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Salem Fantasies (Season 1)

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Salem Fantasies
A Days of Our Lives spin-off

Episode 1

March 2007

Salem University Hospital –

Hope and Bo Brady joined hands as Dr. Rachel Willis walked into her office. She had told the Bradys to wait in in there while she went over the test results.

“Doctor, please tell me I’m okay,” Hope said, her eyes watering.

“I can’t tell you that, sadly. You are very sick. I hate to say this but you have malignant cancer.”

Bo gasped and bile rose up in Hope’s throat, making her feel like she was going to throw up.

“How could this happen?” Bo asked. “She takes excellent care of herself.”

“Cancer sometimes happens even in people who take of their bodies. If Hope had come in for her yearly breast exam we could have helped her then.”

“Are you blaming Hope for getting cancer?" Bo asked.

“No, of course not,” Dr. Willis said. “But the cancer has spread to all of your wife’s major organs.”

Hope held back her tears. “Am I going to die?” she asked, dreading the answer.

Dr. Willis didn’t reply at first. She cast her eyes down. Then looking up she said, “yes, I’m afraid so. Probably in the next 3 months.”

***

Sami’s Apartment –

“Just think, Lucas, we’ll be married in two days!” Sami said excitedly. “And just think both of our children will be in attendance.”

“Both?” Lucas asked.

“Yes, Will, and the baby I’m carrying.”

Lucas smiled, touching her flat stomach. “I cannot wait to see her.”

Lucas and Sami had already decided that their new baby was going to be a girl.

“Me either,” Sami said.

They curled up together on the sofa. Sami rested her head on Lucas’s strong shoulder. “We should get to bed,” she said.

“Oh I like the sound of that,” Lucas said.

Lucas helped her up and pulled her into his arms. He gave her a long, slow kiss. Then he picked her up and carried her to their bedroom.

They were making love when a picture of EJ Wells flashed into her mind. She saw him naked, then pushing his lips to hers. Then he raped her – or maybe it wasn’t rape at all, she thought.

She jumped up in bed and Lucas asked what was wrong. “Sami, are you okay?” He asked.

“I just had a bad feeling all of a sudden.”

“What kind of bad feeling?”

“About our wedding. You know me and weddings. I always mess them up somehow.”

Lucas smiled at her. “Everything’s going to be okay as long as there are no secrets between us. We promised to always tell each other the truth, right?”

“Right,” Sami agreed. But she was keeping the biggest secret of her life from Lucas. How will he ever forgive me if he finds out the baby I’m carrying could be EJ’s? She thought.

***

Max’s Autobody garage -

“Abby, are you here?” Chelsea Brady called out, walking into the garage.

“She left,” a familiar voice answered. Max rolled out from under a sports car. Chelsea had no idea what is was called.

“I needed to talk to her,” Chelsea said.

“About yourself, I’m sure. Why don’t you just leave the poor girl alone?” Max asked. “Abby can’t always come at your beck and call.”

“Shut up, Max Brady,” Chelsea screeched. “You don’t know anything about me. You never did.”

“I know you probably better than you know yourself. You’re selfish, rude, vengeful, ungrateful, and thoughtless about anyone’s feelings but yours … and the list goes on …”

Those words hurt Chelsea though she would never admit it. “Oh, Max, you cut me deeply,” she said, smirking to cover the fact that she still cared about what he said. She didn’t understand this new found hostility of his.

“Too bad it didn’t make you mad enough to leave,” Max said.

“Why are you being such a bully?” Chelsea asked. “We used to be friends.” The smirk was gone.

“Because I’m tired of your shit! I don’t like how you use people – especially your so called ‘best friend’ Abby, “ Max said.

“Why do you care? Are you in love with Abby or something?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Max was now smirking.

“So it’s true?”

“I never said that, did I?”

“Well it’s plainly obvious to me. It’s the way you say her name. And this light comes into your eyes when you talk about her. That light used to be directed at me. Or maybe I was fooling myself to ever think you could love me.

“But you’re with Mimi now, right?” She continued. “You will have to choose between them. So who will it be, Max? Mimi or Abby?”

“You’re not getting anything out of me,” he said. “Why don’t you just leave?”

“I’ll go, okay?” Chelsea said, walking to the door. “Did you ever care about me at all?” she asked, turning back to Max.

Max looked at her. “I did.”

‘I did’ is past tense. It means that he doesn’t care for me anymore, Chelsea thought.

Seeing that there was no point in arguing anymore, Chelsea left the garage. She reached the parking lot before she burst into tears. I don’t need Max anymore, she told herself. I have Shane Patten now. If only I could find him.

***

Switzerland
Airplane Flight 2351 –


Carrie Brady tried to relax in her seat as the plane raced along the tarmac.

Once the plane was in the air, she relaxed a little. She really hated flying but it was a necessity this time.

She had to get back to Salem and make things right.

Chapter Text

Episode 2

Sami’s Apartment –

“Wake up, sleepyhead,” Sami said, jostling Lucas.

“Uh, what time is it?” he asked, blinking against the bright sun that streamed through the window.

“7 AM – so get up please.”

“Why are we getting up so soon?”

“Because we have lots to do today,” Sami replied. “We’re supposed to help my family decorate the church for the wedding. Then we’re having a rehearsal luncheon,” she said. “And we have to pick up my dress from Bo and Hope’s. It was so nice of Hope to tailor it for me.”

“Wedding? What wedding?”

Sami hit him with a pillow. “Very funny.”

He smiled. “Just give me five more minutes …”

“Forget about it, Mr. Roberts. You need to hop in the shower. We’ll pick up donuts on the way to the church so everyone can eat.”

“Be sure to get some jelly ones for me.”

“Of course,” Sami replied.

Lucas got up and changed out of his clothes, putting on a robe. “I’ll be in the shower if you need me.” His smiled deepened. “Unless you want to join me …”

“Forget about it, Mr. Roberts. Will is here, remember? We want to set a good example for him.”

“Sami, I don’t want Will to ever act like either one of us.”

“Me either but we’re trying to make things right,” Sami said. “After tomorrow, we’ll be a real family and that will be good for him.”

“Its good to see you’re not still stressing about the wedding like you did last night,” Lucas said.

“I still am a little bit nervous - but not too much,” Sami said. “Its just pre-wedding jitters. I can handle that.”

“Good,” Lucas said. “Tomorrow is the beginning of our new lives together. It’s going to be great to be a real family with Will and our new baby.”

Lucas pulled Sami close and kissed her. It was a long, slow kiss and Sami just melted. “I wish I could join you in the shower,” she murmured.

“Will’s in the next room. You don’t want to wake him, do you?” Lucas teased.

“Yeah you’re right.”

***

Billie and Chelsea’s Apartment –

Billie was making breakfast when there was a knock at the door. She put down the coffee pot she was holding and walked over to the door. She opened it and smiled when she saw the person standing in front of her.

“Wow, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Billie said.

“Right back at you,” Carrie Brady answered.

They hugged. “Come in, come in,” Billie said. “I was just making some coffee. Do you want some?”

“Er, no thanks,” Carrie replied. “Is Lucas asleep?” She asked timidly.

“Here - no. He might still be asleep over at Sami’s place, though,” Billie said. “He moved out.” She didn’t see the hurt in Carrie’s eyes.

“Oh, that’s nice,” Carrie lied. “Dad says they are getting married.”

“Tomorrow, actually,” Billie replied, getting out a spatula to turn the pancakes with. “For the life of me, I don’t understand what he sees in that girl.”

“Oh Sami has her good points,” Carrie said.

“Like a barbed wire fence,” Billie quipped.

“It seems like Lucas is moving really fast,” Carrie said. “But I should talk – I married Austin practically the minute Lucas and I agreed to end things.”

“How is my big brother?” Billie asked.

“Good. He wants to start making little Austins.”

Billie laughed. “Sounds like my brother alright. He’s always wanted kids,” she said. “Did he come with you?”

“No. He went to Paris for business.” But that’s not the only reason, Carrie thought.

“Wow you two are becoming quite the world travelers.” Billie handed Carrie a plate filled with food. “Eat some, girl. You’re getting too skinny.”

“Thanks,” Carrie said but she was only moving the food around on her plate.

“So how is Lucas – I mean besides marrying Sami what’s going on with him?”

“He’s doing well,” Billie said. “But what’s with all this talk about Lucas?”

Carrie bit her lip. “Billie, I need to tell you something that could possibly ruin some people’s lives.”

***

The Church –

Hope held her daughter tightly as she sat in a pew. She couldn’t imagine how she would say goodbye to this beautiful baby. She mourned thinking of how her little Doodlebug would grow up without a mother.

Hope felt tears fill her eyes but was determined not to cry in front of her family. She put her sleeping daughter back in her car seat, kissing her on the forehead.

“Time to get to work,” she said. She found some flowers and began to arrange them in a vase.

“Hope,” Bo said, walking over to her. “Shouldn’t you be resting?”

“I need to help, Bo, I said I would. Its time that this family repaired the broken links.”

“They would understand if you didn’t help. We should tell them about your diagnosis.”

“No, Bo, not now,” Hope said.

“Why not?”

“Because this is a special occasion and I don’t want to ruin it.”

“Hope, they need to know.”

“Why? So they can grieve for me and pity me at the same time?” Hope said. “I don’t want anyone to know yet and that’s final.”

Bo shook his head and walked away. He needed some air so he walked outside. He found a bench in the garden and sat down and wept for his beautiful Fancy Face. How could fate be so cruel?

***

The Church –

Roman Brady was “overseeing” progress as others worked to decorate the church. They were doing great and he didn’t want to mess it up with his clumsy hands.

“Hey, Dad,” Sami said, coming up behind her father and hugging him.

“You’re in a good mood, Sami,” he said, turning to face her.

“Why shouldn’t I be? I’m getting married tomorrow, after all.”

“I know. I hope you will have a long, happy life with Lucas and your kids.”

“I will,” Sami said, only briefly thinking about how EJ could ruin everything. She was determined not to worry about him. He was in jail and he couldn’t hurt them anymore.

Roman looked up as his ex-wife Kate Roberts entered the church. She looked very well put together, as always.

“What are you doing here, Kate?” he asked.

Sami turned to see Kate. “Yes why are you here?” Sami demanded. “Are you here to wreak more havoc than you already have? Should I expect a bomb to go off in the middle of my wedding?”

Lucas came over to them. “I asked her to come,” he said.

“What? Why?” Sami asked incredulously.

“I asked her here because I wanted her to see that you and I are going to get married no matter what and if she could support us – or at least try to – she is welcome to come to the ceremony,” he said. “Plus we need more decorators,” he added, trying to lighten the mood.

“I have no intention of ruining your wedding, Sami,” Kate said. “I have had to accept the fact that you and my son will be together. Its not easy but I’m trying.”

Sami didn’t know what to believe. Kate seemed sincere but you couldn’t turn your back to her for a moment or she’d knife you in it.

Sami said, “Kate, I really hope you will be on your best behavior. If you do anything to stop my wedding, you will seriously regret it.”

Sami grabbed Lucas’s hand and they walked away to help with the decorations.

“Kate, is this really true?” Roman asked. “Have you finally accepted that our children are going to be together no matter what?”

“Yes, Roman, I have,” Kate said. “I don’t expect you to believe me though. You always see the worst in me.”

“That’s because most of the time you are causing trouble.”

“I have changed, Roman. Can’t you accept that?”

“I’m taking the wait and see approach on this one,” Roman said, turning and walking away.

Kate wanted to slap Roman but thought it wouldn’t be proper in church. He always got to her. She was really going to try to accept Sami and Lucas together. But if something came between them, she wasn’t going to cry about it.

***

Billie and Chelsea’s Apt. –

“What is it, Carrie?” Billie asked. “You said that whatever it is could ruin lives. What were you talking about?”

Carrie was going to answer her but then Chelsea walked in. “Uh, I’ll tell you later,” she said. “Hi, Chelsea.”

“Hi, Carrie,” Chelsea replied, stifling a nod. “What are you doing here?”

“I needed a break from Switzerland, I guess,” Carrie replied.

“That’s nice,” Chelsea said. “Ooh those pancakes look good.” She went over to the stove and filled her plate. “Where’s the syrup?” She asked Billie.

“I put it back in the cupboard.”

“Well I’d better get going,” Carrie said. “It was nice to see you both.”

Billie walked her to the door. “If you need to talk, please call me,” Billie said.

“I’ll probably take you up on that offer.”

They said their goodbyes and Carrie left.

“That was weird,” Billie said.

***

Billie and Chelsea’s Apt. (a little later) –

Chelsea finished her breakfast and went to shower while Billie cleaned up the kitchen. After she finished showering, Chelsea got dressed. Then she sat at her vanity table to do her makeup.

Her eyes caught on a necklace hanging halfway out of the jewelry box. Max had given it to her. She felt her eyes fill with tears just looking at it. Max hated her now. That hurt more than she thought it would.

She grabbed the necklace and dropped it in the waste basket by her desk. “There, Max Brady, I can get over you just as easily as you got over me.”

She finished her makeup and went out into the living room. “Hey, Mom, I’m going out.”

“Where?” Billie asked.

“To get a drink,” Chelsea replied. “I want some tequila.”

“I hope you’re kidding,” Billie said.

“I’m not,” Chelsea said. “I feel like crap.”

“I thought you weren’t going to drink anymore,” Billie said.

“Old habits die hard,” Chelsea said. “You should know that by now.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Well you’re drinking again aren’t you?”

“I am going to AA to get help.”

“AA? What does that mean?” Chelsea asked.

“It stands for Alcoholics Anonymous,” Billie replied. “And I want you to come with me.”

“Why would I go there?”

“Because I’m worried that you are drinking too much. It will be good for you,” Billie said. “Would you please come with me?”

“I’m not an alcoholic. You are.”

“Chelsea, instead of snapping at me, why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you.”

“Nothing’s bothering me,” Chelsea said. “Can we just change the subject?”

“Okay but I hope you come to me when you’re ready to talk,” Billie said. “As for now, we’re going to AA.”

“No way,” Chelsea said. “You’re not getting me in that place.”

“C’mon, be brave.”

“Well I have to work at the hospital today anyway,” Chelsea said.

“Not until noon. You have time for AA,” Billie said. “Please, Chelsea. Will you come to the meeting with me?”

“Maybe some other time,” Chelsea replied. She picked up her purse and walked to the door. “Bye, Mom, see you soon.”

Billie just sighed.

Chapter Text

Episode 3

The Church Garden –

Roman was taking a break from the pre-wedding festivities to walk in the garden. He was a loner by nature and this was a nice place to be by himself.

But he wasn’t alone actually. He heard someone weeping around the corner. It sounded like a man. Then he knew for sure because the man spoke.

“Dammit, dammit, dammit. How can this happen to us?"

Roman recognized the voice. It was Bo.

Roman quickly turned the corner and found his brother banging his fist on a tree. “Don’t you know it’s blasphemous to curse at church?” Roman said. “After all this is the Lord’s house.” He was joking in an attempt to lighten the mood.

“I don’t care. Right now I am cursing God – or Fate – or whoever is in charge of our destinies.”

“What’s bothering you, little brother?”

“Just leave me alone, Roman.”

“You know I can’t do that. I’m a cop. I investigate things until I find out the truth.”

Bo didn’t reply.

“Is it your new baby? Is she okay?”

“She’s fine,” Bo said.

“Are you still upset about Shawn and Belle leaving town with Claire?”

“That will always bother me,” Bo said. “But they did what they thought was necessary.”

“There is only one other thing that could make you this upset,” Roman said. “Something’s wrong with Hope, right?”

Bo grunted but didn’t answer him.

“I take that grunt to mean I hit on the truth. What’s wrong with Hope?” Roman asked.

“She doesn’t want anyone to know,” Bo said.

“Is she sick?”

Bo nodded his head. “Yeah, she is,” he said. “She has malignant cancer and the doctor said she only has three months left.”

“What does that mean?” Roman asked. “You know death is relative in Salem.”

“No it’s true. Hope says she feels awful all the time. That’s why we went to see the doctor. She didn’t want to go but I insisted,” Bo said. “The cancer is eating her up inside. All of her organs are affected. What’s worse is that she doesn’t want to go through chemotherapy even though it could help her somehow – you never know.”

“I imagine she doesn’t want the family to know she’s ill because she doesn’t want them to mourn her before she’s gone to the other side,” Roman said.

“Yeah that’s basically what she said. My wife is dying and I can’t help her.” Bo began to weep again.

Roman put his hand on Bo’s shoulder. It was all he could think of to do. He wasn’t generally a demonstrative person.

“Just remind her of Jack ‘dying’ from his illness and how it affected the family not to be able to say goodbye,” Roman said.

“But this tale ends differently because there isn’t going to be a miracle cure that will save Hope at the last minute.”

“Bo, I don’t know the right thing to say in this situation but just know that I’ll be there for you and Hope.”

“Thanks.”

“Now clean yourself up and we’ll go back inside.”

“Okay,” Bo said. He wiped his tear stained face and followed Roman back to the church.

***

Inside the Church –

Hope was sitting in a pew resting while she fed her baby a bottle.

“Looks like everything’s done,” Maggie announced. “Let’s get the rehearsal started. Where is Father Thomas?”

“He’ll be here soon,” Sami said.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” Lucas said.

“I’ve got to change Doodlebug’s diaper. I’ll be right back,” Hope said, standing up.

Maggie was standing beside her. “Take the baby!” Hope said to Maggie.

“Hope, what’s wrong?” Maggie asked. “You’re so pale.”

“Just take her – quick!”

Maggie took the baby.

Hope started to say she didn’t feel well but she didn’t get the chance. She slumped to the floor, unconscious.

***

Some motel –

Belle Black was feeding Claire carrots when Shawn came out of the bathroom. He was fresh out of the shower, his lower body wrapped in a towel. Belle tried not to look but he was so gorgeous she couldn’t turn her eyes away.

Shawn felt her eyes on him. “Do you mind? I’m trying to get dressed here.”

“Sorry,” she said, smiling in what seemed like ages.

Shawn finished dressing. He came over to Claire and gave her a kiss. He found a map on the TV stand and sat down to peruse it.

“Are we moving again?” Belle asked.

“I’m afraid so. We’ve got to stay one step ahead of Philip and his goons.”

“Where are we going?”

“I was thinking of California,” Shawn said.

“That sounds nice.”

“It’s very populated so we wouldn’t be noticed at all. We could just fade into the sunset.”

“What part of California are you thinking of?” Belle asked.

“I think Los Angeles is the perfect place to blend into the scenery. I am sure Philip would never find us there.”

