The Path to Power
"Don't you have to go into Jakes or something?" Skye asks curiously. She tosses the empty to go cup of coffee from Kelly's into the trash container in the park.
"It's my day off." Coleman nuzzles the back of Skye's neck. "You trying to get rid of me?"
"I do have things I need to get done. This fundraiser. Meeting Faith about the flowers. Find out what she needs. Have a check up over at GH."
Coleman turns Skye around before she even completes the list. "Are you alright?"
"Of course. It's just routine. See how much damage I did this time to my liver." Skye blows off his concerns.
"I don't even want to contemplate the condition of mine." Coleman says wryly with a laugh. "But I tell ya what. Since you've given up the booze we're going to have to find another way to be bad. Very bad. So how about I let you get your appointments done and then meet you back at the lake house."
"What are you planning?" Skye asks suspiciously.
"I was thinking a well marbled three inch porterhouse steak, marinated and then cooked out on the grill. Baked potatoes loaded with sour cream and bacon bits and hmm how about something really sinful for dessert?"
"I've heard that anything but missionary position is considered really sinful." Skye suggests helpfully.
"I do like the way you think." Coleman gives Skye a playful pat on the ass and then starts moving away. "Don't keep me waiting."
Faith comes up to Skye having witnessed Coleman's leaving. "He's such a romantic." She sighs and pats her heart while fluttering her eyelashes sarcastically.
Skye laughs. "I've had romance thanks. I'll take obvious. How are you doing? Did you bring the Princess Brat with you today?"
"She is with Alice. Figured if we were going to a bar not too cool to bring the kid. Lets get this done." Faith keeps it to business.
And that is fine with Skye. "How familiar are you with Club 101?"
"Carly Corinthos started the club was bought out/kicked out by her partner, your ex so she moved on to make the next hot club. Making Club 101 the lukewarm club."
"And now that I'm not working there... tepid." Skye says wryly. "But it's a great space and it's got enough room for the fundraiser without directly involving Quartermaine assets like the Port Charles Hotel. One way to pretty much guarantee we can control the guest list." Skye stops in her tracks when she sees someone unexpected. "What on earth are you doing?"
"Well it involves a dog, a leash, a park and..." AJ pulls a small plastic bag from his back pocket.
Faith laughs derisively. "You took custody of the dog. I guess it's a start. Congratulations papa."
"Courtney has been leaving the dog for days on end at the sitters. So yeah, I did. Lets see how long it takes for her to realize that Rosie is gone. And nobody seems to care if I bring her to work so..." AJ shrugs.
"Like I said it's a start."
AJ looks down at the dog. "You're playing hell on my upholstery though aren't ya girl?" There is a croon in his voice as he rubs behind the dogs ears. "The Porsche is never going to be the same. But hey. I'm making some changes anyway. Got to get something a little bigger, safer." Big enough for Me, Rosie and Michael too
Skye realizes what he is thinking too and hopes he isn't setting himself up for a fall. "One step at a time, AJ." Skye reminds warningly.
"Get something bulletproof. You're going to need it." Faith interjects and then starts walking away. The last thing she wanted was to be around a golden retriever in her little black dress.
Skye gives AJ a quick wave and then rushes to catch up with Faith. "How can you say something like that when AJ is trying so hard?! You're the one that is setting him up for the big fall anyway!"
Faith takes a step back and looks at Skye. "You never struck me as some kinda Pollyanna. Telling AJ to take things one step at a time-- I got no problem with that. It's good advice-- as long as you do have a long term plan. But so is the bulletproof glass. The guy wants his kid back. A kid who has been a pawn in Sonny's games almost from the time he was born. If AJ fails then Sonny's going to be gunning for him. If AJ succeeds then Sonny's enemies are going to be gunning for Michael thru AJ figuring that is still going to be Sonny's weak link. It's what I would do. Now can we get this done? I need to get over to the morgue and get Fowler." Faith walks in the direction of Club 101.
Skye is shocked in her tracks. But the reminder of Fowler is her wake up call to the different world that Faith and Sonny live in. That because of Sonny and Carly that Michael lives in too. She shakes her head and then rushes to catch up again. Once she does she pulls out her cell phone and calls AJ's leaving a message. "AJ, have you checked out those Hummers? I don't think a little shedding would even phase one of those monsters."
