Chapter 62

Confrontations Lead to Resolution…


Paris

Somehow, things got mixed up. Lorenzo separated from Tommy and went on pursuit. His hunt led him to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Napoleon built the beautiful monument to commemorate his victories. Lorenzo hoped that the grand structure elegantly decorated with rose marble on its columns and front paneling would be a good omen for him and Tommy.

He pushed his way through the tourists and beneath the middle, large arch, he found her. Her back was to him and her gaze was drawn to the list of Napoleon's battles and treaties. Using her distraction to his advantage, he linked his arm through hers and pulled Elizabeth away from the crowd.

"What the hell are you doing?" she demanded in a shrill voice. She tugged hard to free her hand, but his grip only tightened. "Dammit, Lorenzo! Let me go!"

"Not until you hear me out," he replied coolly against her ear. "This won't take long, Liz."

"What is so important you followed me to Paris tell me?" she questioned. "More lies about Dillon? It's bad enough you set him up. You had to hunt us down like animals, too! Why can't you leave us alone? Why don't you want me to be happy?"

"That's all I've ever wanted for you," he cried. "Hurting you is not my intention, but Elizabeth, you've got to listen to me! Dillon Hornsby did the things he was accused of and that's why he's running! If he weren't guilty, wouldn't it make more sense for him to fight the accusations? Living your life on the run can't be what you want. I've done that and I know it's grueling and it doesn't make you happy. It just makes you tired."

Having said his piece, he released her. She spun away from him. As she shook her head in denial, her voice carried quietly to him. "You don't know a thing about it. Dillon can't be the vindictive man you claim him to be. He's so loving and kind and generous. He cares about me! He wouldn't hurt me like that… He wouldn't kidnap a little boy or bomb a plane. I just know he wouldn't."

"He didn't do those things alone, Elizabeth. He had help and yes, he and his friends are capable of those things. Nikolas has the scars to prove it-"

"Nikolas?" she repeated as she whipped around to face him. "What are you talking about? If this is another lie…"

"I'm not lying to you. I swore I'd never lie to you again." He reached inside his pocket and pulled out clip of photographs. He handed them to her and watched as her face twisted into disbelief, horror and shame as she looked at each image. "Those pictures were taken after we found him. When Dillon and Sarah realized that we got Dominik back, they went on a rampage. Sarah somehow screwed with Tommy's surveillance equipment, giving Dillon time to capture Nikolas. They held him in a torture chamber for weeks."

"What are these marks on him?" Her finger shook as it pointed at the photo. "Why is he so skinny?"

Lorenzo sucked in a harsh breath before he spoke. Even now, the thought of what they did to his brother sickened him and strengthened his quest for justice. "The marks are from shackles. There are scars on his back from God knows what. They fed him just enough to keep him alive."

"How did you find him?"

He took the pictures back and put them inside his pocket without once glancing at them. "Dawn got a vibe that he was in danger. We shifted gears and on a whim, went back to Sarah's house in Hudson Falls where Dominik had been held. We found him in the basement."

Her eyes held doubt. "Dawn looked for him?"

He nodded. "She never was in love with me, Liz. We were never lovers. She's always loved Nikolas. She looked for him and refused to give up even when the rest of us began to have doubts. She always knew he was out there."

"You were in love with her, weren't you?" Liz asked. "That's why pictures of you and she worked."

"Yes," he answered. "I was in love with her at one time. Not when they sent the pictures. That was a lie. I loved you then. But I won't pretend. Once I cared for her deeply. I still do, but it's not the same. Believe it or not, I have moved on."

Elizabeth nodded. "It's about time." She paused before continuing. "I can believe that Sarah would break up their marriage, but I don't want to think my sister is capable of hurting Nikolas like this…or taking Dominik away. I don't want to believe that Dillon would have any part of this either, but…"

"But what, Liz?" Lorenzo asked quietly.

"The running away revealed more than I wanted to admit," she said. "I don't want to believe the bad, but I can't ignore what I think may be true. I can't ignore the pain in your eyes when you talked about what Nikolas went through. If I didn't believe you before, I believe you now. What can I do to help?"

Lorenzo took her outstretched hand and squeezed it. "There's nothing you can do, except tell me where you want to go and I'll see that you get there safely."

