A/N: Okay, I'm not big into author notes, but I felt it only fair to warn you. This story is not nice! It's full of pain and torture and rape and well, just evil stuff. Our Samantha is going to get into a Hell of a lot of trouble, with who else there to save her? EJ! Yup. But anyway, back on point. There will be some graphic stuff in here. Some of it sexiness (though not a lot, I'm afraid, most of the sex is ouchy), some of torture and pain. So if you are easily disturbed, turn around, and scoot. Go read "Playing with Fire" by Krono. Can I just say – WOW – to that story? Also, this is unbetaed. I need a beta. This story is complete and I will be posting regularly. So if you know a beta or wanna be a beta, please PM me? Also! This is an A/U from the time Sami and EJ did the deed when they thought Johnny was dead. Yes, it's a bit back there, but it took awhile to finish this fic. So Will didn't blackmail EJ, etc. Just letting ya know.

And here it is, my one and only disclaimer – I do not own Days of Our Lives or any of the characters within. NBC owns them. A lot of other people own them. I just borrow the characters and settings for my own sick fun. Thank you.

When Samantha Brady was younger, her name was synonymous with "trouble". She had caused trouble, loved trouble, been in trouble, and was considered by the good people of Salem; a troubled person. She had faked DNA tests, kidnapped her sister, tried to shoot an old lover, and even been sentenced to death row. Samantha Brady had just been a troubled and troubling person, this was true.

Now-a-days, though, Samantha didn't seem to draw trouble so much. She had married a good, stable, nice man named Rafe Hernandez. Her kids were well mannered. She worked for a huge make-up corporation. Her life was pretty...well, good, stable, and nice, just like Rafe. Yes, the people of Salem thought, Rafe Hernandez has soothed the savage beast that is Samantha Brady.

I know better, you see. I see the way Samantha is just itching to be bad again. The way she wants to manipulate, coerce, and just generally cause trouble. I understand Samantha Brady. She isn't good, or stable, or nice. She's wicked, she's cunning, she's dangerous.

And I want her. All to myself.

My naughty little vixen.

The Heart of Everything

Chapter One

What is Nice, Anyway?

Samantha woke just before dawn, her heart racing and body drenched in sweat, despite the chill of the winter night. She pushed the covers off her, her hand running gently over the empty place beside her. Rafe wasn't there; he hadn't slept beside her in over a month. Not since her affair.

She rose after a moment, her heart pounding, her head aching. Perhaps she was getting sick. A board creaked in their apartment and she jumped, halfway to the sink for a glass of water. She was on edge, her eyes darting in the darkness. She went to the couch, finding the covers and pillow Rafe had been using abandoned. The couch was cold to her touch. Sami closed her eyes, reminding herself that once again, it was her fault this estrangement came between them.

She drank the water, then went to her childrens' room. They were all sleeping; Sydney had climbed into bed with Alli again. Johnny was laying on his side, facing the bed where his sister's slept, his hand wrapped around the teddy bear his father, EJ Dimera, had given him.

The thought of EJ sent Samantha's stomach plummeting to the souls of her feet. She touched her lips, remembering the warmth of his kiss. Her body ached then, remembering his hands upon her, him inside her. She backed out of her childrens' room, the shame of her misdeed burning her. No wonder Rafe spent his nights wandering Salem, his days restless and away from her. He could see it in her eyes, could hear it in her voice. Despite her apologies, despite her begging, he could see the sin in her.

She sat slowly on the couch, her thighs chilled with the memory of hands, sliding up them, inside them. She remembered her back arching, her breasts heaving, his mouth – God his mouth – hot upon her flesh. She jammed her hands between her knees, bending over herself, surrounded by the smell of Rafe.

She had betrayed her marriage vows. In a moment of grief, of supreme weakness, when they both thought their son had been killed, they had gone to each other. They had betrayed themselves, and she had betrayed Rafe.

She remembered loving EJ. She remembered a time when he had been the center of her world. He had killed that, kidnapping their daughter, letting her believe Sydney was dead. It was some Dimera scheme, some mad thing to drive her family crazy. And she had mourned with EJ over Sydney, she had nearly gone mad, and he had let her suffer.

She would never forgive him that. She couldn't. She didn't love EJ Dimera anymore, she loved her husband.

But God she wanted EJ. Even now, in the dark of her apartment, sitting amongst Rafe's bed things, she burned for him. Sex with EJ was like breathing after a long run; natural, hard, painful, and wonderful all at once. Sami had never had a lover that made her feel the way EJ did. Not Austin, not Lucas, not...not Rafe. She was ashamed to think that, but it was true. Rafe made love to her; beautiful love that cleansed her soul. They were passionate, yes, but they never made it to the one place Sami craved.

