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Lucky hooked his arm around Sam and whispered soothing words to her as he propelled both of them towards the embankment. He could see Sam was shivering and in pain. When he accidentally brushed her arm, she yelped. "Sorry, Sam," he said, noticing the way it hung limply at her side as he pulled her through the icy water.
"It's alright," she murmured. "I think it's broken but I don't care cause I heard you, Lucky, I heard you."
Tears filmed his eyes. "You heard me?"
She nodded weakly. "Yeah as I was underwater I heard someone calling my name and -"
"Sam, I think you're delirious from the cold," he said.
"No, I knew they cared ... whoever was calling me... they cared," she said and dropped her head into the crook of his neck, seemingly exhausted. Her breath felt so cold on his neck and it worried him more than words could say.
Lucky wanted to protest again but he couldn't because hadn't he felt her too? Hadn't he sensed that she was the one in the water? Hadn't he actually known it was her? He couldn't wrap his mind around what all of this meant; he refused to. At least not now when Sam needed him so much even if she didn't realize she needed him. Or maybe she did and that's what scared him the most. That he was going to fail her again the way he always had.
They finally reached the embankment after what seemed like hours and he set her out on the moist earth before climbing up next to her. He knew she was semi-alert but he was still worried and leaned over her, listening to the sound of her soft heartbeats. They seemed too slow for him, way too slow for his liking.
"Okay, Sam," he said. "I am going to go get my jacket for you and radio an ambulance." He started to stand up but she grasped his hand.
"Please - please don't leave me," she said.
"Sam, I have to radio someone. If I don't you're going to die -"
"Let me," she said. "It doesn't matter now anyway..."
"Are you kidding? Of course it matters. You matter to a helluva lot of people and we're going to get you home to them."
She blinked her eyes and flicked them over to him, seeming to realize for the first time that he was also dripping wet. "You're wet too, Lucky. You're right. You should go."
"No, Lucky, just go. I want to stay down here. I am starting to feel so warm..."
"That's in your mind, baby. You're shaking like a leaf outwardly," he said. "So am I. Look we'll go up together because there is no way in hell I'm leaving you behind. You were right the first time."
Sam coughed up a stream of water then and said nothing as Lucky simply lifted her up into his arms as best as he could. His body ached from the drop from the bridge but he was determined to make it up the incline and to his cruiser where he would settle Sam inside and then race her to the hospital himself. God willing he could get her there in time...
Lucky carried Sam to the base of the hill and began up it, whispering soft comforting words to her as he began what seemed like a climb up Mount Everest in his chilled and fatigued state.
At some point, Sam closed her eyes and would no longer respond to him but he did his best to keep the panic out of his voice and keep talking in a normal staccato. "Sam, just think when we get you to the hospital, you're going to be okay. Everyone's going to be so glad to hear you're okay. Alexis, your sisters ... Jason ..."
He murmured whatever he could think of to say on the way up the embankment, even as his feet slid multiple times over mud and he had to catch himself before they both slipped back down.
But they finally made to the top just as he thought his legs would go out on him for good. He was huffing and puffing and sweating so even with his clothes cold and soaking wet.
He immediately wrenched the door of the passenger side open and tucked her inside before running back over to the collapsed side rail and picking up the jacket he had taken off before he jumped in after her. He ran back over to her and started unbuttoning her shirt.
Her eyes slowly opened then and she smiled in an almost dreamy way. "Lucky Spencer, are you trying to have your way with me?"
He shook his head, feeling his cheeks flaming with color. "No but you do need to get out of those clothes before you freeze to death."
"What about you?"
"I'll deal," he said.
"We'll deal together," she said and lightly swatted his hand away with her good arm. "Just turn up the heater."
He nodded. "I will," he said and then wrapped the jacket around her shaking shoulders and carefully buckled her in before running around to the driver's side and hopping in.
He squeezed her frosty hand and then jammed the heater up to full blast, pulling her against his side and starting up the engine.
He called into the hospital to ready them for Sam's arrival. He backed up the car and then started the path back towards town.
He noticed somewhere during the drive that Sam had stopped shivering and her eyes were staring forward, looking glazed and vacant. "Sam, baby, try to stay with me, okay?" He said, his voice coming out in a hiss. "Stay alert. Come on, Sam.