Chapter 11

~ Expectations ~

Simone stormed from the conference room and nearly ran straight into her husband. Tom grabbed her upper arms and pulled her into the doorway of the floor storeroom.

"What's going on with you?" he asked. "You almost knocked me down."

"Sorry," she said, shrugging from his grasp. "I didn't see you." In fact, the only thing she could see was red, but she wasn't about to tell him that. If he knew how upset she was, he'd want to play psychiatrist and she wasn't in the mood for a therapy session.

"I think whatever's bothering you goes beyond vision problems," he commented. "You're pissed."

She grunted. Of course, he'd see right through her. She inhaled sharply and quickly released the breath. "It's nothing to worry about. I'm fine."

Tom shook his head. "I don't buy that. Let's go to my office and talk."

Simone glanced at her wristwatch. "I don't have time. I have appointments scheduled from now until five."

"Well, at dinner then," he said, placing his arm around her as he pulled her from the doorway and they moved toward the elevators. "I'll make reservations for you and me at the Grille."

She frowned. "Tommy and Lynn are coming over for dinner tonight. We've been putting it off for weeks now. I'm not postponing it again."

Tom sighed harshly. "We haven't had a quiet dinner for two for several weeks, Simone! Tommy will understand."

"I'm not making excuses to our son," she snapped. "Since you have all the practice, you can do it. I won't."

His face flushed bright red and Simone immediately regretted her words. Bringing up the past was wrong. Her anger was directed elsewhere. Attacking Tom was stupid. She opened her mouth to apologize, but he spoke first.

"I know I haven't been the perfect father," he said, his voice low and tight with anger, "but Tommy and I are working through my mistakes and focusing on our present relationship. I thought we had agreed to do the same. I knew moving back to Port Charles was a mistake."

"Dr. Hardy!"

A masculine voice called and both doctors turned to address the speaker. Tom offered a polite smile while Simone's irritation hit an all-high peak.

"Yes?" Tom asked as the man approached. "How may I help you?"

"I was speaking to Dr. Simone Hardy," the man said. "Are you a Doctor Hardy, too?"

Tom nodded. "Yes, I'm Dr. Tom Hardy. I'm a psychiatrist on staff. Simone is my wife. Who are you?"

"I'm Doug Ross. I just joined the Pediatrics department here."

The men shook hands while Simone fumed.

"Welcome to Port Charles," Tom said. "Where are you from?"

"Chicago." Doug smiled as he tilted his head to look at Simone. "I apologize for before. I had no idea—"

"It's quite alright," Simone interjected.

Doug's smile broadened and amusement twinkled in his eyes. "I'll see you in the Pediatrics Ward." He looked at Tom. "Nice to meet you."

As Ross moved away from them, Simone tore her gaze away from his retreating form and spoke to her husband. "I'm sorry about what I said. I was out of line." She pulled his mouth to hers and kissed him briefly. "I have appointments to keep. See you at dinner."

Tom watched her leave and wondered just what the hell was going on.


Sonny strolled into the visiting room. The hour was late for visitors, even from lawyers. He wondered what strings Bobby Donal pulled to get this meeting and if the attorney was there to give him good news or bad.

"Sonny," Bobby said in greeting as Sonny sat on a chair on the other side of the glass partition.

"What's up?" Sonny asked, watching Bobby closely. "Tell it to me quick and fast."

"We've found a loop hole in your incarceration," Bobby said. "We've done some digging and found out that some of the allegations against you were false and that Mac Scorpio's part in your capture was based on vengeance and not justice."

"You've been busy."

Bobby nodded. "I've filed motions with the court to reopen the case. With what Becca and I have found, there's no doubt that you'll be a free man at the end of the hearing."

Sonny's heart raced and he drew in a deep breath to calm it. Getting his hopes up had never been one of his weaknesses and God knew he had plenty to choose from. "When is the hearing?"

