Chapter 16

The grand lady's luxurious leer jet sailed over the gloomy, storm clouds that scattered across the evening sky of the coastal city. The dark, handsome manservant refilled the glass with sparkling champagne and handed it to his employer. Their fingers brushed and a smile of exquisite delight came to her lips. Her pale emerald eyes sparkled with glee and her slender bejeweled hand patted the empty space beside her. "Come Ari," Helena murmured. "Sit beside me."

Ari poured a glass of the bubbling beverage for himself and followed her bidding. Once he was settled beside her, Helena raised her glass for a toast. He followed suit and waited.

"To patience, persistence and perfection."

Their glasses clicked together, sounding like a clear bell. Both sipped the champagne, and then Ari placed his glass on the nearly end table. He rested his arm along the back of the plush, ivory sofa. Helena curved against his side, resting her head on his chest.

"We have waited a long time for this," Helena said between sips of the alcoholic beverage.

"Yes, madam," Ari agreed. "A very long time."

"Everything is falling into place according to plan. I am continually amazed at how easy the poor fool is to manipulate. Such a remarkable mind, he has. 'Tis pity he allows his ego to cloud sound judgment," she commented.

Helena handed her empty glass to Ari. He set the glass beside his on the end table. When his hands were free, he circled his strong, muscular arms around Helena. "Madam has always said that Spencer’s ego would be the cause of his destruction."

Helena's wide smile revealed even, white teeth. "I have, have I not? Well, enough talk on that insipid puppet. We will land in Port Charles soon, but I think we have enough time to indulge in a few moments of pleasure."


"Right this way, ma'am."

Pamela gave a slight nod of her head and followed Reginald inside the drawing room. The furnishings were just as Keesha had described. Expensive, but lived in. And the beaming face of the older man who sat waiting for her had been described perfectly, too. His eyes danced with warmth, but underneath was purpose. He was up to something and it might be fun to play with the old codger, just a little bit.

"Hello, Pamela," he greeted her as soon as her feet passed the doorway. His hands closed over hers, vigorously pumping them up and down. Behind them, Reginald closed the door, leaving them to their privacy.

"Mr. Quartermaine," Pamela replied. He released her hand and pointed towards a vacant chair near the roaring fireplace.

"Please, that's too formal." He frowned and hint of displeasure and sadness darkened his light eyes. "You are my granddaughter. Surely, we can decide on something that's not so impersonal."

He went to the bar and poured a brandy for her and a Scotch on the rocks for himself. He handed the snifter to her and Pamela's eyes widened in surprise. He had apparently done his homework. As he sat on the sofa adjacent to her, she explained, "Yes, biologically, you are my grandfather, but the term is too personal for me to use with a man I hardly know."

"And if we change that?" Edward asked, "Could you use it then?"

Pamela settled the glass within the palms of her hands. Her gaze drifted down to the contents of the glass before she looked at him again. "Mr. Quartermaine, I don't have an answer for that question. When my grandmother moved here, you found out about my father. You then learned about my brother and me. Justus moved here and a relationship formed between the two of you. You made no effort to contact me-"

"You were overseas in the Peace Corps-"

"That is no excuse for a man with your many resources," she reminded him. "Besides, I have been out of the Corp for some time, now. You have had ample opportunity. To do so now, only after I have moved to Port Charles is an insult."

She took another sip of the brandy, set the snifter on the bar and then headed towards the door. "Whatever it is you want from me will require more than sentiment to get it."

As he sputtered for a response, she opened the door and left.


"What are they up to in there?" Lucky asked, trying his best to peer into the Hardy living room before Elizabeth closed the front door. He caught a glimpse of Sarah and her cousin, Tommy and he was dying to know what was going on. It seemed intense and if it was, he might be interested in helping. He hadn’t been involved with anything exciting in a while. He was long overdue for some fun.

Elizabeth shrugged and pulled the door closed behind her. Taking her time, she sauntered towards Lucky and rested her backside against the railing, leaving about an inch of space between their bodies. "They’ve been as thick as thieves since he got here. I don’t know what’s going on. They won’t tell me."

Lucky didn't buy her sad explanation for a minute. He saw through her little act and his gut told him that she was leaving something out. "And why won't they tell you? Did you ask?"

"Why would I ask?" she bit out, unable to hide her annoyance. She pulled a package of Marlboro Lights and a Bic lighter from the pocket of her sweatshirt. After pulling out a cigarette, she put it between her lips and then held out the lighter towards Lucky. "Care to light my cigarette?"

He turned up his nose and stepped away from her. "No. That stuff sticks. It's bad enough that old man puffs on that gross cigar of his. I'm not about to help you fill up my lungs with more crap."

