A Soft Place to Land: Chapter Six

Marah didn’t know where she was heading, all she knew is that she was running for her life.  Down one dark desolate hallway into another she flew as fast as her feet would carry her.  Over debris of time and neglect, she kept going despite the searing pain in her side. 

She could feel him getting closer.  She didn’t know who he was but Marah knew that if he caught her he would surely kill her.  From the shadows stepped another figure that caused Marah to fumble and fall to the ground.  Above her the figure tsked mockingly, “You can run Marah but you know you can’t hide.” Where had she heard that voice before?  It sounded so familiar yet…not.

Marah panted with exertion and fear.  Looking up all she could see was the figure of a woman concealed in shadow.  She clutched her belly protectively, “What do you want from me?”

She had never heard a laugh as evil as the one that emerged from the woman’s mouth, “Haven’t you figured it out by now?  We want everything.”

***

Marah woke gasping for breath and covered in sweat.  It took a moment for her to catch her bearings, to reassure herself that she was no longer in fear for her life. “It was only a dream” Marah reassured herself softly.  Just a dream…but yet it had felt so real.  Beside her Tony stirred and Marah held her breath, hoping he didn’t wake and she would have to explain away her nightmare.   But her worry was for nothing, his soft snores were the only sound in the room.

Scared to fall back into dreamland Marah carefully moved from the bed.  Slowly moving through the house, with Toby tagging along faithfully beside her, she headed towards the kitchen.   After a fifteen minute ordeal she managed to start brewing her morning coffee which she sipped while watching the sun slowly filtering through the trees.   She looked at what was certainly the pool, covered in a blanket of soft snow.

It was then that she felt it.  It wasn’t a memory, not completely.  Just…a feeling.  Of overwhelming fear and helplessness.  The coffee cup fell from her limp hand and shattered on the ground.  With the wall at her back Marah sank down until she was sitting on the floor.  Burying her head in her arms she sobbed.

***

Frank Cooper took one look at the fax that had just came through and smiled.  He took great pleasure in walking over to the holding cell and rattling the bars noisily. “Looks like since you are pleading guilty the judge is moving up your sentencing.”

Laying on the threadbare mattress in his cell Carlos pretended to inspect his fingernails in boredom. “Why would I plead not guilty?” He turned his head and pinned Frank with his cold gaze. “I admit what I have done.  But every time Tony Santos closes his eyes he will see the havoc I caused in his perfect world.  So you may think you have won but I will always be the shadow that invades his life.”

Frank had seen his fair share of criminals in his many years at the Springfield PD but Carlos Quesada was so cold he was downright icy.

Before Frank could reply Carlos sat up and laughed bitterly. “You think because I will be out of sight that I will be far from anyone’s mind.  You think too small detective.  I spent years planning Tony’s destruction, you don’t think I planned for my possible incarceration?” Carlos tsked mockingly, “Like I said, you think too small.”

Grabbing the bars of the jail cell Frank gritted his teeth, silently cursing himself for letting Carlos get to him, “What are you talking about.”

Carlos lay back down on his cot, folding his arms behind his head. “I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”

***

Reva sent off yet another email to a concerned client of Marah’s.  She had been fielding calls and emails since this nightmare began, guaranteeing them that Marah was recovering and would return to work as soon as possible.  What she didn’t include was that soon as possible was a relative term.

The door to the shop opened letting in the cold December wind.   Momentarily startled Reva relaxed when she saw it was a delivery man pushing a dolly loaded down with boxes.  “Sorry to scare you.  But the lights were on and I figured you want your packages soon rather than later.” He handed the clipboard over for her to sign, “Any place in particular you want these?”

Without looking up Reva pointed to the far corner, “There is fine.”

The delivery man unloaded his packages quickly and left with a brief wave goodbye.

Done with today’s duties Reva tidied up the office and locked up.

***

Tony rushed into the kitchen and skidded to a stop.  When he had heard the crash he hadn’t thought, he had just ran down the stairs as fast as he could.  “Marah?  Are you alright baby?”

If possible Marah seemed to sob even harder.

Not for the first time Tony wanted to go to her, to hold her and reassure her that everything would be okay.  But he knew he had to tread lightly.  Whatever was going on inside Marah’s head had to dealt with gently.  Which was definitely not his usual style.  He gingerly navigated through the shards of shattered porcelain on the floor and crouched before his distraught wife.  “Marah do you want to talk about it?”

