Sam sighed as she pressed down on a button on her answering machine, daring to listen to the message Danny had left her minutes before.
"Hey, Sam, it's Dan."
"Listen... We need to talk. Soon."
"Meet me at the park for seven, okay?"
"See you soon."
The twenty-one year old groaned quietly, resting her head between her two hands. She laid back on her bed, closing her eyes in pain.
"Listen... We need to talk. Soon."
Those six dreadful words caused an alarm to go off in Sam's ears. Be careful, she heard a little voice say. Sam shook her head in disbelief. Danny was probably going to just tell her something about Tucker and Valerie. Maybe she was expectant again.
Sam's lips curved into a smile as she remembered the birth of her godchild, Clare Elizabeth Foley. She was there the whole time, by her friend's side. Sam chuckled as she recalled that her hand was swollen for two weeks following that day. But the joyous memory faded away at the recognition of the voice in her head. The statement that kept haunting her...not daring to leave her alone.
"Listen... We need to talk. Soon."
Sam looked at her watch, scanning over the brightly colored numbers in front of her. 6:47 PM. She sighed quietly, propping herself on her elbows. She looked around her dim lit room, candles burning on her dresser. Sam's gaze roamed around her bedroom until it found the moon hanging in the background of the sky, perfectly snug in the middle of her window. It wasn't time for it to come out yet, she noted.
Sam watched it closely, trying to imagine what would happen if she actually met Danny at the park. She didn't have to, did she? He sounded pretty anxious... Sam shook her head, shooing the thought away. He could just tell her on the phone, right? I mean, Valerie's second child isn't a meet-in-person-and-discuss event, is it?
Sam frowned, getting up from her bed. She started to make her way to her kitchen, wanting some comfort food. She silently passed the dining room, and before she would make it to the fridge, something caught her eye. She instantly turned on her heel, to face a picture on the wall in front of her, four sets of eyes watching her.
There, in front of her was one of the greatest days of her life. Her two friends, Valerie and Tucker, and her boyfriend, Danny, -- including herself, of course -- were sitting at a table, smiling goofy. It looked like they were having a good time, Sam noted. A small smile flickered across her face as she reminisced about that night in Amity Park.
It had been a double date with Tucker and Valerie. The men arranged for a limousine to pick up Sam and Val at her home, bringing the two to the most expensive restaurant in town. The four of them had enjoyed every second of it, soon to follow the event was a walk in the park -- except that the two couples would split up, sure to meet back up once again.
Danny and Sam walked in silence, hand in hand, just enjoying each other's company . . .
When the couples reunited, Valerie's hand had sparkled more than the moon, glistening with passion. There, on her left hand, she fashioned a beautiful diamond ring. Sam and her friend had chattered away for twenty minutes, at most, going over the details of Tucker's proposal in delight. Danny and Tuck, however, sat on a bench, watching the two women, as they went on about the scores of last night's football game.
That was two years ago, Sam realized. Coming back to the present, Sam felt her heart skip a beat. And that was the first time Danny told me he loved me.
The woman looked at her wristwatch in vain, dreading the actual time. 6:56 PM. Sam snorted in exasperation, turning away from the picture on the wall, and headed toward the back door. On her way, she grabbed her coat, slinging it over her arm. When she came to the rear of the house, Sam picked up her keys and stuffed them into the pocjed of her jeans. She walked out of the back door, closed it, locked the deadbolt, and hurried to her car.
Rolling into the gravel parking lot, Sam hesitantly looked out her window, afraid of what she was going to see. And, to her dismay, Danny was standing there, just as he said he would be.
Sam silently unbuckled herself, took her keys out of the ignition, and opened the car door, slipping outside. As soon as she did, Sam felt the autumn wind slap her face in a furious manner. She watched as she trees swayed rhythmically then focused her gaze on Danny. She watched him steadily, not blinking an eye, was she walked to him, barely able to breathe. When she was within two feet of the man, Sam watched as he faced her. She instantly noticed the unusual spark in his eye.
