Author Topic: Divine Deception -- S4E24: Series Finale  (Read 63663 times)

Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E04: Returning to the Nest
« Reply #210 on: January 28, 2017, 08:35:33 PM »
Divine Deception
"Returning to the Nest"

I once read that an adult child returning to the household was one of the most difficult things anybody could endure. Whether it was coming home after four years in university, travelling the world with friends or even because of a regression in the economy, sometimes low blows can happen. Unfortunately, the blending of households mostly never go according to plan and ships the relationship between parents and child back in time. By the time we meet adulthood, we are supposed to be on a same level status as our parents, be able to correspond with them, communicate as if we are one of the same. Instead, we are infantilized, robbed of our freedom and treated like we are five, six or seven.

I can't help but go over the article in my mind as I follow my mother to the front steps of the complex. This was where it all began for her. The station where she learned every piece of material on how to bring a person to their knees. No mercy. No emotion. Such things would only make a destroyer become a victim and lose at their own game. This was home for her for many years. She told me how much time she spent training. The hours she stayed up some nights to make sure everything was perfect. Whether she worked on a fighting style, assembling weapons with her eyes covered or memorizing the List: a document of a hundred different ways one could destroy another. Years upon years this went on for until her master believed she was worthy of graduation, which was a simple coin with a dagger engraved into it.

On our way here today, she told me that she was happy her master held her back from graduating too soon, that it made her a better student, that she learned more because of it. It's so strange to hear her speak this way, like we're talking about high school or college. But this isn't high school. The master can graduate a student as early as a week after being brought in. It all depends on how quickly they learn. As my mother said earlier, this isn't a program that can be cheated through, nor should it be.

We climb to the top of the stairs at the front and make our way through the glass doors at the top. The place plays off as some sort of low financed law firm, one that you'd see in a plaza in the old part of town between a coffee shop and nail salon. Yet, somehow, the inside looks up to date with some of the pieces you'd find in Gadget Daily or even Technology Now. A small camera at the front doors takes our picture and sends it straight to the computer behind the desk, automatically calling upon the master that his one o'clock client has arrived. I wouldn't have known if my mother hadn't told me. She motions me to take a seat in one of the squishy suede chairs until the master arrives.

The lamp next to me projects what looks like an episode of Two Broke Girls onto the ceiling, the chair begins to recline back on its own and I can't help but feel as if I've stepped foot onto the Normandy and into the future a couple hundred years. My mother presses a button on the side of the chair and straightens it up again.

"We're not going to be that long, trust me," she says with a grin.

"Has it always been like this?" I ask her, referring to everything being state-of-the-art.

"Technology is our friend. Master Lee has always been ahead of the times. Though I can't say he hasn't upgraded." She focuses back onto me. "You need to make a good impression, Delilah. If this doesn't work," she makes a gesture with her hand, "we call it quits."

I understand what she means. If I don't get accepted by this Master Lee, I can kiss my revenge agenda goodbye.

I give her a look and then admire the rest of the room. The hologram of a clock sticks out from the wall. The tablet on the coffee table with hundreds of articles to read from. There's even what looks like a toy soldier, made of metal and glass, that walks across the ledge of the main desk, stating how there is only one red BMW out in the parking lot. The soldier must be some sort of security system keeping a watchful eye out for pedestrians that might decide to take a peek inside.

It isn't until then that I notice the boy behind the counter. Natural blond hair, dark eyes, a face that looks like a combination of Josh Hutcherson and Evan Peters. He's actually quite stunning in a cute boy next door kind of way. He stares at the monitor in deep concentration. The only time he looks away is when the soldier reports the sighting of a Black Chevy before saying, "Out of sight. Never mind," to which the boy rolls his eyes.

"Don't even think about it."

I turn back to my mother. "Don't even think about what?"

"He's Master Lee's son," she says with a cock of her eyebrow. "Probably best not to get involved."

I roll my own eyes. "Oh please. Nathan's still in the hospital and you think I'm already looking around?"

"I'm just saying. I know that look in your eyes and I know him. Have since he was young, young, young."

"How young are we talking here? I mean, if you were still in training, he's still be--"

My mother smirks again. "In diapers. Yes, it was a long time ago. He was a brat back then, making a mess just to get his father's attention. His mother left them a few months after he was born." She sighs irritably. "Never liked the woman. She was a master manipulator, feigning always being the victim just to get what she wanted. And then one day she was gone."

Before she can tell me anymore, a man walks through one of the far doors on the other side of the room. Dark skin, a recently-shaved head and eyes that holds pools of determination, knowledge and something I can't quite put my finger on. He walks towards us, his hand out to shake, his focus primarily on Sadie.

"Sadie Lawrence."

My mother bows her head slightly and takes his hand. "Master Lee, it's been many years." She doesn't make eye contact with the man and I don't know why. It kind of makes me nervous. Is it impolite to do such a thing?

"It has. And this must be your daughter."

I don't bother question myself anymore. I look straight into his eyes, which with further inspection seem to be lined after having squinted at one too many suns, and shake his hand. "Delilah Alto. Nice to meet you."

"Master Lee. Please, come. We'll converse in my office."

He leads us through an assortment of hallways, turning this way and that. We head through one section that looks into the facility's gymnasium. Men and woman practice their abilities with various weapons and obstacle courses. There are no trainers in the middle of the room as I would expect. It's just a dozen people my age doing their thing. It almost seems wannabe if you ask me. Still, there are plenty of stations for one to practice their skills. Some offer instructions on how to use weapons while others offer punching bags, dummies and targets. On the one far wall of the gym, there are normal machines one could find in any gym such as treadmills, jump ropes and weights.

"Do you still cover all the training?" Sadie asks. She is in front of me with Master Lee.

"I do most of it. Daniel will help every once in a while, likes to take on a student that he feels is falling behind from time to time to make sure they don't. He's a busy boy, though. He has his own things to contend with that we've both agreed he should keep his focus on. But, yes, the place still functions like it did many years ago. I'm just a little older now and can't always keep up to these young things."

Five more minutes and we end up at Master Lee's office. He gestures for the two of us to take a seat in the grey chairs on the one side of his desk as he makes his way to the other. "So, Delilah, you want to embark in the path of the destroyer?"

I want to smile, it sounds so silly, but I remind myself of what my mother mentioned earlier. That we only have one chance at this. I straighten my face. "Yes. I want those who have hurt me to pay."

Master Lee leers at me. "Somebody take those stilettos you really wanted from Holt Renfrew before you could get your hands on them?" He tosses his head back with a chuckle. "You're Delilah Alto, one of the wealthiest girls in Sunset Valley and you want payback? If my students had a fraction of your life..." He lets the thought trail off. "Actually, speaking of which, aren't the authorities looking for you? The heir of Alto estate has been missing since, what was it, summer?"

His tone begins to catch me off guard. It's not like a slap across my face. It's slow, it lingers, and I don't know what to say or do as it moves past me.

"My daughter has been through hell and back, Master Lee," Sadie steps in.

