[Chapter One]

"There are two regrets in life :

You get what you don't want.

Or you don't get what you want.

One does not discover new lands

without consenting to lose sight of

the shore for a very long time."

Tap tap tap

"Sir…" Sam looked into the window of the parked car that resided in front of him. It had been a long night, or at least to him, it had felt like an eternity. His hand automatically reached to his holster on his hip, resting in its familiar position against his weapon. He had never used it and honestly he knew in the back of his mind that he never would. There was just something that was reassuring about knowing it was there. Almost like touching it pressed him to move forward, to do his job the way he was supposed to. "Sir, please step out of the car. I know you can hear me."

Sam suddenly relaxed as the man advanced to do as he was told. He hadn't realized that he had been so tense, completely holding his breath. He didn't trust people and he always second guessed them, never knowing what they were going to do next or how they would respond. As he had suspected, it was another drunk driver. It was the third one he had busted that night, but at least no one was hurt he thought.

"I'm gonna have to take you in to the station. Do you have someone that you could call to come and remove your vehicle? I normally don't offer this, but this road is very congested and your car is in a non safe zone. If you can't get anyone out here soon, I'm going to have to have it towed." Sam watched as the man opposite of him fumbled around in his car for a cell phone which in turn prompted him to check his own. Four missed calls and a text. "Shit." He mumbled as he ran his fingers through his hair. Where are you? – Mercedes. He once again had lost track of time, taking on overtime without thinking. "Hurry it up." He ordered as his reason for being late finished making a slurred phone call to God knows who. Sam finished cuffing and moving the man to the backseat of his cop car before throwing his own self into the front seat to speed away.

"How…old are you?" blurted the now sobering passenger in the backseat. Sam looked in his rearview mirror, pursing his lips into a disappointed and annoyed expression. That question had gotten fairly old very quickly.

"I'm 26." Sam mumbled, looking back to the road not really interested in continuing the conversation. Passengers often attempted to make conversation with him, undoubtedly to brown nose him and maybe talk themselves out of a severe punishment. Most days Sam would humor them, be nice to them, and show off his usual calm nature and sense of humor. Tonight he was just not in the mood.

"Well ya look TWELVE!" The man shot back at him, laughing a little at his own comment and then slouching back in his seat and staring out the window. Sam parted his lips as if to respond, but shut them quickly after not really caring to continue the conversation with this person who obviously was not in their right mind. After all, he probably wouldn't remember it in the morning anyway. "How long have you been doin' this? The whole bustin' criminals and savin' lives gig?" Sam cringed. This guy was really not helping himself and honestly was about to push him to his limit. He was not in the mood to deal with total idiots at the moment and his questions were as pointless as tits on a bull.

"Not very long since I'm twelve." Sam made eye contact with the other male in his mirror, raising his eyebrow as he repeated the question again.

"How long have you been a cop?" Sam gritted his teeth, trying to keep calm, knowing that letting this idiot get him worked up was not going to change the reality of the situation. He instead decided to humor the inquisitive individual and answer the question.

"Just 3 years now. I decided after high school to go in a different direction that I had originally planned for myself and this is where I ended up, so." Sam definitely was not intending to go any deeper with the random stranger that resided in the back of the car. It was hard for him to really open up to anyone to begin with, let alone a drunken interrogator on his way to jail.

"Why?" Sam was getting frustrated. Why did this guy care so much about his back story? Couldn't he just shut up and endure the ride to his demise in silence? "Why did you change your plans? Why'd you become a cop? You don't really seem the type."

"Why'd you drink and drive in a city with the highest number of policemen and zoom right past my car?" Sam quipped in return, receiving a small chuckle in response.

"Touché, sir. Touché." Sam gripped his steering wheel tighter and glanced sideways to his phone laying in the passenger's seat beside him and sighed.

"Do you mind not asking me anymore questions? I don't see the relevance in you having to know everything about my life at the moment. I'm just kind of having a difficult night and unfortunately when I get off, I'm not going to have a very forgiving evening with the wife either." Sam rubbed his face trying to shake off his feeling of woe and exhaustion. He almost felt bad for acting like such a prick, but he never quite made it to feeling too awful.

"The only true wisdom in life is in knowing you know nothing." Sam looked in the mirror again, this time with a look of confusion, not expecting a response like the one he had just heard. "Socrates, man. Look it up."

After happily dropping his burden off at the station, Sam quickly turned in the required paperwork and clocked out for the night before racing to his car for his next stop. He wasn't looking forward to the scolding he was about to receive, but he was looking forward to seeing Mercedes. Even when she was upset with him, she always managed to make him feel better. He rushed to his destination, occasionally darting his eyes to his speedometer, trying not to speed in the zones he knew were being watched, the perks of his current career. He pulled his car into a parking space in front of a club and stepped out of his car before locking it and jogging to the entrance. He placed his hands on the handle, pulling at it forcefully finding it to be locked. He looked down at his watch and sighed heavily. Closed.

"You completely missed it." He turned on his heels to see his wife standing behind him, her arms crossed against her chest and that look on her face that he hated to see. He had unfortunately seen it way too much lately. Sam looked at Mercedes, his face plastered with remorse as he approached her, scratching the back of his neck. He began to apologize, but she wasn't done talking. "I know. You were working. You know, it's fine, forget about it. I know you're busy and you always feel the need to over achieve and that's great. But, Sam, I'm beggin' you please…don't do this to me again." Mercedes looked up at Sam, trying to soften her approach because of her weakness to his way too effective puppy dog eyes.

"Cedes…I feel…I feel awful. I swear I didn't even realize what time it was. I caught this drunk driver and I don't know, I didn't feel my phone and-" He stopped himself knowing all of this wasn't really going to make the situation any better. "How did it go?" He asked instead, knowing it was what he should have asked to begin with.

"It went really well. Everyone loved the show and a lot of people came. I promise you I really think that buying that club was a good decision, Sam. We'll get our money back in no time, I promise." Sam reached out to rub her arms as he smirked a little thinking about maybe having success in their bold move. They had forked out all of their savings and more for this and it wasn't something that he had been completely comfortable with, but Mercedes seemed confident in their investment and if anyone could bring in a crowd, she could. He had decided to trust his wife's judgment and support her dreams even if it meant he would have to bust his ass at work.

He leaned down, placing a soft kiss on Mercedes' forehead before wrapping his arms around her in a much needed embrace. "Come on baby, let's go home."