Episode 3-4: Love and War

Previously:

  • Two detectives came to question Duncan’s parents about the attempt on his life and his mother Amelia accused Pearl of being the would-be killer.
  •  Pearl asked Quinn point blank if he attempted to kill Duncan and he denied it; placing blame on Damien and revealed to her where he went the night of the attack.
  • Micah asked Sadie on a date.
  • Pearl, the Lawrences and Micah were shocked when the detectives showed up at the farm to question Pearl about Duncan’s attack.

The Lawrence Farm, evening

Pearl Tyler sat on the couch, speechless. Her peaches and cream complexion was almost the shade of her first name. She looked at the two detectives in complete surprise. Gene Lawrence was sitting next to her with a comforting arm around her shoulder. His wife Iva, along with niece Sadie and friend Micah Johnson, stood by the living room window, caught off guard.

“Detectives, with all due respect, you can’t possibly think Pearl tried to kill her ex-husband. Look at her. She’s five months pregnant,” Gene said with a disbelieving tone.

Pearl turned to Gene in appreciation and smiled at him weakly. “No Gene, it’s okay.” She looked at Detectives Morgan and Elliott with a knowing look on her face. “You talked to my ex-mother-in-law and father-in-law, didn’t you?”

Readily aware of the animosity between Pearl and her husband’s parents, the two nodded. “They’re at the hospital in Lewiston with their son. My partner and I wanted to ask them some questions about him to see if they knew anyone who might have had a reason to harm him, and why. Duncan Tyler’s mother immediately accused you,” Morgan explained.

“I see,” Pearl replied evenly. “Well, it’s not surprising Amelia would accuse me. She and her husband never felt I was right for their son. They came from an upper class family; I came from a blue collar one. I was four years older than Duncan and he was still in college working towards his masters’ degree. His parents believed I was distracting him from his education. I admit that I wasn’t keen on him when he first asked me out, but over time I really came to like him, and then I fell in love with him. When Duncan announced our engagement, Amelia and Sheldon were not pleased, but they tolerated it because of Duncan. He told them if they didn’t accept me, he would cut off contact with them, and I knew that would have devastated them both.”

Pearl stopped for a reaction from the detectives. She couldn’t read their expressions, so she continued.

“I admit that the relationship between Duncan and I deteriorated after I found out I was pregnant and that he was having the affair with Bridget Walsh. After years of trying to conceive and then finally I got the child we both wanted so much, he told me he was no longer in love with me and he didn’t want anything to do with our baby. I was shattered, I was hurt and I was furious. The only thing I could think of was just leaving Lancaster and getting away from him, Bridget and his parents, who I suspected encouraged the affair because she came from a wealthy family.” Pearl looked down at her swollen stomach, trying to fight back tears.

“So you left Lancaster…how did you end up here?” Elliot asked her.

Pearl turned to face him while wiping away a tear. “I was offered a job in Bangor, which I accepted. I quickly filed for divorce—I asked for nothing, not even child support. Duncan gave me ten thousand dollars, one thousand for each year we were married, and that was it. The divorce was finalized in less than a month and I was out of Lancaster and on my way to Bangor. Then I got into a car accident in Haven. Due to the stress of the accident, I almost lost my baby and I was ordered to stay here and not do anything strenuous until I give birth.” Pearl conveniently left out the part about werewolves, vampires and witches.

“You can’t leave town on doctor’s orders?” Morgan asked, looking for clarification.

Pearl nodded. “You can contact both Doctor Harvey and Doctor Watkins at Saint Mary’s in Lewiston for confirmation. Doctor Harvey was the one who examined me in the emergency room the night I almost lost my baby. Doctor Watkins is my obstetrician. I just saw her today and she wants me to continue to be on bed rest as much as possible.”

“So you see Detectives, there’s no way Pearl could have tried to kill her ex-husband,” Gene interjected. “Not when she’s going through such a risky pregnancy.”

Iva stepped forward. “Pearl was in bed at the time of the attack. I can vouch for her, as I checked in on her about two in the morning and she was sound asleep.”

Detective Morgan smiled at Pearl. “Well, Mrs. Tyler, I think we can definitely rule you out as a suspect, especially since you’re ordered to remain in Haven under medical circumstances, which means you’re not a flight risk. Unfortunately, that leads us back to square one.”