"Just like a mother to protect her child. If memory serves me right, I thought you never wanted children." My mother shoots him a deadly stare. "I might be old, but," he taps the side of his head, "it's all still there."

"I didn't come here to be lectured by you."

"Oh, but, Sadie, you didn't leave on good terms. What did you think would happen next? Water under the bridge?" he scoffs, encompassing the room with his hands. "A little on the contrary, wouldn't you agree?"

I glance at my mother's profile, noticing the shade of red her face has taken on. I can see the cords in her neck tighten, the way her throat moves as she swallows hard.

"Your daughter is a selfish girl who always gets what she wants." He raises his hand to stop both me and my mother from defending ourselves. "I have students who are train wrecks when they arrive at my doorstep, people who have been screwed by a higher hierarchy and have been broken into tiny fractures. Look at her. Delilah Alto looks to be doing quite well if you ask me--"

"Your point, please," Sadie snaps. "That is, of course, if you have one because it seems the only reason you agreed to this meeting was to scold me for something I did twenty years ago."

"My point is that I don't want your weakness to bloat this facility."

"My weakness? I became pregnant because that is what I needed to do to complete my mission--"

"Lies! Your mission was to kill Nick Alto so that you could destroy the wife. Instead you conceived his child because you grew to love your target. You became emotionally involved, which made you easy prey. Instead of destroying them, Vita got off and destroyed you. You are a failure. You couldn't follow the most basic of rules, which only got you into trouble like it always did." Master Lee pauses for a moment. "That's why I never allowed you to graduate and why you stormed out so many years ago. We're back where we started, Sadie."

I can see my mother's whole body infuse with tension, yet when she speaks, it's controlled. "This isn't about me, and if you have a bone to pick, aim it at the right person. Isn't that one of your rules?" She doesn't wait for his reply before continuing. "Delilah needs your help and not because of her own selfish desire. Destruction is your strong point and not mine, as you've made it abundantly clear. So, I'm asking, for her, a space. Whatever the cost, I will pay it."

Master Lee's eyes zone in on her. "I don't want your money."

"Then what do you want?"

"An apology, one week from today and I want you to recite every single rule on the List. Make it very clear that you haven't failed me completely. I'd hate for your offspring to follow in your footsteps."

My mother doesn't say anything. She stares Master Lee down, her fists clenching until her knuckles turn white and she gets up from her seat. For a moment, I think that she's going to take him out, throw herself at him and show him what a failure can really do. But she doesn't. She grabs her coat, spins around and heads for the door. I run my hand through my hair, unsure what exactly I should do until I decide it would be best if I just follow her.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E04: Returning to the Nest
« Reply #211 on: January 28, 2017, 10:28:38 PM »
That was very intense!  I don't think Delilah knows what's in store for her if she pursues this.  It may destroy Sadie's chance of freedom and happiness.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E04: Returning to the Nest
« Reply #212 on: January 29, 2017, 10:27:47 AM »
It will be interesting to see how far Sadie is willing to go to resurrect their tarnished relationship. While I know what is going to end up happening by the end of the season, I don't really know how I am going to write it.

By the way, this was for last week. I wasn't able to post it. So I have another episode coming too.

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E05: Bleeding Fragments
« Reply #213 on: January 29, 2017, 10:37:02 AM »
Divine Deception
"Bleeding Fragments"

Sweat begins to pour in heavy streams down the sides of my face. My legs wobble under me and it feels like liquid lead has begun to seep into my veins. Yet the instructor on screen continues to shout encouraging words and phrases at me like "There, you have it!", "You got this!" and "Only a little farther!" I try to follow with my best efforts. I always thought I was naturally fit. As it turns out, I'm only naturally skinny and that's about to go by the wayside the closer I get to the second and third trimester. It's better if I start now. It will help strip off the useless weight I am carrying around now and once the baby comes--I don't even want to think about it--maybe it will be even easier to work that excess fat then. Who am I kidding? At least if I think positive thoughts something may come my way.

I call it quits and head for the kitchen to grab a drink.

I've tossed myself into training with a vengeance. I eat the workouts for breakfast, lunch and dinner, living through them like they are my life. After my mother went back to the Nest as she calls it to apologize and do everything Master Lee asked, I dare not even try and slip my way through this course that will avenge what happened to both Nathan and me. He only takes handfuls of students at a time and his ability to look past what happened between Sadie and him gives me hope that I may be a contender for this actual path of destruction.

When we returned home that day, Sadie may not have apologized to Master Lee, but she did apologize to me. She told me how sorry she was that she lied to me about how she graduated. It was one of the last things on my mind to be completely honest. I've held onto so much anger over the years that something like that seemed more like a slip of the tongue than anything. Yet Sadie felt the need to explain herself.

"I failed you as a mother. I didn't want you to think less of me for failing as a student too."

How was I supposed to react to that? Master Lee has allowed me into the Nest. Forgiven seems like too strong of a word for what he did for Sadie. How she put it, he showed mercy for a student he saw something in many years ago. I can't thank her enough for all that she's done. And she thinks she's failed? I know it couldn't have been easy going back after being humiliated like that. Sure, Master Lee spoke about me like I was some material girl living a life of complete simplicity, and yes, it was a little insulting to say the least. But what I witnessed weeks ago was my first visual of destruction. No, he didn't try to destroy Sadie, but he did make her pay for the things she had done in the past and isn't that exactly what we are there to do?

My cell phone going off pulls me from my thoughts. I answer it and bring it to my ear. "Hello?"

"Hello, I am looking to reach Delilah Solomon. Is this her?"

Technically not. I still go by the name Alto, but to keep my whereabouts hidden, I have borrowed Vic's last name for the time being when dealing with the hospital. He doesn't mind. It was actually his idea. When I had suggested using Lawrence, Sadie told me it could arouse suspicion.

"This is she, yes," I say.

"Miss Solomon, I am happy to inform you that patient Nathan--"

"Is he all right?" I say instinctively. My heart stops for a moment and the air becomes eerily silent around me.

"No! No, I've called to let you know that he has awakened."

It doesn't click right away until I ask, "He's awake?"


"You're not lying?"

"Of course not. He's up and eating. The doctors have done some tests with him and Dr. Jesceps insisted that I let you know."

I don't know what to say. My mouth has gone dry and I am having difficulty breathing. I'm on the verge of tears when I ask if I can come and see him. She tells me I can and I don't bother saying goodbye, thank you, anything. I just hang up the phone and run back into the house. I yell at Vic or Sadie, whoever's in the house. I don't know where they are exactly. They may not even be on the property, but their car is and I take it.

It doesn't take me too long to get there. I won't lie. I sped the whole way there. Rolled my stops at the stop signs and gunned it through amber lights before they had the chance to turn red on me. When I get to the hospital, majority of the spots are taken. It's the busiest hour of the day. The time I rarely come when I visited Nathan in the past. But today I don't care. I park in the first spot available and hightail it across the road, through the lot of cars and up the stairs to the front door. I speed past the men and women in the waiting room. I spot Dr. Jesceps heading up the stairs that lead to the floor above.

