Yay, 2 parts in one day... ~C

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"What I'm telling you is that a man needs to feel like a woman appreciates him." Donna gestured clumsily with her fourth Long Island iced tea. "Otherwise he's either a loser, or a complete sexual strikeout."

"You don't know that," Sam said. Under his breath he muttered, "It could just be Josh."

"True." Donna's face clouded over. She turned to him and said, "You're not like that."

"Well... thanks." Sam, for some reason, started laughing.

"What's so funny?" Donna, in spite of her query, started laughing too.

Sam pointed an inebriated finger at the both of them. "We are getting really drunk, Donna. It's time to go home."

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

Donna got up off the bar stool carefully. She misjudged her step, however, and almost came crashing down. Sam caught her as she started laughing again. "I am so buzzed!" she giggled.

"Me too!" Sam was steadier than she was, though. Something made him say it. "Let's go to my place."

Donna snorted, a most uncharacteristic sound. "What is this, a slumber party?"

"It's safer for you." Sam wagged a playful finger in her face. What was that stitch deep in his stomach? "Seriously, Donna. I don't want you home alone. Screw the press."

"I guess you're right." Donna walked carefully out of the bar beside him. "Besides... if I go home, stupid Josh might call me."

"Well, I'm not talking to him if he calls." Sam spoke grimly. "That was a bastard thing to do."

"Yeah." Suddenly, with a drunk's pain reflex, Donna started to cry. "God, God," she cried, "how could he do this to me? And you!"

Sam swallowed a lump in his throat; sternly he told himself it was the beer talking. "C'mon, Donna, let's get home."

She sniffed. " 'Kay. "

They half-walked, half-carried each other to the cab. Sam had to think a moment before telling the man his address.

As they drove on, Donna looked at Sam suddenly through tear-filled eyes. "You know, I would be a complete mess if it wasn't for you."

"I don't know about that." Sam had to will the cab to stop spinning.

"You are..." Donna lost her train of thought. "You're just a knight in shining armor," she finished proudly. "My knight in shining armor." Before Sam had a chance to react, she kissed him on the cheek.

Even though he could feel the red flush creeping up his face, he felt a strangely pleasant sensation. He shrugged. "I try, Donna." She looked so vulnerable. It was all he could do not to put his arms around her.

"You're so important to me, Sam." She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're kind and sweet and thoughtful and... not Josh... and ..." Though she wouldn't have said it, drunk or sober, she felt... *protected* when she was with him. He was buzzed, but he was still strong and silent, caring and shielding.

Sam rested his head on top of hers. "Donna, you keep me sane." She looked so beautiful and tragic. The crumpled tear tracks were still visible on her ceramic complexion, and her dress hugged all the right places.

The cab pulled up at Sam's apartment, and the two of them staggered inside and into the elevator. Donna yawned. "Tired all of a sudden."

"Me, too." Sam looked at her uneasily, wondering what would happen next. The thought of her in his apartment was vaguely troubling, but he couldn't turn her away now.

He unlocked the door, after a moment of fumbling for his key. "It's getting late," Sam said. "Let's get to bed." Belatedly his sluggish mind told him those words might be wrong, but he shrugged it off. It had been said. And the thoughts it brought up weren't all bad.

He gave himself a hard mental kick. Hastily, he added, "I'll take the couch and you can sleep in my bed."

Donna looked straight at him. Her slightly bloodshot eyes betrayed something more than tiredness. Heavily she said, "Can I... borrow something to sleep in?"

Another moment passed. "Uh... sure." Sam crossed into his bedroom, rummaged around and came out with a pair of boxers and a Princeton Law t-shirt. "Here, Donna. That should work."

Donna took the clothes hesitantly, feeling a slight flush creep up her own face. "Thanks." Why was he so distant all of a sudden? It felt like she was with a different person. But it didn't feel alien, somehow.

"I'll see you in the morning." Sam said quietly, turning to grab some clothes of his own.

"Okay." Donna's tone was soft.

Sam moved to go into the bedroom, but his legs took him elsewhere. Before conscious thought entered the picture, he crossed the room and kissed Donna softly; just a peck on the lips.

They looked at each other, frozen, each searching the other.

They both saw it.

Donna slipped her arms around Sam's neck. The kiss got deeper and deeper. Stumbling over to the couch, Donna got on top of him while they kept kissing. Her hand inched to his shirt. She played with the buttons as Sam kissed her lips, her neck, her chin. Slowly she undid the first button, eliciting a small moan from Sam. She was heading for the second when they heard it – something that sobered them up in a hurry.

"Sam?"

A familiar voice, yet one neither of them wanted to hear.

"Sam, it's Josh!" The voice's owner called. "Have you seen Donna? She's not at home and I wanted to talk to her!"

Chapter 5

 

 

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