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It was a warm fall afternoon. The trees were turning their respective fall shades. The shades of richness, the summer having past. Tamellyn Brinkman placed steady pressure to the gas pedal of her sky blue Pontiac. The engine kicked in and the vehicle shot out into the late afternoon traffic. Building winds gusted through her window, tossing the deep brown waves that fell below her shoulders, matching the emotional turmoil that whipped through her heart. Ahead, a traffic signal changed to yellow. Distracted, Tamellyn nearly missed it, and was forced to hit the brakes with more force than she liked. That too added to her anger, increasing a sense of complete powerlessness in her life. The flash of white and blue on the seat beside her caught her glance. The book. Grasping it up, she flung it out the window in an uncharacteristic display to temper. It landed on the asphalt with a dull thud. The bow was still on it. Anger melded to hurt, and tears rose, stinging her eyes. She wiped them angrily away, and instead of waiting for the light to change to green, pulled into the right hand lane and made a turn down a side road. This road was quiet and less traveled. Broad trees and quiet homes set far off from the roadway didn't mar the beauty. Any
other day and she might have admired the architecture that so complimented its surroundings. But not today. Today Tammy didn't see the artistry, nor the dark clouds that were quickly rolling in. Her mind's eye had taken her back to the scene at Acme Corporate Industries less than thirty minutes earlier...
She'd practically danced into the reception area of the engineering outer offices. Sarah had grinned wickedly in her direction. "Still on the honeymoon, I see." Sarah Richards, ACI's receptionist, had giggled as she picked up the receiver to page David Brinkman. Tamellyn had worked at ACI before she and David were married six months earlier. She'd begun doing outside programming from her home office before she and David had married. After their marriage, she'd made it a fulltime endeavor. "Tam, honey, you're positively glowing," Sarah continued, placing the phone back in its cradle. Sarah's voice dropped conspiratorially. "What's going on here? Is there something I should know about?" Tammy smiled sweetly at her. " Why Sarah, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm no different than any other day." "Sure," Sarah nodded as if not quite believing her. The phone rang and Sarah turned to answer it just as David Brinkman rounded the corner. David Brinkman was a tall, well-built man. He wore his dark hair combed neatly away from his brow. Warm hazel eyes that
always seemed to have a smile were focused on Tammy. But, they weren't smiling. Tammy's own smiled faltered when her eyes fell to the darkhaired Katena Burganslova. Simply put, in Tammy's mind, Katena was gorgeous without even trying. Tammy felt dowdy in the face of the woman's exotic beauty. It hadn't helped her self-esteem that the woman seemed uninterested in a friendship with her, but hang unto David's every word. "Um, do you have a minute honey?" Tammy spoke softly to her husband. She smiled politely to acknowledge Katena's presence. Katena returned the smile distantly. "Only a minute," David said brusquely, not appearing to notice the by-play between Tammy and Katena. "I don't have much time." Tammy frowned at David's obvious impatience. What had she done wrong? "Can we talk in private, please" she said eyeing the busy foyer. People were always coming and going through the automatic glass doors. "all right, come on down to my office," he gestured on down the hall. Tammy followed David, and Katena fell in step behind Tammy. Tammy thought she could feel the woman's eyes boring into her back. "I'll be ready in just a minute Katy," David paused at his door. Opening the door he allowed Tammy to enter before himself. His desk was full of papers; his computer screen saver had kicked in; memos were piled in his in-basket, all the evidence
"Uh. I've got great news for you. to Tammy. "Come on tell me now. But. David stepped in front of her. please?" David asked. The least you could do is tell me.suggested that he was having a very busy day. I have a very important meeting in five minutes." she said uncertainly and headed for the door. "Tammy. . Tammy repeated what she'd said. like he was talking to someone who only had half of the normal God-given intelligence. "I'll give you three guesses. He was still standing near the door. aren't you happy?" Tammy asked in a small voice." she said. Gathering her heavy purse with the book with the pink and blue ribbon on it inside. Could you skip to the condensed version. barely able to hide her smile in spite of his rotten mood. irritation flashing across his face. "What?" he asked after a minute." David simply stared at her for a full second." she giggled. taking her into his arms. "David." He spoke reasonably. Tammy noticed. I thought we were careful?" he said. and he hadn't even given her a welcoming hug or even said hello for that matter. She even ignored the way he was glancing at his watch. David. She faltered. "David. He came to her then. to her. you came all the way down here and dragged me into my office. She looked up at him uncomfortably and suddenly felt like crying. "we're going to have a baby. "I'll just tell you when you get home. none of those things were important because she had news for her husband that simply couldn't wait until he got home." she began. "But.
"Of course, honey. I'm happy if you are." Tammy pushed him away. "You don't want this baby do you? Admit it!" "Look, Tamellyn, I don't have time for this. Katy's waiting for me. We'll talk about this when I get home. I'll be about seven again." he added, already heading for the door. "So you have time for her but not me," Tammy said, not quite able to stop herself in time. David spun on her, angry now, "I'm not going to discuss this with you right now, Tamellyn." he spoke softly before turning to open the door to allow her to leave. Tammy stepped through the door with as much dignity as she could muster. To her dismay, Katena was standing there with a small smile on her lips. Tammy walked on by her and down the hall. She heard Katena ask David if anything was wrong. She barely caught David's reply "Oh, it's nothing..." Tammy stopped dead in her tracks and turned toward David and Katena's receding backs. Katena had reached out a hand and touched his arm and said something to him that Tammy couldn't hear. The hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach took her breath. Clenching her fists, she headed out the door. At least Sarah was away from the desk and therefore couldn't ask any impossible questions. When her eyes refocused on the road it was to see large droplets of water on the windshield and falling into the car through the open window. Quickly she rolled the window up and looked for a familiar looking street she could take home. Unfortunately,
nothing looked familiar. As far as she could tell she was really out in the boonies. The rain fell from the sky in buckets, and she eventually had to pull off the road to wait it out. The steady rains gradually eased her tormented psyche, eventually causing her hurt and anger to abate to a dull throb. By the time the rain had stopped she'd sworn off men, all of them. She decided one David Brinkman was not important enough to ruin her life. She could forget him and easily as he seemed to have forgotten she was his wife. Pulling back on to the road she saw an intersection far ahead. The light was still green from the distance. She decided to let it turn red, she was in no hurry to beat it as the roads were far too slippery for safety A small brown sports car quickly gaining on her caused her to gasp. She peered into the rear view at the man who impatiently honked his horn in an effort to get her to hurry up. The oncoming traffic made it impossible for him to pass on the twolane road. As they neared the intersection, Tammy could see that on the other side of the light the road broadened into four lanes. Obviously sports car saw that too. The light was still green but Tammy slowed anyway as it could change at any second and she wanted to be able to stop if it did. She had to admit a little of her anger at all males as a gender caused her to want to teach sports car a lesson. When the light continued green, she decided to speed up and go on through. Someone else would have the dubious task of teaching sports fiend. Sports car had other ideas. He quickly cut his wheel to the right as if to circle around her as they reached
the intersection. She turned to look in his direction only to find that he was giving her a furious glare and a vulgar finger motion of out the window. "Men!" she ground under her breath as she turned back forward. A white station wagon was halfway through a right handed turn onto the outside lane up ahead. Directly in the path of sports car. Tammy knew with sick certainty what was going to happen next. Though she slammed on her brakes, momentum carried her further along into the intersection. Sports car had no place to go, and he was moving far too quickly to stop. What was more, Tammy didn't even know if he was paying attention. With the first sickening crunch of metal, she closed her eyes and screamed.
When Tammy opened her eyes, she found that her airbag had deployed. Smoke, and the acrid smell of charges filled the inside of her car. Coughing she got out and looked at the mess around her. The passenger side of her car was crushed. There was a brown car smashed in on two sides and a station wagon with a smashed rear end and a fourth car that had received damage. Reaching a hand up to her acting face, Tammy headed in the direction of a child crying. She stumbled over something. Looking down she saw that it looked vaguely familiar. Focusing
" he sighed. Sorry about what happened. "I'm all right. Her vision tunneled. are you sure you're okay?" she asked in her lightly accented voice. I think it turned out to be a good thing. Then suddenly she realized what the object was. she tried to concentrate. " Katy grinned wryly. With that realization. At least now he knew why Tammy had been so moody lately. He felt mostly to blame. Why hadn't she followed the plan? Katy stuck her head around the corner. Sitting at the conference table he placed his head in his hands. Besides. I just hope it wasn't too obvious. if you need . That's not so bad. ~*~ The meeting hadn't turned out the way David had planned it. and the fall was a particularly busy time for ACI as well as for her and Tammy. She was trying to get her own business off the ground." She looked at the sad expression still lingering around his eyes. everything around her went immediately out of focus. David nodded disheartenedly.harder. "You seemed a bit preoccupied. "Yeah. I wasn't at my best. He could barely think after the bombshell Tammy had dropped on him just prior. "David. having led the visitors out of the complex. It actually allowed me to get in some well needed practice. "Well. It was just too soon. I think they thought you were just training me. It was a man's forearm. and the rushing winds of unconsciousness rolled over her. they had planned to wait two more years before they had children. They hadn't really had time to enjoy one other. Overall.
A sudden page by Sarah. "Actually he introduced himself as Lt. "Which hospital?" he asked in a choked voice.someone to talk to. "This is David Brinkman. what's wrong?" she called after him to no avail. Standing. ~*~ Katy was leaving the room when she heard David's sharp inhalation. he could always rely on Katy to be the same. I . She turned to see that he'd gone at least 3 shades paler. "David. Anytime. "No. She had been a good friend. She doubted that he had even heard her. She rounded the corner into the reception area just as Sarah jumped out of his way. The older woman's worried gaze looked with hers. Something seemed terribly wrong here and she meant to find out what it was." She allowed the invitation to hang open as she always did. Reiter with the city police dept. David smiled wryly up at her. "Was that Tamellyn that called?" Katena asked. A moment later he slammed the receiver down and was out of the office passed Katena like a shot. " Sarah thought back to the phone call. Even though Tammy's moods had strained their relationship lately. alerting him that he had a call on line 17 precluded his saying anything on the subject. you know where I am." He spoke into the receiver. he reached across the large conference table for the phone.
" Katena said. He could do this." "I hope it's not Tammy. "No. though. He jogged up to the glass doors and stopped short. my--my wife Tamellyn Brinkman was in an accident . he entered the emergency room. David was pretty shaken up by whatever they told him. that couldn't have been it. I think he's going to the hospital. Taking a deep breath to steady himself.thought it had something to do with radar equipment or something." Katena said. we're going to have to wait for David to tell us. raking a hand through his hair." She headed down the hall toward her office. ~*~ David parked in the emergency room parking lot. He approached the desk. In fact." Katena shook her head. Something is very wrong here. he told himself." Sarah breathed a small prayer. Sarah. "I'm David Brinkman. "And David was as white as a sheet when he asked it. "The hospital. By the time he arrived in rush hour traffic it was getting dark." "I guess you are right. too. I just don't know which one. "Whatever it is. But. neither she nor Sarah could keep their mind off whatever it was that was happening with David. A central desk sat at the head of two corridors leading off in opposing directions. how do you know that?" "I heard him ask." Sarah's eyes widened and she gasped in horror. "I certainly hope it's nothing serious.
meanwhile." she said.and I got a call. Reaching for his wallet he pulled it out and handed it to the nurse. "Does your wife have any allergies that you are aware of?" "Who . all the while she was writing on a clip board. she handed the clipboard to him. She spoke so softly into the receiver that David couldn't make out what she was saying. David realizing his mistake apologized and removed the card. "If you would just give us some information." David answered. Without missing a beat. "Would you mind removing the card from your wallet. A minute later." David numbly nodded his head as the woman began to ask her questions. she hung up. he wondered when the someone that the nurse had promised him would arrive. Where is she?" David asked. "Yes. "Do you have insurance Mr. Brinkman or will you be making other arrangements?" The nurse asked matter of factly. I have an insurance card. saying she has been admitted here. picking up the phone. "Is your correct address: 1532 Wayfarer Drive?" the nurse asked. The heavy set nurse behind the station looked up at him. "Just a moment. telling him that someone would be coming down to meet with him. His hands were shaking so badly. sir. She had obviously asked the same question many times before that very day. sir?" the nurse asked. Looking toward the two corridors. he could barely retrieved the laminated card.
A young man dressed in a hospital uniform stepped toward the desk." David looked around tiredly at the other people in the waiting area. With the sign: Feel free to have a cup of coffee. "I'm David Brinkman. "Please. A coffee pot sat in the corner. "I'm afraid I don't have any information. My wife is here." David followed Julian around the corner to the elevator. A stack of newspapers and magazines sat on a central table. It's just around the corner to the left. The doctor will be out to see you in a few minutes. " She's pregnant!" he exclaimed. Several plants lined the walls and hung at the window." the nurse nodded. Julian pointed him toward another desk as he exited the elevator." Julian told him. "The doctor will talk to you when we reach the floor." he said. "I just found out today. "If you'll follow Julian. "Yes. "How is she?" he asked when the doors closed. Julian went back with the elevator. Brinkman. have a seat in the waiting area. Then it occurred to him.is your wife's regular doctor?" "Does your wife have any dangerous or unusual medical conditions that we should be aware of?" David answered all of them distractedly between glances down the two corridors." David nodded his head and watched as the numbers continued their slow climb to the sixth floor." The nurse paused at his revelation and made a notation in all capital letters at the bottom of the page. Compliments of Ward 6 . Mr. David started down the hall toward the desk. sir. The nurse pointed to David. The nurse looked up as he approached.
