Reality Check (CHAPTER SEVEN, page 1 of 2)

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Samantha got ready for her "Pampered Date", but her heart just wasn't into it. She was with five men she didn't want to be with and not with the one man she did. Bradley and William were in this group, but she chose to keep to herself.

She was taking advantage of the full spa treatment. It started with facials. The women got the Signature Facial, while the men got the Rejuvenating Facial. All the while, William tried to get to know her better. She told him enough to answer any questions, but she didn't reveal too much.

Next was the body treatment. Samantha went with the Aromatherapy Cocoon, while others went with the Aromatic Salt Glow. The men mostly got the Aromatic Moor Mud Wrap. Bradley tried to find out more about her, but she just tuned him out.

From there was the massage. Samantha chose the Thai Yoga Massage. The guys seemed to get the message and left her alone.

After lunch, they finished their spa day with a manicure and a pedicure.

When she got back to her room, there was a note on her pillow. "Dress formal for dinner." This would be the last night all twenty-nine would be together.

After dinner, Austin came in.

"Good evening. Hope everyone enjoyed your group dates these past few days. But now, it's time for the hard part. For five of the ladies and four of the gentlemen, this will be your last night at the Heartbreak Hotel. Tomorrow morning, you will be casting ballots. You will vote for your top five. The ones with the fewest votes will be eliminated. Hope you made a good enough impression. Good night."

As Samantha thought over who to put down, only one name came to mind: Jeremy. She had to put down five. She added three other names to the list, but there was only one other person that made a lasting impression on her. Sadly, he was no longer there. She still put Brian's name down as the fifth name.

Meanwhile, back in Bismarck, Brian tried to resume life as usual. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't. As many issues as he had in his life, nothing scarred him more than his stay at the Heartbreak Hotel.

Fortunately, he still had about a month before he went back to work. A month to get his head straight. A month to get the likes of Samantha out of his head. He would find that very hard to do.

He took the remainder of his leave of absence to reflect on everything. What had happened in his past, on the island, and where the future would take him. He considered moving for a fresh start. For now, he decided to stay in Bismarck, but kept that thought in the back of his mind.

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