Chapter 39

Knowing conversation from the living room could easily be heard upstairs, Felicia quickly pulled Luke into the kitchen where they could be together unheard and unobserved.

Throwing her arms around him, Felicia pulled Luke into a kiss and whispered, "Oh Luke, you don't know how much I have missed you."

After responding to her kiss for a few seconds, Luke broke the kiss and replied, "I've missed you too Darlin'." Disengaging himself from her embrace, Luke clasped both of Felicia's hands in his and led her to two stools next to a counter. "Let's sit down and talk for a few minutes."

"Are you back in Port Charles for good?" Felicia asked in a hopeful voice.

With a twinkle in his eyes Luke playfully chided Felicia and said, "You should know better than to use the phrase 'for good' and my name in the same sentence." Luke's smile faded when he remembered the purpose of his visit. Bobbie had been on his case for a week to see Felicia and 'clean up the mess you helped to make'. In Luke's opinion it was best for him to steer clear of Felicia for a while and that she was quite capable of taking care of herself. To which Bobbie argued any woman infatuated with her brother was a sure sign of temporary mental illness and for better or worse, probably only Luke could get through to Felicia during this period of her life. Personally, Luke couldn't see why Felicia wanted to stay with Mac Scorpio, who was much too tame in his mid-life for a woman like Felicia. Maybe she was going after Mac because she really felt that life with him would be best for the girls. Or maybe she didn't like being dumped by Mac so that he could take up residence with the equally dull but fine-looking A.D.A. But whatever her reasons, even Luke had to agree with Bobbie that Felicia's obsessive and sometimes vengeful pursuit of Mac would only end up hurting herself and the girls even more, so it was time for Luke to step in and talk to Felicia. Luke started warily, "Bobbie had to run to the hospital and asked me to stay with Maxie and Georgie until you got back." Knowing the answer in advance, he queried, "What would take you out on an awful day like today?"

Her voice dripping with disgust and shaking in anger, Felicia told Luke of her unsuccessful plan to sabotage Mac and Dara's getaway and of how her appearance didn't seem to faze the cheating couple in the least. But Felicia was hopeful that an upcoming news expose of the married police commissioner and trampy A.D.A.'s tryst in the woods would have Mac running back home.

Looking Felicia squarely in the eyes Luke bluntly said, "Felicia, think! Why in the world would Mac come back to you after you blared details of his love life on the nightly news? And more importantly, why would you want him to come back? Do you love him that desperately?"

"Well, maybe Mac wouldn't want to come back but maybe Dara Jensen will break up with him if the public outcry is great enough," Felicia weakly reasoned.

"Believe me Felicia," Luke commented dismissively, "from what I know of Dara Jensen, you're waiting your time and effort. She's not going to break up with Mac because of anything you will do. Once again I'm asking, do you love him that much?"

Fighting back tears in her eyes Felicia cried bitterly, "I love you Luke but I can't have you! And I don't want to be alone. And the girls need Mac."

"Felicia you are a beautiful spirited independent woman. You just aren't the woman destined to be with me. But both of us know Mac isn't the man for you or we would have never gotten together in the first place. Cut your losses Sweetheart and move on. You know you'll never be alone, not a beautiful woman such as yourself. And for all his faults, Bubba will probably always be there for the girls, no matter what. Your friends, all of them - Bobbie, Tony, and even me - will be here to help you. But it is time to make a clean break with Scorpio before one of you end up doing something you both will regret." Luke sincerely hoped Felicia would listen to him. This stalker role certainly didn't suit her and even though he wasn't in love with her, he did care for Felicia.

Wiping her eyes, Felicia sniffled and locked gaze with Luke again. "You'll be here to help me?"

Sighing deeply, Luke responded cautiously, "I'm your friend Felicia. One of your many friends in Port Charles and yes, I will help you."


Upon arriving in Port Charles, Mac dropped Dara by her apartment and promised to return in a few hours. He then proceeded to the police station where Marcus Taggert briefed him on the weekend events. Apparently the local criminals had decided to make love not war over the Valentine's Day weekend. No urgent work matters required Mac's immediate attention so his stay at the station was less than an hour. Wondering how Kevin held up over the weekend, Mac made an impromptu stop at the lighthouse.

Mac sharply inhaled his breath as an obviously bruised and battered Kevin greeted him. "Kevin, what happened to you?" His friend's left cheek was swollen with a painful-looking bruise.

Kevin gestured for Mac to enter, replying, "I guess you can say I had a run-in with Matt Harmon's fist. Come on in Mac. I'm glad that you and Dara are back."

Grabbing two beers from the refrigerator in the kitchen, Mac returned to the living room and handed one to Kevin, who was sitting in the lounge chair. Settling himself on the couch, Mac took a sip of the Amstel light beer and shot Kevin a quizzical glance. "Are you going to tell me what happened or do you want to hear about the great weekend Dara and I had?"

Kevin winced and shifted uncomfortably in his chair as he remembered the turbulent events of the past 3 days. "From my answer to your first question it shouldn't take a genius to figure out what happened," was the uncharacteristically harsh response from Kevin. Immediately contrite, he looked apologetically at Mac and said, "Sorry. I haven't seen Ellen since Friday night and my nerves are frayed right now." During the next 15 minutes Kevin told Mac of the Valentine Day's dinner, Lucy's discovery of his feelings for Ellen, the breakup of Matt & Ellen's engagement, and of Matt's visit to Kevin's office.

