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Part 13

Sam watched the passing landscape from the passenger-side car window. She wasn't used to letting herself be blindly led anywhere, but when the person guiding her was Ann, Sam was willing to go through the gates of hell and enjoy it.

As the vehicle's speed slowed, Sam turned to watch Ann carefully pull the car to a stop. Without a single word, Ann got out and motioned for Sam to follow her. Silently Sam did just that until she found herself in the middle of a Japanese garden. Sam surveyed her surroundings and felt a sense of tranquility emanating from the aesthetic elements that had been placed there. She paused for a moment to close her eyes and allow her other senses to come to the forefront. The sound of moving water filled her with exceptional peace. That short moment of respite gave Sam the courage she needed to keep walking. Slowly, she pushed forward and joined Ann standing on a small bridge admiring a cascading waterfall that flowed into a clear pond.

“It's a peaceful place you have here.”

Ann's shiver was barely noticeable but it obviously took her by surprise and forced her eyelids to flutter close in an effort to regroup.

Sam waited patiently spurred on by the tranquility of the surroundings.

“It's even more beautiful under the moon light,” Ann answered without looking at Sam. “It pleases the spirit. Well, that is, my spirit.”

Gathering all her courage, Ann lifted her eyes and met the penetrating blue gaze that was fixed on her, accelerating her heartbeat and breathing.

“This place is my secret hideaway. I come here when I need to think.”

“And what are you thinking?” Sam asked in a sultry tone all the while keeping eye contact with Ann.

“I'm trying to understand what's happening to me,” Ann confessed boldly despite the flurry of nervous activity in the pit of her stomach.

Both women regarded each other with slight uncertainty until Ann broke their gaze and turned her back to Sam as if trying to regain her ability to think clearly.

“I'm trying to understand why you make me feel the way I do.”

“And how do I make you feel?” Sam's voice was an octave lower than her normal tone making the question sound even more sensual in nature than it was meant.

“Complete, safe…when I'm near you–” Ann spun fast and found herself face to face with Sam, so close that she could feel woman's breath on her face. “Tell me why it feels like I've known you for a lifetime when in fact, we've just met.”

The urgency of Ann's plea made Sam's heart race faster.

“I wish I could.” Sam half-whispered, tucking a stray hair behind Ann's ear. “The truth is that every time I'm near you, all I can think of is gathering you into my arms and kissing you with all my might.”

Sam lowered her face until the warmth of her breath caressed Ann's lips. Time stood still as both women struggled to come to terms with what they knew was about to happen. Their hearts were pounding in their ears while passion emanated from their gazes.

Ann's hesitation melted quickly like an ice cube in the middle of hot August afternoon. She leaned forward and filled the gap that separated them allowing their lips to touch tentatively as a kiss ensued.

Neither could say from whom it came, but a single strangulated moan ignited the passion within them both. Sam threaded one hand in Ann's hair pulling her impossibly closer as her lips explored the softness of Ann's mouth. If that wasn't enough, the feeling of Ann's hand exploring her body caused Sam's insides to burn with desire. The sensations she was experiencing far exceeded what she'd been dreaming of for so long.

Ann's elongated, sensual groan elicited an instinctive reaction from Sam the moment she felt Ann slowly beginning to pull back. She held Ann firmly in her arms and recaptured her lower lip, pulling it into her mouth. Once there, Sam nibbled it sensually earning yet another moan as her reward. Finally, she relinquished her grip on Ann's hair and they parted breathless.

The sexual pull of Ann's libido was too much for her to ignore. Her nervous hesitation overcome, Ann took the initiative once more and upped the ante. On pure instinct she advanced closer until one pair of lips met the other. Staking her need for more, Ann's tongue sought entrance and it was granted. Quickly a duel for supremacy ensued leaving Ann as the winner. She lavished in the moment as all the desire that had been haunting her for the past few months came into being.

Overwhelmed and ablaze by the passion coursing through her, Sam felt a hunger surface and work its way down her body leaving her legs threatening to give away. The kiss ended but not their contact. Sam leaned against the hand rail and circled her arms around Ann's waist bringing her closer in the process. Ann slowly melded into Sam's chest struggling to catch her breath. Once settled, Sam rested her cheek on a bed of lavender scented hair.

Very aware of the adrenaline pumping through her veins, Ann enlaced her arms around Sam's waist, totally enjoying the fingertips caressing her back.