"I'm Dr." Chapter Three David shook the man's hand before stepping into the dimly lit room." he introduced himself. He needed to be with Tammy now. Those things she will recover from. and gestured down the hall. Just ask any nurse. "Come with me. "She has a couple of bruised ribs and a major concussion. "I was the examining physician at the time your wife was admitted. "Mr. I'm Dr." The doctor's sympathetic tone was almost too much for David." a voice called from the doorway. Lyons." the man said. There among the assorted monitoring machines lay ." He came to a stop in front of room E-617. Taking a chair in the corner. it was too late. David tried to focus on anything but the worries that were plaguing him. Brinkman. "Her room is this way. "Yes?" he said. He knew that she had really wanted this baby. "She only found out for sure today. "Can I see her?" he asked. The shock of the accident was simply too much. David looked in the direction of the door. He cut him off. She lost the baby. Unfortunately. David followed. Also a sprained wrist. there was nothing we could do for the developing fetus. A tall man dressed in a white lab coat stood in the doorway with a chart in his hands. standing." he said.staff. "If you need me. By the time she reached the hospital. She hasn't regained consciousness. Lyons." The doctor nodded his understanding.
the left had an IV tube leading beneath the white medical tape. It came as a shock that it was his job to contact her. The bruises would heal he knew. She carried the cellular phone so she could easily be reached. he left the room to call her mother. David stared down at his wife. Elaine Veneze? She lived fifty miles away in Valuma County. The right arm was bandaged. it he felt sure. He had so many questions about the accident. and promised that she would be coming up right away to be with her daughter. Brushing a piece of hair away from the bandage above her right eye. A though occurred to David. Tamellyn's brother. He needed to talk to someone who could tell him what had happened.Tamellyn. He didn't want to leave Tammy alone for too long. He would much rather save her from that pain. David asked her if she would get in touch with whomever else she thought needed to know. he sat. The last thing he wanted was for her to wake up by herself. Pulling a chair nearer the bed. The doctor had said she would be all right. He almost hoped that she remained unconscious for a while longer because he had no idea how he was going to tell her about the baby. Had Tammy told her mother. seeming so small against the green sheets. She'd reacted very calmly when David gave her the news. Tammy would not be in any condition to talk about. When he reached Elaine she was just leaving her flower shop. Her dark hair was spread out across the sheets. And what about Steven. Her face was swollen and bruised. .
David suddenly felt a strange empathy for her. David welcomed her back to reality. he approached the bed. He reached up to remove it again and she stirred. Moaning softly under her breath. He'd lost both his parents when he was very young. David's hand was in the middle of the act of brushing hair off her brow. She closed her eyes again. then turning her head she looked toward the many machines near the bedside. Finally they settled once again on the man who was staring at her with an odd expression on his face. and had been raised by an aunt. Aside from Tammy. She's a strong woman." David thanked Elaine for her encouragement replacing the phone. Drawing his arm away. He was alone in the world. Slowing. her eyes slowly opened. She focused confusedly on his hand." she added. he stopped short when he saw that she was still asleep." Elaine said. The piece of hair had again fallen across her bandage. He remembered that he didn't want her to wake up alone. She didn't appear to have any family with her. "She's going to be just fine. "Hello Sunshine. She looked at him with a deeper confusion. he technically had no family. Aunt Adelle had died when he was in college. . "And David. her eyes tracking slowly around the unfamiliar area. he heard a young woman in the corner cry out in anguish. One of the doctors was trying to calm her. He froze as he waited for her to open her eyes. Rushing into the room. her tone steady. As he was turning to leave the waiting area. Turning he hurried on toward Tammy's room."Of course I will." he gave her his best grin.
She looked. He wrapped his other hand around it. My name is David Brinkman. "I'm in the hospital aren't I?" she asked. "What happened? What am I doing here?" she asked. "Uh. You are in St. honey. he settled instead for words of comfort.." David said. the accident. Then immediately wondered if he should have worded that differently. taking her hand into his. you. if possible." he added. Looking around the room at the machines the were above and around the bed." Tammy looked at him confused. "She should be here in about an hour.are you the doctor?" As she spoke a single tear spilled over. more frightened. David looked at her stunned. The tears gathered and began to stream streamed over her checks in rapid succession.remember. Leaning over the bedside. Though he desperately wanted to take her into his arms. It was cold. I'm going to be right here with you--helping.." "What's going on?" she whispered hoarsely through dry lips.. Don't you . Elijas Medical Center Hospital. "You had an accident. tears began to well up in her eyes. You were in a car accident earlier today. "Everything is going to be all right now. "I can't remember anything.David just stood there. too. "Your name is Tamellyn Brinkman. I'm your husband. "Yes. she finally looked back toward him." David said very slowly. "My mother?" she asked. An explicable fear was growing in her eyes." he began. thinking that might calm her." she cried. utterly at a loss. "Your mother is on the way. She opened her eyes and looked uncertainly up toward him. he didn't for fear of hurting her.. "Umm.
Seated behind his desk he spoke again. Two nurses and Dr. They immediately took in the situation and went to work. he turned to a worried David. Lyons ordered follow up drugs." he yelled from the doorway. An oxygen mask was placed on Tammy's face and a sedative was put in her IV. back against the bed. Her lack of memory frightened him. but her outright rejection hurt. He heard running footsteps . Taking one last look at his patient. bewildered before bolting out of the door in search of the doctor. David stood near the doorway as Dr. Lyons were headed his way. "Mind telling me what happened in there?" His face lacked expression. He stood. David reached for her in an attempt to calm her and she shrunk. shaking her head. as she wrapped her arms around her mid section. "Room 614. "I need a doctor down here. unsure if he could contain the fear that gnawed at his gut." he yelled." he said opening the door for David to pass.remember me at all?" David asked. covering her face. Crying obviously caused her pain. She seemed to have trouble catching her breath. looking over his shoulder to check the room number. but David thought he detected mild accusation in his tone." She dragged her hand away from him. Chapter Four . horrified. "No!" Tammy cried harder. "My office is just around the corner. "I don't know you. When he'd completed his orders he looked at a few of the monitors and wrote something on her chart.
this is hard. Give her some time. It really should be just fine." Then taking another deep breath.. he continued. Mr. Brinkman." David started. In most cases memory returns in a few hours or days." The doctor raised a hand. "She has a brother in Caledonia. Taking a deep breath. Does she have any other family in the area? It's possible that the combination of you and another close family member will trigger her memory. I told her that I was her husband and she just." ~*~ . I think she has a lot of cousins someplace. But after a shock of this nature it is not out of the realm of possibility for there to be some memory loss. "Her mother is on the way. I held her hand and told her she had been in an accident and I told her her name and my name. and when I tried to help her she started.hyperventilating " David's voice was getting louder." he said hopefully. and he found himself consciously fighting for control... "Your reaction is understandable under the circumstances. I was trying to calm her. "Normally dealing with family triggers it. I didn't know what else to do." Dr. Lyons sat scratching his chin. She was panicking.. "Who she was. he shot the doctor an apologetic glance. "We'll see how it goes with her mother before we call in the entire calvary. "That was when I called for help. Mr." David got up from his chair agitated. Brinkman.freaked." David listened intently to the doctor's words. "She was terrified."She woke up and asked me who I was. "I'm sorry.
When David finished speaking. David looked forlornly up at her and a weak smile crossed his lips. "There's something you should know. David. his voice wavering." . He allowed her to envelope him in a warm hug before leading her out of the room. offering a genuine smile. had been in a similar situation. It was obvious that he had not heard her enter." He hugged her again. Albert Veneze. "I don't know what I would have done alone. "Come on.Elaine Veneze entered her daughter's hospital room. David was having a difficult enough time dealing with the situation without her breaking down. "We have to be strong for her. Elaine. Elaine schooled her features for each blow." David sniffed and nodded. "I'm glad you came." he whispered. Pushing the uncomfortable thoughts away. I heard from you. let's go be with her. The banks of machines lining one side of her daughters bed reminded her sharply of a time not so long ago when her husband. It is enough to help her remember her life. He quickly told her the facts concerning Tammy's amnesia and what little he knew about the accident and about the baby they had lost. "And I don't think that now is a good time to tell her about the baby." he said once they were in the hallway. Elaine reached for his hand. "You heard from a stranger. she stepped toward her son-inlaw who sat hunched in a chair near the bed. She touched his shoulder softly and offered him the wrapped parcel of food she'd brought. standing." she said." Elaine insisted. She was sure he hadn't eaten. "Hello." she told him matter-offactly." "You would have been just fine.
She looked blankly from Dr. who was the duty doctor for the day to David and Elaine. They arrived back at the hospital at seven o' clock the next morning." she gestured in David's direction. my little Tamly. "Tammy honey. But. going into Elaine's arms. It took the persuasive powers of both Dr. a moment of confusion dancing in their depths. It's not an unusual thing. "About six months ago the two of you were ." Tammy laid her head against her mother's shoulder. I just couldn't remember. Tammy's wide eyes settled on David and Elaine. and urged them both to go home to rest." Elaine said. Tammy was awake and having breakfast. Elaine continued to speak." "Shhh. Tammy reached out for it. it's all right. She choked back the tears that threatened to follow. "Tammy I have some people who have been very anxious to see you. Sommers said gently. tears welling in her eyes. mama." Elaine pulled out the little stuffed rabbit from her purse. You'll see. "It's all right honey. this is David. "I'm sorry. I even brought your rabbity. To both their surprises." Elaine said softly. Sommers. Elaine had been much more willing than David. "Oh.The doctor told them that the sedatives they had given her would last through the night.. "Oh.. You've had a terrible shock. I-I so." she cried." Dr. "It's your mum. Lyons and Elaine to convince him that Tammy would need for him to have all of his strength the next day. everything will be fine.
"Tammy honey. Her husband Albert had died two years ago. Tammy had found happiness with David after moving to the city. Elaine gasped. I'm afraid your father died two years ago. Would you like to see it?" Tammy looked at Elaine and then to David and then she nodded slightly. You are a liar! I never married you! You're a liar and I hate you!" . where's Daddy? Daddy wouldn't miss my wedding!" Tammy said looking accusingly at her mother. David watched intently as she opened the album.married. David blinked. "No." Thinking back. David was surprised to find it had been two years ago exactly yesterday. "Well." she said. Elaine had moved out of the family home and into a condo where she had started a small business. "Why not?" Elaine asked stunned. "Mum. She turned through nearly all of the pages before slamming the book shut. taken aback. David has your wedding album. She turned to her mother. this can't be my wedding album!" she said. Tammy glared at him. He placed on hand reassuringly on her shoulder and the other on Tammy's. "That's not true. Both she and Tammy had had a difficult time with it. and looked toward Elaine who was quickly losing her cool.
" Doctor Sommers repeated. burrowing herself into Elaine's embrace. Slowly. Her eyes implored that he not take the unthinking words to heart. "I think your wife should speak with someone. She didn't know that she could do anything to help him over the hurt Tammy's words had caused. And Mrs. he turn to face the speaker. David turned his shocked gaze toward Elaine. He felt that they should have been prepared for something like this after she panicked the night before. Tammy turned away from him. He's a specialist in unusual cases of memory loss. Gaylin. "I think that's a true statement. The doctor continued.David stood staring at his wife. Then sighing. She wept brokenly against her mother's shoulder. Right now her daughter needed her more. Brinkman?" David vaguely heard someone calling his name. such as this . Absently he traced the embossed date and the names of Mr. "I'd like to recommend a Dr. Brinkman. His eyes fell toward the wedding album. His mind was much too numb to put a name to the voice. The situation seems to have become considerably more complex than we at first thought. he dropped his hands away and slowly walked from the room. half stunned." his voice was edged with sarcasm. the night she didn't even seem to remember. David Brinkman." David nodded. "Mr. ~*~ "Mr." "Yeah.
" He stood up slowly from his chair and went to be with his wife. When she decided to take a job here. David refused to look up. It was like she came back to life. "Okay. I was a little worried. still not looking up. Elaine sighed and made ready to get up from her chair." David called. "I talked to the Dr. her gaze fixing on him." David was exhausted and had hardly slept the night before." she said without preamble. He decided to allow the doctor's opinion to stand. how hard she took it. When David didn't respond she continued. "She's sleeping now. But then she met you. just like when she was a little girl. David. You saved her before." Turning his back on the white clad doctor. If I recommend your wife's case to him. Cried herself to sleep. You didn't know how close they were. I don't know anything about psychology of medicine. he walked out to the waiting room. ~*~ . I'm sure he'd be willing to at least talk to her. He's made great strides in this area. doctor." David remained unmoving." She paused again. That alone helped me. Later Elaine came out to find him. about the psychotherapist.appears to be. "I have to save her if I am to save myself. I just know that I want my wife back. "You and she met several months after Albert died. I can't watch her go through this all over. Whatever you think is best. "Elaine. You can do it again.
ignoring the by-play. if your wife is to remember her home. It was obvious that she liked Gaylin Santos. "I'll contact you when I'm ready." Elaine told him of her husband's sudden heart attack. we will concentrate on her mind. After. "She's blocked two complete years." David spoke up. I should be the one to tell her?" he said. "I'll do some studying while her body heals. a home together. "I have to know everything. David told of their last conversation. in a memory block so selective there has to be some reason. The two of you have built a life." "None taken. She had been telling him something that was obviously very important to her. David took a deep breath. and the depression that followed for Tammy. That is her home now--no offense at all to you Mrs. "Which home should she go to?" "To her home. "Mr." "Well. He stared across the table at Elaine and David." "She is supposed to go home tomorrow. Veneze. that's a start. He was ashamed that he hadn't been more supportive at the time.Dr. a hopeful smile on her face. "I guess." Elaine put in." David reiterated. you must think that way also. He steeled himself for . If of course it is still necessary at that time." He looked toward David." he said. Brinkman. of course. "With her mother or with me." Gaylin replied as if it were simple. Gaylin Santos was a tall man with a slight accent." Gaylin said.
