Peeps!! Here it is, the sequel to Thin Line. I know some of you were a little upset with me for leaving things where I did so I figured I'd better get the sequel started ASAP. You know the drill, I'm sure at this point you know which characters I own and which ones I don't. I hope you like it, I really have high hopes for this story. If you liked Thin Line, I'm hoping you'll love this. As always, Read, Enjoy, and Review!!
Truth In Deceit
1 Month Later…
"Listen to this one," Savannah giggled, sitting at the desk beside the bed she kept Dawn on.
Dawn could hear the clicking of computer keys as Savannah sat next to her. She hated how Savannah told her to listen as if she had some alternative. Like she could just get up and walk away.
"Listen to what?"
"Hold on, it's loading," Savannah said. "Ah here it is, the headline is 'Flair and Taker Sidelined by Tragedy', awww isn't that sad?"
Dawn hated the sound of Savannah's giggle. She hated everything about Savannah quite frankly but her psychotic little cackle made Dawn's stomach turn.
"It says…WWE Superstars Cory Flair, real name Corinne Samms, and Undertaker, real name Mark Callaway, will not be attending the WWE's weeklong tour of the UK. Months ago, both were advertised to take part in the shows but neither of them have appeared on WWE Television since news broke of the disappearance of WWE Diva Dawn Marie. Dawn, who has been missing, police estimate, since the beginning of April. The police are looking at leads but have yet to find any solid enough to go on. As many fans know, Dawn Marie was in a relationship with Callaway for years and she and Samms have been very close friends since their days in ECW together. Undertaker is rumored to return to work at WWE's next pay-per-view Judgment Day. There is no projected return date for Flair."
Dawn was fairly certain she'd cried every last tear she had but her eyes started stinging as she thought about Mark and Cory. She missed them so much. She'd been so stupid to keep her pregnancy a secret. She'd been so stupid not to just take Mark back. Now she might not ever see them again. She might not get the chance to tell them how sorry she was and how much she truly loved them.
"Isn't that depressing?" Savannah asked, obviously amused. "Your little friends cant seem to function without you."
"What is wrong with you?" Dawn asked, disgusted.
"Oh shutup Dawn," Savannah sighed. "You have absolutely no sense of humor."
"You kidnapped me and I'm strapped to a bed in the middle of nowhere Savannah," Dawn said. "Excuse me for not thinking this is funny."
Savannah didn't say anything for a few seconds and Dawn closed her eyes shut tightly. She wanted so badly to free herself from her bonds and beat the hell out of Savannah before getting back to her family but she couldn't. She'd tried time and time again. It was no use.
"No one is gonna believe my baby is yours," Dawn tried to use reason. "You have to know that."
"Dawn, you've tried this approach before, don't you know by now that it doesn't work?" Savannah asked, taking 11 footsteps toward the door. In her time there, Dawn had taken to counting things. Footsteps, sounds, anything. She knew exactly how many steps it took to get from one place in the room to another.
"I must be going," Savannah said. "You have a good night."
"You know..when I get out of this, I'm gonna kill Glenn for being stupid enough to believe your bullshit," Dawn spat.
"You keep believing you'll get out," Savannah said. "Whatever makes you happy."
"Now wasn't that fun?" Adelle asked as she, Cory, and Regina returned to Cory's apartment. Cory looked over at her and rolled her eyes before dropping her keys into the bowl she kept them in and walking away. Adelle had taken both of her daughters out for a day at the spa. They'd all gotten their hair done. After quite a bit of urging from Adelle, Cory had, mercifully, had the black dye stripped from her hair and her stylist had managed to restore it to it's natural color. Adelle had been trying to take Cory out at least once a week since she'd been on leave from the WWE. She didn't like the idea of her daughter being in her apartment by herself.
"I think she might have cut off too much," Regina looked at herself in the mirror, running her hands through her hair. "Corinne, do you think she cut off too much?"
"It looks fine Regina," Cory said, not bothering to look at her sister.
"Maybe we should go shopping," Adelle suggested. "It's not too late."
"I'm really not in the mood," Cory said. "I think I'm just gonna go to bed."
