A Fresh Start

Chapter Sixty One

Saturday morning, Jeffrey is the first to wake. Rolling to his side, he watches Sam sleep for a few minutes, before he pushes the covers back and gets up. Walking downstairs, he takes a quick shower before he gets dressed. He has about an hour before the guys come over to practice and work on some new stuff. Grabbing a piece of paper, he writes a note for Sam. Putting it under a magnet on the refrigerator, he grabs his truck keys and heads to Company to get breakfast for them before the guys arrive.

As Jeffrey closes the door downstairs, Sam reaches for him. When she finds the bed empty, she rolls to her back and looks around the room. "Jeffrey." She calls, but she doesn't get any answer. Pushing the covers back, she grabs his t-shirt and walks downstairs. She heads to the bathroom before she goes into the kitchen.

Looking around the kitchen, she finds his note on the refrigerator. "Sam, I've gone to get us breakfast. I know you can cook." She smiles when she reads this. "…but you'll be cooking later today. I'll be back in a few minutes. I love both of you J."

Laying the note on the counter, she opens the refrigerator and pulls out the orange juice. Pouring a glass, she walks into the living room. She sits the glass of orange juice down on the coffee table before she lies down on the couch. Looking out on the city, she listens to the silence and realizes that for a Saturday morning, the street below sounded pretty busy. Settling back, she closes her eyes. After a few minutes, she's fallen back asleep. This is how Jeffrey finds her when he gets back from Company.

Walking into the kitchen, he puts everything on the counter. Taking a plate he fixes him something to eat before he walks back into the living room and over to the dining room table. Sitting down, he begins to eat. About ten minutes later, Sam wakes up. Sitting up, she looks around and then spots him sitting at the table eating. "Hi." She says, as she feels a wave of nausea come over her.

"Hi." He replies, as she gets up and walks towards him.

The closer she gets to the table the stronger the waves of nausea become. She's about to reach the table, when she turns and runs for the bathroom. She barely makes it in time, slamming the door behind her as she reaches for the toilet seat. Jeffrey gets up and walks over to the bathroom. He's reaching for the door handle as she opens the door. "Are you okay?" He asks.

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I know that's probably the last thing you want to hear in the morning."

"It's alright. Do you feel up to some breakfast?"

"I don't know."

"I've got some fruit, eggs, and bacon…."

"Don't mention bacon to me." Sam says as they walk towards the table.

"Is that what made you…?"

"I don't know." She says sitting down at the table and feeling her stomach start to turn as soon as she catches the scent of the bacon. "I think it was." She says, closing her eyes.

Picking up his plate, Jeffrey walks back to the kitchen. Throwing the bacon in the trash, he grabs the rest of the food and comes back to the table. Sitting down as she says. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay. Do you want some fruit?"

"Yeah, I think I can handle that." She says reaching for the container he is handing her. "When will the guys be over?" She asks, taking a slice of apple.

"I told them to be here around ten."

"Okay, do you want me to leave while…?"

"No, why?"

"I thought you might want to practice without me being here."

"I want them to meet you, and besides maybe you can give suggestions."

"Yeah right, my only suggestion is that sounds wonderful." She says, as he leans over and kisses her.

"That's the best suggestion you can make." He says, sitting back.

"So, you want me to tell you that whether it's good or bad." She teases him.

"Of course." He replies, as she starts to laugh.

"You're full of it."

"I know, but you love me anyway." He says sitting back and watching her eat.

After a few moments, she pushes the container back and sits back. "What?"

"I like watching you." He says, picking up his plate and taking it into the kitchen while she follows him.

"Alright, so they will be here at ten. Would you mind if I went out?"

"No, do whatever you want."

"Alright, I'm going to go get a shower and I'll be back before two."

"Okay."

Sam is upstairs getting dressed when Mike and Beau arrive. "So you wanted to get together and what?" Beau asks, as they walk in.

"Yea, I know it's been a while since we've gotten together but I've been busy."

