Chapter 21

"So? What happened?" Nikolas asked as Dawn sat at their table at Kelly's. She had just come back from using the outside pay phone and he was anxious to know how the conversation with Dara went.

"After the initial screaming, she agreed to meet with me."

"On your terms?" he asked. On their way to Port Charles and during their walk through town, Dawn worked on a plan to convince Dara to side with her. She told him that the crucial part of her plan depended on Dara's reactions to her terms, one of which was no parents. Dawn would meet with Dara, but she didn't want Carrie or Robert to be there, too.

"Yep," she smiled. Her smile grew even wider as Ruby brought their entrees. She'd ordered Chinese chicken salad. Nikolas was having chili with grated cheddar cheese. They both decided on iced tea as their beverages.

"Thank you," she said to the Ruby as left. "We're meeting at the Port Charles Grill at 7."

"I have to admit that I didn't think she'd agree to the time," he said as he stirred the sugar into his iced tea.

"She didnít want to, but I convinced her otherwise," she said as she pierced a wedge of orange with her fork.

"Convinced? More like demanded," he said with a smile as he dipped his spoon into the chili.

"Hey, whatever works," she said with a smile. She watched as Nikolas brought the spoon to his mouth. She wished she'd ordered chili now. "Is it good?"

"The chili?" he asked.

"No the spoon," she replied, teasingly.

"Kind of metallic, but tasty. Would you like a taste?" he asked in feigned seriousness.

"Yes, I would, but may I have some chili with it?" she asked.

"If you insist." He let out an exaggerated sigh as he spooned another bite of chili for her.

"Open up," he said as he lifted the spoon towards her parted lips. She leaned towards him and opened her lips to accept the chili.

"Mm, Nickie, this is delicious," she said, savoring the taste. They were so engrossed in each other that they didnít notice that they were being watched by someone who found their interchange very interesting.

"Nickie?" asked the female voice, incredulously.

Nikolas turned at the voice and saw Robin standing at their table. She had a confused, but interested look on her face. She looked at Dawn with curiosity and Dawn returned the look tenfold. Leaning back into her chair, Dawn turned her gaze on to Nikolas. She didnít know who the girl was, but she knew immediately that she didnít like her.

Nikolas set his fork on the plate. He felt the tension at their table and knew he had better say something. Soon.

"Hi, Robin," he said as he stood. "Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Dawn. Dawn, this is Robin."

The two young women smiled at each other, but the smile didnít reach either of their eyes.

~*~*~

"Do you remember Kelly's?" Audrey asked as she and Tommy walked through the doors. She had taken the day off so that she, Tommy and Elizabeth could spend quality Hardy time together. The night before, she and Tommy had spent most of the night together, reminiscing about the old times. She'd found that his memory was like a jigsaw puzzle. He remembered bits and pieces. Sometimes, the puzzle pieces fit and sometimes, they didn't. By the time she'd settled him in Sarah's old bedroom for the night, a new day was dawning. Neither she nor Tommy were awake before Elizabeth went to work, so Audrey decided they would surprise her at Kelly's. Tommy hadn't been happy with the plan, but his curiosity regarding his cousin got the better of him.

"Maybe," he said, looking intently at the dťcor. The furnishings seemed vaguely familiar. The counter. The plaid tablecloths. He couldn't remember any of it with any certainty, but he did feel comfortable there. So far, his instincts hadn't been wrong.

Audrey smiled. She saw Elizabeth and beckoned her to them. Lizzie set her tray on the counter and went to them.

"Hi, Gram," she said. She guessed that the boy next to Audrey was Tommy. Boy, does he look out of place, she thought to herself. His clothes were clean, but baggy on his lean frame. And his eyes were watchful. She wasn't sure if she liked him, but considering he was sleeping in Sarah's old room, she would at least be civil. "Hi, Tommy."

Tommy looked at his cousin. He could sense that she was as wary of him as he was of her. He also knew from the way Audrey was looking at them, that she wanted them to get along. For her sake, he would try.

"Hi, Elizabeth," he said. He tried to smile, but it didnít feel right, so he stopped. Not sure of what to do next, he glanced around Kelly's. His eyes landed on a trio located near the window. There was a guy who was around his age, a girl with her back towards him, and the third person was a girl he could barely drag his eyes away from. She wore pale blue denim overall shorts with a white tank top. Her braided hair was pulled back from her face in a ponytail. And judging from her body language, she wasn't happy. Tommy wondered why, but wouldn't allow himself to dwell on her problems. He had enough of his own to be concerned with some pretty girl who was probably interested in the other guy anyway.

*~*~*

Keesha woke to find herself on a hard, dirt floor. Her entire body ached. She winced as she forced herself into a sitting position.

She vaguely remembered the events of the night before. Her return flight from Philadelphia had been overbooked, so she decided to take a later flight. AJ didn't know she was coming back, so she didnít have to worry about him waiting for her at the airport. Once she got to her place, she planned to call him and invite him over for their own very special welcome back celebration.

Everything was going according to the amended plan. The later flight arrived on time. Her bags were all accounted for and she was about to hail a cab when someone grabbed her from behind. She tried to defend herself, but whoever held her was much stronger and she was positive the person was male.

Her abductor covered her nose and mouth with a cloth and she went out like a light. When she awoke, she was on the floor of a room much different than the one she was in now. The room was filled with expensive furnishings, and the carpeting was thick and lush.

Despite the wooziness from being drugged, she had been determined to confront her unknown captors. She yelled and screamed, but they ignored her. She even threatened them with Justus' mob connections, but that only caused one of them to stifle a laugh. They dragged her into this room and when they'd had enough of her mouth, they beat her. She tried to be strong, but her willpower was no match for clenched fists.

She gingerly touched her face and her head. There didnít seem to be much blood although what was left of her clothes was covered in it. She looked at her feet and saw that she was now barefoot. She also noticed that all her jewelry was gone, including the little gold cross that her grandmother, Mary Mae had given her.

Realizing that her cross was gone brought everything home to her. She was all alone. No one knew where she was and judging from the looks of things there was no way out. Oh, God, show me the way, she prayed. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the creaking of the door as it began to open.

Chapter 22

[Home]