Chapter 33

So Sad, So Lonely

~*~…I'm way, way tired…~*~

"I didn't think you'd show." Carly stepped down from the Nurse's Station and stood inches from Morgan.

"You called," he said. "Here I am."

"Now, you're probably wondering what I want."

A sly smile crossed his lips. "No, I know what you want."

She laughed. "You're that sure, huh."

"It's been awhile."

She led him away from the listening ears of the other nurses. They found a secluded section of the waiting room and sat. "It has been a long while. What are you doing over there at the Ward House?"

"I'm with my son," he stated, shifting away from her. "You don't have to ask."

"Sometimes, I wonder," she mumbled under her breath. "How long will this take? I'm tired of waiting."

"Then, stop. I didn't ask you to."

His easy rejection hurt, but she refused to give up that easily. "You never ask for anything. You either demand or take. I'm offering, Morgan. Why can't you see that?"

"You want me to choose between you and JE," he said. "No one comes before my son."

"You hated the idea of living in that house with Keesha and all those kids. Now, you don't want to leave. What does that mean?"

"Not what you think."

She stared into his cold blue eyes. He truly believed the lies coming from his mouth. Maybe they weren't outright lies, but they weren't the truth either. He wanted more than his son. At some point, he had to realize that. "You don't know what I think." She stood. "I'd better get back to work."

He frowned. "That's it?"

"Do you have more to offer?" She sighed. "Somehow, I don't think so. It was good seeing you."

"Carly, wait."

Her feet rooted to the floor. Anticipation claimed her. She folded her arms behind her back and crossed her fingers.

"I can't do any more than what I'm doing right now. The judge will choose who's the better parent. After this is over…"

"You don't get it. This will never be over. Not between you and Keesha. Not ever." She returned to the Nurse's Station and didn't bother to look up when his footsteps headed toward the elevator.

~*~…one step from stalling…~*~

Dominik suffered through the Economics class without falling asleep. If Brad and Ben hadn't taken turns nudging him, he doubted if he would have stayed awake. Majoring in Finance had been a huge mistake. He'd only done it to please his father. What an asinine reason that was!

"I'm heading to Kelly's for a bowl of chili," he said. "You guys interested?"

Brad rubbed his stomach and shook his head. "Count me out. I'm not taking any more chances at Kelly's. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll grab something at the Coop."

As Brad headed toward the university's major hang out, Dominik turned to Ben. "What about you?"

"I can't. I'm filling in for Larry at the radio station. Bring me back something."

"What do you want?"

Ben shrugged. "Anything except the chili. I'm with Brad on that one. No more chili for me. Besides, my Mom's is way better than that."

"Fine. I'll get something for you, but don't get mad about when." Dominik glanced at his watch. He had a Music Theory class in ninety minutes and refused to miss it. "I'll do the best I can."

"That's all I ever ask." Ben slapped Dominik's back before jogging toward PCU's Communications department.

Dominik walked the short distance to the diner. The afternoon crowd had dwindled down to just a few. He placed an order with Bobbie and chose an outside table. While he waited for his lunch to arrive, he pulled out the score he'd been working on for a friend in the Film department.

The music played inside his head as loudly as if he were at a piano. He longed to share his creation with his mother, but doubts about her response held him back. She'd be delighted with his accomplishment. He knew that with full certainty. Then, she'd voice her concerns. Mainly how the great Nikolas Cassadine would react to his son pursuing a musical ambitions instead of preparing himself to head the Cassadine fortune.

Just as the thought came to mind, the beautiful music came to a halt. "Great," he muttered.

"Good afternoon to you, too."

The soft, feminine voice surprised him. He quickly folded the music inside his backpack and gave his unexpected guest a faint smile. "Hi. I didn't see you there."

"I didn't think so. You seemed miles away."

"I wasn't too far." He stood and pointed to the vacant chair across from him. "If you're alone, would you like to join me?"

Robin's eyebrows lifted. She nodded. "I'd like that very much."

He pulled out a chair for her before returning to his seat. Suddenly, he felt out of breath. A coughing fit followed. Robin handed him a glass of water as she patted his back.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," he said, after gulping the water.

"Maybe it's the company."

He shook his head. "Of course not. I swallowed wrong or something like that. Please, stay and have lunch with me."

"Because you're insisting." She gently placed the back of her hand against his forehead. "You don't feel warm. Have you ever had any respiratory problems?"

"As in asthma? No, really, I'm fine."

Bobbie arrived with his lunch of chicken noodle soup, cheese toast and tea. Ben's lunch was packed in a to-go box. He told her to add Robin's meal to his ticket.

"That's not necessary," she argued. "I can pay."

"You're my guest and I insist."

Bobbie smiled and squeezed his shoulder. "He's stubborn. Very much like his father."

Dominik grimaced but didn't disagree. Robin placed her order and Bobbie left.

"I'm surprised she works here. After retiring, I'd think she'd return to Florida."

"She likes it here," he said. "Her family's here. We don't want her to leave."

Robin tilted her head to the side as if considering his words. "You think of her as family. She's not related to you."

"No, there's no blood tie, but she's always been there for my father. He's always treated her like family so she is. I never think about the relation part of it. I'm sure if her brother was alive things would be different."

"I knew Luke. He was quite a character."

He frowned. "That's an understatement."

"What do you know about him?" she asked. "He disappeared around the time you were born and died soon after that."

"I know that if he had his way I'd either be dead or away from my family. He did horrible things to my mother--"

"Who told you this?" she interrupted. "Did Dawn supply you with these stories?"

"No, my Mother rarely speaks about what happened before I was born except to say she and my father were young and very much in love." Dominik stirred his soup, watching the steam billow into nothingness. "Uncle told me years ago."

"Lucky."

"He answers to Lorenzo now. He says Lucky sounds too much like Luke."

Robin gestured toward his lunch. "Go ahead and eat your soup. It doesn't bother me to watch you eat." After he bit into his toast, she continued, " I've missed so much since I've been away. It's kind of you to fill in the blanks."

"It's been pleasure," he answered honestly.

"I hope that we can do this again sometime. Real soon."

He nodded and returned her tender smile. "So do I."

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