In Her Life

    Disclaimer: Belongs to Ken, the new writers, NBC, and Sony. If it belonged to me Greta would have a great storyline, rather than the dribble she's been given so far.

    Author's Notes: When the switch in head writers happened I got to thinking about Greta and what I would do to her character. It ended up going very long term, and I decided to turn it into a story. This is Greta's life from this point in the show forward.

    Summary: Greta's life takes its twists and turns as she discovers who she is, finds love, and basically just lives life.


    Chapter One: Declaration of Independence

    Greta Von Amburg sipped her coffee as she sat at the Java Café waiting for Jack Deveraux. It seemed to her that she often waited for Jack. It was what friends did. Didn't they? She liked being there for Jack, though she knew nothing would ever come of it. It was times like these, when she was sitting by herself, that she began to think about her life. She had friends, sure, but not the kind of a friend she could tell anything. Jack did not know everything about her. She and Hope were not as close as they seemed as though they might be. The more and more Greta thought about, she was actually lonely. She needed friends. She needed a purpose in the world, something that said Greta Von Amburg was here and she was well liked and she was useful.

    Her thoughts were broken by a jubilant Jack approaching and sitting across from her. At the moment she was not in the mood for his usual mirth. Her thoughts had made her depressed and she wanted to go back to her apartment, sip on a hot cup of tea, and watch a sappy romance film.

    "And how are you today, Princess?"


    "Good, because I have wonderful news. Our trip for Las Vegas is set. We leave in two weeks. I'll get a good, steady job, and then Jennifer and I can get married again."

    "Jack, I don't want hear about your grand plans to get Jennifer back," she had enough of his shenanigans. "Stop trying to get Jennifer back. Deal with who you are. You're gay, Jack. You need to live your life and be true to yourself."

    "I'll be true to myself when I have Jennifer back."

    "But you're gay," she nearly shouted.

    Forgetting he was in public, Jack responded, "I am not gay!" He'd completely forgotten his ruse and let the cat out of the bag.

    "What did you say, Jack?"

    "I said, I'm not gay. But, you see, what I meant, was that I don't want other people to know, only you," he whispered.

    "The truth, Jack. I'm not stupid. Naive, sometimes, but not stupid. I'm the only person you've told about this. Why me? There are people here who have known you for so much longer."

    "You're the only one that likes me. The only that is my friend."

    "Jack, are you go or not? Tell me the truth right now or this friendship is over."

    Jack looked to the side, trying to find some way out of this. For the first time in a long time, he decided to take the honest way out. "Not gay, Princess."

    Without her noticing, a small tear slid down Greta's cheek as she realized she'd been lied to. "Why?" Her voice was low, like that of a small child.

    "Well, I didn't want to hurt you. Jennifer said you were falling in love with me. I didn't want you to, because if you did, it would end badly. Because I love Jennifer."

    "Yeah, I fall in love with men who lie. Bye, Jack," she stood, turned, and walked away to her car.

    Jack sat on the stool at the Java Café, sad that he'd just lost his friend.

    Back in her apartment, Greta kicked off her shoes and put the kettle on the stove, making tea. She threw her head back, sighed, and let a few tears cascade down her face.

    While the tea brewed, she went to her bedroom and threw her pajamas on, turned on the TV, and went back to the kitchen. The phone began to ring and she was going to ignore, but thought back to what she was thinking about earlier. No, she had just been lied to by another man. It was time for Greta to start her life. She went for the phone on the table.

    Hope Brady needed a night out. She had called her cousin Jennifer, it was time for one more person. Hope was going through a lot, now that things about J.T. were out and she was in the midst of a custody dispute. She decided that, along with Jennifer, she would enjoy the company of Greta. All the times they had previously gone out together, they'd enjoyed themselves. Hope thought Greta would use a friend other than Jack.

    "Hello?" Greta did not sound the picture of happiness as she answered the phone.

    "Greta, it's Hope."

    "Oh, hi."

