"Pam, will you just talk to me?" Sam hobbled after her friend. "Pam!"

The leggy girl, however, ignored her redheaded friend. Pam felt that, although it may be irrational to be angry at Sam, she still had every right to be. She had liked Ryan – had felt that maybe, maybe, there could have been something between them. Yes, she may be a teenage girl, but that was also her excuse. She should be able to pine after a guy (who she knew she couldn't have but she liked to daydream anyway) without her best friend exploding at her for it. Besides, Ryan was super cute.

"Pam!" Sam couldn't keep up with her, but she couldn't allow her best friend to get away from her. It had been a week since their argument and Pam hadn't really spoken to her since. "YOU CAN'T IGNORE ME!"

Pam flipped her off and slunk out the front doors. Sam crossed her arms over her chest and pouted. It was the longest she had gone without talking to Pam and she really didn't know what she would do if it went on much longer. With a sigh, Sam slowly eased down the main steps. Sue and Grace were waiting for her in the car.

Sam almost didn't want to join them. They were driving Grace to the airport today, for her to go back to Nevada. Sam didn't want her to go; not only had she grown used to her grandmother's presence, but she had no idea when she would see her again. Sam had so much more she wanted to ask Grace, particularly about Wyatt. Now, after finally seeing Grace, talking to her, Sam couldn't imagine going back to longhand letters and timed telephone conversations because of how expensive long distance calling was.

Sam, quite simply, was not ready to let go.

From the way Grace was looking as Sue drove through the San Francisco streets, she was not quite ready to let go either.

"Did Mom say anything when you left?" Sam asked.

Grace shook her head, knowing that Samantha was not to know the details of her last conversation with Louise. "She wished me well and told me to have a safe flight."

Sam chewed absently on her nail. She didn't know what she was expecting Louise to say but she had hoped that Louise would have sought out some sort of compromise in Grace's final moments in the state. Ever since she and her mother had their last fight, Louise had avoided everyone like the plague. Sam couldn't even remember hearing her mother talk to Sue in the past week or so.

"I'll be sad to see you go, Grace." Sue piped up, seeing Sam go quiet in the back seat.

"It was nice to see you," Grace agreed with a smile. "We spent far too little time together when Wyatt and Louise were married."

Sue laughed. "I never did like that ranch of yours."

"No," Grace reflected. "You never did."

"Sue!"

Grace watched from the front porch as Louise sprang from the kitchen, running for the rental car that had just pulled into their driveway. She watched as the woman, nearly the spitting image of Louise, climbed from the car. Grace smirked, however. She could see the city dripping from her daughter-in-law's sister.

Sue pushed her designer sunglasses from her eyes to the top of her head, squinting in the sun. "Why on earth would you want to move here?"

"Because there's no better place on earth!" Louise giggled merrily.

"When you married a cowboy, I didn't think you meant actual cowboy." Sue's jaw hung open as she surveyed the ranch. She didn't think places like this still existed – this seemed like something straight out of an old western.

"Of course I did!" Louise snatched her sister's hand. "Let me show you around. I'll introduce you to all of the horses."

"Uh …" Sue hesitated. "Perhaps a drink first?"

"Sure! The barn can wait!"

"I am still a city girl," Sue agreed. "But that was only my first time visiting."

Grace gave Sue a sarcastic look that Sue had seen on Sam several times – especially since her niece had hit puberty. "You didn't think that cows were still real."

"I didn't say that!" Sue exclaimed, outraged.

"Wait!" Sam jumped into the conversation. "Aunt Sue, how old were you?"

"I was in my twenties," Sue was fighting to fend off her blush – impossible due to her vibrant red hair colour. "And that isn't what I said."

Sam giggled. "Then what did you say?"

"I obviously knew cows were real – I do love my hamburgers, you know that. I just didn't think that people raised them like that – like, out wandering around on their own and stuff. I didn't think people just owned cows."

"Did you think they just fell out of the sky or something?" Sam asked, baffled by her aunt's thinking, though it had been years ago.

"No," Sue resisted the childish urge to stick her tongue out at Sam. "I just thought that they were kept by large companies in factories far away from here."

"While there are very few cattle farmers left, they do exist." Grace said.

Sue swatted at the old woman, turning into the airport. "I've gotten this lecture before, remember?"

"Yes, I was the one that gave it to you." Grace gave a crisp nod as Sue parked the car outside of the doors.

"I'll grab your bags, Grace." Sue said quickly, popping the trunk. "You have a moment with Sam." She climbed out of the car, slamming the driver's side door shut behind her.

Grace twisted around in the passenger's seat so she was facing her granddaughter. "Don't like so sad," she smiled, though her heart was breaking at the thought of leaving Sam again. "We'll write, and we will see each other again soon."

"Not with my mother," Sam tried not to sound bitter, or bring up Louise. She didn't want these last few minutes with her grandmother – for who knows how long – to be spent talking about her mother.

