Mac grinned broadly, catching Dara surreptitiously
glance for the umpteenth time at her pager. They were
driving to return a textbook to Maxie, who left the
book at Mac's apartment on the previous night, before
heading out to dinner and a movie. "Dara, don't worry,
you'll be the first person they'll page when the jury
comes in with a verdict in the Moreno trial."
Laughing at being 'caught', Dara offered, "I was just
checking that the battery was still good, really!"
Slipping the pager in her coat pocket, she clasped
Mac's right hand as he continued to steer the car with
his left hand. "I've been through hundreds of trials,
but waiting for this verdict is almost unbearable,"
Dara confided. Squeezing Mac's hand gently, she
flashed him a grateful smile. She couldn't believe how
happy she was that they loved each other and were
beginning to share their lives together. "Thanks for
trying to take my mind off of the trial this weekend.
It really has helped; otherwise I'd be a total wreck
"Anytime, beautiful." Mac intertwined their fingers.
He was still somewhat amazed how a simple smile from
Dara could dazzle him so and make his heart skip a
beat. After a few moments of pleasant silence, Mac
asked in a nonchalant tone of voice, "Hey, have you
had a chance to talk to Ellen since dinner the other
Shaking her head, Dara replied, "No, I tried to call
her yesterday but she wasn't in her apartment."
Looking at the time on her wristwatch, Dara remarked,
"Matt is due to arrive back in Port Charles tonight so
they're probably together now. I'll try to make
contact with her tomorrow." Tilting her head slightly,
Dara gave Mac a quizzical look. "You know, you're not
the only partner here who's good at observing. That's
the third time this weekend you've asked me if I've
called Ellen. What's going on? I mean, is something
Kevin wasn't answering his cellphone nor had he
returned Mac's calls this weekend. Mac made definite
plans to contact Kevin on Monday, when he knew Kevin
had office hours at General Hospital. In an attempt to
gain time in answering Dara's query, Mac asked, "How
would you describe Ellen's demeanor on Friday night?"
"Inconsistent, a bit thoughtful," Dara answered after
a moment of reflection. "One moment she'd seem to be
enjoying herself immensely and seemed very
comfortable. Then the next minute she'd be somewhat
nervously quiet or on-edge. In the end I figured she
was feeling guilty about having a great time while
Matt was busy working at a technical conference," Dara
observed with a smirk.
Mac released Dara's hand and used both hands to grip
the steering wheel, and remarked, "She was probably
feeling guilty alright." Knowing that his comment
puzzled Dara, Mac explained. "While you were making
coffee that night, I walked back into the living room.
Kevin was holding Ellen's wrist and they were staring
at each other, not talking, and listening to a song on
the radio about friends becoming lovers. They didn't
see me. Shortly after that song they made their abrupt
exit from the apartment."
A horrified expression came over Dara's face as she
listened to Mac. "Oh my God. Mac, are you sure?"
Trying to offer a better interpretation of what
happened Friday night, Dara argued, "Are you sure you
didn't misinterpret what you thought you observed?
Besides, even if your observation was correct, that
doesn't mean anything happened after they left. Ellen
hasn't said anything at all to me. I don't know Kevin
well at all but you do. Has he said anything to you?"
Mac shifted uncomfortably in his car seat and
confessed, "He didn't mention Ellen by name, but last
week Kevin said to me that he cared very deeply for a
woman who was involved with someone else, but he was
going to try and have a relationship with her."
"Do you think that Kevin would try to take Ellen from
Matt?" Dara asked incredulously.
"Do you think Ellen can be taken from Matt by Kevin?"
Mac countered, not really wanting to answer Dara's
"Before Friday I would have said absolutely no. But
looking back on that evening now, everything makes
more sense. All evening I felt that there was this
undercurrent. And I remember how Ellen didn't want to
talk about the wedding or Matt. Mac, should we do
anything? I mean, Kevin is your friend and I'm Ellen's
friend. I'd hate for either one of them to be hurt but
if what we're thinking is true...." Dara couldn't
finish the sentence. From her impression of Kevin, it
didn't seem like he was the type of person who was
looking for a casual relationship with someone,
especially with someone who was already his friend.
And Ellen was not the type of woman to promptly
abandon a partner because someone new or better might
have come along. In Dara's mind, someone was in for
Mac pulled into the driveway and placed the
transmission gear in park, but left the car running so
the heat could operate. Unbuckling his shoulder belt
he finally looked at Dara to respond to her last
question. "I'm going to talk to Kevin tomorrow and
hopefully everything is o.k. I don't think that you
should bring up anything to Ellen unless she wants to
talk. But from what I've observed of her, if she did
reject Kevin's advances, I don't think she will be
talking about it to anyone." Mac reached in the
backseat of the car to retrieve Maxie's textbook and
told Dara that he'd be right back. Dara watched Mac as
he sprinted up the walkway, careful to avoid the icy
patches, and rang the doorbell. She couldn't see very
well who came to the door but after a few moments of
conversation, Mac returned to the car with the
textbook still in his hand. Mac had an unreadable
expression when he opened the car door and turned off
the engine. He sat in the driver's seat and placed his
right hand on Dara's cheek and chin to gently cup her
face. "We have to go in for a few minutes Sweetheart.
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