**Sorry I didn't post this on Monday as I promised. The week got away from me, but weekends are easier for me anyway so I'll be updating Saturday nights from now on **
Episode 1: Confrontations
Scene One: Horton Square
JJ spots Eve approaching him from across the square. She wears a black winter coat with the collar turned up, almost obscuring her face. “Eve?” He snaps. “Do you really think this is the best place for us to meet?”
Eve hisses, “Shhh! Just come with me already!”
Before JJ can protest, Eve grabs his arm and yanks him through the throng of afternoon shoppers, barely looking both ways as she does so. She pulls him right into the quiet and deserted south end of Salem Park.
JJ brushes her fingers off his arm, noting how her fingernails - claws, he thinks- have left deep indentations in his taut skin. “You wanted to talk?” He grumbles.
Eve nods. “Of course I did, JJ! We have to get our stories straight. If Paige ever finds out what happened last night…”
JJ shakes his head. “How could she? No one knows. No one was around. But it doesn’t matter, because she has a right to know. I promised her that I wouldn’t keep any more secrets and this one…”
“Shut up, JJ!” Eve snaps. “You’re not going to say a word to my daughter about us sleeping together. You know if she finds out, she will never, ever forgive either one of us!”
Little do Eve and JJ know that they've been overheard. Chad DiMera, hidden from view near a copse of trees, breaks into a wide grin.
Scene Two: Clyde’s Motel Room
Jordan has the gun aimed dead at Clyde’s chest although it’s visibly shaking in her hand.
“Put the gun down, Jordan. I said I was sorry. That ain’t enough for you?”
“Enough? No! Do you really think ‘I’m sorry’ fixes anything? My god, Clyde, I was fifteen years old!”
Clyde shrugs. “I told you. I know I was wrong.”
Jordan is near sobbing. Tears are streaming down her face. “Wrong? It was more than wrong, you b**tard. It was rape!” The gun tremors in her hand. “When I think of what you did… God, you make me sick… You made your fortune selling me to your friends like a freaking broodmare.” She cocks the pistol again. “I am going to blow you away. Nothing is going to stop me this time.”
Clyde’s lips twitch in a nasty smirk. “Not even if I tell you what really happened with your dear Mama? Come on, Tammy Sue, do you really want two murders on your dainty little white hands?"
Scene Three: Dining Room at The Brady Pub
Abigail looks between Kayla and Ben and then back at the older woman. “How did this happen, Kayla? I thought the hospital wanted nothing to do with me after that stunt Sami pulled.”
Kayla looks at Abby, and briefly at Ben. “Well, there was someone in your corner pulling for you.”
Abby’s eyebrows raise. “Really? Who?”
Kayla sighs. “Someone on the hospital board.”
“Who? Why are you being so vague here, Kayla?”
Kayla glances at Ben again. “It’s just this person on the board; the one who got you your job back… It was Chad DiMera.”
Abby’s heart slams to a painful stop. “What?”
Ben balls his hands into fists at his sides. “Son of a b****!”
Scene Four: Salem Park
Chad, having heard enough keeps grinning as he places his hands into the pockets of his trousers and saunters away, whistling triumphantly under his breath.
Eve snaps, “Do you hear me, JJ? You can’t say one word about what we did – not to anyone!”
JJ rubs a hand down his face. “I don’t know if I can keep this quiet, Eve. Paige doesn’t deserve to be lied to.”
“Oh, and you think I like lying to her? Of course, I don’t, but I don’t want to hurt her. You know that my daughter would never, ever understand why we did what we did. Hell, I still don’t know why we did it.”
JJ rolls his eyes. “God, me either… I mean, we were upset, but it’s no excuse. I love Paige.”
“I love her,” Eve challenges. “She’s my daughter. We betrayed her, and I just feel sick over the whole thing. She will never forgive me for sleeping with her first boyfriend.”
She grabs JJ by the lapels of his jacket. “Swear to me, right here and right now, that you will never, ever tell Paige or anyone else that you sexed me up!”
JJ’s eyes go wide. “I – I … Wait, I didn’t-”
“You kissed me, JJ!”
“Only because you kissed me first!”
“Why, you little-”
JJ shoots up a hand to stop her. “You know what? It doesn’t matter who kissed who first. The problem is, we did kiss and did a lot more than that too. Paige will never understand or accept what we did. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t either.”
“Damn right she won’t understand or accept it. She’ll hate us both! Now, do you see why she can never, ever know?”
JJ sighs. “Yeah, I guess I can see that.” Against his better judgment, he says, “I won’t tell.”
“Thank god! Now just let’s go our separate ways, okay, and forget this ever happened.”
