EPISODE #2009-18

The noise didn't all die down immediately. First one machine slowly ground to a halt, then another let out a regretful last wheeze. The doctor with the defibrillator shuffled back. A nurse moved aside and scribbled something onto Jenna's chart. Everyone shifted ever so slightly in unison, almost like an entire army unit being told to step down. The only one not moving, the only one not making any noise at all, was Jenna.

Jamie was the first to reach Felicia, Dean and Lorna. Everyone else hung back, letting him take the lead.

The look on his face should have told them everything. It certainly told Lorna everything.

But Felicia, the writer, plainly refused to read what was right in front of her. She reached out with both arms to Jamie, asking, "What happened... Is she... Why..."

The remainder of her question was lost in the howl that retched out of Dean's throat, seemingly through no intention of his own. It, not Dean himself, seemed to be what propelled him forward, shoving Felicia out of his way and leaping onto Jamie like a wild animal. He knocked Jamie down easily, the combination of fury and element of surprise proving inexorable, and proceeded to pummel Jenna's doctor viciously with both fists, simultaneously grunting guttural noises that may have been words to him, but made absolutely no sense to anyone else.

Jamie refused to fight back at first, simply ducking down and protecting his head with his upraised elbows while allowing Dean to take all the shots he felt necessary. But if Jamie expected Dean's rage to wear itself out as quickly as it came, he was in for a shock. Every blow seemed to only goad him on further, as Dean added ferocious kicks to his repertoire.

At that, two of the orderlies snapped into action, pulling Dean off of Jamie as a nurse frantically phoned for back-up security.

Felicia and Lorna both tried to step in, their own respective pain and shock temporarily set aside in response to Dean's complete breakdown. But neither one was a match for his anger, and the hospital security personnel urged them to step back and protect themselves from inadvertently becoming his targets.

Because with Jamie out of reach, Dean had regressed to simply lunging madly at anyone and everyone who stepped into his line of vision. He struggled and snapped and snarled, eyes blank, as both his hands were forcibly fastened behind his back and he was forced down onto the ground, face first.

Jamie, his white lab coat torn, the imprint of Dean's knuckles swiftly swelling along his jaw-line, scrambled to his feet. A nurse handed him a primed needle, which Jamie jabbed into Dean's arm, no mean feat considering the fight Jamie's cousin was putting up.

Dean continued screaming for several more seconds, this time Jenna's name could clearly be heard, repeated over and over again like a mantra or a plea. Eventually, however, he couldn't fight the tranquilizer, though he gave it his best shot, eyes remaining stubbornly open even as Dean slumped to the ground, just a few feet from his wife's inert body.

Amanda and Kevin walked back through the patio doors to find Rachel and Alice still waiting for them. Spencer was gone, and Cory and Elizabeth had been sent upstairs.

Amanda beckoned for her mother to step aside, whispering that she needed to tell her something in private. Rachel did as her daughter asked, leaving Alice to face Kevin alone.

And face him she did. After the brush-off Alice had received earlier, she wasn't taking any chances. She planted herself directly in Kevin's path and asked, "Is your plan to avoid speaking to me indefinitely?"

Kevin shifted awkwardly from foot to foot. He cleared his threat. He shrugged and inquired, "What would you like me to say?"

"You can start by addressing me with respect, young man." The backbone Rachel earlier wished to congratulate Alice on growing seemed to extend beyond her old nemesis and down to the younger generation, as well. Good for Alice. Again.

"Fair enough," Kevin said lightly. "Good-evening, Mrs. Frame."

"It's Dr. Frame. Or, better yet, how about Grandma?"

"How have you been, Dr. Frame?"

"Worried sick about how my grandson was getting along, all alone in the world. An angry sixteen year old with a trust-fund of several million dollars is a tragedy waiting to happen."

"It didn't. I'm fine. I am living a very fulfilling life, helping other children avoid my fate. Helping them stay with their real parents."

