Chapter 27

"Where's Jason?" Carly demanded when she entered the penthouse, slamming the front door behind her.

Her brown eyes flashed and accused Sonny who sat calmly before the fireplace with a snifter of brandy in one hand while the other balanced a book in his lap. He barely gave her a second glance when he answered her. "Jason tolerates you. I don't have to-"

"Listen, Sonny," she began in a shrill voice, "you don't know anything about me and Jase. He doesn't just tolerate me! He cares about me and my son-"

"Well, you're half right," Sonny murmured. He set the snifter on the end table. Holding his place in the book with his finger, he rose to stoke the fire. "Jason isn't here. He's at the dedication to the AIDS clinic on the docks."

"That's over-"

"Well, he's not here," Sonny replied glibly. He turned from fireplace to offer her a sarcastic smile before he sat down again and resumed reading "The Unfortunate Pilgrim". Mario Puzo's way with words had always captivated him. If the shrew would leave, he could really enjoy the book. "And before you ask, I don't know when he'll be back."

"Obviously, you don't know a damn thing!" she muttered. "There was a shooting on the docks. Jason was there. If you won't tell me where he is, at least tell me that he wasn't hurt."

Mario Puzo and his way with words were quickly forgotten. Sonny tossed the novel to the sofa as he stood up again. Moving as fast as a panther, he loomed over Carly. "What are you talking about? What shooting?"

"There was a shooting this afternoon," she explained. "Where the hell have you been? It's been all over the news. I saw it at the hospital. He wasn't admitted to GH so I came here. I tried calling the police, but I couldn't get through. Are you telling me that you haven't seen or spoken to Jason?"

Sonny shook his head. "No. Did the news say who was involved?"

"An unidentified female was injured and some guy...Joey Patrone was killed. They didn't mention anyone else."

Alarm gripped him. Choosing his words carefully, Sonny asked, "The guy's name was Joey Patroni?"

Carly shrugged. "Yeah, something like that."

"Shit!" he exclaimed under his breath. He grabbed the snifter of brandy and downed the remainder of the amber liquid in one full swallow. As the alcohol burned down this throat, Sonny's mind raced at a rapid-fire pace. If Magic Fingers was involved, there was no mistaking the shooting as a random act of violence. The man was a hired assassin, the mob's best, and Sonny had no doubts as to who the target was. The injured female had to be Jason's girl and if Joey was killed that would mean only one or two things. Jason did it and he was on the run. Or Jason did it and he was in jail.

"What's wrong?" Carly asked, her voice a hushed whisper. "Is it Jason?"

"I don't know," Sonny answered automatically. He slammed the empty snifter down on the table and reached for the telephone. He punched in seven digits. While the number dialed, he said, "I don't know, but I'll know something soon."

The person on the end answered after the second ring. "Hello," came the low masculine voice.

"Justus. It's Sonny. Have you heard from Jason?"

If Justus was surprised to hear Sonny on the line, he didn't show it. "No. Should I have?"

"The new AIDS clinic was hit. A girl was injured and the butcher is dead. Can you find out if Jason was taken in?" Sonny asked.

"Sure," Justus replied. "I'm on it."

"Thanks." The call ended and Sonny turned to Carly. "Not a word to anyone. If you leave the penthouse, take a guard. The same goes for Leticia."

Sonny grabbed his leather jacket from the back of a chair. Shrugging his arms into the sleeves, he headed for the door.

"Where are you going?" Carly asked. "I wanna see Jason, too. I wanna make sure that he's okay. I'm coming with you-"

"NO!" Sonny pointed his finger at her. "You're staying here. Out of the way. I'll let him know that you wanna see him. 'Til then don't forget what I said."

With that, Sonny slammed out of the room.


Vinnie replayed the scene on the docks over and over, but nothing made sense. Dawn shouldn't have been hurt. He should have reached her in time. He should have been fast enough. Luckily, the kid grabbed her and had the good sense to get her out of there before the place went berserk. But, damn! Why wasn't he fast enough?

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah?" he said, looking down into a pair of large brown eyes. He recognized the face immediately, but it took a few seconds for him to grasp her name. She and Dawn had palled around a few times. Her name was Keesha. Yeah, that was it.

"I need to ask you a few questions." She whisked a badge in front of his face and jutted her chin towards the sofas in the lobby. "It won't take long."

Vinnie rolled his eyes. "It never does. Lead the way."

They sat in the corner furthest away from the other people who had spilled into the lobby. The place was fast becoming as crowded as the docks had been. The police, federal agents, the Cassadine army of bodyguards and probably a few of Morgan's men stood around. Alert and ready, they tried to appear casual by talking quietly and averting eye contact.

Vinnie knew the drill. Even if Dawn pulled through the surgery, she was still in danger. Even with Magic Fingers dead, the men who hired him were still a threat. The road to hell was indeed paved with good intentions and none had been better than Dawn's.

"I will need your name."

"Vinnie Terranova," he answered her hoarsely.

"Why were you on the docks today?" she asked him.

His eyes narrowed. "Why were you?"

