One week had passed, and Dara had never felt
so ashamed. Instead of enjoying herself the way she had intended when she first had
first come to the resort, she had spent the past seven days doing just the opposite.
Her plans of exploring the islands, snorkeling and shopping and whatever
else tourists did had been erased. The only exploring had been in her little bungalow,
pacing back forth deep in thought. Snorkeling had been replaced with repeated cold
showers as her thoughts had left her heated and unsatisfied. The shopping and etc
were pushed aside in favor of more pondering and against her will, fantasizing about
devilish dimples and tantalizing kisses.
"Oh, damn," she grumbled
as an image of Sonny's face swam before her eyes once again. Rubbing her hands across
her eyes, she tried to rub out the image. The small movement only agitated her further.
Biting back more expletives, she pushed herself up from the deep cushioned softness
of the wicker chair and strode to the windows.
She pushed the curtains apart
and opened the windows. A gust of cool island air flew into her face. The smell of
lush greenery, pineapples and other tropical delights met her full in the face. Her
stomach growled. Frowning, she admitted that she was tired of room service and being
locked in. There was a big island out there and her vacation time was dwindling down.
She had paid for the trip and had every right to enjoy it!
What if she saw
Corinthos again? A small voice nagged her.
"So be it," she mumbled
with forced courage. She could handle seeing him again. Besides, the island was a
big place. She didn't have to worry about seeing him again. And for all she knew,
he was long gone by now. Right?
On the other side of the island,
Sonny paced the length of his balcony. The natural beauty of his surroundings did
little to ease his agitation. He had come to the island to relax. To get his head
back on straight. How could he mess that up in one night? And why in the hell did
he take the coward's way out in the aftermath?
He had spent most of his life
avoiding confinement. Now all because of a woman, he had imprisoned himself! And
if that wasn't bad enough, it was a solitary confinement. If not for room service,
he wouldn't have said a word to a soul.
Sure, Dara Jensen was a fascinating
woman, but come on! He was Sonny Corinthos. The Man! He didn't hole up for a week
when a huge tropical locale was his for the taking. Hell no. And even if he couldn't
stop thinking about her, smelling her and tasting her…well, that was no reason for
him to lose his self-respect dammit!
Granting himself a reprieve, Sonny grabbed
his keys and wallet from an end table and slammed out of the bungalow. Solitary confinement
was over. It was time to join the living again. Besides, Port Charles' justice department
would fall apart without the ADA there for a few days. He was sure that she was long
gone by now. The embarrassment of the kiss was only alive in his mind. "Forget
about it," he softly advised himself and he set off for the island's endless
"Checkmate?" Emily asked with an incredulous
look on her face and in her voice. Her chestnut brown hair brushed against her face
as she stared back at Nikolas. Shaking her head, she said, "No way."
smiled. With an almost angelic look, he nodded again. He pointed at his notepad for
clarification. The word was clear and to the point. Checkmate.
cheat?" Emily questioned. Falling back against the soft leather of the library's
chairs, she released a defeated sigh. She folded her arms across her chest to complete
Raising his eyebrows in mock offense, Nikolas vehemently shook
"But as my teacher, shouldn't you let me win sometimes?"
she couldn't help but ask.
Nikolas filled his notepad quickly as he scribbled
his answer. Smiling, he handed the pad to her. She said the words aloud.
can't learn that way." She tossed the pad back at him. Pursing her lips, she
commented, "Thanks a lot."
A broad smile continued to brighten Nikolas'
face. He enjoyed teasing her and his delight showed clearly on his face. Unable to
resist his glee, Emily smiled back at him. Nikolas gestured to the board, silently
asking her if she would like another game. Emily shook her head and rose to stand.
She moved around the classically decorated library. With her back to Nikolas,
she appeared to him as if she was studying the room. As she and he had spent a good
amount of time there, he wondered what new object she had found that could hold her
When she turned around a few seconds later, he realized that
he had been in error. Her thoughts hadn't been on the room, but on him. He bristled.
Whatever could bring such seriousness to her eyes could only be something that he
did not want to acknowledge.
Or rather someone. Sarah.
Nikolas a tentative smile. He stared back at her for a moment before he dropped his
gaze down to the chessboard. With measured movements, he reset the pieces. An invisible
wall of ice seemed to wrap around him. Swallowing hard, Emily stood up tall. She
had told Sarah that she would talk to him. Emily would not back out on her friend
now. Either of them.
Her fingers tapped against her legging covered legs nervously.
"I think you're doing much better."
A quick nod of his head was
the only inclination that he had heard her. His fingers moved over the chess pieces,
pressing them firmly onto the board. The wall of ice had thickened.
here to hang out with you is fun. I don't think I laugh as much as when I'm with
Nikolas frowned slightly and then the lines faded. A small smile
formed on his lips again. He tore his gaze from the game to look up at her. Resolve
shone in his eyes. He looked at her, waiting.
