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***** A FEW DAYS LATER *****


The doorbell rang and Sara opened. Immediately, a big smile formed on her face as she recognized the person that stood in front of the door. “Hey, Taylor,” she greeted the girl. “There you are. I thought that I would never get to see you again. You've been so busy lately. Come in.”

“Well, what can I say. The US Championships are close and I have to win to get my ticket for the Olympic Games,” Taylor answered.

Together they went to the living room and sat down on the couch.

“Wow, the Olympic Games. You can do it, I know that.”

“We will see. Now, tell me, what is so important? On the phone you sounded as if it is a matter of life or death.”

Sara grinned and held out her hand, palm down.

Taylor drew her brows together and looked at her questioningly. “What?”

“Don't you see?” Sara blurted impatiently.

“No. Should I?”

“Sometimes you can be so frustrating.”

Taylor shrugged her shoulders. “You got a big, fat jewel ring on your finger. So what? Is that something special?”

Sara was stunned. “You don't mean that, do you?”

Not able to keep up the straight, indifferent face any longer, Taylor grinned and hugged her friend. “Congratulations to your engagement with Jack.”

“Oh... you... you... you really got me there.”

Taylor patted her on the shoulder. “Ah, what's a little joke among friends, huh? So, are you happy?”

“Oh yes. I am so happy, I could hug the whole world. I can barely wait until Jack and I are standing in front of the altar to get married.”

“It took you a while. I think even my sister and Sammy were quicker with confessing their feelings for each other. Even though, there was a time when I thought they would never ever find each other, due to Liz not getting it and Alexander always meddling in. It's a good thing that Danielle told the truth about that guy. I know that your family and his are friends but...”

Sara shook her head. “You don't have to apologize. After I heard what Alex did to Dani, I decided to stay away from them. I have not seen the Parkers since the Costume Ball and I don't need to have a bunch of liars in my life anyway.”

A shrill peeping noise interrupted their conversation.

“What is that?” Sara asked, looking around frowning.

“Something real fun,” Taylor answered sarcastically and pressed a button on a little black box that hung from her belt. “Ms. Kasawaki, Sam and Karen came up with that.”

Sara grinned. “They hooked you up with a pager?”

“Yeah, so I won't be late anymore.”

“I guess since it went off it means that you have to leave?”

Taylor nodded. “Yes, another training session waits for me.”

“Okay, we will talk some more next time,” Sara responded and led her to the door. “Oh, before I forget... Jack's got a new Lara Croft game and he is stuck... so, if you have time...”

“I'll see what I can do. Till soon.”

“Till hopefully soon. Take care, Taylor.”

“You too. Bye.”




Loaded with bags from grocery shopping, Elizabeth somehow managed to open the entrance door of the house. She had barely entered when Jemima greeted her, clawing into her pants' legs.

“Hey precious,” she said to the little fur ball.

The cat rubbed her head against Elizabeth's leg, purring loudly.

“It seems you have an awful big need to cuddle today, huh?”

Jemima meowed.

The sound tugged at the blonde woman's heart. She brought the bags to the kitchen and put them down. Then she picked up the little cat and held her in her arms. “Hey, what's wrong with you?”

Jemima looked at her with big eyes and reached out with a paw to tenderly put it against Elizabeth's cheek.

“What is that?” she asked and frowned. The cat's claws were bloody. “Did you hurt yourself while playing?” Elizabeth examined the paws closer. “Hmm, I can't find any wound. I guess you got into a fight with someone and showed them the way.”

Jemima snuggled her head under the woman's chin and purred some more.

“Alright, alright,” Elizabeth chuckled and set the cat down on the floor. “Let me stow away the groceries and then we can cuddle. For now, go and play with Tasilo.” She looked around and realized that something was wrong. Usually Tasilo was always the first to greet anybody that came through the door. “Where is he?” She called out his name and also shook the plastic box where they kept his treats, but he didn't came to her. Instead, she heard him barking loudly from a distance.

Elizabeth went into the garden, still calling the dog's name.

