What Matters Most~ Chapter Thirty-Five (Part Two)

Waiting until Carlos had his back turned Marah mustered up all her strength and using the wall for support managed to get on her feet.  Now could she ambulate forward? Well, that remained to be seen.   But she had to try, she couldn’t stay where she was.   She had been sitting there listening to him taunt Tony when she remembered something, a brief snippet of memory, that she was sure was important.  Carlos had told her in the car they were returning to “the scene of the crime”.  Coupled with the angel statute…that could only mean that he had brought her to the tattered remains of the once beautiful Santos mansion.

The scene of the crime.

Risking another glance towards Carlos she saw him move further away and she decided this was her only chance.  She made her move.  Putting one foot in front of the other she stumbled forward and since she didn’t face plant Marah considered this a success.  Knowing her window to escape was limited Marah kept moving forward.  She had been in this house a handful of times and there had to be a back way out of this house of hell.

Though the walls kept moving as if they were breathing Marah kept up a steady pace sidestepping debris when she could.   Then, from the shadows, stepped a grinning Eden August into her path. “Going somewhere?”

***

As comfortable as Marah and Tony’s couch was Reva couldn’t just sit and relax as if everything was okay.  As if Marah was just going to waltz in that door any second smiling her megawatt smile.  Sensing that something was off the kids had remained upstairs for the most part, leaving the adults to sit in silence and wonder, and worry.  Reva had tried to remain calm and Michelle and Dinah had done their best to reassure her.  If anyone could bring her daughter home it was Tony.  And she believed that, Reva had always known there was good in him, even when Joshua had been convinced otherwise.  But now an hour had passed and they had heard nothing.

Reva stood and walked to the fireplace mantle where Marah proudly displayed family photographs, both hers and Tony’s.   And for the first time Reva really took notice that Marah’s photos essentially stopped when she was in college and didn’t begin again until she returned to Springfield.  So much time wasted.  “I failed Marah so many times when she was a child.”

Michelle had been pretending she was reading a magazine, re-reading the same article three times, but at Reva’s words she lowered the magazine and took a good look at the other woman.  Reva looked as if she had aged ten years tonight and her voice was distant, as if she weren’t aware she was speaking aloud.  But Michelle had to ask anyway, “Reva every mother worries they failed their children somehow.  I am sure you did the best you could.”

Reva shook her head. “I appreciate the vote of confidence Michelle but I really didn’t.  Marah has always been a daddy’s girl because I was always in and out of her life.  Even when I was in her life I was not always there if you know what I mean.” Reva thought back to when she had made the decision to turn off Jeffery’s life support and the problems Marah had faced because of that.  That was Reva Shayne for you, leap first then deal with the fallout.  Only Marah had been left to deal with a lot of that when she had been in jail which just proved her point that she had failed Marah more times than she remembered.  “And then after that Marianne Carruthers mess, when Marah moved away to Paris we rarely saw her.  But we are finally a family again, all of us.”

Michelle and Dinah shared a look, understanding what Reva was saying.  That Reva finally had all of her family together back in Springfield.  Even Dylan, her son with Billy, had moved back to Springfield and joined the family business.  He was even dating Bridget Reardon, the buzz around Springfield was a wedding was in their future though both remained mum about it.  Would fate be so cruel as to give Reva her family back then to take it away?  Michelle hoped not, for all their sakes.  Because she knew that Tony couldn’t survive without Marah.

***

Eden held Marah with her arm tight around her neck, “I asked, are you going somewhere?”

Instead of answering Marah unleashed all the hate and anger she felt towards Eden.  She clawed at the arm blocking her airway before swinging her elbow back.  She was mildly satisfied when Eden made a grunt of pain and the arm holding her loosened enough that Marah was able to free herself from Eden’s grasp.

Her gait unsteady and her vision blurred Marah had an eerie case of deja vu.   She had run through similar halls in this house chasing Catalina and now she was trying to escape for the lives of herself and her unborn child.  A slam from behind sent her sprawling forward and into the remains of what was once a marble table.  Marah felt the impact shoot through her midsection as she landed on the floor.  Panic for her baby immediately came to the forefront of her mind.

Eden stood over her panting wildly, “You bitch!  You think you can ruin everything?  I won’t let you!  This time perfect Marah Lewis is not going to get the happily ever after.”

Marah pressed her hands over her stomach willing her baby to move.  When she felt nothing she started pleading,  “Eden please.  I need to get out of here.  My baby…”

A smile that sent chills racing down Marah’s spine crossed Eden’s face.  “You mean my baby, mine and Tony’s.  We’ll raise her as our own…”

“I am sorry Eden, that is simply not going to happen.”

Eden whirled around to face Carlos, anger flashing in her eyes.  “Since when?”

“How do I put this so you will understand…since forever.”  He approached her slowly, like a tiger stalking its prey. “You see, your obsession with Tony, or should I say your obsession with Marah was handy.  It got them both right where I want them.  But if you think Tony is going to live happily ever after you really are quite delusional darling.”

She knew she had lost power to Carlos but “Since when do you make all the decisions?”

Carlos laughed mockingly. “Since the beginning.  You have never been in charge, I just let you think you were calling the shots for a while.  Like I said, you were handy.”

With a mad growl Eden focused all her fury on Carlos.  She launched herself at him, hands raised as if she were going to rake them down his handsome face.  From behind his back he pulled the large black gun he had hit Marah with earlier.  Pointing the weapon at Eden’s chest he simply stated. “Sorry Eden.  Your handiness has officially worn out.”  Without batting an eyelash he pulled the trigger twice.

***

Outside it was pandemonium as two officers rushed to aid Danny and Rafael in holding back Tony who was fighting to get past them, determined to get inside to get to Marah.  Nearby officers were also tasked with trying to hold back the various members of the Lewis family which was no easy task.

Tony let out a howl of frustration, desperately fighting the arms holding him, “Get out of my way!”

Frank Cooper stepped in front of Tony and got in his face. “Tony you need to get your shit together and think.  You said this was personal, that Carlos did all of this to get to you.  So what does your gut say?”

Tony had to blink to bring Frank into focus.  Breathing harshly he tried to get the words out, “That he wants to me make me watch.”  All the fight left Tony and he was slowly released, though the officers kept a close eye on him.  “He is going to make me watch while he takes what matters most from me.”

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