54 - Reunited: Day Eighty-Two

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Simon groaned with annoyance as he disconnected the call he had been on and cursed irritably under his breath. Geri looked at him questioningly from the dining table she was sitting at. He turned and apologized, having forgotten she was in the room with him. Everyone else had gone to the pool to relax for a bit before their interview on the David Letterman show later that evening.

"It wasn't enough," Simon sighed, grabbing a bottle of rum from the cupboard and pouring himself a shot. "Melanie's testimony, they're saying she was guided into the answers and they're not accepting any of her involvement from that day towards the verdict."

"What do they want now?" Geri groaned. "Do they not understand how hard this is on her?"

"These men are up for the death penalty," Simon replied. "The court needs to to be absolutely sure they're condemning the right people."

They both sat in silence, internally cursing the judge and the men in custody for what they were putting Melanie through.

"We can't get her to say anything," Geri sighed regretfully. "Brian tried to get her talking last week and she shut down for two days. What if she never tells us?"

"Those wankers go free," Simon replied bitterly.

Geri looked at Simon curiously for a moment, obviously deep in thought. He pounded back the rum, making a face as he swallowed the hard liquor. Geri was too preoccupied with what she was mentally planning to notice as he poured himself another and looked at her expectantly.

"What about a hypnotist?" she asked finally. "We could try to get a full account out of her. Maybe we could pull it out of her subconsciously?"

"Will she let us put her under though?" Simon asked, lifting his drink to his lips and tossing it back like he did the other.

"We could tell her a little white lie," Geri replied. "Make it appealing to her."

"There's no harm in trying," Simon agreed. "I'll get Camilla to arrange something for tomorrow."

They were interrupted by excited voices as Emma and Melanie burst into the suite in their bathing suits and towels. Emma excused herself to go to the toilet while Melanie raided the fridge for something to eat. Simon looked her over, relieved that her back was no longer black and blue. All of the marks and bruises were gone, leaving her skin flawless. She retrieved a container of leftover fruit salad and set it on the table. Now facing him, he could see her bare stomach, which was also fully healed. There were no signs of the cuts having ever been there, making Melanie much more comfortable with exposing her belly.

"Eat that whole thing," Simon pressed, nodding to the fruit salad.

Melanie grabbed a fork and stirred the contents around, thinking for a moment before looking up at Simon with a grin. "Half?" she bargained.

"Nope," Simon replied. "You can have half when you stop disappearing every time you turn sideways."

"I don't," Melanie scoffed. She took a bite watermelon and looked back as Emma walked back into the room. She slid the fruit salad toward Emma, offering some of it to her.

"Not a chance," Simon warned playfully. "You can eat all of that." Emma giggled and retrieved a box of biscuits from the cupboard, sitting next to Geri and digging her hand into the box. Simon stood up, scanning through his contacts on his phone and excusing himself as he called Camilla. Melanie took a few bites of the fruit salad and moved to put the lid back on, flinching as Simon reprimanded her from the other room.

She shifted in her seat, trying to figure out how he was able to see what she was doing, but he was down the hall and completely out of sight.

"How does he know?" she whispered curiously, stirring the fruit salad around and picking out the bits she liked. Geri grinned and shrugged.

"I don't think we'll ever know," she chuckled.

Melanie looked down at the fruit salad with disinterest and sighed, suddenly wishing she'd chosen something else. She looked at the cupboard, noticing a loaf of bread sitting next to the tea kettle and she leaned back in her chair to see if she could spot Simon.

"Simon, can I have toast instead?" she called, catching herself as the chair tipped back.

"You can have toast and finish that fruit salad," Simon replied. Melanie made a face and let her body droop.

"I'm not that hungry," Melanie whispered irritably, looking at Geri for support.

"Sorry, darling," Geri replied with amusement. "Do what the man says."

Melanie sighed and stood up to put a slice of bread in the toaster as Emma looked at Geri with disbelief.

"When have we ever listened to what Simon tells us to do?" she laughed. Melanie looked back hopefully, ready to put the bread back in the bag.

"I'm with Simon, you're having that toast," Geri stated seriously. Melanie rolled her eyes and dropped the bread in the toaster, returning to the table to pick at the fruit salad.

Simon walked back into the room as the toaster popped and he placed the toast on a plate for Melanie, covering it in butter and microwaved beans before handing it to her. She looked at him with disbelief and attempted to protest, but he quickly shut her down. She rested her chin in her hand and looked at the toast with disgust.

"You love beans on toast," Emma encouraged. "At least try it."

"Everything's sorted," Simon announced. "Camilla's got us booked in for tomorrow afternoon and Lucy can make it as well."

"Booked in for what?" Emma asked with a mouthful of biscuit. Simon looked at Geri expectantly, waiting for her to come up with a story that would convince Melanie to participate in the hypnotism.

"Melanie, Simon and I were talking and there's something we thought we could try that might help your memory come back," Geri lied.

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