“Gladly,” he says as she hurries away from her, but he knows forgetting it will be easier said than done.
Scene Five: Dining Room at The Brady Pub
Ben looks half-ready to throttle the first person who walks in the door. “What a total punk! Chad DiMera is-”
Abby holds up a hand. “The only one who could get my job back.”
Ben’s mouth gapes open in shock. “Oh my god… You’re not serious… I mean, you’re not thinking of taking the job?”
“No. This is insanity, Abby. You take that job back and Chad will never be out of your hair – out of our hair."
Kayla looks between them with a grimace. “I think I should go. You two need to talk about this without me. And just talk about it - no yelling or throwing around accusations.”
“I can be calm,” Abby says pointedly.
Ben rolls his eyes and crosses his arms.
Kayla offers Abby a pat on the shoulder. “I’ll see you later, sweetie.” She offers Ben a little smile. “You take care, Ben."
Once Kayla is gone, Abby reaches for Ben’s arm, but he quickly shakes free of her grasp.
“Ben, come on.”
“No, you come on, Abby! If you go back to your old job, you’re playing right into Chad’s hands. He wants to show me up; prove that he’s Mr. Rich and Powerful and that I can’t compete with him.”
“I already told you. You don’t need to compete with him. I’m with you, Ben. I chose you, remember? I thought we were solid.”
Ben groans. “Well, I thought so too.”
“Look, Chad won’t be a problem unless you let him become one.”
“I don’t trust him, Abigail.”
“Do you trust me? Or do you – God, do you think I’m just the faithless little slut everyone else around here does?”
Ben quickly replies, “I don’t think that, Abby. Of course not.”
“Then you need to trust me when I say that I have no interest in anything to do with Chad DiMera. However, I do need a job and I loved my job so yes, I am going back to it.”
“No way. You can’t.”
“Ben, I don’t want to hurt you here, but –”
Ben spits out, “Yeah, of course you don’t.” He jumps up from this chair and stalks towards the door.
Abby stands up to follow after him. “Ben, wait! Ben, where are you going? Come on!” Realizing people are staring at her, she sighs and decides to let him go.
Scene Six: Clyde’s Room
Jordan has tears running down her face in earnest now. Clyde eyes the gun shaking in her trembling hands, but makes no attempt to fight Jordan for it. Instead, he holds up his hands for a moment.
“You killed your Mama, Tammy Sue. There was no mistake. There wasn't no accidental slip of your fingers either. You grabbed a gun and you killed her in cold blood. You killed your own Mama in a fit of rage!”
Jordan vehemently shakes her head. “No, no, no. That’s not how it was. I got a hold of the gun, just to keep you from sending me upstairs with another one of your ‘friends’. Mama came in…”
“And she saw you were crying. She saw you were hysterical and do you remember, little girl, how you ran to her and told her what I was doing with you? And she –”
Jordan’s whole body surrenders to the force of her sobs. She sags down. “And she – she didn’t believe me! Even with that monster ‘Hank the Tank’ standing there, breathing all over my neck, making me feel sick.”
“Oh it was more than that, honey,” Clyde taunts. “She said you were lying. That I would never, ever do a thing like that. She told you to put the gun down and you didn’t. You shot her point blank in the chest, not even two paces between you. She didn’t have a chance.”
“Nooooo!” Jordan screams. She has a distant look on her face. She’s reliving the horrible episode from her youth all over again. She remembers the fear and the pain. Not having her mother believe her was the worst kind of hell.
“Oh yes, Tammy Sue. She looked you right in the eyes and called your bluff. And you saw red and you killed her. Wasn’t no accident. You were purposeful and what’s that word – methodical? Yes, that’s it. You got blood all over your hands, darlin’.”
“I didn’t mean to-” Jordan breaks off as Clyde suddenly jumps on her, wrenching the gun from her hand. There is a major scuffle then and the gun goes off. We see Jordan in slow motion slide to the floor as Clyde triumphantly holds up the pistol.
Abby is busy checking messages on her phone. There are none from Ben, just as she had feared. Sighing, she sets her cell down on the tabletop as Chad DiMera walks in the door and approaches her.
“Abby! Just the person I was hoping to see.”
Noting Chad’s smirk, Abby rolls her eyes at him. “Chad, what do you want?”
“Now come on. Is that any way to talk to the guy who’s going to save your family?”
Abby stares up at him, frustrated, but also morbidly curious at the same time. “Excuse me, what are you talking about? Is this about how you got me my job back? Or is it something else?”
“It’s something else, but how about that job ‘thing’, huh? Pretty neat, right?”
