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As The World Turns Fan Fiction Pages

ATWT Fan Fiction

Barbara and Tom Double Date With James and Margo
Chapter Two
by
Nicole

Barbara awoke, unsettled about what her mother had said back in her jail cell. She was relieved to see that she was back in her dream. The second chance her mother said she could get. But what had her mother said before? That she couldn't relive her life? Then why had her mother allowed her to slip back into her dream again? The glorious dream in which she was about to marry Tom Hughes, thus making James Stenbeck a distant memory.

Barbara sat up. In her heart she knew it was to see the whole thing through. She remembered how James's eyes had looked when she left him in his suite the previous night. Margo would not appease him. He wanted her and Paul. Barbara was startled to see that Tom was asleep in bed beside her. She suddenly felt angry. Why was she dropped back into this second chance life in which she could not benefit? She had no recollection of any sex with Tom! It wasn't fair!

Tom stirred. Barbara sensed that if he was next to her then she had not told him about James being Paul's father yet. She sighed. She'd never been very good at telling the truth. Barbara got up, putting on a robe. She left her bedroom, sensing that Lisa was on one of her shopping sprees in New York. She remembered that Tom would stay over when his mother was not around. She walked into the kitchen, her mind still on Lisa. Lisa had told her to be honest with Tom. She hadn't been honest the first time around and had lost him. Barbara began to make coffee, shaking her head all the while. No, she had lost Tom because she had stupidly fallen for James's smarmy charm. He hadn't loved her, but he had needed her to ensure his control of the Stenbeck fortune.

She sat down, waiting for the coffee to brew. If she recalled correctly, James had a brother whose wife was pregnant. If James couldn't get his hands on her and Paul, or worse just Paul, then they would control the family fortune. Barbara expected that James would be more persistent in the ensuing days.

As she wondered about Margo's evening with James, the phone rang. Barbara went over to counter and picked it up. "Hello?"

"Good morning Barbara. Did you sleep well?"

Barbara rolled her eyes, holding the phone away from her a bit. "I slept fine James." "

Good. And how did Tom take the news?"

"I told Tom a long time ago that you were Paul's father. We have no secrets."

"So Tom knew yesterday? When he saw me in the park?" "

Yes! Tom knew that James Stenbeck was Paul's father. I have to go now..."

"So I could come over right now, and he would know that I, the man from the park yesterday, was Paul's father?" "

What do you want?"

James laughed. "I have to say Barbara, you've acquired a bitchiness that I find quite intoxicating. It will take more than some nurse to keep me at bay."

Barbara swallowed. "How is Margo?"

"She's fine. Still sleeping, of course."

Barbara made a face. That was quick!

"Listen, I'm calling because I realized that you are doing the best you can to be fair about Paul." There was a long silence. Barbara was a little thrown by his words.

"I am?"

"Yes. And I do like Margo. She's a splendid girl. I would love to take Tom and yourself out to dinner tonight."

"No." "Barbara, you are going to have to start being civil. I've decided to make Oakdale my home, and with my burgeoning relationship with Margo...well, we might as well get to know one another."

"Who's on the phone, honey?" Barbara whipped around and found Tom smiling at her. She hadn't heard him get up at all. "I have to go."

"Surely you're going to tell Tom that you're talking to Paul's father, aren't you?"

Barbara smiled at Tom. "Call me with the where and when, okay?"

She hung up and went into Tom's arms. "So, who was that?" Tears welled up in Barbara's eyes. "I have to tell you something Tom."


"How long has he been in town, Barbara?" Barbara swallowed. It was funny, being involved with someone so upstanding. Tom was acting the way Hal had always acted when she had lied to him. She had never lied to Gunnar and James...well, he had done all the lying!

"A couple of days."

"And that was him at the park yesterday? You two really pulled a fast one on me, didn't you?" "

Tom! I don't want him in my life! I for damned sure don't want him anywhere near Paul! But there's nothing I can do! He threatened to sue for custody!"