Feeling encouraged, Emily moved
closer to him. Her fingers ceased their nervous movement. "I saw Sarah. She
misses you. She'd liked to come see you, too."
Shaking his head, he pushed
himself away from the table. He turned his back to her and went to the window. His
grip on the drapes made his hand ashen.
"She's scared Nikolas and she
doesn't know what's going on. I won't ask you because I don't feel it's my place,
but please… See her or maybe give me a note to give to her. Something. Anything.
She thinks you're mad at her and… She just wants to make sure you know that she wants
to be here with you."
"So this is where you work?"
Jason remained silent as Dawn settled herself astride his Harley. Her honey
golden cheeks were flushed from the brisk air and her eyes glowed with excitement.
He couldn't exactly put his finger on it, but despite her carefree attitude, he sensed
danger around her. And it excited him like nothing had in a long time.
she prompted in her husky voice that held a faint indefinable accent.
heart picked up speed. Her voice warmed him as winter chilled the night air. He pulled
the zipper of his leather jacket down in an effort to cool his warming skin. Sitting
behind her on the Harley's seat, he rested one hand on her shoulder and used the
other hand to point at the row of the warehouses along the dock. "Those three
are all mine."
A half-smile curved her cheeks. She twisted slightly on
the seat to look back at him. "You didn't answer my question," she softly
Jason frowned. What was this effect she had on him? Was he losing
his mind? "What was the question?" he asked, genuinely perplexed.
laughed softly. "I asked if you worked here, but since these are yours, I can
assume that you work any of them that you choose. Impressive."
hot with embarrassment, Jason coughed to hide his discomfort. After he regained his
composure, he raised an eyebrow and asked, "Impressive? Why? I wouldn't think
you'd be impressed by a few dirty old buildings."
in thought, she chewed on her bottom lip. "Maybe impressive is the wrong word."
She laughed again when his eyes widened. "Perhaps, I should know what's inside
those old dirty buildings before I can make a definite pronouncement."
shrugged. "Coffee. Expresso beans. Kona blend."
she asked a hint of amusement and disbelief in her tone. "You have three huge
warehouses filled with coffee. Who do you ship to? Caffeine Addicts Anonymous?"
smile tugged the corners of Jason mouth. "Maybe."
she repeated. Shivering, she turned back around on the bike. "Your winters rival
England's and I'm almost reminded of a horrid weekend at Dyrkenshire Castle. Say
something quick to push the memory from my mind."
"A castle, huh?"
Carefully gauging her reaction, Jason rubbed her arms briskly to warm her. She moved
back against his hands. Feeling far from discouraged, he wrapped his arms around
her and pressed his chest against her back. A purr vibrated through her body and
connected with his. His awareness of her intensified and he hoped that she didn't
A moment passed between them before either spoke. She looked over
her shoulder at him and in a whisper, she murmured, "What castle?"
felt like an invitation so he took it as one. Taking a gentle grasp of her chin,
he tilted her face towards his. His head made a slow descent and in the next instant,
his mouth was on hers.
Carlotta's pen tapped an erratic beat on
the table's Marblehead surface. The firm set of the other woman's jaw worried Pamela.
Their dinner meeting had been a spur of the moment thing precipitated by a call from
her employer. Had she done something that caused Carlotta to be upset? Not one to
beat around the bush, Pamela felt she had to speak up now before things went from
slightly off to bad to worse.
ever made a decision about something," Carlotta interjected, clearly not hearing
Pamela say her name, "and then have doubts?"
nodded. "I'm sure that everyone has."
"Mm." Carlotta pressed
her lips together and the thoughtful expression returned.
Her employer's demeanor
was now becoming stranger and stranger. Pamela would have doubt the possibility before,
but Carlotta almost seemed insecure. Lines of worry had begun to crease the older
woman's unmarred complexion. Her beauty was not diminished in the least, but witnessing
Carlotta's agitation set Pamela on edge. The powerful urge to help grew strong, but
there were boundaries. She wasn't sure if she should dare to cross them. Her Granny
Mae always had words of wisdom on her tongue, but Pamela couldn't recall any that
would help her in this situation.
"I'm a bit distracted this evening.
My apologies," Carlotta said, slowly returning from her reverie. "My thoughts
are with my errant daughter and should not intrude upon your valuable time. Now,
where were we?"
"No apologies necessary," Pamela said with
a small smile. "I understand."
Carlotta shook her head and gave
Pamela a warm smile that lessened her following words. "You can't possibly understand.
Not until you have a child of your own. I never understood that until I gave birth.
Should you have children, you will know exactly what I mean."
