Author: RGAP-48 PM
Murder was no longer a 'once in a lifetime' thing for him. It had become a recurrence. Two men were dead because of him. Warning: Character Death & Violence. Pairings: Lucas & Sami, Implied EJ & Patrick. Complete.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Words: 5,378 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 01-03-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3322971
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Lucas had wanted EJ dead. Okay, maybe even that was an exaggeration. He tried not to wish death on anyone because all of Sami's karma talk got to him sometimes, even though he tried to pretend it didn't. Maybe he had just wanted EJ to relocate to somewhere far away. Japan. Mongolia. The Philippines. Whatever. But hypothetically, even if he had wanted EJ dead, he had never wanted to be the cause of that death.
Life wasn't supposed to be so easy to take away, especially when the life in question was a DiMera's. They had the mortality (or immortality, rather) of Gods. They came back again and again. Some people said that cats had nine lives. A DiMera had nine times that many.
Lucas rolled over onto his side so he was facing Sami. The motel room bed creaked underneath him when he moved, but Sami didn't stir. She was sleeping soundly, and suddenly Lucas envied her. She had done a lot of bad things, but she had never taken another person's life. Therefore, sleep came to her easily. The black space behind her closed eyes didn't light up with images of dying men whenever she tried to sleep.
Sami shifted slightly closer to him, and he wrapped an arm around her, the envy fading as quickly as it had come. It was hard to be jealous of her when she was alive. Her being alive was the important thing anyways. The image of EJ's bloody, broken body left his mind for an instant as he remembered the cold steel of EJ's gun colliding with her temple. Lucas had never underestimated EJ; He knew that EJ could have shot Sami if things had gone differently.
It could have been Sami instead of EJ, and that thought made his press his lips against Sami's neck as she slept until he located her pulse. It beat steadily, and Lucas exhaled against her skin with relief. Thank God for Patrick, he thought, suddenly remembering the way Patrick had approached him earlier that night.
Then phone had rung and just his luck, it had been Victor. Some big issue had come up at Titan that needed to be resolved immediately, according to Victor. Lucas had wanted to protest, saying it was after seven at night and that the problem could wait until morning. There had been something about the tense quality to Victor's voice that had made him hold his tongue though. Victor never sounded so shaken up unless something was very wrong, so Lucas had set out for Titan without question, silently hoping that the problem wouldn't take too long to resolve.
Lucas signalled to make a left turn into the parking lot of Titan when another car skidded to a stop in front of his, blocking off the parking lot entrance. Lucas frowned and stepped out of his car. The other car's door opened, and its driver stepped out as well.
The streetlights beamed down on the man, revealing his face. Lucas gaped at him. "Patrick?"
Patrick had been gone for the past couple of months. After someone – most likely someone hired by EJ – had helped Patrick escape from jail, Patrick hadn't been seen from or heard from by anyone. Everyone assumed that he and EJ had escaped to somewhere far from Salem together. The Salem PD had been trying to track down the duo, but there were only so many people on the police force and too many places that EJ and Patrick could have been hiding.
"You need to get back to your apartment. Is Sami there?" Lucas nodded, then heard Patrick mutter a string of curses under his breath.
"What's going on?" Lucas demanded.
Patrick ran one hand through his short hair. "Victor isn't here, Lucas. He's at home, probably still tied up and gagged. EJ forced him to make that call to you."
"EJ?" Lucas' mouth suddenly felt dry and sour. "You mean he's back? He's in Salem?"
"We got back a few days ago," Patrick confirmed, tucking his hands into his jacket pockets. "He- he wants Sami. He wants to take her away with us."
"What?" Lucas' hand was already back on his car door handle. He was ready to speed back to his apartment and tear EJ apart. EJ couldn't take Sami from him. Everything was good between him and Sami again. They were having another baby. They were a family again, and EJ wasn't going to destroy that for them. Lucas wasn't going to let that happen.
"Lucas," Patrick swallowed hard and looked at Lucas warily. "He believes that Sami is carrying his child. When we were in Italy, one of Stefano's men told EJ that he needs to keep tabs on the child. Close tabs. They need to 'raise their heir properly', as EJ put it."
"That's insane," Lucas licked at his suddenly dry lips. "The baby... she's only three months along. We were together before then, and she wouldn't have– She said she didn't–"
Patrick was regarding Lucas with something close to sympathy now. "She wouldn't have, Lucas. It happened on the night you were trapped under the ceiling beam or whatever. He found her out on the road looking for help, and he made damn sure she helped him get out of Salem before he let her go. He said she was going crazy worrying about you, so he used it to his advantage. It was either her body or your life."
