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Portal of Time III: Fiesole 1489, Part Seven

by Jennifer Loyd

After lunch, André and Kristen walk over to explore the massive tomb. The arched entrance is sealed by a great monolith.

“Isn’t there another entrance?” André asks. “We’ll never be able to move that stone to get inside.”

“It’s actually not as hard as it looks,” Kristen explains, feeling along the edge of the rock until the huge slab begins to move. “There’s a catch in the crevice. Father took me here once when I was a little girl,” she reminisces. “He showed me how to open it.”

The two enter the unlit tomb, using flashlights to illuminate the stone steps as they descend into a narrow chamber which leads into several others. “The chambers of the tomb were modeled after the rooms of the Etruscan homes,” Kristen explains. Scenes of everyday life are painted on the walls, families dining in the gardens or musicians playing the lyre.

André notices one painting in particular, depicting a young couple and their child. Something in the woman’s face almost reminds him of Kristen and without wanting to, he finds himself thinking of the child Kristen lost... John’s child. Where did that thought come from? he wonders. He and Kristen will have children of their own. Someday....

In her bedroom on the third floor of the palazzo, Lisa watches Mimi on the remote monitor she found in the secret room. Diabolical bunch, those DiMeras. She was surprised to find the secret room in the first place, even more surprised to find it equipped with a monitor connected to hidden cameras all over the palazzo, as well as a remote monitor which allows her to look in on the room and control which part of the palazzo will be shown on the screen inside. How delightfully convenient.

She is vaguely troubled by what Mimi had to say before she was so abruptly silenced. If Kristen is going to kill someone, she thinks, I had better not let that someone be me.

But Mimi appears to be coming to. She will have to worry about Kristen later.

Slowly Mimi opens her eyes, disoriented. “Stefano?” she calls softly, not remembering.

“Sorry sis, he isn’t here right now. In fact no one is, except you... and me.”

“You know, Adriano,” Stefano says as the two of them and Cristina are descending the staircase, “today is going to be the happiest day of my life. I only hope that one day--” He is interrupted as a frantic courtier comes rushing up the stairs.

“Signor diMera,” Giangiovanni says to Stefano, “there are guests downstairs demanding to see you.”

“To see me?” Stefano asks, turning to Adriano and Cristina. “Do you know what this is about?” he asks them.

“No,” Adriano replies, “I can’t imagine.”

“Who are they?” Cristina asks Giangiovanni.

“There are five of them,” Giangiovanni replies. “Two gentlemen and three ladies. They are quite insistant. We are doing all we can to keep them from coming any further, but--”

A loud commotion is heard from below and one voice, louder than the others yells, “I know Stefano’s here and I know he’s got Doc, now you tell me where he is!”

“John!” Stefano realizes, “how the hell did he find me here?” He turns back to Cristina and Adriano. “He has always wanted Marlena for himself and now that he has found me he will try to take her away from me. I could not bear that. You two go down and keep John and his friends occupied, I must hide Marlena somewhere where they will not find her.”

“You’ll never get away with this, Lisa,” Mimi says defiantly.

“Oh no? Who’s going to stop me, sister dear? You? You can’t escape from that room, and you have no way to let anyone know where you are. André? He doesn’t even know you’re missing, he thinks I’m you. Kristen? She could be a problem, but don’t worry. I’ll take care of her.”

“Lisa, what are you going to do?” Mimi demands to know, “why did you lock me in here?”

“Why? Because it amuses me. Because it amuses me to watch you suffer, after the hell you put me through!”

“Lisa, I never meant to...” Mimi begins but is interrupted.

“YOU never meant to... it was always about you, wasn’t it? You were the one who always got what you wanted, the one everyone loved. And Ryan, what about Ryan? You knew how much I loved him and that didn’t stop you from stealing him away from me, did it? Well, now you are going to get exactly what you deserve.”

