Flashback 7, Part 3

The continuation...

"Come on…one more dance."

Gina shook her head at her husband's smiling face and flashing green eyes. "No more," she said, holding his hand as they left the dance floor. "My feet are killing me. I think you should go harass some other poor soul."

"Harass?!" he repeated, feigning a hurt look which earned him a passionate kiss. When Gina released him, he held her to him and asked, "Changed your mind?"

"Um, no," she said, laughing. "I need to save myself for later."

"For later?" he asked with a raised brow.

"If you gotta ask…" she murmured with a wicked gleam in her eyes. As she moved past him, she pinched his bottom. "Behave yourself. I'm taking 5."

"I'll try," he said, blowing her a kiss as she headed for the ladies' room and disappeared into the crowd.

Tommy went to the bar and ordered ale. After taking a sip, he turned back towards the dance floor. Smiling, he watched as his cousin, Lizabeth, danced with Nikolas. He was happy to see that she was enjoying herself. He scanned the crowd as he continued to sip his frothy beverage. Steven Lars, Lizabeth's brother, was on the other side of the room, talking with Tommy's assistant, Lynn. Tommy laughed softly when Lynn firmly shook her head in response to SL's suggestion, but his cousin still didn't get the hint.

Suddenly curious as to the whereabouts of his other cousin, Sarah, Tommy's eyes narrowed as he searched the dance floor for her. When he didn't see her at first, he glanced towards the area he had last seen Nikolas. He breathed a silent sigh of relief when he saw that Nikolas was still with Lizabeth. His inquisitive nature overtook him and Tommy soon found himself scanning the crowd for Sarah. Still nothing. He wasn't sure why, but not knowing where she was began to bother him. He set his mug down on the bar's counter and began to look for her.

His search didn't take him very far. As he neared the front exit, Sarah nearly knocked him down as she breezed through the doors. Instinctively, he held onto her to steady her. "Everything okay?" he asked with concern.

"What?" she asked, startled. "Huh? Oh, I'm fine. I was just...um...you know... Where's Gina?"

Tommy lifted an eyebrow in disbelief. "You want to know where Gina is?" He lowered his hands to his side and gazed at his older cousin from behind puzzled, emerald eyes. "Why?"

"Why?" Sarah asked with laugh as she playfully tapped his arm. "Because you seem to be lonely without her."

Sarah continued to laugh as she moved away from the front exit. Still puzzled, Tommy followed her. "Lonely? How would you know? You haven't been here."

"I beg to differ, cousin dear. I've been in the background, watching it all-"

"You just came from outside. Your arms are cold-"

"No," she said, wagging her finger at him. "The air conditioning is a tad frigid. I've been right here. Come. Let's dance until Gina comes back and rescues us."

Sarah took Tommy's hand and led him to the dance floor. As they began to move in time to the music, he couldn't help but wonder exactly what his cousin had been up to and why his gut was telling him that she was lying to him.


"Here," Dawn said, shrugging out of Lorenzo's jacket as they entered Dynamic. "Thanks. It's getting cold out there."

"Well, that's London for you," Lorenzo said as he pushed inside his jacket's sleeves. "You're too spoiled by that island of yours."

"Ah...Greece..." Dawn said with a smile. "Don't knock it 'til you've lived there. You know, I think you and Liz should honeymoon there. We have a wonderful intimate little cottage on one of our smaller islands. It's yours if you want it."

"Thanks. I'll keep that in mind-"

"Oh, lawd! Say it ain't so!" a loud voice proclaimed, startling the pair.

"Dammit, Sylvester!" Dawn said, swatting at her friend with her hand. "You scared me!"

"Sorry, Mrs. Cassadine," he said with a grin and mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes. He placed his arms around the shoulders of Dawn and Lorenzo, squeezing them to him. "Did my eyes deceive me? Are we all on speaking terms again?"

"Sly..." Lorenzo warned with an edge in his voice.

"Yo, cuz. Lighten up!" Sly said with a grin. He looked from one to the other and his expression became serious. "Really. Are you two cool now?"

