„Ricardo wait!" Samuel shouted at Ricardo who was running after Paula.
"Paula I asked you to calm down!" He heard Ricardo bark.
"Calm down? My mother is in a coma in the hospital and you're asking me to calm down?! God how could you just keep this from me? Do you really hate me this much?" She shouted crying.
"Paula please, I just found out myself. That's what Sam and I were talking about. I would have told you, what do you even think of me!?" He asked Paula who was already sitting behind the steering wheel outside the police department.
"I don't know what to think anymore. I don't know a damned thing that's happening and most important: I don't know why! I asked you to let me help you but I guess your ego is far too big for that. As from now on, I'll handle this my way!" She threatened and left.
Ricardo jumped in his car and made his way to the hospital himself, to try and prevent Paula from doing anything stupid by mingling with this situation.
"Ricardo! Ricardo wait! We... haven't...finished our...Ah dammit!" Samuel cussed going with his hand trough his hair.
"Cole? Why are we here?" Caitlin broke the silence after some minutes of looking around the diner next to the motel where Cole booked them in for the night.
"No particular reason..." he answered lost in thought.
"Cole, look at me will you? What happened? Why won't you answer my questions?" She couldn't let go.
"There is nothing to say...you've got hurt during the riot and you fainted. We took you to the hospital. I found out you weren't lying about the pregnancy. And felt like a complete idiot." He let a laugh out.
"But that's not all, is it?" She continued as he kept shut only sighing away. "Then why didn't we return to our hotel? Why did you have to turn your phone on silent? Why isn't mom answering her phone? Or my father? Why don't you know where they are? Why are we here, in the middle of nowhere?" She questioned further.
"Calm down Caitlin! I told you, I didn't think the hotel was a safe place to be after what happened! Your parents have whatever things to take care of, why would I know anything about it? Besides, didn't you tell me how you always wanted to experience something exciting, someplace you're not familiar with? Like a -"
"More coffee?" The waitress asked chewing loudly on her chewing gum as both Cole and Caitlin looked up totally confused and ripped out of their thoughts. "What, do I need to spell it out for you?" She asked popping a bubble.
"I-I'm sorry. No, thank you." Caitlin was quick to reply. "Cole, listen to me, you are acting strangely. This doesn't make any sense. Why would you decide to take me on an "adventure" after everything that happened? We should be there, supporting our parents. It feels as tough we're running away more than being on an adventure." She leaned back on the chair sighing as Cole didn't answer. Instead, he stirred in his cup of coffee. "Okay. Then at least tell me what the doctors said about me. Why can't I remember anything? Will I ever remember what happened?" She tried again.
"I don't know any more than you do. They said it's due to panic, your subconscious wants to protect the fetus at all cost...considering what you've been trough with the miscarriage of - our first son," he swallowed a lump down, "it's natural I guess. They also said there's nothing wrong with you, physically, so you'll remember eventually. Just - not now..."
"Dammit! I can't believe this is happening to me. To us."
"What exactly do you remember? What is the last thing you can think of?" He asked as Caitlin took her time thinking.
"I-" she shook her head.
"God, I don't even know! Cole! The last thing I remember as a matter of fact is...that i went searching for you in Europe..." she put her hands to a fist resting her head on it.
"What?! How the...sweetheart, that's like, 5 months ago!"
"You do realize you're being a complete jerk to your father, don't you?"
"You've heard me."
"Ems, where is this coming from?" Sean couldn't believe her attitude.
"Look, I've been around you and your family long enough to know that your parents are complicated people. And," she sketched a smile, "gosh, something's always going on with them. Our mothers are constantly up to something, your dad, Sean your father is alive and a free man, who did a lot of horrendous things...But you see, he's trying really hard to make it up to all of you right now. Can't you stop being so impossible around him?"
"I can't even believe you're asking me this." Sean stood up from the bed.
"No! Exactly because you saw everything going on in my crazy family, you should know better than to ask this! What am I supposed to do, let my mom and my little brother be around him like nothing happened? Like my dad is entitled to being around them? Emily, he screwed up. Big time. And I'm talking big like really huge. This isn't a game anymore. My father killed a woman! He pretended to be dead. He played us all with his Tobias scheme, he - heaven knows what he did to get himself out of jail, he managed to get my mom and Elaine Stevens shot and now what - he's going back home at One Ocean Ave and plays family with my mom and Trey?! How on earth do you want me to behave?"