Both women lingered in the moment savoring the comfort of each other's body as they listened to a light breeze rustling through the leaves amid a bird's cherished song.

A loud clap of thunder silenced the birds and caught Sam and Ann off guard. They barely had time to find shelter on the porch of a tea house located a few feet away before the downpour of rain swept across the tranquil scene.

“That was close.” Ann giggled like a teenager.

Still under the effects of their kiss, Sam felt her legs quivering and sat on the floor leaning her back against the wall. “Come here.”

Indulging her craving for closeness, Ann accepted the invitation and curled up against Sam's shoulder. Ann's left hand got a life of its own and moved smoothly along Sam's thigh until their fingers intertwined.

“They fit perfectly,” Ann reflected. She used her free hand to caress Sam's midsection. “Can I tell you something?”

Sam drew Ann's hand to her lips and kissed it. “You can tell me anything.”

“I never told anyone about this place.” Ann spoke softly. “It has always been my private space.”

“Then, why did you bring me here?” Sam's gaze followed the raindrops hitting the pond.

“Because I trust you. I can't explain it but—”

Ann felt suddenly shy but a soft squeeze on her shoulder encouraged her to continue.

“It's like you complete this emptiness that I was never aware existed inside of me,” Ann's admission was barely audible. She waited for Sam's reaction.

Sam couldn't speak. Her heart pounded so fast it took her breath away and made her head spin. When she regained control over her body, Sam tightened her hold on Ann and kissed her blonde head lovingly.

“I know what you mean.” She pressed her lips against Ann's hair.

Ann shifted her position gently extracting herself from Sam's embrace. She locked their gaze and reached out to Sam's face.

Sam took the initiative this time meeting Ann's lips full on. Soon, Sam's tongue sought entrance while her hands slipped underneath Ann's sweater running along the length of her back, marveling at the softness of her skin.

Ann melted at the contact. A loud moan was the only response she could muster.

For the second time that very day they were in heaven. That is, until b eeping sounds reached their ears and broke their moment.

“And that's how they were expelled from Paradise .” Sam joked. She nipped and teased Ann's lips causing her to chuckle.

“I'm afraid that's reality calling.” Ann retrieved her pager from its host. “It's an emergency from the hospital.”

As if on cue, Sam felt her cell phone vibrating in her pocket. She retrieved it only to see Mark's I.D. number displayed.

“Yep, it's definitely reality calling.” Sam stood up. “Sorry, but I've got to answer this.”

“That's okay. I've got one of my own to answer.” Ann stood up and walked a few steps away. She used her cell phone to answer the page.

“Hey Oscar, it's me…Yes, it's Dr. Thomas, alright. Did you page me? No? That's weird, I got a 911 message sent from that phone…No, I'm not…do you have any idea who did? Ok, I'll hold.”

Ann waited patiently until she felt strong arms wrapping around her from behind. Her eyelids shut immediately and she melted under the gentle touch. A voice coming from the phone startled Ann, but her ability to focus was already lost.

“From Danni…uh…listen—”

Butterfly kisses started being planted on her shoulder and neck. Closing her eyes again, Ann leaned against Sam molding their bodies together. Feeling her libido rising fast, Ann terminated the call abruptly.

“Never mind, tell her I'll be right there.” Ann closed the flip and spun in Sam's arms.

“Where were we?”

“I think we were right about here.” Sam's lips met Ann's.

The kiss didn't last any longer than it took for both their libidos to surge into full throttle. Ann and Sam both jerked her heads away knowing full well that they wouldn't have the time to go any further.

“I have to go to the hospital,” Ann offered out of breath.

“And I,” Sam sighed. “I have to go to the station.”

Ann's pout was so priceless that Sam didn't resist kissing those lips one more time.

“Want me to drive?” Sam offered as she withdrew her lips from Ann's.

Ann lifted a questioning eyebrow. “Why?”

“Cause we both need to get back to the city quickly.”

Ann's eyes narrowed. “Are you calling me a slow driver?”

“No. I'm just overconfident in my own driving skills,” Sam teased. “You know, that is part of my job every day, driving around to crime scenes, checking out leads, tracking down the bad guys.”

“Oh really? I would have thought they came in on their own accord.”

Sam smirked. “If it were only that easy I'd be out of a job.”

“Well, if you want to talk about jobs, mine is to keep everybody safe and alive. Besides, the car is mine and I'll be the one driving. So, suck it up.” Ann stuck out her tongue.

Sam's eyes widened. “Is that an offer?”