"Yes, being mayor, taking Ava to tropical islands where princes…."

"First of all Mike, Ava is my daughter. And second, she's a grown woman. She makes her own choices. If this is going to be a problem then I suggest you leave." Jeffrey says, turning to him.

They stare at each other for few moments before Beau speaks up. "So, I heard you have a new lady in your…." He falls silent as he looks up and sees Sam standing at the bottom of the stairs.

His silence gets Jeffrey's attention. He turns and sees Sam. Walking over to her, he puts his arms across her shoulder for a couple seconds before he takes her hand and leads her over to where Beau and Mike are standing.

"Guys, I want you to meet Sam. Sam, this is Beau." Jeffrey says, as he holds out his hand and shakes hers. "And this is Mike." He says, turning to the other guy.

"Hello." Sam says, smiling at each of them.

"Hi." They both reply, staring.

After a few moments, Jeffrey notices and says. "Okay guys, you're staring."

"Ah, sorry." They both mumble, looking away quickly as Sam turns to Jeffrey.

"I'll be back later."

"Okay."

"Have fun." She says, leaning up to give him a quick kiss. He follows her to the door

"Be careful." He says, leaning closer to her and kissing her again, before he whispers. "I love both of you."

"We love you." She whispers back, reaching for her purse and keys.

Opening the door, she leaves. A few minutes later, she pulls into a parking place on Main Street. Getting out, she walks down the left side of the street, window shopping as she walks along. Until she reaches the music shop, opening the door, she walks in. The lady behind the counter says. "Hello" as she walks in.

"Hi." Sam replies, walking over to the guitars.

"I'll be with you in a minute." They lady says, as Sam nods.

Sam looks around for a few moments, before the lady behind the counter comes up to her. "Hi." She says again.

"Hello." Sam replies, turning to her.

"Is there something I can help you with?" She asks.

"Ah, I don't really know what I'm looking for." Sam says, looking at the guitars.

"Is this for you?"

"Ah no, it's for my boyfriend. He plays."

"Do you know if he has a type of guitar he likes?"

"Acoustic I think. Most of his guitars look like that." Sam says, pointing to a black Takamine electric acoustic guitar."

"So, he plays an electric acoustic."

"Yes, but he has those as well." Sam says, pointing to a Fender acoustic.

"So, he plays both. Both of these are good guitars. Does he have either one of these?"

"He has the black one, because he plays it for me sometimes. How much is the other one?"

"That is a Fender GC 23, it's a beautiful guitar."

"How much is it?"

"It's $365."

"Is that with tax?"

"No, with tax it'll be about $395."

"Can I have it engraved?"

"Engraved, I suppose you can."

"I want something simple."

"It might take a little while."

"How long, because I would like to give him this for a wedding present."

"Congratulations."

"Thank you."

"When are you getting married?"

"Labor Day weekend."

"There is someone in Oakdale. I'm sure that he would be able to get it done in that time frame. He has the equipment to do both engraving on the pick guard or wood burning equipment to do and engraving on wood, but I would suggest that if you do any engraving that it not be done on the top of the guitar."

"No, I wouldn't. I only want him to know that the guitar is from me. Do you have the number?"

"Ah, I think I have it behind the register." The lady says walking over to the register with Sam following behind her, carrying the guitar with her.

The lady finds the number for Sam and then rings up the guitar along with a hard case to carry it in. Sam leaves a few minutes later. Walking back to her car, she puts the guitar inside and then locks the car before she heads towards one of the department stores over by the theatre. She's walking inside when she runs into Harley. "Sam." She says, stopping.

"Hi, how are you?"

"I'm good. I heard Cassie gave you…."

"Yes." Sam replies, cutting her off.

"So, what are you doing today?"

"Oh, just having some time to myself. Jeffrey has his band over at the loft and there's not really anything for me to do, so I thought I'd go out and do some shopping."

"So, have you found anything?"

