The Path to Power
When it Rains, it pours
Ned has his hand at Faith's back and the remote key already out for the car. Aiming it in the direction of his car it makes the obnoxious clicking noise as the headlights come on. He comes around to the car and is about to open the passenger door when he is stopped by a voice off to the side. "Faith Roscoe?"
"Ashton." Faith says impatiently. "Faith Roscoe Ashton. I believe we've already had this conversation, Companelli."
"The DA wants to see you down at the station."
"I want a Porsche for my birthday." Faith retorts.
Ned makes a mental note of the wish and reminds himself to figure out when his wife's birthday is, she might be kidding or she might not. "What is this about, Detective?"
"That's up to DA Baldwin."
Faith smiles showing all her teeth. "I don't think so. You can either be a little more forthcoming or you can just go fish and I don't mean with me."
"We're making a few inquiries into the disappearance of Courtney Matthews."
"That has nothing to do with us." Ned says dismissively. "I haven't had anything to do with Courtney since she had the good sense to leave my cousin AJ."
Faith's eyes narrow. "Oh Lover, they aren't interested in us. They are interested in me. You think I had something to do with the Sonny's dim little sister's blowing this popsicle stand? Have you checked the circuit? Since she quit working at the Oasis just before it burned down... maybe she's shaking her tatas down in Rochester? OH I know! How about that titty bar over in Beecher's Corner? Those rubes would eat her little Daisy Mae routine with a spoon. The tips probably aren't that great but she could always pick up a little extra in the back of their pickups."
"We'll add that to our list of things to do." Capelli opens the back door of his cop car. "Mrs. Ashton?" He says politely.
"I'm not going anywhere without my lawyer. And if you want me in the back of that car without putting me under arrest..." Faith says with a smile. "Then your little boytoy will go right on back to the party and find Mr. Ric Lansing."
Capelli turns to Cadet Spencer. "Lets make this easy, Spencer. You know who Ric Lansing is?"
"Yeah, I know him." Lucky looks both ways and then crosses the street to the club.
"Faith..." Ned tries to interject although he doesn't know who he would suggest for a lawyer but he knows that Faith is up to something requesting Lansing. If Alexis were in her right mind.... Maybe Dara.
"As soon as the Detective gets my attorney, why don't you head home, pick me up some clothes. I really don't want this dress to smell like the PCPD."
But before Ned can protest again, Lucky is already back. "He's not there. He was paged and there was no answer."
"I wonder where he could be." Faith says with tongue in cheek. "Maybe his apartment. Lets stop there on the way. We can pick him up. And if he's not there maybe he's at his little diner darling's place. You know that number don't you?" Faith runs a hand down the front of Lucky's uniform pausing over each button as she goes. While Faith knows that Lansing is up to something she only suspects he has something to do with Courtney Matthews disappearance. He's up to something and she was going to do everything possible to make sure he has zero alibi for this evening.
"Yeah. I know the number." and yours too
"I thought you might." Faith takes a step back. "I'm not going to need my purse or..." She flicks a finger to her diamond studded ears.
"Nope." Capelli agrees, not even wanting to know what is in Faith's purse although he knows from his earlier record check that she does have a permit.
Faith goes over to the car and opening up the passenger door sets her purse on the seat. She makes sure that her back is to the officers and they can't see the 9mm in her purse. She unfastens her jewelry all but her wedding ring and slides it into her purse and then refastens the clasp. When she turns around both Capelli and his little cadet have their hands on their sidearm's. She gives an abrupt laugh. Faith goes over to Ned and gives him a kiss on the bottom of his jaw. "Meet me at the station."
"Faith, are you sure? I don't think this is..."
"It'll be fine. Just bring me a change of clothes." Faith says reassuringly. "Lets go, boys." Faith walks to the back of the police car. Spencer holds the door and Capelli gives her a hand in. It's a detective's car so there are actually handles in the backseat. Faith slides over to the middle of the backseat where she can keep an eye on both of the long arms of the law. Lucky shuts the door and then climbs into the front passenger seat. Capelli comes around and slides into the driver's seat. Faith makes sure that as soon as he checks his rearview mirror that she crosses her legs allowing the slit skirt of the black velvet dress to fall away revealing a creamy white thigh and interesting shadows. She meets Capelli's gaze in the mirror, knowing that she'd caught him looking. Cops are so predictable.
