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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Chapter 49

Back at Martin’s house,
Marianna sits opposite her visitor. She folds her hands and asks her who she is. The person peels off one layer of clothes after the other. Marianna watches her quietly and patiently. When the person is done, Marianna stares back shocked. What was going on? Why would she be there? Marianna stammers and says, Madame Claudia. Claudia smiles at Marianna and asks her how she is. Marianna says that she is fine. She says that she is surprised to see her there. Claudia sighs and tells Marianna that she is the only person who can help her. Marianna says that she doesn’t understand. She adds that Antonio would help her better because he is very clever.

Claudia smiles proudly and says that her grandson is very clever but if she goes to him, she would be putting innocent people at risk. Marianna is a little surprised. She asks Claudia if she is in danger. Claudia smiles, this time weakly and says something like that. She adds that having to run and remain in hiding is very hard. She also says that she misses Antonio and Hannibal very much. Marianna asks Claudia how exactly; she can be of help. Claudia takes a deep breath and then tells Marianna that she needs her help to unmask her husband and son. Marianna looks at Claudia like she is crazy and asks her what she has to unmask. Claudia tells her that she will tell her what she knows.

At Ramon and Clara’s house,
Anna Patricia is getting ready to take her mother for one of her regular checkups when there is a knock on the door. Clara asks her if she was expecting a visitor. Anna Patricia says that she wasn’t. She goes and opens the door anyway. She frowns when she sees who it is. It is one of the last people she would ever want to see, Helena. Anna Patricia tells Helena to leave because she is not wanted there. Helena looks around the house with disgust. She says that she has no interest in staying in that pigsty longer than is necessary. Clara tells her to leave if she only came to insult them. Helena sneers at Clara and tells her that she doesn’t have time for nonsense like her. Anna Patricia warns Helena to respect her mother or else she would work on her. Clara tells Anna Patricia to calm down and not to give the witch the attention she wants. Helena mocks them both. Anna Patricia glares at Helena and asks her what she wants.

At Montes De Alba Inc,
Gabriel is at the desk of Helena’s secretary. He greets her and asks her if Helena is around. The secretary says that Helena is not around. Gabriel asks her if she knows where Helena is or when she will be back. The secretary says that Helena only told her to reschedule all her morning meetings and appointments because she had an urgent matter to attend to. She then asks Gabriel if she can help him with anything. Gabriel says that it's not necessary and turns to leave. He hadn't gone far when he runs into Carlos, who glares at him. Gabriel stares back coolly. He says to himself that things couldn’t have gotten any better. Carlos asks him if they can talk in Helena’s office. Gabriel waits for several seconds then agrees. Carlos tells Helena’s secretary that no one should interrupt them. He then walks towards the door of Helena’s office, as Gabriel follows him.

Back at Martin’s house,
Marianna is shocked. She cannot believe what she has just heard. She says that if Adrianna’s parents were killed, they do deserve justice. She then adds that she doesn't see how she can help because she is not as clever as Antonio. Claudia tells her that she should stop underestimating herself just like other people are. She then tells Marianna that she is not the bimbo that people assume that she is. Marianna fiddles. Claudia says that if Antonio were to get into any contact with the police, it would tip off his grandfather and put people in danger. Claudia adds that the only people Juan Patricio would never harm were Carlos, Antonio, Hannibal, Armando, Aurelio, and Aurelio’s sister Rosa Milagros. Marianna is curious and asks Claudia why Juan Patricio would never harm them.

Claudia says that because if he did, his bloodline would die and be lost. Marianna says that she understands but doesn't see what she can do. Claudia says that her father was one of three men killed during the attempt on Gabriel’s life and it would not raise suspicions if she went to the police. She adds that it would look like she was following up on the case of her father’s murder. Marianna remains silent. Claudia asks her if she wants to bring down her father’s killers. Marianna says that she does. Claudia tells her that was her chance. Marianna tells Claudia that it might raise suspicion if she went to the police too often. Claudia agrees that it will and then says that they have to be strategic with her visits.

Back at Ramon and Clara’s house,
Helena glares at Anna Patricia and looks her over and over again. Anna Patricia stands her ground and again asks Helena what she wants. Helena asks Anna Patricia if she thinks that she will gain access to the Montes De Alba Fortune. Anna Patricia tells Helena that if she is a scheming gold-digger not everyone is. She then tells Helena to get to the point and state why she was there, beyond coming to spew insults. Helena tries to move and hit Anna Patricia, but Anna Patricia is quick and manages to block her. She then twists Helena’s hand painfully and Helena winces. Anna Patricia then glares at Helena and tells Helena to leave that house. She then lets her go. Helena tells Anna Patricia that she might think that she is clever by having both Gabriel and Carlos wrapped around her finger but she is not.

Helena also tells her that she can see right through her. Anna Patricia rolls her eyes at Helena. She then tells her that she gave a very good description of herself. She also tells Helena that it is she who had both Gabriel and Carlos wrapped around her fingers years ago and had them do whatever she wanted. Before Helena can interrupt her, Anna Patricia tells Helena that her relationship with Gabriel is none of her business and that as for Carlos, she (Helena) can have him because no other woman is sane enough to tolerate such garbage. Helena tells Anna Patricia that she might be dating Gabriel Montes De Alba but she is still a nobody. She then looks around the house in disgust.

Back in Helena’s office,
Carlos is sitting on Helena’s chair and Gabriel on a chair directly opposite him. Carlos gets directly to business. He asks Gabriel what he is doing there. Gabriel looks him directly in the eye and says that it is his company and he can come in whenever he wants. Carlos glares at Gabriel and says that he was talking about Helena’s office. Gabriel shrugs and says there would be nothing wrong with him talking to Helena because she was his wife and they have a daughter together. Carlos sneers at Gabriel and sarcastically asks him if he is bored of that woman he picked up. In an instant, Gabriel has left his seat and is at Carlos side. He holds him very tightly. Carlos snickers and taunts Gabriel by telling him that he can see that he is still crazy. Gabriel tells Carlos that he doesn’t care what he calls him but he will respect Anna Patricia whether he likes it or not.

Carlos tells him that he clearly is still crazy if he is seriously in love with someone like Anna Patricia. He adds that she is like a toy for him to have fun with before he moves on to someone within his league and who he can be proud of. Gabriel punches Carlos three times and says that he will make him respect Anna Patricia. He then gives him a look of disgust before going back to his seat. Carlos glares at him. Gabriel asks Carlos if he wants another whopping or he wants to ask something. Carlos asks him what he was doing in Helena’s office. Gabriel folds his hands and looks at Carlos. He says that Helena made him an offer which he rejected and would never agree to, but either way, they have unfinished conversations. Carlos tells Gabriel that he is bluffing and baiting him. Gabriel tells Carlos that he can believe whatever he likes. Carlos asks Gabriel what offer Helena made him.

Back at Martin’s house,
Claudia tells Marianna that she understands her fears and that she (Claudia) knows that she (Marianna) would never want to put anyone in danger especially Martin and her family. Marianna admits that is a major concern for her. Claudia insists that all she has to do is go to the officers investigating the case and tell them what she knows. Claudia adds that from there, she will just like everyone have to wait for the officers to do their job. Marianna asks Claudia what about her. Claudia shrugs. She tells Marianna that she will have to continue laying low for a while longer. She also tells Marianna that it's for her own good and she wouldn’t put her (Marianna) in danger. Marianna says that Adrianna has been very good to her despite her mistakes and has even helped her get close to her daughter and she wants to help her to learn the truth.

Claudia says that’s good. She then says that the sooner they do it, the better because as time passes chances are increasing that Juan Patricio will find the actual documents, or do something. Marianna agrees. Claudia insists to her that she can’t tell anyone for her own safety, hers (Claudia’s) and others as well. Marianna tells Claudia that Martin is quite intuitive and he knows her better than anyone else. Claudia holds one of Marianna’s hands in both of hers and says that she will have to convince him that she is going to the police to follow up on the case of her father’s murder, for Martin’s own safety. Marianna says okay. Claudia tells Marianna to stand up. Marianna is surprised at the request but does so.

Back at Ramon and Clara’s house,
Clara tells Helena that unlike her, they are not idle people, who have nothing better than to go to people’s houses to insult them. Helena looks Clara over and ever and calling her a silly old woman tells her that she is irrelevant. Anna Patricia tells Helena to take her desperate jealous self out of that house and go be a nuisance elsewhere. Helena tells her not to be too high and mighty. Anna Patricia tells her that if she has a problem, she should go and sort it with her excuse of a husband. Helena glares at Anna Patricia and tells her that she will not get a cent of the Montes De Alba fortune or Carlos. Anna Patricia rolls her eyes and pushes her out of the house. Helena keeps on repeating that was not the end of everything and warned Anna Patricia that she hadn't won or seen the last of her. Anna Patricia smiles and tells Helena that she is not afraid of her.

