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Thread: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, more)

  1. #25
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    Oct 2000
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 24



    "But Mommy." Matthew whined. "I want to go to the party."

    "Matthew.I already told you. We can't go," Theresa explained patiently. Tugging his shirt over his dark head.

    "But why?" Matthew crossed his arms and glared at her.

    "Matthew!" Theresa said in exasperation. "We just can't go. Okay?" she softened her tone.

    "Why can't I stay with you and Daddy? I don't want to go with Nana. I want to stay here," Matthew grumbled as he watched his mother zip up his duffel bag.

    Theresa knelt in front of him with a smile and reached out to cup his cheek. "Your Daddy and I.we need time alone. Grown-up time."

    "I hate grown-up time," Matthew muttered under his breath. A look of total dejection adorning his little brown face.

    "You'll have a fantastic time with Nana, Matthew. I know you will," Theresa told him. Climbing to her feet and adjusting the strap of the duffel on her shoulder.

    "Mijo," Pilar smiled warmly. Ruffling his dark hair. "Are you ready?"

    Theresa nudged her reluctant son out the front door and down the steps to her mother's old car. "I'm sorry, Mama," she apologized. "Sometimes he just gets like this, and nothing I do helps."

    Pilar laughed softly. "I know that feeling well, Theresita. Matthew," she said. Opening the back door for her little charge. "Spending the night with me isn't THAT bad. Is it?" she asked.

    The frown left Matthew's face. He didn't want to disappoint his abuela. "No," he said softly. "It's not THAT bad."

    Theresa giggled at the exaggerated expression on her son's face. "Okay, you. I'll see you tomorrow. Promise to be good?"

    Matthew's big brown eyes stared back at her solemnly. "Promise," he vowed.

    Theresa kissed his forehead with a sigh. And rose to her feet to embrace her mother. "Thank you, Mama," she whispered.

    Pilar cupped her daughter's cheek in her palm. "Things will work out, Theresita. They will. Just have faith in your and Ethan's love."

    "Nana," Matthew called from the back seat. "I can't.I can't get this." He threw the safety belt buckle down in frustration.

    "Bye, Mija," Pilar told her. Helping Matthew with his seatbelt before climbing in the front seat and starting up the car.

    "Bye, Mama," Theresa waved. Long after the little car had disappeared from sight.

    Wolf whimpered at her side.

    The lights in the living room shone brightly. Illuminating the dog's face in the darkness.

    She could see Ethan. Pacing back and forth. Looking haggard and worried.

    She gave Wolf a quick scratch between the ears and straightened up.

    Ready or not.It was time to face her problems. Every last one of them. She needed to know the whole truth before she and Ethan could have any kind of future.

    "Please don't let it be more than I can handle," she prayed.


    @@@@@





    Lauren slumped further down in her seat. Chancing another glance at her mother beside her.

    Tears slipped down Ivy's ivory cheeks.

    The lovers on-screen were in the midst of a heartrending goodbye.

    Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all, she thought. "Mom?" she hissed in the darkness. "Mom? Are you okay?"

    Ivy smiled through her tears. "Lauren.Darling. I'm fine."

    "Are you sure?" Lauren questioned. "We can leave at any time." Great move, Lauren. Bring your mother to a truly depressing film to chase her own worries away.

    "Lauren."

    "Sorry," Lauren apologized.

    "Could you keep it down back there," a voice in front of her said harshly.

    Lauren's cheeks blazed with fire. Something about that voice."I'm going to get some more candy. Want anything?"

    Ivy shook her head.

    Lauren held the tub of popcorn over her head as she stood up. "Are you sure?"

    "Keep it down. Or I'm going to tell the manager."

    It would be SO easy to dump this tub of popcorn over Mr. SmartAss's head and claim it was an accident, Lauren thought silently. She instantly felt horrible for thinking such mean thoughts. "Sorry," she mumbled. Stepping over the purse in the floor in front of her.

    The owner of the purse made NO effort to move it.

    Lauren sighed and shot a disgusted look her way. "A little courtesy would be nice."

    "Yeah.it would."

    SmartAss again.

    "Noah."

    Lauren's blond head jerked around. Noah? As in Noah Bennett?

    "Lauren.watch."

    Uh oh, she thought as the strap of the purse tangled around one of her high heels, and she pitched forward.

    Popcorn AND soda flying everywhere.

    "Out," Ivy cringed as the tub of popcorn emptied onto some poor unsuspecting victim's head in front of them, and the soda dripped from the ends of his hair. "Lauren.are you alright?" she asked.

    "I think so," Lauren smiled self-consciously. Scrambling out of the gentleman down the aisle's lap. "I am so sorry, Sir."

    "It's not him you should be worried about," Ivy hissed.

    "YOU! I should have known."

    Lauren's hazel eyes blinked at the anger so clearly visible in the blue eyes of none other than.Noah Bennett. "What is THAT supposed to mean?"


    @@@@@




    "Dad? Are you sure you don't want me to stay?" Jessica asked. Staring up at her father with concerned blue eyes.

    Sam smiled down at her. And at Simone and Reese in the doorway. "I'm sure, Jess."

    "But Mom."

    "Mom is fine," he assured her. "I won't let anything happen to her. I promise."

    "Don't worry about us, Jessica. I'm sure your father and I can think of something to occupy our time," Grace said slyly.

    Reese blushed in embarrassment.

    Simone stared at a family portrait on the wall in front of her with wide eyes.

    "If you hear from Kay, give her Simone's cell number," Jessica told Sam as she slid her purse on her shoulder.

    Grace smiled oddly. Her blue eyes taking on a frightening intensity. "We will," she promised. Snaking her arms around Sam's waist.

    "Bye, Mom. Dad."

    The door slammed behind the trio, and Reese's car cranked up seconds later.

    Grace turned around in Sam's arms with a wicked smile. "I thought they'd never leave. We're finally alone."

    Sam closed his eyes with a groan as her hands slid underneath the cotton of his tee-shirt and massaged the skin there.

    "Open your eyes, Sam," Grace ordered as she yanked the shirt over his head.

    And a scream of horror froze in his throat.



    @@@@@



    She moaned softly. Blinking at the harshness of the light.

    "Kay.Kay.it's Eve. Can you hear me?"

    "Dr. Russell?" Kay asked out of habit. Confused. "What are you doing here? Where am I?" she asked. Panic rising within her as she realized she was in a strange place. A foreign bed. Wearing next to nothing.

    "You passed out on me back at the wharf," a voice answered.

    "Chad," she whispered. Her breath growing short as the memories came rushing back.

    The blackness of the water. The horrific knowledge she was drowning. The evil voice that made her heart cold in her chest.

    "You're in Chad's apartment," Eve told her gently as she checked her pulse. "From what Chad told me.you're lucky to be alive. What happened Kay?"

    Kay raked her fingers through her black hair and looked up at her with haunted dark eyes. "It was her."

    "Who Kay?" Chad asked curiously. "Some woman? What did she do?"

    "Kay. Calm down," Eve instructed. "Your heart is racing."

    "Not some woman, Chad. Her. My mother."

    Eve glanced at Chad. Pity in her gaze.

    "I'm not crazy. You have to believe me, Dr. Russell," Kay pleaded. "It was her."

    "Kay.you're not making any sense here," Chad sighed.

    "She did it. She made me fall. She tried to drown me," Kay insisted.

    "Kay," Eve said sadly. "Why? Why would you mother want to hurt you? She loves you."

    Kay shook her head. Black hair spilling over her shoulders. "Because she's not my mother. Something's wrong with her, Dr. Russell. She's.she's evil."

    Eve nodded at Chad.

    Chad moved to the edge of the bed. Gripping Kay by the shoulders.

    "Have you been taking your medication, Kay?"

    Kay's dark eyes grew wild. "My med.Dr. Russell! I swear. I'm not crazy!" she cried as Eve withdrew a syringe from her black bag. "Chad! You believe me, don't you?"

    Chad's dark eyes couldn't meet hers.

    Kay felt the sharp prick of the needle as it plunged into her vein.

    Eve swept her hair from her forehead tenderly.

    Chad lowered her back against the pillows.

    Her eyes felt heavy. Her limbs leaden. Her vision swam.

