Ciara walked into the kitchen and saw Ben busy cooking. "Wow, I haven't seen you do this much cooking since we were in the cabin." Ben smiled at that memory. Ben walked over and gave Ciara a kiss on the cheek. Ciara looked around, "This is so nice." Ben smiled, "Only the best for my baby." Ciara blushed slightly.

Ben took Ciara over to one of chairs in the living room, "I have a couple surprises for you." Ben pulled out a bag and Ciara took it nervously, "Okay…?" Ciara rustled through the bag. "Candles, nice." Ben smiled and starting kissing Ciara's neck through her hair, "I know that both Tripp and Claire are working tonight and it's been a while since we've had 'alone time'. wiggling his eyebrows when he said alone time.

Ciara giggled and dug deeper into the bag and pulled out a hockey goalie mask. Ciara looked at Ben in confusion, "Uh…" Ciara laughed nervously, "Something you wanna tell me?" Ben chuckled, "I thought I could give you a foot massage, but wanted to keep all of my teeth so…" Ben tapped the mask twice, "Protection." Ciara giggled, "You are too much, you know that?" Ben gave Ciara a kiss on the lips, "I'm gonna go finish."

Ciara got up and headed toward the bedroom. "I'm gonna go put on something more… fancy." Ciara walked into the bedroom.

A few minutes later, Ben yelled out, "Ciara, I'm going back to the store. I forgot carrots." Ciara yelled back, "Don't forget your ketchup." Ben laughed, "Funny. I'll be back in a few." Ciara laughed to herself over her joke. Ciara always thought back to their time in the cabin together fondly. They had so much they could joke about and no one else truly understood what they were talking about.

Ciara heard the door shut and walked out. "Ben, you back already?" Ciara walked out into the kitchen finding Ben's father, Clyde standing there with a gun. Ciara screamed and Clyde turned the gun and pointed it right at Ciara. "Now, no more of that screaming."

Ciara shakily said, "You're Clyde." Without missing a beat, Clyde responded, "And you're Ciara Brady. We have a LOT to discuss."


Ciara's eyes darted around the loft trying to figure out her next move. Clyde noticed this and took a step further toward her. "Don't try anything, sweetheart."

Ciara closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath, "Wha-what do you want from me?"

An evil smirk slid across Clyde's face, "You're a bright girl. You should know that. I want to talk to you about Ben." Ciara sighed, "What could I possibly have to say to the psychopath that is his father?"

Clyde clicked his tongue, "You should watch that mouth little girl, it could get you into trouble one day."

Ciara sighed, silently praying that Ben would be back any minute. "You-you know that Ben is gonna be back any minute now." Clyde cocked his head to the side, "Then we better make this fast." Ciara let out a shaky breath as Clyde stepped even closer to her.

Clyde slid the hand that wasn't holding a gun to Ciara's face, "My son turned his back on me, because you, you STUPID BITCH. And now I'm gonna make you pay." Tears started to fill Ciara's eyes. Ciara was about to retort when Ben walked through the door, "Ci, I'm back."

Clyde pulled Ciara to him, holding her in front of him like a shield. All of the color drained from Ben's face when he saw his father, standing behind Ciara. Clyde said, "Funny, so am I."

Ciara cried out, "Ben…" Tears started streaming down Ciara's face. Ben dropped what he was holding and starting taking steps toward Ciara, but Clyde dug his gun deeper into Ciara's shoulder, "One step closer and she takes a bullet. "Dad, please." Clyde laughed, "You've got it this bad, son? That you're letting this little BITCH take advantage as you!"

Ben tried to fight the tears that pooled in his eyes, "Ciara, she-she didn't do anything. This is between you and me. Please, ju-just let her go." Clyde shook his head, "That's where you're wrong, son. She has EVERYTHING to do with this."

Clyde pushed Ciara away and now she was facing him head-on. "Now, as I said, my son turned his back on me and that's a betrayal. And I don't deal with betrayal well. So, I know the best way to get even."

Ciara took a deep breath, "Clyde, you-you don't want to do this." Clyde chuckled sinisterly, "Oh, I don't do I? Watch me."

Clyde fired two shots. Both hit Ciara. One in the stomach and one right next to her heart. Ciara collapsed to the floor and Ben caught her, "CIARA! Hey, it's okay. It's okay. It's gonna be okay." Ben put Ciara's head over his knee, supporting her. Clyde bolted out of the apartment.

Ben pulled out his phone and called 911. "I need an ambulance. It's bad there's a lot of blood." Ben presses one hand to each of Ciara's injuries. Ciara screamed out in pain as soon as Ben applied pressure.

Ben couldn't stop the tears from falling, "Ci… stay with me." Ciara tried to reach a hand up to Ben's face, "i-it's okay. It's okay." Ciara's hand fell and her eyes began to close. "Ciara! Ciara! Please! Stay with me. I need you. I love you." That was the first time that Ben had said those words out loud. He knew he felt them for a while but never had the nerve to actually say the words, now he may never. Ben just rocked Ciara calling her name over and over again.


Ben sat in the hospital waiting room for what felt like hours. It felt like hours since Ciara had been ripped from his arms by the paramedics. Ben didn't want to let her go, but knew she had to. Ciara's last words to Ben were "it's okay." Those words played like a loop in Ben's mind. The glassed-over look that her eyes had. He feared the worst. He was covered in Ciara's blood, but he didn't care. It may be the only piece of her that he had left and he was gonna be damned if he was gonna wash that off.

