Author Topic: Divine Deception -- S4E24: Series Finale  (Read 44265 times)

Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E08: Before and After
« Reply #225 on: March 11, 2017, 12:55:55 AM »
Yay, two new chapters :) I'm glad to see that Deli is happy after deciding to not be a destroyer. And Baby :) can't wait to see it.

Always amazing chapters when I get to check for them.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E09: Lullaby
« Reply #226 on: March 12, 2017, 08:21:59 PM »
Divine Deception

Hush now my little one
Please don't you cry
Lay your head down
On my shoulder and sigh
Sun gone away
Momma will pray
Silence will keep all the while you are asleep

My mother sang me this same lullaby when I was a child. For how little, if anything, we remember about our first year on this planet, this is one thing I remember to all ends. It came back to me the night I showed up on Sadie's doorstep so many months ago. Sadie had taken me in. I was a wreck, crying. I couldn't gather my bearings and just sobbed in her arms. And she sang it to me, cooing me to sleep like I was young again. It had a sense of nostalgia about it, returning me to the safest place I had ever felt. In my mother's arms, I felt the one thing that was missing in my whole life and that was the love only a real mother could give.

I look down at the baby boy in my arms. He's so still, he looks like plastic, a doll. But there's a softness to him. His eyelids pink and shiny, and there's the lightest whistle coming from his nose as he breathes in and out. William. This is my child.

It's been a few weeks since his birth. Since I was released from the hospital after a smooth delivery, I have been nesting at home. Vic went all out and had transformed the foyer outside my apartment into a nursery. It took him a month and a bit, insulating and putting down new flooring while making new touch ups and coats of paint. He did it all by himself while I was off at the Nest. It was such a nice gesture. He went out of his way to make everything so perfect. We're not even family and for him to do this, for me... The stories my mother tells me about him, about how they met, how he is the only person who can put out the raging fire inside of her... I get it now. I get why he means so much to her and how she felt he was something special all those years ago.

And that's one of the main reasons why I am back here. Nathan and I have that exact same thing between us that my mother and Vic have, and I hope that some way or another I can make him remember what exactly we are to one another. That I am not some detective that had stumbled upon his freezing body after he'd been shot. That I am the person that stayed with him until the ambulance came to pick us both up. That I am the girl who saw him for what he really is, who he opened up to. That he's the man I gave myself to. It's been a while since I last saw him. I can only hope that some of his memory's returned and maybe, just maybe, more of it will come back the moment he sees his son.

I make it to the hospital by late afternoon. I walk inside, spot Dr. Jesceps and he leads me to the room where Nathan is being taken care of in. He's been moved. Taken to the top floor in a shared compartment. I see him through the door. He's speaking with one of the nurses and Jesceps asks me to wait a minute outside. I nod and take a seat. I've waited how long for this moment, what's a little longer?

It begins to feel like deja vu. Memories from the last time I was here flash in my mind's eye and I can't help but remember how it all ended. Realizing that Nathan didn't remember me. How I had run out of his room and cried in the bathroom. I feel torn. Part of me wants to get up and leave. I don't want to feel like that again, yet the other part tells me to stay. It's been some time since we last spoke and he's had time to come to terms with what happened. And William's here with me. Instead of tightening my fists and walking away, I pull my baby closer to me and soften around him.

When the nurse leaves, I ask if I may go in and she tells me yes. I walk inside.

The shared room isn't nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. The first thing that comes to my mind are those terrible post apocalyptic movies where men and women with deadly diseases huddle in dirt filled tents where they wait to die. There's no light, no hope for a new beginning. It's just hell where the stench fills the room and there's nowhere else to go but down. My mind gets the better of me and I am pleasantly surprised about the room Nathan's been held in. There are only three beds, each one enclosed by its own curtain and portable partitions. The room doesn't smell bad, thankfully. Well, I guess that depends on what one might classify as stinky. It smells like a hospital. Bleach and whatever antiseptic that have coming in for cheap. Everything is locked up in the floor-to-ceiling cabinets in each of the sections.

I stop when I spot Nathan. He's washing his hands in the sink and when he looks up into the mirror, our eyes catch. My body is filled with that warm fuzzy feeling I used to get every time I took a walk with him. When I kissed him and hugged him. When I touched him. His dark eyes consider me through our reflection. Then he looks away and dries his hands.

"You again?" he says.

I pull back. It wasn't exactly what I was prepared to hear. There's an edge to his tone that I can only assume comes from the fact that he's been holed up in this place for so long. Unfortunate, for sure, but at least he hasn't addressed me as detective.

I clear my throat and decide not to address his tone. He's been through hell and to step into him with guns blazing, I know it will only hinder my desire to get him back on my side. "yes, me again."

"More questions, detective?" Well, that didn't last long. The sound of my jaw clicking gets muffled by Nathan's exaggerated footsteps as he makes his way across the room to his bed. He slumps down and grabs a magazine from the pile next to him. "I've told you everything I know."

"Nothing's come back? Nothing since I was last here?"

There's a mixture of emotions on his face. From humour to irritation to bewilderment, interest and rage. He shakes it away before I can get a better look. "Little pieces here and there, but nothing concrete, no." He begins flicking through the magazine, though I can see from the way his does it that he isn't looking or reading anything. He is simply doing it just to do something.

"What do you remember?" I ask.

"My sister and her funeral. And my mother too. How she won't let go of what happened to Ashley." Ashley? Nathan never told me his sister's name before. I He only told me how his mother couldn't let her go after she'd died. "There's somebody else there too. I can't exactly see them, but I know they mean a lot to me. I didn't like them much at the beginning and they didn't like me. Later, we learned to get along. She kissed me. I think she loved me even if it felt really rushed."

I nod at Nathan encouragingly, hardly able to keep my excitement confined. He does remember. He remembers me, he really does. He just can't see my face yet and connect me to those memories. "What have the doctors said?"

"They told me that the best way to remember is to interact with my past. I tried to tell that how hard it is to do when I don't remember it, and they don't listen. They never listen."

