Kelly could hardly breathe after she had heard Eden's question.
She had been the happiest sister of the world just a minute ago and now she wished that Eden would have never had come back. How in the world should she ever be able to explain to her what had happened between her and Cruz. And how should she be honest without risking to loose Eden again now that she was back with the family finally.
Her eyes searched for help and they found her mother's face opposite her. But Sophia looked directly at CC, who however stared at Eden speechlessly on the other hand.
"Could somebody tell me what is going on here, please" Eden interrupted the silence suddenly.
Ted was the first that could speak again and answered her question.
"As far as we know Cruz and the children are staying in Mexico."
"In Mexico ?" Eden asked astonished.
CC was the next to join the discussion.
"There were... ...Several things happened after these old friends of Cruz appeared in Santa Barbara, Jodie and Reese Walker and their children. There was a trial then, accusing the Walker daughter of killing a guy she has known. Suddenly Cruz admitted the murder to cover up the girl and escaped to Mexico. But don't worry. We could prove that it was a huge mistake and now he is an innocent and free man again."
CC avoided to talk about Kelly's part in the story consciously.
Eden looked at each single one carefully, as if she would search for answers in their faces.
"I don't understand a single word." she said when she had reached CC's face again.
Sophia came up to her.
"It is a very long and very complicated story. Too long, to talk about it here and now." Sophia took her in her arm. "I would suggest that you go upstairs to make yourself fresh and relax for a while and I will go and ask Rosa to get us something small to eat."
Eden seemed confused and made a step back from Sophia.
"I'm really not hungry right now." Eden noticed Sophia's fear that she'd done something wrong. "But I would like to go upstairs to be alone for a while." She said and looked at her mother loving. "I have heard so many things today and most of them seem to be so unreal to me and I don't understand them. Maybe I really need a few moments on my own - yes, I think that's a good idea."
For a moment the family believed that Eden wouldn't be able to handle the situation.
Slowly she approached the stairway and grasped the hand-rail. Uncertainly she looked up the steps and turned the head to catch a view of the aisle that would lead to her room.
"I'm afraid to go upstairs. Isn't that crazy ?" Eden laughed and took the first step.
After she had gone, everyone was silent again. CC took a deep breath and sat down again.
"She is back !"
"Yes !" repeated Ted his father's words more enthusiastic. "Finally, we are complete again. Mentioning "complete". I will call Mason and to tell him the good news. Ted left the room. CC, Sophia and a very quiet Kelly remained.
"You don't have to be so quiet, Kelly. I had warned you." CC said monotonous. While Kelly looked at him inquiringly Sophia already suspected what he was up to say.
"CC, this is not the right moment." She tried to stop him.
"Which moment, Mum ?"
"The moment, that you finally notice which consequences your af... " CC noticed that he had started to shout and tried to lower his voice. He didn't want that Eden would hear him.
"The consequences your affair with Cruz will have. Eden is back now. And she will ask questions."
"Eden asked for the separation." Kelly defended herself almost crying.
"But she wasn't dead". CC's voice became louder again. "We all knew, that she could come back anytime. We have hoped, have prayed for it. Did you really believe that Eden would have simply accepted to see you and Cruz together being back again ?"
"It was Eden's decision to leave him alone."
"We all know what has driven her this far. When your mother walked out on me, it also didn't mean that our love automatically died same time. Tell me, are you really that naοve to believe that you would have the slightest chance to win if Eden would decide to fight for Cruz ?"
"CC !" Sophia shouted to stop him. "This is not the right moment to bring this up again. We are all very emotionally touched right now and we should take a break."
Sophia turned to Kelly and touched her arm.
"Go home and try to get some rest." Sophia suggested.
"So that I'm not here to meet Eden when she's up again and won't get the chance to tell her about all this, right ?" Kelly asked suspiciously. "She is away for years and leaves everything behind her - for me alone. And hardly back again, little Kelly is asked to get out of the way to make space for her. The princess is at home again, and so the bad sister can vanish into the kitchen again."