Emily looked at Sean at a loss for words. Certainly he was right in a way. If there was something she learned it was that there was nothing right and normal about Sean's family.
"I know Sean, trust me I know. Your father did a lot of crazy things in the past. But I also know that secretly, you want - no you need your family to get back to normal again. Your parents do what they think is best. What they can do best." She tried.
"That's what they always say. We're doing our best. At screwing everything and everyone up."
"Sean, look I -" Emily paused in distress, "it's not like I don't understand you. I just - I don't know how much more of this hatred I can take. It's what I see when I wake up in the morning, it's what I see during the day. Every time I look at you! It's how I go to bed at night. Ever since you found out that you father is alive, you're different, you're not the guy I met...I can't take it any longer!"
"I'm ...I'm sorry Ems. I know how much this is affecting you. But don't let this come between us. We'll go back to college in LA if that's what you want. Let's go away again."
"That's not the right thing to do, it won't change how you feel and you know it!"
"But we'll at least be for ourselves and at peace." He offered but she only shook her head.
"I don't think that will help Sean. And I don't know how I'm going to be able to live with this hatred and bitterness in my life. I've had enough of that with my own mother. 17 years I lived without her, thinking the worst of her...I managed to get past it. For my sake, for hers, for my own mental health. I can't watch you doing this to yourself." She said heading for the door.
"Emily? Ems where are you going?"
"I'm sorry Sean." She said shutting the door behind her.
"I wonder if I still fit in my old tux." Ben let out.
"I'm sorry?" Maria asked incredulously as she directed her attention from the highway to Ben who smirked behind the steering wheel.
"I said I wonder if -"
"I heard what you said, Ben. But why would you need your tuxedo?" Maria was curious.
"We're going to attend a wedding soon." He kept her short on information.
"Oh, right. Do you think we'll be invited?"
„If I think we'll be invited?" He let a laugh out and continued, „hell, the whole town will be invited. Of course we will."
„If you say so... i'm not sure about it tough. I just hope the happenings in Palm Springs won't make them change their mind."
"Change their mind? Maria, who are you talking about?" It was Ben's turn to be curious.
"Casey and Sarah of course. Why? Who are you talking about?" An awkward silence settled between them before Ben started laughing.
"Maria... if Casey and Sarah get married or not - do you really think I care? Or that we're going to be invited?"
"Well, I didn't think so but that's the only wedding I know of to take place in the near future. Ben?! Who's getting married?" She insisted.
Ben sighed teasing her.
"Gregory and Olivia." He let out and turned his head to look at her while she turned hers away and stared at the highway.
"How - how do you know? Did Gregory tell you that?" She was a little shocked not knowing when all this could have happened. She just talked to Olivia in the hospital. The last thing on her mind would be a wedding now. Especially her own.
"No." Ben was short responding and kept smirking.
"Well then how do you know?"
"I just do."
"How!" She raised her voice.
"Well, didn't you see him at the hospital? Didn't you see what a wreck he was until Olivia woke up? How he himself came back to life when she was back with us? He can't live without her. And no matter how hard he tried to hide those feelings for her in the past, I think what happened lately made him aware that there is nothing he wants more but his family to be back together."
„I - I saw it, of course. He was at a loss. But, I mean, how do you know that they want to get married again?"
„He intoned something earlier...and I'm quite positive he'll make her his wife again."
"Ugh, I can't believe you. Him. And you!"
"The choice of your words Ben! He will make her his wife again. What if she doesn't want to marry him? Did he propose and she said yes? And what will he do if she says no? Will he trick her into marriage then?"
"Maria, this is not about Gregory anymore is it?" Ben understood he pushed the wrong button this time.
"Of course it is! You and him are more alike than you think! You just run around and think you can get people to do whatever you want. That's who Gregory Richards is. That's who you are!"
"Maria, I think you're overreacting. It's just a feeling I have, I might be wrong about it."
