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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 18th, 2004, 12:13 pm #1

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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 9:22 pm #2

Jan's Fics

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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 9:23 pm #3

Full Circle

A Shawn and Belle short story. Rated R

Full Circle


Shawn was now headed back to Salem on the Fancy Face after spending most of the day getting the Horton Cabin ready for tonight. He had cleaned it from top to bottom, put candles out in the most strategic locations and dinner was ready to be warmed up as soon as they got back. (thanks to his Aunt Maggie). Shawn smiled as he realized that he was sailing to his future. His mind began to wander back to the last few months and all that had happened.

FLASHBACK

Shawn remembered the day, May 7th to be exact that he and Belle had exchanged purity rings. It had brought them closer and he had been sure that as he slipped the ring on her finger he would one day replace it with a wedding ring. It was shortly after this exchange that everything had begun to unravel.

Belle had won the date on Love is Blind and he had been there for the final taping. As the mystery ‘hunk’ had kissed her Shawn had lost control and attacked him. No one was more surprised than he was when it turned out to be Philip. It was at that moment that Shawn realized that there was something wrong – the Philip he had known would never have kissed his best friends girlfriend, at least not in the way that Philip had kissed Belle.

After that night nothing was the same.

While his job with Mickey had taken an uphill turn with the Mayor’s arrest (thanks to his throwing arm) his relationship with Belle was becoming somewhat estranged (for want of a better word). Belle was becoming pre-occupied with what Philip was up to and Shawn had sensed she was keeping something from him. Over the next few weeks both he and Belle spent time with Philip trying to find out what was going on. Shawn was also sensing an uncertainty within Belle. He had been clueless in the past but his love for her had given him a sixth sense as far as her feelings were concerned. They had sat down one evening to discuss their relationship and Belle had admitted to him that she was conflicted about her feelings for Philip. Shawn loved her and knew that in order for them to truly be one he had to give her the space she needed in order for her to resolve her feelings. He vowed that he would be there for her and would continue to help her find out what was going on with Philip but he knew that she had to have time to sort everything out.

Over the next month they had followed Philip to a warehouse, watched him meet up with an array of people that Shawn thought looked a little on the seedy side. It was also about this time that Philip had introduced them to Maya. She was an antiques dealer. A beautiful dark-haired woman that from the first time they had met had tried everything she could to seduce him. Shawn had put her off and stayed faithful to Belle in heart, mind, body and soul. She was his one true love and nothing would ever change that. On the other hand he had noticed that Philip had begun paying more attention to Belle and she seemed to be enjoying it. Shawn knew that Belle loved him but she was caught up in the intrigue that was ‘Philip.’

It was the night of August 9th that everything had finally come to a turning point. Belle, Philip, Maya and Shawn were to meet at the Blue Note for an evening of dancing. Shawn and Maya had both shown up (not together) and had waited for what seemed like hours with no sign of Belle or Philip. Shawn was becoming more concerned as he knew that Belle would have called him if anything was wrong. Maya had kept pressuring him to forget about her, telling him that he was better off without Belle, that Philip loved her and she was sure that Belle loved Philip. Shawn just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Maya had finally had enough and told Shawn in no uncertain terms to forget about Belle tonight that she could take his mind off of her just given the chance. Shawn had looked at her and let her know in no that Belle was the only woman he wanted and needed and the only woman he would ever love. Maya had just laughed and told him that after tonight Belle would no longer be his. He had demanded that she explain herself and she had tried to get out of it but finally broke down and explained everything. It turned out that earlier in the day Philip had told Belle that he loved her, Belle was shocked when he had admitted it to her and told Philip that even though she had been unsure of her feelings for Philip that she loved Shawn and always would. She loved Philip as a friend and didn’t want to lead him on any more than she had already. It was then that Philip had decided that tonight he would make sure that Shawn was out of the picture and that Belle would belong to him in every way that counted. Shawn couldn’t believe what he was hearing…how did Maya know all this?? When he asked her again she had finally admitted to him that she had been working with Philip to break them up…that she was also working with Philip on the smuggling case…she had been undercover and was working from within the smuggling ring itself.

She explained to Shawn that Philip had set up a meeting at the warehouse tonight with one of major figures in the case and that he was taking Belle with him. After the meeting Philip had explained to her that Belle would be his. Shawn was gone before she had finished speaking and was headed straight for the warehouse.

When he arrived at the warehouse he spotted Belle and Philip making their way in. He also noticed two men in the shadows with guns trained on them. Shawn made his way towards a window to try and see what was happening inside, it was then that he realized that one of the men was following them and had raised the gun looking like he was getting ready to fire. Without thinking Shawn yelled for Belle to duck and jumped through the window in an attempt to get Belle out of the way. Two shots rang out and the last thing Shawn saw before passing out was Belle falling to the ground.

When he woke he found himself in a dimly lit room. He had no idea where he was or if Belle was OK. It was then he realized the pain in his arm and the bandage that surrounded his bicep. He heard voices outside the door and tried to listen and hear what they were saying. He recognized one of them, but it couldn’t have been him. He was in prison for the murder of Colin Murphy. As the voices came closer Shawn knew that it was the last person he had expected…Larry Welch.

Shawn spent the next few days being held captive in that room and then without warning the door to his ‘cell’ opened and there was his mother…followed by his father.

Shawn had spent the next few days in the hospital recovering from the gunshot wound that had become infected. His parents filled him in on all the details. It turned out that Philip had been working with the ISA and after finding out that Victor was in fact in charge of the smuggling ring had turned a blind eye to the whole thing. Maya had been undercover working for an antiques dealer that was shipping stolen property to Salem and had been ‘recruited’ by Philip to help break up Shawn and Belle as well as to try and keep the authorities away from his father. Larry Welch worked for Victor and Tony playing them against each other. It was Tony that Philip was trying to set up to take the fall and it was Tony’s men who had tried to kill both Philip and Belle that night at the warehouse. Larry had intervened and taken Shawn hostage in an attempt to get revenge on both Victor and Bo. Belle had been shot that night but it proved to be nothing serious and she was fine. Shawn was still surprised that she hadn’t come to the hospital to see him, could he have been wrong all this time and she didn’t love him.

It was only after he had been released that he had found out from his grandmother that Belle had been at the hospital every day and every night. Sitting outside his room, making sure that he was doing fine and that he had everything he needed. Alice told him that she had talked to Belle every day and that Belle blamed herself for what had happened to him and she was sure that Shawn would never forgive her. She had also explained to Shawn that Belle loved him and that it was time for him to go to her and make things right.

END OF FLASHBACK

Shawn pulled the Fancy Face into the slip and there she was….she looked beautiful standing on the pier with the sun glistening around her….like an angel…an angel waiting for him. He knew in his heart that he wanted her in his life always. For now and forever.


Chapter 2

Belle had made her way to the pier to wait for Shawn. He had called her last night asking her to meet him here at 5:00. She was early. She couldn’t wait to see him, to talk to him, to hold him, to kiss him. But would he still want her after everything that had happened. It was her fault that he had been shot…she had pushed him away because she wasn’t sure what she had wanted but she now knew without a doubt that the one thing she wanted more than anything was Shawn. As she looked around the pier her memories started to go back to that night…..

FLASHBACK

It was May 7th…Belle had wanted to meet Shawn at the pier. She had something for him…It was on that day that they had exchanged purity rings. Belle had been so sure that she had wanted to make love with Shawn and she did but she wasn’t ready. They had talked about it and they had agreed that they would wait until they were married. Shawn wasn’t so sure but Belle knew that he loved her and that he wanted what she wanted. When Shawn had slipped the ring on her finger and said that one day he hoped to replace it with a wedding ring her heart had stopped beating. It was the one thing she wanted more than anything else in the world to be……Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady.

What had happened…what was it that changed everything? Why had she ever agreed to go on Love is Blind? The night of the final taping is when things started to change…when the mystery ‘hunk’ kissed her she was a little shaken. It somehow felt all too familiar. Shawn had attacked him and she hadn’t really been surprised…but she was when she found out that ‘he’ was Philip. Why was he back? What did he want? And why had he kissed her like that? She couldn’t answer these questions but she would. It was a couple of days later that she had followed him to a warehouse and in order to put off the guard finding out the real reason they were there he had pulled her into a kiss…a kiss that made her forget Shawn for a moment…it wasn’t until Philip started to explain to the guard why they were there and he mentioned her boyfriend that Shawn came to her mind. It wasn’t that the kiss was so great because it really wasn’t. It was because he had shocked her with it at least that’s what Belle tried to make herself believe. She hadn’t told Shawn about it because she really wasn’t sure what it meant and she knew how upset he would be.

Over the next little while Shawn and her had begun to follow Philip so find out exactly what he was up to. During that time she had started to have feelings for him…but were they the feelings of a ‘friend’ or something else. Shawn too had noticed her distraction and they had sat down one night to talk about everything. She had told him that she was confused, wasn’t sure exactly what she was feeling and Shawn had told her that maybe she needed time…time to sort through her feelings for Philip and for him. She was sure she couldn’t love him any more than she did at that moment but if she loved him then why was she feeling something for Philip. They had continued to work on finding out what Philip was going on with Philip when Maya had showed up. Maya was beautiful and she was after Shawn. Belle could see that but she also noticed that Shawn hadn’t been paying a lot of attention to it. Philip on the other hand was doing everything he could to show Belle just how much he cared for her and Belle had enjoyed every minute of it. He had taken her to romantic restaurants for dinner…they had flown on the Titan jet to New York to see a Broadway show. She wondered if that’s what it was…that Philip’s lifestyle and hers were more compatible than that she shared with Shawn. She didn’t really know but she did know that she was enjoying the attention that Philip had shown her.

It was August 9th when everything had finally started to make sense to her. They were supposed to meet with Shawn and Maya at The Blue Note for a night of dancing. Earlier in the day Philip had shown up at the penthouse and told Belle that he loved her. That he wanted to be with her and only her. He had taken off the purity ring that Shawn had so lovingly placed on her finger and told her that after tonight she wouldn’t be needing it anymore. He told her that Shawn was not the man for her…he couldn’t offer her the things she needed or wanted. It was then that she realized she didn’t want what Philip was offering…she didn’t care about flying to New York for shows or going to romantic and expensive restaurants for dinner…she cared about Shawn. She missed him more than she had thought possible and right now she only wanted to be with him. She tried to tell Philip that but he wouldn’t listen.

He had taken her to the warehouse with him where he had planned on meeting up with someone…as they walked in Belle had felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. It was then that she heard a voice yelling her name and telling her to duck…as she went down she saw Shawn jumping through the window and running towards her and then everything had gone black.

It wasn’t long afterwards that she had woken up in a hospital room unaware of exactly what was going on. Bo and Hope had arrived and talked to her…apparently Shawn had been taken hostage and they were sure that it was Larry Welch who had him. Belle couldn’t believe that it was Larry after all wasn’t he supposed to be in jail…had he escaped again. According to Bo he had…Bo also told her that they had talked to Maya and found out that she had been ‘recruited’ by Philip to try to help break her and Shawn up…that she was also being used to take suspicion off of Victor as it appeared that Victor was behind the smuggling ring. Philip had been taken into custody as had Maya. Victor had disappeared and Tony DiMera who was also a major player in all of this had also disappeared. Bo and Hope were on there way to trying to find Shawn and take Larry into custody, again. Belle tried to listen to what they were telling her but she kept coming back to the once sentence that wouldn’t let her brain comprehend anything else…Shawn had been taken hostage…Shawn had been taken hostage. It was her fault…if she had only trusted her feelings for him none of this would have happened. If she hadn’t let Philip think he had a chance with her Shawn wouldn’t be missing.

A few days later she got word from Hope that they had found Shawn and he was being taken to Salem University Hospital…he was alive…he had been shot but the doctors believed that he would be fine. Belle had gone to the hospital but refused to go in and see him. Hope had tried to convince her that Shawn would not blame her for what had happened but it didn’t do any good. She had stayed there outside his room making sure that he had everything he needed…watching him sleep when she was sure he wouldn’t see her. She had gone to the Chapel and prayed for him to recover and prayed for him to forgive her. Alice had talked to her on more than one occasion trying to get her to go in but she still refused.

END OF FLASHBACK

It wasn’t until Shawn’s phone call last night asking her to meet him at the pier that she had any hope that he would forgive her and now here he was pulling the Fancy Face into the slip in front of her and walking towards her. Her eyes took in all his features…the 5 o’clock shadow that she loved so much…his eyes that darkened when he told her he loved her…the earring in his ear that glistened in the sun…the way his jeans moulded on his hips…the way his shirt stretched across his chest. He was everything to her and she had to convince him of that…convince him that she loved him and only him if only he could or would forgiver her.

Chapter 3

As Shawn walked towards her his knees began to weaken. He smiled at himself knowing that she was the only one who could affect him this way. “Belle,” he said softly as he held his arms out. She didn’t hesitate to go into his arms, this was where she belonged, where she wanted to be for the rest of her life. “Are you ready?” Shawn asked as he held her tightly never wanting to let her go.

Belle pulled back and looked into he darkened eyes. “I’m ready for whatever you have planned but don’t you think….” Shawn stopped her with his finger on her lips. “We’ll talk when we get there, right now all I want to do is hold you.”

Shawn took her hand and led her onto the boat and when she looked at him with her eyebrows raised he smiled. “Trust me,” was all that was said.

They set sail for Smith Island and the Horton Cabin. No words were spoken between them during the short trip. The feel of his arms wrapped around her were all that was needed. There would be time to talk and discuss what had happened later, all they needed right now was the feel of each other.

Belle knew by the way Shawn was holding her and looking at her that all had been forgiven if indeed there had been anything to forgive.

When they arrived at their destination Shawn moored the Fancy Face and then taking her hand gently escorted her up towards the cabin. When the reached the front door he turned to her slowly and put a gentle kiss on her lips. “Belle, just give me one minute and then we’ll go in.” She smiled up at him and let go of his hand.

When he returned he guided her into the cabin. Belle was taken away by the beauty that surrounded her. The cabin was brightened only by the candles that were spread throughout. There were flowers on the tables and soft music playing in the background. She looked at Shawn and smiled. “So are you going to tell me what’s going on here or do I have to take a guess.”

Shawn gave her one of his famous Brady smirks. “I think you can figure it out for yourself, Isabella,” his voice was low and husky as he pressed his lips onto her forehead. Taking her hand he lead her to the sofa. “Can I get you anything to drink before I start warming up dinner?”

“No, I’m fine for now.” Belle smiled up at him as he headed towards the kitchen area.

After making sure dinner was being warmed up Shawn headed toward the fireplace to get it going. It wasn’t cold out but there was something romantic about a fire and tonight was all about romance. He turned to look at Belle and his heart melted. She was more beautiful than the last time he had seen her which was just over three weeks ago. He walked over to the sofa and sat down beside her taking her hand in his.

“Belle, do you want to talk before dinner or after.”

She looked at him and what she saw sent shivers down her spine. His eyes were even darker than they had been earlier and the gold flecks sparkled in the firelight. “I think it would be best if I said what I had to say now and then we can enjoy dinner without anything between us.”

“That sounds fine, why don’t you start Isabella.”

“Shawn, I love you more than I imagined possible. What I was feeling for Philip was nothing more than friendship. We had been through so much since he left to join the Marines and I lost the one person besides you that knew me best. Well except for Mimi but she was having her own problems. When we found out it was him that I had won a date with I was excited. It was a friend, someone I could trust, someone you could trust. I knew Philip was keeping something from us and I wanted to find out what it was. The first time I followed him we were almost caught and he pulled me into a kiss, a kiss that at the time made me forget you for a second. It wasn’t that the kiss was that great, it was because I was surprised by it and I’ve never really kissed anyone but you so it was different, do you understand?” Belle looked at Shawn and saw his eyes sparkling and a smile on his face, she couldn’t believe it, here she was so nervous about telling him all this and he was taking it so calmly. “Shawn, are you listening to what I’m saying? Doesn’t this bother you at all?”

Shawn shook his head and looked at her blue eyes, they had tears in them and his heart broke. He really didn’t need or want her to tell him all this because it didn’t really matter to him, but it did to Belle and he had to pay attention to what she was saying, for her sake. “Yes Belle, I’m listening to every word. And to be honest with you, no it doesn’t bother me, you’re here with me now and that is all that matters. I know you need to tell me this and that’s fine but know that no matter what you say, I love you and that is never going to change.”

Belle let out a breath that she hadn’t realized she was holding and gave him a quick kiss on his forehead. “Thank you.”

“For what?” he asked not sure what had just happened.

“For letting me do this my way. For showing me that you love me. For forgiving me. But most importantly for being there for me even when I thought I didn’t need you to be. Now let me get this finished so we can eat dinner and then……..” she gave him a quick grin and wink and continued on. “Anyway, being around Philip made me think that maybe you and I were from two different worlds, that maybe it was possible that we didn’t belong together. The day of the shooting when Philip told me he loved me, I realized that I did love him, as a friend and only a friend. I once told you that you had my heart now and always and I now know that it’s true. I love you Shawn Brady, you and only you. I always have and I always will. Philip also said something about Maya that day and even though I had been jealous of her the whole time she had been around I trusted you. I remember saying that if there was no trust there was nothing. I realized after seeing how you reacted around her that the trust was back. Maybe it never really left. And last, I’m sorry Shawn. Sorry for causing you to be shot. Sorry for not having the strength to come to you in the hospital. Sorry for all the pain I caused you over the last few months. But most of all I’m sorry for not trusting you and our love”

“Are you finished?” Shawn questioned. When Belle nodded he continued. “First there is nothing to be sorry for. You needed the time to evaluate your feelings after all I had put you through. I always knew you loved me and I knew that you needed the space to reaffirm your love. My heart has always been yours Belle, even when I was acting like a ‘jerk’ my heart belonged to you. And it wasn’t you that caused me to get shot, it was circumstance. As for not seeing me in the hospital that may be a little more difficult to forgive.” He gave her a sly wink that said he was up to something and continued on. “But I’m sure we can work on that tonight, after dinner. Now let’s eat, I’m starving.”

They ate dinner in silence both just enjoying each other’s company. When they had finished Shawn took Belle’s hand and led her back to the sofa.

“Time for dessert,” he smiled as he went back into the kitchen.

“I’m not sure that I can eat another bite,” Belle laughed. “That was delicious, I’ll have to remember to thank Maggie.”

Shawn brought out a plate and placed it in front of Belle. She took one look and raised an eyebrow. “What is this?” she questioned.

“Chocolate covered strawberries, what exactly did you think it was?” he laughed.

“I’m just wondering why you thought to have this specific dessert.”

“Well you see, tonight is a new beginning. The last time you had this was at the unveiling of the mystery ‘hunk’. So I felt that this was coming full circle. Do you want to share?” Shawn winked at her.

“Of course, did you even have to ask?” Belle picked up a strawberry and opened her lips to take a bite, looking over at Shawn as she did so her heart stopped. His eyes were full of so much love and desire that it was impossible for her to think of anything else. Slowly she moved her hand towards his lips. His mouth opened slowly and the tip of his tongue came out to take a small lick of the chocolate. He took a bite of the strawberry and then slowly moved his tongue over his lips to make sure that there was nothing that he had missed. Belle watched the slow journey of his tongue and felt herself go weak. “That’s enough dessert Shawn, there are other things I’d rather be doing.” She started towards him but Shawn put his arms out to stop her.

“First things first, Isabella,” he said while standing and moving towards the fireplace. He pulled something out of pocket and then turned towards Belle. She let out a slight gasp when she saw what was in his hand, it glistened in the firelight. It couldn’t be she thought, it couldn’t be what she had wished for all her life.

Shawn made his way back to her and sat beside her. He looked into those blue eyes that seemed to mesmerize him and gave her that sexy smirk that he knew would turn her weak in the knees.

“Isabella,” Shawn started with a soft voice. “I have loved you my whole life it seems. I know that it took me a long time to admit my feelings for you but once I did I knew that there would be no one else that I would love. I have done some stupid things during our time together and you have always forgiven me and taken me back into your life. I have almost lost you and I vowed to myself that I would never loose you again.” Belle started to say something but Shawn quickly put his fingers to her lips. “Belle let me finish. I’ve planned this for awhile now and I want you to hear everything.” Belle kissed the tips of his finger and nodded. “I knew that I wanted to bring you to the Horton Cabin to do this. You see Belle your life has come ‘full circle’. You were born in this Cabin and at the time you were thought to be Isabella Brady. As it turned out you weren’t a Brady and for that I am eternally grateful. But I knew that it was here that I wanted to hear you say yes to becoming a Brady once more. The reason I haven’t been in touch with you these last few weeks is because it took that long for what I’m about to give you to be made.”

Belle watched as Shawn got down on one knee in front of her. She had waited her whole life or so it seemed for this exact moment and she felt herself holding her breath that it appeared to finally be here.

Shawn took her hand and noticed for the first time that the purity ring she had so proudly worn was missing. He looked at her with a questioning eye and she quickly explained. “Shawn, Philip took the ring off on that day and threw it away. Nothing happened but I couldn’t find it, I looked everywhere for it. I had wanted to get another one to replace it but the only person I wanted to put it on my finger was you and I thought I may have lost you.”

Shawn smiled as he looked into her crystal blue eyes that were beginning to fill with tears. “Don’t worry Belle. It wouldn’t have stayed on much longer. I planned on exchanging it.” He then looked up at Belle and continued. “Isabella, this ring that I’m holding is one that is made with the diamonds that I received on my 16th birthday from my parents. The one that was to be given to my soulmate. Belle that is you. You are the only woman I love, the only woman I will ever love. I love you with every beat of my heart, every breath that I take. Isabella, would you marry me?”

The tears in Belle’s eyes flowed freely. She looked down at the man of her dreams, the man she knew she would love for eternity. She couldn’t speak. All she could do was stare at the ring that Shawn held in his hand. The ring that she longed for him to put on her finger. It was then that she realized she hadn’t answered him yet.

Shawn held his breath for what seemed like forever. Why hadn’t she answered him? Was it that she didn’t want to marry him? That she didn’t love him as he thought she did. When he looked up into her eyes, he realized that wasn’t the case. Her eyes were filled with love and dark with passion.

“Yes, Shawn, I will marry you.” Belle held out her hand as Shawn slowly put the ring on her finger. “I love you Shawn, I love you body, mind and soul. I will love no other in my lifetime.” With that she pulled Shawn up to sit beside her on the sofa and placed her lips on his. The kiss started slowly but soon became more passionate as Belle ran her tongue along Shawn’s lips. He opened his mouth to accept her tongue and the passion continued to build.

Belle’s hands soon began to roam over his back as Shawn slowly moved her down on the sofa. She grabbed the hem of his shirt and began to pull it over his head. As Shawn lifted up to finish taking off the shirt he searched Belle’s eyes, the blue had taken on a new color, one that Shawn had never seen before. He laid back down and began nibbling on her ear and neck. Belle let out a tiny moan as she arched her hips into him. Her nipples hardened as his lips moved down to her shoulder. His hand came up to cup her breast and he rubbed the hardened nipple with the palm..

“Belle, are you sure? Are you sure you want to continue?” Shawn’s breath was ragged as he looked at her.

“I want this Shawn. I want to make love with you. Right here and right now.” Belle began to unbutton her shirt as Shawn took her hands. “Let me,” as he began to slowly undo one button at a time. He gently pushed the shirt away from her shoulders and body.

Shawn just stared, he had never seen anything so perfect in his life. “What’s the matter Brady, cat got your tongue?” Belle grinned at the look on Shawn’s face.

“It’s just, Belle you are so beautiful.”

“Shawn, if I’m not mistaken you have seen me in less than this before.”

“I know Belle, but you weren’t my fiancée then. Now I know that you are all mine and will be forever.” With that his lips came down onto Belle’s. As the passion increased and Shawn’s hands began to roam over Belle’s breasts she could feel how much he wanted her. She moved her hands and began to undo the button on his pants but a hand stopped her.

His voice was soft and labored as he began to speak. “Isabella there is not a doubt in my mind that I want to make love with you right here and now. I want you more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. But I’m going to stop us. If there is one thing I can give you that would truly show how much I love you it is this. You wanted to wait until our wedding night to make love and even though I want to be with you right now and believe me I want nothing more, I’m going to give you that. Tonight is for us to hold, to feel, to remember our love for each other . Tonight is for sharing our love with each other emotionally not physically.”

Belle had tears in her eyes as she looked at the man she loved. Her voice came in a whisper as she spoke. “Shawn I have never loved you more than I love you at this moment. But do you realize how difficult it is going to be laying beside you in that bed, holding you close to me all night without being with you in the truest sense of the word.”

“Oh believe me I know. But what makes you think we are spending the night. I have every intention of taking you back to Salem.” Shawn was confused. He hadn’t really thought about spending the night here with her. Well he had, but thought it safer that he take her home.

“No Shawn, tonight is for us. As you said tonight is for holding and touching and kissing and feeling our love for each other. But after saying that I will also tell you that this wedding will be taking place very quickly. Because I’m not sure that I want to wait to truly show you how much I love you.”

“Trust me Belle. This wedding will happen soon in fact I guarantee it.” Shawn said quickly lifting her in his arms and carrying her to the bed.

THE END
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:09 pm #4

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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:14 pm #5

Then It Happened

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.
Last edited by Mrs.B. on October 28th, 2004, 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:15 pm #6

Chapters 1 - 5

Chapter 1

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right? When the planets seem aligned against you and you feel like starting the day all over? Shawn Brady was having one of those days. His baby brother, whom he loved dearly, was teething and had kept him up all night. His Mom was on his case about what he was going to do with his life, and his Dad was pressuring him to follow in his footsteps and become a cop. All his friends were registering at Salem University this week and that’s really where he wanted to be.

On top of everything, his parents’ best friends, John & Marlena Black, were hoping that he would take their daughter Belle under his wing. Belle had been away at school and was just now returning to Salem to attend University. Although they were the same age, Shawn remembered Belle as being the equivalent of a pesky little sister, always tagging along after him. The last time he had seen her, she had been eleven years old. He could recall the number of times he would get into trouble for leading Belle astray, into boy’s adventures that would have been more fun without her. As far as he was concerned there was no way that Belle had changed, but he was only going to get more grief if he refused, so here he was getting ready to compound an already lousy day, hop on his bike, and go over to the penthouse to see her.

Boy was he in for the surprise of his life.

Belle quietly closed her bedroom door and looked back in frustration. Her frequent trips home during holidays and ‘whatnot’ had not convinced her parents that she was all grown up. Her room was still decorated like a child’s and her parents still felt the need to lecture her about boys, school, getting her own digs, and just about everything. She knew her parents only wanted what was best for her, but really...enough already. She was eighteen years old and quite able to make her own decisions, thank you very much!

Besides, she had bigger problems to deal with. And no, she wasn’t losing her mind. But if she wasn’t going crazy, and she knew she was definitely not paranoid, then how to explain the unexplainable? How to explain her feelings of being followed all through Europe? How to explain her uneasy feelings of being watched? How to explain her dorm room being ransacked just before she left? Her family photo album being the only thing taken? Her luggage disappearing only to reappear a short time later? Shaking her head she decided to leave her problems behind for a while. After all, she had enough stress just thinking about seeing Shawn again.

Stepping into the bathroom for a last look in the mirror, Belle smiled to herself and gave herself a pep talk. She would show them all. With long blond hair flowing to her waist, a minimum amount of makeup to enhance her already lovely features, and clothes to die for, Belle took a deep breath, ready to face the day.

Who was she fooling, her subconscious argued, Shawn was on his way over. No amount of self-confidence was going to calm her nerves. They were already stressed to the limit. He probably hated her anyway. No way would he ever forgive her tagging along after him and his friends all those years ago. No way would he ever know about the secret crush she had once had on him. He had gone out of his way not be around whenever she visited and now she was being forced on him once again. Well, enough was enough, she thought stubbornly. I’ll just ditch him ASAP and let him explain it to the parents. She was way, way over that obnoxious jerk…better fish to fry, and all that.

Boy was she in for a surprise.

Coming down the stairs, she quietly let herself out of the penthouse and made her escape. Just as she got outside, she noticed a guy, a very cute guy, parking his bike and talking into the cell phone glued to his ear. Shawn.

Shawn: “I’m telling you Phil, I’m on babysitting duty for my parents. Can my day get any worse?” He groaned. Listening to what Phil said made him start laughing.

“No way can I ditch her. I’ll be in even worse with my Mom and Dad. She’s probably going to follow me around like a puppy dog all day anyway.”

Just then Shawn jumped as someone tapped him on his shoulder. He turned to see a beautiful young woman, who looked vaguely familiar, glaring at him.

Belle: “Hello Shawn. This “puppy dog” is reporting for duty”, her voice heavy with sarcasm.

Shawn: “Belle?” “You’re Belle?”, he gasped. Too late he realized his mistake. He was in big, big trouble…with a capital “T”. “Phil I’ve got to go”. He quickly ended the call.

Belle: “Don’t worry, you’re off the hook. See you around”. And without another word she walked away from him, hurt beyond belief. If she never saw Shawn Brady again in this lifetime it would be A-OK with her, she mumbled angrily. Pompous, full of himself, airhead, she wished she could think of worse things to call him but those would do for now.

Belle continued on her way, trying to get as far away from Shawn as quickly as possible. Just as she was about to cross the street a car sped to a stop and someone leapt out to grab her.. Shawn, out of breath from trying to catch up, quickly sized up the situation, grabbed her arm and spun her around and away from the car. As a crowd started to form, the car took off.

Belle felt as if she might faint. She wasn’t ready to explain what had just happened, mostly because she didn’t know herself. Best to pretend everything was just fine, she thought, and started to walk away. Shaking his head in amazement, Shawn stepped in front of her and demanded an explanation.

Shawn: “Hey, what just happened here? Belle are you okay?

Belle: “I’m fine. Just forget it.”

Shawn: “Belle, come on, be reasonable. You’re white as a sheet, and shaking like crazy. Who were those guys? The police need to know what just happened!

Belle: “No! Nothing happened. Just leave it alone. Leave me alone!” Belle, on the verge of crying, started to walk away.

Shawn realized that she was scared, but why? He felt an almost unexplainable need to protect Belle. Would she let him? I have to gain her trust and the only way to do that is to go slowly, he thought. First things first. Catching up to Belle he put on what he thought was his most charming smile.

Shawn: I just want to apologize. Besides it’s a long way to the campus. At least let me give you a ride.” Oh damn! she was crying. He was sinking fast. He was having a very hard time looking away from her beautiful eyes.

Belle: “You must be confusing me with someone else. No way would I be friends with a jerk like you. Take a hike…leave me alone.” Belle flagged down a cab and made to move away from him.

Shawn knew he had to stop her. He didn’t know why but he just had to stop her from getting into that cab. Grabbing her at the knees he flipped her over his shoulder and walked towards his bike. Too stunned for the moment to do anything, Belle reacted too late. Before she knew it, she was seated on his bike and he was gently fitting her head with a helmet. Shawn got on and reached back to pull her arms around his waist. They were going the wrong way, Belle thought. Where was he taking her? This wasn’t the way to the campus. Oh my, she thought, were going to his parents’ cabin. Belle leaned into Shawn, suddenly too tired to resist, and thought about how wonderful it was to be with him. He mustn’t know though. And she couldn’t get him involved in whatever was happening to her. It was too dangerous. They came to a stop in front of the cabin and Shawn gently lifted her from the bike and walked into the cabin.

Shawn: “Alright now. Tell me who those men were!”

Belle looked at Shawn, unconsciously biting her lip, and tried to bluff her way out.

Belle: “Shawn, thank you for helping me, but I really think we should be getting to the University before all the best choices are taken.

Shawn shook his head, folded his arms and stubbornly glared at her. What was wrong with her? She almost gets kidnapped and everything is fine?

Shawn: “Listen Belle, we are not going anywhere until you tell me the truth! You were scared to death back there, so don’t tell me its nothing.”

Belle: “Shawn it’s really nothing to do with you. Let’s just go back”, she whispered.

Shawn: “Why can’t you tell me? Let me help you Belle!” What am I doing, he wondered. Why is this so important to me? All of a sudden I’m seeing Belle in a different way. Oh God! She’s amazing, he thought. No way was he stepping back. But for now he would let her think he was, give her some space…just be a friend.

Belle was going to learn that they would be more than friends. He just had to go slowly. He stepped forward and gave her a hug, wiped the tears from her eyes, and told her that everything would be okay. And just like that she rewarded him with the briefest of smiles and he knew he was a goner. Together they left the cabin and started on the return journey to catch up with their friends on campus.

Soon she would confide in him, let him help her, protect her. But for now, something had happened at the cabin, something momentous. In the space of a moment, Shawn fell in love.



