- Text Size +
AJ bolted out of bed when he heard Sam’s scream and charged full force into her bedroom. He found her crying and thrashing around in bed with the covers winding themselves around her. Gently easing her awake, he could tell that whatever she saw in her nightmare was terrifying her. When she finally came around, there were tears streaming down her face and she was shaking to the point where her teeth were chattering.

She was so petrified that she started clawing at him to pull him closer. He nudged her over on the bed and stretched out next to her, tightly wrapping her arms around her and positioning her as close to him as he could. Her arms were clasped tightly around him and she curled up with her head buried under his chin. He felt so helpless watching her work through the fear and he wracked his brain trying to figure out some way to calm her down. Suddenly he remembered that, when they were together before, she sang him an old Irish lullaby that her mother had sung when she was younger. She made a point to say how much it soothed her and as he was rubbing her back, he started to quietly sing to her.

Over in Killarney, many years ago
My mother sang this song to me in tones so sweet and low
Just a simple little ditty in her good old Irish way
And I'd give the world if she could sing that song to me this day

As he sang, he felt her body start to still and her ragged breaths became slower and deeper.

Toora, loora, loora
Toora, loora, li
Toora, loora, loora
Hush, now, don't you cry
Toora, loora, loora
Toora, loora, li
Toora, loora, loora
It's an Irish lullaby ***

By the time he got to the end, Sam was snoring quietly. He started to unwrap his arms when he was surprised by her pulling him back. He wasn’t sure if it was instinct or a reaction but he covered them both with a blanket and lay back down. Stroking her hair, he started humming the song again and after a few moments, he was sound asleep.


The sun was streaming through the bedroom window as Sam slowly opened her eyes. She was just starting to focus when she sensed heaviness under her arm. Glancing upward, alarmed after her nightmare and dreading what she would find, her stomach stopped lurching when she saw AJ’s handsome face resting on the pillow. Vaguely remembering him comforting her after the nightmare, she realized that he must have spent the night with her.

AJ started to stir and his eyes fluttered open; he looked over and saw Sam staring at him.

“This is awkward.” he whispered and they both laughed. “I planned on being gone by the time you woke up but I guess I missed the boat on that one.”

Sam rolled onto her stomach and propped her head up on her arms. “It’s ok, I appreciate you staying with me.”

Without thinking, AJ reached out and pushed a few stray hairs back behind her ear. “I wasn’t going to leave after all that.”

“Thank you.” she added and dipped her head down.

Not wanting to make the situation any more uncomfortable, AJ sat up and stretched.

“So what’s on the agenda today?”

“I know I don’t want to go back outside for a while, no matter what Lauren says.”

AJ nodded. “Agreed. Maybe it was just too much too fast.”

Sam climbed out of bed and headed into the bathroom, stopping and turning before she got to the door.

“Do you think we can just watch some movies and eat a ton of popcorn?”

“I think that sounds like a plan.” he smiled and climbed out of bed. “I’m gonna go shower and then I’ll meet you downstairs.”


Sam curled up on the couch while AJ got them drinks and popcorn. Since they had decided against horror movies and romance, they flipped a coin between musicals and comedies. AJ lost the toss so he was stuck watching any musical that Sam picked out. He moaned and groaned about it but he was just really looking forward to spending more time with her. It seemed that they were getting close again and he was hoping that it was a good sign of things to come.

“So, what’d you pick?”

Sam smiled when she saw the huge bowl of popcorn. “We’re watching Les Mis, then Phantom of the Opera, then…”

“What?” AJ asked as his jaw dropped. “I have to sit through like nine hours of Broadway musicals? You’re kidding right?”

“If you’re nice to me, maybe I’ll let you off the hook after two of them.”

“Oh jeez thanks.” AJ said and tossed a pillow at her. “Does that qualify as not being nice?”

Sam whipped the pillow back at him, knocking his bowl of popcorn on the floor. He sat there stunned for a minute and then threw a handful of popcorn at her. They went back and forth between pillows and popcorn and before long, the living room looked like a bomb exploded.

AJ tried to grab the last handful of popcorn from her bowl as she yanked it away. Reaching over her, he got a handful and then pulled back some. He was inches from her face and he lost all of the control he had; dropping the popcorn, he slipped his hand behind Sam’s neck and pulled her in for a gentle kiss. She started to push him away gently but he just couldn’t pull himself back. He leaned into her causing her to fall backwards on the sofa as he moved his hands away from her face. It was a stupid thing to do and an instant later, AJ realized it.
***"Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)" written by James Royce Shannon