The fifteen-minute drive between Dara's and Ellen's
apartments seemed to take much longer on this cold
winter night. Both Ellen and Kevin were uncomfortably
silent and carefully avoided direct eye contact with
each other until they arrived at the Ellen's apartment
After entering the apartment and removing his
overcoat, Kevin sat down on the living room couch.
Feeling extremely uneasy about joining Kevin on the
couch, Ellen took a seat on the leather easy chair,
which was located a few feet from the couch. Biting
his bottom lip to suppress a smile - Kevin knew it
would be deadly to laugh at Ellen during such a
serious moment - he calmly retrieved one of the
dinette chairs from the kitchen and placed it in front
of Ellen. As he sat down in the chair Kevin explained,
"I don't want that much distance, physical or
otherwise, between us when we're talking now." Not
wanting to agitate Ellen, Kevin didn't try to touch
her but instead he intertwined the fingers of his
hands, resting them on his knees and he leaned forward
so that Ellen and he only saw each other.
In a low thoughtful voice, Kevin began. "Let me speak
first Ellen since my actions have brought on this
discussion. We've been friends for quite a while now,
A dimpled smile slowly made its appearance on Ellen's
face as she remembered first meeting Kevin shortly
after her arrival at General Hospital. He had
impressed her with his intelligence, humor, fairness,
and to be honest his disarming good looks. They became
friends immediately, which surprised Ellen somewhat at
that time, because she didn't allow herself to become
close to people very quickly. "Yes, we have. For more
than three years now. That's why..."
Anticipating her question, Kevin interrupted her
response, "And you want to know why have my feelings
for you changed and why I am telling you know?" His
brow furrowed as he tried to answer his own questions.
"The second part is easier to answer than the first. I
know that telling you this six weeks before you're
suppose to marry Matt is unbelievable from your point
of view. But you are engaged Ellen, not married. Maybe
I should have said something much earlier but the time
was never right for either one of us. I've been
attracted to you on a certain level since we've first
met. But when we first met I was involved with Lucy
and you were still closed to having any type of
romantic relationship with a man. Then you started
dating Matt and Lucy and I broke up. I suppose I
should have approached you then but I didn't. Instead
I fell into a relationship with Eve and we wound up
married. When our marriage ended I wanted to wait a
bit of time before approaching you so it wouldn't seem
as if I was asking you out on the rebound. And then in
early December you told me of your engagement. Do you
remember the day that you told me of it, and what my
reaction was to your announcement?"
Ellen's eyes widened, as she remembered how puzzled
she was at Kevin's lackluster congratulations to her
news. At the time she assumed a totally erroneous
explanation for his reaction. "I do remember your
reaction, Kevin. I thought, I thought that you weren't
happy for me because my engagement somehow reminded
you of your recent breakup with Eve." Looking back,
knowing what she knew now, his reaction made total
Giving her a barely perceptible nod, Kevin could see
Ellen now realized the reason for his reaction to her
engagement announcement. "Ellen, I know that this
isn't a fair question but I'm going to ask it anyway.
Until I spoke outside of Alan's office you never
probably seriously thought of me as anything other
than a friend. But sometimes, when we're together,
don't you feel a connection between us? And, yes, an
attraction too?" Knowing that saying how he believed
Ellen felt about him could backfire, Kevin plowed on,
being totally open and honest with her. Speaking
warmly now he smiled and continued, "I know that I
feel it, and I know from experience that rarely do
such feelings exist for only one of the two people
involved. I couldn't have these feelings for you if
you didn't share some of these feelings for me. I can
see it when you smile at me sometimes or when you look
into my eyes, as you're doing now."
Ashamed that her feelings were so easily read, Ellen
sharply inhaled her breath and shut her eyes for a few
seconds in an attempt to get her emotions under
control. Of course she felt something for Kevin, with
him sitting mere inches away from her telling his
feelings for her. She would have to be a zombie to not
feel something for him, on an emotional as well as a
physical level. But she would have to ignore these
feelings, and he would have to also.
