What Happens in Washington

A belated Valentine’s Day gift for my fellow #GH #RnA fans… Enjoy!

What Happens in Washington

She sat at the hotel bar nursing her second gin and tonic. Blew out a breath and shook her head, trying to shake off her nerves about facing the inquisition at the Department of Justice the next day. She didn’t notice him come in.

He spotted her the moment he walked through the door. He’d know that silhouette anywhere. And she was wearing a red suit. He liked her in red.

“Excuse me, handsome,” said a young female voice, followed by a series of giggles.

He stepped out of the doorway, allowing the gaggle of young women to pass.

“Thanks,” one of them smiled, wiggling her way past him in a low-cut blouse and something made out of so little material it looked more like a scarf around her waist than a skirt. If she was trying to show off the goods, it had little effect on him. He smiled politely, but his eyes never really left the dark haired beauty at the bar.

He sauntered over and slipped up behind her. “This seat taken?” he asked.

Her lips curved gently upward. Without turning around she answered, “I was saving it for my partner in crime.”

“I guess I should be on my way then.”

She tipped her head back to look at him and caught sight of his charismatic grin. “Like hell!” She spun around on her stool and hopped off, throwing her arms around his neck. “I didn’t think you were gonna make it,” she said as she rested her head on his shoulder.

“You didn’t think I’d really leave you to face this alone, did you?” he said, folding his arms around her waist and rocking her gently.

She didn’t answer, only held on more tightly.

“Anna?” he said, pulling back to look at her.

Her eyes glistened with emotion, but she tried to cover with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Hey, now! Are you really that worried or just that happy to see me?”

“Bit of both,” she admitted. Her hands came to rest on his shoulders.

He pulled her back in. “No worries, love. We’ll get through it. Together.”

“Together,” she repeated over his shoulder.

“Come on, I’ll buy you a drink.”

“I’ve had two already.”

“Then you can buy me one. Or two. Sounds like I need to catch up.” He picked up her glass and took a drink. Gin and tonic? What? No Kir Royale?

“Somehow the thought of champagne in any form seemed inappropriate.”

Hmm. I’d suggest pousse-café, but since we’ve had no dinner, an after dinner drink is hardly—”

“I was going to suggest tequila.”

“Ha! Sure you were,” he said.

“What?”

“You can’t handle tequila.”

“I can too!” she insisted.

“No, you can’t. You never could. Don’t you remember that time in Laredo when we—”

“I remember it very well, thank you. You were obviously too drunk to recall—”

“Me?”

“Yes. You. Robert.”

“Put your money where your mouth is,” he said.

“Fine!”

“Fifty bucks says you’re out after two margaritas.”

“You’re on!”

“Fine. Bartender, two margaritas on the rocks, please,” Robert said.

“You got it. Cuervo?”

“No,” Anna piped up. “Patrón, please. Save the sour mix and give it to us straight. And make his a double.”

Robert glanced at her with his right eyebrow raised.

Her expression did not waver. “What? I’m just leveling the playing field, Robert.”

Robert eyed the bartender. The man’s face said, “This isn’t exactly a shot-of-tequila kind of establishment.”

“You heard the lady,” Robert instructed.

The bartender nodded. Returned a moment later and placed two glasses on the bar in front of them. He poured and walked away.

Anna chose one and raised it. Robert followed suit. “Two shots,” he said. “And when I win, I’ll see to it that you make it safely back up to your room, if I have to carry you myself.”

“Such a gentleman.”

“Always.” He smiled. “Cheers.”

They tapped their glasses together and threw back the shots. Anna slammed her glass down on the bar, then, since the bartender wasn’t looking, leaned over the bar and reached to pick up the bottle from behind the bar.

Robert couldn’t resist giving her behind a loving tap as it presented itself.

She shot him a cautionary look. When he answered with another charming grin, she gave up trying to look annoyed and moved on. “Right,” she said as she refilled their glasses. “So, what’s our plan for tomorrow?”

He shook his head. “No plan,” he said. “We play it straight. The truth. Appeal to their sense of reason.”

“That’s it?”

“It is what it is. What we did, we did for a reason.”

“A very good reason.”

“Exactly.”

“And if they don’t listen to reason?” she said, worry creeping into her voice.

“Then we pray that Frisco can talk some sense into his buddy, Mitchell What’s-His-Name.”

“The Assistant Inspector General?”

“Right,” he said, gulping down his second round.

“And what if he can’t?”

He shrugged. “We request adjoining cells and hatch a plan to make a break for it at the first opportunity.”

“Robert!”

“Then, we go dark, find a nice deserted island and brew up that bucket of Mai Tais.”

She shoved him, but couldn’t help smiling. “I’m serious, Robert. Come on!”

“Well, what else do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know.”

This time he poured another round and after downing his he continued. “Let me ask you this,” he said, concentrating on forming his lips around the words. He refused to acknowledge that the Patrón was beginning to get to him. “If you had it to do over again, would you do it any differently?”

She toyed with the shot in front of her, her lips pursed, face contemplative. “No. We did what was right. For Robin.” She picked up the glass and shot it.

“For us,” he said, taking hold of her free hand.

She turned to look at him. “For us,” she repeated, tearing up. “I can’t second guess that.”

“Well, then, there it is.”

She nodded. “I guess so.”

“So…” He hesitated, looking for the right words. He could see she was shaken right now and she was depending on him to be her rock. He wanted to give her that sense of security, but in reality, he was just as concerned as she was. He had to act calm and fake it well.

“What?” she asked, waiting for his words of wisdom.

“For now, we wait and see. And in the meantime…”

“Yeah?”

“We enjoy tonight.”

“What did you have in mind? A White House picture stop?”

“Ha! No. Are you hungry?”

“Hmm. Now that you mention it, I could use something to go with the tequila.”

“Shall we acquire a table?”

“No.” She wrinkled her nose. “I’m no longer in the mood to sit around and act polite. We could go up and order room service or—”

“I’ve got a better idea. Do you trust me?”

“Always.”

“You go on up to your room and I’ll make a take-out run. Meet you up there.”

She hopped off the stool and gathered her bag. She held up her arms as if to say, hey, Robert, I’m still standing.

He stood, smiled, took out his wallet. “Take that with you.” He nodded in the direction of the tequila.

“Really?”

He threw a fifty dollar bill down on the bar. “That ought to cover it.”

She watched him stroll confidently toward the door. “Oh, Robert,” she called after him.

He turned and flashed a knowing look. “Three oh two,” he said, tapping a finger to his temple. He winked and walked out.

She shook her head and smiled then, craftily slipped the bottle into her bag and sashayed coolly out of the bar without anyone paying her a second glance.

* * *

Thirty minutes later, Robert arrived at her door. He could hear music playing faintly beyond the door. Anna answered, now in a pair of black yoga pants and a matching tank. She looked feminine, but strong, Robert thought. Who ever said only men got better with age? She was still an incomparable beauty, even in workout clothes. He stared a little too long at her shapely form, prompting her to say, “Well, don’t just stand there, Robert. Get in here. ”

“Yeah, of course. Here you go,” he said. He held up a plastic take out bag as he brushed past her.

“Took you long enough,” she said as she turned down the radio.

“Sorry. I had to take a cab. China Town was a little too far away.”

“What? Chinese? You’re kidding!” She rushed over to the desk where he was unloading the containers.

“Nope. Moo Shoo Pork or Chicken Chow Mein.” He held a take-out container in each hand.

“Oh, my God, I love you, Robert Scorpio!” She snatched the box out of his hand and lunged for a pair of chopsticks.

He shook his head and laughed. He grabbed another pair of chopsticks and joined her as she sat cross-legged on the bed. “So,” he started as he flopped down against the head board and crossed one ankle over the other, “what’s new?”

“Ha! Well, not much. My boyfriend took over the mob, I lost my badge, and now I ‘m just hanging around waiting to find out if I’m going to be indicted. You know, same old, same old. You?”

“Oh, bailed Holly out of a jam again, got stuck in Wisconsin bored out of my mind on a bloody counterfeiting case of all things, and now I’m here waiting to find out if my ex and I are gonna get matching jumpsuits.”

She took the bottle of Patrón off the nightstand. “That calls for a drink,” she said,  taking a healthy swig directly from the bottle. She passed it to him.

He put down his Moo Shoo Pork and grabbed the bottle.

She watched his blue eyes sparkle as he took his turn. “You know something? I think orange goes better with your coloring than mine,” she said.

“Is that so?”

“Yes. I think you’re going to look a lot better in that jumpsuit than I will,” she laughed as she leaned her head on his shoulder.

“Maybe. But you’ll still look a lot better out of it,” he chuckled with a hand on her thigh.

“Robert!” she giggled, sitting up and putting on a shocked façade.

“Just the facts, love. Just the facts.” He looked over at her, his eyes still twinkling.

She was caught off guard. There is was. That old familiar feeling. That gentle pull in her core that spread through her body like a warm current. He felt it too, she thought. She could tell by the suddenly seriously, slightly wanton looked on his face.

He saw the pink in her cheeks and, he thought, her breath visibly caught. But then, maybe she was just feeling the tequila. He didn’t dare read too much into it, did he? He cleared his throat. “Are you okay?” he asked.

She shrugged and rolled her head around as if loosening up her neck. “Yeah. Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” She leaned back on the pillows and took another bite of Chow Mein. “I told you, I’m not the one who can’t handle my liquor. You, Mr. Scorpio, you look a little peaked.” She glanced at him sideways.

He took another swig from the bottle. They sat in silence for a minute before he spoke again. “I’m sorry about you and Duke.”

“Are you?”

“I am if that’s what you wanted. But he hurt you, Anna. And I—”

“Again!” she shouted.

Surprised by the force with which she said it, his eyes got wide.

“Again, Robert! I’m an intelligent woman, aren’t I?”

“You’re brilliant,” he answered.

“So why do I do it? Hmm? Why do I fall for his lies over and over again? He plays me for a fool every time.”

“Look, Anna—”

“And what’s more, he tries to find fault with me, to draw attention to my mistakes in order to justify his own actions. Well, not anymore, Robert. I’m finished!”

“You won’t get any argument from me,” he assured her.

“I’m over him.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Oh, I’m so over him,” she repeated, nodding. “Hell, I kissed Sloane on New Year’s Eve!”

“Sloane! Really?”

“Yes. Though I can’t think why. Just convenience I suppose. ”

“What kind of kiss are we talking about here?”

“What do you mean? Just a kiss.”

“I mean, was this a peck on the cheek, or a full-fledged I’m in to you kind of kiss?”

A new emotion shone in his eyes. “Robert,” she asked, “You’re not jealous, are you?”

He shook his head. “Just curious, that’s all.”

“I could show you,” she said. She smiled at him and took the bottle out of his hand. After a rather lengthy swallow, she leaned in close. So close for a moment he thought she might actually be going to demonstrate. His heart fluttered. His lips parted in anticipation. Instead, she patted his cheek and whispered, “But, I’m not the type to kiss and tell, Robert.”

“Anna! You little tease.”

She laughed heartily, tickled by his obvious displeasure. She liked knowing she could still get to him.

He grabbed the bottle back and took another drink to wash down his disappointment.

They sat quietly again until Robert heard a song on the radio that piqued his interest. “This is decent,” he said.

“What?”

“The song.”

“Oh. Yeah. ‘Thinking Out Loud’,” she said.

“Hmm?”

“The song. That’s what it’s called.”

