Austin was leaning on the kitchen counter talking to Rhonda when Sam finally came in with her plan.
"I've got it," she said.
"Spill," Rhonda urged.
"I'm going to go and have their cars towed. When they come out, I hit them with this," Sam said.
"That's a lot tamer than I thought you were going to come up with," Rhonda smiled.
"What did you think I was gonna do?"
"I dunno, evict them?" Rhonda laughed.
"I know a guy who can tow the cars," Austin told Sam.
"Thanks, Austin. I'd love it if you called him for me," Sam responded.
"I'm on it," Austin said. "If it's okay with you, though, I'd rather not be there when you do this. Those twins are relentless."
"That's fine," Sam agreed.
"I'll call later," Austin promised. He wanted to kiss her, but Rhonda was watching.
"Bye," Sam said. He gave her a quick hug instead. Then he was gone.
"All right," Rhonda said. "Let's go get us some cars!"
It did not take long for Fiona, Brianna, and Gabriella to come racing out of the house holding their purses and wallets, ready to pay to save their cars.
"We have money!" Fiona cried.
"No need," Sam said, shaking her hand at them.
"What?" Fiona asked.
"I'm selling them for tuition money," Sam explained.
"You can't do that!" Fiona shrieked.
"I think I can. Rhonda, can you tell me why I can sell these cars?" Sam asked.
"Because you own them," Rhonda answered smugly.
"Right. I own them," Sam repeated, looking at Fiona, who was gaping at her.
"I'm a district attorney," the man beside them piped up. He held out the will. "Have you ever seen this will before?"
"No, I have not. I have never seen my husband's secret will before," Fiona answered.
"Funny, cos this looks like your signature on it," the attorney said, pointing. Fiona was trapped, and Sam knew she knew it.
"I don't remember signing a secret will that says Sam gets it all," Fiona blurted out. Then she covered her mouth with her hand. Sam felt fury inside of her. So her stepmother had known all along.
"I need you to come with me," the attorney said. Fiona threw her purse in the air and started to run for it. Sam looked at Brianna and Gabriella, who were both horrified.
"So, which one of you knows where my real acceptance letter to Princeton is?" Sam asked. Brianna slowly held up her hand, looking sheepish.
"Brianna," Gabriella hissed, nudging her.
"What?" Brianna asked.
"Show me," Sam ordered. Brianna took her to a dumpster and pointed.
"It's in there."
"Well, fish it out," Sam said, crossing her arms. Brianna hesitated, but then she got in. Gabriella went in behind her, not wanting to make Sam any angrier. This was a good moment for Sam, seeing her stepsisters covered in garbage.
"Here it is!" Gabriella shouted, holding it up. Sam took it from her and walked back to where Rhonda was waiting.
"All set?" Rhonda asked.
"What happened with Fiona?" Sam wanted to know.
"The attorney said something about violating child labor laws and financial fraud."
"Yea. Karma finally caught up with her, didn't it?" Rhonda asked, laughing. They high fived each other. Sam had never felt so good in her life. Well, except when Austin had kissed her for the first time. That was better than this. Sam couldn't wait to tell him what was coming down the line for Fiona.
Austin looked up from his computer when Sam came in.
"Well?" he asked.
"It went better than I thought," she grinned. "I feel like celebrating."
"Where do you wanna go?" he asked.
"Somewhere my Dad used to take me," she answered. "Can you get out of here?"
"Yup," Austin nodded, getting up and putting his arm around her as they walked out. Andy still wasn't really talking to Austin right now, and he was trying to deal with that. He had hoped his father would have come around by now. Sam was surprised when Austin headed for her car.
"Don't you want to take yours?" she asked.
"I...I don't know. I just thought..."
"Sam, are you embarrassed of your car?" Austin asked, looking at her. Sam bit her lip, looking back and forth between him and her car.
"Well, I have been told it's as old as my hat," Sam said.