    "Is something wrong?"

    "I just had a really bad day."

    "I can help you fix that."

    "How?" Greta was open to just about anything at the moment.

    "Remember how we occasionally would go out for a girls night out on the town? Well, I could use one of those, I need to take my mind off of things. So does Jennifer. You and I always had fun going, so, what do you say? Jennifer and I will pick you up in two hours?"

    Greta chewed on her lower lip and though. It would be nice, being with the closest thing she had to a friend right now, having fun, forgetting their troubles. It just meant she'd have to shower and get dressed again.

    "Greta, are you there?"

    "Oh, yeah, Hope, I'm here."

    "What do you say?"

    "I'll be ready in two hours," Greta relented. "And do I ever have a story for you."

    "Can't wait to hear it. See you in two hours," Hope said.

    "Bye, Hope," Greta placed the phone back on its cradle.

    Within two hours Greta had her hair curled and down. She wore a deep, crimson dress, reaching mid-thigh, strapless. Her black heels added an extra bit of sexiness to the outfit. Normally, to go out with Hope, or anyone else for that matter, Greta would have never dressed in this manner. Tonight was different. She had a feeling about tonight.

    There was a knock on her door, she pulled on her long, black coat and grabbed her small purse, keys in hand. She opened the door to find Hope and Jennifer standing there, both in their winter coats, holding their purses.

    "Well, Greta," Hope smiled at her friend, "Ready?"

    "I've had a really bad day, I need a night out. Thanks for inviting me," Greta smiled.

    "No problem, the more the merrier," Jennifer answered.

    The taxi that they had called to take them out arrived at the Blue Note and Hope paid him, sending him on his way. They found a table and were approached by a waiter.

    "What can I get three such beautiful ladies tonight?"

    "Rum and coke," Jennifer ordered.

    Hope smiled at him, "Vodka tonic."

    The waiter winked at Greta as it was her turn to order. Feeling rather bold, she thought she'd flirt a little. Smiling up at him, she gave her order, "Sex on the beach, please."

    The waiter's voice caught in his throat and as he spoke his voice cracked, "R, r, right away, ladies." The waiter looked at Greta a few more seconds longer as she gave him a half smile, then he walked away.

    Hope and Jennifer were a bit surprised. First they see Greta remove her coat to reveal what she was wearing, then she began flirting with the waiter who did not even stand a chance.

    "What has gotten into you?" Hope raised an eyebrow.

    "I had a bad day and I went home and decided that it was time I do something about it."

    "What happened?" Jennifer rested her chin on her hand.

    "I don't know if I should say."

    "Come one, you told me on the phone you had quite a story to tell," Hope prodded.

    "Yeah, but then I thought about it and it has to do with someone both of you know. It isn't the most ladylike thing to just say it."

    "Is it Jack? If it's Jack, I want to hear it," Jennifer said as the waiter brought them their drinks. Again he smiled at Greta. This time she ignored him. He left in defeat.

    "Jennifer, did you tell Jack I was falling in love with him?"

    "Well, um, yeah. Yeah, I did. I'm sorry."

    "No, no, it's okay. I was falling for Jack."

    "What about now?" Hope sipped her drink.

    "Now, no. I can't be in love with someone who lies." She really hadn't meant for that to slip. It just did.

    "What did Jack lie about?" Jennifer hated to think what Jack had done now.

    "He didn't want to hurt me. He wanted to stop me from falling in love with him. It worked, I did."

    "What did he do?" Hope was very curious now.

    "He," Greta laughed a little. "He told me he was gay."

    Jennifer and Hope looked at Greta in shock.

    "Yeah, I believed him too. So much so, I set him up on a date." Greta laughed again and took a drink. A rather large one.

    Within a few hours Greta had gone through many, many drinks. She had just received another from the waiter, this time a sea breeze.

    "You know what?"

    "What?" Hope and Jennifer were still fairly sober.

    "It's time for me to get a life," she slurred.

