The door closed behind Alexis and Jason, and Marcus was met with a sea of questions. The remaining three men all demanded to know how Dara was. The voices became too much and he strode to the window, just looking down at the sidewalk.
"You both should leave now," Alex said.
"But we want to know about Dara," Justus protested.
"If there's anything we can do," Mac added. "If there's anyone she would like to talk to."
"I'll get the particulars and let you know," Alex assured them. "Please, just give us a few minutes. And whatever you do, don't say anything to the reporters."
"Her identity will stay within these four walls," Mac said.
"Provided that Alexis doesn't attempt to try the case in the media," Justus said. "I'll go down in lockup and have a word with her."
"Thanks, Justus," Alex said. "I'll call you both later."
The door clicked shut again. Marcus felt Alex's gaze boring into his back. The adrenaline that had pumped feverishly through his veins died down. He felt spent and tired.
"Marcus, come over here and sit down," Alex suggested. "It's just you and me. I know this has gotta be eating you up inside. You shouldn't bottle it up."
Marcus slowly turned away from the window. He followed Alex's suggestion and claimed a seat across from the other man's desk. Wearily, he ran a hand over his face.
"How is she doing? Is she at Mercy or General Hospital?" Alex asked. "I'd like to stop by and see her."
"She's not at the hospital," Marcus said. "She's at home."
"At home? You know the procedure for rape. She should have been taken to the hospital and had a rape kit done. Without one, it's just her word against Corinthos'. We can't let him walk for this."
Marcus' hands clenched into fists. Just hearing Sonny Corinthos' name caused his blood to boil again.
"Where did the rape take place?" Alex asked. "I know these questions are tough, but we need answers. Maybe it's not too late for CSU to gather evidence. Did he attack her at home? Was it last night? After the surprise bridal shower?"
"It wasn't like that," Marcus said. "It happened a long time ago."
"What?" Alex rose from his desk, went around it and perched on the edge right next to Marcus. "How long ago?"
"About fifteen years," Marcus said. "Dara doesn't know I arrested Corinthos for this. It was something I had to do."
Alex released a low breath. "Man, you're not making any sense. Run it by me from start to finish. I need to know exactly what happened."
"Their careers are over," Alexis ranted as the guard led her and Jason to Sonny's cell. "The nerve of Justus Ward! Telling me to keep quiet about this. I know these charges are bogus and when I prove it, I plan to have both their heads on a platter!"
"Settle down," Jason snapped. "For one, I can't see her lying about a charge this serious."
Alexis snorted. "You've got to be kidding. She'd do anything to preserve her pathetic career as the--"
"Alexis," Jason warned. "As I recall, you've done some things that weren't exactly ethical, too."
"I can't believe you're defending her!"
"You're tearing her down without facts," he countered. "I know Sonny and I don't want to believe he did this. But I've seen her around. I know she takes the legal system seriously. I don't believe she'd lie."
Alexis gave Jason a stunned look. "You're unbelievable."
"This way, ma'am," the police guard said, indicating with a jut of his chin. He led them past a couple of empty cells. At the end of the line, they found Sonny pacing the floor. The guard had already searched Alexis and Jason for weapons, and finding none, he allowed them entry.
"Are you okay?" Alexis asked, showing concern that nearly crossed the borderline between professional and personal. "They haven't hurt you or anything?"
"No." He shook his head. "Just stuck me in here. What's going on? Who did I allegedly rape?"
"You're not gonna believe this," Alexis said as she lowered her briefcase to the ground beside her feet. She straightened to her full height and paused for effect. "None other than Detective Taggert's fiancée, Dara Jensen."
Sonny's face became pale. Alexis seemed to barely notice as she rattled on.
"The police and the Assistant District Attorney are in cahoots to press ridiculous charges against you. Once the media gets hold of this, there won't be a jury within the tri-state area that will convict you--"
Alexis flinched and Jason gave Sonny his undivided attention. He sensed that his friend's outburst was emotional and he wondered why.
"What do you mean no?" Alexis asked. "Regardless of what Justus Ward wants, the best way to handle this farce is in the media. The press would eat this up."
"Alexis, you will not go to the media with this," Sonny said.
Her eyes narrowed. "That sounds like an order."
"It is," he clipped.
"So what am I supposed to do?" she asked. "Just let them imprison you on trumped up charges?"
"I hear the doubt in your voice," Sonny replied, never breaking eye contact with her. "The charges are false. Have either of you seen her?"
"No," Jason said. "She wasn't upstairs with the rest of them."
"I want you to find her," Sonny said. "Find her and tell her I want to talk to her."
"How is that gonna be possible?" Alexis asked. "They won't let Jason anywhere near her."
Sonny gave them a tight smile. "Jason's resourceful. He'll find a way."
Dara called in a few favors with the people at Social Services and got the address of Phil Ramon, Hope's foster father. According to the records on file, he resided in Queens. Lois wanted to go see the lowlife in person, but Dara decided that a simple telephone call would have to do for now. Hope was in Port Charles and her maternal instincts told her that her child hadn't ventured too far away.
She called and there was no answer. Dara pocketed the telephone number and was about to tell Lois it was time to hit the streets when her friend called out,
"Dara, you've got to see this!"
Dara rushed into the living room and found Lois glued to the television.
"I just turned on the TV while you were on the phone and look at this. Marcus arrested Sonny on charges of rape."
Dara's mouth dropped open. "Shit!"
Lois turned away from the reporter on the screen to look at Dara. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Does he hate Sonny that much?"
"Obviously," Dara said, trying hard not to give in to anger. "I don't have to guess who he's gonna claim Sonny raped. I have to go downtown. Shit! This messes up everything!"
