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Risk

Prologue

 

 


Carly stares out over the water. It had always been the place where she'd gone to gather her thoughts. Water, any water. Hell a bathtub would do when there wasn't a river, lake, or ocean around. Sonny was the same. They'd admitted that to themselves while on their honeymoon. The deal then had been if it started going sour that they'd come to the water and figure things out. Well that was out the window. She'd signed the divorce papers. No more games. It's over. Divorced again. First AJ and now Sonny. Course she'd loved Sonny. Loved. Was it really over-- could it ever really be over? The waves pound the sand of the island. There is a rhythm and a draw. She can feel the sea call to her.

"Caroline."

"Lucien? What are you doing here?" Carly asks with some bewilderment. "Here in Martinique?"

"I thought you might need... someone."

Carly laughs and then smiles sadly at him. "Yeah right. It hasn't done me too much good so far. It's a bitch to need someone. They're never there. And they are never comfortable with being needed. Well screw that." Carly contemplates the mess she's made of things again. Sonny wanted to adopt Michael. Without Sonny in her corner, AJ was going to be coming at her again. It was like Tony and AJ all over again. "So you ever make up with your son?"

"His mind has been poisoned against me." Lucien picks up a piece of drift wood and tosses it out beyond the first set of breakers. "I can never get back the time I lost... the years. The years I missed of him growing up."

"That's what is going to happen to me you know." Carly sighs. She hugs her arms to her body. "I signed the divorce papers-- finally gave Sonny what he wants. To be free of me."

"He never treated you like you deserved."

Carly laughs again. "Yeah, well ask anybody in Port Charles and they'll tell you he treated me exactly like I deserved."

"Small minded people in a provincial town. I'm surprised they hadn't gotten around to handing out scarlet letters." Stavros dismisses.

"I can't go back there." Carly shakes her head. "Not now. Michael's father would snatch Michael up like that." Carly snaps her fingers. "And never let me near my son. Nevermind that he is a drunk who pushed me down the stairs. He cost me Michael's little brother. My little angel. That's what he is now. He never got his chance on this earth. Maybe I'll go back to Florida." Carly bounces from thought to thought.

"Too close." Stavros says quietly keeping up with Carly's scattered thoughts. "Still within the reach of the Quartermaines."

"Do you have any suggestions?"

"An island in Greece. Where the water is so blue it hurts the eyes. Where the sun is so warm, you forget what it feels like to be cold. There is a house there up on a bluff that looks out over a cove where the dolphins play. The breezes are scented with flowers."

"You miss it." Carly sits down on the sand and curls her arms around her knees.

"Yes, I was happy there once. I had a wife and a child. I had the world." Stavros sits down next to her. "At least I thought I did. And then my brother ruined everything."

"What did he do?" Carly asks curiously.

"He slept with my wife. I didn't find that out until recently but it explains so much. He set everything up. My wife left the island and then when I went to get her..." Stavros hesitates and stares out to the sea. "He took my son and claimed his heart for himself. Leaving nothing of me but twisted memories and self serving lies."

"You sure your name isn't Quartermaine?"

"Yes, I'm sure. But my name isn't Caine either."

"Oh." Carly realizes and winces. "I guess it is darn near the oldest story in The Book. He, your brother, lives in Port Charles?"

"Yes." Stavros says flatly.

"So did you kill him?"

"And if I have?"

Carly shrugs. "What goes around comes around. I'm the breathing proof of that one."

Stavros chuckles. "You are an... unusual woman. Most would run screaming in fear of sitting next to a potential murderer."

Carly's eyes get intense as she stares at Stavros. "I'm not an idiot, you know. You are a pushy SOB and you don't wait for invitations before taking what you want. But you have come in handy when I actually thought I had a shot at getting Sonny back...."

"Glad to have been of service." Stavros tips his head in a courtly bow.

"...But don't think I didn't notice that you were using me too. I didn't come to you about Deception... you came to me." Carly's eyes narrow. "Oh boy. Laura, Gia. Nikolas? Nikolas is your son? I thought you were supposed to be dead. And a hell of a lot older!"

"Rumors of my death were much exaggerated. Once again I don't see you running in fear from me."

"Should I be?"

"Perhaps." Stavros stares out over the water. "I made a lot of mistakes. I made it easy for Stefan."