"Sir," she said tightly, "I'm asking the questions."

Vinnie's jaw tightened, but he didn't argue with her. Resting back against the chair, he folded his arms across his chest. "I was with Dawn."

"In what capacity?" Keesha asked, pausing as she took notes to look at him.

"Excuse me?" he questioned her. "What difference does it make?"

Keesha's gaze lowered to the notepad. Her fingers shook as she closed the pen and set it and the pad on the sofa beside her. When she looked at him again, her eyes appeared glassy. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that the way it sounded. I have reason to believe that you're her personal bodyguard. Are you?"

"Yes," he muttered. "Not that I did her much good today."

"It happened so quickly. You're not at fault," Keesha said quietly. "I'm sure she wouldn't blame you."

"Even so, I was supposed to make sure that something like this didn't happen."

"You weren't the only one," she said more to herself. Looking past him, she asked, "Can you tell me how she's tied to the Cassadines? I saw how Nikolas brought her here. I know they're not strangers."

"I don't have the right to speak about her personal life, Officer."

"I'm not asking out of idle curiosity, Mr. Terranova," Keesha informed him. "We're conducting an investigation and it's our belief that Miss Hunter may still be in danger. We know she's involved with Jason Morgan-"

"She and Nikolas are friends. They were once engaged," he spoke quickly, not wanting to be reminded of Jason Morgan and how Dawn was tied to him. Angry tears stung his eyes and he quickly blinked them away.

Realization brightened her eyes. "Did she know what happened to Nikolas outside of Luke's? About how he was shot and who the real target was?"


"She became close to Jason because of what happened to Nikolas, didn't she?" Keesha asked.

Heaviness centered in his chest as he answered her. "Yes, she did. I warned her. I should have tried harder. Excuse me, Officer, I need some air."

He left the lobby and went to the elevator. The car opened almost as soon as he pushed the button. So consumed by despair, Vinnie didn't notice Carlotta step out as he stepped in.


Carlotta elbowed her way through the crowd, desperate to see her daughter and making sure that she was okay. She headed toward the Nurses' Station but stopped when she saw Stefan. Their eyes met and seconds later, he was by her side. His strong arm wrapped protectively around her waist and he led her to a quiet place where they could talk.

"Have you seen her?"

"Only for a moment," Stefan answered. "She was taken to surgery. Dr. Monica Quartermaine is taking care of her."

A chill swept over her as she digested the latest news. Clutching Stefan's hand, she fought to retain control of her senses and her fear. Quietly, she asked, "Why does my daughter need surgery? What happened to her?"

"She was stabbed-"

"What?!" Carlotta cried. Anxiety spurted through her. "How? Why? Why would someone do this to her?"

Her questions were released in hoarse whispers. Her knees buckled and Stefan swiftly caught her. Holding her carefully, he pulled her inside one of the vacant offices and helped her sit down. After she was settled, he closed the door and joined her. He took her icy hands within his and rubbed them in slow circular motion. His voice was tender and loving when he answered her. "She was in attendance at the opening of the AIDS clinic on the docks. A prominent figure in Port Charles' underworld was in attendance, as well. From what my sources can surmise, the man who stabbed Dawn was employed by the mob. It is possible that he attacked her by accident while trying to reach his target. I do not have all of the details and will find out more as soon as I know that our precious one is out of harm's way."

"Harm's way?" Carlotta repeated. "How badly was she injured? Can't they just stitch her up and send her home with us?"

"No." He shook his head. "She is bleeding internally and has lost a good deal of blood. Nikolas matched hers and he is donating his blood for the surgery-"

"I should do that." She moved to stand, but her knees wobbled again. Stefan caught her, as she was about to fall. She gave him a blank smile before closing her eyes. Tears began to flow freely down her cheeks. Her shoulder shook with her sobs. "This is serious. I can't lose my daughter, Stefan. I just can't."

"Ssh," he murmured, encircling her within his arms. Rocking her gently, he whispered words of comfort. "We must be patient, Carlotta, and remain positive for a full recovery. She's young and healthy. We must believe that she will pull through this."

"Who was this prominent mobster that animal was after?" she asked. "Who's the bastard that caused my child to be in surgery, fighting for her life?"

"Jason Morgan-"

"He was the target when Nikolas was shot!" she gasped as she pulled free of Stefan's embrace to look at him. "Why are our children being harmed because of him? This isn't fair, Stefan! He should be the one in surgery right now! Not Dawn!"

Fresh sobs wracked her body. Stefan took hold of her again and accepted her pain, fear and anguish. "This deed will not go unpunished, Carlotta. I give you my word."


Disgust and anguish twisted Tommy's stomach. He glared at the news program in awe. The local station did little to censor the terrible violence that had erupted during the dedication of the AIDS clinic. The gruesome details were recorded live for everyone to relive again and again. A young woman stabbed and a hit man shot to death. There was no mistaking that the incident was mob related and to think that Lynn could have been subjected to something like that frightened and enraged him.