"No." Lucas had to steady himself against his car. His legs shook. "He didn't touch her. No." He shook his head, trying to erase Patrick's words from his mind.
"I'm sorry," Patrick stepped forward, taking one hand from his pocket to touch Lucas' shoulder. "But he did. She never would have touched him otherwise though. He raped her, Lucas."
Lucas jerked away from his touch. "Don't touch me. You've been helping him all along! This is your fault, too." Lucas' fist swung forwards, going for Patrick's jaw. Patrick deflected the punch and gripped Lucas' arm firmly. Lucas struggled against his hold, suddenly wanting to destroy the first living thing he could get his hands on. EJ had raped Sami and he hadn't even known. She had been handling the whole thing by herself, keeping everything bottled up inside. It never would have happened if he hadn't been trapped under the ceiling beam either. Dammit. This was his fault. Why hadn't he been able to tell that something was wrong with her?
"But I'm helping you, aren't I? I don't want him taking Sami with us. Yes, I work with him, but some of the things he does make me sick." Patrick's lip curled into a half-sneer. "The way he talks about his 'heir' is completely disgusting. It's all he cares about anymore. I don't want him to take Sami back to Italy with us so he can continue obsessing over the idea of turning an innocent baby into someone like him."
"Fine." Lucas wrenched his arm from Patrick's hold and pulled open his car door. "Is he with her right now?"
"He should be getting to her apartment about now. He headed over there as soon as Victor got off the phone with you. I was just supposed to call him when you got here."
"Dammit," Lucas practically threw himself into his car, quickly scrambling to pull out his keys. "I better get there in time. If I don't, you better not let him take her. I need her, and I'll come after you if I have to. Besides, the baby probably isn't even EJ's. It could be mine. Did he ever think about that?"
Patrick looked a bit nauseated as he replied. "He said something about how his seed is much more powerful than yours or something. Gross. Anyways, he seems pretty certain that it's his."
"That bastard," Lucas clamped his teeth together so tightly that his head began to pound. He started up his car with a final sideways glance at Patrick. "Remember what I said. EJ isn't going anywhere with Sami. I don't care what I have to do to stop him."
Lucas' own eyes flew open again, and he let out a heavy breath. Unable to stop himself, he moved away from Sami, turning to his other side so he was facing away from her. She shouldn't have felt safe with him. The bottom line was clear: he was a murderer. But it was just EJ, he tried to argue with himself. EJ was a bastard who had hurt people a million times more than he had helped them. Killing EJ should have felt like the equivalent of crushing the head of a rattlesnake under your boot before it could bite you.
But even though he had been a DiMera, even though he had been one of the cruellest people Lucas had ever known, he had still been a human being. Lucas didn't want to be the cause of other people's death. Life was supposed to be taken by old age or serial killers or car accidents or diseases, not by him.
It's not even the first time you've killed a person, a voice in his mind taunted him. You could almost make a living out of killing people, Lucas.
Stop, he willed the voice. Being haunted by EJ's ghost was bad enough. He didn't need Franco's ghost coming back to torture him again, too. Lucas flipped onto his back and took another look at Sami. She didn't even know about Franco, although she probably had her suspicions.
Killing other people wasn't something that normal, healthy people did. He had killed two people now. The deaths just got uglier, too. Franco's death hadn't been pleasant by any means, but EJ's had been worse. A lot worse.
At least something was going right for him that night, Lucas realized when he reached Sami's apartment. He could hear voices inside – one distinctly British, the other distinctly Sami. It took all of Lucas' self-control to stop from barging into the apartment immediately, but he managed to stay hovered outside the door. He needed a plan. EJ probably had a gun or something, and he wasn't going to take a risk that might lead to Sami getting hurt. She had already been hurt too much by EJ.
"Samantha! I don't have time for your arguments. You are leaving with me right now or I'm going to kill your son."
"EJ, please. Don't do this to me. You got what you wanted, now let me stay here. I want to be with Lucas. I love him." Sami's voice broke at the last sentence. Lucas' hands balled into fists. That asshole wasn't going to get away with making her cry.
"I don't care who or what you love. What matters is what you're going to do, and that's leave with me. We have a child to raise. My father expects my heir to follow in our footsteps, and that's not going to happen if he's being raised by your spineless worm of a fiancé."
