The Path to Power

Chapter Two




Hours later Ned knocks on Faith's hotel room door. Faith opens the door after checking the Judas hole and putting up her 9mm. "You look like hell." She walks over to the bar and pours Ned a drink.

"I feel like hell." Ned admits collapsing in a chair. He takes the drink that Faith had poured for him and takes a deep drink.

"She's not coming back is she?"

Ned looks up at Faith who is eyeing him like she would a puzzle. "It could take months... years. Faith..."

"You're backing out of our deal." Faith goes back to the bar and pours her own drink.

"Faith... Kristina is dead, Alexis is... I'm all the baby has. Don't get me wrong I want Sonny to pay. But I can't."

"You don't know dick about babies, Daddy. You might be all that with little girls but you were handing her off to me... to me, Ned, as soon as it started to get cranky."

"So I'll hire a nanny." Ned shrugs. "And I'll figure it out. I owe it to them to all of them. The baby has lived her whole life in a hospital so far and I have to change that. I have to be the best possible father to that little girl."

Faith keeps looking down at the bar her back to Ned as she rolls her eyes. Talk about a drama queen. Picking up the glass and swirling the amber liquid in the tumbler she crosses one arm across her body. "And where does that leave me, Lover? We've already gotten started. Sonny and Jason have both already paid me a visit." Faith runs her tongue along one of the loosened teeth on the side of her mouth. "The slut too."

"Come with me."

"Excuse me?" Faith laughs.

"Marry me."

Faith shakes her head. "I don't think I heard you right. You're dumping me, canceling our plans, setting me up to be killed and then you say Marry me?"

Ned nods. "Yeah, I finally figured it out. We don't have to do anything to Sonny. Not a freaking thing. He'll destroy himself. He already started it when he was kissing Brenda down on the docks. I screwed up thinking we should handle things Sonny's way. Your late husband's way. You need to take him down my way."

"And what way is that, big man?"

"Legitimately. Marginalize him. Take away his legitimate sources of income so that it's easier for RICO to come after him. It'll be slower than a bullet but...." Ned shrugs. "It's your shot, Faith, to go legit and have the power and prestige of the Quartermaine name."

"You say that like it's the holy grail. Besides, last I looked you were an Ashton."

"An Ashton in charge of ELQ. Control ELQ and you control the reins of the family and this town." Faith comes over and kneels down in front of Ned. She studies him carefully before setting her drink aside and reaching for the buttons on his shirt. "Is this a yes?"

"This is an I'll think about it. Maybe sleep on it. I've found that the harder the decision the easier it is to make." Faith unfastens Ned's belt and unzips his slacks.

Ned snorts. "Hard huh? That can be arranged."

"Yeah, I figured you'd be up for it."





The following day. It didn't seem right to wear white to the wedding. Not when it was her second and not when Roscoe had been dead for less than a year. This little trip down the aisle isn't about love or purity. Not that she'd been all that innocent or pure the first time around. But at least she'd gone in with a few hopes and dreams. Promises Roscoe had made her and then died before fulfilling, the bastard. He'd left her in a world of hurt. And that wasn't going to happen this time around. Faith looks up at the cocktail server. "Champagne. It's my wedding day." Before the server can walk away Faith calls her back. "Scratch that-- make it a scotch-- neat." Faith sees her future hubby walking toward her. "Make it two. Here comes the better half."

Ned hears the last and grins. "She thinks you're kidding." He leans in and gives Faith a quick kiss.

"We know better. Did you take care of it?" Ned pats his breast pocket on his suit. Faith reaches in and grabs the contents of the pocket. Some blushing cutie off of the farm might have thought a bauble the most appropriate contents of a bridegroom's pocket. Maybe a couple of gold rings. Faith unfolds the blue backed legal forms and starts reading.

"It's a standard prenup." Ned informs her.

"Right. Shut up, Lover. I'm reading." Faith grabs her drink as soon as it is delivered and with drink in one hand and pen in the other she starts thru the contract. If it wasn't to her satisfaction well... a trip to Vegas is never a bad thing. "The signing bonus is low." Faith looks over at Ned and lifts a brow.

"Yeah, I figured that you could make it up with the money you've been taking from Edward."

"Do you really want me to continue taking money from Edward?" Faith doesn't even bother denying it. There is a happy glint in her eye. Knowing that Ned knew made it all the sweeter, it boded well for their marriage that the groom wasn't an idiot, spineless but not stupid.

Ned shrugs. "Take as much money as the old goat will give you. Spend it in good health. Just remember who you married."

Faith runs a hand up his lapel and rests her hand on his shoulder. "And if you weren't in such a hurry... I could always remove Edward from the picture."

Ned takes Faith's hand in a bruising grip. "You'll understand once you meet my grandmother why you aren't going to harm a hair on The Old Man's head."

