As always, if you're not supposed to be here, please leave. In other words, if men kissing,
fucking, or doing anything remotely sexual offends, disgusts, or angers you then you should get
out of here. This story includes sex between two men. But it is at heart, a love story. Plenty of
sap, romance, and professions of love. So be warned. This work is copyrighted and may not be
used without explicit permission from the author.

Comments, suggestions, complaints are all appreciated and welcomed at

Much thanks and gratitude to Ron, for editing and proofreading this chapter. His able assistance
is so very much appreciated.

"Whenever Forever Comes" - Dolly Parton


Present Day

"You've never had coq au vin before?" Jack asked me as I sat across from him.

We were in his apartment on our third date. I guess that's what it was. We'd spoken on the phone
every night that week. And, he met me for lunch on Wednesday. So, I suppose that this
constituted our third date.

It was wonderful too. It was great to be able to just go out with someone and talk and have a
good time. But, at the same time, I always felt guilty. No one had caused it. Greggy, Isabel, my
mother and especially Mikey did everything to encourage it.

It was me though. Every time things would get too intimate or too serious, I'd back away. I knew
that Jack could sense it and to his credit, he never said anything to me. Ever since that disastrous
"almost kiss" on our first date, he hadn't tried to make any type of move again.

It frustrated me to no end though. I thought I was ready. Everyone thought I was ready. I'd told
myself that I was. But as the saying goes, "My mind knows it, I just wish somebody would tell it
to my heart." You Dolly afficionados will get that quote.

"Hello. Earth to David." Jack smiled as he brought me out of my daze.

I laughed shyly. "Sorry. I was just..."

"Spacing out?" He asked. "You alright? You seem a little distant today."

I nodded. "I've just been thinking about things."

His smile faded. "Oh. You wanna talk about it?"

Did I? I liked Jack. I truly did. I was the one who wanted to initiate this friendship, maybe
relationship. I was the one who pursued it, who asked him out to dinner. And I very much
enjoyed his company.

But he wasn't Sammy.

I know that it is incredibly unfair of me to even try and compare them. It's unfair to Sammy's
memory. It's unfair to Jack. Unfair to everyone involved. I couldn't help it though. Every time I
was with him and we'd laugh or I found myself having a good time, I'd remember sitting in that
hospital room, holding the man I loved and watching him die. It was a mental picture that I
wanted to keep forever but at the same time, completely forget.

"I don't know if I can do this." I stated bluntly. I didn't want to be hurtful but I figured that the
direct route was the way to go in this kind of situation.

"Okay." He said. "And by this, you mean us I'm guessing."

I sighed. "I just... I can't forget him. And..."

"You shouldn't have to." He interrupted me. "He was your husband David. The man that you
loved and were with for ten years. And, from the very little you've told me about him, he was a
good man."

I hung my head and smiled sadly. "The best." I looked up at him. "You didn't sign on for this. I
just... I'm sorry."

"Don't you dare apologize." He raised his voice a bit. "Don't ever apologize for loving
somebody." He sat back in the chair sighed. "I like you David," he began. "I like you a lot. And
you want the truth, I could see something coming of this relationship. I've thought about it quite
a bit actually." He shook his head back and forth. "I haven't felt this strongly about someone
since Craig left."

Just as I hadn't mentioned much about Sam, Jack didn't really divulge many details about his
past love either. I knew that he and Craig had been together three years before they adopted
Kayla and Caleb. And I knew that six months later, Kayla had been diagnosed with a rare form
of leukemia. Three more months and many, many treatments later that poor, sweet girl lost her
battle with the horrid disease. Somewhere in that time frame, Craig decided that he couldn't
handle losing someone and he left.

"I won't push you David. You don't have the strength for that and frankly, neither do I." He
leaned forward. "But if, and only if, you think that we might have some sort of future together
like I do..."

"I do." I interrupted quickly. And I did. "I just wish that I wouldn't feel so..."

"Guilty?" He asked.

I nodded.

"Every night I put Caleb to bed, I read him a story." He smiled. "And then we rub noses and I
tuck him in and kiss him goodnight." His smile faded. "Then I come out here and I cry my eyes
out." A tear fell down his cheek and instinctively I reached over and wiped it.

He shuddered. "That's the first time you... well the first time we've ever made any kind of
contact other than a hug."

I smiled. "I know."