The expectant smile that had formed on her full lips faltered. "Sorry, Lucky. I didn't know you felt that way." She balled up the cigarette and stuffed it and the lighter back inside her pocket. "I won't smoke around you any more."

"Thanks. It's appreciated." He turned away from her to peer inside the windows of her grandmother house. Once again his attention was drawn to the busy duo inside. "So, you didn't ask them what was up? Why not?"

"Why are you so interested in what they're doing? Is it because of Sarah? So, you think that because she and the prince broke up you have a shot now? Is that it?"

Her questions shot at him like a cannon. A few weeks ago, the questions would have had home, but he had changed. His interest in Sarah was a thing of the past. Someone else had caught his eye. Someone close to him and had been there all along but he had been too blind to see it.

Turning away from the window, he gave Elizabeth his full attention when he answered her. "I'm just curious about them. No big deal. It has nothing to do with Sarah. You can chalk it up to my inquisitive nature," he added with a grin.

"But you've been into Sarah since the summer. Have you finally seen the light?"

He shrugged. "I'm sorry not sorry that she broke up with Cassadine, but not for selfish reasons. He was no good for her."

Elizabeth's smile began to return. "So, you really didn't come over tonight to see Sarah?"

"No," he said, shaking his head. "I came over to invite you to skating pond. That is, if you're not grounded again."

"I'm not grounded!" she exclaimed, bubbling with excitement. "Just let me grab my skates and I'll be ready to go."

"Take your time," Lucky advised. "Emily's not due for another ten minutes or so."

"Emily?" she repeated, pausing as she reached for the knob on the front door.

"Yeah," Lucky said, groaning inwardly as heat flooded his cheeks. He prided himself on always keeping his cool, but lately, thoughts of Emily made his temperature rise and left him blushing like a fool. "She and I were going, and I thought I'd check and see if you'd like to join us. It's about time you started hanging out with some of the other PC kids, right? Besides, my cousin Sly will be there. Maybe you two could…I dunno…talk or something."

She pulled her hand from the door and folded her arms across her chest. Her gaze danced around without meeting his. "This is a date for you and Emily, isn't it? So, you felt sorry for me and invited me to tag along? Is that it? Well, thanks but no thanks. Have fun?"

Elizabeth spun on her heel and slammed inside the house before Lucky could say a word. Emily had mentioned that Lizzie had a thing for him. He thought Emily was teasing him, but she hadn't been. He could see that now.

Going after Elizabeth would be a bad mistake, he decided. If she had feelings for him, she'd have to get over them on her own. He didn't want to give her mixed signals. Later he would call and see how she was. Now, he'd go wait on the curb for Emily. He was too excited about their first official date to postpone it now. While carrying on about Sarah, he had almost missed out. He had no intentions of making the same mistake again.


"What's wrong with her?" Tommy looked up from the notepad on Sarah's lap as Lizzie slammed inside the house and stomped up the staircase.

Sarah rolled her eyes. "Who knows? It could be anything. She's always mad about something."

"Teenage angst?" he asked, sarcastically.

"Something like that," she replied, smiling at his description.

"I'm surprised that Granny puts up with it. She never let me get away with anything. She was the same way with my dad, too." He took the notepad from Sarah and flipped back a few pages to read what they had accumulated so far. It wasn't much, but the brainstorming session had certainly helped him. There was no way Lynn left because of him. They had made too many plans and most of them were listed on the sheets in his hand. No, there was another reason for her disappearance and he hoped that with Felecia and friends help, they would discover it and bring Lynn safely back to him.

"Gram tries with her, but it isn't easy. She's still recovering from what happened to her when GH had that big blackout. I wish Lizzie would remember that."

Tommy's eyes came up to study her face. "Maybe we should remind her. We all have our problems, but I'm not letting that little girl upset my grandmother's recovery."

At first, Sarah stiffened in response to her cousin's comments about her sister, but then she began to relax. "You have a point. I'll talk to her later."

"I don't mean to be hard on her, Sarah, but I don't think she realizes how important the simple things are. I've lost people who mean the world to me, and if I can help to prevent it, I won't lose anymore."


"One thing's for sure," Rick said as he handed the colorized printout back to Thomas, "she sure is a knockout. If I'd ever seen her around here, I'd remember."

"Yeah, we'd remember the call to bail you out of jail, too," TC added as he intercepted the printout and gazed at the picture of the angelic face of the young auburn haired woman. "She's a beauty, but she is pretty young. Even for you, Orville."

Rick flashed TC a look of annoyance before he defended himself. "She's not jailbait, TC. Thomas said she's 19."

TC chuckled at that. "19 is what? Two steps away from jailbait? Give it a rest, man." He handed the picture to Thomas and then leaned back against the flower-patterned sofa in his best friend's guesthouse. "Do you have any leads?" he asked the man, who was hurriedly moving back forth as he stuffed clothes into a mid-sized duffel bag.

