Chapter 1: Prologue
Title: Echoes of the Past
Summary: Patrick Drake has never really understood what being a Scorpio means. He’s about to find out.
Disclaimer: I do not own General Hospital, One Life to Live, All My Children, Days of our Lives or any of their characters. All original characters are my own creations.
Port Charles, NY
St. Mark’s Cemetery
March 29, 2000
It was a cold morning in upstate New York. The cemetery sat alongside the picturesque Port Charles River. The early-morning fog hadn’t yet lifted and fresh snow crunched beneath the feet of the cemetery’s only visitor.
The young man knelt down before a memorial; it couldn’t really be called a grave since there were no bodies buried there. He placed a fresh bouquet of white roses against the granite memorial. Gently he reached out a gloved hand and traced the names.
Robert Xavier and Anna Marie
Beloved Parents and Friends
Gone, But Never Forgotten
“I miss you guys,” he said softly. “It’s been…eight years today that we all lost you. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it…it feels like every one of the eight years it’s been. I’m sorry this is…I never meant for it to take eight years for me to come here. I’m sorry, Mom. Dad, I know you’ll understand why a lot better than you will, Mom. I just…you were gone and I didn’t see the point. I’ll be honest, I still don’t, but…I don’t know why but I was having a hard time this morning. I woke up thinking about you both and thought maybe coming here, finally, might do the trick.”
“Did it?” called a voice from behind him.
Robert Scorpio Jr. didn’t need to turn around to know it was his twin sister. He would know Robin’s voice anywhere.
He stood so as to give Robin room to place her flowers on the memorial. She knelt down to do just that, then kissed her fingers and rested them for a moment on their parents’ names.
“I miss you both and love you so much,” she whispered and Robert, RJ, knew she was crying. He reached down and helped her stand.
Robin wrapped her arms around her tall brother who so resembled their father. “Sometimes I still don’t believe this is all that’s left of them.”
RJ held her tightly against him. He could feel her shaking, both from the cold morning air as well as her grief. He missed their parents, but Robin still had such acute grief over their deaths that it staggered her at times. He’d long since passed the stage of paralyzing grief and had a hard time processing why Robin still held on so tightly.
“You gotta find a way to let this go, big sister,” RJ said softly. “It’s been eight years, Robin and you’re still…still paralyzed by grief.”
Robin pulled away a bit. This was the divide between her and her brother. She held on while he had let go from nearly the first moment. She remembered back when their father had first told them he was going after their mother and Faison. She’d believed her father when he said he was coming home and bringing their mother with him. But she remembered the look on RJ’s face when their dad had told him to hold down the fort until he returned. RJ had known then. Somehow he’d known they’d never see their parents again, and at not yet fourteen years old, he’d let them go. She’d watched as he hugged their father, accepted his kiss on the forehead and then sighed with the knowledge that he’d be the only Robert Scorpio left in the world. She knew he missed them and thought about them; this morning told her that even if she hadn’t already known. But he hadn’t lived the past eight years the way she had; grasping tightly to every might have been. He only lived for what was, and what would come.
“You haven’t lost as much,” she said softly.
RJ sighed. “Robin, I know losing them affected you in a different way. It affected everything you’ve done for eight years. I know you needed them when Stone…”
She pulled away completely then. “You don’t get to mention Stone. You didn’t…”
“I didn’t what?! RJ yelled loudly, now frustrated. “I didn’t love Stone, too? Maybe not like you did, but he was my brother in all but blood, Robin. I sat there with you and Sonny and watched him die, too. I watched him slip away from us. I watched him blame himself when you told him about being HIV positive. I listened when you cried for Mom and Dad every night. You don’t get to accuse me just because I dealt with it all differently.”
Tears were cascading down her cheeks. “I know.”
Hearing her broken whisper just about tore his heart in two. They had other siblings, but the bond between them was special. When she hurt, he hurt. When he needed someone, she was there.
“Look at me,” he said as he held her upper arms. “I understand that losing our parents and then losing Stone was so hard for you. I get it, I really do and you have no idea how much I wished then that they had been here for you. I didn’t know how to help you and neither did Mac. I’m just saying that you have a good life now, Robin. You’re gonna graduate from Yale and go to medical school. You’re a terrific mother to Justin. You have to let the past go. You have to keep it where it belongs; behind you. Coming here every year on this anniversary or on their birthdays or…none of it brings them back, Rob. They’re gone, but you’re still here.”
She sniffled and wiped her eyes. “I know. In my head, I know everything you’re saying is true, but in my heart it’s…a little more difficult.”
RJ nodded. “I know, but you’ll get there. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and stop…stop looking back.”
She took a deep breath and took one last look at the memorial before nodding her head. She reached her fingers down and traced their names one last time.
“Goodbye,” she whispered as she grasped RJ’s hand and walked out of the cemetery with him.
As the two eldest Scorpio siblings left, neither noticed the pair of eyes that watched them, hidden from view in the dense fog.
Chapter 2: Chapter One
Nearly Nine Years Later
December 24, 2008
RJ Scorpio, now thirty years old and a police detective, knocked on the door of the home his twin sister shared with her husband, Dr. Patrick Drake.
“I got it,” called Matt Hunter, Patrick’s younger half-brother.
“Hey man, come on in,” he greeted RJ. “Everybody else is already here.”
RJ shook the light snow from his dark blonde hair before taking off his coat and hanging it up.
“Uncle RJ!” screeched thirteen-year old Justin Scorpio-Cates, Robin’s son.
“Hey, kid,” RJ said as he grabbed the teenager in a tight hug. It still amazed him at times how much Justin resembled his father, Stone; same dark hair, same dark eyes and the same attitude even though Justin had no memory of the man himself.
“What am I, chopped liver?” Matt asked.
Justin smiled a brilliant, purely Scorpio smile. “No way, Uncle Matt, I’m glad you’re here too.”
Justin adored both his stepfather and step-uncle, now. At first, Justin wasn’t willing to accept anyone in his mother’s life if it wasn’t Jason Morgan, whom Justin believed walked on water. Slowly, and with a persistence that RJ respected, Patrick had broken down Justin’s Scorpio walls and pushed his way through. Now, the two were pals, and on occasion, RJ had heard his nephew call Patrick “Dad”.
“Hey, little brother, glad you could make it,” Robin said as she entered the living room with their younger brothers Sean and James.
RJ smiled as he moved forward to hug his sister. “No place I’d rather be on Christmas Eve.”
“Hey bro,” Sean said as he moved forward to hug his hero, his elder brother.
RJ grabbed his twenty-five-year old brother in a strong hug. For two people not related biologically, Sean and RJ looked remarkably alike. They both had dark blonde hair and blue eyes and stood at the height of 6’1.
Sean was in fact the biological son of Luke Spencer and RJ’s former stepmother, Holly Sutton. Sean had been born when Luke was still thought to have died in an avalanche and RJ’s father Robert intended to raise Sean as his own. When Luke came back and found out that Holly and Robert had married he had been angry and unwilling to hear what they had to say. RJ remembered his father telling him years later that Luke had expressed regret over his decision, but by that time he and Laura were raising Nik and had already had Lucky and Luke didn’t want to disrupt Sean’s life, so he remained a Scorpio.
“I think you get taller every time I see you,” RJ quipped. “You too, Jamie.”
