Chapter 50

~ Relax ~

"Do you want Dawn to know?" Tommy asked. He sat on the window seat in Nikolas' bedroom while Nikolas moved hurriedly around.

Nikolas looked at Tommy and paused in the middle of the room. He glanced at the pale skin that encircled the ring finger of his left hand. The ashen flesh was a constant reminder of his role and how important it was for him to give an exemplary performance. Seconds ticked by. Distracted by the thought of the impending divorce, he forgot Tommy's question. "What were you asking me?"

"About Sarah...should we let Dawn know that her hunch may have some credence?"

Nikolas shook his head as he padded to the small surveillance devices that Tommy had laid out on the table for him. He picked up the tiny electronic equipment and inspected each piece as he had already done before. "We can't tell her, yet. I don't want to raise her hopes without proof. Just because Sarah may have something to do with Dom's disappearance doesn't mean that she knows where he is or can give him back to us."

He held up one small black object up for Tommy's perusal. The younger man left the window seat and joined Nikolas at the table. Tommy held out his hand and Nikolas gave him the device. "What's that again?"

"It's a tracking device," Tommy answered. "The ones for your shoes have already been inserted inside the soles. This will go on the back of your medallion. Nik, we've gone over this before. Are you sure you're up for this?"

"I'm fine," Nikolas answered. He took the piece from Tommy and lifted his medallion from his chest. Turning the family heirloom over in the palm of his hand, he pressed the mechanism to the back of his medallion.

"The adhesive is water soluble. It won't damage the medallion." Tommy reached for the watch that was an exact replica of the one that Nikolas usually wore. The Rolex had been supplied with microscopic digital chips that were capable of audio and visual recording. "Press this side button once and you won't have to do anything else."

"I know," Nikolas replied, taking the watch from him and securing it around his wrist. "We discussed this before. Remember?"

"I remember," Tommy commented, "and I still don't like it. You should make her meet you here for dinner."

Nikolas sighed. Stefan had given this lecture and now it seemed to be Tommy's turn to browbeat him. He appreciated their concern, but he had to make Sarah believe that he trusted her. He couldn't very well convince her of that if they only met at Spoon Island. "She's spent the last couple of days here, seeing me 'through this terrible time.' She hasn't said it, but I think this place reminds her of Dawn and keeps her distant. We've already lost more days than I want to count. I have to break down her walls and I can't do it here. Besides that, I don't want to. I can't bring her upstairs to this room-"

"Now, wait a minute," Tommy interrupted. "You're just having dinner with her, right? That's all."

"I hope that's all," Nikolas said quietly. Tommy opened his mouth to say more and Nikolas raised his hand, silencing him. "Please, no more. I heard it from Father before he left. I won't let my guard down around her. I made that mistake before. I won't make it again."

"And if she expects you to have sex with her tonight..." Tommy drew in a harsh breath upon Nikolas' sharp look. "I know I shouldn't ask, but are you sure you want to go there? Are you sure you can go there? What about Dawn?"

Leave it to Tommy to bring up the two topics that Nikolas desperately didn't want to discuss. He'd already thought it all out and had made his decision to do whatever necessary to break down Sarah's defenses. She wanted him. He wanted his family back together. If having sex with her would...

"Look, Tommy, Dawn knows I love her. Nothing will change that." His mood had darkened and something must have shown on his face because Tommy didn't press the issue any further. The younger man shrugged and headed for the door. Just as he reached it, Nikolas called out, "No matter what it takes, we're getting concrete answers tonight. I don't mean to be harsh, but I can't have any reservations about the actions that I must take. You'll do anything for your family and so will I."

Tommy offered his friend a faint smile. "I know and I understand. Just remember that whatever you do, you gotta be prepared to face the consequences. I'm leaving now. I'll see you at the Grille later."


The door closed behind Tommy with a quiet click. The quick sound, although small, seemed almost ominous. Nikolas shrugged the feeling of doom off his shoulders. He wouldn't let Tommy's warning tamper with his resolve. He would do what he had to. Having sex with Sarah wouldn't betray his love for Dawn or his commitment to her and their children. Besides, maybe it wouldn't go that far. Maybe after a few hugs and chaste kisses, Sarah would open up to him.

"Yeah, right," he muttered. He didn't believe that for a second. For the past six months, Sarah had tried to get him into bed with her. He'd refused each of her seductions and he knew she had known the reason why. He was still bound to Dawn and no other woman would do. Seducing him now would be Sarah's test. If he gave himself to her, that would mean he was truly over Dawn and that her chance with him was real. Nikolas groaned. Would he be able to do it?

Nikolas didn't want to answer that. He had to do it.

He pushed further thought on the subject out of his mind. He quickly finished getting dressed and was almost out of the door when his telephone rang. Thinking it was Sarah, he ran to the telephone and answered it. "Hi. I'm running a little late, but I will be there soon."

"Oh, yeah? How soon is soon?"

His heart pounded as the sweet, familiar voice came through the telephone and murmured against his ear. Just the sound of her voice aroused his senses and set him aflame. If worry hadn't overrode his reaction to her, he would have told Dawn just how much she affected him. Instead, he replied, "I don't know what to say."

"It's okay to say whatever you want," she told him. "I have a friend who hooked me up with a special telephone that can be used to make special calls."

"Are you sure?" Nikolas asked, sitting down on the edge of the bed they had shared. His voice shook as he asked her, "Are you really certain that this is safe?"

"I'm positive."

"Why didn't Tommy tell me about this?" he asked. "He's given me a zillion contraptions, but nothing as essential as a special telephone for making special calls."

She laughed softly in response to the light humor in his tone. He could almost see the mischievous light in her brown eyes and the smile on her face as she said, "That's because Tommy didn't give this to me. He doesn't even know about it. Lorenzo's gonna give Lynn a telephone to give to him to give to you. I got this from AJ."

