Chapter 13: Make You Feel My Love

Why had she let Carly talk her out of wearing her high-tops? She ran down the wet sidewalk away from Ridgeway as fast as she could. Stupid princess dress. Stupid princess shoes. She needed to run faster, harder than her dress would let her. She needed to put as much distance as possible between her and the nightmare she'd just lived through.

The thought of it brought fresh tears to her face. She gulped for air, swiping at her tears as she tried, in vain, to hold her feelings back.

'I can't break down' she thought. But she knew that she was holding herself together by a thread and very soon that thread would break and she'd be helpless to stop it.

She ran on, pulling out the pin that held her hair back, sending it flying in the wind around her face.

Don't you get it? I'm done!

She chocked back a sob. She'd been ready. She'd been determined to show him tonight, to let him know just how ready she was to love him and let him love her despite the fear that filled her heart. She'd been prepared to tell him that she'd rather be scared to death with him than be without him, that nothing made sense without him. But she'd never gotten that chance.

She ran until she reached Bushwell Plaza, her dress wet from the rain, her hair a mess, her make-up having long since run down her face. This was the only place she could think to go. Carly's house had always been like a sanctuary for her. Spencer would let her in and, hopefully, spare her too many questions about why she was there, soaking wet, on his doorstep instead of at the prom with Carly.

She entered the building, glad to see the lobby empty, and raced toward the elevator. She arrived on the eighth floor and dragged herself to Carly's door, knocking insistently.

No answer.

She knocked harder, calling Spencer's name.


She reached for her bag. She remembered then. Her bag. The envelope. She'd left them at the prom. It didn't matter she guessed. Nothing in that envelope would have changed his mind. He was over her.

That fact coupled with sadness and exhaustion crumbled her resolve and she slid down the wall beside the door, her body shaking as she sobbed. She was alone…really and truly alone.

She heard a door creak open and tried in vain to wipe her face and stop her tears as the face of Mrs. Benson appeared in the door to Freddie's apartment.

"Saman…Sam?" She opened the door wide as she took in the sight in front of her. "What happened? Are you okay? She looked up and down the hallway, crossing it to where Sam sat, bending down to touch her face.

Sam was so tired, too tired even to put up a brave front for Mrs. Benson. She wanted to just curl up in a ball where she sat and drown out the world. Fresh tears coursed down her cheeks, falling over onto Mrs. Benson's hand.

Marissa Benson had known Samantha Puckett for a long time, and in that time she'd called her quite a few things… most of them unpleasant. But tonight there was only one word for the girl sitting in front of her…broken.

"Oh, honey." She whispered, brushing the tears from Sam's face. "Come on inside. Spencer isn't home and you can't just sit out here all night." She reached for Sam's hand.

"It's…it's okay…Mrs. Benson" she tried to talk but her voice was shaky from crying, "I can just… just wait for Carly to come home…"

"Don't be ridiculous. You're coming with me. I won't take no for an answer." She grabbed Sam's hand and pulled her gently to her feet.

Sam followed Mrs. Benson across the hall and into the apartment. She hadn't been here since that night. She hated to remember it and wondered why a woman who hated her as much as Mrs. Benson was being so nice to her.

Marissa walked into the kitchen, gesturing for Sam to follow her. Sam walked behind her into the kitchen, taking a seat at the table. Opening the refrigerator Marissa grabbed a bottle of water and placed it in front of Sam. Turning back to the sink she wet a paper towel and handed it to Sam.

"Put that on the back of your neck, it'll help you calm down." She sat opposite Sam, studying the girl in front of her.

"Why are you being nice to me?" Sam asked, "I thought you hated me."

"I've never said I hate you Samantha… I mean, Sam"

"But you think my mother is a whore and I'm a delinquent who's a bad influence on your son."

Marissa was taken aback. She had said those things, and hearing them said back to her made her feel ashamed of how horrible they sounded.

"I heard you…I heard you tell Freddie those things." Sam said

"How did you…the open window. You're the one who opened the window." She sat quietly.

"Yeah, I heard you. So I know that you don't like me. And I know you don't want me with Freddie so it's probably good news for you that he hates me too…probably more than you do." She lowered her head and sighed. She wasn't going to cry. She had no more tears left.

"Sam…I'm not going to deny that I said those things. Although I will say that I'm sorry…I hadn't realized until just now how hurtful they were."