"Dr. Jesceps?" I yell, running as fast as I can to his side. He stops and looks down at me, waiting.

"Ah, Delilah, I didn't expect you so soon. It's the busiest hour."

I give him a look. "Did you think I'd waste time for this? I parked halfway across town."

"I should have expected as much. Down the hall. One of the nurses is with him."

I thank him and hurry as fast as I can to the door I know Nathan is waiting for me behind.

I reach the door and try to open it. It's completely glass and that's not all. It's locked. Inside I can see the back of a nurse and the feet of somebody on the bed. I guess, and hope, it's Nathan. A pang of jealousy hits me. Not for Nathan but the nurse. That he's in there with Nathan and not me. That it doesn't matter how hard I try to get to him, I feel like there is a speed bump I have to hit every so often to get that much closer. Like a signal in the mountains, I'm am constantly trying to reach him and I am pushed back. He's right there!

The nurse moves to the side and I finally get a look, a good look at Nathan. He is awake, sitting up, his back up against a fluffy pillow. He seems content. Alive and well. Well, maybe not well, but he's alive and he's awake and I can't ask for much else. In a moment I will be able to touch his skin, hold his hands and kiss those lips. I am so giddy with excitement that I don't know what exactly I want to say to him. What should I say? How is he feeling? Ugh, I don't care! Nathan will be as excited to see me as I want to see him and I don't want to say anything. I want to just listen to him. Hear his voice. Hear him talk. Maybe even listen to him laugh. Gosh, I miss his laugh.

After what feels like hours, the nurse inside finally unlocks the door and lets me in. As I take a seat in the chair next to the bed like I usually do, I hear the nurse behind me instructing Nathan to see what all comes back to him and to let anybody know if he needs something. I'm not paying a lot of attention. I'm just patiently waiting for the nurse to shut up and get out. He's had how long to speak with Nathan. Now is my time.

When the nurse finally leaves, I sit quietly for a moment. When I can't hold it in any longer, I finally say, "Hi."

"Hi," he says back and hearing his voice feels amazing, like a sun on the horizon after having lived through months of the darkest of nights. His features flash disbelief and something more. Happy? Desire maybe? I can't quite tell what I am seeing. I won't lie. My eyes are blurring with tears even if I refuse to let them spill. I am not going to allow this moment to become weak. Not if I can help it.

I clear my throat. "How are you feeling?"

"Pretty good," he says with a nod of his head. "Doctor says I have been through a lot, but..."

"Do you remember what happened?"

"Bits and parts. It's foggy... fuzzy."

"Tell me." As I said, I just want to hear his voice. "Tell me what you see."

"Umm... I remember snow. I'm at the park. My parents used to always bring me here when I was young. Me and my brother. We'd spent so much time together there. The sharp edges of the slides and the way the swings pinched the back of our legs. But this wasn't one of those times. I'm here with somebody else. I remember this powerful feeling. This excitement I had. As cold as it was that day, she made me warm and I always wanted to be with her."

I lean forward. "Love..."

"It was one of the happiest times of my life." He looks straight into my eyes and I finally get to stare into those pools of brown that I fell in love with so little time ago. Just doing that ignites a spark inside of me I thought had been burnt out long ago. I am reminded how perfect that day at the park was, when Nathan offered to drop everything and follow me to the ends of the earth because I felt that was all I had left.

"Does that about answer all of your questions? If you need more, I'll do my best to help."

I look at him with uncertainty and snicker a bit. How he says it... Something's off. "What do you mean?"

"Well, there was a man. Dark hair... Black with grey roots. I think his name was Peters."

"Yes, his name was Reginald Peters."

"You were there?"

I pull back, a darkness inside of me growing. "Yes... I was there."

"Then why do you need my help? That's pretty much the gist of what I remember anyway."

"Nathan, who do you think I am?"

"You're a detective, no?"

It feels as if my heart has been ripped from my chest and torn into a hundred million fragments. I can't be hearing this. There must be some mistake. I haven't waited this long, through the long, whispering nights and frigid mornings for him to wake up and he doesn't remember who I am? No, there is no way.

"Nathan, what is my name?"

"You never offered it."

"I didn't think I had to!" My happiness is diminishing at a faster rate than I can understand. "I am your girlfriend!"

Nathan's eyes widen and he pushes back against the pillow, trying to put more space between us. "I've never seen you before in my life." And I am finally able to read what I had seen earlier. It isn't happiness or desire on his face. It's confusion because he has no idea who the heck I am. "Please leave."

Suddenly, I have the urge to start screaming at him, about what, I couldn't say. Just the simple realization that I've waited so long for this and while Nathan's here, he's not all there. It's probably best if I do get out of here. I don't want to say anything else to him--what else can I say?--so I just go. I head through the door and down the stairs, past patients, doctors and nurses. I spot Dr. Jesceps down the hallway and decide to take a detour into the washroom. I don't want to face him. Not now. After everything that went on, I just want to go home and pretend it never happened.

I splash some water on my face and look at myself in the mirror. It wasn't just being shot at that Peters did to us out in that park how long ago. He tried his own plot for destruction. He set my destruction in motion the moment he appeared because every moment I get a bit closer to Nathan, like that signal in the mountains, the harder he is to reach and I am left with no signal at all, no end, no rescue. The destruction phase just begins again.

Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E05: Bleeding Fragments
« Reply #214 on: February 04, 2017, 08:44:11 AM »
Noooooooo, he can't have forgotten her :( that can't happen

Missed the last few :( they are great as always:)
"Two paths diverged in the woods, and I took the one less traveled...And it hurt man! Rocks! Thorns! Glass! Not cool Robert Frost, not cool."
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E05: Bleeding Fragments
« Reply #215 on: February 11, 2017, 07:45:01 PM »
Thanks, Katala! Always love to hear your comments. :)

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E06: The Nest
« Reply #216 on: February 11, 2017, 10:37:54 PM »
Divine Deception
"The Nest"

The Nest is exactly as I had imagined and then some. I am thrown into a schedule the moment I step foot inside. Workouts, drills, lectures on how weapons are to be held and used to my best advantage. You name it, I'm doing it. I've never been so exhausted in my life. I am good at gun assembly. I can assemble one in no time flat with my eyes covered and after being spun around in a chair fifteen times. I struggle with tactics and how to emotionally destroy a family. At first I would have thought it would have been my strong point. When I think about all the girls' self esteem I shattered in high school, and no I am not proud of it, I would have thought this would have been my strongest point. Turns out, the more I think about hurting somebody I don't even know, the harder it is for me to follow out an action. We're talking about fantasy families here, not somebody we targeted off the street. Yet, I still find it hard to hurt somebody who hasn't hurt me first. Master tells me this is what destroyed my mother, that I will follow in her footsteps if I can't overcome this simple procedure.

