It had been raining in Santa Barbara for about half an hour.
Cilia, who had been released from the hospital, had agreed when Ted had invited her to spend the afternoon in their house. He and Lilly had to do some shopping in the city and so Cilia had the chance to sit down and relax in the garden after all the things that had happened. Raindrops were still dripping from the leaves of the trees and plants and the air was fresh and clean. Cilia took an old cloth that she had found in the kitchen and began to clean the chair before she sat down close to the fountain and the roman sculpture in the middle of it.
"Quiet a magnificent version of human being, isn't it."
Cilia was scared by the voice coming from behind her. She didn't hear Lionel come and had no idea that he was standing behind her, watching her. When he noticed scare in her eyes, he raised his hands to apologize.
"I am sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I rang twice - my sign so that Lilly knows it's me. But she doesn't seem to be here."
Cilia took a deep breath.
"No. She and Ted are in town." she answered. "Ted had picked me up from the hospital this morning and had proposed, that I should stay here for a while before go back into my "social life" or whatever will wait for me out there."
Lionel smiled and put his hand in his hips.
"He was right to suggest this it's a beautiful place, to get some rest. Lionel became more serious. "I have heard about . what has happened. I am very sorry."
"Why are you sorry ? You had nothing to do with it at all and however it hasn't happened to yourself either."
Cilia's answer made Lionel even more serious.
"Something like this shouldn't happen to anybody."
"Only to people, that deserves "things" like this, don't you think ?"
Lionel had to laugh.
"Yes, some people really need a slap to wake up!" He hesitated when he realized what he had just said.
Cilia noticed his embarrassment and tried to get the conversation into another direction and looked at the statue again.
"You are right. Eros was a magnificent man. And he had to be as the Roman God of the love and erotic."
"You are familiar with Roman history and archaeology ?"
Cilia agreed with big enthusiasm.
"Indeed. Some things were brought to me at school, some things were brought to me by nature."
Lionel got this sentimental look in his eyes.
"Italy. Words like family, vino, spaghetti and a touch of superstition."
Cilia laughed and sat down on the bank.
"Never tell an Italian that this is all you expect of his country and mentality. You could offend his feelings. The people in my country are very devout - believe in God and the sacred church. But nevertheless they have this mystic touch around them. They are proud of their history.
Hospitality is their highest principle. They are polite and so damned nice !!!"
Both had to laugh.
"Well, yes!" Cilia had to correct herself. "At least most of them."
Now it was Lionel who changed the topic suddenly.
"What brought you here?"
Cilia had an idea where this conversation would lead to. She knew that Lionel happened to be one of Sophia's best friends.
"I cannot believe that no one has told you all the details yet, Mr. Lockridge."
"Lionel was surprised that Cilia knew his name. After all, he hadn't introduced himself yet.
"Even if I have to admit my own discourtesy : we haven't met before, I haven't introduced myself and nevertheless you know who I am. It seems that you know most of the people in Santa Barbara quiet well. How does it come ?"
"Due to my long conversations with Eden Capwell." Cilia answered his question shortly. Then she gave Lionel a sign to take a seat next to her.
"Eden and I met in Europe and we liked each other from the very first moment. One day, during one of our nerverending conversations, we found out that we were talking about the same person. A person we both knew very well and had a big meaning in our life. A person that had brought us right there where we were."
"Yes! At first we thought that we were talking about two women sharing the same name, but when more and more details came up, we found out that it was only one person we were talking about. And I can honestly say that it was a shock for the both of us."
"You maintain that Sophia is your mother."
Cilia nodded without saying anything.
"Only the Sophia cannot confirm this." Lionel continued.
"Up to the time when I met Eden, I believed that my mother had left me because she didn't love me and had left to find something better. It changed when Eden told me the story about Channing's death. I was able to put all the single pieces I had together and suddenly saw my mother as a person I wouldn't have to hate any longer. I remembered my roots and my position I had for almost six years : being a part of her."
Lionel had listened to Cilia carefully, but he still wanted an answer to his question.
"But there is still no explanation for the fact that Sophia cannot remember you. Not as your daughter nor as a person she ever met in her life. We all know the situation, that men became fathers within minutes. But a woman should be able to remember the birth of her own child, don't you think ?"
