Lizzie hung up the pay phone and moved back towards the bench to reclaim her seat. She mentally gave Dawn and Nikolas pats on their backs as she watched Carrie and Stefan go back and forth with PCPD's Desk Sergeant. Together, Carrie and Stefan were proving to be a formidable duo. The desk sergeant could barely sputter a word or two before one of the pair would offer a rebuttal. Lizzie could only imagine how strongly they must have reacted to Nikolas' and Dawn's marriage. It had to have been explosive, she thought, shaking her head.
"Where is your superior?" Stefan asked, his lips barely moved as he spat out the words. His last shred of patience and understanding was on the verge of escaping as he glared at the police officer.
"Sir," Sgt. Hill replied with transparent irritation, "as I have explained to you, neither the Hardy boy nor the Spencer boy can be released to you. They are minors and can only be released to their parents or guardian. Even my *superior* would tell you that."
"But, Lucky's parents aren-"
Carrie drowned out the rest of Lizzie's reply as she said, "I'm Lucky Spencer's guardian. You can turn him over to me."
Sgt. Hill looked Carrie up and down with a smirk on his face, said, "You could have fooled me with the Hardy kid, but there's no way you're the Spencer kid's guardian. I don't think so."
"Excuse me?" Carrie asked, folding her arms as her brown eyes flashed angrily at him.
"A racial epithet?" Stefan questioned the officer with a raised brow. As he advanced towards the desk, his ire increased and through gritted teeth he said, "You, *egregious simpleton! You will apologize to Mrs. Jensen at once!"
"Of course, he will, Mr. Cassadine," Taggert said, moving to stand behind the Sgt. Hill. "You will, won't you, Sgt. Hill?" Taggert kept his eyes on the police officer as he asked the question with a smile which didn't reach his eyes.
"I didn't say anything racia-"
"Maybe not, but you'll apologize anyway, unless you'd rather Commissioner Scorpio discussed it with you? The choice is yours," Taggert said, his smile still intact.
"Well, um...I suppose my tone was kind of brusque. I apologize Mr. Cassadine," he said with a slight nod of his head.
"Not to me," Stefan said, his voice still tight with anger. "To Mrs. Jensen."
"Apologies, ma'am," Sgt. Hill replied. His eyes rested on her briefly before they moved past her to the clock on the wall.
"Thank you, Sgt. Hill, but I'll handle it from here," Taggert said. Marcus waited until the officer moved away from the desk before he took a seat and began to speak. "Now, how may I help you?"
"Thanks, Marcus," Carrie said with a smile.
"There's no need for thanks, Mrs. Jensen. No need at all," Marcus replied. "What can I do for you? I heard Lucky's and Tommy's names mentioned. Are they missing?"
"No, they're here," Stefan replied dryly.
Marcus glanced at Stefan and then turned his attention to Carrie. Flashing her a smile which did reach his eyes, he said, "I'll look through the system and see what I can find. It'll only take a second."
Marcus punched in a few keys on the keyboard until the appropriate screen popped up on the monitor. A frown formed on his brow as he read aloud what had been revealed to him on the screen. "Lucky and Tommy are being held in regards to a murder in an alley."
"But, they didn't do it!" Lizzie said.
"That remains to be seen, Miss Webber," Marcus replied.
"What time is it?" Tommy asked as rose from his seated position on the bed.
"I don't know," Lucky shrugged. "They took our watches away, remember?"
"Yeah, I remember," Tommy grumbled. He moved to stand in the front of the steel bars, and his bruised hands grabbed them. Closing his eyes, he rested his head against the cold steel.
"Mind if I ask you something?" Lucky asked, watching his friend with sympathetic blue eyes.
"Sure. What?" Tommy replied, his eyes still closed tightly shut.
"What was with that wad of cash you had? Where'd you get that?"
Tommy felt himself grow tense as he remembered his previous argument with Gina. He said things that now made him feel ashamed. He wanted to hurt Gina when he told her to stay out of his life and after a few short hours later, he realized that with those words, he hurt himself, too. What if she did as he asked, he wondered. How would he feel if he couldn't share things with her or laugh with her anymore? Just thinking about it made him miss her.
"Tommy?" Lucky asked again.
"I got a job, and my boss gave me an advance," Tommy answered.
"What kind of job and who's your boss?"
Tommy released a long sigh and turned to face his friend. "Jason's my boss and I don't know what kind of job. He's supposed to let me know later next week."
"What?! A job with Jason? Didn't I warn you about that!?"
