Episode 62: Wartburg Castle
There’s a knock on the door. How are you feeling, Lana? The voice of the man who carried me, Lana says, and puts down the Winnie the Pooh book that she’s been reading. You can come in, she tells him. It is so wonderful to be able to see again, she tells him grinning. You are not how I imagined you’d be. I was thinking Fabio. She and Levi laugh together. Thank you for not taking advantage of me, Levi. He looks down and grins. Are you picturing me with my dress off? She asks him incredulously. You’re beautiful, he tells her. Lana rolls her new eyes and blushes. I am not Samantha, she tells him. I know.
Question: does Bettina know that I’m alright and in good hands? Yes. Samantha is keeping her informed. Thank you. Can I get you anything? Please bring me some of your reggae music to pass the time, she tells him with a big grin.
Well, Levi? Saul asks. I know why she is so sought after now. She has a wonderful laugh and a great sense of humor and is a joy to be around. And her new eyes are stunning. What did she ask you? She only asked if Bettina knew that she was in good hands. She was content with that. She didn’t ask for her phone? No. See if she’s up for eating dinner with me.
Lana comes downstairs an hour later in her sweatpants and hoodie. Sam’s dresses are cut too short for me, Lana says wincing, as she sees the men dressed formally for dinner. Join us anyway, Lana, Saul tells her. Lana doesn’t move and glances at the floor. Only if you’ll give me a hug, she tells him, still looking down. Saul walks over and hugs Lana. Levi sees her squeeze his boss and rest her head on his shoulder. Saul pats her back and she finally lets him go. Thank you. She tells him, her new eyes shining. Levi gets her chair and seats her. He then brings them each a bowl of tomato soup with a sprig of parsley. From my own garden, Saul notes proudly, as Levi joins them at the table.
How are your headaches, Lana? Saul asks her when they are finished eating. It’s strange, sir. They seem to be triggered by sunlight. I hope it’s just a side effect of the eyedrops. How is your vision? Levi asks. Excellent. I don’t have any blurriness or vertigo. What is the one movie that is guaranteed to make you cry? Levi asks. You want to see if I’m able to tear up? He nods. I don’t want to waste my life staring at a screen. How about we cut up an onion instead? My mother used to do that when one of us was sick, Saul says. The onion gradually turns black as it absorbs germs and viruses in a room. I’m going to have to try that, Lana announces.
So the engagement ring – did it meet your expectations? Saul asks. It’s beautiful, Lana admits, looking down. May I speak to you alone, sir? Levi gets up and clears the table, and leaves. He texts Sam: Five by five. Sam texts him back: Thank you. Levi replies: Call your uncle later for details; they’re talking alone now. Sam replies: Any complications? Levi responds: Five by five. Out.
Sam texts everyone the same message. Five by five. And then shuts her phone off and goes back to her workout.
Would you advise me, sir? How should I give it back to Jax?
Why did you accept it in the first place? Saul retorts. He proposed to me in front of my parents and friends, and I said no. Then my father insisted that I give him my hand. I was blind and helpless, sir. I wasn’t able to get up and leave like I wanted to, and I wasn’t going to disrespect my father in front of everyone.
Would you have married him if you hadn’t been snatched? I was hoping the news of my engagement would force Raul’s hand and he would step up. I think he would have. It’s a moot point now. Kostamo didn’t step up? Saul asks. Lana sighs. I thanked him and told him that he would be a good husband, but no. He knows why, and didn’t press me. But he made me promise not to eat my gun.
Saul steeples his hands. Lana, you’re afraid of Jax retaliating and abusing you once you’re his wife. Yes, and there are trust issues because I’ve seen things that I shouldn’t have seen. What things? Pictures of him being intimate with another woman.
Lana, you gave Jax a severe beatdown – for cause. Most women do that with their tongues, but not you. You have a tongue of health. It’s refreshing, and that’s why Jax wants you back. But I took away his guitar, Lana says. I don’t see that as an issue. He’d peaked, Saul says. He’d already proven what he can do, and the band was going to break up anyway. Sam tells me that he’s going to pursue a career in investing now, where he can prove himself again.
I guess it all boils down to me being a jealous woman, Lana admits. Jax is very handsome, and he’s also very, very smart, which will be catnip to the cougars out there. He’s going to be tempted often.
