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They were already having lots of fun at the Karaoke Bar. Taylor and Christopher stepped on the stage and the first tones of the song ‘I Got You Babe' rang out. Everybody present roared with laughter.

Liz laughed so hard, she had tears streaming down her cheeks. “Oh my God. That is so hilarious! Chris as Cher... I wonder where he got the wig from... and Taylor with the moustache...” She shook her head and continued to chuckle.

Taylor and Christopher started with their performance. During that, a corner of the girl's moustache loosened once in a while and she had to attach it again, while her brother had a hard time fighting laughter, but still they continued to sing.

Taylor went off the stage, fished a rose from a vase that stood on a nearby table and presented the flower to him. “...I got flowers in the spring...”

Christopher took the rose and dramatically held one hand to his forehead, pretending to be about to faint.

The teenager took his hand, pointed broadly grinning at his ring finger and sang, “...I got you to wear my ring...”

Then she turned her back to the audience, while Christopher rubbed his eyes. “...And when I'm saaaaaaaad, you're a clown...”

Taylor turned back around and once more everybody laughed loudly because she had put the red nose of a clown on her face.

“...And if I get scaaaaared, you're always arou-ou-ou-ound... so let them say your hair is too long...” He disheveled his sister's hair. “...I don't care, with you I can't be wrong...”

Taylor fell down on her knees in front of him and reached out a hand to him. “...Then put your little hand in mine... there ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb...” Her moustache finally said goodbye completely and floated to the floor.

They sang together. “Baaaaaabe... I got you, Babe... I got you, Babe...”

Taylor took her brother's hand. “... I got you to hold my hand...”

“...I got you to understand...”

They clasped their arms together and she led him off the stage. “...I got you to walk with me...”

Christopher made a speaking motion with his hand. “...I got you to talk with me...”

“...I got you to kiss goodnight...” Taylor sang and pressed a big kiss on her brother's cheek.

He pulled her into his arms and squeezed her tightly. “...I got you to hold me tight...”

Now Taylor wrapped her arms tightly around him. “...I got you... I won't let go...”

“...I got you to love me so...”

And the rest of the song, they sang together. “...I gooooot yooouuu, Baaaaaabe...”

The music went off and they bowed under the wild cheering of their audience

Elizabeth still chuckled. “Oh God, I don't think I ever laughed more than during that song.”

“That was way cool!” Sara exclaimed.

Christopher took off the wig and went to Elizabeth with Taylor hot on his heels.

The blonde hugged them tightly and beamed with happiness. “Oh, I love you so much, my two cuties.”

Meanwhile, Karen had stepped upon the stage.

Christopher and Taylor took their seat while Karen grabbed the microphone. “I don't think anybody will be able to beat the performance we just saw, but I will give it my best shot. I'd like to dedicate this song to my sweet ‘Cher'.” She waggled her eyebrows and Christopher grinned widely.

Samantha leaned towards Elizabeth. “I'll go backstage to change clothes, because I'll be the next who sings.”

“Okay,“ Liz responded. “Until then.”

Samantha rose and was about to go. In the last instant she turned back around and placed a fiery kiss upon the unsuspecting blonde.

Elizabeth gasped for breath as their lips parted.

Sam smiled roguishly. “So that you won't forget me.” Then she disappeared.

With a silly grin and a dreamy-eyed look on her face, Elizabeth leaned back in her chair. “Wow! What a woman.”

Karen began with her song ‘Burning Love'. Like a whirlwind, she swept across the stage and had the bar rocking. She blew kisses and sent her husband smoldering glances. After she was done earning cheers, she went to sit beside Christopher. “So, honey? Did you like it?”

“Oooooh baby,” he squealed. “Wait till we are home and then I'll show you how much I liked it.”

Everybody laughed.

“I love you, my cuddle-bear,” she said.

“I love you too, my smoochie-bunny.”

Juan, who was sitting beside Christopher, elbowed him gently in the side. “Hey you two. Get a room.”

The artist and his wife only grinned.

Everybody went silent as they saw that Samantha was on the stage.

Elizabeth's eyes widened and she had to hold on tightly to the table for fear she would just slide off the chair.




Jack looked at Richard and demanded impatiently, “What is wrong with the baby? Did something happen?”

“No, but that's it. Nothing did happen.”

