War Torn

Chapter 4

Author's Note: I would like to thank everyone for your support for my story and your reviews. I am grateful that you all seem to like it. I am really trying to be true to the characters that I see in my head and so it can take some doing; but I will continue to try. Please be patient with me I have some ideas but I have to build the story up some to support them. Please forgive any mistakes and please review.

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters…but if we changed the names then this sucker is all mines (Haha).

Chapter 4

Sam started walking away from the game and toward the center of the room. "Hey! Where you goin?" one of the locals who he had been playing darts with yelled out. Sam straightened himself up, looked over his shoulder and tossed the three darts he had been holding in his hands on the small round table. He smiled at them and said "Keep it" he stated with a nod of his head; referring to the forty dollars that was lying on the table as well. Then he turned again to face her.

He wanted to run up to her on stage, grab her, and hug her. He wanted to tell her how much he had missed her and how many times she had run across his mind over the past 5 years. He wanted to find out how she had been? What she had been doing? How did she get to Hawaii of all places? He slowly moved forward almost afraid that seeing her may not have been real at all; but her voice? There would never be anyone else that could have sounded as good as she always did; ever. Even if she had wanted to hide from him, her voice would always give her away. He knew that voice. How many times had he lulled himself to sleep at night thinking about her laughing about something he said that day? Or, by his recalling a song that she had sung to him in the late afternoon-or even as he sat mesmerized by her Sunday after Sunday when she was a member of the church choir.

She had finished the song and began to walk off of the stage, the black satin dress she was wearing with the drop waist had clung to her hips in such a way that made Sam wish he had been around to watch the obvious new developments in her life; as she turned around his eyes scanned the black seam of her stockings which went all the way up to her…. "Good Lord; she was something else," had been Sam's initial thought- when Sam felt an arm wrap itself around his shoulder. It was Joseph he smelled of scotch and he grabbed on to Sam as tight as he could, with a wild enthusiasm, he said "Damn! That darky sure can sang!" And there it was that word again. Sam's mind flooded back to the last night they had been together; the last night that Sam tried to be with her in a public place - a place just… like …this. Sam felt a lump in his throat as he watched Mercedes walk off the stage and behind the back curtain. Sam looked at Joseph and politely nodded his head as Joseph stuck a shot glass into Sam's hand. Sam's mind was racing. "He had to lose Joseph and the guys, like- now." He thought.

"You know what Joseph; I am not feeling too well. I think it might have been somethin' I ate- somethin' called Poi?" Sam started grabbing onto his stomach. "I think it's disagreein' with me." Sam continued… "I think I'mma have to go on back to the ship." Sam finally stated. "Ah, no, c'mon Sam if you go back now you won't get shore leave again for at least 'nother month." Joseph complained. "I know but it can't be helped. Now you boy's go on and have a good time and I'll see you back on board." Sam then patted Joseph on his arm and proceeded to walk out of the bar.

Sam immediately walked around the building looking for a back entrance and once he found it – he waited. He had tried to shake Joseph and the gang as quickly as he could; he hoped he hadn't missed her. Sam did not know how long he had waited in that alley; it smelled of liquor, perfume, and garbage. He could still hear the music coming from inside and laughter. The time seemed to drag and the smells were starting to make him a little nauseous. He really was worried that he might have lost his opportunity until a back door swung open and he heard two women talking and one of the voices belonged to his girl. "Wait, what?" Sam thought. "Why did I think of her as my girl?" While Sam was beginning to rack his brain about, why his pulse was racing, and how his life was finally going to feel complete again; he then heard Mercedes more clearly.

"Tracey, I know; I know I will have it ready for you by tomorrow afternoon, I promise. I have shortened the hem just a little and I added the fringe just like you wanted. It will look great for your number tomorrow night; I promise it will." He heard her say. "Now you go on girl and rest dem' dare fine vocal chords you got and I will see you tomorrow." Sam heard the other woman say. "Uh huh" was Mercedes response and then she giggled as she walked out the door and it closed behind her. It was the greatest sound that Sam had heard in the last five years.

She started walking down the alleyway and Sam came up behind her and said…"Well, if it isn't the best singer in the whole…wide… world." Mercedes froze in place. Sam then walked around her and stood in front of her. Her eyes grew wide and she covered her mouth with her hands. A few moments passed before she uttered "Sam?" As she continued to look on in amazement. "How's my girl?" He said with a smile. His voice was much deeper now; and he stood tall and straight before her. "He was in the Navy?" She thought as her eyes quickly sized him up in his uniform; his chest was wide and his shoulders were broad. This wasn't Sam; this was a man standing before her eyes; a man that she had missed with all of her heart. Mercedes shock gave way to a quick scream and then she ran into his welcoming outstretched arms.