Adelle sighed, frustrated as she watched her daughter walk away. Cory wasn't herself. One look into her eyes could tell anyone that. Every time Adelle saw her lately they were blank, almost lifeless. That wasn't her daughter. She hadn't made a single snarky comment to her in weeks. She'd come to her house on a Monday night to find that Cory wasn't even watching Raw. Adelle was at a loss. She couldn't imagine what was going through Cory's head. She'd never been the most hands on mother but she couldn't just stand by while her daughter went through this. She just didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to help.
"You've gotta get out of this funk," Regina shook her head, still looking in the mirror. "You've been like this for weeks. It's time for it to stop."
Adelle winced when she saw Cory stop walking and turn around. If she knew Cory, a fight was about to start and it was best to just hide behind the most solid piece of furniture until it was over. To her surprise, instead of berating her sister for her insensitive comment, Cory just shook her head and turned back around.
Viveca sat in her bed, icing her ankle. She'd sprained it over a week ago during her match with Lisa and it didn't seem to be getting any better. It probably didn't help that she'd worn heels during her autograph signing with Adam earlier that day. She hadn't really thought about how painful it would be while she was getting ready. She just wanted to get dressed and get the damn thing over with. She couldn't describe how difficult it had become for her to work with Adam. She could barely stand to look at him. He didn't seem to understand why she had grown to dislike him so much and that just made things worse. It got to a point where she'd asked Stephanie if there was any way for her to get out of her storyline as Adam's manager but there wasn't. It had just started with Adam and Jason's breakup as a team and it was planned out for months.
Viveca sighed, looking down a the ring on her left hand. Jeff had refused to take it back, saying that it was hers and he didn't want it. She kept it in a box and, though she knew she should have left it at home, she couldn't seem to part with it. Every once in a while she took it out and put it on. She felt pathetic for doing it but she couldn't help herself. She missed Jeff so much sometimes it hurt. No one had ever loved her the way he did and she'd never loved anyone like him. She wished there was something she could do to make him talk to her, to make him understand that she needed him back but he barely even looked at her.
She sniffed, taking the ring off and dropping it onto the bed. Life was supposed to be great. Her mother was out of the hospital and feeling better day by day. Vince had hired her brother William to do some work for both the Public Relations and legal departments and he was on the road with them most of the time. He was also planning on giving Lianna a shot during the UK tour and if all went well, he would hire her as well. Viveca was supposed to be enjoying her career and planning her wedding to the man she loved but instead she was sitting alone in her hotel room with a bag of melting ice on her foot. Dawn was still missing, Cory hadn't been on the road in over a month, Taylor was receiving treatment in a psychiatric facility in Michigan. Things had to get better soon. Something good had to happen.
She looked down at the ice bag on her bed and sighed, picking it up. It was more water than ice and she didn't have any more in the room so she was going to have to hobble to the ice machine and get more.
She pulled a robe on over her tank top and t-shirts and grabbed the ice bucket and her room key, limping out into the hall.
Jeff yawned as he walked down the hall. He hadn't slept much the past few days and he really needed to get some rest before the long flight to the UK. He never slept well on planes and he didn't want to feel like crap when they landed. His hand was sore. He'd hurt his knuckle during a match with Adam and he needed to ice it for a little while. He knew it was unprofessional but he hadn't been able to resist hauling off and punching Adam as hard as he could in the face during their first match after he caught him with his fiancée. Adam was still sporting the bruise. That was the only thing he enjoyed about his current storyline, which involved him going up against Adam and his new 'girlfriend' Viveca. It was ironic to Jeff that this angle had been in the works before any of the drama between the three of them happened. He'd asked Stephanie if she was a psychic and she'd guiltily informed him that it was just bad timing. He did his best to be mature about it though. This was his job and he wasn't going to risk it because of them.
He heard footsteps coming from around the corner and he stopped, looking to see who it was. Just his luck, he spotted Viveca limping down the hall toward him.
He'd been doing a pretty good job of avoiding her outside of work. He couldn't talk to her. It was too hard to even look at her. He'd loved her and trusted her and she made him feel like a complete idiot. He couldn't believe that he'd actually thought she was over Adam. And making matters worse, every time he saw her he felt that horrible feeling in his chest. It was a strange mixture of anger and longing. He was so mad at her but he couldn't ignore the fact that he'd been in love with her. He still was.
She was looking down and almost ran into him. Fortunately, she looked up just before she did, obviously surprised to see him.
"Hey," she said, her voice soft. She looked up at him trepidation evident in her features.
He didn't speak, instead nodding for her to go to the ice machine first.
She did, occasionally looking over her shoulder at him. When she was done, she turned around, "How's your hand?"
"Fine," he said quickly, stepping around her to get his ice.
"Viveca," he stopped her, not turning to look at her. "Stop. I didn't come out here to talk to you."
After a few seconds, he heard her walking away. She was probably hurt but he had to try to ignore that. This wasn't his fault. It was hers.
Cory laid on her couch, looking up at the ceiling. She was exhausted but she knew there was no point in trying to sleep. She never really went to sleep anymore, she just kind of passed out from exhaustion every now and then. Her mother and Regina had left a few hours earlier and Cory was glad they were gone. She didn't know how to handle her mother when she was trying to be nurturing. It just didn't seem natural. Though Cory appreciated her mother's efforts, she was getting tired of people babying her. Her friends were constantly calling to check on her. Jessica and Hunter came to see her every chance they got and when they were there, they walked on eggshells around her.
Mark hadn't spoken to her since they were interviewed by the police. She'd tried to call him but he never answered. She'd sent him a letter, telling him how sorry she was and begging him to just talk to her but she got no response. He had every right to hate her. She never should have done what she did, she knew that. But she missed Mark more than she could possibly say and she was so worried about him. She just wished that he would talk to her.
And Dawn…She felt like a piece of her heart had been ripped out. Dawn was more like a sister to her than her best friend and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities. What could have happened, where she could be. She wasn't religious but she prayed, pleaded that Dawn somehow come home safely.
It was strange, the only person she had felt comfortable talking too lately was John. He'd called her a few times and though they didn't always talk for long, she was able to relax a little. She didn't feel the pressure that she'd been feeling with most people lately. She didn't feel like he was just sitting there waiting for her to break down. It was strange but she almost wished he'd called more often.
The doorbell rang and Cory nearly jumped out of her skin when the loud sound resounded through the quiet space. Her dogs started barking and she got up slowly walking toward the door, "Who is it?"
John paced anxiously outside Cory's door, trying to decide whether or not he should ring the bell.
"I should have called," he shook his head, feeling like an idiot.
He wasn't exactly sure what made him think paying her a surprise visit was a good idea but he'd changed his mind. What if she didn't want to see him?
"Snap out of it," he told himself, taking his hat off and running a hand over his short hair before putting it back on. This wasn't about him. It was about her. He was worried about her. The last time he talked to her she sounded so withdrawn when she answered the phone that he realized he had to do something. He hadn't even seen her since he, Cory, Mark, and Dawn's mother were asked to appear on Larry King Live to discuss Dawn's disappearance. Cory left the show midway through the interview because she grew too upset to speak. She came back at the end and John could distinctly remember her hand reaching for his under the table a few seconds after she sat down beside him. He held it tightly for the rest of the appearance and she didn't let go of him even after they left the studio. He held her hand the whole way back to the hotel. He'd been so worried about her when Vince took her off the road that he'd been trying to call her twice a week just to make sure she was okay. Jessica told him that when her father died when she was young, she'd been so devastated that, at one point, her mother was afraid she'd have to seek psychiatric treatment for the young girl. John didn't want her to feel that way again. He wanted her to know that he was there for her.
Remembering why he was there, John reached out, ringing the bell. Immediately, he heard her dogs barking loudly and the sound of feet padding toward the door.
"Who is it?"
"Housekeeping," he smirked, leaning against the doorjamb.
The door opened after a few seconds to reveal Cory sporting a surprised expression, "John..hey."
"Hi," he smiled.
John was surprised at how different she looked. Her hair was light, almost blonde, and she looked thinner, not sickly thin just..not like herself. She wasn't wearing any makeup and she looked more tired than he'd ever seen her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"I was just uh..in the neighborhood," he said, kneeling down to pet the dogs that were jumping around at his feet.