    "You have a life," Hope interjected.

    "No, no. When I got out of that damn swamp I followed Bo around like a puppy. The, then there was Eric. He cheated on me with Nicole. Nicole Walker! Even after finding out her past, after she married Lucas for money. She might as well have gone and prostituted herself. Austin. His may have been the worst of all of them. It's like he completely forgot I even existed. He's engaged to Sami. It doesn't bother me, except I pity him. The woman drugged him. She's lied, cheated, done everything dishonest to get to him and he fell for it. Not Jack lies to me. You know what I'm going to do?" Greta sat up straight.

    "What are you going to do?" Hope was very amused by a drunk Greta.

    "I'm going to get a job. I don't need to money, but it'll give me something to do during the day. I'm going to get a job. And then, when things are settled with that, I'm going to find out who my father is. I need to know who I am. When things are all done with those two...things, I'm going to work on my love life. Greta Von Amburg will no longer be a useless member of society."

    "Greta, you aren't useless," Jennifer told her.

    "I'm going to make my life mean something."

    "Good for you," Hope praised.

    "Do me a favor, though? This is a good plan and all, but I'm not sure I'll remember it in the morning, so remind me. I think I'm going to be sick," Greta said as she slumped inelegantly into her chair.

    Chapter Two: Falling Into Place

    Greta woke the next morning with a headache the size of Alaska. She rolled over and looked at the clock on her night stand. Ten o'clock, definitely time to get up. She decided, what with a hangover looming over her, that her best course of action would be some ibuprofen and a nice shower.

    She was about to switch on the hair dryer after she got out of the shower when there was a knock on her door. Padding into the living room, wearing her baby blue, terrycloth robe, she looked through the peep hole to see a familiar man on the other side of the door. She opened the door and smiled at him.

    "I just got out of the shower," she excused her appearance. "Give me a few minutes?"

    "Not a problem," he answered.

    "Have a seat, I'll be out in a minute."

    Actually, it was fifteen minutes. She emerged, her hair now dry and down, wearing black pants and a red v-neck sweater.

    "How are you, John?" She sat on the sofa next to him, curling one leg underneath her.

    "Haven't really come by all that often lately. Just wanted to see how you were."

    "I'm good. I'm actually thinking of maybe working. I mean, I don't need the money, but it would be nice to have something to do during the days."

    "Well, good. That's one of the reasons I came to see you."


    "People like you, Greta. You're good with people."

    "Okay. I guess. What does that have to do with me wanting to work"

    "Basic Black is about to open for business. There's a few more positions I need to fill. People I can trust. I want this company to be close, I want everyone at the top to be able to trust each other and to be friends. I think you would make an excellent Vice President of Public Relations."

    "John, I'm flattered you would ask, but I have no experience whatsoever in public relations. I have no experience in anything."

    "People like you, Greta. They can trust you and I trust you. That's what Basic Black needs."

    "John-," she began to protest before he interrupted.

    "Greta, please. I know that you can do this. I've known you your entire life and I know what you are capable of. I know as soon as you learn the job you'll be the best person I could have possibly hired."

    Greta chewed on her lower lip as she did when she was thinking. "I just don't know, John. I don't know that I could do this."

    "Greta, just come with me down to the offices and fill out some paper work, I have someone I need to interview there, and things will be fine. Do it for me, please? Because I know that you can."

    "Fine, okay. But on a trial run. If your or I don't think it's working out, it's over."

    "You've got yourself a deal. And a job," he smiled at her. "Ready to go?"

    "Yeah, let me get my coat."

    They reached Basic Black and headed to the top floor. Brady was walking down the hall, file folder in hand, dressed casually since the company was not yet open for business. Not until Monday.

    "Brady, hey son," John greeted him.

    "Hi, dad. So, you get Greta to join us, huh?"

    "That's a fact. Brady, I have that interview. Why don't you take Greta, show her where her office is, her assistant, and get all the paperwork filled out. If you two don't mind?"

