THE PLEDGE – CHAPTER 10
Sonny hadn't heard a word Kirk Anderson, a Corinthos-Morgan executive, had said since this meeting began thirty minutes ago. As of late, he couldn’t concentrate on anything; all of his thoughts were consumed with getting to Elvis and of course with Dara, and more so with Dara. He couldn't get her out of his head. The smell of her shampoo. The feel of her body rubbing against his. The taste of her perfumed skin. The sound of her breathless voice as he brought her closer and closer to the brink. The touch of her fingernails digging into his back. She consumed all of his senses. He had to readjust his pants just thinking about her. He hadn't felt this way since they first met at Coney Island all those years ago.
Maybe he wouldn't be this bad off if they had no contact, but somehow, his weekly update calls had turned into nightly conversations having nothing to do with Marcus' murderers. They talked about anything and everything. Sometimes he was her counselor as she poured out her heartache about missing Marcus. Sometimes he was her confessor about all the guilt she felt for the things she hadn't said or done for Marcus before he died. Sometimes he was her sounding board and advisor on how to raise a teenage boy and how to help her son deal with the loss of his father.
The conversations weren't all one sided; she advised with contracts and business dealings in regards to his coffee business and his legitimate real estate holdings. She reassured him that Michael's and Morgan's behaviors and attitudes would pass, they were just childhood antics. She helped him keep his cool when Carly was being Carly to the nth degree. And some nights they just discussed the news, gossip they heard around town, or even watched Conan or some late late night movie together. But they never discussed the Sal incident, Marcus' murder, the night in the safe house, or their past. Those topics he understood were off limits, and he didn't want to ruin this tentative relationship they had formed by bringing them up now, although he knew sooner or later he would have to. He looked forward to the nights because of her calls and the weeks the boys weren't staying with him she made the nights bearable.
"Sonny? Sonny?" Kirk called.
"Sonny," Jason said firmly.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm listening," he said trying to focus.
"You haven't a word Kirk said since he started talking."
"Of course I have- -"
Seeing the disbelief in both their eyes, he decided not to keep up the front. "Sorry, Kirk. Leave the documents, I'll review them and we'll talk later."
Kirk nodded. "You okay, Sonny?" he asked concerned, as he put his proposal on Sonny's desk.
"Yeah, thanks for asking. I'm just a little distracted today."
"Well, I'll come see you when I get back. Sam and I are going to Oakdale to visit the family," Kirk reminded him.
He nodded. "Have a safe trip."
"Thanks, Sonny. Jason." Kirk left the two partners alone.
"What's up?" Jason questioned.
Sonny spun his chair around, got up, and started pacing his office. "Nothing."
"Is this about the Elvis guy? Our men inside are the best."
Staring at Jason, Sonny was amazed. Jason had the uncanny knack to identify the source of someone's problem dead on. It was an asset that had been of great benefit to him, particularly in their line of work, but still it unnerved him, especially when it came to his private life. He trusted Jason with his life and the younger man was his closest friend, but this - - whatever it was with Dara - -felt too raw, too personal to share, even with his best friend. And of course, he would also then have to explain their past and he wasn't ready to do that just yet. "No, it's like I said, I just have a lot on my mind."
Jason stared at his mentor. He knew Sonny wasn't telling him the truth, but as long as Sonny's distraction didn't get them killed, then he would let it go for now. "Okay."
Sonny nodded knowing they would have to revisit this issue later, if he didn't get his act together soon. "You still coming over tonight to have dinner with the boys and me?"
Jason nodded. "See you at 6," he said before departing.
As the door shut, Sonny reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. Buried in between pictures of Michael, Morgan, and Kristina were the pictures of the families he had loved and lost. He took out a picture of Stone, Robin, Brenda, and himself taken during the good times. He couldn't tell by looking at Stone that he was dying even then. If they had only known, maybe they could have had more time together.
He sighed. He didn't want to go down that path today. Behind that photo was one of him and Dara taken right before he’d decided to end their relationship. One of her floormates was taking candid shots and burst in on them sitting on the bed with Dara lying against him as he read over her shoulder. They were so much in love. He wanted that feeling back again. He wanted to be able to lay himself bare again. He hadn't been able to do that since he and Brenda had first gotten together, after the wire incident. Dara consistently, through their entire relationship, was someone who always told him the truth, even when he didn't want to hear or it was painful, never played games, always had his back, and kept his deepest, darkest secrets.
He wanted that back. And he wanted it now. Time be damned! The former Dara Jensen Taggert was once again going to be the woman by his side. He was through being just a friend; it was time to be her man. Dara was spending her last nights in her bed alone. Soon she would be falling asleep in his arms, in his bed. Watch out Dara, here I come, he said to himself.