"Which makes it a classic, and I love classic cars," Austin told her, a smile forming on his lips. "And Shelby is an idiot."
"Thank you for saying that," Sam grinned.
"Come on," Austin said. "Let's go for a drive."
"All right," Sam agreed. They got in, and she took them to the place her father used to take her where you could see the whole valley. Austin was impressed when they parked.
"This is an amazing view," he said, looking out at it. Sam went to stand beside him.
"Yea, it is."
"You must really miss your Dad," Austin said, finally looking at her again. Sam felt her throat tighten at this.
"Yea," she managed to say.
"I'm sorry," he said, pulling her in for a hug. Sam rested her face against his chest. She felt very much at home and safe. She had never been more glad that Austin had chased after her that day.
A Couple of Months Later
Austin looked up as Andy walked in carrying a heavy sign out to the front.
"You need help?" he asked.
"Nah, I'm good," Andy answered. He set it up outside, and Austin craned his neck to look at it. It said that there would be a discount for those going to Princeton. He couldn't believe it. He stood and went to join his father, who was looking at it.
"I'm proud of you son," Andy said, patting Austin's shoulder. "I'm sorry I gave you such a hard time."
"Thanks, Dad," Austin replied. He didn't know what else to say. His father's approval meant a lot to him.
"Good luck out there," Andy said before going back inside. Austin and Sam were leaving for Princeton together that afternoon, and he was excited. He had packed what he needed, and he was meeting Sam at her house. She had moved back in when Fiona and the girls left. Austin had helped out with her renovations to make it hers. He had also helped when they restored the diner to Hal's Diner. Austin had to admit that he liked it that way better than when it was Fiona's Diner. He knew Sam was happier than she'd ever been, and he was glad that he could call her his girlfriend. Maybe one day he'd call her his wife. It was still early, though.
"This is it," Sam said to Rhonda, who was trying not to cry.
"Be safe. Be good. Don't forget about us," Rhonda said. She hugged Sam tightly then. Eleanor and Bobby hugged her as well. Sam could see Fiona struggling on her skates on the floor while Brianna and Gabriella were clearing tables. It was Fiona's way of paying off her debt to society, and the girls learned they needed money in order to live.
"I will never forget about you guys," Sam said, sniffing.
"Make sure Austin stays in line," Rhonda teased.
"Oh, he will be," Sam laughed. Their relationship was going very well. She looked at the clock on the wall.
"I know, I know, you gotta go," Rhonda said.
"I'll call when I get there," Sam promised.
Sam waved to the trio as she walked away. She felt sad leaving her family, but she knew she'd be back. She had already said goodbye to Carter, who was also sad to see her go. They promised to keep in touch, though. Carter was spending his spare time with Astrid now, though, so Sam knew he'd be all right without her. She took one last look at the diner as she drove away, and she knew her Dad would be proud.
"One last look for the road," Austin said as they stopped at their spot overlooking the valley. They had just had a rainstorm the day before, and the valley was clear.
"I'm nervous," Sam said.
"Me too, but we can do it together," Austin promised.
"I have to get a new cell phone too. I kept meaning to all summer," Sam said.
"Oh, about that," Austin said, pulling out her phone. She stared at it.
"You've had it this whole time?!" she exclaimed. He made to put it on her foot, but she pulled it back, laughing. "Austin!"
"Sorry. I kind of forgot about it until I was packing my stuff up," Austin said. "Forgive me?"
"You're forgiven," Sam smiled. He leaned in to kiss her then, and she held it for a moment.
"All right," he said after. "Let's hit the road, shall we?"
"Definitely," Sam nodded. They got into her car, and they started to drive off. Austin reached over to hold her hand, and Sam gave him a bright smile before focusing on the road. They were in this together. She couldn't ask for more. The future looked good.
Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts. I may or may not write a sequel, but that depends on how much you guys want me to write one. Until next time! Don't forget to check out The Meaning of Being Brave if you haven't already ;)