Placing the last pot into the box, Dara decided now was the perfect opportunity to tell Sonny about AJ. Michael and Stone were upstairs “packing” up Michael’s room and Nia was sleeping in her playpen in the living room. “Carly told AJ she would support his fight to have your adoption of Michael rescinded and AJ’s rights reinstated.”

Sonny continued wrapping his china in newspaper and gently placed them in the moving box. He quietly continued working as if she never spoke. She knew he heard her. She wanted to force a reaction out of him so they could come up with the best way to work with AJ to handle it, but she refrained. She had learned Sonny moved when Sonny wanted to move, not a minute before or after. So she moved on to the spice rack and packed them.

Fifteen minutes later he finally spoke. “AJ and Carly have teamed up? She is desperate. Have you received a court date yet, then?”

His nonchalant tone was more than a little unsettling. “No, there won’t be a hearing.”

“Because out of the goodness of their hearts, they’re not going to pursue this? This is the moment mini-Quartermaine has been waiting for.”

She sighed. The animosity between the two men, while understandable, was just plain annoying and frustrating at times. “Yes, out of AJ’s love for Michael, he won’t go along with Carly’s plan.”

The salad plates rattled from the force Sonny used to shove them in the box.

“AJ’s love for Michael?” Sonny laughed cynically. “That drunk has love for no one but himself and I’m not even truly sure he loves himself.”

“AJ might struggle with some self-esteem issues, but I don’t doubt his love for Michael. Of his own free will AJ came to me and told me that Carly and I quote ‘wanted his son to be with his father.’ He didn’t have to tell me about Carly’s plot. He didn’t have to tell me to tell you so you could watch Michael’s back and keep him safe from Carly.”

Pain radiated throughout his body; it hurt that Carly would do something like this. Though he wasn’t surprised; she was staying true to form. When she felt her back was against the wall, she fought back with every weapon at her disposal and once again Michael was a pawn so Carly could get her way and punish him. When he gave her the divorce papers, he figured she’d run to Jason, but he never thought she would crawl back to AJ. Had she really sunk so low?

Dara walked over to Sonny and placed a comforting hand on his back.

“What did Carly think she or AJ could say that would make a judge dissolve the adoption decree?”

“That you had your men rough up AJ and let him hang from a hook in a meat locker until he signed the papers. And in fear for his life, AJ signed the papers.”

“Carly would be incriminating herself if she confirmed that story.”

She was tempted to ask if the story was true, but then thought again. There were some things she didn’t need to know. “Not if she was offered immunity from the DA’s office for finally helping them get some sort of conviction against you.”

“You think anyone would believe them?”

“An attempted murder charge? No. But assault with a jury. I’d give it 50/50.”

“Do you think I did it?”

Damn, he would ask that question. Rubbing his back, Dara carefully considered her answer. “I believe you would do anything to protect your loved ones from people you consider dangerous.”

Taking a deep breath, Sonny turned to face her. “AJ is a liar and you can’t trust him. He gives you these puppy dog eyes and sucks you in. He did it to Keesha, he did it to Jason, and look where it got them. Keesha’s and Jason’s lives were destroyed. Jason almost died and Monica’s and Alan’s son did die. AJ can’t be trusted.”

Dara stepped away from Sonny and looked at him in disbelief. “But Carly can? She’s lied since the day she hit town. Hell she didn’t even tell the truth about her name. She came to town to destroy Bobbie’s life and she did a great job of it. Lucas not only had to deal with the loss of his older sister, but thanks to his new found sister, he lost his family, too. And I wouldn’t even get started on the mess she made of Jason’s life. I can’t believe you’re going to stand in judgment of someone’s past mistakes and find them lacking.”

“He’s a drunk who wallows around in self-pity and wants everyone around him to feel sorry for him and make excuses for him. Congratulations, you’ve fallen for his ‘woe is me’ routine,” Sonny informed her.

In a loud whisper, Dara countered, “Your wife is a destructive, malicious, devious tramp and you’re a gangster with bodyguards, yet AJ is the one who’s a bad influence on Michael.” Shaking her head, she continued, “I can’t be around you and your warped sense of logic.”

“I can’t believe you let a drunk’s lies get to you. You’re smarter than this.”

“He’s sober now. He has a sponsor, he’s working at the Charles Street Foundation and he loves his son enough to go against Carly to insure that you raise his biological son. And if you can’t see the change in him based on all that then you’re delusional,” she finished, walking towards the door.

Frustrated, Sonny raked his fingers through his hair trying to find a way to reach Dara. What happened to Jason and to his son couldn’t happen to Dara or Stone. “He killed my son.”

