The day was cloudless and the park wasn't too crowded. Lucky stood behind Emily, his hands resting on her shoulders. She tossed pieces of bread into the pond and the ducks quacked with glee. She'd been quiet for such a long time that Lucky wondered if anything was wrong.
She sighed and looked her shoulder at him. "I'm fine. I can't stop thinking about what happened to Katherine. She could be bitchy, but I never imagined she'd lose it like that."
"People carry their baggage in strange compartments," he said quietly. "When they reach their destination, it's not always pretty."
Emily tossed the final crumbs at the ducks before turning to face him. Her slender hands cupped his face. "You okay?"
Lucky shrugged. "I guess so."
"That didn't sound too convincing to me," she replied. "Maybe you should try to work things out with him-"
"There's nothing to work out," Lucky interrupted her. "I can't go back in time and make it not happen. He doesn't even feel sorry for what he did to her, and then there she is…down in the Carolinas. Her head's in the clouds with all the lies she fed me as a kid and is still feeding LuLu. I don't want to be a part of that, Emily. It's just too much, you know."
He turned away from her. A stone lay on the path in front of him and he kicked it as hard as he could. He didn't look to see where the rock landed, but he heard the thud and a short gasp. Then he looked and his father was standing right there.
Lucky's breath burned in his throat. The muscles in his stomach clenched and he turned away, blindly reaching for Emily's hand. "Come on, let's go."
"Lucky, wait!" Luke called out. "You can't keep running away from me. I'm your father."
"I can't help the circumstances of my birth," Lucky replied coldly, his back to Luke, "but I can choose who I associate with afterwards. Biologically, I'll always be your son…but that's all it will ever be."
Emily's thumb caressed the back of his hand. Lucky appreciated the silent gesture of compassion. Without looking back, they left the park. Lucky felt Luke's stare for miles, but there was nothing he could do about it or wanted to do. The beliefs he had about his parents turned out to be based on lies instead of truths. He couldn't bear to be around either of them and doubted if he ever would again.
"Please have a seat. Mr. Cassadine will be with you in a moment."
Keesha smiled at Mrs. Lansbury offer but declined the invitation. While the older woman disappeared to parts unknown in the huge mansion, Keesha used the time alone to examine her surroundings. The home reeked of old money and even older traditions. She knew that Dawn lived there and wondered how the younger woman liked it. Keesha knew that when she was a teenager she would have found the atmosphere stifling.
"What are you doing here?"
The sound of a familiar voice interrupted Keesha's musing. She looked towards the staircase and was surprised to see Carly staring back at her. "I could ask you the same," she stated in an even tone. "You are aware that you could be arrested for trespassing."
Carly smirked as she descended the staircase. "I'm not trespassing. I'm working."
Keesha had to bite her tongue to keep from saying the first thing that came to mind. Instead, she simply said, "Well, good for you."
"You haven't answered my question," Carly said when the women stood face to face.
"I don't intend to. I don't owe you an explanation. This isn't your home."
Carly shrugged. "Not yet anyway."
Keesha laughed outright. "What's that supposed to mean? I doubt if the Cassadines would invite you to live here. Your delusions are getting the better of you today, aren't they?"
"It's not a delusion, but a prediction." Carly moved away from Keesha and made herself very comfortable on the settee. Spreading her arms out, she said, "This will be mine and when it is, you'd better to remember to never darken the doorstep again or I'll have you arrested for trespassing."
"And exactly how will this home become yours?" Keesha asked, a hint of sarcasm in her tone. "I'm sure you can't afford it."
"It doesn't matter and it's none of your business," Carly quipped.
"True, but you brought it up-"
"Keesha!" Dawn exclaimed as she entered the large drawing room. "Did you come over to visit? No one told me you were here."
The two women hugged. Despite the circumstances of their initial acquaintance, the two women shared a genuine friendship. "I didn't come for a visit. I was waiting for Mr. Cassadine."
"He's with Mother," Dawn told her, "and speaking of which, shouldn't you be upstairs?" She gave Carly a hard stare. "Bobbie is looking for you."
A swift shadow of anger swept across Carly's face. She rose and performed an exaggerated bow. "As you wish, your highness."
After she left, Keesha asked, "What was that?"
"A stupid fool," Dawn spat. Her eyes flashed with fury.
Keesha nodded. "That sounds like Carly. What has she done now?"
"She attempted to seduce Nikolas."
Keesha's mouth dropped open and then realization dawned on her. Carly's little fantasy about living at Wyndemere revolved around Nikolas. Could that really be it? "I don't think you have anything to worry about. Nikolas loves you very much."
"I know," Dawn replied with a faint smile. "I don't consider her a threat, but it angers me that she would even attempt such a thing! To come to his room in only a towel! How gauche! She obviously has no tact or pride."
"Obviously," Keesha agreed. "Don't let her get to you, okay? She's a schemer and her plans never work out the way she wants them to. If you need me, call me."
Dawn gave Keesha a quick hug. "I will and thank you. I hate to leave you alone, but I have to practice. Perhaps, I should go upstairs for Uncle…"
"There's no need," Stefan replied smoothly as he joined them. He kissed Dawn's cheek and said, "Your mother wishes to see you before you lock yourself away in the music room."
"I'll go straight away. It was nice seeing you again, Keesha. We'll have to indulge in another shopping spree very soon."
Dawn left them and Keesha waited for Stefan to speak. She sensed that something was on his mind and she wanted it out in the open before they got down to business.
