A/N:Finally the last chapter!
Thanks so much for sticking with the story and all the great reviews. It´s amazing.
A huge thank you to jonsmom14, monkeydluffynaruto and starfishyeti for their beta-skills, advices and support.
*** 34. chapter: Back to life part2 ***
Don arrived at the Craftsman. He turned off the engine of his black SUV and just sat there and stared through the front windshield. The old house with all his childhood memories, memories of his beloved mother, the nice front yard with its trees and flowers - it was all so peaceful, so perfect. But Don knew that this was all an illusion, within a moment the friendly scenario could change, turning into a nightmare.
Don sighed. 'For now everything is good again.' He clung to the hope that it would remain that way; he would do anything to make sure it did. He grabbed the small box from the seat beside him and a small grin appeared on his face. 'Charlie'll be surprised.' He entered the house and walked straight into the living room. He expected Charlie to be lyingon the couch, but to his great surprise the couch was empty. A knitted blanket was the only proof that someone had been sleeping there.
"Dad, Charlie!" Don called out as he crossed the living room.
"In the kitchen, Donnie," Alan answered his son.
Don walked in looking around but finding no signs of his brother. "Hi Dad. Where's Charlie?" He couldn't hide his concern. Alan turned toward him clapping him softly on the shoulder.
"At the koi pond." Alan shrugged his shoulders. "Where else?"
"But shouldn't he be lying down and resting, Dad?" Don's concern grew. "I mean he was stabbed just a few days ago and..."
"Donnie," Alan interrupted his older son´s verbal fears and grinned sheepishly. "You're worse than me."
Don frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Charlie is doing fine and I don't think that some fresh air could do any harm to him."
Don pressed his lips tight together, considering his father's opinion. Finally he grinned and let out a deep breath. "I guess you're right Dad."
Don stepped to the window and looked outside. Charlie sat at the pond staring alternately at the water or at his lap. Don strained his eyes, but couldn't make out what he was looking at. He wondered what was so interesting there.
"So," Alan addressed his son handing him a bottle of beer. "Any news about Mary Clark today?"
Don gratefully grabbed the beer and took a sip. "Yeah. There's nothing at the moment. She's too far gone. She´s going to be moved into the " Sun Valley", a psychiatric hospital with a high security wing for further treatment."
" Sun Valley? That sounds more like a holiday camp."
Don stared at his father with his mouth open.
"Well, at least she's out of Charlie's way and that's some real good news, Donnie."
"What?" Don couldn't follow his Dad train of thought.
"Well, she's been put away and Charlie didn't have to testify. I think that's good."
Don smiled. "Yeah. Somehow I haven't seen it that way."
He tapped his old man's shoulder and stepped into the yard. Alan watched as he approached Charlie and then turned back to prepare dinner. He was making his famous lasagna, something both of his sons enjoyed. The last time they had it was the beginning of Charlie's horror and Alan figured that it was the best meal to end it.
"Hey buddy," Don greeted his brother and sat down next to him. He frowned when he realized that Charlie was balancing his laptop on his knees. Curiously he glanced at the monitor, but when he realized that Charlie hadn't answered his greeting he looked directly at his face.
Charlie's head was bent and Don could bet that he saw tears squeezing out of the corner of his eyes.
"Charlie, are you okay?" He asked concerned never looking away from his brother.
Charlie nodded his head and sniffled. "No," he answered in a hoarse voice making his nod a lie. Charlie lifted his head and looked with red-rimmed eyes at his older brother.
Don took in a deep breath when concern overwhelmed him. "God Charlie, what is it? Are you in pain? Should I call a doctor?" Don laid an arm around Charlie's shoulder protectively and pulled him closer.
Charlie couldn't help but grin at Don's behavior. 'And I always thought that Dad was a Jewish mom.'
"Nothing like that, Don." the young professor tried to calm his brother down.
But Don had a hard time believing Charlie's words."So, what is it Buddy? Talk to me." Don dug deeper.
Charlie cleared his throat. "It's Amita," he croaked a little. He swallowed down his tears and cleared his throat. "She's not coming back to me."
