FIUR and VLAMME

 

proudly present

 

HOLLYWOOD DREAMS

 

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For Disclaimers see Episode 1

 

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SPECIAL AUTHOR'S NOTE:

 

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EPISODE 44

-------------------------------

 

Happily, Elizabeth was dancing through the house, while Dorian sat on the couch, grumpily studying the job offers in a newspaper.

“Hey guys,” Taylor greeted them as she came home, sounding very dejected. Her shoulders were hanging down as if she had to bear the weight of the whole world.

“Sweetie? What's wrong?” her sister asked, concerned. “Did something happen during training?”

The teenager sat down next to Dorian and shook her head. “No. Everything went fine. I was at the hospital before I came home. Sara's condition is getting worse. Today, she wasn't even allowed any visitors at all.”

“Oh no,” Dorian and Elizabeth said at the same time.

“They can't find a donor and now time is running out for the doctors and especially for Sara. Her Dad said, he will give a million dollar to the person that will be the perfect bone marrow donor. Ain't that crazy?”

Dorian whistled through his teeth. “That much? Is that even legal?”

Taylor shrugged her shoulders and Elizabeth answered, “I don't know about that, but I know one thing. I would do anything for the people I love. Sara's condition must be very serious, if her Dad is taking such desperate measures.”

“I'm scared that Sara is going to die,” Taylor confessed in a small voice and looked at her sister with frightened eyes.

Elizabeth sat down beside her and pulled her into a hug. “Don't worry. That's not going to happen. Dr. Lewis will find a way and everything will be okay. We have to think positive thoughts.”

‘1 million dollar...' was the only thought that echoed through Dorian's mind. Then, he said out loud, ”I gotta go... to the hospital. If Sara's condition is that bad I'll overcome my silly fears of syringes and I will let myself get tested.”

Elizabeth smiled. “That's very nice of you.”

“Bye, until later.”

 

*****

 

Aimlessly, Victoria was walking along the streets of Beverly Hills as a car slowed down next to her. She looked over and recognized the driver. It was Alexander. “Hey little sis, would you like for me to take you for a ride?”

Victoria didn't answer and continued walking.

“Since when do you like to walk? Come on, climb in. I'll drive you to your apartment.”

She thought about it for a second, but knowing how stubborn he could be and that he wouldn't leave her alone until she relented, she gave in.

For a moment they sat next to each other in complete silence.

“You don't look too happy,” he remarked. “Did you end the relationship with your mole boyfriend or is therapy not going well?” Alexander chuckled about his own stupid jokes, as usual.

“If you just wanted to pick on me, you can as well let me out again, you idiot!” she hissed in answer.

“Okay, okay, I'm sorry. Now tell your big brother what's wrong. Maybe I can help you.”

Victoria snorted. “Yes, of course, you of all people.”

“Come on, give it a try.”

“I told you that I think Jonathan isn't my Dad, right?”

Alexander nodded.

“We just were at this place where they do paternity tests. Now we are waiting for the results.”

He mumbled something.

“What was it you just said?” Victoria inquired, observing him closely.

“Nothing,” he retorted, a bit too fast.

“You know something!” she exclaimed. “I can see it on your face.”

Alexander shook his head in denial. “No.”

“TELL ME!” Victoria yelled and grabbed one of his arms, pulling on it. “It's my life, I need to know!”

“Are you crazy?!” he snapped angrily. “Let go, or are you trying to provoke an accident?!”

She did let go of his arm and then whined, “You are my brother, Alex. Please, tell me what you know.”

“I can't,” he said, unusually sympathetic. “It's better for you not to know, who your true father was.”

Victoria pricked up her ears. “WAS? That means he's dead and you know, who he was... it's not fair!”

“Life is never fair.”

Victoria's face hardened as she made a decision. “I will not rest until I know his name!”

 

*****

 

Unable to calm down, Michiru was still crying and beating up the pillows of her couch. In her distress, she didn't notice somebody entering the apartment. The door was still open after Samantha had hurried out of the loft.

A big, warm hand reached out and tenderly stroked her back, while her frame was still shaking with heavy sobs.