Chapter 2

He sat behind the desk of his darkened office trying to concentrate on the business reports and month-end financial analyses that were so much a part of his daily routine. His time away from Salem had stood him in good stead. No one knew that he was back and he wanted to keep it that way until the time was just right. His fortified ranch, on the outskirts of Salem, worked perfectly into his plans to stay incognito as long as possible. He had rebuilt his empire from the ground up. A necessary evil thanks to John Black. But the time was coming when he would show his hand. John Black would suffer as he had. John Black would lose his most precious daughter, Belle. His concentration wavered as he heard a car pull into the driveway. Finally, he thought, my plans have been set in motion. Hearing a knock on his door, he responded for his guests to enter. Standing, he looked up, only to be consumed by anger.

“Where the hell is she?” He screamed.

“Were really sorry Mr. Alamain, she had a guy with her and he pulled her away from me. Before we knew it people were all over the place. We knew you wanted us to keep as low profile as possible, so we took off”, the first gunman answered uneasily.

Lawrence shook his head in disbelief. He had planned his moves with quiet precision. John would finally pay. Belle was the key. Belle would suit his needs perfectly. These guys were such screw-ups.

“We won’t let you down again sir. That guy she was with, well, we’ve never seen him before. She’s bound to be alone sometime. We’ll continue to watch her around the clock and then make our move”, the second man nervously stated.

“I expect results not ignorance. You don’t want to know what will happen to you if I don’t get them soon. Get out!” Lawrence’s voice rose with each word.

As quickly as the men left, Lawrence picked up the phone, dialed a number with
determination, and waited for an answer. Smiling, he heard the voice he never failed to respect, the one voice that never failed to calm him down.

“Aunt Vivian, when will you be arriving? I can’t do this without you. I’m surrounded by idiots. They screwed up the catch”, he moaned frustratingly as he explained the circumstances.

“My dear nephew, don’t be in such a hurry. We must do this just right. I will be arriving with Ivan in two days. Will our package be with us by then?” She queried.

“If I have to go get her myself, she will be here.” Lawrence sat at his desk tiredly rubbing the back of his neck. Oh god, he could feel one of his migraines coming on.

“You know Lawrence dear? Are you sure you want to take her so soon? Your campaign of terror seemed to be slowly working on her in Europe. She looked decidedly shaky after our luggage prank. Maybe we should play with her mind a little more. It would make it that much easier to use her in the end”, Vivian laughed in excitement. She just loved gaslighting people.

“You think we should wait? I want that girl under my thumb now! Lawrence yelled.

Oh dear, Vivian thought. I can’t get there too soon. Poor Lawrence is falling apart before my very eyes. He needs his dear Aunt Vivian by his side to guide himas always.

“Lawrence dear boy? Have you taken your medicine? You know what you are like when you forget. Now, now, don’t be in such a hurry dear. Ivan and I have worked so hard to make this work. I just think that the weaker our little Belle becomes, the easier it will be to move forward with our plans. Who knows when we will have another opportunity to destroy my dear nephew, John Black?” Vivian smiled to herself.

“What did you have in mind? Lawrence’s curiosity was getting the better of him.

“Patience again, my dear. All will be revealed in when I get there. Bye for now.” And with that the call was ended.

Lawrence put the receiver down and stared out the window contemplating this change of events. What did his aunt mean by all of it? Making Belle go crazy was the biggest part of his master plan. Turning her against John, turning her into his pawn, was all that mattered. Perhaps Vivian was right. Maybe he was rushing things too much. He would just have to wait for her arrival. Nobody knew better that him how devious and conniving his aunt could be. He almost felt sorry for Belle…almost but not quite. John, you are responsible for all this, he thought. You are the one who will destroy your daughter. No, no, he laughed. Your daughter will be the one to destroy you.

Back in France at the Alamain villa, Vivian turned to Ivan and just shook her head.

“He will ruin this if we don’t pull him back a little. Do be a dear and pour me another brandy. I am just so parched.

“Madam, what would you have me do? Our bags are packed and we can certainly leave earlier if you like. But who is this boy who came to her aid?” Ivan asked respectfully.


“I think we had better, before things get out of hand. John’s daughter needs to be handled just right. If she is anything like her father, she won’t be easy to fool. As far as this boy/hero’s inopportune rescue of dear Belle is concerned, it will be his misfortune if he gets involved with her. We must clear a path to her, Ivan. Destroy anything or anyone who gets in the way. If we play our cards right, John will be destroyed. How delicious. Let’s move continents shall we?” And off they went.

Once again Lawrence sat at his desk. It had been more that 24 hours and he still couldn’t get through to his aunt. Where is she??? Where the hell is she??? (Any observer might think that Lawrence was becoming unhinged. Said observer wouldn’t be that far off the mark). His obsession with John Black was taking over. He wasn’t sleeping; certainly not eating…drinking was touch and go, depending on the selection in his liquor cabinet. The thick file, the only file, on his desk fell to the floor. Pictures by the hundreds of Belle Black flew in every direction. He painstakingly picked them up one by one and put them back in the file. So much time and effort had been taken in getting to know his potential captive. Yes, he must wait for Vivian to tell him what to do.

His aunt was, at that moment, coming in the front door. Ivan brought up the rear with her luggage.

“Lawrence, my boy? Where are you darling? I’m here!” She joyfully sang out, walking from room to room. “Oh there you are. Come and give your auntie Vi a hug!” Lawrence rose from his desk; his face was wreathed in smiles.

“And it looks like I’m hear none too soon by the looks of you! Lawrence what have you been doing to yourself? Honestly you need a keeper.” Vivian scolded.

Lawrence kissed her on the cheek and promptly collapsed on the sofa.

“Ivan, get the cook to make us something while I talk with my nephew”, she whispered.

“Now Lawrence, we have things to discuss. Ivan and I have planned the most delicious things for our Ms. Belle. You will be so pleased. AND no one will be able to rescue her this time. The clock is ticking. Tomorrow we strike. Let the games begin”.



Chapter 3

Belle Black loved Salem University. And even though her parents had been incensed that she had wanted to come home to finish her education, she had won out. Now that she was here she intended to make the most of it. She loved the campus, she loved her room, her roommate Mimi, and she loved her classes. She loved…no, no, no, don’t go there, she admonished herself. No future there. He was just being helpful. No strike that! He was just doing the job their parents had forced him to do. Of course it didn’t help that Mimi kept bringing him up. And it definitely didn’t stop her subconscious from thinking about him at the weirdest moments.

Her roommate entered and shook her head in amazement. Mimi never failed to make an entrance just when Belle needed to be distracted. She was her good luck charm.

“Belle, three guesses what’s on your mind”, Mimi laughed.

“I’m just thinking about how much I love it here, Mimi! And I love my classes”. Oh no! She felt a blush coming on.

“No special person on your mind, Belle? Tall, dark, and very, very handsome?” Mimi teased, coming to sit next to her best friend.

“I’m sure I don’t know who you are talking about.” Belle mumbled.

“Isn’t it interesting that he seems to end up wherever we are? I can’t imagine why!” Mimi said gently. “I think he likes you Belle”.

“It’s just a coincidence that we keep running into him. Besides you know that he thinks of me as a babysitting job.” Belle was definitely getting in too deep here.

“Until he saw the grown-up Belle. I bet that knocked him for a loop.” Watching Belle get more and more uncomfortable, Mimi decided to give her a break.

“Hey, you’ve been studying too long. Let’s head over to the Snowman Café and get some Lattes. Come on”, pulling her friend up with her.

Not surprisingly, the subject of Belle’s untamed thoughts was at that very moment sitting with his best friend, Philip, at the Snowman Café, the campus hangout, drinking lattes and looking as if he was pondering a serious problem.

“Hey man! Where the hell are you? Earth to Shawn! Earth to Shawn!” Philip shook his head in amazement. You haven’t been the same since you ran in to Belle Black. What’s with you man?” He asked.
“Nothing Phil, leave it alone”, Shawn grumbled.

“Wouldn’t have anything to do with that cute Belle Black, who just happens to be rooming two doors down from us, would it?” Philip was finding it hard not to laugh at Shawn. His normally assured friend was looking as if he had come through an apocalypse and didn’t know which way was up. If Phil wasn’t mistaken, Shawn had finally met his match. He wondered how long it would be before he accepted the inevitable.

Shawn was wondering the same thing. Damn! He had certainly screwed up his chances. Although saving her from that armed man should count in his favor. What was that about anyway? She had shut down the moment he asked. Something was scaring her and he wanted to know what it was. Trouble was, every time they ran into each other (and he made sure it was often), she kept shying away.

Both men watched as the doors to the Snowman Café swung open to let two young women enter. Philip noticed that all the booths were full, so making a quick decision, he ran up to Belle and Mimi and invited them to his and Shawn’s booth.

Mimi grasped the situation at once, smiled at Philip, and dragged a suddenly reluctant Belle to their booth. Philip and Mimi watched as Shawn smiled gently at Belle.

“Hi Belle”. He was definitely smitten.

“Hello Shawn.” She softly replied.

Oh boy! I wonder if she is as nervous as I am. I really wish those other two would disappear so we could talk, Shawn thought. Mimi was thinking the same thing.

“Philip, come help me pick out some music to play. I’ll bring you a latte, Belle. With her usual chaotic energy, Mimi grabbed Philip and all of a sudden Shawn and Belle were alone.

It’s as if there’s no one here but the two of us he thought, concentrating on her face. How do I start? She looks like she’s ready to run away if I make a sudden move. Best to come clean I guess, and beg for mercy.

Belle was sitting there wondering how, the object of her dreams, was suddenly so close. This isn’t happening to me, she thought. What do I do now?

“I’m really sorry about what you overheard the other day, Belle”. Shawn leaned close and whispered. “Can you forgive me?”

Boy he looks like he really means it, she thought. Was I too quick to judge? Maybe I
should give him a chance. Do I have any choice in the matter? I’m dying here looking in his eyes.

Belle suddenly smiled as if the whole world was finally off her shoulders. “Don’t worry about it Shawn, its forgotten.”

Shawn stared at her transformed face in wonder. Oh my, he thought. I am getting in so deep…too late…I’ve fallen and I don’t think I will ever get up. Be still my heart. Say something you fool, he admonished himself.

“Well do you think we could start again, maybe hang out sometimes?” He asked hopefully.

Belle laughed. “I think that could be arranged. What did you have in mind?”

Philip and Mimi smiled at each other and quietly left the café.

Shawn looked at Belle, suddenly feeling as if he could conquer the world.

“Could we start with me walking you home Miss Belle?” He asked holding his breath.

“I would be delighted kind sir”, she replied smiling.

Together they got up, and ever a gentleman, Shawn helped her into her coat, feeling a sudden tingle when they touched. Oh my, he thought.

Together they walked out of the café and somehow found themselves holding hands. It was a perfect day, Shawn thought looking at the autumn leaves. No place he would rather be. No words were needed between them as they enjoyed the shared beauty of a day gone suddenly right.

Before they new it they had arrived back at the dorm. Shawn turned to Belle and being unable to stop himself, gave her a soft butterfly kiss on her cheek. Belle looked at him in astonishment, before giving him a quick hug and running inside.

Shawn followed slowly, he couldn’t watching how gracefully she moved. It wasn’t until he was near his room that he suddenly heard a blood-curdling yell. OH MY GOD! That’s Belle’s voice! He realized in horror.

Shawn went running to her room, crashed open the door and looked in shock. Belle was curled up in a little ball on her bed rocking back and forth. Tears were flowing from her eyes. She’s in shock, he thought. Who would do this? as he looked around the room. Her pillows and family pictures had been slashed right through. The room was trashed.

Shawn quietly gathered Belle into his arms.

“It’ll be alright sweetheart. We’ll figure it out”, he whispered. But first she had to tell him what was going on. One thing for sure, he wasn’t leaving her side for a minute. As far as he was concerned, he was going to stick like glue until she was safe again.



Chapter 4

Pulling a blanket towards him, Shawn enveloped Belle in cocoon-like warmth. Thank god for weekends, he thought. Otherwise, the dorm would have been full to the max with students. The fact that it wasn’t, ensured that what had just happened would remain for the most part, a secret from the rest of the world. That’s how belle would want it, Shawn mused. Belle was still clinging to him in the aftermath of this latest shock, trembling in his arms. I wanted to get close to her, but not like this, as he slowly rubbed Belle’s back and made them more comfortable on the bed. Looking at the devastation that surrounded them, he wondered yet again who would do something so horrible. Well whoever it was, he was going to pay. No way would Shawn let this alone. He was amazed at how fiercely protective he felt of the woman in his arms and stunned that he could feel so strongly so quickly. Hearing footsteps outside the dorm room he tensed as he watched the knob turn inwards. Mimi and Philip entered the room and stood stock still taking in the damage.

“Oh my god!” Mimi exclaimed looking around the room. “What happened? Belle are you alright?” She looked at Shawn in bewilderment, taking in the situation.

“What the hell happened?” Philip asked. “Are you guys okay? Who did this?” he asked worriedly.

Shawn shifted Belle in his arms and looked at both of them.

“I don’t know. I walked Belle back from the Café and just seconds after I dropped her off here, I heard her screaming. I found her like this and the room trashed. She won’t talk to me or anything. I’m really worried”, Shawn explained hugging Belle tighter.

Mimi approached. “Belle, sweetie, you need to tell us that you’re okay. We’re here now and no one is going to hurt you.” Not getting a response, Mimi looked at Shawn and Philip in despair.

Belle felt numb. It was as if everything was happening in slow motion and her brain couldn’t function properly. Her best friend and her secret love were trying to comfort her and yet she felt nothing. She new that Shawn expected an explanation but what could she say? Belle had no idea why her life had suddenly become so out of control.

She sat up slowly and looked out from behind Shawn’s shoulder.

“I’m okay. Don’t worry about me”, she whispered. Belle tried to stand up but Shawn kept her where she was.

“Belle someone just trashed your room. All of your clothes, books, furniture, everything is either broken or damaged. After your almost kidnapping the other day, I know you’re afraid, but you have to let me help you.” Shawn watched the tears gather in her eyes and stopped in mid-thought. “Belle, don’t cry…please don’t cry…I’m sorry…I just want to keep you safe. I need to keep you safe.” He was pouring his heart out to her, begging her to listen.

He took her breath, looking at her like that. It was too much for Belle as she looked at him with tortured eyes. I need to trust someone. I can’t go on like this, she despaired.

Belle struggled to clear her mind and tried to ignore the alarm bells that went off in her head. Dangerous games…she was about to involve her friends in dangerous games. Could she imperil all their lives? Could she go on without their help? Belle made a snap decision. She couldn’t do this alone anymore.

Turning to her friends, she started to tell her story. Phillip, Mimi, and Shawn listened intently, instinctively knowing how hard this was for her.

“I guess in all started in Europe. One day everything was fine and then the next strange things started happening to me. Things would go missing and then reappear. One minute I would swear someone was following me, and the next I’d be looking over my shoulder at nothing. And then (she paused shuddering in remembrance) there was the phone call right before I left to come back to America. The voice was disguised and…and evil sounding.” Even to her, this all sounded so bizarre. She looked at their faces to see if they believed her…believed in her.

Philip gently touched her hand. “Tell us about the call Belle”, he implored.

Looking suddenly defeated and tired, Belle shakily continued her story.

“The person on the phone knew everything about me and what I had been doing and where I had been. He told me that he would see me back home and that I would come to consider him my family. He…he told me that I wouldn’t need anyone but him and that he would take me when everything was ready.” Belle stopped suddenly and closed her eyes.

Shawn, Mimi, and Philip looked at each other in horror. Mimi quietly sat beside Belle and hugged her tight.

“We’ll go to the police. My dad and mom will help us protect her.” Even though Shawn spoke softly to Philip, Belle picked up on it.

“No! No Police! You can’t do that”. She screamed. “He said no police. If I get anyone else involved he will destroy them. I shouldn’t even have told you. Now I’ve put my friends in danger. You have to stay out of it. I can handle this myself.” This was a mistake, she thought. I should never have told them anything. Now they are in danger and it’s my fault. Once again, pulling her arms tightly around her, she started to cry.
I feel so alone, she thought sadly.

Shawn pulled a reluctant Belle into his arms and looked at their friends.
“Okay, okay…no police, we will figure this out ourselves.” He watched as she fiercely shook her head.

“No way Belle. If we don’t get the police involved then the four of us will stop this mad man ourselves. You are not doing this alone.” He could tell that she regretted getting them involved, which made him even more determined to protect her.

Philip and Mimi started to clean up the mess. Mimi found the kettle and made them all a cup of tea. Totally ignoring Belle, the two of them soon had the room back to order…minus the items that were too destroyed to remain. Mimi started a list of the things that had to be replaced, namely Belle’s clothes and pictures.


Shawn and Belle sat at the table quietly. Does she even know how tightly she is holding on to my hand? She seemed to be trying to gather strength from him to go on. No one will hurt her again. No one will hurt my love.

Philip and Mimi joined them at the table.

Alright, we need to get out of here. Belle you and I are going shopping. Come on! Lets get out of here. Shawn and Philip rose to follow them. Belle’s shadow protection had begun. Before she knew what was happening, they had pushed her out the door.

From around the hall, a dark figure slowly rose from his hiding place. Damn, she’s got body guards now. I’d better tell madam. And with that, Ivan made his way out of the building where he had caused such destruction. Mission accomplished. Soon he thought, soon.

At the mall, Belle tried to get into the mood to shop, but she was still so shaken that it was hard. No matter, Mimi was determined to get her mind off things and have fun. Her dear friend pulled her into a dressing room loaded with the latest clothes trends.

Shawn and Philip waited nearby, quietly making plans.

“Whoever is doing this has to be stopped. Shawn that room wasn’t just trashed; this guy violently destroyed everything important to Belle! He’s a psycho stalker!” Philip nervously looked around them.

“I agree. Phil this guy wants Belle and it looks like he’s going to remove everything in his way to get to her. Look this is dangerous. We could all get hurt, if you want to back off, I’ll understand.”

Phil shook his head. “I’m in. Damn it Shawn, she’s my friend too. I know you’ve fallen in love with her so it makes it even more important that I help both of you.”

Hearing laughter, they turned around to see Mimi and Belle smiling once more.



Chapter 5

At that moment, “Madam” as Ivan affectionately referred to Vivian Alamain, wandered from room to room, impatiently waiting for Ivan to return. What is taking him so long? How long does it take to shake little Belle’s world? Smiling, Vivian rubbed her hands together in anticipation. Soon Lawrence will have his precious Belle, and John will know pain and suffering. Debts must be paid, she thought. Punishment must be exact. Ooh she loved to play the game. Lawrence meant everything to her, and she so loved to plot. Where was the dear boy anyway? She continued her pacing.

An outer door slammed, and Lawrence Alamain, in full riding regalia, strode towards his aunt. Adrenalin aside, Vivian could tell that Lawrence was about to burst with impatience.

“Where is he? What’s taking so long? I should have gone myself.” He was working
himself up and Vivian could tell that before long, Lawrence would take matters into his own hands, possibly destroyed her well-laid plans.

“My dear please calm yourself. You aren’t going to do us any good by getting into a lather. Let me get you a drink.” She stirred him into the study, hoping to distract him.

They heard a car pull up and watched as Ivan came through the entrance out of breath.

“Madam, I did as you said but there were a few complications.” He went on to explain about Belle’s friends. Lawrence poured himself another drink.

“Hmm, this certainly changes things. We must expedite our plans…take Belle sooner rather than later.” The less people involved the less paper trail to follow, as she sat down at Lawrence’s desk to make plans. Opening her hands she looked at both men.

“Now in order to achieve our goal, we are agreed that Belle is the key (both men nodding). Turning her against the father who loves her most will destroy him.” And having Belle by her side would allow her to pass on her most useful traits to a new protégé. Turning Belle into her pawn could be very useful…but getting her away from her friends was a problem to be dealt with now. “Let’s make plans!”

And with that, Vivian described to both Lawrence and Ivan the next steps to be taken. She could feel an adrenalin rush coming on. Both men nodded and smiled as the plan took off. They knew the time was coming that everything they had worked so diligilantly at would bear fruit. The evil permeating the room swirled up and around, settling above the small motley group. If they felt remorseful at all it was that they knew, deep down, that Belle didn’t deserve what was about to happen. Still they brushed that aside. The ends justify the means.

A cell-like tiny room had been prepared for a new occupant. A bed, table, chair, and shower was all there was. No lighting of any kind, no windows. Walls painted black, floors made of dark wood.

Away from everything that mattered to her, Vivian wondered how long it would be before Belle succumbed to their plans. Hypnotic video and audio tapes, illustrating her father’s evil ways should definitely speed the way. Deprogramming her life, erasing her history, and giving her a new one was only the beginning.

Oh yes, Vivian had such great plans for this young lady. Lawrence might think destroying John was the goal, but that was only part of it as far as she was concerned. Belle would become a mini Vivian, in many ways. Vivian planned to go one step further. With Belle’s unique beauty, she would be much in demand in Vivian’s circle of men friends. What a delicious way to keep everyone in line. Yes, with Belle by her side to do her every bidding, her wealth would increase tenfold before she knew it.

And when her usefulness was over? Quite by accident an old friend had burst in on Vivian one day in her Paris apartment. Sitting at her desk making plans for her latest adventure, i.e. the capture of Isabella Black; she wasn’t quick enough to hide a picture of Belle on her desk. Enamored of this blond haired beauty, the dark suave looking man had immediately demanded an introduction. It was only through quick thinking that Vivian was able to hold him off. I wonder how she will like being the Sheik’s plaything. He certainly offered a lot for her. Vivian didn’t know how long she could hold Dalor off. He was quite determined to add Belle to his collection as quickly as possible. She only knew that the longer he waited the more he offered, and that was just the way she wanted it. Maybe she would even put her little prize on the market and start at bidding war. Vivian slowed down her thoughts. Since when had she gotten into white slavery? Oh dear I am getting ahead of myself. Belle would require much tutoring before she was ready to assume her new role. One day at a time.

If Vivian felt any guilt at all for using an innocent girl, she quickly squashed it. John is responsible for all this. No one hurts my Lawrence and gets away with it. He will pay dearly for his actions. Losing his precious child will crush him. Killing her precious father will bring her closer to me. And I will gain a little soldier to do my every bidding.

Closing the door to the cell, she contemplated her next move. Ivan and his men would snatch Belle tomorrow night. It would be a simple matter to subdue her roommate. A little inhaled substance, and Belle would be unable to fight off her abductors. If drugs were necessary to bring Belle under Vivian’s command then she would use them as time required. Vivian had no doubts that this young woman was strong-minded and was determined to break her.

Down the hall Lawrence contemplated the turn of events. Things were happening just as he had planned. His aunt thought he was weak but that was just another of the many roles he chose to assume. Aunt Vivian might think she can manipulate me to her way of thinking but when the time is right, I will take what is mine.

Back in Salem Place, the sun was going down. The girls were getting hungry, and Shawn and Philip were watching over them worriedly. Nodding to Shawn, Philip took off to one of the deli’s to pick up the supplies that both men needed to surprise the girls.

When they had finished their shopping, the girls joined Shawn and Philip on an impromptu fall picnic. Sitting in the peaceful setting of Salem Park, Belle could almost feel safe again. She tried to block out what had happened, difficult as it was. Her friends were certainly trying to make her forget. Did it take tragedy to make you realize how lucky you were to have such unselfish, caring friends? She wondered.

Shawn was amazing. I’m convinced he know longer thinks he is my babysitter, she smiled at the thought. He’s looking at me as if I matter to him. Oh God, please let me matter to him. I need him so much.

Getting back to the dorm room late, the boys helped Belle and Mimi put everything away. Shawn could tell that Belle was worn out, so giving her a quick hug and butterfly kiss, he and Phil left the room.

Mimi watched as with a look of wonder, Belle gently smiled watching Shawn go. Shawn had bought her one perfect yellow rose, now placed in a newly purchase vase. Oh my, Mimi thought, do they know what they mean to each other? True love…they are so lucky…maybe someday for me?

Both girls got ready for bed. Looking through their dorm window, the girls saw a bright shining star twinkling above. Unknowingly, they both made the same wish. Please let me find true love, they both begged silently. Turning away, they laughed at the Mickey and Minnie Mouse quilt that Shawn had also insisted on buying. Belle gathered it around her, feeling safe. She laid back and thought about how quickly the day had gone from being happy, scary, and then happy again. Before she knew it she had fallen asleep.

In a room, down the hall, Shawn and Philip were sitting on their beds talking, making plans to keep Belle within their sites as much as possible. The plans made, each got ready for bed. Philip joined Shawn at the window and watched as a star in the sky above suddenly got stronger. Unknowingly, they both made the same wish. Please let me find true love, they both begged silently. Turning out the light, the day was over.

It was time to dream of what could be…all the possibilities…all the hopes. It was not a time to wonder at the doom that could befall them. Plans were in place that would change all four of their lives, take them to the four corners of the world, uniting them together forever. Little did they know, but when this was all over, Belle, Shawn, Mimi, and Philip’s lives would be entwined evermore …love encircling them all.
Last edited by Mrs.B. on October 28th, 2004, 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:16 pm #7

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.
Chapters 6 - 10

Chapter 6

The Morning After:

John Black pushed his chair away from the computer monitor and tried to assimilate what he had just read. It had been so good to hear from Shane after all this time. Shane had gone undercover for the ISA on a top-secret mission. Not even Kim had known how to reach her beloved husband. But now, to find out that the mission had centered around his corrupt half-brother Lawrence and his equally amoral and eccentric Aunt Vivian, was more than he could handle. On top of that, Shane was writing that intelligence sources had confirmed that Lawrence and Vivian were plotting something big right here in Salem. It was Shane’s opinion that revenge was the flavor of the day…revenge against John for bringing down Lawrence and forcing him to run away with his tail between his legs…so to speak. Shane was on his way back to Salem to coordinate local ISA operations. He was asking for John’s help. No he wasn’t sure what Lawrence’s plans were but he firmly believed that Lawrence was out to hurt someone who was near and dear to John. Shaking his head, John started mentally listing anyone close to him who might be a target. Not Marlena, she was away visiting her parents. Brady? He didn’t think so. After all, Lawrence had actually liked Brady’s mother, his Isabella, quite a lot. That left only…oh no…oh no…not his Belle? Lawrence wouldn’t dare!

Quickly John dialed Belle’s dorm room number, only to hang up. I’ve got to go see for myself that she is okay. Maybe we can have breakfast like old times. He quickly emailed Shane a coded reply, grabbed his car keys, and headed for Salem Campus.

Belle and Mimi were just waking up. The sun was shining and looking around the room, it was hard for Belle to imagine what all had happened in the last 24 hours. Quickly showering, she dressed and got out her study notes. If Belle was going to be a doctor, she knew that she had to start hitting the books more. Trying to concentrate, she looked up as Mimi gave her a hug of encouragement, before grabbing the shower herself. A knock on the door put her on edge again. Slowly rising, she went to answer it.

John stood on the other side, slightly out of breath. Looking at his beautiful daughter he watched as a myriad of expressions crossed her face. Was that fear and then relief he had just now witnessed? Seeing that it was her Dad at the door, Belle drew him in and gave him a big hug.

“Dad, what brings you here? I mean I’m really happy to see you but what’s the special occasion?”

John returned Belle’s hug and looked at her closely. She’s hiding something, he thought, wondering if it had anything to do with Shane’s information. “Can’t a father drop by, on a beautiful Sunday morning, and ask his daughter and her roommate out for breakfast? With your mother away, and Brady doing who knows what, I get kind of lonely.” Pausing to watch her more closely, he waited for her reply.

Just as she was about to speak, Mimi appeared. “Hi Mr. Black, nice to see you.” For someone who usually talked a mile and minute, Mimi seemed as nervous as Belle.

“Dad wants to take us to breakfast, Mimi. I’m so hungry I think it’s a great idea don’t you?” John noticed Belle and Mimi exchange questioning looks. They are definitely keeping something from me, he thought.

“Oh, um…yes…I’m really hungry myself. Where are we going?”

John suggested somewhere close like the Snowman Café. On the way to the café he couldn’t help noticing the nonverbal communication going on between the two girls.
Entering the café they found a booth and quickly placed their orders. John looked from Belle to Mimi and thought how grown up the girls look; grown up but distinctly uncomfortable at the moment. He smiled.

“So what’s new with my brilliant daughter and her equally brilliant roommate?”

Both girls tried to visibly relax. Belle didn’t want her father to know about her problems. She had barely gotten permission to move out of the house and knew he would insist on her coming home if he found out about everything.

“Dad, were both doing fine. Yesterday Mimi and I went shopping, and later for a picnic. Most of the time we just go to classes and hang out together.” Pausing, Belle looked in horror as she watched Shawn and Philip burst into the café and run towards them. Seeing Belle’s dad, they stopped short.

“Um Belle, everything ok?” Shawn tried to keep the panic down, but after checking her dorm room and finding it empty, he and Philip had imagined all sorts of things…none of them good.

John was watching them very carefully. Belle knew her Dad wasn’t a fool, and she had better do some damage control pronto!

“Sure, why do you ask?” Belle tried to ask naturally. Shawn tried to cover up his mistake. Smiling he looked at her and said, “I thought we had a study date this morning, and when I checked your room, you were gone.” Boy that was pretty lame he thought.

“That would explain why Phil is here, right?” John said, slightly ironically. He was determined to get to the bottom of this. “Sit down boys…there’s plenty of room.

Sitting next to Belle, Shawn quietly took her hand in his under the table. Belle looked at him, suddenly feeling very fragile. Her Dad and Shawn were so important to her and she really didn’t know what to do. She was such a terrible liar, and it was killing her to keep things from her father. “Would anyone like to explain to me what is going on here?” John asked in what he hoped was a reasonable tone. When Belle started to cry and turned into Shawn’s shoulder, John turned white with concern. “Isabella, what is it baby? Come on, whatever it is you know I’m always here from you.” When Belle started to cry even more, Shawn turned to Philip and nodded. Philip and Mimi told John, as briefly as possible, the events of the past few days. Looking at Belle as he absorbed everything, John wondered if this was in some way Lawrence’s doing.

”Belle, I need to let you know something…all of you. What is said here at this table can go no further.” Belle looked up at her father in confusion. Quickly giving her a kiss and hug, he started to relay Shane’s missive. Looking at Shawn and Philip he went on. “I don’t know if one thing has to do with the other, but I’m concerned for my daughter’s safety, and if Mimi is anywhere near her, she might just be in danger as well. I will not let anything happen to either of them, but I will need your help. If Lawrence Alamain is behind my daughter’s mishaps, he will be punished. Shane and I will see to it. In the meantime, I need you boys to watch over Belle and Mimi when I can’t be here. Am I right that you have not gone to the police for a reason? I’ll assume that you were warned not off. Isabella I do not want you going anywhere, and I mean anywhere, alone until we solve this. Agreed? If not, you are coming home with me.”

Belle looked at her father and felt slightly better. At least, if he was right, she could put a face to this evil. She didn’t like having to be shadowed, but at least if Shawn was the one doing the shadowing she wouldn’t mind too much.

“Dad, I don’t want you to get hurt either. Promise me you will be careful too.” The food arrived and everyone dug in, happy that a plan was in place and that the secret was out.
Paying for the meal, John hugged his daughter again, and left the foursome on their own. He needed to tell Shane what was going on.

Shawn looked at everyone in alarmed. “Lawrence Alamain? Boy this is much worse than we thought. I’m glad we have your dad and Uncle Shane on our side.” Philip nodded as they all rose in unison and left the café. Shawn looked anxiously at Belle and placed her hand once again in his.

“Would you like to go for a drive Belle? Please? There’s something a really need to say to you.” He smiled gently waiting for her reply. “Um yes, I’d like that.” She whispered back. Quickly saying their goodbyes to Mimi and Philip, the two headed off toward his car.

Watching him as they drove, she didn’t realize that they were once again heading towards his parents cabin. Falling asleep, Shawn realized how tired and frazzled she must be. Shawn needed to tell her how he felt. He knew this was a crazy time, and that he hardly knew the grownup Belle, but he couldn’t stay silent any longer. He had promised her father to protect her but he wanted to promise so much more. She was his life, his other self, and with everything going on, he had to know where he stood. Turning into the drive, Belle woke up to find herself back at the cabin. It was like coming home.



Chapter 7

Shawn went around and opened the car door for Belle. Holding on to his hand, Belle followed him into the cabin. Shawn sat her down on the loveseat and turned to gather wood to build a fire. Looking at her expectant face, his expression softened. No longer nervous, he took a deep breath, then another…no longer afraid. Belle looked at his ruggedly handsome face and waited patiently for his first words. A smile lifted in the corner of his mouth and showed in his eyes. With the fire crackling, he moved to sit next to her on the loveseat and took both her hands in his. Looking deeply into her luminous eyes, eyes that he could drown in, he began.