"What makes you think-"

"Dawn, please. Don't try to kid a kidder. Something has been off between you guys for a while now. Jay and I noticed, but didn't say anything."

Dawn released a long sigh. "Look, Sly-"

"No, Baby Girl," Jordan said, suddenly appearing at her side. He placed his arm around her waist and the four of them moved to a darkened corner to talk. "We're not trying to find out what happened between you two. We just want to know if it's okay again. This recording in separate studios-when we do record-is whack. Just answer the question. Yes or no."

Lorenzo lowered his eyes to the ground. He took a deep breath and then looked past Sly to Dawn. She shrugged and nodded her head. He looked at Jordan and Sly and said, "Yeah. Everything is fine now. We're cool."

"Finally!" Sly all but shouted.

Dawn slammed her hand over his mouth. "Hush!" she said, laughing.

"That's easy for you to say. You don't understand how happy we are," Jordan said. He pulled her into his arms and gave her warm hug.

Dawn hugged him back. When he released her, she stepped back and looked at him and Sly. Frowning, she asked, "Has it been that bad?"

Shaking his head, Sly said, "Worse."

"Sorry about that," Lorenzo mumbled, shoving his hands into his pants pocket.

"Yeah, but let's not do that again, okay?" Jordan asked, looking at his three colleagues. "In addition to being one of the greatest bands to walk the earth, we're also the best of friends, right? Let's try to remember that the next time around."

"Will do," Dawn said. She smiled as Sly grabbed her hand and squeezed. "You know...wouldn't it be fun if..."

"If what?" Lorenzo asked, as she stopped speaking and a faraway look clouded her eyes.

"You wanna perform, right?" Sly asked.

"Heck no! I' m here to party, but..."

"Dawn, out with it," Jordan said, when she stopped speaking again. "What's going on in that brain of yours?"

"Do we really wanna know?" Sly asked with a smirk.

"I'm gonna ignore that, Sylvester," she told him. "Okay, here it goes... How would you guys feel about going on tour? We've never done it... I think it would be fun and it could be kinda like a celebration of everything being right with us again. What do you think?"

"A tour...?" Sly repeated. "Sounds good, but wouldn't you have to clear it with the Neanderthal?"

"Hey!" she said, poking him hard in the ribs with her elbow.

"What did I say?" Sly asked, coughing as he rubbed his side. "I didn't name names-"


"But Sly is right," Lorenzo said quietly. "The tour sounds great to me, but would Nikolas go for it? Would it be safe for you?"

"Spencer's right, Baby Girl. I would love to go on tour, but not at the expense of your safety. You don't have to prove anything to us. DJLS has been strong without touring. We don't have to start now."

"I'm not trying to prove anything," she said, taking her time to look each man in the eyes. "Yes, I would have to discuss it with Nikolas, but I'm sure that something could be worked out. Don't you want to?"

The three men nodded in agreement before they all verbally acknowledged that her safety was a number one priority. She raised her hand to silence them. "Nikky and I will work out the details. Trust me. If it's not safe for me, it's not gonna happen. I have too much at stake to risk it now. Okay?"

"If you say so," Jordan said, shrugging.

"I do," she said, firmly.

"So, what are you gonna do to convince Nikolas to say 'yes'?" Sly asked with a leer.

"Oh, I just bet you'd love to know...perv!" She laughed as she poked him hard in the ribs again and left them and went in search of her husband.


Once Dawn had left them, Sly and Jordan turned to Lorenzo. "So, it's true?" Sly asked quietly. "You're finally over her?"

"What?!" Lorenzo asked, anger flashing in his sapphire orbs. "Your mouth-"

"Shut up, Spencer," Jordan said, cutting him off. "Sly didn't say anything that we didn't already know was true. You came clean with her, right?"

"With whom?" Lorenzo asked, his jaw tight.