Only a handful of us have been moved into the actual house where the best of the best go to graduate. I honestly don't know how I made it here. Master Lee has made it very clear that it's not because I am graduate material but because of something else. What that something else is, he never tells me. So I train hard, harder than before to the point where all I can see and hear is the way of the Destroyer. I think back to what I classified as training before I was brought into the Nest. Back before I went to see Nathan... What a joke. Both of them: the training and my relationship with Nathan. Even though it is because of Nathan that pushes me further into this world I want to take part it, I don't know if I can. It bugs me more than anything that my body wants to give up, that after all the fuss I made, that I may not be qualified to be a Destroyer, whether like my mother or not. What I've put her through to get here...

I look at the people here and I can't help but feel over-faced. It's like I've been herded into this group of experts that know anything and everything about this way, that they've been eating and breathing destruction like it's the new drug on the streets. And I'm here, standing in the corner, twiddling my thumbs because I know that they are in far better condition than I am. I can't help but believe that the reason I've been brought into the house instead of somebody with a better grasp is not because I am graduate material, as previously stated, but because in some way my mother has made a deal, bargained with Master Lee in a way to make up for our lost time together, or patch up our relationship again.

The other students here aren't all bad. I've been here for a little bit, a month and a bit to be precise, and I have made relationships to say the least. Connie has become my closest friend. She's an outsider, like me in my own little way. She has the prettiest, blackest hair, the tips dyed purple, and it looks so natural, like the feathers of a raven in the highest of suns. Her style is... special to put it bluntly. If I think about my high school days, I'd be the first one to call her out on it and turn the whole school against her. It's not nice--I wasn't--yet that was how it was back then. I don't think like that anymore. Maybe it's because I have grown up. Maybe it's because of Nathan or what happened with him. Or maybe it has something to do how I ended my previous life when Vita died or when I started to rekindle my relationship with Sadie. I don't know, but it feels nice to forget about labels and cliques and think about what is on the inside for once, as cheesy as it may sound.

I've also kept my distance from Master Lee's son as my mother suggested. He seems like the school playboy. Always there, smiling with high fives and giving the sweetest of winks to the girls of the Nest. Kyra, a redheaded vixen that I've learned is Master Lee's top student, always catches his eye. And there's no denying why. She's tall, gorgeous and can do everything a Destroyer is asked for with her hands behind her back. She even comes into whatever class dressed to the nines. Skinny jeans all the way, revealing tank tops and heels. Always heels. Lectures=heels. Weapon assembly=heels. Hand-to-hand combat? Got that right, HEELS! Heck, I even look at her in envy.

By seven at night, a bell rings and we head to the dining room where we are served some special broth Master Lee says with boost our system and replenish a lot of our used energy. Ha! It's going to take more than a bowl to fix that. I say nothing of the sort, though. Instead I thank the older man dressed in a recently-pressed tuxedo and unfold my napkin in my lap. Master Lee takes to the head of the table when everybody is served.

"When the scale of life becomes unbalanced, it is our job to even it out again," he recites. I know it now off by heart. It's one of the rules on the list he always goes on about. Ever since I learned that my mother struggled with the list and memorizing every point, I've gone out of my way to make sure the same doesn't happen to me.

"Tonight is a big night," he continues. "The scale has become unbalanced again and one of you will be the muscle to level life out."

Across the table I can see Kyra batting her lashings, getting close with Daniel, leaning into him as if to say that this is her moment. All students must pass a personal assignment to graduate. I can see it in her eyes, the way they have lit up, like kindling in the darkest of nights. This is her moment to shine. It's not the mission before graduation that is the real exciting part. But it is mandatory and once completed, it means you're one step closer to the destruction of the people who hurt you. I can only imagine what Kyra must be feeling. Her excitement ready to bubble through her pores, ready to avenge the people who hurt her in the past. This is her first step in Destruction.

Master Lee gazes across the table, looking into each of our eyes. "Time is very limited for one of you..."

He keeps going, though I've kind of stopped listening. Kyra's leg is bouncing up in down, winding her ecstasy into the air. Her mouth has curled into a deranged grin to the point where I think she may be borderline insane.

"That's the reason why I have activated Delilah Alto for the graduate task."


I am completely blindsided. My mind is thrown this way and that, unable to comprehend what Master Lee has said. It makes no sense. I must have heard him incorrectly. But no matter how many times I go over it mentally, he says the same thing. He has activated me. Me! Why me? My mind is racing a mile a minute, so fast my heart is struggling to keep up.

Still, I'm not the one who spoke up. I look across the table at Kyra. Her nails dig into the surface of the table and I think I hear her teeth actually squeak. She holds Master Lee in her conspicuously furious glare. I don't think I've ever seen somebody look like that. Her chest heaves up and down, and that crazy grin has turned murderous. I think she may actually start foaming at the mouth.

"How can you choose her?" Kyra asks, evidently holding her frustration deep inside and chewing each syllable as they make their way out of her mouth. "Her? What has she lost?"

Master Lee cocks an eyebrow. "We're all in the same boast here, Kyra," he says evenly.

"Oh, of course, poor little Delilah Alto! Poor miss I-grew-up-in-a-mansion-and-had-life's-best-cards!" Master Lee tries to defend his choice, but Kyra's gone off half-cocked. "She's been here for what? A month? Two tops, and she gets activated? I have been doing this for months and months and months and what have I got to show for it?"

"Delilah is pressed for time so I am pushing her a bit."

Pressed for time? I don't understand until it smacks me in the face. It's because I am pregnant.

"Pressed for time?" Kyra scoffs. "Maybe if she kept her legs together she wouldn't be in this mess!"

Daniel begins choking that very moment and I can't say I blame him. While I can understand her frustration, Kyra's frankness has hit me out of left field. Between her candor and what Master Lee expects from me, it's a good thing I took a moment away from my own soup or else I might be choking too. Daniel pulls himself together soon after even if Kyra still going off.

"I am the best thing you have, Lee!" she shoots at him. She's jumped up to her feet in one quick motion. "I have done everything you've wanted with everything I have and you know that. You know that I am your prime Destroyer. I am premium. I am first-class. I would expect some recognition, my mission so that I can finish off those **s who destroyed my life. Instead you push me off for someone like her? Is she woohooing you in ways that rock your world? WHAT IS IT?!!!"

"KYRA!" Master Lee shouts. His voice fills the whole room with one big boom, silencing everybody. "Get out! Get out and don't ever come back!"

Kyra doesn't respond. She doesn't even move. She stares at Master Lee and I can see everything I had seen prior, her happiness, excitement, her fire and rage. It all crumbles before everybody's eyes.

"Get out now." Master Lee repeats himself impatiently.

"You're making a big mistake--"


Kyra's face flashes, holding Master Lee in her sight. "I'm coming for you." She looks over at me. "And you--"

Master Lee kicks back at his chair and it slams into the wall behind him. "Now!"

Kyra drops all eye contact and leaves silently. The room feels as if it has dropped fifty degrees and we all just sit there. I don't know where to look so I drop my gaze to my lap, picking at my nails. After a few minutes, Master Lee says, "Everyone is dismissed," and he leaves the room.


