Chapter 30

Justus sank down onto the brown leather sofa and collected his thoughts. After leaving AJ at his car, he drove around Port Charles. Hearing himself tell Mrs. Hardy and AJ Tommy's story had made it all too real for him. The thought of his Lil Bit experiencing the same chilled him to the core.

"Justus, we need to make this quick. I always read to Michael around this time," Jason said as he re-entered the living room area. The sound of Michael crying had taken him upstairs to check on him. He liked Justus, but his fatherhood duties were calling him.

Justus jumped at Jason's words. He had been so deep in thought that he didn't hear Jason come back, nor had he really registered anything Jason had said.

"Jason, Keesha is missing," Justus said, looking his cousin dead in the eye. He wanted Jason to his turmoil and pain. He wanted him to understand that Justus' fear was the same as his own when Michael had been taken.

Jason returned Justus' stare as he processed his words and the emotion behind them. Actually, he processed the emotion more so than the words. People tended to lie with words, but the eyes always told the truth. Justus' eyes told him that he was terrified.

"I'll do what I can," Jason promised quietly.

"No, you'll do better than that," Justus interrupted, barely able to contain his impatience.

Jason grew still at Justus' tone. He and Justus had always respected each other and for him to speak that way meant there was something more to Keesha's disappearance.

"What's really going on, Justus? What do you think has happened to her?" Jason asked.

"I think she's been taken, and we're going to need every resource you have to bring her back."


"I've already told you," Nikolas said, frustrated, "everything happened so quickly. I wasn’t able to get a good look at either of them."

"There has to be something distinguishing about them. Their voices. Physical characteristics. Something. C'mon, Nikolas, think," Alex coaxed. He wanted to get at least something concrete from the only eyewitness. Maybe the men had priors. If so, Alex and the other officers would know where to look.

The interrogation room became quiet as Nikolas sadly shook his head. There were only four people in the room…Mac, Alex, Dara, and Nikolas. They had been going around in circles for quite some time without learning any new information that could help the police and all of them were growing weary.

As Nikolas reapplied the bag of ice to the back of his neck and stood to gaze down on the street, Dara watched him. She thought about what he had told them about Dawn. About how she had been with him the entire time she'd been in Port Charles. Dara was dismayed that her baby sister would rather stay with strangers than her own family.

Dara considered herself to be an accurate judge of people and she could tell that Nikolas was genuinely concerned about her sister. She felt bad about her treatment of him earlier and was about to tell him when Stefan and Alexis slammed through the door.

"You can't just barge in here like you own the place, Cassadine," Mac began. "We are questioning a witness. You'll have to wait outside until we're done."

"Well, that's where you're wrong, Mac," Alexis said. "You can't question a minor unless an attorney or guardian is present."

"He's a witness, not a suspect, counselor. There's a no need for the fierce watchdog act," Alex replied.

"He's a minor and I will not have him browbeaten. He's done here. Come along, Nikolas," Stefan interjected.

"Wait a minute. My sister was abducted by two men today and your nephew is a witness. Before he leaves, I want to be damn sure that he's told us everything," Dara replied quietly.

Dara and Stefan faced each other off. Brown eyes locked with green eyes and neither wavered. Stefan's number one priority had always been to protect Nikolas. He loved Nikolas with all his heart and he would kill if anyone did anything to him. He saw that same type of love in Dara's eyes, staring back at him. He respected her for it. With a slight nod of his head, he acquiesced.


Dawn was tired and in pain. Her arm hurt and her back ached from when Wayne had thrown her to the ground. Now, her feet hurt. She and Tommy had walked for what seemed like hours. She hoped they would get there soon. She didn't know how much farther she could go.

Tommy quickly glanced at Dawn. He didn't want her to see him looking at her. She had caught him a few times and smiled at him, but he was embarrassed. She probably knew exactly what he was thinking and was only humoring him. He hoped not, though.

"Tommy, I think that's it," Dawn said quietly. The sight of the building caused her to quicken her step. Tommy had to increase his pace in order to keep up with her.

"Yeah, it is," Tommy answered. During their walk, they had become acquainted and he was smitten. He didn't want to admit it to himself, but he wished they hadn't found the place so quickly. He wouldn't have minded walking with her all night as along as it was just the two of them.

The two tired, dirty teenagers entered the busy police station. The waiter at the Port Charles Grill told them that he had seen Nikolas leave with Dara and a Detective. They quickly put two and two together and surmised that Nikolas was taken to the police station. The same waiter had been nice enough to give them directions. He also stole a few dinner rolls and gave it to them.

Tommy didn't know anything about police stations, so he followed Dawn's lead. She didn't know anything either, but if Nickie was there, she intended to find him. She had to see for herself that he was all right. The blow to his head was a hard one. Regardless of what Tommy and the waiter had told her, she was still afraid that Nikolas had been seriously injured.

Rounding the corner, she saw him. He was standing with her sister, his uncle and three others she had never seen before. He didn’t see her at first, but he must have felt her eyes on him because he frowned and looked in her direction.

His body stood still as he wondered if his eyes were playing tricks on him. He blinked and she was still standing there. She looked tired. Her lip was swollen and she cradled her right arm. But, she was back.

"Dawn," he whispered, as he closed the distance which separated them. Careful of her injured arm, he gathered her close in his arms and held on tight.

She held on tightly to him as she whispered in against his ear, "Nickie, you're all right. You're all right."

Both cried tears of joy as their lips joined in a kiss of relief, happiness and possibly love. Neither cared that their family stared at their reunion in surprise.

Chapter 31