The guard rushed into Cillay’s cell.
“Mrs. Benedict, can you come with me please?”, she asked Cillay.
The guard handcuffed and shackled Cillay and led her outside to a waiting van. The van pulled up to the hospital and Cillay was ushered inside. Ms. Drayton came up to her urgently.
“Cillay, there was a confrontation between Jim and Tony at the hotel this evening.”, Ms. Drayton told her.
A look of panic came into Cillay’s eyes. Seeing her expression, Mrs. Drayton quickly continued. “Jim is fine. He is at the police station giving his statement. Tony was critically injured. The doctor’s say that there is nothing that they can do to save him. He is asking to see you.”, she said.
Cillay pushed away the anger and the resentment that she felt toward Tony. She didn’t feel that anyone, not even Tony, should have to die alone.
“Alright, I’ll see him.”, she told Ms. Drayton.
Cillay sat beside Tony’s bed.
“Mrs. Benedict is here to see you.”, the doctor told him softly.
He seemed very weak, and Cillay could tell that he did not have much longer.
“I’ve left all of my estate to you Cillay, and my life insurance.”, he told her.
“No, Tony. I don’t want it!”, Cillay said to him.
“Cillay you were all I have. I know that I hurt you. I could see myself doing it, but I couldn’t stop myself. Please take the money. I owe it to you.”, he said.
He tried to continue talking, but his voice faded away. He managed to say at last, “I love you, Cillay.” Those were his final words. Cillay saw the light fade from his eyes.
Cillay stood up. A wave of emotions washed over her. She felt relief, anger, sorrow, joy. The emotions overwhelmed her. She began to cry and laugh hysterically.
The doctor rushed over to her. He called a nurse to bring a sedative and quickly injected Cillay.
When Cillay regained consciousness, Jim was seated in the chair beside her bed. He was asleep. She gazed at his face. She finally felt total freedom to love him fully. A part of her had always held back in the fear that Tony would take her away from him. She was filled with gratitude and joy that she had Jim in her life.
“Jim!”, she called softly.
Jim awoke with a start. “Cillay!”, he said anxiously. As concerned as he had been about Cillay, he was surprised that he had fallen asleep.
“I’m alright.”, she reassured him.
“The doctor told me that you had to be sedated when Tony died. Are you okay now?”, Jim asked her.
Cillay got off the bed and sat in Jim’s lap. “Yes, I’m okay now. Is it wrong to be glad that Tony is dead?”, Cillay asked.
“Sweetheart, after what Tony put you through, it is perfectly understandable. I’m glad that he is finally out of your life.”, he answered.
“What happened, Jim?”, Cillay asked him.
Jim gave her a brief version of what had happened between him and Tony. He didn’t think she needed to know all of the details.
“Did you know that your room was bugged?”, Cillay asked.
“No. They didn’t tell me that. If I had known, then I might have handled things differently. Although, I am not sorry that Tony is out of your life.”, he answered.
Cillay knew Jim would probably never tell her all of the details. She didn’t have the words to express her full gratitude for what he had done. She gently took his chin into her hand and softly kissed his lips. Then she looked into his eyes.
“Saying thank you doesn’t express the deep gratitude I feel for everything you have done for me.”, she told him. “I love you so much, Jim!”
“I love you too!”, Jim replied.
“Does this mean that I won’t have to go back to jail?”, she asked.
“Oh, Cillay, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. Of course the charges against you have been dropped. As soon as the doctor releases you, we can go home. I know that you’ve probably not noticed, but this is a beautiful island. If you would like to, we can stay a few days to relax before we return home.”, Jim told her.
“Yes. That sounds wonderful!”, Cillay said.
They booked another suite at the hotel in which Jim had stayed. After they entered the room, Cillay headed straight for the balcony to look at the view of the ocean. Jim joined her and wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“Isn’t it a beautiful view, Jim?”, she asked joyfully.
Now that Cillay was free and the threat of Tony had been removed, Jim could completely relax for the first time since Cillay had told him about Tony. He had not realized what a strain that worry over Tony harming Cillay had placed on him.
“It is really beautiful and peaceful.”, he agreed. They stood on the balcony for a good while.
“I’m going to relax in the bathtub.”, Cillay said. She headed into the room. Jim followed her inside.
Cillay filled the tub with warm water and bubble bath, and then entered the tub. She sighed in pleasure as the water covered her body and soothed away any lingering stress.
Jim came in the bathroom and sat on the floor by the bathtub.
“How is the water?”, he asked.
Cillay’s mind flashed back to the shower that she was forced to take at the jail. She shuddered as she remembered the experience.
“It’s wonderful!”, she told him.
“It does look very relaxing.”, Jim said.
“Come and join me!”, Cillay suggested.
Jim removed his clothing and joined Cillay in the tub. He rested his head against hers and held her in his arms. He enjoyed the feeling of her soft, bare skin against his.
Cillay could feel that Jim had become aroused and wanted her. “Something tells me that we won’t be getting much sleep tonight!”, she said.
“Are you tired?”, Jim asked.
“Not too tired!”, Cillay answered.
After they got out of the tub, they did not bother getting dressed. They went straight to the bed. Jim covered Cillay’s body with passionate kisses and caresses. The lack of stress made their lovemaking more enjoyable than ever before. Afterwards, Cillay fell asleep in Jim’s arms.
Cillay woke up and looked at Jim. The deep love for him that he saw in her eyes made Jim feel very humble and grateful.
“I love you, Cillay.”, Jim told her.
“I love you too!”, Cillay responded. “I’m starving, and I want to explore the island. Let’s get up!”, Cillay said excitedly and got up from the bed.
Jim laughed at her and got out of the bed. This was a new lighthearted Cillay!
They ate brunch outside at the local Bistro.
“Jim, I really don’t want to keep anything from Tony. I’ve been thinking about what to do with his money. Why don’t we donate it to the Center for Abused Women and Children. Then maybe no one else will have to experience what I went through with Tony!”, Cillay suggested.
Jim was glad that she did not want the money. “I think that is a great idea!”, he told her.
After brunch, they changed into their swimsuits and went to the beach. Jim really liked Cillay’s new bikini.
“That bikini looks really sexy on you!”, he told her.
“I’m glad you like it!”, Cillay responded.
As the sun set, they built a sandcastle together.
Then they stretched out on the beach and enjoyed the beautiful nighttime ocean view.
The next day they decided to fly back home to Mesa Valley to rejoin their children. They knew that whatever obstacle life threw in their path, they would face it together. Growing up and living in Mesa Valley had brought Jim great happiness and love.