"Don't drive it too far" CC admonished Kelly keenly.
"What's going on here ?" Ted was back. "I thought we are all happy to have Eden back."
"In this house, you shouldn't think, Ted." Kelly answered ironically. "In this house, you should only obey and should live after the rules of your master. But in particular, you shouldn't rely on anything."
Kelly turned around and left.
"Ted. Would you please follow her and see that she comes home safely." Sophia asked her son. Although Ted didn't understand why, he nodded and followed Kelly.
Sophia looked at CC, that had become very quiet.
"I don't have to tell you how unnecessary all of this was, do I ?"
CC didn't answer and only looked at her.
"I will go upstairs to see how Eden is doing. I only pray that she didn't hear these sad things." Sophia left the room but turned around before she reached the stairway. "And if she however did and would decide to leave again - I believe, I would respect and understand it."
When Julia entered the hospital she didn't believe that she could convince Cilia to become cooperative and to make an usable statement. Half the night she had been awake and had thought about the case. Since Julia had read Cilia's files and also the receptions in it that were done directly at the scene of the crime, had developed a very taut feeling. And somehow also the baby seemed to sense this, because it has started to move much stronger. It kicked and had started to fight like a boxing-champion every time Julia became excited. And only by touching her little belly tenderly and quickly, trying to relax, calmed the baby down again. Before she arrived Cilia's door she sensed the kicks of the young life in herself again and to avoid any further excitement, she immediately put her hand softly on the belly.
"I know that your father always tries to persuade you. But you really don't need to be afraid. Nothing and nobody will reach or injure you in there. You are well guarded and save here no problems, no stress." Julia's thoughts got lost. "Do you actually have some space in there for me ?"
"This could get a little tight in there."
Julia got scared by the voice she heard behind her. She wasn't surprised that somebody stood behind her, more that the voice seemed so familiar to her. Hesitantly, she turned around. And there she was.
"My God, Eden !"
Instinctively, Julia fell into her arms. Then, she took her hands to hold them tight.
"Mason has told me, that you would be back, but I said I wouldn't believe it until I would see you standing in front of me."
"Don't worry, you are not the only one saying this, Julia." Eden laughed. "Somehow, the whole family has reacted like you so I am almost used to it."
Exactly the moment when Julia pressed Eden against her, the baby kicked strongly so that Eden could also feel the movements for a short moment. She went back a step and looked at Julia's belly. Carefully, she put a hand on it to sense more of this little miracle inside her .
"Mum has mentioned that you are going to have another baby. I remember the feeling when Adriana kicked me. And you can't explain this feeling to someone, that had never the chance to feel it for himself. Sometimes I believe that exactly this feeling creates the bond, that will always connect mother and child."
Julia was touched by Eden's words and close to tears. Eden noticed it and tried to change the topic.
"The family believes that I'm sitting in my room - resting or sleeping. But honestly, I never had the intention to do this. There are so many things waiting her for me."
"Many things had happened in the meantime."
"Yes. And according to my family, I would have to listen to all the stories within minutes and I would also have to understand them. And then I would have to explain everything that has happened to me in the same time."
Julia became serious.
"What has happened with you, Eden ?"
At first, she hesitated to answer, but the decided to answer her friend's question.
"Many painful things and many healing things. I met heaven and I met hell. Too much to tell, but a lot to learn.
Julia tried hard to find the meaning in Eden's words.
"I had to leave the people I love, Julia, in order not to hurt them even more than I already did. I had lost my way and had to go back, to find it again before I could take others with me again. The important thing was, that I wasn't allowed to set me under time pressure and that only the success was the bowl at the end of my rainbow. Lucky for me, I have met Cilia. If she hadn't been, I wouldn't have come here - not today." Eden looked to the closed door. "She has taught me so many important things in such a short time, that I could finally make my way home."
"And you are strong enough now to stand this chaotic family again ?" Julia asked ironically.
"To stand ? No ! I want to love them. I want to discover all the things again that made me love them so deeply. But most of all I want to be a mother for my children and a loving wife to my husband again.