"Quartermaine?" Nikolas questioned. "Where did he get it?"

" Nikky... You know that his company designs and manufactures highly sensitized materials for the military."

"And he just gave it to you? Does he know what we're doing?" he asked her.

"Of course not! He doesn't know anything specific. I think he senses something, but he didn't ask and I didn't tell him."

Nikolas' jaw tightened. Exasperation made an uninvited appearance when she didn't provide an answer to his satisfaction! "Why did AJ Quartermaine give you such a 'highly sensitized' telephone that belongs to the military?"

"Nikky, are you jealous?" she asked in that teasing tone of hers.

His patience left him and he gritted out, "Dawn!"

She giggled before answering him. "Okay! He just gave it to me. He had a few prototypes at the office and he asked me if I wanted to try it out. And before you scream at me again, he and Eve invited me over for dinner. He asked about the band and if we're recording. I told him that there had been some talks and then I complained about how difficult it's been for us to keep info from unscrupulous reporters who like to hack onto cellular phones. He said that he remembered when the concert tour dates were in the tabloids before a formal announcement had made. Anyway, to make a long story short, he mentioned that his company had developed mobile phones that couldn't be penetrated. I expressed my interest and he gave me the phones."

Her story certainly sounded innocent enough. Besides, he couldn't really blame AJ for giving her the phones. Nikolas had wanted to give her the world since the first day they met. His expression softened. "Just like that?"

"Just like that," she responded in a voice that was soft as his. "AJ is very sweet and he's always been nice to me. I think it's because of Michael's crush...well, the crush he used to have. He's found a woman his own age to pine over now-"

"I don't want to hear about Michael," he interrupted in a low, intimate growl. "How are you? Do you remember how much I love you?"

"Oh, Nikky," she moaned softly, "that's why I called. I needed to hear your voice and to hear you tell me that. I love you, too, and baby, please...don't forget that nothing will change that. Promise me that you won't forget."

Nikolas swallowed hard. How did she know that those were the words he needed to hear? "Oh, my sweet darling, I promise. I won't forget."


"You're a sight for sore eyes."

Stefan roughly pulled Carrie inside the circle of his arms. Against her ear, he whispered, "As are you, my dear Carlotta."

She hadn't known of his arrival at Casa Corinthos. The heat of the afternoon had drained her, so Carrie had slipped away to take a nap. Caring for her animated granddaughter and watching over Dara required more energy than she had realized. Gina, Keesha and the others were more than willing to keep Noelle entertained while the doctors assured her that she could take a break from spending so much time with Dara, but Carrie wasn't content to sit back and let others take care of her family. She was strong enough to do it herself. But there were times when she needed rest. However any need of rest left her at first sight of Stefan. She found herself suddenly energized. His presence did that to her.

"Should I be sad that you're here?" she asked as their embrace ended. "Have you come with bad news?"

He took her hand and led her to the chaise lounge at the foot of the queen-size four poster bed that occupied the room. Sitting beside her, he lifted his free hand up to gently cup her face. "I bring no bad tidings with me. I came because I missed you and our little Noelle. I also wanted to look in on Dara and Alex. I will only be here overnight, but despite the length of my stay, I intend to make up for lost time."

"I will hold you to that."

He smiled. "Please do." He lowered his hand from her face and covered her hands with both of his. "How is Dara?"

"The blood transfusion has helped, but I don't think it's a cure. She's better than the last time you saw her, but she's still weak. Sonny told Simone that he and Jason believe that Carly is behind this." Carrie's voice caught in her throat but she continued. "Other than that, they haven't found anything that will help Dara."

"I'm sorry," he said quietly. "What was the outcome of Keesha's examination? I understand that she and Dara shared the same physician. Has she been infected with anything?"

Carrie shook her head. "No, Keesha is fine. The tests were conclusive. She'd only visited the doctor a couple of times and had never received treatment. Her pregnancy is going well this time, too. We're making sure that she's free of any stress."

Stefan's hands tightened over hers. "And who makes sure that the same is done for you?"

"I'm a big girl," she assured. "I don't need anyone to do that for me."

"Except for me," he reminded her.

"That goes without saying," she said with a smile. "How are Dawn and Nikolas? Are they any closer to finding Dominik?"

"I have much to tell you about them," he began. He told her everything and she listened intently. Near the end, he added, "Dawn believes that Sarah is responsible for Dominik's abduction. Nikolas believes the same."

"I never would have thought she was capable of something so heinous," Carrie said. "We allowed Sarah to come into our home. She was so good with the children. If I had thought she orchestrated that mess with pictures of Dawn and Lorenzo to force Dawn to leave Nikolas... Do you think she acted alone?"

"No," he stated, "but we haven't any other culprits."

"Is it possible that Carly and Sarah are working together on this?" she asked. "I know it sounds farfetched, but Dara's illness occurred around the time Dawn and Nikolas separated. Knowing what I know now, I can't believe it was a coincidence."

He nodded. "I agree. There are no coincidences. Dawn and Lorenzo are investigating Carly's possible involvement. Her husband is Vincent Santiago, a man with known Mafioso connections. He would have the resources to assist her in this endeavor."

"Is it safe for them? Maybe we should notify the authorities," Carrie suggested.

"We cannot notify anyone. Dawn was warned and we simply cannot take that chance. They are never alone," he assured her. "Tommy, Jason and Corinthos have been invaluable with their assistance. I wouldn't have left Port Charles if our children were unaccompanied."

She smiled at him. "I know you wouldn't have. I worry. I've become good at it. I pray this ends soon."

"It will," he promised. "It will."

To be continued...