Sam stared back at her. She'd expected anger or yelling…not an apology.

"But Sam…what you heard. It's not the whole story."

"Right…that's what Freddie said. So what did I miss? Did you have a nice mother-son chat about how I don't deserve him? Or maybe you spent some time talking about my deadbeat father? Please Marissa…enlighten me!" Sam leaned over the table, hands shaking, "Forget it" she said, standing from her seat, "I'm out of here"

"Sit down!" She stopped involuntarily at the force in Marissa's voice, "Now!"

Sam sat back down in shock. No one ever talked to her like that…not without retaliation anyway.

"Now you listen to me…I know you're hurt, and I understand really I do, but I will not be spoken to like that in my own house." She softened her voice, looking across the table at Sam. "You were absolutely right, I sat in that room and I listed all the reasons why Freddie shouldn't be with you. I told him every story I could think of, gave every example that came to mind…do you know what Freddie said?"

"Yeah…nothing." Sam slumped in her seat.

"Wrong…" she leaned over the table toward Sam, "he defended you. For every reason I could give him why you weren't right for him…and there were plenty, he only had to give me one reason why you were." She paused, waiting or Sam to look at her. "Because he loves you. He stood there strong and proud and told me it didn't matter what I thought…or what anyone else thought… because he loved you…he loves you." She fell into silence, finally standing from the table and leaving the room.

She returned a moment later, holding a picture frame in her hand. Sitting down at the table she pushed the frame across to Sam who picked it up gently. It was a picture of Freddie and his dad, making goofy faces at what must have been Mrs. Benson behind the camera. A Christmas tree twinkled in the background.

She traced her hand over Freddie's face, and couldn't help but smile at his impish grin. He was cute…even way back then.

"He was three in that picture. It was the year before…before we lost Jack." She stared over at the picture wistfully. He and his father were so close. When he died I thought I might lose Freddie too. He quit talking for a long time. It was like the light went out behind his eyes, and every time I looked at him I felt his pain, probably more than my own. From that day on, I made it my priority to protect him, to keep him safe and happy – to keep him from hurting.

He was…sheltered, probably more than he should have been, I'll admit that. But I was just so scared for him, scared that the next big hurt would swallow him whole. My fear made him cautious, scared to take risks, scared to do anything beyond what was expected of him. That's my fault too. And then something happened."

Sam raised her face to meet Marissa's, a question in her eyes.

"He met a girl. A wild, crazy, misbehaving girl." She smiled across at Sam. "She terrified me! She spent every second finding new ways to torture him. There were days I thought for sure she'd kill him!"

Sam laughed in spite of herself.

"But she didn't. Quite the opposite actually, the harder she pushed, the stronger he got. He learned to push back, to fight back, to stand up for himself. Her strength taught him how to be strong. That girl…the one I was so afraid of… she changed him. You changed him Sam." She paused, waiting for Sam's reaction. "After his father died I didn't think he'd ever trust anyone, open himself to anyone. The boy… the man who stood in front of me last week defending you…he wasn't scared. He wasn't closed off. He was the best version of himself. He was strong…and do you know why? Because, at its best that's what love does for us, it makes us strong."

Sam stared back at her.

"I owe my son an apology, I see that now. I was wrong, for not seeing in him what you've seen, for not allowing him to be the man he needs to be. And for standing in the way of…one of the best things that's ever happened to him…you."

Sam didn't know what to say. It was as if the planet had been thrown off course, out of orbit and had now righted itself. He loved her. Freddie loved her. Enough to tell his mother.

And she'd left him.

"Mrs. Benson…"

"Call me Marissa, please."

"Marissa…thanks for…for telling me this. But…I think it's too late. At the prom Freddie said…he said he was done. He said he was over me. He told me to leave."

"You want to know something I've learned in my years Sam?"

Sam nodded.

"As long as you're still breathing…it's never too late."

Sam looked doubtfully at her.

"I've known you for a long time Samantha, and in all that time I've never seen you back down from a challenge – or take no for an answer."


"But nothing! Do you love my son Samantha?"

"Ye…Yes. I do"

"Do you want to be with him?"

Sam sighed. "More than anything."

"Then wipe your face, go back out there and be the wild, crazy…wonderful girl who changed my son's life." She reached across the table and squeezed Sam's hand, "It's never too late."

