What Kendall wants, Kendall gets
"Have I told you yet how beautiful you look tonight?" Zach asked as he reached across the table and grabbed Kendall's hand. "Yes, you have. More than once, in fact. But I'll gladly hear it again,' she replied with a smile. "Okay. You look beautiful," he said, lifting her hand to his lips. They both laughed, which might have seemed a bit odd, considering the circumstances. But they both knew that this was the night they would get their lives back. It was their Independence Day. No more talk of blackouts, mad doctors, comas or trials. Nobody had to pretend to be dead. And no Erica. She charmed her way out of jail on good behavior and was serving her "community service" in an international way ... in Paris. It's good to be Erica Kane. Bianca's loss was Kendall's gain. Yes, life was good. Their last obstacle was Dixie, and she would be dealt with soon. Very soon.
"Why thank you, Mr. Slater. You look very handsome yourself," she giggled. She felt so silly, so carefree. After all they'd been through since the Mardi Gras ball, they were finally on the verge of the true, uninterrupted wedded bliss they'd dreamed of. They had been happy together, but somebody on the outside of their lives was always trying to make trouble. Erica, Babe, JR, Dr. Madden, Ryan, Dixie ... the list was endless. And so was the meddling. But it all ended tonight.
The Slaters were enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner on the rooftop of Fusion on an unusually windy night. But they didn't mind. The warm breeze on a summer night just made it all the more romantic. The food was good and the company was even better. As much as they both loved Spike and couldn't imagine their lives without him, a night on their own was still a glorious thing. While it lasted.
Dixie awoke with a start, dazed and disoriented. She couldn't figure out where she was. She was definitely outside because she could feel the wind blowing. And she must be close to downtown, at least that's what the street noise would indicate. She was still a little groggy and not thinking straight. She tried to get up, only then realizing she was tied up somehow. She couldn't move. But why? Her arms weren't bound. Neither were her legs. Was she in a net? Then it hit her. She'd seen this before, only last time she had a different angle. Dear God, she had to get out of there.
She reached into her pocket, praying her phone was still there. She literally sighed with relief when her fingers curled around it. She decided to call Zach. She knew he was mad at her because of the incident with Kendall at Ryan's condo. And she knew that he said he never wanted to see her again. But she needed him. Surely he wouldn't leave her hanging in an emergency. She dialed the number and waited. "Oh, please be there Zach," she said aloud. "I need you." She heard the phone ring, but not in her ear. She heard it over her shoulder. She jumped out of her skin, dropping the phone in the process. She waited a long time for the sound of the phone shattering on the sidewalk below. Far below.
"Hello," Zach said sarcastically into his phone. "Zach!" Dixie screamed. "Thank God you're here. Get me out of this hammock before I fall." "After all the trouble I went through to put you there? No, I think we'll wait a little while before I do that," he said casually. "You mean you're not going to rescue me?" she asked, unable to believe what she was hearing. "Oh Dixie. I'm the one you need rescuing from. Believe me, you're a lot safer where you are." His voice was now cold and deadly.
"Zach? What's going on?" Dixie asked. He was scaring her. He'd threatened her before. She'd seen his darker side, or so she thought. But she'd never heard him like this. He sounded lethal, like a man with nothing to lose. "Are you all right? Where's Kendall?" She was trying hard not to panic. Surely Zach would never let her fall. But the longer she hung there, the harder it was to hold onto hope. "Kendall is none of your concern," Zach answered. "This isn't about her, it's about you, Dixie." Dixie snorted. "Yeah right," she said. "Since when is anything you do not about Kendall? That skinny little bitch has been playing you from the very beginning. Weak, whiny and pathetic. God, I hate the way she makes a fool of you. Once a slut, always a slut, Zach. Get used to it."
"I warned you about saying such things about my wife. I won't do it again," Zach said angrily. "Oh really! What will you do, Zach? Hang me in a hammock from the rooftop of a tall building?" She could hear the smile in his voice when he answered. "Maybe I'll just cut the rope." She decided to try a different approach. She needed to make peace with him, not antagonize him. "Okay. I'm sorry for the things I said about Kendall. But you have to tell me what's going on here, Zach. This is crazy." "Crazier than when you did it to my wife?" he said. "I don't know what you're talking about. You got some bad information. You know you can't believe a thing Janet Dillon says," she whined. "Janet Dillon, huh? Who said anything about Janet Dillon?"