She then locks the door and breathes out. Clara says that that woman (Helena) is crazy. Anna Patricia shakes her head. She says that Helena is slowly losing her mind and might do something stupid. Clara says Helena’s current frame of mind is not necessarily a bad thing. Anna Patricia looks at her mother a little surprised. She asks her, how Helena losing it is a good thing if it makes her even more dangerous. Clara agrees that Helena can become even more dangerous but she can also become more prone to making mistakes and stupid decisions, which works in their favour. Anna Patricia says she hadn't thought of it that way, but that works as well. Clara says that they should ignore Helena for now, and finish getting ready before they get late for the appointment. Anna Patricia agrees.

Back in Helena’s office,
Gabriel has already told Carlos what deal Helena offered him. Carlos glares at him. He again insists that Gabriel is bluffing. He says that there is no way that Helena would make such an offer. Gabriel asks Carlos why he thinks that Helena would never make such an offer. Carlos looks Gabriel straight in the eye and says that he and Helena will retain the company and are going to do anything to keep it. Gabriel says that he doesn't doubt that. He then adds that he doesn't care about what either he or Helena wants because his company will end up where it belongs, which is in the hands of his children. Carlos says that remains to be seen. Gabriel says that either way, the fact is that Helena made him the offer and he refused. He then adds that either way Helena has her own ideas whatever those may be.

Carlos glares at Gabriel and tells him that his plan to cause trouble between him (Carlos) and Helena will fail. Gabriel says that he doesn't have any such plans because the two of them will self destruct soon enough. He then adds that evil has its expiry date. Carlos snickers and tells him that he is still the weakling that he always was. Gabriel ignores that comment and pauses for a few seconds thinking. Carlos remains silent as well saying nothing. Gabriel then says that Helena clearly has no maternal bone in her so she probably had Aranza to secure his money since getting rid of him and the twins was the plan right from the beginning.

Carlos says that Helena’s maternal nature or lack of it is none of his business. Gabriel asks Carlos if Helena getting pregnant with Aranza was part of their (Helena and Carlos) plan to take over his (Gabriel’s) fortune or it was a subplot of Helena’s. Carlos is caught off guard and remains quiet. Gabriel continues and sarcastically says that it seems that offering him and his children part of the company was part of their joint plan as well. Carlos tells Gabriel that his plan to make him fight with Helena would fail. Gabriel smiles and insists that he doesn't have to do anything because Helena and him (Carlos) are about to be uncovered. Carlos glares at Gabriel.

Back at Martins house,
Marianna is however even more surprised when Claudia hugs her. She asks what that was for. Claudia tells Marianna that she sensed that she (Marianna) needed that. Claudia tells Marianna that she won’t join the people who have condemned her and that she is willing to give her a chance. Marianna smiles and then thanks, Claudia. She says that sometimes even she doesn't like herself very much. Claudia puts an arm on her shoulder then tells her not to beat up herself too much about it. She also tells Marianna that what is important is not that she made mistakes but that she is sorry and is working to become a better person.

The tears Marianna has been suppressing for long finally fall. Claudia lets her lay her head on her shoulder. Marianna says that she repeated history and abandoned her own daughter just like her own mother abandoned her. Claudia tells her that unlike her mother she wants her daughter back in her life. She also adds that she is not her mother and she won’t repeat her life story. Marianna says that she will do all she can to be the kind of mother Dianna deserves. Claudia says that once all this mess is done she will help her. She then tells Marianna that she can think of her like the grandmother she never had.

Hours later,

At the Montes De Alba Mansion,
Helena is in her home office, busy with her own things when Carlos comes into the office. He is visibly furious. He stops right in front of Helena. She looks at him and asks him what is wrong. Carlos who is extremely furious gets straight to the point. He asks her why she would offer Gabriel and his children part of the company. Helena sighs. She says that she can see that Gabriel talked to him. Carlos says that Gabriel is not important and that what he is interested in, is why she would make Gabriel an offer behind his back. Helena tells Carlos to stop being so melodramatic.

She then tells him that at this point that they should consider all options except giving up total control of the company. Carlos insists that after everything they did, and how hard they have worked to grow the company, they are not going to cede an inch to the Montes De Alba’s. Helena tells him that neither Gabriel nor his children are going to let them have the company and they should just negotiate, the best deal possible for themselves. Carlos sarcastically asks Helena if Gabriel sweet-talked her into offering him the deal. Helena is beginning to get angry. She asks Carlos if he would rather, lose everything while trying to keep it all.

In Antonio and Gabriela's house,
Antonio is in his home study. He is stressed because he still has no idea where his grandmother is. He runs a hand through his hair and remembers all the good times, he has had with her. They have had their differences, but he loves her and he knows that she loves him. He remembers when Hannibal was still a baby, his grandmother told him to make sure the baby never called her great grandmother. He asked her why and his grandmother told him that it made her seem like an ancient object. Antonio smiled and his grandmother pointed at him and insisted that she was very serious. Antonio promised his grandmother that his son would never call her great grandmother.

He then comes back to the present. He paces around the room. Gabriela comes and finds him in that state. She knows that the lack of information about his grandmother’s whereabouts is stressing him. Antonio stops when he notices Gabriela is in the room. He asks her if she and the kids are fine. Gabriela says that the three of them are fine and the children are asleep. She says that it is he who is clearly not well. Antonio assures her that he is fine. He adds that he is stressed because his grandmother is missing but otherwise he is fine. Gabriela says that she knows that something is up and she can tell.

She adds that he has been acting differently even before his grandmother went missing. Antonio denies that he is acting differently. Gabriela asks him if it has anything to do with how bad his relationships with both his father and his grandfather are getting. Antonio asks her what his father and grandfather have to do with anything. Gabriela says that she has noticed that both relationships especially the one between him and his grandfather is getting worse. She adds that she knows that it has something to do with his grandmother.

Meanwhile in Martin’s house,
Marianna is in the kitchen; she is finishing clearing up when Martin walks in. She asks him if Dianna has fallen asleep. Martin says that it took a bit of time but she finally did. He then goes and takes a jug of water and pours himself a cup. Marianna watches him drink for a few seconds then looks away. He puts the glass down and asks her if she is fine. Marianna says that she is. She adds that she wanted to tell him something. Martin says that he is listening. Marianna says that she wants to go to the police to follow up on her father’s murder case. Martin is a little shocked. He asks her why she would come up with the idea all of a sudden.

Marianna says that it wasn’t a spur of the moment idea and that she had been thinking about it for some time. She says that her grandfather is old and he can’t follow up and her aunt, uncle are busy and can’t follow up all the time. Martin asks Marianna if that is all there is to it. Marianna says that it is. Martin gets straight to the point. He asks Marianna if she would tell him if she had more information about Emma’s murder. Marianna says that she respects him too much and appreciates everything that he has done for her. She assures him that she would never lie to him about that. Martin relaxes a little bit. He asks her when she would like to go. Marianna shrugs and says she would like to do it as soon as she can. Martin tells Marianna that it is fine and that she can do it whenever she wants.

Back at the Montes De Alba Mansion,
Carlos sarcastically tells Helena that whenever it came to Gabriel her common sense, left her. Helena sighs and tells Carlos that things aren’t as they were before when they had full control of the company. She then asks him what he would rather do. Carlos insists that they have to continue fighting for the company. He adds that they have to do whatever it takes even if it means getting rid of the whole Montes De Alba Family. Helena says that things were very complicated at the moment especially with the trial going on. Carlos says that it has been so many years since the accident and there is virtually no evidence against them. Helena says that trying to get rid of anyone will only attract the attention of the investigators, and that was the last thing they needed.

Carlos says that they did it once and they can do it again. Helena reminds him that the twins weren’t helpless children anymore and Gabriel is well again. Carlos shrugs and says that they once dealt with them and they can do it permanently. He adds that as for Gabriel, the crazy old man is not a challenge. Helena says that Gabriel is no longer crazy and he isn’t foolish either. She adds that Gabriel is very intelligent and if they underestimate him, it will be at their own peril. Carlos tells Helena to stop being melodramatic. He insists that they can comfortably handle the Montes De Alba’s again. Helena sighs.

Back in Antonio and Gabriela’s house,
Antonio knows that Gabriela is watching him keenly, and so he chooses his words carefully. He says that they are just stressed because of what happened to his grandmother and are a bit snappy with each other. He adds that he hasn’t ever really been close to either his father or grandfather and now with his grandmother missing, neither of them is in a particularly good mood or has much patience with each other. Gabriela wants to believe him but something tells her that there is something else, something much more. She says that his grandmother’s disappearance is getting stranger and unexplainable every day. Antonio asks her what she means. Gabriela says that for starters, his grandmother was still recovering when she went missing.

She then adds that there has been no information not even a demand for ransom and him, his father and his grandfather aren't acting quite the way one would expect in such a situation. Antonio says that people deal with stressful situations differently and just like his father and his grandfather he isn't too emotional. Gabriela asks him if he has used his knowledge of computers and hacking to find his grandmother. Antonio is caught off guard. He says that he hasn’t. Gabriela asks him again what is going on. Antonio again insists that nothing is happening. Gabriela says that its fishy that with all his advanced knowledge of computers he hasn’t tried to look for his missing grandmother. Antonio tells himself that she (Gabriela) is as nosy as her sister, and if he tells her one thing, she will want to know everything.

