Life After Dark – Chapter 133

Chapter 133

~ Timoria: Aslan ~

Nikolas shaded his eyes from the glare of the Atlanta afternoon sunlight. He squinted as he regarded his friend and ground out, "This isn't right. He knows we're following him. Dawn isn't here."

"There's no way he can know that," Tommy replied, patiently. He pinched the bridge of his nose and continued to watch Spiros from behind a pair of dark sunglasses. "I know you feel like the dream was more than a dream-"

"It was more than a dream," Nikolas said. He turned his back on Spiros and faced Tommy. "She and I connected somehow. I know we did. I also know that she's on an island somewhere and that she's scared about the baby. And, that's not all I know."

"What else do you know?" Tommy asked. His eyes darted back and forth between his friend and their prey.

"I know that I'm wasting time here, and I have to go to her."

"Where, man?" Tommy questioned. He removed his sunglasses and looked Nikolas full in the face. "Tell me where and I'm with you. Spiros is the safest bet, but… An island, Nikolas? Which island? We're back here in the U.S. and there aren't too many islands to choose from. Do we go to Hawaii or Long Island?"

"I don't know, alright!" Nikolas furiously whispered. He spun away from Tommy. He made no apologies for his anger and frustration. Tommy's brief pat on his shoulder told him that none were necessary. "I just know that being here in Atlanta isn't right," he said after he released a long sigh. "He brought us here to trip us up, but he's all we got so we have to stay. I hate this, Tommy."

"I know you do," Tommy said softly. "Maybe it's time we split up. I can watch Spiros and track him until the others arrive. Maybe he'll lead me to something concrete."

"And, what am I supposed to do in the meantime?" Nikolas asked.

"Follow the dream," Tommy told him. He nudged Nikolas and they both slowed their pace to match Spiros'. The older man darted inside a coffee shop, and the two young men wasted no time in following him inside.

To their relief, the shop was filled with enough patrons that their presence could be hidden. They chose a table in the back, which gave them a diagonal view of Spiros, and the young woman who had joined him at the table. Tommy smiled at the waitress who took their order and as soon as she left them, he said, "Who do you suppose that is?"

"I wish I knew," Nikolas murmured. His need to be someplace else grew stronger and he began to fidget. Tommy glanced at him.

"I meant what I said earlier, and I want to apologize for before," Tommy said. "If the dream got to you, I think you should investigate it. I can stay here and watch him, or I can go with you. Just tell me what you want."

"I want my wife back," Nikolas said, quietly. He accepted his coffee with a smile when the waitress returned. After she took her leave again, he said, "I want you to come with me, but I don't know where we're going. Maybe we should just wait until Father shows up and then we can figure it all out. I don't want to go opposite of where she could be."

"Yeah, but like you said before, time is wasting," Tommy said gently. "Spiros didn't just hop a plane to come here for nothing. I'm also having second thoughts about him knowing we're still on him. Look at him over there. He's playing up to that girl like he doesn't have a care in the world."

Nikolas frowned as he glanced at the other table. The girl was maybe a few years younger than they were. She glanced around in awe, as if she was taking everything in. She seemed a little intimidated by Spiros, but she hid it under false bravado. Nikolas wondered if Spiros was too intent on admiring her innocent beauty to notice.

"Yeah, he does seem rather relaxed, doesn't he?" Nikolas said softly. He sipped more of his coffee as he viewed the odd couple. "She looks a little frightened, though, don't you think?"

Tommy shrugged. "Maybe." She glanced at him and saw him watching her. She offered him a faint smile, but quickly faced Spiros again as he said something to her. Her movements became panicked and she fumbled in her purse. Visibly shaken, she withdrew a small envelope from her purse. She handed it to Spiros. He spoke to her again and in reply, she nodded and rose from her chair. Clutching her purse, she nearly ran from the coffee shop.

"Keep watching him," Nikolas muttered as he too rose from his chair. He dropped a few bills on the table and moved to follow her.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going after her. She was wearing Dawn's ring and I intend to find out why. I'll keep in touch with my cellular."


