2×18 “Her Darkest Hour”
Written By: Chris Coleman and Kelly Zollo
Guest Starring: Jennifer Morrison, as Mimi Wright and America Ferrera, as Natalie Mouez
WARNING: Extreme violence, language and rape.
Theme Song: Zombie, Bad Wolves
Yasmine was wearing an oversized Fendi sweater and pair of YSL knee length high heel boots. She had a plane ticket to Atlas Falls; she couldn’t be on the plane with Forbes. She was infuriated that he fucking used her in such a flagrant and obvious way. How did she not see the signs that she was a puppet for Forbes? She was so annoyed with this rich shit. It was all manipulation and a quest for even more power. She was ready to take off the Montgomery last name already. As she walked to the bar and ordered a free coffee then she walked to the desk. When she heard a girl screaming at the concierge at the desk. Her long blonde hair and thick New York accent reminded her of Tamara. When she heard her say Tamara’s name and slamming her hand on the desk. Yasmine’s ears perked up as she walked over to the woman she tapped her shoulder waving at the concierge. “Hello.” She said looking at the other woman. Stepping back a little not shocked that the girl had the attitude.
“My name is Yasmine Kohl.. Montgomery.” She said looking at the blonde who reminded her of Tamara, Yasmine said as she looked at her. “I know Tamara and you are? I can take you to her room. I’m her boss’s sister and if you think something is not right with Tamara we can handle this together. What makes you assume she’s not alright or something is wrong? Tamara had a really hard day and I think she might be decompressing. Hell miss we’ve all had a hell of a night last night. My entire family was embarrassed due to some bullshit. Can I ask who you are?” She said looking at the girl.
Mimi had fought through traffic for hours to get to the hotel and now this bitch receptionist behind the counter was refusing to tell her where Tamara was. It infuriated her that it wasn’t like her sister to not call her back after making plans with her while she was visiting, unless her sister had stepped out to her old stomping grounds and that made her heart sink. Her sister had fought her demons so hard this time with her addiction she was in a good place with Braden and Dylan even planning a small ceremony later in the year for them and so for her to relapse again would break her heart. She tapped her fingers on the counter for a moment while the woman behind the counter looked at her snidely and she slammed her hand on the counter getting fed up with being ignored because she wasn’t high class or rich enough to get a room here. “Listen sweetie go get your fucking manager before I really start showing off my Bronx side out here.” Mimi said her voice rising as she felt people staring at her outburst and she pulled her purse closer to her body watching as the woman no doubt went to waste more time to hunt down a manager and keep her waiting. Reaching for her phone again she tried to call her sister for it to go to voicemail again. “Damnit.”
Turning around she bumped right into a young woman that looked at least in college and she recognized her from the news conference the other day Forbes’s daughter she thought. When the girl confirmed that for her she nodded at her not sure what else to say. “Listen, my sister’s idea of decompressing is not locking herself inside a hotel room while she is in New York. She called me and then ghosted me. She doesn’t do that shit at least to me.” Mimi said looking at Yasmine she wasn’t sure if she was actually going to take Yasmine’s help or not no one was really happy that her sister had decided to work for creepy Forbes Montgomery. She was desperate though when it came to finding out where her sister was either she was inside the hotel decompressing as Yasmine had said or high. Or the worst case scenario was that she left the hotel after making a few bad decisions on her way out of the hotel to chase her down because she was so late due to the weather and had left her phone inside the room. “I’m sorry that was rude. I’ve had a long last few hours fighting traffic and the storm to get here and I’m cranky. I’m just worried for her you know? It’s not always been easy for her and when she goes radio silent like this it causes all of us to worry. Then I get here and no one in the hotel will tell me what room number she is or give me a key to her room so I can at least make sure she is in there, let along okay. So yes if you can help me please I would really appreciate it.” Mimi said looking at Yasmine.
“Mimi!” She said looking at the older woman and smiling. “Tamara talks about you all the time. How your big mouth got y’all into lots of fights when you two were younger. I know what room Tamara is in because she was the only one on a different floor. Which I thought was strange because we were on 15 and she was on 14.” Walking up to the concierge she looked at them and explained the situation and how the Montgomery’s would sue the hotel if anything was wrong with their employee. They immediately gave her the keycard as she smiled at Mimi. “I’m sorry all this is going on. I’m sure there is some explanation on why Tamara isn’t answering and we will figure it out I assure you.” Yasmine began to walk to the elevator with Mimi seeing the other woman looking slightly worried. “Tamara is fine, she hasn’t relapsed. I know an addict and my mom was a junkie for years. Tamara wasn’t concerned with drugs I promise you that. She was really upset last night over some MontCorp drama but I don’t think she’d risk her life with Dylan and Braden for that.”
When the elevator opened she saw Cassie exiting with an emerald coat on and snakeskin. The girl loved green and with her hair it made her sister look amazing. She raised her hand waving at Cassie. “Mimi Wright, this is Cassie my sister. Um Cassie, Tamara isn’t answering her phone and hasn’t been heard from since last night. I have a keycard to her room. Would you like to go upstairs with us to check on her?” She asked, pressing the elevator button. For some reason she felt like something was wrong. Mimi was right about one thing Tamara was always prompt and on time. Checkout was only a mere minutes away and here they were about to go hunting for her? “Come on you’re coming with me.” She snatched Cassie’s hand, no longer taking no for an answer. “Whatever is going on we are going to find her.” The women stepped on the elevator.
Cassie had checked out early of her hotel as soon as the storm cleared them to leave. She was not staying here when she could be back in Atlas Falls running the story to their advantage. They would be safe from the fallout. Their name would not be tolerated to be associated with Dimitri when it was all said and done, she controlled the narrative and knew it was in her best interests to take care of this to protect the family. When she saw Yasmine stalking towards her she almost rolled her eyes and she looked at the other blonde woman as they approached. Tamara had been a good employee for her father and she had no dispute with her so when Yasmine mentioned that she thought she was in trouble Cassie almost considered helping her. Only to decide against it and she then glared at her sister as she closed the elevator door trapping her inside. “Fine.” Cassie huffed looking at them both as she glanced at Mimi. “Maybe your sister wanted to just lay low after last night wouldn’t surprise me in the least.”
Mimi almost rolled her eyes at Cassie, such a stuck up bitch then again that didn’t surprise her in the least when it came to that family. Even when Tamara was in college she had caught up enough with the Montgomery’s through the paper and the scandals over the years. She looked over at Yasmine, grateful that she was going to help her at least get to her sister’s room where she fully planned on giving Tamara a piece of her mind. In a loving way of course but she would be glad when she saw her sister and knew that everything was going to be alright. “I just want to check on my sister. I’ll be out of your way as soon I have seen that she is alright and then you can get back to covering up for that awful Dimirti and your father. No offense to you Yasmine.” Mimi said looking at her as the elevator made its way up the floors.
Yasmine got off the elevator with the other two other women. “It’s cool my pops is a son of a bitch girl. I know that.” She looked over at Cassie who was annoyed as hell. “I have nothing to say good about Dimitri girl.” As they walked to Tamara’s door and knocked on it. “Tamara, this is Yasmine girl your sister is here.” She knocked on the door. As she pulled on the keycard and walked into the room. It was an eerie feeling in the room as she saw Tamara’s purse sitting on the table. Walking through she heard a small moan come from the bathroom she walked to Cassie grabbing her hand. She wasn’t scared she’d seen a junkie relapsed but for some reason this felt off. Her mother had relapsed plenty of time. Strolling toward the bathroom as she opened the door. Mimi, Cassie and her as she opened the bathroom door. She gasped seeing Tamara all beaten on the floor. Gripping the wall the women immediately rushed to Tamara. “Someone call the police! Call an ambulance!”
Tamara opened her eyes as she saw the blurred image of Yasmine and heard Mimi. Why was Mimi here? Where was she? As she slowly tried to sit up and felt her heart pounding. Then she remembered the pounding that Dimitri did. As her lips quivered she jolted back from Yasmine. “Don’t touch me!” She screeched as she looked at Yasmine. Crawling to the back of the floor in the corner as she looked at Mimi. Pulling her clothes up she looked at him. Her chest heaved up and down. “Please Mimi get them out of here!” She screamed as she looked at Cassie staring at them shocked.
“Tamara what happened?” She said with a softness. Leaning down looking at Mimi and Cassie. “God what happened?”
Tamara was shaking as she looked at the other women and for the first time since he raped her. “He wouldn’t leave.” She said looking at Mimi who she began to reach out to. Looking at the other women the shame waved over her. “I told him to leave. I told him you were coming but he wouldn’t leave. He just hit me and kept ripping at my robe. My clothes and then he was inside of me. He was in me.” She looked at Mimi as her sister began to cradle her. “I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder Mimi.”
Cassie stood shocked as she looked at a battered Tamara and saw Yasmine rush over and then as Tamara began speaking she pulled out her phone and called 911. It simply was the right thing to do at this point MontCorp be damned and she quietly relayed the information to the women on the other line holding back tears as she saw Mimi glare at her as she grabbed one of the towels in the bathroom to cover her sister.
Mimi looked in horror at her sister and rage boiled inside of her at the utter carelessness that was MontCorp for allowing her sister to be on a floor separate from them while Dimitri was inside the same hotel. It wasn’t like after yesterday the entire world didn’t know the accusations against him and her sister had told her many times that he had made her uncomfortable at work long before then. She glared at Cassie seeing the girl retreat and call 911 and she looked at Yasmine, her eyes softening, she felt her phone buzz and saw the text from Braden that he was there. “Shhhh…” Mimi said taking her sister in her arms and hugging her keeping her warm as she saw the shock was setting in finally not daring to mention the words everything would be alright that was simply a lie she wasn’t willing to tell her.
“He just kept hitting me.” She said wailing gripping Mimi. “Mimi I tried.” She said as she began to bawl burying her head into Mimi’s shoulders. “Dimitri said that he had cameras in my home. Please he’s watching us and my son. He’s watching Dylan oh my God!” She screamed trying to get up. Her legs couldn’t push up and she felt weak as a kitten. “I gotta get to Dylan and get those cameras out of my house. He watched us have sex! He watched me and Braden having sex! I just want to go. Mimi get me out of here please no cops no hospitals! Please they are going to do things to me. Oh my God. Oh my God I’m going to have to get a rape kit. I’m going to be pawed on again! They have to do so much! No I gotta go!”
Yasmine gasped as she turned to Cassie as she walked to her sister and gripped Cassie. As she began to cry hearing what Tamara was saying. “Cassie oh my God.” She said turning away from Tamara to stop herself from crying in front of the other woman. “Where’s Philip. He should know they are close.”
Braden was tired; he had spent the last eight hours in what should have been a few hour trip driving through sleet and snow to get to New York from Atlas Falls. He had insisted on going after Tamara didn’t call Dylan that night to say goodnight and he couldn’t get a hold of her after trying. He had left Dylan with his mother to watch and let her know he was making the drive in the biggest snowstorm that had happened this winter so far. He had stopped twice on the way when he felt it was unsafe and he couldn’t see that far in front of him for coffee and to check in at home with his parents who assured him Dylan was fine and that he was insane for driving in this weather. He had even reached out to Tamara’s family in New York who said they hadn’t heard from her since the night before and he knew that was odd too, especially when Mimi said that she had bailed on her. He knew Mimi wasn’t his biggest fan when it came to Tamara and he had been terrible to her in the past but he was genuine in this concern. He had no desire for her to be around Dimitri in any shape or form given what he knew from Bliss and Selina. Not to mention that at the moment Dimitri was a free man and around the Montgomery family it was enough for him to try and book a flight and when that wasn’t possible take his Subaru and hit the road to make sure she was alright.
He parked in the parking lot looking disheveled and like he had been up all night as he approached the front desk to get snide remarks and a look or two. He used it to his advantage when he mentioned that he could make a few calls to the press about housing Dimitri and then letting them know he had legal friends in the state too. It seemed to be enough as the man behind the counter grumbled something about room 1451 being busy this morning, his ears perked at that. Perhaps Mimi had gotten here already if that was the case why had no one called him to tell him what was going on? He looked down at his phone when it buzzed with a text from his sister asking if he had made it and if he found out what was going on with Tamara. Dani was often selfish at times and had been so focused on her wedding, he knew that she wasn’t Tamara’s biggest fan but he knew she was genuinely concerned as well. Swiping his finger on his phone to reply he made his way to the elevator and he bumped into a solid body to look at Forbes. “Mr. Montgomery.” He was able to grit out, closing the text back before he sent it.
Forbes looked at a disheveled looking Braden Fraiser and he felt a knot in his stomach. Why was he here? This could not mean anything good for MontCorp and no doubt Braden being here. He looked at Braden with a keycard in his hand and his face and he knew something was wrong. “Mr. Fraiser. I apologize for you having to come down here. I got a couple of calls from my secretary Meredith and she explained you have been trying to reach your fiance?” Forbes had gotten a call from Dimitri last night and he was irrational. Not only that he mentioned he taught that smart mouthed bitch Tamara something. That was chilling and he’d been up all night wondering if he should have called the authorities. Forbes wasn’t one to call the police but whatever had happened it wouldn’t look good for his company. “If you don’t mind me tagging along with you Braden.” He said, looking at his old friend’s oldest son.
“Tamara is a very bright woman and I have been trying to reach out to her also. She hasn’t been responding to me. However my son and I had a very stressful fight and it’s very possible Tamara wouldn’t want to come see any of us.” Forbes turned to Braden. “I have to say I have wronged your family. I should have saved Victoria and maybe Lauren and Walter wouldn’t be so broken. I just went after who I could. It changed MontCorp saving Lauren and Dani. It wasn’t easy, I just did what I could.” Forbes said looking at Braden who looked shocked he was bringing up Victoria right now. “My apologies if this isn’t the right time to bring all this up let alone with you. Considering that you were just a boy then.”
