The overhead light that guarded the entrance to the bungalow provided an intimate setting for the man and woman who stood face to face underneath it. The tension in the air crackled as the seconds passed and neither spoke. Finally, the man couldn't take another moment of it. He blurted out her name again, "Ms. Jensen-"

"Mr. Corinthos," she said, cutting him off, "why did you follow me?"

"I didn't follow you." Frowning as he defended himself. "I had no idea you'd be here."

Dara rolled her eyes. "I didn't mean to the island. I meant to my bungalow. What do you want?"

"I wanted to make sure you're okay. That's all," he explained, his dark eyes boring into her. Her mocha skin was flawless, he decided as his eyes roamed over her face. Huge, luminous brown eyes glistened with unreleased passion. Her full lips were parted in a silent invitation, contrasting the air of irritation that swirled around her. Moistening his lips with the tip of his tongue, he wondered how she would respond to his kiss. His body suddenly yearned to know if her petite body would be soft against him…and maybe underneath him, too. "Dara," he murmured in a husky growl and took a step towards her.

"Mr. Corinthos," she responded in a whisper. Her hand fell to his chest, but she didn't push him away.

Heat spread from where she touched him and flowed throughout him. He looked down at her small hand, which appeared even smaller against his black silk shirt. His larger hand closed over hers, moving it to rest over his rapidly beating heart. She moaned softly as he took another step and backed her against the door. Her faint whimper was the only sound as he succumbed to his instincts and closed his mouth over hers.

With the berry sweet taste of her lips on his tongue, his heartbeat skyrocketed. Insistent, his tongue parted her lips. The kiss deepened as he explored her sweetness. His other hand slipped through her dark brown locks, angling her head and crushing her mouth to his. When her arms snaked around his waist and pulled him to her, he nearly exploded. Shaken by his response to her, he abruptly pulled away and ended the kiss.

A full second passed before she slapped his face. The stinging blow wounded his pride and further propelled him into the real world. A world where former crime bosses didn't make out with Assistant District Attorneys in the doorway of a secluded bungalow and underneath a Hawaiian moon. He pressed a hand to his stinging cheek and distanced himself from her by taking a few steps back. "My apologies, Ms. Jensen."

Breath passed from her lips in puffs. She placed a hand to her heaving chest as she regarded him with flashing brown eyes. Passion still lingered within the depths of her orbs, but Sonny also noticed humiliation. Both of her responses to him, the passion and the humiliation, cut him to the quick. He spun around on his heel and left before she could speak.


'We love you.' Those were the words that had gotten to Nikolas. They had been softly spoken, but even that couldn't make him doubt Dawn's sincerity. Was it possible that even after the disgraceful way he had treated her, she still cared for him? In his sudden desire to know the answer, he left the sanctuary of his quarters and went in search of her.

The first place he looked was where he had left her. He had just reached the abandoned alcove when the doorbell rang and Mrs. Landsbury moved to answer it. Curious and not ready to reveal himself to visitors, Nikolas remained hidden and listened as Mrs. Landsbury greeted the guest.

"Good evening, Miss Webber."

"Hello, Mrs. Landsbury," Sarah said. She took a deep breath and rushed on with, "Is Nikolas here?"

"He's resting," the loyal housekeeper answered. "I will advise him of your visit."

"Wait!" Sarah cried as the older woman moved to close the door. "I-Is it is possible for me to speak with him for just a moment? I promise that I won't tire him out. I just want him to know that… Well, I'd just like to see for myself that he's okay."

Mrs. Landsbury's response was in the negative. "I'm sorry, Miss Webber, but Master Nikolas is not taking visitors. I will inform him of your interest."

"Thank you, Mrs. Landsbury," the girl responded in a despondent tone. "Could you give this to him, too? Goodnight."

The creaking door signaled that the conversation was over and that Nikolas could safely leave the alcove. Mrs. Landsbury smiled warmly at him and handed an envelope to him. Before she continued on to the kitchen, she said, "Miss Webber was here. She left that for you. Forgive me for saying so, Master Nikolas, but she appears anxious to see you."

He nodded his thanks and she left him alone. With Dawn foremost in his thoughts, he had almost forgotten about Sarah. Almost, but not quite. Despite his neglect, Sarah still cared. A lump lodged in his throat.

He looked down at the plain white envelope. His name had been written in bold, neat script. Tracing the letters with his forefinger, he realized that he wasn't ready to read her words and that maybe it was time for him to reconsider his future with or without her.


"Stefan, please wait." Alexis adopted a fast stride down General Hospital's corridor of administrative offices to reach him before he disappeared inside a conference room. "Thank you," she breathed when she reached him.

Stefan regarded her behind emerald eyes that glittered with icy disdain. "I haven't the time for idle chatter, Alexis."

"No," she said, her expression apologetic, "of course not. I stopped to ask you about Nikolas. How is he?"

He bristled. "Nikolas' welfare is none of your concern. Good day, Alexis."