"Have faith she will come around," Grace only offered these words of advice, knowing that the teenager would find everything out in her own time. She studied Sam's face; the young girl's tired eyes, her brilliant hair, and the huge cast. "You know," she said in an offhand way, not wanting to make a big deal out of her next words, "you are exactly like your father."

Sam's eyes darted up to Grace. She had spent her entire life hearing that she was like her mother, and most of her life not wanting to be like her father, as she had thought that he was an awful person who had abandoned her and Louise (though, she had, secretly, been harboring the hope that she could meet him some day). "How?" She whispered. "I look like Mom."

"You may look like your mother but not in everything." Grace reached out, "this jaw belongs to your father. And you have his spirit. I see Wyatt in you so much Samantha. You meant the world to him, don't you ever forget that."

"Tell me a story about him," Sam blurted. "One where he was with me."

Grace thought quickly for a short tidbit she could give Sam. Sue had unloaded Grace's bags and was standing patiently next to them on the curb. Grace also knew, without even looking at the clock, that she had very few minutes left to spend with Sam before she had to be in the airport, awaiting boarding call.

"Wyatt had a favourite cowboy hat," Grace revealed. "And for your sixth birthday, I bought you a bedazzle gun, because you were so fascinated with the glitter and my sewing. You got up in the night, while we were all in bed, took your bedazzle gun and sequined his hat."

Sam clamped a hand over her mouth. "Really? I did that?"

"You were only young," Grace acknowledged, "but you did. Wyatt sure had a shock when he came face to face to his sparkly hat."

"Was he mad at me?" Sam's eyes were wide, not only from feasting on the story, but digesting it. She was trying to make it fit around the black curtain in her memory. There was a hole in it from where memories were leaking through and she was trying the reverse with this. She was trying to take the memory given to her by Grace and fit it behind the curtain, to see if new life would burst forth. But the memory wouldn't fit. She couldn't bring any recollection forth at all. She felt as though this story belonged to someone else – this memory wasn't hers.

"Lord no," Grace shook her head. "Well, he was a little, but not specifically at you. I don't think Wyatt knew how to get angry at you. As I said, you were his entire world."

Sue knocked on Grace's window, and Grace allowed her door to swing open.

"Sorry to interrupt," Sue said softly, "but you have to get in there Grace. You can't have your plane leaving without you."

"I know," Grace nodded, and reached behind the seat to grasp Sam's hand. "I'm always within reach for you Sam. For anything."

"When will I see you again?" Sam asked.

"Soon. I promise." Grace squeezed her hand and then hefted herself out of the car. "It was nice seeing you, Sue."

"You as well."

Sue remained standing on the sidewalk as Grace collected her bags and disappeared behind the glass doors of the airport. Then, once the elderly woman had disappeared from view, rounded to the driver's side and climbed in.

"What now, kiddo?" she asked Sam, meeting her niece's eyes in the rearview mirror.

Sam shrugged. She honestly didn't care.

"Don't look so down."

"That's not so easy to say. What if Mom doesn't let me talk to her anymore?"

"Like I really believe you're going to fall back under your mother's thumb," Sue scoffed. "You've become strong and independent and she knows that. She won't be trying to control you anymore."

"Good!" Sam burst forth.

"Just show her some respect, okay? She's still your mother and she's done her best with you."

Sam snorted, but, wisely, decided not to reply. Her phone vibrated in her lap and she glanced down, hoping that it was Pam. She was disappointed, though briefly, to see that it was Jake.

Come over?

Kk. She replied. "Sue?" Sam glanced up. "Can you take me to Jake's?"

"Sure," Sue said. "So long as you promise that you will call me to get you. I don't want you driving with him or the boy who was driving the night of the accident."

Sam cringed at the mention of the accident and Sue's distrust of Darrell. Darrell was having enough time controlling himself over the accident – though he had seemed to calm down a slight bit (according to Jake) since the day in the diner. Sam didn't even know if he'd been in a car since the accident, let alone drive one.

"Okay," Sam agreed, typing out a swift message to Jake that she would be there within minutes. He sent back a smiley face that made Sam smile.

Sue dropped Sam off in front of Jake's dorms and watched her hobble inside. She felt a brief flash of worry for her niece and the cast, but flicked it away. Sam had a good head on her shoulders; a hard head, a tumble down the stairs couldn't do much but undo the memory block already in place.

Sam knocked on Jake's door and heard his uneven footsteps as he hobble over to answer it.

"Hey," she breathed as he pulled her inside. She barely had the time to get the words out, however, before Jake was shoving her against the door.

Their casts brushed together as he leaned her against the solid surface. His hands were gripping her body tightly, his lips firm against her own mouth. Sam gasped as wild feelings coursed through her entire body. She trembled and felt as though she were on fire. Her own hands were gripping his shoulder blades, and when he nipped gently at her lip, she moaned and dug her fingers into his back.

I don't own anything recognizable.

~TLL~