After a while, Michiru sat up but she didn't lift her head. Thinking that it was Billy, she quickly wiped her red-rimmed eyes.

The hand presented her a tissue and finally she looked up and regarded the person opposite her. “Jon-Jon-Jonathan,” she stuttered in surprise. “You are alive!”

He cupped her face, his thumbs gently caressing her cheeks. “Michiru.”

She sobbed in relief as she flung her arms around his body and held on to him. “Oh Jonathan, I thought you were dead and it would be too late to...”

“Too late for what?” he inquired softly.

“To tell you that I love you, more than anything. When I saw the report about the horrible accident... I... I finally realized just how much I love you.” She took a few shaky breaths.

Jonathan kissed her delicate hands. “Does that mean you'll give us a second chance?”

Michiru nodded, more tears falling from her eyes, but this time they were tears of happiness. “Yes, oh yes. We three will be a family. You, Sakura and I.”

“Oh Michiru, I love you so much.”

Silence fell and they just sat there, content in the loving embrace they shared.

Then, he whispered. “Michiru, would you marry me?”

She looked deeply into his eyes and thought her heart would pound its way out of her rib cage. In a trembling voice, she answered just as quietly, “Yes.”

Jonathan's smile lit up the whole room and for the first time after their break up, their lips drew closer to each other to connect in the most perfect way.

 

*****

 

Due to Dr. Lewis giving in to his constant pleading, Jack was allowed to spend a moment with Sara.

Gingerly, he lowered his body to the edge of the bed. Fear was visible in his eyes as he saw how pale and gaunt his lover's face looked. His own features were the epitome of sadness and he needed all his strength to keep the tears at bay. “Sara, I... please, stay strong... we will...”

Depressed, she turned her head away.

Desperate fear grew inside him. Tenderly, he reached out to caress her cheek, but he pulled it back when the touch didn't get a reaction from the silent, young woman.

Quickly, her hands came up and held on to his lower arm, while she buried her face into his hand. Gently, she kissed his palm and whispered, “I wanted to inhale your scent of home, but you're already smelling like the damn hospital.” Resignedly, she let go of him and just stared at him, unmoving.

Tears welled up in Jack's eyes and frantically, he pulled her into his arms. “Sara... please, cry... you are scaring me with your indifferent behavior.”

Sara listened to his heartbeat, her hands clawing into his soft sweatshirt. For the blink of an eye, she felt as if all her concerns had faded to nothing, but then she answered, “Why should I shed unnecessary tears? It wouldn't change my situation.”

Jack tightened the hug. “I love you and I will not leave you alone.”

Swallowing hard, she thought, ‘But I will soon leave you alone.' Out loud, Sara said, “I'm sorry.”

“There is nothing you have to be sorry for,” he responded, rubbing her back. “I love you.”

Sara snuggled closer to him and tried to forget his words.

Gillian entered the room and announced that the couple would have to part, since the young woman needed to rest.

Jack was almost out of the door as Sara called out desperately, “I don't want to die in the hospital! Jack...”

His hands curled into fists and he left the room.

 

*****

 

Restlessly, Elizabeth was pacing along the corridor, longingly waiting for Samantha's return. She looked at her watch and frowned. “What's keeping her? I hope you are alright, Sam... Please, don't do anything stupid and come home to me quickly.”

Only a few seconds after that, the doorknob was turned and the brunette's tear-stained face appeared. More tears welled up as she saw her girlfriend, “Liz,” she choked out.

The blonde opened her arms. “Sam.”

Running towards her beloved, Samantha wrapped her arms around her and buried her face at Elizabeth's throat. “Oh Liz, it's so horrible,” she sobbed.

Stroking her hair tenderly, Elizabeth replied, “Sam, you need to calm down... I need to tell you something...”

The other woman was still too devastated to even listen to her. “My father... Jonathan... he's dead.”

“Shhhh... it's okay. I really need to tell you now.”

Samantha pulled back from the embrace and wiped her eyes, sniffling. “Liz why?” she whimpered in despair. “I can't think about anything else right now...”

“Listen to me for a moment, okay? Michiru called a while ago...”