Marah shook her head and began wiping the tears from her eyes.  “I thought I was remembering something.  But all I got was this…feeling.  And it was like a heavy cloak of despair that threatened to suffocate me.” Marah shook her head as if that could shake off the feeling again, “Strange thing is that I was actually disappointed.”

“Disappointed in what?  You have to be patient, Dr. Salas said your memory may come back slowly.”

“No I was disappointed that the only feelings I’ve been able to feel, the only twinges I’ve gotten since I woke up in the damn hospital, have been bad.” Marah rubbed the tears from her face, “What a life huh?  All I can remember are feelings of despair.”

Tony could understand her frustration.  They may not have been married long, but they had been happy, at least before Eden and Carlos entered their lives.  “Come on.” He stood up and held out his hand, “I want to show you something.”

***

Michelle was getting her morning coffee at Company when she spotted her arch nemesis, the very bane of her existence.  Seated right there at Buzz’s counter was none other than Dr. Jackass himself.  Mentally she checked her fury at the door, this guy was apparently a big deal at Cedars and it wouldn’t be in her best interest to make him an enemy.  Workplace harmony and all that jazz.   She tapped him on the shoulder and waiting until he turned towards her before she realized her fury wasn’t checked at all. “The next time you question my abilities as a doctor come to me about it.  Crying to my daddy was weak, even for you.” So much for workplace harmony.

Richard Salas just smirked in amusement. “Feisty thing aren’t you?  Your husband must be one lucky man.”

“We’re both lucky to have each other.”

Richard laughed, “How romantic.  Though it is sad to see such passion wasted on one man.”

Michelle was shocked by his audacity, though she wasn’t sure why.   Richard Salas had shown her numerous times what sort of an ass he was.  “Wow. Your ego is so fat I am surprised you made it inside the door.”

Richard merely shrugged, “Guilty.  Though my experience hardly needs any pandering. ” He leaned in and whispered, “Both in the medial field or my personal life if you catch my drift.”

Undeterred by his obvious attempts to fluster her Michelle leaned towards him and sneered, “I am more happily married than you could ever hope to be Salas.  I would hardly call any of that wasted.  And I am sure your gigantic ego helps to compensate for other areas if you catch my drift.” And with that parting shot she grabbed her coffee and headed towards the door.

Richard watched her go with a smile.  Those Santos women sure weren’t shrinking violets.  Good thing he always liked a challenge.  He picked up his phone and dialed. “Tristan this is Richard Salas.  I think I may have the perfect job for you.”

***

Marah thumbed through the first of many photo albums Tony had handed her.  Shots of them together at picnics and holiday dinners.  There were even photos of Tony and her father, and without a weapon in sight.  Seems a lot had changed on that front.  Turning the page she paused on a picture of them at the Eiffel Tower, her proudly displaying an antique diamond ring. “We got engaged in Paris?  Pretty impressive Tony.”

Tony laughed as he sat beside her on the couch. “I certainly try.”  Looking over her shoulder at the picture in question he smiled wistfully. “I carried my mother’s ring with me for weeks but I could never find the right time and place.  But right there, with you, was one of the best moments of my life.”

Marah looked down at her finger that currently sat bare and then back up at him.  “It is a beautiful ring Tony.”

“It is with your personal items from the hospital.  I didn’t know if you would want to wear it, not with everything so hazy.”  Resting his forearms on his legs he turned to face her, “She would have liked you.”

Marah laughed bitterly. “Yeah, because the rest of your family liked me so much.”

“She wasn’t like the rest of them.  She smiled a lot, loved my father and us kids fiercely and wasn’t afraid to show it.  So yeah, she would have liked you.”  Tony raised his eyes to find Marah regarding him with closely. “What?”

“I am just wondering if we ever talked about this stuff before.”

“Doesn’t matter.  We have all the time in the world to relearn all there is about each other.  Though I am warning you now, I still have a habit of leaving my socks on the floor.”

“Some things never change.” Marah smiled at Tony, and for once felt something akin to hope. “And that might not be such a bad thing.”

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2 thoughts on “A Soft Place to Land: Chapter Six

  1. Pingback: A Soft Place To Land Chapter 6 | Glmanny's Blog

  2. Pingback: A Soft Place To Land Chapter 6 | Glmanny's Blog

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