Marissa stood and walked toward the living room, coming back with her purse and keys in hand.

"Where are you going?" Sam asked, confused.

"Where are we going, you mean. We're going back to the prom so you can fix this mess you and my son have made…Now come on," she looked at her watch, "we've got exactly forty three minutes before the prom ends."

She crossed her arms over her chest impatiently.

"Come on young lady! Let's go!"

Sam smiled and stood to follow Marissa out of the apartment. She realized that she was feeling something she hadn't felt in a long time… hope.

They rode in silence, Marissa's nervousness obvious in the fact that she was going four miles over the speed limit.

"So…do you have a plan?" she asked, eyes straight ahead on the road.

"A plan?"

"Yes Sam… a plan. You know… what you intend to do to help my son see reason! A plan!"

She hadn't thought about it. She been so happy to know that Freddie had loved her, that he probably still loved her… she hadn't gotten any further than that.

"Freddie is like his father was, stubborn. If he's made up his mind to be over you then you're going to have to convince him otherwise. He loves you, I know he does. Now you just have to make him remember… make him feel that love.

Sam knew what she had to do.

"Marissa, can I please use your phone? I left mine at the prom."

"Who are you calling?" she said, reaching into her purse to hand Sam her phone.

"Reinforcements" Sam said smiling as someone picked up on the other end. "Ernie? It's me, Sam Puckett… Yep, Pageant Puckett…listen, I need a favor; a big one. How quickly can you get to Ridgeway High School?"

Freddie stood on the sidewalk outside Ridgeway, trying to plan his next move.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. What a mess he'd made. He managed to ruin the evening for everybody; letting his jealousy for Sam boil over, causing a scene, hurting Sam with his nasty comments. And then when she tried to hand him that envelope, he just lost it. He just wasn't able to deal with anything in writing at that moment. He never liked to see bad news in print. It just seemed so … permanent. Like the birthday card Sam had given him with the message "Happy Birthday. I hate you." Sam had told him she hated him hundreds of times, and Freddie managed to brush those off easily enough. But that card hurt. It didn't matter that she likely didn't even mean it; it still hurt him, and though he kept the card, he could never bring himself to open it again. He'd thought the letter that Sam wanted to give him tonight would be more of the same. He'd been so wrong.

On top of the clash with Sam, he had managed to disappoint Carly too. He felt even worse about that, since his friendship with Carly has always been less qualified than things were with Sam. She was unconditionally on his side, all the more so because she was upset in her own right with Sam's behavior over the past week. But Carly had looked past his behavior, comforted him, and told him to find Sam and put things right with her. At least if it were possible at this point.

He had no idea where Sam might have gone. He doubted she had any desire to see him. She knew that he was aware of most of her hiding places, so she was unlikely to show up at any of them. Carly was still at the prom, so he guessed she wouldn't have gone to Bushwell. For lack of other options, he decided to see if she went home, since it was within walking distance of Ridgeway and the prom.

It only took a few minutes, even in relatively new and stiff dress shoes, to reach the Puckett house. Over the years, he hadn't been there much, but over the past four months, he had come to know it well. He took a deep breath and stepped up to the front door, ringing the bell. After a few seconds, he heard movement, together with what must have been Frothy's screeching, and the door opened, revealing Sam's mother in what for her was a conservative pink robe.

Before he and Sam had started spending large amounts of time together alone this year, he hadn't spent much time talking to Pam Puckett. The only time she paid him any attention was when she wanted a favor, like a discount at the Pear Store. Even while she was with Sam, they didn't speak much, though he often noticed Pam staring at him. He didn't let himself think why she might be doing that.

But at least she recognized him. "Well good evening garcon…you can take my order anytime," she said, opening the door to stare down at him. "What brings you by?"

Pam Puckett made him nervous. She stood leaning on the doorjamb, her eyes raking over him.

"Um…I'm trying to find Sam. Is she here?"

"What do you mean? I thought she was with you and that skinny friend of hers. What happened…?" Pam eyed him suspiciously.

"Well, uh, she was, but Sam and I had a little argument, and she left on her own. I was hoping to find her here so I could talk to her," he replied, turning to leave. "I'm sorry I've bothered you."

"Not so fast lover boy," She called after him, beckoning him to come inside. He followed behind her, trying not to notice exactly how short her robe was…leaving little to the imagination.

