Journal Entry...

November 1998

So much happened today...good, bad all mixed together. Tom was the blackmailer and the man who raped Elizabeth. But, he's caught and he'll never hurt me or my friends again. Nikolas knows I wrote the letters and he doesn't think I'm stupid. But, he does think I'm a little girl. Even worse, a little sister. But I can change that. I can make myself into someone Nikolas will love. I know I can.'

Emily closed her journal and carefully placed it on her bedside table. She turned off her lamp and rolled over, snuggling under the covers. She hugged her trusted teddy bear, Mr. Snuffles, to her chest. As she closed her eyes, she thought of Nikolas' innocent, but painful statement. 'I feel like you're my sister,' he had said. The words cut through her heart like a knife. She had smiled at him to mask her pain, but she couldn't mask it now. A single tear trailed down her cheek at the memory. Yet, as the tear flowed, her will became strong. She *would* make herself into someone lovable. Someone Nikolas would not be able to resist. But how?

The question consumed her and made the thought of slumber escape her mind. She rolled onto her back and placed Mr. Snuffles on her stomach, resting his back against her thighs. In the pale glow of the moonlight which streamed through her large bay window, she could just make out Mr. Snuffles' sympathetic, glassy black eyes. Softly, she began to talk to him.

''He sees me as a little girl. I have to face that because in a way, I am a little girl. I ran to him with my problems like a child and he couldn't help but see me as a little girl. What I have to do is make him see the woman in me,'' she whispered to her childhood friend.

Mr. Snuffles' eyes stared back at her. Silently, he asked, ''How?''

Emily shrugged and released a long breath. ''Somehow, okay??'' She laughed softly at herself. She grabbed Mr. Snuffles and rubbed his nose with hers. She then placed him on the bed beside her. Crossing her arms behind her head, she concentrated on her next plan of action. Aloud, she said, ''It's gonna take some time, but it will happen. And when it does, Nikolas Cassadine won't know what hit him.''


Nikolas stood alone on the dock as he waited for the launch to come. Emily was such a sweet, young girl, he thought. The letters were from her. If he hadn't been so wrapped up in his own pain, he would have seen that. Of course, they were from Em! She had always been there for him in the past, so why would she abandon him when he was grieving? The answer was simple, Nikolas realized. She wouldn't.

In the distance, he could see the light of the launch as it neared the dock. He moved closer to its edge in anticipation. Anticipation? he laughed to himself. Not really anticipation. A poor choice in words. Very poor. He didn't anticipate encountering Stefan's wrath when he returned home. The lateness of the hour and the amount of time Nikolas had spent away from Wyndemere lately would only add to Stefan's ire. Nikolas wondered if he should just deal with Stefan later, but he shook his head at his own suggestion. He would face Stefan as soon as he reached Wyndemere. The sooner, the better. Besides, Stefan would seek him out whether or not Nikolas wanted him to anyway.

Thoughts of Stefan were replaced as he thought of Emily again. He smiled to himself as he thought of her. Actually, he smiled to himself whenever he thought of her. She had an innocence and a charm about her which always warmed his heart. She could put a smile on his face in the darkest of hours, he thought. And none were darker than when he couldn't speak, his memory reminded him. With chess games, fencing battles and persistent badgering, she helped him through the pain and the fear.

He couldn't understand why she didn't understand that his helping her with the blackmailer was not a big deal. He was glad to do it. Deep in his heart, he was quite pleased that she came to him. She could have gone to anyone...Ned, AJ, or even that former gangster brother of hers, Jason...but, she didn't. She chose him. And he helped her. With Liz and Lucky's help of course, but still, he was the one she had gone to.

His fingers absently touched his mouth as he remembered the kiss he placed on her forehead. Her skin was as soft as a baby's, he thought. ''That's cause she is a baby!'' he reminded himself. But, she won't be for long, a distant, quiet voice reminded him.

The simple sentence haunted him long after he had dealt with Stefan and climbed into bed. And as he drifted off to sleep, the thought invaded his dreams.

She won't be for long.

Chapter 1