"You have family that lives here?" Skye tries to be subtle and fails. It's hard to believe a guy that had owned the Oasis, who owns Jakes has family this far on the other side of the tracks. This is the suburbs-- an upper class suburb. If she wasn't mistaken the police commissioner just lived two blocks over.
"My little brother." Coleman growls. "Or should I say, my little brother's family. He went out for a pack of smokes a year ago and hasn't been seen since. My ex-sister in law only calls when the shit hits the fan with my nephew and he starts acting too much like the demon seed as she puts it. Other than that she just cashs the checks."
"Ouch. I'm sorry, Cole." Skye reaches out and puts a hand on her date's forearm. She can feel the tension radiating off of him. "What happened?"
"She was hysterical. I didn't get anything out of it. I have no idea of what we're going to be walking into, Skye." Coleman looks over. "He could have gone out and gotten drunk with his friends. Maybe she found some weed in his dresser. I doubt it was grades, she bribes him to keep his grades up although maybe he got caught cheating."
"He sounds like he's crying out for help."
"Tell me that again after you've met Kyle."
Ned makes his way into the cottage. After unlocking the door he stuffs his keys into his pocket and groans as his hand connects with a scrap of lace and silk. It isn't a handkerchief. He takes the stairs at a run. The need to get Faith a change of clothes just became imperative before she did her own version of Basic Instinct with the cops down at the PCPD.
Dillon had been notified by the guard at the gate that Ned was on his way in without Faith and was counting his blessings that he could give Ned the news of Tracy's arrival without his sister-in-law going ballistic. "Ned."
"I have to leave again. Detective Capelli stopped us coming out of the Fundraiser and took Faith down to the police station. " Ned starts wondering at his own motor mouth. "She hasn't been arrested." Ned says reassuringly. "They just had a few questions."
"What did she do?"
"You're asking me? You spend more time with her." Ned says with more than a little frustration. He grabs some clothes out of Faith's closet and stuffs it into an empty overnight bag that is at the top of the closet. "She wants a change of clothes and her attorney, Ric Lansing."
"No way." Bruno says from the door.
Ned looks up at the bruiser of a bodyguard. "I get the feeling you two know something I don't know."
"Yeah. A couple of things." Bruno says wryly. "Maybe you best let me take Faith her stuff, Mr. A. You got something you need to handle here."
Ned looks at Dillon questioningly. Dillon takes a deep breath and then blurts it out. "Mom stopped by tonight."
"WHAT?!" Ned sags onto the king size bed that takes up most of the room in the master bedroom of the cottage.
Dillon takes the overnight bag out of Ned's slack hand and hands it to Bruno. He moves in close enough to hopefully give some privacy. "If you have any info for Faith about Capelli..."
"Yeah. I got a little. Maybe it'll help." Bruno takes the bag. "If Mr. A's leaving later let the gate know, pull one of the guys from the game for back up here."
Dillon nods. "No way Faith would want Ric Lansing to be her lawyer, not really."
"Yeah, I got a little on that too." Bruno leaves.
Ned has been watching the conversation between Dillon and Faith's lieutenant. After Bruno leaves he says very softly. "I think it's time we had a little chat, Dillon."
Coleman pounds on the door with a closed fist. "Open the damn door!"
"Gees Cole!" Skye tries to restrain him.
"They call me over and then don't stick around." Coleman growls.
A teenage boy with stylishly mussed hair answers the door. "Sorry, I thought Mom was going to get it."
"This is your chance, hotshot. Your mom was too pissed to tell me what the hell is going on. Get your story straight and get it out there." Cole walks into the house and right by his nephew into the foyer. He leans on the railing of the stairs that lead up to the second floor.
Kyle looks from his formally dressed Uncle and his very classy uncomfortable looking date. "I didn't know."
"The I don't know defense. Oh I know I'm going to love this." Cole retorts sarcastically.
Skye bites her lower lip, she can tell already that her presence is going to make things worse. Cole is clearly pissed, and teenage boys plus humiliation equals a recipe for disaster. "Look, I need to check in with AJ see how things are going. I've got my cell.. can someone point me to the... kitchen?"
"Yeah, it's right thru there." Kyle nods gratefully for his Uncle's date's tact. As soon as Skye is out of the foyer, Kyle can't resist. "She's hot. Is she really a redhead?"
