Chapter Forty-Nine

The room is smoky, dark, and the three characters sitting in what appears to be the library of a private home. They are discussing things to come.

One particularly evil looking individual puffs on a thin cheroot and says in a noticeably Danish accent, "So, she has escaped? Has there been any word regarding her from any of our contacts?"

"None," answers the second man. Silently studying his nails, he adds, "Nor any word from her husband. You should have killed him when you had the chance."

The first man shrugs nonchalantly, and points out, "I'll get another chance. With him, there is always another chance. It is important to me that he knows who I am and why I am going to destroy him and have his beloved. Revenge is a part of the plan. Without it, our success will not be as sweet."

"If your need for revenge causes this plan to fail," the third man begins, but the first man cuts him off.

"Our plan will not fail. We have our operatives in place, and we are very close to completing phase two. One went very smoothly."

The third man shakes his head. "Getting rid of Steve Hardy was child's play."

"So was getting rid of his son," the second man says. "A pity that Ms. Bell had to go, too."

"But," the first man injects, "we are having a problem with phase two. Our weapon is getting testy."

"I could have predicted that," the second man says. "Ryan Chamberlain is a truly tragic character. So intelligent, so well educated, and so steeped in murder that he can never retake his place in society."

"He wants to take his brother's place," the first man says, "but in order for him to do that, we have to find the brother, remove him from the picture, and then restore his reputation to society."

"That's easily done," the third man says. "Ryan left the locket belonging to Carly Roberts in Ms. Bell's apartment, and we should be able to manipulate the evidence to implicate Tom Hardy in everything."

"And what will we do about Miss Coe?" the first man asks. "She, of all people, would be certain to recognize Ryan as different from her lover."

"I'm sure we can think of something," the second man answers. "Accidents do happen."

"But, do we want to do this? Ryan Chamberlain does have a particular fetish for blondes, and for killing them," the third man says. "Wouldn't it simply be easier to get rid of him?"

The first man drags deeply on his cigar. "He has taken precautions," he says simply. "He's acquired evidence against us -which is the price we are paying for dealing with an intelligent man. No, I think that we should give him what he wants, and then, when we have what we need from him, he can be eliminated."

The other two men nod, and lift their brandy snifters for another sip. From the doorway, there is a sound, and the butler, a trusted minion of the owner of the house, announces, "Tracy Quartermaine has arrived."

"It's about time," the first man says, when Tracy pushes her way into the library, and with one sharp glance around, inhales the smoke and laughs,

"God, I love this place!! Cesar Faison, Mikkos and Victor Cassadine. So good to see you all again." Hmmmmmm

Frisco is at the Outback talking with Mac who has had the disagreeable chore of making Katherine Bell's funeral arrangements.

"There was nobody else to do it," he tells Frisco who is sipping at a beer. "So, what brings you back to Port Charles again?"

"Boredom?" Frisco suggests. "Shore leave for the weary WSB agent? Would you believe that I needed some time to reevaluate my life?"

Mac shakes his head. "Try again, Frisco. I'm the Police Commissioner here, and I have a reasonably good idea of what's going on, and why you're here."

"So does Felicia," Frisco admits. "But I don't want her playing games with these guys. They play for keeps."

"I think she knows that now," Mac says. "She was trying to console Audrey Hardy this morning without telling her too much about what we suspect about Tom. Audrey knows that something was wrong, and she suspects that Tom was involved in something, but we're trying to shield her as best we can."

"She's had enough to deal with lately, what with losing Steve so recently."

"You know," Mac says, in a low voice to Frisco, "I'm considering reopening that case. He died of a heart attack, and while that's not uncommon in a man his age, it was damned convenient."

"Who did the autopsy?" Frisco asks. "Do you know the name of the pathologist?"

"Not off the top of my head," Mac says, "but-wait a minute...I think it was the same guy who was scheduled to do Tom's and Kat's."

Their eyes meet, and Mac says, "Alan thought it was strange, but...."

"Let's check it out," Frisco decides. "But discreetly. It's important that the other players think that we are in the dark about their activities."

"So that's why you're hanging around the brownstone making overtures to Felicia?"

Frisco darkens and shakes his head. "Mac, have you ever wanted something, really wanted it, but knew that it wasn't for you? Knew that it was better to wish for it than to have it? I've walked away from her before, more than once. I'll always love her, but she knows as well as I do that I won't stay."

Mac nods. "So this is just a cover?"

"I wanted to see my kids, and Felicia, so it's more than that, but she's right. I'm not staying."

"Good," Mac grins. "That'll save me the trouble of running you out of the city."

"So that's how it is? Again?" Hmmmmmmm

Stefan answers his phone. "Hello? Dr. St. Claire, so good to hear from you again. How are....they have? They are? They did? This is disturbing. Extremely disturbing. But, no more than I expected." He nods his head thoughtfully, and says, "See to it that they come with Jean-Pierre. Disguises, please. They must stay in hiding a while longer-direct them to come to Spoon Island while I contact a few of our associates. I will be expecting them."

Stefan disconnects, and then enters the line to his #1 operative. "Frisco?" he says, when Frisco answers. "They are awake and will be here on Spoon Island tomorrow. Time to bring Mac Scorpio over for a visit." Hmmmmmmm

Stay tuned!!! Has Tracy joined the other side, or is she working for Stefan?? Is she up to the task of dealing with this trio of villains? Just what is this plan? Will Kevin survive? Or, Ryan?? Or Lucy?? Will these people stop at nothing?? Has Mac made his intentions clear to Frisco?? Who is coming to Spoon Island with Jean-Pierre tomorrow, and why is it important that Mac be there? Hmmmmmmmm