"I've lost him."

A small voice said as I entered my lab. Quietly I placed my books on the desk and moved around to where my bookcases make a small alcove. There the voice speaks once more.

"I have no one to ask about how life is like, how to cope when things get rough..." Her voice catches. "No one to walk me down the isle on my wedding day."

I kneel in front of her, letting my hands trace lightly on her legs that are pulled up. Her arms wrap around them, pulling herself closer together, willing for me to draw back. I simply rest my hands on top of hers, letting my strength and warmth seep into her. Still tears wrack her body; tears that had been held back for to long. Slowly she lets our hands, fingers intertwine.

She is curled up in the low chair, and I am on the floor before her, not comfortable, and not the best way to give comfort. I slowly lean forward and scoot her to the side, as I sit gently beside her in the chair. It's cramped, but I don't mind her hips digging into my thigh or her legs making it impossible for me to fully sit in the chair; we are together, reflecting back on our own tragedies we must now deal with.

Sensing that I was not comfortable, and my butt half off the chair, Sam scooted up and pushed me gently back into the chair, then she rearranged herself, having her legs pinning me and her head resting comfortably on my shoulder.


"What do I do?"

Her voice was hollow, tiny, like a little girl lost and frightened. I glanced at her face buried into my shoulder and chest and instinctively sweep a strand of blonde hair away.

"We morn. We pour out our grief and let it take us until we can't do anything more. Then we celebrate what we were able to have. Your dad was amazing; a man who loved you with all his heart, a father who was afraid that his little girl was not happy in her career, a man who fought side by side us and who was a valuable allie. We all will miss Jacob; we will all miss your father." I stopped and watched the tears darken my shirt, "He gave you as much as he could in way of answers. He tried to instill the same integrity he had, the way of life he knew. And Sam? He will be there to walk you down the isle; he will always be there with you. With all of us."

She nodded. I knew it did not make a difference; she would be grieving for a long time. Slowly her fingers find mine and weave them together.

"I don't know what I would have done if you had not come back. To lose another important man in my life..." She turned up to me and met my eyes, "You are very important to me. No one else would have let important meetings slide and research they could be doing slip. You have the most compassion I have ever known, Daniel. The most to give, even after all you have been through."

"Especially what I have been through. I remember what it is like to be suddenly on your own; you were lucky to have grown up with your parents, and know your dad for as long as you did. All I can do is comfort, especially when an important woman in my life is hurt."

Her eyes met mine once more, and it took all my will power not to lean down and kiss her, take her pain and wipe the tears away. She sighs, letting me know she also is fighting the thoughts, and moves back to my shoulder, tears streaming down her cheeks. It's a moment before I feel that they are also flowing down mine.


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Chapter 2