Hey guys,

I just want to thank all of you who got this far. Thank you for the reviews and feedback; it’s been a nice ride.

Thank you KD for helping me improving the story, you’re a huge part of it!

Enjoy the conclusion,

WA

Part 20

Sam recognized Leo’s whining tone even before she opened the door to his room. Without bothering to disguise her smirk, she entered the room to find her brother engaged in a telephone conversation.

“I’m telling you mom, there’s no need for me to spend any recovery time in Jersey. I’m fine…Honestly the doctor said my head scan is clear. She’s only keeping me here for protocol sake.” Leo juggled the receiver to the other ear and acknowledged his sister’s presence with a curt nod of his head. “I know mom, and I’m really sorry you got stuck in traffic, but Sam is here now so you don’t have to...yeah, yeah…Okay, hang on a second.”

Leo shot daggers at his sister before thrusting the phone in her direction. “She wants to talk to you.”

Sam reached for the phone only to have Leo pull it back from her grasp.  He narrowed his eyes threateningly at her.

“Agree with her and you’re dead meat.”

Sam’s smirk became a full teasing grin as she snapped her fingers sharply then extended her hand for the phone.

Resolved to his fate, Leo relinquished the phone.

“Wimp,” Sam muttered as she brought the receiver up to her ear.

“Hi, mom...Yeah, I’m fine. I thought you’d be here by now.” Sam looked tauntingly at her brother. “Yeah, I hate traffic too…Leo?  Oh, I don’t know he looks okay to me.  No more banged up than usual…No, I haven’t spoken to the doctor in the last couple of hours, but she had told me she’d keep him for observation anyway…Yes, that will give you plenty of time to get here.” She stifled a chuckle when Leo rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Okay mom, Love you too.  See you later.”

“I hate you,” Leo barked.

“No you don’t.” Sam put the receiver back onto its cradle as she leaned in toward his ear and whispered, “You love me.”

“Whatever.” Leo extended his lip into a pout that any five year old would be proud of.  “Where did you disappear to anyway?”

“Duty called. We finally had a lead on that son of a bitch we’ve been trying to catch.”

“So, you got him?”

“Yeah,” Sam said with a satisfied head shake.  “We got him alright but not before he blew a hole through Mark’s best suit.”

“Mark’s alright?”

“Yeah, he’ll live to hear his wife say ‘I told you so’.”  She tousled his hair making it a little more unruly than normal. “How’s the head?”

“Better. Doc gave me something for—” his eyes widened at Sam’s torn jacket sleeve. “Hey, it looks like Mark wasn’t the only one to get his clothing trashed. Wait, is…is that blood?”

“Oh that? It’s nothing.” She shrugged dismissively.

“Nothing my ass, you’re bleeding and that more than likely means you’ve been hurt.” He pressed the call button for a nurse. ”Were you shot or something?”

Sam didn’t answer, she simply shrugged.

Leo shook his head in exasperation.  “What are you, a magnet that attracts nothing but hot chicks and bullets?”

She chuckled “I think it runs in the family.” She looked down at her arm and then back at Leo who continued to jab the call button. “What are you doing?”

“I’m calling my nurse, moron. You need a doctor.”

“No, I don’t need—” Sam stopped mid-sentence when the door burst open to a very annoyed looking Danni.

“For as many times as you’ve pushed that damn call bell you’d better be dying.” She glared at Leo.

“Nope, I’m not dying at all. Actually, I’m fine. Thanks for thinking about me though.” He offered cynically.

“Look, I have some really sick patients to attend to.” She placed her hands on her hips. “I don’t have time to play any silly—”

“She was shot.”  Leo fired off in a rush as he pointed accusatorially at his sister.

Danni’s quickly riveted in Sam’s direction. “Were you?”

“It’s just a scratch really.” Sam offered indicating her wound.

“Let me take a look at it.”

“It’s nothing.” Sam withdrew her arm as Danni stepped closer to her.

Danni let out an impatient sigh. “Remove your jacket.”

Sam complied hesitantly. “Are you always this bossy?”

“Like an Amazon.” Leo winked flirtingly at Danni.

“Anyway,” Danni examined Sam’s arm briefly then turned, grabbed some gauze and pressed them against the wound. “Here, keep pressure on it. I’m going to get Doctor Thomas.”

