Winner of the SKOW prompt "My true love gave to me". I am eternally grateful and completely over joyed at winning. Happy reading! - Scheherzade

Twelve Lords A-Leaping

Life is unpredictable, that's for sure.

Just when you think that you've made friends with it, are on good terms with it again, it takes a U - turn and comes back to slap you in the face. Slap you so that you land on your arse again, back to where you started, making zero progress. That sure happened to Sam a lot. Life didn't particularly like the girl.

In the busy streets of New York, she was taking a stroll, bundled up in her black coat. Coffee in her hands and a slight smile on her face at the sight of premature snow falling; she couldn't wait to get back home so she could sit on her couch in front of her fireplace, watch some good, trashy soap opera and indulge herself in a large carton of ice cream.

But life, picking on her as usual, had different plans for her tonight.

She took a turn, entering her residential street. It was a bit quiet than the rest of roaring New York. The streets were dilute with people, a few scattered groups there, a couple of people walking a alone like she was. She began to walk faster to get home quicker when she heard the sounds of thunderous footsteps behind her.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she turned around to see twelve laughing men running towards her, jumping, leaping, all high fiving each other, celebrating some sort of victory. A couple of them had on army jackets over their simple jeans, a number of them had shaved heads - She stopped dead, her heart falling to her warm boots.

The army.

The army was a touchy subject for Sam. She had lost someone to it. Someone dear to her heart, someone who she had loved beyond words, someone who she thought loved her back the same way. But once again, life had come back to slap her in the face. It really didn't hold Sam dear to it's heart.

She had been standing there, transfixed and the men were now running past her, their deep voices yelling, chattering, laughing. One of the taller ones bumped into her shoulder, sending her knocking back so she crashed into another soldier behind her. Seeing as he hadn't been prepared for a collision, he had to stumble himself back to stability while Sam collapsed right at his feet.

"Oh, Jesus," he groaned in a deep, husky voice, rubbing his side. She felt warmth on her shoulder as he placed his hand there, asking, "Ma'am, are you alright?"

Desperate to get off the cold pavement, she took help of his hand and stumbled to her feet, blushing red and brushing the snow off her jeans, "I'm - so sorry, I'm really clumsy, always falling everywhere -"


She looked up, confused as to how he knew her name. The first thing she saw; a pair of silver - gray eyes, which played home under aristocratically arched eyebrows. Dark locks was falling onto his face, cascading down almost to his shoulders, his lips parted in shock.

"Chris," she whispered in a hushed voice, her own eyes widening with shock and also with an odd sense of exhaustion.

Remember when she said that life always came back to slap her in the face and leave her back where she started, so she made no progress what so ever? Well this was the perfect example. In front of her stood her teenage love, the boy she had adored, whom she had given up everything for. The boy who broke her heart and flew to Iraq, to fight in the army, kept her tossing and turning in bed every night, praying to God every single second of every day that he was alive and well.

He stood in front of her, his eyes wide with an ancient past of grief and sorrow but a small light right in the middle of those dark pupils, slowly growing, sparkling and becoming brighter and brighter, with every second that he soaked in the sight of her.