Life After Dark
Chapter 20

“Okay, step up here.”

“Lizzie, please, can’t we just take the blindfold off? I promise to keep my eyes closed and not peek,” Dawn said, said as Lizzie and Gina guided her towards the stateroom on The Aphrodite.

“No,” Lizzie said. “Nikolas wanted this to be a surprise and personally, I don’t believe you’d keep your eyes closed.”

“I would!” Dawn said with a pout.

Gina laughed. “No, you wouldn’t and you know it.”

“Well, yeah, but can I help it if I’m curious?” she laughed. “Come on. Give me a little hint. What does it look like?”

“No!” Lizzie and Gina said simultaneously. They looked at each other and grinned. Nikolas had spared no expense in making the boat fit for a midnight wedding. The upper deck, where the ceremony would take place, was lit with white candles. The altar, where Nikolas and Dawn would take their vows, was lit with two torches would rested atop two poles. The torches weren’t lit, yet, but Gina and Lizzie knew the effect would be beautiful. White, yellow and pink roses were strewn across the floor of the deck. The deep, midnight blue sky and white, sparkling stars created a beautiful backdrop for the deck and the effect was breathtaking.

“Lizzie, wait! This is it,” Gina said as they almost went past the room.

“You’re right,” Lizzie laughed. She guided Dawn into the room and after Gina closed the door behind them, she took the blindfold off of Dawn.

“Finally!” Dawn laughed as she rubbed her eyes. She looked around the room and all traces of laughter vanished. “Where are the dresses?”

“They’re here,” Lizzie reassured her. Somewhere, she thought to herself as she began a mad search of the room.

“They were supposed to be delivered thirty minutes ago. What if the delivery person took them to the wrong boat? I’m going to check,” Dawn said, as she made a move for the door.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Lizzie said, grabbing her arm. “Sit down. I’ll take care of this. Gina, keep an eye on her. I’ll be right back.”

Lizzie left the room and closed the door behind her.

“If something happened to those dresses… Nikolas paid too much money for them to turn up missing. Gina, what if they were stolen?” Dawn asked as she began to pace.

“Hey, they weren’t stolen, okay?” Gina said, placing an arm around Dawn’s shoulders. “Trust me. Liz will get to the bottom of this. She’ll find the dresses and she’ll give them hell to pay, too.”

Dawn gave a light chuckle and said, “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Why don’t you change into your slip and stockings? When you’re done I can start on your make-up while we wait for Liz,” Gina suggested. She handed Dawn her overnight case and Dawn went behind the partition to change. “So, are you two planning on having a honeymoon?”

“We decided to wait on that. With school coming up and Nickie’s classes at PCO, not to mention whatever’s gonna happen with DJLS, we have enough to keep us busy. Besides, being on the boat will feel like a mini-vacation,” Dawn said.

“This is really nice,” Gina said. “The boat, I mean. How long has Nikolas had it or does it belong to his family?”

“It’s his. His uncle gave it to him for his fifteenth birthday. Nickie said that Stefan gave him the boat as a test of his manhood. Stefan made him sail it all by himself for two weeks. No crew. Just Nikolas,” Dawn said, as she tied her dressing gown around her waist and came from behind the partition.

Gina moved to the vanity table and pulled out the chair. “Have a seat,” she said with a smile. “So will this be your new home?”

“We haven’t decided, yet. God knows, I don’t want to live at Wyndemere and I definitely don’t want our baby to grow up there. It’s so dark and depressing. Have you ever been there?” Dawn asked as Gina pulled a chair over and sat in front of her.

“Nope, but I’ve heard about it. Pretty creepy,” Gina laughed. She grabbed Dawn’s bottle of Clinique foundation and began to shake it. When the make-up was mixed to her satisfaction, she opened the bottle and poured a little on the sponge.

“Think Addams' Family,” Dawn said with a laugh as Gina began to dab make-up on her forehead and cheeks.

“Hold still,” Gina said. “You have really great skin. You only need a little bit of this stuff.” Gina finished with the foundation and said, “You may speak now.”

“Thanks,” Dawn said. “Also, thanks for being here today. This really means a lot to both of us.”

“Thank you for having me,” Gina said as she added the finishing touches to Dawn’s eyes. She set her brushes on the counter and leaned back to take a good look at Dawn. She liked what she saw. “Okay. Take a look.”

Dawn turned and faced the mirror. She liked what she saw, too. Gina had used the smoky grey eyeshadow which gave her eyes a mysterious look. “Thanks, Gina. It looks great.”

“You’re welcome. Now, let’s do something with your hair,” Gina said as she moved to stand behind Dawn. She carefully pulled Dawn’s braids into a French roll, leaving a few curly braids to frame her face.

“Gina, you’re great at this,” Dawn said, as she beamed at her in the mirror. “Thanks!”