Kayla walked out shortly after and walked right up to Ben. Ben stood up, "Is she okay? Please tell me she's gonna be okay!" Softly

Kayla replied, "She made it through the surgery, but I don't know." Ben looked at Kayla confused and she continued, "Ciara lost a LOT of blood. The bullet did a lot of damage. One centimeter closer to her heart and it would have killed her instantly."

Ben looked at Kayla, "But…?" Kaya sighed, "We were able to remove the bullets and repair most of the damage, but during surgery, we almost lost her. Twice. So, she is by no means out of the woods yet. The next 24-48 hours are critical. They will tell us a lot."

Ben closed his eyes, "Can I be with her?" Kayla began to shake her head, but Ben interrupted, "Please. I-I just want to be there when she opens her eyes. Please." After a moment of contemplation, Kayla agreed and told Ben what room Ciara was in.


Ben walked into the room that Ciara was in and his heart broke. All of the machines that were basically keeping Ciara alive. That's what broke him. His vibrant and badass full of life girlfriend being kept alive by machines.

Ben walked up to Ciara and took a seat by her hand. He put her light, pale hand in his. "Ci… I don't know if it's true that people can hear when someone's unconscious, but I hope you can. Hear this: I love you. I love you, Ciara Alice Brady. I have never loved someone as much as I love you and…" Tears that Ben had been fighting began to fall, "I can't imagine my life without you in it. From the time that I found you on the side of the road, you changed my life in inexplicable ways. I need you to hear this, how much I love you. I just want to see your eyes look up at mine one last time, please. Rockstar."

Ben's voice changed to pleading, "Please…" Ben could no longer fight the sobs that threaten to come out.

Ben put his head down on Ciara's hands and just sobbed. Sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.


Ben had somehow managed to fall asleep in that position.

Kayla walked into the room to check on Ciara and tapped Ben lightly to wake him up. Ben's head perked up, "Ciara!" Kayla put a supportive hand on Ben's shoulder, "Sorry, you fell asleep. Maybe you should go home and get some rest." Ben shook his head, "No, I'm not leaving Ciara."

Kayla sucked her teeth and sighed, "Fine. If you insist, at least go in that chair. It's much more comfortable." Ben looked to where Kayla was pointing and saw a chair with cushions instead of an exam stool. Ben dejectively walked over to the chair. How could he sleep in a comfortable anything while Ciara laid in a hospital bed unconscious?


Ben woke up and saw what he could swear looked like Ciara stirring. Ben ran over to her and ran a hand through her hair, "Ciara?" Ciara opened her eyes and smidge and when she saw Ben they widened. "Oh my god."

A grin spread across Ben's face, "Hey, it's okay. You're okay." Ciara's eyes stayed widened, "Ge-get away from me!" Ben's face dropped, "Ci…"

Ciara tried to get up, "H-how did you get in here?" Ben moved closer to Ciara, but she tried to sink deeper into the bed, "I've been here all night. I wouldn't leave you."

Ciara's next words cut Ben, "You're a psychopath. Get away from me." Ben tried to grab Ciara's hand, "Ciara… you don't remember?"

Ciara groaned out, "I know that you're a psychopath. You escaped the mental institution, didn't you?"

Ben sighed trying to get through to Ciara, "Ciara… you're my Ci-Ci bear." Ciara laughed bitterly, "Yeah, what? I'm your next target? Like you didn't do enough to Abigail? Didn't torture this town enough?!" Ben took a step back, "Ciara, please remember. You and me…"

Ciara started grabbing for her call button. Ben swallowed hard and grabbed it, "Ciara, please think. Try to remember you and me. The cabin. All of the time we spent together."

Ciara scoffed, "Please, like I would go anywhere with you. You're as psychotic as Stefano DiMera! He's probably the one who broke you out didn't he? To TORTURE my family. Ow."

Ciara yelled out, "Help! Help! Help me!" Kayla came rushing in, "Hey, Ciara. I'm glad you're okay. You need to calm down."

Ciara shook her head, "No, what I need is for this psychopath to get AWAY from me!" Kayla looked at Ben sympathetically, "Ben.. maybe you should give Ciara some space."

Ciara looked at her aunt in confusion, "Why are you talking to Ben like he's a person?! He's the DEVIL!" Ben opened his mouth to respond, but couldn't think of anything. His heart was broken. He walked out the door and as soon as the door was closed, he let the tears fall.

Ben heard a familiar voice, "Ben?" He was so glad to see his sister standing there. Ben wrapped his sister in a tight hug. "I heard about Ciara. Is she okay?' Ben shook his head, "She doesn't remember me." Jordan sighed sadly, "Ben…"

Ben ran hand through his hair, "She sees me a dangerous psychopath and said she would never be anywhere with me." Jordan put a hand on Ben's shoulder, "Oh, Ben…" Ben shook his head, "Wha-what am I gonna do if she can't remember me. Remember what we ARE." Ben sighed, "Were."

Ben slid down against the door. Jordan sat next to him. "She saw good in me when nobody else did. I have never loved anyone like I love her. After everything I did to people in this town, I didn't think that anyone would ever look at me with anything besides fear and disgust. But even when everyone told her different, she never waivered. Her faith in me never did. Wha-what am I gonna do without her?" Jordan wrapped an arm around Ben, "Ben… deep down, she knows. She knows who you are. The memory will come back."

Ben shook his head, "No, you didn't see the look in her eyes. She was TERRIFIED of me. Wha-what am I gonna do if she doesn't remember?"


TBC