“I hope you’re right,” Belle said.

***

Salem University Hospital –

Carrie asked a nurse to point her in the direction of John’s room. She found it and went inside.

Marlena was sitting at his bedside, holding his hand, and talking to him in a low voice.

“Marlena, hi,” Carrie greeted her.

“Carrie! What a nice surprise,” Marlena said, getting up and enveloping her former step-daughter in a hug.

“You look tired, Marlena,” Carrie observed. There were dark circles around Marlena’s eyes.

“I am. I can’t wait until he wakes up,” Marlena said. “I believe with all my heart that he will.”

“I hope you are right,” Carrie said. “You two belong together.”

“Thank you for saying that.” Marlena smiled thinly. “So, enough about me. How are you?”

“I’m good for the most part,” Carrie said.

“Oh I don’t like the sound of that. Are you and Austin having problems?”

Carrie nodded. “He went to Paris for business but I think he was just glad to get away from me.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. We just aren’t communicating like we used to.” Carrie looked down at her lap. “I feel like we got back together too quickly. We didn’t realize how much we both had changed over the years we were apart.”

Marlena nodded sympathetically. “Have you considered seeing a marriage counselor?”

“Briefly. But we dropped the idea for whatever reason.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Marlena asked.

“Well I do need some advice about something if that’s okay.”

“Of course. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

***

The Horton House –

Chelsea climbed the steps and knocked on the door impatiently.

Nick Fallon opened the door in his boxer shorts and a wife beater under-shirt.

“Nice outfit,” Chelsea said. “What are you doing walking around half naked?”

“I was just about to change when I heard you knock on the door.”

“I bet old Maggie gets a thrill seeing you like that,” Chelsea said.

“She’s not here. I would never walk around like this in front of her.”

“Is Abby here?” Chelsea asked, changing the subject.

“Yeah I think she’s getting ready to go to work,” Nick said. He was disappointed that she hadn’t come to see him but why would she?

“Yeah, I just bet she is,” Chelsea said, and pushing past him she went up the stairs. She pounded on the door. “Open up, Abby, it’s Chelsea. We need to talk.”

Abby opened her door. “Hey, Chels,” she said.

She was wearing a cute pink and white dress. “Looking good, Abs. I bet Max would agree.”

“Huh?”

“I mean, that’s why you put it on, right? To make Max notice you.”

“No, I put it on because my mom sent it to me in the mail and I want to get some use out of it.”

“So are you saying you don’t have feelings for Max?”

“I never said that.”

“So you do?”

“What’s it to you?” Abby asked, becoming defensive. “You and Max are over as far as I know.”

“Just tell me, Abby – do you have feelings for Max?”

“Yeah, I guess I do,” Abby said. “Are you jealous? Because you shouldn’t be. Nothing has happened between us.”

“But you wish something would, right?”

“Chelsea, I need to get going, so if you would kindly leave I’d appreciate it.”

Chelsea ignored her. “I really thought you were my friend. You've stabbed me in the back.”

“I never stabbed you in the back,” Abby said, upset about the accusation.

“You probably liked Max the whole time we were together. You were just waiting for the chance to steal him away from me.”

“Max is not your property but I honestly never wanted you two to break up.”

“Then can you promise me something?” Chelsea asked.

Abby sighed. “What?”

“Promise me you won’t go out with Max.”

Abby’s mouth fell open in shock. It took a minute for her to catch her bearings. “Are you kidding me? Why should I promise you anything?”

“Because we’re friends, that’s why. Friends should never date their friends’ boyfriends.”

“Are you forgetting that you and Max aren’t together anymore?” Abby asked. “And when you broke up with him, you rarely thought of him for even a moment.”

“Abby, I love Max. I didn’t realize how much I cared about him until now, but I do,” Chelsea said. “So if you are as good of a friend as you pretend to be, you will stay the hell away from him.”

“Chelsea, you need to leave now,” Abby said, opening the door and forcefully shoving Chelsea out of the room. “Goodbye.”

Chelsea just stood there for a moment, looking at the closed door. How could her so-called “best friend” treat her so badly?

She marched down the stairs. Nick was sitting in the living room, eating cereal and watching cartoons. He was fully dressed now.

“You look upset,” he said, jumping up to stand closer to her.

“I am,” Chelsea said. “Why don’t you ask Abby, the backstabber, to tell you all about it?”

She opened the door and then slammed it shut behind her.

Nick watched from the window as she got into her car and drove away.

***

Salem University Hospital –

“Wow. I wasn’t expecting that,” Marlena said after Carrie had told her the secret she was carrying around.

“Me either,” Carrie said. “The phone call shocked me. What do you think I should do, Marlena?”

“All you can do – tell the truth.”

“But it will really hurt Lucas and Sami –especially Sami. And Will too because I’m sure he’s happy his parents are finally back together.”

“Just think about how much it would hurt them if they found out later,” Marlena said. “You have to be honest, Carrie. It will be hard but it’s not the end of the world.”

“I hope you’re right,” Carrie said. “I’d better go.”

“Where are you staying?” Marlena asked.

“At that new hotel across town.”

“Why don’t you come and stay with me at the penthouse instead? I could sure use the company.”

“Oh, Marlena, I couldn’t impose on you like that.”

“You won’t be imposing. I would love to have you around. It gets lonely there.”

“Okay, if you’re sure,” Carrie said.

“I’m sure.” Marlena opened her purse. “I have a spare key.”

Carrie took it from her hand. “Thanks so much for everything,” she said, kissing Marlena on the cheek.

“You’re welcome.”

Carrie went over and placed a kiss on John’s cheek. “Wake up soon, John, we need you,” she said.

She hugged Marlena one more time and walked out.

Marlena sat by John’s bedside once again, holding his hand, and silently willing him to wake up.

***

The Church –

Bo was walking into the chapel with Roman when he saw Hope pass out. "Fancy Face!” he yelled, rushing over to her unconscious form.

He sat her up against the pew’s side. “Don’t go, Hope, I need you. Don’t leave me,” he begged.

She opened her eyes slowly. “Brady,” she whispered.

“Yes, it’s me, Fancy Face.”

The group of concerned onlookers had gathered around her. “Hope, are you okay?” They all seemed to ask at once.

“Give her room, dammit,” Bo shouted.

“I’m going to call an ambulance,” Lucas said, taking his cell phone out of his pocket.

“No!” Hope yelled. “Don’t call – I’m fine.”

“You passed out,” Sami said. “People don’t pass out for no reason.”

“I think I’m just dehydrated and I got up too fast,” Hope said. “I’ll be fine.”

“I’ll get her some water,” Caroline said.

Hope tried to get up but Bo gently pushed her back down. “I think you should go to the hospital, Hope,” he said.

“No. I’m fine. I just wish you would all stop looking at me like I’m on death’s door.”

“Here’s the water, Hope,” Caroline said, handing her a paper cup.

Hope drank it as they all pretended not to watch. Each person was very concerned about her, even Kate who had tried to ruin her marriage to Bo many times.

“There, I’m fine,” Hope said. “I’m ready to go, Brady.”

Bo helped her up. “Steady, steady,” he encouraged her.

“Don’t forget little Doodlebug,” Hope said to him.

“I never could,” Bo replied. He took the sleeping baby from Maggie and put her in the car seat.

“I’m taking Hope home now,” he said. “We’ll try to be here tomorrow.”

Bo was holding the car seat with the baby in one hand and leading Hope with the other as they walked out of the church.

“Well that was odd,” Maggie said.

“Very,” Caroline agreed. 

Chapter Text

Episode 4

Salem Community Center -

“Hey, scoot over,” Chelsea said, nudging her mom’s shoulder.

“Chelsea, you came!” Billie said excitedly, not to mention loudly. When people turned to look at her, she said “sorry”.

She moved into the next chair so Chelsea could have a seat.

“So I showed up. What’s going on?” Chelsea asked.

“Just listen. That man up there is telling everyone how he became an alcoholic.”

“I found my wife in bed with my best friend. Apparently they had been sleeping together for 4 years and I never knew it. My wife and I had a big fight and she said she was leaving me. She took the kids and moved into my former best friend’s house. She even took the dog. Man, I really loved that dog …”

Chelsea giggled. Billie jabbed her in the stomach.

“Don’t laugh,” Billie said.

“Why not? This guy is totally pathetic.”

“… He was brown and white with a little white on his chest. He was such a gorgeous dog …” The man went on.

Chelsea giggled again. Billie slapped her on the knee this time.

“Shut up and listen!” Billie snapped.

“Why? He is such a whiner.”

After ten minutes had passed, the organizer encouraged the man to sit down.

“Would anyone else like to say something?” the sponsor asked.

“I would,” Billie said.

“Oh god, Mom, you’re going to embarrass me, aren’t you?” Chelsea said, sliding down in her seat.

Billie pushed past Chelsea and walked to the front of the room. She stood at the podium. “Hello, my name is Billie and I’m an alcoholic.”

***

Max’s Autobody Shop -

“God, Chelsea is such a brat!” Abby said, stomping into the garage.

Max came out of the office. “What’s she done now?”

”She’s just being a little …”

“Whatever you’re about to say I agree with you whole-heartedly. I told her to leave you alone,” Max said.

“What - when?”

“Yesterday.”

“Well that must be when she got the stupid idea that you and me are …”

“Are what?”

“In love with each other,” Abby said, suddenly feeling embarrassed.

“What if she’s right about us?” Max asked.

Shocked, Abby about died right there on the garage floor.

***

Some Hotel –

“I’m going out,” Shawn said, tapping on the closed bathroom door. He had just heard the squeaky water pipe turn off.

“Where are you going?” Belle called through the door.

“To look for a car,” Shawn replied.

Belle threw the door open. She was wrapped only in a short towel. Shawn smiled.

Belle blushed but then her face turned serious. “Where are you going to find us a car?”

“I’m going to look around,” he replied evasively.

“We can’t afford a car,” Belle said.

Shawn sighed. “I’ll find us one, don’t worry.”

“I am worried,” Belle said. “Are you going to steal one?”

“Yes, if you must know. It’s our only way to get out of here.”

“Shawn, do you know how dangerous this is?” Belle asked. “You could be caught.”

“Don’t worry; I’m not going to get caught. I’ll find a car in a deserted area and come back and get you and Claire. We’ll be out of the state before anyone notices that it’s gone.”

“Shawn, do you really have to do this? Isn’t there some other way?”

“No, I’ve thought of all the possibilities and realized that stealing a car is the only way to get out of here safely.”

“If you say so …”

“Just get dressed, change Claire’s diaper, get everything together, and be ready when I pull up.”

“Okay,” Belle said.

Shawn put on a baseball cap he had bought at the corner store. “See you soon.” He kissed Belle’s cheek. “Don’t worry.”

Belle watched him leave. She had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She instinctively knew that Shawn was going to be caught.

Please God, she prayed. Let me be wrong about this.

***

Marlena’s Penthouse -

Carrie had moved the few things she had brought with her on the trip to Marlena’s pent house. There were three rooms and she had taken the one at the very end of the hall. She opened her purse and took out a small picture. It was a photo of her and Lucas on their wedding day.

“I don’t know why I’m still carrying around this dumb thing,” she said to herself. She suddenly crumpled it up and tossed it into the waste basket.

She picked up the phone to call him and then put it down. “This is something that he needs to hear about in person. I just hope he doesn’t fly off the handle when he finds out,” Carrie said to the mirror. Then she turned and walked out.

***

“Hello. My name is Billie and I’m an alcoholic.”

“Hello, Billie,” the group of assembled members all responded.

“They must all be pod people,” Chelsea muttered to herself.

“My daughter didn’t want me to come up here because she thought I would embarrass her,” Billie said. Chelsea slunk even farther down in her chair. “But I knew I had to speak to you all. Day after day I listen to all of you pour out you hearts and I know I needed to share my story.

“My father began abusing me – sexually – when I was just a little girl. There was no one to look out for me although my brother tried. I grew up hating my father and what he had done to me. I started to get into drugs and alcohol. I was even a porn ‘star’ for awhile, if you can believe it.

“I ended up following my brother here, to Salem, where I tried to get clean. It was so unbelievably difficult. But one day a true prince came into my life. We fell in love and he promised to be with me forever. Unfortunately ‘forever’ didn’t last long. His former wife returned and soon enough they were back together. I tried scheme after scheme to get win him back. But my attempts to reconcile only ended in heartbreak. He decided to stay with her.

“The biggest devastation in my whole life was losing my daughter though. I finally found her after nearly sixteen years of mourning her and believing she was dead. But I did find her – thank god - and it took awhile for us to connect but I am happy to say that we are getting along much better now. She’s the gem of my life.

“You would think that would be enough for me but I had to go and mess it up by falling for a new man. He didn’t make any promises to me and I didn’t expect any but I still had a secret hope that we would last. But like the first time I fell in love, there was another woman in the picture. Another woman who he had loved forever and a day, it seemed. They were soulmates. So after all this, I felt empty. Like my life had no meaning and there was no reason to get out of bed. The only comfort I could find was in a bottle."

Billie’s eyes were moist with tears. “I didn’t tell you all this to get you to pity me. I just felt that I needed to open up and try to exorcise these demons. I am thankful for this opportunity to speak to you all. AA has saved me many a time and I hope it will do the same for all of you.”

Billie stepped down from the podium. People embraced her and told her she was doing great. Her sponsor, David Harris, even gave her a high five.

The meeting broke up for the day. Billie went to get Chelsea. She found her daughter crying.

“What’s the matter?” Billie asked her, wrapping an arm around Chelsea’s slender shoulders.

“I just can’t believe it,” Chelsea answered, choking back a new wave of tears.

“What?”

“That you went through all of that and are still standing. I know I wouldn’t be able to.”

“You’re stronger than me though, Chelsea. You would survive,” Billie said. “As for me, I’m doing okay now. I am trying to move on and stay clean. That’s the best I can do – that’s the best anyone can do.”

“I’m proud of you, mom,” Chelsea said. “I never tell you that I love you, but I do,” Chelsea said, hugging Billie tightly.

***

“What if Chelsea’s right about what?” Abby asked. Her heart was hammering in her chest.

“You know, about us loving each other,” Max said. “I know I love you.”

“Are you serious?” Abby asked.

“Yes. You’re like family to me. You’re the sister I never had.”

Abby felt sick. “Would you stop calling me your sister?” she demanded. “I’m not your sister. I’m a woman.”

“And a feisty one, too,” Max said. He pulled her forward and began tickling her. She couldn’t help but laugh.

“Stop, Max, stop!” she begged. “You’re getting oil all over my dress.”

Max stopped tickling her. “Okay, okay. You’re no fun now that you’re a woman,” he said, laughing.

Abby became serious. “I am a woman, Max. I am one hundred percent woman. I’m not your little sister so quit saying that.” She threw a dirty rag at him.

She started to walk away but Max pulled her back. “Okay, you’re a woman. I believe it.” He tipped her back and swirled her around until she laughed. She fell into his arms and he held her there for a moment.

Abby thought he might kiss her. Ohmigod, it’s going to happen, she thought.

“What is going on here?” a voice asked, effectively ending what had – or had not – been about to happen.

***

Lucas and Sami’s Apartment –

Carrie knocked on the door. She had a fleet of dancing butterflies in her stomach.

The door opened. “Lucas, hello,” Carrie said softly.

“What are you doing here?” Lucas asked, frowning.

“I need to talk to you. It’s important,” Carrie said. “Can I come in?”

“No you can't. Sami will go ballistic if she sees you.”

“Then can we go somewhere else to talk?”

“I don’t think that’s such a great idea,” he said.

“Lucas, who’s at the door?” Sami asked. She walked over. “What the hell are you doing here, Carrie?”

***

A street downtown somewhere –

Shawn walked along the street, casually glancing at cars. They all seemed to be locked up tight as a drum.

He came to an alleyway and spotted a gray SUV. He walked casually down the alley to the car. It seemed to be too good to be true but he scanned the surrounding area and no one seemed to be in sight. He opened the door. There were keys in the ignition. Yes! He thought.

He jumped in the car and turned the key in the ignition. The car didn’t start. He tried again and it still didn’t work. He tried to open the car door but he heard the locks click in place.

“Oh shit,” he said as two plain clothes cops held up their badges and raced towards the vehicle.

Chapter Text

Episode 5

Alleyway (far from Salem) -

Shawn watched helplessly as two policemen ran over. “What the hell am I going to do?” He asked himself.

He was locked in the vehicle from the outside. He knew that the police sometimes used these alarmed cars to catch thieves trying to drive away in someone else’s car. “And I walked right into the trap,” Shawn said.

The door was yanked open and one of the cops hauled Shawn from the car. “You’re under arrest,” the cop said, and forced Shawn to turn around so he could pat him down.

“You must think you’re pretty slick,” the other one said. “Trying to steal a car. But you didn’t succeed, you little punk.”

The cop holding him began to read him the Miranda rights and slapped on hand cuffs. I’ve got to do something quick, Shawn thought. But what?

Shawn kicked his leg back into the groin of the officer holding him. The cop doubled over screaming profanities. The other cop tried to reach for Shawn but he swung his leg out and tripped the cop.

Shawn began to run even as the cops began firing at him. He dodged the bullets by running in a zigzag fashion the way his father had taught him.

Just as he was turning the corner, he felt a bullet whiz by his head and then another one bite into his shoulder.

***

Motel Room –

“Where is he?” Belle wondered. She looked down at Claire who was playing on the floor with some blocks Shawn had bought for her. “Where is your daddy?

“He’s been gone for over two hours,” she went on. She turned to bargaining with God. “Lord, if you keep Shawn and Claire safe I will try very hard to live a good and decent life.”

Belle was full to bursting with frustration even after her impromptu prayer. “C’mon, Shawn, come home safely to your daughter and me.”

***

Mickey’s Office –

Mickey was sitting at his desk, listening to a CD of big band music. He had a big stack of paperwork in front of him. But when he picked them up, none of the words seemed to make sense to him. “Legal, regal, beagle ...” he chanted.

Soon enough he stopped chanting and went back to trying to make sense of the papers on his desk. “Defendant, docket, criminal intent … Oh blast it all, I don’t know what this all means,” he shouted, shoving the papers off his desk just as Maggie walked in.

“Mickey,” Maggie said. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” Mickey replied. “I just got annoyed.”

Maggie put a basket of food on his desk. “I brought you some lunch because you’ve been working so hard lately.”

“Thank you, my dear Laura,” Mickey said, smiling up at her. He plucked an apple from the basket.

“Laura?” Maggie said. “You called me Laura.”

Mickey looked up. “So?”

“Laura is the name of your ex-wife.”

