"Whoa. That was some video."
"It was very well-done. The kids were wonderful," Keesha said to AJ.
"They don't look like kids to me," AJ said with a grin. "Especially, the lead. She's pretty cute."
"Yeah, and she's very married, and to a Cassadine no less. I'd watch how loudly I'd say that if I were you," she told him. Surprised by the hush in the room, Keesha twisted around in her seat. She couldn't distinguish anything more than shapes and shadows in the completely dark room. Turning around, she said, "It's pretty quiet, isn't it?"
"Yeah, and being a Quartermaine, I'm kinda leery of too much quiet. Time for me to live up to my family name and liven things up," he told her.
"AJ!" she whispered.
"Relax. I'm not about to start a war," he said with a smile.
Keesha heard the smile in his voice and she allowed herself to relax as she waited for him to 'liven things up.'
"It's too quiet," Gina whispered against Tommy's ear. "Do something!"
"What?" he asked with a small chuckle. He was on the verge of whispering a suggestion to her when the sound of applause interrupted him. Unable to resist, he whispered, "Is that better?"
"Much," she said, as she busied herself with claps and cheers.
Others began to join in and soon the room was consumed by a thunderous ovation. Tommy whooped it up with the rest of the room, thriving on the energy which occupied the room. Leaning against Gina, he said against her ear, "They were great! I'm sure Nikolas and Lizabeth are really proud, right now."
"I didn't know there was a kiss," Emily whispered to Jordan as the clapping died down and the lights came on.
"There wasn't supposed to be," he told her. He and Sly exchanged glances. They slowly nodded their heads as they spoke to each other, as best friends often do, with their eyes. Their faces both held looks of disgust as simultaneously they released a deep sigh.
"You mean they kissed on their own?" Lark asked, confused by Jordan's reply and by his and Sly's sudden incensed expressions.
"No, that's not what he means," Sly told her. He shifted slightly in his seat as he looked past Lark and Emily to make eye contact with Jordan. "Can you believe that? Even after we told her not to. Man, I knew it was a big mistake to keep her after Tripod Queen left."
"What are you talking about, Sly?" Emily asked, bristling at the cruel nickname for her close friend.
"He's talking about little Miss Robin Scorpio," Jordan said, angrily. "I hate to admit it, but you were right, man. I don't like it when people try to play games, and especially when it comes to our music."
"What is wrong with you two?" Lark asked as shook looked from Jordan to Sly. "The video was incredible, and I'd say that even if I wasn't in it. Come on, guys. Why be mad at Robin. The video's great."
"Lark is right. Sometimes, I think you two like to look for problems when there aren't any. Why would you say she's playing games? The video looks good. Are you so afraid of success that you'd-"
"No, Em," Jordan said, taking her hand as he interrupted her. "We're happy about the video…the way it was before. Robin changed it on purpose."
"On purpose?" she asked.
"Yeah. We, all four of us, specifically told her that we didn't want the kiss in the video. We're presenting an image and we don't want to confuse people. And, we don't want those types of rumors affecting us. We don't want our fans thinking things that aren't true, and she said that she agreed with us."
"Well, she lied, that little bi-"
"Jordan!" Emily was shocked. He had never used that term before and she wasn't about to let him get away with using it now, even if it wasn't directed towards her. "Why are you guys blaming Robin for the change? Ivan's the director. Maybe he wanted to change it."
"Ivan wouldn't have changed it unless she told him to." Sly said, matter of fact.
"And, why would she want him to?" Lark said, wondering if Sly or Jordan would have an answer to support their ridiculous claims.
"Because she wants to get to Nikolas, and anyone with half a brain can see the heat Dawn and Lucky could generate if Nikolas and Liz weren't around. Robin has half a brain, and she used it for what it was worth on our video." He glanced behind him at the two couples who sat silent and motionless. He shook his head slowly as he turned back around. "Looks like her little trick worked," he muttered.
