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Chapter 42: Whiplash

This is what whiplash feels like, Marlena thought, as she looked at her daughter.  One minute, Sami was sobbing uncontrollably, mourning her daughter.  The next, she was arguing, insisting that there be no memorial service. 

"What's going on?" Roman said, obviously as bewildered as Marlena.

"Samantha has decided that she wants to wait for more information."  That came from EJ DiMera, whose presence made Marlena's skin crawl.  But she could not deny him his place here.  He was Sydney's father, and had a right to speak about memorial service arrangements.  That did not mean Marlena had to like him; she just had to tolerate him.

"I'm telling you, Mom, I know what I'm doing," Sami said.

EJ, Marlena had noticed in the past, had a very odd habit of blinking his eyes when he grew agitated, and he was doing it right now.  "EJ, is there something you and Sami aren't telling us?"

"Of course not, Marlena," he said.  To some, he might have sounded sincere, but Marlena had spent too much time around DiMeras to believe him.  "Samantha just wants to know the truth before she mourns her child."  Marlena understood the unspoken part of that statement -- "another child" was what he really meant.  EJ was talking about Grace, the little girl that Sami had believed to be hers.  She also know there was no way of winning this battle.

"So what can I do?" Marlena asked her daughter.  She heard Roman let out an annoyed breath behind her, but there was no point in a major argument. 

Sami shook her head.  "Nothing," she said sweetly.  "I'm really fine.  EJ's here now, and Rafe will be back soon."

Marlena shot a glance back toward her ex-husband.  His expression was one of sheer exasperation, and he finally lost it.  "What the hell are you talking about?  A few days ago, you were crying your eyes out and now you're 'fine'?"  He glared at EJ.  "What did you do to her, DiMera?"

"Me?"  EJ blinked several times.  "Despite your assumptions, I have not done anything.  I'm just here to respect Samantha's wishes."

Marlena reached out and stopped Roman from raising his clenched fist.  She suspected he was close to decking EJ, hardly a good thing at the moment.  It was too bad that John had stayed away.  He might have been able to pull Roman out of the house before things turned violent, but now it was up to Marlena to stop her ex.  "Roman," she said sharply.  "This is Samantha's decision, and we have to accept it."  Roman stepped back, visibly shocked, but unclenched his fist.  Now it was Sami's turn.  Marlena slowly turned around to address her daughter.  "Neither of us understand your decision, but we will respect it.  However, don't take that as agreement or support.  I came here to support you in your grief, but if you don't want that support, I'll go."

"Then go," Sami said, but there was something in the way she looked nervously at EJ that made Marlena even more convinced that her daughter was up to something.  As much as Marlena loved her daughter, she bore no illusions about Sam.  She could sometimes rival the DiMeras when it came to scheming, which saddened Marlena.  She thought of herself and Roman as decent, honorable people, and failed to understand how their daughter could have turned out so different from her parents.  How had they failed her so completely?

Sami had looked away, unable to look her parents in the eyes.  There was more to this, but Marlena would no longer fight.  She bobbed her head slightly.  "Very well.  John and I will be heading to Los Angeles to be with your Aunt Kimberly.  Let me know if you change your mind."