Chapter 69

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Timeline-wise, this chapter begins before Chapter 68. Towards the end, it catches up.]

"Are you sure it'll work?" Tommy asked, disbelief clouding his green eyes, as he watched Lucky warily.

"Sure, I'm sure!" Lucky replied. "Trust me. It'll work like a charm. You'll know within seconds."

"I don't know," Tommy said, rising from his seated position on the bed. "Gina's pretty smart. She'll see straight through it."

"It doesn't matter how smart a person is when it comes to emotions. If she feels the same about you, you'll know."

"And if she doesn't?" he asked, turning around to face Lucky.

"Well, you'll know that, too," Lucky said with a good-natured grin.

"Yeah. That's what I'm afraid of," Tommy mumbled under his breath.

Lucky heard him and was about to respond with reassuring words when they were interrupted by the sound of jangling keys and heavy footsteps.

"Look alive, guys. I've got your walking papers," Marcus said, unlocking the cell door.

"We're out of here?" Lucky asked.

"For the time being. You have to go back upstairs, fill out some paperwork and then you're free to go. But as I told the others, don't leave Port Charles," Marcus said in all seriousness.

"What others?" Lucky asked, suspiciously.

"Who cares?!" Tommy said, brushing past Marcus to wait for Lucky in the hallway. "Come on. Let's get out of here."

"I care!" Lucky replied, grudgingly as he followed his friend.

"Well, you'll find out soon enough," Marcus said. "Funny thing is, I was surprised to see that you had such caring friends. Tommy, sure, but you? I never would have thunk it."

Lucky kept his typical sarcastic comment to himself and merely rolled his eyes in reply. Marcus laughed softly to himself and moving ahead of the two young men, led them out of the cellblock.


"I wonder what's taking so long," Lizzie said, as she began to pace in the small waiting area.

"He hasn't been gone for long," Gina said from her seat on the hard bench. Her hazel eyes were tired with strain and worry, as her hands clenched her purse in her lap. Trying to calm herself in preparation for Tommy's reaction at seeing her had proven to be futile. Instead, she had chosen to just ride it out. Tommy would be angry at first, but he'd get over it, she told herself. Um...sure.

Lizzie ended her pacing to move closer to Carrie. With a warm smile, she told her, "Mrs. Jensen, thank you so much for helping Lucky. He may not show his appreciation at first, but deep down, he'll be thankful."

Carrie chuckled softly as she said, "You don't have to sugarcoat it, Elizabeth. I know Lucky won't be too pleased after we have our little talk, but I'm prepared for it. You don't have to apologize for him. I know him, and I can handle him."

Lizzie frowned and then, nodded her head. Mrs. Jensen and Dawn seemed to be similar in many ways. Maybe she could handle Lucky. They would find out soon enough, she thought.

Carrie smiled as she watched Lizzie walk away and resume her pacing. Ah, the joy and pain of young love, she thought with a small chuckle.

"Carrie," Stefan said her name softly.

Stefan's quiet voice interrupted her thoughts and she turned away from Lizzie to look him squarely in the eye. "Yes?"

"Are you certain about your decision regarding the Spencer boy? I believe Miss Webber may be correct in her assumption regarding his reaction. I've had the rare fortune, or perhaps misfortune, to speak with him when he's-"

Carrie's light touch on Stefan's forearm prevented him from speaking further. "I wasn't teasing the poor girl when I said I can handle Lucky. He's arrogant, proud and he has a very healthy ego, but none of that can or will compare to me when I'm in my maternal mode. He'll listen to me and he'll do as I say."

"Your confidence astounds me. You are quiet certain that the Spencer boy will follow your bidding when even his own flesh and blood haven't been able to change his residence from a boxcar to a warm home. Amazing," he said, a small twinkle beginning to shine in his green eyes.

"You say amazing, but your eyes say something entirely different," Carrie replied, her brown eyes shining with merriment as well as a challenge. "I have the strongest feeling that you doubt me."

"Doubt is too harsh," he said with a slight shake of his head, his eyes never straying from hers.

"Oh, is it?" she said with a soft laugh. "I don't think it is."

A small smile tugged the corner of Stefan's mouth as he enjoyed the sound of Carrie's laughter. He would tease her no more, he decided. Instead, he'd see if her confidence in her maternal abilities with Lucky would be as ferocious as she predicted. Regardless the outcome, Stefan would enjoy the confrontation.

"Lucky! Tommy!"

Elizabeth's excited squeal ended Stefan and Carrie's repartee as they watched the relieved group of teenagers.

Tommy and Lucky returned Liz's hug with as much love, relief and happiness as she bestowed upon them. Tommy pulled away first and his eyes drifted to Gina, who stood quietly in the background. He felt a mixture of annoyance and pleasure at seeing her. As he moved closer to her, he saw the wariness in her beautiful hazel eyes and he decided to surprise her. Softly, he said, "Thank you."

Gina frowned slightly at his quiet statement. She had been so certain that he would be angry when he saw her that she had only prepared herself for that response. As the quiet grew between them and the expression in his eyes changed, she quickly recovered and spoke. "No thanks needed. Lizzie called me and here I am. I signed for your release and if you want, I'll take you home."

Before Tommy could reply, Lucky slapped him hard on the back and answered for him. "He wants you to."

Tommy's eyes flew to the ceiling as he felt his face become hot. Drawing a long breath, he closed and opened his eyes. He looked at his former cellmate and said, "Thanks, Lucky."

"No problem! Anything to help a friend," Lucky said with a grin and another hard slap on Tommy's back.

Gina and Lizzie exchanged questioning glances as they regarded the two young men. Both realized that trying to understand the private exchange would only frustrate them, so they both shrugged and looked away.

Gina pulled her car keys out of her purse and looking at Tommy, asked, "Are you ready?"

Tommy sensed the huge grin on Lucky's face at Gina's question. Refusing to be embarrassed again, Tommy turned his back to Lucky and said, "Yeah. Let's get out of here."

Lucky watched Tommy and Gina walk away with a sparkle in his eyes and a grin on his face. He couldn't wait to find out how his advice would play out.

Lizzie's curiosity got the better of her and she nudged him. "What was that all about?"

Lucky placed his arm around Liz's shoulder and held her close as he said, "I'll tell you later. Let's go."

"We can't. We have a ride," Lizzie said, slowly, waiting for Lucky's reaction.

"Who?" Lucky asked, looking around the squad room. His eyes rested on Stefan first and he immediately stiffened. "No way."

"Yes way," Carrie said softly, but sternly. "*I'm* taking you home."

"Thanks, Mrs. Jensen, but I can find my own way to the railway yard. Besides, cars get damaged going out there. I wouldn't want you to mess up your car on my account," he said, before he turned away again.


Lucky hesitated. The tone of Carrie's voice prevented him from moving further. In defiance, he wanted to keep walking, but his heart wouldn't let him. Mrs. Jensen had always been cool with him. He couldn't bring himself to disrespect her by walking away. Slowly, he turned to face her. He arched his eyebrows to silently ask her to continue.

Carrie stepped away from Stefan and moved to stand before Lucky and Liz. Eye-to-eye with Lucky, she said, "Let's talk."


"Thanks for the ride and for getting me out," Tommy said, shyly. They stood in the doorway of his grandmother's home. Hesitant about meeting her gaze and afraid of what she might see in his eyes, he took turns as he looked beyond Gina to the trees behind her and then back to her face again.

"I told you before..."

"...I don't have to thank you? I know, but considering... Well, considering what happened earlier today, I suppose I should."

"You can forget about all of that," she said with a shrug. Her eyes moved over him, really looking at him. He had a few cuts on his face and his knuckles were bruised. Also, there was a dark spot growing on his shirt which really caught her attention. What is that, she wondered.

"Have you forgotten?" he asked, trying not to be self-conscious under Gina's unwavering gaze.

"No," she said, lowering her eyes briefly. Something insisted that she look at him again. She did, and saw sadness in his eyes. She couldn't think of anything that would ease the pain that they both felt, so she focused her attention on the dark spot on his shirt which had grown even more. Her fingers tentatively touched it as she asked, "Tommy, what's on your shirt?"

Tommy winced at her touch and backed away. "It's nothing, Gina. I can take care of it."

Gina followed him into the house and closed the door behind her. "Take care of what?" she demanded. "Were you hurt?"

"It's nothing. Don't you have to go back to work?" he asked, hoping she would take the hint and leave.

"No, I don't. Let me see this *nothing.*" she said, glaring at him as she stood in front of him.

"It's really not that bad. All I need is a band-aid. I'm sure it'll stop bleeding then," he said, taking a small amount of pleasure in having her stand so closely to him.

"Bleeding? A band-aid? Did anyone at the police station look at you?" Gina asked.

"Nah. It wasn't so bad then, so I didn't mention it."

"Tommy!" Gina paused before she continued. "Okay, let me see it."

"You don't have to see it. I told you, a band-aid will take care of it."

"And how do you intend to get the band-aid on it? It's in an awkward position."

"I can do it."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah. Really!"

"Okay. Do it. Put the band-aid on," she said, folding her arms across her chest as she waited for his reply.

"Now?" Tommy asked. When she didn't speak and continued to glare at him, he acquiesced and said, "Okay. Grandmother keeps them upstairs."

