Chapter Twenty, Part 3

~ Decisions ~


Keesha returned home after a long day at work to find a surprise on her doorstep. Jason. He held a single red rose and handed it to her with a smile as she approached.

"This is unexpected." She stuck her key into the lock and turned. Jason followed and closed the door. "But it's nice. How are you?"

"I'm worried." He pulled off his jacket and draped it over the back of a chair.

"What about?" she asked. Keesha tossed her purse and jacket onto the counter. She removed her armed holster and set next to her other items. "If trying to right Jason Morgan's wrongs are too much, by all means stop. No one expects you to responsibility for his mistakes."

He shook his head. "We're not having that conversation again. I have to do this." He went to her, took her hand and led her to the sofa. "I'm worried about you."

"Me?" She shifted on the sofa to face him. "Why are you worried about me? I'm fine. Well, my bed is lonely and cold, and I miss you like crazy. But other than that, I'm peachy. Really."

Jason's mouth twisted into a faint smile. "I bet you're peachy, but don't try to distract me with images of fruit!" She laughed and his smile widened before fading altogether. "I saw the news. Gina was found hanging near death. Please, tell me you're not working on this psychotic case."

"I wish I could," she replied. "It's a big mystery. The Commissioner has put all of us on it."

"That's scary," he said. "Why do I get the feeling there's more to the story?"

"Because there is and it's confidential."

He cocked an eyebrow. "So that means you don't trust me enough to tell me?"

"Don't play the trust card," Keesha said. "I trust you with my life. This isn't about trust. We're under orders to keep the particulars a secret."

"I'm getting a vibe here and I don't like it," Jason told her. "It's dangerous. I don't want you working on it. Stick to finding out why Katherine Bell went after Carlotta Christofides."

Jason in possessive mode was as sexy as hell, but Keesha wasn't having it. "I love that you care enough to think you can order me around, but that's not gonna fly. I have a job to do and I have to do it." She squeezed his hand. "You don't have to worry about me. I can kick ass with the best of them."

"I'm sure you can, but I don't care about them. I care about you, and I don't want you to get hurt."

"Jason, there's nothing to worry about."

He gave her a hard look that screamed he didn't believe her. "If that's true, tell me about the case. I'll get off my high horse if you can convince me you won't be in any danger."

"I'm a cop! Of course, I'm in danger."

Jason grunted. From out of nowhere, he pulled her roughly against his chest. They faced each other nose to nose. "Keesha, I'm not convinced."

"You may not be convinced, but I'm getting turned on," she said, giggling as he blushed. "I've missed you. Let's not argue."

"I don't want to argue either," he said after he lightly brushed his lips across hers. "I just want you to be safe, and right now, I get the feeling you may not be. It's like my sins as Jason Morgan are rising up, and I'm gonna be punished for them. I don't want you to be a casualty because of me."

Frowning, she sat back. "Maybe you should stop worrying about his sins."

He shrugged. "They won't disappear just because I don't want to think about them." He pointed to his lap. "Sit here. My lap has been lonely with out you."

Keesha straddled him. His hands fell to her waist and he settled her on top of him just the way he liked. For a moment, they sat in silence.

Then, Keesha changed her mind and said, "Gina was found with two puncture wounds in her neck. She's in a coma now. The doctors have run tests on her and haven't found any toxins in her body. Her blood count is abnormally low."

"Whoa. Puncture wounds? Do we have a psycho running around thinking he's a vampire?"

She nodded. "It looks that way. Another victim was found at the same time Taggert and I found Gina. The police haven't released this info. We're trying to keep it quiet."

"Who's the victim?"

"Eve Lambert. She's an intern at General Hospital."

Jason's jaw dropped. "Two victims? Both with puncture wounds? Can't you be reassigned to another case?"

"I don't want to be," she said. "This is big and I want to help solve it. Just stand by me, okay? And trust that I know what I'm doing."

"I'll try," he said, pulling her into a hug, "but I'm not making any promises."

~*~

V asked for the day off and Robert graciously told her she could have it. Almost as soon as she hung up, a knock sounded at her door. She'd been jumpy all night. Twisted images invaded her subconscious and made sleep impossible. When morning came, she knew Arturo hadn't lied to her. Evil was in Port Charles, and she would have to fight it.

She wasn't surprised when she opened her door and found Art on the other side. He entered with a rough "Good morning" and dumped a lumpy duffel bag on the middle of her living room floor. "These are your weapons. I've been collecting them for years. I never knew why until now."

The rest of the day was spent reviewing Art's collection. That duffel bag seemed to be bottomless. Different sized wooden stakes, sharpened blades, and documentation about vampires soon formed a high pile in the center of her floor. As V handled the objects, she felt a connection to them. The handles molded to the palm of her hand. The weight felt just right. She stared at him in wonder.

