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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #51 

This is a short little chapter that was really meant to be something we could all hang on to while our Zendall is in such turmoil on our screens. Then we get the awesome news that Zach Slater won't be beating a hasty retreat out of Pine Valley after all (thanks, Thorsten!). So let's just consider this my way of celebrating. Hopefully, we'll see more of this kind of stuff on our screens very soon.

 

 

 

Chapter 10

 

“Not that this isn’t great, but you could have just ordered room service.” Kendall chewed the bite of cold chicken, staring at her husband like he had two heads. When she had swallowed, she corrected him sweetly.

 

“And just announce to the world that we’re here together?” She sat up and tucked the sheet under her arm. “Or maybe people would just assume you’d found other company for the night. Is that it? While Kendall’s away, Zach can play?”

 

Zach pulled himself up beside her, careful not to upset the tray that rested between them. He ran his finger along the edge of the sheet that was wrapped around her. “Is that what we’ve been doing? Playing?”

 

Kendall slapped his hand away when he tried to pull the sheet down. “Of course. Haven’t you been having fun?” she asked. She smiled when Zach groaned and reached out to pull her closer. The clanging of the dishes elicited another, very different, groan. When he tried to move the tray, Kendall stopped him.

 

“Wait! I’m not done yet.” Zach sighed dramatically before leaning back against the headboard to watch her eat. He pulled the sheet over his chest, mocking Kendall’s sudden modesty, but allowed her to pull the sheet away with her first attempt.

 

Kendall drew circles on his chest with her finger while she wolfed down the rest of her makeshift dinner. Then she laid her head on his shoulder and flattened her hand against his heart. Zach wondered if she had any idea what she was doing to him.

 

They sat in comfortable silence for quite a while. It was obvious to Zach that Kendall had something on her mind and he was just waiting for her to open up to him about it. When he heard her sigh, he nudged her so she would look at him.

 

“What?” he asked when their eyes met. Kendall shook her head, avoiding his gaze. Sensing her discomfort, he gently brought her back into his arms. He didn’t want to ruin their night by pushing her into talking. If it was important, she’d tell him eventually. Otherwise, he’d respect her privacy. When she finally did speak, she took his breath away.

 

“Do you ever think of me when I’m not around?” she asked, her voice barely above a whisper. Zach was stunned. His mind went back to that afternoon, when he’d been sitting alone in the bar, lonely for her. He’d wondered the same thing. He couldn’t stop the smile that spread across his face, but Kendall misunderstood his reaction.

 

“I know,” she said, her face heating in embarrassment. “It’s a silly girl thing, I guess. Sometimes at work I totally lose track of time because I’m thinking about you. Wondering what you’re doing. What did you have for lunch? That sort of stuff.” She shrugged in an effort to downplay it, but Zach could see that she was serious and he was moved by her confession. When he didn’t immediately respond, she continued.

 

“You know what else I do?” she said, warming to her topic. “I smile everytime I have to sign my name. Kendall Slater. Or, even better, Mrs. Zach Slater. I just love seeing that in writing. How junior high is that?” She glanced up at him to see his reaction and saw that he was watching her intently.

 

Zach’s expression had turned solemn. He held Kendall’s face in his hands as he lowered his lips to hers. She was so soft and giving, he couldn’t get enough of her. He growled deep in his throat when she responded to his kiss, returning it with equal measure.

 

Even as he felt his passion explode, still Zach fought to stay in control. He didn’t want to ravish her this time, he wanted to cherish her. He wanted to make love to her slowly and gently, taking his time and giving her what she deserved … everything he had.

 

In a sweeping gesture, he flung the tray from the bed and rolled Kendall underneath him. He took his time tasting every inch of her perfect skin before giving in to a desire more fierce than he’d ever known. And in between kisses he told her over and over how much he loved her.

 

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

 

“Why didn’t you tell your mom why I left?” Zach held Kendall in his arms as he twirled one of her curls around his finger. It was the middle of the night, but neither of them wanted to waste a precious second on sleep. And neither was willing to let the other out of arm’s reach.

 

“What are you talking about? I did tell her.” Actually, she hadn’t had a choice. Erica came bursting into their living room the same day Zach left ordering Kendall to go back and drag him home if she had to. There was no problem that their love couldn’t solve. Kendall smiled at the memory. Her mother had become Zach’s biggest ally.

 

“What a ham!” Kendall turned to look into Zach’s face. He was grinning. “She came into the bar and ripped me apart,” he said. “Called Maria every name she could think of and told me I was a pathetic drunk.” He realized what he’d said when he felt Kendall stiffen beside him.

 

“Maria,” she said, nearly choking on the word. That was a name she never wanted to hear again, especially coming from Zach’s lips. “Is that why you want a divorce?”

 

“Now Kendall,” Zach began, easing away from her. He put his hands on her shoulders in an effort to keep her calm. There was no way he was going to let their evening end in a fight. “It was nothing. I just ran into her downstairs at the bar. Erica made way more out of it than it was.”

 

Only then did he notice that Kendall didn’t appear to be angry. He should have left well enough alone, but he didn’t. “Besides, you’re the one who brought her here.” Now Kendall was mad. He could practically see the sparks coming off of her.

 

“I did no such thing!” she hissed. “I simply called her to make sure she understood that you were happy and weren’t looking to rekindle any old flames. Don’t look at me  like that!” she spat when he dared to raise an eyebrow. “I had every right to make that phone call, Zach. She was the obvious choice. Don’t even try to tell me you weren’t thinking the same thing!”

 

By now she had climbed out of bed and was pacing around the room in Zach’s robe. He thought she looked adorable, but he decided against telling her that. Instead he waited for her to get it all off her chest.

 

“And another thing,” she continued, “how could you be seen in public with that woman, right in our very own casino, when you know people think we’re separated? How does that make me look, Zach? How am I supposed to feel about that?” She finally stopped pacing and stood in the middle of the room with her hands folded across her chest, glaring at him while she waited for him to answer.

 

Zach got out of bed and slowly walked over to her. She tried not to let the beauty of his naked body distract her. She was mad, dammit! But the look on his face proved to be her undoing. The warmth in his eyes reminded her how much he loved her, and only her.

 

He untied the sash on the robe and watched it fall open. Kendall held her breath as his eyes swept over her. “You look great to me,” he said, his voice a husky whisper. Then he snaked his hands underneath the robe and brought her up against him. “Feel pretty good, too.” Kendall melted against him when his lips finally met hers.

 

“So, does that mean the boys are with Erica?” Zach said as he scooped Kendall up and carried her back to the bed. He sounded extraordinarily pleased with himself, but she ignored his arrogance.

 

“No, Greenlee. My mother had plans tonight. But I don’t want to talk about them right now. I don’t want to talk about divorce. And I sure as hell don’t want to talk about Maria Santos!”

 

“I don’t want a divorce,” Zach said gruffly. He’d thrown back the covers and placed Kendall in the center of the bed, then settled himself next to her. “Good, because you’re not gonna get one,” Kendall replied. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him down on top of her.

 

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

 

Kendall was back in the kitchen now, only this time she wasn’t wearing the apron. She’d discovered that Zach couldn’t keep his hands to himself when she wore it. And although she loved having her husband’s undivided attention, she was hungry. Starving in fact, and it was all Zach’s fault. He’d kept her up all night working up an appetite.

 

Luckily, Zach was a big eater, so it didn’t raise any eyebrows when he ordered enough breakfast for two people. All Kendall had to do was make the coffee, which she was valiantly attempting when Zach came up behind her and kissed her neck. He brushed her hair aside so he could get better access, but that’s when the food arrived. “Hold that thought,” he muttered as he went to the door.

 

Zach brought their breakfast into the kitchen and waited for Kendall to join him. As soon as he lifted the lid from the first tray he saw it. Kendall’s gasp told him she did too. He reached for the envelope and found his name written on the front in a pretty, feminine handwriting. He was about to open it when he heard Kendall clear her throat. He glanced up at her, hesitated for only a minute, then handed the note to her. She read it aloud.

 

“Zach, I’m sorry for intruding upon you last night. I realize now that my coming was probably a mistake, but I just had to see for myself that you are really and truly happy. I’ll admit, part of me hoped to find you miserable. I guess I did, actually, but it had nothing to do with me. I didn’t make you unhappy, Zach, and I can’t make you happy. I see that now. I hope you and Kendall work everything out and have a wonderful life together. And I hope Kendall knows how lucky she is to have you. All my best, Maria.”

 

Kendall looked up at her husband and found him chewing on a piece of bacon. She didn’t know what she expected him to feel, but all she saw was indifference. Not anger, and not sadness. “Kendall knows,” she said softly as she offered him the note. He smiled at her and handed her a bagel, ignoring her outstretched arm. Kendall dropped the note on the table and helped herself to breakfast. Before long Maria was forgotten.

 

They were back to discussing divorce.

 

“But you said you didn’t want a divorce,” Kendall said when he once again tried to talk her into it. “Did you change your mind?” She glanced down at the note that still sat on the table and immediately regretted it. She looked up to find Zach watching her. He shook his head almost imperceptibly and wiped his hands on his napkin. “No, I didn’t change my mind about wanting one. I still don’t. But I think it might be the right thing to do. On paper,” he added when she started to protest.

 

Kendall reached for his hand across the table. “And I still don’t think it will solve anything,” she said. “If some crazy whack job wants me out of the picture so she can have you all to herself, divorce might not be enough. After all, we’ve already been divorced, and look at us now.” Zach took a deep breath and another sip of coffee while he considered it.