“We started off on the wrong foot Belle, I know we did. Just as I know that it was all my fault. Guys just, I don’t know…they make fools of themselves sometimes just to look macho. I was so stupid. You have to know that I wouldn’t hurt you for the world. There isn’t a minute that goes by that I don’t regret you overhearing my conversation with Phil, that first day…”

Belle put a finger to his lips and stopped him in mid-sentence.

“You had me at stupid, Shawn. Please, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tell me why were here, please.” She kissed him softly of the cheek.

Oh my, he thought I’m going down big-time…lock him up and throw away the key.

“You have my heart, Belle. You’ve had it since the first day. I guess I just need to know what you plan to do with it. It’s been hell not being able to tell you how I feel. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, and I can’t do anything but think about you.” He knelt beside her. “I love you Belle. I love you so much that I can’t bear to think of a life without you in it.
I want to be your hero, your protector, your friend and your lover. Whatever happens, I will always love you.” He quieted suddenly, bereft of further thought, and waited expectantly for her to speak.

Belle closed her eyes for a quick moment, thinking of the star she had wished on the night before. He actually loved her. Opening her eyes with devastating suddenness, Shawn saw the overwhelming emotion from within. Getting down beside him, she took his hands and spoke from the heart.

“I love you terribly, Shawn. I have since I was seven years old. It’s grown and grown and been so unbearable for me. I’ve been waiting for you all my life. You’ve been my secret love for so long; I can’t believe that I can finally tell you what I’m feeling in my heart. Shawn I belong to you and only you and whatever happens, like you, I will always feel this way.” Belle’s radiant face haloed in the light.

Shawn turned her body into his arms. “I don’t know what I’ve done in my life to deserve you, but I will thank God every day.” He drew her hungrily to him. Shawn rained kisses all over her face and finally, as she parted her mouth, he kissed her as he had wanted to, so desperately, for so long… slow, tantalizing kisses with ravishing sweetness. His hand touched her breast. She trembled and leaned toward him. His hands were at his waist now. Her mouth opened, but before she could speak he bent and once again put his lips on hers. In total surrender, she wrapped her arms around his neck, clinging to his body. Finally, coming up for air, Shawn pulled her against his knees and held her with deep, beautiful tenderness.

“Do you want me to stop, baby? I hurt all over, but I don’t want to do anything you’re not ready for.” He didn’t want to rush her, and as much as he wanted more, he knew instinctively that he had been right to stop.

Her hands tangled in his dark wavy hair. How she loved his hair. She loved everything about him. Belle’s face softened. Her heart was trembling wildly…so deeply in love. She drank in the sight of his face.

“When I’m with you, my brain seems to stop functioning. You make me feel so cherished; my life has no meaning without you Shawn. But…” Her eyes filled with tears. Shawn looked down, his eyes searching her soul, his hands gently brushing away her tears. She gave him a watery smile. He couldn’t seem to look away.

“I love you.” He whispered. “I love you just the way you are. I’d just about given up hope that I would find my soul-mate. When the time is right we will know it. After we’re married, before were married, we will know when we are ready to make the next move. Right now I just want to hold you, be with you.” His hands were on her face, soothing her, as they cuddled. And so they sat there by the fire, talking quietly about everything and anything, murmuring love words that each would treasure for always. They lay for a long time, just holding each other tightly. He wanted to know everything about her, and she simply loved to hear his voice. As afternoon led to dusk, Shawn and Belle seemed to realize that this special time was drawing to a close. As they gathered their things and left the cabin, it was almost clear night…clear except for one shining star. They smiled at each other with the newness of their love. Together they looked up at each other.

“I’m so happy Shawn.” she whispered. “You’ve given me the world.” Shawn bent to kiss her again. “I’ll give you so much more, my darling…just you wait.” he whispered back.

For some time to come they would remember this day. Danger was waiting just around the corner. An evil, so perverse, that it would take a powerful love to triumph over it. It would take a mesmerizing hero, a beautiful damsel in distress, and a motley crew of interesting characters along the way.



Chapter 8

Winding their way down the mountain road and away from the cabin, Shawn and Belle reveled in their new found love. So much so that they failed to notice the darkened Mercedes that quietly fell into line behind them. Inching up, the car suddenly accelerated and bumped into them from behind.

“What the hell?” Shawn yelled, turning around to see what was happening. “Belle are you okay?” He looked anxiously at his new love. Before she could answer, the other car sped up once more and hit them again from behind. Shawn struggled to maintain control of the Jeep.

“Shawn! What’s happening?” Belle screamed as once again the other car impacted their bumper. Shawn struggled once again to keep the Jeep from going off the small mountain road. He looked over at Belle in concern.

“Belle, get your head down! Now! Keep it down!” Looking in his rearview mirror he watched the other car trying to move up on his side. He swayed the Jeep one way and then the other as he tried to keep the other car from boxing them in. Hoping to put some space between them and their unknown assailants, Shawn pressed his foot down on the gas and the Jeep leapt forward. If he could just get them to the highway there would be witnesses to their predicament. Two miles to go and the other car moved on side and slammed into the passenger door. Belle gasped as she was thrown one way and the other. Striking her head hard against the dashboard, she fell back and slowly lost consciousness. Shawn watched in horror as blood seeped from a large gash on her forehead. Angrier than ever, he accelerated once again and went on the attack. He had to get them out of there. He had to get help for Belle.

The other car’s driver looked at his armed companion and swore loudly. “What the hell is he doing? All we want is the girl. Alamain will kill us if we screw this up again. Shoot out his back window and let him know we mean business. Damn it he’s just a kid.” Carrying out his orders, the other man watched as the Jeep’s back window shattered. The Jeep swayed but stayed on the road. Shawn muttered a few swear words.

Refusing to give up, Shawn forced himself to concentrate on the road. He was almost at the exit. Reaching the end of the winding road, he merged with the highway traffic, almost causing an accident himself. Amidst honking horns, he watched as the other car missed the exit, lost control and crashed into the trees. The car exploded into flames. Looking quickly back, a bruised and shaken Shawn knew he couldn’t afford to stop. Those men might have gotten away. He didn’t think so but you never knew. All he knew was that he had to get them away from here. He had to get help for Belle, and soon. She looked so fragile, so still. He wanted to stop and take care of her, but he knew that what she really needed was medical attention, and soon. Shawn reached behind and pulled a blanket out. Spreading it over Belle, as best he could, he drove like a crazy man towards the small town in the distance.

Moaning, Belle tried to open her eyes. Her head felt so muzzy, as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to it. She tried to move but her head ached so. Shawn looked worriedly at her with tears in his eyes. “Belle, you’ll be okay. I’m going to find a doctor to fix you up. There’s a town just ahead.” And with that he took the exit into Thompson Corners and followed the signs before stopping in front of the small, quaint-looking medical clinic. He looked to see if they had been followed and breathed a sigh of relief when he realized that was not the case. Wrapping the blanket more firmly around Belle, he got out and came around to open her door. Carefully, he lifted his beloved into his arms and rang the clinic’s bell.

Belle reached out to gently touch his face. “Shawn, I’m alright. I’m just a little tired. You saved us Shawn. Thank you.” As her eyes watered at the thought of the danger they had escaped, Shawn brushed her hair out of her eyes and kissed her lightly on the lips.

“I was so worried about you. All I could think about was getting us out of there and finding some help.” Shawn paled as he thought of what could have happened. I could have lost her, he shuddered.

“We need to call the police. You were right, this is too dangerous for us to handle by ourselves.” Shawn pressed a finger to her lips to quiet her.

“No police Belle. Not yet”, he affirmed.

The clinic’s lights came on and a middle-aged woman, in a nursing uniform, answered the door. Looking from Shawn to Belle she quickly ushered them inside. “Oh my! It certainly looks like you’ve had an adventure. Dr. Madison is on duty tonight. Lets get this poor child looked after and you too young man. Those bruises of yours look pretty painful.”

Belle was carefully laid on the bed in the examination room. Shawn hovered close by refusing to leave her alone for a minute. He held on tightly to her hand, looking at her with eyes tender with love.

The doctor quickly sized up the situation, and knowing better than to ask any questions, cleaned Belle’s forehead and stitched the gash on her forehead before administering antibiotics. Seeing the concern in the young man’s eyes, he took pity. “It looks much worse than it is. Your young lady will be fine with a little rest.” Belle had been very lucky that she was not concussed. Looking at Shawn’s bruises, the doctor wrote up a prescription for painkillers for both of them, recommended lots of rest and ushered them out of the clinic.

Belle was a little steadier on her feet by now and insisted on walking. Shawn could be equally as stubborn and drew his arm around her shoulders in support. Getting back in the Jeep, Shawn pulled out his cellphone and dialed Phil’s number, listening as Phil answered.

Recognizing Shawn’s number, Phil drew a breath of relief.

“Hell Shawn! Do you have any idea what time it is? What happened to you guys? I expected you back hours ago!” Before he could say anything more, Shawn stopped him short.

“Phil, I don’t have time to explain. Belle and I are in Thompson Corners. There’s an all-night café here called ‘Blossoms’. I need you to get clothes, money and anything else you think Belle & I might need and meet us there. We need to take off for a while. Gotta go.” Shawn quickly hung up and turned to Belle.

“Before you ask me any questions, lets get over to the café and warm up a bit.” Shawn lovingly guided her towards ‘Blossoms’. A few minutes later, sitting in a secluded booth, with coffee in front of them, Belle knew she would burst if she didn’t speak.

Belle wasn’t sure she liked the ‘take charge’ Shawn. Turning determinedly towards him she quickly got his attention. “Shawn Brady! What is going on? Where are we going? Why did you tell Phil to meet us here? Aren’t we going back to Salem?” Question after question left Belle’s mouth until finally she came to a stop.

Shawn pressed a kiss to the palm of her hand and pulled her closer. “Sweetheart, those men back there were after you. I think it was the same car from the other day when you were almost kidnapped. Damn it Belle! You could have been killed tonight and there wouldn’t have been anything I could do to stop it. I’ve just found you and I’m sure as hell not going to lose you. We can’t go back to Salem. What if they find you again? What if I’m not there to protect you? I need to get you as far away from Alamain and his goons as possible. I can’t let them take you. I’m sorry Belle, but if I have to kidnap you myself I will.” Shawn groaned and finding Belle’s mouth, he kissed her deeply before closing his eyes and burying his face in her throat.

Belle could feel his trembling body and realized suddenly just how near they had come to losing each other. With everything that had happened, she hadn’t had time to consider the ‘what ifs’. Slowly she lifted Shawn’s face and spoke oh so softly, smiling gently at him.

“You can kidnap me if you like Shawn. There’s no one else I’d rather go on the run with. We can take care of each other.” Belle laid her hand over Shawn’s heart and whispered, “I love you so much Shawn Douglas…See our hearts are beating as one. Where you go I go, always.”

Covering his hand over hers, he watched out the window as Phil’s car turned in. Then he noticed that Phil was not alone. Sure enough Mimi was with him.



Chapter 9

Prologue:

Philip and Mimi enter the café and rush towards Shawn and Belle. Hugging them, they ask a million and one questions about the evening’s events. Noticing her paleness, Shawn has coaxed Belle into taking a painkiller. The evening has taken its toll on her and she soon falls asleep at the table. Shawn, trying to make her more comfortable, puts his arm around her and pulls her to him. With her head on his lap, Belle sighs deeply and relaxes into a deeper sleep. Satisfied that both Shawn and Belle are okay, the three huddle together and make plans.

Shawn looked down at her precious face with tears in his eyes. “I must have been crazy to think I could protect her from Alamain. She almost died tonight”, he almost choked on the words. Philip drew a short breath and hesitated, looking at Mimi, before speaking.

“Shawn, you saved her man! They would have grabbed her if you hadn’t been there to prevent it”, he reasoned. “We all underestimated the lengths to which Alamain would go to get her. It’s pretty obvious that you can’t come back to Salem. The important thing now is to keep her safe. Don’t beat yourself up over this.” He pulled out his car keys and a map.

Mimi watched to see if Phil’s words were getting through to Shawn. She watched as he continued to stare intensely at Belle, as if afraid that she would disappear before his very eyes, terror working its way up to his heart.

“Shawn, Philip has a plan to help you and Belle. I know how worried you are about her, but she needs you to take care of her now, to be the strong one. Shawn, please! Just listen to him”, she begged.

Shawn was churning inside with all these emotions. He knew that his friends were right and he had to get his act together soon. He wasn’t doing Belle any good. Fighting his way back to the present, he looked at his two earnest friends.

“I’m willing to try anything at this point. What’s the plan?” He demanded, taking hold of himself.

“You remember my dad’s summer house in Canada, Shawn? I’ve got the keys for it right here. I figure we trade cars so no one can trace your whereabouts, and you and Belle can hide out there until Belle’s dad and your Uncle Shane bring Alamain down. Look I marked out the route for you. By my calculations, it should take you maybe three or four days to get to Seattle and cross the ferry into British Columbia. From there it’s maybe a few hours to Pacific Rim National Park. My dad always keeps the place fully stocked for clients, but I checked his calendar and the place is clear for the next two months.” Taking a deep breath, Phil waited for Shawn’s reaction.

Shawn mulled the plan over, looking for any loopholes. Finally he looked at Phil with a grateful smile. “I can’t believe you went to all this trouble for us Phil. You don’t know how much I appreciate this, thanks man! All I can think about right now is her safety”, he said huskily, looking once again at a sleeping Belle.

Mimi smiled at the two of them. “Phil thinks you should use different names when you’re in public. We were trying to come up with ideas on the way here. What do you think of ‘Nick’ and Nora? You know from the ‘Thin Man Series’ with Myrna Loy and William Powell!” Mimi loved old movies. For the first time that night, Shawn laughed.

Phil took out an envelope and handed it to Shawn, along with a new cellphone. “There’s enough money in there to last you a while, but just in case you need more, I put my extra automated bank card in the envelope as well. Use it whenever you need it. I think its best that we trade vehicles as well. Here are my keys to the blue Jag. It looks as if I’m the new owner of a black Jeep. You’ll find clothes, etc. in the trunk of the Jag and there’s a bag of food in the back seat to keep you guys going for a while. Damn I’m going to miss you”, he exclaimed sadly. Grabbing Mimi, he got up from the table. “We better let you two get on your way. I don’t think we should take any more chances in case Alamain tracks you here.” Shawn shook both of their hands, asking them to let their parents know what was going on. He gently lifted Belle up, waking her in the process.

Still drowsy from the painkiller, Belle tried to focus while everyone said goodbye. Mimi and Phil each took turns hugging her and then quietly left. Wrapping her in the blanket once more, Shawn lifted Belle into his arms and carried her from the café. Once ensconced in the car, he tucked the blanket firmly around her and started the car.

“Where are we going Shawn?” She whispered, looking trustingly in his eyes.

“Baby, you and I have to disappear for a while. We need to go where Alamain can’t get his hands on you”, his face went rigid with determination.

Waking up a little more, Belle urgently asked him to stop the car. “Shawn, I should never have gotten you involved in this. You got hurt trying to protect me. Please just let me go. There’s no reason for you to put yourself at risk like this, to change your whole life for me. I, oh god! I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to you because of me. You should just go back to Salem and forget about me…Shawn!!!

Before she knew what was happening, Shawn pulled her onto his lap, laying his forehead against hers. He held her so close that she could feel the trembles going through his body. Shawn gasped back the incredible pain he was feeling and whispered against her lips. “I Will Not Let You Die! Do You Hear Me? I Will Not Let That Bastard Get You! He breathed in roughly. “My god Belle! How do you think I would feel not knowing where you were…if you were okay? I can’t do it! I can’t stay away from you”. Losing his voice in emotion, he whispered “Don’t ask me to let you go Belle…don’t ask me to give up the best part of my life.” The tears flowed as they clung to each other. Belle slid her arms around his neck and kissed him over and over.
Back at the Alamain Mansion:

One man is dead, and another man, Webb, is severely burned and barely conscious. He has been moved to a bedroom in the mansion where a doctor is looking him over.

Madam was not a happy camper, and when Madam wasn’t happy…well then…neither was Ivan. When Madam paced, Ivan paced right behind her. When Madam stopped, Ivan almost slammed right into her. She looked at him piercingly. “Can no one follow simple orders around here? Where the hell is Lawrence anyway? This is his fault, his goons, his stupid plan gone awry! I told him it was risky…did I not Ivan?” Ivan nodded in agreement as he knew what the alternative would get him. Vivian went on, not missing a beat. “A mere boy defeats them twice? That young Brady is getting on my nerves, Ivan! He must be dealt with!”

Oh his Madam was definitely on a tangent. He loved it when she got angry…so superb, so exciting. “Madam, I’m sure they tried. Once the doctor is finished with Webb, we can find out what really happened.” He tried to soothe her.

“We know what happened Ivan!!! They didn’t get our package. Ms. Belle has gotten away once again, slipped through our fingers, thanks to her erstwhile boyfriend. When that quack gets through with that idiot upstairs, and I get my hands on him, he’ll wish he had gone the way of his equally inept partner. Find me LAWRENCE! NOW!” She screamed in frustration.

As Ivan made haste to do his Madam’s bidding, Vivian walked over to the liquor cabinet and pored herself a stiff shot of Brandy. Walking over to the desk, she mutters to herself. How am I supposed to set my plan in motion if I’m surrounded by idiots? I need that girl. She looked up just as Lawrence ran into the room.

“Where is she? Can I see her? Is she upstairs?” He stopped in his tracks when he noticed his aunt’s dour expression. “What happened?” He whined.

Grabbing his arm, Vivian propelled him upstairs, while regaling him with the night’s mishaps. They stopped outside the patient’s room. Having lost all her patience, she burst through the door, dragging a reluctant Lawrence behind her, and startling both doctor and patient. “Enough already! I have questions that need to be answered. What the hell happened out there? Where is she?” Yelling at the man in the bed.

Webb struggled to talk, while the doctor mumbled about the irregularities of this situation. Webb whispered brokenly. “I’m sorry ma’am, we lost control of the car, the girl’s boyfriend got her away before we could nab her,” he breathed in harshly. “But we did get a tracking device on to his Jeep. That should help,” he seemed to lose all his strength at once.

“Tracking device? Well why didn’t you say so you idiot? Ivan, go into the multimedia room and check this out. I want to know where she is!” Vivian saw a glimmer of hope in the situation. Lawrence felt easier, and Ivan went to do their bidding.

A crisp air has fallen over Salem as Philip and Mimi make their return journey. Despite the lateness of the hour, Philip had placed a call to both John Black and Bo Brady to meet them at John’s condo. Both have been quiet during the drive back, lost in their own thoughts. Philip is thinking about Shawn and Belle’s situation, but surprisingly, he is also thinking about something else. Mimi is really something else, he mused. Funny but caring, I’m really seeing a different side of her.

Mimi is quiet, even for herself. So much had happened that she was having a hard time coping with it. On top of that, Philip was being so nice to her, more so than the usual buddy he was. She was looking at him with new eyes. I wonder if this is the beginning of something wonderful, she thought in amazement. Something to hope for at least.

Turning into John’s condo development, Philip opens the door for her with a smile. Smiling back, Mimi leads the way to John’s condo. Not surprisingly, Bo Brady is already there. Both men are pacing the floor. John had brought Bo up to date on everything, and they were both anxious. Hearing a knock, John pulls open the door and quickly ushers them in.

“What’s going on Philip?” Both John and Bo impatiently asked at the same time. Amidst gasps of surprise and anger, Philip and Mimi retold the night’s events.

“So we traded vehicles and they’re on their way to Canada for a while. It was all we could think of,” Philip finished.

John and Bo looked at each other and then at the two of them.

“My god! They both could have died back there. You both could have been hurt.” Hugging first Mimi and then Philip, John thanked them for the risks they had taken.

“My son is very lucky to have you as a friend Philip. I appreciate you loaning him funds, but both John and I will get it back to you. Does Victor know what you’ve done Philip? Bo queried.

“No sir. But I know he wouldn’t mind.” Philip looked from one to the other. “It was all I could think of at the time…” Philip shuddered just thinking about how Belle had looked.

John cut him off. “And Belle? You say she’s all right?”

“Yes sir. Shawn is taking very good care of her,” he replied.

“Well thank god for that. But we need to get our men up in Canada to watch out for them. You guys go home and get some sleep. And again, thank you so much for what you’ve done,” John smiled thankfully at both of them. As the door closed, John and Bo both turned serious. Realized the lengths to which Lawrence was willing to go through, they started to make plans. Shane would be home the next day and together they would set them in place.

Around 2 a.m. in the morning, Shawn turned the Jag into a small motel parking lot outside of Minneapolis. They were going in a zigzag order trying to get to Montana by the weekend. Belle had exhausted herself as a result of their recent emotional talk. He left her in the car and went to register for a room, smiling as he remembered the names Mimi had chosen for them. Signing in as Nick and Nora Anderson, he quickly returned for Belle. Gently shaking her awake, she looked around in confusion. “Where are we Shawn”? She questioned, gathering their things as he got out the luggage.

“Sweetie, were right outside Minneapolis. I thought we could use a break to catch our breath so I booked us a room,” he finished.

Belle looked at him more closely. “One room? A single room for both of us? She asked nervously.

Shawn drew her inside the room and closed the door behind him, locking it before he answered her. She noticed that there was only one double bed. Walking towards her, he smiled. “Yep. Just one room!” Shawn had a teasing glint in his eyes.

Belle backed away from him until she was against the wall and could go no further. As Shawn came closer and closer, she looked at him anxiously. “Shawn! What are you doing?”

Shawn was looking at her as if she were the cherry on top of a cake. Not saying anything, he moved until their bodies were touching and put both arms around her to hold her there.

“Nnnnow Sh…sh…Shawn! She stuttered. Don’t do anything we might both regret. We…we should really think about this don’t you think?” Belle was biting her lip nervously, looking everywhere but at him.

Shawn took her face in his hands and gently brushed kisses over her lips. “Nnnnow B…B…Belle! He smiled, stuttering in the same way. “I don’t know about you but I’m really tired. Now you know and I know that I’m not about to get any sleep if I can’t make sure you are safe.”

Belle stood awestruck. Her heart was pounding like crazy. She watched as Shawn pulled back the covers and looked at her, patting the bed beside him. “Come on Belle, were just going to sleep…and turning over he was out like a light…leaving Belle not knowing whether to be angry or laugh as she joined him.



Chapter 10 – slightly NC17 (but not really)

Sometime during the night Shawn and Belle reach out it their sleep towards each other. As night moves towards morning, both are wrapped around each other like long-lost lovers. With the dawn breaking, Belle is the first to wake up and realize the tight spot they are in…

There’s something about waking up next to a guy…oops did I say next to him…more like wrapped around him like cellophane. Anyway, where was I…oh yeah, Belle thought, wondering at her options. It was morning, this drop-dead gorgeous guy had his arms wrapped around her like there was no tomorrow…her head was on his chest, listening to his heart beating, they were a mass of tangled arms and legs…nope, she wasn’t going anywhere! Not that she wanted to. Nope…No way, No how. Oh gosh, I can’t believe this, not the danger… but us…together. Belle got a dreamy look on her face. In his sleep he looked even more handsome than ever. He had a little smile on his face, as if he was enjoying a dream. And here she was falling deeper and deeper. Lost in her thoughts, she suddenly looked up at him, and stared right into the most beautiful brown eyes she had ever seen. He was awake and staring intensely right back at her…close enough to touch.

Shawn wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. He wasn’t going to ask how they had gotten into this predicament…nope he was just going to enjoy it. After all he was a red-blooded male, with all the body parts functioning just the way you would think at this point. And she looked so sweet…tousled long hair, sleepy looking eyes staring at him in wonder. Of course there were those stitches and bruises that made her look so vulnerable. He got angry just thinking about what had caused them. God! He was arguing with his own conscience. I want her so much, but is this the right time? Damn it! I can’t do this…well maybe just a little…Oh Damn! I’m going to…

Belle watched as a myriad of expressions flashed on Shawn’s face. Whatever he’s thinking about must be pretty heavy, it’s almost as if he’s fighting with himself, she thought. I wish he would make a move or say something. Oops! Looks like he’s finally made a decision. She watched as Shawn eased her mouth under his. His arms crushing hers, Shawn’s mouth took possession of Belle’s, parting her lips, deep soul-searching kisses, until she thought she might never breathe on her own again. His tongue penetrated her mouth. Kisses that went on and on, hands caressing her over and over, his chest brushing against hers. Quickly undoing the buttons to her shirt, his hands touched the softness of her breasts. His lips followed, and began to suction them at the tips; Belle became hopelessly enthralled and began to move against him. Her head thrashed on the pillow. She moaned as the pleasure began to build. He reveled in the sounds she made. Belle was near to losing control, when Shawn suddenly pulled back, breathing heavily, fighting for his own control. A confused Belle waited for his next move. His eyes wandered possessively over every inch of her. Belle’s eyes were hazy with passion. Shawn smiled ever so gently at her, pulling her towards him, wrapping his arms around her, and rubbing her back. He cradled her as the wild pounding of their hearts began to calm, and their bodies slowly started to relax. Smoothing back her hair, he looked down at her and spoke softly to her.

“Sweetheart, I swear you are as necessary to me as the air I breathe, he whispered. “I love you so much” he said gruffly. Her lips parted as if to speak, but Shawn put a finger to her lips and continued. “I’m sorry, damn it, I didn’t mean for us to go so far. God! (taking another deep breath) I thought we could hold each other a little and get away with it. Boy was I wrong! Man were we combustible!!! I thought I was going to die back there.” He caressed her flushed face. “But, baby…listen to me…we can’t do this right now. You’re hurting! I don’t want to take advantage of the situation we are in…Belle the time will be right…I promise (suddenly smiling wickedly)…and then you just watch out Miss Belle! Entwining his hand with hers, he pressed a kiss on her palm with such tenderness that she knew she would remember it for the rest of her life, so gently that her eyes filled with tears. “Now up you get. I’ll even be a gentleman and give you first dibs on the shower. Mimi packed us some fresh clothing for the trip.

Belle looked at him with her whole heart in her eyes. She had just discovered a whole new world of sensation. If Shawn had wanted to go all the way, she knew that she wouldn’t have been able to stop him. Shawn was a man in a million…her man. Despite the need she could feel in him, he was deliberately denying himself for her sake. “But you’ll teach me how to love you when the time is right?” Her fingers moved up to his face tracing it gently. Smiling, she touched his mouth with a whispery kiss of promise and pulled herself out of bed. Shawn watched her shut the bathroom door behind her and took a deep harsh breath. Damn, I’m going down again! God that was close. I almost couldn’t stop in time. Thinking back to what could have been, he groaned with frustration. The time was coming when he wouldn’t be able to stop…wouldn’t have to stop. Get yourself out of that groove man! He needed to concentrate on other things. Giving himself what he hoped was an effective pep talk, Shawn got out fresh clothes and his toothbrush, finishing just as Belle waltzed out of the bathroom whistling ‘I’ve got a man as mean as he can be’. Shawn grabbed a towel, pretended to swat at her and chuckling, headed off to take a shower…a very…very…very cold shower.

Belle packed for both of them and was ready to leave as soon as he returned. Not wanting to waste anymore time, Shawn paid the bill, and they got back on the road. Taking some food from the back seat, they munched on donuts for breakfast, each quiet in their own turn, both thinking about the other.

Turning onto the interstate, Shawn turned to glance at Belle often. When this is over…when Belle is safe…when we make love…when we get married…when she gives me a child…when, when, when. He knew it was too soon to make plans, but he could dream couldn’t he?

Belle had dreams of her own. When they were safe…when they finally made love for the first time…when we have our wedding day…when I give him a child. So many plans, so many dreams to hold on to. She looked at Shawn and couldn’t help pinching herself to see if it were all a dream. Was she really sitting next to the man she had fantasized for most of her life? When he turned and gave her that devastating smile of his, she knew that the Gods had been kind. Her prayers had been answered.

Back in the multimedia room, in the Alamain mansion, Ivan thought he had finally pinpointed the location of Shawn Brady’s Jeep. Thank god those idiots had done one thing right, he thought. Madam was so angry, he was glad that he could give her some positive news. As he expected, Madam ordered him to the Dorm to take care of matters. This time, there would be no mistakes…

Philip and Mimi had made plans to meet at the Snowman Café for breakfast. It was almost as if they had formed their own secret society overnight. As Mimi entered the Café, Philip stood up and waved her over to a corner booth. Taking her coat, he waited for her to sit before grasping her hand. “Mimi, thanks so much for helping me last night. It could have been dangerous but you jumped right in. I really appreciate the support you gave me.” He smiled sweetly at her.

“Belle’s my best friend, Philip. I would do anything for her. I’m just glad we could help them. I hope they’re okay.” Mimi smiled back at Philip.

“So I guess we should, sorta um, keep close tabs on each other in case Belle and Shawn contact either of us or need something.” Phil couldn’t believe how nervous he was.

Mimi looked quite shocked as she replied. “Oh, um yes…I guess that would be a good idea…for Shawn and Belle of course!”

“Yup! For Shawn and Belle.” He nodded eagerly, not realizing that he was still holding her hand.

The waitress came with menus and coffee. “Um Phil? Could I have my hand back please?” Mimi whispered. A totally flustered Philip said, “Oh sorry, um sure.” When their orders arrived, both Mimi and Philip pretended to be totally interested in the food before them. Neither could understand why they were suddenly shy with each other. Neither knew that by helping Shawn and Belle, they might just be borrowing trouble for themselves…

Meanwhile, Shane had just arrived at the Salem Headquarters for the ISA. John and Bo met him in the strategy room and amidst handshakes and smiles, got down to business. Opening his briefcase, Shane took out a thick report, labeled Alamain Surveillance. Together the men reviewed page by page the actions of Alamain since leaving Salem. As a pattern fell into place, the men look at each other in astonishment. What Lawrence was planning was beyond evil. A lot of people could be hurt if he succeeded. John and Bo verbally wondered where Belle fit into all this. Shane looked at both of them and began to tell them a little story. As the facts poured out, the men heard of Vivian Alamain’s plans for John’s beloved daughter, how the ISA had learned of these plans and what they needed to do to make sure they failed. John covered his face as reality started to set in. The other men promised to do everything in their power to ensure that Belle would be as safe as could be. Each gave a solemn oath that Alamain would get to Belle over their dead bodies. Plans were made to coordinate her protection in Canada. Intensive protection that would include the destruction of the Alamain Empire.

Around 12:30, Shawn turned off the interstate and headed towards Devil’s Lake. They were making good time, having entered North Dakota and getting closer to the Washington border every hour. He hoped to make Montana by nightfall, but a little lunch break would do them both good. Slowing down as they entered the lake grounds he turned to a curious Belle.

“How about a picnic Miss Belle? And a little stroll to stretch our legs?” Smiling at her, he parked the car and came around to open her door.

“Why thank you Mr. Brady! I would be honored to accompany you on a picnic.” And looping her arm through his, they grabbed some sandwiches and water from the back seat and walked down the cobbled path towards the lake.

What a pretty scene, Belle thought, noticing that they were almost all alone. It being fall and all, and a weekday, she didn’t think they would see many people. The leaves were a charming orange and red. The autumn sun was playing, making the lake shimmer. A sense of peace filled the place, a sense of tranquility. Spreading a blanket on the ground, Shawn pulled her down beside him to enjoy their impromptu feast.

“You know Belle, there’s no place I’d rather be right now than here with you.” Shawn whispered. “I’m sorry for the reason, but I’m glad were together.”

Belle looked at Shawn earnestly. “Shawn I don’t want you to get hurt because of me…but I’m so glad I’m not alone in this anymore.” She shuddered at the thought of having to fight Alamain without him.

Wrapping the rest of the food away, Shawn smiled at her. “Come here Belle…lets just enjoy the scenery…enjoy us. Pulling her towards him, he settled her between his legs and drew her back against him. He wrapped a blanket around them, as they sat against an old oak tree. Together they stayed, huddled against the autumn cold, happy to just be together. Looking down at Belle, Shawn hid the sudden shadow of trepidation that he felt making inroads across his mind. Was this the calm before the storm, he wondered? Could he really protect her? Pressing a kiss on her forehead, he silently thanked God for bringing him an angel to love. He would do anything to keep her safe. He would go to any lengths. He would go anywhere she needed…be anything she needed, he promised, as long as she would be okay.

They stayed together for a while not noticing anything but the leaves falling around them. Belle watched the ripples on the lake as Shawn skipped stone after stone. The bond of love tightened around them, weaving a permanent path through their hearts.

As the afternoon darkened, the two young lovers gathered up their things, and leaving behind memories of happier times, continued on their trip.
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:17 pm #8

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.
Chapters 11 - 15

Chapter 11

Finding out where Alamain had laid down roots was definitely the easy part of his job, Shane mused. Getting inside his compound was the hard part. High-tech electronic security aside, an armed sentinel along with vicious looking guard dogs patrolled the grounds on a regular basis, baring their teeth at the slightest sound. Electronically wired fences surrounded the area. It would take the best ISA technology, along with Shane, Bo, and John to infiltrate Lawrence’s empire. Stealthily leaving his hiding place, he pocketed his state of the art camera and binoculars and made his way back to the van that would transport him back to Salem Headquarters.

