Family Ties Ch 19

From the airport, Sonny decided to head straight home instead of to the
coffee warehouse like hed originally planned; he called Jason on the ride
home and informed him of the change in plans. As he stepped out of the
elevator, Johnny greeted him. Opening the door, the bodyguard informed him
that his wife hadnt returned from Bobbies yet. Sonny walked into the empty
apartment. A few minutes later, Johnny announced Jasons arrival.

How did it go? he asked.

Sonny raised his hand and shaped it into a gun. He pulled the imaginary
trigger. Pow he said softly, following the sound with a triumphant little
grin. The council gave me free rein to deal with Sorel as I see fit. Theyre
not going to interfere.

Thats a good thing. We dont need a war on multiple fronts. Jason replied.
Theyd been prepared for that possible eventuality, but hoping that it wouldnt
come to that. He brought Sonny up to date on the situation. Every clue that
he has managed to gather points to Sorel still being in the city. Im hoping
to take a meeting tonight. If it goes well, we may be getting close enough to
Sorel to bag him this time. Everything else is moving like clockwork.

Sonny was pleased. Good. Keep up the pressure and let me know if anything
happens as soon as possible.

Jason nodded. Im on it. He said goodbye and let himself out.

Carly was stepping off the elevator with Michaels stroller as Jason came out
the door. Is Sonny back? she asked Jason anxiously. Then he was in the
doorway himself. Carly rushed over to him and wrapped her arms around him. As
Jason left, they went inside.

She settled Michael in bed then returned to her bedroom to change out of her
street clothes into something comfortable. After a shower, while she was
sitting in the bedroom brushing out her hair, Sonny came in. He knew there
was something shed wanted to say to him, despite her happiness at seeing him.
It wasnt long in coming.

Whats going on, Sonny? Carly said as she stood to face him. Hands on hips,
she was furious. Her brown eyes snapped with anger. Did you think I wouldnt
notice the extra guards?

Sonny sighed aloud. You read the newspapers, you know that Sorel made bail
and then jumped it. Theres no telling what he might pull while hes loose.

And I also know that you are not going to stand by and let the PCPD handle
it. Why not? Why cant you do that, Sonny?

They want him bad, sure. I want him more. He came to stand before her and
took her by the shoulders. I will not let one minute of one day go by without
trying to protect you and our family. And I will do whatever it takes to make
it happen.

Carly stared into his deep sable brown eyes, knowing he meant what he said
all too well. She wanted to let it go, but she couldnt. It just wasnt in her.
Was that what this meeting was all about? she asked. She watched his eyes go
opaque before he sighed again and turned away. He would not tell her anything
about business; she knew it when shed asked the question, but his reaction
gave her the answer that she was looking for.

She sighed as she looked at his unrelenting back. I know you dont want to
talk about business with me. I want to try and respect that. But I need to
know whats going on. It affects our family, Sonny. I have a right to know if
were in danger, cant you see that?

If you know I cant talk to you about this, why are you asking me questions
you know I cant answer? he said, not turning around. The phone rang. He
answered it in monosyllabic tones. Carly heard Alexis name. She bit her lip,
fighting back a prickle of angry tears. He could involve another woman in
whats going on, but not her.

Phone call finished, when he turned around, Sonny saw her ready to do battle
again. I cant do this right now, Carly. I wont. Whats going on now is too
important, and I dont need any distractions. Youve got to let me handle my
business my way. Sonny said before she could even open her mouth. He walked
away from her and out of the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

She listened to his footsteps going down the stairs. She was just a
distraction? There he went, cutting her out of his life under the excuse of
keeping her safe. Again. Frustrated and furious, Carly flung the hairbrush at
the door.


Alexis opened her apartment door and let him in. I dont know what happened to
Zander, Sonny. I thought your men would be looking out for him. I tried to
call Jason, but Eliana told me he was already gone this morning.

Sonny came in, looking around the room, seeing the upturned furniture. Do you
need someone in here to clean this up? when she shook her head, he continued.
Zanders been known to duck his guards before, right? She had to admit to the
truth of that.

So maybe hes done it again. Have you called Emily?

God, no. I dont want to worry her if I dont have to.

Sonny nodded. Thats good. Maybe hes had the sense to take himself out of
target range. It would be the first smart thing the kid has done, but
still... he shrugged. Dont worry, Ill get my people on it and let you know as
soon as I know something.

Sonny, what if Sorel snatched him? She thought for a moment. Maybe I should
call the police.