"I have a few," Thomas admitted as he inspected a khaki shirt for cleanliness. After a few sniffs, the shirt passed the test and was added to the duffel bag. "I know where her brother works. I plan to start there."

"What?" TC and Rick exclaimed simultaneously.

Thomas jumped and then frowned at them. "Don't do that!"

"Sorry," TC apologized.

"What do you mean you have a few leads? Did he call you?" Rick questioned TC who shook his head. "He didn't call me either. How did he get leads without bugging either of us?"

"It must have been Higgie-baby," TC decided.

"Higgins?" Rick asked in disbelief. "You think?"

Thomas' hazel eyes narrowed as he gave his two closest friends a hard stare. "Very funny."

"You're right, TC," Rick said as he began to laugh. "He got the info from Higgins. It looks like we may be replaced."

"Do you think Higgins has a chopper, too?" TC asked. "Maybe that's how he's going to get to wherever he's in such a big hurry to get to."

"Ha. Ha." Thomas pulled on the zipper of the bag and eventually it closed. With that done, he left the bag at the bottom of the staircase and then joined his friends in the living area of the guesthouse. "Actually, I was gonna ask for a lift to Kauai."

"Well, it looks like you haven't been replaced," Rick said with a smirk. He rose from the sofa and went to the fridge. He grabbed two bottles of beer and went back to his perch on the arm of the sofa. He handed one bottle to Thomas and kept the other for himself. "Sorry, TC, but that's all that's in there."

"Figures," TC grunted and reached for the bottle of water that he had brought with him. "What's on Kauai?"

Thomas took a swig of the beer before he replied. He pointed at the picture and said, "Her brother. He has one of those Internet businesses-"

"E-commerce," Rick corrected.

"Whatever," Thomas said. "Anyway, he has one of those and the headquarters are at his home office on Kauai."

TC nodded. "I have a couple scheduled for a tour in a few hours. When did you want to go?"

"As soon as we could head out. I'd like to get an early start on this and then give Felecia a call."

"Felecia, huh?" Rick said with a grin. "She's that cute blonde you were paired with at the PI convention, right?"

"Private Investigator's Convention," Thomas corrected, "and it wasn't like that. She's in a relationship with some guy in her hometown. It was all she could talk about."

Rick stood up and went to his friend. Patting Thomas on the back, he said, "That's too bad. Better luck next time, right?"

"It wasn't a singles' convention, Rick," Thomas explained. "Besides, I made a new friend and you can never have too many of those."

"You never told us how you got the info on her brother," TC said. "Was it Higgins?"

Thomas lifted his eyebrows and shrugged. "A good investigator never reveals his sources."

"Well, I wonder how a good investigator will get to Kauai without a ride in a chopper," TC said, holding back a laugh as Thomas said, "TC!"

"Maybe a good investigator is also a good swimmer," Rick added unable to resist in teasing Thomas.

"Okay, guys," Thomas said, raising his hands in defense. "It was Mac. When can we leave?"

"Mac?" TC repeated in disgust. "Are you sure you wanna go all the way to Kauai based on the word on that pathological liar?"

"TC is right," Rick said. "It's not like him to tell the truth. Even if his life depended on it. What if he's setting you up?"

Thomas frowned at both of them. "It's not like he'd set me up for something as basic as this."

"What if he owes the guy money?" Rick asked.

TC quickly added, "What if he wants to steal something from the guy? Besides, if you're just going to Kauai, why did you pack up your stuff? What's the real deal, Thomas?"

The pair's mutual dislike and distrust of Mac didn't surprise him, and their concern for him was something that he had gotten used to but still found touching. With TC and Rick staring him down, Thomas had no choice but to confess. "Mac is on the up and up in this. He's actually working for O'Rourke and is living on his estate. He's offering me a place to stay while I further investigate what's going on."

"That kid is 29 and he already has an estate?" TC questioned.

"It's possible," Rick advised. "E-commerce is the lucrative wave of the future. I've been doing a little research on it."

"You know I've been thinking about going online with Island Hoppers," TC admitted. "Do you think that would be a good investment?"

"It could be-"

"GUYS!" Thomas interjected, "This all sounds interesting, but I'd kinda like to leave now, TC, if you don't mind."

"No problem," TC said as he rose from the sofa. "Rick, I'll call you when I get back. We can talk about this Internet stuff some more."

"Sounds good," Rick said as he followed his two friends up the staircase. "And, Thomas, give us a call when you're settled. Let us know if you need anything. If Mac is involved, it can't be any good."

"He's right about that," TC agreed.

Thomas rolled his eyes and then he nodded. "Higgins already has the number, but I'll give you a buzz."

"And if you find the little sister," Rick said as they left the guesthouse, "ask her if she likes older men…"

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