His gaze fell upon the picture hanging on the wall behind me of beautiful little Kayla. "I cry my
eyes out because I wonder if maybe I loved him more. Maybe I didn't love her enough. Did I not
do enough? Did I not sense that she was sick early enough? And I wonder if she's up in heaven
begrudging him because he still has a father?"

"But that's..." I started to say.

"Absurd?" He asked, interrupting me. "I know. And yet every night, those thoughts still cross my
mind. Will they ever go away? Maybe. I don't know." He took my hands in his own. "You'll
never have to forget him David. I never want you to. And anytime you ever want to talk about
him, I certainly won't mind. I want to know about him and about the life the two of you shared
together. The good times, the hard times. That's all a part of you."

He brought my hand up to his lips.

"It always will be."


Chapter Ten ~ Whenever Forever Comes


        What would I have ever done, had I not had you to love
                You've given me more than I ever dreamed
                   Loving you more every day so it seems
   Greater than all other loves I've seen, it's essence will linger on

I woke up to a cold bed, a cold room actually. It was absolutely freezing, which was odd because
the super was always very liberal with the heat in the building. In fact, on some nights it was so
hot that we had to put the fan on.

I shivered and rolled over, expecting to find my husband in the bed with me, hoping to snuggle
up to him for some warmth. But instead, all I found was a tangle of sheets.

"I'm over here." I heard.

I sat up and even in the darkness, I could see him. He was sitting on the easy chair facing the
windows, which were both opened. He had the quilt wrapped around him. Hence the reason why
I was so cold.

I stood up and crossed the room quickly to close the window.

"Don't." He said softly.

I smiled. "Unless you want me to get out my thermal underwear, I'm gonna have to babe."

He stood up. "Sit with me?"

I nodded.

He threw the quilt over my shoulders and I sat down, Sammy sitting down between my legs. I
wrapped the heavy blanket around us and he snuggled into me. I nuzzled his head. Instinctively I
would have ran my fingers through his gorgeous brown locks but... well that wasn't possible

"Why aren't you sleeping?" I asked, though it truly was a stupid question.

"Nervous. Scared. Not tired." he said simply.

I rubbed my hands over his chest, trying my best to warm him up. Even with the blanket, he was
still so cold.

He sighed. "That feels good."

I smiled. "For me too."

"Go lower." he whispered.

I was a little surprised. "What?"

"You heard me." He grabbed my hands and lowered them himself, gasping as I ran my fingers
through his pubic hair.

"See. I do have hair somewhere." he said sadly.

And then he turned around quickly, wrapping my arms around him and pressing his chest to
mine. Our faces were touching and his warm breath feathered my skin. He looked at me, with
lust, an emotion that I hadn't seen in him in quite some time. To be quite frank, I hadn't really
seen it in myself that much either.

"I want you," he said quietly.

"I know. I want you too. But..."

He shook his head. "No buts. You and me now. That's what I want. I want to feel you, to touch
you. I want you in me. Deep in me. And then when it's all over." A tear fell down his cheek. "I
want to do it all over again."

I cupped his face with my hands. "I just don't want to..."

"You'll never hurt me David." He nuzzled his face against my hand. "I want to forget the chemo.
I want to forget that I'm having surgery tomorrow morning. I want to forget the fact that I have
no hair. I want to just forget everything but..." he ran his hands down my chest. "... me and you."
And suddenly in that very moment, he was right.

I took his face into my hands again and this time pulled him to me, our lips mashing together. I
wrapped my arms around him and lifted him up with me, wrapping his legs around my waist,
digging my fingers into his back.

In two fluid steps, we both toppled over onto the bed, never breaking the kiss.

"I want you so badly." I moaned as he placed light kisses all over my face.

He stopped and looked down at me. "I'm yours David," he said quietly.  

"Always." I smiled as he leaned down to kiss me again.

Breaking it, reluctantly, I reached over to the night stand and rifled through the draw until I
found what I was looking for.

He took it from me and working deftly and quickly, he applied some to all the right places, using
it liberally as it had been awhile.

Positioning me at his hole, he lowered himself slowly and I could see him gasp in pain.

"It's okay." He said, even before I could tell him to stop. "Really. I just... it's been awhile." He
leaned down and kissed me. "I want this so bad."

He tried again and this time, slowly but surely, he succeeded. Setting a slow rhythm, he rocked
back and forth, moaning in pleasure.

"Go nice and slow." He whispered. "I want it to last."

