A/N : Thanks to Diane for doing her usual great work to correct my horrendous punctuation, and thanks as always to Justine for her inspiration and just for generally making my stories read a whole lot better.

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Chapter 2

Okay… so she actually came.

Jack had wanted her there, and when he'd opened the door to see her standing in front of him, he had been overwhelmed by the fact that this woman really did still love him after all these years. But what did she see in him, after all he'd done to her.

He'd promised her that he would change, but was it possible that he could become all the things that Sam needed in her life, especially now that she had her son? Suddenly all the doubts and insecurities were back, gnawing at his brain.

The door closed behind them with a thud, and they both stood in an uncomfortable silence for what seemed like an eternity.

"Well," said Jack, "here we are," and he lifted his arms before letting them flop down to his sides.

"Yep," Sam replied, looking as awkward as he felt.

Perhaps some Dutch courage would help, thought Jack.

"Listen, do you want a drink before you… go to bed?" he asked, raising his eyebrows slightly.

Sam walked towards the bed and sat down on the edge.

"Yeah, that'd be good, thanks," she replied.

Jack took a couple of whiskeys from the mini bar and proceeded to pour them into the glasses that had been provided.

"Here," he said as he passed a glass to Sam.

"It's been a long day," said Sam. "Guess we should… call it a night soon."

"Yeah, like I said, we have to be up pretty early to catch that plane tomorrow," replied Jack.

God, the small talk was almost killing him; he never thought it would be as difficult as this. He'd imagined many times what it might be like if he and Sam ever… got it together again, but somehow he never thought it would be as hard as this.

It had been longer than he realized and although once he had known exactly what Sam expected of him, now it was almost as if they had never known each other intimately.

"Sam, I- " he began.

"Maybe we should- " she said at the same time.

They looked at each other and laughed. It was enough to break the ice and they instantly felt more at ease in each others' company once more, just like they always had.

Jack sat down on the bed beside Sam and put his arm around her shoulders. He pulled her towards him and placed a soft kiss on her forehead, before she rested her head on his shoulder.

"It's been a long time, Sam, and I'm afraid that I'll disappoint you," he said, with more than a tinge of regret in his voice. "I'm not as young as I used to be, and time hasn't been that kind to me lately," Jack continued.

Lifting her head, Sam replied, "Well it's been a while for me too Jack," trying to sound reassuring.

Jack found himself thinking back to when they had been together years ago. Of course he had still been married, so he had always felt guilty when he'd been with Sam, not necessarily because of Maria, but because of his two daughters.

And now here they were, both of them free to enter into a relationship, knowing that no one else would be getting hurt, and he didn't know where to begin. Why had he left it so long when he'd always loved her?

As she stared directly into his eyes, she saw the hint of a tear beginning to form. She felt an ache in her heart as she gently rested her forehead against his.

Jack tried desperately to quell the flow of tears that were now filling his eyes, distorting his vision. He didn't want her to know just how much his longing and regret had almost consumed him, both emotionally and physically.

As Sam stared down at her lap, lost in her own remorse, she saw the glistening teardrop, fall almost in slow motion and then she felt its wetness on her hand.

Her hands cupped his face and she carefully lifted his head until she could look directly at his eyes. She didn't think she'd ever seen Jack look so pitiful, so vulnerable, and so sad.

Wiping away the tears from his eyes, she could feel her own tears starting to form. As soon as she had forced the lump from her throat, she whispered softly in his ear, "Don't worry, we'll take it slowly."

She carefully removed his jacket and laid it down on the chair, and his shirt soon joined it.

As he made himself comfortable on the bed, she traced patterns with her nails across his chest.

She'd always loved his chest. It was a manly chest, just enough dark, coarse hairs to run her fingers through.

He lay there watching her as she started to undress. She still had an amazing body; he'd always thought so when they were first together and it really didn't do anything to boost his confidence at that precise moment. The years had been kind to her, he thought.

Soon she had nothing left on but her panties.

She moved so that she straddled him and she lowered herself until their lips were touching very lightly. He could feel her breath, taste her almost and he remembered how they used to be, what they used to be.

Skin upon skin, it came flooding back to him now, how soft and delicate she always felt. Her hair cascaded down around his face and he savored its sweet aroma.

His lips found her neck and he kissed his way up to her jaw line as she tipped her head backwards so he could continue his exploration.

"You're more beautiful now, Sam, than you've ever been," Jack said, huskily.

She moved now so that she was kneeling beside him.

