Chapter 20


"Why do you say you love me, if you are only going to leave me?" - Julia


Sam knocked softly before entering. Katherine and Victor were standing near the window looking out onto the city and talking quietly. She hated to intrude but she needed to be here.

Katherine turned around and gave her a gentle smile. "Hello Samantha."

"Hello Agent Spade," Victor greeted before turning to Katherine. "I'll go see about the arrangements."

He nodded to Sam as he walked out of the room.

"I apologize for my husband's abruptness. He's taking all of this rather hard." Katherine threw a quick glance at Martin before returning her attention to Sam. "I was hoping you'd stop by today. Have you seen your friend Vivian yet?"

"I just came from her room. She told me that you are planning on having Martin moved to Washington." Sam hadn't intended to sound accusatory but that's the way it came out.

"Yes. Victor and I feel that Georgetown can offer the best medical treatment." Despite Sam's tone, Katherine did not respond defensively. She could see why she made such an excellent judge. "I know if he were awake he would hate the idea of living in Washington again but then, if he were awake, it wouldn't be an issue."

"Can't you just wait a little while longer? I mean, he's only been in a coma for a couple of days. Plus, with his other injuries, isn't it too soon to move him?" Sam knew she was bordering on a full blown tantrum but as much as her brain tried to stop her from being completely irrational her heart told her to keep on going. "You have to give him a chance, he needs more time!"

"Samantha, don't you think we've had experts review his charts? We've had other neurologists give us a second, a third, and fourth opinion. We've called in every favor we have to try and find a doctor who can offer us some definitive answers on how long Martin will remain in a coma. While they all have different ideas on what kind of treatment Martin should receive the only thing they can agree on is that they don't know what's causing it. And they have no idea when, or if, he will wake up. The head of Georgetown's neurology unit feels that the sooner he begins treatment of Martin the better his odds are." Katherine took a few steps toward her and continued, "So, we are taking him home where he'll be near his family that cares for him and who can visit everyday. We are just fortunate enough to live in the same city as the one of the best neurological units in the country."

Sam knew that Katherine presented a very logical and rational explanation but the bottom line was she didn't want Martin to leave. She wouldn't be able to see him or talk to him. She knew that if he stayed he'd still be in a coma but at least he would be here, with her. She was used to seeing his face just about everyday for the last three years and the thought that she couldn't see him at all was too much to bear.

"He has people here who care for him, too." Sam eyes were blurred by tears that had not yet spilled.

"I know he does," Katherine's voice was tender and soft as she placed her hand gently on Sam's forearm. "But he also needs to get well and I really think GUH can help him. I wouldn't risk moving him if I didn't believe that."

Sam put her hand on top of Katherine's and nodded her ascension, finally allowing herself to blink and tears spilled down her face. The crying increased and before Sam knew how it happened, Katherine was holding her as she wept. It was the kind of comfort that only a mother could offer. She rubbed Sam's back before stepping away and, in the most maternal gesture, she wiped the tears off of her cheeks with the palm of her hand.

"I will keep you updated on his progress and feel free to call anytime to just check in or if you just want to talk." Katherine smiled at her before giving her a tight but brief hug. "I'll give you a moment to say goodbye."

Sam mustered a smile of gratitude as Katherine left the room. She stood there watching Martin before moving to sit down on the chair next to his bed.

"Hey." She put her hand in his as she studied his face, realizing just how precious it had become to her. She knew that this could possibly be her last chance to tell him everything that she could never bring herself to do before. "I'm sorry that I've been giving you the cold shoulder lately. It's just, I was mad at you for ending it, ending us. I thought if I could keep being mad at you it wouldn't hurt as much. I could convince myself that the entire break-up was your fault, not mine." Sam choked back the tears. "I didn't want to admit that it was me, that I was the one pushing you away because it was safer to try and not care than risk getting hurt again. But I did get hurt. I am hurt that you left me.

"Every man in my life has left me, Martin. My father, my husband, Jackā€¦.so I learned to make myself hard; to accept that all men eventually leave. I kept waiting for you to go but you kept coming back, every day. At first I was sure it was just for the sex but then our nights became about more, whether it was just hanging out, eating dinner, or watching TV, it still meant that you wanted more from me. And that scared me because the last time I let myself get that comfortable with someone he left after five months.

"Did you know you're the longest relationship I've ever had? It's true. I know to a guy like you eight months probably doesn't seem like much, but to me, it was incredible; and frightening. I was worried that the more I got used to having you around, the harder it would be when you left. So I pushed. I pushed you away, to test you, to see what it would take to finally make you leave. But to my amazement, you stuck it out. And just when I accepted the fact that you weren't going anywhere and finally allowed myself to let you in, you broke it off. How's that for irony?"

She reached up and softly caressed his face, "But I'm not giving up on you, Marty. So I'll make you an offer: you wake up and I'll get to work on solving those problems of mine."

Sam studied Martin's face a moment longer before kissing him softly on the lips and exiting the room.

End Book I

To be continued in Book II