Chapter 1


Two a.m.

"I have to go."

Sheets rustled. Groans rumbled. He reached for her, pulling her back into bed. "Not yet. One more time."

"You agreed. I don't spend the night--"

His teeth sunk into her shoulder, nibbled her neck. She moaned. His caresses grew insistent. Soon, she lay writhing beneath him.


Her cries of release filled his senses. He lay spent. The black silk sheets did little to cover their sweat soaked bodies. She moved again to leave him. He caught her wrist. "Dara, wait."

"I can't. No more. I have to go."

She tugged. He grudgingly released her. Rolling onto his side, he watched her rise from the bed and pad, gloriously nude and beautiful, toward his bathroom.

"You sound like a broken record. 'I have to go. I have to go,'" he mimicked. "You don't have to do anything."

"You're wrong about that," she said, just before she stepped into the bathroom. "There are three things I have to do: leave here before sun up, stay black, and die."

He chuckled. The shower came on. Her voice wafted back to him. The people at the Nurse's Ball thought they knew the ADA's singing voice. Hell, her singing in the shower sent him over the rainbow and back. He had half a mind to join her, but doubted if she would appreciate it.

When she reappeared, she had dressed in the spare clothes she kept at the penthouse. No one knew about their secret rendezvous. Not his ex-wife or interested lawyer across the hall. Hell, his houseguest didn't even have a clue. That was the way Dara wanted it and if it worked for her, it worked for him.

He left the bed, pulled on his pajama bottoms and robe. Before they left the room, he pulled her to him. Their lips touched and parted. Their tongues explored, tasting and dueling. By the time the kiss ended, he wanted her again.

She smiled and stepped back. Taking his hand, she led him from the bedroom and said, "Hold that thought."

"I'd rather hold you."

She laughed, but Sonny knew there wouldn't be anymore loving for him tonight. They parted at the door. Even though Johnny knew the drill, Sonny gave his instructions.

"Watch out for tails. Get her home safely."

The door closed behind them. Sonny ran a hand through his dark, wavy locks. He glanced at the clock. She'd make it home before sunrise, but just barely. Good thing she didn't have to be in court or else he'd have hell to pay. The last time he persuaded her to stay a little longer had been the night before a hearing before the grand jury. She was late and the judge wasn't pleased. In retaliation, Dara cut him off for two frigging weeks. The only consolation was that the weeks were as torturous for her as they had been for him.

He headed toward the staircase and changed his mind. Who was he kidding? He couldn't sleep. Not until Johnny came back and Dara called in. Their system wasn't state of the art, but it let him know that she was safe. Considering everything that was going on in his life lately, he was the King of Safekeeping.

Right on cue, the front door opened and Keesha entered. She stopped in her tracks when she saw him.

"It's late," she said.

"No kidding." He glanced behind her. "Rinaldo with you?"

Her jaw tightened. She rolled her eyes. "What do you think?"

"I think he had better be," Sonny countered.

Keesha lived at his penthouse as a favor to Justus. His former attorney feared for his cousin's safety so Sonny offered to take her in. The living arrangement had been tough at first, considering Keesha wasn't too thrilled with it. But after awhile, she seemed to accept it. Probably the bombing death of Justus' sister changed her mind. Since then, she started to burn the candle at both ends. He thought about saying something to her, but what could he say? She wouldn't listen to him. Not when she hated his guts. So, he left her alone. For now.

"Good night," she said, ascending the staircase without a backward glance.

Her voice was slurred and her steps wobbled. He frowned. Rinaldo was assigned to watch her. It was time to have a chat with his guard. He reached for the doorknob and in that second, the door opened. Sonny's jaw dropped.

"Sonny," Jason said. "Mind if we come in?"

The older man shook his head.

Jason crossed the threshold. He dropped the stuffed duffel bag and diaper bag to the floor. The baby in his arms shifted. Her little fat legs kicked. He cooed softly and her sleep became restful again. While he spoke, he felt Sonny's eyes on him. He should have called first, but he didn't have time.

"Who's that?" Sonny said, jutting his chin to the infant. "Is it yours?"

"Her name is Faith," Jason said, "and yes, she's mine."

Sonny stepped forward. He opened his arms and Jason placed his child into the arms of his best friend. Dark, silky curls framed a round caramel face. Her cheeks were full, as was the rest of her eight-month-old body. She was a living beauty and Jason loved her with all his heart. Just as much as he loved her mother.

"Faith," Sonny repeated. He carefully sat and continued to hold the baby. His gaze went back and forth between Jason and Faith. "This is a surprise."

"I know. I should have called first, but I knew what you'd say," Jason explained. "You'd tell me to stay out of Port Charles. But I knew if you saw her, you'd help."

"She's beautiful. I didn't think you and her mother were serious." Sonny gave him a hard look. "Her mother is who I think it is. Right?"

Jason swallowed hard and nodded. "Yeah."

Sonny's eyes narrowed. "Where is she? You're safe enough here, but coming back to Port Charles… If they find out she's in town, this is the first place they'll look."

"She's not with me," Jason said. Finding the words were hard. Facing it had been hell, but repeating the story…of what happened and why she wasn't with him… Sudden tears stung the back of his eyes. He couldn't break down. Not now. His baby needed him and so did her mama.

"Did she leave you?" Sonny asked. "I can't believe she'd leave her baby."

"She didn't go willingly," Jason said after he inhaled a sharp breath. "He found us. I need you to watch Faith for me until I get Dawn back."

"Nikolas Cassadine won't just hand his wife over to you," Sonny said. "What are you gonna do?"

"Whatever it takes," Jason said. "He has her, but it's me she wants. And I will get her back."

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