Inside the compound, Ivan was preparing his men to follow Madam’s orders. As the afternoon sun slowly went down, night began to crowd in. It was time to move. The tracking device showed that Shawn Brady’s Jeep was once again parked on Salem campus. That must mean that Belle Black was back in her room. Ivan couldn’t afford to make any more mistakes. Madam would lynch him alive if he failed this time. Checking that his men were ready to proceed, he led the way out to the black van waiting in the driveway.

Mimi Lockhart missed her friend so much. She looked at the empty bed on the other side of the room and felt sad. I wish I could be there with her to help, she thought. I hope that they’re okay. Grabbing a bath towel and her nightgown, she turned on the shower and stepped in pulling the curtain across.

Down the hall, Philip closed his laptop, thinking about his best friend. He was hoping that Shawn would get in touch with him soon, because this waiting was driving him crazy. He just needed to know that his friends were okay, he thought. Taking a quick shower, he got into his silk pajama bottoms. Bare-chested, Philip got into bed, calling it a night.

Finishing her shower, Mimi wrapped a towel around her and stepped out of the shower. Pulling the nightgown over her head, she failed to see the camouflaged shadows moving behind her. As the silhouette of a man moved forward to grab her around the waist, Mimi screamed at the top of her lungs. Pulling her out of the bathroom, Ivan swore at his cohort.

“That’s not her you idiot.” Before he could say anymore, Philip burst through the door behind him, with a number of dorm buddies close behind. What he saw made him see red. Two balaclava-covered men were trying to cope with a struggling Mimi.

“What the hell? Let her go you moron.” Philip yelled. As Philip moved forward, Ivan
pulled out his gun and aimed it at Mimi’s head.

Disguising his voice, Ivan growled, “If you want to see her alive again, you will back up now, and let us through. I will use this if I have too”, waving his gun to show he meant business.

Philip could see how scared Mimi was, but he couldn’t bear to risk her life. Looking back at his friends, he motioned for them to step aside.

“Look, were doing what you want, just don’t hurt her!” Philip pleaded, watching the tears trail down Mimi’s cheeks. She was as white as a ghost.

Ivan motioned to his cohort to leave before him. Using Mimi like a human firewall, he moved towards the door. As he passed Philip, he through Mimi at him, unbalancing both of them, and escaped through the fire exit at the end of the hallway. It all happened so quickly. One minute Mimi was a hostage and the next she was wrapped in Philip’s arms, shaking like a leaf…and they were falling back…

“Mimi, shush…you’re okay now.” Philip drew her down on the bed, putting a comforting arm around her and kissing her forehead. “They’re gone.”

Mimi tried to catch her breath, suddenly realizing that she and Philip were somewhat undressed. Pulling away from him, she remembered something.

Grabbing his hands to get his attention, Mimi exclaimed excitedly, “Philip! It wasn’t me they were after it was Belle! The other guy said they had the wrong girl!” Mimi told him nervously. “We have to let Mr. Black know.”

“Yeah, but I think we should take a chance and call Shawn. He needs to know about those goons as well.” Philip borrowed Mimi’s cellphone and dialed the number he had recently committed to memory.

Belle was tired and sore. Her stitches were bothering her and boy was she hungry. They had been driving for hours, not saying much, just content to be with each other, given the situation. Not wanting to complain, Belle waited for Shawn to make the first move. She knew that he wanted to reach Montana before they stopped for the night. They had crossed into that State a while back, and she thought that he was just looking for the right place to stop. Some time later they saw a sign reading Havre, Montana—35 Miles—Next Exit. She watched as Shawn maneuvered the car into the exit lane and turned, once again, off the interstate.

Smiling at his best girl, “Honey…I know how tired you must be. Thanks for being such a good sport. We’ll stop at the first available motel we come across.”

Belle smiled back, “Whatever you want Shawn, I’m just happy to be in your company.”
Inching closer to him, she laid her head against his shoulder, watching the miles go by. When they came to a Best Western Hotel he turned in and came to a stop.

Gathering their things both jumped when Shawn’s cellphone suddenly rang. Looking at Belle, he flipped open the cover and spoke. “Yeah?” he answered roughly.

“Don’t talk…just listen. I need to tell you what just happened.” Philip anxiously replied. As the story came out, Shawn’s face shuttered. Scowling, he turned away from Belle and quietly asked if they were okay. Getting an affirmative answer, Philip told him to be careful and Shawn replied that they should both be and to take care of Mimi. Quickly ending the conversation he schooled his face and turned to Belle with a smile.

“Come on sweetheart, let’s book a room and get something to eat…I’m starved.” He bluffed as he quickly pushed her towards the hotel entrance.

Belle, digging in her heals, grabbed him and with a stubborn expression on her face stopped him in his tracks. “Shawn what are you keeping from me? Who just called? Don’t you dare keep this from me!” She demanded.

Taking a deep breath, “Okay, all right, it was Phil.” Shawn reluctantly explained what had taken place. Belle started swaying in shock.

“Oh my god! I’ve got to talk to Mimi…Shawn I need to know if she’s okay…This is all my fault.” Belle burst into tears.

Pulling her into his arms, Shawn whispered “Please don’t cry honey, I didn’t want to tell you…I knew you would blame yourself! This is Alamain’s doing, not yours. We can’t take the chance that someone might trace our calls. Phil says she’s okay, I promise.” He entreated. “Let’s just get inside where we can be warm; you’re chilled to the bone.” Once again, he pushed her towards the hotel.

Belle looked up at Shawn with a sadness that shook him. It was as if she had just aged way beyond her years. Damn, this situation was taking its toll on her and he didn’t know what to do about it. One minute she looked like she could take on the world and the next she looked so breakable. Shawn held her close as he booked them in. Following the bellhop to their room, he noticed that there were two double beds this time around. Maybe that was for the best. Food and rest was what she needed more than anything right now, he mused. Tipping the bellhop, he closed the door behind him and turned towards Belle.

His precious cargo stood quietly where he had left her, arms wrapped tightly around as if to ward off any more blows to her peace of mind. He walked up slowly and pulled her against him. Belle turned into him and surrendered to the safety of his arms. Looking around at their surroundings, Shawn noticed a rocking chair in the corner. He gently sat down and pulled her onto his lap. As her sobs broke the silence, Shawn held her lovingly. The rocking of the chair lulled and soothed Belle quickly. Shawn whispered his love to her over and over again as he calmed her in a way no one else could. He promised to keep them safe…he promised many things. They sat there for what seemed like forever…a moment out of time. The unexpectedness of her stomach growling made them laugh for the first time in a while.

He slowly walked them towards the menus on the night table. “I think we’d better eat before you faint baby!” Shawn teased.

“Oh you!” She gently replied, poking him in the stomach. Placing their orders, they turned back towards each other. He watched her closely, until Belle suddenly paled again considering the danger they were in. Turning her still shimmering eyes towards him, she gasped “Thank you, Shawn! I love you so much! I need you so much!” She couldn’t believe the strength of her feelings.

As quick as night and day, Shawn lifted her up from the floor and kissed her wildly and possessively. She moaned, her one thought being that he was her whole world. For minutes they stood glued to each other, kissing passionately. Just as suddenly as it had begun it was over.

Shawn took a deep breath, and then another, holding her at arms length. “What are you trying to do to me woman? I’m barely hanging on by a thread where you are concerned. Now you just stop trying to seduce me…nope you stay put right where you are. I’ll have you know that my mama raised me to be a good boy. We’ll have none of this hanky panky Miss Belle.” Trying to take their emotions down a notch, he soon had her laughing again. God he wanted her so badly. He knew he was going to need another cold shower before this day was finished.

Having finished their dinner and gotten ready for bed, Belle let Shawn tuck her in and watched as he moved towards the other bed.

“Shawn? Please would you just hold me tonight…um I promise not to make any moves on you.” She whispered to him.

Knowing he was going to regret this, he just couldn’t help himself. He was putty in Belle’s hands. Getting in beside her, he gently pulled her into his arms and whispered for her to go to sleep. “You’ll be safe, my darling…I’ll keep you safe”, he whispered against her lips.

“Shawn, promise me that if anything happens to me you won’t risk your life to come after me. Promise me that you won’t do anything dangerous…I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to you because of me.” She pleaded as her voice broke with emotion.

Shawn lost his temper with her for the first time. “What the hell are you asking of me Belle? Do you honestly believe that I would want to live with myself…could live with myself if anything happened to you and I didn’t do anything? No way! No promises!” Suddenly realizing what his shouting was doing to her, he forced himself to calm down. I am not…I repeat I am not going to stand by and save myself if it means losing you.” Shawn was crying now. Don’t you know yet that I’ve never loved a woman before you and I will never love anyone else? Oh god! Come here sweetheart. I will never let him get you. I will never let you go!” Shawn knew he was losing control as he started to kiss her over and over again. Belle felt herself going down for the count.



Chapter 12 — NC17

Her words triggered something dangerous in him. It had been an emotional few days for both of them. Pain and rage cut through his heart. He had almost lost her to a monster. His anger diffused just as his control broke into a million pieces, leaving desperate passion in its wake. Both of them were trembling with emotion, hearts beating wildly, bodies restless with need. Belle suddenly stilled, watching as Shawn’s mouth parted, his eyes darkening as he looked deeply into hers. His thumb edged towards her mouth. “Its time Isabella, its time”, he whispered lovingly, and quickly removed her nightgown. Her eyes widened as she realized his meaning. She could feel the warmth of his body as he moved one leg over her. “Shawn Douglas” she whispered into his mouth. He smiled against her trembling lips. “What?” “I need you Shawn… so much…be my lover”, and so gave her consent. His body stretched full length over hers. His hands were touching her body now, caressing her, driving her slowly mad with a mind-numbing hunger. She shivered as his mouth laved first one breast and then the other. When he started to suckle on their tips, she thought she would lose her mind, such was the intense pleasure that she was experiencing anew. Her nails dug into his shoulders as his hands moved down her body. She held on to him for dear life. She cried breathlessly as he touched her passage and slid first one and then a second finger inside, preparing her for his final penetration. Belle whimpered as he started to pump his fingers back and forth within, begging for him to make it stop, pleading with him to take her further. His mouth crushed gently into hers as he pulled her arms above her head and held them there. “Hush baby”, he whispered. The pleasure was making her so feverish, so out of control. Pulling his fingers out, he quickly spread her thighs and settled between them. Her eyes glazed over. Watching as passion overtook her body, he entered her slowly, pausing, and not wanting to hurt her in any way. Belle took matters into her own hands and arched upwards to take in more of him. Suddenly gasping with pain, tears slowly trickled down her face. Shawn lovingly lapped them up. After a moment, he started to gradually move again until her body accepted all of him, not even an inch between her body and his. Shawn watched as Belle started to moan and tremble. Pumping in and out of her, finding the perfect rhythm, Shawn shattered what was left of his control. Hearing her cries triggered his own. Fierce passion led to little and then bigger explosions, their bodies climaxing together in mindless rapture.

They lay there in the aftermath of their lovemaking, arms wrapped around each other in a cocoon. The room was deadly quiet, except for the occasional gasping of breath by one of the other of them as they tried to assimilate what had just happened. Content just to hold each other, in a voice so tender, so possessive, Shawn finally whispered her name.

“Isabella sweetheart, did I hurt you?” He asked anxiously, gently brushing the hair away from her eyes.

The voice from every dream she’d ever had, Belle thought. “If this gets any better I think it just might kill me”, she groaned. Her sore muscles protested, but she pulled him down towards her she kissed him with all the passion and hunger she could muster. Pulling back Belle sighed with contentment as she looked at Shawn beside her. “I’m better than fine Shawn”, she laughed happily. “I’m perfect…I’m wonderful…I’m exhausted”, she ruined the moment by yawning. Turning to Shawn she surprised a look of seriousness on his face.

“Honey, I’m trying to be serious here. I didn’t really give you much choice. I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t wait any longer…” Belle shook her head at him.

“You waited too damn long as it is Shawn Brady! Don’t you dare apologize for giving me the most wonderful gift in the world.” Lowering her mouth to his, Belle whispered “Just shut up and kiss me”, effectively stilling every thought in his brain. When they finally came up for air, Shawn jumped out of bed and reached for her.

Shawn lifted a tired Belle into his arms and moved towards the bathroom. Turning on the taps, he gently lowered her into the tub before joining her. Slowly he massaged soap into her aching body, pouring all the love he could into every touch. Belle lay back with her eyes closed feeling as if her muscles were turning to putty. When his hands finally stopped torturing her, she opened her languid eyes. Leaning back he smiled wickedly at her. “Your turn baby”, throwing the sponge and soap at her.

Eyes closed, his mind wandered as her hands gently moved over his body with the soap. He loved her so much. He adored his gentle, beautiful Belle…SPLASH…what the hell, who was messing with his daydreaming? Rapidly opening his eyes, he was just in time to witness Belle throwing the sponge up and down and in the air and smiling mischievously at him. Before he knew it Shawn was in the middle of a water fight and his lady love was winning. Not for long, he promised. Yep! He knew what to do. Grabbing her by the waist, Shawn pulled her to him, imprisoned her arms, and kissed her senseless. Some minutes later he lifted his head looking very satisfied with himself.

“Now are you going to behave or do you want some more of that?” Smiling, Shawn got out of the tub and reached for a large towel. Lifting Belle out, he wrapped the towel around them and rubbed. Moving them back into the bedroom, he gently laid her across the bed. Getting in and pulling her towards him, he covered them up with a blanket.

“Goodnight my sweet love”, he whispered. Looking down at her, he saw that Belle was out like a light. His last thought as he closed his eyes was that this was where he wanted to be forever.

Back in Salem, John and Shane worked late into the night, developing surveillance film and discussing Mimi’s near kidnapping. Shane’s cell phone rang and he quickly picked it up.

“Donovan. What’s you status?” He barked into the phone. Tempers were running high.

“Sir, it looks like there’s some movement at the compound. A helicopter just landed on the grounds. Looks like its there to pick someone up.” Agent Palmer reported.

“Keep us informed, Agent.” Shane quickly hung up and relayed the information to his friend.

“I have a very bad feeling about this, Shane. Something’s going down.” John said cautiously.

The air was definitely tense at the Alamain compound. Having worked all his contacts, Ivan at last had news worth using. Ivan was readying himself and three of his best men to leave quickly. This was his last chance to prove himself to Madam. She had stripped him down one side and then the other after his last failure. That damn girl! How was he supposed to know that she wasn’t Miss Black? But now he had them. Soon they would have the right girl and Madam would be happy with him again.

Coming up behind him, Vivian placed a hand on his shoulder. “I hope you know what you are doing this time Ivan. No more mistakes! I want her here by tomorrow night…Do You Understand Me?” Her voice rising.

Madam, we have traced young Kiriakis’ call to Shawn Brady. They are at a hotel in Montana. We will not fail this time”, he asserted.

“Everything is ready for our guest, Ivan. Bring her to me as soon as you return”, Vivian commanded.

For the time being, she was keeping this latest news from her nephew. He was acting more and more strangely as the days progressed. Ivan nodded to her and left for his new destination.

Vivian looked over her plans and smiled. Miss Belle would suit her just fine. Clapping her hands in glee, Vivian poured herself another drink and settled in to wait.

Some hours later, towards the dawn, Ivan and his men landed at an airport close to Havre, Montana. Transportation was waiting for them. Ivan could taste success. He knew he was close to his prey. But he also knew that this time he must take his time to hunt his quarry. Make no mistake though, capture his quarry he would…and sooner rather than later.

Shawn and Belle slept on, bodies entwined, and totally unaware of the very real possibility that they would soon be parted for some time. The sleepy little town of Havre, Montana would that very day be party to an outdoor carnival…one that Shawn and Belle wouldn’t be able to resist. Only one of them would return from the carnival. The other would be whisked away before his very eyes.

In the meantime, Shawn and Belle were starting to wake up to the morning sounds. Turning to each other, they smiled and began to make plans.



Chapter 13

As early dawn approached, Ivan and his partners in crime alighted from the helicopter running towards the waiting van. Once inside, Ivan turned to his cohorts looking deadly serious. “Smithy are you absolutely sure your intel about the girl is accurate? We can’t afford to make any more mistakes where she is concerned”, he warned, eyes shifting from one to the other.

“Sir, both Tomas and I checked the information thoroughly. Our sources assured me that this is the right location…we will find the girl here”; he answered, getting more and more uncomfortable by the minute. “Your idea that Brady and Kiriakis swapped vehicles was right on the mark. We simply followed through and figured that if there was any communication, it would be between the two of them. Then it was simply a matter of pulling in a marker with that babe at the telephone company. Using the latest technology, not even CIA issue yet, she looked for any cell phones that had been purchased by Kiriakis in the last little while and if and from where they had been used. Believe me sir, we’ve got her cornered. She won’t get away from us again”, he finished out of breath.

“You both better hope not”, Ivan glared menacingly, looking at the two of them and shaking his head. He hoped he hadn’t made a mistake in choosing them for this mission. On the one hand, Smithy might look like the typical boy next door, but he had a history of lethal violence where and whenever necessary, without blinking an eye. He might need reigning in. He also had a history of sexual violence. Tomas on the other hand looked like evil incarnate, but had the I.Q. of a 10-year-old. Still he was good at taking orders. They would have to do. Tonight he would show Madam that he was worthy of her trust. If he felt any sympathy towards the innocent girl, he quickly squelched it.

The driver, another Alamain lackey, kept his thoughts to himself while he drove the men towards their destination. He had seen a picture of their target and thought he might just have to take her for himself, she was that pretty…that young. He liked them young. He liked them blond and pretty. Yes, he surely did, licking his lips. If it wasn’t that he desperately needed the money this job brought, he would have jumped ship a long time ago and found the girl himself. Yeah right, like he needed the all this trouble…in this case though, he thought she might just be worth it. The town was just opening for business. Sliding into place a few spots away from the Best Western, they waited for what seemed like forever for Belle and Shawn to appear.

Up in their room, two people were lost in their own little world. Shawn and Belle had spent their first night together as lovers and were taking their first shower together. It was almost noon. Getting more water outside the shower than on them, they tried to wash each other in between kisses. Both felt as if something amazing had happened the night before. They couldn’t stay away from each other. Shawn, however, was the more reasonable of the two. He knew that Belle had to be sore from her first time and wanted to give her time to heal. His Belle, of course, had other ideas, but finally Shawn took matters into his own hands, and took things down a notch. Stepping out of the shower he lifted her out and before she could reach for him, he put a towel between them and gave her a vigorous rubdown.

“My Belle, we are going to slow down here and go to lunch like normal people”, he smiled, wagging his finger at her. Belle put on her most seductive look, especially for a novice, and gave him a come hither look. Shawn took two steps back, breathing deeply, and tried to ignore what his body was telling him to do. Throwing her clothes at her, he laughed at her outraged expression.

“Now sweetheart, you know I only have eyes for you. You know you light up my life. You know you made me love you, you know you’re the tops!” he grinningly cajoled.

Belle stamped her feet in frustration. “Shawn Douglas Brady! You just stop quoting your Grandma Alice’s favorite songs…do you hear me?” “Right now!” she ordered.

Shawn grabbed her around the waist and laughingly swung her around before getting serious. “Baby, we need to slow down a bit…let your body rest up for what I have in mind for you tonight. Now get dressed and will have a look around this town before we head out again. And tonight Belle I’m going to give you an evening you’ll never forget”, Shawn promised, nuzzling her with a kiss. And with a promise and a kiss, the two young lovers got ready to go out, packing so they would be ready to leave right after breakfast. As they closed the door, Shawn’s cell phone, so necessary to their safety was left behind on the bed.

Back at the Alamain compound, Vivian was meeting with the one man who could guarantee her success, Dr. Evan Ramsey. Ramsey was notorious for having been kicked out of his profession some years back for suspicious doings. He was considered a charlatan, but Vivian knew he was the right one for the job, she was certainly paying him enough. His background was psychology, but he had dabbled in cult-like sensory deprivation techniques, brainwashing and hypnotic influence programming. The doctor had a definite black side to his character, was hired by only the wealthiest and most corrupt. Vivian Alamain definitely fit both of those characteristics to a ‘T’.

“You have reviewed my plans Doctor?” She queried. “You can provide what I need?” She looked at him anxiously.

“Yes. The young lady will do quite well. There is no question that I will have her obeying your every command after, at most, a month of training. She will forget who she was; forget her family, her love, her friends, and above all her old life. After I am finished with the girl, her new programming will allow you to suggest certain truths and have her believe them as gospel, she will believe that you are her only family…but I must be left in full control of her training. I assure that while she may rebel at the beginning, we simply have to find the right formula, and she will succumb. But I will not abide any interference whatsoever. You must ensure that your nephew stays away until the time is right. You must all be patient”, he asserted. “I will keep you informed of her progress. Have all my requirements been met? Vivian nodded and rubbed her hands together in anticipation. “Your equipment has arrived and is in the room attached to her cell. We will keep away until you say the girl is ready. She must believe that Lawrence is her true father, and that John Black is a deadly killer. She must believe that her main purpose is to serve the Alamain empire in any way she is needed.” Offering him a drink, they settled around the desk and reviewed their plans. Lawrence Alamain stepped back from his hiding place and thoughtfully walked quietly away.

Belle and Shawn were enjoying the picturesque beauty of Havre, Montana. Holding hands they walked down the block, crossed the street, and entered a quaint little coffee shop, without noticing that they were being shadowed. All around were tables covered with blue checkered tablecloths. An old-fashioned jukebox sat in one corner playing away. Shawn led Belle to a booth in the corner. Less than minute later a grandmotherly type waitress brought menus and coffee.

“My, my…it certainly does my heart good to see you young lovers today. Are you here for our spring blossom carnival? My name’s Ella…what can I get for you dearies?” Ella smiled at the two of them and taking a pencil from behind her ear, she waited.

Realizing that they were starving, both Belle and Shawn spoke out at the same time. “The lunch special please ma’am”, laughing at each other afterwards. Ella rushed away to place their orders. As soon as she was out of sight, Shawn pulled Belle towards him for a quick kiss. “Mmm, I needed that”, he whispered. Belle leaned into him and they sat like that for a while, not speaking, just enjoying their newfound relationship. Ella brought back their food and included a carnival poster for them to read.

Outside, Smithy was talking into his cell phone, giving his report. “Yeah, the girl’s inside having breakfast with her boy toy”, he smirked. “Some old broad gave them some stuff to read.” Listening to a reply, he nodded, mumbled a “will do” into the phone and quickly hung up. Damn, he thought, what are we waiting for? He looked back inside to see what was happening.

“Shawn, this looks so cute, couldn’t we please stay another day and go to the carnival. There’s a 60’s music dance at the end…please! Pretty please???” Belle started smothering him with kisses.

Boy, she sure could wrap him around her fingers. God those kisses were potent. Shawn put up his hands in mock surrender. “Okay, I give up…we’ll go…just please don’t torture me anymore”, hugging her and smiling.

This was going to be such a fun day, she thought. Just the two of them together…for once maybe they could put their troubles on the shelf for awhile. Hugging Shawn back, they quickly finished their meal and headed out.

Smithy followed them to the carnival area, reported back to his boss, and waited for backup. He watched as Belle and Shawn went from booth to booth having fun. Shawn won his ladylove a stuffed teddy bear and she jumped for joy. Together they went on all the rides, with Belle clinging to Shawn more often than not. Laughingly they sat down under a tree and tried to feed each other cotton candy. Stopping first at a photo booth, they made funny faces as the camera captured them. As the sun went down, the happy couple headed towards the dance barn.

Shane Donovan yelled into the phone. “What do you mean its taken you this long to find their location? Get that helicopter ready to go…we’ll be there in fifteen.” Damn incompetents, he muttered. Turning to John and Bo he gave them the latest news. “Alamain’s helicopter landed outside a small town in Montana. We think Belle and Shawn are there as well.” Both men swore. “Damn it Shane, can we get there in time? Is there anyway to warn them? Bo pulled out the cell phone number Philip had left for his son and quickly dialed. Pick up, Shawn; come on pick up, he entreated. Nothing! Bo quickly left a message for Shawn and followed the other two out the door. Shawn’s cell phone was sitting back in their hotel room.

Shawn grabbed a glass of punch for Belle and him and led her to a table. The band was playing sixties music and couples of all ages were on the floor dancing.

“May I have this dance my lady? Shawn reached down to his ladylove and bowed like a gentleman, holding out his hand.

“Why yes kind knight.” Belle replied just as eagerly. The band’s vocalist was singing a beautiful haunting song just perfect for slow dancing. Pulling Belle into his arms, they began to sway to the music, the words perfect for what he was feeling.

How can I be sure
In a world that's constantly changing
How can I be sure
Where I stand with you
Whenever I
Whenever I am away from you
I wanna die
'Cause you know I wanna stay with you
How do I know
Maybe you're trying to use me
Flying too high can confuse me
Touch me but don't take me down
Whenever I
Whenever I am away from you
My alibi is tellin' people I don't care for you
Maybe I'm just hangin’ around
With my head up, upside down
It's a pity
I can't seem to find someone who’s as
Pretty 'n' lovely as you
How can I be sure
I really, really, really, wanna know
I really, really, really, wanna know
Oh oh oh …
Oh oh oh …
How's the weather
Weather or not, we're together
Together we'll see it much better
I love you, I love you forever
You know where I can be found
How can I be sure
In a world that's constantly changing
How can I be sure
I'll be sure with you
Whispering the last few words in her ear Shawn said, “How can I be sure, I’ll be sure with you. This is our song baby.” Looking at her with love in his eyes, he kissed her passionately right on the dance floor.

Belle thought she would faint right there. If this was heaven, then this is where she wanted to be. Not giving her a chance to speak, Shawn pulled her close as another song began.



Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Shall I stay
Would it be a sin
If I can’t help falling in love with you

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you
For I can’t help falling in love with you

Belle clung to Shawn as they moved around the dance floor. She remembered how her dad loved to sing this old Elvis Presley tune to her mother, but had never really thought about its meaning until now. Without consciously thinking about it, she started to hum and then softly sing the lyrics to Shawn. “I can’t help falling in love with you.” Looking down at her, he thought about all the things he wanted to do for her, all the plans to be made. He didn’t think he could ever be happier than he was at that very minute. As the song ended, he moved them back towards their table. Taking her hand in his, he looked deeply into her eyes.

“I know we haven’t been together all that long…um and I know that maybe I’m rushing things…but…well…the fact is…um…damn it Belle! Will you marry me?” He stumbled but finally got the words out, sweating a little.

Belle looked at him as if he hung the moon. Her breath caught and her face took on a radiance that was clear for all to see. “Shawn…I would love to marry you” she smiled gently.

“Oh my!” Shawn and Belle both exclaimed at the same time. While the two lovebirds made plans for their future, Ivan and his men surrounded the dance barn. Smithy was sent inside to blend in and grab the girl at the most opportune time.

The right moment came a little while later. The band played a ‘switch partners’ dance and Belle pulled Shawn up to take part. Both were laughing as they went from partner to partner. Smithy was the last partner in line. Quickly pulling her away from the other couples he gave her no chance to scream. Once outside the barn, Tomas quickly covered her nose with a chloroform-laced handkerchief, and Belle lost consciousness.

When the crowds cleared, Belle was nowhere to be found. One minute she was laughing with her beloved and the next she had disappeared.

As a beautiful young lady was whisked away to a waiting helicopter, a keening cry could be heard from within the dance barn. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Shawn cried out in anguish. He raced outside but couldn’t find her. He asked everyone if they had seen her, pulling out the pictures they had taken earlier that day.

As the day closed, John, Bo, and Shane arrived to find Shawn taking the Sheriff’s office apart. John swore to find his beloved Isabella while Bo promised his son to find his one true love. Shane started coordinated efforts to find her before it was too late.

The helicopter finally touched down in front of the Alamain compound. Ivan came around, carrying the girl in his arms. Vivian opened the doors and whisked them up the stairs. Opening a door, Ivan laid the unconscious girl down on the simple cot, locking the door behind him, mission finally accomplished.

Belle was in a closet size room, no lights, no windows, no other furniture except for the cot and one other chair. A tiny bathroom stood to the side. And still Belle slept on.



Chapter 14

After directing his local operatives to expand the search for Belle statewide and to neighboring states, Shane convinced John and Bo that their best bet was to find a way into the Alamain compound and look for clues. By morning everything was in place. Not even Shane thought that Lawrence would be stupid enough to keep her there, but it was the only constant they had at the moment. Getting Shawn to leave was a different story however.

Shawn felt his father’s arms come around him in a bear hug. No cross that out, he felt nothing, nothing but a blind numbness. After everything that had happened, all the precautions they had taken, how could he have lost her so easily? Why had he stupidly thought that Belle needed only him to protect her? How pompous and stupid was he to think that he could take Alamain on by himself? Damn, Damn, Damn! This was his fault, no one else’s, his and his alone. He might as well have knocked on Alamain’s door and handed her over on a platter himself, he thought depressingly. And now…and now…Oh God! What was happening to her now? Where are you Belle? Where are you sweetheart? He wondered if a heart could truly break in half. It certainly felt like it, he reflected miserably.

Bo watched his son carefully. Oh boy, he thought sadly. Those two must have gotten even closer than we thought on this trip. He’s looking like I would if anything ever happened to my Fancy Face. My son’s found his mate. We have to find her before its too late.

John was pacing the floor. He wasn’t ashamed to show the tears in his eyes. This was his baby, his Isabella who had been taken. On top of that, he was sure that Lawrence had taken her because of him. Damn, she was so vulnerable. Lawrence will pay, he promised to himself. Straightening his shoulders, he turned to look at the boy who had made his baby so happy. John walked over to Shawn and looked him straight in the eye.

“I’m counting on you to help me find her Shawn. I know how much you love my daughter and believe me I couldn’t be happier. We need to put aside our fears for her and find a way to get her back. C’mon, young man, none of us can do this with out you.”

Shawn backed away for a moment, taking a deep breath and trying to reign in his emotions. “But sir, how can you forgive me? I did this…I lost your daughter!” he looked at John in confusion.

“No way son and that’s a fact! Alamain has thwarted the best of us, many times. You gave my daughter a few extra days of happiness for which I will be eternally grateful. Listen, I can see just by looking at you that you are punishing yourself more than I ever could. Now how about it? Can we count you in?” John held out his hand to Shawn.

Shawn hesitated for only a moment. He knew if he didn’t do something, he would go crazy. Standing tall, he shook John’s hand. “Yes sir, you can! I will find her or die trying!” Shawn promised fervently.

Bo looked at John and nodded gratefully. Shane joined the group and smiled gently at his nephew. “God willing we will all dance at yours and Belle’s wedding my boy. We will find her Shawn…I promise.” Shane knew it was foolish to make promises like this one but one look at his nephew’s face made him glad he had.

The four men made their way back to the airfield and shortly thereafter were on their way home. They all had plenty of time to ponder the risks of what they were about to do. Shawn didn’t waste time thinking about that. His thoughts were consumed by Belle. Where are you my love? He wondered worriedly. What have they done to you?

Things were very quiet in the Alamain compound. It was as if a code of silence had been imposed ever since Dr. Ramsey had descended upon the place. No one came near. He sat writing notes at the desk in his room…the room attached to Belle’s. We must change her name immediately, he thought. She must be completely free of her past. I shall call her…Sarah…yes Sarah Alamain. And now, he would see how Sarah was faring. Of course she would not see him. The hidden cameras in her room would give him all the contact he needed for the first few days. He would keep her isolated from any human contact for the first few days. Dr. Ramsey knew how important this was with the new ones. Of course she would have a food tray slid under the door, but that would be all. Turning to the electronic equipment set up for him by his hosts, he pressed a button. The girl’s room came across the screen in full color. Ah, he thought, the wonders of television.

Belle was lying on the cot, eyes were closed but no longer asleep. Her eyelids were heavy and sluggish. Try as she might to open them, it was quite a struggle. Her mouth felt so dry, her muscles ached, and she had the mother of all headaches. What was happening to her? Where was Shawn? Why couldn’t she move? Belle was trying not to panic, but her senses were shutting down on her and she wanted Shawn so badly. God, think Belle…think! Don’t give in! She tried to focus, settling on her very last memories…Shawn…the dance…his marriage proposal…Oh god! That man…he pulled me away and then…and then…Oh God! Why can’t I remember? Of their own volition, tears fell down her cheeks, gathering strength from god knows where, she viciously swept them aside.

Dr. Ramsey smiled. Oh yes, she is beginning to wonder what is happening…best to get that out of the way…As soon as she sees that she is all alone, I will have her right where I want her, he nodded in satisfaction. Turning back to his desk, he added a few notes to his file on Miss Sarah Alamain.