“No, we don’t need Doctor Thomas.” Sam argued as Danni raised a questioning eyebrow. “She must be busy, I mean, she has lots of patients to take care of.  Like you said, ‘you have lots of sick patients’...” She sighed when Danni’s expression didn’t change. “Please, couldn’t you just clean it up and put a band-aid on it or something?” 

Danni pretended to think for a minute. “Nope, I’m going to get Doctor Thomas.”

Sam’s shoulders slumped in defeat after Danni left the room. “Ann’s going to freak.”

“Ann?”  Leo was intrigued.  “What is the deal with you and that doctor anyway?”

“Why there’s nothing much, I mean, aside from the part that she saved my life of course.”

“Saved your life? You mean like the last time you were shot?”

“Yeah, I owe her,”

“You bet you do.”

Sam pulled the gauze away and looked at her arm. “I owe her in more ways than one,” She mumbled under her breath.

“Sounds like you have more than a professional relationship going on.  Am I correct?”

“Why do you ask?”

“God, Sam, you looked like some white knight carrying her out of here in your arms earlier.”  Just then the light bulb in Leo’s brain glowed brighter.  “You slept with her, didn’t you?”  Leo watched as his sister paled and it spurred him on to tease her even further.  “And you liked it.”

Sam could feel the heat of a blush coming up her neck.  “Oh no,” Sam shook her head in an attempt to stop it. “I spent the last two hours brushing off Mark’s questions and I’m not going to—”

“So, Mark’s onto it too. It must be true.” Leo’s eyes widened as Sam’s shoulders slumped in admission. “Shit Sam, can you please wait until she discharges me before you dump her?”

“Dump her?”

“Yeah, because I can think of too many painful and unnecessary exams she can order just to get even.”

“You’re an ass.  I’m not dumping her.”

Too absorbed in his on outrageous thoughts, Leo rambled on.  “First she’ll want to check my prostate, then she’ll order a colonoscopy or a barium enema before she sends me for a consult with a proctolo—” Sam’s words finally hit him. “What did you say?”

“I said…I’m not dumping her.”

“That’s what you always do, so why not now?” He looked more confused than he was right after the explosion. “What’s wrong with her?”

“Don’t you mean what’s RIGHT with her?”

“Huh?” Leo shook his head then tapped his ear several times with his hand as if to dislodge something in it.  “I don’t think I heard you right.”

Sam chuckled at his lack of eloquence.  “I think…I think I’m in love with her, Leo.”

Leo’s jaw dropped. “I-I’m…I’m speechless.”

“So was I brother, from the moment I realized that she was real I was speechless too.”

Leo shook his head in bewildered amazement.  “Damn! She got to you, didn’t she?”

“Yes, she did. Somehow she busted right through the walls I’ve built around my heart like a bulldozer on a mission to destroy.”

“I know what you mean, I’ve noticed a few cracks in mine too lately,” Leo confided as they shared a complicit moment.

                    ***                     

From outside the door, Danni nearly melted after hearing Sam’s declaration. She felt so happy for her best friend that she couldn’t stop a grin to envelope her face.

“It’s not nice to eavesdrop.”

Danni jumped back. “I wasn’t eavesdropping.”

“Yes you were,” Ann teased. “Heard anything interesting?”

“Maybe,” Danni grasped Ann’s arm and stepped away from the door. “Can I ask you something?”

Ann’s brow furrowed at the sudden seriousness on Danni’s voice. “Sure.”

“Are you sure about you and Sam?”

“What do you mean?”

“This relationship…I know that you’re in love with her, but it’s a big change and—”

“Do you think I’m experimenting?”

“Are you?”

“I’ve asked myself that question a couple of the times and…I can’t explain it Danni, but somehow I feel that Sam is the one true love that I didn’t even realized I was waiting for.” Ann admitted honestly. “She’s so much more than just a fling. Sam is someone I could grow old with. It sounds crazy because technically we don’t even know each other that well, but I know she’s the one, and I’m not afraid to fight for her love.” Ann offered a shy smile. “Does that make any sense?”

“Totally.”  Danni let out a satisfied breath and glanced at Leo’s room. “Hey, Ann, you don’t have to come by my place tonight. I think I just got all the answers that I needed.”

Ann looked quizzically at her. “So, you paged me for some girl talk?”

“Nope. Actually I paged you because the love of your life has a flesh wound that is bleeding out and she insists it’s just a scratch.”

“What?  Where is she?”

 Danni stepped away from the door and pointed toward Leo’s room.

A mixture of fear, concern, and done right outrage crossed over Ann’s features before she rushed unceremoniously inside.

