Eye Of The Storm
The Eye of The Storm
Rollie and Angie visit Daniel Cooper on Hope Island
This story makes references to events in 'Betwixt Wind and Water' by Peggy
"Daniel! I thought you weren't coming home til this afternoon." Callie called seeing the minister head to the inn.
"Something came up so I left last night." He replied as she fell into step beside him.
"Oh. So what came up?"
"I don't want to discuss it."
"Okay." She replied as they entered the inn.
"When did you get back?" Alex smiled seeing him.
"Last night." Callie supplied.
"Why didn't you let me know?" Alex asked.
"It was late."
"Oh... well I'm glad you're here. You want some breakfast?"
"That's why I came."
"I was hoping it was for the atmosphere." She replied under her breath.
He smiled at her and she took a deep breath to calm the fluttering in her stomach then handed him a menu.
She nodded and got him a cup of coffee.
"I'll be back in a minute." She said and took the pot for refills.
"Daniel!" Molly called and hugged him.
Boris hit the bell and Molly rolled her eyes and went to get the meal.
"Okay, what'll it be?" Alex asked putting the coffe back and pulling her order pad out.
"Uh... number three."
"The full platter? You've never ordered that before." She eyed him.
"I'm hungry." He shrugged.
"Okay." She nodded writing it down then turned the page. "And for you Callie?"
"Oh, nothing, I have to scour for news." She replied and stood.
"See you later then."
Callie left as Alex took Daniel's order to the kitchen.
"Hi Daniel, you're home early."
"Just a few hours Nub."
"It's good to have you home." The blond smiled.
"Nub! Hey Reverend, you're back early. Get that to go Nub, we have work to do." Brian ordered.
"Hey dad, can I get you--"
"Coffee and donuts to go sweetheart." Brian told his daughter.
"Okay, coming right up." She nodded.
"What are you two up to?" Daniel asked.
"We have to clean up the lighthouse cottage for a buyer." Nub answered.
Daniel nodded as Molly returned with their meal.
"Thanks honey. Come on Nub."
Nub waved as he turned to follow Brian out.
"Poor Nub." She shook her head and smiled.
"So, you know anything about the buyer for the cottage?" Daniel asked.
"Oh! You weren't here when he called, were you? Rollie and his wife are coming, he's buying the cottage." Molly answered.
"You remember the last time he was here, he said he wanted someplace, that if anything should ever happen to Tyler F/X, Angie or he could turn to for work or help... that if something ever happened to him... Angie would have a place where people would help her out and give her support. She could heal here among friends." Alex added hearing them as she returned to the bar.
Daniel nodded thoughtfully.
"So when are they arriving?" He asked.
"They should be on the island by one. Hey! Why don't you go and meet them at the airport? That would really surprise them since I told them that you wouldn't be home til later."
"Maybe I will... I look forward to seeing him again."
"I'll write the time and flight number down for you." Alex smiled.
Boris hit the bell and Alex sighed, she went to the kitchen while Molly went to wait on Harry.
"Ah, good morning Daniel. You're back sooner than expected."
"Yes I am Father Mac, how are you this morning?"
"To tell the truth, a little sore. Ruby and I did some dancing last night and I feel it this morning."
Daniel smiled at him.
"I never thanked you properly for showing me I could be friends with her."
"I'm glad it worked out."
"So am I... well, I'll leave you to your breakfast."
"I'll be with you in a minute Father Mac." Alex said as he moved off.
"No hurry." He replied and took a table.
"Thanks for buying him for me, we had a really good talk because of it." She said placing the platter on the bar.
"You're welcome... and thank you for the food."
"Enjoy." She bade as she left to take Fr. Mac's order.
Daniel dug into the eggs, toast and pancake platter as someone climbed onto the stool beside him.
"Hi Daniel! You're home early."
"Something came up so I returned last night Dylan.
"You want to go bike riding later?"
"Can't, I have to pick Rollie and... Angie up at the airport then I have things to do at home this afternoon."
"Maybe we can do something tomorrow."
"Okay." The boy said appeased.
"Dylan, Cory's here." Alex called.
"We're working on a project for school and we're gonna talk about it on the way."
The boy left and Daniel hoped no one else joined him, he was tired of everyone wanting to know why he was home early.
He got his wish and finished his breakfast in peace, with the exception of Alex giving him the flight information.
He started for home but decided to drop in on Brian and Nub when he saw the lighthouse. Knocking on the open door he stepped inside and looked around.
"Hey Daniel." Nub greeted coming from the backroom.
"So Rollie Tyler is buying this place huh?"
"Yep. It's so strange how much he looks like you."
"Everyone has a double... or so I've read."
"Nub! What--oh, Reverend... did you need something?" Brian asked coming out from the other room.
"Well... uh... to be honest,I just wanted to see the inside of the cottage." Daniel shrugged.
"Not much to see, nobody's lived here over sixty years." Brian replied.
"Is the cottage connected to the lighthouse itself?"
"There are stairs back here, I'll show you." Nub answered leading him into the back room and to a door which was double bolted.
"Can I go up and take a look?"
"Sure." Nub said unlocking the door.
"You have lights in here?"
"Emergency lighting, I usually check them once a month to make sure they're on."
"Sorry Reverend but Nub doesn't have time for a tour, we have work to do." Brian groused.
"Would it be alright if I went up? I've never been in a lighthouse before."
"Yeah, just don't fall and break something." Brian answered and pushed Nub away from the door.
Daniel watched them a moment then began ascending the stairs, he exited and felt the wind pushing and pulling at him as he walked to the rail and looked over.
That'd be fatal fall.
He stepped back and looked around the island from this vantage point.
Kevin was patroling on foot when he saw a figure at the top of the lighthouse.
"No one is supposed to be up there!" He snapped and ran to the cottage where he found the door open, he espied the door to the lighthouse beacon opened and hurried up the stairs carefully. Upon exiting he saw no one and he got a sick feeling as he stepped to the rail.
"Hey Kevin, what are you doing up here?"
Kevin jumped back and spun around.
"Don't do that!" He nearly shouted.
Kevin took a deep breath and his heart slowed its hammering.
"What are ou doing up here? Can't you feel how rough this wind is? Get too close to the edge it could pull you over!"
"I just wanted to see the island from here... but I suppose it would be a long way down."
"Yeah. Some of the widows took the fatal step. At least that's what Mol says."
"You don't believe her?"
"No, I mean yes I believe her, but some of the stories have been embellished through the years, but the suicides have been real."
"I'd like to hear about them."
Kevin gave him a look.
"Sure but... can we go back down?"
"Yeah." Daniel smiled.
Kevin took him outside and a quarter way around the lighthouse, he stopped and pointed.
Daniel squated down and read names and dates, two names and matching dates caught his attention.
"Sarah Fanes and Kathleen Moore..."
"Their husbands fished from the same boat and drowned."
"Last one was 1963."
"Were they all fishing widows?"
"Every one." Kevin nodded.
"They must have felt they couldn't go on without their husbands."
"Come here." Kevin motioned him to follow.
They walked to a ragged outcropping and stopped.
"This is where every one of them landed. I suppose they thought they would jump from way up there and end up in the water, except the tide doesn't come in this far."
"What a way to die... a bit romantic."
"Well think about it Kevin, a woman who feels she can't go on without her husband... of course suicide is a mortal sin so I'd never condone it... but you have to feel for their desperation."
"I suppose, though I'd never want Mol to feel such a pain she'd rather end her life."
"Oh, I agree."
"Well, I need to get back to patroling. No more sojourns up there okay buddy?"
"I give you my word as Reverend Daniel Cooper." He nodded.
"Good. Wouldn't want to find you splattered all over these rocks." Kevin grinned.
"Me? Not a chance. See you later."
Kevin headed off and Daniel went back and touched the widows' names then departed too.
Rollie grabbed the luggage from the overhead bin as the other passengers exited.
"You ready sweetie?"
"Yeah. The people of Hope Island sound so nice Rol and it will be peaceful there won't it?"
"No worries Ange." He smiled as she took his hand.
"I have to admit, I'm curious to see how much Daniel looks like you." She grinned.
"Well just don't faint on me when you see him." Rollie teased as they deplaned.
They walked down the ramp into the airport proper. Sea/Tac was busy so it took them a bit of time to make it outside... just in time for a cab to pull up.
"Need a ride?" Daniel smiled opening the back door.
"Hey! Alex said you wouldn't be in until later today." Rollie grinned.
"Plans change." Daniel shrugged as the driver got out and put their luggage in the trunk.
Angie, then Rollie got into the cab beside Daniel.
"Angie, meet Daniel Cooper." Rollie introduced.
"So what have you been up to since I last saw you?"
"Well... Ange and I got married." Rollie beamed at his wife.
"I'll have to buy you a drink at the inn. How's the movie business?"
Angie listened to her husband answer trying not to stare at the man sitting beside her. The man who looked nearly identical to her Aussie. It was kind of unnerving actually.
"This must be strange for you." Daniel smiled.
"Um... a little." She admitted.
"Did your mom find out if were related?" Rollie asked.
The taxi reached the docks and they climbed out. Danile paid the driver and led them down the ramp to Emily where he climbed in first then helped them in. They were soon on their way to Hope and Daniel waved to several of the fishermen on their trawlers.
"You didn't mention having a boat when I was here last." Rollie shouted as they bounced around.
"Judge Bradley left it to me. He named it Emily after his wife. I'll show you his house as we get closer."
Rollie nodded and held onto the side of the boat as it sped across the water.
"There's Judge Bradley's house." Daniel pointed to the cliff. "He died of cancer over a year ago."
It was a nice house from what they could tell from there.
"There's the lighthouse." Daniel pointed to the right.
"You remember that film we did in the Carolina's, Rol? That restaurant built around the lighthouse."
"I remember how romantic it was." He smiled.
Daniel throttled down as they neared the dock. Emily bumped lightly and he tossed the rope to a fisherman who tied her off.
"Thanks." He called and helped them out,they carried their luggage up the gangplank and headed into town.
Alex hurried over as the trio appeared in the doorway.
"My investment seems to be booming." Rollie smiled at her.
"We've had a few tourists." She smiled back.
"Angie, this is Alex Stone."
"So you're the mother slash business woman extraordinar." Angie smiled and shook her hand.
"Nice to meet you." The redhead blushed slightly.
"So can the minority owner and his wife get a room?"
"We might have something in the attic." Alex retorted and led them to the bar where he signed them into the guestbook. Alex grabbed a key and they followed her upstairs as Daniel was called over by Fr. Mac.
"We get the best suite Angie." He teased back.
"So how long do you plan on staying?" Alex asked opening a room for them.
"We haven't decided yet, our tickets are open ended." Rollie answered.
"Well I hope you enjoy your stay and like the cottage, Nub has been working on it for you."
"Thanks Alex, we'll be downstairs in a bit."