"Stefan, please," she begged. She latched onto his arm as he moved to walk away. He stared at her hand and then looked her dead in the eyes. Immediately, she released him. Taking a step back, she said, "I just want to know that he's okay. We're family, Stefan. You can tell me how he's doing. I promise you that I won't seek him out-"

He moved swiftly, stopping when he stood only inches from her. Through clenched teeth, he bit out, "Of that, I am quite certain. You will not speak with Nikolas nor inquire about him. You are misguided. We are not family. You no longer exist. I will not remind you of this again."

"But Stefan-"

"You made the decision to betray me, Ms. Davis. You must now suffer the consequences."

Despondent, Alexis fell against the wall. She was only trying to protect him, she thought as he stormed away from her. His best interest was her motivation, not betrayal. Her greatest hope was that someday he'd realize that and forgive her. As she pulled herself from the wall and began to slump down the hallway, she despaired that she had lost her best friend. Forever.


Keesha frowned at the small piece of paper she held in her hand. She found it hard to believe that the address was right. How could her cousin afford such expensive digs? The elevator doors opened on the top floor of the Port Charles Hotel, and with a look of confusion on her face, Keesha edged down the hallway towards the penthouse suite.

Again, she looked down at the noted address and the brass suite number that was on the door. "This can't be right," Keesha murmured, but she pushed the doorbell all the same. "Here goes nothing."

"Just a moment!"

The voice sounded right, Keesha decided. Taking a deep breath, she waited for the door to open and prove her right or wrong.

"Keesha! You're here!" The door opened with a flourish. A woman, a few inches taller than Keesha, enveloped her in a warm hug. The resemblance between the two women was unmistakable and most would assume that they were sisters instead of cousins.

"I'm so glad you made it," Pamela Faith Ward gushed. Ending the hug, she grabbed Keesha's hand and pulled her inside the penthouse. "Come in. Come in."

"I'm in!" Keesha laughed after she had been dragged inside and the door was slammed shut behind her. "Faith, I cannot-"

"Wait a sec, Cuz. Before we go any further, call me Pamela."

Keesha's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Excuse me? Pamela? For years, you'd have a fit if we called you by your first name. You said that Faith was more exotic. What gives?"

The other woman shrugged. "I just wanted a change. Have a seat and allow me to play hostess." Keesha sat and Pamela went to the bar. "What would you like to drink? Have you eaten? I can order room service."

"Room service?" Keesha repeated. Her fingertips marveled over the plush ivory sofa. Her gaze wandered over the expensively decorated living room. In addition to the plush sofa, there was a matching loveseat and easy chair. Beautiful sculptures rested on the mantel and exquisite artwork adorned the walls. Her attention drifted to Pamela and the beige silk lounge suit she wore. Unbelievable. Without considering propriety, Keesha asked, "How can you afford all of this and room service, too? I didn't know that the Peace Corp paid so well."

"They don't," Pamela replied with a shrug. She opened a small bottle of Perrier and poured the contents into a glass. She held up the glass in offering to Keesha, but Keesha shook her head. Pamela then took her glass and came from behind the bar. She settled down on the sofa beside Keesha. "I'm on a different career track these days. The Peace Corp was a wonderful, rewarding experience and one that I will always treasure, but it is not for me. I'm on a different path now, Cuz."

Keesha shifted on the sofa. She gave her cousin a hard stare. "I'm listening, and if it's illegal, I think I may have to kill you."

"So dramatic!" Pamela chuckled. She set the glass on the coffee table. Pulling her legs underneath her, she looked Keesha with a thoughtful expression on her face. "You reminded me so much of Granny Mae when you said that."

A faint smile came to Keesha's lips. "A day doesn't go by that I don't think about her and wonder what she thinks about us…and the choices we've made."

Pamela took Keesha's hand. "She'd be proud of you. Maybe a little scared at times, but she'd be very proud. Of me, I'm not so sure. I doubt if my current line of work is what she had in mind for me."

"And what would that be?" Keesha asked. "You've stalled long enough. How did you get all of this?"

"I earned it," Pamela explained. "And no, I didn't do anything illegal. After my time in Botswana was up, I went to London for a while. But you know that, right? Anyway, while there, I made a few connections and was offered a killer position with a cosmetics company. The owner recognized talent when she saw it and now, I'm a VP. End of story."

"I had no idea," Keesha murmured. "So who's the owner, and as VP what do you do? Details, woman!"

Pamela laughed again. "You haven't changed a bit. I was worried when I heard that you're a cop now, but I shouldn't have been. Bossiness is a good trait for a cop to have."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Keesha countered.

"As you should," her cousin replied with a smile. "The company is Hunter International. Quentin Hunter was the owner of it, but somehow his ex-lover owns it. Her name is Carlotta Christofides. She's quite a remarkable woman. I think you'd like her. In some ways, she reminds me of Granny Mae. Tough, but fair."

