Sunsets

**A Lusam fan fiction. Alternate history, set in 2008. What if Elizabeth really had been the driver who ran down Sam? Read on to find out what happens.**


Chapter 1

He found her on the roof, leaning against the metal railing, watching the pink hues light the sky. The sun was about to set. Nightfall was quickly approaching. For a moment, he just stood there unobserved and watched her. She looked so small, so fragile… He longed to reach out to her, but he didn't begin to know how.

He finally cleared his throat, announcing his presence. "Epiphany said you'd be up here," he said as she slowly turned to look at him. Her pretty doe eyes showed surprise and something else that he couldn't quite read. "I just wanted to make sure you're alright."

"Hey… Yeah... I guess I needed some time away from the hospital hustle and bustle to think." She gestured towards the skyline. "The sunset is really beautiful. I guess I never took the time to appreciate the view before."

You're beautiful,
he thought. He came to stand beside her, resting his elbows on the steel grating. He was near enough to touch her. He only needed to angle himself a little to left and they'd be skin to skin again. His fingers itched to feather in her wavy, dark hair once more. She looked so impossibly beautiful, even in a too-baggy hospital gown and simple coverup. The warmth and nearness of her body called to him.

He coughed, hoping to swallow down the lump of desire that was sitting heavy in his throat. "How's the hip?" He asked, trying to keep his tone conversational.

"Almost good as new. Dr. Devlin is letting me go home tomorrow."

Lucky stiffened at the mention of Ian Devlin. The good doctor seemed to have taken a particular interest in Sam, even calling her "beautiful" one time in front of Lucky. Which of course, she was. Lucky just didn't like other men infringing on what used to be his. For a short time, she was his…

"That's good," Lucky said quietly.

"It is… Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life once I go home."

Lucky studied her expression. He thought she looked lost and unsure. "Well, you've got a lot of time left to decide, right?" He said.

Sam sighed. "Maybe too much."

"You'll figure it out. And you have your family and friends to help you through whatever comes next."

Sam rubbed her cheek. "Yeah…"

"Sam, you will figure things out. It just takes time to find oneself sometimes."

"Do you know who you are, Lucky?"

He splayed his hands. "I don't know… Maybe?"

"Well I know who you are… You're a good man. A man who has been through a helluva lot. You get knocked down but you always come back swinging."

Lucky rubbed the back of his neck as he looked over at her in the soft light. "You're stronger than you realize too, Sam. You've survived a lot… A lonely childhood... the death of your brother … and your baby." He said the last part reverently, knowing how much her daughter's death had affected her. "The way I see it, you've been through the worst; it's only blue skies ahead for you now."

Sam shrugged. "I hope you're right… And, Lucky, truly, I wish for you to have all of the blue sky days you can possibly handle."

"Thank you, Sam." Their eyes locked and held. He felt that same old attraction, that same old pull to her, and wondered if she felt it too. He had the strongest urge to reach out to her, to pull her into his arms, kiss her until they were both breathless and all of the hurt and mistrust between them fell away. He still desired her; still longed for her. Would that feeling ever truly dissipate? Did he even want it to?

Sam broke the spell by looking away, as if looking at him hurt her. Well, it hurt him too. The knowledge that he couldn't have her again made him ache. She had said it a few days before though and she was right: they both deserved to be with people who trusted them, who believed in them.

Suddenly, the truth hit him like a ton of bricks falling on his head. She had trusted him; she had believed in him - in a way few others ever had. He remembered the day he told her that she could trust herself to fall; that he would always catch her. He'd promised her he wouldn't desert her and he'd done just that. He had sworn to be different than the ones who came before him but he hadn't been. He had abandoned her; same as Sonny, same as Jason. He had pushed her away and in that moment, he knew how wrong he was for doing that.

So wrong…

"Sam," he said in a hushed voice. "I'm - I'm sorry."

She looked surprised by his admission. "What do you mean? You have nothing to be sorry for."

