Chapter 3


"I liked it," Mac commented. "I was skeptical when you brought the DVD in this evening but it was a good musical." For the past 2 hours, Mac and Dara were half-sitting, half lying on the couch together watching the movie Moulin Rouge on Dara's new flat-screen television. Dara was curled snugly against Mac with her back resting comfortably against his chest.

"I know. It definitely was something different," agreed Dara. "It was impressive how the movie used contemporary songs. And Ewan McGregor has a fantastic singing voice."

Nussling her neck while one hand softly caressed Dara's toned stomach under a knit top, Mac smiled as he heard Dara's low moans of pleasure. Continuing to kiss her neck he teased, "Oh, so his singing is what held your rapt attention whenever he came on screen?"

No doubt about it. Mac knew what to do to every sensitive point on Dara's body to banish thoughts of anyone other than him from her mind, and he was anxious to remind her of this as he tightened his grasp on her. Dara turned around so she was completely facing Mac and lying on top.

With a mischievous smirk, Dara defended her comment. "His singing was much better than I had anticipated. And so was Nicole Kidman's singing." Dara lowered her head, deftly parting Mac's lips with her tongue as she delivered a simmering, passionate kiss, effectively changing the subject.

With his eyes still closed as Dara pulled back from the kiss, Mac stroked the curve in Dara's lower back with his fingertips and murmured, "Speaking of singing, how did your rehearsal go tonight?"

Sighing wistfully, Dara rested her head on Mac's shoulder. "It went fine. Are you going to be able to make the benefit concert tomorrow night?"

"Yes, Taggert & I won't leave for Albany until the next day." Mention of the upcoming trip immediately caused Dara's body stiffen, prompting Mac to crook his neck and glance at Dara.

Danger comes with the job so get over it. At least that's what Dara tried to tell herself. But it wasn't the potential danger inherent with Mac's police commissioner job that filled her heart with dread. Work wasn't taking Mac to Albany to track every move of Anthony Moreno while he was out of prison. This was personal, and somehow this knowledge made Dara involuntarily shiver with worry. "Mac, you know I love you and how you want to protect me, but you don't have to go to Albany to keep an eye on Moreno."

There was no mistaking the fearful undertone in Dara's voice. Mac wanted to allay Dara's concern but he couldn't and wouldn't lie to her. Loving cupping her face with his hands and lifting it slightly, Mac gazed directly into Dara's large soulful almond-shaped eyes. "Dara, he threatened you. At the jail and in the courtroom - both times in front of me." Just remembering Moreno's threats made Mac's blood start to boil. "Even if I weren't the police commissioner I would be going to Albany. You know I have to go, don't you?"

Nodding, Dara replied, "I know Mac. It's one of the many reasons I love you."


"Victor, is that the taxi?" Kevin snapped the Hartmann suitcase shut and was in the process of retrieving his shaving kit from the master bathroom when he heard the front doorbell ring. Thinking he had at least 10 more minutes before the taxi arrived to take Ellen and him to the airport, Kevin glanced at his watch and sure enough, the taxi wasn't due for another 15 minutes. Surmising it was Mary Scanlon or someone visiting his father, Kevin quickly continued with his last minute packing.

As he collected the travel size toiletries for his shaving kit, Kevin caught sight of his reflection in the dressing table mirror and realized the thoughts of leaving for Italy in a few hours with Ellen had placed a very noticeable smile on his face. "Yes, I am happy," mused Kevin. Extremely happy."

The last three months of developing a romantic relationship with Ellen had finally brought them to the point where the promise of a wonderful future together could overshadow their rocky start. Kevin had no doubt that Ellen's reticence in giving into her feelings for him was in large part due to her guilt over hurting Matt and Lucy.

Countless times when she was with him, Kevin would observe Ellen in unguarded moments of uninhibited joyfulness or unexpected sensuousness, and then he could see her consciously reign-in her feelings, as if something wasn't right for them to take pleasure in each other's company.

