Chapter 19

On Friday morning at 09:00 Mac escorted Alex Bannion into the courtroom so that he could begin his testimony in the Anthony Moreno trial. The trial started at 09:30 and the whole day was focused on Bannion's testimony. Everyone on the prosecution's team knew what an effort it was to get Bannion in the courtroom today and it was a sweet victory for the prosecution and the police to hear Bannion's testimony in court. There was no doubt that Bannion's testimony, in conjunction with Al Gwynn's earlier testimony, would almost insure a conviction in Moreno's trial. The court adjourned early on Friday at 4 p.m. and a relieved Mac handed Bannion over the U.S. Federal marshals so that Bannion could be placed in a witness protection program. Dara joined Mac as he watched Bannion being escorted from the courthouse.

Squeezing his arm she said, "We did it. He testified and it's almost over."

"In celebration of both of us surviving the past week, let me take you to Le Vieux Logis for dinner tonight," Mac suggested. He had missed Dara tremendously during the past few days and he was looking forward to spending a lot of time with her starting tonight.

"That sounds lovely Mac. And I have something special that I want to give you after the dinner tonight."

"Oh really?" Mac asked as the most lascivious grin spread broadly across his face. He joked, "Hey, fasting for an evening shouldn't be so bad. Why don't I just come straight to your apartment in an hour."

"Oh no you don't!" Dara laughed, with a mischievous gleam in her eyes. "I'm very much looking forward to a romantic dinner at Le Vieux Logis with you. Anyway, you have no idea what I have in mind for you after the dinner. But I promise to surprise you."

The next few hours couldn't pass quickly enough for both Mac and Dara. At 7 p.m., Mac arrived at Dara's apartment to take her to the restaurant. Upon Dara opening the door, Mac stood speechless as he gazed at Dara. Wearing her hair in a French roll with a few wavy strands of hairs gently framing hair face, Dara looked stunning in a two-piece blue and black silk outfit. The wrap skirt had a mid-thigh length and hung loosely around her hips. The top was gathered at the shoulders and though no cleavage was shown the top did reveal quite a bit of Dara's beautiful brown skin on her chest and upper back. Reading Mac's expression, Dara smiled and silently thought that seeing this look on Mac's face was worth those almost daily trips to the gym. Grabbing her coat, Dara left with Mac for a romantic dinner at Le Vieux Logis.

Le Vieux Logis was an enchanting country inn located a few miles outside of Port Charles that had a four star restaurant that specialized in French cuisine. During their meal at the restaurant, the couple spoke a bit about the trial but in general they steered the conversation to non-work related topics. Dining at the French restaurant prompted Mac to tell Dara of a few of his adventures in French-speaking countries such as France, Switzerland, and Belgium before his arrival in Port Charles. Dara mentioned that she had always wanted to travel in Europe and Africa but as yet she hadn't done much traveling. Silently they were both thinking that they would share such travels in the future. After enjoying a delicious 5-course meal and lingering over 2 glasses of wine and coffee, they finally left the restaurant and went back to Dara's apartment. Refusing Dara's offer of something to drink, Mac took her by the hand and led her to the couch in her living room.

"We haven't had much of a chance to talk since I was last here." Mac held Dara closely to him with her head nestled under his chin.

"I know," sighed Dara. "Mac, where are we going with this relationship? I know how I feel about you and I think that I know how you feel about me." Nervously biting her lip she continued, "But I can understand if you don't want to get seriously involved with me right now since your breakup with Felicia was so recent and so painful." Dara had mentally prepared herself so that she wouldn't be disappointed by Mac's response but she still held her breath waiting for him to answer. The few men that Dara had dated previously all cringed at the word commitment. The Mac Scorpio who had been her friend for several years normally wouldn't have such feelings but after being treated so badly by Felicia, Dara worried that he probably didn't want to rush into a serious relationship with someone.

Cupping Dara's chin so that she was looking directly into his green eyes which were darkening with passion, Mac solemnly said, "Dara, it's too late to talk about not wanting to get seriously involved because whether you know it or not, I already am. I love you Dara."

Dara blinked back tears in her eyes as she watched Mac's face as he said for the first time that he loved her. As she gasped in surprise that he actually said the words Mac covered her mouth with his and gave her a passionate kiss.

Breaking the kiss Mac asked with concern in his voice," You almost seem surprised that I love you. Is it because you feel that it's happening too quickly? Or is it something else?"

"No, it isn't too quickly Mac. Usually, in the past, I would have feelings for someone and they didn't have them for me or weren't ready to return them to me. Knowing that you actually feel the same way about me that I feel about you, it just makes me deliriously happy."

Smiling, Mac said softly, "Is this a round about way of you telling me that you love me too?"

"Yes. Yes. Yes. I love you Mac Scorpio. I love you very much."

Feeling herself starting to be swept away by Mac's passionate kiss Dara reluctantly pushed herself away from Mac. "Wait Mac. I have something special I want to do for you."

Pulling her to him once again in an attempt to capture her lips again, Mac grinned lazily," Can't you tell that you're doing something special for me right now?"