"Oh, shit, man!" Sly cried quietly. "Don't play us, man. Dawn, okay? We wouldn't ask in front of her. It would embarrass her and make her as mad as hell, but she's gone now. You told her that you were over her I gather. Tell us the truth. You didn't lie to her, right? Lizzie is the one for you now. Right?"

"Yeah, Lorenzo," Jordan added. "You're not playing Lizzie, right? You two have come too far for you to be using her-"

"I don't believe this shit!" Lorenzo said, staring at his two friends. "Of course, I'm not playing her!"

"Good!" Sly said, giving his cousin a hard stare. "Now, for the rest. That stuff with Dawn...it's over, right?"

"Listen, Sly-"

"No, you listen," Sly interjected. "She's got that gleam in her eye and sway in her step. Nikolas will say yes to the tour. He won't be able to resist her. We can't go on tour with you pining over her. Be straight with us. If you're still hung up, we can come up with some bullshit and tell her that we don't want to go on tou. Lark and the kids need me..."

"Or Emily and I had already planned a vacation," Jordan supplied. "We're not trying to ambush you for loving her. Believe it or not, we understand it. However, we're not dealing with the baggage of you wanting her. She wouldn't see it at first because she wouldn't want to, but eventually, she would. That's too much of a burden for anyone to carry. Be fair to her and straight with yourself. It's over...yes or no?"

Lorenzo swallowed hard as he listened to Jordan's no nonsense tone and heartfelt speech. He looked at the two men and nodded. "Yes. It's over. I'm not in love with her anymore."

Sly and Jordan both released sighs of relief. Lorenzo rolled his eyes and shook his head at them. "A little trust goes a long way. Trust me, okay? All of that's finished. For good."

"That's all we wanted to hear," Sly said with a smile. "Let's party!"


Nikolas rested his head against the large, overstuffed pillows. Behind heavy lidded eyes, he watched as Dawn removed her ivory dressing gown. The satin negligee that she wore clung to her curves and he couldn't help but release a low growl as she crawled into bed beside him.

Before she was completely settled, he reached for her and pulled her into his arms. The softness of her body crushed against his bare chest as his lips settled on hers. After thoroughly kissing her, he slowly raised his head from hers. He stared down into her glassy brown eyes and became breathless as the need he felt for her was mirrored in her eyes. Lightly, he rubbed his thumb across her full lips. "Incredible," he murmured, staring deeply into her eyes.

"What is?" she asked breathlessly. She lowered herself onto the bed and leaned against him. Her head rested on his chest and her hand caressed the hard muscles of his abdomen.

"Us," he responded, sliding his hands up and down her arms and then to her back. "It's almost scary."

She rested her chin on him as she looked at him. "What's scary? Complete sentences, please," she said with a teasing smile.

"As you wish," he said with a smile. "At the club, I couldn't help but think how lucky we are. It's taken Lucky and Lizzie ten years to find what we were fortunate to have from the very start. Well, I think they've found it...I'm still not so sure...."

"Why not?" Dawn asked. "They seemed happy tonight. Elizabeth was glowing."

"Yeah, she was, but..." Nikolas shifted on the bed until he and his wife were eye level. Tenderly, he cupped her face. "It's just that. They seemed happy, but my obstinate brother... I don't understand him sometimes. It's obvious that Elizabeth adores him, but he... He seems to take her for granted."

"I-I don't think that he does," she said slowly. "You really think so?"

"I'm not sure," Nikolas said, shrugging. "I know how I feel about you and when you're within a hundred yard radius, I'm so tuned to you that nothing else seems to matter. I'm not sure if Lucky has that with Liz."

"Why wouldn't he?" she asked, averting his eyes. "I think he loves her. He asked her to marry him. Besides, he's always been hesitant about showing his feelings in public. Maybe that's what it is."

"Sweetheart, I was groomed to never my show my feelings in public, but the second you walked into my life, all of Father's painstaking instruction was forgotten. I just can't imagine my love for you not being obvious to anyone who sees us together."

