|I Am Sure I Imagined You
Author: vivamsmolly PM
If you met her, you'd never forget her. You probably shouldn't get involved but where else can you go when she feels like home? Sam and Mercedes meet in an usual way, each of them with their own problems to solve. Will they realize they were what the other needed all along? AU Samcedes fic with appearances by other Glee characters.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Mercedes J. & Sam E. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 34,877 - Reviews: 114 - Favs: 38 - Follows: 70 - Updated: 09-01-12 - Published: 06-18-12 - id: 8229830
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Still don't own Glee, never will.
Thank you all for reading! I'm glad to hear your guesses and feelings in the reviews/comments so keep those coming as well and I'll try to respond to everyone. I'll keep this short and let you get on with the chapter. Enjoy!
I won't ask for much because I don't believe I deserve it. I don't believe I deserve you but I've found my way to you nonetheless. Now that I'm here, I don't plan on leaving.
Nothing that came across my desk made any sense. I spent the rest of my weekend thinking about Mercedes and most of my week doing the same. Though Puck had taken his status as a single man as an opportunity to drag me out to spend a few nights out on the town, his reconciliation with Sugar left me alone again by Sunday night. By Monday morning, I realized that I hadn't slept. I had lain in bed for my normal eight hours but I hadn't slept. My eyes got heavy, my breathing evened out, but I didn't sleep.
"This girl can't be that special," Puck bemoaned as I checked my cell phone for the umpteenth time. We sat in my office; me trying to focus on the layout of a website for a party planner and him diligently setting up appointments in his planner. "What has got you so hung up about her?"
I shook my head, dismissing his claims. "You'd have to meet her to find out." I couldn't describe exactly what I felt for Mercedes at that point. If I knew the words to properly describe what I felt just being near her for a few hours I'd gladly shout them from the roof of our twenty-story building.
It took a week for her to call. A week for me to pick up the phone, hear her whisper a cautious 'Hello' then hang up as soon as I returned the greeting. It was just enough; just hearing her voice and the fact that she had decided to call at all. I had spent the entire week taking my lunch break at the same exact time, walking over to the park where we met and hoping to run into her again.
One day I got lucky. I spotted her coat first, then her swiftly moving legs, and I immediately sprinted across the park to catch up with her. I called her name and when she turned around, I saw what I recognized as a brief moment of panic flash across her face before she plastered on a smile and greeted me warmly.
I wanted to ask how she'd been; what she'd been up to; why she didn't call; when I would get to see her again; where did she go the other night; who was the man at her door.
None of those questions came out. Instead, I asked, "Would you like to have dinner with me?"
She struggled to keep the smile on her face as she politely turned me down. I wanted to beg her, to promise her that she would have a nice evening but my pride wouldn't allow it. As bad as I wanted the company, hers especially, I didn't think it would be worth making a fool of myself if she wasn't interested. She offered a quick goodbye before continuing on her path down the street.
After that encounter, I had given up all hope of hearing from her and resolved to settle for the fantasies I began having about her. When she did call, the sound of my ringing cell phone sounded foreign. I prudently answered the call and heard the pleasant sound of her voice on the other end.
She spoke softly, "Hello?"
I didn't respond. My excitement and my nervousness were at odds and both wanted the privilege to speak up.
"Hello?" she breathed again.
"Hello, Mer-" I didn't get it out before I heard the click. I figured my lack of response was the reason for her ending the call but I was still overjoyed to hear from her.
She had thought about me.
Not only was I on her mind, but she wanted to hear from me. To hear my voice in the same way I wanted to hear hers and just that thought enough to get me through the rest of my day. Her phone number would be the weapon against my loneliness and I intended to use it. I wanted to call her every free moment I had but as I stared down the large stack of client contracts cluttering my desk and dealt with the constant stream of visitors running in and out of my door, I never had a moment to do so.
I called her that evening after I had gotten home. She said that she was glad to hear from me and apologized for hanging up earlier, admitting that shyness got the best of her and forced her to hang up. I dismissed her apology and settled at my kitchen table while I talked to her. I quickly lost track of time and my rumbling stomach reminded me that I hadn't had dinner. Glancing at my phone, I realized it was almost 9 PM and that I had been talking to Mercedes for over three hours.