Let’s talk about Raul Gutierrez then, Saul says. Faithful with little; faithful with much, Lana says. He’s a bit player in a very dangerous game, Saul says coldly. I don’t think he is your David, Lana says looking down with her Mona Lisa smile. So I’m King Saul? Lana doesn’t answer, and keeps her head down. Who had a daughter who loved David, he muses. I like reading about his mighty men in Chronicles, Lana admits. One was worth a thousand, and they could kill with either hand. No wonder the Syrians fled before them. If God hadn’t established the boundaries of Israel ahead of time, King David would have taken Egypt. Saul looks at her and grins. It’s not easy to pick a fight with you, Lana.
Raul is a man with a vision. He’s asked me to help him get there. And that is very attractive to someone like me, Lana says, looking him in the eyes. Saul nods. Do you want your phone and purse back? Not especially. If I could impose on your hospitality a little longer though, it’s so nice being able to rest without distractions. I’d like to get my strength back and for my eyes to fully heal before I go back to work. Doing what? Handling Senator Johns security. Do you want to know what’s going on in the world? Not especially. I’m too weak to be of any use right now. You’re welcome to stay, Lana. I’ll let Samantha know, Saul says. Thank you, sir. Lana says softly. I don’t know how such a debt can be repaid. Start by calling me Saul.
She asked to stay longer, Saul tells Samantha. Does she know about Jenny? No, you can be the one to tell her. Ugghh. Sam grunts. I better call Bettina. I love you, Uncle Saul, she tells him and hangs up. He looks at the phone for a long time.
Hi, can you talk? Sam asks Bettina. I stepped away from the dinner table to take your call, Bettina admits. Okay, short version…
Bettina comes back and takes her seat at the table, obviously delighted. Lana is now recovering at Samantha’s getaway in the Hamptons. She’s resting well and is slowly getting her strength back. She’s asked to stay longer. Sunlight gives her headaches, but it’s likely a just a side effect of the eye drops she’s taking. Why hasn’t she called you? Tom asks Bettina. I don’t know. She just asked that I be informed of where she is and that she is in good hands. Has she called her parents? Tom asks. Bettina shakes her head no. When are you going there? Jax asks her, quickly changing the subject. Samantha is getting in tomorrow. She’ll call me. What’s going on with you and Simon? Tom asks. I’m still waiting for an apology, Bettina declares.
After dinner Bettina and Jax walk to the end of the drive to talk to the assembled press. How about a Channel Five exclusive, Bettina? Cassidy Meadows asks. You have to share this one, Bettina replies. Now, I don’t have many details, just a few soundbites. We just learned that Lana is able to see and is undergoing eyedrop therapy. Where is she? I’m not at liberty to say, Bettina replies. Just that she is not being held against her will. Does she know about Jenny’s eyes? No. Samantha is going to tell her; she’s en route now.
Sam gives her uncle a big hug when she gets in after sunset. Where’s Lana? They’ve been practicing for hours. He tells her. She follows Saul through a large sunporch that overlooks the bay, a lighthouse visible in the far distance, into a wood paneled room full of books. Aaagggh. She hears Lana yell. Let’s do it again, from the top. Saul smiles at Sam and motions for her to be quiet and wait.
Sam pulls out her phone and records. They listen as Levi sings and then beatboxes to Lana’s intricate strumming. Lana bumps Levi with her shoulder, and they grin at each other. Sam clears her throat. And they look up startled. Sam! Lana shrieks.
Jax presses play on Bettina’s phone and they watch the clip together with Tom. Lana is in lounge clothes playing an acoustic wooden guitar sitting next to a handsome Jewish man wearing a kippah, who beatboxes and sings. They’re both wearing headphones. He notices with delight that she’s still wearing his engagement ring. He sees Lana bump the man’s shoulder when the song finishes. A throat clears offscreen. Lana and the man suddenly look at the camera. Her eyes are stunningly beautiful. She opens her mouth and delightedly shrieks, Sam! The clip ends.
The video is posted on the campaign website.
Our beloved Lana is recovering at her actress friend’s Samantha’s retreat in the Hamptons, where she is relaxing to the “Thunder” of Jewish reggae. The campaign tour to resume shortly. –Senator Johns.