"I'm not giving up on you, Kevin," Alice said. "You are Sally's son. You are my only grandchild. You pushed me out of your life once before. I'm not about to let it happen again."

Kevin raised an eyebrow. "Do I get any say in the matter?"


After seeing to it that an unconscious Dean was settled — and restrained — in a hospital bed down the hall from the ICU, Jamie returned to Felicia and Lorna who, still shell-shocked, were waiting silently in Jamie's office.

Felicia sat hunched over in a chair, elbows propped on her knees, hands clenched, the thumbs holding up her chin. Felicia had bitten down so hard on her right outside knuckle that she'd drawn blood. A trickle was slithering down towards her wrist. She didn't appear to notice.

It was Lorna who couldn't keep still. She'd perch on the edge of a second chair, then bounce up, looking frantically from side to side, pacing back and forth, searching for something she had trouble naming and, frustrated, sitting down again, only to repeat the tick a second later.

When Jamie came in, Felicia grabbed a roving Lorna by the arm, pulling her down into a sitting position and forcibly keeping her there. The best Lorna could do in return was roost on the edge of Felicia's chair, ready to spring again without warning.

Felicia, half-pleading, half-demanding, all fraught, begged Jamie to tell her, "What happened?"

Jamie said, "It looks like Jenna suffered a massive stroke. There was nothing we could have done. Her blood pressure should have gone down as soon as we delivered the baby but... perhaps there was a congenital issue... perhaps the months without prenatal care... it just kept rising and rising. We gave her as much medication as we dared... The stress of the delivery... "

"She was so young," Felicia seemed to be talking to herself. "So young, so beautiful. The first time I saw her. It was Christmas Day 1990. I was coming to tell her that Gloria had died and, for a moment, I was distracted. I thought: What a lovely, lovely girl. What mother wouldn't be proud to have such a beautiful daughter?"

"She was a wonderful daughter, Jamie. She forgave me so much... Her first baby. Her and Dean's first baby. It's my fault she lost it."

"It wasn't your fault," Lorna stressed. "Jenna would have miscarried either way, all the doctors said so."

But Felicia was way beyond listening. "She and Dean both wanted this baby so much. They had such plans. All the time we were being held, first in Canada and then the convent, do you know what Jenna talked about? She talked about traveling the world. Her, Dean and Lori Ann. Jenna intended to take her with them everywhere. She said the first thing they'd do is get her a passport. Jenna didn't want to miss a moment with her daughter. She wasn't going to be like Gloria, she was going to be with Lori Ann every minute, and now.... How are we going to tell her about Jenna? How are we going to make Lori Ann understand what an amazing woman her mother was, and what she went through for her..."

Jamie asked Felicia, "Do you want me to call somebody for you? My mom? Maybe Cass? You and Lorna should have someone here — "

"No," Felicia shook her head. "It's late. I'm not going to bother... They already spent the bulk of their day... I'm fine." She seemed to notice the blood on her hand for the first time and moved to wipe it off with a tissue from Jamie's desk. "I'm alright. I need to be strong now. Jenna is gone and Dean... Dean needs a chance to pull himself together. This won't be like last time. This won't be like after Lucas..." Lorna blanched at the mention, but Felicia didn't notice. She reiterated, "I need to be strong for Lori Ann. I owe Jenna that much. After last time. After everything. Lori Ann is all alone right now. She's probably terrified, poor little thing. I've got to go to her. I've got to take care of her. I'm alright. I'm fine. I'm alright. This won't be like last time, I swear."

"How about Computer Programmer?"

"Sugarplum, I can't even set the TiVo."

"Shoe Saleswoman? I mean, Person?"

"Only if they offer a 100% employee discount," Lila stipulated, causing Jasmine to look back to her Blackberry and scroll down to the next entry on The Bay City Herald's Help Wanted section.

"Baby Doll, stop worrying about me. This is grown-up business, not Jasmine Rachel Cassandra Cory business."

"But I want to help!"

"You can help by finishing off that ice cream before you're holding nothing but a soggy sugar cone."