Only EJ knew that place. Only EJ took her there.

God help her, Sami Brady desired EJ Dimera with every inch of her body.

But Sami wouldn't do it; not again. She was trying with all her might to prove to Rafe that he was her true love. They were seeing a marriage consellor, they were going to church every Sunday. Everything Rafe had asked, Sami was doing. She made sure she never saw EJ alone, she made sure she texted Rafe anytime she was going anywhere. She kept her phone on her at all times. Yet still, a month later, Rafe wouldn't look her in the eyes. Much less kiss her, hold her. Sami knew it was her fault, but the loss of her husband's presence was overwhelming.

Still, now, sitting here, it was EJ's kiss she missed the most. It was EJ's embrace she craved. Their sex that day had been hurried, had been full of despair and need and desire that made no sense. Yet when her body cried out for release, it wasn't Rafe she imagined.

It was EJ. Always, horriably, EJ.

Sami felt the tears fall down her face, the shame of it all making her stomach cramp and ache.

It was just before dawn, less than a month since she and EJ had broken themselves. It was just before dawn, and part of Sami Brady was dying.

She wept.


"Sami? Why are you on the couch? It's freezing out here."

Sami opened her eyes slowly, adjusting to the brightness of the morning. Rafe was standing over her, staring down at her with the same torn expression he had worn this last month. His hands were in his pockets, his coat still on from whereever it was he had been off to.

She rose up slowly, shivering. It was cold. It was horribly cold. She tried to catch his eye, but he was already looking elsewhere. "I...I woke up. You were gone."

"Needed to think," he said distractedly, moving to the kitchen to start making coffee.

Sami rose to her feet, following him in. She reached out slowly, her fingers brushing over his arm. He pulled effortlessly away from her touch. "Rafe," she began quietly.

"I'm working with Carrie today," he said before she could continue, pouring the coffee grains into the maker. "We have a new client."

The coldness of the words, the ignoring of her touch, felt like a slap to her. Sami dropped her hand, nodding vaguely. "Okay," she said, moving away from him. "Will you be home in time for our counselling session this evening?"

"I don't know," he said a bit shortly. "It will just depend." He looked at her finally, his eyes softening for a moment. He reached out, his large hand grabbing hers. Sami gasped, squeezing his fingers as she closed her eyes. His arms went around her suddenly, pulling her into a gentle embrace. "I'm trying Sami," he said into her hair, kissing the crown of her head.

Sami cried softly, her arms tight around his waist. "I know," she whispered into his shirt. "I know Rafe. It's all my fault. I love you."

"Love you," he whispered, releasing her. She felt empty without his arms around her. She watched him drink his coffee, closed her eyes when he kissed the top of her head again, and wished him a good day as he left.

She moved slowly, painfully, feeling old and rather like a nasty zombie person. She checked on the kids; all still asleep, and went about her shower. She stood long under the hot water, cleaning herself thoroughly, trying to remember what her husband's hands on her felt like. The hot water was like Rafe's fingers, like the tickle of Rafe's mouth on her neck. Sami found her hand drifting between her legs, her fingers brushing over her pleasure without thought. She shivered, imagining her husband behind her, her husband's mouth latched onto her neck, Rafe's hands roaming over her breasts, her mound. She imagined leaning back, turning her head, taking Rafe's mouth with her own.

She imagined Rafe's length against her, the hardness of her husband pressing just above her bottom, Rafe's chest heaving with desire as she was pinned against the shower side. She felt the softness of familiar hands upon her, Rafe's finger slipping into her. She imagined his tongue lapping at her pulse. All the things she loved and missed and needed with all her might.

"Mine," he said in her mind. She turned towards him, looking up into those liquid eyes, full of desire for her. He was breathing her name, the water running softly over his chest. He was the image of masculine beauty to her. Her hands ran over his chest, down his ribs. He shivered under her touch. He was looking at her with that need, his mouth descending upon hers, devouring her lips like a man starved. His hands ran over her sides, down to her hips. He lifted her, pinning her to the wall, his hardness sliding easily into her, her insides clenching around him.

She leaned against the wall, the hot water spraying down on them. She whispered his name like a prayer, his matching whispers of hers their benediction. This was heaven, this was desire embodied. The cool tiles were sturdy against her back, his hot hands supporting her butt, squeezing it was desire. His lips caught hers in a kiss that seared her to her very soul.