“Oh yes of course – you’re Maggie,” he said.

He bit into an apple. “Oh disgusting – I hate apples.”

“Since when?” Maggie asked.

Mickey didn’t reply. He threw the offensive apple at a stack of folders on top of the file cabinet. They came crashing to the floor.

“Mickey, what is going on with you today?” Maggie asked.

He shrugged. “What did I tell you? I hate apples.”

Maggie began picking up the papers Mickey had knocked to the ground. “Mickey, I think you should come home now.”

“Why? I’ve still got work to do.”

“You can do it tomorrow,” Maggie said. “Come home with me.”

“Okay, Laura, but I’m driving.”

Maggie sighed. “I think under the circumstances I should drive,” Maggie said.

***

Sami and Lucas’s Apt. -

“Well, Carrie, are you going to answer my question?” Sami demanded. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Sami, I didn’t come here to cause trouble.”

“I’m sure,” Sami said sarcastically. “Where’s Austin? Did he finally wise up and dumb your trashy butt?”

Carrie tried to interject but Sami wouldn’t let her. “If your marriage went south, don’t think you can just come here and start up with Lucas again.”

“I’m not trying to steal Lucas from you,” Carrie said. “I just want to talk.”

“We don’t want to hear anything you have to say,” Sami said. “We’re getting married tomorrow and you are not going to ruin it.”

“I wouldn’t even try,” Carrie said. “What I have to say concerns both of you.”

“Just leave,” Sami said. She turned away and went back inside.

“Lucas, I –“ Carrie started to say.

“I think you should leave now,” Lucas said. “Right now neither of us wants to see you. Have a nice life.” He then shut the door in her face.

“I just want to make things right,” Carrie muttered as she walked away.

***

Max’s Autobody Shop –

“What’s going on here?” Mimi asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

“Nothing,” Max said, pulling away from Abby. “We were just kidding around.” He walked over to Mimi and gave her a kiss.

Abby frowned. “I’ll be in the office if you need me,” she said. “Which I doubt.”

Once Abby had shut the door, Mimi said, “Wow. You should have seen the way she was looking at you.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, she clearly adores you,” Mimi said.

“We’re like brother and sister,” Max said.

“Yeah right,” Mimi said. “I can tell she’s hung up on you and I can’t help but wonder if you feel the same way.” Mimi turned her back and walked over to the Coupe sitting in the shop. “This is a nice car,” she said.

“Hey, don’t change the subject,” Max said. He wrapped his arms around her waist. “The only girl I want is the one in my arms right now.”

“I am not sure if I believe you or not,” Mimi said. “But it feels nice to hear you say that.”

They kissed.

Abby was watching from the office window. “Damn you, Max Brady. You’re not going to play with my heart ever again.”

***

Chez Rouge –

“Fancy seeing you here,” Roman said, walking over to Kate who was drinking at the bar.

Kate rolled her eyes. “Can you just leave me alone please? I’m not in the mood.”

Roman slid into the seat next to hers. “How many of those have you had?”

“Not enough to make me sleep with you if that’s what you’re thinking.”

Roman chuckled. “I’m actually here with a date.”

Kate looked around. “Oh? She would have to be deaf, blind, and really dumb to go out with you.”

“You used to think I was great,” Roman said.

“That’s before I sobered up,” Kate said.

“Ha ha.” He looked around. “And where’s your date?”

“Just shut up,” Kate snapped.

“Oh so you’re alone tonight,” Roman said, laughing.

“Yeah, so what?”

“Who is going to drive you home? You can’t drive in your condition.”

“I’ll get a taxi – now do you mind leaving me alone?”

“You’re pretty messed up about Lucas and Sami marrying tomorrow, aren’t you?”

Kate sighed. “Yes I am. But I’m trying hard to get over my hatred for your daughter.”

“Hate is a strong word,” Roman said. “But I thought it was really nice of you to help out yesterday at the church. I’m sure Sami appreciated it.”

“Oh I’m sure,” Kate said sarcastically. “Now leave me alone. Go find your simpleton of a date.”

“Oh there’s my date! Rachel, over here!” he called.

A very attractive blonde woman walked over. Kate’s mouth dropped. His date was a knock-out! What does Roman have on her? Why would she agree to go out with the big oaf? Kate wondered.

“Rachel, this is Kate Roberts,” Roman said. “Kate, this is Rachel Willis.”

“Hello,” Rachel said.

“Hello,” Kate returned.

“Rachel is a doctor. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard,” Roman gloated – as if to say, ha ha beat that, Kate!

“That’s nice,” Kate said. She got up from her seat. “I’m bored. I’m going home.”

“See you tomorrow, bright and early,” Roman chirped.

He grinned while Rachel frowned. He didn’t notice it though, because he was too happy thinking he had made Kate jealous.

***

Motel Room –

Belle was sitting on the bed, holding a now sleeping Claire in his arms. Suddenly she heard someone kick the door. “Ohmigod, what if it’s Philip – what if he’s found us?” she worried.

Then she calmed temporarily when Shawn spoke. “Belle, it’s me – Shawn, open up!”

Belle laid Claire down and went to the door. She unlocked it and pulled it open. She let him in. She nearly screamed when she saw the blood on Shawn’s shirt and noticed that he had handcuffs on.

“What happened?” She asked. “Are you okay?”

“Some cops took shots at me,” Shawn said. “Find something to open these handcuffs with.”

“Did they follow you back here?”

“No. I lost them thankfully.”

Belle got tweezers out of her purse. She used them to unlock the cuffs. They fell to the ground. He moaned softly.

“Shawn, we’ve got to get the bullet out,” Belle said. “But how?”

“See those tweezers?” Shawn said. “You can remove them with this.”

Belle grimaced and followed him to the bathroom.

Chapter Text

Episode 6

Lucas and Sami’s Apt. -

“How do I look?” Sami asked, swirling around in her full length dress.

“You look beautiful!” Caroline said, kissing her granddaughter on the cheek.

“Don’t do that, Caroline, you’ll smear her makeup,” Maggie said.

“Oops – sorry!” Caroline said.

“But I do agree - Sami, you look radiant!” Maggie stated.

“Thanks, you two.”

Will came out of his room. He was wearing a black suit. “Can someone help me with this tie?”

“I’ll do it,” Sami said.

Will walked over to her and she fixed his tie. She had tears in her eyes. “Just think, Will, by the end of today, your parents will be married and we’ll be one big, happy family.”

“Yeah, I’m excited about it,” he said. “By the way, mom, you look awesome. In that dress you can’t even tell you’re pregnant.”

“Thanks, honey. Just think in a few months you’ll have a little sister to play with.”

“You can’t play with a baby,” Will said. “Where’s dad?”

“He slept over at Billie’s. I didn’t want him to see the bride before the wedding. Its bad luck.”

“And we have had a lot of that!” Will said.

“But our luck is changing!” Sami proclaimed.

There was a knock at the door. “Lucas, is that you?” Sami asked before opening the door.

“No, it’s your mother.”

“Oh, mom, come in!” Sami said. She opened the door, scanned to make sure Lucas wasn’t lurking around, and then pulled her mom inside.

“Sami, honey, you look so beautiful,” Marlena said. “You all do.”

“Hi, Grandma,” Will said. Without her having to ask, he gave Marlena a hug. She kissed him on the cheek.

“Marlena, I love that dress,” Maggie said.

Marlena was wearing a blue taffeta dress. “Thank you,” she said. “Sami, have you talked to Carrie lately?”

“Yes.”

“What did she tell you?” Marlena asked.

“Nothing I wanted to hear,” Sami said.

“Okay, let’s get a picture of you three, and Caroline, you get in there too,” Maggie interrupted.

They all grouped together and smiled brightly for the camera.

There was another knock at the door. “Who is it?” Sami called.

“It’s Lucas,” he replied.

“Don’t come in here!” the ladies shouted.

“I wouldn’t dare,” Lucas said, laughing. “I just want to tell Sami that I’m heading to the church now and I can’t wait to marry her.”

The women all sighed happily.

Sami had tears in her eyes. “I love you, Lucas,” she said.

“Next time you see me, we’ll be standing at the altar,” Lucas said. “I love you.”

Lucas walked away and Sami dried her eyes.

“Don’t smear that makeup,” Maggie commanded, but she was smiling.

“Are you all ready to go?” Caroline asked.

“My bridesmaids will meet us there,” Sami said. “So, yes, we’re ready.”

“Yes,” Sami said.

“Mickey and I have a surprise for you, Sami,” Maggie said. “We rented a limo for your special day.”

“Oh, Maggie, thank you,” Sami said, hugging her.

Then they all trooped out the door to the limo.

***

EJ cracked his door so he could watch the wedding procession go by. He had finally gotten out of jail.

“So Sami’s getting married today,” he said. “I guess I should put in an appearance.”

***

The Brady Home –

Hope was dressing her little Doodlebug when she felt a wave of nausea wash over her. She put the baby into her crib and just made it to the bathroom where she threw up the little breakfast she had eaten.

Bo came rushing in, half dressed. “Hope, are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” Hope said.

“No you’re not; you look like hell.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“No, you know what I mean. Your face is all red. You just puked. You look sick.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“No, Hope, we’re going to the hospital. NOW.”

Hope tried to protest but she was too weak. She felt nauseous again. She threw up once more.

“See what I mean? You’re really sick,” Bo said, holding back her hair.

Hope felt dizzy and then passed out, hitting her head on the sink as she went down.

“Oh my god, Fancy Face,” Bo cried. “Baby, wake up!”

She didn’t move. He felt for a pulse. It was weak but it was there. “Hold on, Fancy Face,” he said, rushing out of the bathroom. He sprinted into the master bedroom and dialed 911. “Hello. I need an ambulance. My wife just passed out. She has cancer. Please hurry!”

Little did they know that far away from Salem, their beloved son was facing his own mortality as well.

***

Some hotel –

Shawn’s heavy breathing woke up Belle. It sounded like he was gasping for air. “Wake up, Shawn,” she said.

“I’m awake but I feel like shit,” he said.

Belle rolled over and felt his forehead. “Oh my god, Shawn, you’re burning up!”

“I’ll be fine,” he said. “Just let me sleep it off.”

“No, we’ve got to get you to the hospital,” Belle said. “I’m not certain, but I think you have some kind of infection from the bullet. I didn’t have anything but towels and soap to wash the area after I pulled out the bullet. I think a piece of it may still be in the wound.”

“I’ll be fine,” Shawn repeated, irritated.

“No. I’m calling an ambulance right now!”

Shawn caught her hand before she could reach for the phone. “Don’t do it, Belle. If you do, you risk someone finding out about us.”

“I don’t care,” Belle said. “I’d rather be caught than have you die on me!”

Shawn tried to reach for her again, but she climbed out of bed and went across the room. He didn’t have enough energy to stop her. She called for an ambulance and then wet a towel to put on his forehead.

“You’ll be okay, Shawn, I promise,” Belle said. “I love you.” Shawn was passed out and didn’t hear her.

***

The Church –

“Hey, Lucas,” Roman said, walking into the groom’s chambers. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah. I’m just waiting for the bride to show up.”

“I know a lot of fathers give their about-to-be son in law’s advice but I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it all many times already over.”

Lucas laughed. “Yeah I have.”

“Okay my only advice is this. Make my daughter happy or you’ll have to answer to me,” Roman said.

“Agreed.”

There was a knock on the door. “Can I come in, Lucas?” Kate asked.

Roman smiled.

“Sure, mom,” Lucas said.

“Hello, Lucas,” she said, walking into the room. “Roman,” she said, sniffing like she had caught wind of a bad smell.

“Kate,” Roman said. “Are you going to be on your best behavior today?”

Kate smiled thinly. “If I knee you in the groin will that be considered ‘bad behavior’?”

“Hey, hey,” Lucas said. “Let’s not start World War 3 here – not until the reception at least.”

A cell phone started ringing. “That’s mine,” Roman said. He took it out of his pocket and flipped it open.

“Roman Brady,” he said.

“Hi, Roman, it’s Rachel.”

“Well hello, Rachel,” Roman said, looking for Kate’s reaction. If she was jealous she didn’t show it.

“I can’t make it to the wedding today,” Rachel said. “There’s an emergency at the hospital. One of my patients is being brought in by ambulance. She is really sick and needs medical attention.”

“Oh, okay,” Roman said.

“I hope you’re not too disappointed.”

“No I’ll be fine. But if you’re free later, try to make it to the reception at Chez Rouge.”

“I’ll try,” Rachel said.

They said “goodbye” to each other and Roman turned. “Well I’m going to go … check things out,” he said lamely.

He walked out and Kate grinned.

“What’s going on with you two?” Lucas asked.

“Nothing,” Kate said.

“Are you sure? Because I think he was trying to make you jealous.”

“I can’t be jealous if I don’t care.”

Lucas just smiled.

***

Outside the Church –

Chelsea was waiting for Sami to show up so she could do the ‘bridesmaid thing’. She frowned when she saw Abby walking towards the church. Josh Clemmons was with her.

“Is this some kind of tactic to make Max jealous?” Chelsea demanded.

“Chelsea, shut up,” Abby said. “Josh is my friend and I would never use him to make anyone jealous.”

“Okay what am I missing here?” Josh asked.

“Nothing,” Abby said. “Chelsea’s just bitter.”

Before Chelsea could protest, Abby and Josh pushed her aside and walked into the church.

“Dammit,” Chelsea said. Then she noticed where she was standing. “Sorry, God.”

“Is Sami here yet?” Billie asked, coming up beside her.

“Does it look like she’s here?”

“Hey, don’t be sassy,” Billie said.

“Whatever.”

“Whatever,” Billie mocked. She sighed. “Chelsea, what’s bothering you now?”

“Abby,” Chelsea said, gritting her teeth.

“What about her? Did you two have a fight?”

“Yes.”

“What about?”

“Max,” Chelsea replied.

“What about Max?” Billie asked.

“I think Abby’s trying to get into his pants.”

“I sincerely doubt that,” Billie said. “I don’t think that would even occur to Abby.”

“Don’t believe me then; I don’t care,” Chelsea said, turning and stomping into the church.

Billie sighed.

***

The Church –

Sami arrived and went into the bridal room with her entourage.

“I can’t believe I’m finally marrying Lucas,” she said.

“Finally is right,” Maggie said.

Chelsea and Kayla walked in. “You look beautiful, Sami,” Kayla said, kissing the bride-to-be on the cheek.

“Yeah, Sami, you do,” Chelsea agreed.

“Thank you. It means so much that you’re both here. I am glad you agreed to be my bridesmaids.”

Marlena helped her with her veil. “Sami, I think you should talk to Carrie right away.”

“Why, mom?” Sami demanded. “Can we not talk about that … person - today of all days?”

Marlena nodded, sighing.

“Are you ready, Sami?” Caroline asked. “I think the groom must be pacing at the altar wondering if you’re going to ever show up.”

“I’m ready,” Sami said with a bright smile.

***

Salem University Hospital –

“What’s going on with my wife?” Bo demanded as Dr. Willis walked over.

“I have her stabilized for the moment.”

“Is she going to be okay?”

“I can’t say that. You know that she has terminal cancer. She is going to keep declining in health and then she will die.”

Rachel sounded sympathetic but Bo wasn’t in the mood for sympathy; he wanted results. He wanted Hope to grow old with him like they had always planned. “Help me out here,” Bo cried. “Isn’t there anything you can do to make her better?”

“No, unfortunately. I am giving her morphine to ease the pain but that’s all I can do. If you want to talk to another doctor …”

“I have already talked to other doctors,” Bo said. “They all say the same thing – that she’s dying. You said she had three more months. Is that still true?”

“The cancer is progressing at a faster rate than I imagined,” Rachel said. “I won’t give you an estimation but it is safe to say that she doesn’t have much time left.” She touched his arm. “I’m sorry. If there is anything I can do to make this easier for you, please let me know.”

“Can I see her?”

“Yes, she may be a little groggy from the medicine though. Don’t get her worked up.”

Rachel walked away and Bo sobbed for a few minutes, not caring that there were other people around. He then went to sit at Hope’s bedside. She was asleep. He pulled a comb out of his pocket and gently ran it through the ends of her hair.

Hope woke up. “Hey, Brady,” she said softly.

“Hey, Fancy Face,” Bo said, putting the comb aside to hold her hand.

“Where’s our baby girl?”

“She’s with the babysitter,” Bo said. “She’ll be fine.”

“I hope so.”

They sat in silence for a minute and then Bo said, “Hope, I think its time for me to contact your family.”

“No. I don’t want to ruin Sami’s wedding day.”

“We can’t wait forever.”

“I know but let’s not bother them today,” she said. “There’s always tomorrow.”

“Hope, that’s just the problem. There aren’t going to be many days left before you … You need your family.”

“You can call them later – after the reception. Just let everyone have some fun before all the grieving begins.”

“I don’t want you to leave me, Fancy Face.”

“I don’t want to go, Brady,” Hope said. She had tears in her eyes. “But I know you’ll be fine without me. There are so many people who love you and when you hold our baby you can think of me watching you from above.”

Bo was now crying. “Don’t leave me, Fancy Face. I don’t want you to die.”

“I know,” Hope said. “Believe me I know.” She kissed Bo’s hand. “But there is time to say goodbye.”

“It’s not nearly enough time for me …”

***

The Church –

“Ready, dad?” Sami asked.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Roman said. They followed the procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen down the aisle. The wedding march played loudly.

Max was reluctantly holding Chelsea’s arm as they moved down the aisle. Chelsea smirked at Abby. Abby frowned. Then Max and Chelsea separated near the altar and went to stand on either side of the bride and groom.

Sami smiled at Lucas through her veil. Her heart was pounding. It was going to work out for them this time. This time they would be together forever.

EJ watched from the back of the church. He was planning on interrupting the ceremony when he saw Carrie Brady sneak into the back row of pews, clutching a paper. Something big was about to go down and he was salivating at the thought of it. There was time enough for revenge later.

Sami reached the altar. Roman lifted her veil and gave her a soft kiss on her cheek. Then he moved away and Lucas took her hands. “This is it,” he said.

The priest smiled and began the ceremony. “Dearly beloved …”

Chapter Text

Episode 7

The Church –

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God on this beautiful day to witness the joining together of two souls. This man and this woman have a deep, abiding love for each other that will last into the eternities.

“Before we continue, I must ask if anyone has a just cause why these two should not be wed.”

The congregation was quiet. EJ watched Carrie and silently willed her to stop the wedding.

When no one spoke, the priest moved on. “Samantha and Lucas have prepared their own vows –“

“Wait!” Carrie shouted from the back row.

