- Damien and Quinn once again got into a physical confrontation over Pearl.
- Pearl, angered by Damien and Quinn fighting over her, told them they could no longer see her unless she allowed it.
- Fearing he would lose Pearl, Damien admitted he loved her but Pearl didn’t believe him.
- Megan visited Damien and told him to fight for Pearl.
- A furious Quinn blamed Damien for Pearl not wanting him around and vowed to kill him.
The Lawrence Farm, later that afternoon
Sadie Todd was sitting on the front porch swing drinking a glass of lemonade and processing the events of the morning in her head and what a morning it had been. After Damien Collins and Quinn Nightshade’s row in the driveway, Pearl Tyler made both men leave. When Pearl returned back to the farmhouse she told Sadie everything that happened—including Damien telling Pearl he loved her. She was floored. And while she thought it was truly romantic that Damien would fight Quinn for Pearl and want to protect her from him, Pearl wasn’t as enthusiastic. She was confused and didn’t know what to do.
Sadie had suggested she get some rest and they would talk things out later when her aunt and uncle came home. She knew they would be the ones to soothe her and give her some advice.
It wasn’t a moment too soon. Gene and Iva Lawrence were pulling up in the driveway in a shiny new red Dodge minivan. A wide grin broke out on Sadie’s face and she jumped up to meet them, setting her glass down on the ground.
The couple parked and got out of the van. Sadie ran to her uncle and threw her arms around him. “Oh my God the van is perfect!” she exclaimed.
Gene laughed at his niece’s excitement. “Thank your aunt, she insisted on red.”
“She’s a looker isn’t she?” Iva asked proudly. “Gene wanted boring dull gray again but I put my foot down.”
“I can’t wait to test her out,” Sadie said.
“So, did anything interesting happen while we were out?” Gene asked.
Sadie chuckled. “Interesting is an understatement. It was like something out of a really bad soap opera. Both Damien and Quinn were here today and they got into a fight over Pearl again. She made them hit the road.”
“Oh Good Lord,” Iva replied wearily, shaking her head. “How’s Pearl now?”
“She’s resting. She was upset and crying after they left but I calmed her down.” Sadie leaned closer to Gene and Iva. “Damien told Pearl he loved her.”
“Boy does he have it bad,” Gene murmured, “to fall hard like that after only a week of knowing her.”
“Well, don’t forget Quinn love,” Iva reminded him. “He’s been lusting after her like a panther in heat. None of this is good for her when she’s going through a risky pregnancy.”
Gene put one arm around his wife and the other around Sadie. “Come on, let’s get into the house.” He looked up at the sky. “We’re going to get rain again. It’ll be a perfect evening to stay in and discuss this situation.”
“All I can say is, I’m glad I’m married,” Iva said. “I wouldn’t know what to do if I had two men fighting over me.”
Pearl was lying on her bed in the basement, both hands gently rubbing her belly. She couldn’t believe everything that was happening and it was happening too fast. Quinn chasing after her, Duncan coming to try to take her back—and now a declaration of love from Damien. She wondered if this madness would ever end. And although she said she wanted Damien and Quinn to stay away, part of her didn’t want them to.
She closed her eyes for a few seconds. When she opened them back up, the ghost of Megan Manning stood above her, a pensive look on her pretty face. Startled, Pearl sat up. “What are you doing here?” she asked.
Megan’s glowing visage sat down on the edge of the bed. “I’ve come to talk to you Pearl. I’m worried about this twisted triangle between you and Damien and Quinn.”
Pearl looked down on the floor. “You don’t want me seeing Quinn. Well, I’ve told him he can’t anymore. Not after what happened today in the driveway.” She looked up and faced Megan’s spirit, still a little flustered that she was actually talking to a dead woman. “But I do have some feelings for him. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it.”
“He can be very charming when he thinks he’s getting what he wants. Believe me I know Pearl—I lived with him for a year. Underneath that irresistible grin and smooth voice is a very evil soul,” Megan said ominously. “He’ll turn on you in a heartbeat if you don’t do what he likes.”
“But that’s just it—he hasn’t turned on me and I’ve told him repeatedly he can’t be intimate with me. Don’t you think he would have harmed me by now?” Pearl countered.
Megan smiled and motioned towards Pearl’s stomach. “It’s different because you’re pregnant. Quinn may be bloodthirsty but he would never go after a child. But as soon as your baby is born, he’ll go right back to being the predator.”
“And Damien?” Pearl wondered. “Don’t forget, he’s a predator too. I’m really not safe with either of them.”
“Damien is different Pearl. He loves you. Quinn only views you as a sexual conquest and nothing more,” Megan insisted.
Pearl shook her head. “Damien can’t love me. We’ve only known each other for a week. It’s just infatuation because I’m new and there’s nobody else in town. He’ll get over me.”
“I don’t believe that,” Megan softly replied. “He has genuine feelings for you.”
“I do care about him,” Pearl admitted. “After all, he rescued me and if it wasn’t for him, my daughter and I probably wouldn’t have survived. I’ll always be grateful to him.”