Lila Hart Roberts Cory soon-to-be-ex-Winthrop — though now that she thought about it, was she ever really Winthrop? Was Cass technically a bigamist? Oh, who cared, let him and the zombie work all those legal details out themselves — looked down at her daughter as Jasmine slurped determinedly at the rapidly melting ice cream in her hands. Lila felt a smile tweak at the corner of her mouth even as she handed her a napkin.

"You are such a mess," Lila chuckled. "We should've gotten you a cup."

"It's better this way," Jasmine grinned, ignoring the napkin and wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

"Now, I know I raised you better than that. And for sure your Daddy and Grandma Rachel don't let you get away with this sort of behavior," Lila grimaced, while simultaneously trying to resist the urge to laugh. "You are too cute a girl to be acting — and dressing — the way you do."

Jasmine looked down at her ensemble of rocker t-shirt — ACDC today, jean skirt, and Chucks.

"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" she pouted, less out of sincere hurt and more for show.

Jasmine looked up at Lila with her big gray eyes, her long raven hair in two pigtails, chocolate ice cream smudging one cheek. Lila sighed and shook her head at Jasmine trying a little emotional manipulation on for size. Lila couldn't have been prouder.

Maybe it was just a phase. Jasmine was only ten, after all. She would have plenty of time to learn about make-up and hair and dresses and shoes and before Lila knew it she'd be dating and going to dances and the prom and then college and then —

Lila would be all alone. Her baby dumpling would be grown up and off somewhere with some man not nearly good enough for her, giving her grief that she just didn't need.

Oh, Lord.

"Mama?" Jasmine waved a hand in front of Lila's face as she stood frozen on the sidewalk. "You in there? Mama?"

"I'm here," Lila sighed, now looking at Jasmine with watery eyes, the future suddenly all too close and real and frightening.

"Did you hear what I said? What about being a fashion critic or something for The Herald's website? You know a lot about that stuff."

"Yeah," Lila sighed distractedly, plucking at one of Jasmine's pigtails. "Maybe."

"Are you okay?" her daughter frowned. "You're getting sniffley."

Lila shook her head and wiped at her eyes. "I'm fine, darlin'. I'm just — "

"May I?" came a familiar, smooth voice. Lila and Jasmine looked up to find Grant Harrison, cigar in one hand, handkerchief in the other, the latter extended towards Lila and accompanied by an ambiguous smile.

"Evening, Grant," Lila sniffed, graciously accepting his submission and dabbing at her eyes. "Long time no see."

"It's good to see you again, too," Grant said with a tilt of his head. "And you must be Jasmine," Grant smiled down at her daughter. "You are as lovely as your mother."

Jasmine let the compliment — as she let all appearance-based compliments — whiz by without comment. Instead, she offered Grant praise of her own. "I like your hat. It's daring."

Lila followed her daughter's eyes to the fedora perched atop Grant's head.

"It's daring, alright," she smirked, taking in his choice of headwear, suit, and freshly-shined shoes. On anyone else the ensemble would be garish, but on Grant it... well he somehow made it work. Barely.

"Always nice to encounter women that appreciate a well-dressed man. Speaking of men," Grant puffed from his cigar. "Where's Cass?"

"Not here," Lila said quickly. "We're having a girls' night out. Taking a stroll, eating some ice cream."

"I'm helping Mama find a job."

"A job?" Grant repeated, cocking his head thoughtfully at Lila. "Chasing ambulances not earning your better half what it used to?"

"Cass is doing just fine," Lila smarted. "But I'm a single mother now and it's time I start earning my own way in the world. Nothing that'll take me too far from Jasmine, but — "

"I see," Grant said slowly, wheels turning behind those enigmatic eyes. "What are you looking to do?" he pressed. "I might have something for you."

Lila laughed skeptically. "I highly doubt it."

"What is it?" Jasmine asked excitedly.

"I've bought a house for myself and Kirkland right here in town, and it needs to be put in order before he and I can move in."

