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Days Fanfiction: For when the writers don't give us what we want

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There's a fanfic thread over at the GH forum so I thought we could use one here.  I have an idea for a story that I'll be posting Chapter 1 of later today.  I will wait so that it doesn't get attached to this opening post.

 

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Temptation, Part 1

 

It was a typical Friday night at Club TBD.  Ben and T were working the bar, Sonny was working the crowd, greeting customers, making sure everybody was being well served.  Sonny had a contract with a company that provided piped in music, and there were a few couples dancing, but since there was no dance floor, they were clogging the spaces between tables.

"Hey, Sonny," Ben called over the crowd.

Sonny turned.  There was a man at the bar, looking in his direction.  Sonny walked over.

"Sonny, this gentleman was asking for you."

Sonny smiled.  The man was in his mid-30s, tall, well-dressed in what looked like an expensive suit.  "I'm Sonny Kiriakis, how can I help you?"

The man put out his hand.  "Nice to meet you, my name is Robert Silva.  I'm the owner of the Red Room night clubs."

Sonny took the gentleman to an open table and ordered martinis for the two of them.  "How can I help you, Mister Silva?"

"Rob, please.  I don't know if you've heard of our clubs ..."

Sonny nodded.  "Oh, sure, you run night clubs all over the country."

"Well, we have a couple of friends in common who suggested I talk to you.  David Ross?"

Sonny laughed.  "Sure, Dave and I are hiking buddies.  We climbed Denali a couple of times, and a few other places, here and in Europe."

"Dave runs an adventure tourism company in Denver now, and he told me to let you know that if you're ever looking for a job, he could use you as a hiking guide."

Sonny smiled.  "Tell Dave that I'm pretty happy here in Salem, I've got a good life, and a good family."

Silva nodded.  "And I also know Michael Cunningham."

Sonny was stunned.  "Mike?  Um, yeah, we were pretty close there for a while.  But things didn't work out.  I guess we were just not compatible."

"Well, Mike runs my club in New York, and he has good things to say about you."

"Mike's a good guy.  We just couldn't make it work."

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm interested in opening a new Red Room Club here in Salem, and I'm interested in you as a manager."

Sonny shook his head.  "Thank you, Rob, but I'm very happy here.  I own this place, along with a silent partner."

Silva nodded.  "Chad DiMera.  I should tell you, that I'm in the process of buying out his share of your club."

Sonny was stunned.  "What?  Why would Chad do that without talking to me first?"

Silva shrugged.  "You don't have the right of first refusal, from what I understand."

Sonny didn't say anything.  He was furious, but didn't want his expression to show it.

"Actually, Sonny, I'd like to buy you out.  I think this would be a good place for my club, it's in a good location, and the parking is excellent."

"What?  No, Club TBD is not for sale."

Silva nodded and finished his drink.  "I can make it very worth your while.  This could be a good deal for you.  Think about it.  I'll be in touch."

He stood, and he and Sonny shook hands.  Sonny didn't know what to say.

Edited by Rick Kitchen
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Temptation, Part 2

 

Sonny was still angry when he went home.  How could Chad stab him in the back like that?  With no warning?  He had thought about calling him, but he decided he would wait till he had calmed down before confronting his former friend.

 

But when he got back to the apartment, the lights were off.  He looked in the bedroom, but Will wasn't there, and Ari wasn't in her room.  Finally, he found a note.

 

"Dear Sonny," (Will had written)

"I got a call to meet with an editor from Tempo magazine.  He wants to pitch a writing assignment.  It was last minute, sorry I wasn't here to welcome you home.  Ari is with Grandma Kate."

 

Sonny grimaced.  This was happening a lot lately.  Will flying out for editorial meetings, staying away for days at a time.  They rarely even had a chance to talk in person any more, let alone on the phone.  He thought about calling Chad, but his mood hadn't improved any.

 

And then his phone rang.  "Hey, Sonny, it's Ben.  That Robert Silva called the club looking for you.  He left a message for you to call him at the Salem Inn."

 

Sonny thought for a while, and then called the hotel.  He was put through to Silva's room right away.

 

"Hello, Sonny, I'm glad you called me back," Silva said.  I hope you weren't too upset with me.  I thought that we probably weren't leaving on good terms, and I definitely didn't want that."

 

Sonny sighed.  "No, it's all right, Mister Silva.  What can I do for you?"

 

"Rob, please.  I was wondering if you could come by my hotel room, we could continue our discussion."