His barking led her to one of the dig holes. It was too deep for Tasilo to get out by himself.

“Oh God, how did you end up in there?”

Tasilo wagged his tail wildly as he saw Liz and whimpered.

“It's okay, my sweet. I'll get you out of there.”




With outmost care, the man dabbed the scratches on his face with a cotton ball, which he had dipped into a tincture of iodine before. It burned and he cursed, “Shit! And all that because of that stupid cat beastie! At least I got rid of the silly dog pretty quick. I could have laughed my head off about his stupidity. He jumped right after the steak into the hole and then he couldn't get out anymore.”

He chuckled and then hissed again as he dabbed another scratch. “How should I have known that they also have a dangerous cat? I would have loved breaking that beast's neck! It doesn't matter anymore. Soon, I'll take my daughter home, where she belongs. Away from those awful people that are such a bad influence on her... yes, sweetheart... Daddy is here and will take care of you.”

A devilish grin spread across his face. “Soon... very soon...”




Elizabeth put away the groceries and looked at her watch. “Hmm... it's still a while till Taylor and Sam come home... I guess I can busy myself with doing laundry. Best will be if I have a look in Taylor's room if there is some stuff laying around that needs to be washed. She is so stressed, she probably forgot to bring it to the bathroom.”

Elizabeth went upstairs and opened the door to her sister's room. “I knew it. She forgot to take her jogging clothes to the bathroom.”

She picked up the clothes from the floor and was about to leave the room as her eyes fell on the bed. “Oh no... no...” she gasped in shock. Shirt and pants fell from her hands while she stared frightened at the pale pink envelope that lay on Taylor's pillow. “He was here... the bastard was inside our house... I have to call the police... they need to catch that lunatic.”




Billy sat in the living room of Michiru's loft, holding little Sakura on his knees.

Bombalurina was slumbering next to him while Demeter sat on the floor and had fun with a ball of wool.

Billy's attention was resting on the TV screen. “Do you see that, sweetheart?” he asked the baby. “There is your uncle Juan. Isn't he gorgeous?”

Sakura babbled to herself and he took that as agreement to his words. “Yes, I knew you would share my opinion,” he chuckled. “He is the world's greatest man. I wish Michiru would find a man like that, one that would be honest with her. You know, baby, your mommy only had bad luck with her relationships until now. We have to do something to get a nice man for her and a wonderful daddy for you. The question is what can we do? Your real daddy hurt your mommy so bad... I really doubt it that they will get together again. Forgive me when I say that, but your daddy is one big idiot. The only good thing Michiru got from him is you, sweet mouse. We will find a way to make your mommy happy. Somehow.”




Elizabeth had been waiting at the police station for over an hour until finally somebody had time for her.

An officer came up to her and led her to a room. “My name is Officer Riley,” he introduced himself. “Please have a seat.”

“Thank you,” she replied and sat down on the offered chair.

The man sat down opposite her, giving her a beaming smile that would have been suited for a toothpaste commercial.

Elizabeth returned it weakly. At the moment she really didn't feel like smiling.

“Alright, Ms. Stuart. How can I help you?” he asked.

“The matter concerns my little sister.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is she in trouble with the law?”

“No!” Elizabeth exclaimed strongly. “Taylor is a very nice girl with good manners and very well behaved.”


She blinked. “Yes, that's her name. Is there a problem with that, Officer?”

“Taylor? Taylor Stuart? The figure skater? That is your sister?” he gushed happily.


“Great! Do you think you could get me a signed autograph? My wife is a big fan of her.”

Elizabeth looked at him as if he had lost his mind. She couldn't believe his words.

“Yes, a signed autograph would be great,” he said again, his grin growing even bigger.

“I think, I'm in the Twilight Zone,” she retorted, angered by his behavior.

“You seem a little irritated. Are you not feeling well?”

“No. No, of course, I'm not feeling well!” she snapped.

“Would you like a glass of water?” he inquired helpfully.

“NO! I want you to listen to me! My sister is in grave danger!”

Now the policeman pricked up his ears. “What makes you think that?”