"You should turn it off," Felicia advised. She returned from the kitchen with a tray that contained two mugs of hot chocolate and a plate of brownies. "It won't get any better."

"I can't turn it off, Flea. Thanks," he said as she handed him a hot chocolate. He closed his hands around the warm mug while he concentrated on the television screen. "This could have been Lynn's life. That girl could have been her. What was her uncle thinking about?"

"Money and power," she commented quietly. "Some people will go to great lengths to obtain both. Spenser called again while I was in the kitchen. He's still on the plane, but should be here soon. He's bringing two friends with him."

The doorbell chimed and prevented her from saying more. Felicia went to answer the door. A delighted cry came from her lips when she saw who was on the other side. She quickly unlocked the door and threw her arms around the tall man who stood in the doorway. "What are you doing here?"

"Well, I'm happy to see you, too!" the man joked as he entered the brownstone. He placed his overnight bag on the floor just below the steps and shrugged off his heavy overcoat, placing it into Felicia's waiting arms. "I know I should have called, but there wasn't any time. We need to act fast."

Tommy placed his mug on the end table and stood up as Felicia's guest entered the living room. The man was about four inches taller than Tommy's six-foot frame. He had dark brown hair that stopped at the collar of his navy blue shoulder and a thick mustache. From the other man's stance, Tommy got the impression that the man was normally a casual guy, but now he seemed urgent and he wasn't happy about it. Not wanting to intrude, Tommy looked at Felicia as he said, "If you don't mind, I'll use your phone in the kitchen and ask Sarah to pick me up. You can call me if anything happens."

"Tommy wait," Felicia called out to him. "You don't have to leave. This is Thomas Magnum. Thomas, allow me to introduce you to your client, Tommy Hardy."

Both men smiled as they acknowledged the introductions. Tommy extended his hand to Thomas. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Magnum. Thank you for everything. How is Lynn? Is she with you?"

After they shook hands, Felicia instructed them to sit. She offered hot chocolate to Thomas. He accepted and she left the room to grab a mug of the steaming treat for him. While she was gone, Thomas began to answer Tommy's questions. "Call me Thomas. Nice to finally meet you, too. Lynn speaks very fondly of you and no, she's not with me. I came to get you and to take you back with me if you'd like to come-"

"Of course!"

"Wait." Thomas held up his hand. "Hear me out first before you hop on the next plane. This could be dangerous. I'd bet that Mancusi and Moreno's men are watching you and waiting for you to make a move. When we leave, we'll have to do it after they are taken care of."

Tommy's throat constricted. His hands clenched into fists on his thighs. "How long will that take? Is she safe? I can wait just as long as I know that she's safe."

Felicia returned with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows for Thomas. She handed the mug to him and sat beside Tommy on the sofa. She looked down at his clenched hands but didn't say anything. Reaching for her mug, she asked, "How long will what take?"

"Taking care of those misogynist pigs who threatened Lynn," Tommy muttered. "Thomas came to take me back with him, but it's not safe. We have to take care of Mancusi and Moreno first."

Thomas raised an eyebrow. "I didn't say 'we', Tommy. I'm trying to come up with a plan to deal with them, but you'll have to stay out of it."

"I can't," Tommy told him. "I'm in it. They threatened Lynn and they threatened me. I'm not about to let them get away with that...especially not after what one of their kind pulled today."

"What happened today?" Thomas sipped the hot chocolate and then gave Felicia a dimpled smile. She smiled back.

"There was a hit on the docks today at the opening of an AIDS clinic," Felicia explained. "A woman was hurt and the hit man was killed. Someone shot him to death. The reports haven't been too clear on who did the shooting, but a known underworld figure was in attendance. There's some speculation that the young woman was involved with him, but it hasn't been confirmed. It was a madhouse and it's been on the news all afternoon."

"Wow," Thomas murmured. "Who's the alleged target?"

"His name is Jason Morgan," she replied. "He used to go out with my ex-boyfriend's niece. They broke up because he wouldn't quit."

"Stupid!" Tommy ground out. "What's so great about that kind of lifestyle? Is being a bully that much fun?"

Magnum shrugged. "For some people it is. Lynn's safe. She's at a well-secured estate and is being guarded by the best guys I know. Felicia, is there any reason why your line wouldn't be secure? I think it's about time those two had real proof that the other is fine."

Tommy's eyes widened and a joyous smile spread across his face. "It's okay? Right, Flea?"

"Flea?" Magnum repeated. Mischief twinkled in his hazel eyes.

"Stop it." Felicia pointed her finger at the older man and grabbed the younger man's arm, pulling until he rose to his feet. "The telephone in my bedroom is fine. Take all the time you need."

"Here's the number." Thomas handed Tommy a slip of paper and Tommy raced down the hall to Felicia's bedroom. Behind him, Thomas repeated again, "Flea? Is that something like a gnat?"


General Hospital and Port Charles ©ABC
Wiseguy © Stephen J. Cannell Productions
Magnum, PI © Universal Studios
Spenser: For Hire © ABC
The Right Way(and all original characters) ©2000-2001 niklovr
All Rights Reserved

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