"You live in a different state," the corner of her mouth twitched upward.
She was eyeing him suspiciously and he tried to come up with something good to say.
"You were coming to check up on me," she suggested.
"No of course n..maybe, maybe a little," he admitted.
"Come in," she picked up one of the dogs, stepping aside to allow him to enter. "This is Don Juan and that's Mr. Belvedere."
"Nice to meet you guys," he smiled.
"And for future reference, the housekeeping line only works in hotels," she said, sitting down on the couch.
"You still opened the door," he smiled, sitting beside her.
They sat there for a little while in silence. The dogs were sniffing him and trying to lick his hands and she turned toward him, holding one of the couch's large pillows in her lap.
"So…" he looked at her. "How are you?"
She shrugged, "Tired. Bored. I haven't cried in a good 6 and a half hours."
As John studied her features he thought to himself that he'd never seen her look so innocent and vulnerable. It was strange to him to be in front of her and not be on the defensive.
"Is it getting any better?" he asked.
She shrugged again, "I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I'm fine for a couple days and then there are times where I cant sleep for days in a row 'cause I have nightmares about some psycho kidnapping Dawn. I miss Mark but he wont talk to me. My mother is suffocating me and I don't even have the energy to tell Regina what a bitch she is..With all this time off..I don't know what to do with myself."
"So come back to work," John suggested.
"I wish it was that easy," she smiled wistfully, looking down at her hands. "I want to but..Vince doesn't think I'm ready."
"What do you think?" he asked.
She looked away and then back at him, "I understand why Vince is giving me and Mark time off but..the more I sit around here..the more I think about everything."
"Did you tell him that?" he asked.
She shook her head, "This is all just really complicated..You know..I used to go to D with all my problems.
She closed her eyes and John could see tears escaping through her lashes.
"And here I go again," she laughed, shaking her head. "God I hate this."
He scooted closer to her, removing the pillow from her lap and taking both of her hands in his, "Hey..listen to me…don't give up on Dawn..We don't know what happened yet."
"I know I just.." she sniffed, blinking in attempt to stop her tears. "I'm just scared. I miss her so much and I wanna know…"
She trailed off, shaking her head and looking down. He let go of one of her hands and tilted her chin up, making her look at him. He used his thumb to wipe the tears from under her eyes. He hated to see her this upset. "We're gonna get through this. All of us."
Just then, Mr. Belvedere jumped up onto the couch, trying to lick Cory's face.
"See, I told you," John smiled. "All of us."
She laughed, trying to push the dog away.
"How about we change the subject?" Cory suggested.
"Okay," he looked her up and down. "When was the last time you ate?"
"I ate this morning," she said. "Why?"
"You must not have eaten enough," he said, getting up and walking toward the kitchen. "We gotta get some meat back on your bones."
She laughed, "Where are you going?"
"To the kitchen," he said, picking up one of the dogs. "We're gonna make you dinner."
"How long has it been since she's slept?" Chris asked Jonah, one of Taylor's nurses. Chris had gotten to know him pretty well since Taylor had been admitted. She'd been in the hospital since the day she tried to kill herself. When Chris received word of Nancy's mysterious death, he'd been afraid to tell her, not knowing how she would react. When he did, his fears were realized. She ripped her stitches out and tried to leave the hospital, claiming her father had killed her mother. She was sedated but when the medication wore off she tried to get out again, claiming that her father was trying to kill her. She told Chris and her doctors about the strange emails she'd received and seeing her father in the road before she crashed her car. The doctors were convinced that she had a psychotic break. Now, she spent a big chunk of her days in therapy sessions and that wasn't going to change until the doctors felt she was stable.
Jonah sighed, "Two, maybe three days."
Chris ran a hand through his hair, wishing there was something he could do. He couldn't help feeling like all of this was somehow his fault. He kept thinking back to the night he came to her hotel room and berated her for keeping secrets from him. He never should have done that. He never should have talked to her that way.
"Dr. Banner says her sessions are getting more and more difficult," Jonah said.
"Difficult how?" Chris asked.
