Taking advantage of the recently snow-cleared path,
Dara practically sprinted up the courthouse steps.
Working mightily to suppress a smile by biting her
bottom lip, Dara somehow didn't think the judge would
appreciate the reason for her late arrival in the
courtroom this morning. She and Mac must start setting
the alarm 30 minutes earlier or one day they'd pay the
price for their morning wake-up routines. But the
payment would not be required today because Dara
entered the courtroom at 09:01 a.m., just as his honor
Judge Marshall sat down at the bench. The jury was
ready to give the verdict in Moreno's trial. Dara held
her breath as the jury foreman read the verdicts -
guilty on three counts of racketeering, one count of
murder in the first degree, and one count of
conspiracy. Judge Marshall ordered "quiet" as the
courtroom became abuzz with conversations and
commotion. He set a sentencing hearing for 2 weeks
from today and the bailiff escorted the handcuff
Anthony Moreno from the courtroom.
Taggert immediately paged Mac, who was unable to be in
the courtroom this morning, with the news of the
verdict. Officer Donna Richards was sitting next to
Taggert in the courtroom, and both of them proceeded
to the prosecutor's table to congratulate Dara on the
"Now, can I congratulate you?" teased Taggert as he
gave Dara a hug. He grinned remembering she didn't
want to jinx the trial by celebrating too soon.
"Yes, you may." Dara was supremely happy that the
trial had ended successfully. Winning this verdict
would certainly be one of the highlights of her
professional career. Looking at Marcus and Donna, she
remarked, "We did it together, the DA's office and
PCPD finest officers."
"How about going out and celebrating tonight?" Taggert
suggested. Dara regretfully gave an apology and
declined the invitation for dinner, but she agreed to
get together briefly for a drink after work today. She
knew that Mac would spend most of the evening with
Maxie and Georgie and she had decided before hearing
the verdict that she'd spend the evening quietly alone
at home. Taggert couldn't completely hide the
disappointment from his face when she declined the
dinner offer, and both Donna and Dara noticed it.
For the last month Donna had been an observer of
Taggert 's interactions with Dara and Mac. This
morning she quickly decided to move from the observer
role to an active participant in the attractive
detective's life. Displaying an uncharacteristic
boldness she turned to Taggert and offered, "Hey, I'm
available to go out tonight to celebrate. Why don't we
make reservations for dinner at La Margerita's
The pretty redhead's dinner invitation momentarily
stunned Taggert. He had had no idea that Donna might
be interested in seeing him outside of work, but he
swiftly recovered and accepted the dinner date. The
three of them agreed to meet at 6 p.m. at a nearby bar
for a congratulatory drink.
Mac had just ended a telephone call when Robin arrived
at his office for a visit. To Mac, she seemed friendly
and open and he was hopeful that he'd be able to
explain the recent changes in his life to his niece.
After offering Robin a seat and asking her if she'd
like anything to drink, he inquired, "How are you
doing at the house with Felicia and the girls?"
"I'm very glad to be home and to be able to spend time
with them," Robin replied. Not seeing an easy way to
tackle a difficult subject, Robin spoke bluntly but
not harshly. "They're really hurting Uncle Mac. Do you
really think that it is best for everyone that you're
not living in the house with them?"
Sighing, Mac noted, "Robin, Felicia and I are getting
divorced. Moving back into the house would just
confuse the girls and give them hope in a hopeless
"Uncle Mac, you have never really explained it to me.
Why are you divorcing Felicia? She told me about her
fling with Luke Spencer and I wouldn't for a moment
presume to defend her actions. But she does love you
Uncle Mac. I always thought she did; remember when I
mentioned that to you once? Can't you find it in your
heart to forgive her and get past this bad moment in
Mac felt his jaw clench as he silently swore at
Felicia. It was obvious that she had spent quite a bit
of time already telling Robin her side of the story.
"Robin, I'm not sure what Felicia has told you but her
relationship with Luke Spencer was quite a bit more
than a fling. She repeatedly went off on numerous
adventures with him, leaving the girls at home with me
and putting herself in considerable danger. Several
times I asked her not to see Luke again and each time
she rebuked my request. I'm not going to go into a lot
of the details of her affair with Luke but the breakup
of our marriage was not just about Luke. Time and time
again Felicia lied to me, put her own needs or Luke's
needs before mine or the girls, and basically never
acknowledged that she did anything wrong until she was
forced to testify in court about the relationship. The
bottom line is that Felicia doesn't now nor has ever
loved me as much as I loved her. I understand that now
and accept it. No amount of time in the house with
Felicia will fix that and I'm ready to move on with my
Robin threw caution to the wind and asked, "I can't
think of a better way to ask this, but wouldn't you
give Felicia another chance if you weren't involved
with Dara Jensen?"