Jamie Scorpio, born James Ian Lavery, laughed. Jamie had been born to RJ’s mother and stepfather, Duke and Anna, in 1988, just over a year after Robert and Sean had returned to Port Charles after Holly’s death in a plane crash. Jamie hadn’t had a chance to ever really know Duke, but RJ couldn’t help but think Jamie had a better upbringing as Robert Scorpio’s son, even if it was short-lived.
“Missed ya, big brother,” Jamie said as he also grabbed RJ in a hug.
“Missed you, too,” RJ returned. “How’s school going?”
Before he could answer, Patrick walked into the room holding his month-old daughter, Emma. RJ’s eyes lit up. He’d been out of town and this was the first time he’d seen his brand new niece.
He took her from Patrick and sat down on the couch. “She’s…wow.”
Robin smiled as Patrick wrapped her in his arms. “Her baptism is next month. Patrick and I talked and we want you to…”
Patrick picked it up. “…be her godfather.”
RJ was stunned. “I don’t…I don’t know what to say.”
Patrick smiled at his brother-in-law. “Say yes.”
RJ nodded. “Okay. Yes.”
Dinner was in full swing. The entire Scorpio-Drake clan was laughing and talking together. Mac, Felecia, Maxie and Georgie had arrived just after RJ had agreed to be Emma’s godfather. Maxie’s boyfriend Jesse Beaudry had accompanied them. Robin liked Jesse. He was twenty-three years old and a cop like RJ and Lucky. Robin was happy for her cousin. Maxie had been through so much in her young life that Robin was grateful to Jesse for making her smile again.
Thirteen-year old Georgie and Justin were having fun together. The cousins got along great and enjoyed a lot of the same things and had many of the same friends, especially Dillon Quartermaine. Robin knew her young cousin has a crush on the Quartermaine boy and she suspected that Dillon felt the same, yet would never admit it.
Robin loved watching her Uncle Mac with “his girls”. Maxie wasn’t his biologically, but he loved her no less than he did Georgie, his child with Felicia. In his mind, both girls were his and both were Scorpio’s through and through.
Patrick watched Robin as she watched her family. He loved seeing her happy and she was never happier than when her family was around. He was beyond thankful that she included him, Matt and their father Noah in that familial equation.
“So, Mac, what are your plans for tomorrow?” Patrick asked his de-facto father-in-law.
Mac liked Patrick. Oh, he hadn’t at first, but the young man had grown on him, particularly by way of his treatment of Justin. Patrick was a stand-up man who adored Robin and Mac had no doubt that he would protect her, Justin and Emma with his life.
“Opening presents with Felecia and the girls,” came his easy answer.
“Is…Uncle Frisco coming home?” Robin asked gently.
Maxie flinched visibly. Jesse rested a hand on her forearm. They’d had long talks about their families and he knew how she felt about her biological father.
Felecia glanced at her eldest daughter before answering. “He’s going to…to try. He’s on assignment…somewhere. I haven’t actually spoken to him in a couple of months.”
Mac hated what mention of Frisco Jones did to Maxie. He hated what Frisco's continual absence did to Maxie. The girl was torn apart every time Frisco showed up for a few days then turned around and left without so much as a goodbye usually.
“What about you, RJ?” Sean changed the subject, trying to cut the tension.
RJ shrugged. “I’m, ah, working tomorrow.”
Mac frowned at his nephew. “You’re not scheduled to work Christmas.”
RJ cleared his throat. “Yeah, I know. I volunteered.”
“Why?” Robin questioned her twin brother. “You’re supposed to be here with us tomorrow. You’ve been out of town for two months and now…”
“I know, Robin,” RJ cut her off. “Look, Lucky was supposed to work tomorrow. He wants to spend Christmas with Elizabeth, Cam and Jake. I overheard him on the phone yesterday apologizing to her about having to work so I told him I’d work for him.”
“But, Lucky’s just a beat cop,” Jamie commented. “No offense, Jesse.”
Jesse laughed. “None taken.”
RJ smiled. “Yes, and tomorrow I’ll be covering his beat with Jesse.”
Patrick laughed. “I can’t picture Detective Scorpio walking the beat.”
“I used to,” RJ told him. “Just because Mac is the Police Commissioner doesn’t mean I got to skip the intro work.”
“I wanna be a cop when I grow up, too,” Justin tossed in. “I’ll kick the crap out of the criminals.”
Everyone laughed at his declaration.
“Spoken like a true Scorpio,” Jamie told his nephew.
Conversation went back and forth as the Scorpio-Drake family consumed Christmas dinner. They were lively, animated and above all, happy to all be together for the holidays. There were members of the family missing, but they were remembered.
Hours later, Mac, Felecia and the girls had left for the night. Jesse had headed home. Sean and Matt had left together; each young man headed out to Jake’s for some late-night billiards. Jamie had gone upstairs to the guest room to turn in while Justin was in his room playing video games and Robin was readying Emma for bed.
RJ and Patrick were sitting in the livingroom, each man with a beer in hand.
“So, you were gone for two months,” Patrick started. “Where’d you go?”
RJ took a long swig of his beer. “I went…a lot of places. Some were interesting and some were…less so.”
“What does that even mean?”
Again, RJ shrugged. “It means I was…traipsing through the past.”
“Who’s past?” came Robin’s voice from the staircase.
“Mine,” RJ answered as Robin took a seat next to her husband. “Yours. Mom and Dad.”
Patrick and Robin shared a look. RJ wasn’t one for the past.
RJ downed the last of his beer and then stood up. He reached into the front pocket of his black jeans and pulled out a post card. He handed it to Robin.
“This is why,” he said as he sat back down. “I received that in the mail two months ago.”
Robin looked at the front of the post card and saw San Remo. It was the same small coastal town in Italy where their parents had first been married.
“Who did this come from?”
RJ shook his head. “I don’t know; there’s no name and no return address. But, there was something attached to the back with a few words. Take a look.”
Robin flipped it over and her eyes zeroed in on the small puzzle piece taped to the back and noticed the words written there. Don’t you just love puzzles.
The Scorpio siblings’ eyes met and held.
“It…this doesn’t make any sense, RJ,” she whispered softly. “Does Uncle Mac know about this?”
“No, I didn’t tell him,” RJ revealed.
Patrick jumped in then. “Tell him what? Where the hell is San Remo and what does it have to do with the two of you?”
If RJ was surprised that Patrick didn’t already have the answers to those questions, he hid it well. But, he felt that his brother-in-law deserved an explanation.
“Our parents were married the first time in San Remo,” RJ began. “After they divorced, our mother went back there and Robin and I were born there. We lived with our…grandmother, Filomena until we were almost seven.”
“You were born in Italy?” Patrick asked his wife.
Robin nodded. There was so much Patrick didn’t know; so many things he’d never been told about her or her family. He only knew her parents were dead. He had no idea how, or why, or who was responsible.
“Yeah, we were,” RJ confided. “Long story short, our parents re-married years later. Sean and Jamie came along and then…”
“Then your parents died,” Patrick finished.
RJ had picked up on the fact that maybe Patrick didn’t know much of anything about Robert and Anna Scorpio beyond the fact that they had died when he and Robin were almost fourteen. He decided then that it was Robin’s decision to tell him the whole truth or not.
“So, I don’t get it,” Patrick thought out loud. “Who would send you a post card from San Remo? Why would they send it?”
“That is exactly what I wanted to find out,” RJ began to explain. “So, I packed up and went to San Remo.”
Robin’s eyes widened. “What did…what did you find?”
