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by Deb T.
| Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4 | Pt. 5 | Pt. 6 | Pt. 7 |
There was a difference in Lissa when she and Derek
returned from the city. Philip noticed it as soon as the
pair entered the study, but it took him a few moments to
determine what had changed. Then it hit him...her easy
familiarity with Derek, as one would have with an old friend.
"So," Lissa said, "both Mama and Aunt Alicia worked with
the Luna Foundation?" Derek nodded and Lissa continued with
worried frown, "Derek, why didn't I remember more? I'm aware
now of a memory blank and it's frustrating! Hi, Philip...
no need to look so worried, I'm still in one piece."
"Like I said before you left this morning, Lissa,"
Philip replied dryly, "It wasn't you who concerned me.
Trouble doesn't seem to follow you wherever you go." Derek
rolled his eyes and Philip continued, grinning impishly, "So,
what's this I hear about holes in your memory, Elizabeth?"
"I finally remembered my aunt's death, Philip. I wasn't
there, as I thought, but I saw what happened..." Lissa
began, then her voice trailed off. Derek nodded and the girl
continued, "I saw what happened through Derek's eyes. I was
five years old, and it was kinda scary. Not just seeing Aunt
Alicia's death, but the whole experience of seeing something
through someone else's eyes. It was a little freaky.
There's one thing that still bothers me about that, however."
Her eyes shifted back to Derek as she spoke and he
frowned, resting his hand lightly on her shoulder. The other
psychic asked, "What is it, Lissa? Most of your questions
have been answered, haven't they?" Lissa nodded, chewing her
lower lip thoughtfully. Derek started to say something else,
but Philip shook his head quickly.
"There's nothing more you can clear up for me, Derek,"
the young woman replied and Derek relaxed slightly. Lissa
continued thoughtfully, "No, it's from my own mind...I
still can't figure out what Aunt Alicia was screaming as she
died. It was a name, but as hard as I try, and much as I try
to focus, I can't understand what she's saying."
"Is it so important? If you focus on that too much,
you'll lose the other memories. And you've remembered enough
for one day...why not rest? Philip, could you see Lissa to
her room?" Derek asked and the younger man nodded. The cop
glared at Derek, who added, "It's for my peace of mind,
Lissa. You're quite capable of getting to your room alone,
but I'll feel better if Philip is with you. All right?"
"Well," Lissa sighed once she saw Philip nodding, "it's
not an unreasonable request, so...all right. Just don't
check on me in five minutes, okay?" Derek nodded and Lissa
looked at Philip, saying, "You've dealt with this since you
were a kid?" He nodded as they left the room, and Lissa
shook her head, adding, "You're more patient than I am,
Philip! I would have strangled him years ago!"
"Believe me," Philip said wryly as they walked up the
stairs to the bedrooms, "the thought has crossed my mind.
Several times! But...when all is said and done, as you
say, he's not being unreasonable. Which makes it all more
frustrating when he's right!" Lissa laughed and nodded.
In San Francisco, Oliver Herbert was arriving home from
work. His back and shoulders ached, but that was to be
expected. Funny, how he hadn't hurt so much while Pippa
Reynolds was still at the clinic, visiting her sister. At
least Miss Lissa was out of her coma and recovering. That
was amazing...only twelve hours after Drs. Corrigan and
Rayne took Miss Lissa to Dr. Rayne's home on Angel Island,
the young officer woke up from her coma. Oliver was pleased
for the Reynolds girls...if a little puzzled by Miss
Lissa's quick recovery following the transfer.
"Hey, Grandpa, how was work?" Oliver's grandson Mark
asked, bounding down the stairs. Oliver looked up with a
smile as he rifled through the mail. The boy shook his blond
hair from his eyes and asked, "Anything interesting in the
mail this afternoon? Or is it the same old, same old?"
Oliver shrugged, handing his grandson two bills. Mark
glanced at them, then put them in his pocket.
"Same old, same old. I didn't realize how much I missed
Pippa until today, though. I went into one comatose
patient's room, and the man's wife was droning on about how
terrible things were going. It's no wonder the poor man
doesn't wake up. Pippa always told her sister everything,
what was good, as well as what was bad. She's a good girl.
