Collision Course: Part One

"It's a conflict of interest is what it is."

Criminal law attorney Dara Jensen released a low groan and rubbed her temple. Confiding in her sister wasn't supposed to induce a lecture. There wasn't anything Detective Dawn Jensen could tell Dara that she hadn't already considered herself. Besides…

"If that's not the pot calling the kettle black."

Dawn's tirade came to a complete halt for about a second. "That has nothing to do with the present conversation at hand. Don't try to change the subject. I'm trying to help you. For goodness' sake, Dara! Don't take his case."

Dara avoided her sister's stare and ended up assaulted by the NY Post's headlines: Wife of Upstate Mob Boss Found Murdered. The following text stated that Carly Corinthos was dead and her husband Sonny was the prime suspect. He had been arrested and not long after, Dara received a call from him, requesting representation.

"You were his lover, Dara," Dawn announced preamble. "Representing him could get you disbarred."

"I haven't seen him in a year." Dara folded the newspaper in half and shoved it inside her desk drawer. "What happened between us is all in the past."

"Bullshit."

"Your mouth and the things that come out of it," Dara scolded with a mild trace of humor.

"Dammit, sis, you're this close," she said, indicating with her thumb and index finger, "from being a suspect yourself. Getting Carly out of the picture would free Sonny up for you. By putting yourself in the spotlight, you're begging for your past to be exposed. Please, think about this."

"I'll think about it."

Dawn received a page from her Lieutenant and left. In the quiet, Dara's thoughts returned to the brief conversation with Sonny. His quiet, steel-edged voice vibrated against her ear. Against her best efforts, her body responded. Her pulse raced. Her breasts swelled. And a tingle spread from her lower belly. The urge to give him what he wanted burned inside her. An irresistible pull that sent her over the edge and made her lose any form of intelligence.

Leaving Port Charles had been the best decision she ever made. So why the hell did her reason for leaving have to follow her?

She couldn't rest until that questioned was answered. And that meant confronting Sonny. Dara grabbed her purse and briefcase and left.

*#*

Sonny paced the length of his cell. It was his cell and no one else's. Death threats had been made and he was at risk. So the generous, merciful boys in blue gave him his own space. Sonny gripped the iron bars to stop himself from yelling. The walls seemed to close in around him. At this rate, he'd rather take his chances with the other inmates than be inside this hell for much longer.

A guard appeared. The disgust in the man's eyes left Sonny without any doubts as to the man's opinion of him. Not that Sonny cared.

"Step back," the guard barked. His hand rested on the butt of his stick. Another guard pulled up the rear.

Sonny did as he was ordered. The first guard unlocked the cell and both entered. One guard watched as the other cuffed Sonny's wrists and chained his ankles. Apparently, Sonny was a flight risk. Sonny's mouth twisted into a wry smile. They had no idea.

Without any words spoken, the guards led Sonny to a visiting room. He wanted to know what was going on, but his pride refused to let him speak. Time would tell.

They left him alone in the room that had a table and two chairs. Sonny mentally measured the space. Another cell. He made himself not think about the close confines. His claustrophobia had to take a back seat to the possibility of life without parole or worse, the death penalty.

The heavy steel door sliced open. In walked the vision of his best dreams. His living, breathing fantasy. The one who got away. He stared at her in awe. He never believed she'd come.

"Dara."

Their gazes met for a brief moment. The past reflected in her dark brown eyes for just a moment, but that was all it took. Passion and heartbreak. He remembered it all. A day didn't past where he hadn't regretted his decision, and now with Carly dead, the bitch still had the final word. Of course, she was down in hell, laughing at him.

Dara dropped her briefcase on the table and sat on the chair. While she removed a legal pad and a pencil, he allowed himself a visual luxury.

God, she was beautiful. Dark, intelligent eyes offset her honey brown complexion to perfection. He remembered well the taste of her full, luscious lips on his. The designer pinstripe pantsuit hid her curves, but nothing on earth could make Sonny forget what lay underneath. An hourglass figure that molded itself to his body and would always belong to him. Oh, she'd lost at least ten pounds in the year since she ran away from him, but she was still a living example of perfection.

God, she was beautiful.

"Let's get one thing straight," she said, her voice hard. "I'm here, but I'm not agreeing to represent you."

"Then, why are you here?" he asked. He clenched his hands together in his lap. Was it because she couldn't stop thinking about him? Hated every moment that passed without him holding her? Or did she come to gloat? Remind him that if he'd left his wife when she asked him to, he wouldn't be in chains now? Was it all of them or just the last?

He didn't want to know.

"I want to know why you're here. Not in jail. In New York. Why did you come here?"

Sonny released the air he'd been holding. Shit, this question was easy as pie.

"Because of you," he said, closely watching her reaction. "I came for you."

*#*

"Well, here I am. Right on cue." Dawn lingered in the doorway of the midtown hotel room. Absently, her finger rubbed the place where her wedding ring used to be. "You shouldn't have paged me."

"I know."

"We agreed not to do this again." She stepped into the room. The door swung close behind her. He stood at the foot of the bed. Looking as sexy as hell. She turned her head, not wanting to remember what happened the last time they were near a bed. "You have work to do and so do I. I'm leaving."

"Don't." He moved then. His six-foot frame moved gracefully toward her. He took her hands, pulling her to him. "I just want to talk."

She sucked in a deep breath and immediately regretted it. His cologne assaulted her senses. Woodsy spice and his personal aroma pulled on her emotions. The familiar ache formed at the apex of her thighs. She bit her lip as she looked up into his eyes.

"Elliott, why are you doing this to me?" She hated the pleading, needy tone of her voice, but it couldn't be helped. She wanted him. Bad.

"I can't stop thinking about you." The veteran detective of the Special Victims Unit showed infinite gentleness as he caressed her cheek. "I know this is wrong, but I can't get you off my mind."

"You have a wife and four kids." The words tore from her angry and sad. "I'm not a slut. I won't be your whore."

"I don't want you to be." He angled his head closer to hers. His breath fanned her lips. Involuntarily, her lips parted.

"Then, what do you want?"

"You." He touched his lips to hers. "I just want you."

His hungry mouth demanded surrender as they claimed her. She acquiesced.

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