Doubtful, counselor. Sorel doesnt dare. Its too obvious a move. And calling
the policethink it through, Alexis. Deal or no deal, as far as theyre
concerned, hes a young punk drug dealer, connected to a cop killing. Theyll
shoot first and ask questions after.

What about the ankle monitor? Once it didnt respond, the police follow up on
Zanders whereabouts anyway.

Let me have it. I can get it repaired by this afternoon. Is there a motion
you can file to get the ankle monitor sanction lifted?

Alexis racked her brain. Maybe; if I file under a motion of guardianship as
an officer of the court.

Sonny nodded in satisfaction. Draw up the legalese and Ill get it seen by a
judge amenable to the idea. That takes of the police and buys us some time.

After a little while, Sonny left. She realized that Sonny had done his best
to make her feel better, but Alexis still wasnt happy. There had to be
something she could do.

She made a decision. Pulling out her cell phone, she made a quick call. Roy,
could you meet with me today?

An hour later, Roy DiLucca knocked and entered Alexis office. Good afternoon,
Counselor. What is it I can do for you today?

Alexis stood and shook his hand, then gestured for him to take a seat before
resettling herself behind her desk. For reasons she didnt really want to get
into, not even to herself, shed asked Roy to meet her here instead of at her
apartment. So Sonny wouldnt know? Annoyed at herself for the errant thought,
she banished it and the trace of betrayal she felt at even admitting to the
possibility, away. Hello Roy. I was wondering if you would be willing to take
a job for me?

Depends, of course. Roy said, relaxing into the chair. What kind of job?

Alexis folded her hands on her desk. Pretty straightforward. I need you to
find a missing person for me, and find them fast. Zander Smith.

If Roy was surprised at her request, he didnt show it. How soon do you need

Yesterday. But soon. Hes due to testify against Joseph Sorel.

Roy whistled. In the murder trial? And hes missing. I dont know if you should
hold out much hope for him, Alexis.

Sonny seems to think that Sorel wouldnt dare hurt him. It would be too
obvious a move. Im hoping hes right.

Roy stood up and began pacing the room thoughtfully. It stands to reason that
Sonny would know how the gangster mind works, for sure.

Actually, I was counting on your inside knowledge to help me. Alexis reminded
him dryly. In her mind, Sonny made no evasions about who and what he was.
Roy, on the other hand, had built a life of deliberate deception. From what I
understand, your former life as an FBI informant gave you the background to
have plenty of insight into the criminal mind.

She looked at him keenly. No insult intended.

None taken, Alexis.

So youll take the job? He nodded. Good. Just let me know whatever it is you
need that I can get for you. I dont have to tell you that this is to say just
between you and me.

Itll be our secret, Alexis.

My mother sure would be interested in that, Roy. Both of them turned to see
Carly standing in the doorway. Secrets with Alexis, I mean.

What happened to my secretary? Alexis said, annoyed. And why are you here?

She was away from her desk. Carly entered into the room. I came to talk to
you, Alexis.

Roy looked at Alexis. His expression said he knew there was no use in even
beginning to get into it with his lovers daughter. Ill get on that matter we
talked about and get back to you. He gave Carly a long look before he left.

After Roy was barely out of sight before Carly turned and lit into Alexis. I
wonder how my mama would feel about you spending time with Roy.

Get your mind out of the gutter, Carly. Its strictly business. Alexis looked
up at Carly. Why are you here to begin with?

Somethings going onand its got to do with your newest project in Home
EconomicsZander Smith. Carly said. I keep hearing your precious Zanders name
keep coming up. When Sonny and Jason should be wondering about other matters,
they have to keep concentrating on Zander. You just want to use him to stay
in Sonnys good graces.

Zander will put Sorel away. Sorel, in case youve forgotten, is your husbands
mortal enemy. Id think youd want any help at all in helping to put that
monster away. Alexis said.

Except that you cant seem to keep a leash on him. Carly slammed back. So whos
got to do your job for you?

Is there a point youre trying to make here, Carly? Alexis asked. She hadnt
bargained for dealing with Carly today and it on top of everything else, it
was giving her a raging headache. And the day wasnt half over yet.

Ill get out of your hair, Alexis. I know how busy you are. And since we both
know thats what you want. Carly said sarcastically. But before I go, let me
just say this. Dont pull my husband into your schemes. You cant handle your
Oedipus mommy-son complexes with little drug-dealing, cop-killing, Emily
kidnapping Zander, fine, but leave Sonny out of it. Hes got enough to contend
with these days. Leave my husband out of it! Before Alexis could even
think of an answer, Carly stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind