Chapter 28

Nikolas saw Dara sitting at the window table with Det. Garcia. He swallowed hard. During his walk from the park to the restaurant, he agonized over how to tell her that some men had taken Dawn. How they had dragged her away and how he and Tommy tried to find her but were unable to.

His heart ached in his chest as he remembered the tears falling from Dawn's eyes as that barbarian held her. As he gripped her arm behind her back and twisted it. Nikolas promised himself that when those men were found, and they would be found, he'd make him pay for daring to put their hands on her. For hurting her.

As he stood before Dara, he decided the best way to tell her was to just simply tell her.

"Hello, Dara. Detective Garcia," Nikolas began. "Dawn won't be able to meet you here tonight."

Dara turned cold when she heard Nikolas' words. She suspected the Cassadines were involved with Dawn's disappearance and now Nikolas had just confirmed it. He even had the audacity to tell her so himself. What nerve, she thought.

"What have you done with her?" she asked, her hand itching to slap his face for keeping her sister from her and her family.

"Nothing," Nikolas choked, incredulously. How could she think he would do anything to her?

"Nikolas, you'd better tell us what happened," Alex replied. He knew that Dara was very upset and what they needed right now was answers and not accusations.

"Okay," Nikolas sighed. "We…Dawn and I…were in the park. We were coming to Port Charles Grill to meet Dara when two men appeared. One grabbed me from behind and I was able to handle him, but then the other man grabbed her. I thought they wanted money so I gave them my watch, my money. One of them hit me from behind and knocked me unconscious. When I came to, they were gone. Including Dawn."

"How long ago was this?" Alex asked. He'd have to get his men on this immediately.

"Well, over an hour ago," Nikolas answered.

"What?!?!," Dara almost yelled. "Some thugs abducted my sister over an hour ago and you're just now telling me?"

"Dara, I'm sorry. Tommy and I searched all over the park trying to find them. I came as soon as we realized they were gone," Nikolas replied sadly. Maybe they should have contacted the police before they looked for her. If something happened to her, he'd never forgive himself.

"Who's Tommy?" Alex asked. They'd have to bring him in for questioning, too. Alex's detective mind was already at work.

"Tommy is Mrs. Hardy's grandson. He found me and woke me up. He saw them drag Dawn away."

"Okay. Do you know how we can reach him? Both of you need to come to the station to fill out reports," Alex said.

"No," Nikolas said, shaking his head. "I don't know where he's staying. I had never seen him before he found me in the park."

"That's okay," Alex said, as he stood. He could tell that Nikolas was very upset, but they couldn’t wait on this. He looked the young man in the eye and said, "I need you to come downtown with me."

Nikolas nodded. He knew this would happen. He turned to Dara and said, "I'm really sorry about this. If I could have done… Detective, I'll wait for you outside."

Nikolas was unable to complete his thought to Dara. What could he possibly say to her that would let her know how horrible he felt about everything. He saw the anger, distrust and fear in her eyes. The anger and distrust he could handle, but the fear matched his own and it took his breath away. Waiting outside for the detective would give him time to collect himself.

After Nikolas left, Alex turned to Dara. He doubt if any words could comfort her now or take her anger away. She had thought the Cassadines were involved all along and now to have Nikolas tell her this… He didn't quite know what to say to her, but he would try.

Alex squatted beside Dara's chair so that he was eye level with her and said, "Dara, listen to me. We will find her. I have to take Nikolas downtown. Will you be okay? Should I send a squad car to take you home?"

"I don't need a squad car, but I would like a ride with you. I want to hear what he has to say."


Before Tommy came across Nikolas in the park, he had been on his way to the rougher part of Port Charles. Yesterday, after meeting with Justus, he had overheard some guys talking about where they could get their hands on some guns.

He asked them about it. At first they laughed at him, but when they realized he was serious, they told him to meet them tomorrow night. Tommy didn’t have a watch, but he knew he was running late. He hoped they would still be there when he got there.

Tommy didn't remember much about where things were located in Port Charles, but the boys had given him good directions. Soon he was in the right neighborhood. As he walked the few remaining blocks to the abandoned brownstone where they had agreed to meet, he thought of Dawn.

If only he could have gotten there sooner, he could have helped Nikolas. Maybe Dawn would be safe now. He sadly shook his head. He'd learned over the years to never dwell on 'if onlys' and 'maybes'. Once he got the guns, he would be in a better position to get his mother and help bring Dawn back.

The more he thought of what happened to Dawn, the more he was convinced it wasn't what it appeared to be. He hoped he was wrong, but he was sure Dawn was a victim of what happened to him and his mother so long ago.

As he turned the corner, he couldn't believe his eyes. The girl, sitting on the curb, looked like Dawn. She wore the same blue overall shorts and white tank top, and her hair was in braids. As he came closer to her, he could hear her crying. Could this really be her, he thought.

"Dawn?" he asked quietly.


Keesha listened intently to Simone's words. She could hardly believe what she was hearing. How could something like this happen in Port Charles? And for so long? Simone, Tommy and Gina had been here for years. How could no one have known that, she asked herself.

"How many people are here?" Keesha asked.

"I don't know. I don't think they want us to know. They try to keep us as separated as much as possible," Simone replied quietly. She wanted to tell Keesha everything, but she knew she had to finish up soon.

"How many of them are there?" Keesha asked. Maybe if there weren't that many guards or whatever they were called, she could rally some support to overtake them.

"I don't know that either. They change them around every few weeks so that we don't get too familiar with them."

"Have you ever seen who's in charge? What makes them think they can get away with something like this?" Keesha asked. She was angry and she could feel the rage boiling inside her. No one should ever be subjected to something as awful as this.

"They think they can get away with this because they have and they do. But they won't for long," Simone replied with a slight smile. Tommy would find his way back to help them. She was sure of it. She had raised him to be a strong young man, and he would not forget her and the others. He would bring help and they would rescue them from hell.

Chapter 29