“A mystery,” RJ said. “I started at the most obvious place. I went to where Grandma used to live. All I found was an…an abandoned home with nothing inside. I tried to track down Maria, her cousin, but when I hit a dead end by asking around town, I went to their version of city hall. I checked the records, Robin, and there was no record of a Filomena or Maria Soltini ever having lived there.”
“How is that possible?” she questioned.
“I wish I knew,” RJ answered. “My whole trip was like that, one dead end after another. Finally, I just gave up and came home. I landed at JFK yesterday afternoon.”
“I don’t understand why any of this is important,” Patrick said. “I mean, and I don’t mean to sound indifferent or…or insensitive, but your parents are dead. Why is one post card with a strange message in it so important?”
The moment of truth had arrived for Robin. It was time for her to divulge her lies of omission.
Chapter 3: Chapter Two
“I’m not sure where to start,” Robin said quietly.
“Start what?” Patrick wanted to know.
Robin rested her hand on his knee. “Start telling you the truth.”
RJ stood and headed into the kitchen to grab another beer while Robin began the story.
“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me, Patrick,” she offered. “There things you don’t know about my family and about what being a Scorpio means. San Remo is…close to the beginning of the story.”
Patrick chuckled as RJ came back into the room. “You make it sound so serious.”
Robin met his gaze. “It is. I never thought you’d really need to know most of it, but…that damn post card tells me that maybe you need to know everything, starting with who our parents were and why they were…why they were murdered.”
Patrick’s dark eyes widened in stunned disbelief. “Murdered? Your parents were…were murdered? I thought they died in a car accident or something.”
Robin nodded. “You’ve never outright asked me what happened to them, so I’ve never had to tell you the truth.”
Patrick ran a hand through his dark hair. “So, why now?”
RJ pointed to the post card. “That’s why. Someone is playing with us, with me. Eventually, they’ll start playing with Robin and maybe even with the people we care about. We’re telling you now because now you need to know.”
“So, you’ve lied to me all this time?” Patrick asked of his wife.
Robin shook her head. “No, I’ve never told you an outright lie. I’ve omitted things.”
“Robin, lies of omission are still lies,” he spoke. “So, I’m going to ask now; how did your parents die?”
Robin took a deep breath. “They were murdered. My parents were WSB agents, and in 1992 one of their enemies…murdered them.”
Patrick didn’t know what he had expected, but that wasn’t it.
Patrick’s head was spinning. It was nearly two in the morning and he was in possession of facts he would previously have only thought possible in a James Bond film. His wife and brother-in-law had just laid out a spy novel for him, yet it was their life.
“I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this,” Patrick almost whispered.
Patrick glared at RJ. “All of it. Your parents were spies for the WSB. Marriages, divorces, re-marriages and explosions and people coming back from the dead; it’s all…it’s all crazy.”
“It’s all true,” RJ told him. “Every last word.”
“This…this Faison guy, is he…is he still alive?”
RJ and Robin answered together.
“We don’t know.”
Patrick stood and wiped his hands over his face. “Which is it?”
“Mac shot at the boat Faison escaped onto in the harbor,” RJ explained. “It…exploded. He and Luke Spencer saw it happen. Neither of them saw Faison get off the boat before the explosion. We’re…reasonably certain he’s dead this time.”
“Yet we have that post card,” Robin said. “It’s obviously a taunt. Faison loves to taunt people.”
The three went back and forth for another hour. Patrick asked questions and Robin and RJ answered as best they could. Finally, at just after three in the morning, RJ left the Drake home and headed back to his own apartment to get some sleep before his shift.
“You know things, don’t you?” Patrick asked in the dark as he and Robin lay in bed.
“What do you mean?” she asked sleepily.
Patrick shifted. “Well, I mean, your parents were spies. I’m guessing you know how to…pick locks maybe?”
Robin laughed softly. “Yes, I do know how to do that actually. My father taught me and RJ when we were…eight, maybe.”
“What else can you do?”
These were things she wished she could have kept to herself. She didn’t want to completely destroy his illusions that she needed protecting. But, he asked and she had decided that when he asked, she’d give him the truth.
“My parents began teaching RJ and me hand-to-hand when we were nine,” she told him. “By eleven we were both familiar with about…six different martial arts and proficient in all of them.”
That intrigued Patrick. “How about now?”
Robin looked him right in the eyes. “I…Patrick, do you really…”
“…yes, I want to know,” he interrupted.
She sighed. “I’m very, very good at hand-to-hand and martial arts now. I probably know more ways to…to kill someone with just my bare hands than Jason does. RJ is even better than I am.”
“Kill? But, Robin, you’re a doctor, a healer, not a killer,” Patrick intoned passionately.
Robin rolled onto her side and rested her head on Patrick’s chest. “I want you to listen to me. Yes, I know how to kill someone with just my hands. Yes, I know how to handle numerous types of firearms and how to use them with deadly accuracy. Yes, I can pick locks and get into most any room I want. None of those things make me any less the woman you married.”
“What does that post card really mean?” he asked then.
Robin didn’t want to think about the possibilities. “I would have said nothing until RJ mentioned that our grandmother’s entire existence has been wiped clean in San Remo.”
He pulled her closer. “Is it…Faison?”
“I hope not,” she replied. “If it is, the devil himself is coming to Port Charles.”
A chill went through the Drake’s then. They snuggled closer and let sleep claim them. Despite all that had been covered that night, they had to make Christmas morning special for Justin and Emma.
They could worry about the post card another day. Or so they thought.
WSB Medical Facility
”It’s been more than four years, Doctor Weston,” Sean Donnelly began. “Haven’t you had enough time?”
Dr. Amelia Weston glared at her boss. “No, Mr. Donnelly, I have not had enough time. They were both gravely injured and I cannot simply wake them up as if nothing happened.”
Sean sighed. “Keep me posted.”
He stormed from the room while Dr. Weston went back to monitoring her patients.
Chapter 4: Chapter Three
Christmas Morning, 2008
It was mid-morning when RJ and Jesse stepped into Kelly’s. Mike smiled when he saw the two cops, Jesse in uniform and RJ in black jeans, white t-shirt, boots and black jacket.
“Merry Christmas RJ, Jesse,” Mike called out. “You fellas like some coffee?”
RJ sat down heavily on a stool at the counter and nodded. “Coffee sounds like a dream right now, Mike. Thanks.”
“Some pancakes too, Mike,” Jesse ordered. “And some bacon. Oh, and some…”
Mike chuckled. “I’ll make you the works, Jesse.”
The young man smiled gratefully. “Thanks.”
Mike turned to speak with the cook while Jesse tossed his cap on the counter. A waitress set two steaming cups of coffee in front of each man. RJ took off his gloves and wrapped his hands around the mug.
“That feels good,” he whispered. “I think my fingers are frozen.”
Jesse laughed as he sipped his own coffee. “You could have been with Robin, Patrick and the kids today.”
RJ nodded as he turned around in his seat. He noticed it had started to snow lightly. The postcard and the events in San Remo had begun churning in his head. Faces of people long gone flashed before his eyes.
“Hey, RJ, foods here,” Jesse said, pulling the older man from his thoughts.
“Can I ask you a personal question, Jesse?”
“How do you feel about Maxie? Really feel?”
Jesse swallowed heavily, and then turned to look at his friend. “Why do you wanna know?”
Rather than answer the question, RJ asked another. “How much do you know about the Scorpio family?”
Jesse shrugged. “Not much. I mean, I know Maxie isn’t Mac’s biologically. I know Robin, Sean, Jamie and you lost your parents a long time ago. I know her cousin BJ died and Maxie has her heart.”
