The Path to Power

Chapter Twenty Five




Let's Talk About Sex



All of the boys have their ear perked for the sound of the Lincoln Town car pulling in. They'd been half heartedly playing cards just to pass the time.

"I don't even talk to my own kid about sex." One of the guys mutters as he accepts the cards dealt him. He grunts as he shuffles them into his hand. Working for Faith they'd gotten into some marathon rummy games that could be continued if something came up. "Just took him down to The Oasis and let Wynonna explain it to him."

Bruno winces. "Don't know if that one would go over. Faith might be okay with it, but her hubby-- he'd probably freak."

"What she want us to do?"

"Just the skinny. I figure she'll handle if from there."

The headlights hit the window of the stables and all the guys tense and studiously eye their hands. As soon as Dillon walks in and starts back to his quarters one of the guys stands up. "Yo Dillon! Cover my hand. I gotta take a leak."

Dillon shrugs. "Sure."

Bruno mutters to himself. "I shoulda thought of that." As soon as Dillon takes a seat and looks at his hand. "So you get lucky?" He looks at the other guys. "Dillon's here just a few days and he's already scoring with the ladies. Cute little blonde..."

"Jailbait?" One of the guys asks interrupting on cue.

"Oh yeah." Bruno nods. "Any of us try a piece of that, it would be orange jumpsuits for sure." Bruno refers to the jail uniform worn by people charged with felonies.

"You aren't kidding." Dillon mutters.


"Her dad is the police commissioner, Mac Scorpio."

A long silence is followed by a chorus of grim oh's. Faith did not like surprises and this would certainly qualify.

"Yeah, Oh." Dillon picks up a card, slides it into his hand and discards. "Between my Mother's reputation from down in New York and well... you know, I'm screwed."

"And not in that fun letter to Hustler way." Bruno agrees. "They make movies about stuff like that."

"Books and plays too." Dillon agrees. Romeo and Juliet comes to mind.

"Are you really-- into this girl?" The bodyguard with a kid at home tries to get the lingo right but then breaks into the way he talks to his guys. "Is she worth it? Cause you know you can get a piece of ass anytime, anyplace. Hell I can make a phone call and no luck involved just scratch an itch..."

"Gees! Will you shut up?" Bruno demands.

"The Police Commissioner's daughter! Faith is going to go ballistic! Fowler isn't even in the ground. Dillon is gonna be driving her out there tomorrow to get him planted. We don't need this kind of problem."

"It doesn't matter." Dillon finally gets a word in edgewise. "She was just using me to try to make some guy jealous. All she was talkin about was Lucas this and Lucas that."

"Ouch. That sucks, man." But secretly everyone but Dillon is taking a sigh of relief.

"Other fish in the sea." One of the others interjects helpfully.

"You just got into town. You've got plenty of time." Another says reassuringly.

"Seriously I know a pro you start feeling like you need a scratch."

"You know comments like that are exactly the reason why Faith doesn't have you driving the baby." Bruno rebukes sharply. "You kiss your kid with that mouth?"

"It's just us guys. Come on!" The other protests. "Dillon doesn't mind, do ya kid?"

"Nah, I'm kewl."

"Well don't let things build up 'cause that ain't healthy." All the guys around the table nod.

"Course you got to be safe too. Used to be a shot in the ass cured what ailed ya but you haven't seen pis... ticked til you bring something home that ain't candy or flowers."

All the guys nod emphatically at that piece of advice. The game has been progressing and someone goes out leaving everyone counting up their hands and the score being carefully tallied.

Yo, I don't think we should talk about this
Come on, why not?
People might misunderstand what we're tryin' to say, you know?
(No, but that's a part of life)

Come on

Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about sex



"I had a really good time today." Penny pulls the key to the Cassadine summer house out of her purse. "And I think Tasha learned enough today... well... she needs to be supervised around water. If something happened she'd probably panic. It isn't a habit yet."

"Dr. Lewis believes there are body memories. Activities Natasha will learn faster because her body is already familiar."

"He's the expert." Penny unlocks the door to the house and flips on the lights. "All I know is she's got the blowing bubbles, flutter kick down, elementary dog paddling-- not too bad. I still wouldn't want her by the pool without someone around. It's not just the skills."

"It's maturity."

"Yeah. I can't believe I'm saying this. She's a cute kid." Penny sees Nikolas' wince. "What are you going to do? I mean how does this work?"