"In 1978 Sophia remembered everything. She remembered her husband, her children and her home in Santa Barbara. I still see her standing at the window, lost in her thoughts and memories. She stood between the lines - didn't know where she belonged to. One day she started to collect all the newspaper articles that had to do with the Capwells. She got to know about Eden's studies in Paris and decided to go there herself to be close again to her beloved daughter. But she always came back."
"But one day she stayed away, right ?"
"Shortly after father - the Count Armonti - had died, we all realized that Sophia wouldn't stay with us much longer and would go back to Santa Barbara. Over and over again Marcello asked her to stay in Italy, but had no success. She wore a black+white dress the morning she left and she had this shine in her eyes, I had never seen before. Carefully she tried to explain to me that there would be another place and other people that she would love and wanted to meet again. And then she promised me, that she would come back to take me with her when everything was explained and sorted out.
"How old were you ?"
"When she left ? Nine. Old enough to stay there and to wait for her return. I waited for her, because I trusted her. Marcello decided to go after her and left me with a servant family that lived in a small house at the other end of the property. Waiting that she would come back to pick me up. In a weak moment I tried to run away and ran to the main house and there I found out that she had already returned."
"But why hadn't she come to pick you up after her return ?"
Cilia hesitated for a moment.
"At this time I didn't know all the things I know today. In these days Marcello told me that Sophia was very ill and required as much silence as possible. He considered that it would be better for me and her, if I would stay in the servant house until she had made a full recovery. And as the obedient girl I used to be, I sat down again and waited. 5 years and then I found out that Sophia had left Italy again without talking to me at all."
"That was in 1984. The year Sophia came back and tried to get me into jail for killing Channing."
Cilia became very quiet and had lowered the head.
"She has never come back to pick me up. And if Eden wouldn't had persuaded me to come to Santa Barbara I would still be in Italy but I wouldn't be waiting for her any longer."
"There's one thing I don't understand. You said you were nine when Sophia left the first time. That was 1979 - the year she accidentally shot Channing. This would mean that you were born in 1970. But at this time .. "
" ...was Sophia locked away in psychiatric clinic near Milan. Yes. I was taken away from her shortly after the birth since she was not capable to take care of a child. Marcello took me with him to the Armonti property and I was raised as the Count's daughter. Till the day he also brought Sophia there and we were back together."
"Marcello has told you and Sophia that you would be mother and daughter ?"
"Little by little. I was still a little girl not even four - and Sophia not much stabilized after all she'd been through. But she accepted me as her daughter for the next six years. I had the best childhood that a child can ever have. Up to the day she started to remember who she really was."
"Wait!" Suddenly Lionel got very emotional. "If you say, that you were born in this clinic in 1970 .. it means that Sophia..... " dreadful pictures appeared in Lionel's head. "My God, what have they done to her ?"
"What do you mean ?"
Cilia didn't understand what he was up to.
"They helped her in there. Marcello helped her to behave like a human being again."
"She got pregnant. My God, they raped her." Lionel didn't notice that he became loud.
"What are you talking about ?"
"She was raped. If you were born 1970....."
Now Cilia finally knew what Lionel was talking about.
"Lionel, I was already born in January 1970."
Lionel stopped shouting and started to think.
"Sophia was already pregnant when she was brought into the clinic. God only knows how we both survived the boat accident."
The papers on Sophia's desk at Armonti were in a big chaos. Since Eden was back she hadn't cared about businesses and had put everything into other people's hands. The last time she had done this had been, when she was married to Ken Mathis. But when she took over control again after Ken was dead, she had sworn to herself that she would never do something like this again. Armonti was too important for her. A promise, that she didn't keep very long. Already during her honeymoon with CC she had to break it and when Eden came back, she didn't have a clear mind for any kind of business deals. A kind of restlessness had entered the family again, but this time a kind of acceptable restlessness. There were so many things to talk about and to clear out. But to know that Eden had finally found the way home made Sophia secure of all the things that would happen. She was not afraid to talk about the shooting. However, they hadn't found the time to talk yet. Eden spent very much time in the hospital with Cilia. Cilia. She had almost forgotten her. If she wouldn't have met Eden at Cilia's bed that day, she would already know more about this girl and her allegations. It had been difficult for her to go to the hospital and now she was somewhat disappointed since she didn't know if she would ever find the courage to do it again. To have a clarifying talk with Eden did fear her less than to have it with Cilia. Eden and she had almost a life together. But Cilia and her ? Did they have something in common ? Or didn't they ? Or did she forget the time they had together or had there never be a common past at all ?