 

“You have a better plan?” he said at last. He noticed the way Kendall was stroking the top of his hand. She was hatching something, he could see it in her eyes. When she looked up at him, he immediately knew what she’d been thinking.

 

“I’m not going to kill you, Kendall,” he said evenly. She opened her mouth to interrupt, but he stopped her. “Did you really think I would?” Kendall got up and moved to stand beside his chair. “You did it once before,” she said quietly. “You killed Alexander Cambias, Jr. It wouldn’t have to be forever, Zach. Just until you catch this woman.”

 

“Alexander Cambias, Jr. didn’t have sons to have to explain death to. At least none he knew about,” he added softly. Kendall saw the pain that flashed through his eyes and knew he would never forgive himself for the mistakes he made with Ethan. Her shoulders slumped in defeat. She couldn’t put Spike and Ian through that, even for such a brief period of time.

 

“So now what?” she asked. Zach slid back his chair and pulled her onto his lap. “We’ll think of something,” he said. He rested his chin on the top of Kendall’s head as they both became lost in their own thoughts. He didn’t know how they were going to handle this situation, but he did know one thing for certain: he couldn’t stand being separated from his family any longer. If this woman wanted to take them on, then she was going to have to deal with the whole team. Team Slater. Because living apart from Kendall and the boys wasn’t living at all.

 

  

TBC

 


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zendallisperfection

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Reply with quote  #52 

love the new chapter, Zach walking across the room and dropping Kendalls robe, i can see it and hear it my head.  Gives me shivers.  Love your writing.  Why can't AMC's writers get what makes a story good.  Cause you certainly know.

Ann

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Reply with quote  #53 
Ah Karen.........have I told you lately that I love you?
Well, I do. Thank you!

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Ann
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Reply with quote  #54 
Thanks for the great update!
If only it could be like this on the show..
Please update soon!!!!
pah

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Reply with quote  #55 

  Karen, it's always a pleasure to see a new chapter posted. I love your stuff. Keep it coming.
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Reply with quote  #56 

Thanks, Karen...perfect chapter for Zendall...Looking forward to the next chapter!   

Swtpeadana

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Reply with quote  #57 
Thanks for another great chapter,

I am so loving this story... more soon please  this helps me ease the pain of watching what is on my TV screen right now between Zach and Kendall ... wish you were writing for them on the show.. you are a great writer. thanks again for a great story..

Dana  : )


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Reply with quote  #58 
I'm new here, but what a fantastic story.

Thanks,

Donna

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ninekaronas

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Reply with quote  #59 
Thanks for the feedback, ladies. This update is a little earlier than usual, but I thought we might all need it. I know I do.





Chapter 11

“Divorce?” Greenlee’s expression was almost comical, but Kendall didn’t dare laugh. Her friend was completely outraged on her behalf, and all because she’d let it slip that Zach wanted to get a divorce.

“You should burn that top, Greenlee. It makes you look pregnant.” Kendall was trying to change the subject. She hadn’t meant to tell anybody about the discussion she’d had with Zach at the casino a few nights earlier. After vowing that he wouldn’t let their family be separated, he’d returned home, but with conditions.

Kendall had wanted to remove the cameras immediately, but he talked her into leaving them in place. He felt certain there was a way to use them to their advantage. In the meantime, he and Kendall had been performing for their unwanted voyeur. They pretended to fight often, repeating the claim that they were just staying together for the boys. They even slept in separate bedrooms, laying the groundwork for Zach’s divorce plan.

They did, however, find lots of creative ways to sneak some time alone in the rooms that weren’t bugged. It had become quite an adventure. Luckily for Kendall, her husband was very creative. Her wandering mind was brought back to the present by the sound of Greenlee’s voice.

“You drop the divorce bomb on me and now you want to play fashion critic? Are you serious?” She glanced down at her shirt, rubbed her flat belly, and then glared at Kendall. She didn’t seem very upset by the news. “Why would Zach want a divorce?” she implored.

“He doesn’t. Not really,” Kendall said. “But he thinks it’s our best move against whoever is after me.” Kendall walked over to the sink, poured out the remnants of her iced tea, and tossed what was left of her lunch into the trash. She and Greenlee had been enjoying a pleasant lunch break at Fusion until she ruined it by bringing up the stalker.

“After Zach,” Greenlee corrected. “I mean, whoever this woman is, she wants Zach, not you. Right?” Greenlee hurried to clarify when she saw the look Kendall was giving her. Once she’d explained, Kendall nodded. “Yes. It’s Zach she wants, but she has to go through me to get him. And let me tell you, I’m not going down without a fight.”

Greenlee laughed, but Kendall could see that she was still worried. She walked over and put her arm around her couture-clad shoulders. “Really, Greenlee. Everything is going to be okay. Forget I even mentioned the ‘D’ word. Zach and I will be fine. We’ll grow old together, I promise you.” She smiled when Greenlee hugged her, and then followed her back to their office.

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

Zach opened the envelope, dreading what he might find. The gifts had stopped, but their absence didn’t give him any peace. He knew it wasn’t over. Whoever wanted Kendall dead wouldn’t give up that easily. He let out the breath he’d been holding when he saw what was inside the envelope: an invitation to a Christmas Ball at the Miranda Center.

“Christmas!” he said aloud, his eyes immediately going to the calendar that sat on the corner of his desk. Christmas was only a couple of weeks away, which left New Year’s Eve – his wedding day – looming large on the horizon. If the stalker was going to make a move, it would be soon. Time was running out.

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

Kendall hurried into Zach’s office at the casino, trying to balance a stack of cumbersome garment bags. The party at the Miranda Center was next week and she couldn’t decide on a dress. If she didn’t make up her mind soon, there would be no time for alterations.

Finding the room empty, she hurried to his bathroom and slipped on one of the dresses. Maybe it would help if he could see them on her body instead of on the hangers. When she came out, the office was still empty. She picked up her phone and called his cell, praying he wasn’t stuck in a business meeting at Cambias. She went straight to voice mail.

“Zach, where are you? I need you to come to the casino right away. It’s an emergency!” Frowning, she walked over to the window and watched the stream of customers coming through the front doors. “Where are you?” she muttered, hoping to spot him in the crowd. Within seconds her phone rang.

“Kendall! What’s wrong?” Zach sounded frantic, which immediately made Kendall contrite. “It’s okay,” she said. “I’m fine. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word ‘emergency’ in my message.” She grimaced when she heard him exhale. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. After a few seconds of silence, Zach spoke.

“Kendall,” he began, his tone warning, “don’t ever leave me a message like that again unless it’s really an emergency. You scared the hell out of me.” Before she could apologize again, he was laughing with relief. “God, you took a few years off my life,” he chuckled.

“I know. I’m really sorry,” she repeated. “Where are you?” she asked, continuing to watch the front entrance of the casino. “I really do need you.” She moved to stand in front of the couch where she’d spread out the other dresses she had to choose from.

“You’ve got me,” Zach said. “What do you need?”

“Your opinion. I need to pick a dress for the Christmas Ball and I can’t make up my mind. And since you’re the one I most want to impress,” she added coyly, “I thought I’d let you decide.”

“I like the red one with the slit up the side. Backless is a good look for you.”

Kendall turned at the sound of a deep male voice that warmed her to her toes. Zach was standing in the doorway watching her. She dropped her phone and walked over to him, turning so he could get the full effect. “You like?” she purred. He answered by pulling her into his arms and kissing her neck. “Very impressive,” he growled as he made his way to her lips.

“Come on, Zach,” She stepped back and smoothed the fabric over her hips. “Do you really like it, or are you just settling on the first one so you won’t have to see any more?” He looked disgruntled. “Why would I ...” he began, only to stop when Kendall reached for another dress. “Okay, you got me. But I don’t see how you can top this one. You look beautiful.”

Kendall took pity on him. His reaction to her told her all she needed to know anyway. She put her hand on his chest and leaned in to kiss him. “Thank you,” she said, laughing when he pulled her back for another kiss. “You don’t think I’ll be cold in this?” she asked when she felt his hands on her bare back. “I’ll keep you warm,” he vowed. The look in his eyes told Kendall that was a huge understatement.

She came out of the bathroom a few minutes later and found him on the phone. “I didn’t interrupt anything earlier, did I? An important meeting?” She tossed the dress on the pile and walked over to Zach’s desk. He immediately pulled her onto his lap. “What could be more important than helping my beautiful wife find the perfect dress?” he said, so smoothly Kendall almost believed he meant it. Before she could protest, the phone rang.

“Can’t you take care of it,” Zach said, stroking Kendall’s leg absentmindedly. “Fine, hold him. I’ll be right down.” He hung up the phone and gave Kendall a quick kiss before lifting her to her feet. “Card counter. Apparently the guy’s getting belligerent and doesn’t want to leave. Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

Zach stormed back into his office twenty minutes later. “There was no …” His explanation died in his throat when he realized he was alone. “Kendall?” he called, hoping she was in the bathroom. But a quick check confirmed his suspicions. She was gone. Now he was really angry. There had been no card counter at the black jack tables, and nobody would admit to calling him. And now Kendall was gone. Had it all been a setup?

He started to panic, then remembered their earlier mixup. “Probably nothing,” he muttered as he picked up his phone and dialed Kendall’s number, only to hear her phone ring. He followed the sound and found her cell phone sitting on the leather sofa next to the pile of dresses that she’d left behind. He was halfway to the door when his own phone rang.

“Zach! Help me!”

