A Single Twist of Fate by Selena CLICK HERE TO EMAIL HER

"And as you pray in your darkness for wings to set you free you are bound to your silent legacy. You've seen it in the movies and you've heard it on the street. Craving the affection, your blood is full of heat. They don't listen to your reasons, original as sin. Deny all that you feel, they will bring you home again. And as you pray in your darkness for wings to set you free, you are bound to your silent legacy, Your body is alive but no one told you how you'd feel the empty aching hours trying to conceal. The natural progression the coming of your age. But they cover it with shame. Turn it into rage. You are digging for the answers until your fingers bleed, to satisfy the hunger, to satiate the need. They feed you on the guilt. To keep you humble keep you low. Some man and myth they made up a thousand years ago. Mothers tell your children: be quick, you must be strong. Life is full of wonder, love is never wrong. Remember what they taught you, how much of it was fear. Refuse to hand it down. The legacy stops here. Oh my child…"
-Melissa Etheridge "Silent Legacy"

"Are you out of your mind?" Derek Rayne stared with disbelief at his mother. "No, I am one hundred percent serious," Barbara Rayne replied. "This is what your father would have wanted and, by God, you're going to do it." Derek sighed. "Mother, I can't marry someone just because you want me to. You didn't make Ingrid do this!" Barbara laughed. "Derek, your sister is a nun. Besides you know Kym, you have for years. Why is this a problem?" Derek couldn't believe his mother. He was twenty- eight years old, much too old for his mother to be telling him what to do, and especially too old to have his wife chosen for him. That just wasn't done anymore! Not in this day and age, no way. "This is not done anymore," Derek echoed his thoughts. "Here it is," Barbara said firmly. Derek rubbed his temple and closed his eyes. I wonder what Kym is thinking.

("Sometimes I want to rip out your throat, Daddy. I want to hurt you like you hurt me."*)

"Are you insane!" Kym Gardner cried. "Have you lost your mind?" "No, Kymberlee, I am still as sane as I ever was. However, you are still going to marry Derek Rayne," Bruce Gardner replied. Kym looked to her brother for help. Aaron shrugged as if to say "don't ask me." She tried a different approach. "Daddy, people don't arrange their children's marriages anymore." Bruce stood his ground. "Winston Rayne and I made these arrangements years ago, when you two were still children. I will not let this go." She closed her eyes. She knew that her father wasn't going to give in. "Daddy, Bernardo died," Kym said. "I'm really not ready to marry anyone right now." Bruce's eyes darkened. "I really don't care," he said. "I have given you plenty of time and you are better off this way. Derek is a wonderful person and he will make a fine husband. Case closed."

("Nothing I want's out of my reach. I'm free!"*)

Knock. Knock. Kym looked up; someone was knocking on her door. "Come in," she called. Derek stepped into the room. "I hope I'm not disturbing you." Kym shook her head. "No, no," she said. "How are you?" "All right," he studied her pretty face. "How are we going to get out of this?" she asked. Of course Derek has a plan, Kym thought. Derek always has a plan. However, now he just shrugged. "I don't think we have a choice." Kym grew angry. "We always have a choice. They can't do this!" "They just did," Derek said. "You're just like your father!" Kym shouted. Derek stood up. "And for once you might want to agree to just one thing!" Of all the nerve. "I will not have my life decided for me!" "You already have!" Derek shouted. "NO!" Kym cried. Derek yanked open the door. "Too late Kym!" He left quickly and without saying good bye.

Cassie Gardner adjusted her sister's dress. "You look very pretty," she said. "I feel miserable," Kym said. "I can't be getting married today." Cassie stepped back and looked at Kym. "I know it's hard. But it's something you have to do. I'm sorry that Dad adopted you as the Legacy child." Kym laughed bitterly. "So am I."

"That's good," Barbara looked at Derek. "You look very nice." "There's still time to call this thing off," Derek said desperately. Barbara smiled. "I wish your father was alive to see this," was all she said.

"And by the power vested in me by the state of California I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Derek and Kym exchanged a terrified look. Kiss each other? Derek leaned over and gave Kym a shy kiss on the mouth. Kym let Derek kiss her, but she was sobbing inside. Why are they doing this to me? She wondered. The two of them suffered through the "celebration"; both were very quiet and withdrawn. Until, that is, Bruce opened his mouth. "Well, since you two will be living together in San Francisco, I assume you want to get settled in as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I couldn't book you a flight until tomorrow. So tonight, you two will be staying at my condo. Have fun," he handed Derek the keys. Derek felt fear overcome him. Oh, my God, he thought. That's right! For this marriage to be legal it has to be…consummated. He took a quick look at Kym who looked as terrified as he did.

"Um, Derek?" Kym said as the entered the condo. "Yes?" he replied. "How about you sleep in the guest room and I'll take the master bedroom?" Kym suggested. He nodded. "Yes, I think that would be best. May I use your phone?" "It's right over there," she pointed. "I'm guessing you want to check in with the Legacy." "Yes, although, I'm sure Jonathan can handle things there for awhile." Kym nodded absently. Just like his father, she thought. Just like my father. She only half listened while Derek checked in. "Everything all right?" "Just fine," Derek replied. Kym sighed. "Well, I'm going to sleep now. Good night Derek." "Good night," he watched her go.

