Chapter 4

"Okay, obviously no need to introduce you two. Why am I not feeling the love?" Evangeline asked sensing the heat of Johnís displeasure with RJ.

RJ looked at Van and asked "Why are you in Llanview and what brought you to the police station? Nothing serious, I hope."

"Long story short: Johnís my husband and this is now our home. And if youíre here that means there must be at least one great restaurant in town, a cool jazz place and a hot dance club. Iím encouraged to see Randall James calls Llanview home; at least Iím assured nights of listening and eating pleasure at your establishments. Am I right? And why are you at the police station?"

"Indeed, I do own two hot spots in town and Iím co-owner of a great gallery. I know you love art. My, oh, Ďspecial friendí is an Assistant District Attorney; surely your hubbyís mentioned Nora Buchanan to you? Yet he didnít mention me in the same sentence with her, Iím crushed. Why is that McBain?"

Van saw the blood jumping under Johnís skin at the pulse point near his jaw line. It was one of her secret ways of knowing what her husband was feeling when he didnít want to tell her. "RJ, why donít you and Nora join me for a meal? I guess itís too late to call it lunch but I didnít have much of a chance to speak with Nora when I met her a little while ago. You can give me a quick tour of the town on our way to and from your restaurant." She turned to John and asked "Can you join us, love?"

John was definitely not happy with her and this turn of events but before he responded RJ planted a quick kiss on Evangelineís cheek saying, "Great idea, yes! Iím sure Nora can get away I spoke to her earlier and she mentioned sheíd be hard-pressed to have lunch at a decent hour. Iíll go get her and weíll be right back."

John watched RJ walk away and turned to Van, "So. Thereís someone in town you know, you have good memories of RJ fromÖ.?"

"Um-hmm." Van beamed, then dampened down her glow, "Aaah, my time with Jason Morgan, Jas, Sonny Corinthos and RJ had some, uh, business dealings back in the day. We all rolled together, it was when I first met Alexis and the Cassadines before any of us knew we were family."

"As I recall you were wild and partied very hard with Jason and hisÖcrew."

"Oh, John, everyoneís past that moment in our lives. It was great while we did it but Iím not interested in recreating or really even revisiting in any significant way any moments in my life which donít include you." Evangeline watched as his eyes lost some of their wariness and the happiness returned in shades of cobalt blue. Out of the corner of her eye she saw RJ returning with Nora, "Will you come with us?"

"I canít, really, but youíll be fine with Nora." John turned and greeted Nora and suggested that they all go in the Rolls instead of RJís or Noraís car. As they climbed into the back seat Van pulled him aside, "Donít worry." She said kissing his lips lightly.

"No. No worries ever now that weíre back in the same zip code again." John brushed loose tendrils from her face and longed to really kiss her, he contented himself knowing he would kiss her very thoroughly later when he saw her again. He helped her into the car, watched it pull away then he headed back to work.

"So, youíre marriedÖand to John McBain, how is that even possible in the rational world?" RJ asked. He and Nora were sitting close together across from Evangeline as the car silently sped them away from the police station.

"So, youíre with your broís ex, and sheís now an ADA. How is that even possible in the rational world?" said Van, tossing his words right back at him.

"Johnís a great guy, RJ. I know you donít want to believe it but he is. I suspect he and Evangeline feel lucky to have found one another." Nora had placed a placating hand on RJís leg and Van watched the contact mellow RJ right away.

"Ok, I guess I meant how is it that the media didnít jump all over your news? It appears you didnít get married yesterday or last week but have been chained, oh, sorry, blissfully wed for more than a bit." Nora slapped RJ lightly on the arm and cast a "weíll talk later" look his way.

 

"Obviously we kept it ultra private. Between Jason, my Cassadine connections and my own clout Iíve cowered any reporter who might have had even an inkling about major changes in my personal life." Van shrugged and laid her sunglasses on the carís seat,

"We agreed that our marriage was only about us and should be between us, not shared with the world. And of course, at the time John wasnít just FBI he was undercover a lot. No way would I allow our relationship, much less marriage, leak out and put him in danger."

Evangeline settled back in her seat with a happy sigh, "In a way the secrecy has made it a fabulously endless honeymoon. Meeting up in exotic locales, in private honeymoon suites, black-sand beaches, always alone together." her smile broadened, "I have no complaints about keeping this from our sorta nearest and dearest."

RJís eyebrows were up, "McBain knows about your time with Jason?"