"Samantha!" he gasped, thrusting once more into her.

"EJ!" she moaned, her knees trembling as she collapsed to the bottom of the shower.

Sami gasped, opening her eyes, her face drenched with tears once again, her hands both between her legs, sticky and hot from her release, the tile cold and unforgiving below her.

Sami knew, leaning against the shower wall, weeping into the water, that she was damned.


She wore her favorite old robe, with her favorite house shoes. Her hair was caught in a towel, still dripping down her back. She was about to get dressed, her knees still knocking from her orgasm, when she heard the chime of the doorbell. EJ wasn't due for another hour; he was going to take Johnny and Alli to the zoo; with Rafe's reluctant blessing. "So long as you aren't alone with him," he had said coldly. "Make sure you stay with the kids at all times, do you understand?"

Sami had agreed readily, not wanting to be alone with the father of two of her four children.

So when Samantha opened the door, trendles of her blond hair falling from under the towel into her eyes, she mentally groaned to see the man himself standing there.

EJ was wearing a blue button up shirt with a warm pea coat over it, a red scarf around his neck, and dark blue jeans. He looked like a model, standing their with his perfect hair and perfect face.

"You're early," Sami said, clearing her throat. She would not hold her robe self-consciously, she would not fidget. She would treat him with indifference, dammit. She would hold her composure.

EJ was staring at her face, his expression intense. She wondered; half-hoped, half-horrified, if he felt the same desire for her in that moment. If the thought of her wearing nothing but a robe, house-slippers, and a towel was driving him as crazy as the thought of him taking said articles of clothing off her was driving her. "I thought I'd come early," he said, his voice neutral and calm. "Help make the kids breakfast."

Sami nodded, licking her lips as she stepped back to allow him in. He did this every now and again; came to eat a meal with the kids. He just usually warned her first. "I'll go get the kids up," she said quietly, turning away from him.

Then his hand was there, wrapped around her wrist, hot and familiar and lighting up her world. Sami turned back to him, his hand lingering over hers, not letting it go, even when they looked at each other. "You're okay with me being here?" he asked quietly, searching her face. "With us sharing a meal?"

Sami cleared her voice, tugging her hand from his at last. The skin burned where he had touched her, and she rubbed at it unconsciously. "You're Johnny and Sydney's father, EJ. Alli thinks the world of you, too. If it makes them smile, Rafe and I are okay with you coming around," she said, purposefully including her husband's name.

"And William?" he asked tentatively, looking behind her as if he expected her eldest to appear.

Sami winced. The fact that her eldest son had seen her having sex with the man who ruined her marriage to his father, the fact he had caught her cheating on a man he respected and loved, had estranged her from Will. He rarely spoke to her, spending long hours away from home, ignoring her and avoiding her at every turn. "He isn't here. He stayed over at friends."

EJ nodded, suddenly looking anywhere but at her to glance around the apartment. "I'll get started on breakfast then, shall I?" He swept passed her without looking at her again; something she was grateful for.

Sami went to the kids room, clicking the light on. "Up and at-em sleepy heads!" she said as cheerfully as she could muster. "EJ's here to have breakfast with us."

The kids all yawned, sitting up slowly. As soon as Sami said EJ's name though, Johnny lit up like a Christmas tree. "Daddy!" he crowed, out of his bed in a flash, his bare feet slapping the ground as he ran out the door. Alli got up next, helping Sydney out. She took her sister's hand, and smiled up at Sami. Sami smiled reassuringly back, watching her kids make their way to the kitchen. She went to her room, dropping the towel and robe, kicking off her house slippers. She stood naked in the middle of the room, taking a deep breath, her wet hair tickling her back.

She could do this. She was strong enough to do this. She would ignore the arousal his presence gave, would ignore her desires. She would, for her family. She walked bare foot to the closet, selecting a simple, long sleeve pink shirt and jean set. She pulled on a matching bra and panty set, pulled the shirt over her head, and slipped the jeans over her legs. She didn't bother with shoes, slipping her feet back into the house shoes instead.

She found the kids singing, EJ singing with them as he cooked. She leaned against the wall, watching EJ's back as he flipped the pancakes he was making. The kids were at the table, sipping orange juice and milk, singing ring around the rosy at the top of their lungs. EJ was bobbing his head back and forth as he sung with the kids. Sami watched him, feeling a lump rise up into her throat. She remembered this feeling of family, this desire to be near him. Why was this happening now? Now when she had been so happy with Rafe?