    "Not at all," Brady answered.

    "An office? You're giving me an office and an assistant? John, really."

    "Greta, you're VP of Public Relations. You get an office along with all the other top executives here."

    "I don't think I can do this, John."

    "Of course you can, remember our deal. If you'll excuse me, my meeting is waiting," John walked off in the opposite direction towards an office at the end of the hall with two very large doors.

    John walked in a found a woman, around five feet six inches, wearing a off-white business suit, her light brown hair, pulled up neatly. Her eyes were green and she was quite beautiful, in her mid to late twenties.

    "Ms. McDiarmid, nice to meet you. I'm John Black," John extended his hand, which she shook as she smiled at him.

    "Pleasure to meet you."

    "Please, have a seat. Let's get down to business. So, you're in accounting."

    "Yes, I am."

    "From what I can see you're very good at what you do."

    "I have a passion for numbers."

    "May I ask why Basic Black? Why Salem?"

    "My brother and I needed a change. We have family here. And I believe it would be in my best interest to be with a company from it's inception."

    "You know this interview is merely a formality. We just need to go over some paperwork. So, Monday morning you're VP of Accounting."

    "Thank you very much, Mr. Black."

    "Call me John. Well, I'll get those forms in here."

    Down the hall, Brady was showing Greta her office. It was quite large, much more than she expected. Of course, all of this was much more than she'd expected.

    "Rene must be at lunch. She's your assistant," Brady explained. "Guess you'll meet her Monday."

    "Can I ask you something sort of personal, Brady?"

    "Why don't you ask, and then we'll see if I want to answer."

    "Are you dating Chloe Lane? I'm just curious because I saw the two of you in Salem Place and you both just seemed like you fit really well."

    "Yeah, we are. She's my soul mate."

    "It's nice you've found someone like that at your age. Some of us are still looking."

    "You'll find it. Anyway, I guess we should get your paperwork started."

    "Yeah," she said following him out. "I can't believe John already has my name on the door."

    "Yeah, well, dad has been thinking about bringing you into the company for a while now. He says that you may be a reminder of the past with Stefano, but you're the only bright spot of it."

    "He was such a major part of my childhood."

    In the hall they ran into John with Ms. McDiarmid.

    "Greta, Brady, this is Ella McDiarmid, she'll be our VP of Accounting. Ella, this is Greta Von Amburg, VP of Public Relations and Brady Black, VP of Marketing."

    "It's nice to meet the both of you. But, if you'll excuse me, I have to meet my brother for lunch," Ella excused herself.

    John looked at Brady and Greta. "You all settled?"

    "Yeah, everything looks great. Thank you so much, John."

    "Not a problem. Well, Monday morning at nine o'clock we have a meeting, just to get things started. It'll be the three of us, Ella and Kate Roberts."

    "Kate Roberts?" Greta was not so sure about this news.

    "Yes, she's agreed to come work for Basic Black. She knows the field very well."

    "Don't worry, Greta. I can barely tolerate the woman myself," Brady remarked.

    "Brady," John warned. "Thank goodness for Chloe, because before her you would have said a lot worse and probably to Kate face."

    They all laughed.

    "Greta, we're all having dinner tonight at Tuscany. Marlena, Brady, Chloe, Belle, Shawn, his parents. Why don't you join us?"

    "I don't want to impose, John."

    "No, it'll be fun. Everyone there would love to have you," Brady offered.

    "Seven o'clock, then. We'll see you there, Greta," John said.

    "Okay," she relented. "You really don't give me room to argue about much, do you?"

    After talking for a while longer, Greta decided she'd go to Salem Place for some coffee. She got her cup and was looking off to the side when someone bumped into her as she reached her table. Her coffee spilled all over the ground, avoiding splashing onto Greta herself.

    "I'm so sorry," the man apologized. Greta's eyes locked to his brown eyes.

    "No harm," Greta smiled at him.