"Cruz isn't in Santa Barbara any longer." Julia tried to explain to her.
"I know. He's in Mexico. Why he is there, I haven't exactly understood yet. But I will go to him and he will explain everything to me. So many people have so many different versions about stories. I don't want to hear them all. I want the truth."
"So when are you leaving to see him ?"
"Soon. Very soon. But first I have to talk to Cilia and I have to make sure me that she is doing fine here. I wished the family would accept and support her. She's part of it."
"Sophia cannot remember to have another daughter. And as long she doesn't do it, it will be very difficult to change their minds."
Now Eden became very serious.
"She will remember her. I have no doubts about this at all. She only has to see the success and not the time-limit. Like I did. She has to take some time and she has to talk to her. Many things will clear out so easily then."
"Eden, I don't understand how you can believe her so strongly. Nobody knows her or knows where she is coming from."
"I know her, Julia. And you will also get to know her." Eden smiled. "Now, I want to see how she's doing."
"I will join you. Maybe, you can make her cooperating and helping with the investigations."
"Hasn't she made a statement yet ?"
"She says, the she has never seen that guy before - however somehow I don't believe that. By now we know that CC's security guards have watched a guy like him close to the Capwell house. Therefore, there must be a connection between the two. And since we know that he looked like someone from Southern Europe we assume that Cilia knows him from Italy or even has brought him with her when she came over."
Eden's eyes became wide.
She opened the door quickly and ran into the room. No noticing that Julia asked her a question.
"Eden, you know this guy ?"
Cilia stood at the window and looked out. They had taken the bandages off her face and when she turned around to Eden and Julia, the swellings and scars were clearly to be recognized. Eden and Cilia's immediately fell into their arms. Tenderly Eden touched her hair before she looked at her seriously.
"Angelo has followed you, hasn't he ?"
Cilia's tears confirmed Eden's suspect.
"He has done this to you. Cilia, you have to fight against him !"
Cilia pushed Eden away.
"And when should I have fought back ?" she yelled at her. "When he smashed his fist into my face ? When he kicked me into the stomach ? How should I have fought back, Eden ? He would have killed me."
Eden grasped Cilia, that had become hysterically at her shoulders.
"You have to fight back now, Cilia. Show him that he couldn't do this with you without getting away again."
"And how? By telling the police about it ? So that he completes his work as soon as nobody watches me ?"
Julia came closer to them.
"Cilia. I assure you, that he won't touches or even gets close to you if you only give us the chance to take him in custody."
Cilia looked at Julia skeptically and pointed at her.
"My attorney. Anyway, she would be glad if I would allow her to be that. Promises a life without violence and has no idea how to keep that promise."
"If there is someone who can help, then it is her." Eden defended Julia.
"If there is something that could help, then it would a loaded weapon that blows his mad brain out of his damned head."
Julia was almost shocked to hear these expressions from Cilia. Until now, she only knew the girl as the affectionate storyteller for Samantha. But she had experienced many times before that women in fear react like this and so it was not very remarkable however.
"Doing nothing and only waiting that he returns to beat you up again won't help you at all." said Julia.
Cilia looked at Eden blankly.
"She doesn't want to understand." She looked Julia straight in the eyes. "This man is not to be stopped. Not by me, not by you or the law. This man is the law anyway, he thinks he is and he handles like this. At home, nobody dared to get into his way. They knew that they wouldn't get out of it alive."
"I have to admit that Cilia isn't that wrong. This man is dangerous and unpredictable." confirmed Eden. "If Cruz would be here...". Eden got lost in her thoughts again.
Julia didn't give up. She never had Cilia that far yet.
"Cruz is not here, but there is somebody, that will represent him damned good. And I will call him right now. If you are going to tell me who this guy is and where we can find him."
Cilia had no intention to answer and went to the window. Eden answered instead.
"His name is Angelo. Angelo Proda."
Cilia felt betrayed by Eden.