Alex nodded leaving the key on the bureau as she departed.
"I like her Rol."
"So do I luv."
Alex returned to the bar and looked around.
"He left with Fr. Mac." Molly said with a smirk.
"Who?" Alex asked feigning ignorance.
Molly shook her head and laughed as she went to get an order.
"Can we get some more coffee?" A patron called.
Alex cleared her throat and took the pot over to the man.
Dyaln thundered up the stairs for his room and collided with Rollie.
"You okay mate?"
"No worries. Ange, this is Dylan Stone, Alex's son."
"Nice to meet you." She shook his outstretched hand.
"You're pretty." He blurted.
"If I weren't married to this guy..." She sighed.
"Um, Ange... I believe he's called jail bait!"
"A girl can dream." She winked at Dylan who giggled.
"You better be dreaming about me!"
"Maybe if I eat a big lunch I'll take a nap later and dream about you." She batted her eyes at Rollie.
"Come on you! See you later Dylan." He grabbed Angie's arm and drug her toward the stairs.
"Okay." Dylan grinned and went to his room.
"Hey Boris, another order." Alex said entering the kitchen and putting it on the wheel, she quickly departed to be out of the way when he came flying out.
"Russian!" He boomed and rushed out. "Who ordered Russian?!?" The native of Smolensk beamed.
Alex laughed and pointed and Boris charged over.
"Rollie! Boris happy to see you! Boris happy you order Russian meal!"
"I told you we liked it. This is my wife Angie." Rollie chuckled.
"Angie small! Too thin! Boris make much food!" He clapped gellfully and ran back to the kitchen.
Angie shook her head as Alex brought coffee over.
"You certainly made his year." Alex laughed.
"It's been a while since we've had Russian and who better to make it?" Rollie smiled.
"You said Nub? is working on our cottage?"
"I can give Brian a call if you want to go after lunch."
"That'd be great Alex, thanks." Rollie nodded.
The redhead went back to the bar, ducking as Harry threw a dart.
Angie's mouth dropped open as Alex popped back up non-plussed.
"This is definitely going to take some getting used to." She uttered.
She turned back to Rollie and shook her head.
"I've never been any place like this."
"Yeah... kinda nice." He smiled.
"Outer Limits nice." She rolled her eyes.
"Wait til you meet the women who run the General Store." He grinned mischieviously.
"Gee,I can't wait." She shook her head.
"This place is great for us Ange, if we ever need to escape New York, no one,and I mean no one, would ever think of this place."
Angie nodded getting his meaning. She took his hand then laughed.
"No one would find us... except Mangela... who would tell Dingo!"
"Shhh! If they find out about them they'll never let us live here!"
The couple laughed together.
"Look at them Alex, they are so much in love." Molly smiled.
"Yeah, he really missed her at Christmas, I'm glad he made it home in time."
"And that he helped you out of your troubles. Have you heard from Laura since then?"
"Not a word. I hope she's okay."
"I'm sure she is. Has he looked at the books?"
"He hasn't asked, of course they just got here so..."
"Hey, things are going good. He'll be pleased." Molly squeezed her shoulder.
"Yeah. Business is up and I've been reinvesting his money just like he said." Alex nodded.
"Then don't worry." Molly said as Boris exited the kitchen and headed for the FXer's table.
"Boris make masterpiece for you." He beamed putting the food in front of them.
"This looks great." Rollie said giving a nod to Angie who dug in.
Her eyes grew wide then closed as she chewed.
"You not like Boris' cooking?" He asked crestfallen.
"Oh... Boris... can we take you home to cook for us every night? This is so good!" Angie replied taking a second bite.
"Boris afraid Widow's Walk customers would starve if he left. Molly good cook, but no Boris." He confided lowering his voice.
"Everything okay here?" Alex asked joining them.
"Fine. The food's great, you've got a real prize here... I'm glad I invested." Rollie grinned swallowing his own bite of food.
"Invested? Boris not understand."
Rollie gave Alex an apologetic look.
"Let's go into the kichen and I'll explain."
Boris followed his boss back across the room and disappeared behind the swinging door.
"Now I feel bad, I didn't realize she had kept it quiet." He sighed.
"She'll tell Boris and I'm sure he keep it in confidence." Angie comforted.
Alex came out of the kitchen a few minutes later and made a call then walked over.
"Nub says they have a lot of the cottage cleaned up but it's not ready to move into yet. He and Brian will be there a while so you can stop in any time."
"Thanks... and I'm sorry. I opened my mouth and put my huge foot into it."
"Daniel and Molly were they only ones I told about selling a minority share to you."
"Boris now too huh?" Angie asked.
"Actually I just told him I needed some financial assistance at the same you appeared and you bought in and everything is fine now... which it is." She added hastily.
"Alex relax, we didn't come here to check on you. I wouldn't have bought in if I didn't trust you. Ange and I wanted to see the cottage and give her a chance to meet everyone. Struth."
Alex breathed relieved and smiled.
"Well, enjoy your lunch." She bade and left them to eat.
After lunch the New Yorkers walked to the lighthouse where they met up with Nub and Brian.
"Isn't this great Ange?" Rollie grinned.
"No place to put the clean room." She joked.
"No business talk here sweetie."
"We still have repairs to make but it should be ready by the end of the month to move your things in." Nub said.
"I took the liberty of having a contract drawn up." Brian said opening his briefcase.
"Does anyone on the island have a FAX machine? I want it looked over to make sure all the "p"'s and "q"'s have been covered." Rollie asked.
"Uh... Callie has one." Nub answered.
"I don't think I met her." Rollie frowned.
"She was off visiting her family when you were here before." Nub supplied.
"Oh. Where can we find Callie?" Rollie asked.
"She's probably at the Lookout office." Brian replied.
"The Lookout?" Angie asked.
"Hope's one and only newspaper. Callie runs it." Nub supplied.
"Okay, let's see if we could borrow her FAX for a bit." Rollie nodded.
"I'll take you. Nub, get back to work." Brian ordered and headed for the door.
Angie looked at Nub who shrugged and returned to his chores in apparently good spirits. Rollie tugged her hand and she followed the men out.
"Did Daniel tell you the history of Hope when you were here last?" Brian asked as they walked.
"No." Rollie shook his head.
"Well, my ancestors founded the island..."
Rollie and Angie exchanged amused looks as the Mayor droned on while they walked.
"Ah, here we are, The Lookout." Brian said and led them up the short set of steps, he knocked on the door and it was yanked open.
"Brian, I'm on deadline here, I don't have time for whatever you want!"
"We just want to use your FAX machine."
"Brian--!" She began then caught sight of the "we" in his sentence. "You're Rollie Tyler! Daniel told me about you. I went to visit my family and missed a great story right here!"
"This is my wife Angie." Rollie stifled a laugh.
"Hi, come on in." Callie stepped back.
The trio entered as Callie went back to her computer.
"Think I could get an interview before you leave?"
"Why?" Angie asked puzzled.
"Hello? You work in the movies! My readers would be interested."
"We're not really into publicity." Rollie answered sharing a look with Angie.
"Oh... if you're worried about your privacy don't be, The Lookout doesn't have any readers off the island." Callie shrugged then looked at Brian who had a far away look in his eyes. "And we're a very discreet group, aren't we Brian?"
"Huh?" The older man replied, caught off-guard, then cleared his throat. "Of course we are."
Rollie smirked recalling how he was akin to Dingo when it came to ruffled feathers.
Brian blanched as Callie backed him into agreeing to not use the couple for publicity to bring tourists to Hope. He wouldn't milk it, just a couple of lectures when they're on the island... you know, eager college kids, film buffs... that's not too much to ask is it?
Angie worked the FAX machine which sent a copy of the document to a lawyer friend of theirs. They had made arrangements before leaving New York to possibly send it to him.
All three looked over as Callie took a fist to the side of the computer and muttered under her breath.
"Problem?" Rollie asked.
"I just lost my files!"
Rollie looked at Angie who was the computer whiz in the Tyler household, while he was no slouch he couldn't hold a candle to her.
"Let's see what we can do." Angie said and went over.
Rollie glanced around the office. There were photos on the wall, from what Rollie presumed were were stories she'd written. He looked over as the FAX machine beeped, picking up the paper he read what the lawyer had to say then turned to Brian.
"Got a pen?"
Brian rifled through his briefcase and produced one.
Rollie scrawled his name on the document in several places then looked at Angie who was working on salvaging Callie's work.
"I'll have Ange sign it later."
Rollie took his arm and led him to the door. "See you back at the inn Ange." She waved back absently and he ushered Brian outside. "When she gets to working with computers she's pretty well gone to the rest of the world."
"No worries, I'll make sure she signs it before we leave."
"Get the contract straightened out?"
"Hey Daniel. Yeah, once Ange signs the cottage is ours."
"Guess that's two drinks I have to buy you."
"Join Ange and me for dinner and it will be fair dinkum." Rollie grinned.
"I need to get back to my office. Try to get your wife to sign it tonight, would you?" Brian requested then left the men alone.
"I was thinking... maybe we could take the boat out tomorow... give us a chance to talk, you know?"
"Afternoon Daniel, don't forget your appointment Monday."
"Couldn't if I tried."
Bonita laughed then gave a critical eye to Rollie.
"I could really do something with that hair of yours Rollie... snip,snip."
"Ange would never forgive me if I cut it."
"Gives you strength like Samson huh?" Bonita smirked.
Daniel pointed at her and half-laughed.
"I'll see you later, bring your wife by to meet me and mom."
"We'll be in before we go, count on it."
She nodded and left them.
"I have some things to do so I'll see you at dinner. Six-thirty?"
"See ya then mate." Rollie nodded as Daniel walked off.
Rollie looked toward the lighthouse then headed that way to give Nub a hand if he could. He folded the contract up and put it in his back pocket as he walked to "their" cottage with a smile.
"Files are retrieved." Angie smiled, satisfied at her handiwork.
"I don't know how to repay you." Callie shook her head amazed.
"Not necessary. Now, to find my wayward husband."
"I vaguely remember him saying something about seeing you back at the inn." Callie offered.
"Guess I'll head there then."
"Mind if I walk with you? I have a couple of comments to get for a story."
"Sure." Angie shrugged.
Callie certainly seems nice enough...
"What was that whole thing with Brian? That look you gave him earlier when you were talking about our privacy?"
Callie cleared her throat several times before answering.
"Brian... he means well... and he only wants to help Hope..."
"He figures with you and Rollie in the movie business it could draw tourists. I can guarantee he's thinking up a plan right now to propose to you. He really is harmless Angie. I'll just mention his intentions to Molly and Alex and that will be the end of it." Callie assured her.
"We don't want anyone to know we have a place here!"
"Are you guys in some kind of trouble?" Callie asked sensing a story.
Angie looked at her closely.
Can I trust her? I want someone to know in case something happens and we have to vanish...