"Please have a seat," he instructed. As she sat, he gestured towards the bar. "Would you like coffee or tea?"
She shook her head. "This isn't a social visit, Mr. Cassadine. I have questions for you and Ms. Christofides."
"I'm aware of that," he said. "I am at your disposal to answer any questions you may have, however, Ms. Christofides ill not be available at this time. She is bedridden and will not be disturbed."
"Was she injured?" Keesha asked, her voice filled with concern.
"No. This is merely a precaution."
"Will your attorney be present for this?" Keesha asked.
"I have no need for one," he stated. "There will only be the two of us. My goddaughter trusts you, and I trust her judgment. We may proceed now."
"Very well," Keesha said, feeling a sense of relief at his thinly disguised compliment. She pulled a notepad and pen from her purse and began with her questions.
"You look like hell," Robert greeted his younger brother as Mac entered the office they shared. "Did you get any sleep?"
"I caught a few hours," Mac answered. He poured a mug coffee and filled it with sugar and cream. "I'll be okay."
Mac shrugged. "It's still touch and go. She hasn't regained consciousness. They're doing everything they can. There's not much else they can do. Robin says our interview is here. Are you ready?"
"Sure," Robert answered. "Do you know anything about her?"
Mac chuckled as he glanced over Robert's shoulder at the resume. "I know her. V. Ardnowski is a very unique woman. Unforgettable."
"Is that good or bad?"
Mac swallowed some coffee before he answered. "It's all relative. She's good and dedicated. I would be okay with hiring her without an interview."
"It says here she was with the sheriff's department. Do you think she'll want in on the cases?"
Mac nodded. "Probably, but I don't think it will be a problem at first. Really, Robert, we wouldn't go wrong with hiring her."
The phone on Robert's desk buzzed. "Dad, are you and Uncle Mac ready?"
"Yeah. Send Ms. Ardnowski in."
The door opened and V. entered. She wore a bright smile on her face and Robert found himself instantly intrigued. Maybe his little brother was right.
"Hello, Ms. Ardnowski," he said in his Australian brogue. "Please, have a seat."
"Hello Mac…Mr. Scorpio," she said, sitting in the vacant chair in front of Robert's desk.
"Please, call me Robert. My brother has spoken very highly of you and seems to think you would be an asset. Judging from your background, I wonder if being a receptionist/secretary would be enough for you. Mac and I won't be in the office once the clientele starts coming in and we'll need someone to maintain the office for us. Are you sure this position is the one for you?"
V. took her time before answering. "I'll admit that I'd be interested in helping with the cases if I could, but I understand that you'd someone here. I wouldn't shirk on my responsibilities. I am a very responsible person. I always have been. If you contact my references, they will tell you the same."
Mac held up his hand. "That won't be necessary, V. I know from personal experience. Robert's concerned that you'll find the position boring and will want to pursue the adventures."
V shook her head. "I would do whatever's asked of me and maybe more. But if you would prefer that I remain in the office, that's what I would do."
Mac looked at Robert. "Is that enough for you? Or should she write it in blood, too?"
Robert grunted. "I'm cautious, but I'm no ogre. It's good enough for me." He stood and extended his hand to her. "Welcome to Scorpio Investigations."
Bobby Donnell reviewed his notes of his and Becca's earlier meeting with their new client, Sonny Corinthos. Even as far as Boston, Bobby had heard about Corinthos and his organization. Nothing illegal could ever be pinned on the man until now. The arrest report filed by Port Charles' former police commissioner appeared to be on the up and up, but something gnawed at Bobby's gut about it. Why would a former police official go on a hunt after a crime boss unless it was personal? "It's gotta be personal."
"What did you say, Bobby?" Becca asked, returning to the living area of the suite they were sharing at the Port Charles Hotel. "What's personal?"
"Mac Scorpio and Sonny."
"Cops become obsessed sometimes," she said, joining him on the sofa.
"I've looked over Scorpio's record. Since he's been on the force, it's been impeccable."
"What about before?" she asked.
"He was a mercenary. Eugene faxed us some more documents while you were in the shower." He handed her the sheets of paper. "His brother was with the WSB and was later the police commissioner before his disappearance a few years ago. He returned from out of the blue, and together they hunt down Corinthos. It doesn't make any sense to me."
"It does sound a little sketchy. Maybe it is personal," Becca commented. "I'll do a cross-reference of their ties, but it's possible that the Scorpios wanted them out of what's her name…Robin's life. This was their ticket to getting what they wanted."
"It's possible, but that would make it between Robert Scorpio and Sonny. I get the feeling that there's something going on between Mac and Sonny, and that Robert was just helping his brother out."
"So for the defense, we're going with unlawful arrest?" she asked. She ran a hand through her short dark curls. "I'm not sure that’s the best way to go."
"It's an avenue to consider," he commented with a shrug. "The Scorpio brothers have opened up a private eye shop. Interested in dropping in for a brief consultation?"
"As Corinthos' defense team?"
Bobby smiled. "We'll just play it by ear and see what happens."
"Okay," Becca replied. "Give me a minute to get dressed."
She stood and he reached for her hand, pulling her to him. "Not so fast. We have until 5 before they close up for the day."
Making herself comfortable on his lap, Becca played with the collar of his shirt. "Robert Donnell, are you propositioning me?"
"Oh, yeah," he growled. Then, he closed his mouth over hers.