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Risk

Chapter XIII

 


A limo waits at the foot of the private jet when it arrives in Port Charles. Everyone gathers their bags and then climbs down the stairs. It had been a smooth but long flight going back in time... zones so still early evening but already dark.

"OH MY GOD, it's cold." Gia stamps her feet. The driver has the door open to the back of the limo and Gia dives in for shelter. Soon everyone is crowded in the back and nobody is complaining since it is damn cold in comparison to where they just left. Even the processed air of the jet hadn't prepared them for the cold front that has taken hold of the eastern seaboard. "I will be so glad to get home." Gia shuts her eyes and leans back against the headrest.

"Ditto." Nik takes her hand.

"We will drop Barbara off first and then go to the docks." Stefan asserts. "It can drop you off at the docks and I will catch the launch to Wyndemere."

"Thanks." Bobbie says gratefully. "It'll be good to see Lucas even if he is going to get some new game cartridges out of me for this one."

Everyone is weary of traveling and don't bother with conversation just comfortable in their own thoughts. The trip to the brownstone is quick. Stefan steps out of the car to give Bobbie a hand out and then decides to walk her to her door. On the door is a hand delivered note in a fine hand and sealed with the Cassadine crest. It is addressed to Barbara Cassadine. Stefan grabs the note and tears it open. "Damn!"

"Hey that was addressed to me." Bobbie protests.

"Come."

"There better be a please in there somewhere, buddy." Bobbie threatens digging in her heels.

"Lucas isn't here." Stefan hands the note to Bobbie and then grabs her arm and escorts her back to the car.

"Where is my son!" Bobbie protests. It isn't until she is in the car the she actually gets to read the note.

<<< Sister,

This abode is unworthy of one of the finest jewels of the Cassadine family. More suitable arrangements have been been acquired for you and your son. Consider it a wedding present however belated.

Your loving Brother,
Stavros.>>>

"Oh you have got to be freaking kidding me!" Bobbie reaches for the car phone and calls the number that Carly had given her. "No way-- this isn't happening."

Stefan puts the phone on intercom and then takes the receiver from Bobbie hanging it up. Everyone in the back of the limo can hear the phone ringing... three times, four...

It's Carly in her most cheerful, almost gleeful, voice. Hi! You've reached the private line of Stavros Cassadine. We can't come to the phone right now. We're off to take the waters. Leave a message at the tone.

Before Bobbie can leave a half hysterical message Stefan disconnects the call. "Take the waters?"

Nikolas nods. "Michael must have made his case for going to see the Dead Sea."

"Where is my son?" Bobbie half screams.

Just then the intercom comes on. "Mr and Mrs Cassadine, we'll be at the launch in two minutes. I've already called the pilot he'll be waiting."

"He wouldn't." Bobbie shakes her head.

"He would." Stefan says grimly.

"My son is at Wyndemere and your psycho brother, no offense Nikolas, has told my son that we are remarried." Bobbie realizes.

"None taken." Nik says wryly hiding a grin. It would really be funny if it wasn't toying with Lucas. "And if it's true to form... he won't have said that you are remarried."

Bobbie is so furious she can't even sputter. Finally she closes her hand into a fist and hits Stefan right in the upper arm. "This is all your fault. How in the hell do I let you get me into these messes?!"

"Barbara. Lucas is fine." Stefan attempts to reassure.

"Oh really? Prove it!" The car is still moving when Bobbie jumps out of it and runs down the docks to the launch.

Stefan turns to Gia and Nik. "Go home. I'll handle it from here and talk to you later." Stefan says with a resigned sigh. Already the games were beginning. He tries to recall exactly what Stavros had said. Stavros had always been the type to never out right lie. He'd blend the truth with his fiction and leave the listener to figure out the degree of veracity.

"Good Luck. Bobbie's ticked." Nik says as he shakes his head. Stefan steps back and shuts the door. The limo continues down to the end of the pier to where Nikolas' yacht is moored. They climb out of the limo and grab their bags. The limo is already backing away. Nik puts a hand on Gia's back hugging her close to keep her warm while he holds their bags in his off hand. "It's good to be home." He tells her... leaning in close to her ear. Then he straightens and comes to a halt. "Where is the yacht?"