“What are you doing here, Carrie?” Sami demanded.

Carrie hurried up the aisle. “I am very sorry to interrupt but I have something important to say.”

***

Some hospital -

Shawn was brought in by ambulance. The doctors immediately pulled him into a cubicle and Belle tried to follow. “You can’t come in here,” the nurse said.

“But I’m his wife,” Belle lied.

“Wife or not, the operating room is no place for non-hospital staff or a baby.”

Belle nodded and went to the waiting room. She was carrying Claire in her arms. The toddler was chewing on her thumb.

“Poor baby, you haven’t eaten today, have you?” Belle asked. She found a vending machine and got Claire some chips. “I know it’s not the healthiest stuff for you to eat but it will do in a pinch.”

There was a TV in the waiting room. A female reporter was discussing the war in Iraq. “Same old, same old,” Belle said.

Then the reporter changed topics. “Local police are searching for a young man who yesterday tried to steal a car on 4th Ave. The man was shot in the shoulder by a police officer while resisting arrest. Unfortunately, he got away. Crime Stoppers are offering a $4,000 reward to anyone who has information that would lead to the young man’s arrest.”

Belle was horrified to see a sketch of a young man that looked just like Shawn. “Oh my god,” she whispered. “What are we going to do now?”

***

“You want to ruin my wedding,” Sami said. “To get revenge on me for interrupting you and Austin’s ‘special day’.”

“No Sami. Believe me – I don’t want to hurt you,” Carrie said.

“What is it that you want to say?” The priest asked Carrie.

Carrie took a deep breath. “This ceremony can’t go on because Lucas is still married – to me.”

The congregation made a collective gasp.

***

Shawn made it through surgery successfully and was moved to a room in the ICU. They asked Belle who had shot Shawn and she said he was hunting and one of his buddies had accidentally shot him. It was a weak story but no body questioned it.

Shawn was asleep when Belle walked in. She sat at his bedside and fed Claire macaroni and cheese she had gotten from the cafeteria. The toddler was eating happily.

Shawn awoke eventually and turned to Belle. “What happened?” He asked drowsily. “I feel like crap.”

“You got an infection from the bullet wound. I called an ambulance and they brought us to the hospital. They had to do emergency surgery,” Belle replied. “They say you’ll be okay.”

“Good,” Shawn said. He tickled Claire’s feet gently. She stopped eating her macaroni and cheese long enough to giggle.

“Shawn, I have some bad news,” Belle said.

“More bad news?”

“There is a sketch of you on the news.”

“What do you mean?”

“I guess the police officers who shot at you had a sketch artist take their report and turn it into a picture of you. There is no denying that it’s you so we have to be on our toes."

“Damn,” Shawn said. He reached for his bedside remote control. A new reporter was discussing the war in Iraq with an expert. Then they flashed to Shawn’s picture.

“Oh shit – that is me,” Shawn said.

Before Shawn could turn off the TV, a nurse walked into the room. She looked at the sketch and looked at Shawn. If she noticed the resemblance she didn’t say anything. She just fluffed Shawn’s pillows and gave him some medicine. “This will make you drowsy,” she said. “You’ll probably sleep for a few hours. That will be good for you.”

Shawn kept the pill in his cheek and spit it out when the nurse left. “I need to be alert. We may have to leave at any time.”

Shawn heard the nurse in the next cubicle. She was trying to whisper but they still overheard the walls were so small. “Yes? Hello, I know where you can find the car thief you are looking for. He’s here at the hospital I work at. He had a gun shot wound in his shoulder and looks just like the man in the picture on the news. I’m pretty sure it’s him. If I’m right I get $4,000, right?”

Shawn pulled himself out of bed. “Get my clothes,” he whispered in Belle’s ear.

“What are we going to do, Shawn?” She asked.

“We’re going to get the hell out of here,” he replied.

***

Sami tensed even more. “Carrie, you must be desperate to come here and claim Lucas is still married to you.”

“I have proof,” Carrie said.

“What proof?” Lucas asked, frowning.

“Mickey sent me this letter,” Carrie said, handing Lucas the paper she had been clutching.

Sami read the letter over Lucas’s shoulder. “It says that the annulment papers were never filed – for whatever reason,” Lucas said.

“If this is true, why didn’t Lucas get a letter? Or why didn’t Mickey just tell him?” Sami demanded.

“I don’t know,” Carrie said.

Sami scanned the congregation and her gaze came to rest on Mickey’s puzzled face. “Mickey, is this true?”

“I think so,” Mickey replied, shrugging his shoulders.

“What do you mean you ‘think so’?” Sami snapped. “You either sent the letter or you didn’t.”

“It’s true – what Carrie is saying is true,” Mickey decided. “I did send her that letter.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” Lucas asked.

Mickey shrugged. “It didn’t occur to me.”

Sami turned back to look at Carrie. “What about Austin? Are you two still legally married?”

“No. The marriage is invalid.”

“So you’re a bigamist on top of everything,” Sami sneered.

“I didn’t know. Not until a few days ago. I immediately booked a flight and came here.”

“Why didn’t you just call me?” Lucas asked.

“Because she wants you back – isn’t that right, Carrie?” Sami sneered.

“No, that’s not true. I just thought it was news best delivered in person.”

“Why didn’t you tell me when you came to the apartment yesterday?” Lucas asked.

“I tried but you two didn’t give me a chance to say anything,” Carrie said.

“You know what, Carrie?” Sami said. “I think you’re a needy, desperate, pathetic WHORE!”

“There is no need for name-calling,” the priest interjected. “Can we settle this in my office?” No one seemed to hear what he said.

Sami suddenly took a swing at Carrie. Skin connected with skin and Carrie fell to the floor. “I’ll kill you for this, Carrie,” Sami roared, yanking her sister up by her hair.

“Sami, stop!” Lucas shouted, trying to break up the fight. But Sami had anger and adrenaline on her side and broke away.

“I interrupted your weddings to Austin so this is my payback – right, Carrie?”

Sami slugged Carrie right in the eye. Carrie wobbled but didn’t fall down again.

“Sami, stop. Get ahold of yourself,” Carrie said.

Sami grabbed a heavy vase to knock over Carrie’s head but Roman, Max, and Lucas pulled her back, kicking and screaming. “You bitch! I hate you, Carrie! I’ll never forgive you for this – never!”

“I’m sorry, Sami, I never meant to hurt you,” Carrie cried.

“Go to hell,” Sami said. She broke away from the men and ran down the aisle, sobbing. Roman and Marlena followed her.

“Lucas, I’m so sorry,” Carrie said. “Please forgive me.”

Lucas didn’t reply. He took off running down the aisle after Sami.

***

Shawn dressed quickly despite the great pain he was in. He peeked out into the hallway to see if anyone was coming. No one was there. “C’mon,” he whispered to Belle.

They headed for the elevators but then saw two police officers walk in. “New plan,” Shawn said. “We’re going to have to take the stairs.”

They turned their backs to the police officers and the minute the men were out of sight, Shawn led Belle - with Claire in her arms - to the door that opened into the stairway. “Hurry,” Shawn said.

They were two flights down when they heard voices above. “They could be down there,” one man said. “I’m going to check.”

Belle and Shawn hurried down the stairs as fast as they could. “Hey, Bobby, I think they’re down there. I hear footsteps. I’ll try to get them from here and you go outside in case they run out.”

“Those little puke faces aren’t going to get away,” police officer Bobby said.

***

As guests were leaving, many of them turned to frown at Carrie and shake their heads in dismay. Carrie felt sick.

Billie walked over. Carrie smiled. Billie would be sympathetic.

“Hello, Billie,” Carrie said.

“Carrie, I just wanted to tell you how shocked I am about what happened today,” Billie said. “I am really disappointed in you. You broke Lucas’s heart – he really wanted to marry Sami - and probably Austin’s too. Does Austin even know about this?”

“No,” Carrie admitted.

“Of all the chances you had to tell my brothers about this, you didn’t and that’s just criminal,” Billie said.

“I’ve only known for a few days, Billie.”

“A few days are enough time to tell your supposed loved ones something that important. You don’t just crash a wedding and spill the beans the way you did. That is something Sami would do and you are supposed to be better than that. I actually feel sorry for Sami this time and that’s shocking in its self.”

Before Carrie could plead her case, Billie had turned away.

“That really sucked, mom,” Chelsea said. “Carrie is a bitch.”

“Watch your language,” Billie chided her. They walked out together.

“Is it over?” Alice asked Maggie who was sitting beside her.

“Yes its over – for now,” Maggie said. “We have to pray that Lucas, Carrie, and Sami can work out the kinks in their relationship so Lucas and Sami can marry like they want to.”

“I’m disappointed in Carrie,” Caroline said, leaning over the pew to talk to the Hortons.

“Me too,” Maggie agreed.

“I’d better go talk to her,” Caroline said.

Caroline walked over to Carrie.

“Hey, Grandma. Are you going to tell me how disappointed in me you are – because I already heard it from Billie.” She had tears in her eyes.

“Carrie, your behavior today was very unexpected. But I won’t judge you; you had your reasons whatever they are,” Caroline said. “What you have to ask yourself is why you did what you did.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean did you have a desire to keep Lucas from marrying Sami?” Caroline asked. “Ask yourself why you felt the need to stop their wedding.”

“I wanted to tell Lucas earlier but I didn’t have a chance to really talk to him.”

“You could have picked up the phone and saved yourself, and Lucas and Sami, a whole lot of trouble.”

“I’m sorry, Grandma, I don’t know why I jumped up today in the middle of the ceremony. I guess I just didn’t want them to be married under false pretenses.”

Caroline nodded. She took her granddaughter’s hand in hers. “Carrie, the best advice I can give you is to go home. Be with Austin.”

“I don’t have a real home anymore,” Carrie said. “It’s just a cold, empty space. Austin left me – he said it was business-related but I could tell he was upset with me. All we’ve done is fight practically from the moment we got remarried.” Carrie sighed. “I mean the wedding wasn’t legal but we did love each other then. I don’t know if he still loves me or not.”

“I believe he still loves you very much,” Caroline said. “He always has. Feelings like that just don’t go away over night.”

“You are right about that,” Carrie said.

“Carrie, work things out with Austin. Try to make it work.” Caroline kissed her granddaughter’s cheek. “I love you, Carrie.”

“I love you too, Grandma.”

Caroline left Carrie’s side and Carrie walked out of the church.

***

In the bridal room, Sami put her back to the wall and slid down to the floor. She buried her face in her arms while she sobbed. Marlena and Roman entered. They both hurried over to her side.

“Sami, everything is going to be okay,” Marlena said, touching Sami’s smooth hair.

“How can you say that, Mom?” Sami asked. “Nothing will ever be the same again.”

“Lucas and Carrie’s marriage will be dissolved and you and Lucas can finally marry. You can have a bigger and grander wedding than this one. You can have the wedding in Hawaii or even Paris.”

“Yes,” Roman said. “We’ll take you anywhere you want to go.”

Sami didn’t reply. She looked up when Lucas entered the room. He rushed over to her and sat on the floor beside her.

“Its okay, Sami,” Lucas said. “Carrie can’t come between us.”

“I don’t even believe she would,” Marlena said. “When she talked to me about this she was really remorseful about the situation.”

Sami’s head snapped up. “You talked to her about this?”

“Yes …”

“When?”

“Yesterday.”

“Oh my god, Mom. You knew and you didn’t tell me? How could you do that to me?”

“Sami, it wasn’t my place to tell you,” Marlena said. “Now calm down. This can’t be good for the baby.”

“Don’t pretend to care. Your deception proves that you do love Carrie more even though she’s not even your real daughter!”

“That’s not true,” Marlena said.

“Yes it is, you – you witch!” Sami spat.

She got to her feet. “I hate you!” she shouted in Marlena’s face. “As of this moment we are no longer mother and daughter. We’re enemies.”

“Sami, I’m very sorry things turned out this way –“ Marlena started to say.

“Bull shit!” Sami said. “I will make you sorry for this. I will make you wish you had never given birth to me. I’ll take away what you love most.”

“Samantha, don’t talk that way to your mother,” Roman snapped.

“Don’t defend her, Dad – you know what she did was unforgivable.”

Sami yanked open the door and rushed out. Lucas followed her. “Where are you going, Sami?” He asked, running through the parking lot to catch up to her.

“I just need some time to myself,” Sami said. “Please don’t follow me.”

She got into the limo and shut the door. “Take me to the hospital,” she told the driver.

Lucas watched helplessly as the limo pulled out of the parking lot. He spotted Carrie opening a car door (it had to be a rental). Just as Carrie was getting into the vehicle, Lucas grabbed her arm and pulled her out.

“You’re not leaving yet,” he said angrily. Carrie shrunk under his intense gaze.

Marlena and Roman watched everything from the front steps of the church.

“Sami’s angry. When she feels betrayed, she is reckless,” Roman said.

Marlena nodded. “Yes she is. I pray she doesn’t do anything she’ll regret later …”

Chapter Text

Episode 8

Salem University Hospital –

Sami marched into the hospital purposefully. She was muttering to herself. “So my own mother allows me to be jerked around and humiliated by my own bitch of a sister. I will pay them both back, starting here. I’ll take away what they love the most.”

Sami walked into John’s room. She pulled one of the pillows out from under his head. She was crying as she put it over his face and pressed down.

“I’m sorry, John, but you are just a means to an end,” she said, pressing down harder.

***

The Church parking lot –

Lucas yanked Carrie out of the car. “How could you do this, Carrie? How could you do that to your own sister?”

“I didn’t want to hurt her – or you. I just wanted to tell you the truth.”

“In the middle of our wedding? You could have called me or emailed me. Done anything but this. Why did you wait until today?”

“I told you. I thought you should hear it in person,” Carrie said. “Now that I’m in Salem, you and I can make sure the papers are filed for real this time,” Carrie said. “I didn’t want to hurt either of you. I mean that.”

“That’s what you say,” Lucas said. “But is it true? Did you do this to get back at Sami for everything she did to you in the past?” Lucas demanded.

“No, Lucas, that wasn't my intention. I have made peace with all that Sami has done to me.”

“Oh please. Are you forgetting all you’ve done to her?”

“No. We’ve both slung mud at each other over the years. But that’s not why I came here,” Carrie insisted. “I couldn’t live with my conscience if you and Sami were married under false pretenses. If I waited to tell you and you found out later, after you thought the marriage was real, you two would have hated me even more for keeping it a secret.”

“I can’t imagine Sami hating you any more than she does now,” Lucas said.

“What about you – do you hate me too?”

Lucas hesitated. Then he said, “No, but I don’t want to see you anymore either.”

Carrie was hurt but didn’t say anything. Well, at least he doesn’t hate me, she thought.

“What I want to know, Carrie, is if you can live with yourself now – now that you ruined Sami’s and my wedding? Sami is so angry and hurt; she feels betrayed not only by you, but her mother too. Marlena kept your secret for whatever reason and Sami won’t be able to forgive her for that. If you are smart, you’ll leave Salem now.”

“I can’t. I grew up in Salem. I belong here now that Austin and I are separated.”

“Fine, stay here and face the consequences,” Lucas said. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Lucas turned and walked back to the church. Carrie watched him for a moment and then got into her rental car. As she pulled out of the lot, Carrie began to cry. What have I done? She thought.

***

Some hospital (stairwell) –

“We’re trapped,” Belle said.

They heard one of the policemen thundering down the stairs and knew the other would be at the bottom, waiting for them. He was possibly calling for backup.

“Don’t panic,” Shawn said.

“Come on, follow me,” he said. He pushed open the door to the Fourth floor. They burst out of it.

Shawn grabbed Belle’s hand and told her to follow him. Claire started to cry.

“All this espionage is upsetting her,” Belle said.

They hurried down the hall. They heard an out of breath policeman ask someone where they had gone.

“Who?” a woman’s voice answered.

“A man and a woman, with a baby,” he said.

“They went down the hall, I think.”

Shawn and Belle ducked into a linen closet. “Make her stop crying,” Shawn demanded, locking the door from the inside.

“What should I do?” Belle asked.

“Don’t you have a snack for her or something?”

“I think I have some breath mints but she’ll choke on them.”

“Just do something,” Shawn said.

Belle put Claire over her shoulder and patted her back until she was subdued.

“What do we do now?” Belle asked.

“We wait,” Shawn said. “The cops are going to come down this way. Hopefully they will just pass us right by.”

“I’ve got an idea,” Belle said. “Look at that linen cart in the corner. Claire and I can get into it and you can push us and we’ll take the elevator and get the hell out of here!”

Claire looked up at her mother when she said that. “Sorry, baby,” Belle said, and returned to patting her back.

“The police will recognize me,” Shawn said.

“Then I’ll push you two.”

“Okay but we need to make you look professional,” Shawn said. He opened the door and checked the hallway.

“Where are you going?” Belle asked.

“I’m going to find you some scrubs and some kind of hat,” he said.

“Okay, please be careful,” Belle said, kissing him on the cheek.

“I will,” Shawn said. “Lock the door behind me. Don’t answer it until you hear three knocks.”

“Okay,” Belle said, watching him sneak outside.

She turned the lock. “Please let him be okay,” Belle whispered.

***

The Johnson Home –

Kayla hummed as she pulled a roast out of the oven with hot pads. She had planned a special meal for Steve. She knew he was stressed out though he tried to hide it.

She would let the roast cool a bit while she got dressed. She went to the bedroom and changed into a black silk dress with a low neckline. Steve will appreciate this – I hope, she thought.

She heard the door open. “I’m home,” Steve announced, shutting the door behind him.

“What smells so good?” He asked as Kayla walked into the room.

“I made your favorite – roast beef with candied yams and a tossed salad.”

“Sounds great,” Steve said, kissing her cheek.

“Just go sit in the dining room, I’ll be right back,” she said. She was disappointed that Steve hadn’t commented on the way she looked. Oh well it’s not that big of a deal, she reasoned.

She brought the roast to the table. Then she went back into the kitchen and got the bowl of candied yams. She had already set out the salad. She turned the radio to a classic station.

Kayla sat down. “Shall we eat?” She asked, smiling.

“Yes, I’m starving,” he said. He began to munch on his salad. He then stopped eating and pushed away his bowl. “This lettuce is soggy.”

“I’m sorry – I didn’t notice,” Kayla apologized.

“It’s fine,” Steve said.

He cut himself a piece of roast beef and put some candied yams on his plate. He took one bite of the roast beef and shoved the plate aside.

“What’s wrong?” Kayla asked.

“It’s too cold,” Steve replied.

“That’s okay; I’ll go put it in the microwave.”