“Sam, Danni said you’ve been hurt.” Ann visually checked Sam searching for any sign of distress. “What happened?”

Startled by the sudden entrance, Sam motioned to the arm that she was still putting pressure on. “Like I told Nurse Tattletale, it is nothing.”

Ann grasped Sam’s arm and gently removed the gauze to exam the wound. “God, were you shot again?”

“Maybe,” Sam admitted sheepishly. “I went to arrest our friend, Sergeant Pain-in-the-ass and he put up a little bit of a fight.”

Ann cleaned some of the blood so she could have a better view of the wound. “It doesn’t seem to need stitches, but it definitely is not a scratch.” She sent a disapproving look at Sam. “Sit down and let me take care of it.”

Obediently, Sam did as instructed and took a seat on a stool nearby.

“Hello Leo,” Ann acknowledged her other patient in the room as she gathered a few supplies.  “How’s the head?”

“I think I might need to have it checked out again.”

Ann looked concerned. “Why?”

“I think I must have really cracked my skull.” Leo alternated his gaze between the two women.  “Things seem a little screwy if you know what I mean.”

Sensing her brother’s goofiness, Sam offered her own opinion. “Don’t worry Ann, he’s fine.” She glared at Leo. “He’s just being an ass.” She then rolled the stool closer to his bed and whispered to his ear. “Behave or I’ll suggest that you have your head up your ass and it needs further investigation.”

 He gulped at Sam’s sneer. “I’ll be good.”

***

Standing for what seemed to be an eternity in front of the Unit Clerk’s desk watching people cough, cry, bleed, and scream out in gut wrenching agony was enough to remind Sam that there was more to a hospital than cute blonde doctors.

“Okay gorgeous, I need your autograph here, here, here, and here.” Oscar displayed a flashy show of white teeth as he pointed to the X marked spaces on the discharge papers in front of Sam.

“Only if you give me a pen, I’ve already lost enough blood for one day.” Sam mimicked his antics.

“I bet those blue eyes would get you anything, don’t they?”

“Like you have no idea,” She winked before taking the pen he was offering.

“There, all done now?”

“As far as I’m concerned,” Oscar said retrieving the completed papers.  “You’re free to go.”

“Till the bill comes in the mail,” Sam muttered as she reached for her vibrating cell phone. 

 “Matthews.”

“Hey there partner, how are you doing?”

“Fine, I’m all patched up.” Sam returned the pen to Oscar, mouthed a ‘thank you’, folded the papers he gave her, and then started walking toward the exit.

“Did the doctor kiss your boo-boo better?”

Sam’s mind drifted from the conversation when she spied Ann sitting on the bench outside the hospital.

“What, no smart ass comeback?” He waited but still no answer. “Sam, did you here what I said?  Sam, are you there?”

“Sorry, I…ah…I got a little distracted. Hey, shouldn’t you be interrogating Miller or something?”

“There’s bigger fish than me taking care of that now.  We have two Assistant District Attorneys, Capitan Bennett and a couple of people from Internal Affairs in there with him.”

Sam sat next to Ann and placed a chaste kiss on her cheek as she continued her conversation with Mark. “So, I assume he decided to cooperate then?”

“Not at first, but when A.D.A Covington offered him a nice choice between the gas chamber and lethal injection he started sweating.”

“Covington has always been my favorite.”

“Mine to. He cornered Miller’s lawyer until he had no other choice than to work out a deal and that’s when the bastard began to sing like a Belgian Canary.”

“That’s great news Mark.” Sam stifled a yawn.

“Yeah, I thought so too. Anyway, are you going to stay with Leo all night?”

“No, mom’s just arrived. She’s going to spend the night here. I’m going home. You know I didn’t have much sleep last night.”

“Yeah, about that—”

“Goodbye Lieutenant.” Sam flipped her cell phone off and turned to Ann. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Ann smiled broadly. “How is Lieutenant Stevens doing?”

“He’s okay. Probably cursing me for letting him with all the paperwork on Miller’s case, but he’ll live.”

“So what happens to Miller now?”

“That depends on how well he comes through with his end of the deal, but knowing Covington the way I do, I’m pretty sure he’s going for life without parole.”

“He deserves it for what he did to that woman and her child.  He’ll never see his mother again.”