“Hopefully Duncan in time will be able to tell you what happened,” Pearl replied. “We may have had our differences, but I could never do something like that to him. He is the father of my child.”

“Well, goodnight Mrs. Tyler. Thank you for your cooperation, and sorry for the inconvenience,” Morgan told her. He nodded towards Gene, Iva, Sadie and Micah and then he and Detective Elliott headed for the door. Once they were gone, Iva, Sadie and Micah came to Pearl.

“I can’t believe the nerve of Duncan’s parents to even think you could have a murderous bone in your body. They’re delusional!” Iva exclaimed.

Pearl could only smile. “You don’t know Amelia and Sheldon Tyler. Those two could hold a grudge against someone even if they were dead. I shouldn’t have been surprised that they would accuse me of attempted murder.” She stood up, stretched, and yawned. “I don’t know about you, but it’s been a very long day. I think I’m going to retire early.”

Iva reached for a hug. “Get a good night’s rest Pearl, and try to forget this silly nonsense that just happened.”

Pearl hugged her back. “I will.” She looked at the Lawrences and Micah and smiled. “Good night everyone. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Pearl, do you still want to go to Saint Mary’s to see Duncan, even though his parents are there?” Sadie asked hesitantly.

“Of course. Amelia and Sheldon don’t intimidate me anymore, and quite honestly, I really feel they should get a piece of my mind about their stupid accusations,” she answered, irritation creeping into her voice.

“That’s the spirit!” Micah said cheerfully. “I should know, I have very intimidating and controlling parents as well. I’ll have to tell you about it later.”

What would life be without a little dysfunction?” Pearl replied, chuckling.

*************************************

The Nightshade home, the next morning

Quinn was in the living room, sipping a cup of black coffee. He was alone in the house; his brother Jude had left to visit their mother at the hospital in Harmony. The room was silent except for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the left corner of the wall.

He set his mug down on a coaster on the coffee table. He was about to reach for the phone to call Pearl to see how she was doing when the doorbell rang. Quinn wondered who it could be as he and Jude hardly got visitors.

He got off the sofa and walked slowly, almost cautiously to the front door. He stood there for a second before he answered it.

He would come to regret it. Standing in front of him was his nemesis Damien Collins, with an icy glare on his handsome face that would chill the Devil himself.

“What the hell do you want?” Quinn angrily demanded.

“I want you to stay away from Pearl, that’s what,” Damien replied, matching Quinn’s ire.

“Jesus Christ, not this shit again,” Quinn sighed with annoyance.

“Megan told me everything—about how she really died, and how you won’t leave Pearl alone.” Damien’s wide brown eyes narrowed into tiny slits. “I promise you, I’m going to do what it takes to keep her away from you.”

Quinn laughed, almost demonically, which rankled Damien even more. “I’ve got news for you wolfman…Pearl doesn’t want to be kept away from me. She likes being with me. You can ask her yourself. There’s nothing you can do to stop her—or me—from us being together, so drop this silly notion that you’re going to win her heart. I have you beat.”

“You underestimate me,” Damien confidently replied. He reached into the right pocket of his blue jeans and pulled out the velvet box which contained the engagement ring he bought for Pearl. Opening the box with a smirk, he shoved it in Quinn’s face. Quinn tried to hold back his shock as he saw the sparkling diamond. “You can’t be serious,” he could only muster.

Damien was defiant. “I’m deadly serious Quinn. I’m going to ask Pearl to marry me. So if I were you, I would stop this silly notion that you’re going to win her heart.”

*********************************

Harmony Hills Mental Hospital

Jude Nightshade had a few minutes before visiting hours began so he sat in his car in the parking lot designated for families sipping his cup of coffee and listening to the radio. He tapped his free hand on the steering wheel as he hummed along to “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones.

Suddenly, a flash of white began to form next to him in the passenger seat. Jude cried out, startled. But he was quickly transfixed as the white blob slowly merged into the ghost of Megan Manning. “Oh my God,” Jude murmured.

Megan stared at Jude with a determined look on her beautiful face. “Hello,” she said softly.

“I still can’t believe you’re back,” he said, his voice almost a whisper.

“I need to talk to you,” she told him urgently.

