Considering it was a cold winter's day in late
January, there were a surprisingly large number of
people in Port Charles Park. After walking for a few
minutes, Mac caught sight of Sonny Corinthos watching
Carly and Michael build a snowman. As Mac approached
them, Sonny spied him and told Carly to continue
playing with Michael while he had a conversation with
"You have information for me?" Mac briskly asked.
Sonny suppressed a smirk as he thought that Mac went
straight to the point of their meeting. He was meeting
Mac to give some him information but he wanted to get
some information in return. Instead of answering Mac's
question Sonny responded, "How is D.A. Jensen? I heard
that she wasn't hurt the other day."
Mac raised his left eyebrow and looked quizzically as
he replied, "I'm sure that Dara would be surprised
about your concern, but she's doing fine."
"She was lucky. The guy who shot her must have been
interrupted." Sonny didn't finish the rest of the
sentence but both Mac and Sonny knew that professional
hit men routinely shot their targets at close range in
the head. Only Mac's timely arrival in the garage
parking lot stopped the driver from exiting the car
and delivering the fatal shot. That grim thought made
Mac irritable and he snapped, "Do you have any
information about the shooter or is this purely a
Sonny watched Mac's expression change as he thought of
the shooting and was surprised by the intense emotions
Mac was unsuccessfully trying to hide. "He's really
serious about her," marveled Sonny. "This information
is more valuable than I originally thought."
"Roger Griffith is the guy Moreno hired. He's based in
Florida and in addition to being a successful
assassin, it's believed that he owed Moreno a personal
favor. I heard that he hired two local guys who were
helping him out with the hit on Dara, but they bailed
on him when the attempt was unsuccessful and now he's
going to make the hit on Bannion alone."
Mac didn't trust Sonny implicitly but he knew that
Sonny wouldn't deliver this information unless he was
absolutely sure of its accuracy. This was the break
they needed to apprehend the shooter quickly before he
left Port Charles. Having a name would give them
information about his methods of operating and help
the police in anticipating his next move. "We'll
follow up on your information. Thanks."
"No problem. So this closes the account between us,
right?" Sonny smoothly asked.
"If your information is correct, yes, it does."
"Give my regards to D.A. Jensen," Sonny said as he
moved to join Carly and Michael again. Walking out of
the park, Mac placed a call on his cellphone to
Taggert for new security arrangements for Bannion.
The trial had gone as expected today for Dara. The
murder victim was a finance officer at an
international bank that had a branch in Port Charles.
Relatives and friends of the deceased man's testified
about his relationship with Moreno and how Moreno was
forcing him to launder drug money through the bank.
When the man was on the verge of making a deal with
the FBI to testify against Moreno and break his ties
with organized crime, Moreno hired Al Gwynn to kill
the banker. After his apprehension, Gwynn made a deal
with the DA for a 20-25 year prison sentence and to
place his family in the witness protection program in
exchange for his testimony that Moreno gave him the
order to kill the banker. He was scheduled to testify
tomorrow at Moreno's trial. Bannion was present when
Moreno gave the order to Gwynn to shoot the banker and
he was scheduled to testify on Friday, the day after
Gwynn testifies. At the moment, everything with the
trial seemed to be going well. Dara picked up the
telephone to call Mac to see how his day went and to
tell him of her plans for the evening. He was still
working when she called at 7 p.m. and she told Mac
that she'd drop by his office on the way home.
"I'll only be a few minutes," Dara informed her
security escort as she entered Mac's office and he
closed the door. Dara wrapped her arms around Mac's
neck and kissed him sweetly as she asked, "Hi, how was
your day?" She heard Mac exhale and could feel his
body relax as he held her. It gave her an
indescribable pleasure to know that some of the
tension Mac experienced through the day left when he
Mac just held Dara closely to him for several seconds
and grazed his face against her cheek before replying.
