Author's note - Even though T.V. shows, including GH, rarely mention anything related to race I'm choosing to raise the topic briefly in this story. Race isn't an issue for the protagonists Mac and Dara, but it may be one of many issues for characters who interact with them. Race will not be a major issue in this story. However, it won't be totally ignored either. It would truly be great if people would accept couples who have different skin color the same as couples who have different eye color or hair color. But society isn't quite there yet.
Dara turned in the driveway of Janice and Robert Williams' home at 6 p.m. on Christmas evening. It was snowing lightly and there was almost an inch of snow on the ground. Their home was perfectly decorated on the outside for the holiday season. The evergreen tree was streamed with colored, flashing lights. A lovely wreath was on the front door and holiday lights trimmed the house. As Dara got out of the car and grabbed her overnight bag, the front door opened and she heard a voice shout, "She's here!" A ten year old boy with big brown eyes, a heartbreaking smile, and skin the color of caramel ran out of the house to literally jumped into Dara's arms.
"Hi Dara. You've finally made it. We've been waiting all day for you."
Dara gave him as enthusiastic hug and kiss. "Hello Patrick. How is my favorite and only godson?"
"Fine, Mom and Dad are in the house waiting for us. Come on!" he said as he urged her to hurry in the house.
"I see that Patrick has greeted you before you could even get out of your car. Merry Christmas Dara." Robert said as he kissed Dara on the cheek. Robert had to bend his 6' 2" frame to kiss Dara on the cheek. He was growing a mustache, which Dara hadn't seen him with for more than 10 years. His trimly cut Afro was just starting to grey prematurely at the temples.
"Merry Christmas, Robert. Where is your wife and my best friend?"
Before he could respond they heard a shout "Come on in girl!" from the kitchen.
Robert told Dara that he would take her bag to the guest bedroom and to go to the kitchen to see his wife. Patrick and Dara followed an appetizing smell into the kitchen.
"Merry Christmas!" said Janice and she hugged Dara.
"Merry Christmas, Janice." Dara and Janice had been best friends since they were college roommates. One of the reasons Dara accepted the assistant district attorney job in Port Charles was because she'd be a few hours drive from her friend. Janice, who always wore her hair in braids, had them arranged in twin twists pinned at the nape of her head. She was dressed casually in jeans and a knit shirt, as were her husband and son.
"You made it just in time for dinner. Why don't you run upstairs and freshen up. We'll catch up on things when you come down for dinner."
"Can't I help with anything?" Dara asked.
"No, just hurry back. Dara, I have missed you."
Dara ran upstairs to shower and change clothes for dinner. When she returned downstairs 45 minutes later, the dining room table was set and everyone sat down to the meal that Janice prepared. Like Dara, Janice didn't naturally excel in the culinary arts, but when she put her mind to it, Janice could prepare a wonderful meal as she did that evening. Conversation during dinner initially centered on Patrick and school, Robert and his work at a prominent accounting firm in Buffalo, and Janice's work as a social worker in the New York State Health Services Office. Eventually the conversation turned to Dara and her life in Port Charles.
"I hope that you haven't been so busy with work that you are still neglecting your personal life. I haven't heard you talk about anyone since you became 'just friends' with that handsome specimen Marcus Taggert," Janice needled her friend.
"Well, we are just friends. He's dating a woman who works for the FBI as a field agent but I don't think that they're serious," Dara said.
Janice laughed as she said, "Dara, you went into the wrong vocation. You should have become a nun. You were the same way in college, so extremely picky about becoming involved with someone."
"I just wasn't as fortunate as you to find someone as special as Robert," Dara retorted. "But you never know..."
"What is this? I knew it!" Janice exclaimed. She immediately pounced on Dara to get the details. " I thought that something or someone has been on your mind this evening. Who is he? Where is he? Why didn't you bring him here with you?"
"And you said that I missed my calling in a vocation?" Dara countered with a raised eyebrow. "You should have been a DA." Dara cautiously said," Actually, you met him a several months ago when you were in Port Charles and you visited me at work."
"Really, I don't remember meeting anyone you'd be interested in besides Marcus, and that attorney, what was his name, Justus Ward?"
Dara tensed a bit realizing why Janice only remembered Taggert and Justus as potential partners for her. "Yes, you did meet him. I introduced you to the chief of police, Mac Scorpio. Remember?"
Janice's eyes widened a bit but she kept her face blank. "Oh. I guess I do remember meeting him." She glanced at her husband and back again to Dara.
"We've always been friends but recently we've begun dating. It's too soon to say if it's going to go anywhere but we do enjoy being together."
There was a bit of a pause. "Well," said Janice, not really knowing what to say, "If you enjoy being together so much, why isn't he here with you? What is he doing tonight on Christmas?"
"It's kind of a complex situation. He's separated from his wife, who has 2 children but they are not his biological children. He's spending the evening with them, basically because of the children."
Janice made a sound that can best be described as a snort. "It doesn't sound like a complex situation to me Dara. In fact, it sounds like a really old story. Girl, what are you doing?"
"Janice," Robert admonished his wife. "I'm sure neither you nor I know the whole story and it really is none of our business. Most certainly it is nothing that needs to be discussed over Christmas dinner. Can we please enjoy the rest of the meal?"
Dara was taken off-guard by Janice's comments and welcomed Robert's suggestion to table the topic. She knew that Janice would broach the topic again later that evening, but she made a best effort to lighten the mood for the rest of dinner. After dinner and visiting with Dara a bit, Patrick went upstairs to work on his computer a little before bedtime. Robert excused himself to let Dara and Janice talk. Janice shared some herbal tea with Dara as she began the conversation.
