IN THE ATTIC AT MAISON BLANCHE:
“STOP IT!” Sami screamed as she watched the increasingly tense situation unfold with Rolf pulling out a gun and threatening to shoot both E.J. and Lucas if they didn’t settle down and be quiet.
Sami grabbed her stomach and collapsed in pain while Lucas, at the sight of the gun, tripped backward knocking over a candelabra and setting the wine-colored plush drapes adorning the Jacobean four-poster bed ablaze.
Perhaps without thinking, Lexie quickly switched into doctor mode as she hovered over Sami. But unbeknownst to Lexie, the diary she had carried in her pocket slipped out of her coat and onto the floor.
“Oh God,” Lexie whispered to E.J., “She’s having the baby!”
“Oh look what you’ve done, you imbecile,” Rolf screamed at Lucas pointing a gun in his face as smoke and little orange flames began crawling across the bed.
“I didn’t mean to,” Lucas pleaded as tears welled up in his eyes and he turned his back to Rolf to look at the fire. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
“Just like I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Rolf said as he pistol-whipped Lucas in the back of the head knocking him unconscious.
E.J. scooped up a horrified Sami in his arms and began starting to carry her out of the attic and down the stairs with Lexie attending to them nearby.
“Everything will be all right, sweetheart,” E.J. said kissing her forehead. “I’m going to see to it that you and our baby are fine. Everything’s going to be just…”
But E.J. stopped when he felt the cold steel on the back of his neck.
“Rolf, what are you doing?” E.J. asked flatly as he tried to belie his concern as he stared into Sami’s deeply frightened eyes as she looked both at his face and the madman standing over E.J.’s shoulder.
“I’m doing what I should have done in the first place,” Rolf said. “I should have killed you the first time you disobeyed orders rather than going along with your father’s idea to erase your memory. I told him you can’t erase treachery from a person’s heart even if you can wipe away the reasons for treacherous behavior by cleaning up the mind.”
“Oh, shut up, Rolf,” Lexie commanded to Sami’s surprise and E.J.’s delight. “Go check on Father or run the hell away. There’s nothing to be gained by killing E.J. We all need to get out of here NOW or we’re all going to die.”
Rolf scowled but slunk away down the steps.
“Thank you, Lexie,” E.J. said with a smile.
“Don’t thank me,” she told him. “Let’s go. We should be safe from the fire in the woodcutter’s cottage out back. Sami doesn’t have much time.”
DOWNSTAIRS AT MAISON BLANCHE:
As the smell of smoke filtered down to the bottom floor, the search party that had just arrived wondered if the whole thing had just been a trap set by Stefano and that Sami was not inside the house at all.
“There’s a fire!” Roman said as he moved quickly with one arm around Anna while John had an arm around Kate as they all huddled out the front door. “We’ve got to get out of here.”
Marlena began to cry as her worry about the fate of her daughter overrode her instincts to get out of harm’s way and she didn’t follow them. The worry only grew as she saw a familiar and sinister presence from her past come bounding down the stairs.
“Dr. Rolf?” Marlena said as her face went white.
“Dr. Evans,” Rolf nodded. “Sorry I don’t have time to chat.”
Rolf quickly darted past her and toward the fireplace passageway.
“Where’s Sami?” Marlena cried but received no answer as Rolf disappeared through the fireplace.
Marlena wondered if she should follow him but until she realized that along with the smoke coming down the stairs was the sound of other voices.
“Sami, is that you?” Marlena whispered in disbelief.
But as unbelievable as it was, when the cloud of smoke cleared, Marlena was soon reunited with her missing daughter, however it was in the arms of the man she least expected, E.J. Wells.
“E.J., what have you done to her?” Marlena cried as she noticed Sami grabbing her swollen stomach and grimacing as he carried her.
“I haven’t done anything,” E.J. insisted.
“I find that hard to believe,” Marlena said scowling.
“He’s telling the truth, Marlena,” said a woman stepping out behind them.
“Lexie?” Marlena said with a gasp.
“Yes, it’s me,” Lexie said. “But we don’t have time to talk. Sami’s gone into labor.”
“Well, is she going to be all right?” Marlena said with grave concern. “Is the baby going to be all right?”
“We’ll know when we get back to the cottage,” Lexie said moving out of Marlena’s way toward the kitchen so they could head out the mansion’s back door. “Come on, E.J.”
But as Sami passed by her mother, she grabbed her arm.
“Mom, there’s something I have to tell you,” Sami said wincing.
“Go ahead, I’m listening,” Marlena said bending down to her.
“I know I’ve not always been the best daughter to you and especially to John, so I just want you to know that I found out the secret to his past and I hope that can make up for all the grief I’ve given you over the years,” Sami said.
“Found out the secret?” Marlena asked. “What do you mean?”
“There’s a diary upstairs,” Sami whispered. “Stefano’s diary. It tells all about how he came to be Stefano’s pawn.”
“Well, I have to get it,” Marlena said thinking of the conversation she had with John on the flight to New Orleans and their previous encounter with Maison Blanche that had failed to give John the answers he so wanted to have about his past.
“Wait, Mom,” Sami whimpered and then fainted, but before anyone could stop Marlena from bounding up the stairs she disappeared into the smoke.
“We can’t let her go up there,” E.J. said. “But I can’t let Sami stay here either.”
But before E.J. could make a decision, the fireplace passageway opened and Lexie’s mother emerged.
“Alexandra,” she called to Celeste.
“Mom, what are you still doing in here?” Lexie said in shock. “You have to leave.”
“I needed to make sure you were all right,” Celeste said grabbing Lexie’s arm and pulling her toward the front door.
“No, Mom,” Lexie said. “I need to help E.J. and Sami with their baby. I’ll be all right. But you need to get out of here.”
E.J. hurried, as fast as he safely could carrying a pregnant woman, while Lexie trailed behind and they disappeared through the kitchen toward the backyard cottage.
Celeste thought she should be relieved that Lexie and Sami would escape the fire, but her mind flashed back to the Tower tarot card from her reading and she couldn’t shake the feeling that this fire would still be taking the lives of two people.
“Doc! Doc, where are you?” John called as he came rushing back in the house before his eyes met Celeste’s. ”What are you doing in here?”
Celeste was just as surprised to see him.
“John, I think Marlena is upstairs… with Lucas,” Celeste said remembering her companion on her Cajun adventure. “But you have to get out of here. This house is not going to be satisfied until it has two souls.”
Celeste tugged on his arm to try and get him to leave, but John didn’t budge.
“If this house is going to claim two souls and one of them is Doc’s then the other one sure as hell is going to be mine,” John said as he hurried up the stairs into the thick smoke.