Elizabeth opened her handbag and pulled out a stack of letters. Each and every one of them was in a pale pink envelope.

“I see,” the officer said. “I guess, it's not normal fan mail, is it?”

Elizabeth glared at him. “Do you actually believe, I would be sitting here, wasting my time, if I didn't have reason to be worried?”

“Please, don't get so upset, Ms. Stuart. There is no need for that.”

She took a deep breath and rubbed the bridge of her nose to vent off the evil pounding headache that was making itself known strongly. “Listen. That lunatic broke into our house and left a letter on Taylor's pillow. He thinks, he is her father and wants to take her away with him. I am worried so don't you tell me there is no need to get upset! That crazy bastard is probably already planning to kidnap my sister!”

“All of this are just speculations. He probably is a nutcase that wants some attention with things like that. He is just bluffing.”

Again Elizabeth looked at the policeman as if he had grown a second head and was not from this world. “Are you serious? You don't want to do anything?”

“We don't have any evidence. A crazy guy just wrote a couple of letters. That's nothing special. A lot of celebrities get letters like that every day.”

Uncomprehending, Elizabeth shook her head. “In other words, you only want to do something after something bad has happened? What will it be? Will you do something once he already got her and does God knows what to her?!”

“I really am sorry, Ms. Stuart...”

“Argh, save it!” She rose from the chair.

He looked at her with sad eyes. “I can only give you one advise. Hire a bodyguard for your sister.”

Without another word, Elizabeth walked out of the room, leaving the letters on the table.




Impatiently, Richard stepped from one foot on the other. He was waiting at the airport for Matthew and Rose. His mind was racing because deep down he felt bad about what he was going to do. “It isn't exactly nice but it is the only way to free Sara from this caveman. He will only hurt her again. I just can't understand what she sees in that guy? He doesn't even know what kind of treasure he has there.”

His thoughts were interrupted as he discovered Matthew and Rose in the crowd.

“This is it then. There is no way back. I'm sorry Sara, but as your friend I can't allow it that you get hurt again.”




While Taylor was calmly circling over the ice, Samantha and Michiru stood at the boards and watched her.

“Do you think that she's going to make it, Ms. Kasawaki?” Samantha wanted to know.

Michiru smiled. “We have known each other a long time now. And still you are calling me Ms. Kasawaki. I think it is time that you call me Michiru. Don't you think?”

Samantha shrugged her shoulders. “If you say so, I'd like that. So, what do you think, Michiru? Will Taylor make it?”

“To win the championship?”

Samantha nodded.

“I am not worried about that at all. She is calm, she's found her inner balance and she's got talent. It really is amazing how much progress she's made ever since I began to train her.”

“That's because you are such a great coach.”

Michiru blushed slightly and declined, clearly embarrassed by the praise. “Nah, I didn't do much. Most important now is that Taylor wins this championship. And then the gold medal at the Olympics, which she deserves.”

“You really think that she has a chance to get the gold medal?” Samantha inquired.

“Yes. I firmly believe that. She is going to beat the other girls and it will be easy for her.”

Samantha smiled. “I'm sure she will do great.”

“Now we have to find three outfits for her. I'm grasping at straws because Taylor insists it has to be cool... and also no skirts,” Michiru sighed.

The brunette rubbed her chin in thought. “Hmm… maybe Liz can help with that. It was her, who picked Taylor's costume for the Costume Ball.”

“Talking about Liz… how is it going between the two of you?”

Now, it was Samantha's turn to be embarrassed and blushing.

Michiru grinned broadly as she saw that. “That good, huh?” she teased. “I really am happy for you both. It's great that you have found each other.”

“I hope it will stay like this forever,” Samantha added quietly. “I will never love another one like I love Liz.”

Taylor raced towards the boards. “Hey, can we go home? I'm hungry.”

“Of course,” Michiru replied. “I need to get home too to save Billy from my lively daughter.”

“That reminds me of something,” Samantha chimed in. “What does ‘Da da' mean?”

Michiru jerked. “Why are you asking?”

