Eden's was very disappointed that she wasn't able to help her friend Cilia. Of course, she knew her father too well, but this time it was different - after her return she had the impression that he was someone she could never reach again. Not only that her parents were the only people that had changed in her opinion, she also had to admit that she saw things from a different point of view now and that she was confused by them. To leave again for a while and to search for Cruz and the children seemed to be the only way for her to get accustomed to the new situation. There was nothing more to say; a quick bye-bye and Eden left the study to get her things packed for the trip to Mexico. Sophia walked with her, while Cilia and CC remained in the living room.
It was the first time after CC had ordered her to leave, that she was alone with him in the same room. She wondered, whether she should take the chance to talk to him, or to remain quiet. CC first had to accept the fact that Eden wouldn't stay at home and she knew that it would take a while for him to calm down. She only turned around on her way out because CC started to talk to her.
"You knew that Eden would not stay ?"
Cilia looked at him again.
"Eden has decided to choose new priorities for her life. The most important thing for her is her family."
"WE-are her family!" CC shouted. "Why is she leaving now that we are so important for her ?"
Cilia liked the idea that CC was asking her for her opinion and that she might could help him to get over his disappointment. He reached out his hand to her, but would he pull it back directly ? "Mr. Capwell. I don't want to hurt you, but you have to understand that Cruz and the children are Eden's family."
CC looked at Cilia blankly.
"You are her father, Sophia is her mother. Kelly the sister and Ted the brother. Every single one an individual with its special meaning and function. But with Adriana's birth, she became a mother herself with her own family. Parents always remain parents, but children become parents themselves one day and instead of searching for refuge, they give it. Eden will always love you and she will be always there for you. But Eden has also decided to take over a huge responsibility for another human being and has to stand in for it now.
"But does this mean that she has to desert us ?"
"If Eden would remain in Santa Barbara with you, she wouldn't be able to go to Mexico to search for Cruz and the children. Is it really so hart to understand ? She crossed an ocean to be with her family again. Why should she stop miles before she had reached them ?"
"This is her home - the place she belongs to. It was Cruz decision to leave the country. He can always come back if he wants to."
"Eden belongs to Cruz - no matter where they are and who will search for whom. And who has said that they are going to stay in Mexico ?"
A ray of hope appeared in CC's eyes. Did Cilia know more than she had said ? He seemed to be nervous when he grabbed her arms.
"She told you that she will come back, didn't she ?"
Since Angelo had beaten her up Cilia responded scared to sudden touches and so she twitched away from CC. When he noticed it, he immediately let her go.
"I am sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I am a bit confused."
Cilia shook her head.
"It was my mistake. I shouldn't react like this every time someone touches me. Angelo will never hit me again - time to get used to this idea."
Cilia smiled and to her surprise CC also did. Then he became more quietly and thoughtful again.
"We have tried to avoid this subject since it has happened."
"Eden's return was bad timing, that's all." Cilia's remark cheered both up again. "I already realized that I started things all wrong. But even if I would get the chance to start a new - I wouldn't know how to begin."
"Answer one simple question : Are you Sophia's daughter ?"
"Can a child ever be sure about its parents ?" Cilia answered CC's question with a counter-question. Getting no answer she decided that it would be about time to tell CC about herself. Maybe it could help to bring them closer together.
"I remember, that I played with a man, that I called father. I must have been three years old at this time. I also remember the day Marcello brought Sophia into the house - I can see her right in front of me. She was scared and uncertain what to do. I had hidden behind the door, listening to them carefully. Shortly after Marcello had left Sophia alone she started to cry. I was curious and so I went to her and asked why she was crying."
"What did she say ?"
Cilia was happy to notice that CC had listened to her and that he showed interest.
"Nothing! She didn't understand. My mother language is Italian. Sophia only spoke English at this time. I also noticed Marcello coming back and so I vanished."
"He didn't tell you who she was ?"