"Sir. He watched absently for several minutes before speaking. Aren't patients happy to be going home from hospital? So why do you have to break it to her at all. There is to be no question about it. When it is time to go home simply take her there. you sound as if it should be bad news. "Everyone calls me Tam. he came the rest of the way into the room. The situation was anything but normal. Santos had said to act normally--there was no time like the present to put the advice to use. Elaine had left minutes earlier in an attempt to give husband and wife some alone time. "I Love Lucy" reruns were on.another difficult task. "Tamellyn." Dr." she spoke cautiously. "Hello. He hoped she wouldn't become hysterical again." she cut him off. David felt somewhat lost without the buffer of her presence. Her eyes bore into his. Gaylin walked out of the conference room leaving Elaine and David to stare after him. Good day to you both. Chapter Five "Good evening. Dr. Tammy. "There is a number where you may contact me if you need me. David discovered that it was much easier said than done. I wanted--"." Gaylin pushed himself up from his seat and handed David a card. As Tammy eyed him warily across the bed." David said as he stepped through the doorway and smiled encouragingly at his wife. then went uncomfortably back to her perusal of the television. saying plainly that he knew nothing about her and therefore couldn't possibly be her husband. . Working to hide his trepidation.
. drawing himself away from her and toward one of the bedside chairs. blinking. etching confused furrows across her brow." he said." he said solemnly. "Did you remember something?" Anxious curiosity had him moving around the bed to take hold of her hands." she stuttered." David started again. Joy suffused him at the thought that . um." Then. Perhaps she was someone else. refusing to let go of his hope. But he could tell that she wasn't seeing him as he gaze was focused elsewhere. As he watched her." "A flash is something. "I should be letting you get some rest." He settled quietly and unseeingly watched the remainder of the episode of 'I Love Lucy'. "Stay with it. She couldn't know how difficult it was to see her this way. "You always called me David. as if suddenly remembering her question.. "I'm--I'm tired. "What is it?" he asked. We need to get you out of here and back home. Tammy.just a flash. "It could be the beginning of your memory returning. "It was nothing. confusion evident in her eyes. and then we can go to--" Tammy's eyes widened in growing horror. almost hating him. The name felt unfamiliar--as long as he had known her she had never gone by the name Tam."Okay. his facade failing him. "I'm sorry.. his emotions carefully hidden behind an expressionless facade.. her expression shifted suddenly. "Elaine will be back in the morning." David insisted.Tam. she pulled her hands away and shook her head. "Where's my mother?" David was brought up short by the urgency of her question. Then." Tammy looked toward him searchingly.
" he said quietly. Aren't you and the nurses and everyone telling me how I need to conserve my strength.Tammy's memory might be returning. I'm actually being obedient. David turned and shot her a look." "David. and then he set off upstairs. The nurses would not have to kick him out this night. I just want to get some sleep. Flipping off the television. Fear assaulted his heart as another thought occurred to him. but he felt ashamed of that joy because the proposition so obviously frightened Tammy. "She remembered something today. ~*~ When David arrived home. he settled on the stairs. David stopped briefly by the kitchen and waved at her. he moved quietly out of the room. "Surely you don't think you're going to get away with that?" she asked him. she never wanted to see him again? He turned toward her and found that she had fallen asleep. she didn't want him? What if after the way that he had treated her in his office. "What happened?" "I.. What if after she regained her memory. I'm tired. Elaine was hot on his heels within moments. "Elaine." He began. The last thing he felt like doing was eating." Elaine admonished him gently. Elaine seated herself next to him. .. Then. Elaine was busy making dinner. telling her that she didn't need to prepare anything for him. patiently waiting. running a hand through his hair.
I felt so bad about it. that's wonderful!" Elaine enthused. "That day. she came to my office to tell me about the baby. "Probably more a feeling. Elaine nodded in the affirmative. I was so worked up about a big meeting with a client that I was very short with her. She never mentioned an image. And I think she thought I was interested in another woman. or would she have left you?" Elaine asked." "That bad." David said. and then I would have taken her out to celebrate. a wry smile lit his face in spite of his worry. "You came into the front door as if your world were ending." "Were you?" Elaine asked. matching his smile."But David. Tammy is the woman I love. "What would you have done if this accident hadn't happened?" "I would have come straight home and apologized. "Not at all. Elaine. or a sense of familiarity or something. "No!" David objected." Elaine was quiet for several seconds. "What did she remember? How does she feel about it?" "It was just a small thing. She said it was just a flash. "I was mean to her." "Do you think she would have accepted your apology. I couldn't concentrate during the meeting anyway. before the accident. . He chuckled slightly." "Why is that a bad thing?" Elaine wanted to know. I was just nervous about something else is all. huh?" David looked up at her. I think I hurt her feelings." he said with a gulp. then continued.
" he said. And you. he continued. Tammy was sitting up in bed." he added conspiratorially." David grinned.David smiled. "Now. young man. "But she's a great lady." Tammy agreed. she asked where her mother was. "You seem to know her pretty well." . "You know how she is about making sure everyone eats." She looked consideringly at David. Then catching herself. ma'am. clean shaven and freshly showered. obviously caught off guard." Elaine smiled knowingly. "Yeah. and the ways Tammy had made him 'work for it'. She smiled back. a breakfast tray in front of her. patting his arm." ~*~ When David arrived at the hospital the next morning. His mood would not be broken.eventually. "She's downstairs getting breakfast. after making me work for it. "Yes." David smiled thoughtfully. and easy to know. feigning submission. "She is that.. smiling happily at her.. I've got to go tend dinner before it burns." Images played through his mind of other arguments. Good morning." she said tactfully.. "And you'll come through this one. "I would like to think that she would have forgiven me.we've had arguments before and come through them. beginning to feel a weight lift. "Uh. Clearing his throat uncomfortably to cover for the silent moments. will eat it." "I suppose I do. He was almost embarrassed at having such thoughts in front of his mother-in--law." David answered with a grin.
He told her of their whirlwind relationship. He eyes widened incredulously when Tammy blushed and began to stutter a response. "I fell for you like a rock. Moments later. happily handing off her bundles. David was happy to tell her the story of the way that they had met at Acme shortly after she had entered the training program. how they had hit it off right away. "Tell me how we met.Tammy frowned in surprise at his complimenting her mother. She was saved from having to complete whatever her statement might have been by Elaine's entrance with her arms precariously full of pastries and coffee." There was a mischievous glint in his eyes that hinted that there was far more to the story than he was telling. "Your mother and I get along famously. "Tammy!" David admonished. "Today is go home day." Elaine said. "Aren't mother-in-laws supposed to rank with the evil stepmother to husbands?" David laughed out right." David smiled at her. The doctor has high hopes about you young lady. Lloyds who was there to give a few guidelines before releasing . It felt almost as if he had his family back. curiosity obviously getting the better of her. David got up quickly to her assist her. Sunshine. remembering. a nurse appeared to remove Tammy's breakfast tray. "Morning." Tammy asked." David smiled as he watched mother and daughter interact while they all ate pastries. She was followed in by Dr. Tammy even ate a small one.
" Elaine waved at him.her. and. "Yes. and he smiled warmly. "Do you think that would be best. and Tammy only offered a small confused smile. but. she smiled at her mother. He handed David several prescriptions for pain." Tammy finished uncomfortably. Tammy felt a growing . and Tammy could tell that she had something she wanted to say. Elaine tidied the covers that were spread across Tammy's waist and asked if she were excited about going home. dear?" she finally spoke. Taking a deep breath. Chapter Six Tammy looked over at her mother as David left." Elaine studied her for several moments. and well. David snapped out of the pleasant reverie he had been immersed in. "Oh. "It would be wonderful if I could come home with you. A bevy of butterflies danced in Tammy's belly at the mere mention of the word. Elaine Veneze was not a very complicated person.. I don't know him. and a sedative. right. Instead of getting right to the point. It was enough. why don't you go down to the car and get the clothes you brought?" Elaine suggested meaningfully. I do.. He turned and left the room. David seems like a nice man. and then he was gone. The truth was. "David. I don't really know him. because she had something she wanted to say as well. Of course." His eyes were drawn to Tammy. That was fine with Tammy. at least until David and I know one another better. "I'll be back in a few minutes. I mean.
Now. "I mean what I say. Mom? What if. Elaine was no where to be seen." Tammy nodded her thanks. my door is always open to you. you know that. and he loves you very much. he can help.attraction for the man that claimed to be her husband. Don't you want those two years back?" "I don't know. and I still have to pick up leeks. and whatever in your memory is frightening you. ~*~ David re-entered Tammy's room. sweetheart. a garment bag hanging over his arm. I'm making a very special dinner for your homecoming." "You were in an automobile accident." Elaine stood up to leave. I'm going to be staying with you and David for a couple days. "Nothing more.. "Where'd she go?" David asked. But what if she didn't know all the details? "David is a nice man. Everything would work out. so I've got to earn my keep. "What if something horrible happened. David does love you." Elaine said calmly. she didn't think he mother would lead her into a bad situation. but paused.. If it doesn't work out. But what if she had forgotten the past for a reason? Of course. and settled back against the cushions." Tammy said in a small voice. . it had to. Just give him a chance. The doctors say that the best thing for you is to get back into a familiar environment so that you can go on with your life. Tamellyn.
Without a word he took the brush from her hands. I brought your favorite outfit to wear home today. He told her how much she had liked the way the entire area smelled in the spring. ~*~ As David drove along the shady lane that lead to he and Tammy's house. and how she'd insisted on . David creaked the door open and witnessed her struggles. and led her back to the bed. It was such a simple thing. But it was probably the easiest and most comfortable thing for her to put on in her present condition. "Well. She was decidedly stiff and achy. but said nothing. but Tammy found that she was deeply touched by the action. she looked at herself. and she had probably been in the bathroom quite a while. Walking slowly toward the bathroom."She said something about making a special dinner and having to shop for it." she called. be began to brush her tangled mass of hair. Her hair was a mess. "I can do it. "Come in. but she could barely get her arms over her head without gasping in pain She turned at the light tap at the door. David had brought her a yellow drop waist sundress and flat shoes that could not possibly have been her favorite outfit. With the brush David had brought she tried to brush her hair." Tammy said. he kept a running commentary going about the neighborhood." She took a deep breath and slipped her legs over the side of the bed. With smooth motions. Would you like for me to call the nurse to help you get dressed?" "No. It could be no one but David. David raised his eyebrows at that." Tammy told him.
an indefinable expression glowing in her eyes. Their house was situated in the middle of a cul-de-sac. But then. facing forward again. and pushed the door open. he slid his key into the lock. the trees were just beginning to change colors and held the promise of a brilliant flourish of colors. her gaze lingering on the flowers and brushes that decorated the front of the house. Tammy breathed in the smell. her eyes stormy with some mix of emotions that David couldn't began to sort out. Nothing would have struck a cord as having been from her previous life. She stepped out. and went to open Tammy's door. None came. and brought the car to a stop. David pulled into the drive. it seemed as if this new woman was fast falling for it as well. Then. They had searched for months to find the neighborhood. Smiling encouragingly. His Tammy had fallen in love with it. He watched her closely for any sign of recognition. and it was having the same effect on her as it had then. The faint smell of potpourri greeted them . Tammy had learned that from her mother. because she smiled every so often. only she'd developed her own mix. she crossed the threshold. Carefully leading her up to the front steps. he climbed out of the car. They had both taken a part in decorating the place. She looked carefully from one side to the other. Mostly she looked out of the windows and took it all in. . he paused meaningfully in front of the burgundy door. Tammy didn't speak through it all. but David knew that she was listening.planting honeysuckle along the fence in their backyard. As it was early fall. Not giving up.thanks to Elaine. Tammy had picked it out special.
Tammy seemed to be drawn to one of the computers. The steps were plushly carpeted. dining room and den. "This one was a wedding gift. but still they creaked under her feet. and already I'm disobeying doctor's orders." . The other desk contained a computer as well as other office supplies. "I shouldn't have had you climbing all of those steps. The rest of the room were filled with boxes. She circled the room and then entered the kitchen. At the bottom of the stairs was a finished basement that had been made over into an office. however. We're home for fifteen minutes. and followed him to the first level. I don't know what I was thinking. "Your office. A stack of boxes finished off the contents of the room. Tammy nodded. Several filing cabinets sat along one wall and two desks sat nearby. "Would you like a drink first?" David asked. Neatly pilled reams and sheets of paper were stacked on one of the desks next to a computer." David supplied the answer to the question that danced in her eyes among the other emotions there..David followed her as she wandered through the foyer and into the living room.. He reached past her and clicked on the light switch." he said. As she reached for the hand rail. "You have an older one upstairs. examining them likewise. Then she started on the closets and the bathroom. he remembered that she had never liked long stairwells. Finally she came to a door that opened to a set of stairs. Her motions were noticeably slower than when they had first entered the house. David flipped a switch and the screen came to life. Would you like to see the upstairs?" he added. Next time I'll.
new to you. All the while." Tammy said." Tammy finally spoke. David hovered. Tammy's face flushed." David started." She looked away and down to the floor with a heavy sigh. I'm fine." he asked after a second. but I'm here to help in any way you want me to. slowly. He watched her intently for any sign of more trouble. "Tamellyn--Tam. and I can take care of myself.. and then waited until she looked up to acknowledge him. I've taken some time off so I can do just that. "Stop what. "I'm a grown woman..David continued to berate himself as Tammy suddenly sank into a sitting position on the nearest surface.. he continued speaking. "Are you all right?" he asked. Her face twisted slightly in pain and she swayed.." she pushed herself up from the step to illustrate just how capable she was. "I want to take care of you. making sure that she was okay. "Fine. He held on to her for a second to steady her. David reacted unconsciously. "Stop blaming yourself. which happened to be the steps. just not used to these steps is all. He's searched his mind and couldn't figure out what it was that he'd done wrong. He stopped dead in his tracks." . her voice edged with strain. I know you must have been--" "David. "Could you stop that please?" David did. she pushed away from him. "I really should have carried you in. catching her against himself. embarrassed and a little shaken. I know this is all a bit. See.