Cole can't resist either. He pops Kyle upside the back of his head with the flat of his hand. "Don't go there. You going to tell me what is going on, or am I going to hear it from your mother first?"
Kyle winces. "I really didn't know."
"Didn't know what?" Cole demands.
"Didn't know that one of the guys had hacked the high school website."
"Okay, well I know that wasn't you. If you could have hacked the high school you would have gotten a better grade in biology last semester."
Kyle winces. "They broadcast the webcam from my room."
"I was with a girl."
"A girl." bad feeling.
"She's just a wannabe, you know hanging on the fringes. She wanted to be with me." Kyle says defensively.
"Did she want to be on a webcam broadcasted all over school, all over the internet?" Cole says too softly.
And Kyle knows it. His tone is defiant. "I didn't know alright?! It was a stupid bet okay? No way in hell I would have put it out there; I'm not stupid."
"So you were holding your own little dogfight with your buddies or something? Were all the other guys keeping video score of the notches in their bunk beds too?"
"Maxie isn't a dog." Kyle mutters under his breath.
"The Girl. The Wannabe. So she's got a name. Maxie. Maxie what?"
"Jones. Maxie Jones."
"Where is she?"
"She ran out of here; I tried to catch her but I didn't know what the hell to say... I called the guys to give them the riot act. I really screwed up." Kyle admits.
"That's about the first honest thing I've heard from you tonight." Cole nods. "Let's go talk in your room."
"Don't want your girlfriend to hear?"
"Hell no. I have enough of a time getting her to put up with me."
When Bruno walks in the PCPD he knows exactly which interview room Faith is in, It's the one with all the flatfoots with their noses pressed to the glass like kids at a candy store. He clears his throat loudly but gets no response. He clears his throat again.
"May I help you?" A uniform female asks impatiently.
"I think I'm the one who can help you." Bruno smiles breaking up the crags in his face. "I have a change of clothes here for Mrs. Ashton."
"I have to search it." But she is already reaching for the bag.
"Figured." Bruno hands it over. "While you're doing that can I talk to Mrs. Ashton?" He rushes to add. "She wasn't arrested. She's just down here helpin' out."
"Capelli brought her in." The officer says discouragingly.
"Yeah, but doesn't seem right that Mrs. Ashton is just helpin out like I told ya and she's being treated like a peep show. It's a good thing its just me rather than her husband. He'd be throwing a fit for sure." Bruno raises his voice loud enough to be heard throughout the bullpen.
The uniform spots Lucky who is carrying a couple of coffees toward the interview room. "Yo Spencer, this guy wants five with Ashton while I go thru her change of clothes."
"I'll let Capelli know."
Bruno is familiar with the hurry up and wait of police stations and just rocks back and forth heel to toe. He doesn't sit down. Sitting down is an admission that you knew it was gonna be awhile and you went directly to the back of the line. Capelli and Spencer come out of the interview room. Bruno sees the nod between Capelli and the officer he's been dealing with and starts walking toward the interview room. He makes a significant glare at the LookyLus. Capelli snaps at the officers who find something else to do fast. Bruno sees Faith sitting on the far side of the conference size table.
Faith breaks her studiously relaxed but seductive pose when she sees Bruno. "What the Hell?! What are you doing here?! Where is Ned? Did something happen to..."
"The kid is fine. Both of them."
"Then what are you doing here, Bruno?!"
"Figured you might want to know stuff that Mr. Ashton doesn't know."
That calms Faith down. She moves into Bruno's space knowing that while the eyes are gone from one side of the room; it's still bugged. "What?" She hisses in a low voice.
"Lansing is on his way to Martha's Vineyard. Got a guy tailing him. You know that guy and his family owns a lotta shit, lotta real estate. Don't figure that close to midnight is the time to be inspectin an abandoned mine shaft. Didn't stay long. Your guy kept following Lansing. Didn't get a chance to check it out." Bruno talks fast not knowing when they are going to be interrupted.
Faith nods. But she can tell Bruno is itching to tell her more. "And?"
"That fire crotch Cole's been bird-dogging?"
"She said something at Fowler's funeral that got me thinking. You know that maybe somebody is pulling Capelli's strings."
"Who?" Faith leans in to hear the answer. This could be really helpful in her dealings with the stubborn, good looking cop.
"No clue. But somebody is. He's careful but Mouse found a money trail. Need a little more time to nail it down."
Faith grimaces. "Could be anybody: Corinthos, Morgan-- Hell even Lansing making a play."