    "You did the right thing, Chad."

    Eve's words sounded far away.

    I'm not sick anymore, she wanted to shout. Wanted to scream at the top of her lungs. That was a long time ago. I'm better now. I'm not crazy. "Please," she begged. "Believe me."

    "Shh, Kay. Close your eyes," Eve urged.

    Chad watched her eyes flutter shut. And he couldn't help but wonder.could she be telling the truth?


    @@@@@





    Sheridan's hand trembled as she took the flute of champagne from her father's hand and set it down on the table beside her.

    Luis's eyes watched his every move with suspicion.

    Alistair appraised them both with cold blue eyes.

    Julian struggled to keep his feelings masked.

    "To Father's release," Adam toasted.

    Amanda's blue eyes flashed, and she slowly tipped her glass over. Watching in fascination as it dripped to the marble floor.

    "You bi."

    Alistair's lay a calming hand on his grandson's arm. "Adam.your sister's reservations are perfectly understandable."

    Amanda stared deep into her father's eyes. "Why did you do it, Father? Why?" She wanted to believe.that he wasn't a monster after all.

    Julian ducked his head in shame. "I can offer you NO excuses."

    Sheridan's blue eyes glittered with angry tears at his answer.

    Alistair and Adam exchanged a secret smile of satisfaction.

    "Let's not dwell on the past," Adam said diplomatically. "It's time to move into the future. As a family. Luis.Aunt Sheridan.Amanda.Father.let us go into the Solarium. I'm sure you'll find the atmosphere.less formal."

    Sheridan took comfort in the warmth of Luis's hand on the small of her back, and Amanda's gentle smile.

    "Sheridan.we don't have to do this. We can leave right now. I won't think any less of you. You're already the bravest person I know," Luis said softly. His dark eyes searching hers.

    "I know, Luis," she answered. Surveying Julian's blank expression a few feet away. "But this is something I have to do," she smiled shakily.

    Adam opened the doors to the Solarium with a flourish.

    Alistair watched Sheridan's reaction expectantly.

    Amanda's face paled.

    "Oh my god," Sheridan whispered shakily as her eyes traveled the length of the room.

    And Luis felt his heart lodge in his throat.

    Pictures. Dozens and dozens of pictures.

    Andrew.at play. Chocolate covered cheeks and lips.

    Andrew.curled up asleep. His tiny brown thumb in his mouth. A fistful of sun-kissed hair clutched in his free hand. His beloved teddy bear on the pillow beside him.

    Andrew.smiling his sunny smile up at his sister. Danielle's blue eyes shining with so much joy.

    Andrew.building a castle in the sand. Luis helping him every step of the way.

    Andrew.in the bathtub. Amidst a sea of bubbles. His brown eyes alight with mischief. Just before he died.

    Sheridan ran blindly. In escape.

    Luis and Amanda close behind her.

    Adam's brown eyes showed no remorse. "Do you think Aunt Sheridan liked her present, Grandfather?"

    Alistair's laughter sent shivers down Julian's spine.

    Sick bastards. The both of them. And they were both going down. He'd make sure of it.



    @@@@@





    "Tessa! Tessa, are you almost finished in there?" Danielle asked.

    The door creaked as she pushed it open.

    Tessa's long yellow hair hung loosely down her back.

    "Tessa," Danielle smiled sweetly. "Do you want me to help you with your hair?" she asked. Picking up the pink cup at her side.

    Tessa looked at her with pale blue eyes.

    "Close your eyes," Danielle instructed. Turning on the tap and filling the cup with warm water.

    Tessa's slender body jerked as the water dripped down her face. Plastering her yellow hair to her skull.

    "Andrew..."

    Childish laughter echoed in her ears.

    "Andrew.Mama doesn't want bubbles in her hair."

    "You have such pretty hair, Tessa. So soft. And silky," Danielle sighed as she gently emptied more water from the cup and reached to pick up the bottle of shampoo.

    The bubbles tickled his nose, and he giggled. He loved bubbles. Almost as much as his toys. The yellow rubber duck squeaked as it made its way through the bubbles.

    Water dripped into his brown eyes, and he whimpered. "Oh Baby.Mama's sorry," she said. Kissing his forehead.

    He smiled. Mama's kisses made everything all better.

    "It reminds me of Mom's hair," Danielle babbled. "But hers is shorter. Curlier. Yours is so straight. Like mine," she said. Twirling a strand of her own dark hair around her index finger.

    "Mama.play."

    She smiled at him. Unable to resist him anything. "Just a little longer," she laughed. Giving him Eskimo kisses.

    "Mommy! Mommy!"

    "Danielle! What's wrong, Sweetie?"

    "My baby brother had hair like Mom's. Yours," Danielle sighed. Lathering the sweet, strawberry-scented shampoo in Tessa's pale locks. Her hands stilled as she remembered.

    "Mommy! Mommy!" she sobbed.

    "Danielle!" she cried. "Andrew.Baby. Stay right here. Okay? Mama'll be right back," she promised. Placing the rubber duck in his brown hands. "She promises. Danielle! Mommy's coming!"

    Her footsteps clattered down the stairs.

    Blood gushed from Danielle's mouth. "Mommy.Mommy," she screamed as she picked her up in her arms.

    "I fell down the stairs once," she whispered. Raising a hand to her chin. "I didn't have any front teeth until I was in the second grade."

    Tessa's blue eyes stared straight ahead.

    "Danielle.what happened, Sweetie?"

    "I.F-F-F-ell," Danielle sobbed. Great, hitching sobs.

    She screamed in pain when her mother touched a gentle hand to her lip.

    "Oh Baby," she sighed. Carrying her over to the kitchen counter and picking up the phone. "Mommy's going to call Dr. Eve."

    A busy signal beeped in her ears, and she lay the phone down.

    A throbbing pain in Tessa's head made her cry out.

    The rubber duck rolled to a stop on the floor.

    A thud from upstairs made her heart hammer in her chest.

    "Oh my god! Andrew! Andrew!"

    "Mommy?"

    The stairs seemed endless.

    The silence oppressive as she raced down the hall to the open bathroom.

    "Tessa. Tessa. You're scaring me. You're scaring me," Danielle shook her younger cousin by the shoulders. "Aunt Charity! Aunt Charity!"

    "Mommy?" Danielle's frightened little voice called as she crept up behind her mommy. "Mommy?"

    "Get out Danielle! Get out of here!" her mommy screamed.

    Danielle looked past her mommy.

    The bubbles in the tub were pink.

    "Danielle! Please get out!" she screamed. A sound that wasn't human.

    "Tessa! Tessa!" Charity grabbed her daughter up in the pink towel Danielle held out.

    Tears seeped from Tessa's sightless blue eyes.

    "Mommy?" Danielle whispered.

    Her baby brother's lips were blue.

    Her mommy's hands were covered in blood. Hers? Andrew's? She couldn't tell.

    She watched the gentle rise and fall of Andrew's chest as her mommy blew into his mouth. "Mommy? What's wrong with Andrew? Mommy?" she screamed frantically. "Mommy, what's wrong?"

    "Danielle," her mommy sobbed. "Call Daddy. Call Daddy."

    "Danielle," Charity cried. "Call 9-1-1. Something's wrong. Something's wrong with Tessa."

  2. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 25












    "And just what do you mean by that? What have I ever personally done to you? You know what? I'm not going to give you the time of day," Lauren fumed. Smoothing her hair into place with a glare. "Mother.if you don't mind, I."

    "I think that would be best," Ivy anticipated her request.

    Lauren blushed when the man down the aisle winked at her.

    "Where do you think you're going?"

    "Noah," she heard a feminine voice sigh. "Why couldn't you just let her go?"

    Lauren ignored him. Squaring her shoulders and walking toward the nearest exit.

    "What's the matter? Can't take the heat? Afraid you can't handle the truth?"

    Lauren whipped around. Hazel eyes flashing with red-hot anger. "What truth is that? Come on. Tell me. I'm dying to find out," she rolled her eyes, "what truth you know about me when you don't even know me. Was that too much of a tongue-twister for you? You know. You really should wipe that moronic expression off your face. It's so unbecoming," she said snidely.

