IN THE WOODCUTTER'S COTTAGE AT MAISON BLANCHE:
E.J. carried Sami into the dusty and primitive one-room cottage and laid her on the bed, still unconscious after she fainted.
“Lexie, Samantha’s not awake,” E.J. said, his voice creaking with fear and panic. “Is she going to die?”
“E.J., you need to stay calm for her,” Lexie scolded as she fetched a washcloth from a cabinet and ran it under cold water in the sink. “She is going to need your help to get through this. She’s probably just unconscious right now because of the pain, and maybe that’s for the best, but you need to do everything you can to distract her from that and all the chaos that’s going on around here if you want her and this baby to make it. We need to keep her blood pressure stable.”
Lexie handed him a cold washcloth, which he place on her forehead with one hand while the other tenderly caressed the side of her face.
“It’s going to be all right, darling,” he whispered in her ear and then kissed her cheek.
Sami’s eyelashes fluttered and then finally opened. Her eyes locked with E.J.’s eyes as he sat on the edge of the bed looking down at her with a huge smile on his face. She smiled back, until she looked beyond that gorgeous face to see that she was in a strange place she had never been and she was once again hit with painful contractions.
“Where am I, E.J.?” Sami asked. “Where have you taken me? What have you done to me?”
She winced and writhed in the bed and pain and started to sob hysterically.
“It hurts, E.J. I can’t breathe. I’m going to die,” Sami said gasping for air through her cries. “I think I’m going to die. I cant catch my…”
E.J. gulped with fear but tried to calm the situation.
“O.K. Listen. Shhh. Samantha, hey, look at me. Look at me. I want you to breathe with me. O.K.? Relax. No talking,” E.J. said putting his right index finger up to his lips and leaning toward her as she sat up in the bed. “Breathe.”
Sami’s tears began to dry up as she locked eyes with E.J. once more.
“Deep breaths. Come on. Come on,” E.J. said cupping the sides of her face with his large hands as the two of them breathed together and Sami calmed down. “It’s O.K. It’s O.K. Deep breaths. It’s O.K. It’s O.K. It’s O.K…”
“I couldn’t breathe,” Sami said as she clung tightly to the inside of E.J.’s arms. “I was so scared. I was so…”
Suddenly, Sami realized this all felt so natural, so strangely familiar, but she couldn’t remember why. Nor did she really care as she stared into E.J.’s eyes as he whispered soft and soothing reassurances that everything would be all right and she desperately wanted to believe him. The two of them leaned closer and closer… and closer, until another person’s voice startled Sami and broke the magic spell E.J. had cast on her.
“E.J., I don’t know where you learned that stuff,” Lexie said with a laugh. “But you’re really good at this.”
“Lexie?!” Sami said with shock.
“Were you hoping for Dr. Rolf presiding over this delivery?” Lexie said sarcastically.
“No. Not at all. It’s just… I… you… YOU are going to help ME give birth?” Sami said as another series of panic set in.
“Oh calm down, Sami,” Lexie said. “Look, I know we have had our differences, and you know how I feel about you, but I’m not taking that out on this baby. Not on my nephew. Or I guess I should say, MY nephew’s child.”
“So she was telling the truth about my father… errr… about Stefano?” E.J. whispered to Lexie.
Lexie nodded and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” E.J. nodded back then turned his attention back to Sami.
“I don’t know if you remember this or not, Sami, but Lexie helped us get out of the mansion and she has been here this whole time helping me help you get comfortable,” E.J. said. “We’re both going to make sure that you and this baby get through this.”
“Our baby,” Sami said touching E.J.’s face, before another contraction set in and she bit her lip. But this time she handled the contraction like a champ squeezing E.J.’s hand and barely letting out any sound at all.
INSIDE MAISON BLANCHE:
Stefano DiMera emerged from the secret passageway behind the fireplace just as his old nemesis, Roman Brady, entered the front door of Maison Blanche.
“Just where do you think you’re going old man,” Roman said laughing at the sickly shell of Stefano’s former self struggling to will himself across the room.
“Roman, I don’t have time for this,” Stefano said. “We don’t have time for this. Not when Marlena and Celeste are in danger.”
“Celeste is fine. I just saw her a minute ago. But as for Marlena, well she wouldn’t be in danger if it wasn’t for you kidnapping our daughter and holding her prisoner here, you bastard,” Roman snarled.
“You think I wanted this?” Stefano asked surveying the devastation befalling the stately mansion.
“Why wouldn’t I think that when your whole life has been based around you and all the DiMeras torturing us Bradys?” Roman shot back.
“Maybe so,” Stefano said bitterly, “but that will not be my legacy.”
“Oh just what legacy do you think a monster like you can leave behind?” Roman said moving to choke Stefano, as the heat from the fire seemed to intensify the rage he felt confronting him.
“The Bradys will finally get their peace from the DiMeras when your dear Samantha agrees to marry my E.J.,” Stefano said in speech that was garbled by Roman’s stranglehold.
“You think she would marry that bastard spawn of yours? The man who raped her?” Roman yelled as he tightened his grip on Stefano’s throat. “Sami will marry a DiMera over my dead body.”
Meanwhile, Marlena covered her mouth with the back of her left hand and coughed as she walked up the final steps toward the attic to find the diary at the edge of the room just where Sami had whispered she could find it. Marlena was just about to head back downstairs when she heard what sounded like a person moaning.
She looked closer through the smoke and realized it was a person. It was Lucas.
Marlena set the diary down and hurried over to tend him as he laid writhing on the floor with his eyes still shut.
Suddenly, John appeared at the door yelling at her to get out of the attic, but Marlena explained they were not alone.
“We can’t leave Lucas here,” Marlena yelled.
Marlena felt after seeing the way EJ cared for Sami in that brief moment downstairs that her daughter was bound to leave this husband for another man just as she had left Sami’s father for John, but she knew Sami would still want her to help the father of her son, Will, get out of the fire alive if at all possible.
John leapt into action and smacked Lucas’s face to try to bring him to consciousness. The slap worked as Lucas jumped up to his feet yelling for Sami.
“Lucas, Sami is fine,” Marlena said. “She’s in labor right now, but Lexie and E.J. are tending to her.”
“Well, where did they go?” Lucas screamed in a shrill voice.
“Oh I don’t know,” Marlena said. “I think that old cottage in back maybe. Lucas, it doesn’t matter, because we need to get out of this building before it burns to the ground.”
“I have to get to her,” he insisted as he darted downstairs and out of their sight.
Marlena and John carefully followed him down the stairs until Marlena realized she had left the diary behind. But before John could stop her she was back up the steps barreling into the heat without abandon and grabbing the diary just before a nearby flame could consume it.
“What are you doing?!” John cried. “You could have gotten yourself killed.”
“This diary has the secrets to your past, John,” Marlena explained. “I wanted you to finally know the truth so you could have peace of mind.”
“Marlena, the past could not give me any peace of mind if it means I have to give up a future with you,” John said.
Still, Marlena shoved the diary inside her blouse. She accepted John’s embrace as he moved to shield her from the smoke by opening his jacket and enveloping her inside.
But just as they began their descent down the stairs the fire and heat finally brought the old mansion to its knees. Marlena and John disappeared with a swift crash into a pile of ash and rubble.