Tag to 4x12: This Joint's Haunted

Sam was always going to punch him. That was never in question. What he wasn't sure of was how hard. And he was also sure that this was the weirdest road trip he'd ever taken, even if he couldn't remember the others.

She leaned against his shoulder, her head on his.

Melinda Gordon...didn't make sense. She was, to quote something he didn't remember, an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a puzzle.

She was the most caring person, with the biggest heart, that he had ever met. She picked up pennies and mailed them to friends, not minding the value for herself. She went to funerals of people she didn't know and put brooches on them that they'd wanted to be buried with.

She encouraged him with Nicole, but underlying that, every time he met her gaze, there was this anxiety.

She encouraged him with Nicole for his sake, but, somehow, it was costing her something. Something big. Something hard to give in to.

And she was talking about keys. People. Ways to remember.

Nicole had to be his.

But as he spoke on the phone, his voice faltered. He glanced at the woman driving next to him and knew that the moment he'd met her, the moment he'd woken up to find her at his bedside, the moment he left his apartment to go to her side when his parents and sister were just being too much, that she was special. More.

And now...that she meant something to him.

He didn't want to believe that they'd had an affair. Because that wasn't possible. He may have been a jerk but he wasn't that bad. And from the way Melinda still looked whenever he mentioned Jim...she had been so in love with him. Beyond sanity and pleasure. She was literally lost now that he was gone, adrift, and she was clinging...onto him.

Which didn't make sense. Sam was...Sam was nothing special. Sam made mistakes and hurt people and this woman was here, pretty much begging him to make her whole again, and he didn't know how and he didn't know why.

But he hung up the phone in the middle of leaving a message for Nikki, and when they got to Melinda's house, she was still asleep. So he did what any guy would do...he carried her inside the garage, and placed her on his bed. He didn't have keys to the house, so he left her there, while he finished unloading the truck.

She felt his eyes on her, and she moved slowly to the side, rolling one shoulder. Was this meant to be a striptease? Because a moment ago she'd truly just been thinking about getting it off and then he'd propped himself up to watch and now she had to think about this again.

She felt the thrum between her thighs, the need for her husband. He knew this moment so well; she knew this moment so well, the moment they'd lived through countless times before, but it still brought them to their knees with want and lust and deep, aching love. Love that made them so very vulnerable because of the power the other held over them.

She bit her lip, moving one hand to her shoulder, slowly slipping the blue material off of her shoulder.

The only sound in the room was their shallow breathing.

The material slid over her skin, gliding over one arm; she inhaled and pulled at the other side, baring her chest and stomach.

The romper hung at her waist as she finished sliding her arms out of it, and Jim was tense, unmoving on the bed.

She lifted her arms high, stretching them behind her, locating the clasp on her dark, lacy bra.

Jim moved forward, as if by instinct, moaning as the cups fell from her breasts, leaving her bare.

"Not yet," she whispered, halting him just a whisper away from her.

His eyes were dark; she could feel his breath hitting her skin, making her nipples pebble. He moaned again, deep down in his throat; almost a whine.

She repeated the noise, feeling every nerve in her body standing on end.

She bent over to tug the romper down her legs, moving her breasts closer to him, and he leaned in just to brush his face against one round globe, making them both react.

The romper hit the floor and Jim reached out to claim her hips, his big hands clamping onto her, pulling her closer.

She was wearing those black sheer panties, and Jim was tugging them down her hips, and she was swaying towards him and the scrap of material slid down her legs, lost to both of them...she stepped out of it and into his arms.

Melinda jerked awake from one of the sexiest dreams she'd ever had, feeling her thighs still pounding. She reached for Jim, needing to channel this sexual energy into something, but she slowly opened her eyes, and sat straight up in bed.

The reality of the world came crashing back in. Jim was dead, but his spirit...was still here. His spirit was still here, but she had no way to communicate with him, and being with Sam…

Melinda looked around herself with wide eyes, rocked with confusion. Where was she?

She stumbled up, staring around herself, and then finally her brain started to process things again. She'd fallen asleep in the car on the way back, and Sam must have carried her inside...the garage. She was in the garage. Of course, Sam didn't have a key to the house.

She stared at the bed in front of her, realizing that he'd laid her in his own bed. She'd never been a heavy sleeper, so it truly made no sense that she hadn't woken up, but here she was.

She quickly walked out, rubbing her hands nervously on her jeans, and saw Sam messing with the truck.

"You're awake," he said, calling out to her. "It's been awhile, sleepyhead. I went and got some fast food, do you want a burger?"

"Sure," she said. "Let me unlock the house. Um. How long have we been back?"

"Two hours or so," he shrugged. "I figured you haven't been sleeping well so I hated to wake you up."

She nodded, going to open the front door, and Sam followed her in. She could smell the fries, and was suddenly looking forward to the greasy burgers. She didn't indulge in them often, but suddenly they were all she wanted.

"Can I grab you a drink?" She asked, heading towards the kitchen.

"I just got combos," he said. "Sierra Mist for you, Coke for me."

"I thought you liked Dr. Pepper," she said, smiling at him. "Hang on, how did you know I like Sierra Mist?"

She paused in the middle of the kitchen, wondering if Sam was having another Jim moment.

He raised his eyebrows, placing the food on the counter. "You know, I have no idea," he said. "I would have said that you ordered it, but you didn't get soda at any place we stopped."

She ached to say the words weighing on her heart, that he knew her favorites because he knew her. Instead, she picked up the cup, and took a sip of the sharp, bubbly, citrus drink.

Words would wait. She knew that Sam wasn't in a place where he'd believe her, and she couldn't afford to show her hand now.