RJ sighed. “Let’s finish up and head back out. I need to tell you some things; things you’re gonna need to know if you care about my cousin as much as I think you do.”
“Where did Sean, Jamie and Justin go?” Patrick asked his wife as he came down the stairs.
“They’re out in the garage tinkering on the motorcycle you bought Jamie,” Robin told him. “Did Emma go down quietly?”
Patrick collapsed on the sofa beside her and nodded. “Yeah, she did. She was completely wiped out from the morning’s activities.”
Robin leaned against Patrick, her head resting on his strong shoulder. “I’m exhausted. We were up entirely too late talking last night.”
Patrick kissed her cheek. “I get the feeling there is still so much you need to tell me.”
Robin chuckled. “Maybe. Everything inside me wants to believe that Faison died in the harbor all those years ago. But I keep…”
“You keep what?
She shook her head. “RJ has great Scorpio instincts. He’s also got enough Spencer influence that his gut is rarely wrong. He went to San Remo because he thinks there is something to this mystery.”
“What do you mean by Spencer influence?”
Robin smiled. “After our parents died, RJ…he and Uncle Mac haven’t ever really gotten along very well. The first night after they told us, we all stayed with Bobbie and Tony. But, about a week later, we went with Uncle Mac. RJ ran away. He left a note for Uncle Mac. It said that he understood that Mac wasn’t a bad guy but he couldn’t live there with him.”
“Why would he think Mac was a bad guy?” Patrick wondered aloud.
“When Uncle Mac first came to town, he wasn’t the most…upstanding of individuals,” Robin revealed with a small laugh. “He and my dad got into it a lot. Dad even had Mac arrested for trying to kill him.”
“Anyway, over time they reconciled, but RJ still held a lot of mistrust where Uncle Mac was concerned,” she continued. “So, he ran away and he refused to live with Uncle Mac. Uncle Mac didn’t want to rock the boat, so RJ spent the next year or so with Bobbie and Tony. Then Luke and Laura returned to Port Charles and RJ was fascinated with our father’s best friend. We’d heard so many stories from Dad that…RJ had a huge case of hero worship. Luke was only too happy to meet the eldest son of Robert Scorpio. Uncle Mac hated it and tried to force RJ home with us.”
Patrick laughed. He knew his brother-in-law. “Let me guess; RJ ran away again?”
Robin nodded. “Yep. He snuck out the second floor window, shimmied down the trellis and knocked on Lucky’s window at just after one in the morning. Uncle Mac never tried again to bring RJ home. He spent the next five years living in the Spencer home.”
Patrick was thoughtful. “I never knew any of that about your brother.”
Robin shrugged. “We Scorpio’s hold things pretty…close to the vest, I guess you could say. Even when Luke and Laura split up after Stefan Cassadine came to town, RJ stayed close to Laura and Nik. I always wanted RJ to be with us, but I was also always happy he had people he trusted to look after him. He came over a lot and he spent time with me, Sean and Jamie all the time. We went to the same schools and everything, but…”
Patrick cleared his throat. “But it wasn’t the same as if he still lived in the same home.”
Robin nodded as she snuggled closer to her husband in front of the roaring fire.
RJ and Jesse were sitting on a bench looking out at Spoon Island as a light snow continued to fall. RJ had just spent the last hour and a half explaining the Scorpio family history to Jesse.
“Wow,” he finally managed. “I…really, I had no idea.”
RJ smiled. “Most people don’t.”
Jesse shook his head. “What’s the deal with Spoon Island and that castle out there?”
RJ laughed. “Sometimes I forget that you’re still relatively new in town. Um, it’s kind of a long story. Luke and Laura got married in November of 1981, but she was kidnapped by the Cassadine’s in early 1982.”
Jesse’s eyes widened. “And she lives out there now?”
RJ nodded. “Different Cassadine lives out there from the one who had her kidnapped. Anyway, Stavros Cassadine had her taken and forced her to marry him. In 1983, she had Nikolas. Long story short, Luke found out she was alive when she showed up here in Port Charles just after he’d been elected mayor.”
“How’d she escape?”
RJ shrugged. “The Cassadine that lives out there, Stefan, helped her. Stavros was his older brother but they hated one another. So, when Stefan found out that Luke was alive, he told Laura and she left the island where she was being held. Stavros and his mother, Helena, were gone at the time.”
“They let her get away, just like that?”
RJ laughed. “Hardly. Stavros followed her here to Port Charles and had a confrontation with Luke. Stavros was killed. Laura told Luke about her son back on the island. Luke agreed to go get him. When they got there, they found Stefan badly injured. He’d been shot. I remember Nik telling me once that Laura and Luke saved Stefan’s life and he agreed for them to take Nik and run so they could keep him safe from Helena.”
Jesse was puzzled. “So, how did they go from Luke and Laura to…Laura living out there with a Cassadine?”
RJ smiled. “Well, until Stefan Cassadine came to town when Nik was thirteen, no one knew that Nik even was a Cassadine himself. Luke didn’t even know. According to Lucky and Nik, Luke thought Nik was the son of a…stable boy or a servant or something. The whole damn town was surprised to find out that bit of info.”
“So, the one that kidnapped her, Stavros, he…he raped her or…”
RJ nodded. “Well, yeah, he did but…turns out that Laura and Stefan had fallen in love, and Nik is actually his son. When he showed up here, he was still in love with Laura and he wanted to get to know Nik. They were all upset that Laura had lied, but…Nik had always known that Luke wasn’t his father so when Stefan showed, Nik was curious. That was the first step, Nik wanting to know his biological father. Eventually, Luke and Laura’s marriage broke down and when she basically admitted in open court that she was still in love with Stefan and she’d been with him the night of Katherine Bell’s murder, it was over. They divorced and she eventually married Stefan. Laura and Luke had joint custody of Lucky, Ethan and Lulu, but Laura had sole physical custody, so they all moved to Wyndemere after the wedding. Lucky spends the most time with Luke of them all, but...even he admits that things are better at Wyndemere. Stefan isn’t like other Cassadine’s. He’s…normal.”
“This town has some crazy stories, man,” Jesse finally decided.
RJ laughed. “Yeah, it sure does.”
“But, what does all this Cassadine nonsense have to do with that postcard and your family?”
“Well, the tie lies in the Ice Princess,” RJ explained. “Remember I mentioned it earlier?”
When Jesse nodded, RJ continued. “Luke, Laura and my father basically foiled Mikkos Cassadine and his brothers Victor and Tony’s plans to freeze the world using the Ice Princess and some crazy weather machine. Port Charles was plunged into a blizzard during summer. Mikkos was killed by Luke and my father. Tony was killed when he tried to stop Mikkos and Victor…Victor disappeared. Basically, I’m not sure that Faison is behind that postcard at all. Like I said, I think he’s dead. I pray he’s dead. I think there’s a chance the Cassadine’s are involved in this; Helena and Victor. They have a grudge against my family as well as Luke.”
Jesse seemed to think about that.
“What are you gonna do?”
RJ shrugged. “I don’t know. Robin thinks I should tell Mac.”
“Maybe you should,” Jesse agreed. “Maybe you should also tell Luke. I mean, after what you said Helena and Faison did to Lucky, he might want to know.”
RJ pondered that as both men stood to continue on their patrol.
WSB Medical Facility
WSB Head Sean Donnelly walked into the exam room and stopped dead in his tracks. Finally, after nearly five years, Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane-Scorpio were awake and sitting up on their exam tables. It was a day he had longed for since he’d first been informed of their survival of the boat explosion.