"Hello, Danny," Sam greeted, standing in place. She felt herself tense up as her thoughts began to wander.
Instead, Danny chuckled, taking his girlfriend's hand. "Why so formal, Sammy?" he asked, rubbing the hand in his grip. Sam bit her lip in anxiety.
"You called me earlier," she pronounced, cautious. Danny's smile faded as he let go of Sam's hand.
The man fiddled with the top button of his jacket as Sam continued to watch him expectantly. "Yes, I did."
"Why?" Sam's brow narrowed in both accusation and confusion.
Danny grinned lopsidedly as he brushed a strand of hair out of the woman's face. "You look gorgeous, Sam," he cooed quietly. Sam closed her eyes, tilting her head to the side... As if trying to feel Danny's skin on hers better. She cracked a small smile, loving the feeling of the moment. But, unfortunately, something pulled her back down to reality. She soon remembered why she was here in the first place.
"Why?" Sam repeated, moving her face away from Danny's touch. Because her eyes were closed, she couldn't see Danny's expression, but she could feel Danny's heavy gaze on her. She raised her eyes to watch as Danny peered down at the ground, as if wondering how to say something.
Soon to be cut off, Danny started, "Sam, I -- "
"Why?" Sam demanded once more, her voice becoming shrill. The woman looked down to stare as Danny raised his hand to hers, but he slowly let it rest at his side.
"I don't think we should see each other," Danny mumbled, turning away from Sam.
That was all it took. Right then and there, Sam felt a piece of her heart break. As she squeezed her eyes shut, Sam strained not to cry in front of man before her. She hung her head, still trying to register what her boyfriend just said.
"What?" Sam insisted, stepping closer to him. She finally looked up, peering straight into Danny's eyes. Sam watched as he squirmed under her gaze, obviously uncomfortable. She knew that... Sam needed to hear what Danny had to say, loud and clear.
"I said," Danny announced, his voice strained, "I don't think we should see each other anymore." Sam closed her eyes once more then reopened them to find Danny trying to show a caring smile.
"Why?" she inquired in a soft voice. His smiled faded as he reached for Sam's hand.
"You're in danger," Danny replied quietly. "Ever since we started dating, you have been the main target. The other ghosts went after you because they knew you were -- are -- really important to me. He paused before adding softly, "I don't want anything to happen to you."
On the brink of tears, Sam insisted in desperation, "We can work this out! I don't care if I get hurt!" Her vision blurred, she continued in a hushed tone, "I love you."
She watched as Danny turned away, a stray tear falling to the ground. "I love you too, Sam. That's why I'm doing this." He held out his hand, and as soon as he did, Sam's mind raced back to their first slow dance. But she knew that wasn't what he meant.
Hesitantly and sorrowfully, Sam slipped off her favorite ring. She placed it in the middle of her hand then tilted her wrist upright so it could slid into Danny's palm. His fingers slowly enclosed the ring as he shoved it into his jeans pocket.
My Wes ring...
Impulsively, Sam wrapped her arms around Danny's neck, digging her face into her shoulder. She felt him tense up in surprise, but he soon relaxed, slipping his arms around the small of Sam's back.
"Don't do this," Danny whispered into her ear, stroking her hair with one of his hands. She hugged him tighter, never wanting to let go. The two stood there in silence, hanging onto each other dear life. Sam closed her eyes one more time, feeling herself on the verge of sobbing. This was too much to handle... Sam rested one hand on the back of Danny's head, as if trying to keep him as close as possible.
Danny sighed as Sam murmured, "I don't want to lose you." He pressed his cheek against hers, soon to release the pressure.
"Neither do I," he replied softly. Instead of letting go, Danny pulled the woman closer. This was the last time they could ever hug like this, Sam realized dreadfully.
"Wish I could freeze the moment..." Finally, Sam let a tear fall. "...while we're together."