"Strange, huh?" he said after they'd spent most of the day together.

"It doesn't make any sense," she said. "But it feels right. What else do you have for me?"

His eyes reflected his surprise. "How did you know there's more?"

V shrugged. "I just did."

Art reached inside his jeans pocket and pulled out a balled piece of velvet. He handed the material to her. "Open it."

She did as he instructed. Inside, she found a plain, gold cross attached to a gold chain. "What's this for?"

"Protection," he said. He took the necklace from her and pulled it over her head. "You must wear it all times."

"I'm not even sure if I believe... You'd better take it back—"

"No," he said, grabbing her hand before she could remove the cross. "You must wear it. You must believe. Knowing how to use the weapons will only get you so far. If you don't faith, none of that will matter."

She frowned. "I don't know, Art. I only go to church for weddings and funerals. I don't know anything about religion or God. How am I supposed to have faith?"

"I'm here to help you with that," he said. He held out his hand. "Come with me. There's a place we must visit...Saint Agnes Cathedral on Eighty-eighth. There you will learn."

"Okay," she said. They went to her door and were about to leave when she stopped and ran back to the duffel bag. She pulled out one of the smaller stakes. "Just in case."

~*~

"Yo, Gia! Wait up!"

She stopped. Annoyance swept through like a tidal wave. Didn't Lucas Jones have a curfew? Why was he out following her around?

"Hey!" he said, reaching her. "I wasn't sure if you heard me at first. What's up? I didn't see you at school today."

"I skipped it. I wasn't feeling well," she answered. "What are you doing out so late?"

Lucas laughed. "It's not late. I was heading over to your place. The drama at my house has gotten out of control. I needed a break. Wanna hang?"

Gia didn't really want to, but she couldn't come up with a good enough reason to say no. She lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. "Sure."

"There's a chick flick playing at the mall. If you wanna see it, we can."

"Nah, it's cool. I know guys aren't into chick flicks, and to be honest, hearts and flowers make me gag. Let's just go for a walk."

"Okay."

Gia chose the path and Lucas followed. They covered a good deal of distance by foot. Gia wasn't sure of the destination, but she sensed she'd taken that route before. Lucas didn't pipe in with a lot of questions. His silence intrigued Gia. He usually had plenty to say.

"What's the drama at your place?"

He sighed. "My sister got knocked up. My Mom is having a fit. It's crazy. Life was a lot better before I knew Carly was my sister. She wasn't such a spazz back then."

"You didn't grow up with her?"

"Nope," he said. "My Mom gave her up for adoption. Carly came looking for her, and boy, did she find her. That was the craziest year of my life. If I could live it again, a few things would change."

"Like what?" she asked, genuinely curious.

"Like I would warn my mom about her," he replied. "You wouldn't believe the stuff Carly has put our family through and it looks like none of that is about to change. I wish she would stop blaming my Mom for her problems. There's nothing wrong with being adopted. I was."

"I didn't know that."

Lucas shrugged. "It's not a big deal. My birth mom died and Mom and Dad adopted me." He suddenly stopped and looked around. "We'd better head back. The catacombs are far out. We don't want to get stuck out here."

"We won't get stuck," she assured him. "This is a cool place. No one else comes to it."

"That's why we should get out of here," Lucas advised. "Haven't you been watching the news? Gina Cates was found in an alley. They're saying she may die. A lunatic is probably out jacking up young women." He grabbed her arm. "Come on, Gia. Let's get out of here."

"Gia." A low husky murmur floated from the surrounding woods. The owner of the voice stepped into the clearing. Caleb welcomed them with a warm smile. "You've brought a friend."

Gia wrenched her arm free of Lucas' grasp. She moved to Caleb's side. "Hi, Caleb. I hope it's okay. Lucas just tagged along."

Caleb took her hand and raised it to his lips. He pressed a light kiss to her knuckles. When he was done, he continued to hold her hand as he looked at Lucas. "How nice of you to join Gia. I like visitors."

"Yeah, well, it's getting late," Lucas said, standing up straight and puffing out his chest. "We'd better go now."

"Not so fast. I'd like to know more about you. Any friends of Gia are friends of mine." He gave Lucas a hard stare. "Are you a friend?"

"Yeah."

"Gia?" Caleb asked. "Is he?"

"Yeah, sure. He's been cool."

Caleb looked at Gia and smiled. "Would you like for him to be a part of our family?"

The world swirled into a dream-like state. Caleb's face swam before her eyes. She lost all track of Lucas. Suddenly, she couldn't see him anymore. Her only guide was Caleb's voice, and to his question, she could only nod and say, "Yes."

A high-pitched scream pierced the night. Gia didn't know its cause. Later, as she wandered back to the apartment she shared with her brother, she forgot that Lucas had come with her. And she couldn't remember that she'd left him behind. In the catacombs. With Caleb.

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