“What did she want?” Samantha interrupted her quickly.

“Would you please let me finish?” Elizabeth took the other woman's hands and held them tightly in her own as she announced, “Jonathan is alive! He didn't die.”

“B-but... we... we s-saw the b-burnt car...” the brunette stuttered in confusion. “How...”

“Jonathan was caught in a traffic jam and because it seemed that it would take a while, he got out of the car to find a phone. He had tried to get in touch with Michiru over his car phone but he couldn't get through to her. Jonathan was away as that gas truck crashed into the end of the traffic jam, which caused the tragic accident.”

“Is that really true?” Samantha asked, not daring to believe what her ears had just heard.

Elizabeth nodded. “Of course, Sam. Jonathan is alive!”

Overwhelmed with happiness, Samantha picked her girlfriend up and whirled her around.

“Don't let me fall!” Liz exclaimed wide-eyed and held on tightly to the other woman's shoulders.

“Never, my sunshine.”

 

*****

 

Jack stood with crossed arms and stared absent-minded off into space.

A hand was placed upon his shoulder, giving him a friendly squeeze.

Surprised, he turned around. “YOU?” he asked, looking suspiciously at Richard.

“Yes, it's me,” the other man responded. “I know, we are not the best of friends and we probably never will be. During hard times such as this, I think we all should stick together, for Sara.”

Jack nodded hesitatingly. It sounded like a peace offering from Richard and he wasn't in the mood to fight with him.

Richard cleared his throat and then asked, “Is there any news? I saw that you came out of her room.”

“Sara's condition is getting worse and she is very weak,” Jack sighed. “I would like it much better if she would be as stubborn and insufferable as she was in the beginning of the sickness than she is acting now. I think she gave up and that's scaring the hell out of me.”

Richard's eyes widened as he heard that. “No... that's impossible. She's a fighter, she always was... she wouldn't...”

Despaired, Jack grabbed the other man's shirt. “You didn't see her... not like I have!” He let go of him and pulled at his hair. “I just can't shake off this funny feeling that I think she's keeping something from me. I don't know what it is.” Brandishing his arms, he continued, “It's driving me crazy. This uncertainty is really driving me crazy... then I look at her and I can see it in Sara's eyes even though she tries to hide it... she's lost her will to live!”

“No!” Richard exclaimed in shock. “Don't talk like that! Sara is going to live!”

 

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

 

It was still early morning as Jack opened the curtains in Sara's room.

She looked like personified sorrow. Nothing was left of her joy. Life no longer held any meaning for her.

Like so many times before, Jack sat down on the edge of her bed.

“Jack, there is something I need to talk about with you. It's very important,” she whispered, almost inaudible.

“Shhhh, please. You shouldn't exert yourself.” Carefully, he lay down beside Sara on the big bed.

She snuggled up to him and continued, “I will tell you without beating around the bush. Gillian was here earlier. She says there is no more she can do.”

Jack's body stiffened.

“I may have a couple of days left... at least a few... hours. I'm so sorry, Jack.”

“I will not accept it just like that,” he argued.

Sara reached out and traced his lips with trembling fingers. “You have to accept that I'm going to die. I already have.”

“Never,” Jack hissed. “We are meant for each other. I can't and I won't imagine life without you at my side!”

“Please, Jack,” she begged with tears in her eyes. “I don't have much time left. What little there still is, I want to spend it with you and not in this damn hospital... please... don't do that to me, Jack...”

He was battling with himself because he just couldn't bear the thought of losing his Sara completely.

“I love you so much... more than anything else in the world. When I am no more, I need you to continue living and not be mourning our time together,” she told him.

Jack looked at her, lightly shaking his head. “But our time together was the best and most beautiful time of my life. I love you too much to be able to let you go now. It's not fair! You don't deserve having to leave the world so early...”

“That doesn't matter anymore, baby. My death is inevitable.” With pleading eyes, she looked at him. “Will you fulfill my last wish?”

He nodded and felt his heart grow even heavier.