Braden stared at him as if he owed him anything he remembered that night well the night his sister died, he had arrived in the car with his cousins and his father. As a family they would always be grateful for him going back in the lake for Dani and the worse part of the accident being her broken arm but that was it. With the wedding coming up Victoria had been on everyone’s minds lately especially his mother which was good yet at the same time was a damper too for Dani it was her day. He held up his hand to Forbes not wanting to deal with him at the moment. “For everything that you have done in Atlas Falls I would hope you’d have the common decency to stay the hell away from my only surviving sister after all that shit you told her before her children were born. I know my mother will always be grateful to you for that night, she and my father miss Victoria greatly. But don’t ever speak of her again in front of me we aren’t friends Mr. Montgomery.” Braden hissed as he watched the numbers tick up on the elevator.
“As for Tamara I told her not to take this job from you and she assured me that you wouldn’t let anything happen to her, you assured Selina that too. Yet you kept a business relationship and employed a man accused of multiple rapes and abuse a part of your company. Seeing how outraged you were over how Zerick came into this world I’m actually shocked at that decision, seeing how much you tried to spin that as the reason you hate Lowell.” Braden said leveling his eyes at Forbes and he could have swore he saw the man falter just a bit. He was angry at Dimitri, he was angry at himself and he was angry at MontCorp for putting Tamara at risk. He then switched into lawyer mode wanting to have Forbes under his skin if even for a few seconds. “Unless you can explain how you could even fathom to keep Dimitri as an employee and associate of Montcorp after everything you claim to know about Lowell and Kathleen Davis I find your opinion on the woman I love pointless and false. If you valued Tamara as an employee the moment Dimitri came to you with Selina you would have turned him into the police to keep him off the streets.”
Forbes’ stomach churned a little listening to Braden admonish his comfort. He deserved it especially after what he had done to the Fraiser’s and the night of Victoria’s death. Things happened that had changed him. He’d always been dark and a flare from the Macabre but Forbes knew that what he saw with Lauren, Dani, and Victoria haunted him. It transformed him and he honestly knew that he wouldn’t be the same until he confessed the truth one day. To this thing he knew every sin had a price and Victoria might be why he hadn’t prospered. Walking with him he knew he was out of line with Dani but had no doubt that it was more a tactic to get at the Devonshire boy. “Dani has my apologies, Braden but please understand the rage our families feel for the Devonshire’s. So I said some ugly things to rattle Jackson’s cage: it was never to hurt Dani or your family. Lauren is someone with my respect. You weren’t too happy that Dani was with Jackson so please feign your anger at someone else. The hotel was booked from what I understand, that’s how Tamara got the private and biggest room.” Forbes heard a ding as he extended his arm and felt time slow. It was a ugly feeling he’d only felt a few times in life. The first was when he found Audrey dead, the next was Victoria, and now this. There was EMT’s and what looked like the police now being called. He heard a young woman screaming and it wasn’t any young woman. Forbes knew it was Tamara.
“Braden let me find out what is going on. I know you don’t like me but I need you to stay back son. In another life and another time I could have been your father. I could have been a better man if Lauren saw me before I lost my soul. I’m asking you because I did something for your family years ago. Let me help you through whatever this was.” It was odd because he honestly never felt this paternal to any of his sons. Joaquin was the artist type and he just didn’t understand him. Then Philip would never be good enough and they both knew it. “Braden please stay calm. I brought him here to destroy the Devonshire’s but honestly it could destroy me and my company more than anything. This isn’t good and I know what I’ve done. I don’t condone a rapist but I don’t condone Lowell fucking Devonshire still winning after what he did to Katie. I cared about her. You don’t understand. None of you understand the history and pain at play. Yet you stand on moral high-ground? No angels are at play only devils survived and believe that Braden.” He saw Yasmine and Cassie walking out the room shocked and tear soaked faces. “Girls.”
Braden was still in shock as he looked around the room at Mimi covering Tamara with a towel in the room, the room looked like a crime scene and he knew better to touch anything even though he wanted nothing more than to start digging for answers. Cassie stood off to the side with Yasmine and he didn’t even know what to say to them as he looked at them. Forbes was in his own corner on his phone no doubt trying to cover up his name and he almost rolled his eyes at him, in this moment of course the Montgomery focus would be on their name and not on the woman that was obviously attacked under their watch. He knew it wasn’t in her best interests to touch anything in the room but he wanted answers. The way she was cowering in the corner backing up even for him when he reached out for her frightened him, making something knot in his stomach where was Dimitri Kavanaugh? He’d seen this before in women who had been abused and he took a breath raped too. He’d prosecuted men who did that, put some away for it and at the moment as he heard the footsteps up the stairs and the EMT’s arriving in the room it was something he was trying to put in the back of his mind. He stepped to the side pacing as he watched them put the blankets on her, hook her up to an IV and this was ten times worse than when he had seen her over the years on a stretcher for drugs, way worse.
Once she was loaded and he went to her side he physically hurt when she turned her head away and reached out to her sister instead. He saw Mimi shoot him a sympathetic look and he ran his hands through his hair. Something was wrong, very wrong. He saw Forbes going to the bar to pour a drink and walked over grabbing his arm in the process before he looked at him glaring. “What the fuck are you doing? Don’t touch a goddamned thing in this room or I swear to God.” Braden hissed out seeing Yasmine walk towards them and he wasn’t sure if it was to calm her father or him and he saw Cassie do the same he wasn’t going to fight Forbes or anything like that but he wasn’t going to have his only shot at finding whoever did this and putting them away be gone thanks to Forbes fucking Montgomery. Looking at Yasmine and Cassie he finally unleashed on them wanting answers. “What in the fuck happened here?”
Yasmine bit her bottom lip and she looked at Braden who looked like he was hit by a sixteen wheeler. Pushing Forbes back and looking at Cassie signaling her to get Forbes out of here. He was going to make what she was about to tell Braden even worse. “She um thought it was Mimi. Mimi um was on her way but the storm got bad. She went to the door and Dimitri was there. He pushed through Braden and she fought as hard as she could. Women aren’t strong physically as a man but I swear to you Braden she fought. He um raped her and beat her. She told us that he was watching your family. Somehow he got cameras into your home. You need to call the police back at home and get those cameras out of your house.” She paused taking a deep breath looking at Forbes’ shocked expression and Cassie sadness. “I found Mimi downstairs arguing her way to Tamara. So I used my name and influence to get a key and we found her Braden.”
She turned away wondering how this woman would move forward. She walked to Braden who looked devastated. “Please breathe.” She said touching his shoulders. “I wish I would have known. I would have kicked his ass and I would have fought with her. I’m so sorry Braden I don’t know why he did this to her. Just calm down. Do you want me to call Dani or someone for you?” She said looking at Cassie and Forbes. Covering her mouth she shook her head. “Please go if you have an iota of respect inside of you Forbes. Leave because we told you that man was a monster. We told you he was a fucking criminal.” Sniffing she said, shaking her head looking at Braden who looked like he was about to kill Forbes. She watched him and Cassie walk out. “Please let me help you. I look at Dani like a sister and I know you don’t like me from last year but I’ve seen what rape can do to a woman. My older sister Gina was raped before she met Kendrick and um she was never the same. She never smiled the same so please I’m asking you what do you need?” She watched the EMT’s strapping down Tamara.
Braden glared at Forbes and then focused his attention back on Tamara as he watched her fight with the EMT’s, saw them pull out something to sedate her and pin her to the stretcher. He saw that she was fighting so hard and even Mimi was having a hard time holding her down and he went to the stretcher placing his hands on her sides and hearing her scream. He closed his eyes trying to block it out and could only imagine the terror she went through hours ago as he let the words from Yasmine sink in. Dimitri had violated her in the worst way possible and he had been the one to partly let it happen. Tamara was still screaming as he felt Mimi gently push him back and he looked at his hands they were shaking. Then came the rest of what Yasmine had said something about Dimitri watching their house, including him and Dylan his mind was racing. When would he have had time and why in the hell did no one else on the floor hear Tamara screaming? He felt like he was going to be sick and he willed himself not too as he made his way to the door refusing to touch the crime scene he knew that was what it was now. He had no ill will towards Yasmine, he actually felt for her and her situation last year and he knew that his sister was friends with her.
“Why in the hell didn’t MontCorp all stay on the whole floor together shouldn’t you or your sister or Forbes have made sure that she was with you? Shouldn’t all of you made sure that Dimitri wasn’t at the hotel that he didn’t stay here where she was? She told me months ago he came onto her and nothing was done about it.” Braden said not sure who he was ranting at, he knew deep down Yasmine didn’t deserve this but he had no else to vent to about what was going on about all the ways this could have been avoided. He looked at her when she asked if he wanted her to call anyone and he shook his head no, not yet not until he knew all the facts and then he would make the calls he needed to make. He had to be strong for Tamara right now and the last thing she would want would be what happened to her blasted to everyone and he had other concerns like how in the hell did Dimitri get into his house, he had an alarm system for fuck’s sake. “I need to go with her to the hospital can you stay at least till the police get here? Make sure that they have what she needs and I don’t know I should go get her some new clothes I don’t think she’ll want anything in there.” Braden said he was rambling now wondering how this happened and so many thoughts were filtering through his mind.
“The hotel was booked and this gave Tamara a nice room. It was by chance we weren’t all by each other I assure you Braden.” Yasmine said, wiping her eyes. “I’m not moving and we aren’t leaving until your family gets to you. This is our fault we brought this monster with us and I assure you my father will pay for whatever your family needs. I’ll call downstairs for them to go to the boutique and get her new everything. I’m so sorry Braden.” Her voice cracked as she watched Tamara finally calming down and being rolled past them all it was a harrowing sight. Her swollen face was black and blue. Her body looked like she had been through wars. Covering her mouth as she looked at Braden who was shaking again after he steadied his hand. She grabbed it and shook her head. “I’m not moving or touching a damn thing. This mothafucker isn’t going to get away with this and we aren’t going to let Tamara down again. Do you understand me?” Wiping her face Yasmine turned to Forbes and Cassie outside of the room still.
“Braden you gotta keep Dylan out of that house. Call your mom or dad but he can’t be at y’all home. Look if he was watching Tamara, and he was watching you, and he was watching Dylan. I do think and predators don’t have a type they just dominate. Dylan’s prey just as much as Tamara. He will hurt or do whatever he wants because he is after you and now he Devonshire’s. I thought he was done at that press conference but I was wrong and so were we all. He still has reach and I think he’s going after everyone who he perceives as wronged him.” Yasmine watched Mimi walking out with the EMT’s and Braden. “Go Braden we got this.”
Braden didn’t even know what to say to her when she started to go on about Dimitri. He was grateful of course he was for her help. His hands were still shaking in rage at the man that violated Tamara like this, violated his family like this and it took all his willpower to back out slowly out of the room when Yasmine told him to be careful not to touch anything other than the floor he walked on. He had been the reason that Dimtiri was still on the loose in the first place; he would not be the catalyst to him not being caught this time. He saw Mimi with Tamara holding her hand in the hallway as he watched them get on the elevator. He wasn’t even sure she wanted him there when the door closed in his face. He cast a glance back at Forbes, his eyes so full of rage that he wasn’t sure he could even be in the same room with him at the moment.
Tamara’s body shivered in the hospital gown. She always thought they should have figured out more warm or comfortable attire for patients. When she was just a nursing assistant years ago her patients hated them. She didn’t know why she was thinking of all of that right now. It seemed like so long ago and maybe that was the point. Tamara worked in the ER of St. Christophers for her time as a nurse and her soul shivered because she knew what was next. A sexual assault nurse examiner would be in her room soon. When SVU arrived they’d comb all over her body. Her lips quivered lightly thinking of Braden. How would he look at her again? That man beat her and took her body, that shame she felt. Her heart broke as she closed her eyes thinking of the intimate things Dimitri saw between Braden and her let alone Dylan. He was sick and sadistic and was watching her. The few moments her body would be pawed all over. She lowered her head and began to sob thinking about Mimi. Her sweet baby sister was out there. She fought for her. They are always fighting for each other. Tamara wanted a bottle of water so badly but she knew the evidence in her mouth. He kissed her. He put his lips on her skin. He was all over her skin. She began to try to scratch him off of her skin. When she yelled and she saw a nurse and whom she’d assume was the doctor.
“Can we do this fast? I want to go home. I need to get to my home.” Tamara said coarsely as she wrapped her arms around herself. She looked at them. “He just came into my room. He wouldn’t stop talking and he’s violated me and my family and I just want to go home. Oh my God. I can’t go back to that house he watched us. In our home he watched us. He told me so. How could I be so gullible? I just opened the door for him. Then he just took over. He just took my body like I was thing. He took me like I belonged to him. He told me I was teasing him and I didn’t do it. I hated him. I was always nervous around him and I don’t know how he took that as me wanting him. I hate him. I hate him and he was inside of me. Oh my God please give me the morning after pill. I can’t do this, I need to shower! I want him off of me! I want him off of me! Oh my God Braden how is he going to look at me? My fiance, how will he look at me? Oh my God he raped me! This is real. This isn’t a bad dream. This real he beat me oh my God.” She was shaking her hands vibrating with each word she spewed. “I can’t breathe.”
Natalie Mounez looked at the chart female late thirties brought in half an hour ago to the emergency room, erratic, showing signs of a struggle and she took a moment to correct herself. It wasn’t a struggle, it was an assault and not just a regular assault according to the EMT’s and the nurses at the front desk. A sexual assault they had already called the police and who knew in New York when they would be there but she nodded her head to the nurse that was with her and then she saw one more technician arrive from the police department. She opened the door and saw the victim on the bed clinging to her hospital gown. The clothes had already been collected and photographed. She had seen the people waiting in the lobby and the outside of the room she wanted to ask how fast the police had gotten there but didn’t. She looked sympathetically at Tamara and the woman inside the room; she saw a man inside as well and from what she knew he was not the assailant.
