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Chapter 117: Homecoming

Kayla stared out the window of the taxi as it drove through the dark Salem streets.  In truth, it had not been that long since she and Steve had left, but their time away simultaneously felt too long and too short.  Too long because it had been more than a year since she had seen her family.  Too short because she had left her job unfinished.  Kayla had spent a lifetime starting projects -- the emergency clinic, the immunology lab, the trauma center -- and she had never failed to finish one before.

"You're pretty quiet, Sweetness," Steve said.

She turned to him and smiled.  "Sorry.  I was just thinking."  She looked down at their son, Joey, who was sitting on Steve's lap and watching the bright lights of the building signs as they drove past.  He had spent most of his young life near African shanty towns and remote villages.  Cities were still foreign to him.  "You know, maybe it's a good thing we're here for awhile.  Joey can get to know the family a bit."

"Look . . ."  Steve reached over and squeezed her hand  She could tell she was not fooling him.  "I'm gonna get you the money to keep the clinic going.  I'll go to DiMera himself, hat in hand, if it gets us the money."

Kayla shook her head sharply.  "Don't you dare.  Don't you even joke about going near him."  Stephano had been responsible for Steve's 16-year absence from Kayla's and Stephanie's lives.  Just the thought of Steve getting involved again with Stephano chilled her from head to toe.

"I was just kidding, but I understand."  He fell silent.  The only noises in the cab were Joe's happy squeals at the bright lights until the cab turned down a dark street and pulled to a stop in front of Roman's.  As they got out of the car, Kayla took Joe, and Steve said, "You go on ahead.  I'll get the bags."

Roman met her at the door and enveloped her in a huge hug.  "Aw, Sis, it's so good to see you."  He looked at Joey, "And you, little man.  Boy have you grown."  Roman grinned back at Kayla, told her to make herself at home and then went outside to help Steve with the bags.

Ten minutes later, they were sitting in the living room of Roman's house, sipping tea and bringing him up to speed on the things Kayla had not mentioned in her regular emails.  Roman filled her in on the latest from California, and Kayla was surprised to learn that Kim's surgery would be the following morning.

"Maybe I should go out there," she said.

"It's a pretty full house from what Marlena tells me.  You've got her, Ma, Bo, and the kids."  Roman grinned.  "I think Kimmie's in pretty good hands."  He paused.  "So what are your plans for Salem?"

Kayla glanced at Steve.  She had not really told Roman about everything that happened with the clinic, and she did not really have a clear idea of how long they would be staying in Salem.  Steve shrugged.  He obviously had no idea either.  "I don't know really," Kayla said.  "I think I'll check with Lexie at University.  Maybe they could use another doctor."

Roman nodded.  "Sounds good.  What about you, Steve? 

"Don't know really."  Steve shook his head.  "Maybe I'll hit the Heart and see what the table play is like over there."  When Roman narrowed his eyes, Steve shrugged.  "It's an honest living -- better than some I've tried."

Rolling his eyes, Roman said, "Have you considered coming back to the force?  I know you weren't interested last time you were in Salem, but from what Kay's said, you're a one-man security force."

No way, Kayla thought, as she looked at Steve. 

He gave her a sheepish look before replying.  "Sorry, Roman.  That's just not me anymore.  Besides, I don't think Salem has a lot of elephants and lions that need chasing away."

"Too bad."  Roman sighed.  "We're a bit shorthanded at the moment with Bo and Hope gone."

"Where's Hope?" Kayla asked.  "She's not with Bo, is she?"  Kayla did not think that was the case or Roman would have mentioned it when she listed everyone who was at Kim's.

"No, she's not with Bo," Roman said.  "She's actually with John.  Last Marlena told me, they were in England, trying to track down Shane Donovan."

Before Kayla could react, Steve scowled.  "What's the deal with Double-O-Donovan?"  She understood his reaction.  Shane and Steve had never exactly been friends, though fate had thrown them together several times and had forced them to work together.  Then, there was the ISA.  Steve had always mistrusted the agency, even when he worked with them.  And to top it off, Steve knew about Kayla's brief relationship with Shane.  All in all, Shane Donovan was not very high on Steve's Christmas card list.

"Nobody really knows, Steve."  As Roman spoke, he looked at her.  Kayla suspected he was thinking about her relationship with Shane as well.  "The last anyone heard from him was about a year ago."

"A year?" Kayla exclaimed.  How could that happen?

Steve seemed to agree.  "I can't believe the ISA just lost track of Donovan.  They've got to know where he is."

"Well if they do, they're not talking."  Roman shrugged.  "Anyway, Kimmie asked me to see what I could find and, when I talked to John, he decided to take over the search."

"So how did Hope get involved?" Steve asked.

Roman chuckled.  "Honestly, I think she went mainly to get Bo riled up.  He's been giving her a lot of flack at the station, and put her on extended desk duty.  Next thing I know, she's gone on a leave of absence and Marlena's telling me Hope's with John.  She called yesterday to talk with Ciara, but she didn't say when she's coming back."

Kayla shook her head.  All of this was pretty puzzling, but maybe some of that had to do with being on planes for nearly an entire day.  Suddenly, she was feeling very sleepy.

"Uh oh, I think my Sweetness is ready for a bedtime story," Steve said in a teasing tone.  "And it looks like Joey there agrees."

Kayla looked down and realized that her son was fast asleep on her lap.  "I guess it's been a really long day."  She smiled.  "Can we continue this in the morning?"

Roman stood up.  "Sure, Sis.  Let's get you and the little one settled.  And before you protest and tell me you're going to move to a hotel or something, there's plenty of room here.  You're family and you're not imposing."

Kayla smiled.  Roman did know her pretty well.  She passed Joey to Steve, stood up, and gave Roman another hug.  "Thanks, Big Brother.  This is just the kind of homecoming we needed."

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Mar. 13th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter. Will it be published soon?
jwsel
Mar. 18th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
Sorry about being so long in responding. Thanks. My RL has gotten a bit crazy, which is why I've had to delay posting. (I used up all the scenes I had written in advance.) I'm hoping I can manage to write a few scenes this weekend, but in the meantime, I'll write the last scene I completed.

I really do appreciate that you're enjoying the story. I'm hoping once I get through the next 2-3 weeks of work (which has been 80-hour weeks), I'll be able to post more regularly.

Edited at 2011-03-18 06:46 am (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )