Chapter 10


Jax sat in his black Porsche, but his mind was a couple of cars ahead. Keesha had just pulled to the curb outside of AJ Quartermaine's apartment building. Jax knew because he followed her. He shouldn't have. It was wrong. She asked him to stay away and wait for her call. He didn't want to because he was too afraid that it would never come. So, he followed her and this was where she took them—to her ex-lover's pad. Bloody hell!

She lingered in the parked car for about five or ten minutes. Jax hoped that was a good sign. Keesha was realizing that AJ wasn't man she should turn to. There was someone else far better for her than the recovering alcoholic.

Then, her door opened. She stepped out and headed for the apartment building. Jax stopped hoping and left the sports car.

"Keesha, wait!"

She turned. Dark, curly tresses framed her oval shaped face. A slight frown marred her flawless features. "What are you doing? Are you following me?"

Jax made his first mistake by rushing to Brenda during the shoot out. He wouldn't make another. He didn't lie. "Yes. I followed you."

He reached out his hand. She stepped back. "No. Why? I told you I needed time alone to think."

"That's not what you need," Jax said, reaching for her when she would have moved away. His arms circled her waist. Her soft curves molded to his hard, lean frame. He sucked in air. Just the slightest contact burned him through and through. He wanted her and wouldn't risk losing her.

"Sex isn't the answer," she said, a dusky rose coloring her milk chocolate cheeks. Her palms flattened against his chest. She pushed, but not very hard. "And it won't change what happened tonight."

"The night isn't over, Keesha. Give me a chance to make you forget what happened at Luke's." He lowered his head until his mouth was only inches from her ear. His tongue darted along on sensitive lobe. "We don't have to make love unless you want to."

Her fingers dug into him. She shivered. "Jax… Please."

He trailed kisses across the swell of her cheek to her forehead. "We'll talk. Whatever you wanted to say to Quartermaine, you can tell me. I'll be your best friend, your confidante, and your lover. Say the word and I'll sweep you off your feet. Say nothing. I'll do it anyway."

"I don't know what to do," she murmured.

"Come with me," he implored. He moved to claim her lips.


Tubes, Dawn thought, as the door closed behind her in a quiet hush. So many tubes. Tears sprang to her eyes as she took the steps necessary to reach Nikolas. She blinked the tears away and willed herself to be strong for him.

"Hello, Master Cassadine," Dawn said softly as she stood beside Nikolas' bed. "I bet you never thought you'd hear me call you that 'cause I sure as heck never thought I'd say it. Remember all the times you'd tell me to respect my instructor and I would laugh? Well, I promise you, Master Cassadine, that if you open your eyes, I'll always treat you with the utmost respect. I'll always be prepared for my lessons, and I won't give you a hard time. I promise, Nikolas. Just wake up soon, okay?"

Dawn took a deep breath, as her voice became a little shaky towards the end. She moved a step closer towards the bed and lightly closed her hand over Nikolas'. "Good night," she whispered softly as she gave him a gentle squeeze.

Wishing that she could hold his hand all night and maybe forever, she ran her thumb across the back of his hand. The first time she felt a squeeze, she thought she'd imagined it, but the second time… The second time, her eyes flew to Nikolas and she almost did a double take as he stared back at her. "Nikolas?"

Slowly moving his hand so that his fingers were entwined with hers, he blinked twice and then bestowed her with a groggy smile.

Dawn wiped away a stray tear, which had managed to fall down her cheek. She smiled at him and gently squeezed his hand. "I can't stay long-"

Nikolas squeezed her hand as much as he could as a frown came across his face. "Don't go," he choked.

"I wish I could stay," she told him softly, "but if I'm caught in here with you, there will be hell to pay."

"Just a little while."

Dawn glanced over her shoulder toward the open window. She saw movement on the other side. Bobbie, Stefan and Sarah were coming closer. Risking another moment would get Tommy into serious trouble and she couldn’t do that to her best friend. "Your family is coming. I'll visit later. Just rest and do what the doctors tell you, okay?"

His grip on her hand relaxed. He gave her a quick smile. "I will."


"What is she doing?" Alicia stood at her father's window and looked down onto the sidewalk below. Kyle and Michael were sitting on the sofa. AJ was in the next room, speaking with his mother on the telephone.

"What?" Kyle asked. "Who?"

"Mom," she replied, her voice squeaked with disillusionment. "She's down there kissing some big, blonde guy! They're really going at it!"

"Alicia, cut it out," Michael responded weakly. "You know Keesha would never be with some other guy."

"That's right," Kyle said, leaving the sofa to join her at the window. "It's probably not even Mom."

"I know my own mother," Alicia snapped. "That's her!"

Kyle parted the curtains and raised the window. His gasp was loud and sudden. "It is her!"

He shoved away from the window and rushed to the door.

"Where are you going?"

"Kyle!" Michael's call went unheeded. "Ali, go after him!"

She left without hesitation. The door slammed close upon her exit and AJ came back into the room. "What's going on? Where did the other two go? Did someone mention Keesha?"

Michael swallowed hard. If Keesha was messing around with some other guy, did his uncle AJ know? And did Michael really wanna be the one to tell him?

"It's freezing in here," AJ commented. "No wonder, the window's open."

Too late now, Michael thought as AJ headed to the window.

"Kyle and Alicia went downstairs. They're—"

"They're talking to Keesha," AJ said, his voice hoarse, "and Jax."

"I'm sure it's nothing," Michael said, hoping to quickly fix a bad situation or a misunderstanding. In his time, Keesha and AJ were a happy couple and the parents of his best friends—Kyle and Alicia. He hoped his cousins' hot heads didn't do anything to change that.

"What's nothing?" AJ closed the window, but he didn't move. He stood there, his eyes never straining from the scene as if he was transfixed.

"Keesha and Jax," Michael said quickly. "They're probably good friends."

AJ was quiet for a long time, but Michael could have sworn he heard his uncle whisper, "I hope that's all it is."

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