Sophia put the pen aside and laid her face into her hands.
"Sophia, Sophia. How can you be such a cowered person ? Where is your courage to face the facts and to go and fight the dangers ?"
She had to admit to herself that this was another day in the office where she wouldn't get very far and so she leaned back in the chair. Pictures of Eden and Cilia appeared in front of her inner eye. One of them didn't want to be her daughter anymore and left everything behind and the other one came all the way from Italy to be acknowledged as her flesh and blood. Questions over questions emerged again and again. Questions without answers unless she would ask the right person for them.
"Eden and Cilia. You believe that your life flows like a quiet river and then the two of them appear and mix it up again."
Sophia smiled thinking of this. Because despite all the excitement about the person itself, it was Cilia, that had brought Eden back to Santa Barbara. And this made her almost sympatric.
It knocked at the door and without waiting it opened and a head looked through it.
"May I come in or am I interrupting some important business arrangements ?"
Sophia was surprised to see Mason. She had expected him to be somewhere close to Julia, because since her pregnancy, he got used to be there constantly. Mason had become peaceful. Yes, this was the right expression for his change; peaceful. He had no intention to force CC to start another family-war anymore, which was a very important point for Sophia. It seemed that both had finally managed to accept each other and to give themselves space to live their stubbornness. A great idea they had all of a sudden.
Sophia smiled at him.
"Get in here! I can't concentrate on anything anyway and your visit is quiet an agreeable distraction and more than welcome."
Mason opened the door and entered. After all the years, it was so simple for him to go to see Sophia, to talk to her and to accept her just the way she was. She was not the enemy anymore. She was the woman in his father's life and if this would mean that there would be no space for his mother, he had learned to accept this too and sooner by later a loving feeling for Sophia grew.
"But don't tell later that it was my fault that you missed an important business meeting or so." Mason pointed to the chaos on Sophia's desk.
Sophia had to laugh loudly.
"At the moment I can't tell you if there are any meetings at all. What brought you here ? Small talk is not you style at this time of the day."
Mason sat down and opened his jacket to sit more comfortable.
"I was hoping you would offer me a coffee because this is usual at this time - and we could talk a little bit. Maybe about Eden...... and Cecilia."
Sophia looked at Mason blankly
"Mason, this is not a good moment for this" she said quietly and looked at Mason directly.
"And when will there be a better moment, Sophia. When Eden had left town again and when no one remembers why she had come back at all ?" Mason didn't seem peaceful at all, more he got very emotional and rose from his chair. He leant on the backrest, looking straight into Sophia's eyes. "After years, my sister Eden- your daughter - finally decides to come home. And all there is to say is "Hi, here I am again. Be happy!". And then she has nothing else to do than to concentrate exclusively on this girl Cilia. Don't you think that this more than strange ?"
Sophia was not able to answer him.
"No explanations where she has been all the time", Mason continued. "No word about what she's going to do next. She's spending most of her time with Cilia and her dramatic past. And everyone tolerates it. However, nobody knows Cilia really. I mean besides you, Sophia..." Mason had stopped and waited for Sophia's reaction.
Sophia hit her hands on the table.
"I don't know this girl!" she shouted at him. Noticing her loud voice she tried immediately to calm down again.
"It seems that she knows you. After all, she claims to be your daughter."
Tears refined in Sophia's eyes.
"Mason, please....... I..... " she couldn't go on. She got up and turned away from Mason. Mason didn't have the intention to let it go this far. To see Sophia like this now gave him a bad feeling.
"All I want is to understand it." He began carefully. " I have so many questions."
"You are not the only one." Sophia answered almost amused.
"Is she your daughter, Sophia ?"
She turned around again and her big eyes were filled with tears. Getting no answer, Mason decided to go on.
"What's Dad's opinion ?"
This time, he got an answer.
"I don't know if he has an opinion about this at all. And if he has, then he doesn't tell me."
Mason waited patiently for more.