He looked at Dr. Amelia Weston and then back at Robert and Anna.
“Do they…are they aware…of anything?” Sean asked haltingly.
Dr. Weston turned to her patients. “Please excuse me. There are some things I must discuss with Director Donnelly.”
“Of course, Doctor,” Anna said in her soft British accent.
Weston led Sean out of the room and down the hall to her office. “Have a seat, Director.”
Sean sat down with a deep sigh. “What’s the deal, Doctor? They look healthy.”
Dr. Weston nodded. “Yes, physically they have come a long way in recovering from their injuries. However, they are both suffering from retrograde amnesia brought about by traumatic brain injury. Neither remembers anything from before the explosion. They each have minimal memory of washing ashore and being brought here five years ago.”
Sean wiped his hands over his face. “Nothing? They don’t remember being married, their kids, family, nothing at all?”
Dr. Weston took a deep breath. “No, Director, nothing. We’ve done extensive testing. You must understand, Robert and Anna were both very badly injured. Their head injuries were the worst I’ve seen in my nineteen years of medicine. We’re going to have to keep a very close eye on them as they begin physical therapy. I expect things like headaches and I’m certainly watching for seizures in them both.”
“Will either of them ever…will their memories come back? Will they ever be able to function as WSB agents again?”
“I cannot honestly answer that at this time, Director,” she replied. “I will say this; they have a long way to go.”
Sean didn’t like that answer, but he took it and walked out.
Chapter 5: Chapter Four
December 31, 2008
Robin was putting on the brand new pair of earrings Patrick had bought her for Christmas when she heard glass shattering from down stairs followed by gunshots.
“Patrick! Get Emma and Justin!” Robin yelled as she ran to the bedside drawer and pulled out a Beretta M9 from the drawer. She quickly unlocked the ammo box sitting beside the weapon and grabbed two clips.
“Patrick!” she yelled.
“Robin, I got the kids!” he yelled back.
Robin breathed easier then and focused on getting to her bedroom window.
“Just stay down!” she yelled to Patrick.
She leaned against the wall and took a quick look outside. It was fairly dark outside but she did see a black van and she could make out the muzzle flashes from the ongoing gunfire. Just as she took a deep breath, she noticed Patrick, holding Emma to his chest, and Justin, slink into the bed room on their knees.
“I told you to stay down!” she yelled in a whisper.
Patrick’s heart was beating so fast he could barely speak. “We are down. We just…came up here.”
“Give me your shirt,” Robin ordered, ignoring his words. “Come on, now.”
Patrick ripped off his shirt and tossed it to her.
“Justin, crawl to the closet and pull out the box,” she instructed her son.
Justin moved quickly and came back to his mother within moments with a medium size box with a lock on it. He pulled a key from his pocket and opened the box.
“What do you need, Mom?”
“The NVD,” she ordered.
Justin gave her the night vision device and Patrick watched her don it quickly. Then she wrapped her left hand in Patrick’s shirt and in a scene Patrick would have thought impossible, rammed her hand through the glass, breaking it and she began returning fire on the gunman below.
Patrick and Justin ducked instinctively. The NVD gave her a clear picture of the shooters. There were four, all armed with automatic weapons. Robin fired off five rapid shots from her handgun, taking down three of the gunman, and then she hit the floor as gunshots came into the bedroom.
She crawled across the floor to her husband and children. “Patrick, I need you to take Justin and Emma downstairs to the pantry. Go inside and reach under the second shelf, left-hand side. You’re gonna feel a button. Push it. It’s gonna open a passageway down to the catacombs beneath the city. I need you to take the kids and hide in there.”
“I’m not…I’m not leaving you, Robin,” Patrick spoke through his fear.
Robin nodded. “Yes, you are. One of us needs to protect Justin and Emma. I know how to shoot these weapons, you don’t. Now go!”
He hated it, but Patrick did it.
RJ was headed to see his sister when he heard gunfire in the distance. He immediately stopped his motorcycle and jumped off. Robin and Patrick’s home was just around the corner.
He grabbed his gun and began running down towards the shooting when he heard a truck engine. He dove into the bushes and watched as a black truck sped past him. He made out two men in the cab and three more in the back. He pulled out his cell phone and flipped it open, pressing speed dial 4.
“Jason, its RJ. There’s gunfire at Robin and Patrick’s,” he said without preamble. “I can still hear shooting and a black truck just sped past me with five more occupants. Can you get your men over here now?”
”Done. ETA, two minutes. Hold them off till we get there.”
RJ hung up and then dialed Mac and told him the same thing he’d told Jason. After that, he resumed his running towards Robin’s home, praying with everything in him that she, Patrick and the kids weren’t already dead.
Robin spared a quick thought of thanks on the fact that she hadn’t yet put on her dress for her night on the town with Patrick. She was still in sweats and a t-shirt. She’d wanted to get her earrings and makeup done before she’d dressed.
She knew she still had ten rounds in her first clip. She took a deep breath and crawled back to the window and carefully and slowly stood. She dared a peak outside and was rewarded with more gunfire. She waited for the tiniest of breaks and then thrust her hand out the window in the direction of the gunman and fire off seven more rounds before quickly ducking again.
It was then she realized that RJ should be arriving. He had been going to babysit Justin and Emma while she and Patrick went out. Now she said a quick prayer that her twin brother didn’t walk into an ambush.
“What do we do now, Dad?” Justin asked Patrick.
Patrick’s hands were trembling. He wiped sweat from his forehead.
“You and Emma are gonna wait here,” he said. “I’m going back to help your mother.”
Justin’s dark eyes widened. “You can’t. You’ll…you can’t!”
“Where do these catacombs lead?” he suddenly asked Justin.
The boy took a deep breath, trying to push his fear down. “Um, all over basically. They run beneath nearly the entire city. There’s only a few exits though and I don’t know them all. Lucky and Nik know them all.”
Patrick nodded. “Okay. Look, you take Emma and stay right here. Don’t move an inch. When it’s safe, your mom and I will be back for you. We’ll knock three times. You hear this passageway open without any knocks, you take your sister and you run to an exit you know. From there you find a cop and tell them what happened.”
He handed Emma to her big brother then and looked at both kids. “I love you, Son. I know you can take care of Emma. I know you can.”
Tears escaped Justin’s eyes. “I love you, Dad. Always.”
Patrick kissed his children and then headed back to the firefight, praying with everything in him that Robin was still alive.
RJ could see muzzle flashes as he came up to the house slowly. He stayed out of the line of fire as he used the trees and bushes as cover on the side of the house. He knew there was a loose grate that might let him into the basement. He lay flat out on the ground and crawled to the grate.
Carefully, he pulled on the grate. Nothing. He pulled again. Again. Finally, it gave way and RJ slid himself through, falling into the basement of his sister’s home. He stood and ran up the stairs. Just as he opened the door which came out in their huge kitchen pantry, he saw the door that led to the catacombs open. He aimed his gun and was just about to squeeze the trigger when he saw his brother-in-law.
“Patrick!” RJ gasped. “Where are the kids?”
Patrick turned and pointed. “Down…Robin had…made me take them down…catacombs.”
RJ nodded. “Okay, good. They’ll be safe down there. No one knows about the entrance here. Listen to me, Patrick. Where is my sister?”
Patrick pointed up. RJ looked, not really expecting to see Robin. Then they both heard three gunshots from a handgun.