    "Let me buy you another one. What was it?" He smiled, brilliantly. He was only a bit taller than she was. His light brown hair messy, but nice. He had on a dark, gray suit, four buttons, monochromatic midnight blue shirt and tie. Over that he wore a black overcoat and black scarf.

    "Café Mocha, thanks," she smiled at him. She sat at a table and waited for him. He returned momentarily, sitting at the stool across from her.

    "My name is Charlie," he introduced himself.


    "It's a pleasure to meet you, Greta."

    "So, you're new here in Salem?"

    "How can you tell?"

    "It's a small town, I don't think I've ever seen you here before."

    "I moved here a few days ago. Right now I'm at the Salem Inn."

    "What do you do?"

    "I just purchased my own business. It's a hang out for all the kids here."

    "Dot com?"

    "This must really be a small town."

    "Yeah. Well, all the kids from Salem High seem to flock there after school, so you should do well."

    "I hope so. The old owner doesn't hand things over for another week, so I get to make my own plans for it in the meantime. And find a place to live."

    Greta couldn't help but look into his eyes and smile. There was something about him that made the corners of her lips want to reach her ears. She was enjoying Charlie's company.

    "Were you born here in Salem?" Charlie sipped his drink.

    "No, no, I was born in Europe."

    "Really? And you ended up in Salem?"

    "Yeah, through a rather interesting series of events," she laughed.

    He laughed with her. He was liking this woman. "Maybe someday you'll tell it to me."

    "Maybe," she could not get that grin off of her face.

    "Princess," a voice with an accent called from behind her.

    There he was, the cute doctor who's name she could not remember. He stood beside the table in between Greta and Charlie.

    "Doctor," she answered. Not entirely original, but she could not remember his name, so doctor would have to suffice.

    "Let's make a deal," he said, his accent coming through. "I'll call you Greta, if you'll call me Colin."

    "It's a deal," she nodded her head. Colin! So, that's him name, she thought. How could I forget something so simple. "Colin, this is Charlie. He's new in town."

    "Nice to meet you, Charlie. Colin Murphy," Colin held out his hand.

    "Charlie McDiarmid," they shook hands.

    "McDiarmid?" Greta's brow furrowed.

    "Yes," he answered.

    "I think I met your sister earlier. Ella."

    "Yeah, that's her," he answered.

    "Yeah, I'm working with her at Basic Black."

    "You're working at Basic Black?" Colin looked towards her.

    "Yeah, John offered me the position this morning."

    They were interrupted by a fourth person.

    "Hey, Charlie, ready for lunch?" It was Ella, his sister. "Greta, didn't expect to see you here. Or at all until Monday."

    "I spilled her coffee, bought her a new one, and we were just getting to know each other," Charlie explained, his eyes never leaving Greta's. It did not go unnoticed by anyone else there. Colin wasn't sure he liked it and Ella was intrigued. "Oh, my manners," Charlie snapped out of it. Ella, this is Colin Murphy. Dr. Murphy, my sister Ella."

    "Pleasure," Colin looked at her for a second, then back at Greta, who was still looking at Charlie.

    "Greta, I hope we get to talk again soon. I had a great time," he sincerely told her.

    "I did too, Charlie. Well, you know where I work and I know where you work."

    "I'll stop by and see you next week," he offered.

    "That would be nice."

    "Sorry to break this up, but we have a reservation," Ella said.

    "Bye," Charlie and Greta said in unison. Charlie and Ella walked off, with Charlie looking back at Greta and smiling numerous times before they turned the corner.

    Colin sat in Charlie's vacated seat.

    "So, where's your fiancee?"

    "England," he answered quickly.

    "Visiting her family?"

    "Staying. She decided Salem wasn't the place for her and we've parted ways."

    "I'm so sorry," Greta sighed.

    "No, no, don't be. It was time."

    They talked a bit more before both had to leave. While driving home, though, Greta had one thing on her mind. She couldn't stop thinking about Charlie.

    To Be Continued...

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