"Actually I did, but it's in the car and I was about to go look for me something to wear for later."

"Umm, well try Marsha's. She's got the cutest stuff. Stuff I'm sure Jeffrey will like."

"Thanks, I'll stop by." Sam says, looking at the shop across the street.

"So is everything ready?"

"It's getting that way. I've got to stop by the florist and printers on Monday. And everything else is taken care of."

"Have you told…?"

"We're telling Ava tonight."

"Oh, okay. Well, I've got to go. I've got to get Zach and Jude from Frank's."

"Okay, it was good to see you."

"You too, good luck and try Marsha's."

"I will." Sam says, with a smile as Harley walks away.

Changing directions, she walks across the street and down one block. Opening the door to Marsha's, she walks in as a young woman says. "Hello, welcome to Marsha's?"

"Thanks."

"Is there something I could help you find?"

"Umm, I think I'll look around for a bit." Sam says, walking around the store.

"Okay, if you need anything, feel free to ask."

"Thank you." Sam says, walking over to a rack

She begins to look through the merchandise on it and quickly realizes that this is not what she had in mind. Moving over to the next rack, she looks and again she doesn't find what she's looking for. All in all, she looks at about four different racks until she finds soft pink negligee with spaghetti straps and lace across the v-neck bodice. When she finds it, she knows that this is exactly what she's been looking for.

Taking it off the rack, she walks over to the mirror and holds it up to her. Looking at herself in the mirror, she's imagining Jeffrey's reaction on their wedding night when she wearing this. She doesn't notice Olivia is also in the store, until she walks up to her.

"Sam." She says, in a cold voice. Olivia's voice brings her out of her fantasy. Looking in the mirror, she feels herself tense as she turns and walks back to the rack where she found the negligee. "Looking for something, for Jeffrey, funny I didn't think Jeffrey needed this type of thing. I mean I never had to use anything like this to make him want me. He couldn't keep his hands off me."

Sam looks at her for a few seconds before she turns back to what she was doing as Olivia says. "I'm a little surprised that you stayed, with me being here and all. It seems you never stay when…."

"I didn't know you were here and I don't want any trouble." Sam says, as she walks over to the rack that has the robes on it, picking up a pink and a black with Olivia following behind her.

"Who says I'm trying to start trouble. I simply…."

"You're simply what Olivia?" Sam asks, turning to her.

"You know it's funny, you're alone. I thought you were always with Jeffrey."

"I don't have to always be with Jeffrey. He's spending the day with his band, so I thought I would go and spend a day for myself, do a little shopping, not that I have to explain myself to you."

"I can see what kind of shopping you are doing. I thought Jeffrey wanted you completely and totally. I didn't realize you needed…."

"I don't." Sam says stiffly.

"Well, if you do. That's not going to get done. You need something else, maybe along these lines." Olivia says holding up a black lace teddy, with the crouch cut out and garters to hold up thigh high panty hose.

The piece of lingerie is nothing more than a couple of pieces of lace tied together with a few strings. Picking up the negligee's and robes Sam looks around for a few moments before she heads towards the front of the store. She tries to ignore Olivia who is standing behind her, staring intently at her. Sam leaves, after the clerk hands her the bag. A few moments later, Olivia follows her.

"I really think you should have gotten the teddy. I think you would feel very comfortable it. I mean you do have something similar already, you have to. This is stocks of the trade. And it would save time. He wouldn't even have to take it off you. Save you some time as well, you make more money that way but I'm sure you know that." Olivia says, walking beside her.

Stopping, Sam turns to her. "What did you say?"

"Which part, the part about Jeffrey, or you?"

"Why don't you come out and say what you want to say."

"You're a whore, are you agreeing? You know, you can still, oh here, there's no need to thank me, I'm sure he'll enjoy the convenience of this as will you. Olivia says, looking down and taking the bag from with the teddy from her bag and holding out it to Sam. She didn't see Sam's hand coming before she feels it land against her cheek, pushing her back several steps as she drops the bag she was holding out to her. "You bitch." Olivia screeches, pressing her hand to her cheek.