Vivian came down to breakfast to find Lawrence practically hyperventilating with excitement over their new arrival. “She’s here Auntie! She’s here! When can I see her? I must have a look at her! Oh this is too good; I can’t wait to see John’s face when he realizes what we have done…when he realizes that I have won!”

Vivian swung her hand and quickly backslapped him across the face. “Keep quiet Lawrence! No you may not see her! You know what Dr. Ramsey’s wishes are as well as I do! You must be patient…I won’t tell you again.” She admonished. Vivian was getting a little concerned about Lawrence. Would he be the weak link to her plans? He seemed to have a fixation about the girl. His stability was certainly questionable. She put those thoughts aside and called for Ivan.

Ivan came into the room with a satisfied look about him. “Yes Madam?” he asked smiling.

Vivian wagged her finger at him. “Ah, you are feeling mighty please with yourself aren’t you? Well, so you should! Excellent job! I am very pleased with you.” While Ivan was having second thoughts about taking the girl, he loved the praise his Madam was giving him. Bowing, he left the room.

At Salem ISA Headquarters, five men sat around a table making plans to infiltrate the Alamain compound. Upon their return, Shawn had received permission to bring Philip up to date on Belle’s kidnapping. Philip had immediately volunteered to help with the mission. Shane stood up and spread the aerial shots, land shots, house plans, and security plans across the table. Scouring the information, the men worked for hours before coming up with a plan that they thought just might work. It was very chancy, would require perfect timing on their parts, but it could be done. As far as the men were concerned…it would be done. None of them wanted to think about what was happening to Belle as they worked away. They shoved the terror they felt at her predicament way to the back of their minds. All except Shawn that is. Try as he might, every so often his face took on a look of utter horror that he just couldn’t hide. Bo and John knew that in his place they would have felt the same, and so let it go.

When the plans were in place, John looked at Shawn. “I have a very big favor to ask of you Shawn. I need to know that once we have Isabella back that this will never ever happen again. Unless Lawrence and Vivian are brought down permanently, Isabella will always be in danger because of their vendetta against me. Son, I can see how much you love my daughter, and I think you would lay down your life for her wouldn’t you?” John asked seriously.

“Yes sir! I love her more than my own life!” Shawn didn’t know where Belle’s father was going with this, but he could no more deny it than he could stop breathing.

“My sweet Isabella will need to be taken far away from here, where no one can get to her or hurt her again. There is a place; it is in the Spanish Pyrenees…I have a home there that absolutely no one knows about, not even her mother. I need someone I can count on to convince her to leave everything that is dear to her…someone who will protect her…someone who will love her and make her happy. Above all, I need someone who will help her heal when this is all over. Shawn do you love my daughter enough to do this for her?” John asked, gravely serious.

Shawn did not hesitate for one second. “Yes sir. I want to marry her more than anything in this world. I will go anywhere to be with her. I won’t let you down.”

The men watched both of them and realized that a bond had been formed…two men who had one very important thing in common with each other… they loved a young woman deeply…a woman named Belle.

Philip also made a quick decision and pulling Shawn aside, he whispered. “I told Mimi about Belle before I came over here, Shawn. She wants to do anything she can to help. I’m thinking that when this is over, as much as Belle will need you, she might need Mimi, another woman, to help in her recover as well. We both want to do anything we can to help you guys so if you want us to go with you to Spain, count us in.”

Shawn looked at Philip in amazement. “You would give up your lives to help us?”

Philip nodded. “You know that you and Belle would do the same for us man!”

Just then, Shawn overheard the conversation John was having with his wife Marlena. He knew that John had been trying to get hold of her since this whole thing had started. He watched as John’s face turned sad as he hung up the phone.

Quickly walking over to him, Shawn looked fierce as he spoke. “She’s alright Sir…I know she is…we will bring her back safely, I promise!”

John looked at him carefully; all of a sudden he needed reassurance himself that his Isabella was okay. “How do you know Shawn? What makes you so sure?”

Taking a deep breath, Shawn looked at the room’s occupants and then straight at John.
“I know Isabella is alright because I’m still breathing. If she were dead I would be too!” Shawn’s voice cracked with emotion at that moment. He quickly walked out the door to find a private place to think. Back in the room, the men looked at each other in surprise.

Finding a small room around the corner, Shawn closed the door behind him and shakily walked over to the window and looked out. His thoughts were all jumbled. He hadn’t known just what he was going to say to John until the words jumped out at him. “I know Isabella is alright because I’m still breathing”, he repeated softly out loud. Yes!!! He knew it as well as he knew himself. He would find Belle and she would be alright. Thinking of the song they had danced to, Shawn remembered the words. “How can I be sure…I’m sure with you…I love you, I love you forever”, humming to himself, he knew suddenly that everything would be okay. It might take time, but he and Belle had a life ahead of them…a life full of love and children and each other.


In her cell-like room, Belle finally managed to move her limbs slowly. Curling up in a fetus position, she opened her red-rimmed eyes and looked around her. Gasping, she took in her surroundings. Trying not to panic, Belle tried to think of her options. The Alamains had her, she knew it! But not for long if she could help it. Pushing her fear deep inside, Belle gently smiled to herself. Shawn and Dad will find me…I know it!
The clatter of a tray being pushed under the door caught her attention. Just as quickly as it came through, she shoved it back again.

“No Way! Do you hear me? You don’t know who you’re dealing with!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. Her body was still weak and the exertion quickly tired her out. Sitting back down on the cot, she curled her legs under and wrapped her arms around her body. Whispering, “Where are you Shawn? Please find me soon”, she fell back into a deep sleep.

Dr. Ramsey shook his head. Turning away, he quickly turned around again and looked at the screen. He could swear he could hear a humming in the background and a man's voice whispering "I'll love you, I'll love you...forever."



Chapter 15

Caveat: For the purpose of moving this story forward, Chapter 15 deals with some disturbing drug issues. I do not advocate the usage of street drugs or dangerous drugs of any kind.

Prologue: Two long and very disturbing days have passed since Belle was kidnapped. Days where no one knew what was happening to Belle. Thanks to inside information, they only knew her location and that she was indeed alive. Plans were finally in place for the fearsome five (Shawn, Philip, Shane, John & Bo) as well as Shane’s many operatives to launch Operation Isabella and save the damsel from the evil clutches of the Alamains. So much depended on timing. Timing was everything.

Chapter 15

She was so tired. Her body weakened by two days without food. Her choice of course. Belle would not give in to them…she would not. Curled up in a corner on the floor, she unconsciously rocked back and forth, staring at nothing. Shawn, she whispered in her mind, for she refused to let them know what she was thinking, where are you? Please find me…I’m trying to hold on but I don’t know if I can for much longer. Silent tears fell down her cheeks. Please find me. Stuttering, she whispered; don’t let him come near me again…I’m so terribly afraid.

Dr. Ramsey watched the screen intently. My she was a strong one…anyone else would have been screaming the walls by now. I may have to hasten my plans. Let her have human contact after all…make her aware of her limited choices. He had no doubt that Sarah would succumb. The question was when?

Unbeknownst to the erstwhile doctor, she had indeed had a visitor. At this very moment Lawrence was remembering his visit fondly. On that moonless night before, when the compound was finally quiet and still, he had stealthily made his way to the girl’s cell. Closing the door silently behind him, he had eagerly watched the sleeping figure on the cot. As Lawrence Alamain had moved towards her, Belle had awoken suddenly feeling a presence in the room. Confused about her whereabouts, her defenses down, she had whispered, “Shawn is that you?”

Lawrence smiled as he remembered what had happened next.

Laughing, “It’s your new father, Belle…or should I say Sarah? You belong to me now.”

Belle had reacted in shock, pulling as far away from him as she could. “No, no, no! Stay away from me”, she whispered harshly, trembling as he got closer.

Lawrence remembered how soft her skin had felt when he ran his finger slowly down her cheek…so good. Not so good was what had happened next. His Sarah had spat in his face…she had actually spat in his face! He got angry again just thinking about it.

But how she had cringed when she saw the anger, or was it a touch of madness, building in his eyes, he thought satisfied. How she had stilled when he touched her cheek again said in a sinister voice, “you will learn to respect your father, Sarah…you won’t like what happens if you don’t. Now say goodnight to your papa, Sarah. I will see you again tomorrow night.” And in her anguish, she had fearfully whispered “Goodnight Papa.” Oh how he had loved hearing those words, quietly leaving the room.

Not knowing about this previous nocturnal visit, Dr. Ramsey prepared to enter the room. As the knob turned, Belle felt her mind shut down. I won’t let them touch me…I won’t. The doctor entered the room and put on his most kindly face.

Belle jumped back as she felt the force of his mesmerizing personality. She tried to fight it but was strangely drawn to him.

“Sarah, you must eat if you are to be strong. Come, I have brought you some soup.”

Gathering her strength, Belle turned to the doctor and kicked the bowl away, in the process getting it all over his suit. Expecting his anger, Belle moved back to a corner and braced herself. She watched as his eyes narrowed and looked straight at her.

Ramsey’s voice took on a hypnotic lilt, so much so that Belle found herself struggling to stop herself from listening to him.

“Now Sarah, you know you are getting weaker. You aren’t doing yourself any good this way. No one knows where you are, no one will find you. This is your home now. We are your family. You must learn to accept this. I am your doctor and I know what is best for you. You believe that don’t you? You are Sarah Alamain, it is time you accepted it. You have no other choice”. His voice got quieter and quieter as she strained to hear him. The melodic tone of his voice called to her. The force of his presence enveloped the room.

An eerily calm came over Belle. Dr. Ramsey was making so much sense. It was so much easier to believe what he was saying…so much easier to give in. Her mind was accepting this new way of thinking. She had no choice.

Ramsey went in for the kill. “You know I tell the truth. You accept the truth now…yes you do my dear”, he waved a hand over her eyes, mesmerizing her. Belle’s arms fell to her sides, her body relaxed even more as she became aware of his voice only.

The doctor watched as his patient became more and more confused, entering into a trance-like state, until she finally gave up all will and whispered, “I am Sarah Alamain, I am Sarah Alamain…over and over again like a mantra. He lifted her willing body into his arms and placed her once again on the cot. Taking a syringe from his pocket he looked up at her and smiled.

“Now take your medicine like a good little girl, Sarah, and I will let you listen to some music that I know you will like.” Pulling up the sleeve of her tunic, he softly pushed the needle through her vein. Standing back he waited for the drug, with its suggestion-inducing elements to take affect. He knew he was jumpstarting her training, but proceeded anyway.

Slowly Belle felt the drug enter her system. A feeling of relaxation and peace with the world started to envelop her. I am Sarah, she thought, Sarah Alamain.

Dr. Ramsey pulled the earphones over her head and watched her as she listened to the words. Within minutes she was repeating the voice in her head over and over… “John Black is a killer, John Black is a killer, John Black is a killer, John Black is a Killer…and then, I belong to Vivian and Lawrence and my doctor, I belong to Vivian and Lawrence and my doctor.” Her voice got stronger and stronger. The background music serving to keep her in a trance-like state. The words became her only thoughts. The rest of the world, her family, Shawn, Mimi, all became nonexistent to her.

Dr. Ramsey left the cell smiling in triumph. This had been easier than he thought. It had been such a pleasure to put her in that first trance. He watched her through the monitors. His Sarah was coming along splendidly. With more treatments every few hours, she would welcome any suggestion put by him. By tomorrow her training would go into the next phase and by then no one would be able to pull her out of it.

Back in the cell, Belle was no more. Sarah let the drugs and the voices in her head take over. She gazed vacantly at the walls, accepting her fate.

At 4 p.m. Dr. Ramsey entered the cell to begin his patient’s second treatment. The girl lay docilely, listening to the tape over and over again. Pulling up her sleeve once more, he smiled down at her. “Time for your medicine my dear. You are feeling much better already aren’t you Sarah?” He asked in his singsong voice.

Belle looked obediently at him and nodded. “Yes Doctor, much better”, holding out her arm. She loved his voice. Ramsey plunged the needle into her vein and watched once again as the drugs raced through.

“I have some new music for you to listen to, little Sarah. I think you’ll enjoy this very much.” Ramsey pulled out the old tape and inserted the new one. “Now what do you say, Sarah? He asked commandingly.

“Thank you Doctor. She spoke in obedience. Laying back she once again felt the rush of the drugs making their way through her body. As the tape began to play, her eyes once again took on a vacant look.

Dr. Ramsey smiled and left the room once more satisfied with her progress. This new tape will open up new worlds for her. He watched the monitor as she began to mouth the message. “Doctor Ramsey will tell me what to do. He is my teacher” over and over again. Her body would gradually have no more need for those injections of his. Already he could see how eager she was to listen to him. His voice was becoming as necessary to her as breathing and that was just the way he wanted it.

The ISA Headquarters was abuzz with activity. The men were getting ready to move out. As soon as darkness fell, Shane’s operatives would be in place. If everything worked like clockwork Alamain’s men would drop like flies, Alamain security would be easily breached, Alamain and his aunt would be caught and dealt with, and finally Belle would be rescued before it was too late.

Shawn paced the room, trying to be patient. He had a very bad feeling about this. His Belle was in so much danger, he could feel it. They had to get to her soon. He turned as Shane called them all to the table.

“Alright! Every thing is a go. My men are on their way to the compound and will notify me when they are in place. Now remember, you all know the mission. We have one shot at getting to Belle…only one. Are there any questions? No? Well then let’s do it! Get your camouflage on and meet me out front in ten.” Everyone rushed off to get ready. The air was thick with adrenaline. Shane’s men radioed that they were ready.

The five men, dressed in black, armed and dangerous, left ISA Headquarters right on time. At precisely 10:05 p.m. the men moved from their crouched positions and began Operation Isabella.

Shane’s operatives were positioned strategically to take out communications and security first. Shane, Bo and John each took out their targets with ease. By 10:10 p.m. they were ready to enter the house.

Vivian and Lawrence were enjoying a drink in celebration of Dr. Ramsey’s latest report. Sarah was doing so well. They could expect her complete compliance by week’s end. Both turned in surprise when the door crashed open. Suddenly they were surrounded by Shane, John and Bo. All three were pointing their weapons at them. Shane’s other operatives quickly rounded up Ivan and the few security men remaining in the house, herding them into the room.

Shawn and Philip came in behind the others. Shawn walked right up to a suddenly terrified Lawrence, grabbed him by his shirt and stared him down. “Where is she? Where’s Belle? I’ll kill you with my bare hands if you’ve done anything to harm her”, he screamed angrily.

“Shut up Lawrence…Don’t tell them anything”, Vivian warned.

John went up to his aunt and shoved her into a chair. “Why don’t you shut up…you might as well, you’re going to prison for a long time if you’ve hurt my daughter, you bitch!”

Shane turned to Shawn. “Check the upstairs boys. My guys think that’s where we’ll find her”, he advised.

Belle was upstairs with Dr. Ramsey. He had arrived about a half hour previously to prepare her for the next day’s training. She now hung on his every word.

“Sarah you know who I am now don’t you?” He smiled down at her.

“You are my teacher. I can only learn from you.” Belle answered eagerly.

“Are you ready to accept my wisdom and do only as I ask?” He questioned.

“Yes, only as you ask.” She repeated with reverence, smiling at him.

The doctor was happy with her answers. She was going to be his greatest achievement.
He ignored the thundering of feet up the stairs. He really must talk to Vivian about that.

Suddenly he heard doors being kicked open and realized what was really going on. Pulling Belle behind him, he spoke quickly to her. “The men coming in here want to take you away from me. You mustn’t let them…do you understand me? You belong to me.” He ordered.

Belle nodded. “No doctor, I mustn’t let them.” She repeated obediently.

Just then Shawn and Philip swung open the door to the cell. They both watched in amazement as Belle hid behind the tall man.

Shawn moved towards Belle. “Sweetheart…Belle…I’m here now…lets go home.” He watched in horror as Belle cringed away from him.

“No! No! No! I am Sarah Alamain! Stay away from me! Doctor tell them I belong to you…make them go away!” Belle started to cry as she clutched the doctor, refusing to let him go.

Ramsey decided to take matters into his own hands. “You see, Sarah doesn’t wish to be saved. She’s perfectly happy to stay here with me…where she belongs, I might add! He stroked Belle’s cheek as she clung to him.

Philip looked at a shocked Shawn and quietly shook his head. “Listen you crazy old man, she isn’t Sarah…she’s Belle Black. I don’t know what you’ve done to her but I swear you’ll pay for it. Now move ahead of me…no leave her behind.” He waved his gun, forcing the doctor to move out of the room and then descend to the room where the others were being held. Philip quickly informed the group about the situation upstairs. John grabbed the doctor and sucker-punched him. Ramsey went down for the count. It didn’t do much for John’s anger but it was a start.

Shane quietly arranged for an ambulance and doctor to meet them at ISA Headquarters. He knew Belle’s recuperation would have to begin immediately. Poor Shawn, he thought. His operatives led Lawrence, Vivian, Ramsey, and the rest of their cohorts out to the van. Locked up tight, and with an armed escort, Shane arranged for them to be taken to the Salem jail overnight while he decided what to do with them.

Up in the cell, Shawn watched in horror as Belle back away from him only to crouch in the corner. Rocking back and forth she whispered “I’m Sarah Alamain, I’m Sarah Alamain”, over and over while tears coursed down her cheeks.

Shawn could feel the pain overwhelming him. What have they done to my Belle? Oh God! How am I going to make this right? Taking a deep breath, he only knew that he had to get her far, far away from this place. He crouched in front of her and gently lifted her into his arms. Belle struggled and screamed at him as he carried her down the stairs. Flinging her arms and kicking her legs, she pummeled his body.

“Let me go…Let me go….I’m Sarah…No…No…No.” And still he walked, past the guards, past both of their fathers, out into the courtyard. Bo and John struggled to keep their emotions hidden as they watched a Belle they had never seen.

Shawn kept a stiff upper lip, and a tight rein on his emotions, as he sat in Shane’s car holding Belle tightly on his lap. Philip rubbed her cold hands in his. She was crying into Shawn’s shoulder. She was crying as if her heart was breaking. Tears began to gather in Shawn’s eyes. Choking them back he looked up to see the car’s other occupants watching him silently. He made a solemn vow to make Alamain pay for what he had done. At that moment, he had killing on his mind.

Whispering to Belle, “I know you won’t believe me now, but I love you! I love you with all my heart. You are my life. You’ll come back to me sweetheart…I know you will.” Belle was shaking her head otherwise, but he knew he would get her back. His love would bring her back. It had to.

Finally warn out, Belle fell asleep. Shawn cradled her in his arms and tried not to let the fear consume him. Arriving at ISA Headquarters, Shawn refused to release her to the orderlies. Climbing into the ambulance with her, the medics were forced to work around him, checking her vitals, making her comfortable.

John, Bo and Philip watched as the ambulance pulled out. Each caught up in his own thoughts; they got in the car, and followed the ambulance to the hospital.
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:18 pm #9

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.
Chapters 16 - 20

Chapter 16

Shawn lowered his tired eyes to Belle’s face and knew something was very, very wrong. He could see how tired she was, but this deep a sleep wasn’t normal…was it? He vaguely heard the sirens as the ambulance traveled at breakneck speeds. Cradling her in his arms, Shawn watched their faces intently as the paramedics checked Belle’s vitals, made notes and relayed their findings to the hospital. One of the paramedics lifted her eyelids and looked over at his coworker. Nodding, they lifted her sleeves and noted the fresh needle marks and swollen veins.

“Do you know what she took, sir? One of them asked urgently.

Shawn jumped at his voice, not understanding the question. “Took?” His voice was raspy and strained.

The senior paramedic explained. “Sir, her eyes are severely dilated. Her arms are marked. She either took or received an unknown number of injections of some kind, all very recently, the last one looks very fresh…maybe in the last hour? Her vitals also suggest that she was severely traumatized by the event. Do you know anything about it?”

Shawn’s voice shook as he answered, “No! She doesn’t use drugs! It’s those bastards! They did this to her! That crazy doctor! She’ll be okay though, right? He pleaded earnestly.

“Sir, we won’t lie to you…we need to find out what they gave her ASAP. Whatever it is, it’s moving rapidly through her body and seems to be affecting her ability to wake up. Until we know what it is, we can’t help her. By the looks of her, she has been on a hunger strike for at least 48 hours. We can treat her dehydration but she is very weak, and her breathing is much shallower than we would like. The next 24 hours will be critical to her survival”, the paramedic told him as he fitted an oxygen mask to the girl’s head, and hooked her up to an intravenous drip.

Something inside Shawn died. He had held it together until now. What else could he do? It was all too much for him. The emotional walls that had kept him going were now crashing down brick by brick. Shawn hid his face in Belle’s throat, unconsciously rocking her back and forth. “I will not let them win sweetheart. I need you too much! Please don’t die…I don’t know what to do…tell me what to do…you can’t give in to them…you can’t die!” The tears now streamed down his face. Heartbreaking sobs tore from his throat. His body shook with sorrow. The older men tried to remain professional but seeing the devastated young man’s obvious love and devotion to the girl had them pretty upset themselves.

The senior paramedic gently put a hand on Shawn’s shoulder. “Son, we will do our best to help her. But you have to help us too. Is there anyone who can tell us what she ingested? The sooner we know, the sooner the doctors will be able to administer a counterattack.

Shawn looked at him through his tears. Rubbing them away, he thought, I have to get a grip here. She needs me to be strong. He cleared his throat. “That doctor was in the cell with her when we got there. He seemed to have this bizarre mind control over her. She…she thought she belonged to him. She called herself a different name and didn’t recognize me at all, didn’t want to be rescued. My uncle, Shane Donovan, took him to the jail.” Shawn was still struggling to make some sense out of it. Things had gone so wrong.

The paramedics relayed this information to the hospital. A minute later the ambulance entered the emergency bay. The doors crashed open as they rushed her through the entrance. Shawn was with them all the way, holding her hand as they went.

Dr. Mike Horton and two nurses reached the group just as they came to a stop.

Putting an arm around his shaky cousin, Mike turned quickly to the paramedics. “Put her into Exam Room Two Stat”, he ordered. As Shawn made to follow, Mike turned back to him.

“Buddy, I can’t let you go in there. I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait out here.” Mike informed him sympathetically.

“Mike! You don’t understand! She’s all I’ve got…I can’t lose her…she needs me”, Shawn wearily pleaded with him.

“I do understand, but you have to let me do my job. Listen you won’t do her any good if you don’t take a break. Shawn, You look like you need a drink. Hell, Shawn! You better sit down before you fall down. Now let me do my job. I need to get in there. I promise you that I won’t let you down.” With a brotherly hug, Mike hurried into the examination room.

Shawn slowly made his way to the waiting area across the room. Collapsing into a chair, he put his head in his hands and just sat there, suspended in time, lost in his thoughts. No! No! No! This can’t be happening. A short time later he felt a hand caressing his hair. He looked up to find his mother sitting next to him and his father standing anxiously nearby.

Hope looked worriedly at her son and opened her arms wide. “Come here honey. I don’t know about you, but your Mom could sure use a hug right now!”

Shawn leaned into his mother, letting her love give him strength. Hope looked up at her husband and saw her tears mirrored in his eyes.

“What’s the news on Belle, Son?” Bo asked quietly.

Shawn looked up and shook his head, his eyes were tortured. “I don’t know Dad! She’s not responding very well. They don’t know what kind of drugs she’s been given, and…and they say the next 24 hours will be critical”, he choked out. “I don’t know what to do for her. I can’t lose her…I can’t stand to see her this way…you know… you know?” He rubbed his red-rimmed eyes, trying to hold his emotions together.

John came up behind them and spoke in a quiet but determined tone. “We are not going to lose my baby…don’t even think that. Damn it…she’s strong, she’s not a quitter. Alamain will not win”.

“Have you contacted Marlena, John?” Hope inquired.

John nodded. “She’s on her way back. She should be here by morning.” Brady, Mimi, and Philip came rushing in and headed toward the group.

“Dad? Is she okay?” Brady quickly asked.

“Son, I don’t know what to tell you. Mike is in there with her right now, so I guess we’ll just have to pray for the best.” John told him honestly.

Philip and Mimi looked at each other in shock. Philip opened his arms and Mimi quickly went into them.

Back in the examination room, Mike Horton finished the last of his notes, ordered the last of Belle’s tests and instructed that her blood sample be taken for analysis immediately. Leaving a nurse to watch his patient, he left the room and headed towards the waiting area.

He shook his head to clear it, as he made his way to the group waiting impatiently. He was almost upon them when John and Shawn looked up and saw him. Before they could say a word, he held up his hand.

“I know you are all anxious to know how Belle is doing. The truth is that we still don’t know anything definite about her condition. All I can tell you is that we are trying to make her physically comfortable and treat her dehydration. She is on oxygen as well. I’m afraid she is suffering from some type of drug-induced coma. We don’t know what drug combination she was given and the lab is going to have a hard time breaking it all down. Until we have some answers, we can’t really fight the coma. All we can hope for is that she will eventually come out of it on her own. I have also called in Dr. Caslis, Head of Psychiatry to monitor the situation until she can be transferred to his department for further treatment.” He finished sadly.

Both Shawn and Brady jumped at those last words. “What does she need a psychiatrist for?” They both demanded.

Mike decided to be completely honest with them. “From talking with Shane Donovan, as well as the information Shawn gave the paramedics, we are fairly sure that the drugs in her body have resulted in Belle being put completely under some very coercive mind control. While I hope we can get her physically well, she will need a lot of therapy in order to break that doctor’s influence, if it is even possible.”

“What do you mean if?” John demanded.

Mike face turned grave. “John, on the positive side, Belle was only subjected to whatever they forced on for a few days. But from what I can see, her doctor accelerated his treatments at such a dangerous speed that it would appear as if she had days of this conditioned environment to deal with. I’m not going to lie to you John. Belle is going to have to fight very hard to come back from that very dark place where she now resides. And at this moment, I just don’t know if she can or even wants too. Dr. Caslis is the best at what he does. He has had some success at reverse therapy for sensory deprived or mind-controlled patients. I have brought him up to date on Belle’s condition and he will be down tomorrow to talk to all of you. Right now we think that Shane has the best chance of helping that little girl in there. He is going to confront the doctor and the Alamains and see if he can get some information from them that might help her.”

Mike stopped at that point to give them all a chance to assimilate this latest prognosis. He watched as their faces grew more shocked by the minute. Shawn looked ready to collapse, put he quickly pulled himself up.

“Can I be with her Mike? I really need to see her”, he pleaded with him.

“I’m sorry Shawn. Only immediate family can visit her at the moment. She is in the process of being moved to ICU.” Mike told him.

John came up behind them. “Mike, he is family. Shawn is my daughter’s fiancé. I would like you to give him and his parents access to Belle. I think it could help her.”

Shawn looked gratefully at John and then breathed deeply as Mike gave in. “Alright, let me go check on her status and I’ll come back and get you. Only two at a time though”, he replied.

Bo and Hope came up to the two men who loved Belle more than anything.

“Thanks John. That was a very nice thing for you to do." Bo shook his hand.

John shook his head. “I’m the selfish one here. I think if my daughter is going to have any chance at recovery, she’s going to need that young man by her side to do it.” He turned to watch Shawn.

Shawn stood all alone braced against the wall, waiting for what seemed a lifetime for Mike to give him the all clear to see Belle. He tried not to think about the implications of Mike’s comments; all he knew was that he was going to have to be strong for her, no matter what. He watched as Philip and Mimi came over to check on him.

“Shawn you look so tired. Can I get you anything? Maybe you should lie down and get some sleep”, Mimi was so worried about him.
“Yeah Shawn, we can keep an eye on things and let you know if anything happens”, Philip added.

Shawn looked at them with eyes that mourned. “I can’t sleep until I know she’s okay. I’m afraid that if I close my eyes she will disappear again. I can’t close my eyes without seeing her in that cell, Philip. I want to kill that guy for what he’s done. I need to be with her so I know that she’s safe”. Shawn looked away, unwilling to let them see him struggle.

At the Salem Jail, Shane was getting ready to enter the doctor’s cell. He knew how important it was to get the information Belle needed, but he wasn’t holding out any hope. As it was, he’d had his hands full for the last hour keeping his prisoners from getting bail. They had some very powerful friends.

He had tried to get what he needed from Lawrence and Vivian, a fruitless exercise to say the least. Maybe the psychiatric assessment the judge had ordered for all of them would help, but not soon enough. So now he was about to play hardball with the quack. He entered the doctor’s cell only to find him on his back smiling at nothing in particular. God only knew what evil deeds he was plotting.

“It would be to your advantage to give me some answers, doctor. Your cooperation might help lessen the rather severe charges against you.” Shane suggested looking a lot calmer than he was.

Ramsey swung his legs over the side and looked at his visitor. “Why should I help you? I’ll be out of here soon enough, you’ll see, and then Sara will come back to me. She won’t be able to help herself”, he grinned triumphantly.

In a split second, Shane grabbed the man and shoving him against the wall, he shouted “Listen you fraud! That little girl is in a coma because of you. Whatever you gave her was too much…do you understand? Am I making myself clear? She could die if you don’t tell me what you know!” At that moment, Shane would have loved nothing better than to beat him to a pulp.

Ramsey laughed in his face. “Oh she won’t die. She just needs me to bring her out of it. There’s really nothing any of you can do, you know. Another day and Sarah’s transformation would have been complete. As it is, she’s damn near ready. Really my greatest achievement I think.”

Shane slapped him across the face. “Tell me what you gave her! When did you give her the last injection? Was it right before we came? It must have been or she would have been out when we got there. That’s it right? You gave her an unscheduled extra dose because time was running out! You crazy bastard! Do you even know what you’ve done?”

Ramsey smirked. “Oh yes, my dear boy. I‘ve succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. She’ll only respond to my voice you know. And when I get out of here, Sarah will realize where she belongs. ”

Shane looked at the delusional man and gave up. There was no way he was going to help Belle. He wanted her for god knew what purposes. To be on the safe side, he would post a few guards outside her room. Leaving the cell area, he flipped open his cell phone and speed dialed the hospital, asking for Mike Horton to be paged.

“Horton here”, Mike came on quickly.

“It’s no good Mike. I can’t get them to tell me anything. I’m sorry buddy but you’ll have to find another way to help her” Shane disclosed in defeat.

Mike swore, “Damn it Shane! We don’t have any ideas here and we can’t treat her properly until we do. It will take that much longer to find the right combination”. Mike quickly hung up and went back to his patient.

Back in his cell, Ramsey laughed to himself. They won’t find out what I gave her. It’s too new. But it’s certainly doing its job. Now if I can just get out of here, I can arrange for her removal. After all, she is almost ready for the next step. Oh I know that I probably shouldn’t have given her that extra shot, but I couldn’t resist, he thought as his mind went back to what had taken place earlier that evening.

Coming to check on his Sarah in her cell, he had been so pleased to find her just where he had left her, repeating the words to his last tape.

“Dr. Ramsey is my teacher. I belong to him”. Over and over she repeated it like a mantra. Walking over to the girl he impulsively decided that she could handle one more session.

“Good evening my dear. Are you ready to continue?” He asked in his mesmerizing voice.

Belle had rushed to her feet. “Yes Doctor”! She had eagerly responded, her adrenaline was at an all time high, her eyes taking on a feverish look.

Once again he took out a syringe and injected his patient with its contents. This one would allow him to make some very interesting suggestions…suggestions that she would remember once the drugs really kicked in and she fell into a deep sleep for the night. He had decided that she was just too good to be kept by the Alamains. After all, he was the one doing all the work.

Watching as she once again succumbed to the chemical cocktail, he noted her glassy looking eyes, vacant and submissive. Taking out the tape he had meant to use in the morning, he placed it in the slot and pulled the headphones over her head once more. He stroked her cheek lovingly. Belle had no inclination to stop him whatsoever.

“I now belong completely to Dr. Ramsey. Only he knows what I need. Only he can make me happy.” Over and over the tape played, as Belle’s mind adjusted to the new message, she went deeper and deeper into a trance, repeating the words again and again.
And right before they had been so rudely interrupted, the good doctor had decided to try something different. He stood Belle up against him and waved his hand, bringing her out of her trance, still open to suggestion. Smiling at his Sarah, he had told her of all his plans for her next day’s training. She had nodded with everything he said. It was at that moment that he had heard the doors slamming and had warned Belle to remain by his side. By this time, if Dr. Ramsey had told Belle to fly, she would have…and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Now if he could just get to his Sarah, he would be happy. They wouldn’t be able to break her of her new persona. He had made sure that it was locked deep inside her. He was the only one who had the key. She would only respond to his voice, he was her savior, he reminded himself.

Coming into the ICU, Mike quietly approached Belle’s bed. He watched her still figure for long minutes. The sound of his beeper going off finally drew him away.