. where she lay. and placed her shoes near the bed. Removing a small white pill from one of the many bottles. milady.He smiled then. it was all that he had to prove that the event had actually occurred. "I'll introduce you. If someone had told him when they were first married that he would ever re-watch the thing. And David needed that reassurance that the vibrant young woman who he'd married." David responded. was really the pale." he added. running a hand absently along the rough white coverlet. But now. he would have told them that they were crazy. He then left her alone in the room." "Your wish is my command. The only thing from her past was the off white coverlet that covered the King sized bed. he hurried to answer it. Tamellyn had decorated the room completely from new. "I'll be right back. "I'm used to these stairs. Chapter Seven David sat in the living room and watched the video of their wedding. "Could you introduce me really quickly? I'm starting to feel just a bit lightheaded. who danced and laughed and teased on the wedding video. leading her up the stairs to their bedroom. He was pulled from his musings by the sound of doorbell ringing. confused and frightened young woman upstairs in his bed." he said going into the bathroom for a dixie cup of water. he held it out to her. David helped her under the covers. He wondered what she was thinking. Pushing himself up from the sofa." Tammy smiled back.
following. It's sudden and it's harsh. seeming to notice right away the stillness of the house." David answered. "Is she sleeping?" she whispered." David was hesitant. Elaine. for the two of you to get on with your lives together. "Yes. death doesn't ease up on a person. I don't. the pictures. "I've been thinking about this a lot.." Elaine told him matter-of-factly. "Good.misplaced. But he probably didn't get to review all of the files. "Yes. maybe give her a little time to get used to the things we've already told her?" "No.. Don't you think we should ease her into those things." Elaine reaffirmed.Elaine's questioning gaze greeted him from the opposite side of the door. grabbing the bags from her arms and delivering them to the kitchen." . Whatever it takes to sum up the time she's." she quickly brushed the straying topic aside and got back to her point. "Good?" David glanced questioningly over his shoulder at her. everything. But I think we should do this. The longer we linger. We need to take Tammy to Albert's grave. "There's something we need to talk about. "No matter how much advance warning we get. and it can be devastating. "I don't know. good." Elaine said. I'm frankly surprised the doctor didn't mention it. Even the sounds of the grocery bags in her arms seemed muted." she continued. "I think that she needs to see the obituary. the longer it will take for her to get on with her life.
"Okay," David agreed, still somewhat reluctantly. "I guess you're right. You are older and wiser," he said half-teasingly. Elaine smacked him on the arm with a stalk of celery. David ducked, but continued, musing. "I suppose some sense of moving on can only help her. When do you want to do it? I've taken a couple weeks off, so you just say when is a good time for you." "I think as soon as possible would be the best," Elaine said. "How about tomorrow? We could drive up tomorrow. It's on this side of Valuma county. The only question left is do you tell her or do I?" "I broke the news to her in the first place," David said grimly. "I guess I should be the one." She couldn't possibly hate me any more, he mentally added. "I'll tell her in the morning," he continued aloud. "I'd like for her to have a good nights sleep tonight." Elaine nodded her agreement and David finally noticed the items she was taking from the bag. "What in the world are you making?" he asked, taking in the exotic items she pulled from the bag. "Have you never had panuzit?" Elaine asked smiling. "It was one of Tammy's favorites growing up. It's been years since I made it. I thought she might enjoy it." David's brows raised as she ticked off the list of ingredients, and his eyes bulged at her finishing statement. "Traditionally it's made with canine meat, but--"
"Oh, Elaine, please tell me you are not going to pull any dog meat out of the bag. I had pets growing up you know." Elaine laughed at him. "How do you feel about chicken? Care to try your own kind?" "Call me what you like, lie to me if you have to just don't tell me we're having dog meat for dinner," David replied, moving to fold the bag and put it in the recycle bin. "Did you have anything planned for dinner by the way?" Elaine asked, almost as an afterthought. "No, I actually hadn't thought much about it." David admitted. "I thought I'd leave that to you," he grinned innocently, "You have such...interesting ideas about meat, though. I might need to revise my opinion." "Pay attention young man and learn," Elaine shot back at him. "Here, cut these," she flung a bag of carrots his way. David grumbled good-naturedly but took the bag. "Can I trust you not to cut yourself?" Elaine kidded. A thump from upstairs cut off David's reply. They both froze and then looked at one other. David moved first, running toward the stairs. He stopped short in the doorway to his bedroom. Tammy was sitting up in bed, a startled expression painted across her features. David followed her gaze to the floor where what used to be the entire contents of the night stand lay across the carpeted floor. Chief among the items was a then, mostly un-potted plant--its
dirt was splattered all over the carpet as were several of its broken green leaves. Tammy looked up pitifully. "I'm sorry," she said. "I think I've killed your plant." Elaine appeared behind David, catching the tail end of Tammy's statement. Looking down at the once flourishing philodendron, Elaine declared. "Actually, dear, that was your plant. I gave it to you last year." "Oh," Tammy let out a small breath. "I guess I should clean it up then," she moved to get up. "Why don't you let me," David said rushing to her side, certain that the last thing she needed was to be on her hands and knees trying to clean up a bit of dirt. "It'll keep me from having to peel carrots," he said to lighten the mood. Elaine snorted mildly. Tammy looked between the both of them in confusion. David, catching the look, pointed accusingly in Elaine's direction, before going back to the task of picking up the alarm clock, several books and a large quantity of plant debris. "Your mother, the slave driver, is trying to teach me the fine art of cooking exotic cuisine, strong emphasis on exotic. Elaine laughed outright. "I was trying to teach him not to cut himself," she told her daughter. "Tammy you really need to let this one in the kitchen more often."
Eventually Elaine and David gave up trying to make conversation. Honey. David immediately sobered. Tammy stared down at her plate after her mother left the room." he asked Tammy. "Yeah. David watched Tammy for a full minute. Fighting to contain his growing irritation. indicating her nearly full plate." was all Tammy said before getting up and heading toward the bathroom. Tammy didn't seem to have any appetite." David thought Elaine's words a bit harsh. "Well. Even though Elaine had made her favorite meal. "Would you like me to take that for you. and the sooner Tammy accepted that as a part of her world. it looks like you two are having a lot of fun. she only pushed it around on her plate. but didn't speak.Tammy just barely managed a weak smile. Perhaps the exertion of loading the dishwasher would calm him. . her tone was just a bit brittle. but Elaine spoke up first. Everything she had said was true. the better. You used to join in. he pushed himself up from his seat and headed for kitchen. Elaine said that she needed to go upstairs to pack. When dinner was done David promised to clean up the dishes since Elaine had cooked. He bit back any further comment. "Of course we were. She closed the door firmly behind herself. ~*~ Dinner that night was a silent affair." Though the words were innocuous enough. David and I have become friends since the two of you married.
before shaking the idea off. I guess you have some catching up to do. He wondered briefly." By the time David cleaned up the kitchen and arrived back in the living room to check on Tammy." she said instead. "I think I'm going to go watch television. It wasn't long before they were all on the road. "Do you have cable?" David frowned. "Yes. leaving only a tired worn out figure of a woman behind. if they were talking about him. while Elaine led the way. "Why don't you rest a bit and let me take care of these. we have cable. Obviously the two had made up as they were joking about something that David never did quite figure out. he found himself packing up Elaine's car. Unfortunately. ." she said. standing up stiffly. Elaine and David didn't have an opportunity to do much planning. he carried her up to bed. ~*~ The next morning when David arose. headed for Valuma County."I'll do it. but nodded. " Are you sure you don't want me to do that?" he asked." He reached out to take the dishes from her. she had fallen asleep in the recliner in front of the television. She let him take them without argument. It seemed to have dropped from her like a cloak. Clicking off the television. Tammy was downstairs making muffins with Elaine. After breakfast. The air that had surrounded her most of the evening was suddenly gone. Just call if you need anything. Tammy and David followed in their car. concerned.
I felt left out! I was jealous. "Although. "I'm in this almost completely foreign place." he said. The only thing that's even remotely familiar to me is my mother and then you and she carry on like old friends." she said." David drove silently for several stunned moments." Tammy let out a sigh.David was surprised when Tammy apologized almost immediately. But David could tell that there was more. "I'm sorry.. I feel like I'm visiting--half the time afraid I'm going to break something and the other half worried that I'm going to do something wrong.I was trying to make you feel more comfortable.. "That's no problem. "We. Dammit David. "There is one think I do know: You were upset with me last night. and I'm supposed to think of it as home.. "That's just it. I overreacted." That seemed to have touched a nerve." . He wasn't sure what to say. carrying on these conversations full of 'private jokes'.. "I'm sorry about last night. "I've never known you to be that way toward your mother. "I know. you were trying to hide it." She smiled wryly. It was me. hoping she would go on." was what ended up coming out. "Was it something I said?" he asked. Yeah." was all she said. I would like to know what happened." He wondered just what Elaine had said to her.. You were so upset about the plant. but I could tell. Where you upset with Elaine?" Tammy looked away uncomfortably and shrugged.I. I apologized to mom this morning. "I was just a little irritated.. and thank you.
." she replied. "Uh. her face as expressionless as David's had been. she gasped at the shock of it. But she couldn't. delighted to see her smiling in any fashion. and soon. His hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles shown white against his skin.. a hint of her old humor appearing in her eyes. When realization hit.. That thought reminded him of the reality of the situation. Isn't he?" She could only stare at the man who continued to look directly ahead. Elaine doesn't live so far away that we have to tail her home. "I'm surprised half the county didn't know. "It was practically oozing into the air.. and she had to face it." Chapter Eight "The cemetery. This was her life. Her first inclination was to run. "My father's buried there. We were planning to take you to visit the cemetery."How could you tell?" he asked. There was something he needed to tell his wife. "That bad huh? I'm going to have to work on hiding my emotions better." His smile wilted slightly as he remember their last conversation before her accident. Elaine and I thought that perhaps we should help you find some of the past that you are missing by revisiting some of the places associated with those events." David winced. she turned to look out the windshield. to get as far away as she could.. This was real. .Tammy. Clenching her fists tightly in her lap. He was ashamed at how badly that meeting had gone.?" Tammy was confused for a second..
"Can I get some flowers? He would like that. She wanted none of it. Mom liked them a lot." Her words were spoken softly. "Of course we can get some flowers. and reached over to place one of his hands over hers. no longer trusting her voice. Elaine gave up. she knew the words he was about to say. Tammy simply nodded. she couldn't seem to stop. Tammy didn't miss the tense look she shared with David." David relaxed his grip. All the good intentions she had tried to develop during the drive were quickly melting away. Elaine's condo was located in a newly developed section of town and was decorated with contemporary furnishings mingled with a few familiar items from their family home. "Did you know that he liked to garden? Peonies were his favorites. Tammy remembered none of it. was so completely different that Tammy found herself wandering through her mother's home. though. too. The overall effect. Before Tammy could think what that meant. Eventually after receiving only monosyllabic responses. explaining which items that Tammy herself had helped her pick out. Once she began though. feeling a complete stranger." he told her. She wanted only to get out and run until she found something that she could recognize as her own. He used to plant them for mom. He opened his mouth. seeming to fight some internal battle. and then closed it. Elaine kept a running dialogue. Elaine approached her and took her hand. Her eyes implored him not to say it. . When David then turned toward her. They rode in silence until they reached Elaine's condo.
" she assured him. "You discussed it? What about me? What about what I want?" "Tammy?" David spoke consolingly from the driver's seat. "Must you take everything? I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!" David tightened his grip on the steering wheel and ground out a question to Elaine. "Only about a mile on the right. "You just want to control me." she pleaded." she accused. "You've already got her!" Tammy went on. Maybe I don't remember because it was too horrible and I don't want to remember it. David and I have discussed this already. "Mom. "How much further?" Elaine saw his agitation. make me into some person that you prefer. "It's time to go." Elaine responded calmly. ignoring her mother. She reached out and . panic rising. honey. "This was probably your idea. I'm just not ready right now." "You?!" Tammy cried. then turned back to Tammy. "Maybe in a w-week or two I c-could come back." she said. "You don't care about me." Tammy spat at him. panic. I just don't think I'm ready for this."Come on. fear and anger mingling within her." "Tammy!" Elaine rebuked her." Tammy followed her mother out of the apartment. She maintained her silence until they got into the car. "Honey. She wanted to hurt him like she was hurting and she hated herself for it. We feel that it is necessary for you if you are to get on with the rest of your lives together.
David only wants what is best for you. There were so many places he could take her. David wandered back to the car and began to plan. The cemetery was bordered by a wooded area where the trees were changing colors for the fall season. David stopped the car. That was where they had first meet. browns." Turning away from them both. She didn't mean the things that she had said. He would take care of her. She had been angry. so he watched from a distance. for one. reds. "It was my idea." "Mom. He didn't know what he would have done had she fought them. . and she needed his help. he found himself considering the things she had said in the car. David watched as Elaine led Tammy to the correct spot. Tammy didn't hate anyone. Honey. "It doesn't matter. She was just lost and alone. After a time. she leaned her head against the side window and let its coolness seep into her skin." Tammy said mournfully. The lovely oranges. All too soon. He would be strong for her. The plant. He didn't think he could physically force her. Tammy picked up her flowers and got out of the car.placed a tentative hand on her leg. defeated. Resolutely. so it would be at the top of his list. For hours the two women sat on the ground near the site and talked. They talked and cried and embraced. Nothing matters. yellows and greens which painted the landscape seemed at odds with the task she was set to perform. you don't have to take up for him. no matter what Elaine or the doctors said. Remaining at a discreet distance. Then. Right now that meant allowing her to be alone with her mother.
