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A New Day
Missing Scene for The Past Comes Back To Haunt You

By Demeter


I'm so glad about the outcome of this day, in many ways.

Yes, I really am. An innocent man has been saved from execution; the murderer's off the street, and I am... not pregnant. It doesn't get better than that - right?

The world will look even brighter after a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. All of us are probably beyond the point where anyone should get behind a wheel now, but I really want to go home. It's only a few minutes' drive, after all.

I sit in my car, but don't start it; instead, I lean back against the headrest and close my eyes for a moment. All's well. It's just the red blood cell count that's messing me up a little, and once I get around to get myself those vitamins Claire was so adamant about, even that will pass. No more temporary foolishness wondering 'what if' about Tom and I. And while we're at it, no wondering 'what if' about ... because that's even crazier.

While Paul Galvan had still been answering questions by the press, Jamie had turned around and came back, smiling happily at Cindy as he took her hand. "Dad and I think you should come celebrate with us."

Claire's earlier statement obviously still on her mind, Cindy blushed a sweet shade of red. She had looked back at us, her gaze turning inexplicably apologetic as it met mine, and then she accepted.

Okay, 'cute' Jamie is one hell of a more attractive choice at the moment, because Lindsay, just take a look in the mirror... And those thoughts are probably proof that I should have checked my mind as well. Sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations.

There's a hesitant knock on the window on the passenger side, and I'm momentarily confused to see it's Cindy. Talk about hallucinations.

I reach over to open the door, wating.

"I'm sorry," she says. "I told them I'd come by another time."

"You deserve to be there; after all, you've helped him a lot. Other people wouldn't react so friendly to getting kidnapped."

Cindy laughs. "You can't get over that, can you?"

I muster a smile for her sake, though she's hit a nerve. Jamie is a decent guy who took desperate measures to save his father. It could have been different. That's what I can't get over.

"I'm just glad he didn't hurt you." The words are out of my mouth before I can even think about them.

Cindy climbs in, sitting next to me for a moment, before she says, "This was pretty intense."

"Yeah, that it was." I'm feeling guilty, suddenly realizing that she was about to witness an execution today that had only been stopped at last minute's notice. Those are images you don't easily forget. I touch her arm in what's meant to be a reassuring gesture - and just leave it there. She sighs. "I just realize that it all keeps coming back, and I so don't want to be alone, but I also don't want to talk about the case anymore. It's enough I'm still going to write about it. I thought I'd ask you if you could use somebody to drive you home."

I'm about to tell her that I can drive myself, and that I plan to go straight to bed, I am not blushing, but then I pull the key out of the ignition and hand it over to her.

"You can drive my car, baby."

We both crack up with laughter, which might also be a sign of sleep deprivation.

"Is it okay if I stay for a while? I mean, you could sleep. It would just help to know you're around." She winces. "That sounds stupid, doesn't it?"

"No," I say. "Not at all."

Cindy hesitates for a second, then reaches up to touch my face. I'm expecting a statement on my current pitiful looks, but I'm wrong.

"Or maybe I could sleep with you."

I scoot over to let her into the driver's seat. Why, yes, this day keeps looking up. I pretend to give this some thought. "Well, in that case -- we should get home real soon."

Get this, Claire. A real big step forward.

The End

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