“What is this all about?” Jack asked, wrinkling his forehead. “Listen, I really don't have time for such silly nonsense. I need to get home to my pregnant fiancée.”

Richard squeezed his eyes shut for a second, took a deep breath and blurted, “There is NO baby!”

The other man blinked in disbelief. “What?”

“Yes, you heard me correctly, there is no baby! Victoria is not pregnant. She just told you this to tie you to her.”

Jack was stunned. “That... that... I really don't know what to say... that is such a horrible and mean calumny! How dare you say something like that?”

Richard grew angry. “I'm not just saying that! Do you honestly think I would make up something like that? Victoria told me herself! It's about time that you finally realize what a person your fiancée truly is,” he spat. “Take off the rose-colored glasses you wear around her and look truth in the eye!”

Jack crossed his arms and glared at him. “I'm waiting. Why don't you tell me more.”




Elizabeth still couldn't believe what she was seeing. “Oh my God...”

Samantha was there, in tight leather pants and a top that left her tummy bare. She sang the first stanza of Shakira's ‘Whenever, Wherever' and it was clearly visible for whom she was singing this song. With the first chorus, she did a hot belly dance.

Elizabeth's eyes grew even bigger and her jaw was about to hit the floor as her mouth fell open.

Karen tapped a finger against the blonde's chin. “Hey... Earth to Liz.”


“Close your mouth before you start drooling,” Karen giggled.

Meanwhile, Samantha had finished the second stanza. Her arousing movements were causing the blonde to break into a sweat.

She pulled at the collar of her blouse and muttered, “Gee... who the hell put the heat up... it's so hot in here...”

“...At your feet, I'm at your feet...” Samantha went down on her hands and knees. While she sang the chorus, she slowly crawled over to Elizabeth and knelt down in front of her. She reached out with one hand, looked deeply into the emerald eyes that she loved so much and tenderly caressed her heated cheeks. “... Le do lo le le le, Le do lo le le le... Think out loud... Say it again...”

Elizabeth was unable to think and surely wouldn't be able to say anything.

“... Le do lo le le le, Le do lo le le le... Tell me one more time... That you'll live... Lost in my eyes...”

Somehow, Elizabeth managed to nod.

Samantha gave her a quick kiss and danced, with her hips and pelvis rolling, back to the stage.

Elizabeth's eyes were glued to Samantha's sensual body while the brunette finished her song.

The audience clapped and cheered and she left the stage to sit beside Elizabeth, who sat there like a statue, still staring ahead.

“Liz?” Samantha snapped her fingers in front of her eyes. “Angel?”

There was no reaction.

Samantha took her face into her hands, her thumbs tenderly brushing over her cheeks. “Angel?”

Slowly, the blonde returned from her trance. “What?”

“It's your turn.”

“My turn for what?”

“To sing a song,” Samantha explained helpfully.

Everybody was grinning because it seemed that the poor woman was still in a different dimension due to Samantha's performance. “To sing a song?”


“Okay.” Elizabeth went forward and sang with all the feeling she could muster ‘I'll Stand By You'.

In the end almost everyone present was moved to tears.

Samantha took her hand and rained gentle tiny kisses on Elizabeth's delicate knuckles. “That was very beautiful, my Angel.”

She smiled and wiped Samantha's tears aside. “I meant every word. I will always be there for you.”

Samantha returned the smile.

“Okay, enough now with all that lovey-dovey stuff!” Taylor exclaimed and jumped on the stage. Sara, Karen and Michiru followed her. “Let's rock this hall!”

Once more, Samantha kissed Elizabeth's hand before she joined the others on the stage.




Jack scrutinized Richard with a cold glare. “I'm still waiting. So, out with it! What truth shall I see? You really mean to tell me that Vicky only pretended her pregnancy?”


“What reason would she have for that?”

“Because she felt threatened.”

Jack nodded. “Right.” He replied sarcastically. “She felt threatened. By whom?”

Richard rubbed his chin. “Dear God, are you really that dense? She felt threatened by Sara, of course. Victoria knew you would choose Sara over her and that's why she said that she is pregnant. Don't you understand? She is lying to you the whole time...”

Jack cut him off with a rough hand motion. “It's enough! I'm not going to listen to this any longer. I'll be driving home now.” Then he pointed a finger at Richard. “Don't you dare spread any more of those nasty lies about Vicky or you'll see a different side of me!” He started his motorcycle and raced off.