“He’ll get more than he deserves considering prisoners don’t usually take to well to being locked up with a cop.” Sam seemed indifferent to Miller’s fate.  “But hey, he brought that on himself.  Either way, you don’t have to worry.  He won’t be bothering you again.”

“Or that little boy for that matter, thanks to you and your partner,” Ann stood up and bowed playfully. “I bow to men and women in blue.  You’re my heroes.”

“Torn clothed heroes maybe.” Sam laughed as she poked her finger through the hole in her sleeve. “So, are you done for the day?”

“Yes, I wasn’t even on call today, don’t you remember?” Ann said zipping up her jacket. “I came here only to put out a fire, and now that things are under control, I guess I’ll go home. You know, I didn’t have much sleep last night either.” She sent a teasing wink at Sam as she started walking away.

Sam melted. Her heart was beating so fast that she was afraid it would burst.

God, I love you.

“Hey, wait!”  Sam stood up and followed after Ann. “Did you talk to my mother?”

“About what?” Ann started to panick.

“About Leo, of course.”

“Oh, Leo, of course.” Ann sighed in relief.

Sam looked suspiciously at her.

“No, I didn’t talk to your mother. I assigned Leo’s case to the doctor on duty he’ll explain everything to her.”

“Oh, okay.” Sam diverted her eyes and it was Ann’s turn to look questionably at her.

“Did you talk to your mother?”

“Yes.”

“Did you…tell her about us?”

“Uh, not yet.” Sam said sheepishly. 

“What’s the matter, are you ashamed of me?”  Ann lightly bumped Sam with her shoulder.

“No.” Sam stated firmly.

“Then why didn’t you?”

“Let’s just say that I’ve already made my major announcement for the day.  At least let me get use to the idea before we go blabbing it to the world.”

“Aw, how sweet,” Ann teased. “You want to keep me all to yourself for a while.”

Sam grinned.  “You bet I do. By the way, are we still on for tonight?”

“Of course,” Ann smiled devilishly. “The only question is…my place or yours?”

“You didn’t change your mind?” Sam threw the question out half seriously.

“Change my mind about what?”

“About me…”  Sam motioned with her finger between the two of them.  “About us…you know,” she snickered rather naughtily.

“Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes the whole gay thing can be a little hard to face.  I’d understand if you did.”

“It’s funny I just had this same conversation with my best friend. Do you know what I told her?”

Sam shook her head and looked expectantly to Ann.

“I told her I’m not some college girl having a lesbian affair for the sake of experimenting. I really like what we have,” she said seriously.

Sam grinned.  “Me, too.  I mean I’m glad.”

Ann laughed. “Speaking of my best friend, do you know what she wanted to talk about?”

“The dirty details?” Sam teased with a raised eyebrow.

“No.” Ann slapped Sam’s good arm playfully.  “Your brother.”

Sam’s other eyebrow joined the first raised one. “My brother, as in ‘my brother Leo’?”

“Uh-huh.” Ann nodded.

“Ok, I’ll bite.” Sam stopped and stood facing Ann. “What does my brother have to do with your best friend?”

“She thinks he’s cute.” Ann managed to keep a straight face.

Sam crossed her arms totally aware that Ann was enjoying the game. “And how does she know Leo?”

Ann chuckled and decided to drop the cryptic talk. “She’s the nurse taking care of him.”

“The bossy Amazon?” Sam asked a little surprised.

“I’ll agree with the bossy, but Amazon?”

“Curly-blonde hair, tough-looking…”

“Oh yeah, that’s her. That’s Danni.” Ann pondered her friend for a moment.  “Yeah, I could see why you’d call her Amazon.”

“I see.” Sam bit the inside of her cheek as they resumed walking.

“So, what do you think, maybe we could go out on a double date?”

“Ah, thanks but no, thanks.” Sam shook her head. "I don't get involved in my brother's love life."

"Really?  I'd think you'd have nothing but his best interest at heart."

Sam thought for a moment.  "Well, does running interference for him count?"

Ann gave her a stern look.  "Not if you’re dating me, it doesn't."

"Am I dating you?” Sam stopped abruptly and looked at Ann. “I thought we were past that stage." She offered softly.

Ann’s face lit up. "So, we’re going steady, huh?"

"Something like that." Sam nodded before sliding her arm around Ann’s waist and pulling her in for a kiss that would seal the foothold on their new relationship.

“Yeah,” Ann considered the myriad of sensations that Sam’s kiss had sent swirling around her body and seared the memory into her brain.  “We’re definitely going steady.”

The End.

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