"Hello, Dr. Rayne, Mrs. Rayne," Dominick greeted them. Mrs. Rayne, Kym thought. That's who I am now. "Please call me Kym," she corrected Dominick. "Yes, madam," he replied. She sighed. And they tell me there is a God. "Come," Derek said, taking her arm. "I'll show you your room." "We won't be staying together?" Kym inquired. "Not in the beginning." She didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. He showed her to a lovely room that was across the hall from his own. "You will be staying here, is this all right?" "Yes," she replied. "This is fine." Her voice sounded dull, but she didn't even try to mask it. Derek shifted uncomfortably. "Well, then, I'll let you settle in. Okay?" "Yes," Kym answered mechanically. Yes sir, no sir, this is fine sir. "Let's at least try to be friends," Derek said. "I promise you, it won't be that difficult." "Derek?" He turned to face her. "Yes?" "Doesn't this feel a little weird to you?" Kym asked. "You mean having my life decided for me? I'm used to it." "No," she said slowly. "What I meant was, I mean, Alicia only died recently here we are…" her voice trailed off. Derek's eyes grew hard. "I never had any sort of romance with Alicia." Kym smiled weakly. "Come on, Derek. I saw the way you looked at her. There was something there." "Nothing that I wish to discuss with you," he snapped. "We eat in an hour, I will see you then." Derek quickly retreated. Once in the hallway he regretted being so harsh. Kym was just trying to identify with him, after all. "Derek!" Jonathan Boyle stepped into view. "How are you?" Derek shrugged. "All right I suppose." Jonathan was sympathetic. "I'm sorry, Derek. But it's not like Kym is a bad person." "She's a fine person," Derek agreed. "But she's not very agreeable." Jonathan laughed. "Neither are you, my boy."

Kym lay down and closed her eyes. How do I get through this? She wondered. Please someone help me. "Kym," Derek knocked on her door. "It's time to eat." She stood up. "Yes, Derek." Kym went into the hallway. He smiled at her. "If I may escort you, madam." He's trying, Kym thought. He's really trying, so I can try too. "I would be honored," she said, looping her arm through his. The two of them ate in silence for a time. Then Derek said, "So what do you think of San Francisco?" Kym looked up "Oh it's fine," she said. "A lot different than New York, though." "Yes," Derek agreed. "It is, but it's still nice here." Kym nodded. "Does it ever get sunny here?" Derek laughed. "Of course! Not as often as you would like it, but it does." ("You stood in my doorway, with nothing to say, besides some comment on the weather."*)

He smiled at her. "Don't you want to call your friends or something like that?" "You mean to tell them how I'm doing?" Kym asked. "I suppose I should." "Excuse me, Derek?" Jonathan stepped in and glanced at Kym. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but we finally got that section translated." Derek stood up. "Excuse me," he said to Kym. She nodded. "Of course." Maybe I will call my friends, she thought. "Oh, Derek?" she called. "Hmm?" "Can we talk later?" she asked. Derek smiled. "Of course." Jonathan and Derek entered the lab. "So what does it say?" Derek questioned. "What does it matter? You should spend a little more time with your wife," Jonathan informed him. "We just got married a few days ago," Derek said. "Get off my case." Jonathan shrugged. "Whatever. Basically what this thing says is ‘this curse that was placed upon my family lives on in the descendents.' Where did you get this thing, Derek?" "Kym's brother, Raymond, of the New York house," Derek answered. "All right," Jonathan said. "I'll try and figure out what this is, okay? Didn't Kym say she needed to talk to you?" Derek nodded absently. "Yeah."

"Kym?" Derek entered the study. "You needed to speak with me?" She grinned at him. "Yes. Derek I am twenty- one years old." "Yes you are," he agreed. "I want finish go to college," Kym announced. Derek was taken aback. "You want to finish college?" he repeated. "Yes," Kym said firmly. "Can I?" "Yes," Derek said. "Absolutely. Where would you like to go?" "I received a scholarship from Berkley, so I can stay in San Francisco," she sounded very proud of herself. Derek was very proud of her. "Wonderful." Maybe everything will work out after all.

Jonathan sat in the lab and continued to translate the parchment. His children shall pay and his children's children alike. They will suffer the way I have suffered, only at my hands. They shall never find happiness or safety. All he has shall be mine. How strange, Jonathan thought. The paper contained a curse of some kind, yet on whom he did not know. He was never mentioned by name, but obviously hated. Jonathan had a bad feeling about this.

"Good night," Derek said. Kym glanced up from her book. "Good night, Derek. Pleasant dreams." "Yeah, you too," Derek said.

Derek Rayne tossed and turned in his bed. He couldn't get comfortable for some reason. I just can't get to sleep, he thought. Derek heard footsteps in the hall. He rose to investigate. Derek stepped into the hall and saw that Kym was there too. "Oh, um, hi," she said. "Hi," he replied. "I couldn't sleep," Kym stammered unnecessarily. Derek smiled at her. "Neither could I." "So what do you want to do?" Kym questioned. Stupid question, she thought. What do all men want to do? But Derek wasn't like all men. "I'm going to go and see what I can get off the document your brother sent us," he told her. "Oh," somehow she should have figured. Derek caught her tone. "What's wrong?" "Nothing," Kym said, quickly. "This house is just so creepy is all." Derek laughed softly. "Yes, but its not haunted." Kym glanced around. "Are you sure about that?" Derek grew concerned. She didn't sound like she was kidding. "Do you want to come with me?" Kym nodded. "Would that bother you?" "Not in the least," he was thankful for the company.

They entered the lab. "So what exactly is this thing about?" Kym asked. "Raymond was very vague." "The document is very vague," Derek said. "It speaks mostly of a curse and the price to be paid." She nodded. "Average run of the mill stuff in the Legacy." Her voice was bitter. Derek looked at her. "Why do you hate this so much?" Kym's eyes grew cold. "I suffered through it my entire life. It has been my entire life. Just once I'd like to think ‘there's no such thing as ghosts' and actually be able to believe it." Derek smiled sadly. "Wouldn't we all?" Kym continued. "It's a commitment for the rest of my life. Just like that. Same with you, Derek. You realize that they have given us a life commitment without any choice?" "Yes," he said slowly. "But we always have a choice.' "What do you mean?" "You have a choice," Derek said. "You can leave this house right now and never look back. You could have said ‘I don't', but you didn't." "My father would have killed me," Kym insisted. "You had a choice, you just didn't like the consequences," Derek informed her. Kym sat back. He's right, she realized. I could have backed out of all of this at any time. Kym was horrified when she felt tears spring to her eyes. "You're right," she agreed.

