The Path to Power
Chapter Forty One
Mama knows best
Cole stumbles blearily from the backroom to the living room and spies Skye intent on whatever she is studying on her laptop. "Coffee?" He pleads hopefully before collapsing onto a barstool at the breakfast bar.
Skye springs up and goes into the kitchen, reaching over and just flips the switch on the coffee. "Kyle and I finished the first pot, so I just set this one up for you."
"Where's the kid?"
"Sent him to pick up some clothes from his place and yours."
Cole grunts and rubs a hand over his face. "You were supposed to wake me up."
"Before I left." Skye reminds. "I haven't left." She juggles pot and coffee mug to fill the mug from the still dripping pot. "You need to sleep sometime, Cole." She brings the coffee over and hands it to the half-asleep walker.
Cole takes the coffee with one hand and wraps the other arm around Skye and pulls her in close. Between the aroma of the fresh coffee and the heat of Skye next to him, Cole starts to rouse. "This is good."
"You haven't even tried it yet."
"I know." Coleman takes a sip of coffee and enjoys the fussing of Skye toying with the hair that hangs beyond the collar of his robe. "What's your schedule looking like?"
Skye sighs and takes a half step away. "I'm supposed to meet with my Mother."
"Do you want me and Kyle to clear out?" Cole offers reluctantly.
"NO." Skye asserts firmly. "I made a reservation for Rae at the Port Charles Hotel. If this turns out the way I think it's going to, even if it doesn't... I don't want her anywhere around here."
"Did you say something, Madam?" The manservant asks carefully. Madam's moods are... uncertain. And even more uncertain when in Port Charles around her remaining family. They didn't want her around and who could blame them? He wasn't in it because of loyalty but purely for the money. Madam did pay well, sufficiently well to purchase a life insurance policy that would take care of his family when this job... terminated.
"I sent a fortune to Nikolas, a fortune, and he refuses it!" Helena snaps shut the society section of the Port Charles Herald and tosses it aside in her fury.
"A fortune, Madam?"
"Lydia Kerinan. She is worth billions to the Cassadine coffers. Billions of dollars, that Nikolas is just giving away without thought. Fool! This is Stefan's handiwork."
The manservant takes a step back. Madam's furies are well known and no one could set her off like her only remaining son. "Forgive me, Madam. I thought you said The Prince no longer relies on his regent, but makes his own decisions."
Helena waves a hand. "Of course, Nikolas, makes his own decisions. He is The Prince. Stefan has no power save the crumbs that Nikolas gives him." Helena laughs throwing her head back at the thought. "My son is nothing but a tutor, an appropriate occupation for the bookish monk. But Stefan still tries to manipulate my grandson, offering up companions whose strings he pulls."
"Exactly. Unsuitable. I'm sure Stefan cast her before Nikolas, knowing Nikolas shares his father's weakness for diddling servants." The manservant shudders. It wasn't just Stavros weakness, but a Cassadine one. Helena considers her options and sighs. "Well if I can't have a wedding to welcome me back to this town. Then I guess it will have to be a funeral."
"Over my dead body." Tracy mutters watching Edward fawn over Gretal Rae Cummings. "Scotch."
"Coming right up." The bartender at the Port Charles Grille actually sighs a sigh of relief. The sudden appearance of the Old Man at the Grill had stopped Tracy from hitting on him. Not that he wasn't used to being hit on-- just he didn't like being in the position of possibly losing his job if he didn't put out to a woman old enough to be his mother. "Here you go. Are you going to be joining..."
"No. Not them. My sons are supposed to be... ah." Tracy sees Ned and Dillon arrive. She strides over to the entrance to the restaurant and gives Dillon a big hug. "You're just in time. Do you see that?"
Ned sees Edward with Rae and rolls his eyes. "She's not his type."
"Of course she is. Rae's married to Asa Buchanan. He's probably hoping that Asa would back Skye taking ELQ right out of your hands." Tracy threatens.
Ned takes an easier breath. At least it appears that Tracy hasn't teamed up with Edward and Edward hadn't lost what was left of his mind. "Grandfather would never invite Asa Buchanan into his company, Mother, and you know it. He would never be able to get that old wildcatter out."
Tracy shrugs but she relaxes a bit too. What Ned says is true enough. "Why are they being so slow in getting our table?!" Tracy bitches loud enough to be heard across the restaurant.