"No, you're probably right in every way, if you have reason to believe that it's Gregory's intention then it's probably because it is. And it would be a beautiful thing, a magical thing to happen. If they'd both want it. But you don't know that. You just assume. You both just assume you can go and decide over everything and everyone. You think you have the power to control us. You - you really consider yourself gods. Our Gods, that we follow and subject ourselves to at any given occasion!" She ranted while Ben pulled the car into the driveway of their house.
"Maria, you can't compare our situation to theirs. It's not what this is!"
"Oh can't I? I think I can. You and Gregory just decide. You decide what you want and how you want to have it. You don't know how to compromise or how to take a no for an answer."
"That's what characterizes strong men and you know it Maria!" Ben replied getting out of the car to follow her inside.
"True. But you two are bargaining with the only people faithful to you. With the only souls on this earth who understand you! Instead of trusting us and giving us some credit, you handle us the way you handle everybody else! That's what hurts us most Ben, you treat us like your business!" She said as Ben had to remember his past conversation with Gregory about this.
"You know Ben, I came to realize that I handled my family like it was business. God forbid anything went wrong or not exactly the way I planned it, I was out of my mind with worry and anger. And what happens when business gets out of hand?"
"We do whatever it takes to bring it back on track. We play the game until it's our game, by our rules."
"I - I don't know. The rest is like, like some pictures running in front of my inner eye...but nothing I could say for certain! God Cole what is happening to me?"
"Just don't panic, okay. It will all eventually come back. The doctors said you're blending out your most shocking and hurtful memories. So that must be it. Looking for me in Europe, having to leave your mother alone, in the state she was in, your fathers supposed death, that must be it. I mean it's not like you forgot everything, you know Gregory's alive, don't you?"
"Yes but...I don't know... I remember bits and pieces like eating ice cream one morning at breakfast and Sean made fun of me. But I can't say when or what we talked about...I remember sitting in the car with you on our way to Palm Springs but again, I don't know what we talked about or if it's two or three days ago or a whole month! I mean, how can I blend out 5 months of my life?"
"Hey, it's going to be fine you hear me?! Tomorrow we'll go back to Sunset Beach. And we'll se a doctor. Maybe you'll remember with the help of hypnosis or I don't know...something. You'll be okay. Now come on, let's go to sleep. You need to rest." Cole encouraged her while directing her out of the diner.
"I, i need to sleep. Sleep and then wake up from this nightmare." Caitlin said but Cole only kept shut knowing that she couldn't even imagine the proportion of the nightmare.
Hooome at last! Well - not exactly my home, just for the time being - yeah!" Bette stuttered uncomfortable in front of the house at One Ocean Ave as Sam looked at her quietly sketching a smile.
"You're lucky to have Olivia as a friend..." he said just to say something.
"Yeah. I sure am. Well - thanks for the ride." She giggled awkwardly.
"Don't mention it. It was..."
"Yeah..." Bette said as Sam turned away. "Sam? Wait! I - Ah, look. I wasn't born yesterday. There's something going on and you're not telling me. Did, did I do anything wrong?"
"No, I told you, it's been a long trip, exhausting even. I'm just tired." He continued assuring her.
"That's your answer to quite everything I'm asking but I know it's not true. Sam, what happened when you went to see Ricardo?"
"I told you, nothing. I wasn't even able to finish my conversation with him. Paula barged in and then Ricardo told her about her mother..they both drove to the hospital and then I came to pick you up and that's about it."
"Okay, let's just pretend you're right for the sake of this. What I don't understand tough ist why aren't you looking for Leo? What is Ricardo going to do? What happens now?"
"Nothing?" She was amused.
"There's not much Ricardo can do at the moment. Leo ran away after we saw him at the hospital. God knows where he is by now. Cole took Caitlin away the moment she was released from the hospital, to protect her -"
"Good. I mean, it's not like Ricardo would arrest her or anything."
"No. Problem is, the gun is missing too. Cole said he didn't see it, he was concerned about Caitlin who fainted, picked her up and was just as shocked as everybody else to see Elaine and Olivia lying there in blood."
"None of us payed attention to the gun..." Bette thought about it.