Gabriel and Anna Patricia are out for dinner. She asks him what he did that day. Gabriel says that he went to the company to see Helena but she wasn’t there, so he talked to Carlos. Anna Patricia eyes him suspiciously and asks him what he is up to. Gabriel smiles and he says he is simply doing his part. Anna Patricia asks him what he means by his part. Gabriel says that he may not be able to do much because he hasn’t completely recovered but he will do all he can. Anna Patricia tells him that he sounds like Gabriela did as a child, whenever she had been caught doing something. Gabriel smiles and says that he had gone to see Helena to see if he could find a weak point that they could use against her, but he ran into Carlos instead. Anna Patricia says that Helena wasn’t at the office because she went to bother her. Gabriel asks her if she is fine.

Anna Patricia waves him away and says that what Helena did is nothing new or different. She adds that it’s the same game of psychological warfare she has always used. Anna Patricia tells Gabriel what her mother said (about Helena being more prone to making mistakes in her current frame of mind). Gabriel tells Anna Patricia that he likes how her mother thinks. He adds that he too has noticed that Helena is becoming a bit more erratic. Anna Patricia adds and more dangerous as well. Gabriel tells her the danger is there but they need to make Helena and Carlos self-destruct as much as possible. He adds that so many years have passed and if any justice is to be gotten for the families of the three men killed, they need to explore all options possible.

Anna Patricia asks him if going to Helena’s office was part of exploring all options possible. Gabriel nods and says it was. He adds and says that he went to rattle up Helena a bit but when he found Carlos instead, he quickly realized that a much better idea had materialized. Anna Patricia asks him what that idea was. Gabriel says that he decided to tell Carlos about Helena’s proposition and as expected she hadn’t told him anything. He adds that what he did was plant a seed of distrust. Anna Patricia asks him if he wants to make them argue and fight. Gabriel says that is exactly what he plans to do. He says that one of the only ways to destroy Helena and Carlos is to break them apart.

Two days later, on Friday,
At the nearby police station,
Marianna is sitting in an empty room by herself. She replays part of the conversation, she had with Claudia. She takes a deep breath and clasps her hands tightly together. She says to herself that what she is doing crazy. Just then, she hears voices and the door is opened. She turns and looks behind. A police officer enters the room. She stands and greets him. He sits on the main chair. Marianna apologizes for taking his time since she knows that he is very busy. He says that it’s not a problem because since she is the daughter of one of the three men killed in the case he is investigating, it would be expected that she would be interested in the progress of the case.

Marianna says that she does want to get justice for her father and the other victims but she came for another reason. She adds that she just used the investigation as a cover. The officer asks her if she has some information. Marianna says that she does and what she knows is another twist and turn in the case. The officer asks Marianna what she found out. Marianna says that for starters Claudia came to visit her. The officer says to himself that the case kept on getting more interesting. Marianna begins by saying that some time back, Claudia had found an envelope in her husband’s home office.

At Montes De Alba Inc.,
Gabriela and Adrianna are talking in the cafeteria. Gabriela tells Adrianna that she doesn't know how to help Antonio. She adds that something is clearly wrong but he won’t tell her. Adrianna asks her if she thinks that he is that way because of his grandmother. Gabriela says that obviously he is stressed and worried about his grandmother but she feels it’s much more than that. Adrianna asks him like what for example. Gabriela says that there is something else going on behind the scenes. She adds that on top of that his grandmother’s disappearance and the circumstances behind it are both very strange. Adrianna agrees. Gabriela says that what is even weirder is that Antonio has done nothing to try and find her. Adrianna is shocked.

She says it is weird especially with Antonio being such a genius in computers. She adds that since she is sure Antonio loves his grandmother and therefore would never harm her, maybe his hands are tied. Gabriela asks Adrianna how. Adrianna says that she doesn't know but she just feels it. Gabriela says that if Antonio is being arm-twisted, threatened or blackmailed, she has to find a way to help him. Adrianna says that there isn't much that either of them or Antonio can do about whatever it is that maybe going on. Gabriela says that it’s all too much. Adrianna says that she understands how she feels.

Back at the police station,
Marianna had finished telling the officer investigating the case, about the envelope Claudia found, the suspicious accident, the subtle threats Juan Patricio made on Gabriela and Ricardo, Antonio being followed, basically everything Claudia told her. He says to himself that this case just keeps on getting more and more interesting and stranger. He asks Marianna if she remembers anything else or she was told anything else. Marianna thinks about it for a few seconds then says that she doesn’t. She adds that she doesn’t think that Claudia would try and contact her again either for both their safety.

The officer tells her that she should immediately come to the station in-case she is contacted or she remembers anything. He asks her if she has a copy of the documents, a screenshot or anything. Marianna says that Claudia gave her soft-copies on her phone. The officer says that at the moment, they would be unable to search the Diaz mansion to look for the documents but they can start investigating the authenticity of the documents, using printed versions of the soft-copies once, she sends them. Marianna says that she will do it immediately and removes her phone.

At the Diaz Mansion,
Juan Patricio is in his study. He is pacing around his office nervously. How did his wife outsmart him and his son? He asks himself who Claudia asked for help if she didn’t ask Antonio. He says that Antonio is very intelligent and there isn't anyone his wife knows who is as smart as their grandson. He says that it is hard to believe that his wife can be that sneaky and conniving. Just then there is a knock on the door. He tells the person to come in. The door is opened and one of his henchmen comes in. Juan Patricio gets straight down to business and asks him if there is anything new to report about his grandson. The henchman says that there isn't.

He adds that if Madame Claudia is getting assistance, it isn't from Antonio. Juan Patricio then says that makes his wife an even greater danger, because they don’t know who is helping her and they cannot deal with that problem. He adds that they will continue monitoring Antonio just in case but they have to think bigger and wider. The henchman asks Juan Patricio what about following her money trail and checking things like her credit card usage. Juan Patricio says that was one of the first things he did. He adds that if his wife is still hiding safely, she must have some extra money, and by the looks of it, it is a decent amount.

At Montes De Alba Inc.,
It is around lunchtime and Adrianna is with Martin at the cafeteria. The trial to decide Dianna’s custody was coming up. Alejandro had made it clear that he was not going to make things easy. Adrianna says that it makes it easier that Marianna supports him getting custody of Dianna. Martin says that it does but they can’t forget that Alejandro is crazy. Adrianna says that she knows how crazy he can get. Just then Adrianna’s phone rings. It is from Dianna’s preschool. It is her teacher. She says that Dianna fell sick and has been taken to a nearby hospital. She adds that they have been trying to get Marianna but they can’t reach her. Adrianna asks how she is. The teacher says that she is fairly stable.

She says that she had problems breathing and fainted in class. Adrianna says just a second and puts her phone down. She asks Martin for his phone. He looks a bit concerned but gives it to her without questioning her. She quickly navigates to the notes Icon and then gets back on phone. She apologizes for the delay and asks for directions to the hospital. She then writes the directions down. She thanks the teacher and says that she will find Marianna. Adrianna then ends the call. She then hands Martin his phone back. She takes a deep breath. Martin asks Adrianna what happened.

Elsewhere, at Montes De Alba Inc.,
Gabriel runs into Hernan and Aranza along the company hallways. They are both surprised to see their father there. Aranza reminds him that he said he needed to rest and that's why he said he would not come back to the company. Gabriel said that he hadn't realized how bored he would become doing nothing. He adds that he still won’t return to the day to day running of the company but he has to find something to keep him busy and give him purpose because he was never the type to be idle. Hernan looks at Aranza and smiles. She glares at her brother. Gabriel asks them where their sister is. Hernan says that there is something she is doing.

Back with Martin and Adrianna,
 Adrianna takes a deep breath and tells him that Dianna fell sick in school. She adds that she had problems breathing and fainted. Martin asks Adrianna if she knows if Marianna was told. Adrianna says that they tried calling Marianna and then they didn’t find her, so they called her. Martin asks himself if Marianna already returned to the house. He then tells Adrianna that she had left to run errands, but he doesn't know why they couldn’t find her. Adrianna offers to leave immediately and go and stay with Dianna until Marianna arrives. Martin thanks her. He says that he doesn't see himself leaving until four at the earliest. He adds that he will continue trying to reach Marianna. Adrianna says that it is not a problem.

Gabriel, Aranza, and Hernan are sitting in an unused conference room. Aranza tells her father that it's weird that he came to talk to Carlos of all people two days ago. Gabriel smiles. He says that he came to talk to Helena but it was even better that he found Carlos. Hernan looks at his father suspiciously and asks him what he did. Gabriel tells Hernan and Aranza that he told Carlos about Helena’s offer and just like he thought, Carlos was unaware. Hernan looks at his father and states that he wanted to make the two of them distrust each other. Gabriel says that he did. He adds that if Helena and Carlos mistrust each other, they are more likely to argue and make mistakes and that works in their favor. Aranza says that while that is true, they could also be more dangerous, especially, if he tries something else. Gabriel agrees that there is always that possibility, but they need to do their part in bringing down Helena and Carlos by speeding up the process.