    "Oh god," Ivy groaned. Burying her face in her hands.

    "Could you please move this 'discussion' someplace less.crowded," Paloma hissed. Brown eyes darting around the full theater.

    "Who are you?" Lauren crossed her arms around her chest.

    "Never mind who I am," Paloma shook her head. "Take this outside before we get kicked out."

    "Oh my god! YOU," Lauren stared at Noah incredulously, "have a girlfriend?"

    Noah looked dumbfounded for a second. "NO! I mean.Paloma's not my girlfriend. What's it to you anyway?" he demanded. Following Lauren and Ivy through the exit to the lobby outside.

    Paloma tapped her foot impatiently.

    "Oh puh-leaze! As if I care. I just felt sorry for her. That's all. She's obviously not too bright. Look at the company she's keeping," Lauren snarled.

    "Lauren."

    "Not now, Mother," Lauren waved Ivy off.

    Paloma's brown eyes sparkled. With equal parts indignation and amusement.

    "No offense," Lauren apologized, "but this guy's one of the biggest jerks I've ever met. How'd you get mixed up with him?"

    "Paloma.you don't have to answer her. Don't give her the time of day," Noah bit out.

    "Actually." Paloma smiled. Tucking her dark hair behind her ear. "He pushed my sister down in the sandbox, and I beat him up for it. We've been stuck together ever since."

    Ivy hid her grin.

    Lauren snickered and moved closer to Noah. "You let a little girl beat you up? How pathetic!"

    "Yeah.go ahead and poke fun. Once a gentleman, always a gentleman. I'm a firm believer against hitting women."

    "You wish," Lauren rolled her eyes. "Like pushing them down isn't just as bad. A gentleman?" she smirked. "If it strokes the good ole ego."

    "You know what? I've had enough of this. Paloma.I'll make it up to you someday."

    "What's the matter? Can't take the heat? You can't handle the truth!" Lauren yelled to his retreating form.

    Ivy caught the sparkle in her daughter's hazel eyes as she regarded his retreating 'form' and smiled wickedly.

    "Nice meeting you," Paloma waved goodbye with a smile. Scrambling to catch up with her ride.

    "Ugh!" Lauren stomped her foot. "He just.he just."

    "I know," Ivy laughed. Linking arms with her daughter. "Believe me, I know."



    @@@



    "Mama? Are you home?"

    "Miguel!" Pilar exclaimed in surprise. Hugging her son's neck.

    "Uncle Miguel!" Matthew shouted gleefully. "I'm so glad you're here. Nana showed me some pictures from when you and Mama were little. Uncle Luis looked so funny in kindergarten," he giggled.

    "Mama," Miguel smiled. "You promised."

    Pilar's dark eyes shone with humor.

    "It's not Nana's fault," Matthew piped up. "They fell on my head."

    "What's that?" Miguel chuckled. Unable to stop the grin that took over his features.

    "Well." Matthew explained. "I was playing in Uncle Luis's old room."

    "Wait.I don't think I need to hear anymore," Miguel ruffled Matthew's dark hair affectionately. "I can imagine."

    "Want to look at them with me?" Matthew asked with an engaging smile. "Please," he added.

    "Okay," Miguel smiled.

    "Alright," Matthew exclaimed. Jumping up and down in excitement. "They're in here," he called over his shoulder as he disappeared into the living room.

    "Mijo," Pilar sighed in concern at the tired look in her son's brown eyes. "It'll do you good to remember old times."

    "Uncle Miguel," Matthew asked curiously from his perch on the love seat. "How come Aunt Charity's not in any of these pictures? Who's the girl in all the pictures with you?"

    Miguel took the first picture from Matthew's little hand and smiled at what he saw. Him and Kay. Dressed in identical baseball uniforms.

    "A girl played on your baseball team?" Matthew crinkled his nose. "Who is she?"

    Pilar took the picture from Miguel's hands and traced the image with a smile. "You know this girl, Matthew," she laughed. "She's Aunt Charity's cousin. Kay. She and Miguel were best friends when they were little. Inseparable."

    "Best friends?"

    "Best friends," Miguel told him. "We did everything together." Until Charity came, he thought to himself. A sudden wave of guilt washing over him. And then.it was like his friendship with Kay was forgotten.

    "Why didn't you marry her?"



    @@@



    Ethan paced back and forth. Silent. Glancing from time to time at his watch. Out the window.

    "Ethan," Theresa said in exasperation. "Why won't you tell me anything? I thought you wanted to start over. Rebuild our marriage with honesty."

    Ethan sighed and shoved his hands through his dark blond hair. "I do, Theresa. It's just.I don't know how to do this."

    "Just do it," Theresa told him. "You're just delaying the inevitable. Talk to me."

    Ethan stopped pacing and eased himself down in the armchair opposite her uncertainly. "Okay. What do you want to know?" he asked. His blue eyes staring at his feet.

    "Why?" she blurted.

    "That's a good question," Ethan sighed. "I still haven't figured that one out for myself. This is going to sound childish and selfish, and I don't want to hurt you anymore than I already have."

    "Just spit it out, Ethan," she snapped impatiently. "Look. I'm sorry. I just.I never thought this would happen to us. I never believed you'd break our marriage vows."

    "I never believed I would either," he said softly. But why was that, he wondered. It wasn't like he'd never had feelings for another woman when he was involved in a committed relationship before. Theresa was that OTHER woman. Why had she been so sure, so confident in the sanctity of their marriage? But this time.this time was supposed to be different. Forever. But hurt and distrust.the bottom line was he'd made a mistake. A colossal mistake all because he'd wanted to get back at her. For all the lies. For entering into this lifelong partnership blind. "I wanted to hurt you," he admitted shamefully. "I wanted to strike out at you in some way.a way that would make you as doubtful of your identity as I was mine."

    "Ethan," Theresa wiped at the tears that fell freely from her brown eyes. "I don't understand. I."

    "Lies, Theresa. Little lies. White lies. The big ones. They underminded who I am. You took away the only thing I've ever been sure of. My faith in you."

    "I'm sorry," she cried. "I was young. Na´ve. I told myself it was for your own good. Lies are easier than the truth. Especially a truth that you're afraid will tear your life apart. But Ethan.I don't want there to be anymore lies between us. I need."

    A gentle rapping on the front door interrupted her words. Her thoughts.

    She blinked away the tears as she saw her best friend appear in front of her. "Whitney? What are you doing here?"

    Whitney clutched the purse at her side, and looked up at Ethan. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "I'm too.I'll just go and come back."

    Ethan's blue eyes were full of sadness as he grasped her arm. "No, Whitney. Don't go."

    "Ethan?" Theresa pleaded. "Whitney? What's going on here? Will somebody please tell me something?!"



    @@@



    Scarred, reddened flesh assaulted his eyes, and the heavy stench of.

    Cold blue eyes laughed at his astonishment.

    "What's the matter, Sam?"

    He shook his head in disbelief. Closed his eyes. Desperate to rid himself of the horrifying image.

    "Sam? Are you okay?"

    When he opened his eyes again.it was gone. "What? What did you say?"

    Grace traced the lines of his palm. Blue eyes full of concern. "Are you okay?" she asked. Cupping his cheek with her free hand.

    Sam shuddered at the coolness of her touch. "Grace.you're so cold. I should be the one asking YOU that question."

    "I'm fine," she smiled. Standing on tiptoe to kiss his lips.

    Sam's blue eyes shot open in surprise when she tangled her hands in his hair and deepened the kiss.

    "Just relax, Sam," she whispered into his ear. "We're married," she laughed. "Don't be so shy around me."

    His muscles tensed as ran her nails across his bare back. Down the dip of his spine.

    Something wasn't right here. Something was definitely.different.

    "Say you love me, Sam."

    "Grace, I."

    "Say you love me, dammit," she demanded with more urgency.

    He grabbed her hands in his own and pushed them away. Pushed her away. "Grace.we're moving too fast here. We're." He sighed in relief and sent a thousand thank you's to God up above when the awkward moment was shattered by the shrill ringing of the telephone.

    Her nails dug deep into her palms. Drawing blood.

