Path to Power





Zander has a hand at Gia's back as they walk into the Port Charles Grille. They both stop in their tracks when they see Nikolas in what looks like a meeting on the far side of the room. Gia grimaces and stiffens, which Zander feels. "You know, Zander, the Grille is kinda expensive. Maybe we should go over to Kelly's?" Gia suggests.

"Hey. You're talking to the ELQ Vice President in charge of paperclips. Seriously, Gia, I'm making good money now and still living at Jakes. Let me spend some of it. Besides you can't let him run you off." Zander says bluntly.

"I came out for lunch not for a pep talk."

"I can do both." Zander says cheerfully. "Table for two." Zander tells the head waiter.

"Right this way." They are efficiently seated with a clear line of sight to Nikolas' table.

Gia arranges things so that her back is to Nikolas. She might feel his eyes on her but she wasn't going to let him totally ruin her appetite. "Since when is Nikolas conducting business here? That's his business manager."

"Probably so there isn't a chance of Natasha being upset." Zander says absently as he peruses the menu. twelve bucks for a burger?! They better have hand fed the cow.

"Natasha? Oh Alexis. Right." Gia shakes her head. "I was just getting used to the idea of her being Kristina. Have you gotten to..."

"Talk to her?" Zander waits until after the waiter leaves and is about to tell Gia how her former boss is doing when his cell phone rings. "Sorry I got to take this." It might be Alexis He opens the phone and leans back in the chair. "Zander Smith." Those are the only two words he says as his face gets progressively grimmer. Finally he just hangs up the phone. The timing is perfect as Nikolas is just finishing his meeting. Zander goes over to Nik's table and plants an index finger in the middle of Nik's chest. "I always figured you for a bully."

"What in the hell is your problem?" Nikolas brushes Zander's arm away.

"You get your kicks out of upsetting little girls?"

Nik swears as the realization dawns on him. "I took you to see Luke."

"And he made me a tape of Alex... Tasha's mother."

"I thought Luke... nevermind it doesn't matter what I thought. You had no business being on the island... of giving anything to Alexis."

"Alexis is a friend of mine. And you.." Zander gives Nik another poke in the chest. "...are not going to stop me from helping her. Upset her again and I'm going to kick your ass, little prince."

"Is there a problem here?" Marcus comes up on the two young men standing nearly toe to toe. One of the waitstaff had actually run out into the street to flag down his car. And from the embarrassed look on Gia's face one of them is her lunch date and it's a tossup as to which would piss him off more.

Zander steps back. "It's settled."

"Come on to the island again and you will be arrested for trespassing." Nik growls.

"First you'd have to catch me." Zander sneers. "You upset Natasha again... don't leave the island cause I'll find you."

"That sounded like a threat, Mr. Smith." Marcus says mildly.

"It wasn't a threat. Just a fact." Zander says flatly. Not losing eye contact with Nikolas.

Gia comes over and grabs Zander's arm. "I want to have lunch before I go to class."

"Fine." Zander turns away and goes back to his own table.

"You want to press charges, Mr. Cassadine?" Marcus says very calmly.

"No." Nikolas straightens his already straight suit jacket. "That won't be necessary."

"Good." Marcus leans in and says to Nikolas confidingly. "Having Natasha out on the island is the best of a bad situation. Dara reminded me that she didn't have too many options: jail, Ferncliffe, locked ward over at GH. But I've got my eye on you, and your uncle too. You do anything to hurt that girl, don't worry about Zander Smith finding you." Marcus smiles real big and then gives Nik a pat on the back that rocks him on his feet. Then he goes over to the other table.

Gia sees him coming and groans. "Oh great." Then she forces a smile. "Hi Marcus."

"Gia." Marcus looks at his sister and then looks at Zander and shakes his head. "You sure know how to pick them."

"Don't you have somewhere to be?" Gia says helplessly.

"We'll talk."

"I know. Believe me, I know." Gia sighs.