“Sakura said that.”

“It is baby talk for ‘daddy', I think,” Taylor answered.

“When? When did Sakura say that?” Michiru asked anxiously.

Samantha was surprised that this was the first time Michiru heard of the incident. “Didn't Billy tell you?”

“Sam, when?”

“At the grocery store where Mr. Parker appeared suddenly and called me Kayla.” She saw that Michiru had grown pale. “Why is that so important?”

“Oh, it's not. Forget it.” Michiru said and tried to smile, unsuccessful. Then she quickly changed the subject. “You two should go home now. Liz is probably already waiting with dinner.”

While Samantha and Taylor went to the locker room to change clothes, the Asian woman closed her eyes and took a couple of real deep breaths, trying in vain to relax some. “My daughter said ‘daddy' to Jonathan… unbelievable.”




At a leisurely pace, Dorian and Victoria walked along the beach. Gently, the waves washed around their naked feet.

Victoria closed her eyes for a second, inhaled deeply and sighed. “It's wonderful. It was a really great idea to have a walk along the beach.”

Dorian smiled. “I know. I always do that when I need to bring some order into my thoughts,” he explained.

“Well, my thoughts are whirling so bad that I doubt I'll ever be able to get some order in there. To tell you the truth, I don't know where my head is.”

“Have you ever tried yoga or meditation?”

She looked at him wide-eyed. “Are you kidding?”

“No. I'm serious.”

“Yeah right,” Vicky chuckled. “Next thing you will be telling me I should go and have acupuncture to get my energy flowing correctly again.”

He looked at her with a serious expression. “That's something to be considered. It is at least worth a try.”

She snorted. “You can't be serious.”

“Why not?”

“Because it is the most stupid thing, I ever heard. Are you honestly telling me that you believe in such nonsense?” Victoria wanted to know.

“You shouldn't say it is nonsense if you didn't try it. I have never tried it myself but maybe one day I will.”

They kept silent until Victoria said in a small voice, “Please, let's not spoil this wonderful day with such a senseless argument. Let's talk about something else, okay?”

“Alright. Did you hear anything from your father?”

Victoria sighed. “I don't even know where to start looking for him. God, this whole situation seems so unreal to me.”

Dorian nodded. “I can imagine what it feels like. I think the easiest thing would be to just ask your mother, don't you think? Maybe it all is just a misunderstanding. Perhaps she only said that to hurt your father. Of course, to say something like that would be very cruel, but who knows what's going on in the mind of a scorned woman.”

Victoria looked at him doubtful. “You think, I should talk with my mother and ask her?”

“I think it would be the smartest thing to do right now.”

“Alright. I will do that then.”




Jack opened the door to his house and called out happily, “Hello, hello? Where is my sweet girl hiding?”

“I'm in the kitchen,” Sara answered.

A smile grew on his face. “Oh great. I think, I really like that. The loving husband comes home from work, completely stressed out, but his wife is already there, waiting on him, hand and foot.”

She glared at him. “Yeah, you would like that, wouldn't you? You better forget about that, you little pasha.”

Jack stuck out his lower lip and gave her the look of a wounded puppy dog. “Awww, can I not have a little bit of fun?”

“Stop pouting, you big child.”

He pulled her into his arms. “Okay, okay. May I at least kiss my soon-to-be-bride?”

Sara pretended to have to think about that very hard. “Actually, I wanted to wait with that till our wedding night.”

“What?” he exclaimed, his eyes growing as big as saucers. “Don't do that! Otherwise, I'm going to explode from longing!”

She chuckled and cupped his cheeks. “Well, if that is the case… We don't want you to fall apart, my sweet. I think I can allow us to have one kiss.”

“Great. Come here, baby.”

After a fiery kiss full of burning passion, Sara had trouble to stand on her legs that had suddenly turned to jelly. She leaned her forehead against Jack's and panted, “How do you manage to make me feel so weak with just one kiss?”

“Oh that?” He grinned like the Cheshire cat. “That is my natural charm. Would you like to have some more?” Jack waggled his eyebrows.