    "Eve.she what?! I'll be right there," he told her. Hanging up the phone abruptly. He bent down to grab his keys off the coffee table. "That was Eve. Kay was in some kind of an accident tonight. Chad took her to his apartment. I have to."

    "Go, Sam," she said. "I'll wait here. So Jessica won't worry."

    Sam shoved his wallet in his back pocket and stopped in front of her.

    "Just go, Sam," she repeated softly.

    The door clicked shut behind him, and seconds later the car roared to life.

    And all gentleness disappeared from her demeanor.

    "Damn that brat," she swore. Glaring at Kay's somber likeness before her in the picture frame on the wall. "What am I going to do about you?"



    @@@


    "Come in, Julian," Alistair smiled evilly. Puffing on his cigar.

    Adam perched on the edge of his grandfather's desk. His ankles crossed. "You were right, Grandfather. Aunt Sheridan is a weakling. She doesn't deserve the privilege of bearing the family name," he said smugly.

    Julian stood stiffly in the background. His lips furling in disgust at the images in front of him.

    "Turn up the volume, Boy," Alistair ordered.

    Adam obliged with a devious smile on his lips. "That fool follows her everywhere. Aunt Sheridan cries, he's there to wipe her tears. He's forever saving her. And why?"

    "He loves her," Julian muttered under his breath.

    "Sheridan! Sheridan! Wait!" Luis cried desperately.

    Amanda struggled to keep pace with him.

    They rounded the corner of the Mansion together, and in the distance Luis saw her.

    Alistair tapped his fingers boredly as he watched his daughter fall to her knees on the floor of the gazebo. Her body racked with sobs.

    Sheridan's keening cry of "Andrew" brought tears to Julian's eyes, and he quickly looked away when he met Adam's hard brown gaze.

    "Sheridan," Luis dropped to his knees beside her.

    Amanda hung quietly in the background. Concern etched plainly on her face.

    "Sheridan," Luis cried. Pulling her into his arms. "I'm so sorry. We never should have come. I never should have let you come," he whispered raggedly against her brow.

    "It's all my fault," she sobbed. Clutching the material of his shirt in desperate handfuls. "It's all my fault. I left him there to die. I never should have left him, Luis. I never should have left him. I killed Andrew. I killed our son."

    "That's right, dear Sheridan. You killed your own son," he laughed.

    "Who leaves a three-year old child alone in a bathtub?" Adam rolled his eyes. "That's right, Aunt Sheridan. It's all your fault. Isn't it, Father? Father?" Adam looked around in confusion.

    Alistair's icy blue eyes narrowed as he stared at the spot his son had stood in mere seconds earlier. Something was different about Julian. And he didn't like it one bit.

    @@@



    "Mommy! Mommy!"

    She shouldn't have done it. Shouldn't have screamed. That's why her mommy left him. That's why he died. Because of her.

    Danielle closed her blue eyes against the flashing red lights of the ambulance. She couldn't bear this. It was too close. Too close to what had happened when.

    "Daddy! Daddy!" she sobbed uncontrollably into the mouthpiece of the phone. "Daddy!"

    "Danielle. Danielle, calm down for Daddy. Okay? Take a deep breath and tell Daddy what's wrong."

    She wiped at her tears with shaky hands. Sniffling as she listened to his soothing voice.

    The blood ran in little rivers down her hands.

    She cried harder.

    "Danielle.is it Mommy? Is Mommy hurt?"

    She shook her head 'no.' But somewhere in the back of her mind, she realized her daddy couldn't see her. "N-N-N-o," she stammered.

    Her daddy took a shaky breath on the other end of the line. "Is it Andrew, Baby? Is Andrew hurt?"

    She closed her eyes against the images.

    Her baby brother's lips were blue.

    The bubbles in the tub were pink.

    And her mommy's hands were covered in blood.

    "Mommy was giving him a bath," she cried. "And I fell down the stairs."

    "Danielle," Luis interrupted gently. "Where's Mommy now?"

    "The bathroom," she sobbed.

    "Where's Andrew?"

    She could hear her mommy crying upstairs.

    She felt a terrible pain in her chest. Dull and sharp at the same time.

    "The bubbles were pink."

    "Oh.oh my god," her daddy gasped. "Danielle.stay on the phone, Baby. Stay on the phone. Daddy's going to get some help. I'm going to give the phone to Sam. You remember Sam, don't you?"

    Danielle nodded her head 'yes.' "Yeah."

    "Talk to Sam, Baby. Daddy's on his way."

    "Danielle. Danielle."

    She'd seen the look in Aunt Charity's blue eyes before.

    "Danielle.they're taking Tessa to the hospital. There's not enough room in the.do you think you'll be okay with Mrs. Reynolds until your parents get here?"

    She nodded her head silently. "Aunt Charity? Is Tessa going to be okay?"

    Charity's cornflower blue eyes teared up. "I don't know, Sweetie. I hope so," she cried. Kissing Danielle's temple. "Are you sure you'll be okay?"

    Danielle looked up into Mrs. Reynolds's sympathetic green eyes. "Yeah," she said shakily.

    The EMT's wheeled Tessa past. Her slender body looked so tiny. So frail.

    Mommy screamed as they wheeled Andrew's stretcher out the front door.

    The oxygen mask looked too big.

    She'd never seen her daddy cry.

    Until that day.

    When they closed the ambulance's door behind them and sped away.

    "Danielle?" Mrs. Reynolds's held out her arms as the ambulance raced Tessa to the hospital.

    And she took comfort in the arms of a stranger.
















    Because Lynne reminded of this fic, and I realized I'd never finished putting up the rest of the chapters that are already written.

    I want so badly to finish this one. The question is...who else wants me to (besides Lynne, of course, and divinelyfine, if I remember correctly)?


  3. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 26



    It was all a dream. A horrible dream. A nightmare. This wasn't happening. None of it.

    Ethan had slept with another woman.

    Not just ANY other woman.

    No.

    As horrible as that thought had originally been, she realized.

    Nothing was as horrible as this.

    "Theresa," he pleaded. With sorrowful blue eyes. "Theresa.say something."

    Tears poured freely down her cheeks. Somewhere in the back of her mind, it all added up.

    Whitney held a shaky hand to her mouth to hold the sobs in.

    "Theresa.please." Ethan lay a gentle hand on her arm.

    "Get your hands off of me," she shrieked. Stunning him with the violence of her words. Her actions as she jerked her arm from his touch.

    "Oh god," Whitney cried. Beyond the point of hysteria. "I'm so sorry. Theresa.please believe me."

    She wrapped her arms about her middle. Willing the shaking, the trembling, the shock, and the rage to stop. And raised tormented brown eyes to her.

    Whitney wasn't her best friend. Not now. Maybe she'd never been.

    Best friends didn't screw each other's husbands and then pretend to be guilt-stricken.

    "Theresa.Honey," Whitney cried desperately. Her knees buckling.

    She felt the smallest twinge of compassion for her.near collapse.until Ethan came to the rescue.

    The door slammed behind her. Tiny shock waves traveling through the room, and a vase fell from the mantle over the fireplace. Only to shatter on the floor.

    "Oh god," Ethan raked his hands through his dark blond hair. "Whitney.what have we done?"

    Whitney sobbed.

    Words couldn't describe.




    @@@



    "Why didn't you marry her?"

    An innocent question really.

    A question he didn't have the answer to.

    The moon reflected on the water as it lapped against the pilings of the pier.

    There was a time.a time when that question would have made him laugh outright.

    Kay was his best buddy.

    Wasn't she?

    He couldn't love his best friend.

    Could he?

    There was a time he thought he might.a time he'd pushed from his mind. A time he'd tried so hard to forget.

    He didn't know what happened that night. What made it so different from all the others.

    She wasn't his best friend that night.

    She was more.

    She was.

    Beautiful.

    Soft.

    Vulnerable.

    Alive.

    And for that night.

    Charity didn't exist.

    But morning came. And with it.a clearer head.

    He couldn't possibly love his best friend.

    Charity was the girl he loved. Charity was the girl he was to marry that summer. Charity was the girl he was going to spend the rest of his life with.

    Kay.she didn't fit into his plans anymore.

    And he'd hurt her beyond measure.

    The guilt gnawed at him. To this day.

    He'd hurt her.