“Ms. Wright, I’m Dr. Mounez, would it be alright if we were to talk?” Natalie said looking at her seeing the fear on her face and she gently took a seat on the stool next to the bed nodding her head to the technician who stood in the back with the nurse. “I know this has to be extremely difficult and painful for you but we’d like to do an exam and a blood draw. I need your permission to do both, no one else needs to be in the room with you unless you want them here.”
“I need him.” She said coarsely as the nurse pulled out the equipment out of a box. No doubt a kit for collecting DNA from Dimitri. Her eye was swollen and she could feel the split down her fatten lips. Tamara looked at Braden who had walked in right before Dr. Mounez and this sweet kid who happened to be on duty for this shit. She’d never forget seeing her this broken. Hell all of them would never forget this. It stirred in her brutally as she wiped her eyes. Extending her arms out to the nurse. “I just want to get this over and go home you know? I just don’t know where that is. He had cameras in our home Braden. He told me things about us and Dylan. I don’t want to go back to that house. I don’t want to live there anymore. He saw us making love.” The torture of him telling her intimate details about her family and then beating her and then raping her. Well it was overwhelming to all think about let alone process all right now. But she knew what she had to do. “Please um can you make it as painless as possible. I need you to not to look at me differently, Braden. Everyone is going to pity me but I don’t want that from you please.” Tamara said looking at him.
She really wanted to ask him not to hate her for not fighting harder. All her life she grew up fighting and she couldn’t beat some punk ass prince? Her body physically wretched gagging the young nurse instantly grabbed the small bland yellow garbage can placing it in front of Tamara. Vomiting she felt uneasy and light headed. Folding her arms around herself as the nurse took the garbage exiting to remove the vomit. Tussling her thick wild mane of blond hair. “I’m feeling weak as hell and I just wanna go home. I want to get this over Dr. Mounez and if we can do this please then we can just go. A hotel or your dads but I can’t stay in that house.” Tamara leaned back into the bed. The smell of bleach and sterility captured her nostrils taking a deep gulp. “I just need you to start this. Start examining me so I can move on. So this can be over. I don’t want to be here anymore. I just need to be out of New York and this to be over.” Closing her eyes. “Braden, I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder. Doctor, I tried to fight him!” She weeped exhaling out a guttural roar looking at her own body feeling betrayed. She betrayed her damn self by not fighting hard enough to stop him. Now he was inside her body. He was all over her still. “Please can we start? I was a nurse and I know how this goes. Let’s just do this.”
Dr. Mourez nodded her head at the woman before her and the sister in the room. She wasn’t sure how to approach the man in the room who looked absolutely more horrified than Tamara at times. She let the victim’s sister help her onto her back as she motioned the tech forward to start the exam seeing Tamara turn her head away as she did so. The silence engulfed the room as she did the pelvic and took the samples, allowing the technician to document each and every aspect of the exam and all the physical evidence as she handed them all over. She saw the man looking at her and she heard the victim’s sister chime in.
“He’s the district attorney where they live. I don’t think it is personal.” It was the only thing that Mimi thought to get out with Braden who was watching everyone in that room like a hawk ready to pounce on its prey at night. That prey she knew at the moment was Dimitri.
Braden watched everything happen in what felt like slow motion for him and he wanted to be there for Tamara but it was the lawyer inside of him that reared its ugly head when the exam happened and he focused in on the doctor, the nurses and the police technician that was there watching their every move. When he saw them all getting ready to leave he followed them to the door and looked at the technician dead in the eyes. “When the detectives get here I want to know no one bothers her unless I’m there.” He said and he saw the technician simply nod his head as he let the doctor leave. His attention then went back to Tamara in the room and he saw her starting to drift off to sleep likely from the drugs they had used to sedate her and he took her hand pushing Mimi out of the way as he looked at her. “I need to be with her.”
“You need to be with her? Where in the hell were you to let her come here in the first place?” Mimi let out realizing her own emotions were coming to light and she felt Braden look at her furiously and she shook her head at him. “Jesus I don’t think she blames you and neither do I we’re both upset at this right now. I want him to pay Braden. You love my sister, you will make him pay.”
Braden looked at her dead in the eyes. He didn’t make the same mistake twice when it came to law he knew better than to place hands on Dimitri. But he had friends who’d done things, who could take care of problems and he’d beg him if he had to, in order to rid this problem and stain from him and Tamara’s life. If the lay failed this time Dimitri would pay. “I don’t make the same mistake twice Mimi. One way or another I assure you Dimitri will pay.”
Yasmine paced back and forth as she looked at Philip still pretending in that wheelchair. Cassie looked pale and her face was flushed. Forbes looked as if he was going to be sick and somehow they were all supposed to move forward? After this she knew that things wouldn’t be the same for any Montgomery ever. As she looked at her father she walked to him with a sadness radiating from her heart. “I really thought you cared about me and my dreams. If being here says anything it tells me that you are a fraud Forbes. You played with my emotions and tried to make me think you were good to me. You really did. You had no intentions of ever truly getting to know me? What makes this worse is all the women on board that damn plane begged you to listen. You were too flagrant in what you thought was your grand revenge? A revenge that always seems to get your ass in trouble. When you were living in Mexico minding your own damn business doing your own damn thing you thrived. Now you’re back here making a damn fool of yourself. They are always beating you. Oh you don’t want to hear that? Was what Philip and Cassie told me true? You only used me to get media attention and a new demographic? You are a pathetic man.” Yasmine stepped back, covering her mouth.
Philip wanted to stand up and hug Yasmine and tell her that this is what it felt like to be Forbes Montgomery child. It wasn’t some grand coming out party, it was a grand pain that ached throughout your entire body. He would show you he could have an ounce of compassion and a morsel of love then he’d snatch it away cruelly. “Well father I guess this is a great way to introduce yourself to your newest addition to the family. Welcome sister to the disappointment and shock and horror of being a Montgomery. You didn’t win the lottery kid you won the worst fucking gig in town. You are a part of him and the ugliness that is him seeps into your life. He is the most unpleasant monster that bumps at night. Look at what he would have done to me if I couldn’t use my legs.” Philip seethed looking at Forbes. “You know I thought what I saw Cass was amazing yesterday. I mean didn’t you not see Chauncey and Jackson standing with Bliss and tearing apart our father in front of the global press. That gives me an idea why he is still in power? He is an old relic much like his dying friend Lowell. Maybe it’s time to replace you and I can be what you could never.”
Forbes stood before his three adult children and his heart filled with rage. How dare Philip even insinuate that he could ever run his business? Cassie was much more capable but as a woman how could he? Joaquin was so very soft he didn’t think his boy over the board had it in him. Yasmine was a street rat and he knew she wasn’t capable. Maybe Gina would have if she survived the hood she seemed to have something special. As he looked at them his lips snarled looking at them. “I have done unspeakable things to get what you three will live off long after my death. How dare you? Yasmine I was kept away from you and Gina. I was forced and I could have reached out but I didn’t because of your mother. Not my fault that she wanted to raise you strung out. Now I’ve apologized and paid for your little artistic dreams. You are fucking artist that I am putting my hard earned money into. Then my beautiful eldest daughter who prints her father’s failure all over the byline on the paper. Cassie I expected more from you. You who I know so many of your dark secrets. Yasmine darling you cling to your big sister but ask her what does she hide from both of you? From even her perfect love Jon. You little ungrateful bitch!” Forbes snarled at Cassie and Yasmine. As he looked at Philip.
“My boy. My perfect son with the wife that I choose to love me forever. To be my soulmate because I loved so many women back then. She gave me you Philip and I thought you were going to be everything I ever wanted. You have been my most heartbreaking thing. You have nothing on Zerick my true son. The boy I have always wanted to have because you are nothing but a weak pathetic mean nothing. You are nothing to me. I hate that I had you both. I hate Audrey slit her wrist and left me with you two fucking children. I should have never come back and acknowledged either of you. Yasmine don’t make me regret having you either. Dimitri was a way to stop the Devonshire rebirth. I want my grandchildren to have power unknown to all and be greater than Lowell’s legacy don’t you see that is what is important.” Forbes stirred as he looked at them. “That boy is fighting for his family because of me and I will right that wrong. I can’t fix this. This isn’t fixable right now so don’t judge me. Don’t fucking judge me! I have wronged the Fraisers in ways nobody knows.” Forbes roared as he gasped, shocked he let those words slip out of his mouth.
“What wrongs have you done to the Fraisers?” Yasmine said looking at Cassie and Philip trying to get them to talk.
Cassie looked at her father as he began sprouting about loyalty and a bunch of other nonsense and then he said it that he hated them and he felt validated. All the hatred they had for each other had reached a boiling point and then it sat there and she looked at Yasmine taking it all in. Her sister was foolish to think that their father actually loved or cared about any of them in that way. This was her validation and then he want on about Dimitri and she had to shake her head of course the feud with the Devonshire’s eclipsed everything else including the company that he had built. No matter what he knew about Dimitri and she doubted that he didn’t know the truth he put the company at risk to have a known serial rapist in their midst and that was something she was never going to put out of her mind. When he mentioned the Fraiser’s her eyebrow popped a bit and wondered what in the hell that was all about, sure he was nice to Lauren and cordial to Walter but what in the hell else was he talking about? She wracked her brain as she saw a text from Jon asking her about Tamara and she replied that the rumor was true and a chill went down her spine she had so much going on with Jon and the secret she was keeping.
“Well now that we’ve got that cleared up father what in the hell are you talking about with the Fraisers? You really think Philip and I asked to be left alone with you when mother died? I prayed every night that she would come back and that instead you’d be the one six feet under. You left us with nannies and caretakers missed events in our lives like graduations and proms, hell you’d probably miss weddings too lucky for you having you as a father has ruined that for us too.” Cassie spat folding her arms as she looked at her father and then Yasmine shrugging. She and Jon had yet to set a date and she knew that may not happen now if she didn’t play her cards right. “But you’re stuck with us so make the best of it.”
“Exactly do you think we were happy to have you as a father? Every day I wished I was Lowell Devonshire’s son instead of yours.” He knew how to piece Forbes and wasn’t going to play any longer. “If I was a Devonshire I’d have support and not this life. Yasmine be careful he’ll try to rope you in again. Just be smarter this time, please send my best with Tamara. I’ve called a UBER to get me home, you two are invited.” He said looking at Yasmine and Cassie.
Yasmine grabbed her sister’s hand and pulled Cassie away. “You stay and face the media because I assure you my charity isn’t going down with this shit.” She saw Cassie shocked at how she grabbed her. “Girl you’re going to have to buck up. I take this sibling thing to heart. Look it’s obvious that we can’t depend on them but you two I expect more from. Hell we are going to have to get it right by any means because we got younger siblings and honestly I don’t want them subjected to what any of us have gone through with him. I might be the new sibling but I learn quickly and Forbes won’t do this to me again. But did anyone catch what he said? What has he done to the Fraisers?”
Cassie looked at Yasmine and shrugged when she mentioned the Fraiser’s she really could care less about the pious Walter Fraiser and his broad of children either dead or alive. It wasn’t like anything could shock her when it came to her father and his need for revenge since Lowell drove him out of town and out of DGI, Walter was a part of that. “I’ll handle the media well make sure to get some good press out of it for the charity.” Cassie said, narrowing her eyes at her father just slightly as she turned her nose back to Yasmine. “I caught it but I frankly don’t care and neither should you. Walter Fraiser is pompous and pious and everyone in town knows he was only elected mayor because Steven Kincaid was caught murdered with his pants down. I get your friends with Dani but Walter likely had it coming; he acts all innocent. But he helped kick father out of DGI with Lowell.” Cassie said looking at Yasmine’s shocked face as she took out her phone and texted people at the office that she had a story to run to help with her sister’s charity. “We really should be going. Come on.” She said following her brother towards the Uber leaving it up to her father and Yasmine to decide if they were staying or going.
“We’re out.” Yasmine said as she walked away with her siblings.
Forbes stood back watching them leaving him. Just like Audrey and just like Trisha. Nothing new he’d always been on his own. Except being alone with the Fraiser’s well it killed him. He fled to Mexico shortly after Audrey’s suicide which to be fair was blood on his hands. He couldn’t look at them without knowing what he did and how far he pushed the woman he loved. Forbes walked to the seating area and sat closing his eyes drifting off to the night that changed his life.
Forbes watched the black SUV pulling away as he saw Lauren coming to. The police sirens were echoing in his ears. As he looked over at the small girl inside of Lauren’s arms. He could hear her mumbling Victoria’s name. The semi-truck was flipped over and if his limo didn’t stop then Lauren and her eldest daughter would be dead. He couldn’t believe after all these years he’d gotten what he wanted. Looking up he saw the police cars pulling up. The first person he saw was Richard Harrison who looked smug as ever. Then there was Greg Thompson who seemed to be sick looking at Lauren. “I couldn’t get to the girl.” Forbes said wondering if his words would cut Walter and the officers like it seemed to be Lauren. He slowly approached them.Her guttural harrowing screams could be heard now clearer as the EMT’s separated Dani from her. “I couldn’t save the baby but I got young Danielle and Lauren. I suggest you men call on a search party to try to recover the body. There’s no way that little girl survived. She was a baby after all.” The rain that had stopped for a moment but now the thunder was roaring again. A cold droplet of water sprinkled on his face and he shivered.
Forbes walked over to a semi-conscious Lauren stooping down and he touched her dark ravishing brown hair. “I’m so sorry that I had to do this to you. You have always cared about me Lauren that I know. We were friends but sometimes loyalty is something I thrive on. Your husband betrayed me and now I betrayed you all.” He whispered as he looked up Greg and Richard. “Please I need to get to my wife and my children. I almost died tonight. I would like to go home. Can we take my statement tomorrow?”
