Chapter 37

Three weeks later

They set out at sunrise that morning. Hand in hand, they walked along the shore. A few days before, they had chosen a place and a time to say good-bye to their unborn child. Dawn wore a long flowing white linen sundress while Nikolas matched her in a pair of white linen pants, rolled up to his ankles, and a loose white button-down, short sleeved shirt. Sunglasses protected their eyes from the beautiful sunlight as their shaded eyes never wavered from their destination.

They didn't speak. No words were necessary. They had spoken of many things in the three weeks they had mourned together. They spoke of their loss and the pain they felt. They wept in each other's arms as the pain consumed them and ripped into their hearts. They spoken of their past relationship and how they would go about creating a new one. Once, they shared a joke, laughed and later burst into tears as their sounds of their shared mirth reminded them that their little one's laugh would never be heard.

Nikolas had listened to Dawn as she spoke to her little friend, Michael Quartermaine, on the telephone. He heard her promise him that they were still friends and she would love him always. A since of pride and admiration filled him as he watched her blink back her own tears and give herself to her young friend. Later, he decided that he couldn't keep the birth of their little niece from her any longer. He told her about Jolie Ashton, and when she sensed that he wasn't telling her the entire truth, he broke down and told her how incredible it felt to hold her. How looking into the newborn's big, beautiful eyes had made him long to have a child of his own. She understood when he began to tremble and his voice wavered. She opened her arms to him and he fell into them. That night was the only one they shared together in each other's arms, holding each other until their cries lulled them to sleep.

Dawn drew a long breath as her eyes scanned the beautiful island. Paxi, an Ionian Island, had always been her favorite of all the Cassadine destinations. She had always found peace and quiet there whenever she and Nikolas had taken their breaks from school, their family, or whatever. The impressive white boulders, beautiful beaches and small coves had proven to be a sanctuary for her and for him. It seemed only fitting that they would lay their child to rest there.

Soon, they reached their destination without a word spoken between them. Nikolas closed his eyes as he took a deep breath. He and Dawn could do this. He opened his eyes and saw that she was watching him. He smiled to reassure her that he was fine. She nodded in reply.

Nikolas opened the small wooden box he had carried in his pocket. Together, they double-checked its contents. Inside, they found a lock of hair from both of them, a small photograph of them, and two sealed letters they had written to their child, whom they had named, Philomina, a Greek name which meant greatly loved.

Kneeling face-to-face, they dug into the warm sand with their bare hands. Once they had made a sizable hole, together they placed the box inside. No words were spoken as they covered the box with the sand and later as they walked back up the shore, hand in hand.

No words had been necessary.


Dawn smiled at Nikolas as he joined her on the patio. As he sighed and dug his hands into his pants, she said, "A watched pot never boils. She'll be here soon."

"I know, but soon isn't soon enough. I want her here now!"

"Patience," she said, teasing him. "I just spoke to Mama. She and Papa will not be joining us at all."

"How did you manage that?" he asked, resting his backside against one of the stone columns. "They seemed pretty adamant about coming here."

"Well, they were, but Dr. Dumont was helpful in persuading them otherwise."

"Oh, really?" he asked with a frown. "Everything is okay, though, right? Carrie will be able to conceive?"

Dawn nodded. "She's fine, but he's keeping her an extra week to monitor her."

"Four weeks? I'll bet Father will be just thrilled about that- Hey! You called him Papa just now. Does that mean what I think it means?" he asked with a broad smile.

"Yeah. We had a long talk, too, and now that you and I can't be jailed for incest, Stefan asked me if he could adopt me and I said yes. I asked him if it would be okay if I called him Papa and he practically hugged me through the telephone," she laughed.

"He's wanted you as his daughter for a very long time. I can just imagine how he's going to spoil you now. His favoritism with you was bad enough before, but now, he'll really leave me out in the cold." Nikolas pouted to add emphasis to his words.

"That's right, big brother! Papa's already told me that whatever my heart's desire would be his greatest command," she grinned back at him.

"Oh, did he? Well, we'll just have to see about that, especially since I…"

"Since you what?" she asked, rising from her lounging position to demand answers from him.

The doorbell sounded as Nikolas opened his mouth to speak and after a shout of joy, he ran past her to greet their guest.

He was vaguely aware of Dawn as he swung the front door opened. There she stood on his doorstep, smiling back at him. Emily's brown eyes sparkled with happiness as a squeal of delight swept through her at being swept into Nikolas' arms. The two ignored the quiet young man who stood just behind Emily as the long separated couple reunited with a deep, satisfying kiss.

Stepping around the pair, Tommy entered the grand home. He stuffed his sunglasses into the breast pocket of his shirt as his eyes searched for her. Then he found her standing in the doorway which led to a patio. She moved slowly towards him until finally she stood before him. Dawn's name was on the tip of his tongue as she placed a finger to his lips to silence him. His eyes widened in amazement as she wrapped her arms around his neck, but the amazement soon gave way to another emotion as she lowered his head to hers and their lips met. Their first kiss proved to be what each of them had dreamt of and possibly more.