“Oh. It’s a nice melody. Almost danceable.” He nudged her. “Shall we?”

“What? Here?”

“Sure. Why not?” He stood and walked around the other side of the bed. Extended his hand.

“Why not?” She took his hand and followed him to what empty space there was in the center of the room.

He pulled her in with one swift movement that threw her off balance. She threw her head back and laughed again as she clung to him to keep from falling down. How he loved that laugh. It made him smile. She made him smile.

They turned and swayed to the music, forgetting, if only for a moment, the dreadful circumstances that had brought them together. When the song ended, he dipped her, and as he did, in her eyes he caught a glimpse of something that he could only imagine was tequila-induced lust. He was tempted to kiss her. Again. Still. But he didn’t. Instead, he straightened up and announced that it was getting late. And just like that, he was headed for the door.

“Already?” she said, shocked and a bit thrown by his abrupt departure.

“Well, I think I should probably let you get to bed, that’s all.”

“Yeah,” she nodded. She turned off the radio and walked to the door to see him out. “I need my beauty rest, right?” she joked.

He smiled with unexpected tenderness as he touched her hair. “No. You’ve never looked more beautiful.” He swallowed. “But it’s a big day tomorrow. For both of us.”

She nodded again. “Good night, then,” she said. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. “Thank you. For dinner and for the dance.”

“Any time,” he said.

She closed the door behind him, exhaled forcefully, and set about cleaning up the leftover Chinese containers. But as she dropped the first one into the trash can she was hit with a wave of sadness and immediate clarity. For the first time in a long time she’d felt happy. Despite everything that was going on in her life, moments ago, with Robert, she’d felt happy. She was freer, safer in his arms than anywhere else in the world, and she didn’t want that feeling to end. Why fight it? She wanted… needed those arms to hold her. She spun around and ran for the door. “Robert!” she called as she opened it, expecting to find him half way down the hall. But there he was, standing right in front of her.

Her lips parted, her breath quick, her eyes pleaded with him. “Stay with me,” she whispered.

He didn’t wait for her to ask twice. He pulled her into his embrace and enveloped her in a kiss so deep and intense that an electrifying heat instantly spread throughout her entire body and her knees buckled beneath her.

“Oh, God, Robert!” She pulled away long enough to gasp for some much needed oxygen. “This is crazy, isn’t it?” she said as she slammed the door and tore off his jacket.

He shook his head. “Unexpected,” he said as he took her mouth again. He eased her backward toward the bed until they tumbled upon it and their lips broke apart as they both laughed.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked. He hated to ask for fear she’d change her mind, but between the dance and the booze, he had to be sure she wasn’t acting on impulse alone.

“I’m not sure of anything anymore, Robert.” Her fingers worked quickly to undo the buttons on his shirt. “Except that right now, I want to be with you,” she said as she covered his neck and chest with feathery kisses. “But if you don’t want to—”

Before she could finish the sentence, he took her face in his hands and said, as if he’d never had any doubt, “I want you, Anna Devane.”

“So, take me,” she said.

In truth, whether he took her or she took him was debatable. They both gave as good as they got, enjoying, pleasing, ravishing each other until every desire had been met and they came crashing down on the mattress in a naked, jumbled, satisfied heap.

They lay there entwined with one another each trying to catch their breath. Anna sighed as Robert stroked her hair.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

Her eyes closed, a smile spread across her face. She was half tempted to answer “like a woman”.

He felt her body jerk with silent laughter. “What?”

“Nothing.” She leaned in and kissed him softly. “I feel wonderful,” she said, then added, “At least for tonight.”

“Hey!” He shook her shoulder gently. “Are you trying to tell me you were just using me for a one night stand?” he teased.

“Ha! No. Well, I mean, I don’t really know. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone next week, right?”

“And what if everything works to our advantage tomorrow? What happens then? Is this a thing, you and me?” He pulled himself up to a seated position, forcing her to do the same.

She pulled the sheet up to cover herself. “Do you want it to be a thing?” She ran her finders through her hair, nervous to hear his answer. She wasn’t sure she was ready for a soul-searching conversation at the moment. She needn’t have worried.

“If it were a thing,” he asked, “would we get to have sex more than once every decade?”

She rolled her eyes. Classic Robert. “If it were a thing,” she said, “I would think that sex would a regular part of it.”

“Yeah?” “Definitely.”

“Goody.” He rolled over so that he was practically on top of her. “Because… I really do… like… having sex with you,” he said between kisses.

“You’re such a romantic, Robert. It’s no wonder I married you twice.”

“And who knows where this… thing goes. Third time’s a charm.”

She could feel his grin on her cheek. “Ha! Please tell me you’re joking!”

“Anna! That’s it!” he shouted. A second later he was out of bed, scrambling for his clothes.

She sat up. “Robert? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, love. I think I may have a solution to our problem.”

She stared at him, confused.

“Marriage.”

“Robert, what the hell are you talking about?”

“Marriage, Anna.”

“I heard that part.”

You, me, and J.D., we’re the only witnesses. Now, he sold us out, but without our testimony, they can’t build much of a case.”

Her brows still wrinkled and she shook her head. “So?”

“So? Don’t you see, Anna? If we’re married, they can’t make us testify against each other.

“Robert! That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Why? It worked for Sonny and Carly Corinthos. Hell, for that matter, you and Hayward—”

“Oh, no! Don’t bring him into this.”

“I’m just saying, if it worked then, why not let it work for us?”

“Because it’s ridiculous!

“Why?”

She flopped back on the pillows with a sigh. “Because, Robert, even if I were to consent to this plan, which is a huge ‘if’, how would we manage it? We’re due at the Justice department in less than eight hours.”

“Easy,” he said. “There’s an all-night wedding chapel in China town. I noticed it when I went to pick up dinner. I thought it was odd at the time, but now…”

She was silent for minute and, for a change, her face gave away nothing about what she was thinking.

He approached, sat on the edge of the bed. “What do you say, Anna?”

“Is that your idea of a proposal, Robert? You’re slipping.”

“Forgive me,” he said. He obliged her, getting down on one knee.

She dropped her face in her hands in a fit of laughter laced with disbelief.

He pulled one hand away and held it. Clearing his throat, he started over. “Anna Devane, I love you. You know that. And if you’ll marry me tonight, I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy, or at the very least… trying to keep you out of prison. I…”

“Okay. Stop!” she said. “Just stop.” She was practically snorting with laughter. “I’ll tell you one thing. This is a step up from the last hotel you proposed in.”

He smiled. “True.”

“Are you sure you’re not still married to anyone else?”

“Positive,” he said.

She shook her head at him. Bit her lip, but her eyes still shone with amusement.

“So, is that a yes? Anna, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife. Again?”

It was unbelievable. Stupid, even. But it just might work, she thought. She looked him in the eyes, swallowed hard, and said, “Yes.”

* * *

The following morning the two walked up Pennsylvania Avenue, neither one saying much of anything. They paused in front of the imposing neoclassic building.

Robert’s eyes followed the columns upward.

“The U.S. Department of Justice,” Anna said under her breath. She blew out a breath.

“You okay?” he asked.

She nodded, putting on a brave face. “I think we’re gonna surprise a few people, don’t you?”

“Ah, never under estimate the power of the element of surprise,” he said with an air of certainty.

She gave a hesitant smile.

“Ready?” he asked.

“After you,” she said.

“No.” He took her hand in his. “Together.”

Anna caught a glimpse of the shiny gold band on her finger as he raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. “For better or worse,” she said.

Robert gave her hand one more reassuring squeeze and together Mr. and Mrs. Scorpio ascended the steps to face their fate.

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At long last…

For my fellow GH fans and friends,

Here is the latest installment. It’s not action packed this time, but I hope you’ll find a few quality Robert and Anna moments, some of the relationship building stuff that we’ve been missing. Enjoy!

Previous chapters are available in the archives or at https://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

Endgame Chapter 8  – WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

After wasting several rounds and most of their energy, Robert and Anna sat down, defeated. It was no use. No one was going to hear them scream. No one was going to release them even if they did.

“What the hell do we do now?” said Anna, her irritation readily apparent.

“I don’t know. Yet.” Robert made his way around the chamber opening and closing all of the cabinets.

“Well, we obviously can’t shoot our way out. How many bullets do you have left?”

“Four.” He eyed the supply of chemicals he’d found. “Can we blast our way out?”

“What?”

“I know you can diffuse a bomb, but how are you at building one?” he said.

She sank into the rolling chair near the work station and bent over to check the undersurface for bugs. “If I made a bomb strong enough to blow that door, the blast would kill us both.”

“So much for that.”

“Any other bright ideas?”

“Not at the moment.”

“You wasted half your ammunition firing at a steel door. What did you think—that you had some magic bullets? Good job we weren’t killed by the ricochet.”

“Anna, don’t do that,” he said as took off his sport coat and tossed it on top of a stack of boxes. He shoved a crate into the corner and stepped up on it to examine the mounted camera.

“Don’t do what?”

“The same thing you always do,” he said.

“And what is that, Robert?” she said, moving on to the drawers on either side of the desk.

“You take out your frustrations on the closest target. It’s not gonna do either of us any good to be down each other’s throats.”

“Eeerrrgghh! I know! I know you’re right! I’m just…” She pulled a small bound notebook out from under a pile of file folders and opened it to the first page. “Robert!” she said in a voice that sounded like a mixture of joy and panic.

He was at her side in an instant. “Did you find something?”

“Just this.” She held up the book. “Robin’s journal. She was here, Robert. All of this… this is her research. They kept her here all of this time against her will,” she said, her voice trembling. The thought sickened her, but proof that Robin was alive was almost enough to compensate for it.

He took the journal out of her hand and sat down on the cot on the far side of the room. “She was looking for a cure Polonium Poisoning?” he said, flipping through the pages.

“Apparently.”

“Under the command of Jerry Jacks and his band of merry men. Dammit!” He shook his head.

“Robert, what are we going to do? We can’t just sit here. Our daughter is out there somewhere.”

“We don’t seem to have a lot of options right now, do we? We’re gonna have to wait until someone opens that door and then… then we can make a move.”

“How long do you think until someone comes back?”

“I don’t know.”

“What if they don’t come back?”

“They will.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Because… Look, you said you saw Faison and Obrecht on the boat, right?”

“Yes.”

“So Faison knows you’re here.”

“Yes.”

“And what’s the one thing in this world that he wants more than anything else?”

“Me,” she said.

“Exactly.”

“So you think he’ll come back to claim me?”

“Or someone will. At the very least, they’ll bring you food and water. Keep you alive.”

She chose to ignore the fact that he didn’t include himself in that statement. “And then what?” she said. “We have four bullets. They have automatic weapons. The odds aren’t exactly working in our favor.”

He read the exasperation in her face. He reached out and pulled her rolling chair closer to him. He looked deep into her eyes. “Listen, this is us. You and me. We just need to put our heads together. We’ll come up with something.”

She leaned in and allowed her forehead to touch his. She smiled, thinking their heads were quite literally together.

He gave a slight chuckle, knowing that was exactly what she was thinking.

“Okay?” he said.

“Okay,” she answered. “I guess we have time, don’t we?” she said with a slight smile.

“So it would seem,” he said.

They began to run escape scenarios by one another, shooting down one plan after another for one reason or another. Robert could feel Anna’s frustration growing again. Truth be told, he was no less irked than she was, but one of them had to keep a cool head.

After about an hour of fruitless discussion, Anna decided to change the subject. “Robert?”