The mood in the car was understandably subdued. but there had been a deepening of the bond between the two women. During the drive home. By the time the girls arrived back to the car. in the back seat. When he pulled the car into the driveway at their home. "Do you want to talk about it?" "No. had fallen asleep even before he'd returned Elaine to her condo." she shook her head." David nodded. still she slept. and she smiled at him. Tammy." he called her name and gently touched her shoulder. Would you like to go out and eat? I'm trying to save you from my cooking as long as possible. David had planned two weeks worth of activities with the express purpose of helping his wife regain her memory." David said. her eyes filled with fear." . "Tammy? What is it?" "Nothing. David found himself with only the radio and his own thoughts for company. "How do you feel about dinner. thinking that after all that she had endured in the past few days that she was bound to be exhausted. David glanced at Elaine in askance. Her brow furrowed and she made small whimpering sounds in the back of her throat.And the crossroads. definitely the crossroads." was her too quick reply." "Okay. "I've forgotten it already. "Tammy. He had left her there. She jerked violently awake. deciding to drop it. "Bad dream. but it appeared as if she were dreaming.
"David. By the time desert arrived he had told her more stories about herself than even Elaine told. though. She didn't need to know that he had an ulterior motive in taking her there. "There's a really great Italian restaurant that you might like. I feel really grungy. or that he would be taking her to the restaurant where he'd proposed." . It seemed that they must have had a happy marriage. though." he said.. There was one item. and I hear they have wonderful seafood linguini. "All right. that she felt she needed to take care of. We all say things we don't mean at some time or other." David simply nodded it away. making Tammy want to just give in and accept him for all that he said he was." ~*~ Tammy thoroughly enjoyed the food and service at La Lira. "I should apologize for those horrible things I said to you in the car. as well as David's company. "I understood that it was a difficult situation for you. Though none of the events was familiar. She just couldn't let go of the idea that she couldn't know him if she didn't know herself. Don't let it bother you.I.Tammy looked at him hesitantly. But she held back. Just let me get cleaned up first. He spoke of the good times fondly. David's storytelling held the ring of truth. coaxing.... "It's called La Lira." David smiled at her." She took only a few moments to think about it.
" he said as soon as he closed to door. It would be nice to have her close to him. "It . and asked. that's all. remember?" David insisted.. too. "Don't you want to remember?" David asked. too. wondering why that statement frightened her. "Care to join me? You look like you could use to rest." she said. I think I'll watch television for a bit. "I do want to feel whole again."You've been very kind to me." Tammy said. yet. "No." Tammy frowned at that." "You're more than welcome to watch upstairs in our bedroom." "I want you to be whole again. "I shouldn't treat you the way I have. looking at her hands. but simply continued further into the house.. "I just." "No more worrying about that. It's scary. and I'll help you in any way I can. "All I want is for you to get your memory back. He took a look at her pale features. What if the things that were frightening her where things that he couldn't help her with? What if somehow he were the cause of those things? ~*~ David allowed Tammy to enter their home before him." Tammy didn't return his look." His assurances still left her uncertain. "I'm am beyond ready for bed." David offered. I'm not really tired.
" taking a step toward her. "I think I'd rather watch television downstairs. "Uh. "Tell me what's wrong. where are my night things?" she asked. looking up at him finally. and then headed up the stairs. You always said I could sleep through a tornado. He was half-way through undressing when Tammy entered their bedroom. moving hesitantly toward the drawer in which he'd directed." He pointed to one of the drawers built into the bedside. . she probably felt uncomfortable that he was dressed only in his briefs. and judging from the way she avoiding looking at his body." He smiled at her.. "Really. "Thank you." he said with a smile. Her eyes drifted to his bare chest." she insisted. It was then that realization hit for David.. He was a tall man. She probably felt cornered. It's nothing. Tammy wouldn't look at him. David frowned. cringing between the bedside and the wall." She jerked back." she said. and then she immediately averted her eyes. "Not that you ever wore them much. "Why he asked.won't bother me at all. and Tammy was a small woman. "But they're in that drawer over there. "Is something wrong?" She was acting as if they hadn't just spent two very enjoyable hours in one another's company." she said softly.
David. "And you can't stop me. I'm so used to undressing in front of you that I didn't think anything of it." David blinked. You may not remember that. you know." . At least the fear was leaving her eyes. "No. That's why you have to stay here." Tammy assured him of her opinion on the matter. "And because of that." He took a few steps closer. She had to learn that. "I said no. "You are my wife. and here is where my wife sleeps. "No. I think that I should sleep in the guest room downstairs. this time intentionally intimidating her with his size. That's all that matters." "But we are strangers." Tammy told him in no uncertain terms. It will help us get our lives back on track." David repeated.He sighed and backed up a few steps. I only want what's best for you because I love you and you love me." "I have the right to sleep where I want to. I'm a person first. we've been married for six months. "Tammy. hoping to ease her fears." She had no reason to be afraid of him. "No?" she asked." David's jaw stiffened. You are my wife. I think you've made enough painful decisions for me this day." He said the words gently. and you will sleep here. Tammy. incredulously. "We are not strangers. being quickly replaced by anger. "No. Tammy held her ground. Beside me." David drew in a pained breath. Besides. but I do. and you can't change that. "Tammy.
Shifting her aching muscles. she felt an attraction for him. she shut off the irritatingly hyper voice of a gentlemen who seemed determined to sell a do-it-all household cleaner. backed away. I am Tam Veneze. I don't love you. Then with a flick of a switch. But she didn't love him." Without another word he climbed into the bed and buried himself beneath the covers."Our lives?" Tammy shot back at him. How could she when she didn't even remember him? During her perusal. When she awoke. . and before long she found herself downstairs on the sofa watching television. "It's my life that's messed up! I'm not the wife who you remember anymore. The guest room seemed far too formal. She fell asleep halfway through a romantic comedy that had once been a favorite. Chapter Nine A hollow sensation settled in the pit of Tammy's stomach as her gaze settled on the form that was David. the air had the feeling of early morning. she dug out the remote control. "You win. She responded in kind and continued on her way. But as she moved toward the door and flipped out the light. Sure. I don't even know you!" David closed his eyes. Blessed silence fell over the room. Already she was regretting her harsh words. "Sleep where you want. she heard him utter a tired 'good night'." he said. The television was playing an infomercial. and there was obviously some chemistry there. David never turned or spoke. but she couldn't take them back.
"All right. Thank you. She'd glanced into it the morning before. "Who was that?" she found herself asking. Good morning. A large desk." Tammy replied. A small sound stopped her just as she reached the top. . Morbid curiosity kept her rooted to the spot. She couldn't explain it. Wondering who he might be talking to at such an hour was the first question that popped into her mind. I didn't know you were down there. coming the rest of the way up the stairs. "I just don't know what to do." David replied in response to some unheard statement." the voice was a soft rumble that she quickly identified as David. Uh." "Good morning. while David was still sleeping. she headed up the stairs. The second was whether he could see her from where she was standing. David stepped out of the room just as she reached the top. watching him carefully. a computer and several filing cabinets had occupied the room. she began to hear someone speaking softly. waiting to hear the rest of the conversation. "Okay. That was when she noticed that a door along the upstairs hallway was partially open. Tammy. As she crept closer. Tammy decided that perhaps sleeping on the sofa hadn't been such a good plan. She'd figured it for David's home office. He eyed her almost guiltily for several seconds." Tammy moved quickly into action. Gathering her blankets and pillow. but an uncomfortable feeling settled over her heart and she had to know who he had been talking to. And then. Okay. Good-bye.After several minutes of groaning through the pain of muscles that were beginning to complain in earnest.
Maybe I'll do some exploring around here." David smiled." Tammy nodded. a small uncomfortable raising of the corners of his mouth. If you don't mind being a little bored you can come with. I still want to try to get into my old computer. that was someone from work. ~*~ ." Tammy obliged him with a smile. obviously catching a hint of her reticence. "Will you be okay while I'm gone?" David added. no. He ran a hand through already mused hair." "Oh. "I do remember how to cook." Tammy shook her head." "Okay. "I'll be fine." David said. "Thank goodness." she joked weakly. then." "Okay. Remembering would not help my cooking. "Breakfast. "Good. His eyes lingered on her for several moments. and then he turned and went back into the bedroom. then after a few steps. "I'm going to have to go in for a couple of hours today to catch up on a few things."Oh. What do you want? Are you hungry?" "Why don't I fix something. turned back toward her. David seemed eager for the opportunity at lessening the tension that seemed to have blossomed between them." He turned and headed for the bedroom. Don't worry about me. "Uh. wondering why she was beginning to feel oddly bereft. I'll just get dressed." Tammy asked.
out of the blue. Or maybe he was just a glutton for punishment. ~*~ Tammy had baked muffins. before glancing at his . but he had decided to give her the space she'd so vocally demanded. "Thank you." Tammy said.David didn't know if he could keep up with the emotional rollercoaster ride he was experiencing with Tammy. He was dressed in dark slacks. David. She had even known intuitively what was in the cupboards. pale shirt and a perfectly matching tie. after dinner. then another and then made a significant dent in a third." he said. continuing to observe him surreptitiously as he downed first one muffin. and grasping a mug full of coffee in the other. Perhaps it just wasn't meant for him to understand where he stood with her. And then she'd joked with him. That still hurt. she'd blown up at him. She had actually told him that she didn't love him. he wasn't going to give up on her. when he'd been convinced that things were on the right track wham. She had appeared almost possessive when she'd asked about the phone call. And then. scrambled eggs and started coffee by the time David appeared in the kitchen. he fully intended to get started on his plan to get his wife back. "You always were a wonderful cook. was dressed in dark slacks. The day before she alternately confided in and hated him. As soon as he returned home. a white shirt and a perfectly matching tie. hair combed neatly away from his face. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. tearing into one of the muffins with one hand. Either way. It had amazed her that she knew exactly where everything was in the small space. Then there was their encounter in the hallway.
out of her mind. and collapsed weakly against the counter. They caught every detail of his face. as he fought some internal battle. Tammy let out the breath that she suddenly realized that she had been holding. She found herself reliving the moment time and again. "I guess I'm too used to doing that. Judging by the frantic pounding of her heart. he formally thanked her for breakfast and walked out the door." he murmured. She faced him then and smiled. What would it feel like to have his lips cover hers. . "I'm sorry. Throughout the morning as she washed the dishes and straightened the bedrooms. backing away. his face becoming an expressionless mask." Offering an anemic smile. Tammy's senses seemed to be in overload. suddenly. And then. threw an arm around her shoulder and was about to kiss her when he stopped himself. His eyes clouded slightly.watch declaring that he had to go. he shut down. the answer to the question would undoubtedly have been nothing to stop him. She wondered what she would have done had he carried through on his desires. He walked quickly toward her. His face was mere inches away from hers. taste of him? She wanted to know the answer to that question. so close to hers. the heat of his arm across her shoulders and along the side of her body. the way his brow furrowed in confusion. so close that she could smell the soap he'd used during his shower. about to tease him about the vigor with which he had eaten. she couldn't get the image of David's face.
She sat agape through the festivities. For a full minute she stared at the thing. she pushed the tape back into the VCR and turned on the television. A limbo line was in full swing. The crowd had applauded loudly and then David had swung her up into his arms and kissed her thoroughly. The image that burst across the screen was obviously the reception. It began with an intimate moment with David in which he declared his undying love for the girl who would be coming down the isle in the puffy white dress. . Had David been watching their wedding tape? Moving slowly. After both she and David made it through. half afraid to do anything else. In calligraphic writing were the words: David & Tamellyn . she pushed the eject button on the VCR to find out whether or not there was a label on the tape that might give her a clue as to what it contained. There were lots of laughs and poignant moments. she found a tape in the VCR.While straightening the den. it seemed to make up for in activities. it didn't seem to be an overly large gathering. and she and David were taking part despite the fact that they were both wearing formal attire. exposing a beige matte tape. As weddings went. and then rewound the tape and watched from the beginning.Wedding Video. The mechanism obediently rotated out. Somehow she managed to make it beneath the bar wearing a traditional wedding gown. Frowning at the plan plastic cover. they had fallen into one another's arms laughing. almost as if she were being controlled by some outside force. It looked as if it had been a fun time. but what it lacked in size.
Tammy buried her face in her hands. . The film was shot from across the room in the back of the church before the ceremony began. Guilt washed over him. When the tape ended. But now. after watching the tape and seeing physical evidence of at least one happy day in the past two years. so obviously in love. The image went blank and appeared again as the ceremony began. She didn't want it back. She just wanted to go back to the way things were when her father was alive. When she answered. She wanted to be the happy woman on tape. he should have been more careful that morning. Tammy had felt hounded by the time. While she ordered. He had been working frantically with Katy to prepare the Koshiama proposal. ~*~ David slowly hung up the phone and sighed heavily. The time had passed so quickly that it had been near lunch before he realized what time it was. David called Tammy. She was pulled out of her reverie by the ringing of the phone. she had sounded as if something was wrong.She watched as she herself shared a moment with her mother. Maybe he shouldn't have left at all. she truly felt regret that she could not remember. it was an emotional moment as Elaine was dabbing tears away from her daughter's eyes. she wasn't even sure she wanted to remember. Katy had decided to order in lunch so that the group could finish. Whatever they were saying. From the first few moments after she had discovered that she had lost two years of her life. He certainly shouldn't have left like that. Elaine then turned toward the camera operator and waved that he should stop filming.