"Well, that was some dance," Lizzie said quietly as she stared straight ahead. She could feel Lucky's eyes bore into her, but she wasn't ready to look at him. Maybe in a few minutes, but not yet. She clutched her purse in her hand as she rose to leave.
"Elizabeth, wait," Lucky said as he rose, too. "Let's talk about this."
"Okay," she said, brushing past him and the silent couple to exit the viewing room. In the distance, she could hear Robin's voice as she spoke into the microphone. Her words were indistinguishable to Elizabeth, not that anything Robin Scorpio had to say would matter to her. Right now the only thing that mattered to her was making sense of Lucky's and Dawn's omission about the little surprise ending of the video.
Lucky swallowed hard as Elizabeth walked away from him. His eyes remained focused on her rigid back as he followed her out of the room and into the hallway. After pausing to take a deep breath, he reached for her and said, "Elizabeth, I'm sorry."
She cringed from his touch and waited for him to drop his hands before she spoke. With her arms folded across her chest and her eyes glued to the ceiling, she asked, "Why?"
"Why? What do you mean?" he asked, desperate to do say or do anything to appease her.
"Why didn't you tell me? Why did you lie to me?" she asked. She slowly gave in to the urge to look at him. She wasn't surprised to see his baby blues staring back at her with longing for forgiveness. But, she couldn't give it to him. Not until he answered her question, and maybe after that, she'd consider it.
"I…I didn't lie to you," he denied.
"No, Elizabeth, hear me out. I was wrong for not mentioning it, but what I did wasn't exactly a lie."
"So, why didn't you tell me? You could have at least told me that you and my best friend kissed, instead of surprising me like that!"
"It wasn't supposed to be used!" he explained. "Ivan told us he'd go with the dance-"
"So that just makes it okay, huh? Lucky, you're not even listening to me. This isn't about which ending was used. This is about you neglecting to tell me. You lied to me."
"It wasn't a lie." He stood still as she shook her head at him. "It was an omission, but it wasn't a lie," he said, hoping his explanation would lesson the pain he saw reflected in her huge brown eyes.
"Hmm…an omission. It most certainly was," she agreed. "But why did you omit it, Lucky? Maybe you should think about that."
"Liz, wait," he cried as she began to move away from him down the hall.
"No. I've got to get out of here. I need some air," she said, her back to him as the distance between them widened.
Lucky watched her move farther away from him until she was out of sight. In despair, he slumped against the wall. Closing his eyes, he began to ponder her question. He wasn't surprised when the answer managed to allude him, but he was confused.
"Great video, Dawn," Nikolas commented, intentionally drowning out the trepidation he heard in her voice and could feel radiating from her body. "Just great."
Dawn closed her hand over his. His initial flinch from her touch brought tears to her eyes. She whispered, "I'm sorry."
"Why?" he asked, facing her for the first time after watching her kiss his half-brother. He ached inside as he saw her eyes glisten with tears. He wanted to rid her of her distress and reassure her that all was well, and that the kiss hadn't bothered him. But he couldn't. He'd promised her long ago that he'd never lie to him and he meant it. He'd only wished she'd meant her words when she made the same vow to him.
"Be…cause…" she stammered. She took a deep breath to still the rapid beating of her heart. She'd hurt him. She should have told him, but she mistakenly thought he'd never know. And if he didn't know or would never know, why say anything was her line of reasoning. The truth of the matter was that she should have known better. "Nikky, I-"
"Don't," he said, stiffening as she said the endearment. He quickly recovered. "The question was rhetorical. There's no need for an answer."
"No, really. I mean it," he said, calling on his Cassadine ability to present a calm façade even amid the most excruciating turmoil. He smiled gently at her. "The video was a good one. It was well done and the shots were perfect. So, when I asked you why, I meant why should you apologize for a producing an entertaining video."