"Kirkland's going to live with you?" Jasmine blinked, her face suddenly drooping. "He's leaving?"

"No, sugar-plum, Mr. Harrison seems to be putting his cart before his horse." Lila locked her eyes back on Grant. "He's just talking about when Kirkland comes for a little visit."

"Yes," Grant surprisingly conceded for Jasmine's sake. "For visits. I want him to feel comfortable. With your mother's style and taste, I believe she could make my house a true home. For both Kirkland and I."

"Well, as flattering as you've been, I'm afraid you'll have to find somebody else, Grant," Lila said taking Jasmine's hand and returning his handkerchief.

"I'll give you a fair salary," Grant offered.

"No, thank you."

"I'll double a fair salary. Make it grossly unfair."

She stopped walking and turned to look at him, hand on her hip. "Why?"

"You caught me on a good night," he smiled grandly.

Lila narrowed her eyes. "You're up to something."

"Maybe," Grant smirked. "Maybe not. You'll have to work for me at double-pay to find out." He handed her a card. Lila eyed it suspiciously.

"Mama, where are your manners? What would Grandma Rachel say?" Jasmine piped in, taking the card with a sunny smile. "Thank you, Mr. Harrison."

"You're welcome, Jasmine," Grant tipped his hat to her. "Charming girl," he drawled at Lila before turning and resuming walking down the street.

"You'd do a good job for him," Jasmine whispered. "This is right up your alley. And it's for Kirkland!"

"Grant's trouble," Lila sighed, taking the card from Jasmine.

"But you like trouble," her daughter reminded.

"Not his kind," Lila hooted, throwing the card into a nearby trashcan. Which Jasmine promptly plucked back out before skipping after her mother, a mischievous smile on her lips.

The late night sky offered no answers. Not that Jamie ever really expected to find them there. He had come to this corner of the hospital roof many times, too many times, trying to understand why a life was lost, replaying the sequence of events over and over again to figure out where things went wrong, what he'd done wrong that resulted in husbands losing their wives, children losing their parents, or, worst and most unnatural of all, parents losing their children.

Sometimes he could accept that it was the nature of life, that the answer was beyond the reach of current medicine or science and that they, as mere mortals, had done the best they could. Other times, like tonight, the practical, rational part of him had no success in reasoning with his ego or his heart, as he took on the guilt and frustration and anger that this was something he should've been able to control, to reverse, that somehow he should have been able to save Jenna so that a daughter wouldn't grow up without her mother and a husband wouldn't be utterly gutted and broken by grief.

A hand on his shoulder made Jamie turn around. He found Lorna standing next to him. He blinked, momentarily stunned by the kind smile she directed at him. A smile he knew he didn't deserve.

Lorna gently touched the bruises on his face. "I wanted to see how you were doing."

"I'm fine. No real harm done. It's natural that Dean would want someone to blame."

"He should blame whoever it was that kidnapped him and Jenna and Felicia in the first damned place. They're the ones who made it so that Jenna didn't get the help she needed. They're who we should be blaming."

"It won't bring Jenna back," Jamie's words carried a lifetime of experience. "Or help Lori Ann recover. It won't make any of this right."

Even as he spoke, Lorna felt like she could see his mind once again drifting back over the last twenty-four hours, ticking, for the umpteenth time, through all the turning points where Jamie might have made a different decision, a better one...

"Nothing you did or didn't do caused this," she struggled to make him listen to her words, rather than just hearing them.

"I suggested the surgery," he muttered.

"And I helped Dean talk Jenna into it," she shrugged back at him.

"Off my suggestion that it was the best course of action," Jamie refused to let go.

"You — no, life - gave us two crappy options. We were damned if we did and damned if we didn't. You said yourself that each alternative had its risks, that we could lose one or both of them. We went with what we all thought was best. It was the only thing we could do. I know it doesn't make anyone feel better, but it's the truth. You said that finding the person responsible for this won't bring Jenna back. Well, you know what, neither will you taking blame you don't deserve."