"Yes, I am. And if you ever say anything like that again, there will be hell to pay. I've tried to be cordial to you Olivia, because you're Ava's mother and…."

"You've been cordial…."

"… I'm with Jeffrey."

"Is that what you call taking my man." They are both talking over each other.

"I didn't take him. You never had him." Sam says to Olivia's last comment.

"YES, I DID, HE WAS MINE." Olivia yells, reaching up and slapping Sam as Harley walks out of the shoe store across the street.

Olivia's slap knocks Sam back a step or two. Dropping her bag, Sam turns and walks towards Olivia, she doesn't say a word until she's about a half a step away from her. "Get this through your head, Jeffrey is mine. He will be mine, from now until the day he dies, get over it!" Sam says her voice calm and cold as Harley walks up to them.

"Ladies, is there a problem?" She asks, stepping between them.

"No." Sam says, still looking directly at Olivia. "You've been warned Olivia."

"Did you hear that?"

"I heard it, I also know you Olivia. And I think you need to go." Harley says, bending over and picking up the packages and handing them to Sam.

"Why should I go, she's the one intruding, taking things that…."

"He's mine, Olivia." Sam says softly, her voice hard and cold as she takes a step toward her.

"Olivia, I think it's best if you go."

"Fine, this isn't over." Olivia says, looking at Sam.

"Yes, it is." Sam says, watching as Olivia turns and walks away.

Harley turns to Sam. "I think that's going to bruise." She says, pointing to Sam's cheek.

"I don't care." Sam says still filled with rage.

"You may not, but I'm sure Jeffrey's going to ask about it."

"At this point, I wish I would've done more." Sam says, as she turns towards her car as Harley falls into step with her.

"What did she say?"

"She called me a whore and Jeffrey my john." Sam says her voice hard again.

"She didn't."

"Yes, along with accusing me of stealing her man."

"She's got nerve, as much as she's done."

"I don't care what she's done. I swear if she doesn't…."

"I have to warn you Sam, I'm a member of SPD any threats you make I have to report." Harley says, as they walk up to Sam's car.

"I'm fine. I've got to go. I've got to run over to Oakdale for a bit." Sam says.

"Do you know how to get there?"

"Yes, Jeffrey and I were over there a couple nights ago."

"Okay, well try to stay out of Olivia's away. I know it's hard with her being Ava's mother and Jeffrey's Ava's father, but try."

"I will." Sam says with a smile, wincing slightly at the throbbing in her cheek.

"I'd put some ice on that cheek, it might help the bruise."

"I'll be fine." Sam says, getting into her car.

"Alright, I'll see you around."

"Yeah, see you around." Sam says, starting the car and backing out.

She takes the route that Jeffrey used a couple nights before to get to Oakdale, driving down Main Street when she notices a sign that says "Oakdale Wood Craving and Engraving." Pulling in, she stops and turns the car off. Getting out, she reaches in the back and gets the guitar out. Walking into the shop, someone calls from the back. "I'll be with you in a minute?"

"Okay." Sam calls, looking around the shop.

She's standing at the back wall looking at a gallery of pictures when a man says from behind her. "How can I help you?"

Turning, Sam is shocked to see Dr. Westbrook standing before her. "Jacob!" she says, staring.

"Sam." He says, smiling broadly.

"What are you doing here?"

"My family is from here. My grandfather started this business and it's been passed down through generations."

"So how did you become a doctor?"

"I'm my father's second son. My brother took over the family business."

"Oh, so what are you doing here?"

"The agency gave me a leave of absence due to a family emergency with my mother."

"Oh, is she alright." Sam asks.

"We're cautiously optimistic."

"Ah, okay. Well I hope she has a full recovery."

"Thank you."

There are a few moments of nervous silence before she says. "I need to have something…."