"Because he knows we're waiting for Faith. She is getting Kristina settled with the babysitter here at the hotel." Dillon explains.
Tracy rolls her eyes. "Isn't that why your brother has a nanny?"
Dillon and Ned exchange glances and grins. "Faith doesn't interfere with Alice's days off."
"And if you'd ever met Alice you'd understand why, Mom." Dillon adds.
"I'd love to meet Alice." Tracy smiles baring all her teeth. "But that would involve actually being allowed on my son's property rather than being treated like a door to door salesman."
"Oh no, Mother Quartermaine, I shoot door to door salesmen." Faith strings her arm thru Ned's and smiles back baring all her teeth. And you know how good a shot I am, Bitch.
"I should ask Grandmother if she has any rose cuttings she might want to send our way." Ned says wryly. "If you're going to be ridding the world of Fuller brush men we're definitely going to need a rose garden."
"You aren't taking out the Girl Scouts are you, Faith? Cause I live for those thin mints." Dillon teases.
"And I was just about to compliment your mother on your manners." Faith sighs. The maitre de comes up to the party standing in the doorway and leads them to the available table. Dillon seats his mother and Ned his wife. Faith makes sure that she has her back to the wall and has a full view of the entire restaurant and all the possible exits. One of the servers brings over Tracy's scotch from the bar and everyone checks out the menus. That is until Faith sees Edward sitting with Rae. "Well, well, well. What do we have here?"
"Gretal Rae Cummings Buchanan. Skye's mother." Tracy eyes Faith as suspiciously as Faith eyes Rae.
Faith asks Ned. "Is this going to be a problem?"
Even if it was I wouldn't tell you. I want to have a nice quiet meal. Ned shakes his head. "Grandfather is just sucking up because she's married to Asa Buchanan."
"Who?" Faith shrugs. The name doesn't ring any bells.
"Texas oil among other things." Ned understates.
Skye arrives solo and scans the room. The desk clerk said her mother was in here. She really hadn't intended to cause a public scene but it wouldn't be the first for the Grille and it won't even be the first for the Q's who use the Grille as an extension of their own dining room. But what a recipe for disaster-- Edward with Rae and Tracy here with Ned and his little brother. She makes eye contact with Faith and then steps back before she is observed.
Faith pushes back from the table. "Baby, I'm going to powder my nose." Ned and Dillon half rise as Faith tucks her clutch under her arm and strides out to the lobby. She spies Skye hanging out by the public phones out of the main traffic area. "What's up?"
"I hear a rumor you don't like surprises." Skye begins.
Faith's eyes narrow. "Hate them."
Skye blurts out the situation. "Tracy is trying to blackmail me. I was hoping to talk to my mother privately. Nip the whole thing in the bud."
"Well that's to hell and gone."
"Tell me about it." Skye agrees wryly.
"No, tell me about it." Faith demands tersely. "Bruno is off to the City to get the dirt on Mother Quartermaine. You're not planning on paying...." Damn! talk about falling asleep behind the wheel. Bruno should have let me know that Skye had a secret worth some bucks. Hell Coleman should have shared. He'd spent enough time sharing all my secrets with Skye. He couldn't return the favor?
"No." Skye declares flatly. "I'm going to blow her out of the water. Lila has already guessed what's going on so I don't have to worry about her and the rest of us... we're all adults."
"Is this something that is going to mess with Ned or his brother?"
Skye hesitates before answering and then shrugs. "I don't know. Not on my end but with Tracy..." She shrugs again. "If Tracy is telling the truth it could solidify Ned at ELQ."
Faith demands impatiently. "You going to stop going around the block and just spit it out?"
"Tracy wants five million dollars or she'll tell the Quartermaines that I'm not."
It takes Faith a second to realize what Skye means. "...A Quartermaine. Won't that get Edward's boxers in a bunch." Faith muses. "He's been... flirting with your Mother because she's married to some oil baron?"
Skye starts. "What?! Since when?"
"Lose one father-- gain another." Faith says glibly after all it's not her drama.
"Did you find out a name?"
"Oh you have got to be kidding me!" Shaking her head in disgust. "You know I'm starting to really hate surprises too."
