The Past Returns - Chapter 4

"Hey, Sheba. I have some treats for you," Brenda said greeting her brotherís horse. She opened her hand and let Sheba take the sugar cubes she held.

"Donít get too close. I would hate to see horse drool all over your beautiful dress," Sonny said, walking out of the shadows and into the stable.

"Iím not too worried; Shebaís a good girl. She knows tonight is very special."

"If itís so special, then why are you out here and everyone else is in there?" he asked, pointing to the main house.

"I needed a breather. What are you doing out here?"

"The ballroom was getting boring."

Brenda laughed. "Thatís what happens when a post and Jason are your conversation partners."

"You notice that, huh? We were trying to blend in."

"You couldnít blend in with a crowd if you tried," she smiled.

"Is that a compliment?" he questioned, grinning.

She shrugged her shoulders.

"Iíll take it as one, thank you."

Giving Sheba one last cube, Brenda walked to the sink and washed and dried her hands.

"Congratulations on everything. A Cassadine and a Quartermaine. How does one get so lucky?"

"An accident and true love," she answered walking to the exit. She turned to Sonny, "Are you coming?"

He followed her out of the stables and they walked to the gardens.

"Iím waiting with bated breath, so letís here it."

"AJ and I were vacationing on this Greek Island when we ran into Bonnie and Nikolas, both nursing bruised hearts over Paul and Emily, respectively. To cheer them up, I suggested we go cliff diving, on the remote side of the island. We were having a great day, until I didnít jump out far enough and hit my head on the rocks."

Sonny quickly did an inventory of her head and face, but saw nothing.

"AJ dove in after me and I was helicoptered to an Athens hospital. Nikolas called Stefan to make sure the best doctors were waiting for us when we arrived. I needed a blood transfusion and Stefan was a perfect match." Brenda paused. "Now thereís another person in town that has your same blood type."

He gave her a slight grin.

"The next morning, I received a humungous bouquet of flowers with a card attached saying, ĎNext time you have the horrendous urge to go diving off cliffs be sure to push out further like your brother, Granddaughter. Get well quickly, Grandmother.í" She sighed remembering the note that changed her life forever. "AJ read that card over and over. We couldnít figure out who would send it to me. Suddenly my hospital room door flies open and in comes Stefan talking to Laura on his cell phone and Nikolas right behind him."

Sonny nodded encouraging her to continue. He couldnít believe this.

"Stefan and Laura had been the recipients of "Itís a girl!í bouquets. Nikolas got a Ďyouíve got a new sisterí arrangement. And of course, Cassadines being Cassadines, Stefan demanded a DNA test be performed on all of us. He wanted to find out if it was a hoax or if it was true. So we all submitted to the testing."

"Why did you?" he asked, curious as to why she would agree to such a test. "Did you think it couldíve been truthful?"

"AJ."

Sonny grimaced.

"I thought it was a joke. Iím sure everyone did. But since Stefan asked and AJ had worked with him at GH, he convinced me to go along with the testing. ĎI mean, what could it hurt?í he said to me." Brenda laughed and shook her head. "The tests came back and Stefan and Laura were a 99.999% match to me, making them my father and mother."

"Oh my- -," Sonny exclaimed.

"I know. I went from having just Lois, Robin, Ned, the Quartermaines and Julia, if I was extremely desperate, to having Nikolas, Bonnie, Lucky, Lulu, the Cassadines, the Spencers, and the Webbers. I have to say, life hasnít been the same since."

"I canít imagine. How did it happen?"

"At the Cassadine compound in Greece, Lauraís doctor discovered she was pregnant with twins and told Helena. Being loyal to Helena, he didnít tell anyone else. On d-day, Laura was given some drugs for the pain and no one else was in the room besides Helena, the doctor and his most trusted nurse. When I was born and Helena saw I was a girl, I was rushed out of the room. Helena wanted the Cassadine heir to be a boy, not a disappointing girl. Plus she wanted to be the important woman in the family; I was seen as competition. A minute or two later, Nikolas, her long-awaited heir was born and she was blissfully happy. Helena told the nurse to get rid of me. The nurse flew me to a small hospital in upstate New York, where Veronica and Harlanís baby had just died of SIDS, and the rest is history."

"Bren, I donít know what to say," he said, shaking his head. "I had no idea."

"I know. I made sure Ricardo didnít tell you," she responded with a sly grin.

"Ricardo?" Sonny questioned with a look of bewilderment and innocence.

Laughing heartily, Brenda replied, "Yes, the guy about 5í11", blondish-brown hair, karate expert that Jason put on me when I left Port Charles. If it werenít for me, Stephan was going to have a nice little chat with him."

"Iím sure he thanks you for that," he replied casually with a grin.

"I guess I should be grateful. Ricardo is much better than Santos?"

"Santos?" he asked genuinely confused.

"Robinís guard. We had to makeup a name for him. He makes Jason seem like Dr. Phil and Oprah all wrapped up in one."

