The return from Hawaii to Port Charles proved uneventful. Mac continued to be consumed by 'helping' Katherine, and Dara focused on recording her debut CD among other diversions. During the recording process, Dara and Brenda became friends.
Dara drummed her fingers on the console to the rhythmic beat coming from the speakers. Brenda lightly touched her arm. Dara smiled. "This is great. The remix will be wild."
"Definitely!" Brenda curled into the adjacent leather chair. "I thought you'd like it. Ned wasn't sure."
"I don't always sway to a slow vibe," Dara said. "This is good. This should be the first release."
"Sounds good to me." Brenda made notes in the pad she often carried with her. When she finished, she tapped the pen against the paper.
Dara had grown accustomed to the different techniques and moods of her producers. After spending so much time in a courtroom, her observation skills were near an expert level. She could read people. Dara switched off the playback machine and said, "What is it?"
"I hate being so easy to read," Brenda complained with a tight laugh. "I was just thinking how I wish I could be like you. So decisive. You know what you want. You don't hesitate. Decisions are hard for me to make. I usually make the wrong one and for the wrong reason."
"I don't always know what I want," Dara said quietly. "My decisions aren't always right."
Brenda looked up quickly. "I didn't mean… You're just so self-assured, Dara. Surely, you can admit that."
Dara shook her head. Brenda viewed her life from the outside. The other woman had no idea… Dara made more than her fair share of mistakes and judging by her recent actions, she hadn't learned a thing from them. "Everybody has an Achilles' heal. Even me."
"I suppose so." Brenda tugged on her overly long sleeves. "This is my security blanket," she said, indicating the arms of her shirt. "Ned teases me about it. He says one day a shirt will swallow me whole. He has no idea…sometimes, that's what I want. To disappear and maybe return on my terms. Maybe not. Do you ever feel like that?"
Dara shrugged. "Not exactly. Lots of times, I feel like I have disappeared or either I'm invisible. I'm there, but no one sees me. I'm walking around and life is going on around me. Without me. My heart is beating and I'm alive, but no one seems to care or notice."
"Tell me about it," Dara agreed. "The only time I feel truly alive is…" when I'm with Sonny. Dara caught herself before the words were spoken. She gave Brenda a tight smile and shrugged. "When I'm singing onstage. The audience reminds me that I'm not alone and that they see me. I'm not alone."
"Alone," Brenda said quietly. "I don't like being alone. I don't want to be alone."
Dara nodded. "Neither do I."
Sonny thought about the days in Hawaii. Or rather, the nights. With Dara. She came to him willingly. It was like they had never left the island. Everything clicked. Their bodies fit together perfectly. Emotions rang high. Passion exploded. He experienced a physical high he never thought possible. Just by being inside her. Feeling her. Knowing she wanted him. Was admitting it with every caress, kiss and moan.
He shuddered. Just thinking about it brought it all back. He felt the familiar tightening in his crotch. His hand covered the growing bulge. He remembered how he felt when she took him in her hand, guided him to her mouth and then later to her liquid warmth between her thighs.
Afterward, they didn't talk. Words couldn't compare to what they'd experienced. Besides, he didn't want to hear her apologies or recriminations. He headed for the shower. When he returned, she was gone. It's almost funny. Her leaving hurt worst than it did the first time.
Damn Hawaii anyway.
He returned to Port Charles determined to forget her. The coffee export/import business became his primary focal point. Nothing else mattered. Until she showed up. He should have turned her away, but he couldn't. She kept coming back and leaving afterward, without any words passing between them.
And he let her.