"Your father, Mason, doesn't seem to have an opinion to anything that has happened within the last few weeks. He is happy to have Eden back, but he even doesn't want to share this with me. When I'm coming home at night he's already there, reading his newspaper or already in bed. If he talks to me, it's about business, the weather or other irrelevant things. And when I try to bring it up, I can only see this emptiness in his eyes and the many questions behind them. And then I don't dare to go on."
Mason was shocked by Sophia's honesty.
"And if he would ask them. Could you give him the answers to them ?"
Again Sophia turned away from him.
"I don't know this girl." She said and tears ran over her face.
First, Kelly didn't feel comfortable at all with the idea to spend the afternoon with Eden as she had suggested. But when she saw what kind of idea Eden had, she got more and more excited.
Eden had prepared everything for a picnic in her old room. A big blanket laid on the floor and on it dishes, glasses and food. She had plundered the refrigerator, but had taken care, that she had only picked out Rosa's specialties. From their early days on both sisters had been fans of Rosa's cooking and how should they enjoy a day like this without her creations. Around the blanket Eden had placed dozens of plants and it almost looked like a real outdoor picnic.
"You always had great ideas, Eden, but I have to tell you : this was your best one." Kelly said and tried one of Rosa's pastrami sandwiches
"If you believe or not. In Europe, I have often thought to go back home and to do all these things again we did when we were kids. To turn back the time or so."
"These indoor-picnics were always somewhat special. I still remember the night when we decided to organize one spontaneously and Dad caught us in the kitchen putting all the stuff from the fridge into a huge basket."
"Was he mad with us ?" Eden asked and didn't seem to remember.
"Mad ?" Kelly was surprised that Eden had asked. "He had most of the food and later he had to bring us to bed, because we felt asleep due to the boring fairytales he told us."
Now, also Eden seemed to remember again.
"Right! He has never been a good storyteller. Later we had to organize our meetings more secretly, since he always wanted to join us. He turned into a kind of indoor-picnic-maniac."
Eden and Kellies had to laugh loudly.
"Do you still remember the picnics with Mum ?" Eden asked more seriously.
Kelly shook her head.
"Not really. I remember to visit the zoo and that she has taken us to the beach. We have started the picnics after she had disappeared.
"It was almost a kind of therapy for me. I remember our trips and Rosa's full-packed baskets well. Mum was the perfect picnic-organizer - of course with Rosa's help. She took care that we had everything with us and I always protested loudly when we had to go home because it was getting dark."
"Why did we forget the wonderful times we had with her later on ? Why did we keep it away from our memory ? She was the perfect mother for us during these short years and they were fulfilled with love and fun." Kelly asked.
"To accept, that the perfect wasn't that perfect at all disappointed us. To hate her and to forget all the things we enjoyed was much more simpler than to feel the pain about what we had lost."
Eden seemed to remember more things.
"I have always tried to make up to her when I prepared a picnic for Cruz and the children." Eden went on and Kelly only thought that her sister would have chosen something else to think about.
Eden noticed Kelly's restraint. She had already noticed it on the day she had arrived at home and when she had mentioned his name. She hadn't said anything then, but she would ask now.
"If I didn't know better, I would say that you get an unpleasant feeling every time I mention Cruz name."
Now, Kelly sat in the trap. The moment of the truth was right ahead and nobody was there to save her from the situation.
"I have been away for a very long time, Kelly and I know that your life has continued and that many things have happened."
"She already knows!" Kelly thought.
"Cruz is an attractive man one reason why I fell in love with him" Eden admitted with a smile. "It would only be natural if he had moved on instead of living a monk's life.
"She really knows about it. Why didn't she tell me ?"
"And if you think, that you have to feel uncomfortable now, because you were supposed to watch him all the time this is nonsense! Cruz is a grown up man, and if he decides to be with a woman, that's his decision all alone. I never expected you to keep my place free, Kelly."
"She doesn't have the slightest idea!", Kelly started to realize. "Eden, your place was filled in so quickly and the fact is : filled in by me!". should she tell her this now ?
She was torn from her thoughts when Eden grasped her hand.
"Your bread. The jam drips on the floor." Eden had already taken a cloth and tried to get the jam of Kelly's fingers and pants.
"Just like the good old days. Only Dad's missing to tell us some more boring stories."