"Tomorrow afternoon. The prosecutors will scramble, but we have them."

Sonny nodded. "What's this about Mac Scorpio? What do you have on him?"

Bobby leaned forward so that his voice was a little above a whisper. "We know about your relationship with his wife. We also know that he was fully aware of that relationship—"

"You can't use it."

"We have to use it," Bobby countered.

"No!" Sonny ached to slam his fist down on the table, but knew that would be a sign of insubordination. Instead, he pounded his clenched hand on his thigh. "You will leave her out of this."

"We can't."

"You will or you'll be fired," Sonny said, a distinct edge to his voice. "If that's the only way I can be cleared, I won't be. I'll serve my time. I won't use her."

"This isn't about her!" Bobby whispered furiously. "You hired me to get you free. I'm trying to do that, but you have to cooperate."

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes, including bringing down Scorpio, but not if it will hurt Dara," Sonny said. "I've hurt her enough. I won't do it again."

"So it was more than just an affair," Bobby stated quietly. "You're in love with her. Is the feeling mutual?"

Sonny stood. "She's out of this. If you can't do it without her, withdraw the motion and go back to Boston."

The door closed behind Sonny, and Bobby didn't move. His mind worked quickly, processing everything he just learned. The stuff about the former Commissioner's wife was a guess. He and Becca hadn't found out a damn thing. They just put two and two together and hoped for four. Now, that Bobby knew for sure, his next stop would be a visit to the new Mrs. Mac Scorpio. Or maybe Becca would pay her a visit. Women sometimes worked better when the conversation was woman to woman. As he left the jail, he had a spring in his step and a smile on his face. Victory was close at hand.


Dara entered the house just as Mac returned the telephone handset to its cradle. From the tense expression on his face, she knew something was wrong. Instantly, she regretted having been at rehearsal all day. She should have been with him.

"Hi, there," he said. His mouth curved into a smile as she came into his arms. "I've missed you."

"Same here."

Mac kissed her soundly but without his usual passion. Then, he released her, took her hand, and led her to the sofa. They both plopped down with loud sighs.

"How was rehearsal? Are your feet in need of another massage?"

She pushed her feet out of her shoes and had them on Mac's lap before she could respond with words. Lowering her head to the sofa's armrest, she said, "Rehearsal was fine. What was so upsetting about your phone call?"

His brilliant green eyes clouded over. "That was the hospital. Katherine hasn't gotten any better. I shouldn't have told her what happened."

Dara sat up and took Mac's hands. "It's not your fault. She would have been told eventually. Carlotta Christofides' father is on the warpath. He's out for blood and he's determined to have Katherine arrested."

Mac gritted his teeth. "I know. He's been at the hospital a few times. Taggert's told me that he's threatening to have everyone's job at the station if Katherine isn't arrested soon."

"He's upset. Who can blame him? His daughter was nearly killed in front his and his granddaughter's eyes," Dara said.

"So, you're on his side?" Mac shook his head. "Katherine is in no shape to be thrown in jail. Besides, that wasn't her on that parapet. For all we know, someone could have put her up to it."

Dara pulled her feet from Mac's lap and crossed them under her. "You're very defensive of her."

"She's my friend. No one else is looking out for her."

"So you're taking the job," she said. Mac's relationship with Katherine was old news, Dara thought. Seeing how fierce he was about the other woman made her wonder if the new was as old as she thought.

"It's not like that," he said. "She needs someone on her side."

"She almost killed Carlotta!"

"For all we know, Cassadine loosened that railing with the intention of taking out his fiancée himself!"

Dara rolled her eyes. "Mac, please. You were there. Everyone could see how devoted he is to Carlotta. He loves her."

"Someone loosened that parapet. Katherine's fingerprints weren't on it."

"Whose were?" Dara asked.

"No one's," he grunted. "It was wiped clean."

"Maybe she wore gloves—"

"Dara, come on!" Mac abruptly stood and moved away from her. "Katherine isn't a cold-blooded killer. She's impulsive, willful and bitchy at times, but she would never kill anyone."

