Chapter Thirteen

~ Unexpected Allies ~

Arturo Corinthos did some digging and found out that Florence's son was a cop in Port Charles. Apparently, her kid had quite a reputation as being bullheaded and determined. Not bad traits for a cop. If his nephew Sonny knew what he thought... Arturo shook his head. Adele's kid chose his own path. Now, he had to pay for it behind bars. Oh, well. Arturo might not be a good father, but for what it was worth, he wasn't a hood either.

He sat at a bus stop across the street from the police station and waited for Marcus Taggert's arrival. Right on the dot at eight fifty-eight am, the younger man strode down the sidewalk and ascended the steps to the station. Arturo admired Taggert's gait and couldn't help but hope that if Florence did such a good job with him, she'd done at least half the same with his Gia.

Arturo waited until a little after nine before he went inside the concrete building. The station bustled with excitement. The boys and girls in blue moved with barely restrained urgency. The sight shocked the hell out of Arturo. While he admired Flo's kid for choosing an honorable profession, he didn't have too high of an opinion of cops in general. Some were good and did their jobs without the smell of Dunkin Donuts on their breath. But the others... They'd roust a guy just because his skin was brown or he spoke with an accent. Those guys were scum, and Arturo couldn't stand them.

He asked at the front desk and was told that Marcus was around the corner. Art hadn't thought about what he would say to the younger man. How could he tell him that Gia was in trouble without looking suspicious? He doubted if Marcus would remember him. Art was in and out of Flo's life faster than a speeding bullet. He wasn't proud of his fast retreat, but that was then. It shouldn't be too late for him to make amends for it now.

"Detective Marcus Taggert," he said, "I need to speak with you."

Marcus' eyes narrowed, as he looked Art over from head to toe. There seemed to be a glimmer of recognition, but it disappeared before Art could know for sure if the kid remembered him. Marcus pointed to an empty seat and waited until Art sat before he spoke.

"What is this regarding?"

Art took a deep breath. He'd have to give his information in a roundabout way. If he knew where Gia was, he could take care of it himself. Maybe Marcus would be the next best thing. "There's a man who's running around preying on young women."

"Oh yeah?" Marcus asked. His expression looked as if he wasn't too convinced. "And how do you know this?"

"I just know it," Art said, his voice as sharp as a belt. "I'm not jerking your chain. My concerns are serious. That's why I came to the proper authorities." He stood. "If you'd rather not become involved, I'll take care of it myself."

"Okay, now! Settle down," Marcus said. "Have a seat and tell me what you know."

Art gave Marcus a quick description of the man he'd seen in his visions, stalking his young daughter. He wished the image was clear. If it was, he'd go after the bastard himself. For now, all he had to go on was shoulder length dark hair, an ashen complexion and a black leather jacket. It wasn't much, but it had to help. The cold-hearted SOB was bad. Art shuddered just thinking about him, and he for damn sure didn't want the evil hombre anywhere near his daughter!

"Is that good enough?" Art asked.

Marcus nodded. "It'll do. A name would be better."

Art shook his head. The best he could come up with was that it became with a 'C'. That was too vague. "I don't have a name now, but if I get one, I'll pass it along."

Marcus jotted down more information. When he was done, he stared at Arturo. Finally, he asked, "What's this really about, man? Is this report legit or are you trying to get next to my mother again?"

Art swallowed hard. He'd been found out after all. "This isn't about your mother, and yes, my report is legit. Someone is after your sister. We need to stop him."


High school. Ugh. Gia shuddered at the thought. The last thing in the world she wanted was to traipse up and down the hallway of a crummy old high school. But that was the deal. If she didn't attend and cut classes instead, Marcus would send her away. Being a few years shy of eighteen really sucked.

"Hey, there!" Lucas jogged to reach her and fell into step beside her. "Didn't think I'd see you here today."

"It's all in the bargain."

"Huh?" His forehead crinkled up as he frowned. "What bargain?"

"Something my mother and my brother cooked up." She shrugged. "It's no big deal."