“What, love.”

“Luke ran off after Jerry because he was looking for a cure for Polonium Poisoning. Jerry held Robin hostage so she could develop the cure. I can make sense of that. But how do you think Faison and Obrecht fit in to this whole thing?”

“Obrecht ran the clinic where Robin was held to start with.”

“Yes, but is there more? How is she connected to Faison? What is his part in all of it?”

“I don’t know, but I intend to find out, one way or another. And when I do…”

There was no need to finish that statement. She knew exactly what he was thinking. She was thinking it too.

“There’s something that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about,” she continued.

“What’s that?”

“You said that you figured out that I was here because of a message from Britt Westborne.”

“Right. When she said that her mother might have brought her baby here, I figured it was—”

“How did you know that Obrecht was her mother?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, how did you know that Obrecht was Britt’s mother? I only found out a few weeks ago, but you were…”

“In a coma. Yeah. Don’t remind me.”

“So? Did I tell you that at the clinic?”

“Maybe. I don’t know.”

“What do you know?” She stood and started to pace about.

“What?”

“Or more precisely, what else do you know?”

“Anna, you’re not making any sense here.”

“Robert, I don’t think I told you about their relationship, so if I didn’t tell you, you must have got the information somehow. The question is what other information do you have, how did you get it, and how do we retrieve it?”

“Three,” he said matter-of-factly.

“What?”

“That’s three questions,” he smirked.

“Oh, shut up,” she said. She rolled her eyes, but he saw the playful grin that snuck across her face.

“What are you thinking?” he asked, intrigued. He watched her pace a while longer, obviously deep in though. He was in awe of her mind at work. He always had been. And there was nothing sexier than the gleam that she got in her eye when she was in throws of concocting a plan or solving a mystery.

“What if…” she said, still moving from one side of the room to the other. Her fingers formed a steeple in front of her lips just under her nose. “That’s it!” She crossed the room and sat down in front of him again. Turned sideways in the chair she crossed her legs.

He did his best to ignore them.

“Robert,” she started in again, leaning in toward him, “you said you saw Obrecht and Robin at the clinic before you lost consciousness.”

“Yeah.” He cleared his throat and sat up straighter.

“What if you heard them talking and somehow retained the information?”

“Subconsciously?”

“Yes. What if you heard something about what they were planning that you just don’t remember?”

“So, what do you want to do now, hypnotize me?”

“It’s not a bad idea.”

“It’s a terrible idea! Since when do you possess the skills to—”

“I’ve learned a lot of things since the last time we were together.”

“I’ll just bet you have!”

She caught the wicked twinkle in his eye. “Ah, watch it, Robert.”

“Anna, this is…”

“Come on. It can’t hurt to try, can it?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because…”

“Robert!”

“Anna, it doesn’t make any difference why I know what I know, all right?”

“But if you heard Obrecht say something, anything—”

“I was unconscious.”

“Yes, but if you—”

“Anna, drop it!” he said sternly.

“Couldn’t we just try it? Alex and I—”

“No.”

“Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I trust you.”

“Come on, Robert,” she said with a curious smile, “what don’t you want me to find in that head of yours?”

“What? Nothing. Look, I’ve been reenacting Sleeping Beauty for the better part of a year, Anna. I’d rather not take any chances, all right?”

She considered his request and nodded, then stood and walked away again.

“I’m sorry,” he said, recognizing her disappointment.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said still facing away from him with her arms folded.

He stood and approached her. “Anna,” he whispered as he folded his arms around her from behind, “it’s gonna be all right. You’ll see.” He didn’t have to see her face to guess that tears were welling up in her big brown eyes.

She nodded again. “I know,” she said.

“We’ll figure it out, love.”

“I know,” she said again. She wiggled out of his grip and turn to face him. “I’m just so frustrated, you know?” Her lower lip quivered and the tears threatened to fall even as anger burned behind them. “Damn it, Robert!” She shoved at him.

She wasn’t angry at him. He knew that. She would much rather have been laying into Faison, but in his absence, Robert was the stand in.

“That man has destroyed every chance we’ve ever had at happiness and now he’s doing the same thing to Robin and her family!”

Her fists came at him, one after the other, pummeling him like a human punching bag. If he’d been stronger, he’d have let her have at it for a while longer, but currently that wasn’t an option. He rushed in to scoop her up into his embrace again before she could swing again. She didn’t fight him. Instead, she crumbled into him, sliding her arms under his and wrapping them up over his shoulders. She clung to him, soaking his shirt with salt water as he swayed slowly and shushed her softly.

“We were so close,” she murmured. “So close. She was here,” she cried. “I just want to hold my baby, Robert.”

“And you will. I promise. Come here.” He let go and took her hand, leading her over to the cot. They sat side by side, backs to the wall. He put an arm around her as she rested her head on his shoulder. “Now, look at it this way. A week ago you thought she was gone. Now you know they have her, but you know she’s alive, right?”

“Right,” she said, taking his free hand. She squeezed his fingers between hers. She sniffed. “She’s alive.” She wiped her eyes with the other hand as she sat up. “Do you think that we should—”

His face stopped her midsentence. His head rested on the cement block wall behind them. His eyes were closed. The dark bags around them spoke volumes. He lifted his head when she fell silent.

“Do I think we should what, love?”

“Ah… Do you think we should try to get some sleep? I mean, the circumstances aren’t ideal, but I am rather tired,” she said, knowing he wouldn’t admit that he was exhausted, but he would sleep if he thought she needed to.

“You are? How’s your head? You don’t think it’s a concussion, do you?”

“No. It’s fine. I’m fine. It’s just been a stressful day. Maybe if we get some rest we’ll be able to think more rationally about this whole thing.”

“You’re probably right about that.”

“Okay. So, you take the cot,” she said, getting to her feet.

“Where are you going sleep?”

“I can sleep in the chair.” She found an electrical pannel on the opposite wall and turned off the overhead lamps, leaving them in the soft glow of emergency lighting.

“Or we can both sleep here,” he suggested, patting the mattress next to him.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Robert.”

“What? We’ve occupied smaller spaces than this. Remember Beirut?” he said with a wry smile.

“I do,” she laughed. And I also remember that we damn near lost our mark because you couldn’t keep your hands off me.”

“Hmm. Well, I was younger then and much more flexible. And Lavery wasn’t part of the equation.”

She eyed him skeptically.

“Your virtue is safe tonight, my dear. Scout’s honor,” he said, raising his right hand.

She smiled at him. “Fine, but you take the wall,” she said, slipping off her heels and hanging her jacket on the back of the chair.

He removed his shoes too and lay down on top of the blanket, turning on to his side.

She positioned herself next to him facing away but was not surprised, nor bothered by his arms encircling her waist.

After a few minutes he heard her giggle. “What?” he said.

She covered her face with her hand, still laughing. “This just reminds me of that bloody train ride, that’s all.”

“The honeymoon train to hell?”

“Yes! Trying to fit into the upper berth. God, it was awful!”

He gave a small chuckle. “At least this time we don’t have to deal with motion sickness.”

“Thank God!” she said with a sigh. “Robert?”

“Hmm?”

“Do you ever wonder what might have happened with us? You know… if Faison hadn’t happened. Again. Do you think we could have made it work the second time?”

“I don’t know, Anna,” he said quietly. “I know that when we said our vows, I meant them.”

“Me too. Every word.”

“We had our share of trouble. God only knows. But we certainly had a lot of good times, didn’t we?”

“The best.”

“Those memories of you and me… Robin… they got me through some pretty dark moments.”

“Sometimes they’re the only thing that get me through the day—memories of Robin,” she quickly clarified.

“Name one,” he said.

“What?”

“A favorite memory.”

“Right now?”

“Why not?”

“All right…” She thought for a second. “The day I we told her we were her parents.”

“Good one.”

“Your turn.”

“Ah, the day I gave her the puppy.” He laughed. “You were fit to be tied. You and Duke.”

“No we weren’t!”

“Were too. You covered it well, though. Next.”

“Robin’s dance recital.”

“Ooh… and the delayed-gratification dress. That’s high on my list too. How about our second wedding? I think Robin was as happy as we were. Go again,” he prompted her.

She smiled. “Robin’s wedding. Having you there to walk her down the aisle.”

“And after the wedding,” he chided.

“Robert!”

“You were drunk on champagne and I was drunk on you. Intoxicated by the radiant beauty of the mother of the bride,” he went on.

“I thought we agreed never to talk about that,” she said in a hushed tone.

“Who’s going to hear it?”

They both had to laugh at that. Neither spoke again for quite some time, each lost in thought. Finally she broke the silence. “Thank you,” she said.

“For what?”

“For the trip down memory lane. It was nice.” She yawned and stretched. Her hand came to rest on his, their fingers intertwining.

“My pleasure,” he said. “Sleep now, love. Tomorrow we can get back to work. Find a way out of this mess.”

“And we find our daughter… and take her home… to Port Charles,” she said sleepily.

“Damn right.”

“To Patrick and Emma…”

“To Patrick and Emma,” he repeated. He felt her inhale deeply and let it out. Her body relaxed against his. He kissed the back of her head and whispered good night. He allowed himself to relax too, but before drifted off to sleep, he made a promise—a promise to himself, to Anna, and to Robin and Emma. This time, he would reunite mother and daughter. Faison would not win again. Robert would die before he would let him win again.

Don’t Do This to Me – Endgame Ch 7

“I never thought I’d step foot on this bloody island again,” Robert mumbled to himself as he entered the Cassadine compound, closing the door quietly behind him. He moved stealthily through the maze of darkened hallways, listening carefully for any signs of life. He made his way to the top floor with the idea of checking rooms from top to bottom. Each time he came to a new room, he flung the door open, gun drawn, prepared for anything. He found nothing. Every room was tidy—empty.

He entered the deserted kitchen. After a quick sweep he paused to catch his breath. “Damn!” he grumbled, beginning to feel discouraged. But as he leaned on the counter near the stove, he found a glimmer of hope radiating off of the back burner on the electric stove. It was still slightly warm. Not hot, but definitely not cold. It had been used recently, probably within the last half hour. That gave him all of the encouragement he needed to keep moving. Even if Obrecht and company had already left, he might find a clue as to where they’d gone next. He briefly considered going back upstairs to check the rooms more thoroughly, then decided against it. He’d check downstairs first. With a cryogenic chamber, a lab and God knows what else, that area was a treasure trove of evil genius.

Cautiously Robert side-stepped his way down the stairs into the basement of the compound prepared to engage at any moment. All was relatively quiet except for two armed guards who sat playing cards outside of a large steel door in the antechamber of the lab. He wouldn’t be able to take on both of them at once. Robert needed a diversion. It would have to be simple. Time was of the essence and he had virtually nothing in the way of supplies. He moved quickly in the opposite direction toward the cryogenic chamber, plotting as he went.

* * *

“What’s that?” one guard said to the other, detecting a strange beeping sound.

“I don’t know. Sounds like it’s coming from Area C. I thought we were supposed to be here alone.”

“Yeah. Mr. Jacks said the others were all evacuating, but…”

“So, what do we do now?”

“What do you mean, ‘what do we do now’? We go check it out! He said there was a possibility that we’d have more visitors. That’s why we’re here, right?”

“I guess so.”

“So…”

“So… what?”

“Go check it out, little brother!”

“You go check it out.”

“I said it first.”

“Let’s both go.”

“No way. One of us has to stay here and guard the lab the make sure the woman doesn’t escape.”