I smiled as he grabbed my hands and intertwined my fingers with him.

"I love you.," I said softly.

"Longer than always David." He said as he began to speed up the pace.

I ran my hands up and down his chest as our moans grew a bit louder. "I missed this so much."

Sammy smiled. "I know. When I... oh God... when I was in chemo, all I use to have to do was
picture your face..." he panted, "... and all that bad stuff would go away. I just use to think about
this. About me and you together." He moaned again, this time even louder, and suddenly he was
coating my belly with shot after shot of his hot cum.

That, of course, caused me to erupt. It was probably the most intense orgasm either of us had
ever had.

He collapsed on my chest, his hands never letting go of mine. He looked up at me and smiled.
The smile that I hadn't seen in a few months. Not since we'd first gotten the news. He wasn't
himself after that day. Until now, that is. Looking up at him, I saw the man that I'd fallen in love

"What?" He asked.

"Nothing." I smiled. "I just... I haven't seen that smile in a long time." I started to get a bit
choked up.

He smiled sadly. "I know." He sighed. "I was just..."

I brought my fingers to his lips. "Shhh. I didn't mean it that way. I was just glad to see my

"Your smile?"

I laughed. "Yeah. That smile you give me after we make love. That one is reserved only for me."

He smiled. "Always for you." He moved up so that his face was touching mine and he leaned in
for a sweet kiss.  

We both fell asleep that way, not caring how cold it was, not caring that we were sweaty and
sticky and smelly. We fell asleep in each other's arms, as much in love as the day we met.


I woke up again a few hours later. Light was beginning to peak through the windows. I glanced
at the clock and the bright red numerical letters read 5:48.

I heard the toilet flush in the bathroom and reality finally began to sink in.

I was dreading today for so many reasons. Last night had taken both of our minds off of what
was to come, at least for awhile. But lying there as the world began to wake up reminded me,
loudly and clearly, of today's schedule of events.

I got up from the bed and made my way to the bathroom, seeing what was taking Sammy so long
in there. But as soon as I reached the door and heard the sounds coming from inside, I knew
exactly why he'd been in there for so long.

I opened the door and found him hunched over the toilet bowl, his tear stained face as red as an
apple. I wrapped my arms around him from behind as I sat down behind him, holding him as I'd
done almost every day after a rigorous week of chemo treatments.

They'd done a terrible number on him. The hair loss was his main concern. Not because of vanity
but because he knew that people would know then. And he didn't want pity. It happened quickly,
clumps falling out here and there. Finally one night he asked me to shave it all off. I tried to talk
him out of it. But he wanted to just get it over with.

Then the nausea came. The first treatment wasn't so bad. There was only a few instances where
he felt sick to his stomach. But after the second round, it was constant. Every five minutes, he'd
be running to the bathroom, heaving his guts up.

It embarrassed him. All of the little things that he used to be able to do and now couldn't. He got
tired so easily. He couldn't hold down more than a few bites of whatever he was eating. He
couldn't lift Mikey up anymore.

"I'm sorry." He said softly as he eased back into my embrace.

I slumped against the bathroom wall, the cool tile effectively waking me up. He laid back in my

I kissed the small of his neck. "Nothing to apologize for." I said softly.

He sighed. "Today's the day."

"It'll be alright baby. I promise." I told him, trying to be as optimistic as possible.

He nodded. "I know. I'm just scared is all."

"Nothing to be scared about. I'll be there holding your hand until they wheel you in and then I'll
be there as soon as they bring you out." I said softly. "Matt's a great surgeon."

"I don't want Mikey to see me after."

"What?" I asked confusedly.

I could feel the tears from his face fall onto my hands as I held him.

He sniffled. "Not after the surgery with all those tubes and stuff. It'll scare him."

I nodded. "Okay."

"I just want it to be over. I want to get it done. And if I make it..."

"Don't talk like that, please." I said interrupting him. "When you make it, everything will be back
to normal." I turned him around so he was facing me and took his face in my hands. "You've
been so strong all this time. We only have a little longer to go and then it'll all be over."

Sammy caressed my cheek. "I couldn't have done it without you."

I shrugged. "It's my job. I'd never let anything happen to you. I never will."

He moved in for a kiss and then must have realized what his breath smelled like because he
pulled away, embarrassed.