"Baby," she said, resting her hand at his neck, "I don't think we should analyze Lorenzo and Liz like this-"

"Now, Lizzie!" he said, smiling at Dawn. "She wears her heart all over her. She's tuned to him...similar to how you are tuned to me." He grinned triumphantly when Dawn's eyes widened and she blushed.

"You are so smug, aren't you?" she asked.

"Well, when you pushed Sarah out of the way and took your rightful place in my arms on the dance floor..."

"I did not push her!" Dawn's eyes narrowed as Nikolas laughed softly. "I didn't! I just...I just moved in front of her. Besides, you and I hadn't danced together, yet."

"Yeah, Mrs. Cassadine. Sure," he said with a knowing grin.

"I got your 'sure'!" she cried, indignantly. "Besides, I don't like the way she looks at you."

He bit back at a smile as a frown spread across Dawn's brow. "And, how does she look at me?"

"Like you're water and she's lost in the desert," Dawn said with quiet fierceness. "I think she still wants you."

"Oh, Dawn," Nikolas groaned. "She moved on long ago."


"What?" he asked, softly. A tender smile was on his lips as he looked at the pout on his wife's face. "If she wants me, that's something she has to deal with. I love you. I belong to you and only you."

"Prove it," she said quietly.

Nikolas was a little surprised by the uncertainty he saw in her eyes. He paused for a millisecond and then he lowered his head to rain kisses on her nose, cheeks and chin. As his mouth hovered above hers, he murmured, "With pleasure."

Dawn's mouth parted as soon as Nikolas' claimed her with his kiss. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and kissed him back with powerful intensity.

Nikolas responded in kind. His hands roamed over her body, quickly removing her negligee until she was nude as he. With fiery kisses, wandering hands and overwhelming need, he soon took possession of her. Their mutual release rose them to dizzying heights and wrapped in each other's arms, they slowly returned to earth.

"Oh, Nikky," she mumbled against his shoulder. Tears slid from her cheeks and fell onto him. Nikolas quickly moved to wipe her face dry. He opened his mouth to speak, but she silenced with her soft voice. "I'm sorry."

"Why?" he asked. "I thought you were crying because of... That's not why you're crying?"

She shook her head. "No." She sniffled and blinked back the fresh tears that threatened to fall. "I'm crying because I understand what you meant before...'incredible.' What we have is extraordinary. I get so scared sometimes that it's gonna disappear...that I'm gonna lose you."

"Good lovin' always makes you so emotional," he said softly as he gently gathered her into his arms. "We have what most only dream about. We're real, sweetheart. Nothing can ever touch that. Don't be scared. Just trust in me as I trust in you. Our bond can't be broken so you'll never lose me. You do trust me, don't you?"

"Yes," she said, wrapping her arms around him and squeezing him tightly.

"Whew!" he said with a teasing laugh. "I'm glad that's all settled." He kissed her forehead. Continuing to hold her against him, he reached out and turned off the bedside light.

The darkness enveloped them and their breathing became less labored. Dawn's head rested on his chest and with his every breath, she was almost lulled into sleep. When she was on the edge of slumber, she remembered that she had something important to discuss with him. "Nikky!"

"What?" he mumbled, yawning as he pulled the sheet and comforter closer around them. "I didn't hear anything. The kids are still asleep."

"No, I just remembered that I wanted to discuss something with you..." She leaned against her bent elbow as she looked down at his handsome face. "I want to go on tour with the band."

"What?" he asked, slowly waking up. "You want to discuss this now? Dawn... A tour? No. Out of the question. Now, go to sleep."

"Nikolas!" she said. "Don't play that high-handed crap with me. Come on. Let's talk about this."

"Right now?" he asked, stifling a yawn. "Are you serious?"

"Yes!" she said, moving to a sitting position. She pulled her section of the sheet up to cover her bare body. "It's doesn't have to be a world tour. Just a small tour of a few clubs. Something where it would be safe for me and the guys. I talked to Tommy about it and he said that it could be done-"

"What?" he asked, sitting up, too. He turned on the lamp and blinked furiously as the light blinded him for a second. "You talked to Tommy about it before you talked to me? Great, Dawn. Thanks."