Robert listened to the argument echoing through empty halls. He chuckled to himself. It was almost too easy. “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb,” he smiled.

“What’s the matter? You scared, Roy-boy? Geez, come on!”

“Fine!” Roy snapped. “You know what? You suck Dale!” He headed off in the direction of the beep, glancing back several times.

Dale just gave him a disgusted look and shooed him off with a few flicks of the wrist.

When Roy came around the corner, Robert was waiting for him. One quick chop and Roy was down without a sound. Robert pulled his phone out of his pocket and turned off the alarm. “That came in rather handy,” he said, rather pleased with himself.

Had he waited long enough, the other brother might have come looking and Robert could have taken him out the same way, but he was getting impatient. Not only that, if his intel was accurate, the lab would be thumbprint protected. Robert was banking on the fact that all of the guards had access, but he would need to take one out in close proximity to the entrance. He left Roy there in a heap and made his way back toward the lab.

Just outside the entrance to the antechamber, Robert paused again. Taking a chance that Dale was as dull as he appeared, he cleared his throat and spoke, “Dale, come quickly. Roy has been injured!”

“Mr. Jacks, Is that you?” came Dale’s response, followed by footsteps as he rushed across the floor.

Seconds later Dale was surprised by Robert and met with a fate not unlike that of his little brother. “Works every time,” Robert muttered. He dragged Dale’s limp form to the lab door and stopped for a breather, slightly distressed that he was so out of shape.  With no time to waste, he didn’t dwell on it. He took hold of Dale’s arm and with a yank, pressed his thumb to the keypad.

“Ha ha! Still got it,” he smirked as the keypad recognized the print.

Robert peaked in as the door  squeaked open and was horrified.  “Anna!”  He rushed to her side as she lay motionless on the floor. “Anna!”

There was no response.

He put a hand on her cheek. “Anna, come on baby, don’t do this to me.” He moved his hand to her neck and was relieved to find a pulse. He leaned closer and felt her breath on his cheek. “Thank God!” he whispered. She had no noticeable wounds at first glance. Robert put his arms around her and pulled her close, cradling her limp body.  “Anna! Anna, can you hear me? Anna, sweetheart, I need you to wake up now. We need to get you out of here before those goons come around.” He patted her face. “Anna, come on.”

She began to stir, slight moaning sounds coming from her throat.

“Anna,” Robert said, getting more excited.

“No,” she whispered.

“Yes. Come on, Anna. It’s me.”

“Robert?” she questioned before opening her eyes.

“Yeah baby. I’m here. But we need to go.”

“My head.”

“You’ve got a nasty bump,” he said, after further examination. “Do you know what happened?”

“Where are we?” she said. She glanced around, blinking to regain focus as she opened her eyes.

“Cassadine Island.”

“What? Oh. The boat,” Anna said, still trying to get her bearings. She struggled to sit up.

Robert let go, but stayed by her side, prepared to grab hold again if needed.

“Robert, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in hospital. God, are you all right?”

“I’m fine. I’m more worried about you.”

“You found me. How did you find me?”

“You left me you a clue, didn’t you?”

“I did?”

“Your phone. Outside Steinmauer.”

“Oh. Right. I kicked it under the bench. I didn’t know if anyone would find it.”

“How did they get you?”

“Chloroform , I think. From behind. I didn’t know who it was, but…

“Obrecht.”

“Yeah. I saw her on the boat. With Faison!” She gulped as she said his name. “She broke him out.”

“I know.”

“She drugged me and broke him out,” she continued, sounding aggravated.

“Any news on Robin?”

Anna shook her head. “I tried to make a break for it when we docked and something… someone… hit me. That’s all I remember. How did you even know to look for me?”

“That’s a long story. We can talk about that later. We need to get out of here first. Before Chip and Dale wake up.” He glanced quickly over his shoulder at the open door. The coast was still clear. “Listen, Anna, can you walk?”

“Of course I can. Help me up?”

He stood and took hold of her under the arms, hoisting her up. Once she was on her feet, he pulled her into his embrace.

She let him hold her for a minute, relishing the sense security before forcing the end of the moment. “Robert…”

“Hmm?”

“Let go, then.”

“Right,” he said. He backed away cautiously.

She took all of three steps before the room started to spin and she collapsed into his arms again.

“Whoa. Looks like we’d better take it slow,” he smiled. He managed to get her over to the small bed in the corner.

“I’m all right. I’m just a little dizzy. That’s all.”

“Okay. Give it a minute and we’ll try again,” he said, his arms still wound around her as they sat.

Anna nodded and rested her head on Robert’s shoulder. “I can’t believe you found me,” she said again.

“Of course I found you. Robert said. “You know I’d move Heaven and Earth before I’d let anything happen to you.” He felt her nod again. He held her bit longer, and then said, “Okay, love. We’ve got to try this again. Are you ready?”

“I think so.”

“Okay. Here we go.” He rose slowly, bringing her with him. “Hold on to Bobby now,” he said in a playful voice.

“Yes dear,” she said. Her tone was sarcastic, but her lips curled up with the tiniest smile.

Suddenly a voice boomed out, “Well, well, well… Look what we have here. Two super spies for the price of one! I hate to spoil your plans, but you two are not going anywhere!”

Jerry Jacks maniacal laughter reverberated through the halls as the lab door slid shut, leaving a startled Robert and Anna staring after him in disbelief.

 

** All previous chapters are available in the archives or at www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson **

The Tour That Never Took Off

Friends and followers,

I was asked to take part in the a blog tour several weeks ago, but due to finals week, a class trip, and moving classrooms, my tour was delayed. Below is the report on my night life, now that my day job is no longer getting in the way.

1. What are you working on?

I’m currently working on my second novel. It is the sequel to Once in Love with Lily. The working title is Forever, Tony. For all of those who read the original and wondered, “What happens now?”, you’ll have to read it to find out. But I can tell you that there is much more to Lily and Tony’s story. Happily ever after would be far too simple. There are still many twists, turns, and secrets to be revealed.

And yes, for my GH friends, now that summer has arrived I hope to have more time for Endgame as well. I know you have been waiting “patiently” for the continuation.  https://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

2. How is your work different from other pieces in its genre?

According to the reports, the difference between my romantic fiction and typical novels of the genre is that Lily is far less predictable and much more realistic than others. Some say that it is a fairy tale, yet down to earth. Others have said that it “depicts how love actually happens”. Locations are also real and identifiable, so world travelers may experience nostalgia for areas of Paris, London, and New York, yet those who’ve never been can live vicariously.

  1. Why do you write what you write?

I write what I write out of an obsession for celebrity bios and soap operas. I love the idea of the show-business life. I’ve often said I think I should have lived in New York the 1950’s so that I could have enjoyed Broadway during the heyday of Lerner and Lowe and Rogers and Hammerstein. But, alas, I was born in 1975, and I fell in love with daytime television in the late eighties, when Gloria Monty was the queen of General Hospital and the tag line for soaps was “Love in the Afternoon!” The result: I’ve melded those two worlds together and created a love story that I would enjoy watching unfold like a daytime drama (without the aliens or prosthetic masks, or D.I.D. storylines).

4. Describe your process.

When I began the adventure, I had no process whatsoever. I didn’t even realize that there was a process. I never studied writing. I never knew that I wanted to be a writer. (Yes, some people have said that they hate me for this!) But now I can’t imagine not writing. For one thing, the creative outlet allows for the stories in my head to have a place to go.

If I had to classify myself, I’d say that I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I never plan out anything beyond a basic outline. I don’t even write lesson plans on a regular basis (Don’t tell my principal I said that! I do plan. I just don’t always write it down!) I’m certainly not going to plot out an entire novel.  I do have a beginning and an ending point in mind, but the stuff that comes in between is just the characters telling their story. There is a natural ebb and flow in the action, but I don’t focus on the plot arc too much at all.  When the first draft is complete, I then revisit those things and begin to add reinforcement to the general structure. I don’t over intellectualize, first of all, because I didn’t study the craft the same way others have. Second, because I believe that the quality of the story is as much about the way it makes me or the readers feel as it is about the plot outline.

A Note of Appreciation

Many thanks to Eric Ralph for encouraging me to participate in the tour and forgiving my untimeliness. If you haven’t experienced Eric’s work yet, visit http://ericmralph.com/ By his own proclamation, he writes strange, funny things and funny, strange things. He’s always good for a laugh, a pun, or an 80’s reference. His first novel is a remarkable piece of religious satire called And God said… An Absurd Tale of Love, Power, and Paperwork –the story of what happens when God retires, gets married, and moves to Jamaica.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C334PIA

 

 

In Demand

Ask, and you shall receive… eventually! All chapters of this saga are also available on https://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

ENDGAME

Chapter 5

NOT MY ANNA 

“Listen here, Frisco, I don’t care what you have to do. It’s been forty-eight hours and I haven’t heard a word from her since she arrived in Geneva. No. She should be back by now. She would have called. I need you to—What? I don’t care if— What do you mean you can’t? Aw, to hell with you and the WSB, then!” Robert hung up and tossed his phone down on the bed. Moments later, he consulted the phone again and shook his head in disgust. “Damn it! Don’t do this to me, Anna! Where the hell are you?”

As if it were an answer to his question, there was a knock at the door. Robert sat up, hopeful. The door opened and in walked a tall, well-dressed young man in an overcoat and sun glasses carrying an attaché case and a badge.

Robert rolled his eyes “Can I help you?”

“Robert Scorpio?” the man said, removing his glasses.

“That depends. Who wants to know?”

“Agent Tom Jacobs. Interpol,” the man said, extending his hand.

“Agent Jacobs,” Robert said as he shook it.

“It’s an honor, sir. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve—”

“Cut the crap, Jacobs. What brings you here?”

“The organization heard that you were awake and they sent me to check on your condition.”

“My condition?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What condition were they hoping to find me in?”

“Sir?”

“Never mind. Don’t answer that. Believe it or not, I’m actually glad you’re here.”

“You are?”

“Yeah. Turns out, I’ve got a bit of a situation and I could use your help—Interpol’s that is. I’ve been in contact with Jones at the WSB and he says his hands are tied.”

“What is it that you need, sir?”

“I need you to locate Anna Devane.”

Jacobs frowned at him. “It’s funny you should ask that sir.”

“Why? And you can stop calling me sir.”

Because, sir… ah, because…  We were actually hoping you could help us find her.”

Robert lowered his eyes and stared at the young agent. “What do you mean? What’s going on?” He asked in a slow, deep voice.

“We have reason to believe that Ms. Devane aided one Cesar Faison in his escape from Steinmauer night before last.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I take it you haven’t see the news reports?”

“No. They’ve been poking, prodding, and rehabbing me every five minutes. Come on. Out with it!” Robert bellowed.

The agent stalled as he pulled his laptop from his case. After a quick search, he turned the screen toward Robert without a word. Head shots of Anna  and Faison were plastered side by side on the screen while the newscaster spoke.

Tonight on WLPC News: The future of the PCPD is in question as whereabouts of Commissioner Anna Devane are unknown. Devane, last seen at Steinmauer Maximum Security Prison in Geneva, Switzerland, has been incommunicado for the past two days. She is currently believed to have assisted criminal mastermind Cesar Faison in his escape from said facility. At this point we can only speculate as to why Commissioner Devane might have been involved with the breakout, though sources remind us that the two were engaged briefly in the early 1990’s. According to Mayor Lomax, a decision has not yet been made as to whether or not an interim commissioner will be appointed. More on this story at the bottom of the hour.