    And lost his best friend.

    Forever.



    @@@




    "You didn't have to call them you know."

    Chad turned at the sound of her voice.

    Her black hair tangled about her face, and her dark eyes were wild. The silk pajama shirt hung just above her knees. Her skin starkly pale against its rich tones.

    "Your pops deserved to know. You almost died tonight, Kay. He deserved to know. Alright?"

    She lowered herself into the leather sofa across from him. Bringing her knees to her chest. "Then why am I still here?"

    He didn't answer for a moment. But.she deserved to know the truth. Just like anyone else. "Your moms called. They had to rush Charity's little girl to the hospital."

    "Oh my god!" Kay gasped. "Miguel," she cried. "He must be so worried."

    "Yeah.well. They can't find him. They tried his cell, but he must have it turned off."

    Kay ran her fingers through her hair. Chewing on her bottom lip in intense concentration. "I know where he is," she suddenly announced. Jumping to her feet.

    Unfortunately for her.the events of the night had taken their toll.

    Chad slipped a steadying arm around her waist as she wobbled on unsteady feet. And found himself staring into her eyes.old eyes. Eyes that hinted nothing.

    "Thanks," she mumbled. Disentangling his arms and stepping away. "Thanks for everything," she called out. Disappearing into his bedroom.

    "Kay," he yelled. Trying the knob on his bedroom door. Surprised when it gave way easily. Shocked at what he saw.

    She didn't even flinch when she felt his eyes on her naked back.

    "You're not going to stop me."

    "I know," he admitted with a sigh. "But Kay.the sedative."

    "Obviously, it's worn off," she shrugged her slim shoulders. "I'm fine. Not that I wasn't before. But I'm fine, Chad. And no one.least of all you.is going to stop me from doing a damn thing. What are you doing?"

    "I'm driving. Okay? No arguments," he warned. Jingling the keys in front of her face.

    She rolled her eyes. "Like hell you are," she scoffed. Stalking past him out the open door.

    "Kay."

    "Shut up, Chad. You're not driving. No arguments," she smirked. "Get rid of the keys," she ordered.

    He narrowed his eyes at her. "You really are crazy if you think I'm taking orders from you."

    "Fine. Be that way.



















    Feedback is loved!!!

  4. #28
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    Oct 2000
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 27



    He twisted the golden band around his finger absently as his brown eyes looked past the boats to the water that spanned the horizon.

    The distant echo of footsteps registered vaguely in his brain.

    But the memories wouldn't release him.

    He remembered meeting her here.

    "Why Kay? I thought we agreed. That night didn't happen," he said in a low voice. Devoid of feeling.

    She hugged her arms about her middle protectively. "I know," she whispered.

    "What's this then?" he asked. Gesturing to their surroundings. "We agreed to forget. We agreed to never mention it again. We agreed not to see each other. To stay away from each other."

    She turned away from him.

    He studied her profile as she gazed out at the sea.

    A tear slowly made its way down her pale cheek, and she shuddered as a gust of wind.unseasonably cold.whistled around them.

    "Aren't you going to say anything? Aren't you going to give me an explanation?" he pushed. Grasping her shoulders firmly and turning her around to face him. Just the hint of feeling creeping into his voice. The hint of concern.

    Kay's dark eyes filled with tears as she looked at him. "I didn't mean for this to happen, Miguel. I'm so sorry," she cried.

    "Dammit, Kay!" he exclaimed. "Would you stop being so cryptic? You're not the ONLY one to blame here. Much as I hate to admit it," he sighed heavily.

    "Don't be so hard on yourself," she said softly. "I needed comfort. And you gave it to me."

    He laughed harshly. "Comfort. I think I took comfort a little too far, don't you? You were upset about your mother's disappearance. And I complicated both our lives the second I kissed you."

    "Complicated," she murmured. "If you only knew," she muttered under her breath.

    He looked at her oddly. Suspicion coiling in his belly as his eyes perused her figure. "Kay?" he asked with growing trepidation. "No," he said in denial. "This can't be happening. Kay.tell me you're not.oh my god," he cried. Clutching the railing of the pier. "My wedding to Charity.it's in less than a month. We're supposed to become husband and wife, Kay. A family. Say it isn't true," he begged.

    "Is that all you care about?" Kay spat with sudden anger. "Your precious Charity? What about me, Miguel? You used to care about me, too. You used to be my friend. My best friend. What about the mess I'm in now? I can't exactly tell everyone the truth now, can I? Wouldn't want to ruin your chance at happiness with Charity?"

    "Kay.I didn't mean."

    "You didn't mean? Don't bother, Miguel!" she shrugged his hands from her shoulders and turned back to the sea.

    "So you're going to.are you going to keep it?" he asked uncertainly. The words flowing forth before he could censor himself.

    "It'd make you so happy if I said 'no', wouldn't it?" she asked in choked voice. "One less obstacle in the way of your and Charity's eternal happiness?"

    He didn't say anything. Things WOULD be so much easier, he thought selfishly. If only.

    "I thought so," she said sadly. "Yes, Miguel. I'm keeping our baby."

    OUR baby.

    "I'm so sorry, Kay," he said. Voice full of regret. "Things could have been so different." He held his head in his hands. If only. "What have I done?" he said miserably.

    The fall of footsteps grew louder.

    Slowly, he lifted his head, his eyes to a figure emerging from the cloud of fog. "Kay? Kay, is that you?"

    "Miguel," she said gravely as he raised a hand to her cheek.

    "So sorry," he whispered. Stroking the silk of her skin.

    Chad watched the scene in fascination from the shadows.

    Kay's eyes filled with the pain of the memories as he cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand. "Miguel," she repeated somberly. "Miguel," she said. Removing his hand from her cheek. "It's Tessa."

    Miguel's heart clenched in fear.

    "They don't know what's wrong with her."

    Chad hurried after them as they left the pier. A sense of urgency in their steps.



    @@@





    Matthew rubbed his brown eyes tiredly. Squinting at the bright lights that illuminated the small waiting room.

    Where it seemed the entire Bennett and Lopez-Fitzgerald families were gathered.

    The clock's hands moved agonizingly slow. The hours before dawn crawling by.

    Pilar clutched her rosary. Her lips moving, but no sound escaping. Murmuring silent prayers for her granddaughter.

    Charity hunched over in the chair beside her. Wringing her hands. Her pale yellow hair pulled back at the nape of her neck. Her blue eyes closed. As if warding off the reality of the situation.

    Jessica played cards with Danielle. Trying the best way she knew how to offer the little girl a moment's distraction. Far too cognizant of the alarming similarities.

    In the far corner, Luis stroked Sheridan's golden hair softly as she slept. Her head in his lap. A fitful, restless sleep.

    "Mrs. Lopez-Fitzgerald? Mrs. Lopez-Fitzgerald?"

    She jerked awake when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

    "Mrs. Lopez-Fitzgerald," the doctor repeated. A somber expression on his face.

    "Where is he? Where's my husband?" she asked. Growing more frantic with each second that passed that Luis wasn't by her side.

    "Right here," a voice said.

    And she sank back into his embrace. But strangely, she didn't feel the calm she usually felt. Somehow she knew.

    "Dr. Chase?" Luis asked with growing dread. "How is he? How's Andrew?"

    Dr. Chase ran a fatigued hand through his silver hair. Blue eyes sad as he uttered two words. "Not good."

    She grabbed fistfuls of his shirt. Sobbing into his shoulder. Her tears soaking through to his skin.

    "No.no. It's a lie. You're lying."

    Charity started to sob.

    Danielle couldn't swallow over the lump in her throat when her mommy's anguished cry reached her ears.

    "Danielle?" Jessica asked gently. Laying her cards down between them and reaching out a hand to brush her dark hair from her forehead. "Are you okay, Sweetie?"

    Pilar rose from her seat and knelt in front of her. "Mija," she whispered softly.

    "Andrew," her mommy whimpered in her daddy's arms.

    Matthew scurried to his nana's side. Slipping his little arm around her shoulders and burying his face in her curve of her neck. "Nana," he mumbled. "What's wrong with Aunt Sheridan?"