 

Sonny looked around.  The place was empty.  No husband, no baby.  He had nothing else to do.  "I don't think I'll be changing my mind, Rob, but all right, I'll come over."

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Temptation, Part 3

 

When Sonny arrived at Silva's hotel room, the club owner opened the door with his suit jacket off and his tie loose around his neck.  He had a glass in his hand.  "Hello, Sonny, come on in.  Can I get you something?"

 

"Um, maybe a brandy?"

 

"Sure, have a seat."

 

Sonny sipped his drink and looked at Robert Silva.  The older man was very attractive, dark hair, dark eyes, tall and slender.  He looked like he worked out as much as he could.

 

"Tell me, Sonny, if you hadn't come to Salem, what would you be doing now?"

 

Sonny chuckled.  "God, I have no idea.  I sure wouldn't have met Will, my husband, and I wouldn't own Club TBD.  I'd probably still be climbing mountains and hiking.  Maybe write a book on the outdoors?"

 

"So what's keeping you here?  And why does your husband stay here?  I understand he's a writer.  The two of you could travel, you can write anywhere you want."

 

"Our families are here, my parents, my Dad's family.  And everybody Will loves is right here in Salem."

 

Silva stood up and took off his tie, and unbuttoned a couple of buttons on his shirt.  He saw that Sonny's eyes were drawn to him.

 

"Is there nothing that will change your mind?"

 

Sonny shook his head and stood up.  "I'm sorry, Rob, but no, this is where I need to be."

 

"That's too bad," Silva said.  He opened the door for Sonny, and let his hand run down the younger man's back as he left the hotel room.

 

Sonny stood in the hallway and shivered.

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Rick Kitchen--great writing! Is there any way to overthrow Corday and hijack the show?  I think you are onto something.   Please tell me this ends up with Sonny having an affair on Will's lame ass and Will gets a taste of how his mother feels. 

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Temptation, Part 4

 

When Sonny came home, he unlocked the door and turned on the light.  He was surprised to see Will sitting on the sofa, in the dark.

 

"Will?   What's going on?  I thought you had gone out of town.  And why were you sitting in the dark?"

 

Will looked at him coldly.  "Why didn't you tell me?"

 

"Tell you what?"  Sonny thought about Robert Silva, but surely Will hadn't found out about that.

 

"You went to your Uncle Victor and got me the writing job with Victor's company, didn't you?"

 

Sonny frowned.  "How did you find out about that?"

 

"This meeting I went to, they told me.  I don't know if they're trying to pry me away from the Kiriakis company, or if they were just gloating.  But it wasn't a pleasant surprise.  My husband obviously didn't feel the need to tell me."

 

"I thought it would give you a start, I knew you could do it."

 

"You didn't believe in me, did you?  You had to pull strings with your family because you had no faith that I could do it on my own."

 

Sonny sat down next to Will.  "No, that isn't true, babe.  I did have faith in you, you got the job based on your writing, it was only an in to have Zoe look at your work."

 

He reached out a hand to Will's shoulder, but Will shrugged off the touch.

 

"It hurts that you couldn't be honest with me."

 

Sonny sighed.  "I'm sorry.  I love you.  I wanted to see you happy."

 

Will stood up.  "You wanted me to jump to your tune.  You couldn't wait for me to get a writing job on my own.  You've been manipulating me ever since we met."

 

"No, that isn't true."

 

Will reached for a suitcase.  "Ari and I will be staying at Grandma Marlena's.  I don't know if I can even look at you right now."  He walked out the door.

 

Sonny sat on the sofa in silence.

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Temptation, Part 5

 

Sonny had a miserable night.  He tossed and turned, and kept looking at the clock.  By the time his alarm went off, he hadn't managed more than a couple of hours sleep, and not more than maybe fifteen minutes at a stretch.

 

Before he left for work, he called Will's cell phone.  But Will didn't pick up.  "Will, call me," Sonny pleaded.  "I love you."

 

Sonny spent the day at the club, cleaning tables, stocking inventory, waiting on customers, doing everything he could think of to keep his mind off his husband.  He was glad none of his or Will's relatives came in that day.

 

At about 5 PM, Robert Silva came in again.  Sonny sighed.  He wasn't sure if he wanted to talk to this man again.

 

"Mister Silva.  Rob.  How are you today?"