A perfect opportunity if I do say so myself. If he can't remember his past, maybe touching his future could link the two. I step towards him. "Nathan, this is your son." I know how cheesy, how strange it must sound the moment the words leave my mouth. I can see how he regards what I've said as crazy. He's dropped the magazine back int he pile and is back on his feet, raising his hands as if he wants no part of it. So I quickly stabilize the conversation with a demand of my own. "Nathan, this is William. Hold him."

"Detective, this is very inappropriate--"

"Just hold him," I say again. "Just hold him and look at him and tell me if it triggers anything."

While he may have been reluctant to do so, Nathan takes William into his arms. He doesn't hesitate to look into his eyes. I am sure I know what he's doing. He's going straight to the point, looking William deep in the eyes so that he can pass him back off to me and say I'm a lunatic... that he's done with my little games. But he doesn't give William back. He looks at him, stares at him for a few long minutes. William makes baby noises and I notice the corners of Nathan's mouth curve upwards. He feels something. I know he does. I just need him to believe it himself.

He placed William back in my arms. "He's cute..." He looks me deep in my eyes, the way he would before he'd cup my jaw and tilt my head to kiss me. I'm waiting for him to do it, just one slight movement and I will kiss him back. "I'm sorry, but he's not mine."

My jaw drops and I can't find the words, any words to describe how I'm feeling. I don't know what to say or do. I've never been speechless before, yet here I am, dumbstruck when I need to keep him on my side. What am I supposed to say to that? William's not his? He is, he is! And Nathan's not agreeing not because he doesn't want to be a part of our lives, but because he really can't remember. I can't comprehend this as Nathan turns away. The only thing I can say is, "No," as I grab for the crook of his arm. "No, Nathan--"

"You need to back off, detective. Stop with these games, these mind games. You need to stop!"

My anger's returning and for the first time since this whole mess began, I've realized I don't care for him. I don't care about his recovery. I've spent so long fighting for us, wanting more than anything for us to be a family and this is where it has taken me. The last time I was here I could understand to some slight degree the reason why he couldn't connect with me. But now was different. This time I don't think there ever will be a "we."

"You'll never remember," I say to him. Nathan laughs coldly at me as he makes his way back to his bed. He takes a seat again and gives me a wave to dismiss me. "You're some piece of work."

Nathan shrugs, kicking up his feet. "I wouldn't know."

I groan in frustration as I leave the room, whipping the door closed behind me. Nathan doesn't protest. Actually as I glance over my shoulder I can actually see him giving me a wave that only exaggerates his mockery. I storm out of the hospital and put William into his stroller. There is fire in my veins and everything I do, every movement feels like it burns my insides. It takes a long time for me to get to the bottom of why I am so upset. Sure, yes, I am frustrated that he doesn't remember me. I'm more than annoyed that Nathan's turned back into that jerk I met when I first arrived in Riverview. That he doesn't want to acknowledge William as his own. But what makes me more than angry is that through everything I've done, everything I've worked for, and everything I thought would work, I'm still leaving this building feeling the exact same as last time. Nothing has changed and I'm still trying to find the man who can't see me.

My phone goes off right as I begin pushing the stroller. I'm tempted not to answer it. Who knows what terrible things I'm about to say to people who don't deserve it? But I answer it anyway, and it's Connie on the other end. She tells me that Master Lee is dead.


Lullaby is not mine. It was on Season 5 of Xena Warrior Princess where she sang to her daughter.

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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E09: Lullaby
« Reply #227 on: March 13, 2017, 11:44:47 AM »
I used to love that show!! I really enjoyed this chapter. I'm just not sure why Deli doesn't outright tell Nate who she is. It seems like every time there's a chance, she says something else instead.

I'm not surprised he didn't acknowledge Will. How can he acknowledge a child he never even knew existed?!? She should have built up to it. Like Nathan, I'm that person you can't see. And I was pregnant... Followed with Will lol

It's the beauty of Soapies 😁 you can better see what they should have done. Come RL and nothing ever goes smooth either lol

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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E09: Lullaby
« Reply #228 on: March 14, 2017, 02:57:43 AM »
Excellent chapter. Sad, Nathan couldn't recognise his son or regain his memories. Poor Delilah.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E09: Lullaby
« Reply #229 on: March 17, 2017, 09:27:44 AM »
That would have been a great idea @Magpie2012 I can't say I didn't miss an opportunity there. I will have Deli address her (my) stupidity in the next chapter. :D Happy you enjoyed it, and yes, Xena was one of my favourite shows years and years ago. TV isn't like that anymore  :'(

@chetanhaobijam we'll have to see where it goes from here. ;)

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E10: Execution, Grief and Apologies
« Reply #230 on: March 18, 2017, 07:07:17 PM »
Divine Deception
"Execution, Grief and Apologies"

Execution can be the action of putting a plan into effect or condemning a man to his death. One will lift you up, lead you down a path of what could be complete success, while the other will tear you down, pull you to the darkest and coldest of depths where light at the end of a tunnel is but a simple flickering bulb with no escape. Where one needs answers, they are given little, forced to recount and sometimes even relive the hell that brought them to this forsaken place. The only way to escape are through five stages. First there is denial followed by anger, bargaining and depression. But it's acceptance that holds the tight grip around its victims and when you look it straight in the eye, you realize mercy isn't in its vocabulary.

As I look up at the front of Daniel's house, I can't help but wonder if acceptance will give me a chance to reconcile my past relationships that have been executed over the past year. Just stepping foot on the property sends a chill down my spine as I am reminded of how I left things with Daniel all those months ago. When I threw myself at him like some brainless school girl and believed for that split second that things would be okay afterwards. Thankfully I was able to pull myself together before anything serious happened. So many months later and I am still kicking myself for how poorly I acted, how I almost threw everything I have worked to keep in order out the window.

I come to a halt at the front door and brace myself. I don't know what Daniel is going to do when he sees me next. I can only hope it isn't brutal. He's tried calling me, texting me, he even sent me a letter in the mail, but I haven't once made an attempt to get back to him. Not because I forgot or something came up. I simply didn't want to. Now, here I am, standing at his door, hoping he doesn't see this as a battle ground. I know it seems silly, but who knows what is going on through his head now that his father is gone. Grief can do a lot to a person and that tunnel is a dark and cynical one.