    Danielle's chin quivered as her grandmother answered him. "She's sad, Mijo. Aunt Sheridan's heart hurts very much. Oh, Mija," she sighed. Opening her arms to Danielle, too.

    Danielle shut her blue eyes to the sight of her daddy wiping her mommy's tears away. Made her ears deaf to her cries of "Andrew."

    "Sheridan," Luis shook her awake gently. "Wake up. Please wake up, Angel. It's just a dream."

    Her blue eyes fluttered open, and he inhaled sharply at the sheer pain in them. "No," she told him despondently. Removing herself from his arms and sitting up stiffly in the ugly plastic chair beside him. "It's not. It's real."

    A nightmare, Luis thought silently as she shrank away from his touch. A never-ending nightmare, he realized with a sinking heart as she stood up and stalked down the hall. How he wished they could wake up from it.



    @@@




    Pale yellow hair fanned out over the pillows. Framing her delicate features.

    Tape secured the tube in her mouth.

    Precious oxygen pumped through it. The hiss of the machine echoing in the quietness of the room.

    Another machine beeped rhythmically. Recording each beat of her heart.

    Her eyes moved rapidly behind her lids.

    And the sounds in the room changed. Grew louder. As she was transported to another place. Another time.

    Her blue eyes were wide as she studied him. All the tubes, all the machines.she could barely recognize her little brother.

    Except for his teddy bear lying on the pillow beside him.

    Just like always.

    Her daddy lifted her to his knee.

    "Daddy?" she asked. Her question the only noise but for the whistles and beeps of the machines.

    "Yeah, Sweetheart?" he said softly. Stroking her long dark hair lovingly.

    "Is Andrew sleeping?"

    Her daddy's eyes shone bright. "Yeah," he finally answered. "Andrew's sleeping."

    Her mommy held a hand to her mouth. Her shoulders shaking as she turned away from them.

    "But Danielle," he whispered. Reaching out a hand to trace Andrew's golden brow. "Andrew.Andrew," he closed his eyes. Unable to go on.

    Danielle watched Andrew's tiny chest rise and fall as the machine pumped air into his body. And somehow.she just knew. "He isn't going to wake up, is he, Daddy?" she said somberly.

    Her daddy kissed her temple. Wrapping his arms around her tight. "No. No, Danielle. He's not," he told her. "God wants to take him home. With the angels up in Heaven."

    "But Daddy," she said sadly. "I want him here. I don't want him to go to Heaven. I don't want him to go," she cried. Struggling in his arms and finally breaking free.

    Sheridan sobbed as her daughter snuggled close to her baby brother.

    "Danielle," Luis cried. Tears streaming down his cheeks. "Baby.Andrew isn't here. The Andrew we love is already up in Heaven with Nana Katherine and Papa Martin. And he's happy. He's waiting for us. We have to tell him goodbye," he whispered. "Don't you want to tell him bye?" he asked. Cupping her silky cheek and wiping her tears away with the pad of his thumb. "We have to let him go," he said. Glancing at Sheridan with sorrowful eyes.

    Danielle nodded her dark head. Tears clinging to her lashes as she closed her eyes. And leaned forward to kiss her baby brother. One last time. "I love you."

    Luis smiled through his tears as he gathered her back in his arms and placed a final kiss on Andrew's brow. Saying a silent 'I love you.'

    His son.he would never grow old.

    Danielle clung to his shoulders as he walked out of the room. Her heart broken and aching as they moved farther and farther away.leaving her mommy and Andrew alone.

    The nurses wore grim expressions as they removed all the wires and tubes from Andrew's little body.

    The room was silent.

    She crawled into bed beside him. Cradling him as she had the day he was born. Clasping his tiny brown hand to her cheek and kissing his palm tenderly, she rocked him gently as she sang him a lullaby.

    "Hush little baby."

    She closed her eyes and lay her cheek against his forehead. Tears seeping from her golden lashes.

    "Don't say a word."

    Each tiny breath came slower. And slower.

    "Mama's going to buy you a mockingbird."

    Until.they stopped. Just like that.

    And she clutched him to her breast. Unwilling to let his spirit go.

    "Mama's sorry," she sobbed as she held his limp little body in her arms. "Oh god," she cried. "Andrew," she brushed her lips against his temple. "Mama's so sorry."

    Dr. Nelson sighed. Dropping Tessa's wrist, and turning to face the nurse at his side. "I don't understand. There's no medical explanation for what's happening to her."








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  5. #29
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    Oct 2000
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 28






    She sighed. Stroking the black curls from her daughter's worried face. She was denied peace. Even in sleep.

    "Mom?" Whitney mumbled. "Mom? Is that you?"

    "It's me, Baby," Eve whispered softly. Kneeling down in front of the sofa. An expression of concern plain on her features. "I didn't mean to wake you," she apologized as Whitney pushed herself up on her elbows and blinked sleepily at her.

    "I wasn't getting any 'real' sleep anyway," Whitney murmured. Sitting up completely and tucking her knees beneath her chin. "Every time I close my eyes, I see her face."

    Eve sank into the cushions with a sigh. "Theresa's?"

    "It's over. Our friendship is over, Mom. Theresa hates me," she cried. Burying her face in her hands. "With more than good reason."

    Eve reached a tentative hand out. Stroking Whitney's hair. "You know.you can talk to me about anything. People make mistakes. God knows I know that," she laughed bitterly. "I'm the last person in the world that would judge you, Honey."

    Whitney raised tearful eyes to her mother's face. "I broke her heart, Mom. With Ethan's help."

    Eve's brow knit in confusion. "I'm not sure I understand. What's Ethan got to do with this?"

    Whitney couldn't look her mother in the eye. The shame was too great. "Ethan has everything to do with this, Mom. He and I.We."

    A knock of the door startled them both.

    And Eve groaned inwardly as she saw all avenues of communication with her distraught daughter quickly shutting down.

    Whitney wiped her tears with the sleeve of her shirt carelessly. "I'll be in the bathroom," she explained before disappearing down the narrow hall of the apartment.

    She raised on tiptoe to peer out the peephole. Groaning aloud this time when she saw who it was.

    Julian.

    She and Whitney were on shaky ground as it were.

    Certainly, Julian's appearance could very well turn that shaky ground into quicksand.

    Her mind told her one thing.

    Don't let him in. Don't jeopardize this chance you've been given.

    Her heart said another.

    Something was wrong. So wrong.

    He'd come to her.

    She glanced behind herself once more. Satisfied, for the moment, to be alone.

    And against her mind's protest.

    She opened the door.



    @@@






    Kay stared through the window. Watching as Miguel held Charity in his arms. Offering her what little help he could.

    Still Tessa slept. Looking so tiny and helpless among the tubes and machines.

    Her heart twisted in sorrow.

    No child deserved pain. Of any kind.

    Chad's dark eyes narrowed suspiciously as she rubbed her stomach lightly. Self-consciously.

    Something didn't add up here.

    "How did you know where to find him?" he asked. Shattering the silence that hung heavily around them.

    "I just knew," she murmured. Raising a shaky hand to the glass barrier that separated her from Miguel.

    He sighed in resignation. Knowing that was all the explanation forthcoming from her lips. "Look.you've had a really long night. I think you should go home. Get some rest."

    Her hand dropped to her side, and she turned to him with a thankful smile. "I think I'll do just that. He's where he belongs."

    He didn't try to decipher the meaning of what she said. Just took her words at face value as he grasped her elbow firmly. Leading her away.



    @@@






    "I still can't believe this is happening," Jessica said. Taking a sip of coffee from her mug and setting it down on the counter.

    Sam raked a rough hand through his spiky hair. "I just hope the doctors can figure out what happened so they can help her."

    Grace stared out the kitchen window. Her back to them. A chilling smile on her lips as her cold blue eyes regarded the figures 'hidden' in the bushes.

    Tabitha.

    And her little doll.

    She laughed silently as Tabitha's body convulsed with shudders, and she scampered out of sight.

    "Grace?"

    Sam's voice directly behind her startled her. "Sam," she laughed in embarrassment. Raising a hand to her chest in alarm. "I'm sorry. What were you saying? I was a bit distracted. Thinking about Tessa," she said quickly.