Boiling with fury, Richard yelled after him, “ASSHOLE!!!” Angry, he kicked a nearby trash can. “Damn it! This guy sure is something! I will never understand what Sara sees in this caveman!”




Taylor stood in the middle of the stage. To her right were Samantha and Karen. At her left side stood Sara and Michiru. “Well, there is only one thing to say,” Taylor said and then screamed at the top of her lungs, “GIRLS RULE!!!”

The first sounds of ‘Sound Of The Underground' rang out and Juan jumped from his chair, clapping his hands in excitement. “I love this song!”

The others got off their seats too while the five ladies on stage rocked the bar.

Billy was holding little Sakura in his arms and said, “Do you see that, sweetie? Your mommy is a rock lady.”

“Goodness, I didn't know that my wife could roll her hips like that,” Christopher chimed in.

After their performance they needed a little break and something to drink.

Billy gave Sakura to Michiru, took Juan's hand and walked with him to the stage. “That really was a fantastic performance. So, the next song goes out to all the men out there.”

With big, dramatic gestures and high-pitched voices the two crowed ‘It's Raining Man', making the others roll on the floor with laughter.




Catherine was pacing in her study, a scowl firmly fixed on her features. “I have to think up something. If they really gave ‘Lords of the Darkness' to the Stuarts it will only be a matter of time until we are completely ruined and then nobody will ever want to hear of the Parkers again. That must not happen! Hmm... but what... what can I do?”




Sara stood on the stage, wearing her favorite cowboy hat on her head and a brown, inflatable guitar around her neck. Grinning broadly, she declared, “Okay, after the funny men, our program will be followed with a funky rock song." She had chosen Shania Twain's ‘In My Car (I'll Be The Driver)'.

Once she was done, she joined the others.

Elizabeth leaned over and told her. “I really liked it. It was very cool.”

“Thank you.”

“I really can say that this is the best birthday I ever had.”

“You just wait, sister dear,” Christopher responded. “The evening is not over and you ain't seen nothing yet.”

Michiru nodded in confirmation and placed Sakura on Billy's lap and went to the stage. “After all the fast paced songs, I think it is time for something slow and soft... Taylor, I did see that you were just rolling your eyes.”

The teenager blushed and ducked her head.

“I will sing something slow.” Michiru closed her eyes as the music began and with the clear voice of an angel, she sang ‘The Last Unicorn'.

Karen snuggled up to Christopher, who pulled her over to sit on his lap and tenderly rubbed her belly. “Wow. She's got a great voice. I have goose bumps all over my body.”

“Yes,” Christopher agreed. “She could have become a singer.”

Billy put Sakura, who had fallen asleep, in her baby seat.

Samantha leaned her head against Elizabeth's shoulder and enjoyed the gentle caress of the blonde's fingers that ran tenderly through her long dark hair.

Michiru ended and the audience thanked her with encore cries. “Later, later,” she smiled.

Samantha breathed a tiny kiss on Elizabeth's cheek. “I love you,” she whispered into her ear.

The other woman smiled. “I love you too.”

“The next song is for you, my angel.” Samantha rose and stepped upon the stage.




Jack had barely entered his house when Victoria already threw her arms around him and covered his face in kisses. “Oh darling, what took you so long? Now our dinner is cold. Praise the lord for microwaves though, because I can heat it up for you again,” she announced and went into the kitchen.

“I really am sorry, princess,” he replied. “I stopped working on time and was on my way home when there was suddenly this guy.”

“What guy?”

“I don't know. Some Raymond, or was it Richard Thornton?”

Victoria's heart skipped a beat as she heard the familiar name. “What did he want?”

Jack went to the bedroom, took off his business suit and slipped into some comfortable gray sweats. “Oh, wait till I tell you all that. Or maybe I shouldn't tell you. I don't want to upset you unnecessarily, considering your condition.”

“No really, I want to know,” she responded with restrained breathing. “What did he say?”

“He said that you lie to me and that you are not pregnant.”

Her face paled and the plate with Jack's dinner slid from her hand, bursting into pieces on the hard tiles of the kitchen floor.

“Princess?” Jack called out and went into the kitchen.

Looking as pale as a sheet, Victoria was leaning trembling against the fridge.