 



Kristina opens up the door to Alexis' penthouse. Her sister was supposed to meet her for dinner at Kelly's but had probably gotten hung up at the court house. Kristina shrugs. It isn't the first time. It won't be the last time. When Alexis got her nose in a problem she didn't see anything else. "Alexis! Are you here? Did you forget about dinner?"
Kristina frowns at the utter silence of the penthouse. It's... creepy. She jumps at the sound of the refridgerator kicking on. With a hand to her chest she laughs at herself. "Great. Now you're running scared of appliances. Alexis!" Kristina calls up stairs. Nothing. Shedding her outer gear-- coat, hat and gloves, Kristina hangs them all neatly in the closet. She is ready to wait her out. Guilt is a big motivator with big sis. And missing a dinner appointment would probably worth all types of torture-- a trip to the mall, maybe a club.
Kristina goes toward the kitchen with the intention of getting a bottle of water when she sees the note on the table addressed to Natasha Cassadine Jacks.

<<<
The time of accounting is here. You will come to me and explain your actions.

Stavros.>>>

"OH NO!" Kristina races to the phone. Her fingers fumble as she dials and she has to disconnect and try again finally forcing herself to slow down and get the number right. "Jax! Jax, it's Kristina. He's got her... Stavros has Alexis. What are we going to do?!" Kristina hangs up the phone and then hugs herself to ward off the chill that has come over her. She goes over to the couch and grabs the afghan and wraps it around herself. "Jax is on his way. He'll be able to find her."

 

 


"Mr and Mrs Cassadine." Mrs Lansbury greets Stefan and Bobbie. "I have a light meal prepared for you in the..."

"Where is my son?" Bobbie interrupts.

"Mr Lucas went to bed about an hour ago. I put him in his old room I hope that meets with your approval?" Bobbie's eyes flare in anger. Mrs L. looks to Stefan. "That was the proper step wasn't it?"

"Thank you, Mrs Lansbury. We'll handle it from here." Stefan dismisses the long time retainer.

"It's good to have you back, Mrs Cassadine." Mrs L makes a half bow and then starts to the servants quarters. She pauses at at the table. "This was messengered over for you."

"For me?" Stefan asks.

"For Mrs Cassadine." Mrs L. clarifies. Mrs Lansbury picks up the festively papered package and hands it to Bobbie. Then departs.

"Well it isn't ticking." Bobbie says grimly. She sets the package down and then starts unwrapping it.

"Do you think that is wise?" Stefan asks. He joins Bobbie by the table.

"It's a night for surprises. What's one more?" Bobbie says sarcastically. Moving the tissue away she pulls out the first thing in the gift. It is a gold chain belt and at the end of it is a set of keys. "What the hell is this?"

Stefan starts getting a bad feeling. "Look at the bottom of the package for the rest." Bobbie pulls out a blue bonded sheaf of papers. Her eyes go wide and she looks up to Stefan. Stefan grimaces. "I think you've just been handed the keys to the castle-- so to speak."

"But how... but it's..."

Stefan sighs. "I should have realized. I bought Wyndemere with funds from the Cassadine Estate, in the name of the Estate."

Bobbie's knees go weak and she collapses onto the couch. "I can't believe this."

Stefan goes over to the bar and pours them both a port. He hands one to Bobbie. "Another thing I should have expected. It seems somewhere during his... sleep. My brother has regained his sense of humor."

"You think this is funny?!" Bobbie's eyes go wide and her sentence ends in a squeak.

"No. But my brother would."

"Stefan what in the hell am I suppose to do with a place like this?" Bobbie waves the wine glass around. Then she blanches. "The taxes alone are going to bankrupt me. And Luke. My God. What is Luke going to say?"

 



Nik pays the cabdriver the huge fare it had cost to bring him and Gia out to the cottage. "I hope my key works."

Gia has her hands in her armpits trying to stay warm. "If they don't we're breaking in. I have a relative on the police force; he can come arrest us. At least it would be warm in jail."

"I'm really sorry about this, Gia. It wasn't the way I intended our homecoming."

"A dead battery can happen to anyone, Nikolas. Especially when it's this cold. But I'm getting you AAA for the next major gift giving holiday. I'm sure you'll be able to get hold of Lucky in the morning to get a jump. I can't believe your dad did that. You guys seemed to be getting on so well."

Nik opens the door with a fervent "Yes!" And then goes to flip the lights on. Nothing. "Oh and the hits just keep coming."

"The power is out."

"The power is turned off. I wasn't living here. I'll have to call tomorrow and have it restored." Nikolas says sheepishly.

Gia starts laughing and just can't stop. "Oh this is so perfect. Light the fire, lover, I guess we're sleeping on the floor." Running a hand over the sheet covered furniture Gia fumbles until she finds the matches on the mantle and starts lighting candles. "And I bet the wine is... chilled too."