"Yes, of course, it was all so long agoóbut John needed to know what my life has been. We have no real secrets from each other; at least nothing that could seriously mess with our relationship."

"What was he, your bodyguard?"

Rolling her eyes Van laughed, "No, not that clichéd. We met in the best, most time-honored way to ensure a man treats you rightóhis mother introduced us. She was singing backup on a few songs on that jazz cd I did, plus working with me on a movie soundtrack. Eve, Johnís mom is a really good singer."

"Yes she is, RJ had her perform at his supper club, Capricorn."

"Really? I didnít know that was your club; Eve mentioned the gig but somehow your name didnít come up."

"Thatís because even though I gave his mother work, your man just wants to sweat me."

"Tell us more," Nora prompted, "about you and John meeting."

"We were recording up in Victoria, BC because I was shooting a movie in Canada. John flew up to see her and came to pick her up after a session went especially late. Eve introduced us." RJ and Nora were both struck by the sparkle in Vanís eyes and warmth that came over her face as she remembered.

"One late night John showed up and before I knew it we all went out to dinneróeveryone working the session. We found this great little place to eat, talk and blow some riffs. When John and I looked around we were alone and the wait staff was trying to close down, it was 7 a.m.!! He picked Eve up or dropped or her off for the next month and we would go out and have the longest cups of coffee. A few months later Eve was playing a club in San Francisco and I was staying at a place I have in the Bay area. I went to hear her and there was John. We left before the last set, walked the streets talking, laughing and ended up at my place and wellÖwe never looked back."

"But heís a former Fed, FBI, and heís still in the serve and protect mode. Maybe he was just trying to get information on Jason and Sonny through you. Everyone knows Morgan still has a very soft spot in his heart for you."

"Pay attention RJ, his mother worked with me, I knew from the start what Johnís job was and he was never assigned to Port Charles. When we got close I told him about Jason, how we got together, why we stayed together and that weíll always be tight. Just as Iíll never betray Johnís trust and spill his secret confidences; Iíll never betray Jasonís either. John knew from the beginning he had to accept that part of my life and not dwell on it if we wanted to have a future." Van shook her head and added, "Not that I would ever willingly allow John and Jason to breathe the same air space if I can possibly avoid it until the day we die."

"Well," shrugged RJ, "Youíre nothing if not a creature of habit. Dare I say youíre getting predictable?"

"What?!! Predictable, me? How?"

"Van, they have the same initials! JM, and from what Iíve seen of John theyíre both the same type of men totally still and quiet, icy, closed off." RJ started laughing, "I never had a chance with you, wrong initials. No, you really donít want John, Jason and good Lord, Sonny, to ever have to mix and mingle."

"Realistically though, it canít be avoided forever. Sonny and Alexis have a daughter and theyíre working hard on getting together as a real couple so Kristina has a real family and home, with all the love and warmth Alexis and Sonny never had in their lives. Alexis is my half-sister, and our mutual step-monster wishes us both a long, tortuous and tormented ride to deathís door! Johnís well aware of the threat Helena poses."

Shaking her head and hugging herself Van said "Enough gloom and doom tell me about you, RJ, you and Nora."

"Youíll get a laugh out of this because Iím a father, although Keri, my daughter is now deceased. But she left me Jamie, my granddaughter, and the light of my life along with Nora. Nora was married to Bo and they have a son, Matthew that Bo only recently found out was his. Long story, involves my gallery partner, Lindsey." Nora sneered at the mention of Lindsey and RJ took her hand, "Iím suing for custody of my granddaughter from that useless BOY, Antonio Vega and Iíll win even though Nora wants me to compromise. We are an American family."

"Iíll give you the back story while we eat," Nora said, "Weíre just a little Peyton Place and youíll need a chart to keep all the relationships clear in your mind. In a nutshell: when you and John throw a dinner party donít sit RJ next to Antonio, or Bo and Eve, me next to Lindsey, Daniel, the DA, next to Asa, Bo or John, Rex and Jen next to Riley and Shannon, Cris next to John, Jessica near Antonio or her bother Kevin, Dorian near Viki, Kevin near Kellyóhis ex-wife, Todd and Blair next to anybody, well the list goes on. Iíll draw a diagram while we munch!"

Eager to know more about the people and places John lived around and dealt with during the 20 months they were apart, Evangeline picked up the car phone telling the driver to step on it so they could get seated and she could dish with Nora and RJ. Van was sure between their two very different perspectives she would end up with a well-rounded overview of Johnís life in Llanview.

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