Instead, though, I pulled his face towards mine and slipped my tongue into his mouth, kissing the
man that I loved more than life itself. Trying to convince him that everything would be okay.
That no matter what he looked like, no matter what he had wrong with him, no matter what, I'd
always love him.


"You're gonna be okay Dad."

We were in the hospital. Mikey was sitting on the hospital bed next to Sam. I was in the chair
next to the bed.

"I am kiddo. I'm gonna get all better and then I'm gonna come home."

Just then the nurse came in. Our son instantly became shy and buried his head in Sammy's chest.

She laughed. "And who is this adorable young man?"

His head suddenly shot up. "My name's Michael."

She smiled. "Michael. I have a son named Michael. That's a good name."

He beamed. "My daddy's named me."

I instantly looked at her facial expression. I wondered if there'd be any disdain there. You never
did know what kind of views people held.

She just smiled wider though. "They did?"

He nodded. "Yep. This is my dad, Sam." He said as he hugged Sammy's arm.

She laughed. He had that effect on people. "And who is this?" She asked pointing to me.

Mikey smiled. "That's David, my other daddy."

She smiled and leaned down and whispered. "Are they good dads?"

"The best." Mikey proudly proclaimed.

She ruffled his hair. "I'm sure they are." She checked Sammy's chart. "How are you doing?" She
asked him.

He smiled nervously. "A little scared, but good."

"It'll be alright. Doctor Landon is the best."

And as if on cue, Matt appeared in the doorway.

Immediately, Mikey jumped off the bed and ran to him. "Hi Doctor Matt."

Matt scooped him up in his arms. "Hey buddy. How you doing?"

"I'm good. You're gonna make my Dad all better, right?"

Matt smiled. "Yep kiddo. All better."

Mikey looked over at Sam. "See Dad. I told ya."

Matt walked over to the nurse with Mikey in his arms. "Julie, you wanna take Mikey here to the
nurse's station for some cookies." As with every other five year old, at the mention of the word
cookies, my son's eyes bugged out of his head.

Julie smiled. "Sure." She looked at Mikey. "You wanna say goodbye to your Dad for now."

He nodded so she put him down. He jumped up on the bed and gave Sammy a hug. "I love you
Dad. You're gonna get all better now."

I blinked back tears as Sam kissed him on the cheek. "I love you buddy."

Mikey smiled. "I love you longer than always Daddy."

At that point, there wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Julie dabbed at hers. "Alright. Let's go get some cookies." She said, as cheerily as possible. She
looked at Sammy and smiled. "You'll be just fine. And..." she said turning to me, "... relax. It'll
be alright."

I nodded absently as she and Mikey made their way out of the room.

I sat down on the bed next to my very tired, very frail looking husband and grabbed his hand.

I looked up at Matt. "Everything set?"

He nodded. "Yep." He looked at Sam. "I'm really optimistic. The chemo worked better than we
expected. If all goes right, I should be able to go in there and remove the tumor completely."

"And recovery?" I asked.

"Should be about a week in the hospital." He said, making a few notations on the hospital chart.
"We'll just wanna monitor everything and make sure that the stitches heal. Stuff like that."

Sammy nodded. "What about scarring? Will it be really bad?"

I brought his hand up to my lips and kissed it. "We don't need to worry about that."

Matt nodded. "Just an incision under your arm. The one on your stomach will be a little bigger.
It'll heal nicely though." He clapped his hands together. "You're gonna be just fine."

"Of course he is." I said, a bit over enthusiastically.

Matt smiled. "I'm heading down to the OR. They'll be here in about ten minutes to take you
down." He looked at me. "I'll see you after."

I nodded as he left, closing the door behind him.

We sat there in silence for a few minutes. He closed his eyes and rested his head on my shoulder.

"I want you to know something David." Sammy said, his eyes still closed, his voice choked up.

"What's that baby?"

"The day I met you was the happiest of my life. I fell in love with the most incredible,
handsome, smart man I've ever known." He took a breath. "Whatever happens I want you to
know that I've loved you more and more every single day we've been together. Every morning, I
wake up at and I just watch you. Your breathing, the little smiles you make in your sleep. Or
when we're watching TV, I find myself constantly staring at you." He opened his eyes and
looked in mine.
"What I'm saying is that whatever happens today, good or bad, just know that I love you. I
always will."

I pulled him to me. "Everything is going to be alright. I promise you that. You're going to be
okay." I kissed his forehead. "We're going to be okay."

