"Are you sure you want to do this?" Nikolas asked. He sat sideways in the driver's seat of his Jaguar which was parked outside of Jacks. DJLS was scheduled to rehearse and he wanted to make sure Dawn was physically able to participate. He carefully watched her as she considered his question. If she gave the slightest indication that she was hesitant about attending the practice session, he planned to whisk her back to Wyndemere so she could rest.
"Sure, I'm sure!" she smiled at him. "Besides, I can't miss rehearsal. Our opening night is this Friday. We can't afford to miss any more rehearsals this week. We've already lost two days."
"Dawn, you can afford to miss another one if you're still in pain."
"I'm not in that much pain. It's mostly discomfort," she said, squeezing his hand for emphasis.
"I doubt it feels like that," he said, indicating the pressure she applied to his hand. "I saw your face. I know it was a little bit more than 'discomfort.' If you're still feeling it, how will you be able to sing, not to mention practice your dance steps. Your *modified* dance steps."
"Nikky, please. I'm okay. Really, I am. Trust me, okay?"
"I do, but I don't what you to hu-"
Dawn leaned toward him and interrupted his concerns with a kiss. When it was over, she rested her cheek against his as she whispered into his ear. "I have my cell phone and I promise to use it if need be."
"Okay," Nikolas said, giving in to his wife's tenacity. "What time should I come back?"
"Don't. I can get back to Wyndemere on my own." She exited the car before he could protest. Careful of her various body parts, she gingerly moved to the driver's side of the car. Leaning against the window, she said, "Tell Sheba 'hi' for me, okay?"
Nikolas' tone of voice and set face spoke volumes to Dawn. He wanted her to rest. He wanted her to wait for him. She wanted him to understand that she appreciated his gestures, but they weren't necessary. Despite the fear she displayed earlier, there were still a few things she could handle on her own. "Nikky."
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
Dawn stood in the parking lot until Nikolas drove away. When he turned the corner, she turned and slowly made her way inside the club.
"I'm telling you guys, she was beautiful."
"Jordan, shut up! There is no way a hot babe would be all over you at a dance club *and* drag you into a stall in the men's room. No way, man!" Sly said, shaking his head.
"Some girl dragged you into a bathroom stall? When?" Dawn asked as she walked onto the stage. She elbowed Sly to make room for her on the piano stool. When he did, she sat.
"Last night," Jordan replied, smiling at the memory.
"Shut up, man! Don't believe him, D. He's lying." Sly said, turning his attention away from Jordan to focus on the keyboard. He began to play a soft melody as Jordan began to protest in the background.
"I'm not lying, D. First, she was all over me on the dance floor and then later, she was all over me again," he said, grinning at her.
"Sure, Jordan. What's her name?" Dawn asked, the skepticism clearly written all over her face.
"I don't think I like your tone," Jordan said, feigning hurt feelings. He dramatically wiped the corners of his eyes to complete the picture.
"Dawn's got a point, man," Sly said, picking up the tempo of the melody he played. "If a chick was all over you, you'd have to get her name. Out with it."
"Chick?" Dawn asked, elbowing Sly in the ribs.
"Ow," he said, rubbing his side. "Sorry. I meant babe."
"There's no help for you," Dawn said, shaking her head.
"What?" Sly asked with a small frown. When Dawn remained silent, he smiled to himself as he turned back to the keyboard. He called over his shoulder, "Her name."
"I don't know her name," Jordan said, taking a seat behind his drums. He began beating a rhythm which complimented Sly's melody.
"See? Bogus. Just like I said," Sly replied, winking at Dawn who chuckled in reply.
"No, it's not bogus. Maybe tonight I'll dream about her again and I'll catch her name," Jordan said, laughing at Sly's reaction.
Sly turned to face him and exclaimed, "I *knew* it! You're pathetic, dude. Just pathetic."
Dawn laughed at them and moved to the microphone. As she adjusted the mike-stand for her height, she asked, "Where's Lucky?"
"Right behind you," Lucky replied. He had been backstage, tuning his guitar. Jordan and Sly could be distracting and he wanted to make sure his guitar sounded just right.
Dawn smiled at him, but it didn't extend to her eyes. The memories of Nikolas crying in her arms clouded her vision and she found that she couldn't look at Lucky. She turned her back on him and willed herself to be civil as she waited for the intro of the first selection to begin.