 

"I'm fine, I'm going back to headquarters in New York tomorrow, so I thought I would come in and make a final pitch to you.  Here.  This is going to be my final offer.  Sell me your club, and I'll hire you as the manager.  You can have a contract to work here for as long as you want.  Or think about Dave's offer to go to Colorado and work for him.  Or, whatever else you want to do."

 

He pushed a piece of paper towards Sonny.  Sonny sat and looked at the number on the paper, and he gasped.  "That's a lot of money," he said, choking.

 

"I think this place is worth it.  Take it home, talk to your husband, and let me know before tomorrow morning at eight, that's when my plane leaves."

 

"Um ..."  Sonny didn't know what to say.  "Do you have to have an answer by tomorrow?"

 

"I'd like one."

 

"Let me think about it.  Would it be all right if I come by your hotel room later this evening?"

 

Silva looked surprised.  "Sure.  Is that what you want to do?"

 

Sonny thought for a minute.  "I'm not really sure.  If I decide not to come by, I'll call your room."

 

Silva nodded.  "All right."  They shook hands, and the man left the club.

 

Sonny worked for a couple of more hours, then tried to call Will again, but he got no answer.

 

At eight PM, he showed up at Robert Silva's hotel room.  Silva answered the door in a robe.

 

"Hello," Silva said.  "Come on in."

 

Sonny went inside, and Silva closed the door behind him.

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Temptation, Part 6

 

"Care for a drink?" Silva asked Sonny.

 

"No, thanks," Sonny replied.  "I just wanted to let you know that I have decided to take your offer.  You can buy the club."

 

SIlva smiled.  "Well, good.  I'm glad you made that decision.  But you could have called me, you didn't have to come over here."

 

Sonny was silent for a minute, and then said, "Yes.  Yes, I had to come here."

 

Silva gazed into Sonny's eyes.  "Did you talk this over with your husband?"

 

"My husband and I are having problems right now."

 

"So.  Maybe you should go see him."  Silva sat down on the edge of the bed and sipped his drink.

 

"No.  Not right now."  Sonny sat down beside Silva on the bed.

 

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Silva asked.

 

"Yes.  I want this," Sonny said.  His mouth was dry, he croaked when he spoke.

 

Silva leaned over and kissed him gently.  Sonny felt his lips tingle, and he gasped.

 

Silva began to unbutton Sonny's shirt.  He kissed his neck, and then worked his lips down to Sonny's chest.  Sonny arched his back.  He felt guilty, but at the same time, vindicated.  He couldn't get Will out of his mind, but he didn't want to stop.

 

They undressed each other, and climbed into the bed.

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Interlude, the DiMera Mansion

 

Sally the maid heard the crashing of glass and just smiled and shook her head.  She wondered who had thrown the glass this time.  Not that it mattered.

 

She went to the cleaning closet and pulled out a dustpan and broom.

 

It was time to order new glassware.

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Temptation, Part 7

 

Sonny went back to the apartment early the next morning and took a shower.  After he got through toweling off, he checked his phone and saw a message from Will.  "Call me?"

 

Sonny called back immediately.  "Hey, Will, we need to talk.  Can you meet me at the Pub?"

 

"Uh, sure, but what's wrong with the apartment?"

 

"Please?"

 

"OK, I'll be there in about fifteen minutes."

 

Will was waiting when Sonny got there.  Sonny pulled out a chair and sat down.  He felt like a kid on a first date.  He really didn't know how to say what he needed to say.

 

"What did you want to talk about?" Will asked.

 

"Um," Sonny hesitated, "I've sold the club.  To the guy who owns the Club Red chain."

 

Will was puzzled.  "I don't know why you did that, but we should talk about our relationship.  The club can wait."

 

Sonny frowned.  "Will, I've decided to move to Denver.  A friend of mine has an outdoors camping and hiking company there and he's looking for guides."

 

"Wait, what?"  Will put out a hand and took Sonny's in his, but Sonny pulled his hand away.

 

"Will, I love you, I really do, like no other guy I've ever met.  But remember that before I came to Salem, I had always been an adventurer.  Hiking, mountain climbing, traveling.  Since I came back, and met you, this is the longest time I've ever stayed in one place since I was a little kid.  I've realized that this domestic life is not for me.  I need to move away."

 

Will didn't say anything.  There were tears in his eyes.

 

"And you should know," Sonny continued, quietly, "that I slept with another guy last night."

 

Will looked at him, and then, without a word, got up and left.

 

Sonny began to cry.

 

The End

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Interlude

 

"Salem Salon and Spa, Mark speaking, how may I help you?