"Lead the way," Gina said as Tommy moved past her and went up the stairs.

Tommy groaned as she followed him, but he didn't object. The thought of following Lucky's advice once they were upstairs crossed his mind, but he quickly dismissed it. He wasn't ready. He'd do it when he felt more confident in his abilities to pull it off.

Tommy flipped the light switch for the bathroom he and Elizabeth shared. Light illuminated the room and with Gina behind him, Tommy realized for the first time how small the space was. Swallowing hard, he went to the medicine cabinet. He grabbed a few cotton balls, rubbing alcohol and a box of band-aids and quickly left the room.

The hallway was empty and for a moment he wondered if she went back downstairs. Then, he heard her. Walking slowly down the hallway, he found her in his bedroom. She stood with her back to him, in front of his dresser. She held a framed reprint of the family portrait of him, his mother and his father which was taken when he was a little more than a baby. She smiled as she looked at the picture and after what seemed like an eternity, she placed it back on the antique furniture.

"Grandmother gave it to me. I almost gave a copy to Mama, but I wasn't sure if she'd want it because of Dad..." Tommy said as he entered the room.

"You probably made the right decision," Gina reassured him as she moved away from the dresser to stand before him as he stood beside his bed. She took the makeshift first-aid kit from him and said, "Sit."

"Gina..." Tommy groaned, but when he saw the no nonsense look in her eyes, he sat without further protest.

Gina placed the items on the bedside table and turned her attention to Tommy's wound. The shirt had a slit an inch long. She gingerly tried to pull it away from his skin, but with each movement, he winced involuntarily. She patted him lightly on his shoulder and sighed. "Maybe we should go to GH."

"No!" he said, emphatically shaking his head. "Grandmother is there. I don't want her to find out if I can help it. Not to mention if Nurse Amy sees me..."

"Say no more," Gina said with a grim smile. "Do you want me to do it?"

"Yeah. Please," he said softly.

Gina nodded. "Okay. I will. While I'm washing my hands, take off your shirt. I'll be right back."

"Take off my shirt?" he repeated slowly.

"Yeah. Do you need help?"

"No! I can do it," he reassured her.

Gina quickly washed and dried her hands. Standing in the middle of the hallway, she paused before she went back into his bedroom. She could do this, she told herself. Sure, he wouldn't have his shirt on, but so what? It wasn't like she'd never seen a bare chest before.

Taking another deep breath, she entered his room. She had been determined to keep her mind and her eyes on the task at hand, but when her eyes betrayed her, her mind soon followed.

The cut on the upper portion of the left side of his chest wasn't as nasty as she had thought. The gash which glared from his chest wasn't too deep and wouldn't require stitches, she absently thought as her eyes continued to move over his bare skin. There wasn't a spare ounce of fat anywhere on him, she decided. His chest, abs and arms all appeared to be as solid as a rock. His male nipples were hard and dark brown against his caramel-colored skin. His chest was hairless except for a fine, thin trail which started at the center and then disappeared under the waistband of his jeans. Gina stopped herself from gazing further and after swallowing hard, she turned away to grab the cotton balls and alcohol from the table.

Tommy released a long sigh as Gina kept her back to him. The way she looked at him excited him in ways he'd never really felt before. Maybe Lucky's idea wasn't such a bad thing after all, he thought as he waited for her to look at him again.

"This may sting a little," Gina said, as she turned around with a alcohol-saturated cotton ball in her hand. In order to have a better angle, she sat beside him on the bed. Her eyes moved from his wound to his eyes as she asked, "Are you ready?"

"Yeah. Just do it and get it over with. Quickly." he said with a small laugh.

"Sure thing," she whispered.

The first dab caused Tommy to stiffen, but after that he remained still. Her hands were gentle and her touch was light as she attended to him. Despite the pain, he enjoyed every second of her tender care.

"You should have someone else look at it," she said as she finished applying his bandage. "You may need a tetanus shot."

"Really? A shot?" he said with a pout.

Gina found herself entranced by the pout which made her wonder if his lips were as soft as they looked. She automatically moistened her lips and slowly raised her eyes to his. Tommy's eyes had been drawn to her subconscious movement and his green eyes were warm with desire as he looked at her. The sound of their ragged breathing was loud in the room as their eyes remained glued to each other.

Moving slowly and carefully, Tommy reached for Gina's hand and held it in his lap. His thumb lightly caressed her palm as his eyes held hers. His voice was husky as he began to speak. "I'm sorry about before. I didn't mean any of it."

"Tommy, you don't have to apologize."

"Yes, I do. I also have to thank you. Thank you for caring about me."

"Oh, Tommy, I..."

