"Grandmother? Grandmother, is that you? Where are you? Where have you been? I've been worried sick about you."
"Felicia, I'm fine."
The words came via the phone line, the voice reaching out of her past to take a firm grip on her present, possibly her future. "Little ripples in the water." There was a pause. "Felicia?"
"Are you with me?"
Mac Scorpio watched in horror as his wife's normally alert expression changed, her eyes taking on an almost vacant look. Then, he checked the caller ID, noting that there was no name listed. Not even a payphone number. Just unavailable.
"Is your husband there?"
"Tell him that you must go pick your grandmother up at Wyndham's, that she stopped off to get a gift for the children. Your grandmother will be waiting for you. And, you will not recall my voice or my face. It has been erased from your memory as has been my part in this conversation."
"You will continue to respond to my commands when prompted."
"Now, hang up the phone after saying good-bye to your grandmother. You will both enjoy your visit. You are excited to see her."
"Good bye Grandmother. I'll see you shortly."
Felicia hung up the phone and turned to Mac. "That was Grandmother. She stopped at Wyndham's to pick up something for the children."
"What was erased?" Mac asked, innocently.
"Erased? What are you talking about?"
"You just said 'erased'."
Felicia looked at Mac and shrugged. "I don't have any idea what you're talking about. Look, I've got to hurry."
With that, she picked up her purse and smiled at Mac. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
Mac watched as she left, then picked up his cellular phone, and stepped out the back door. In seconds, he was barking orders. "Taggert? I want a trace on the last incoming call to my home phone, and I want it yesterday. Did the man you have watching the house follow Felicia? Good. Do we have anybody close to Wyndam's right now? That's where Felicia is going, supposedly to meet Mariah. No, don't interfere if Mariah is there and things appear normal. No, I'm not following. If there's something wrong, my going will signal that we're onto them. If nothing is wrong, then there's no need to go anyhow. One more thing-don't discuss this business with me over my home phone. Just in person or using my cell phone."
Mac hung up, then changed his mind. Seconds later, he connected. "Zandor?"
"It continues to build," Zandor informed Robin and Jason who were watching. "Mac is worried about Felicia. She's just received a phone call from person or persons unknown that is causing her to become selectively amnesiac. In other words, someone is playing head games with the Scorpio family, and.."
"And we've got to do something about it," Robin injected. "When are you going to tell me what is going on?"
"Robin," Zandor began. "We came together because of the WSB, because of past ties on your part to the WSB."
"I came here partly because of Uncle Mac..."
"And because you wanted to search the WSB data bases to learn the truth about your parents which you suspect you were never told." Zandor smiled at the younger woman who flushed from his direct hit. "I've known that all along. Believe me, Robin, I know all about lies and deceptions, and about having one's own agenda. I also know more particularly, about protective camouflage."
"And you let me work for you anyhow?"
Zandor grinned. "I worked for your father, Robin, early on, and I knew him to be a man of integrity. I also know that Mac Scorpio is a man I'd be glad to have at my back in a tough situation. I knew that I could trust you. You told no lies about your associations with Sonny Corinthos and Jason."
"But my mother?" Robin asked.
At that, Zandor's expression darkened. "Your mother was another case. Anna was a woman of mystery and contradiction. The WSB was never entirely certain as to whether Anna's departure with Faison was due to kidnapping, or if she went willingly. We know that he tried to have you kidnapped, but failed. We also know that Robert went after her, and that they were last seen together on a boat that exploded within minutes being photographed with them on it."
"So what are you not saying?" Robin demanded. "I knew all of that. I knew that the WSB allowed the boat to be blown up rather than risk my mother joining Faison, and I know that my father was considered collateral damage. They dared not let his knowledge fall into the hands of enemies."
"That's the way the game is played," Zandor told her bluntly. "Information is more valuable than the most precious of gems when it is correctly applied or denied. It is worth more than a couple of lives. The needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, I believe it was most eloquently phrased. Your parents were the unfortunate few, if we are to believe the WSB's records."
"And you don't?" Jason asked.
"I didn't say that."
"You implied it," Robin asserted. "Why?"
"Because I am not entirely certain that they died. I had the opportunity to examine the photos myself not long ago, and I believe that they were faked. Oh, the pictures were of your parents and Faison. And there was an explosion. And the negatives that were presented were exposed only seconds apart."
"That is easy enough to duplicate, if you spend a few minutes on the problem. I've done it myself in the past when I had an important point to make to one of our more reluctant contacts."
"You lied to one of them?" Jason asked. "I thought that you were big on the truth."
"I manipulated the evidence and allowed them to make of it what they would. I did, however, not correct any errors at which they arrived as long as it benefited my situation." He shrugged. "I also lied to them as necessary. You will not, however, lie to me. I am a great deal less forgiving than Sonny Corinthos."
"But you think that the pictures were faked?" Robin demanded. "You believe that my parents are alive?"
"Think about it, Robin. Why was the WSB so adamant about saying that the boat blew up in several thousand feet of water? So you wouldn't search for them. The whole scenario was such that there would be little area for contradiction, little means of refuting their version of the truth."
"Because I believe that they wanted everybody to believe that they believed that your parents were dead, along with Faison."
Robin turned that over in her mind, her eyes bright with anticipation. "Because the WSB had to know that if any of them lived, they'd be less likely to come out of hiding if they were believed to be alive."
"Exactly," Zandor nodded. "People are what they are, and will do whatever they like best. Your parents were investigators and undercover agents, while Faison was a manipulative but evil genius who has faked his death in the past. I believe that the WSB is afraid that the explosion was staged for their benefit so they played along. Much like your Uncle Mac is doing at present. He has to let whoever called Felicia think that nobody is the wiser regarding the call."
"He's not using her as bait. Uncle Mac wouldn't do that."
"You're right. He wouldn't, but he's having to play the hand he's been dealt, and in this case, it's safer to play the fool. But, you can be certain that he's anything but. Someday, you'll have to let me tell you about a certain weekend in Athens."
Sonny Corinthos rolled over to find a sweet smelling woman beside him in the bed. He yawned, and began turning the events of the past couple of days over in his mind. He felt relaxed, good-better than ever. Hannah was the best. He couldn't imagine why his bodyguards didn't appreciate her. So what if he'd married in haste? It was as if he'd known her all his life, as if she'd been specially designed for him.
"Sonny?" Hannah whispered, cuddling up to him. "Last night was really great."
"It was, wasn't it? One for the record books."
She laughed softly, running her fingers over his chest. Then, she leaned over him, looking into his eyes in open invitation, before whispering in his ear. "Little ripples in the water...."
"Yes?" His voice was compliant, submissive.
"This morning was even better than last night. We stayed in bed all morning and made passionate love. I was insatiable, and you were unforgettable." She added a few memorable details. "Now you'll go back to sleep and not awaken until I awaken you with a kiss. In the meantime, you can replay last night in your dreams."
Leaving Sonny sleeping with a big smile on his face, Hannah climbed out of bed and pulled out a cell phone. She entered the numbers quickly. "Mission accomplished. He's sleeping like a baby."
"Excellent," Faison answered. "Very soon, you'll be an extremely wealthy widow. Now, do as I instructed you earlier."
"It will be my pleasure."