Chapter Five

***First, Second, Third Impressions***

Dawn looked down at the slip of paper in her hand and then up at the warehouse. The numbers matched, but this couldn't be the place. Why would he want to meet her there?

"In here!" The silhouette of a man appeared in the darkened warehouse. As she moved closer, she saw him raise his arm and beckon to her. "Come on."

She folded the paper and stuffed it inside her purse. The rubber soles of her Nikes moved silently across the concrete floor as she crossed the length of the warehouse. Behind her, the door she just walked through closed. For a moment, she was shrouded in darkness and then just as suddenly, fluorescent lights illuminated the space. Her eyes blinked as protection against the sudden glare. She stopped and called out, "Frisco!"

"Right here," came the warm familiar voice directly in front of her. He pulled her into a warm hug and placed a chaste kiss on her brow. His lips brushed against her again before he pulled back and stepped away. His eyes sparkled and his cheeks were flushed. "You found it."

"I wasn't sure about that at first," she admitted, allowing him to take her hand and lead her up the staircase.

On the second landing was a row of offices with large picture windows serving as walls. She glanced down to the bottom floor and was surprised to see that it was furnished with expensive fitness equipment. A state-of-the-art treadmill sat in front of one wall with an exercise bike beside it. The back area was carpeted with royal blue exercise floor mats and in front of that was a whirlpool sauna. She looked at Frisco and raised an eyebrow. "Wow."

"It's called training," he said, wagging his finger at her. He jerked his head toward the largest office and gestured for her to enter. "Come in and have a seat. This shouldn't take long."

"Ouch. You sound like my old orthodontist. He'd always start the torture of tightening my braces by telling me it wouldn't take long."

Frisco chuckled. "Stop your complaining and sit."

Dawn barely noticed him closing the door. His office was even more impressive than the first floor training area. Steel and wood were the choices for decoration of this space. It was a combination of modern techno meets the wild, wild west. Dawn liked it.

Frisco sat on his leather chair with an audible sigh and a wide grin. Dawn shook her head at him and sat on the leather bench that faced his desk. She set her purse on the empty space beside her and waited.


She laughed. "Well, what? You called me, remember? What's up?"

"Such informality for a new recruit," he teasingly scolded, shaking his head. "What will I have to do about this insubordination?"

Her laughter faded and she quickly sobered. "I'm sorry. I've known you for so long that sometimes I forget. It won't happen again."

"You will be working under my direction, but that doesn't mean we're no longer friends, Dawn," he said. "I'll always be that."

"That's good to know. It will certainly make Daddy happy."

"Steve." Frisco laughed. "Don't be surprised if he re-enlists on a permanent basis just to keep his eye on you."

"Promise me you wouldn't let him. Please!"

Frisco nodded. "Not unless it's absolutely necessary. You have my word. Speaking of word, what's the word from you? Are you ready to start training?"

Subconsciously, she fingered the Cassadine medallion that hung around her neck. "I'd like to."

"I hear a but in there. What's going on? The antidote should have cleared any lingering effects. I can call a specialist in-"

"No, Frisco, wait!" She exclaimed as he reached for the telephone. "I'm fine. Every day is better than the one before. It's just that I made a promise to someone."

"Let me guess. Nikolas Cassadine doesn't want you to be a superhero?"

"Is that what a WSB agent is?" She asked with a faint smile. "It's not that exactly. He's just worried because of what Philana did to me. I've told him I'm okay, but that doesn't appease him."

"So does this mean you've changed your mind?"

"Of course not. There's a lot of stuff going on with him right now. I wouldn't feel right about leaving him and going across the Atlantic to Sydney for training. I'm sorry, Frisco."

"What if you wouldn't have to go to Australia?" he asked. "That space downstairs was designed with you in mind, Agent Jensen."

"What?!" She slid to the edge of her seat. "Are you serious? Frisco!"

"I'm serious! I had it designed for you. You could begin your training here. Your instructor is waiting to hear the word from me."

She felt like she was about to burst with joy. This was great! Having training in Port Charles meant that she could have her cake (training for the WSB) and eat it, too (being with Nikolas).

"Who's my instructor? Keesha? You?"

"No, you'll have someone else. Jagger Cates and I'll have you know that he's anxious to get started."


Lesley Lu arrived at the park an hour early for her date with Andrèsj. After her late night talk with Lucky, she needed a few minutes alone to think about everything that happened in the last few years.

Having both brothers back in her life was wonderful. Sure, they spoiled her rotten, but it went beyond that. They were her brothers. They were family and they shared a bond that was stronger than the family feud of the Spencers versus the Cassadines and vice versa . Lucky's outburst at Luke showed that he felt the same, but later when he grouched about Nikolas, doubts crept in. What was up with Lucky? Why was he so distant?

"Hey there, little darling."

Her father's voice startled her from her reverie. She jumped and quickly recovered by offering him a faint smile. "Hi, Dad."

"Is that any way to greet me?" Luke asked. "Where's my hug? Where's my kiss?"

She didn't move. Her eyes narrowed and she said the first thing to come to her mind. "Where were mine when you were running around with Felicia Jones?"

Luke reared back like he had been slapped. Crimson flooded his pale cheeks and his blue eyes darkened with hurt and then anger. "You don't question me. You're the kid. I'm the parent. Don't forget that."

"That's convenient, Dad," she said. "You raised Lucky and me to question 'authority' and when we do, you give us rules to follow. Which one is it? To question or not to question? That is the question."

"Your mother-"

"Mom has nothing to do with this," she interrupted. "I'm not a little kid anymore. I have eyes and I can see. And last night, I wished I were blind and deaf. You ruined the dinner on purpose. I should have known better than to trust you."