"He did! Much later. At first she was only a visitor. Then she became a friend of my father and one day he explained to me, that Sophia was my mother. That she had given birth to me when she was very sick and that he and the Count took care of me until she had become better."
"How did Sophia reacted to the fact to have a daughter ?"
"She had no idea who she was and even less she was able to remember me. Maybe she already felt at this point that this wasn't the right place for her to be. Sophia was grateful for any help she could get to remember her real life, but she never wanted to admit that she had a daughter nor did she believe it at first. Marcello showed her my birth certificate, but it didn't bring any clearance. Since Sophia wasn't able to remember her name the certificate said "mother unknown". One day, Marcello and Sophia were in a session, when they had the crucial breakthrough. Marcello later explained to me, that Sophia had finally found back to herself. The woman in her dreams got a face - hers - and so she was able to handle the dreams she had more easily. She worked out every single piece she could remember back to the day she got into the hospital. And this also included my birth."
"This means that Sophia was able to remember your birth, but not a single thing that had happened before the hospital."
"At this time - Yes! That's what Marcello told me."
"But was it the truth ? Who knows what else he had told you only for his own goods." Cilia was afraid that CC would get angry now and that this would be the end of their conversation. "Somehow we all have to rely on things other people are telling us, don't we ?"
CC approached her slowly and saw directly into her eyes.
"What did he tell you about your father ?"
Cilia swallowed. Now CC had reached the point, that she also would like to clarified.
"Sophia was not able to remember that she was pregnant when she came into the hospital. Doctors calculations said, that she must have had received the child two months before her accident."
CC knew what would come next.
"Since Sophia wasn't able to remember this time at all …. this question was never be clarified."
CC couldn't look at Cilia any longer. Something in her eyes reminded him of Sophia; he felt exactly the way he felt when he first met her on the beach. The joy of life somewhere hidden behind her tears. This girl right in front of him, she didn't look like Sophia at all, but something made him see Sophia standing right in front of him. The Sophia he knew long before the tragedies that had hit their lives. Lionel was right. Behind these sad eyes was someone he knew.
"If Sophia is really your mother - and I say "if ", CC raised his finger, " then....... I mean... ..we ….we were married at this time… and this …..."
"I would also like to believe that you are my father. Not for the reasons you maybe think about now. It's only a lovely thought, isn't it ?"
CC looked at Cilia, noticing that this question mark behind her eyes became smaller and smaller and Sophia appeared more and more.
Arriving in her room Eden's disappointment changed into fury. She opened her wardrobe, pulled a bag out of it and threw it on the bed. Then she went to her dresser and emptied a full drawer into it.
"He is just as stubborn as he has always been. How could I have been so stupid to believe that he might has changed after all this time." she mumbled excited and drove her fingers through her hair.
"It is wasted time to hope that your father will ever change." Sophia had stepped into the room and closed the wardrobe. "I have waited for it for so many years and what do I have ? Exactly the same, willful tyrant, that I had already married - several times - years ago. The only thing, that has changed is our love. It became stronger each day. And it's the same with his children. Take away from him whatever you want to. The company, the house - but never take away the love of his children, it would kill him instantly. It is one of the very few things that keeps him going on and on and on …."
"It hurts me when he acts like that."
"Eden. He is so happy that you are finally home again and with us - nothing else interests him right now."
"Then it is about time that he learns to cherish the fact that he gets something back. But no ! He's doing the same mistakes again and again as soon as he gets the chance for it. You should know better, Mum. It was the same with you both so many times before. As long as he had to fight for you, he was the dearest and most romantic human being on earth. But when he became assure of you....". Eden stopped. Her mother really knew the story too well.
When Eden sat down on the bed, Sophia joined her. How many times had they done this before, to talk about their problems ? Of course, there had also been times when Eden had rejected her mother. When she found out who the Comtessa really was and later, when she had her splitted personalities. Sophia didn't want to push Eden into something, that could bring up sad memories in her and so took care of some distance between herself and her daughter. She was still afraid that Eden would reject her nearness.