"I overheard him talking about paranoid delusions," Jonah explained. "She's terrified of her father. She swears up and down she saw him, no matter how many times they tell her he's dead. She keeps refusing sleeping pills because she has such bad nightmares. I cant imagine what that poor kid's been through to make her this way."
Chris shook his head, "Neither can I."
"I had no idea you could cook," Cory smiled as she and John sat on her couch. They were eating the spaghetti he made and talking while the dogs sat on the floor eating bread.
"Don't get too excited," John laughed. "If it's not pasta or somethin' grillable, I don't work with it."
"Grillable?" she smirked. "Is that even a word."
"It is in my dictionary," he responded.
She laughed, taking another bite of her food.
"You really like it?" he asked.
"It's good," she nodded. "And I'm very picky about my spaghetti so you should be flattered."
"Well, when you put it like that, how could I not be?" he laughed.
"So…now that we've covered what a great chef I am..Can you explain to me what one person needs with an apartment this big?" John asked, looking around the penthouse. It was bigger than most houses.
Cory shrugged, "It's not that big."
"How many bedrooms do you have?" he asked.
"Well..there was four but we had a wall knocked out and turned one into a closet and dressing area," she answered.
He gave her a look and after a few seconds she laughed, "Okay so it's a little big. It was a gift."
"And you wonder why I call you Princess," he smirked.
She laughed, "No I don't."
They talked more while they finished eating, with Cory even getting a second plate. He helped her take care of the dishes and John caught her up on what she was missing on the road. Before they knew it, it was after midnight. John could see her eyelids drooping and he was getting pretty tired himself.
"I should probably head out," he said. "You should get to sleep."
She shrugged, "I guess."
He could swear there was a hint of disappointment in her expression as he stood up.
She got up, walking him toward the door. He turned to face her when they reached it, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
She shrugged, "I don't know..my mother's probably coming to torture me with family time again."
"Well I'll still be in town tomorrow, maybe I'll stop by and grill you something," he suggested as she held the door open for him.
She smiled, "That would be nice."
The Next Day…
Viveca looked up from her menu to see her sister practically bouncing toward the table. Lianna was coming from a meeting with Stephanie and from the looks of it, things went well. She was surprised that Lianna had taken to the business the way she had. After being in the audience at Wrestlemania, it seemed she'd been bitten by the bug. She'd come to as many shows as she could until it seemed she was Viveca's permanent travel partner. Her looks weren't lost on the guys backstage and soon Vince had noticed her and asked Viveca if he thought she would consider a job offer. Of course, Viveca said she would.
"Well?" she looked up at her sister expectantly.
"They want me to be Eric Bischoff's personal assistant," Lianna smiled. "Providing that all goes well on the UK tour."
"That's fantastic," Viveca stood up, hugging her tightly.
"I have a test photo shoot in two days," Lianna explained as they sat down. "Will you go with me?"
"Of course," Viveca smiled, touched that she wanted her to come with. She picked up her coffee, "Now where the hell is your brother?"
"William?" Lianna smirked. "Probably somewhere sniffing after Jessica."
Viveca laughed, "Jesus, he really wont give up. I had no idea his attention span was that long with women."
William had been a notorious womanizer since he could walk. His crush on Jessica was understandable, she was gorgeous, but Viveca was baffled that he hadn't given up yet. Jessica wouldn't give him the time of day.
"Neither did I," Lianna laughed. "I think he's just having a lot of problems understanding that there is a woman in this world other than us that doesn't want him."
"Egos do sort of run in this family, don't they?" Viveca laughed.
"Not with me," Lianna smirked. "I don't know where the rest of you get that from."
"Well hello beautiful lady," Matt Hardy walked over, giving Viveca a hug. He pulled up a chair, casting a glance at her sister, "Lianna."
"Hardy," Lianna rolled her eyes, picking up a roll from the basket on the middle of the table. "I didn't realize you were invited to our family brunch."
"You know, one of these days, you two are gonna learn to get along," Viveca said. "You know, like maybe not looking like you want to kill each other."
"Please, I wouldn't go to jail for killing him," Lianna picked a piece off of her roll.
"She wants me," Matt smirked.
