IN THE RUBBLE OF MAISON BLANCHE:
The four of them stared at the heap where Maison Blanche once stood after hearing what they thought was rustling from within the smoldering ash, but when the noise stopped they turned back toward each other.
“Oh, I wish I had stopped you when I had the chance,” Lexie said bitterly as she pounded on Tony’s chest.
“I wish you had, too,” Tony said to Lexie’s surprise before hugging his grief-stricken sister. “I wish that this night my former friends Marlena and Roman had not died. And my brother, John. And even Stefano himself. But what could you have done to stop this?”
Tony released Lexie from the embrace and began pacing as he put his hand over his chin deep in tortured thought.
“That hold that Stefano had over me,” Tony said finally. “That power he had over me… it was just too strong. I know I couldn’t have walked away from him. I know it because it was the same for you here taking care of him all these months and abandoning your life in Salem. I couldn’t have said no. Not alone with nothing but him in my life.”
“Even if you knew the truth about the son he kept from you?” Lexie said crying.
“What son?” Tony asked. “What do you mean? What are you talking about?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Tony,” Lexie said. “I should have told you, but I let my hatred for Sami get the best of me. And Stefano played on my greed and pride for Theo, too.”
“What does this have to do with my son?” Tony asked, growing impatient.
“What it has to do with your son, the son of both of you,” Lexie said turning toward Anna for emphasis, “is that while Sami was kept up in the attic she found a diary – Stefano’s diary. And in it he explained how he kept a son from you. Sami wanted me to tell you so that you might release her and let me go, but I was so furious with her and what she had done to me in the past I wanted to see her suffer. And when Stefano heard me he promised…”
“He promised what?” Tony asked, as Lexie was too ashamed to say without further prompting.
“He promised me that Theo would inherit the DiMera legacy,” Lexie said sniffling. “My son would be his heir. Not you. Or E.J. Or anyone else. Me. Lexie. The daughter he never acknowledged who was born to the woman who was never his wife would finally get to inherit her birthright as a true DiMera. Finally. It sounded so wonderful at the time the way Stefano described it.”
“But this can’t be,” Tony said. “I can’t believe it.”
“Believe it,” said a weak and gravelly voice behind him.
It was John, who was covered in dark soot, and joined by an equally disheveled and weary looking Marlena. They ambled slowly and gingerly toward the group. Marlena carried a bound book in her hand that she would later tell them she had guarded from the fire with her life.
To Marlena’s surprise, Tony greeted her by enveloping her in a warm hug. Just as John was about to express his displeasure at this friendliness from his longtime foe, he too was gripped in the embrace of Anna.
“I’m so glad you made it out alive,” Anna said. “We were so worried about you.”
“You were worried about us?” John said raising his eyebrow skeptically.
“John, I don’t expect you to ever forgive me,” Tony said. “I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself. But it is true that I am glad that you survived this. And I want you to know, brother, that I will strive to hurt you no more.”
“I find that hard to believe,” Marlena said coldly.
“Believe it,” Lexie said firmly. “For we are all family now.”