"You know for yourself how strong, loud and active your father can be when he is fighting somebody or something. But you can also always rely on him - just as I could do all those years. In times when I had walked away from him and he seemed to be so angry with me - in his heart he was always there for me."
"Not like me, right ?" Eden asked guiltily.
Sophia took a heart. Now that the time had come to touch old wounds she didn't want to sit together with her daughter and a large gap between them. She moved over to Eden and took carefully her hand. Noticing that Eden didn't reject her she also found the strength to speak.
"You have never left me. Channing had left me in fury and hate and he used you to take revenge on me."
Eden looked at Sophia - tears in her eyes.
"Mommy. You don't know how many sessions it took me to realize that Channing had never existed this evening. How long it took me to admit that I was sick and not able to handle my problems. And always to remember the horrible moment I realized that it was me who tried to shoot you - and not Channing. "
Happily Sophia noticed how rationally Eden was now able to handle the things that happened.
"Your memory of me and Lionel on the boat - they confused you."
Eden pulled away her hand and Sophia got scared that she went too far and that she was wrong about Eden's rationality.
"I wasn't confused, Mum. I was sick. Psychically sick."
"But you are healthy again!" Sophia defended Sophia her daughter; realizing how stupid and simple her defense sounded.
"Before you can get healthy again you have to realize and admit that you have been sick before. Or tell me how could I otherwise ever justify to myself, that I have tried to shoot my own mother ?" Eden started to cry.
"No one can ask for forgiveness without admitting that he had done something wrong." To calm down Eden, Sophia tried to out the blame on herself. "I have done so many mistakes all those years - big, unforgivable mistakes. I betrayed my husband, my family. But most of all I have betrayed myself. I was coward to stand in for what I had done and hurt the ones I love the most even more. How should I ever forgive myself ?"
Eden wiped the tears of her face.
"I believe every psychologist and marriage-advisors would say now, that understanding is the best way to reconciliate with yourself and the others." Eden said and a smile appeared on her face, but vanished again soon. "I have also hurt my family. And not only that. I have walked away, so that they couldn't see how weak I was. I never wanted to be like this. Always wanted to be the courageous, heroes Eden who could manage the whole world. Super-mother, super-wife, super-daughter. But now I had to learn that admitting a weakness is only a different sign to show strength." Eden hesitated a moment, took Sophia's hand again. "How much longer are we going to wallow in our visible, understandable and natural weaknesses ? When will we start to admire the strength we have brought up to get through all the things we've been put through. We both have done very bad things, Mum. But we both also had the courage and the will to learn and to change. Why don't we start to live all the lessons we have learned so well ?"
Now it was Sophia, who started to cry, but Eden wiped the tears away.
"We can not change the past. No matter how hard we wish to do. Just like the love in our hearts. It was always there - every single day. And we always new that we could rely on it. We only forgot about it from time to time."
"Eden, why don't we go into the garden before you leave. The tree is still there, the girl has come back. I think it's time for you to read the letter you once have left there for yourself."
Julia had made herself comfortable in front of the fire, her feet up and her hands softly put on her belly just as she used to do already for a while. It wouldn't take much longer, she felt that. Mason's worries how she and the baby could get safely through the Armonti girl case were quiet understandable. But of course she would never admit this in front of him. Julia had planned to stand the case. Also if they would have to carry her from the court room directly into the circle-hall.
"Maybe, this would make you a good lawyer. Or a judge". Relaxed she closed her eyes and started to fantasies.
"Your Honor," she talked to herself, "where were you born ? And then you will say: "Directly beside the dock.""
"This could also mean that our child will become a criminal sometimes, you know that." said Mason, who came through the door and wiped off the rain of his coat.
Before he closed the door he had another look outside.
"It has started to rain again. If you would set our child into this world right now it might would become a good swimmer."
"Very funny, Mason. Very funny."
Julia put her hands behind her back to press herself off the sofa. She reached out to Mason's head and landed a kiss on his cheek.