"Oh yes, that's why I get nauseous every time I see you," Lianna sneered.
Viveca couldn't help but laugh. Matt and Lianna fought like cats and dogs every time they were in the same room.
"So Matt..what are you doing down here?" Viveca asked. "Shouldn't you be packing?"
"Already packed," Matt smiled proudly. "Jeff's the one who hasn't started yet. Maybe you should go see if he needs help."
"Ooh, subtle," Lianna pretended to shiver as she buttered her roll.
"Lianna, why don't you shove that in your mouth?" Matt suggested.
"Make me," she made a face at him.
"Don't tempt me," he pointed.
Viveca rolled her eyes, "I highly doubt Jeff wants my help."
She appreciated Matt's constant efforts to try and get her and Jeff to talk but she needed to face facts. If he ever did give her another chance, it wasn't going to be any time soon.
"You never know until you try," Matt shrugged.
"I hate to admit that he's right," Lianna said. "But you do need to try and talk to Jeff."
"I have," Viveca insisted. "You guys, he hates me."
"He loves you," Lianna insisted. "He's just hurt. Give him some time."
Viveca sighed, "How much time does he need?"
"So how does Glenn not know your baby doesn't exist?" Dawn asked as she heard Savannah pacing back and forth.
"My baby does exist Dawn," Savannah said. "Inside you…you're just..holding it for me."
"You are one sick bitch, you know that?" Dawn asked.
She cried out when she felt a stinging slap across her face.
"I suggest you watch your mouth Dawn," Savannah said, her breath hot on Dawn's ear. "I need to keep you pregnant but that doesn't mean I cant hurt you at all."
Dawn felt her stomach turn and she took deep breaths, hoping the nausea would pass.
Savannah backed away and started walking around again.
"How did you even find out I was pregnant?" Dawn asked. "Cory couldn't have told you."
"She didn't," Savannah answered. "I followed you to your doctor's office. There's not too many reasons to see an obstetrician."
"Why me?" Dawn asked. She still couldn't figure out what this woman's problem was with her. She'd never met her in her life. "Why did you follow me? What did I do to you?"
Savannah sat in the chair beside the bed, taking her time to answer the question. After almost a full minute she spoke up, "What makes you think my problem is with you?"
"What is it you wanted to talk to me about John?" Vince asked. He was in meetings for most of the day but when his secretary informed him that John had called saying he had to talk to him about something important, he had her invite him to the restaurant where he was having lunch. He didn't have too much time but John was one of his biggest stars so he figured he could give him a few minutes.
"Well…" John rested his elbows on the table. "It's about Cory."
"Cory?" Vince looked up from his plate, somewhat surprised. "I was planning on stopping by to see her tomorrow while I'm in the city..how is she?"
"Not great, honestly," John sighed. "But..I think that there's something you could do to help her."
"And what's that?" Vince asked, curious.
"Bring her back to work," John suggested.
Vince sighed, taking a minute to enjoy his food before he responded, "John..I understand your concern for Cory but..I cant do that. I just don't believe Cory's ready right now."
"I understand that you're looking out for her in your own way," John said. "But I think I know her a little better than you. She is ready."
Vince wasn't sure he liked the way John was talking to him but he tried to ignore it. Everyone was a little on edge because of Dawn's disappearance.
"Need I remind you that the last time Cory was in front of a camera, she broke down and had to leave in the middle of an interview?" Vince asked.
"She was being asked about her pregnant best friend disappearing," John said. "It was just days after we found Dawn's house trashed. All these theories had been all over the news about who could have abducted Dawn and if she was dead or not. And she blames herself for it happening…How did you expect her to react then?"
Vince didn't say anything. Linda and Stephanie had tried to convince him not to put Cory in front of the media but disagreed, subjecting her to a day of media from the Today show to Larry King.
"I understand that you're trying to handle this in the best way possible for everyone but..if you saw Cory at home, you'd know that being there isn't what's best for her. You and I both know Cory is a worker. She wants to be out there in front of the fans. She wants to do her job. And you know she's great at it."
"I cant argue how good she is," Vince said. "But if I put her on TV and she freezes up, then what do you propose I do?"