He laughed. "God Dixie. You're some piece of work. Let me tell you how this is gonna work. I ask questions. You answer them. If I like the answers, then I'll think about helping you down. Agreed?" "Well what choice do I have, Zach? You're holding all the cards," she said. "Oh, you have no idea," he replied as he pulled Kendall closer to his side, motioning for her to remain quiet.
"Okay, first question," he said as he and Kendall walked over to the ledge to stand right behind Dixie. He had deliberately placed her so she wouldn't be able to see him, which meant he couldn't see her. He could no longer stand the sight of her. "Why did you lie to me about Kate?" he asked. "Because I was ashamed, Zach. There you were grieving for your son. How could I tell you that I'd just given my child away without even telling her father of her existence?"
Zach leaned forward and gave the hammock a good push, causing it to swing wildly and causing Dixie to scream like banshee. "Don't lie to me, Dixie. Remember what I told you about underestimating me? I'm not a fool. I know we met in Atlantic City more that three years ago. Don't bother denying it." he said angrily. "Deny it? Oh Zach, I've been waiting all this time for you to remember it. It was the most important day of my life. I fell in love with you the second I laid eyes on you. I know some people say that doesn't happen. But, believe me, it did." "Believe you? That's good. How can I believe anything you say? You've been lying to me from the very beginning," Zach said. "Not about this. Never about this, Zach. I gave up everything for you."
"Which brings me to my next question. "Why did you give up your daughter when you finally found her?" He glanced over at Kendall to see how she was holding up, and she looked downright bored. He couldn't help but smile. He knew she was just as anxious to hear the truth as he was, but she would never give Dixie the satisfaction. Even if Dixie couldn't see her. She caught him looking and gave him her best smile. He squeezed her hand and turned his attention back to Dixie. "Dixie? I'm waiting for an answer. Did you forget the rules?"
"I already answered that. I did it because I love you. I found out that a couple by the name of Annie & Terry McDermott adopted my daughter. So I arranged to meet them at your casino in Atlantic City. Just a fluke you might say. I call it fate." Kendall rolled her eyes, but remained silent. "But when I arrived at the casino, the first person I laid eyes on was you. And I was spellbound, Zach. There's no other word for it. At that moment, I knew I was going to walk away from my old life and start another one with you." Zach raised an eyebrow. "A little presumptuous, don't you think?" he asked. "How did you know I wasn't already married? And what made you so sure I'd have you?" Dixie ignored the tone in his voice. "I asked around about your situation. Of course every employee I talked to just raved about what a great guy you were. But so many of them told me you needed a good woman by your side. I knew I could be that woman."
It was getting harder and harder for Kendall to hold her tongue. Zach walked around behind her and put his arms around her waist. He leaned in and whispered in her ear, "She's right about that. I did need a good woman by my side. I'm so lucky to have finally found her." Then he moved her hair to one side, giving him access to her neck. He was just starting to enjoy himself when Dixie's voice interrupted him. "So I decided to let the McDermott's keep Kate. They seemed like a nice couple. I thought Kate would be better off with her pretty new mommy." "And you'd be better off without the burden of a baby. Is that it?" Zach said. "My God, Dixie. It's one thing to walk away from Tad, but you have a son. You were just gonna walk away forever and leave him without a mother?" He couldn't believe that even Dixie Martin could be that cold and unfeeling. "It's not like JR is a child, Zach. I did my job. I raised him. He didn't need me anymore. And after nearly dying, I decided to live my life for me for a change. Life is too precious to just give away to someone else."
"And yet you want me to believe that you willingly gave yours up for me. Isn't that what you've been telling me?" Zach asked, exasperated. "And you didn't do your job with your son. He's an arrogant, violent, substance-abusing son of a bitch. Don't brag about raising him. You failed him. But at least you did the right thing by Kate. Even if it was for all the wrong reasons," he concluded. Dixie tried to turn so she could see him, but it was no use. "Say what you want about JR. I know I made some mistakes. But this isn't about him. This is about us, Zach. Now will you please help me down?" she asked. He ignored her question."There is no us, Dixie. And there never will be. When will you accept that?"