"I'm the Head of the Cassadine Family." Nikolas shrugs. "This wasn't exactly covered in the job description. It comes under the heading of everything else. And everything is mine. My uncle, Stefan, has been great. He's seen this as an opportunity to bond with the sister he should have had all along."

"He wasn't around today." Which is kinda nice, even when Stefan was married to Bobbie he gave her serious Lurch moments. Maybe guys like Stefan were normal in Europe but around here the only guys that were that polite and buttoned down worked in funeral homes.

"He knew I was going to be, so he took the opportunity to spend time with Alexis's daughter." Nikolas feels Penny's questioning gaze before she looks away. "Yes?"

"Alexis' daughter not Natasha's." She shakes her head. "Not my business. Look I'm going to put the kettle on. Did you want a cup of tea or coffee or something? Your house-- I'm just making it."

"I don't want to impose." But he's tempted.

"Please! I'm the one imposing on you." Penny smiles at Nikolas. "I'm the one who collapsed at the diner like some Victorian miss with her corset laced too tight. I know you've saved my bacon a couple of different times since, you know, the whole lottery thing. I really have no idea what I would have done."

"I have every confidence in you." Nik shuts the front door and locks it before following Penny into the kitchen where she is putting the kettle on and getting out the teapot.

"I'm glad one of us is. It's kinda like this story I read once where the reoccurring theme was all about being careful what you wished for. And now I'm living it. Did I tell you I called my post office?" Nik gives her an oh? look. "Yep. Stopped the mail to my apartment and told them I'd be by to pick it up. They were really nice about it. Asked me though if I'd ever seen that movie Miracle on 34th street."

"Why?" Nik leans up against the counter next to the stove.

"Have you ever seen it?" Penny glances at him from the corner of her eye.


"Ought to rent it for Natasha and Lulu around the holidays. I'm sure they'll love it. But get the old version with Natalie Wood it's classic. Anyway-- there is a scene where this guy is trying to prove his client is Santa Claus."

"Santa Claus." Nik grins at Penny.

Penny glances at him again sheepishly like she has a guilty secret even knowing the plot. "I know, I know. I told you it was a holiday movie. So anyway. The guys at the post office in the movie find out Santa is on trial so they send over all the mail addressed to him that they'd been saving."

"Ah." Nik nods having read a few lists made by Lulu over the last few years. "How many bags does the post office have for you?"

"They said to bring a truck. My name and address are evidently out there."

"I was afraid of this." Nik sighs.

"When does it end?" Penny shakes her head ruefully.

"It doesn't, not really. You just... adjust." Nik decides to lighten the mood a bit. "Speaking of that the Cassadines bought a table for the Ward House fund raiser. Even if none of the family go and instead give the tickets to others it's for a good cause. I did get a couple of tickets, would you like to go with me? I believe it was on your wish list before you actually won the lottery."

That catches Penny at a loss for words and she blinks. "Are you sure?"

"There is nobody I'd rather escort." Nik replies gallantly making an abbreviated bow, even has he does so he realizes it is nothing but the truth. Nobody he knows would enjoy the benefit more than Penny who'd wanted to go all along but up until a short time ago couldn't have afforded to go.

"I don't have a thing to wear." Penny laughs. It's nothing less than the truth. She shrugs. "Yeah, I'd love to go. I guess I'm stopping at Wyndam's on the way to the post office tomorrow."

Nik pulls out his cell phone and hits a preset. "Bobbie?"

Penny pauses in the preparation of the tea pouring the hot water over the loose tea in the pot to listen to Nikolas' side of the conversation.

"How would you like to drive my Jag tomorrow? Penny needs to pick up her mail at the post office and they advised her to bring a truck. Thanks. We'll swing by early."

"What are you doing?" Penny asks.

"Switching cars with Bobbie. There is no way that all that mail is going to fit in the Jag. Bobbie has a SUV." Nik puts his cell phone away.

"I know Bobbie has a SUV. She's my boss. I mean she was my boss." Penny clarifies. She takes a deep breath. "I'm not... part of the Cassadine Estate. I'm not like Natasha-- coming under the heading of everything else." Penny can see Nikolas starting to shut down and reaches out to put a hand on his arm. "Please, please, please do not take this wrong way. I meant it earlier when I said you'd saved my bacon plenty of times since this whole thing started. And I do appreciate it. But you can't keep doing things for me. I need to learn how to do this. You said it yourself-- it's not going to end."