There was a knock at the door and seconds later a big, burly guy walked in, presumably the
nurse or transporter or whatever he was. The look of disdain on his face, at the fact that we were
two men in the same bed, was quite evident.

"I'm here to take you down." He said bluntly.

I got up from the bed and helped Sammy out. Ever since the chemo treatments, he was tired all
the time and because of his constant nausea, he'd lost about ten pounds.

Holding tightly onto my arm, he sat down on the gurney.

I knelt down in front of him and took his hands in mine, looking him in the eyes. "I love you and
I'm going to be here when they finish." I stood up so that our faces were touching. "I'm gonna be
here every night with you while you recover. And after you're done with the recovery and you're
all better,  we're going to go home and..." I kissed him softly on the lips, "... we're going to live
the rest of our lives together." I smiled. "You, me, Mikey. Longer than always baby."

I heard mumbling in the background but I ignored it.

Sammy laid down and John, which is what the asshole transporter's name tag read, lifted the side
bars up.

I looked at him. "Can I talk to you for a second?"

He nodded and walked outside the room.

I looked at Sammy. "I'll be back in one second baby. Okay?"

He nodded and I went out to confront my new, homophobic friend.

I cut right to the chase. "I'm going to say this and I'll say it only once. I might look like some
fruity fag to you. And I am. I suck cock and I love it. I absolutely adore it." I could see the
disgust on his face. "I love that man lying there. I love him more than life itself. That might be
difficult for you to understand but I don't care what you pick and choose to understand."

"Get to the point." He said dismissively.

I glared at him. "The point, dickwad, is that if I find out you so much as say one derogatory thing
to him about anything... anything, I will personally make sure that you are fired from this
hospital. That you'll never work in another one in this or any other lifetime."

He laughed. "You and what army?"

And with that, I pretty much snapped. I grabbed him by his shirt collar, surprising both him and
me alike. "The thing about us fags is that we like to work in packs. And we're really successful
in life." I smiled. "You'd be surprised how many cocksuckers work in this hospital. And believe
me, they're a hell of a lot higher up than you." I let go of him. "Just trust me when I say I can get
you fired and I will, if necessary."

He nodded, stunned I think at the fact that a gay man had just threatened him.

"We on the same page here?" I asked him.

He mumbled a yes and walked back into the room with his tail between his legs.

I followed him and found Sammy, looking even more terrified than before.

I leaned down and kissed him again. "You alright?" I asked softly.

"I'm so scared."

A tear fell down his cheek and I wiped it away.

"It's alright to be scared. I would be. But I promise you that it'll be okay. You're gonna be fine."
I said, trying my best to smile.

"I love you." He said.

I looked at him, tears filling his eyes again and I tried my best not to break down, to still stay

I kissed him one last time. "Longer than always babe."

He smiled weakly and he was wheeled away. I watched as they wheeled the gurney down the
hallway and into the elevator.

And when it was out of sight, I finally sat down in a chair and let myself cry.  


"What time is it?"

Greggy sighed. "Three minutes later since the last time you asked me that." He said, running his
fingers through Mikey's hair as my tired little boy slept on his shoulder.

"Sorry." I said softly.

He smiled. "Don't apologize." He looked at me pointedly. "You should get some rest though."

I shook my head. "I can't sleep now." I looked over at Mikey. "You want me to take him though?
Is he too heavy."

Greg laughed. "Nah. I like holding him."

I smiled weakly and stared into space.

"He's going to be okay David." Greggy said.

I nodded. "I know. Deep down I know that. But... I told him... no I promised him everything
would turn out alright. What if..."

"Don't..." he said interrupting me, "... don't start with the what if's. He's going to be alright. I
know it. You know it. Matt knows. He's going to come out of this cancer free and we're gonna
go back to living drama free lives... well except for maybe me."

I laughed. "What would we do without you?"

Greg smiled. "I'm sure you'd manage. But your life wouldn't be nearly as exciting as it is now."
Mikey stirred in his lap and he smiled. "Plus, I'm just staying around cause I love your kid so

I stared off into space for awhile before my tired eyes got the best of me. I didn't fall fully asleep
though. I was kinda at that stage where I was sleeping but I still sorta knew what was going on
around me.

I awoke fully to the sound of a little boy's giggling about an hour later. I opened my eyes to find
my mother and father sitting across for me and my sister standing over by the pay phone. Greggy
had moved himself next to me and was apparently putting on a little show that Mikey was
enjoying quite immensely.