Faith wrenches her arm away from Ned. "It was just an idea." Then leans in across the table. "Get this straight. I'm not some housefrau. I'm not going to start wearing aprons and tying papooses to them. I'm in this for the power, for the money and because I am going to take Sonny Corinthos down. This isn't for better or worse, Ned. It's an alliance not a suicide pact."

Ned laughs. "You think you could stitch that one up for a pillow? Cause I've been wondering if you were going kamikazi on me. Subtle, Faith. That we have better things to do. That's the program. Let Sonny think he won while we take him a part bite by bite."

"Big talk but still no plan." Faith shrugs.

Ned leans in and with a hand at the back of her neck first nibbles on the lobe of her ear and then starts whispering in her ear. Leaning back Ned grabs the pen from the tabletop and hands it to Faith.

She looks at him hard and consideringly. Then she signs the prenup after adding another zero to the signing bonus. Flagging down the cocktail server, Faith has her sign as well as a witness before handing the pen to Ned. Ned winces at the changed figure but initials it and then signs the bottom.





Cameron writes in his orders. He hasn't left the hospital since Alexis had been admitted and in fact had crashed for just a few hours sleep in the oncall room.

"How is she, Dr. Lewis? How is Alexis this evening?" Bobbie asks curiously. "Any change from yesterday when she was admitted?"

"Actually she's better than the rest of us." Cameron smiles and shakes his head ruefully.

Bobbie frowns at that. "How is that possible? Isn't Scotty still calling for her head on a platter?"

"I had him barred from the hospital. Besides wasn't life easier when you were seven?"

"Not particularly." Bobbie says flatly. "But at least I had my brother to protect me." Bobbie shakes off the memories and focuses on Alexis. "Do you need me to call anyone for her? Friends? Family?"

"Her friends know where she is. And I understand that her nephew is getting in touch with her family."





"Where is she?" Stefan doesn't slow down as he comes down the international concourse from the private plane where he is met by Nikolas.

"General Hospital on a locked ward."

That stops Stefan in his tracks. "That is unacceptable."

"It was the only way to keep her out of jail."

"Send her to jail. I will have her out soon enough and away from here." Stefan starts striding away.


"What?" Stefan asks again turning around impatiently.

"Alexis is gone. As gone as mother, as Laura, is. Alexis doesn't know who I am. She doesn't know she had a baby. I would have called you anyway but Cameron, that's Alexis' doctor, wanted someone here who'd been there when Alexis was first brought to the island. You have to prepare yourself."

"For what?"

"That she won't know you."

"It is that bad?" Stefan asks quietly.

"Yes." Nik stands still with his hand clenched in fists at his side. Stefan comes over to the man who'd grown from the boy he'd raised. Putting a hand to the back of his nephew's neck, he pulls Nikolas to him and holds him close. Nik hesitates for just a moment and then hugs Stefan close and hard. "I really needed you here now."

"I'm here." Stefan steps back framing Nikolas' face with his hands momentarily before allowing his hands to fall to his side. "Come. I need to see my sister and niece."





"I was wondering when you were going to show up." Dara shakes her head and continues putting books away into bookcases. She'd spent a fortune staying current and putting up with the public law library. Now that she was in private practice even if she had to eat PB&J until her next birthday she was going to have a real law library.

Jax takes a look at the titles and sees how they are numbered and standing next to Dara starts putting books away as well. "It was all over the news yesterday." Jax admits.

"So are you here for Skye or for Alexis?"

"Both." Jax says ruefully. "Scot Baldwin knows that Skye didn't do it but you can bet he won't drop the charges until he can file on Alexis."

"And that will be?" Dara leans up against the bookcase and crosses her arms as she watches Jax with interest.

"You're the lawyer." Jax shrugs. "What do they say on television? Aid in your own defense? Isn't that the test?"

"You're telling me that Alexis is crazy?!"

"She's at General Hospital under the care of Cameron Lewis. He says she has something called dissociative identity disorder."

"Right." Dara rolls her eyes. "And Carly Corinthos is a pillow hugger. I've already played this scenario more than once, Jax, when I was working in the DA's office. Nobody ever steps up and says... yep, capped his ass and would do it again. It's all mitigation and diminished capacity."

"Dara, I saw Alexis twice yesterday. The first time she was fine. Well as fine as you'd expect. I'd seen her when Kristina, that's the name of the alter, was... out, and it was Alexis in the hospital."


"The second time she didn't know me. Alexis knows me. Kristina knew me but she didn't know me anymore." Jax can tell that Dara isn't buying it. "Look I know it sounds farfetched. I know it sounds impossible. But I don't think that Alexis could aid in her defense. And she sure as hell couldn't defend herself in jail in her condition. Can you help them?"

Dara sighs. "Send Skye around but I swear if she has alcohol on her breath I'll kick her to the curb... in front of a cab."

"And Alexis?"

"You said the doctor's name is Cameron Lewis?"

"Yes, at General Hospital."

"I'll give him a call."

"I really appreciate this, Dara."

"Oh you can appreciate all you like but this is going to cost. Quite a bit."


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