"Yeah. Bruno agrees with a nod. "But you know maybe that broad ain't so bad."
Faith rolls her eyes even though she might agree. "You would have looked anyway." I don't owe her anything.
"Yeah, probably." Bruno shrugs doubtfully.
Bruno grimaces. "Yeah. Dillon's mother showed up while you were at the deal."
"And?" Faith is ready to go all over again.
"And, Dillon told her to get lost. Or at least call first. She didn't step foot in the house, Faith. She didn't see the kid. If there was any problem I'd've called. But I'm gonna have Mouse check into her too. Dillon says that one of his mother's ex's was Soleto down in The City."
"You do that." Faith snarls. Ned should have told me that. You should have told me this before tonight.
Wincing, Bruno realizes the same thing at about the same time and gives his rationalization. "She's been outta it for over a year, according to Dillon. After the stepdaughter took over." Bruno sees the wheels turning. 'Yeah, I'll have Mouse check out the stepdaughter too."
"Mother Quartermaine first since she's at the door. Then Capelli." Faith sets the priority.
Bruno nods releasing the breath he is holding. That could have been a close one. "I'll tell Mouse."
There is a rap on the door and the female officer enters. "I'll show you where you can change."
"Nevermind. I'm not staying." Faith decides. She pushes by the officer and walks over to Capelli. "Baldwin isn't here. You can't find Ric Lansing let alone the little milkmaid. If it was important then Scorpio or Taggart would be here. Gimme a call when you don't have your thumb up your ass."
"Am I under arrest?" Faith demands interrupting the Detective.
"No." Capelli admits with a sigh.
Faith walks with a wave over her head as she does and Bruno half running to get the door before she gets there.
Skye had checked in with AJ. Called Alan. Checked her messages. Finally running out of things to do, she looks around the tidy suburban kitchen and sees the making for tea. "Okay." She fills the kettle and puts it on. The pounding on the front door startles her causing her to jump and put a hand to her chest with an unnerved laugh. But then she frowns. The pounding continues. "What on Earth?! Where is everybody?" Skye walks back to the front door. Checking before she opens it she spots Mac Scorpio.
"Where is he? Where is the little punk? Take advantage of my little girl?!" As he pushes by Skye, Mac is practically frothing at the mouth; he is so furious.
"I have no idea what you are talking about." Skye shakes her head. "But you need to calm down."
"Calm down?! I have calmed down!" Mac yells. "Now I only want to beat the punk until he cries and then arrest him! Before I was going to castrate him with a butter knife and watch him bleed to death!"
Skye blanches. "What on earth did he do?"
Mac tells her.
"Dillon, I know you're doing your best to fit in around here. And we really haven't had a chance to really talk." Ned decides he can't put of the big talk for any longer.
"I know you've been busy with ELQ and Grandfather and stuff." Dillon says forgivingly.
Ned doesn't know how to say this so he just blurts it out. "Don't let Faith or her guys talk you into robbing any banks, or any other felony for that matter."
"All I do is drive." Dillon says firmly.
But even that has Ned groaning and shaking his head. "Accessory after the fact." He mutters. He's familiar with the phrase. He'd been accessory after the fact to a multitude of Quartermaine crimes over the years. "Dillon, Faith isn't..."
"Like other people. I know. Don't worry; Bruno filled me in." Dillon tries to nip anything that Ned might say in the bud.
Why couldn't he have filled me in? Ned wonders. "She's made a lot of enemies..."
"Ned, I've been living with Mom. Don't worry about Faith. I get it. She doesn't like surprises. Organized crime was her family business like ELQ is yours. She doesn't like cops or Sonny Corinthos. The baby comes first. I get it. At least with Faith I know where in the pecking order I am. I'm not deluding myself."
"Dillon, Tracy loves you."
Dillon snorts at that.
"She does." Ned says earnestly wondering if he is lying for a good cause or setting the kid up for a big fall later down the line. "Tracy isn't like other people."
"Why did you marry Faith, Ned? Is it because you think she is like Mom?"
"Bite your tongue!" Ned demands but then he sighs.
"You don't love her."
"Not like the fairy tales." Ned agrees. "Faith will never wait for the prince on the white charger to come to her rescue. And she's the last person in the world that would ever accept a poison apple, give one maybe. Faith and I have an adult relationship."