Two hours later I am on the treadmill looking out across the back courtyard. There's still tension in the house, though I've found that this is the best place to relax. Working my body in hopes that I can build while I try to decipher. I have to because it looks like I really have just been activated. I still don't know how I feel about this. I don't know what I think about any of this actually. Between being chosen and Kyra's outbreak, the carpet has been pulled out from under my feet so many times, I find that the treadmill is some silly way of balancing it out.


I look over my shoulder and Daniel is there. He tosses a hand towel and a bottle of water on the floor and starts the machine up.

"Hi," I say.

"You okay?"

I give a half-hearted shrug and continue running. "Yeah, fine really. She was just a little intense, that's all."

He begins running next to me. "Some of the students are very invested in this program, it means everything to them. And sometimes they get a little upset when certain things happen."

I smirk sadistically. "If you're talking about Kyra, she seemed more than upset."

"We all vent and show emotion in different ways."

"She threatened me by saying that she's coming after me," I tell him. "If you're here to smooth that over, just go away."

"That's not why I'm here," he says. "I just wanted you to know that if you want me to tell my father to find somebody else for this task that I will. I know how much pressure it is to complete and--"

My brows knit together. "And what? You'll run after Kyra and pull her back?" I chuckle at just the thought.

"You do jump to conclusions, don't you?"

"Sometimes you have to when people don't say what they mean."

"I did mean what I said. I know how much pressure that comes with the first assignment and I'd hate for something to happen to you because you were pushed too hard."

"I can handle it--"

"I'm not saying you can't. But destroying somebody for the first time... It's one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. You're not just ruining a career or a relationship. You're destroying a life."

It's not that I haven't thought about it, but hearing somebody else say it hits me differently. Somebody like Daniel, who sees so many different problematic students comes through those double doors, who has had insight to this world of hatred. I can't say he's smoothed things over like I originally though. He has opened my eyes, however.

I clear my throat. "I can handle it."

Daniel nods slowly as he presses a few buttons on the treadmill. "I'm sure you can. You're strong. You're like you mother." He raises his eyebrows. "Y'know, as much as my dad hates to admit it, he knows she was one in a million. Kyra thinks she was the next big thing, but nobody can hold a flame to Sadie Lawrence. The one that got away."

"Sugarcoating much?" I say with a grin.

"Jump to conclusions much?" he plays back. "No, from what I can remember, she was pretty amazing." He gets off of the treadmill and grabs his things. "Hey, who knows," he looks me up and down, "maybe there's two in a million." And I watch him walk out of the hall and into the courtyard, holding his wolf tattoo in my sight.

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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E06: The Nest
« Reply #217 on: February 12, 2017, 03:49:28 PM »
So Delilah has made an enemy she didn't mean to.  Kyra sounds unhinged which makes her place at Master Lee's 'Nest' interesting.  Either he handled that completely wrong or he had reasons for doing so.  Kyra's an enemy I wouldn't like to have. 
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E06: The Nest
« Reply #218 on: February 17, 2017, 11:54:35 PM »
Yay, another chapter:)

Poor Deli, but what happens if she can't complete this mission. Daniel is sabotaging her to fail this task and get Kyra back, I'm sure (but I am wrong a lot, so maybe not).
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E06: The Nest
« Reply #219 on: February 26, 2017, 10:19:35 AM »
Sorry that I've been gone for so long guys. I should have the next episode up in a few days.

Just a reminder: If you want to see all available deleted scenes from Divine Deception that you can find them HERE

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E07: Lady Luck
« Reply #220 on: February 26, 2017, 08:54:36 PM »
Divine Deception
"Lady Luck"

Doubt is a dangerous thing. It affects the mind and forces one to build a connection with people vivid with misconceptions and confusion. Doubt has the power to break a winning streak. It can lose you money, wreck havoc on your family and wallet and leave you in tatters while you leave the chair that was once winning by the thousands. It has the power to break anything set in its sights. With the ability to call into question everything you ever knew, doubt has the power to destroy you before you can target somebody else, reinforcing the darkest realizations of your inner circles.

My doubt began inside me the moment I stepped out of the limo that dropped me off at the Lucky Simoleon Casino. I had seen photographs of the venue a few days ago during the briefing held by Master Lee back at the Nest, but to be standing right here, right in front of the massive structure, they held no equal. The roof jets straight up to the heavens, colourful lights saturating the stone with pinks, greens and blues. Palm trees and enormous water fountains make me feel like I've been transported to some tropical paradise miles and miles from here when really I am only three hours from the outskirts of Riverview.

My legs don't want to move at first. I can hear the chaos waiting for me inside. Screaming men and women, loud toy-like machines, spitting out money by the second. But it's the losers who make me not want to go in there. The people whose lives are going to be forever changed because of a problem in their thought process or because luck decided to take a five minute break. The part that really bugs me is the fact that Luck is going to be my name for the night and what nobody knows is that the little red devil inside is a simple wolf in sheep's clothing. This is the way of the Destroyer. This is the path I must follow.

I do my best to leave any insecurities at the door. I walk through a main lobby with velvet ropes and neon signs indicating that fun is just around the corner. There's classical music on, though drowned out by the constant pinging and dinging of the slot machines. I spot a man and what I guess is his girlfriend sitting in one of the innumerable stuffed sofas surrounding a fireplace. They're both in tears, panicking about what they're going to do now that their life savings is down in the red.

"I thought I could win it back," I hear the man say before somebody grabs onto my shoulder.

Daniel stands before me, dressed up more than I thought he could. For the last month and a bit all I have seen him in are sweatshirts, baggy jeans and running shoes. I've always thought he's been easy on the eyes, but there was always a boy-ish quality about it. Now, seeing him right here, right now, I can't get over how incredibly handsome he looks. And grown up.

"Nervous?" he asks me. "It's okay to be nervous. The first task is always the hardest."

I remember what he said the other night back at the Nest and how destroying somebody's life is the hardest thing I will ever have to do. I glance over at the couple in front of the fireplace again. "It doesn't look like anybody needs my help with what the mission asks for. Chaos has been stirring since before I arrived."

Daniel gives me a halfhearted smile. "Not for your target." He pauses for a moment. "Dance with me?"

Before I can respond, I've been taken over to the dance floor.

I've never danced before in my life, not a slow dance anyway. I think back to the night I was supposed to go to prom with Keith. How everything changed that night. How things had changed. I shake my head from the thought and look up into Daniel's dark eyes. He pulls me into his arms and begin moving in a small circle, barely the size of a dinner plate. At first, I'm a little nervous about stepping on his toes. I'll admit that I keep looking down to make sure that I don't. Though, soon enough, I come to the realization that this slow dance barely has any steps at all. We're just moving side to side.

We're quiet for a bit and then I can't stand the silence anymore.

"I am nervous. I don't know what I'm doing. I shouldn't even be here."

Daniel pulls me in a bit closer. "Self doubt is the first thing that enters our head. It's normal."

"Is this normal?" I counter.