He cursed. “I knew it. I shouldn't have told you.” Tenderly, he pulled her shaking frame into his arms. “That bastard. Please, don't worry, princess. I don't believe one word of what he said. Imagine this, he actually claimed that you told him all that yourself.”

“You don't believe him?” she asked in a small voice.

“NO! I would never believe such nonsense! What reason would you have to lie about a pregnancy?”

Victoria didn't answer. She freed herself from Jack's embrace and began to clean up the mess from the floor.

He held her back. “Let me do that. Go to the living room. I'll be with you in a second.”

“But you have not eaten yet...”

“Ahh, that's okay. Let's order a pizza.”

Victoria went to the living room and lowered herself to the couch, hiding her face in her hands. “Oh God, this has developed into a nightmare. Why, oh why? Why did I have to open my damn mouth in front of him? But I can't look into Jack's eyes anymore and lie into his face. I love him. For the first time in my life, I am truly in love. I will tell him the truth. Our love is strong enough and he will forgive me. I know that he will forgive me.”

Jack entered, grabbed the phone and called the pizza service.

Victoria regarded him closely. ‘But what if he won't forgive me and leaves me? What will I do then?'

She was brought back from her dark thoughts by a gentle caress to her cheek. “Don't worry, princess,” Jack told her. “Don't think anymore about this guy and his nasty calumny. Because I know that not one of his words is true.”

‘I have to tell him,' she thought to herself. ‘But how?'




Elizabeth couldn't believe her luck while Samantha stood on stage and sang for her ‘I'm Alive' from Celine Dion. ‘God alone knows how much I love you,' she thought to herself. ‘I have never been as happy as I am with you, Sam. It was pure coincidence that we met. I'm grateful that I found you and that you feel the same for me as I do for you.'

Beaming happily, Samantha returned to her seat.

Elizabeth hugged her. “That was wonderful, darling.”

Samantha smiled. “I chose this song because the lyrics express everything that I feel when I am close to you.”

The blonde replied with a fiery kiss and then left her seat to step upon the stage.

Now it was Samantha that broke into a sweat while she watched her angel perform ‘If You Had My Love' by Jennifer Lopez.

Under the cheers of the others, Elizabeth appeared in front of the brunette, looked her deeply into the eyes and let her fingertips dance across Samantha's exposed abs.

The breathing of the other woman increased tremendously and her heart was racing along with it.

There was only half an inch of space between their lips when Liz whispered, “That was payback for earlier, baby.”

Samantha thought she would lose her mind if Liz wouldn't kiss her right then.

The blonde though just grinned and sat back down on her chair while Samantha fought hard to get regain her composure.

Meanwhile, Karen and Christopher were on the stage.

Christopher had stuffed two pillows under his shirt and knelt down to appear even more stout. He also had placed the long-haired, dark wig on his head.

Michiru was excited and exclaimed with sparkling eyes, “Meatloaf! I'm sure it's Meatloaf.”




The evening progressed mostly in silence and Jack was starting to get a bit worried about his usually so talkative fiancée. “You are so quiet, princess. Is everything okay?” he asked.

Victoria just nodded.

“But I can see that something is bothering you. It is because of what I told you, isn't it? Look, princess. I don't believe any of what he said. And if this guy thinks that you would be able to do something like that, it only proves that he doesn't know you at all. If only I knew what the purpose for his falsehood is.”

She swallowed hard, finally having made the decision to confess. “Jack... I... I have to tell you something... I... I...”

“What is it?” He stroked her cheek tenderly. “You know that you can tell me anything, right?”

“I... I am not... pregnant.”

His face fell. “What?”

Fighting tears, she told him again, “I'm not pregnant.”

“But... what... why... how...” he stammered, feeling as he had been hit by a ton of bricks.

“It was the only way to prevent Sara from hurting you again. I love you, Jack.”

He decided to ignore the last comment and asked, “Sara? What does Sara have to do with this?”

“Please, please let me explain,“ Victoria begged, unable to hold back the tears any longer. “You were so hurt when you came back from Paris. At the Costume Ball, she tried again to get close to you. I had to do something! I cannot let the man, who I love more than anything else, run blindly into bad luck. I did it for you!”

Jack looked at her utterly stunned. “You... you lied to me? What... Vicky... what... I have to get out of here.” He snatched his leather jacket and motorcycle helmet.

“No, Jack, wait! Don't go!” she cried.

