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Return of the Prodigals
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Return of the Prodigals
by Twig

Beach

Miguel and Charity were lying on a beach towel, soaking up the sun. Elizabeth reclined in a beach chair next to them, occasionally engaging them both in conversation. She noticed that Kay and Simone were lurking over by the dunes, engaged in a deep discussion that seemed to involve casting sinister looks in Charity's direction every now and then. And Jessica and Reese were staying as far away from EVERYONE as they could get.
"You know," Elizabeth said cautiously, "It amazes me that Grace Bennett was so forgiving about what happened this morning."
"Well," Miguel smiled, "She knows that Charity would never do anything to hurt anyone, isn't that right Charity?"
Charity's gaze darkened, "Of course it is Miguel. It's just…I don't remember anything about last night beyond falling asleep. I…I could have tied up Jessica while I was in some sort of trance I guess…I just don't remember getting outside at all!"
She looked like she was about to cry.
"Don't worry about it," Elizabeth told her new friend, "I'm sure we'll have an explanation soon enough." *Even sooner than that* she thought to herself with another dark glance in Kay's direction.




Crane Cottage

The smell of something burning woke Luis from a deep sleep. He opened his eyes and found himself staring straight at a tray that contained a plate which was piled high with charred scrambled eggs.
"Sheridan, you're killing me," he said with a laugh, sitting up.
Sheridan laughed and slid into the bed next to him, "What's the matter? You don't like eggs?"
He shook his head in amusement and poked at the blackened lump with his fork.
"I like eggs," he said finally, "Just not when YOU cook them."
Sheridan punched him playfully in the arm.
Luis took the opportunity to draw her into another kiss.
When they pulled apart, she studied his face, "Good morning."
"Good morning."
She reached over him and poked at the eggs herself, "I guess they are a little overdone."
"How about we go to the Book Café for something to eat?"
"You're actually letting me out?"
"It's broad daylight, and you're with me. I think we'll be all right."
Sheridan beamed at him, "Well, if you insist."
His response was to kiss her again.




Lighthouse Park

Stephanie skipped down one of the wooded trails, a huge smile splitting her face. In one fist she clutched the letter opener that she had stolen from her father's study, and in the other she held a flower that she had just picked from the field.
Mother was in the hospital…the call had come earlier that day, and Julian had reluctantly headed to the hospital to see how she was doing. Elizabeth had already left for the beach, Amanda had ran off to god knows where, and once more Stephanie was left alone.
"I like being left alone," she said out loud with a giggle, "I get to have fun!"
Still tightly gripping the letter opener, she slowed her pace as the trail opened up into a wide open space with several benches. On one bench, an elderly woman sat, clutching an unusually attired doll.

Stephanie studied the odd pair for a moment before smiling secretively. If she was intending to give Julian some impromptu plastic surgery that evening, she might as well practice…
The old woman abruptly stood up, her plastic bracelets clinking together, and walked over to a patch of mushrooms, bending down as if conversing with them. Stephanie seized her opportunity and rushed over, grabbing up the doll and disappearing into the woods.
As she went in search of a secluded area, she could have sworn she'd heard the doll say "Uh oh," but it must have just been the wind.




Somewhere in Harmony…

Amanda stood precariously on a ladder, attempting to attach one end of a huge sheet to a power line. When she had finally tied it up, she hurried down the ladder and set up again on the other end of the street, doing the same thing with that end of the sheet. Then she climbed back down to the ground and glanced up to admire her handiwork.
Painted in big red letters on the sheet were the words:
NOAH BENNETT…DINNER, TONIGHT, SEASCAPE RESTERAUNT AT 7 PM SHARP!
Chuckling at what his reaction was sure to be, Amanda folded up her ladder and continued on her way.




Sam sighed as he got out of his police car to check out the traffic accident. It had been a busy day, between Jessica getting tied up and Ivy's little accident, and now…
"NOAH?!" Sam exclaimed, watching his son climb out of his dented car.
Noah grimaced and looked up at him, "Hi Dad."
"What happened?" Sam glanced down at the gun in his hand and sighed, putting it away yet again.
Noah sighed and pointed up to a sign that was suspended over the street, fluttering in the breeze, "I was distracted and crashed into the pole."
Sam raised an eyebrow as he read the sign, "Looks like you have an admirer son."
Noah grinned in spite of the situation, "You could say that."
"Someone you know?"
"Yep."

Sam leaned against his son's damaged car and stared expectantly at him, "Anyone I'd know?"
Noah shrugged, "She's new in town."
"Maybe I've seen her around. What's her name?"
"Amanda," Noah hesitated, remembering Ivy's reaction to his and Amanda's relationship.
Sam nodded and took a sip of coffee out of a Styrofoam cup, "Amanda what?"
Noah shifted uncomfortably, "You don't know her."
"Try me," Sam insisted.
"Amanda Crane," Noah finally declared.
Sam spit out his coffee and dropped the cup on the ground, staring at his son with his jaw hanging open.
Noah sighed. Just as he'd expected. There was more to this whole situation than Pilar had let on, after all.