"Gimme a sec." Faith hits a predial on her cell phone. "Bruno? You got anything for me?" She covers the mouthpiece. "I've always believe in pouring a little oil on a fire-- maybe you can give Tracy a taste of her own." At the sound of a voice in her ear, Faith focuses on the phone. "Make me happy, Bruno." Faith purrs.
Liz looks at the glass sitting on the back of the toilet in her studio. The plastic wand resting in it told the whole story. This should be the happiest day of her life-- course it was supposed to be when she was a bit older, was an established artist, married to a man she adored. "Oh hell! What am I going to do?" Penny had come thru for her again, kicking her out of the diner and pulling the shift. Otherwise Bobbie would have had to come in. The smell of coffee had set her off every time... and she wasn't able to make a run for it when the smell of bacon frying hit her. This isn't food poisoning-- or if it is it's the nine month rather than the 24 hour kind. Liz read the truth of that in Penny's eyes. So she'd made a stop at the drug store on the way back to her studio. What am I going to do? Liz walks over to the phone and picking up the handset looks at the keypad. She hesitates, changes her mind twice and then finally punches in a number. She sits on the arm of her couch waiting for the other end to pick up.
"Gram, I need you. I've really done it this time."
"Elizabeth? Where are you, Darling? I'm on my way."
When Skye starts back to the dining room the first thing she spies is Tracy over at the table with Rae and Edward and swears under her breath. This has just gone atomic. Faith passes Skye and pauses taking in the room and then walks over to the table where her family is sitting. Before taking her seat, she pauses to whisper in Dillon's ear, "Be ready to get yourself and the kid out of here. I've already told Manny." Faith references the bodyguard who is in the nursery keeping an eye on Kristina and the babysitter. Dillon starts to ask questions but Faith just shhhs him and then comes around to her chair.
Ned is already up and seats her. He rests a hand on her shoulder as he leans in to murmur in her ear. "Is there a problem?"
"Nah, but you know you really should have a decorator come in and redo this place. Even the bathrooms are starting to look... dated."
"I'll put it on the list." Ned says wryly. "But it's going to have to wait. I wanted to update the security system and the electrician told me that the wiring couldn't handle it. I'm just trying to wait until after graduation season-- proms and all the out of town guests but then yes, it's going to be major reconstruction. Between the wiring and a 9/11 refit while we're in the walls anyway..."
"I doubt that anyone is going to be flying a plane into the Port Charles Hotel, Ned." Dillon denies.
"Oh me either. But why not do the whole thing while getting the wiring up to state of the art? The Quartermaines aren't in the business of running a Motel 6. This is supposed to be the crown jewel where we put up our business associates to impress them."
Dillon looks around the dining room and starts comparing it to all the hotels that he stayed in, in Europe. He nods and then wonders. "I wonder who has the florist contract for this place?"
Faith laughs. "You've been on the job less than one day and you're already starting to look at the angles. You are definitely Ned's kid brother."
"I'm going to be a film director." Dillon states firmly. "I'm not going into ELQ. No matter what Mom wants."
Ned leans back in his chair and runs an arm along the back of Faith's chair. "It's a wonder Mom has any hair left at all. Between me wanting to be a rock star and you wanting to be Steven Spielburg...."
"Being able to see the angles is a skill that transfers well to any endeavor." Faith's eyes narrow. Evidently everybody was going out for a late lunch this weekend: Alan and Monica had just arrived. And AJ was right behind them with some brunette. She can read AJ's body language from across the room.
AJ stiffens as he sees the combination of Rae, Tracy, Edward and Skye. Only after spying that table does he see Ned and family on the other side of the room. He winces and shakes his head. "We might be better going somewhere else."
Lydia frowns. "But you made reservations..."
AJ sighs. "Right. Just don't be thrown off by the floor show. I know they look certifiable on occasion but the Quartermaines are really just high strung." After taking Alan and Monica over to the table with the rest of the Quartermaines, the Maitre De is back to escort AJ and Lydia to their table. "Something out of the way and quiet."
The Maitre De looks back at the Quartermaine table over his shoulder and then makes a pitying eye contact with AJ. "Might I suggest room service then?"
Lydia is about to tear into the servant for overstepping but AJ is already chuckling. "Yeah, I know it was a bit much to expect. How about out of the line of fire?"
"Right this way, sir."
Coleman looks up from the paper where he is kicking on the couch when Kyle lets himself into Skye's lake house. "Where you been?"
"Picking up some gear."
