Chapter 7


Keesha flung the latest of issue of Essence to the floor and strode to her window. Her unwelcome visit from Jax had thrown her. She hadn't expected him to appear at her doorstep. Yes, she had wanted him to, but after witnessing his devotion to Brenda after the drive-by, she hadn't expected him to come to her.

Jax seemed to gravitate towards helpless women, and if Keesha knew one thing about herself, it was that she wasn't that kind of woman. Not by a long shot.

"What to do? What to do?" she murmured to herself as against her wishes her feet began to pace back and forth. She had told him that she wanted to be alone, but as the minutes passed, she knew that wasn't the case. She wanted to be with someone that she trusted…someone she could be herself with without pondering what everything meant. She knew that there was only one person who fit that person. And as she picked up her cordless and began to punch in the seven digits, she hoped that he'd be there.

-/-

Damn that phone, AJ thought as the shrill ring began to cut into his thoughts.

He had half a mind to ignore or maybe unplug it, but he did neither. Gathering his courage, he moved from his stance at the window. The winter scene below hadn't been able to capture his attention anyway.

Memories of the most recent run-in with Carly had his stomach twisted into knots. It was hard to believe that what started out as a pretty good friendship could turn into something rotten and worthless. The phone rang again. The high-pitched tone cut right through him. He jumped and then wrenched the phone from its base. He raised the receiver to his ear. "Yeah," he bit out.

"AJ?" came the uncertain voice.

"Yeah. Keesha?" he asked, surprised, but very relieved to hear her voice.

"It's me. Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm fine now that I know it's you," he told her with a little laugh. "Are you okay? You sound…I don't know, upset maybe."

"I am in a way. There was a shooting tonight-"

"What? Where? Are you okay?" he asked, immediately filled with a zillion questions.

"I-I'm fine, but didn’t you hear about it? It was at Luke's tonight. Someone was aiming for Jason-"

"Jason?" he repeated, quietly. "Is he okay? Did anyone get hurt?"

"AJ," she began softly, "Jason was shot and so was Nikolas Cassadine. A few others were killed, I believe. One of Jason's bodyguards was a part of the fatalities."

"Oh, my God," AJ replied. He fell into his chair and took a deep breath. His husky voice was hoarse as he asked more questions. "Are you sure you're okay? Keesha, tell me the truth. I need to know."

"I'm okay…I guess. No, AJ, I'm sorry. I'm fine. I wasn't hurt," she said. "Aren't you concerned about Jason? Maybe you should go see about him. I think he's at GH-"

"No," AJ said, shaking his head. "That's not a good idea. Jason chose the mob life and I refuse to lose my mind every time he willingly puts himself in danger. I'm more concerned about you. Sweetheart, are you sure you’re okay? You don't sound like you are."

"Physically, I'm fine, but otherwise… AJ, would you mind some company? I know this is short notice and very selfish of me, but I could use the company of a friend right now."

"Keesha, I could think of nothing better than spending time with you," he said with a smile. "Are you sure you want to drive? I could come over there…"

"No, it's fine. I can drive. See you soon," she said, her smile coming through across the wires.

"See you soon," he repeated, before he disconnected the call. He smiled to himself as he straightened up his apartment. Thoughts of Carly and their argument drifted from his mind as he prepared himself for his ex-girlfriend's arrival. Their romance had ended long ago, but try as he might, the love he felt for continued to linger. Oh, well, he sighed. There were worse things in life than loving Keesha, but very few things that were better.

-/-

The twins stared at Michael expectantly. He almost laughed as he swallowed the orange juice. No one would guess their grandparents were doctors considering how huge their eyes got when the nurse started pumping blood from his veins. At least neither of them embarrassed him by fainting.

"Will you be okay?" Alicia asked, raising a slender hand to his brow. "They took a lot."

"It wasn't that much," Michael said with a shrug. "Just a pint. I'll be fine."

"The nurse said you should rest for awhile," Kyle said. "The ICU isn't going anywhere."

Michael's smile faded. His father was still in surgery and afterward, he would be taken to ICU for round the clock care. The muscles in his stomach lurched. What if Michael's blood wasn't enough to save him? What if Jason died anyway?

He stood abruptly. "I'm gonna track down a nurse and find out what's going on. I can't sit around here waiting."

Alicia frowned. "There's nothing you can do. Let's get out of here for awhile."

"And do what?" Michael questioned. "Go where?" He couldn't think anyplace more important than GH. Not at that moment. Not while his father's life hung on the line.

"I dunno. Maybe see what Mama and Dad are up to," Kyle suggested.

"We can find out if they were the perfect angels they told us they were," Alicia said looping her arm around Michael's waist. "We can come right back."

"What about Bogg and Jeffrey?"

"We'll only be gone for an hour at the most," Kyle answered. "I doubt if they'd miss us."

"Do you know where they are?" Michael asked. He wasn't up for a wild goose chase through nineteen nineties Port Charles.

"I think so," Alicia said. "But to be sure, we can check the phone book."

Michael's smile returned. It was always around whenever Alicia was in the room. He tweaked her nose. "You're a smart one. I know who got all the brains."

"We're twins," Kyle said. "Equally beautiful as well as brilliant."

Alicia nodded. "But one of us is more modest than the other."

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