"Dara, I'm your best friend. I couldn't love a blood sister more. But I have to speak my mind and ask you something. What in the world is wrong with you? Why in the world would you have an affair with a married, white, work associate? You, Ms. Professional assistant district attorney who prizes her personal and professional reputation?"
"Janice," Dara sighed. "First, nothing much has happened between Mac and me, certainly nothing that qualifies as an affair. We've just begun to move beyond the 'just friends' level and we're taking it slowly. But we've always been attracted to each other, even before he married the woman who's currently his wife. But neither one of us made a move towards each other until very recently. And, yes, he is still legally married but they are not living together. He knows me well enough to know that the situation has to be resolved between him and Felicia before anything serious can happen between us. And next, you know me well enough to know that the issue of race is a non-issue with me. I may not have previously dated anyone who wasn't black but that doesn't mean I never would. I really like Mac and I'm willing to give it a chance." Dara paused talking for few seconds. "You said just now that you loved me like a sister. I know that. And I love you too. I respect your opinion. But you have to respect mine also. I don't know if this thing with Mac will go anywhere or not but if it does, and if you meet him again, I'd expect for you to treat him as you would any other male friend of mine you would meet. Do you understand?"
Janice stared at her friend, grimaced, and finally replied, "I understand. I just hope that you know what you're doing."
Mac arrived at the house for Christmas dinner promptly at 5 p.m. Felicia opened the door and kissed Mac lightly on the lips as she said Merry Christmas. She took his hand and led him into the living room. Mac placed the 2 wrapped presents he brought for the girls under the Christmas tree. He was surprised how quiet the house was and asked if the girls were upstairs.
Felicia replied, "No, they're at the brownstone with Bobbie and Lucas. Bobbie will drop them off here around 7:30. That will give us a little time to be together. Do you want a beer?"
Mac looked at Felicia as he sat down in the leather chair located near the couch. She was certainly turning on the charm tonight. Felicia was dressed in a bright blue v-neck sweater and tight-fitting black jeans. The blue in the sweater brought out the color in her eyes and her hair was arranged simply but beautifully around her shoulder. She was also wearing a perfume that was Mac's favorite on her.
"What's going on Felicia?" Mac asked. "You knew that I was coming at 5 to have Christmas dinner with the girls. Why would you arrange for them to be at Bobbie's place for the next 2 and a 1/2 hours"
Felicia came over to him as she placed the unasked for Beck beer in his hand. "You and I haven't had a lot of time to spend together lately. It seems like things have been tense between us recently and I was hoping that we could get together before the girls came home and then maybe we all could have a more relaxed Christmas dinner."
Mac stared at Felicia in disbelief. Mac laughed bitterly. "Things have been tense between us? No kidding! I guess having my wife lie to me, leave me for weeks on end, and have an affair with another man would put a chill on the relationship from my side," he said sarcastically.
"Mac, I know you keep saying that but it's just not true. I never actually lied to you. At worst I just didn't tell you everything because I didn't want to hurt you or cause problems between us. And I NEVER slept with Luke until you filed for divorce. I was hoping that we had moved on from this discussion."
"You're right Felicia. We have moved on. That is why we are getting a divorce."
"And why are you rushing to get a divorce? Are you afraid that if you actually think about it you'll realize that we shouldn't get divorced? You're always saying that you want what's best for the girls. Well, I still love you, no matter what you think. And you know the girls love you and want you here at home. How can divorce be the best thing for all of us?" Felicia asked with tears in her eyes.
"Do you honestly expect me to forget all of the things that have happened, move back in here, and wait until you take up with Luke Spencer or whomever next?
"Mac, even though I was mainly with Luke to help him, a small part of it was that I yearned for a more exciting life. Now that I've returned to the PI business, my work will fill that void in my life. In fact, I'm still hoping that you will reconsider and join me in the business as my partner again."
"Felicia, for the first time in a long time I actually enjoy my work as chief of police and I have no intention of leaving my job, especially to join you in the PI business."
"But Mac, what if I need you help? How can you help me if you're always tied to that other job?"
"If you need my help then you shouldn't be in that business," Mac stated bluntly. "You have two beautiful girls who need you and you're going to jeopardize your life so that you can get some thrills?"
"Oh. It's o.k. for you to place your life in danger as chief of police but it is selfish for me to be in danger and risk my life as a mother. How sexist can that be?"
Wearily Mac said, "Look Felicia. You're the one that said you're returning to PI work to have a more exciting life, not me. I will always be a part of the girls' life and I will always try to be there for them, but it is really over between you and me. I could never trust you again and there is no relationship - friendship, love, nothing - without trust." Mac felt the pain in saying those words. He had love Felicia for so long and so deeply. Part of him would always care about her, but he didn't love her anymore. Mac rose from his chair and grabbed his coat. "Call Bobbie and tell her to have the girls ready in 15 minutes. I can go and see them there, or I can go and bring them back here to have Christmas dinner. It's your choice. What do you want to do?"
Stunned by his statements, Felicia stood and said, "I'll call Bobbie. The dinner is ready now so we can have it when you all return."
"We'll be back in a half an hour," Mac said as he left the house.
Felicia bit her lips and cried as she walked to the phone. "I won't lose him. It's just going to take time but I'll get him back. Despite what he says he still loves me. He needs me and I'll get him back!"