"I want to see Cruz and my children finally." Eden explained to her. "But I won't go before I don't know you here save. If Julia tells you, that she can get him out of your life forever, I believe her. And you should also do it."
Eden and Julia were awaiting Cilia's answer.
"You know what he's going to do if these people deny ." Cilia said anxiously.
"He is going to kill you." Eden answered roughly.
Cilia tried to think carefully about it.
"I really don't know where he is. But I think he will appear at the harbor someday. He has always said how very much he liked the sea."
"A romantic thought of such a bastard ?" Julia asked astonished.
"It's the best time and place to steal peoples money. At the harbor, when they are lost in romantic thoughts." Cilia declared factual. "I am sure, that he will appear there. If I could my thing which are still in the Capwell house; I should have a photo of him there."
"Does this mean that you are making it official now ?" Julia wanted to know.
"It means that I believe in Eden just like I did many times before. If she tells me, that I don't need to be afraid..." She came closer to Julia.
"Angelo Proda forced me to betray and to spy out the Capwell family to his benefits. When I refused, he beat me up."
"We will find this bastard, Cilia. I promise you that."
"I have to trust you, Julia. Because this man won't hit me one more time. And if he tries, I know how to fight back."
"So, here you are." Kelly seemed relieved that she had finally found Connor at the bar of the Oasis.
I didn't know that you were looking for me. Otherwise I would have called you. But since you have decided to do everything on your own I thought it wouldn't be necessary to tell you that I'm having a drink here."
Kelly understood Connor's sign very well.
"So you are still mad with me because of my little search in Cilia's room."
Connor's discipline forbid that he would become loud, but it was very tough for him to stand it.
"It is not only because of your break-in into the privacy of an employee in your house, Kelly. It is more because of you interfering in things, that have nothing to do with you and which compromise me in front of others."
Kelly had no idea what he was talking about.
"Compromise ? Because I have asked you for help ? Sorry, won't happen again !" she answered offended and pushed the chair aside in order to go.
Connor grasped her arm.
"Damn it. You know exactly what I mean."
"No I don't, Connor." Kelly answered rough. "But obviously everyone expects me to do this. I should have known, that these investigations would bring out another crisis for the family. I should have known that Eden would come back to get back together with Cruz. Maybe I should try out as an oracle with this gift of knowledge."
"What does it have to do with Eden and Cruz ? Has she found out about you and Cruz?"
Kelly shook her head.
"Daddy could avoid it before she got to the point. He didn't want to confront Eden with this unpleasant fact right away. And she had gone to rest upstairs so that he couldn't hold on to put all the blame on me."
"He never made a big secret out of the fact that he didn't like to see you and Cruz together." Connor defended CC.
"No he hasn't. But it seemed that he had accepted in the end. Eden was away and our life was moving on. Now Eden is back again and suddenly everything has been chaotic since she had left. "It was so good that we had you around Kelly when Eden was gone, but now that she's back we'd like to return to the old habits. We don't want to scare our little darling Eden, do we ?""
Connor felt the disappointment in Kelly's words and somehow he felt sorry for her. He knew that Kelly had given her best to support the family and he also knew that CC could be very unfair in his judgments.
"Maybe it will take a while till you all have got used to each other again. But then you will see how much fun it will be to be a complete family in your father's house after all." he tried to comfort Kelly.
"You are probably right. The only problem will be to tell Eden about Cruz and me. It will be hard for her to understand and I'm afraid that she won't talk to me any longer."
It was very quiet for a short moment.
"But the reason why I am actually here. I have met Eden when she came from the hospital. She and Julia could talk Cilia into making a statement and now they are on the way to catch this guy. It's her ex-friend from Italy. Rather brutal type, and there is probably more. He beat her up when she didn't do what he wanted. Julia needs further information about him and I have told her that you are already on that case and that she could call you for further information."
"Connor's flat hand hit the bar.
"What now ?" Kelly asked terrified.
"What had we just talked about, Kelly ? You are asking me for a favor. A favor, I do because I love you. And what are you doing now ? Telling the whole world about it."