"Oh, hello, Mister Black.  Yes, I see you have an appointment for a body waxing.  Certainly, we can throw in an oiling and cucumber scrub, as well.  Will there be anything else?

"Oh, no, I'm sorry, Margaret went on disability.  Apparently all of that waxing gave her carpal tunnel syndrome.  Is there another esthetician who can help you?

"Very well, then, we'll see you tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM.  Jessica will be performing your waxing.  Thank you for being a regular customer."

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Mr. Black as in Brady.

 

I knew it couldn't be Jawn.  There's not enough oil left, not even in shale, to help that wrinkled walnut of a man.

And I think he uses cow patties cosmetically instead of cucumbers.

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I can't write fanfic nearly as well as Rick Kitchen (great job BTW) but I've been toying with the following. 

 

Sami's Goodbye Present to EJ

 

It was a lovely, fresh morning. Sami surveyed the Dimera living room, thrilled that she would finally be free of the Dimeras and Salem.   The Dimera plane was fueled and waiting, ready to fly to her island getaway. Lucas, Kate and the kids were already at the airport, waiting for Sami. The Dimera fortune was safely tucked away in a Swiss bank account. The Salem cops had been paid off.  There was only one thing left to do.  The doorbell rang.  Sami opened the door.

 

EJ stood there with his usual smirk. "Hello Samantha. Are you finally ready to talk reasonably to me?"

 

"Why, yes I am, EJ!" exclaimed Sami. "I thought you would never ask!"  She pulled out her gun and shot him between the eyes.  

 

Sami picked up her purse, stepped over EJ's body and lived happily ever after.

 

The End.

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I'd like to add an amendment to that:

 

Abby shows up at the Dimeria mansion again so she can have another one of her silly confrontations with Sami. When she gets to the door she sees EJ laying in the doorway, near death. She starts to cry and begs him to hang on while she calls 911. If he pulls through she'll have sex with him in the town square, the DE boardroom, anywhere. He just has to stay alive! With his last dying breath he says "Samantha, baby come back, you can blame it all on me. I was wrong, and I just can't live without you." He expires. Abby is so devastated that she picks up the gun and shoots herself in the head. 

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Ha! I thought about having Sami shoot Abigail and EJ together, but I didn't want Sami to have to look at Abby's stupid, smug face again.  Your way is perfect!  

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That first one was so much fun, I had to do another.

 

Jennifer’s Surprise Party

It was another long day at the hospital for Jennifer.  She didn’t go in often but when she did, she was hounded mercilessly by Anne.  Somehow Anne thought she had the right to question how often Jennifer came in to work and what exactly she did when she came in.  Yes, Jennifer sometimes had to “work from home” or deal with a family matter, but that was no business of Anne’s, even if she was the head of Human Resources.

 

Well, no matter.  Jennifer was looking forward to a cozy evening with Daniel. She was so glad that they had finally worked out their differences and even though Daniel often looked distracted and distant, they were happy.  Jennifer just knew they were!  They were meant to be.  All that hounding and pestering him had finally paid off.  They were now married and just as happy as they could be.

 

Jennifer unlocked the front door and kicked off her shoes.  “Daniel?” she called. “Honey, I’m home!”  She picked up the mail and absently went through it. “Did you have a good day off?”

 

There was no answer.  Puzzled, Jennifer walked up the stairs.  Daniel must be in the shower.  Today was their first wedding anniversary and they were going to celebrate it at home, just the two of them.  Jennifer smiled.  Maybe Daniel was already in bed, waiting for her.  She went to the closed bedroom door.  She turned the knob.

 

“Daniel? Do you have a surprise for me?!” she laughed and stepped into the bedroom.  Her face froze and her eyes went wide with shock.


“Hello mother.  You’re home early.” Abigail tossed her hair and pulled the sheets over her breasts.  “Daniel and I weren't expecting you until much later.”

 

Daniel jumped from the bed and grabbed his pants. “It’s not what you think!” he cried. Jennifer looked at them both.  She had been warned that her daughter was dangerous.  That she did not understand boundaries.  Foolishly, Jennifer refused to listen and defended her daughter.  How could she look at her mother so coolly after bedding her husband?  It was unbearable.  And Jennifer would not stand for it.

 

Abigail smirked at her mother.  “He loves me. We talk about things you don’t understand. I know things about Daniel that you are too stupid to know.”  Jennifer just looked at her. She reached into her purse, silently thanking Kate for the late birthday present.  She pulled out the gun and shot Abigail between the eyes.  Daniel lunged for the gun.  Jennifer shot him in the balls and then in the head.