Even if it was amusing for Eden to imagine that CC would enter the room now, it was the worst thing that could happen to Kelly now. She couldn't stand the pressure inside any longer. She would have to tell her and she would have to tell it directly. And if her sister would decide not to talk to her anymore; it would be better than to betray her much longer.
"You are properly right. I feel uncomfortable to admit that Cruz didn't remain alone all the time" she began and took the cloth from Eden. "He was alone with the children. He missed you and had problems to move on with a normal life. Somehow it has finally happened that he became more accessible for affection and understanding."
"Kelly, you don't have to defend him." Eden interrupted her. "It was me, that wanted the divorce. I wanted to give him his freedom and wanted, that he would use it to find someone else."
"Eden. Cruz was with me till he left Santa Barbara."
Kelly had said it. Finally it didn't stand between them any longer. However, she didn't feel any relief. Eden looked at her but didn't say a word. Kelly herself didn't dare to speak. None of them noticed when the door opened.
"A picnic? Without me ?"
CC stood in the door and had obviously not noticed what was going on. It changed when Eden got up to leave the room.
"What's going on in here ?" he directly addressed at Kelly.
When she didn't answer Eden took over for her without looking at her father.
"Whatever you are expecting now, I won't give it to you. Neither I will give you my blessing, Kelly nor will I wish you to hell. And I will also not run away again as you might expect me to do so, Dad. I only can't handle this without thinking about it. And please don't ask me what I had expected coming home after such a long time. I'm quiet capable to accept that life moves on. I am aware that it was me who shot the own mother. It was me that behaved like mad and ran out of town. What expectations should someone like me have ?" Eden felt that she was close to get hysterical. There was only one choice to avoid this. "I want to be alone." She said and passed CC quickly without looking at him. A few seconds later CC and Kelly could hear the slam of the door.
Kelly knew that her father would make her responsible for this, so she tried to talk first.
"Don't say anything, Dad. I'm not in the mood right now to listen to your reproaches, accusations or instructions. Eden knows about Cruz and me. It is said and doesn't stand between us any longer. And if you like to hear it or not: I feel good."
"To hurt your sister makes you feel good ?"
CC's sarcasm was sharp like a knife and hurt her, but Kelly tried to ignore it.
"No, it doesn't. But I have finally done something against this bad feeling inside me. I did something you don't seem capable to do : To take position. I have said what had to be outspoken. I have set a point where a question mark has been. When will you finally break your silence and will talk to Mum about Cilia ? When will you finally take position, Dad ?"
Before CC could answer Kelly had also passed him. Left him alone with a fury he couldn't define.
CC fury hadn't been faded completely when the next visitor already entered the house.
"We have to talk, CC. And we have to do it right now."
CC's face showed that he didn't have the intention at all to have a chat especially not with Lionel Lockridge and he told him directly.
"Lionel. If there is a "very last person" in this whole big world I want to talk to now, then it's you." He first pointed at Lionel and then to the door. "But due to your habit to burst in here any time you like, I can save my time, because you know where to find the door."
Lionel looked at CC quietly and put his hands into the hips and shook his head.
"I really believed, that you would have had changed. But maybe you are not capable to live in peace with people for more than a few weeks. Maybe you don't know better than to make other people's life hell.
CC felt how the fury inside him came back.
"Get out, Lionel. Or I will show you what hell really means."
Lionel didn't have the intention to leave before he hadn't told CC what he thought about certain points. He could still remember, that there was a time he was frightened of this man. But all he could see now only made him feel sorry for him.
"I won't go until we have spoken about Cilia Armonti."
CC was more than surprised when he heard why Lionel had come into his house and he treated his suggestion just as he treated the whole person : as a unnecessary event of the day. Nevertheless, he tried to get himself under control.
"I don't have the slightest idea why I should waste my time to talk about this girl with you."
"She is Sophia's daughter !"
"She claims, to be Sophia's daughter. Only that Sophia can't remember to have another daughter. And even if she should be - it still has nothing to do with you, Lionel. "
"You shouldn't be so sure about that, CC."
"What does this mean ?"
"I had a talk with this girl. She is a very sensible, young woman, who knows what she wants. She is spontaneous, clever and if someone would only give her a little chance to show, she would show all the power and strength she has in her heart."