“Sure, maybe later. I want to know something.”


“Did you get a job?”

He ran a hand through his hair and sighed, partly from being disappointed and partly from frustration. “No, not yet. I don't care. At the moment, I enjoy living from air and love.”

She chuckled about his last comment. “How about asking Liz?” Sara suggested. “I'm sure that they need a computer genius like you for the movie project.”

“Alright, I'll ask her, but not now.” Jack grinned and lifted her into his arms. “For right now my priorities are of a different kind.” He carried her off.

Sara saw that they were heading for the bedroom. “Oh my God, just what have I gotten myself into…”

“Ooooh, ask me that again when the night is over, my sweet.”




Devastated, Elizabeth returned home. She placed her keys and briefcase on the tiny table in the entrance hall, before she went to the living room and fell into an armchair. The hopeless situation was getting the best of her. She buried her face in her hands and began to cry.

Beaming happily, Samantha came out of the kitchen, but once she saw the tears, she crouched down beside the armchair and rubbed one of the blonde's thighs. “Angel?” she asked concerned. “What's wrong?”

“Oh, it's nothing,” Elizabeth sniffled. “I just had a rough day.”

“Baby, come here, please,” Samantha said, sat down on the floor and opened her arms wide for the other woman to crawl into them.

Elizabeth didn't hesitate and sat down on the brunette's lap. The arms closed around her and she found herself in a warm embrace.

Samantha stroked her back. “Gee, your muscles are completely cramped up. Maybe you should hire somebody to help you until Karen can come back.”

“Yes, maybe I should do that,” Elizabeth agreed.

“I tell you what… How would you like having a bath after dinner and afterward I'll massage your tired body and you'll feel much better. Hmm? What do you think?”

“Oh Sam, you are so sweet to me.”

Samantha smiled and tenderly wiped the blonde's tears away. “Everything for my beloved angel.”

Behind them, somebody was clearing their throat. They turned around and discovered Taylor, who was leaning against the door's frame. “I really hate to interrupt your cute cuddling, but Sammy, there is a weird odor coming from the kitchen…”

The brunette jumped up. “Oh no! Our dinner!”




Michiru held her crying daughter in her arms and tried to calm her down. “My precious, I think your teeth are bothering you again, hmm?” She felt Sakura's forehead. “You have a bit of a temperature, sweetheart, but it'll be alright.”

There was a knocking at the door.

Michiru frowned. “So late? Who could that be? What do you think, Sakura? Could it be that Uncle Billy forgot something when he was here earlier?” Her eyes still fixed on her daughter, she went to open the door.

Jonathan was standing in front of it. “Hello Michiru,” he greeted her with a warm smile.

She jerked in surprise as she recognized the voice and looked up, right into his face. “You? What do you want?”

“Please, Michiru. I need to talk with you.”

She scowled. “Give me one reason why I shouldn't just shut the door into your face?”

“You are holding the reason in your arms,” he replied calmly.

Sakura had stopped crying and looked at Jonathan with big eyes. “Da da… da da… da da…”

“She is my daughter too, Michiru,” he told her. “I want to be there for her…”

“So you can wrap her up in a bunch of lies like you did with me?” Michiru responded angrily, feeling hot tears of rage beginning to well up.

“It really is time that we talk. I want to make you understand the situation I'm in.”

Michiru looked at her daughter, who was reaching with her small hands for Jonathan. She sighed and relented. “Alright, come in.”

“Thank you,” he whispered gratefully.

They went to the living room where Bombalurina and Demeter took the opportunity to rub against his legs. “Hello, you two. You both are still as cute as on the day I bought you for my lotus blossom.” Jonathan smiled and glanced at said lotus blossom, but it quickly faded as he saw himself confronted with a dark glare.

She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Say what you came to say. And please, no more lies.”

“Okay, but…”


“May… may I please hold her?” he inquired. “Please?”

Michiru placed Sakura on his lap and immediately the baby wrapped her tiny fingers around his black tie. “Da da… da da… da da…” she babbled happily.