Anger momentarily flickered in Mac's green eyes but he
kept his voice calm, responding, "Robin, I love you
more than I can say, but I'm not going to defend my
relationship with Dara to you or anyone else. You're
much younger than I am, and for years now you never
wanted me to question your relationships with Stone
Cates or Jason Morgan. Eventually with Stone and
always with Jason I respected your wishes in this
matter, and I expect no less from you now."
Robin winced when she heard Mac's response. Many times
in the past she had chastised Mac for his comments on
her relationship with Sonny, Stone, and Jason, so it
was like a splash of cold water in her face to have
her words turned back at her. Immediately contrite,
she tried to apologize. "I didn't mean to be offensive
Uncle Mac. I wasn't asking you to defend your
relationship with Dara."
Leaning forward and frowning, Mac disagreed. "Yes, you
were. And you are asking me to defend my decision to
divorce Felicia. Because you're my niece I told you my
reasons. You don't have to agree with them but I'm
asking you to accept them. I always intend to be an
important part of Maxie and Georgie's lives. And maybe
eventually Felicia and I will be able to move towards
friendship. But I won't be a convenience for her
anymore and I won't be her husband for much longer."
Feeling there was nothing else to say on this matter,
Mac tried to relax again. He stood and suggested, "Why
don't we get out of the office and go for a walk and
you can tell me more about Paris and your friends and
Unfortunately, after their discussion Robin didn't
feel in the mood for an uncle/niece bonding
experience. She needed some time to mull over what Mac
had said to her. "Can I take a rain-check? Maybe we
can talk some more tomorrow or Wednesday before you
Mac was disappointed that Robin obviously wanted to
leave now but he didn't try to change her mind.
Instead, he put on his coat and escorted Robin from
the station. He then decided to head to General
Hospital to catch up with Kevin.
Ellen was busy discussing a chart of a patient
recently transferred from the emergency room with
Grace Sullivan when she heard the exclamation, "There
you are! I've been looking all over for you! Where
have you been?"
"Working," was Ellen's flippant reply to Lucy's
interruption. "Hold on for a minute." After giving
Grace a few more instructions, Ellen remained at the
nurse's station but gave her complete attention to Ms.
Lucy Coe, who was obviously very excited about
"Oh, oh," Ellen said with a wary look in her eyes.
"Every time I see you like this it means only one
thing - trouble. Maybe I should make my escape now."
"Not a chance," countered the flamboyant Lucy Coe.
"You still owe me big time for saving your life in the
woods last summer and this is a way for you to make
significant progress on paying that debt."
With great reservations Ellen asked Lucy for details
and she was in total shock when she heard that Lucy
had arranged for Matt, Kevin, Lucy, and herself to
spend Valentine evening together at Luke's. Apparently
Lucy had been unsuccessful lately in getting Kevin to
agree to spend some quality, romantic time alone with
her, so Lucy came up with a brainstorm. Maybe Kevin
and Lucy could double-date with Matt and Ellen on
Valentine's Day. In Lucy's opinion, the happy engaged
couple were the perfect people to help Lucy put
Kevin's mind on the romance track on Valentine's Day.
Ellen tried to beg off by saying that she probably had
to work that evening but Lucy had already arranged
with her ex-husband, Alan Quartermaine, GH's chief of
staff, to make sure that both Matt and Ellen would
have Valentine evening off. As Ellen continued to
argue against meeting that evening, Lucy's mood
changed from exuberance to exasperation.
"Ellen, what is the problem?" Lucy pouted. "Both Matt
and Kevin have already agreed; why are you resisting?"
"What do you mean Matt and Kevin have already agreed?"
Ellen couldn't believe that Kevin had agreed to Lucy's
"Well, I just saw Matt on the 6th floor when I was
looking for you and he agreed immediately. And earlier
today, after a few moments of resistance Kevin agreed
also. You are the last person that I would have
expected some problems from. You're going to do this
for me, right?"
Not being able to come up with a plausible reason for
not accepting Lucy's proposal, Ellen finally agreed.
Hugging Ellen and kissing her on both cheeks, Lucy
soon departed. Tapping her pen on the counter of the
nurse's station and deep in thought for a minute,
Ellen forgot about continuing her work with Grace and
she headed to Kevin Collin's office. Grace had been a
silent observer of the Lucy-Ellen discussion and she
watched Ellen as she headed down the hallway.
"What? Did Burgess just do something to tick you off?"
Chris Ramsey had just arrived and he saw the intense
look that Grace had on her face as she watched Ellen.
Ignoring his question, Grace turned to face him and
asked, "Chris, do you have plans for Valentine Day
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