    Sam's seeds of suspicion dissipated. And he pulled her into his arms. Resting his chin atop her auburn head. "We all are. We all are, Grace. Jessica and I were going to go back to the hospital this afternoon. Would you like to join us?"

    She made sure the smile was perfectly in place before she raised her eyes to his and answered. "I think that's a wonderful idea."



    @@@



    Matthew snored softly. His fist clutching the blankets at his waist.

    A tender smile graced her lips as she brushed his dark hair from his forehead.

    Movement behind him caught her eye, and she looked up into the tearful blue eyes of her granddaughter.

    "Mija. What are you doing up?"

    Danielle's chin quivered as she stared at the floor at her feet. "I'm so worried, Nana."

    Pilar ushered her out of Luis's old bedroom. The door closing with a tiny click. Into the living room. Where she took a seat. Pulling Danielle into her arms. And running her hands over her dark hair lovingly. "What if Tessa dies? Just like."

    Andrew.

    "Shh, Mija. You mustn't think such thoughts. Tessa is going to be fine. There, there. Don't cry," she soothed.

    Danielle's shaky gulps of air gradually slowed. "But what about me?" she whispered. Tangling the rosary at Pilar's neck around her fingers. "What about Dad?" she sniffled. "What about Mommy?" she sighed. Her fingers stilling. Her breath evening out.

    "You ask hard questions, Mija. Questions I can't answer," Pilar murmured against her granddaughter's soft, dark hair.




    @@@



    A sliver of sunlight peeked through the slants in the blinds.

    He followed the streaks. Stepping in and out of the shadows as he crossed the room to the tiny twin bed.

    She lay there. Clutching the ragged teddy bear in her arms. Her shoulders shaking with sobs.

    "Sheridan," he spoke softly. A hand on her shoulder.

    The sobs ceased. But not the quaking.

    "Sheridan.you have to let go. Andrew's gone. He isn't coming back. Ever," he drove his point home.

    Blue eyes full of anger.pain.hurt.disgust.maybe even hatred turned on him. Unblinking.

    He traced the tear tracks with his index finger. A frown marring his handsome face.

    "Don't you think I know that, Luis?" she finally answered. "Don't you think I realize that that day.I killed my baby, Luis. I killed your son," she spat bitterly.

    "It was an accident."

    "Was it? Was it really? Or was it some sort of sick punishment for all the sins of the past? God knows I'm NO saint. Yeah.God knows. That's why he decided to rip my baby from my arms. That's why he."

    "Sheridan," he ground out. Grabbing her forearms forcefully and hauling her upper body up against his. "Stop this!"

    "Why?" she hissed. "Am I making you feel too much, Luis? Big, strong Luis. Too tough to grieve over his own son."

    His jaw dropped open in shock. Each word jabbing angrily at his fragile heart. "Is that what you think? That I didn't grieve? I grieved, dammit!" he roared. Shoving her from his arms.

    The wild look in her blue eyes inflamed him.

    "Every day I grieve. Every day I mourn him."

    "Really?" the question escaping her throat before she could halt it. "Do you really, Luis?"

    "How can you ask such a question?"

    The jagged edge of pain in his voice pierced her soul. But she persisted. The pain felt good. She welcomed it. It had been so long since she'd FELT anything. "You're the one that's always pushing me to move on. Forget Andrew ever existed."

    "That's not what I'm doing, and you know it," he snapped.

    "Whatever you say, Luis," she shrugged her shoulders. Uncurling her limbs and rising from the bed. Sweeping past him in dismissal.

    "We don't have to forget him, Sheridan. We just have to let go. I've let go. Why."

    "Why can't I? Why can't I let go of our son? Is that your question, Luis? I don't know. Maybe I'm afraid it IS going to be like he never existed. Maybe the guilt won't let me. I don't know, dammit."

    "You have NOTHING to feel guilty about," he cried. Grabbing her arm with his hand.

    She yanked at her arm. But he refused to let go. "Luis," she warned. "you let go of my arm, or."

    Still he refused her.

    "I hate you," she screamed suddenly. Her face red and angry. Tears coursing down her cheeks.

    "Now, we're getting somewhere," he told her. His brown eyes bright as he pulled her closer. Wrapping his arms securely around her waist and refusing to let go.

    "I hate you," she cried. Pounding on his chest.

    "Why do you hate me, Angel? Why?" he said calmly. "Tell me," he urged as she struggled against him.

    "I hate you because you weren't there. I hate you because you're stronger than me. I hate you because.I hate you because." her voice faltered. And the pounding stopped.

    "Don't stop now. We're finally getting somewhere. Let it all out, Baby. Let it all out," he encouraged. Wiping her tears away with the pads of his thumbs.

    "I hate you because I love you so much. So much it hurts sometimes."

    He smiled slightly at the veracity of her declaration. Sometimes.the feelings were just too intense.

    She tucked her blond head beneath his chin wearily. Clutching fistfuls of his shirt desperately. "I hate you because you were able to let him go. And I can't," she sobbed. Holding on to him for dear life. "I don't want to let him go, Luis. I don't want to let him go. I don't want to. Help me let him go, Luis. Please help me," she pleaded. "I don't know how."

    He closed his eyes against her pain and kissed her temple. "I'll help you. I'll do whatever I can," he vowed.

    He just hoped it was enough.

  6. #30
    Join Date
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    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 29




    She couldn't do it.

    Go in.

    Mother wouldn't berate her. Make her feel even more foolish than she already did.

    She laughed bitterly.

    Mother would just sit there and stare blankly ahead as she had for years now. Years of her pouring her sorrows out to her.

    A captivated audience? Or captive audience?

    Seagulls squawked overhead.

    She stepped closer to the edge. Fingers gripping the railing in an iron grip.

    The shrill of the gulls receded to the background, and the waves crashing against the craggy rocks became a roar in her ears.

    The world was turning upside down. Topsy-turvy.

    She was so dizzy.

    "Don't you think it's a little strange for an Insane Asylum to be at the top of a monstrous seashore cliff such as this one?"

    She whirled around at the sound of his voice. Clutching the railing behind her with bloodless fingers as another wave of vertigo hit her.

    "Easy there," he said calmly. An easy smile on his lips as he crept closer. "Don't want you to fall."

    She studied him openly. Only to find smiling amber eyes laughing at her as her gaze traveled to his face. "I haven't seen you around here before, have I?" she mused.

    "No," he answered simply.

    "Do you have a family member here?"

    "Do you?"

    "You're so easy to talk to," she muttered sarcastically. Her blue eyes flashing with annoyance. "That's a bad habit, you know. Answering questions with questions," she elaborated when he raised a dark brow in question.

    He joined her at the railing.

    A loose stone hung in the air before plummeting to the surging waves below.

    He watched her intently.

    The sea breeze played with the auburn strands of her hair as she stared straight ahead. Seeing nothing. "Stop that," she finally said in exasperation.

    And he smirked when she glared at him with icy blue eyes. "What?"

    "What?" she said incredulously. "That! That right there," she grumbled as he continued to gaze at her. "Are you always so rude?"

    "Since when is admiring a beautiful woman considered rude?"

    "Typical," she rolled her eyes. "Charming, you're NOT," she huffed. Turning on her heel and stalking away.

    "Is that it? No goodbye?" he teased. "You didn't even tell me your name," he called after her as she walked up the stony path leading to the facility's back entrance. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ms. Hotchkiss," he murmured appreciatively as she disappeared inside. He pulled a cigarette from the inside pocket of his jacket. Cupping his hands around the tiny flickering flame. "Tell your mother I'll be seeing her shortly."



    @@@




    "You look like hell," Noah whistled.

    "Thanks," Theresa said sarcastically. Cupping her hands around the warmth of her coffee mug.

    "You always did appreciate my honesty," Noah chuckled. Taking the seat opposite her. "One of us had to tell the truth. You, my dear, dear Scarlett, were a very talented twister of the truth."

    Theresa winced at his timely reminder.

    "What? Was it something I said?" Noah asked. Then groaned. "Leave it to me. No wonder guys have such a reputation for being insensitive," he shook his head. Paloma had shared enough of the situation for him to words hit very close to home. "Look. I'm sorry, okay? Think you can find it in your heart to forgive me?" he asked. Giving her his best puppy dog face.