Ned is hunched over his desk looking for the flaws in a proposal when Stefan Cassadine is announced. Ned stands up and walks around the desk. "Wondered when I was going to see you. I heard you'd seen Kristina in the park."

"From your wife?" Stefan says after shaking Ned's hand. Ned indicates a couple of chairs to the side of the room. Stefan's brow goes up. Evidently Mr. Ashton didn't feel the need for the powerplay of putting the desk between them. Perhaps reserving it for later.

"Faith did mention it. And I talked to Zander as well afterward." Ned admits taking the chair with the back to the window. "After my last trip to Spoon Island to see Alexis, I should have talked to Faith and let her know that you'd be in contact to see the baby."

"She's very..." A non-offensive word for the woman that was with the child. "...protective of Kristina."

Ned's grin is wry. "Honestly it wasn't what I was expecting when we got married. But I'm not complaining. I don't think I'm giving anything away when I say that my family can be like a snake pit." He leans in to give Stefan a confidence. "She changed the locks on the gatehouse because Grandfather walked in like he owned the place. Faith doesn't let anyone near Kristina."

"Except Zander Smith." Stefan counters.

"Zander works for me. Alexis recommended him." Ned counters swiftly. "I've had my issues with Zander in the past but he has always been loyal to Alexis. He would never do anything to hurt Kristina. Besides, Faith says the agreement she made with Zander was for supervised visits only."

Stefan leans back in his chair resting his hands easily on the arm rests. He crosses one leg over the other. "Kristina is a Cassadine."

Ned winces but nods. He'd known this one was coming from the minute that Stefan Cassadine had stepped off the plane. Nikolas had his hands full with the Estate, Laura, and then Alexis' breakdown. But Stefan wasn't one to let anything fall thru the cracks. And if there was a family crazier than his about the family line then it's the Cassadines. "Not news."

"Good. Perhaps you should fill in your wife of that fact. While The Family appreciates her vigilance on Kristina's behalf it will not be necessary where Nikolas and I are concerned."

"Just you and Nikolas." Ned clarifies. "Alexis... doesn't know who Kristina is anymore."

"That will not always be the case." Stefan admits the truth while stating his position.

Ned leans back. He shakes his head. "Do not misunderstand me, Stefan. I loved Alexis. I don't want to hurt her. But I will protect my daughter... even from her mother." If Anyone should understand that position it's you.

"Then begin preparing now, Ned, for the day when Kristina has her mother back. For the day they will be reunited. Alexis was, is and will always be Kristina's mother." Stefan states his family's position. "I have talked to Ms. Jenson."

Ned stiffens at that. A court battle is exactly what he doesn't want. Specially any court ordered paternity testing. It would be unlikely that the tests would be done at General Hospital where he could manipulate the results but would instead be sent out to a secure anonymous lab. "You are bringing an attorney into this?"

"The child's mother is an attorney." Stefan says wryly. "It is impossible to avoid." Stefan names off a sum that would keep a family of four above the federal poverty level for a year. "...Will be deposited on a monthly basis to an account that names Kristina Davis as the beneficiary with you as executor. Child support, I believe it is called. Ms. Jenson will follow up with the details of the trust."

"I don't need your money, Stefan. I have plenty of my own."

"It isn't your money, Ned." Stefan reminds. "It is Kristina's. Use it or do not. It is there. And you will inform your wife that Nikolas and I will be visiting Kristina."

Ned gets that over the barrel feeling. Stefan is already trying to run things. "Stefan, the baby has a routine. Give us some notice. I don't see that there will be a problem."

Stefan eyes Ned carefully for any signs that he is being deceptive. We'll see. "Please contact me with the best times." He rises to his feet. "And if there is ever anything that Kristina needs...."

"I've got it covered." Ned rises as well to walk Stefan out. As soon as Cassadine got on the elevator and the door closes, Ned rubs the back of his neck. Things were going to start getting interesting.





