MARTYWRITES.COM Presents "THE SEVENTH ROSE" a GH Fan Fiction "The Seventh Rose"


What did it take to make a man a monster? Stefan wondered, idly as he dropped the medallion into his pocket. He took another drink of the same brandy that Luke had imbibed, and grimaced. Feeling the alcohol wash through his system, warm him a bit more, Stefan actually considered smiling. Staring at the glass in his hand, his imagination turned the liquid to blood, and he lifted it, drinking deeply. A drinker of blood. Yes, that pretty well summed it up. Luke seemed to enjoy calling him a vampire-if only he knew how very close to the truth he really was. True, it was with a distinctive difference-but the end result was the same. People died so that Stefan Cassadine, and the entire Cassadine family could survive.

But, that was the way of nature. The strong always dined on the weak, taking what they wanted and needed to live. That hardly made them monsters. Indeed, that was their role. One didn't label the lion a monster for taking its natural prey. One recognized a predator for what it was, respected it, and either gave it a wide berth, or gave it a meal. The predator was at the top of the food chain, he told himself, and a Cassadine male was the greatest predator of all. Everything below him was fair game. Stefan didn't ask himself what nature called those that preyed on their own kind. He already knew. He looked at the glass in his hand and once more lifted it to his lips.

"We need to talk." Alexis planted herself in Ned's path, her dark eyes flashing angrily. "I need to know what the hell is going on."

Ned glanced at the woman in whose arms he'd found solace one dream haunted night, and wondered if he could trust her. Heaven knew that he'd had more than enough experience with women he couldn't trust. Witness the latest one who'd promised to love, honor, cherish, and instead, had walked away with his baby. He smiled at Alexis, realizing in that instant that whatever else she might be, she wasn't a quitter. "Talk? About what?"

"About whatever is eating you up from the inside out. You look like hell, Ned."

"Why, thank you, Alexis. That along with being roasted by the press as a possible mass murderer who has single handedly disposed of nearly all his immediate family does wonders for my self image."

"Cut the crap, Ned. We both know that while you're utterly ruthless as a business shark, you don't feed on your own kind."

With a twinkle in his eyes, Ned responded, "Damned with faint praise."

Alexis nodded. "Ned, you and I-we're two of a kind. We're gatekeepers, doing whatever must be done to protect those we love."

"And those we don't?"

"You know what I mean. We protect our families whether we love them or not," she asserted. "We don't kill them. Usually."

"A qualification?"

"I'm a Cassadine. There are always qualifications."

"You would sacrifice one to save the others?"

Alexis nodded. "When one has a family like mine, one with more black sheep than white, one has to consider all of one's options."

"So you're trying to tell me that while you don't believe that I'd kill my family, you can't make the same statement about you and yours?"

Alexis shook her head. "This isn't about me, this is about you, but when you have a Helena taking aim at a Nikolas, which she actually did, then yes, I'd have shot her had I been in possession of a gun. You, on the other hand, could never have lifted a hand against your grandmother, Lila."

"Actually, we have one Quartermaine who is as tainted as Helena, and probably as ruthless in her own way."

"And who is that?"

"My mother, Tracy Quartermaine. I'd give you all of her married names, but I can't remember them."

"I've heard about her. So you think that she'd be a match for Helena?"

"Let's just say that they're cut from the same nasty piece of cloth and leave it at that. So, what did you want with me?"

"I want to know what's really going on, Ned. You haven't been the same since you were gone for a few days just before Lila's accident."

Before Ned could respond, Alexis' cellular phone rang, and she sighed before answering it. ''No rest for the weary. Alexis Dav...Stefan? What are you.....What??? You're kidding. You're not kidding. No, that's illegal.... Damnit to hell and back, Stefan. We should have stayed in Greece!! On my way."

"Bad news?"

Alexis smiled wryly. "In Stefan's book, it is disastrous. How would you like finding out that you're blood kin to Luke Spencer?"

Carly and Felicia pressed themselves as closely against the outside wall of the small building in which they'd been held, no small feat for two women in pumpkin costumes. They'd considered shedding them, but the subfreezing temperatures outside had changed their minds.

"We can't run in these things," Carly told Felicia. "Not that I could run much anyway."

"Look on the bright side. With all this padding, we might actually stay warm enough to make it somewhere else before Ryan returns."

"Right. Okay, let's go."

"Oh, Mr. Cassadine," Lucky began, entering Stefan's study for the first time since he'd returned from Europe.

A slight smile on his face, Stefan turned to Lucky. "You need not address me as 'Mr. Cassadine', my son. Yes. You are my son."

"So you've said."

"As has your mother. It must have come as a shock to you."

"Well, yeah. It did. You?"

"A pleasant surprise," Stefan told him, sincerely. "For a long time, I had hoped that Nikolas was mine, but to find that you were, a young man with survivor's instincts-Cassadine instincts-I was very pleased."

"Uh, my Dad, that is Luke 'is' a Cassadine-which means that Nik is still a Cassadine."

"But you are my son. You will be my heir."

"Um, I'm still a Spencer."

"Not for long, my son. The papers have been drawn up, and you will be declared my son. You will legally be a Cassadine."

"Uh, I don't think that my...Luke will go for that."

"You cannot even call him father now, can you?" Stefan smiled at Lucky. "I understand that finding out that he was not your father was difficult, which is why I left you to think it through and to come to me when you were ready to acknowledge the truth."

"I can't very well deny it, can I?"

"No, my son. You cannot. I would like for you to stay with me for a while, to learn that Cassadine is not the vile appellation that you have been led to believe. We are quite civilized, well respected by the rest of the world." He paused, meeting Lucky's eyes. "You have spent several weeks with your half-brother, Nikolas. Did you find him an evil beast?"

"No. We got along fine."

"I brought him up, saw to his education, and gave him his moral grounding. Could I have done that had I been the beast that Luke Spencer labeled me? Your mother trusted me to do that, knowing that I would give her son what she could not. True, my mother, your grandmother, Helena, is a bit unbalanced, but she was driven nearly to the edge of her sanity following World War II. Europe was reeling from the effects of that war, and she had lost so much, most of her family. She had focused so much on the prophecy that her forbears had handed down that she went beyond the pale to try to secure it."

"I think I understand," Lucky nodded. "She was really stressed."

"Exactly. We may never fully understand her reasons, but you must know that she wasn't always like that." Stefan smiled again. "I would do nothing to cause you to be ashamed of your heritage, nor would I force you to accept the Cassadine name."

"That's probably good."

"However, if you wish to do so, I will be honored to have you bear our name. You can keep your birth name, if you please, to honor Luke for taking care of you."

"I have choices, don't I?" Lucky murmured.

"Yes, my son. You do. The only thing I would ask of you at present is that you accept this." He reached into his pocket and drew out the medallion that he had been holding only moments ago. Handing it to Lucky, he said. "This is only worn by Cassadines. It is yours by right."

Lucky looked at the medallion that was suspended on an 18 karat gold chain. The enameled emblem was familiar to him, having seen one around Nik's neck for the last several weeks. "By right."

"Yes. As my son, my heir, you are entitled to it. I would take great pleasure if you wore it. But, as always, that is your choice."

"Thanks," Lucky said, accepting the medallion. He hefted the piece of gold, watching as it glinted back at him. "uh, I've got to go now. I promised...that is...."

"I understand, my son. You have much to consider. Remember-you are always welcome here. It is, if you wish, your home."

Watching as Lucky turned away, Stefan smiled. Finally the medallion Mikkos had given his mistress would be worn again by a Cassadine.