Sometime later,
Marianna has just arrived at the hospital. She finds Martin sitting in the waiting area alone. She says that her phone went off. She then asks how Dianna is. Martin says that they have been told that she had some inflammations in her nose, that affected her oxygen supply and breathing and that some tests are still being run on her. Marianna asks him where Adrianna is. Martin says that she is with Dianna. Marianna runs a hand through her hair. She says that it’s her fault. Martin moves near her and puts an arm near her. She looks up at him. He tells her that what has happened is no one’s fault and that some childhood diseases have to happen because they are a part of growing up. Marianna tells him that she is a mess and she can’t do anything, even take care of her daughter well. She then moves away from Martin.

He, however, moves closer to her again. He takes one of her hands and she looks at him. He says that despite her past mistakes, no one can doubt that she loves her daughter and she is a good mother. Marianna tells him that he doesn't have to lie to make her feel better or because Dianna is in hospital. Martin says that they both love Dianna and they will help her recover. Someone says, well and they both turn. They are face to face with Alejandro. Marianna asks Alejandro why he is there. Alejandro asks her why she would ask him such a question. He says that it is only normal to want to know how his daughter is. Marianna frowns at him. Martin tells Alejandro that he has no reason to be there and that he is a danger to Dianna.

Gabriela is with her father in the cafeteria of Montes De Alba Inc. She asks him what he wanted to tell her that was so urgent. Gabriel says that there is something he has been thinking about for some time. Gabriela asks him what it is. Gabriel pauses for a few seconds then says that it’s about securing Ricardo’s fate. Gabriela asks him if he is concerned about Ricardo because Anna Patricia has such a bond with the child. Gabriel says that it mainly is. He adds that he has been thinking about the two of them adopting the child. Gabriela stares at her father like he is crazy. She calls him Dad and asks him, whether the idea is a whim or he has actually thought about it. Gabriel smiles and says that he has thought about it. Gabriela isn't so sure. She reminds her father that children are a lot of work. Gabriel says that he and Anna Patricia are capable of raising Ricardo.

Gabriela tells him that getting Ricardo’s custody full-time won’t be like babysitting Hannibal or Gisela. She adds that they will be Ricardo’s primary caregivers. Gabriel tells Gabriela to relax and adds that he will figure it out with Anna Patricia. Gabriela asks him if he has discussed it with Anna Patricia. Gabriel says that he has mentioned to Anna Patricia that he has noticed how close she is to the child but otherwise not much more than that. Gabriela states that he did it to test Anna Patricia’s reaction. Her father smiles and says a little bit. He adds that he will, of course, talk to her about it and the three of them can discuss the issue further.

Back at the hospital,
Alejandro snickers at Martin then looks at Marianna. He tells her that he can see that her lover is there to defend her. Marianna tells Alejandro to take his hateful self elsewhere and let Dianna recover in peace. Alejandro looks at both Martin and Marianna and says that he is there for his daughter. He adds that neither of them are fit to raise Dianna. Martin sarcastically says asks him what morals he plans to teach Dianna because he has none. Alejandro smirks at him then looks at Marianna. He says that she is nothing more than a common whore and she isn’t what he would like Dianna to be like. In a split second, Martin has moved near Alejandro and has held him by the neck. Alejandro still snickers at Martin.

Marianna tells Martin to leave Alejandro alone because he isn’t worth it. Alejandro tells Martin to listen to his little tramp. Martin punches Alejandro and knocks him to the ground. They begin fighting. Marianna runs a hand through her hair and calls for help. Just then Hernan and Antonio come in. They rush to stop the fight. Hernan is shocked. Martin hardly gets into fights. He is usually calmer than him (Hernan) and his sister combined. Antonio holds Martin and Hernan holds Alejandro. Alejandro turns his attention from Martin to Hernan. He starts to pick a fight with Hernan. Hernan glares at him and tells him not to provoke him because he will not leave the chance to beat him up.

Back at Montes De Alba Inc,
Gabriel looks at his daughter and then asks her what she thinks about him and Anna Patricia adopting Ricardo. Gabriela says that she doesn’t doubt that Anna Patricia will be happy then pauses. Gabriel asks her what she thinks about him specifically taking that step. Gabriela shrugs and says that she is just surprised he would want to take care of a young child all over again. He says that she thinks that he is too sick and old. Gabriela looks at her father, then smiles and says that she didn’t say that. She adds that she was just a little concerned that he might not be so sure about what he is getting himself into. Gabriel says he didn’t think he would do something like that, but he is. Gabriela says that there is a possibility that he might start to resent Ricardo because he is only adopting the child to make Anna Patricia happy.

Gabriel says that he has thought about a lot of possibilities, that included and he feels that he will be okay with it. He then asks her how she will feel about it, considering how much she loves the child. Gabriela says that she will miss the child because he is like her son and she raised him for years before the truth about the baby switching came out. She then adds that her heart will, however, be at peace knowing that he is well taken care of. Gabriel says that they have to move fast and secure Ricardo’s future before Horacio or Isabella try anything. Gabriela agrees. Her father asks her if she will go to the hospital to visit Martin and Dianna. Gabriela says that she will try but if she doesn’t manage, she will do it the next day.

Back at the hospital,
Alejandro is being escorted out by security. He shouts at Antonio, Hernan, and Martin. He tells them that he will make all of them pay. Just then Adrianna comes back to the waiting room. She looks from Antonio to Hernan, to Martin and finally to Alejandro. He gives her a dark look as he goes. When Alejandro is out of sight (he can still be heard screaming ), Martin apologizes to Adrianna for the scandal and asks her how Dianna is. Adrianna says that the doctors are still doing a bunch of tests. She adds that all she knows that Dianna has inflamed sinuses, and that affected oxygen supply to her brain and that’s why she fainted.
Marianna sighs and asks when she can see her daughter.

Adrianna says that she isn't sure but they can go ask. Before they can go anywhere a doctor comes. Marianna quickly asks him how her daughter is. The doctor looks at Adrianna. Adrianna tells the doctor that she can tell her (Marianna) because she is the child’s mother. The doctor pauses then says that in addition to the inflamed sinuses, Dianna has a mild bacterial infection. Martin asks her for how long Dianna has to be admitted. The doctor says that she has to be kept for observation and treatment for at least two days, and then they will review that based on how she responds to treatment.

At Armando and Luisa’s house,
Luisa is alone with her daughter. Rosa is about six months old. She is in the baby’s nursery. She sees a book on the table and goes to it, carrying her daughter. She shakes her head and says that Aurelio has never stopped misplacing things. She picks up the book and quickly flips through it. She sees a picture and stops there. Her eyes widen in shock. It couldn’t be, could it? She looks at the picture again, it was her cousin, Rosa. Luisa asks herself what Aurelio was doing with a picture of her cousin and where he got it.

The next day on Saturday,
At the hospital,
Martin is with Dianna in her room. She asks him where her mother is. Martin says that she went to bring her aunt and cousin. Dianna asks him if she is very sick. He looks at her and takes one of her tiny hands into his much larger ones. He tells her that she will be fine. Dianna smiles and asks him if she can go and ride her bike with her cousin once she feels better. Martin says that she can. Just then there is a knock on the door. Martin goes and opens the door. It is Santiago, Marianna’s grandfather. Martin welcomes him in. Dianna smiles when she sees him. Martin asks him if he has seen Marianna. Santiago says that she and Renata are looking for Thiago. Martin asks him if something happened to Thiago. Santiago says that he doesn’t think so. He adds that getting Thiago to sit still has always been hard because he has always been restless and itching to do something.

Martin says to himself it must run in the family because Marianna and Dianna are not any different. He then walks over to Dianna and calls her my princess and asks her how she is. Martin walks over and sits by the foot of her bed. Dianna smiles and says that she feels pain because of the injections but she is okay. She then says that she will be okay and that she is brave like him (Santiago) and her father, then points to Martin. Both Martin and Santiago are shocked and look at her. Dianna is completely oblivious of what she has just said and what it means. Santiago looks at Martin who shifts slightly, uncomfortable. He, however, doesn’t say anything. Santiago gently runs his hands through Dianna’s hair. Dianna tells him that she will ride her bike with Thiago when she feels better. Santiago says that he will be there to watch them.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Chapter 48

Later that Saturday,

Anna Patricia is at her parents' home with Ricardo. Neither of her parents are there. She hears a knock on the door. She goes and opens the door. She is shocked and repelled to see that it is Carlos. She tells him to leave her alone. He ignores her and walks past her into the house. He asks her how she is. Anna Patricia says that its none of his business. He looks around at the simple house with disdain. He says that a queen like her deserves a palace and he can give her that. Anna Patricia tells him that she will never want anything to do with him and her answer will never change. Carlos asks her if she thinks that she will gain access to the Montes De Alba fortune by being with Gabriel. Carlos says that he and Helena are at the top of Montes De Alba Inc and will never cede an inch to Gabriel or his children.