My mother puts her hand on my shoulder. She came to pay her respects to Master Lee as well. With a little push, she encourages me to go inside.

Daniel's home is full of people I have never met before. Some are crying, others and telling stories about how Master Lee had changed their lives and the good that he did. My stomach twists as I am teleported back to Vita's funeral where I felt like nothing, when it didn't matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fill the whole that left me the moment she had. It has just become apparent to me now that I was wandering in that cold tunnel of grief then, that I had hardly touched the surface of the first step. I can only imagine how empty Daniel feels.

I decide that I should go find him. I ask a few people, although no one is able to give me an answer. Daniel hasn't been seen much.

I end up in the kitchen and spot Connie sitting at the counter. I walk up and pat her lightly on the back. "Connie," I say.

She turns to face me, eyes swollen with tears. She wipes them once she realizes that it's me next to her and not some stranger. "Oh, Deli, hi."

Taking a seat in the chair next to her, I spot the damp tissue crumpled up in her fist. "How are you doing?"

She shrugs. I can't say I blame her. How is she doing? How does it look like she's doing, Delilah? My own cynicism lends an edge to my thoughts. It seems that my heart and my brain are one two very different paths as of late. My brain knows she feels like crap, that she feels alone and how hard this all must be for her. Yet my hearts there, trying to be supportive and saying things that really aren't making anybody feel better even if its what it wants to do most. It happens now just like it did back a few days ago when I saw Nathan.

I had wanted him to remember so badly that my heart was the only piece of me leading the way towards my goal. I threw everything at him, got into his personal space and told him a child was his without easing into it like a normal person would. Nathan might not have seen me in his memories, but he saw the shadow of me. And instead of acting smart, using my brain to remind him with an ounce of intelligence, my heart tossed itself at him with baby in tow, hoping upon all else that something magical would happen and bring everyone closer together.

I snort inwardly at myself because nothing of the sort happened. The exact opposite did.

"I can't believe he's gone," Connie says after a few moments, wiping her nose.

"I'm sorry, Connie. I know how much he meant to you."

Connie shakes her head. "Four years of doing this. Four years of seeing him everyday, learning from him and having a goal of how I wanted to go through life--" Her voice catches and she stops to recollect herself. "You know, destroying people, that's not why I'm here. After my parents abandoned me, I just wanted some place to call home. And Master Lee gave me that and now he's gone too!" Connie bursts into tears and I hug her.

"Connie, it's going to be okay."

She cries for a little while longer. We don't speak. I just hold her and listen to her. She asks me about William and I tell her about the pregnancy and how it all went. She pulls herself away and takes a deep breath, grabs a bottle of water from the counter and takes a few lengthy gulps.

Connie chuckles to herself and then drops the corners of her lips again. "I feel so pathetic, you know? It's not even my father and here I am, a blubbering idiot. But, Deli, if you had heard what happened to him..."

My eyebrows knit together. "What did happen to him?"

"It was murder," Connie whispers to me. "The police say gun play was involved and when Daniel went over to Master Lee's for dinner, the police were already there. Gah, just to think of Daniel walking in on that. I can't even imagine."

My guts are twisting more than I ever thought possible as the image in my mind plays out. "Do they know who did it?"

Connie shakes her head, looking back down at the tissue in her hands. "Not really... I don't think so. I don't know much more than that. It's just so terrible."

"I'm coming for you.... And you--"

Kyra's voice echoes in the back of my mind and a bead of sweat has made its way across my spine. Master Lee is dead and Kyra, after feeling betrayed long ago, made the threat. I can remember the rage that went on between them, how hurt she was that I had taken on the next mission not her. How Master Lee chose to make me a top priority. The feeling didn't abate over night back then, and I can't help but feel a little queasy about the possibility now. Could Kyra be the one behind all of this?

"I just feel so bad for Daniel. He's all alone through this," Connie mumbles as she turns and looks out the window. "Says he doesn't want to speak with anybody."

I follow her gaze and spot him out the back. I push out my chair and get to my feet. "I'll be right back."

Daniel's out in the pouring rain, his suit drenched. He just stands there, though. Seemingly unaffected, and he stares off into the fog that has begun to surround the town below. I see flashes of the night we almost spent together. The smell of his woodsy cologne has reentered my nostrils. I'm still too far away from Daniel for it to be actually coming off of him. It's the memory causing me to return back to that night. I can taste the cola on his lips and feel the way he cups my jaw and takes me into his arms. The flats of my shoes sink down into the soggy earth the moment I step off of the brick pathway that borders the house and get closer to him. As I approach, I can see that the cold rain has run its course over Daniel's skin, its icy claws no longer able to make his fists clench or his knuckles turn red. Daniel is numbing to everything and I hope he doesn't do the same to me.

I have almost made it to his side before I bring myself to a complete stop. To stand next to him, to me, gives him no way out. Like I am boxing him in, forcing him to speak or even look at me. Staying back here, he won't feel the need to reply if he doesn't want to. It also gives him the reassurance that, even though I know he's crying, there is a slight possibility that I won't notice it. It's probably better that way anyway, him not feeling belittled and me pretending I don't notice.

"Hi, Daniel," I say finally.

He looks over his shoulder and I can see his red eyes and tear-streaked face. Sure, I could blame it on the rain, but there is something about the way he burrows his brow and instantly wipes away any evidence of his previous sob that speaks a different story. "Hi," he says back and turns towards me.

"Daniel, I'm so sorry." I see him nod and shrug, and then I add, "How are you doing?"

Daniel does the same thing, nods and shrugs, but replies after a few moments. "I don't know anymore. I just... can't believe... he's actually gone."

"I know how hard this must be for you." Right as I say it, Daniel covers his face, turns away and begins to cry again. I finish off my strides, close the gap between us and place a hand on his shoulder. He mumbles something under his breath, something I can't comprehend, but I'm there, still there, comforting him. For how much I have learned about Daniel since I moved to the Nest and realized how much we'd both grown up, seeing him here in front of me, I still see that child. Not in a bad way, just somebody I want to take away all the pain from and makes everything okay again.