“I don’t believe it!” Robert shouted.

“Sir, according to the reports—”

“To hell with the reports. It’s all rubbish.  They’re no better than a bloody tabloid. Anna would never help that bastard escape. Not even if he….” He trailed off and took a deep breath, trying to still the nagging feeling in his gut. God, he hoped Anna hadn’t been convinced to help Faison due to some promise of information about Robin. Or Heaven forbid, that Faison hadn’t managed to use some kind of mind control on her again.

“Sir, the evidence does seem to suggest that—”

“What other evidence do you have?”

“We have surveillance footage from the prison as well as an audio clip picked up by our receivers outside the prison.”

“Show me.”

Agent Jacobs clicked and clacked over the keyboard of his laptop and pulled up the video files. “As you can see, we have footage from the cameras near the entrance as well as in the hallway outside the visitation room inside the prison itself. Ms. Devane enters at nine thirty-two am. Here we have a shot of her at the front desk at nine forty-five. Then, at ten-oh-seven, she’s seen exiting down this hallway here with Faison.”

He’s still handcuffed,” Robert said, pointing vigorously at the screen. “How do you know she wasn’t taking him into custody in an official capacity?”

“First of all, that would be out of her jurisdiction. Second, she reportedly assaulted two of the guards in order to get him out. And third, they haven’t been seen since and no one has been able to reach her.”

“Other than the shot at the gate, you can’t even see her face. What happened to the rest of the security cameras?”

“The system was tampered with, sir. Hacked.”

“Aw, hell,” Robert said, rolling his eyes. He didn’t like the way things were stacking up, but he refused to let them incriminate Anna so quickly. “So this is your proof? A series of half-assed camera angles and the fact that she won’t return your calls? She ignores mine on a regular basis. She’s a busy woman.”

“Would you deny the fact that Ms. Devane is quite… skilled… in accessing world networks?”

Robert shook his head. He couldn’t deny that. Anna had never met a system she couldn’t access.

“In all fairness, sir, we’ve brought suspects in with less evidence.”

“So just exactly what is it you want from me?”

“Well, Ms. Devane is a very experienced agent. She has eluded some of the best spies in the world.”

“True.”

“And you… are one of the few agents who… You and Ms. Devane…”

“Spit it out, Jacobs!”

“You know Ms. Devane. Intimately. Sir.” Jacobs cleared his throat.

“What’s your point?”

“If anyone would know how she thinks, it’s you. We’re hoping you can help us determine where she might go so that we can bring the two of them in.”

“Let me see the footage again. Rewind it.” Robert watched the screen intently, studying every shot of Anna for some kind of indication of distress or any other emotion, but it was difficult to tell anything without even so much as a glimpse of her expressive face. He watched it a third time, looking for clues in her body language. Finally, he threw back the covers and announced, “Out of my way, Jacobs.”

“What are you doing, sir?” Jacobs asked as Robert struggled to pry himself out of bed.

Robert grabbed his cane off of the bedside table and headed toward the cabinet that housed his clothing and personal effects. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m busting out of here.”

“Where are you headed?”

“To Geneva, my boy.”

“So you’ll help us find her?”

“Oh, I’m gonna find her all right. Whether or not that leads us to Faison is another story.”

“Why wouldn’t it? Do you think she might do something to him?”

“I’m more concerned about what he or that imposter might have done to her. Anna could be in grave danger.”

“What makes you think so? What imposter?”

“That’s not my Anna.”

“How can you tell?”

“Like you said, Jacobs, I know her. Intimately.” Robert smirked, eyebrows raised. “I don’t give a damn what your evidence indicates. The woman in that footage is not Anna Devane!”

The Saga Continues….

Finally…. Here it is #RnA fans. Enjoy!

All chapters also available on https://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

ENDGAME

Chapter 4

THE RETURN OF MS. DEVINE

Anna shook her head. She wanted more than anything to believe that their daughter was still alive. But she was afraid to venture down that road again. “Robert, don’t,” she said shaking, her head.

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t do that to me. Don’t say that. I don’t want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed again. I can’t.”

“They won’t be.”

“Please, Robert,” she begged, tears filling her eyes again. “You know I want to believe you.”

“Anna, you can believe me. You know that. Look, I don’t know exactly what happen here, but this note— it’s a clue.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because… before I left to find you after Faison—that bastard—had taken you, I sat her down to have a talk to her. I didn’t know what in the world to say to her. You know, you were always the expert with teenage girl stuff.” He paused, taking her hand.

“Yeah,” she said with a nod. Her eyes were watery again, but a tiny smile graced her lips.

“Anyway, before I left, I sat her down and tried to explain in not so certain terms what had happened. She was so smart, Anna. She knew exactly what was going on—even though I tried not to let her see it. She knew it was dangerous. But she also knew I had to find you. She knew how much I loved you.”

She heard the pain still evident in his voice even after so many years. “Robert—”

He went on. “My God, how I loved you, Anna. I didn’t want to leave her, but I couldn’t… I couldn’t leave you out there, alone, with that madman. So, I hugged her and kissed her, and promised to bring you back to her. To us. She told me that we should think of each other every night at midnight. I told her that wasn’t nearly enough, that I’d be thinking of her every second of every day. And she said…” He chuckled. “She said, ‘I know Daddy, but with time changes and everything, it’s always midnight somewhere, right? So we’ll be thinking of each other all the time.’ She was so grown up. So brave. It was the last thing she said to me before I closed the door. ‘Remember, Daddy. It’s always midnight somewhere.’” He paused again and gulped, trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

“Robert, do you really think…?”

“She’s out there, Anna. I know it. You know it. You can feel it. I can see it in your eyes.”

“No,” She pulled away from his grip and walked across the room, still forcing herself to deny what she so desperately wanted to believe.

“Come on, Anna! Listen to your gut”

“I can’t!”

“What do you mean, you can’t?”

“I don’t know if you realize, but my instincts—”

“Your instincts are just as good as they always were. The note brought you here to me, didn’t it?”

“Yes, but…”

“Anna, look at me.” He waited for her to face him again. “You are the smartest, most capable agent I know.”

“Please!” she said, walking slowly back toward the bed.

“Well, besides yours truly of course!” he snickered.

“Oh!” She swatted at him.

“Hey now!” He caught hold of her arm and wove his fingers in between hers, preventing her from walking away again. “Would it help if I told you that you are also the most beautiful agent I know?”

“Hardly. Flattery will get you nowhere, Scorpio. Anyway, I told you I’m not available.”

“Listen, just  ‘cause Lavery’s alive, that doesn’t change the fact that you… you still take my breath away.”

She tilted her head and gave him one her half smiling, half crying looks, a look that made him want to envelope her in his arms and take it all in, all the joy, all the pain, everything. It hurt him to see her doubting herself.

“Come on, Ms. Devine,” he said, flashing her a smile loaded with his distinct brand of Aussie charm.

She laughed.

“Trust yourself. Hell, trust me!”

She had struggled so many times over the past year and a half to put Robin’s memory to rest, to find the power to accept that she was gone and the will to go living without her. Now she stood staring at Robert, searching her soul for the strength to dive head-first back into the pool of hope. Instead, she found it in him. All of the courage and conviction she’d ever needed stared back at her in his cool blue eyes.

“You’re sure?” she asked with a sniffle, lips pressed together.

“Positive.”

She took a deep breath and licked her lips. “Okay,” she said, drying her tears on her sleeve.

“Does that mean you’re with me?”

“Robert, if you’re telling me our daughter is out there and this is your proof, you know I’m with you. So, what do we do now?”

“We start with the usual suspects,” he said.

“Faison?” she asked.

“Top of the list, but their keeping him at Steinmaur.”

“Right.”

“Helena?” he asked. “She was working with him for a while.”

“She’s dead.”

“You’re kidding!”

“Nope. She and Luke had a showdown on the Haunted Star.”

“And Spencer won?”

“That round, anyway.”

“The things you miss when you’re in a coma.”

“What about the Jeromes?” she asked.

“What?”

“A woman named Ava Jerome recently turned up in Port Charles. She claims she’s no relation to Julian, but Duke swears she is.”

“He would know.”

She gave him a stern look that softened quickly. “I hate to admit it, but I am a bit worried about a possible connection.”

“As well you should be. But even if it is the same family, what would they want with Robin?”

“I don’t know. Would they use her to get to Duke?”

“I don’t think so. She was gone before he ever resurfaced.”

“True. But Faison had him.”

“And now we’ve come full circle.”

“Of course we have. Why didn’t I think about it sooner? Damn!”

“What?”

“Liesl Obrecht—the monster that put you in a coma—she’s his partner in crime.”

“And if she was here and Robin was here—”

“Then it stands to reason that she—and he—”

“Are involved with Robin’s disappearance,” he said, completing her thought.

“Yes. But why?”

“Who knows why that demented Dane does anything he does? Other than because of his sick obsession with you, of course.”

“Dr. Obrecht is currently MIA. So, we’ll have to start with Faison.”

“When do we leave?”

“We don’t. I do.”

“I’m not letting you go alone.”

“You don’t have a choice, Robert. You can’t even stand on your own yet. You need time to recover and we don’t have time to waste.”

She had a point. Robin had already been missing for over a year. They couldn’t afford to let the trail get any colder than it already was. Still, the thought of her anywhere near Faison made his skin crawl. “I don’t like it Anna.”

“I don’t either, but I’ll do what I have to. For Robin.”

“What about taking Spencer with you? Or Mac?”

“No. Luke has enough trouble of his own right now. He’s off on his own wild goose chase. Mac is getting ready for the wedding. Though we should call him and let him know about you.”

“What wedding?”

“He and Felicia are getting remarried.”

“That’s a bit of good news, isn’t it?”

“Not for Frisco. Remind me to tell you about the Nurse’s Ball later.”

“Anna, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but… What about Lavery?”

“What about him?”

“What if he were to go with you?”

“What for?”

He shrugged. “Backup.”

“Robert, ten months in a coma must have done a number on your mind.”

“What does that mean?”

“I love Duke, but we both know that’s the dumbest idea you’ve ever had. He means well, but he’ll only slow me down.”

“Are you sure?”

“Rule number one: don’t send an amateur to do a professional’s job, right? Besides, I’m a capable agent, remember? You said so yourself.”

“Even capable agents need backup.”

“I don’t want to bring anyone else in on this until we have more to go on. I’d rather not get Mac’s or Patrick’s hopes up just yet.”

“Fine. But we should at least know what we’re up against. I’d like to make a few calls.”

“I’ll check in with Frisco,” she said, pulling out her phone.

“I’ll try Sean. Is my cell here somewhere?”

“Here.” She fished it out of the bedside table drawer and turned it on. He reached for it and she held it out of his reach. “Your battery is low.”

“Anna,” he said, agitated, but not oblivious to the fact that she was bending over to plug in the charger.

“I can manage that. Would you just give it to me, please?”

“Yes dear!”  She tossed it to him.

He caught it. “Thank you, darling!”

“The pleasure is all mine.”

“I doubt that,” he teased.

“Dial, Robert!” she said, hitting send on her phone and waiting to be connected.

“Yes, boss!” he said, smiling. He liked what he saw. The Anna strutting around the room in front of him now was a complete change from the one who had stood before him only moments ago. This one was calm, in control, and in charge. She was back, and from his perspective, looking better than ever.

“Hi, Frisco? It’s Anna,” she said into the phone.

