- Pearl began to recover at the hospital and got welcome news that her baby is fine.
- Duncan revealed the entire episode of the night Bridget attacked him.
- Quinn and Damien ran into each other at the hospital and had a brief confrontation over Pearl.
- Damien learned from Pearl that Quinn slept with Bridget.
The Nightshade Home, a little after 4 am
Jude Nightshade was asleep on the couch in the living room. He had waited for Quinn to call him from the emergency room at Saint Mary’s but he never did. Jude figured Quinn was too focused on making sure Pearl Tyler was okay and decided to finally get some rest.
The sound of the doorbell ringing jarred Jude from his slumber. He jumped up and headed to answer the front door but then he stopped dead in his tracks. Who would be coming here so early in the morning? he wondered to himself. Maybe it’s the police, to talk about about what happened to Pearl.
The doorbell chimed again. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” he shouted, a little irritated.
Expecting the police, he unlocked and opened the door—and looked into a pair of cool blue eyes that he immediately recognized. Eyes that had haunted him all of his life, eyes he thought he would never see again.
“Hello Jude,” Christoph Nightshade greeted his son. “It’s been a long time.”
The Lewiston Diner
Quinn Nightshade just finished his hamburger and was sipping on a glass of Coke. He was the only customer inside the diner. It had been a tasty early breakfast. Rare red meat was almost as delicious as human blood…almost.
He looked out the window. The hospital was across the street and it was lit up like a Christmas tree. He was anxious to get back and be with Pearl.
The waitress walked over to his table. She was in her fifties, with short brown hair and a very slim figure. “Can I get you anything else?” she asked Quinn pleasantly.
He shook his head. “Just the check.”
“Coming right up.” She turned and headed towards the cash register.
The door to the diner opened. Damien Collins surveyed the room and saw Quinn sitting in a booth in the back. He instantly rushed to his rival. Quinn noticed him and he knew right away that Pearl had told him about his tryst with Bridget Walsh. He mentally braced himself for yet another verbal spar.
Damien stared him down with a glare that would scare the Devil. “You bastard,” he hissed.
Quinn rolled his eyes. “Don’t you ever get tired of being redundant?”
“It’s your fault that Pearl and her baby nearly got killed tonight! If you hadn’t gotten your rocks off with Bridget she wouldn’t be lying in that hospital bed!” Damien barked. “You claim to love Pearl so much yet you decide to screw around with someone else. You disgust me.”
Quinn turned back towards the window for a few seconds. When he met Damien’s stony gaze, tears were forming in his eyes. “I do love Pearl. She told me that if I really loved her I would find someone else. I didn’t expect it to be so soon and I certainly didn’t expect it to be Bridget, but it happened, and I regretted it. I told her I loved Pearl and didn’t want to continue our affair. I never expected her to become unhinged and go after Pearl.”
He looked down at his empty plate. “I do blame myself. But Pearl isn’t angry with me for what I did. So you can stop acting all high and mighty. I don’t have to listen to all of your self-righteous and sanctimonious bullshit.” He glanced back up at Damien with a forlorn expression on his face.
Damien felt a shred of sympathy for his enemy, but the feeling disappeared as quickly as it appeared. “You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, I’m going back to the hospital to be with Pearl.” He left Quinn alone in the diner again.
The waitress, still at the counter, had witnessed the two in a heated conversation. She decided not to walk back over to Quinn. Whatever happened between the two men, it was none of her business. The meal would be on the house this time.
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Duncan Tyler was in his ex-wife’s room, sitting in a wheelchair and looking forlornly at Pearl, who was sleeping. Her long red hair, which was usually shiny and vibrant, was lifeless and limp. Her normal peaches and cream complexion was pale. She was connected to an oxygen machine mounted on the wall behind her bed.
Duncan placed a tender hand on Pearl’s swollen stomach. “It’s my fault all of this happened. I had no idea Bridget would take our breakup so horribly and she would follow me to Haven and try and hurt you and our child, as well as try and harm me. I really messed things up for us but maybe once the dust settles, we can reconcile our differences and raise our daughter together back in Pennsylvania. Maine has not been kind to us.”
He reluctantly lifted his hand away and a tear ran down his cheek. “I love you Pearl. I know you don’t believe that but I do. Hopefully we’ll see each other again soon.” With a wistful gaze, he wheeled himself around and rolled towards the door. He knew Sarah, his nurse, would be anxiously waiting for him. She had been apprehensive about taking him to see Pearl since his doctor wanted him fully recovered first.
Duncan opened the door as quietly as he could. Sarah was standing right outside. “Good, you’re done. I’m going to take you back to your room before Doctor Warren gives me a pink slip,” she said to him nervously.