" The whole world. Come on, Connor. I have merely told Julia that...... "
"....., that I am on a case, which is no case at all yet. And that I used international connections to get information." he tried to explain.
"My God. It was Julia I talked to. She's part of the family."
Connor looked at her speechless. It was senseless to explain that Julia was not only part of the Capwell dynasty, but also official part of the Santa Barbara police. Too many genes of her father rested in Kelly. Just like him she loved to interfere in all kind of things and whatever she or he did : it has always been for the sake of the holy family. She was so much like him, but sometimes she forgot about it. No wonder that they had their problems. Watching themselves they watched into a mirror that often and it's not that easy to watch your faults every day. Once again Connor knew who would win the fight.
"I will look for Julia in the office later and will try to help her as good as I can. But please, don't expect miracles."
Kelly's mood changed within an eye blink.
"I knew, I could rely on you" she smiled and gave Connor a kiss on the cheek before she left the bar.
All of a sudden Connor sat there in front of his drink all alone and no idea what really had happened recently.
"Seems to me that my little sister exactly got what she wanted. As usual. Tell me Connor, which dark secret are you going to dig out for her this time ?"
Mason stood behind him and took his drink to smell on it.
"You like my advice, Connor ? This stuff might let ugly women look beautiful again for a while but it doesn't help against stubborn Capwell women."
Connor found Mason's statement quiet amusing.
"Mason, I believe that your observation is so right." he answered and took the glass out of his hand. "But it makes many things much easier to handle."
"But this is only a deception, dearest future brother in law. And when all the fog in front of your eyes is gone again, you will find out that the tough times had just started. And that everything you did was wasted time."
Mason took a chair and sat down beside him.
"I have the impression, that you are much better informed about the things happening in my father's house than I am. And this is not wrong at all." he pointed out. "I have found out my father and I can go on very well if we don't see each other that often. And my statistics says, that we can see each other three times a week without risking to start a private war again. But something else. A strange girl appears in my father's house, flatters into everybody's hearts and suddenly claims to be Sophia's daughter. Kelly acts as private-detective once again and confirms this theory - although she exactly knows what consequences this could mean. Cilia is beaten up by an unknown guy and my pregnant wife decides to walk into the fire for her. Then Eden appears out of nowhere and to my absolute amazement, it's not necessary to inform her about the facts. More, she knows them all very well." Confidently he put Connor a hand on his shoulder. "And now you are my man, who will spare a quiet moment to explain it to me all over again. Otherwise I will get that mad, that I will try to let a whole ladies-catcher-club look as beautiful as the last 20 Miss Americas."
When Julia entered her office Mason was already waiting for her. Warily, he looked at her.
"Let me guess. You are coming from the hospital and you could manage that this girl, Cilia, finally made you her attorney." He looked into his newspapers. "And now you've got something to celebrate."
Annoyed Julia put her bag on the table.
"So the Mason Capwell-spies were after me again to observe me ?" Or did you sneak after me yourself ? Have you been under the bed or you did you put on one of these sexy doctor jackets and hid behind a file-card. No ! Now I remember. You were that ugly nurse with the unshaved legs under the short dress."
Mason tried to ignore Julia's irony and pretended to read an article carefully.
"No spies and also not my ingenuity had something to do with it. I have met Connor at the Oasis. He had spoken to Kelly who had spoken to Eden previously. And it seems once again that all Capwell women are on one side and keep position against us men. By the way, Connor was also furious about Kelly's stories."
Now Mason had touched the sore point of a pregnant woman.
"Oh, I'm annoying you. And what comes after this ? Darling, you have become slightly fat ?" she hissed at him. In this moment, little Capwell reported from the inside and gave its mother a proper kick.
"Wow !" Julia held her belly.
Mason got up straight away and tried to help her.
"There you see. Haven't even started to work on this case yet and here we already go."
Julia tore away from Mason.
"I am already at work if you haven't noticed. But I can assure you that your daughter will kick me every time she doesn't like my behaving. No matter if it is about work or something else." Mason was shocked.
