First, I just want to say I'm sorry this took so long. LOL. Who knew writing my own OC would be so difficult? Seriously, I struggled with this. Not only because I wanted it to be unique and amazing for you, Sarah my dear, but also because I struggled with bringing Chris back to life for one last story. Killing him was a hard decision but I knew it would upset you, so I felt like I owed you this BADLY.(Like I owe readers a chapter of Icy Blue…*hides*) Anyway, bringing him back felt a little bittersweet, so I had to put some angst into this. Plus…I feel like if anyone should be there for Chris during his darkest moment, it should be the reader that loved him the most. :)

AND HAPPY FRIKIN BIRTHDAY DARLING! I'm sorry this is late. I punched it into overdrive when I realized it was your big day, yet I still didn't make the deadline. I hope it was a fantastic day. :)


He wasn't exactly sad. That was an emotion he hadn't felt in a long time. He'd shed his share of tears as a kid, as an adult he grieved differently.

He drank. A lot.

Chris ran a finger around the rim of his glass and snorted to himself, trying to count the number times his drink had been filled. He'd lost count. The bartender knew to keep the bottle coming, and Chris kept his money on the bar, so it wouldn't be hard to drown himself in whiskey. No one would tell him no; not in this neighborhood. Everyone knew what the occasion was, and everyone was giving him a wide birth.

"Scotty, let's up the stakes." He grunted towards the bartender, shaking the remnants of his last pour in front of his face. The bartender shook his head, yet picked up the bottle and made his way down the counter.

"Ya sure? You've had enough fer six men." The man's Irish drawl was soft and respectful, concerned even. But Chris plunked the glass on the bar and waved a hand.

"I can still talk, so it hasn't been enough." Shaking his head, the bartender obeyed and filled the glass, watching as Chris took a long drink. Then he moved away, handing out beers to the quiet locals.

"Southern comfort, please." A soft voice sang from his right and Chris peered over his shoulder. His eyes landed on a small smile from a familiar face.

"Well well." He said with a grunt. "I know you." The girl swept a hand through her hair, blushing.

"Yes, I believe we've met." Her accent made his head reel with recollection. Turning on his stool, Chris sat up off the bar.

"Oh come onnnn." He rumbled, stretching his back. Hours had passed since he'd sat up, and his spine protested any attempt at proper posture. "I think it's safe ta say we know each other." Chris took another drink from his glass and snorted as her face flushed to a deeper red. Scott appeared with her drink and Chris waved a hand in the bartender's direction. "She's on me, Scotty ol' chap." His laugh was dark and short, devoid of any actual smiling or enjoyment.

"No that's not—" She tried to protest but Chris cut her off, swinging a hand around as he took a long drink.

"Nope nope. I'm buyin'." Scott didn't waste time listening to the conversation, vanishing further down the counter. "It's the least I can do." Chris added, grumbling the words as he leaned over the bar once again.

"Well thanks." She said gently, taking up the stool beside him. "That's nice of you." He snorted and ran a hand over his stubbly face. He hadn't shaved in two days and his beard was coming in fast, covering his jaw in brown hair.

"I'm not nice." He grunted. Looking over his shoulder at her, he blinked, trying to recall her name. "Sarah." She blushed again, her fair cheeks turning a mild pink. It only made him snort and shake his head. "You should know."

"And why aren't you nice?" She asked, taking a sip of her drink. He responded by emptying the whiskey from his glass and clunking it loudly on the wooden counter.

"Because I'm not." Then he let his head hang between his shoulders, sandy brown hair falling across his forehead. "Scotty!"

"Take it easy." The man murmured, appearing yet again with a bottle of whiskey. Sarah watched him pour and the two locked eyes, exchanging glances when Chris wasn't looking.

"Do you want to grab a cup of coffee after you finish that?" Sarah asked gently, eyeing Chris as he downed a large portion of the drink. He groaned when he set it down and shook his head.

"I'll tell ya what I want…I wanna drink this watered down bullshit…" He eyed Scotty as he grunted the words and the bartender shook his head. "…then I'm gonna go home and have a few beers." Sarah raised an eyebrow.

"Are you tired of your liver?" Chris snorted and looked up at her face.

"Nahh. Liver's not the problem…it's everything else." He swirled the glass on the counter, staring at the brown liquid as it sloshed in circles. She said nothing, taking a small sip of her drink. They sat quietly for a long time. The bar had about a dozen other patrons, talking in low voices as a baseball game blared on a small television. Chris debated slipping from his chair and slinking home; giving the beautiful girl beside him no explanation for his speech. But another part of him was dwelling on their past playful romp. She was a sweet girl and he felt an odd sense of attachment to her.