Dara rose and grabbed her shoes. She was too tired to argue with Mac about his former flame. "I have a long day tomorrow. I'll see you upstairs."

"I'm going to the hospital," he said, grabbing his jacket from the coat rack. "I'll try not to disturb you when I come in."

Dara swallowed back the tears as the door slammed shut behind him and she climbed the staircase alone.


Sneaking onto Wyndemere wasn't nearly as Luke claimed it would be, Carly thought as she dodged another guard. All the places he indicated on his little map were heavily guarded. Either her uncle was a liar and he never sneaked into the place without being spotted, or Stefan Cassadine allowed him entry.

Something told her the latter was the case. Luke was always ego-tripping. It wasn't hard for her to believe he embellished his exploits. Besides, if he was so great, wouldn't his wife be with him instead of living in some rural outhouse in the South?

Carly bypassed the big hulking Italian who hovered over Dawn like a shadow. As he moved past her, she took a moment to admire his butt. The worn denim molded to him like skin. His assets were right up there with Jason's in her book.


She stifled a grunt. Why did she have to think about him now? She wouldn't be in this predicament if it weren't for him. Sure, the baby was taken while in her care, but that wouldn't have happened if he had been focused on her instead of...Dawn! That bitch again. Carly muttered a curse. She almost had a few doubts about what she planned to do, but not anymore. Sticking it to that little wench would be the ultimate vindication.

Carly entered Wyndemere without any alarms going off. She breathed a sigh of relief. She and Bobbie had cleared out of the place that morning since Dr. Hardy extended their stay a few extra days. Maybe the staff wouldn't realize that if they spotted her. Carly crossed her fingers and hoped that would be the case.

Her hands grasped the arms of her backpack as she raced up the stairs. She headed for the wing where Nikolas' room was. On the way, she passed Dawn's quarters. Just to be on the safe side, she peeked in. The little twerp was fast asleep in her own bed for once. Good! That meant Nikolas was all alone in his.

She went to his room next. The door opened without a creak and Carly quietly released the air she'd been holding. She entered the room, closing and locking the door behind her. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness and she spotted Nikolas asleep in the middle of the huge bed. The sheets bunched at his waist, revealing his well defined, olive-tone chest. Her mouth went dry. Damn. He was beautiful.

Carefully so as not to wake him, she slipped inside his bathroom. She pulled her gear from the backpack. Without taking a chance on second thoughts, Carly stripped down and pulled on a short, lacy nightgown. She left the panties in the bag. She then retrieved the goods from Lorraine from the front pocket of the backpack. The vial was full and sealed. The substance was considered dangerous and illegal. If she was caught with it, there would be hell to pay. But she didn't have a choice. This was it. She was there and she wasn't about to back out now.

Unlike the drug's counterpart for females, (in laymen's terms it was called the date-rape drug), this one couldn't be administered in a drink. She had to inject him. Carly hated injections, but for the sake of her son, she'd do it. She'd do anything for Michael.

It would take a few minutes for the drug to take effect. Nikolas would no doubt awaken during the act, but he would be powerless to stop it. Carly soured at that thought. Once again, she was resorting to drugs to overpower a man—Stop! Her wayward thoughts couldn't wander off in that direction. AJ had threatened her. He got what he deserved.

But Nikolas?

Her jaw tightened. He was a Cassadine. He should have been born to another family. It was too late for him to be spared, and he wouldn't be.

Carly injected Nikolas and waited. It didn't take long for the drug to take effect as his body reacted accordingly. She crawled into bed beside him just as his eyes fluttered open. Her hands caressed him and he tried to push her away.

"No, Carly," he said, his words slurring. "Go away."

"You know you want this," Carly said, caressing his face. "It's okay. Everything will be okay later. I promise I won't hurt you. Just relax and enjoy it."

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