"Yeah, I know that's what you told Skye. So what are you going to tell me?"
Kyle sighs. "Getting back into school. I'm back as of Monday."
Coleman sits up. Folds the paper and lays it on the coffee table. "Neat trick. How did you manage that one?"
"Went to talk to Commissioner Scorpio."
Cole snorts at that. "I can't decide if that was incredibly brave or stupid. But since you're still walking and nobody called to ask for bail..."
"Yeah, I was wondering that too." Kyle goes over to the fridge and pulls out a quart of orange juice. He doesn't bother with a glass since he's planning on finishing it. He takes a swig right out of the carton.
"Who'd you roll on?"
"It wasn't just that." Kyle winces. "I wanted it to be something that wouldn't come back on me. I told the Commissioner where Beavis scores his pot and about when. Beavis won't hold up under questioning. He'll spill everything including doing the school website. I didn't say who-- I just told the Commissioner where and when. If he wants to put a car round there that's up to him."
"Right." Cole sighs. "Okay so you're off restriction as of Monday. That was only on as long as you were out of school. But that doesn't mean that you aren't still on notice. That Children's Service Worker was looking for something... anything. So you got to be keeping your nose clean. And this... Beavis. If he's going to spill so fast-- what's going to stop him from taking you down with him?"
"Mrs. Q, its for you. Dawg. From the police station." Reggie offers the phone to Lila. He knows about the arrangement that Lila has with the young hoodlum from the park.
"Oh dear." Lila takes the phone. "Darling, what happened? Did they get into your apartment?" Lila relaxes a little at Dawg's answer. "Well that's good. Now you know my condition."
"It was trees-- No chemicals." Dawg is careful to not say Lila's name. "I haven't messed with the chemicals since we made our deal-- I'm strictly botanical now. You going to send your dude down?" Dawg looks up at Taggart who is studying him like a bug under glass.
"Everything will be taken care of." Lila avows. "Now tell me your name as your mother had it put on your birth certificate. I don't want Reggie bailing the wrong Dawg out of the pound."
Dawg grins at that, relaxing all ready. Mrs. Q is on the case. "Marshall T. Wilson."
"Oh that's lovely! A strong, powerful name-- your mother had great expectations for you, Marshall. Reggie will be right down. And you know I don't like watching those crime shows on television but you do know your rights? Jason is always so particular about making sure that he takes advantage of all of his rights whenever he has meetings with the police."
"I got my phone call and now I'm gonna keep my lips zipped." Dawg agrees.
"Reggie and I will be right down."
"I know this is gonna take awhile, cause of paperwork and stuff-- maybe you should just send your dude. I'll check in as soon as everything is straight."
"As soon as you are released." Lila demands. "Reggie is on his way." Lila waits until Dawg hangs up.
"I heard." Reggie nods. "How much is this going to cost?"
Lila shakes her head. "I have no idea. Take the checkbook. Marshall T. Wilson is who you're picking up. I need my address book." She taps her nose with one finger. "I need Bunky's phone number."
Reggie grins. "Yeah, that'll work." He sorts thru Lila's address book and finds the name of the superior court judge. He dials the number for Lila and then hands the phone back to her.
"Bunky? It's Lila Quartermaine. How are you doing?... It's been so long since you and Edward went golfing. And your wife?... I missed her at the last Garden Club meeting. I've been so busy with this park project down on Courtland street. It's going to be so lovely. Already coming together and the flowers are going to be amazing. Actually that's the reason I'm calling. The... foreman of the project has been the victim of a misunderstanding. I'm afraid the police have arrested him. I really need him on the project and it cannot wait for this to be straightened out. Is there any way you could...." Lila lets the silence grow until she gets the answer she wants. "Yes, Thank you, Bunky. His name is Marshall T. Wilson. And I'll have Edward call you about a round of golf very soon." Lila hangs up the phone and hands it back to Reggie.
"You're good, Mrs. Q." Reggie gives Lila a small round of applause.
Lila takes a bow with the nod of her head. "I know."
Lydia snaps her fingers in front of AJ's eyes. "You there?"
"Sorry." AJ smiles at his date. "I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop."
Lydia looks at the gathering of Quartermaines over on the other side of the room. "What's going on?"