He just ignored her and put on his motorcycle boots.

“Where are you going?”

“I have to think!” he snapped and left her standing there, banging the door shut behind him.

Sobbing, Victoria leaned her forehead against the door. “I love you, Jack.”




Still on his knees, Christopher slid over to his wife, wrapped one arm around her legs and crooned into the microphone, “And I would do anything for love...”




Backstage, Sara, Taylor, Billy and Juan got ready for their performance.

Sara adjusted her costume and muttered, “That really is a bit tight.”

“You can say that again,“ Taylor agreed. “I feel like a pressed sausage in a too tight peel.”

Then Sara put a white, knitted cap on the teenager's head. “Here, now you look perfect, Agnetha.”

The girl scowled. “Ha hah, very funny, Frida.”

Billy joined them. “Here, you gotta put on your boots.” He gave them the stylish, sparkling boots with the real huge heels from the 70's.

Taylor shook her head wildly. “You can forget about that. I'm not going to put these things on my feet.”

“Taylor is right,” Sara confirmed. “That are no boots that are instruments of torture.”

“Oh, come on, don't be like that,” Billy whined. “It has to be authentic.”

“I can't break my legs shortly before the championships,” Taylor pointed out. “And with these things that's going to happen for sure.”

“Okay,” Billy sighed and relented. “But you Sara, you could wear them.”

“No way!”

“Argh, pooh, you are so mean,” Billy pouted.

“Never mind them, darling,” Juan chimed in then and put on his boots. “I will wear mine.”

That brought a smile to Billy's face. “Thanks, love.”




Meanwhile, Christopher and Karen had reached the duet part of their song.

“Will you raise me up...” Karen sang.

He did just that and lifted her up on a nearby table.

“...will you help me down...”

Christopher reached out a hand to support her while she jumped off the table.

“...will you get me right out of this godforsaken town...”

He nodded wildly.

“...will you make it all a little less cold...”

“I can do that...” He sang and wrapped his jacket around her shoulders. “...I can do that...”

“...will you cater to every fantasy I got...”

Christopher nodded again and leered at his wife.

“...will you hose me down with holy water, if I get to hot...”

He took one of the champagne glasses and threw the fluid right into his wife's face. Everybody laughed because Karen was so stunned that she forgot to sing her next line.

“...I can do that...” Christopher continued. “I can do that.”

Karen turned her back to him. “After a while you'll forget everything. It was a brief interlude, a midsummernight's fling. And you'll see that it's time to move on...”

“I won't do that! I won't do that!”

“I know the territory, I've been around. It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down. Sooner or later you'll be screwing around...”

He turned her around to face him again. “I won't do that! No, I won't do that!” Then he looked her deeply into the eyes and hugged her to himself. “Anything for love. I would do anything for love. I would do anything for love. But I won't do that. No I won't do that.”

Once the song had ended, he kissed Karen under the thundering applause of the onlookers.

They had sat down as Juan appeared on the stage and announced, “Now we will present a song from the 70's.”

The other three stepped upon the stage and Elizabeth exclaimed, “Oh God, that is the cutest thing I ever saw... ABBA!”

Samantha leaned over and whispered. “Taylor and Sara don't look too happy.”

“I know, I think they don't like the costumes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Totally. I wouldn't want to wear something like that myself,” Elizabeth chuckled.

“Me neither.”

The blonde placed a hand upon Samantha's thigh and whispered, “I do love you in leather.”

Samantha raised an eyebrow. “Really now?”

“Yes, it's driving me crazy.”

The brunette smirked and whispered back into Elizabeth's ear, “I love you without anything at all, that drives me totally crazy.”

Elizabeth blushed and fixed her stare on the stage.

“Gee, I wonder how Billy and Juan can walk in these boots,” Michiru muttered.




After Jack had been driving around aimlessly for a while, he stopped his motorcycle in front of the Stuart's house. The ringing of the doorbell and also knocking at the door was unsuccessful. “Mmhhh, nobody home. Or maybe they are in the living room and don't hear me. I think I should try the patio door.”

He climbed over the fence and made his way through the garden. His eyes widened. “Goodness, where did all these craters came from? Are they testing rockets here nowadays?”

Then he heard a clicking noise behind him and turned around, looking directly into the barrel of a gun.

“Don't move, buddy!” the young man holding the revolver yelled at him.