Jamie couldn't help it, he smiled just a little bit. "Are you using my own words against me?"

"You better believe it," Lorna said.

"Wow, you're tough."

"Yeah," she agreed. "That's what everyone thinks."

"Take it or leave it?" Cass clarified.

"Yup." Frankie crossed her arms and stared at him defiantly.

"I'll take it."

His acquiescence came so quickly, Frankie hadn't had time to readjust the frown she'd donned in anticipation of a long, drawn-out argument.

"W-what?" she double-checked, still frowning, though now apparently for no good reason.

"I said I'll take it. I accept your terms. A couple of minutes ago I was promising to climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest ocean, cross the hottest desert if only I could have you back. I suppose if you're worth all that, you're worth my keeping my mouth shut and my opinions about some of your more recent actions to myself. Though, I must admit, given the choice between suppressing my naturally loquacious personality and braving physical deprivations, I would, in fact, prefer the latter."

"W-what?" Why was it, the more words Cass spoke, the less coherent she found him?

"I will do anything you say," he translated simply. "In order to have you back."

Frankie didn't move. Cass waited, but she stood rooted to the spot.

"You know, I realize it's been a long time, but this would usually be the part where you throw yourself into my arms, proclaim your undying affection for me, and then we withdraw into the bedroom to make mad, passionate love hot enough to burn a few layers of ozone, environmentally irresponsible though it may be."

"Do you understand what you're saying, Cass?"

"You're right, you're right. This isn't the 90s, we simply can't go on recklessly making love to singe the ozone layer. Though, once again, I would like to go on record as saying I find many of the charges leveled by professional global warming alarmists to be speciously researched and scientifically slipshod. I say we throw caution to the wind and proceed full-speed ahead, carnally speaking."



"This isn't the SATs. No one is giving you bonus points for most number of obscure vocabulary words used in a sentence."

He took a step closer. Close enough to touch her. "You used to like it when I talked like a legal brief."

"I liked it when you were brief." She took a step back. "There's a difference."

"Ah. My bad." Another step. This time, she didn't withdraw. "And here I seemed to recall you enjoyed me taking my time..."

"Would you stop it!" Just as Cass was moving his hand to wrap it around her waist, Frankie slapped it away. "This isn't a game. I'm trying to be serious."

"So am I, Mary Frances. I've never been more serious about anything in my life."

"Then stop with the clever remarks and the climate change skepticism, and answer me this: Do you really and truly and completely understand what it is that you're offering to give up for me?"

After having dealt with Dean and Felicia and Lorna, the last person Jamie expected to see standing in the doorway of his office was Rachel.

He was about to tell her how glad Jamie was that Felicia had apparently changed her mind and decided to call up Rachel for some support, when his mother interrupted with a string of words guaranteed to banish all thoughts of other people's family troubles from Jamie's mind.

Rachel told her son, "I need to talk to you about Kirkland. And Grant. And Spencer."

It was only later, after Rachel had left, having gotten what she wanted, that Jamie realized he'd been so blindsided by her request, he'd completely forgotten to fill Rachel in about Jenna.

Dean felt like he was at the bottom of a garbage-compacter. Every time he tried to move, the effort merely sunk him deeper beneath a pressing weight of black. Every time he tried to open his eyes, he saw an explosion of color. And pain. Every time he tried to take a breath, the suffocation only grew tighter, the pressure heavier, and the pain, the pain was everywhere, even when he couldn't put words to why or how or where.

So Dean stopped trying to understand it. He stopped trying to fight it. Because inside the pain, was Jenna. And having her like that was still better than never again having her at all.

Courtesy of this, and of his many previous, unfortunate incarcerations, Carl had long ago learned that, just like patients in hospital, prisoners in jail were inevitably awakened at the crack of dawn. Why, he wondered? It wasn't as if they had anywhere to go. What would be the harm then, in letting them sleep in till noon? Institutional breakfast was hardly a taste treat worth hurrying for.