AJ starts naming off the players in the drama across the room. "The tall woman with the braying laugh of an as... donkey is my Aunt Tracy. She just landed back in town after a long... exile. The red head is my sister, Skye. The well accessorized woman that is sitting next to my Grandfather is Skye's mother, Rae."
"And the blonde glaring daggers?"
"Is my Mother. Nevermind that Rae and my Father were over long before my parents married... Mother doesn't want Rae anywhere near my Father for any reason."
"That's reasonable." Lydia agrees with Monica's stance on that one. "Specially if he's coming to a hotel to talk to her? Too many beds."
"Well they can't discuss Skye at the house... since it's my mother's house. Mom really needs to make up her mind."
"Why would they need to discuss Skye at all? She looks a little beyond bobby socks and skinned knees to me."
"And that is the mystery. Rae didn't come to town when Skye got married. She was no where around when Skye got divorced... fell off the wagon... was a suspect in a murder. So why is Rae coming to town now? And if Skye called her to town... what is so important now?!"
Lydia looks at the gathering with more interested eyes. Something more than being a murder suspect? This is going to be good. "Your Grandfather looks like the cat that ate the canary... and really your Father looks like... the canary." Lydia tells her date honestly
"Grandfather thrives on dissention. And my Father..." AJ sighs. "My Mother ignores him most of the time except when another woman shows up that might be interested in him. Then she becomes...."
"Territorial?" Lydia supplies the adjective.
"Exactly. And Rae knows it and finds it amusing to push Mother's buttons. Aunt Tracy wants everyone but her alienated from Grandfather so that she can reap the reward of ELQ out from under the Old Man. It's the only way that Grandfather would ever let her within 100 yards of the company. If she were the last person on earth."
"What about you?"
AJ snorts. "No thanks. I've decided my sanity and sobriety is worth more than the family business. I chased that carrot for a lot of years." AJ rests his arms on the table and focuses on Lydia. "I've found that I do better when there is some distance. That's why I'm working for the County and why I'm looking for my own place."
"If it's so important that you keep your distance from the family then why stay here? What's wrong with New York? Or if you like politics... Washington DC?"
"My son lives here. His mother has full custody but that won't always be true." AJ says with confidence, hoping that wishing and now planning will make it true.
Lydia studies the dynamic between Monica and Rae and winces. Maybe she needed to cross AJ off her list of potentials and move on. But she's on a tight timeline here. "So I take it you don't get along with your son's mother?"
"She's a crazy bitch from hell." AJ says with a grin. "She loves Michael. I have no doubt about that. But her taste in men is a horror show."
"Present company excepted." Lydia reminds.
"Including me." AJ says shaking his head. "I'm not a good bet, Lydia."
"Yeah, but it's the longshots that pay off big." Lydia reminds him and herself. "So what kind of house are you looking for? I'm an ace when it comes to real estate. And it's a great way to get familiar with the town."
True to what he'd said with his one phone call, Marshall T. Wilson aka MacDawg, is keeping his mouth shut. Taggart eyes the punk sitting handcuffed to the perp chair. Dawg's demeanor had gone from defiant to smug as a result of one phone call. They had the punk cold-- him and the buyer. Interestingly enough, Mac was more interested in the buyer than the dealer. Mac had been the one who came up with the tip. A tip that paid off. Dawg is just a street dealer and while he'd never been arrested or convicted of anything, he'd been a person of interest since long before he started pulling this BS good Samaritan gig at the Chloe Morgan Memorial Park down on Courtland. They had surveillance on all those street thugs. Maybe Mac was playing the buyer to get him to roll on Dawg. That would make sense.
The phone rings.
"Taggart." At the voice on the other end of the phone Taggart automatically stands up. "Judge Bunker. What can I do for you, Your Honor?"
"You have a Marshall T. Wilson in custody?"
Taggart looks at the perp and then slowly answers. "Yes, sir."
"What's the charge?"
"Delivery of a controlled substance-- Marijuana."
"Got him with an ounce but it was packaged." Taggart explains knowing that the judge will understand. An ounce of weed for personal use was one thing. But eight packages rolled up with an 1/8 in each was a different kettle-- that brought it into felony delivery territory.
Taggart winces. He has no idea what is going on but already had the feeling at the back of his neck that it isn't good. "None."
"ROR, Lieutenant. Get the paperwork together."
"But, Your Honor, ROR...." Released on his own recognizance?
"It'll give you time to get your case together, Lieu. It's on me, Taggart, if this goes south."