 

“Happy Anniversary, darling.” she said as she reached for the phone to call Hope.  Hope and Aidan would know what to do.  After all, no one went to prison for murder in Salem.

Edited by sunnyheart
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Sunnyheart, that seriously just made my entire night! I'm a bit baffled as to why even someone as deluded as Jen thought she might find Dan in the shower, though. It seems painfully clear that our hygiene-challenged Dan would never be found THERE. :)

 

All the fics on this thread are roughly 12 zillion times more entertaining and satisfying for me than what we're actually seeing onscreen.

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Abigail smirked at her mother.  “He loves me. We talk about things you don’t understand. I know things about Daniel that you are too stupid to know.”  Jennifer just looked at her. She reached into her purse, silently thanking Kate for the late birthday present.  She pulled out the gun and shot Abigail between the eyes.  Daniel lunged for the gun.  Jennifer shot him in the balls and then in the head.

 

“Happy Anniversary, darling.” she said as she reached for the phone to call Hope.  Hope and Aidan would know what to do.  After all, no one went to prison for murder in Salem.

 

OMG, you've given us SUCH a gift!  I can't stop laughing, AND I can't thinking how great this would actually be.  

 

Wow!  I think I could actually like Jenn if this were to take place.

 

You, Sunnyheart, have a most glorious, twisted, and beautiful mind!

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Abigail smirked at her mother.  “He loves me. We talk about things you don’t understand. I know things about Daniel that you are too stupid to know.”

 

"Daniel and I talk about are favorite Picasso paintings, mommy! You just wouldn't understand."

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Thanks guys!  I had no idea how wonderfully satisfying it was to make the characters do what you want.  Maybe I'll write a story where Sami goes on a killing spree:

 

"Oh, what's that you say, Adrienne? You think I'm overreacting?" BLAM!

 

"Oh hi, Will!  About that article...." BOOM!

 

"Hey Mom!  About my childhood..." KA-POW!

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Sami should come back as Stan, tell Abby he's married, and when she comes on to him, reveal who she really is.  Then shoot her.

I bow to the master.  That would be the greatest storyline ever.  I think Days needs to get on that.  AS can come back for a special guest appearance for the Big Reveal.

Edited by sunnyheart

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I was hesitant to restart this thread, because the place where it ended was beautiful and perfect to me. But the show is irritating me (although it had an okay day today, shocker), and I thought maybe we all could use an escape again.

 

Even though it's been several months since Sami's exit, I'm still miffed at how badly the writers botched it. So I'm fixing it. I've had this in my head for ages now, and I thought I'd share it with you guys. I'm planning for this to be maybe four or five parts long? I hope you'll enjoy reading it and maybe even give me some feedback, questions, comments, etc., if you're so inclined.

 

Ejami fans and fans of EJ in general, this...is probably not the story for you. Ye have been warned.

 

FLASHBACK! Remember when EJ was released from prison, the DiMera takeover was floundering, the Kate/Sami alliance was fraying, and Sami was getting back together with EJ? Some here on the board speculated it was all part of a long con for Sami to get ultimate revenge on EJ and the DiMeras. Well, in the reality of the show, it wasn't...but what if it had been?....

 

Samantha Gene Brady DiMera pulled the blanket wrapped around her shoulders a little tighter as she numbly watched the firefighters rush back and forth, shouting orders to each other as the once-grand DiMera Mansion was consumed by a wall of flames. It was obvious the firefighters' efforts would be in vain, as flames licked from the windows and smoke poured from the rooftops. A mighty crash echoed as a portion of the roof caved in.

 

The fire chief shook his head as he radioed in the order for the others to pull back. His words seemed to snap Sami out of her daze.

 

"Pull back?!" she cried. "You can't pull back - my husband is still in there! You have to get him out!"

 

"Ma'am," the fire chief said calmly, "it's not safe. I can't endanger my people." As if to underscore his words, there was another almighty crash from the burning house. The man sighed, and turned grave grey eyes to Sami. "If your husband hasn't made it out by now, then I'm afraid-"

 

"No!" Sami shrieked. "Don't say it!"

 

Marlena laid a comforting arm on her daughter's shoulder as the fire chief continued, undaunted, "Ma'am, I'm afraid your husband is gone."

 

"No!" Sami screamed, collapsing into sobs before being pulled into her father's embrace.