CC didn't know what Lionel tried to intend.
"She is filled with pride and curiosity. And I can tell you : It seems as if someone had turned back time. Look into her eyes and you will find the same desire you could find in Sophia's eyes before she came into this family."
CC had heard enough. He made a long step forward and grabbed Lionel by his jacket.
"That's it Lockridge. I have told you already that it's not your business whether my wife has something to do with this girl or not. But you couldn't keep your mouth shut but you will now, because you will leave."
It was time for Lionel to play his trump.
"Cilia was born in early better to say January - 1970, CC."
Lionel action was effective. CC took his hands off him and looked at him inquiringly. For Lionel the opportunity to continue and to win the fight.
"Count it through, CC ! Assumed, that Cecilia Armonti is really Sophia's daughter and that her date of birth is correct, then it means that Sophia was already pregnant when she left Santa Barbara."
CC had managed to get himself under control again.
"Oh stop this, Lockridge. Sophia would have told me if she had been pregnant."
"Maybe, she didn't know it herself - or maybe she didn't dare to tell you......."
Lionel looked at CC appraising.
"Get to the point, Lionel !" CC shouted at him and confirmed Lionel, that he had touched his wound point. He enjoyed it to let him wait and his jacket in order.
"Honestly, I had the impression, that all the years of fighting were past, CC. That finally our families would be able to go on with each other and all the doubts were gone. But it's not over, isn't it ?" Lionel's quiet voice became louder and more decisive. " And still you can't accept that there was a time when you felt too sure about Sophia and when you didn't see that there was another man in her life. That I was this man and that I loved things about her you simply ignored."
"Get to the point !" CC repeated louder than Lionel. All at once, it was quiet. While Lionel enjoyed his superiority, CC tried CC to appraise, which attacks he might would have to expect. The old fight had begun again - he clearly sensed this. But what was it about this time ? Lionel would never get Sophia CC was sure about this. So what was this all about ?
"Even if Sophia wanted to leave me that day", Lionel started again without warning. "Only a few weeks before this we had made love, CC because you had hurt and rejected her once again as you always did. We were together a few weeks before she vanished. Months before she gave birth to a daughter."
Now also CC knew what Lionel was up to. And even if he didn't like the girl, nevertheless it was a dreadful to think that she .
"You should get used to the thought, CC " Lionel said in such a quiet tone that this already hurt. But not more than the fact, that Cilia Armonti could be the daughter of Lionel and Sophia. "You already had your chance You won't get another one with her."
Everything should recur again - years after the nightmare about Channing and Brick.
"Somebody home ?"
Lilly's voice sounded through the living room of the Lockridge house. Within seconds, a door opened and Gina came in - the finger pressed against the lips.
"Channing has just fallen asleep ", she admonished Lilly to be quieter. "What are you actually doing here ?" she asked while she tried to take her daughter into her arms.
Annoyed Lilly threw her bag on the sofa.
"I had to get out there. Had to speak with a sensible human being and not with a overreacting dreamer."
Gina could imagine who it was Lilly was talking about. She took her daughter's hand and together they sat down.
"What has Ted done, hmm ?" she asked amused, because she expected an amusing answer. "Come on, Lilly ! You can tell me. Secrets in a marriage are much more wonderful if you share them with your mother."
"He brought Cilia into our house."
Gina thought that she had misunderstood Lilly. But when Lilly didn't correct herself she started to think that she had interpreted Lilly's words incorrectly.
"He has invited Cilia for lunch or dinner, do you mean this ?"
Defiantly Lilly looked at her mother and shook the head.
"He invited her to move in."
Gina was speechless, only looked from the left to the right, as if she wouldn't know who has said this. Lilly knew that it was no good sign to see Gina speechless. Therefore she went on before Gina's fury could break out.
"He feels responsible for her, because he had brought her into the Capwell house. And now he's behaving like a social worker and tries to take care that the poor, beaten and so very misunderstood victim gets a warm meal and a roof over her head - our roof" she explained ironically.
"He has really brought her into your house ? Well, like father, like son Always making his own decisions without asking the partner by his side. Just like CC did in our marriage over and over again. I hoped that he would come after Sophia. But I don't know if that would be really better for us." Gina raised her eyebrows.
In this moment, she could hear Channing crying.
