot be sent. Was the reply.
“Of course! Goddamnit!” Sam screamed.
“I’ll have Thomas check it out. Let me have your phone, I can hook it up to the FFA server, he can scan it.”
“Okay then.”
Sam gave her the phone. Lucy got busy.
“So, anyway, my new goal is to open the bar. It will help get me out of here. It will help give me purpose again. I wanted to talk to you first though.”
“Me, why? It’s your life dude. You can do whatever you want. You don’t need my permission.” Lucy laughed.
“I know. I just wanted to run it by you, see if you will be my partner.”
“Oh no. Never mix business with friendship,” Lucy said.
“Come on, please?”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Okay, I want you to come with me and look at some places. I found some I want to check out.”
“Now, my game is on!” Lucy stated.
“For reals dude? Record it. Please, please come with me.”
“It’s Sunday. Nobody is going to be answering their phones for their places for lease. And tomorrow is a Holiday.”
“Dude, you’re such a buzz kill.” Sam laughed.
Lucy chuckled. “You know what, okay, you owe me one then.”
“Okay.”
“Anything back from Thomas yet?” Sam checked.
Lucy checked and shook her head. Sam cursed. Of course, they couldn’t find who the number belonged to.
They left the house after telling Burbank to be a good boy and they both loved him.
While Sam and Lucy were out on the town, Sam told her to go to fifteen and Utica. She knew the place she wanted. She found it during her research and hoped it was still available. They arrived and she climbed out of Lucy’s car. When Sam saw the place still available, she clapped her hands and smiled wide. She jotted down the number and called to see if anyone was available.
It was only four pm. So, she hoped there was. A man answered. She heard the smokey voice and her eyes widened. This guy sounded so hot. Almost like David.
“Um, hi, hello, I’m interested in your property here, on Fifteen and Utica?”
“Oh. Okay. Cool. Well, I’m Chris Peters, who am I speaking with?”
“Sam Peterson!”
“Wait, you’re pulling my chain. Not the Sam Peterson, is it?”
“Yes, that’d be the one.”
“Wow, what an honor and privilege. Are you at the property now?”
“Yes, I am. Um, how much is this?”
“Well, I can work out a payment option that will fit into your budget. I’ll meet you there. I’m tall, about six two, brown like Jai hair with blue eyes and some fuzz on my chin.”
Sam shook her head at the detail he had given her. Chris. She thought of her friend Chris who lost his life in the line of duty back in February.
“Miss Peterson, are you still there?” Chris asked.
“Yes. I’m here with my best friend Lucy.”
“Great. See you in five minutes.”
Sam and Lucy waited, and they saw a black Beamer pull in the parking lot ten minutes later. The car drove cool and calm and parked in the second row just behind them oddly enough. He climbed out, looked both ways and met them.
“ID please?” Sam questioned.
“Um what?”
“ID please. I need to make sure it’s you, the guy I spoke to on the phone.”
Chris glanced over to Lucy. She nodded he best comply with Sam’s request. The middle-aged man reached for his wallet from his back pocket. He showed her his ID along with two credit cards. Sam and Lucy studied them and him for many moments.
“You good, Sam?” Lucy checked.
“Yup, you, Luc?”
“Yup.”
“Oki doki then. Can I just say. I’m so honored to meet you, Miss Peterson. You truly are a national treasure. The first um, mixed woman to save not just the world, but the universe. Did I say that wrong? I don’t mean to offend.”
“It’s okay on all that. Yeah. The pleasure was mine. Can we go inside? I remember what it used to be like in there. But it’s been a while. I was so sad when they closed it.”
“Yeah. I used party here too. It would be so great if you bring it back to life.”
He opened the door for them after putting his key code in the keypad next to the door and sliding a key card on the slide attached to the pad. They all walked in. Sam admired the seven thousand plus square footage of this particular unit. While holding onto her cane, she continued to limp around the area. Her favorite part was the fireplace. She’d always sit there.
“Do you have your liquor license yet?” Chris asked.
“Um what?”
“Yeah. You need that first if you plan on selling alcohol. But you can do other things first too while you’re waiting on that.”
“Oh. I had no idea. How much is that?” Sam asked.
“Three hundred. Look, I have a lot of people interested in this place. I’ll need two months’ rent up front first. Give me that, and it’s yours.”
“Are you doing this for me just because I’m famous?” Sam asked.
“Well, in part. But I think a bar here would for sure liven this dead space up. Plus, you’re across from the hockey arena where my favorite hockey player plays, David Wellington.”
She had to ignore that last part. But she knew this might happen occasionally and she’d have to deal with it. Somehow, someway, she’d deal with it. Sam pulled out her checkbook from her purse. She grabbed a pen from the inside pocket and began to write out the check.
“How much, fifteen grand good for now?” she checked.
“Perfect! I have a copy of the lease here too. I also have a list of some local vendors for you. Not knowing what you were going to do, but there are some beer distributors there. And a list of my awesome advertising team too.”
Sam blushed. “Wow, thanks!”
She signed the lease and handed the pen to Lucy. Lucy shook her head no. Sam did her best agent face to her best friend. The narrowed eyes, the pursed lips. The stare that always got her, her way when she was an agent.
“No Sam. This is all yours. Never mix business with family or friends,” Lucy informed her.
“Come on Luc. You’re my best friend. You’ve done so much for me. You need to be on this with me! Sign!”
