A/N - Sorry for the delay in giving you all this last chapter. Real life--getting Seniors out of school, getting underclassmen ready for their final exams, trying to find the floor of my classroom, getting my first nephew!!--it all took over my life for a while. But, the Seniors are done and the finals are written. Now all I have to do is give them!! So without further ado...

Chapter 26

"You're sure about this?" Martin asked once they reached their apartment. "I don't want to hurt you, Sam."

She just smiled in his arms, "The bruises are fading. I only wear the brace at work to remind myself not to push it with the wrist," she shrugged, "So, unless you want it rough, you can't hurt me, Martin."

He leaned down and kissed her lightly, "Rough isn't how I want to be with you right now. I just want to show you how much I love you."

Samantha reached up and laced her fingers behind his neck, pulling him down for a deep kiss. When they came up for air, she whispered, "Show me!"

Without a word, he picked her up and carried her off to the bedroom. He set her gently on the bed and kicked off his own shoes while he pulled hers off. He tossed hers somewhere over his shoulder and was rewarded with her throaty laugh. When he leaned over to kiss her, she grabbed his tie and held him there, the kiss becoming a war for dominance between their tongues. Gasping for air, they both broke at the same time, smiles wide and panting the only soundtrack. "Show me more, Martin!"

His hands fumbled with her zippers and buttons; her hands just as frantic to find his skin. They lay side-by-side, touching and kissing. Martin's hands strayed to the curls between her legs and he was relentless in teasing her, pausing only when she squealed his name in frustration. He held her wrists above her head, looked into her eyes and panicked, "Sam?"

She swallowed her momentary fear and smiled up at him, "I'm ok, Martin." She pulled her wrists free and brought his head down for a kiss. "I think you'll just have to put up with me touching you."

The last thing Martin wanted was to remind her of that night, and his blood cooled. He slowed his hands and just focused on kissing her breathless.

Sam could tell that he was horrified at causing her flashbacks, but damn it, he worked her to a pitch and now she wanted him to follow through. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. His gasp at her touch made her smile and she continued to stroke the length of him until he was shaking. "Show me more!"

He touched her until she was panting once again. Her nails lightly scratched his back and silently urged him on. Martin kissed her deeply as he slid into her. It was gentle and slow, until that final moment when they both found their release.

"I've never been shown better, Marty," Sam whispered.

"I love you, Sam," Martin answered as he pulled her close.

Samantha laid her head on his shoulder before whispering, "I love you, too!"

'That was the turning point,' Martin mused a year and a half later. 'That was the day Samantha stopped being a victim. Oh, sure, she had been victimized, but after that day of confronting Jack and having the knowledge that they would never have to see him again, it freed her. She still had nightmares, especially when she was over-tired or a case hit a little too close to home, but for the most part, after that day, Samantha was back to her old ways.' Martin adjusted the bow tie under his chin and gratefully took the handkerchief from Danny.

"You're sweating like a pig," Danny grinned, "Are you nervous or something?"

Martin wiped his brow and tucked the cloth into his pocket, "Terrified!"

Danny draped an arm around Martin's shoulders, "Relax, man. She loves you. You love her. She said she'd marry you and in about," he checked his watch, "fifteen minutes, you'll see her and forget all about your nerves."

"You sound like you know something," Martin shot his partner a look.

"Who? Me?" Danny just grinned and patted his back. "Why don't you go take your place over by the pastor and I'll get Sam."

Ten months ago, after Martin proposed, Sam asked if she could have Danny walk her down the aisle—essentially robbing Martin of a best man. Knowing Danny was her 'big brother,' how could he refuse? So he asked his old college roommate to be his best man and let Danny have the honor of escorting Samantha.

True to his word, exactly fifteen minutes later, accompanied by 'Because You Loved Me' by Celine Dion, Danny escorted Samantha down the aisle. Martin couldn't take his eyes off her. Her hair was in loose curls, with just a bit pulled away from her face, just the way he liked it. The veil could do nothing to hide the radiant smile on her face. He had seen Samantha in a dress before, but never had he seen her look as lovely as she did today. The off-white shade complemented her better than a pure white. The dress started just off her shoulders and clung to her torso, flowing free at the waist. As she walked, Martin could see the delicate pattern of flowers—calla lilies, just like her bouquet—embroidered in beads that caught the light. If any other bride looked more beautiful than Samantha, she didn't yet exist.

"Relax, Sam," Danny muttered out the side of his mouth. "This isn't a race!"

Samantha covered her laughter with a quick kiss to Danny's cheek as they reached the end of the aisle, "I know it wasn't a race," she whispered in his ear, "I just didn't want to make Martin wait any longer!"

Danny chuckled softly, "As long as you're happy, Sam!"

Lights danced in her eyes as Danny helped her pull the veil over her head, "I've never been happier in my life!"

Well, this is the end, kids! I hope the ending met with your expectations and that you'll sleep soundly. Thanks for coming with me on this journey!

Respectfully submitted,