Life After Dark
Chapter 36

"I have a question I've been dying to ask," Dawn said, as she and Nikolas left the massive dining room and headed towards the library. They walked hand in hand. Their pace was slow as they ended their tour of Wyndemere.


"Is there a reason why he always wears black?" Dawn asked.

"None, that I know of," Nikolas replied, subconsciously stiffening at the mention of Stefan. On their second day under Wyndemere's roof, they had finally gotten around to what Nikolas had wanted to do the day before. Now that he was able to share this time with Dawn and show her Wyndemere on his own terms, he didn't want any thoughts of Stefan to intrude on them.

"What's wrong?" Dawn asked, displaying her uncanny ability to distinguish Nikolas' many moods. She'd felt him react oddly whenever she inadvertently mentioned Stefan and this time, she wanted to know why.

"Nothing," Nikolas said, as they entered the library and he closed the door behind them.

"I don't believe you," Dawn said as she turned to face him.

"Well, believe this," Nikolas said, dramatically pulling her into his arms. He bent his head to kiss her, but was stopped by a firm hand, placed squarely on his chest, pushing him away.

"You think you can distract me with those luscious lips of yours, don't you?" Dawn asked, with a small smile hinting around the corner of her lips. When Nikolas playfully puckered his lips, she laughed softly and continued in all seriousness. "Baby, what's wrong? Did Stefan say something? You can tell me. I promise to not lose it, if he did. Scouts' honor."

"Dawn..." Nikolas began. As he looked into her trusting brown eyes, he found that the words refused to come. He couldn't tell her that his uncle made unfounded comments about his feelings for her. He knew that, even though she hadn't complained or said one negative word, she still had many misgivings about life at Wyndemere. He had watched her when she wasn't aware of him. He saw how she wrapped her arms protectively around herself as she moved from room to room. He saw how uncomfortable she felt whenever the servants approached her. He also saw the light in her eyes which refused to diminish and he would die before he caused that light to die out. And somehow he knew that if she learned of Stefan's ideas, the light would flicker and quite possibly, the love she felt for him would disappear, as well. He couldn't let any of that happen.

"I'm waiting," she said as she moved out of his arms and placed her hands on her hips.

"Darling, nothing happened between Uncle and me. I just had a little talk with him to clarify a few things, that's all."

"Clarify what things?" Dawn asked, moving to cross her arms. Her eyes held his as she wondered for the first time, if he was telling her the truth.

"About us," he said, pulling her into his arms. He smiled when the tension left her body and she wrapped arms around him. Holding her close, he said, "I told him that our stay at Wyndemere would be a temporary one, and that sooner or later, we would leave. Is that okay with you?"

"Oh, Nikky, that's perfect with me." She cupped his face between her hands and stood on tiptoe as she brought her lips to his.

Their tender kisses were brought to an end when a light tap interrupted them. Nikolas raised his head and called, "Come in."

"I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you have a visitor," Mrs. Landsbury said, her eyes moving from Dawn to rest on Nikolas. As long as she lived, she doubted if she would ever fully accept that her little Nikky was old enough to marry, let alone soon be a father himself. Where did the time go, she wondered.

"Who's the visitor, Mrs. Landsbury? Do you think you could send whoever it is away?" Nikolas asked with a teasing smile. He looked at Dawn who was doing her best to stifle a giggle as Mrs. Landsbury beamed from Nikolas' playfulness. She could see that Mrs. Landsbury and Nikolas shared a special relationship. She was confident that in time, she and Mrs. Landsbury would forge their own relationship as well.

"Forgive me, but I tried, Mister Nikolas. This guest refuses to leave without seeing you. Miss Scorpio says that it is imperative that she should speak to you at once."

"Robin Scorpio?" Dawn asked, as she stiffened and moved out of his Nikolas' arms.

"Yes, Mrs. Cassadine-"

Dawn didn't wait to hear the rest of Mrs. Landsbury's words. The only thought on her mind was Robin as she brushed past Mrs. Landsbury and went in search of Nikolas' persistent 'visitor.'

Nikolas quickly moved to follow his wife, leaving a confused and a somewhat amused Mrs. Landsbury in their wake. Mrs. Landsbury vaguely recalled when the young Master was infatuated with Miss Scorpio and it appears that the new Mrs. Cassadine was aware of something as well. Mrs. Landsbury longed to see the altercation, but it was not in her disposition to spy on her employers. If only she were a fly on the wall, she sighed to herself as she went back to the kitchen.


"Dawn, wait!" Nikolas called as she reached the end of the hallway. He surmised from her stiff back and the way she held her head high, that whatever she had planned was not going to be good. He didn't really care about Robin's reaction because he was still insulted by her attempted seduction of him. What he cared about was Dawn and how this unplanned meeting with Robin would affect her and their unborn child.

Dawn stopped and waited. When she felt Nikolas' hand touch her shoulder, she turned. "Yes?"

"Let me handle this."

"Okay," Dawn said.