"Darling, I know that something wonderful grows inside you", Mason said and kissed her softly, "it's my child after all. But somehow I have the feeling, that you........ " he started to mumble, "... . have become…. much bigger. When is it time ?"
Julia, who knew Mason's kind of compliments very well, also took it this time with serenity.
"Sometime between the opening speech and the second witness."
Mason sat down beside her.
"You still want to go on with this case ?"
"Mason, do we really have to start this over again ? You know my opinion and it hasn't changed since the breakfast."
Mason knelt before Julia, so that she had to look him directly into his face. Then he touched her face softly.
"You also know my opinion. And you also know me. Like I know you. You are one of - if not the strongest human being I will ever know. You were alone with our daughter whenever I was away again. You were in danger and distress so many times and have mastered everything so well. My father respects your opinion - one things I could never reach. My family loves you. And you know that I do." Mason took Julia's hands in his. "This has nothing to do with pretending like a Macho-Man, when I worry about you. More with fear. Of course, I don't know how it is to be pregnant, and don't know how much women are able to stand. But I am here now - with you. And I don't intend to go away again. I want to be responsible for our family. And this includes everything - including the welfare for our unborn child and his mother's life." He led her hands to his mouth and kissed them. "Julia, I would have never been able to forgive myself if something had happened to you when I was away. But it would kill me if something happens to you and I would stand beside it only watching."
Julia was visibly stirred by Mason's words.
"You don't know how much I love you. For these words and for so much more. And for me it has nothing to do with being a Feminist when I want to go through the case. My body belongs to me, but this baby there inside - this belongs to both of us. And this also includes everything that has to do with it. This child should receive all the chances and welfare, that this young Armonti girl probably never had. Even if she lies from time to time to make herself more interesting, she didn't deserve to be treated that way. And I also cannot stand beside it only watching that this guy gets through with it." Julia took a deep breath. "Mason, for the first time since we've been together - or separated - I am absolutely sure you are here, with me. And that you will stay. For the first time I really know that I can do whatever I want to, because I know that you will be there to keep an eye on me. I know exactly that you will be there, when our baby will be born into this beautiful world. Wherever this will be. And although I know that you will carry this after me for centuries I tell you, only because I know that you worry me, know that you stop me when I go to far, only because of this I can concentrate so much on this case. As long as I feel you watching me from behind, I know that nothing will ever happen to the both of us."
Julia put her hands, that were still in Mason's, on her belly. Together they sensed the light kicks of their unborn child while they kissed each other.
"You see, he agrees with me." Mason whispered.
"I'm sorry for you, but girls always stand together."
"To be honest, I don't have a good feeling sneaking in here like this."
After Cilia had said goodbye to Eden, she had taken her things and had driven to Ted and Lilly. Even if didn't like the idea to be with Lilly all day long she saw no other chance to stay somewhere at all. She had no work, she had no apartment. And soon also her visa for the United States would run out and then she wouldn't have much time left to clear the differences with Sophia. To stay with Ted and Lilly was her only chance to stay in contact with the Capwell house and with Sophia. Furthermore, he had become a friend, with whom she could be completely herself for a short time. Not forgetting Eden. But she was on the way to Mexico now; to find Cruz and the children. Cilia didn't know whether Eden had the intention to come back or not. She seemed to be very confused and disappointed when she left town. She felt responsible for the problems Cilia still had with the family, because she couldn't built the helpful bridge, that made the family accepting her. Again and again, she told her that her parents appeared like strangers to her and that she had never expected that her return would be that difficult. And she was also afraid to meet Cruz, now that she had learned about Kelly and him.
"I knew that there would be things, that have changed. But for me it almost feels like entering a new world. My family seems to be so different from the people I have left behind and their habits seem so incomprehensibly. Cilia, I am afraid to find out that I am like them."
