Tall, muscular and as graceful as a lion, Jax entered the gym. A dark blue tank top clung to his broad chest, emphasizing his sparkling sapphire orbs and accentuating the rock hard cut of his golden tanned biceps. The matching sweatpants did little to hide massive thighs or a well-shaped behind.

Pamela's mouth became dry as she watched him. The wall-length mirror in front of the row of treadmills gave her a view of the entrance. She had decided to follow Carlotta's advice but she had no idea that heeding her words could happen so soon. She had wanted to study him more before invading his physical orbit.

Her pace on the motorized treadmill quickened. Lord help her. The perfect male specimen was coming towards her. She tried to avert her eyes but was unsuccessful. He winked at her broadly when their gaze met in the reflection of the mirror. Pamela's breath quickened and her cheeks became warm. Fighting the unnatural embarrassment that coursed through her, she gave him a winning smile before lowering her thick, black lashes.

"Is this one taken?"

The Australian brogue swept over her. Accents had never been so appealing to her before. Don't lose it, she silently scolded. He may be gorgeous, but he's still a man. He's just a man. Her mind repeated the mantra as she looked at him. "No. It's been vacant the entire time I've been here."

A faint light twinkled in the depths of his blue eyes, containing a sensuous flame. He gave her a smile that sent her pulses racing. "I can't imagine why."

Pamela almost missed a step. She recovered quickly and played it off by reaching for her water bottle. She pulled the protective plastic cover off and took a nice long swallow. Jax's eyes followed the movement of her throat as she quenched her thirst. This time, she nearly coughed. When did exercise become so erotic?

"Are you one of those exercise junkies who can only workout in complete silence?" he asked, his gaze remaining fixed on her.

Pamela shrugged. "I've never thought about it before. Why?"

"Because I'm not strong enough to resist conversing with such a beautiful woman," he murmured.

She put the cover back on and set the bottle back on the stand. She pumped her arms in time with her stride. "You're a very forward man."

"I'm honest."

She smiled. "A man who's honest. Is there such a thing?"

"Ouch!" He grabbed his chest and moaned theatrically. "You wound me. I can't speak for all men. Just this one. You are an amazingly attractive woman and in less than five minutes, I have decided that I want to get to know you better. Do you object?"

"Damn!" Her voice was shakier than she liked. "You are forward."

He gave her that heart-stopping smile again. The dimple in his chin deepened and his eyes twinkled like stars. "After our workout is over, would you join me for a nightcap?"

"It will be very late by then."

"I won't mind if you don't," he responded.

She studied his face unhurriedly, feature by feature before she answered him. An appreciative smile formed on her full lips. "I won't mind."

Winter in Port Charles bore some similarity to the winters in England. They were both cold. Dawn tied the belt around her wool ankle-length coat. Once the coat was secure, she pushed her glove-covered hands deep inside the warm, lined pockets. Clouds of air framed her face with every breath she took and if she had any sense at all she would have escaped inside Wyndemere's warm halls long ago.

The heels of her boots clicked against the launch's wooden platform. Vinnie had given her two dossiers: one that had been compiled about her by the police and another that he had compiled about Jason. She had breathed a deep sigh of relief when she saw that the American police were as inept as they had been purported to be. Good! No one could know her connection to the Cassadines until she was ready to reveal it.

The other report had not eased her at all and she had left her warm suite to think on it more. Jason and his predecessor, Sonny Corinthos, had dabbled in more than their fair share of underworld activities. And for their efforts, numerous attempts on their lives and those around them had been made. Vinnie's work had been thorough and it all read crystal clear. She could very well be killed if she continued her role as secret agent any longer. And to top it all off, a gamut of perplexing emotions now tormented her.

Jason, despite his sometimes dour expression, excited her. His blue eyes glittered warmly when he looked at her. His hard, muscular body grew still when he listened to her. His soft, warm lips tantalized her with his chaste, innocent kisses. Tightly reined intensity radiated from him. She couldn't help but wonder what would happen if he allowed it to escape when he kissed her. Would his passion carry her to heights she had never dreamed of before?

Dawn shut her eyes. A freezing wind carried along Spoon Lake and chilled her warming body. She welcomed it. Jason had to be put into perspective. Because of the life he had chosen, her first love nearly lost his life. Regardless of the older man's aura of authority and the effects it had on her, she couldn't ignore the one simple fact that constantly loomed over her. She still loved Nikolas.

A hot tear rolled down her cheek. She lifted her hand to wipe it away and another warm hand arrived there before hers did. The heavy lashes that shadowed her cheek flew up. Her words came out in a hoarse gasp. "Nikolai! You scared me."

His dark eyes studied her with curious intensity. His palms framed her face, sending tingles of excitement throughout her body as they slid down to rest at her waist. Dawn moistened her full lips with the tip of her tongue. Her body quivered when Nikolas mirrored her movements.