"Stefan is a prick." Carly mutters. "You know he was married to my mother? Totally messed up her life to hook up with Katherine Bell? I worked for Katherine for about five seconds after Stefan shot her. What a bitch. He would have saved the world a hell of a lot of trouble if he'd had better aim. Jason couldn't stand Stefan. Always said he was too loud and stood too close."

"Who is this Jason?" The former Mrs Corinthos was a font of information on all of the things he'd missed during his frozen sleep.

"The first love of my life. Jason Morgan." Carly sighs and then she gets a small grin and leans into Stavros and says like it's a big secret. "He was a mob enforcer. Killed people for a living. And his aim was a hell of a lot of better than your brother's. Someone crossed Jason and pop. No more problem. See something you want then reach out and take it. When he was in charge, he expanded the territory." Carly says proudly knowing she'd had a piece of helping Jason take control. "Not just Port Charles and Puerto Rico but took over Rochester and everything North of the City all the way up to the border. Until the love of his life tried to get him to go straight and be all goody goody." Carly shudders. Robin Scorpio. Yecht.

Stavros laughs. "You'll forgive me if I don't mind my brother's lousy aim?!"

"What are you going to do?" Carly asks curiously.

"About Stefan?" Stavros sighs. "Killing him is out, unfortunately. It would take what little chance I ever have of having some kind or relationship with Nikolas. And I do want to know my son. So many things have changed while I've been away. I need to think."

"You're going back to the island." Carly nods. "You know that's the problem with you Cassadines. With Luke too. It's all kill, kill, kill. Big threats. There is a world of possibilities out there without killing anybody. I don't get it. You don't even have to do anything to Stefan. He's a miserable person who always screws things up on his own." Carly holds up a hand. "And please don't tell me takes one to know one."

"Would I do that?" Stavros says cheerfully. Carly can see his tongue pushing out one cheek.

"Not until you get to know me a hell of a lot better and then only if you want to die."

"Maybe you have the same penchant for threatening to kill, kill, kill." Stavros quips.

"I didn't say I'd kill you." Carly retorts. "Just make you want to die."

Stavros laughs. "True." He looks over at Carly tilting his head slightly to the side. "Do you want to go with me? To the island?"

Carly grows serious and her eyes sad. "Nothing would come of it, you know. You aren't my type. And I'm totally swearing off men. They are nothing but trouble. Just me and Michael. That's all I want."

"Wait for the proposition before turning me down." Stavros retorts. "I'm offering you breathing room. Away from the Quartermaines. Away from your mafioso ex. Time with your son. Time I won't get with mine."

"Will you teach me how to take over companies?" Carly tests.

Stavros grins. "I could do that."

"And it's short term. I figure out what I want or you figure out what you want then we go our own way... no hard feelings-- just friends."

"Carly, I have a wife. I'm not in the market for another. Friendship is something I've had little of." none Stavros realizes.

"I'm a great friend." Carly brags. "Well mostly. I think people would rather have me as a friend than as an enemy."

"The same is true of me, I think."

Carly stares out over the water. A little voice is screaming at her that she is making a huge mistake, maybe the biggest yet. But it's a little voice that she is used to overruling. "Yeah, Lets do it. Go to the island I mean. I've never been to Greece. Read about it in travel books but never been."

Stavros rises to his feet and extends a hand to Carly. Carly takes it and allows herself to be pulled upright. She brushes the sand off. "No time like the present." Stavros suggests. "Lets go back to the hotel and collect your son and things. I'll call the pilot."





"Carly!! Carly, let me in!" Sonny pounds on the door of Carly's hotel room. Finally the door opens. "Carly, I'm sor..."

"She's not here, Mr Corinthos." Leticia tells him.

"Where is she?"

"She left about twenty minutes ago with Michael. Told me that she signed the papers and was leaving."

"Where did she go?"

"Back to Port Charles?" Leticia guesses. "She was going to catch a lift with Mr Caine."

Sonny stiffens suddenly getting a really bad feeling. "Why didn't you go too?"

"Carly told me the room was paid for thru the rest of the week and I should have a vacation. Call Reggie..."

Sonny stalks past Leticia and to Carly's room. The evidence of her leaving is obvious... drawers left open and closet cleaned out. There is a note on the bed.

<<< Corinthos,

Be careful what you wish for.

S.C. >>>

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