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Portal of Time III: Fiesole 1489, Part Ten

by Jennifer Loyd

“André? Kristen? What’s wrong?” Lisa asks, seeing the distressed looks on their faces as they are coming down the stairs.

“Mimi, I’m not sure how to explain this,” André begins, but Kristen interrupts him.

“I know who you are, Lisa, and I know what you’ve done to Mimi,” Kristen tells her. “We’re on our way to the secret room right now.”

“Kristen, what are you talking about?” Lisa asks, feigning innocence. “Who’s Lisa? What secret room?”

“I don’t understand it either, Mimi,” André says, “she says there’s someone locked in a secret room.”

Kristen is already heading toward the library with André following. “This is ridiculous!” Lisa protests, “I don’t have anyone locked in a secret room, I didn’t even know there was one! André, you don’t believe her, do you?”

André stops. “I don’t know who to believe.”

“You have to believe me, André,” Lisa insists, “she’s just saying this because she hates me. She’s always hated me, and now she’s trying to turn you against me too.”

“Well if you don’t have anything to hide, then there’s nothing to worry about,” Kristen points out.

“Mimi, Kristen wouldn’t lie, I’m sure it’s all a misunderstanding,” André says. “Once she sees there’s no one in the room, then we can all sit down and talk it over.”

Reluctantly Lisa follows them into the library, thinking fast. Once they find Mimi, it’s all over. Or maybe not, she thinks, feeling the smooth handle of the knife in her pocket. You thought you were going to save Kristen, Mimi? Well she’s going to die, right before your eyes...

“How did they get in here?” Stefano asks Giangiovanni.

“Through the courtyard,” the courtier replies, “though how they arrived in the courtyard I couldn’t say.”

“The courtyard?” Stefano repeats, and goes there to investigate. They must have arrived there from the twentieth century, and from there they will return. He is about to use the transmitter to recall the intruders when something catches his attention: a lace handkerchief caught on the thorn of a white rose bush. Reaching out he pulls it free, breathing in the scent of the roses mingled with a woman’s fragrance... Mimi’s, he realizes, remembering the evenings they used to spend here, before he learned about the ring. Where could she be?

Kristen reaches for the book, causing the door to swing open. “Mimi?” she calls, stepping into the room with André and Lisa close behind. “Mimi?” she calls again, but no one is there! “I don’t understand it, she was here!” Kristen yells in frustration, looking all around. “Where is she?”

Lisa is wondering the same thing, but shows no sign of it. “I told you there wasn’t anyone here,” she says instead, “now can we please leave?”

“Come on, Kristen, there’s no one here,” André says to Kristen who is still searching.

“I don’t know what you’re up to, Lisa,” Kristen says as they finally leave the room, “but you’re not going to get away with it....”

Mimi pauses with her ear to the door, listening as she has no idea what to expect on the other side. She doesn’t know where she is, but at least she’s out of the room. If she had been paying more attention from the beginning, she would have realized that something didn’t add up, but she was so shocked by what her sister had done that she hadn’t even noticed. But then she realized that the room was entirely too comfortable to be used only for keeping someone prisoner; not only that, but she sensed Stefano’s presence everywhere. It was too convenient, the monitor looking in on every room... what better place for Stefano to hide while he was presumed dead? So if this was a hideout for Stefano, it made sense that there should be a way out, and she had spent enough time with him that it didn’t take her long to find it and the staircase beyond. How well I know that devious mind of his, she thinks as she cautiously pushes open the door....

John is about to go upstairs when he sees Tessa, Maggie May and Abigail leaving Adriano and Cristina. “Did you find out anything?” he asks them.

“I think so, yes. Apparently there’s a room in the library where Stefano could’ve hidden her,” Tessa explains as they all head in that direction.

“They told you that?” John asks.

“They would only tell us,” Abigail explains. “I guess they didn’t want anyone from their time knowing about the room.”

“Can they be trusted? How do we know this isn’t another one of DiMera’s tricks?” John asks.

“I think they were telling the truth,” Maggie says. “They knew something was wrong, and what we told them only confirmed their suspicions.”

John opens the carved double doors and steps inside. “It’s behind a tapestry on the far wall,” Tessa tells him.

Then they hear a voice coming from behind the wall: “Is somebody out there? Please, help me!”

“Doc?” John calls, running to the far side of the room. “Hang in there Doc, I’m gonna get you out of there!” He pushes aside the tapestry, finds the door and opens it.

“John!” Marlena exclaims, overcome with relief as she rushes into his arms. He holds her tight, stroking her hair, neither saying a word. Finally she looks around the room and, seeing the others, looks questioningly at John.

“They came back with me to save you,” he says. “Aren’t you glad we have such good friends?”

Friends... she remembers the man who tried to help her, before. “What happened to the man who was here?” she asks.

“What man?” John asks her.

“He was here, he tried to help me but then Stefano and another man tied him up. And Stefano took something from him, some sort of device...”

“Oh no... Josh!” Tessa realizes. She holds up her transmitter. “Did it look like this?”

“That’s it!” Marlena says. “Where is he, is he okay?”

“I don’t know,” Tessa says, “we have to find him!”

Frantically Josh flees the foul-smelling chamber into the vast emptiness of the tomb. Feeling his way in the darkness, he finally comes to a narrow flight of stone steps. He climbs to the top only to discover that the exit is blocked by a massive stone! “Help me!” he yells, but there is no reply; of course, no one can hear him. In vain he tries to push against the slab, but soon sinks to the ground, exhausted. They’ll come looking for me, he thinks. When they discover I’m missing, they’ll find me. But how long will he survive in a sealed tomb? As he stares into the flickering candlelight, he begins to hear music, and a soft voice, then another... Where is it coming from? he wonders, looking around. It sounds like... The Spice Girls! There they are, in the tomb now illuminated by dozens of candles, singing “2 Become 1”! As Josh watches, entranced, one of the Spice Girls steps forward and comes toward him... Baby Spice, with her blond hair and blue nails, singing just for him as she brushes her fingertips softly across his face...

To be continued....

Part Eleven

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