Chapter 18

Sam watched as the woman weaved through the crowd.  It parted for her, and Sam did not blame them for moving out of the woman’s way.  With the woman’s red hair, Sam knew this must be Scott’s mom. 

The woman stopped in front of her, her hand thrusting out for Sam to shake.  “Hello, dear,” the woman said in a kind voice. “It is nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you too,” Sam said with a smile.  “I have heard much about your parties.”

“Good things I hope,” the woman replied with a wink.  “Since my son seems to have lost his manners, I’ll introduce myself.  You can call may call me Piper.”

Sam gripped the woman’s hand, shook it slightly, and let it go.  “Samantha De Luca.”

The hand in Sam’s grip froze as the woman looked at her with mild shock in her eyes.  “De Luca?  An Italian surname if I am not mistaken.”

“My father is Italian,” Sam answered while freeing the woman’s hand. 

Piper stared at her own hand for a moment before looking towards Scott.  “Why didn’t you tell me who she was?”

“Ma’am,” Sam interrupted, standing to her full height.  “If my presence here is going to be a problem, I’ll leave.  You seem like a person who cares about their public image.”

“Mom,” Scott snapped while wrapping an arm around her shoulder.  Just as he did, someone else grabbed her left hand. 

Looking over, she smiled at Graham as he stared at Piper.  “Mrs. Miller, it’s nice to see you.”

Piper frowned at their intertwined hands before glancing behind Sam with the same frown.  “It is nice to see you too,” the woman mumbled absentmindedly.

Sam knew who was standing behind her.  No one could mistake the unique scent that Max wore.  A smile crossed her face.  Even at the worse times, Max would be there.  When Graham and Scott learned exactly who her family was, Max would still be there for her. 

“I am confused,” Piper said, her eyes now on Sam.  “I thought you were my son’s date.”

Glancing at Scott then at Graham, she smiled.  “They’re both my friends.  If Graham would have asked me first, I would have gone with him.”  Turning her attention back to Piper, she kept the smile on her face.  “I have to designs to steal your son from you.  I’m a librarian, nothing more.”

“A librarian?” Piper asked with a small laugh.  “Do you expect me to believe that you are a librarian?”

“Do you expect me to believe you’re not a bitch?” Max asked from behind her.

Piper gasped, while Scott’s grip on Sam’s shoulders tightened.  “Max,” Scott said in a low voice.  “She is my mother.”

“She may be your mother, but that does not change her personality.”  An arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her away from both men.  “Sam came here because you asked her to, not because she wanted to.  If this is how your mother treats her guests, I think we should leave.”

Sam looked at the two men, waiting for one of them to say something, but when Piper made a huffing sound, Scott turned away from Sam.  He ran a hand through his hair while regarding his mother.  Graham stood there frozen, looking as if he were making one of the hardest decisions of his life.

“With all due respect, Mrs. Miller, I think I should be leaving also.  I never thought you would judge another by who their family was.  It makes me wonder if you really liked me all these years, or just tolerated me.”