"Aren't you gonna eat it? Don't tell me I slaved over a hot stove for nothing." Ginnie watched Dawn behind unreadable eyes.

Dawn glared back in defiance. She pushed the plate of baked chicken, rice and sautéed plantains back towards the older woman. "I told you that I wasn't hungry."

"Listen here, gal, you'd better eat up. That baby needs you to keep your strength up. Getting nasty with me won't help you or that child any," Ginnie advised her.

"Don't worry about my baby," Dawn told her. She placed her hands protectively over her unborn child. "I'm taking care of my baby, and my strength is just fine."

"Then why ain't the baby moving?" Ginnie asked. She planted her hands on her hips and smirked in triumph as Dawn's eyes clouded over in fear. "I ain't trying to scare you none, but you'd best close that uppity mouth of yours and eat up. I'll leave you alone now, but when I come back, I expect to see a clean plate."

The door slammed shut behind Ginnie, and Dawn resisted the urge to throw the plate of food after her. Her dream of Nikolas had strengthened her resolve and had sharpened her instincts. She was upset with her inability to tell him where they were and she had been in the process of replacing her ignorance with knowledge when Ginnie had entered her room with a plate of food. Irritated with having been interrupted, Dawn had responded in the negative when Ginnie offered the lunch to her.

Now as she looked at the food, Dawn's eyes narrowed in anger. How dare that woman question her when it came to her child, Dawn asked herself? She grabbed the plate of food and stabbed a plantain with her fork. She raised the cinnamon-sweet smelling fruit to her mouth and paused. Closing her eyes, she put the fruit up to her nose and inhaled. She'd had plantains before, but they had never smelled quite like that before. The sweet aroma reminded her of many of the concoctions Ginnie had prepared for her. Suddenly afraid, her fingers released the fork and it clattered onto the plate. She thrust the plate onto the bedside table, and then pushed herself off the bed. One hand rested on the small of her back and the other covered her distended abdomen. Worry brought lines to her forehead and staring at the plate of food, she backed away.

"Dawn, I-" Lucky closed the door behind him and took in the expression on her face. His eyes followed the direction of her gaze and he crossed the room to the bedside table and the plate of food. He picked up the plate and brought it to his nose.

"Don't, Lucky!" Dawn called out. "Don't eat it. Put it back down."

"Why? It smells okay. The way you were looking at it I thought Ginnie had made something gross."

"Lucky, put it down!" Dawn bit out. When he didn’t respond fast enough, she went to him and took the plate from him. She flung it into the wastebasket and spun around to glare at him.

"What did you do that for?" he asked in confusion.

"Do you have to question everything?" she asked. Unable to respond to his question, she began to pace. "Why couldn't you just put the damn food down when I told you to?"

"Dawn?" Lucky frowned as he watched her. Her dark brown eyes had grown wild with fear. Her hands shook as she caressed her unborn child, and he slowly began to understand her agitation. "What was in it?"

"I don't know," she said. "First, they steal my ring and now, they poison me. What's next?"

"I told you I'd find the ring," he said softly. He went to her, but didn't make a move to touch her. "Are you sure it was poisoned? What made you think that? Did you get sick?"

She shook her head. "It didn't smell right."

"Is that all?" he asked. "Dawn, I just smelled it. It smelled fine to me. Geesh! You just tossed a perfectly good chicken into the trash. Unbelievable!"

"Shut up!" she grumbled. "I know what I smelled. It smelled just like everything else that they give me to eat…sweet. Very sweet. And, spicy like cinnamon. Lately, everything smells like that. I should have noticed it before."

"I'm not following you," he said with a frown.

"Obviously," she muttered. "I'm sorry, Lucky." She took a deep breath and tried to answer him without allowing the frustration she felt with herself to come through. "Remember the applesauce from yesterday, and the peaches from dinner last night? They all had the same smell. Don't you remember?"

"I guess so." He shrugged. He went to her as she began to lower herself into the rocking chair. He held it steady as she sat down. "But, you ate both yesterday. You didn't get sick last night and you haven't been sick today, right?"