"Completely off the record?" She asked.
Callie nodded realizing Angie was trusting her.
They sat in a couple of chairs outside the inn.
"There's a man... a horrible, awful man... named Victor Loubar. He is an international terrorist and arms dealer. Rollie is his sworn enemy because he's outsmarted his plots a few times. The last time he surfaced he took over Rol's identity... and wreaked havoc on our lives. He hasn't been heard from since then and I pray he is dead... but if he's not this cottage will be our safe haven."
Callie wasn't sure if she believed this story or not, it sounded so far-fetched.
"It's the truth Callie."
They looked up to see Rollie.
"They say truth is stranger than fiction. Will you be safe here?" Callie asked.
"We haven't told anyone about this place, not even our lawyer friend knows where this place is and we've set up an account here in Seattle under an alias." He replied.
"Are you in a lot of danger?"
"Not as long as he hasn't a clue to where we are. Once we landed in Chicago we checked into a hotel then donned disguises and left again, the room was paid up for a week, our tickets are under different names so if he is looking for us hopefully he'll assume we stayed in Chicago." Angie replied.
"If he realizes were not there he'll have to do some major detective work sweetie."
"Wow! This would be a great story, unbelievable but great. Oh! I won't tell anyone. I hope you stay safe too." Callie assured them then stood. "I need to get to my other story. Maybe we can get together and talk some more... about the movie business this time." She smiled.
"We'll let you know." Rollie nodded.
Callie left them alone in search of her comment.
"I asked Daniel to join us for dinner."
"It's kind of eerie seeing you guys together."
"It was a little strange for me too the first time."
"I imagine so but to meet up with him here again of all places." She shook her head.
Rollie smiled fondly, recalling when he and Daniel had actually met and got to know each other.
"Ya know, we have a few hours before dinner Mr. Tyler..."
"What'd you have in mind?" He smirked at her.
"I think the cottage needs broken in." She took his hand as she stood.
"Mrs. Tyler, are you suggesting what I think you are?"
Angie whispered in his ear.
"That's what I thought... I will but only if I get to do the same to you." He smiled.
"So what are we waiting for?" She asked and pulled him along toward the cottage.
"Widows Walk, yes, we do, alright let me put you down for then. Oh, you're welcome, we'll see you then."
"Afternoon Alex, can I get a cup of coffee?"
"Sure Fr. Mac, have a stool."
The priest sat down as Molly went into the kitchen.
"Is that Boris singing?"
"Sure is." Alex chuckled pouring the coffee.
"What's put him in such a good mood?"
"Not a what, who. Rollie and Angie ordered a Russian lunch."
"Ah, Daniel told me they were here, perhaps I'll pay them a visit."
"Well they're not here right now, you might try the lighthouse cottage since they were buying it."
"Maybe I'll stop by there after my coffee."
"So where did you and Daniel get off to this afternoon?"
"I wanted to discuss the spring food drive. I had a few ideas to make it more productive."
"I'm sure Daniel was very receptive." Alex hid a smirk.
Though Daniel never said anything she was sure there were times the older man tried his patience.
"Yes, as a matter of fact he was. Told me to handle the whole thing in fact since I knew so much about doing it." He smiled smugly recalling their conversation.
"Daniel said that?"
Alex was perplexed, Daniel seemed really pleased by the way the food drive was coming along before he left for California. Why would he hand it over to Fr. Mac? Unless it got to be too much for him. Daniel always seems to have several projects going at once. Guess I'll ask him later. She nodded to Bob who raised his cup for a refill.
"Ow! " Angie exclaimed sitting up. "The first thing we get is a new mattress!" She muttered.
Rollie sat up, kissed her bare shoulder then rubbed where she was stretching the sore muscle.
"But other than that it was bloody good." He chuckled.
"It's always good." She smiled back.
"We aim to please." He grinned.
"You do have great special effects." She laughed making him groan then kissed him.
"We'd better get dressed before Daniel shows up here looking for us." He sighed and slid out of bed.
They had finished dressing and were putting shoes on when a knock came to their door.
Angie laughed softly as Rollie rolled his eyes and went to answer it.
"Guess you're hungry eh mate?" He teased pulling the door open. "Oh, Fr. Mac, thought you were Daniel." Rollie chuckled.
"Are you expecting him?"
"We're meeting for dinner."
"Oh... well I won't keep you long. I just came by to meet your wife and welcome you both to Hope as our newest residents."
"That's very thoughtful, thank you." Angie extended her hand.
"Fr. Mac, this is my wife Angie."
"You do special effects for movies as well?" The priest asked shaking her hand.
"Yeah, Rol and I work together."
"It must be difficult spending so much time together."
"Not really, at work Rol's the boss." Angie shrugged.
"And at home, Angie is." He teased her.
"And don't you forget it!" Angie gave him a mock glare.
"Well, I'll let you prepare for your dinner."
"Thanks for coming by." Rollie smiled.
"I'll see you both later." Fr. Mac nodded and left them.
"Hey, Fr. Mac was in earlier, said you asked him to handle the food drive?"
"Yeah." Daniel nodded.
"You work so hard, take on so much, you're not indestructable you know." She smiled at him then led him to a table as Angie and Rollie appeared.
"Evening Alex." Rollie greeted
"So, like the cottage?" She asked.
"Sure do." Angie smiled at her husband.
"Here are menus... drinks?"
"Coffee." Daniel replied sitting.
The blonde nodded and Rollie held up two fingers.
"Coffee and two beers coming up." She nodded and went back to get the drinks giving them a chance to look over the menu.
"So what do you two think of the cottage?"
"It's comfortable. The whole island feels that way... like we could trust everyone here."
"You can... Angie. No one here will treat you like a stranger, you're welcomed with open arms."
"It's a lot different then New York." She smiled.
"I know." Daniel nodded.
"You've been there? Oh! Duh! That's how Rol saw you the first time." She shook her head.
"Have you decided?" Alex asked returning with their drinks.
"I'll take the salmon and salad." Angie replied.
"I'll have the... steak with mushroom sauce." Rollie answered.
"Okay, what'll it be for you reverend?" Alex smiled at him.
"The liver and onions and a side salad."
"That's the second meal today you've ordered something new. Are you sure you're really Daniel Cooper?" She arched an eyebrow at him.
"Last time I checked. I think it's the homecookong I just came back from." He shrugged.
"Must be, I'll get your orders to Boris." She chuckled and headed for the kitchen.
"Your parents must be proud, being a minister and all." Angie commented.
"My father is a minister so I suppose so."
"Suppose?" Rollie asked.
"We've uh... had our problems." Daniel shrugged rearranging the napkin on his lap.
Rollie and Angie exchanged a look.
"I'd like to see your church, maybe tomorrow?"
"Daniel asked me to go boating tomorrow Ange... is that okay with you?"
"Sure. I'll look around, maybe get Callie or Fr. Mac to give me a tour."
"Thanks Ange." Rollie smiled and gave her hand a squeeze under the table.
"Boris is still singing from your lunch order." Alex grinned returning to their table.
"We both got a treat then." Rollie smiled.
"Things are finally starting to slow down." Alex sighed looking around.
"Pull up a chair." Rollie motioned.
"Tell me about what you guys do for the movies." She requested joining them.
Kevin walked to the inn and espied Molly behind the bar so he walked over.
"Hi honey." She smiled.
"Looks like they're having a good time." He nodded toward Daniel's table where Rollie was animatedly describing something with his hands as the women laughed and Daniel smiled.
"Yeah, they've been over there for a while."
They gave a start as Callie ran into the room and looked around.
"Daniel!" She called and hurried over.
Kevin and Molly followed her curiously and watched her hand Daniel a piece of paper.
"Oh..." He said and lowered the paper.
"Daniel? What is it?" Alex asked concerned.
Daniel handed the paper to her.
"Oh my..." she said in shock and put her hand over his.
Rollie took the paper from her and the couple read it.
"This would have been...?" Rollie looked at Daniel who nodded.
"What? What is it?!?" Kevin asked exasperated and Rollie handed the paper to him. " 'Flight 21 from Los Angeles disappeared from radar at 5:21 over Oregon.' " He read aloud.
"That was your flight wasn't it Daniel?" Molly breathed.
"Looks like your friend up there was looking after you." Rollie commented.
Daniel nodded and looked at Alex's hand on his then up at her.
"I couldn't believe it when it came over the computer." Callie added shaking her head.
"Suddenly I don't feel that hungry." Daniel said pushing his plate away.
Rollie nodded and they pushed their meals away as well.
"You okay?" Alex asked the minister.
"Uh... I think I'm... gonna head home." He gave her an apologetic look.
"I understand. Do you want a ride?"
"I can take him." Kevin offered.
"I think I'll walk." Daniel replied.
They all nodded as he rose and headed for the door then turned back.
"I'll meet you here around nine Rollie."
"You sure you want to go out?"
"Yeah... I... I need it."
"Okay." The Aussie nodded and they watched him go.
"He'll go to the church and pray for everyone on that plane." Molly said to no one in particular but they all nodded.
Rollie and Angie were changing for bed later that night when Rollie handed hert he cottage papers.
"You need to sign these sweetie."
Angie got a pen from her purse and put her name on the document.
"We really own a cottage on an island in Washington." She shook her head.
"Yep. A safe place for us." He hugged her.
"Are you sure we'll be safe here?"
"Nothing bad will happen to us here, I promise." He kissed her then they climbed into bed and settled in for a good night's sleep.
The sun came up the next morning and streamed in the window awakening Rollie. He glanced at the clock and Angie snuggled closer as noises drifted in from the hall.
"What time is it?" She mumbled.
"Almost seven. Sleep well?"
"I'm gonna grab a shower so I can eat before Daniel gets here."
"How 'bout I take one with you?"
"Think we can be done in an hour?" He smiled down at her.
"Might cut it close."
"The sooner we get in there..." He grinned and they got up and headed for the bathroom.
Alex knocked on Dylan's door then opened it, seeing the bed was vacant she walked to the bathroom door.
"You want eggs and toast?"
"Is your report finished?"
"Okay, I'll see you downstairs."
She left his room and descended the steps then went to the kitchen as Boris appeared.
"Boris make breakfast."
"Eggs and toast for Dylan."
Boris tsked and shook his head pulling three eggs from the fridge.
"Dylan won't eat three eggs."
"Alex must have more than coffee."
"Molly tell you same."
"The same what?"
"Alex must eat breakfast, not coffee."
"Uh, okay. You do have to eat Alex."
"Fine! I surrender!" Alex replied pulling two plates out then loaded the bread into the toaster.
"I'll start the coffee." Molly said and exited the kitchen.
A few minutes later the eggs and toast were done and Alex scooped them onto the plates which she took to a table just as Dylan appeared. They sat together and ate breakfast.
"I certainly feel clean." Angie smiled as she toweled dry.