"You shouldn't be out so late," she said in a husky faraway voice.

His mouth twitched with amusement as he cocked a questioning eyebrow. He bestowed her with a pointed stare before glancing around their surroundings and then at his watch. The same could be said of you. "Go!" he said, tugging on her hand.

Dawn pulled free. Confusion brought a frown to her face. "You want me to leave?"

Nikolas' lips puckered with frustration. He shook his head once and then stormed towards the far end of the platform away from her. Breaths of air came from him in short angry puffs.

Watching him, she wanted to kick herself. She misunderstood him and now he was upset. She didn't think twice but went to him. The boots clicked a staccato beat as she hurried across the wooden planks. When she reached him, her arms wrapped around him from behind. She murmured, "I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention."

"S-Sorry!" he replied sharply. He spun around and roughly grabbed her upper arms. His face was a glowering mask of anger.

Dawn understood his rage and met it full on. "I'm not pitying you! I didn't understand and I should have!"

His expression thunderous he stared at her and then without warning he burst out laughing. Amusement and relief flickered in the dark brown eyes that met hers. His hands loosened their annoying grip as he loosely took hold on her hands. With his steady gaze, he apologized.

"You are truly maddening," she complained in a hoarse voice.

His lips parted in a curious smile. Awareness and desire trickled in the air between them and he untied her belt. His hands slipped inside, exploring the soft lines of her waist, her back and her hips. The touch of his hands created an inflammatory path. She gasped as his hands dipped lower, cupping her behind and pulling her against his hardness. Trembling hands flattened on his chest and then his mouth was on hers.

The first touch of his lips on hers sent a shockwave through her entire body. Dawn clung to him. Kissing her devouringly, he forced her lips open with his thrusting tongue. As the kiss continued, their heated embrace brought an abrupt end to any lingering thoughts of Jason or her secret agent duties. She was exactly where she wanted to be.

A week of limited conversation and passionate lovemaking ended the morning Sonny awoke to find Dara dressed and sitting outside on the balcony. A change was brewing and he wasn't surprised. He knew that something so close to bliss wouldn't last forever. He covered his nakedness with a black silk robe and joined her, resting his backside against the railing as he looked down at her. "You're up early."

She took her time, taking another sip of juice before she answered him. "I have a flight in a couple of hours. The cab will be here in a little while."

The muscles of his jaw clenched. He folded his arms across his chest. The robe's v-like opening broadened and the crisp morning air attacked his chest. He didn't feel it but he did notice how Dara's lingered on him there before looking past him at the expansive beach. Damn her anyway. "So you would just leave. Just like that?"

She bristled and cut her eyes back to him. "We made no promises to each other. I thought you understood!"

"Understood what?" he asked. His dark eyes penetrated hers with dangerous intensity. "That you used me to fulfill some bizarre fantasy?"

"The same could be said of you!" She pushed out of the chair and faced him. Tilting her head upwards, she met his piercing gaze. "I would say you lived out two of them!"

He smirked. "Just two, ADA Jensen?" His eyes roamed over her, missing nothing. "You're selling yourself short. Your abilities in the bedroom overpower your abilities in the courtroom at least ten to one."

Her hand connected with his cheekbone with a deafening crack. He responded with a short bark of humor that lacked laughter. Rubbing his jaw as his gaze followed her retreating back, he said, "Now that was a fantasy unrealized. I had no idea you'd be so good at the rough stuff."

"Go to hell, Corinthos," she muttered. Her eyes darted around the room, looking for misplaced belongings. She then disappeared inside the bathroom.

"I'm already there." Sonny followed her, blocking her path by standing in the doorway. "You're running again."

She tossed a tube of mascara into the wastebasket and regarded him through narrowed eyes. "You say that like you know me."

He nodded once. "I do. I explored you, Dara. I know everything."

The insolence in her voice was ill concealed. "You know that I like slow, wet kisses and how I respond when the crescendo of fulfillment overwhelms me. You know about sex and that's not everything."

Unbidden, a sharp pain pierced Sonny's chest. Her words stung and nearly left him numb. Realizing her advantage, she brushed past him and grabbed her purse and sweater that rested on a table by the door. Determined to keep his mouth shut, he watched her and then as she turned the knob, the words poured out. "And if I wanted to know everything…if I asked you to stay…"

A sharp intake of air was the only telltale sign that his words had affected her. Without facing him, she said, "I'd leave anyway. It wouldn't work, Sonny. The negatives far outweigh the positives. Be safe."

She slipped through the door before the demands for her to stay could pass from his lips. The closed door mocked him. His broad shoulders heaved as he breathed and heaviness settled in the pit of his stomach. In that last second, he had bared his soul and she had rejected him. The pain was humiliating.

He swallowed a few times to loosen the tightness of his throat. When he could speak, he telephoned his guards and barked out instructions. He needed a car and a plane chartered. Destination: Port Charles.

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