And he really needed someone to talk to.

"My best friend died three days ago." He murmured, holding his glass in front of his face. Sarah went still, her pretty eyes shining with pity.

"I'm so sorry." Chris shrugged and took a drink, hissing through his teeth as he set the whiskey back on the bar.

"Yup. That's all I can be. Sorry." She touched his shoulder and suddenly talking didn't seem like a good idea. Mark's face was still very fresh in his mind; the laughing, joking, charismatic leader. Not a stiff, cold, corpse. Chris closed his eyes, remembering the first day he'd met Mark, back when he was only seventeen. Mark had been in his mid-twenties, just starting out as a gang leader. He had no idea what he was doing, but he was doing it well. And he'd opened his arms to Chris, gave him a job and a safety net. Then, he'd given him friendship. Chris bit down on his jaw, fighting back the tears that trembled in his eyes.

He hadn't cried since his mother had left.

Standing abruptly, the floor shifted beneath him and Chris stumbled towards the door.

"Chris—" Sarah was up and following him, grabbing one of his hands in an attempt to slow him down. But he jolted forward and threw his body against the door, erupting into the night.

"I gotta go." He grumbled, weaving haphazardly down the sidewalk. She didn't speak again and Chris assumed she'd gone until he heard running footsteps.

"Here." Sarah said, breathless from running in the cold air. Grabbing his hand, she shoved the remaining bills from the counter into his palm. "Scott said you can pay him tomorrow." Chris laughed, throwing his head back and stumbling as he shoved the money in his pocket.

"TOMORROW." He shouted. "Everything's tomorrow." Sarah walked beside him, discreetly wrapping an arm around his waist to steer him straight. Chris sighed and flopped an arm around her shoulders, touching her hair with his fingers. "Goddamn you're hot." She blushed and chuckled.

"And you're very drunk." He smiled and winked, bringing her head in closer to whisper in her ear.

"Don't tell." Sarah shook her head, laughing off his goofy slurs.

"How about that coffee?" She said with a smile, looking up into his bleary eyes. Suddenly his silly grin was gone and he released her, staggering forward out of her grasp.

"I don't want any goddamn coffee." Sarah chased after him and grabbed his hand, reeling him in without a word. In a few blocks, they were walking arm in arm again, his face resting on the top of her head. He didn't talk and she didn't ask any questions. It was better that way. They just walked until he lifted his head and steered her towards a motel.

"Chris…" She hesitated, looking at the motel sign with a furrowed brow.

"Don't worry." He grunted. "I'm not being an asshole. I live here." She nodded slowly, relief relaxing her back into his shoulder. They walked up to room number five and Sarah helped Chris dig a key from his coat pocket. When she unlocked the door and coaxed him through, he flicked on the light.

"Home sweet home." He sighed, stumbling across the carpet to a mini fridge. "Wanna beer?" Sarah shook her head, her dark hair dancing around her face.

"No, and don't you think you've had enough?" Chris straightened, cracking open a can and taking a long sip.

"Nope." He muttered. "I plan on being drunk for a long, long time. Life's easier that way." Sarah sighed and sat on the bed, crossing her legs.

"Good plan." Chris blinked at her, swallowing a mouthful of beer with a gulp.

"Ya got a better one?" They stared for a minute or two, silence saying significantly more than words ever could. When it was clear she wasn't going to answer, he set the beer down on the dresser, crossing the room with slow calculated steps. Through the dull hum of his intoxication, he still was undeniably attracted to the British girl. Reaching out with a hand, he cradled the left side of her face, smoothing the tip of his thumb over her chin. The bone along her jaw was defined and the skin was soft. She felt so perfect; and he bent over, bringing his lips to hers in a swell of want.

At first it was gentle and sweet, each kiss long and savored. But slowly his lust grew and Sarah responded happily, opening her mouth to allow him entry. And he took it with a growl, lifting her back on the bed to climb on top of her. Where tenderness had once been, desperation grew. He felt like a hungry animal, devouring her mouth while his hands hastily undid her jeans. All the while, she panted beneath him, squirming into place as he rid her body of the denim and panties.

"Chris…" Her moan was breathy and whimpered into his ear as he tore open his fly, eager to take her warm entrance in a ruthless thrust. This wouldn't be like before; he was in a haze of lust and need, almost primitive. When his hard dick was free of his jeans, he buried it inside of her. "OH yeah." She cried out into his neck, whining in rhythm with his rapid pace. He was delirious with pleasure, her body wetting every inch of his thick cock. It was never this good; he wasn't going to last.

