Disclaimer: I own nothing. No copyright infringement intended.
Thanks go to SnarkyMuch2 for beta'ing this and for her general awesomeness.
Sam gestured to the bartender for another drink. He wanted to be as inebriated as possible. He thought it was the only thing that could help him come to terms with what he had just seen. He wasn't surprised to see Amelia with Don, he knew when he left her that her life would follow that path, but knowing and seeing were two different things.
It was physically painful for him to get that glimpse of domestic bliss. That used to be him sharing a beer with her, now it was Don. He told himself that it was the best thing, she should be with her husband, but it didn't ease the ache in his chest.
He pulled out his phone and read the text he thought Amelia had sent. There were no words to explain the panic he had felt when he'd seen that message. Anger towards Dean surged in him. He called the number and waited as it rang.
"'Sam, I need your help. Come quick.' Nice one," Sam said bitterly. "Swapping Amelia's phone out with a burner, sending a distress signal... You got me good. When did you do that?"
"While back, in case I needed it. Looks like I made the right call." There was no hint of remorse in Dean's voice. "So, did you see her?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I saw her. And she's doing just fine." He had seen her and it had hurt him. Damn Dean for doing that to him. "But, of course, you know that."
"Actually, I didn't. I did know it was the only way to get you to lay off."
Sam sighed. Dean didn't care about what he had put Sam through. He only cared that his precious Benny was safe.
"So? Is it done?"
"Yeah," Dean said. "It's done."
Martin was dead! Martin who was only in on this hunt because Sam had dragged him in. Sam felt like he had been sucker punched.
"Was it Benny?"
"He had it coming, Sam. I'll tell you what happened."
"I know what happened, Dean."
"Okay, you want to listen to me or not?"
Sam decided he didn't want to listen. He didn't want to hear how Martin had been killed, knowing it was his fault. Martin hadn't been a part of this until Sam had dragged him in. He had known Martin wasn't the full ticket, but he had assuaged his doubts by telling himself Benny needed to be watched. Now Martin was dead, and it was all Sam's fault. Another death to lay at his feet.
He hung up the phone, shoved it back in his pocket, and then he dropped a bill down on the bar to cover his tab. Turning to leave the bar, he stopped dead in his tracks as he caught sight of her, Amelia.
She was as lovely as ever, and it made Sam's heart contract painfully. He was not surprised to find himself trembling as she approached.
She stared into his eyes for a long moment, and Sam felt all the emotions he had forced away the night he had left her coming rushing to the fore: love, need, lust and overwhelming sadness for her loss. She was the first woman he had truly loved since Jess, and she owned his heart still.
"I knew that was you," she said simply.
"I…" Words failed Sam as he looked at her.
"I have to go," she said, turning on her heel.
He reached out and caught her arm. "Don't go, please." There was clear desperation in his voice. He didn't want her to go, not now she was so close. He wanted to sweep her into his arms and cling to her. He wanted to tell her how much he had missed her and how hard it had been to be without her all these months. He wanted to tell her about Dean, how he had miraculously returned, and how things were so wrong between them now. He wanted to do all that and more, but he couldn't.
"Let me go, Sam," she said, tugging away from him.
Sam released her as if he had been burned.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"I have to go," she said again. She turned away from him and made her way through the jostling crowd. Sam watched her go, and he was frozen in place. She didn't want him to follow, that much was clear, but he had to. It was as if there was an invisible cord dragging him after her. He swept through the crowd, being buffeted by the moving bodies.
He reached the door and stepped out into the balmy evening air. What he saw there stopped him in his tracks for a split second.
Amelia was pressed against the wall and a man was leaning over her.
"Hey!" Sam said harshly. "Get away from her!"
The man turned, and Sam's heart sank. "Don?"
Don sneered at Sam. "Yeah, it's me. Sorry to interrupt your little lovers' meeting, but I was wondering what had kept my wife. You see, she told me she was running to the store. Now I see the truth, she was running to you."
Amelia whimpered. "I told you, it's not like that. We barely even spoke."
"Yeah, I bet you were too busy making up for lost time to talk," Don said. "It's been a while, right, Sam?"
"It's not what you think," Sam said. His instincts were all on alert. Don looked positively dangerous. Sam wasn't afraid for himself, but he was scared for Amelia. By coming here, he had torn apart her world.
"Here's what I think," Don said. "I think you two lovebirds have been playing me since I got back. You"—he glared at Amelia—"told me it was over. That you chose me. When all the time you were carrying on with him!"
"I haven't," Amelia said. "This is the first time I have seen Sam in months. I thought I saw him earlier, and I had to make sure it was him. That's all."
Don shook his head jerkily and moved over her once again. "Don't lie to me! I know what you have been doing. Playing me for a fool."
"Get away from her!" Sam barked, moving forward.
Don turned from Amelia and advanced on Sam. "Who are you to tell me what to do? She's my wife, dammit, not yours."