"You were having sex. So why did you marry her? You can have sex without being married."
"I shouldn't be talking to you about this." Ned stands up and starts pacing. Faith and I are adults. If we use each other for all kinds of reasons they aren't necessarily bad. Besides we're not like you, Dillon, we'd already found and lost the great loves of our lives. After Alexis had her... break, my priorities changed. They had to, and I always wanted my daughter to have a real family unit. It was important, is important, to me to give Kristina what you and I never had. Sure it's not the same as before-- just enjoying each other's company taking things as they come. I think we both know not to expect moonlight and chocolate covered strawberries. Why mess up a perfectly good relationship with emotional complications?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?!" Dillon demands. He shakes his head really starting to get angry. "You haven't got a clue, Ned. I might only be a kid but even I know that relationship equals emotional and complicated. The guys down at the bunkhouse know that! Sure they talk a lot about letters to Penthouse and itches that need to get scratched but they know. Faith would put a bullet in anyone that tried to hurt Kristina. Hell she'd take a bullet for her! Faith isn't like Mom, Ned. She's nothing like her!"
"That's enough, Dillon." Faith says quietly from the doorway. "I need to talk to your brother. Bruno has things he needs to do for me. Can you coordinate with the guards?"
"Yeah." Dillon starts stomping out. He comes to a halt when Faith puts a hand to his face, cupping his jaw. He looks over at her.
She gives him a kiss on the cheek and whispers in his ear. "I'd take a bullet for you too, baby."
Dillon looks at her and tries to figure if she's serious. "Don't. But thanks."
There is a rapid succession of slamming doors that is coming closer to the room that Kyle and Cole are talking in. As the sound gets closer they stop talking. Coleman gets to his feet and starts moving toward the door to find out what the hell is going on. Luckily he's a little slow otherwise the door would have caught him full in the chest as Skye slams into the room. Her whole body is shaking in fury. Looking around the room she spots the computer and she spots a window. Storming over to the window she throws it open and then grabbing the computer she wrenches it free of all of it's accessories and heaves it out the window. It is followed in short order by the monitor and then the webcam. The webcam is flung so hard out the window that it smashes to pieces in the middle of the street outside the house.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Shock had held Kyle silent but only for so long. "That's my stuff!"
"You. You little pervert. You sick little shit." Skye snarls.
"Oh Hell." Coleman figures out Skye knows about about Kyle's activities this evening. Looking around for something to throw and not finding anything, Skye reaches for one of her shoes. "Not the heels, Skye. You could put an eye out with one of those things." Cole warns.
"An eye isn't what I'd be aiming for." Skye growls, still she hangs onto the heel and advances on Kyle who has figured out that his uncle is not going to stop the crazy lady.
"Uncle Cole!" Kyle's pleading eyes meet his uncle's.
"You've got this one coming, kid. I'd protect your nuts." Cole gives the last word of advice and then steps out of the way. He senses a motion out of the corner of his eye and sees Mac Scorpio standing in the doorway. "Did her father call the cops?"
"I am her father." Mac says too calmly. Somehow watching Skye beat the snot out of the little punk was giving him an unexpected catharsis. He can feel his control coming back and the rage receding.
"Stupid." Coleman shakes his head in disbelief. Somehow Kyle had forgotten to mention that part. "No excuse for what he did, Commissioner. None." He looks back to where Skye is whaling on Kyle who is curled up in a fetal position with both of his hands up protecting his face. She shows no sign of slowing down. He figures she isn't going to quit until her arm gets tired. "You know I never quite understood why the Indians used to give their prisoners to the women." Cole winces. "Now I do. Skye's not going to get arrested for this right?"
"Oh no." Mac states reassuringly. "In fact, she's probably saving the little punk from being arrested. I wouldn't want him to try to claim police brutality. So the more bruises the better really."
Skye switches off hands and starts all over again working with the left. All of her time in the gym, sparring with AJ and kickboxing puts some power and speed in the blows. And while the Italian leather isn't a belt the shoe stings with every application.
Finally Mac is the one that intervenes grabbing the shoe out of Skye's hand. "That's enough." More than enough.
"He needs to go to the hospital."
"Babe, you worked him over good but I can patch him up here. I've handle more than my share of bar fights."
"No. He needs to go to the hospital: blood, urine all of it. Make sure he didn't give that poor girl a disease on top of everything else."
Mac hands Skye back her shoe.
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