"No, I haven't been sick. It hasn't affected me," she said, resting her back against the hard wood. "But it has made the baby sick. That's why the baby doesn't move. They've been making my baby sick on purpose."

"Come on, now," he said as he knelt before her. He held out his hand and hesitated a moment before he placed it on top of her swollen middle. "Ginnie wouldn't do that. She's always asking about the baby."

"That doesn't mean she cares about my baby," Dawn told him. "She told me to eat up and she commented on the baby's stillness. It was like she was goading me…like she was blaming me or maybe laughing at me because the baby isn't moving as much."

Lucky's fingers extended outward as he continued to press his hand against her. He drew in a long breath as her hand closed over his. He kept his eyes on their hands as he said, "I don't know what to say."

"Say you found a way out of here," she said quietly. "Tell me that we're leaving soon and that we'll find a doctor who will tell me that they haven't hurt my baby. Say that to me, Lucky."

He raised his sapphire blue eyes to her mahogany orbs and nodded. "Dawn, I found a way out of here. We’re leaving soon and we'll find a doctor who'll tell us that the baby is just fine."

Her eyes became misty and her fingers linked with his. "You're not just saying that are you. Please, Lucky. Don't play with me. Not about this."

He pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear. His hand lingered on her cheek and he told her, "I'm not playing with you. I found an out, and as soon as night falls, we're taking it. I can't undo what Luke and Helena have done…the pain they've caused and now this stuff with the baby…but I can take you out of here."

"Come here," she whispered. Lucky went into her arms and she held him close. "I don't blame you for what your father did. Okay? So, don't blame yourself either. Maybe he's as crazy as she is."

"He'd have to be," Lucky replied as he pulled away from her. "And, there's something else I need to tell you."

"Yeah?" she asked, wiping at the tears as they gathered in the corner of her eyes. "What more is there?"

"I know where we are. I overheard Ginnie talking to the guy who drops off the food and stuff. They were speaking in a dialect that I'd heard a few years back. I recognized it, and I'm pretty sure that we're somewhere off the coast of the Carolinas."

"Gullah? Is that what it sounded like?" she asked, a look of deep concentration on her face.

"I think so. Yeah, that's what it's called. Why?"

Dawn smiled. "The Gullah Islands are close to Georgia, too. My Mama's family is from there. Maybe we could get some of them to help us."

"Maybe so," Lucky said with a smile. "But first, I'll have to figure out a way to get you to Georgia."

"You don’t have a boat?" she asked, a teasing frown on her face. "What kind of rescue is this?"

Lucky grinned as he rose to his full height. "I'm working on it, Greedy. Just chill out, okay?"

"Okay, Selfish, but get to it. Night will be here before you know it."

"Yes, ma'am!" he said with a nod and a salute. He went back to the door and paused before he opened it. "Will you be okay here? If Ginnie comes back…?"

She waved him away with her hand. "Go. I'll be okay. Just be careful. That's the most important thing, Lucky. Just make sure to come back, okay?"

He grinned again. "You just try to keep me away. I'll be back as soon as I can, and I will be careful."

Dawn smiled at him as he closed the door. With a firm hand at the small of her back, she rose from the rocking chair. She took a deep breath and then moved to stand in front of the window. Her eyes stared at the clear blue sky and she knew with an unexplainable certainty that Nikolas was close. She asked God to keep him safe, and then she relayed her own message to her husband. With no other thoughts except for Nikolas in her mind, she willed for their minds to connect again as they had in her dream. A chill swept through her and she felt his presence envelop her. Softly, she whispered, "The Island is off the coast of the Carolinas. Be careful, my love, and hurry. Please, hurry."

A movement in her lower abdomen ended Dawn's message to Nikolas. A sigh of relief passed through her lips and she lightly caressed her abdomen. The movement grew stronger and her relief turned into concern. What if there were side effects to whatever Ginnie had been giving her? And, what would those side effects mean to her child? Anger and fear took hold of her, and she prayed for her unborn child.

General Hospital ©ABC
Spiros ©1997 Pamazon
Dawn Cassadine, Francesca and Ginnie Mathews ©1998 niklovr
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