Chapter 10

“Auntie Dara, Auntie Dara,” Stone yelled.

“Auntie Dara, Auntie Dara,” Michael repeated.

“Yes?” Dara asked from the kitchen, putting the final touches on dinner.

“Someone’s at the door,” they informed her from Stone’s bedroom.

“Thank you,” she responded. Wiping her hands on the dishtowel, she wondered if they thought she was deaf since she was so much older than them, as they had recently informed her.

The doorbell ran again.

“I’m coming,” she shouted to her impatient and unwanted visitor. She opened the door and was greeted by a frazzled Sonny with spit-up covering his Versace shirt and a screaming baby in a carrier. “Hi,” she said, saying the first thing that came to mind. Then the laughter started.

Sonny was not amused. He handed her the baby, stepped in the apartment, and took the dishtowel from her hand.

Dara’s laughter at Sonny’s predicament continued as she tried to soothe the irate infant. By the time, Sonny emerged from the kitchen with just his t-shirt on and his wet shirt in his hand, Virginia quietly laid in her carrier, drifting off to sleep.

“How did you do that?” Sonny asked, motioning to the baby.

“A magician never reveals her secrets,” she responded, taking the wet shirt from his hands. “Excuse me.”

Dara quickly ran to the bathroom and hung up the shirt. When she returned, Sonny was seated on the sofa watching his daughter.

“So what happened to you two?”

Sonny shook his head. “I have no idea. One minute, we were happily driving along and the next thing I know she’s screaming and my usual tricks weren’t working, as you can see,” he said, gesturing to himself.

Dara nodded. “What’s her name?” she asked politely, although she already knew the answer courtesy of Stone and Michael.


“Virginia,” she repeated to herself, as she sat down and touched the baby’s foot. “Such a big name for such a little girl. Can we shorten that a little? What about Virgie?”

Sonny raised his eyebrow.


He grimaced and the baby grunted.

“Yea, I didn’t like those either. Hmm, how about Gina?”

Shuddering, Sonny’s mind instantly brought forth Stone’s younger birth sister. The self-involved, self-absorbed rich bi- - little girl who never had the time to for her dying brother. He shook his head.

“Ok, so daddy doesn’t like that one. Gia is already taken, but how about Nia? Nia. I think you look like a Nia.”

“Nia Corinthos,” he said, testing out his daughter’s new name. “Sounds good.”

“Do you like, Senorita Corinthos?”

The newly christened Nia opened one eye and flashed a fleeting smile.

“I think she likes it,” Dara said softly. She watched this little girl and was totally captivated by her. She was a real beauty, even if she did have a conniving witch for a mother. It amazed her that something so despicable could produce something so gorgeous and exquisite.

Sonny and Dara sat in a comfortable silence, lost in their own thoughts, gazing at the baby.

Dara wondered why she wasn’t more disturbed by all the time she spent with Sonny. What happened to the vow to stay away from him? She knew. One word, Sonny. As much as she tried to avoid him, he always seemed to be there. At the school, practices, play dates, and he always sought her out, even if it was for a short five-minute conversation exchanging pleasantries. And as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she enjoyed the chats. She looked forward to them. She liked the fact that he sought her out. But she had to snap out of it. She was starting to feel something for someone else’s husband, who happened to rule the Eastern seaboard. And she didn’t want to try and identify what those feelings were. She had to put a stop to this.

“What are you doing here?”

“Ah, the counselor rears her head,” Sonny commented, after a few moments of silence.

Dara gave him a no nonsense glare.

“I got a message from Leticia about an emergency on my voicemail and I raced right over.”

“You haven’t asked about Michael or gone to see him.”

“Since you opened the door nonchalantly and I could hear the boys playing, I realized I should have listened to the whole message before I rushed over.”

“Uh, yeah. Leticia’s mom’s car broke down on the highway so she went to pick her up. She was calling you to tell you she might be late in bringing Michael home.”

Sonny nodded. “Did Tom go with her?”

“Yes,” she replied, realizing how insane this was. She knew the names of Michael’s bodyguards. Enough was enough. “Son- -“

“Auntie Dara,” Stone and Michael shouted, as they ran into the living room.

“No running,” she reminded them.

The run instantly became a fast paced walk.

“We’re hungry,” they said in unison.

“Hi, Daddy,” Michael said, climbing into his father’s lap.

“Hi, Mr. Sonny,” Stone greeted, staring at Nia.

“Are you staying for dinner, Daddy?”

“You are,” Stone said, as if it were a done deal. “Goodie! You can tell me all about seeing Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan play against each other,” he finished, his eyes wide open with awe at the idea of seeing such a game.

Sonny looked at Dara. He knew she was about to hustle him out the door, but the boys arrived in the nick of time. He was glad. He wanted to have dinner with her and the boys. He felt a sense of peace and yet excitement when he was in her presence.