“Yes, Daddy is now here. Daddy will always be here for you,” Jonathan said.




Surrounded by sweet-smelling soapy foam and bubbles, the two women sat in the warm water of the bathtub. A few candles were burning, casting the room in a golden light.

Elizabeth was leaning with her back against Sam's front. She had her eyes closed and tried in vain to relax. Her thoughts were circling around the mysterious letters and that the police didn't seem to want to do anything against the crazy stalker.

Lovingly, Samantha massaged the blonde's shoulders. “Angel, please relax. You are so cramped up.”

“I'm trying,” Elizabeth replied. “I think I need to go on vacation or something, that's all.”

“Are you sure? I am worried about you. The whole evening you barely said a word.”

“I'm tired,” the blonde snapped. Then she stepped out of the bathtub, wrapped a terrycloth towel around her body and went to the bedroom.

A bit confused about her tone and her behavior, Samantha watched her leave. After a few minutes she climbed out of the tub as well, dried her body, slipped into her pajamas and followed the other woman. “Angel? What's wrong with you? I can tell that something is not right.”

“It's nothing,” Elizabeth insisted and crawled into bed, facing away from the brunette.

Samantha lay down beside her, turned her towards her and looked deeply into her eyes. “Angel, I know that there is something on your mind,” ahe said softly, while tenderly stroking the blonde's hair and face. “Don't you want to tell me what's wrong?”


“Is it because of me? Did I do something or say something to hurt you?”

“Oh no, no, Sam. It has nothing to do with you.”

Samantha looked at her, her blue eyes shining with all the love she felt. “Please, tell me. What's bothering you so much?”

“It's… it's about Taylor. Oh God, I just don't know anymore what to do.”

“What? What is it about Taylor?” Samantha wanted to know.

“Some crazy guy is after her… and the police doesn't want to do anything. I am scared, Sam,” Elizabeth finally admitted and once more began to cry. “I'm so scared that something will happen to Taylor and there is nothing… absolutely nothing that I could do to protect her!”

The brunette pulled her into her arms and held her tightly, soothing her. “Shhh, everything is going to be alright, I promise.”

“I'm feeling so helpless,” Elizabeth sobbed. “What are we going to do? What can we do? That lunatic is somewhere out there and probably plans to kidnap my little sister!”

Samantha tightened her embrace. “Nothing is going to happen to Taylor, I swear.”

“But how can we ensure that? How?”

“I'll take care of her,” Samantha announced in a firm voice. “I'll become her bodyguard.”

Elizabeth looked at her, once more amazed by the fact that the other woman had such a big, loving heart. “You would do that?” she whispered in awe.

“Of course! You all are my family and I will protect it anyway I can.”

“Oh Sam…” Elizabeth sobbed and buried her face at Samantha's throat.

“Shhh Angel… everything will be alright…”


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


In silence, Alexander and Catherine sat in the kitchen, having breakfast. Now and again, Alex glanced at his mother, who looked quite grumpy and unhappy. Finally, he couldn't take the silence anymore and asked matter-of-factly, “Where is Dad?”

“Not here, as you can see!” she snapped, scowling.

“Yeah, but why not? I haven't seen him for days.”

Catherine closed her eyes for a moment, pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.

“Mom? Is something wrong?” Alexander inquired.

She shook her head slightly but then decided to tell her son the truth. “Alex, my son, your father… he…”

“What? What is with Dad?”


“Mom, tell me!”

“He abandoned us again!” she blurted, fighting tears of rage.

“What?” Alexander was surprised.

“Yes, he went back to his bitch, to his slit-eyed, Japanese bitch! Imagine that, she has a child with him! Dear God, I cannot go through that a second time, it's just like with Kayla!” Catherine ranted.

“With the difference that Kayla and her child died during birth and Dad returned to you,” Alexander pointed out.

Catherine stared ahead and whispered, “It was a mistake to let him back into my heart. Now he's ripped it from my chest a second time.”

Alexander reached over and took one of his mother's hands. “Isn't there still hope that he'll be back? I mean, he must know what kind of treasure he has with you, right?”