 

"It's gonna be okay, Sami," Roman murmured into her ear as he stroked her hair.

 

"Oh, EJ," Sami gasped, as tears streamed down her face, "what am I going to do without you?"

 

* * *

 

"God, am I glad that's over!" Sami groaned, flopping onto a chair in her luxury hotel suite. "I had to wash my hair like four times before it finally stopped smelling like smoke."

 

Clad in a fluffy white robe, Sami started towelling her hair dry as she glanced over at the woman standing by the bar. "And where were you while I was out giving the performance of a lifetime?"

 

"I was...nearby," Kate responded smoothly. "And I thought your acting was a little over-the-top, myself."

 

"Yeah, well, they bought it, didn't they?" Sami grumbled, a tad miffed at the lack of praise.

 

Kate smiled. "They certainly did. Think you can keep it up?"

 

Sami scoffed. "Of course. Pretending to care about EJ will be a lot easier now that I don't have to see him... or speak to him...or touch him." She shuddered, and crossed over to the bar to pour herself a drink.

 

She snorted to herself as she poured the liquor. "EJ bought it all too, the moron. All this time, and he never suspected."

 

"You told him exactly what he wanted to hear," Kate said. "That's a powerful thing for a man."

 

Sami stared down into her drink for a moment. "You know, for years he's claimed he knew me better than anyone else. But when it came down to it, he didn't really know me at all."

 

Sami raised her glass to Kate's. "To my dearly departed husband, EJ: long may he rot."

 

The glasses clinked and the two women drank.

 

Next time: Sami and Kate talk a lot! There are flashbacks! Just how did EJ die? And why aren't Marlena and Roman with Sami? (Spoiler: the answer to that one is not very interesting!)

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Marcia Tremaine stepped through the front door of Salem University Hospital and sighed.  Another hospital, another job, another town.  She wished she and her family could settle in one place.  

"I'm Doctor Tremaine," she told the receptionist at the front desk.  "I'm here to see Doctor Kayla Brady?"

The receptionist looked through a roster on her computer.  "Yes, Doctor.  Welcome.  Doctor Brady is at the nurses' station on the Fifth Floor.  She's expecting you."

Marcia thanked the woman and took the elevator to the elevator.  Kayla Brady was an attractive blonde woman.  She had a friendly, open face, and she took Marcia's hand in a warm shake.

"I'm so glad to have you here, Doctor.  We've been short on pediatricians for several months now.  There's one thing I'm going to throw you into right away, though.  We're working on a new Children's Hospital Wing, and we need someone with your background to help us plan what we want.  I hope you're up for the challenge."

Marcia smiled.  Her face lit up.  "I'm always up for a good challenge"

-----

Lafayette Tremaine wasn't impressed with what he saw at the Salem Police Department.  Civilians sitting around the desks in the bull pen, people wandering in and out without any seeming reason for being there.  No uniformed officers present.  He knocked on the door labeled "Commissioner" and entered when he heard a woman's voice calling from inside.

"Commissioner Brady?" He asked.  The woman nodded and shook his hand.  "I am so glad you're here, Lafayette.  We really need you."

"Call me Lafe," he replied.

Hope Brady laughed.  "My husband's name is Rafe.  I may get confused."  She looked him over in a rapacious manner that made him uncomfortable.

"I hope I'm not saying anything inappropriate, Lafe, but the SPD really needs further minority representation.  We only have two African American officers, and I've been trying very hard to increase our outreach to the community."

Lafe frowned  "I hope I was hired on my abilities, and not to fill some quota."

"No, I'm sorry, I thought I might be saying it wrong.  You were highly recommended by the Philadelphia police, and we can always use an officer of your experience and qualifications."

He nodded.  "Thank you.  I'm ready to start.  Where do you want me?"

----

Jeff Tremaine was sipping a coffee at the cafe in the Horton Square, reviewing his class schedule.  He should have stayed at Penn State, Salem University was a big drop in quality.  But his parents had begged him to join them in this new little podunk town, and he had finally given in.  It was his sophomore year, he had just started his academic career.  He really didn't know what he was to major in yet, though he knew it was not going to be medicine.  His mother was the doctor, he had no interest in that career.

"Are you ready to order now?" A cute blonde waitress was standing next to his table expectantly.  She smiled.  "I'm Claire, by the way."

He laughed.  "Yeah, that's what your name tag says."

