The Lone Wolf
The heart is such a fragile organ. Using it too much can only cause pain. Leah/Sam/Emily Submitted to the Minor Characters Challenge (October 2007)
1. Leah's POV
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Love is a disease. It eats away at you, until all that is left of your heart is a shrivelled lump.
She was waiting for Sam after school in the courtyard. He was running late again. For the past several weeks, Sam has been acting strangely. First, he had disappeared for almost two weeks. Everyone was frantic with worry and went on a wide search for him. But then, one day, he just came back; with no word on where he’s been or what he was doing. It looked fishy. People began talking in low whispers about him taking drugs and stuff like that.
Leah didn't want to believe those rumours. But she couldn't help being a little suspicious. Since Sam's return, she watched him change from a happy and open guy, to a more reclusive and moody one. She wants him to talk, share his thoughts with her, and tell her what’s been bothering him, but he always tenses and walks away. She thinks Sam is hiding something from her. So that's why she’ll try her best to make him talk today.
Suddenly, Leah sees Sam’s tall form making his way out of the front doors. She perks up, holds her books to her chest, and calls out to him.
“Sam! Sam, over here!” Leah waves one arm in the air to catch his attention. Other students are milling about, talking, and laughing; while others leave in twos or threes to go home. They all turn around at the sound of Leah’s shout. Sam, however, seems not to have heard her, and walks quickly out of the school grounds.
His legs are long, and his movements are fast. But Leah is stubborn and perseverant. She runs after him.
Although Sam is not running, his long gait makes it almost impossible for Leah to catch up. Her heart is thumping hard in her chest, and her breath is coming in short gasps. Yet, she doesn’t stop. Her running shoes make slapping sounds against the hard ground.
“Sam! Sam, you idiot! Stop walking!”
Sam suddenly pauses, and shifts his head to the right. His broad shoulders are tense and his hands are balled up into fists.
Leah finally catches up, and she clutches her sides to catch her breath. “Are…you…deaf…or…something?” Leah asks while coughing and wheezing in between her words.
Sam doesn’t look her in the eye. Instead he shifts his gaze at a point over her shoulder. “Sorry. I didn’t hear you.”
Leah has had enough. She can’t stand skirting around issues, or running away from confrontations like Sam does. She prefers to face them head-on, and then deal with the consequences later. She straightens up, and looks Sam straight in the eye. When he still avoids looking at her directly, she takes a hold of his chin and jerks his face towards her. His skin is burning hot, and she quickly lets go with a small gasp. “You’re burning with fever again! Are you feeling alright?”
“I’m fine. Just a little hot, that’s all.” Leah narrowed her eyes at him. Something was off.
“Sam, tell me what’s going on. I need to know. Whatever it is, I can help you.”
Sam gave a dry chuckle. “There’s nothing you can do to help me. Nothing. You can’t help a crazy man.”
A determined glint then appeared in Leah’s eyes. “I can do anything for a crazy man that I’m in love with.” With that, she takes his hands and holds them within her own. Despite the heat, she clutches at them tightly, never wanting to let go. Because, despite Sam’s annoying and elusive behaviour for the last couple of weeks, Leah still loves him with a wild ferocity. She would do anything to protect him. She wants to be by his side until her last breath. Sam was the one for her, and the only one. She knew it the moment he took her into his arms and kissed her sweetly for the first time. It was just a gut feeling. Call it woman’s intuition.
Sam then finally looked at her genuinely for the first time in weeks. He had kept his distance; for whatever reasons that were only known to him. But Leah was his rock. His love. And he could never truly stay away from her for long.
“I didn’t think a crazy guy like me can get so lucky.” He smiled his first smile in weeks and hugged her waist. Leah responded immediately and wrapped her own arms around his body, because she was too short to reach for his neck. He then lowered his head, and brought his lips to her forehead. Leah closed her eyes at the warm contact and relished the moment; the moment where she saw the shadow of the old Sam return.
Sam then moved to kiss her nose and cheeks. Leah made an impatient noise. Sam chuckled at her eagerness. His laugh was low and husky, and had a deep timbre quality that sent shivers of pleasure throughout her body.
He complied with her demand, and met her mouth with a slow and gentle touch. He was being careful with her; treating her with a delicacy that was rare, even before his strange mood change. He nibbled on her lower lip, and Leah opened her mouth wider and let out a sigh of pleasure. She then ran her hands up Sam’s strong, defined arms; slid them across his smooth, heated neck, and into his long, thick, black hair. It was tied back in a ponytail, but as Sam moved his tongue into Leah’s mouth and stroked it against her own ready tongue in a slow sensual movement, Leah’s hands moved further into his hair in an unconscious movement. The elastic came free of the silken hair and fell listlessly to the dusty ground. This small action freed all bonds. The kiss was no longer gentle and careful, but grew into something more passionate and desperate.
Desperate, because both Leah and Sam wished desperately that everything could go back to normal. Leah wished that Sam would open up to her; and Sam wished that he could. Their tongues danced a wild dance that bespoke of pain, anger, desolation, and love. They expressed words that couldn’t be spoken out loud. But it didn’t last long.
Soon enough, their mouths broke apart and they came up for oxygen. Both were at a feverish temperature. Leah’s face was flushed, and her copper skin took on a darker hue. Sweat trailed down the sides of Sam’s face and hairline.
Both of their hearts were beating wildly, and as Leah rested her head down on Sam’s chest, she heard it thumping at a different beat than hers. However, together, their hearts made a rhythmic beating that fit perfectly with the moment.
“Tell me, Sam.”
Sam brought his hand to Leah’s head, and combed his fingers through her black, silky hair. He hesitated, before finally taking a deep breath to steady the raging turmoil that he felt inside his heart.
“My life is going upside down. Sometimes, I don’t feel like myself. I feel like a monster…and that monster wants to escape to take over me. I don’t have anything in my life anymore; I feel like I’ve lost everything—my control, my body, and my sanity.” At this point, Sam was looking quietly over Leah’s head into the distance of the long dirt path that led home.
“You haven’t lost everything.” Leah lifted her head and looked into Sam’s dark brown eyes, and placed her hand on his smooth, but burning cheek. His hand was still in entwined in her hair. “You’ve still got me.”
Sam gave a small, sad smile, but his eyes brimmed with love and pride. “Yeah, I do. What would I do without you, Leah? You’re the only thing that’s keeping me sane.” Sam then gently pressed his forehead against hers. With a small whisper, he told her, “I love you.”
Leah’s heart burst with emotion, as she felt like some semblance of normalcy had finally returned. Although Sam didn't say much of what she didn't know already, it was enough. Enough for now.
So, as Leah pressed her lips against Sam’s once more, nothing felt better. All was well—for the moment, at least.