Abby says, very begrudgingly, “Yeah, it is. I just want to know what your motive for that was exactly. You’ve made it clear that I disgust you after what I did with your brother so…”
Chad holds up his hands. “You’ve got it all wrong, Abigail. Am I angry? Yes. Do I hate you? No way.”
Abby doesn’t know how to reply. “Chad-”
Chad slides into the chair across from her. “Abby, I loved you. Believe it or not, that kind of love just doesn’t evaporate. Not on my part anyway.”
Abby stares at Chad. She can’t tell if he’s being serious or not. He came back to town a very different man than the Chad she once knew. He’s practically a stranger to her now. “Why are you saying all of this? Especially when you always take so much pleasure in egging on my boyfriend and taunting me.”
“About that boyfriend … I take it he heard I got your job back for you. That’s why you look so lonely and miserable, isn't it? Because he’s in his feelings.”
Abby shakes her head. “I am not going to talk to you about Ben. You said something about saving my family. What did you mean by that?”
Chad grins. “I thought you’d never ask.”
~*~*~* Scene Two: Clyde’s Room
Jordan lies on the floor, eyes wide open. She presses a shaky hand to her face, neck, and shoulders, clearly looking for any wounds.
Jordan stares at Clyde in horror. “You shot at me, you b****rd!”
Clyde's grin is condescending. “It didn’t take though now, did it?” He points to a hole in the wall where the plaster has fallen away. “Looks like you got lucky.” He leans down and grabs her roughly by the shoulders. “You won’t be so lucky next time. Now get outta here. Just get!”
Jordan wrenches herself to her feet. Tears are falling from her eyes, but she is more livid now than scared. She shoves a finger into his face. “This isn’t over, Clyde!”
“Well, I got the gun and I say it is. I will kill you for real next time you come busting in here throwing a tantrum. Now leave if you know what's good for you."
Jordan grimaces and storms out, slamming the door loudly behind her.
Clyde grins as he sets the gun down on the bedside table. "Time for a shower,” he says. "Gotta wash off all the dust and grime.”
He heads into the bathroom, whistling the whole way.
Scene Three: University Hospital
Daniel arrives at the hospital and immediately doffs his backpack. He slides into a lab coat and reaches for a stack of charts, ready to begin rounds. He waves to one of the nurses and then heads towards the room of his first patient. He has his hand on the doorknob when he hears a familiar voice calling out, “Dad, hey Dad!”
Daniel turns around. A smile spreads across his face. “Mel? Oh my gosh, is that really you?”
Melanie moves towards him. “In the flesh.”
She holds out her arms to him, but instead of returning the hug, he picks her and swings her around and around a few times.
She laughs when he sets her down. Grasping her forehead, she says, “Okay, that made me dizzy. I guess you're happy to see me.”
“Are you kidding? Of course, I am happy to see you, sweetheart! I’ve missed you so much. Did you honestly think I wouldn’t be happy to see my beautiful daughter?”
Melanie shrugs. “No, I ... Well, I am just glad to be here.”
Daniel loops an arm around her shoulders. “Are you sticking around for a while?”
“Yes, for a bit anyway.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming back? I would have picked you up at the airport.”
Melanie splays her hands. “It’s okay. It was kind of a sudden thing.”
“So what brings you back?”
Melanie shifts from foot to foot. “Do I need a reason to come see my dad?”
“No, of course not. I am just surprised you’re here.”
Melanie smiles. “Good-surprised?”
Daniel nods. “The best-surprised.”
“Well, I won’t keep you. I am sure you have some work to do and -”
“Hey, hey, not so fast. My patient is probably still asleep anyway, so I think I can spare five minutes to catch up.”
Melanie nods slowly. “Alright. Lead the way.”
Scene Four: The Brady Pub
Abby stares at Chad. “Well, what is it? What information do you have that can ‘save’ my family?"
Chad rests his hands on the table. “I happened upon some - shall we say – interesting information this morning.”
“About my family?”
“About your brother.”
“What about JJ?” Abby asks.
“I was taking a morning stroll through the park when I happened to see your brother talking to someone.”
Abby bites out in annoyance, “Who? I am not in the mood for guessing games, Chad, so stop with the subterfuge and just spit out whatever it is you have to say.”
Chad nods. “Alright. I saw JJ with his girlfriend’s mom. Eve. That’s her name, right?"
“Yes. So they were talking? Big deal."
Chad grins. “It is a big deal, Abby -- considering they were talking about how they had sex.”
Abby’s mouth drops. “What? You can’t be serious. No, I know you’re not serious. You’re lying.”
It's Chad's turn to look annoyed. "Come on, Abigail, why would I lie about something like that?”