A nurse led John and Shawn into Belle’s private room. John gasped silently as he looked at his baby girl. So many tubes and wires to help her, he thought. He watched as Shawn took a seat next to the bed and lifted her hand to his. Together they watched the frail girl, silently wondering how things could have gone so wrong. Around midnight, John told the young man that he was going to go back to let Brady know how things were going. John didn’t expect Shawn to go with him. He had a feeling that Shawn would stay by his daughter’s side for a long time to come.

Shawn waited until they were alone. Gently brushing a kiss on the hand he held so tightly, he walked over to the window and looked up at the stars.

“Why god?” His voice cracked with emotion. “She’s one of your best creations…she…she doesn’t deserve this. Please you’ve got to save her.”

Walking back towards the bed, he took both of Belle’s hands in his. And from somewhere deep inside his soul, the words started to flow.

“Do you remember when you were little and you used to tag around after me and my friends? Boy, what I would give for you to do that now. I need you to listen to me sweetheart. I know you can hear me. You need to fight for us. I can’t do it alone, I tried and it’s no good. Before you came into my life again I was just drifting along. Damn, I can’t believe I thought you would be a nuisance. You sure showed me didn’t you? I was such a fool! You got right in my face! I didn’t know what hit me. I can’t believe how I started to make excuses just to see you or even be in the same room with you.” Shawn’s throat got tighter and tighter, he never noticed when the tears started up again. He just kept looking at his Belle with love in his eyes.

“I took you up to the cabin out of desperation. I couldn’t stand being with you and not touching you. I was so afraid that you would laugh in my face. But you didn’t. You told me you loved me and I think my whole life came full circle then. But when we made love the first time, oh god Belle! You gave me the most precious gift! Oh and do you remember feeding me cotton candy? We laughed so much that day. I…I asked you to marry me and you said yes…you said yes!” His voice was now a whisper.

Stroking her hand, “I love you so much my darling. I know that deep down you still love me. We have a beautiful life to plan. I can’t do that without you. You see how it is don’t you baby? You’re stuck with me…stuck with me”, he voice shattered.

Bending the rules, Shawn laid his head across her chest and let the tears fall. Later when Mike came in to check on his patient, he waved away the nurses. Shawn was sleeping at Belle’s side and he thought that might just be the best medicine she could have.

Throughout the night medical staff worked around him. Brady stopped in and found a blanket and pillow to make him more comfortable.

And Belle? Somewhere deep inside she was crying, begging to be saved.



Chapter 17

Shawn stayed watch over his beloved through the night, waiting and praying that he would see an encouraging sign where there was none. Some time around 3 a.m he awoke feeling something was terribly wrong. Looking over at Belle, he gasped. She looked worse if that were at all possible. Her coloring had taken on a tinge of gray and her cheeks seemed somewhat hollowed. Shawn’s heart started to race anxiously. He quickly pushed the red call button, and was relieved when he saw Mike and a few other nurses rush in. Shawn was gently pushed into the background as they went to work. He shook with anguish as he watched Belle. She’s so fragile. Please let her be okay, he silently prayed over and over. Brady walked in and stood next to Shawn watching the activities and doing his own share of praying. This can’t be happening they both thought in shock.

Taking the situation in at a glance, Mike ordered a tracheal tube for his patient. Making a tiny incision, he expertly eased the tube into her throat. Turning to the oxygen monitor, Mike increased her intake to a much higher level. Shawn’s heart almost stopped as they all watched Belle’s body slowly react favorably to the changes after long torturous moments.

Mike turned wearily to Shawn, wanting to reassure him. “Thank god you were here Shawn. As often as we check on our patients, things like this can happen in the blink of an eye”, he explained.

Shawn expelled a harsh breath. “But what happened to her Mike? I thought she was dying”, his voice broke.

Mike tempered his answer, not wanting his cousin to know how close they had honestly come to losing Belle. Rubbing his tired eyes, he calmly answered. “The drugs are rushing through her system, Shawn. Her lungs are beginning to collapse so they aren’t pumping in the oxygen she needs. At this point, we can’t give her anything to fight with. But I do think with her breathing getting a little better, she will be a lot more comfortable. I know it’s not much. I’m sorry Shawn but it’s the best we can do at the moment. I can’t afford to make any guesses here. Without a chemical breakdown, we are still at a loss, and faulty knowledge could do even more damage. All we can do is make her as comfortable as possible for now. I do have one idea but I need to consult with Dr. Caslis first.”

Brady listened very carefully to Mike’s explanation but the shock of seeing his sister like that was more than he could handle. “Mike please, there has to be something more, anything that can help her. I can’t stand to see her this way”, he pleaded earnestly.

Mike shook his head sadly. “I know it seems trite, but prayer can be a very powerful tool. And you have to know that a lot of people are working on this right now. Shane’s still at ISA Headquarters going through the tape he made of the doctor to see if he missed anything. He’s got men going through Alamain’s compound with a fine tooth comb to see if they can come up with something that will help Belle. We just have to wait Brady and see what develops. I’m sorry.” Mike patted both men on the shoulders and left quietly.

Both tired men resumed their vigil and took chairs on each side of Belle’s bed reaching for her tiny hands. Both looked up stunned, thinking the worst, when a holy father entered the darkened room.

Calming their fears he said, “May I pray for your loved one? Will you join me in prayer?”

Both Shawn and Brady grasped at the opportunity. Bowing their heads they listened as he recited:

"Watch O Lord with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your Angels and Saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, dear Lord, rest Your weary ones, bless Your dying ones, soothe Your suffering ones, pity Your afflicted ones, shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your Love's sake." Amen.

Leaving as quickly as he came, a sense of peace seemed to flow around the sick room. Shawn and Brady looked over to the bed and could swear that a little smile briefly reached Belle’s lips, before quickly disappearing.

Shane paced the ops room, frustrated with his ability to find the clues he needed. He started to play the tape for the umpteenth time. Suddenly he slapped his hand on his head. Of course, he thought excitedly! That charlatan gave himself away. Too bad his ego made him run away with his mouth. Yelling for Tex, he drummed his fingers impatiently.

“Listen to this”, he said and rewound the tape. The voice of Dr. Ramsey came through loud and clear. “She only responds to my voice you know”, Shane played it one more time, his excitement building. “She only responds to my voice you know”. Looking at Tex he expounded “that’s it! That’s the key to ridding Belle of his influence…bringing her back to us! Damn it man, I’ve been listening to this tape for hours”, he pounded his fist on the table. Now Tex, this is what I need you to do…”

As the sun came out heralding the new day, Shawn and Brady woke to the increasing noises of the hospital. Without a word they quickly looked at Belle and breathed a sigh of relief. Her color was much better, her breathing steadier. Brushing a kiss on her forehead, Shawn knew it wasn’t the best news but it certainly was a start.

Hope and Bo came through with a change of clothes for both of them.

“Shawn, go get yourself a shower and some breakfast! Brady, John sent these clothes for you. He’s on his way to the airport to pick up Marlena.” And so saying in a no nonsense voice, Hope tossed the clothes at both of them.

“Mom I don’t want to leave her…she needs me!” Shawn entreated.

Bo clapped a hand on his back. “Listen son, your mom is right. You won’t do anyone any good if you don’t take care of yourself. Besides Dr. Caslis wants to see all of us at 10 a.m.”

“Honey, we’ll sit with her until you get back. Nothing’s going to happen, I promise!” Hope gave her son a kiss on the cheek before pushing both guys out the door. Turning back to Belle, Both Hope and Bo prayed for a miracle. She was such a sweet girl and their Shawn loved her so much.

Dr. Caslis sat at his desk writing notes. As head of the Psychiatric Department he had come upon some unusual cases in his time, but this one was the most evil one he had ever dealt with. There wasn’t much in the file to help him. He certainly hoped that something came out of the meeting he had called.
Leaving a nurse to watch over Belle, the Bradys and the Blacks solemnly made their way to the doctor’s office. Shane, Mike and Philip were already seated as they entered, excitedly discussing some new information.

Dr. Caslis looked up as he began to speak. “Thank you all for taking the time to meet with me. I know you would rather be with that little girl but it is important that we discuss her treatment options and chances of recovery. I won’t mince words here but I will tell you that based on some new information Mr. Donovan has brought me, I am mildly optimistic that we will be able to help Ms. Black.”

A collective sigh of relief went around the room. Shawn’s parents gave him a hug as John and Marlena smiled at each other.

Dr. Caslis continued. “As I see it, the main obstacle at the moment is her physical health. The drugs she has consumed are playing havoc with her body. Both Dr. Horton and I would like to try something unconventional, if her parents are agreeable. Now you understand that we can’t promise it will work, but I’ll tell you plainly that we are out of options, and to be honest if we let that little girl go through much more without some kind of intervention she could be in far more danger physically than she already is. We propose that we try a chemical combination that has worked on our forgetful elderly patients who overdose on their meds. If you agree then we can begin immediately.” He turned to Marlena and John and awaited their answer.

Shawn walked up to Belle’s parents with tears in his eyes. “Please let them try this. She is suffering so much. This will help...I know it will!”

Looking at each other and nodding, John replied for both of them. “Do it Doctor, do whatever you have to help our daughter!” Signing a release form he watched as Mike almost ran from the room with it. The room erupted into pandemonium.

Turning back to look at everyone, Dr. Caslis raised his hand for silence. “Once again I need to caution you that this may or may not work. But in the event that it does, her physical rehabilitation will be that much quicker. As far as her mental rehabilitation, I think there is only one route that we can take.” Turning to his files, he pulled out his notes and began his psychological treatment recommendations.
“In layman’s terms, Miss Black’s defenses have been severely compromised. Because of her abusive treatment, her mind was open to manipulation and therefore subject to hypnotic suggestion. Her memory has become distorted and new patterns have been put into her psyche to replace the old ones. In a sense the girl lying in that bed is not Belle Black, but ‘Sarah’, and until we can unlock these patterns, you will all have to be very careful to call her by that name. Now Mr. Donovan has come to me with quite a theory, one that could determine Ms. Black’s treatment. Would you explain to them what you told me earlier?” He said turning to Shane.

Shane looked at the group and began. “I listened to that tape back to front and finally something clicked. That quack of a doctor said that Belle would only respond to his voice. It made me think that if Tex could electronically duplicate his voice, or manipulate the tapes, then maybe it could be used to reverse the commands”, he finished out of breath.

Dr. Caslis continued. “In certain cases, the victim is enticed to look or listen to some stimuli when being induced. We can often reverse the damage if we can find out what that stimulus was and use it in our favor. In Miss Black’s case his voice might just be the answer. It is a slow and very painful process for the victim but the end more often than not brings very favorable results.” Looking at Shawn and Philip he continued. “I understand that you were the ones to find Ms. Black with this doctor? I need to know if you saw something in her behavior that was unusual, was she staring at something, was she talking by rote, anything?”

Philip answered for both of them. “Belle was completely under that guy’s spell. All she did was look at his eyes.”

“Then it’s his eyes that must have been the stimulus used to put her under. In some instances the perpetrator uses a physical type of crisis persuasion, one that leaves a deep imprint on the victim’s brain. If she was under overwhelming stress, it would make it all that much easier for him to mentally debilitate her. As well, her solitary confinement would also serve to weaken her resolve. It is obvious that she fought in the beginning, her fasting was only one of the ways she tried to control her behavior. Sleep deprivation is another. Both can work against the victim if it goes on too long.”

“Now, Mr. Donovan’s men searched the cell and found tapes that could be helpful. I believe they are a form of sensory deprivation. By being forced to listen to the messages over and over, to Ms. Black the messages probably became as natural as breathing. She would have no choice but to give in to these machinations, and in effect become elated by the new messages and passages she was receiving. In other words, your daughter needs an extensive amount of counter techniques to bring her back to you. I believe it can be done, so I ask for your cooperation and patience. And Mr. Brady (he said looking at Shawn), your assistance may be most important of all.” Dr. Caslis ended his explanation and sat back.

“What do you mean, Dr. Caslis? I’ll do anything to help Belle, just ask”, Shawn swallowed hard.

Dr. Caslis smiled. “That is just the answer I was looking for young man. I have been told of your relationship with Miss Black. If you are willing to give your time, I think that your presence will come to be a great comfort to her again. Now I can’t promise to make your daughter whole again Mr. & Mrs. Black, but with a lot of hard work by your daughter and Mr. Brady here, I will do my outmost to bring about a very happy ending to this case.”

One by one the people in the room got up and shook the psychiatrist’s hand. A feeling of hopefulness spread through each of them. They all knew that there would be tough times ahead, but at least they had something positive to look forward to.

Shawn rushed back to Belle’s side, more relaxed than he had been since this whole mess had started. Mike was instructing the nurses to bring him the experimental treatment and Shawn watched as he injected the dosage into Belle’s arm.

“It will take a bit of time to do its work Shawn, but if it’s going to help her, we should see some changes in a few hours.” Mike left the room to give Shawn some privacy.

Throughout the afternoon Shawn watched and waited, holding tightly on to Belle’s hand. Family came and went but Shawn continued to keep his vigil at her bedside. Later that afternoon, he noticed a movement. Suddenly Belle started thrashing and moaning. Her moans turning into screams loud enough that Mike raced down the hall immediately.

Shawn looked in horror as they tied Belle with restraints to the bed. Quietly Mike administered a sedative and watched as Belle finally succumbed to its power.

Releasing her restraints, he turned to Shawn. “Good that’s just what we wanted to happen.”

A distinctly shaky Shawn looked at him in amazement. “What are you talking about?”

“Well buddy, she’s out of her coma and now she’s just in a deep sleep brought on from exhaustion. She’s coming out of it. The treatment worked”, he answered.

Shawn looked back at his love. “Then she’ll be okay?” He asked with sudden hope.

Mike tried to explain further. “This is just the beginning Shawn. She will have to be sedated for a while. Afterwards, Belle will start to remember her brainwashing and will not willingly leave her new persona. Dr. Caslis will have to work with her to change all that. You have to be patient Shawn, there will be times when she will hate you and turn away. I think you are strong enough to handle all that. What do you think?”

“She can try all she wants but now that I know there’s a happy ever after, I’m going to stick to her like glue. Shawn affirmed.

“That’s my boy!” And with those few words, Mike left to make his rounds.

Shawn walked back towards the bed and looked at his beloved. “You can try all you want my Isabella, but it won’t work. I’m not going to let you throw away what we have. And I Am Not Going To Lose You!” Shawn put his arms around Belle and laid his head down next to hers.



Chapter 18 — The Morning After

Shane smiled to himself as the judge declared enough evidence existed to charge all three felons with one capital count of kidnapping, one count of endangerment, one count of unlawful confinement, and one count each of administering illegal narcotics, behavior modification, mind control and emotional manipulation. It was the luck of the draw that they had gotten a no nonsense, above-board judge who could not be bribed to look the other way. The judge was already exasperated with the plethora of ridiculous motions and theatrics being used by the defense. Not to mention the stern warning he had given the defense lawyer to contain his clients’ outbursts or receive sanctions. Salem prosecutor, Maggie Horton had really done her homework and looked very pleased with the results. Watching as Vivian, Lawrence, and Ramsey were led away in chains, Shane couldn’t help but feel some vindication for that little girl who had suffered so much at their hands. He shook Maggie’s hand and left the courtroom, giving Mimi and Philip a thumbs up gesture as he went.

Mimi and Philip had watched the proceedings together. They felt so helpless not being able to do anything to help Belle. Both hoped that they would soon have access to her hospital room. They desperately wanted to show their support and help in anyway they could. One thing for sure, as they looked into each other’s eyes, this terrible event had brought them closer together. Hand in hand they left and made their way to the hospital.

Sunshine streamed through Belle’s hospital room window. Now in a much more settled sleep, Belle was doing a little bit better. Mike Horton was making notes on his patient’s chart. Looking over at the tired young man, he hoped that Shawn was emotionally prepared for what was yet to come.

Once again, Shawn had stayed by the bedside of his beloved throughout the night. Waking only when she needed him or the medical staff came to check on her, Shawn watched over Belle like a hawk. When she cried out in her sleep, he was there to soothe his Isabella, whispering his love for her. And when her nightmares came, he gently stroked her cheek until her sleep became more restful. She seemed to crave his touch, subconsciously responding to his unwavering love. When she moaned as if in pain, her sang softly to her, the song that had become their own—I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You. Instinctively, Belle would quiet down, turning towards the voice, sleeping peacefully once more, until finally morning came. And that’s how Mike found them, heads close together, Shawn’s arm protectively around Belle.

Gently shaking Shawn’s shoulder, he watched as the young man rubbed the sleep from his eyes and quickly sat up.

Now Shawn looked on as Mike Horton went through the preliminaries of checking
Belle’s vitals, feeling a little alarmed when, turning to the nurse, Mike asked for his surgical tray to be brought closer.

Mike turned to Shawn to reassure him. “Belle is doing much better; in fact she is breathing almost all on her own now. I’m going to remove the tracheal tube and see how she does with the oxygen mask only.”

Shawn breathed a sigh of relief, “That’s good news right?”

“Well, yes and no. Yes in that her breathing is better. No in that it is also a safety precaution so that she won’t try to pull it out herself. I have no idea how she is going to react when she wakes up and I don’t want to take any chances that she will hurt herself.” Mike explained.

John and Marlena walked in at that moment. Shaking hands with Mike, John laid his hand on Shawn’s shoulder. “Shawn you must be exhausted. Even we don’t expect you to stay with Belle around the clock.”

“Yes dear. Why don’t you go home and get some rest. We’ll stay with Belle for the next little while. My understanding from Mike is that she probably won’t wake up until later this afternoon anyway”. Marlena smiled at him.

Shawn looked over at Mike who nodded in agreement. “I promise nothing much is going to happen for the next little while.”

Shawn took one more look at Belle. He was so very hesitant to leave her. “If something, anything…anything happens…you’ll let me know?”

John smiled at Shawn’s determination. “Right away! Now I happen to know that your mother is making those famous waffles of hers for you, so on your way young man.” Then turning very serious for a moment, “Thank you for all you’ve done for her Shawn. Isabella is very lucky to have you in her life…we all are”, he said shaking his hand.

Reluctantly, Shawn left the room and the girl that now meant so much to him. Minutes later, entering the Brady home, his parents and baby brother came running to hug him.

“Thank god you’re here. Now I’m going to feed you and then my boy, you are going to get some sleep. No, don’t shake your head! That girl needs you to be strong and healthy!” Hope led her stubborn son to the kitchen table.

Back in Belle’s hospital room, Mike turned to John and Marlena and smiled. “I have never seen a young man so in love, so determined to protect her, as Shawn is. I thought I was going to have to bring a cot in here for him….hmm I may still have to. Thanks for getting him to take a break.”

John and Marlena had both taken chairs on each side of Belle’s bed. “I really believe Shawn’s love for my daughter will see her through this. We are so thankful for his devotion to her”, Marlena fervently replied.

“And thank you Mike for everything you have done for her. You’re the best!” John added with a smile.

Mike looked at his still very ill patient and became serious. “Your daughter deserves the best, John. I would love to get my hands on the monsters that did this to her. In all my life I have never seen such evil. I promise both of you that I will work hard to get her back on her feet. Dr. Caslis and I are determined to get the right results.” Mike left the room.

Marlena looked at their precious daughter with such sadness. John came around to hold her as the tears she tried valiantly to hold back were finally released. Together they stood giving each other comfort. Time stood still as they prayed for a miracle for their baby girl, and still she slept on.

Throughout the day, Belle had visitors. Mimi and Philip were the first, having finally received permission to see her. Coming quietly into the room they braced themselves. John had warned them what to expect, and although Belle looked much better than when she had been brought in, she was a long way from looking like herself again.

Mimi pressed a kiss gently on her best friend’s cheek. “Philip, she looks so fragile. I’m so afraid for her”, Mimi shuddered.

Philip came up behind Mimi and pulled her against him. “She has a lot of people rooting for her, especially Shawn. If he has anything to say about it, I think he is perfectly capable of willing her back to health”, he said encouragingly.

Together they sat with Belle until Brady arrived after lunch to check on his Tink. Trying to put on a brave face, he walked towards his sister and kissed her on the forehead. Summoning a brave smile for Philip and Mimi, he sat down and took her hand in his. The couple decided to give him some space and left soon after.

Looking gravely at his sister, he tried to come to terms with everything that was happening to her. With tears in his eyes, he began to speak from the heart.

“Tink, I know you can hear me. I just need to know that you’re okay. You’ve always been the strong one, the one who makes us all smile. I miss that smile so much. I’m trying to understand all this but it’s so hard. Who would do this to you? Please wake up and come back to us. I need someone to tease again”, he smiled through his tears. “Shawn needs you too. He’s barely left your side through all this. Man, that guy has it bad for you. Tink, I know that you have a long way to go before you recover, but I know you can do it. We’ll all be here to help. You just have to do your part. You have to come back to us. I don’t think any of us can survive without you.” Brady had run out of steam. He looked at the tiny hand nestled in his, and stared at it for a long time.

The hospital chapel was just down the hall. There was one lone occupant in the chapel. He sat there praying as he never had before. Never had he felt so helpless, so unable to make things right. He knew that she needed him now more than ever, but he was having such a hard time controlling his anger. He wanted revenge in the worst way and he knew his parents would never understand. Shawn prayed for answers, some guidance so he would know what to do. Just then his Grandma Alice sat down in the pew next to her beloved grandson. Taking one look at his anguished face, she opened her arms wide. Shawn cried “Grandma”, and hugged her to him, basking in her loving warmth.

“Shawn dear, listen to me. You’ve never been able to hide anything from me and you know it!” Alice warned.

Shawn gave a shaky smile to his grandma. She sure was a feisty one and he loved her so much. “Grandma, I don’t know what you mean”, he tried to be convincing.

“Sweetheart, I know how much you love this girl. I’ve known her since she was a baby and I think you two are perfect for each other. But I also know how much you are like your father. You want to hurt the people who did this. Shawn, you must let Shane and the courts handle this. Those evil people will be punished. Belle needs you to focus completely on her. Please dear, don’t let your anger get the best of you.” Alice finished seriously.

Shawn looked at his Grandma with tears in his eyes. “They hurt her Grandma…so much. I feel so frustrated when I see her lying so still in her bed. I know you’re right, but it’s just so hard.”

“Your Grandpa Tom used to say that we must rely on God to make things right. It seems to me that we are definitely in the right place to do just that. Sweetheart, I know in my heart that Belle will be alright…just as I know that Tom is watching over all of us”, Alice replied, gently smiling at him.

Together they sat there, arms clasped, heads bent in prayer. Shawn always felt so at peace when his Grandma Alice was with him. She had always supported him in every way. As they left the chapel, he softly kissed her cheek, and whispered “thanks Grandma, you always know just what to say.”

Brady looked up as Shawn walked into the room. His grandma’s talk had given him a new resolve. He and Belle would get through this. They would be together at last. Belle was now breathing on her own.

The young men shook hands and Brady left soon after. Grabbing a chair, Shawn pulled it up to the bed. “We love each other sweetheart”, he whispered gruffly. “We always will.” Shawn bent over and slowly captured Belle’s lips in a butterfly kiss. Straightening up he got the surprise of his life. Her baby blue eyes were wide open, staring right back at him. Looking confused and terribly, terribly frightened, Isabella’s eyes filled and tears coursed down her cheeks. Unable to stop himself, Shawn reached for his one true love. As he wrapped his arms around her, Belle’s tears turned to harsh, racking sobs. Her voice, raw from being unused for so long, was barely a whisper. “No you mustn’t, I belong to Dr. Ramsey, Sarah belongs to Dr. Ramsey” as she started to shake in reaction.”



Chapter 19

Shawn froze in place, mentally kicking himself for forgetting, even for one moment, that ‘Sarah’ had taken over Belle’s mind. He held her thin, trembling body against his. Gently rubbing her back in circular motions, Shawn tried to calm her. He pushed the call button. He needed help and he needed it now, before he made any more mistakes. Belle clung to him as he whispered calming words to her. Burrowing deeper in his arms, Sarah didn’t understand why she felt so very safe and protected. He was a stranger but something about him was familiar. And yet it was so wrong, she belonged to Dr. Ramsey, what was she doing? She shouldn’t be doing this. Why was she being pulled in two different directions? What was happening to her? Sarah felt a heavy black cloud descend upon her thoughts. His words came back to her, and she pushed herself away from her unknown protector. Lying back on her bed, she stared up at the ceiling, focusing on nothing, eyes glazing over as the words of Dr. Ramsey came to the fore, and his face swam before her eyes. Nothing else made sense. Shawn watched in horror as this metamorphosis took place. He watched as her lips moved in silence.

Mike arrived to find Shawn holding tightly to Belle’s hand, tears running down his face. He looked up at Mike and shook his head. “I’m sorry Mike, I don’t know what happened. She woke up and I tried to comfort her. She responded to me, I know she did, but then…it was like a wall came up and she just shut down. Why is this happening, Mike? I can’t bear to see her like this.” Shawn angrily brushed away the tears.

Mike checked Belle’s vitals, speaking gently over his shoulder to his distraught cousin. “She can’t help it Shawn. The fact that she responded to you, even for a moment, tells me that Belle is in there, somewhere, fighting to come out. But obviously the treatments they exposed her to are still very influential and as hard as this is to watch, you have to be patient. You need to be strong. This isn’t a 24-hour virus. Belle’s waking up is a good start. Hang in there, man.” Turning back to his patient, he frowned as he made notes.

“Sarah? Can you hear me?” Mike spoke quietly but firmly. “I’m Dr. Horton.” Sarah didn’t respond. She belonged to Dr. Ramsey; he was the only one she could talk to. He was the only one she needed. Please, Doctor Ramsey, tell me what to do…I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what to do…, Sarah pleaded mutely. “Dr. Ramsey is my teacher, I belong to him, only him”, she whispered confused.

Mike tried again. “Sarah, Dr. Ramsey had to leave for a little while but he asked me to look after you. Sarah looked at him in bewilderment.

Mike turned to Shawn, “Try and see if she’ll respond to you again.”

Shawn gently stroked her cheek, and lifting her face to his, he smiled ever so gently. He started hesitantly, “My name is Shawn, sweetheart…Sarah please talk to me…we just need to know that you are okay. You…you must be so hungry…um maybe we can get you some broth or something…would that be okay?” Shawn looked at Mike for guidance. The doctor nodded in encouragement. Less than a moment later, Belle turned her cheek into his hand, a small but definitely good sign. Mike gave him the thumbs up to continue. “I’m here Sarah…I’m not going anywhere…I promise that you’ll be okay”, Shawn whispered to her. He watched as her eyes started to lose that faraway look. Sarah responded to his voice. She hid her face in his neck, trying to shut Mike out. Once again Sarah could feel herself responding to the handsome stranger at her side, wanting to reach for him…for something…anything, but something was holding her back and she didn’t like it. Pushing her black thoughts to the back, she struggled to stay focused. Slowly, she nodded to him, placing her hand in his. She spoke so softly that he had to bend close to hear, “hungry…thank you.”

Mike grinned at Shawn. “Keep talking to her and I’ll get the nurses to see about that soup.”

Sarah looked up at Shawn with a shy smile, and he fell in love all over again. And so they sat with Shawn’s arms holding her close until a nurse appeared with a dinner tray.

“Sir, if you could just lie her back of the bed, I will raise her so she will be more comfortable when she eats”, the nurse suggested.

Shawn started to follow the nurse’s directions, but Belle refused to let him go. Clinging to him, she started shaking all over again. Shawn look up at the nurse helplessly. “Would it be alright if I maybe fed her from here? I’ll be very careful with her, I promise.”

The nurse smiled as she spoke. “We all want this young lady to get better, and it looks like you are the only one she trusts. If you can get her to take some nourishment, I would be very grateful.” Pushing a table close to Shawn, she laid the food tray down and moved towards the door, quietly closing it.

Shawn looked at the woman in his arms, his Belle. “Hush sweetie, no one is going to make you do anything you don’t want to do. I won’t let them.” Shawn coaxed her head up. “Will you let me give you some soup? Just a little…” Sarah struggled once more against the blackness that threatened to overtake her mind once more. Taking deep breaths, she nodded to Shawn.

Shawn sat there, with unlimited patience, feeding Belle the broth, small tablespoons, lots of breaks in between. Weak from not eating, Belle found it hard to take more than a few sips and after a few minutes, she snuggled back into Shawn’s arms and fell into an instant sleep. He looked down at her, his heart overflowed with emotion. She knew him, he understood that she was confused, but she knew him. They were kindred souls and sooner or later his Belle would come back to him for good. Shawn firmly believed that they would be together again. He got up and retrieved a heated blanket, soothingly tucking it in all around her.

A little while later, Mike and Dr. Caslis walked in together, smiling at the picture they came upon. With their hands entwined, Shawn and Belle were fast asleep, wrapped in each other’s arms. Completely unorthodox behavior as both doctors knew, but neither was willing to stop it. Quietly leaving the room, the doctors went into Mike’s office to consult.

“Well although this is indeed a good sign, I don’t think we can assume it will last. ‘Sarah’ appears to be fighting an inner battle with herself. How much she can take of this I really don’t know. One the one hand, she needs to be stronger physically before I start her treatments, but on the other hand, if we wait too long it may be too late to do any good.” Dr. Caslis shook his head in dismay.

Mike looked at him seriously. “I agree with you. Her response to Shawn is little short of amazing, and as you can imagine he is over the moon about it. Still she appears to be struggling to stay focused and it may be a losing battle. I just don’t know how badly Ramsey hurt her. But I’ll back you whatever you decide to do.” He affirmed.

“If you don’t mind, I would like to visit her a little later and see for myself just how she is faring. If Shawn is the only one she is responding to then he had better be present as well.” They agreed on a specific time and left to go on rounds.

Back in Belle’s hospital room, the couple slept through the afternoon. Family came and went, shaking their heads and grinning at what they saw. Just after 5 p.m., Shawn woke to a darkened room. Reaching over, he turned on the table lamp and looked at the girl in his arms. At first glance she appeared to be sleeping peacefully. Looking closer, he watched as her mouth formed words silently, as if by rote. Shawn shook Belle, trying hard to get her to wake up. He was finally rewarded when she opened her eyes. Only she stiffened and began to chant the only words that occupied her mind.

Once again, Belle was visited by a mental picture of Ramsey. No matter where she looked, his voice, his face were the only things she saw. While she had been sleeping, his manipulations had overcome her previous resistance and now she wanted her teacher and no one else would do. Her eyes glazed over and once again she was in a self-induced trance.

The man sitting by her side jumped up and reached for her hands. “Oh my God, please don’t do this, don’t let this happen to her, not again”, he cried out yelling for someone to help her.

Alerted by the nurses, Mike Horton and Dr. Caslis rushed into the room. Pulling a distraught Shawn away from her, Mike flashed a penlight back and forth across her pupils. Dr. Caslis noted how dilated they were.

“Mike, I don’t think we have any choice, I’ll begin treatment in the morning. Shane’s technician has a few tapes ready to go, so that will help. For now though I believe she should be sedated.” Dr. Caslis moved towards the unmoving girl, and smiled at her.

“Sarah, I am Dr. Caslis. Tomorrow you and I are going to start on a journey to get you better.” Belle moved not a muscle. She could not hear him or see him. Dr. Caslis noted a few observations on his files and turned towards his fellow doctor.

“No response whatsoever. Mike we had better sedate her for the rest of the night. She will need all the strength she can muster tomorrow, this will be an uphill battle I’m afraid.” Dr. Caslis voice had taken on a somber tone.

Shawn looked at both men. “But you’ll win right? She’ll be all right? Tell me Belle will be okay…tell me…”

Dr. Caslis sat down across from Shawn and tried to put things into perspective. “I would like to promise you that Belle will come through this but I just don’t have all the answers. With her treatment, we are really going into unknown areas of mental illness. She is in a prison right now, not of her own making. I’ll do my best, I will promise you that, but it will take time. Look Shawn, this morning you had an unexpected gift. Belle is going to take one step forward and two steps back for a while. You just have to keep the faith. We’ll just have to wait and see how Belle responds to the treatment.” Both men watched as the sedative took effect. They patted Shawn on the shoulder and left.

Shawn was so tired. He wanted his Belle back so badly. He felt as if he had aged 20 years since this whole mess had started. I love her and I can’t help her, he thought sadly.

Belle was tucked away in a tiny corner of Sarah’s mind. Sarah was the one who mattered. And right now Sarah was floating on clouds of nothing.

Miles away, in the county prison, an evil man was plotting his escape. He had friends, powerful friends that none of them knew about. Friends who, as he looked at the clock, should be putting their plans into play just about now.

At Salem General, two nondescript men slipped out of the linen room, wearing hospital whites. They knew how to blend in with the woodwork and no one noticed them or stopped them as they approached Belle Black’s room. The armed guard was too busy flirting with one of the nurses to notice what was happening. Slowly pushing the door open, they watched the young man bending over the girl. As one man shut off the lights, the other grabbed Shawn and put a knife to his throat. Shawn gasped and kicked out at the man who held him. Yelling for all he was worth, the guard came rushing in only to be tackled from behind. Falling to the floor, he and Shawn watched in horror as the other man bent to pick up a sedated Belle in his arms. Pulling his gun out the guard pointed it at both of them.