You know that things are getting a little routine when you started to think of a park bench as your usual spot. It's enough to put the hair up on the back of your neck. "Is the kid asleep, Alice?"

"Like a lamb, Mrs. A." Alice checks the blanket anyway.

"Then we're moving." Faith says impatiently. She tightens the belt on her black cashmere coat with mink collar. She keeps her red leather clutch purse close to her. After that fiasco with Bruno before in the park she wasn't going anywhere without her Smith & Wesson .40. It's a man sized gun that made a man sized hole. And she wouldn't hesitate not if it was necessary. But keeping moving lowered the possibility of it being necessary. Besides it was a nice piece. A wedding present from Roscoe, not something she wanted to dump.

"But the ducks..."

"It's a big freaking pond. There'll be ducks on the other side when the kid wakes up. Move." Faith demands. The bodyguard waits until Alice is on her feet and then he leads the way around to the other side of the pond where there are still some park benches. Alice gets settled on the bench with the pram beside her. Faith stands along the back of the bench and the bodyguard inspects every place a person can hide within about a twenty foot radius.

"It's clear, Faith." Bruno, the bodyguard, comes back.

"It had better be. Gimme the phone." Faith demands. The kid is asleep might as well get some business done. As soon as the kid was awake they'd start tossing old bread at the ducks so Kristina could see the greedy suckers chowing down. As soon as the phone is handed over she starts making the calls. Starting first with Fowler in Atlantic City and then working her way thru her guys. She is about to start on her next round of calls when the phone rings. "Faith Ashton."

"It's Ned. Stefan Cassadine was just here."

"You were expecting that. Is he going to be a problem?"

Ned snorts. "Like an earthquake. No notice and then the ground falls out from under."

Save that one for later. "What did he want?"

"Visitation with Kristina. I want to keep this out of court, out of the press."

"So you're going along." Faith's eyes don't stop moving expecting Cassadine to pull that ninja shit again like he did before and pop out from behind a tree.

"I'm keeping my options open."

"I don't like surprises." Faith says coldly, unless I'm the one giving them.

"I told him Kristina has a set routine." Ned agrees.

"Got it. So I tell him when his visitation is so that he doesn't start dictating." Faith nods. "But not the nutjob right?"

"Alexis is Kristina's mother." Ned reminds then sighs. He'd seen Faith's reaction in the hospital when Alexis had lost it. It's not like he's comfortable with mental illness himself-- Drug addition and alcoholism sure. Adultery and a number of other things covered in the thou shall not's might give him a guilty minute. It wasn't Alexis fault. It's just that he doesn't know what the next step should be. Alexis was the one that would have known. Insanity ran in her family not his. "The discussion was only about Stefan and his nephew Nikolas." Ned decides to change the subject. "You and the baby at the park?"

"Yeah, it's a nice day. If you can get away come on down. We're on the far side of the pond."

"Best offer I've had all day." Ned sighs. "But you'll be long gone before I make a dent in this pile on my desk."

"Your loss, Lover." Faith purrs suggestively.

"And what about the baby?" Ned laughs.

"She's asleep. Fresh air knocks her out every time." Faith sighs for effect and then teases. "Fine. If you won't come over here and gimme what I want guess I'll have to find some... thing else to do. What's Cassadine's number?"

Ned really laughs at that one and gives the number to Stefan's cell easily. "You don't have a chance in hell with Cassadine, Faith. Any Cassadine."

"What kinda dig is that?!" Faith doesn't like being laughed at or being put down.

"No dig." Ned says quietly. "You can't help your face."

Faith's eyes narrow. "Is this about what that nutjob said in the hospital? And then the way the nephew freaked cause I was holding the baby?"






911 What is your emergency-- Police, Fire or Medical?

"This is Edward Quartermaine. My Gatehouse is on fire."

I'm dispatching units now, sir. Is there anyone inside of the building?

"No, Thank goodness. At least I don't think so. My... Granddaughter-in-law took the baby..."

I'll relay that to the units, sir. Please have someone meet the units at the road to direct them....