On the other hand, Donna arriving with Matthew in tow to inform Carl that she'd decided to drop the charges against him, that surely was worth losing several hours of slumber. If only so that Carl might inquire as to what had brought about this sudden change of heart.

Donna snuck a sideways peek at Matt. He nodded at her encouragingly. When that didn't work, he looked at her firmly. It seemed to do the trick.

She fluttered one hand aimlessly in the air before telling Carl, "Matthew convinced me that it would be for the best — for you and Rachel, and for me, as well — if I were to... reconsider... exactly what went on between us the other night."

"You mean he convinced you to cease lying through your teeth? Good work, young chap. Jolly good show! You must share the secret to your success with me one day. Whilst Donna and I were married, I could never get her to do anything, even if it was for her own good."

"I made a mistake," Donna said tersely. "I am attempting to rectify it."

"You did make a mistake," Carl agreed. But he waited until after his paperwork had been processed, and all three were standing on the front steps of the Bay City Police Station, enjoying the bright light of early morning as the trio of liberated, law-abiding citizens they all officially were, before explaining to Donna the exact nature — and consequence — of her error. "You made the mistake in accusing me of that rare bird — a crime I actually did not commit. I am going to find out why you did it, you know. And I shall make you pay. Not necessarily in that order."

"You say you're ready to do anything I ask," Frankie challenged Cass. "But do you really understand what that means? This isn't a game. Say the right word and have Frankie eating out of the palm of your hand."

"And when exactly did we ever play that? The closest you came to eating out of the palm of my hand was biting my head off whenever I got out of line. Believe me, I know what I'm getting into by signing up to ride the Frankie Frame Express."

"So you're ready to give it all up? Bay City, your law practice, your house, your friends, just to be with me?"

"Frankie," his tone was a heartbreaking combination of sincerity and confusion. "I would give up my actual, physical, corporeal life for you. In comparison, giving up a mailing address, a bank account, and some nice people that I meet for drinks every once in a while, it just doesn't seem like that great of a sacrifice to make."

"You son of a bitch," she said the words, not meaning a single one of them, feeling that she was about to crack, hating him for bringing her to such a state, and loving him for it all at the same time. "Why do you have to be so..."


"Exactly!" She tried to punch him on the shoulders with both hands, but Cass caught Frankie by the wrists, pulling her close.

"This is me," he said. "And this is me," he pressed her against him. "And this is me," he kissed her. "And this..." he indicated the pair of them, wrapped in a breathless embrace. "Is us."

She buried her face in his shoulder, unwilling to look Cass in the eye as she confessed, "I didn't think... After everything... I didn't believe... I didn't think I'd be... worth it... to you. That's why I kept asking. I didn't believe...."

He didn't respond. Because responding meant possibly breaking the spell of having Frankie in his arms again. And Cass wasn't about to do that for anything.


His cell-phone rang. Cass wasn't about to do it for anything. But it was Felicia's ring-tone. And when he'd left her at the hospital...

Frankie recognized it too. She pulled back and told him, "You better get that. Jenna..."

Cass nodded, grateful to her for understanding. This wasn't just anyone. This was Felicia. He picked up the phone. Felicia was on the other end, and she sounded so calm, so collected, so even keeled, so in control, that Cass knew something horrible must have happened.

He closed his eyes, already anticipating the coming blow, and asked, "Jenna's baby..."

"It's a girl," Felicia told him. "Gloria Ann Frame. Lori Ann. It's a girl. But she's going to grow up without her mother..."

"I'm on my way," Cass said. "I'll be right there."

He was halfway to the door before Frankie, her voice not at all accusatory, but rather resigned and despairing, with tears in her eyes, reminded him, "Felicia is one of the people you're going to have to give up for me, Cass. Still willing to get on board?"

"Rachel!" Spencer boomed with seemingly sincere delight as he escorted her into his Lakeside Hotel suite. "I'm overjoyed you decided to drop by. For a moment there, I was afraid you might have forgotten all about me."