“Don’t worry Sarah. If she gives you a hard time I’ll tell her it was my idea and that I loudly insisted,” he reassured her. He looked up at her with appreciation. “You don’t know how much it meant to see Pearl. It may be for the last time.” His blue eyes clouded over.
“Don’t give up hope Duncan. You just need time, that’s all. But more importantly and right now, you need rest.” She smiled and moved behind the wheelchair and began to push him out of the emergency room. “You need to get strong so when the police catch Bridget Walsh, you can look her in the eye and she’ll get the shock of her life.”
“Oh, it would definitely be a pleasure to look her in the eye and let her know that not only did I survive, but Pearl and our baby did too,” Duncan boasted. “Nothing would satisfy me more to see that psychopath get what’s coming to her.”
The woods behind the Collins home
Astrid Collins was taking a stroll through the forest. After hearing the news about Bridget Walsh, she couldn’t sleep and thought a walk in the woods would make her drowsy. Her mother Rhiannon and her father Caleb were afraid for her, believing she might encounter Bridget, but she wasn’t afraid. Bridget couldn’t do any real harm to her unless she had a weapon made of silver or was ready to play firebug again. There were times when it paid to be a werewolf.
The crickets provided an accompanying orchestra as Astrid continued to make her way through the woods. Every now and then a slight breeze would ruffle through the trees. She reached behind her head and pulled up the hood of her red fleece jacket over her hair to ward off the chill.
She was almost at the edge of the woods which led to Haven Lake. Before she got there, she saw something purple and yellow lying on the ground. As she inched closer, a feeling of dread washed over her like a tidal wave. “Oh no…that can’t be a body, can it?” she wondered out loud with dread.
She knelt down slowly and saw the strands of blonde hair. She apprehensively turned the body over. The first thing she noticed were two large puncture wounds on the right side of the neck.
“Well, it looks like I’ve found Bridget Walsh. But who found her first?” She readily thought it was Quinn Nightshade. He could never resist a pretty face…or the warm blood of that pretty face. She had no idea however, that Bridget’s real killer, another—and deadlier—Nightshade was just yards away…
The Nightshade home
“Oh my God,” Jude murmured. “This can’t be happening.” He began to tremble violently. His father, the man that was responsible for ruining his family’s life, was on his doorstep. It was just a few days ago that he convinced his mother that Christoph wouldn’t set foot in Haven…and now here he was.
“Jude,” Christoph said softly. “Look at you. You’ve grown into such a handsome man. I’ve missed you so much.”
“No,” Jude said, gritting his teeth. He shut his eyes and clutched the sides of head. “You’re not really here. “This is just a horrible nightmare. I’m going to wake up soon and when I do, I will be on the couch alone.”
“I am really here. I’m back and I’m making up for lost time. We’ve been apart for too long but that stops tonight.” Christoph moved closer to his son. “I’ve come such a long way to find you and Quinn. Nothing or no one is going to keep me from you.”
Jude’s eyes snapped open and he glared long and hard at his father. “I’m going to keep you from myself and Quinn. Do you really expect me to believe I’m going to let you back into my life after the horrible things you’ve done? You destroyed my mother’s life and you shattered her mind, causing to forget her children for years! You denied her the normal life she deserved! You murdered her family who were only trying to protect us! I will never forget all you’ve done and if you come one step closer, I will kill you.”
Christoph smiled. “You won’t kill me. You’re not violent. You choose not to be.”
“You underestimate me.” Jude continued to stare down his father. “While it’s true I keep my vampire side dormant I can bring it out at any time—and now is a good time as any, especially when it involves you. So I’m warning you…leave my property and don’t ever come back, or you will die.”
Christoph didn’t believe his son’s threats. “I’m not leaving. I’ve waited so long to find you and Quinn and the three of us are going to be a family again. A family of vampires who will rule the night!”
“Never!” Jude screamed. “I will never allow that to happen!” He lashed out with his right hand and clawed the side of Christoph’s face. The older Nightshade winced at the pain and whipped his head to the side. Seconds later, he turned back to face his son. There were deep gouge marks on his cheek and blood was oozing out of them. Jude became nauseated at the gruesome site, ashamed at what he had done.
“Well, well, I did underestimate you Jude. “Now that you’ve brought out your vampire half, there’s no turning back. Join me son and become the Nightshade you were destined to be.” Christoph held out his hand towards him.
Jude shook his head vehemently. “No! I will never become like you. Never!” He whirled around and ran back inside the house, through the kitchen and out the back door. He dashed into the dark woods, running so fast as if his life depended on it.
Christoph continued to stand in the doorway. He casually reached up and touched his cheek. The wounds had healed. He smiled evilly and walked inside the house. He glanced around and smoothly eased himself into a chair. “It feels good to be home.”
