Chapter Eight

For entertainment purposes only

“Damn Marah!  What’d you hit me for?  I told you I would be back late!”  Oh God it was just Jonathan.  She dropped the pan to the ground, the residual adrenaline running through her veins making her hands shake.  She wanted to cry.  She wanted to scream.  Neither one was a viable action with Jonathan standing there so she just stood there shaking and staring into nothingness.

“Woah. Calm down   I’m fine, you’re fine…although next time I might put bells on my feet so you’ll know it’s me.”

She knew his attempts at humor were for her benefit but it wasn’t going to work this time.  Nothing would work.

“So you want to explain why tried to brain me a couple of minutes ago?”

Not really.   “I am so sorry about that.  I didn’t hurt you bad did I?”

“Nah. I’m made of tougher stuff than that.  But quit changing the subject. What set you off earlier?”

“Sarah and I watched a scary movie tonight.  I couldn’t sleep.  I heard someone on the stairs and just panicked.” 

She could tell he didn’t believe that was the whole story.  But thankfully he didn’t press for further details. “Okay I’ll buy that.  For now.  It’s too late to move Sarah so I’m just going to crash on the couch.”

Once again Marah knew he was doing it for her benefit, for her peace of mind, but that just made the gesture more meaningful.  “Thank you Jonathan.”

Jonathan just smiled.  “Anytime sis.  Anytime.”

***

Danny was working in his office when he heard the frantic banging on the front door.  Danny’s first instinct was panic.  Robbie was at baseball practice.  Had something happened?  But Danny was surprised by who was on the other side of the door.

“Hey Marah.  Michelle said you were back in town.  How have you been?”  This was not the happy woman Michelle had described.  Not with the bloodshot eyes and tangled hair.  “Come on in.  Is everything alright?”

” I really need to talk to you and Michelle about something.  It’s really important.”

Michelle came in drying her hands on a dish towel, “Who was at the door?  Oh hello Marah.  Would you like some coffee?”

Marah raised a trembling hand through her hair, or at least attempted to.  She had a serious case of bed head and hadn’t even paused this morning to brush it.  “I must look like a crazy person but I promise you guys are going to want to see this.” She reached into her Chanel bag and held something out in her hand, “Someone sent this to me yesterday.”

They both looked to see what she was holding but Danny was the one to put words to what they were all thinking, “Oh shit.”

***

“Your package was delivered just as you requested.”

The boss leaned back in his chair and with a malevolent smirk. “I trust she was surprised?”

“This morning she went straight to the Santos household just like you suspected.  And judging by her rough appearance I’d say you have her sufficiently spooked.”

So the little princess was running scared.   Excellent.  He was sure they all were by now.    They had always thought they were better than him.  All of them.  If only they knew.  He had all the power now and when Tony finally made his miraculous return he’d finally rid himself of them once and for all.

***

“I’m worried about her mom.  You should have seen her face last night.   She was scared to death: white as a sheet and trembling like a leaf.   I know she was hiding something but I didn’t want to push.”  He hated that he ran to Reva with this but it’s not like he could talk to Marah about it.  Their relationship was still too new and fragile, she’d just deny anything was wrong…like she did last night.  But Reva just looked amused by what he is telling her.  “What?”

“I just have never seen this side of you before.  I’ve seen you grow from an angry young man to a doting dad.  But I admit big brother protective mode suits you.”

Was that was what he was being?  Guess it was.  He really liked Marah.   She cared deeply about those she cared about and yet had a tendency to be as impulsive and stubborn as their mother, like himself.  They had gotten close in the past few months, which is why he had this gut feeling that she hiding something from them.

Reva could tell Jonathan wasn’t going to let this go.  She couldn’t betray her daughter’s confidence but she could at least try to put Jonathan’s mind at ease.  “I’ll tell you this much, Marah has some stuff she needs to work through.  And she will in her own time. I’m sure she’d tell us if she were somehow in trouble.”

Jonathan wasn’t so easily convinced.  You didn’t react the way Marah did last night unless something was wrong.

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