She looked flustered, and looked down at the name tag. "Oh, yeah, it does, doesn't it?"  She laughed, too.

"Hi, Claire, I'm Jeff."

Claire gave him a big smile.

----

Nia Tremaine was trying very hard to pretend that she wasn't lost.  She had thought that her first class at Salem High was in this wing of the building, but she couldn't find Room 117 anywhere.  Eventually, she had to admit that she needed help.  She stepped up to a couple of girls who were talking by one of the lockers.  "Hi, I'm new, could you tell me how to find Room 117?"

The taller, brunette girl smiled.  "It's easy to get confused.  This is the 100 Wing.  The 110 Wing is down at the other end of the hall.  You're in Ms Bennett's history class, I guess?  We are, too.  I'm Amy Kelly, and this is Leah Cohen."

Leah smiled and shook her hand.  "Hi," Nia said, "I'm Nia Tremaine.  We just moved here, and I'm trying to fit in."

"Stick with us," Leah said, "and we'll help you find your way around."

As the girls walked to the other end of the hallway, Nia didn't notice the boy with a letterman's jacket who was watching her.

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Nia's first day at Salem High had gone better than she expected.  Leah and Amy turned out to be girls who might turn into good friends.  She had enjoyed her classes (especially the World Literature class.  She had never read any Russian literature before, and Doctor Zhivago looked like it was going to be interesting.

As she said goodbye to the girls in the parking lot, a boy in a letterman's jacket walked up to them.  He put his arms around Leah and gave her a hug.  "Hey, cuz."

Leah squirmed out of his grasp.  Hi, Jake.  Nia Tremaine, this is my cousin, Jake Robbins."

Jake smiled broadly.  "I saw you talking to Leah and Amy.  I was very interested in learning more about you."

"Oh?" Leah asked.  "And why?"

"Because you're very pretty."

Nia grimaced.  Jake was good looking, tall, broad shouldered with a shock of auburn hair hanging down before his bright blue eyes.  But there was something ... off-putting about him.  "Well, I have to go home now," she said.  "My Dad's a cop, and he's strict about me being out without supervision."  It was a lie, of course, but she thought it was always worthwhile to let boys know ahead of time that her father was a policeman.

"See you tomorrow, guys.  And it was nice to meet you, Jake."

"Hope to see you again," Jake said.

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Jeff entered the classroom where only a few students had arrived as of yet.  The syllabus had set that the English 201 class was limited to twenty students, but there seemed to be fewer than that.  By the time the instructor had arrived, there were maybe fifteen people in the room.

The professor was a young man, maybe thirty years old.  "I'm Alex Ramirez.  And this is English 201.  We seem to have fewer students than I expected, but we will continue, anyway.  This is a middle level writing class.  I'll assign topics for writing, and you will be expected to turn in a three page essay each week.  After four weeks, I will be open to letting you choose your own topics, so long as I approve them.  We have one book for the class, which is detailed on your syllabi.  Class discussion will involve talking about the book, which I expect you to have purchased by the next class, on Wednesday.  If you like, we can also discuss your essays after you've turned them in, and my office is always open for further discussion.  Since this is the first class, and as you may not have bought your books yet, we'll just have a general discussion on any topic, except for the essay topics I'll be handing out.  I want you to work on your topics yourself, so we won't discuss them till after you've turned them in.  Any questions?"

The discussion was lively.  Most of the students participated.  Jeff noticed that a guy who introduced himself as Leon Johnson, was an avid participant.  He and Leon had an intense, if friendly, debate about socialism.  Even though the class was an English class, and not Political Science, it was clear that practically no topic would be off the table.

When Alex dismissed the class, Leon got up and walked over to Jeff.  "Well, that was cure lively. " He smiled.  "I think this might be an interesting class.  Want to go over to the coffee shop to continue the talk?"

Jeff nodded.  "Sure.  Then you can give me some input about the college, and the town.  I'm new to both."

Leon nodded.  "I was born here in Salem.  I know all of the dirt."  He smiled again.

The coffee at the campus cafe was only adequate.  But it was better than nothing, Jeff thought.  He and Leon spent most of their time talking about Salem, and what to do and where to go.  "Hey," Leon suggested, "I'm on the campus newspaper.  Would you be interested in working with us?"

Jeff thought it over.  "That sounds interesting.  Let me think it over?"

"Sure."