"Yes, sir." Taggart says grimly. He stares at Dawg who just smiles helpfully back at him. Taggart hangs up the phone and then sits back down wondering what the hell just happened.
Reginald Jennings arrives at the Detective's bullpen of the PCPD and goes up to the desk. "I'm here to bail out Marshall T. Wilson."
"You called Lila Quartermaine." Taggart realizes.
"Yeah. I did." Dawg admits figuring the cat is out of the bag as soon as Taggart recognized Mrs. Q's dude.
"And she called a judge for you?!" Taggart says with increasingly disbelief.
Dawg sits straighter in the chair and puffs up a little bit. "Yeah. She did." He calls out to Reggie. "Yo Dude! The Judge says I'm outta here. No bail or nothing."
"Anything." Reggie corrects absently and then tucks the checkbook back in his jacket pocket. "That's too easy. What's the catch?" He walks over to Taggart's desk.
"Yeah, what's the catch?" Dawg demands looking from Reggie to Taggart.
"You are still charged with a felony, and you still have to go to court, and I'm still going to nail your ass to the jailhouse door. The judge is trusting you are going to show up to court. And if you don't then I can legally hunt you down and shoot you."
"That's a hell of a catch." Dawg nods consideringly. "Can I get this thing off now?" Dawg refers to the handcuff that keeps him fastened to the metal chair.
Cocky sonofabitch Taggart reaches into his pocket for the handcuff key and unfastens the cuffs. "You can't leave until I get the paperwork done."
"Figured. But you mind if I stand up and stretch my legs? I think my ass has fallen asleep."
"Fine." Taggart says between clinched teeth. He signs on his computer and picking the proper form starts filling in the blanks.
Dawg stands up and stretches. He turns around and sees the kid he was arrested with in the glassed in interrogation room at the end of the bullpen. The Port Charles Commissioner of Police is sitting in there with him, back to the windows. Dawg had never really had problems with the cops-- at least no more than anyone else. But this whole thing screamed set up. And if the judge was going ROR on him then it wasn't him that was being set up. He makes a motion as if putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. Dawg sees the little white boy start cringing his eyes wide and his jaw dropping. He quickly turns it into a wave as the Commissioner turns around. He curses his own impulsive action when the Commissioner comes out of the interrogation room.
"Judge Barker called. Mr. Wilson here is getting ROR."
"Really. Maybe the judge knows something we don't. Maybe Mr. Wilson was buying marijuana rather than selling it."
"Yeah, maybe." Dawg agrees. "It's kinda like profiling right? The brother has got to be the dealer, right?"
"Shut the fuck up." Taggart demands, insulted by the playing of the race card when the little punk is guilty as hell and everyone knows it. "Or I will turn in my badge just to kick your ass."
Mac winces. Reggie winces. Reggie is the one that speaks up. "Mr. Wilson has nothing more to say until he is represented by counsel." He gives Dawg a warning glare.
Dawg shrugs and makes a zipping motion with his fingers to his lips.
Mac goes back into the interrogation room. He carefully shuts the door and then looks at the young man while saying softly. "Well that does put a different spin on things. That young man says that he wasn't selling drugs but buying them. And the judge believes him. Which is why he is free to go and you? Well with his testimony we'll probably have enough for the feds to throw you in jail for twenty years. Sentencing guidelines. Sorry. There is no getting around them... unless of course there is some kind of mitigating factors."
His mouth is dry. His stomach is in a knot wondering if he is going to lose his lunch any second and that would be preferable to taking a leak all over himself which just about happened when he'd been arrested down on Courtland street. Beavis hesitates, swallows hard and then asks. "What do you mean by mitigating... exactly."
Mac lies thru his teeth. After all that isn't against the rules. You just couldn't do anything that would make an innocent person confess. And Beavis here isn't innocent. Not by a long shot. "Mitigating. You know anything that you might have done locally so that we'd have to keep you here rather than turning you over to the feds. Something not drug related. If all we have you on is the dealing..." Mac shrugs. "Well then sorry. You're out of my jurisdiction and there is nothing I can do to help you."
"This is so not kewl." Beavis moans. "I wasn't dealing, man, you have to believe me."
"Oh I do. I really do." Mac says earnestly. "And I want to help you. But you're not giving me anything to work with."