"Now you're getting with the program." Faith comments as Skye hangs up.
"It's really coming together, Mrs.
Quartermaine." Reggie looks around him at the lot that had
once been one of the worst crack houses in Port Charles. It was
cleared down to nothing now with every bit of metal out of it.
Well except for the irrigation and lighting systems which are
being installed today. And the playground equipment which had
been delivered early and was being set up on the far side.
After hearing about the large number of young people in the neighborhood that are confined to wheel chairs Ms. Lila had adjusted her plans to make everything wheelchair accessible. Most things had been before but now everything was. The plan was for wider paths, raised beds, which made the irrigation that much more important.
Lila eyes Jax assisting in the assembly of the play equipment. Good. He'd taken her direction to heart and wasn't just throwing money at the project. This would have Chloe's name on it. She deserved more than a couple of checks written. Lila frowns when she hears the annoying continuous beeping of a truck backing up. "What on earth?"
"I'll go check." Reggie goes over to the street and around to the drive to find out what is going then reports back to Lila. "It's a gazebo. A pretty big one. Big enough to have a quartet play in. The driver says that it was ordered by Stefan Cassadine for the park?"
Lila sighs. "He must have gotten detailed access to our plans, Reginald." Lila indicates with a crippled hand to the plans that are stretched out and weighted down so that they wouldn't blow away. "Show the driver where it is to go."
Mac Scorpio parks next to the delivery truck and gets out of his unmarked cop car. He looks around him carefully. Courtland street had been the bane of his tenure as Police Commissioner and the constant politician's promise for as long as he'd been in Port Charles. Always promising to clean it up and never quite getting it done once they were in office. And here was Lila Quartermaine and her grandson doing more in a couple of weeks... well there had been the head start of the abandoned building but there had been abandoned buildings for years down here as people finally got fed up and got out. "Mrs. Quartermaine."
"Commissioner Scorpio. How are you doing today?"
Mac takes a seat next to Lila so she doesn't have to look up at him. "Better for seeing all this." Mac waves a hand. "Course I would have liked it better if I wouldn't have had two .38s, three 9mm, and a .22 dropped off like take out delivery to my desk Sergeant. Mrs. Quartermaine, each one of those weapons was a potential crime scene that is lost because you didn't call us out here to do our jobs."
Lila sighs. "Reginald did point that out to me. He is a fan of those awful crime shows on television... CSI or something. On much too late for me. And I prefer a nice musical or a comedy..."
"So do I." Mac interrupts to try to keep the conversation on point. "So if you knew why didn't you call?"
"Commissioner, we did call on the first one. And it took hours. The site was shut down while we waited for the police to arrive for them to process the firearm and for them to question everyone on the site for a firearm that was, by the lovely policeman's admission, a dump? Reggie explained to me that meant that the crime happened somewhere else and then the gun was just abandoned here. And yes, at that point I decided that it was more important to make sure that Chloe's park would no longer be a dump. You have the guns and the boys were very careful to not put their fingerprints on them. Isn't it more important that those weapons won't be used for another crime?"
"That brings up another point, Mrs. Quartermaine. The Boys."
Ever have one of those days when you just felt like you were never going to catch up?
Skye looks at the bank of elevators and then at
the stairs and then at her three inch heels. "Hell with it."
Stringing her purse over her head to get it out of the way she
heads for the stairs. Actually got a lot done today, she
reassures herself. The space for the fundraiser is coming
together. The menu set. The rsvps coming in. The flowers a done
deal thanks to Faith. The woman was amazing with a few sprigs and
a bit of greenery even the samples were amazing. And NOBODY would
believe it unless they saw it. Never.
This appointment was a last minute addition she'd shifting things around in order to take the first available appointment. That is with Dr. Meadows, a doctor who specialized in high risk pregnancies and fertility. Skye snorts at that one. All she needs is a checkup but she'd take what doctor she could get as long as it wasn't Monica and it got it over with today. She'd even got the blood work already done in the lab so all she had to do is the examine and move on to the next task on her list. Fifth floor. Skye opens the door to the hub and settling her breath down to normal walks over to the nurses station. "I have an appointment with Dr. Meadows."
