Chapter Twenty-Six

"What do you mean, we're landing in a field?" Lucy demands as she hangs onto the ragged seat of an equally disreputable vehicle.

The bewhiskered Irishman just grins. "Heathrow is closed, Miss Coe!! Remember? That's why you called me-Seamus Patrick O'Reilly."

"I called you because I was desperate!"

"Then it's glad you should be that I'm an excellent pilot!"

Lucy prays fervently as Seamus guides the plane through the fog, landing it in an open meadow. The bumpy landing jars Lucy's already frazzled nerves, but she alights, ready to go. "So how do I get to London from here?"

"Lovely lady, I've already taken care of that. My cousin, Sean Devlin O'Reilly is waiting. There!"

In the distance, Lucy sees a motorcycle with an old fashioned side car. "You are kidding," she murmurs.

"Miss Coe," Seamus says darkly. "You shouldn't be insulting your ride when it's all that stands between you and a forty kilometer walk to London."

"Oh," Lucy responds. "Good point. Well then, I'm off! Ta!!"

Moments later, she's whizzing down back roads, the wind whipping her hair wildly around.

It's a very disheveled Lucy Coe that walks into the Savoy, her hair a tangled mess. "I'm Lucy Coe and I have reservations. My luggage is being shipped from Dublin," she says, icily, handing her credit card to the desk attendant.

As Lucy is checked in, the clerk hands her card with a message on it. "Meet me at the center of the maze in Hampton Court."

"Yikes," Lucy mutters, glancing at her watch. "I need a taxi now!"

Minutes later, she's giving orders. "Take me to Hampton Court as quickly as possible."

"Right-O luv," the driver says, and gives it the gas as Lucy drags a comb through her hair. The trip takes less time than she feared, and soon, she's there with time to spare. Confidently, she purchases a map, and sets out into the maze.

"Why the middle of the maze?" she grumbles as she strides off into the twisted creation. "Must be his currently convoluted thinking."

Finally, after many false starts, she arrives, only to find that she's five minutes late. Seeing an envelope on the ground, she picks it up and opens it. "Meet me at Madame Toussaud's Museum tomorrow at 10. I'll be standing next to Alfred Hitchcock. K."

"Five lousy minutes," Lucy grumbles. "Five minutes." Annoyed, she yells, hoping that he's still nearby. "Kevin! Kevin!!" But, nobody answers so she turns to leave the maze. Four hours later she exits Hampton Court swearing and limping on sore feet. It takes two more hours to make it back to her room, as she has to stop for clothes. Finally, she collapses on her bed. Hmmmmmm

"Wake up, man," Sonny tells Luke who is sprawled across a bed in the guest room in the penthouse. Sonny holds a mug of coffee which makes Luke groan.

"That smells too loud."

Shaking his head, Sonny says, "Gotta wake up, Luke. Mac called and he's coming over to talk with you."

"Don wanna see him. Don wanna see anybody but Laura."

"Tough luck, pal. It's about Bobbie."

"Tell him to talk to her."

"He can't," Sonny says. "Luke you gotta wake up. There are things you need to know before Mac gets here."

With an agonized groan, Luke sits upright, his hair sticking out wildly, his unshaven face and bloodshot eyes making his current physical state obvious. "I feel like hell," he says. "What is so important that I have to wake up from a perfectly good drunk?"

"It's about Bobbie," Sonny says. "Luke, there's no good way to put this-Bobbie overdosed and she's critical-still comatose. Tony found her in Carly's room."

That sobers Luke up in a hurry. "Barbara Jean?"

"I'm sorry-I checked with the hospital a few minutes ago, and there's no change."

"This can't be," Luke says, incredulously. "Spencers don't quit."

"They just get plastered," Sonny observes. At that moment, the doorbell rings and he adds, "That's Mac-why don't you go get civilized and meet us in the living room."

Luke staggers into the bathroom as Sonny goes to the front door and opens it. "Commish. Come in."

