Chapter 28

Keesha slipped into a shimmering gray gown. She pulled the straps over her shoulders and reached behind for the zipper. But AJ was already there.

"Allow me."

His warm fingers brushed her hands away. He stepped close. His body heat warmed her all over. His breath fanned her neck. Curls escaping from her upswept hairstyle, skimmed her shoulders. She shivered.

He rubbed her shoulders and upper arms. "Cold?"

"No." She looked over her shoulder into his eyes. "Just a little tingly."

"Tingly?" he questioned, a broad, sexy smile on his face. "I like the sound of that. Maybe we should explore this further."

He turned her around and wrapped his arms around her. Keesha admired the fit of his black tuxedo jacket across his broad shoulders and the contrast of dark to his fair complexion and hair. AJ was one handsome man.

"You look good."

He grinned. Pulling her close, he nuzzled her neck. "This is getting better and better."

Her heart lurched as he nibbled an earlobe. She pressed against his chest. "We'll be late."

"So?" His tongue swirled inside her ear. "They won't run out of food. No one will notice."

"I wouldn't bet on that." She enjoyed the delicious sensations of his tongue for a few moments longer. Then, she shoved him away. "Come on, lover boy."

"You're killing me," he complained as he placed her matching shimmering shawl around her shoulders. "Would you like to know where?"

"It's hard to miss." She patted the tent pointing from his slacks. "Pun intended."

"You're cruel," he said with a groan.

"I'll make it up to you later."

"Promises, promises." He followed her from the bedroom.

"Seriously," he said as he unlocked the passenger door and held it open for her. "We don't have to go if you're not feeling up to it. Dawn will understand."

Keesha eased onto the passenger seat. "We can't miss her engagement party. She's already asked you to be a groomsman at the wedding. Your disappointed friend will have to wait."

He pouted as he slammed the door close. As he climbed into the driver seat, he said, "I don't want you to overdo it. Pregnancy is stressful anyway and added with the other stuff… All I'm saying is don't feel obligated to go tonight."

"I've been looking forward to this party all week. Maya is safe at the hotel with my parents. We can relax and enjoy this evening. Okay?" She rested her hand on his thigh, stroking him in a circular motion.

"Okay." He pulled out of the garage and pulled onto the street.

The change in season brought a change to Port Charles. Traffic became erratic and AJ decided to take his time getting to the dock where they'd take a ferry to Wyndemere. Like Keesha, he looked forward to the party. Dawn had been on exuberant all week. He'd look at her and laugh. She'd blush and the grin would return. Watching her be in love gave him hope. If she could fall in love with a cold fish like Stefan Cassadine, then the possibility of a happy ending was endless for everyone else.

"I'm glad your parents came over this weekend."

"Me, too," she agreed. "I can't wait to tell them about the baby. Now, they'll have someone else to spoil rotten."

"She's not that bad," he said, automatically defending his little girl. "Considering she's been an only child, Maya is an angel."

"You see her through rose colored glasses."

He shrugged. "I suppose, but I wouldn't change a thing about her. She's special. Just like her mother."

She released a loud sigh that sent a chill through him.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"I hate what's going on with Jason. It's my fault. Maybe I should have told him."

"He wouldn't have listened to you."

"We don't know that. Look at how he was with Michael."

AJ's jaw tightened. What was she really saying? "I haven't been a good father?"

"No! You've been great. Better than I imagined. I don't deserve the sacrifices you've made--"

"What sacrifices? I love you, Keesha. I always have. Nothing can change that."

"Don't be so sure," she mumbled. "I've done things I'm not proud of."

"You didn't lie about Maya." His gaze moved back and forth between Keesha and the street. "No one asked. Besides, it doesn't matter. I love her, and I love you, too."

"Oh, AJ. There are things about me you don't know."

"I know everything I need to." He braked at a stoplight.

"Not everything. Jason kissed me," she said in a rush. "I should have told you. I don't know why I didn't. It was a mistake."

AJ gripped the steering wheel. He felt as if his chest would burst. Questions spiraled out of control inside his head. The light became green and he pressed the accelerator.

"AJ? Say something. Please."

He swallowed hard. What could he say? He blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "It doesn't change. I still love you."

"I--" Her words came to an immediate halt. Instead, she screamed, "AJ, LOOK OUT!"

His eyes widened as he met the stare of the deer. The four-legged creature stood in the middle of the road, not moving as if locked in a trance. AJ swerved to avoid the animal. Oncoming headlights blinded him. Then, the horrific screech of metal on metal screamed inside his head. Finally, everything faded to black.

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