"Dr. Meadows just called. She's finishing up with a patient and will be with you in just a minute. If you could fill this out please." The nurse hands over more paperwork.
Skye takes it with a sigh and looking around decides the waiting area is her best bet. "Perfect." Skye mutters wryly and glances at her watch. With another heavy sigh she digs thru her purse for her mont blanc pen and starts filling in her medical history. What a waste of time. After all her trips to the ER when she'd been on benders and fallen you'd think that they would have already sent for her records in Pine Valley.
"Skye Quartermaine?" The black woman in a white lab coat and dark glasses looks up from a chart.
Skye gets to her feet recapping her pen and dropping it in her purse. "Dr. Meadows?"
"I apologize for the delay." Dr. Meadows smiles absently really not too apologetic. "Babies have their own timetable."
"I appreciate a doctor who apologizes." even when they don't mean it. Skye hands over the half filled forms. "I already took care of the lab work downstairs." Skye shows the doctor the crook of her arm that still has a piece of gauze and tape. "Figured that blood and urine should cover it."
"And how did you manage that without an order from me?"
"I used your name and my father's." Skye admits shamelessly. "I'm on a tight timeframe and it seemed the most efficient way of doing things. Sorry." See I can apologize without meaning it too.
Bruno's calling her name distracts Faith from the paperwork she is reviewing while riding shotgun in the Lincoln town car. Bruno had cleaned out Fowler's apartments and brought her back anything he thought she might need and erred on the side of caution. There was still plenty that was going to need to be shredded. "What?"
"Got company." Bruno indicates with a nod the teenage boy sitting on the front steps of the cottage with the duffle at his feet.
"Who the hell?" Faith frowns.
"You want me to take care of it?"
"Stay with the baby and Alice." Faith demands. As Bruno pulls the car to the cottage and leaves the motor running Faith steps out of the car but leaves the door open, using it as a barrier between her and the kid. "I take the Herald online and if you're selling something-- sell it somewhere else."
"Does Ned Ashton live here?"
"Who is asking?"
"I'm his brother Dillon."
Faith shakes her head at that. "Who?"
"Dillon. Ned's brother. I tried at the Quartermaine gatehouse that's where my mom said he lives but it's... gone and the maid said that Ned lived here now. Who are you?"
"Ned's wife." Faith sighs and re-engaging the safety on her pistol instead pulls out her cell phone from her red leather clutch purse. She hits a preset. "Get home now." Faith hangs up the phone.
Three seconds later the phone rings. What is going on? Is it Grandfather? Stefan? Is the baby alright? What is up?!
"You know somebody named Dillon?"
"I'm on my way." Ned hangs up. Then calls right back. "Ask him where Tracy is."
Faith holds the phone away from her. "Ned wants to know where Tracy is."
"That's kinda a long story." Dillon admits.
"He says it's a long story."
"I'm on my way. Don't let him go anywhere."
Faith puts the cell phone back in her purse and crosses her arms after slamming the door of the town car shut. "So. You're Ned's brother."
"So. You're Ned's wife." Dylan studies Faith closely. She wasn't like any of Ned's other wives although she's blonde like Chloe and Katherine.
Faith bends over to say into the car window.
"All clear for now but keep an eye on him." Bruno turns
off the engine to the car and then climbs out holding the door
for Alice so she can focus on getting the baby and all the
goodies that go along out of the backseat. Dillon's eyes go wide
when he sees Bruno. The last time he'd seen a guy that big Tracy
had been running the Soletos. And then he spies the woman, at
least he thinks it's a woman, getting out of the back seat with a
baby car seat.
Faith watches his reactions. "That's Bruno. What he says goes. No questions, no thought. He tells you something-- you do it. You got a problem with that then you still do it and talk to Ned after. And that's Alice. She's your niece's nanny. That is all she does. She doesn't fetch, she doesn't carry, she doesn't cook. She takes care of the kid. She tells you do to something-- you do it. You don't like it, you still do it and then talk to Ned after. The baby is Kristina. She is your niece. She tells you to do something-- you do it. You don't like it you still do it and then talk to Ned after."
"She doesn't look like she is big enough to be saying much." Dillon says wryly. He gets up from where he is sitting on the steps into the cottage.
