Lawrence couldn't believe that his own aunt had buried the woman he loved alive. How he had grieved for her. How their son had suffered, thinking his mother was dead. For days he had walked around in a cluttered fog, choking on the memories - the good ones and the bad., wishing he had been a better man and he hadn't broken her heart. If it weren't for their son, Nicholas, he would not have made it through those dark days, thinking his sweet Katerina was dead.
But then his aunt had announced her terrible deed. When she admitted what she had done, Lawrence had gone to the cemetery and he dug up his beloved with his bare hands until the flesh of his fingers tore and bled. Then Ivan showed up with a shovel to help. Together they wrenched Carly from her grave as she was gasping her last breaths. She had run out of air. She had nearly died, but Lawrence breathed his breath back into her lungs. "Don't die on me, my love," he sobbed as tears fell from his eyes. "Please, Katerina. Please, be alive. I love you."
In that moment she took a deep, gasping breath. She was ALIVE. He had got there just in time. He had saved her, but she would never be the same. She wasn't the same Katerina that Vivian had buried in the ground. She was different and he'd find that out once he got her home... once he got her back to safety.
He begged Dr. Wu, the man who had given her the herbs under Vivian's instruction to make her seem dead to give hers something, anything, so she'd be alright again. So she would be the Carly he knew and loved. But she wasn't Carly anymore.
When she woke up, when they were all alone, she didn't remember her time as Carly Manning. She had gone back to the start - the very beginning when she had called herself Katerina Von Leuschner and he had been known as James Armand - before she knew of his true identity. He was horrified when she woke up, calling him James and having no memory of their son and all those years they had lived apart. She had lost nearly a decade of time.
Her mind was fragile after all she had been through and as he nursed her back to health, he pondered on what he should do. Should he reveal his identity? Should he tell her he was Lawrence Alamain and that they had a son? What would she say or do if he told her that she was engaged to Bo and that she had left the man she called James long ago?
In many ways, it was his dream come true to have his Katerina back and for her to love him again, but he ached inside, knowing that he couldn't keep the truth from her yet again. He had to tell her everything and beg her forgiveness. But for just a moment, that one sweet moment in time, he would let her love him and bask in the tremendous joy they once had.
But she was very astute and it didn't take her long to realize something was amiss. She began to question everything and he had no choice but to tell her the truth.
"James, what is wrong? You're scaring me. What has happened?" she asked in confusion.
"There is something...something I have to tell you."
"What is it? And who was that little boy I heard talking outside in the hall?"
"Katerina, I want to tell you everything...but I fear it is too soon."
"Too soon for what? Please James, what is going on? Where are we? We were at the bistro... and now we are here at this place. I don't recognize anything. All I recognize is you."
"I love you. So much. You know that I love you, right?"
"Yes, you love me with all your heart and soul. And I love you, too," she said with that beautiful smile that wrenched apart his heart.
"Katerina, this isn't easy. You see, I haven't been entirely honest with you. My name isn't James...at least not entirely. James is my middle name," he spoke with pain in his eyes. "I just told you my name was James Armand to cover up the truth, so I wouldn't lose you. My real name is Lawrence Alamain."
"Lawrence Alamain?" she said with a little gasp, her eyes widening. "The man my parents were forcing me to marry?"
"Yes, he and I are one and the same. And I am so sorry I lied. Please forgive me. I didn't mean to hurt you... I only wanted to love you," he pleaded.
"You lied to me," she said softly as it all sunk in.
"Yes, I did... and I am sorry. You don't know how regretful I am. Please believe me, Katerina. Please forgive me."
There was only a moment of hesitation, then the smile came back into her eyes. "I forgive you," she said in a whisper.
Then to his shock and surprise, she pulled him down for a long passionate kiss. Her sweetness took his breath away. "Katerina," he said as he pulled away and stared into the blue jewels of her eyes. "You really forgive me."
"Yes. But who was that little boy? You haven't told me everything."
"That's right. I haven't. You see, you've had a bit of an accident."
"What kind of an accident?" she asked as she was caressing his chest, her soft touch distracting him from the task at hand.
How could he tell her that his demented aunt had buried her alive? He couldn't tell her THAT. It sounded too much like a science fiction movie. "Well, you... you weren't yourself..." he said as he stumbled over the words. "You've lost part of your memory."
"How much of my memory?" she asked, becoming suddenly upset. "Tell me, James... I mean Lawrence, what year is it?"
She looked stunned. "I lost that much time from my life. How? I am so confused."
"I know, Katerina... but I love you... and I am here to help you. Remember I love you."
"I remember," she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
He hugged her back, wondering how he could ever help her...and what would happen when she got her memory back. Would she hate him? Would she want to return to Bo?
He knew he couldn't bear it if he lost her. His heart couldn't take losing her again. He'd be devastated without his Katerina.
"Make love to me," she said longingly. "Make me forget everything in the world but us."
"I can't," he said sadly. "Not yet."
He was nearly swayed by her pleading eyes, but again he refused her. "It wouldn't be right. Not yet... not until..."
He didn't get the words out. Someone barged into the room.
"Nicky!" she said, as suddenly thousands upon millions of memories came flooding back to her in a rush. Her son! Her child! Her baby!
"Nicholas!" she cried out as she ran to her son and gathered him up in her arms.
"Mom, you're alive," the boy said tearfully. "I thought... I thought you were dead."
"I'm okay, Nicky, I love you, and I am never leaving you again," Carly promised.
Carly looked at Lawrence. He knew then that the sight of their child had restored her memory. Every bit of it. She was back in the present again.
"Katerina?" he said, searching her eyes.
"I remember everything. Everything," she said as she had to go sit down on the settee. The memories were bombarding her, making her feel weak and dizzy.
"Nicky, you need to leave now," Lawrence said to his son. "Your mother needs to rest."
"Mom?" said Nicholas in worry as he held his mother's hand.
"I am okay, Nicky. I promise. I just need to talk to your dad a little while. Go downstairs and ask Cooke to fix you some milk and cookies," Carly reassured the boy, squeezing his small hand.
A bit reluctantly, Nicholas obeyed his parents and left the room. After he was gone, the room was silent. All Lawrence could hear was the loud pounding of his heart as he waited for her words.
"Are you okay?" he finally questioned.
"Never been better," she replied as a small smile curled upon her lips.
"I am sorry... for everything."
"I know," she stated. "And you're still forgiven. I love you, Lawrence. I love YOU. And with you and our son; that's where I belong."
"But what about...?"
She shook her head. "It's time we made a new start. You and I and Nicholas. Let's go to Paris. Take me; will you?"
"Anything for you, Katerina," he said as he drew her up lovingly in his arms.
He couldn't believe his good fortune. He was the happiest man in the world. He had his Katerina back - this time for good.