Chapter Forty-Six

"It's touch and go for now," Alan Quartermaine tells Mac and Felicia, who along with Lucy are in the waiting area with Audrey Hardy. Alan turns to Audrey, "I won't kid you, Audrey. I have too much respect for you to do anything but give it to you straight. If not for the quick thinking of a passerby, both Tom and Kathryn Bell would be dead now, instead of fighting for their lives. Smoke inhalation is dangerous-and deadly. You know that. On the positive side, neither of them was burned at all. They are both receiving the best treatment available."

Audrey, her face a study in pain, is in tears. "How could this happen?? What was he thinking??" She turns to Felicia, and says, almost in accusation, "I thought he was with you, but they said that he was in bed with....that woman!" Her tone is disgusted, angry, and stunned. "He was going to your apartment, but how did he end up with her?"

Felicia, unwilling to reveal the full extent of Tom's villainy, just shakes her head. "I don't know what to say," she answers, honestly.

"We're checking this out," Mac tells Audrey, trying to give her some comfort.

"What happened?" Audrey asks, "How did it happen?"

"We don't know yet," Mac tells her, "but we have arson specialists on it."

"Then you think that it was set?" Audrey asks, shocked at the implication.

Mac shakes his head. "I'm not saying that, just that we have to regard it as suspicious until we know otherwise."

Lucy is looking on, biting her tongue to keep from telling Audrey what she'd seen psychically. She'd mentioned to Mac that she'd seen Kat and Tom while looking for Ryan, and wondered if either of them remembered that Audrey had been attacked by Ryan once before.

"Mac," Lucy says, insistently, "I don't think that Audrey should be alone tonight, do you?"

His eyes meet hers, and she sees that he has the same idea. "No, Lucy, I don't."

To offer an explanation, he says to Audrey, "I don't want to alarm you, but you have to have noticed that this is yet another in a series of murders or accidents involving GH personnel. Gina, Carly, Bobbie, and now Tom."

Audrey, her eyes dry now, wearily says, "Mac, I think that there's something you're not telling me, and I'd like to know what it is. Don't worry about scaring me-or about sparing my feelings. I've recently lost my husband-Tom is...... and General Hospital is on the verge of bankruptcy because of malpractice suits and what appears to have been Steve's financial mistakes. If you have something to add to this, just get it out. If you need me to be discreet, I can do that. Just tell me why you think I need police protection tonight. Oh, I know you didn't say it outright, but that's what you meant." Hmmmmmmm

"Come on, Bobbie," Tony urges, as he sits beside her, rubbing her hands, and trying his best to rouse her. "Wake up! Lucas has been crying for you, and come on, Bobbie, you can't stay here and sleep your life away."

Bobbie, hearing Tony's voice urging her to wake up, makes another effort. Trying to lift leaden eyelids, she whispers, "Tony?"

"I'm here, Bobbie. Right beside you."

"So tired...."

"You've been sleeping for days," he tells her. "It's time to wake up."



"Didn't want to take pills," Bobbie says, softly. "He made me."

Tony's ears perk up, and he says, "I knew you didn't try to kill yourself. You're a fighter."

Bobbie is drifting in and out of consciousness, but she hears his voice and tries to come back to him. "Fought too much," she whispers. "Hurt Carly. Didn't know." There is a break in her voice, and Tony fights to keep his tears back.

"It's okay, Bobbie. She loved you."

"Loved you," Bobbie said. "With her whole heart. Like I do."

Guilt and remorse burning in his heart, Tony chokes back his tears, and says, "Then help me find who hurt both of you."

Bobbie, barely conscious, whispers, "Looked like Kevin, but not Kevin. Different."

Then, as she drifts back into unconsciousness again, Tony sits back, a look of horror etching itself across his face.

"Ryan?" Hmmmmmmm

The room is dimly lit, and a haze of cigar smoke hangs over the room as a dark-haired woman laughs harshly into a phone receiver. "This should be interesting, at least. I've done what was necessary to alienate my family, and I think that the others are about ready to make me a full partner. You're sure he's safe?....Egads! It'll take years to undo that sort of wholesome influence......Good point! If he can live through that, he can live through anything......He's coming to town?......How could I forget Monte Carlo?......Ha!!......I see......You're kidding!!...... Fascinated by Lucy Coe?......Him? This will take some serious acting on his part.........Mother said that?......That's rich!!.......Reggie?.......Does Daddy know about that?......I see.......Keep them safe for me. I'll be in touch." Hmmmmmmmm

Stay tuned!!! Will Mac tell Audrey what he suspects? Can she take any more bad news?? Is Ryan's secret finally broken?? Will Bobbie survive? How about Tom and Kat??? And, was that who we think it was, smoking smelly cigars and plotting....what?? Hmmmmmmmm