“It’s about Quinn, isn’t it,” he guessed.

She nodded. “Quinn needs to stay away from Pearl and I need your help to convince him.”

Jude turned away for a few seconds and then faced her with his own determined look. “No Megan.”

“Why? I would think you of all people would want Quinn to stop this obsession with Pearl,” Megan replied, taken aback.

“I was at first. Now I realize how much he loves her and apparently she’s beginning to respond to him. If this is what it takes to keep him happy and stable, I’m not going to interfere,” he said firmly.

“He doesn’t love her Jude. He just wants to possess her, just like he possessed me!” Megan argued.

Jude sighed. “Look Megan, this isn’t up to you. You’re dead. You’re at peace now. There’s no need for you to try and torment my brother anymore. So go back to your grave. Leave Quinn alone. Let him have the happiness he deserves.”

“I can’t. I won’t. He doesn’t deserve happiness, only endless misery.” She fixed him with a frosty glare.

“Then I guess we have nothing more to say,” Jude dismissively said. He stared straight ahead out the windshield, ignoring her.

Filled with sorrow as the one person she thought she could count on refusing to help her, she faded away, leaving Jude alone to gather his composure before it was time to visit his mother.

******************************

The Nightshade home

Quinn shook his head and laughed sarcastically as he looked at the diamond ring. “And everyone around here calls me the crazy one.”

“I don’t think it’s crazy to protect the one you love from a dangerous individual,” Damien countered, putting the ring back in his pocket.

Quinn’s eyes shot daggers at his rival. “If anyone that Pearl needs protected from, it’s you and your insane idea of marriage.  Do you really think she wants to spend her life—not to mention her daughter’s life—with a werewolf as a husband and a father? I’m as close to human as she ‘s going to get.”

“Oh really? You sure don’t act human,” Damien shot back.

“At least I didn’t try to bash Pearl’s ex-husband’s head in!” Quinn angrily retorted.

Damien was dumbfounded at Quinn’s outburst. “What? What the hell are you talking about?” he said, coming in through the door and slamming it shut.

“Don’t play innocent with me. You know damn well what I’m talking about.” Quinn flared his nostrils at Damien.

“Believe it or not, I don’t.” Damien put his hands on his hips. “What’s all this about Pearl’s ex-husband?”

Quinn sighed, a little overdramatically. “Duncan Tyler was nearly killed last night. The police believe he was beaten with a pipe or some other weapon.”

“And your little mind just happens to think it was me, right?” Damien started to chuckle. “You do have a sense of humor after all.”

“Who else could it be but you? Bashing someone’s brains in like some wild raving animal is definitely right up your alley.” Quinn smirked at him.

“As much as you like to think I’m some drooling Neanderthal, I most definitely did not try to kill Duncan. I was too busy buying Pearl’s ring and thinking about a future with her. No, someone else tried to kill him—and that someone might as well have been you.” Damien stared his rival down.

Now it was Quinn’s turn to chuckle. “I certainly wouldn’t beat someone senseless. Like I told Pearl yesterday, if I would have killed Duncan, I would have drained his blood. I wouldn’t have wasted it on some lousy pipe.”

Damien placed a hand on his forehead and shook it in shame. “Jesus, I can’t believe we’re having this morbid discussion, accusing each other of attempted murder.” He looked back up at Quinn. “I’ve to get out of here. I need to see Pearl.”

“You’re only going to face heartbreak Damien. There’s no way in hell she’ll say yes. Just give up,” Quinn cruelly taunted.

Damien gazed at him with a challenging expression. “Deride me all you like, but I’m never giving up. I will get Pearl away from you, even if it takes the rest of my life.”

******************************

The lobby of Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, later that morning

“Pearl, are you sure you’re going to be okay? Micah and I can stay with you if you like, for moral support,” Sadie said to her friend.

“No, I’ll be okay. I need to confront Amelia and Sheldon alone.” Pearl looked down at her belly, than patted it affectionately. “Well, not really.”

“All right then. I’m going to drive around with Micah and show him around and then we’re going to have lunch at the diner across the street,” Sadie told her. “You can meet us there.”

“I will. Have fun you too,” Pearl replied.

“Good luck,” Micah wished her.