Just then Kristina starts fussing ticked off by the car stopping. Alice interjects. "ah... Mrs. A."
"Go ahead, Alice." Faith doesn't take her eyes off of Dillon as Alice takes the baby inside. "You'd be surprised."
"What about you? Am I supposed to ask how high when you say jump too?" Dillon snarks.
Bruno shakes his head sorrowfully. Kid wasn't too bright. "Think Faith already told ya. You don't get to ask questions."
Faith doesn't let herself be drawn into a snarkfest with the kid. "Bruno, Ned doesn't want him to go anywhere."
Faith goes into the cottage and shuts the door leaving Dillon and Bruno standing outside. Bruno just crosses his arms blocking the stairs down from the deck. If the kid was going to run he was going to have to jump over the railing of the deck.
There is a long pause. That gets even longer until finally Dillon can't stand it. "So... how long have you been working for my brother?"
"I don't work for your brother."
Dr. Meadows comes back with the lab results on the blood work. "Good news, Skye. Your liver and kidneys seem to be fine. Of course you realize you can't continue to abuse them and have it stay that way."
"Yes." Skye sighs. "It's why I came in for the physical." Skye buttons the last of her buttons on her jacket.
"And you're not pregnant." Dr. Meadows continues down the list of lab results.
"Didn't think I was. If you have my files from Pine Valley then you know that I can't get pregnant... no that's not right. I can't carry a baby. I was in an accident when I was younger."
That strikes Dr. Meadow's since it is in her specialty. She goes flipping thru the file on her desk to find the relevant portion. "Hmm... well you know there have been advances. The accident was quite some time ago. And even if it can't be repaired... there appears to be nothing wrong with your ovaries... you could use a surrogate..."
Skye is already shaking her head. "Oh no. Did you see how wacked Monica got when she was going thru fertility treatments? There are times to just face reality. Monica should be brushing up on her change of life literature. And I'm not cut out to be someone's Mommy. Alcoholic, can't seem to stay married."
Dr. Meadow's closely eyes her new patient. More than a facet of her job is psychology and how stress and the rest impact on conception. She hadn't gotten to be the best without learning how to read her patients and this one is someone who is resigned but not happy with the hand dealt her. "There is always..."
"Adoption. Right. Look, the last time I was feeling this much maternal..." Skye holds two fingers about an inch apart. "...because I am human after all, the kid puked all over my designer suit. I'm over it. And if I feel it coming on again, I'll take two aspirin and lay down until it passes." Skye quips with a shrug.
Ned slams into the cottage. "How dare YOU! Leave my brother, My BROTHER on the front stoop like some... salesman."
Faith glares at Ned. "Another thing you can thank Edward for-- it's not like I've ever seen a picture of your brother. Guess they all went up in flames along with the gatehouse." Faith takes a long sip of a scotch. "So he's your brother. So what?"
"He's going thru a tough time right now." Ned begins. That was the problem with arguing with Faith somehow she managed to turn the argument around. Of course Faith wasn't going to let Dillon in the house. It was only the possibility that Dillon had been telling the truth that had kept the kid from being strip searched for weapons and then probably shot and buried in the back yard.
"My mother, well she's a piece of work."
"Her new boyfriend..."
"No." Faith starts shaking her head frantically. "It's not happening you are not going to dump another kid on me. This is not what I signed up for. I told you. I am not some hausfrau with babies hanging from apron strings. You're a good fuck but this is about taking down Sonny not me looking after your brats!"
"I didn't ask you for anything! I don't want anything from you!" Dillon yells from the doorway. "I'm out of here."
"Bruno." Faith snaps.
The bodyguard comes up from behind Dillon and puts the kid in a headlock covering his mouth to silence him. "Bite me, kid and I'll put you out." Bruno growls. "Sorry Faith."
"Take your hands off my brother!" Ned demands.
Bruno looks at Faith who nods. Bruno takes his hand from Dillon's mouth but keeps a hand on his shoulder. "You aren't going anywhere until I say you are." Faith says flatly. "This conversation is between me and your brother. You'll get your say after I've had mine. Bruno."
"Come on, Kid." Bruno gives Dillon's shoulder a squeeze . "You heard her."
"My name is Dillon not kid. And if she told you to kill me would you do that too?"
