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Chapter 26: Marlena and John Catch Up

Marlena pulled the blanket over her shoulder and nestled closer against John's chest, savoring the feel of his body next to hers.

God, it felt good to be together.  The flight from Switzerland and the afternoon with her daughter had been among the worst experiences of her life, up there with when she lost he first child and when she believed both Roman and John had died.  In some ways, this was even worse.  When the losses were hers, she could wallow in the pain.  Now, she was forced to be strong for her daughter.

John smoothed her hair and kissed the back of her head.  "Want to talk about it?"

"I was just thinking of Sami," she said.  "She's been through so much, and I wish there was something I could do."

John heard the undercurrent in her voice.  "Isn't the FBI all over the case?"

"Yeah, Rafe Hernandez was at Sami's all day."  Marlena did not point out that his interest was just as much personal as professional.

"Doc," John said slowly.  "I can't drop this."

"But Sami's family," she pled.

"So's Shane, and nobody's out there looking for him.  There's a team looking for Sydney's killer.  You already said this Hernandez guy was still on the case, and don't think for a minute that Roman and Bo will rest until they find whoever did this."

Marlena sighed.  John's logic was impeccable, but she still had a terrible feeling about this.  "I'm not going to be able to convince you, I know.  So did you find anything so far?"

"A little."

She turned over so she could face him.  "Tell me."

"I'm not sure yet."  John's expression was unreadable.  "I got some info in DC.  I just can't tell if it's legit."

"What is it?"

"The ISA says it has to do with Drew," John says.

"Drew?  Shane's twin brother?"  Marlena had never met the man, but she had heard all about him, how he had worked for Stefano DiMera and had been responsible for kidnapping Carrie, Roman's daughter.  Drew also was the reason for the one significant rift that had occurred between Shane and John:  when he still believed he was Roman, Shane had revealed that he could have saved Roman from Stefano, but not only chose to save Drew instead, he had kept secret from the Brady family that Roman was alive.  John said it had been difficult for the family -- particularly Caroline and Shawn -- to accept.  They had usually treated Shane as if he were their own son, but John said Shawn had gone so far as to threaten to tear Shane limb from limb.  Marlena tried to turn her thoughts from the past and focus on John's information.  "I guess it would make some sense if Drew was involved.  It had to be something important to get Shane into the field, and we both know he'd do anything for his brother."

"Maybe."  Classic John to be so noncommital.

"So what do you do next?"  She knew she was not going to like the answer.

"The ISA says Drew's near London, so I'll head there.  But before I go, I'm going to talk to Andy."  John seemed to nod as he spoke, almost as if he was convincing himself of a course of action.  "He might have some info.  I also figure he'll let me use Donovan Manor as a base of operations."

"Oh, I see," Marlena teased, trying to cover up her fears.  "Tough job.  Living in a mansion with a full-time staff.  I'm starting to think you took this job just to get out of the clinic."

John grinned.  "Can't say I miss physical therapy.  Hope you don't mind that I'll be going to LA with you."  He laughed when she swatted him playfully.  "Oh, I see."  Then he grew serious.  "We'll stay here as long as you need.  I wouldn't ask you leave Sami."

And that pretty much summed up John Black in one sentence, Marlena thought.  Her husband would do what she needed, for the family.  She just wondered how long she could delay him in Salem.  Something about this mission bothered her and she desperately wanted to put it off as long as possible.  Of course, there were other ways of doing that, she thought.  She stretched forward, sliding along his body, until their lips met.  She kissed him long and slow.  "I love you, John Black," she whispered, as his hands cupped her head and drew her in for another kiss.  "And, right now, I'm going to show you just how much."