"Can you make my wife remember me?" Katy shrugged helplessly. stepping more fully into the room. "What's that?" David asked." David sat up straighter.. ." she added when he frowned. David. David. I can make you forget your problems--just for a few moments.. "It'll straighten itself out. I'll admit that advice has a touch of reverse psychology in it. "Everything all right?" Katy stuck her head around the door." he smiled wryly. he had simply told her that he would be home in a couple more hours and hung up. right." "Do you know what you need?" she asked." "Oh. He didn't like the way this conversation was going. "Katy. "Okay. A light tap on the door caught his attention. Once inside.I hope. obviously disagreeing with her. Anything I can do to help?" David studied Katy for several seconds. I don't. "Lots and lots of hard work to help you relieve some of that stress. she came and leaned against the side of his desk. But. "Yeah. I don't think I can do that.Unable to get any where on the phone." David laughed.. "Sorry. Katy had an air about her that suggested that she was up to something.. making an effort not to chuckle. But you do seem to have a lot of stress.
that won't be necessary. "That is not what I'm talking about.."David Brinkman!" Tammy shot him an admonishing look. You know me better than that! What's the matter with you?" "Uh. "I'm sorry if I've stepped over an invisible barrier. she moved to stand behind him. firmly kneading all the places that ached. I'm sorry. And I do appreciate this. I guess you're right. Katy." Her hands dug into his muscles.." David said." he said. . "Katy. "I know." David didn't even need to consider her suggestion. soothing his shoulders. "No. It's me." She smiled then. Katy. I can do that. "I didn't mean." he warned. but I'm feeling--" "I understand. He groaned slightly." "Tense. "Don't forget David." "It's okay. I am stressed. I just wanted to help. placing her hands behind her back. just call me.. I'm sorry." David felt himself flush. He hadn't blushed in years.." she filled in. I'm just." "You must be. David jerked when her hands came to rest on his shoulders. Katy." she told him. Standing." she told him. "I used to do this for my brothers all the time." Katy stepped away. too. "It's not you. If you need to talk some more. "Relax. "That feels wonderful. Anytime. He knew instinctively that it would not go over well. a note of disapproval still evident in her voice. And if you need for me to talk to Tammy. unable to push away the guilt feelings that rose within him.
"Incorrect Password" appeared on the screen yet again. . Lack of memory did not change the name on her driver's license. "Good. Brinkman. she rushed upstairs to answer it. "Uh. I can't help you with that." Tammy repeated. Thinking that it might be David again." Tammy responded." she told the man. "I d-don't remember anything." "Mrs. "I just can't help you." the young man identified himself as an insurance adjuster... Sighing. yes." An inexplicable fear shot through Tammy's heart..." Katy smiled at him. about the accident. "Want to go see if our lunch is ready?" Chapter Ten Tammy typed another parameter into her computer. Tammy felt herself growing agitated.. Were you driving a blue Pontiac licensed to you and your husband on the afternoon of. It didn't work." she insisted. "Can I ask you to describe the accident that occurred on."Okay.. She was preparing to again when the phone rang." "I can't help you. "Is this Tamellyn Brinkman?" a voice asked. He politely asked her why not. she tried another. shaking her head. "Uh.
" he told her. but a sound from the den caught his attention. so he continued on toward the door that led to the basement. her eyes glazed. It terrified him. She pressed her fingers to her temples. reaching for her. Continuing further into the room. he continued on into the house. he stooped to the floor and edged closer. making her dizzy. It was open. edging ever closer. he found her huddled in a corner. As she stared at it. honey. Brinkman?" "I said I can't help you! I-I've got to go. She collapsed against the wall and slid to the floor. ~*~ David entered his home to find it silent. He had never seen her like this before. just as suddenly they stopped. so he stepped toward the stairs and looked up. And indeed it was. "What happened. Moving slowly as if he were afraid of spooking a frightened animal. "Tammy?" he tried again. And then. All the lights were off upstairs. . It's David." She hung up the phone and moved away from it as if it were the enemy. The kitchen was dark. "Tammy?" he whispered. "Tammy. The flashes rushed on."Are you suggesting that you were not behind the wheel Mrs. "Tammy?" he called her name softly. a rapid rush of images flashed through her mind painful in their intensity. She jerked away from him. honey?" he asked. Dropping his keys on a table in the entry hall. attempting to stem the tide.
~*~ "Dr. Gaylin was a very busy man. Although he was sure she wouldn't appreciate the later. and that he would have to make an appointment for another consultation. He then drew the covers up over her.At the sound of his name she blinked and her eyes cleared. "Just tell him it's David Brinkman. please. But I've discussed my wife with him. Please.. The receptionist was not so easy to get by." David spoke in an urgent whisper. It's okay. It concerns Tamellyn Brinkman. I need to speak with him. Please. David hauled himself into a standing position. because her head drooped against him. Heartbreaking sobs wracked her body as he held her tightly against him. She went into some kind of a . Exhaustion must have taken over then. "Shhh. honey. He used his office phone because he didn't want to be too far away from Tammy in case she should wake up. Just tell him that." He held her until she cried herself out. a state." . "No. It's urgent." he murmured into her hair. Gaylin. she fell asleep. however. keeping Tammy cradled in his arms. she would be more comfortable. Moments later she launched herself into his arms. I'm not a patient." David sighed in frustration as the receptionist carefully explained that Dr. and with a shuddering sigh.. "It's okay. He carried her to the guest bedroom and removed her shoes and slacks.
very much. Gaylin's tone sharpened as he shot rapid-fire questions at David. That is the only way to know for sure. "I should like to see her in seven days. Gaylin. Heavy shadows were beneath her eyes." he said. Dr. Nancy. When the old doctor paused thoughtfully. Brinkman. Arguing would do nothing to help Tammy. "As frightening at the incident may have been for her. and then Dr.She seemed to be considering his request." "See that you do. When he returned to the guest room. simply ask her what happened. his back pressed against the wall. Gaylin's voice came on the line. David quickly explained what he had found when he returned home. though he was having doubts concerning whether the old doctor knew what he was talking about." Gaylin told him." Gaylin replied. and he had been gone from her for too long already. though. My receptionist. "What do you think? Is she going to be okay?" "Patience Mr. she was still sleeping. it may herald progress. David took the opportunity to ask a question of his own. My recommendation is that you allow her to rest." David obediently did as Gaylin suggested. knowingly. Dr. He could have figured that out for himself. It is possible that she has remembered something that caused her a shock. hoping that his tone wasn't too dry. "I'll do that. and when she awakens. Settling on the floor beside the bed. will make an appointment for you. "Thank you. he watched her sleep. Hold on." David closed his eyes and shook his head. and her mass of hair was in complete disarray .
"David. fast asleep.but she was beautiful to him. And his shirt. and. "David.. wrinkled was an understatement. And he wanted her back. what? She rolled over unto her back. He must have kicked off his shoes at some point. "Tammy?" he whispered and fought a yawn.. as they lay nearer the door than his feet. simultaneously recognizing the guest room and a dark form in her peripheral vision. "You're the one who slept on the floor." he murmured softly. Memory began to return." she called again more loudly." ~*~ Tammy opened her eyes and found herself staring at a white wall. half slumped in a corner. His head jerked. Exquisitely beautiful..she remembered being in the den and. "Are you okay?" Tammy had to smile at that. "Come back to me.. "Oh." she whispered his name.. When he only grunted." . I miss you. momentarily uncertain of where she was. It was David. She hated to think how stiff he was going to be if he had spent the night there on the floor. Tammy. she pulled back the covers and climbed out of bed. She blinked. He sat on the floor.. Maybe I should be asking you that question. and he opened his eyes and looked directly at her.
"This is all rather amusing. backing away from him. You were. Oh! I must be getting old. "Remember. do you mind telling me what happened? The last thing I remember was being in the den.." Tammy felt something like a tickle in the back of her mind.. something had happened. what?" David scrubbed his hands over his face before looking at her again. "Tell me what happened.David returned her smile ruefully as he pushed himself stiffly into a more comfortable position.. "I don't know." Tammy giggled at him. but stopped himself. What's wrong?" Tammy shook her head. "Yeah. yes. "You mean you don't remember?" Tammy looked at him oddly.. He moved as if to take her hands. his eyes intent. and before I begin to make this more of a habit. and then suddenly she remembered. I found you in the den." he began. but I don't know what it means. "What is it?" David caught her arm." "Did you remember something?" "I don't. battling confusion and an uprising of fear." she told him. "Tammy. "I don't know. She gasped at the memory." David's smile faded away.. I. The phone call.It happened after the insurance company called and--" "The insurance company?" . "When I came home yesterday.you were very upset.
to push him into an argument. He looked so tired." Tammy told him. even if it was anger. and helped him move stiffly to his feet." David waved an arm broadly over a patch of dirt and overgrown weeds. . Instead. but found she didn't have the heart for it." Tammy opened her mouth to continue the conversation. not to mention the way he had held her the day before. preferring any other emotion to fear. "And I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Chapter Eleven For most of the morning. "I would like to introduce you to your garden. It wasn't until early afternoon that they got out into the yard."They wanted to know about the accident. and he had slept on the floor beside her bed. "You don't have to protect me. An expression that warmed Tammy to the tips of her toes crossed his face. David and Tammy puttered around the house." David's hand convulsively grasped hers back. his voice softening." David said. I shouldn't have left you here. She smiled gently at him." David replied. She couldn't push him. "It wasn't your fault. "They shouldn't have called you." "Yes I do have to protect you. "I told them--" "Why shouldn't they have called me?" Tammy asked. she reached a hand to touch his.
this indeed looks like something I tried to grow. well. But perhaps two not-green thumbs can make a right. This had always been Tammy's project." David considered the patch. "Not that I know a thing about gardening. meeting her gaze. Maybe we should work it together. mildly surprised. Daddy seemed to always be able to salvage them. "Yeah." "No need to spare my feelings. "Really?" "Sure. "You used to tell me it was therapeutic. "But. "Let's just say the plants weren't ready to do much growing. searching for a nice to way to break the news of her un-green thumbs to her. okay."Garden?" Tammy snickered." David commented." David started toward the squat little building that sat to one side of the yard." David told her." Tammy assured him. He'd never thought much about digging in the dirt. A warm . it started out pretty good. "Where do I kept my tools?" "In the utility house. You should have seen the pathetic attempts I made when I was younger." Tammy looked up at him." Tammy seemed buoyed by the idea. "This is not a new thing. That was the first time she'd actually admitted to wanting to remember her life with him." "Actually." Tammy followed him.." he scratched the side of his head.. "Why don't I get them?" "I'll come with you. though." David froze momentarily." "Well. "It might help me remember something.
"One. they stumbled back into the house." he announced. "It's the biggest part of you. David gave chase. but she was laughing so hard that she didn't get much farther. flicking another finger full of dirt at him. David scrubbed his fingers through his hair trying to shake out some of the dirt." he began to count down. David's grasp immediately weakened and she slipped away." David warned her. coming toward her in a menacing manner. Tammy struggled weakly in his grasp.. trying to slip away. Squealing.. "Three. catching her about the shoulders. "You can run but you can't hide." she cried between grasps when David was within grabbing distance. "Did you have to aim at my head?" he demanded laughingly. They continued along to the utility house together. "Wait. squealing all the way. Surprised. Tammy managed to get around the chair before he could catch her. tearing around the opposite side of the chair when she changed direction. "Wait.glow settled over him as he waited for her to catch up." he said. watching her laugh. laughing sillily. . David lunged at her. Tammy turned to move quickly away from him." David paused. and she was tickling him. "You're really asking for it. Hours later. wiggling his fingers at her for good measure. just as she turned to run again. Then suddenly her fingers were on him." Tammy giggled uncontrollably. Two.
her body faced away from him. Groaning slightly." he said. She fled in the direction of the steps. She cried out as she fell. He could tell before she lifted her foot that she would miss the step." Tammy said softly. "Well. "That's something at least. standing is good. "Okay. "Tammy! Tammy." he called from above her. "Except for the pain. . David sighed in relief. wait--" Her angle was all wrong. David thought his heart would stop when she didn't move." She wrapped an arm around her waist and settled back down on the step." she said. she threw a look over her shoulder at David. "That wasn't such a good idea. She'd landed on her side. she rolled over so that she was looking up at him. because she doubled over in laughter before turning to run again. His warning came too late. "Tammy. smiling weakly up at him. honey. landing hard on the parquet flooring at the bottom of the stairs. at least you can move. Can you stand?" He hovered over her." she breathed. assisting her until she was standing. Oww. "Are you okay?" "Define okay. attempting to push herself into a sitting position. worried even to roll her over. As she grabbed the handrail. brushing a hand over her hair.Tammy obviously thought that was hysterical.
"No. ~*~ Twenty minutes later. that's all." David said. I'm fine. "You should be happy you're not the one with dirt in her hair. "Where does it hurt?" "Same pain." "We should get you back to the hospital." she breathed. hoping that the painkillers would kick in soon. gently grasping her arms." David insisted."Tammy?" David stooped beside her. "Only more." she replied. David was helping Tammy into bed. trying to help her to her feet." Tammy objected. I think maybe I just re-injured something. but it's worse now. David's ministrations were doing a number on her nerves. "Oh. If he would just rub a little more firmly. he was attempting to clean the garden dirt from her fingers." "Huh?" "I've been a little sore since the hospital. I am." Tammy assured him. It had taken considerable reassurance to convince him that she would be okay. a teasing smile hovered about his lips. the entire exercise . I just need to be still for a bit." "You're sure?" "Yeah. Loyds had prescribed. Having given her a dose of the pain medication that Dr. "It was a lot like this that first day.
Tammy began to suspect that he knew exactly what he was doing.. "And you'd better eat up. "Making sure that if it kills you it kills me. Thank you. "Five minutes. Watching her from the corner of his eye. "Something like that. quickly pulling her hand away from him." Tammy was beginning to feel the familiar heaviness that she'd come to associate with the pills. wondering if she'd simply imagined that he was trying to subtly seduce her." David shrugged. and she was gearing up to tell him so when he turned her hand over and began to gently caress the center of her palm. Previous experience with that painkiller suggests that you have about five minutes before you're outta here. "You're welcome. "I think." he told her. his expression showing no sign of mischief. he smiled before focusing again on her hand. he continued to gently rhythmically wipe between each of her fingers. She frowned. she handed it to David. too?" Tammy smiled with an effort. giving in without the slightest fight. reaching for half of the sandwich." he told her. "Sandwich and tea. milady.t-that's clean enough. He took it curiously.wouldn't have such a seductive feel to it. David reached toward the dresser. Instead. Picking it up.. She gasped. huh?" She asked drowsily. and placed a tray containing a sandwich and tea before her. Tea?" .
" he told her. Chapter Twelve David was struggling with a pan of frying eggs when the phone rang. he examined them more closely. "Dammit!" he yelled. he turned on the exhaust fan and made ready to put the eggs on the plate. Judging from the way they were browning around the edges. "Just a little. . and decidedly browner than was appetizing. Finally finding one. dropping the pan back on the stove. and all the smoke. Unfortunately. those had been the last of the eggs. he placed it to his ear. he forgot to use a towel to pick up the pan. I'm sorry." David took a sip of her drink and bit into his half of the sandwich. This time he wrapped the handle in a towel before attempting to pick it up. They were a bit dry. he was doing something wrong. turning off the heat and going in search of a plate. Once the eggs were safely on the plate." With that he clicked off the phone and ran for the frying pan. I'll call you later. Everything else faded into darkness as she drifted off to sleep. "Katy. Scrambling for it. He turned and headed toward the trash with the plate. Tammy remembered taking a couple bites of her half and one sip of the tea. The phone hit the floor. Unfortunately. "Hello?" he grabbed up the receiver and held it to his ear with a shoulder as he ran back to the stove to stir the eggs. "Sounds like you're a little busy?" he heard Katy's voice on the other end of the line."Don't mind if I do. I gotta go.
Although. "I already owe you a t-shirt that says 'I survived David's cooking'. the juice is probably warm."Don't throw those away." David frowned." Tammy said. "The toast is cold. "There's probably a message. "How's your side?" "A little tender." he told her." David told her. "You sure?" David asked. Still game?" "I'm easy." Turning he presented the rest of his breakfast offering. Just no more wrestling. "I think I can handle it." "Scouts honor." Tammy laughed at him." . glancing up to greet her. ~*~ "Do you have the list?" "I thought you had the list. but said nothing. David shot her a look." Tammy spoke up as she came to help him with the plates." Then changing the subject." Tammy appeared at the kitchen door. "No." David laughed. "But much better. perhaps I've built up an immunity. the jury is still out as to whether or not it or the painkillers knocked you out yesterday. I'll check it later. "I didn't know if you wanted me to answer it. After six months." Tammy told him. "Your office phone rang a few minutes ago. "Maybe. we won't discuss the eggs.
"You don't sound too sure of that." Tammy glanced away from him.. he said. "That call in my office was from the garage. I'm. wondering at the panicky feeling that settled in the pit of her stomach.comfortable with you driving.no. They say that your car will be ready tomorrow. I gave it to you. pushing her unease aside." David smiled sheepishly and pulled the list from his shirt pocket. she turned to stare out of the window." Tammy informed him."No. leaning over to start the car. She had been enjoying David's company and didn't want to ruin it by .. "Well… if your cooking is any indication…" "Ha. "You want to drive?" "What? You can't find the ignition?" Tammy teased him." David agreed. Ha." David assured her with a laugh. I did.. "And often." David said dryly." "You did?" "Of course. Tammy smiled. "Ah. I thought maybe you'd like to get used to the city before we went to pick it up. "No." Avoiding the curious glance he gave her." he commented." "Mmm. when you couldn't find the--" "Oh. what would I do without you?" "Run out of eggs. Pausing. right. that's okay. "See. Remember? In the kitchen..
she was still getting to know him and she really needed to give it more time. It took ten minutes to even find the eggs." Tammy could tell by his sarcasm that this was not a plus. I may have any idea why I put this all out of my mind. She was glad too. Otherwise." "Do you always whine this much?" Tammy asked. and he went to the master bedroom alone. such as they had been the past few days. she was sure she would be cheating both of them. and that's a big if. and she could tell he was relieved that they could now joke about the situation. Rows of books on audio greeted her. the longing looks he’d shot in her direction when she went to the guestroom. you can find any thing. Truth be told. After they’d made their grocery selections.allowing her fears to resurface. "Cause if you do. She continued . David assured her that it was far more than a grocery store. Tammy couldn’t imagine how this ever could have been a favorite place of hers. If she and he could remain friends. "So it's big. "This place put the super in supermarket. Settling back into the seat. She hadn’t missed. But technically. David had disappeared into the computer department. she was beginning to feel a few of those longings herself." "If. she could be happy. the store was immense. and into a neighboring department." David laughed with her. she asked which grocery store they were headed for. True to David’s word. Tammy wandered around the area. however. huh? One stop shopping. I swear you need a map to find anything in that place.
Laughing to herself at the ridiculousness of the idea. she only knew that she wanted to get away. "Uh. and he looked toward the book to which her eyes continued to stray. "Wha.. and she wondered if she might have read them in the past two years.yeah.. His brow furrowed.David?" she turned startled eyes on her husband. Her smile faded away and she found herself staring transfixed at the book. and it had something to do with books or that one book in particular." Tammy said and shuddered. It didn’t help. A large white and blue caught her eye. telling herself it would be just awful if she began reading the thing then suddenly got her memory back just before she finished it only to discover she’d read it already. "Are you all right?" David was beginning to worry in earnest. "David?" .. and he placed the package he’d been carrying on the floor and placed an arm around her protectively. Several titles caught her eye. she continued on. She blinked slightly when a voice sounded behind her. "The Joy of Parenthood" was plastered across the cover in pink letters. Some emotion crossed his face that Tammy found difficult to understand in her present state. Whatever was bothering her was hard to shake. She wasn’t sure. As she passed a section of mysteries. and she was finding it difficult to put two words together. Confusion blanketed her mind. she paused before another section. David’s frown deepened.along the isle until she reached the paper books..
Was she remembering that she had been pregnant? Was that why the book had caused her to act so strangely? Perhaps it was time for him to tell her the truth about what else had happened to her during the accident. Upon entering.He looked at her for several moments. He would have to say something to her about it. Katy was really beginning to call him at home a little more than was proper. He’d seen the book she was staring at and it scared him. Tammy’s mood seemed to lighten. quickly turning away from Tammy in an attempt to mask his embarrassment. He returned her smile. "Okay." Tammy nodded. right. She teased him about his silence. and he responded with a weak smile. contemplating that very thing. "Hello?" He glanced toward Tammy as she put away their packages. "I think we should go home. She smiled back at him. But how? As he drove home." he said into the receiver." he said. and began to start dinner. They arrived at their home far too quickly. ~*~ David helped Tammy out of the store and to the car. He quickly unlocked the door and answered it. the phone was ringing. His smile faltered at the greeting Katy gave him over the line. and then directed her out of the department. But not . "Oh.
Why don’t I call you back when I get upstairs. and Tammy was more exhausted than usual. When they’d finished eating and cleaned up. I think I have that in my office.. "Go on and make your call. Something else was wrong aside from what had happened at the store. She wondered at the way he’d reacted when he’d answered the phone. backing out of the kitchen. David waved good night.. "Listen." "Work. He paused. Could she have." he told Tammy." she told him. and Tammy noticed that . In the time that they had known one another.in front of Tammy. ~*~ Tammy turned as David disappeared out of the kitchen.. Tammy recognized some of the names from cards that she had received." Tammy waved at him without looking up. Bedtime arrived. David had pulled out the photo albums. she pushed her worries aside and got on with the matter of cooking. She smiled a polite goodnight to David and disappeared into the guestroom. smiling.? "Tammy?" he started back into the kitchen. it was as if a damper had been put on the evening. "I’ll be back in a minute. they had taken quite a few pictures and seemed to have many friends.. Telling herself she was imagining things. Nearly thirty minutes passed before David returned downstairs and despite both their attempts to make conversation.uh.
On one side of the room was a white door with a glass window. she had seemed so tired. On the other side was another white room. He just couldn’t add to that. He laughed a . It was her father. but there was no use. when Tammy was more rested. Katy also had been difficult. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day. A baby cried faintly in the background. ~*~ David put away the photo albums and sighed. He hadn’t been able to work up the nerve to tell Tammy about the baby. they billowed as if in a gentle breeze. She ran toward the door and flung it open. Tomorrow morning he would go in and sign off on her training and then she would be free to act on her own. feeling oddly bereft without it. He turned. Across the room stood a man with his back to her. And then tomorrow.his longing look was not present. To make matters worse. Albert Veneze. He seemed very familiar. but the sheets were no longer tightly corded. She spun in the room. It had been a difficult evening. Besides that. Chapter Thirteen Tammy found herself in a white room in which the walls were made of tightly corded bed sheets. he suspected that she was afraid to drive. he would tell her. There was nothing else he could do but go to bed. trying to find the source of the crying. She frowned. He'd arranged with the garage to have the car delivered.
It opened on a busy street. but it was blocked by a white chain and she could only open it a crack. screaming for her father to move out of the way. her father was disappearing through the sheets/walls. horrified. and spoke with a woman’s voice before turning and walking toward the sheets. He looked at her.woman’s laugh. and half tangled in the sheets. Suddenly moonlight shone in the room. her father.. But the sounds of the cars did not go away. and she could see the headlights bearing down on them both. The baby’s screams became louder. She wore a pink bow in her hair and was smiling at Tammy. the door slammed hard in her face. they tore through the sheets despite her screams for them to stop. Tammy was forced to watch. nearly unbearable.. . It was headed directly for her father and the baby. Tammy screamed. They vehicles were unrelenting. Tammy woke up screaming. She tried to re-open it. Tammy looked upward and could see a full moon in a cloudless sky. The cars were coming closer. Eventually the door sealed itself. The harder she pushed the more difficult the task of opening seemed to be. The vehicles rushed around him. and Tammy noticed for the first time that he was holding a baby in his arms. as a giant big rig appeared on the horizon. all she could hear was the pounding of her heart. in the midst of the traffic turned as if he’d finally heard her. Disoriented. She ran after him and a door appeared. But he did not hear her. Tammy banged on the door. Before Tammy could go to him. When she looked down again. As the cars neared her. and a baby was again crying only much louder. horns blaring and people yelling to her father to get out of the way. The cars moved closer.
Running to his side she touched him just to be sure he was breathing. but he was going to have one heck of a knot on his forehead. Afraid to move him. she ran back into the room and found the light switch. But. the door slammed open and a dark figure stood silhouetted in the doorway. She ran to his side and hesitantly touched him. sanity returned. but not wanting to leave him lying on the floor. either. Tammy had reached the hallway.Moments later. . She couldn't leave him there on the floor until he came around. By then. out the door. As she focused on her surroundings. he was no small boy? She was saved from having to make a decision either way. He appeared to be breathing. His breathing appeared all right. Momentum carried the man crashing into the dresser before he tumbled to the floor between the bed and the dresser. Tammy fretted around him trying to choose the correct action. saving her from making a decision. and instinctively grabbed at the nearest object and began swinging. There lay David Brinkman. landing square against the man’s skull and Tammy dashed past him. Tammy screamed again. clad only in his underwear. because David was beginning to come around. Thankfully. David began to come around. The figure was running straight for her and could do nothing to avoid the alarm clock she wielded. how could she move him. Horrified. An ugly bruise was already beginning to form around the spot where the clock had broken the skin. The clock hit its marks. out cold.
David sat up with a start and immediately grabbed his head. one-handedly into the hall closet. he sat heavily on the side of the bed. He froze. she rushed to the adjoining bathroom to get a cloth to clean the cut." she yelled again. "Where’s the first aid stuff?" She wandered out of the bathroom and into the hallway." she said leading him back to the guest room and sitting him on the edge of the bed. jumping to action. "Where’s the first aid stuff?" she yelled from the bathroom. "I heard you screaming. Tammy bent over and picked it up for him." he said slowly. pulling his hand away from his forehead. seeming to lose his train of thought when he saw the blood. Moving up off the bed. with Tammy's help. "David?" she called again. Pushing himself up off the floor." Tammy said." David was saying as he reached. Tammy eyed him sheepishly as he continued. He grabbed a bottle of alcohol and a basket of first aid items. poking her head out of the bathroom. "What happened?" he asked groggily. "I'll get it. Nothing. going to the bathroom to get a washcloth to clean up the cut. "You should let me do that. It was the least she could do. "Let me take care of that. And no answer from David. "Where's the first aid stuff?" she yelled from the bathroom. She riffled through the cabinets and beneath the sink. No answer. "David?. "where is the first aid stuff?" She stuck her head out of the bathroom. She quickly cleaned the wound and . She riffled through the cabinet and under the counter. The entire works crashed to the carpet.
" David sighed and grinned at her. and met her eyes. but remained silent. it was. When she completed the task. but her body certainly did.. a moment too late. I’m sorry I caused all of this mess. His eyes had strayed from her face." "Going to?" David asked. . "What it another bad dream?" Tammy looked down at her hands. "Yeah. "You’re going to have one monster of a headache.uh. David sat the first aid basket aside." "Hmmm. The fact that he would be walking around with a green and white Band-Aid in the middle of his forehead would give her ample opportunity to tease him later. "And I’m really sorry about your head. She couldn't began to remember why they all had little green shamrocks on them. She may not have remembered him.put a Band-Aid on it. "I'm pleading the fifth. When she raised a questioning brow in David's direction. "What's a battle scar here and there?" She noticed that he tried to hide a wince." She gestured toward the broken clock and lamp. She could afford to let him slide on the matter at present. and that longing look was back. Her heart began to pound and breathing became more difficult.. David cleared his throat. Tammy was not immune. His gaze burned into her and Tammy felt a rush of heat engulf her." Tammy mused. he merely shrugged.
