Walking out on the verandah, she gave a quick glance

around and almost missed him. But there he was

sitting in the dark, nursing a drink, and staring out

into the starless night. She took a seat across from

him and stared out into the night too.

"When Mike left I hated him with all the passion a

seven year old boy could muster and when Deke revealed

his true nature my hatred for Mike knew no bounds.

But when Mike came here looking for me, part of me was

excited my dad had come back and was looking for me,

but a larger part of me was pissed that he left in the

first place. Every time I saw him and he tried to

apologize, all I could remember was everything my mom

and I went through at Dekeís hands."

Dara moved her seat behind his, wrapped her arms

around him, and laid her head on his shoulder. She

felt him tense up instantly. He wasnít used to

sharing his pain with others. She gently yet firmly

began to massage his neck and back, and slowly he

loosened up a bit.

"Then I think of Kristina and how Alexis was going to

let her go through her whole life thinking Ned was her

father and maybe one day tell Kristina the truth. In

Carlyís eyes when she was being honest and open, I

could see the pain of losing her father. I donít want

that for Michael. I donít want him one day to turn to

me with a look of disgust, anger, disappointment,

hurt, and ask, ĎWhy? Why did I keep him for AJ, yet

thought Carly was a good influence? Why didnít I let

him get to know his grandparents, great grandparents,

aunt, cousins? Why?í" Sonny paused and took a swig

of his drink. He reached beside himself and put a

tape recorder on the table along with some tapes. "I

remembered what you said and asked as I listened to

these tapes. An addict is an addict is an addict.

Whether youíre addicted to drugs, booze, food,

gambling, power. Youíre still an addict. And I

wonder if Iím trying to stop Michael from living with

the fear that I have every time Mike isnít acting like

himself. I instantly wonder if heís gone back to


She lightly kissed his neck.

"How can I forgive one addict, but canít forgive

another? Because Mikeís gambling and leaving killed

my motherís spirit just as surely as Deke killed her

body. How is that any different from AJ except Jason

is still alive?"

Dara held him tighter.

"AJís changed. The tapes prove it, but Carly

unfortunately hasnít," he admitted, fiddling around

with the tape recorder. "Yet time after time, I

forgive her, Jason forgives her, and Bobbie forgives

her. And who suffers? The kids because she never

learns. She just dumps them on Leticia and is off to

her next scrape that sheíll need bailing out of. Do I

want Michael and Nia to think that marriage is for

marrying whoever will help you out of the jam youíre

in at the time? Or that you can always rely on

someone else to get you of trouble of your own making?

Or that you can lie yourself out of every situation

or if that fails blame someone else because itís never

your fault?" Sonny ran his fingers through his

disheveled hair. "AJ is coming by tomorrow. If he

screws- -"

"He wonít. And if he feels like heís getting in over

his head, weíll be here, so will his sponsor, and his

family. Weíll protect Michael," she reassured him.

He nodded and they sat in silence continuing to stare

out in the night.


Hearing the doorbell ring, Dara ran to the front door

and was surprised to see Robin Scorpio standing on

Sonnyís doorstep.

"Robin, how are you? Come in," she said, hugging

Macís niece.

"Good. How are you?" Robin asked in return.

"Iím good."

Dara wondered what Robin was doing here.

"Robin?" Sonny questioned in disbelief, walking down

the stairs.

"Yeah, itís me, Sonny," she confirmed.

He opened his arms and Robin walked into them.

"Iím so sorry, Sonny," she whispered.

"No, hermanita, itís me whoís sorry."

"Iíve missed you so much. I love you."

"I love and missed you too," he said, stepping away

from her and looking into her eyes. "I promise never

to let anyone or thing separate us again."

"I promise the same."

"What are you doing here?"

"Sheís here for me, actually," AJ said, stepping into

the hallway.

Robin walked over to AJ and kissed him on the lips.

Sonny and Dara shared a puzzled look.

"Sonny, Dara, meet Dr. Robin Scorpio-Quartermaine."

"Congratulations," Dara said.

"How did this- -" Sonny asked.

"I went to Paris to regroup. I called the only person

I knew who lived there and it started from there.

Sometimes you can find out how much you have in common

with someone when you meet each other outside of your

comfort zones."

Sonny and Dara both gave each other covert glances and


"I have drinks out on the verandah, if youíd follow

me," Sonny said, leading the group away from the front


"Dara, arenít you coming?" AJ questioned.

"This is concerning- -"

"Youíre a part of Sonnyís life so it concerns you,



Dara had been afraid of how people would react to her

relationship with Sonny so it warmed her heart to know

someone supported them, particularly someone who

wasnít a fan of Sonny.

Dara and AJ walked outside together. After

refreshments had been given, Sonny began.

"I called you here to discuss Michael," Sonny started.

"Did Carly not agree to give you primary custody of

Michael?" AJ asked concerned.

"No, I havenít even talked to her about it yet. But

sheíll agree. After listening to the tapes you got,

no judge in his or her right mind would allow Carly

even supervised visits. Michael is your biological

child AJ and after some consideration and what your

cousin, Ned, and Alexis tried to pull with me and

Kristina, I thought it was time that you and Michael

should know each other."

Sonny reached for Daraís hand and clasped it.

"Youíre giving me visitation rights?" AJ inquired


"No, Michael should live with you," Sonny informed


AJ looked at Robin, then Dara, as if searching for

confirmation that he was hearing Sonny correctly.