“She’s…she’s shooting back,” Patrick gasped.
RJ smiled. “That’s my spitfire. Okay, listen to me. I called Jason Morgan. He and his men should be here any second. I called Mac, so the cops will be here soon too. I need you to stay in here; maybe even go back to the catacombs.”
Patrick shook his head. “No way. I’m going to find my wife and help her.”
RJ’s eyes blazed in anger. “You hear me, Patrick Drake and hear me good. You’re no good to me here and no good to Robin. I doubt you’ve ever even held a gun in your life, let alone know how to fire one. You’ll be in our way, that’s all. If we’re all gonna get out of here alive, you need to stay out of the way.”
RJ turned then and took a deep breath as he heard more gunfire. He shoved the pantry door open, arm raised and he squeezed the trigger as he ran through the kitchen. Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of Francis Amoretti, one of Jason’s men coming in from the backyard. He nodded in acknowledgement as best he could as he hit the livingroom and dove to his belly.
“RJ?” he heard his name.
He looked up and saw Robin crouched at the top of the stairs. “Yeah, Robbie, it’s me. Jason’s men are here to, and probably the cops by now. You good?”
“Yeah, I took out three of them, and then five more came. I wounded two of them for sure and possibly a third,” she reported.
RJ nodded and looked around from his position on the floor. “Okay. We’re not surrounded, which is good. Francis was coming in from the backyard. These morons are only firing from the front.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” came Francis’ voice as he crawled up next to RJ.
“They’re trying to pin us down,” Robin interjected.
RJ agreed. “Yeah, but for what? What’s coming that’s worse than this?”
Gunfire erupted again.
“Patrick!” Robin yelled.
Robin and RJ both recognized Patrick’s voice.
RJ looked up and saw Robin begin to rise.
“No!” he yelled at her. “Stay where you are!”
RJ turned and shimmied on his belly towards his brother-in-law. Patrick had taken a bullet and had fallen in the doorway between the kitchen and the livingroom. RJ took stock of the wound as best he could in the dark and was assessing the situation when he saw Jason peak through the door.
“How bad?” he asked as he handed RJ a headset.
RJ shrugged. “Can’t tell in this darkness. But we need to get him out of here.”
Jason nodded. “I’ll take him. Mac’s team just pulled up outside. He knows I’m in here. They’re returning fire, but whoever these guys are, more just showed up. Johnny and I counted thirteen.”
RJ looked down at Patrick. His eyes were starting to close. RJ nudged him. “Come on, Doc. Keep your eyes open. Can you tell me how bad this wound is?”
Patrick coughed. “Stomach.”
“Fuck! Okay, Francis, can you get him out of here? He needs a hospital.”
Francis crawled over to them and came to his knees. He grabbed Patrick as best as he could and made his way out with him.
“What now?” Jason asked.
RJ shook his head and put the headset on. “Command, this is Scorpio.”
Mac’s voice answered. “RJ, sitrep.”
“Three of the gunman are KIA and three, possibly two others wounded. Jason and Francis made it inside. Francis is on his way out the backyard with Patrick. He’s wounded in the abdomen. Kids are in the safe zone.”
Mac breathed a small sigh of relief at knowing Justin and Emma were in the catacombs.
“Okay, my team is positioned to the right of the gunmen,” Mac reported. “Jason’s men are in the back and to the left of them. Some of them are engaging us, others are continuing to fire at you.”
RJ tried to think. He had an idea, but it was crazy. “Mac, you got any explosives with you?”
“Yes,” Mac answered. “You got something in mind?”
“Yeah. Neighborhood is cleared, right?”
With the affirmative, RJ continued. “I wanna blow the house.”
Port Charles General Hospital
The doors from the ambulance bay slammed open.
“”What do we got?” called Dr. Steven Webber, the ER Attending.
“GSW to the abdomen. It’s Doctor Drake!”
Steven overcame his shock quickly and his team went to work stabilizing Patrick so they could get him to surgery.
“You wanna what!?” Mac screamed.
RJ actually laughed. “You heard me, Mac. I wanna blow the house sky high, but I want these gunmen inside first.”
There was silence for almost a minute before RJ heard Mac’s voice again. “Okay. We’ll get the explosives in to you. You and Robin are gonna have to rig them yourselves.”
“Jason can help,” RJ replied.
“Nichols is bringing them in to you now.”
RJ looked up at Robin. “Can you rig these upstairs?”
Robin nodded as another spray of gunfire assaulted them.
Jason pulled a bag of explosives with him and quickly crawled up the stairs to Robin. He handed her the bag and followed her while RJ stayed downstairs.
RJ took his collection of C4 and began quickly wiring the livingroom. He then moved to the back wall of the livingroom and pressed a button beneath the china cabinet. A panel opened on the wall and RJ reached in and pulled out an assault rifle.
He quickly readied the weapon and began crawling towards the front door. The front windows had long since been blown out and the door had numerous bullet holes in it. RJ rigged the weapon on its stand and set it to fire in six minutes when he sent the signal. He hoped his plan worked. If it didn’t, he, Robin and Jason were dead. Everyone else outside would be too.
“RJ, you ready?” Robin called from the top of the stairs.
“Yeah, we’re good down here,” he replied calmly. “I set the AR-15 for six minutes.”
“Can you fire it from the catacombs?”
RJ didn’t know. If the signal was strong enough, it would fire. If not, then it wouldn’t. He hoped it wouldn’t matter.
“I don’t know,” he told her. “Come on, they’ve stopped again.”
Robin and Jason slowly crawled down the stairs. When they reached the bottom, Jason practically covered Robin’s body with his own as they all three headed for the kitchen.
“Mac, we’re on the way to the kitchen,” RJ reported. “You best get your men and Jason’s clear. There’s gonna be a big bang in about three minutes.”
Mac nodded to himself. “Roger that. We’re backing away now. You three hurry. When these guys see us backing off, my bet is they storm the house.”
“Roger,” RJ replied. “Look, if this doesn’t work, I…I just wanna say…to tell you…”
“It’s okay, kid, I know,” Mac told his nephew softly. “I love you, too.”
Chapter 6: Chapter Five
January 1, 2009
Mac had been right. The moment the gunmen assaulting the Drake house noticed that the police were backing away, they headed for the house, weapons firing in all directions. Mac saw the front door swing open and an assault rifle began firing at the gunmen as they reached the door. He watched several of them fall, dead. Others made it into the house.
Mac closed his eyes and prayed.
Sean Scorpio Residence
1322 Elm Street, The Waterfront
Sean was awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of an explosion. His first instinct was to reach for the gun under his pillow. He gripped the weapon as he climbed from his bed and went to his window that overlooked the harbor. When he didn’t see anything in that direction, he opened his front door and ran down five flights of stairs and to the back of the building.
From the back of the building, Sean could see flames rising into the night sky followed by two more explosions.
“Those are coming from out in Queen’s Pointe,” another tenant of the apartment building said.
Sean panicked. “My sister lives out there.”
Without thought, Sean ran back upstairs and pulled on his leather jacket and boots. He stashed his gun back under his pillow and grabbed his car keys.
He had to get to Robin.
Just Before the Explosion
Robin activated the door to the passageway to the catacombs and the three of them basically dove through and sealed the door behind them just as they heard the first explosion. The foundation beneath their feet shook badly and the Earth above their heads began falling into their hair.
“Justin!” Robin yelled.
“Mom!” the teen yelled back. “We’re back here!”