They both are. Are you going with me to Mass on Sunday? I
know you haven't been in a few weeks, and I thought you might
like to join me...just like the old days," Oliver said.
"Okay...what, the second Mass or the noon Mass?" Mark
asked, leaning back against the table. Oliver considered the
young man's question, staring at his grandson thoughtfully.
God, how was it possible? Mark was twenty-seven now...he
had been out of college for five years, and still worked odds
and ends. Not that it mattered to Oliver...he loved the
boy too much to change him. And besides, a steady job would
interrupt the time Mark had with his little sister Tara.
That poor child had already lost far too much.
"Second, I think. Unless Tara wants to go with us,
which I doubt. She's still having a hard time accepting your
parents' death...I don't think she's ready to talk to the
bishop or any of the priests. At the wake, not even Father
Callaghan could make her smile," Oliver replied sadly.
A shadow crossed his grandson's face. Oliver knew Mark
had a difficult time accepting the loss of his parents also-
not that it was easy for Oliver. His daughter had only been
forty-eight when she and her husband died in a car accident
six months earlier. Mark said, "I agree, Grandpa. Oh, guess
who I saw in town this afternoon...Lissa Reynolds!"
Oliver's heart jumped and he asked, "You saw Miss Lissa?
How is she? Does she seem well? How did she look? Was she
alone?" Mark grinned as Oliver slowly ran out of questions,
and the old man added defensively, "The poor girl has been
through hell, Mark! They've never caught the coward who shot
her and her father, and I worry about those girls."
Mark winced and replied, "She looked terrific, Grandpa.
She was getting out of a black Range Rover, and no, she
wasn't alone. There was a dark-haired man with her...he
seemed a little younger than Mom." The boy's voice broke.
"A dark-haired man who is a little younger than Kate,
and driving a black Range Rover. Damn, that's Derek Rayne,
the head of the Luna Foundation! So Miss Lissa is still
staying with him...I'm glad to hear that. She'll be safe
with him...no one crosses Derek Rayne," Oliver said. Mark
winced again and Oliver added, "Well, we still have some
things to do in the yard. We'll wait until it cools off.
Join me for lemonade?" Mark nodded eagerly, and Oliver
wondered what was troubling the boy...
Derek Rayne. The name echoed in Mark Herbert's mind.
He knew of the man...everyone in San Francisco knew of the
Luna Foundation, of the Winston Rayne Hall of Antiquities,
and of Derek Rayne. However, Mark knew next to nothing about
the man himself...and especially about his castle.
Well, he amended, that isn't totally true. I know that
Father Callaghan is his godson. Mark had learned that in
conversations with the young priest upon Father Callaghan's
arrival at St. Bart's three years earlier.
I need to know about these people, he thought, I need to
know about the castle, I need to know about the people who
live there, and I need to know when they come and go. Mark
didn't want to kill Lissa. He truly didn't want to kill
anyone...but when the cop had walked in on the hit against
her father, her own death warrant had been signed.
"So, how did things go in San Francisco?" Rachel asked,
breezing into Derek's office a few moments after Philip and
Lissa's departure. He looked up, trying to figure out how to
explain the breakthrough Lissa had made during lunch. Rachel
added, "Oh my...she remembered everything, didn't she?"
"No, not everything...just that she knew me when she
was a child. She knows that I knew her mother and her aunt,
and that Fiona and Alicia were with the Luna Foundation. She
hasn't remembered anything else. But even that is a
marvelous breakthrough!" Derek answered passionately.
Rachel smiled, saying, "Yes, that is wonderful. Does
she understand why you didn't tell her?" Derek nodded...he
had gotten off easily in that respect, a fact for which he
was very grateful. Rachel continued, "I'm glad...Lissa
seems like a very reasonable young woman."
"She was a very reasonable little girl as well. A
little on the stubborn side, but reasonable. The funny thing
was, she was never stubborn for me. If I asked her to do
something, something she didn't understand, she would ask me
to explain why. When I did, she would think it over, then
one of two things would happen. The first was that she would
quietly do as I had asked," Derek replied.
"And the other thing?" Rachel inquired, smiling as she
sat down on his desk. Derek sat back with a faint smile of
his own as he recalled that long-ago child. In his life, he
had known many children who became special to him...but
until a few months ago, there were two children of his heart:
Philip and Lissa. And now, Kat had joined them.