After Kevin's recitation of the weekend's events, Mac released a long low whistle. It wasn't necessary for Mac to remind Kevin "I told you so." It was a certainty once Kevin told Ellen of his feelings a lot of emotional upheaval would follow. But it was difficult watching his friend who was obviously in despair. "What is worrying you Kevin? Is it only because you haven't heard from Ellen?"

Raking his dark brown hair with his fingers, Kevin struggled to explain his anxiety. "It isn't just that. I know now that Ellen isn't going to marry Matt and is willing to give us a chance. I knew and you as good as warned me of the repercussions of my pursuit of Ellen. She did too. And I ignored the warnings; I wanted her in my life not only as a friend but also as the woman I loved and who would love me. But after seeing Lucy's reaction on Friday night and especially seeing Matt today," Kevin's voice trailed off and he swallowed hard, "If I were truly remorseful I'd say I shouldn't have done it. I can't say that. But I hate the pain that is a direct result of my actions. If I feel like this I can only imagine how Ellen feels right now."

Ready to change the subject from his personal problems, Kevin asked Mac about his weekend getaway with Dara. Keenly watching his best friend, Kevin suppressed a smile as he watched Mac blush a few times while he remembered his adventures with Dara but obviously glossed over relaying some of the details to Kevin. Neither Mac nor Kevin were the type of men who would share details of intimate encounters but it was plain to see that Mac and Dara made the most of the Valentine weekend together. And Kevin was truly happy for them. After Mac's hellish year in 2001 with Felicia, no one deserved more happiness than his friend. Kevin shook his head in disbelief upon hearing of Felicia and Robin's surprise visit, especially since he hadn't known Robin was in town. He remarked, "It's a pity that Felicia is roping Robin's into her antics. Maybe I should give Robin a call tomorrow and see how she's doing."

Standing up and preparing to leave, Mac replied, "Only if you have time." Raising his eyebrows slightly he observed, "You have enough on your hands at the moment. I plan to spend some more time with Robin before she leaves and I can tell her hello for you." As they walked towards the front door Mac caught sight of a car approaching the lighthouse and said, "It looks like I'm leaving at the appropriate moment."

Kevin looked through the window and saw Ellen alighting from her car. Opening the door, he greeted her quietly by saying hello and ushered her into the room. After exchanging greetings, Mac made a speedy exit, offering to see himself out and whispered "Good luck" to Kevin as he left.

Ellen raised her hand and gingerly touched Kevin's swollen cheek. Word had spread like wildfire at General Hospital of the fight between Kevin and Matt. Apparently Grace, who was as usual hovering in Matt's vicinity, saw him leave Kevin's office and noticed his slightly injured hand. After insisting on treating his hand, Grace heard the whole story from Matt and promptly forwarded the information to Amy Vining. Gently examining the bruise, Ellen could see that no bone was broken and surmised it would heal within a week or two. Relishing the feel of her soft hand on his face and immensely relieved Ellen was standing here so close to him, Kevin turned his face slightly and kissed the palm of her hand. Moving his kisses to her wrist, Kevin whispered huskily, "I have missed you so much."

Ellen's breath caught in her throat and through half-closed eyes she gazed at Kevin. Surely his lips could feel her pulse beat uncontrollably. Reminding herself she needed to keep a grip on her emotions - at least for now - and first things first, she lead Kevin to the couch and instructed him to sit still.

Disappearing into the bathroom, Ellen returned a few moments later with a white facecloth and a small dish of warm water mixed with Epson salts. Dipping the facecloth in the water, she pressed it gently on the bruise. Responding to Kevin's smile she admitted, "I've missed you too, very much." After continuing to press the cloth against his face for a few more minutes Ellen asked, "Does it feel better?"

"Much better," replied Kevin, giving Ellen a look letting her know he wasn't only referring to the wound on his face. Smiling and blushing slightly, Ellen moved the dish and washcloth to the coffee table and sat back on the couch with Kevin.

"So," Kevin asked, "should we use today's date in the future as our anniversary date?" Ellen regarded Kevin with a look mixed with shock and amusement as Kevin pulled her closer to him and continued, "I mean, is this the day we became a couple?"

After several seconds of reflection, Ellen observed, "I think Friday night is when I knew and finally admitted to myself that we were destined to be more than 'just friends' but because the last few days have been so painful, yes, in the future we should remember today as the day we became a couple. But..." Ellen paused in her speech and bit her bottom lip. Hearing the concern and hesitation in her voice, Kevin cupped her chin so that they could gaze directly in each other's eyes.

"Yes?" He encouraged her to continue speaking.

"We've hurt and disappointed people Kevin, and we need to deal with the fallout of what we've done. We are best friends and it isn't as if we need to get to know each other, but can we take things a little slowly, and just give ourselves a little time to adjust to this new relationship between us?"

In a way, Kevin knew exactly and understood what Ellen was saying and he agreed. Things needed to settle down a bit before they could focus on building their relationship and to make sure the foundation of their bond was strong. It wasn't Ellen's fault that lately he seemed to have the hormones of a 17 year-old boy whenever she was physically close to him, as she was now. Ellen was shocked to feel her body actually quiver as Kevin looked at her with passion-filled eyes but her breathing evened as she witnessed him reigning in his emotions. She knew it wouldn't be long before they were truly a couple in every sense of the word, but she wanted only to be able to think of themselves - Kevin and Ellen - when that moment comes and more time was needed to get to that point. Seeing Kevin nod his head in agreement, Ellen smiled and whispered, "thank you" pulling his face to hers for a long passionate kiss. They spent the rest of the evening sitting and talking, kissing and holding each other, hopeful of what the future had in store for them.

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