She snorted. “Pah, he never knew what he had with me, that stupid fool. Well, he can do whatever he wants and throw his life away. I don't care. As far as I am concerned, he doesn't exist anymore. Let him be happy with his Asian bitch and their brat. It's of no interest to me. He wants a divorce? Fine, he can have it.”




In a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, Jack and Sara were lying in bed, cuddling and relishing their togetherness. Their peaceful moment was soon interrupted. There was insistent knocking at the door of the beach house.

“Damn it,” Jack muttered. “Can we never have some time to ourselves?”

“Maybe whoever it is will go away if we ignore them,” Sara suggested.

He pulled her closer to himself. “That's a good idea. Oh sweetheart, you are so intelligent and at the same time so beautiful. I'm the luckiest man alive, because you are all mine.”

But the impatient person in front of the door didn't go away. Instead, they started to yell, “SARA JONES! I KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN THERE! OPEN THE DOOR IMMEDIATELY! THERE IS A LOT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT, MISSY!”

Sara's eyes flew open and she stared at her fiancé. “Goodness, it's Daddy and it sounds as if he is very angry.”

Jack sat up and looked around for his clothes. “Maybe we should let him in then?”


In front of the door, Rose tried to calm down the man. “Mr. Jones, I'm begging you, please. You will just scare the poor child.”

Matthew looked at his housekeeper. “After everything that Richard told us… how can you expect me to stay calm? Never! I want a few answers and I want them here and now!”

The door opened and Sara was revealed. She tried to smile. “Hello Daddy, Rose, please, come in.”

“It's about time,” Matthew snapped. “You have a lot to explain.”




Catherine was in her office, talking on the phone. The door opened and Victoria entered. She looked up, sent her daughter a big smile and motioned for her to take a seat, never interrupting her conversation. “Yes, that's right. Whatever happens, stay close to them and take as many pictures of them as you can get. I will select the best of them later myself… Alright… Bye-bye.” Catherine hung up.

“Who was that?” Victoria wanted to know.

Catherine waved it off. “Nothing important, sweetheart. Just a little side project of mine.”

“With pictures?” Victoria frowned.

“I don't think you came here to talk with me about work, did you?”

The young woman shook her head. “No. It's because of something else.”

Catherine folded her hands and gave her an encouraging smile. “Well then, out with it.”

“It's about something I heard a few days ago. I'm not sure, if I was even supposed to get this information or not.”

“Vicky, would you please get to the point of this?”

She took a deep breath and looked closely at her mother. “I want to know who my father is.”

Catherine looked at her dumbfounded. “What is the meaning of this nonsense? You know who your father is.”

Victoria fixed a harsh stare on the red-haired woman. “Jonathan Parker is not my father.”

“This is becoming ridiculous, Victoria. Of course, he is your father! Who said that he is not?”

“You yourself did that!”

Catherine's face paled and her light-blue eyes looked disbelieving at her daughter. “What?”

“I heard your fight with Daddy… I mean Jonathan… and there you threw it into his face that I'm not his flesh and blood. So, if it isn't him, who is it? Mommy, what the hell were you thinking? How could you lie to him? How could you lie to us all these years?” Victoria burst into tears. “Why, Mommy? Why did you do that?”




Elizabeth looked apprehensively at the brunette opposite her. “Oh Sam, I don't know…”

“What is wrong with having a little bit of fun once in a while? Look Angel, all I want is that you get your mind off of this.”


“No but,” Samantha said. “You and I will go out this evening. We will watch a movie at the cinema and afterward we will have dinner in a nice restaurant. So? What do you think? Doesn't it sound nice?”

Elizabeth still wasn't convinced. “It sounds wonderful, but the house…”

Samantha interrupted her, smiling. “Dorian and Tasilo are here to take care of that. The crazy man won't dare to break in again.”

“Yes, but Taylor…”

Once more, Elizabeth was interrupted as Taylor came in. “Hey Liz, hey Sammy. I'll just pack a few things and then I'll be on my way.”