“No don’t bother. This meal is a bust. I’m not satisfied at all,” Steve said. “I’m going to have a bowl of cereal.”

“I sure hope the cereal isn’t stale,” she muttered under her breath.

***

Sami pressed the pillow down harder on John’s face. His vital signs were fine from what she could tell. “Why aren’t you dead yet?” she demanded of the comatose John.

“Sami, what in god’s name are you doing?” demanded a familiar voice.

***

Shawn looked around every corner and hallway as he walked through the hospital. He discovered an unlocked office door. The lights were out so he assumed no one was there. He opened the door and slipped inside.

He found a white lab coat. “This will have to do,” he said.

He was just about to leave when he heard voices outside the door.

“I’m just going to finish going over a few charts and then I’ll be done. Why don’t we go out for drinks later?” said a female voice.

“Sounds good,” a male voice replied.

The door started to open and Shawn ducked under the desk. How am I going to get out of here? He wondered.

The woman walked over. She was humming a big band tune as she sat at the desk. Shawn felt her foot graze his leg. Don’t look down here, he pleaded silently.

As if things could not get any worse there was suddenly an announcement over the loudspeaker, “A hospital lockdown is now in effect as we search the premises for a dark-haired young man who may be with a woman and small child. Do not approach them or attempt to apprehend them. They may be armed and dangerous.”

“Oh please,” Shawn muttered under his breath.

“Oh damn,” the woman said. Shawn felt for sure that he had been caught.

Back in the linen closet, Belle was silently panicking. She had heard the announcement over the loudspeaker. “We’re trapped,” she said. “We’re really trapped this time.”

***

Salem University Hospital -

Sami dropped the pillow as Marlena hurried into the room.

“What were you doing?” Marlena demanded.

“I was trying to suffocate John but the brain dead jerk just wouldn’t die,” Sami said defiantly.

Marlena hauled back and slapped Sami hard across the face. “How dare you?” she hissed. “If you’re mad at me, that’s fine. Do whatever you want to me but leave my husband alone!”

Sami rubbed her cheek which was stained with tears. “I promised I’d take away what you love the most,” she said.

“Stop crying,” Marlena demanded. “You are not a little child anymore so you shouldn’t act like one. You can't act out like this every time someone looks at you sideways.”

“You know this is not about someone looking at me the wrong way. It’s about the way you and Carrie betrayed me,” Sami said.

“We didn’t betray you. You should have seen how remorseful Carrie was. I tried to tell you to speak with her before the wedding but you didn’t want to hear it. You couldn’t be bothered.”

“So it was okay for her to burst in on my wedding and ruin everything?” Sami demanded.

“Of course it wasn’t okay,” Marlena said. “But you just made everything worse by attacking her. And then coming here to kill your own stepfather? That is not only foolish; it’s just hateful.”

Marlena’s voice softened. “Don’t do something you’ll regret, Sami. Think of Will and the baby you are carrying. They need you. Would you want them to visit you behind bars? They would be heartbroken. You of all people should know what it’s like to be separated from a parent. You remind me of that all the time.” Marlena was now crying too. “Go home, Sami. But think about what I said.”

Sami swallowed back another wave of tears. “You’ll never understand what you’ve done to me.” She turned on her heel and walked out.

Marlena went to John’s side. “Thank god you’re alright, my love." She squeezed his hand and kissed his cheek as tears rolled down her face.

***

Kayla watched Steve eat a bowl of Cheerios while she picked at her food.

“Why are you staring at me?” Steve asked.

“Because I’m just glad you are here,” Kayla replied. “I’m so grateful that you have returned to me.”

Steve smiled. “Do you want to dance, sweetness?” He asked.

“Sure, that sounds wonderful.”

Steve graciously took Kayla’s hand and led her to the living room so they could be closer to the radio.

“You are beautiful,” Steve said, kissing her gently on the lips.

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.”

They slow danced in companionable silence for awhile. Kayla rested her head on Steve’s shoulder and he caressed her back.

One of Mozart’s concertos began to play. Steve suddenly let go of Kayla and covered his ears with his hands. “Turn it off!” he demanded.

“Steve, what’s wrong?” Kayla asked, touching his arm.

He jerked away from her touch. “Just turn the damn thing off!” he roared.

“You’re scaring me, Steve,” Kayla said, reaching for the power button to turn it off, but Steve grabbed it and hurled it against the wall.

“Steve, what’s going on? Tell me what’s bothering you,” she pleaded desperately.

Steve grabbed her by her arms and shook her. “You’ll never understand – never!”

“Steve, you’re scaring me,” Kayla said. She was crying.

Steve released his hold on her and ran out the door. She followed him, calling his name. “Where are you going?” she asked.

“Just leave me alone,” he hollered. He ran out into the street and right into the path of an oncoming car.

***

“Oh damn,” the woman said.

Shawn tensed, prepared to run if he had to.

She was muttering to herself. “It looks like Mitch and I won’t be going out for drinks tonight because of that stupid bulletin.” She got up and turned off the lights. Then she shut the door and left the office.

“That was close,” Shawn said, breathing deeply. He put on the lab coat and then walked out into the hall. He ducked his head as he passed two nurses.

“I can’t believe there is some kind of maniac running around the hospital,” one nurse said.

“Me either,” the other one replied. “It reminds me of that Halloween movie where Mike Myers goes to a hospital and starts killing everyone.”

“Yeah it just chills my blood,” the other nurse said, shivering.

Shawn reached the linen closet door and knocked three times. The door slowly opened and Belle pulled him inside. She embraced him.

“Its okay,” he said, kissing her cheek. It was wet from her tears.

“Claire’s asleep. I laid her down on a few clean towels,” Belle said.

Shawn watched his little girl, as her little chest rose and fell with her breath. “She’s so perfect,” he said. “All we’ve been through is a small price to pay to keep her away from Philip. I’m so glad she’s my daughter.”

He hugged Belle and then released her. “We’ve got to go now,” he said. Shawn took off the lab coat. “This was all I could find.”

Belle nodded and slipped it on. “Okay, get in the cart. I’ll hand Claire to you,” she said.

Shawn climbed into the cart and Belle brought Claire over to him. Belle threw clean linen over their heads. “Are you two okay in there?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Shawn answered.

“How are we doing this?” Belle asked.

“Find the laundry room. There’s probably an exit there.”

“Okay here it goes,” Belle said. The cart was heavy but she managed to push it out into the corridor. She began pushing it down the hall. She had a silent prayer running through her head.

Chapter Text

Episode 9

- As Marlena drives home from the hospital she thinks of all the events that have transpired today. She is deeply sad that Sami would try to kill John and wonders how she can help her daughter rid herself of the need for vengeance.

When Marlena reaches the penthouse she finds a long white box in front of the door. She picks it up and reads the card; it says, “To my darling Marlena.” She takes in inside the house and opens it. She screams when she sees what’s inside.

- Belle pushes the cart into the laundry room. She tells Shawn that he can get out of it; the coast is clear. Shawn stands and hands a sleeping Claire to Belle.

“We’re safe now,” Belle says. “The door is over there. It leads out to the parking lot.”

“We won’t be safe until we get away as far as possible from here,” Shawn says.

Suddenly a woman walks into the laundry room. She sees Shawn and Belle with Claire and starts screaming, “They’re here. Los banditos estan aqui!”

Shawn grabs Belle’s arm and pulls her out the door.

They race through the parking lot, looking for a place to hide or a car to drive away in. “They’re going to find us now,” Belle says.

“Calm down; I have an idea,” Shawn says.

***

- Kayla watches in horror as the car bears down on Steve. She screams his name and shouts at him to get out of the road. Steve hears her and rolls away before the car can hit him. Kayla runs to him and asks if he’s alright. Steve nods. “I’m fine,” he says.

The driver of the car gets out and demands to know why Steve was standing in the middle of the road. He adds, “I could have hit you, jerk, and then the cops would be all over my ass. I’d get tossed into jail or my license would be revoked. Stay out of the damn road!” He gets back into his car and drives away.

“Steve, are you okay?” Kayla asks again.

“I hurt my side when I rolled but I’ll be okay,” he replies.

“Let’s go by inside and get you cleaned up.” She helps him stand up. “Promise me, Steve, that you’ll never do something like that again. I was so scared for you. I just got you back; I don’t want to lose you all over again.”

“I don’t know what came over me,” he says. “But I’ll be okay and stay out of the road for awhile.”

“Thank god,” Kayla mutters.

- Carrie rushes downstairs when she hears Marlena’s scream. She asks her former step-mother what’s wrong. Marlena tells Carrie not to worry about her; Marlena was just a little startled. Carrie looks into the box and grimaces. There are a bunch of maggots lying in a bed of dead flowers. “Gross,” Carrie says. Marlena asks if Carrie heard the doorbell ring and she says she didn’t because she was in the shower. Carrie insists on calling her dad even though Marlena tells her not to. “He can hopefully find some prints on the box,” Carrie says, picking up the phone and dialing her dad’s cell phone number.

- “I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Belle says. “We’ll be caught for sure.” Shawn tells her not to panic. He leads her over to an ambulance. There are no people around it or in it. There are keys in the ignition. Shawn is a little nervous thinking about what happened to him the last time he tried to steal a vehicle but it’s their only way out in his opinion because no one will stop an ambulance. They get inside the vehicle just as a trio of police officers come rushing out of the laundry room.

Shawn pulls away from the curb and tells Belle to duck down with Claire. The cops are so busy checking behind cars for them that they don’t see Shawn pulling the ambulance out of the parking lot.

When they are out on the street two EMTs come out of the hospital and ask the cops what happened to their ambulance. The cops say they didn’t notice it. The EMTs shout at the cops to find their vehicle.

Meanwhile, Shawn and Belle have abandoned the ambulance in an alley five blocks away. When Belle asks where they are going, Shawn replies that they are going to walk to the train station and buy tickets to take them to California – their new home.

- Roman arrives at Marlena’s penthouse. He knocks on the door and Marlena lets him in. “What’s going on?” He asks. Carrie shows him the flower box. He grimaces and asks who Marlena thinks could have sent it. Marlena reluctantly admits that she thinks Sami did it to get back at her for not telling Sami Carrie’s secret before the wedding. Roman says Sami wouldn’t do that behind her back. “No,” Carrie retorts, “Sami wouldn’t do it behind Marlena’s back; she would do it while Marlena is watching.” Carrie rubs the area around her bruised eye, remembering how Sami attacked her at the church earlier that day.

Marlena asks Carrie to go upstairs while she talks to Roman. “I feel like a kid again,” Carrie says smirking. She goes upstairs. Marlena tells Roman that she caught Sami trying to kill John. Roman is taken aback. “Are you sure you didn’t read the situation wrong?” He asks. Marlena replies that Sami admitted she was trying to kill John. “I’d better take her into the police station,” Roman says.

“No, don’t, Roman,” Marlena says. “Let’s let her cool off a bit. I don’t want to see her behind bars.”

“If she’s dangerous, she needs to be stopped before she really hurts someone,” Roman protests.

“We’ll stop her from doing anything else,” Marlena assures him.

“I’d better go talk to her.”

“Maybe you should. She needs to feel that she is still loved even though she made a huge mistake.”

“Marlena, don’t let Sami bully you. And don’t baby her either. She needs to know what she’s done is wrong,” Roman says.

“She knows. And you can remind her of that. Tell her if she doesn’t stop acting out that there will be consequences.”

“I’ll do that,” he promises.

Roman tells Marlena and Carrie that he is leaving and says goodbye to them. He also mentions to Carrie that they will need to have a long talk soon. Carrie agrees that it’s a good idea. He takes the box with him and says he will try to have someone analyze the handwriting as the prints are probably smudged now.

When Roman’s gone, Carrie admits to Marlena that she overheard part of what Marlena and Roman said. Carrie asks: “If she tried to kill John to get back at you – what will she do to me?” Marlena sighs but doesn’t answer. She has no idea what her daughter is planning but she hopes she can stop it in time.

- Roman is on his way to Sami’s apartment when his cell phone rings. As a police officer he knows he should not be using a cell while driving but reasons that there may be some kind of emergency at the station. There is an emergency he finds out when he answers the phone. But it isn’t work related; its family related. Bo has called him to say that Hope is in the hospital and is very close to death. They need Roman’s help in contacting their friends and family. Roman is sad to hear that Hope is doing worse and promises Bo he will start calling everyone as soon as he gets home. Bo thanks him and then hangs up. Roman shakes his head. “When is this family going to finally have some peace?” he wonders as he drives through the dark streets of Salem.

Chapter Text

Episode 10

Shawn was looking out the window of the train. It was dark and he could barely make out any shapes. He was thinking about all he and Belle had done to protect their daughter. And he realized he would do it all over again if he had to. There was no way in hell he would ever relinquish his child to that bastard Philip.

Belle and Claire were asleep in the bed. Belle suddenly stirred. She asked him what he was doing up. “Aren’t you tired?” she asked.

“I can’t sleep,” Shawn replied.

“Come get in the bed and try,” Belle said.

“Nah. I’m fine.”

Belle climbed out of the bed carefully so as not to wake Claire. She asked Shawn what was troubling him. “I’m a little worried,” he replied.

“About what?”

“How we’re going to survive in California until I find a job.”

“We have money; we’ll be okay,” Belle told him. She reached out for his hand and squeezed it gently. Shawn took his wallet out of his pocket and showed her what was left inside it. “Just thirty-five dollars?” she frowned.

“Yep. How are we supposed to live on that?” Shawn asked.

“Maybe I could call my mom and have her wire us some money,” Belle suggested.

“No we can’t do that. Victor and Philip are no doubt tapping the phone lines of all of our family and friends in Salem, just waiting for us to call so they can track us down.”

“What about your other family members? Doesn’t one of your aunts live in San Diego?”

“Yeah, my Aunt Kimberly.”

“Do you think Philip and Victor have tapped her phone too?”

“I doubt it. They probably think she is too far away to bother with,” Shawn said.

“Why don’t we call Kimberly and ask if we can stay with her until we find jobs?”

“We can’t do that. If we’re caught she would be an accessory to kidnapping. She could go to prison and she wouldn’t survive a minute in there in her condition.”

“What condition?” Belle asked.

“She has Lou Gehrig’s disease. I don’t know much about it but she stutters and she can’t walk anymore; she’s in a wheelchair. How can I put her in that position?”

“Shawn, we don’t have any other option right now. We need her help. I hate to bother her too but what else can we do?”

It took more convincing by Belle but eventually Shawn agreed to call his aunt when they reached San Diego. He would have to look her up in the phone book.

After the issue was settled Belle coaxed Shawn into getting some rest. The little family of three cuddled in bed together.

***

- “You’re working late,” Chelsea said walking into Max’s garage.

Max put down his wrench and wiped his hands on his coveralls. “What are you doing here, Chelsea?” he asked, irritated.

“I came to see you, of course,” Chelsea replied. “I just came from Dune and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the time we spent there together.”

“You mean when I was chasing you around while you flirted and danced with other guys?”

“That was the old Chelsea. The person you’re looking at now is all grown up. I am ready to stop playing games.”

“You will never grow up, Chelsea, or stop playing games.”

“We are good together, Max. I miss you so much and I want you back. I want us back.”

“Oh please. We are toxic to each other.”

“But when we’re good, we’re very good,” Chelsea replied, smiling.

“Look, Chelsea, I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish but its not working. Now get out.”

Chelsea was hurt but she didn’t reply. She just walked over to him and pulled him into a kiss.

***

- “Are you sure this can’t wait until tomorrow, Abby?” Josh asked.

“Yes, sorry. I really need my text book to study for my bio test tomorrow. I can’t believe I left it here.”

Abby bit her lip nervously wondering if he would buy her story. She didn’t like lying to Josh but this was important. She had to warn Max that Chelsea was liable to try anything to get him back. She had seen the fire in Chelsea’s eyes before the aborted wedding when Chelsea accused her of bringing Josh along to make Max jealous; and Abby had watched her as she silently gloated as she walked down the aisle with Max.

Abby would have told Max after the ceremony but he disappeared and Josh had wanted to take her out for the day. They had a picnic in the park and then went to see the latest Jennifer Aniston chick flick. She thought Josh was so sweet to sit through the movie just because he knew Abby wanted to see it. She really liked Josh but there was a part of her that was also so drawn to Max.

“I’ll come in with you,” Josh said, interrupting her thoughts.

“No, that’s not necessary.”

“I insist.”

“Okay,” Abby said, shrugging her shoulders.

They got out of the car and walked into the building. They heard voices in the main area of the garage.

“Chelsea, stop!” shouted Max pulling away from her.

“Max, I need you back. I love you. Please make love to me,” Chelsea said.

“Ohmigod!” Abby said, stomping into the main part of the garage. “Chelsea, you are not only a bitch but you’re a slut too!”

***

- Sami walked into her apartment and threw her purse down on the couch. Lucas came in the room and asked her where she had been all this time.

“It doesn’t matter,” Sami said.

“It matters to me,” Lucas replied walking over to her. “Will and I have been really worried about you. We called your cell phone about five times and only got voice mail.”

“I turned it off. I spent the last few hours just walking around.”

“In your wedding dress?” Lucas asked.

“Its not like I’ll need it again,” Sami said. “Carrie won’t divorce you now that Austin dumped her or whatever the hell happened.”

“She will too. And don’t worry about your dress being dirty, we can buy you a new one,” Lucas said.

He hugged her and she began to cry and ask why this had happened. “Why couldn’t Carrie just let me be happy?” she demanded. “Why am I not allowed to be happy for five seconds?” Lucas said he would make sure that the rest of her days were filled with joy.

There was a knock on the door. Lucas broke away from Sami and opened the door. “Roman, what are you doing here?” he asked.

“I’ve come to set my daughter straight,” Roman said. He pushed his way past Lucas to enter the apartment. He stared dead-on at his daughter. “Sami, you and I need to talk – right now!”

***

- Chelsea swung around and glared at Abby. “What the hell are you doing here?” she demanded.

“Saving Max from the viper – you,” Abby retorted. “’Please make love to me, Max’ – what the hell is that?”

“Would you look at that? Little virginal Abby’s angry. She even said her first curse words.”

“Chelsea, shut up!” Max said.

Chelsea ignored him. “Abby, you walked in on an adult situation. No little girls need apply. You wouldn’t understand what adults really do behind closed doors and you’ll never know because you’re a frigid little freak. Now get the hell out of here!”