"Corinthos." Mac enters the penthouse thinking that in another lifetime, they could have been friends. Not in this one. In this one, Sonny was a criminal, and Mac was a cop, adversaries with a few common links. "I need to speak with Luke Spencer," Mac tells him.

"He's here, but he's a little under the weather."



Mac thinks for a minute, then makes a decision. "Sonny, there has to be something going on here."

"More than we already know about?"

"I think so. That's why I need to speak with Luke."

"So speak," says Luke as he walks into the room looking like the morning after a particularly bad night. "And make it fast. I need to go over to GH."

"Okay," Mac says. "Were you aware that Carly Roberts was the daughter Bobbie gave up for adoption?"

"What?" Luke is stunned, but then he says, "I should have known-there was something about her, something very familiar." He sits down hard, staring off into the distance. "What the hell's going on here, Mac?" He turns angry eyes on Mac. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? That somebody knew that Carly was a Spencer? That makes two Spencer women attacked. No way am I going to believe that Bobbie tried to kill herself."

"Not even if she felt responsible somehow for the death of her daughter?"

At that, Luke's eyes drop, and he shrugs, "I don't know-that's a lot to live with, but I think she'd have told somebody."

"You don't think that she'd be ashamed of how she acted, what she said to Carly?"

"Why? Oh, she might have felt regret, but Carly was ...I don't know, Mac. But my gut instinct says no."

"And with Laura in the hospital... that makes three Spencer women. By accident or design," Sonny points out.

"That's no coincidence," Luke states, both appalled and horrified. Before he could say more, Sonny is on the phone arranging protection for Bobbie and Laura.

"Ruby and Lesley Lu are Spencers," Mac reminds them, but Luke's eyes take on that now familiar haunted look. "Lesley Lu is safe enough, but Ruby needs protection."

"I'll send Mike to bring them over here," Sonny says. "They'll be safe with me."

"I've got my men looking into Bobbie's situation and Carly's murder," Mac says, pausing. "By the way, Carly was three months pregnant." Hmmmmmm

"I say, Reggie," Lila remarks as she notes on incoming e-mail. "Lois's agent has been very busy. There is indeed a connection between the Jacks family and the Cassadine family. Our sources say that they are partners in an international banking conglomerate. Of course, they are protected by a series of other companies-fronts, I believe they're called."

"Yes, Madame. I believe that ELQ operates the same way."

"That makes sense. I always knew that Edward was sneaky."

"I believe that it's called business acumen."

"Just a fancy term for sneaky, Reggie. But we've uncovered the link and we know that they're working together. Now we back track and see what their subsidiaries are investing in. This is called following the paper trail, I think. Or, the electronic one, as the case may be." She rubs her hands together, obviously relishing her part in the quest.

"Madame, it's my understanding that the Jacks family specializes in leveraged buyouts and seldom holds onto a company long-yet these holdings are several years old."

"Very interesting. So we have the Jacks family acting out of character, conducting sneaky business deals in bed with the Cassadines. Hmmmmmm."

Reggie shudders. "Now there is a really strange bunch. I met some of their staff a while back.."

"Go ahead, Reggie. Gossip must be regarded as potential information as well. After all, the staff frequently knows the family very well, being privy to the most guarded of secrets. So tell me, what was said?"

Reggie shudders again. "They don't say much, but rumor is that they don't dare. There are veiled hints at disappearances, and really weird tales about a castle in the Carpathians."

"How exciting!" Lila exclaims. "Money, maybe murders, mysterious disappearances and who knows what all else?"

"And now they're in Port Charles." Reggie observes. "Shall I ask around?"

"Absolutely not," Lila tells him. "I won't risk your safety. We are working with the computer only." Hmmmmm

Stay tuned!! Will Lucy learn lots in London? Are Sonny, Luke and Mac starting to put this all together?? Have Lila and Reggie uncovered important clues in this whole affair? Hmmmmmmm