Chapter 85

Emerging from the shadows, Candy stared at the door where Sarah and Howie had gone back inside.  “That bitch!  Ignore me, will she?  When I get finished with her, she’ll wish she’d never tangled with me,” she seethed.

Rho cringed.  She’d suspected Candy was a little ‘off’ but this just cinched it.  “Just leave them alone, Candy.  They love each other a great deal and we aren’t going to be able to break them up.”

“You are NOT backing out of this now,” hissed Candy.  “You’re in this to the end.”

“End?  This is the end, Candy.  Sarah and Howie aren’t going to be intimidated into anything.”

“This plan may not have worked but we aren’t giving up.”

“What are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to make them BOTH pay for hurting the ones I care about….my sister, Claudia, you!!”

Rho watched Candy as she crept to the doors nearest them and heard one of the babies crying.  “NO!  You aren’t going to mess with their children!”

“What better way to get at them?  All we need to do is get that stupid nanny away from them.  Too bad they didn’t bring Jesse.  I detest messing with infants.”

“I’m not going to help you kidnap one of their children.  It was bad enough you trying to blackmail Howie into leaving Sarah which by the way, they can press charges for what we did but kidnapping is far worse and I’m NOT going to be a part of it.”

Rho started to leave but was blocked by candy.  “You WILL help or I will make sure YOU take the blame for all this….including last night.”

“You’re certifiable,” said Rho with a slight tremble in her voice.  She really was afraid of Candy.

“You’re right about THAT,” said Sarah from the doorway.  She had heard the two talking on the balcony and was now ready to confront Candy.

“Well, well, well!  If it isn’t the Pop Princess herself,” sneered Candy spinning to face her.  “Howie really is good.  He’s got you so convinced that you’re his only true love that you can’t see the obvious….you can’t satisfy him, baby.  He had to get TWO women to do what you can’t.”

Candy was in Sarah’s face smiling smugly but Sarah wasn’t letting her get to her.  She knew the truth, she just wished Raoul was there to help.

“Say what you want, Candy…just leave,” said Sarah calmly. 

“And who’s going to make me?  You don’t have your bodyguard here to help you, sweetie, and Howie’s not going to make us leave.  You saw the pictures; he was enjoying everything we did for him.”

“You mean these pictures?” asked Sarah holding up the envelope.  “The ones you conveniently left for me?  Yeah, I’ve seen them and any person in their right mind can see that Howie is out of it…not even aware you’re there.  The only one getting any pleasure was you…oh, but wait, right mind is the key phrase, isn’t it?  Candy, I’ve had more than enough of you.  You’re going to leave this penthouse now and you aren’t going to ever come near me, my children, or my husband.”

“And how are you going to stop me?  I’m a fan of the Backstreet Boys and Howie is a part of that.”

“I will be contacting my attorney to get a restraining order.  Come near us again and you will be arrested.  Now, I’m going to ask you one more time to leave and if you choose not to go, I will skip calling hotel security and call the police.  When they get here, I will press charges for trespassing, sexual assault which I have proof of, and extortion…just TRY ME.”

“You are so funny!  You should really try stand-up comedy,” laughed Candy in a crazed, hysterical way that sent shivers down Rho’s back.  Then, like a switch had been flipped, she glared at Sarah.  “You’ve tangled with the wrong person this time.  I will destroy you so you’d BEST be watching yourself, precious.”

In a huff, Candy left and when she heard the door slam, Rho said, “Sarah, I’m really sorry about all this.  I promise, you won’t have any more trouble from me.”

“I would suggest staying away…FAR away from Candy.”

“I plan to!  I suspected she was crazy but….now I know she is.”  Rho started to leave but looked back to ask, “Is Howie okay?  He was really out of it last night…he thought Candy was you.”

“He’ll be okay but he has the flu.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here with him now.  I’ll go and leave you with your family.”

Sarah watched as Rho left the penthouse and then sat in a chair where she began to cry.  It was only one battle in a war that Candy was waging against her and for what...because she loved Howie and they had a good life together.

A gentle hand lifted her chin and wiped her tears before gathering her in his arms.  She welcomed his embrace as she wrapped her arms around his neck.  Stroking her hair, Howie simply held her.  He understood her tears, the frustration of having to deal with people like this.  He wanted to protect her from this kind of thing but it wasn’t always possible.  He was proud of her though…she’d handled the whole situation with dignity, not letting Candy get to her and as soon as she had calmed down, he’d make sure she knew that.

From the door, Isle said, “Lunch is here.”

“Thank you, Ilse,” answered Howie.  Then he pulled back and put his hands on the sides of Sarah’s face.  Smiling, he teased, “You got me all wet.”

Giving him a teary giggle, she said, “I told you, a wet Backstreet Boy is a good thing.  You shouldn’t be out here, ‘D’.  You should be in bed.”

“Not when my angel needs me.  I promise, as soon as I know you’re okay, I’ll go back to bed.”

“You probably should eat.  I ordered you some soup thinking I could just warm it up when you got up,” answered Sarah as she wiped her face.  “Do you feel like eating?”

“Sort of.  Come on,  let’s go eat.”  Howie helped her up and before going inside, he brushed her hair back and placed a kiss on her forehead.  “I’m extremely proud of you.”

Chapter 86            Index