Opening her eyes as she gave him a stern look, she
countered, "Kevin, people feel attractions for other
people all of the time. An attraction alone doesn't
mean they should become involved, especially when
other people will consequently be hurt."
"You mean Matt."
"And Lucy," Ellen added.
Kevin waited for Ellen to continue speaking. When she
didn't and realizing she had made her argument for
them not to become involved, a barely suppressed look
of triumph came into Kevin's eyes as he spoke slowly,
"So the only reason we shouldn't move beyond a
friendship is because we'll hurt Matt and Lucy, who
are not our spouses?"
Realizing that she had not stated her thoughts
correctly and Kevin had pounced on her misstatement, a
horrified Ellen tried to clarify her point. Shaking
her head she said, "No Kevin, I love Matt and I want
to marry him."
"Matt is a great guy and he fought like hell to be
with you," Kevin conceded. "To be fair, maybe that is
why he should be with you instead of me because I was
too cautious and didn't press you on your possible
feelings for me." However at the moment Kevin didn't
want to be fair because he knew that once Ellen was
married to Matt, he would have no chance of being with
her, no matter what she felt for him. "But I can't
just let it go at that Ellen, and I am going to press
you now. Look at me and tell me that you could never
feel for me what you now believe you feel for Matt."
This is it, Ellen thought. If she could just tell
Kevin that she'd never love him as much as or more
than she loved Matt then this torture would come to an
end. Ellen's mind told her to take this way out, but
something in her heart made her alter her response to
Kevin's challenge and from her lips came the words, "I
don't love you Kevin." It was the truth Ellen spoke,
yet her statement sounded weak, even to her own ears
it wasn't said with striking conviction.
"I know," Kevin agreed, leaning forward even more and
breaking his silent promise not to touch her. He
encircled Ellen in his arms and slowly, deliberately
pulled her to him. Just as his lips touched hers he
huskily said, "At least not yet," and he captured her
lips in a sizzling kiss. Ellen couldn't suppress the
shiver that racked her body when Kevin's tongue
touched hers. For countless seconds she gave into the
kiss and ignored the warnings from her head. Sensing
Ellen beginning to pull her head from his, Kevin
quickly placed his hand in Ellen's hair and deepened
the kiss by forcing her mouth open further. Both Kevin
and Ellen moaned as their senses started spiraling out
But finally common sense did take control and Ellen
placed her hand between their lips, with her
fingertips on Kevin's lips, to break the overwhelming
kiss. "This is so wrong," Ellen whispered softly,
desperately trying to catch her breath. "What has come
Still holding her with one arm, Kevin gently clasped
her raised hand and kissed her fingers. He released
her hand and used his hand to lift her chin so she
could no longer avert his gaze. He could see the guilt
and confusion she felt, but there was no going back
now. Kevin consciously slowed his breathing, amazed
that he had almost lost control of himself. Wryly he
thought that maybe it was a good thing that Ellen
brought things to a halt by breaking the kiss. Knowing
himself and Ellen, it would be a mistake of monumental
proportions if anything more than a kiss happened
between them tonight. Looking into her eyes again he
murmured, "I know that you have no idea now what you
feel for me but I'm asking for you to give yourself
time to find out. That's all I'm asking for Ellen.
Time for us to know what this is between us."
"Dara!" Mac shouted from the kitchen to alert Dara of
the ringing telephone. Removing the cooked sausage
from the pan, Mac listened more closely and heard the
running water from the shower in the bathroom. After a
momentary hesitation he lifted the telephone receiver
and said, "Hello."
"Hi." Mac detected surprise in the feminine voice that
uttered the greeting. "May I speak to Dara? My name is
"Oh hi. Dara has spoken of you Janice and we met once
previously. This is Mac Scorpio."