She felt his strong arms as he gripped her sides; as he began to wrap his arms around her waist and he rested his hands on the top of her hips. He felt her soft body just melt into his arms and the feel of her newly formed breasts pressed against his chest. He cherished how he felt the curve of her hips in his hands and the comfort he felt from her body as a whole. "Why is it now? Here? At this moment in Hawaii did he finally feel- home." He thought. Neither of them wanted to let each other go, if it were possible to gain back five missing years within the span of this one hug they were both willing to do so.

"I can't believe it's really you." She whispered into his ear. "You don't know how long I have prayed for this moment." He said, the smell of her perfume intoxicating him. She hated doing it, but she finally began to let him go; but Sam stopped her. "No, don't let go, not yet, okay?" "Just give me a few more minutes." He whispered in her ear. She hugged him as tightly as she could for a few more moments and then she pulled away. "Let me look at you. You've changed." She said. "Not as much as you." He smiled. She tapped his shoulder with her hand. "Sam? When did you join the Navy?" She asked. "I want to tell you everything and I want to hear everything; is there somewhere we can go to be alone and talk?" He asked.

"My boardin' house has a small courtyard that nobody really uses. We can go there if you'd like." "Lead the way" was Sam's reply as he stepped to one side bowed a little at the waist and extended his arm out and down the length of the alleyway. As they walked along he could not believe the urges that he had to keep suppressing; the urge to touch her, to hold her hand- anything ; just to prove to himself that he would not wake up in his barracks and find out that this had all been a dream.

"I heard you singing tonight. You know, I can't tell what I have missed more of your singing, or you." He said while taking his hat off and nervously rotating it in his hand. "Well, I am hopin' that it was me, but I can understand if it was my singing too." She laughed. They continued to walk taking in the floral scents which was definitely indicative of the Hawaii Islands. "Here we are!" She said as they came across a three story building with a wrought iron fence around it. "We're just gonna go on over here."

As she directed him down some stairs and into a small courtyard which had been almost completely covered overhead by the branches of two Acacia koa trees which had grown tall and were planted on either side of it. The courtyard had some small signs of overgrowth but it also had a small flowing fountain and some chairs and a small metal table. The moonlight peeked enough through the branches to give the illusion of light and there were these fireflies that where lighting all around.

"Would you like me to get you something?" She asked. "Are you hungry? Or, thirsty?" She spoke again while she directed him to sit down on one of the chairs. Sam first pulled out a chair for her to sit down on and then he took his seat. "I think, right now, that I have everything that I am gonna need." Staring her in the eyes as he spoke this time around, then he sighed and said "So tell me where have you been all this time? Was it here all along?" He asked. "No, that night when you put me on that bus I had no idea what to do or where to go. I ended up in Connecticut, it was the only place where I saw a roomin' house for colored's close to their bus depot." "I started asking questions of the women there and they told me that they had heard of a white woman looking for someone to mend clothes and watch her children from time to time; so I applied for the job. I had worked there for a year and a half when the woman's sister had come to town for a visit. When I was puttin' the young'ins to bed that evening, she heard me singing them a lullaby. She called me to her and had me sing some different songs from the radio that she had a playin' in her room. They were all different types of songs and she just kept changing stations and asking me to sing again and again. I was right tired out when she was finished with me." She chuckled. "But in two days," she continued "She had done told her sister to find someone else because she was gonna take me travelin' to sing songs places." "She said something about the music scene in Harlem, New York; but to get there I had to pay my dues. We have been travlin' round ever since and I've been singing." She said.

"So tell me about you - why did you join the Navy?" She spoke, as the water had continued to enhance the background and add a sense of music and rhythm to their conversation, as it flowed in the fountain. "You know that I have always wanted to travel." He began, "I left a year after you did; it just wasn't the same once you were gone." She smiled and then asked "How are your parents?" "My dad died a year after I had enlisted" he said, "but my momma is still alive and well and Paul is taken care of the farm for her." "Oh, Sam" she said as she reached out her hand and held onto his. "I am so sorry about you dad." As Sam held onto her hand he could feel a total sense of peace. Then her face changed and she asked the question that she was afraid to hear the answer to. "How is Alfred? Do you know? Is he still at the old farm?" Sam held onto her hand a little tighter. "Alfred is dead." He said. "He's dead?" She repeated to make sure that she had heard him correctly. "The rumor was that he got drunk and had an accident with an ax." Sam said. "Does nobody know for sure how it happened?" She asked although she had found such a sense of relief in the thought that if she ever wanted to return to Caroline County at least he would not be there waiting for her.

