One of the many things I was disappointed about in Guiding Light’s final episodes was the sudden ending of the Shayne and Dinah pairing. They were one of the last bright spots for me as a viewer. The tortured hero and the tortured vixen both broken but “saving” each other when they needed it most. Why it practically writes itself! Well I hope to give them a reunion and send them where they belong, back to Springfield. It’s a very short story and I took extreme liberties across the board but I hope you like it. It is intended to be a lead-in to the Marah and Tony story, a prequel if you will.
Shayne angrily tossed his jacket onto the empty cafe table. “Well that was another dead-end!” He’d been chasing one false lead after another for more than two years now. He was beginning to believe that he was chasing a phantom, like she just disappeared into thin air. Or perhaps she just didn’t want to be found, he reminded himself. He shook off that self-depressing though. They had been happy damn it and he refused to give up on her, on them. He wouldn’t give up until Dinah was back where she belonged, with him in Springfield. He flopped down into a chair and then raked his fingers through his hair in pure frustration, “Where the hell are you Dinah?”
From the shadows of the alley Dinah watched the one man who truly knew her-the good and the bad, and had loved her anyways, sigh in utter devastation. And from deep within her chest she felt an answering ache. Though she would deny it if anyone asked, alone without a soul who knew her, she could admit that she missed him. For a woman who had long ago given up on believing she was worthy of a ‘happily ever after’ he made her hope. And she really had tried to be good for all it got her. As always she had found a way to sabotage the happiness she had found.
She leaned her forehead against the cool stucco of the building next to her. She had left him in the hopes that he would move on with his family, his family without her. But here he was, in Strasbourg. Following Bill’s money trail like her brother had warned her the week before. Though Bill had done his best to try to keep her location a secret Shayne had managed to track her down a few times. First it had been Dresden, Germany then Milan, Italy. Maybe it was time for her to stop running and finally confront the past…
Shayne still had his head bent low in defeat when the shadow descended over him, effectively blocking out the sun. He slowly raised his eyes to either greet the newcomer or give them a piece of this mind, he wasn’t sure he just knew he wasn’t in a chatty mood. But any and all words that he would have said stay lodged in his throat as the vision in front of him. He had traveled thousands of miles, over several countries, and here she was standing in front of him.
“Shayne.” Dinah sat in the seat across from him, “You need to stop give up on me. I left so that you could move on with your life. And you did that with Marina. Why are you here?”
Shayne sighed and leaned back in his chair. How to explain all that happened since Dinah had left him….guess it was best to start at the beginning. “First, I will never get up on you. You always consider yourself a lost cause but damn it Dinah you saved me when I was a broken shell of a man who had given up on living! You brought me back to life.” When she opened up her mouth to argue he held up his hand to stall her, “Let me finish. Second, yes I did try to move on with my life. But over time it became clear that Marina and I were just going through the motions, that she and I were trying to make a teenage romance work for the sake of a child. A child that turned out not to be mine.”
Dinah reacted with a start, “What? Not yours? I had the DNA test done myself.”
“Seems your old pal Edmund got the last laugh.” She frowned at that crack but he kept going, “Turns out Lara wasn’t his daughter so much as his lover. And Henry was his child not mine. But in true Edmund fashion he used him as a pawn to get close to my family and then strike. He always did like to see my mother suffer. This time he got to all of us.”
It took a few minutes for all of that to sink in. Edmund was Henry’s father. She just couldn’t imagine him giving up his heir willingly. And poor Shayne, she knew he loved that child whether that was his blood child or not. “What happened to Henry?”
“I wanted to stay in his life. I still considered him my son even if I knew that what Marina and I had wasn’t meant to last beyond high school. But Marina was afraid that Edmund would come back for him. She took off one night and hasn’t been back to Springfield since. Frank and Buzz know where she is but aren’t sharing, kind of like Bill and Vanessa hiding your location. Luckily Lizzie has a romantic streak and I am good at snooping.”
“Shayne I love you but I had to leave. I did something, something that was going to destroy any love you had for me. And rather than see you get brought down with me I left so that you could have a future with your child, or should I say who we thought was your child.”
“Wait- You love me. Love. Not past tense there Dinah.”
Here she was trying to get him to see reason and he was talking about what tense she used? “Shayne I murdered a man!”
Shayne wasn’t put off by her attempt at changing the subject. She still loved him as much as he still loved her. Now he just had to get her to accept it. “The Edmund look-alike?” He reached into his bag and pulled out a piece of paper, “Read this and tell me what you think.”
He watched her face closely and knew the exact moment when she comprehended what it was she was reading. She lowered the paper in her hands and eyed him with what looked like hope in her eyes. “Is this what I think it is?”
“After looking over the evidence Mel Boudreau decided, and Doris Wolfe agreed, that it was a clear case of self-defense. You were defending an innocent child. Even Frank had a change of heart considering it was his grandson you were protecting. Not a jury in the world would convict you after hearing that, instead you would be celebrated like the amazing woman you are.” And it was true. Dinah was amazing in so many ways, ways even she didn’t understand. But he understood them and he would spend the rest of his life getting her to see them if she would let him.