"Well, that's about to change sweetheart," Kevin silently vowed, impishly grinning as he anticipated spending days and nights with Ellen in Italy.

Only thoughts of this special time with Ellen away from Port Charles helped him to maintain some type of control when they were together. He was confident that once he and Ellen returned from this trip, such moments of doubts and hesitations about their relationship would be a thing of the past.

Still grinning at himself for feeling like a hormonal male teen for the past few months, Kevin clasped his suitcase and turned to grab his Burberry trenchcoat. He audibly gasped and abruptly stood still when he saw Lucy standing, silently watching him, from his bedroom doorway.

"Lucy!" Knowing Victor must have let Lucy in, Kevin asked the next obvious question, "What are you doing here?"

Initially upon seeing Kevin, Lucy had planned to remind Kevin of the special love they shared but as she parted her lips to make him aware of her presence, she had been stuck dumb by the realization it was not thoughts of their love on Kevin's mind as he completed his packing.

Seeing the look of longing and intensity in his mirrored facial expression felt like someone had punched her in the stomach...again. Only the shock of finding the love of her life in the arms of her best friend Valentine night at Luke's rivaled the pain she felt now. Knowing now catching Kevin as he packed for a romantic rendezvous with Ellen was not the best time to approach him, Lucy decided to brazen it out with a fleeting hope Kevin would come to his senses.

"Hi Doc." Lucy entered the room, approaching Kevin. She reached out and gently touched his arm, murmuring, " I was hoping to talk to you." Her touch was hesitant but she managed a smile when her hand made contact with Kevin's skin.

Kevin had been quick enough to catch sight of Lucy's initial painful gaze. It was obvious she had observed him daydreaming of Ellen. His heart did break for her, as he accepted the fact he was responsible for her pain. But he also knew there was nothing he could say to her to make her feel better.

Looking into her teary eyes, Kevin with a voice full of regret shook his head and said, "I'm sorry Lucy, but we can't talk now. You see that I'm on my way to the airport." Tossing his trenchcoat under the arm that held the suitcase, Kevin took Lucy by the arm and escorted her downstairs.

"Have you missed me at all in these past few months Kevin?" Almost every night Lucy's body literally ached when lying in bed and her mind contemplated how she and Kevin would get back to each other. It was impossible to believe with all they'd been through and how strong her feelings were still for him, that he couldn't feel the same way too.

Accepting Victor's offer to take his luggage outside and wait for the taxi, Kevin seated himself on the living room sofa and motioned for Lucy to join him. He held her hands in his, and gently reminded her, "Lucy, we haven't been together for more than 2 years, since before my marriage to Eve."

"And I told you that marriage was a mistake," Lucy immediately reminded him. "I was right about that then and I'm right about us now. Kevin, I've been patient and waited for you to end your infatuation with Ellen. You know you two can't begin to experience anything close to what we had, what we can have again." Raising her hand to caress Kevin face, Lucy was startled when Kevin flinched and quickly moved out of her reach. "Kevin!"

Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, Kevin took a deep breath and swallowed hard as he tried to explain his feelings. "I was wrong this winter when I wasn't completely candid with you why we couldn't be together again and I'm truly sorry for that. But Lucy, in your heart you must know that the problems between us have nothing to do with Eve or Ellen or Scott or anyone else. We'll always have a special relationship but it won't be the type we've had in the past. It's over Lucy, and it will cause you more pain in the long run if I can't make you understand it now."

Muffling a strangled sob, Lucy stood and cried incredulously, "How can you rip my heart to shreds like this and say you're doing it because it's best for me in the long run? Eve, Ellen, nor anyone else can come close to sharing the magic we have together. It's unbelievable you can't see it now. But one day, you will." Not waiting to hear a reply from Kevin, Lucy rushed out of the lighthouse before the tears started falling down her face.

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