The words hit Don like a punch. He felt rage built up in the pit of his stomach. 'What was Amita thinking abandoning his brother?' Don clenched his hands and tried to stay calm. "What does this mean, Charlie?"
Charlie looked at him with his puppy dog eyes and Don felt his heart break inside. He hated to see his brother getting hurt. Charlie had endured so much in the last few weeks. The last thing he needed right now was to be left behind by the woman he loved so much. Don felt like hitting someone really hard. Suddenly, he felt a touch on his fist. He looked down and saw Charlie's hand above his own.
"It's okay, Donnie. I can handle it."
"Oh, really," he asked sarcastically. "Because I can't handle it."
"I can see that."
Don smirked. "Well seeing you in tears isn't the best thing to keep me relaxed." He slumped down beside his little brother and together they sat for a while in silence.
"So tell me what happened." Don finally broke the spell; he needed to know what was going on with his brother.
"She met her first big love again," Charlie explained in a whisper. "They fell again for each other. And, and Amita wants to give it a try."
Tears shot back into Charlie's eyes. He set his jaw stubbornly and wiped them away with the back of his hands.
"I'm sorry, Buddy." Don mumbled while he controlled his rage.
"Yeah, me too, but I'll be fine."
"I know buddy. We'll help you through it no matter what."
Charlie nodded and leaned heavily against Don's shoulder. Don wrapped his arm around him holding him tight.
After a while Don cleared his throat. "There's something else we need to talk about."
Charlie shifted in his seat searching for his brother´s eyes. "What about?"
Charlie's body tensed just at the sound of her name. Don rubbed his brother's back. "No need to worry. There will be no trail against her, for now."
Charlie's eyes grew wide. "N-n-no?" He stammered. "I don't have to testify then?"
"Well, not for now. Mary´s too far gone. She'll stay under surveillance and get specialised treatment. Every three months she'll have to undergo an examination to check her state of mind. So, there is still a chance of a trial, if she gets better."
Charlie nodded. "I understand."
"Don't worry. If it comes to a trial we'll be ready. She'll get her punishment."
Don grabbed his brother's shoulder. "You're safe, Charlie. No matter what I'll keep you safe."
A genuine smile crept on Charlie's face, dark eyes sparkling. "I know Donnie, I know."
Don pulled his brother back into a hug. "What do you think about you seeing a therapist?"
"Maybe..." Charlie answered.
Don raised an eyebrow. "Really?" He couldn't believe it. His brother was never that easy when it came to emotional issues.
"Yeah, at least I can give it a try."
"That's good." Don felt happy and tussled his brother's hair. Everything would be fine again. "Here, this is for you." Don handed the small box to him.
"What is it?" Charlie asked curiously.
"You're the genius. Figure it out."
Charlie couldn't hold on any longer. It felt like Christmas when he opened the present. His dark eyes grew wide and began to sparkle when he stared at a key lying on blue velvet.
"Don?" Out of the corner of his eyes he looked at his brother. " What is it?"
"Funny Don, funny. What for?"
"And apparently you're the genius." Don enjoyed the teasing his little brother. But finally he took pity on him. "It's for your car."
"My car?" Charlie asked in disbelief. "I think it's a wreck."
"It was. But a big brother miracle did the job."
Charlie glanced with awe at the big brother in question. "Thank you so much." He laid his arm around his brother and hugged him tight.
A soft breeze rustled through the trees and blew cooking smells from the house into the brothers´ direction.
Don's nose trickled a little. He took a deep breath in through his nose to get a better image. A smile crept on his face. "Mmmhhh. Guess what? Dad's lasagna is almost ready."
Charlie answered with a smile in his voice. "You're absolutely right, Bro..."
They rose to their feet and turned toward the house just at the moment when Alan appeared at the door calling his boys for dinner.
Arm in arm the brothers crossed the yard both knowing that they were protected and safe in the love they felt for each other.
That´s the end, but will Mary Clark be locked up in psychiatric hospital forever? Can she forget about Charlie? And what happened when Alan and Don went on vacation and Charlie had to fight his demons alone. May Colby be the one to protect him from the threat lurking in the shadow?
Find out in: The stalker part 2