"What kind of idiot are you? It's a GATEHOUSE! It's at the road!"





A police car rolls slowly by the lot on Courtland street. The PCPD had been damn glad when that building had come down. A firetrap to start and then a den of criminal activity. The homeless were one thing and then turn around and add the hookers and the crack heads. Any decent homeless person had moved out long ago. But you had to wonder watching drug dealing gang bangers out there with metal detectors if this was any better. A call come in and they hit the sirens and the accelerator at the same time roaring down the street.

Jax pulls around the corner just missing everything but the sounds of the retreating sirens. He hesitates to get out of his car after pulling in behind the Bentley. Finally he gets out, sets the alarm and walks over to the tent set up on the lot. "Mrs. Quartermaine."

"Jax, Darling!" Lila holds out a hand to the tall blonde which he takes. Looking around he sees a chair and pulls it up so that he can sit down next to the Grand Dame.

"I heard what you were doing down here." Jax looks around out the front of the tent. "Courtland Street, Mrs. Q?"

Lila pats his hand. "I know, dear. But I think that Chloe would have appreciated it all the more to be able to provide beauty every day to people, to children, whose lives... aren't."

"Of Course. You're right." Jax agrees. "It would have been just like Chloe. And I'll be of any assistance I can. Playground equipment perhaps?"

"What a lovely idea." Lila nods. "I will have Reggie get you the dimensions so that you can pick something out yourself. I know that you'd much rather provide time than just a check. Right Jax?"

Jax grins. She had him there and nobody told Lila no. "Of course." He pats her hand. "There was something else I wanted to talk to you about."

"Of course, Dear. What is troubling you?"

"I went over to the lake house to talk to Skye about the Ward House Fundraiser. I know she is organizing it for the family."

"For AJ, Darling. It was his idea." Lila says to be clear. AJ had been coming up with such good ideas lately and really did need to get credit for them.

"Skye wouldn't talk to me." Jax blurts out gracelessly. Lila doesn't say anything and the silence gets longer. "I'd really like your input on this, Mrs. Quartermaine. I have no idea why Skye all of a sudden...."

A fire comes into Lila's eyes. "Now you've never struck me as a particularly stupid man, Mr. Jacks. Do you really have no idea why Skye would want nothing to do with you?"

"We were getting along. I know things have been difficult but I don't understand this sudden hostility."

"Men." Lila mutters.

"Excuse me?"

"Jax, I supported you being with Brenda whom I love like a granddaughter. You two appeared to be so happy together." At Skye's expense. "And I am a romantic. I understand there are all kinds of obstacles to the course of true love running smooth. It's been my experience that true love never does run smoothly." Lila adds wryly. "But the course of your quest for true love tromped right thru Skye's heart and then you didn't even marry Brenda?!"

"She was kissing Sonny the day before the wedding."

"So you announced to the whole congregation that was there to see you wed." Lila says wryly. "You have treated Skye vilely, cruelly. And I'm ashamed to say that my actions were not kind either. I allowed you and Brenda to rub Skye's nose in your happiness. Happiness gained at her expense. It cost her heart, her self respect, her sobriety." Lila shakes her head. "You are not the injured party, Jax. And the Quartermaines owe you no reparation. Skye doesn't owe you anything... especially her time. Time that she is spending rebuilding her own life."

"Mrs. Quartermaine, it was never my intention to hurt Skye."

"Of course not, Darling." Lila pats his hand and her eyes go kinda vague the way that they normally are. "That's why I'm sure you won't hurt her now by going against her wishes."

Jax sighs knowing that there will be no assistance from Lila. "Right. Have Reginald contact me with the dimensions of the area you've set aside for the playground."

"Of course, dear." Lila says absently. Already gone on to something else. Jax rises and leaves.

One of Lila's crew comes over to the tent. "You okay, Mrs. Q?"

"I'm fine, Mr. MacDawg." Lila sighs. "Such a difficult young man."

"The dude that just left?"

