“There’s daddy’s little girl,” a voice said loud enough to reach Carly’s ears, but low enough that her guards didn’t.

Carly shuddered. She was enjoying a pleasant day of shopping for her family and now Ric ruined it with one sentence.

“What do you want, Ric?” she asked, impatiently.

Opening the stroller’s umbrellas, he looked down into the face of his angelic little girl. “She’s so beautiful,” he said in awe more to himself than to Carly.

“Thanks,” Carly said flippantly, as she closed her daughter’s stroller.

Watching the action in front of him, Dante started to move closer. Carly saw Dante approaching out of the corner of her eye and waved him off. Dante silently communicated to Carly to stay calm as he caught her eye. She quickly nodded and turned her attention back to Ric.

“I want to spend some time with my daughter,” Ric demanded.

“Your wife hasn’t had her baby yet, has she? Is she having a girl?”

“Cute, Carly. I’m talking about Virginia.”

“Virginia’s father is Michael Corinthos, Junior, and I have a birth certificate that says the same,” Carly informed him haughtily.

“Well, I have a DNA test result that says differently.”

“I’ve never thought Mercy’s staff and labs was up to par. They’ve been known to make misdiagnosis and mix up test results,” she said casually.

“What are you trying to pull? Don’t think I won’t blow your little secret wide open?”

Chuckling, Carly continued to shop. “You won’t because you have as much to lose as I do. How do you think your

precious little Elizabeth is going to feel about you sleeping with your brother’s wife? A woman she hates with a passion. And Sonny? Why don’t you go to him and tell him how you took advantage of his depressed and drunken wife, who can’t even remember the night in question? How many steps do you think you could take before you were sleeping with the fishes?” Carly paused and tapped her index finger against her lips, as if she were thinking. “I’ll be generous and say two.”

Ric ran his fingers through his hair and started pacing next to her. He tried to keep his temper in check. “I’m willing to risk it, if it means being with my daughter. And what are you trying to imply about Mercy? That the test results were wrong?”

Carly remained silent.

“Do you want another test?”



“Because in utero tests are not 100% accurate.”

“Carly, it was 99.99% that Virginia was mine.”

Shaking her head, she looked directly into his eyes. “When I held her for the first time and she opened her those big blue eyes, all I could see was Sonny. In her eyes, her little button nose, in her face, her whole serene, yet intense personality, screams Sonny. I know in my heart that Virginia Adella Benson Corinthos is Sonny’s.”

Ric was flabbergasted. He was speechless. That was without a doubt the most impassioned, intelligent words that he ever heard come out of Carly’s mouth.

“I want two tests then. I found a university in California that specializes in DNA testing. I want samples sent there and the other test performed at GH.”

“Okay,” she agreed.

“Okay? That’s it? Why are you being so agreeable?”

“No trick, Ric.” She giggled at her own unintentional rhyme. “I simply had an epiphany when I held her. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Ric eyed her suspiciously. He had never had any dealings with Carly that went this easily, not even a good morning. In his bones, he felt something was off. She seemed overly confident about these new tests. He took a breath and cleared his mind of all negative thoughts. Maybe he was being too cynical. Maybe this baby and the permanent tie to Sonny she represented made Carly feel more at ease, less impulsive, and more hopeful about the new results.

He wasn’t sure what was going on with Carly or her seemingly new attitude, but as long as she agreed to his two tests, then he would deal with the rest later, after he claimed his daughter.

“When and where?” he questioned.

“I’ll call Dr. Simone Hardy, make an appointment, then I’ll call you.”

“I’ll have the information for her from the university on where to send the samples.”

“Sounds good,” she replied cheerfully.

Ric saw the happiness in her eyes and felt compelled to warn her not to let her fantasies get the best of her. Even after everything she put him through, a part of him still liked her and admired her tenacity. “Carly, you should be prepared and ready to tell Sonny the truth about Virginia being my daughter. I don’t think Mercy’s test was wrong.”

“We’ll just have to agree to disagree, then. I know what I feel in my heart and I know what I feel when I hold her.”

Ric shook his head. Some people learned the hard way. He shouldn’t be surprised that Carly Corinthos was one of those people. There was nothing more for him to say. Maybe it was time for him to take his own advice and figure out a way to break the news to Elizabeth.

“I’ll wait for your call,” he said, then walked away.

Carly watched him walked away and smiled like a Cheshire cat. She just gave the performance of a lifetime. She was sorry that no one else was around to truly appreciate it. She was simply brilliant. Marvelous. She saw the compassion and slight doubt enter Ric’s eyes when she told him that crap about her epiphany.

Everything was going according to plan. Life was beautiful. Simply beautiful. She was going to have the family she always dreamed of. She already had it. Sonny was completely besotted by Virginia as she predicted. The sight of Sonny waiting by the door for Michael to come home from school with Virginia in his arms, filled her heart with glee. She wished her mama were here to see it.

Dante approached her silently. “Mrs. Corinthos, is everything all right?” he asked, worry laced his voice.

“Everything is turning up roses, Dante,” she reassured him. “Now let’s go find me a dress to wear for our first official family portrait tomorrow.”

With Dante and the other guard standing in her wake, Carly pushed her daughter to the couture section of Wyndham’s.

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