Forbes saw the uber pulling off from the hospital as he stood up. He wiped his eyes knowing that a few weeks later Audrey would be dead. Not only that revenge that he desperately wanted had come at the ultimate price. He however knew that an eye for an eye was only reciprocation for what they did to him. How they left him destitute and stripped him of everything he wanted. He would have restitution or else he’d burn Atlas Falls to the ground. With all his secrets. Forbes looked at Braden and Mimi talking to the doctor. He walked out of the hospital strolling with the past all over him. As a snowdrop fell it felt just as cold as the rain did the day he let Victoria Fraiser die.
Tamara laid in the bed alone feeling the impact of his fist pushing into her skin. The domestic attack was almost as harrowing as the rape. She didn’t feel safe anymore. No matter how much she tried. She didn’t feel comfortable in her own body. What was she to do? Would she ever feel normal again? As she curled up in the bed she looked over at Braden who looked so crushed. This defeated him. She turned over and didn’t want him to see her crying. That was the last thing he needed to see her falling apart. She had purposely been so controlled around Braden. Part of that was Dylan. When he had primary custody she had to play a role. She wasn’t herself. She was what Braden needed her to be to hold Dylan for a closely watched hour. To run and roll in the grass with her son for a few moments. To smell his hair. She sniffled rolling back feeling herself about to close away from him. Feeling herself becoming distant. “I wanted to call my old dealer.” She said honestly. “I crawled all over that bathroom trying to find a phone. My eye is closed shut, my lips swollen but all I wanted was a glass pipe and something to take all this away. The doctor tested me for everything and if I have something I don’t expect you to stay. I’m even more damaged now, you are the DA and this too much Braden. You are a good man and a good lawyer and I’m going to be a sensationalized story in the media. Another victim of the prince. I don’t want your reelection to be about my rape or what happened in that room.” She said, wiping her swollen face.
“If you want to leave I understand. I don’t know how you could look at me right now.” Tamara said honestly. “I can’t even look at myself. I should’ve killed him. I should’ve stabbed him with something. He just got on top of me and just took me. He took my body from me!” She screamed as she looked at Braden. “How can we go back? I just want to turn the hands back of time. I wish I never took this job, I wish I had never met him, I wish that girl didn’t come to Atlas Falls!” She screamed knowing it wasn’t Bliss fault but she couldn’t blame anyone else for her rape at the moment. She wanted someone to blame. “If I have an illness or anything I want you to understand one thing. I love you and Dylan. I do. I tried to fight so hard now I don’t know what’s inside of me. I don’t know if I’m as strong as I thought I was. I’m a victim and I’ve never been a victim in my life. I was selfish on drugs but I wasn’t a victim of drugs. I knew what I was doing. I wanted it. I didn’t want this Braden. I didn’t!” She exhaled as she held onto the bars of the bed.
Braden had sat by the bedside while she slept, sending texts to people he trusted to make sure that Dimitri was caught this time, one of them being Lex and Charles. Both of them had pull in New York and if he fucking had to he’d make sure that Lex was hired as Tamara’s lawyer and that Dimtiri would be hung to dry. He had evaded the police when they showed up and sent both detectives away telling them to comb the scene and they could take Tamara’s statement when she was ready and not before. He’d seen this enough as DA and knew that when a victim was victimized it was hardest to take the statement when they lacked rest and time to process and he’d seen the crime scene they should have all the evidence they needed. He had watched as the technician had come in while she slept and scrapped under her fingernails and smiled when he had seen the skin fragments fall in the bag. DNA didn’t lie, her wounds were that of an assault and he meant what he had told Mimi one way or another he was going to make sure that Dimitri paid either behind bars or in a shallow fucking grave.
He looked at her as she began to pull away from him. He knew this could happen, he’d seen it enough times at work and he understood why. He also knew that they could overcome this and she had done nothing wrong when it came to what had happened. “None of this is your fault Tamara and unless you want me too I’m not going anywhere.” Braden said calmly he was not angry at her, he was angry of course he was but he was angry at Dimitri. He could feel the anger radiating off him and he was sure that she was picking up on it. “I sent Mimi to get some rest and coffee,she said your parents wanted to come and visit. I told them no not until you and I had a chance to talk the same with the detectives. I’m not that type of man Tamara you know me better than that. He attacked you period.” Braden said looking at her as the door opened and he saw the doctor come back in, her tablet in hand. He wasn’t sure what to think of her face. It wasn’t sad but it wasn’t happy either and he looked at Tamara standing close to the bed in case she needed him.
“You’re awake. We’ll be sure to get you something else to help you sleep if you want Ms. Wright. Your results came back. I’d like to discuss them with you if that is ok?” Dr. Mourez said she waited a moment for Tamara to nod her head and then spoke again. This could be good or bad news to a number of women. “So for your labs came back clean for any STD’s we’ll of course want to follow up down the road here or when you are back in Atlas Falls.” She paused seeing relief on Tamara and Braden’s face. She put her tongue on the roof of her mouth for a moment before she spoke again. “It also revealed that you are pregnant.” She finished letting the news sink in on both their faces.
“I can’t be pregnant.” She said looking at the doctor. As she sat up she started to think when her last menstrual cycle was. Then it hit her at the party with Braden when they snuck off and got busy. She chuckled trying to not weep. “This child felt all that fear inside of me. It felt all that violation oh my God.” Tamara said covering her mouth as she looked at Braden. “This isn’t how I want to have another baby. This isn’t how I thought this would happen. Dylan’s so old now. He’s so big and I didn’t think that we would be having anymore. I just assumed that we were done. He’s been an only child. Oh God Braden we are having another baby.” She laughed, wiping her eyes as she looked at him. Extending her hand to him. “I’m sorry Braden. I just assumed you wouldn’t want me anymore. I’m damaged.” She grabbed her belly. “Will the attack affect the baby? Did he hurt my child?” Dylan had been through so much and she was afraid this baby was already going through enough. “Please, tell me my baby is alright?”
“You are I’m not sure how far along you are but we can take an ultrasound later to do the date if you would like.” Dr. Mourez said looking at the couple with the shock on their faces, she saw joy in Tamara’s and she was happy to tell her that. She then listened about the fear when it came to what the unborn child experienced. “I think an ultrasound would give us a clear view but your body is very capable of sex while pregnant regardless I do think you should get one to get a date. Medically speaking the man that did this to you didn’t hurt the fetus. Should you want to terminate we can do that as well. Normally I would advise the morning after pill however in this case we can approach this more delicately of course.” Dr. Mourez said, looking at them not sure what the couple wanted her to do in this case.
Braden was in shock when the doctor told them that Tamara was pregnant; they were both older and this time prepared to deal with parenthood. The last time that the conversation had been brought up it was with Selina last year when they were married and he closed his eyes as they had been planning to see a specialist. Then the shooting had happened, he had gone after Jamal hard and now everyone was in the predicament they were in with Dimitri because he drove Selina to that monster. Dimitri may have eventually come to town, given Bliss was there but he was the one that pushed Selina away from him and his stubbornness that he still felt he was right about. “Wow.” It was all he could get out at first he was happy about it of course he was but he didn’t expect it and his head shot up as he looked at the doctor. “Absolutely not.” He was catholic and took it pretty seriously, his sister not so much, but the thought that they would get rid of the baby enraged him.
“Mr. Fraiser, the decision is not yours medically speaking.” Dr, Mourez said quietly, seeing him glare at her.
“No doc we’re not ending this baby’s life.” Her eyes met up with Braden’s. “I’m keeping my baby. It’s not this babies fault I was raped you know? I think this could be the one thing that keeps me from doing drugs again. I know that sounds so fucked up.” She said, shaking her head. “I was a long time addict, it started out a little weed, or prescription pills. Then a little coke and a lot of liquor. Then it just ran so far ahead of me until I was doing whatever I could get my hands on. I hurt my fiance and um my son badly during this time. I was a mess and Braden kept me away from my son. It’s a reality of my past and I can’t help but think this time it’s okay. It’s okay that I’m pregnant because I would lose them again if I used drugs. So this baby is protecting me and in some way I think God knew I couldn’t take another loss, so I will be getting an ultrasound and you will be telling me if my baby is alright. That’s it. We aren’t talking about an abortion of our child.” She sat up and looked at Braden reaching out to him. “Can we have a moment alone.” Tamara pushed the stray hair out of her face and behind her ears. When she heard the door close she exhaled. She felt Braden hand gripping hers tightly. Leaning her head into his she looked into his eyes.
“You’re gonna be a daddy again.” She whispered looking at him touching his face. “I’m sorry I didn’t fight more.” Tamara’s voice cracked as she lowered her head. “I’m sorry that our child is going through this. You never liked me working for MontCorp, and I should have listened.”
Braden looked at both of them and he was relieved when Tamara said she wanted to keep the baby and then she admitted to wanting to jump off the wagon and he felt his chest tightening. He could barely breath and soon he felt like both the doctor and Tamara were looking at him like he should say something and he couldn’t. His mind was too busy racing over the last sentence that she said that he was right about Dimitri. He never meant it like that, he wanted her to be successful and had pleaded with her to start over again at the hospital. He was actually more concerned about her being drugged into the Devonshire and Montgomery feud more than he was Dimitri. That was his mistake. He underestimated Dimitri and before he could do anything else he ran his hand through his hair pulling back and looking at them both. “I need some air.” He said racing for the door hearing it latch quietly behind him as he stepped into the hallway.
Braden had rushed out of the room as soon as everything was confirmed about Dimitri raping Tamara not able to face her in that moment. He of course was happy about the baby at the moment he had always wanted more children eventually and he knew that Dylan desperately wanted a sibling, so that was not his problem. His problem was at the moment with himself he had failed Tamara so horribly he didn’t know how to fix it. He should have never let her go on this trip alone even though she told him it would be fine. Dimitri was still on the loose on the same plane with her and as a lawyer he should have known better. He should have stepped up to the plate took work with him and came with her on this trip, hsi parents could have easily handled making sure Dylan got to lacrosse and rehearsals for the musical play without him or Tamara both there. Guilt ate at him as he paced back and forth wiping his eyes when he realized he was crying and he bent down pressing his palms to his eyes to try and stop his tears. He took a seat on the chair by the window trying to compose himself as he saw Tamara talking to the doctor none of it was helping so he pulled out his phone and looked at his contacts. Calling the one person he could always count on his mother, she needed to know and he needed them here. All of his family that could come he needed them here for Tamara to let her know she was still a part of his family. That she had people in her corner when he had failed her so badly.
“Mom.” He finally croaked out when she picked up and sure what else to say to her he began to sob into the phone he had failed so spectacularly at this point with Tamara this time. Sure he had done so in the past too when he would sometimes wafer back to Selina but this felt so much worse than that. He could have put Dimitri away if he had never touched him after what happened with Selina but the case had simply been thrown out he had got the news last night it was a conflict of interest the moment that he laid hands on him for assaulting Selina. He should have never went over there to defend her and none of this would have happened, Dimitri would be in a cell awaiting trial for sexual assault and Tamara would have never been in harms way, he heard his mother’s frantic voice and spoke. “I screwed up so bad this time mom.”
Lauren had been pacing back and forth since this morning when Braden left. She had seen a significant change in Tamara. She truly was all about her son and grandson. The love she had for Braden and it was unprecedented that she would go to New York and just throw that all away. Not this time. Something felt off especially when she heard that Tamara spoke with Dylan only hours ago. They had been trying to keep Dylan out the loop but he was getting older. She wondered if Dylan really seeing her at rock bottom would help her but destroy him. As she looked at the picture of Victoria she was painting. It was only off memory but Victoria was so special to them all and it made her feel warm that they were going to celebrate her memory soon. She was going to ask Jackie for help for some type of charity. She’d been thinking about her baby a lot lately and now she wanted nothing more than to talk to her son. As if magic her phone rang. “Please God.” She walked to the phone and saw Braden’s name and anxiously answered. “Hello.”
From the moment Braden was a child she could tell when he felt upset or something was eating at him. Same with Dani and if Victoria would have survived. For Braden it was the way he said mom. When he was six and broke Mr. Robinson’s window playing baseball he was so sad and the way her son said mom was the same way. When he said he said that he screwed up she felt a chill running down her spine. “What’s the matter Braden!” She said, calling out to her son. “Braden if she relapsed this isn’t your fault do you hear me?” Yet he didn’t go into a rant about drug abuse she heard him crying and that wasn’t like Braden. “Listen to me whatever this is baby we are a family and we will get through this but Braden you have to tell me what’s going on.” Lauren sat down in the rocking chair in the nursery looking at her grandchildren and her heart sank. “What’s going on son.”
“I was too late. I should have gone with her and none of this would have happened.” Braden said his mind was still racing over and over with what was going on with Tamara inside the room. How was he going to explain this to his family? How was he going to explain this to his son? That was the worst part not only had he failed the woman he was going to marry he had failed their son too. He always thought of himself as smart and above men like Dimitri getting way from him legally and he had been the one to fuck everything up. Mason had called him telling him that Selina needed to talk to him and then he had forced it out of him what that monster had done to her and he saw red everywhere. He got in his car not telling Tamara or Dylan where he was going and had showed up and beat the living shit out of the man that had terrorized a woman that he cared deeply for, that he had been married too and one that he liked to think of as a friend. Never in the back of his mind did he think that those actions would come back to haunt him and his family like they were now. “She’s in the hospital.” It was the only thing that he would will to come out and he let the silence sit between himself and his mother. He took a few breaths before he spoke again.