"I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I just wanted to have some facts before I discussed it with you. I know how you can be-"

"Yeah, I'm an ogre-"

"Come on!" she said. "You're not an ogre. You are over-protective-"

"With good reason," he countered. "Almost losing you twice is more than I can stand in a lifetime. Never again."

"I know what you're saying," she said, reaching for his hand. "But this can be safe. I can be safe and come back to safe and unharmed. Tommy said so!"

"Well, if Tommy said so..." he mumbled, pouting. "Exactly what did Tommy say?"

"He said that he would research the clubs before we-DJLS-would commit to them. If the clubs couldn't provide proper security, we wouldn't play there-"

"I'm not leaving your safety to 'club security.'"

"Nikolas Cassadine, sarcasm doesn't suit you," Dawn told him in a stern voice. "Listen, okay?" she added softly. "This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. The guys, too, but they didn't really want to say anything. Please, just think about it, okay? A few small clubs in the States...and if they go over without a hitch, then we could do a few more here in Europe."

"Why not start here first and then maybe the US?" Nikolas asked, slowly warming to the idea. Slowly.

"Because we can't disrespect our home like that," she said, inching closer to his side. When she was close enough, he pulled her against him. Smiling, she looked at him and said, "We haven't been in the US in so long. I think the kids would get a kick out of seeing where Mommy grew up, don't you?"

"Hmm..." he commented, keeping his arms around her. "You really want this, don't you?"

"I'd like it," she said. "I'd like it a lot."

"When would all of this take place? What about Lucky and Liz's wedding?"

"Lorenzo," she said with emphasis, "said that he and Liz hadn't set a date and if the tour was short enough, everything would be fine."

"So...when?" he asked.

"We'd have to rehearse a little bit, but we think that we could get it together in a couple of months."

"How long would the tour last?" he asked, his voice tight.

"Not more than four weeks," she said, expectantly. "That would be okay, right? Four weeks? It's not very long and it would be over before it began and-"

"Ssh," he said, placing a finger to her mouth. "It's okay. You don't have to keep asking or trying to convince me. I was doomed to say yes anyway, right?"

"Doomed? Nikky, don't think it of that way."

"Bad word choice," he said, acquiescing to the hurt in her eyes and voice. "I won't oppose this tour if you'll be safe."

"Well, you could always be my personal bodyguard," she said, smiling at him.

"Tell me something else that I didn't already know," he said with a smug shrug.

"You!" she said, before she kissed him. "I love you!"

"And, I you, Mrs. Cassadine," he said, holding her against him again. He continued to hold her even as they drifted off to sleep.


Jacks - Port Charles, New York

Three months later...

"Did you hear that?!" Sly shouted as he and his band mates left the stage amid wild cheers and yells from the crowd.

"You can't help but hear it!" Jordan shouted back, a triumphant smile on his face. He glanced over his shoulder and saw that Dawn followed him. He put his arm around her shoulder and shook her. "What do you think, Baby Girl?"

"I think it's deja vu," she said. "Remember, the first time we played here?"

"Yeah," Lorenzo added, moving into step beside her and Jordan. "I remember rocking the house then-"

"Just like we rocked the house NOW!" Sly interjected.

"Amen, cuz!" Lorenzo said, giving Sly a high-five. "We still got it!"

"That's cause we never lost it!" Jordan said, laughing as he, Sly and Lorenzo patted themselves on the back.

Dawn smiled at their antics, but didn't join in. As they neared their dressing rooms, she became lost in her own thoughts. She almost didn't notice when Lorenzo tapped her on the shoulder. "Huh?" she asked a frown. "What's up?"

"You okay?" he asked as Sly and Jordan continued to their dressing rooms. "You're quiet. I thought you'd be psyched about tonight's show."

"I was...it was a good show." She shrugged. "I just wish Nikky and the kids could have been here. I miss them. These four weeks... Man, I'll be glad to go home."