Spineless worm? Lucas almost laughed. Lucas might have been a lot of things, but he wasn't spineless, not when it came to the people he cared about. He opened the door partway, just to gauge the situation. EJ was gripping Sami's arm tightly in one hand and holding a gun in the other. That gun could become problematic if Lucas wasn't careful. Thankfully, EJ was turned away from the door. Sami, on the other hand, wasn't. She saw Lucas peer through the opening in the door, and a hopeful look softened the fear and anger in her features.
EJ obviously noticed the change in Sami's expression because he turned towards the door almost immediately. As he was turning, Sami and Lucas sprung into action simultaneously. Sami kneed EJ in the groin hard as Lucas burst through the door. EJ knelt over in pain for only a split second before his face contorted with rage.
"You bitch!" EJ grabbed Sami before she could move away from him. Lucas didn't make it to Sami until after EJ had smashed his gun against the side of her head. Her cry of pain was what really set Lucas off. He lunged for EJ, his fists connecting with EJ's face. EJ hit the floor hard, and Lucas fell down on top of him. The gun went sliding out of EJ's hands, coming to rest a few feet from EJ's head. Lucas wanted the gun to become less problematic and more advantageous, so he dragged himself off of EJ and reached for the gun.
EJ saw Lucas going for the gun and reacted quickly. He shoved Lucas onto his back just as Lucas wrapped his hand around the gun. EJ tried to grab the gun from Lucas, but Lucas held on tightly. He wasn't going to let EJ win, not after what he had done to Sami. He put his finger on the trigger and pulled. The bullet barely grazed EJ's shoulder, but it was enough of a shock to make EJ recoil slightly.
Taking advantage of EJ's shock, Lucas used both knees to push EJ away from him. EJ glared at Lucas, completely ignoring the bullet wound.
"You're pathetic. You won't pull the trigger. You couldn't save Samantha from me last time because you're weak. You're too weak to save her this time, too," EJ taunted Lucas, an amused smirk sliding across his face.
"Just get the hell away from her, EJ. She's not going with you." Lucas crawled over to where Sami was sitting. She held the side of her head in her hand, but blood still seeped through the creases of her fingers. He must have really hit her hard. Keeping the gun trained on EJ, Lucas touched the side of Sami's face.
"Is your head okay?" Sami nodded faintly, trying her best to smile. Lucas returned the smile, but it was pained, bittersweet smile. "He's not going to hurt you this time, Sami. I won't let him."
EJ had moved into the kitchen part of the apartment once Lucas had turned his attention to Sami. "You're not going to be able to stop me. You're nothing compared to me. No one defeats the DiMeras. No one."
Not only had EJ moved away from the gun, but he had obviously found Sami's wooden block of knives as well. The biggest, widest butcher knife in the collection was now clutched in his hand. Lucas had no doubts about his willingness to use it either. The gun in Lucas' hand might as well have been a teddy bear for all the attention EJ was paying to it, too.
Lucas moved in front of Sami, blocking her from EJ. EJ just laughed. He had probably laughed when he'd told Patrick about what he'd done to Sami, too.
It was a stupid, cliche thing to even think, but it fit the situation: Lucas saw red. He was past thinking, past rationalizing. He was just feeling. Hate tore the thinking side of his brain to shreds. Anger flared up, making his chest burn. EJ kept walking forwards with the knife. He'd have no problem stabbing Lucas with it. Lucas knew that. His hands shaking with rage, Lucas took aim with the gun and fired.
He really had been aiming for EJ's hand. He had just wanted to shoot the knife out of EJ's hand to eliminate the chances of being stabbed. Unfortunately for EJ, Lucas was too pissed off and too disorientated to make an accurate shot. The bullet didn't hit EJ anywhere near his hand, but just above his bellybutton instead. Even more unfortunately for EJ, the impact of the bullet was so intense that it sent him stumbling backwards until he fell right through Sami's apartment window.
He heard Sami gasp beside him, but since the danger has passed, Lucas hurried over to the window. He looked down to where EJ had fallen. EJ lay on the ground unmoving, but he didn't look dead. Maybe that was just wishful thinking on Lucas' part though. But hell, EJ was a DiMera. It was never this easy to kill them.
Lucas' attention was drawn away from EJ when a car began driving down the street slowly. It was the same black car that had cut Lucas off in the Titan parking lot. Patrick had arrived. Lucas didn't know whether to be relieved or alarmed. He walked back over to Sami and helped her to her feet.