"It's all my fault," he says, still mumbling, yet I can make it out this time.

"It's not your fault," I tell him. "How could it possibly be any of your fault?"

"I was late. My dad and I were supposed to have dinner together and I was late. He said seven o'clock sharp and I got held back with one of the students..."

I shake my head. "That doesn't make it your fault."

He doesn't agree. He lifts his hand as if to dismiss my words as nonsense. "If I had been at his place when he said maybe I could have done something. Maybe I could have helped him or called the police or done something and maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't have bled out." The last words make me jolt on the inside. When Connie had made mention about what she knew about Master Lee's death, about how it was murder, I don't know why, but I didn't think it was like this. "It was messy, Delilah." Daniel runs his hand over his face. "It was so messy. It was everywhere."

Kyra's threat makes a reappearance. It had to have been her. She had motive. She had the connections. Heck, she had everything she needed and even told Master Lee that she was coming for him. Kyra was the murderer here. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Actually, just her absence today leaves me feeling off. I think about telling Daniel this, get his input. I don't say a word to him about it, however. He needs time to mourn his father and tossing my own thoughts and opinions into the pot hardly seems like a smart thing to do. Not now, not when Daniel is like this.

"Everything is going to be all right--"

I can barely get the words out of my mouth before I notice him move on me. Daniel takes me close and tries to kiss me. I'm more on my game than I have been as of late and am able to turn and pull away. His cologne is there again, yet not in my head. It's actually coming off of him this time. I inhale it as I wait for Daniel to pull away as well.

"I..." he says, connecting with my eyes for a split second and then dropping off. He's got that boy-ish look about him again. His eyes pool with more tears and from the way his cords in his neck are working, I know he is doing everything in his power not to break down. I know. I was in the exact same position when I was at Vita's funeral.

"I'm sorry, I just thought..." Daniel lets me go and takes a step away. "Nothing makes sense. I don't get what's going on. I don't understand. I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He's crumbling again, slipping away from me.

"Daniel," I say as I grab the sides of his face in both of my hands and stop him. "Daniel, look at me. I know how hard this is for you and I'm not just saying that. I really do know. I want you to know that. And what you need to understand and know is that I am always here if you need me. I am here, just like you were there for me. Just like you were there for me during my assignment." I let him digest what I've just said for a moment, though I don't dare take my hands away from the sides of his face. "We're not alone, right? Just like you said to me. Sometimes it just becomes too much, but we can get past this. You can get past this. We'll figure this out."

Daniel looks down at the ground, his head still held, and nods.

"Come here," I say and pull him into a hug. We stand here for I don't know how long, hugging int he pouring rain. My wool coat has long since soaked through and I ignore the rain's cold finger tips. I am here for a friend and if I need to suffer a bit, then so be it.

Right as I am about to pull away, my cell phone goes off. I'm received a message and it's from my mother. It's time to go.

"Okay, I have to go now." I cup Daniel's jaw with my hand and give him a reassuring smile.

"Thanks, Delilah. Thanks for coming. It means a lot."

"I'm sorry it couldn't have been on better circumstances." We both nod in agreement. "I really am sorry, Daniel. Call me if you need anything."

As I walk away, just the thought of Kyra makes my blood shoot through my veins at miraculous speeds. She said she was coming for Master Lee that very night she was asked to leave. She said she was going to come after me too. But that isn't what frustrates me most. It's the fact that instead of balancing the scale of life like the Nest had taught her, she ripped a father from his son's arms in a violent game of jealousy, egotism and hatred. Acceptance truly holds little mercy. But it's the realization that is the hardest part for me to get past. The realization that the moment I think I have stepped away from this world of destruction, when I think that I've freed myself, cleared out the monster of hatred, in reality I was sucked back into this hell because I never stood a chance.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E10: Execution, Grief and Apologies
« Reply #231 on: March 19, 2017, 05:38:17 PM »
OMG Deli watch your back and your nooboo!  Kyra's revenge might not be to take your life but something you love more!
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E11: Inside Sadie Lawrence
« Reply #232 on: March 22, 2017, 09:16:17 AM »
Divine Deception
“Inside Sadie Lawrence”

Five months. William's five months already and he's growing up so fast. I get it, I'm a mother and I'm supposed to say it, but when they say that in a blink of an eye your children will be leaving the house, I have come to the conclusion that they might be right. He's grown a thick head of hair, he's already outgrown most of his sleepers. William's begun crawling and grabbing onto things. It's strange to think it was only Love Day that he came into this world. Being at that spa with my mother, being in Sunset Valley... It was so long ago. My heart drops a bit every time I think about it, how Nathan's already missed so much of his son's life. What's even more frustrating is the fact that I know if Nathan was himself, he wouldn't want to be left in the dark. He'd want to be here, by my side, being a father. I guess things change, though, and others won't. After coming home from Master Lee's funeral, I decided that William is my top priority. Seeing Daniel proved to me that a child can't be ripped from a parent's grasp, and if Kyra even thinks about doing something so preposterous, I will be ready for her.

William, my mother and I are at Tiny Prodigies and my mother is prattling on about this, that and the other while we sit a little ways away form the play pen William is in, waiting for the session to end with the teachers. I'm not listening to much she says. She's been talking since the moment we returned after grabbing a cup of coffee.

I turn to look at her eyes and say, "I'm thinking of changing my name..." I glance down to the pen William is in, "our name."

Sadie comes up short, tilting her head as if she's hearing something completely off the walls. "Your last name?" she clarifies. "Where is this coming from?"

"From everything that's happened," I say. "If you think about Peters and the whole mess regarding Paragon, it was all tied to the Alto name. Just because we are a part of the Alto heritage, we're linked to that all the time. It's not enough that the simple folk see the name as a disgrace, everything bad that has happened to us has been because of the name as well." I pause as I look back at William again. "And now with this whole thing with Master Lee and Kyra... I'm scared and... I don't want to be on the run all the time. I shouldn't have to run because my father and Vita were bad, bad people."