Lucas nodded. They shared a few classes together, including second period. A few kids said "hi" to him as they passed. She sighed with relief. At least he had friends. Making a few for herself wouldn't be too difficult since he obviously wasn't classified as a geek. Not that it mattered to her. Well, not really. But it was always better to be seen with a cool kid in school when you were the new kid. She didn't make that stupid rule, but she knew that adhering to it wouldn't hurt.

"Have you seen that guy again?" Lucas asked. "The weirdo with the leather jacket."

Gia's heart constricted. Her palms suddenly felt damp. She rubbed them on her jeans. She hadn't seen the guy in the flesh, but he sure had been heating up her dreams. In the morning, she couldn't remember anything specific. Just an overall feeling swept through her. One like he'd carried her away to a wonderful place and she never wanted to return.

"Gia?" Lucas persisted. "He's bad news. You should stay away from him."

"He's not so bad," she replied, a little out of breath. "He's just older."

"Which is why he's bad news. He's got to be at least thirty," he said. "What the hell is he doing talking to you?"

"What!" Talk about an insult. That twerp!

"That's not what I meant!" He followed her inside the classroom and into the back row where they sat. "It came out wrong. I'm sorry. It's just that he should be with women his age, and you should be with a guy your age."

"Oh, should I?" she asked, her voice dry. She shook her head. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'll take a man over a little boy any day of the week."

Gia folded into her desk before Lucas could reply. He was just like everyone else. Always telling her what to do. He didn't understand. That weirdo in leather as Lucas called him awakened something in her she didn't know existed. She couldn't wait to see him again in the flesh. She knew their next meeting would be explosive!


The pensive expression on Rebecca's face was the first thing Bobby noticed as she entered their hotel suite. He set aside the faxes about their other cases on the desk and went to her. His hands cupped her face and tilted her head. He brushed his lips across hers in a soft caress. When he pulled away, he asked, "What happened?"

Becca released a harsh breath. "This is wrong, Bobby." She moved from him, tossed her briefcase on the floor, and plopped down on the sofa. "We have to find another way."

"What did she say to you?" he asked, sitting on the coffee table in front of her. Rebecca had a tortured look on her face. That bothered him. Maybe he should have gone to see Dara Scorpio instead.

"It's not what she said. It's what we're doing," Rebecca explained. "Sonny is in love with her and she has some feelings for him. And I bet she's not even aware of them! We can't use their relationship to win this case. It's not right."

"We have to use whatever we can," he said. "This isn't a time to be sentimental, Bec. Sonny shouldn't be behind bars. Not for the crimes they listed. All of the evidence was circumstantial at best!"

"Well, we can use that!" She abruptly stood and headed to the window. Her shoulders shook as she inhaled a deep breath and released it.

Bobby went to her and closed his hands over her trembling shoulders. Gently, he kneaded her tense muscles. The simple touch of his hands on her made him burn with sudden desire. Quelling those urges would be the best bet. Sex during a disagreement with Becca was always good, but there was always hell to pay later. He'd best stick to just a massage.

"Mac Scorpio went after Sonny for vengeance. Charges were embellished and the capture was unconstitutional." Bobby sighed when she didn't respond. "Why are you so against bringing their relationship into this? Everything hinges on it!"

"Because those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." She turned to face him. Her arms slipped around his waist. "No one knows about us, Bobby. They think we're just good friends."

"Our relationship is no one's business," he said, pulling her closer to him. "And we are good friends."

"We are, but you're also my boss. You know how it would look. It was bad enough when you dated Lindsay. Eleanor and Jimmy almost had a fit."

He rolled his eyes. "Being with Lindsay was a mistake. What we have is... It just feels right. It's always been there, but we were too stubborn to admit it."

"Would you want anyone to use our relationship against us?"

"Of course not! But if—"

"There are no but ifs," she said, shaking her head. "We can find another way. Our firm has an interesting enough reputation without adding home-wrecker to it, too."

"The hearing is in a few hours," he said. "It's time to regroup. I hope this is the right decision."

She smiled for the first time since returning to the hotel. "It is."

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