He turned his attention to his own phone and dialed. “Yeah, hello, Anna, Let me talk to your dad please. What? Tell him it’s Robert Scorpio. He’ll speak to me. Just tell him.”

“What have you got?” she asked once they’d both finished with their calls.

“Not much. According to their daughter, Sean wasn’t feeling well. She couldn’t get him on the phone, which concerns me.”

“And Tiffany?”

“She wasn’t home. I’ll have to see if I can get more info from him later. What did Frisco say?”

“Still no sign of Obrecht. He’s arranging clearance for me to get into Steimauer right now. Otherwise, nothing,” she sighed. “So, I guess I should get going.”

“Come here a minute, will you?”

“What?” she asked, approaching.

“Sit.”

She did.

He took her hand. “Before you go, I need to tell you…” He stopped, suddenly unable to speak. He inhaled sharply.

“What is it, Robert?”

“I wanted to tell you…” He cleared his throat. “Just… don’t let him get to you, okay? Keep your head in the game.”

“Don’t worry. I will. But you know that I will do anything I have to, to get our daughter back.”

“I know. But don’t compromise yourself in the process, okay? I want her back as much as you do, but you have to stay safe. ‘Cause she still needs her mother.” He gave her a concerned smile. “So do I.”

“Don’t go soft on me Scorpio,” she said with a chuckle. She tried to stand and walk away, but he held fast to her hand.

“I mean it, Anna. If anything were to happen to you while I was stuck here…”

“Robert, I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can, but…”

Her brow furrowed as she regarded him curiously. She hadn’t seen that look on his face since the cancer scare several years ago. When he threw his head back on the pillow still at loss for words, she took it upon herself to make the next move. She leaned in and hugged him.

He wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair. “I love you,” he whispered.

Squeezing him even tighter, she choked back her emotions and whispered back, “I love you too.” Then she pulled away and quickly wiped away a single tear from her left cheek. “I’ll be fine, all right? You just worry about getting well again.” She picked her bag and threw the strap over her shoulder, then checked for her phone and her gun. She turned and headed for the door.

“Anna,” he called after her.

She looked back.

“I’ll be waiting to hear from you.”

With a quick nod and one last smile, she closed the door behind her.

Previous chapters are available in archives or on   https://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

Endgame Chapter 3 – Apologies

Greetings readers! Here is the third chapter to my General Hospital Fanfic saga. If you are not a GH fan, I hope you will find it at least mildly entertaining.  If you are interested, chapters one and two are previous posts. You can also follow me on Fanfiction.net at  http://www.fanfiction.net/~catkthompson

ENDGAME

Chapter 3

APOLOGIES

“Madame Devane, I assure you, this is completely normal,” Dr. Birchmeier said, dropping Robert’s eyelid and putting the tiny flashlight back into the pocket of his crisp white coat. “Patients who have been in a coma do not often snap of it as they do in the movies. He has been unresponsive eight months. The fact that Mr. Scorpio was awake at all is very encouraging.”

“Isn’t there anything else we can do?” Anna asked, sounding impatient.

“I’m afraid not. It is up to him.”

“I’m sorry, Doctor. I don’t mean to be… It’s just that patience isn’t really one of my virtues.”

“I understand that it is difficult, but we must give him time.”

“Thank you, doctor.” Anna nodded.  She saw him to the door and closed it behind him. She turned back to Robert and sighed. “That’s the trouble, Robert. I don’t know how much time we have.” She sat back down and gave his leg a gentle rub through the blankets.

Moments later, she was up and pacing again. “Ugh! God, Robert!” she said, throwing her head back and staring up at the ceiling. “Don’t do this to me. Wake up, will you? Please. Just… Wake up!” She wiped a tear from her cheek.

When she got tired of pacing, she pulled a chair closer to the door so anyone entering would have to get past her, and climbed into it. She hugged her knees to her chest and rested her head on them. Not having had a good night’s sleep in quite some time, she unintentionally drifted off again. She awoke some time later to a rustling sound, and was on her feet, gun drawn in less than a second.

“Put that away, will you?” he said weakly.

“Oh my God! Robert, what the hell are you doing?”

He was standing, or at least attempting to stand, gripping the bedside table to keep from collapsing onto the floor.

She holstered her weapon and rushed to his side. “Here, let’s get you back into bed.”

“I don’t want to get back into bed. I’ve spent the last twenty minutes trying to get out of bed. Too many damn tubes,” he muttered, tugging at the IV lines and yanking one of them out entirely.

“Oh, honey, don’t.”

He tried to take a step and his knees buckled beneath him.

“Oh, Robert…” She gasped, kneeling next to him. “Why didn’t you call for me?”

“I didn’t want to startle you. You know you can be a little too trigger happy.”

‘’Hush.”

“Well, I was right, wasn’t I? Why are you carrying anyway?”

“I’m always carrying these days, remember?  It comes with the job.” She didn’t want to get him anymore worked up with the idea of possible threats just yet. “Come on. Up you go.” She wrapped her arms around him and hoisted him onto his feet.

“Yes, Commissioner. But…,” he struggled to get the words out in between breaths, “I couldn’t help but notice… you were guarding the door.” He was still fighting to stay standing as she tried to back him up toward the bed, but in his current condition, she was winning the battle.

“Well, I know how you hate to be fussed over and the doctors wouldn’t leave you alone. Now, sit.”

He sat, but not gracefully. He still had hold of her as he practically fell on to the bed and she all but fell on top of him. Their eyes met. She could see the mixture of emotions in his, and she quickly stood back up and looked away, afraid of what he might read in hers.

“Sorry. I guess I don’t have my sea legs back,” he joked.

“That’s perfectly understandable,” she said, with a small, awkward smile.

He stared at her as if her were discovering her face for the first time, even though he’d memorized every inch of it long ago. He couldn’t help thinking of all the other times she’d come to his hospital bedside. Each time, under the threat of death, they’d admitted their love for each other, but something, or someone, had always managed to come between them. He hoped this time would be different—that it would finally lead to their happily ever after.

His arms were still around her as she stood between his legs. He watched her bite her bottom lip. She often did that when she was nervous or contemplative.  She wasn’t trying to be provocative, but it had that effect on him all the same. “I’m glad you’re here,” he whispered, taking a strand of her hair in his fingers.

Anna felt herself tense. Robert fiddling with her hair was usually a sign that he was planning to kiss her. The thought scared the hell of her, but as much as she hated to admit it, it thrilled her too.

He shook his head and smiled again.

“What?” she asked quietly.

“Nothing. You just remind me of someone,”

“Who is that?”

“A shorter-haired Nurse Feelgood,” he teased, reminding her of the time she’d played nursemaid to him in his penthouse. That time, his recovery ended with the two of them making love in the middle of the Port Charles Earthquake. Just a few months later they were married for the second time.

Anna giggled at the memory and her laughter filled him with joy. Her reaction was all the assurance he needed. He inched one hand up her back and pulled her closer while the other hand cradled her head. He tilted his head and went in for a kiss.

The touch of his lips on hers was electrifying. She knew she should stop him, but it was almost impossible to fight the primal, physical reaction. What started as a slow, gentle kiss quickly became an intense, passionate, fiery kiss that would have been enough to make any onlooker blush.

“Robert, we shouldn’t be doing this,” she whispered when they finally came up for air.

“Yes, we should,” he said, trying to pick up where he’d left off.

“No. Robert. You just came out of a coma. You can barely even stand.”

“All the more reason to make sure everything else is still in working order.”

“Robert, I’m serious,” she said, untangling herself from his embrace. She lifted the blankets and helped his legs onto the bed.

“So was I,” he said with a sigh.

“No. You need to get your strength back. Quickly. We have more important things to worry about right now.”

“You’re right.”

“I am? I mean… Yes. Of course I am,” she corrected as she fluffed his pillow.

“Yes. We should be worrying about Robin.”

“What about her?” Anna said, pressing her slips together.

“Where is she?”

“Robert…”

“Is she still here?”

Anna stared at him. The look on his face was completely serious. The effects on his memory were obviously worse that she had feared. She cleared her throat. “Robert… Robin is… gone.”

“Did she make it home safely?”

“Robert, please…“

“Anna, she was here.”

Anna shook her head. Luke must have told him that she’d gone searching for Robin after her death. She’d ended up at the clinic, thinking she would somehow find Robin alive. Tears filled her eyes as she tried to figure out how to break the news to Robert all over again.

“She was here,” he said again when she didn’t answer.

“No. She wasn’t. I thought that too, Robert. I thought that.” She balanced on the edge of the bed. “I believed Heather Webber, that crazy psycho. She told me she’d seen her. She said—never mind.  I shouldn’t have listened to her. She was only using my grief to get to me. Anyway, I came here hoping to find her—to find Robin. But… ” She stopped, gasping for breath through her tears. “It wasn’t her, Robert. I thought I’d found her, but it was just another dark haired girl that looked a lot like her from a distance.”

Anna looked down, trying to pull herself together. Robert took her hand in his. She looked up at him. His eyes were wet too. All she could do was shake her head again.

“I was so sure,” he said. His face took on a sad frown.

“So was I,” Anna said. “God, I was so stupid. I was just following a pipedream, wishing that our daughter was still alive. But she’s gone, Robert. Our little girl is gone.”

The two of them sat there with tears streaming down their cheeks. They had no more words. They didn’t need any. Anna looked at Robert, her lip quivering. He opened his arms and she crawled into them. She sobbed as he held her, finally finding the comfort that no one else had been able to give her—the release that she’d needed all along, knowing that she no longer had to bear the burden of grief alone.

“Anna,” Robert said, still holding her close to him.

“Hmmm?” she groaned into his chest.

“I’m so… I’m so sorry.”

“For what?” she asked, raising her head.

“For leaving you. Of all the things we’ve ever done to each other—“

“Don’t,” she said, wanting to ease the pain in his eyes.

“I should have been there. You should never have had to mourn our baby alone. I should have been there.”

“Yes you should have,” she admitted. “But I know why you weren’t. You were trying to save Ethan.”

“I can’t believe I fell for that line. Spencer and Holly made the whole thing up. Not just the part about him being my son, but the fact that he was even in danger, that Helena was after him. The whole damn thing was a lie. You warned me about Holly. Once a con artist, always a con artist, but I didn’t listen. I ran off with her when I should have been with you. I’ll never forgive myself for that.”

“I do.”

“You do?”

She nodded. “I forgive you.”

“Really?”

She nodded again. “I have to. I need you too much to waste any more time being angry with you.”

“God, Anna. I need you too.” He gazed into her eyes as they lay face to face on his pillow. Those deep, warm, brown eyes were like windows to her soul and in them he could see his past, present, and future. He couldn’t hold back any longer. He swallowed hard and said, “I… love you, Anna Devane.”

“I love you too, Robert Scorpio,” she said, forcing the words past the lump in her throat.

He smiled as he wiped the last remaining tear from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, then he kissed her cheek where the tear had been.

She closed her eyes, avoiding the desirous look in his cool baby blues. It would be so easy to get swept up in the powerful history of their love—so easy to let him carry her away again.

He knew she was right about him needing time to get his strength back. He couldn’t possibly prove his love to her physically. Not at the moment, anyway. Not the way he wanted to. But he was content just to be holding her, to be so close to her after all the time they’d spent apart. He relished the sound of her voice, the smell of her skin, and the way her body fit perfectly with his, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. He tenderly kissed her eyelids. Her lips parted and a soft sigh escaped. He kissed her cheeks again.

“Robert…” she said, her voice more breathy than it was before.

“Anna,” he whispered, his lips moving across her jawline and settling behind her ear.

“Robert, no. Stop. Please.”

“Anna?” he looked at her, confused, as she peeled herself out of his arms and stood up again.

“We can’t do this.”

“Anna, you’re killing me here.”

“I’m sorry, Robert. I’m sorry. I…”

“What is it?”

She shook her head and started to pace again, hands on her hips, looking down at the floor.

“What happened to I need you, Robert,” he asked.

“I do need you!” she cried, turning to face him again. “I need you… as my friend, my confidant, the father of my child—but not as my lover.”

“Anna, I just told you that I love you and you said—”

“I know what I said. I meant it. I love you. I will… always love you, Robert. But we’re no good for each other. You know that, as well as I do.”

“I don’t know that at all!”

“Yes you do. Come on, Robert. Think about it. Every time we get romantically involved, one of us gets shot or blown up, drug, brainwashed, or God only knows what else.”

“But we do get the bad guys… eventually, don’t we? Anna, we make a great team.”

“Yes, but we also make a bigger target.”

“What are you talking about,” he asked, sensing there was more to this story than she was telling him.

She ignored his question. “And even if that weren’t the case,” she went on, “I just… can’t be with you now.”

“Why not?”

“Because… I’m not available anymore.”

“I see.” He looked defeated. “Spencer?”

“No. I ended things with Luke when I found out that he lied to you about Ethan. I’m talking about Duke.”

“Lavery?”

“Yes. Don’t you remember? After they took Faison away, you came here with me because I thought that Duke might still be alive.”

“And we found him.”

“Yes. Faison and that awful woman, Dr. Obrecht, had been holding him prisoner.”

“She’s the one who injected me with—”

“With Propofol. Yes.”

“And I’ve been out ever since?”

“Yes. Duke and I stayed for a while. Then Holly came and—”

“Holly?”

“Yes. She offered to stay. I didn’t want to leave you Robert, but I had to. I—”

“Never mind, Anna. Save it. You had to go back to Port Chuck and pick up where you left off with Lavery, the real love of your life. I get it.”

“It isn’t quite that simple, but we are together,” she said apologetically. The hurt in his voice had not eluded her.

“Does he know you’re here?”

“Of course.”

“He used to be the jealous type. I can’t believe he’d let you run off to Switzerland to be with me. Has he matured in his old age?

“Well, first of all, nobody lets me do anything. You ought to know that. Second, he’s matured at least as much as you have,” she said with a hint of sarcasm, “and third, I didn’t come here just to be with you.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I had reason to believe that one of us was in danger. “ She pulled the two identical clues from her jacket pocket and explained how she’d come to possess them.

“May I see them?” he asked.

She handed him the pieces of paper and went on talking. “So, I don’t know if this is another one of Faison’s evil schemes or Helena’s or—“

“It isn’t either one of them,” he broke in. “It’s Robin.”

“What?”

“It’s always midnight somewhere. It’s a message from Robin, Anna. It wasn’t my memory playing tricks on me. I wasn’t imagining it. Robin’s alive!”

How Did We Get Here? (Endgame Chapter 2)

At long last… the continuation of Endgame is here! If you missed Chapter 1, look for the previous post: It’s Always Midnight Somewhere. I’m also posting this story on FanFiction.net for those who may be interested. Enjoy!

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9444623/1/Endgame

ENDGAME

Chapter 2

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

“How is he? Have there been any other visitors or… anything since we spoke?” Anna asked as Doctor Birchmeier escorted her down the hall to Robert’s room.

“Mr. Scorpio is still resting comfortably, Madame Devane. There have been no other… incidents.”

“Good.”

“Here we are,” the doctor said, motioning toward the door.

“Hello, I’m Anna Devane,” she said to the tall, dark haired man at the door. “I’m the one who called you.” She showed him her credentials.

“Yes, of course. No need, Ms. Devane. I’m familiar with your credentials. You are a bit of a legend in-”

“Thank you.” She cut him off with a serious smile. “What did you find? Anything?”

“No Ma’am. The room is clean. No signs of foul play.”

“And you swept for bugs?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you. If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to see him now.”

“Will there be anything else, Ms. Devane?” the agent asked.

“No. Thank you for your time. I’ll be in touch if anything else should come up.”

“Would you like us to keep a man posted here just in case?”

“No. I’ll take it from here.” With a nod, she slipped past him and into Robert’s room. The sight of him propped up in bed stopped her tracks. He looked exactly the same as the last time she’d seen him. Still motionless and unexpressive. No change, except for a bit more stubble on his face. She took a deep breath and approached him, eyes glistening with the threat of tears. She perched cautiously on the edge of his bed and tentatively reached for his hand. She gave it a light squeeze and half expected him to squeeze back. He didn’t.

“Hello Robert,” she said softly.

She couldn’t help but think how much he would hate the fact that she was seeing him like this- again. He would hate lying there helpless while she ran to his rescue, though she still had no idea what she might be rescuing him from. He much preferred to be the hero. Lord knows he’d saved her a time or two, not that she liked it any more than he did. Playing the damsel in distress was not her favorite act.

“You could use a shave,” she said, gently touching his cheek and then pulling her hand away as if she’d done something she shouldn’t have. She shook her head with a weak smile. “Well, don’t think that you can make me feel sorry for you just by lying around here looking pathetic. It won’t work, Scorpio. I’ve spent enough time crying over you in hospitals already. I’m only here as back up. Until you get up on your feet again. Do you hear me?” She wiped away an escaped tear with the back of her hand. “And I’d have sent someone else,” she lied. “But as it turns out, all of our friends are otherwise engaged. Luke has run off to look for Jerry Jacks, as ridiculous as that may sound, and Mac – let’s just say Maxie and Felicia are keeping him busy with wedding plans. And now that Maxie is pregnant, she’s even more intense than usual.” Anna let out a small chuckle. “Holly is out and about at the moment, so it looks like you’re stuck with me.”

She shook her head and took his hand again.

“I’m not fooling you, am I? You know I’d do anything for you if I thought you were in danger. The same as you’d do – the same as you did- for me.” She sighed, thinking he would even be lying there if he and McBain hadn’t come to Switzerland to save her from the likes of Cesar Faison. She wiped away another tear and went on. “I’m sorry I haven’t been here the whole time, really. Holly was happy to stay I’d guess, but… I shouldn’t have left you. Except then there was Duke and my job. Oh God, the job! Robert, how on earth did you do it so well for so many years and make it look so easy. Left to my own devices, I could nail anyone, but as commissioner, with the mayor constantly looking over my shoulder and the bureaucratic red tape, it’s ridiculous. Then of course there is the possibility that I have just plain lost it.” Anna stood started to pace. “I mean, here I am with these two clues, and I have no idea what to make of them. No leads whatsoever. I was really hoping that Interpol would turn up something. Who am I looking for Robert? Faison’s in prison, I hope. Helena Cassadine is supposedly dead. They’re the obvious ones. But there are hundreds of others we’ve crossed that would love see us both dead. Am I over-reacting? Am I, Robert? I don’t think so, but… Ugh!” She ran her hands through her hair and looked up at the ceiling.

After pacing a while longer, she walked back to his bedside and picked up the only personal effect on the bedside table: a framed photograph of Robin. Holly must have brought it for him. That was nice of her, Anna thought. Holly had her issues, but didn’t they all. And she did genuinely seem to care about Robert. Though Anna couldn’t help but wonder where Holly was at the moment. She’d gone MIA and wasn’t answering her cell. Anna held the picture of their daughter tightly to her chest and sat back down next to Robert, but this time she sat back on the bed alongside him with her head on the pillow next to him.

“Duke keeps telling me I just need to trust myself, you know? He loves me, and he means well. I know that, but, he can’t understand. It’s not his fault. He just can’t understand the way I feel. Losing Robin, thinking she might still be alive, trying to find her, only to find out my every instinct was wrong… She’s really gone, Robert. I feel like my whole world crumbled around me and I have no idea how to put it back together again. All I have left is emptiness. And regret. For all of the years I spent away from her. All of the time we lost because of the choices we made. Duke, he can’t understand it. Not the way you can. Nobody knows what I’m feeling the way you do. You’ve always known me better than anyone else. Sometimes better than knew myself.”

She reached down and wove her fingers through his, still clutching Robin’s picture with the other hand. She turned onto her side so that her entire body leaned against him and rested her head on his.

“Don’t you see, Robert? All of the stupid fights, all of tears, all of the times you’ve made me crazy… they don’t matter. I need you in my life, okay? I admit it.” Her voice was thick with emotion. “I need you, Robert Scorpio. I need you to wake up. Can you just do that? Please? Can you just… wake up? For me? Because… I really don’t know what to do without you.” Then, she finally let the tears go and cried on his shoulder like she had so many times before.

Exhausted and overwrought, she was lulled to sleep by the consistent rise and fall of his gentle breaths. It wasn’t a deep sleep, but it was better than nothing.

She wasn’t sure how long she’d been asleep when she was jolted awake by a sudden movement. She sat up and looked at him. He was breathing rapidly and his lips were parted.

“Robert, are you all right?” she said, concerned that something was wrong. “I’m going to get a doctor,” she told him, as if he could understand her. She put the picture back on the table and made a move to stand up, but when she tried to pull her hand free from his she couldn’t. He was gripping it too tightly. “Oh my God, Robert! She squeezed his hand and he actually squeezed back. “I don’t believe it! Robert, honey, can you hear me?”

He took several deeper breaths. His lips moved as if he were trying to speak and finally a sound came out. “Anna.”

“I’m here, Robert. I’m here.”

“Anna.”

“Yes, love. It’s me.” She climbed back onto the bed and knelt over him. She pulled her hand from his grip and took his face in her hands. “Oh, God, please wake up Robert. Open your eyes!”

“Anna,” he said one more time. His eyes were still closed, but a smile crept across his lips.

“Robert!”

Then, finally he blinked. Once. Twice. And then slowly opened his eyes. He looked up at her. She was beaming at him with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Oh thank God!” she cried pulling him into her embrace, still practically sitting astride him. “I was beginning to worry that you’d never wake up.”

He chuckled weakly. “If… I… had known… this was what I had to look forward to… I would have come around sooner.” He smiled, moving his hands onto her hips.

“Oh,” she smiled back, suddenly a bit embarrassed. “Sorry. I’m just so happy to see you.”

“And I thought it was… a gun in your pocket.” He tugged gently at her hip holster.

She couldn’t help but laugh as she wiped the tears from her face. “Same old Scorpio.”

“Who are you calling old?” he asked groggily.

“How do you feel?” She changed the subject. “I should get Dr. Birchmeier to examine you.”

“Who? Anna… Where are we, love? How did we get here?”

“We’re in Switzerland. At the clinic. You’ve been-”

“The clinic…” His face took on a perplexed expression that within seconds changed to alarm. “Robin… Robin,” muttered. “Where is Robin?”

“Robert…”

“Anna, where is Robin? Did you find her?”

“Sweetheart, what are you talking about?” she asked, frightened by the look on his face.

“Robin,” he said again. And then, almost as quickly as he’d come around, he drifted off again, leaving Anna staring at him, open mouthed, confused, and even more anxious than she had been when she arrived.