Sonny threw his head back and laughed. "Well, itís good to know theyíre doing their jobs. They arenít suppose to be your new best friends."

Brenda nodded. "I know. But when they are standing outside your loverís apartment all night, the least they could give you is their name."

With her final statement, a tremendous and uncomfortable silence rained down between them.

Sonny just silently stared at her.

Maybe she shouldnít have said that last part. "Whatís it like bringing a baby home from the hospital?" she inquired, trying to ease the tension with a shift in conversation.

He took her lead and switched gears, but her last statement had bothered him deeply. "You mean when we finally got him to the hospital?"

Giving him a puzzled look, his meaning became clear and she nodded. "Ah, the kidnapping."

"Yes," he said, raising an eyebrow.

"Maxie."

The look remained and then cleared. "The Commissionerís daughter."

Brenda shook her head. "Lucasí cousin."

"Ah, yes, the other connection."

"Arenít small towns great?"

"Brenda, you have no idea. The first time Morgan looked into my eyes was indescribable. Itís only matched by the first time Michael called me Dad."

She turned slightly from him and inhaled one of the beautiful flowers next to her. She inhaled deeply then turned back to him. "Things are good with Carly?" She couldnít believe she just asked that question with a straight face.

Sonny grinned, knowing how hard that was for her. "We have our ups and downs, but weíre stronger than ever."

"Iím glad youíre happy. You deserve it."

He nodded. "So do you, so why are you with that drunken loser AJ?"

Brendaís demeanor changed instantly. Her anger was palatable and her eyes were on fire. "Donít you ever talk about my husband that way again! I refrained from calling Carly that whorish, slut tramp. So if you canít do the same for AJ, then I suggest you cross the street when you see me coming." Holding up her dress, she spun on her heel to storm pass Sonny.

His arm shot out, grabbed hers, and spun her back around. He was shocked by her reaction, but he shouldnít have been. She had always been fiercely protective of those she loved, even those who didnít deserve it. He had always loved that about her.

With her skin aglow, he stared directly into her eyes and asked the one burning question. "Why?"

Brenda stared where his hand still enclosed her arm. Sonny noticed and released her arm.

Taking a step back from him, she explained, "Because I donít have to explain anything. He knows it all and still loves me. He knows about Jagger, you, Miguel, Jax, Alcazar, and Jason. And still heís by my side. I know about the drinking, the accident, Keesha, Carly, and even Hannah."

He momentarily dropped his eyes upon the mentioning of Hannahís name.

"There is something about not having to explain the past or have your mistakes thrown up in your face. Itís liberating." Brenda took a breath and chuckled, "But you understand, you have that with Carly."

"I- -"

Sonny was cut off before he could finish his sentence.

"Look who I found," a voice said from behind Sonny. Sonny turned to see AJ place a little girl on the ground, who ran to Brenda. Brenda lowered herself and swept the little one into her arms and showered her with kisses.

"Baby, I missed you like crazy, crazycakes," she said with joy and laughter.

"I missed you, too," the toddler shouted.

Sonny observed Brenda quietly chatting with the little girl he judged to be about three or four with burnt almond color skin and long, dark brown ringlet curls that framed her pixie face. Her toddler version of Brendaís gown was identical even down to the jewelry around her neck and in her earlobes. He wondered who this little girl was to Brenda; she was obviously very important to her. He was really going to have to talk to these guards and remind them who they work for.

While giving the toddler Eskimo kisses, Brenda asked, "Where did you find her?"

"Lily, Holden, Abigail, Aaron, Faith, Luke, and Natalie are inside. The weather was bad in Oakdale so they were delayed," AJ answered.

Brenda kissed the tiny lips and looked up. "Ah, the whole family. "Letís go see what Dedushka, Babushka, Nana, and Pa are up to."

Ignoring AJ completely, Sonny asked, "Who is this little angel?" as Brenda walked by him.

Brenda paused and faced Sonny. "Sonny Corinthos, let me introduce you to the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world, Hope Hughes Snyder-Quartermaine, my daughter."

Sonny fought hard to control his features. He did not want one instant of his shock to register on his face in front of Brenda and AJ.

Hope stuck out her hand and said politely, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Corinthos."

Sonny shook her hand and kissed it. "Itís nice to meet someone as beautiful as you, Miss Snyder-Quartermaine."

Hope giggled and laid her head on her motherís shoulder.

AJ walked over and put his arm around Brenda encompassing both girls. He kissed Hope on the top of her head, "Dedushka and Grandfather are going to be very proud of how you greeted your first guest."

The little girl beamed and kissed her father.

"Sonny," AJ greeted Sonny.

"AJ," Sonny replied.

"We better go, babe, before they send out a search party," AJ reminded Brenda.

She nodded. "Nice talking to you, Sonny."

"Same here. See you later, little one."

Hope waved at him as her parents took her back inside to the party.

Steaming, Sonny took out his cell phone and barked, "Get Carly, Courtney, leave two guards to cover Robin and Brenda. And tell Ricardo and Leon to meet us at your place, now!"

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