Anna Patricia sighs in frustration, Carlos is crazy. She tells him that eventually, her and Helena’s crimes will be uncovered and they will go to jail and live everyone to live in peace. Carlos tries to say something but she cuts him off. She tells him that he is a pest. Just then Ricardo, who was in Anna Patricia’s room, comes out of the room. Carlos is shocked to see the boy there. He sarcastically asks Anna Patricia if she has sunk so low as to be reduced to a babysitter. Ricardo walks and clutches her hand. Anna Patricia says that she loves Ricardo and is happy to take care of him. 

Two days later on Monday Morning,

At Martin’s house,
Marianna is awake earlier than usual, that morning. She is in the sitting room, deep in thought. She thinks about running into Alejandro while out with Thiago and then runs one hand through her hair. She says to herself that she is afraid that he might target her family as payback. Martin comes into the room and finds her deep in thought. He calls her. She looks at him but doesn't say anything. He asks her if she is fine. She says that she is. She says that she was just thinking about things. He asks her what she was thinking about. She stands and says that it's early and on a Monday and she doesn't want to bother him with her small issues. She picks up her phone which was on the chair and turns to leave.

He, however, anticipates what she will do next and rushes to her side. He holds one of her hands and she looks at him. He says that something is clearly bothering her. He asks her if she is still worried about Alejandro. Marianna nods meekly. Martin lets go of her hand. He tells her that Alejandro is just trying to mess with her head. Marianna says that Alejandro is crazy, dangerous and vindictive. She says that he knows she found her family and he is capable of hurting them to get to her. She then starts pacing around nervously and saying that he could target her grandfather because he is old and Thiago because he is a child. In an instant, Martin has his arms around her to calm her down.

At Ramon and Clara’s house,

Ramon finds Anna Patricia awake, making breakfast. After greeting her, he says he would like to discuss something with her. He says that he has noticed something. Anna Patricia asks him what her mother did this time. Ramon assures him that she didn’t do anything. He says that he has noticed how close she has been growing to Ricardo over the past few weeks and how much the child loves her. Ramon sees how Anna Patricia’s face lights up at the mention of Ricardo. She says that he is a special little boy. Ramon says there is a certain fulfillment, a certain level of happiness he can sense that the child gives her that only Martin gives her. Anna Patricia asks her father to come out clearly and say what he means. Ramon says that she is a very maternal woman and she loves her son very much. He then adds that he knows how much it pained her that she was never able to have another child and Ricardo is helping fill that void.

Anna Patricia stares at her father suspiciously. He says he was simply making an observation. Anna Patricia tells him that she knows him well enough to know that there is another reason why he is talking about Ricardo. Ramon smiles. He calls her my daughter and tells her that she knows him too well. Anna Patricia asks him what he is really trying to get at. Ramon says that she could talk to Gabriel about formally adopting Ricardo. Anna Patricia looks at her father like he is crazy. She calls him dad and asks him where he would get such a crazy idea from.

Back at Martin’s house

 Marianna calms down and frees herself from him. She says that she knows that she must look crazy and on the verge of a breakdown but she is just so worried that Alejandro is planning something to hurt her family. Martin says that he doesn't think that she is crazy. He says that she should talk to her family about her concerns and ask them to be more vigilant. He adds that she should go to the police and get a restraining order. Marianna says that it would be a waste of time because she wouldn't be given one. Martin says that Alejandro has been harassing and stalking her and given the case, that is a good enough reason to get a restraining order. Marianna asks how she will explain her inaction over Alejandro’s harassment. Martin says that she should say the truth.

He says she didn’t take him seriously but his continuous harassment coupled with the fear that he might harm her family prompted her to do something. Marianna remains quiet. Martin says that she shouldn’t let Alejandro prevent her from living her life or getting closer to her family. Marianna says that her worries aren't just about Alejandro. Martin asks Marianna what else she is worried about. Marianna says that while she doesn't care about what most people think about her, she is worried about Thiago hearing things about her from other people. Martin asks her if she thinks Alejandro would talk to Thiago. Marianna says that with Alejandro they should expect anything.

Back at Ramon and Clara’s house,

Ramon shrugs and says that his idea is not that crazy. He adds that it is clear that she loves Ricardo and vice versa. Anna Patricia says that it is true but adopting Ricardo is a very big step. Ramon asks her if she is afraid of Gabriel’s reaction. Anna Patricia sighs. She tells her father that while she did want more children, she had long accepted that it was never going to happen and she had learnt to be contented with her son, nephew, niece and the twins. Ramon reminds her that she had long given up on love but she met Gabriel. Anna Patricia stares at her father and says that it's not the same. She remembers Gabriel’s comment, before he left the hospital, that he would enjoy having his grandchildren around but also sending them back to his children at the end of the visit because he was past taking care of young children. She says that Gabriel wouldn't be too keen on the idea. Ramon calls Anna Patricia to get her attention again.

She tells her father that he is putting ideas into her head. Ramon denies that. He says that he is simply stating things she has only thought about but avoided admitting out loud. Anna Patricia looks at her father and then tells him not to do anything fishy. Ramon looks at his daughter and innocently and asks her what she means. Anna Patricia tells her father that she knows him and her mother too well and they have always been nosy and have meddled in her life. Ramon promises her that he won't meddle in anything to do with Ricardo. Anna Patricia, however, does not believe him and looks at him suspiciously.

Back at Martin’s house,
Martin tells Marianna that she and her cousin should talk to Thiago before anyone else does. He adds that they shouldn't lie to him that she made mistakes but they should appropriately put things for a twelve-year-old. Marianna says that Thiago suggested a joint birthday with Dianna and she loved the idea. Martin says that it's a good idea because it will help her family grow closer. He looks at her and says that she doesn't look convinced. Marianna says that the children’s birthdays are in two months and for her, that is a lifetime.

She says that she doesn't want to commit to such long term plans because she doesn't know what will have happened by then. He asks her if she is referring to the case. Marianna nods. She says that for all she knows Alejandro or one of his goons could fabricate evidence to make her look like a murderer or anything could go wrong. Martin places one hand on her cheek and the other on the other cheek. He tells her to stop being so negative. She says that she is being realistic. She insists that she could be in jail by then.

Later that day,
Hernan is having dinner, with Adrianna, Gisela Paulina, and his father. Gabriel says that there is something that he has been thinking about over the past several days that and he has come to a decision. Hernan asks him what it is. Gabriel says that he will start looking for a place of his own. Both Hernan and Adrianna look at him shocked. Hernan asks him why he is doing that. He adds that neither he nor Gabriela are chasing him and they both love him. Gabriel says that he knows that but he can take care of himself. He adds that he is not too old and doesn't need him or his sister to take care of him daily.

Adrianna says that she had assumed that once they had gotten the mansion back, then he would most likely want to go back and live there. Gabriel says that initially, he had thought that it was what he would do. He says that it won't happen overnight and he wants to live by himself in the meantime. Hernan insists to his father that he is not a burden and no one is chasing him away. Gabriel says it's not because he feels he is a burden but because he needs and wants to do it.

Elsewhere at Ramon and Clara’s house,

Clara looks at Martin and asks him what he has done. Anna Patricia looks at her mother. She then looks at her son. She asks him what is going on. She adds that it is not like him to come announced in the middle of the week. Martin tells them not to worry, and that nothing is wrong. He says that he just wanted to let them know about something he has been thinking about for some time and had finally decided to act upon. Ramon asks him what it is. Martin says that he has decided to formally adopt Dianna. Anna Patricia and Ramon stare at him shocked. Clara shakes her head. She says that she had hoped and thought that he had said it on the spur of the moment. Anna Patricia looks at her mother. She notices that her mother is not surprised by Martin’s declaration and says it.

Martin says that he had talked to his grandmother about it. He adds that he had made the decision some time back, but wanted to wait for a little while before beginning the actual practicalities of the process. Anna Patricia asks why she would tell his grandmother and not her. Martin says that he had not planned on telling his grandmother and it just came out. Anna Patricia asks him what Marianna thinks about it. Martin says that she was as shocked as them and was afraid of it complicating his life. He adds that she was afraid that it would complicate the process of him dating. Anna Patricia says that Marianna has a point. 

Juan Patricio is in his study. One of his henchmen has come to give him a report on Antonio. Juan Patricio asks him what they have been able to find out. The henchman says there has been no change from the last time they updated him. He adds so far it doesn't seem like Antonio knows where his grandmother is and he hasn’t been acting differently. He also says that if Mrs. Claudia escaped the hospital, she did it without informing Antonio. Juan Patricio paces around. He says that it all doesn’t make sense. He adds that his wife is not smart enough to outsmart him or his son. The henchman says that if she hasn’t even tried to contact Antonio then she must be upto something.

Juan Patricio asks himself just what Claudia is upto. He asks himself if Claudia thinks she can bring him down by herself. He says out loud that she cannot survive for long without help and if she indeed is planning something, she will need help. He adds that she will have to contact Antonio at some point because who else does she know who is so tech-savvy and intelligent. He then asks the henchman if there is still someone monitoring Antonio. The henchman says that there is, and if something had happened while he was here, someone would have contacted him.