As soon as he saw my eyes opened, he jumped in my lap.

"Daddy, you were tired so we let you sleep."

I smiled. "Thanks bud. I sure appreciate that."

I looked over at my parents to see if maybe there had been an update.

My father, reading my mind, shook his head. "Nothing yet." He said quietly.

Greggy reached for my hand. "Matt said that it would be about three and a half hours. It's been
about three, so we should be hearing something soon."

My mother nodded. "It'll be okay sweetheart."

"Gramma's right Daddy." Mikey chimed in. "It's gonna be alright."

I smiled at him. "If it weren't for you kiddo, I don't know about that." He laughed as I kissed his
cheek. "You wanna go for a walk with me?"

He nodded.

I scooped him up in my arms. "We're gonna go say a prayer."

He buried his face in my chest and giggled.

I looked over at my mother and father. "We'll be right back. And..." I looked at Greggy, "...
thank you." I walked over to my sister. "I love you too you big ole whore."

She smiled and pulled me and Mikey into a hug. "You okay?" She whispered in my ear.

"No. But I gotta act like everything is normal otherwise he'll know that something is up."

We walked the rest of the way to the little chapel in silence. Truth was, Mikey was smarter than
most kids his age and he knew what was going on. Maybe not exactly what was happening but
he definitely knew that something was the matter.

I mussed his hair up. "You alright bud?"

He looked up at me. "I wanna see Dad soon."

"I know sweetheart. But remember Dr. Matt had to do some stuff with Dad so that he gets all

He shook his little head. "I know." More silence. "He's gonna be okay, right?"

That was the million dollar question.

"Well kiddo. That's why we're here saying a prayer. We gotta pray real hard for him. Alright?"

Mikey nodded and laid his head back on my shoulder as we entered the tiny chapel, which was

We sat down in one of the seats.

"Daddy?" He looked up at me.

I smiled. "What bud?"

"Can I say the prayer?"

"Of course you can."

He smiled and then looked over at the crucifix on the wall. "Hi God. I'm Mikey."

I smiled at the innocence of this little boy who I loved so much.

He waited a few seconds as if someone might answer him back and then he continued. "This is
my Daddy." He looked up at me and I smiled. "My other Dad is sick. He's gonna get better cause
Dr. Matt is a good doctor. We want him to be better. So he won't be tired anymore. And he
won't be so sad. We want him to be like he used to."

He looked up at me again as I wiped the tears that had formed in my eyes. "Was that okay?"

I nodded. "It was great kiddo." I kissed his forehead.

We sat there for awhile in silence, just staring into space. Usually he was restless but not today.
>From what he'd said, I realized that our son knew way more than he'd let on. How couldn't he

Sammy had gone from being this healthy, vibrant young guy to not even being able to do the
simplest of things for himself. He must have seen how sad he was at times. How depressed he
always was. He had to have seen that.

We'd made the decision not to tell him everything when Sammy first found out he was sick. I
didn't think he was old enough, Sammy didn't think he was old enough. It just didn't seem fair to
tell a nearly five year old boy that his father had a disease that could possibly kill him?

My little boy rested his head on my chest as we sat there, waiting. Waiting for answers. Waiting
for someone to come and say that Sammy would be okay.

I closed my eyes again and must have dosed off because I awoke to the sound of feet running
quickly across the floor. And suddenly, a panting Greggy appeared in the doorway of the chapel.

"He's out of surgery..." He tried to catch his breath as I held mine.

"And..." I asked, rather impatiently.

He smiled. And suddenly I was relieved.

"He's gonna be okay David. He's okay."  


He looked beaten. Like he'd been through the gauntlet or something. His face was pale and he
had this long tube coming out of his nose. I stepped closer, close enough to touch him. But I was
afraid to do that. Afraid that I might disrupt something or do something wrong.

I looked back at Matt. "What's that for?" I asked about the tube.

He sighed. "It always puts people off. It doesn't hurt or anything like that. It just helps prevent
any form of infection."

I nodded absentmindedly as my gaze fell, again, upon my husband.

Matt stood next to me. "I'm really optimistic David. Everything went as expected. Better than
expected, actually."

