Entangled by Yash Chapter 5

Dara flipped over the pancake and stirred the grits. Do little boys reared in Italian families in Brooklyn, even eat grits? Oh well, they were going to find out. According to the schedule, Stone should be waking up any moment. Placing the food on the table, she wondered how awkward this morning was going to be. A tug on her robe jarred her out of her reverie. She turned around and squatted down to his level.

“Good morning, Aunt Dara,” he said confidently.

Dara was surprised by his calmness and her title. “You know who I am?”

The little boy nodded. “Uncle Louie told me about you and showed me a picture of you, and one of you and Mommy.”

Dara could only nod at the wealth of information that he had provided for her. Louie had really prepared Stone for the move. She would like to know what else he knew, but she saw him eyeing the food. “Are you hungry?” He nodded. “Then let’s eat.” With that said, they did exactly that.

While eating, he stared at the grits on his plate and pointed, “What’s this?”


“Why are yours a different color than mine?” he inquired.

“Because mine have cheese in them.” He licked his lips on the word cheese. “Would you like to try some?”

He nodded and she put a little on his plate. He tentatively tasted, swallowed, and then smiled. “These are good.”

For some reason, she had been holding her breath. She exhaled with his positive response to the grits. “Cheese grits from now on.”

He smiled at her and continued eating.

With breakfast finished, Dara began cleaning the kitchen. Stone watched her every move. She looked at him and asked, “Would you like to help?” He nodded eagerly. “I’ll wash, you’ll dry.” She handed him the dishtowel and they began.

“How did such a young man learn how to clean up a kitchen so nicely?” she asked, while watching him dry a pot like an expert.

“Grandma says, ‘All boys and girls should help clean up after themselves, specially if someone else cooked for them,’” he said matter of factly. “But Uncle Louie said, ‘Women do the housework and men watch sport.’ Then Aunt Lois told him to “shut up” and hit him on the head.”

Dara laughed at the story that sounded exactly like something Lois would do and say. Putting away his pot, the last dish, Dara inquired what he wanted to do for the rest of the day.

“Can we go to the park?”

The park, she thought, she couldn’t remember the last time she went to the park, much less with a child. She found herself nodding. “The park it is. Well then, let’s get dressed.” She walked towards her room, and then paused. “Do you need help getting dressed?” Do six year olds need help dressing, she wondered.

“No, but you need to come in the bathroom while I take a bath. Brooke Lynn says you can drown in a half of inch of water.”

“She did?”

“Uh huh.” He looked directly into her eyes and asked, “How much is a half inch?”

Dara walked back into the kitchen and got a glass. She poured a half of inch of water into the glass.

“Wow!” He exclaimed with his eyes wide open. “That’s not a lot.”

“No, it isn’t, so always be careful.”

He nodded slowly as he continued to stare at the water.

“Why don’t you go pick out your clothes, while I run your bathwater?”

As he ran off, she wondered did she need to baby proof the house? Did you baby proof the house if the baby was six? She didn’t remember reading anything about that in the file. She’d have to reread the file.

“Aunt Dara, I picked out my clothes.”

“I’ll be right there,” she said as she walked towards the bathroom.

As soon as they hit the park, Stone looked at her longingly.

“Aunt Dara, can I go play?”

“Yes,” she said, but he didn’t move. He looked down at their clasped hands. She let go of his hand and he took off like lightning.

Her “be careful” fell on deaf ears. Looking around the park, she saw little groups of mothers and nannies in their cliques, keeping an eye on the children and their ear to the latest gossip. A few other individuals were scattered around. Not wanting to answer any questions about her new charge, Dara sat on a bench slightly hidden from public viewing, but with a direct sight line to the playground.

She watched Stone slide, swing, and yell. To the common observer, he looked like a child without a care in the world, instead of a child ripped from everything he knew. She saw Stone play with a little red headed boy about his age, who looked vaguely familiar. Watching the boys play, she missed the black haired gentleman approaching her until he was upon her.

“Excuse me, Miss Jensen, you’re on my bench.” She looked over and into the eyes of Sonny Corinthos, a very causal Sonny at that. She had never seen him in jeans and a t-shirt before, and if she thought he was hot standing on the opposite side of the courtroom in his Versace, Armani, and Hugo Boss suits, he was now sizzling. Realizing that she was staring, Dara blushed and turned away, but not before he flashed her the dimples. Where had these thoughts come from?