I guess that is something that I'll have to discover later. Much later."
lit up Carlotta's eyes. "You do not plan to become a mother? Don't believe the
reports on CNN, Pamela. A woman can have a career and a family. Compromise, balance
and common sense are required, of course, but the feat can be accomplished."
laughed softly. Carlotta was full of surprises tonight. Their first real personal
conversation and the boss was proving to live up to everything Pamela had heard about
her. Wonderful. "I hadn't really thought about it."
plenty of time," Carlotta advised. She sat up straight and tapped her pen against
her leather portfolio, signaling that business was on the forefront again. "Have
you reviewed the quarterly report for Deception?"
said, rebounding quickly. "The stock still hasn't recovered and seems to be
on the verge of dropping another point."
Carlotta nodded. "Ms. Barrett's
incident was unfortunate…both for her and the company. The public seems to be under
the misconception that using the products will result in emotional disturbances for
them as well. Upon acquiring Deception, we will need to engage in an aggressive,
yet tasteful, marketing campaign. The products are good. Reminding the public of
that shouldn't be too difficult."
"I'm surprised that Mr. Jacks
hasn't shown a stronger interest in Deception's ad campaign. He seems to have let
"Appearances can be deceptive," Carlotta said,
smiling with her play on words. "I can assure you that during the acquisition,
his interest will heighten. Speaking of the Golden Boy, have you met him?"
frowned. "Was I supposed to?" she asked, going through her mental list
of notes and hoping that she hadn't missed something.
"Not by any decree
from me," Carlotta said, humor in her tone. "I would suggest that you do
so. Not necessarily tomorrow or even the next day, but soon. You should know your
opponent, and know him well."
"I've researched him," Pamela
admitted, nodding her head in agreement. "I know all about his family, his relationships,
"That's all ink and paper," Carlotta said with
a dismissive wave of her hand. "To know the man, you need to be in his orbit.
Invade his world. Meet him face to face and then compare that to your documentation.
Compare the differences and the similarities. You are intelligent and have a firm
hold of common sense, too. I have no doubt that you will prove yourself to be an
worthy adversary for Mr. Jacks."
said with a smile, "we meet again."
Sighing deeply, Alexis sat down
across from him. Luke's was abuzz with other patrons. The anticipation for the night's
blues performance electrified the air. Under normal circumstances, a blues bar would
have been Jax's last choice for anything, but Brenda was there. And try as he might,
he wasn't ready to relinquish his role as protector even if it meant he had to perform
his duties from across the room.
"I had my doubts that it would ever
happen," Alexis said.
A teasing smile almost overshadowed the sadness
that hinted around the corners of her eyes. Jax was sorely tempted to pry, but he
opted to mind his business for the time being. "I never had any doubts. Port
Charles may be large, but it's not that large. I knew that I would see you again."
so you're psychic as well as charming," she said.
"I've been known
to do well at both, yes."
Their laughter filled their small table and
any unease at being more acquaintance than friend began to disappear. A waitress
appeared at their table, offering them a smile and a selection of drinks to choose
from. After introducing herself as Gina, she waited patiently for their order.
Alexis requested without any hesitation.
Jax raised his eyebrows, unable to
resist the urge to tease. She shrugged in a response as a blush crept across her
cheeks. Jax chuckled softly in triumph. "I'll
have whatever's on tap."
"Would Amstel be okay?" Gina asked
"Perfect," Jax assured her. When Gina left, he
turned to his new friend again. "So, how goes everything? Any better?"
made you think anything was wrong?" she asked. "We all have moments of
melancholy, don't we? And how about you? Is life treating you like a king?"
shook his head. "Not hardly. But like me mum always says, 'when life gives you
"You make lemonade," Alexis said, finishing the well-known
phrase for him. "I was a little surprised that you'd want to come here for drinks.
A blues bar doesn't seem…um…like you."
"Oh, no?" he asked,
grinning at her. "I've spent a time or two in places like this, but you're right.
It's not really me. I'm here to watch out for a friend."
She nodded in
understanding. "I see. I hope that your friend appreciates the sacrifice you're
Jax laughed out loud. "I doubt it."
her finger at him, Alexis joined him in laughter. A few tables behind them and in
the shadows, Robert watched them. The classy brunette had caught his attention the
moment she entered his old chum's digs. He was surprised to see her head for a young
native from his homeland. Upon a closer look, he was even more surprised to find
that he knew the young man. Jasper Jax was all grown up. His parents must be so proud.
swallowed his whiskey with a wince and continued his perusal of the rapidly filling
up club. So many new faces, but there were a few that he almost recognized. In the
time that he'd been back, he hadn't made his presence known. He wanted to feel his
way first. Depending on the night, he planned to reveal himself to Luke. Maybe the
good ol' days could return. Together, they had always been a crack shot pair. And
to repay Faison for the hell that the man had put him through, Robert would need
the all the crack shots that he could get.
The waitress returned with another
whiskey. Robert thanked her with a smile and as generous tip that he could afford.
And then again as if drawn to her, his gaze went to the classy brunette. She was
one helluva beauty!
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The Right Way(and all original characters) ©2000 niklovr
All Rights Reserved
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