"She would put her hands on her hips and sigh, 'Well,
all right, Derek, but only for you.' She must have seen her
mother or Alicia do it. It was different with Lissa. I
would have to try so hard not to laugh at her," Derek
replied and Rachel burst out laughing.
"Oh, she sounds like a darling child! I understand why
you loved her so much," the woman said. Derek nodded, though
the spectre of William Reynolds continued to haunt him.
Rachel asked quietly, "You're going to ask Alex to pursue
this thing about Lissa's biological father, aren't you?"
"I have to. Every instinct I have cries out that
Lissa's paternity is relevant somehow. I don't know how that
could be, but...I can't always explain my instincts. I
only know that they are seldom wrong," Derek answered. After
a moment, he added, "In any event, I don't think I need to
ask Alex. As soon as Pippa told her about the abuse...
well, you know what Alex is like when something catches her
attention. And you know what she's like with children."
"Yeah," Rachel answered, "yeah, I do. So how did Lissa
react when she realized that...well, how did it go? You
told me that she remembered about Alicia, and that she
understood why you didn't tell her when she awakened. So how
did she react? Was she angry, confused?"
"She was angry at first," Derek admitted, sitting back,
"but that's to be expected. She didn't raise her voice...
in fact, her voice dropped, but I could see the rage in her
eyes. All of a sudden, her fury just died and she told me
that it was just as well we didn't tell her...she probably
wouldn't have believed us."
He paused, then continued, "She's an extraordinary young
woman, Rachel. She remembered...we were talking, and I
think she must have seen something, because she reached
across the table to touch my hand. It was like the last
twenty-one years melted away, and she was that five year old
girl again. And in that second, she remembered everything."
"So, how are you feeling?" Philip asked as he sat on the
edge of Lissa's bed. The young woman shrugged, the earlier
light in her eyes now dampened. The priest said softly,
"It's hard to take in, isn't it? It's one reason why we
believed you should remember on your own."
"I don't know how to feel or what to think, Philip,"
Lissa admitted, "ever since I awoke, I've been having
terrifying memory flashes. Now, I find that you all knew
about this. On one hand, I'm angry because you didn't tell
me...but I can't stay angry for long, because I understand
why you didn't. And I'm not sure I would have believed you."
Philip didn't speak at first, as he was trying to decide
what to say. At last, he replied, "I don't blame you for
being angry, Lissa. Perhaps we should have told you about
your connection to us, but you've been through a lot in the
last year...you've awakened only recently. Maybe you
wouldn't have believed us, but that's not the issue."
Philip took a deep breath, quickly organized his
thoughts, then continued, "The issue is trust. And you feel
as if we've betrayed your trust. No matter how good our
reasons, no matter that you understand those reasons, you
still feel betrayed. Am I close?"
Lissa was silent for several moments, then said, "Yeah.
It's stupid, I know, but I can't help it. And I'm scared,
Philip. I don't remember my mother's death, aside from the
fact that she was shot." Philip put his hand over hers, and
Lissa held it tightly as she continued, "Ever since I
remembered the whole story about Aunt Alicia's death, I've
gotten the feeling that Derek Rayne was a very prominent
figure in my life in those years after she died."
Philip started to speak, but Lissa shook her head and
said, "No. No, this too I must remember alone. I just have
one thing to ask of you." Philip merely looked at her and
Lissa asked, "Answer me honestly when I remember things, and
don't ask me questions. Don't play word games with me."
"You have my word of honor, Elizabeth," Philip answered
solemnly, "if I have an answer, I will tell you. But the
truth is, Derek knows a lot more of your past. He tried to
protect me during that time...tried to keep me out of the
line of fire, so to speak. A bad choice of words, but..."
"No," Lissa said, shaking her head, "not a bad choice of
words at all. And I realize that there is a lot you don't
know...I'm just asking you to be totally honest with me."
Philip started to speak, but Lissa's expression stopped him.
He turned to see Derek standing in the doorway.
After his conversation with Rachel, Derek grew restless
and decided to check on Lissa. It's been a half hour since
our return, he thought, I promised that I wouldn't look in on
her in five. He walked swiftly to her room, but voices
stopped him at the door. Derek frowned, listening intently.
