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Thread: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

  1. #1

    Post Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    I wrote this story four years ago, when Evian were just starting to share their oh-so-hot kisses. I was inspired by the news that Sheridan would be thrown into a pit, and fans wondering if she would be alone in that pit. I wrote the first chapter just before we got to see her wake up in the pit onscreen. Hence, this pit is a little different, and larger. I wanted a pit storyline where we could get some of the sorely needed bonding on the show, between Sheridan and her brother, and between Julian and Eve.

    I decided this was a great place to repost, on the new Coffeerooms fanfic board. I am going to try to post a chapter of it each day, and hopefully by the time it's over I will have begun to write a sequel for it that has been on my mind for years.
    Last edited by Courtaney; 5.1.07 at 9:15 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 1 - "Pit of Despair"

    Darkness enveloped Sheridan as she struggled to her feet. Beating her hands against the side of the pit, she cried desperately for help. "Luis! Help! Please, God, somebody help me!"
    As always, her calls went unanswered - unnoticed. Sinking to the cold, dirt floor, she cried feverishly, the tears streaming down her face. "How could this be happening to me?" she thought. "Why would somebody do this to me?"

    How long had she been there? She tried to remember. Days, certainly, at least a week. It was so hard to keep track of time. A tiny beam of light streamed across the top of the pit at times. Sheridan knew it was day then. That's when she could see the outline of her prison - the uneven, hard dirt floor and the cold, endless walls. How high did they go up? It seemed like forever. When the light allowed her eyes to focus, Sheridan would spend those precious few hours trying to find a way out of the pit. She desperately tried to jump, reach, and claw her way to the top - but the sides were too high, and there was no place to put her feet that would allow her to climb.

    It was during the daytime that Sheridan was fed - her unknown captors would lower a basket filled with food and milk. At least she was fed well. They weren't leaving her here to starve! But if they didn't want to kill her, why was she here? What did they want with her?

    Sheridan's thoughts instinctively turned to her baby. "I don't care what they do to me," she thought, "just as long as they don't hurt you!" She rubbed her ever-growing stomach. The child inside had become very active - kicking harder than ever. She thought of Luis, "I wish you were here to feel him kick! I need you so much!" Then her thoughts turned to Antonio. What if the baby was really his? Oh, God, how did she get herself into this horrible mess???

    In the Crane library, Julian sipped his brandy on the couch as the music bellowed from the stereo speakers. "That voice," he thought, "that angelic voice." His mind wandered to the kiss he and Eve had shared outside the Lobster Shack - when they had reignited the passion that had been dormant for well over twenty years.

    Well, not dormant really - he had always felt it surging in him whenever he had looked at or thought of Eve. It was the first time he had acted on those feelings though - the first time the two of them had really connected in all these years. He closed his eyes, trying to relive the magic of that moment - the taste of her lips on his. His heart flickered as he remembered the sheer joy of the kiss, the first time he had been truly happy in over twenty years.

    His mind then turned to the next time he had seen her, when he had nervously asked her about the kiss. What had Eve told him? "We shouldn't have done that. We can't let it happen again. I'm married, and I love my husband." Even though it's what he knew she would say (he knew her so well), a piece of him had died when she said it. There was so little of him left now, he realized, so little of the real Julian, the Julian that had met and loved Eve. He was simply a shadow of his former self without her - a man destined to go through time wanting, and never getting, the love of his life. He was a man who would never satisfy his dreams.

    What was he going to do now? Go back to being the old Julian - the ruthless businessman who was really a spineless puppet of his father's, the drunken coward who liked to play kinky games with the sex-crazed Rebecca and women half his age? Could he really be that person again? Would he want to be? He had never felt more lost than he did right now. He wished there was someone he could unload his burden on, but there was no one.
    His thoughts turned to Timmy. Little Timmy had seen the good in him, had seen what only Eve had seen before. Timmy was his one true friend, and he was gone. The flicker of candlelight that was his dear little friend had burned out much too soon.

    Julian heard Timmy's voice in his head - such a sweet, happy voice. He smiled. Then he heard another voice, equally childlike and innocent - haunting him from long ago. Whose voice was that? There was something familiar about it. It couldn't be - Sheridan???