Back to Ramon and Clara’s house,
Martin tells his mother that he loves Dianna like she was his own daughter and he wants to adopt her regardless of anything else even what happens to Marianna. Anna Patricia asks Martin if he is sure about what he is doing. She adds that adopting Dianna won't be like buying something that he can resell if it bores him. Martin assures her that he knows what he is doing. Clara says that the decision he is about to make is a very big one and Dianna should be the first priority at all times. Martin says he has thought about it enough and Dianna is and will always be his first priority. Ramon says that they have to consider Alejandro.

Martin says that with everything Alejandro has done he doesn't deserve Dianna’s custody. Ramon says that they all know that Alejandro is evil and a killer but it is also clear that he is obsessed with Marianna, as he is with Adrianna and if he hears that he (Martin) wants to adopt Dianna he is going to make his life difficult not because he loves his daughter but because he is sick in the head. Martin says that he knows that but he loves Dianna. He adds that after everything that has happened to her the child needs a lot of love and stability and he wants to offer her that. He also says that living with Dianna he has seen and heard from her just how much living with Alejandro negatively affected her.

At Isabella’s house,
She is there with Alejandro and Horacio. They are discussing their ongoing court case. Isabella and Alejandro are confident that if they continue as they have been doing, they will be safe. Horacio isn’t so sure. Alejandro tells Horacio that even if after Marianna has given her statement there is not enough evidence to pin them down then nothing can bring them down. Horacio reminds them that investigations are going on and no matter how careful they think they are, evidence can always be unearthed. He adds that they need to consider each and every possibility and outcome. Isabella tells him to stop being so paranoid. She adds that they need to remain united and continue making sure that all loose ends are tied.

Horacio insists that they need to be prepared for any eventualities. Alejandro says that rather than be paranoid about the future, they should focus on other things, like how they can use the information they found out to their benefit. Isabella asks him what he means. Alejandro says an example would be finding out about Marianna’s family. Isabella asks how that information is relevant to them. Alejandro reminds her of when they found out about the twins real identities and they were able to unmask them. He adds that similarly, they should be open to seeing how they can use any other information for their benefit. Horacio agrees. He says that they also need to get their revenge on all their enemies.

At Martin’s house,
Marianna was making dinner for her and Dianna. Dianna comes into the kitchen and asks her where Uncle Martin is. Marianna puts the knife she was holding down. She doesn’t know where Martin was. He was usually back by that time. He had not told her where he was going or that he would be late. She asks herself if he went out on a date. Marianna clutches her hand. She thinks about the times that they have kissed each other. She is brought back from the reverie when Dianna clutches her hand and calls her mommy. She tells Dianna that he had a meeting and that’s why he was late. Dianna says that she loves him and wants him to be her daddy. Marianna is stunned and left wide-eyed at those words. She kneels and hugs her daughter.

Back at Ramon and Clara’s house,
Anna Patricia says that Marianna’s family can take care of Dianna for however long Marianna may be in jail. Martin says Marianna has just found them and it is too soon and too much to ask from them. He adds that he loves Dianna and wants to take care of her and protect her from Alejandro. He says that if Marianna’s family wants they can be part of Dianna’s life but she will be his daughter and his responsibility. Anna Patricia reminds him that taking care of a child is not easy. Martin reminds her that when she had him she was twenty and had no idea how to raise a child but she did a good job raising him because she is a good mother and he turned out well. Anna Patricia smiles. Martin adds that the same way she learnt from his grandmother is the same way he has learnt from her.

He also says that if Emma had not been killed they would be raising the child she was expecting, so it's not like by him raising Dianna he is doing something he would not be doing. Ramon asks him if he is using Dianna to replace that child. Martin assures his grandfather that he is not. He says that he has grown to love Dianna and he would not say that he wanted to adopt her if he was not sure or use her as a substitute. Ramon tells Martin that if he is sure of his decision, he will support him. Martin smiles and looks at his mother and his grandmother. He asks them what about them. Anna Patricia sighs and moves near him. She hugs him and tells him that she loves him and while she is still skeptical of his decision she won't try to stop him or persuade him otherwise. His grandmother hugs him as well.

Days pass during which Martin begins the process to formally adopt Dianna, Gabriel begins looking for a place to stay and the investigations into both Emma’s murder and Gabriel’s accident continue without much progress.

On Thursday,
At Montes De Alba inc,

Martin, Hernan, and Gabriela are at the cafeteria. They are discussing Martin’s decision to adopt Dianna. Gabriela asks him how the first step went. Martin says that he went with Marianna. He adds that given the nature of the case it will be more complicated than usual. He adds that for a start both Adrianna and Alejandro will have to be interviewed and their statements taken. Gabriela says Adrianna because she is the one who took care of Dianna for three-plus years when she thought she was her daughter and Alejandro because he is her biological father.

Martin says yes. He adds that they can expect nothing but trouble from Alejandro. Gabriela says Alejandro is a bad person but she doesn't understand why he would want to prevent him (Martin) from adopting Diana. Martin says that probably because he is sick and vindictive and might want to get payback against Marianna for giving evidence against him and the rest to the police.

Gabriela tells Martin that everyone else knows that he wants to adopt Dianna, except Dianna herself. Martin shrugs and says she is very young and it's unnecessary. Gabriela sighs and Hernan says that the know it all is about to speak. Martin agrees with Hernan and then smiles. Gabriela calls them both bullies and then tells Martin that even though Dianna is almost four, he and Marianna should simplify things for her because she has been through more than enough already. Gabriela adds (to Martin) that they should avoid any more trauma and they should make the adjustment process as easy as possible. Martin knows that Gabriela has a point.

Shortly after,
At Hernan and Adrianna’s house,
Ramon has just arrived to visit Gabriel. When Gabriel heard that Ramon wanted to talk to him, he was a little surprised. He was even more surprised when he asked him not to tell Anna Patricia or her mother a single word. Ramon sips his glass of juice then tells Gabriel that he wanted to talk to him about Anna Patricia. Gabriel asks him if she is fine. Ramon waves him away and says that she is fine. He adds that he knows his daughter very well, and can tell when she is trying to downplay something important to her. Gabriel tells Ramon that he doesn’t understand what he means. Ramon says that Anna Patricia loves Martin to bits and he saw how it pained her that she was never able to have another child and how that ruined her relationships. He adds that she always wanted more children of her own and loved having the twins and Aurelio around.

Gabriel says that she is very caring and nurturing. Ramon says that he has been watching his daughter and has seen how she has bonded with Ricardo. He adds that watching his daughter with Ricardo he is reminded of how fulfilled and happy she was taking care of Martin when he was at that age. Gabriel admits that he has noticed that as well. Ramon says that he is not sure what his daughter’s long term plans are with the child or whether Anna Patricia has talked to him about Ricardo. Ramon adds (to Gabriel ) that he is not there to pressure him into making any decisions or having any such conversations with Anna Patricia immediately. He adds that he felt the issue needed to be put out there, despite Anna Patricia telling him not to interfere with the issue. Gabriel asks himself why Anna Patricia would feel the need to downplay how fond she has grown of Ricardo.

Sometime later,
At an unidentified location,
Claudia is in a modest-looking hotel room. She is sitting on her bed. She sighs and clasps her hands together. She says out loud that she cannot ask Antonio for help because that is what Juan Patricio would expect her to do. She adds that neither can she do much herself. She also adds that she needs the help of someone else to reveal what she knows.

At Alejandro’s house,
Alejandro is on his way to the kitchen to get a glass of water when he hears a knock on the door. He goes and opens it. He looks from the lady to her briefcase and back. He introduces himself and she also does the same. She says she is a lawyer and that she is there to talk to him. Alejandro sighs and tells her that he had already made it clear to Adrianna that he would not sign the divorce papers. The lawyer says that she is not there about any divorce case. Alejandro is curious. He asks her to come in and then locks the door. He asks her why then she is there. The lawyer says that she is there to notify him that he is required to give some information as part of a custody and adoption case.

Alejandro is confused and asks her whose custody they are talking about. She says that it is about Dianna, his daughter. Alejandro asks why the child’s custody would be an issue up for discussion. She says that someone named Martin Ortiz filed a request to legally adopt Dianna and get joint custody of her with the child’s Mother Marianna Peralta. Alejandro is shocked. Did Martin want to adopt Dianna? He had not seen that coming. He asks the lawyer what the process is. She says that Martin and Marianna have already given their statements and the next would be for him and Adrianna to give theirs. Alejandro asks her what happens after that.

Back at Hernan and Adrianna’s house,
 Ramon has already left and Gabriel is alone. He is thinking of the conversation he had with Ramon earlier. He asks himself again why Anna Patricia would want to downplay how fond she is of Ricardo. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot come up with a good reason. He asks himself if maybe it is because of him. He asks himself if she is afraid of his reaction.