Chris chuckled watching the ladies bicker back and forth. Lucy still shook her head no and stood defiant against her best friend.
“Come on, Luc! Please!” Sam stated. “Don’t make me beg. Don’t make me use my other face!”
Chris continued to chuckle.
“And what face is that?” Lucy snickered.
Sam lowered her lips into a pout. Her eyes narrowed. David always called this face her puppy dog face. Lucy still stood defiant.
“Come on, Luc!”
Lucy finally gave in and signed. Chris clapped his hands and was excited for them. They handed the lease back to him. He gave them each a copy.
“Rent is due first of the month, every month. Enjoy ladies! Thank you so much. I expect an invite to opening day!” He smiled, shook their hands and left them with the keys.
“Did that just happen?” Sam checked.
“It sure did!”
“What are we gonna call it?” Sam asked.
“Dunno.”
“That’s a crappy name for a bar.”
Sam busted out laughing. Lucy did too.
“How about the original name, in honor of your friend.”
“Nah. He prolly owns the name. We need our own name. I also want to change the golf course into a putt, putt. I think that’d be more fun. So, we have to add that in the name.”
Being it was still early, Lucy got busy making calls to the distributors. Sam was busy thinking of a name. It had to be a unique name. But cool. She decided to call B&C’s Bar & Grill, being she knew the owner, she knew Brian could help.
“I’m happy for you, Sam!” Brian said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yup. If you need any help, I’ll be there!”
“Even though I’m your new competition?”
“Of course. I can help you to where we can both get the clients we need on a steady basis.”
“You’re too sweet, Brian!”
“Awww, I’ll be sure to tell Cin, you said so.”
“I miss her, is she okay?”
“She’s doing better. I’ll be sure to let her know.”
“Great.”
“Sam are you sure you’ll be okay with that location. Being that you know who is right across the street?”
“Really dude? You had to go there?”
“I’m sorry. I just figured you’d steer clear of that whole area cause of, you know.”
“I’m not going to stop living in my city! I’m…”
Her voice trailed and the tears began once more. The phone slipped from her hands and Lucy ran to grab it for before it hit the wood floor.
“Sam, are you okay?” Brian checked.
Lucy grabbed the phone and handed it to Sam, who was trembling and holding back tears. But they flowed once more. Sam fell to her knees on the floor, her cane fell to the other side of her. Thankfully for Lucy, she avoided smacking her head as well.
“Brian, it’s Sam’s best friend, Lucy Mintowski. She’s um, I gotta go.”
“Call me back!”
“I will.”
Lucy held onto Sam like a sister to a sister. Neither of them expected her to break down like this still, almost ten months later since the breakup. That’s what everyone was calling it. The breakup heard around the universe. If you didn’t know about Sam and David by now, then you were living under a rock.
“Sam, Sam, talk to me!” Lucy shouted just so Sam could hear her.
But Sam didn’t hear a word.
“Sam!”
Lucy knew what to do. She began to rub Sam’s chest to help her begin to breathe again. She also helped her to sit on the floor on her but so her knees wouldn’t bruise. What seemed like hours, Sam finally caught her breath after the sobs. She gasped harshly, choked harshly. Lucy rubbed her back to help. Sam glanced to her best friend.
“Again?” Sam checked.
“Yup. This was bad dude. I almost called 9-1-1.”
“Holy shit!”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine!”
“That was not fine Sam. What’s going on, how long has this been this bad?”
“Just now,” she lied.
“Tell me!” Lucy stated.
Sam broke from her, used her hands to help herself off the floor, grabbed her cane and walked around the place for a bit. She took a few more breaths and tried to think of how she’d place everything.
“Sam?” Lucy questioned as she got up off the floor.
“So, I’m thinking we can have two pool tables around this area across from the fireplace. I’m thinking three big electronic darts in the back like they used to be. Pinball. Foosball. Maybe a poker table or two. Also, beer pong stuff.”
“Sam!”
“Plus, we can also have live entertainment too with the room on the other side of the fireplace. Or maybe on this side. Bri and Cin can play here. His drum set will take up this area. Hmmm.”
“Sam!”
Sam continued to ignore her. She pulled her pocketbook from her purse and began to take her notes down. This was what she did whenever an episode would occur. She ignored it. She had to because the reality was too much for her to bear.
She continued. “I’m also thinking maybe bingo. I want this place to be fun. I want people to come here and feel safe. There’s so much we can do here. And being I am who I am, I can take care of the assholes that try to come in here with their guns blazing. If any arguments happen, we can deal with them before anything gets out of hand.”
“Sam, what was that?” Lucy demanded this time.
“I’m fine.”
Sam was writing down her ideas. Her sketches in the notepad pleased her. Even though she had no art skills whatsoever.
“Sam, we’re not leaving here till you tell me what’s up.”
“I’m fine!” She snapped. “Drop it!”
“As your best friend and a Federal Force Agent, I can’t just drop it. You fell to your knees and sobbed, like sobbed to where it was choking you. And it’s like you black out at the same time. How many times has this happened?” Lucy demanded.
Sam shook her head at her and continued to write down her ideas. She wanted to do so much more. As she continued, Lucy walked up to her, grabbed the arm that wasn’t injured and squeezed.
“What the hell, Luc!?” Sam questioned.
“Tell me, tell me everything or I’m forcing you to a seventy-two-hour lockdown!”