"Yes, I do." He found himself unable to resist reaching out and taking her hand, running his fingers over her smooth, soft knuckles.

Sam stared down at their joined hands. "Lucky… I don't understand what's happening here."

"I am sorry," he said again. "So incredibly sorry if I hurt you."

"Lucky, don't say that. Let's just… Go our separate ways. No apologies, no shame, no self-recriminations."

His chest felt like it was going to give way on him. "Let me just say what I need to say, okay?" She nodded hesitantly. "I pushed you away. I punished you away for-"

"Things I chose to do. Things I wilfully lied about."

"Yes, you made mistakes, but who hasn't, Sam? I am certainly far from being guilt-free. I abused drugs, I lied, I cheated. I just made one mistake after another."

"Was I one of your mistakes, Lucky?" She looked so hurt that it broke his soul.

He shook his head, lightly grasping her by the shoulders. "No, Sam, you weren't. You were probably one of the only sane things in my life … Despite all of the things that I may have said the night of the hit and run, I don't regret knowing you; I don't regret being with you."

"Lucky…"

"I promised you, Sam. I promised you I would be different than the men who had hurt you before. But the first time you disappointed me, what did I do? I lashed out. I threw you out into the cold - literally - to be attacked and then run down like an animal under someone's tires."

"Come on," she said, her voice hoarse. "None of that was your fault. I pushed you to that - to the limit. And no one could have known Diego was out there waiting or that someone would run me down and leave me for dead."

"If I just hadn't been so stubborn; if I had just held on tighter…"

"All the 'ifs' are only going to drive you crazy."

Lucky sighed, squeezing her shoulders, rubbing them as if the friction could somehow put the warmth back into both of them. "Sam, I didn't mean to hurt you."

"I didn't mean to hurt you either," Sam said. Her eyes welled with tears. "But what's done is done and we have to move on now, right?"

"Is that what you want - to move on? To forget we ever happened?"

"I could never forget we happened, Lucky. I mean, you saved me at a time when I was sinking, when I was drowning… I can never forget that. I don't want to…"

"But?"

"But I don't want to hurt you anymore either," Sam said. She briefly caressed his stubbled cheek with her soft fingers. Then she turned and headed for the door to the stairwell. His skin burned where she had touched him.

"Sam, wait," he called out in a hoarse voice. "You want to know what will really hurt me? If you walk through that door right now… not knowing how much you mean to me."

Her shoulders sloped. She kept her back turned to him. "Lucky…"

"It's true, Sam. I care about you … beyond what I ever could have thought possible, beyond what I thought I could ever feel for anyone again. I am standing here, asking you to give me another chance. To give us another chance. I can't stand the thought of you walking out of my life forever."

She slowly turned to face him. Her expression told him she was torn - torn between hopefulness and being afraid to believe in his words. "Do you mean that?" She asked, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.

He nodded. "With everything inside of me."

"Oh, Lucky," she cried. A tear rolled down her cheek but she made no effort to wipe it away. "Could you even forgive me for what I did to Elizabeth and the boys? How I lied?"

He nodded. "I can. I do. I don't want to be angry anymore. You just need to forgive yourself now."

She sniffled. "That's one tall order."

"Please, Sam. Let the past go. It's only going to hold us back… Just be with me, okay?"

Upon hearing his request, Sam launched herself at him. She fell into his arms and her cane hit the ground with a thwack! She slid her arms around his neck and held onto him tightly. He dropped his head to kiss her lips which tasted salty with her tears. How he had missed being this close to her.

They could have kissed for hours or minutes; he wasn't sure. When they broke apart, they turned to watch the sun setting together, staring in time as the fiery ball of orange sunk into the horizon. He tugged her close to his chest and inhaled the scent of her hair.

"Lucky?" She said. "Can I ask you something?"

"You can ask me anything."

"Will you come pick me up here in the morning; take me home - to our apartment?"

He grinned. "Of course, Sam. Nothing could keep me away."

TO BE CONTINUED.