"Here we are again. Another son is nagging if I complain." Gina left to take care of Channing.
Lilly got up and opened the curtain to look into the garden. Equally, as she had done this a few hours before and had seen Ted and Cilia in their garden. They had sat on the in front of the fountain and had a lively conversation. Cilia told Ted about Italy and the many historic places there.
"They would have a lot in common" Lilly had thought. "Besides, they would make a cute couple."
Lilly had to stop herself thinking. There, she had pushed Ted to move out of the Capwell house to be able to concentrate on her marriage and now this.
"He's asleep again. God thanks."
Gina was back.
"What if he falls in love with her ?" Lilly asked her mother without hesitation. Gina laid her hands on Lilly's shoulders.
"He is in love with you, Lilly. He had to fight too hard to make the Capwells like you and he wouldn't give this up so easily. Besides, it wouldn't bring him any further."
Lilly turned to Gina.
"Why wouldn't it ?"
Gina internally bit herself on the tongue. Lionel had told her all the details about Cilia's relationship to the Capwells and she had to promise that she wouldn't tell anybody. She tried to talk herself out of the situation.
"Why should he be interested in such a meaningless, Italian girl when he has the most beautiful loveable woman by his side ?"
"That doesn't answer my question, mother." Lilly pushed Gina. She already had enough doubts on her mind and if her mother wouldn't tell her the truth directly she would get completely mad.
"What is it about this Cilia ? She hasn't made all the way from Italy for nothing." she asked her warily.
"Maybe, she is looking for somebody here." Gina answered vague.
"And who could that be ?"
Gina didn't know what to do. She put her hand on her mouth and mumbled something so that Lilly couldn't understand her.
"I cannot understand you, mother." Lilly pulled the hand away. "But I believe, that you know what's going on here. So tell me !"
"She is Sophia's daughter that's what she says."
Lilly was surprised. She hadn't expected that.
"Sophia's daughter ?"
"Years ago Sophia had vanished for almost 15 years and it must have happened in this time. Lionel has told it to me. Of course he told me not to tell anybody."
"Well, that's too late, mother." Lilly started to think.
"How old could she be ? Somewhat younger than Ted maybe. When had Sophia vanished did you say ?"
"1969 I believe." Gina answered as honestly as she could.
"That would fit. If Cilia is approximately 3 year younger than Ted - and Sophia vanished when Ted was 3 this would mean that she was already pregnant, when she disappeared ........ She's Ted's sister." Lilly felt happy and confirmed by her calculations. She gave Gina a kiss on the cheek and wanted to go.
"Of course, only if CC is the father. But whoever should have been with her if not him."
Lilly left the house happily, but left a Gina full of doubts and fears behind.
CC got more and more the impression, that it wouldn't be his day. First the situation with Eden and Kelly and then the discussion with Lionel. When Sophia came home he thought it would be best to disappear in his study where he could find some rest. He didn't want to talk about it again especially not about Lionel. Sure, he knew that he had promised not to behave like this and to share his thoughts with Sophia. Knew that it would hurt her. But right now he had no idea where to find the patience and strength for it. For a long time, he hadn't felt that weak and unbalanced. What had happened ? He was so sure that his life was perfect. Sophia was back for good. The relationship to his children, including Mason was friendly again. And when Eden came back a dream had come true. Why was everything in such a big chaos again? Was it really because of Cilia? It had started with her arrival in the house. She had made accusations that had hurt many people, especially Sophia. More and more, CC's fury rose again.
"What ?" he shouted when it knocked on the door.
Sophia entered. She had gotten used to the situation that she would find CC in such a bad mood. His imbalance was obviously and she felt responsible for it. It was her fault once again. Or not? After all, Cilia's accused her of certain things. Or maybe Cilia's accusations were not the reason for CC behaving and something else was wrong with him her . their marriage. Sophia tried to stop her thought. She didn't want to confront him as confused as she felt inside. But she wanted to tell him about Mason's visit and wanted to use it as an excuse to talk about Cilia. Mason had essentially been right. Many things had been ignored and overlooked in this family and it was time to find answers to several questions.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to interrupt."
CC noticed the contentment he felt inside when Sophia was with him. He felt so good knowing her around. No matter what would happen as long as she would be with him, it would be OK.