Freddie stepped into the living room. It felt surreal being there right then, here at the scene of what he thought was the most important moment of his life, when he went down on his knees before Sam the afternoon after she kissed him at the lock-in and confessed his feelings. Pam sat in the very spot where Sam had been, and Freddie fought to shake off the image of Sam breaking out in tears and sinking into his lap before the couch.

Pam offered to take Freddie's tuxedo jacket, and Freddie was happy to remove it. The spring evening was mild, and he was warm from the exertion of walking. As he handed Pam the jacket, he couldn't help but notice Pam briefly gripping his bicep, and giving it a small squeeze, a slight smile on her face.

"You know, I wondered what Sammy saw in you. You're a little…mild by Puckett standards" she squeezed his bicep again, "But now I see why she likes to drag you off to the bedroom whenever you're over here. You've been hiding heavy artillery under those polo shirts."

Sam was right—her mother would flirt with any man she met, even her daughter's boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend, he sighed to himself.

Freddie really started to squirm. "Mrs. Puckett, Sam and I just spend time together. We've never done that kind of thing in there. I wouldn't ever use Sam like that…"

Pam interrupted him. "Call me Pam, and I know you haven't been doing anything, at least not recently, because it's been a while since I've seen you over here. And since you haven't been here, Samantha has either locked herself in her room or sat on this couch and cried her eyes out. And now you show up looking like you were just kicked in the gut. Tell me what happened. Who cheated on who?"

Freddie took his seat in the recliner opposite Pam, and stared at the floor. He had no idea what to say to Pam. He was nervous, drumming his fingers on his knees. Pam fell onto the sofa, stretching out her legs and crossing them at the ankle.

"Look Freddie…I'm sure you know that my daughter and I don't have the healthiest of relationships. But it doesn't mean I don't care or that I don't notice when something's wrong with her." She moved her feet from the sofa onto the floor, leaning toward Freddie. "Now, Sam's been walking around here for the last week like someone shot her dog. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?" She eyed him suspiciously and he shrank under her gaze. She was staring at him, but it was different this time. He used to her looking him up and down, from head to toe, but this time she was looking him in the eye, something she never did.

Freddie sighed again. "Mrs. Puck…Pam, no one cheated on anyone. We broke up a week ago. I mean, Sam broke up with me… and I still don't know why."

"Sam broke up with you? Well I'll be damned, that girl is more like me than she'll ever admit. Did she say why?"

"She kept saying that I was going to leave her, that sooner or later I was going to decide that she was no good for me. And she said these awful things about herself and, I'm sorry, her family. She kept saying she'd cause me nothing but trouble, that we're too different to work." He hung his head.

"Freddie, I wish I could give you some motherly advice about my daughter, but the truth is, you probably know her better than me. I haven't had the best relationships with my daughters. Melanie left and avoids coming back. I can tell. Samantha … I don't really know what goes on inside her head. She never talks about it. Puckett's aren't exactly big on talking…we're more…action sort of women." Even in a serious moment, she couldn't resist the opportunity, no matter how inappropriate, to flirt. "But I still care about her. Samantha…she's really all I have left, and I don't like to see her in pain. When you were always coming around, I could tell she was happy. She smiled … even around me. Then this last week, she's been in her own little hell. I know that kind of pain, and I never wanted her to have to feel it."

Freddie sat quietly, a look of shock on his face. He had thought Sam was angry with him, not hurting even worse than he was.

"I guess I don't really understand her, either. She overheard a conversation between my mom and me and she misunderstood. She thought I didn't love her, and tonight I said some things I shouldn't have and ... well she probably thinks it even more now."

"Did I hear you say she thought you were going to leave her?"

"Yes, she said it over and over, no matter how many times I told her I wouldn't. I wouldn't ever leave her."

Pam studied his face. "Has she told you about Brian?"


"My ex-husband. Sam's father. We split when the girls were five. He left suddenly, but even before then things were never good. I was eighteen when I got pregnant, and we got married in a rush. He wanted to do the right thing, and I was so scared I just wanted someone to be there. But we weren't right together, and Brian was overwhelmed, especially when he learned I was having twins. We didn't have much money, and that just made everything worse. Sam and Mellie saw way more hate than they did love. But Brian loved his daughters, especially Samantha. He couldn't buy her things, but he spent lots of time with her. We were all devastated when he left us, but Samantha took it the hardest. She was never the same once he was gone."

