Chapter Thirty

Finally, he raised his head, and looked down into her stunned eyes. "Whatever comes, it doesn't matter. I know that you're a Cassadine and that doesn't matter. I know that you were Ned's lover, and that doesn't matter." He grinned. "We all make mistakes, and I've made my share."


"But nothing. All I want is a chance to make you feel what I feel, what I believe that your heart has been telling you for some time. If I'm wrong, you can walk away, and I won't stop you. Not if that's what you really want."

"Unconditional acceptance?"

"Unconditional love," Jax promised. "I don't plan to share you with anybody, but then, if you find that I'm right about us, you won't want any other man, and I will never betray you with another."

"But Brenda?"

"Was in my past. I loved her, but I'm not the same man I was then. I've changed. Matured, I think. Life has a way of doing that to us, you know. I'm in love with you, Alexis. I wanted you in the desert, and I hated seeing you in Ned's arms when we got back, but that was what you wanted, so I said nothing." He watched as emotions ran across her face in stunned abandon. "I waited, Alexis, but not any more. I'm making my move."

"I'm not a company to takeover or raid."

"I'm after you, body, heart and soul. In fact, I'm planning a merger."

At that, Alexis laughed, seeing the twinkle in his eyes. "I love it when you talk dirty."

"Be mine, Alexis. Let me be yours."

Jax extended his hand to her, his eyes never moving from hers, and then smiled as her slender fingers laced themselves with his.

"You won't regret this," she whispered, reading her future in his eyes.

"Neither will you."

Jason, mustachioed, bearded, and clad as a bum very down on his luck, moved down an alley of Port Charles. Amazing what he'd learned in the few hours he'd been back in town. The streets were buzzing with talk of Sonny and his new lady, how the former boss was said to be 'whipped' by the woman, and that he'd deny her nothing. Apparently, Sonny just smiled all the time, now.

Which meant that something was wrong big time, Jason decided. Sonny wasn't a happy camper by nature, and no way would he let a woman run the operation, which is what some of the men were saying. A few had even discussed openly quitting and going to work for Moreno. "I ain't working for no dame," he'd heard more than a few times, and that was one of the more considerate comments.

Loitering outside Sonny's condominium, Jason was finally rewarded with a glimpse of the woman who was apparently in control of Sonny's organization. He was stunned to see the resemblance to Lily and Brenda, but then again, Sonny did seem to go in for a specific type. Still, it was almost eerie, seeing her with Sonny.

Later that day, Jason found them again on the docks, sitting, eating ices. Once more, Jason was struck by Sonny's apparent satisfaction with his life, with his situation. The fatuous smile stayed on his face, regardless of what the woman said.

"The Boss has lost it," Jason overheard one of Sonny's bodyguard's commenting to his driver. "And it all started the night he brought her a drink on the docks. One minute he was fine-the next, she was telling him what to think and when to think it. It was back to the condo and they got married in the morning. I'm telling you, Julio, I think she slipped him something-happy pills or whatever. I mean, no woman is that good....."

It was later that day when Robin arrived, greeting Mac at the Port Charles Police Department.

"Robin?" he smiled, realizing that he was smiling for the first time in the past couple of days. He rose and hugged his niece. "It's really great to see you. How long are you staying? For good, I hope?"

"Uncle Mac," she smiled, returning his hug. "We need to talk privately," she whispered in his ear. "I have news."

"Gotcha. Taggert, take over for me for a little while. You know how to reach me if you need anything."


Outside the building, Robin continued, "Where can we talk completely privately?"

Mac selected a car from the police lot at random, then made certain that all radios were off. "Let's go for a drive."

Inside the car, Robin began, "They're alive, Uncle Mac. Dad and Mom are alive. It's a long story, and we're not sure where this is going, but things are heating up quickly. The thing is, if they're alive, then maybe Faison is alive, too."

"He would tie a lot of things together for me," Mac said. "I take it you know about Felicia and her grandmother."