Hearing that quiet statement, her anger dissipated. “I’m so sorry your son died. I know AJ is sorry for his role in what happened and lives with it everyday.” Dara paused, she needed to be honest with him. “But he wasn’t the only person on the stairs. He wasn’t standing there egging himself on.”

“You’re blaming Carly?”

“You can’t tell me that you don’t think if she hadn’t climbed those stairs and hadn’t gotten in AJ’s face that you would have four kids walking around calling you daddy, instead of three.”

Sonny closed his eyes and instantly saw Carly tumbling down the stairs. Damn AJ.

Dara wondered if she went too far with her last statement.

“You- -“ he started, but he cut himself off as the kitchen door swung open and Stone stepped into the kitchen.

Stone’s six-and-a-half-year-old body felt the air crackling from all the tension. “Excuse me,” he said cautiously.

“Yes, son,” Sonny replied.

Thrusting out the picture frame in his little hand, he asked, “Why do you have a picture of my Uncle Stone, Aunt Robbie, and my Mommy?”

Sonny’s eyes shot to Dara’s looking for confirmation, but before she could confirm or deny, his eyes returned to Stone and absorbed him in. Of course this was Brenda’s son. It was stamped all over the little boys’ face. He remembered thinking at the pizza parlor so long ago that Stone reminded him of someone and now he finally knew who. He quickly calculated Stone’s age- -

“Uncle Sonny? Uncle Sonny?”

Sonny finally heard Stone calling him. “I’m sorry.” He dropped to the first grader’s level and looked at the picture. “I have that picture because Stone was my brother like Aunt Robbie is your mom’s sister.”

Stone nodded and smiled satisfied with Sonny’s answer. “Do you know my Ma and Papa?”

“Yes, I grew up with your Aunt Lois and Uncle Louie.”

“Really?” Stone asked with wide-eyed amazement.

“Yes, I have a photo album full of pictures of them. I’ll have to show them to you.”


Sonny stared at Stone taking pictures of all his little features that made up this delightful little boy. Things he noticed previously now took on a whole new meaning. “When’s your birthday, Stone?” Stone’s answer confirmed his suspicion. Seven months and two days after the wedding that never was. Damn. He clearly remembered Brenda asking him their last night together if he wanted to open his wedding gift early, but his mind had been consumed with his plans to leave. He had only wanted to concentrate on her and savor their final moments together. And now standing before him was the gift almost seven years later. Seven years he’d missed out on. Damn you, Brenda.

“Uncle Sonny, may I go look at your photo albums?”

“Sure, son.”

Stone, happy to get away from the weird acting adults raced from the room.

Slowly, Sonny raised himself to his normal height.

Dara was not looking forward to this conversation.

“Were you and Brenda planning on keeping me from my son forever?” Sonny demanded, staring her straight in the eye.

“He’s your son?” she asked, surprise brightening her eyes. “I had no idea.”

“Where has he been? Well, that’s obvious. How long has he been living with the Cerullos? Why was he living with them? Where’s Brenda? And how are you apart of this conspiracy to keep me from Stone?”

The shock slowly wearing off, Dara answered the questions Sonny was firing at her. His anger misdirected at her had her responding in a sharper tone than she meant. “First off, all these questions should be directed at Stone’s mother, Brenda. But I will politely answer the one directed to me. Brenda asked me to watch Stone until all of Alcazar’s men had been dealt with. She figured the last place anyone would look for him was in the home of a former ADA, which so far, has proven to be true. And second, I had no idea that Stone was your son.”

“He was born seven months after I left town,” he said heatedly. “Were you even going to tell me that he was Brenda’s son?”

“No, why should I have? Newsflash my world did not center around the love/angst story of Brenda Barrett and Sonny Corinthos.”

Pacing the floor and pinching the bridge of his nose, he tried to make sense of Brenda’s actions but he was coming up short.

“Where is she?”

“I have no idea. All I know is she calls when it’s safe.”

Sonny grabbed the phone and punched the speed dial button. “Jason, find Brenda now,” he barked and slammed the phone down. “How could you keep this from me?”

“I’ve kept nothing from you. Why in the world would I think you’d be interested in Brenda’s life?”

“I hired you to represent her.”

“And if Jack was on trial for murder, I would want to help him, but that doesn’t give me access to other parts of his life.”

“How could Brenda do this to me? She knows how important children are to me. All the years I’ve missed out on.”

She should keep her mouth shut, but she couldn’t. She just couldn’t. “Maybe she thought your past mistakes made you a poor candidate for fatherhood, regardless of biology,” she stated, walking out of the kitchen, leaving him to contemplate her words and Brenda’s actions.