"Yes, I remember. Is Dara busy right now? I can call
Mac was momentarily stunned by the lack of cordiality
in Janice's voice but shrugged it off and offered,
"One moment, I'll see if she's available." He took the
cordless handset into the bathroom just as Dara was
drying herself after the shower. Handing her the
cordless phone, he kissed her quickly and said, "Your
friend, Janice, is on the phone," and added,
"Breakfast will be ready in ten minutes."
Dara flashed him a grateful smile and waited for him
return to the kitchen before she placed the phone to
"Hi stranger," Janice gently admonished her friend.
"It's been weeks since we've heard from you."
Dara put on her terrycloth robe and stretched out on
her bed as she chatted, "I know. I've been really busy
for the past few weeks but you have discovered that
the phone is a two-way device, I see." Dara could give
as well as take when it came to teasing. Yeah, Dara
was the one that usually called but nothing was
stopping Janice from picking up the phone herself.
"O.K. I admit that I could call more often too. But I
thought that we've become a casualty of your newly
active social life." Against her better judgment
Janice could not stop herself from saying, "You know,
you and your new boyfriend even rated a blurb in our
local scandal sheet up here in Buffalo." Janice wasn't
totally truthful about the news article. Bonnie
Fitzgerald previously had been fired from a Buffalo TV
news program because of her scandalmonger style of
reporting and the news article mentioned that the
Buffalo native was up to her old tricks with her
report of the Scorpio-Jensen affair in Port Charles.
Janice was aware of Fitzgerald's less than sterling
reputation and originally she called Dara with the
intention of lifting her friend's spirits, but somehow
hearing Mac Scorpio answer Dara's telephone brought
out the witchy side of her personality.
Dara wasn't thrilled to be sparring on the telephone
with Janice but she wasn't going to be bullied into
feeling defensive about her relationship with Mac,
especially from someone who should know better such as
Janice. "I'm surprised we made the news up there. The
reporter is an ally of Mac's soon-to-be ex-wife and
the report was broadcast here more to hurt Mac and me
than to report 'news'. Is that why you called, friend?
To let me know that I made the news in Buffalo?"
"I wanted to remind you of the open invitation to
visit us here and the report made me think that maybe
you could use a few days away from Port Charles."
Janice knew how much that report hurt Dara, who
definitely liked to keep her private life private. She
thought a few days away from Port Charles and Mac
Scorpio could give Dara some much needed time to
assess the path she was currently taking.
"Mac had just asked me what I wanted to do next week,"
Dara remarked. Valentine's Day was on Friday and Mac
wanted Dara to give some suggestions on what they
should do to celebrate. "I have a major trial that
should hopefully wrap up within a day or two. Maybe
Mac and I can take a few days and come to Buffalo and
visit you and Robert. I think that it's time that we
all get together."
Having anticipated that Dara might suggest bringing
Scorpio with her, Janice had a ready reply. "Of
course, Mac is welcomed to come here with you but you
can't take a trip anymore without him?"
Giving a steely-voiced response, Dara said, "No
Janice. I choose not to take this trip without him. Is
he really going to be welcomed at your home or not
because I can just come another time by myself."
After being assured by Janice that Mac would indeed be
welcomed, Dara said that she'd get back to her with
final details once she spoke to Mac. They spoke for a
few more minutes to discuss the Janice's latest news
and agreed to talk again on Sunday night. Dara joined
Mac in the kitchen where they leisurely enjoyed the
late morning breakfast together. Mac was going to
suggest a long weekend in New York City for a
Valentine day celebration but he quickly agreed to
Dara's plan to see her friends in Buffalo, with a
slight suggestion of his own. "We'll visit your
friends on Friday and Saturday, but let's leave Sunday
and Monday morning open, O.K.?"
"What will we do on Sunday and Monday?" Dara asked
quizzically raising an eyebrow.
Mac smiled and said cryptically, "That's my surprise.
Just wait and see."
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