“Lisa, that’s not the way it happened!” Mimi begins but suddenly the monitor goes black, leaving her in shocked silence. She had no idea her twin felt this way, no idea what she was capable of. Now her only concern is to find a way out, or someone to help her... “HELP!!!” she yells at the top of her lungs, hoping against hope that one of the servants might be close enough to hear her. “CAN ANYONE HEAR ME???” she calls, pounding against walls she suspects are soundproof. But there is no one to hear her cries....

“Excuse me gentlemen, is there a problem?” Adriano asks, stepping between John and the courtier.

John looks at the man suspiciously. “Who are you?” he asks.

“I am Adriano diMera, Duke of Fiesole,” Adriano replies. “May I be of some assistance?”

“Adriano diMera... where’s Stefano?”

“There are several men named Stefano here,” Adriano stalls, “which one do you seek?”

“Stefano DiMera, I know he’s here and I know he has Doc!”

“Doc? I am sorry, I do not understand...”

Meanwhile, Tessa and Josh are formulating their own plan...

“He’s not going to tell John where Stefano and Marlena are, he’s a DiMera,” Josh comments to Tessa. “I say we split up and look for them ourselves.”

“But what if Stefano finds us first?” Tessa objects.

“I’m not afraid of Stefano. All we have to do is find Marlena, then contact the others and return to our time. Besides, you know as well as I do that we must avoid contact with anyone from this time as much as possible. We can’t risk altering the timeline any more than DiMera already has.” Josh heads down the corridor and out of sight.

Tessa turns and begins to head the other way when she is stopped. “Are you looking for someone?” Cristina asks her.

“Yes,” Tessa answers. “I know there is a man named Stefano DiMera here.” She pauses, waiting for confirmation, but Cristina does not respond. “Perhaps if I tell you why we are here,” Tessa continues, “you can help us correct an enormous injustice...”

“Abi, how are we going to go back now? We’re not supposed to be here!” Maggie exclaims.

“We’ll make it back, we’ll all go back together after we find Marlena,” Abi reassures her. Seeing two women who appear to have noticed them, Abi rushes over to them. “Please, you have to help us, our friend is in danger!” she explains.

“Her name is Marlena Black and she has been brought here against her will,” Maggie continues.

“Marlena... Marlena di Evani?” Annamaria asks.

“Marlena di...” Abi hesitates for a second. “Evani... Evans, yes, that’s her! Do you know where she is?”

“No,” Marianna replies, “but we will find her....”

Emilia has left the palazzo to take a breath of fresh air. She cannot let Marlena marry this Stefano, but what can she do to stop the wedding? Her mind already formulating a plan, she wanders from the palazzo into the woods to think...

“Marlena, my love, I am afraid we must postpone the wedding.” Stefano takes her hand gently in his.

“Why?” she asks softly.

“There are people here who wish to harm you,” he explains. “We must wait until they are gone.”

“‘Who wish to harm me’... why?”

“Do not worry about that, but know that I shall protect you from them,” he reassures her. “There is a room where you will be safe, a room they do not know exists. You will stay there until they leave. Come,” he says, standing and she follows him into the corridor....

They have to be here somewhere, Josh thinks as he completes his search of the library. All I have to do is find Marlena and bring us all back to the 20th century, where DiMera can never kidnap her again. But the only sign that the room has been occupied recently is a half-empty goblet and a napkin beside. He pauses beside a millefiori tapestry. Books all around, some of them bound together as though someone were packing for a journey. Is he taking her away from here? Josh wonders, heading back to leave the room. He is halfway across when the door opens and Marlena enters with Stefano close behind....

“Oh André, what is that SMELL?” Kristen asks in disgust as they enter the last chamber of the tomb. Inside they can see a sarcophagus made of a grayish-brown stone which seems to be emitting a most unpleasant odor.

“I don’t know, Kristen, but let’s get outta here. This place is starting to give me the creeps.”

Hurriedly they leave the tomb as André makes one final comment: “I pity the poor Etruscans buried here, I don’t know how anyone could stand this place for long without going mad.”

To be continued....

Part Eight

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