Chapter 20

Alex sighed and ran his hand through his thick, black hair. Another sleepless night and another day at the office. He had spent most of the night at Dara’s. By the time he got to her place, she was almost a basket case. Her mother was asleep and she was on pins and needles, waiting for him to get there. Some psycho had called her and scared the crap out of her. She hid it well, but Alex knew that she was frightened. He was beginning to know many things about her.

Alex stifled a yawn as he went over the phone tracing documents. He wanted to make sure everything was in order before he turned everything over to Mac.

“Another wild night?” Marcus asked as he handed Alex a cup of coffee. The coffee was black, just the way Alex liked it.

“Not really a wild night. Thanks,” Alex said before he took a sip of the steaming brew. The taste left a lot to be desired, but if the caffeine kept him awake, that was all that mattered.

“So? What’s going on? Did you get a lead on Dara’s baby sister?”

“Not exactly. Some nutcase called Dara last night. She called me and I went over to see what I could do,” Alex replied.

“Oh, really?” Marcus asked, sarcastically. “Seems like ADA Jensen has your number on speed dial.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Alex didn’t want to get into another fight with Taggert, but if he started something, Alex had no intentions of backing down.

Before Marcus could answer, Mac slammed out of his door. He saw the two of them and remembering what happened the last time they were together, he glared at them.

“Nothing,” Marcus said, as he walked to the filing cabinet. His gut told him that something was going on between Dara and Alex. He hoped not. Maybe he’d better make up for lost time, he decided.


“I can’t do this anymore,” Dawn said, as she sat on the sofa next to Nikolas.

“Do what?” he asked. He hoped she wasn’t referring to last night when he practically attacked her. He’d been up half the night, thinking about what almost happened. He didn’t want her to think that she couldn’t trust him to keep his hands off of her. It would be hard, he knew, but he was sure he could do it.

“I can’t keep running away,” she said, looking at her folded hands in her lap.

“Are you going back to your parents?” he questioned. Oh, God, he thought to himself, I’ve driven her back to her family.

“Heck, no!” she laughed, as she emphatically shook her head. “I want to call Dara. Tell her to let Mama know that I’m okay. I should have done it the first night, but I was too upset.”

“Oh,” Nikolas smiled, but then a thought caused him to frown. “But won’t Dara make you go back to New York?”

“I thought about it last night,” she said, turning to face him. “I’m gonna ask Dara to let me stay with her my senior year. After I tell her what’s going on, I’m sure she’ll back me up. I don’t want to leave Port Charles. I’m beginning to like it here. ”

“Port Charles likes having you here, too,” he said, reaching out to quickly squeeze one of her hands. He rose and went to the big, oak desk and brought back the cordless. He handed the telephone to her.

“Maybe I shouldn’t call from here. Her telephone may be tapped or something. I was thinking that I should go back to Port Charles. I could call her from a pay phone and arrange to meet her somewhere. Some neutral place. I don’t want to get you and Mr. Cassadine into trouble.”

“You’re right. Uncle is in enough trouble with your sister without adding harboring a fugitive to the list,” he ruefully smiled. “I can take you back to Port Charles. Are you ready?”

“Baby, I was born ready,” she said with a laugh as she bounced from the sofa. She was nervous about Dara’s reaction, but she was sure that she would see things Dawn’s way. Dara would have to agree to her staying with her because there was no way, Dawn intended to walk away from what was happening between her and Nikolas.

"You know, you never told me why your uncle is in hot water with the District Attorney's office. Is there something I should know?" she asked, teasingly, as they exited the cabin.


Dara's head was reeling as she drove to work. Who the hell called her last night, she kept asking herself. She played the phone call over and over in her head, but she still couldn't get a lock on the speech pattern. Whoever it was definitely knew her. He, or she, knew exactly which buttons to push. She wondered if the person was someone she had convicted and if the person was involved in Dawn's disappearance. She hoped not.

Her thoughts then drifted to Alex. He had been a rock last night. He came right over and gave her the strength that she needed to calm down. He was even sweet enough to stay the night, just in case there was another call, of course. Amazing, she thought. She had worked with Alex for quite some time, but she'd never really thought of him other than in a co-worker capacity. Now, whenever she needed him, he was there.

She was so deep in thought that she nearly missed the figure blocking the empty parking space. She quickly swerved into the spot next to hers to avoid causing an accident.

"What do you think you're doing?" she asked as Marcus leaned in her car window.

"My job. Protecting and serving. That's what I'm here for, Miss Jensen," he replied as he opened her door.

"Protecting and serving what? The parking lot?" she asked, ignoring his proffered hand and exiting her car on her own device.

"No, Dara. You," he answered seriously. "I heard some nutcase called you last night. I called your place to see if you were okay. Your mom told me you were coming to work today, and so, here I am."

"Oh." She was surprised that Marcus would go to such lengths on her behalf. Her mind briefly played back their pseudo-date from a few nights ago. The date seemed so long ago that it barely registered. So much had happened in such a short period of time.

Marcus was just about to tell her that he wished she would have called him last night when the sound of ringing stopped him.

Dara rummaged in her purse and pulled out her cell phone. Taking a deep breath, she answered the phone.


"Hi, Big Sis. Guess who," came Dawn's voice on the other end.

"Girl, when I get my hands on you!" Dara replied. She was so happy to hear her sister's voice that she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So, instead she grabbed Marcus' hand and squeezed. He didn't mind at all.

Chapter 21