I watch as he goes to say something and then stops himself. "It is normal, you're just not." I go to pull away, but he keeps me in my place. "And I don't mean that in a bad way. You're not like the rest of us here. I know you think you've had a lot taken away from you, but you haven't. When you do, when you hit that point where you're left with a hole inside of you, then you will know that this is normal."

"How dare you--" I say before he cuts me off.

"I'm not your enemy, Delilah. I would hope one day you will see that I am just trying to help you."

I bite my cheek and look away from him, swallowing the defenses I continue to put up every single time somebody says something that I don't like. "I know. I know." I sigh. "It's just sometimes..."

"Sometimes it becomes too much. I get it." He pauses for a moment again. "Delilah, I am here if you need anything. I'm not just saying it because I have to. I mean it, and not just for this mission. Anything. I believe in you and you should too."

Daniel holds me in his continuously genuine gaze and I can't help but feel like I am in Nathan's arms. The way my shoulders lose their rigid tension, how my body melds into him as we barely move. How he makes it seem like everything is going to be all right. I allow myself to relax if only for a moment while we stare at each other, not bothering to say a word. It doesn't last very long. Something catches Daniel's attention. Someone to be more precise.

"There he is."

I turn and look over my shoulder.

Don Lothario. I spot him immediately. Master Lee, or nobody for that matter actually, has told me exactly why I am punishing this man or why the Nest has decided he must be destroyed. After being humiliated by Kyra last week, and threatened might I add, I decided questioning everything the Nest brings up will only work against me. As Master Lee and Daniel have told me numerous times, destruction rarely makes sense on paper. All we are doing is simply putting balance back into a flawed system. Lothario seems to be no different. I was told, however, that he'd been faced with a hard choice regarding marriage back a few months ago and finally caved into it due to the pressure from the friends and family surrounding him. Unfortunately, from what I've gathered, he hasn't been coping well with his decision.

One night while Connie and I were up late studying, I brought Lothario up into the conversation. She told me she knew of him. Supposedly he was a real womanizer back in the day. She suggested his stress was coming from the little boy inside of him that still wanted to live that kind of life and being chained to this new relationship set him off. Connie had been joking that night, though I still wonder to this day if she may have been onto something.

"You ready?" Daniel asks me.

I nod to him and begin to let go of his hands.

"Hey," he whispers in my right ear. "You're going to do great. Remember, I believe in you."

The corners of my lips tingle and curve upwards right as he lets me go and walks out of sight casually.

I stand there, idle, waiting for him to return. It's not that I expect him to follow me through this task step by step. Yet there was something there that I haven't felt in a long time. A feeling I can't quite put my finger on. Instead of trying to focus on it, I push it to the back of my head. I take a deep breath and turn around. I have an objective to complete and I only have this chance to do it.

Lothario has wandered to the Craps table. Men and women are making a commotion, howling and hollering like some wild group of football players just let out from a winning game. It's hard not to want to join in with their excitement and it's one of the reasons why I so effortlessly slide through the crowd and make it to the side of the table.

I watch him like a hawk, his every move, his every breath. He's a good player. I don't know much about Craps, nothing really. All I know is this guys keeps winning and the crowd cheers every time he beats the casino at its own game. I watch him as seconds turn to minutes and even an hour. Women dressed is breathtaking gowns covered in sparkles and sequins talk to him as if they know him personally. I know they don't. They just wish they did. He offers for the prettiest to blow on his dice while jealous husbands, fiancés and lovers cross their arms over their chest, mentally holding themselves back from pummeling this winning man. There's a look in their eyes, but it's nothing compared to Lothario's. He almost looks insane. Roll after roll. Screaming and cheers. It isn't until one of the women step aside that I get a chance to be his next supporter.

"Ah, my next lucky star?" Lothario asks me as he shakes the dice in his palm.

I lift my eyebrow. "It doesn't look like you need any luck. You continue to win no matter what."

"Luck," he makes a face, "you can never have too much of it." He gives the dice a good blow and then tosses the dice down the table.

This goes on for another half an hour. At some point, close to twenty five minutes of my great support if I do say so myself, he asks me to blow on his dice for him. I feel like a complete idiot, but I do it anyway. People keep placing bets, more for him than against him.

At one point he turns and looks me up and down. "You really are lucky."

"I told you, you don't need luck." I grip my ammunition in the palm of my hand as my heart begins to skip, no race and my hands become sweaty. "Shoot again," I say to him with a wink and he does, with more confidence than I've seen all night. And he wins. Wins and wins. Everyone is ecstatic and I've thrown my arms around him and pecked him on the cheek and told him how amazing he is. All the while slipping a pair of weighted dice in his blazer pocket.

As I turn to leave, he grabs me in the crook of the arm.

"Hey, where you goin'? I need my lucky star."

I smirk. He doesn't have a clue how wrong he really is and the sad thing is that he never will. "Lady Luck needs a five minute break." I try not to let my loathing form through my words and I smile, I smile a lot. And I walk away. I know what will happen next. Daniel has already notified security of the possibility that Lothario is cheating and he'll be investigated. Then the weighted dice will be found. And whatever else Master Lee has up his sleeve will play out, but that doesn't involve me. I make for the doors and head out.

Right as I do, I see security bustling through the main lobby to the casino. The funny thing is that I am shocked they hadn't become suspicious sooner. Winning so much... Who's to say he wasn't cheating before I stepped in? I think to myself. I continue to tell myself this until I am sure that doing this, doing what I just did, was beneficial in some way. Maybe Daniel was right when he said that this all would mean something if I actually was emotionally wounded, more wounded than they all think I am.

My head begins to pound.

My limo arrives within seconds and as I step inside I see Daniel waiting for me.

"Congrats," he says, leaning back, both arms up on the seats. He eyes the champagne flutes and bottle chilling in the bar area. "I think it's in order, wouldn't you say?"

"I don't know what to say," I mumble honestly. "I just hurt somebody I don't even know, I don't even know what will happen to him, and for what?"

"I understand your remorse--"

My head feels like a jack hammer is going off in it. "Daniel, stop with the understandings. I know you mean well, but it doesn't make me feel any better."


"A big one."

Daniel lowers the window that separates us from the driver and they're talking for a bit before the window goes back up. He turns back to me and says, "It's going to take three hours until we get back to the Nest. My place is halfway. We're going to stop there and get you something for that head of yours."

"I can deal with a headache," I say.

"I'm sure you can. Maybe I just want to show you my place."

I roll my eyes, although I can't help but grin. He's turned into that little boy again even if he's still decked out in his tuxedo.


Daniel's studio is absolutely stunning and right as he takes me up to the patio to show me the view, I've forgotten that I had a headache at all. Sometimes the littlest of distractions help me cope. Daniel still offers me a glass of water that I don't turn down. He's gone for a few minutes, leaving me in peace to think about what all happened today.