The trio raced to Justin and Robin took Emma in her arms and breathed a big sigh of relief that her children were safe.
“Mom, where’s Dad?” Justin questioned.
RJ kneeled before his nephew. “Listen buddy, when your dad came back upstairs, he was…he was shot. Okay, but Francis, you remember him?”
RJ smiled. “Good. Francis got your dad out of the house and he was taken to the hospital and I’m sure Dr. Webber and the surgeons are patching him up right now.”
Just then a second and third explosion went off above them.
“We should head further away from the house,” Jason said. “This part of the catacomb might give way under all these blasts.”
RJ stood and led the way deeper into the tunnels. “Robin, when we were kids, didn’t we find an entrance to the catacombs here in Queen’s Pointe, near the water?”
Robin nodded slowly. “I don’t…wait, yeah, we did. Well, Lucky and Nik did. It’s in the holding basin over on Tanner Street. You have to climb up the access shaft, and then walk out through the tunnel.”
RJ stopped walking and looked around. “Which way were we facing when we came down here, Jase?”
Jason thought for a moment. “South. With the direction the house faces, when we climbed down, we headed south.”
“Why does that matter, Uncle RJ?”
RJ smiled. “It matters because that holding basin is west of your house, buddy. Now we know which way to walk to get the hell out of here.”
Justin smiled and followed his uncle.
The fire department was working on extinguishing the blaze when Sean’s car skidded to a stop and he jumped out. He immediately spotted Mac and ran in his direction.
“Uncle Mac, what the hell happened!?”
Mac turned to Sean and let out a breath. “Your sister’s house was attacked tonight by masked and heavily armed gunmen.”
Sean swallowed the bile rising in his throat. “Were…are…are they dead?”
Mac shook his head. “We don’t know. I don’t think so. You know about the catacombs beneath the house, right?”
When Sean nodded, Mac continued. “RJ was coming to babysit Justin and Emma and he happened upon the first shooters. He managed to get inside the house with Jason and Francis. RJ had the brilliant idea of luring the gunmen inside and then blowing the house while they escaped down into the catacombs.”
“Did they make it before it blew?”
“We won’t know that until the fire is out and as you can see, and then we have a lot of bodies to identify,” Mac explained. “I hope so. Listen, you need to know, Patrick was shot.”
Sean ran a hand through his dark blonde hair and sighed. “Oh, God. Who did this? Why would someone do this?”
Mac didn’t know what to tell his nephew. “I wish I had an answer to those questions.”
Both Scorpio men stood together as they watched Robin and Patrick’s house burn to the ground.
“Here, this is it,” RJ called. “This is the access shaft. We just need to climb up and we’re home free.”
Emma began to cry in Robin’s arms. The baby was tired and hungry and scared.
“Why don’t you guys stay here,” Jason suggested. “I’m gonna climb up and make sure the coast is clear.”
RJ nodded before turning his attention back to his sister, niece and nephew. “When we get topside, I want you to take Justin and Emma and go to Luke’s house. Tell him what happened. He’ll…”
“No,” Robin interrupted. “No, I’m going to GH. I have to know how Patrick is; if he’s…”
RJ reached out and tenderly grasped his sister’s face in his hands. “You listen to me; Patrick is tough, okay. I know he’s a doctor and all this crazy Scorpio-spy stuff isn’t his thing, but...I think after today it might have to be.”
Robin wiped away a tear.
Justin stepped next to his mother. “He’ll be fine, Mom. You’ll see.”
Robin smiled at her son and kissed Emma, who was finally calming down.
“It’s clear!” they heard Jason yell from above.
RJ nodded. “Okay, Justin, you’re going up first. Robin, you follow. Can you climb with Emma or do you need me to take her?”
“I can take her,” she said immediately. “Give me your jacket.”
RJ took off his jacket and watched Robin rig a carrier for Emma.
“Okay, here we go,” RJ then said. “Justin, you’re up, buddy.”
Justin climbed up the ladder quickly, followed closely by his mother and sister. RJ stayed behind a bit and looked around. He could smell smoke, which meant that the entranceway to the catacombs had probably been breached in the blasts. He knew the fire department would be trying to contain and put out the fires. His mind was already running through all possible scenarios of who the shooters were hired by, and why.
“Faison, Cassadine’s unknown, or…”
“RJ, you coming?!” Jason yelled down.
RJ shook away his thoughts and began the climb to the surface.
Former Drake Residence
“Commissioner Scorpio, there’s something you should see,” one of his officers called.
The fires were out. It was nearing five AM, hours since the incident had begun. Mac was weary, Sean was frustrated and the entire neighborhood was angry they had been ordered to leave the area.
Mac motioned for Sean to go with him. Together they walked into the rubble of the home where Patrick and Robin had lived. They made it to the area where the kitchen pantry had been.
Sean smiled as soon as he saw it. “That’s RJ’s badge, Uncle Mac. He left it here.”
Mac smiled too. “They made it. They made it out.”
Behind them they heard a siren. As they turned, they saw a police SUV stop and out climbed a filthy, tired-looking RJ and Jason.
Sean broke into a run, headed for his brother. When he reached him, he threw his arms around the older man.
“I am so glad to see you,” Sean whispered.
RJ hugged his brother tight. “Me too, man.”
Mac came up and shook Jason’s hand. “Thank you for your help.”
Jason knew Mac didn’t like him or his activities and would happily send him to prison if he had any evidence of anything. But, he also knew Mac was sincere in his thanks. There was nothing more important to Mac Scorpio than the safety of his family.
“You’re welcome,” Jason returned, gripping his hand firmly before letting go. “RJ, call me if you need anything.”
RJ nodded and watched Jason walk away.
“Where’s Robin and the kids?”
“When we crawled out of the…sewer, into the holding basin, we flagged down a police car. Officer Daniels was driving. He took them to GH to check on Patrick.”
RJ looked around the rubble of the house and shook his head. The houses on either side of Robin’s had fire and water damage.
“What a mess,” he said. “I don’t see…ah, too many…bodies.”
“We’re gonna need dental records to identify them, if that’s even a possibility,” Mac told his nephews.
“I’m not interested in who they are, Mac,” RJ intoned harshly. “I wanna know who hired them and why. I wanna know who I have to go after to…”
“You’re not going after anyone,” Mac told him strongly. “We’re going to work this case just like we would any…”
Suddenly RJ grabbed Mac’s arm and practically dragged him away from the scene; out of earshot.
“This isn’t just any case, Mac,” he said in a low voice. “Someone hired men to come to Robin’s house and kill her, and probably me, too. We need to find out who and why and then take them out, and I have a place to start.”
“What do you mean?”
Sean walked up them. “You know something about this, big brother?”
RJ sighed and ran a hand through his dirty hair. “No, but I have a place to start looking. Look, find Jamie and the three of you come to my apartment later. There’s something I need to…that you need to see.”
Mac and Sean each had a thousand questions, but RJ had already walked off in the direction of where his motorcycle had been left so many hours before.
Port Charles General Hospital
Patrick’s Hospital Room
Robin was sitting by Patrick, his hand held in hers as he slept. When she’d arrived, she’d been assaulted with questions over how Patrick had been shot. She’d explained as quickly as she could to Steven and then went up to his room to wait for him to wake up.
“Hey, how are you doing,” Elizabeth Webber asked softly as she entered the room.
Robin gave a small smile. “Okay, I guess.”
Elizabeth sat down on the other side of Patrick and picked up his hand and held it the same as Robin.