  3. #3

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 2 - "Memories"

    Julian's eyes flew open at the recognition of whose voice he had heard. It was the voice of his sister Sheridan, from long ago when she was a small child. She was giggling with the kind of innocence that only a child can possess. He remembered that he hadn't heard that sound coming from her since their mother died so many years ago.

    Sitting up, the Crane businessman shook his head, shrugging off the voice as mere folly. "What's in this brandy?" he asked himself, setting the drink down on the coffee table. Then he heard the haunting sound once more:

    "Julian!" the tiny voice chirped. "Bet you can't catch me!" Julian's mind flashed back to a time when Sheridan was no more than five years old. She was wearing a lovely white dress and had some kind of flowers in her hair, yellow flowers. Was it her birthday? No, it was Easter. He remembered she had a basket in her hand. The two of them had once played tag on Easter, he remembered, maybe the only time he had ever really played with his little sister.

    Julian smiled at the fond memory. Then he frowned. Was that the only good memory he had of his sister as a child? He searched his mind for more.

    There were plenty of sad ones: Sheridan, so small and vulnerable, sobbing at the loss of their mother. Then there was Sheridan at ten, hysterical over what had happened that awful night in the mansion - the night Martin Fitzgerald had "disappeared."

    Then there was - he clamped his eyes shut - the time weeks after that horrible incident, when their father had sent Sheridan away. How could he have let that happen? She was so young, and to be placed in an asylum, when there was nothing wrong with her mind - how incredibly terrible was that! "It's best for the family, Julian," he remembered his father saying.

    Their father - Julian winced thinking about Alistair. How ruthless could a man be, to do that to his own daughter? My God, he had even tried to - Julian snapped back to the present, opening his eyes. He didn't want to go there, didn't want to think about what had happened two years ago in Bermuda. He couldn't deal with his role in that fiasco. Not now, not when he had recovered a sliver of conscience.

    "Julian!!!" the cold voice bellowed from the speakerphone, startling the man who had been deep in thought. Looking up, Julian could not believe his ears. "Good Lord, Father," he said, not even wondering who had answered the phone. Had it rung? "Is my mind not even safe from you?"

    Sheridan opened her eyes, wishing that the events of the past week had been just a bad dream, a horrible nightmare like the one she had had on several occasions. As soon as her eyes were open, she knew this was no dream; it was real.

    The blackness of the pit enveloped her. She could barely focus her eyes. Standing up slowly, Sheridan stretched her aching legs. They were killing her. Her kidnappers had at least thrown down an old lawn cushion and a couple of blankets. She had slept on the tattered cushion, but was still in a lot of pain.

    She looked above her and noticed the faint beam of light. It was daytime, she realized, having no clue of the actual time. She was not wearing a watch, and even if she were, she wondered if it were light enough in the pit to be able to see the hands on a watch. Well, maybe a digital one.

    Sheridan's stomach growled. She ran her hands across her belly, trying to comfort the child inside. "It's OK, little one," she said. "We'll get out of here soon. Your daddy will save us."

    She thought of Luis, her hero, and smiled. How many times had he rescued her? Five, six? This time would be no different. Realizing she had referred to Luis as the baby's father, Sheridan sighed. Well, he was her baby's father. She was so sure of that now. She reluctantly began her daily routine of exercise - walking in circles around the edge of the pit, her mind staying focused on Luis.

    After fifty laps around her prison, Sheridan walked to the center of the pit. Her hunger was now overwhelming. "Please!" she called to the people above. "I'm pregnant. My baby needs something to eat!"

    A figure appeared at the top of the pit - the clown! Sheridan had seen this person every day. She was the one who sent food down to her. She had once seen two of them - two people wearing clown masks - and had heard them whispering overhead.

    "Well, Blondie," smirked the clown, "I guess your baby will have to be fed. Too bad it means giving you something to eat as well!"

    The hideous clown lowered the picnic basket with a rope. "You know the procedure, Blondie," she hissed, as Sheridan untied the rope and set the basket down. The clown then pulled the rope back up to the top. "Enjoy your meal!" she taunted. "Who knows how many more you will get?"

    Sheridan opened the basket and removed the food - a sandwich, apple, carrots, and a pint of milk. "At least they are feeding me all right," she thought. "They even gave me prenatal vitamins when I asked for them." Sheridan ate the food hurriedly, and then made her way to the cushion where she found the vitamin container beside it. Opening the vial, she removed a tablet and swallowed, the vitamin going down hard.