("And I tried, oh I tried to hold you, but you were young and you were wild. But I will never be the same."*)

Derek shrugged. "Doesn't matter." Kym tactfully changed the subject. "So what is this thing written in?" she asked. "Gaelic," Derek replied. "Gaelic," Kym repeated, a funny feeling coming over her. "You all right?" She blinked. "Oh yeah, sure. Just got a little dizzy there for a sec," she stood up. "Maybe I should lay down." Derek rose. "Let me help you," he said. "No, I'm all right," Kym started to say, but her knees buckled and she fell forward into his arms. Derek caught her easily. "Sure you are," he said looking at her. Kym closed her eyes. His breath felt warm. "I am," she whispered. Derek gently helped her up. "Uh huh. Do you want me to carry you?" Her eyes snapped open. "No, I'm fine." Derek's eyes twinkled, but there was concern hidden behind them. "No, I don't think you are. Please, I want to help you back." Kym suddenly felt weak. "All right," she agreed. She barely noticed when Derek lifted her easily off the ground and into his arms. "What do you see?" he asked. Kym blinked. "I see, fire, death, and…you." "Me?" Derek was startled. "What am I doing?" "I-I don't know." Derek placed her on her bed. "All right then. You get some sleep, okay? I'll see you in the morning." "Morning," Kym mumbled, already half asleep. Derek left the room and silently closed the door behind him. Fire, death and me. He thought. What an odd vision. Jonathan poked his head in the hall. "Is everything all right?" he asked. "Yes," Derek replied. "Fine. Shouldn't you be at home with your family?" "I suppose I should be," Jonathan agreed. "Did you make any progress?" Derek shook his head. "No, not much actually. Kym saw something." Jonathan ran a hand through his hair. "Well, okay, then. I don't think I want to know. Good night Derek." "Yeah, good night," Derek said, his mind still on Kym's vision.

Derek looked up as he heard Kym coming down the stairs the next morning. "Hi," she greeted him. "Good morning," he smiled at her. "How are you today?" "Fine," she answered, feeling her face flush. "I'm sorry about last night." "Nothing to be embarrassed about," Derek assured her. "I'm just glad you're feeling better." Kym nodded. "Yeah, I'm all right." Derek set the paper down. "How did you enjoy your first night in San Francisco?" "Very nice," she smiled. "Thank you for helping me out last night." "It was my pleasure." If you only knew, Derek thought. "Hello young lovers," Jonathan said as he entered the dining room. Derek grinned at his friend. "Good morning. How are you?" "Fine," they both replied in unison. He rolled his eyes. "Oh, how cute. Derek, I finished some more of the translation. It's in the lab." Derek nodded. "Oh, yes, thank you." "Say hi to Nick for me," Kym offered. Jonathan smiled. "You bet." He left. Kym struck up a conversation. "Do you want children, Derek?" He paused. "Yes, I suppose. Someday that would be nice." Another pause. "Do you?" Kym shrugged. "I used to. Now, I'm not so sure." "Why not?" She can't stand me. He thought. "Truth? Because I just don't want to raise my child in the Legacy," she smiled sadly. "I can't do that to a baby." Derek nodded. "I understand. I suppose it isn't fair." He stood. "I think I should go look at the document. You will excuse me?" Kym nodded. "Sure." He doesn't want to be with me for more than ten minutes. He smiled and made a hasty retreat.

"We've been working on this thing for a month," Jonathan complained. His friend laughed softly. "These things take time," Derek said. "You didn't think it would be done in a week did you?" "I had hoped," Jonathan muttered. He brightened. "So how are things with you and the missus?" Derek rolled her eyes. "Her name is Kym. Her last name isn't even Rayne, she decided that ‘Kymberlee Gardner' was much better." Jonathan winced. "Ouch. So no progress?" Derek shook his head. "None." "Derek," Jonathan leaned in closer, even though the room was empty. "Is this marriage legal?" Derek looked up. "We don't sleep in the same room," he said, by way of an answer. His friend considered. "Seems strange," he commented. "How's that?" "Well," Jonathan began. "You two are obviously attracted to each other, I've seen the glances that were exchanged. Plus, you're good for each other." Derek remained silent.

"So after all this time it's still…nothing?" Cassie inquired of her sister. "Nope," Kym shook her head. "Nada." "How very…" Cassie struggled to suppress a laugh. "Frustrating that must be." "Cassandra," Kym glared at her sister. "I am very busy with my classes and Derek has his work." "Oh little sister," Cassie was all and out laughing now. "You two are meant for each other!"

("I could lose my heart tonight if you don't turn and walk away. Cause the way I feel I might lose control and let you stay. Cause I could take you in my arms and never let go. I could fall in love with you, I could fall in love with you"*)

"You wanted to see me?" Kym asked as she entered the lab. "Yes," Derek said briskly. "Where can we contact your brother?" "He's in Amsterdam right now. Derek, what is this about?" Derek laid his hand flat on the translation. "This journal details a very serious curse placed on the enemy of the author. I need to find out who this enemy is. Do you have a number where we can reach Raymond?" Kym shook her head. "No, no, but I can get one." She looked at him and he saw a face filled with fear. I scared her. Derek realized. I didn't want to do that. He took her hand. "It will be all right," he assured her. "I'm just being cautious." Kym nodded. "All right," she murmured. Her conversation with Cassie came flooding back to her. It must be very…frustrating. Derek's mouth was inches from hers. She leaned over and gently kissed him. He was surprised, to say the least. Nevertheless, he kissed her back. Somehow, that one little kiss turned into a great passionate kiss, unlike either of them had ever felt before. Suddenly, Kym jerked away. "I'm sorry," she stammered. "I don't know what came over me. I-" Derek placed a finger to her lips to silence her. "It's all right," he said. Kym backed away. "I'm sorry, I'll go and get Raymond's number." She retreated quickly. Derek watched her go. He wanted to say, "don't go!" but something held his tongue.