The door cuts off Bruno's answer from Ned's hearing but he winces anyway already knowing what the bodyguard would say. "Faith..." Ned runs hands thru his hair. "...Look. No apron strings involved. Dillon can take care of himself; he's had to. Tracy did a little more parenting with him than with me-- if you could call it that. She's at least kept Dillon with her. Me she dumped in a boarding school when I was six."
"His father." Faith says flatly.
"Any connection to Dillion is a connection to Tracy." Ned shakes his head. "When my Mother burns bridges they stay burnt."
Outside Bruno's answer had knocked Dillon back on his heels. He'd thought he'd been asking a rhetorical question. Bruno's "Yeah or she'd kill me." had been a tough one to hear.
Bruno sighs. "Look kid. Faith is just pissed right now. Got nuthin to do with you. But if you don't let her get her mad out then she's gonna take it out on you. See this?" Bruno turns his head so that Dillon can see the side of the burly bodyguard's face that is bruised and the slice where Faith's ring had caught him.
"She did that to you and you let her?!"
Bruno nods. "And if she ever smacks you a good one you'll stand there and take it like a man-- not like some whiny little bitch. Then say sorry and whatever you did that pissed her off-- promise to never do again. Cause this is nuthin. It was a lesson cause I'd been messin up. Faith was letting me know I couldn't mess up no more."
"Why is she so pissed? If it's not cause of me." Dillon finally asks.
"I just got a promotion. I'm supposed to take care of things for Faith now. Fowler, that's the guy who took care of Faith, well he got wacked. Me and Faith we went to the funeral home today. I stayed in the office cause you know those places give me the willies. But not Faith. Fowler was hers and she went back there and she cleaned him up and brushed his hair and dressed him in the suit she picked out. Cause he was hers. And I know if anything happens to me Faith will take care of things."
"She doesn't want me here."
"I'm tellin ya she's just pissed. You just got to do what she says and not let how she says it bug ya. It's like the kid. Faith will never say anything nice about that kid. I'm supposed to be protecting Faith but order number one..." Bruno holds up a finger. "... is to protect the baby. Anything happens to that baby I'd better be dead cause she'll kill me for sure."
"And make sure you have a nice funeral."
"Yep." Bruno agrees with a nod.
"So who... wacked Fowler?" Dillon feels like he's fallen into an episode of the Sopranos.
"I was thinking it was Jason Morgan or his boss Sonny Corinthos. That's who wacked Faith's first husband, my old boss Roscoe. But Faith says no; she says it's someone trying to stir things up between Faith and Sonny. It's a really bad time, kid. If you're going to be staying here you gonna have to follow some rules." Bruno warns.
Dillon shrugs. "One of my Mother's names used to be Soleto. It's been awhile but I think I still remember how."
"Soleto huh. From down in the city?"
"Yeah, my Mom was running things for a while until her step daughter took over." Bruno gives Dillon a look. Dillon grimaces and nods. "Yeah, it was ugly. Spent a lot of time in Europe. Mom's only been able to go to NYC in the last year."
Faith comes to the door and opening it crooks a finger toward Dillon.
"You remember what I said." Bruno mutters just low enough for Dillon to hear. "Just agree with everything she says."
Dillon walks into the house hesitantly not knowing what he will be witness to.
Ned smiles reassuringly at Dillon.
"You can have the couch." Faith says grudgingly. "The kid gets a room, Alice is in the room next to hers. Unless you're planning on taking the couch, Ned, and give up your half of the bed?"
"You've got the couch, Dillon." Ned agrees.
Bruno clears his throat.
"Yeah, Bruno?" Faith asks.
"There is room out in the stables, Faith. Since it's been converted to a bunkhouse for the guys. That way the guy has his own room and doesn't have to worry about waking the baby."
Faith raises an eyebrow in Dillon's direction. "Ned tells me you are used to fending for yourself. You ready to bach it with Bruno and the guys?"
"That would be cool. I guess." Dillon shrugs.
"Get him settled in."
"Faith, is that really a good idea?" Ned shakes his head.
"You can always go stay out there with them. Just to make sure." Faith smiles.
"Nah, I'm kewl." Dillon says quickly not wanting another fight to start. "Um Bruno, right. Why don't you show me where to put my stuff?"
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