Lighthouse Park

Stephanie loomed over the doll, grinning deviously, gripping the letter opener. She leaned in, imagining her father's face in place of the doll's plastic grin.
"NOOOOOOOO!" the doll suddenly screamed, leaping out of the way of the letter opener.
Stephanie, shocked, leaped back, dropping the letter opener on the ground.
The doll was standing on the bench, glaring back at her, "Timmy doesn't want to die!"
"You…you're alive?" Stephanie asked, wide-eyed.
"You were gonna hurt Timmy!"
Stephanie's eyes rolled up into her head and she fainted in much the same manner as her mother.




Harmony Hospital

"William, for the tenth time, I'm FINE," Ivy harrumphed, growing sick of her youngest son's hovering.
"But Mother, I feel guilty," the self-proclaimed rebel protested.
"Don't feel guilty," Ivy assured him, "I'm going to be fine. And as soon as I can get out of here, I'll be even better! If you want to do something for me, you'll smuggle me out of the hospital!"
"Mother, that's against hospital rules-"
"You keep saying that you're a rebel! Rebels are supposed to BREAK rules!" Ivy squeaked.
William reached up to his head and touched the baseball cap, before smiling down at his mother, "Okay. I'll bust you out of here."
"Now we're getting somewhere!"




Doctor Eve Russell regarded the doctor wheeling the gurney down the hall with mild suspicion. The body on the stretcher was covered by a white sheet, but she hadn't heard of any recent deaths. And she had never seen that particular doctor before…
"Something wrong Eve?" Nurse Jones questioned her.
Eve started, turning to look at the other woman, "No, nothing's wrong. Who was that over there?"
She pointed to the man in the white lab coat.
Nurse Jones shrugged, "I don't know. We've had a lot of temporary help around here lately, I can't keep up with them all."
And with that she flitted down the hall.
Eve sighed and went about her business, deciding that the mysterious body on the gurney was nothing too important.




"That was brilliant William!" Ivy said appreciatively as her son wheeled her into the parking lot and pulled the sheet off of her face. She climbed unsteadily off the gurney.
"Are you all right Mother?" William asked worriedly.
"Fine, just fine," Ivy nodded, wincing as she hobbled across the parking lot.
"Okay," William shrugged and followed after her.
"You look so different without the hat on," Ivy said, handing it back to him, "No wonder Eve didn't recognize you!"
William shrugged and pushed the hat on his head, "We rebels are quick thinkers."
And indeed, he did seem smarter than Ethan, Ivy realized with a start. She wondered what was coming over her, making her think more fondly of William than of her precious Ethan, for whom she had suffered all these years. Something was definitely wrong.





Beach

Kay hissed in annoyance as she dropped her necklace into the sand. She bent over to pick it up, and a shadow loomed over her, causing her to glance up quickly.
Elizabeth stood over her, smirking.
"What do you want?" Kay snapped.
"I want to know why you tied up your sister and led Charity to believe that SHE did it."
Kay blinked in surprise but covered her reaction quickly, "I did no such thing. I was sleeping over Simone's house."
Elizabeth raised one eyebrow, a talent inherited from her father, "Kay, you're a horrible liar. I want to know what you're up to, and I want to know NOW."
"Like I said," Kay spat, "I don't know what you're talking about. My cousin is a raving lunatic. Don't let her sweet-as-sugar display fool you. I'm surprised she didn't pull a stunt like this sooner."
"I think you're a hell of a lot crazier than your cousin will ever be," Elizabeth countered.
"Yeah, you just wait until YOU see her float out a window," Kay muttered under her breath.
"Is something wrong?" Miguel had stood up and was making his way over towards them.

Kay tore her glare away from Elizabeth and plastered a big smile on her face, "Miguel! No, nothing's wrong at all!"
Elizabeth chuckled at Kay's discomfort, "Kay just dropped her necklace. I was helping her look for it."
"Okay," Miguel nodded, "I was just going to run back to Reese's car and get Charity something to eat. Do you guys want anything?"
"Just a soda," both Elizabeth and Kay said at the same time, glaring at each other.
"Okay," the entire event went right over Miguel's head, "I'll be right back."
He hurried away.

Kay watched him go, and then whirled to face Elizabeth, "Just who do you think you are?! I don't have to listen to you rambling about some conspiracy I have against my cousin…"
"I know very well who I am," Elizabeth said stonily, "And I also know that YOU can't touch me because of that."
Kay laughed icily, "Maybe Charity will come after you in her sleep. She's prone to do that, you know. And she doesn't seem to be afraid of you at all."
"Not like you are, you mean."
"I'm not afraid of you," Kay said slowly, "Just don't get in my way."
She stomped off, leaving Elizabeth standing alone, smiling.
"Getting in your way is EXACTLY what I plan to do," she laughed, then headed back over to join Charity.

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