He was silent as she laughed humorlessly. "You don't have to laugh it off with me. Of course, you miss them." He placed his hand on her shoulder and gave her an affectionate squeeze. "Just think. In a few hours, you'll be back on your island, watching as the kids play by the shore and my big brother peels your grapes."

Dawn laughed. "How did you know he does that?"

Lorenzo stared at her for a second before he rolled his eyes. "You guys are gross, do you know that?"

She laughed again. "Thanks for making me laugh. It's sad, but I was all set to have a good cry as soon as I closed my dressing room door-"

"Dawn. Why?" he asked immediately concerned. "Are you sure that you're okay?"

"No, I'm fine," she reassured him. "I just miss my family, but I'm gonna be okay now. As soon as I go inside that room," she said, pointing behind her, "I'm taking a shower and calling Nikky...and not necessarily in that order. I'll see you guys in about a half hour, okay?"

"All I have to say is if you're not out here, we're coming in after you," he warned before tapping the tip of her nose with his index finger and moving to his dressing room which was next door.

"Whatever," Dawn mumbled to herself as she went inside her dressing room. She closed the door and began to tug on her perspiration soaked costume before she sensed that she wasn't alone. Thinking that her dream had come true, she called out, "Nikky? Sweetheart...? Are you here?"

She went towards the bathroom and then stopped abruptly. A cold chill coursed through her veins and she became consumed with fear. Nikolas wasn't in her dressing room, but someone was. She spun on her heel and opened her mouth to scream when a figure stepped out of her closet.

The man, expensively dressed in a black Armani suit, raised a finger to his lips and whispered, "Don't scream. I come not to hurt you....well, physically speaking."

"What do you want?" she asked, pulling her blouse close around her. She glanced around the room, searching for an immediate weapon. "My brother is next door-"

"Your brother?" the man questioned with a laugh.

His laughter frightened her, but Dawn fought to hide her fear. She won. She held her chin up high. "Who are you? What do you want? Tell me or get out! I won't be responsible for what happens to you if you don't leave now!"

"Who I am is of no importance. You may consider me a messenger. What I want is to give you a message. And, once I've delivered it, you can be rest assured that I will take my leave," he said, his voice deadly quiet.

"Well, deliver it and be gone," she said, speaking slowly to lessen the tremor in her voice.

"All in due time-"

"Listen! I'm tired of the games. I am Dawn Cassadine. I don't have the time nor the inclination to play games with you, messenger! I don't know what you've done with my bodyguard, but I can assure that when my husband hears of this, he will not rest until you-"

"Ah...your husband, Nikolas Cassadine, the heir and controller of the Greco-Russian fortune. Your husband of ten years and the father of ten-year-old Dominik and three-year-old Noelle...or so they say. Yes, let's speak of him. To be sure, my message relates to him, the man who would not rest until I was but a dim memory, correct? He would stop at nothing to annihilate anyone who hurts you or the children, is my assumption. It is a correct one?"

Stunned, Dawn nodded. "What is your message? Have you h-hurt him?" she stammered as horrid images came to her mind. "What is it that you want?"

"Oh, Mrs. Cassadine, I fear that you misunderstand my intrusion upon your triumphant night," he said softly, resting his right hand upon his heart. "I am not the one who has hurt your husband-"

Salty tears stung her eyes. She blinked them back. "Who's hurt Nikolas? Tell me!" she demanded as his silver gray eyes stared at her. "Tell me! I demand that you tell me at once!"

"So be it," he said, clearly unmoved by her emotional outburst. He reached inside his jacket and produced an 8x11 manila envelope. He handed it to her. Quietly, he said, "Open it. Then you can tell me who hurt him."

With trembling fingers, Dawn ripped the envelope open. Photos spilled out and landed on the floor. She knelt to pick them up and gasped when she saw the images that had been immortalized on the Kodak paper. "I-I don't understand," she whispered as unbidden tears poured down her cheeks. Rising to her feet, she gripped the photos in her hand. She shook with emotion as she said, "This isn't true!"