He pulled his head back to gaze into her eyes and
replied, ?It was a mixed day." On the downside he
thought of his earlier personal conversations with
Taggert and Felicia. On the plus side they'd made a
lot of progress in identifying the person who
attempted to kill Dara and this was what he decided to
discuss with her now. Later during the week or the
weekend he'd share with her the conversations he had
earlier with Taggert and Felicia. "I do have some news
for you." Keeping his right arm snaked around her
waist Mac led Dara to his desk where he picked up a
photo and handed it to her. "Based on a tip from Sonny
Corinthos, this is who we believe fired those shots at
you last night."
Dara stared at the photograph for almost 30 seconds.
It was a photo of a clean-shaven man in his late 30s
or early 40s with short, light brown hair, grey eyes,
and aquiline features. Dara had seen the man for only
a few seconds and he was wearing tinted glasses, but
the shape of the face and the haircut of the man in
the photo and her attacker were similar. From the
police file that was also on Mac's desk Dara read of
Griffith's past arrests and that he was suspected of
committing at least 7 homicides. As she remained
silent looking at the file and the photo, Mac cupped
her face in his hands and gently kissed her. "We're
still looking for him, Dara. We really think that he's
going to go after Bannion now and that you aren't in
any danger. But we're going to keep the extra security
on you for a while."
Dara reassured Mac, "I'm not worried, really. It's
just that I was a little taken aback by possibly
seeing his face again. And even though I couldn't
testify to it as a certainty, I agree, this probably
was the person who tried to kill me." Wanting to turn
the conversation away from her attack she asked," What
are you going to do to keep him from Bannion?"
"We actually moved Bannion today from his original
safe-house location. But we left the security in place
as a decoy for Griffith and we're making it seem as if
Bannion is still there. Bannion will stay at the new
location for only the next 36 hours or so and after he
testifies he'll go directly into the witness
protection program with the Feds."
Glancing at the clock Dara said," I have to go. Ellen
Burgess and I are having dinner together tonight and
we're meeting at my apartment at 8 p.m." Tilting her
head toward the stack of papers on his desk she
inquired, "Are you going to be here much longer?"
"I'll be here little while longer," sighed Mac. For a
few fleeting seconds he thought of asking about
dropping by her apartment after Ellen left but he
decided not to rush things. Instead he offered," Why
don't I give you a call tonight around 10:30 to say
goodnight? I should be at my apartment by then."
Dara agreed and with a last kiss goodbye she left the
"I'm so glad to see that you're O.K.," Ellen said as
she placed the Italian sausage pizza on the kitchen
table. "I was horrified to read in the newspaper this
morning about the shooting. Have they captured the
Finishing up making the dinner salad and bringing it
to the table, Dara told her that the police had leads
on who the man was and they hoped to capture him soon.
The two women sat down to dinner and discussed Ellen's
plans for her upcoming March wedding to Matt. Ellen
took Dara up on her previous offer to help with the
wedding and asked Dara to sing at the wedding
ceremony. Dara quickly and happily agreed. After
discussing the wedding plans and her life with Matt
for most of the evening, Ellen was able to turn the
conversation to Dara. Sipping a cup of herbal tea
after dinner she remarked, "If I was in shock about
hearing of your attack, I bet Mac must have been out
of his mind with worry."
Pausing a few seconds before responding, Dara replied,
"He was very concerned and very kind." She felt
herself becoming warm thinking about the previous
night. "He actually stayed the night with me to make
sure that I was O.K."
"Oh," Ellen said watching Dara as she flushed and
averted her eyes under Ellen's knowing gaze.
When she raised her eyes again Dara said, "You know
Ellen, being a prosecutor, I prize myself on having 'a
poker face' and not letting people know what I think
and feel. But this is the second time today that I've
given myself away when I mentioned that Mac came over
last night. Are my feelings really that transparent?"
"I think that it's hard for you to hide how happy you
are. And you are happy, aren't you?"
