"She flushed two of our bugs, and the third one is picking up what sounds like Chinese."
Stuart grinned and said, "Our Miss Lucy made us, didn't she? I knew that there was something I liked about that lady."
"Sir, she's been seen going in and out of the WEB building."
"I know that. What I don't know is why. For the moment, our having questioned the lady and released her is going to have her wondering if WEB picked her up to see if she spilled what she knows to another source. Which means that we've planted the first seed of distrust in her delightfully devious mind. And, since, no doubt, she'll report this incident to Marty, then, she'll be considered a risk which will alienate her further. Marty will then assign her a bodyguard, or a tail, to see who is following her, and Lucy will read this as a more overt form of their distrust of her. She'll begin to think that the whole affair was WEB's idea in the first place, and she'll be more open to my overtures when I make them."
"You've had dealings with Marty in the past?"
"No," Stuart said. "But the name has come up in conversation with an old friend. He warned me that WEB would be our only real problem."
"But you think that you have found a way around WEB?"
"There's always a way around someone or something," Stuart told him. "One must simply do one's homework carefully. No fortress is impregnable, no plan unfoilable, and nobody who can't be bought. Maybe not with money, or bribes, but we all have our price." Stuart gave a half-smile to Henry and said, "Now, I want you to go and forget about Miss Coe. Let WEB harass her for a while. You, instead, need to contact our East Coast affiliate and see how shipping is going. Tell Corinthos that if he doesn't pay more attention to business, I'll have him replaced."
"Sir, he's been having a problem with the law lately, and with someone after his former girlfriend."
"There's this cop on his case. He can hardly sneeze without some jerk named Taggert looking over his shoulder."
"Yeah, but Taggert is looking for drugs. In fact, he's so busy looking for drugs that we could walk a whole herd of elephants right under his nose and he wouldn't see them."
Henry nodded thoughtfully. "That was a good idea. Why did you get Corinthos in the first place? You knew that he was having problems."
"Who do you think gave him the problems? Our other contact in PC is doing an amazingly good job of setting ELQ up for us-and when that is finished, then we cover those tracks. Corinthos takes the fall for that, along with his right hand man who was formerly known as Jason Quartermaine. We come to the rescue and own them all. Sonny will be so grateful that he'll owe me forever."
"And what about our west coast shipper?"
"Leave him to me. He's hungry-always has been. Besides, if he objects, I already know his weaknesses. He's mine, already."
"Mr. Matthews?" came a voice from the door. His secretary, Elizabeth Gardner, looked inside. "Mr. Matthews, I'd like you to meet the young man who will be replacing me while I'm gone."
Elizabeth opened the door wider, and ushered Jack Johnson into the office where Henry and Stuart sat. Both men eyed Jack curiously, and finally, Stuart spoke. "Mr.?"
"Johnson. Jack Johnson."
"Don't I know you from somewhere?" Stuart asked. "Your face is familiar."
Jack smiled. "I think that we both attended the same party a week or so ago. The Andrews' party?"
"Ah, yes. I do remember seeing you there. You were with...?"
"I came with my former employer," Jack answered, a look of annoyance on his face. "I quit a few days ago."
"Did you?" A smile flitted across Stuart's mouth. "Care to tell me why?"
"Not particularly," Jack answered. "It's personal."
"He said it didn't pertain to sexual harassment," Elizabeth injected. "I asked."
"Then, what was it?"
"Sir, I'd rather not answer that," Jack told him. "Let's just say that she's not the woman, the boss, I thought she was."
"Were you fired?"
"No, sir." Jack looked visibly uncomfortable. "Look, my business skills were never in doubt. You can call her if you want."
"I'll do that. You understand, Mr. Johnson. We must protect ourselves."
"And if we find anything that would prohibit you from working for us, we'll let you know."
"That's fair enough." Jack extended his hand and said, "Until tomorrow, then."
He exited the office, followed by Elizabeth. Henry turned to Stuart and commented, "From WEB?"
"Interesting. Well, let's go ahead and call them. Is he a plant, or have we just had an incredible windfall?"
Looking at Jack's resume, Stuart entered the numbers listed for WEB. It took a few minutes, but finally, Stuart was rewarded with the personnel office which basically told him what Jack had told him. "Personal," Stuart said. "Nothing specific, but our new secretary apparently has a beef with Marty," Stuart smiled, and said, "We keep him. Better to have an eye on him than to let them know that we know that they may be watching."
"I don't like it," Lucy said to Kevin as they walked down the street towards Fisherman's Wharf. "The only place we can have a private conversation is out in public."
"I know that, and I'm sorry," Kevin said, pausing and pulling her into his arms. "But, I'm making progress and with any luck, we'll be able to go home in a few more days."
"Has he said anything to identify who held him?"
"Not exactly. Look, Lucy, the less you know about this, the better for you. Somebody already grabbed you, and we've got to wonder if this is related to what's going on."
"This is great," Lucy groused. "Now if I get grabbed, I don't even have any bargaining chips because I still don't know anything. You know, I'm beginning to think that your friend Marty did this to me. She had someone follow me, and then grab me when I used the phone. She didn't trust me."
"For good reason," Kevin pointed out. "Though I don't believe that she had anything to do with it."
"Who else would?"
"Whoever had...our mutual friend."
"See!!! We can't even say his name. I hate this sneaking around, not trusting anybody. You don't even trust me."
"Lucy, I trust you."
"Then why won't you tell me what you've learned?"
"Lucy, this is a need-to-know, and you don't need to know."
"I knew it!!! Damnit, Kevin, I'm tempted to go back to Port Charles and you can have your romantic getaway all by yourself."
"Don't Lucy me! If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't even be here. You'd be dead somewhere. Kevin, I put my life on the line for you. You know that you can trust me."
"Then consider this my means of protecting you."
"Don't HA!!! me," Kevin warned. "Lucy, give it a rest. Have some fun, go shopping, take a tour of the city."
"By myself? That is fun?? Fine, Kevin. I'll have fun, if it kills me!" With that, she turned on her heel and marched off down the hill. As a final thought, she tossed back, over her shoulder, "See you this evening."
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