“Kendall!” Zach screamed into the phone as the line went dead. He ran to the lobby and asked the doorman if he’d seen her. “Yes, Mr. Slater. She left about fifteen minutes ago. She seemed fine. Asked about my wife. Is something wrong?” he asked when he saw how agitated his boss was.

“I’m not sure,” Zach said, confused by what he was hearing. “She was alone?” he asked, waiting for the man to nod. “Yes sir. I had her car brought around and watched her drive away. Is there something I can do?” Zach waved him off as he ran out the door.

Just as he was pulling onto the street, his phone rang again. “Kendall!” he shouted. “Is this Mr. Slater?” the voice on the other end said. “Who is this?” Zach asked. “Mr. Slater?” the voice inquired again. “Yes! What do you want?” The voice on the phone calmly told him his wife had been brought into the emergency room at Pine Valley Hospital and he needed to get there as quickly as possible. “Why? What happened to her?” he screamed, but the voice was gone.

“Where’s my wife?” Zach grabbed the first person he saw wearing any kind of hospital uniform. Unfortunately it was an orderly, and he didn’t know much. “Then find someone who does!” Zach shouted, but he didn’t give the man time. He moved on to the next uniform and demanded answers. He finally made his way to the desk, only to be told there was no record of Kendall being there. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration, but it didn’t help. He punched a wall, leaving a hole he’d have to pay for, but that didn’t help either.

He called every number he could think of. Nobody knew where Kendall was. Dejected and angry, he went home, praying he’d find her there. “Kendall!” He stood in the foyer and listened. Silence. “Kendall? Are you here?” he shouted, again stopping to listen for a response. This time he heard something. Laughter. He could hear Kendall laughing. With a sigh of relief he took the stairs two at a time, following the sound of her voice. He was about to enter the boys' room, assuming that’s where she was, when he realized the sound was coming from his bedroom.

He wondered who she was talking to, then he heard his own voice. He broke through the door and found himself staring at the television. He and Kendall were on the screen. He was lying on his stomach while she straddled his hips, using both hands to rub the tension out of his shoulders. Zach remembered that night well. It was nearly three months ago! It angered him to know that they’d been under surveillance that long. He knew what that back rub led to and it repulsed him to think that somebody had been watching them. He stepped forward to turn it off when he heard a noise behind him.

“Is something wrong?” Zach turned to find Kendall standing in the doorway, drying her hands on a dishtowel. He wrapped her in his arms and squeezed her tight. “You didn’t hear me calling you?” he asked when he released her. “Of course I did. That’s why I’m here. Me and the boys are in the kitchen making cookies. Slice and bake,” she added sheepishly. “I need to get back down there, so why don’t you come with me and get some while they’re warm.” When she turned to leave the room she saw what he was watching. At the sound of her gasp Zach finally turned it off.

“She’s been watching us that long?” Kendall whispered. She was mortified. She was also furious. And she’d had enough. She took her shoe off and walked over to where she knew the tiny camera was hidden. She threw her shoe at it until it fell, then she crushed it into pieces. When she turned back around, she found Zach sitting on the bed with his head in his hands.

“What happened to you?” she asked. “Everything was fine when I left you. Was it the guy counting cards?” She sat down beside Zach and put her hand on his shoulder. “Zach,” she prodded.

“There was no guy. Somebody lured me downstairs, and when I got back to my office you were gone,” he said, sounding agitated. “Didn’t I tell you to stay put?” he demanded.

“You didn’t get my note?” Kendall could tell by his reaction that he didn’t. “I remembered that I’d promised Cassie I would be home early because she had a dentist’s appointment. I’m sorry, honey. I had no idea you wouldn’t go back to your desk. Does that mean you didn’t have the other dresses returned either?” Zach looked at her warily.

“No. I didn’t return the dresses. And I didn’t see any note. But I did get this,” he said as he pulled her phone from his pocket and handed it to her. “My phone!” she said, glad to see that he’d found it. “I couldn’t remember where on earth …” she began, but stopped when she saw his face.

“I don’t understand, Zach. Why are you angry with me? Are you mad about me breaking the camera?” Zach looked into her eyes and saw the confusion there. It finally hit him that everything was okay. Somebody wanted to scare him, and they’d done a hell of a job. But Kendall was safe. He kissed her gently. “I’m not mad. I was just scared. I’ll tell you about it on the way downstairs. I want to see the boys.” As they made their way to the kitchen, Zach made a silent vow not to let Kendall out of his sight.

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

Zach was so proud of his wife. After dinner they’d received another note. Only this one wasn’t an invitation, it was a threat. When Kendall handed it to him, she looked almost bored. Because he knew they were being watched, he hid his smile. His wife was quite the little actress, he thought to himself before reading the note aloud.

Now do you see who is in control, Zach? You can’t get anything over on me. I am everywhere. I could have harmed your precious Kendall today if I’d wanted to, but it wasn’t the right time. You can stop pretending, though. I know you found the cameras, and I know the fighting is fake. You can’t fool me, so stop embarrassing yourselves. It doesn’t matter anyway, because our wedding day is almost here. And before that day arrives, you won’t need a divorce lawyer. You’ll need an undertaker.”

Kendall took full advantage of the opportunity by leaning forward and kissing Zach passionately. If the woman wanted a show, she’d give her one. No reason to pretend anymore. Zach returned the kiss and ran his hand along the curve of her hip, pulling her closer. But before things got out of hand, he broke the kiss. “You don’t want to do this, Kendall,” he said. Kendall stood up and held out her hand.

“The hell I don’t,” she said. “Just not here,” she added, glaring at the camera. She led Zach out of the room and into the guest room. It’s where Zach had been sleeping since coming back from the casino and they knew it wasn’t wired for sound or video. Zach had made sure of it personally. Once they were inside that room, Kendall turned to him.

“What do you make of the note, Zach?” she asked. “Wait … you mean …” Zach stammered. Her change in demeanor had the effect of a cold shower. She patted his chest as a way of apologizing and promised him they would pick that up later. In the meantime, they needed to talk.

“Well,” Zach began, chewing on his lip as he looked past her, “she knows we’re on to the surveillance. But why would she tell us?” he asked, turning to look at Kendall. “She went from teasing to taunting. I think we made her angry when we destroyed the gifts.”

“Do you think she was behind the wild goose chase you were sent on today?” Kendall asked. “And maybe even the call that got you down to the casino floor?” She was beginning to feel claustrophobic. This woman was everywhere, biding her time until she was ready to pounce. But what was she waiting for?

Zach rubbed his hand across the stubble on his face. “I do. Who else would it be? But why? It wasn’t to hurt you, because she didn’t. Was she just trying to scare me? Was that the whole point?”

Kendall started pacing. “Tell me about the phone call again, the one you thought was from me. What did the voice say?” Zach looked away as he answered. “It was just like in the dream. You were calling out to me – begging me to help you - but I couldn’t find you.” He closed his eyes against the sound that played over and over in his head. He opened them again when he felt Kendall touch his face.

“I’m right here,” she reminded him gently. “And I know you won’t let anything happen to me.” He took her hand and kissed the palm before lowering both of their hands to Kendall’s lap. As he reminded himself again how lucky he was to have her, a thought occurred to him.

“Did you notice that she referred to you as my ‘precious Kendall’ again?” he asked. “I wonder if there’s any significance.” Kendall tilted her head as she’d seen Zach do so many times before and pondered the question. It was said with such sarcasm and hatred that it was obvious that jealousy was the motive. Whoever it was hated her just because Zach loved her.

“She hates me because you love me,” Kendall said matter-of-factly. “So who loves you that much … besides me?” Zach shrugged. “Nobody in my life has ever loved me like you do, Kendall. It has to be bigger than me. Maybe it’s just somebody who has been burned by love and envies your happiness. I’m just a bystander.”

Kendall shook her head. “But you’re not a bystander to my happiness, Zach. You’re the reason for it. I’m happy because of you. Which is why I still say that if anybody is the bystander, it’s me. I just happen to be the woman you’re married to. Whoever this is, she wants to be that woman, not because of me, but because of you.”

Trying to figure out the motive was making Zach’s head spin. So he decided to take another approach. “Maybe all that drama today was just to get me out of my office for awhile,” he mused. “It could have been a smokescreen. But why? For what purpose?” He took a deep breath and looked at Kendall, who was just as lost as he was. None of it made any sense, and he was damned tired of trying to figure it out. The bottom line was, he needed to keep Kendall safe. No matter what it took.

Their conversation was interrupted by a ringing phone. With a glance at his watch, Zach reached into his pocket. “Hello.”

“Mr. Slater, can you come down here? We’ve had a break in.”


TBC


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Karen, this is just getting too good.  I think I know who is doing this, in fact I am almost sure, but I've been wrong before.
I know I have said this a few times before, but I really believe that this is your best story yet.  Of course that is subject  to change when I read your next one. LOL

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Thanks again Karen for the great story!!!

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Thank you Karen!  You are #1!!!


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Great Chapter, Karen....

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Karen, you have such a talent for story telling.  You should write a book (if you haven't already)  and I bet it would be a best seller.  Thank you for sharing this with us. 

I love that you have Zach and Kendall working together to solve a mystery.  Why oh why can't the writers not figure out how to do that?  We just get the same things for them and nothing creative. 

I look forward to more.  You have me hooked.  I can't wait to see who this person is.

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Chapter 12

“Run it again.” The head of Zach’s security force was showing him the surveillance video taken outside his office at the casino. “Stop. Rewind. Yeah, right there. Freeze it.”

“It’s a wig.”

Both men turned to look at Kendall, who was standing next to Zach, squinting at the grainy picture. “Better than the last one,” she added. She glanced up to find that she was now the center of attention.