Sam sighed. "I don't want to fight you. I'm not here for trouble."
"Too bad, as trouble is exactly what you are getting. You think you can just mess around with my wife and get away with it? I don't think so." Don raised his fists.
Sam was not afraid of the man. He knew Don was outmatched if it came to a fight; Sam was bigger and stronger, but he didn't want to fight. He had already damaged Amelia's life enough by his presence. He had to make Don see that it had been innocent.
"I'm not going to fight you, Don," he said calmly.
"Why not? Too much of a coward?" Don asked.
"I'm not fighting you because there is nothing to fight over. I am here because I thought Amelia was in danger. It was a misunderstanding. Now I know she's okay, I can go."
"You're not going anywhere!" Don reached into his jacket and pulled out a handgun.
Sam gulped. This confrontation had just got a lot more deadly. "Amelia, run!" he commanded.
Don grabbed her arm before she had a chance to obey. "No, Amelia, stay. It's lover boy that should be running. He's the one going to end up with a bullet in the brain."
Sam raised his hands in front of him. "You don't want to do this, Don," he said in a tone of forced calm.
"Now, see, that's where you are wrong. This is exactly what I want to do. I want to end this thing you and her have going on once and for all."
Sam was torn; he could tackle Don and wrestle the gun out of his hands, but Amelia would be at risk in the scuffle.
"Don, please." Amelia had tears streaming down her face.
Don rounded on her and the gun pointed at her stomach. Sam's choice was made for him now. He had to attack. He couldn't let Amelia get hurt.
He lunged forward and tackled Don, forcing the gun's aim away from Amelia. They grappled for the gun, and then there was a harsh crack.
Amelia screamed and flinched against the wall.
Sam lurched back from Don, searching him for a sign of injury. There was none. For a moment, he was bewildered, and then the pain reached him. He put a hand to his stomach, and when he pulled it away, his palm was bloody.
"Sam!" Amelia rushed forwards as Sam's knees gave way. He clung to her and she eased him down to the floor. "Oh, God, Sam."
Sam felt like there was a burning poker pressed into his stomach. His head flopped back against the sidewalk, and his hands gripped his bloody stomach in an attempt to staunch the bleeding. He knew from the slickness beneath his fingers that it was bad; he was losing a lot of blood.
Amelia knelt beside Sam. She was overcome with panic, but her medical training came to the fore. She knew she had to control Sam's bleeding. She balled up her jacket and held it to the wound, easing Sam's hands away with whispered words of comfort.
"Shhh, it's okay," she soothed. "I've got you."
Sam's eyes roved madly in their sockets, coming to rest on her. She was beautiful, even in her panic. Sam fixed on her face, and he tried to fight the darkness threatening to overwhelm him.
The sound of the gunshot had brought people out of the bar, and three people already had their phones to their ears and were calling for an ambulance.
Amelia saw Sam's face pale, and she felt another surge of panic. She put her fingers to his neck and felt the rapid thrum of his pulse as his heart fought to pump the blood he was quickly losing.
"Hold on a little longer, Sam," she implored. "The ambulance is coming."
Sam felt disconnected from his body, even the pain was a dull burn now. He knew this wasn't a good sign, and he fought to stay conscious. If he gave into the darkness, he would slip away, he knew it.
"Where's Don?" he asked.
Amelia looked pained. "He ran off. I'm so sorry, Sam. I never thought he would do something like this."
"It's…"—Sam took a breath—"not your fault. My fault. Shouldn't have come."
In the background they could hear the ambulance sirens portending their arrival.
Amelia watched as they screeched to a halt in front of the bar. The EMTs had to fight their way through the crowd that had formed around them to get to Sam.
"Okay, we've got it," one of them said, replacing Amelia's hands with his own.
Amelia felt weak as she stepped back to let them work. She kept her eyes fixed on Sam's face, and he stared back at her. Her hands were sticky with Sam's blood, and it made bile rise in her throat. She retched, and someone put an arm around her shoulders.
"You okay, Amelia?" She recognized the voice as Rick, the bar's owner.
She shook her head shakily. She could feel the tremors building in her chest and spreading through her.
On the ground, Sam was fading. He was trying to stay conscious, but he couldn't see Amelia now, she had been lost in the crowd. With nothing to focus on, his eyes were drifting closed more frequently.
The EMTs were asking him questions and telling him that he was going to be okay, but he couldn't focus on them. He wished more than anything that Dean was there. He had a very real fear that if he closed his eyes, they would not open again, and if that happened, he wanted to see Dean first.
"He's going down," one of the EMTs said.
Amelia saw Sam's eyes slide closed, and this time, they didn't open again. She felt a surge of panic, and she pushed off the arms supporting and restraining her and rushed to his side.
"Sam! Open your eyes!" she said desperately.
Sam was unable to comply. He had lost himself to the darkness.
I know this chapter was a little Amelia heavy, but Dean will be back in the next chapter, so hang tight.