"Well, Kym," her father said. "I'm not sure how you can reach Raymond." A pause. "Last I heard he was in Amsterdam. He's not there now?" Kym placed a hand to her forehead. "No, apparently not. And you have no idea where he is?" "No, I'm sorry sweetie. How's Derek?" Some things never change. "He's fine," Kym replied. "Can you please just try to find out where Raymond is, please?" "Yes, of course," Bruce said. "I'll get on it right away." "Thank you. Good bye Dad," Kym hung up the phone. "Any luck?" Derek asked, coming up behind her. Kym jumped about ten feet. "Oh, no," she said. "My dad doesn't know where he is either. Do you think it's that serious?" Derek shrugged. "Probably not," he sat down beside her. "Kym?" "Hmm?" Derek paused. He had no idea what he was going to say. He wasn't sorry they had kissed and he wasn't sorry they had married. He opened his mouth, closed it and kissed her. What in God's name is he doing? Kym wondered. Still she didn't pull away. Why am I doing this? Derek asked himself. He didn't break the kiss. Kym had no idea how long she and Derek kissed for. All she knew was that she enjoyed it, a lot. Ring! They reluctantly pulled apart and looked at each other. Ring! Derek grabbed the receiver. "Derek Rayne." "Derek," a voice boomed in his ear. "This is Bruce Gardner. May I please speak to my daughter?" "Of course," Derek said. He offered the phone to Kym. "It's your father." My father? She mouthed. Kym pushed her hair back and took the phone. "Hello?" "Kym! I've found your brother. He's in Cairo. Would you like the number?" Kym nodded. "Yes definitely." She took the phone away from her mouth and said to Derek. "Could I have pen and paper please?" He handed it to her. "Thanks. Okay, Dad go ahead." Bruce rattled off a number where Raymond was staying. "Great," Kym said. "Thanks. Okay, bye!" "Wonderful," Derek said. "Now, we can take our minds off of this and onto…other things." "Other things," Kym repeated. Derek leaned forward, as if to kiss her again. Kym backed up. "Maybe I should call Ray," she said. Derek nodded. "I'll call Jonathan."

"Hello, Ray? It's Kym?" Kym twirled the phone cord in her hand. "Hi, Kym. What's up?" Ray asked his sister. "Well, do you remember the journal you gave Derek?" she asked. "Sure." "Where did you get it?" Kym inquired Ray paused. "Did you get it translated?" "Derek and Jonathan have finished most of it, yes," Kym answered. "Where did you get it?" Ray didn't answer. "Is it bad?" "It could be. Raymond, who gave it to you?" Kym insisted. Static on the other end of the line. "Ray?" Kym said. "Ray? Ray?" The line went dead. Weird, Kym thought. Well, I'll call him later.

"What happened with Ray?" Derek asked. "I got through, but we were cut off before he could tell me anything else," Kym replied. She shivered, "Is it cold in here?" Derek shrugged. "No, not really. So Ray didn't tell you anything?" "No, he just wanted to know how serious it was." Derek looked down at the journal. "I suppose it can wait," he said rather reluctantly. "You bet it can!" the pretty redhead agreed. Derek smiled. "You had something else in mind?" Kym blushed. "I just have to study, is all." Derek was disappointed. "Oh all right," he said. "I'll catch up with you later, then?" Kym nodded. "You betcha."

("Noches sin luna, voy buscando a mi fortuna."*) ("Moonless nights, I go looking for my fortune."*)

Kym couldn't concentrate on her studies. Her mind kept drifting to Derek. We have a very strange relationship, she thought. I should probably hate him for controlling my life, but I don't somehow. Just the opposite, in fact. The realization hit her like a freight train. I think I'm falling in love with him.

In his office, Derek was having his own troubles. He was worried about Kym's call to her brother, more worried than he had let on. There was some reason Ray was concerned about their safety, and Derek wanted to know what it was. Strange as it was, Derek was extraordinarily concerned about Kym's welfare. He had grown rather attached to her in the past few months. To be truthful, he couldn't imagine life without her. Derek leaned back and closed his eyes. Imagine that, he thought. I'm in love with my wife. Who would have thought?

Kym had called her brother at least a dozen times. Make that thirteen, she thought wryly as she hung up the phone. "Any luck?" Jonathan inquired. "No," Kym replied. "It's so weird! I called him a week ago, you would think he would have called back." "Yes," Jonathan agreed. "Perhaps he hasn't been around a phone." "Perhaps," Kym muttered, her concern for her brother growing.

CAIRO Raymond Gardner hung up his cell phone. He was frustrated. You would think that Kym or Derek would have tried to reach me by now, he thought. But so far, neither his sister nor his brother in law had called for him; and there was no answer at Angel Island. This is too strange, Ray decided. Even if Kym and Derek had gone away, which I doubt, the servants would still be there. An uneasy feeling settled over him and no matter what he did he just couldn't shake it.

"Ik spreek geen Nederlands," Kym stumbled over the words. "Ik sprayk geen Nederlands." Derek Rayne was laughing hysterically. He couldn't help it. "It's not funny!" Kym said, trying to sound mad. "This is a very difficult language!" Derek knew he shouldn't laugh, he had had many problems while trying to master English. But somehow, hearing Kym butcher his native tongue made him want to laugh until he cried. "I'm sorry, Kym," he gasped. "But you just sound so funny!" Now she began to laugh. "I know," she said. "But you could be a little ni-nicer about it!" Now they were both laughing too hard to speak. In fact, Kym laughed so hard she nearly toppled over. When Derek reached out to steady her, he remembered that night in the lab when she had fallen and he had caught her. Their laughter slowly trailed off as Kym realized that Derek had made no move to take his hands off her shoulders. He leaned in slowly and then he kissed her. Kym closed her eyes and let herself melt away. It felt so good to be held, no one had held her since Bernardo died. Derek didn't want to stop at just a kiss. He wanted to keep holding her. Don't let this end, he pleaded silently. Don't let the phone ring, or Jonathan walk in, or anything like that. Nothing interrupted them; it was as if Derek's prayers had been answered. The two of them continued kissing, but they didn't let it stop at that…

(Author's note: Okay, you all know what happens next. I'm just not the sort of person who can write in detail about that-sorry! Just use your imagination! =) -Selena)

Kym and Derek lay silently in his bed. What have we done? Kym asked herself. How could we have done that? Oh, Lord, Derek thought. How could I act on my emotions like that? "Derek?" Kym said. "Yes?" he replied. She's going to tell me that this was a mistake. "Remember the other night, when you said that we always had a choice?" Kym asked. "Yes," he answered. "What about it?" "Well," she began. "If I had a choice, then you must have had a choice. Why didn't you back out when you had the chance?" Derek sighed. "Well, maybe I didn't want to." Kym was confused. "Didn't want to?" He kissed her forehead. "Well, love, I'm exhausted," he closed his eyes, ending the conversation. "Good night," Kym whispered. "Good night," Derek said, wrapping his arms around her to ensure that she would stay the night. Kym stayed put, she couldn't think of any place she'd rather be.