"You should have known better than to want to get close to that Cassadine freak!" Luke retorted. "How do you know if he's really your brother? It could be another fake."

"He's really Nikolas," she said through gritted teeth. "I know because I can feel it inside. He and I share the same bone marrow, remember? If anyone would know him, it's me."

Luke released a harsh breath and turned his back on her. Lesley Lu expected as much. He'd done it before. Adventure always proved to be a strong lure for him. Anger built in her chest and it was all she could do to lash out. Forgetting about her date with Drè, she rose from the bench and rushed out of the park.


"Is there something troubling you?" Stefan folded his arms across his chest, rested his backside against the edge of his desk, and waited for his son's answer.

Andrèsj paused mid-step and frowned. "Why would you ask that, Father?"

"Because you have shown no interest in the workings of General Hospital before, but you've been here with me most of the morning," Stefan answered. "Forgive me if I'm being presumptuous."

Drè ran a hand through his short, dark wavy hair and sighed. "Something has disturbed me, but I didn't want to bother you with it. I will sort it out for myself."

"As you wish," Stefan said, regarding his son closely, "however, if you require assistance, you may freely come to me. I would be more than happy to offer whatever guidance I can."

The younger man moved to the wall, which housed Stefan's entertainment system and extensive CD collection. As his fingers moved along the list of titles, he asked, "Have you spoken with Nikolas?"

"Yesterday," Stefan answered, as he moved behind his desk and sat. "He was excited about the dinner. Why? Was something amiss?"

"You could certainly say that," Drè responded dryly. "Luke Spencer barged in before dessert was served. He is quite a nuisance."


Drè continued. "Your and Nikolas' assessment of the man was too generous. He is a boor in the purest sense of the word. Whatever does Nikolas' mother find in him? She made a grievous error in choosing him over you, Father."

Stefan shrugged. "That's neither here nor there as I no longer care for her in that manner. She's more than an acquaintance and less than a friend."

"Is she untrustworthy, too?" Andrèsj turned to look at his father. "I know she's hurt Nikolas countless times, but I assumed she redeemed herself. Was I mistaken?"

"No," Stefan answered. "Why so many questions about Laura? Did she say or do something to offend you?"

The young man shook his head and a wan smile crossed his face. "No, not me. Although I am certain, she will need to work especially hard to win Dawn in her favor. Laura compared her to Nick Cassidy's lover, Gia Campbell."

Stefan winced. He knew Dawn well enough to know that the comparison would have been ill taken. And rightly so. "What was Dawn's reaction?"

Drè's chest rumbled with laughter. "You know Dawn. She didn't consider the comparison complimentary. She responded in kind, but she was a true lady in her disagreement."

Stefan waited a moment before he said, "We've discussed everyone at the dinner last night save for Lucky, Lesley Lu and you."

Drè's laughter died. He sat on the edge of his father's desk and a look of grave seriousness settled on his face. "Lucky is on edge, but he was polite until his father arrived. I believe he's angry with Nikolas. Lesley Lu was . . . She's a compelling young woman, Father. I'd like to get to know her better."

"Are you asking for my permission or merely informing me?"

"Perhaps a bit of both," Andrèsj answered. "What would you advise?"

"To run as far and as fast as you can. Luke will not make this easy for you, and I will not stand by and allow him to hurt either of my sons," Stefan replied. "However, in matters of the heart, there is always only one road to be taken. You must follow it and see where it leads."

Andrèsj's face broke into a smile and he hugged Stefan.

"Whatever transpires, I will be here for you," Stefan told him. "I promise."


Tommy spent most of the morning wondering where Sabrina was all night instead of concentrating on his work. He couldn't think straight with thoughts of her filling his head. Finally, he had enough, signed out for lunch, and headed for her condominium.

Sabrina told him a few days ago that she was taking the day off from the hospital to spend the day pouring over magazines, looking for a new style to decorate her home. She was tired of the look the place had now. Sabrina wanted something that screamed new and refreshing. She told him she did this every six months and it helped her clear out the cobwebs. He told her he had a better cure for that. A wicked grin spread across her face and she pulled him to her, devouring him with hot, wet kisses.

Tommy swallowed hard as the memory washed over him. Things were on the right track with them. But then she didn't come home last night. Or at the very least, she didn't call him. He needed answers and he wanted them now. If she changed her mind about a relationship with him, all she had to do was say so. The sooner the better. Mending a broken heart always took time and after falling for her, he'd need all the time he could get.

He pressed the doorbell and waited. The sound of her footsteps racing down the staircase didn't come. He flattened his hand against the door to peer inside and the door opened. Startled, he jumped back. Sabrina never left her door unlocked not to mention opened. Gut instinct took over in that second. He pulled his gun from his side holster, disengaged the safety, and moved inside.

The place looked like the aftermath of a train wreck. The cushions from her sofa were strewn across the floor and their insides littered the carpet. Books were tossed from shelves. Ornaments and precious momentos lay broken on the floor. His heart lurched as he scanned the scene. A wave of apprehension gripped him. Something horrible had happened there.

He raced up the staircase, taking the stairs two at the time. He found more of the same on the second floor and her bedroom was a mess. Tommy knew she'd put up a fight right in that very room. He moved further inside, fear seizing him with every step he took. "Please, God, don't let her be dead," he silently prayed.

Careful of the crime scene, he moved to the other side of the bed. That's when he saw it. Blood covered the floor. Bile pushed from his throat before he could stop it. Covering his hand with his mouth raced downstairs, vomited in the bushes outside and called it in.

"Hurry. Possible homicide."

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