"Never. Because it's a lie. You're only saying that because Kendall has got you brainwashed. You are blind to what she really is, Zach. I was there the day she showed up in Las Vegas to retrieve her drunk mother. I watched and I waited. I saw how she manipulated you from the very beginning. Batting her eyelashes at you. Touching you. Flirting with you. God, it was a disgusting spectacle." Dixie said vehemently. "But I waited her out. I knew she didn't really want you. She just wanted you to want her, just like her vain, deceitful mother. She couldn't appreciate you because she was too busy making a fool of herself over Ryan Lavery. And she still is. You're just too blind to see what's going on right underneath your nose."
Ironic choice of words, Zach thought, considering his mouth was right underneath his nose. And he knew exactly what was going on. His mouth was currently occupied with his wife's mouth. He knew he needed to break the kiss because he could feel his control slipping away. He wanted to be alone with his wife, not out here listening to the psychotic fantasies of this crazy woman. He pulled away from Kendall, resting his forehead against hers while attempting to regain a normal breathing pattern. "Shame on you," he whispered. She grinned unrepentantly. "I know exactly what's going on underneath my nose, Dixie. You think you know me so well, but you don't."
"Oh I know you, Zach. I know all about you. I know what you like to eat, where you like to drink, what aftershave you like, where you go to buy jewelry for your wife. I even know the brand name of the towels in your bathroom. But that's just personal details. More importantly, I know how you think." The words were coming out in a rush now. She'd been keeping all of this inside her for so long, it felt good just to say it out loud. "I watched you with Kendall. I saw how the two of you danced around each other. But before I had to interfere, she went back home. Crisis averted. Until you came to Pine Valley too. Then I watched you with Maria. I watched you offer her everything, and she just threw it back in your face. What a fool she was. She wasn't enough woman for you Zach. And neither is Kendall." "But you are?" he asked. "Yes, I am. I am the only woman who can give you what you need. Now will you please get me down from here?"
"Not yet. One more question. Why did you try to kill Kendall? First the fire and then the hammock. And thanks for the idea, by the way. Janet was right, it is clever." Dixie laughed. It was an evil, empty laugh. "Zach, honey. You're not listening. I had to get rid of Kendall so we could be together. I had given up too much to turn back," she said. "But Kendall and I were married in name only then. If you didn't stop the wedding, why try to harm my business-partner wife?" Zach asked. "I would have stopped the wedding in Florida, but you lost me. And by the time I found you, it was too late. So I decided to just wait it out. Marriages of convenience never last,” she said bitterly. “But I could tell that the two of you were growing closer. And I just couldn't take the chance of you falling under the bitch's spell. I hoped she'd go panting back to Ryan, but he was too busy with his precious Greenlee. My mistake was in not waiting her out. I should have known she'd be too fickle to stay with any man for too long. She goes and gets herself knocked up with Ryan's baby and runs Greenlee out of town. I couldn't have planned that better myself. She made her own path back to Ryan. In fact, that's probably where the slut is right now. I wouldn't let her out of my sight if I were you."
"Oh, I agree with you. I never want her out of my sight," he said, turning to give her a wink. It was only then that he realized there was a fourth person on the roof. "Now tell me, did Greg Madden know that you'd found Kate already? Was he in on the lie?" Dixie literally cackled. "Of course he didn't know! That would have blown my whole story. He was my reason for not only coming back to Pine Valley, but also for being away for so long. Besides, I couldn't tell anybody where Kate was and risk Tad finding out. He would have killed me and taken Kate. Even though Kate's new daddy turned out to be a bad guy, I still just couldn't risk it. That's why I sent Annie to The Miranda Center. Now, please Zach. Get me down. It's getting cold."
"Okay, last question," Zach said. "How much of that did you hear?" "What? What are you talking about, Zach? Have you been drinking? Just get me down before you pass out!" she cried. "I wasn't talking to you Dixie," Zach said as he turned to watch Tad emerge from the shadows. "I heard enough," Tad said. "Now it's my turn to ask a question. "Hey Dixie, do you want me to shoot you before I cut you loose so you won't feel the hit, or do you want to enjoy the fall?"