Chapter 11

The next morning Mac had his daily meeting with Taggert, Garcia, and Officer Richards regarding the Moreno case. The FBI had sent transcripts of wiretapped conversations between Nick Moreno and some associates. So far nothing had been heard that would tip off the authorities to upcoming plans to disrupt Moreno's trial. Taggert reported that Bannion had been
moved to a motel 15 miles out of Port Charles and he would be kept there until the trial ended. "He's complaining about the limited cable channels and room service that ends at 10 p.m.," noted Taggert. As he continued he grinned and said, "When I offered to take him to the Port Charles Hotel where Moreno's people could spot him within five minutes, he piped down for the rest of the evening."

Mac warned," Tell the officers on duty to be extra vigilant and keep their eyes open for any attempts toget to Bannion. His testimony is the surest way to get Moreno behind bars and Moreno's men will make every effort to get to Bannion before he testifies."

A knock at the door caused a pause in the conversation and everyone looked the opening door as Dara poked her head into the office.

"I don't mean to interrupt Mac," Dara said as she stood in the doorway. "I just want to let you know that the meeting with the judge on the motion to amend he indictments against Moreno and to add Bannion to the witness list has been postponed until 14:00 today."

"Hold on for a minute. We're just finishing up." Mac stood up and held the door open as the officers left the room. Taggert glanced briefly at Dara who was looking at Mac. He thought that for a woman with a death threat over her head, she looks like she doesn't have a care in the world. As he exited the office Taggert felt himself wondering if Mac was responsible for Dara's upbeat state of mind these days. After closing the door Mac turned around to face Dara who
draped her arms around Mac's neck and gave him a kiss. Dara pulled her face back before Mac could respond to her kiss. With his arms around her waist Mac smiled and said, "Not fair, I wasn't ready for that. Can we try it again?" He quickly captured her lips before she could answer and gave her a deep passionate kiss.

"Mmmmmm," sighed Dara. She leaned back a bit so that she could look directly in Mac's eyes and said. "O.K. I admit it. That was a much better kiss. I guess I just have to keep practicing."

Mac smiled slyly. "I'm going to hold you to that remark later tonight Counselor. But now I have to run across the street to talk to City Councilman Reynolds for a few minutes. Can you wait for me and then we can go and grab and early lunch?"

"Sure," replied Dara. "I can work on some issues for the meeting this afternoon while I wait for you."

Mac grabbed his cellphone and a folder as he prepared to leave the office. "Make yourself comfortable. This should be only a 15 minute meeting but you never know with politicians," he joked.

While waiting for Mac to return, Dara reviewed the possible arguments that the defense would make today in the judge's chamber. It was a long shot for new charges to be added to the indictment since the trial had just started, but it was still worth a try. However, the judge would very likely allow Bannion to testify within a few days and it was unlikely that the defense would be successful in excluding Bannion from the prosecution's witness list. Hopefully the trial could be concluded within a few weeks and the security measures that have been instituted because of Moreno's threats could be relaxed. Dara's thoughts on a security meeting to be held later today with Officer Richards were interrupted by an unexpected visitor to the office.

"Mac, we need to talk..." The remaining words lodged in Felicia's throat as she entered Mac's office to find it empty except for Dara, who looked far too comfortable for Felicia's taste on the office chaise lounge. "Oh, hi Dara. When will Mac be back?"

"Mac is out of the office now," Dara replied. "Do you want to leave a message for him?"

"No thanks. I really need to talk to him so I'll call him on his cellphone in a minute to let him know that I'm here." Felicia had been waiting for an opportunity to let Dara know exactly what she's in for if she tries to break up her marriage with Mac and this chance meeting was a perfect opportunity to put Dara on notice. "In fact, I'm going to do you a favor and take this opportunity to give you a little advice."

In the few seconds that Felicia had been in the office, Dara could already tell where this
conversation was heading. Felicia gave off airs of being a territorial female, which was a joke as far as Dara was concerned, considering Felicia's treatment of Mac during the last year. "Felicia, I really don't need any advice from you and I'm going to leave so that you won't embarrass yourself." Dara stood up to leave the office but Felicia's next words stopped her in her tracks.

"Don't you have any pride?" countered Felicia. "Is the only man that you can get one that is married and having a rough patch in his marriage?"

A gasp escaped from Dara lips at the audacity of Felicia's comment. The woman is really getting
desperate thought a shocked Dara.

Felicia continued, "Obviously the only reason Mac is spending time with you is to get back at me. I mean it. Open your eyes Dara. He couldn't have taken up with anyone who was more unlike me. Do you really think that Mac would even be giving you a second look if I hadn't made a mistake and hurt him?"

"You're right in one respect Felicia," seethed Dara through clenched teeth. "I am nothing like you." All last year when Felicia pretty much treated Mac shamefully Dara never said one word against Felicia and she kept her mouth shut regarding Felicia's behavior. But since Felicia felt free now to comment on Dara's behavior, Dara decided to momentarily take the low road and fire back. "I wouldn't be delusional enough to think that I could ever be with Mac again after treating him like a doormat for more than a year as you did. And you know, you really ought to get over
yourself. If Mac started dating someone who was blond with blue eyes, you'd say that Mac had chosen that person because they're a substitute for you. Since he's dating a black woman with brown eyes you're saying he's choosing someone who's the total opposite of you. Felicia, believe me, it isn't all about you! If Mac weren't dating anyone you'd still be kicked to the curb because of your outrageous selfish behavior. I don't need your advice regarding Mac's feelings for me or his reasons for dating me. I can go to the source if I need to know that information."

Dara's response was not exactly was Felicia expected. Maybe she couldn't eliminate the competition by browbeating Dara but Felicia was still going to leave a parting shot before exiting the office. "I'll call Mac later today to discuss our personal issues. But think about this. Whenever he kisses you or holds you or, God forbids, starts to make love to you and he has
his eyes closed, wonder who he's really thinking of being with," Felicia said with a smirk. And with that last remark she left the office refusing Dara a chance to respond.

"I will NOT let that psycho bitch get to me," Dara vowed. In her mind and heart she knew that Felicia was talking a lot of trash, but Dara still wanted to throttle her. She decided to take a quick walk to calm down before having lunch with Mac. Dara wrote him a note saying that she'd be back in a few minutes and left the office.