“She was attacked in her hotel room. She’s with a doctor right now.” Saying it out loud felt very real to him and almost like the aura of falsehood that he had built was gone. His mind wandered a bit for him to get the courage to speak. “Could you get dad, Dylan and Dani and come to New York she’s gonna need all of us. Dimitri is still on the loose. I’ll make a call to Dani and ask her to call Jon to look at the house. I don’t want Dylan to go back there.” He said rambling and he wondered if his mom even knew what he was implying with it all Dimitri on the loose the fact he didn’t want anything or anyone back inside the house that he and Tamara had. When his mother didn’t respond right away he spoke again. “He raped her in her room last night. I told her not go on this trip mom and I was so focused on my cases I opted to let her go alone. I put her in harm’s way with him when I knew better that he was not behind bars because of what I did to him. He installed cameras inside the house I have no idea how in the fuck he did that but I don’t want anyone in the house especially Dylan or the twins. I could have avoided all of this mom, this happened because I couldn’t put him behind bars because I beat his ass for what he did to Selina. He then targeted her and our baby.” He finished and he shook his head as he felt some tears slip out of his eyes.
Lauren sat on the phone in silence as the words hit her like bullets to her heart. Her hand began to shake as she grabbed her hand to steady herself. Feeling weak she lost her breath unable to say anything for a moment. Lauren paused as she stood up swiftly looking around. Paranoia seeped into her as she looked through her home wondering if he’d placed a camera here. For the twins or her? Then she gasped thinking about Dani and everyone needed to know Dimitri was on the loose. This man was terrorizing everyone; it wasn’t just Bliss, and Selina his reach was vast and wide. Her stomach dropped looking at her grandchildren. Her chest heaved as tears started to fall down her face. “My God, I was judging her and she was going through something so ugly. Oh I feel horrible I thought she relapsed.” She said with pain escaping her lips. “I’ll get everyone oh baby this isn’t your fault though. Braden please listen to me how could you expect he’d go after your family. This feels so unreal but we will rally around Tamara and love her so much do you hear me? We are the Fraiser’s and this will not break us.” She said commanding him to be stronger.
“Braden I need you to pull it together because honestly Dylan and Tamara need you. I’m here for you but they can’t see you fall apart. You hear me? You can cry to me baby but you have to be strong right now. The violation of a woman’s body is something harrowing.” She had never been assaulted but she volunteered at the girls home and women’s shelters for her entire adult life. Rape had affected many and it was so toxic. She held her head down biting her lip. “Some pain is something we can’t fix for her. She’s going to have to go through that alone. Right now we will be on our way. We are here for her and you. I’m on my way baby. I’m on my way momma’s on her way.” She rushed to grab the twin’s car seats. “I gotchu baby.”
Jackie had been at the mansion with Merci going over last minute wedding preparations. It was a few weeks away and she wanted to make sure things went smoothly. Merci was showing her the last minute arrangements with the decor and they were waiting for the bride to arrive. She saw her soon to be daughter in law arrive and smiled at her. Dani looked tired last night had been rough with the Devonshire jet being grounded due to weather and she had called to ask if Dani needed her help though she had insisted it would be fine. She respected her wishes but looking at her soon to be daughter in law she hugged her, a little tired but it seemed she had managed her first night without Jackson and the twins on her own just fine. The twins weren’t with her and she looked at Dani wondering where they were. She had been looking forward to seeing them. Of all the weddings she had been a part of Dani was probably the most laid back bride that kept her son in reality and she smiled. It is what made them such a good fit and probably drove her son crazy with love at the same time.
“Merci, did you make sure to order the rest of the flowers? The chairs will arrive from the country club of course I will make sure of it. Did you finalize the menu yet with the bride and the groom? Poinsettias are still going to be lovely and there is still snow outside. So I think that will work amazing unless you are thinking of moving the reception inside to make everyone more comfortable. I’m not sure guests want soggy shoes. Where are my adorable grandbabies?” Jackie said looking at Dani check her phone and seeing her face furrow with worry. “I do wish you and Merci would let me take a peak of the gown. I have no intention of spoiling that to my son. Are you alright? We can wait till Jackson gets here if you want. The plane landed a little bit ago and it only takes about half an hour, maybe forty-five to get here from the airport.”
Dani was tired. She had a great day with Whitney yesterday spending time with Miles and Morgan giving Ryan the side eye and learning the truth. She had grappled with that the rest of the day and decided after talking to Jackson the night before on the phone in video chat it was something she would tell him when they came face to face. She would have to explain the change in the seating chart to him and her decision to help Whitney and Ryan if that is what it came down to, she had given her word to her best friend. They had a sweet phone call that still made her blush when she thought about it, the twins had been up on and off but it wasn’t that bad, it seemed like they were finally getting a schedule down. She listened as Jackie went over a few details with Merci and her mind drifted to her brother who was driving through sleet and snow to get to New York and Tamara. She wasn’t like Tamara’s biggest fan but she got it when you loved someone you wanted them to be safe and she knew the Dimitri case was haunting her brother. Dimitri frightened her too and she just wanted him out of both of her family’s lives and at this point she didn’t care how that happened legally or illegally. He was a monster that should have been in the ground or jail years ago for everything that he put Bliss through.
“My mom wanted them for a few hours so this will let me get some wedding stuff done. Merci I do have one more seating arrangement that I would like to fix. If we could move the Harrison’s to the back Jon, Cassie and his parents that would be ideal. That way my bridesmaids and my groomsmen can be close to the front as well as the governor. I’m fine, I just have a lot on my mind. The poinsettias are going to be lovely Jackie along with the lights. I can assure you Jackie the dress is everything that I have been dreaming about.” Dani said looking at Jackie with a smile. The dress had been kept under strict wraps, the only people to see it being her, Val, Merci and her mother. It was delicate, yet sexy and feminine and had just the right amount of sparkle and winter elegance to it with everything Val had done. She wanted to surprise Jackson especially and as much as she loved Jackie she didn’t want to risk her slipping to Jackson about the dress. “If you want Merci we can wait for Jackson to finalize the menu. I haven’t heard from my brother since last night and I just want to make sure that he made it to New York okay in the middle of the storm.” She finished looking at them and saw them look at each other. “He was worried about Tamara with everything going on with Dimitri so he set out to drive up there late last night.”
“I’m sure Jackson will eat whatever you ladies want.” Merci said confidently as she looked at Dani and Jackie. “Okay picture it on the tray pass at the reception the appetizers are as follows; skewered rosemary shrimp with mint pesto, asparagus Parmesan cheese puffs, crab cake with creamy shrimp sauce, margarita tortilla spring rolls, for salad at the dinner mixed greens with blue cheese and candied almonds, french onion soup for the soup, the main entree pepper steak with port zinfandel and mushroom sauce, garlic mash potatoes, and asparagus with Parmesan butter. For desert Kahlua tiramisu, caramel macadamia cheesecake, and finally chocolate Chantilly cream.” Merci said as she walked through the mansion. “The country club has said the delivery should be here with the chairs at any moment and also poinsettias are arriving along with the gardenias that Jackson requested for you Dani. He said that he got them delivered to you while he was in rehab. He wanted both. I have orchestrated for fireworks for the newlyweds as they leave the estate in the six horse carriage. There will be of course a limo waiting for them after a mile up the road so you can enjoy the fantasy. Also I have arranged for the twins to be inside the limo with the nanny.” Merci smirked knowing she had utterly destroyed this wedding. This shit was error proof due to her being in charge. She wasn’t playing and refused to let her biggest showcase ever be ruined. Jackson and Dani wedding was being fucking covered by everyone. No way was the Atlas Falls curse going to get her this time.
Lauren had two of the butlers holding the twins in car-seats as she walked into the ballroom. “Baby I’m so sorry to interrupt.” Lauren had driven here crying the entire way trying to not alarm the twins. How in the world could this be happening? The rage she felt burning inside of herself just thinking about Dimitri assaulting Tam. As she saw the nannies taking the twins from the butlers she waited a few moments. “We are a family now with Jackson and Dani marrying each other. I don’t ask you for anything Jackie but I’m begging today. I need to get to New York immediately and commercial flights just won’t do. I need to get my grandson and I to Tamara.” She said looking at Dani whose eyes shared a worry that was much like hers. She knew what her daughter was thinking about another relapse. “As your family please help me Jackie.” Lauren covered her mouth as she saw Merci approaching her.
‘I’m fine Merci.” She fiddled with her coat buttons. “Yesterday Tamara went on a business trip the very same trip Jackson and Chauncey attended. She’s changing and I saw it but you know sometimes it’s hard to be proven wrong. That girl fought to change her life much like Jackson did. Now I’m scared for her so scared.” Lauren looked down. “After the press conference which admonished Dimitri. He must have felt like less of a man. Some way Tamara has interacted with this monster and he got in his head that she cared about him. From what I understand he’s been watching her and stalking her. He’s got cameras in my grandchild’s home. Oh God.” She weakly grabbed out to Dani and Merci. “He raped her. He beat her. He hurt her so badly Dani. Oh God.” Lauren collapsed inside of her daughter and Merci arms as she looked up at Jackie. “Please let me go to my son. He needs me. I can’t wait on a flight and I can’t help them from here. What do we tell Dylan? How do we explain this to him?”
Merci looked at Dani and her mouth hung open as she leaned over and rubbed Lauren back. She could remember the first time she met Lauren at the orphanage. She volunteered and was more a mother than anybody she’d ever known. “Dani we can finish this another time.” That’s when she heard voices and saw Jackson, Chauncey, Bliss, and Hunter all walking into the room. “I should go, we can finish this soon. I’ll email the menu to Jackson. You all should handle this as a family.”
Jackie was stunned as she picked up her phone sending a text to the pilot to tell him to cancel non essential business flights for the day she was sure there were a few. It was something that no doubt Lowell would find out about and be angry about. On the other hand her friend was suffering and she didn’t want to imagine the pain that Tamara was going through. It could have happened to Selina or Max, hell in some ways it had happened to Selina if what Ophelia told her was true just on another level of torture not to mention Bliss. “Lauren we will figure this out.” Jackie said seeing her phone begin to ring the pilot who said he was getting conflicting information about what he was supposed to do. “Let me talk to the pilot. Dani can ask Jackson to arrange it.” She said seeing Dani’s grateful face and then worrying passed on it. “The twins can stay here with me. I’ll be right back.”
Dani was shocked as her mother showed up with the twins in tow and looked at her face and then at the staff with the twins. By the time her mother had reached her she saw the tears flowing and was trying to decipher what her mother was saying bit by bit. Tamara was attacked and her heart sank, in fear and disgust. No wonder Braden hadn’t reached out to her yet her poor brother, she knew how he would think that he was at fault. She wasn’t sure what to say to her mother as she begged Jackie to let them borrow the Devonshire jet to get to New York as fast as possible, it wasn’t her jet, it was Jackson’s family. She embraced her mother as she nodded at Merci while her mother clung to her and Jackie took out her phone sending a text. She looked over her mother’s shoulder at Jackson and the rest of his siblings, she was glad he was home and her eyes met his. “I really need to get to New York. Something really bad happened with Tamara.” She said taking a few deep breaths seeing the fear on Bliss’s face. “Dimitri….I really just need to get to New York with my mom for my brother. Please.” She’d never asked to use the jet before ever and she likely never would again but this was a family emergency for her family.
Bliss knew what was happening and her heart sank. Just seeing Lauren collapsing into a puddle her heart melted knowing what he had done. Just hearing his name she began to feel weakened and gripped Hunter. “I have to go with them. I have to Hunter!” She said softly as she looked at Lauren. “I did this.” Bliss rushed away from them feeling the weight of what Dimitri had done to Tamara.
“Whatever the Fraiser’s need I want you to fuel that plane if we need to hire the best damn pilot do it if Jacques is too tired. I don’t care. We are going back to New York.” Jackson noticed a butler scurrying off to no doubt make the arrangements. He looked over at Chauncey and the guilt started to eat at him as well. They all had played a part in Dimitri downfall and now this had happened. Jackson walked to Lauren and touched her shoulder. Opening his arms he embraced his soon to be mother-in-law. “The Devonshire’s are here for you and Braden no doubt.”
Tamara blinked and saw the night was glumly here. She adjusted her pillow against her head and turned over seeing Mimi sitting in the room. “Hey come here.” She said knowing Mimi was shaken up. “Come here, get in the bed with me.” Pulling the covers back she felt her little sister snuggle up against her. As she threw the covers over their heads like they used to like children. “I’m going to be okay. You know how many women are assaulted every day and move on? I am going to move forward and forget all about this. I have no choice Mims. I don’t know if Braden told you but I’m pregnant. I’m not pregnant by Dimitri but I’m pregnant with my second child with Braden. It’s something right? I shouldn’t feel so unhappy right now Mimi. I’m so unsure of everything right now. Why couldn’t I find out about this baby before this. Now forever my child will be a reminder of the darkest day of my life. I tried.” She said honestly, laying her head on Mimi’s shoulder. “I can’t see any light. I can’t see anything but darkness because he just beat me and used my body. He just took me and I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. How can I be that woman? How can I be a wife? Or anything? I don’t want a man to even touch me.” She said looking at her sister.
When she heard the door open and the voices were familiar. She peaked her head from underneath the covers. Seeing Dani and Lauren along with Braden she smiled. “Y’all didn’t have to come to New York. I’m fine.” She lied as she looked at them. “It’s horrible what happened but I’m fine. I got my fiance and sister. I also got an amazing son and I’m pregnant.” She saw Mimi looking concerned. “I’m fine this is horrible and intrusive but we will get through this. So don’t worry about me. I don’t want you especially Dani your wedding is two weeks away. You are about to get married and I know that’s the biggest moment in a woman’s life. I just wish all this wasn’t happening around your big day. You know.” Tamara grabbed Mimi hand for support. She always felt judged as the wild Brooklyn girl who somehow snatched Braden. Then she overheard Lauren and Walter talking and Walter saying the girl trapped Braden and he was too dumb to see it. She always strained for the Fraiser’s approval and seeing them looking at her like a piece of glass she felt even worse. Turning her head she began to cry. “Can you two stop looking at me like that. I liked way better when you hated me. Stop looking at me like I’m going to break. I’m not going to break. I got this okay? I’m not going to disappoint Dylan or this baby. I’m not going to use or fall apart so stop looking at me like that.”