Why did she want this man? This man who had done nothing but hurt her and her loved ones. Sami closed her eyes to it all, took a deep breath, and faced the truth. She would always want EJ. He was burned into her soul. Lucas had said once she was afraid something inside of her had EJ's initials on it. He was right; she was afraid of that. He was also right that it was there; something inside her did have EJ's initials on it. A part of her heart was his forever, despite her best tries to cut that part out, it remained. The sooner she accepted that part and put it to rest, the sooner she could move on. Sami opened her eyes, found EJ looking over his shoulder, studying her.

Somehow she knew, there was a SGB initialed somewhere on EJ's heart too. She looked at him with honesty then, even smiled a bit. He returned it, his eyes warm, expression almost shy, before he returned to his cooking.

"Mommy, EJ's making blueberry pancakes!" Alli said happily, grinning up at her.

"I know they're your favorite, sweetheart," EJ said with ease, smiling at Sami's daughter. Sami's heart skipped, hearing the term of endearment from his lips. The fact it was aimed at her daughter with Lucas made her heart skip just that much more.

Sami went slowly to his side, looked over the pancakes, skillet of eggs, and stacks of toast.

"Pancakes' are nearly done," EJ said quietly, staring hard at the pancake he was working on.

"I'll start making plates," Sami said just as quietly, reaching passed him to a plate, her arm brushing his. Neither of them spoke, neither looked at each other. She felt the heat of him, felt his presence so acutely. Her fingers shook as she made up Johnny's plate, then Alli's. She took them there's, pressing a kiss to both their heads. She made up Sydney's plate, then one for EJ, kissing her younger child. She made her plate last, ushering EJ to the table. He sat next to her, smiling at the kids as they said grace. Sami bowed her head, as did EJ. The twins began to chatter about going to see lions, tigers, and bears, while Sydney pouted.

"I wanna see lions," Sydney said, her lower lip sticking out a mile.

"Next time, sweetheart," EJ said, running his fingers through her messy hair. "You have to go with your mama for your check up with Aunt Lexie."

"Rather see tigers," Sydney groused, stabbing her sausage with her fork.

Sami looked at her daughter with amused exasperation, looking to EJ to find a similar expression on his face. She looked away as he turned to look at her, feeling her body flush, her cheeks burning. She stopped asking why and just accepted it. Being attracted to EJ, caring about EJ, did not mean she would cheat on her husband again. It did not mean she would give in to her desires. She loved Rafe, she had promised to never stray again. She would keep her promise. She would remain faithful. One mistake did not doom her to a life of them.

She looked down at her uneaten food, her mind filled with the pained look on Rafe's face when she confessed her sin to him. Will had pushed, had threatened, had accused her of being just like her mother. Will had made her see how wrong she was – that for once in her rotten life, she had to face her mistake and tell Rafe the truth. The absolute pain, the fury on Rafe's face had broken something in her. How dare she cheat on a man like him? A man she claimed to love. His broken-hearted expression swimming in her mind, she found herself without an apetite. She excused herself quietly, smiling as best she could at the kids as she rose. She took her plate to the kitchen and without a glance at the table, she went to her room, closing the door quietly behind her. She sat on the edge of the bed, stared at a photo of herself and Rafe. She stared into Rafe's happy, trusting face, and felt like she might be sick. She had robbed him of that trust, broken that happiness. She leaned over her knees, squeezed her eyes closed, and prayed for strength.

Hands were on her shoulders, sliding up into her hair. Sami looked up, stared wide-eyed and terrified into EJ's concerned face. She opened her mouth; to tell him to leave, to ask him to stay; she would never know.

He knelt before her, looking into her face. Their eyes met, and his mouth was on hers. His hands were tangled in her damp hair, his fingers brushing her face. She kissed him with all her soul, wept into his mouth. It was a small kiss, a meeting of lips. Its was pure, it was beautiful, it was forbidden, and in that moment, Sami forgot Rafe and his broken heart.

"Samantha," he whispered, trailing kisses over her tears, kissing them away. "Samantha, oh Samantha."

She wept silently, her eyes closed, breathing hard, her hands gripping his shoulders. He pulled her into his arms, she slid easily off the edge of the bed and into his embrace, clinging to his shirt sleeves as he clung to her. "We're monsters, EJ," she whispered into his ear.

He held her tighter, nodding against her shoulder. "I know, sweetheart. I know."

"Mommy?" a little voice asked from the door. Her head shot up from his neck, her tear streaked face raised to meet the confused face of her oldest daughter. "Are you okay, Mommy?"