“I don’t have to take crap from you anymore, Chelsea,” Abby said and suddenly swung her arm out and slapped her former best friend hard across the face. Chelsea stumbled back a bit and then regained her footing. She ran straight at Abby and knocked her to the ground. Then she pounced on her, grabbing her by the hair and trying to shove her face into the cement floor. Abby kicked her in the leg and rolled away. She tried to get up but Chelsea grabbed her hair again and yanked her back to the floor. It took both Max and Josh to pull them apart. They kicked and screamed trying to get a hold of the other again.

“You ripped my dress, you witch,” Chelsea accused, holding up the broken strap of her red dress.

“Its not like you would have kept it on long anyway if I hadn’t come in,” Abby said. “You were seconds away from jumping Max when we walked in.”

“You girls are out of control. Just leave,” Max said.

“Me too?” Abby asked.

“’Me too’?” Chelsea mocked. “You think you’re so special?”

“Yes you too, Abby,” Max said. “I don’t want to see either of you right now.” He went into the office and slammed the door shut behind him.

“Look what you did,” Chelsea said, walking towards Abby.

Abby thought she was going to try attack her again but Chelsea just pushed past her and stomped out.

“Let’s go, Josh,” Abby said.

“What about your science book?” Josh asked.

Abby’s face flamed. “Oh I can just study from my notes.”

“Abby, I don’t appreciate being manipulated.” He walked out and Abby followed him. She said she was sorry but he didn’t reply. He drove her home in silence.

***

- “What are you doing here, Dad?” Sami asked, shrinking under his gaze. “Is something wrong?”

“Don’t play innocent with me, Sami. Did you expect me not to find out what you did?”

“What are you talking about?” Lucas asked. “Sami, what is he talking about?”

“Dad, can we not do this now?” Sami asked. “I’m really tired.”

“We’re going to talk about it right now; I don’t care if you’re tired.”

“Can someone just tell me what’s going on?” Lucas asked.

“Lucas, I think you should let Sami and I talk alone for a few minutes.”

“Sorry, Roman, but I’m not going anywhere. Sami’s business is my business.”

“Lucas, maybe you should go,” Sami said.

“No. I’m staying right here but I have a feeling I won’t like what Roman has to say.”

“Fine,” Roman said. He filled them in on what Marlena had told him. He said that Marlena had found Sami trying to “kill John as some sort of bizarre payback” to her mom. He added that Sami had admitted to it so there was no way Marlena could have misconstrued the situation.

Lucas was beyond shocked. He asked Sami how she could do something like that. She began to cry and tell her dad how sorry she was. She also apologized to Lucas for not telling him right away.

Roman wasn’t convinced of her innocence but moved onto a new topic. He told Sami and Lucas that Marlena had discovered a frightening “gift” and he wanted to know if she was responsible for it. Sami denied it emphatically, pointing out that Roman knew of her phobia of bugs. “I never could have done something like that, you have to believe me.”

Roman nodded. “Sami, I want you to know that this time I’m not turning you in for what you did to John. Your mom and I agreed on that. I don’t want to see you behind bars and neither does she. You have to trust in your mother’s love and stop trying to punish her for imagined wrongs,” he said. “Others will think we are too lenient with you. And maybe we are. I know that I am too soft on you.”

Roman continued, “But I’m giving you a fair warning now. I will not allow you to hurt your mother or sister Carrie anymore. If you do, I’ll have no choice but to cart you off to jail. Hell, I’ll even throw away the key myself.”

Sami assured him that Carrie was not going to be the recipient of any kind of revenge at her hands. “I’ve learned my lesson,” she said.

“Okay, I’m holding you to that,” Roman said, kissing her cheek. Then he left and headed for home.

Lucas went to follow him out the door. “Lucas, where are you going?” Sami asked.

“Your dad may be a softie but I’m not,” Lucas said. “I can’t stand to see you right now so I’m going over to Billie’s.”

“Lucas,” Sami cried. “No body was hurt so why are you so upset?”

“I’m upset because you are so filled with vengeance and hate. You always have an excuse for your behavior. How can you rationalize what you tried to do to John? At this moment, I don’t want to be around you. Your whole attitude disappoints me because I know you are capable of giving so much love to Will and me that I can’t understand why you can’t do the same thing for others. You need to forgive Carrie and Marlena. They didn’t do anything to you intentionally.”

Sami begged him not to leave. She said they could talk this out and make things right. But he sighed and said “not tonight we can’t.” He left her in the apartment sobbing. Outside the door he could hear her cries but he couldn’t make himself go back.

***

- Hours later …

The phone on Kimberly Brady’s bedside table jangled. She checked the time on the alarm clock. 3:30 a.m. Who could be calling her at this hour she wondered. She picked up the phone and said “hello”. Shawn said “hello” back and identified himself.

“Oh Tawn, h-how are you doin’?” She asked. “You have to ex-coos my s-stutterin’. It comes with the terror-tory.”

Shawn said he was doing okay and asked how she was doing. She replied (in her slurred way) that she was not dead yet so that was a good sign. She asked him why he was calling. Shawn explained that he and Belle were on the lam from Philip Kirakis who had tried to take their daughter away.

“Uh-huh,” Kim said. “Wat can I h – hellp you wit?” She asked.

Regretfully Shawn told her that he and Belle had used up most of their money on motel rooms, food, and then the train tickets. “I hate to bother you, Aunt Kim, but can we stay with you for a few days until I find a job?” He asked.

“Of cursed you can,” she replied.

“Aunt Kim, you do realize that you would be considered an accessory to kidnapping if we were ever found out?”

“I d-dun’t care a – about that Tawn,” she said. “You’re my fam-lee.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I can-knott wait to see my lit-tel gran-nice, Clar-re,” Kim said. “Do you have my add-riss?”

“Yeah, I’m looking at the phone book now,” Shawn replied. He had gotten to the payphone as soon as the train ride ended in San Diego. Fortunately there was a phone book chained inside the booth.

Kimberly told him to be careful and he said he would. He thanked her profusely and said he would be there soon with Belle and Claire. They said their goodbyes and hung up.

Kim’s nurse Louella Forbes walked into the room. “Who was on the phone? He - or she - woke me up.”

“My net-hue and his lit-tel fam-lee,” Kim replied. “He tis comin’ to stay for a bit.”

“Oh brother,” Louella said. “I suppose I’ll have to make up the beds in the guest rooms.”

“Tanks, Lou, you’re the b-best!”

Chapter Text

Episode 11

A new day begins …

- Roman walked into Hope’s hospital room. She was alone – resting. He was going to go right back out but she awoke and called his name. Roman greeted her and kissed her cheek. He asked her how she was doing. She looked very pale and drawn but she managed a small smile.

Hope: I’m doing okay … oh hell no, I’m not.

She broke down in tears. Roman hugged her and told her that the family was going to be there for her. He passed her a tissue.

Hope: I have to get control of myself. I can’t let Bo see me this way. I have to be strong for him. He needs me.

Roman: And you need him … Where is the rascal?

Hope: He went home to check on the baby. The sitter agreed to take care of Doodlebug for awhile but Bo wants to make sure everything is okay. (Smiling a little) We finally have a name for our little girl.

Roman: What is it?

Hope: Ciara Brady … isn’t that beautiful?

Roman: It’s nice, I suppose. But I was really hoping you’d call her Romanna.

Hope: (nudging his arm) Very funny.

Roman: (changing the subject) I called mom and pop. They are going to come over as soon as they can. I also called Frankie and told him to get his arse back to Salem.

Hope: I’m sure they were all horrified to hear I’m on death’s door.

Roman: They were all sad and empathetic.

Hope: I hate the thought of leaving Ciara and Shawn motherless. But I know you will all take care of them.

Roman: (nodding) Of course.”

Hope: Promise me, Roman, that you will look after Bo too. He tries to be strong but I can see this ordeal has affected him a lot. He needs you more than ever.
Roman: I know and I’ll take it as my personal responsibility to be with him every step of the way.

Hope: Thank you so much, Roman.

Roman: You’re welcome.

Bo walked into the room.

Bo: Hey, Roman. (Coming over to Hope and kissing her cheek) Hello, Fancy Face.

Hope: Hey, Brady. How is our little girl?

Bo: Fine. I held her for a bit and she just stared up at me with those big brown eyes of hers. She is beautiful just like her mother.

Roman excuses himself saying that he is still trying to reach Kimberly. He had called her the night before but she hadn’t answered for whatever reason. Bo and Hope thank him and he walks out.

Bo tells Hope that he has called Alice. Mickey and Maggie are bringing her over.

Bo: I didn’t tell them why you’re here. I think you should be the one to tell them about your condition.

Hope: Okay. It will be hard to tell them but I guess I don’t have any choice.

***

- Josh was working at Java Café. He was making a latte when his co-worker Janet asked him how he and Abby were getting along.

Josh: (shrugging) I think Abby is losing interest in me.

Janet: What makes you say that?

Josh told her that Abby seemed distant lately and that she always seemed to be thinking about Max. He told Janet about the fight that broke out at Max’s garage the night before.

Josh: I think she may have feelings for Max. She seems awfully interested in his love life.

Janet: Are you sure you’re reading the situation right?

Josh: Yes, at least I think so. What more should I be doing? What do you look for in a guy?

Janet: Hmm … I guess he needs a great car; a good job; nice clothes; and it doesn’t hurt if he’s good looking.

Josh: Well I don’t have any of those things. I don’t have a good job or great car. I am not that good looking and my clothes are cheap.

Janet: You dork, I was being facetious … First of all, you are not bad looking. You’re actually kinda cute – don’t take that the wrong way; I do have a boyfriend. As for a good car and nice clothes, that comes when you have a good job.

Josh: Are you suggesting that I leave this place? Wouldn’t you miss me? (Smiling)

Janet: (smiling back) Not likely. But you don’t have to settle for working in a coffee shop. You’re a business major. You should be out there doing business-y stuff … Just find a newspaper and look in the classified ads for a new job.

Josh: That’s a good idea. Do you mind covering for me while I go find a paper?

Janet: I don’t mind.

Josh: Thanks. (Takes off his apron and walks outside)

***

- Shawn was holding Claire as he and Belle walked down the street. They had taken the bus and Kimberly’s house was only half a block away from where they gotten off.

Shawn: I forgot how hot it gets in California.

Belle: No kidding (wipes her forehead with her sweater). It’s only April and it’s stifling.

Shawn: We’re almost there.

They made it to Kimberly’s house. Belle commented that it was gorgeous. The ocean was visible from the deck. Belle knocked on the door. The door opened and Kimberly was sitting there in her wheelchair, smiling.

Kimberly: Hey, there, f-folks. It looks like this Santa Ana is getting to you. Come inside.

They both hugged her lightly. “I won’t b-break,” she said and hugged them back harder. They thanked her for letting them stay with her and she waved it off. “You’re fam-lee,” she said. Shawn complimented her saying that she looked beautiful with her newly cut hair. Belle, having the eye for fashion, added that she loved Kimberly’s yellow summer dress. They asked how Kimberly’s children were doing and she said “s-swell; they’re both away at s-school and I miss-ess them, but I’m sure they knee-ded a break from me.” Shawn said he doubted that.

Kimberly asked if they wanted breakfast and something to drink. She said her nurse Louella cooked the meals, among her other duties. Shawn and Belle admitted that they were famished. They hadn’t eaten since early in the morning. Kimberly wheeled herself into the kitchen and they followed her. She introduced them to Louella. Louella said “hello” and told them that she had expected that Kimberly’s family were going to be hellions “but you look normal”. They all laughed. Kimberly asked Louella to make them breakfast. Belle asked for cream of wheat for Claire and Louella agreed to make some. Louella got them each a glass of orange juice.

While Louella prepared breakfast, Kimberly showed Belle and Shawn around the house (she could maneuver around the house expertly in her wheelchair). She told them that Louella had assumed that they were married so she had only made one bed but would make up another one in the other guest room if they wanted their own space. They said that was fine and thanked her again. Kimberly then showed them “the nursery” which consisted of a crib, changing table, swing, playpen, and a basket full of toys. “I had my gardener bring out my kids things from the garage,” she said proudly. Belle started to cry with relief. Kimberly patted her on the back.

Kimberly asked to hold Claire. Shawn handed her the toddler. Kimberly cooed at Claire and tickled her until Claire was giggling. “What an adorable baby,” she declared with a smile in her eyes. “I tink I’ll k-keep you for a lit-tel while, sweet pea.” She kissed each of Claire’s chubby cheeks.

Louella called them to come for breakfast. They ate a good meal while Kimberly asked how they happened to be on the run. They told her that Philip had gotten custody of Claire even though he had no rights to her. They said that they believed they had done the right thing by taking their daughter back and they added that should they cause any trouble for Kimberly, she just needed to tell them and they would leave. She waved their fears away.

After breakfast, Kimberly insisted that Shawn and Belle both take naps. “You look ex-exhausted,” she said. “Lou and I’ll w-watch out for this lit-tel one.” They didn’t need much convincing as they were both practically asleep on their feet. They went to their separate rooms and lay down.

Kimberly played patty cake with Claire until Louella wanted her turn to hold “the little beauty”. Louella bounced Claire on her knee. The phone rang and Kimberly wheeled over to it. She answered the phone with a “hello”. It was her brother Roman. She was glad to hear from him. She told him that it had been too long since they talked. Roman said that this wasn’t a social call. “You sound serious. What’s going on?” she asked.

***
- Maggie walked into Hope’s room, followed by Mickey who was holding Alice’s arm. Bo helped Mickey settle “Mrs. H” into a chair.

Maggie: Hope, what are you doing here, sweetheart? We were worried when we found out you were in the hospital.

Mickey: I want to know that too.

Hope took their hands in hers and looked at Alice with obvious adoration.

Hope: Do you all know how much I love you?

Maggie: I think we have some idea.

Alice: Of course we do and we feel the same way about you.

Hope: First off, I want to say that you three have treated me so well and have loved me more than I ever thought was possible. Maggie, when I needed fashion or love advice you were always there for me. When I was ranting or raving about something, you calmed me down and helped me gain a new perspective … Mickey, I knew I could always count on you to be there for me and my – our- family. Sadly you had to help us too many times in the legal department but you were never judgmental or critical. I appreciate that so much … Gran, you have always been there for me, being my silent cheerleader, always ready with a kind word and a big plate of your famous donuts. We had the best talks and you always made me feel so special. I can never thank you enough for caring about me – all three of you have made a wonderful difference in my life.

Maggie: That was all nice to hear but it sounded too much like a farewell speech, Hope. What’s going on?

Hope: Well, in a way it is my farewell speech … (her voice breaks) You see, I’m dying …

***

- Carrie knocked on Billie’s door. She hoped Sami and Lucas wouldn’t catch her there. Sami would likely tear out Carrie’s hair strand by strand.

The door opened. Billie was standing there, frowning. Carrie asked if they could talk. Billie stepped back to let her inside the apartment. “So talk,” Billie said.

Carrie started to say how sorry she was that she had disappointed Billie but she was distracted by the bathroom door opening. Lucas was suddenly standing there, naked from the waist up, only wearing a towel around his lower body. She was speechless. “So it’s not enough to ruin my wedding, Carrie; now you’re stalking me too?” Lucas demanded.

***

- Josh found a newspaper and scanned the classified ads. He was sitting on a bench outside the Java Café. He saw nothing but ads for other low paying, non-prestigious jobs. “Damn,” he muttered. He was about to throw the paper away when he spotted an ad on the back page. It read: A dynamic international company seeks bright, motivated interns to join our progressive business program. High powered, fast paced environment offers excellent opportunities for advancement. Excellent pay and benefits package. Fax resume to Titan Publishing at 555-8957.

He tore out the ad and put it in his back pocket. He went to a payphone and called Abby. She answered her cell on the second ring.

Abby: Hello?

Josh: Hey, Abby, it’s Josh.

Abby: Oh, Josh, thanks for calling. I was just thinking of you.

Josh: (smiling) You were?

Abby: Yeah I felt so bad about what happened last night. I never act that way but Chelsea just got under my skin, I guess. I don’t want her ruining Max. He has barely recovered from the last time they broke up.

Josh: (frowning) Oh its okay I understand. The reason I was calling was to let you know that I’m applying for a new job at a company. I won’t be in food services anymore if I get this. It is supposed to pay well so I can finally buy a car that’s not half dead and new clothes and …

Abby: That sounds nice. I wish you luck.

Josh: How was your test?

Abby: Okay I guess. I think I did well.

Josh saw Janet waving to him from inside the café.

Josh: I’ve got to go, Abby, I’ll talk to you later.

Abby: Yeah, okay. Bye.

Josh: Bye.

Josh was sure that this new job would turn everything around for him.

***

- Mickey, Maggie, and Alice were shocked and horrified by Hope’s announcement.

Mickey: I don’t understand what is happening. This is like a cruel joke.

Hope: It’s true unfortunately.

Maggie: Bo, why didn’t you tell us what was happening with her?

Bo: (looking down) She asked me not to.

Hope: I didn’t want to worry you.

Maggie: We’re family. Of course we’re worried.

Alice: Hope, tell us what’s wrong.

Hope: Well about seven months ago – when I was pregnant with Ciara – I found a lump in my breast when I was doing a self-exam. I thought maybe it was just pregnancy related. But after I delivered my little doodlebug I felt it again. Then I started to feel so weak and tired all the time. I convinced myself that having a baby in the house again was wearing me out. But Bo insisted that I see a doctor. Just a short time ago, I found out that not only did I have breast cancer – but that the cancer had spread throughout my body … I could have possibly been treated sooner but I wouldn’t have anyway because it would have hurt my baby while I was pregnant. The doctors – we checked with several – said that I had three months to live but my condition is deteriorating even faster than expected.

Maggie gasped. Alice and Mickey looked at each other helplessly.

Maggie: Hope, are you sure that there isn’t some mistake?

Hope: I’m sure.

Mickey: Oh lord, please don’t let this be true.

Hope looked at her grandmother. Alice’s head was down.

Hope: Gran, are you okay?

Alice: (looking at Hope with tear filled eyes) Hope, I’ll be alright but I’m having an argument with God inside my head. I keep saying: “she’s too young; she has two kids who will be motherless; she truly is a wonderful person who we all love; it’s not fair.” I still have more to say; I’m not done with him yet.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Alice shakily raised herself from the chair and hugged Hope as tight as she could.
Alice: I love you, Hope. Grandmothers are supposed to die before the young ones do. It should be me, not you (she kisses Hope on the cheek).

Maggie: (drying her eyes) Is there anything we can do?

Hope: Just take good care of Bo and my children please.

Maggie: Of course.

Bo: Could you also call Jack and Jennifer for us and give them the news?