"No. But what we know for a fact is that only one of us on that rooftop could have grabbed it."
"But who?" Bette tried to understand. "Who would have anything to hide?"
"Could be anyone..."
"Well not quite anyone...Elaine and Olivia not, obviously."
"Of course, but it could have been Ben, your niece, her friend, Gregory, AJ...you..."
"Moi? Hahaha Sam...you're too funny."
"Am I?" He intoned.
"Wait a minute, what are you saying?! Because for all I know you could have taken the gun just as easily. What do we actually know about you and your employee of the month?" She was appalled.
"Nothing alright! We don't know a thing. So you see, Ricardo can't do anything about it. The only thing he can do is to try figure out how the demo turned into a riot and why." Sam explained.
"But, that's quite clear isn't it? I mean, AJ was behind it. And Alex..."
"Well the lifeguard swears he and his fiancé and his mother had nothing to do with it. AJ himself swears he didn't plan it to be a riot. So..."
"So...Leo? Again?" Bette looked startled.
"I honestly have no idea." He was honest.
"But, but how would he even know about AJ's plans? The demo was a spontaneous thing according to Casey... I don't get it." Bette couldn't link the happenings.
"You said it yourself, Leo was an observer for quite some time. Who knows what he did and who he monitored while you all thought he was just the employee of the month." He retorted obviously upset.
"Nothing. We know nothing... I - I have get inside now. I'm tired." Bette lied but felt tension between her and Sam and decided not to take this conversation any further.
"Yeah. Me too. I'm going back to Grenadines and prepare my departure." Sam turned around ready to leave.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you!" Bette advised serious.
"What? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Just...Nothing. Friendly advice." She finished as she turned around and closed the door behind her.
"Olivia, good morning." AJ looked up to see Olivia walk out of her room ready to leave.
"AJ." She looked around uncomfortable. "You're here again?"
"I never left. I couldn't..." he looked towards Elaine's room as Olivia only nodded wanting to leave. „Let me help you with your bag." he offered.
"I'm fine! Gregory is going to be here any minute." She jumped back.
"Gregory.." AJ muttered under his breath. "Seems like you and him are getting back together?" He asked carefully.
"Not that it's any of your business! But Gregory and I are working on getting our family back together, if you really need to know! Be the parents to Trey that we weren't allowed to be until now." She said on purpose.
"I see. So it's just that, taking care of your children?" He knew he was walking on thin ice.
"How dare you? How dare you even ask me such thing after what you have done to us?!" She ranted.
"Olivia. I'm sorry that you had to hear what I told Gregory last night! I didn't want you to find out about it like that. I wanted to tell you myself." He tried.
"What, like how you wanted to help me find out what happened to my baby? Like how you told me you were a friend? Like how you comforted me knowing damn well every single detail of the horrendous plan that Annie had put up for me? Hm?" She started crying remembering their talk on the cruise ship.
"How can you have nothing to live for?"
"I told you, I killed my baby! I killed my son."
"I know you said that but I don't quite believe it. What happened to the child?"
"He was stillborn."
"Im sorry. I'm very sorry. But you also have a new grandchild. Don't you want to be a part of his life?"
"More than you know. But I just can't... be myself around him. Every time my daughter brings him by, I just think of my little baby."
"You told me you don't bare the answers! Good God AJ you had all the answers! You knew what Annie had done to me! You knew it!"
"You know what it is that I don't understand tough? Why?! Why the hell did you want to help me? Why did you make me believe, you - you encouraged me to believe - that my son was still alive. Why? Why did you do it if you wanted to punish me for what I had done to you and Elaine?"
"I... I couldn't... I wanted to tell you eventually. I swear I did!"
"Look, as the time passed by, I began to understand that you didn't hurt me on purpose. And neither did Bette. She just kept shut for the sake of her husband...as for you... you couldn't have known what obnoxious plan Del had in mind when he asked you to take that damned break."
"When? When did you plan to tell me?!" She didn't want to listen to any of it.
"When I made sure that Gregory was out of your life. I had to keep you away from him. I was willing to forgive you..."
"But not him." She nodded.