Sadie takes a deep breath across from me and ponders what I've just said. She turns and looks out the window, out to the blue sky, the sunny day. It's absolutely perfect out and there's something in her eyes that she sees that I can't. Something far off in the distance, maybe even back in time.

"I can't say Vita, or even Nick for that matter, were ever completely bad," she says, looking back at me. "Nobody is, Delilah. We make bad choices for some of the stupidest of reasons, but even the cruelest of people can have a warm heart."

I sense that she's talking about herself. We've spoken on and off about what she did to the Altos, how she slithered her way into the family and tore them apart from the inside.

"Vita could be seen as a terrible person. She made bad decisions, she swindled a government and did a lot of illegal things. It was one of the main reasons why I was activated to destroy her." Sadie pauses, reliving a memory I still can't see. "But when I was singed by my own flame, so to speak, it was Vita who took you in, took you in and loved you like you were her own. Vita Alto was a better mother than I could have been for you. I was a broken woman. I could barely be there for myself."

Sadie clears her throat and blinks incessantly. "What I'm trying to say, Delilah, is not to let your past frame your future. You're a smart girl, and as much as I hate to say it, it's not because of me. The Alto name isn't all bad and if you're thinking of changing because of that, I would suggest holding onto it. Don't live in the bad of the Alto name, do something good with it instead."

Looking down at my hands, I don't know how I should feel after that. Why am I changing my name? Sure, my first impulse to change it is because I fear my child, my family getting into danger because of my silly link to my previous life. But I've been hiding behind my alias Deli Solomon since I arrived at Vic and Sadie's house last Christmas.

"I've just heard so many stories about them, seen so much on the news... Sometimes I just don't know who they really were. The media, everybody has made them look like monsters and I don't want William to grow up with a tainted history."

I watch my mother give me a look and then glances outside again. After a moment, she pulls out her phone, steps away to make a phone call and then returns. She tells me that Vic is on his way to pick up William and that she is going to take me out.

My mother tells me to close my eyes the moment we get into the car and while I may be reluctant to do so, the last time she said she was taking me somewhere we ended up in Sunset Valley, I close them anyway. The drive is a short one, maybe five minutes, and when she tells me I can open them, I am looking at the large banner above the complex in the parking lot.

The Summer Festival.

"Over that year with your father and Vita, I used to come to these things all the time," Sadie tells me as she closes the door to the car and begins walking up the strip. "Summer, fall, winter. I think I only ever missed the spring one in Sunset because I was pregnant with you and you were sending little hints you were on the way."

I only went to a few during my years in Sunset, yet I remember how the central park in town was always bustling with the town folk and even with people from miles away. It was a big deal back then. And it seems to be no different here. Men and women gather round to the local festival, paying for tickets and shoving their way inside to get started with the day of fun.

My mother hauls me to the skating ring. As she is taking off her shoes and replacing them with a pair of roller skates, she says, "It feels so right putting these on again." She ties the pink laces at tight as they are willing to go.

I know my mother is a good skater. I saw her on the ice this past winter and I've heard how she'd go with my father to the festival and either ice skate or roller skate. She once told me that she enjoyed it much more when my father was around. Supposedly, once or twice she'd been grouped up with a man named Gobias and she absolutely dreaded going anywhere with him. Skating wasn't fun with him around. Actually the only reason she agreed to go with him to the festivals was so she could get away from him if that makes sense.

Unfortunately, I learn early on that I am not naturally gifted like my mother in the skating sense. I remember as a kid how I could skate like nobody's business, though now that I think about it, it might have been because I used inline skates.

After I take out an elderly couple and almost take a child down to the ground with me, my mother is at my side, helping me with my balance and bringing me to the centre of the ring to help me out.

"Just like your father," Sadie comments with a smirk.

I huff a bit, doing everything in my power to keep upright. Any slight movement left or right and the both of us are going down with a loud thud. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that you have terrible balance, just like him." Sadie begins to laugh and I do too. "Ah, don't fret. He could make a killer snowman. I'm sure you can as well."

We both get a bit hot and decide to head outside to cool off. There's a balloon fight fortress on the far side of the complex and the sound of laughter and balloons breaking in a gush gravitates us towards it.

Sadie grabs a balloon from the basket on the ground. "This was how I first met Vita. Gobias dragged me to my first festival in Sunset. He's probably the one person I don't regret walking out on."

I know what she means. Sadie throws her balloon across the way and hits an older woman in the face. She falls backwards and upon closer inspection I realize it's Flo Broke. I smile inside and out. As much as my mother disliked this Gobias person, I don't much like Flo.

"But," my mother continues, "because of him I was able to meet Vita. That night we pummeled Gobias with water balloons just like these. Ah, to see those ugly face paintings smear and drip off his face."

Tossing the balloon in her hand in the air and catching it, Sadie readies herself to throw it at the newcomer across the way. Yet as she leans back, as she stretches her arm back to gather some good power, my mother stalls, stops and hesitates to lob it over to the other side. It takes me a moment to realize why...

The woman almost looks like a younger version of Vita Alto. From the hair, all the way to the burgundy jacket I know Vita used to wear all the time in photos. I can only wonder what is going on through my mother's head before the balloon comes and hits her.

My mother is a good sport. She laughs it off, but I was able to see the surprise in her eyes. I was able to witness how she really believed Vita was across from her again, playing a round of water balloons like it was twenty years ago. How couldn't she? Even I thought for a split second that Vita had come back.

Once our balloons are gone, I bring my mother over to a picnic table next to the band in the corner. I tell her that I will be back and that I am going to grab each of us a drink. When I return, a bottle of water in each hand, there Sadie is with the band. She'd taken one of their guitars, borrowed more likely, and has led them in to play some song I don't know.

"You play the guitar too?" I ask, baffled. Is there anything this woman can't physically do?

"I'm a woman with many talents," she says to me and keeps strumming. She finishes the song and hands the guitar back off to its rightful owner. "Vita taught me how to play when I first moved in to Alto Manor," she says softly as she grabs her water bottle from my hands and takes a seat at the picnic table again."

"You two were really close, weren't you?"