"I believe that's the longest shower I've ever taken Mrs. Tyler." Rollie replied rubbing her hair with a second towel.
Angie slipped her light robe on then toweled his hair as he dried himself.
They dressed and headed downstairs.
"Morning." Alex greeted clearing the dishes from the table.
"Can I get you some coffee?" Molly asked from the bar.
"That'd be great, thanks." Rollie nodded.
"Grab a table." Alex called going into the kitchen.
The couple took one in the middle of the room as Molly brought the coffee over.
"Ready or do you need another minute?" She inquired.
"I'll take the number four, scrambled and wheat toast." Angie replied.
"Looks good, make it two." Rollie nodded.
"Okay, I'll get that to Boris."
"Hey Molly, can I get some coffee?"
"Sure Barry, let me get this order to Boris." She nodded and left them.
Alex brought their meal out a short time later and they ate hungrily.
They were finishing their coffee when Daniel arrived.
"You ready? I heard the fish were biting already."
"Let's catch some supper for the ladies." Rollie smiled at Angie, Alex and Molly.
"Did you borrow a pole?" Alex looked at Daniel.
"I'll get Dylan's." Alex shook her head and started for the stairs.
"Is Callie taking you around the island?" Daniel asked Angie.
"Actually I decided to get to know everyone myself."
"Poles. Cooler?" Alex asked handing Daniel two rods.
"I'll be right back."
"Maybe she should take me fishing." Rollie teased.
Alex returned a moment later with the cooler.
"There's bait in there too. Have a good time." She kissed Daniel's cheek. "For luck."
"Let's show them what a real kiss for luck looks like." Angie replied and gave Rollie a passionate one.
Molly bit back a grin as Alex blushed. She glanced at Daniel, who was staring at the couple, he didn't seem to be looking at them though. Wonder what he's thinking of...or who? Do they think they're fooling us? Maybe I should enlighten them. Nah, better to let them figure it out themselves that they're crazy for each other!
"You sure you want to do this Daniel?" Rollie asked swallowing after that kiss.
"Yeah. We'll be back by dinner." Daniel nodded and headed for the door.
"Guess I'll see you later." Rollie sighed and followed.
"I love you." Angie called.
"Love you sweetie."
Angie shook her head as the door closed.
"So you guys think they'll catch anything?" She turned to the other women.
"I'll thaw the salmon in the freezer." Alex replied and headed that way.
Angie laughed heading for the stairs to change shoes for her walkabout around the island.
Daniel throttled down the boat and baited the hook handing the rod to Rollie.
"So why did you buy the cottage? Life here is nothing like New York." Daniel asked.
"That's your answer."
"Come on, there's gotta be more to it."
"It'll be our safe haven."
"Not what...who. Victor Loubar, my enemy. He pretended to be me before... he seduced... no... he raped Ange."
"Seduced or raped, which is it?"
"Angie loved me, even back then and when she thought I wanted to make love she was ready and willing... except it wasn't me. Loubar is a sick bastard and he did that to her to hurt me. He didn't care what it did to Ange as long as it hurt me!"
"And it did."
"Yes.I wanted to rip him apart from the inside out! I hope she shot him to death in that lake! I know it's wrong to wish death on someone Daniel... but this mongrel deserves to rot in hell!"
Angie climbed the stairs to the General Store and the bell tinkled as she opened the door.
"You must be Angie."
"I'm Bonita, welcome to Hope Island."
Angie heard taping and looked over to see an older woman holding up a chalkboard which read: 'Deliveries'. Hearing rustling beside her she was startled to see Bonita hold up her own sign which read: 'I'm going!'
"It was nice meeting you Angie, I hope you like living on the island."
"Thanks." She called as Bonita left.
"Is there something I can help you with dear?" The other woman asked coming over.
"Uh... dental floss." Angie said puzzled.
"Over here. I'm Ruby by the way, Ruby Vasquez. That was my daughter Bonita."
"Did you two have a fight or something?" Angie asked following.
"No. That's just our way of communicating." Ruby answered cheerfully.
"O...kay." Angie said under her breath.
"We certainly got quite a shock when Rollie turned up here at Christmas."
"He was just as surprised to see Daniel."
"Well I imagine so. That'll be $1.43."
Angie gave her two ones and got change back.
"Did you buy the coattage?"
"We signed the papers yesterday."
"Well, it'll be interesting to have movie makers on Hope. The closest we ever got to the actual movie business was Blake Hunter directing our annual play." Ruby confided.
"Well Rol and I aren't any different than anyone else on the island I'm sure."
Another customer came in and Angie left humming the Twilight Zone theme
Guess I'l have to get used to that too... everyone knowing our business.
"Good morning Angie."
"Oh, hi Fr. Mac."
"I was just thinking how different Hope Island is from New York."
"Hope is different from many places." He chuckled.
"How long have you been here?"
"Over forty years."
"That's... a long time."
"It certainly is." He agreed.
"How would you like to show me around?" She took his arm smiling.
"Why, uh... I'd be delighted."
"Maybe we should try another spot mate, the fish aren't biting here."
"We might have better luck a little further out." Daniel agreed.
"Hey uh, what's the story with you and Alex?"
"No story, we're friends."
"Come on Daniel, I could sense more than that at Christmas. You need to tell her how you feel."
"I'm just taking it slow."
"Slow is good... just don't be a snail!" Rollie laughed.
"Come on, let's head out." Daniel replied moving to the wheel.
"Daniel, you okay about the plane crash? You had to be a little shaken."
"I'm glad. Sorry for the people who died but glad you weren't one of them."
Daniel nodded and started the boat heading northwest toward Deception Pass.
Angie returned to the inn around noon and took a stool.
"Hungry?" Molly asked.
"Yeah, I walked up an appetite."
"Hi Angie." Dylan ranover and climbed onto a stool.
Alex put a plate down in front of him and poured a glass of milk.
"You're welcome baby. What can I get you Angie?"
"Turkey club and a glass of milk."
"Okay, be right back." The redhead nodded and went into the kitchen to make the sandwich.
"Where's Rollie?" Dyaln asked.
"He and Daniel went fishing."
"Daniel and I go fishing sometimes, we have a lot of fun."
"You really like Daniel huh?"
"He's my best friend."
"Sound like a lot of people on Hope consider him a friend."
" 'Cause he's nice to everybody." Dylan answered between bites. "You and Rollie gonna live here?"
"Well, our business is in New York but we'll come here when we need a break." I hope that's all we'll need the cottage for.
"It'll be cool having you guys here. Rollie's accent is neat."
"I like it too." Angie smiled.
They chatted more as Angie's meal arrived then Dylan had to head back to school and Angie went upstairs for a nap feeling tired suddenly. She attributed it to jet-lag catching up with her and the long tour this morning. Tossing a blanket over herself she was soon fast asleep.
Alex glanced at the clock and sighed, the dinner crowd would be arriving soon.
"How do you suppose the fishermen are doing?" Molly asked.
"They should be back soon, we'll find out then."
"But just in case you thawed the salmon, right?" Molly smirked.
"Just in case." Alex chuckled.
"I can't believe I slept so long. It's so peaceful here."
"We like--" Alex started.
"Kevin?" Molly asked seeing her husband standing there, his face was pale.
"There's been an accident..."
"Rol? What happened to Rol?!?" Angie demanded.
"Daniel." Alex whispered.
"A fishing boat found Daniel alive, floating in the water... there was no sign of Rollie. We're going out right now to search." Kevin added quickly as Molly held the shorter blond so she wouldn't collapse. "I'll call... when we find him." The cop had almost said if.
Alex nodded and helped Molly get Angie to the couch by the stairs.
"He promised." Angie whispered over and over as she rocked back and forth.
"They'll find him Angie. Kevin will find him." Molly hugged her and exchanged a worried glance with Alex.
Kevin slammed on the brakes and jumped out of his truck then ran down the gangplank as Dr. Watson arrived, she joined him, a moment later the fishing boat appeared. He helped her board and they hurried to Daniel's side.
"It's my fault." He uttered as Dr. Watson checked him.
"It was an accident." She soothed.
"No. I should have seen the rocks." He shook his head.
"Help me get him to my truck, I want to get him to the clinic.' She requested of Kevin.
"No! I need to help look for Rollie."
"Daniel, I need to check you for injuries."
"I'm okay. I need to do this." He looked at her.
"Harry, get us out there." Kevin ordered receiving a look from Dr. Watson. "Rollie will need medical attention too probably."
She acquiesced with an unhappy nod and the boat pulled away from the dock.
Ruby and Bonita had arrived soon after the phone call. Not long after they arrived half the town showed up to wait for word on the Aussie's fate. Callie had taken her reporter's hat off the moment she saw Angie's state, she knew the woman would be devastated if her husband was not found. She thanked God Daniel was okay and prayed Rollie was too.
"Try and drink some tea Angie." Alex coaxed holding the cup out to her.
"He promised." Angie whispered again.
"What did Rollie promise?" Alex asked quietly.
"That nothing bad would happen to us here." Angie looked at her, tears streaming down her cheeks.
Alex put the cup down and pulled her into a hug.
"I can't lose him." Angie sobbed.
Time passed slowly.
Fr. Mac knew the longer they waited the less likely they would find Rollie alive. He prayed as he waited with the others.
Nub looked at Angie and felt bad for her. She and Rollie seemed like really nice people and he had looked forward to getting to know them better. He wanted to learn about the movie business, it seemed really interesting. If she stays on Hope we'll take care of her, we promise Rollie.
Boris busied himself in the kitchen while everyone waited. He had memories of his father being taken away by the KGB and how they had awaited word of his fate,which had never come. He prayed that Angie would not have to wonder... that Rollie would be well.
The door opened a while later and all eyes looked over as Kevin walked over to Angie.
"No! No! No!" She shook her head.
"We had to stop... darkness. The Coast Guard will be back out first thing in the morning."
She covered her face with her hands and shook silently.
"What happened out there?" Alex asked.
"The most I could get from Daniel was that they hit rocks. The boat must have capsized and they were tossed out."
Angie stood abruptly and hurried upstairs.
"I'll check on her." Molly said and followed.
"Dr. Watson took him home. He feels guilty Alex, I don't think he could have faced Angie right now."
"Poor Daniel." Bonita sighed.
"It was an accident, he cannot blame himself for that." Fr. Mac said quietly.
"I'm going to go and try to convince him of that." Alex nodded.
"If that poor girl needs anything you let us know." Ruby requested.
Alex nodded as everyone started to go, she picked up her keys and headed for the door.
Molly sat next to Angie on the bed in silence. She had no idea what to say to her, she had never lost someone she loved this way.
"I'm going to go and--"
"We we're talking about having a baby. He said he was ready to be a father.He can't be dead. He...can't...be..." She sobbed.
Molly held her as she cried.
There was a light knock and Fr. Mac opened the door.
"Boris made some tea."