She told me about herself. About her job at a local community center her parents had founded where she taught piano and led a small choir. About how the untimely passing of both of her parents in a small plane crash that had left her pretty much set for life. They had a monetary fund set up for her with a specific monthly allowance that she could spend how she liked. When she had extra money, it was put towards the community center where she spent most of her free time. She talked about her parents lovingly, sobbed a little as she told me how she missed them. She didn't have any other family except for an older brother in the military that spent most of his time overseas.
Aside from an errant friend or two, she was alone.
She told me where she went the other night. She didn't go into too much detail, only divulging the fact that she ended up at a club where a run-in with one of her exes caused her to spend the night with a friend. I still couldn't muster up the courage to ask about the man at the door; I didn't want to pry too much and figured when the time was right, I'd ask. I also didn't ask why she had chosen to leave and not wake me. However, she did explain that she had had a long day and felt overwhelmed when she woke up in my arms and didn't feel the need to disturb my seemingly peaceful sleep as she escaped for a few hours to collect her thoughts. I understood, knowing all too well the rush that went along with something new in your life and coping with the strange feelings.
We went on like this for two weeks, diligently calling one another after work and speaking on the phone. The conversations weren't always long but they were always pleasant, and each time I hung up I felt...satisfied. Having her on the other end of the line did something to me. She was who knows where some nights when we talked. At times I could hear the faint sounds of children playing in the background, other times I'd hear music or the distinct sounds of traffic, but the idea that I had her full attention, that she wanted to speak with me, it was one of the best things I'd ever experienced.
I let myself dream. I thought that maybe, I could be so lucky, and someone like Mercedes could want someone like me.
I thought to push my luck again. I got up the courage to invite her over for dinner. She was already disagreeing before I finished the question. I could feel her shaking her head on the phone, her dark hair probably flying as she did. "I don't know if that's a good idea," she began, "Talking on the phone is one thing, but I just want to take whatever this is slowly. I'm not really someone you should be letting into your life right now. I can't imagine how anyone could have room for me," she admitted somewhat sadly.
I spoke gently, allowing my patience to do the talking. I wanted to spend time with her and I could tell that she wanted the same. "Why don't you let me decide what I have room for? I'm not trying to seduce you or anything, Mercedes. I just want to have dinner with you again. I want to see your face again," I confessed.
A brief silence took the air before she responded, "I want to see yours too, I just-"
"Say yes," I urged, hopeful that she'd comply
A sigh came through the line as she gave in, "I can be there in an hour."
An hour went by faster than I anticipated it would. After a shower and changing into one of my nicer pairs of jeans, I buzzed around my kitchen trying to figure out what I should serve for dinner. I panicked at the realization that I hadn't thought my plan out too well and that I didn't have much in the way of ingredients to put together a decent meal. I gave up trying after deciding that there was absolutely nothing I could put together with potato chips and peanut butter. I settled on pizza. It was the best I could do under such short notice and I just had to pray that Mercedes would understand my predicament.
I heard a light knock on the door as I fixed my mussed blond hair in the bathroom mirror. I rushed to the door, not bothering with the peephole, I swung it wide open and greeted Mercedes with a foolish grin. She looked lovely in a short black cocktail dress, diamond earrings and loosely curled hair.
Her smile matched my own and my stomach flipped at the idea that she seemed just as eager as I was. "Hi, Sam," she uttered shyly.
I moved aside to let her in, taking the coat she carried in her hands; I glanced briefly again at her outfit, trying not to stare too much. It was hard because it probably should have been illegal the way the fabric of her dress dipped over her form and clung to her body. "You didn't have to get all dressed up on my account," I joked.
She laughed nervously, "I didn't actually. I just have a-uh-um-a-previous engagement that I have to attend tonight."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize. I-I-I didn't mean to mess up any of your plans. We could have done this some other time - I just ordered pizza," I began rambling.
"No, no. You didn't mess anything up," she said hurriedly. Her tone softened as she continued, "I love pizza. Besides, I really wanted to see you."