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Doug's Place was a nicer restaurant than Marcia and Lafe would have expected in a small town like Salem.  There was quiet jazz playing, and the wait staff seemed attentive.  Both ordered a glass of cabernet and nursed their wine while reading the menu.  Absently, Lafe reached over and touched Marcia's hand.

Automatically, she tensed, and moved to pull her hand away, but she stopped herself.  Lafe looked shocked, and pulled his hand back.

"I'm sorry.  I am trying," he said quietly.

She nodded.  "I know.  It was just ... I'm not ready yet."

He nodded.  "Do I need to apologize for like the hundredth time?"

"No.  I agreed to work on this.  Please just give me time."

He frowned, and continued to look at the menu.  Marcia drained her wine and motioned for a waiter to fill her glass again.

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Jeff turned out for soccer trials and immediately ran into Leon.  "Wow, it looks like you're everywhere I go."

Leon laughed.  "We can use all the help we can get, if you're any good.  Don't blame the coach, though, we just don't have very many good players."

"Woah!" Jeff exclaimed.  "That's Jamar Anderson, I used to watch him when he played for Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer."

"That's him.  Too bad he can't play for us, like I said, we need help."

Jeff introduced himself to the coach and managed not to fanboy too hard.  He did mention seeing him play professionally.

"You're from Philadelphia?" Jeff nodded.  "Where did you play before you came here?'

"Penn State."

"Hey, they had a pretty good team. Show me what you've got."

They ran through dribbling drills, tackling drills, and shooting drills.  The goalie seemed good, he stopped most of the shots fired at him, but Jeff managed to kick two balls through him and into the net.

When practice was over, Coach Anderson announced that Jeff had made the team. All of the players huddled around him and patted him on the back.

The goalie held out a hand.  "I'd rather have you playing for us than against us. I'm Matt Smith."

"Jeff Tremaine."  Was Jeff mistaken, or did Matt's handshake linger longer than it needed to?  He looked Matt in the eyes, but said nothing.

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Silver Raven, thanks so much for sharing your writing, I think your writing is wonderful and your take on Salem?, now THIS is what I want to see!!

Thanks.

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The entire Tremaine family had been very busy since their move to Salem, and none of them had had time to finish unpacking.  So Marcia took it upon herself to unpack the remaining boxes.  She started in the living room, unpacking the box labeled KNICKKNACKS.  Each individual item was wrapped in paper, so it took a while to unwrap each figurine and find the perfect place for it on shelves and surfaces in the living room.

The next box was KITCHEN. She stacked the plates on the shelves, the silverware in drawers.  She rearranged things several times before she was satisfied.

Then she turned to the box labeled MOM AND DAD'S BEDROOM. There were a jewelry box and several pieces of jewelry.  There was Marcia's mother's hat box.  There was a not-so-antique lamp that Marcia liked that looked older than it was.  And at the bottom of the box there was a pile of letters, tied in string.

Marcia's heart fell.  She felt a hard, cold lump in her stomach. The return address was one she recognized in Philadelphia.  The top letter was postmarked just two days before they had moved.  She knew who they were from.

She opened the most recent letter and began reading.

"Dear Lafe," (the letter read)

"I miss you.  I miss feeling your body against mine.  I miss your lips on mine.  I miss your after shave. I bought it just for you, anticipating how it would smell on your skin.  I miss everything about you.  I love you, Lafe.  I know you told me that you wanted to make your marriage work, but this isn't working for me.

"Leave her, Lafe.  Come back to me.

Love, Candace"

Marcia sat on the edge of the bed, very still, not saying a thing for a very long time.  She suddenly noticed that the bedroom was getting dark.  She took a deep breath, stood up, and went into the bathroom.  She found the bottle of Obsession For Men that Lafe had  claimed that a Secret Santa from work had gotten him for Christmas.  She opened it, sniffed it, and then poured it down the sink.

It was just then that Lafe came home.  She went downstairs to meet him at the door.  He smiled in delight that she had come to the door to greet him.  But his face fell when she handed him the letter.

"I'll be sleeping in the guest bedroom tonight," she told him.

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Dear Salem Hospital administration,

My mother has been a patient in your hospital for over a week now.  In the many hours that I have visited her, I have heard people screaming at each other in rooms and in the lobby, and now my mother's doctor was standing at the nurse's station having inappropriate personal contact with a man.  Am I going to have to go to the hospital ombudsman's office to ask to have Doctor Sarah Horton removed as my mother's doctor, or would someone in hospital administration deal with her and make sure nothing like that ever happens again?

Sincerely,

A concerned loved one.

 

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