"You are not interrupting." Tenderly he looked into her eyes. "A brandy "?
Sophia agreed. CC got up and went over to the table to get the brandies. Sophia came closer to him and while she watched him she touched his neck.
"You are looking tired." she said.
"It was a long day." CC gave her the Brandy. "Kelly has told Eden about Cruz."
"She has what ?"
"I came in the moment she had told her. Too late."
"How has Eden responded ?" Sophia wanted to know.
"She was very confused and left immediately. Kelly expected that I would blame her straight away and left, too. So I had mo chance to interfere. Eden only said that she wanted to be alone and that she .."
".... that she . what ?"
CC hesitated with the answer and Sophia expected the worst.
"She said, that I wouldn't have to worry. She wouldn't run away again."
"But that's wonderful."
"She said she wants to think about it first." He continued. "And what when she has finished ? What, when she understands what has really happened. Do you believe that everything will be again the way it used to be ? How can she remain in the family knowing that her sister and her husband .."
CC stopped when he noticed who stood behind Sophia. Cilia and Eden had arrived.
"Why have you stopped ?" asked Eden "Why don't you go on ? How can Eden remain if she will always be reminded that her sister and her husband had a love affair ?"
Eden watched CC. When no answer came she decided to go on.
"I have brought Cilia with me."
"Eden. I think we should take the time to talk about this you, your mother and me." CC excluded quite consciously Cilia and made clear that he didn't want to speak about her today.
"I remember you more polite to my guests, Dad."
" We should talk about the family first, before we concentrate on other things."
"That's all I want", Eden grinned. "Exactly that's what we are here for."
Eden entered the room while Cilia remained at the door. Uncertainly she looked at Sophia. Did she really expect help from her ? But Sophia didn't say a word.
"We are here to talk about Cilia's role in this family."
Before CC answered, he looked at Sophia, too. She seemed to feel uncomfortable and didn't like Eden's behaving just like he did. CC tried to be cooperative to avoid further discussions.
"Don't you, that we should first talk about you and that we should take care of this person later ?"
"I knew that you wouldn't be able to be cooperative, Dad." Eden thought by herself. "This won't be easy. Only hope it won't take too long."
"I only like to point out again : "This person" is my friend, she is called Cecilia Armonti and I believe that whatever you are saying about the family, will also have to do with her and this means that she has to stay."
Sophia, who knew her husband extremely well knew what would happen next and tried to do everything to avoid it.
"Eden, we hardly found time to talk in the last days and I think your father is right to say that there are several things we should discuss alone. Maybe we can talk to . Miss Armonti" Sophia had problems to announce Cilia as "Miss Armonti" after this."
She had success. CC had kept calm. Everyone was waiting for Eden's answer now. When the answer finally came everyone was shocked except Cilia.
"I'm sorry, but there won't be time for this. I will leave Santa Barbara tomorrow morning."
CC was the first to talk after Eden's announcement.
"I know that many things have happened, Princess. But we must take the time to talk about it. And if you are confused about Kelly, then...."
"I am not confused, Dad. I am hurt and disappointed. But it's not that bad, that I couldn't handle it. This is not the reason to leave."
"And what is the reason ?"
"My children. Cruz. Is it so hard to imagine that I can't wait to see them again. But before I leave I want your promise, that you will give Cilia a chance."
CC ignored Eden's last sentence.
"But your family....."
"My family is somewhere in Mexico and expects answers I'm willing to give now. With all the consequences. Till now they have no idea that I am back. I cannot expect that they will understand or forgive me. But I want to try to explain. I want a chance. Like cilia wants a chance."
This time CC couldn't ignore Eden's request.
"I must tell you, that I don't understand you, Eden."
"No Dad. It's me who doesn't understand. I don't understand why my mother is not saying anything while we are talking. I don't understand why you are not facing the truth that Cilia has a right to know where she belongs. You are willing to give me a chance but not her." Eden turned to Sophia. "Can you remember, Mum. When I was sick you said "Eden, I don't know you anymore. But please let me help you, let me love you." You say you don't know this girl. Mum, you can't be that cowered that you won't give her a chance to explain."
When none answered Eden turned to the door and went to Cilia.
"I'm sorry. I didn't lie to you." Eden turned again to face her parents. "But it seems that too many things have changed."