Gina’s welcome was drowned out by Lizzie as she burst through the door, carefully cradling one garment bag..

“I’ve found them!” she exclaimed as she came in. “Well, actually, Emily did. The delivery guy was way on the other end of the dock. Thank goodness, Emily came along when she did and pointed him in the right direction.”

Emily followed her into the room, carrying a garment bag. Gina took the garment bag from Emily and hung it up on the back of the door.

“Elizabeth Webber, you’re a Godsend!” Dawn said as she moved to hug Lizzie.

Lizzie stepped away from her and said, “Hey! This is your dress. We can indulge in the mushy stuff later.”

Dawn laughed and said, “True that.” She went to Emily and held out her hand, “Hi, Emily. We haven’t met before, but my name is Dawn. Nickie’s told me so much about you.”

Emily bit her lip and hesitated before she held out her hand. She didn’t want to like Nikolas’ bride-to-be. In fact, she wanted to hate her and she almost wondered why she was there, but then she remembered the look on Nikolas’ face when he stopped by to invite her a few hours ago. His eyes glowed with so much love and happiness that she knew that she couldn’t begrudge the person who put the glow there.

“Nice to meet you,” Emily said as she shook Dawn’s hand. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Yes!” came the simultaneous reply of the other young women.


“Damn tie,” Nikolas muttered as he fumbled with the black bow tie that refused to obey his fingers. He whipped the tie from around his neck and was about to crumble it into a ball when Lucky took it from him.

“Lucky…” Nikolas said with a warning look in his eye.

“Do you want my help or not?” Lucky asked. “This is important to Dawn. Do you want to ruin her wedding by looking like a bum?”

“It’s our wedding and of course, I don’t want to look like a bum,” Nikolas replied. “Now, will you just tie the tie and keep the comments to yourself?”

“Say, please,” Lucky said, as he enjoyed having Nikolas at his mercy.

Nikolas glared at him. He was too nervous to make a correct bow tie himself, but if he wasn’t, he would have wrapped the tie around Lucky’s neck instead of asking him for help. Grudgingly, through gritted teeth, he said, “Please.”

Lucky smiled and began to help Nikolas with his tie.

Tommy chuckled as he watched the two brothers. He would have offered to help Nikolas if he knew how, but he didn’t. Besides, Lucky had tied his tie for him, too. It felt a little tight, but it was better than what Tommy could have done.

Nikolas heard Tommy chuckle and out of the corner of his eye, he glanced at him. “You have the rings, right?”

“Yeah,” Tommy answered.

“Where?” Nikolas asked, straining as Lucky tightened the tie with more effort than necessary. “Watch it, Lucky.”

“Give him a break, Cassadine,” Lucky said, moving away from Nikolas. “Of course he has them.”

“Let me see,” Nikolas said, ignoring Lucky. The closer the time came for the ceremony, the more nervous and anxious Nikolas became. He wanted everything to be perfect because he had no intention of ever going through this again.

Tommy patted his breast pocket and said, “I have them right here.” He kept patting, but he couldn’t feel the rings. “Uh oh. I had them right here.”

“Tommy,” Nikolas said, moving away from the mirror where he had been admiring Lucky’s bow-tie techniques to stand in front of Tommy. “This is not the right time for playing games.”

“I’m not playing,” Tommy said, as he stuffed his hand into his pocket. “I put them in my pocket. Right here, but I can’t feel them now.”

"Where were you the last time you had them?" Nikolas asked, as he began to look around the room.

"Aw, it's not like you can't afford to buy another set," Lucky said, as he looked at himself in the mirror. The black tux with tails looked better on him than it did on Nikolas. He was sure of it, he thought, as he smiled at himself.

"That's not the point," Nikolas said, reminding himself that he promised Dawn that he would not let Lucky provoke him.

"What's the point?" Lucky said, turning to face Tommy and Nikolas as they crawled around on the floor, reaching under the bed and the dresser in search of the rings.

"The point is the rings are special. They are one of a kind, made with Dawn and I in mind," Nikolas said, as stood up and dusted his pants off.

"So what? You Cassadines have jewelers at your beck and call at all times?" Lucky asked sarcastically as began to look for the rings, too.

"If you must know," Nikolas called as he went into the bathroom to search there, "I had the rings made a few weeks ago."

"Why?" Tommy asked, as he pulled his clothes out of the closet and began to search through his pockets.

"Because I knew that I wanted to marry her one day and I saw what I wanted and I had them made," Nikolas said as he left the bathroom and joined Lucky and Tommy. "Still nothing?"

"I'm really sorry about this, Nik-" Tommy began, but then stopped. He remembered something. "When I put the rings in my pocket, I wasn’t wearing the jacket. Everyone check your pockets."

Nikolas checked his, but he came up empty. He looked at Lucky who reached into his pockets. Lucky, grinning at him, said, "Oops!" and handed him the rings.

Chapter 21

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