Dawn's reaction to him didn't go unnoticed by Lucky. Worried that Wyndemere might have taken a toll on her, he put his guitar down and went to stand beside her. He lightly touched her arm and was surprised when she jerked at his touch. His sapphire blue eyes held hers as he quietly asked, "Are you okay? Did something happen to you at the Bates Motel?"
"I'm fine," she replied, her voice as hard as the eyes which held his.
Lucky took a step back from the hostility that radiated from his friend. Despite the occassional bickering he and Nikolas engaged in, Dawn had never taken sides. And, she had never looked at him with such animosity before. If she had been anyone else, Lucky wouldn't have care, but she was Dawn, and whether or not, at this particular time she liked it, he cared about her. He didn't want anything to come between them and ruin the friendship they had formed.
"Why don't I believe you?" he asked, staring her down. She had a look that could silence Jordan and Sly in an instant. She was using it on Lucky now, but he refused to let it take effect. He wanted answers to the attitude she gave him, and he wanted them now.
She shrugged. She continued to glare at him in the hope that he would leave her alone. When he continued to glare back at her, she said, "This is rehearsal time. Inquiries to my well-being are appreciated, but not necessary."
"Oh, that was definitely attitude. The neck and head movement gave you away. Care to tell me what I did that's made you so pissed?" Lucky asked, crossing his arms across his chest. His stance telling her, in no uncertain terms, that he would not budge until she answered his question.
"Do you really want to know?" Dawn asked, her jaw set and her brown eyes flashing.
"Okay, come with me," Dawn said. She didn't wait for a reply as she stormed off the stage and went to the terrace. She needed the fresh air and they could use the privacy for what she had on her mind.
Lucky followed her. He noticed that she limped a little bit. He doubted if Nikolas was stupid enough to cause her pain, but if he was...
Dawn took a deep breath as she rested the palms of her hands on the railing. The fresh air should have cleared her head, but it didn't. In her mind's eye, she kept seeing Nikolas' tears and she kept hearing his voice as he told her how his mother 'died'...and how Lucky knew and didn't say a word to him. The thought of the pain Nikolas must have felt when he realized his mother was 'alive' to all of her children except him overwhelmed her and made her angrier than she had ever been in her life. When she heard Lucky's footsteps right behind her, she swiftly moved to face him.
Lucky was taken aback by the rage he saw in her eyes. He had no idea where it came from, but he knew that it had Spencer/Cassadine feud written all over it. He never wanted any of that to come between them, but it looked like it had. He hoped that whatever it was, they'd be able to settle it. Right then and there. And never have to go over it again.
"What's this all about?"
"I'm listening. What did the prince say that's got you so riled?"
"Don't, Lucky! Don't you ever use that condescending tone to me when you speak of Nikolas. Just, don't." she said.
"I got it," he nodded. His eyes narrowed as he continued, "But he did say something, right? What was it? Tell me and I can tell you the truth."
"HA!" The exclamation escaped her as she folded her arms across her chest. "The truth?! Would this be the same truth that told him his mother was dead or would this be the truth that she was alive and you knew it all along? Tell me, Lucky, which truth would it be?"
Lucky was amazed at the venom in her voice, as well as, the ebb and flow of the pain and the rage with stormed in her chocolate colored eyes. He had mentally prepared himself for laptop world takeovers, stolen Faberge eggs, or maybe a frozen city or two. Nothing prepared him for having the knowledge of Laura's fake death thrown up into his face. If he had ever doubted the depth of Dawn's feelings for Nikolas, he never would again. She loved him. Completely. Nikolas was fortunate to have a love like that, Lucky admitted to himself.
"Which truth?! I'm waiting. Which truth are you going to enlighten me with? I really want to know."
"I think you should calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down! Just answer the damn question!"
"Dawn, come on," Lucky said, trying to coax her. "Think about your baby. You shouldn't get upset like this."
"Like you give a damn about my baby," she said, forcing herself to relax a little bit. She refused to voice it, but Lucky was right. Getting upset would only hurt her child and she'd rather die before she allowed any harm to come her little one.
"How can you say that?" Lucky asked, his eyes displayed the hurt he felt because he knew she wasn't speaking in anger, but from what she believed. "I would never wish any harm to come to you or your baby."
"We're Cassadines, Lucky. Doesn't that make us sub-human in your eyes?"
"Hi, guys!" Brenda waved as she and Robin stopped at the edge of the stage.