Immediately, Jack's arms flew up. “I am not a burglar. I'm a friend of the family.”

“Of course, and I‘m Indiana Jones in person. Can you show me your ID?” Dorian asked, still holding the other man at gun point

Jack gave him his driver's license. “And who are you?”

“My name is Dorian Turunen. This is my dig site here and you nearly stepped upon some very important bones.”

“Oh, I'm really sorry about that,” Jack replied. “Could you now please take the revolver out of my face? I wanted to speak with Liz.”

Dorian lowered the weapon. And gave him back his driver's license. “They are not here, Mr. Carpenter.”


“You know I think that's strange... If you are a friend of the family how come that you don't know that it is Liz' birthday today?”

Jack's face fell. “That... oh God... I totally forgot about that... Can you tell me where they are?”

“They wanted to go to a bar. ‘Lucky Khan' or something like that...”

“'Lucy Chan'?”

Dorian nodded. “Yeah, that's it.”

“Thanks a lot,” Jack replied. He ran back and climbed over the fence, jumped on his motorcycle and raced off.

Dorian watched him leave and shook his head. “What a strange guy. This is the one Sara has been crying her eyes out for? I'm sure she's better off without him... doesn't even know when it is his friend's birthday...”




Michiru walked towards the stage. She chuckled and took the microphone. “I really think that was the best performance of ABBA I have ever seen. Now, I will sing a song from my home country, ‘Kaze mo, Sora mo, Kitto'. Roughly translated it means, ‘The Wind, The Sky, For sure'.” Michiru began and once more managed to enchant everybody with her beautiful voice.

“I really don't know what she sings,” Juan said, “but I do like it a lot.”

Billy nodded. “It's great. Maybe we should ask her and she'll translate the whole song for us.”

Once the Asian woman was done, Christopher and Karen stepped upon the stage. “This will be the last song before the final and we would like to present you something from ‘Grease',” Christopher announced.

The audience jumped from their chairs and clapped in excitement.

The music started, Karen stood with crossed arms on the stage while her husband was dancing around her, singing, “I got chills... they're multiplying... and I'm loooooosing contro-ol... ‘cause the power you're supplying...” He jerked as if his fingers were stuck in a wall socket and then fell before Karen's feet. “... it's electrifying!”

His wife reached down, grabbed the collar of his shirt, pulled him up and shook him a little bit. “You better shape up! ‘Cause I need a man!” She used her fingers to draw a heart into the air. “And my heart is set on you. You better shape up! You better understand... to my heart I must be true...”

He took her into his arms and whirled her around. “You're the one that I want... whoo hoo hoo, honey... the one that I want... whoo hoo hoo, honey... the one that I want... whoo hoo hoo... the one I need... oh yes indeeeeeed...”




Jack was already halfway to the Karaoke Bar, when he decided it would be better to turn around. “I just can't burst in there. It would spoil Liz' birthday and that wouldn't be very nice. I have not been a good friend to her anyway lately. Argh, I was so stupid! Everybody warned me about Victoria, but I had to act like a jackass and didn't want it to be true. I think now I have the chance to make everything right. Maybe it all will work out. I don't think that Sara will want to talk with me, but maybe Liz can help me with that. Even if I think she doesn't want to talk with me either, I'll try. First thing tomorrow morning, I'll try.”




Samantha stood on the stage and the only thing her eyes could see was the blonde while she sang a song from Shania Twain. “...In your arms... I can still feel the way you want me when you hold me... I can still hear the words you whispered when you told me... I can stay right here forever in your arms...”

Elizabeth rose from her seat and joined Samantha on the stage.

“And there ain't no way... I'm lettin' you go now... And there ain't no way... And there ain't no how... I'll never see that day...” The brunette wrapped an arm around Elizabeth's hips and pulled her tight against her body. “...'Cause I'm keeping you forever and for always. We will be together all of our days...” Tenderly, she caressed Elizabeth's cheek with her fingertips. “... Wanna wake up every morning to your sweet face... always...”

“Awww, that is so very cute,” Billy said, smiling.

Juan agreed. “They make a beautiful couple.”

Elizabeth had taken another microphone. “... Mmmhhh, baby...” She placed one palm over Samantha's heart and sang, “... In your heart, I can still hear a beat for every time you kiss me...” She felt Samantha's heart rate pick up speed. “... And when we're apart I know how much you miss me...”