 

*****

 

From Michiru, Samantha had gotten the address of a building, where Jonathan was supposed to be this particular morning. The brunette stood at the bus station, opposite the building and stared at the skyscraper. Her heart was pounding strongly against her ribs. ‘Over there, in this building is Jonathan... my potential father... I will wait for him and then I'm going to ask him all the questions I have.'

In her excitement, she put a hand over her heart. ‘I'll ask him about my mother Kayla... about the medallion... there are so many questions that I need to know the answers to... oh there, he's coming out of the building.'

Samantha gathered all her courage and was just about to walk over to him as she noticed that Jonathan didn't leave the building alone. A slender, blonde-haired woman was with him.

Her face fell and her courage faded as well as her excitement, only to make room for disappointment and sadness. ‘Victoria, his daughter...' She observed them from the distance, her heart in the grip of melancholy. ‘It seems that Vicky is devastated and crying. He is hugging her, consoling her, just as a loving father would do...'

Awkwardly, she looked at the ground as a bus stopped right in front of her. ‘What do I have to offer? Nothing but a few hunches and speculations. He has a daughter he's been loving for years and will always love. He also has Sakura... I'm unnecessary...'

As the bus drove off, it left behind an empty bus station.

 

*****

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Lewis herself was taking care of the blood samples that the possible donors had given her. She sat in front of a computer in a lab to get the final results. A beeping sound rang out and the doctor's mouth fell open in astonishment as she looked at the monitor. “That... oh my God... I must... that's unbelievable... usually that only fits if the people in question are blood-related...” she sputtered in surprise. Then a big smile appeared on Gillian's face. “Finally, the good news we all have been waiting for. I have to tell Sara and her family immediately.”

Chuckling, she put on her white lab coat, printed the test results and raced out of the lab to Sara's room. “I have wonderful...” The words died in her throat as she realized that the room was empty.

Taylor chose that moment to come up behind her. She wanted to visit Sara. “Hello, Dr. Lewis. What...” Her gaze went past the shocked doctor, who stood there rooted to the spot, and fell on the empty room. The girl's eyes widened. “Where is Sara? Don't tell me she...” Taylor didn't dare to finish the horrible thought.

Quickly, Gillian shook her head. “No, she just disappeared. I know that Jack was with her the whole night and morning.”

“Oh shit,” Taylor sighed. “I bet, Sara asked him to get her out of the hospital.”

“That's horrible!” Dr. Lewis exclaimed.

“What's wrong?” the teenager inquired. “Why are you so excited?”

“I found the perfect bone marrow donor!”

Green-brown eyes sparkled with happiness. “Really?”

“Yes, but if we don't find Sara and get her back here quickly that won't make much of a difference. Do you have any idea where they could be?”

Taylor thought about it. After a few seconds, sudden realization hit her. She reached forward and pulled a little piece of paper and a pen out of Gillian's lab coat's front pocket. The girl scribbled down an address and gave the paper back to the doctor. “There is just one place they could be,” Taylor told her frantically. “Hurry to send out an ambulance. It's not too far from here. I will drive there with my motorcycle.”

“Okay!” Dr. Lewis called after her. “Until then. I hope we won't be too late...”

 

*****

 

Wrapped up in each other's arms, but not saying a word, Sara and Jack lay under the artificial sky, where millions of stars sparkled.

Jack had lost the fierce battle with his tears and from time to time he sniffled.

Sara kissed him tenderly a last time. “Don't cry. Or I will start crying too and I don't want our final moments to be spent in sadness.”

He looked deeply into her tired eyes. “It's so hard,” he choked out.

Sara snuggled closer to him and held on as tightly as she could in her weak state. “I feel so safe with you. Please, tell me something. I like listening to your voice.”

Jack tightened his embrace. “What would you like to hear?” he whispered.

“Anything,” she mumbled. “Just tell me something.”

He kissed her hair and tried to sound as normal as possible. “You smell like hospital...”

Grinning, she closed her eyes. “Go on,” she begged.

Jack looked at the picture of the sky above him and told her whatever came to his mind, without letting go of her for even the tiniest second. He didn't notice how she slowly went to sleep, her grip on him loosening. As her hand slid off his chest where it had been laying over his heart, he squeezed his eyes shut in silent torment. More tears spilled over and rolled down his cheeks.

