The Sky Is Falling
Chapter Twenty-Six

 Sidney Sheldon

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DANA'S MOTHER TOOK a bite of the wedding cake.
"Too sweet. Much too sweet. When I was younger and I used to bake, my cakes would melt in your mouth." She turned to Dana. "Isn't that true, darling?"
"Melt in your mouth" would have been the last phrase that came to Dana's mind, but it was not important. "Absolutely, Mother," she said with a warm smile.
The wedding ceremony had been performed by a judge at City Hall. Dana had invited her mother at the last minute, after a telephone call.
"Darling, I didn't marry that dreadful man after all. You and Kemal were right about him, so I'm back in Las Vegas."
"What happened, Mother?"
"I found out that he already had a wife. She didn't like him, either."
"I'm sorry, Mother."
"So here I am alone again."
Lonelywas the implication. So Dana had invited her to the wedding. Seeing her mother chatting with Kemal and even remembering his name, Dana smiled. We'll turn her into a grandmother yet. Her happiness seemed too immense to absorb. Just being married to Jeff was a blissful miracle, but there was more.
After the fire, Jeff and Kemal had briefly gone to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. While they were there, a nurse talked to a reporter about Kemal's adventures and the story had been picked up by the media. Kemal's photograph was in the newspapers and his story was told on television. A book was being written about his experiences and there was even talk of a television series.
"But only if I get to star in it," Kemal insisted. Kemal was the hero of his school.
When the adoption ceremony took place, half of Kemal's schoolmates turned out to applaud him.
Kemal said, "I'm really adopted now, huh?"
"You're really adopted," Dana and Jeff said. "We belong to one another."
"Rad."Wait until Ricky Underwood hears about this. Ha!
The terrible nightmare of the past month was gradually fading away. The three of them were a family now, and home was a safe haven. I don't need any more adventures, Dana thought. I've had enough to last me a lifetime.
One morning, Dana announced, "I just found a great new apartment for the four of us."
"You mean the three of us," Jeff corrected her.
"No," Dana said softly. "The four of us."
Jeff was staring at her.
"She means she's having a baby," Kemal explained. "I hope it's a boy. We can shoot hoops."
There was more good news to come. Crime Line 's opening show, "The Roger Hudson Story, A Murder Conspiracy," received both critical acclaim and phenomenal ratings. Matt Baker and Elliot Cromwell were elated.
"You'd better get a place ready to put your Emmy," Elliot Cromwell told Dana.
There was only one sobering note. Rachel Stevens had succumbed to cancer. The story had been printed in the newspapers, and Dana and Jeff were aware of what had happened. But when the story appeared on the TelePrompTer, Dana looked at it and choked up.
"I can't read it," she whispered to Richard Melton. So he had read it.
Rest in peace.
They were doing the eleven o'clock broadcast.
"...And here at home, a guardsman in Spokane, Washington, is charged with the murder of a sixteen-year-old prostitute and is suspected in the deaths of sixteen others...In Sicily, the body of Malcolm Beaumont, the seventy-year-old heir to a steel fortune, was found drowned in a swimming pool. Beaumont was honeymooning with his twenty-five-year-old bride. They were accompanied by the bride's two brothers. Now, here's the weather with Marvin Greer."
When the broadcast was over, Dana went in to see Matt Baker.
"Something is bothering me, Matt."
"What is it? Name it and I'll slay it."
"It's the story about that seventy-year-old millionaire who drowned in a swimming pool while he was honeymooning with his twenty-five-year-old bride. Don't you think that was awfully convenient?"