Back at Alejandro’s house,
The lawyer says that from there, Martin’s request will be evaluated. Alejandro paces around silently. He says that there is no way he will let his daughter be raised by such a person. The lawyer says that the case is different and more complicated than most of its type. Alejandro asks her what she means. She says that his and Marianna’s cases are well known and will be part of the submissions considered before any decision is made. Alejandro says he will insist on what he has been saying all along, that he is not guilty of anything and that he is certainly not a murderer.

The lawyer says that it is an ongoing case and that it is not her who will determine that. She adds that her job is to make sure that whatever decision is reached is in Dianna’s best interests. Alejandro asks her what Martin and Mariana said in their statements. The lawyer says that at that point, she cannot divulge any more information. She adds that he is required to present himself to make his statement, early the next week. Alejandro remains silent as he ponders all that he has just heard. He then says that he does not want Martin to take care of his daughter because he knows that he is only doing it because he believes that he (Alejandro) killed his pregnant girlfriend. The lawyer says that will be proved true or false after the request is fully evaluated. Alejandro says that he will fight it.

The next day on Friday,
In Helena’s office,
She is busy on her laptop working, when there is a call, from her secretary, on the intercom. She picks it up. She is told that she has a visitor. Helena says that she is busy and does not want to receive any visitors. The secretary says that it is Gabriel. Helena is surprised and says that will be okay. After she ends the call, she begins to ask herself why Gabriel would want to see her. After several seconds, Gabriel opens the door and enters. He walks towards Helena and sits. Helena says that she is surprised to see him there. Gabriel says that he came to inform her that he will be visiting the mansion with the twins and Aranza. Helena is a little surprised at that. She asks him why. Gabriel says that it will give help him get a sense of who he was and what his life was like before the accident and he needs that as he recovers. He adds that he might even regain some more of his memory.

 Helena asks him if his recovery is the only reason he wants to go to the mansion. Gabriel asks her what other reasons there would be. Helena says perhaps to try and take the mansion from her. Gabriel smiles. He says it is ironical of her to worry about him stealing the mansion when it was she who stole the mansion, his company, and his whole life from him. He adds that he will get back the property she and Carlos stole from him, but at the moment, he wants to continue recovering and that involves getting a feel of what his life was like before. Helena starts to continue saying that she had no part in his accident but Gabriel puts up his hand and interjects. He asks her if she is tired of the pretense and acts she is putting up.

At the company cafeteria,
Aranza and Aurelio are there. She notices that he is a little quiet and asks him about it. He says that he was just thinking about Martin’s decision to adopt Dianna. He says that it still shocks him that his cousin has decided to make such a decision. Aranza shrugs and says that she thinks that it is sweet of Martin. Aurelio says that it's not something he can undo easily if he decides its too much for him. Aranza says that she has been watching Martin and she can tell that he genuinely loves Dianna. Aurelio says that he doesn't doubt that either but deciding to adopt her is a very big decision. Aranza says that if Emma had not been killed, she and Martin would be raising their child, so it's not like by taking care of Dianna he is doing something he would never do. Aurelio says that she sounds like Martin because that is exactly what he says.

He adds that it would complicate Martin’s life because it would tie him to Marianna, on top of making it, even more, harder for him to move on. Aranza asks him what he means. Aurelio says that if Marianna gets sentenced it wont be for too long and naturally, she will want a relationship with her daughter. Aranza says that there is nothing wrong with that. Aurelio says that he is sure that something is going on between them which raises the question of whether Martin will remain single during Marianna’s sentence and what will happen after, regardless of whatever he decides to do. He adds that they don’t even know how long her sentence will be.

Back in Helena’s office,
Helena says that she was very sad when she thought that he had died and she vowed to work hard and grow the company even more. Gabriel stops her again and tells her that the pretense is unnecessary. He adds that it is only a matter of time before she and Carlos are unmasked. Helena looks at him. She says that she is innocent. She says that they are both civilized and mature adults and so they should reach an agreement. Gabriel asks her what she means. Helena says that since he came back, she has been thinking of how things can be resolved and she arrived at a solution. She stops and looks at Gabriel for a comment or any kind of a reaction but he stares at her waiting for her to continue. Helena says that forty percent of the shares of the company is in the hands of shareholders, meaning its sixty percent that is in the hands of her and Carlos.

She says that the solution is simple. She and Carlos retain fifty percent of that and he (Gabriel) and the children get the other fifty percent. Gabriel asks Helena if she is finished and if she is crazy. He says that she must be crazy if she thinks that she will get a cent of his and his children’s money after everything she has done. Helena says that she is trying to keep things civil but he is not helping. Gabriel sarcastically asks her how much she wants after trying to kill him and the twins and blackmailing her own daughter.

Back with Aranza and Aurelio
Aranza tells Aurelio that she can see what he means, but she thinks that Martin and Marianna can figure things out and will make a decision that is in Dianna’s best interests. Aurelio says its a bit hard to understand and accept Martin’s closeness to Marianna because he has always been the most responsible and sensible one when it comes to every area of his life. Aranza says and probably a bit too serious and boring. She adds that Marianna is a live wire and his cousin needs to stop being so serious and learn to live. Aurelio asks her if she thinks Marianna’s change is genuine or a pretense made to fool people.

Aranza says that she believes that Marianna is genuine. She asks Aurelio why he asked that. Aurelio says that when she said that Marianna is a live-wire, he wondered if she might ignite and go back to her old ways or do something to Martin. Aranza says that she doesn’t think so. She says that Marianna’s daughter and now finding her family will keep her motivated to keep on growing. She adds that Martin knows how to handle her, even at her worst.

At Martin’s house,
Marianna is baking when her phone rings. She washes her hands and wipes them and then goes and picks up her phone. It is an unknown number. She frowns and says that it is probably Alejandro. She is not wrong, it is him. She sighs and tells him to leave her alone. Alejandro asks her why he would do so. He says that they have one thing in common that binds them forever. Marianna says that he is garbage and she has nothing to do with him. Alejandro snickers and asks her if she feels high and mighty because Martin is helping her. Without waiting for a response he says that eventually Martin will get bored of her and she will have no one to turn to. Marianna says that she can take care of herself. Alejandro sarcastically says that she has done a great job with it.

He then adds that without Martin by her side, she will go back to her old ways. Marianna tells Alejandro that Dianna is more than enough motivation for her to get better. Alejandro says it is a good thing that she mentioned their daughter because he wanted them to talk about her. Marianna takes a deep breath. She tells Alejandro that he is a killer and she wants him nowhere near Dianna. Alejandro says that there is no proof with which she can accuse him and she should stop spreading false rumors about him. Marianna asks him what he wants. Alejandro says he has just heard that Martin wants to adopt Dianna.

Juan Patricio is in his bedroom. He asks himself if Claudia went away with the papers or hid them in the house. He says that the only clear thing is that Antonio has no idea where she is. He says that he has looked for the papers everywhere but he hasn’t found them. He asks himself where Claudia could have hidden them. He says that there is no way, Claudia can outsmart him, Carlos and Antonio.

Back with Alejandro and Marianna

Marianna says that Martin adores Dianna and has been more of a father to her than he has ever been. Alejandro says that he won't allow Dianna to be raised by Martin. Marianna retorts that she won't allow Dianna anywhere near a murderer like him. Alejandro reminds her that she is no saint herself. Marianna tells him that she has made mistakes but she is not a murderer. Alejandro says that if she wants a fight over Dianna, he will give her one. Marianna hangs up and puts her phone down. She runs a hand through her hair. Back to Alejandro, he tells himself that he will never allow her to be happy with Martin.

Hours later at night,
Gabriela is in the kitchen. She is checking her WhatsApp. She checks her status updates and sees updates from Hernan. Most of them have their father carrying Gisela Paulina. Gabriela reads some of the captions and rolls her eyes. She continues scrolling. She doesn't notice Antonio until he comes and stands near her. He asks her if she is fine. Gabriela says that she is. Antonio says that she seems annoyed at somebody. Gabriela rolls her eyes and says that she is fine. Gabriela’s phone rings. She looks at it and ignores it. Antonio asks her if she will answer the call. Gabriela says that she will but maybe some other time. Antonio looks worried and asks her if Horacio has been bothering her and if it was him who called her.

Gabriela says that it wasn’t Horacio who called her. Antonio says that it's hard to believe that because she looks like she doesn’t want to talk to the person calling her. Gabriela says that it's not a big deal and that she can handle it. The phone rings again and Gabriela ignores it. Antonio puts a hand under her chin and Gabriela looks up at him. He says that he loves her and if something has happened, he wants to help her and be there for her. Gabriela says that she knows that and she appreciates that. She then adds that she is fine and that nothing is going on.

At Martin’s house,

Martin is with Dianna in the sitting room, when the door rings. Dianna jumps to go and open the door but Martin stops her. He tells her to wait behind him. He goes and very carefully opens the door. He is shocked to see Marianna’s nephew, Thiago. He welcomes him in and locks the door. Before he can ask anything, Dianna comes running and hugs Thiago. He smiles at her and rubs her head. Marianna comes into the room and frowns when she sees Thiago. She asks him whether his mother knows that he came to visit her. Thiago smiles. Marianna tells him that he shouldn’t have come without his mother’s permission. Thiago removes his school bag and puts it down. He then folds his hands and looks at Marianna. He said he wanted to talk to her and if he had told his mother or her before he came they would have cooked up some story to tell him.