    Sheridan sank to the cushion in despair, her eyes filling with tears. Wearied from her time in the pit, she sobbed. Her hands rubbed her stomach. Somehow this always comforted her. She knew Luis would rescue her, knew it with all her heart. The only thing she worried about was if he would get there in time...

  4. #4

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 3 - "Love and Hate"

    "Julian, what is going on with you?!!" the harsh voice shouted from the speakerphone.

    Startled back to reality, Julian sighed uneasily. "Good afternoon to you too, Father."

    "You have work to do, but I see that you are busy doing what you do best - nothing! Turn that damn music off. It gets on my nerves."

    Reluctantly, Julian got up and turned off the stereo.

    "I would think you would trash that tape now that Eve Russell has turned you down," Alistair sneered.

    Julian turned toward the phone, a look of surprise on his face. "You know about that?"

    "Of course I do, Julian," Alistair smirked. "The former ghetto girl turned down a chance to be with a billionaire. Just how bad in bed are you, anyway?"

    "Shut up, Father," Julian protested. "Eve's not from the ghetto, and she didn't turn me down. She...she has a family that she loves and doesn't want to leave."

    "Well, be glad the so-called doctor did refuse your advances. I warned you what would happen if you took back up with her - I would completely disinherit you. You would be left with nothing."

    "Except my dignity."

    "Don't get me started on that, Julian. You have no dignity. Anyway, at least nobody else saw you sucking face outside of that dive a couple of weeks ago - nobody except your tramp of an ex-wife Ivy, your loser son Fox, and me."

    "I didn't know you had the whole town under surveillance," Julian said, blushing. "I should have known. Not to worry, Father. It's in Ivy's best interests not to talk, and I took care of Fox."

    "Yes, you handled your son well, Julian. I'm surprised. At least that's one thing you learned from me - how to make your wayward children mind you."

    "Speaking of children, Father," Julian said, "I want to talk about Sheridan."

    "Why would we talk about her? She's out of the picture now, Julian."

    "Father, you didn't have anything to do with...?"

    "Of course not!" Alistair blared. "But can I say I'm not disappointed she's gone? Hardly!"

    "She's pregnant!" Julian said. "Don't you have a heart at all?"

    "A heart? I thought you would get over that lovey-dovey nonsense when Eve Russell stiffed you!"

    "Yes, well, maybe my heart is here to stay, even if I don't have Eve," Julian sighed.

    "Get over it, Julian! Now, I have important business matters I want you to attend..."

    "Father!" Julian interrupted excitedly. "You could help find Sheridan. I just realized - your cameras. They had to see everything the night she disappeared."

    "That's nonsense, Julian. I have no cameras in the cottage. I got sick of seeing nothing but Lopez-Fitzgeralds running around."

    "Yes, but the grounds cameras - they had to have picked up something!"

    "So what? As I said before, she's out of our way now. That's good news for both you and me - not to mention Crane Industries."

    Julian shook his head sadly. How could a man not care whether his own daughter lived or died?

    Luis rubbed his fingers through his hair in frustration. He had been sitting at his police desk for over two hours, combing through his notes on Sheridan's disappearance. He kept coming up with nothing.

    "I don't get it. I'm missing something." His mind turned to Beth. Charity's premonition had implicated Beth in the disappearance, but he hadn't wanted to believe it. The entire cottage of Lopez-Fitzgeralds and friends had grilled Beth for hours, until she had finally broken down and told them that Sheridan had run away.

    According to Beth, Sheridan had said she couldn't take the stress anymore. She was worried about the health of her baby and had decided to leave town, to have her baby in peace. "She did it for the baby's sake, Luis," Beth had said. "You know a mother would do anything to protect her child."

    Sheridan had told Beth about it because she knew she would understand the stress she was under and would not try to stop her, Beth had revealed. She was afraid Gwen would have tried to talk her out of it.

    "I did try to talk to her," Beth had said, "but her mind was made up. So I helped her pack."

    "I was worried about your baby," Beth had insisted, looking at Luis. "I didn't want anything to happen to it."