"What happened to your cheek?"

"Oh." Sam says, reaching up to tenderly touch her cheek. "I had a bit of an accident this morning."

"And accident this morning, did he do…?"

"No, no, Jeffrey would never hit me. No."

"I'm sorry."

"I have a guitar that I need to have engraved. I'm thinking along the neck and the lady at the music shop recommended your shop."

"Let me see it." Jacob says, reaching for the guitar case and taking a deep breath when his hand brushes against hers. "You said along the neck." He says, putting the guitar on the bench behind him.

"Yes, I think that's the best place. I want Jeffrey to be able to see it, but not the whole world."

"What did you want it to say?"

"To J, love you always Sam, and the date September, 03 2007."

"That shouldn't be a problem. I assume you need this before the date?"

"Yes." Sam says. "How much will it cost?"

"Well, it's .10 cents per letter and you've got." He takes a moment to count up the letters and the price. So that $3.40 plus tax."

"Do I pay you now or should I pay you when I pick it up."

"It's up to you."

"I'll pay you when I pick it up. When will it be finished?"

"We've got three other orders in front of yours, so it should be finished around Thursday or Friday of next week."

"Call me when it's finished and I'll come by and pick it up."

"Okay." Sam turns to leave as he says. "It was good to see you?"

"It was good to see you too." Sam leaves, as he stands at the shop window and watches her.

It's a little before two when Sam pulls up in front of the loft. Looking in the rearview mirror, she checks out her cheek. Some of the redness had gone away and no bruise had appeared, but it was swollen. Opening the car door, she grabs her purse and the package she brought at Marsha's. Closing the car door, she locks the car and then heads up to the loft, hoping that Jeffrey would still be involved with the band. When she walks in, she hears them playing. Smiling, she calls to him as she walks into bathroom.

Jeffrey stops playing. "Well guys, that's our cue that this session is over."

"Okay." Beau says, putting his bass on the stand. "When will we be getting back together?" he asks.

"I don't know. I've got a lot going on in the next few weeks."

"Yeah, it's seems you don't have time for this anymore." Mike says, putting his drumsticks in his bag.

"You know what Mike, if you don't like the way things are being run then maybe you should find another band to play with." Jeffrey says, finally getting tired of his attitude.

"Maybe, I should." Mike says, standing up.

"Maybe, so." Jeffrey says, turning to him.

"Come on, guys." Beau says, standing up between them. "Let's call it a day."

"I think that's a good idea." Jeffrey says. "Thanks for coming over." He says, turning to Beau. "I'll call you with the next time."

"Okay." Beau says, steering Mike out of the loft. When Jeffrey closes the door, he turns to Mike and demands "Man, what the hell is wrong with you?"

Mike doesn't answer as he walks downstairs. Jeffrey walks back into the living room. Walking over to his guitar, he picks it up as he sits down. Strumming a few chords while he waits for Sam to come out of the bathroom, after about ten minutes, when she hasn't come out, he puts the guitar down and walks over to the bathroom.

"Sam, are you okay?"

"I'm fine. I'll be out in a minute." She says, looking at her reflection in the mirror. "That's going to have to do." She thought as she turns for the door, opening it as he takes a step back. "Hi." She says smiling.

"Hi, is something wrong?"

"No, why?"

"You were in there for a really long time."

"I'm a girl. I had stuff I needed to take care of." Sam says, walking into the living room. "Where did they go?"

"They left. I said they'd be gone by three."

"Oh."

"So, how did your day go? I didn't know you were going to be gone all day."

"It was interesting. I looked around the shops downtown."

"Did you buy anything?"

"Yes, I bought a couple things."

"Can I see them?"

"Later." Sam says, walking into the kitchen. "I've got to start getting ready for tonight." Sam says, as she opens the refrigerator door.

"Sam." Jeffrey says, shutting the door and turning her to him. "What happened?"

"Nothing."

"I know when you're hiding something."

"Why would you think I'm hiding something?"

