Chapter Three


"Okay," Tommy said after he helped Sly get settled on their living room sofa. "What happened?"

"I broke my arm," Sly retorted. He leaned his head against the back of the sofa and closed his eyes. "Let's just leave it at that."

"Nope," Tommy grumbled. "Not this time. I missed dinner with Sabrina because of your latest trick. I wanna know what happened and I wanna know now."

"Or what? You'll break my other arm?" Sly chuckled.

"I might."

Sly opened an eye. Tommy's eyes glittered with irritation. Sly groaned. He supposed he owed his friend some kind of an explanation. "I was helping someone and it just happened."

"You can do better than that."

"That's it!" Sly exclaimed. "I can't go into details because my friend… Well, she'd rather remain anonymous. Family problems and stuff like that."

Tommy nodded and rolled his eyes. "So how did you break the arm?"

"You're sounding like a broken record, man," Sly complained. "Let's just give it a rest. I don't want to get into it, okay? I'm sorry you missed out on dinner with Sabrina. Why don't you call her and see if you can get some dessert? I'll be okay here."

Tommy's face twisted into an annoyed frown. "I called. She's not answering."

"Why don't you page her?"

Tommy shook his head. "The pager is for medical emergencies. I'll just wait for her to call me back."

The telephone rang and Sly gave his friend a hopeful smile. "Maybe that's her."

Tommy shrugged. He answered the phone. "Hello."

Sly watched Tommy's expression as he talked, and when his friend's eyes widened and a grin spread across his face, he knew that his secret had been revealed.

Tommy held out the phone. "It's for you. It's Allyson. She wants to make sure that your arm is okay. Uh huh… I didn't know you two were so chummy-"

"Give me the phone!" Sly grabbed the phone and held it to his chest. "Okay, you busted me. Now, give a man some privacy."

Tommy shook his head and laughed. "Wonders never cease."

After Tommy left the room, Sly lifted the phone to his ear and sighed as Allyson's soft voice drifted to him.


The hospital floor was void of its usual burst of energy. The late hour brought quiet and calm to its clean halls. The few nurses at the station waved at Zander as he headed towards Emily's room. Quietly, he entered her room. She lay asleep with a funny looking stuffed animal held tightly to her chest. He crossed the room and looked down at her. In slumber, she resembled a princess from a fairy tale and Zander what he ever did to deserve such an ethereal creature in his life.

"Zander?" she said, her eyelids fluttering opened. "I didn't think you were coming tonight."

"I'm later than I thought I'd be, but I wouldn't miss being with you." He sat on the edge of the bed. Raising her hand to his lips, he brushed his lips across her small knuckles. "How are you?"

"I'm fine."

He pointed at her stuffed animal. "I see that you've found something else to keep you company. It's cute."

She smiled. "Thanks. Lucky gave it to me. Kinda looks like Annabelle, don't you think?"

Zander's smile faded. Lucky's time with Emily was beginning to rival Zander's. He was glad that Emily had friends to count on, but there something about Lucky's attentiveness that rubbed him the wrong way. "Sure, if you say so."

Emily squeezed his hand. "Is something wrong? What did Mr. Cassadine want?"

"He offered me a place at the new mansion they're building."

"They want to welcome you to the family," she said.

He shook his head. "That's not something I'm ready to think about. Me? A Cassadine? Does that make any sense to you?"

"Stranger things have happened. Have you talked to them about it?"

He rose and went to the window. "There's nothing to talk about. I'm a bastard and a product of rape-"

"Zander, you shouldn't think about it like that!"

He grunted. "There's no other way to look at it. It's true. Stefan's psycho brother raped his own sister and here I am. I guess it's not really that bad. Stavros didn't know Alexis was his sister at the time. He thought she was only his cousin. Wow, with sibling parents, I'm lucky I'm not retarded or something."

"Zander, come on. Don't let that stuff get to you. Remember Alexis. She cared about you and you cared about her. And she was looking for you. Please, don't forget that. She wanted her son in her life. She wanted you."

He swallowed hard and blinked back tears. "Em, let's not talk about Alexis right now, okay."

"You have to talk about it sometime," she argued.

"I know," he agreed, "but not right now."

"Okay," she said. "For now, I'll drop it, but promise me, you won't bottle this up. I bottled up a lot of stuff after my mother died and it didn't help me at all. I don't want the same thing happening to you."

"It won't." He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and then faced her. "Stefan told me that destiny waits for no one. Sooner or later, I'll deal with it, but not tonight."


Keesha paced the length of the boardwalk. She was a few minutes early, but she hadn't expected him to be late. If he didn't arrive within five minutes, she was outta there. Stefan hinted at plans for a special evening and she had no intentions of missing that.


She turned as Jason joined her on the dock. "You're late."

"I know," he said without a hint of apology in his tone. "We took Carly to Ferncliff today. It took longer than expected."

Keesha's annoyance at his tardiness lessened. "How's Bobbie?"

"She's dealing with it," he answered. "She doesn't want Carly there but she knows that neither of us can help her."

Jason's mouth parted as if he wanted to say more but no words came. His blue eyes gazed at her with an unreadable expression in the sapphire depths. She wanted to look away from him but it was hard. She almost felt as if he was drawing her to him and she was powerless to stop it.

"Keesha," he began, "thank you for meeting me tonight. I have something to ask you and it may not be something you want to hear."

"Let me be the judge of that," she stated. "What do you want?"

"Your help."

"You want my help? I find this hard to believe."

His lips curved into a faint smile. "I don't blame you. I haven't always been open to you, and I wouldn't blame you if you told me to go to hell."

Memories attacked her, and she was able to look away from him then. Paris. Le Pont Neuf. The Charles Street Foundation. No matter how badly he'd treated her upon becoming a new person, she would never utter those words to him. Whether he remembered their past or not, she did and doubted if she would ever forget.

Her voice was hoarse as she asked, "What kind of help?"

"Tell me who set that bomb."

She shook her head. "I don't know."

"You're in the WSB. Of course, you know. You don't have to tell me for my sake. Do it for AJ or for his son."

Her eyes flashed angrily as she glared at him. "I can't tell you because I don't know and if I did know, I still wouldn't tell you!"

"Why not?" he demanded to know. "You'd let that murderer get off free for killing a helpless baby and defenseless man?"

"Sonny was never defenseless!" she retorted. "Michael was the innocent victim in that explosion, but not Sonny Corinthos-"

He rolled his eyes.

"I know you don't want to hear any disparaging words against your friend, but it's true. You know it," she told him. "He chose the life and he paid the price. And I won't help you in your quest for revenge."

"This is not about revenge!" he almost shouted. "This is about justice!"

"No!" she shouted back. "Don't you dare use that word. You're up to your eyeballs in organized crime."

"So that's why you're refusing to help me."

"Among other reasons," she said. "And no, I'm not refusing to help you. I can't. Because of my past relationship with AJ, I don't have the authorization or the clearance to find out anything."

"But others can?" he asked.

She shook her head. "I won't ask my colleagues, Jason. You'll have to fulfill this quest on your own and without my help."

She turned away from him and headed for the staircase. Behind her, he said just loud enough for her to hear, "We'll see about that."

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