Then finally his gaze rested on Sonny. "Whatís the


Sonny shook his head. "Thereís no catch. All I ask

is that you allow him to see Nia and Stone, theyíre

brothers now. And also that you allow him some to

time to get to know you and Robin in his own time and

not let the Quartermaines push."

AJís laughter filled the room. He laughed so hard,

tears leaked from his eyes.

Looking around the room, Sonnyís eyes settled back on

AJ. "Did I say something funny?"

Robin smiled and shook her head. "No, Sonny."

"No, you didnít. I went from being a father of none,

to a father of three, now four, in the space of one

day. I asked God to bless me with a family I didnít

expect it all in one day."

Seeing the confusion on Sonnyís and Daraís faces,


reached into her purse and handed Sonny a Polaroid.

He and Dara looked at the picture of Robin, AJ, and

three biracial kids.

"The pre-schooler in AJís right arm is Robert Sean,

after my dad and godfather. Heís 3. In AJís left arm

is Duke Casey, after my other dad and a close family

friend. Heís 2. And the hair challenged baby in my

arms is Anna Jaime, after my mom and her dad. Sheís

10 months. The adoption was finalized in Pine Valley

this morning."

"Robin, thatís great," Dara congratulated her.

"Honey, thatís fantastic. Youíre going to be a great

mother," Sonny stated. "Is the stress of having three

kids affecting your health?"

"No, Iím fine. The cocktail is still working for me.

Weíre just trying to find the right combo for Duke."

Sonny raised his eyebrow.

"Their birth mother was HIV positive. Jaimeís tests

have come back negative. But Duke is still testing


"Robin, honey, are you going to be able to go through

all of that again?"

"Yes," she said, nodding. "I cherish those last

months with Stone taking care of him, spending time

with him. I know he was at peace when he died, and

Iíve seen a lot of families in my line of work that

canít say the same about their loved ones." Taking

AJís hand into hers, she continued. "Tomorrow isnít

promised to any of us, Sonny, so AJ convinced me that

I need to take life one day at a time and enjoy it for

all itís worth. And thereís nothing I enjoy more than

being Mrs. Quartermaine and the mother to the next

generation of Quartermaines. And I have the added

benefit to know that my dad, Duke, and Stone are

watching over my babies."

"I canít wait to meet them," Sonny said with a smile.

"They canít wait to meet their Uncle Sonny."

"Sonny, do you think Robin and I can have a few

minutes?" AJ asked.

"Sure. Weíll be inside when youíre ready."

Giving the couple some privacy, Sonny and Dara left AJ

and Robin alone. As soon as they stepped inside the

house, Dara wrapped her arms around Sonny and kissed

him softly on the lips then slowly turned up the heat

before stepping away from him slightly and resting her

forehead against his shoulder.

"What was that for?"

"I just wanted you to know that I was proud of you. I

know that wasnít easy."


"Itís good to know theyíll be other kids in the


"Yeah, I canít believe my little sister is a mom. I

wonder how Stone would feel about this, especially

being married to AJ. Is it just me or is that odd?"

he questioned as they walked into the living room.

"I think Stone would be happy that sheís happy. And

sheís glowing. And itís super odd that those two got

together, but Iím sure people will say the same thing

about us."

"Thereís an us?" he asked, looking into her eyes.

"Isnít there?" she questioned, keeping his gaze,

praying her fear wasnít so readily apparent.

Leaning forward and pulling her into his arms, he

kissed her passionately. "There is no me without


"Regardless of what AJ says?"


She sighed and laid her head on his chest as he

stroked her hair. She was home. She had finally

found her home in Sonny Corinthos.

"I love you, Dara Jensen."

"I love you, Michael Corinthos, Junior."

"Why are you saying it for the first time, when you

canít show me how much you love me?"

"Anticipation is the spice of life," he smiled.

"Iíll have to remember you said that," she grinned.

"Am I going to live to regret I said that?" he asked

as he rained kisses down the side of her face and


"Oh, yeah."

Sonny loved her. When was the last time she heard

that. Was it Jack? Was Jack Forbes, the last man,

besides Stone and Michael, that said, "I love you," to

her? She and Justus never said those words to each

other because they knew that their relationship was

missing several key ingredients that would allow them

to be together for the rest of their lives. Her

relationship with Taggert had been one based entirely

on honesty. And they both sensed, while they loved

each other, they werenít in love with each other and

never would be. And the years between Jack and the

men of Port Charles were filled with forgettable men

who never touched her soul or spirit. Sonny was the

first. He touched her in ways that she never knew

existed. If only they could block out the whole world

and just love each other. But that wasnít going to be

possible. Was this connection enough to with stand

whatever fallout that would come? Well she was about

to find out. And if this didnít work, she might as

well call Ellen because she would give up on men all


Hearing footsteps, Sonny gave her one last lingering

kiss on the side of her neck then lifted his head.

"Robin, AJ, please come have a seat."

AJ and Robin sat on the loveseat opposite of them.

"Sonny, we donít get along. We donít even like each

other. I think for good reasons on both sides. But

thatís neither here or there. My wife loves you, my

kids are dying to finally meet their Uncle Sonny in

person, and my son loves you so Iím willing to put

that all aside. I, we," AJ corrected himself, asking

Robinís forgiveness for his slip of the tongue, with

his eyes; when she gave it, he continued, "donít think

Michael will be happy if he leaves your house and

comes to live with us. He doesnít know me, he doesnít

remember Robin. And while our kids would help ease

the transition, it wouldnít be fair or the right thing

to do to Michael. So we thought it best for him to

gradually spend time with us. At our house alone with

just us, then with the kids. And then once heís

comfortable, we can revisit the custody arrangement."