When Kym awoke the next morning the sun was shining on her face, but Derek was gone. She sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Derek?" she called. "Derek, where are you?" He appeared in the doorway and smiled. "Right here. Don't worry." Kym found herself smiling back. "I wasn't worried. Why don't you come back here?" Derek strode over to the bed and kissed her. "Good morning. How are you?" "Wonderful," she replied, relishing every second of his kiss. "Umm, so what would you like to do today?" Kym pressed a hand to her heart. "You mean you aren't going to spend all day in the lab? Oh, Lord help me I feel faint!" Derek laughed. "Well, I can do that, I should do that. Jonathan has decided to spend the day with his kids. But I'd rather stay with you." Kym fell back and rested her head on the pillow. "I like Jonathan's kids, little Nick is so cute." Derek nodded in agreement. "Yes, he's cute, and so smart too!" Kym yawned. "I need a shower," she announced. Derek smiled broadly at her. "Alone!" she said laughing. "You go sleep or work, or whatever." "All right, all right," he gave up. "You'll come find me when you're done, okay?" "Sure," Kym answered. "Que quiseria!" Derek rested his forehead against hers. "What does that mean?" "What ever you want," Kym answered.

What ever you want. The words echoed in his mind. The only problem was that Derek didn't know what he wanted. He wanted to have a relationship with Kym, yet he knew that with his Legacy work that might not be possible. You have to tell her how you feel, a little voice inside his head said. I know, I know. Derek conceded. I have to tell her my feelings. But what if she doesn't feel the same way?

Kym hummed a soft tune as the water rushed over her body. I have to do something about Derek, she thought. I have to tell him how I feel. No! She cried silently. I can't. I need a normal life, and that's the one thing that Derek can't give me. But you love him, a soft voice whispered. You know you do. Yes, Kym agreed. I love him and I have to tell him.

Ring! "Derek Rayne," Derek answered the phone. "Derek, its Ray. I've been trying to call you for a week. Where the hell have you two been?" The Dutchman was puzzled. "We've been right here, Ray. Kym said that she couldn't get in touch with you." Raymond sighed. "I was afraid of this." A loud crackle of static caused both men to pull the phones away from their ears. "Afraid of what?" Derek shouted to be heard. "Derek, the document was my father's!" Ray shouted back. "I got it from him." And then the line went dead. Derek looked at the phone with a puzzled look on his face. The scroll was Bruce's? Why hadn't he mentioned it? Kym walked up behind him. "Hi, honey. Who was on the phone?" Derek remained thoughtful. "Your brother." Kym smiled. "My brother? You finally found him? That's great. What did he say?" "Hey said that he got the journal from your father," Derek answered. Now Kym was puzzled. "My father's? Why would my father give it to Ray rather than just giving it to us directly?" "I wish I knew," Derek said.

("I will give everything, I will fight, I will bleed. I will lay down my life, if that's what you need."*)

"Should I call my father?" Kym asked. "That would probably be a good idea," Derek said. "But let us finish translating it first." Kym nodded. "Yes that would probably be best. How's it coming?" "Very well," he said . "We should be done with it by the end of the week." Now he smiled, rather impishly, Kym thought and said. "How was your shower?" Kym gave him a grin of her own. "Very refreshing." Derek laughed and placed his hand against her cheek. Kym closed her eyes as his lips met hers. I could get used to this, she thought as they kissed. I could get very used to this.

"Kym?" "Hmm?" came the reply. She was busy trying to type up a report for one of her classes. Tell her, his heart urged. But Derek balked at the last second. "What's your major?" "Psychology/parapsychology. I figure if I'm stuck in the Legacy, I might as well do something good for it," she answered. "Hmm, yes," Derek said. He paused trying to think of something to say. Turns out he didn't need to worry. "Derek?" Kym said. "What should I say to my father? When I call him, I mean." Derek considered. "Ask him about the journal. But be up front, don't just hint." She nodded. "Okay." Silence. "Kym, were you a happy child?" Derek asked finally to fill the silence. His question surprised her. "Yes, I suppose so." He raised an eyebrow. "You never resented the Legacy?" She laughed. "I've always resented the Legacy! From the day I was old enough to know what it was, I resented it." A pause. "And now here I am, in the thing I despise most." Derek was hurt. Did she mean him? Kym seemed to pick up on his last thought. "Oh, not you Derek! In fact, if I had to be forced to marry someone, I'm glad they made me marry you." It was rather off kilter for a compliment, but Derek felt flattered anyway. "I feel the same way about you," he said. "Do you ever think about the fact that our father's basically traded us?" Kym inquired. Derek smiled. "I remember when you were a child, my father used to say ‘someday you're going to marry Kym'. I thought he was kidding, why would I marry a baby?" That made them both laugh. "I guess we both grew up," Kym said. "I guess," Derek agreed. "And for the better." "Yeah," Kym said softly. Now would be the perfect time to tell him how you feel. "Derek, I-" "Kym, I-" They both stopped speaking. "You first," Derek said awkwardly. "Derek, I" Kym paused. I can't do it, she thought. "I'm starving," she finished. He smiled sadly. "All right then. Come along madam." "Thank you sir," Kym's smile was just as sad as her husband's was.