 

*****

 

The tires of her motorcycle squeaked in protest as Taylor came to a stop in front of the planetarium. In her hurry, she took two steps at one time and stormed into the big building. Shocked, she discovered Jack, who silently sat in one of the armchairs, holding on to Sara, who lay unmoving in his arms.

Tears welled up in the teenager's eyes as she heard the sirens from the arriving ambulance. They were too late. Taylor was unable to ask or say something. She just stood there, looking wide-eyed at the two people in front of her.

In that moment, Dr. Lewis came running in, followed by two paramedics that carried a stretcher. Gillian realized what had happened and attempted a resuscitation.

The paramedics put Sara on the stretcher and the doctor bent over her.

“Why? Why are you doing that?” Jack sobbed in despair. “Leave Sara alone!” He was just about to place himself protectively above her body as Taylor grabbed his arm and dragged him away with all her might.

Dr. Lewis looked at the man and asked frantically, “How long has it been? When did Sara stop breathing, Jack?”

“I don't know,” he stammered in confusion. “I just know that she didn't want to be put on machines that would drag out her life unnecessarily!”

Taylor reached for the collar of his shirt and pulled him down so that he had to look into her eyes. “It's not unnecessary, Jack! They found the perfect bone marrow donor!”

Jack stood there, completely perplexed, trying hard to wrap his mind around the words that his ears had just received.

Gillian gave the paramedics a sign to carry the stretcher with Sara to the ambulance.

Taylor and Jack followed a moment later. “I... I killed Sara...” Jack gasped. “Without her my life has no sense. Sara, you can't leave me...”

As they reached the ambulance, Dr. Lewis was already closing the doors of the car. “Don't waste any time! It's a matter of life and death!” With flashing lights and howling sirens they raced back to the hospital.

Taylor and Jack watched the ambulance leave. Then Jack turned around, grabbed the girl's jacket and shook her. “Taylor, you need to tell me all you know! NOW!”

 

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

 

Her eyes fluttered open and dazed she looked around as she woke up. The face that hovered above her was still a bit blurry but she recognized it right away. “Hey baby,” Sara greeted Jack in a scratchy, weak whisper.

He squeezed her hand.

Then she discovered her father and Dr. Lewis, who stood at the end of her bed. “Daddy, Doc...”

“Finally, you woke up, sweetheart,” Matthew said smiling.

“I'm alive,” she whispered in awe.

Again, Jack squeezed her hand. “Yes. You're alive.”

“All your friends are outside,” Matthew told her. “They are waiting for the good news. And your fiancé never left your side.”

Exhausted, but very happy, Sara looked into Jack's shining, blue eyes. “I love you.”

He smiled. “I love you more.”

Chuckling, she replied, “That's not true... I came back from the dead for you...”

Jack shook his head, a wide grin spreading across his features. “And here we go again... Always having to argue.”

“Sara still needs a lot of rest and that's why I have to ask you to leave right now,” Gillian chimed in.

“Doc... how... what happened?” Sara inquired.

“Later, Sara,” Dr. Lewis promised. “I will tell you everything later.”

After everyone had left the room, Sara lay back and closed her eyes. A lone tear of happiness trickled down her cheek. “I'm alive.”

 

*****

 

At the same time, Jonathan climbed out of a white limousine. He wore a white tailcoat and placed a white top hat on his head. Then he held out his hand to help Michiru out of the car. She was dressed in a bridal gown of white silk and held a bouquet of white roses in her hands.

Slowly, they walked along the long red carpet, which guided them inside the white chapel of Las Vegas. From time to time they threw each other loving glances and winked or just looked deeply into each other's eyes.

Inside the chapel, they were welcomed by a crazy Elvis double, who not only played the usual ‘Here comes the bride' but also astonished them with his very own version of ‘Love Me Tender'.

Michiru leaned over and whispered chuckling to Jonathan, “I would have never thought that I could like such a corny wedding... but now that we are here, I think it's great. It really was a wonderful idea of you, Jonathan. Especially, since I know that Sakura is safe with Billy.”