Nik eyes Penny with narrowed eyes. "You aren't going to start quoting that old homily about giving a man a fish."

Penny laughs. "Does it mean it's not true?!" She runs her hand further down Nik's arm so that her hand is over the top of his. She tucks her fingers down over the webbing between thumb and index finger so that she is holding his hand. "Please. Don't do this for me, teach me how to do it myself. You didn't learn how to run The Cassadine Estate overnight. I know I have a huge task ahead of me, and I'm asking a lot...." Penny looks up into Nikolas' eyes.

Nik curls his fingers so that he is holding Penny's. "You are attempting to pacify me."

"Maybe, but does that mean what I'm saying isn't true?" Penny asks earnestly. "You know what I don't get?" She tries to pull her hand away from Nik's. "I don't get what is in this for you. Why you helped me in the first place. You didn't know me, not really."

Nik keeps a hold on Penny's hand. "I know things have been... crazy for you lately. Is it odd to say that you've actually been my oasis of sanity? Being able to help you with-- this, I have actually felt..." He shrugs.

Penny nods. "Okay. Just so this is a two way street. It isn't just you being there for me. I'm here for you too."

Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex
Let's talk about sex



Let's talk about sex for now to the people at home or in the crowd
It keeps coming up anyhow
Don't decoy, avoid, or make void the topic
Cuz that ain't gonna stop it

Ned comes into the master bedroom and starts unrolling the sleeves of his dress shirt. He'd gotten his daddy time in this evening by giving Kristina her bath and then sending her off to sleep with a lullaby. Looking across the room he spies his wife standing by the window that overlooks the back of the house and toward the stables. "What's up?"

"She get to sleep okay?"

"Alice and the baby are both snoring." Ned says wryly.

Faith frowns at that. "I'll have Alice make an appointment with the pediatrician tomorrow to make sure the kid isn't coming down with some kinda head cold."

"I was kidding." Ned wraps his arms around his wife's waist and looks over her shoulder out the window. "What are we looking at?"

"Dillon just got home from his date."

"DATE?" Ned laughs. "That was fast. He just got into town."

"Yeah." Faith says grimly. "The guys are going to find out what's up and get back to me. If it's going to be a problem I want to know now."

"Gees Faith! He's a teenager. They date."

"They also get pregnant or catch diseases. Woohoo." Faith pulls away from Ned and walks over to her vanity table, she grabs a brush and starts working it through her hair.

"That is a point. A rather extreme one." Ned admits. "There is plenty of room between making friends and catching a disease. My Mother..." Ned stops to collect his thoughts. "Faith, I hope Dillon is here a long, long time and my Mother isn't. That means registering for school, making friends." He shakes his head. "Where is this coming from? Just a couple of days ago you were ready to tear me a new orifice over Dillon showing up."

"Don't push your luck." Faith gives Ned the evil eye. "Just because I'm not taking it out on the kid doesn't mean I'm not still ticked at you. You owe me."

Now we talk about sex on the radio and video shows
Many will know anything goes
Let's tell it how it is, and how it could be
How it was, and of course, how it should be

Ned walks over to his wife and takes the brush out of her hand tossing it back on the vanity. Then he clasps one hand around Faith's wrist and holds it behind her back. He starts nuzzling her neck, nibbling her jaw, teasing the lobe of her ear. "How were you planning on collecting that, Faith?"

Faith growls in against Ned's cheek. "You're wearing too many clothes." She can feel the deep rumble of Ned's laughter in his chest. She grinds against him. "Is this where I prove I can take you with one hand behind my back?"

"Well I guess that all depends on what your definition of take takes." Ned teases.

Hot to trot, make any man's eyes pop
She use what she got to get whatever she don't got
Fellas drool like fools, but then again they're only human
The chick was a hit because her body was boomin'



Bruno knocks on Dillon's door before opening it. "You still awake?"

"Yeah." Dillon hits the pause on the DVD player. "I know. Faith wants to get an early start tomorrow."

"You gonna be able to handle tomorrow?" Bruno tests. "I can have the other guys watch Alice and the baby. Cover it for ya. I don't know how Faith is going to be. You gotta be ready for anything."

