“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
“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
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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“I dropped this,” he informed her softly, putting the
fork in her hand.
She stopped herself from shivering and melting into
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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 &
“What happened to him?”
“Her, Miss Sexist. She went down to my casino in
Puerto Rico fell in love with one of my blackjack
married and moved down there.”
“Are you serious? How long was she down there?” Dara
“This all happened in a two-week period. Last time I
give an employee a paid vacation to Puerto Rico,” he
“I guess, you never know when you’re going to fall in
“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
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.”
“We’ll give it a three month trial period. If it
doesn’t work, then we go our separate ways. No hard
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
“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
“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
As she walked back to the living room, she paused and
gave herself a good talking to before reentering
“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.”
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
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
“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
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.