Cilia hadn't seen Eden like this for a long time. For the first time she had an idea of the "Capwell-pressure" that Eden had mentioned to her so often in France. Unnatural, inexplicable, but definitely there. It changed a human being into a person that follows the principles and the rules of the Capwell empire. And whoever tried to break out, shattered on his own ambitions. Mason has always been Eden's perfect example for this.
Lilly, who hadn't told Ted anything about her conversation with Gina, came back from the kitchen holding a carafe with lemonade. The idea to have a third person in the house wasn't that bad anymore, now that she knew that they were siblings - probably.
"I made us some lemonade. The perfect refreshment on a day like this." She said and put the tray on the table.
"I want to thank you, Lilly. Believe me, if there would have been another possibility...."
"Come on, Cilia !" Ted interrupted her. "That's what friends are for. Even if they are brand new friends." He smiled and put his arm around Lilly.
"It really OK, Cilia. There is still so much to do in the house that I can need a helping hand - if you don't mind….."
"I will do everything!" replied Cilia enthusiastic. "I have helped to coordinate the household on the Armonti property and took care that everything was clean and ready for the return of the Comtessa and her family. I will clean the windows, the dishes, will take care of the garden..."
"Really good to know this" thought Lilly.
"Slowly, slowly !" said Ted laughing, almost unable to stop a completely excited Cilia. " We have asked you to be our guest - not our maid. First, we should make a toast to the new member of our small community. Ted took the glasses and passed them on to the girls. Then he made the toast. " To us. May our dreams and wishes come true."
"To our dreams and wishes !" the girls repeated and collided with their glasses. And Ted had mo idea what his toast meant to both of them. Especially not what it meant for Cilia.
"I will take your bag into your room and will check once again that everything is ready for you." Lilly said and wanted to grasp Cilia's bag.
"No, please. I will carry my bag myself. You really don't have to do this.
"To be honest. I would love to do it. I am not that practiced as a proper host and I am afraid I have forgotten to make your bed or to clean the bathroom." Lilly noticed that she didn't sound honest at all since everyone was looking at her. "I only like to double check again."
"I am sure that everything will be perfect."
Cilia was gratefully for the hospitality and the friendliness Lilly showed her - especially since she had never expected to get it at all.
"Anyway, I will check again." Lilly smiled, grasped the bag and left Ted and Cilia alone.
All alone both felt somewhat awkward, standing there, the glasses in their hands.
"Eden has left town again ?" Ted began a conversation.
"Yes. Your father wasn't very happy about it but I believe, I could make it quiet understandable for him. Eden needs Cruz and her children right now."
"I only hope that she won't be too disappointed."
"Because of Kelly and Cruz ?"
Ted was surprise that Cilia also knew about them. This girl was a mystery for him. No one in the city knew her really, but she seemed to know all others very well.
"Eden will be able to handle this. She know now how strong she is." Cilia finished the topic. Then she came to a new - more unpleasant one.
"Ted. I know that we both know why I am here in Santa Barbara and for what reasons. But you never asked me to tell you about it and now you even offered me a place to stay in your house. Why ?"
Ted knew that they would have to talk about it one day and he was almost grateful that Cilia was the one who brought it up.
"As you may know, I have also been away from my family for a while when I decided to study in Europe. And exactly like Eden, I made experiences in this time, which surprised me at first, but then became part of my new life. I came home a completely different person. It seemed as if the world was finally open to explore for me. The sun rotates around the world and not only around the Capwells. I discovered things I have only dreamt about. I don't speak about - I never had to complain about this. I talk about dreams, feelings for others and for yourself. There was a time, when I believed that I wouldn't be able to exist without my father. But now I know that my father can not exist without me - because I am his future, his perspective. I believe to know how Eden feels now. Maybe she is a bit confused and irritated, but this will change - the fact that these things are new doesn't make them wrong. My father will need some time to understand this. But my mother will understand very soon to accept paths from a different world….."
Cilia was touched by Ted's words.
"And what if this means that I am your sister ?" she asked carefully. "Would you be irritated and confused ?"
Ted looked at her tenderly and raised his glass.
"I would be honored."