EJ released her slowly, and she moved naturally away from him, trying to not look guilty. "I'm fine, sweetheart. EJ and I were just...just talking about how lucky we are to have wonderful kids, isn't that right, EJ?"

"Indeed," EJ said, turning to face Alli, smiling at her. "I am very lucky to have Johnny and Sydney, and you as well, Alli."

Alli looked between them, her young eyes dark. "Okay," she said, turning and going back to the table. Sami covered her face, unable to believe her stupidity. Alli didn't believe her, my God, her child didn't believe her.

It was a lie, after all.

"Samantha," EJ said, his hands pulling hers from her face. "We will figure out a way to...to fight this," he said quietly. "I know you love Rafe. I love Nicole. It doesn't...change the fact I have feelings for you. We will figure this out, sweetheart."

She mewled at the nickname, throwing her head back as she warded off the tears. EJ was on her then, his mouth covering hers with heat. She moaned into his mouth, her hands pushing him away. "No no, the kids!" she whispered, struggling away from him, rising to unsteady feet. "I won't do this, not again." She met his eyes, trying to show him her very soul. "I promised Rafe. I promised Will. EJ, we hate each other!"

His hands were warm and gentle on her face. He brushed her hair from her eyes, looking down her with the same conflict she felt. "Samantha, there is one thing I have been forced to face this last month: I can never hate you." He tucked the hair behind her ears. "It would be so much easier if I could."

She closed her eyes, taking his hands from her face. "Enough," she said quietly, leaving him behind. He followed, trailing behind her as they went back to the table. Johnny and Sydney were chattering happily, while Alli sat picking at her food, not looking towards them as they took their seats.

Damn them both, Sami decided. Just damn them now.


Sami and Sydney walked down to the Town Square, wasting time before Sydney's appointment. It was a perfect winter day, both of them bundled up in warm clothes, the chilled nip of the air just perfect. Sydney held her hand, humming as she looked up at the tiny snow flakes falling from the trees. Christmas was just around the corner – the whole square was decorated with lights, garlands, and Christmas trees. Sydney would stop every now and again to point out something that amused or excited her. Through it all, Sami was quiet, smiling down when her daughter looked up at her. Her lips burned from the stolen kisses, her skin ached where he had touched it. The magic of Christmas was nothing compared to the tender touch of his lips.

God she was a mess. A stupid, hormonal mess. Sami sighed, guiding her daughter out of the Square, onto the path that would lead them to the hospital. She licked her lips, tasted syrup and EJ still there, despite the face she had brushed her teeth three times. She felt her body heat at the taste, felt her knees weaken just a bit.

I love Rafe, she reminded herself, ashamed she had to remind herself of that.

They wandered down the path at a leisurely pace, Sydney swinging their hands together. They passed by the peer, passed the dark alleys where Chloe had been attacked, where that mad man Gus had hurt so many women. They did not approach the peer, nor the darkness, but Sami was well aware it was there.

They turned a corner, away from the peer, away from the darkness, and Sami relaxed. Couples were walking together, kids were playing. Things would be okay. She and Rafe would make things work. She would prove her love for him and their family. She would not think about things she should not think about.

Especially not EJ Dimera and his stupid kisses. Amazing kisses.

Stupid EJ!

Sami took a deep breath, smiling at Sydney as they entered the tree lined path that led straight to the hospital. There was no one here this time of day. It was beautiful and quiet and ever so perfect. Sami picked Sydney up in her arms, grinning at her little girl as she laughed. Sami stopped walking to spin her child in her arms, the fall leaves dancing around them.

She didn't see the man hidden in the shadow of the tree. She didn't see the gun aimed at her. She only felt the jolt of the electrodes piercing her skin, felt her arms release her child as she fell, convulsing to the ground. The world was pain upon pain upon pain. Sami felt the burn of white, hot horror run through her. The last thing she saw was Sydney, rising to her feet, crying as she reached out for her Mama.

A/N: I have been a Days of Lives fan for over twenty five years. O_o The second I saw EJ Wells, I knew he was the man for Sami. When I found out he was a Dimera, it made it even more obvious. Who else but a Dimera could handle Samantha Gene Brady – the Anti-Brady of Salem. Ejami is my OTP. When I saw them get it on when they thought Johnny was dead, my heart flared with Ejami love again. I am fully hooked on Days again, after years of just sort of tolerating it. This fic was borne of that love and just plain obsession. It's going to be very soapy, I promise. I have, in fact, picked the sort of Soapy plot that speaks to my inner Housewife, craving the drama. Hope you and your inner housewife -husband enjoys.

Yours,

Echo the Insane