Maggie: That’s the least I can do (she kisses Hope). Our poor girl, we love you more than words can say. With Melissa and Sarah so far away, I’ve grown to think of you as a surrogate daughter.

Hope: And I’ve thought of you as another mother.

Maggie, Mickey, and Alice depart, wiping away tears as they walk to the elevator. Inside the room, Bo holds Hope as she breaks down in tears.

***

- Carrie: (blushing) I’m not stalking you, Lucas. I didn’t even know you were here.

Lucas: Whatever (he walks into the bedroom and shuts the door).

Carrie (to Billie): What is he doing here?

Billie: He didn’t say much; just that Sami and him weren’t getting along. I wonder why (stares at Carrie pointedly).

Carrie: (blushing again) I am so sorry about what happened. I wish I could take it all back … Billie, you were always so nice to me; I don’t want to lose your friendship because of my stupidity.

Billie: (ignoring her plea) Where does my other brother Austin fit in this merry-go-round of a love triangle?

Carrie: Honestly, Billie, I don’t know. He’s in Paris right now and we haven’t talked in over 2 weeks. It seems to me that he wants to end our “marriage”. We just weren’t getting along?

Billie: Your marriage is already ruined. You are still married to Lucas, remember?

Carrie: I remember. Lucas and Sami might not be able to forgive me but what about you?

Billie: You don’t have to apologize to me. It wasn’t fair of me to judge you. I ruined Hope and Bo’s wedding once and I had no right to throw stones at you.

Carrie: So can we be friends again?

Billie: (pausing and then smiling) Yes but don’t try anything like this ever again.

Carrie: I won’t.

They hug as Chelsea walks out of her bedroom and goes to the refrigerator.

Chelsea: We don’t have milk. How am I supposed to eat Apple Jacks without milk? (stares accusingly at her mother)

Billie: Come with me to the store then.

Chelsea: Do I have to?

Billie (picking up her purse) Yes now get moving. You can tell me where you got that black eye from on the way there.

Carrie goes to follow them out but Lucas calls out to her from the doorway of the second bedroom. He is fully dressed now.

Lucas: Carrie, we need to talk.

Carrie: Okay …

Billie gives Lucas a questioning look and then she and Chelsea leave.

Carrie: You wanted to talk to me?

Lucas: Yes. Close the door so Sami doesn’t see us and get the wrong idea.

Carrie obliges by shutting the door.

Lucas: When can we go down to city hall and get this thing taken care of?

Carrie: Today if you want. I’m free.

Lucas: I have an important meeting at Titan this afternoon so we’ll have to do it later. How late does it stay open?

Carrie: Five-thirty p.m., I think.

Lucas: Okay come to Titan at four and we’ll drive over to city hall.

Carrie: Do you think that’s a good idea?

Lucas: What?

Carrie: Riding together? What if Sami finds out?

Lucas: She won’t find out.

Carrie: Okay … (she heads for the door)

Lucas: Carrie, when this thing is done with I suggest you go back to Switzerland. Sami is out for blood. She tried to hurt John …

Carrie: I know.

Lucas: Marlena told you?

Carrie: Yes.

Lucas: That should be a fair enough warning that you need to go.

Carrie: I told you yesterday – I’m not going.

Lucas: Why? What is left for you here?

Carrie: You …

***

- Kimberly puts down the phone. She is in shock. Louella stops bouncing Claire on her knee and stares at Kimberly.

Louella: What’s wrong? You look so pale.

Kimberly tells Louella about her conversation with Roman.

Louella: That is awful. Your nephew is going to be so heartbroken.

Kimberly: I k-know. I’ll let him s-sleep for now. He is so e-exhaus-ted. When he wakes up I’ll s-sit him down and tell him the s-sad truth about his mother …

Chapter Text

Episode 12

Billie and Chelsea’s Apartment

“I’m – I’m the reason you’re staying in town?” Lucas asked in surprise.

“Yes, Lucas, you’re the reason I want to be here.”

“Carrie, are you saying –?” He shifted from foot to foot. “Wait. No. I’m – I’m in love with Sami.”

“I know,” Carrie said sadly. She sat down on the sofa, feeling her knees were about to give out on her. This was harder than she had thought it would be. “But it wasn’t such a long time ago that you said you were in love with me. And there’s a big part of me that is still in love with you.”

Lucas sighed and walked over to her, sitting beside her on the sofa, though not too close. “Carrie, I did love you. I still do actually - but not in the way I love Sami. And you don’t love me that way either. You love Austin. I’m just – well, some kind of rebound, like I always have been.”

Carrie started to protest but he interrupted her. “Hold on. Let me explain, okay? I am guessing because things weren’t working out with Austin, you thought of you and I in better times and romanticized everything but, Carrie, we weren’t perfect together, not even close.”

“I love Austin, I do; but we aren’t working at all. And when I got Mickey’s letter, I just thought it was a sign, you know? I didn’t want to destroy your wedding to Sami. At least I didn’t plan it that way but if I’m honest, I didn’t want you to marry her either. I want us – you and me - to stay married, Lucas. I don’t want to hurt Sami but can’t we have a chance – don’t we deserve one?” She reached for his hand and for a second, he allowed her to touch him before he gently pulled away.

“We had our chance, Carrie. And every time you chose Austin. There’s no reason for me to think at some point you won’t do that again. I’m not going to take that chance especially when I have Sami back. I know the truth now – Sami and I belong together. Even when I’m angry as heck at her, I also can’t stand the thought of her being out of my life for good. That’s how you feel about Austin; I know you do.”

“Lucas …” Carrie’s eyes filled with tears. “I feel so stupid.”

“Don’t okay? There’s no reason to. It’s an honest –“

“Mistake?” Carrie said. “I made a huge mistake coming here, didn’t I? But I truly felt like I had nowhere else to go.”

“You could go back overseas and fight for Austin. I know he will get over this – whatever this is - in time. Unless –“

“Unless what?”

“Unless you don’t want to make things work with Austin… Maybe you’re not… Carrie, are you not in love with Austin anymore?”

XoXoXo

Streets of Salem

“So,” Billie said as she navigated the car down the street. “About that bruise…”

Chelsea crossed her arms. “I don’t really want to talk about it.”

“Chels, you know I’m going to keep asking until you tell me what happened.”

Chelsea sighed. She did know that. Billie was nothing if not tenacious where her daughter was concerned. “It was Abby’s doing,” Chelsea said. “That bitch sucker-punched me.”

“Abby did that?” Billie whistled. “I wouldn’t have guessed that sweet girl-“

Chelsea held up a hand to stop Billie. “Sweet girl? Please. You make it sound like she’s some kind of saint when the truth is, she’s no better than anyone else. She just pretends to be.” Chelsea sneered. “Our friendship is over.”

“No, Chelsea, it can’t be. You two have been best friends for years. Abby was the main constant in your life when I thought you were dead.” Billie swallowed hard. It never got easier talking about Chelsea’s so-called “death”. She had grieved for nearly seventeen years, believing her sweet baby girl was dead. She was cheated out of raising Chelsea and knowing her from infancy, when all the while she was living just down the street. If she ever got a hold of those damn Dimeras …

Chelsea sniffed. “I don’t care. Abby is a user. She only clung to me because she wanted to be somebody. Well, now I’m done with her and we’ll see how far she gets without me backing her pathetic ass.”

“Hey, watch your mouth. And anyway, I know you don’t mean any of that,” Billie said. “At least I hope not. Abby adores you.”

“No she doesn’t. If she did, would she have gone after me like she did? She’s a jealous brat. She knows Max-“

Now Billie was holding up her hand. “I should have guessed. Anytime you’re this flared up, a boy is involved.”

Chelsea glared at her mom. “That’s so not true, but Max is mine. Abby wants him but she can’t have him. I won’t let her.”

“You and Max have been over for months, Chelsea. Last I heard, you were into that LonelySplicer guy from the internet anyway.”

Chelsea looked out the windshield as she scuffed her feet against the carpeting. “I guess that’s a pipedream. I am no closer to finding him.”

“Well there are lots of fish in the sea.”

“Oh really?” Chelsea snapped. “Is that why you’re alone and single? Not to mention, still hung up on my Dad when he won’t give you the time of day?”

Billie’s hands tensed on the steering wheel. “That’s not fair.”

“Well its true, isn’t it? You’re alone because you won’t be with anyone else that isn’t named Bo Brady.”

“I’m not-“

“Think about it, Mom. If there are soooo many fish in the sea, why don’t you go find someone and stop hanging onto Dad because it’s never going to happen with you two again?!”

Billie felt her face burn with indignation. Not because she was necessarily angry at what Chelsea had said, but because it was the truth.

Billie glanced at Chelsea as they turned into the parking lot of the corner grocery store. “Alright. Let’s make a deal.”

Chelsea eyed her warily. “What kind of deal?”

“I’ll look for other fish in the sea, and be open to dating, if you don’t hang all your hopes on Max.”

“Mom-“

“Okay, or at least try to make peace with Abby. Please. I hate to see a lifelong friendship go to pot over a boy, even a very handsome one.” Billie parked the car and held her hand out to Chelsea. “Do we have a deal?”

Chelsea nodded, shaking Billie’s hand. “Yeah, okay,” she grumbled. “Now can we get some breakfast? I’m starving! Carrie is such a witch for throwing us out of our own place so she can cozy up to Uncle Lucas.”

“She didn’t exactly throw us out, Chelsea. She and Lucas just needed to talk away from prying eyes.”

“Whatever. I don’t like Carrie at all. You know who she reminds me of with that ‘I’m-better-than-you’, holier-than-thou shtick?”

“I can only imagine.”

“Abby.”

“Did we not just agree that you would try to make amends with her?”

“Doesn’t mean I can’t think or say bad things about Abby until then.”

Billie just sighed in exasperation.

XoXoXo

Max’s Autobody Shop

Abby took a deep breath before walking into the garage. She didn’t think she could stand it if Max didn’t forgive her for her regrettable behavior the night before. She should have never taken off after Chelsea that way but she was jealous. She could admit she was jealous, if only to herself. Josh was practically her boyfriend but Max was the one she’d been enamored of for such a long time now. She didn’t want to hurt anyone but how much longer could she deny her true feelings?

She spotted Max sliding out from underneath a Lexus. Thanks to him, she knew the names of cars now. Some of them anyway.

He rolled his eyes when he spotted her and she sighed. “Don’t kick me out. Not until you’ve heard what I have to say. Please,” she added.

Max jumped to his feet and grabbed a damp towel. He wiped off his hands as he looked at her expectantly. “Well…?”

Abby clutched her purse to her chest. “I’m sorry. That’s really what I wanted to say. I’m sorry for how I behaved. Chelsea just made me so mad.”

Max sighed. “Abs, it’s okay. I just don’t understand why you and Chelsea are at each other’s throats right now. You two have been friends for such a long time and if you haven’t given up on Chelsea before, I don’t know why you would now.”

Abby nibbled her plump bottom lip for a moment. “Abby?” Max prompted. “What’s going on?”

“It’s you, Max,” Abby finally said in a soft voice. “Chelsea has you and –“

“She doesn’t have me. We broke up.”

“But she’s always going to be a part of you. And I hate it, I just hate it,” Abby cried. To her horror, tears filled her eyes but she couldn’t stop now. “I’ve been the good friend and patient sidekick while Chelsea got all the guys and had all the fun. I never second-guessed anything. I let her walk all over me except when it comes to you, I can’t anymore, Max. Because – because I love you. I’m in love with you.”

Max looked genuinely surprised. He might have suspected she had a little crush on him but this seemed like so much more. And it was. Abby truly loved him. “Say something,” Abby pleaded. She then shook her head. “Never mind. Don’t. I am so embarrassed.”

She started to turn around and walk out. Tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.

“Abby, wait!” Max called. “Don’t go.”

XoXoXo

In California

Louella stood in the kitchen, fixing Kimberly and Claire a snack. Kimberly was holding Claire, smoothing back the thick dark blonde curls atop her head. Claire was nibbling on her fist. “Tink s-she’s hunggree for s-sure,” Kimberly said.

“I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying,” Louella said with a smile. She looked at her employer and the little girl on her lap. “You two make a nice picture. Sure makes me wish your own kids would come around here more often.”

“Me t-too,” Kimberly agreed. “I tink they just h-have a ha-rrd t-time deelin’ with my ill-nus.”

“Maybe but they do love you. I know that much,” Louella said. She finished putting Goldfish crackers, cheese and sliced apples on a tray and brought them over to Kimberly and Claire. Claire immediately closed a chubby fist around a piece of provolone cheese and made a pleased “mmmmmm” sound upon tasting it. Kimberly and Louella laughed. It was so nice having a little one about the place again.

“What will happen to her if-“ Louella started but Kimberly quickly shook her head.

“Her pear-rints ar-are not going any p-place,” Kimberly said. “I-I will pro-protect them with my lye-fuh, with my last dye-ing b-breath.” She pulled a face. “Can’t buh-leave Hope…” Her voice trailed off for a second. “She’s young, Lou, she has ka-ids and s-should have a fu-uture.”

“Same goes for you,” Louella said. “You haven’t given up, have you?” Kimberly shook her head. “Well miracles happen, Kimberly, and maybe your sister-in-law will get one.”

Just then they heard someone clear their throat. Louella spotted Shawn standing in the entryway to the kitchen. “Hi, Shawn, did you have a nice sleep?” Louella asked.

Shawn rubbed his eyes. “I did. Am I interrupting anything?”

“No. Your aunt and I were just giving the little one a snack.”

Shawn walked into the kitchen and smiled at Claire. “Hey, honey,” he greeted her.

Claire looked up, face sticky with apple juice. Shawn smiled as she held out her arms to him. He picked her up and pressed her to his chest tightly. Kimberly could see how much he loved the toddler; how much she loved him. It would be a crime for anyone to try to separate them. A parent and child bond should be sacred. That reminded her, she had to tell him the truth.

Claire handed her daddy a Goldfish cracker and he laughed making “nom nom nom” noises. Claire patted his cheek. Shawn kissed her forehead.

“What are you hungry for, Shawn?” Louella asked. “I’ll fix it while you and Kimberly talk.”

Shawn looked from Louella to Kimberly. “This sounds serious. Does Philip-“

“No,” Kimberly answered.

“Oh okay,” Shawn said, still looking anxious. He looked at Louella. “Do you have cereal? That sounds okay.”

“Are you sure that’s all you want?”

“I’m sure, Louella, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Son,” Louella replied. She then got to work getting the cereal ready and pouring milk into it. She also started to squeeze some fresh orange juice into a glass.

Shawn carried Claire back over to Kimberly, tucking her against his slim hip. “Aunt Kim, is something wrong? Are you getting sicker?”

Kimberly shook her head. “No. I’m fine at the moe-ment. Its act-uelly… your M-mom.”

“What about my Mom?” Shawn asked, his face growing pale and his forehead wrinkling in worry. “Is she – is she hurt?”

“Tawn, your m-mom f-found s-something out re-recently.”

“What?”

“She’s got ca-cancer, Tawn. The docs – they s-say she does not have a lot of ty-me.”

“What?” Shawn asked. “No. There’s got to be some kind of mistake. She – I just saw her a couple months ago. She was fine, just fine.”

“That’s – that’s not the cu-case now, Tawn. You’re Mom – Tawn, she just d-doesn’t have much ty-me left,” Kimberly reiterated.

Kimberly looked into Shawn’s eyes. They were full of tears. She reached out and slowly clasped his shoulder. “I’m so s-sorry. There’s just never a good way to hear you’re p-parent is ill. Buh-leave me, I know.”

“Poor Mom,” Shawn said. “I have to go see her. If she’s really dying –“

“Tawn, w-what about Phil-up?”

“I don’t care about that jerk,” Shawn said tersely. “I care about saying goodbye to my mom.” He hugged his daughter to him. She was looking around nervously, seeming to sense the tension and emotion in the room. He looked at Kimberly. “I have to go. I just hope Belle understands.”

“Understands what?” Belle asked, appearing in the doorway.

XoXoXo

Corner grocery store

Billie and Chelsea were navigating the aisles of the store when they heard a voice calling Chelsea’s name. "Chelsea,” Nick Fallon said, walking up to them. “What are you doing here?”

Chelsea rolled her eyes, looking at Billie ask if to say “is he for real?” Billie gave Chelsea a pointed look. “Shopping, what else,” Chelsea said, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice.

“Me too,” Nick said, smacking the basket he held against his thigh. “Alice asked me to pick up some ingredients for her world-famous donuts.”

“Oooh. She gave you the recipe?” Billie asked. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of that recipe since well, forever.” She craned her neck to get a look at the list in Nick’s hand.

Nick held it tightly to his chest. “It’s a secret recipe,” he said pointedly. He noticed the feral look in Billie’s eyes.

“I love those donuts,” Billie said. She looked at Chelsea. “Get him!”

Chelsea laughed and then seeing that her mother was serious, she turned to face Nick. He squeaked. “I can’t – ladies, I can’t. Alice put her trust in me and –“ He started running backwards as the women advanced. Laughter rang out around the store as Chelsea and Billie charged after him.

Nick hustled around the store with them at his heels. He turned to look back and that’s when he tripped over a stack of boxes – boxes naturally full of jars of pickles.

A loud CRASH! rang out throughout the store. Chelsea smirked and then hurried away, feigning innocence. “I don’t know him,” she said.

Billie shook her head as Chelsea walked by. She held out a hand to Nick. “I’m sorry, Nick, I shouldn’t have done that. It’s just those donuts are amazing. I’d be rich if I could get a hold of that recipe.”

Nick stuck the recipe in his back pocket and allowed Billie to help him up. Several store employees came running and were noticeably perturbed by the mess. “I’ll pay for it,” Nick said.

“No I will,” Billie said. “I really shouldn’t have goaded Chelsea into doing that.”

Nick smiled widely. “No its okay, Ms. Reed. She actually talked to me for once without saying something mean. She laughed with me – okay, at me, but it was awesome!”

Billie smiled, seeing the stars in Nick’s eyes. “You like my daughter, don’t you?”

“Oh yes. A lot. I mean, don’t tell her, but yes!”

“Your secret’s safe with me,” Billie promised.

XoXoXo

Abby’s heart thudded wildly in her chest as she heard Max call after her, telling her not to go. She slowly turned around to find him standing just three feet away. Her breath caught in her throat. He was so beautiful; so damn beautiful. It almost hurt to look at him…

“Yes?” She asked. Tears stained her cheeks but there was a hopeful smile playing on her lips.

“I don’t want you to go away upset,” Max said. “The truth is I appreciate what you just told me.”

“Ap-appreciate?” Abby stammered. “Oh …” Her heart broke.