I put a hand to my chest, as I was sure my heart was going to jump out at her words. Part of me didn't want to believe them; I wasn't entirely ready to acknowledge the fact that she might have liked me as much as I liked her. "Then why was it so hard for me to get you to have dinner with me?" I questioned, ushering her toward the kitchen.
"I didn't want you to feel like you had to spend time with me. I'm kind of a mess, Sam, and I don't want to burden you with anything."
I smiled as I handed her a can of soda from the fridge. "Trust me, I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
We sat down at the table and she fiddled with the tab on her soda, focusing on it as she plucked it against the can, "You're really sweet, which is why I was so afraid to call you. I don't really know how to treat sweet people. I hate to be so cryptic; I just have a lot going on but despite all of that I haven't been able to stop thinking about you."
A knock on the door stopped my response. I muttered that I'd be back and left the kitchen to open the door. A teenager stood there impatiently tapping his foot and holding my pizza. I paid for it and had to take a moment to breathe after I closed the door behind him.
She couldn't stop thinking about me.
The words really hit me and as I walked back to the kitchen, I had to take another deep breath before sitting back down at the table. I served each of us a slice of pizza and began to eat, stalling as I tried to figure out what to say to her. I couldn't tell her that she'd been on my mind constantly for the past couple of weeks. I couldn't tell her about the dreams I had about her, or the fantasies that now plagued my waking life. I couldn't tell her about the sinking feeling in my chest if I missed one of her calls that turned to fluttering when I'd listen to the sweet voicemails she'd leave.
Finishing off my first slice and reaching for another, I finally had an idea. "How about we make a deal?" I began. She looked up at me, a smile tugged at her lips as she waited for me to continue, "I promise to let you tell me about yourself on your own terms if you promise not to push me away."
The smile took over. My heart melted as she reached across the table to cup my clammy hand in hers. "I promise that I'll try," she pledged.
I squeezed her fingers and matched her smile. "That's good enough."
We continued to eat, each of us doing so with one hand as we refused to let go of our clasped hand. Her fingers intertwined with mine and I stroked her thumb with my own as we ate and talked periodically. Her cell phone ringing interrupted our bliss. She slowly let go of my hand and pulled the device from her purse, rolled her eyes at the display and excused herself to answer it. I could hear hushed parts of her conversation but tried my best not to eavesdrop. Whoever was on the other end of the line had her somewhat annoyed and she seemed slightly on edge when she came back to the table. She didn't sit down. Instead, she began cleaning up her plate.
"I'm really sorry but I have to go," she apologized making her way to the trashcan. I stood up and cleaned up my own mess.
"Right, your previous engagement-" I uttered, trying to stave off the empty feeling that would eventfully overtake my body when she was gone from me.
"Yeah, I really am sorry. I hate to eat and run."
I brushed off the apology, glad that I had gotten to spend any time with her at all. "Don't worry about it; we can finish up some other time."
I walked her to the door and helped her into her coat. A loud beep from her phone caused her to groan as she replied to the message she received. I waited for her to finish then offered to walk her to her car.
"No, don't bother. I think I can make it down all right. Thank you for tonight."
"You're welcome. If you ever want to do this again you can just call."
"I will." She took a step closer to me, I could smell her perfume, wafting up to my nostrils and intoxicating me instantly. She tilted her head back, her hair falling off her shoulders as she did, and pulled me to her by the front of my shirt. Our lips met in a short kiss before she whispered good night against my mouth and turned to leave.
Some statement came out of my mouth; I'm not sure what it was, not even sure if there were actual words. I stood at the door for a moment, babbling and licking my lips as I waved goodbye. As she reached the stairs, her phone rang again. She stopped to dig it from her purse and answered it as she stood at the top of the landing.
Gone was the sweet, hushed tone she spoke with me in. Her voice was annoyed and somewhat shrewd as she spoke, "I said I'll be there, stop calling me." She hung up the device and shoved it in her pocket as she began to take the stairs.
Before I could stop myself, I had grabbed my keys, found my shoes, slipped on my coat, and bolted from my apartment. When I reached the street, I could see Mercedes hopping into a red sports car. I ducked behind a row of bushes and crept to my own vehicle. Once inside, I waited for her to pull off before starting my car and coming behind her. I kept my distance as we drove, unaware of where I was headed but keeping an eye out for where we may end up.
