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Samantha handed her a napkin.  Then they both walked into the living room.

“I’m sorry.  I know it’s just as much my fault as it is yours.  I mean I’m not blaming you.  I shouldn’t have been drinking.”  Rachel took a deep breath before blowing her nose.

“I’m sorry too.  Maybe I took advantage of your circumstances.”  Samantha grinned.  “It’s just your hot.  I couldn’t let you pass without trying you.”

Rachel looked at her with a mean look, still embarrassed.

“I’m joking!”  Samantha said.  “Just trying to make you laugh.  But that’s not working.”

“Barely.  But I get it.”  Rachel shook her head in disbelief.  It was all too unbelievable.  “I need to go home.  My phone?”

“I’ll get it.”  Samantha went to the bedroom and returned with Rachel’s phone which was on silent.

“I didn’t think you’d mind.  It was vibrating like crazy and you were asleep, so…”  Samantha said.

“It’s okay.  He knows I’m mad at him.  Plus, I’ve been ignoring his calls last night at the restaurant.”  Rachel said.

“Why didn’t you just tell him how you truly feel?” Samantha asked.

“I’ve told him many times how I truly feel and he just continues on the same way.  Plus, all he had was threats and demands.  I’m not going to respond to that anymore.”  Rachel felt refreshed to be on the I hate Leslie campaign again and wanted to dismiss the whole notion of being intimately gay. It was better not to believe than to admit that she was that drunk.

“Good for you.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Stand up to that dictator.”  Samantha laughed, drawing a grin out of Rachel.

“It doesn’t help me now.  I need to go home and tell him something.  But what?”  Rachel said.

“Say you were out with a friend.  He can’t pin anything on you.  I’m not truly a guy.  What is he going to say that you were cheating on him with me?”  Samantha laughed.

“Well, technically.”  Rachel’s face grew red.

“Oh, come on, stop being so embarrassed.  I’m not that bad looking, am I?  I’ll vouch for you.  We’re just friends.  Just forget about last night.”  Samantha said with some hesitation.

It was those words that put Rachel at ease.  She definitely wanted to forget about last night.

“You’re right.  I’ll tell him that I’ve been hanging out with an old friend of mine from my community.”  Rachel texted Leslie that she had hanged out with an old friend and lost track of time. Leslie texted back “I’ve changed the locks.”  Rachel’s heart was racing.

“What?  What did he text?”  Samantha reached over to look.

“That he’s changed the locks.  He doesn’t want me to go home.”  Rachel’s voice had lost her energy.  Her eyes became teary again.

“He’s bluffing.  Just trying to scare you.”  Samantha said.

“You think so?”  Rachel asked.

“Definitely, man that guy have you wrapped around his little finger.”  Samantha grinned.

“I’m going to go home.  But thanks.  I mean for just being a friend.”  Rachel got up to go.  Leslie had no way to prove that she cheated and had no reason to change the locks in one day.  By the time she got home, Rachel had mustered up enough energy for another fight.

She took out her keys to open the door, pausing before turning it.  The door opened.  Leslie, she sensed, was not home.  Probably at work.  Rachel walked to the bedroom to take a shower and found the door locked.  Leslie had installed a lock on the door.

“Shit!  All my things are there.”  Rachel said aloud.  She went to the guest room instead to take a shower.  To her surprise, her things were thrown all over the room.  Her things were all in disarray.  Well, at least she wasn’t completely kicked out of the house, Rachel thought.

Rachel was in the courtyard drinking her lemonade when Leslie came home.  He was early. Her nerves got the best of her. Now that he was home, she was terrified again.

“So, this is where you are?”  Leslie had a glass of wine in his hand as he sat next to her on the lounger.

Rachel rolled her eyes, “why did you tell me that you were locking me out of my own home?  I live here too.”

“Your own home?  You’re crazy to think that you own a home.  Who do you think pays the bills around here?  And then you disappear not telling me where you were going.  How did you leave anyway?”  Leslie laid back on the lounger resting his wine on the side table.

“How did I leave?  You think you can trap me in this house?  I took a cab.  That’s how!” Rachel said.

“Cab, hmm.”  Leslie said.

Rachel was disturbed that he was so relaxed and barely angry, as he was in the messages on her phone.

“Do I have to ask?”  Leslie continued.

Rachel knew what he meant.  He wasn’t buying her story and wanted the truth.

“I went back to my community.  That’s it.  To get away from this jail you’ve built for me.  I ran into an old friend and we talked.  I just didn’t want to stop my fun for this craziness.  I’m sure you’ll understand that.”  Rachel said relieved that she got it out.

“Friend?”  Leslie said.

“A girl, Leslie, a girl.  She not he.  If that’s what you want to know.  Nothing happened.”  Rachel said swallowing hard.  Hearing herself say nothing happened only embarrassed her even more.

“You’re a lying bitch!  You think I don’t know when you’re lying.  I want you out of here.  You’re not going to take advantage of me like this.  Sponging off of me and doing nothing for me and now you’re cheating. I’ve already spoken to my lawyer about you.”  Leslie got up and walked back into the house with his wine in hand, stopping at the doorway. “I mean everything I say.  I want you out of here before the end of the day. Maybe your friend can put you up, but you’re not staying here.

Dumbfounded, Rachel got up and packed her bags not knowing where she was going or if Leslie was going to cut her off of her allowance. She found herself back at Samantha’s but this time with her suitcase.

“Welcome home.”  Samantha grinned trying desperately to lift Rachel’s spirit.

“I’m not going to stay for long.  I’ll find a job and move out as soon as I can.  I don’t want to overstep my boundaries and…” Rachel was dazed.

“And it’s okay.  We’re just friends.  I won’t bite you.  I promise. Well, maybe just a nibble.” Samantha laughed.  “Come on, lighten up.  I’m joking.  You have to put all that behind you.  You’re better off trust me.  That guy sounds evil to me.  The way you’d described him, no one would want to be with him.”  Samantha said.

“I shouldn’t have complained.  Maybe I should have done more for him.  Maybe.”  Rachel said.

“Hey, this life here.”  Samantha pointed down to indicate her stay with her.  “Is the best life you will ever have.  I don’t track anyone.  I don’t cage anyone.  You’re free to see who you want and to do what you want.  All I ask is that we remain friends.  No secrets.  I’m good as long as there are no secrets.”  Samantha winked and then grinned.