"I want to go home."

~*~

Port Charles

The long, black bulletproof limousine parked near the wrought iron gates of the cemetery. The driver rolled down the glass partition and turned around to face his employer and his family. "Sir, Gino has called in. Another car has arrived."

"Thank you, Johnny," Sonny said. He planted a kiss on his daughter's forehead and looked up at Simone. Her eyes pleaded with him to stay. "Simone, I have to do this."

"I wish you wouldn't." Her hand closed over his in a strong grip. "We don't know it isn't a trap."

"Not here. He wouldn't desecrate her last resting place," he murmured. He raised her hand to his lips and kissed her. "No harm will come to me. Stay here and wait. I'll be back."

On Sonny's cue, Johnny opened the door for him. "Stay with them," Sonny instructed. "Gino and Carlos have me without their sights."

"Yes, boss."

Sonny moved briskly through the cemetery. His previous attempts to speak face to face with Vincent Santiago met with failure. Seeking the younger man out at Lily's grave was the only way.

A few yards from his destination, Sonny stopped. Ahead, Carly stood nearby as Vincent crouched at the tombstone. He called out to them, "She wouldn't be pleased with this."

"Get out of here," Vincent bit out without moving his head to look at him.

"No," Sonny replied, as he came closer. "I won't go."

"Sonny!" Carly blocked his path. "He doesn't need this right now. Do the decent thing for once and get out of here!"

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Sonny shook his head. "Don't mention decency to me, Carly. Not on sacred ground. Now, step aside. This isn't about you. This is about the man who murdered my best friend and a well-respected doctor. Who were you after with that bomb, Santiago? Was it my wife and child? An eye for an eye? Did you think that'd bring Lily back? Nothing will. She's gone-"

"Don't!" Vincent ground out. He stood up straight and went towards Sonny.

Carly prevented him from attacking the older man by grabbing him around the waist. "No, Vince! His guards would kill you!"

"I'm not afraid of his guards or their guns!"

Sonny held up his hands and shook his head. "There. I told them to stand down. Let him go. What's it gonna be, baby boy? You're gonna go for me here not two feet away from Lily's final resting place? So, your act of vengeance calls for you to desecrate her memory…to violate holy ground? Lily means so little to you?"

"I loved my mother!" Vincent's hands balled into fists.

"So you honor her by blowing up people?" Sonny asked in a hoarse voice. "I knew Lily and believe me, she wouldn't want to be remembered like that."

The fight slowly drained from Vincent's face. His hands relaxed. Defeat hovered over him as he hung his head. "It wasn't supposed to end this way. I didn't call for the bomb that killed your friends and I'm sorry for their deaths. You were to be punished. No one else. Not your wife and child."

Sonny shook his head. "Punishing me wouldn't have done a thing for Lily."

"I know that now," Vincent said as he reached for Carly's hand. "Better late than never, right?"

Sonny's throat constricted. "Yeah, but it doesn't help Keesha, AJ and the children who are left behind to pick up the pieces."

~*~

Brazil

"Please, stop looking at me like I'll topple over at a moment's notice."

Dawn turned her attention away from Nikolas to stare straight at ahead at the road before them. "I did not look at you like that. I merely glanced your way. I can't help it if you're paranoid about my thoughts."

Nikolas groaned. "Woman, please."

She giggled in spite of her resolve to keep a straight face. Her fingers intertwined with his and she held on tight. "Shame on you for making me laugh."

"It's my job, Mrs. Cassadine-to-be-again. My one ambition in life is to make you happy."

Dawn smiled. "Remind me to give you an evaluation later."

"Wouldn't dream of allowing you to forget," he said with a wolfish grin.

They walked in a companionable silence through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. During their siesta, the crowds had lessened and the heat became less oppressive. Dawn found the environment tolerable in light of the circumstances, but wondered about Nikolas. She didn't want to nag him, but she was concerned. He'd only been released from the hospital a short while. He kept up a brave face and never missed a step with her, but still she worried. She couldn't help herself.

"I want you to let me talk to her first," he said quietly as they ventured farther away from the Carnaval festivities and closer to the residential area where Sarah had hidden herself. "Are you listening to me?"