"He was... playing... both my granddaughter and a young woman whom I love like a granddaughter."

"Dammmnnn. And you're still talking to him?! You want maybe I should kick his ass for him?"

"I do appreciate the kind offer, Mr. MacDawg. But I think that Mr. Jacks has already kicked his own... posterior. One of the girls left town and the other isn't speaking to him."

"Player's been played."

"Exactly." Lila pats his hand. "Now what can I do for you, dear?"

"I was kinda hoping you'd tell me how to use that tea stuff you brung me."

"Brought. Yes." Lila explains exactly how to use the tea. "You'll find if you use it exactly as I've instructed that you'll have plants a quarter to a third bigger."

"Wow. That be great." Dawg nods. "But what if I run out?"

"By the time you run out, dear, you'll already be seeing results. And then we'll talk."

Dawg stiffens and his eyes narrow. He stands up next to the wheelchair and takes a step closer. "You playing me, Mrs. Q?! Get me hooked on this plant juice and then start stringing me along?"

"Sit down, Mr. MacDawg." Lila says firmly. She doesn't say another word until the young man does. "I know what people see when they look at me, Mr. MacDawg. A doddering old woman, no, a doddering old fool that can be snowed by some company manners. And yours are very nice by the way. Someone took pride in you and it shows."

"My mother." Dawg admits sheepishly.

"Please tell her that I appreciate her efforts. Now where was I? Right. Do you know who I am?"

"You're a rich ol um... lady from the other side of town who digs plants."

"All true." Lila nods. "I am also Jason Morgan's grandmother." Lila pauses and then smiles sweetly. "I see you recognize the name."

"Look, I don't want any trouble." Dawg says defensively shrinking a bit.

"Neither do I. Now I suspect that what you are growing aren't generally considered house plants, Mr. MacDawg?"

"I'm not saying they is or they ain't."

"I do wish your mother could have spent more time on grammar."

"Look. I'm not saying they are or that they aren't." Dawg says each word clearly and slowly so that there is no misunderstanding.

"Thank you. It does your mother credit when you use what she taught you." Lila pats Dawg's hand. "Now where was I? Right. Using my tea will increase the size of your plants by a quarter to a third. And I'll keep you provided with it if..."

Dawg sighs and cuts to the chase. "What's your cut?"

"Ten percent of the plants... not the money. Delivered to the senior center. I'll get you the name."

"The senior center?! Okay, okay what's the rest of it?"

"And if you are growing what I think you're growing. And you do give ten percent to the person I designate, then I will not only intervene with Jason should you have problems but also make sure you have an attorney if you should have problems with the PCPD."

"Whoa." Dawg thinks about that one. It would be worth ten percent of his crop to make sure there was no trouble with Morgan and Corinthos... and then to throw in the PCPD too! And Mrs. Q is way confident that her shit will grow the trees way bigger than the miracle grow stuff. "What are the old folks gonna be doing with it?"

"Do you ask the young people what they are doing?" Lila says smartly. "Marijuana isn't a recent invention young man! But because I think you are being curious rather than disrespectful..."

"Oh no! I wasn't dissing ya, Mrs. Q." Dawg says in a hurry.

"The meals on wheels program is run out of the senior center."

"Man. I get it now. All those sick dudes with the eye problems and cancer and stuff. Medicinal right?"

"Exactly. So do we have a deal?"

"If that tea's all you say it is.... Yeah, we can deal." Dawg agrees.

"There is only one condition, Dawg."

"Keep your name out of it?"

"I don't care about that." Lila dismisses. "Nobody would believe it anyway. I will intervene for you regarding plants not... chemicals." Lila warns.

"Ohhh." The young man nods. "Got it." He looks over to the street. "Looks like more company, Mrs. Q."

Lila stiffens in the chair. "Go get Reginald if you would, Dawg."

"That guy trouble?"

"His family is the reason why this is the Chloe Morgan Memorial park." Lila says grimly.