"Fat chance," Rachel said.

"I'm flattered."

"Here," she shoved a notarized document into his hands as if the mere act of holding it had been charring her fingertips.

"Now what might this be?" Spencer licked his thumb in order to easier leaf through the pages of legalese.

"Cut the innocent act. You've won. Jamie signed."

"I see..." he nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, everything does seem to be in order."

"You got what you wanted. Now I believe you owe me something."

"Not what I wanted, Rachel. What Grant deserved."

"Grant will get what he deserves. Someday. I only hope I'm around to see it."

Spencer moved over to the hotel safe, squatting down and blocking her view with his back so that he might enter the combination.

"Here you are," he returned a few moments later bearing a manila envelope. "Photos, audio tapes, video surveillance footage. Everything you need to know to prove that Carl Hutchins wasn't responsible for the kidnapping of Felicia Gallant, her daughter, or her son-in-law."

Rachel accepted his offering. She opened the flap to make sure that what Spencer promised was actually inside. But then, unable to wait and discover for herself, she asked, "If Carl isn't responsible, who was?"

Despite numerous attempts on Lorna's part at getting Felicia to eat, sleep, at least take a sip of water, maybe some juice or coffee, her mother insisted on spending the entire night perched on a straight-back, unpadded chair next to Lori Ann's incubator. She refused to take her eyes off the baby, as if Felicia's steadfast gaze was the only thing keeping that tiny, bruised chest moving up and down. As if it were the only thing keeping the monitors from going crazy. Like they had with Jenna.

When Felicia declined to leave the NICU, Lorna offered to stay with her. She tried to engage Felicia in conversation, but her mother wasn't having any of it. She didn't want to talk, she didn't want to commiserate, she didn't want to grieve. She just wanted to sit there and watch Lori Ann.

"I have to do this for her," Felicia insisted. "I owe it to Jenna."

"At least call Cass," Lorna had pleaded. "You need him right now. He'd want to be here for you."

It took her almost an hour, but at long last Lorna managed to coerce Felicia into doing so. Felicia told Cass about Jenna. And then she went back to her vigil.

Finally, Lorna couldn't take it anymore. She left the neonatal ICU. Left the whole hospital. She stood by her car in the parking lot, trying to make sense of what had happened. Realizing it was impossible, then starting the process all over again. She was shaking, despite the summer heat. She was crying, despite thinking that she had no more tears left.

And she was obviously seeing things, because that absolutely could not be Lucas walking towards her. In public. In broad morning daylight.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed, looking desperately around for someplace they could hide him.

"I've been calling the hospital. They told me about Jenna."

Lorna said, "They had to sedate Dean, he was so out of his mind. And Mom... I think she's lost it too. Although she won't admit it."

"It's alright," Lucas wrapped Lorna in his arms, letting her sob against his chest for all the times, all the decades, he hadn't been able to be there before. "We'll make it through this. I'm here now."

"The hell you are!" Lorna jerked away, tears of sorrow turning to ones of anger. "After everything we've gone through, after everything we put Felicia through, you are not throwing it all away now."

"I have to see her." Lucas wasn't arguing with Lorna, he was stating a simple fact. "Fanny needs me."

"How do you intend to explain the last sixteen years to her?"

"It doesn't matter now. Nothing matters. Our little girl is gone. Our Jenna. I am not going to let Felicia grieve for her alone."

"You'll have to tell her why, then. You'll have to tell her what happened, and how and who... Everything will come out. We sold our souls to protect them, and you're just going to disregard that?"

"It doesn't matter now," Lucas reiterated. "Jenna is dead. All our sacrifices were for nothing."

"Carl is still alive," Lorna reminded. "Carl can still — "

"To hell with Carl. To hell with all of them." Lucas ordered Lorna, "Take me to see my wife. And my granddaughter. Now."

There will be no new Another World Today episode on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day). Episode #19 will be posted Monday, September 14. Have a great holiday!

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