"A picture is worth a thousand words, Mrs. Cassadine," he murmured. "The likeness is unmistakable. You, your brother or shall we say, brother-in-law, locked in passionate embrace. You and your brother-in-law kissing...making love. The photos tell the tale. The photos tell the truth."

"NO!" she cried. "This is not the truth!" She ripped the photos into pieces. "I don't know what you want, but you will never have it! I will not be blackmailed. Nikolas wouldn't believe this crap!"

"I'll say that there may be some truth to that," he admitted softly.

"Damn right, there's truth to it!" she said, feeling empowered. "Now, get the hell out of here before I have you thrown out!"

"Let's not be too hasty. I haven't given you my message-"

"The photos-"

"-were just an appetizer if you will. Now, Mrs. Cassadine," he said, clasping his hands in front of him, "you touched on something very profound during her outburst. You are correct that mere photographs of your nude form intertwined with that of your brother's nude form would not be believed by your husband. Very correct indeed, so you see, Mrs. Cassadine, this is where you come in. You must make him believe it-"

"NO!" she said, violently shaking her head. "Never!"

"'Never'?" he repeated, quietly. He slowly said the word as if he were mentally accessing it. "You do realize, Mrs. Cassadine, that 'never' is a frightfully long time. Never... Have you ever explained the word to your children, Mrs. Cassadine? A ten-year-old may be able to grasp the concept, but a three-year-old... Tsk, tsk, tsk. I'm not so sure."

"You will NOT threaten my children!" she said. Her hands balled into fists at her side. She took a step towards him.

"I wouldn't, Mrs. Cassadine, if I were you," he advised. "Striking me would get you nowhere. As I have stated before, I am merely a messenger. Nothing more, nothing less. Please, don't hate me for performing my task."

Dawn's heart pumped wildly in her chest as she fought the urge to attack the unwelcome stranger. She bit back angry retorts and salty tears as she looked at him. "My b-babies...Nikolas...the pictures... What. Do. You. Want?"

"Ah, at last, we are here and my message is all but over," he said with a dramatic sigh of regret. "It's really quite simple, Mrs. Cassadine. Should you want your children to reach maturity and have children of their own...should you want your husband to draw another breath, you will convince him of your betrayal. The photos will speak the truth and your husband will believe them. You will not rest until he believes them."

"You want me to give those p-pictures to him?" she asked, brushing away the tears that fell down her cheeks.

"No, that would be unnaturally cruel, wouldn't you say?" he asked gently. "No, Mrs. Cassadine, that won't be necessary. A set has already been delivered to him so there's no need for you to worry yourself needlessly. No, your task is much easier."

"Easy?" she repeated quietly. "Why are you doing this? Who's behind this? I have a right to know!"

"No," he said, shaking his finger at her. "You have no rights in this matter...except for those to your children. You gave them life. Do you want to be responsible for taking it away from them?"

"Why?" she asked.

"It is not for me to know the reason why. I am but the messenger," he said with a shrug. He turned to leave, but paused as he neared the door. Glancing over his shoulder, he said, "Another thing. Do not even attempt to apprise your husband of the 'truth.' The repercussions would be disastrous. Please, Mrs. Cassadine, I implore you. Do not test my words on this. I bid you good luck on your endeavor."

The door closed quietly behind him. Dawn fell blindly to her knees, tears streaming down her face. Agonizing sobs came from her and she was only dimly aware when Lorenzo entered the room and closed the door behind him. She looked up at him. Sobbing, she cried, "Lucky! Oh, my God..."

"I know," he said, dropping the photos he held in his hand as he knelt down on the floor beside her. He pulled her into his arms and rocked her gently as she clutched him to her. "I'm so sorry," he whispered over and over. "We'll fix this."

"We can't," she choked out. "They'll kill my babies and Nikky. Oh, Lucky! I don't have my family anymore!"

"Ssh," he whispered as sobs wracked her body, making her weak in his arms. "It's gonna be okay. I'll make it right. I promise you. You will not lose your family. I won't let that happen. I promise you that I won't."