"Mercedes, I have somethin' to tell you. When you were gone I just missed you something awful and most of my anger had been directed toward Alfred." "If he were a better type of man you would still have been there, you should have felt safe. One day he spoke to me about you." Sam felt himself get upset again just thinking about the things that he said. "He talked about finding you and basically finishing what he started." Mercedes stiffened and attempted to pull her hand from Sam's but he wouldn't let go. "I know how Alfred died because I killed him." Mercedes felt herself go numb. "Sam, you didn't" she whispered. "I was not gonna let him do anything to you and if I had to do it again to protect you then I would. I am only sorry that I couldn't protect you that night, not from the people at the watering hole and not from Alfred; (He paused) New Year's Eve 1933 was the worse day of my life." He spoke while lowering and shaking his head. "Sam don't feel that way." Mercedes whispered. "It was alright." She said. Sam then grabbed his chair and pulled it up alongside hers.

"Mercedes, at first I thought I was just angry at him because you were my friend, but after your being gone and thinking about it all that first year; I know now that I was just jealous. The thought of him trying to put his hands on you made me crazy and because of that I have to tell you the truth - killing him- was easy. I would kill anyone who tried to harm you." "Sam, you shouldn't say such things." Although she would be lying if she had said she wasn't glad to hear it; glad to hear that she had someone in this world who actually wanted to protect her. Sam reached out his other hand and stroked her cheek he touched the same side of her face that Alfred had slapped oh so long ago. "Do you realize how beautiful you have become?" Sam leaned in and for the first time ever he kissed Mercedes. The kiss was gentle and tender; he let go of her hand and then placed his hand on her right cheek pulling her in closer and after a few moments, before pulling away completely, he gently rubbed his nose against hers. Mercedes eyes were still closed as she took in what had just occurred. It was the nicest thing she had ever experienced, but then she remembered herself. She began to shake her head no and looked him square in the eye. "Sam, we can't. This is not Caroline County we cannot do this, I will not have you risk yourself and your safety for this." Sam placed his left hand on her shoulder and said, "It is my risk to take and I am willing to take it." "Sam you are not thinking clearly, you're just happy that we had the chance to see each other again. I am grateful too but …this is not something just to do because you are curious."

Concern and fear lined her words. She was trying as hard as she could to fight off the feeling of elation that threatened to take over her. "Someone had to be realistic… (She thought) someone had to see the danger, and in some ways someone had to also recognize the doubt. She could not allow herself to fall in love with Sam Evans. He was in the Navy and he could be shipped off anywhere at any time and then what would she do with this love in her heart for a man that she could not have. He could meet anyone and move on but she feared it would never be that easy for her after allowing herself to feel deeply for him. Besides she had to leave as well she wasn't staying here a new club or juke joint could have her leaving at any moment as well." She thought, "No she had to stay grounded" but then she heard him speaking again which threatened her whole line of thinking. "This is not curiosity- it's affection, it's care, concern, hope, maybe even love." He spoke while moving his hand from her shoulder and sliding it up and down her back. "Sam don't you understand what you are setting us up for? The hiding? The ridicule -once we are found out? What if they threw you out of the Navy? Not to mention the threat of physical harm and jail? Sam stood up and walked closer to the fountain while he thought about all of the things that she had just said. "Mercedes, all I know is that I allowed Alfred to separate us once before and if I had my way nothing would ever separate us again; especially with you not, first, being my girl. I know that everythin' you're sayin' is real and true but, I also know that I don't want to be without any longer. I am willing to go through all of it, for as long as it takes, as long as through it all I can still call you mine. He said. "So the question is -could you handle it?" His questioning eyes staring and boring into her soul. "Would you be willing to go through all of that- just to be with me?" Mercedes lowered head before she spoke. "Although we may think this could be possible, even if we both wanted this to happen, you know that the world wouldn't let us be." She said as she got up from the chair and walked over toward him. Sam still stood there waiting for a response to his question. "My answer to you would be- yes, I would be willing to go through all of it just to be with you too." Sam then placed both of his hands on either side of her face and began kissing her again.

Author's Note: Thanks for reading and please review. - Anna

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