    When Sheridan realized no one was outside of her cottage, she had left through the bedroom window, according to Beth. "I don't know how she left the estate," Beth had assured them. "In a car, taxi, bus - I don't know. Maybe she hitchhiked."

    Luis shook his head at that suggestion. He knew no matter how desperate Sheridan was, she would never hitchhike.

    The real blow had come when Gwen admitted that Sheridan had told her on more than one occasion that she had thought about leaving town. Luis had never expected to hear that. He couldn't believe she would just up and leave him.

    He set his notebook down on his desk. Did Sheridan really leave, just like that? Had she left him and Antonio because she couldn't take the pressure?

    "Maybe I put too much pressure on her," he thought, "constantly saying we needed to tell Antonio the truth. It would be too much for anyone, especially someone in her condition."

    Luis thought of Sheridan's sweet face. "I miss you, sweetheart," he whispered, tears forming in his eyes. "I just want you to come back."

    Shaking his head in disbelief, Luis stood up, clutching the police notebook in his hand. "I will find you, Sheridan," he vowed. "Whatever it takes, I will bring you back to me!"

  5. #5

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 4 - "The Squeeze"

    A tiny beam of light flickered across the top of the open pit. Sheridan lay motionless on the cushion in one corner of her subterranean prison. "It's daytime," she thought to herself. "How many days does that make that I have been in this awful place? Nine? Ten?"

    She had totally lost track of time. In actuality, Sheridan had been trapped in the makeshift dungeon for almost two weeks.

    Her only company had been the deranged woman in a clown costume who fed her from above. Sheridan had come to hate mealtime for this reason. She was always hungry, and knew that her unborn child needed nourishment, but she despised the sinister voice of her kidnapper. "She must be mad," Sheridan thought. "Only a madwoman would do something like this - throw a pregnant woman in this terrible pit."

    Tears welling in her eyes, Sheridan's mind turned to her baby - the tiny life inside of her. "What's going to become of you?" she wondered. "I've got to do all I can to protect you."

    Actually, Sheridan had spent the first few days trying to escape her dark prison. She soon learned her efforts were futile. There was no way out - at least by escape. The only way she was going to get out of here was if someone found her - or let her go.

    Sheridan knew Luis was doing all he could on his end to rescue her. That was a comfort to her. She turned her thoughts to what she could do to get out. That would involve talking her captors into letting her go.

    Although she had once seen two people in clown's masks leaning over the pit, only one of them - the large woman with the hideous laugh - ever interacted with her. And that was only to snicker at her and call her "Blondie."

    "This must be the woman who tried to kill me," Sheridan deduced. "But why would she keep me here in this pit for days? Why is she feeding me and giving me basic necessities, like blankets and vitamins?"

    Sheridan thought that just maybe this woman couldn't go through with her sinister plan to murder her - that she might actually have a heart after all.

    "Maybe I can talk to her and get her to let me go," she thought. "I've always heard if you try to let your kidnappers get to know you as a person, then you have a chance."

    Hearing footsteps overhead, Sheridan knew she was going to get her chance!
    "Well, well, Blondie," the voice sneered from above. "Guess you'll be wanting your din-din!"

    Looking up, Sheridan saw the large woman, her face hidden behind a clown mask, leaning over the edge of the pit.

    "Oh, hello," Sheridan said nervously. "Listen, I'm glad you're here. Yes, dinner would be nice. You know, I have really been feeling kind of lonely down here. I thought it might be nice to have someone to talk to. Like, maybe we could get to know each other, and I could tell you some things about myself, and listen to whatever you want to..."

    "What do you think this is - a dating service?!!" roared the woman, adding, "I don't dig blondes. You're barking up the wrong tree, missy!"

    Sheridan, dumbfounded, lowered her head in defeat. "That plan really worked well," she murmured sadly to herself.

    "Here you go, Mr. Crane," the chief security guard said. "All the videotapes the Crane security cameras took on the night Mrs. Lopez- Fitzgerald disappeared." He laid the box of videos down on the office counter of the main security building on the Crane estate.

    "You know," he continued, "Officer Lopez-Fitzgerald already viewed these tapes - the day after your sister turned up missing. He didn't find anything. We've all heard she just ran off anyhow. Of course, I guess you still want to find her - her being pregnant and all."