I destroyed somebody today and I don't know how I feel about it. This was what I wanted. Ever since Nathan and I were attacked, all I've ever wanted since then was to learn how to ruin anybody linked to that day. And here I am doing exactly that, learning how to destroy and I can't tell if what I am feeling is good or bad. I can't even describe it. It's almost like a numbness. It doesn't help that the person I am doing this for doesn't even know who I am  and that's what hurts the most. So why am I bothering with all of this? Destruction and Nathan and trying to gain some balance in this life that has begun dealing me some crappy cards, what's the point?

Daniel returns and passes me the glass of water in his hands. I take a few lengthy sips and cross my arms over my chest, looking over the town below. "I wasn't always like this, you know."

"Like what?"

"I don't know, questioning everything I do and how I do it. To think I used to be the kind of girl that did whatever she pleased. Blame me for no longer being spontaneous and free or..." I let my voice trail because I don't really know what I want to say. I just want to say it.

"You didn't always jump to conclusions?"

I glance back at Daniel for a moment and see from the way his one side of his lips form a smirk that he's playing with me again. I turn back to the view again. "You're never going to let that go, are you?" I don't wait for an answer. "But, no, I never used to. I never felt I had to. Everything used to be so simple and I liked it that way. It didn't matter if I was alone, I never felt like it. Now, the room can be crowded and I feel as alone as ever."

"You're not alone."

I turn to look at him. I want to ask him what he means or what he thinks tell me this will do. Yet, for the life of me, I can't bring myself to do it. Not because I don't have the will or the courage. It's just that now, after putting the glass of water on a nearby table, my lips have made contact with his and I can't stop myself. Daniel doesn't pull away like I am expecting him to. Actually, he embraces me, cupping my head while he gets as close as he can, kissing me hard, harder than I ever thought possible. His lips are warm, soft and warm. A quick glimpse into the past reminds me of the day in the park with Nathan after he'd been shot and how his lips were like ice.

I push the thought away with every fiber of my being and lean into Daniel more. We're stumbling through the door inside, down the hallway. I don't know where we're going. Even if I'd been shown the house mere minutes ago, I couldn't say where we are or where we are going and I don't care. Instead I focus on him. I take in the taste of the last cola he drank and the smell of his cologne.

I help him in taking off his jacket without daring to let our lips separate. We are both breathing heavy through out noses and fiddling with the darn buttons on Daniel's shirt. He seems to get annoyed so much with them that he tugs at both sides and literally rips the shirt off. IN that moment, I get a quick glimpse of where we are. We've made it to his bedroom. I grab onto his neck, swing him around and pull him down with me onto the bed. He's on top of me, kissing me and I'm there with him. But I can't stop myself from seeing Nathan in the cold snow. His cold lips as he's freezing to death beside me. I try to push away the thoughts, but they're there, right there, as clear as ever. I'm telling Nathan that I love him, that I won't ever leave his side and here I am.

"No," I mumble first and it gets caught in the back of my throat.

The doctor's there in my mind, telling me about what the future nine months holds for me and how my life is forever changed. I'm gasping for air now. I can't breathe and Daniel is trying to undo the zipper at the back of my dress. I push him away this time.

"What?" Daniel asks me, pulling away, though he doesn't get off of me. "Is something wrong?"

"I can't."

"You can't what?" His bewilderment is all across his face that I have trouble looking at him.

"I can't do this." I get out from under him and stand up, running a hand through my hair. I turn to face him. He's in his underwear, lounging on the top of the bed, confused as anything and I don't know what else to say as I stand in the doorway other than, "I can't do this, I'm sorry." I don't wait for anything. I don't want to see his face. I don't want to hear his concern, or even his voice for that matter. I don't want to look at this man because he's a walking reminder of my weakness. I threw myself at him, just like I threw myself at Nathan. What is wrong with me? I can't do this anymore. I apologize to Daniel and leave the room, making my way outside where the limo is still waiting for me.

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E07: Lady Luck
« Reply #221 on: February 26, 2017, 11:52:52 PM »
Excellent chapter. So, it is now Don's turn to be destroyed. Hoping all goes well and Delilah completes her mission. Looking forward for next chapter.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E08: Before and After
« Reply #222 on: March 04, 2017, 07:57:46 PM »
Divine Deception
"Before and After"

Cup of Beans is a small coffee shop I discovered during one of me breaks while training inside the Nest. It's located right in the middle of Riverview, a hotspot for locals to gather and catch up. It was where I would go to grab a tea when I wanted a nice ol' pick me up when studying began wearing me down or when my mother and I picked a time when neither of us were busy to spend some time together. Or, more so this than anything else, when I wanted to escape the List and destruction and just find some solitude. Where I could put my feet up in a matter of speaking and take a deep breath. The most noise I get here is the local elders--and there are a lot of them might I tell you-- gossiping about who's dating who or what slime ball is stealing away their beloved niece. I've even heard a rumour that my great pal (not really) Flo Broke has been snooping through somebody else's drawers if you catch my drift. If there's any place you're going to find good info, it's right here, on the edge of the river at Cup of Beans.

But I'm not here for relaxation or to hear the latest and greatest gossip. I've actually invited the master for a moment of his time. I've decided that with my time inside the Nest, learning the ins and outs of destruction has come to a close. Being five and a half months into the pregnancy, I've found it getting more and more difficult to keep up to the other destroyers. Whether it's the physical training to keep myself fit and alert or just the simple task of keeping my attention, I just can't do it. Exhaustion has become my middle name and from what my doctor has to say, it's all just so freaking normal. A good thing, sure, but I just can't help but feel as if I'm letting Master Lee down. After all, he did switch everything around just so that I could take part in the course, so that I could be a part of the Nest.

Master Lee, however, doesn't seem at all affected by my resignation. He just nods to me and tells me he understands. I lift my eyebrow at him. I mean, I know we discussed this when I first arrived at his doorstep, that this wouldn't be a full-time thing considering my situation. Heck, it's the main reason why I was shoved into that bloody mission to destroy Don Lothario a few weeks back. Still, seeing the master all calm and considerate almost makes it seem like I've stepped into some other alternate universe.

"Would you like me to hold your spot?" He's considering the contents of his mug when he asks me and it's almost as if he feels he needs to ask, not that he wants to. "Until after you've settled down and whatnot, I mean."

I caress the side of my own mug with my thumbs, letting the warmth of the hot liquid inside filter through my hands. "You know, I've been thinking and... you were right."

Master Lee shoots me a look of mild bewilderment.

"When I first met you, you told me that I hadn't lost enough to be able to follow down this road. That I was some silly girl having a temper tantrum pretty much. And while I don't think anything I've done over the last few months is worthy of being called a tantrum," I give him one of my own looks, "I can now see what you meant. I've had some bad things happen to me. One of my worst times was in that park with Nathan, fearing that he was going to be taken away from me. And we came close to death, there's no denying that. But he's still alive, and I'm still alive. We dodged a bullet and I should have been grateful for it. Instead I became bitter because I wanted more than what I already had. I guess in a way, I did have a temper tantrum."

I think of the night at the casino and how I targetted Don Lothario.

"Don was enough for me. To destroy him was enough and I didn't even destroy him completely. I just nicked him. It was just the tip of the iceberg and I don't ever want to do anything more."

