A Soft Place to Land: Chapter Twenty-Two

Tony sauntered into Infierno with a pep in his step.  He hadn’t felt this carefree in months.  Not since Marah’s accident.  Hell, even months before that tragic night.   A lot had changed between Marah and him last night, and Tony was reveling in the change.

He knocked briefly on his cousin’s open office door before entering, “Got you a coffee Primo.  Just the way you like it.”

Danny looked up quizzically at his cousin but accepted the coffee, “Thanks.”  Taking a sip he regarded his cousin’s cheery demeanor and smiled, “Guess last night was a success.  In more ways than one.”

Tony sat in one of his cousin’s cushy visitor chairs and propped his feet on the large wooden desk.  With a huge smile on his face Tony replied, “It was amazing.  Well, dinner with the Lewis family is always an interesting affair.  You remember how dinners were growing up.  Either tense silence or screaming matches?”  When Danny nodded Tony continued, “Even after years of being around the Lewis family I am still in awe how they interact.  Stories, laughter, there is just so much affection between them.”

Danny nodded in understanding, “I still get that ways sometimes too.  The Bauer’s still amaze me as well.” Taking another sip of his coffee Danny waited for Tony to continue.  When his otherwise loose-lipped cousin remained silent Danny sighed, “So I assumed by that shit eating grin of yours that you and Marah are in a good place.”

Tony tilted his head to the side, “You know I never understood that expression.  Shit eating grin.  Who would be grinning at that?”

Danny pretended to hit his head on the top of his desk, “You know what I mean.”

“Stop inflicting injury on yourself.  I don’t want Michelle to think I smack you around.”  Tony smiled as he decided to put his cousin out of his misery, “And yes.  Marah and I are in a great place.  In fact, I don’t think things have been this perfect since before Thanksgiving of last year.”

“Well your one night stand did flaunt pictures of your naked behind at your wife’s baby shower.”

Tony moved his feet from the desk and sat up straight.  “Yes I know Daniel.  Thanks for reminding me.”

Danny held out a hand in order to halt the tirade he could see forming in his cousin’s eyes, “Look, I am glad things are good for you two.  I have been there, remember?  But you have to wonder how Marah is going to react when her memories return.”

Tony’s eyebrows drew together as his cousin’s words hit home.  His cousin had told him to tell Marah about Eden.  So had Ray.  They had told him to tell Marah about the night that fateful summer that inevitably sent him running from Springfield and the incident from the previous year.  But he had resisted.  Partly due to the fact that Marah and he had enough on their plate without adding in Eden August.  And the other part because he was just plain stubborn.  “Damn it.”

“Look, I have been where you are right now.  When Michelle lost her memory I kept something big from her.  I did it to protect her but in the end she was hurt more than words could say.”  Danny stood and walked towards the door.  Placing a hand on his cousin’s shoulders as he passed, “Just think about it.  I am going to go check and see if Rafael fixed that problem with the water dispenser.”

***

It was strange how much your life could change in a matter of hours.  After spending the majority of the day consulting in Oakdale Marah was finally headed towards the office.  And as she replayed last night’s events she couldn’t say that she was altogether surprised by the change.  Even with her lack of memory Marah was drawn to Tony like a moth to a flame.  It had been that way since she was a teenager and it seemed like nothing would ever change.

And last night was like every romantic fantasy she had ever had growing up.  Full of tender touches and passionate lovemaking.  The had laid for hours afterwards talking and laughing .  It was as if that last barrier had been knocked down between them and they could finally just…be.

And when Lanie had waken up in the middle of the night to be fed and changed Marah had been the one to tend to their daughter.  And with Lanie lying between them in their large bed smiling and kicking her feet Marah had felt contentment unlike she ever felt before.  At least as far she knew.  But it was hard to imagine a better feeling than lying with the man you loved with your child smiling and healthy between you.

Sure every morning she woke up hoping that some sliver of her memory would return.  Especially this morning.  Her doctor at the hospital had told her that she may be subconsciously suppressing her memories for self-preservation.  And after learning that Catalina’s brother had tried to kill her she could see why her mind may try to protect her that way.  But she was in a good place right now, her and Tony were in a good place.  She had hoped that this morning would be the day her mind gave up the fight and let her remember.

No such luck.  It always seemed like her memories were light on the cusp of her mind but when she tried to access them the door was slammed shut.

Marah pulled up to her studio and parked.  Turning off the ignition she sighed.  Maybe she just had to accept that she wouldn’t be able to remember her life before the accident.  That didn’t mean Tony and her couldn’t make new memories right?  Entering the office she didn’t bother to turn on the light.  She had given her mother the day off considering she was going to be out of the office for the day.  She walked over to her desk to begin working on the remodel of Lakeview Towers.  And after meeting with owner Lisa Grimaldi she was certain this would be a gigantic undertaking that would increase her portfolio greatly.

There sitting on the desk was the mail she had forgotten about the other day.  The one addressed to her.  “It’s probably from Tony,” Marah smiled as she  picked up the scissors and tore open the box. On top lay a note and still smiling she read aloud, “Here’s to the memories!”

Her husband could be cryptic when he tried to be crafty.  Lying the note aside Marah reached in and pulled out the contents.  She was surprised to find a large scrapbook.  Didn’t seem like Tony’s type of gift but she could never tell with him.  She was still smiling as she opened the cover and took a look at the insides.

The smile quickly dropping from her face and she stood in shocked horror at what she was seeing.  Turning the pages there were more of them.  Pictures of her husband in bed with another woman.  It was like a train wreck.  Where you want to look away but the horrifying carnage keeps your attention.  Peering closer she took a look at the other woman.  Her smug, self-satisfied smile as she lay nestled against Marah’s husband.  And then as if the book were on fire Marah dropped it to the ground.  And she remembered.

“Eden.”

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