“How can you tell?” Zach asked. He looked at the frozen image and then back at Kendall.

“Are you serious? Hello, Sonny! Remember Vegas?” she said, using her Carla Suarez accent. “I know a wig when I see one,” she stated emphatically, pointing at the screen, “and I see one right there.”

Zach nodded, remembering the short black wig Kendall had worn when they had lied their way into a Las Vegas hotel. He smiled, momentarily diverted by the memory. He let his eyes travel over Kendall as he remembered her disguise. When he got to her hair, he abruptly turned back to the video. He couldn’t help but notice the similarity.

“Where is your wig, Kendall?” he asked, still staring at the woman on the screen.

“At home. In the closet. At least I thought it was,” she added, noticing Zach’s suspicion. “You think that’s the same one?” Zach didn’t answer, but Kendall made a mental note to look for the wig when she got home.

“Let it play,” Zach ordered, turning their attention back to the surveillance video. The three of them watched while the woman walked up to the door and turned the knob. With a quick glance over her shoulder, she disappeared inside. Unfortunately, because cameras weren’t allowed inside Zach’s office, there was no way to know what happened on the other side of the door.

Several minutes later, the woman emerged. She ran a hand over her hair, turned up the collar on her coat and walked away. Zach dismissed the security chief and closed the door behind him. Then he stood in the center of the room and surveyed his surroundings.

“What was she looking for?” he mused aloud. “What did she want bad enough to risk being caught?” He studied the room looking for anything that might give him a clue. He checked for bugs, cameras, any sign of where she might have been, but there was nothing. The safe was locked and his computer was still asking for a password. The only sign that anybody had been there was a picture of Kendall that had been turned over. After he righted it, Zach sat down behind his desk and started going through the drawers.

“It’s not the first time she’s been here, Zach,” Kendall reminded him, gaining his full attention. “The gifts. She’s been leaving them here from the beginning. And there was that time with Spike’s bear. Who knows how many times she’s been in here?”

“But never in broad daylight. And this time she didn’t block the camera. She’s getting bolder,” he said, “or desperate. She’s running out of time.”

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

Kendall woke up in her husband’s arms for the first time in way too long. Since they no longer had an advantage in playing to the cameras, Zach had destroyed them. As soon as they got back from the casino he’d dismantled them all and returned to his own bed. At least they had that much to be thankful for.

She turned so she could see him. Even in sleep he worried. She could see it on his face. It was nerve-wracking, waiting for the stalker to make her next move. They knew she had every intention of trying to kill Kendall. But how? When?

She eased out of bed and walked over to the window. It was a beautiful night. The moon was full and the stars sparkled like diamonds. Life should have been perfect. But Kendall was afraid. Afraid for herself and for her family. She knew to the depths of her soul that she would fight any demon to save them. She couldn’t let fear paralyze her.

Kendall looked over at her husband. She wanted more than anything for him to take her in his strong arms again and make her feel safe. She also wanted to do the same for him. The stress was taking a toll on both of them. He wasn’t sleeping well and she’s wasn’t sleeping at all.

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

Zach was standing on that cold lonely hillside once again. The roses were there, along with the howling wind and the gravestone that he could now easily read. He looked for Kendall, but she wasn’t there. He listened for her, but there was only silence. Even the song had left him. He felt utterly alone.

He called out to Kendall, but she didn’t answer. He dropped to his knees in frustration. Then he saw something moving in the distance. Something small, floating through the air. He waited in silence, transfixed by the way it moved. It seemed to float at first, and then he realized it was fluttering. He watched as it landed gently on Kendall’s tombstone: a green butterfly.

Zach awoke to the sound of someone calling his name. He opened his eyes to find Kendall sitting next to him on the bed. She looked so tired. He sat up and pulled her into his arms. He wanted to say something that would make her feel better, but he didn’t have the words.

“You were dreaming about it again, weren’t you?” she asked, her voice muffled by his shoulder. “Mmm-hmm,” he grunted. Something about it had been different this time, but he couldn’t remember what it was. He closed his eyes and tried to see it in his mind, but it was gone. All he was left with was the sadness.

“What are we gonna do, Zach?” Kendall asked. as she burrowed into his neck.

“Whatever it takes,” he whispered as he tightened his hold on her. Kendall fell asleep a few minutes later, once again nestled in his arms.

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

Kendall turned at the sound of a long, slow whistle to find Zach standing in the doorway watching her. She’d managed to talk him into a tuxedo, but he refused to wear a tie. She didn’t really mind, though. He was still sure to be the most handsome man in the room, not to mention the sexiest. And she would be the luckiest woman at the Christmas Ball.

She turned so Zach could get the full effect, knowing how much he loved the back of the dress. More to the point, he loved that there wasn’t any back to the dress! She giggled when he started to clap, but things got serious when he pulled away from the doorframe and started walking toward her. She knew that look in his eyes – the one that made her heart race and her stomach flutter - but there simply wasn’t time. Besides, she wanted somebody to see her in this dress before Zach helped her out of it.

“Hold on, tiger,” she said as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. She shivered when he started kissing her naked shoulder. “I mean it, Zach! We have to go to this party. It’s for the Miranda Center.” She couldn’t stop herself from groaning when his hands settled on her hips and brought her roughly against him. “Zach,” she said, the word dying in her throat when he spun her around to face him.

As much as she wanted to stay, she knew they had to go. So she pushed herself away from him and tried to catch her breath. She shot him a disgruntled look, but he just smiled at her, a devilish look in his eyes. “Don’t blame me,” he said. “Blame the dress.” Kendall tried to give him one more quick kiss, just to show him he was forgiven, but he wouldn’t let her go. She had to step on his toe to get him to release her.

“Don’t blame me, blame the Jimmy Choo's,” she teased as she checked her reflection in the mirror. She touched up her lipstick before turning to wipe any traces of it from his lips. Then one quick spray of perfume and they were off.

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

Because it had been an unusually warm winter, The Miranda Center decided to take a risk and have the Christmas Ball at The Yacht Club. The gamble paid off. It was a gorgeous night and the ballroom was decorated beautifully. Guests spilled out onto the patio to take in the star-filled sky.

Not that Zach noticed. They’d been there for over an hour and he was bored out of his mind. He hated these things anyway. No real food, no beer, and too many people. It was not the way he wanted to spend the evening.

He glanced over at Kendall as she talked with Greenlee and Amanda. Fusion business no doubt. Or some great shoe sale. He could never keep up with them. But it didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to let Kendall out of his sight.

She seemed to be having a good time and he was glad. It was good to see her laughing for a change. He was beginning to wonder what was in those silly pink cocktails they were drinking. Maybe she’d had enough. She seemed pretty animated and she wasn’t very steady on her feet. He moved closer, just in case. Neither of the other girls appeared to be drunk, so he decided maybe Kendall was just happy to be out of the house … happy for the diversion.

He narrowed his eyes when she staggered into Amanda, who spilled her drink. She and Greenlee hurried off to the ladies room to take care of the stain, leaving Zach and Kendall alone for the first time all night.

“Are you drunk?” Zach whispered, grabbing her arm to steady her. She shook her head. “No. I’ve only had a couple. But I’m not feeling very well. Kinda lightheaded. Maybe I just need something to eat,” she said. “Good luck,” Zach muttered as he escorted her to the buffet table.

They only had a few minutes alone before Greenlee was back. Apparently Amanda’s dress couldn’t be saved so she’d called it a night. Greenlee handed Kendall another drink and offered a toast to happiness in the coming new year. Kendall drained her glass while Greenlee and Zach sipped from theirs. When she was done, she went to put the glass on the table, but she missed it completely. The sound of breaking glass drew everybody’s attention.

Zach was immediately at her side, vaguely aware of Greenlee dispersing the gathering crowd. “Are you sure you’re okay?” he asked. “What’s in those things anyway?” Kendall shrugged and looked at her friend. “Don’t ask me?” Greenlee said. “I just like the color.” Zach rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to Kendall. “Do you want to go?” he asked. Before she could answer, Greenlee did.

“No! You can’t leave yet. It’s a party!! Just get her something to eat,” she said emphatically. She looked around the table and tried to find something to tempt Kendall, but nothing did. “I just want to lie down,” Kendall said softly. “We’re going,” Zach demanded, taking Kendall’s hand.

“Wait, we can’t. I’m supposed to say a few words on Bianca’s behalf. I totally forgot." Kendall looked dejected. "The Miranda Center needs these contributions, Zach.” He groaned and looked around the room at all the peacocks who would be offended if their donations weren’t recognized. He cursed under his breath. Before he could decide what to do, Greenlee came to the rescue.

“She probably just needs some air, Zach,” she said. "A walk will do her good. I'll go with her," she added, but Zach didn’t look convinced. “She wants to lie down, Greenlee. I’m not even sure she can walk,” he corrected, sighing when she leaned into him. “I really think we should just go.”

“Okay, how about this?” Greenlee offered. “I’ll get Kendall a room. She can lie down in there for awhile. Just long enough for you to make the speech for her and spread your charm around the room,” she added when Zach started to interrupt. “I won’t leave her. Besides, we aren’t exactly in your neighborhood. A long car ride just might make her feel worse. You know I’m right,” she coaxed when he hesitated.

Zach looked to Kendall, who nodded. “It’s okay, honey. Greenlee will take good care of me.” Against his better judgment, he relented. He hated the idea of Kendall being separated from him, but he knew Greenlee would get him if anything happened. Besides, there were bodyguards mixing amongst the partygoers.

