Chapter Eight

~ Trust ~

As Alex drove from the precinct, he thought about the tongue lashing he and Taggert had just received. Mac had been furious, and he had every right to be. He and Taggert were Mac's best detectives, yet there they were shouting at each other in front of the entire squad room. For the life of him, Alex couldn't figure out what happened. Usually, he and Taggert had an amiable relationship. On occasion, they had hung out together after work, playing pick-up basketball games. But today, the tension between them was unmistakable. Alex wasn't sure what caused the animosity, but he knew that he couldn't work with it. He would have a talk with Taggert as soon as he had some free time.

The driving time to Dara's condo was short. Alex quickly found a parking space. As he waited for the elevator, he hoped that her parents would tell him more about the reasons Dawn had run away. His years as a detective had taught him that the more you knew, the better the investigation and the better the results.



This time, Audrey wasn’t startled by the masculine voice. Somehow, she knew that her grandson would come back, but she was a little surprised to see him at General Hospital. He was still dirty and disheveled, but at least the wild look in his eyes was gone. Instead, his eyes looked apprehensive. He seemed nervous, and he jumped at every little noise. She knew that she would have to handle him with care.

"Good morning, Tommy. I'm happy to see you again," she replied, reassuringly. "Would you come with me to the staff lounge?"

Tommy nodded and Audrey led the way to lounge. She didn't want Tommy to be put on spectacle in front of everyone. She had no intention of keeping his return a secret, but she planned to make sure he would not be embarrassed. People could be cruel. She didn't want Tommy to have to deal with the ignorance of others.

Entering the lounge, they found it empty. Audrey took a seat at the table and motioned for Tommy to do the same. She had spent half the night, thinking of what she would say if he came back, but now as he sat before her, her mind went blank. She glanced at him and found that he was staring at her with such emotion. She began to hope that if she looked deep enough she would find that her Tommy was still in there. Somewhere.

"Are you hungry?" she asked him.

"Yes, I am. I'm sorry about last night. I shouldn't have run off without thanking you," he said.

She placed her hand over his and gently squeezed. "That's okay. I'm just happy to see you, again. Now, I have a proposition for you. Would you like to know what it is?"


"There's a shower here, and I'm sure I could find you something clean to wear. How about getting cleaned up while I see about getting you something to eat? You'd feel much better."

"I'd like that, but I don’t want to get you into trouble. Maybe I should just leave." Tommy pushed himself back from the table.

"There is no way you're leaving, young man. The only place you're going is into that shower room," she said with a smile. "Trust me, no one will bother you. I have a little bit a pull around here. Remember?"

After Audrey showed him where everything was and went in search of food and clothes, Tommy thought about her last words. Trust. Remember. Two things, he found very hard to do. Would it be possible for him to learn how again?


As Nikolas' lips continued to brush against hers, Dawn felt the blood rush through her. She'd had her share of kisses in the past, but nothing like this. The tenderness of his lips caused every nerve in her body to tingle.

After savoring her sweetness for what seemed like an eternity, Nikolas broke the kiss. Gently cupping her face with both hands, he looked into her eyes, searching for answers. Her eyes told him of her desire and of her confusion. He was sure that his eyes told her the same.


"Nickie, I can't…"she began, but was silenced by a finger to her lips.

"You can," he whispered, releasing her face to hold her hands. "Stay here where you'll be safe. I know we've only known each other for a few hours, but you'll be safe here. Trust me."

"I do trust you, but…"

"No buts, Dawn. Stay here for the time being. You said that you didn't want to call your sister, and since you only know one other person in Port Charles, well two counting my uncle..."

"You almost had me until you mentioned your uncle," she laughed softly.

"He's not that bad," he smiled.

"Oh? Well, you could have fooled me," she replied.

"He's a little overprotective, but you have nothing to worry about. If I say you stay, you stay." Nikolas looked down at their entwined hands and back up into her eyes. "Will you?"

"I will. I'll stay," she softly answered.

Nikolas wanted to kiss her again, but he wasn't sure if that would be a good idea. Since she decided to stay, he thought it would be best if they didn't give Stefan a reason for her to find accommodations elsewhere. So, he gently caressed her hands and then released them to pick up her backpack.

"Good," he replied. "I'll place your bag here on the chaise. You can unpack it after breakfast."

"Mm…breakfast," she said, rubbing her flat stomach.

"Yes, breakfast," Nikolas said, holding the door open for her. "I'm sure, Uncle is wondering what's been keeping us."

"Guess what. I'm not really big on breakfast. I think I'll stay here and unpack my backpack."

The faint rumbling of her stomach revealed the untruth of her words and Nikolas laughed.

"Come on," he said, as grabbed her hand, pulling her out of the room. "He's only half as bad as you think."

Chapter Nine