"Because you're nervous, you won't sit still and you haven't looked me in the eye since you came out of the bathroom, so what happened?"

"Alright fine, something did happen, but I don't want to talk about it now."

"Why not?"

"Because I don't want to ruin tonight, I'll tell you about it later after Ava leaves." Sam says, standing up on her tiptoes and kissing him softly.

"Alright, I'll wait till after Ava leaves, but as soon as she leaves..."

"I'll tell you everything, I promise." Sam says, looking up at him.

"Alright, I'm going to go check and see that we have the stuff to grill tonight."

"I'll be in here." Sam says, turning back towards the refrigerator.

Turning towards the door, he stops and turns around and says. "Sam."

"Yes." She says, looking over her shoulder at him.

"I love you."

"I love you too." She replies, with a smile.

A couple hours later, Sam is pulling out the cake as Jeffrey walks in from the balcony with a plate of steaks in his hand as Ava knocks on the door. "I'll get it." He says, putting the plate on the stove and leaving the kitchen as Ava knocks again. "I'm coming." He calls as he walks up to the door. Opening the door, he smiles when he sees Ava on the other side. "Hi." He says, as he steps back and lets her in.

"Hi." She replies, as she kisses his cheek. "How are you?"

"I'm good, how are you?"

"Very good."

"And the baby?"

"He's good too. Where's Sam?"

"I'm here." Sam says, walking out of the kitchen

"Hi." Ava says, as they hug. "How are you and the baby?"

"We're good, you."

"Great."

"Good." Sam says, following her and Jeffrey into the living room.

"I would have brought some wine, but since…."

"It's okay. We've got sparkling cider in the refrigerator and ice tea. Would you like something to drink?"

"Some water would be fine."

"Water it is?" Sam says, headed towards the kitchen.

"So, Sam says this thing with Alan is getting to you." Jeffrey says, sitting down next to her.

"No, we had a long day at the office when I talked to Sam the other day. I'm fine."

"You won't let this stress you out."

"No, I'll be fine. It's just that Alex is panicking because I think she realizes that Alan might actually serve some time for this."

"He will, Ava. And maybe you should think about looking for…."

"I'm not leaving Spaulding." Ava says.

"Alright, but please don't let the Spaulding drama get to you. You know how they are." Jeffrey says, as Sam walks back in with water for her and Ava and ice tea for Jeffrey.

"Did you want…?" Sam asks, handing him the glass.

"No, that's fine." Jeffrey says taking the glass as Sam sits down in the chair across from them.

"So, what have you been doing?" Sam asks Ava after taking a drink.

"Not a whole lot, mostly working with Alex to do damage control from Alan's arrest."

"Well, speaking as a doctor. You can't…."

"Dad has already given me that speech." Ava says.

"So, are you hungry?"

"Umm, actually I am." Ava says.

"Then I'll go get everything ready." Sam says, getting up.

"Do you want some help?" Ava asks.

"No." Sam says, walking into the kitchen.

Jeffrey and Ava talk while Sam's in the kitchen finishing up everything. When she starts to bring everything out, Jeffrey gets up to help her. After a few moments they are sitting down to eat.

An hour later, Ava pushes her plate away. "Sam, that was delicious. So were the steaks, Dad."

"Thank you." They both reply as Sam gets up to clean the plates away.

"So, do you want some dessert?" Sam asks.

"No, I can't eat anymore. I'm stuffed." Ava says, pushing away from the table.

"Let me put these away and we'll talk." Sam says, glancing at Jeffrey.

"Okay." Ava says, catching the glance and wondering at it.

When Sam walks into the kitchen, Ava turns to Jeffrey and asks. "Is everything alright between you and Sam, she's not...?"

"Everything's fine. But we have something we need to tell you."

"Is it good?" Ava asks walking over to the chair that Sam was sitting in earlier.

"I hope it is." Jeffrey replies, following behind her and sitting down on the couch again.