Faith eyes the Quartermaine table with careful eyes. Tracy had never rejoined them but instead had pulled up a table not wanting to be miss anything that came out of Edward's mouth. Stupid cow. She didn't seem to get it. Edward is the past. Ned and Dillon are the future and she'd be better off currying favor at this table than that one. It seemed to confirm everything that Bruno had found out from Carla Solieto down in the City about her former step-mother. Tracy is short sighted and impatient and never failed to shoot herself in the foot.
"You're taking that bastard's side over your own daughter?! Daddy, how could you! She's not even ALAN's! Just the lose sperm of a randy dock worker that got his rocks off using Gretal instead of knothole in a plank!" Tracy's abrasive tones can be heard from one end of the room to the other.
"Waiter." Faith demands and the waiter is at her elbow in less than a minute.
Faith points to Dillon. "He'll take his lunch to go. Have it waiting at the front door."
"Of course, Ma'am." Without asking permission from Dillon, the waiter sweeps his plate away and double times it to the kitchen.
"Get Manny and take Kristina home-- now." Faith demands of Dillon. "Put the house on lockdown."
"Right." Dillon stands up more than willing to get the hell out of there. "Ned... Mom..."
"Go, Dillon." Ned says softly. "Faith and I will make sure Tracy is okay."
Faith waits until Dillon is out of earshot. "Define okay."
"She backed the wrong pony." Faith says flatly. "Knowledge is power. You and I both know it. But if she had info on Skye to sell then she should have come to you not that old pervert."
"Tracy, keep your voice down!" Edward demands in a roar interrupting the conversations of everyone in the dining room.
"And you knew it! I told you back when Gretal came around with her big belly and hand out! Already trying to climb on the gravy train." Tracy sneers at Rae who is shrinking back in her chair.
"Father?" Alan asks in disbelief.
"Please, Alan, do you really think that Daddy would have sold a Quartermaine? Even a bastard? Skye's nothing but the spawn of a whore and some sailor. It's a miracle you didn't get a disease!"
"Tracy, shut up!" Edward demands.
"You did know." Alan realizes in horror. "Father? Rae?"
"Now, Alan. I couldn't be sure and it was a long time ago. Tracy's relationship to the truth is strained." Edward declares defensively. "That's it, Tracy! I want you gone! Out of Port Charles and don't come back!" Edward goes on the attack to distract from his own part in the story.
"Mother will never allow it, Daddy." Tracy asserts.
"Lila knows, Tracy." Skye says softly. "Did you really think I'd allow you to blackmail me?"
"Skye! How could you?! Mother is frail."
"Oh I didn't tell Grandmother who, Alan. I told her I was being blackmailed and what the blackmailer was claiming. She took it really well but hey guess that blackmail is commonplace with the Quartermaines. Grandmother would be more upset if I told her that her roses had aphids."
"She isn't your Grandmother!" Tracy screams spitting across the table in her fury.
"Grandmother says she is. So go ahead, Tracy, tell Lila that Edward is being mean to you and wants you to leave town. She'll know exactly why as soon as you bring it up. You'll be the one breaking her heart because at least now she can pretend it's someone else who would demand five million dollars to keep their mouth shut."
"You bitch!" Monica finally chimes in. "Alan is your brother!"
"Oh and that corner is finally heard from. Not because I finally rid your house of this harpy whose been trying to get her claws into Alan forever. But because you believe that nobody. But that shouldn't be a surprise because you're just as common as she is."
"That's it. I'm out of here. I'll be back at the house checking on Lila." Monica stands up and throws her napkin on the table. "Alan?"
"Go ahead, Monica. I'll be right there. I need to talk to my Father" and Rae.
"I'm not staying!" Wanting to get away from the scene of this debacle as soon as possible, Edward stands up and strides after Monica. "I'm going home to check on my wife."
"Pack your bags, Tracy." Alan demands. "You're out of here tonight."
"My son is CEO of ELQ. He decides what happens in this hotel."
"And your son and his wife are living in my house." Skye looks up from the butter knife she is polishing the water spots off. "I already told Faith what you were trying to do. She hates Edward's guts and doesn't particularly care one way or another, I'm sure." Skye shrugs. "Cept you didn't give her husband the information. Watch out, Tracy. You don't have too good a track record with daughters- in-law. And I have it on good authority that Faith doesn't like surprises."
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