    "These aren't the tapes I want," Julian insisted.

    "But they're the only tapes we've got, Mr. Crane," the security guard declared, "the only tapes our cameras took on that night."

    "Matt," Julian said, softening his tone. "Your name is Matt, right? Well, Matt, I know that you have other videos from that night, and it is those videos I am requesting. Kindly produce them."

    "I...I don't know what you're talking about, sir," Matt stammered. "There...there are no other tapes."

    "Matt, let's get something straight," said Julian, looking directly into the eyes of his chief security guard. "I am well aware of the cameras my father had installed on this estate. I know that they are far more extensive - dare I say intrusive? - than the regular Crane security cameras. It is those videos that I am requesting now."

    "But sir," Matt protested, "even if that's true and such tapes exist, I can't give them to you. Your father would not allow that."

    "Matt," Julian said, his voice suddenly turning quite cold, "let me explain something to you. Either I walk out of here with those videotapes in my hands right now, or you don't ever walk again. Am I making myself clear?"

    "Y-yes, Mr. Crane," the security guard stammered. "I think I can get those tapes for you now - if you'll just wait a second."

    Julian smiled to himself. Sometimes you just have to know how to deal with people...

  6. #6

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    *Note - Charlie is not really Alistair in this fic.

    Chapter 5 - "Evil Women"

    Charlie slammed the basement door shut behind her. "I hate blondes!" she roared.

    Mrs. Wallace moved her walker toward the crazed woman. "I think Sheridan is a nice lady," she protested. "Sheridan is good."

    "Sheridan is a blonde," Charlie stressed. "All blondes deserve to suffer."

    Mrs. Wallace fingered her graying hair. She was glad she was not a blonde or she would have been in the pit right alongside Sheridan. "Listen, Charlie," Mrs. Wallace tried to reason with her, "Sheridan is pregnant. She needs to get out of the pit so she can have her baby in peace. She needs to go back to Luis. Can't you do that? Can't you just let her go?"

    Charlie groaned. "I'll never let Blondie go!" she insisted. "Sheridan will never get out of that pit! That baby is mine and Beth's. We're going to raise it together."

    "And you don't think anyone will get suspicious - Sheridan disappearing and you two showing up with a baby?"

    "We've got all of that covered, see," Charlie answered. "Everyone thinks Beth's pregnant, so she'll just have to fake giving birth and..."

    "How does someone fake giving birth?" Mrs. Wallace asked. "What's she going to do when the doctor delivers the baby? Say, 'Would you like some tea to go along with that sugar?' "

    "We haven't actually worked that part out," said Charlie. "I guess Beth'll have to have the baby here. Yeah, that's it - she'll have a home birth. I can be the midwife!"

    "But don't you think people will be suspicious. I mean, Luis will want Beth to see a doctor, won't he? And what are you two going to do when that happens?"

    "We'll work that out," Charlie replied. "My Bethie is one smart cookie. She'll know what to do."

    Mrs. Wallace just shook her head.

    Frowning, Charlie asked, "Where is Bethie? Where has she been all day?"

    "Where do you think?" Mrs. Wallace answered. "She's with Luis."

    Jealous at the mention of Luis's name, Charlie started fuming. "She's been spending too much time with Luis lately - way too much time. We'll just see about this!"

    With that, she stormed out of the house, leaving Mrs. Wallace to smile to herself. "That woman's a loose cannon. Maybe she'll explode, and Luis will find out the truth about Sheridan. Yeah, and then he'll come and rescue her. Oh, Bethie, you will pay for this! You'll pay!"

    Charlie parked her old sedan down the road from the gates to the Crane estate. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, she made her way over the fence. The psychopathic nurse headed for the cottage near the main house. She crept close to the cottage and pressed her face to the window. Inside, she could see that Beth and Luis were talking.

    "Luis, Sheridan wanted to go away," Beth insisted. "She wanted to protect her baby. You can understand that, can't you? I mean, if my baby's health was in danger, I would do anything I could for it."

    "I know, Beth," Luis agreed. "Sheridan would do anything for our baby. It's just, I can't see her leaving - not without telling me."

    "But, Luis, I think she left because of you."

    "What are you talking about, Beth? Sheridan loves me. She wanted more than anything for us to be together. If it weren't for Antonio..."

