Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Here's the next one of this story. Thanks for your patience with me while I get it out. I'm in the middle of finals right now, so the next few weeks may be quieter in my posting world, but I'll work on it when I can. Thank you again for the reviews, and here's more Reincarnated!
"Where are we going, honey?" Penelope asked, hooking her arm through Sam's as they walked down a DC street. She giggled and smoothed the skirt of her dress. When Sam suggested a date night, she found herself actually excited at the prospect. After several weeks of horrible nightmares of violent deaths and sexual longing for her best friend, she was ready for a night of fun.
Sam cleared his throat as he stopped in front of a nice Italian restaurant. He unhooked his arm from hers and reached for the doorknob to hold open the door for her.
"After you," he said, ignoring her question.
Penelope stared at him for a moment, but nevertheless went through the door. She smiled at him, unsure of what she was going to say at dinner. Sam was acting strange, and she couldn't quite figure out why because they'd started having sex again. She finally realized she couldn't go without sex as long as she had been. And if she wasn't going to be able to have sex with Derek, she was just going to have to resort to fantasizing that Sam was her best friend in bed.
"You alright, sweetheart?" she asked, glancing back at him. "You're acting a little…strange."
Sam finally looked at her again, smiling. She could easily see the smile was forced, though.
"Let's just get some food," he said, ushering her toward the maître de. They reached him, and Sam held up his hand in greeting. "Hi, we're here to meet up with some people. Another couple."
Penelope blinked several times, looking at Sam in shock. Another couple? Who were they supposed to be meeting? She thought this was supposed to be an evening for them.
"Ah, yes!" the host said. "The other part of your group is already here and seated. I'll take you to them right now."
Penelope shook her head, following after Sam as he led them after the host. "Baby?" she asked. "Sam, what's going on? Who are we meeting?"
"It's a surprise," Sam said, giving her a sweet smile. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze, but somehow that squeeze did nothing to comfort her. She felt strange, like someone was about to ambush her with something she didn't want to hear.
The maître de led them to a table in the back corner, and Penelope's mouth dropped. Sitting across from one another at a table for four were Derek and Savannah, both of their noses buried in menus. When they appeared, though, Savannah looked up without any surprise on her face at all. She merely blinked.
"Baby, what are – " Derek started to say. But the moment he looked up, he saw Penelope and Sam. His eyes went as wide as Penelope's. He started to stammer. "Ba – I mean, Penelope? What are you doing here?"
"Enjoy your meal," the host said with a bright smile, oblivious to the tension in the space between the two couples. He bounded back off through the tables and disappeared.
Penelope pursed her lips, her eyes flicking between Sam and Derek. She finally settled to stare at Sam and Savannah. This had been a set up. All the proof she needed of that was Sam going to sit beside Savannah, neither of them questioning the other.
"What's going on?" Penelope asked, not sitting down yet.
Derek glanced between Sam and Savannah. "That's what I want to know," he said, a slight growl in his voice. "Any reason neither of you decided to tell us that we were going on a double date tonight?"
They said nothing for a moment, both merely watching Derek and Penelope through narrowed slits. Exasperated, Penelope sat down beside Derek and crossed her arms over her chest.
"I can't believe this," she groaned. "You both actually look mad at us! We're the ones who got pulled into something we weren't aware we were walking into!" Savannah shot her a look cool enough to chill the temperature in the whole room. Penelope had seen her glare mighty fierce before, but this was unlike anything she'd ever felt. Feeling a streak of irritation course through her, she narrowed her eyes at Savannah. "What? What did I do this time? I know you don't like me for some reason, but I'm still your boyfriend's friend, so – "
Savannah cut her off. "See, that's what I'm not sure about," she said. Her voice came out sharp and frigid as steel.
"Excuse me?" Penelope said, taken aback. "What in the hell are you talking about?"
Derek frowned. "I'm kind of wondering the same thing."
Huffing, Sam rolled his eyes before saying, "Don't try and pretend you know we haven't caught you two."
"What the hell are you both talking about?" Penelope asked, exasperated. She was ready to throw her hands up in the air and allow her voice to rise.
"You're sleeping with my boyfriend!" Savannah snapped. "That's what we're talking about!"
Penelope's mouth dropped. Rarely was she shocked to the point of speechlessness, but this was one of those times. She looked over at Derek, stunned. He looked as annoyed as she did.
"Are you both insane?" Derek asked, finally breaking the silence. His hands clenched into tight fists. "You think we're having an affair?"
Sam laughed sharply. "Don't even," he said. "We both know what's been going on."
"What the hell makes you think that we're sleeping together?" Penelope demanded.
Savannah rolled her eyes. "When a woman's boyfriend runs out of their apartment in the middle of the night to go to another woman's house, there's something going on!"
"Nothing is going on between Derek and I!" Penelope said.
Derek put a hand on her arm. "We don't have to explain anything to these two," he grumbled. "We didn't do anything wrong. They're acting like we've cheated on them when we haven't."
"This is exactly what we're talking about!" Sam said, pointing at Derek's hand still on Penelope's arm. "You're both cheating on us, and you're trying to lie about it in front of our faces!"
An unconscious prickling started behind Penelope's eyes. The look of hatred from Savannah, and even the one on Sam's face, stung. Did they really think she would do this? Did they really think Derek and she would do this?
"What the hell is wrong with you both?" Penelope asked, her voice cracking. She hurriedly wiped the tears from her cheeks. "Why do you think we would do that to you? I have no idea what you want us to do. We're friends! We've been friends since before we started dating you both."
"Don't try and act like – " Sam started to say.
Derek cut him off. "Shut the fuck up, Sam!" he growled. He glanced over at Penelope, resting his hand on her back. She sniffled, but looking at him made her feel safer, like she didn't need to feel attacked. When he looked back at Sam and Savannah, his expression darkened once more. "Both of you need to get something straight: neither of us are having an affair. Not with any one else, not with each other. For you to accuse of this is the worst fucking thing you could've done."
Savannah glared at him. "You would think the same thing as we are if you saw you both," she hissed. "And let's not forget that you've been calling out her name when you're sleeping! Sam says you've been doing it, too! Between you both acting like zombies during the day and talking gibberish when you're asleep, the one thing we know you're saying are each other's names! So stop telling us the two of you aren't fucking one another behind our backs!"
Both of them were quiet, knowing that even though they had not physically cheated, their significant others were right. Penelope's lower lip trembled. Wringing her hands together, she shook her head. She couldn't sit here anymore, not when it was obvious to everyone that she was in love with Derek and she was getting accused of things she would never do.
Rising to her feet again, she shook her head. "I'm not sure I'm going to stay here," she said. "I can't stay here. I'm…I'm going to just call for a ride…" She pulled out her phone, ready to call a cab. She took one last look at Savannah and Sam, feeling not only humiliated but also sorry she hurt them.
Derek rose with her. "No," he said. "You're not going to call for a ride. I'm driving you home."
"Of course," Sam snarled. "I think it's safe to say we're over, Penelope."
Penelope rolled her eyes finally. "Yeah. I think it's safe to say that, too," she said, wiping her eyes. Looking away from her ex-boyfriend, Penelope's eyes found Derek's. "Please get me home."
"Yeah," he said, putting an arm around her waist. "Let's go."