Nikolas shook his head for a second. She agreed? He was surprised, but he knew better than to question her. If she was willing to let him handle it, he'd better do so and ask his questions later. He moved to pass her, but stopped when he felt her hand on his arm.

"After I'm done," she said before she quickly flew past him. As she neared the living room, she slowed her pace and made herself take a deep breath. She wanted her thoughts to be crystal clear as she told Robin Scorpio exactly what she thought of her making a play for her man.

Nikolas reached her just as she stepped into the living room. He'd seen this fire in her eyes before, when she told Stefan and Carrie a few things. He decided he'd stand beside her while she spoke to Robin. Robin's unwanted kiss could have ruined his and Dawn's relationship. He'd rather Dawn unleashed her wrath on Robin than ever doubt his loyalty to her.

"Robin," Dawn said, not making the effort to soften her features with a fake smile.

"Hello, Dawn. Nikolas," Robin said with a slight frown. She had expected to find Nikolas alone. She wanted to talk to him and apologize for her behavior a few nights ago. She felt that if she didn't, a rift would grow between them and damage their friendship. Now that she'd lost Jason, she didn't want to lose Nikolas, too. However, she didn't anticipate Dawn's presence this early at Wyndemere and from the tension which filled the room, Robin had a strong suspicion that Dawn knew exactly what happened between her and Nikolas.

"Hi, Robin," Nikolas said, his eyes rested on her for a brief moment and then moved on to carefully watch Dawn.

"Well, this is a surprise," Robin said with a small laugh. When no one else joined her, she stopped.

"Let's just cut the small talk, okay?" Dawn said, moving to stand face to face with Robin. She towered over Robin by at least seven inches, so she had to lower her head a little in order for their eyes to meet. "Nikolas told me what happened."

"It was an accident-"

"Accident? You *accidently* kissed him. Do you really expect me to believe that?" Dawn asked, folding her arms as she wondered if Robin thought she was *that* stupid.

Nikolas' silence hadn't gone unnoticed by Robin. She was on her own with his girlfriend and she quickly backtracked. If DJLS signed with L&B, she and Dawn would have to work closely together. She couldn't let her past indiscretion mar a possible lucrative business arrangement. Brenda would never forgive her.

"No, I guess not," Robin said quietly, admitting defeat. "I kissed Nikolas on purpose and that's why I'm here. I wanted to apologize. I'm glad you're here, too, because now, I can apologize to both of you. I was out of line, and I'm sorry."

Dawn's mouth dropped open. She didn't believe it and she didn't believe Robin. She had noticed something about Robin in regards to Nikolas their first meeting when Robin attempted to monopolize Nikolas and their other meetings following that one. Even though Robin had Jason, there was a part of her that wanted Nikolas, too. Of that, Dawn was sure. As the thoughts went through her mind, Dawn became unsure of how to react to Robin's apology. Should she accept it, or should she voice her thoughts? She looked to Nikolas to see what his reaction was.

Nikolas was surprised by Robin's apology, but he was also relieved. Maybe now, the animosity he sensed between the two women would disappear. He hoped so. Dawn was his wife and his first loyalty was her. Robin was his friend and he didn't want to lose her friendship. Maybe in time, she and Dawn would become friends, too. Anything was possible. Miracles happened everyday, he thought. .

"I hope you both can accept my apology. I am really very sorry. I was upset and I looked for comfort. I had no right to look for that kind of comfort with Nikolas. I knew it at the time, but I ignored it. I can't ignore it any more. Your friendship means too much to me to lose it because I was thoughtless," Robin said, turning her attention to Nikolas. She breathed a sigh of relief when Nikolas smiled.

"I accept your apology," Nikolas said. "Dawn?"

Nikolas held his hand out to her and Dawn took it. As she moved to stand beside him, she wrapped her arm around his waist and said, "I'll accept your apology, but don't make the mistake again."

"I won't," Robin said with a smile that broadened her mouth, but didn't quite reach her eyes. Nikolas might be with Dawn now, Robin thought, but he might not stay with her. He wanted Robin before. He would want her again. She would make certain of it.

In the distance, a telephone rang as Nikolas began to speak. "Robin, there's something I want to tell you."

"I'm all ears."

Before Nikolas could continue, Mrs. Landsbury entered the room. She cleared her throat before she spoke. "Excuse me, again. Mrs. Cassadine, you have a phone call. Shall I take a message for you?"

Dawn appeared oblivious to Robin's sharp intake of air as she looked at Mrs. Landsbury and said, "No, Mrs. Landsbury, that won't be necessary. I can talk now." She turned to Robin and said, "Excuse me."

After she kissed Nikolas' cheek, she left him and Robin to follow Mrs. Landsbury. You're damn straight you won't, Robin Scorpio, Dawn Cassadine thought, as a huge smile covered her face.

"Did Mrs. Landsbury just say 'Mrs. Cassadine?'"

"Yes, she did," Nikolas beamed. "That's what I wanted to tell you. Dawn and I were married two days ago."

Chapter 37