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Leo heard the front door being unlocked. He quickly hid the notebook in the cabinet under the sink.

"I figured you were home!" Sam entered the kitchen grinning, carrying a couple of plastic grocery bags. Leo made an effort to look cheerful and hurried to take the bags from her. He leaned over them, kissed her lightly, and carried them to the counter.

"How's Amy?" she asked, taking off her coat.

"A lot better today. She beat me twice at Hearts. I think she's asleep now. "

Sam leaned over the counter, serious for a moment. "Leo, Amy's asthma attacks are getting worse. The other night, when she couldn't get her breath -- it was so awful."

Leo walked over to Sam and wrapped her in his arms. "Glad I was here this time."

"Me too." she said, still serious. "Please don't get struck by lightning again. We need you healthy and sane."

He kissed her, longer and more intense. Then he felt her arm move.

"I got your pills."

She slipped a white pharmacy bag into Leo's hand. "I went to see Dr. Simm's partner. He called in the prescription and I picked it up on my way home."

Leo looked at the vial of pills. If he took them, he would free himself from the torment of the creatures. But if he didn't see them any more, how could he protect Amy?

Sam watched him expectantly.

"What's the problem? Aren't you overdue?"

Leo wasn't ready to tell her what he discovered. He needed more time, more drawings. And he needed some rest. Maybe just one pill, he thought, to take the edge off.

He walked to the sink, filled a glass with water, and promptly swallowed three.

Sam smiled, calling from the hallway. "Let's go see Amy." They heard her music playing and walked into the bedroom. Amy looked up, jabbering excitedly.

"You should have been here, Mom. Leo saved me from the killer mosquito!"

Leo cringed as the incident was replayed for Sam. He tried to make a joke of it but Sam was touched. "Our knight in shining armor," she murmured, hugging him. Amy smiled to see it.

"I've been thinking," Sam said, "maybe we need to set a date for the wedding."

"Yahoooo!" shouted Amy. Her cheer provoked a fit of coughing, ending with laborious, wheezing gasps for air. Sam quickly sat on the bed and put her arms around her. "Now, now, let's keep it down to a dull roar until you feel better, okay?"

Leo reached for Amy's hand. Their eyes met. "We're almost a real family," she whispered, eyes sparkling.

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