Family Ties Ch. 20

Lost and Found


At the same time, Sonny was meeting Jason down by the docks, away from any prying eyes and ears. "Any news on Sorel?"

"Not yet. But I think it's a good bet that he hasn't had a chance to make it out of Port Charles. But we donít know for sure yet. The net weíve put out over Port Charles is in place and just starting to tighten." Jason changed the subject. "Do you think Alexis is going to panic over Zander?"

Sonny shrugged. "Sheís usually pretty level headed, but you know sheís developed this affection for the Smith kid. Subconscious motherly instincts, who knows? But right now, the less she knows the better. For her own good."

"Right now, though, sheís convinced that heís gone underground of his own free will, right?"

Sonny nodded.

"Well, if it isnít my favorite Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum." Sonny and Jason turned to see Taggert approaching them. "Planning your next crime spree?"

"You really do need a life, Taggert." Sonny said conversationally.

Taggert noticed Jasonís silence. "I see youíve got your pet well trained. Does he sit and roll over on command too?"

"Is there a point to this?" Sonny asked.

"The same old thing, Sonny. I was still trying to figure out your connection with Ms. Salazar. But I figure now that Sorel has jumped bail, Iíll have to wonder how long will it be before the body bag count goes up here in Port Charles. You got any ideas on that?"

"Well, isnít it up to you and the PCPD to apprehend a man whoís so obviously broken the law?"

"Iím watching you, Sonny." Taggert walked up to Sonny and pointed his finger at him, close up and personal. "You and your boy. If the body count goes up, Iíll be looking to blame it on you. If Sorel turns up dead, Iíll know you had something to do with it."

"Iíll be sure to take your threats for what they are, Detective." Sonnyís voice was subtly taunting. They all knew, that Taggert could suspect anything he liked. Without proof, his suspicions could, and would, go nowhere.

"Sooner or later, Corinthos." Taggert said. He turned on his heel and stalked off.

"Later, Taggert." Sonny called after him.

Jason exhaled. "Man, he has got it into for you."

Sonny grinned. It was not a happy one. "Well, you know. With Taggert, itís personal, not business. Iíll deal with it, like I always have."

The two men part soon after.

**

"Are you out of your mind? You canít do this to me!"

"Itís already done, so you can stop shouting about it." Jason looked at Zander Smith impassively. "If you can calm yourself down and stay that way, you can get yourself loose from that chair for longer than a trip to the bathroom." The two men were in a small, dilapidated office building down on State street. All the other occupants of the tenement were long gone. The windows were shuttered over and barred outside. The furniture as old and rundown as the room itself. Old paint peeled from the walls and the only light came from an unshaded floor lamp in one corner.

Zander looked down at his feet. Yelling at Sonnyís second in command wasnít going to get him anywhere. "I can keep my cool. Can I get out of this chair?" He looked up at Jason. "Please?"

Jason studied him for a long moment, then moved behind the chair and untied him. Zander stood and stretched, flexing stiff muscles and groaning in relief.

"I donít have to tell you that if you give me or any of my men any trouble, you go back in the chair, do I?" Jason asked. He took a seat on the old couch in the corner.

"I got it. Iím completely in your power." Zander said sarcastically. "And I guess you got a gang of your men outside the door waiting to see if they have to hold me down."

"Doesnít matter one way or the other. I can handle you all by myself." Jason gave him a look that told him that there was no doubt about it.

"Look man, Iíve learned my lesson. You can let me go now." Zander said. He couldnít believe it when Jason shook his head. "What about Emily? Sheís your sister; Emily is gonna go nuts when she realizes that Iím gone."

"Itís not going to happen. You stay put until itís time for you to testify."

Zander began to panic. "Then can you at least get to Emily? Tell her whatís happened."

"No. Nobody is going to hear from you, nobody is going to see you. Not until the day you go to testify." Jason looked at him, no pity in his steely blue eyes. "Donít try to use Emily as an excuse. You chose to disregard the rules Sonny laid down for you. You never stopped to think that you might be putting my sister in danger by doing that. This is all about your choices and the consequences, so donít put this on anybody else but you."

Zanderís temper snapped. "What is with you, man? You want to tell me I screwed up? Fine, I accept that. But your sister loves me. And I love her. I guess what they say is true. Youíve never cared about anyone in your life -- you canít -- so you have no idea what Iím talking about. Youíve never had anyone love you, care about you with all that they are."

Jasonís only outward reaction to Zanderís tirade was to blink a single time before he continued to regard him with the same cool gaze.

"Give it up Zander." He gestured around the abandoned office space. "Here is where you are, and here is where you stay until Sonny says otherwise. If you keep talking, youíre only going to make it harder than it already is. Harder for you."

Zander slumped back into the chair, defeated.