"You're being silly," Ellen scolded. "Now, sit down so I can make up your face-"
"I can't." Anxiety spurted through Dara and she couldn't sit still. She wrung her hands as she paced in agitation back and forth across the bedroom. "I just have a feeling."
"Since when do lawyers go with feelings?" Ellen questioned. "You're ruled by logic and reasoning. Mac asked you to marry him. He's right down the hall, getting dressed now. If he had changed his mind, he wouldn't have let us through the front door!"
Dara paused for a moment to look at Ellen. "That all makes sense."
"I'm glad you agree," Ellen commented with a smile and pointed look at the vanity. "Now, sit."
"It makes sense for a lawyer!" Dara complained. "I'm not one anymore. I'm a musician and we aren't ruled by logic and reason. We're ruled by feelings and instinct. And my gut is telling me that this isn't a good day for a wedding."
"Anything?" Mac questioned as soon as Marcus and Alex entered his bedroom.
The detectives shook their heads. "Nothing, Mac," Alex answered. "The word on the street is he's in the islands somewhere."
"I don't buy it," Mac said. "Make sure there's someone on every door. Nothing is stopping my wedding today."
"Sure thing," Marcus responded before he and Alex left.
Mac snatched his tie from the bureau. His eyes blazed with his frustration. "Dammit!"
"Take it easy," Kevin advised. Mac fumbled with the tie and Kevin took it from him. As he tied the black fabric into a perfect bow, he asked, "Who are they looking for?"
"Take a wild guess."
"I can't think of anyone who'd want to ruin your wedding so why don't you enlighten me?" Kevin remarked with a hint of sarcasm.
Mac shook his head and grimaced. "Sonny Corinthos."
Kevin's eyes grew large with disbelief. "You're joking, right? You're not this worked up over him. He wouldn't disrupt your wedding."
"Yes, he would," Mac answered with full certainty.
"Mac." Kevin grabbed Mac's shoulder and squeezed. "Listen to me. There's no reason a prominent underworld figure would bring attention to himself by crashing the Police Commissioner's wedding. Most of them like to think of themselves as bold, but none of them are that bold."
"His coming here would have nothing to do with his reputation or my job title," Mac explained. "Look, I can't go into details except to say it's personal. Trust me on this. There's a good chance he'll try to strong arm his way in here and when he does, I'll be ready."
AJ's eyes searched for Keesha as he entered the Scorpio home. When he found her, he went straight to her and asked, "Why is it so damn hard to get in here? I thought they were gonna do a body search! I almost left."
Keesha laughed at AJ's comment. "It's not that bad out there. Mac is a little worried so some of the guys are doing double duty as security."
"Has there been a threat?" A frown creased his brow as he gave her a long look. "Is it safe for you to be here?"
"As far as I know, there hasn't been a threat," Keesha reassured him with a smile. "We think he's just nervous. There's nothing to worry about. How's the search for Michael going? Have your private investigators found any leads?"
"He hasn't checked in, so I'm hoping that no news is good news. Grandfather wants to offer a reward and so far, everyone has been successful in keeping his mouth shut. I'm not sure how much longer that will last, though. Everyday it gets worse with the not knowing. I'm almost ready to go on the evening news, too."
She took his hand and led him to the middle row and a couple of seats on the end. "You look like you haven't slept. I wish there was something more I could do. I've reviewed the store's surveillance tape, but there wasn't much to go on. The picture was grainy and taken at an odd angle…almost like it was positioned that way on purpose."
Something clicked in his brain and he felt a dash of hope. "Did you check the camera for fingerprints? Maybe…"
She shook her head before he said much more. "We checked and there was nothing. It was wiped clean. I shouldn't tell you this, but we're looking through employee files just as a precaution."
AJ squeezed her hand. "Thank you. Do whatever it takes, please. We have to get him back."
The first strains of 'Here Comes the Bride' echoed throughout the house. The few wedding guests assembled in the living room stood up and waited for Mac and Dara to walk down the aisle. Meanwhile, upstairs Mac knocked on the door. "Dara?" he called softly. "They're playing our song. Are you ready?"
"I think so," she called out through the door.
Ellen and Kevin brushed past Mac and proceeded down the staircase. Mac watched them until they were out of sight. Then he knocked again. "Dara, there's no time like the present."
The door creaked open. She stood before him, a lovely vision in white. The strapless gown molded to her hourglass curves in a sensual, but classical way. Her honey brown shoulders looked soft and inviting. A single strand of pearls accentuated her slender neck. His gaze drifted to her face and his mouth watered. So, very beautiful, he thought. He held his hand out to her. "Come."
Hand in hand, they descended the staircase. Her hand trembled in his and Mac glanced down at her. He read nervousness on her face, but there was no sign of second thoughts. He released a sigh of relief. Her love for him was still strong. The possibility of Corinthos making an appearance wouldn't tarnish the most special day in their lives. Softly, he whispered against her ear, "Take a deep breath and relax, sweetheart. Don't be nervous. Everything will be fine. I promise."
Dara looked up at him. A gamut of emotions passed over her face. Fear and uncertainty lingered the longest until finally trust and belief prevailed. She took a deep breath, released it and smiled. "This day is for you and me. I won't forget that. I love you, Mac Scorpio."
"I love you, too, Dara...so very much."
Sonny guided the Porsche aimlessly through the streets of Port Charles. Mac was on the hunt for him. The word was out and a few of Jason's close associates passed it along to Jason who informed Sonny. The younger man wanted him to leave, but he couldn't do that. Not when his best friend's baby was missing and not when the woman he desired was promising herself to another. His soul was bound to Port Charles and until a few things were resolved, he couldn't leave.
The temptation to put an end to the wedding was strong, but Sonny resisted. He wasn't dumb and crashing the wedding would have been the dumbest move of a lifetime. He would bide his time and wait. A piece of paper and a ring wouldn't make her Mac's. Not permanently. Besides, it was his fault she accepted the Commissioner's proposal. He pushed her too hard and she became desperate. Of course, she agreed to marry Scorpio. She was running scared and viewed him as her only option.
Sonny braked at a stoplight and continued with his soul searching. The next time he saw her, he'd be softer. With tenderness, he could soothe things over between them. A well-planned seduction would work its magic, leaving her wanting only him.
The light changed to green and Sonny gunned the engine. Soaring down the street, the heaviness that had weighed him down lifted and he smiled. He was a patient man and biding his time, would leave him the victor in the end.
"Oh, sweet Dara, just you wait," he promised. "Just you wait."
Agreeing to go to the Valentine's dance was a big mistake. Elizabeth tried hard to enjoy herself with Joel, but her gaze kept going back to Lucky and Emily. It wasn't fair that her heart ached every time Lucky pulled the other girl close to him. Didn't he realize that Elizabeth had so much more to offer a guy like him? Emily was too straitlaced and proper even though she attempted to hide it. Lucky needed a girl on the edge like Elizabeth. A girl who was daring and fun. Why didn't he know that?
"So, what's up, Liz?" Joel asked her as he placed his hand at the small of her back. "You don't wanna dance, but you keep looking on the floor. What gives?"
Who was she kidding? She knew what gave. Lucky Spencer. But he was oblivious to her, so why bother with it anymore. She swallowed her pain and looked up at Joel. "I don't feel so good. I'd like to leave."
Joel's eyes widened, but he didn't become angry. He shrugged and said, "Okay. Do you wanna tell your friends or what?"
She couldn't bare the thought of talking to Lucky and Em when she felt so miserable inside. She shook her head. "I have to get my coat. I'll meet you in the lobby."
A sappy ballad came across the speakers as Elizabeth left the gym. Her heart thudded painfully in her chest. The words described so perfectly what she felt for Lucky. Things she was too embarrassed to actually say to him were sung so clearly in "I Love You" by Sarah McLachlan. It wouldn't do her any good to dwell on it, she reasoned. Joel liked her and maybe if she focused on him for the last few minutes on their date, she could salvage the damage she'd already done.
She grabbed her coat from her locker and quickly found Joel waiting for her in the lobby. He smiled when he saw her and something fluttered in her stomach. She accepted the hand he offered her and returned his smile. "I bet this hasn't been much fun for you."
He shrugged. "It's okay. People get sick. It happens. While I was waiting for you, I thought that maybe some fresh air was what you needed. How about it? Wanna go for a stroll in the park?"
"Sure, I guess so. I don't want to be out too long though. It's getting cold."
"No problem," he said with a slanted smile. "I'll have you in before you freeze."
Lucky ended his date with Emily with a slow kiss. She shivered his arms and it felt like heaven. After the kiss ended, he held her close to his pounding heart. "Happy Valentine's Day, Em."
"Lucky, this has been the best day," she whispered. "I don't want it to end."
He reluctantly pulled away from her. His hands cupped the soft, rosy curves of her cheek. "I don't either, but with the way Reggie is staring at us... I'd better go. I'll call you when I get home."
Emily's full lips curved into a smile that warmed him all over. "You'd better."
He kissed her again and then watched as she slipped inside the mansion. The heat their few kisses generated made him throb with longing. Oh, they were too young to quench those flames, but that didn't change how turned on he was. Lucky inhaled sharply as he walked down the driveway. He needed something to cool him off. A walk in the park should work, he hoped. If not, another cold shower would have to suffice.
A low, muffled sob drifted to him and Lucky paused. What is that, he wondered. At first, the plaintive cry sounded like it came from a wounded animal. He broke into a jog to see if he could help, but as he came closer, the noise sounded human. He then ran and what he found broke his heart.
"Elizabeth?" he said in a choked whisper.
"NO!" she cried when he reached out for her. "No! No!"
"It's okay," he whispered softly. "It's me. Lucky. You're safe now. "
"Lucky?" she asked, confused.
"Yeah," he mumbled. He took her hand. "Let's get you out of there."
He guided her out of the bushes and helped her stand. Black streaks of mascara ran down her ashen cheeks. Her dark brown eyes glistened with unshed tears and her hands moved frantically to pull her tattered dress around her. Lucky shrugged off his coat and wrapped it around her. She leaned against him, and without another word, he took her to General Hospital.