“Because you’ll do absolutely anything to try to get under my skin.”
“I don’t need to do anything. I already am under your skin.”
Abby’s cheeks flush. “You - you are such a jerk! I am not going to sit here and listen to your lies anymore. JJ would never cheat on Paige, let alone with that – that woman!”
Chad rolls his eyes. “Oh, come on, Abby. You know better than anyone how easily someone can be taken for a ride by someone older… Seductive … Someone who says all the right things…”
Abby’s eyes narrow. If looks could kill, Chad DiMera would be a dead man.
Scene Five: Salem University Hospital
Daniel and Melanie are sitting in adjoining chairs in the waiting room.
“I still can’t believe you’re back. When you left town, I thought it might be -”
Daniel nods. “Well… Yes.”
“I thought so too at the time," Melanie admits.
“So what changed your mind? You said it was sudden.”
“Not totally.” Melanie looks away for a moment. “I mean, I have been missing you. You, and Parker, and Grandma, and – everyone. Well, almost everyone.”
Daniel studies her closely. “Are you alright?”
Melanie forces a smile. “Of course, I am. I’m perfect. I am so glad to be back in Salem again.”
Melanie interrupts. “Look, Dad, I don’t want to keep you. You have lots of patients who need you and I am going to go see Grandma. We’ll talk later, okay?”
Melanie gives him a quick buss on the cheek and hurries towards the elevators. Daniel stares after her for a long moment, as if he is trying to figure her out.
Scene Six: Clyde’s Room
The water is running and Clyde is humming loudly in the shower, unaware that someone has entered his motel room. An intruder slips silently through the room, finding their way over to the bedside table. They lock their gloved hands around the gun and **** the pistol, inching towards the bathroom.
Clyde is no longer humming. He looks around, suddenly sensing someone nearby.
“Is someone there? I swear to God, Jordan if you-”
He breaks off as he yanks back the curtain. His eyes go wide in shock and anger. The intruder pulls the trigger once, twice.
Clyde’s eyes roll back in his head as blood spurts from his chest. He lets out a muffled curse and then slides down the wall, dead.
The intruder tosses the gun to the ground and hurries out the door.
Scene Seven: The Brady Pub
Abby continues to glare at Chad. “I am going to choose to ignore that nasty snipe about EJ and me, and ask why - why if JJ did, as you claim, sleep with Eve Larson -- you have to be the one to tell me about it.”
“I just thought you should know. So you can nip this thing –whatever it is – in the bud. I’d hate for your family to be publicly shamed yet again.”
Abby shoots to her feet, hastily gathering up her things. “I don’t want to hear another word you have to say.”
“Come on. Don’t go away mad.”
Abby shoves away from the table and stomps outside. She’s horrified. She turns to look back through the window where Chad is talking to a waitress.
Abby mutters, “I don’t believe you, Chad. JJ would never sleep with Paige’s mother. I mean, he wouldn’t... would he?”
She looks at her cell phone and taps out a quick text message. It reads, “Meet me at the house JJ. We need to talk – NOW!!!”
Scene Eight: Clyde’s Room
Ben is still feeling troubled as he approaches Clyde’s room. There is a lot brewing on his mind. He notices the door is partially cracked open.
“Uh, Clyde? It’s Ben. I need to talk to you. Come on, man. The desk clerk downstairs says that you're here, so can you answer me already? I need back the money you offered me… I just do. Come on.”
He groans when there's no reply. Slowly, he steps inside and shuts the door after him.
“Clyde?” He calls out. A strange chill trails down his neck.
Ben cocks his head towards the bathroom, recognizing the sound of the shower.
“Hey, it’s Ben. Can you hurry up in there? We need to talk. It’s really important. I need the money back you tried to give me before. I know I said I didn’t need it, but I was wrong. I do need it… Clyde, can you hear me?”
When there is no reply, Ben creeps towards the bathroom door. "Hello?" He slowly pokes his head into the bathroom and his eyes grow impossibly wide in his face when he spots Clyde’s bullet-ridden body slumped down in the shower.
Post by André DiMera on Feb 20, 2021 10:14:56 GMT -5
So glad Jordan didn’t get hurt! Clyde is disgusting! Wasn’t expecting to be rid of him that quickly, though! I wonder who the shooter is. Also super curious how Ben will react to this!
Melanie! Glad to see her back in town! Though she seems to want to avoid her talking about her reasons for coming back. Wonder what’s up with that.
Of course Abby doesn’t believe Chad, or at least doesn’t want to, and he’s not making it any better with the not-so-subtle dig about Abby and E.J.’s affair. Wonder what J.J. will say when she talks to him.