Zach pulled Kendall into his arms and kissed her temple. “You’re shivering,” he said when she pulled away. “I told you I’d be cold in this dress and you promised to keep me warm.” He smiled at her. “I will,” he vowed. “Just as soon as I make this speech.” She whispered something in his ear Greenlee couldn’t hear and then walked away. “Take a hot bath, will you? You’re freezing!” Kendall waved over her shoulder and disappeared with Greenlee through the French doors that led to the patio.

Twenty minutes later, Greenlee was back. Zach had just taken the podium and was thanking everybody for coming on behalf of Cambias Industries and The Miranda Center. As soon as Greenlee caught his eye she pressed her hands against the side of her face and tilted her head, indicating that Kendall was asleep. Zach gave her a brief nod and continued with his speech.

Greenlee turned away from him to get another drink from a passing tray, and that’s when Zach noticed the clip that was holding her hair up. It was a green butterfly. He immediately remembered the dream. Dropping the microphone, he ran after Kendall, screaming her name. But it was too late.

He watched in horror as the flames lit up the night sky. At first, some of the guests thought the crackling sounds were fireworks, but their squeals of delight quickly turned into gasps. Zach’s anguished cry rent the sudden stillness of the night, making it the only sound that could be heard over the roaring fire.

“Kendall!”



TBC


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AWESOME chapter Karen!  The Green Butterfly Flutters?  Can't wait to read more.  Thanks for great story.


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Thanks for another chapter in a Great Story!!! Just what I needed today!

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OMG!!  I knew it was the Greenbitch, I just knew it!
Thank you Karen for another great chapter.

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What a way to end a chapter!   Thanks for another great one, Karen.  When you mentioned the butterfly by the grave stone, I had a feeling it was greenlee...
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Chapter 13

Zach stood in front of his living room window staring out into the cold dark night. The unusually warm winter was over. He was surrounded by an icy chill that he couldn’t shake. He took another sip of the scotch he was holding, but it didn’t ease the loneliness. And it didn’t make him forget.

He turned to look at the Christmas tree, still standing even though Christmas was over. He couldn’t find the energy to take it down, so he just turned off the lights and tried to ignore it. He glanced at the unopened presents that lingered underneath the tree. Kendall’s presents. He missed her. Even though it had only been a few days, it felt like a lifetime.

He looked past the tree then, his eyes settling on the ornate urn that sat on the piano, surrounded by pictures of Kendall, Spike and Ian. His family. And yet here he was, alone. Trying unsuccessfully to drink himself into oblivion. Wanting desperately to forget the horrible sight of that charred room.

He cursed when the doorbell rang, knowing that the only person he wanted to see would not be standing on the other side of that door. He ignored the ringing and the knocking that followed. If he couldn’t be with Kendall, he just wanted to be alone. Which is exactly what he told the person who came sauntering into the room.

“Well you don’t need to be alone,” Greenlee said, exasperated by the condition of the room. There were newspapers piled up everywhere, along with files from his office and photo albums. Beer bottles and half-eaten sandwiches where scattered around the coffee table and the couch was occupied by a blanket and two pillows.

“You sleeping down here?” she asked, trying to put some order to the room but not knowing where to begin. When Zach ignored her, she asked the question again. “It’s none of your business,” he said angrily. “Leave it!” he snapped when she began folding up the blanket. She dropped it like it was on fire and decided it would be easier to bring the trash can to the garbage than try it the other way around, so she headed to the kitchen.

As she passed the phone, she noticed the blinking red light. “You can’t hide from the world, Zach,” she said, pressing the button that would fill the room with unwanted condolences and empty platitudes. Greenlee gasped when she heard Kendall’s voice sweetly reminding Zach that she was going to be late for dinner because of a meeting at Fusion. Her eyes went immediately to Zach. The pain she saw on his face made her want to reach out to him. But as soon as she took a step toward him, he turned his back to her.

When she came back in the room, she found him sitting on the couch. The urn was sitting on the table in front of him. Greenlee picked up the pile of debris he’d sent crashing to the floor in order to make room for it. “I said leave it!” he demanded. “Just get out.” His voice was low and menacing, but Greenlee wouldn’t be deterred.

“I’m not leaving, Zach. You need somebody to take care of you. I owe that much to Kendall.” Zach’s eyes narrowed. There was so much he wanted to say. Of course, what he really wanted to do was wrap his fingers around her throat and squeeze the life out of her. How dare she try to comfort him. How dare she even mention Kendall’s name! He felt the rage building up inside of him and he knew he had to get it under control.

“This is all that’s left of Kendall,” he said bitterly, reaching out to stroke the urn. “All I have to remember her by. All I have to grow old with. And these,” he added, opening his hand to reveal her wedding rings. Greenlee reached for them, but he closed his hand over them. He glared at her while he returned them to the safety of his pocket.

“So, where are the boys?” Greenlee said, hoping to lighten the mood. She hadn’t seen Zach so dark and lost since the bomb shelter, and she didn’t know how to help him. Surely talking about Spike and Ian would make him feel better.

“Paris. With Erica,” he spat, clearly not appreciating her company. He poured himself another drink and stared off into the distance. Greenlee took a deep breath. She was determined to reach him. “Why are they in Paris? Especially now. You need them here, Zach.” She reached out to touch his arm, relaxing when he didn’t shrug her hand away.

“I need Kendall,” he said sharply. When he saw her wince, he softened his tone. It was important that he play it out the way he’d planned. She couldn’t know that he was on to her. Not yet. “They went to spend the holidays with Bianca and Miranda.”

“Don’t they wonder where you are?”

“Probably,” he answered, leaving it at that. He wasn’t about to discuss the matter with Greenlee, but he’d decided that getting the boys away from Pine Valley would be the easiest way to protect them. And he certainly didn’t want them to see him like he was - angry and out for blood. So Erica had taken them to Paris.

Persuading her hadn’t been easy. She’d wanted to have Greenlee arrested, but Zach convinced her to do it his way. He promised her that justice would be served. He wouldn’t let Greenlee get away with what she’d done.

“So, do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve this year?” Greenlee asked, again trying to change the subject. Zach stared at her, but didn’t bother to answer. He didn’t think the question deserved an answer. When he drained his glass and reached for a refill, she tried to take it from him, but he held it out of her reach. “Don’t do that,” he said.

“Don’t do what, Zach? Care about you? I can’t help it.”

“Mother me. I don’t need to be taken care of, Greenlee. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

“It doesn’t matter how many times you say it,” she defended. “I’m not going to leave you alone until you show me you don’t need me.” Zach growled in frustration, but relented and put the empty glass and the nearly-empty decanter on the table next to the urn.

“I’m sorry,” he said, choking on the lie. He sat back on the couch and looked up at Greenlee. “How about you? Any plans for tomorrow night?” She couldn’t hide her excitement. “As a matter of fact I do,” she beamed.

“Anybody I know?” Zach asked, trying not to look too interested. He couldn’t help but notice the way she lit up at the question. She looked very much like the proverbial cat who swallowed the canary.

“Maybe,” she replied coyly. “It’s a surprise for somebody very, very special. I really think it will change both of our lives forever.” Zach nodded, but didn’t dare respond. He could feel the bile rising in his throat. She thought she was so clever, slowly seducing him into accepting the life she was offering. He hated the sight of her.

“Did I pass?” he asked. Now it was his turn to change the subject. He needed her to leave … now! It took her a minute to notice the change in topic. She was lost in her own thoughts, probably imagining how her special night would play out. He could see the anticipation on her face and the hunger in her eyes when she looked at him. But in a flash, it was gone.

“Pass? I don’t know what you mean,” she said, her voice sounding a bit breathless. Noticing the color in her cheeks made Zach feel uneasy. She was apparently dreaming about the honeymoon, and that thought repulsed him.

“I’m tired, Greenlee, and I want to go to bed. Did I prove that I can take care of myself?” He watched as light dawned on her. She got up quickly and took the scotch with her, placing it on the other side of the room. Then she picked up her coat and turned to go. For a brief instant Zach thought she was going to kiss him goodbye, but she turned at the last minute and walked to the door.

“See you soon,” she said over her shoulder just before the door closed behind her. The look on Zach’s face was inscrutable, but his eyes gave him away. He was furious. Cold rage threatened to consume him.

He wanted to call his family in Paris, but he resisted the urge. He didn’t need to be soothed or comforted; he needed the rage to fuel him for what he had to do next. So he retrieved the bottle of scotch, then walked over to the answering machine. He hit the button so he could hear Kendall’s voice again. After the third time, he picked up a picture of his family, held it against his chest, and turned out the light.

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

She stood in the shadows, staring at the house that would soon be her home. She was so close … just one more day. By this time tomorrow night, she would be Mrs. Zach Slater, and she would be on her honeymoon. She couldn’t wait to make him hers. She knew they were going to be so good together, both in and out of the bedroom. She’d make him forget all about Kendall. Just one more day.

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

Zach awoke the next morning to the sound of someone knocking on his door. He ignored it at first, but the noise was insistent. Cursing under his breath, he climbed off the couch and ran his fingers through his hair on his way to the door.

“What the hell do you want?” he barked, causing the young man to jump. “Um … de-delivery sir,” he stammered, holding a small white box out to Zach. Taking the box, Zach signed for the delivery and pressed a tip into the boy’s hand. Then he turned and slammed the door in his face.

He ripped open the box and found a note on top.

”This is it … our special day! Please don’t worry, Zach. I know Kendall is gone, but that really was for the best. Now you and I can finally be together. I’ll make you so happy, and I promise to take very good care of our boys. I’ll send a car for you in a little while, so be ready. And be sure to wear this. It will go perfectly with my bouquet. See you soon.”

