The tangy taste of saltwater invades my mouth as I watch him go. I can feel the tears raining down on my cheeks as though they are burning. He turns back, smiles briefly, his eyes filled with that mysterious glint that makes me crazy. That glint that makes me love him more every time I see it. I would die for that glint.

"I'll be okay." He mouths, as if sensing my fear.

The iron fist of Dread has wrapped itself around my heart; I can scarcely breathe, much less get out the words that need to be spoken. I begin to hyperventilate. He turns back, as if drawn by my silent caws, and wraps his arms around me; the relief is instant. It's as though somebody has kicked Dread right where it hurts…kicked it away and told it to come back another day…just like the children's rhyme.

While I may feel safe now, I know that this haven is to be short-lived. The minute he steps away, the minute his arms are undrawn from my body; Dread will return. Dread will come back, except this time with a super-secret Achilles heel, one that I'll never be able to unveil the location of.

I allow myself to forget about Dread, throw Fear to the wind; just open myself up completely to him. The smell of him, warm and clean, like sunshine but with the tangy scent of old spice mixed in. I breathe it in; almost inhaling it. The beating of his heart, just slightly above mine, and the feel of my head nestled into his shoulder; the ultimate hiding place. For a moment, for just one moment, I am invincible.

Until I'm not.

"I have to go, but you're going to be okay. I will be back, Lana, I swear, okay." It is meant as a question but comes out a statement; it leaves no room for wrong answers; leaves no room for my answers. He kisses the top of my forehead, "I love you."

That feeling of invincibility is all but a phantom now; all that is left is fear. Fear so deep that even I can't comprehend or even begin to guess the depths of it. My hands are shaking, so hard that wiping my eyes is impossible; I have lost control over my body. I find myself suddenly grieving for a camera; I need to capture the glint in his eyes…the pride in them and that look of satisfaction as he leaves to fight for his country. I want this picture, but even without it there is no question of forgetting this day. Try as I might there is no way to ever forget this day. I know, as surely as I know Dread's fist, that this is a pain that no amount of time will heal.

The burning has come; it shoots through me like a provoked flame; the pain is so intense, so unbearable that I nearly double over. Lost in trying to squelch it, I don't notice when he walks away; forced to get on that dreaded plane.

The words, when they come, are all but a whisper, "I love you, too, Sam."

A/N: Well, I've got to say I really love this as far as my pieces go. What did you think? Trust me, I've got loads more to add to the Dread Chronicles, but I must get a LOT of REVIEWS to motivate me because I've got this account as well as one on fanfiction and that one keeps me pretty busy you can bet. So, to grab my attention make sure you review!