"We should go see what's going on down there," he half-mumbled, tucking the gun into his pants, just in case. Sami nodded and walked out of her apartment with him. Her hand was squeezing his so tightly that he felt his hand losing its circulation, but he didn't care. He just needed her to keep holding onto him so he'd know she was okay, that EJ hadn't taken her from him.
By the time they reached the street, Patrick was already at EJ's side. EJ was definitely alive, but he didn't look too good. Blood stained the arm of his shirt, and there was another bloodstain at least three times the size and still growing where Lucas had shot him the second time. The left side of his face must have scraped the pavement sometime during or after his fall, because the skin there almost looked raw. There were already some decent sized bruises darkening patches of his skin, and Lucas was sure there were even larger bruises underneath his clothes. But he was blinking – very rapidly as usual – and breathing, and he was even trying to sit up.
Patrick had one hand pressed against the wound on EJ's stomach to stop the flow of blood and the other around EJ's shoulders so he could help EJ sit up. Sami stared at EJ with wide eyes.
"He actually lived through that?"
No longer on their side, it seemed, Patrick glowered at both Lucas and Sami. "He's a DiMera. He's stronger than you'll ever be. He can live through anything." Patrick tried to sound confident, but there was a desperate edge to his voice, so the words sounded more like a plea than a statement.
EJ had definitely been weakened by his fall, but his eyes were as fierce and as intense as ever. Animalistic rage seared from his eyes when they met Lucas'. "You'll pay," he managed to spit out.
Patrick's blood-drenched hand was on EJ's neck now, checking his pulse. He stared up at Lucas and Sami angrily. He wasn't anywhere near as furious as EJ was, obviously, but he was definitely good and pissed. ""Get the hell out of here," Patrick snapped. "You don't want to be around when EJ recovers. Get out of Salem. Go to a motel or something. Just get out of my sight."
Lucas nodded slowly. Still clutching Sami's hand, he turned back in the direction of their apartment building. Patrick stayed behind and began trying to get EJ to his car.
"Don't touch me," Lucas heard EJ snap at Patrick from behind him. "This is your fault. You're an incompetent weakling. I can't even trust you with the simplest tasks, can I?"
"EJ, you're hurt. I need to get you into my car so we can fix this," Patrick responded. Their voices slowly faded as Lucas and Sami walked back inside the apartment building. As soon as they couldn't hear EJ and Patrick at all anymore, Sami let go of Lucas' hand and threw herself into his arms.
"Lucas," Her body shook with silent sobs as he held her. Blood dampened her hair, but her wound didn't look that bad after all. Lucas could treat it easily enough. He just hoped that he'd be able to help her get past everything else EJ had done to her.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he rasped, tears suddenly stinging his eyes. "I would have been there for you. You didn't have to go through it alone."
"I didn't want you to know. You were already hurt, and I just... I didn't want to think about it."
He rested his forehead on hers, his hands cupping her face so he could brush away her tears with his thumbs. "Ignoring it wasn't going to make it go away." He suddenly dropped his hands and began to pull away from her. "This is my fault. I was stupid enough to get stuck under that beam, and it put you in danger. I should have–"
"Lucas, don't," Sami cut him off, her hands lightly stroking the side of his face. "I've never blamed you. It wasn't your fault. You'd never intentionally let me get hurt. You proved that tonight." Her eyes were shining with a fresh wave of tears. "You saved me from EJ. You always save me when it really matters."
But he hadn't saved her when it had mattered. He pictured EJ's cold, careless hands roaming across Sami's body and tensed up all over again. He should have saved her then, too.
"We have to go," Sami reminded him, brushing away the rest of her tears. "You heard Patrick. He sounded serious. I don't want either of us getting hurt. Will's still on that spring camping trip with his class, so he'll be okay. We just need to get some clothes and get out of here."
Lucas nodded in agreement. He followed Sami back up to the apartment with his hand wrapped around hers.
He had even tried showering after Patrick's phone call. The water had been almost scalding hot, and he had scrubbed at his skin with soap furiously. It hadn't helped. Nothing helped. This was worse than Franco's death. There was twice as much blood on his hands now. Murder was no longer a once-in-a-lifetime thing for him. It had become a recurrence. Two men were dead because of him.
A hand touched his shoulder lightly. Startled, he almost fell out of the bed, but he managed to recover and turned to look at Sami. Her eyes were open but heavy with sleep.
"You're not sleeping," she murmured drowsily, sliding across the bed and curling up next to him. Her soft skin touched his, and it had almost the same effect that Holy Water had on vampires. He wanted to pull away and scream at her not to touch him. He was a killer. Even she had almost died on death row because of him. She deserved someone better, someone without so many black scars ruining them.