Waving his gun at Shawn’s attacker the guard ordered him to lower the knife and face down on the floor. Shawn chose at that moment to elbow the creep in his ribs. Shouting in pain, he lost his grip and let the knife fall. Shawn quickly wrestled him to the floor.

The other man had murder in his eyes. Looking from Shawn to the guard and back at his captive, he smiled with malevolence. “You are going to let me walk out of here with the girl if you don’t want her to get hurt! I have nothing to lose and everything to win. This little package is worth a lot of money to someone” he finished mockingly.

Both Shawn and the guard watched him carefully as he edged towards the door. Out in the corridor, Shane and John stepped off the elevator and walked towards Belle’s room. Seeing that the guard was nowhere to be found, both looked at each other and quickly pulled their weapons. Bursting into the room, they took in the scene at a glance. Shane quickly aimed and fired right into the man’s shoulder. Before he could go down with Belle in his arms, Shawn ran and pulled her from him.

Holding Belle in his arms, Shawn rocked her back and forth, whispering to her as if she were the most precious gift on earth. Turning with tear-filled eyes towards John and Shane, his voice cracked with emotion. “I almost lost her again, I almost lost her again.”



Chapter 20

Just after the clock struck midnight, John Black slipped silently into the barren cell with its lone occupant. He had friends in high places as well. Friends who had been more than willing to turn a blind eye and give him access to that worthless piece of filth. He’d rue the day he’d ever touch Belle. Looking back to make sure there were no witnesses, John crept up to the bed and hauled the sleeping man to his feet.

“Wake up you bastard. I’m going to kill you for what you did to my Isabella”, John whispered menacingly, first shaking and then kicking the man in the ribs.

The other man groaned trying to crawl away from his attacker. John followed until he had him cornered with nowhere to go. Holding on to his side, Ramsey tried to show some last minute bravado.

“Ah, Mr. Black, I presume? By your daughter I suspect that you are referring to the beautiful Sarah who I have come to adore as one of my own”, he smirked.

John sucker-punched the other man in the stomach and down he went again. “She’ll never be yours old man. If I have my way, you’ll end up in the gas chamber before I’m finished with you. That latest stunt of yours failed. We caught your goons and Belle is safe from your wretched hands. You are nothing but a pitiful weasel going after an innocent girl.

Ramsey was doubled over in pain. He gasped, “she’ll come back on her own you know…won’t be able to help herself…the suggestion is too strong…I’ll have her back”, he whispered, coughing in pain.

“Over my dead body you lunatic. No way, no how will you ever get your hands on my daughter or any other victim ever again. In fact I might just save the taxpayers some money and shut you up personally myself…who’s to stop me old man?” John wound up to hit him once more, giving him a black eye. Just as he was thinking about breaking the bastard’s nose, Shane and Bo rushed in and pulled him off the other man.

Shane shook his head resignedly. He had never seen his friend as angry and out of control as he was now. “John, I know you’re hurting…Hell! Bo and I not to mention Shawn would love to beat this monster to a pulp. Its not worth it…do you hear me…he’s not worth getting your ass thrown in jail over. How will that help Belle? You have to back off and let us do our jobs. I promise you he won’t hurt anyone ever again.”

John struggled against Bo’s retraining arms. Glaring at Ramsey, he spit out “I’m fine Bo…let me go!” He stared angrily at the battered man, “You come near my daughter or any of my loved ones and I’ll kill you with my bare hands…do you hear me? I’ll kill you”, John yelled before backing away. Bo followed, with Shane locking the cell behind him.

Looking one last time at the prisoner, Bo had just one thing to say. “You tried to destroy a beautiful child, may you rot in hell you miserable old man…may you rot in hell!”

Ramsey crawled back onto the cot, lip bleeding, ribs probably broken, but still he had that maniacal smile plastered to his face. I will succeed, he vowed to himself…you have no idea of what I am capable of. If I have to kill all of you to get to her I will, just you wait. Try all you will, but you won’t break Sarah of my influence, nobody will. I have created a beautiful young woman in Sarah. She will serve my needs in every possible way. Lying back he contemplated his good fortune.

Shane followed John back to ISA headquarters, with Bo bringing up the rear. Both men wanted to make sure John’s anger had settled before letting him out of their sights. Shane put in a call to the hospital for an update on Belle’s condition. Brady came to the nurses’ desk to talk to him.

“Hey Shane, the nurse told me you were asking about Belle. They gave her a sedative right after you left and she’s been sleeping peacefully ever since. Philip’s watching her at the moment and your guard is right outside, so there’s nothing to worry about. We both came to relieve Shawn for a while. Man I can’t believe how devoted he is to Tink. It took us forever to convince him to take a break.” Brady commented.

“Brady I’m glad she’s doing better…I need a favor from you.” Shane went on to quietly relate the happenings at the prison earlier, eliciting a gasp from John’s son. Brady agreed to rush right over and take care of his father.

“Oh man, oh man…I knew this was coming. Dad’s been much too self-contained about all of this. I’ll be right there.”

Shane turned back to John and Bo. A steaming cup of coffee lay untouched on the table in front of John. John had his head in his hands and tears were streaming down his face.

“This is my little girl, Bo…my Isabella. How could that monster hurt her like that? I feel so helpless, what if she doesn’t respond to the treatment, what if…” John broke down and couldn’t go on.

Bo looked at John with tears in his eyes. “I know man, I know. I love Belle as if she were my own daughter. I don't blame you for wanting to kill the bastard, but Belle needs you so much right now. Her treatment is about to begin and we need to be there to support her in any way she needs. We need to pray for the best possible outcome.”

Shane nodded. “John I’m so sorry that this has happened to that sweet little girl. I promise you that Ramsey will pay if it’s the last thing I do. But in just a few hours, Belle is going to be put through some very difficult moments with Dr. Caslis. She needs you now more than ever.

Brady walked in at that moment and ran straight for his dad. “Come on Dad, let’s get you home. I bet Marlena will be worried sick about you by now.”

John looked up at his son and quietly let him lead him out. Shane and Bo sat down and collapsed, closing their eyes.

At Salem Hospital, a young woman slept through the night. No more disturbances, no nightmares. The powerful sedative did its job. Apart from a brief time apart, Shawn slept at her side, afraid to leave her after the attempted kidnapping.

As the new day began, the clouds opened up and torrents of rain poured down on the city of Salem. The sun hid well behind the darkened clouds. Shawn hoped this wasn’t a sign of things to come. Turning to Belle, he noticed that she was finally awake and was s watching him silently.

Smiling at her encouragingly, “Morning Sarah, I hope you’re hungry. The nurse has some porridge with your name written all over it.”

Sarah remained locked in her thoughts, not responding. She watched carefully as the handsome stranger came to her side and gently took her hand in his. She watched as the nurse brought in the tray of food. She watched as the nurse left again, with not so much as a blink of an eye to acknowledge her.

“Its okay Sarah, I know its tough for you right now. But sweetie you really need to keep up your strength. Shawn pulled the tray closer. Looking right at her, Shawn whispered gently, “Please eat something sweetheart…just a little.”

Still no response. Sarah couldn’t hear him, she couldn’t feel his hand…she was very close to being lost forever. Her body had so relaxed overnight that upon her wakening, her new training took over. She saw her beloved Dr. Ramsey’s face only…no one else. She heard his words only…no one else. There was no one to stop the voices, no one at all.

Dr. Caslis and Dr. Horton walked in at that very moment to check on their patient. Taking in the scene at a glance, Dr. Caslis knew that he didn’t have much time. “Shawn, wrap her in a blanket and carry her to my office please. We can’t wait any longer.” His voice took on a sense of urgency. With shocked eyes, Shawn lifted Belle into his arms and hurriedly followed the Doctors down the hall. Laying his beloved gently on the doctor’s couch, he looked up to hear both Dr. Caslis and Dr. Horton talking intensely.

“Ill need this to become a secure environment, Mike. No interruptions, no access to her for the next few hours other than myself”, he insisted.

Turning to Shawn, his voice gentled. “I know you won’t want to go far from her, so I will allow you to remain in the outer room on one condition. No matter what you hear within these walls, I do not want you to come rushing in and disturbing the treatment. I am warning you now that there will be a lot of crying, screaming, and other emotions before this day is over. I need to take Belle over everything that happened to her from the beginning of her capture. It is imperative that we get everything out in the open, and it will be very draining for her. If you can’t handle it, then you may want to go away for a while.

Shawn looked at both doctors and shook his head. He didn’t know if he could handle it, but he did know that he had to be as close to Belle as possible. “I won’t do anything to risk her wellbeing. I promise I can handle it.”

Mike nodded, “I’ll let her parents know that you are starting treatment. They may want to keep Shawn company.” Mike rushed out to use the phone.

Dr. Caslis ushered Shawn out of his office, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I will take great care of her, Shawn, I promise.” Closing the door behind him, he quickly shut the window blinds and turned down the lights, creating a softened atmosphere. Turning to his patient, the doctor pulled up a chair beside her.

Belle’s eyes were focused on some invisible object. She was not aware of her surroundings. The doctor took the first tape and placed it in the recorder. The doctored voice of Dr. Ramsey soon filled the room.

“My beautiful Sarah, how are you today? Please look at Dr. Caslis and say hello.” Something snapped in Sarah’s head. The voice of her teacher was finally back. A big smile lit her face as she turned automatically to do as she was told. “Hello Doctor Caslis.”

The doctor made a few notes, and started the tape again. “Sarah, I want you to take a deep breath and tell Dr. Caslis what happened the day Belle was kidnapped.” He watched as Belle tensed. This would be the supreme test to see if his treatment would actually work. Would she respond to the voice she heard?

Slowly Belle began to speak. “Belle and Shawn were at the carnival. Belle and Shawn were at the dance. A man took Belle away from Shawn, she didn’t belong to Shawn, and now Belle is gone forever.”

“Where has Belle gone Sarah? What happened to her?” Dr. Caslis asked gently.

In a hushed voice, his patient continued. “Belle was taken by the men and given a drug and she fell asleep. Belle was a gift for Doctor Ramsey. The men brought him a gift. She woke up in a cell all by herself. Belle was crying for Shawn but he didn’t come. Shawn forgot about Belle.”

“What happened next Sarah? What happened to Belle?” He prodded her on.

“No more Belle. Belle wouldn’t eat. Belle wouldn’t sleep. Dr. Ramsey likes Sarah better. Sarah does everything she is told”, Sarah smiled as she remembered.

“What did Dr. Ramsey do to Belle? Tell me how Belle became Sarah”, he coaxed.

Sarah smiled once again. “Dr. Ramsey came into the room and he was beautiful. He told
Belle that no one wanted her and no one would save her. He told her that she belonged to him and that he would call her Sarah…I’m Sarah.” She finished happily.

Dr. Caslis directed her back to his question. “How did he do it Sarah?”

“Dr. Ramsey has the most beautiful eyes. He looked at Belle and she stopped thinking about anything other than him. Dr. Ramsey took care of her and she was very happy again.” Sarah felt so good talking about her teacher.

Dr. Caslis tried again. “What happened to make her happy, Sarah?”

Sarah laughed. “He gave her medicine and wonderful music.”

Dr. Caslis looked back at his patient before turning on the tape again. He didn’t know why, but as soon as Ramsey’s voice came through, he felt chilled to the bone.

“Bring Belle out for a minute Sarah…let Dr. Caslis talk to Belle.” He watched as Sarah listened to the command, noting the struggle on her face to do as she was told. A complete change came over her as Belle emerged from hiding.

“No, no, no…don’t do this to me…stay away from me…” Belle screamed hysterically, curling up into a ball and wrapping her arms tightly around her. “Leave me alone…” Tears streamed down her face as Belle came to the fore. Rocking back and forth, Belle screamed over and over, “Shawn I need you…please Shawn where are you…where are you…I can’t hold on much longer…I love you Shawn…oh god please no, don’t touch me…I can’t stop him…ohhh”.

In the outer room, Shawn jumped to his feet. John and Mike grabbed him and stopped him from storming into the office.

“Shawn you were warned that this would be hard on her. It has to be done…you have to let Dr. Caslis do his job” Mike cautioned.

Shawn heard Belle scream once more and cringed at the sound. “I can’t bear for her to suffer like this…it’s just not fair…she’s been through so much already.” Sitting back down, he tried to calm himself. Marlena reached over and kissed his cheek.

“My sweet girl is so lucky to have you to love her Shawn. Thank you for caring so much.”

Shawn turned a tear-streaked face to Marlena and whispered painfully. “I don’t have any choice…she’s my whole world.”

Marlena turned to John, both holding hands as they silently prayed for their daughter.

Dr. Caslis watched as Belle struggled to fight off her inner demons. He needed to know everything before he continued.
“Belle what is happening, tell me how Dr. Ramsey is touching you”, he asked very gently. He noted that his patient had gone very pale.

In a shaky voice, Belle whispered, “my mind…he’s in my mind…he won’t leave me alone…he’s making forget…noooo…its all dark…so dark…I see only him…I don’t remember anymore…I have no choice…no more choices…only one choice…I’m Sarah…I’m Sarah”, and then in a very calm voice she repeated “My name is Sarah…I belong to Doctor Ramsey…only Doctor Ramsey.

Dr. Caslis turned off the tape and watched as Belle became Sarah once more. Damn that bastard, it was worse that he could ever imagine.

Turning on the doctored tape one last time, Ramsey’s voice once more filled the room.

“Sarah, I want you to go to sleep now. When you wake up, you must listen to Dr. Caslis and Dr. Horton…they will help you get better.” Sarah closed her eyes in obedience and fell into a deep sleep.

Walking around to his desk, the doctor observed his patient and made his final notes for the day. He picked up the phone and asked for two orderlies and a stretcher to be brought immediately to his office, and then asked Mike Horton to join him.

Mike listened to the tapes and shook his head in sorrow. “My god, what kind of monster is he? What are you thinking…will the treatment work?”

The other doctor nodded. “In spite of what she went through today, she responded very well to the commands on the doctored tape. Tomorrow I will try to bring Belle back to answer a few more questions, and then I will begin the reverse therapy I have in mind. How did the boy handle everything?”

Mike looked at the closed door and back. “Well, at her worst, I think he was ready to race in here and rescue his beloved. We managed to calm him down but it wasn’t easy.”

In the reception area, Shawn, Marlena and John jumped up as they saw the stretcher come through. Dr. Caslis opened the door and requested that the three of them join him in his office, motioning to the orderlies to wait outside.

Entering the room, all three saw that Belle was asleep and relaxed once more.

“I realize how hard this is on all of you. I can only tell you that it is very necessary. I could not proceed without knowing exactly what your daughter went through. She is sleeping now and will wake up as Sarah once more, but with one positive change. She will now do what Mike and I tell her, so her physical health should begin improving.” Shawn sat on the edge of the couch gently stroking Belle’s hand. The doctor turned to him. “The positive thing to remember is that she won’t remember anything about her abuse when this is all over. Just hang in there and I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

Motioning to the orderlies, they gently lifted Belle on to the stretcher, covering her with a blanket to keep her warm. Shawn held on to her hand as the orderlies left to return her to her room.

John and Marlena stayed behind to talk to Doctor Caslis, thanking him once more for his kindness to their Isabella.

Back in her hospital bed, Belle slept on. Shawn hovered over her like a knight in shining armor. Gathering the sleeping girl in his arms, he rocked her as he would a baby.

Shawn leaned his forehead against hers, whispering tortured loving thoughts. “Oh God! I love you so very much. You’re my dream girl. I’m so crazy in love with you. Nothing has any meaning without you Belle. I hate what that bastard did to you. I can’t imagine how afraid you were. I’m…I’m so very sorry that I wasn’t there when you needed me. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive myself. I just know that without you I’m nothing…absolutely nothing.” Shawn kissed her forehead. “The day I fell in love with you was the best day of my life. Belle, I know you’re in there somewhere. I’m so lonely without you baby. Please come back to me. I’ve never been so scared in my whole life. I don’t know what I’ll do if you’re not okay. Sweetheart, we have so many plans to make…so many plans. I’m telling you now that I’m not letting you go without a fight…do you hear me Isabella Black? I won’t let that monster win. You and I are a team and we always will be.” Finally out of words, Shawn pressed little kisses along her lips and fell back with Belle in his arms. Drained from the day's events, Shawn closed his eyes. Somewhere deep down Belle heard every word of his confession. And for now she was safe in the arms of the man she loved.

Mike thought he should be used to this picture by now, but it still amazed him every time. It amazed him that a love so strong could really exist, and by god he was going to do everything in his power to bring about a happy ending to this tragedy.
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Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 24th, 2004, 10:19 pm #10

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.
Chapters 21 - 25

Chapter 21

Shane watched the screen in increasing alarm as the young television reporter excitedly revealed her news-breaking story. Quite a career-moving coup for her, he thought in the back of his mind.

“Earlier tonight, three convicts escaped Salem County Prison…at last count, two guards are dead and eight more are seriously injured. It would appear that two separate escapes were launched simultaneously. Details are forthcoming. Prison officials have ordered a full lockdown. Roadblocks have been established at all major exits of Salem city proper, so be prepared for delays if you are traveling. The police are requesting that anyone having information on the whereabouts Ms. Vivian Alamain, Mr. Lawrence Alamain, and Dr. Evan Ramsey please contact them immediately. The police believe that the Alamains will be traveling together. They are considered extremely dangerous and the public is warned not to approach them on their own.” Pictures of the three escapees flashed across the screen.

At that moment, Shane’s beeper vibrated. “Donovan …what took you so bloody long… and what the hell happened?” Shane listened as his operatives explained the details of the escape. Barking out orders, he turned in time to see both John and Bo come rushing in.

At a private airfield just inside Salem’s boundaries, a car sped up to the runway. Within minutes, a jet screamed through the air taking its three passengers to destinations unknown. Vivian and Lawrence sat across from each other drinking from long flutes of champagne. Ramsey had taken a different route of escape to enhance the chances of success, or so he said. Ivan stood at his Madam’s side to give them an update of the girl’s status.

“Er…about the girl, they have her heavily guarded and in therapy at Salem Hospital. Her boyfriend never leaves her side…

Back at ISA Headquarters, Shane held up a hand and told them what he knew. “Two separately planned escapes, planned to the last detail…completely coincidental that they were both staged within minutes of each other. My men are using every available contact to find and apprehend them before they get too far.” Just then his phone went off again. Listening to the message, Shane’s face grew darker. “A jet just took off from Lindster’s airfield…no flight plan registered. It’s as if it’s flaunting itself by staying within radar contact.”

The jet continued on its flight path, and as ordered, the pilot ignored all attempts at incoming communication.

Ivan continued to give his report. He told Vivian of the attempted hospital kidnapping, just the day before. “I’m sorry to say this but I think Dr. Ramsey has plans of his own for her. It was his men who were involved.”

“What the hell does he think he is doing? He works for me and no one else!” Vivian angrily retorted, “Call him now and remind him of this!”

Following orders, Ivan called the doctor and passed on her message. “Madam wishes me to remind you that you are under her employ. She does not appreciate…shall we say certain recent events regarding the girl?”

Ramsay just laughed and hung up.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, Ivan thought worriedly. Madam is not going to like this one bit.

Ramsey smiled to himself. Vivian Alamain was no threat to him. She had no idea how powerful he was. Above all, she hadn’t an inking of who he was really working for. All she was to him was a means to a very satisfactory end. And as hard as it would be for him to hand his beautiful Sarah over to his real boss, he would do it. In the end, money always came first for him and it always would. But, and he smiled gleefully at the thought, he would certainly enjoy preparing Sarah for her new life…such were the perks of his job. But, if he wanted things done just right, he would have to do it himself. Sitting down he waited impatiently for what was to come next...his reunion with the beautiful Sarah.

The night turned a shade darker. Ah…madmen…madmen…everywhere you turned.

Following the news of the escapes, all three men, Shane, John, and Bo, converged on Salem Hospital at the same moment. Each with the same foreboding of imminent danger.

Evan Ramsey was one step ahead. He was at that very moment creeping up the stairwell towards a very important rendezvous.

Belle was enjoying a very uneventful sleep. Shawn had fed her earlier and she had managed to drink a half bowl of soup. Now she was tucked in all nice and warm. The day had certainly taken its toll on her.

Shawn slept fitfully in a chair next to her bed.

As Ramsey reached the hallway, he eyed the armed guard stationed outside Sarah’s room. Turning he scoped his surroundings and saw one lone nurse with her back turned at the nursing station. Walking up to the guard Ramsey caught him unawares. Before the guard could go for his weapon, the doctor dropped him with his silencer. The guard fell to the ground. Checking out the area once more, Ramsey stealthily slipped through the door to Sarah’s room. He walked to the other side of the bed and looked at the girl who had become so important to him in so short a time span. Leaning over her, Ramsey softly whispered in Belle’s ear.

“Sarah you must wake up and come with me. Do not make a sound.” His voice took on the mesmerizing quality that worked so well on her.

Belle quickly opened her eyes to the voice of her teacher. He pulled her unresisting body from the bed and quietly moved her towards the door.

Shawn opened his eyes and looked in amazement at the doctor. He jumped up, knocking over his chair in the process, and moved anxiously towards Belle, furiously yelling at the doctor at the same time. “What the hell are you doing? Let her go you bastard!”

“I don’t plan on doing that young man, and I suggest that you get out of my way. Sarah is coming with me.” Ramsey waved his silencer at Shawn, ready to kill him if necessary.

Belle started to cry. Harsh, heartbreaking sobs shook her body. “No don’t hurt him…please don’t hurt him.” Already traumatized from the day’s events, her mind suddenly cleared and she remembered how important Shawn was to her. “Tttake me ppplease…I ddon’t care what you do to me…just don’t hurt Shawn”, she stuttered in anguish.

Both men looked at Belle in astonishment, Shawn in awe that his Belle had come back and Ramsey in white anger. Looking at the doctor once more, Shawn stepped back.
“Alright, I’m backing off…only just don’t hurt her…don’t hurt Belle.” Shawn pleaded with the other man. He watched helplessly as Ramsey dragged her closer to the door. Belle looked at Shawn as if to memorize his face one last time. She knew that she must make this sacrifice in order to save the man she loved so desperately. Her body was so weak, that Ramsey had to do most of the work.

Shawn couldn’t believe that he would never see her again…couldn’t believe that he couldn’t somehow stop the bastard from taking Belle away. Oh god, he thought, do something…anything…I can’t let her go! Shawn’s terror grew stronger.

As if in slow motion the events that happened next would reverberate for some time to come. John, Bo and Shane raced to Belle’s room only to find the slain guard on the floor outside. Bursting in, all three men aimed their guns at the doctor.

“Let her go you bastard…she is not leaving with you,” John growled.

Ramsey’s eyes grew maniacal. “I will kill her first. If I can’t have her nobody can” he screamed. “She’s mine…mine…my creation.” Shawn’s heart stopped as he watched Ramsey aim the gun at Belle’s forehead and slowly start to pull back the trigger.

In a flash, all three men took aim and shot the man down. Belle slid to the floor, his blood splattered all over her, shaking and crying in shock.

Shane gently picked her up and gave her over to Shawn’s willing arms. Taking a wet towel, he moved back to the chair, and sat down with her in his lap. Soothingly, He washed Belles face and hands. Shawn grabbed a blanket to tuck around them and started to rock her, whispering soothing words. Belle whispered Shawn’s name over and over.

Across the room, Shane and Bo dropped to the fallen man. Bo checked Ramsey’s pulse and shook his head. “He’s dead…Ramsey’s gone”, Bo confirmed. Bullets had hit his heart, lungs and brain. None of them could stir up any emotion for his death.

John walked over to his daughter and gently placed a kiss on her forehead. “He can’t hurt you anymore sweetheart, he can’t hurt you.” Belle looked up at her father and with great effort, tremulously smiled at him. “Dad”, she whispered, before closing her eyes and curling back into Shawn’s body for comfort. The four men looked at each other and then back at Belle.

Shawn’s voice broke as he whispered emotionally, “I have her back…I have her back”, holding her even tighter.

Shane turned to John. “I’ll get Mike Horton to check on her and arrange for this piece of garbage to be removed at the same time.” Quickly leaving the room, Shane mumbled, one down two to go.

A little later, Belle was settled in a new room, far from her old one, and fast asleep. Mike was checking her vitals. Shawn was holding her hand with what seemed like a permanent smile on his face. Mike hated to burst his bubble but knew he had to be the voice of reason.

“Shawn, Belle will still need to continue with her treatment. The trauma is still inside her mind and she has to deal with it before she moves forward. Now she has to deal with the fact that she almost got you killed. This latest event has brought her back to us…and believe me I am very happy about this…but I don’t know if it will last…we are walking in uncharted territories here. Just know that until she wakes up again, we won’t know what if any damage, has been done.” Mike finished and pulled away from Belle to look at Shawn.

Shawn wasn’t prepared to be negative. “I know in my heart that she will get better. I know her as well as I know myself Mike! This is just the beginning, I know it.”

Mike walked towards the door, “Let’s just see what happens…no promises…but lots of hope.” With a smile to his cousin, he left the room. Belle mumbled Shawn’s name in her sleep.

“Yes baby, I’m right here…I’m not going anywhere.” Shawn whispered back, slipping under the blankets.

Thousands of miles away, a jet landed once more on a private airstrip in the Spanish Pyrenees. A short road trip later, the Alamains’ took possession of a casa directly across the lake from John Black’s secret abode…soon to be occupied by Belle, Shawn, Philip and Mimi.



Chapter 22

The early morning sun streamed through the windows of Belle Black’s hospital room. Belle’s eyes darted everywhere, finally settling on the face of her sleeping companion. Memorizing everything about him, her heart filled to overflowing. I love him so much, she thought. He is everything I’ve ever wanted and ever will want. He makes me complete…and I almost lost him forever…I almost lost him forever…

From the doorway, Mike watched as her eyes shimmered with tears and she brushed a whisper of a kiss on Shawn’s lips. She looked up and smiled at her doctor and old friend, putting a finger to her lips and pointing to the sleeping Shawn.

“Ssh, he’s so tired Mike. I don’t want to wake him yet”, she whispered softly.

Mike smiled back at his patient. “There’s a good reason for that. This young man has barely left your side for the last few days”, he whispered back.

Waking up to Mike’s last words, Shawn looked at Belle with a huge smile. “Once I got her back, I wasn’t letting her out of my sight. Can’t waste a moment when I’ve got a special angel in my arms and all is right in the world. Good morning sweetheart”, pulling her to him he kissed her deeply.

Taking his stethoscope, Mike ignored the two lovebirds and checked her heart, pulse rate, recorded her blood pressure, and finally flashed his penlight across her pupils. Satisfied with what he saw, he quietly pulled up a chair and took her hand in his. “Any headaches Belle? Dizziness?” Mike asked cautiously.

Belle ignored the dull headache that had plagued her for most of the night. She marked it down to the stress of her situation. “Nothing much, Mike. Really I feel fine.” The next moment Belle frowned at the stranger who stood at the door.

Dr. Caslis walked into the room and introduced himself. Belle responded to his easy manner and gentle probing right away. He nodded to Mike and pulled up the other chair. Shawn pulled her back against his chest and wrapped his arms around her for support.

“Belle, do you know what happened to you? Do you know why you are here?” The doctor asked quietly.

Belle’s face took on a haunted look. She forced the panic she felt back down. She scrambled for past memories, and hesitantly began to speak. “I don’t remember much. Shawn was taking care of me. We were going to Canada, but I begged him to stop for the day so we could go to the carnival. I was dancing with Shawn, we were hiding from the Alamains, and some man grabbed me and pulled me away. I don’t know…I think I was drugged and then I remember waking in a tiny room with no windows…my head ached so much…I couldn’t move my muscles”, her face creased at the memory. “There were no windows, nothing but a cot. I remember pushing away the food...”, and then her voice started to shake. “I remember Lawrence Alamain coming into the room late at night. I was so frightened. He…he made me call him Papa. I couldn’t sleep after that.” She turned to see Shawn’s eyes on her, his whole being intent on her every word. He squeezed her hand in encouragement, while thinking savage thoughts about Lawrence Alamain. Belle forced herself to continue. “I remember feeling so claustrophobic. I knew I was getting weaker but I didn’t know how to stop it. I felt like someone was pushing all my buttons and I had no control. I kept thinking that I was being watched…and then…I don’t know when…I started to lose track of time, I was just there…I had nowhere else to go, only my muddled thoughts to keep me company. Until…until the man came into my room. The…the one who died last night”, she shuddered at the memory, seeing splattered blood all over again. Once more she pushed that memory aside and continued. “I tried not to listen to him…” she looked pleadingly at Shawn, begging him to understand. “I really tried…but his eyes…his eyes were so powerful…and his voice was so addictive…he got inside my head…give in to me, my pretty little girl…over and over…I could feel him all around me…I couldn’t get him out of my mind…I couldn’t stop him from taking me over!” She trembled at the memory. “I don’t remember anything after that, except for what happened last night.” Tears gathered in her eyes as she curled up into Shawn’s protective arms. “It’s all my fault…I should have listened to Shawn. He told me it was dangerous to stay in one place…I just wanted to have some fun for once…her voice trailed off.

Both doctors got up. Thank you Belle. I think we’ve done enough for now. I’d like you to just relax for the next few hours and later today, if you feel up to it, we will continue our talk.” Dr. Caslis patted her hand and smiled kindly before following Mike Horton from the room.

Mike followed the other doctor into his office. “So what do you think?”

Caslis moved to sit behind his desk before answering. “Miss Black’s mental recovery will certainly be hastened now. Although I am extremely angry about the method used, I am satisfied that she will not return to her other personality on her own. I will however have to take her back through those forgotten time periods in order to make her completely whole again. It will be painful and difficult for her, but very necessary. The only drawback I see at the moment is that she will indeed remember those times. Her family, and her young man especially, will have to be patient with her mood swings until she has regained her coping skills. “Those skills were severely compromised by that quack.”

I know it’s awful to say, but thank god he’s dead. I can’t imagine what he would have done to Belle if his plan had worked last night”, Mike responded angrily.

They discussed the case for a while longer and agreed to continue the treatments at 5 p.m.

Shawn held her shaking body. Belle was very unsettled. Her thoughts were all over the place. He tried to relax her. He caressed her lips with his. Shawn was so grateful that she had come through last night unharmed…at least physically.

Belle tensed and pulled away from him. “Shawn…I don’t want to know what happened to me…I just…I just…want to go home with you and forget. Why can’t I go home? I don’t want to do this…don’t make me do this…please don’t…I can’t bear anymore”, she begged with tears streaming down her face.

Shawn pulled her back in his arms. “Hush sweetheart! No one is going to hurt you; I promise I won’t let anyone hurt you ever again. Belle if you let this go, it will just come back to haunt you over and over again until you can’t stand it anymore! I know how hard this is but you have to trust me…please baby, let Dr. Caslis help you…I want to take you home more than you will ever know but I want you to heal even more.”

Belle shook her head franticly. “I’m just so tired Shawn. “ And then her deepest fears came pouring out. “I…I feel so dirty…like I’ve been violated… I don’t even know who I am anymore…I feel like he raped my mind…last night, oh my god…Shawn, I would have gone with him…I couldn’t help myself…Shawn…please…no more…no more.” She clutched at his hands, finally asking the question that she had been dreading. Do…do you know if he t..t..touched me physically? Because I don’t…and…and I’m so very afraid to find out the truth”, Belle sobbed out.

Shawn’s heart broke in a million pieces. He felt her pain…he wanted so much to just bundle her up and take her away with him. He couldn’t do that. As much as he wanted to give in, Shawn knew that it would only make things worse. But at least he could allay her fears on one thing. With shaking hands, he held her face and pressed gentle kisses everywhere. He was crying now just as much as she was…crying for what was…crying for her pain…crying for her loss…feeling so helpless. Lifting her in his arms, he started rocking her back and forth…soothing her with his voice…healing her with his love.

“Baby, he didn’t touch you that way, I promise…I promise! Sweetheart, you have to believe me. I love you to much to lie. When they took you I thought I was going to die…nothing made sense anymore. I wanted to kill that bastard and the Alamains for what they had done. Belle I am so very very sorry! I…I…almost lost you…the most precious thing in the world to me. I’ve never felt so angry and helpless in my whole life. But through it all…yes through it all…I knew that you would come back to me. And now…baby you have to be strong. You can’t let him win! You have to take back your life, my darling. I know it will be hard…I would do it for you if I could…but this is something only you can fix. Please Belle, do this for me…I’ll be right by your side…do this for me”, he finished in a pleading whisper.

