CHAPTER 12 Sam sat in one of the easy-chairs by the window, Bernie stood for a moment then perched herself onto the chair arm. He took hold of her hands and looked into her dark eyes. The mysteriousness was still there, but now he saw sadness in them too. 'The eyes were the windows to the soul,' he thought. He'd never believed it until fourteen years ago. "Bernie, I feel very awkward asking you this, I know about your husband, what he did. Do you want to talk about it, I mean you don't have to if you don't want to, but it might help." "Oh Sam, I just want my son. You know he'd have been coming up to twenty-one soon and I can't even imagine him being grown-up. I still see him as being a little boy of six." She looked away as the tears started welling up in her eyes. "Fifteen years ago, I thought it was more recent than that." Sam looked surprised. "I thought that was the reason you came out here." "He was paroled three years ago, even though we were divorced and I'd move away. He found me and it started all over again. First with phone calls, then he started calling round, he said he'd changed, he pleaded with me to take him back, I didn't though." She wiped away fallen tears. Sam listened without interrupting. "Then one day, when I'd finished work, I arrived home and he was there, sprawled on the couch. A bottle of whiskey in his hand and another empty bottle he'd thrown, smashed against the wall. I-I tried to run out but somehow he grabbed me a-and...." Her tears flowed freely and Sam held her close. "All I could smell was the whiskey on his breath, I tried to fight him off but he was too strong. Oh the next morning he said he was sorry, he even took me to the hospital. He told them I'd had an accident. The nurses and doctor knew different though, he was arrested again...... and.... About two months later he was granted conditional bail, he was supposed to stay away from me but he didn't. The next time, I took a beating so bad, that I lost the baby I didn't know I was carrying." Sam's face screwed up at her suffering, he felt her pain. Bernie drew away from Sam and wiped her wetted face. "That's how come Sam Beckett, that I'm here, the other side of the world, that's what it took to get away from him." Sam was at a loss for words, he just whispered, "Shush," and held her close again. He held her for a long time, comforting her. He could not ease her pain, he could only help her though it. He could change her past, he knew it, but if he did, she wouldn't be here. It was through her suffering that he held her now. Thoughts raced through his mind, was he being selfish again, as he had been with Donna? He tried to push those thoughts to the back of his mind, but they wouldn't go. * * * * * Rosie stood in the kitchen and looked up at the clock, it was almost mid-day, "That's it Bernie, I've had enough." She threw a tea-cloth into the sink. "Time for your shift," her teeth gritted, "you've had Sam Beckett long enough, now it's my turn." Alfredo, the chef, turned as she stormed out of the kitchen, through the cafeteria and down the corridor towards Bernie's quarters. She banged on the door and shouted, "Bernie, your shift started five minutes ago.... Are you comin'?" Bernie opened the door and as she did so Rosie saw Sam sitting in the chair. She tried to look around Bernie and waved at Sam. "I'll be along in a minute, I-I was a little tied up." Bernie tried to hide a sniffle. It was then that Rosie saw Bernie's tear-stained face, acting sympathetic, "What's a matter love?" She pushed past her sullen colleague into the room and glared at Sam, "What's he been doin' to yer?" "Oh nothing." Bernie tried to explain. "Just 'cuz he's the boss, don't you let him push you around." Rosie chuntered between chews on her gum. "It's not like that Ro...." She was interrupted again. "All men should be castr....." Sam interrupted this time, he jumped up from the chair. "Look here, I'm not pushin' Bernie around, can't you see she's upset and your not helping accusing people of something you know nothing about." He looked none too pleased. Rosie turned to Bernie who stood silent by the open door. "What you doin' tarting around with him for, he's only interested in his precious Donna Elessee." "Rosie, what are you doing this for? I understood that you liked me." Sam said, wanting to stop the fracas. "Yeah, well, I do, but why are you so interested in this 'ere murderer? She only came here to escape goin' ta jail in erm, England." "There you go, accusing again. You don't know that she killed anyone." "And you're no better, I heard of all them accidents here, them folks who was killed, when they was workin' for yer. I reckon it was you, you was involved in all of that." "Those accidents were meant for me, the man responsible for the deaths was jailed for the crimes he committed. I was a victim in it all." "Then you tell me what happened to my sister then, who killed Jessie? Eh, you tell me that?" Rosie stood open mouthed, still chewing her gum. "You're Jessie's sister?" It was Sam's turn to be open mouthed. Sam was caught completely of guard. "I wasn't around for that, I heard it was one of Yen Hsuieh-lung's cronies that was responsible." "Eh, that was never proven, he was in jail. Yeah, Jessie told me all about you, the fling you had, then you tossed her aside like garbage." "No, you