His heart sank as he listened to Philip's conversation
with Lissa, as she admitted her mixed feelings. Derek
understood, but it hurt to hear the words spoken. And the
air needs to be clear between us, Derek thought. He opened
the door as Philip reassured Lissa that he would tell her the
truth. Lissa saw him immediately, and her eyes widened.
Philip turned, saw Derek, then looked back at Lissa. He
said, "You need to talk. Lissa, if you need me, let me know.
I'll be in the library." She nodded and Philip gave her hand
a gentle squeeze, then slipped from the room. Derek walked
to the bed, his eyes never leaving Lissa's face. She was
blushing, but her gaze remained steady as well.
For a long time, they just stared at each other, two
pairs of hazel eyes locked in silent combat. At last, Derek
smiled faintly and said in a soft voice, "You don't back
down, do you? Not when you believe you're right...not when
you know that you must speak your heart. It's a rare
quality, Lissa...don't lose it."
The corners of Lissa's mouth quirked, and she replied,
"I don't back down? That's not entirely true, Derek. I've
backed down twice today. You, on the other hand, never back
down. And I do mean, never." Derek found his smile
broadening in spite of himself, and Lissa said seriously, her
dark eyes filling with an emotion which he couldn't identify,
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, Derek, but I..."
Derek waved his hand and Lissa fell silent immediately,
allowing him to say, "There is no need for you to apologize,
Elizabeth...no reason at all. It will be a long time
before you trust me in the same way you did before. I
understand that and accept it. I knew this would happen.
What does surprise me is how much it hurts. Philip says that
I forget I am only human sometimes. I suppose he's right. I
heard you tell Philip that you believe I was a prominent part
of your life after your aunt's death. Since you want to
remember it on your own, all I can tell you is that you're
right. I was. And you were a very special part of mine."
Lissa laced her fingers together and said as she leaned
back, "I remember our first meeting. You both scared me, you
and Randolph Hitchcock. There was something about him...
well, it just didn't feel right. You frightened me because
you didn't smile. At least, you didn't smile until you saw
me...and that's when I stopped being afraid." She sighed,
then added, "Derek, I'd like to walk around the grounds.
Will you take me?" Derek nodded with a smile and she rose to
her feet. Once more, however, it was too quick. Lissa's
face paled, and she swayed and Derek quickly grabbed her.
She clung to him, her head resting against his shoulder,
and Derek said, "Give yourself a few minutes, Lissa. We'll
leave your cane here, since you can lean on me." Lissa
nodded and pulled away slightly. She managed a weak smile,
which reassured Derek somewhat. But he was still concerned
by her pallor. If she doesn't get some color back while
we're outside, he thought, I'll say something to Rachel.
"Sorry about that. I'll have to be a little more
careful in the future," Lissa whispered. After a moment, she
straightened herself, holding her head high. Derek kept his
arm around her waist as they left the room and slowly walked
downstairs. After a moment, Lissa continued, "Derek, I still
have six missing years. That worries me." The psychic said
nothing...what was there to say?
Mark spent several hours at the library that afternoon.
There, he learned everything he could about Derek Rayne...
from his birth in 1953 to his father's death in Peru. There
There was even more information about the castle...but not
the kind of information which Mark required.
He was almost ready to give up, when he came across a
picture from 1979. It was taken at the unveiling of an
artifact at the castle, and showed three adults with two
unsmiling children. The caption read, 'Luna Foundation
chairman Dr. Derek Rayne with Fiona Summers Reynolds and
Jonathan Boyle. Also pictured are Mrs. Reynolds' daughter
Elizabeth, age nine, and Dr. Rayne's ward, Philip Callaghan,
age eleven.' Mark's eyes widened, then he smiled. Pay dirt!
"So that's the connection between Derek Rayne and
Lissa," Mark muttered, "he knew her when she was a child!
Better yet, he knew her mother...five will get you ten that
Fiona Reynolds left some old diaries laying around. And I
know just the place to look for those old diaries!" Mark
carefully pulled the microfilm from the machine, then shut
down the system. He had more work to do.
It felt good to be outside again, to just be walking.