"Yeah. Zandor told me. Look, Sean is working with us. Jason is back in town-he's now WSB and undercover. Mom and Dad will be returning soon, but probably undercover. I'll let you know when I know."

"Good. Anything else?"

"Alexis and Jax are working together. Do you know about Ned and his daughter?"


"Okay, consider this off the record, because the police aren't involved locally. The WSB is handling it. Brooke Lynne has been kidnapped and we're expecting some sort of ransom to be demanded, or it may be that this is a hostile move against ELQ. Also, if he asks for help, cooperate fully with Miguel Morez."

"Gotcha. Any word about Lucky Spencer?"

"Nothing. He's still listed as dead."

Mac smiled at Robin and said, "It's good to have you working with us on this-whatever it is."

Robin grinned. "I guess the acorn didn't fall so far from the tree after all."

Nikolas watched as Laura allowed herself to be taken from the car into Stefan's country house. He'd chosen to ride with them, chosen to lend his support to Stefan and his mother while she rested from the emotional turmoil of the recent days.

"She seems a bit more at peace," Nikolas commented a little later.

"I'm hoping that she will be more so within a few days. I have warned your grandmother to stay away from here, that even to call will be held against her. Laura must not be upset in any fashion."

"I understand."

"I knew you would. I am grateful that you are healing as well as you are, too." Stefan smiled at the younger man. "We nearly lost you the same night that your mother lost Lucky."

"She saved me, you know," Nikolas said. "I was very weak when she and Emily found me."

"I shall be eternally grateful to both of them. I suppose that the last few days have had a cumulative effect on your mother. Nervous exhaustion, perhaps?"

"Maybe." Nikolas was almost wistful. "I just wish that there was a way that we could bring Lucky back to her. Wealth and power are fine-but real power-life and death power-are not in our hands."

Stefan nodded. "Would that they were. Nikolas, you know that your mother's happiness means everything to me."

"Yes. I know that you love her, that you've loved her for years."

"I have. Even when she was with Luke, I could not erase her from my heart, and, as I am discovering, she still has feelings for me."

"That's wonderful. Do you think that...?"

"That we might become a family at last? It is my wish," he told Nikolas. "But I fear that her heart may be so broken as to be unable to heal. She was begging me to help yesterday, Nikolas. She believes that your grandmother is behind Lucky's death, and that the boy isn't dead, that his death was one more of Helena's evil machinations."

"Even Helena wouldn't be that cruel....or would she?"

"I am making inquiries as we speak. If Lucky lives, I will learn the truth very soon. And, if your grandmother was behind any of this, she will pay."

"Thank you, Father. Lucky was my brother, and my friend."

Nikolas walked over to his mother who was sitting in a garden with Lulu as Stefan continued to look on. He moved out of earshot, and took out his cell phone. "I want the package delivered tomorrow afternoon at my country estate."

"It shall be done."

Helena smiled as Faison hung up the cellular phone. "You were right again, Cesar."

"I am always right," he told her. "And tomorrow, Stefan's grand plan will begin to backfire on him."

"What about the child?"

"What about her?"

"She's a Quartermaine."

"This is true. She will be returned at the same time. His guilt and underhanded business dealings must be exposed once and for all."

"You are worth every penny that I've paid you. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd think that you had something at stake in all of this."

"I always have something at stake," Faison confided. "I am learning from the experience of one who is among the most experienced manipulators of all time."

"Why, thank you. But, what do you need of my experience? Has someone wronged you in the past? Perhaps I could assist you in taking a small measure of revenge? It would be my pleasure."

"I shall keep your gracious offer in mind. You see, I do plan on taking revenge for the wrongs done me and my family in the past. My birthright was stolen from me, as was my brother, a betrayal by our parents. The woman I loved was seduced by wealth and power, then murdered with our young son. All that I cherished and held dear was destroyed, and those who committed these crimes against me will pay. And pay. And pay."