Lauren bit her lip for years they hadn’t been the nicest to Tamara. Especially while she was on drugs and it hurt when you saw how much you hurt someone else. Her judgemental behavior must have and still is affecting her. Stepping forward she looked at Dani raising her hand for her to stay back momentarily. “I haven’t always been the most civil to you. I can remember snatching Dylan from your arms when he was a baby. I can vividly recall how utterly hurt I was Braden chose you as the woman he would have a baby with. I didn’t like you because I thought you young mothers know nothing about sacrifice and want everything handed to you. I couldn’t believe how selfish you were last year. It was his eighth grade graduation and moving into high school. Here you were overdosed and you were at rock bottom. Then like a phoenix rising from the ashes of all of the ashes you got your life together. You started to be the woman and mother I always knew you could be. I’m sorry if I made you feel unworthy of Braden. As you know your boys your heart. I just wanted him to be happy and I know you make my boys Dylan and Braden so happy. Honey I’m not here to judge. I’m here to love you and support you that’s it.”
Mimi was glad to see some color in her sister’s face when she stepped back into the room. For a moment they were just two sisters sharing a memory from their childhood there was no Dimitri, no rape and no trauma there was just them sisters. When Tamara mentioned that she was pregnant again she smiled at her and hugged her tears of happiness in her eyes as she saw the same in Tamara’s. She was going to be an aunt again and she was so happy for her. “If you can overcome addiction like you have you are going to overcome this and be a great mom to both this baby and Dylan. How did Braden take it?” Mimi asked seeing Tamara about to answer the question only for the door to open and the Fraiser’s to burst in. “I really hope you are all here to be civil especially if she doesn’t want any of you here.” Mimi said glaring at Lauren and then at Dani. They had put her sister in a lot of hell over the years, hell she had put herself into with drugs too but she still had Tamara’s back when it came to Braden and his family. “I really hope that after last year you’re not here to cast judgement on this entire situation.” She finished looking at Dani and seeing her stew a bit, she turned her attention to Lauren and her quasi apology. “You were all certainly judgey when he was out there treating her like trash over the years.” She mumbled seeing Tamara glare at her. Fair was fair in her mind at this point Tamara was too polite over the years to say anything.
Dani looked at Mimi and almost glared back until she felt her brother behind her and she could swear he was staring at her warning her to keep her cool. Tamara didn’t need her to railroad her right not and she knew that and she wasn’t going to no one should have gone through what she did. Not even Greer and she hated Greer but she wouldn’t wish that on her, she never saw eye to eye with Mimi but she wasn’t going to start a fight either with her. “We’re all here to support Tamara Mimi. I really don’t think there is a need to rehash the past between my brother and your sister at this very moment.” Dani said feeling Braden rib her side and she looked back at Mimi and then Tamara. “We came because we’re all family you’re Dylan’s mother, my brother is marrying you and Fraiser’s take care of our own we always have.” She finished not sure what else either Mimi or Tamara wanted to say or not say.
“If you aren’t up for visitors I will send them out. Dylan is on his way with my Dad.” Braden said looking at Tamara and then at Mimi and then at Tamara. It was her call from here on out but he knew that his mother and sister were telling the truth about being here to support her. She was going to be his wife after his sister and Jackson were married and that made her family and more than just Dylan’s mother. “I think Tamara can decide for herself Mimi if she wants them here or not.” He finished he may have strung Tamara on with Selina for years but he had made his decision when he divorced Selina there was no turning back now. He was trying to be better for Tamara and his family than he had in the past.
“Mimi, it’s fine.” She said, clearing her throat as she looked at Dani and Lauren. She understood why they were here to support her because she was now a Fraiser. All the judgemental trash talking over the years. Tamara ran her hands through her hair exhaling. Her lips quivered as she looked at Dani and Lauren, two women who hurt her so much. With or without trying they’d made her feel like she’d never be good enough. How appreciative has she been that they held Dylan down when she couldn’t. The scars she had from the addiction and abandoning her baby boy with drugs. She loved Dylan so much but she wasn’t integral in his beginning years. Tamara smiled at them. “Thank-you for coming, Dani and Lauren. I appreciate this.”
Mimi looked at her sister and then back at the insufferable Fraiser’s well at this moment they were being pleasant. She wasn’t going to cause a huge uproar but she also couldn’t help but partially resent them. They had controlled Dylan’s life for years Walter especially in how he encouraged his son to take Dylan from her sister and basically let their family raise him with small input from her side. It was something that her parents had always been too polite to bring up with them and she had to remind herself to not mention it while she stared at Lauren and Dani. “I’m sure you two are here to wish my sister all the best along with the new addition to your family. You both understand how it is to be a mother and it would be a shame for history to repeat itself this time after what happened now wouldn’t it?”
“Of course we want the best for Tamara right now.” Dani bit out glaring at Mimi and doing her very best to not bite out at her. She didn’t wish Tamara to slip back into old habits and she really did believe that this time. Plus not to mention she was with Jackson. It would be hypocritical of her to even judge Tamara for it but it still made her mad. “I think Tamara knows we all support her and my brother at this time. We had agreed to all move forward and leave the past alone after last year.” She finished.
Braden looked between Mimi, his mother and his sister he got that Mimi was against him had been for years but he would like to think he and Tamara were in a better place now. He was young and Tamara had been young too, strung out so he did what he and his family thought was the best for Dylan. He was not going to apologize for that. “We’re all happy about the new baby Mimi. I don’t think dragging all this up is really the time or the place is it?” Braden said staring at her before turning his attention to Tamara. “Do you need me to go get you anything? You’ve been asleep for a few hours and the doctor did say you should at least try to eat something.”
“Yeah it’s a burger joint around the corner. I’m hungry, the baby needs some food.” She knew how to end this. “I remember dancing the night away when we first met and we got a burger right around the corner, Braden. I sort of remember my pregnancy with Dylan and I’m so ashamed of that. Some of it is a blur and it’s like I was craving a needle more than paying attention to the soul, I was bringing into the world. I had so many doubts about what was coming next for me at that time. I was uncertain of who I was as a person and a woman.” She cleared her throat. “But I’m sure of one thing now and certain that I will never forget a moment of this pregnancy. I’ll know this little boy or girl because I won’t miss a thing. Every flutter, every kick, every moment that I missed because of my actions Mimi with Dylan. Now were you two horrid to me? Yes but we are all in a new place. I have no choice but to forgive and forget because right now I need all the support and compassion I can get. So thank-you again for helping with my son when I couldn’t and thank-you for being here.”
Lauren wiped her eyes as years of pain was melting off this young lady. She stepped forward disregarding Mimi’s snide look. The glare in her eyes was a roar. She was a mother and strong that encouraged her deeply that they’d get through this. Going to Tamara she sat at her bedside and exhaled. “I’m sorry and I don’t understand what it’s like to have an addiction but I do want you to know I understand that you were in pain. That maybe instead of letting Walter and Braden just take Dylan we should have been helping you also. Without you we wouldn’t have Dylan and I wasn’t good to you. I was judgemental and mean. Tamara please forgive me and I want to be here for you and Braden and Dylan and my new grand baby. Oh another one you are all trying to make me old.” She said giggling seeing Tamara smile. Grabbing Braden’s hand with her other hand. Then uniting them looking at them both. “You are going to be protected and we close rank on our own. Believe that Mimi, she’s ours now and she always was. We just were blind to see it.” Lauren nodded at Tamara kissing her forehead standing up.
Braden looked at Tamara and then at his sister and his mother and almost had to laugh at her wanting food right now it was almost normal for all of them. He thought almost normal as he knew in the past, none of what was happening now was normal and that was going to be the case for him, Tamara and Dylan for the rest of their lives not to mention the unborn child she was carrying. She would always be looked at as the woman that Dimitri attacked that wouldn’t go away once he was caught or once he was dead everyone would still talk about it. Some would even speculate that the baby wasn’t his though they all knew it was based on her test results. “Sure I’ll head out and get you one.” Braden said squeezing her hand as he led his mother and sister out of the room. His head was spinning as he watched his mother walk down the hall likely to call his father or who knew Randall. He saw his sister following him without Jackson and before he thought further he looked at her. “I need you to call Jon.”
Dani had watched the entire exchange between all of them in that room she was going to support her brother and Tamara no matter what but Mimi was making it hard for her. The woman was often times insufferable and blamed her entire family for how they handled everything with Dylan which she got but she needed to let it go. She let Jackson go find Bliss and Hunter and as she saw Braden stalking away to go get food she followed him out almost crashing into him as she did so. “Ok I’ll call him to look at the house.” She said and she saw her brother stop and take a deep breath and look at her.
“No I need Jon here and I need you to ask him something. I don’t trust anyone else.” Braden said looking at her, they were close siblings would lay down their lives for each other. She was a parent now knew what it felt like to be in his shoes and as much as he hated to admit it, she was going to marry Jackson and hopefully not have an entire rehashing of on drugs and off drugs that he and Tamara did. “I need you to ask Jon in person to take care of Dimitri for me. For Dylan and mostly Tamara.”
“What?” Dani asked looking at her brother like he had lost his fucking mind. Her eyes darted around the hospital wondering if she had heard him right take care of Dimitri. “Like arrest him?” She said trying to clarify the out of the blue comment.
“No like I want him gone Dani. Jon knows how to do it he could in a heartbeat never get caught.” Braden said his voice low as he marched to the exit and he turned to look at the horrified look on his sister’s face. “I’m asking you as my sister to help me rid Dimitri from my life, from Dylan’s and Tamara’s. We’re family that is supposed to mean something always has. Don’t look so shocked Lowell Devonshire would kill his own flesh and blood to get ahead in business and we’re here talking about a rapist. Hell Jackson would kill someone if it meant you were safe or maybe he wouldn’t I don’t know. For the twins though I could see you or Jackson wanting whoever hurt them under too. I’m asking for you to do the same and help me. If you can’t I’ll ask dad to do it.” Braden finished looking at her almost pleading with her he asked his mother or father to ask Jon they likely wouldn’t they’d try to talk him out of it.
Dani didn’t know what to say to him instead she stood there and then shook her head up and down and then she saw her brother walk out the doors. She didn’t know why she had agreed to it as she sent Jon a text on her phone asking him to come to New York and the hospital so she could ask him.
Lauren saw Braden alone doing something she hadn’t seen him do since the bar exam. He was smoking a cigarette. “A nasty habit that you picked up from your father. Even when we were breaking up I knew when he snuck out and got smoke. I used to love the menthol on him. Although you no doubt bummed this from someone it’s not a good look.” Taking the cigarette from her son’s mouth and stepping on it. “I can’t imagine the emotions you are going through right now Braden. This has to be an absolute rollercoaster. One moment you’re high because that little baby is growing inside of her, and the next is the pain she feels is so low. The hurt and loss she is in that you can’t fix. I can’t fix and you can’t either. This is her road and it’s a long dark one. It’s one that will have sharp turns and unbelievable delays but you will get to your destination with the woman you love. I favored Selina over the years because I saw how much you wanted it. I never disliked Tamara but her addiction and the way she’d use Dylan at times. It hurt me because he was hurting. Then last year somehow it just happened. She finally saw who she was. She was a mother and damn good one. She saw that she was still in love with you and that’s what she was hiding from. That’s what forced her into the drugs because she was hurt. I don’t know how but Tamara let go of all that baggage to gain so much more. I’ve never been violated or disrespected at this level. Taking something so precious from a woman is brutal. It’s rare that I can say this but I was wrong. I was so wrong about her because she has changed. She’s a mom to Dylan in ways that I didn’t think she could be. Their bond electrifies my spirits because I think about me and you. You were my first born kid.” She said leaning over and kissing Braden head.
“You were such an amazing baby. Have I ever told you the story of when my mother saw you. She was dying at the time of Alzheimer and dementia but she sang to you. Just like she did to me.” Lauren wiped her eyes. “I gave up on my family a long time ago. My family never has my back. Now you can sit here and wallow in self-loathing because you couldn’t save her. Or you can go inside and tell her that you can’t breathe thinking about this. That you want to take her pain away. Tell her baby because if Walter would have done that when Vicky died. If Walter would have loved through my pain and hurt. I think we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t have a broken family. Don’t sit here and do what the Fraiser men are known for doing. Don’t be stoic and quiet. You tell her what you feel. If you want to kill Dimitri you let her hear it. You are hurting because she can’t touch you, you tell her. The only way to get through all of this pain is to walk in the trenches together. Now baby I’m so sorry that I can’t give you the answers but that baby inside of Tamara. That is your light at the end of this darkness. You gotta remember that grand baby of mine is love you two have. It’s the love you two share.” She said touching the lapels of his leather jacket. “Braden talk to me, tell me what I need to do to help you.”
“You can’t help me.” Braden said looking at his mother with so much darkness in his eyes he wasn’t sure he would stop swimming in it. He didn’t want to stop swimming in it, he wanted it to consume him until Dimitri was caught or dead, one of the two and he didn’t care which came first or last. “Dad would smoke when you two would fight, Dani and I used to watch from the window upstairs. Sometimes we’d wonder if you knew he’d do it sneak off to the little door by the garage while he’d smoke and then you’d cry for hours in your room.” Braden said looking at her and he paused. That was something that he and his sister had both promised their children they wouldn’t have to go through watching parents fight like that, he had failed at that too. “I wasn’t stupid when I met Tamara I knew she had problems and was using, it was small stuff at first and then it got harder. I was awful to her back then but I did want the best for Dylan and if you or her or anyone else wants to shame me for that then so be it. He didn’t deserve that and even now, Dimitri took her from him callously and he doesn’t deserve that either.” Braden said quietly as he looked out at the night, pitch black what he felt like his soul was at the moment. He had heard stories about his grandmother whose sister was named after her. If she knew what he was going to have his sister and then himself ask Jon she’d turn over in it.