Lissa closed her eyes, allowing the breeze to cool her face
and blow her hair around. Derek said softly, "You did that
when you were a child. You loved to feel the wind on your
face and in your hair. The longer you're here, the more I
realize how little you've changed since you were a child."
Lissa opened her eyes and looked at him, replying
impishly, "Lord, I hope I have changed!" Derek laughed and
Lissa continued, "I do know what you meant, though. I
shouldn't tease you like that, I..." Lissa fell silent.
She was no longer looking at the green landscape of Angel
Island, not the Angel Island of 1996 at any rate. Instead,
she was seeing two small children running and laughing...a
boy and a girl, around the same age.
From what seemed to be a very great distance, Lissa
heard Derek ask, "What is it, Lissa? What are you seeing?"
The young woman didn't speak at first, as she focused on the
images in her brain. Derek repeated, now sounding anxious,
"What is it, Lissa? What do you see?"
"There's a boy and a girl," Lissa whispered, "both with
dark hair. The boy is a year or two older than the girl...
a year or two older than me. He has blue-gray eyes and a
sweet smile. I adore him...he always protects me. I love
to listen to him, listen to his lilt. I call him 'Pip,' and
that is short for...Philip."
The young woman gasped as the last piece of the puzzle
fell into place. She raised stunned eyes to Derek and
whispered, "Philip? Philip is my childhood friend Pip, all
grown up?" Derek nodded and Lissa continued, "My God, I
thought Pip was an imaginary friend! But he's real...he's
not a figment of my imagination, he's real! You told me once
that Philip received a psychic distress call from me through
his dreams. I used that childhood connection, didn't I?"
"Yes. Philip does not have the Sight, so his dreams
about you frightened him. And when he saw you in the clinic,
he realized that he needed our help," Derek replied. He
paused, then asked very gently, "What else do you remember,
Lissa?" The young woman closed her eyes once more and
expanded the picture. Now, she could see her mother, her
beautiful, laughing mother, in the scene as well.
She heard the younger Derek say, his voice tender,
'sleep well, little one.' The child Lissa closed her eyes,
feeling safe and secure as Derek caressed her hair. But the
peace of the day was shattered by gunfire. Lissa opened her
eyes and gasped, "Oh my God, I remember how my mother died!
It was here on Angel Island...a picnic, I think. Philip
and I had played hard, and we were both tired. He was
running on adrenaline, but I decided to take a nap. You told
Mama that you would look after me, while she took a walk. I
lay down on a blanket, while Philip recited his Latin."
Derek said nothing and Lissa continued, "I remember how
safe I felt...then there were two gunshots. I remember
that very clearly. I woke up immediately, and heard Philip
scream. We all ran to my mother. She was still alive,
though barely...she would say my name, then yours. Oh God,
Derek, I remember everything!"
She was weeping now, sixteen years of suppressed emotion
at last given release. Lissa could once more feel the
child's helplessness and pain and anger and terror, only
multiplied several times by years of repression. She gasped
over and over, "I remember it all, Derek, I remember it all!"
Derek pulled her into his arms and Lissa wept against
his shoulder. Each time Lissa had lost someone she loved,
Derek had been there to blunt the pain. He had been more of
a father to ten year old Lissa than her own father...and
sixteen years later, he was once more there to comfort her.
She heard him whisper, "Oh, little one...I would give
anything to spare you this pain." Lissa's only response was
to cling to him even more tightly.
Derek thought his heart would break when Lissa began
crying. He had known this day was coming...how could he
not? Yet, Lissa's heart-wrenching sobs shattered Derek's
natural reserve, and left him wondering what else he could do
to help her. He had always called her 'little one' when she
was a child. She was an adult now, a young woman and a
respected police officer, but somehow, that endearment from
her childhood still seemed appropriate. Derek held her
tightly, as he had held her after her aunt's death, then
again after her mother's death.
At last, the spasms eased and Lissa pulled back. Tears
were streaming down her face, her eyes and the tip of her
nose was red, but Derek didn't care. The young woman said
thickly, "God, Derek, I can't count how many times I wished I
was your daughter! Do you remember when I ran into your
office, crying, because my father had called me 'stupid' and
told me that no one would ever want such an ugly little girl?
Do you remember what you told me?"