“Then show him how grateful you are Pearl,” Megan firmly said. “Don’t cast him out of your life because he reacted to Quinn’s provoking behavior. He wants to protect you and your baby. Most men wouldn’t want anything to do with a pregnant woman.”
“I know that. Just ask my ex-husband,” Pearl responded dryly. “He’s on his way to win me back. I’m not giving in to him—not again.”
The burgundy Nissan Ultima passed the welcome sign to Haven. Duncan Tyler smiled to himself as he drove. It wouldn’t be long before he would see his ex-wife. His stomach began to twist nervously. It had been months since he had seen her and he wondered what she looked like now that she was pregnant with their daughter.
He cautiously glanced at the windshield. Julie Hastings had told him Pearl was staying on a farm and according to her, he couldn’t miss it as it was the only farm in town. The house was a three story building, white with black shutters and a front porch. That would be easy enough to spot.
There really is nothing in this town, Duncan thought to himself. Pearl should be glad to leave with me.
How wrong he was…
Harmony Hills Mental Hospital
Jude Nightshade sat next to his mother, watching her sleep. As usual, she did not recognize him when he came into her room, only greeting him as “that nice young man who visits me all the time.”
He looked at his watch. Visiting hours would be over soon and he would have to make the drive back home to Haven. His brother Quinn hadn’t even called him—he wondered what trouble he was stirring up, and it probably involved Pearl Tyler and Damien Collins. He wasn’t even going to try and say anything anymore. Quinn was determined to make Pearl his mate and he decided to stay out of it and let his brother screw himself over.
Jude sometimes wondered if he and Quinn were actually related. Jude had no use for blood and would never consider biting a human or an animal. But his superhuman strength, which he rarely used unless he had to, and his unusual birthmark, an upside down triangle in the crook of his right elbow—the same birthmark Quinn and his father Christoph had—proved he was a Nightshade through and through.
He rose up the right sleeve of his sweatshirt and stared at the birthmark. He gently touched it with his index finger, then glanced at his mother. What did you ever see in Christoph Nightshade? he silently asked her.
His mother suddenly awoke as if she heard him. She stretched and yawned and sat up, looking at Jude. Then she looked at his right arm. “Is something wrong with your arm?” she asked.
“No,” Jude answered, shaking his head.
She reached down and gently grabbed his arm and saw the birthmark. To Jude’s shock, the expression on her face changed from content to horrified. She sharply raised her head at him.
“I’ve seen this before. It’s a birthmark.”
Jude learned forward, growing extremely anxious. Could his mother finally be remembering him? But he didn’t want to press it. “Yes, it is a birthmark,” he casually replied.
“I know a man with this mark. But he’s really not a man. He’s a monster.” She shuddered. “If I told you who he really was, you wouldn’t believe me.”
Oh yes I would, Jude thought to himself.
“There’s no way you could be possibly related to this man,” his mother insisted. “You’re not like him at all. You’re nice and good.”
Jude smiled. “I take after my mother,” he said pointedly, hoping it would spark a memory in her mind.
“Well, I’m glad you do. The things this man has done would chill your blood,” she ominously told him. He’s a murderer.”
The Lawrence Farm
After Pearl’s talk with Megan, she left the basement, heading for the upstairs. Her mind was a maelstrom of emotions, making her feel like she was swirling in a violent storm at sea that wanted to pull her in two different directions—one being Damien and the other being Quinn. She hoped she could remain steady and not have to deal with them at all, but that was going to be easier said than done.
When she entered the kitchen, she could hear Iva’s voice from the living room telling someone Pearl couldn’t be disturbed and to go away. Thinking it was either Quinn or Damien, she entered the living room—and came face to face with the unusually handsome face and tall lanky build of her ex-husband, Duncan Tyler. He had finally found her as he promised.
Duncan’s face lit up like a Christmas tree when he laid his blue eyes on her. “Pearl!” he exclaimed. He tried to break through the front door, but Gene and Iva held him back. “I told you, Pearl wants nothing to do with you,” Iva firmly said.
“This is a personal matter and quite frankly, it’s none of your business,” Duncan coolly replied. “I want to see the mother of my child.”
Pearl looked down at her belly and sighed deeply. Despite her intentions of not wanting anything to do with her ex, she decided she had to talk to him face-to-face and tell him herself a reunion was not in the cards. “It’s okay Iva, let him come in. We do need to sort this mess out,” she quietly said.
“Are you absolutely sure Pearl?” Iva asked.
Pearl nodded and Gene and Iva allowed Duncan to come inside. He hurriedly advanced on his ex-wife, who held up her arms defensively. “Don’t touch me Duncan. We’re just going to talk, that’s all. Come into the kitchen.”
Duncan followed her as Gene and Iva looked at each other concerned, now that a third man had entered the fight for Pearl.
- Pearl and Duncan argue over their unborn daughter—without realizing they are being watched.
- Jude is aghast when Quinn tells him of his plans to kill both Damien and Duncan.
- Duncan and Quinn each have terrifying encounters with a certain werewolf…