He grinned. “I find it even more wonderful that nobody knows where we are or what we are doing at the moment.”

“Yes, it's very exciting.”

“You are making me the happiest man on this earth, my lotus blossom.”

“Ohhh, Jonathan...” she sighed. He had said that a couple of times, but each time he told her that, he made her heart melt.

 

*****

 

Loud cheers rang out, in front of Sara's hospital room as the good news was spread.

Matthew pulled Dr. Lewis to the side to have a talk with her. “I am so grateful Dr. Lewis for everything you did for our family and for bringing Sara back to life. You really are a great and amazing doctor.”

Smiling embarrassed, she responded, “I didn't do all the work.”

Matthew cleared his throat. “That brings me to another subject. This question has been burning on my mind for some time... who is the bone marrow donor, who helped Sara to live? You must know the person's name and they must be here in the hospital, right? Otherwise such a quick transplantation would not have been possible.”

“You are right, Mr. Jones. Throughout the past time I had time to check into a few things. I found an answer that will be quite new to you.”

He frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“The donor's name is Dorian Turunen.”

“Dorian... Dorian,” Matthew thought out loud, rubbing his chin. “Oh, I think Sara told me about him once. She said, he is an archeologist or something in that direction and very intelligent. I guess, I have to thank him for saving my daughter's life. I will do that right away, but first I'll give him the promised money.” Matthew turned around and was about to leave, but Gillian held him back.

“That's not all, Mr. Jones.”

He looked at her in confusion.

“I was able to compare his blood to yours and...”

“Yes?”

“Dorian Turunen is your son.”

Silence fell and Matthew just stared completely stunned at the doctor because he thought he had heard her wrong. “Could you please say that again?” he stammered.

“Yes, he is your son and therefore Sara's half brother. Dorian doesn't know anything about it. I wanted to talk with you first.

Matthew blinked in shock. “I'm supposed to have a son? Turunen, somehow the name sounds familiar... What about Sara?”

“Of course, she doesn't know anything and I would suggest to not tell her anything at this time. Sara is still too weak for any kind of excitement.”

He staggered towards a bench and fell down on it, burying his face in his hands.

Gillian patted him on the shoulder and then left to check up on another patient.

 

*****

 

Sara opened her eyes as Jack quietly crept into the room. “Hey sweetheart,” he greeted her happily.

“How did you get past the guards?” she asked, smiling.

He sat down on the edge of her bed and took her hand. “Dr. Lewis is talking with your Dad, so I tiptoed past them and here I am.” Jack bent down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. His eyes sparkled with joy. “It is so great to have you back. I am to give you greetings from the bunch outside and they say you are to recover your strength quickly and then get out of this hospital.”

Sara was touched by the encouraging words. “That's so sweet. I miss you all so much and I want everything back to normal as soon as possible... no stress... no surprises... just rest and relaxation.”

Jack nodded in confirmation. “Yes, only the two of us... I love you.”

“I love you too.”

 

***** A FEW MONTHS LATER *****

 

Music of ‘Nightwish' was playing in the background, while Taylor was packing her clothes for the upcoming trip to the Olympic Games. On the next morning, she would set out to Alaska with Michiru and Samantha to represent the United States in figure skating. A year ago, she wouldn't have thought that she was ever going to make it. But now, due to the patient, if also at times unusual training sessions of Michiru Kasawaki, Taylor was on her way to the top. There was just one more obstacle that gave her a little headache and was the cause of many a sleepless night lately. It was the obstacle named Nicolette Valmy from France. Taylor felt her stomach churn as she thought about the girl with whom she already had had trouble in China. ‘Yah well,' Taylor thought to herself. ‘I showed her once where her limits are, I'll be able to do it a second time.'

She was brought out of her thoughts as somebody knocked on the door to her room.

Elizabeth had come home. Beaming happily, she entered her little sister's room and sat down on the bed, holding up a cloth bag. “Hey sweetie. How are you doing? Very excited?”

“Very much. I'll be glad when it's over.”