"Lucky, relax. I'm sure it won't have anything to do with the mob..."
"How do you know? Tommy, he *is* the mob! Anything you do will tie in to that! God, Tommy, didn't you hear a word I said?"
"I heard you!" Tommy fired back at him. "I heard you, but did you hear me? I have responsibilities, Lucky! I am responsible for taking care of my mother and myself-"
"No! My grandmother isn't responsible for me and my mom. I am! I am getting tired of everyone thinking I'm a child! Well, I'm not a child, and I can take care of myself *and* my mom!"
"I never said anything about you being a kid! And, I know you can take care of yourself. What I'm saying doesn't have anything to do with that. The mob doesn't give a damn about that. The only thing they care about is hurting you and hurting the ones you love if you don't do as they say. *This* is what I'm talking about!"
"Jason's not like that," Tommy replied. "Look, I'm not talking about this anymore."
"So, that's it? You're just gonna work for him?" Lucky asked.
"Yeah, that's it."
"Okay, fine." Several minutes passed before either of them spoke again. In the quiet stillness, Lucky asked, "Does Elizabeth know?"
"Lucky, I said I wouldn't talk about it anymore," Tommy said as he folded his arms across his chest.
"I know what you said. We're not talking about it. I'm asking you a question. Does she know?"
"No, I haven't told her."
"Have you told anyone?" Lucky asked, his eyes on Tommy as he began to pace again.
"Yeah. Gina," Tommy replied, averting his eyes as his thoughts turned inward. Moving slowly, he crossed the room and sat on the bed again. He lowered his head so that it rested in the palm of his head.
Lucky regarded his friend closely. Something in Tommy's tone of voice told Lucky that there was more to it than what Tommy was saying. He wondered if he should question his friend or let it be. What the hell, Lucky thought. What else did they have to do? And from the looks of things, they weren't going anywhere, so...
"What's the deal with Gina?"
"Huh?" Tommy asked, raising his head to look at Lucky with guilty green eyes.
A grin formed on Lucky's face as he moved to the edge of his seat. He'd never thought about Gina and Tommy as being together before, but maybe something was there. Hmm, he thought, grinning even more.
"What's wrong with you?" Tommy asked with a frown as he noticed Lucky's expression.
"Nothing's wrong with me. What's up with you...and Gina?"
"Nothing's up with me and Gina!" Tommy replied, defensively.
Lucky laughed and nodded his head, "Oh, yeah, there is. Come on, man. You can tell me. "
"There's nothing to tell," Tommy said with a nonchalant shrug which didn't match the look in his eyes.
"I'm sure there's something. Hm...let me see here. Do you like her?"
"Yeah, of course, I like her. What's not to like? She and my mom are good friends..."
"You know what I mean. Do you *like* her? Come on, Tommy, don't deny it. I can see it. It's written all over you," Lucky said, smiling. Softly, he added, "I can't believe I almost missed it."
"You didn't almost miss anything," Tommy grumbled, upset that Lucky was able to figure out what had been alluding him for so long.
"So, what are you going to do about it? Have you told her?"
"Do? I'm not doing anything! Told her? Are you crazy?" Tommy rose from the bed and began pacing again.
"Well, you gotta do something! You need to find out if she feels the same way," Lucky said, his blue eyes sparkling.
"Well, how am I supposed to find that out? I'm not asking her!" Tommy said, shaking his head in horror.
"You don't have to ask her," Lucky reassured him. "Quit your pacing and come sit down. I'll give you a few pointers..."
Lizzie moved away from the three adults at the sound of her name. She smiled when she saw Gina rushing towards her.
"I got here as fast as I could. Thanks for calling me. Are they okay? Were they arrested?" Gina asked, her questions coming out rapidly.
"As far as I know they're fine. Mrs. Jensen convinced Det. Taggert to release Lucky to her, and they're waiting for you so that Tommy can be released, too."
"You didn't call Mrs. Hardy?" Gina asked with a frown.
"Well...um... You know how Gram is. She would have had a fit. Det. Taggert knows you and knows how close you are to the family. I figured I'd play it safe and call you," Liz replied, chewing on her lower lip.
"Liz..." Gina said, warningly. "I'm not sure if Tommy would want me to-"
"Oh, good, you're here," Marcus said, as he left Carrie and Stefan to speak with Gina.
"Hi, Detective," Gina said with a tight smile. "So, um...Lizzie says that you'll release Tommy to me. Is that correct?"