"I never knew. Sam never says a word about her father. We'd try to ask her sometimes, but she'd always say she didn't know anything, crack a joke or change the subject. The most she ever told us was that he left. I never even knew his name. So you don't hear from him? Does he communicate with Sam?"

"No. I haven't heard a word from Brian since about two years after he left. I hear that he's in Nashville now – but who knows how true that is." She sat back in her seat, "You know, the first time I heard you call Sam 'Princess,' it brought back memories of Brian calling her that. I was surprised she even let you use the word. She still won't let anyone call her Samantha—that's what Brian called her."

Freddie again sat quietly. Daddy issues. That's what he'd heard it called on those daytime television shows. Sam didn't just grow up without her father—she was abandoned by her father…without warning. And Pam said she was never the same after he left. Was this it? Was this what made Sam what she was? Why she could be closer than a sister to Carly; trust her with her life but always hold Freddie at arm's length, pushing him away every time he tried to end the game of "I hate you" and be a real friend to her? Why she never really seemed to trust him?

His breathing quickened, and he wanted to talk to Sam more than ever. He thought back to the night after the lock-in, when he lay on his bed and replayed his entire relationship with Sam in light of the feelings she had confessed through her double-lipped dance on his face. He was having a similar moment, realizing just how hurtful certain things he had said to her must have been, and how trapped she had to feel when he was pressing her to make their relationship public.

"Pam, I don't mean to be rude, but I need to find Sam. Now. I need to talk to her. I need to put things right with her." He stood, accepting his jacket back from Pam. She walked him to the door and he turned to her before leaving. "Thank you for telling me this." He looked into her eyes. "You should know – I love your daughter…really love her. And if I can fix this I'll promise you – I'll do my best to never hurt her

"Well look at that… biceps and brains." She laughed, her blue eyes – Sam's eyes – twinkling, and for a split second Freddie could see what she must have been like before she'd let the bitterness of being abandoned change her.

He waved at Pam and began running down the sidewalk, towards Ridgeway.

Pam stood in the doorway, watching him leave. He seemed like a good guy, a cut above someone like Brian. He hadn't said a selfish thing, or a word about his own feelings. He only thought about how his actions affected Samantha.

She thought to herself that maybe this Freddie could fix things; help heal the hurt in Sam that Pam had felt too inadequate to address. She turned back toward the house.

She silently wished the kid luck. 'It'd be a shame for Sam to miss out on getting a piece of those sculpted arms', she chuckled to herself. Puckett women loved that sort of thing. Her Sammy just didn't know it yet.

"And that was Myra Whitehouse singing, 'Memories'… in pig latin".

Carly pressed the applause button, trying to encourage the crowd to clap along. The raucous round of 'boos' caused poor Myra to burst into tears and run from the stage.

Carly signaled Brad to place the camera on the tripod sitting near the stage, where the iCarly viewers could get a good view of the room and Carly could take a break from hosting.

She was exhausted. Since Sam, and then Freddie, had left she'd be running around trying to do the biggest show they'd ever done…virtually alone. Brad was a lifesaver; she'd given him many 'thank you' kisses to drive the point home. He manned the camera and helped keep her sane when the performers, who she'd been told were all talented, turned out to be an even bigger batch of losers than Sam had predicted.

So far she'd introduced Gilbert and his jazz tuba, a group of freshman girls who'd gotten so nervous that one had thrown up on Gibby's shoes at the side of the stage before the performance even started, and the rest of them had spent the entire song giggling into their microphones and trying to hide behind each other. Thirty minutes. She only had to get through another thirty minutes.

Her phone beeped and she saw an incoming text from Freddie.

Freddie: She wasn't at her house

Carly: You went 2 her house? Ur brave!

"Carly, it's almost time for the next act" Gibby called out to her, still wiping at his shoes.

She turned to walk toward the stage when she saw a flash of blond hair at her side. Sam moved to stand in front of Carly, her dress slightly rumpled and her once elegant bun falling now in loose waves down her back. But Carly hardly noticed, what she noticed was that Sam…was smiling.

"Sam! Where have you been?"

"I was…with Freddie's mom."