    "Luis, Sheridan does love you; I agree. But it's you who were putting all that pressure on her to get her to tell Antonio the truth about the two of you. It's you who were causing all that stress on the baby."

    Luis sadly shook his head. "I didn't want to put her under any kind of stress - or the baby. I just wanted to make everything OK. Telling Antonio the truth would have been tough, but then it would have been all out in the open. The stress would have been gone."

    "Do you really believe that, Luis?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "Have you ever thought that that's when Sheridan's troubles might have really begun?"

    "No, everything would be out in the open then. Sheridan and I would be free to be together."

    "Luis, I hate to say this, but maybe Sheridan wasn't sure who she wanted to be with. Have you ever thought of that? If you told Antonio the truth, Sheridan would have to face that head on. She would have to choose who she wanted - you or Antonio."

    "That's not a choice, Beth. Sheridan said she wanted to be with me."

    "I know that's what she said to you, Luis. That's certainly what you wanted to hear. But what would she have said to Antonio in the same situation?"

    Luis raised his hand in protest. "No, she doesn't want to be with Antonio. She only wants to be with me."

    "Are you sure?" Beth continued relentlessly. "I mean, didn't Sheridan ever tell you that she cared about Antonio - that she loved him?"

    "She did say that she loved my brother," Luis replied, "but not the way she loves me. Sheridan is in love with me, Beth - totally and completely. We're soul mates."

    "That's what she told you, Luis," Beth said. "But what did she tell Antonio when you weren't around?"

    Luis turned away from Beth, a pained expression on his face.

    "Good," Beth thought, "from the look on his face I can tell the seed of doubt is there - ever so small. I'll just keep watering that seed. Soon you will be mine, Luis. You'll forget all about Sheridan Crane."

  7. #7

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 6 - "The Clue"

    Julian sat on the edge of his bed, the VCR remote control in his hand. He had been fast-forwarding and watching the videotapes from Alistair's secret cameras for what seemed like hours. So far the tapes had yielded nothing out of the ordinary on the night his sister Sheridan had disappeared.

    He had brought the tapes to his bedroom so that just perhaps his father would not know what he was up to. "That would be a first," Julian muttered to himself, "if I can keep anything from dear old Dad."

    He had remembered one time that Alistair had said he had removed the cameras in Julian's bedroom because he was sick of all the sex games Julian and Rebecca played there. "Maybe I will be able to watch the tape without Alistair's interference," he said hopefully.

    Julian didn't really know why he was so concerned about Sheridan. He had never before gone out of his way to help her, in fact on several occasions he had even tried to hurt her. He just knew that this time it was different - he was different. He had found his soul again when he had made that trip to Oz with little Timmy, and he was a changed man.

    Julian popped in the last of the dozen tapes that showed the happenings on the grounds of the Crane estate the night Sheridan had disappeared. So far he had found nothing. "Maybe they're right and she just ran off," he said, "but I doubt it." He knew his sister wouldn't leave Luis like that, especially when they were about to have a baby. Passionate love was something he and his sister had in common, and he knew she couldn't just walk away from Luis - no more than he could walk away from Eve now if she had wanted to be with him. He would rather die first.

    Thinking of Eve, Julian smiled sadly. She had not wanted to be with him, even after their recent kiss. She had chosen her family over him, and he understood that. Her family was a big part of her identity, the identity she had built for herself after he had nearly destroyed her. Without her family, Eve would be completely vulnerable to him again, completely open to any possible pain he might cause. She couldn't take any more pain, he knew. Once in a lifetime was all anyone could take what he had put her through.
    "I wouldn't hurt her ever again. I would die before that happened," he vowed to himself. Still, he understood that she couldn't take that chance, and he respected her for it. Had he been in her shoes, he didn't think he would ever have given his former lover the time of day again - and certainly wouldn't have allowed the person back into his heart.

    Julian closed his eyes momentarily and relived the passionate kiss they had recently shared once more in his head. At least he had this memory to cling too, to file away with all those memories from long ago.

    Suddenly, a hand was placed on his shoulder. Startled, Julian turned around, half expecting Eve to be standing there. It was only Rebecca!

    "Ooh, Pookey, what are you watching?" she asked in a seductive tone. "Can I watch with you?"