"I hear you," she replied, "but I can't let you do that. It's my turn."

Nikolas' mouth opened to speak, but no words came out. Dawn turned her head to look at him. Their eyes connected and in the silence, volumes were spoken. She wouldn't back down this time. Her outrage over Sarah's actions wouldn't cause her to lose reason, but she fully intended to make the other woman pay for the pain she'd cause. Nikolas would have to understand that and step aside. And remember that Dawn's stubbornness had strengthened because of her love for him and their family. He'd done the same for her twice over. It was like she said. Now, it was her turn fight for him.

Their gazes unlocked for just a moment as Nikolas glanced over his shoulder. "Father and Alex are right behind us. The Brazilian authorities are just behind them. I feel like we're leading a procession."

"It's a victory parade, Nikky," Dawn told him as she looked up at him and smiled.

They reached the two-story adobe residence. Without bothering to knock, Nikolas inserted the key one of the villagers had made for them in return for cash. The key fit and unlocked the door.

Dawn moved in front of Nikolas and they tiptoed down the narrow hallway to the living room. The space was expensively furnished and neither was surprised. Sarah had acquired a taste for the finer things in life. Salsa music blared from the back patio, and they followed it.

When they reached the doorway to the terrace, they paused. Standing just outside stood the woman they'd been hunting for. Her hair was now jet black instead of ash blonde, but there was no denying that it was Sarah. Her slender frame swayed in time with the music and when she turned, she saw them. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes searched frantically for a place to run. There was none. Crimson flushed her cheeks as she screeched, "You have no right to come here! You have no right to come here!"

"You're talking about rights after what you did to my family?" Dawn asked, her voice cold and lashing. "Damn you, Sarah!"

Sarah's wild gaze ignored Nikolas and settled on Dawn. "He was mine first! He should have loved me! Not you! You could never be a proper wife to him! Running around...singing in bars like a common tramp! He needed someone refined and had class! But you knew that, didn't you? That's why you trapped him with those bastards! To force him to marry you because you knew he never would otherwise! He would have come back to me, but you trapped him! You trapped him-"

SMACK!

Dawn's hand across Sarah's cheek stung the other woman into silence. "Damn you for you what you said about our children and our marriage, and may you burn in hell for the pain you've caused."

She spun around and looked at Nikolas. "I'm done. I don't have anything else to say."

He went to her and pulled her against him. His hands stroked her back. "You said enough. It's almost over."

~*~

Paris

Cimetière du Père Lachaise

"You've run out of hiding places," Tommy announced as he picked his way through the famous Parisian cemetery. He trapped Dillon in Division 76 against the Mur des Fedérés, the wall where the last troops of the Paris Commume were lined up and shot in the final days of the battle. "It's over now."

Dillon's laugh was sinister. "I suppose it's only fitting the game meets its conclusion in a cemetery...a quite famous one at that. For whom do you suppose they will erect the monument here? You or me?"

Tommy's voice was even and controlled as he spoke, "Neither of us will die here. You're going back to the States where you'll be tried and convicted."

"Never. I'd rather die first."

"Oh, the coward's way again," Tommy replied. "That makes sense. Juan was your role model and there was no bigger coward on this earth. Of course, you'd emulate him."

"Don't talk to me about Juan!" Dillon snarled. "You killed him and hid his body! I know you did! Why don't you stand on trial for that?"

"This is dumb!" Tommy shouted. "Juan deserved to die! He deserved it a thousand times over for the hell he put everyone through. He's not a hero and he didn't give a damn about you or your mother! He didn't care about anyone! Only himself!"

"He loved my mother! If it wasn't for yours-"

"Don't go there, man," Tommy warned in a deadly quiet voice. "My mother went through hell because of that bastard and because of your mother's greed! We all did! Look, Dillon. We could go on and on about this and I refuse to do it. Be a man and come with me now."

"So you can look like the big hero again? Have your picture in the paper? Be given a key to the city for saving the world against evil, demented me?" Dillon shook his head. "No."

He flung his arm and from out of nowhere, a gun appeared in the palm of his hand. Quickly he disengaged the safety, aimed and fired.

Tommy watched in stunned silence as Dillon crumpled into a lifeless heap at his feet.

"It really is over," he mumbled in disbelief.

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