It’s Always Midnight Somewhere

I promised I would share my short story once it was finished. So… here is it. Only, it’s not just a short story anymore. It’s more like the first installment of a continuing saga. For those of you who are General Hospital fans, you’ll recognize the characters right away. If you’re not big on GH, I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway. As with all things Scorpio, there is bound to be a little intrigue and excitement, and hopefully a little romance. To all of my #RnA Tweeps… I hope I’ve done you proud. More to come.

ENDGAME

Chapter 1

IT’S ALWAYS MIDNIGHT SOMEWHERE

“It’s always midnight somewhere,” Anna said, as she read the note aloud for about the tenth time that night.  “What is that supposed to mean?” She stood and paced around her office, rolling her neck and stretching. There was a knock at the door.

“Come in.”

An officer in uniform poked his head in. “You wanted to see me, Commissioner?”

“Yes, officer. Were you the one working the desk when this envelope was delivered?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Did you happen to see who delivered it?”

“No ma’am. Detective Falconeri called in with an update and when I hung up the phone I noticed it sitting on the desk. That’s when I brought it to you. Is there something wrong, Commissioner?”

“No. Thank you. That’ll be all. Ask Detective Falconeri to come and see me as soon as he gets back, will you please?”

“Yes ma’am.”

The officer closed the door behind him. Anna returned to her desk. She picked up the note again and put her glasses on to examine it more closely.  She held it up to the light, lips pursed. The message was spelled out in letters clipped from magazines. No signature. Nothing. Just those four words. It’s always midnight somewhere.

Another knock came. “Yes,” Anna said, taking her glasses off.

“Commissioner?” The detective hovered at the door.

“Dante, come in please. Did you find anything new at the crime scene?”

“Maybe. We talked to all of the staff on duty again. All of their stories check out.  But one of the bus boys says he remembers seeing a woman while he was out back on break. Said it was her first night. She was wearing a housekeeping uniform. Funny thing is, Carly says they haven’t hired anyone in several weeks.”

“That’s interesting. A new employee that the owner of the hotel doesn’t remember hiring? How did we miss that the first time round?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did you get a description?”

“Not much of one. It was dark. Medium height. Blonde.”

“Well, let’s follow on that. Keep me posted, all right?”

“Sure thing. What’s that?” Dante asked, motioning toward the note in her hand.

“I’m not sure. It was left at the desk earlier today in an envelope addressed to me.” She held it out to him.

“Looks like an old-school ransom note. Is this message code for something?”

“I wish I knew. There was no sign of anyone. It just showed up. The name on the envelope was typed. I don’t know what to make of it.”

“Probably just some kids messin’ around. There’ve been a lot of teenagers hangin’ out down on the docks lately pulling pranks.”

Anna would have liked to buy Dante’s suggestion, but her gut instinct told her there was more to it than that. She was convinced it was a clue of some kind. A clue to what, she didn’t know. “Joke or not, let’s keep our eyes and ears open, okay?”

“Sure.”

“It’s late. Why don’t we get out of here and deal with all of it in the morning hmm? I’m sure Lulu would love to see you some time tonight.” She put on her jacket and escorted Detective Falconeri out of her office, turning out the lights and closing the door behind her.

~

By the time Anna made it back to the Metro Court she was exhausted. She was rather glad that Duke was staying in his own suite tonight and hadn’t insisted on spending the night with her. She was far more interested in sleep right now than anything else and she was in no mood for conversation. She climbed into bed and drifted off almost immediately. A while later she woke up again.  She glanced around the room. It was still dark. Was it morning already? She picked up her phone. “Oh ,God. Midnight,” she said to herself. “It’s always midnight somewhere.” She still didn’t know what to do with that message. She got out of bed and put on her dressing gown. She found a bottle of water on the table in the sitting room of her hotel suite and flopped down on the sofa. She propped her feet up on the coffee table and took a drink.  She ran her fingers through her hair. Her stomach growled. Only then did she realize she’d forgotten to take time for dinner. “I really need to stop living out of a hotel. I don’t even have a refrigerator to raid,” she thought. She threw her head back on the sofa and stared at the ceiling. Soon a small smile crept over her face as she recalled one friendly late-night chat with Olin and Robin eating a chocolate cake together in their kitchen. A lone tear lingered in the corner of her eye.  She wiped it away with the back of her hand and exhaled deeply. She wondered how long it would be before she could remember her daughter without pain and regret. She knew Robin wouldn’t want it that way, but it was still hard to avoid. She knew sleep was impossible at that point, so she headed back into the bedroom to get dressed again.

~

With no place better to go on her moonlight stroll, Anna ended up on the docks. She was standing on the pier for all of five minutes when she heard a rustling sound behind her. Instinctively, she reached into her bag and gripped her gun. She slowly turned and discovered three teenage boys creeping up behind her in the dark.

“What can I do for you,” she asked.

“Do have any money in that thing?” one of them said, pointing to her small cross-body bag.

“Why? Who wants to know?”

“We do,” another boy said. The three of them took a step closer. One of them punched his fist into the palm of his hand.

“Sorry. No money. But I do have a badge and a police issue weapon,” she said, producing the badge.

“Shit. She’s a cop,” said the third boy, who’d remained silent until now.

“Commissioner Devane, at your service.”

“Let’s get out of here.”

“Hold it. Just a minute,” Anna said sharply. “I’d like to talk to you.”

“About what?” one asked, his voice shaking.

“Do you know anything about this?” she asked, pulling a folded piece of paper from her bag.

“Never seen it before,” the ring-leader said.

“What about you,” she asked the others.

They both shook their heads.

She eyed what appeared to be a can of spray paint in one boy’s pocket. They had to be the kids Dante had been talking about earlier. “Are you sure? You ‘ve never seen this before?”

“No, Commissioner.”

“Not even if I remind you that cooperating with me could keep you all out of juvie for any crimes you may have committed whilst you were playing your little pranks down here?”

“No ma’am. Honest.”

“We haven’t done anything! You guys said we couldn’t get in trouble for the stuff we did!”

“Okay. Take it easy. Why don’t you just hand over the can of paint in your pocket and get on home to your mothers and fathers. Hmm? And don’t let me find you all down here again. Especially not at this hour.”

“Yes, ma’am,” they chimed. Without another word they took off, never looking back.

Anna stood on the pier a while longer, looking out over the harbor through the mist. A ship’s horn blasted somewhere in the distance.

“Anna, what are you doing out here at this time of night?” She heard Robert’s voice in her head.  She shook her head with a half-smile. He was always more protective of her than an ex-husband ought to be.

“I wish I knew,” she said, as if he were standing next to her. “Sometimes I don’t think I know what I’m doing at all anymore, Robert. Latex faces, a bullet that doesn’t match the murder weapon, and just now I damn near pulled my gun on a group of teenagers.  What’s wrong with me? My instincts are… just not what they used to be. You and I… we used to make such a good team. Nobody could pull one over on us. Ever since… Ever since we lost Robin… I don’t know. Nothing’s the same anymore. Then again, maybe I’m just getting old.”

As the harbor bells began to ring, a warm summer breeze blew her hair. She smiled, as if lost in some distant memory. She breathed deeply and exhaled, then took her phone from her pocket and dialed. No answer. She dialed again.

The familiar voice of Dr. Birchmeier, Anna’s usual contact at the Swiss Clinic, came on the line.

“Yes. Hello, doctor. This is Anna Devane. Has there been any change in Mr. Scorpio’s condition?”
“No, Madame Devane. I’m sorry.”

“I see. Has Ms. Sutton been there yet this morning? I wasn’t able to reach her.”

“No Madame. His wife…”

“Ex-wife,” Anna snapped.

“Yes Madame. She has not been here in several days.”

“Oh. Well, have there been any other visitors?”

“None that I know of, though someone did leave an envelope for him.”

“An envelope? What kind of envelope?”

“Nothing special about it. Just a plain envelope with the name Robert Scorpio typed on it.”

“Open it. Please.” Her eyes narrowed as she bit her lip.

She heard the tearing of paper as the doctor tore open the envelope. Her stomach tightened. She was glad now that she hadn’t eaten or she might have wanted to throw up.

“How strange.”

“What does it say,” she shouted into the phone.

“It is a bunch of colored letters that spell the words it’s always midnight somewhere.”

Her gut had been right about this one. If she and Robert had both received the same message, then someone was up to something. They had far too many enemies between them to speculate as to who it might be without further investigation. With him lying helpless in a coma, she couldn’t afford to take any chances that he was the target. She had to get to him.

“Listen to me. I want you to hold on to that note and don’t let any visitors in to see Mr. Scorpio. Do you understand? No one. If you see anyone or anything suspicious you are to contact the authorities and me immediately, do you understand?”

“Yes, of course, Madame, but what exactly do you think is going on?”

“I don’t know yet, but I intend to find out. Whatever it is, I don’t like it. I’m going to call Interpol. There should be an agent there with in the hour.  I’ll be on the next plane.”

Not Just a GH Thing

Last Sunday I saw Boyz II Men, 98⁰, and NKOTB on tour in Cleveland, Ohio and came to an important realization – I am old. How did I figure that out? There were several clues. First, every woman in the audience, though most of us were pre-pubescent when the New Kids were at the height of stardom, was able to drink. No ID required. Second, when I put my glasses on so that I could see the stage, I noticed there were quite a few highlight and dye jobs which were likely covering up the white and gray hairs in the crowd. Third, and perhaps the most obvious, Boyz II Men were actually men, 98⁰ worked up such a sweat they were more like 110⁰ and New Kids on the Block were anything but kids. In fact, Joey “The Kid” McIntyre is now pushing forty.

Don’t get me wrong. They put on a pretty great show for a bunch of middle-aged men who were still trying to prove they were cool and the women still swooned over them like teenagers. But, the New Kids, no longer able to produce the high-pitched sounds of young boys, were forced to resort to singing covers of The Jackson Five, George Michael, Queen and… are you ready… Prince! A fair amount of crotch-grabbing and gyrating went on during their renditions of “Kiss” and “Faith”.  Strangely, I was more amused than disturbed by that part. I was less impressed by the songs from their more recent albums. (Yes, they do have more albums than you would think, mot just Hangin’ Tough.) I remained relatively calm until they dusted off my personal favorite: “Cover Girl”. During that number, Donny literally tore his shirt in half and threw it on the floor. That brought me to my feet. As I watched him dance around shirtless and heard the thousands of woman around me screaming like school girls, it hit me.  It’s not just a GH thing.

For weeks now, the gals on my Twitter timeline have been wondering why exactly Carlivati and company think they can use a few veteran actors to lure in the viewers with the promise of quality and then make up for the absence of a good story by putting your actors on camera shirtless. Sunday night the NKOTB did the same thing. They used Prince and the other classic acts as the tease, and then used flesh to get the crowd going, in the hopes that we wouldn’t notice they could no longer do their own material justice. And much like many GH viewers, the crowd of crazy women in the arena, were pacified. 98⁰ Degrees didn’t go topless, but they stripped down to their T-shirts. Boyz II Men were fully clothed but they did hug and kiss on several fans in the front row and the crowd loved every second of it. Are we, as a society, really so lascivious that we are willing to accept sex over substance?

Maybe I’m just old and cranky, but I’m only momentarily mollified by these types of tricks. After that I want quality. I’ll take Bublé in a tuxedo over Donny half-naked and Robert and Anna over Morgan and Kiki any day of the week and twice on Sundays. (GH fans know what I mean!) And as for the Fifty Shades obsession that swept the nation…  Don’t get me started on that again. If you really want to know what I think about that, go back and read my post: 31 Flavors.