Marianna asks Thiago what he is talking about. Thiago says that he wanted to talk to her about the man they met the other day when they were coming from the shop. Martin looks at Marianna but says nothing. Thiago adds that he didn’t want to give her and his mother time to cook up a story for him. Martin smiles and Marianna glares at him. She asks him if he finds the situation funny. Martin tells her to relax. He tells Thiago to sit down and have something to eat then they will call his mother to let her know that he is okay. Thiago smiles at Marianna. She sighs and tells Thiago to sit down.

Back at Antonio and Gabriela’s,

Gabriela is still insisting that she is fine and that Horacio is not bothering her. Antonio says that there is no one else he knows that would distress her that much. Gabriela sighs. She knows that Antonio is very stubborn and won't relent until she tells him what is going on. Gabriela tells Antonio that she was just a little annoyed at her brother but it’s not a big deal. Antonio asks her what happened. He adds that since he met her he has seen how close she is to her brother and he has barely seen them argue. Gabriela asks him not to insist and says that she will handle any issue she has with her brother with him. Antonio decides to let the issue go for now.

Shortly after,

At Martin’s house,

Marianna is with Martin in his room. She asks him if he is angry that Thiago is there. He says that he is shocked but he’s not angry. Marianna gives him an I don’t believe you look. He moves near her and holds up her face. Marianna looks at him. A moment, a spark of electricity passes between them. Martin then says that he isn't really surprised at what Thiago did by coming there without telling her or his mother. Marianna asks him why. Martin moves away from Marianna and says that for one it wouldn't be the first time Thiago has done something like that or pulled pranks and also because he is related to her. Marianna narrows her eyes at Martin and asks him what he meant when he said that he isn’t surprised at what Thiago did because he is related to her. Martin says that certain genes run in families and so he is not surprised that her nephew can be scheming and pull of somethings. Marianna rolls her eyes at him. Martin asks her how she feels about telling Thiago the truth.

 Marianna shrugs and says that she’d rather talk to her nephew before Alejandro poisons his mind against her. She says that she doesn’t care what most people think about her but she wouldn’t want her daughter or nephew to hate her. Martin moves near her and stands in front of her. She looks up at him. He tells her not to worry and that she will know what to tell Thiago. He adds that he will be there for her. Seconds later, Martin leans in and kisses her. Marianna kisses him back with equal passion. After some time Martin reluctantly pulls away from Marianna and tells her that she has to go and talk to her nephew. Marianna looks at Martin with the same look she always does (a mixture of hurt and confusion), when something similar happens but says nothing. She stands and turns to go and look for Thiago. Martin watches her go but doesn’t try to stop her. When she leaves, he sighs and lies on his bed.

Sometime later,

At a restaurant in the city,
Gabriel is on a date with Anna Patricia. She can see that there is something on his mind. She asks him about it. Gabriel says that he was thinking about Ricardo. Anna Patricia is caught completely off guard by that answer. Gabriel notes her reaction. She asks him why he would be thinking about Ricardo. Gabriel says that of the four children, he is the only one whose fate is still uncertain. Gabriel adds that with Marianna changing for the better and with her family and Martin by her side, Dianna is safe and secure. Anna Patricia recovers and asks him if he has talked to his daughter or Antonio about Ricardo. Gabriel says that he did talk to Gabriela some time back and she said that neither her nor Antonio were going to give the child away because neither Isabella nor Horacio were fit to raise him.

Anna Patricia says that would be the best decision because Ricardo is still so young and he shouldn’t be raised by his criminal parents because they might influence him. She then asks him what else Gabriela said. Gabriel says that she didn’t say much else and he got the sense that she and Antonio haven’t really discussed any long term plans. Anna Patricia remembers telling her father not to meddle, just after they had talked about Ricardo. She asks herself if her father went ahead and talked to Gabriel anyway. She says that she would not want to put Gabriel in a corner and make him feel like he has to do something he doesn’t want to especially if there is a child involved.

Back at Martin’s house,
Marianna is with Thiago in her room. She has just told him the truth (well as is appropriate anyway). She adds that she told him because she wouldn’t want somebody to twist and add lies to what happened to make him hate her. Thiago asks her if she really didn’t have anything to do with the death of Martin’s girlfriend. Marianna says that she didn’t. She adds that she did a lot of bad things and hurt people but she would never kill anyone. He then asks her if she will go to prison. Marianna shrugs. She says that she really isn’t sure about any of that. She adds that it all depends on how the trial goes. Thiago asks her when it will start. Marianna says that it all depends on if and when any evidence is found. She says that Alejandro and the others are still insisting on lying and until evidence can be found to link them to the crime, she can only wait.

Thiago says that he doesn’t really like Alejandro much. Marianna looks at him alarmed and asks him if Alejandro has done anything to him or the rest of the family. Thiago says that he hasn’t. He adds that he was saying that because Alejandro is creepy and scary. Marianna tells him to be careful around Alejandro. Thiago says that he will. He then adds that Martin is a very nice person for forgiving her and giving her a second chance despite everything that has happened. Marianna says that he is. Thiago says that he has seen how much he loves Dianna. Marianna says that he does love her. She adds that he wants to adopt Dianna. Thiago is very shocked.

Back at the restaurant,
Gabriel asks Anna Patricia if she is fine. She says that she is. She was just thinking about something she had told her father. He asks her what it is. Anna Patricia tells him not to mind, she adds that its not a big deal. Gabriel says to himself that Ramon was right about Anna Patricia developing maternal feelings towards Ricardo. He asks himself why she would downplay or ignore them. Anna Patricia says that she will discuss the issue with Gabriela as soon as possible because she is interested in Ricardo’s situation being solved. She adds that with Gabriela and Antonio focusing on Claudia’s disappearance, solving Ricardo’s limbo status is not a priority.

Back at Martin’s house,

Thiago asks Marianna what will happen when she comes out of jail. Marianna asks him what he means. Thiago says that now she and Martin are taking care of Dianna together, when she is in jail, Martin will take care of Dianna but he doesn’t understand what will happen after that. Marianna says that they will work out something but Dianna will always come first. Thiago says that she and Martin look nice together. Marianna is caught off-guard with that remark. After some silence, she tells Thiago that they are just friends. Thiago shrugs and says that she doesn’t understand either of them. Marianna asks him why. He says that he can see the way Martin looks at her and the way she looks at him. Marianna shakes her head and rubs Thiago’s head. She tells him that for somebody so young, he is so nosy.

Thiago says that he is just clever. Marianna smiles. Thiago calls Marianna Auntie and tells her that he doesn’t hate her despite everything that she has told him. He says that like his mother always tells him, everyone makes mistakes at one time or the other but what makes the difference is those who admit, accept it and want to correct them.
Marianna smiles. She says that she just wants to be someone Dianna can be proud of. Thiago says that what they should do is enjoy whatever time is left before the trial. He then adds that she should never worry about Dianna because he will treat her like his little sister and he will always be there for her. Marianna hugs him.

Two weeks pass during which, Adrianna and Alejandro give their statements in Dianna’s custody case. As expected Alejandro is less than cooperative. He does all he can to paint Adrianna, Marianna and Martin negatively. Additionally, Gabriel, the twins, their children, and Aranza visit the mansion. Carlos looks at Helena crossly, for even allowing the visit to happen. If looks could kill, the whole Montes De Alba family would be dead, from the looks Helena and Carlos were giving them.

On a Wednesday,
At Martin’s house,
Marianna is up and about her business when she hears a knock on the door. She says she is coming and walks towards the door. She asks who it is but the other person doesn’t answer her. She asks again but there is still no answer. Marianna is baffled. She asks herself what if it is Alejandro or one of his goons who have come to bother her. The other person knocks but still doesn’t say a word. She paces around for a few seconds then remembers something. She quickly goes, grabs a chair and goes to the kitchen. She then gets a bottle of pepper spray from one of the top shelves.

She then goes to the door. When the other person hears her moving back towards the door, they knock the door again. Marianna sighs positions the pepper spray well then opens the door. She feels like the other person is familiar but she can't quite say from where. The person asks her if she can enter. Marianna stammers but says sure. She then locks the door. She then asks the person, who they are. The person, who seems to be an elderly lady, asks her if they can move away from the door. Marianna notes that she is afraid and agrees. They then walk towards the sitting room.

Meanwhile at Isabella’s house,

Isabella is there with Alejandro and Horacio. She asks Horacio what he hopes to achieve by making it hard for Martin to adopt Dianna. She adds that no one believes that he is doing that because he wants to take care of Dianna. Alejandro says that he has to make Martin, Marianna, Adrianna, and Hernan pay, through whatever means necessary. He then looks at Isabella and Horacio and says that they too have to do something. Isabella says that they will make the twins, Adrianna, Antonio, Martin, and Marianna pay, but all in due time. Horacio agrees and says that they have to make all their enemies pay soon, especially Marianna for giving her statement. They toast to that.