Samantha nodded and smiled.

“... I can feel your love for me in your heart... And there ain't no way... I'm lettin' you go now... And there ain't no way... And there ain't no how... I'll never see that day...” Then she held Samantha in her arms and sang the chorus.

Christopher leaned over and said to Karen, “It's been a long time since I saw my sister that happy. I'm so glad that she found Sam. With her, she found everything she had been searching for.”

Karen nodded. “It is great, isn't it? These two really fit together. I'm glad that Liz finally sent Alexander packing. She would have been only unhappy with him.”

Christopher grinned. “His chances were not that good anyway.”

“What do you mean?” Karen inquired, wrinkling her forehead.

“He is no woman.”

They giggled.

Meanwhile, Samantha and Elizabeth had reached the last part of the song and sang together. “... In your eyes... I can still see the look of the one who really loves me... The one who wouldn't put anything else in the world above me... I can still see your love for me in your eyes. And there ain't no way... I'm lettin' you go now... And there ain't no way... And there ain't no how... I'll never see that day...” They leaned their foreheads together. 'Cause I'm keeping you forever and for always. We will be together all of our days... Wanna wake up every morning to your sweet face... always.”

Once their song was finished they hugged happily under the thundering applause of the others. Elizabeth still thought that this had been the best birthday she ever had.




Catherine was still brooding about what she could do. Then her eyes fell on a magazine. She took it in her hands and thumbed through it. If any of these articles and stories about the rich and famous were actually telling the truth, was written in the stars. “I'm really asking myself why we have a subscription to this crappy magazine. It's full of rubbish... wait a second...” An idea came to her. “That's it! That's perfect!” Her face transformed to a devilish grin. “Yes, let's put a little rumor into the world, let the press people make a real big deal out of it and the Stuarts are going down. Bad publicity usually means the death of a company's reputation. Why didn't I have that idea much sooner? Now, I will have to hire somebody, who will observe the Stuarts and every move they make. I'm sure we will find something that will make nicely for a rumor.”




Lost in thought, Jonathan was staring out of the window. “Oh, Michiru... Michiru... I can't think about anything else. And the baby...I have to know if it is mine. If it is truly my son or my daughter, I want to be there for the child. But how could I find out about it? Michiru is not talking with me, and she is too proud to admit if it is my baby anyway. Somehow, I have to get that information.”




Dressed in a silky robe, Elizabeth returned from the bathroom and was very surprised as she saw the bedroom.

Samantha had spread red rose blossoms everywhere and lit about a dozen candles, which cast the room into a golden, romantic light. Soft music sounded and the brunette sat smiling on the bed, a white sheet wrapped around her body.

“Oh... wow...” Elizabeth breathed.

“You like it?”

Elizabeth nodded. “It is absolutely beautiful.”

“Yes, but not as much as you are.”

The blonde blushed.

“I... uh... I got another present for you.” Samantha patted the bed beside her, indicating to Liz to sit down.

She did and looked at the other woman expectantly.

Samantha's hands were shaking a bit from nervousness as she revealed a small jewelry box. “I discovered that a few days ago when I was out shopping with Karen. I saw it and knew I had to get it for you,” she explained, opened the tiny box and took out a silver necklace with an angel pendant.

“Oh Sam,“ Elizabeth gasped. “It is beautiful. Would you please put it around my neck?”

“Of course.”

She turned around so that Samantha could close the clasp. Then she went to the mirror so that she could regard her new jewelry closely. “That really is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

Samantha rose from the bed. The sheet slid off her, revealing her well-formed body. She stepped behind Elizabeth and wrapped her arms around her hips. While breathing gentle kisses along the side of Elizabeth's throat, her hands wandered to the silky sash and slowly opened it. “You are the most beautiful I have ever seen,” Samantha whispered into her ear. Her fingertips were dancing softly over the blonde's belly and further up.

Elizabeth threw her head back and closed her eyes. “Oh Sam,” she moaned. “I love you so much.”

Samantha pulled off the other's robe, lifted her into her arms and carried her to the bed.

They knelt in front of each other on the mattress, gazing into each other's eyes, as the CD player started a new song. ‘Eternal Flame'.