Master Lee nods as he listens to me.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is, yes, you were right. I haven't lost enough to become one of your destroyers."

"Miss Alto, you were never qualified to be a destroyer. You're not like my other students. You're not like your mother. You haven't hit rock bottom and, as unfortunate as it is to say, only them can you be something great on this ugly path. To be a good participant, you must have nothing to lose and the ability to ruin every ounce of integrity you have for yourself."

I look down at my mug again. I haven't felt like this since the moment I walked into Master Lee's office so many months ago, begging him to take me on because I needed payback for what happened to Nathan. When he pretty much laughed in my face and suggested that I cry into my pillow like every other silly girl my age. I curl into myself, not wanting to look back into Master Lee's eyes.

Then I feel him place a hand on my shoulder.

"And, hey, maybe that's not such a bad thing. You have a mother who absolutely loves you, a child on the way and a man who deep down just needs some good, constant support." He pauses for a moment and I can feel him scanning over my emotions. "I teach my students a way to bring balance back to the uneven scale of life. I rarely talk about karma and how life works itself, it distracts them. But I'm going to tell you. Sometimes life surprises us and can balance itself all on its own. You just have to be patient."


I dream about this conversation while I nap in the car. It's been months since I spoke with Master Lee or anybody from the Nest for that matter. It's Love Day and my mother has decided that she is going to surprise me with a special outing. When we hit a pothole in the road, I come to and straighten up in the passenger's seat.

"We're almost there," Sadie tells me.

I look around. We're heading down the main street to the ocean. It's a marvelous day out. The sun's shining, few clouds in the blue sky. But as much as I would love to look at the area's beauty and enjoy it, a sickening sense of remorse has bloomed inside of my gut. The more I look around, the more it amplifies. My heart begins to quicken and it almost feels like somebody has taken a hold of it and it actually squeezing it with their bare hands. It isn't until I spot the town sign and the name written across it that I realize why I feel so crappy.

"Sunset Valley," I say, trying to sound optimistic even though deep down I can't stop seeing the life I'd come to hate.

Sadie pats my knee encouragingly. "I know it's hard for both of us here... but there's still plenty to be admired."

I don't know if I agree or not so I sit back and let her take us wherever it is she wants to go.

She drives into the parking lot of a spa and parks. It's called Serenity Retreat, a cozy little spa place right on the ocean where men and women wait on your every need. Facials, massages, hair removal of backs, legs and eyebrows. And from the looks of it, there doesn't seem to be any children! I am going to be such a terrible parent. It hasn't even popped out of me yet and I am already excited when I see the absence of constant drooling infants.

Sadie makes sure that I am settled on one of the sofas in the lobby before she stands in line to gather our keys to our room and the package deals that she supposedly already paid for many weeks in advance. By the time she returns to my side, I've already gotten one of the staff to grab us a trolley and piled all of our luggage on top of it.

Once we have unpacked, my mother and I split ways. She is desperate for a massage. Says something about her muscles not being as flexible as they used to be and needing somebody to wring them out. Supposedly a man named Antonio is just the person for the job.

I decide to take a walk on the beach to clear my head.

Everywhere I look, I see something that resembles what I once was before I left for Riverview, before Nathan and that whole mess. In the distance I can see Alto Manor. I don't remember much about the place, although small fragments come to me here and there. What means more to me is the actual house I grew up in when I see it. It's just down the road a bit so I venture off to it. It still looks like the last night I stayed in it. The curtains closed and the red door I slammed shut, promising myself to never look back. It seems over the year that I have been gone that a family with children have moved in. I glance over the tricycle and sidewalk chalk as I walk by. I catch a glimpse of my argument with Vita at the Bistro in the back of my mind.

I haven't thought of Vita as much as I think I should have since I left Sunset. It's been so chaotic with me reuniting with Sadie and Nathan's recovery that Vita took a backseat. That's not to say I don't think about her, but she is the reason why I don't have this fuzzy feeling now that I have returned to my hometown. The lies, the hatred. It all started here, and I don't know if I want anything to do with them anymore.

I look down at my stomach.

I know how bad it sounds. I can't give the woman that raised me the light of day because of a secret she held from me. It's not that exactly. I could get over something that simple because it would affect me and me only. But that part of my life, everything about it... The Alto name. My father and the terrible business he led and how crooked Vita was at leading this town. And then everything in between... It's too much, and I don't want my child to be a part of a place with so much darkness.

"I'm sorry," I say, looking back at Alto Manor. Disbanding my past isn't something I really want to do now. Actually, confronting it now with a set of open eyes could be rather beneficial. But I closed that door a year ago. I'm no longer on the news or being looked for. I'm just here, pregnant, living my life like the average person. It's better this way, being a nobody and forgetting that Delilah Alto was ever a part of me.

To clear my head, I got for a swim. Sadie joins me afterwards and we head out for dinner.

We return to our room three hours later and I am completely wiped. It may only be eight at night, yet here I am, brushing my teeth, slipping into my pajamas and sliding under the covers of my bed. My lower back is aching and when my mother steps out of the bathroom, a toothbrush in her mouth, she sees it.

"What did I tell you?" she asks, foam spurting out the corners of her mouth. "On your side." I'll give her it. She's told me plenty of times and for some reason I always forget how forgiving the position can be. I turn and the pressure in my lower back gradually subsides. "I don't know why you struggle so much. When I was pregnant with you, I was in heels most of the time, showing my face at parties..."

I rarely see Sadie with the mother attitude. I'm not talking about being sympathetic towards me or having my back when I need it most. I'm talking about the "back in my day" conversations. Hearing her now makes me chuckle as I watch her spin around and head back to the bathroom.

I close my eyes and fall asleep.

By three in the morning, resting on my side isn't going to do the trick. Actually, probably nothing is going to do the trick except for yanking this child out of me.

"Sadie!" I gasp as I rock back and forth, trying to get to a sitting position. My insides feels like they're being torn apart by unseen claws, my innards twisted and squeezed all the while the worst menstrual cramp I have ever experienced seems to be stabbing my guts. I try to fight it as I call for my mother again and the pain, somehow, is intensified by the thousands.

Sadie finally rouses from her slumber. She in the bed on the other side of the dresser. She flicks on the light. "What, is it time?" Her face has the stupidest expression as if I'm supposed to know. Wasn't she the one who's gone through all of this before? Didn't she say just hours ago that she did it all in heels? Why is she asking me?!! She seems to have gotten the message without me having to say a word. She helps me to my feet, puts shoes on my feet and helps me to the car. When I am all buckled in, she doesn't hesitate. She slams the car into drive and floors it.

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E08: Before and After
« Reply #223 on: March 06, 2017, 01:37:28 AM »
Hoping she get a safe delivery and we get to see the baby. Looking forward for next chapter.
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by Swirl~Girl

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E08: Before and After
« Reply #224 on: March 07, 2017, 02:06:21 PM »
You will get to see the baby, of course!  :D

Always enjoy reading what people think.