“Abby, I care about you,” Max said. “A lot but-“

“I get it,” Abby said quietly. “Please don’t say anymore. Please.” She was beyond humiliated. She clutched her bag to her chest and then practically sprinted from the garage.

Max sighed, knowing he didn’t dare try to stop her.

XoXoXo

“Do I love Austin?” Carrie asked in a soft voice. “Of course I love him. I already said that.”

“You didn’t say you were ‘in’ love with him, Carrie, and there’s a big difference.”

“I – I guess… I don’t know anymore,” Carrie admitted. “We haven’t been able to recapture what we shared when I was a teenager.”

“Well that was well over a decade ago, Carrie. Things change. Love develops and matures.”

Carrie smiled for a moment, clasping her hands. “Since when are you Dr. Phil?”

“You mean Dr. Feel-good?” Lucas teased.

Carrie laughed softly for a moment and then sobered. “It’s not easy like it used to be … I mean, Austin and I … things are just so hard sometimes.”

“I know. It’s not always easy for Sami and me either – okay, not at all – but we fight to make it work and that’s what you have to do with Austin, if that’s what you want.”

“What if I don’t honestly know what I want?”

“Then take your time to figure it out. I guess you don’t have to be banished from town after all but Sami – I don’t know if I can change her mind about you.”

“Yeah, she thinks I’m Satan herself.” Carrie shook her head. “I can’t believe I detonated our relationship – again. I feel bad about that. But I missed you – your friendship especially.”

“Well that, Carrie, you will always have, I promise.” He slowly leaned over and tucked his arm around her shoulders, giving her a quick hug. “I was mad at you, Carrie, but I will always care about you – as a friend,” he added.

“Thanks, Lucas,” she said. “That means a lot.” She then hugged him back just as the door flew open.

Sami stood in the doorway. “Carrie, take your filthy hands off my fiancé!” she screeched.

XoXoXo

“What’s going on?” Belle pressed. She looked at Shawn and then Kimberly before turning back to Shawn. “Talk to me, Shawn.”

Shawn looked at Kimberly. She nodded towards the patio. Shawn thanked her and beckoned Belle to follow after him. They walked out onto the deck. The ocean was below them. Waves crashed against the shore and Shawn sighed as he looked at it. This was supposed to be their new home, their beginning and instead, everything was falling apart.

He felt Belle’s hand on his arm. He passed her Claire and she tucked the baby to her ample chest. “Shawn, come on. You’re scaring me. What’s wrong?”

“It’s my mom.”

“What about Hope?”

“She’s got cancer. It sounds like its real bad too.”

“Oh no. Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Shawn, I’m so sorry,” Belle said. She tucked her free arm around him and pulled him into a hug.

“Don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for her, for my new baby sister, my dad… Everyone who loves my mom…”

“What are you going to do?” Belle asked. “Because if I know you – and I think I do – you won’t sit around here waiting while she’s dying.”

“You do know me,” Shawn said. “I’ve got to go back to Salem.”

“It’s dangerous. If Philip or Victor-“

“I know. If they find me, they’ll have me thrown in prison for a long time. But it’s a chance I have to take, Belle. I have to say ‘goodbye’ to my Mom. I’ll be as careful as I can be.”

“How will you do that? There have been so many times we were almost caught. Our luck has to run out eventually.”

“I know.”

Belle shook her head. “Well, never mind. I am coming with you. Claire and I –“

“No,” Shawn said. “You have to stay here. It’s the only way you and Claire will be safe.”

Tears formed in Belle’s crystalline eyes and Shawn felt so badly for her. He hated to leave her in a lurch like this – worrying every moment that she didn’t hear from him- but this was the way it had to be.

“Say you understand, Belle,” Shawn said.

“I do because… I’d do the same if it was my mom. Its bad enough I had to leave my dad when he was in a coma... I miss our old life in Salem, Shawn. I miss our family and our friends. I hate Philip for what he’s done.”

“Me too, Belle, me too.” He hugged Belle tightly, feeling he needed to hold her or he would not survive this. She looked back at him and traced the contours of his lips with her fingers.

“When do you leave?”

“First thing in the morning.”

“Okay … Uh, Shawn… About tonight –“ She paused for a moment. “Well do you think we can spend some time alone before you go? Please.”

Shawn nodded. “Of course.” He knew what Belle meant. After years of not being able to hold or kiss each other, of having every attempt to do so, thwarted, they were going to be together again in every way two people could be.

Chapter Text

Episode 13

Grocery store parking lot

Night was beginning to fall as Billie and Chelsea – well, mostly Billie – loaded the last item from their grocery store visit into Billie’s trunk.

They climbed into the car and Billie started the engine, pulling out of the parking lot. Soon they were cruising down the street. Chelsea flipped on the radio, blaring heavy rock music so loud that Billie’s head throbbed.

Billie flipped off the stereo when she couldn’t take it anymore. “Hey!” Chelsea said. "Why did you do that?”

“Because my ears were starting to bleed.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Can’t we just talk?”

“That’s all we ever do and it gets kind of old, you know.”

“Well then…”

Chelsea shook her head, hearing the hurt in her mother’s voice. “Okay, what do you want to talk about?”

Billie brightened noticeably. “How about…Nick?”

“Nick, who?”

“Nick Fallon, Chels! The one we chased through the market just a bit ago. Ring a bell?"

“Oh him. Ugh, why would we want to talk about him of all people?”

“He just… I don’t know, he seems like a nice guy. The kind of guy who’d make a good boyfriend.”

“Ewww. No! But if you want to go after a man half your age, don’t let me stop you.”

“Chelsea! I meant he would make a nice boyfriend for you.”

“No thanks. He’s a big geek in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Sure, but a sweet big geek.”

“Stop it - gross. Besides, I have a man in my life.”

“Oh right, Max.”

“Yes!”

“Chelsea, he’s still very angry with you. It might be best to keep your distance for awhile. Besides, there are other fish in the sea, isn’t that what you’re always telling me?”

“Nick Fallon isn’t a fish though; he’s a worm.” Chelsea rolled her eyes. “Boy, do I need a drink.”

“Chelsea! No more alcohol. I really want you to stop drinking. You’re not even twenty-one yet.”

“Close enough... But I actually meant a latte this time. Java is just up the next street. Could you drop me off there?”

“Wait, and just who is going to lug all these heavy groceries into the house?”

Chelsea shrugged. “Lucas?”

“That’s assuming he’s still at the apartment.”

“Oh I would bet anything he’s still there and that Carrie is wrapped around him like a second skin.”

“Chelsea…”

“So the Java Café?”

“Fine, your wish is my command, oh daughter of mine.”

XoXoXo

Billie and Chelsea’s Apartment

Carrie looked up in surprise as Sami came stomping through the door, practically breathing fire out of her nostrils. “Carrie, I said get your damn hands off Lucas!”

Carrie scooted away from Lucas and stood up slowly. “Sami, it’s not what you think.”

“I don’t care, Carrie! The bottom line is that your hands were all over my fiancé.”

“They weren’t exactly all over,” Lucas said. “We were just saying ‘goodbye’.”

“Lucas, I thought you said ‘goodbye’ to Carrie when she cheated on you with your brother and then ran off to marry him. Oh right, they’re not married though are they? She’s married to you which apparently makes you her property.”

“Sami, I have never thought of Lucas as my property,” Carrie said.

“Really? Is that why you flew thousands of miles to bust up our wedding when you damn well could have picked up a phone.”

“Sami, it’s not the kind of news you send a text or an email about.”

“Shut up, Carrie! You just wanted an excuse to come here and stake your claim. Well newsflash, sister dear, Lucas is mine. You had your chance with him and you blew it big time so have a little dignity and just walk away.”

Lucas shook his head. “Calm down, Sami. Carrie has agreed to a divorce.”

“Oh really? How noble of her. A divorce takes what – six months, at least – to be finalized. She probably thinks that six months is enough time to weasel her way back into your bed. It’s not happening, Carrie, it’s not!” Sami glared at Carrie. “You are such a freaking desperate slut.”

“Sami, stop it,” Lucas said.

“Sami, I know you’re upset and you have every right to be but is name-calling really necessary?” Carrie asked.

“You aren’t necessary, Carrie. Your presence here is unwanted, unnecessary and unwarranted so just go away!”

“Sami, come on,” Carrie gingerly reached for Sami’s arm. Sami quickly tugged free and back-handed Carrie.

“Don’t touch me! Don’t you dare,” Sami screeched.

“Sami!” Carrie cried out, grabbing her flaming red cheek.

“Sami,” Lucas said. “What the hell has gotten into you?”

“I am just really, really tired of people thinking they can push me around. I am not taking it anymore.”

“I’m sorry, Sami, I really am,” Carrie said.

Sami ignored her this time. “Lucas, can we please just go? You’ve punished me long enough; come home.”

Lucas nodded. “Yeah, I’ll come home if you promise to dial back your temper. This isn’t good for our baby.”

Sami glared at Carrie, then turned back to Lucas. “Fine, I’ll behave, okay?” Though secretly she was thinking that this was far from over.

XoXoXo

Java Café

Chelsea walked into the café, heading straight for the counter. Abby’s boyfriend – or whatever he was to her – named Josh, was standing at the cash register. He looked up as she approached, offering her a wave, “Hey, Chelsea.”

“Hey,” Chelsea said. “Can I get a tall mocha latte? Hold the foam.”

“Sure, coming right up,” Josh said and he offered her a smile as he went to work.

As he fixed the drink, Chelsea looked around the place. “It’s kind of dead in here tonight.”

“You just missed the evening rush. It was super busy, everyone demanding drinks at once and my co-worker went home sick so it was kind of a disaster.”

“Uh huh…”

“God willing, this is my last week here.”

Why is he talking to me? Chelsea wondered. She just nodded.

“I put in an application at Titan Industries,” Josh said conversationally. “I hope it scores some points with Abby. I really like her… Do you know - I mean, has she said anything to you about me?”

Chelsea shrugged. “We’re not exactly on speaking terms right now.”

“Why?” Josh asked. “I mean, is it about Max again?”

“What’s with the twenty questions tonight, Josh? Less chatter, more latte-making.”

Josh blushed but nodded. “Alright.” He finished preparing her drink and set it in front of her. “It’s on the house.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yep.”

“Well in that case, can I have a muffin too?” Chelsea asked.

Josh looked at her strangely and then nodded. “Yeah, sure.” He grabbed tongs and went to get her a muffin. He plopped it on the plate and handed it to her.

“Thanks,” Chelsea said.

“You’re welcome.” He started to say something else but Chelsea was already walking away.

She took a seat at a table in the middle of the room, facing the door to see if anyone interesting came in. Unfortunately for her, the next person that came in the door was none other than her ex-best friend, Abby Deveraux.

XoXoXo

In California

Kimberly had retired to her room for the night and Louella was helping her get ready for bed. That left Shawn and Belle sitting in the spacious living room together watching Claire play on the floor with building blocks.

Shawn couldn’t take his eyes off of Claire, as if he were afraid that if he blinked, she would be gone, that Philip would have taken her back and Shawn would be nothing to her again but a stranger.

Belle grabbed his hand and interlaced their fingers. He looked at her now and offered her a tired smile. “I’m sorry. I am sitting here zoning out and you’ve got to be bored watching me do it.”

“I never get bored watching you, or being with you,” Belle said. “But your thoughts seem pretty heavy tonight. Are you worried about leaving Claire and me here?”

“No, I know my aunt and Louella will take excellent care of you. I just keep thinking about Claire. How much I love her, how much time I missed with her because of lies and my own stupidity.”

“Shawn, you’re not stupid. Not even close.”

“I should have known she was mine. I should have. I should have known you and I – and our love – created that little girl.”

Belle smiled. “Don’t blame yourself, Shawn. I was just as misled as you were. As much as I secretly wanted you to be her daddy, I just didn’t think it was possible. I was afraid to hope.”

“I know what you mean.”

“I’m scared, Shawn.”

“What about?”

“That you’re going to go back to Salem and somehow Philip will see you and you’ll be thrown into prison for kidnapping and –“ She broke off, tears in her eyes. “Tell me I’m stupid to worry.”

“You’re not. I am worried about the same things but I am coming home to you and our daughter, one way or another. Make no mistake about that. Philip won’t win. He’s not taking your or our daughter away from me – ever again.”

“Oh, Shawn,” Belle murmured. She was overwhelmed by Shawn’s words and she couldn’t resist leaning in and kissing him on the lips. He turned to face her and their knees knocked as they kissed in earnest. Heat and passion was building quickly between them and it took all of Belle’s willpower to pull back.

“Claire…” Belle said hoarsely, looking into Shawn’s gorgeous eyes which were hooded and smoky.

“Yes, Claire,” Shawn said. “Once we tuck her in … You’re all mine.”

Belle nodded, shivering with anticipation.

XoXoXo

Java Café

Chelsea rolled her eyes as Abby spotted her. The two friends stared each other down for a moment and then Abby started over to her. Chelsea was prepared to do battle with the betrayer known as Abby but Abby surprised her by shuffling over to her and dropping into the seat across from Chelsea. She splayed her hands and announced, “I don’t want to fight anymore.”

Chelsea studied Abby, trying to gauge if she was serious. Abby seemed to be but Chelsea still wanted to punch her lights out all over again. But Chelsea remembered her promise to Billie that she would try to make amends with Abby. Chelsea wanted to ignore her mother completely but Billie was like the devil on her shoulder, shouting at her to do her bidding.

Chelsea sighed and took a sip of her latte. When she set it down she looked at Abby, who was staring back at her expectantly. “I don’t want to fight anymore either.”

“Oh, Chels, thank god. I really thought about this and I realized, no guy is worth destroying years of friendship for. Not even Max. You’re the best friend I ever had and I don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t lose me,” Chelsea said. “After all, you’re the Thelma to my Louise.”

“Without the gruesome death stuff right?”

“Right.”

“Good.” Abby smiled. “We should promise each other, right here and right now, that we’ll never, ever fight over a guy again. In fact, I think we should both shake hands and agree that neither of us gets Max, that we’ll stop trying to win him for ourselves.”

“You mean, just give up on Max?”

“Yes,” Abby replied. “Neither of us should pursue him anymore for the sake of our friendship. I have Josh who’s a really neat guy and you have-“

“Yeah who do I have, Abby?”

“Well… Ooh, I know. Lonely Splicer! I can help you find him.”

Chelsea smiled a bit. “You’d do that for me?”

“What are friends for?”

“True.”

“This will be great,” Abby enthused. “We can double date.”

“Assuming Lonely Splicer aka Shane Patten isn’t a total dweeb.”

Abby laughed. “I bet he’s super hot and charming, just like his letters imply.”

“I hope so.”

“So should we shake on this - ending our crazy feud over Max? Promise each other that we won’t go after him again?”

“Abby, we don’t need to shake hands on it. You have my word that I will leave Max alone for good.”

“Okay,” Abby said. “I promise too. Now I’m going to go say ‘hi’ to Josh.” Abby headed over to Josh who greeted her with a big, cheesy smile.

Chelsea shook her head, whispering to herself, “Sorry, Abby, you’ve got someone already and Lonely Splicer is a pipedream. I won’t end up alone. There’s no way I’m staying away from Max. No way in hell.”

XoxoXo

Billie and Chelsea’s Apartment

Billie arrived back at her place just in time to see Lucas and Sami getting ready to leave. Carrie had a clear handprint on her cheek and she looked close to tears.

“Did I miss something?” Billie asked, shifting the two grocery bags in her arms.

Carrie looked away, Sami frowned and Lucas sighed. “I think – god willing – it’s resolved now.”

“Good,” Billie said. She set the groceries on the coffee table. “Lucas, do you think while you’re here that you can help your big sister out by lugging some groceries? Chelsea left me in a lurch and there’s a bunch of things to bring in.”

“Yeah, I’d be happy to help.” Lucas looked at Sami. “Are you going to stay in here?”

“With Carrie? No,” Sami said. “I’ll wait in the car.”

Carrie shook her head as Sami walked out of the apartment.

Sami reached her car and popped the locks, climbing into the passenger seat. She looked back towards the apartment building. Carrie was bundling into a coat, waving goodbye to Lucas and Billie, and heading off in the opposite direction.

Sami growled and pulled her cell phone from her bag. She wasn’t taking any chances with Carrie. She had to nip this situation in the bud – pronto.

She was dismayed to get a voice mail recording but left a message anyway. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

“This is Sami. My dear sister Carrie is back in Salem and sniffing around Lucas. If you ever loved her at all, you will get your ass back here now and make things right.”

Sami closed the phone and tossed it back in her bag. He had better come through for her – or else things were going to get even uglier.

XoXoXo

In California

“She’s out like a light,” Belle said with a smile as she and Shawn left the nursery and headed down the hall to their shared room.

“Yep. She was already snoring zzzz’s the second her little head hit the pillow.”

“Hmm, she takes after someone I know.”

“Are you implying that I snore?”

“What do you think?” Belle teased. She opened the door to their room and flipped on the lights. She looked at Shawn, nibbling on her bottom lip. “We’re here.”

“So we are,” Shawn said. He moved into the room and taking Belle’s hand, pulled her inside with him. He shut the door and turned to her. “You look beautiful when you’re nervous.”

“Then I must be very pretty tonight.”

“That nervous?”

“Yes. It’s been so long since we … I just want to make you happy.”

“You already do, insanely happy actually. I was wrong to let you go. I should have fought harder for you. I’m sorry.”

“I’m the one who is sorry. I pushed you away for the dumbest of reasons and then I married Philip on the rebound which was pretty much the worst mistake of my life.”

“Belle…”

“Do you forgive me?”

“Of course. What about you – do you forgive me?”

“Without a doubt.”

Shawn sighed with relief. He sunk down onto the edge of the mattress and beckoned her over. “Come here. I want to look at you.”

Belle nodded and walked over to him, standing between his legs. He tugged her down to give her a long, slow kiss on the lips. Then he was reaching for the buttons on her shirt, slowly prying them open one by one.

When Belle was down to her bra, Shawn smiled, his voice hushed in awe. “You’re so beautiful.”

“Shawn…”

“It’s true.” He kissed the curve of her taut stomach, moving his lips upwards. “I want to make love to you, Belle.”

“I want that too, Shawn, so much.”

As Shawn and Belle undress, the sultry music of Peabo Bryson and Robert Flack’s "Tonight I Celebrate My Love” can be heard. Everything moves in slow motion as they sink onto the bed together, kissing and exploring each other, relearning everything about each other that they thought they had forgotten.

While Shawn had to leave in the morning, tonight belonged to him and Belle.