With a fake smile plastered to her face, Dara asked with concern, “Don’t you have to home to your wife?”

Michael shook his head. “Mommy is having dinner with Grandma and Aunt Terri.”

“That’s right, Michael. I had completely forgotten. So I guess I can stay for dinner,” Sonny grinned.

Dara glared at him as he showed her his dimples.

“Stone, Michael, go wash your hands.”

“Yes, and I’ll help set the table.”

The boys rushed to the bathroom as Sonny followed Dara into the kitchen. They set the table in the tension-filled room. Sonny brushed his hand against Dara’s causing her to drop the serving spoon. She quickly bent, picked it up, and took it to the sink to wash it. She stood at the sink and suddenly the hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention. Then she felt his breath in her ear and on her cheek.

“I dropped this,” he informed her softly, putting the fork in her hand.

She stopped herself from shivering and melting into him.

“I’m going to check on Michael and Stone, they’re taking too long.”

The moment he stepped away from her back, her body instantly missed the contact and his body heat. She liked the feel of his body against her back. She washed the fork vigorously.

The way Sonny affected her wasn’t right or fair. She wanted to cry, to scream. How could she feel this way about another woman’s man? She wasn’t a home wrecker and if distancing herself from Sonny meant she had to distance Stone from Michael, then so be it. Stone would find other friends to play with outside of school.

“Aunt Dara,” Stone said, “we’re ready.”

Bringing the carton of milk to the table, Dara sat down and said grace with the men at her table. Much to her dismay, dinner was a raging success. It was as if they were a family. Stone and Michael regaled them with stories about school, their friends, and stories from their own imagination.

As Sonny taught the boys the proper way to eat spaghetti, Nia made her demands for dinner known. After a bit of hesitation on her part and Sonny’s encouragement, Dara picked up the hungry little girl and warmed her bottle. She fed the baby as she watched the grade schoolers, with varying degrees of success, twirl the spaghetti around their forks. Dara closed her eyes and chastised herself. Between Stone and Sonny, they had resurrected her long- buried desires for a family of her own. This wasn’t her family nor could it ever be. Brenda would soon be coming for her son. And Sonny, Michael, and Nia would return home to insane Carly, and she would be left all alone.

Nia’s fingers grasped hers and roused her from her increasingly depressing thoughts. Looking around the kitchen/dining room area, she noticed the boys were gone and Sonny was drying the dishes.

“Where does this go?” Sonny asked, holding up a sauce pan.

“Second cabinet to your left,” she replied. “You didn’t have to wash the dishes.”

“It’s the least I could do for such a delicious meal. Plus you seemed to be enjoying the peace my mijita brings.”

“Yes, there is something so innocent and pure about holding an infant.”

“You look natural holding her,” Sonny noted, looking her directly in the eyes.

Dara lowered her eyes. She didn’t want to read too deeply into what she thought she saw in his eyes. Though she couldn’t help but notice, he looked tired.

He pinched the bridge of his nose and yawned. “Excuse me,” he apologized.


“Dead on my feet.”

“Problems at work?” she asked with a grin. Maybe if she could put things on a lighter note things would be better.

“Actually, yes. My lawyer quit and I haven’t had any success in replacing her.”

“Poor Sonny, no mob stooge to be found. Waa.”

Sonny chuckled. “You think you’re so cute, but you’re wrong. I was talking about my lawyer from Corinthos & Morgan.”

“What happened to him?”

“Her, Miss Sexist. She went down to my casino in Puerto Rico fell in love with one of my blackjack dealers, got married and moved down there.”

“Are you serious? How long was she down there?” Dara asked astounded.

“This all happened in a two-week period. Last time I give an employee a paid vacation to Puerto Rico,” he said half-jokingly.

“I guess, you never know when you’re going to fall in love.”

“No, you never do,” he responded, looking directly at her, but yet not at her.

She wondered what he was thinking about. She never thought she would fall in love with Jack, but she had. Nor Taggert, though at times she pondered if she were ever truly in love with him or just loved him.

“So what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I’m trying to muddle through this contract with a grocery chain in the southwest, until Jason and I can find someone we can trust. But it better soon, the contract is due back to them in two days. Where have all the good lawyers gone?” Sonny sighed, closing his eyes.

Before she knew it, she opened her mouth and said, “I can take a quick look at it, if you want me to.”

His eyes popped open. “Really?”

“Yes,” she said, quickly before she regretted it.

“Give me one second,” he said, dashing out the kitchen. He walked back into the kitchen with his briefcase and contract in hand.

While holding Nia, Dara perused the contract. Two hours later, Dara handed Sonny a new draft of the contract. She looked at her kitchen wall clock and couldn’t believe so much time had passed. It felt like only a few minutes had passed. She and Sonny talked about what he wanted from the chain owners and what he was willing to compromise on.