John thought about it for a few moments and then looked back up at Vince, "We're doing house shows for the next week..bring her on the road, put her in front of the fans, if she can do it then..she can do it on TV."
Vince knew John wasn't going to let him eat in peace unless he placated him somehow so he sighed, "Tell you what…I'll think about it."
Chris watched Taylor as they sat in her room. She looked so innocent and fragile. She was sitting on her window sill, her long blond hair tied back in a ponytail. The white t-shirt and green sweatpants they'd given her to wear were too big for her, especially with all the weight she'd lost since she was hospitalized. Her big blue eyes were focused on something outside and she had her forehead resting on the glass. Chris had been there for the last few days so he could spend a lot of time with her before he left the country for almost two weeks for the UK tour. This was the first time in a few days that she'd seemed pretty lucid.
"He's out there," Taylor said quietly.
"Who?" Chris asked.
"You know who," Taylor said. "I've seen him out there."
"Your father?" Chris asked, moving closer to her. "You've seen him out there?"
She nodded slowly, "He cant get me in here though…He cant hurt me here…can he?"
Chris looked out the window to the courtyard, following Taylor's gaze. Maybe she wasn't crazy. Maybe she really did see someone…But who was it?
"Can he?" she asked again, turning her gaze to him.
"No," Chris shook his head. "I wont let anybody hurt you."
"What the hell is this?" Mark stared.
Glenn had woken him up that morning with a phone call telling him to meet him for lunch and that he had something important to talk to him about. Now, they were sitting across from each other at a steak house not far from Mark's ranch and Glenn had just pulled out a ring box.
"What do you think it is?" Glenn laughed. "I'm gonna give it to Jacinda."
Mark cringed at the thought of Glenn proposing to this woman. He still couldn't explain what it was but he just shake the bad feeling he had about her. He didn't particularly like her and he definitely didn't trust her.
"You wanna marry this girl?" Mark stared.
Glenn nodded, "What else can I do? She's pregnant with my baby."
"That doesn't mean you're in love with her," Mark reminded him.
"I think I am," Glenn said. "She's amazing."
"She's..somethin' alright," Mark looked away.
"Look, I know you two aren't exactly the best of friends but..I care about her," Glenn said. "I didn't give you shit for all the women you picked that I couldn't stand."
"There havent been that many," Mark laughed. "And I never tried to marry any of the ones you didn't like."
"Yes you did," Glenn accused. "Are you forgetting Savannah?"
"Oh God," Mark groaned at the mention of his ex. That woman had been certifiable but for some reason, Mark got roped in. He'd stayed with her way too long.
"That woman was a whack job," Glenn laughed.
"Yes she was," Mark nodded.
"You remember that time she keyed your car because you were late picking her up from the airport?" Glenn asked.
"How could I forget?" Mark shook his head. "Listen, this isn't about my crazy ex, it's about you and Jacinda and…I just want you to be sure you know what you're doing. Marriage is a big step."
"I know it is," Glenn nodded. "But..I think it's a step we're ready to take."
John walked toward Cory's building, dialing her phone for a third time. He hoped she wasn't still out with her mother. He needed to talk to her right away. He rounded the corner and then stopped when he heard loud barking. He looked up to see Cory walking her dogs. Her face was mostly covered by a huge pair of sunglasses and she didn't seem to notice him until the dogs started dragging her toward him.
"Hey," she waved when she saw him, walking quickly as the dogs struggled to get to him.
He knelt down, giving them attention so they would calm down.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"I told you I was gonna come grill you somethin'," he smirked. "Did you forget that fast?"
"No, I just..I wasn't sure you were coming," she shrugged.
He smiled, "Well here I am…I tried calling."
"I left my phone upstairs," she smiled apologetically. "You know, I'm not sure if I have anything grillable upstairs."
"That's okay," John smiled. "That's not the only reason I'm here."
"What else would you be here for?" she asked, pushing her sunglasses up on top of her head.
"Well..I wanted to make sure you start packing when you get back in the house," John said casually.
"Packing?" she frowned, confused. "For what?"
"Well," John put his hands in his pockets. "We've got a plane to catch tomorrow."
