Chapter Twenty-Three

"Excuse me? 'Little sister'?"

Zandor smiled slightly, an expression that made Alexis profoundly glad that he was not angry with her. He nodded. "Little sister." He held up one hand to silence her questions, then with one long finger, bared his throat. To Alexis' horror, she saw the scar that slashed across his neck. "Ring any bells?" he asked. "Like what happened to our mother? We were both there that night. Mother and I were left for dead, but I survived, no thanks to Helena."

Alexis stared at Zandor, her mouth open in shock. Finally, she found her voice. "Are you Mikkos' son?"

"You mean, am I The Cassadine?" Zandor smiled again. "I'm Zandor. Just Zandor. My birthright was stolen from me that night, but I have no desire to regain it. Indeed, I don't want it. I want none of what goes with that family. Not the lies, the cheating, the murders, or the madness."


"You prefer to think of Helena as completely sane? Maybe Mikkos' bid to take over the world as what your ordinary individual does to pass the time?"

"But you haven't answered my other question," Alexis said slowly, studying his face intently.

"No, I haven't. The answer is utterly irrelevant at this point. What I want is your cooperation in bringing this affair to an end, bringing the Cassadines and their associates to justice."

"Are you defining justice?"

Zandor shook his head. "Justice will be determined whenever possible by the laws of the countries in which the crimes took place. Fortunately for us, the Cassadines have committed crimes in a variety of places, and so we'll make certain that they are brought to the countries in which the penalties are most severe."

"Why now? What do you know that has made you ready to act?"

Zandor stood and looked out the window, taking a small measure of pleasure in his view of Paris. Then, he turned back to his sister and sat down. Then, he reached into his desk and pulled out a folder which he opened, placing the materials in front of her. One document was familiar. She'd had it herself. The other one, however, revealed information previously unknown to her. Shocking information.

Alexis glanced down, reading quickly, her eyes widening as she realized the implications of the information. "Are you sure about all of this?"


"Does Stefan know?"

"He knows about Nikolas. His knowledge of the rest is uncertain."

"My God."


"There are more lives in danger, Alexis. Innocent lives, pawns in this game of high finance and evil doings, but we believe that this time, he's not working alone, and that Stefan is planning to completely take control of Cassadine Inc. He cannot do this alone, and there are rumors of a hidden backer, a man with his own agenda and no allegiance other than to himself."

"Who is this man?"

"A man that everybody thinks is dead." Zandor shrugged. "A man so steeped in evil that I devoutly hope he is dead."

"And who is he?"

"My father."

"Grandmother is missing," Felicia announced to Mac later that evening. "Amy said that she was in General Hospital earlier but Grandmother hasn't arrived here, and she hasn't called, either."

Mac nodded, picking up the telephone. "I'll see if I can find anything out-see if anybody matching her description has been taken to any hospitals or reported for any reason."

"Something has happened to her, " Felicia insisted. "I know it."

"We'll find her," Mac told his wife, though privately, he was worried. There was too much going on around Port Charles that seemed strange to him. Too many things happening at once. It was time to call an old friend.....

"You will answer my questions," the Dane said as he prepared a syringe. "Either you will do it willingly, or I will extract the information from you by drugs. It matters not to me."

"I don't know who you are, or what you want," Mariah Ramirez told the man who had her tied to a chair. "I don't know why I'm here, or what I can possibly know that you'd want to know."

Cesar Faison shook his head and smiled at her. "Mrs. Ramirez. May I call you Mariah? Thank you. Mrs. Ramirez, years ago, a dear friend prevailed upon you to do something for her, something you hesitated to do, but you did it anyway. You helped arrange the secret adoption of a child, perhaps two children." He paused for effect. "I wish for you to tell me everything....."

"Lila?" Edward whispered, as he watched his beloved wife drift into and out of unconsciousness. "Lila, I need to talk with you. You know what about. It's coming unraveled, Lila, and you pulled the first string. Why? After all these years, why?"

"My babies," Lila whispered to nobody she could see. "My sweet babies."

"Lila," Edward whispered. "They're fine. Your babies are fine."

"Not their fault..."

"Nothing was their fault," Edward said softly. "You did the right thing. We couldn't let their father take them from you, and you know that he would have. He was a horrible man, my darling, and he'd have been a horrible father."

"But I wanted them."

"I know, my darling. I gave you more children as quickly as I could. You knew that it had to be that way. It was your idea."

"So wrong. So long ago." She whimpered softly, and Edward's heart ached with her pain.

"Let them go, Lila," he counseled gently.

Suddenly, Lila's eyes opened, and she looked around the room as if reliving a past life. "They're dead," she told an unseen presence in the room. "Both of them. They were stillborn." Then, the room was filled with the sound of her weeping. "Now go. Please. Go. I never want to see you again."

Edward watched as Lila wept, then drifted back into unconsciousness.

"Father?" asked Alan as he entered the room. His face was a mask of shock, of questions. "What was Mother talking about? Were there other children before Tracy and me?"

Edward looked at his son and nodded. "Alan, we need to talk."