Elizabeth smiled. “I'm sure you'll skate them into the ground. Speaking of that, I picked up your costume for the free program on my way home.”

Taylor eyed the cloth bag a bit worried. “I hope it's not a skirt.”

Her big sister just grinned. “Open the bag and you will see.”

Hesitantly, the teenager reached forward and pulled down the bag's zipper. Her eyes grew bigger as she saw what was revealed. It was a tight, black, sleeveless top with a broad, red V on the chest area and matching black pants with a red stripe along each leg. “Oh wow,” Taylor breathed in awe. “That... that is... it looks like the black and red costume that Daddy wore during his last dance. Oh Liz! That is soooooooooo cool!” Overwhelmed, she wrapped her arms around her sister and hugged her tightly.

Elizabeth laughed. “I knew you would like that. And to make this outfit perfect... how about this little good-luck-charm?” She gave Taylor a small headband. “Mom braided it with black leather strings. It was Daddy's good-luck-charm on all his big dancing tours.”

Taylor's eyes sparkled as she took it from her sister's fingers. “I will take very good care of it.”

“I know. Have I told you lately how proud I am of you?”

A bit nerve-wrecked, the girl rolled her eyes. “I think it was about 239 times.”

Chuckling, Elizabeth disheveled her hair. “I wish I could go with you and be there when you win the gold medal.”

“I wish that too,” Taylor replied in a small voice.

 

*****

 

Rose's eyes rolled back in enjoyment as another piece of the strawberry-topped cheese cake simply melted on her tongue. “Ohhhh,” she moaned. “It is sooooo delicious. I think I could eat a third piece.”

Sara grinned while Matthew sipped on his coffee. “I wonder what's keeping Jack? He wanted to be here about 30 minutes ago.”

She patted her father's hand. “He will be here, don't you worry. He is probably still at the office. ‘Lord of the Darkness' is coming to an end and next week is a meeting with some very influential sponsors.”

“I know,” Matthew grumbled. “But he could at least call and let us know that he will be late, right? So that we won't worry.”

“Daddy,” Sara laughed. “He is a big boy and he can take care of himself.”

In that moment, her cell phone began to ring. “See? I bet that's him.” She pressed a button and held it to her ear. “Hello?”

With every word that was said on the other end of the line, her face lost more and more color until she was as white as a sheet. “What? Oh God, no!”

Matthew and Rose looked at her questioningly. “What is it?” Sara's father inquired.

“Yes, I'll be there as soon as I can,” Sara said and hung up.

“What happened?” Matthew asked again.

 

*****

 

“Hello my beloved family! I'm back!” Samantha called out after she had closed the entrance door behind her.

Wildly wagging his tail, Tasilo came racing downstairs and pranced happily barking around her, jumping up and down, hoping to get cuddled.

Samantha smiled at his behavior. “Hey, my little rascal. How are you?” She patted him for a few minutes and then she went upstairs. “Liz?”

“We are in Taylor's room.”

Samantha entered said room and whistled through her teeth. “Wow. It looks like you are packed and all set for the Olympic Games, Taylor.” Then she pulled Elizabeth into her arms, pressing her lips to the blonde's in a fiery kiss full of passion and desire. “Mhhh, hello my Angel,” Samantha whispered and covered the rosy lips again.

Taylor cleared her throat. “Uh... guys? Could you... uh... celebrate your love somewhere else? Go get a room before something happens that's not meant for the eyes of a teenager.”

The lovers didn't react. They also didn't stop kissing.

Rolling her eyes, Taylor left the room. “I'll drive over to Karen's to say goodbye, okay?”

Of course, she didn't get an answer since Elizabeth and Samantha were still busy communicating their love for each other.

Shaking her head, the teenager grinned and grabbed her car keys. “These two. One of these days, their lips will grow together.”

 

*****

 

At the small café, Sara jumped from her chair. ”Daddy... oh God, Daddy. We have to drive to the hospital immediately!”

“What happened?” Rose asked.

“Jack is badly hurt. A bus crashed into him.”

“That's horrible,” the housekeeper exclaimed.

Quickly, Matthew tried to get the attention of the waiter so that he could pay their bill. After that, the three of them hurried to the car and raced to the hospital with squealing tires.

