It had already been a month since the consultants ball, and despite the thoughts both of them had had that night they had once again kept their distance. Their relationships seemingly working, both Connie and Sam finding themselves in a good place.
Yet it couldn't stop the fleeting images of the other that came so often. Connie fought more internally as she tried to stop herself from feeling the way she did. Greg made her happy, incredibly so and she was aware of the love that they shared. Sam adored Emma and knew that a part of him loved her but he wandered whether that part of him was big enough.
"Hey gorgeous, you seem distant today." He ran a hand across her face as she lifted her eyes to smile at him. "I'm okay... I love you." He smiled hearing the words fall from her lips effortlessly thinking of how hard he knew it used to be for her to admit it. "I love you too." She leant in to kiss him before she rest her head to his shoulder looking to the work across her lap.
She couldn't help but picture the time in her office when Sam had kept her company one evening. Closing her eyes she tried to push the thoughts from her head knowing better than to let them remain.
A knock at the door made Connie sit up before looking to the door where Joseph had appeared. "Mr Byrne?" "Sorry, the patient of yours due in surgery this afternoon. There's a free slot now if you're ready to go?"
"Go..." Greg spoke quietly making her close the file on her lap before nodding to Joseph. "I'll be right down." He nodded letting the door shut before turning to Greg beside her. Kissing him quickly she stood up moving to the door. "I'll see you after the weekend, I've got my parents visiting." "Oh, of course. I forgot."
He smiled shaking his head as he stood and moved to her. "I'll call you tonight alright. Good luck in theatre." She smiled kissing him again before leaving the office and wandering along the corridor to scrub in.
The theatre was long and gruelling, complications arising as the procedure went on. It was never easy to lose a patient, and each time they did it hit them. Connie the most. Especially when they were barely old enough to have lived their life.
Storming along the corridor she slammed the office door warning off anyone from disrupting her. She stood beside the windows looking out as the anger at herself began to simmer. Instead, the upset and guilt of failing her patient rose. Running a hand across her forehead she shut her eyes wishing by some miracle that when she opened them this would have all been a ridiculous dream.
A gentle knock came but she gave no response. It opened anyway and he made his way inside to stand beside her. "You did everything you could." "But it wasn't enough was it?" She lifted her eyes to him unable to resist the urge to fall into his arms.
Sam held her as she buried her head into his chest. "I should have done more-" "There was nothing more to be done. There were problems you couldn't have possibly seen coming. You did what you could, and that's all we ever can do."
Connie clenched her jaw as the silent tears fell down her cheeks. Sam ran a hand through her short curls resting his lips against the top of her head. "You're an amazing surgeon, it doesn't change that..." She nodded gently before standing up, his hands moving to her cheeks removing the fallen tears.
Their shifts were over with and neither had an urgency to return home. "Come for a drink, clear your head." She shook her head moving away to pack up her bag. "Please don't take advantage of me feeling bad to get me to go on a date with you." "Con, I was hardly doing that. I know you and I know you're going to go home and berate yourself for failing this patient. I'm not letting you do that so come for a drink with me."
Pausing where she was packing her bag she agreed quietly. "I'll meet you outside." "Okay..." He left the office as she placed a hand to her forehead trying to ignore the feelings within herself at losing her patient.
Leaving the hospital for the pub, they sat at a small table tucked out of the way. "Feeling any better?" She shook her head staring down into her wine glass. "She was just a kid Sam, had an entire life ahead of her." "Sometimes, life works in mysterious ways. We can't change that."
Sam reached across the table to take her hand seeing her push down her emotions once more. The longer Connie sat here with him, the more her mind worked overtime. "I need to go, I shouldn't be here. Be with you." Getting up abruptly she left Sam sitting alone before he got up and rushed out after her.
"Connie! Connie, just wait." She stopped walking as she looked up at the greying skies. Sam caught up to her and rounded her, standing before her. "What did you mean in there?" "You know what I meant Sam, we can't keep doing this. I can't keep doing this."
He stepped forwards taking her hand as she sighed. "Connie-" "I love Greg. I love him, and I need us to work out. I can't keep thinking of you." Sam dropped his eyes for a moment. "And how do you think I feel having you in my head with everything I do. Wandering if you're okay, if he's treating you right. I don't want to but I can't stop it."
Sam dropped her hand to move it into her hair as their lips crashed together. The kiss was desperate, something it never was between them. Neither felt the regret or guilt in that moment, just the need to be close to the other.
After a while they had made it towards his, Connie wanting to be home but wanting to feel safe too. Sam sat on the sofa with his arms encasing her. "Everything will be alright..." She wanted to believe him, wanted it to be true but she struggled to see how this could ever be alright.
Connie began falling asleep in his embrace as they sat there. "Come on... You can take the bed and I'll sleep on the sofa." He lifted her up wandering through the flat towards the bedroom and laid her on the bed.
He left her to change into an old shirt and shorts of his before wandering back moments later. "Thanks for the clothes." "Don't mention it. Good night Connie." He kissed her forehead pulling away as she held onto his hand. "Don't go..." He turned to her as she shuffled back onto the bed. He nodded releasing a breath before climbing onto the bed the other side.
Reaching out an arm, Connie moved herself into his embrace lifting her head to rest on his chest. She fell asleep quickly with him holding her, Sam finding himself watching her a while before drifting off slowly himself.
Never had he had someone he wanted to protect more than Connie. He could watch her sleep for hours and not tire of it. In the minutes he had watched her, it was that that told him this was more than something he could ignore. She was what he wanted and he needed to make sure he did what was right to keep her.