    "It's nothing, Rebecca," Julian said in a rather irritated voice. "You know you should really announce yourself when you come into somebody's room. I could have had a heart attack."

    "Oh, Pookey, if you never had a heart attack from all the things we've done in this room, I don't think you'd have one just from me sneaking up on you."

    "Yes, well, Rebecca, I'm not getting any younger," he said, not sure why he felt embarrassed at what she said.

    "Is that why my Pookey has taken to watching videos instead of the real thing? Is that why you haven't joined me in my bedroom in awhile? Is my Pookey sick? Is something wrong with Little Julian again?"

    "These aren't those kinds of videos," Julian protested. "It's just work. See? Nobody's even on the screen."

    "But where is the cast of characters?" Rebecca asked, not believing what he had told her. "Pookey, this tape seems kind of bland. If I were you and I wanted to get in the mood, I think I would pick a different one."

    She walked over to the box of videos on the floor sitting by the TV. Kneeling down, she picked up one. "Oh, Pookey, this sounds like a good one - RF-69. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to watch that one with you."

    "Becks, why don't you go shopping and pick yourself out something really nice? Here," he handed her his credit card. "Now see that you don't max it out today, huh?"

    Rebecca grabbed the credit card. "Sure, Pookey, anything you say. I think I'll visit Gwen too. She is doing much better. I called the hospital this morning."

    "Good," Julian said. "I hope everything turns out all right for her and the baby."

    Rebecca left, and Julian turned his attention back to the TV. There on the screen he saw the figure of a woman outside of Sheridan's cottage. He got up and moved closer to the TV. The woman was dragging something across the ground. What was it, a large sack of something? Looking closer, he couldn't believe his eyes. It was Sheridan!

  8. #8

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter7 - "The Pursuit"

    Charlie continued gazing into Sheridan's cottage, watching what looked like a quarrel between Luis and Beth. "Good," she thought, "at least my Bethie's not trying to comfort him or anything."

    Inside, Luis was having trouble getting his point across to Beth. "Listen, Beth, I can understand why you think Sheridan might not know who she wants to be with - my brother or me. I mean, if I was looking at the situation from the outside, I might get that impression too. After all, she is married to the guy."

    "And maybe pregnant with his child," Beth said.

    "No, no, the baby is mine," Luis insisted.

    "You don't know that," countered Beth. "It could be Antonio's, Luis."

    "The baby's not Antonio's, OK," Luis exclaimed. "I know it deep down in my heart. You wouldn't understand."

    "Why wouldn't I understand, Luis? I am pregnant too, you know. I can feel the love you and I have for this child we created deep down in my heart too," she said, patting her sugar-filled stomach.

    "I do love our child, Beth," Luis said, "and I don't want to hurt you. But you know the love that Sheridan and I feel is special, don't you? What we have is a once in a lifetime kind of love."

    Beth had trouble concealing her pain; her lower lip began to quiver.

    Outside, Charlie grew angry. "Don't let that man upset you, Bethie," she said to herself. "Men aren't worth it. I'll never treat you that way." She smiled, fantasizing about her and Beth taking a leisurely stroll in the park, the baby in tow.

    Julian looked at the image on the screen intently. There before his eyes, he could see the large, reddish-haired woman dragging a motionless body outside of Sheridan's cottage on the night his sister disappeared.

    "Good work, Father," he said to himself. "You finally came through for your daughter, even if you don't realize it. Those hideous cameras of yours actually captured Sheridan's kidnapping!"

    He studied the woman on the screen carefully, memorizing her features. "A rather homely looking brute, isn't she?"

    "Well, I need to get this tape to the police so they can try to identify this woman," he said. "At least now we know for certain Sheridan didn't run away. She was kidnapped!"

    Julian ejected the tape from the VCR and walked over to pick up his jacket off the chair by the window. Looking outside, he gazed toward Sheridan's cottage. He couldn't believe what he saw: the same woman who had kidnapped Sheridan, peering inside the cottage window! Wait, she was leaving!

    Julian hurriedly dropped the tape, grabbed his jacket (with his car keys in the pocket) and took off for the staircase. Running down the steps as fast as he could, he opened the front door and bolted outside.

    "Now where did she go?" he wondered. He caught a glimpse of the woman heading toward the fence.