Nik reaches over and blows out the match before it can burn Gia's fingers. He wraps his arms around her, lifting her off the ground. Gia wraps her arms around his shoulders. "You are being a good sport about all this."

"Yes, I am. But you're paying for the cab to the Port Charles Hotel tomorrow. Cause I don't mind camping out. But I'm going to want a HOT shower in the morning. And a HUGE breakfast."

"Anything for you, Sparky." Nik bends down and starts the fire in the fireplace. It was a skill he'd quickly acquired living in the cottage. Especially once Gia had moved in. There was just something about his girl in firelight, candlelight, moonlight. Glancing over his shoulder he offers her his hand. "Come here."

Gia kneels down by him. "You get to be on top."

"You just don't want to freeze off your backside." Nik teases as he nibbles on her neck and starts undoing buttons.

"You know me so well." Gia pulls him down on top of her.

 



"Where is the note?" Jax demands as he walks thru the doorway

Kristina crawls over the back of the couch and goes over to the table. "Here"

Jax sees the clue right from the start. "Natasha Cassadine Jacks." He looks around. "No sign of stuggle? You didn't clean the place up?"

"No. I called you as soon as I saw the note."

"None of Corinthos goons?"

Kristina shakes her head. "Nothing. It's like she was never here. Her coat is gone, her briefcase."

Jax runs up the stairs to Alexis' room and quickly searches her closet. He knew his ex wife. There were certain things she took with her whenever she traveled... voluntarily. He comes down the stairs much more slowly a pensive look on his face. "I need to get in touch with Stefan. I need to know where that Greek island is of theirs."

"She's in trouble, isn't she?"

"She didn't go on her own." Jax says grimly. He taps the note from Stavros. "And this wasn't for her... it's for me. Time for you to move back in with Ned. Stavros is being methodical-- Helena, Stefan, Alexis. You're up next, Red."

Kristina is already on the phone calling Stefan. "Stefan... it's Kristina. Alexis is missing and Jax thinks that Stavros has her...." Kristina holds out the phone. "He wants to talk to you."

Jax takes the phone and covers the mouthpiece. "Go grab your stuff." As soon as Kristina is clear. "I suppose it was too much to ask for you to just kill him and be done with it? What happened to Morgan?"

 



Jason throws down his duffle in his room over Jake's. He massages the back of his neck. He'd made good time considering but is exhausted. He yawns and shrugs out of his leather jacket and then falls face first down onto the bed. Sonny could just wait until morning.

 



Alexis moans and clutches her stomach. If she didn't know better she'd think she was on the water. She'd never been a good sailor. Even Stefan had quit trying when she spent most of the time feeding the fishes. She opens her eyes and then blinks. She wasn't at home. This wasn't her bed. She swings to her feet and then almost collapses covering her mouth. Looking around she sees the bathroom and races to it barely making it. After losing the contents of her stomach she runs cold water in the sink and taking a washcloth wipes off her face. She looks in the mirror. "You've looked better, Counselor."
Keeping a hand to the wall she comes out of the bathroom and looks around. "This is Helena's yacht." She goes to the small porthole... too small to crawl thru. She can see the lights of land in the distance. "And it's moving. What the hell is going on?" Seeing her briefcase on the table she feels her way gingerly over to a seat and collapses into it. Reaching into her briefcase, Alexis searches it swiftly for her cell phone. Nothing. There is a click as the door to her room is unlocked. Alexis doesn't get up afraid she'd fall on her face anyway.

An extremely handsome man in a tailored suit opens the door. "Good you are a awake."

"Where am I? Where are you taking me... Andreas-- isn't it? If Helena is behind this then you're backing the wrong pony. She doesn't have an money or power anymore."

Andreas smiles. "Neither do you but I work for someone who does. Make your self comfortable, Miss Natasha."

Alexis was about to believe that Jax had done something... maybe Ned to force her to take a vacation until it sinks in what Andreas had said.... Natasha... She blanches. "Look just let me go over the side and take my chances. Nobody would have to know. You could make up any story you want." Alexis pleads.

"Breakfast will be at nine. Clothing has been provided. Please let me know if I can get anything for you."

"A phone. I want a phone."

"Have a good evening. Sleep well." Andreas steps out and locks the door behind him.

Alexis' stomach tightens-- nerves, stress, fear, mal de mer or all of the above... she goes racing to the bathroom.

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