Samantha stroked one hand gently over Elizabeth's eyes and sang along, “Close your eyes...” She took one of the blonde's hands and placed it over her heart. “... Give me your hand, darling... Do you feel my heart beating...”

Elizabeth nodded.

“... Do you understand... Do you feel the same...”

She opened her eyes and got lost in the bright blue one's of the other woman.

“... Am I only dreaming...”

The blonde shook her head.

“... Or is this burning... an eternal flame...”

“Yes,” Elizabeth whispered. Slowly, she leaned back and pulled Samantha down with her.

The brunette hovered over her, supporting her weight on her elbows. “... I believe it's meant to be, darling...” She began to trace the lovely features of her angel with tender fingertips. “... I watch you when you are sleeping... You belong with me... Do you feel the same... Am I only dreaming... Or is this burning... an eternal flame... Say my name...”

“Sam,” Elizabeth whispered.

“... Sunshine through the rain... A whole life... So lonely... And then you come and ease the pain... I don't wanna lose this feeling...”

“I don't want to lose it either,” Elizabeth confirmed. One of her hands wandered to the nape of Samantha's neck and pulled the brunette down for a fiery kiss full of passion and desire.

“Mmhh... Angel... I love you...” Samantha gasped.

Elizabeth wrapped her strong thighs around the other woman's hips and both thought they would die as they felt their centers touch. Her whole body was tingling with incredible arousal as they started to move their hips. “Sam... I need you... mmhhh... ahhh... release me... ohhhh...”

“Anything... anything you want, Angel...” the brunette moaned, caught in passion. She kissed her way down to Elizabeth's well-formed breasts, her tongue circling tenderly around the hard buds, still moving her hips in rhythm with Liz.

“Oh... ohhh my love... don't stop...” Her hands clasped the sheets so hard that the knuckles turned white as the passion overwhelmed Elizabeth. “Saaaaaaammm...”


***** THE NEXT DAY *****


In complete silence, Jack and Victoria sat at the table, having breakfast, until she couldn't take it anymore. “Where have you been all night? I was worried when you didn't come home.”

“I had to think,” he replied coldly. “I spent the night in a hotel room.”

“I am sorry. I know that what I did was wrong...”

He interrupted her. “Wrong? WRONG!? What you did was the most nasty and mean thing anybody ever did to me. And that from a woman, my fiancée, who keeps insisting that she loves me more than anything else.”

“But I do, Jack,” she whined. “I love you with my whole heart and soul!”

“No! No, you don't!” Jack exclaimed, hurt. “You are treating me like a trophy. Like a piece of art that one has to show off. You don't love me, you love the idea of owning me! It's over!”

Victoria was shocked. “Over... what... what do you mean?”

“It's over. Our engagement is finished.” He rose, putting his plate and cup into the dishwasher. “Pack your stuff,” Jack ordered, not betraying any emotion. “When I get back from work I want you to be gone.”

Victoria burst into tears. “No, Jack, no, please!” she cried. “You can't kick me out like that. We love each other! Yes, I made a mistake, a very stupid mistake. But that can't destroy our love, or our wonderful relationship!”

Her tears softened his heart a bit and he knelt in front of her chair.

“I promise, I will change. Please, Jack, please. Please, give me another chance.”

He sighed. “Vicky, think. What kind of relationship is that? It was built on lies. With that I don't only mean the lie about your pregnancy.”

“I swear, until now I have never ever lied to you,” she exclaimed.

“I believe you. But I have not been honest. I told myself that I am in love with you, but it's not true.”

Her eyes widened. “What are you saying?” Vicky whispered in disbelief.

“My heart will always belong to Sara.”

“NO!” she yelled hysterically. “Jack, you can't mean that! She will never love you like I do!”

“I'm sorry. I really am sorry, but I can't live this lie any longer. It's not fair to you or me.”

“Please,” she begged. “We can do it. Let's start again from the beginning.”

Jack shook his head. “No, Vicky. I'm sorry, but I can't. You are an attractive, young woman and someday you will find the man of your dreams. But it is not me.”

“Jack... please...”

He kissed her on the forehead. “Take care.” Then he took his helmet and the keys. One last time, he looked at her. “Goodbye, Victoria.” Jack left the house and closed the door behind him.

Crying, Victoria broke down. “Oh God, why? Why?” she sobbed. “Will I never experience true love in my life? Why is everything always going wrong? What am I doing wrong?”







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