"Excuse me?" she stared.
"You're coming on the UK tour," John smiled.
"I am?" she stared, her mouth dropping open. "Oh my God!..Wait…why? How?"
"I kind of, sort of..talked Vince into bringing you back," John explained nervously. He hoped she took this well.
He winced as if he was waiting for a punch while she processed what he'd just told her. He was surprised when he heard her squeak and he felt her arms around his neck. She hugged him tightly and he pulled his hands out of his pockets, hugging her back.
They hugged for quite some time and John couldn't say he didn't enjoy the feeling. After a minute or two, she pulled back, staring up at him. She looked surprised and confused, "Thank you so much John."
"You don't need to thank me," he insisted.
"Yeah..I really do," she said quietly. She opened and closed her mouth twice before finally asking, "Why would you do that for me?"
He shrugged, "That's what friends do..right?…At least, I hope we're friends."
Her blue eyes grew misty and she nodded, "Yeah…we are."
He pulled her into another hug and she leaned against him, her head on his shoulder, "Thank you."
"Stop thanking me," he laughed, pulling away. "I'm just glad to see you smiling."
Her smile grew wider and a blush touched her cheeks. John felt an intense urge to reach out and touch her face but he kept his hands at his sides. This wasn't the time to be trying to touch her.
"You know..I wasn't kidding about packing," he said, trying to focus on the matter at hand. "We really do leave tomorrow. And we're gone 12 days."
"Oh God you're right," she looked panicked momentarily. She looked up at him, "You have any plans tonight?"
"None that I'm aware of," he shrugged. "Why do you ask?"
She smiled shyly, "Wanna help me pack?"
"I don't know Cory," he said. "That could take a while."
She shrugged, "I don't mind if you don't."
"I knew one day you'd end up in the psych ward," Officer Jenks laughed, walking into Carmen's room. After Nancy's murder, Carmen had been traumatized and deemed unstable. She'd been transferred to a section of the facility reserved for mentally incompetent prisoners. Fortunately, Rhona had also been transferred there so she was able to keep an eye on her. And she needed to. She was in pretty damn deep now and she had to be careful. No one could find out the truth about what happened to Nancy. No one.
Carmen was sitting on her bed, sketching. That's all she ever seemed to do.
"What are you drawin' now?" Jenks asked.
"Nothing," Carmen quickly shook her head, not looking up from the paper. Her hand was moving quickly as she skillfully drew the image.
"I said what are you drawing?" Rhona snatched the book away from Carmen, sending sheets of paper onto the floor.
Rhona froze when she saw Carmen's sketches. They were all of the same person. She'd drawn him from different angles, in different light, even with different facial expressions but they were all the same man.
Carmen's eyes went wide and she got off of the bed, trying to round up the drawings.
"Get up Carmen," Jenks ordered.
"Get up!" Jenks yelled, grabbing the inmate by her shirt and yanking her up, pushing her toward the bed.
Rhona knelt down, picking up Carmen's sketches.
"He-he's the one..the one who killed Nancy," Carmen stammered. "He's the one who-"
"Shut up," Jenks stood up, holding the drawings. She stood up, ripping the papers apart.
"Stop it!" Carmen yelled.
Jenks considered throwing the scraps in the garbage but thought better of it, shoving them in her pocket.
"Stop!" Carmen squeaked.
Jenks pulled her gun out of her holster, pointing it at Carmen's chest.
Carmen backed up until she found herself sitting on the bed, cowering against the wall.
"Listen to me closely because I am not going to say this more than once," Rhona whispered. "You are never to draw that man again. I want you to forget you ever saw him. Forget what he looks like. Get it out of your head."
"If I ever see this face in here again Carmen…you'll regret it," Jenks whispered. "I promise. Got it?"
Carmen was trembling in fear but she didn't say anything. Angry, Jenks hit her on the side of the head with her gun, "Do you understand me Carmen?"
A trickle of blood ran from Carmen's hairline over her temple as she nodded, tears filling her eyes. When Rhona was sure she was sufficiently terrified, she backed away, putting her gun back and opening the door, "Somebody get a nurse in here…Carmen's hurt herself again."