"You think there is going to be trouble?" Dillon adjusts the pillow behind him so he's sitting up on the bed. "Somebody going to come after Faith? You think some of the guys..."

Bruno is already shaking his head. "This is about Fowler. I ain't kidding when I say he was Faith's guy. Thick and thin, lotta history there. I know of two guys who can talk Faith down when she gets crazy and one of them is being planted tomorrow right next to her... first husband's grave."


"And he ain't the other." Bruno says grimly. "I been working day and night, reaching out to try to find out who did Fowler. Been calling in markers I ain't got. If I don't figure out who did Fowler then sooner or later, Faith's gonna lose it. She's been too calm, you know? Acting like everything is just peachy. I hate it. The other shoe is gonna drop, and it ain't gonna be on my neck."

"What do you want me to do? Tell Ned that she needs him to be there tomorrow?"

"Hell no! Your brother seems like a nice guy but he really doesn't have a clue the damage Faith can do."

"Don't be so sure of that. You've never met my Mother." Dillon says wryly.

"Your brother doesn't know anything about the shooting range." Bruno says flatly. "He doesn't know anything about the boxes of ammo Faith goes thru. He figures he keeps her heels in the air and she won't go after what she figures is hers. Don't know why-- but Faith seems to have taken a shine to you. Not saying she trusts you, or that you can talk her down. Don't even try. I'm just saying it's up to us to make sure that whatever Faith does...."

"I'll make sure she gets back to the house tomorrow. Whatever it takes." Dillon promises.

"I'm going to hold you to that. Any problem you call me. I'm gonna call for reinforcements too." Bruno starts to leave but pauses at the door. "So about this girl..."

"I like her." Dillon says simply. "But it's complicated."

"Yeah, I got that earlier."

"She's into this guy who is into her sister."

"Messy." Bruno sympathizes. "I've read about stuff like that. Y'know... sisters." He pulls his mind out of the gutter. "I figure you got to let them figure it out, the sisters that is, before even dipping your toe in that pool. And it can't hurt to be just a little uh... man of mystery, you know, standoffish abit. James Bond gets all the chicks." Bruno pats the open door. "Well I'm going to take a walk around the perimeter, make sure everything's put to bed. Don't stay up all night. Lack of sleep makes ya stupid. And you're gonna need all your wits tomorrow."

"I'm gonna crash soon." Dillon promises.

Bruno leaves and shuts the door behind him. Just as he told Dillon he does a perimeter check of the property. He isn't surprised to see a blonde dressed in a satin robe standing on the front deck of the cabin waiting for him. "It's tight, Faith."

"Good. What did you find out?"

"She's nothing to worry about. Dillon knows she was just using him to make another guy jealous."

Faith's eyebrows go up at that and then her eyes narrow. She strolls down the steps of the deck until she is at eye level with Bruno. Then she smiles and purrs. "What are you leaving out, Bruno?"

He shifts uneasily from one foot to the next and clears his throat. "Ah hell." All the other guys knew and one of them would eventually slip up; Faith had a way of getting information one way or another. Might as well get it out in the open. "She's Police Commissioner Scorpio's daughter, Georgie Jones. Now Faith..." Bruno starts trying to do damage control.

"So the teasing little slut has connections." Faith interrupts with a shrug. "Georgie Jones. Georgie Jones. Why is that sounding familiar?!"

Bruno snaps his fingers. "That Alcazar dude that the Davis broad wacked. He kidnapped the commissioner's kids. He slid out from under that. Guy had some real juice to beat that one."

"Didn't save him from taking a header from ten stories after getting a knife in the gut." Which was so redundant one or the other would have been just fine. "She's trouble. And young Dillon is just white knight enough to think he should rescue her rather than slapping the silly bitch down. And while that might be sweet..." Faith sneers. "'s also dangerous."

"Faith..." Bruno protests.

"No. I haven't come this far just to lose it all again because a teenager is being led around by his joystick. Don't worry, Bruno." Faith gives her bodyguard a pat on the cheek. "I've got it from here." Faith turns around and goes back into the house.

Bruno waits until the front light goes out and then starts back to the stables. He shakes his head. "Sorry kid. But better you than me."

And believe me, you, it's as good as true
There ain't a man alive that she couldn't get next to
She had it all in the bag so she should have been glad
But she was mad and sad and feelin' bad
Thinkin' about the things that she never had


Song: Talk about Sex by Salt and Pepa

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