“I’m not trying to be stoic about this. I don’t know how to help her, I was the one that let him back on the streets in the first place. I should have never driven over to Selina’s that day to help her or lay my hands on him and that is on me. All of this is on me.” He said looking at his mother not sure if she would ever understand he wasn’t even sure that his own father could understand. He knew what he was going to do and he didn’t care if it cost him an election when it came time or not for his job. No one else would ever need to know as far as he was concerned, if the law in New York wasn’t going to help put an end to Dimitri’s reign of terror when it came to his assault on women like Tamara he would. “I’m happy about the baby you know I am. Dylan has been begging for a sibling for years. I’m just shocked that this is how we found out. Or that instead of what should be a joyous time for us both it’s clouded in the filth that is Dimitri Kavanaugh and what he took from her.” He was thrilled about the baby but he wasn’t going to pretend to be happy about the circumstances and how they found out.That was not something he was willing to do, put on a fake smile when she was in so much turmoil and pain and pretend that everything was alright when it wasn’t. “So tell me how I should act.” He finally relented looking at his mother.
“You don’t have to act like anything with me baby. You want to scream, then scream. You want to punch something there’s a wall. You want to hurt someone well I can’t allow you to do that.” Lauren touched Braden’s hand holding it and pulling him closer to her. “When I was in my grief about Victoria, I visited Forbes. I went to the small office that was MontCorp at the time with a gun. I was lost in my pain of losing a baby. I aimed the gun at him and asked him why didn’t he save Victoria and not me. I was so wrapped up in the intoxicating feelings of my own pain I didn’t see Dani’s pain, your pain, or even your father’s. I just wanted it to stop and Audrey came in like an angel. She grabbed the gun and told me she was so sorry about what happened to Victoria. So I can’t let you hurt anyone but Braden if you want to scream or shout do it.” She said looking at him. “Rape doesn’t mean that we have forgotten her past and nobody is trying to make you feel guilty for doing what you had to do. You protected my grandson and at that time she wasn’t able to be a mother so don’t think I wasn’t by your side. You made a difficult choice, something I was never able to do. It took years for me to walk away but you did it so bravely with a newborn in tow.” She squeezed his hand.
“Look it’s in your blood to want revenge, you’re Irish and you’re my kid. Our sense of justice is askew and we know when there should be blood for blood. He hurt her and the pain should continue. That’s what you’re thinking. If I could bet money you’re thinking of ways to mutilate that son-of-bitch. I need you to act like a father again. I need you to snap out of this pain because once you go down the dark one way street. It’s only truly one way out. To lose some of your humanity to take someone else’s away. Braden you’re ADA and you have such a bright future but I’m scared of what you will do. I’m so scared of what will happen now. So I need you to act like the father you are. Put on a brave face because baby he might walk. I know you don’t want to hear that, I know you don’t even want to think about that. Hmmm.” She said softly looking at his eyes. “I didn’t think that Lowell Devonshire would write off us so easily. I thought because he didn’t have a strong family unit. His brother was this smarmy asshole and his sister was a globetrotting ditz. I just thought he wouldn’t hurt us. The truth is the rich get richer and they get away with so much more than we ever could. It’s not your fault and not mine. It’s the way it is. I just need you. Do you understand that? I need you not to slip into the darkness because that woman and boy need you. They need you and I need you my son not to do anything stupid. I’m scared because the only other time I saw this look in your eyes. Is when you almost ran away when we told you about Victoria.”
Braden almost gave himself a way with his mother when she told him to not do anything stupid if she’d only been there when he and his sister spoke she’d know everything. She’d know he wasn’t above being dangerous when pushed to his limits and she may have felt that with Victoria but he wondered if she would ever really act on it. He would and he considered that the biggest difference he had no problem avenging Tamara in that way. He would do it if he escaped legal justice in the system, it was the least that he could do when it came to everything. He closed his eyes and his mother and father never had to know what he was going to have Dani ask Jon that was between them and sometimes kids didn’t tell their parents everything. This was one of those times. “I just thought me and Tamara wouldn’t have to put up with shit now. She’d just got everything on straight again and I thought we’d be alright. I didn’t plan on her working at Montcorp next to Dimitri.” Braden said giving his mother something as he pushed the other thoughts back.
“Where are dad and Dylan? At least some things stay the same even now, dad wouldn’t get on the Devonshire jet. Here I thought the world was upside down a few hours ago when I arrived to find Tamara, at least there is that sense of normalcy.” He finally asked to change the subject everyone else had jumped on the Devonshire jet but his father. Even now refusing a handout from the Devonshire’s on the other hand he had a feeling it was to not spook his son into asking too many questions. “I know dad didn’t want to frighten him and lied to him about visiting Tamara’s parents but he’s smart and they should be at least almost here by now.” Braden finished looking at his mother. He knew that for now they were civil to each other when it came to their family but he also knew that having his father around was not his mother’s favorite thing when it came to anything.
“Walter texted me about twenty minutes ago saying they are in the city and almost here maybe about ten more minutes. Jon rode behind them so Dylan knows something is up. He is smart and even more scared because he hasn’t heard from Tamara. They talk all the time. It’s sweet because it truly reminds me of you and I. Braden I am sorry that everything is off balance right now. But you two love each other and I assure you that is enough to carry you through. It is going to be the saving grace in the darkness. When you two see that little baby boy or girl. Oh my God the pain will wash away. You will wonder how you couldn’t see how beautiful life can be. You will get through this unlike what Walter and I did. We failed our test from God and it’s okay because sometimes I truly believe our destiny was to give the world Braden and Dani.” She said rubbing his face. “Dylan will be stronger than you believe and so will Tamara. You just have to continue doing what I know you do already be their rock.”
Lauren leaned in and hugged her son letting him just rest in her arms. Sometimes no matter how old a child got they just needed their mother. She was going to be here for all three of them because Tamara would need support and she was going to help. Her guilt of her years of superiority was catching up with her. She sniffled holding back tears. “She forgave me so easily, that’s the woman who is inside that room. She has a huge heart and I couldn’t see it for a while. I do now though. Everyone will know her grace as her belly grows and questions arise she’ll be amazing. I saw it in her eyes.”
Dani knew that Jackson was still a little beefy with Jon but when her brother had pulled her aside to make the call to Jon she simply compiled. She didn’t tell Jackson what her brother had asked her to do but she understood it. As a parent she understood it more than she cared to admit if someone had done what Dimitri did to her or hell Jolene or Donovan she would probably do the same. She looked down at her phone when the text came and she looked up seeing Jon there and was glad when she saw that Devin wasn’t with him. She looked at a man that she and Braden considered to be like family and her stomach was full of so much bile threatening to rise wondering if she could actually do it. She didn’t know how much time they would have by themselves her mother was with her father and Dylan in the cafeteria. Jackson had went there with Bliss, Braden was inside the room with Tamara talking on his phone to what she assumed was Lex here in New York about what Dimitri had done on the legal side. She was grateful that Jon had taken the drive when she and Braden had texted him to get him here.
“Thanks for coming um so last night Dimitri attacked Tamara. Raped her and left her in the hotel room. Braden said it was methodical, no cameras in the hallways were all down, no one else was booked on the floor so no witnesses to what happened. You know where I am going with this, he’s seen it so many times in court he said she said.” Dani said looking at Jon, her eyes pleading as she was the sympathy over Jon’s eyes and she hated it. Jon had seen some dark shit in the military. One being that woman that was beaten and raped that was part of his unit, he knew the horror first hand. Hell he’d probably handled cases like this before and she spoke quietly. She knew she should be worried about telling him about Miles too but her focus right now was on Tamara and her brother, her family. “He had cameras in their house. Jon Braden has no idea how he got them in there and he’d like you and Devin to go and take them out. He’s trying to make sure the police here do their part and to make sure that she has representation here if it goes to court. You’re probably asking why he wanted only you here.” Dani finished looking at Jon knowing what she had to ask for Tamara especially.
Jon drove from Atlas Falls three hours to make it to NYC. Pennsylvania and New York were close enough for him to do that. For a long time he thought about why he was being called here. Hell the entire ride. Most of all hearing Cassie talking about how harrowing the entire thing was. She called him and he lied saying he was at the station. Since he was in the military he saw a young boy die at his very own hands, a woman brutally raped in his unit and he testified against the men, and so much more. The brutality of war was something you didn’t forget. Hell it was why he came back from the war so screwed up. All he knew was fighting after a period and sex numbed that. Sex with Skye, sex with a random women, and even Nicole couldn’t help him. He smiled thinking about Nicole. It was a long time ago before she left for Chicago attending medical school and didn’t look back. He screwed up with her but that was life. Nicole was the one girl after Dani he thought he could marry. She wasn’t from Atlas Falls but she was a classically trained musician and attended college believing she wanted that. It wasn’t long before her true calling of medicine hit. He heard she was married now living a good life, which he was happy about.
When he approached Dani he could tell she was on edge. He wasn’t even sure what he could say to Braden or Dylan. That kid was like all of their sons to be honest. Braden helped all of them grow up when he came home with a toddler and he couldn’t help but feel like Dylan didn’t deserve this trauma. “I’m not certain that I want to know. Dani I’m going to do whatever he needs to make sure not only is Dimitri done but that buried underneath the jail. He deserves it and we will protect Tamara. You have my word.” He saw the look on Dani’s face. “What’s the matter Dani? I sense there’s more to the story. Or else why did you have me drive three hours on the road to get here.” Folding his arms in front of himself he looked at her and smiled. “I missed you needing me. We were friends before I messed everything up trying to cross a line. I think I want my friend back considering we both are marrying trust fund babies. I think it’s best us poor kids stick together huh.” He teased trying to cut the tension. “What’s up?”
“Braden knows how things like this can go; he’s scared Jon. He thinks it’s his fault he was working so much on whatever you guys have planned with Ronan and the office he didn’t come with her on the trip. He’s angry at everyone, especially himself. I think that is why he had me call you instead of him.” Dani said looking at him and she could see Miles in his eyes she hadn’t before now, now that she knew the truth though she saw it. She reminded herself that she had told Ryan and Whitney she wouldn’t say anything; it wasn’t her place that was on Skye Morgan to tell Jon about their child. She tapped her foot on the ground for a bit as her mind drifted back to the task at hand. “My family is always going to be close with yours Jon and we are all grateful for everything that you did last year for me when it came to Kendrick. I wasn’t in a place back then to be that girl for you and I should have told you that before last year when I was with Jackson. I just…you’d been through a lot and so had I we’d kissed a few times while we were both drinking. I didn’t want it to be awkward between us like that.”
“You’ve done things.” She said quietly her voice barely above a whisper she knew about them because he had told her because they were close. They were all close to Miranda, her brother and Jon, she had heard what he went through. Her eyes met his and saw the shock on his face. Jon had killed people for the military, he was the best of the best that was no secret in their circle of friends. “This goes south with Dimitri. He needs you to do those things again with a certain prince. I’d pay you of course for your trouble. No one else has to know. Dimitri gets away legally. He needs you to take care of the problem. For Dylan, for him, for my parents and above everyone else Tamara. You don’t have to say anything right now. If it’s a matter of money once Jackson and I are married I’ll have plenty I can pay your fee. No one would ever have to know.” She finished Jon was looking at her like she had lost her damn fucking mind and she wondered if she was though compared to some of the things she knew about Charles and his power, things she had witness and done it seemed like child’s play.
Jon looked at Dani as if she had lost her damn mind. Then he folded his arms knowing what she was asking. Closing his eyes he felt the swelling of the entire situation. “Dani I don’t want money, I would want a college fund for my future kids. I don’t want to have to worry about that. I’m saying I know enough that I can protect my friends if it comes down to it. If he does get off or get away with this. I’ll end his life, do you hear me?” Jon said looking at Dani seeing Jackson, Bliss, and Hunter approaching them. As he looked at Dani he touched her shoulder. Leading to Jackson staring at him like he had lost his mind. “I got your back.”
Jackson looked at Dani and Jon and felt a slight twang of jealousy and he couldn’t believe he was here. He couldn’t escape this guy he always was here during some drama or scandal. Dani looked shocked and he couldn’t believe the way he touched her. “Hey what’s going on Dani? Jon what are you doing here? I mean isn’t this assault out of your jurisdiction considering you couldn’t get Dimitri for the assault on Selina?” He could tell Dani wasn’t happy with his snappy commentary. He wasn’t happy that Jon Harrison was always around his woman. That little touch did something to him. It made him jealous and he couldn’t believe it but he didn’t want them around each other. Cassie or not he saw the look in his eyes. Unrequited love or maybe he was just paranoid. Either way Jackson walked up and placed his arm around Dani. “I hope you mean both of our backs Jon. I mean I’m a Fraiser as much as she is a Devonshire.”
Dani almost jumped when Jackson’s voice snuck up on them how much had he overheard? She could feel the tension between Jackson and Jon and wondered if it would ever go away. She had apologized to Jon and Jackson knew that she was fully committed to him, maybe it was Skye they were both still upset over. She tried to not let that bug her even if sometimes it sneak into the back of her mind. “Braden asked me to call him. He really needs all the support that he asks for right now.” Dani said looking at Jackson and then sending a grateful glance at Jon she was still shocked at his answer but she wasn’t going to ask about the why’s with Jackson standing right there. She looked at Bliss and the flowers she had. “Those are really nice do you want to see if Tamara will see you?”