"It's not the baby?"

"No, they are fine. In fact she had a first check up yesterday and everything was fine."

"Oh good." Ava says, as Sam walks back into the living room. "So, Dad says you both have something you want to tell me?" Ava asks, looking at her.

"Oh, yes." Sam says, looking at Jeffrey. "Do you want to tell her?"

"Tell me what?"

"Well, you know about the baby." Jeffrey says, as Sam sits down beside him and he takes her hand.

"Yes." Ava says, looking at them both.

"Well, we've decided to go ahead and get married." Jeffrey says in a rush.

"Oh, wow." Ava says, sitting back.

"Are you okay?" Jeffrey asks, watching her.

"I'm… I'm shocked. When you told me about the baby and I asked if you were going to get married you seemed sure that you weren't."

"Well…." Jeffrey looks at Sam

"We thought about it. And I thought about while I was in DC those last two weeks and I realized that the baby sealed what we already feel for each other. I do love your father Ava. I love him with everything I have."

"I know that." Ava says, smiling at each of them.

"Are you okay with this?" Jeffrey asks.
"Yes, yes, of course. But you know what this will do to Mom?"

"You let us worry about your mother. In fact, let me worry about your mother." Jeffrey says

"Alright, so I get a stepmother and a new baby sister or brother in less than a year's time, wow."

"I hope I'm more than just your step…."

"You are, but I'm worried about Olivia. She's going to…."

"You don't need to worry about her." Jeffrey says, getting up and walking over to Ava. "I'm going to protect both of my girls." He says, kneeling beside Ava as he looks at Sam.

"Alright, I'll try not to worry about Olivia." Ava says, reaching out and hugging him.

"Good." Jeffrey says after she releases him. Getting up he walks back over to Sam and sits down beside her. "So, you realize that you can't…."

"I'm not going to say a word to Olivia." Ava says.

"Good." Jeffrey says

"So, do you have a ring yet?"

"Ah, yes." Sam says, fiddling with the ring on her left finger.

"Can I see it?" Ava asks.

"Of course." Sam says, getting up and walking over to Ava.

Showing her the ring, Ava says. "It's beautiful. Where did you get it?"

"Russia." Jeffrey replies, as Sam sits back down beside him.

"Russia, how did…?"

"It's the ring I bought for her before the accident." Jeffrey says, looking at Sam.
"You kept it all these years."

"Yes, and thankfully I didn't bury it with the woman they buried in your place." Jeffrey says, as Sam looks at him a little shocked.

"You were going to bury it with the woman that Sasha used to stage the accident with."

"I thought about it, but again, I couldn't do it. I couldn't part with it."

"You kept it all these years." Ava says.

"Yes, in my sock drawer of all places. I found it the morning she flew back to DC for the last time. And when I found it, I gave it to her and told her to keep it and to think about us getting married. I told her that I would accept any decision that she made, but that I did want to marry her with or without the baby."

"So, I took the ring back to Washington and I thought about for the rest of that week and then that weekend I realized that it didn't matter that I was pregnant, I love your father and I wanted to marry him with or without the baby. I almost put the ring on then, but then I decided to let him do it himself."

"What do you mean?"

"When I went to Washington that weekend, I was fully prepared to accept whatever her decision was, but I hoped that she had decided to marry me and when we finally got around to discussing it. She gave me the ring back, and at first I thought she was turning me down." Jeffrey says, looking at Sam.

"Until I told him that I wanted him to ask me properly, which he did and I accepted." Sam says, looking at Jeffrey.

"Well, I'm glad. I want you to be happy and I think Sam is the one that will do that. I know kids are supposes to want their parents to get together, or back together, but I think that you two are meant for each other. I don't know how many times you tried to get rid of that ring…."

"Several." Jeffrey says.

"For whatever reason, the universe wouldn't let you." Ava says. "I'm happy for both of you." She says, getting up and walking over to them, giving them each a hug.