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Damien was back inside the emergency room and on his way to continue his visit with Pearl. His brisk pace was slowed down when he saw Duncan Tyler, sitting in a wheelchair with a brown-haired heavyset nurse pushing him down the hall towards the elevators and he was taken aback, to say the least. The last time he heard, Duncan had been hit over the head and was unconscious.
Duncan locked eyes with Damien. “Hello,” Duncan greeted him smoothly. There was no trace of jealousy or negativity in his voice that Damien could hear.
“Hello Duncan. I have to say, I can’t believe you’re up and about so quickly after what happened to you,” Damien replied with surprise.
Duncan let out a contrite chuckle. What can I say, it’s a miracle.”
“Duncan, I’ll be over at the nurses’ station so you two can talk,” Sarah said. “But make it quick.”
“Okay,” Duncan told her.
Damien leaned against the wall. “Do you know who attacked you?” he asked Duncan, lowering his voice.
“I sure do. It was Bridget Walsh. And I hope to God they catch that lunatic soon.”
Damien just about dropped to the floor upon hearing Bridget’s name. Duncan noticed his reaction. “I’m guessing you know she tried to kill Pearl and our baby as well.”
Damien nodded soberly. “She’s definitely filled with a lot of hate towards you and Pearl.”
“Well, it’s my fault all of this happened. I gave into that psycho’s charms and had an affair with her but ended the relationship when I realized how stupid I was to desert Pearl and our baby. I knew Bridget was hurt and upset but I never in a million years thought she would resort to attempted murder as a means of revenge.” Duncan glanced down at the floor. “People can do horrible things when it comes to love.”
“I take it you talked to Pearl just earlier?” Damien asked, a little anxiously.
“I talked to her but she was asleep. I think that may have been a good thing because I’m probably the last person she wanted to see,” Duncan sadly responded.
“Well I’m going to go in now to be with her,” Damien said.
“Good. She needs people that care about her right now. Lord knows I haven’t done a wonderful job of providing that care.” Duncan looked at Damien with sorrow, but then a wan smile spread across his face. “I should stop feeling sorry for myself. I created this mess. But you can’t change the past. You can only live in the present.”
“At least you’re owning up to what you’ve done,” Damien told him. Unlike some people, he thought to himself bitterly.
Just then, Sarah appeared. “Duncan, it’s time for you to get back to your room. You need to get some rest.” She gazed at him like a mother scolding her unruly child.
“I’m all yours,” Duncan said cheerfully. He looked back at Damien. “Take care of Pearl. I have some recovering to do.”
“You know I will,” Damien answered him. He watched Sarah push Damien into the waiting elevator and he quickly headed for Pearl’s room and opened the door. She was beginning to stir from her nap. He walked over to her and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Hi Red. Did you get a good rest?”
Pearl rubbed her eyes like a child and sat up. “Hi Damien.” She adjusted the oxygen tube that was hooked into her nostrils. “I did get a good rest despite this bed being so bloody uncomfortable.” She squinted her eyes and looked around the room. “Where’s Quinn?”
Damien’s heart sank to the bottom of his stomach when he heard his rival’s name. “Quinn isn’t here and hopefully he’s on his way home,” he pouted.
Pearl stared at him disapprovingly. “I’m tired of this childish nonsense. Quinn has every right to be here as you do and I want him to be here. “
Quinn sat on a bench across from the hospital attempting to compose his thoughts. His confrontation with Damien had seriously stressed him out. Even the waitress at the diner noticed the tension because she told him his bill was on the house when he went to pay the check.
He had tried to call Jude several times but he wasn’t answering his cell phone and decided his younger brother had fallen asleep. He needed sleep as well but he wanted so much to go back and be with Pearl. However, he knew Damien was with her and she didn’t need any more stress either if the two of them ended up fighting yet again. He would go home and come back to visit her later in the morning.
He stood up, yawning and stretching his arms towards the sky, which was beginning to lighten as dawn approached. When he was finished he started to walk to the hospital’s emergency room parking lot where his Corvette was parked. Before he could reach his vehicle, a homeless man approached him. “Could you spare a few dollars for some breakfast?” he begged.
Quinn was tempted to tell him off but decided not to. He smiled at the beggar. “I have a better idea. How about I buy you breakfast at the diner instead?
“Gee thanks a lot. That’s very nice of you,” the beggar happily said.
The two men began to walk towards the diner, but Quinn had a different kind of breakfast on his mind…for himself.
Coming up next:
- Quinn returns home and is shocked to find his father there.
- Quinn and Christoph have an emotional reunion ; he tells his father about Pearl and his rivalry with Damien.
- Christoph vows to help Quinn win Pearl and says he wants to meet her.
- Damien tries to convince Pearl that Quinn is bad news but she doesn’t want to hear his argument.