Keesha stood as she watched the door slowly open. She ached all over, but was determined to defend herself if necessary. She might not win, but she would go out fighting, she thought to herself.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the visitor entered the room. Keesha couldn't believe her eyes.
"Gina!" she exclaimed. "What's going on here?"
Gina motioned for Keesha to be quiet, as she firmly shut the door behind her. After placing a fresh bucket of water, soap, towels and clothes on the floor, she went to Keesha and gave her a hug. Gina was happy to see that Keesha made it through the night. In the past, some of the others hadn't been so lucky.
Keesha returned the hug, but her mind was full of questions and she was determined to get some answers. Right now.
"Gina…" Keesha began.
"Keesha, I'll answer your questions as much as I can, but you've got to clean up and get dressed," she hurriedly said, her voice little more than a whisper.
"Why are you whispering and why do I have to clean up?" Keesha asked, not budging an inch.
"They don't like for us to talk loudly, and…"
"They? Who are 'they'?" Keesha interrupted. Despite the aches and pains, she was becoming hot with anger and frustration.
"Keesha, please," Gina pleaded. Although they allowed her to come to Keesha, they would become very angry if she took too long. She understood what Keesha was going through, the anger and the confusion, but she didn’t want to be punished. Again. "You've got to get cleaned up. They'll be coming soon to check. If you're not ready, they'll be hell to pay. I promise to answer your questions, but you must get ready."
"Get ready for what?" Keesha asked, trying to keep the fear at bay. There was no need for her to jump to conclusions, she told herself.
"For inspection," Gina said as she lowered her eyes. She didn’t want Keesha to see the terror she knew that she couldn’t keep from creeping to her eyes.
"That's great news, Dara," Alex said, smiling down at her. He was genuinely happy for her. She and her sister would be united soon. He couldn't have asked for better news.
"The best news. She's safe and soon she'll be back where she belongs," Dara smiled. Ever since she spoke with Dawn, she couldn’t stop smiling. She was sure everyone thought she was on something, but she didn't care. Her sister was okay. Nothing else mattered.
Except informing Alex. As soon as she closed her cell phone, she made a beeline straight for the squad room to find him. Marcus had been with her, but somehow he disappeared. Oh, well, she thought, she'd thank him again later.
"Did she mention the Cassadine kid?" he asked, the investigator in him never stopped working.
"No, she didn’t. Well, to be honest, I didn't ask her. I was so happy to hear her voice that I didn't think of it," she replied, biting her lip. When she saw Dawn, she'd ask her. She hadn't forgotten her promise to herself. If the Cassadines were behind Dawn's disappearance, they would pay. All of them.
Why won't she leave, Dawn asked herself. She and Nikolas had been having such a good time until the interruption…that wouldn’t go away. Whatever happened to manners?
"So are you new here?" Robin asked. "I don't remember seeing you around before."
"Yes, I am," Dawn replied.
"Your face does seem familiar though," Robin said. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she was sure she had seen Dawn somewhere before.
"Really? I've been told that before. I must have one of those faces," she said with a hint of sarcasm, before redirecting her attention to her salad. Maybe if I ate, she'd get the hint, Dawn thought.
Nikolas sensed that Dawn was upset. Could she be jealous, he asked himself. He had to fight the urge to smile at the thought. He found that he couldn't fight it, so he spooned another helping of chili into his mouth.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Here I am interrupting your lunch," Robin said. "I ordered take-out. I guess it's ready by now. I'll see you later, Nikolas. Nice meeting you, Donna."
"Her name is Dawn," Nikolas corrected her. He wasn’t sure, but he wondered if Robin said the wrong name on purpose. He could tell by Dawn's face that she thought so.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Nice meeting you, Dawn."
"Same here, Robin," Dawn said. After Robin was out of earshot, Dawn put her fork down and asked, "Okay, what's the story?"
"I don’t understand," Nikolas replied, lying through his teeth. His feelings for Robin had been complicated. He had been interested in more than a platonic relationship, but she wasn't. When she resumed her relationship with Jason, he decided to move on as well. The girl in front of him seemed to be the perfect choice, but he didn’t want to say anything about Robin that would affect what was happening between them.
"Don't give me that," she said, leaning towards him, so that their faces were only inches apart. "You understand exactly what I mean."
Not one to resist a tempting offer, Nikolas leaned even closer to her. His eyes locked to hers. "There is no story," he said quietly, his breath whispering against her lips.
"Prove it," she said with a light laugh. She was teasing him in a way, but she was also deadly serious. All of sudden, she needed to know where she stood with him.
"Okay," he said. Closing the inch between them, he tilted his head towards her and brushed her lips with his. The kiss wasn't as passionate as their previous kisses, but it was still sweet. And special. This kiss reassured both of them that what was happening between them wasn't a game to either of them.