Still... the journey continues...

Chapter 5, by Wendy

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On the Patio and by the pool.

(A week has past, Sophia has been released from the hospital and she and CC are now at the villa.)

Sophia walks out on the patio and looks out over the beautiful view that is before her. The lush greens and the rich browns remind her that Italy has never changed. It was her second home for so long and she grew to love it.

Suddenly the door opens and CC comes out and walks up behind her. Putting his arms around her he pulls her close and looks out over the same lush land.

" Beautiful isn't it?" he asks her.

" Yes it is. I never knew how much I missed Italy." She admits to him. Then she turns around and looks at him. "I also love the villa." She tells him with a smile.

" I am glad to hear that." CC tells her as he leaned in for a kiss. His lips capture hers in a brief moment of passion, a tease of what is to come. After the kiss ends he touches her cheek with the back of his hand and smiles. "I am hoping our time here will be like a second honeymoon for us." CC tells Sophia.

Sophia jokes "CC, we can't be on a honeymoon... we aren't married anymore!"

CC looks at his ex-wife "That is all academic."

Moving in for another kiss, "Our marriages were a lot of things, but they were never academic.". Sophia tells him then her lips meet his and he flinches in pain. "Oh baby, did I hurt you?" she asks him as she jumps back.

" No." CC tells her but Sophia could tell he was lying.

" Okay enough of this I would like a tour of the grounds." She tells him.

He smiles at her then kisses her nose. "Then a tour it will be." He tells her. He takes her hand and then swings around leading Sophia on a tour of the grounds around the villa. As they head toward the pool the sound of a car comes up the long road...CC turns around letting go of Sophia's hand.

" CC" she yells as she watches him fall backwards into the pool helpless to stop what is about to happen. As CC comes to the top of the water Sophia is so happy to see that he is all right and she starts to laugh.

" This is not funny you know." He says trying to be serious. "Give me a hand." He tells her as he swims to the edge of the pool.

" Do you think that I am THAT crazy that I am going to help you out of the pool? " she asks him.

" And why would I think you are crazy because you help me out of the pool?" he asks innocently.

Sophia smiles, as she looks at CC. "Don't give me that innocent look." She tells him "I know you."

Then she gives in and holds her hand out to help CC. But before she does she looks at him saying, " CC, if you pull me into this po..." She began to say as his hand takes hers and pulls her into the pool. After coming up for air Sophia pushes her hair back and laughs. CC looks at Sophia as he swims over to her. He puts his arm around her and places his forehead to hers.

" You have a beautiful smile and I love your laugh. It was something that I missed in my life this past year. Please Sophia, don't ever leave me again." He tells her as his hands touch her face and he kisses her lips before she can even answer his question.

Suddenly there is a sound of someone clearing their throat. CC and Sophia turn to see their son-in-law, Cruz, standing at the edge of the pool.

" Well Mr. C, I see you are taking your afternoon swim." He said with a wide grin.

" Cruz, we are really going to have work on that timing of yours." He says then looks at Sophia. "Maybe it time to get out of the pool." He says with a wink.

" I think you are right." She tells him, and then she swims over to the edge and eases herself up on the edge of the pool and stands up waiting for CC to come over. Cruz puts his files down and then grabs CC's hand as he helps him out of the pool.

" Thank you, Cruz." He says as he looks at Sophia. "We should go in and change." He tells her then looks at Cruz and "Did you want to talk to us about something Cruz?" He asks.

" Well actually Mr. C, I do." He tells them.

" Is it about Eden?" Sophia asks him.

" No. But it is important." He tells Sophia.

" All right Cruz, we will just change and be right out." Sophia tells Cruz and then looks at CC. "Come on...lets go change." CC put his arm around Sophia and they walk into the villa to change.

Cruz picks up the files and heads over to the patio. He places the files on the table. He did not want to have to deliver this news to his in-laws, but he felt someone had to do it and it would be better coming from him than strangers. He opens the files and begins looking at them.

Near by in the bushes a gloved hand pulls aside some brush and watches what's happening on the patio. Cruz hears this and looks up from his file. Seeing nothing there Cruz starts to get up and head for the bushes.

The door opens and Sophia comes out with a tray of drinks and places them on the table.

" CC will be out in a minute." She tells him as she took a glass and pours a drink for Cruz. Cruz takes the glass...

" It is very good to see you both together again. I know it will be good for Eden to see you both together when we find her." Cruz tells his Mother in Law.

" Thank you Cruz, I hope so. And I hope we find her soon." She tells him and places her hand on his.