"Can I touch him?" It was a stupid question I know, but right then and there I didn't really know
what I could or couldn't do. I certainly didn't want to do anything I wasn't supposed to. But I
wanted, no needed, to touch him, to have some sort of physical contact with him. So I could
know that this wasn't all a sick joke or something. So I could know that he was okay.

He smiled. "Of course you can. Talk to him too. He's still under the anaesthesia. He should be
awake in a few minutes."

I reached out and took Sammy's hand. "Is he in any pain?" I asked, tears starting to form in my

Matt touched my shoulder. "No. He might be in pain when he wakes up. But as soon as he does,
we can give him medication for that." He fished in his pocket for a tissue and wiped the tears
from my eyes. "He's going to be okay David. We got everything that was in there."

"You're sure?" I asked cautiously.

He nodded. "In medicine, there's never a sure thing. But I'm very confident. With the right
medication and a few more treatments, he should be good as new." He said, his smile widening.

And that was when the flood gates opened. I don't know if it was the enormity of everything
hitting me at once or if it was just the fact that after this terrible ordeal, we'd finally gotten some
good news. It was probably a mixture of both of those things. But I just started to cry and I
couldn't stop.

Matt pulled me into a hug, wrapping his arms around me, massaging my back as I, quite literally,
cried on his shoulder.

"It's okay David. It's over. It's all over." He said soothingly.

And then I heard it, the sweetest sound in the world. The sound that part of me, the pessimistic
part of me, didn't think I'd ever hear again.

"You trying to steal my husband Doc?"

I turned around to find Sammy, my beat up, battered, survivor with his eyes open, a slight smile
on his face.

It took all the willpower in the world to not wrap him in my arms and just hold him.

"Hey." I said, smiling through my tears.

"Hey yourself." He said weakly. "I guess I'm not dead."

I touched his face lightly. "You're not dead baby. You're alive, you're healthy and you're all

"Good." He looked at me. "Think I could get a kiss then?"

I laughed. "That alright?" I asked Matt.

He nodded and looked at Sammy. "I've had one of his kisses before. They heal all."

Sammy smiled weakly. "Tell me about it."

Matt laughed. "I'll give you guys some privacy." He looked at Sam. "You in any pain yet?"

Sammy grimaced. "I feel like I've been hit by an eighteen wheeler." He looked over at me. "But
I'm alright for now."

Matt nodded. "Alright. But ten minutes. Then I wanna start you on some pain killers." He smiled
at me. "I'll be back in awhile."

He walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

I stood there, staring at my guy. My guy who I was so worried about. My guy who had just been
the such an ordeal. My guy who I loved more than life itself. My guy who was going to make it.

"About that kiss." Sammy said interrupting my thoughts.

I leaned forward and trying very hard not to disrupt anything, I kissed the man I loved, the man
who I thought I might never see again. The man who meant more to me than anything in the

I stepped back, holding his hands in mine and smiled down at him.

"I look like shit, don't I?" He asked, smiling his trademark smile. It was a weak one but a smile

"I think you look absolutely beautiful." It was a sappy, cliched line, of course. But I meant every
word of it.

He laughed, very weakly, and then grimaced from the pain it must have caused him. "That's why
I keep ya around. Cause you say all those things. It boosts my ego."

I smiled through my tears. "That the only reason?"

"Well. You are the kindest man I've ever met in my life and you're incredibly smart. Plus you're
hung and have a rock hard butt."

I laughed. Even now, he was able to make light of such a horrible situation like this.

"How's Mikey?"

"He's good. We said some prayers before." I smiled. "He's been rooting for you all the way."

He smiled again. "Before they start with the pain medication and before this anaesthesia kicks in,
can I see him?"

"Of course you can baby." I knew he'd change his mind about that. He was just afraid before
he'd gone into surgery. "I'll go get him." I leaned down to kiss him again. "I'll be right back.

He nodded.

I walked towards the door and as I opened it he called me again.


I turned around. "Yeah babe?"

He smiled, this time with no pain, no grimace. Just my Sammy's smile. The one I'd been so used

"I'm gonna be okay." He said, almost in disbelief.

I smiled back at him.

"You sure are baby. You sure are."


            We'll float on a cloud through eternity
        You'll gather the stars, you'll give them to me
        I'll give you the moon and we'll replace the sun
     Whenever forever comes, whenever forever comes


Thanks again to everyone. I'm sorry this one took so long. The next chapter is almost finished
and should be out soon. There are only five more to go!

Much thanks again to Ron for all of his input and help.