My mother nods. "It's funny, I think about that whole moment all the time... How I met Vita, how she welcomed me into her home, asked me to her parties..." She chuckles and pulls her arms close to herself. "Told me I could live with her when Gobias kicked me out. She was always there and even if she did bad things, deep down she really was a good person. She was a good friend..." Sadie brings her eyes up to meet mine. "And I destroyed it."

I see in my mother's eyes how much this affects her. Everything that happened the moment she'd been asked to travel to Sunset Valley, dropped off at Gobias's house and asked to destroy Vita and Nick...

"How do you get past it?" I ask her. I watch her consider the question and she turns her body towards me, like she'd ready to open up and that's when I hear the loud alarm go off. Across the path from us a hotdog eating contest is about to begin. They're just waiting for somebody to fill the final spot.

"That brings back memories," she says to me as she gets to her feet. She's already started walking towards the table before I grab her arm.

"No, wait, how did you get past it?" I repeat, but she's not listening. She'd actually dragging me with her to the table, going on and on about some person named Marlie and how they had met each other during one of these contests.

And then it hits me.

The alarm goes off again, readying everybody, my mother included, behind the table. Another goes off and all four of them begin stuffing their faces with hotdogs as the time counts down.

"She's never gotten over it," I whisper to myself. The moment we arrived, my mother's been bombarded with memories. From my father to Vita, to the havoc that erupted between everybody to the little things one would think she'd forget. Roller skating and balloon fights. Guitar playing and hotdog eating contests. Everything was thrown at her from the moment we stepped out of that car and each time Sadie relives it, she rushes on to the next thing in hopes that she'll forget. Sadie Lawrence has never gotten over the hell Paragon put her through. All she does is bury it in hopes that she'll never have to experience it again.

It takes a while for it all to set in. I separate from my mother for a few hours while she plays the guitar again. I grab a snow cone and think about what I've come to realize.

When I first came to her doorstep back in the winter, I looked up at my mother because I thought she was some strong woman. Watching her fight off against Peters and work her magic to make sure I was safe after he was out of the picture. Everything she did was so on point that I looked up at her like she was some super human, a woman with an impenetrable finish.

But as I pull back that stiff layer, I see that fragile person that hides inside. Sadie Alto was built to destroy. From the time she got hooked up with the Altos all the way until she was destroyed by her own fire, everything, everyone in her path was expendable. Sadie Lawrence wasn't, however. She's a normal person with feelings, who experiences pain and heartache. Who feels remorse and has regrets. She's a human being just like me. Who put herself in so much danger after I was born to keep me safe...

I spot her walking up the stairs, looking for me. She sees me and makes her way over.

"There you are!" She takes and seat and twists off the cap of her water bottle. "I've been looking for you for ages."

"Sorry, I just needed a break."

"What have you been doing?" She gets a glimpse of something on my face and grabs a napkin to wipe it from my cheek. "Other than eating snow cones?"

I swat her away like a child. "I've been thinking."


"Changing my name," I answer.


"I want to change it to Lawrence." I can see a flash in her eyes, confusion, disagreement maybe, so I don't let her speak, not yet. "I know it's been rocky between us since the beginning, but over this past year... I see things differently now. I've made a lot of mistakes and a lot has gone on, yet you're always there for me. You speak about how you've made a lot of your own mistakes, but you are my mistake... I... I..." I stop and take a deep breath. "I've judged you from the very beginning... I judge everything because I am judgemental... But I can kind of see everything clearly now. I've blamed people I shouldn't have, I've blamed you for things that didn't even have to do with you."

"I've made a lot of mistakes, Delilah. Don't pretend like they never happened."

"I know, but I can't keep dwelling on it either. Over this past year with you and Vic, I feel right being with you. It feels right."


"I respect you and I forgive you. I want you to be a part of my life, and that's why I want to take the Lawrence name back."

A smile slowly forms on my mother's face. "You know nothing would make me happier. I love you, Delilah. I have since the moment I brought you home and it has never stopped. Not eighteen years ago, not now."

In the moment, we head down and take a photo of ourselves. When we're done, we are just in time for the fireworks to go off. I stand there, my mother next to me and as the sky bursts in beautiful colours high above us, all I can do is stare at the side of my mother's face. For how long I have hated this woman. I have blamed her for a life I thought once was full of misery. I forced myself to keep distant even when I was welcomed into her home. And right now I hate myself for putting not only myself through it, but her as well.

As the final firework goes off, I lean into my mother like I did the day I ended up on her doorstep. I wrap my arms around her and hug her. My mother hugs me back, tightly, as if never wanting to let go.

Arms still holding each other, I look up at her. "I had a really great time today."

"I did too. You know I love you."

I nod. "I love you too... Mom."

I haven't called anybody Mom since the night of Vita's death. It sounds strange saying it again at first, but the more I think about putting the label with Sadie in my mind, the smoother it becomes. It's taken me this long to embrace her as my mother and now I can call her it too. Mom... Mom... I didn't lie when I said to her that being with her felt right. I am no longer looking at Sadie Alto, the destroyer. I don't see a hardened shell fighting off the Reginald Peters of the world. I see my mother, Sadie Lawrence. The woman I trust, the one I love. It feels so easy now that it all slips past my lips and thoughts. I guess it just took getting inside Sadie Lawrence's head to come to the realization.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E11: Inside Sadie Lawrence
« Reply #233 on: March 22, 2017, 05:36:51 PM »
Finally Deli is growing up.  I wonder how far her new maturity takes her with her relationships with Nathan and Daniel.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E11: Inside Sadie Lawrence
« Reply #234 on: March 24, 2017, 04:21:24 PM »
It's been a long time coming for Deli to finally see all that she has had in front of her. We will just have to see where it takes her. It's pretty rainy and whatnot here... Maybe another update soon! ;)

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E12: Renaissance
« Reply #235 on: March 26, 2017, 10:22:02 AM »
Divine Deception

When somebody hears the word renaissance, they are usually guided unintentionally to the cultural reawakening that occurred in Europe between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries. Where Elizabethan times were upon us and the art and architecture we look up to today were but simple thoughts, like new paint hitting a canvas for the first time. I see it differently, however. I see it as a rebirth, a regeneration of old paint, tidied to make look new again.