Just then CC walks out and Sophia hands him a glass. Then she sits at the table, once she sits down the two men sit down too.

" What is it Cruz?" Sophia asks him "What is it you want to talk to us about?" she asks him again.

" Well, I would like to ask you some questions about the time you spent here in Italy a few years back. You see we found out that Ken had some ties to the Armontis and this led us to check back further." He tells her.

Sophia looked at Cruz. "A few years back, oh Cruz it seems like a lifetime ago." She said with half a smile. "I never thought I would get home to my family." She tells him.

" We know you were married to the Count, but we know nothing else about him really." Cruz tells her. "I have a file on him here but we need to know what type of man he was. The information we have makes him seem like a very demanding man." He adds.

Sophia looks at CC who reaches out and takes her hand. He knew this would be hard for her. He never told Sophia but when he found out where she was, he hired someone to find out more about this Count and what he was like. What they found out was that this man made CC look like a boy scout. He never wanted to tell Sophia what he found out. So he burnt all the files he had on the Count.

" Well, Cruz..." Sophia began. "He was not the easiest man to live with. I didn't know much about how he got his money. I always assumed that most of it came from the Armonti Business. " She told him. "But I think he made most of his money from illegal ventures." She tells Cruz. "Most of my time with him in the beginning was not bad. Marcello was around to help with any of
the verbal barrages he would throw my way. It was when we were on trips that it got hard. We traveled at least twice a year...and of course Marcello did not go on these trips." Sophia looked over at

" It was on one such trip to Monte Carlo that we almost ran into you." She tells CC and squeezed his hand.

Sophia has this far away look in her eyes as she begins to think back.

Flash Back Begins

After flying to Monte Carlo, Sophia and the Count had rested up in their room. She had taken a nap and had the same dream she had for the last four years. It is always the same. It starts out in the a gazebo, the girl, maybe 5 or 6 holds out her hands and a doll drops from her arms as she yells "Momma". It is the only dream that lets Sophia know she has a past, somewhere she has a family and they missed her. She remembers nothing else except for the fear...but Marcello said that was to be expected. For so long, he had been her lifeline. She would not have gotten thru it had it not been for him. After she got out of the hospital, she went to stay with the Count and his family. At first they did not have any contact, but soon the Count, Carlo Armonti was coming around and courting her. She felt flattered and when he asked her to marry him she said yes. But she was very honest about it with him. She let him know that she had a family out there somewhere...and when she could remember and find them she wanted to be with them. The Count had always agreed that if she remembered her family he would let her out of the marriage and return her to the ones she holds dear.

After getting ready for a night of gambling, Sophia and the Count left their room on the third floor. Walking to the elevator, she stopped in her tracks. There waiting for the elevator was a child about 10. It was a young girl and was the spitting image of the girl in her dream. She may have been a bit older but still the same young girl. Tears welled up in Sophia's eyes as she watched the young girl there with the maid.

" Kelly, we need to take you down to your Father." She told the child. "He has been looking for you." The maid told her.

" Okay Connie." Kelly told her and then she took the maid's hand.

The Count noticed Sophia and put his arm around her.

" What is it Sophia, what is wrong with you." All Sophia could do was point at the child. With that the Carlo grabbed her and pulled her back to the room. He could not take a chance that this was her daughter. He would not lose her now. He needed her as much as she needed him.

Once in the room Sophia threw herself on the bed and cried as the Count packed their things so they could leave. She had never seen him like this and it scared the hell out of her. A few months later she started looking in all the papers until she found something out about that young girl. Her name was Kelly Capwell...and her father was CC Capwell from Santa Barbara. She vowed there and then that someday she would return to them and be a family once more.

End of Flash Back

" Sophia," Cruz said when he notices she is lost in thought. "Sophia are you all right?" he asks her placing his hand on hers. This brought Sophia out the past and into the present. She looks at Cruz and CC who were now looking at with great concern.

" I guess I was just thinking back." She tells him, then Sophia looks at Cruz and asks. "Tell me Cruz, why are you asking about the Count? He has been gone now for some time."

Cruz looks at both CC and Sophia before he begins.

" Well that is just it, we believe that the Count ...may be alive." Cruz told them.

Sophia looks at Cruz then to CC. CC looks over to his wife... knowing he will never let this man hurt her again. He stands up, goes over to his wife, and puts his arms around her and holds her close.

Far off in the distance, the gloved hand that was holding the bush becomes a fist.

Chapter 6