Dawg steps out of the tent and cups his hand to his face. "YO REGGIE! MRS. Q. WANTS YA."

Lila winces but thanks Dawg for his assistance. The young man crosses his arms and stands at the entry way to the tent. Reginald who had been working on collecting soil samples from around the lot to assist in Mrs. Q's park planning and augmentation program looks up to see Stefan Cassadine coming on to the lot. Reggie brushes off his hands and collects his samples. This he had to hear.





"AJ, where are you?" Skye demands in a quiet hiss into her cell phone. She hasn't even gotten out of her SUV but is instead stuck out on the road where the Quartermaine mansion is. The lights of a cop car show where the traffic is blocked off up ahead. So she'd just pulled over to the edge to make her call.

"Why?" AJ asks curiously.

"Just tell me. And please tell me that there are witnesses. Lots of them. I don't care if they are strippers, hookers, whoever --as long as you've been with them all afternoon long."

"Why would I need an alibi, Skye?"

"Someone burned down Ned's gatehouse." Skye finally climbs out of the car and goes around to the passenger side to get a better view. "It looks like it's down to the ground. A charred hulk. And if it's a fire..."

AJ groans and mutters. "Burn down a warehouse and a strip club and suddenly the whole family thinks you're an arsonist." His voice gets loud enough for Skye to hear clearly. "I was in a building commission meeting all day. They are actually televised on the public access channel. It wasn't me."

"I know it wasn't you, silly. I just want to make sure that you don't get blamed for it."

"What about you? Where were you?"

"Where was I?" Skye repeats.

"I'd kinda like to know that one myself." Marcus Taggart says from behind Skye. "Hang up the phone, Ms. Chandler- Quartermaine."

Skye sighs. "I've got to go, AJ. Lt. Taggart is here." Skye shuts the phone and then turns to face the police detective. "Actually, Taggart, if you're going to go with the full hyphenate it's Antoinette Skye Chandler-Cudahy-Kinder-Davidson-Quartermaine- Jacks. Call me Skye. And do I need to call my attorney?"

"If you'd like, Skye..." Taggart shrugs. "Course that would mean me taking you down to the station. And waiting for your attorney to show up. We can do that. Or you could just clear it up real fast and tell me where you were this afternoon so I can get back to looking for real criminals."

"Was it arson?"

"That is still under investigation. Here or the station, Skye. Your call."

Skye sighs. "Gimme a sec." Skye reaches into the passenger side of the car and grabs her dayminder out of her bag. She opens it up on the hood to the current day. "I've been at a meeting for the last hour so if that is when the fire happened... guess I'm S.O.L."


"AA. Before that... I was out at the lake house waiting for a locksmith."

"Locked out of your car?"

"Changing locks... all the locks at the lake house: doors, windows, codes on the security system, combination to the safe." Skye mutters.

"Sounds like quite a project." Taggart sees the number of the locksmith in the book. He pulls out his own cell phone and dials the number. "Yeah, You were recommended to me by Skye..." He looks over to Skye who mouths the word Quartermaine at him. "... Quartermaine. Said you did really great work for her. Thought of everything." Taggart waits giving the guy all the time in the world to gush about Skye and when he'd done the work for her, how long it had taken. "Thanks. I still have a few more calls to make." Taggart hangs up. "You're looking in the clear. What about Junior?"

"I knew you were going to ask that."

"Before I interview the rest of the family, I'd just as soon have a little information up my sleeve." Taggart admits.

he already knows who set the fire Skye realizes.

Taggart reads her face. "What I know and what I can prove are two different things, Ms. Quartermaine. Where was Junior?"

"AJ was in a building commission meeting. He says they are televised on public access. Was anyone hurt in the fire?"

"Nobody was in the gatehouse. The Old Man saw Faith Roscoe leave with her bodyguard, the nanny and the baby."

"Faith Ashton." Skye corrects absently.

"Right. Sorry. Faith Ashton. The Old Man called the fire in."