Zach pushed the tissue paper aside and lifted the boutonniere from the box. He ripped it to pieces and then threw both it and the note into the fire.

“Oh, I’ll be ready.”

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

Zach paced back and forth in the living room, waiting for the car to arrive. He’d showered and shaved and changed into a tuxedo and was now very anxious to get this show started. He’d hoped that a long hot shower would ease some of the tension from his body, but it hadn’t. Not even Spike’s voice had soothed him. This was about Kendall, and until he saw it through – for her – he knew he’d never feel calm again. He would never have another minute of peace.

When the knock came, he was ready. He was out the door before the chauffeur could finish his well-rehearsed speech. In the car, he took out his phone and looked at the picture of his family. That’s what he needed, to be with them again. All of them. Without Kendall he was lost, and he hated that feeling. Loving her made him strong and invincible, but missing her made him weak. So he put the phone back in his pocket and let the last few months play over in his mind. This woman’s reign of terror had cost him everything that mattered to him. And he would not let her get away with it.

Lost in thought, Zach was surprised when the door opened. They had arrived. Finally. Let the charade begin.


TBC


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Wow, just wow Karen.  Can't wait for Zach to deliver the Slater brand of justice.  The witch deserves it.  Thanks for another chapter in this interesting story.


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Thanks again for another riveting chapter. Didnt want it to end. I think I know where this story is going and I cant wait.....

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What a way to start my morning!  Thanks, Karen, for another great chapter...

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Chapter 14

 

Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby?

You said you’d be coming back this way again baby.

Baby, baby, baby, baby oh baby. I love you. I really do.

 

Zach followed the marked path to the gazebo, wondering why she had gone to all the trouble. As he got closer, he heard the song that he’d come to hate. Why was she playing it here anyway? Not exactly the Wedding March. Besides, he’d never told her any such thing … had he? Before he could sort it all out, the music stopped.

 

He looked up to find her standing in the center of the gazebo facing him, a heavy veil hiding her face. She nodded toward somebody in the corner and the music started again, only this time it was the Wedding March. He looked over at the beautiful sunset, perfectly timed, and noticed how much trouble she’d gone to in decorating the gazebo. There were twinkling lights and flowers and even a romantic table for two that held a chilled bottle of champagne. There was even a cake. All the trappings of a wedding, except for the guests. It suddenly occurred to him how sad the whole thing really was.

 

She cleared her throat and held out her hand to him. With another nod to the corner, the Wedding March started again. Zach snapped out of his reverie and took a step toward her. “Stop!” he yelled. “We’re not doing that.” He quickly dismissed the minister and the small group of musicians that stared at him from their corner. Then he turned to his “bride.”

 

“Why aren’t you wearing the boutonniere I sent you?” He let out the breath he’d been holding. With just a sentence his whole world changed. He now knew, for certain, who was hiding underneath that veil. He fought to remain calm. He knew he needed to be patient if he wanted this to play out according to his plans, but the weight of her betrayal hit him like a ton of bricks.

 

“It didn’t make it,” Zach muttered as he looked around the room. How had he missed it earlier? Everything was exactly the way it was on that same night three years ago. The lights, the flowers, the candles. There were even balloons. But how did she know about all of that? He closed his eyes as he relived that night in his mind.

“Kendall told me.” Zach turned at the sound of her voice, almost expecting to find Kendall standing in front of him. He hadn’t realized he’d asked the question out loud. “She told me everything, Zach. In sickening detail. She said it was perfect, and that’s what I wanted for us.” Zach’s longing for his wife instantly turned back into anger.

 

“I have to admit, though,” Greenlee continued, “she was right. It really is beautiful. So are you,” she added, walking slowly around Zach to take in the view from all angles. “You clean up real nice, hubby,” she purred.

 

“Enough!” Zach snapped, annoyed by her flirtatious attempt. He ripped the veil from her face and stared into her cold, dead eyes. “What have you done, Greenlee?” He asked the question in a soft, chilling tone.

 

“I don’t understand the question,” she answered, smiling innocently. “I haven’t done anything, except plan a beautiful surprise for you. Did you know it was me all along?” she asked, as if they were playing a game. She stopped smiling when she saw that Zach was angry. “Don’t you like it?” She looked on the verge of tears, and that just fueled Zach’s anger. Where did she get the nerve to be insulted by his behavior?

 

“A wedding? Did you really think I would?” he asked. He wanted to shake her until the truth fell out, but he controlled himself. Revenge would have to wait. First he needed answers. “Why are you doing this? Is it to hurt me? To hurt Kendall? What?” he said, his voice getting louder as he demanded an explanation. But she continued to stare at him in confusion.

 

“I did it because I love you,” she finally stated, her voice barely above a whisper. And you told me you loved me, too.” He could see the tears beginning to slide down her cheek, but he wasn’t moved by them. In fact, he felt manipulated by them.

 

“I never said that.”

 

“Sure you did,” Greenlee stated emphatically. Her bewilderment was rapidly morphing into frustration.

 

“No,” Zach reiterated. “Not you. Kendall.”

 

Now Greenlee was becoming increasingly agitated. He could see the pleading in her eyes. “You let me believe you wanted me, Zach. You know you did!”

 

“No,” he said simply.

 

“But … when we were trapped in that bomb shelter ... we said we loved each other.” She’d reached for his hand by this point, clasping it in both of hers.

 

“I was delirious, Greenlee,” he said, his own agitation fading into concern. There was a vacancy in her eyes he’d never seen before. The Greenlee he’d known all these years wasn’t the same woman who was standing in front of him right now. She was delusional, and that made her even more dangerous than he’d realized. “I thought you were Kendall,” he said softly, knowing it was important to keep her calm. “You know it’s true,” he added when she started shaking her head.

 

“We don’t have to pretend anymore,” she said, her voice taking on a cold, hollow tone. “Kendall is gone. Dead. And she’s not coming back.” Her words, and the callous way she said them, made Zach angry. But he wouldn’t take the bait. Not yet.

 

“You kissed me,” she said as she pulled on his arm to bring him closer.

 

Zach laughed, but there was no joy in it. “To shut you up!” he said, glaring down at her.

 

“No,” Greenlee insisted, “to calm me down. Because you care about me. When we came out of that hole, Zach, we were bonded for life. You wanted me then … wanted me more than your precious Kendall. She couldn’t reach you, but I could. I understood the darkness because I’d been in that place with you.” Zach could hear the bitterness in her voice. The hatred she felt for Kendall. In an effort to keep control of the situation, he relaxed his stance and tried to keep his voice even.

 

“You’re wrong, Greenlee,” he said. “You’ve taken one moment and twisted it into something it’s not.” He didn’t want to upset her further, but he needed her to get a grip on reality. She was living in a fantasy world.

 

“What is it then?” she whispered.

 

“It was a moment. A memory. Yes, even a bonding one. But only one. It doesn’t compare to the life I've built with Kendall. She and I have had thousands of moments that bond us together. And we have love.”

 

“So do we.”

 

Zach pulled his hand away from Greenlee and put some distance between them. “No, we don’t.” He couldn’t look her in the eye. What he saw hurt him too much. This was a woman he once cared for. A woman both he and Kendall had trusted. She was family. So what happened? How did they end up here? He turned his back on her and watched the last traces of the sinking sun fade into the night.

 

“Just once in my life … to be loved like that ... that's all I wanted. Nobody has ever looked at me the way you used to look at Kendall. It was intoxicating, Zach. I wanted it for myself.” Zach, noticing the change in the tone of Greenlee’s voice, turned to find her pointing a gun at him.

 

“You gonna shoot me now?” he asked calmly, his eyes never leaving the gun. When he finally looked at her face, he found her smiling. But there was a faraway look in her eye.

 

“Of course not!” she said, her voice higher than before. “It was for Kendall. I actually wanted to use your gun, but when I went to get it, it was gone. The safe was empty.” Her eyes narrowed and she looked up at him. “Did Kendall lie to me about the gun?” She answered her own question by shaking her head violently. “No, she wouldn’t do that. I probably just remembered it wrong,” she said, talking more to herself than to Zach. She looked up at him then. “Your precious little wife talked too much, but you probably already knew that. She even gave me the combination to the safe. That was a while ago, though. I’m surprised it still worked.”

 

“You were going to kill Kendall with my gun?” Zach asked, trying to get the conversation back on track. He tilted his head. “You framing me?”

 

Greenlee laughed bitterly. “I toyed with it,” she said, waving the gun at Zach. “I was pretty mad at you for destroying all those expensive gifts. But I couldn’t find the gun. In the end, I decided it was too messy anyway. And it had no style. Besides, I’m not a cold-blooded murderer. So I had to improvise.”

 

“Improvise?” Zach said, inching closer to her.

 

“Yes. It was genius really,” she bragged. “I set the room on fire and then locked Kendall inside, passed out cold. It was the pills I put in her drink,” she added in a conspiratorial whisper. “I really wanted it to be an explosion. Very dramatic. Blaze of glory kind of thing,” she said, waving her arms in excitement. “It was a tribute to you. A symbolic gesture, like the way you started over when you were younger. Only this new start would feature me.”

 

“Is that why you blew up Kendall’s car?” Zach moved closer still, waiting for his chance to take the gun from her. He could see the madness in her eyes and knew she was unstable and therefore capable of anything. He just needed to keep her talking.

 

“You like that?” she asked, once again beaming with pride. “Too bad Rachel had to get in the way. She screwed up everything.”

