What Matters Most~ Chapter Twenty-Two (Part One)

I have had requests from some Guiding Light fans to reverse a certain plot angle that really did make no sense. This is one of the bigger twists in the story and might not go over well, but I certainly tried to make it believable.

Marah was sitting on the couch rubbing her stomach through the baby’s more acrobatic movements. The butterflies and flutters had quickly turned to somersaults and elbow jabs particular at night. She looked at her husband who was hunched over the dining room table going over some business papers. “Are you scared at the idea of becoming a dad?”

Tony looked up at the question and seemed to think about it before answering. No doubt he was worried his answer would set out her hormones which were eternally in flux these days. But in the end he nodded. “In some ways. I mean I didn’t exactly have the best role models growing up and now I am responsible for making sure that our child will grow up safe and happy.” He got up from the table and joined her own the couch. Snuggling up behind her and resting his larger hands beside hers on hers.”And okay, not going to lie Marah but the ultrasound pictures kind of weird me out sometimes. First I can’t find my own child in a grainy photo and now the idea that you may birth an alien baby sometimes gives me the chills. So yeah I am scared. But I am excited too.”

“Promise you won’t judge me?”

“Honey I would never judge you.”

Marah looked over her shoulder so she was looking in his soft brown eyes. “I am scared too at times. Sometimes she still seems like a vague concept even though I spent weeks puking my brains out and I’ve seen the ultrasound pictures. And I’m not going to lie either, having someone living inside me is so weird. But also really cool too.” As if their daughter was listening she chose that moment to let loose one of her more acrobatic movements which made Tony’s eyes widen in amazement. “Woah.”

They sat together in comfortable silence, just the two of them and their unborn child- who made her presence known in the only way she could. After several long moments Marah stood up with a groan. “I am going to go take a bath while you finish your work.” As she made her way to the stairs she looked over at her husband and eyed him seductively. “Oh, and Mr. Santos? Fair warning. I will be ravishing you tonight, no excuses. So you better finish your work fast.”

Tony saluted cheekily. “Thanks for the warning Mrs. Santos.”

Marah continued her trek up the stairs. “I do what I can. I do what I can.”

***

Carlos hadn’t lingered over the fact that Marah caught him earlier coming out the grocery store. His story was solid and if she had any linger doubts well then screw her, He had more important things to contend with. Which was why he was currently lurking in an alley in the infamous Fifth Street neighborhood awaiting the delivery of one of the most important packages of his life. A soft rap on his car window signaled that his package finally arrived. He unlocked the door admitting entrance to the newcomer. “Did you bring what I asked you to?”

John Anderson held up the large box in his hands. “Right here. Did you bring the cash?” John hated working for Riviera but he needed the money. Bad. Not only had he built up a mountain of debt in college expenses but he also owed a hefty sum to his bookie who was currently breathing down his neck. He may not like being Riviera’s lackey but he reaped the payoffs.

Carlos reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick envelope which he tossed to the younger man. “Five thou as promised.” Chump change considering what Anderson handed over. The kid had his uses, working for the Springfield PD was one of them. It was always wise to have someone working for you on the inside. Though the box was marked with police tape and stamped with the word ‘evidence’ it was the priceless object inside that mattered. And the box looked like it hadn’t been touched since it had been sealed years ago. Good. That meant it was intact. “Good work Anderson.” Business settled he signaled the man to exit the car. “Until the next time.”

John Anderson sulked to his own pos car hoping that there wouldn’t be a next time but knowing that there would be. There always was.

***

Eden ran her hand along the cold granite tombstone. She had gotten the call while she was living under another alias in some town she couldn’t even remember but until this moment she never really allowed herself to accept that he was gone. Her brother was truly gone forever. The anguish that burst forth was primal and raw, full of remorse and sorrow that she could not stop even if she tried. So she let it overtake her while the tears flowed down her cheeks unchecked. “Oh Nicky. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You were supposed to enjoy being a Spaulding. ” She collapsed on the ground resting her head on the cool granite. “I knew you would never have been happy being a Santos, never have been at peace after they killed our father. So I changed the test. Though I must admit Lucia was pretty convincing, but enough money makes anyone convincing I guess.”

That had been the hardest part, watching her brother walk towards his new family knowing it was all a lie. She had watched Lucia play her part well, when the truth was the woman probably had no clue who was the true father of her son. Alan Spaulding and Miguel Santos had both been notorious womanizers. But Eden had remembered the hushed words spoken about her brother among her father and his cop friends. About sins of the father and she had known even before Danny and Gus’ shared peanut allergy. Her brother was a Santos. So when her brother started searching for his birth parents and began suspecting he was a Santos, she intervened. It was the least she could do.

And after all the times she was suspected of crimes it was the one time she flew under the radar. No one looked her way and even now she was the only one who knew the truth, her and Lucia Renaldi. And she wasn’t talking. “I may not have been a member of the Harley fan club but I am surprised that you two didn’t make it.” She looked around to make sure she was alone before she continued. “Guess you are wondering why I am back. I can’t tell you because then I know I’d begin to hear your brotherly advice, telling me why I can’t do what needs to be done.” She stood and brushed the grass from her backside before lovingly kissing her fingertips and pressing them to the name etched in the stone. “I never was one to listen to advice. But I still loved you and always will brother.”

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