"Fuck, cum. Cum hard." Sarah's whines increased in volume, his growled orders making her legs shake. "I wanna taste ya." He mumbled into her mouth. "I wanna taste how wet you are." It was too much for her to take, her body unraveled in a fast, blissful orgasm, arching her back from the bed and clamping her around his shaft. The resulting grip pumped him deliciously tight; Chris only managed a few more thrusts before his own climax shot through him in a fit of blinding ecstasy. They were shaking and moaning, treasuring the moments of mindless perfection until their bodies grew exhausted and Chris collapsed beside her. When he caught his breath, he turned his head and grinned at her.

"I like that plan." Sarah smiled, her face flushed.

"That was…" She started to speak, but blushed further and sat up, looking for her panties on the floor. As she stood to retrieve them, his hand caught her wrist and he pulled her back to the bed.

"Uh uh." He grunted. "Not yet."

As she watched, Chris stood and shed his shirt, at last revealing the body she knew lay beneath. And it was just as good as she remembered. Sarah's eyes widened, her gaze unable to avoid the large and semi-erect cock in front of her. He was still breathing hard, his abs flexing with each exhale. She wanted to run her hands over every inch of the sculpted muscle; she wanted to run her hands all over him. Jeans on the floor, he stood before her completely naked, grinning devilishly.

"What are you going to do?" She said coyly, the residual tingling between her legs building to a throb once more. He had only been inside her moments ago, but already she wanted him again. Again and again.

"What I said I'd do." He purred, leaning over to kiss her lips. But he was teasing as he did, giving her only chaste, small pecks. Then, suddenly, he sunk to his knees. Instantly, Sarah's face was on fire, every inch of her skin boiling with arousal.

"Oh god…" She gave a frantic whisper, watching as he settled her thighs on either side of his head. Being so exposed, so physically open, made her blood rush between her legs, reignite anticipation like nothing before. Chris gave her a small wink before he ran a thumb over her swollen clit.

"Ready?" He had barely spoken the word and she was trembling, mouth open in delight. Repeating the stroke, he grinned when her head bobbed incessantly.

"Yes yes, oooh yes." She felt like any moment she could explode, her body quivering at the very sight of him at the apex of her thighs. His breath breezed over her glossy skin and Sarah gave a gasp, watching as he moved in.

He didn't go straight for her sweet spot, but glided his tongue right down the middle of her open lips. Her hips moved involuntarily and she whimpered hysterically as he licked slowly, idly. It was a mixture of torment and incredible bliss, but he kept her on the edge, quivering for release yet relishing every moment beforehand.

From his guttural groans, she could tell he was enjoying himself. His actions became more needy, pulling her hips closer until her legs would over his shoulders.

Then he flicked his tongue over her clit.

Instantly her body rippled with pleasure, begging for another small stroke. Sarah spouted endless moans and words of encouragement, thrusting subtly with need. When he took the throbbing nub into his mouth, she cried for him, her body wetting further in lust.

"Oh fuck." She whined. "I want you inside me." Chris gave her a hard suck, rendering all speech capability useless. Her body moved in a wild series of rocks, the sensations burning her nerves.

"Please, Chris." He released her momentarily and she gasped for air, looking down at his face.

"Tell me." He purred kissing her thigh.

"I wanna be on top." His eyebrows shot up and she giggled.

"Ya wanna ride, Miss Sarah?" She nodded, laughing as he jumped off his knees and crawled over her. "So fuckin' sexy." He growled, grabbing her hips to flip them over. This time, it was her impatience that set the pace. The moment she was straddling him, her hand was wrapped around his cock, settling the tip right where she wanted it. In a graceful dip of her hips, she slid him all the way in. Curses rose from both of their lips as she rocked on top, curling her spine to grind her clit against him.

His hands cupped her bottom, caressing as he helplessly groaned beneath her. He hadn't been with anyone in quite some time and nothing else seemed to even compare to the pleasure he felt now. Only once had he felt this way; the day he and Sarah had met. Their quickie in the shop's storage room had long acted as his go-to fantasy, but this was even better. Regardless of how reckless and fast their second round had been, it had been the best sex he'd ever had.

Now they were going to beat it.

Her cheeks were the color of cherries and her body was tightening around him, driving him crazy as she bounced on his screaming cock. They were both breathing fast, abandoning words for noises. When he felt the pooling heat of his climax rise in his shaft, Sarah let out a small whine and shuddered, her orgasm clutching him in a fantastic vice. Growling, he thrust up from the mattress and finished inside her, wrapping his arms around her back to hold her against his chest. Moaning and kissing, they rocked to a slow on his disheveled sheets.

