Family Ties Ch 16

Dreams and Memories

He didn't allow himself to relive the past very often. What's done is done and
cant be changed. Sometimes Sonny's dreams dictated otherwise. His sleep was
restless and filled with dark memories. He was falling down a long dark
tunnel to his past...then he was back in Brooklyn.

Tough guy, hm? A throaty voice that was amused at him. He'd never forget the
sound of her voice.

As tough as I need to be, he'd answered carefully. Maybe because he didn't
act like a macho jerk, or look down on her because she was a woman any who
made that mistake, was a fool --This was how a young Michael Corinthos met
Gina Togoni. Maybe she wasn't the most classiest woman around, but shed had a
heart as big as Manhattan. And he had been forced to watch her die.

Two months after he'd been forced from his home, Sonny had fallen in with a
gang of tough street-wise runners, who did everything they could to
ingratiate themselves with the real men of power in the neighborhood; the men
of the organization. Their influence stretched into every area of life in the
neighborhood. They ran the number-runners, moved various merchandise, both
legal and otherwise. They had no fear of the police; they owned the cops.

Among the young bulls, as the older men referred to them, he had quickly
risen to a position of natural leadership. He proved quickly and ruthlessly,
that he would do anything to survive. To do more than survive, to thrive. The
loss of control Sonny had felt those first nights, alone in the dark streets
had made him swear to himself that he would never succumb to such terror
again. It made him fearless. His hatred for the man behind the uniform that
had made this happen in his life, became his reason for living. He would
never trust the police or the law again.

In her own, rough, balls as brassy as her bright blonde hair way, Gina looked
after him, fussed over him, and most importantly, introduced him to the men
that mattered. Emil Marchese, the man whose mistress she was, had only
laughed indulgently when hed gotten wind of what he called her newest

Marchese was one of Joe Scullys capos, and his house was the usual meeting
place for the bosses; Gina was known for her love of cooking. No cans or
pre-packaged, prepared ingredients for her. She grew her own herbs, her own
tomatoes in her own gardens and made her own sauces, breads, and pasta.
Under the guise of teaching him how to cook, she made sure he was fed, and
gave him his first lessons in how to appreciate fine wines. Sonny found he
had a knack for it and flourished under her tutelage. When the bosses came
for dinner and talk, she prevailed on Marchese to let him stay and serve.

You keep that trap of yours shut, and them ears open. She ordered Michael.
Her fondness for him extended beyond the kitchen. He was bold and smart and
she knew it. She nurtured and encouraged it. You just might learn something.
And it dont hurt none for you to be seen by the right guys, capisce?

A young and impressionable Michael did capisce. So he helped her in the
kitchen, then served the food and poured the wines quietly, absorbing all the
knowledge of how the inner circles of illegal power worked.

Sonny watched the men with the real power. And they watched him. It amused
them to recruit the most promising youths in the neighborhood from time to
time and Michael Corinthos was definitely one of them. The step-son of a
cop. That amused them even more.

There was only one draw-back. Marchese ran drugs. At first, Michael only saw
the glamorous lifestyle it provided. . The power and the quick, almost easy
money. There were lavish parties, and the largesse Marchese was quick to
share. Both he and Gina indulged in what she called just a little nose candy.
Every now and then. But for her, now and then quickly escalated into every
day. Hed watch her disappear into bathrooms at home and when they were out.
At first he didnt care, but then he found himself hating it.

Back in his bed, Sonny tossed restlessly. No, nonodont Sonny murmured
aloud. His head tossed briefly from side to side he didnt want to remember
any more he didnt want to see.

He tried talking to her about easing up on her drug use, but she laughed at

Then the day came when it became too much. He walked into the kitchen, arms
full of groceriesthey were going to make his mind he saw his mush
younger self as the groceries spilled out of his arms, food scattering across
the floor as he saw Gina on the floor, Emil kneeling over her, pounding on
her chest ... breathe, babydammit, breathe!

What happened, was it a hit? Where is she bleeding? His eyes traveled
frantically over her body, looking for her wounds.

Nah, she got a hold of some bad stuff. Marchese went back to clumsily trying
to administer CPR. Come babe, Gina, open your god-damned eyes!

We gotta call 911! Sonny rushed to Ginas side. Even as he knelt beside her,
her eyes rolled up into her head. He grabbed hold of herher skin was cold and
clammy. He raised shocked eyes to the crime boss.

Marchese fixed him with a cold glare. We dont gotta call nobody! Ya

His cold words froze Sonny on the spot, watching in horror as her body
continued to twist and convulse, her beautiful face wrenched into a grimace.

In his bed, Sonnys hands twisted the sheets into tight fists; his heart
pounding wildly. The only sound in the room was his labored breathing.

Gina died right there before their eyes on the cold kitchen tiles. A
wrenchingly painful death as the cocaine she thought of as nothing more than
a little candy stopped her heart in a series of violent convulsions. Marchese
called the young bulls together, with orders to get rid of the body. Marchese
couldnt afford to let her body be found full of drugs. She was a direct line
back to him. In the end, that was all that mattered. Which was how Gina ended
up buried in a lonely, nameless grave.

Marchese supervised them, his face unmoved. It had been a test of sorts, and
hed passed. Hed had no choice. Otherwise, he might have very well ended up
down in the cold darkness of the grave with her. He told himself that it was
a sort of solace that someone who cared about her had been with her at the
end. A sorry kind of solace, but all that he could offer at the time.

Sonny never forgot how the first shovel full of dirt spilled across her
facethe feel of it death-cold and clammy as it trickled across her face and
into her mouth and nostrils.


Sonny jerked awake with a muffled shout. He found himself sitting up in the
bed without knowing how he got there, his heart racing, his breathing quick
and shallow. his body coming up to a sitting position without him realizing
it. His entire body was in a cold sweat.

A tapping came from the door. It didnt go away. Mr. Corinthos? a muffled
voice queried.

Im fine. Sonny called out. He held out a hand before him and watched his
fingertips tremble. Slowly, he clenched his fist, drawing on his will to
still his still thundering heart and conquer the shivers the nightmare left
in his flesh. He spread his fingers once more and stared at them until the
quivering stilled and he was in control again. Only then did he allow
himself to lay back in the bed, the sweat chilling his body as it dried.

In the end, he was offered a position in upstate New York, to get him out of
the city. Scully, as always, looked out for him and Sonny was rewarded with
the ownership of the Paradise Lounge in Port Charles, and the protection of
one Frank Smith. But he never forgot her. There was only one more episode
involving him and drugs; that came shortly after his arrival in Port
Charles. Hed thought then that he could control it, but once again, it was
the narcotics that controlled the situation. It was then hed sworn on Ginas
unmarked grave to never touch drugs in any way shape or form again.

Ill keep my promise, Gina. Forever.