“Only if you can catch me.” Ann broke in a mad dash toward the car with Sam hot on her heels.

Ann didn't stop running until her hand was on the door handle. “You better hurry if you're going to ride back with me.”

“Where did you learn to run like that?” Sam came sliding to a halt at the passenger door.

“You've got to be fast to work at the ER.” Ann winked then quickly slid into the driver's seat.

“Is there anything else you're fast in?”

“You should see me eating.” Ann clipped the ends of the seatbelt together while Sam slipped into the car.

Despite losing the battle, Sam sat contently on the passenger seat gazing over at Ann unable to fight a silly grin off her face.

“Something wrong?”

“No, just enjoying the view.”

Ann grinned. Leaning sideways, she got her attention off the road long enough to reward Sam with a quick peck on the lips.

Releasing a serene sigh, Sam averted her eyes out the side window struggling to remember the last time she'd felt so comfortable around someone.

If I'm dreaming, please don't let me wake up…ever again.

***

Ann rushed through the ER front doors nearly crashing into her best friend.

“Danni, what's the emergency?” Ann searched the ER for any signs of abnormality.

Danni grabbed Ann's arm and pulled her to a more private corner. “Your mother's here.”

“WHAT?”

Danni waved her hand to a couple of curious staff members that were attracted by Ann's outburst. “Keep moving. Nothing to see here,”

After making sure there were no more uninvited ears, Danni turned back to Ann. “As I was saying, your mom came down here earlier because she'd gone by your place and you weren't there.” Danni reached inside her pocket retrieving a piece of paper. “She said she's at this hotel and ‘demanded' you to call her when you had some time for your own mother.”

“I can't deal with my mother right now.” Ann felt her head beginning to ache and leaned against the wall.

“What is she doing here?”

“It's got to be something to do with Joe.” Ann speculated.

“Don't tell me dull boy went crying to mommy and daddy.”

“I don't doubt it.” Ann ran a frustrated hand through her hair. “Shit.”

“What's going on, Ann? And don't tell it's just about Joe.” Danni pinned Ann in a challenging stare. “I know there's more to it.”

“I met someone.” Ann confessed softly.

“And...”

Ann shook her head. “It's complicated.”

“Complicated, huh?” Danni's brow furrowed. “Married?”

“No”

“Kids?”

“No, nothing like that.”

“Is he ugly?”

Ann smirked. “The most gorgeous person I've ever met.”

Danni threw both of her hands up impatiently. “Then fast forward to the complicated part.”

“I'm scared.” Ann met Danni's gaze then quickly looked away. “I can't explain it, but when I'm with Sam I feel things that I've never felt before. My body and my heart react in a way—”

“HELP!”

Strident demands echoed through the ER.

“Somebody's gotta do something.”

“Yeah, somebody help.”

Ann turned to see the attending on duty moving down the hallway toward a group of hysterical cheerleaders.

“Okay, please—” Doctor O'Neal tried to be heard through the commotion. “Okay, girls, please.”

“Come on, don't just stand there.” A babbling girl grabbed the doctor's coat. “You have to fix Melissa. She's our star, without her we're doomed. We'll never win the competition this weekend without her.”

“Francis, let go of the doctor.” A woman stepped between them. “Doctor, can you save the girl?”

“And you are?”

“I'm Mrs. Penfield, their coach.”

“Alright Mrs. Penfield, what happened?”

“The girls were practicing an unauthorized pyramid when one of the base girls lost her balance and Melissa fell from the top. Can you help her?”

“We'll do our best. Right now I can't promise anything until I see her.” O'Neal scanned past the group of girls searching for the victim but there wasn't one insight. He turned his gaze back to Mrs. Penfield. “And the injured girl would be exactly where?”

As if on cue the sliding doors opened and the paramedics wheeled a gurney inside.

“Sixteen year-old girl fell backwards from the top of a pyramid. She was dazed and confused on our arrival. Her respirations were labored and we noted signs of crepitus and pain in her bony pelvis. We've immobilized and taken full trauma precautions, ” the EMT informed.

“Let's take her into trauma one.” O'Neal scanned the area until his gaze settled on the head nurse standing off to a corner. “Danni, I'm going to need your help.”

“Damn it! We'll finish this later.” Danni rushed toward the trauma room, shouting back to Ann. “If you ask me, I think Sam is the one.”

The simple sentence sent Ann's mind into a complete loop.

“Yes, I think Sam is the one.”

To be continued…

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