 

*****

 

Elizabeth felt her senses reeling while Samantha covered her face with passionate kisses. She moaned as a strong hand slid under her blouse, gently and slowly wandering in direction of her left breast.

Finally, she managed to part with the brunette's velvety lips. As she opened her eyes, she found herself laying on Taylor's bed, covered by 6 feet of bundled passion in the form of the other woman. “Sam? What's gotten into you?” she whispered, sounding a bit out of breath.

Samantha looked at her with innocent, large, blue eyes. “I've been missing you horribly the whole day, Angel.”

Elizabeth cupped the beautiful face of her jungle princess and smiled. “You did?”

Samantha nodded. “And I will miss you even more in the coming two weeks.”

“Awww, sweetheart. I'll miss you too. I already told Taylor that I would like to accompany you, but unfortunately I can't.”

Poking out her lower lip, Samantha responded in a small voice, ”I know.”

Elizabeth stroked her cheeks and gave her a sweet kiss on the pouty lips. “Come on, I'll help you pack.”

Samantha grumbled something and then buried her face at Elizabeth's throat.

The blonde had understood her. Stroking her back, she grinned. “Maybe later... if you behave and are a good girl.”

Samantha laughed and rose, took Elizabeth's hand and pulled her up. “Alright. Let's get the packing out of the way quickly, so that we can turn to more important matters.”

 

*****

 

Victoria hung up at the same moment as Dorian came home. “Hello Darling,” she greeted him with a smile and a kiss. “How was the job interview?”

Tiredly, Dorian made a declining hand motion.

“Don't give up, okay? If you didn't get this job then you will get another one.”

“If you say so,” he mumbled dejected.

“Actually, I don't understand why you are searching for a job anyway. You got a million dollar from Mr. Jones for the bone marrow donation to his daughter. You could easily retire and do lots of fun things,” Victoria remarked.

“The money is lying untouched in my bank account. I don't know why, but I feel uncomfortable at the thought of spending it. I shouldn't even have taken it to begin with.”

“But you deserve it,” Victoria insisted. “You saved Sara's life.”

He shook his head. “I still don't think it's right to take money for something like that.”

Victoria rolled her eyes and sighed. “Look baby, I really would like to philosophize with you about ethics and what's right and wrong, but I have an important meeting. Also, I have to ask a favor of you.”

“What is it?”

“Could you please drive by my parents' house to get the last of my things? I already talked with Alexander.”

Dorian nodded. “Sure thing. I'll do that right away.”

“Thanks darling,” Victoria said and kissed him. “I'll see you later this evening.”

*****

 

Tears gathered in Sara's eyes as she entered Jack's hospital room. She dragged one of the white plastic chairs next to his bed and sat down, carefully placing a hand on the plaster cast that enclosed Jack's arm. “My God, Jack. Just what are you doing?”

“Hey, honey. It's not that bad,” he said quietly. “A few broken ribs and a broken arm. My legs are okay. But, Dr. Lewis stole my spleen.” He laughed and his face contorted in pain a second later. “Owww, damn, I think that wasn't such a good idea.”

“What's wrong with your other arm?”

Jack hesitated a bit before he finally confessed, “Uh... broken shoulder and broken collarbone...”

“Was that a question or an answer?” Sara asked concerned.

“Oh sweetheart. Don't worry. You'll see, in a couple of weeks, I'll be as fit as a sneaker and then we will finally get married.”

A deep sigh escaped her. “Oh Jack.” Sara lay her head down next to his and tenderly stroked the fingers that were looking out from the plaster cast. “I'm getting the impression that our wedding isn't meant to be. Every time we plan it, something bad happens to keep us from it.”

Jack thought about how he could lift her spirits and decided the best thing would be to crack some fun. “Hey, do you know what? I think, I need glasses.”

Wrinkling her forehead, Sara looked at him questioningly. “Why?”

“Because the bus was so huge, but still I didn't see it.”

Sara snorted. “I think in that case you might need a magnifying glass.”

 

 

*****

 

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EPISODE...

 

 

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