“Thanks.” The two left her alone in the lobby. She took a deep breath and headed over to the patient information desk.

*******************************

Somewhere on Route 26

The tan colored Ford Focus breezed along the highway while “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga boomed out of the radio. Two perfectly manicured hands with a perfect shade of red nail polish carefully painted on the tips gripped the steering wheel. A pretty face with deep-set brown eyes and a full mouth, also painted the same shade of red, framed by long blonde hair, stared out through the windshield with a determined look.

The Ford wasn’t Bridget Walsh’s type of rental car but it would serve its purpose—to get her to Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, where she would meet up with Amelia and Sheldon Tyler. They had asked her to come to the hospital to act as support. It would only be a matter of time before Duncan’s bitchy ex-wife would show up and start running her mouth. She would soon find out how right her prediction would be.

 ****************************

Duncan Tyler’s Room

“I still think asking Bridget to come was a bad idea Amelia,” Sheldon Tyler chided his wife.

“Bridget is exactly what Duncan needs right now,” Amelia countered. “Maybe he’ll wake up and realize that, and hopefully Pearl will be a distant memory.”As if on cue, the door to Duncan’s room opened and Pearl stood there. Amelia and Sheldon turned around and when they saw their ex-daughter-in-law standing before them, they were surprised to say the least.

“My God, Pearl,” Sheldon murmured.

Pearl marched right up to her former in-laws with a look that could crush a steel wall. “How dare you,” she said in an even but icy tone. “How dare you accuse me of trying to murder the father of my child.”

“Pearl, please try to understand—“Sheldon began before Pearl cut him off.

“I understand that you two are completely out of your minds and you haven’t changed one bit. You’re still the same two creatures I left behind in Lancaster.” Pearl looked past them towards Duncan, and her harsh expression softened. “How could you think I could ever hurt him. I loved him. He was my husband. He’s the father of our daughter. We had ten wonderful years together, in spite of your nastiness and manipulations.”

Amelia stepped forward to confront Pearl. “I don’t understand how you can be here. Weren’t you questioned by detectives?”

Pearl snorted. “Oh yes. But thanks to my baby, they realized I couldn’t have possibly tried to kill Duncan. How utterly daft can you be Amelia? Do you honestly believe I would risk the life of my daughter—a child I spent years trying to conceive—to avenge an affair with some little tramp?”

Amelia sniffed haughtily. “I wouldn’t put it past you Pearl. You were never one to be that couth.”

Sheldon stepped next to his wife as if preparing for a rumble. “Amelia, now is not the time for this nonsense. Pearl is here to see Duncan. If the police have cleared her as a suspect than we know she didn’t do it. We’ve got to keep it together, for our son’s sake.”

“You can insult me all you like,” Pearl continued softly but coldly. “But the fact is that I am going to have your son’s baby. A baby that he realized he did want, once he got out of your controlling little thumb. Did I want to reunite with him? No. That part of my life is over. But out of that past life came this little girl.” She patted her swollen stomach for emphasis. “A little girl, that unfortunately, might not get to know her father and has two snobbish old monsters for grandparents that won’t even acknowledge her existence. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going over to see Duncan.” Pearl pushed past Amelia and Sheldon and approached her ex-husband. Tears began to fall like bitter raindrops on her cheeks as she surveyed the clinical collage of tubes, wires and bandages.

“How dare her,” Amelia furiously muttered under her breath as she watched Pearl take Duncan’s hand and squeeze it.

Sheldon put a comforting arm around his wife. “Come on love, let’s step outside and give Pearl some time. She won’t be here for long. She may not even come back after this visit.” He gently directed her to the door and the two stepped out. Once they were in the hall, Amelia broke free from her husband and leaned against the wall, taking a deep breath. Then an evil smile broke out on her lips.

“No, she won’t be back. Not once she finds out Bridget is on her way…”

Coming up:

  • Pearl and Bridget meet face-to-face; Bridget accuses Pearl of ruining her life.
  • Pearl is furious her ex-in-laws told Bridget to come to town and again reams them out; she informs them they will not be allowed to see their granddaughter after she is born.
  • Bridget secretly vows to get revenge on Pearl.
  • Quinn tells Jude Damien is planning to ask Pearl to marry him and Jude tells Quinn he asked Megan to leave him alone.
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