She felt him pull back from her and raised her head to stare at him, suddenly looking more awake.
"I fucked up," he muttered, not really talking about EJ. Now he was thinking about Sami lying lifelessly in that death row chamber. Sami ran warm, gentle fingers across his cheek.
"You saved my life," she countered. "You protected me, and I love you for that and for so many other reasons. And you know what else?"
Lucas shook his head and looked up at her expectantly.
"I would have done the same thing if I had been in your place. If it had to be either you or EJ, it would have been EJ. I wouldn't have let him take you from me."
Lucas tried to smile. "I'm glad you weren't in my position then. I wouldn't want you having to live with this."
She looked down at him sadly. "I wish I could make this go away for you."
Lucas hated the way she was looking at him, so he lifted his head to kiss her. It still made his mouth burn with guilt, but he tried to ignore the sensation and focus on Sami. His beautiful, sweet, alive Sami. Then he remembered Patrick. Patrick, the man who had helped him save Sami from EJ. Patrick, the man who no longer had the person he cared about more than anyone else because he had helped Lucas.
"He's dead." The statement hit his ear like a brick as soon as he turned on the phone. Patrick's voice. Which meant EJ was... No. No, Lucas' mind screamed. He hadn't killed another person.
"How did you get this number?" Lucas tried to brush off what Patrick had said.
"Billie. I told her it was urgent, and it is. You killed him," Patrick said flatly.
"I didn't," Lucas swallowed hard. Sami walked over to touch his shoulder, looking concerned. He moved away from her and paced the floor of the motel room. "He was alive when we left."
"And then he died. Right here with me, in my car. You probably hit his intestines or something when you shot him. It must have caused an infection. He was in a lot of pain right at the end. I thought you'd want to know that," Patrick added harshly, his voice choked and accusing at the same time. Lucas almost flinched.
"I didn't. I didn't want him to– I just didn't want him to hurt Sami! I never wanted to kill anyone! Never." Lucas remembered Franco at that moment, too.
Patrick exhaled audibly, and his breath was disjointed by something that sounded a lot like a sob. "He asked me to kill you right before he died. I could do it, too. I could hunt you down and blow your brains out. I should kill you. You were never supposed to kill EJ. I never would have helped you if I had thought that's what you'd do to him."
It was easy to imagine dying at that moment. Lucas knew that if anyone ever killed Sami, he'd hunt them down and kill them, too, and it was starting to seem like EJ had been a lot more than a partner in crime to Patrick.
"You sold him out. You told me about his plans. I thought you hated him."
Patrick's laugh was bitter and acidic, like alcohol in a fresh wound. "Hate him? Half the time, I almost did, and the other half of the time, I wished that I could. But, no. I just didn't want Sami coming with us. It was stupid, how focussed on his God damn heir he was. He completely forgot about me the minute he got in Sami's pants. She wasn't supposed to be a part of this. It was only supposed to be me and him working together."
Lucas didn't say anything. He didn't know what he could say to that. Patrick filled the silence a few minutes later.
"Sami really loves you, doesn't she?"
Surprised by the question, Lucas turned towards Sami. She was still watching him, confusion and concern darkening her face. He gave her a reassuring smile, then responded to Patrick. "I think so."
"You can't think. You have to know."
Sami returned his smile, then mouthed 'I love you'. That seemed like a yes to him, so he told Patrick yes. It took Patrick a few minutes to respond.
"Then I'm not going to kill you. God knows I want to, but Sami never did anything to me. I'm not going to put her through what you put me through."
Lucas frowned, still unsure of just how close EJ and Patrick had been. "Well... thank you, I guess."
"Don't thank me. If I ever see you again, I'll want to kill you so bad that it'll almost kill me. We'll both just have to hope that we never cross paths again."
Lucas hesitated, and then there was no time left to reply. Patrick had hung up, and there was only the annoying hum of the dial tone left in his ear.
"Lucas, I love you so much," Sami whispered, only pulling away for a split second before her mouth was on his again. She parted her lips for him, and he slipped his tongue into her waiting mouth, revelling in the taste and the warmth.
Touching her didn't hurt anymore, mainly because she was so solid and alive. That was what mattered most to him. He needed her and he would do anything to keep her safe. Murder was not exempt from the list. He finally decided that he could deal with being haunted by a few ghosts as long as he could still feel Sami's heartbeat constant and steady in her chest.