"Hi!" Sly and Jordan spoke in unison. Their male hormones were in overdrive as they smiled at the former model and her friend.
"I wanted you guys to meet Robin. Where's the rest of you?" Brenda asked with a slight frown.
"They're talking...out there," Jordan said, pointing towards the terrace.
Brenda glanced in the direction he indicated and quickly turned her attention back towards the band. Robin's eyes moved to the couple on the terrace and were glued to what she saw. Lucky and Dawn were standing close to one another and from the looks of it, their conversation was an intense one. She wondered what would require them to seclude themselves on the terrace. She moved closer to the bar so she could get a better look at the two as Brenda asked, "How long do you think they'll be? Robin and I would like to talk with all of you about a business proposition."
"You or your child could never be considered sub-human, least of all by me," Lucky answered her softly. The pain still shone from her eyes and he wished there was something he could do or say to erase it. But he couldn't. He remained hesitant about answering her question because he knew his answer would only add to the hurt she so obviously felt.
"I don't believe you. I can't believe you. I can't believe that a person would look another person in the eye and tell him his mother was dead when he knew all along that she wasn't. What kind of person could do that?" she asked, her voice breaking on the question. Unshed tears glistened in her eyes as she gazed at him and wondered if he was even capable of answering her question. She also wondered how she could ever trust him again. Their friendship had been a special one despite his relationship with Nikolas. Now, that she knew his part in Nikolas' pain, would she ever be able to trust him again? Should she dare?
"I'm not sure if I can answer your question, Dawn. I'm not sure if you really want me to."
"Don't play games with me. I wouldn't ask if I didn't want the answer." Dawn drew a long breath before she continued. "Of all the things the Cassadines supposedly did to the Spencers, I find it very hard to believe that Nikolas deserved that, don't you? Can you get past the surname and see what your family did to him? Can you?"
Dawn turned from him when she knew the tears would determined to trail down her cheeks. She blindly wiped at her tears as she waited for Lucky's answers. She didn't have to wait long.
Lucky wanted to hug her, comfort her somehow, but he kept his distance. Instead, he moved to stand beside her as they both looked over the railing at the street down below. Slowly and softly, he began to answer her questions. "He didn't deserve it. Not really, but at the time we were reacting on instinct. We always relied on instinct and at that particular time, it told us we had to get Mom the hell out of here. We didn't consider Nikolas' pain or how he would react. Mom might have, but Da-...we didn't. Our number one priority was to protect her, Lulu and my grandmother. I won't apologize for what we did and I can't explain how I could look him in the eye and say the things I said because it's unexplainable. I was in a difference place then..."
"Would you do it again? Would you willingly hurt him like that again?" she asked, swallowing back the lump which had grown in her throat as she listened to Lucky's answers.
"I can't say, Dawn. I want to be able to look at you and tell you that I wouldn't, but I can't. What I feel for the Cassadines was taught to me at birth. It's not something I can easily forget or ignore."
"'The Cassadines'... I'm one now, too. So is the child whose heartbeat I heard today. Should we expect you to willingly hurt us too just because of things which happened before any of us were born?" Dawn asked softly, forcing herself to look at him as he pondered her words.
"No, Dawn," Lucky said, shaking his head. "I would never hurt either you or your child. You have my word on that."
Dawn wanted to believe him. A part of her did believe him. But, should she?
"May I ask you a question, now?" Lucky asked with a slight frown.
Dawn nodded, and Lucky continued, "Why were you limping?"
"I'm limping?" Dawn hadn't even noticed. The doctor's examination and seeing Lucky had pushed everything else from her mind.
"Yeah. Just a little. Maybe we should cut the dance sequences this time around. Do you know why you're limping?"
"I don't know," Dawn said, frowning as she tried to remember. In a flash, it came back to her. "I fell."
"What? Are you okay? Is your baby?"
"Slow down! We're okay. I had forgotten about it until you mentioned the limping. Come to think of it, I feel a little sore."
"What did your doc say about it? Maybe you should skip rehearsal," Lucky suggested.
"I didn't even tell her. I'm sure I'll be okay. No skipping rehearsal. I can sit on the stool today. We can play it by ear the rest of the week," Dawn said as she moved to the doorway.
"Wait," Lucky said as he followed her. Placing a tentative hand on her shoulder, he asked, "Are we still friends?"
Dawn covered his hand with hers and gave it a brief squeeze. A faint smile covered her lips as she said, "Yeah. We're still friends."