 

Zach’s jaw was clenched in fury, but he voice was calm and steady.

 

“Greenlee,” he said softly. “Why don’t you give me the gun? You don’t want anybody else to get hurt.” He reached for it, but she pulled it away from him. “Why not, Zach?” she cried. “I’ve been hurt. Look at all of this!” she said, waving the gun around the room. “I did this, all of it. For us. And you ruined it.”

 

Zach held up his hands and took a step back. He watched Greenlee put the gun on the table so she could pour herself a glass of champagne. She eyed him warily, daring him to try to take it from her again. He didn’t move a muscle, deciding he needed to bide his time and wait for a better opportunity.

 

“Jake, Aidan, Ryan. You don’t care, do you?” Greenlee had abandoned the glass and was now carrying the champagne bottle in one hand and the newly-retrieved pistol in the other. She moved closer to Zach, almost challenging him.

 

“Why should I?” he said simply. He knew what she was asking. She wanted him to be jealous of the other men in her life, but he didn’t see how patronizing her would do any good. Greenlee needed a cold hard dose of the truth.

 

“Because you love me,” she whined. “We shared something when we were trapped in that hole.”

 

He nodded. “We did. But most of it was bad. Come on, Greenlee. Be honest. If not with me, at least with yourself. We were miserable … both of us.”

 

“No! That’s not how it was. Not in the end. You kissed me, Zach. And you told me you loved me. Completely. You said you adored me and that we were gonna find our paradise. You meant it, Zach. I could tell that you really meant it. And it made me so happy because I loved you too.” She ran to him and tried to wrap her arms around him, but he wouldn't let her. Instead, he grabbed her and held her away from him.

 

“Don’t do that,” he growled. “Don’t try to make it romantic. It wasn’t. It was hell. I wanted Kendall and you wanted Aidan. I was sick, Greenlee, and I thought I was talking to Kendall. You knew that.” He waited for her to stop struggling and then he let her go.

 

“No, Zach. That’s not how it was, damn you!” She used the gun to brush the hair out of her eyes. “You kissed me. How could you forget that kiss? You wanted me, Zach. I know you did. Why are you lying about it now? Kendall’s out of the way. I took care of that. For us. Now we can be together. Just you, me and our boys.”

 

Zach muttered something Greenlee couldn’t hear, so she stepped closer. “What did you say?” she asked. “You’re right, Greenlee,” he repeated. “I did kiss you. I guess I should have stuck with my first instinct.” He stared into her eyes and Greenlee was so hypnotized by his nearness that she didn’t notice his hands fisted at his sides.

 

He leaned in to give Greenlee the kiss she so desperately wanted. As soon as her eyes closed, he grabbed her by the throat. They struggled for the gun and Zach easily overpowered her. He forced himself to let her go, dropping her heavily into one of the chairs at the table. He took a long, shuddering breath and turned his back on her just long enough to gain control of his anger. As much as he wanted to see her suffer, he knew his family needed him at home, not in prison.

 

It was all the time she needed. Zach turned when he heard a high-pitched shriek and found Greenlee lunging for him with a knife in her hand. Before she reached him, the sound of a gunshot rang out. Greenlee screamed and fell against him, the knife clanging loudly as it fell from her hand. Zach watched her slide to the floor, clutching her shoulder. He turned to find the source of the shot.

 

“I thought I told you to stay put.”

 

 

 

TBC

 


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searose

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Can you believe I am sitting here reading this early in the morning, instead of working, LOL?  Your stories are so captivating, Karen.  Thanks for another chapter.  Can't wait for Zach to set Greenbitch straight


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Purdue0612

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Can you please update this ASAP! I also am sitting here at work captivated instead of working...I want to know what happened now!  LOL...thanks for the great story!

Roseann

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Thanks, Karen...great chapter. 

ninekaronas

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This is it, ladies. The end of the ride. Thanks for going with me on this journey. I'm confident we'll get good times like these on our screens again ... hopefully soon. Team Slater forever!!!




Chapter 15

“I thought I told you to stay put.”

“Well it’s a good thing for you that I don’t listen. I think I just saved your ass, Mr. Slater.” Zach smiled, relieved to see his beautiful wife standing just a few feet away. Even though they talked on the phone every day, he still missed her like crazy. Paris was just too far away. His mind went back to the night of the fire and he thought about how close he came to losing her. God, she’d scared the hell out of him that night.

Zach ran frantically through the Yacht Club, searching for the source of the flames that sizzled and popped, turning the peaceful night into a fiery hell. He tried to go into the room that had heavy black smoke billowing from its windows, but was held back by people he didn’t see. All he could see was his wife, the love of his life, gasping for her last breath. She was in that room, he just knew it. And he had to get her out of there before it was too late.

He broke free from his captors and sprinted over the threshold, mindless of the flames or the falling timbers. His eyes were burning and so was his throat, but he was oblivious to that as well. He stood in the center of the room looking for Kendall.

Things were happening so quickly, but he felt like he was in quicksand. He could see everything clearly, as if time had stopped to let him take it all in. Kendall’s charred shoes were on the floor near the door, as if she’d taken them off right away.
Jimmy Choos he remembered with a rueful smile.

He noticed that the couch on one side of the room seemed untouched by the fire. Its pristine white upholstery was a stark contrast to the black smoke and orange flames that scarred the other side of the room. With a sense of dread, Zach turned to the bed, finding exactly what he feared the most. It was fully engulfed in flames.

He screamed Kendall’s name, but the effort nearly strangled him. Ignoring his own pain, he tore off his coat and began beating at the flames consuming the bed, begging Kendall to wait for him. “I’m coming, Kendall,” he cried. “Don’t leave me.”

The last thing he remembered was the sound of sirens in the distance. Then blackness. When he came to, he was lying in the back of an ambulance breathing oxygen through a mask. He sat up quickly, which caused so much coughing he nearly passed out again. Against the wishes of the paramedics, he climbed out of the ambulance and went back to Kendall’s room. But it was all over. There was nothing left of that whole wing but a smoldering pile of blackened wood and ash. Most of the onlookers had dispersed, leaving only emergency crews and hotel personnel milling around.

The first person Zach recognized was Greenlee. She had tears streaming down her face as she watched him. She started toward him, but he turned and walked away. He yelled hoarsely at everybody he saw that he wanted to see Jesse Hubbard “right here, right now,” but before he could find him, one of the security guards who’d been assigned to Kendall tapped him on the shoulder.

“Mr. Slater, I think you should come with me,” he said, his voice the epitome of clipped professionalism. Zach glared at him angrily. “Do you?” he began, ready to take out all of his wrath on the person who had failed him the most. But before he could say another word, the man slipped something into his pocket and walked away. Zach watched him move to the edge of the path that led to the parking lot, then turn back to face his boss. He stood silently with his hands behind his back, his legs spread slightly apart, and he waited.

Zach reached into his pocket, his eyes narrowing when he realized what he was touching: Kendall’s wedding band. His eyes immediately met those of the bodyguard. The man gave a barely perceptible nod, then turned and walked down the path. Zach followed him numbly, afraid to guess where the man was taking him. When they got to the parking lot, Zach found another guard standing next to the limousine that brought him and Kendall to the Christmas Ball. As he approached, the door opened.

Zach’s knees buckled.

Sitting inside the car, wrapped in a blanket, was Kendall. Her hair was down and her feet were bare, but otherwise she looked perfect. No sign of soot. No smell of smoke. At least not on her. Zach looked like he’d wrestled a bear, but Kendall didn’t have a scratch on her. He blinked, not sure if he could believe his eyes.

Suddenly the door closed beside him, plunging the car into darkness. Zach vaguely realized that he didn’t remember getting into the car, but that thought went flying out of his head when he felt her take his hand. She was in his arms a second later. Zach held her so tight he was afraid he might be hurting her, but he couldn’t make himself let go. He couldn’t believe she was really there, safe and sound. If he was dreaming, he didn’t ever want to wake up.

When he touched her face, he realized that she was crying. So was he. He had a million questions, but they would all have to wait. At that moment, he couldn’t have spoken if his life depended on it.


“Um … earth to Zach. We’re kind of in the middle of something here.” He looked up to find Kendall standing next to him pointing a gun at the woman who was whimpering at his feet. Greenlee was dabbing at the spreading bloodstain with the edge of the tablecloth in a futile attempt to salvage her wedding dress. The fact that she was actually injured seemed to have escaped her notice.

When she heard Kendall’s voice, Greenlee struggled to her feet. “You!” she spat. “You can’t be here. You’re dead!”

“Am I?” Kendall replied, placing her finger on the side of her neck to check for a pulse. “No, I’m good,” she said when she felt the steady beat. “You on the other hand …”

Greenlee still seemed unaware of her injury. “How the hell did you get out of that room? You were out cold when I left.” Kendall laughed. “Apparently not. Rule number one, Greenlee, never underestimate your opponent. Zach taught me that,” she added with a wink to her husband. “Guess what else he taught me? How to pick a lock. Any lock. Using something as simple as a hairpin.” She laughed again when Greenlee’s eyes widened.

“Yep. I was out of that room before the smoke alarm even went off.” She turned to Zach. “By the way, you owe Mike a big fat bonus. He was just about to break down the door when I escaped. Scared me to death. Then he insisted on finding me a safe place to hide before he would go get you.”

Greenlee finally realized she was the one who got shot. She screamed like her arm was missing, causing Kendall to jump. She handed Zach the gun before leaning down to slap Greenlee. “Get a hold of yourself,” she snapped. “It’s just a flesh wound. You’re not dying … yet.”