Hunter had went with Bliss to New York; he trusted Jackie with Fox at the estate and the entire trip there he had to wonder if Bliss would even be welcome. He didn’t know Tamara all that well but he knew that sometimes anger in this type of a situation people could lash out. He thought it was odd that Jon drove all the way up from Atlas Falls and he could tell that Jackson still hated him. He wanted to remind Jackson that he was screwing Skye knowing full well she was screwing Jon too. It was probably the reason that he despised him so much regardless he hoped both of them were not going to make this about them it was about Tamara at the moment. “I think Bliss would really like that wouldn’t you?”
“I would.” Bliss looked at the flowers and truly wanted to say something to Tamara to help her. She was raped by Dimitri and somehow you pick up the pieces and figure it out. As she slowly strolled forward she looked at Hunter and Dani. “I’m not afraid of Dimitri anymore and I need her to know there are so many women here to support her. We are a fortitude of might and I want her to know that she is not alone. He attacked me, he raped me, he beat me over and over again. I am here to let her know that she is in my prayers. Dark nights are ahead for them all but they can get through it.” She clutched the flowers in her hands as she looked at them. Stepping toward the door. Knocking Bliss opened the door and looked at Tamara’s hardened eyes. She noticed her sitting up taking her in. “Hi, I brought these for you. If you and Braden don’t mind I’d love to speak to you.” Looking over at Lauren and stepping inside. As she looked at Tamara she moved closer. “I wanted to say I understand how you feel and I understand what he did to you but Tamara you will prevail over him. You will.”
“Stop.” Tamara said looking at the other woman as Braden took the flowers from the woman. She saw Hunter Kincaid outside of her room and shook her head. “I can’t believe you showed your face here. That man was sadistic and violent. You knew this the entire time you came to Atlas Falls. You knew how dangerous and evil he was and you just stole your sister’s husband and we all just thought oh shit another Devonshire. Oh shit more rich people drama but you came with a virus and sickness that infected our city. It poisoned us all and you and your royal child have caused so much pain so you don’t know what it’s like to be me. For him to say he was fucking watching my family. Why didn’t you just say a sociopath was fucking holding your son hostage and raping you!” Tamara screamed at Bliss as she looked at the woman looking startled. “He targeted me, and Selina and any other fucking woman that was raped or attacked after you! You vapid little bitch! You were so wrapped up in your pain and hiding your perfection that you couldn’t protect your fellow fucking woman! He raped me because of you! Get out!” Tamara screamed furiously. “GET OUT!” She screamed again, forcefully roaring at Bliss . “I don’t want to see your face! I don’t see you! I don’t want to see you! I don’t!” Tamara’s voice was breaking and cracking from her tirade. “Go!” She shrieked with another guttural scream.
Bliss stood frozen as the words that Tamara launched at her and her lips quivered as she heard what the woman thought of her. Exhaling she shook her head seeing Braden sadden eyes for her and looking at Lauren who was also startled at Tamara’s fury. “You don’t get to speak to me like I’m not a victim in this mess. But you need someone to hate right now and that’s me fine. But those bruises on your face aren’t from my fist. That feeling of disgust and hate isn’t because of me. I left my own fucking son with him do you know how fucked up I must have been to do that. He did unimaginable things to me. So I’m sorry for you and Selina but I warned her. I came to say I’m so sorry.” She noticed a woman coming into the room with coffees.
Lauren walked to Bliss and grabbed her shoulders looking at the girl crushed as she saw Braden. Tamara wanted her gone and Mimi coming back meant that no doubt she’d kick Bliss ass for Tamara right now who clearly wasn’t thinking straight. But she had a point Bliss should have warned everyone just how sadistic and twisted Dimitri was. “Come on I’ll walk you out.”
“Please get your hands off of me.” Bliss said coldly as she walked out of the room. Slamming Tamara’s door seeing Jackson and Dani along with Hunter. “I presume that you can either charter another plane or the pilot can fly Hunter and I home. I would rather chew glass than be around Tamara Wright. She blamed me for everything.”
Dylan stood down the hallway watching Hunter Kincaid and Bliss Devonshire rushing away. The look on her face was grim. What was she doing here? Grandpa had only said that it was a family emergency. Well if that was true then what were a Kincaid and Devonshire’s doing here? Well that was contradictory because his aunt Dani was marrying a Devonshire but that wasn’t the point. Today seemed different the way Grandpa talked about sports and even tried to pry to see if he liked Maddie or some other girl. It was strange and he just wanted to get out of the ride from hell. He even asked him what exactly a onlyfans page was. Thanks Twitter. Where did his Grandpa learn this stuff? He was excited because his injuries were almost healed and he was anxious to get back into lacrosse. Choir had been a great distraction but he wasn’t sure that music was the way. After all lacrosse and football were guaranteed scholarships. He didn’t know exactly if his parents had a college fund for him but he was sure that he had to have a way out of Atlas Falls. His grandfather was the mayor, his dad the DA, and his grandmother was a pillar of the community. How would he live? Dylan didn’t want to do drugs or anything like that but he did want to breathe and live to be a teen. Sometimes he felt an undeniable pressure to be perfect.
Looking up he saw Jackson and Dani standing outside with his aunt Mimi. He ran to his aunt because he hadn’t seen her in about two years. Mimi and his cousin Marcello who he FaceTimed with all time. He hugged her tightly as he looked at her clearly seeing that they all were emotional. “Man can someone explain what’s going on? Grandpa won’t tell me anything but is prying about my teenage life so I know it’s serious. What’s up guys? Where’s Mom and Dad?” Leaning on the wall he saw everyone face. “What’s going on?” He looked at his grandfather and granny walking toward them calmly. “No seriously what’s going on? Grandma and Grandpa never ever speak to each other cordially this is bullshit. I’m not two anymore. I should be informed on what was going on.”
“Watch your mouth Dylan.” Lauren said approaching her grandson. She wrapped her hands around his face kissing his forehead. “Hey your grandfather and I can get along. Your parents need to speak with you before the press and media begin to speak on this situation. I promise you Dylan, your aunts, Jackson, grandpa, and all of us are here with you. Do you hear me?” She knocked on the door looking at Jackson and Dani. “Braden, Dylan’s here.”
Walter had made sure to not alarm his grandson as best he could he simply had informed him that they had to go to New York hat his mother was ill. It was the reason his dad had left in the middle of the night to drive there, a half truth one that he felt was best to tell. It was better than the awful truth to what he had been able to get out of his son and daughter. He had politely declined the Devonshire plane ride part out of pride but also due to wanting to keep calm. Dylan’s life would forever be changed once they reached New York and he learned the truth about what that man had done to his mother. He looked around the hospital waiting room when they arrived taking in everyone that was there Tamara’s sister whom he couldn’t stand of course Lauren, Dani and Jackson. He had assumed that Tamara’s parents would be there or perhaps they were waiting till everything calmed down a bit and they were all gone. He saw Mimi hug Dylan and wanted to roll his eyes and when instead his grandson was enveloped by Lauren and his daughter he couldn’t help the satisfied look he gave Mimi who was still glaring.
“Your grandma is right, you know we can be cordial when it comes to things. You saw us at the baby shower and at your last lacrosse game perfectly cordial and polite to one another. I told you on the car ride here that your mother was sick.” Walter said nodding at his daughter as she and Lauren started to walk Dlan down the hall towards Tamara’s room. He wanted Dylan to learn the truth from his parents that was not his place to do so nor was Lauren’s or Dani; or heaven forbid Mimi’s. There was a delicate way to handle this and it was best to come from Tamara and Dylan themselves. As for Dimitri Kavanagah if he knew what was good for him he wouldn’t step foot in his city ever again. “I think it’s best that your mother and father tell you what is going on Dylan.” He said looking at Braden as he opened the door for them to drop Dylan off.
Braden had been prepared the moment his father had texted him that he and Dylan were there. He didn’t know what he and Tamara were going to say but he was going to not hide what happened from his son that didn’t seem fair to him. He would find out rumor was it was already all over the news and he was sure that Dylan would hear it at school or when they returned home and he wanted him to he prepared at school and at home. He looked at his father, mother and sister gratefully for taking care of Dylan and sheltering him from what was going on as much as they could. He closed the door for a moment wanting to give Tamara few moments before they spoke to Dylan to get her own thoughts in order.
“Hey I’m really glad you are here and that grandpa got you here okay. Our mom was really worried about you and I didn’t have a chance to really explain anything before I left last night.” Braden said looking at Dylan and seeing his family anxious and cautious about what was about to happen. Something that he never would imagine to happen to anyone in his family let alone Tamara. The past twenty four hours had been hard on all of them but especially Tamara. He still was trying to wrap his head around what happened and how she was doing. “Let’s come on in and well explain everything.” He said leading Dylan inside and then looked at Tamara. “You ready?” He asked her.
“Yeah.” She croaked out as she looked up at her son’s shocked face. The adults were better at hiding it but he was disturbed seeing her beaten. “I think we should start with the good news. I don’t want this to be so sad you know. Your father and I found out we are having a baby and you finally are going to be a big brother.” Tamara lips quivered. “I quit my job with MontCorp and I won’t be going back. While I was in New York, Dimitri Kavanaugh attacked me. He brutally beat me and raped me. I don’t want the media to have you thinking this baby is his or anything else. I’m two months along and this is your father’s baby. I’m not on drugs but they didn’t want to move me until tomorrow and we didn’t want this to get out any other way to you. I’m sorry that you are going through this. I’m sorry I seem to bring so much drama in your life.”
“Mom.” Dylan said walking to his mother and wrapping his arms around her. Tears began to fall down her face. For the first time in Dylan’s life he felt like killing someone. He’d never hated someone so much in his life. Touching his mom’s bruised face and kissing her forehead he rocked back and forth as she cried. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here. Dad please tell me he’s in custody. Tell me he’s going to jail for the rest of his life for violating mom.” He asked his father, looking pissed. “My damn grandfather is mayor and you are ADA please tell me he’s going to jail for the rest of his life!” Dylan demanded answers from his father.
Braden looked at his son and then at Tamara the police here in New York were looking for Dimitri Lex had called in a few favors as had Charles to the mayor in New York an old friend. Dimitri was on the run no doubt surrounded by a very good legal team and money that could help him. He knew that look on Dylan’s face it was the same that he had when everything had happened he saw Tamara looking at him to speak to say something to reassure her and his son that he could do something legally it was out of his jurisdiction. He had a back up plan if Dimitri got a away and that was what he would take to his grave if he had too. Dani had assured him that she had talked to Jon and he was even more shocked when Jon apparently agreed. He knew that done things when he was in Iraq but he didn’t think that it meant that he would seriously take up the offer. Of course he had hoped and even now anger was surging through him about if Dimitri was not caught and how he had been the one to let him go.
“The police are looking for him, this happened here Dylan in New York it’s complicated in that regard. I assure you that I have pulled every string we can your grandfather has reached out to friends to help and so I have I. Charles and Lex are looking into this as we speak. They have reach here where I don’t. I don’t have jurisdiction here.” Braden said looking at him and then seeing the shock on Tamara’s face she knew he was in dangerous water when he reached out to Lex and Charles but he was faced with no other choice when it came to Dimtiri and doing now what he had to in order to protect her. It was something he was willing to do and despite what Lex had done to Dani he still respected Charles as a figure in his life and Lex was a fantastic lawyer. “Jon’s looking into it too, he and Devin assured me that once or if Dimitri steps foot into Atlas Falls again he will be turned over and face his consequences. I know you’re upset so are we, we’re happy about the baby though Dylan and our family. We’re going to get through this I promise.”
Dylan was silent as he heard his father basically saying that Dimitri was still free. Clutching his fist together so tightly digging his fingernails into his skin. Looking at his dad he felt assured that he’d do all he could to protect his mom. This guy had hurt Selina and now momma. That made him feel disgusted. He was hurting because why did this shit keep happening to his mother? She didn’t deserve this and he was going to do anything to make her see that. He folded his arms and looked at his parents. “I hate him so much.” He grumbled underneath his breath as he looked at his father. When his father and he were alone he’d get him to promise to get Dimitri. He didn’t want to even bring him up. “Mom.” His chest started to rise in tension because he couldn’t attack Dimitri or do anything. He almost felt like he couldn’t stand as his eyes welled up with tears. “I’m so sorry mommy.” Dylan’s lip quivered as he looked at his dad. “Can I go get some water?” Holding back his tears not wanting his mother to see him cry.
Tamara covered her mouth hearing that Lex and Charles were now involved in this. That meant Braden was using capital. She wiped her eyes knowing her son was on the verge of tears and was trying to be strong for her. She looked away. “Yeah Dylan go ahead. I love you baby.”
“I love you too mom.” He said walking past his father furious that Dimitri was free. Furious that this was happening. As he stormed out of the room he brushed past his aunt Dani and Jackson. He saw his grandparents standing up as he looked at his grandfather. He couldn’t help it. He ran into his arms and just started to bawl crying. His mother looked like she just survived the fight of her life. He was singing at a choir while she was being raped. He couldn’t take it. “Grandpa! Please get him! Get Jon!” He saw Jon walking up. “Please Jackson!” Dylan turned around. “You’re a Devonshire! Please! Please stop him!”
Braden didn’t know what else to say to his son as he watched him leave the room and run to his father. Despite all his dad’s flaws growing up he was always there for Dylan and he and Dylan were close he deep down wished none of this would have happened. He saw his son pleading with his soon to be uncle and Jackson just standing there honestly that was not his burden to bear he was not Dylan’s parent he was. He was his father and it was his job to keep his son and Tamara safe not the Devonshire’s. He avoided looking in his mother’s eyes and avoided his dad’s too, they barely caught a glimpse at his sister and he shot her a knowing look her text earlier confirming what he asked her to do. Instead he went to Dylan wrapping his arms around him as he met Jon’s eyes in the flood of people as a chill went through him looking at Jon. There was a look on his best friends face something that made him realize the weight of what he had asked and Braden wondered if he could live with that weight.