("Should have made my move when you looked in my eyes. Cause by now I'd know you feel the way that I do, and I'd whisper these words as you'd lie here by my side. I love you, please say that you love me too. These three words, they could change our lives forever."*)

Jonathan Boyle was glad that Derek and Kym had finally come to their senses. It's about damn time, he thought as he translated the document from Kym's father. There was something about it that disturbed Jonathan. He wasn't psychic like Derek or Kym, but he just had a gut feeling about this thing. So far all it seemed to talk about was "an eye for an eye". I wish Kym would call her father and find out where he got this, Jonathan thought sourly. But Kym seemed to have more important things on her mind, especially a certain person by the name of Dr. Derek Rayne. Jonathan finished the translation, and for a moment he could only sit, stunned. Finally, Jonathan got up, grabbed the journal, and raced out of the lab to find Derek.

Derek was sitting in the library, reading and just enjoying his free time. Suddenly, Jonathan came running in. "Derek!" he cried. His Dutch friend looked up. "Hello, Jonathan. Made any progress?" Jonathan set the book down. "Yes, the whole thing. Derek, you'd better call Mr. Gardner right away." Derek felt fear swell in his chest. "What's wrong?" he asked. Jonathan took a deep breath. "Derek, according to this document, a curse has been place on the enemy of the writer. And he will reappear forty years from the last date in the journal. And, Derek, that is one week from today." Time stopped. Derek stopped breathing. When he started again, he tried to remain calm. "All right, I'll call Bruce. Not one word of this to Kym until we know what we're dealing with. Okay?" Jonathan nodded. "All right." But deep down inside he wondered if Derek was doing the right thing.

Going to bed that night was awkward for both Kym and Derek. Kym wasn't sure of what Derek would do, and Derek wasn't sure of what Kym would do. In the end, they kissed good night in the hallway and went to their separate rooms. That was weird, Kym thought. I had hoped that that scene could have been avoided. She closed her eyes and sleep over took her. Derek lay his head down. I should have asked her to stay, he thought. Kym should be here beside me. He sighed and closed his eyes. Derek awoke three hours later, to the sound of screams. It took him a moment to realize that Kym was the one screaming. When he did, however, he wasted no time running into her room. Kym Gardner was trapped in a nightmare that she couldn't get free of. Derek grabbed her and shook her. "Kym, Kym it's me!" he said. "It's Derek." Still in her dream state and not realizing who he was, Kym began to fight him. He just kept repeating, "It's Derek, it's Derek" over and over. Kym cried out as she awoke. She knew where, she was she was safe. Seeing Derek sitting beside her, Kym smiled weakly. "Did I scream?" He nodded. "Yes, you did. Nightmare?" Kym shivered. "Yes." Derek hugged her. "The same one, about Bernardo?" "Yes," she whispered, clinging to him. "Are you all right?" Derek asked. "I think so," her voice was shaking. He stood as if to leave. "No, wait, don't go," Kym grabbed his hand. "Please Derek, I'm scared, will you stay with me?" Derek was surprised, but he nodded. "Of course." He walked to the other side of the bed and climbed in beside her. Kym lay back down, and rolled over so she was facing him. "I won't leave," he promised. She smiled. "Thanks." And then her eyes closed and she was asleep. Derek remained awake and gently stroked her hair. Oh, Kym, he thought. I hope nothing ever hurts you again.

Kym awoke the next morning to find that they had rolled over in the night. Now, she and Derek were sleeping spoon style and his face was buried in her hair. I hope he doesn't choke, she thought with a smile. Derek stirred in his sleep. He was coming awake slowly. Where am I? He thought groggily. As he became more conscious he remembered last nights events. Derek opened his eyes and was face to face with Kym's hair. He inhaled deeply. Roses, Derek thought. Her hair smells like roses. "Good morning," he whispered. "Good morning," she whispered back. Derek was surprised, he didn't think she was awake. "How are you?" Kym snuggled against him. "Fine, how are you?" "Wonderful," he pressed his cheek against her hair. "Mmm, we should get up," Kym said. "It's already," she checked her clock. "5:30…I guess we don't have to get up." "No," Derek agreed. "We don't have to." Kym craned her neck and looked up at him. Derek kissed her. It lasted for only a second, when Kym smiled at him. "Wait," she said. He closed his eyes briefly. "What?" Kym slipped from the bed. "I have to brush my teeth." He was amazed. "You what?' "Have to brush my teeth," she flashed him a smile. Derek flopped back down, then thinking the better of it he got up and brushed his own teeth. He got back before Kym did and lay down again. I'm still so tired, Derek thought, closing his eyes. He felt Kym slide into bed beside him. "Hi," he said, opening his eyes. "Hi," she replied with that gentle smile of hers. This time it was she who kissed him. Derek thoroughly enjoyed it. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. I love you, he thought.

Calling Bruce Gardner was on Derek's top ten list of things he didn't want to do. What on Earth will I say to the man? He wondered. Excuse me, but this thing is going to kill someone and we'd like to know whom? "Gardner." The moment of truth had arrived. Derek took a deep breath. "Bruce, this is Derek." "Well, hello, son. How are you?" "Fine," Derek replied. "We translated that journal." "Oh the one that Raymond gave you?" Derek kept his voice even. "The one that you gave him." Bruce paused. "Oh, I see. Well, Derek, what does it say?" Derek told him exactly what it said. "So in less than one week this demonic force will wreak havoc on the enemy's descendants. Who is the journal speaking of?" "God, no," Bruce whispered. "Derek, your father is the enemy being spoken of. It's coming for you." Derek gulped. "Why is my father the enemy?" "Your father killed the writer, Charles, when you were younger. Charles had crossed to the dark side," Bruce said. "And now Charles is coming for revenge on me," Derek finished up. "Yes, son, I'm afraid so." Derek hung up the phone in shock. My God, he thought. What am I going to do?