He held her quietly for what seemed like forever. He held her until she quieted down and relaxed once more against him. Shawn coaxed Belle to eat a little. He asked the nurses to hold back any visitors for a while. After lunch John, Marlena and Brady came to check on Belle, but drained from her highly emotional outburst, she slept through their visit. Dr. Caslis dropped by and Shawn told him all about it.

The doctor sat down and smiled gently at Shawn. “It was only to be expected, son. She has so much emotional baggage to deal with right now. It’s all hitting her at once. You did exactly right. Don't’ minimize her fears and give her all the comfort she can handle. When she wakes up, we will see how she responds. I would like to start her treatments again as soon as possible, maybe even in a few hours…but it will be up to Belle and no one else. You’ve given her a lot to think about…but from what I know about this young woman, I think she’s up for it.”

“I didn’t make things worse? I was so afraid that I pushed her too hard”, Shawn asked.

“She was verbalizing her fears, Shawn…giving voice to her nightmares. Before that monster used his manipulations on her, Belle must have had a terrifying few days. With you she can express her fearfulness and that is all good.” Dr. Caslis rose from his chair. “She must face her own monsters now…if won’t be easy…but it will help her to recover and that’s what matters most. I will arrange for her to be brought to my office after she awakens. You may wait in the outside office again if you wish.”

Later that day, Shawn paced the outer office while the woman he loved met with Dr. Caslis. He hadn’t been sure that she would agree, but once again his Belle had surprised him with her determination to get it over with and get on with her life. It was as if she had experienced a catharsis and could now move on.

Belle watched as once again the doctor shut the blinds, and then walked over to sit beside her.

“Are you alright Belle? Are you sure about this?” He asked.

Belle nodded determinedly. “Yes I am. I need to do this.”

The doctor nodded. “I am going to have to take you back to the time you were in captivity. I need you to open up to me. I am going to turn this tape recorder on. I do not want you to become alarmed when you hear Dr. Ramsey’s voice. Alright?”

Belle nodded her okay, and lay back on the couch. Softly the insidious tones of Ramsey’s voice worked their way into her brain. Once again she succumbed to his influence. Belle’s arms and legs went lax. She went into an instant trance, hearing only his voice and no other sounds.

Dr. Caslis was playing a tape that Shane’s men had found at the compound. He was shocked by the message and took a few observation notes.

“Belle is all gone now. No more Belle. Sarah is my beautiful girl. You are my beautiful girl aren’t you Sarah? You belong to me don’t you Sarah? Don’t you Sarah? Don’t you Sarah?”

“Yes, I am your beautiful girl. I belong to you…I belong to you…I belong to you.” Belle echoed the message.

“You need only me, don’t you Sarah? Only me to breathe…only me to exist…only my voice…my voice!” On and on his voice weaved its patterns into her mind. She existed once more only for him.

Having found out what he needed to know, Dr. Caslis stopped the tape. Damn that monster, he had gotten her into the third stage of mind manipulation…the level just below total capitulation. And he’d done it quickly, risking permanent damage to her mental health. She wouldn’t have stood a chance against his evil tactics. How he would turn over in his grave to know that they were turning the tables on him in this way. Looking back at Belle he noted her glassy eyes…her messianic devotion to the message.
Dr. Caslis put in a doctored tape.

“Sarah, let Dr. Caslis speak to you now.”

The doctor watched as his patient obeyed.

“Sarah? I need to ask you more about what Dr. Ramsey did to make Belle obey him. Can you tell me?”

Sarah laughed mockingly. “She was so weak. She was so easy for Dr. Ramsey to take over. He laughed so much when she opened her mind and let him in. It hardly took any doing at all. The stupid girl was a pushover.”

“Okay but how exactly did he go into her mind? Do you know what drugs he gave her?” The doctor tried to get her back on track.

“I told you before…he hypnotized her with his eyes…she couldn’t stop herself from looking at them…once she looked at them she was trapped. The drugs were so good…they made her so happy.” Sarah stopped suddenly and said no more.

“Bring Belle back now, Sarah…I need to talk to Belle”. He commanded.

He could see the struggle on her face become more pronounced. When he was sure that Belle was back with him, he spoke.

“Belle, I’m going to play a tape for you and I want you to listen very carefully and repeat everything it says. Do you understand?” He gently asked.

Belle nodded. Once again the doctor put in a doctored tape and hearing the voice, Belle went under once more. The message was distinctly different this time and the doctor prayed that it would work its magic.

And so began Belle’s deprogramming.

“Belle, you do not belong to me…you belong to yourself. I do not have any power over you. I cannot make you do anything anymore. My voice will no longer trigger your mind patterns. I have absolutely no power over you and I never will again.”

Over and over again the doctor played the tape. Over and over again Belle repeated the message. Finally the tape was turned off.

Belle’s eyes cleared and she looked at the doctor in astonishment.

“He can’t hurt me anymore? You promise?” She asked anxiously.

Dr. Caslis smiled at his patient. “He can’t hurt you Belle…never again. How do you feel?”

Belle felt giddy, as if her thoughts were her own again. With those feelings came a great deal of anger and pain at what she had gone through. Belle remembered everything.

The doctor put her feelings into words. “You know everything that happened to you now. It’s all out in the open. But if you are willing, we can start discussing those feelings at our next session. You don’t have to worry that your alter ego will ever return…and that monster is now dead and can’t hurt you anymore. Tomorrow we will begin on the positives, slay any dragons you have left. Are you okay with that?”

Belle felt like she had come through a holocaust and survived. I hate what he did to me. I can’t live with what he did to me. But can I get over it by myself? Shawn says this is necessary. I believe in Shawn.

“Yes, Dr. Caslis I want to move on with my life…if that means more counseling then I will do it.” She agreed wholeheartedly.

The doctor showed her to the door and she ran straight into Shawn’s arms. It was like coming home. He looked up and smiled as Dr. Caslis gave him a thumbs up sign.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at 9 a.m. Belle. Take good care of her young man. She’s been through a lot today but she came through with flying colors.” The doctor returned to his office.

Arm and arm the two lovers walked down the hall back to Belle’s room. Opening the door, Belle gasped in surprise. Oh my! Oh my! Oh my!

In the middle of the room sat a small table for two. A single yellow rose took its place beside Belle’s plate. Soft lighting lent a romantic ambiance. Violin music played softly in the background as Shawn led his lady fair further into the room. He was determined to give his lovely Isabella some good memories to replace the bad ones. Belle reached up and kissed her handsome knight. Taking her in his arms, they began to sway to the music.



Prologue:

For the next two weeks Belle continued her counseling sessions with Dr. Caslis. Her physical health continued to improve and she grew steadily more impatient to leave the
hospital. Dr. Caslis worked with her to regain her self control.

In Girona, one of the four Catalonian provinces in northeastern Spain, The Alamains settled into their villa and continued to plot, and when they were through, they plotted some more. Of more immediate concern was a dark, suave very handsome man, dressed in long flowing robes, who was becoming more and more intolerant as each day passed.


Chapter 23 - NC 17

In a faraway palace Sheik Damian El Eban, supreme ruler of the tiny but very wealthy kingdom of Tahrain, sat at the head of the table and tapped his long narrow fingers, the only obvious sign of his increasing dissatisfaction. Bodyguards stood at the four corners of the room. The Sheik had enemies. Standing at the other end of the table was his most trusted advisor, Information Minister Salim Ben Eban, the unfortunate bearer of bad news on this otherwise sunny morning.

Damian held up his hand for silence. “So you are telling me that my plans for the girl have been thwarted by that incompetent dog who calls himself a doctor?” His voice rose with each word spoken. Damian’s anger was something to behold.

Salim cringed but forced himself to continue. “Yes my lord. Ramsey is dead and your friend Vivian Alamain has escaped to a villa on the shores of Costa Brava with her nephew. I believe she still plots to recapture the girl as we speak. We are keeping an eye on the situation.”

Damian stood and walked to the huge portrait that covered the large wall of the salon. Gently and reverently he caressed the face of Isabella Black, his chosen one. Not turning, he gave his minister new instructions.

“Find her…bring her to me…I cannot be without my woman another day…another minute…do whatever it takes Salim…make it happen. She will be my most cherished one, my wife above all others. She will rule my harem and give me sons. Now go!” He commanded. The audience was finished.

Salim bowed and started to back out of the presence of his lord, before coming to a stop.

“My lord I beg your indulgence. What of the boy, Shawn Brady?” Salim quietly asked.

Damian turned quickly to him. “Ah yes the boy! He is not worthy of her beauty…when she is brought to me her thoughts of him will vanish into thin air…have him dealt with.” Damian laughed at the prospect. What need has she of him when I will be all the man she will need, he thought wickedly.

Salim nodded respectfully, and once again left the room.

Damian continued to stare at the portrait. It had been taken from the photograph he had carefully pocketed at Vivian’s Paris abode and probably didn’t do her justice. Damian worried not that the girl would hesitate to fall in with his plans for her. After all he had women throwing themselves at him everywhere he went. He had a harem full of willing nubile girls, his to command as he wished. But this girl, with her golden crown of hair and eyes the color of the deep ocean would be above all others, his precious jewel, his most valuable commodity. Her lush body would fit so well to his.

At Salem hospital, unaware of the plots still going on around her, Belle Black sat in her therapist’s office for their last session. Smiling, she listened to the man who had been the principal reason for her recovery.

“Isabella, you now understand that none of what happened to you was your fault in any way? That you are a strong, healthy woman who can go on to lead a very fulfilling life?” Dr. Caslis would be sorry to lose his patient, but happy at the results he had achieved.

The lovely girl turned to him and took his hand. “Thank you so much Doctor. Without you I would have been a basket case. I am so grateful for your guidance. I understand everything better now. I don’t expect to forget what happened, but I will not let it consume my life. I have you to thank for putting my nightmares to rest.”

Walking her to the door, Dr. Caslis wished her well, returned to his desk, and closed the file on Miss Belle Black. Although her nightmares had not totally vanished, he felt sure that her strength would see her through the dark times. Her coping skills had returned and would see her in good stead.

Belle walked out of the office and walked straight into Shawn’s open arms. This day had been a long time coming…a day when they could finally make plans to get on with their lives. Belle sighed. It was so heavenly to feel Shawn’s arms around her. He had truly proven his love to her over the past few weeks. And now he had a surprise for her.

Shawn smiled down at his love. “C’mon sweetheart, I’ve already got your suitcase in the trunk of the car. I’m going to make this a day you will never forget.” Putting a finger to her lips to stop her from asking the million questions he knew she had, Shawn grabbed her hand and escorted her out of the hospital. Belle took one last look at the building that had been her home for the last few weeks, and shuddered. Shawn quickly bundled her in and they were off.

The October day beckoned to the young lovers. There was a distinct chill to the air, but neither Shawn nor Belle noticed. It soon became apparent that their destination was the cabin…the place where they had first declared their love for each other. Shawn wanted to give his lady love new memories to replace the dark ones that had inhabited her mind for so long.

Arriving at the log cabin, Shawn turned to Belle. “This is just the beginning for us, my darling. I’m here to make all your dreams come true.”

Hand in hand they walked into the cabin. Belle watched as Shawn built a fire. She watched as he lit the oil lamps. She watched as he steadily moved towards her. The
room took on a rosy glow. Belle’s eyes widened as Shawn went down on one knee. Reaching inside his pocket, he withdrew a tiny jeweler’s box and taking her soft trembling hand, started to speak.


“When I got to you, after you were captured” he said huskily, “I wanted to hold you and never let you go. I prayed for you to hear me, begging you not to die, not to let them win.” Shawn drew a shaky breath. “If you’d died, I wouldn’t have survived you by five minutes,” he said matter-of-factly. “I wouldn’t have cared if I lived or died.” Shawn took her face in his hands. “You were all that mattered” he whispered with tears in his eyes. “Isabella, I’m so in love with you”, he said softly.

The sweetness of those words got through to Belle. Tears fell unnoticed down her cheeks. She gasped as Shawn opened the jeweler’s box. He removed the beautiful sapphire engagement ring and looked into her eyes.

“You and I complete each other. I can’t imagine my life without you in it. I want a lifetime of memories with you Belle. Will you marry me? Will you be Mrs. Shawn Brady?” His voice broke with emotion.

Belle launched herself at Shawn. “Yes oh yes, please Shawn.” She was laughing and crying at the same time. They looked at each other with growing passion. Belle nodded in answer to his unspoken question.

Shawn slid the ring on her finger and followed its path with kisses. Taking Belle in his arms, his mouth covered hers. “I love you, I love you, I love you.” He repeated over and over groaning against her trembling lips. Lifting her into his arms, he walked quickly to the bedroom and lowered her against his hard body. Quickly divesting each other of their clothing, Shawn couldn’t wait. He wrapped his arms around Belle so tightly that she could hardly breathe. Her eyes closed as he lifted her off her feet, his mouth grinding down on hers.

Heat formed where their bodies touched. Belle lifted her legs around his waist. She gasped as Shawn took one nipple into his mouth and suckled, rubbing the matching one into stiffness. She was breathless with excitement. Shawn’s hand moved lower to cup her. Slowly entering her with two fingers, he prepared her for his entry. Belle’s pupils dilated. She gave herself over to him.

“Watch us baby…watch us come together”, he whispered commandingly. Belle watched as he removed his fingers and slowly lowered her onto his shaft. She moaned and her gazed locked with his. Quivering with desire, inch by inch she took him in. Shawn gripped her buttocks and began to work her up and down, slow steady thrusts. His head fell back as his body shook with pleasure. He could feel his climax rising. Belle convulsed, kissing him wildly. “Please…please”, she begged, crying helplessly. His mouth covered hers, swallowing her moans of excitement. Shawn moved harder and faster. Together they went over the edge, erupting into a violent climax. They lay heavily against each other, trying to catch their breaths. Still inside her, Shawn moved them to the bed.

“It’s all right”, he whispered soothingly, brushing the hair from her eyes. “Go to sleep sweetheart.”
“B b but you’re still in…in” Belle couldn’t finish her sentence, her body was so tired and replete.

Shawn kissed her softly. “I like being in…in…sweetheart, now shut your eyes.” Belle’s body was no longer her own. Her lover had taken ownership and at that moment she didn’t care. Closing her eyes, her head fell against Shawn’s chest and soon their deep breathing was the only sound that could be heard.

Sometime later, Belle woke to Shawn’s touch, cupping and stroking her to a fever pitch. He whispered his love to her. Growing hard within her once again, Shawn began thrusting. Her body was now attuned to his body and joined him in a timeless rhythm. She all but purred. The tension built, their climaxes came quickly. Slowly, Shawn pulled out of her body and took a deep breath. Belle lay beside him completely boneless, shivering with the aftermath of her pleasure.

Gently Shawn stroked her hand, and Belle turned into him like a little kitten. This was their time. All too soon things would change but for now Shawn wanted to bind her to him so deeply that she would never think of parting from him ever again.

He carried Belle into the bathroom and turned on the taps. Belle watched him with luminous eyes. She loved him so much. She would always love him.

Together they gently washed each other, dried off and climbed back into the bed. Covering them with a patchwork quilt, Shawn gathered Belle to him and again they slept.

Tomorrow, John and Shawn would tell Belle of their plans. The danger was far from gone and she must be protected. Shawn had left the details to John and Philip and Mimi. And by tomorrow night, Shawn & Belle, Philip & Mimi, would begin a new journey, a trip to the Spanish Pyrenees to begin their new life together.

But for now, the lovers slept with arms tight around each other, dreaming of weddings, and babies and each other.



Chapter 24 - NC 17

A Ring, A Promise, A Kiss, A Whisper of Love Ever After


Stretching lazily, Belle welcomed the warmth of the morning sun on her face. Unwilling to open her eyes just yet, she thought about all the changes in her life. Five glorious love-filled days after Shawn’s marriage proposal and she still had to pinch herself. They had made the cabin their home since then and Shawn had been so sensitive to her needs and oh so very loving. Yesterday, Shawn’s parents and hers had visited. Together they explained the ISA developed plans for Belle’s protection. While she had hoped that she could put those nightmarish days behind her, she knew that the Alamains were still at large. The bottom line was that she would be with the man she loved, her best friend Mimi, and his best friend Philip. Besides she would do anything to take the worried look off of her parent’s faces. Until then it hadn’t occurred to her the toll her kidnapping and subsequent hospital stay had taken on her loved ones.

But where was Shawn? Her eyes were now wide open and his side of the bed was empty. Looking around her she gasped in astonishment. Oh my, where did all these yellow roses come from? There must be hundreds of them. And so there were…bouquets of roses were strewn everywhere. Rose petals were scattered across the patchwork quilt. The romantic fragrance permeated the air she breathed. And on his pillow was an envelope with the words ‘open me my love’ written on top. Eagerly, she ripped open the envelope and drew out the lovely gold embossed card, quickly scanning the words…

Miss Isabella Black
Is
Cordially invited
To attend
A
Special gathering
Tonight

I’ll pick you up at 7:00 p.m. my love…until then I will count
the minutes until you are once more by my side

Yours Forever & a Day,

Shawn

p.s. look under my pillow and you will see
A token of my love

Belle pulled the pillow away and found another envelope with instructions.

*Scatter the petals and you will find
Jewels worthy of this love of mine

Belle scattered the petals and found a beautifully wrapped package at the foot of the bed. Carefully undoing the ribbon and wrap, she pulled out a lovely Victorian music box. Inside, on a bed of velvet, lay the most beautiful diamond and sapphire necklace she had ever seen. And when she took them from the box, the music began to play. It was the song from their dance at the carnival, ‘I can’t help falling in Love with You’. Belle clutched the box to her chest as she stepped back in time and remembered.

Setting the music box carefully aside, Belle read the next instructions.

*Go to the closet and discover inside
A dress so fine, it will boggle your mind

Scrambling off the bed, she opened the closet doors to find a floor length satin and lace gown of periwinkle blue. Belle gazed lovingly at the breathtakingly beautiful dress. Oh my oh my oh my!

Her heart was so full she thought she must be dreaming. A puzzled look came on her face as she read the next clue.

*Prepare to be pampered, Isabella mine
A day for my princess, a moment in time

Now what does that mean, she wondered. But Belle didn’t have long to wait. Just then her bedroom door burst open and Marlena, Hope, and Mimi entered smiling excitedly. Belle’s mom placed a breakfast tray on her daughter’s lap and gave her a quick kiss. She noticed the perfect red rose lying on her napkin right away.

“Mom? What’s going on here?” Belle questioned excitedly.

“Your job, my sweet girl, is to follow orders today…not to question why. Now don’t dawdle sweetheart! Eat your breakfast, jump in the shower…we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in.” Her mother had a huge smile as she spoke to her precious daughter.

As if it were possible, the day only got better after that. The women led the young woman through a spa-filled experience to die for. By late afternoon, Belle was perfection from head to toe. Her hair, her make-up, her body all pampered just as the instructions said. And now the damsel in question carried her gown to the bed. The one Shawn had carefully chosen. Stepping into it, she moved in front on the tall mirror. Her dress was exquisite. The satin shimmered against her skin. Her feet were adorned with matching sandals. Suspended around her throat was Shawn’s gift to her…the diamond and sapphire necklace. She turned this way and that, not hearing the soft footsteps behind her. With a soft kiss to her nape, the man of her dreams, dressed handsomely in a tux, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against him. Then and only then did he whisper the words from his heart…

“And when it is over there will be no doubt
The world will see, the pipers will shout
Hear ye one and all and be ye glad
My Belle is the fairest in the land!”

Belle melted in a puddle against Shawn and they stood quietly in their own little world for a moment. Then taking her hand, Shawn led Belle to her chariot and they left for their destination. On the way, Shawn slipped a silk blindfold over his love’s eyes.

“I want you to be completely surprised, my darling! I want this to be a night you will never forget!” He whispered lovingly against her lips.

And when they arrived, her dashing prince led her inside a darkened room. He removed her blindfold and smilingly watched her look of bewilderment. All at once the lights came on, family and friends jumped up from their hiding places, and one and all yelled “Surprise!”

The room was decorated for an engagement party and banners and streamers embossed with the couple’s names were flying proud. Isabella was so overcome by the generous love and happiness in all her loved ones faces that she burst into tears and hid her face in Shawn’s chest. Shawn’s arms came around and hugged her tight. Gently lifting her chin, he tenderly wiped Belle’s tears.

“Hush sweetheart hush! All of our family and friends are just so happy that you are all right they wanted to do something for us. They wanted to say goodbye. Don't cry baby…please don’t cry!” Shawn brushed a kiss on her lips.

Belle turned to the others and smiled through her tears. “Thank you so much. I’m a little overwhelmed by all this. So much has changed in my life but the one constant is that I love you all.” Belle’s and Shawn’s parents rushed over to hug the pair.

“Welcome to our family Miss Belle. Our son has chosen well.” Shawn’s father kissed her cheek, while everyone looked on approvingly.

Shawn’s grandmother, Alice Horton, made her way over. Hugging first Belle, she murmured softly to Shawn, “prayers are wonderful things, are they not? You have your Belle back just as my Tom predicted!”

The lights dimmed and the music started to play. Shawn turned to his fiance and whispered in her ear. “Will you dance with me my love?” Holding out his hand, he waited for her reply.

Belle looked at Shawn with eyes that shone of love and hope and placed her hand in his. Drawing her into his arms, he pulled her close. As the music played on, Shawn danced with his woman as if they were alone in a world all by themselves, as if time stood still.

There's a kind of hush
all over the world tonight
All over the world
you can hear the sounds of lovers in love
You know what I mean

Just the two of us
and nobody else in sight
There's nobody else and I'm feeling good
Just holding you tight

So listen very carefully
Closer now and you will see what I mean
It isn't a dream

The only sound that you will hear
Is when I whisper in your ear I love you
For ever and ever

Swaying to the music, the lovers let the words flow in and out. There was a kind of hush in the room and a few gasps of envy as the couple, so meant for each other, melted together as if one began where the other left off. One song drifted into another and still Shawn and Belle danced, wrapped in each other’s arms, oblivious to anyone else. And when the evening ended, as all evenings do, the handsome knight and his beautiful maiden left among much well-wishing and laughter.

Shawn closed the limo’s glass partition and turned to Belle. “I’ve waited twelve hours, 32 minutes, and 45 seconds to do this”. He pulled her on to his lap and proceeded to kiss her senseless. His kisses became deeper and deeper until the sound of Belle whimpering in his mouth made him pull back and take several agonizing deep breaths. Smiling wickedly, he traced her swollen lips. “We’ll be home soon, my darling.”

On their return to the cabin, Shawn lifted his bride to be in his arms and swept her up the stairs to their bedroom. Belle gasped as she saw the look of heated passion that seared his eyes. He let her slide with excruciating slowness down the hard length of his body, turning her release into a caress.

He nibbled on her ear. “I’ve been waiting too long for this”, Shawn whispered. His mouth closed on hers, turning her body to liquid. As a kiss it was devastating. Her lips and teeth parted to allow the invasion of his tongue. Belle sighed in surrender as Shawn gathered her even closer to the heated need of his body. His hands pulled at her zipper and the dress fell in a puddle on the floor. In a simulation of the sex act, the slow penetration and withdrawal of his tongue sent shudders of desire throughout her body. Mindlessly Belle fought to get closer and closer. His hands slid down her back to cup her buttocks. His fingers kneaded her flesh, molding her naked body to his. Shawn closed his hands over her breasts, massaging the tips until they hardened and throbbed.

Belle reached down and clasped his manhood. Rubbing her fingers up and down the ridges, she felt it pulse in her hand. Shawn’s hand moved lower and her body turned into pure molten need. Lifting her against him, Shawn laid a trembling Belle on the bed.
The feel of him was driving her mad. She wrapped her legs around his back, pleading…begging to be taken.

“Sweet…sweet…Belle”, Shawn groaned against her lips. He took her with a powerful thrust that touched the deepest parts of her soul. Pounding into her, he whispered “I can’t get enough of you…oh my god…I can’t get enough of you!”

Belle was out of control, wild, hot, and demanding. “Don’t stop Shawn! Please don’t stop!” The words turned into a moan.

Shawn buried himself so deeply within her, that Belle knew instinctively that she would never get him out…that her body would be forever imprinted with his possession. And in blind desperation they reached the pinnacle, a kaleidoscope of colors rained down on them. That very night, Shawn and Belle renewed unspoken vows and in sated exhaustion, fell asleep in each other’s arms amidst the rose petals scattered around them.

La Vie En Rose

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me, Heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I'm in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Every day words
Seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose

I thought that love was just a word
They sang about in songs I heard
It took your kisses to reveal
That I was wrong, and love is real

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me, Heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose
When you press me to your heart
I'm in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak
Angels sing from above
Every day words
Seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose


Credits:

There’s a Kind of Hush***Herman’s Hermits
La Vie En Rose***Edith Piaf



Chapter 25 - Shawn’s Story

The intensity of their lovemaking changed during the night. It took on a sense of desperation that seemed to have Shawn caught in its relentless grip. Nevertheless, Belle instinctively realized that her fiancé had some demons to vanquish and let him take her in whatever direction he wanted.

Around 3 a.m., Shawn had woken up in a cold sweat. The nightmare was back and he just couldn’t shake it. Their lovemaking had been so exquisite that when they had finally fallen into exhausted sleep, they slept like the dead. Until the familiar theme started to plague his mind. Always beginning with Belle screaming in agony for him, and ending in his being unable to save her until it was too late. Reaching for her, Shawn had made demands of her body that repeatedly sent her screaming in satisfaction. Even afterwards, Shawn refused to let her sleep out of his arms.

Why was this happening to him now? He was so happy that Belle was finally his and yet he couldn’t seem to escape the darkness that was pulling him in. Dr. Evans had told him that he might start to experience these feelings, but he had been so sure that he could handle anything thrown at him. This was different. This was slowly eating away at him. He was only 24 and in the space of a short time, he had seen more evil, felt more pain, than ordinary men twice his age. And now he wanted revenge against those who had dared to hurt his Isabella. There! He had finally given voice to what he needed to do. And in the early hours of the morning, a small chink of innocence broke away and in its place a new determination took root.

Later that day, four young people were escorted with top security to a private airfield. There they boarded John Black’s private jet for Gerona.

Leaving behind loved ones was heartbreaking for all of them, but especially more so for Belle. Her recent problems had left her vulnerable. She would never take life or family for granted again. While trying to put on a brave face for the others, she had clung to her parents and brother for the longest time. Finally, with tears in her eyes, Belle allowed Shawn to lead her away.

Shawn’s first priority was still Isabella’s welfare. He had been told by Dr. Caslis of her lingering fragility. He had warned Mimi and Philip that what she needed now, more than anything, was rest and few responsibilities. And with their help, that’s what he planned to give her. Shawn was determined to pamper Belle to death, shower her with love, and protect her forever. Her kidnapping had taken a toll on him as well. And now he refused to let anything harm her. But in the back of his mind…

Philip and Mimi watched as Shawn lifted Belle onto his lap like a little kitten, and whispered in her ear. Belle settled back against his chest and closed her eyes as Shawn’s arms wrapped around her protectively. Looking up, he smiled at the other two, gently brushing a kiss on Belle’s hair.

It didn’t take long for his beloved to fall into a deep sleep. Deep enough that she never heard the conversation that went on around her.

“I can’t believe she’s come through this, poor thing” Philip sympathized.

Mimi nodded. “We’ll both help you take care of her Shawn. Anything you need and we’ll be there, just ask.”

Shawn struggled with his emotions. “I never expected to love someone so much that I would want to die if anything happened to her. I still have all this anger bottled up inside me for the Alamains and that crazy doctor. I would kill for her. How could anyone want to take someone as gentle and lovely as my Isabella, and break her down like they did? And all this time, I thought my life was charmed. I’m going to make them pay, Philip! I’m going to find a way to avenge Belle if it’s the last thing I do…”, Shawn whispered with tears in his eyes.

Philip looked at Mimi helplessly. He didn’t know how to handle this new Shawn. He knew things he shouldn’t know. Things he wished he could tell Shawn but had been sworn to secrecy by the ISA. Philip just hoped he could hold Shawn off until the time was right.

Mimi took Shawn’s hand and looked deeply into his eyes. “Belle needs you Shawn, Getting yourself killed is the worse thing you could do for her. Do you know what she told me at the spa yesterday? She got so overwhelmed by everything and started crying. She said that you complete her…that she is nothing without you. Shawn don’t go off and do something you’ll regret. Please think about what it will do to Belle if something were to happen to you. She’ll blame herself Shawn”, Mimi pleaded.

Shawn shook his head in denial. “I won’t hurt her Mimi. I just feel so angry about Vivian and Lawrence getting off scot free.”

“Look Shawn, let the ISA do their job. Give them a chance to bring the Alamains in. I know it won’t be much longer. Shane told me they were very close”, Philip pleaded.

“How close, Phil? Where the hell are they anyway? Where were they when they were supposed to protect Belle? Where were they when those monsters escaped? Why the hell should I believe they won’t screw up this time?” Shawn’s voice rose as he got angrier and angrier.

Belle took his face in her hands. “Do it for me, Shawn. Don’t go after them. Don’t leave me waiting to hear if you’re dead or alive…I’ll die just thinking about it…please Shawn…don’t leave me…don’t do this!” Belle opened tear-filled eyes and clutched Shawn in despair, shedding the fragile control she had over her emotions. Tears racked her body as she tried to crawl into him as close as she could get. Shawn felt sick to his stomach. Self-hate rose up and threatened to take control.

Shawn groaned in self-disgust. “Belle, I didn’t mean…”, he ran an agitated hand through his hair. “God, I’ve made you cry…sweetheart…please…stop…I can’t bear it!” His body started to shake. “I won’t ever leave you…I promise Belle…I won’t leave…I won’t leave…." Shawn rocked her in his arms until she finally fell back into an exhausted sleep.

He felt battered and torn apart as he turned to Philip and Mimi. “I can’t do anything right! All I do is make things worse! Look at her! I did this! I made her this way! I’m supposed to love her and take care of her and…and…oh god!” Shawn started to cry burying himself against the girl asleep in his arms, deep raspy crying that pulled at his very soul…harsh cleansing sobs that tore out of his body in great shudders. Gradually he quieted, raised his head, and took deep breaths.

With quiet determination, he spoke to his friends. “I’m okay. I went a little crazy…hell I think I was ready to go off the deep end. I’m sorry you guys had to witness that. I promise I’ve got my head on straight again.

Philip smiled at his best friend. “No apologies man! I’ve been wondering where the rash, act before you think, bullheadedness had gone to. I think now might be the time to let you know about the ISA’s plans.”

Mimi and Shawn looked at him in confusion. As Philip explained what Shane and his guys were up to, Belle slept on in peaceful ignorance.

Landing at the private airstrip in Costa Brava, Shawn carried a still sleepy Belle off the jet and into the waiting limousine. Armed cars lined up in front and behind to escort the foursome to their new home.

Sitting up, all four looked around excitedly as they drove through the enchanting city along the Mediterranean coast. Finally they turned into a well guarded villa, surrounded by olive trees, and beautiful hot orchids and roses of every color.

And on the veranda stood three men with the biggest smiles on their faces…John Black…Shane Donovan…and Bo Brady.

“Welcome to Villa Isabella, named in honor of my beautiful child”, John opened his arms and Belle ran straight into them. He put a finger to her lips before she could ask any questions.

Leading the way, John and Belle went through to the main salon, where Marlena, Hope, and Kim waited impatiently. When everyone was seated, John poured them some Catalonian wine straight from his vineyards.


Shawn, Belle, Philip, and Mimi were dying to know what was going on here, but knew instinctively that they would not find out anything until the men were ready. Shane decided to finally put them out of their misery.

Clearing his throat, Shane put on a poker face and looked carefully at all four of them.

“At this very moment, Vivian Alamain and her cohorts are being read their rights and are on their way back to prison. Approximately 45 minutes ago, our men converged on a villa about 5 miles from here and took them into custody. Unfortunately, Mr. Lawrence Alamain did not survive…I will leave out the details but will only say that the bastard is no longer among the living. We confiscated enough evidence of their plans that dear old Vivian and her friends will be spending the rest of their very unhealthy lives incarcerated in hell.” Shane waited for his words to take effect.

From dead silence, there rose a mighty roar of happiness among the group. Hugging and laughing and lots of kissing went on all around Belle and Shawn.

Those two were busy looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Very tenderly he reached out his hands to hers. Belle’s mouth was trembling as he gently asked “do you love me enough to forgive me sweetheart?”

“I have to”, Belle whispered. “I understood Shawn, I really did. I love you too much not to forgive you.”

Shawn pulled her to him and whispered back, “I’m glad, because I love you so much that I think I’d go crazy if you couldn’t.” He’d almost lost her because of his bitterness, because of his determination to seek revenge. Kissing her fiercely, he stood and pulled her up against him.

“Anybody want to help us plan a wedding? I’ve got the girl and she’s ready and willing!”
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