"I had to make you understand and see the man he really is. That's why I couldn't stop what I started. Because Gregory still had to pay..." AJ was worked up.
"You mean I had to see the man you wanted him to become?"
"The man I wanted you to hate. The man I wanted everybody to hate! He did a spectacular job on his own and without my help tough, Olivia! Bedding Annie? Remember that, I had nothing to do with that! Listen to me! I know what I did was wrong,"
"Hah! Wrong? Wrong?! God, wrong does not even begin to describe what you did to me and my family!"
"But I am well aware of my faults and I want to make it up to you!" He shouted.
"AJ...it's not me you have to make it up to anymore." Olivia turned away from him facing the door of Elaine's room, almost smiling.
"I'm not sure I understand."
"You see, even tough I suffered so terribly back then, even tough I have lost everything and everyone I loved ever since you set foot into my life again - I am not the one who is suffering right now."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that there is an innocent woman, right behind this door that is suffering, fighting for her life! She has suffered so much! 24 years she had to live thinking her son was dead, wondering what she had done wrong!" She paused turning around again, "And yes, I deserved every single one of my sleepless nights crying over the thought that my baby had died! I deserved every minute of the torture that Elaine has been put trough for over 20 years! But look at us now AJ, after everything we have done, you and I are still standing. And Elaine is the one fighting for her life."
"I know, trust me I know and I hate myself for this situation!" He stepped forward but she turned away again.
"But you need to - "
"I need to what? Forgive you?"
"AJ, I don't need to forgive you! I have everything I ever wanted again. I have my son. I have all my children with me. I am putting my family back together with Gregory's help. With the help of our friends. I don't need to forgive you. Or hate you. Because I don't need you in my life."
"Just listen to me and listen carefully! You and I - we will have to coexist for one and only one reason: and that's our grandson. I hope tough, for your own sake, that Elaine will wake up and be alright. Because if not, I swear to God not even our grandson will keep you safe from my anger!" She said firmly as Gregory eavesdropped at the door.
"Oh Olivia, there used to be a time I would have loved to hear you say those words..." Gregory mumbled unsure if to walk in and interrupt the conversation or wait and listen more.
"I am not going to run away again Olivia!" AJ shouted back, "Not ever again, not even from your anger. I have learned my lesson. Trust me, I have!"
"You think you have?" Olivia asked softly, lost in thought.
"I know I have! I have lost everything 27 years ago. Now you know your dear ex-husband played his part. As did you. And Bette. But now - now I nearly lost two of the most important people in my life within seconds..."
"Nearly? Ah, Aj... I might have survived the gunshot, and Elaine might survive as well. But you did lose us AJ. As you've lost the respect of every single person who attended that board meeting. You've lost every single one of us!" Olivia tried to make him understand.
"I have indeed. I just - I want you to know one thing..." he gave up explaining, knowing very well that it would take a lot of time to fix what he did.
"What's that?" Olivia asked unsure but before AJ could speak up, Gregory walked in with Trey.
"Olivia, we're ready to go." Gregory decided not to wait any longer.
"Oh, Oh sweety, come to mommy!" She directed her attention to Trey.
"You can't hold him, here, let me help you." Gregory offered his support as they both smiled at the little boy.
AJ looked at the three of them and understood that Olivia indeed had everything she ever wanted again. The craziest things have happened in the past years yet the truth found a way to hit the surface and sort everything out. It wasn't perfect but it was a start. For her at least.
"AJ? You said there is something that I need to know." Olivia wanted to listen to it before leaving.
"Liv, let's just go, Steve and Rose are waiting outside." Gregory pushed her, knowing Sean promised to show up.
"No, I need to hear it. What do I need to know?"
"Two things actually. First: that I never, never meant for all this to happen." AJ paused as Gregory rolled his eyes. "And second: that I am not to blame for what is yet to come."
"What?" Olivia couldn't understand as Gregory frowned confused himself. "What do you mean what is yet to come?" But before AJ could answer Sean barged in.
"Dad! I thought I told you to stay the hell away from mom!"
"Cole, I need to see my mother!"
"You shouldn't Caitlin, she's fine she's doing just fine." Cole rushed to answer.