"Do you want me to come with you?" Lois offered. "If not, I can hit the streets and see what I can find out about Hope. I'm still good friends with Jax's ex-girlfriend. Maybe V can make a sketch for us to pass around."
"Okay," Dara said. "We'll go talk to V. Once she's done with the sketch, I'll head over to the police station."
"Maybe his heart was in the right place," Lois offered.
Dara nodded and sighed. "That's the problem. He was thinking with his heart instead of his head. I don't know, Lois. His timing sucks."
Lois wrapped her arm around Dara's shoulder and squeezed. "We'll find her. We won't give up until we do."
Silence echoed in the room since Marcus finished speaking a few minutes before. Alex asked minimal questions. Marcus answered them as best as he could. It was hard telling his best friend that Sonny Corinthos had used his Dara.
"How do you know it was rape?" Alex asked, handing Marcus the mug of coffee he just poured. "It could have been consensual."
"How can you even say that?" Marcus sputtered, rising to his feet. He set the mug down hard onto Alex's desk and began to pace the floor. "You know Corinthos' reputation with women! Look at what he did to Karen Wexler. He had her stripping and addicted to drugs. Brenda Barrett was hooked on pills for a while, too. I don't have to tell you about Lily Rivera."
Alex sucked in air. "No, you don't. I know enough about Lily."
"Then, you know what he's capable of!"
"He's never been accused of raping any of them!" Alex countered. "I'll admit he has a bad rep when it comes to the opposite sex, but come on. Rape? Do you think Dara would have let him get away with that?"
"She was scared," Marcus explained. "He got her pregnant. She was a kid. And then, she was told the baby had died. She wasn't thinking straight."
Alex shook his head. "You're not thinking straight."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Alex gave him a long, hard look. "It means you're reacting. Dara confided something you never expected and not you're twisting it around to suit you. I'm calling lockup. We're letting Sonny go now--"
"Alex, you can't!"
"If Dara comes in to corroborate your story..." Alex sighed. "Look, Marcus, even if he did rape her, it was fifteen years ago! That would be hard as hell to prove in court. Not to mention making sure the statute of limitations hasn't run out."
"Fine!" Marcus threw up his hands and strode to the door. "Let the bastard go free!"
Marcus paused at the door. Fury almost choked him.
"Before you step out that door, I need your badge and your gun."
Marcus' body stiffened in shock. "What? Why?"
"You know why," Alex said. "I'm putting you on suspension until these charges can be verified."
Marcus pulled his badge from his pocket and retrieved his gun from its holster. He slammed both down on top Alex's desk. "You don't have to suspend me. I quit!"
Dara arrived at the station less than an hour after she and Lois had seen the news broadcast. She went straight to the Commissioner's office. His secretary told her to go right in.
"Alex, I saw the news. Where's Marcus?"
Alex shrugged and came from behind his desk. He grasped her upper arms and stared down at her. "Are you alright? That's what I need to know first of all."
"I'm fine," she said. "Marcus arrested Sonny because of me. You should release him. The charges are false."
Alex sighed and released Dara's arms. "I figured as much. Sonny is being released as we speak."
Dara folded her arms across her chest. The concern in Alex's eyes reminded her that she should be out on the street, looking for her child. "Did Marcus tell you what I told him?"
"Yeah," he answered. "You and Corinthos have a daughter."
"Then you know why you can't let any of this get out," Dara said. "This has to be forgotten. I don't want Hope to think she was a product of rape. She wasn't."
"Marcus will have to be dealt with," he reminded her.
"What does that mean? Suspended?"
Alex nodded. "I suspended him, but he turned the tables on me and quit."
She rolled her eyes. "He always goes for the dramatic."
"His arrest wasn't about drama, Dara," Alex said. "This may sound crazy, but he did it for you."
"He did it for himself," she snapped. "He hates Sonny so much that he can't stand the thought that Michael and I... Well, it's in the past. I can't help how Marcus reacts to it."
Alex frowned. "I hope this doesn't mean it's over between you two. He made a stupid mistake, but you were good together. Give him a little time to come to terms with it."
"I don't need him to come to terms with anything," Dara said. "That's like asking him to forgive me. I did nothing that needs forgiven. He, on the other hand..."
"I'm the last person to give love advice," Alex said. "All I'm saying is don't throw it all away. Give yourselves time to work through it."
Carly rushed in just as a guard escorted Sonny to the squad room. She was about to race to her husband when Jason stopped her.
"They're releasing him. He has to get his stuff and we can take him out of here."
"What happened?" Carly asked. "That Detective was behind this, wasn't he? He'll do anything to put Sonny behind bars. Where is that bastard? I have a few things I wanna tell him!"
"Just settle down," Jason advised.
Jason's gaze wandered as Keesha stood and shook hands with a young man. She gave the guy a warm, wide smile. Jason felt his heart constrict in response. She pointed to a chair beside a desk and the man sat. Jason wanted to see what would happen next, but Alexis and Sonny returned and joined him and Carly.
"You didn't have to race down here," Sonny said, as Carly threw herself into his arms. "I'm okay."
"Is it over?" she asked, cupping his face and searching his eyes.
"It's over," Alexis answered. "He's a free man. All charges have been dropped."
"That's not good enough," Carly said. "Who filed the charges in the first place? She should have her ass thrown in jail for lying!"
"Calm down, Carly," Sonny said quietly. "It's not what you think."
Sonny would have said more, but something happened. The hair on the back of his neck suddenly stood on end. His palms suddenly became damp, and he felt someone staring at him.
He slowly turned around and found Dara standing in the doorway to the Commissioner's office. Alexis reacted first.
Sonny held up his hand. "Enough, Alexis."
Dara ignored everyone, but Sonny. Her eyes stared straight into his. "We need to talk."