"Sounds like you've found your calling."

"I think I have," Pamela said with a nod. "It certainly feels like it. Right now, we're in the middle of acquiring another cosmetics company. It's based here in Port Charles."

"Not Deception," Keesha said. Her eyes were lit up in surprise. "The company that's owned by Lucy Coe? No way."

"Yes, that's the one," Pamela said. "But it's not owned by Ms. Coe anymore. Jasper Jacks is the man in charge now."

"You're going against, Jax?!" Keesha gasped. "He's ruthless. Are you sure about this?"

"Cuz, I'm looking forward to this."


From the outside looking in, Jake's appeared to be like any other pub. There was a bar and pool tables. Handsome and some not so handsome blokes milled around, swapping jokes and swilling ale…

"Ale?" Dawn repeated aloud. She stepped back from the window and backed into Vinnie who hovered over her. His hands fell to her shoulders, steadying her lest she stumbled.

"You okay?" he asked. "You don't have to do this. The shooting is being investigated. Let the authorities handle it."

"I'm fine, Vinnie," she said, shrugging his hands from her. "I was just thinking out loud that's all. I have to remember that I'm not in England anymore. I have to remember how you Americans speak."

"You wouldn't have to if you changed your mind. Walk away," he advised.

Dawn shook her head. "I can't. I don't know how to explain it to you, but this is something I need to do."

"You're just a kid-"

"I'm not!" she said with a harsh frown. "I turn 18 in a few weeks. I am not a child."

Exasperated, Vinnie ran his fingers through his hair. His blue eyes glowed with his displeasure. "Against a man like that, you're an infant. I can't let you do it-"

"No!" she ground out. "You think I've led a sheltered life. I haven't. I can handle this." She moved away from him and went to the door. "Come in about 5 minutes after me, and whatever you do…you do NOT know me!"

She slipped inside before Vinnie could react. Triumph exuded from her and her earlier feelings of sadness after her confrontation with Nikolas had almost evaporated. She knew that she would have to work extra hard to assume the role she intended to play and perhaps, her feelings about Nikolas could be used to her advantage.

The overload of testosterone brought a faint smile to her face. Some of the men were quite attractive. A few had obviously seen better days, but regardless their appearance, she didn't focus on any man in particular. Her purpose was to attract the attention of one man and one man only.

She moved to the edge of the bar and sat. A swarm of men surrounded her, and offers for a drink came from each of them. She politely declined each one and in turn, asked the bartender for a Coke. Service was fast and a bottle of Coke was in her hand in under a minute. The object of her mission stood across from her, engaged in a game of pool, and as she sipped the carbonated beverage, she thought of the best way to approach him. Deep in thought, she was not aware that she had captured someone else's attention.

"Hi there," a twentysomething year old man with dark red hair said. His breath was hot against her ear and reeked of alcohol. Dawn stiffened immediately. "Hey," he said, ignoring her lack of response, "let me get you something."

"I'm fine," she said, trying not to convey her disgust. "Thank you."

"Yeah," he said, his hazel eyes roaming over her, "you're right about that."

Hairs on the back of her neck stood on end upon his perusal. Forgetting about her plan, she felt an immediate need for escape. She rose to stand, but the man blocked her flight. "Excuse me," she said, holding back her anger behind a cool exterior.

"I'm not done talking to you, yet. Come on. Let me get you a drink." He closed his hand around her wrist.

An arm clad in leather shot out. A hand closed over the man's wrist, squeezing until the redhead released her. "Let her go."

"Come on, Morgan. She likes the attention. Why do you think she's in here?" Red asked.

"From where I'm standing, she doesn't like it," Jason said with a sidelong glance at Dawn. "Leave her alone and walk away. I won't tell you again."

"Okay, man," Red said, stepping away. "You don't have to tell me twice."

Dawn drew in a deep breath. Her hands trembled and she couldn't bring herself to look at her protector. She couldn't believe it, but she had been afraid.

"Are you okay?" the man in leather asked. "Maybe you should sit down. You don't have to worry about him. He won't bother you again."

"I'm…um…I'm a little shaken," she said, honestly. "I can't thank you enough for what you just did. Thank you."

"You're welcome," he responded. He was about to walk away, but stopped. He placed his fingertip underneath her chin and lifted it up. His blue eyes stared down into hers, unflinchingly. "Are you sure you're okay?"

Her breath caught in her throat. His piercing gaze mesmerized her. Slowly, she found the ability to speak. "I've been better."

"Well, I don't think this is a good place for you right now. I'm leaving and I don't feel right leaving you here unattended. Can I take you somewhere?" he asked.

"I think you're right. If you could drop me off by the docks, I'd appreciate it. My name is Dawn, by the way. Dawn Hunter."

He shook her proffered hand. "Hi, Dawn. My name's Morgan. Jason Morgan."

"Nice to meet you, Jason."

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The Right Way(and all original characters) ©2000 niklovr
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