"What?!"

"Tom, I'm so scared!"

Tom put his arms around her. "Don't you worry. Paul will be our son. I'll take care of everything."

Barbara felt very safe. Maybe things would work out after all. She laid her head on his shoulder. "Tom?"

"Yes?" "James wants to have dinner with us tonight." Barbara removed her head from his shoulder. Tom looked at her as if she were crazy. "What?"

"I guess he wants to know who'll be taking care of Paul. He's bringing a date."

Tom's eyes widened. "If James is dating then he's only interested in his son?"

Barbara smiled at him. "Yes, Tom. And I'm only interested in you."

Tom kissed her. "Okay. I'm more than curious about him."

"Okay, I'll just find out where and when." Tom stood up and headed back towards the bedrooms.

Barbara heard the shower turn on. She put her head in her hands. She did not want to go out to dinner with James. And something else was gnawing at her about him. She shook it off. Barbara figured it was because she knew what was to come that he seemed different to her. But she couldn't help remembering that the first time around, his voice hadn't seemed so condescending.

His eyes hadn't been mocking, his facial expressions all knowing. Barbara shook off the bad feelings again. James had always been like that. She had just been stupid. The phone rang again. Barbara yawned, then picked it up. "Hello?"

"So, are we set for tonight?" Barbara could barely hide her unease. It was as if he knew when her conversation with Tom had ended. She stood up, taking the phone and looking out of the windows. "Barbara? Are you there?"

"We're set. Just let me know where and when."

"Good. I think that you'll learn something about yourself, Barbara." Barbara copied down the time and place he told her, then hung up on him before he could say anything else cute. She needed to wake up from this dream and talk to her mother.


James and Margo were already waiting, when Tom and Barbara walked into James's suite. James had told Barbara that Margo had wanted to have dinner there, which she didn't buy.

"Isn't that Lyla Montgomery's daughter?" Barbara looked at him with surprise. "Yes. Do you know her?"

"I've met her once. How did she and Stenbeck hook up?" Barbara didn't answer, knowing that Margo or James would surely mention her part in their pairing soon enough. James greeted them, taking Barbara's coat and shaking Tom's hand.

"It's nice to finally meet you, Tom. I had told Barbara that there was no need to hide our connection from you. But you know Barbara and her secrets." Tom laughed nervously, but something in Barbara's mind clicked. James, the first time around, had been sweet, caring. Albeit, a fake sweet and caring, but he pulled it off better than this. Barbara had a nasty feeling that she was dealing with the James she knew now. Was it possible that he was somehow in her dream? That he was blocking her every move? She looked into his eyes and saw the jeering laughter. She suddenly was unable to breath.

"Barbara?" Tom asked, concerned. "Oh, I think Barbara needs some air. I'll take her out on the terrace. You stay and get to know Margo. I think you both will find you have a lot in common."

"Barbara? Will you be alright?" Tom asked her. Barbara nodded, giving him a smile to appease him. She then allowed James to steer her to the terrace.

James closed the door behind him. "I can't tell if I like you better scarred!" That did it! Barbara wanted to claw his crummy eyes out! They glittered in the moonlight. "How dare you invade my dream?!" she hissed softly.

"And how dare you try and cut me out of your past... and Paul's. I couldn't let you do that."

"But how..."

"My mother visited me while I was asleep the other night as well. She warned me about what your mother was allowing you to do."

Barbara shook her head. "Your mother is dead?"

"Yes!" "I'm sorry...I thought evil never died."

"You little..."

"And I know she's not in heaven where my mother is. Not after all that she accomplished in life."

James stared at her. "You know, believe it or not, I was hurt that you wouldn't sleep with me that night at Hal's."

"You, hurt? Don't make me sick! And I wasn't having sex with you while Will was sleeping upstairs!"

"Fine! We could've went back to Fairwinds. I rid you of not one enemy, but three, and you can't give me some small reward?"