As I watch my mother in front of me, my son learning to walk in her care, I realize we've all been reborn. Our canvases were once tainted by the graffiti of our past, and now have been wiped clean. We are not Rome. We are not the Mona Lisa. But we were messy, dusted off to try again on this path that we call life.

My mother is happier than she's ever been. I'd like to say it has to do with me and me only after I buried my hatchet so to speak. I know it helps, yet it is but a piece that has lifted everybody's spirits. Vic asked her to marry him last night. He took her to dinner where they ate like royalty before heading out for a walk. I can't lie. I knew he was going to ask her. He even showed me the ring the night before he proposed. From what my mother has told me about Vic, I knew he was a classy guy, but when he asked if he had my permission to ask for my mother's hand, a new layer of respect for him had been laid down. It's been a long time coming, the two of them being together and I couldn't be happier for them.

I watch William stumble to get into my mother's arms. This is why she's doing this, why she's trying to get him to walk. She's asked if he could be the ring bearer. She already has a pillow for the rings in mind, and the colours chosen for the theme, and the menu, and where she wants to have the wedding, and--Oh, she's just so excited and how could I say no? The moment we grow into little girls and meet a boy for the first time, or see a princess get married in a movie, this is what we dream about until it actually happens. Being asked to get married is the ticket to the path of happily ever after and the best day of our lives. I know my mother hides behind her thick skin, but deep down I know she wants to be beautiful, wants to have that perfect day. Is it because she is just like me or because the last time she was proposed to it was a complete lie? Either way, I am going to do everything I can to make sure this time the moment is a happy one.

Right then my phone goes off. I bring it to my ear. "Hello?"

"Delilah, it's Dr. Jesceps from Riverview hospital..." Just hearing about the hospital turns my heart to ice and plummets it down through to the bottom of my stomach where it melts in what feels like a pit of flames. "How are you this morning?"

"Fine, thank you," I say, controlling every fiber in my being that wants to disconnect. Every time they've called from that hospital the day has ended poorly. I don't know if I want to experience it all again.

"That's good to hear. Delilah, Nathan has asked for you to come in so that he can speak with you."

I get up from my seat and wander away from my mother and William. "Speak with him?" I scoff. "Is he calling for the detective?"

I know Jesceps has no idea what I'm talking about, but it doesn't toss him off key. "No, he says that his memory is coming back."

I don't believe him. Nathan's memory was coming back the last time I was there and the best he could remember was a haze memory of somebody he liked very much. Even so, he couldn't remember me or what I looked like or the sound of my voice. Nothing. He remembered absolutely nothing and I am not going to let Jesceps get my hopes up again. I don't want to do this.

"Dr. Jesceps, thank you, but I'm not willing to make the drive right now. I'm very busy--"

"Delilah, I know this has been a rough patch for you, that you're a little gun shy..."

"Gun shy?" I make a grunt to showcase my amusement. "Oh, if it were only that simple. How about the fact that I have been humiliated so many times over the last year by that same man and I'm not willing to do it again? This isn't about being a little gun shy, Dr. Jesceps. This is about coming to terms with what has happened."


"Thank you and good bye, Dr. Jesceps."

"He says he remembers the night at the bar, the night somebody named Yuri attacked you."

I become stiff, cold as stone as I repeat the doctor's words in my mind. It's the first real connection I've heard or even felt with Nathan since this all happened. A little smile creeps up the corners of my lips, but I force myself to stay cool.

"I'll see what I can do," I say and immediately disconnect.

It feels as if time has completely stopped all around me. While I can hear my mother talking with William, calling me over, asking me what's wrong, it's as if her voice has been manipulated and slowed down. I begin to walk to where I was sitting earlier, grabbing my purse and looking for the keys to my mother's car.

"I have to go," I say. There's no emotion in my voice, I don't know why I can't force myself to smile or be angry. I'm just solemn. Am I in shock?

"Delilah, what is going on? What's wrong?"

"I've got to go," I say again. "Where are the keys?"

"Delilah!" My mother grabs onto my arm and brings my attention straight to her. "What is going on?"

My eyes meet with hers. "He remembers." From the look on her face, she knows who I'm talking about. "He says he remembers and remembers me."

My mother pauses and pulls back, considering what I've just said. "We'll go together--"

"No," I say with a wave of my hands. "It just needs to be us. I'm not getting everybody revved up for a misfire again. I'm just going to go and see." I shrug my shoulders. "I don't think it's going to be anything special anyway, but I have to go and check. I'll be back tonight, before dinner."

My mother doesn't look thrilled. "Do you have your phone on you?" I show it to her. "You call me if you're going to be any later. You call me if anything seems off." I nod. I know what she means. Ever since Master Lee's death and what I've told her about Kyra, she's been very cautious about everything.

I make it to the hospital in record time. Well, at least I think I do. When I run up the steps and barge into the main lobby, the first thing I notice is that it says it's seven o'clock. Maybe I didn't make it there as fast as I thought I did, especially when I know I left home before noon. I pull out my phone just to make sure. Yup, the clock on the wall is wrong. It's not even quarter past. The complex must be too busy to replace the battery. It's not surprising. It's the busy hours of the day, the ones I usually try to avoid. But today is different. I even chose to park across and up the street a bit because there was no parking available. 

There is a couple at the front desk speaking with Dr. Jesceps. I slip between them and the doctor and ask where Nathan is. Rude, I know, but Jesceps seems to understand. He lets me know that Nathan isn't up in his room. He's been allowed to take a walk and that he's waiting for her outside in the back garden. I thank him and apologize to the couple and return to the front of the complex so that I can make my way to the back.

I spot him right away and the moment I do, everything slows down again. The beat of my heart, the blood that it pumps through me ears is so loud I can barely hear my own thoughts. My stomach has turned hallow and for a moment I wonder if I am going to be sick. Every time I've come here to see him it has always ended terribly. Every time I think we've made it, come through the other side, I have been slapped across the back of the head and proven wrong. Proven wrong again and again. The time he'd awoken and didn't know who I was. The day I brought William and nothing came to him. No, I won't say that I did everything correctly. Throwing an infant in his arms and expecting Nathan to know it was his was complete lunacy, especially since neither Nathan or I knew I was pregnant before this whole thing happened. Still, to think that I am putting myself in faith's hands, backing myself up with nothing but pure hope leaves me feeling a little uneasy.