Molly nodded and he brought the cup over to the bed,he made the sign of the cross over Angie, said a silent prayer then left as quietly as he'd come.
Alex knocked on the door of the parish house and Dr. Watson answered.
"How is he?"
"He has a few bumps and bruises. I made him go to bed but I'm not sure how much sleep he'll get." The doctor sighed.
"Kevin said he blames himself."
"He feels like he should have seen it and been able to do something to stop it."
"I'll have to convince him otherwise."
Alex nodded to her and went to Daniel's room where she knocked and he called for her to enter.
"Hey." She smiled softly sitting next to him on the bed.
Daniel didn't meet her eyes.
"It wasn't your fault. It was an accident."
He shook his head.
"Yes. Look at me." She gently touched his face. "It was a terrible, terrible accident. Everyone knows you would never hurt someone, especially not Rollie." She held her arms open and he leaned into her embrace. She iterated it was an accident as she rubbed his back soothingly.
He pulled back after several minutes and looked at her then pulled her into a kiss, gripping her face tightly.
"Daniel..." Alex finally broke his hold.
"I'm sorry... I just needed to feel alive."
"I understand." She nodded and touched his face.
"She's hurting. I hope he's alive... she might stop living herself if he's not. She loves him so much."
He nodded and looked away.
"Do you want some soup or tea?"
"No. I'm just going to try and sleep like the doctor advised."
"Okay, I'll call you in the morning. If you need anything you can call me, alright?"
"Thanks." He nodded and laid down.
She tucked him in and left for home feeling for both he and Angie.
The next morning Alex unlocked the door and was startled to find Daniel there.
"I figured you'd still be sleeping."
"I woke up and couldn't get back to it. I need to see...Angie."
"She's probably not up yet. Mol stayed with her last night."
"I can only imagine what this is like for her. The man she loves is dead, it must be killing her."
"We don't know Rollie's dead."
"You think he survived?"
"I think we need to hope...and do your specialty."
"Angie, that's not a good idea!"
"I don't care! I'm going!"
Alex and Daniel looked up to see the blonds coming down the stairs,Angie stopped upon seeing< Daniel.
"I don't blame you,you would never hurt Rol on purpose." Angie said and hugged him briefly then turned to Alex. "Are the fishermen going back out to look for Rol?"
"I'm sure some will help the Coast Guard."
"She wants to go with them." Molly explained.
"No! I have to go! I'll go crazy if I have to stay here while someone else is searching for him."
"I'll go with you. I can't just do...nothing." Daniel added.
"I'll call Harry, go down to the docks and meet him there." Alex nodded and the pair left.
"You think they should be doing this?" Molly asked surprised.
"No, but I think they're both stubborn and would have gone anyway, this way I know someone will be looking after them." Alex replied and reached for the phone.
Harry pulled up to the dock as night fell. Daniel helped Angie off the boat and walked her to the< inn where she headed to her room. Alex came over to Daniel and he shook his head and left for home.
Sunday found the Coast Guard and fishermen out again. Angie hadn't joined them this time, she just couldn't face the disappointment after having been so sure they would find him the day before. She had gone to the cottage to be alone but found Brian and Nub there.
"We...we wanted to finish up for you." Nub said quietly.
"Thank you. The papers are in my room at the inn if you need to file them right away. I'd really like to stay here for a while."
"Nub can finish, I'll get the papers taken care of so you can move in whenever you want. There'll be no worries for you." Brian replied.
Angie brushed a tear away at the 'no worries' and nodded her thanks.
"I'll just be back here so you can have your privacy." Nub motioned as Brian left.
"Hey Brian." Daniel met him outside the cottage.
"Reverend. That poor girl."
"Yeah, losing her husband in such a tragic way. Makes me glad I didn't mention the fishing widows to her...it's almost as if it's repeating itself."
"Don't say that." Brian shook his head. "That's history Hope could do without. I remember the last one like it was yesterday. It was..." He made a face.
"I'm sure it wasn't pretty." Daniel nodded.
"Well, I need to get going, get the papers to the lawyer so she owns the cottage."
Brian left him standing there thoughtfully.
Angie leaned against the door and closed her eyes. Hearing Nub puttering in the back she went to him. "Nub, tell me about the fishing widows."
Alex locked the door to the inn and shook her head tiredly. The Coast Guard had turned up no sign of Rollie though they did locate the sunk boat. One more day and then the search would be called off. Rollie would be declared presumed dead from drowning. Nub had come by earlier to let her know Angie was staying the night at the cottage. Brian had come and gotten the papers so Angie would still own the cottage. The only one she hadn't seen was Daniel and she knew he must be feeling so guilty about everything, she hoped he was okay. Turning the lights off she headed up to bed.
Kevin groggily reached for the phone and put it to his ear without opening his eyes.
'Kevin, it's Daniel! There's been an accident...it's...Angie. We're at the cottage.'
"I'm on my way!" The cop hung up and quickly dressed.
"There's been some kind of accident with Angie."
"Is she okay?" Molly sat up and turned on the light.
"Daniel didn't give me details."
"I'll call you." He gave her a quick kiss and hurried out.
"First Rollie now this? It's like a nightmare." Molly uttered to the empty room.
"Angie? Can you hear me?" Dr.Watson checked her eyes. "Daniel, get me the braces and the backboard from the truck!"
He nodded and rushed out just as Kevin arrived, the two men carried the equipment inside.
"What happened?" Kevin asked.
"I couldn't sleep so I decided to take a walk. I looked up here and saw a figure up top...I realized it must be...Angie. I thought she was going to jump. When I reached here I didn't see her so I came inside, she was laying at the bottom of the stairs."
Dr.Watson quickly got her strapped down and they carried her to the truck.
"Kevin get a helicopter over here we need to get her to the mainland." She ordered.
The cop nodded and followed in his truck while Daniel drove the medic's to the clinic.
They helped get her inside to be examined more thoroughly while Kevin called for airlift.
"How is she?" Daniel asked.
"Serious. They'll be more extensive at the hospital."
"I want to go...I feel responsible."
Dr. Watson nodded knowing she couldn't change the way he felt right now.
"The chopper will be here in ten."
"You'll have to guide them in."
"Come on Daniel."
The men left and moved the trucks so the chopper could land on the road, the headlights used to guide them in, the chopper landed safely. A few minutes later Angie was loaded inside, the doctor and Daniel boarded and they left.
Kevin watched them go then headed home to tell Molly.
Daniel sat in the waiting room alone, a glance at the clock showed it to be after six A.M. He'd been there well over an hour already and no one had come to tell him how she was. Picking up a magazine he flipped through it absently.
"How's...Angie?" He asked the doctor as he got to his feet.
"She's got a concussion and a number of bruises, nothing is broken amazingly."
"Can I see her?"
"Not just yet."
"A few hours. They're still checking her. I need to call Kevin, do you want me to have him come get you?"
"No. I'll stay until I see...Angie."
She nodded and left him to go call home.
Alex hurried to the phone and wondered who'd be calling at seven in the morning.
'It's me Alex.'
"Mol? Why are you calling?"
'There was an accident last night. Angie fell down the stairs at the lighthouse.'
"Is she okay?!?"
'Dr. Watson called a little while ago, she has some injuries, the most serious is a concussion. She and Daniel are still at the hospital.'
'He's the one who found her.'
"This all seems so unreal." Alex replied.
'My thoughts too. I need to call Ruby and Callie, they can spread the word.'
"Okay, hey do you want to go to the hospital in a couple of hours to see her?"
'Yeah, Kevin needs to ask Daniel some more questions anyway.'
"Meet at the docks at nine then?"
'See you then.'
Alex hung up and shook her head again.
"What happened to Angie mom?"
"Oh, baby...I didn't realize you were up. She fell down some stairs at the cottage, Daniel and Dr. Watson went to the hospital with her."
"Can I go to the hospital too?"
"You have scho--"
"Please mom? I want to take her some flowers. I know how sad I'd be if you died."
"Alright." Alex hugged him, again wondering what she did right to raise a thoughtful child.
He went back upstairs, dressed then went to get some flowers from Kenny.
Alex called the school, made them breakfast then cleaned up and they headed to the docks.
Daniel stroked Angie's cheek.
"It'll be okay, I promise. I told him I'd take care of you and I will. Don't worry..." He whispered in her ear and reached into his pocket. "I have something for you."
The minister turned and saw Kevin and the others.
"How is she?" Alex asked quietly.
"They think she'll be okay but you never can tell with a head injury."
"I brought her flowers." Dylan put the vase on the table.
"I need a few more details, can we go into the hall?" Kevin asked.
"I told you everything last night."
Daniel sighed and got up, Alex took his seat as they left.
"Hey Angie, it's Alex. Gave us a scare, you have to be okay, Rollie would want that."
"You have a lot of friends here, we'll help you through this." Molly added.
The men returned a few minutes later and Alex looked at Daniel closely.
"We shouldn't stay long, you need to get home and get some rest."
"I need to be here." He shook his head.
"Daniel, you're exhausted." Molly chimed in.
"You need to sleep." Kevin agreed.
"Fine, I'll go home for a little while but I'm coming back later."
Alex nodded knowing it was the best she could ask for.
They stayed for another hour then headed for Hope.
Daniel, Alex, Kevin and Fr. Mac came back around six.
Kevin and Alex went to get coffee leaving the two clerics alone.
"They came to Hope for someplace safe and tragedy found them." Fr. Mac shook his head.
"It doesn't seem fair does it?"
"You remember my brother Seamus? It felt very unfair that he died so young but as I got older I realized there was no fair and unfair. We learn to accept what happens and do our best to survive."
"Yes, life is a game of survival isn't it?" Daniel murmured.
Angie moved and Daniel sent Fr. Mac to get someone, he touched her cheek.
"I still have that gift for you." He whispered and reached into his pocket.
Daniel didn't hear the door open and only looked up when footsteps sounded rushed across the floor. He was backhanded and fell against the equipment and to the floor where hands wrapped around his neck and squeezed.
Kevin and Alex followed Fr. Mac and the nurse to Angie's room where they found a scene almost unbelievable to them. The coffee hit the floor as they rushed over. Kevin and the nurse pulled the man off Daniel and drug him away as Alex checked Daniel.
"Rollie?!?" Fr. Mac gaped in shock.
"Why would you try to hurt Daniel?!?" Alex glared at him as she helped the minister to his feet.
"That...thing!...is not Daniel!" Rollie snarled enraged.
"What happened to him out there?" Daniel asked hoarsely.
"Kevin, his name is Victor Loubar, he's a murderer! Arrest him and call the F.B.I.!"
"Rollie, you've been through a terrible ordeal, you need to let a doctor look at you." Fr. Mac said gently drawing Rollie's attention away from Daniel for a moment.
Alex yelped and they all looked to see Daniel holding her by the hair, a knife to her throat.
"Should have known you'd survive Tyler, you're one lucky bastard."