Gina stopped speaking as Tommy leaned closer to her. Move, a distant voice said to her, but Gina refused to obey it. Instead, she chose to lean closer to him and within seconds, she discovered his lips were soft as he lightly brushed her lips in a sweet, gentle kiss.


The sharp clap of thunder awakened Nikolas. Instinctively, in his semi-sleepy state, he pulled Dawn closer to him. Still asleep, she was more than happy to snuggle against him. Her head rested on his chest and a smooth thigh moved to slide between his. "A seductress even in slumber," he murmured to himself.

Feeling his body react to her innocent touch made him alert. Placing a light kiss against her forehead, he almost wanted to wake her up, but he soon decided against it. She needed her sleep. Besides, if he woke her up, after they made love, they would have to have The Talk, and he wasn't ready for that. At least, not yet.

Dawn shifted again, pressing her chest against his and causing her thigh to stroke him gently. Maybe The Talk would be worth it, he thought, as again he considered the pleasure which could be had if she was wide awake in his arms instead of asleep. She sighed and a small smile teased her lips. Nikolas almost thought she was feigning sleep, but he knew that couldn't be. She was a tease, most definitely, but she always gave herself away. With a cute little giggle. No giggle meant she really was asleep. Nikolas sighed.

Knowing that if he remained in bed much longer he would wake her up, Nikolas carefully extricated himself from her and rose from the bed. He took a quick shower and after pulling on a pair of jeans and a pullover, he left their bedroom and closed the door behind him. In his bare feet, he padded to the table which still held their dinner. He raised the lid and grimaced as the cold food stared back at him. The faint rumbling of his stomach reminded him that he should eat, but the food on the tray was not what he had in mind. Nikolas picked up the tray and took it with him as he left their quarters.

His destination was the kitchen as he quickly made his way down the darkened halls. The sound of muffled voices stopped him as he reached the end of the east wing. Nikolas placed the tray on the floor as he followed the sound of the voices.

His quest led him to Stefan's second floor study. He stood outside the door, trying to listen, but when he heard the click of the telephone as it was placed it its cradle, he decided to go in. He tapped the door with his knuckles and when Stefan said, "Come in," he entered.

"Nikolas," Stefan greeted him with a tight smile. His eyes drifted to Nikolas' bare feet and he grimaced.

Nikolas saw his reaction and shrugged it off. Coming fully into the room, he asked, "How did it go? Are they okay?"

"It...went, " Stefan replied slowly. "Lucky and Tommy were released. They appeared unharmed."

"Who were you talking to on the phone?"

Stefan raised an eyebrow at Nikolas' aggressiveness. "I spoke with Carrie, and later, I spoke with Mikhail."

"Mikhail? Why?" Nikolas asked, immediately worried at the mention of their family's head of security.

"Because of this," Stefan said, indicating a television monitor. "Watch closely."

Nikolas moved closer to the monitor and with his hands on hips, he watched the screen. His eyes widened in surprised at what he saw. "That's Sheba's stall! There's someone... Someone's in her stall! Uncle! What is this?"

"This is the video taken from the stables. After recent events, I've had all the videos reviewed and this is what was found."

"When was this?"

"The morning of Sheba's mishap. Her urgent need for surgery was no mere accident. She was intentionally injured," Stefan said with conviction.

"Who would...? Helena?"

"Helena's involvement has yet to be determined," Stefan said, pushing the remote control to rewind the tape.

"Well, we have to find this person and make him tell us!"


"What?! It's not impossible! We have resources... If you refuse, I'll handle it myself!"

"Nikolas, there's nothing to handle. The person in the video met an unfortunate and premature demise."

"Did you...?"

"No, not by my hand nor my order. He was killed in the altercation with Tommy and Lucky. Dawn's cell phone was discovered by them."

"So, the same person who injured Sheba, stole Dawn's phone?" Nikolas repeated for clarification.

"Yes. This Maxwell person was one in the same," Stefan replied, his voice was calm, but his eyes flashed with the same anger which radiated from Nikolas.

"I want to know who he was working for, Uncle!" Nikolas said, angrily. "And, I want them eliminated!"


"So, the problem has been eliminated?"

"Yes, sir."

"And you are certain, he spoke to no one, si?"

", yes, I'm certain. He didn't tell those two boys anything."

"Did he have anything on him? Identification?"

"He had a library card with his fake name on it. Maxwell. He also had..."

"Yes? Speak up! What did he have?"

"He had the girl's cell phone with him, but nothing that would tie him to you."

"Very good. Excellent execution. As always, you will be handsomely rewarded. I'll contact you should your services be deemed necessary."

Juan snapped his cell phone shut and rested against the pillows. He pressed the call button and was pleased when the nurse appeared within seconds. "Inform Roberto that I am now ready for my transformation."

Chapter 70

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