"No, really. Why don't you start the fire in the fireplace? I'll have everything ready in fifteen minutes."

For the moment, Mac's curiosity exceeded his passion and he started the fire in the fireplace as Dara requested. Sitting patiently on the living room couch, he became intrigued as he watched her place a mat a few feet in front of the fireplace and cover the mat with a bed sheet. She next placed several candles throughout the living room and, after dimming the living room electric lights, lighted the candles. A sandalwood scent emanated from the lighted candles. Dara hurried to the kitchen and placed a jar in the microwave before heading to her bedroom. When the microwave oven timer expired, Mac hesitated for a few minutes but then he walked into the kitchen and opened the microwave oven. Carefully taking the jar from the microwave he gently sniffed and determine that Dara heated some type of almond-scented oil.

A voice directly behind him said, "I'll take that from you and you can take this from me." Not hearing her when she entered the kitchen Mac whirled around to face Dara. Mac could not keep the shocked expression from his face as he saw Dara dressed in only a low square neckline Chantilly lace bustier and matching panties. She was holding a white cotton bath towel in her hand. Mac could swear that his heart stopped beating for the first few seconds that he saw Dara. Dara worked mightily to suppress a broad smile as she watched Mac gape open-mouthed at her. She had never seen Mac so taken aback in her life and for a few seconds she wondered if she should continue with her plans for the evening. After a brief reflection she decided to continue and make this evening all about Mac and show him how much she cared for him. "I guess I really did surprise you. But get ready, your surprise is just starting," she promised. Taking the scented oil from him Dara placed the bath towel in his hand. Seeing the puzzled look on his face she said, "I want you to wear it, and nothing else." Dara turned around and left a speechless Mac in the kitchen with his outstretch hand still holding the bath towel.

Snapping out his trance, Mac started to undress as Dara's image in that bustier stayed in his mind. She was absolutely gorgeous in it and it perfectly accentuated her toned, petite body. Mac had no idea what Dara had planned for him but it was going to take all the willpower he possessed not to take the initiative and start to make love to her. This evening was obviously something she very much wanted to do for him and he wanted to let her do it. But ..." Wearing the bath towel around his waist, Mac went into the living room to find Dara kneeling at the mat. Positioning Mac to lie down on his stomach on the mat, Dara started to speak.

"When I went to Northwestern for college I took some additional courses away from the university. You know, something that I would really like to learn as perhaps a hobby and to take my mind off of the schoolwork. These courses were taught by various small businesses located on the north side of Chicago. I took a car maintenance class. And I took a bread baking class. But my favorite subject was a series of massage classes I took taught by a local chiropractor." After taking the oil and rubbing it in her hand, Dara started to slowly massage Mac's left foot, rotating and stroking the left foot and ankle. Next she repeated the motion with his right foot. Mac marveled at how adept Dara was in giving this massage; he was starting to relax after a few minutes. This was something he originally believed to be impossible after seeing her in that bustier and those panties. Dara continued the massage using her hands and arms to stroke and knead the back of Mac's legs, his back, neck, and arms. It pleased Dara to initially touch a tense muscle on Mac's body and using her knowledge and skill was able to relieve him of the tenseness. She could tell by his breathing and sighs that he was really enjoying the massage. Now it was time to move to part two of the evening. "I took three massage classes. The first two courses focused on therapeutic massage techniques. The last course gave some information on how to give a sensual massage. Turn over on your back for me please." Mac had had his eyes closed for most of the massage in order to focus on the pleasure he was receiving. When turning over onto his back he saw Dara again in the bustier and panties and all of the feelings he previously experienced in the kitchen returned. Her arms, legs, and chest were glistening with the massage oil and her chocolate colored skin looked incredibly beautiful. As she kneeled beside him preparing to start a chest massage he placed his hand behind her head and pulled Dara's mouth to his. They kissed for several seconds but finally Dara broke the kiss and catching her breath she said in a ragged voice, "We ...we....aren't finished yet. Don't you want the rest of your massage?"

"Uh mmm," purred Mac. "But we don't have to do it all in one night, do we?" he said as he rolled on the floor with Dara and had her on her back as he started to place kisses on her neck and stroked his right hand along her inner thigh.

"No....I guess not." Dara knew that the battle was lost and she didn't care one bit. She couldn't wait any longer to be with Mac and she wanted him as much as he wanted her. Earlier she had to really force herself to continue to focus and give Mac a therapeutic massage but now her plans did not seem quite as important as the matter at hand.

Gazing lovingly into her eyes and pulling the pins from her hair so that the twist in her hair was removed, Mac placed his hands behind her head and rested on his forearms as he spoke. "I love how you wanted to make me feel so special. Thank you." Kissing her lightly on her face, neck, and chest he continued. "You're going to give me an inferiority complex because you do so many things so well." Mac expertly removed the bustier from Dara's body and caught his breath, his eyes taking in the sight of her body. Slowly lowering his body to hers he suggested, "Let's concentrate now on some things that we do well together...."