"Fine? That's why you want to keep me away from the hospital at all cost? Because she's fine?" She asked as Cole lowered his head. "Look, i might not remember what happened but I remember what it's like when you lie to me!" She said hurt.
"Caitlin...I am not lying! Your mother is doing just fine! As a matter of fact she's being released as we speak! Your father and Sean are both there to pick her up."
"Then why won't you let us go and see her? What are you keeping from me, what happened to her Cole?" She was angry.
"Caitlin..." he sighed, "Alright. Alright, let's all go and pick your mother up!" He said biting his tongue from saying something hurtful.
"Take us to the central hospital please!" Caitlin told the taxi driver without hesitation while Cole only looked out the window anticipating what was about to happen.
"Sean!" Olivia was surprised to see him.
"Hey, mom, good to see you're doing fine." He said unsure.
"Well, I wouldn't call it fine...but all I can think of is going home right now."
"Dad! I asked you something!" Sean didn't let go.
"Sean, your mother and I have everything straighten out. I am taking her home so she can recover. I strongly suggest you come to terms with that!" Gregory barked at his son.
"Mom! Seriously? You're going home with him?"
"Ah - I..." But before olivia could finish her thought, Paula walked out of Elaine's room, looking awfully lost and sad.
"Paula! How is Elaine?" Olivia jumped to ask but Paula didn't answer. "Paula?" Olivia tried again.
"Just leave me and my mother alone, okay! If it wasn't for you, none of this would have ever happened!" She ranted at her.
"Don't you dare -" Gregory wanted to start his usual menacing but Olivia interrupted.
"It's okay. She's right...if I hadn't asked Elaine to come here and help us, she wouldn't be ...lying in a coma...Paula is right..."
"No! She's right. Paula please, listen to me. I cannot tell you how sorry I am! I never thought any of this would happen. I never believed -"
"What? What did actually happen Olivia?!" Paula was worked up.
"Hey mom. How are you holding up?" Casey rubbed his mother's shoulder.
"Well, couldn't be any better. I've done the biggest mistake I could have ever done by letting my feelings take control over my reason, I've lost two of my best friends - forever this time, because of what I thought was right to do...I've lost the respect of so many people I care about, including Sarah...I guess I couldn't be any better." She let out sighing.
"Come on mom, it's not that bad." Casey tried.
"It's not?" She laughed.
"No. Look, Sarah will get over it eventually. As for Gregory and Olivia, they'll forgive you. And everyone else too."
"Oh Casey, you've got such a pure heart. You believe in love and forgiveness and you encourage other people to believe in it too. I am so proud of you!"
"Well, that's only because you taught me to believe. You told me that there is nothing that can't be fixed. Every problem has a solution. So does this one."
"I'm afraid I went too far. I don't know how this can be fixed."
"So you think that the friendship you and Gregory have for over 30 years now is going to what, be erased by the snap of a finger because of a mistake you made?"
"I don't know." She replied honestly.
"Well I don't think it will. You go way back with both Gregory and Olivia. They love you. Remember how you told me stories about the crazy things you used to do? You and dad and the two of them, Bette and whoever was lucky to be called her husband?" Casey tried to sooth the spirits as they both laughed.
"That was a long time ago, Casey. That was a time when we never even thought about hurting each other. If someone would have told me back then that I would even consider doing what I did now...I would have punched them in the face. Never! But look how never can become reality."
"Okay you know what? Let's just go back home. Then, we'll think of something okay. I can talk to Gregory if you want. I'm sure he's just extremely angry because of the Resort. When things get back to normal he'll come around."
"No! I don't want you to talk to him!"
"Because. This is between him and me. I've dragged you into this and I've put you and Sarah in the middle. But that's about enough. It's not your mistake and not your battle. Please." She begged as Casey only looked frowning.
"Listen, I promise we will get to the bottom of this." Olivia grabbed Paula's arm.
"Oh I'm sure you will. I'm sure you and Gregory are going to find a way to cover up your daughters involvement in trying to shoot AJ and accidentally shooting both you and my mother!" Paula shouted while Cole and Caitlin walked in.
"Mom? Is, is it true? I did this to you?" Caitlin asked in shock while Olivia only shook her head.