"James, you are truly a precious bastard. Did you really think it was necessary to frame me for Carly, Emily and Rose's disappearances, just because I wouldn't sleep with you? I mean, my God, you could've went to Lucinda if you were so desperate! No one's been in her bed since you left a couple of years back!"

James stared at Barbara a long while. Then he cleared his throat. "We're going back in there to fix up Tom and Margo."

"No!"

"Yes! And when that is done, I'm going to tell you what it is that you're going to do for me, in return for my getting you off the hook."

Barbara looked confused as he lead her back inside. Tom and Margo were laughing, almost intimately. They seemed surprised by their return. Margo joined James at his side.

"Barbara, you have a great fiancee."

"Yes, I do." Barbara walked over to Tom's side. James smiled, then looked at Margo. "Margo darling, I have a gift for you in that drawer over there. Go and get it." Margo grinned, then kissed him.

Barbara looked at James, who was watching Margo. Tom watched Margo as well. Margo opened the drawer, gasped, then brought out pictures of James and Barbara. Pictures from the time they spent in New York together.

Barbara gulped. Margo held them up. "What the hell is this, James?" James looked embarrassed and contrite. "I didn't know I still had those. Margo, your gift is farther back..."

But Margo studied the pictures. "Barbara! I thought you said James was a friend."

Tom looked at Barbara. "Barbara, you didn't tell Margo that James was Paul's father?"

"You two have a child together?!" Margo screeched.

Barbara backed away a bit. "Margo darling please! It was so long ago..." Margo slapped James hard. She then ran from the suite crying.

Tom began to run after her.

Barbara pulled him back. "Where are you going?"

"I don't know what's going on with you two, but I think Margo was dealt a raw deal here! She'll need someone to drive her home."

"She could take a cab, Tom!"

Tom's eyes widened. "No, she can't Barbara! And for you to even suggest such a thing is very callous of you! I don't know what happened here tonight, but I think there's more going on than you've told me! Call me when you're ready to tell me the truth. Until then, the wedding is off."

"Tom!"

Tom slammed out of the suite. Barbara was about to follow, when James hurried in front of her and locked the door.

"Now that we've taken care of the tiresome two..."

"We?"

"Barbara, deep down we're the same. Born liars. You couldn't even be honest about the little things. Did you even tell him that it was me you were talking to on the phone this morning?"

"I'm leaving! I'm getting out of this dream!" "And when you wake up you'll be back in that jail cell."

"What do you want? And don't give me that crap about wanting to "ravish" me. You didn't do all of this for some roll in the hay! Tell me what it is you want so I can finally be rid of you, once and for all."

"I want another child."

Barbara was about to pick her her coat when she heard those words. "What?"

"You heard me."

Barbara shook her head. "I'm too old to be having anymore children, James. If kids are what you want you'll have to find someone younger or stupid or...or..."

"But you could give John Dixon a child?"

Barbara began screaming at him. "Don't you dare bring up my baby!"

James began calming her down. "I'm sorry, okay? Listen to me: I want us to have a child together. If you don't feel that you can be with me, I'll accept that. But I want you to give me the child to raise, for my own."

Barbara suddenly awoke, in her jail cell. She was shaking, unable to believe her dream. She tried to comfort herself with the thought that it had been just that: a dream. It was morning. Barbara felt a little better about what she was facing. Anything was preferable to that nightmare.

A guard came to her cell. "Ms Ryan?"

"Yes?" "I need to take you to the visitor's lounge. There's a man here to see you."

Barbara nodded. It was probably John or Bob. Those were the only men that would visit her these days. When they reached the visitors lounge, Barbara was shocked to see James waiting for her.

He motioned for her to pick up her phone. "Let's pick up where we left off last night," he said.

NEXT: James offers to release Carly, Emily and Rose if Babs gives him a baby. Will she agree?

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Page updated 11/19/10

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