Kym sat very still, unable to speak. "It's coming for you?" she whispered. Derek nodded. "Yes, honey, I'm afraid so." Kym reached out and held him. Derek wrapped his arms around her. "We aren't going to let it," she whispered. "I won't let it." Jonathan entered the room. "What's wrong?" Derek calmly told him what was going on. Jonathan swallowed hard. "So what are we going to do?" he asked. Derek smiled weakly. "I don't know. Did the journal mention anything?" Jonathan jumped up. "I'll check right away." He patted Kym on the back on the way out. "It'll be all right sweetie." Kym tried to look brave. "Thanks Jonathan." Derek turned back to his wife and smiled. "It will be all right." She stood up. "Sure, it will." Derek stood, too, and placed his hand on her arm. "I promise you." Kym raised an eyebrow. "You can promise me that?" He nodded firmly. "Yes, I can promise you that." "All right then. Let's figure out a way to stop this thing."

Kym rubbed her eyes, as she looked over yet another text in the hopes of finding the answer. So far, she was having no luck. If these texts were correct, it was Winston who had to stop this thing and she and Derek had no control over it. There has to be a way! Kym thought. I will not give up! "Hi," a voice behind her said. Kym jumped and turned around. Her friend Isabel Marquez stood there. "Isa!" Kym cried happily, rushing up to hug her friend. "How are you?" "I'm all right," Isabel replied, hugging Kym back. "I hope you don't mind me coming up. Derek let me in." "Not at all," Kym said. She was overjoyed to see her friend. "I haven't seen you since I got married." "I know," Isabel said softly. "I'm sorry about that, but I couldn't get away from New York." Kym waved her hand. "Oh that's all right." She gestured to her surroundings with a smile. "So what do you think?" Isabel laughed. "Quite a life I'll admit that. Derek seems like a nice man." "He is," Kym agreed. Isabel grinned slyly. "And rather handsome as well." Kym felt her face flush bright red. "I hadn't noticed," she murmured. "Whatever," her friend replied. "I did not fly all the way to California to discuss your sex life. Not yet anyway." "Not yet…" Kym's voice drifted off. "So what are you here to discuss?" "I'm not sure," Isa said. "I just felt like I had to see you." Kym had always suspected that Isabel had a touch of the sight. "Well, here I am. So what should we talk about?" Isabel considered. "On second thought, let's talk about your love life!"

Despite Kym and Derek's assurances that they had plenty of room, Isabel decided that she had best stay at a hotel that night. "I just have a bad feeling in this place," she had said to Kym when her friend had questioned her on the matter. "It's just not right."

Kym told Derek what Isabel had said later that night. "Maybe she can feel a presence," he suggested. "I'd put money on it," Kym said. She was sitting on his bed in her pjs. Derek sat down and looked at her expectantly. "What?" she asked, catching his look. "Aren't you going to go to your room?" he asked. "Nope," Kym replied. "I'm sorry Derek, but if we have less than a week together I'm going to spend as much time with you as possible. Do you realize how little I know about you?" "You know a lot about me," he argued. Kym shook her head. "I don't know the little things. Like, what's your favorite colour?" Derek realized that he didn't know the "little things" about her either. So they proceeded to talk until two in the morning, just getting to know each other better. And it was one of the nicest evenings that they had spent together.

The next morning, all was quiet in the Legacy house when Derek awoke. Kym was still sound asleep next to him, or at least she was for a moment. It seemed that Kym could sense when he woke up and she came awake a moment later. "Good morning," she said. "Good morning," Derek replied. "How are you?" Kym smiled and tried to look brave. "I'm all right. How are you?" Derek gave her a hug. "I'm fine and I will continue to be fine." "I hope so," Kym replied. "I'm growing rather attached to you." Derek was surprised. What is she saying? He wondered. "I've grown attached to you too." They both sat in silence, trying to decide what to say next. As Kym looked into Derek's eyes she felt as though she might cry. I don't want to lose him, she thought. "Derek, I…" Kym began. Derek looked at her expectantly. "You, what?" "I love you." Derek's vision blurred. Colors ran together, the world spun around. "What?" "I love you," Kym repeated. It felt good to finally say it. "I love you too," Derek said. Kym was surprised to say the least. "You do?" He smiled at her. "Yes, I do." Impulsively, Kym pulled his face down to meet hers and kissed him. Derek kissed her back. She loves me! He thought joyously. She loves me!

"So then he said he loves me too," Kym told Isabel. Isabel smiled and took a sip of her coffee. "That's wonderful. So I take it you two are happy?" Kym looked thoughtful. "Yeah, I guess so. Isa, I'm so scared of losing him!" "Why?" Isabel asked. Kym sighed. "I just have a horrible feeling that we can't be happy." "Of course you can!" Isabel exclaimed. "Don't worry, Kym. Didn't your mother ever tell you that love conquers all?"

Love conquers all. Isabel is right. Kym thought. Derek and I can beat this thing if we stick together. "Hi, Derek," Kym called as she entered the castle. "Where are you?" Duncan appeared. "Dr. Rayne is in his office, madam," he said. Kym smiled. "Thank you Duncan," she said. Kym quickly went up to Derek's office and stepped inside. "Hi." Derek looked up and a grin spread across his face when he saw her. "Hello." Kym suddenly felt shy. "How are you doing?" "I'm fine, stop worrying." She smiled weakly. "I can't." Derek stood up. "I think I found a way to beat this thing."

("Sometimes I am frightened, but I'm ready to learn for the power of love."*)

"Really?" Kym tried not to get her hopes up. Derek nodded. "Yes, come over here." She stepped over to him. He was pointing out something in the journal. "Perhaps if I can convince this evil that I am my father I can beat it." Kym sighed. "Derek, how can you do that? You don't really look like him." "Doesn't matter." She tried a different approach. "Derek, I love you, but you aren't much of an actor." (So I'm not stepping on any toes here that is a joke.) "I'm sure I can act like my father," his tone said that he was certain. "You're serious about this, aren't you?" Kym asked. "You are actually going to do this?" "I am actually going to do this," he agreed. "Then may God have mercy on us both."