“Where are you going, sweetie?” Elizabeth asked in confusion.

“To stay with Karen for a bit. Since Chris is in Europe promoting ‘Foxy & Panthera', I thought I would keep her company for a bit,” the teenager explained and went upstairs to pack a bag.

Samantha reached forward and cupped the blonde's cheeks to make her look at her again. “As you can see, Angel, you don't need to be worried at all. What about my suggestion? Can I talk you into spending a romantic evening with me? Only you and I?”

Elizabeth looked into the clear, blue eyes in front of her and melted. “Alright. Who would be able to resist these eyes?”

Samantha grinned. “I knew, I could convince you eventually.”

“I love you, Sam.”

“And I love you, my Angel.”

They kissed softly and each woman tried to pour all her love in this one kiss. Breathlessly, they parted and leaned their foreheads together. “Oh darling,” Elizabeth breathed. “We have to stop with that before I tear the clothes from your body here and now.”

“Hmm, Angel,” Samantha purred. “I think I'd like that.”

“I thought you wanted to go out?”

The brunette grinned, lifted her up into her arms and carried her to the bedroom. Carefully she locked the door, leaned down and breathed into Elizabeth's ear, “Later…”




The doorbell rang. Shifting Sakura to her side, Michiru went to open the door. “Hey Billy. I know it was a bit of a short notice, but I really am glad that you could make it.”

“Anything for you, sweetheart. Whenever you need me, I'll be there for you, you know that.”

Sakura wriggled strongly in Michiru's grasp, wanting to be held by Billy.

“Come here, my little, wild mouse,” Billy said and Michiru placed her daughter into his arms. “What is this all about? What's going on?” he wanted to know.

“I have to take care of something important concerning the upcoming championship,” Michiru answered. “It's stressful enough as it is for me and I don't want to subject Sakura to that.”

“Like I said, I'm always here if you need me. Not like other people.”

“I guess you are talking about Jonathan?”

“Of course,” Billy confirmed. “Or do you know another person that is like him?”

“No. Nobody is like him,” Michiru responded. “He is the father of my child and I have decided that I want to let him be a part of Sakura's life.”

Billy looked at his best friend as if she had lost her mind. “Are you serious? That can't be true! You are joking, right?”

She shook her head. “No. I'm very serious about this, Billy.”

“No Michiru. No, you can't be serious.”

“I know, you don't think much of him…”

“To put it mildly. You want that liar and traitor to become a part of Sakura's life?” Billy couldn't believe it.

“She needs a father!”

“But not him! Juan and I are much better father figures than that lying bastard. After everything he's done to you… you really… you actually consider that? I can't believe it!”

“Billy, I made my decision. Him being there for Sakura doesn't mean that I'll let him back into my life.”

“I really hope that, because you are much better off without him.”




Karen went to the living room and gave Taylor a well-cooled glass of lemonade. “I really think it's very sweet of you to keep me company for a while.”

“No problem, anything for my favorite sister-in-law. When will Chris be back from the promotion tour in Europe?”

“As far as I know, in about two months.”

“I hope he'll make it back before your kids step into the world,” the teenager responded.

Karen smiled. “Yeah, me too. So? Tell me, is Liz getting along alright in the company?”

Taylor nodded. “She will have to hire somebody to help her but other than that everything is fine.”

“Next month is the big championship. Are you excited?”

“Yep… and nervous.”

Karen chuckled and hugged the girl to her. “Nah, there is no need to be. You'll do great. You've been training so hard that it is impossible not to win. Who is going to accompany you?”

Taylor shrugged her shoulders. “I don't know. Chris is not here, you are pregnant, Liz has to work and Uncle William is on a cruise with my former coach… well, looks like everybody is busy.”

Karen thought about it. “That leaves Sam.”

“Sammy?” Taylor grinned. “Forget it.”


“Because Sam and Liz suffer already horribly when they can't be with each other for a few hours. What do you think it's going to be like when they can't be together for a couple of days?”

Karen chuckled. “I guess you are right.”







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