Chapter Twenty-eight


The adrenaline rush over, Jerry discovered his legs didn't want to move. Doctors and nurses performed their jobs, oblivious to his turmoil. Their native language, French, rolled off their tongues…well, like English. He gave himself a headache, trying to translate. He suddenly wished he hadn't sent the other agents away. If something more than frostbite was wrong with his brother, he wanted to know before he went inside to face him.

"Monsieur?" A cute brunette nurse tapped his shoulder. "You may visit your brother. He is awake."

Jerry gave her thin lipped smile. "Gracias."

She giggled. As she walked away, Jerry realized what he'd done. Oh, well.

He stepped inside the room. Beeps filled the silence of the room. Tubes in different sizes and lengths connected to Jax. His face appeared ashen against the ivory pillow and matching sheets. He held out his hand.

"My brother, the hero," Jax said in a hoarse voice. "I cry, you come. Is that still how it works?"

"Forever," Jerry said. He took Jax's hand and sat on the edge of the guest chair. "Older brothers never get a reprieve."

Jax smiled as his eyes drifted closed. "Thank God."

Jerry lowered his head to the bed and slept.


Sabrina ordered the nurses to delay any medication that produced drowsiness. She wanted to be awake when Stefan and Tommy came to her. A fleeting glimpse of them as paramedics secured her and Jax inside the ambulance was all she had. After the turmoil she and the others had been through, she needed to know that her loved ones were safe.

The two handsome emerald-eyed men entered her room, side by side. Too stunned to move, she simply smiled at them. Had it really been only a few weeks since she'd seen them? The importance of time amazed her. She vowed to never take it for granted again.

"She's awake," Tommy whispered. He moved to stand between the wall and the bed. With a shaking hand, he brushed the curls from her cheek. "You're alive."

"My willful, impulsive sister," Stefan said as he took her hand, "this by far is the worst of your pranks. I implore you, no more."

She accepted his humor, relishing it for the sentiment restored normalcy. "I don't even know what happened. I woke up trapped inside that hellhole."

The color drained from Tommy's tawny face. "There's no need to discuss it. You're safe now. That's all that matters."

That was a pat response. She appreciated Tommy for it and knew he said the words for himself as much as for her. But she needed to know. She overheard things that needed explanation.

"One of the Brit WSB agents mentioned blood at the crime scenes," she said, looking from one man to the other. "What was he talking about?"

Stefan glanced at Tommy. The younger man appeared ready to bolt. She remembered his strong aversion to blood and corpses. Surely, he didn't see…?

"Tommy?" She reached out to him with her left hand. He took it and held on for dear life.

A frown darkened his brow as he gulped. "I was the first person to arrive at your condo. It wasn't pretty. I doubt if I'll ever forget it."

"Oh, baby," she cooed.

"Neither will I," Stefan said in a hushed tone. "Let's not discuss it further."

Sabrina burrowed herself in the covers. She maintained a strong grip on both men's hands and raised them to her breasts. Her stoic heroes weakened by the fear of losing her. If she doubted her love for Tommy Hardy before, she didn't now. Jasper Jacks was her past. The future looked promising with Tommy beside her.


Keesha and Jagger finally bade her goodnight and left her hotel room. Dawn appreciated their concern. Her first case as a WSB agent. They remembered what it was like and wanted to make sure she was okay. She assured them she was…although that wasn't entirely true. One thing still gave her cause for concern.

A sharp rap sounded at her door. She wasn't surprised to find Frisco on the other side. "Come in."

"I wanted to see you before you went to bed," he explained. "This won't take long."

"Weren't we already debriefed?" She closed the door and leaned against it. Unconsciously, her brow furrowed. She glanced at her watch. What time was it in the States? She needed desperately to hear Nikolas' voice.

"This isn't about the case," he said.

"Yes, sir. Would you like to sit?"

He shook his head. "No, I'd better stand."

She nodded and moved to sit at the foot of the bed. Her finger outlined the shape of her engagement ring. "I'm listening."

"Once we return to Port Charles, Jagger will replace me as your trainer."

She remained quiet. There was more coming.

"My interest in you has become decidedly unprofessional," he said. "For that, I apologize. I hope this will not prevent us from working together in the future."

She swallowed hard. "It wasn't entirely one-sided, but it wasn't right. I respect you, Frisco. I know that you always respected me. Friends?" She extended her right hand.

He shook her hand. "Friends and colleagues." He went to the door and opened it. "You'll make a fine profiler for the WSB. I'm proud of you."

"Thanks. That means a lot."


A ringing telephone interrupted Nikolas from a deep sleep. He rarely slept late, but he spent the previous night celebrating with friends and family over Emily's recovery. Her convalescence was nothing short of a miracle.


Stifling a yawn, he grabbed the receiver. "Hello," he grumbled.


Every part of him became instantly awake. He sat up and pressed the phone closer to his ear. "Dawn, I've been trying to reach you for days. How are you? I've been worried."

"I'm sorry. I had to leave and I couldn't tell anyone," she said. "I call with good news."

"Aunt Sabrina…you found her!"

"Yes." He could hear the smile in her voice. "She and the others are recuperating at a hospital in Paris. How soon can you and Andrèsj get here?"

"We'll leave this morning." He had a million questions, but his mind could only focus on a few. "Angel, your voice sounds strained. How are you?"

Her soft laughter drifted through the airways. "I'm a lot better now that I'm talking to you. I've missed you and I'm sorry about how I acted at the dinner. I love you, baby. I don't want to wait to marry you."

Finally, the words he wanted to hear. But…

"Since you've been gone, I've undergone a few changes." He took a deep breath and rushed on. "I decided to become a part of the WSB, too. I took the entrance exam." He paused when she didn't respond. "I hope you are not upset."

He heard her yawn. "Upset? This is great…just as long as you're doing this for you and not me. Not being your family's prince threw you off balance. If this makes things right for you, that's all that matters."

"It does."

They hung up soon after. Before he called his younger brother and made arrangements for their trip, he stole a moment to think about his future wife.

God, loving her was so easy.

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