Closing his eyes, Jack let out a low moan as her fingers trailed down his stomach, until they reached his belt and she tugged gently to release it.

She undid the button on his trousers and pulled the zipper down, allowing her enough room to slip her hand under his boxers.

He gasped as he felt her fingers grasping him, stroking and caressing him.

Sam could feel how warm and firm he had become so she removed his trousers and boxers, followed by her own panties.

Then she lay down on the bed beside him, snuggling into him as he wrapped his arms around her.

They lay there in silence for a while, each of them lost in past remembrances, each of them regretting the wasted years. This felt so comfortable, so right. Why had it taken them so long to realize that this is where they were meant to be?

Finally, Jack propped himself up on one elbow.

"This is what you want, isn't it, Sam?" he asked tentatively.

"You know it is, Jack. I wouldn't be lying here if I didn't want us to be together," she whispered into his ear as she started to lightly nip his earlobe.

She captured his lips with hers, trying to silence the doubts that he was having.

The tender, delicate kiss turned swiftly into a hungry and passionate one.

When he'd kissed her earlier in the evening, he'd left her desperate to feel his lips on hers once more. Eager to feel his tongue probing and exploring.

She'd dreamt of this moment for as long as she could recall. Jack had been the only lover that had known exactly what turned her on, and although she knew he doubted himself these days, she was sure that he wouldn't disappoint her.

He placed the lightest of kisses on her shoulder as his eyes traveled across her body. His hand slowly worked its way down from her shoulder, his thumb lazily trailing over her nipple on its descent.

As he reached her waist, he shifted his position so he could concentrate on her stomach, making circles with his tongue, stopping occasionally to suck and nip her playfully.

Then, in one swift movement, his hand swept across her hip and down between her legs. She gasped as she widened them, eager to feel the touch of his fingers.

Jack could tell that she was ready for him, but he wanted to please her, to make this as memorable as their first time together. Of course the first time had been memorable for all the wrong reasons. They had been like animals trying to satisfy their cravings and it had been a rushed and not particularly satisfying experience. He was determined that this would be better.

He stroked her and teased her now until her body jerked and writhed under his touch. She kissed him passionately and reaching down, she found that he too was ready to finally consummate their awakening feelings for each other.

"It's time, Jack, we've waited long enough for this," whispered Sam, as she lowered herself down onto him.

He let out a sigh and stared directly into her eyes to see the expression on her face as he adjusted his position beneath her.

She slowly started to rise and fall and he matched her rhythm perfectly. She leaned forward to stroke his hair and they kissed deeply, savoring each other.

Jack took over the momentum and thrust his hips upwards, faster and more purposefully.

Slow down, slow down, he thought. This was meant to last longer than just a few minutes, but the feel of her, warm and tightening around him made it difficult for him to control the urge to push harder and deeper.

The noises that were coming out of Sam's mouth didn't help him one little bit either, and the look of pleasure on her face was enough to send him over the edge.

Rolling over with her so he was now on top and more in control, he continued again with a steady rhythm.

Sam couldn't believe that this was happening. Here they were, lost inside each other. It felt better than it used to do. Maybe it was because it had been so greatly anticipated, or maybe it was because they were older now and not so selfish.

She knew Jack was selflessly doing his best to please her and she knew how hard it must be for him.

Her nails dug ever so slightly into his back as he continued to push and thrust.

She felt her nerves tingling and stomach tightening as she urged him on.

Hearing Sam's voice, almost pleading with him was enough for Jack to make one final push as he let out a gasp, releasing all the tension that had built in him in one explosive burst.

Jack collapsed onto Sam and she held him tightly in her arms. His chest rose and fell heavily and Sam could hear his heart racing.

"Well, Jack Malone, you still have it, don't you?" she said.

"I aim to please," he laughed, gasping for air.

Rolling to the side, Jack wrapped his arms around Sam; he brushed away some stray hairs from her face before kissing her deeply, finally placing a delicate kiss on her forehead.

"You know Jack, I think this could work," she said.

"I want it to work, Sam, but you know I have some issues to deal with," said Jack. "You just have to give me time to sort things out," he continued.

"But I meant what I said earlier, I will be what you need me to be," and as he said the words, he buried his face in her neck and kissed her softly.

"I know you will, Jack," Sam whispered.

Jack pulled the covers over them now and gently stroked Sam's cheek. Any doubts that he'd had were buried deep below the feeling of complete satisfaction and belonging that now enveloped him.

And as Sam stared into his eyes, she just hoped that this truly would work because he was the only man she'd ever really wanted.

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