    Theresa smiled slightly. "I know my world's coming to an end when you start being so sweet," she laughed through tears.

    "Thanks. I think," Noah grinned. Reaching across the table and giving her hand a friendly squeeze. "This is all my dumbass brother's fault," he muttered.

    Theresa was silent opposite him.

    "Really?" a voice spoke up behind her, and Noah rolled his blue eyes at her in irritation.

    "You again. What the hell do you know?"

    "Not much, actually," Lauren said. Crossing her arms around her chest. "But I know enough to realize OUR brother is not the only one at fault here. You really don't know your 'friend' as well as you think you do. What happened to family loyalty?"

    Noah dropped Theresa's hand and pushed his seat back. "Would you just shut your damn mouth? I don't think anything anybody could do could possibly compete with adultery. Do you?"

    Lauren's jaw hardened, and her blue eyes glittered angrily. "He's the scum of the scum. But don't ignore HER part in this whole mess either. Forgive me when I say this, dear sister-in-law," Lauren said. Looking down at Theresa's bowed head. "But what goes around comes around."

    Noah started to go after her as she walked toward the exit.

    But Theresa stopped him. "No, Noah. Let her go. Just let her go. She's right. I should have realized."




    @@@





    Chad watched her as she slept.

    Tossing and turning. The dreams of the past too much for her.

    "No."

    "Kay," he reached out a hand. Brushing her dark hair from her face. "Wake up, Kay. It's just a dream."

    "No. It's not true. She's not."

    "Kay," he shook her gently.

    A steady pounding at the front door jarred her from her dream, and she bolted upright. "Chad! Chad! What's wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?"

    He couldn't find the words.

    The pounding continued.

    "Aren't you going to get that?"

    "Chad! Chad, are you in there? It's me. It's Ethan. I need to talk."

    "You better get that," Kay told him. "Sounds important."

    "Are you sure you'll be okay?"

    Kay rolled her dark eyes at him. "Why wouldn't I be? My brother, on the other hand."

    He glanced at her once more before pulling the door shut behind him.

    And she closed her eyes. The memory still fresh in her mind.

    "I'm sorry, Kay. So sorry. I did all I could."

    She sobbed into the pillow as Eve's words echoed in her ears.

    "Your baby's dead. Dead. She's dead. Dead. Your baby's dead."






















































    Sorry guys. It looks like the disc this story was saved on might have been corrupted somehow (?), and I'm having to pull these chapters from another source, one where you might find even more typos, so I apologize for that.

    Hope it doesn't completely keep you from enjoying the story.

    All that said, feedback is loved!

    LOL!

  7. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    489

    Post Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Chapter 30




    Tessa's tiny chest rose and fell rhythmically. Her pale hair glowed like a halo.

    Grace smirked as she watched the rapid movement of her eyes behind closed lids.

    Always seeing. Always.

    A curse, really.

    Miguel held his daughter's lifeless hand between both of his own. His eyes closed to a sight he didn't want to see. A sight he refused to accept.

    Charity's shoulders hunched forward as she clasped her hands together in prayer.

    That's right. Pray. See what good it will do you, she thought. Raising a hand to the glass barrier that separated her from them. Laughing inwardly.

    Charity jerked upright as a chill swept down her spine.
    The sound of maniacal laughter echoed in her ears.
    When she raised her pale blue eyes to her aunt Grace, she had the strangest feeling.

    "Charity," Jessica's voice seeped through to her consciousness. " don't you and Miguel take a break? Dad and I will stay with Tessa. Just a few minutes. That's all."

    "A few minutes," she nodded her head. Holding a hand out for her husband.

    Miguel walked through the door ahead of her. Head down.

    And her gaze drifted to her aunt again.

    Grace smiled.

    But it didn't reach her eyes, Charity realized. Her eyes told a different story. The words were there. She just couldn't translate them. Yet.

    "Charity," Miguel spoke quietly. "You coming? I'm going to go get a cup of coffee."

    Her gaze stay locked with Grace's a few seconds more. "Yes, Miguel. I'm coming. Aunt Grace? Would you like anything?"

    "Nothing for me. Thanks," Grace murmured. Turning her back in dismissal.

    Charity fell into step beside Miguel, and as they rounded the corner, they came face to face.
    With Ivy. Arms laden with flowers. For Tessa.

    And her body shuddered at the sudden, blinding pain she felt. The screams echoing in her ears.

    It was starting again.

    Only this time.

    She didn't know how to stop it.


    @@@



    Whitney sat on the edge of her mother's bed.
    Mouth open in disbelief.

    What she had just heard...what Julian had said to her mother. It was too awful to contemplate. Too awful to imagine.

    Something she shouldn't know. Something she wished she didn't know.

    But if it were it were true, there was more evil in this evil in she ever could have fathomed.

    "Whitney?"

    Her mother looked pale. Worried.

    "Whitney. You mustn't."

    "Is he gone, Mom? He's not here?"

    "He's gone," she nodded her head slowly. "How much did you hear?" she asked.

    Whitney closed her eyes at the memory of just a few short minutes ago. "Too much."

    Eve slipped an arm around her daughter's shoulders in a miserable effort to offer comfort. Reassurance. "You can't tell anyone what you heard. You could put a lot of people in danger. They could be hurt."

    "Mr. Crane?"

    Her mother's arm fell from her shoulders, and she wrung her hands self- consciously in her lap.

    "You care about him, don't you? You really care about him. You're afraid FOR him."

    "Whitney," Eve said steadily. "I'm afraid for them all. Alistair Crane is EVIL. I'm afraid for them all."

    And Whitney was, too.




    @@@



    He watched her sleep. His weight resting on his elbow as he gazed down at her.

    Her hand was splayed, palm up, across her pillow.
    "Luis," she sighed. Shifting against the white sheets. Reaching for him.

    "I'm here, Angel," he murmured. His fingers brushing her blond hair back from her forehead lightly.

    "Thank you," she mumbled. Still half-asleep.

    He threaded his fingers through hers and held their joined hands to his lips. "You're welcome," he smiled as her blue eyes blinked open. "Anything for you," he promised. Remembering the salty ocean mist on their faces as the waves swallowed up the ragged teddy bear, and the tiny flame of the candle flickered. Then extinguished altogether.

    She sighed and tucked her rumpled golden head beneath his chin. Arms wrapped tightly around him. Tears of gratitude slipping down her cheeks and soaking the bronzed skin of his chest.

    "Hey," he whispered. Lifting her chin with his index finger and staring into her tear-filled blue eyes. "I thought we said no more tears for Andrew. He's safe. Protected. He knows how much we love him. And he knows we have to move on. Life has to move on. So don't cry. He always hated to see you cry. Almost as much as me."

    "I love you so much," she smiled shakily. Meeting his lips in a gentle kiss.

    Luis's hand slipped to the back of her head. Holding her to him as he kissed her more thoroughly. Pulling her even closer.

    "Make love to me, Luis," she sighed as she melted into him. And the sheets fell away.

    "I love you," he whispered. Laughing awkwardly as nervous hands fumbled with the tiny buttons down the front of her simple cotton nightgown.

    She smiled at him. One of those glorious smiles from long ago as her hands traveled to the hem of the gown. Sweeping it up and over her head and tossing it across the room.

    His hands rested at her waist, and he breathed in sharply.

    She'd lost weight after Andrew's death. Grief and depression kept her slender even now.

    He never realized.

    Curves became sharp planes.

    Tears stung his amber eyes as he slid gentle hands up her ribcage to cup the fullness of her breast in the palm of one hand.

    Her blue eyes glittered as he swept the pad of his thumb across her full bottom lip before he sought her mouth with his own.

    He lay his hand over her heart. Sure he could feel its power as it thrummed. He could almost see its broken pieces melding back together.

    The yellow room was dappled with sunshine as they loved each other.

    And their hearts were filled with hope.

  8. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dubuque, IA
    Posts
    118

    Re: Whisper (Sheridan/Luis, Sam/Ivy/Grace, Theresa/Ethan/?, Charity/Miguel/Kay/?, mor

    Found another fave again! Can't wait for more E/T - this is getting really good!
    The truth shall set you free, now if only someone would tell it!

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