The two couples had dined together, but as soon as the last bite had been eaten, they quickly separated. Nikolas had whisked Emily away to parts unknown as Tommy and Dawn had decided upon a walk on the beach.

"Greece is amazing," Tommy said in awe. "It feels so different here, you know? I feel weightless. Like nothing could ever hurt me. I can see why he brought you here."

"Yeah, that's exactly why he brought me here. He knows that I love this place. It's so peaceful and beautiful. I don't think I could have come to terms with everything had I been someplace else."

"And he knew that," Tommy said softly with a small twinge of envy. He heard it in his voice and hoped that she hadn't recognized it for what it was.

Dawn heard the hint of jealousy in his voice. Her hand reached for his and she laced their fingers together. His large warm hand pressing against hers caused her to shiver in the warmth of the Greek afternoon soon. The affect he had on her was wonderful and she wanted to make sure that he knew it.

"Tommy… Nikolas and I were lovers, but all of that's over. For good. In a few weeks, he's going to legally be my big brother and our past relationship will be just that, a thing of the past. I love him and his bringing me here was necessary for both of us. He knew what I needed and he gave it to me, but it's not something to be envious of-"

"Dawn, I-"

"No, wait. Let me finish. I care about you…no that's a lie, I more than care about you. I've fallen for you…hard. I've missed you so much, but I couldn't call you. I had to get through this so that when we did meet again, I would be a whole person."

"You could have called me before," he told her as they paused in their walk. He gestured towards a small cove and she nodded in acceptance. The shaded area was a welcome to the relief from the sun and its hot rays of light. The two sat on the sand-covered floor of the cove, side by side with their backs resting against the wall made of rocks. Tommy never released her hand as he continued to speak. "I knew what you were going through and it didn't make you less of a person to me. I love you, Dawn. I have for the longest time, long before that night, but I wasn't sure. I'm sure now. I know that after everything you've gone through, the last thing you need is pressure from me. I would love to share a relationship with you, but if you're not ready…"

Dawn pressed the tip of her index finger against his lips. "Ssh. I don't want you to feel like you're pressuring me because you aren't, but um… Well, I hope you don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way, but I don't think I'm ready, at least, not yet I would like for us to spend more time together and take it one day at a time. Do you think you could do this?"

"Yes, I can do it." He smiled at her. He wanted to kiss her, but things were still so new between them. He wasn't sure if he should dare, but then her lips parted and he found that he couldn't resist.

"I could get used to that," she whispered as their kiss ended. Her hand lightly caressed his clean-shaven cheek and she leaned in to give him another kiss on the cheek. "There's something else I need to tell you."

"I'm listening," he said, wrapping his arm around her to bring her closer to him. Finally being able to give in to his need to hold her was a small piece of Heaven that he never thought he'd enjoy. He planned to be greedy and take as many pieces as he could get.

"I'm taking the rest of the semester off, and when I go back to school, it won't be at PCU. I'm going back to Harvard. When you guys leave next week, I may or may not be going with you. Port Charles is home, but it's not where I want to be right now. I have a niece whose life I desperately want to be a part of, but I know that I can't be around her… I'm better, Tommy, but I'm not ready for that. My staying here could make things difficult for us…"

"I listened to you, but did you listen to me?" he asked, shifting their positions so that he faced her, but still held her in his arms. "I can do whatever it takes and I can wait for you until you're ready. Besides, there's the telephone, there's e-mail and that instant messenger thing. We won't be apart, not in here." He pointed to first his heart and then hers.

"Just when I think you can't surprise me any more than you already have, you go and say something that… You're right. We won't be apart, and maybe you can come back here for Spring Break and summer. We could explore the ruins and do all that tourist stuff."

"I'd like that very much," he whispered, leaning in for another taste of her soft supple lips, which he seemed to not be able to get enough of.

They took their time with the kiss. A soft sigh parted Dawn's lips, which she kept open in sensual anticipation. Tommy did not disappoint. Slowly, his tongue traced the outline of her mouth before he accepted her silent invitation. Their tongues became entangled in a passionate duel as the young couple familiarized themselves with each other's pleasure points, knowing that in the end, there would be no losers…only two blissful winners.


"And, this is where you'll be staying," Nikolas said, ending his tour with a flourish. "I'm right next door should you need anything."

"That's convenient," Emily said, laughing at the sheepish expression on his face.

"I want you to feel comfortable here. You're my guest and I want you to feel like this is your home, so if there's anything you need or want, you just let me know."

"I will," she reassured him. She held her hand out to him and he eagerly took it. Together, they went out onto the terrace. The view was spectacular. The clear blue water looked inviting as its waves rolled back and forth. As if by decree, not a single cloud marred the beautiful sky and even the sun seemed determined to shine its brightest.

Nikolas placed his arm around Emily's waist, holding her loosely against his body. From their high position, they watched as Tommy and Dawn trekked across the beach. They seemed oblivious to everything except for each other and Nikolas discovered that he was pleased with their relationship. As Emily watched the pair and remained silent, Nikolas wondered what her feelings were. "Em? Does seeing them together bother you?"

She frowned at him. "Of course not. I'm very happy for them. I wondered how Dawn would react to seeing him again and to be honest, I was a little afraid for him. When you told me to invite him along as a surprise, I thought that maybe we were setting him up. You know that they hadn't spoken since you've been here?"

"Yeah, I knew. She was afraid to call him. She wasn't sure if she was ready, but I knew she was. She's my little sister. I want the best for her, and seeing them together like that, I know that he is. He has my Cassadine Seal of Approval."

"Your little sister?" she asked.

"She and Father are legally adopting each other, so that will make her my younger sister by three months. I don't intend to ever let her forget it."

"So…um… I don't know what to say. Won't it be weird after everything that's happened between you?"

Nikolas took Emily's hand and led her to the lounge chairs. He sat and promptly pulled her into his lap. And as she settled herself against him, he said, "We're past that. The physical attraction that used to be so strong between us is no longer there. We were here alone for three weeks and neither of us felt that. It wasn't like we avoided each other or anything. We spent most of our time together, but it wasn't difficult. As we dealt with the miscarriage, we began to form a new bond. I'm not sure if I'm explaining it properly, but other than loving her like a sister, there's nothing between us. Except for…"

"…the child you lost?" Emily quietly finished the sentence for him. "Do you want to talk about it with me? I'll understand if you don't, but I would really like to share some of it with you."

"I'm sorry if it seemed like I shut you out, Em." He cupped her face with one hand. Their eyes met and held as he continued. "I didn't know any other way. She needed to get away and when I found her discharge papers and realized what had happened, so did I. We couldn't stay there and face losing our child. It would have been too hard…with little Jolie and now with Carrie and Father trying to conceive… It would have been hell."

"I understand, but did it help? Coming all the way across the world? Did you find peace?"

"We found a way to say good-bye. And, yes, coming to Greece helped. When Dawn and I loved each other, this was one of our favorite places to visit. We could relax here and it was peaceful. It helped to say good-bye to Philomina here because we know that we left her in a good place. Far away from the evil that took her away from us," Nikolas said with conviction.

"Philomina? You named the…baby?"

"The name is Greek. It means greatly loved," he told her. "And, yeah, we named her. Some people believe that at six weeks the child is only a fetus, but we felt differently. She was real to us and she was conceived the night we said good-bye to each other. In order to face the miscarriage, we *had* to give her name. We made love that one last time for reasons that neither of us can ever fathom and in that one last night, we created a child. We don't know why she was taken away from us…maybe it was Fate or maybe it was just the result of the actions of a depraved mind…but whatever the reason, we owed it to her."

Emily didn't know what to say so she said nothing. Her head rested against his chest, rising slightly with every breath he took. Together again at long last and she was at a lost for words. Talk about Life having a sick sense of humor. She wanted him to know so many things. She'd planned to tell him so much as she and Tommy sat silently side by side on the plane. Now, when she finally had him all to herself, she didn't know what to say. Well, she knew what she wanted to say, but she just didn't know the right way to say it. She sighed in her frustration with herself.

"Emily…I love you," Nikolas murmured softly. He felt her stiffen slightly against him and he briefly wondered if he should have waited. He felt like he had already waited long enough. Maybe he should have waited a little while longer. "Em, I don't expect you to say anything or feel the same way. I know that this is kinda fast and I don't want you to think this means I want more from you than you're ready to give-"

"I love you, too," she said, interrupting his rambling. She raised her head to look at him. "I was just sitting here, trying to figure out the best way to tell you and you-you just said it."

"I've learned that there is no best way to say it, but Emily, I have to know… You're not just saying that, right? You're not feeling sorry for me or anything? You really love me?"

"I really love you. I always have. I can't believe you didn't know."

"I knew that you had a crush on me years ago, but I wasn't sure how deeply you cared about me now. Being in love with someone makes you vulnerable, you know. But after everything, I've realized that a little vulnerability is worth it. I'm making a point of letting the people I love know it. Life is too short to do otherwise."

"I agree. I love you, Nikolas," she repeated. A sweet smile brightened his handsome face and it was the last thing Emily saw before she closed her eyes in anticipation for his kiss.

His full lips were gentle against hers. He brushed, plucked and nibbled until Emily insisted upon more. She threaded her fingers through his silky, dark brown hair. Her parted her mouth gave her room to take the plunge inside.

Nikolas tasted as sweet as honey to her roving tongue. A taste that she knew she would enjoy for years to come.