"Put the knife down!" Kevin ordered drawing his weapon.
"Hmm...can you shoot me before I slit her throat? I'm betting no. Now, me and red are leaving... you try to stop us...she dies!"
Alex was drug to the door by her hair.
"Say good-bye to Angela for me." Loubar, wearing Daniel's face, laughed.
They got to the stairs and he shoved Alex down them then yanked her to her feet as he passed.
A car driven by a little old man pulled up and Loubar shoved him out of the way and pushed Alex inside, he slammed her head off the steering wheel before she could escape, then shoved her over and sped off.
"Stay with Ange!" Rollie ordered and ran after his enemy and his friend.
Kevin was right on his heels and they pounded down the stairs to the first floor where they saw them drive away.
Rollie jumped in front of a car that slammed its brakes.
"Police emergency!" He said opening the driver's door.
The woman clambered out and the men jumped in and raced after them.
Kevin had a death grip on the door as Rollie drove at breakneck speed to catch up to them.
"If he's here then where's Daniel?" He asked aloud.
Rollie didn't answer, just kept his eye on the road.
"He's dead isn't he?" Kevin asked quietly.
"Probably. Loubar never left someone he impersoanted alive...except for me...so I would know and have to live with the terrible things he'd done." Rollie replied gripping the wheel even tighter. Whatever it takes! Loubar won't live this time! Not this time!
My best friend is dead. Murdered...
We have to get Alex back. For Daniel we have to save her.
Kevin opened his eyes with a clear purpose and just in time or they might have missed the broken trees.
Rollie gently applied the brakes so as not to send them both to hospital with whiplash.
Kevin jumped out and pulled his gun heading for the car-cut path.
Rollie quickly followed and they made their way down to the car.
The cop immediately went to the driver's side and aimed his weapon at Loubar who had become a human projectile once the car had hit a tree.
Inertia...an object at rest remains at rest...and an object in motion remains in motion.
There had been nothing to stop Loubar's forward motion, he hadn't been buckled in.
"A mask?" Kevin asked seeing the Daniel face cracked and blood pouring out.
"Yeah." Rollie replied and checked his neck. "He's dead."
We're finally free of you you bastard!
Kevin headed around the other side of the car to see Alex, he opened the door and touched her leg.
"Alex, can you hear me?" Kevin asked as police sirens wailed near-by.
She moaned and moved slightly.
"Just lie still, help is here." Kevin soothed and stood. "Rollie, come over here while I talk to the authorities."
The Aussie came around to her side and knelt down as Kevin headed up the hill.
"You did good Alex, real good. We're gonna get you to the hospital." He said patting her leg gently.
"Loubar." Angie whispered as her eyes fluttered open, she looked around fearfully.
"Angie?" Fr. Mac leaned over her.
"We know about him. Kevin and Rollie went after him."
"Yes, he's alive."
Angie began to cry and Fr. Mac held her hand.
So much had happened in the last hour and he knew Angie was in no shape to hear it yet.
If Loubar was Daniel...where is the Daniel we know?
That's the one question that kept asserting itself above all others for the priest and he silently prayed for the young minister.
Rol's alive! Rol's alive! Rol's alive!
No other thought could compete with that one in Angie's mind. She had her husband back and nothing else mattered to her.
"I heard we had some excitement earlier." The doctor said as he entered.
"Uh...yes." Fr. Mac nodded.
"I need to check Mrs. Tyler and the baby."
"Baby?" Angie breathed.
"Dr.Winters says you're about two months. It's amazing you didn't have a miscarriage with that fall." He shook his head as he put his stethescope in his ears.
Thank you Rol...oh thank you. Angie silently said rubbing her abdomen.
"You gave them a great gift in all this tragedy." Fr. Mac looked heavenward as he waited outside her room.
"Is Ange okay?"
"Oh, uh, yes Rollie. The doctor is in with her. What...happened?"
"Loubar is dead! Alex is getting checked out."
"You're glad he's dead?" The priest asked gently.
"Yeah,I am!" Rollie met his eyes.
"You don't know the things he's done to us! If you went through it even you might hate him so don't tell me I shouldn't feel this way!"
"That's not what I was going to say."
"Oh." Rollie uttered, embarrassed by his outburst.
"My first impression of you, last Christmas, was that it takes a great deal to make you angry, if all of us comparing you to Daniel didn't do it then...I also detected your humanity, so if you feel this strongly about this man then it must be warranted by his past actions."
"I'm going to see how Alex is...you should be with your wife."
Rollie nodded and went into her room, Fr. Mac saw as the door closed the couple hugging and kissing. He nodded toward heaven then boarded the elevator.
"I want to go home!"
"Miss Stone, you suffered a head injury--"
"I feel fine!"
"She sounds like her normal self."
Alex gave Fr. Mac a dirty looked then turned back to the doctor.
"I have a son who's probably worried sick by now." She pleaded.
"I could call Molly, I'm sure she'll stay with him." Fr. Mac offered.
"No! I want to see him myself! Dr. Watson can keep an eye on me!"
"There are a lot of people who could watch her overnight." Fr. Mac nodded to the doctor.
"I'd feel better if you stay here."
"I would feel better at home. I need to go home to Dylan. I have to...have to tell him..." She swallowed the lump in her throat.
"Would you give us a moment?"
"I'll get her discharge papers." The medic sighed.
Mac nodded and watched the man leave then turned back to Alex.
"Daniel is dead, isn't he?" He asked gently.
Alex nodded stoicly.
Everyone on Hope knew Dylan adored Daniel...and Fr. Mac knew Daniel had feeling for Alex. Ruby mentioned the suspected attraction between the inn owner and the minister several months ago but he had kept Daniel's confidence...now he knew for certain Alex's feelings were mutual.
"How am I going to tell Dylan? How could he understand that Daniel wasn't Daniel? That Daniel is dead. I can't even comprehend it." She said softly.
He didn't know what to tell her to help she and Dylan both.
"I have to get home." She said sliding off the bed and heading for the door.
Rollie kissed Angie deeply and put a gentle hand on her stomach.
"We're really going to have a baby?"
"You heard the doctor." She smiled adoringly at him.
"Who would have thought that when I taught you to stunt fall it would save our baby one day."
"I'm just so glad that you and the baby are okay...and that Loubar is out of our lives for good!"
"He'll never hurt us or anyone else again." Rollie nodded hugging her.
"I can't believe that he was here. That he was Daniel." She shuddered. "Do you know how he killed Daniel?"
"No. That's one of the things we may never know."
She could see in Rollie's eyes he blamed himself for Daniel's murder.
"Let's go back to Hope."
"We'll see what the doctor says tomorrow sweetie."
"I want to go now. I feel okay Rol...and they'll need us. Please?"
"I'll talk to the doctor."
"I'll get dressed. I love you."
"I love you." He kissed her again then left to get her released.
Kevin rubbed his eyes tiredly. There were still a lot questions to be answered by Angie, Rollie and especially Alex. Maybe I can get them all together tomorrow. He entered the hospital and nearly ran into Alex and Fr. Mac.
"Where are you two going?"
"Home." Alex answered looking around.
"Did the doctor say you were okay to leave?" Kevin doubted.
"I need to get home to Dylan."
Kevin saw her stubborn streak rear its head so he gave up.
"Can you wait for me? I want to check on Rollie and Angie."
"I forgot about them." Alex admitted biting her lip.
"A lot has happened tonight." Fr. Mac soothed.
She looked at him gratefully and nodded.
"If you experience headaches, dizziness or nausea get to that doctor of yours!" Her E.R. physician ordered handing her the discharge papers to sign.
She nodded and scrawled her name on them thus relieving the hospital of any liability in her recovery.
"Let's go upstairs." She told the men and led them to the elevator.
"I highly recommend you stay Mrs. Tyler." The doctor said looking at Rollie for help.
"My wife is very stubborn." He shrugged.
"There's a doctor on the island." Angie stared at the medic.
"I don't have the authority to keep you against your will but it will be on record that you left against my medical advice."
"Just get the papers and you'll be off the hook!" She snapped.
The medic looked at both of them and shook his head in exasperation before he left.
"Thanks for supporting me."
"I'm supposed to do that." He smiled.
She hugged him as there was a knock on the door.
"Come in." Rollie called.
Kevin, Alex and Fr. Mac entered.
"Alex, are you okay?" Angie went to her.
"Yeah. We wanted to stop by and tell you we were going home."
"So are we...going back to Hope that is. We're just waiting for the papers." Rollie replied.
"You fell down the stairs--" Alex began.
"I'm fine." Angie said then looked at Rollie with a smile. "We're fine."
He nodded and smiled back.
"Things need to be sorted out yet...but I think we all deserve a good night's sleep and it can wait til tomorrow." Kevin said receiving grateful looks in return.
"Your discharge papers, Mrs. Tyler." The doctor announced upon his return.
Angie signed them quickly then they were all on their way.
Molly turned as the door opened and she ran over to hug Alex who winced.
"Take it easy Mol, Alex got a little banged up." Kevin said.
"What? How?" Molly asked pulling back.
"It's a long story, I'll tell you on the way home."
Molly nodded to her husband and glimpsed behind Alex.
"Angie! They let you out!"
"Not exactly advised but we wanted to leave." Angie replied hugging Rollie, who Molly just realized was standing there, her mouth fell open.
"Yeah, it's me." Rollie smiled tiredly.
"I'll explain that on the way home too Mol." Kevin said taking an arm and leading her to the door. "We'll see you all tomorrow."
Alex locked the door behind them and sighed deeply as she headed up the stairs behind the couple.
"See you in the morning." She bade as they reached their door.
Angie hugged her and Rollie squeezed her shoulder then they went into their room.
Alex by-passed her own room and went to Dylan's. She watched him sleep, her vision blurred by the tears that began to fall, she crossed the room and laid down next to her son wrapping her arms around him she let herself weep for the man they both loved.
Angie snuggled next to Rollie, his strong arms making her feel safe and knowing for the first time in several years they were truly safe...and their baby would be safe too. She closed her eyes and fell into a peaceful sleep.
Alex sat at the bar sipping her coffee, it was a little after seven. She had been downstairs for over half an hour after having awoken from a dream where Daniel was alive and well and the realization struck her that she would never see him again. She had left Dylan's room after turning his alarm off then went to her own room and showered and cried again. After dressing she came downstairs to think about how to tell her son a man he adored was gone to them forever, so far she hadn't been able to find the right words...or any words for that matter. There was no way she would ever tell him about what Loubar had done to Daniel. She could still hear the smugness in his voice as he told her, squeezing her eyes shut she willed his awful voice away.
"Mol, you startled me."
The blonde came over and hugged her.
"Kevin told me...I just..."
"I know, it's really hard to believe."
"Daniel..." Molly shook her head tearing up, she brushed Alex's hair back, her heart went out to her best friend.
"I haven't figured out what to tell Dylan." Alex sighed deeply.
"It won't be easy. He adored Daniel...like he was his father."
"I know. Where's Kevin?"
"He needed to check something out, he'll be here as soon as he can. Do you want me to make you and Dylan some breakfast?"
"Boris make breakfast."
They turned to see the Russian in the doorway.
"Customers come soon." He added and headed for the kitchen.
"I've closed the inn today Boris."
"Closed? Boris not understand."
"Come here." Alex motioned him to a table where they sat. "Boris...a lot happened yesterday...things that might be hard to understand."
"What things Boris not understand?"
"The Daniel that came back from California...he wasn't really Daniel. He was a man named Victor Loubar and he made himself to look like Daniel. He did it...he did it to hurt Rollie and Angie."
"Rollie is dead. Angie is in hospital. This man did this?"
"Man come back here Boris break all bones in his body!!!!"
"He's dead Boris. Victor Loubar is dead. Rollie is alive, he's upstairs with Angie."
"Boris is confused. Bad man is dead, Rollie is alive? Where is Daniel?"
Alex looked away, gathering herself to tell him. She felt Molly's hand squeeze hers in support and was grateful.
"Boris...Loubar...he killed Daniel." She answered softly.
"Daniel is friend to Boris..." He uttered.
The women realized he was in shock so Alex stood and hugged him.
"I know this is hard Boris...believe me."
"Boris...Boris must cook." He choked and hurried to the kitchen.
"Are you guys okay?" Angie asked as she and Rollie quietly entered.
"Alex just told Boris about Daniel."
"Now I have to tell Dylan." Alex sighed.
"I could do it." Rollie offered.
"No. I need to do this."
"Mom! My alarm didn't go off! I'm gonna be late for school!" Dylan exclaimed thundering down the stairs.
"Baby, come here!" Alex called as he rushed to the kitchen.
He came back with a frown.
"You don't have to go to school today." She said stroking his cheek.
Something is wrong. Mom would never keep me home otherwise.
"I need to talk to you, let's go upstairs."
He looked to the adults and his eyes grew wide.
"Rollie? They said you drowned."
"I'm okay. You need to go with your mum." Rollie squeezed his shoulder.
Alex led Dylan to his room with a heavy heart, she closed the door and sat on the bed with him.
"You know how much I love you? How proud I am of you? You're getting to be a young man..."
Dylan could see the tears in her eyes and it confused and scared him.
"Mom, what's wrong?"
Alex took a deep breath and told him.
"There was an accident...Daniel...Daniel is dead sweetie." She gathered him into her arms.
Daniel...Daniel is dead? No....he can't be dead! NO!
Dylan pulled away and shook his head.
"NO!" He shouted and ran to the door where he turned. "HE'S NOT DEAD!" He shouted tearfully and ran out.
Alex was on her feet before he was all the way out the door.
"LET ME GO!"
She heard him cry and headed for the stairs, rounding the corner she came to a halt and stared at the scene.
Daniel stood there just past the top of the stairs, a hand on Dylan's head and back as the boy clung to his waist. His eyes roamed over Alex's face and grew pained upon seeing the bruises. His eyes finally came to rest on hers and he held out his left hand.
Alex mouthed his name and flew into his arms.
Daniel held them both tightly not noticing the others quietly slip back down the stairs.
"So...when...how...?" Rollie began turning to Kevin.
"Ruby called me around six this morning, she said she heard a helicopter, sounded like it landed, she thought it was close to the hill. I thought maybe it was the F.B.I..."
Loubar was an international terrorist, it would make sense for the Feds to comb the parish house to find any evidence to link him to other crimes.
"When I went up there the helicopter was gone but I figured they'd still be at the house so I went there and knocked, there was no answer and I went inside. When the bathroom door opened I was in complete shock to see Daniel."
Kevin? Hey Kevin, you okay?
Kevin did the only thing that came to mind, he gave his friend a bearhug.
It's good to see you too buddy.
He heard Daniel chuckle and tears started to fall.
We thought you were dead.
Kevin stepped back but didn't let go of his arm.
We need to get you to the inn, they'll want to see you. I'll explain everything else on the way.
Kevin shook his head as Molly poured them coffee.
Once they come downstairs we'll go over everything and put this puzzle together.
"I knew you weren't dead! She told me you were but I knew it wasn't true!" Dylan muffled.
Daniel felt Alex tremble and he held her tighter.
"Dylan, your mom didn't know." He rubbed the boy's back.
"You went to the hospital with mom last night, she said you were killed in an accident." Dylan cried.
Alex pulled back and shook her head giving him a helpless look as tears streamed down her cheeks.
"It...it was a misunderstanding. No one is to blame okay?" He said the words to Dylan but looked at Alex who wiped her cheeks. "Dylan," He shook the boy's shoulder lightly so he would look at him. "Kevin needs to talk to me and your mom alone--"
"No!" Dylan clung to him.
Daniel knelt down to him.
"I promise I'm not going anywhere. I'll come right back when we're done--"
"Baby, sweetie, how about if we talk to Kevin downstairs and Daniel and I will sit where you can see us the whole time...okay? You need to eat breakfast anyway." Alex stroked his hair.
Dylan looked at her then to Daniel who nodded encouragingly.
"Okay." He agreed softly.
"Come on." Daniel smiled at them.
"I want to splash some water on my face."
"We'll meet you down there then." He nodded and touched her cheek for a moment then led Dylan to the stairs. "Let's get some breakfast buddy." He looked back at Alex and smiled then they disappeared from her view.
HE'S ALIVE!!!!! She grinned foolishly and ran back to her room.
Molly looked as Daniel and Dylan entered the room and smiled at them.
"Alex will be down in a few minutes. Are there any more eggs?" Daniel asked eying the plates.
"I'll get you some."
"Thanks Molly, make it for three."
Molly nodded and went into the kitchen.
"More eggs Boris, Daniel, Dylan and Alex are hungry." She said as she got the bread out. Hearing the door swinging she turned and found Boris gone. She frowned then her eyes grew big and she raced after him.
"DANIEL! MY FRIEND! YOU ARE ALIVE!" Boris thundered and wrapped his arms around the minister.
"Boris, put him down!" Molly called and rushed over before Daniel turned blue.
The minister took a deep breath with Rollie patting his back.
"Alex say Daniel not Daniel, bad man named Victor Loubar--"
"Boris!" Molly interrupted.
"Boris, I am really hungry..." Daniel said nodding toward the kitchen.
"Boris make food in a moment, want to understand how Daniel not Daniel."
"What does he mean?" Dylan asked.
"I could really use some juice buddy, can you get me some?"
Dylan frowned, he knew there was something they didn't want him to know but then decided it was an adult thing so he nodded and ran to the kitchen.
"Boris, Alex doesn't want Dylan to know about Victor Loubar...it would be too hard for him to understand." Molly explained.
"Alex told him I died in an accident and that it was all a misunderstanding...he doesn't need to know the rest...it would only scare him." Daniel added.
"Yah." Boris nodded as Dylan returned.
"Thank you. Mm,that's good." Daniel sipped the juice.
"Boris will make eggs." He said seeing Alex come down the stairs.
"I'll help." Molly said and followed him.
"Boris is making us breakfast." Daniel told Alex who came and stood beside him. He noticed she had changed into his favorite blue dress donning a sweater with it."
"We'll let you eat, then talk." Kevin nodded as there was a knock at the door.
Alex walked over and opened it to find Fr. Mac there.
"Oh, uh, good morning Alex...how are you?" He asked searching her eyes.
"I'm fine." She nodded, smiling.
"If you need to talk, I'm here." He offered.
"Why don't you come on in?" She moved back and he entered. "I'm glad you came actually." She added locking the door again.
"Yes, you know about what happened yesterday and it's only right you should know all of it too." She nodded and led him into the bar.
"I see everyone is here." The priest replied nodding to those assembled.
"Not quite." She looked around and Molly nodded toward the kitchen.
"How'd that math test go?" Daniel asked as he and Dylan exited with more juice for the boy.
"I got an A on it." Dylan beamed.
"Good, I know how hard you studied." Daniel ruffled his hair.
"Oh...my...goodness." Fr. Mac murmured shocked.
"Hey Fr. Mac." Daniel smiled at him.
"The Lord is kind and merciful." The priest uttered and Daniel patted his arm.
"Breakfast should be--"
"Breakfast!" Molly called bringing their plates out.
"--ready soon." Daniel smirked finishing his sentence.
"Sit down and eat your breakfast young man, we'll be right out here." Alex ordered.
Molly took the tray to the lounge then got coffee for the adults and they all settled in to give their part in the events of the past few days.
"Okay, Rollie, you first." Kevin pointed.
The Aussie nodded and took a deep breath while Alex and Daniel ate.
"Victor Loubar has been...was my enemy for several years. He was an international assassin, terrorist and arms dealer...who I managed to circumvent the plans of more than once. He took his revenge by hurting people I care about...people I love." He looked at Angie.
"What happened on the boat?" Kevin asked, pen poised over notebook.
"We...were headed to Deception Pass...perfect place for Loubar to take me out." Rollie shook his head. "When we got there he shut down the engine and handed me a fishing pole...he said, and I'm quoting here,'Don't worry about Angela, I'll look after her once she finds out you're dead.'"
"Oh, Rol." Angie said softly and hugged him.
"I don't know what he hit me with. I don't have any memory of falling into the water or floating, nothing til I came to on the shore several miles from here. My only real thought was getting to Ange to protect her from him. I finally made it to town but it was late, I saw a light on in the cottage and knew she was there...I saw you bring Ange out and realized Loubar was with you, I followed to the clinic and heard about the helicopter. When I saw Loubar board with the doctor and Ange..." Rollie stopped to take a cleansing breath and unclench his fists. "I stowed away on a fishing boat early the next morning, praying it would take me close enough to shore that I could swim...guess your boss heard me Daniel...they went to the mainland and docked. I called the hospital from a pay phone and pretended to be Frank...um, Detective Francis Gatti, a friend of ours...I got the room number and staked it out, waiting to get him alone." Rollie said coldly.
"Which is where we met up again." Kevin nodded writing. "What about the boat? It and Loubar were found closer to Hope, the Pass is out a lot farther."
"He dumped me out there and came back this way." Rollie shrugged. "Probably crashed the boat on purpose. He had to make it look like an accident so no one would be suspicious." Rollie offered.
"How about the lighthouse Angie?" Kevin looked to her to pick up the story.
Angie sighed and looked at her husband.
"When I thought you were dead, I was devastated. I felt closer to you in the cottage for some reason so I stayed there. The second night after....anyway, I fell asleep and...I'm not sure what woke me but then I heard your voice calling me. It was coming from the stairs so I went up then lighthouse. When I stepped through the door he was there. He called me...'Angela'..." She shivered and Rollie held her. "I heard your voice in my head telling me to run so I turned and started down the stairs, that's when I fell."
"You weren't pushed or tripped?" Kevin clarified.
"No, I fell...and stunt rolled the way Rol taught me several years ago. When I came to in the hospital Fr. Mac told me Rol was alive and that the two of you had gone after Loubar. I didn't find out about Alex until it was over and Rol was back with me." She gave Alex an apologetic look for the pain and fear she had endured at that sick bastard's hands.
"Okay Alex, your turn." Kevin turned to her.
Daniel leaned closer for support and Alex was grateful.
"When he drug me out of the room we went to the stairs, he pushed me down...I guess to make me less able to fight back."
"He didn't know you as well as he thought." Daniel smiled at her.
"He car-jacked an elderly man...is he alright, do you know?"
"I don't but I can give the police a call later." Kevin shook his head.
"Okay. As we sped off I asked him where you were." She looked at Daniel, her eyes pained. "He said you had been on that plane that crashed in Oregon...it would ruled mechanical failure... that your death would be considered an accident, just like all the other passengers."
Rollie saw the guilt in his friends eyes as he hugged Alex.
She accepted his comfort for a moment then pulled away to continue.
"I knew he was going to kill me so I tried to find a way to escape, we were moving so I fast I knew there was a chance I could be seriously hurt or even killed if I attempted to jump," she looked at Dylan who was reading, "neither was an option. I realized the car was old...it wouldn't have airbags...and he wasn't buckled in. I pretended to be sick and belted myself in then grabbed the wheel to the right and flung myself onto the seat as we careen into the trees. I remember the sound of the trees scraping, then a loud bang...I must have blacked out then."
"That leaves you Daniel. Why didn't you die in the plane crash?" The cop nodded to him.
"And where have you been?" Molly added before anyone else could.
Daniel shook his head and sighed.
"I was at the airport, five minutes from boarding, when I was paged. My mom had collapsed, she was being taken to the hospital. My dad was in Chicago so I stayed with mom the whole time. I didn't see a television or newspaper the whole time I was there. I only found out about the plane crash when my father's assistant told me last night. I thought about calling but it was almost midnight...now I wish I had." He looked at Dylan and Alex.
"You couldn't have even suspected what was going on here." Alex shook her head and hugged him.
"It's over mate, that's what counts, Victor Loubar will never hurt any of us again!" Rollie said.
"I'm still puzzled about how he fooled us so well." Molly admitted.
"How he knew about Daniel at all." Fr. Mac. nodded.
"He probably bugged our loft or used long-range listening devices and heard us talk about him. He could have surfed the web and got info on him." Angie replied.
"When Loubar impersonated me, he studied me for six months prior...he probably came here at some point to study Daniel too." Rollie suggested.
"To think someone like that man was here watching Daniel...watching us." Molly shivered.
"Daniel?" Kevin asked.
"Do you guys remember that nature photographer that came here six months ago?" Daniel asked.
"Yeah. He spent a lot of time with you didn't he?" Alex nodded.
"He took a lot of pictures and video of the whole island." Kevin recalled.
"He called me a couple of weeks ago asking if I was going to be home Friday! I told him I'd get home from visiting family that afternoon." Daniel closed his eyes.
"It would have been easy to get the information on your flight." Angie nodded.
"Create fake airport credentials, set up a delayed device on the plane..." Rollie added.
"All those people died because of me." Daniel said softly.
"No Daniel, they died because Victor Loubar was evil. You know that...and God knows that."
Fr. Mac gently reminded him.
"He's right Daniel, this one goes on that bastard's shoulders alone." Rollie agreed.
"How could Loubar be so sure Daniel wouldn't call here between the time he took over Daniel's identity and when the plane crashed?" Kevin wondered aloud.
"Daniel and I agreed he'd only call if there was a change of plans since he was only going to be gone a few days. I was going to pick him up at the airport and bring him home Friday." Alex answered.
"But how would Loubar have known that?" Molly asked.
"He was already here. Loubar was a master of disguise, he could have sat at the bar and listened to your conversation." Rollie answered.
Everyone grew silent at that pronouncement, they nearly jumped at the knock on the door.
"I think it's best to keep these events to ourselves." Fr. Mac. suggested and everyone agreed as Alex went to open the door.
"Hey, you oversleep or something?" Callie asked.
"Uh....yeah....everything that's happened..." Alex nodded and let her in.
"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." He smiled.
"Okay, I want the story!"
"Not much to tell. I woke up on the beach, found my way back here, these guys took me to Ange." Rollie shrugged.
"Where'd you get the bruise?" Callie eyed Alex.
"Car accident. I woke up at the hospital and a misunderstanding led me to believe Daniel was dead, but he showed up this morning...alive and well." She smiled at the minister.
"Helps to have a higher power on your side." Daniel replied smiling back then stood. "I'm going to spend some time with Dylan."
Alex nodded and watched him leave the room.
"Did you tell Dylan he was dead?" Callie whispered.
"Yeah. That's why I kept him home. Thankfully he's not gone to us." Alex said relieved.
"These last few days have a been a wild ride." Callie shook her head.
"Yeah...a rollercoaster ride." Angie rolled her eyes.
"One that's finally back in our control." Rollie hugged her.
"Let's go for a walk Rol."
He nodded and they left.
"I need to go too." Fr. Mac. said.
"Yeah, work." Kevin closed his notebook and kissed Molly before departing with the priest.
"Are we open for business?" Molly asked hearing several voices outside.
"Yeah." Alex smiled.
Molly unlocked the door and let the customers in.
"Thought you were gonna be closed all day." Barry complained.
"Just got a late start." Alex replied heading to the bar.
She had gotten coffee for several people when Daniel gently took her arm and led her to her office where he closed the door.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
"You were holding something back from everyone out there though, weren't you?"
"Alex, tell me." He cupped her face.
"It's just...it's something he said." She looked down.
"Tell me." He asked softly.
"He...he said you were a fool for not getting me into bed. That it would have been easy to seduce me." She whispered.
Daniel pulled her into his arms.
"I would never do that to you." He stroked her hair.
When he had seen her bruised face...he had felt angry and guilty for not being here.
"This is nice."
"It is, isn't it." He smiled.
She looked up at him.
"I'm sorry you were hurt Alex."
"It's over." She shook her head and caressed his cheek.
Their lips met and they kissed deeply.
"Thank you." She sighed as they parted.
"Getting him out of my head."
He smiled at her.
"I should get back out there." She sighed.
"Why don't you and Dylan come up to my place for dinner and cards?"
"We'd like that." She nodded.
Alex nodded and hugged him again then headed for the door.
Daniel headed for his house after telling Dylan the plans and he ran into Rollie and Angie.
"Hey Daniel...I'm really sorry about bringing this to Hope."
"Fr. Mac. was right, Loubar came here to carry out an evil plan. He's responsible for what he did, not you, not me, just him."
"I still feel bad--"
"Don't. You came here for a little r&r, enjoy yourselves."
"Actually, we came to buy the cottage." Rollie replied.
"You know, that's one place I've never been inside." Daniel mused.
"You can be our first guest then. Brian and Nub have been working there so they don't count." Angie smiled.
"Then I accept." Daniel nodded.
They led him to the cottage and showed him around.
"Does this lead to the lighthouse?" Daniel pointed to the locked door.
"Yeah, do you want to go up?" Angie asked.
"Uh...no...it's a little too high for me." Daniel shook his head.
"What do you say about having dinner with us?" Rollie asked.
"I'm having Alex and Dylan up to my place later."
"Oh, well, we're here for a few more days."
"We'll get together before you leave." Daniel nodded.
"We should get souveniers for the Gattis and Mira." Angie suggested.
"Wonder if Ruby and Bonita have baby shirts that say 'Hope Island' Rollie grinned.
"You gonna be a threesome?" Daniel smiled delighted.
"That we are mate."
"Congratulations." Daniel hugged them. "Do you want the island to know?"
"Fr. Mac. already knows." Angie shrugged.
"Fr. Mac and I are in the business of keeping confidence... Ruby on the other hand...she'll have the island informed within the hour." Daniel chuckled.
He loved Ruby Vasquez dearly but she was a gossip.
"She'd probaly even get a baby shower organized by tomorrow." He joked.
"Welcome to island life." Angie rolled her eyes.
"There goes our privacy." Rollie sighed.
"You may lose some privacy but you gain a family...of almost two-thousand." Daniel smiled knowingly.
"Sounds like a fair trade." Angie smiled.
"I need to go...see what Loubar did to my house." Daniel frowned.
"If you need a hand..."
"Thanks." Daniel shook his head and left them.
Daniel ascended the hill and went to the church where he sat and prayed.
Thank you God for looking after all of us. Keeping Rollie, Angie and their baby safe. Keeping Alex and all the islanders from serious harm...and taking care of me, mom and dad. I also ask you to have mercy on Victor Loubar's soul...because someone needs to. Thank you for your many blessings. Amen.
Daniel rose and walked out into the sunshine feeling very blessed.
"Hey Reverend, you got a delivery." Harry informed him as he entered the inn.
"More motorcycle parts?" Alex teased Daniel.
Daniel shook his head and stood to follow Harry out.
"Go! Just hurry back and tell me." The blonde laughed.
Alex caught up to Daniel just outside the door and they walked to the dock together.
"What do you think it is?"
Daniel shrugged as he ushered her down the gangplank.
"So where is it?" He asked Harry not seeing a crate or anything sitting there.
The fisherman pointed.
Daniel looked and pointed, his mouth falling open.
"A boat? Who sent you a boat?" Alex asked surprised.
"Card." Harry pointed to the wheel.
Daniel climbed inside and pulled the envelope from the wheel and opened it.
'Daniel, Alex told me how you got Emily, Loubar was honest about that but he also destoyed her in his bid for revenge and I feel bad about that so I sent you this boat to replace her...not the same but... Let us know what you decide to call her. Next time we come out maybe we can go fishing on her, 'kay mate? Take care, Rollie'
Daniel shook his head and replaced the letter. He never expected this, Loubar crashed 'Emily ' three months ago but here sat a very close replica.
"So who's it from?" Alex asked impatiently.
"Rollie." He smiled up at her.
"Wow! This sure was nice of him."
"Wanna go for a ride?" He asked finding lifejackets.
"Sure." She smiled, climbed into the boat and donned a vest.
"Cast us off Harry?" Daniel requested starting the engine.
The fisherman tossed the lines into the back seat and they pulled away.
"One with the wheel." Daniel smirked at Alex who laughed and shook her head.
"So what are you going to call her? Emily II?" She asked.
"I'm kind of partial to 'Gloria.' " He smiled.
"Yeah." Daniel looked heavenward. "Yeah." He reiterated with a smile as they enjoyed his new boat courtesy of his new friend Rollie Tyler, who he would of course take fishing on his very next visit to Hope.