"Yes...I told you that you were beautiful. And you
were always beautiful to me, Elizabeth Marie," Derek
answered. He hugged her again, then continued, "You were a
completely different child when you were here, Lissa. You
were more confident, less afraid. In fact, you even stood up
to your father on Philip's behalf a few times."
"I remember. Derek, I felt loved and protected here,
until Mama was killed," Lissa said. A muscle twitched in her
face, and she whispered, "Why does it hurt so much? Why does
remembering how much you and Philip meant to me hurt so
terribly?" She was dangerously close to crying again, and
Derek longed to take her pain away. But he knew that she had
to deal with it herself...just like Alicia.
"Because," he replied, "when you remember the happiness
you felt here on the Island, and then you think of the years
after your mother's death...well, I'm not surprised that
you blocked everything out of your mind, everything dealing
with this place. It was the only way you could survive.
Philip did the same thing, to ease the pain of losing his
second mother. That reminds me...did you know that Philip
gave you your nickname of 'Lissa,' little one?"
Lissa smiled weakly, resting her head against his
shoulder, as she had when she was a small girl. Derek added,
"I should get you back inside...you've had a long,
difficult day." Again, Lissa nodded and Derek wrapped his
arm around her waist, leading her back to the castle. As
they walked, Derek reflected that her earlier memory had been
more of a breakthrough than he realized.
However, Derek was still troubled by Pippa's allegations
of abuse, and by Alex's growing certainty that William
Reynolds had not been Lissa's biological father. One thing
was certain...Derek would protect Lissa, with his own life
if necessary. Even though she wasn't the daughter of his
blood, she was the daughter of his heart.
As they walked back into the castle, Lissa said quietly,
"There's something else. I realize now that it was a lie,
but I thought it was true at the time." Derek looked at the
young woman, and Lissa swallowed hard, then continued in a
very soft voice, "My father told me that I couldn't come back
to Angel Island because you and Philip didn't love me any
more. That wasn't true at all, was it?"
"On the contrary, Lissa...we've never stopped loving
you. When you were small, you were more than just Philip's
best friend. You were like his own sister, and that bond
between you was never broken. I don't believe it ever will
be broken," Derek replied. Lissa managed a watery smile and
Derek kissed her forehead as they entered the castle.
On his way home from the library, Mark decided to buy
some groceries...he knew his grandfather would ask
questions if Mark admitted that he had been at the library.
I don't want to lie to him, the young man thought, so I'll
just give myself a cover story.
And it wasn't as if Mark never lost track of time when
he went for walks...when he was younger, that happened
often. His grandfather would never question Mark's story
that he had lost track of time on the way to the store.
After delivering the groceries to his grandfather and
his sad-eyed little sister, Mark returned to the house where
his nightmare had begun in earnest. It had been more than a
year since he set foot in this house, and the memories nearly
overwhelmed him. Mark shuddered, again hearing in his mind
the two gunshots which ended one life, ruined another, and
turned a third upside down.
Enough of that, he thought, thinking about the past
won't solve the problems of the present! Mark wasn't even
sure of what he was looking for, until he reached the attic.
There, in a small box neatly labelled 'Fiona's papers,' he
found four diaries which had belonged to Fiona Summers
Reynolds. He sat down and began reading the first journal,
which covered the years 1969 through 1971.
In early 1969, Fiona and her two younger sisters moved
to San Francisco from New Mexico following the deaths of
their parents. The older of the younger girls, Alicia, was
ready to start college, and the younger, Molly, was a small
girl. To support herself and her sisters, Fiona went to work
at a boarding school just outside of San Francisco.
Mark's eyes widened as he read her entries for the
spring and summer of 1969, and specifically, about the events
which led to the conception of her daughter Elizabeth during
that time. I'll be damned, he thought, the plot thickens!
A lot of things were starting to make sense to him now.
He stopped looking over his shoulder and turned his
whole-hearted attention to the drama unfolding in Fiona's
diary. And it was a drama...his kid sister's favorite
soaps had fewer twists than this woman's life! Mark shook
his head as he read the diary. Damn, he thought, if I'd
known all this, shooting that toad Reynolds wouldn't have
been necessary! The young man shook his head once more,
quickly skimming the diary for further revelations.
continue on to part nine