"You need to take some aspirin and get to bed. I'm sure you're head's killing you. "Want some company for a little while?" "No. She couldn’t. David nodded. he touched her hand. She allowed him to gently love her mouth with his own. Tammy didn’t fight him. "It was about Daddy. "Tammy. "Oh. And she didn’t know herself. Tentatively. they brushed against hers.David’s eyes dropped to her lips and half before she realized what happened. That's all I can remember." David considered that." Tammy replied. She knew that she liked him a lot. She didn’t know this man. David forced a sad smile." "Hmmm. Encouraged. but she steeled herself." she mumbled. and nodded his acceptance of her decision. I--" Tammy pulled back. but that did not equate to love. I love you. "Want to talk about your dream?" Tammy's eyes displayed her gratitude when she responded. "Hope so." she told him matter-of-factly. his lips were touching hers. requesting entry." he breathed. And she was only just rediscovering herself as a person." he offered. then winced slightly. "Maybe it means something. Sighing deeply." The hurt in David’s eyes was nearly her undoing. "No. Tammy. "I can’t." . If she gave herself to him without love then she risked losing what little of herself she had. gently exploring. David lifted his hands to touch her face.
He patted her hand once. He would just have to wait a little longer." David tried not to sound to deflated. His head ached." Tammy saluted smartly. and he was having difficulty thinking clearly. "Not everything. He pulled her to him and hugged her again. This was a start. "Good night. David. "Huh?" "I remember!" Tammy said bouncing on the bed. Her mood was contagious. and smiled at her." . "When? How did it happen?" Tammy's glee diminished slightly. "You remember?!" David was stunned and hugged her back." David threw back the covers." she said." Tammy said. "Get dressed. "Where we going?" "Breakfast. "I know just the place." "Night."You're right." "Yes Sir. grinning. "Good." "Really? That's wonderful Tammy. We have to celebrate!" "Agreed. and she reached up and threw her arms around him. Tammy. being happy for remembering a death?--and I remember moving to the city. "I remember my father dying--can you imagine that. "I'm so glad." David informed her." he agreed. and stood to leave." ~*~ "I remember!" David sat up with a start to find Tammy leaning over him. Laughter was visible in her eyes.
"I'd like to introduce you to Buffy and Bip. David had stared at her with an odd warm look in his eyes.~*~ Breakfast was a pancake house that they often enjoyed. seeming determined to stuff her silly with junk food. The couple spent most of the morning at the zoo. he simply smiled secretively and pointed toward the two animals. as they climbed into the car. Once they finally reached the aforementioned exhibit." was David's cryptic reply. When she'd questioned him. she would need to go on a diet. Chapter Fourteen . after which David disappeared inside of a gift shop. Shortly after. "Where to next?" Tammy asked. He was so adorable in his desire to see the polar bear exhibit that Tammy couldn't deny him. he presented Tammy with a cap bearing the logo of the zoo. When he reappeared. "You'll see. somehow David managed to end up at the zoo. David bought cotton candy and peanuts. The restaurant was part of a chain that Tammy had remembered enjoying before." Thus a debate ensued concerning the ridiculousness of such names for polar creatures. After breakfast. Tammy decided that if she didn't get her memory back soon.
He had picked it up at La Lira on the tail end of their sight-seeing excursion. "La Lira is a great place. Later. David lay on his back. Ms. David pulled the car to a stop in a field near a deserted cross roads. she was ready for the food. It's delicious aroma's had been teasing Tammy for the past 30 minutes. They had gone sight-seeing over what felt like most of the city. David smiled at her and pulled a large basket out of the trunk." "That's why. Despite all the junk they'd eaten earlier in the day. my dear. He carefully began to pull cartoons of food from the container. was completely lost on Tammy. Impatient. but David would not allow her to open it. however. they lay across the blanket. playing with a bit of grass." ." she said. Tammy oohed over the feast and began to help him. "It's probably your favorite restaurant. most of the places having some tourist value. Tammy lay on her side. his arms folded behind his head." she said." Tammy told him. hunger completely sated. The significance of this latest spot. "Finally we get to open it." David said. "Yes. "I give up.Almost two hours later. Tammy looked around the area and turned a skeptical eye on him. no longer caring that they were in the middle of nowhere. "Their food is wonderful." David found a blanket in the trunk and spread it in the field. staring at the blue sky.
David ducked slightly. Yes. but laughed at her." . "What else where you up to?" she asked him. "Didn't matter to me." Tammy gasped. so that's where I got lunch. fighting the wetness that threatened in her eyes. do I sense an ulterior motive?" She felt too warm and fuzzy to be angry with him. "Really?" she asked. "Wait a minute." Tammy laughed at that." David admitted unabashedly." David assured her. But. Right in front of the polar bear exhibit. touched. But David wasn't finished with her."Yeah. "Whatever caused me to choose such a spot?" she tried to joke. "All of those places you took me…" "Oh all right. I may as well ‘fess up. "I knew you loved it." "You sneak!" Tammy tossed an empty water bottle at him. That had been incredibly romantic. the Italian restaurant was your favorite. Tammy felt herself going all mushy inside and there was precious little she could do to stop it. "Since I'm caught. ticking off all of the places they have visited and their significance. "Guilty. "I was so gone over you woman that it was music to my ears no matter where we were. It already is my favorite restaurant? David. as I've already let slip. it will--" Tammy turned a suspicious eye on him. Then continued. "The Zoo is where you first told me you loved me." David assured her. it was also the place I proposed." David rolled toward her. "Yes.
his gaze locked in hers. "This isn't just any road. "Take me home. David smiled. This is our cross roads. Tammy did not disappoint him. She vaguely wondered whatever had possessed her to think that she could resist this man. "First kiss. "First kiss?" she whispered the question. and she didn’t care. David." David told her. Their lips touched and a raging fire sparked between them. "Yes…" he murmured again." she said. Tammy felt the breath go out of her. Please. David did not kiss her chastely. "Okay. mesmerized. "What about this place? It's a deserted road. his eyes dropping to her lips. Tammy gazed up at her husband stunned.Tammy gave up and let the tear fall. There was no more denying that she loved this man. take me home. She couldn’t remember him. and gently wiped it away. as he had before. It was a conundrum." ~*~ . confused." "Our cross road?" Tammy asked. He ran a gentle finger along the side of her face. her voice wavering slightly. The sound of a passing automobile pulled them from their passion-drugged stupor. but took her mouth in a feverishly building passion. but still she loved him." David spoke softly. "Yes." David murmured back. his words almost a litany guiding her to answer in kind to his unspoken question." "Oh no. Tammy gave in completely.
David was sure that no picnic was ever cleaned up as quickly as his and Tammy's had been. pulling him toward her. After they had become so intimate again. But. They'd tossed their lunch remains into the basket and climbed into the car. David lay beside Tammy in bed. taking both of her wandering hands in his." he said. Once awakened. Throughout the drive. it was all he could do to get the door locked. David was barely able to pull away moments later when they broke the kiss. before they were in one another's arms. "Tammy. By the time they were inside the house. "I have to tell you something. her eyes opened and she smiled a Cheshire grin." she commanded. closing his eyes. she tormented him by running her hand along his thigh or running her lips along the back of his hand. he felt a fraud to keep the truth from her. They did eventually make it up the stairs. One look at the fire in her eyes and he nearly put of what he needed to say. As he lay watching her." . They'd shared a final passionate kiss before he'd turned the car around and headed back toward the city. Later. there's something very important I need to tell you. his head propped up on one elbow. She was so beautiful. "Come here. he gathered his strength. Tammy's passions ran hot. And there was something he desperately needed to tell her.
Dashing back to the bed. taking in her appearance. "Don't go away. Her hair was a tangled mass. ~*~ Tammy turned before the full length mirror. Something of the seriousness of his tone must have gave her pause. and then turned back toward her. It fell to just above her knees.Tammy stopped her provocative motions and listened to him. he gave her a passionate kiss of infinite promise." he said and then he quickly dressed and was gone. Tammy. A sudden memory struck him." he promised.m. Glancing quickly around the room. "I was supposed to sign off on a contract today… I completely forgot. Confusion was written all over her face. The doorbell rang. evidence of the way she and David had spent the last few hours. "Oh Lord. I'll be back in an hour and we'll pick up right where we left off. She wore one of David's blue oxford dress shirts. I've got to go!" He hopped out of bed. emphasizing her small stature. Her eyes sparkled with happiness. and her lips curled into a satisfied smile. David opened his mouth again to speak and he heard the phone ringing in his office. Perhaps she would remain this way until David returned. she picked up the nearest article of . She wore nothing beneath the shirt. A quick glance toward the clock told him that it was nearly four p. interrupting her happy musings.
isn't it?" Tammy's head swam. She reached out a hand and grabbed for the wall." the woman continued. Memories. emotions and voices were rushing at her like the wind. Some might even say more than friends. Look. or a nightmare.clothing that she could find--the jeans that she'd worn that morning. Very closely under David. "Okay. Katy continued. "I replaced you in the training program when you left ACI. "Can you say that?" she spat. Tammy felt as if her world tunneled. We were very." the woman said. "K…K…" "Ka-te-na. "Who am I?" Tammy struggled. "Hello Tamellyn. I see David isn't here right now. Tammy hadn't responded. whatever. When a moment later. Give him my love would you?" With that the woman turned and walked back to a shiny red Ford and drove away. very good friends. It's sun-drenched warmth strengthened her. "I don't think you remember me." she managed. "Oh really?" Katy questioned. Amazing how I keep replacing you. The voice was one from a dream. "I…know…you. provided a bit of stability in the storm that she felt was sure to come. darkly exotic woman standing there. . Like you. I worked under David. She opened the door to find a lovely." Katy said the name as if she were speaking to someone who was not operating at normal mental capacity.
A sliver of fear ran down his spine. David didn’t care. As he neared the door. ~*~ David pulled into his drive way to find that the garage had returned Tammy's car. "Katena…" she breathed fearfully and then she remembered nothing else. he pushed the door all the way open and stepped inside.Tammy stood in the middle of the sidewalk utterly lost. Katy was an excellent worker. It took half a second to realize what was wrong: the front door was partially open. David parked his car along the street and got out to sign the necessary papers and to take possession of Tammy's now repaired vehicle. not even the scene that had gone down at ACI. David ran back to his car and scooped up the bouquet of flowers that he'd bought for Tammy. and only recently he’d begun to understand why. "Tammy?" he called softly. Katy had not taken his signing off her training very well. leaving the door open behind himself. but she really needed to refocus her attentions. His worry and anxiety grew out of proportion as he . Nothing could stifle his good mood. And she certainly hadn’t appreciated the transfer to a neighboring branch. He knew that her presence had bothered Tammy. A smile spread across his face as he headed up the drive. He wished that he had listened to her earlier. Moving quietly. something brought him up short. The tow truck was just pulling out of the drive. After sending the garage employee on his way.
None of the neighbors remembered seeing anything. If many of their friends thought him odd for asking such a strange question. he walked up to their bedroom where they’d made love only hours before. out of options. Having just found his wife again. David called everyone he could think of. leaving the yard darker than usual. they didn’t mention it. Tammy was nowhere to be found. And the police had told him that it was too soon to file a missing persons report. The way she’d touched him. Unable to remain in the house any longer.continued to search the house. he returned home. A cloud covered the moon. The way she’d looked at him. The living room. He then walked to the kitchen. Eventually. When night began to fall. He walked to the bottom of the steps where he’d caught her that day when she fell. Frantically. Elaine was as worried as he was and promised to look out for her daughter in case she came to Valuma. only promised to call if they saw Tammy. He walked out into the shadowed backyard where they’d gardened together. The way she’d smelled. As he wandered through the darkening streets of the quiet little neighborhood all he could think of was Tammy. David panicked. He started knocking on the doors near his home. . Time dragged on. he set out to search the neighborhood. and he began to feel hopeless. he couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. the patio. reliving the memories of the recent breakfasts that they’d had there. He would go door to door searching for her if he had to.
more loudly. but I’m sorry to at the pain that it’s causing you." she nodded." . I--" "S’okay." "Everything?" David asked. "Tammy?" he called. "Yes." Tammy said. then when the bundle moved..With a heavy heart he beseeched the night sky. trembling nearly as much as she. full of shame.. "I know. "The baby?" David asked. "I remember everything. her red-rimmed eyes filling and spilling over. drawing her closer. "Please let her come back to me. her lower lip trembling. That was when David noticed an unusual lump near the patch of dirt that he and Tammy had worked. he engulfed her in his arms. "Everything. "I’m-I’m sorry. something cold settling in his gut." he groaned." she nodded." As if alert to his pleas. "David?" she looked up at him. I wanted to tell you. "I’m happy that you have your memory back. "Tammy!" He cradled her in his arms and carried her gently back into the house." David began to speak gently. the cloud continued its path across the night sky. It’s muted light once again shown on the earth. I can’t live without her. gradually uncovering the moon. Settling on the floor just inside the patio door. "Oh Tammy.
He was in complete agreement." "I love you Tamellyn Brinkman." "I’m glad to be back. and the more I walked the more I remembered until eventually I remembered everything."I’m sorry I worried you. I don’t care how it happened." Tammy said. "It’s just when it started coming back I was so confused." David’s arms tightened convulsively around her." "Already done." Tammy told him." Tammy held off his kiss. David." "Do you know what triggered it?" "No. Back home. And then I came back here. "What?" David asked. "Well. I’m just glad to have you back. and David had the distinct impression that she was ready to catch up on a little lost time. a drugged look already in his eyes. Then pushing back from him." Jackeec@earthling. It’s all sort of fuzzy about how it started. "I love you. With all my heart. my love." Tammy’s eyes dropped from his gaze to his lips. "You need to get rid of Katena.net . "One more thing. I started walking. Already done.
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