"I can't explain it right now." She raised her hand to stop Carly from saying anything else, "I promise I'll tell you all about it later, but right now I have something important to do…and I need your help."

It was then that Carly noticed someone standing behind Sam.

"Ernie? Sam…what is Ernie doing here?"

"Hey Carly. Nice to see you again."

Carly was confused. Sam, who only hours ago ran into the night in tears, was now standing in front of her all smiles beside her Pageant Talent coach, who had a keyboard bag strapped over his shoulder.

"Sam, what's going on?"

"Where's Freddie?" Sam asked.

"He went looking for you! He went to your house!"

"With my mom? Oh my god! Where is he now?"

"He just texted me to say he's on his way."

"Okay. Ernie…go ahead and get set up." Ernie saluted Sam and headed for the stage. "Carly, listen, you were right. You were so right and I was so completely wrong. I love him Carly…and I need him to know that. Will you help me?"

Carly was too happy to even consider saying no to one of Sam's schemes.

"What do you need me to do?"

"Text Freddie and tell him to get here…now. Then get up on stage…and introduce me" she eyed Carly hopefully.

"Introduce you? As in…you're going to perform? Here? Tonight? Sam…I don't know about this."

"Carly, you have to trust me. Please…"

Carly sighed… this was either going to end very well…or very, very badly. Either way, she'd been by Sam's side since the day they met… or she wasn't about to stop now.

"Alright Sam, you've got ten minutes…then you're on"

Sam reached up to hug Carly, squeezing hard.

"Thanks kid…for everything" she ran off toward the stage, talking to Ernie while glancing frequently at the door.

Looking for Freddie no doubt, Carly thought.

Freddie! She was supposed to text him.

Carly: You have to get here…now!

Freddie: What's wrong? Is Sam there?

Carly: Quit asking questions and get your butt here Freddie!

Freddie: I'm on my way…five minutes

Carly turned toward the stage, her stomach in knots. She wondered what Sam had planned. She hadn't had a chance to tell her how proud of her she was. The letter Sam had written must have taken so much courage. And even after Freddie had rejected her, she'd still found the strength to come back…to try again. She was the bravest person Carly knew, and she only hoped that whatever Sam had planned would work; that Sam and Freddie would find the happiness she so desperately wanted for them.

Carly: Where r u!

Freddie: Almost there…

"Carly…it's time" Brad called to her and she felt her stomach do a somersault.

Here went …. Everything.

Sam's palms were sweating. Her throat was tight and she was suddenly aware of what a mess she must look like. She paced back and forth at the side of the stage, listening as Ernie quietly practiced.

This was crazy. Completely, totally crazy.

She turned to walk from the stage, running directly into Carly who was coming on stage to introduce her.

"Okay Sam, are you ready?"

Sam took a deep breath. She was scared out of her mind. In under a minute she would take a step toward Freddie bigger than she'd imagined possible. She was shaking like a leaf.

At its best, that's what love does… it makes us strong.

He loves me. Freddie loves me.

Just thinking of it steadied her. The fear was still there, gnawing at her, but in the midst of that fear was the truth… Freddie loved her, and for that she was willing to stare down her fear.

"As ready as I'll ever be…" she looked over to Ernie, "let's do this!"

Carly moved to the center of the stage. Brad cued the applause and she smiled out at the crowd.

"Alright… it's time for our final act of the night..."

Sam looked once again toward the door, searching for a familiar set of dark brown eyes. He wasn't here.

Freddie ran harder than he ever had. Sam was at school. He still had a chance. And he wasn't going to blow it this time. He didn't care if he had to write it in the sky, tattoo it on his back, or hold her down and tell her a million times until she believed it…he loved her. And he'd make her see it, if it was the last thing he did.

He ran up the steps of the high school, groaning in frustration as he saw the doors had been locked from the inside. He had to get in there!

"This act is an extra special treat… and one I'm sure will surprise you all!"

Freddie ran to the back of the school, trying the doors to the A/V room. Locked! He sat down on the stairs in frustration, before pulling out his phone.

"Ladies and gentleman, dudes and dudettes, it's my pleasure to present…"

Freddie took the stairs, two at a time, standing impatiently at the rusted door, watching as it slowly opened.

"Dude! Where have you been? Hurry up, get in there!"

"Thanks Gibby, I owe you man" Freddie said breathlessly, running at top speed through the door, leading to the stage.