And they stayed that way, shivering in delight as their bodies went still.

She woke up to the sound of running water. At first, she really didn't know where she was and a little pang of panic rushed through her chest. But the sight of her jeans on the floor and the slight ache between her legs quickly reminded her. Sarah sat up with a smile, looking around the motel room.

When she found herself in an empty bed, the running water suddenly made sense. Slipping quietly from the sheets, she padded over the carpet to the open bathroom door.

What she saw, however, was not expected. The curtain to the shower was open, revealing a hot, steaming stream of water. But Chris wasn't standing under it; he was sitting in the tub, his knees resting on the edge as his feet hung over the sides. Eyes closed, he had his head leant against the tiled wall, water hitting his face.

"Chris?" Sarah was instantly alarmed. He was eerily motionless and it was frightening, considering the circumstances. But when she murmured his name, his eyes fluttered open and he lifted his head. At first, he said nothing, but then his expression changed.

Then he no longer had to.

Pain was etched into his strong features, the hot shower stream unable to disguise the fact that tears were falling down his cheeks.

Sarah moved quickly to the shower knob and turned it off, kneeling down to tenderly touch his knee.

"You must think I'm a fuckin' wuss." He grumbled, letting his head fall back against the wall. She shook her head adamantly, gripping his knee.

"No, hey. Don't say that." Chris gave a dark snort, closing his eyes.

"I was just takin' a shower, thinkin' about how good that was…" His face crumpled and Sarah shook her head, stepping into the tub to sit beside him. Taking his hand, she leant on his shoulder, letting him silently gather his composure. When Chris continued, his voice was solid and deep. "I felt like a bastard, standin' here, grinnin' and enjoyin' myself. My friend's been dead for three days and I'm already back to smilin', like I forgot all about it." Sarah snuggled closer.

"That's not fair to yourself." She whispered, stroking her fingers over his big palm.

"What's not fair is the fact that Mark's fuckin' dead." He replied, grunting angrily. "He's cold as stone and I should be too." Her head shot off his shoulder and a look of fear was slapped across her face.

"Don't say that!" Her heart ran wild in her chest, sadness and shock flushing her cheeks. "That's not true."

"It is true." He said gently, touching her jaw. "I was on that corner all day long. Then I asked ta head out early." Chris shook his head, gritting his teeth. "I don't even remember why. I just asked and Mark said he'd hold the fort for me." More tears collected in the corners of his eyes and Chris thumped his head on the wall in self-loathing. "His last words were 'ya owe me one.'" Sarah gripped his arm, burying her head under his jaw. His agony was making her tear up as well, wishing she could relieve the pain. "Goddamn asshole was dead less than an hour later. I get this fuckin' phone call…fuckin' cops shot him ta hell cuz the stubborn jackass tried ta run."

"I'm so sorry." She murmured. "I can't imagine, losing a friend like that." Chris sighed, dropping an arm to wrap it around her back.

"He was the best guy I knew. Who knows where I'd fuckin' be without him." Sarah closed her eyes and listened to him breathe. After a moment, he reached up and slowly turned the knob, the warm water falling on top of them. The room filled with steam and yet neither moved from the tub, content to simply sit the downpour.

"I missed his funeral." He said after several minutes, his voice breaking the trance-like silence. Sarah looked up at him and stroked his cheek, watching tears mingle with water in his stubble. "I should see him." Kissing his lips softly, she wished away his sadness.

"To say goodbye."

It was cloudy when they made their way through the grass. There wasn't a breeze, there wasn't any sun; it just was. Even though Sarah didn't know Mark Burnes, she mourned him with Chris, a tear running down her cheek.

It wasn't fair, the life he'd had. One minute strong as can be, and the next rendered useless. A brave, fearless man, cut down like he'd been the simplest of beings. In the end, there had been no difference between he and the smallest child.

But even with that cold realization in her mind, Sarah felt hope. With Chris squeezing her hand, she understood a second thing about life. Life isn't about getting to the end. It's about enjoying the time you have.

And, if you're lucky, someone will carry you with them, long after you're gone.

I apologize if that got too sad at the end. Some closure issues I haven't dealt with I think…that last bit was kind of a little goodbye to a character that I really loved writing…and I'm sad to say I'll never get to do so again. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this Sarah and Happy Birthday my dear! If you'd like an upbeat romp with another character, (*hemstevenperhapshem*) just say the word. ;) Love ya girl.