"Sure. I don't think there would be a problem with that, do you? If you'd rather not, we could call Mrs. Hardy," he said with a shrug.
"No! There's no need to bother her. I'll take him," Gina replied with a slight nod.
"Okay, follow me. There's some paperwork, but after it's completed, you're free to take him," Marcus said, motioning for her to follow him. As she sat in the vacant seat next to Carrie, who was also completing paperwork, he looked at both women and added, "Just don't let them leave the country."
Dawn smiled at Mrs. Landsbury as she placed their dinner on the table. "Thank you," she said as Mrs. Landsbury left the sitting room and closed the door behind her.
Moving away from the window and the storm clouds she could see brewing in the distance, Dawn went to the table to have a closer look at her and Nikolas' meals. The steam clouded her vision as she raised the lid. Fanning the air and holding her breath, she inspected the food. Soup for her was a given so she didn't bother to peek at it. But for Nikky... There were all sorts of goodies for him she thought as a long sigh escaped her. She was so caught up in longing for a taste of Nikolas' filet mignon that she was ill prepared for the pair of hands which grabbed her from behind.
"What are you doing?" Nikolas asked against her ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Looking," she laughed as his breath tickled her ear.
"At?" he asked before his lips closed over her ear lobe.
"Mmm?" she moaned as his tongue, teeth and lips moved against her ear.
"That's not an answer, sweetheart," he said as he slid his hand underneath her sweater. His fingers traced the outline of her bra as he lips concentrated on the sensitive spot behind her ear.
Dawn's hand reached behind her, expecting to grab a piece of denim, but instead, it found terry cloth. As her hand moved lower, she discovered a hard, damp thigh. Inwardly, she groaned, what is he trying to do to me? Aloud, she said, "Nikky."
"Yeah?" he said, trailing kisses along the back of her neck. His hands no longer traced an outline of her bra. Now, they were hard at working releasing the front clasp. He smiled as she placed her hands over his, but his smile turned into a frown when she removed his hands and walked away from him.
"What's wrong?" he asked, resting his hands on his hips.
"You tell me," she said, slowly turning around to face him. Her eyes widened and a sigh escaped her lips as she took in the beautiful sight of him. There he stood, her husband, slightly damp from his shower and a white towel, hanging low around his hips. Subconsciously, she licked her lips as she looked him up and down.
Nikolas grinned as he watched the play of emotions dance across her face as she looked at him. Confident that they both wanted the same thing, he removed his towel and quickly moved to pull her into his arms. Instinctively, her arms wrapped around his waist as he lowered his lips to hers.
Their kiss was deep, long and meaningful as their tongues met again and again. When the kiss ended, the only sound in the room was that of their ragged breathing. Trying to catch his breath, Nikolas rested his forehead against Dawn's. As his hands caressed her backside, he said, "Yes?"
Dawn's eyes closed as she submitted to the heady sensation of Nikolas strong, but gentle hands molding her against his hard body. Calling on every ounce of strength she had, she wrapped her arms around his neck and against his ear she whispered, "No."
Not one to give up so easily, Nikolas continued to rub his hands against her as he asked, "Why?"
Dawn couldn't prevent the shudder which overcame her as Nikolas allowed one hand to move from her backside to caress her lower body from the front. She could almost forget she was wearing jeans as his hand pressed against her. "Because..." she said hoarsely.
"I'm listening..." he said softly, his hands never ceasing in their attempt to drive her mad.
"Because...we...need...to...talk," she replied softly as the waves began to hit her.
"We can talk later," Nikolas said. "We can make love now."
"Nikky, I think we should talk now. I need to know what happened in the alley...why you looked so sad. I want to help," she answered, slightly moving away from him so that brown eyes held brown eyes.
"There's a way you can help me," he said softly. The smoldering look in his eyes told her exactly how he wanted her to help him.
"But..." she faltered as she tried to fight the desire that was building inside her as he continued to disrobe her with his eyes.
"No, buts, my darling. Right now, I need to be with you. I promise that later we'll talk about it. About everything, but not right now. I want you, Dawn. Do you want me, too?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, nodding her head.
As Nikolas led her to their bedroom and they began to erase the pain of the day's events with their love, in the back of their minds, they knew that their discussion might not be a pretty one. During the ride over on the launch, they both had accepted that the disappearance of her cell phone hadn't been an accident. Who, what or why were questions, they couldn't answer, but one thing was certain. Changes had to be made and there might not be room for compromise.