Chapter 34

Dawn stood in the window and watched the rising sun with relief. After a night of endless tossing and turning without any sleep, she was happy to see the dawning of a new day.

She thought about how her mother and sister hovered over her the night before. She knew that when they woke up she would be in for more of the same. She loved them and was touched by their caring, but she wasn't ready to be smothered by them. She needed some time to sort through her feelings about what happened with Wayne.

She searched through Dara's closet as she decided what would be the best way for her to get the time she needed for herself. She found a yellow sundress which would be loose on Dara, but would fit her perfectly. She and Dara did not wear the same shoe size so the tennis shoes she had would have to do.

She went into the master bathroom and removed the South Park nightshirt. Standing before the mirror, she took a good, long look at herself. She turned her right arm around. It was still sore, but the ice had lessened the swelling. She turned around and looked over her shoulder into the mirror at her reflection. Her back and her sides were considerably bruised from Wayne's assault. She'd have to grab a sweater to go with the sundress, she decided.

She grabbed a scrunchy and pulled her braids into a ponytail. Adjusting the dial, she stepped into the shower for a quick cleansing. She moved as fast as possible so as not to awaken her sleeping family. When she was done, she toweled herself dry and quickly dressed.

As she went back into the bedroom, she made a decision. She reached into the overalls she wore the night before and pulled out a piece of paper. Before they said their final good-night to each other, Nikolas gave her his private telephone number. She grabbed Dara's cordless from the bedside table and punched in the seven digits. He answered on the first ring.

"Hello?" came the raspy, sleepy voice.


"Dawn. Good morning," Nikolas said.

"Good morning," she smiled when he said her name. "I didn't wake you, did I?"

"No, of course not," he replied as he unsuccessfully tried to stifle a yawn.

"Yes, I did. I'm sorry. Go back to sleep. We can talk later."

"No, I'm awake. Let's talk now. Did something happen last night?" he asked, his voice filled with concern.

"Not exactly. Actually, nothing happened," she answered.

"What does that mean? Did your father say something to you?" he asked, no longer yawning, as he was wide awake now.

"He wasn’t even here. All that worrying for nothing," she laughed.

Nikolas sighed when he heard the laugh. He then knew that something was definitely wrong. He rose from his bed and as he went to his closet, he asked, "Would you like for me to come over?"

"Yes," she replied, all traces of laughter void from her voice.

Nikolas heard the difference and decided he had better move quickly. He said, "I can be there in about twenty minutes."

"Okay. I'll wait for you outside."

"See you soon," Nikolas said quietly into the phone. He wasn't sure, but before she hung up, he thought he heard her say hurry. Whatever happened after they parted had clearly shaken her. He quickly dressed and left Wyndemere.


Tommy woke from the best night of sleep he'd had in a long time. Telling Lizzie about his past had given him a sense of peace. Years of bottling every inside him had closed him off emotionally.

He loved his mother dearly, but there were parts of him he had refused to let her see. He didn't want to burden her with his feelings of loneliness, pain and despair. She had enough to contend with in just keeping him out of harms way as much as she could. He hadn't wanted to add to that with voicing things neither of them had any control over.

He went to the closet and pulled out one of the new pair of jeans Audrey had bought for him. Grabbing a matching tee shirt and underwear, he went into the hall bathroom. He quickly showered and went back into his room. After he pulled on a pair of socks and his new Nikes, he made the bed and went downstairs. Today, no matter what, he intended to see if those guys still were willing to deal with him.

As he reached the bottom step, he decided that before he left for the day, he should speak with Audrey. Lizzie said that she was upset after her conversation with Justus. He wanted to reassure her that he could handle things and that she needn't worry. He would find a way to make sure that his mother and the others would be rescued from hell.


Justus swallowed his third cup of coffee that morning. After leaving Jason, he had been up most of the night. He had used his former connections with the City Council to get the blueprints of the city and he had been studying them. He wanted to see if he could determine where the tunnels were and he thought he'd found something. A knock at the door halted his perusal.

Justus opened the door and found Jason on the other side. As Justus opened the door further, Jason walked in and said, "I've called a meeting."

"That's a good start," Justus replied.

"Have you contacted the Hardy boy? He should be there, too. He knows the layout," Jason replied, emotionless. He understood that Justus was operating on an emotional level. Someone had to remain neutral.

"I haven't spoken to him. Maybe we won't need to. I called in a few favors and I have the blueprints to the city. I've been studying them for hours. I think I've found something," Justus replied as he moved to his desk.

Jason followed him and asked, "Where?"

"Right here," Justus replied, indicating the location with his finger.

Jason picked up the blueprints and took a closer look. His usually emotionless face frowned as he recognized the area.

"Are you sure about this?" Jason asked.

"I'm not one hundred per cent positive, but judging from this, it's the only thing that makes sense," he replied.

"Damn," Jason said as took another look at the blueprint.

Chapter 35

Home Page