Does it mean that we are defiantly having another girl ?"
Julia's trap had caught its victim.
"Will you do me a favor, Mason ?"
"What ? A chair, a doctor ?" he asked concerned.
Julia shook her head.
"Just shut up and let me work !"
She went to the table and took the papers out of her bag.
"I'm not sure if you are interested in this, but Cecilia Armonti has finally given us the name of the perpetrator and also gave us a hint where to find him. He is an old friend from Italy and well known to the Italian police."
Julia paged through a file.
"Angelo Prodo. Previously convicted in many cases mostly because of physical injury to man and woman."
"And what is he doing here ? He hasn't made the long trip just to beat up Cilia."
"Not at all. It seems that he's after Sophia's money."
"Sophia's ?" Mason asked surprised.
"If Sophia is really Cilia's mother, it would make her an Armonti and she would be entitled for the Armonti as well as for the future Capwell money."
Mason looked at her dumbfounded.
"Don't tell me that you believe this nonsense too, Julia. I think it's already enough that Kelly is making such a fuss about it. Not to talk about Eden and her health condition. She's back, but doesn't show any interest in the family.
Julia crossed her arms in front of her chest.
"What are you now talking about, Mason ?"
"I only mean that she's not very talkative, isn't she. And if, then she talks about Cilia and their time in Paris all the time. Says that she's going to rest and runs into the hospital to visit her strange friend there. Is somewhat odd, don't you think ?"
Julia remained quiet.
"I think that we shouldn't interfere in this. Eden has gone away for exactly this reason. People were interfering in her life all the time. Everyone told her what to do and how to make it better. And when she couldn't stand it anymore she ran away."
"As far as I remember, she...... " Mason began to defend himself, but was interrupted by Hopkins, who opened the door after a short knock
"Julia, they got him. The girl was right. We found him in the harbor-area where he was trying to steal money from elderly people. Has been hard work to get him arrested. But he should be in his cell in the meantime."
"Good work !" The baby decided that Julia got up from her chair too quickly and told her this with another kick.
"Good work !" I have already taken care of all the formalities and you can take care of this guy now. The sooner he starts to talk and confesses, the sooner we can send him into "Roman dungeons". In particular I want guarantee that he gets no chance to meet Cecilia Armonti when she is released from the hospital tomorrow."
"We'll take care of this, boss." Hopkins left the room again.
Mason seemed to be more surprised about Julia's mode of expression than to be surprised that she has been that well prepared.
"You are well prepared, Lady." He said ironically and looked on Julia's files.
"I'm always well prepared before I go into court, my darling. You should remember this." "So then you might tell me your plans for the next weeks. Are you going to have our baby in a negotiation-pause ?"
Julia had to admit that Mason wasn't that wrong. The case could take a while and the baby would come in a few months. Nevertheless, she was too proud to tell him. And so she preferred to inform him about the next steps she would have to take.
"Cecilia Armonti has asked me officially to defend her in court against Angelo Prodo and I have assumed. A few hours ago I could obtain a warrant and we could start the search for him. But as you may have noticed, we've succeeded already. Presumable we'll stand in court early next week and soon we will get this bastard out of the country and back to Italy. Far away from Cilia."
"Right into the mentioned "dungeons"." Mason made jokes about Julia's expression.
"Exactly. Into the mentioned "dungeons". And referring to your question. I have the intention to bring our baby into this world exactly the moment it yearns it. At the moment it reports only regularly if it has objections against my working-hours which only proves that I am watched by the highest person that has to do with it. You can be assure I know my priorities."
The moment Julia and Mason intended to kiss, the door was opened again and Hopkins entered.
"Julia, our friend has arrived. I really hope it's your day. He will be tough to handle."
Julia looked at Mason, who abstained to further commentaries.
"We are in best mood, Hopkins." she said and pressed her hands on the belly. "This guy won't be able to realize quick enough that he will spend the next years of his life in ."
"... in Roman "dungeons"." the men finished the sentence for Julia laughing.