    "Damn, where are the security guards when you need them?" Julian asked. He headed toward his car, which had been brought around to the front of the mansion for the business meeting that he was supposed to attend two hours ago.

    Hopping in as fast as he could, Julian started up the car and headed toward the front gate. "I need to get through this gate before she gets away!" he cried.

    The gate opened automatically, and Julian sped through it, hoping he was off the estate in time.

    He could see a car just pulling away from the side of the road. "It's her!" he realized.

    Julian knew he should have gotten Luis before he left, but there wasn't time. "I've got my cell phone," he said. "I'll call him when I get to wherever she's headed."

    He tried to stay far enough behind the woman's car so that he did not bring any suspicion to himself, but the old sedan was flying. It was all Julian could do to keep up with her.

    Eve Russell put the medical file she was looking at down on her desk. Her mind wasn't on her work at the moment, and she knew she needed to take a break. Rubbing her head, she thought of all she had been through the past few weeks. What a terrible time for her family!

    First, Whitney had announced she was moving to LA with Chad. Then she had said they were getting married. TC had disowned her and had blamed the whole mess on Eve's lack of being there because of her job. If that wasn't enough, Simone had declared her hatred for her sister, and had called Whitney a slut.
    There were other problems as well - Ivy had seen her and Julian kissing, and Fox was close to the truth about her past. She hoped Julian could handle his son. "The last thing I need is somebody else blackmailing me," she thought.

    Eve knew she needed someone to talk to, but there was no one she could turn to. Grace was away with David, something else that upset her. And Julian...
    She paused, thinking about him. They had become so close lately, so close it scared her. He was the only one she could really confide in, the only one she trusted to reveal all her problems to. She could tell him anything, and he wouldn't judge her. She had called him her rock - heck, he was her boulder. She never needed him like she did now.

    They had crossed a line with their kiss - Eve knew that. That was why she had told Julian in plain, simple terms that there was no future for them. She loved TC and her family. It could be no other way. Why did her heart feel so heavy though?

    She had not seen or spoken to Julian in two weeks. She missed him, she realized. She missed his company and the way he always cheered her up.

    Eve knew that the two of them would have to eventually see each other - he was looking for their son, and she wanted to be informed every step of the way. She fingered the phone on her desk. "Maybe I should call him - to see how the search is going."

    She picked up the phone and dialed his cell phone number, taking a deep breath as she waited for an answer. "Hmm, he's not picking up," she said, her heart sinking with disappointment.

    Julian heard the cell phone ringing but ignored it. He couldn't take his attention away from the car ahead of him. She was pulling away from him - how fast could an old clunker go? His brand new sports car could barely keep up with it. "Maniac driver," he said. "Of course she's a maniac - she kidnapped Sheridan."

    The car turned a corner into a lower middle-class neighborhood. It came to an abrupt halt in front of a little house on the middle of the block. Julian parked his car several houses down. He waited for the woman to enter the home. When she was inside, he crept toward the house and peered inside the window. Not seeing anything, Julian pondered what he should do. "I should call Luis," he realized. Faintly, he heard a muffled scream coming from inside the house. "Sheridan!" he cried.

    Julian tried the front door. It opened easily. He entered the home carefully, looking around for anyone. He saw no one. As Julian walked toward the closed door in the back of the house, he heard a voice coming from the other side - the voice of an elderly woman. "There's something familiar about that voice," he thought. The door began to swing open. Panicking, Julian opened up a different door nearby and stepped inside, closing the door carefully behind him.

    His eyes adjusted to the dim light. He could see that he was at the top of the basement stairs. He cautiously climbed down the steps. He could make out what looked like a large hole in the center of the basement. Quietly making his way to the hole, Julian leaned over and peered inside. He could just make out the outline of someone sitting down in the pit - Sheridan!

    Overwhelmed at finding his sister, Julian did not hear the sound of footsteps coming up behind him. Nor did he see the baseball bat that was raised in the air above his head. "Crack!" was the sound that the bat made when it struck him in the back. He tumbled head first into the pit. The sound of his body hitting the ground caused a loud thud. He lay motionless on the floor of the deep, dark pit.

    Charlie smiled to herself. "That was close! Good job with your swing, ole Charlie girl. You've still got your touch. You hit a home run with that one!"


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