"So, you enjoyed it?" Robin asked, appearing from nowhere. She smiled brightly at the young couple, as she leaned against the seats which were directly in front of them. "You're not just saying that?" she asked, her eyes trained on Nikolas.
"No, I'm not," he said. He laced his fingers with Dawn's as he pulled their clasped hands into his lap. Dawn's eyes flew to his. She was surprised by the intimacy of his touch and he knew that she would be, considering his earlier reaction to her. Despite her failure to offer him full disclosure, he loved her. He couldn't help himself, and nothing Robin nor anyone else did would change that.
On impulse, he leaned towards Dawn and lightly brushed her lips with his. As she began to kiss him back, he pulled away. He wanted to prove a point to Robin. He would not be manipulated. However, he wasn’t ready to face the ramifications her kiss with Lucky would have on their marriage. Contrary to the pain he felt, he smiled at Dawn and at Robin. A momentary feeling of satisfaction coursed through his veins as he saw the smug look in Robin's eyes disappear. He now had the answer to the question he'd wondered about as soon as the wretched onscreen kiss began.
How did a dance he'd been warned to high Heaven about suddenly become a scorching kiss? Robin's beeline to them after making her little speech supplied the beginning of the answer. The entire answer was presented to him when her lips thinned into a straight line as he held his wife's hand. It was reaffirmed when her eyes glittered with envy as he raised his head after kissing Dawn. Despite her many protestations to the contrary, she still wanted him, or at least thought she did. Foolish woman, he thought, she'd never have his heart by manipulating him.
"Well, what about you, Dawn?" Robin asked, winging a new plan of action as she went along. "Did you enjoy…ah…like the video?"
"It wasn't what I had expected or what we had all agreed upon on," Dawn said.
"But, did you like it?" Robin repeated. She didn't know what possessed her to continue with the question, but maybe her intuition was on to something. Perhaps, there was more to Dawn's relationship with Lucky than Robin had realized. Maybe there was a teeny, tiny attraction there. Oh, good, she smiled.
"I told you-"
"Robin, we need to talk," Sly interrupted. Jordan stood beside him and neither young man sported smiles of good cheer and celebration for a video well done. They were pissed.
"Guys? I was in the middle of a conversation," she said through gritted teeth. Her corners of her mouth turned upwards, but the smile never reached her eyes.
"It can wait," Jordan told her. He glanced down at Dawn. She was tense, upset and hanging on by a small thread. A glance at Nikolas told Jordan that the same was true of him, too. "Besides, it looked like it was over to me."
"Yeah, Dawn looks tired. I'm sure Nikolas was just about to take her home," Sly added.
"Sly…Jordan? Why are you being so rude?" Robin asked, becoming irritated, as they would not back down.
"Rude? Us?" Sly asked with a humorless laugh. "Never."
"Well, far be it from me to leave a party," Nikolas said, rising from his chair, "but Sly's right. It's time for us to call it a night. Dawn? Are you ready?"
"I'm ready," she answered as she too stood. Hand in hand, she and Nikolas left the room without even a backward glance.
Robin watched their exit with agitation. She wasn't ready for them to leave. Her initial plan for switching the ending might not have succeeded, but she was certain that her sudden plan B was headed on the right course. With a few more questions and a little bit of prodding, Dawn would have admitted that the kiss wasn't so bad. Nikolas would have been hurt at first, of course, but after Robin reminded him how wond-
"Earth to Robin. Come in Robin."
"Excuse me?" she responded to Jordan's call.
"Maybe we will," Sly said.
"And, what does that mean?" she asked, standing to her full height.
"It means that if you pull another stunt like you did tonight, you're out. That's what we mean."
Robin jumped slightly at Jordan's threat. Okay, she decided as she silently formed an answer for his insinuation. Her plan would have to be modified, but as long as the end result was the same, what was the difference. What did it matter how Nikolas came to be with her as he belonged, as long as he was with her in the end?