listen to me!" Sam was getting really agitated. "She walked out on me, she'd got what she'd wanted, then she left. Yeah I saw her again after that, but I wasn't about to be used again, no-one likes to be used." "What's all this?" Sammi Jo's voice echoed through the doorway, everyone turned to face her, "You can be heard all the way to the other end of the building." "Sorry Sammi Jo." Bernie looked at her apologetically, "I was just off to work." She squeezed passed Sammi Jo, upset, she ran up the corridor to the cafeteria. Sam started to run after Bernie, "Sam wait here I want a word with you," Sammi Jo looked sternly at Sam and he stopped in his tracks. "I think you'd better leave Rosie, I've just about had enough of your tantrums of late. I'll see you later." Her eyes followed Rosie as she left Bernie's quarters. Sammi Jo closed the door when Rosie had left, "Now Sam what was that all about?" She stood waiting patiently for an answer. Sam looked perturbed, "Bernie and I were in here having a quiet chat, Rosie knocked on the door and when Bernie opened it, she just stormed in accusing everyone of one thing and another." "What sort of things?" "Did you know she was Jessica Olivera's sister?" "No I didn't, her surname is Saint-James on our records." "That must be her married name." Sam suggested. "No, she's never been married Sam." "That's strange, unless Jessie was married, buts she never mentioned it, not while we worked together." Sam turned and looked out of the window. "I'll get Ziggy to run a check on both of them." Sam returned his attention to Sammi Jo. "She's really a strange one, Rosie, I mean. I know she's upset at me dating Bernie, but you'd think she'd try to be more pleasant, I mean, if she's trying to win me over. She accused me of being involved with Jessie's death." "But you weren't here when Jessie was...." "I know that, Al told me about her, and she accused Bernie of murdering her child." "Obviously she's a very mixed up girl, and very jealous. I don't think she knows how to deal with her feelings for you." "I'll go and check on Bernie, she was very upset when she left." They both left Bernie's quarters, Sammi Jo spoke as they walked up the corridor together. "I know Rosie asked a lot of questions about you when she first came here, but who wouldn't want to know everything about our famous Doctor Beckett." Sam's mind was not on Rosie, she was the least of his concerns, "I hope Bernie's okay, she's very insecure at the moment." "I'm not surprised after what she went through, one tough lady if you ask me." They halted at the corner. "Go check on her Sam, she's lucky to have you." Sammi Jo kissed Sam on the cheek and continued to the nursery. Sam paused at the entrance to the cafeteria, looking through the glass in the door. There was no sign of Rosie, he was relived to see. No-one had yet sat down to lunch, Sam didn't know how many worked here now. Al had mentioned that there had only been a skeleton staff since 1999, since Sam had been caught in time. He remembered the hustle and bustle of the years when the project was starting out, hundreds of people walked these tunnels. Construction and maintenance crews, architects, analysts and developers for the project, lab technicians, flight and ground crew and not to mention all of the government overseers. Al saw to them all, he was such a grab and do person, such a great organiser in those days, he still was. So many people, the cafeteria was never empty, not like now. It all seemed so deserted, so abandoned. The doors swung closed behind Sam, he headed to far right corner, towards the piano. The musician in him laid his hand on the dusty walnut casing, he lifted the lid and hit middle 'C'. His trained ear told him it was slightly out of tune. He ran his fingers up and down the keys, playing the scales. 'Yes, definitely out of tune,' he thought to himself. He pulled out the stool and sat down, playing a few chords until a suitable tune came to mind. Bernie heard Sam at the piano, no-one had ever played it since she'd been here. She stood behind the counter silently, unseen by Sam. So this was Sam's instrument, she noticed how dexterous were his fingers. The tone was a little off but it still sounded good. He played a few bars to a tune she'd heard before, a long time ago. Sam started singing "Dancing in the dark 'til the tune ends We're dancing in the dark and it soon ends We're waltzing in the wonder of why we're here Time hurries by, we're here and we're gone Looking for the light of a new love To brighten up the night, I have you love And we can face the music together Dancing in the dark What - though love is old What - though song is old Through them we can be young Hear this heart of mine Wailin' all the time Dear one, tell me that we're one" Bernie walked silently up to Sam and stood behind him, he didn't notice her presence. "Looking for the light of a new love To brighten up the night, I have you love" Bernie joined in with the next line. "And we can face the music together" He stopped playing and stood, holding Bernie they waltzed around the piano, Sam still singing. "Dancing in the dark, dancing in the dark Dancing in the dark" Sam pulled Bernie close and kissed her, "You know something, I think I'm falling......." He kissed her again. "Falling in love." "Oh Sam." Bernie sighed.