As I take a few steps closer, I trace him with my eyes. He stares off into the distance, his fingers twiddling in his lap. He could be anyone. Either the Nathan who remembers or the Nathan who doesn't. I see a softness in his features, though, not the cocky airhead I experienced the last time. That doesn't say much. He's had plenty of time to cool off since our last encounter. We both have.

I stop in front of him. He tilts his head so that our gazes meet and we stare at each other for a moment.

"Deli," he finally says.

"Yuri, really?" I say to him, crossing my arms across my chest. "Out of the things to remember, all the things that we shared and you choose Yuri--?"

He's up on his feet before I can understand what's going on. Before anything else, I'm in his arms and he kisses me. I stiffen for barely a moment. The feel of his hands on me, the way his arms have always acted like a barrier to protect me from danger. They're there again, making sure I'm okay and allowing me to kiss his lips back. His soft lips, his chapped lips, but his lips nonetheless. This is the Nathan I remember, the man I love. I can only hope this isn't some cruel joke being played on me, that the moment I turn to look up at him and lower my wall of protection, that he is going to humiliate me for being so stupid.

When he pulls away from my lips and holds me tight, I gasp and that's when all the tears come pouring out.

Still holding me, Nathan leads me back over to where he was sitting and we both take a seat. I don't let go of him, I don't dare for fear I might lose him again. I just keep a tight hold on him like a child scared to let go of their favourite stuffed toy.

Nathan begins telling me how he started getting his memory back the moment I walked out on him last. He says, like he said last time we spoke, that I was there in his head, but he couldn't for the life of him see who it was exactly.

"But when you walked out so upset, that was when everything began coming together."

I narrow my eyebrows. "Why?"

"Do you remember that gold bracelet you owned? You told me you were given it on your sixteenth birthday."

I know what he's talking about. Vita bought it for me. It was a rare piece of jewelry, five Gs was the minimum I could get for it if I wanted to pawn it off. I know I could get way more if I took it in. But I don't know why this has anything to do with Nathan getting his memory back.

"I remember," I say.

"One of the first nights you spent at my house, you were wearing it and I asked you about it and you stormed off--"

I snicker. "You were a jerk that night. You wouldn't get off my back because you knew I was lying about everything."

"Well," he chuckles softly, "you did keep messing up where you wanted to go. One moment you'd say you were going to Twinbrook, the next--"

"--Bridgeport," I finish for him.

"And you ran off to the apartment above the barn, angry as anything... Just like when you left here last." He pauses for a moment. "You usually run when things get too difficult and that simple similarity was the thing that hit home. It was the pathway between what was going on in the present and what my past was all about. Once I defined that, everything slowly began falling into place."

Usually something like being told that I run when things get tough would offend me. It's an act of weakness and something I shouldn't embrace. But it doesn't bother me. Not now anyway. It saved my relationship with Nathan and that's all I care about.

We spend the rest of the day out there in the garden together. He tells me what he remembers of the night at the park with Peters and I fill him in on the things he was unconscious for. I tell him about William and the Nest. For some time we don't speak at all and just enjoy being in each other's presence. I do, however, tell him the lengthy story about my mother, my real mother, and how we've reconciled our relationship. From the moment I ended up at her doorstep in December all the way to the day out at the summer festival, and some after.

The day goes by quickly. For how slow everything felt it was moving earlier, time seems to be moving faster than ever now.

As we sit in silence, my head rested against Nathan's arm, I watch the sun slowly dipping behind the line of trees. I should head home soon, get back to my mother so that she stops her worrying. I know she is. The tune of my phone going off is evidence of it. I answer, let my mother know I am heading home now and that everything is fine. Actually everything is great! I hang up.

"All right, I have to go," I tell Nathan as I reluctantly pull away from him. It's not that I really want to go. I'd much rather stay here and rekindle my relationship with him, especially since we both know it's been tracked through some mud over the last year.

"Thanks for not giving up on me," Nathan says. "I love you."

I smile. "You have no idea." I lower myself and kiss him. "I'm coming back tomorrow... early. Very early and with family in tow. I think it's about time you really met your son."

"I wouldn't have it any other way." He smiles and it's that smile I have been wanting to see since I visited him in the hospital all those times when he was out like a light. It really is Nathan there, right in front of me and there still is an us. I give him another kiss and a wave and head back to my car.

The parking lot has emptied almost completely save for a car or two, probably owned by one of the doctors or a nurse. Then I remember that I had to park down the street a bit. I head there now. I have my keys in my hands ready to unlock the doors when I feel it...

Somebody grabs me from behind. At first I think it's Nathan, playing a joke or something, but by the way whoever is behind me holds me, I know it isn't him. They've twisted my arm behind my back, rendering me useless and as I try to kick back at them, they whip me around so that I lose my balance and trip. I gasp, the cold earth knocking the wind out of me and when I open my mouth to scream, cry for help, I smell something sickly sweet. Next thing I know a white piece of fabric is stuffed against my face and everything goes dark around me.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E12: Renaissance
« Reply #236 on: March 26, 2017, 05:19:13 PM »
Ack!  What a way to end the chapter!  I wondered when Dr Jesceps rang whether it was a trap.  But no, you lulled us nicely into a sense of security, then spring your trap!  Masterfully done!
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E12: Renaissance
« Reply #237 on: March 29, 2017, 01:44:12 PM »
Haha, thanks Magz! It's going to get a little wild for the final two episodes. Hold on!  ;)

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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E12: Renaissance
« Reply #238 on: March 30, 2017, 11:34:15 AM »
Nice chapter. Very happy on Nathan and Deli reunion. And now worried and wondering what will happen to Deli. Looking forward for next chapter.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S3E12: Renaissance
« Reply #239 on: April 01, 2017, 06:33:39 PM »
 :D I will get the final two chapters up as soon as I can. It is a pretty hefty one that I am going to split into two. Here we go!