"Thank you." Sam says, after Jeffrey releases her.

"I think it's time I go." Ava says.

"So soon." Jeffrey asks

"It's almost 8:00 and these days, this is late for me." Ava says

"Alright, we'll see you soon." Jeffrey says, as they start towards the door.

She hugs Jeffrey and then Sam one more time. Before Ava releases her, she whispers. "You need to tell him what happened today."

Taking a step back, Sam looks at her. "How…?"

"I overheard Harley and Frank talking, and your cheeks a little swollen." She says.

Jeffrey catches the last of that, and as Ava's leaving he looks at Sam's right cheek, and he realizes that she's right, her right cheek was slightly swollen. Sam notices him looking at her but she doesn't say anything until Ava's out the door and down the stairs and he turns to her.

"I'll tell you." She says, walking into the living room.

"What happened?"

"Nothing really serious."

"Your right cheek is swollen. Now unless you had dental…."

Sam looks at him. "I had a small argument with Olivia this afternoon outside Marsha's. Harley overheard it and broke us up."

"Broke you up, this wasn't a small argument if Harley had to break it up and if it was small why is your cheek swollen.

"We sort of hit each other."

"You hit each other, she hit you."

"Yes, after I hit her."

"Sam."

"I know, I shouldn't have, especially with Ava coming over here tonight it could have ruined everything, but you didn't hear what she was saying."

"What did she say?"

"I was at Marsha's looking at some stuff for the wedding. I didn't see her when I walked in. I was standing in front of the mirror holding a nightgown up to see what it looked like on me and she walked up behind me. At first it wasn't what she was saying but how she was saying it. I tried to ignore her. I went on and picked out what I wanted to get and I left. She followed me and she had bought this really nasty piece of lingerie, something a hooker would wear. And she started saying stuff."

"What kind of stuff?"

"She said that I was a whore, and that's why you were with me. At that point I hit her."

"And when did she hit you?"

"After I told her that I hadn't taken you from her."

"Sam."

"I know. I shouldn't've reacted to her."

"Go take the make-up off." Jeffrey says. "I want to see how bad it is." He says when she starts to argue. Getting up, she walks into the bathroom. Taking her make-up off, she goes back into the living room. Jeffrey is waiting on the couch. "Let me see." He says when she sits down beside him.

Turning her face to him, he's surprised at the light bruise that's appeared on Sam's cheek. "Are you sure she only slapped you?"

"Yes. I slapped her as hard or harder. I don't know." Sam replies, as he lightly touches her cheek and she winces a little bit.

"I'm going to go get you and ice pack."

"It's a little late."

"But it'll help." Jeffrey says, getting up and walking into the kitchen.

He returns a few seconds later with and ice pack, wrapped in a towel. Handing it to her, she puts it gently against her cheek as he sits down beside her. "Come here." He says, putting his arm across her shoulders and drawing her to him.

She moves closer to him, laying her head on his shoulder as she holds the ice pack to her cheek. After about ten minutes, she takes the ice pack off before she asks. "Are you mad at me?"

"No, but I wish you would have told me this when you got home this afternoon."

"You would have gone after her."

"Damn right I would. She has no right…."

"I hit her first."

"After she provoked you, I don't care who hit who first. She had no right laying a hand on you."

"This is why I didn't want to tell you. You would have left to find her and it would have ruined the evening with Ava."

"You're right I would have gone looking for her. But I'm glad you didn't tell me till after Ava left. She doesn't need to see me go after her mother. I'll speak to Olivia when I see her again."

"Don't stir things up."

"This from the woman that slapped the hell out of my ex." Jeffrey says, teasingly.

"She deserved it. What she said about you was rude and uncalled for. Simply because she wants you, doesn't mean she has the right to insult you."

"Or you." Jeffrey says, as Sam stifles a yawn. "Alright, we need to get to bed."

"I'm…."

"You're tired." He says, releasing her and standing up. Turning, he helps her up and they head upstairs.

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