“Go away, Kendall. You ruined my surprise,” Greenlee said flatly. She rubbed her face and tried to figure out how everything had gone so wrong. She’d planned it all so carefully.

“What surprise?” Kendall said bitterly. “You’ve been announcing this wedding for weeks. The only thing ruined was a very expensive pair of shoes!” She looked around the gazebo at all the things that were taken from her own love story with Zach. “It’s so pathetic, Greenlee. You are so pathetic. You can’t just cut me out of my life and insert yourself into it. It doesn’t work that way.”

Greenlee struggled to her feet, but was too weak to stand, so she sat down at the table and tried to look dignified. The smirk on Kendall’s face told her she'd failed. She glanced at Zach and immediately wished she hadn’t. He didn’t appear the least bit concerned that she was bleeding … and on their wedding day!

“Come on, sister,” she said defiantly, “sibling rivalry goes all the way back to the Bible.” She shrugged her shoulder, causing her to wince in pain. “That’s why we were such good friends. We always understood each other.”

“We’re not siblings. And we’re certainly not friends. I don’t know why I’ve fought so hard to pretend otherwise. You’ve never done anything but take from me. But this time I won’t let you. You can’t take my place, Greenlee. Maybe you need to finish that Bible story. The ending’s a real killer.”

“You’re awfully quiet,” Greenlee said, turning her attention to Zach. When he didn’t respond, she continued. “You know, Kendall wants me to love Ryan. But I don’t. Not anymore. Too much has happened for us to ever be together again. Besides,” she added, glancing up at Kendall before returning her gaze to Zach, “there’s somebody else I want instead.”

His sigh was long and drawn out, but when he finally started speak, Greenlee interrupted him. She knew she’d lost, but she wasn’t ready to give up the dream just yet. She wanted to prolong the fantasy just a little while longer. “It’s you, Zach. You’re the man I love. But you don’t want me. Why? What’s wrong with me?” When Kendall snorted in response, Greenlee turned nasty.

“I’ve been watching the two of you together. In bed. I've watched those tapes over and over and over. I wanted to see what you like, Zach. I wanted to please you. Now I know how to make you burn … how to make you beg. If you’d give me a chance, I know I could make you forget about that skinny little slut you’re sharing your bed with now. I can do things that would blow your mind, not to mention your -”

“Stop!”

Zach didn’t want to hear anymore. Greenlee’s voice had taken on a hard edge and he knew she was now just trying to hurt Kendall. His first instinct was to protect his wife, but one look at her told him Greenlee was the one who needed his protection. Kendall was on her in a flash.

“You crazy bitch!” she cried, deliberately grabbing Greenlee’s injured arm and pulling her to her feet. “You can’t have my life, and you sure as hell can’t have my husband! Is that what all of this has been about? Trying to get into Zach’s bed? You ruined everything that was good between us just because you couldn’t stand to see me happy. But that’s what you always do, isn’t it? You never know what you want until I get it. And then you try to take it from me. You’re needy and selfish and pathetic. You always were. But this,” she said, gesturing wildly, “this is new. And creepy. And low, Greenlee. Even for you.”

Greenlee’s contempt only made Kendall angrier. She backed the injured woman up against the table, poking her shoulder to emphasis every point. “You killed Rachel!” Kendall shouted. “I know you wanted to hurt me, but what if Spike or Ian had been in the car? You could have killed my boys! How could you do such a horrible thing to innocent babies? You honestly thought that would win you Zach’s affections? You’re crazier than I thought!”

Greenlee had finally reached her breaking point. She’d dreamed of this night for months but this was not the way it was supposed to happen. Kendall was supposed to be dead. “I am not crazy!” Greenlee hissed. “It was genius, until you messed everything up. I should have shot you at the Yacht Club. I had my chance and I blew it.”

“With this?” Kendall asked, taking the gun from Zach’s hand and holding it up to Greenlee. “Is this what you were looking for in Zach’s office? Guess what, psycho, I got it first! Actually, my husband gave it to me in case I ever found myself locked in a room with the whack job who has been bothering us for months. Lousy time for me to leave my purse at home, huh?”

Greenlee looked around for her own gun and found it laying at Zach’s feet. She glanced up to find him watching her. He kicked the gun away from her, leaving Greenlee only one choice. She lunged for the gun Kendall was holding, but she wasn’t fast enough. Zach was in between the two women before Kendall knew what was happening.

He wrestled the gun from their joined hands and pushed Kendall behind his back. “Enough!” he shouted, pushing Greenlee away from him when she tried again to get the gun. “But Zach,” she whined, “she ruined everything. It’s all a mess now, and it’s all Kendall’s fault. She shot me for God’s sake!” she added, hoping to play on Zach’s sympathy.

“None of this is Kendall’s fault, Greenlee. She didn't start this. Kendall isn’t the one who sent all those gifts. She didn’t break into my office to steal a gun. She didn’t blow Rachel to pieces. And she didn’t set the Yacht Club on fire. That was you.” Greenlee was so distracted by Zach’s attention that she didn’t seem to notice that he was tying her to a chair. When he was finished, he stepped back and she tried to come with him, but was stopped by the restraints. She howled in frustration.

“Okay, fine!” she screamed. “Yes, I did that. All of it. Does that make you happy?” she hissed, softening when she saw Zach's smile. “Good, because that’s all I ever wanted. All of this was to make you happy, Zach. You and me. Together forever. Kendall never made you happy, but I know I can. If only you would let me. That’s all I was trying to do,” she added, her voice breaking on a sob.

“You’re wrong, Greenlee,” Zach said softly. Then he turned and whispered something to Kendall that Greenlee couldn’t hear. When she nodded, Zach lowered his head and spoke to his chest. “You get all that?” he asked, opening his jacket to reveal the wires. The sound of a sharp whistle from several yards away was all the answer he needed.

Ignoring Greenlee, he pulled Kendall into his arms. She rested her head on his shoulder, then turned her face up to his for a kiss. “Welcome home,” he whispered when she broke the kiss. She snaked her hands underneath his coat and kissed him again, but when she tried to deepen the kiss, he pulled away. Kendall knew exactly what he was thinking. “Don’t worry about her,” she said, not even sparing Greenlee a glance. “She likes to watch.”

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

Zach watched while Kendall lifted the lid on the tray to see what was being served for dinner. “Lobster, of course,” she laughed. “I probably should have guessed that, huh?” “Probably,” Zach muttered. He poured them each a glass of champagne and smiled at the way the wind played through Kendall’s hair. It had turned out to be a beautiful night.

Zach made a quick phone call, then stood up and offered Kendall his hand. “Dance with me.” Kendall, knowing her husband wasn’t that fond of dancing, jumped at the opportunity. “What’s the occasion,” she asked. “You’re the occasion,” he replied, pulling her closer. As if on cue, music started playing over the sound system.

Picture the sky. That is how high I reach.
So far in love, none have been right for me.
But your love is a chance I’d like to take.
With each breath in me I’ll wake,
If it brings you back to me.


“I can’t believe you remembered,” Kendall said, sighing with contentment. Her amazing husband never stopped surprising her. “Of course I remembered,” he said, sounding insulted. “It was the most important night of my life.”

They danced in silence for several minutes, so wrapped up in each other that nothing else existed except the two of them and the song that swirled around them. “I got it, you know?” Zach said at last. Kendall eased away from him, but he wouldn’t let her get far. “Got what?” she asked. “Everything I wanted.” He kissed her shoulder before continuing. “I get to go to sleep with you every night. And wake up with you every morning. And face whatever the new day has to bring with you. We laugh. We cry. We make love. We did it, Kendall. We took the chance and look where we are. Look what we have.”

When Zach reached up to wipe a tear from Kendall’s cheek, she leaned into his hand. “We have love,” she whispered. He leaned down to kiss her, stopping just before his lips met hers. “We have love,” he repeated. Then he kissed her, ignoring everything around him but the feel of his wife in his arms.

Zach suddenly pulled away. “That reminds me,” he said, reaching into his pocket. “I think these belong to you.” He opened his hand to reveal Kendall’s wedding rings. “You’re damn right they do,” she said, holding her hand out to him. He gently put both rings on her finger, then brought them to his lips. He once again wiped the tears from her face, then reached for their glasses.

“To us,” he said simply, lifting his glass in the air. “To Team Slater,” Kendall said, touching her glass to his. They each drank, then turned to the corner, lifting their glasses in the air again. “To justice,” Kendall said. When they were facing each other once again, Zach offered one last toast.

“Happy New Year, Mrs. Slater.”

Kendall tossed her empty glass over her shoulder, laughing at the look on Zach’s face when it shattered. He followed her lead and tossed his glass, then pulled her back into his arms for another kiss. When he tried to pull away, Kendall refused to let him go, insisting that he dance with her again. Even though the music had stopped, he complied. He hummed softly in her ear as they swayed together in the gazebo, both seemingly oblivious of the woman who was gagged and tied to a chair in the corner, glaring at them with unbridled hatred.

And in the distance, the sound of sirens could be heard.


The End


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zendall44

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Reply with quote  #79 

Whoo-hoo!  Karen, great story.  You are a wonderful writer.  Hope you have another one up your sleeve.  Thank you so much.


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Reply with quote  #80 
Great ending..Great Story...
Thanks so much Karen!!!!
searose

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Reply with quote  #81 

Wow Karen, it was a beautiful ride, thanks for taking us along.  I wish AMC gave me as much pleasure as reading your stories does.  I hope you will come back with a new story real soon


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Roseann

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Reply with quote  #82 
Karen, thanks for another great story...I look forward to your next one!


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