She admired the way his mind worked. She now saw how he rose to the top of the organization. She hadn’t been this mentally stimulated in a while.

“Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Sonny said.

“What?” she asked, confused.

“Corinthos & Morgan will pay you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to be our in house counsel,” he repeated.

Shaking her head, Dara said, “No. I am not going to work for you.”

“You’d be doing the same thing you just did, that’s it. How long did it take you to sort out this contract? What two hours or so?”

She vehemently shook her head.

Sonny stared at her for a minute. “You’d only be dealing with the coffee business that’s it. You wouldn’t be involved with any of my other interests.”

Dara straightened up the kitchen table. Sonny touched her hand to stop her. She looked up at him, waiting for his question.

“Are you so rich that you can pass up a quarter of a million dollars a year?” Sonny asked, seeing that his question didn’t persuade her, he continued on. “You don’t have to work full time just be available to go over contracts and write up deal memos. This way you can still pursue your other businesses. How’s that going by the way?” he asked with a grin.

Damn him. While her private law firm brought in some money, she missed her dependable check from the DA’s office. She missed her bimonthly spa visits, though she could still afford them, she had to be cautious with her finances since she was now an entrepreneur.

Her annual trip to LA to visit her college roommate, Brooke Logan, and their annual adventure tip to any random city in the world with Ava Masters and Lexi Carver would be put on hold until her business picked up. How did Scott Baldwin live like this? He had Dominique’s money to help him through the rough patches.

The government was notoriously stingy with money, especially compared to her corporate lawyer counterparts. But she had had a nice lifestyle with the money she made. She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. Sonny, she hated to admit it, was right. She’d be a fool to pass this opportunity up. Or rather this type of money up.

Sonny saw her weakening. “This will be just like it was when you represented Jason and Brenda.”

“Son- -“

“We’ll give it a three month trial period. If it doesn’t work, then we go our separate ways. No hard feelings.”

He made sense, she thought. Three months wasn’t that long. “What about Jason? Don’t you have to talk this over with him?”

Shaking his head, Sonny laughed. “He wanted me to ask you as soon as we found ourselves lawyerless.”

“Oh.” Without even realizing it, she seemed to have made an impression with both Jason and Brenda. One trusting her with their business, and the other with her child.

“So what do you say?” Sonny asked, holding out his hand. “Do we have a deal?”

“Only the coffee business,” she dictated, emphasizing the word coffee.

“Of course,” he said with a sly grin.

“Then we have a deal,” she said quickly before she changed her mind.

As they shook hands to cement the deal, she felt a jolt of electricity. What had she gotten herself into?

“Welcome aboard.”

“Thanks. I’m going to check on the boys,” she said, desperate to escape the uneasiness she was suddenly feeling. Walking into Stone’s room, she discovered both Stone and Michael lying inside the Spiderman tent she had recently purchased, dead to the world. She slipped off their pants and shirts and gently laid them inside the matching Spiderman sleeping bags. She kissed them both on the cheek and bid them a quiet goodnight.

As she walked back to the living room, she paused and gave herself a good talking to before reentering Sonny’s presence.

“Is Michael ready?” he asked, bundling Nia up.

“No, he’s asleep. Leticia can bring him some clothes in the morning.”

“You don’t have to keep him.”

“No, it’s fine. Maybe with a friend here, Stone will let me sleep in,” she smiled.

“Ray has to stay.”

Dara’s smile quickly faded. How had she forgotten so easily that Michael was no ordinary boy with an ordinary father. “Can he make himself inconspicuous?”

Sonny nodded. “Thanks. I really appreciate it and Michael will be thrilled.”

Dara nodded.

Sonny picked up the baby carrier, revealing some legal documents on the table.

Picking up the documents, Dara perused them. She stopped when she saw a hundred dollar bill attached to one set of the documents.

“What’s the money for?”

“Your retainer,” he answered casually.

“My retai- -“ She moved the money to the side and read the document underneath. “What is- -“ She looked up at Sonny and stared at him in disbelief. “Is this correct? You’re divorcing Carly and asking for joint legal and physical custody?”

“Yes,” he replied in the calmest of voices.

“What? I don’t understand,” Dara said, pointing to the baby.

“I just need you to proof read it; and when you give it your okay, I’ll give it to Carly.”

“No, I get that part. I mean, where is this coming from? You just had a baby.”

Sonny nodded. “Yes, I have two kids with her who in eighteen years will be out of the house and I’ll have another fifty years sitting across the table from her without them and I can’t do it. I can’t do it any longer. I gave it my all.” He shifted the baby carrier to his other hand as he edged closer to the door. “I’ve thought long and hard about this, but a smart woman once told me that she wanted to be with someone ‘that even washing the dishes with is a thrilling experience.’”

With that, Sonny opened the front door and left, leaving Dara flabbergasted at hearing her words and thoughts repeated back to her by Sonny Corinthos.

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