She couldn't be going that far.
I didn't know what I was doing. Didn't know what exactly had compelled me to walk out of the door after her. All I knew was that it probably had a large part to do with whoever was on the other end of that phone and making Mercedes uncomfortable. I didn't like her feeling that way, didn't like her possibly heading in the direction of anyone who was going to try and hurt her. Maybe I could stop it. Maybe I could preempt whatever was going to happen and make everything better. Maybe I could save her.
I pulled up to a bar with a flashing gold sign, McKinley's it said. I parked near the back of the lot where I had a perfect view of Mercedes exiting her car. She walked to the door and was met by a large dark-haired man who pulled her to him in a spirited hug. They exchanged a few words before he reached into his coat pocket and came back out with what appeared to be a small stack of bills. She eyed the money uneasily and exchanged a few words with the man, before taking an expressive, dramatic huff and stuffing the money into her purse. The man wrapped an arm around her and led her to the front doors.
I sat in my car for a couple of minutes trying my best to rationalize what I had just seen. Mercedes couldn't be that type of woman, could she? But what if she was? Did that change the way I felt? Did that mean that I shouldn't see her anymore? Should I tell her that I know? Would knowing this stop the smile that appeared as soon she entered my thoughts? Would it stop my palms from sweating and my from throat drying when I came near her? Would it stop the fact that my entire body felt hot after she kissed me and if I had only one pleasure left in life I would want it to be her lips pressed against my own again?
I shook away the questions and decided to see for myself. I had my ID checked by the burly, mustached bouncer at the door and walked in. The place was dim, but the lighting felt appropriate in the expansive room. I stood in the doorway taking in the scene; tables and booths, filled with people covered the room. The walls were heavily decorated with various posters and nostalgic knick-knacks. There was a crowd around the long bar where three bartenders tended to the needs of the patrons. Waitresses darted around the room, dodging customers as they carried drinks and food to waiting tables. The place was alive, everyone moved to their own tune, seemingly aligned with the soft jazz music pumping through speakers placed strategically around the area.
I felt a body bump into mine and someone shove past me without apology. I turned to look at the offender and quickly realized it was the wet man who had shown up at Mercedes' apartment. I couldn't forget his face. He still wore the same sad expression he had weeks ago but tonight it was paired determination. He didn't even notice me as he bum rushed his way through the crowd and toward a door near the back placed next to a stage where a large black piano and solitary microphone stood.
He bumped into a waitress who tried to stop him from going through the door. The tray she was carrying, filled with empty plates of food, was knocked out of her hands and he continued to walk past her as she bent to pick everything up. I moved to follow him and as I got nearer to the waitress, I recognized her as Puck's girlfriend, Sugar. I bent to help her pick up the items from the tilted tray and she smiled graciously.
"What are you doing here, Sam?" She squeaked.
"I just stopped in. I didn't know you worked here."
"Yeah, I've been here forever. The owner's a real sweetie. Though some people are real jackasses," she grumbled gesturing toward the door the man disappeared behind.
"Who is that guy?" I asked as we stood back up.
She shrugged, lifting her tray back into the air. "I'm not even sure. He comes here all the time always asking for Mercedes."
I tried to keep my curiosity at bay, but I still thought it wise to use Sugar as a resource if she could be one. "You know Mercedes?" I asked as nonchalantly as I could.
An eager smile found its way to her face as she spoke, "Of course! Everyone here does; that's our Momma Merce! I don't really know who that guy is though. He used to come in and watch her sing. But she hasn't been here in a while so he just sits here all night, waiting for her, constantly asking if she's coming around. How do you know Mercedes?"
I didn't have time to respond to Sugar's question or thank her for the information she helpfully provided. The sound of shouting rang from behind the door and I could hear Mercedes' raised voice distinctively. In a flash, I was through the door with Sugar on my tail and on my way to the dressing room where I believed the screaming match to be coming from.
What does Sam following Mercedes mean for their relationship? What is going on with Mike? What was up with the money outside of McKinley's? More will be revealed in the next chapter. In the meantime, I want to know what's going through your lovely little heads. See you soon! Thanks for reading!