"That's insane!" Jonathan announced. "It's official. I'm sorry Kym, but your husband has lost his mind.' "That's exactly what I said when he told me," Kym agreed. Derek rolled his eyes. "Will you two stop? Everything will be fine!" His friends turned to look at him. "Derek, I have a very bad feeling about this," Kym said. "So do I," Jonathan chimed in. "It will be all right," Derek assured them. "I would not lie to you." "Okay, honey," Kym could see that their disbelief was getting on his nerves. "What do you want us to do?" "Stay out of the way," Derek said promptly. "This is my battle." Jonathan stepped over to Kym. "Try to talk him out of this," he whispered before he left the room. "Derek," said Kym. "I most certainly will not stay out of the way." Derek felt his patience thin. "Kym, when you married me you promised to love, honor and obey. Now is the time to obey me!" Now it was Kym who felt anger flare inside her. "Don't you ever talk to me that way again, Derek Rayne! I will not obey you on this! When we got married I couldn't stand you!" Oh God, Kym thought. She instantly regretted that last remark. Hurt flashed through Derek's eyes. "Is that true?" he asked. "No!" Kym cried. "Oh, Derek, I'm sorry! I didn't mean it, I was just angry." He nodded, still stinging from her comment. "All right." Kym walked over to Derek and wrapped her arms around him. "I'm sorry." He hugged her back. "You're forgiven." "You're loved," she whispered. "As are you," he replied. "But, my dear, you must trust me." "I will try," Kym said. "Kiss me for luck." He kissed her. "I feel luckier already." Kym smiled sadly. "I don't." Derek kissed her again. "Now?"' "A little. Just be careful." He smiled. "I will. Promise." Now they could do nothing but wait.

("Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising arts? Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?"*)

The clock struck midnight and Derek awoke with a start. I must have dozed off, he thought groggily. As his eyes focused he noticed a man standing in front of him. "Who are you?" he asked the man carefully. "Are you Winston Rayne?" the man asked in reply. "Yes," Derek said. "But who are you?" "Name's Charles." "Hello, Charles," Derek said calmly. "What can I do for you?" Charles' eyes flashed dangerously. "You betrayed me, Mr. Rayne. I will not let you get away from it." Derek stood up. "And what are you going to do about it?" A knife flashed. "You must die!" he lunged at Derek. "No!" Kym cried. She threw herself at Charles. "Kym don't!" Derek shouted. It was too late. Charles flew forward and Derek leapt from his path. Kym's sudden attack surprised Charles, but didn't throw him off course. He merely threw Kym into the wall and continued toward Derek. Kym shook her head to clear it. She was a little stunned from being tossed but didn't let that stop her. Kym jumped to her feet and screamed. "Stay away from him!" "Winston," Charles growled, paying Kym no heed. "Charles, I'm sorry for the pain I've caused you," Derek said. "Can't you find it in your heart to forgive me?" The ghost seemed to stop and consider. "You killed me! An eye for an eye, the Bible says." The anthropologist did his best to remain calm. He glanced at Kym, who was awaiting any sign that he needed her help. "The bible also teaches that you should turn the other cheek." Charles appeared ready to argue the matter. "You killed me! That is an unpardonable sin!" "Yes," Derek agreed, speaking as Winston. "But why do you want to kill my son?" "Your son?" Charles said. "It is Winston Rayne that I am out to kill." Oh no! Kym thought. He doesn't want to kill Derek he wants to kill Winston! And now Derek has convinced Charles that he's Winston. Derek looked at Kym. She looked as though she was about to start crying. "No!" She cried. Charles turned to her. "And just who are you?" "I'm Derek's wife, Kym," she said, stepping forward. He sneered. "Who is Derek?" Kym gestured. "He is. That's not Winston Rayne, that's Derek Rayne." Charles sneered. "I should have guessed. The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son." Kym tried another approach. "Charles are you a religious man?" She glanced at Derek who was advancing toward them and shook her head. "Aye," he replied. "I'm a God fearing man." Kym used that to her advantage. "Well, then you will remember that the Bible says, "vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Charles glared at her. "What is your point?" "Well," Kym said. "I am saying that you shouldn't take revenge into your hands. If Winston Rayne actually did kill you, then he is paying for his sins." "Winston is dead?" Charles inquired. "Yes," Derek said. "He died when I was still a child." "I thought that you were Winston…" the ghost seemed confused. "No, " Derek said. "I am his son, Derek." "Derek," Charles remained thoughtful. "And you are his wife?" Kym nodded. "Yes." Charles closed his eyes. "Lord forgive me. Vengeance is yours, not mine. Please see that Winston Rayne gets what he deserves." He turned to Derek. "Derek Rayne, I hope that your father rots in hell. See that you don't end up leading a life like his." He spat in Derek's face and vanished. Kym stepped over to Derek. She handed him a Kleenex. "What does that feel like?" Derek wiped his face. "Interesting to say the least. When did you become such a philosopher?" Kym shrugged. "When I realized that you were about to be murdered for your father's sins." Derek smiled. "I guess my plan wasn't as smart as I thought." "It was a good plan…until he decided that Winston was his ultimate goal." Derek gently put an arm around her. "Yes, I agree." "Perhaps you will bow down to my expertise occasionally," Kym suggested a teasing tone in her voice. "Don't count on it," Derek answered, his eyes twinkling. "Well," Kym said. "Then can you promise me one thing?" "Anything," Derek said promptly. "Please, please, try not to get yourself killed. I've grown rather attached you," Kym grinned. "Only if you promise if you do the same," Derek smiled. "I've grown rather attached to you as well." "Then we have an agreement. Let's keep it. Till death do us part." "Till death do us part," Derek whispered as he kissed her.


NOTE FROM SELENA: "A Single Twist of Fate" was one of the hardest pieces I've ever written. I had to write this the way I wanted it written, while still trying to make sure it would make others happy. (That is, after all, the ultimate goal.)However, I couldn't have done it alone, and I want to give some thanks to those who helped me. To Connor: Thanks for the encouragement. Hey, ask your "double bakers dozen" to let me know what they think! To Carla: Your compliments gave me the confidence I needed to finish this-thank you! To Deb: Ahh, mi amiga. Thank you so much for your constant pep talks. I'm trying not to let it get to me! To Nancy: My fellow writer, thank you for your ideas, they completed this story. To my fellow Poltergirls: As promised.