For just a moment Dinah let the surrealism of the moment wash over her. The words on the paper blurred due to the tears in her eyes. It was her ticket home, to her family, to Shayne, and most of all to freedom. She gripped the paper in her hand tighter before pushing it across the table. “This doesn’t change anything Shayne. It can’t. Too much has happened, we’re both different people now.”
Shayne’s brows lowered into a frown. “Is this about Mallet?”
“Mallet? Why would he have anything to do with this?”
“I didn’t just wake up yesterday missing you. I have been trying to find you for over two years Dinah. Two years. And my first big break was when I flashed you picture in Germany and the woman there said she saw you there, with a man who sounded a hell of a lot like Mallet. Was going to give up then and there until I realized one thing.”
“And what is that?”
Shayne reached across the table and gently clasped her hand with his, “Mallet never loved you the way I love you. Present tense, completely and without judgement. You saved me Dinah and I saved you right back. We saved each other and just like I said the day I proposed to you, I had more joy and hope with you than any other time in my life. Can you tell me you felt any differently?”
Dinah was silent so long Shayne was worried his heartfelt words were about to get thrown back in his face until she turned her hand over in his, twining their fingers together. “No I can’t deny it. And yes Mallet and I tried to give our relationship another chance. But my heart wasn’t in it and neither was his. My heart was still in Springfield and Mallet, well he will never love anyone as much as he loves his career. Or maybe Harley if she hadn’t given her heart completely to Gus. Mallet and I parted as friends in Germany.”
“I know you are skittish. It’s part of you M.O. Dinah Marler Lewis. So I say we see where the next few weeks take us. No running. No holding back. Just Shayne and Dinah. What do you say?”
Dinah closed her eyes against the hope that burned so bright in his. Could she take a chance and loose herself to that hope again? She opened her eyes and looked at the man who had flown halfway across the world for her. And she knew her answer. “Okay.”
One month later…
Shayne paced outside the museum while checking his watch, “Come on Dinah where are you?” She wouldn’t stand him up. Not now. They have made progress in the past month. She hardly ever got that look of doubt in her eyes anymore, convinced she didn’t deserve a happy life. His Dinah deserved all of that and more. If only she would get here! He checked his phone again but the only message was from his mother. He’d been too busy to return his parent’s calls these past few days but he made a mental note to call them back once he could give them any news .
And suddenly there she was, looking beautiful despite the fact that she was definitely a bit harried, “I am so sorry I am late! The train was delayed. Have you been waiting long?”
She looked so lovely he was momentarily speechless. So instead he just took her hand in his and led her towards the picturesque lake near the town square, “Not long at all. Was thinking maybe we could take a walk. It’s too beautiful a day to be inside a museum.”
Passing the street vendors he stopped by a man selling balloons. He quickly paid for one before handing it to Dinah who just raised a brow in question. “It reminded me of you.”
They stepped into the gazebo that was facing out onto the lake. “Remind you of anything?”
Dinah took in the view, “Well it’s not Springfield but it’s not bad. And yes, I remember.” The day Shayne proposed and she turned him down. She had tried so hard to convince Shayne she was not the girl for him and he had fought so hard for her. He was still fighting for them.
Shayne reached up and grasped the balloon and pulled off a ring. The sneak! He had planned this all along, “And just like last time….Dinah Marler I know you. I know you and I love everything that you are. You are still the wildfire that caught be by storm and I still wouldn’t want it to be any other way. I know you think you turn good things bad but that’s not true honey, you turn all the bad in my life good. Give us another chance, a real chance this time, and let me prove that we are meant to be together.” He lowered himself to one knee and looked up at her with his heart in his eyes. “You saved me in ways words can’t begin to explain. Save me now honey, because my world has been so empty without you in it.”
Dinah was shocked. She hadn’t expected this, at least not this soon. “What about your parents? I am sure they think I am the scourge of the Earth.”
“Have you met Reva and Josh Lewis? Their relationship has navigated more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. And I have always suspected my mother has seen a kindred spirit in you. You’re both wild like the wind who need someone who won’t clip your wings. Who instead will let you be yourself and laugh in delight when you fly. Marry me baby.”
Dinah looked at the ring he slipped on her finger. The same one from before…he hadn’t thrown it away. And with that her decision was made. “Yes! Shayne Lewis I will marry you. Again.”
Shayne couldn’t believe his ears. But before she changed her mind he caught her up in a kiss that was sure to singe her toes! “You ready to go home sweetheart?”
“As long as I am with you I am ready for anything.” She kissed him again just because she couldn’t stop herself. And who would? The man was devilishly handsome as he was charming and romantic. She whispered against his lips, “I’m ready to land Shayne.”
“I’m ready for that myself.” He held her hand tight in his as they walked towards his hotel. Towards their future, which had just gotten so much brighter. “But how about a little celebrating first?”
Dinah laughed in delight. “Lead the way!” She’d follow him anywhere.