"Sam Puckett!" Carly cued the applause and smiled as Sam took the stage.

Carly caught Freddie's eyes as she exited the stage, running to hug him.

"You made it"

"Yeah… what's going on Carly?"

"Watch and see. I think this is going to be good."

It had better be.

"Hey Ridgeway. I'm Sam Puckett." She fanned down the applause, holding the microphone stand with both hands as if to steady herself, "I know that most of you are going to rag on me for this Monday… but you should all remember" she threatened, "I hit…hard", laughter drifted throughout the crowd.

"This is Ernie my keys player" she gestured toward Ernie who waved at the crowd, "and this song is called 'Make you Feel My Love'. It's dedicated to someone who's… very special to me. I haven't done a very good job of letting him know just how special. Because I was scared. Scared of what people thought, what all of you would think. She took a deep breath and looked out into the crowd. "But I'm not scared anymore."

Carly reached down and grabbed Freddie's hand, giving it a squeeze.

"So… Freddie Benson, this song is for you. I hope it's not too late." The crowd erupted in screams, whistles and applause as the opening strains of the song began.

When the rain is blowing in your face.

And the whole world is on your case.

I could offer you a warm embrace.

To make you feel my love.

Her voice drifted softly over the crowd, beautiful and strong. She swayed softly, eyes closed, in her own world. He wanted to join her there.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear.

And there is no one there to dry your tears.

I could hold you for a million years.

To make you feel my love.

He felt weak as the full force of his love for her overtook him.

I know you haven't made your mind up yet.

But I would never do you wrong.

I've known it from the moment that we met.

No doubt in my mind where you belong.

I'd go hungry I'd go black and blue.

I'd go crawling down the avenue.

No there's nothing that I wouldn't do.

To make you feel my love.

She opened her eyes as the melody filled the room. The beauty in her voice was eclipsed by the courage of her action – willing them all to silence.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea, and on the highway of regret.

The winds of change are blowing wild and free… you ain't seen nothing like me yet.

She glanced toward the side of the stage expecting to see Carly, feeling her heart soar at the site of him. He was here. Freddie was here.

She smiled, grabbed the microphone from its stand and started walking toward him. His body pulled to her like a magnet. All he wanted to do was hold her…and never let her go.

He reached her mid-stage, and saw the tears shining in her eyes, eyes that looked at him…for the first time, without fear.

She raised her hand to touch his cheek softly, and he covered hers with his own, pulling it down to meet his lips.

I could make you happy; make your dreams come true.

Nothing that I wouldn't do.

Go to the ends of the earth for you.

To make you feel my love.

To make you feel my love.

As her final note echoed throughout the room, Freddie reached out for her, wrapping his arm around her waist, drawing her to his chest. She smiled up at him, allowing herself to melt into his embrace.

There, in the middle of a room full of people, there was no one but them. He looked down into her eyes and found the fullness of his heart prevented him from speaking… there were no words.

"How's that for mushy in public." Sam said softly in to his ear, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"I think I can do you one better." Freddie said, cupping her chin in his hand, leaning down to meet his lips with hers.

Without hesitation she leaned into him, forgetting where she was, forgetting who might see…not caring about anything but Freddie and this moment. Tangling her fingers in his hair she deepened the kiss, both of them oblivious to the ear shattering applause surrounding them.

Tonight, she'd made a choice. A choice she hoped she'd get to make every day for the rest of her life.

She'd chosen to believe in happy endings.


Awww...Seddie goodness (and some Adele thrown in for good measure). The sequel to Right as Rain is titled Summer of Love. If you haven't read it yet you're in luck! I'll be posting it 3 chapters at a time beginning tomorrow...just in time to premier the brand new story in the Right as Rain series (Until the World Ends). It's going to be good and I hope you'll stay tuned for it.

October 6th is a big day in the iCarly fandom...the premier of the final season of iCarly. The day before will prove to be a big day for the iCarly fan fiction fandom. On that day, many of your favorite Seddie authors have accepted the challenge to post new stories or new chapters to existing stories. It's a MASS posting...tons of Seddie fun! Get excited!

If you'd like to take part in the challenge just drop me a PM and I'll add you to the list of participants. On October 5th DwynArthur and I will post chapter one of our new story 'Until the World Ends' and include all participating authors and story titles there for you to see.