"I'm very happy," a smiling Dara admitted. "I've been
alone for so long I'd had almost forgotten what this
feeling is like. But it's a little scary too...do you
know what I mean?"
Ellen nodded, "Absolutely. I was terrified of caring
deeply or loving someone again as I loved Sam. But you
know, there are no guarantees in life. If you're lucky
and fortunate enough to find someone whom you truly
care for and who cares for you, you have to live in
the present and revel in those feelings. You look
forward to the future and remember the past, but you
live fully and enjoy the present. Believe me, a year
or two ago you would not have heard those words from
my lips!" Ellen said laughing. "But I've been blessed
and have learned a few things along the way."
"You're right of course," Dara mused as she thought of
how well things were going in her life. "Right now I'm
not going to worry about the future and just enjoy the
present and having Mac in my life. For right now, I'll
let the future take care of itself...."
"You're still in your office." Kevin Collins had
interviewed a prisoner in the Port Charles Jail for a
competency hearing tomorrow and he decided to see if
his friend was still at work.
"I'm on my way out now," Mac said as he grabbed his
coat. "Do you have plans for dinner? If not, how about
going to the Outback with me?"
"That would be great. We really haven't spent a lot of
time together lately. Let me call Victor and tell him
that I'll be in late tonight."
The two friends spent time catching up on each other's
news and commiserating their recent failed
relationships. Kevin mentioned that he wasn't seeing
anyone at this time but that Mac seemed to be doing
well now that he was dating Dara. "You two looked
really happy at the New Year's Eve party," he noted
grinning. "Felicia literally couldn't take her eyes
off of you two."
Mac shook his head in disbelief and said, "That
couldn't have been a very enjoyable evening for you
Kevin. Why did you come there with Felicia?"
"Obviously I probably wouldn't agree if I had known
that I would spend so little time with her that
evening," Kevin wryly remarked. "But I didn't relish
being at home alone on New Years Eve. Even Victor had
a date. And I didn't want to spend the evening
thinking about Eve or Lucy and what they were doing."
Pushing thought of his own personal relationships from
the forefront of his mind, he said," You and Dara
looked serious. Is it, I mean serious between you
"Yes Kevin, it is very serious. It's like something
wonderful that been in front of my eyes for years but
I was too blind to see it. But I see it now Kevin and
luckily I think that Dara feels the same way about me.
We're taking our time and we still have a lot to learn
about each other, but I have no doubts about us. I'm
looking forward to having Dara in my life for quite a
long time, if not for the rest of my life."
"Well that's bad news for Felicia. You know that she
wants to get back together with you Mac. In fact,
she's dropped several hints that I should talk to you
'as a friend' and help you two get back together."
Kevin grimaced and narrowed his eyes thinking how
Felicia had tried to manipulate him into helping her
get back together with Mac. "I've always had a weak
spot for your estranged wife but I told Felicia that I
was keeping out of your marriage difficulties."
Mac was relieved that Kevin wouldn't be roped into
Felicia's schemes to bring them back together. "Thanks
Kevin. I always plan to be there for the girls and if
things get better between Felicia and me, maybe we
could be friends again. But honestly I can't see it
right now. And I certainly don't want to get back
together with her. Our marriage has been over for
quite a while. I know that now and I'd wish that she'd
realize it too. I really did love Felicia but in a way
I think that our marriage was a marriage of
convenience for her. She didn't consciously think that
but the bottom line is that she wants to be with me
only because she perceives me as safe and a sure
thing. She and the girls could always rely on me. But
she never really loved me, at least not as I loved
her." Mac took a large gulp of beer and said, "But
that is all over now. I'm meeting with her and the
lawyers Monday about the divorce. Hopefully she won't
put up a lot of resistance."
Reflecting on his last few conversations with Felicia,
Kevin gave Mac a look of sympathy and said, "I think
that is wishful thinking on your part. But good luck
pal. You know that I'm here for you if you need my