Skye blinks as she realizes there was someone else to worry about. Somebody who doesn't live at the gatehouse. "Is Grandmother okay? Did this upset her?"

"Mrs. Q was out for the day. Some charity thing."

"Well thank goodness for that. I need to call my father. Monica is going to freak." Skye shakes her head.

"They are already on their way." Taggart admits but he is distracted by a black town car coming up the lane toward the Quartermaine gate.

The car comes to a halt next to Skye's vehicle. The back window slides down smoothly. "What is going on? I need to get the baby back to the house for her afternoon snack and nap. Get these vehicles out of the way."

"Love to help you out there, Mrs. Ashton, Congratulations on that by the way. Real step up from that low life bottom feeder Roscoe. But if the house you were planning on going to was the gatehouse... well there is a little bit of a problem there."

Faith steps out of the car not waiting for Bruno to open her door. "Stay with the baby." She orders both him and Alice. She walks over to the same vantage that Taggart and Skye have and her face grows tight. "An electrical problem?" She says thru clenched teeth.

"They are still investigating. Can you account for your whereabouts?" Taggart pulls his notebook out again.

"I was in the park."

"And your new hubby?"

"How should I know?!" Faith snarls and then calms down. "When I spoke to him to invite him to lunch, he told me he was up to his ears in paperwork and had just finished meeting with Stefan Cassadine. Anything else? Lieutenant?"

"You think of anyone that would want you... homeless, Mrs. Ashton?" Taggart suggests.

Faith's eyes tell a different story than her answer. "No one."

Taggart closes his notebook. "I'll keep you informed of our progress. If you can think of anything else..."

"I'll be sure to let you know." Faith interjects. when hell freezes over.

"Right." Taggart nods and walks off.

"He knows who did it." Skye says quietly to Faith.

"Anyone who isn't a complete moron knows who did it." Faith says bitterly. "That fat old fucker has gone too far this time."

Skye snorts. "What else is new. AJ told me you changed the locks, so I figure this is Grandfather's payback? Bet he has a nursery already all made up in the West Wing."

"If that's what he wanted then he should have made sure that I was in that fire cause it'll be over my dead body."

Alice sticks her head out the window and says in Faith's direction. "Mrs. A, we need to either get moving or get home. This kid is working her way to a big ole fuss."

Skye can see Faith's fury at being helpless in the situation get to her. Since tight situations bring out Skye's creative side, "Look-- I have a rental house. The power is on, the phone is still hooked up. I got it in my divorce settlement. Most of the furniture... sorry... gave it away, but it's got the whole not being the mansion going for it. Because really. Port Charles Hotel would be just like moving into the mansion."

Faith already knows that Edward has a master key to every room in the Port Charles Hotel. He'd used it often enough to let himself into hers when they'd been playing games with Ned. "Lead the way."

Skye starts backing around her SUV to get to the driver's seat. She grabs her dayminder off the hood of the car. "Tell Ned when you call him... Brenda's old cottage. I'm sure he'll meet us there."

Faith climbs into the front seat of the town car next to Bruno. She nods at him and he brings up the privacy screen so that Alice and the baby can't hear them. Faith grabs her phone and calls her new hubby at work. "Make Edward pay dearly or I will." She hangs up the phone.

About three seconds later Ned is calling back. "What happened? What did Grandfather do?"

"The police should be contacting you soon for your alibi in the gatehouse being burned to the ground."

"HE WHAT?!!"

"I'm on my way to someplace called... Brenda's old cottage with the baby, Alice and Bruno. Have a plan before you show up. Because if you don't then we're going with mine. I'll even throw in a really nice funeral so the old lady won't feel so bad." Faith presses end and then turns the phone off. Let Ned stew. She was already. "As soon as you drop us off get some of the guys and a truck."

"You want me and the guys to go get your stuff?"

"Looks like I have to." Faith clenches her fist.

"You gonna be okay with that, Faith?" Faith just gives him a look. Bruno shuts up and drives.


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