“Miss Jensen,” Dara realized Sonny was talking to her.

“Yes.” She tried for casual disinterest, but didn’t really pull it off.

“I was saying you’re on my bench.”

“I didn’t see your name on it.” She looked around the bench as to see if his name was on it.

“It’s park etiquette.”

“Really, I didn’t know one existed.” “Yes, may I- -“ he asked, pointing to the empty space next to her.

She nodded and he sat down. Why not, she figured, she wasn’t working in the DA’s office anymore.

“This is the safe haven for the dads.”

“A safe haven? From who? Their wives?” she asked.

Sonny laughed and shook his head. “Well for some, but mainly from the bored housewives, the desperate divorcees, and the nannies looking to be promoted to wife.”

Dara burst out laughing. “You mean all those women over there?” she said, nodding to the women on the benches.

“Yes, some of them.” He shook his head. “Picking up men while their kids play.”

“Hey, you know there’s nothing sexier than a man taking care of his child.”

“Says who?”

“It’s a known fact.” Dara found herself staring at him again. Was she flirting with him? Had she forgotten who he was? He was Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, the mob boss of Port Charles and the eastern seaboard, yet here they were talking like two regular people.

“Do I have something on me?” He removed a white handkerchief and wiped his mouth. “Michael’s jelly donut, probably.” He took another swipe.

“No, you don’t have anything on you.”

He looked at her quizzically.

“It’s just weird.” She gestured to his clothes and the environment. “To see you like this.”

“What, happy? Well, I am. I’m here on this gorgeous day with my son, while my wife and sister shop for things for our newest addition. Life is pretty damn great.”

She looked at him strangely.

“What? You don’t believe me?” he questioned.

“No, it’s jut hard to imagine anyone married to Carly as this happy.”

He threw his head back and roared with laughter.

Good looking, a sense of humor, and he spent time with his son, damn it was time for a man.

“You definitely need some patience and a sense of humor to deal with Carly. But she’s a great woman who loves whole heartedly and does whatever she can to protect those she loves."

“Yeah, and that so called protection is going to be her downfall,” she whispered to herself under her breath, “and yours too.”

“Enough about me, what are you doing here, counselor?”

Dara didn’t know how to answer that, but luckily she was saved. Michael came running full speed to Sonny.

“Daddy! Daddy!”

“Slow down, son.” Sonny put out his head to stop Michael from running into him. Michael looked at Dara, and then tried to move behind Sonny. “Michael, I want you to meet Miss Jensen. Miss Jensen, my son, Michael.”

Michael offered her his hand. Dara took the tiny hand and shook it. He quickly let go of her hand.

“Michael, it’s nice to meet you.”

Looking bashful, Michael whispered, “Nice to meet you.” He turned towards his dad, blushing furiously. “Daddy, can we have some snacks?”

Sonny raised his eyebrow.

“Daddy, may we have some snacks?”

“Who are we? You and Johnny?”

Michael giggled. “No, Daddy. For me and my new friend.”

“What’s your new friend’s name?”

Covering his mouth, Michael laughed and whispered to his father, “It’s a secret.”

Upon hearing the word “secret,” Dara’s eyes searched out Stone. She found him playing quietly by himself in the sandbox. When she tuned back into Michael and Sonny’s conversation, Sonny was handing Michael two juice boxes and two fruit snack packs.

With a quick, “Thanks, Dad,” Michael was off and running.

Sonny zipped up his backpack. Dara just watched him in amazement. He seemed like your average everyday dad.

“Do you take that,” she asked, pointing to Michael’s backpack, “with you everywhere?” she asked.

“This,” he patted the bag, “is a lifesaver. Michael takes it everywhere. He packs it himself. He keeps his favorite toys, books, and snacks in it. This bag keeps him occupied for hours on end.”

Dara made a note to herself to get Stone a backpack, if he didn’t already have one.

“So back to my original question, what are you doing here?” he inquired again.

Looking everywhere but at him, she simply answered, “Just enjoying the day.”

“On the noisy children’s side of the park?” he said with disbelief clear in his voice.

“Kids are good with helping you remember what’s important in life.” She looked at the time. She and Stone had to meet with the principal of Port Charles Elementary School. She stood up and straightened her clothes.

“Not enjoying my company?”

“I have an appointment.”

Sonny nodded.

“It’s been interesting, Mr. Corinthos.” Dara nodded and walked away.

Sonny watched her and smiled. “That it has been, Counselor, that it has been.”