“When I was doing my clinicals and I got to my surgical rotation, Patrick was…the biggest, arrogant jerk I’d ever met,” Elizabeth said with a laugh. “I understood why you kept your distance.”
Robin smiled. “And now?”
Elizabeth smiled as well. “I consider him one of my very best friends. He’s…been a terrific teacher in the OR.”
Robin lifted his hand and softly kissed his fingers.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
Robin took a deep breath and told the tale; the whole tale about her parents and who they were, why they were murdered and by whom. She told Elizabeth about the postcard and the puzzle piece. She told her how Patrick was shot.
“Wow,” was all Elizabeth could say. “Do you…were the shooters hired by this Faison guy?”
Robin could only wonder. “I don’t know. I wish I did. Then I’d know who to go after.”
Elizabeth laughed gently.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to Robin. “Where did Emma and Justin end up? I…”
“Steven took them both down to the day care,” Elizabeth told her. “I hope you don’t mind, but Lucky took them home with him when he came to get Cam and Jake.”
“No, I don’t mind at all,” Robin said. “They’re safer with a Spencer than anyone else. I wish Patrick would wake up.”
“He’s so lucky, Robs,” Elizabeth told her. “That bullet took the perfect path, if there is such a thing. He lost a lot of blood, but there really wasn’t too much damage; some muscle damage and the broken rib are about it. He won’t miss his spleen.”
Robin nodded. “I was…I was so scared I’d lost him, and now when he wakes up and realizes the family he married into is…I might lose him anyway.”
“No…no way, baby,” Patrick gasped so softly the ladies barely heard him.
“Patrick?” Robin called. “Can you hear me?”
He gave a small nod and squeezed both hands. Robin leaned down and kissed his lips while Elizabeth kissed his cheek.
“I’ll let you two alone,” she told the couple before getting up and leaving the room.
A few tears escaped Robin’s dark eyes. “I’m so glad you’re okay. I thought…”
Patrick squeezed her hand tighter in his.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he whispered. “I’ve got way too much to live for.”
Robin, carefully avoiding his wound, crawled into the small bed with him and rested her head on his shoulder. She sighed deeply when she rested her hand over his heart and felt the strong beat beneath her hand.
“Who…shooters, who…” he tried to talk, but the drugs were making him so sleepy.
Robin shushed him gently. “We’ll talk about that when you’re more awake.”
She softly rubbed circles over his chest, calming him back into a sleep. She knew there were hard decisions in their very near future and that their family, her family would be at stake in the end.
“Sir, Robin Scorpio, her children and her brother...”
“They are alive, Sir,” a man said. “They escaped our gunmen as well as the resulting fire.”
The man had barely finished speaking before a quickly fired bullet hit him right between the eyes. He crumpled to the floor, dead before he hit.
“You should not have failed me.”
Chapter 7: Chapter Six
After speaking with Robin and finding out how Patrick was doing, RJ had showered and was now dressed in sweats and a t-shirt. He had let his sister know that he was going to let Mac and their brothers in on the postcard, as he was sure it was somehow connected to the shooters at her home.
He was sitting on his sofa drinking a cup of coffee when his doorbell rang. His eyes wandered to the locked front door and then back to the postcard on his coffee table. He wiped his hands over his face before standing and walking to the door.
Ever cautious, RJ had his gun in hand as he slowly opened the door.
“Hi honey, I’m home,” a dark-haired woman said as she stepped through the door and wrapped her arms around RJ’s neck.
Mac, Sean and Jamie were on their way to RJ’s apartment in Mac’s car. Jamie had been found in his dorm room at PCU. He’d gone back to school early to work on a project which was due when the new semester began.
“So, what exactly is this all about, Uncle Mac,” Jamie asked as he sat in the backseat.
Sean turned around and locked eyes with his younger brother. “Robin and Patrick’s house was shot up this morning by lots of masked gunmen and then burned to the ground.”
Jamie’s eyes widened and teared-up immediately. “Are they…?”
“No, they’re fine, and so is RJ,” Mac explained. “He was supposed to babysit Justin and Emma while Robin and Patrick went out. He arrived just after the shooting started. They all managed to get out alive.”
Jamie took a deep breath. “Thank God for that.”
Sean nodded. “Yeah, so now we’re headed to RJ’s because he thinks he might know what’s going on.”
RJ was too stunned to move. A woman he hadn’t seen in five years had her arms wrapped around him and standing quietly behind her with his arms around her legs, was a small boy with dark blonde hair and blue eyes.
Shaking off his shock, RJ stepped out of her embrace and pulled back to stare at her. “What are you doing here, Erin?”
Erin Lavery smiled. “I wanted to see you, and…”
RJ ran a hand through his hair and interrupted. “You can’t be here. Okay, I have…you just can’t be here right now.”
Erin reached down and picked up the boy and glared at RJ. “I thought you might want to meet your son.”
RJ snickered. “Shouldn’t you be on Aidan’s doorstep instead of mine?”
Erin pushed passed him and into the apartment. “He’s not Aidan’s. He’s yours.”
RJ slammed the door. “Yeah, I’ll believe that when I have the paternity test in my hands.”
“You don’t believe me?” she challenged.
RJ shook his head. “No, I don’t. So, look, my uncle and my brothers will be here any minute. We have things to discuss, privately, so you need to leave.”
Erin was angry. “RJ, I need…”
He held up his hands. “I don’t care right now, Erin. I have other things that need my attention.”
Her dark eyes flashed. “Your son needs your attention.”
RJ sighed deeply. “Where are you staying?”
“I have a room at some place called Kelly’s,” she told him.
“Fine, I’ll come by tomorrow morning and we can go to GH and have paternity test done,” he informed her. “When it shows that I’m not the father, I’m calling Aidan and you can tell him the truth.”
Still challenging, she spoke. “Why would I try to pass Aidan’s kid off as yours?”
RJ shrugged. “I really have no idea, Erin. Why are you here five years after we last saw each other? If…what’s his name?”
Erin smiled at her little son. “Cooper. Cooper Jonathan Scorpio.”
RJ’s eyes flared. “You gave him my name?”
Erin smirked. “Well, he is yours.”
RJ threw his hands up. “Okay, whatever. Tomorrow morning, hospital, paternity test, call Aidan. Those are my terms. Now, you and Cooper have to go.”
Erin allowed herself and Cooper to be escorted from his apartment then and RJ was thankful they were gone by the time Mac, Sean and Jamie showed up five minutes later.
An hour later, RJ had told them about the postcard, puzzle piece and what he thought it meant. Mac, Sean and Jamie were stunned.
“What makes you think this isn’t Faison?” Mac questioned as he paced the room.
“He’s dead, Mac,” RJ responded. “You and Luke saw that boat blow. He’s dead. This is…this is something…someone else. I can…I can feel it.”
“But, Faison was dead before,” Jamie said bluntly. “He came back. Is it so impossible he’s done it again?”
RJ stood then as well. “I…maybe I just want so much to believe that he’s dead, I’m not willing to accept that…”
“That he might very well be alive,” Sean finished. “What are we gonna do? Robin’s home was shot up. She and Patrick and the kids could have been killed. You could have been killed.”
RJ nodded. “See, that’s another part I don’t understand. Faison wanted Mom and Dad; Mom for himself and Dad dead. He never came after any of us. We didn’t matter to him. So, what’s changed? If it’s him, what’s changed?”
“Well, Mom and Dad are dead, for one thing,” Sean pointed out. “Maybe he just wants to end our whole family.”
The three of them shared a look that spoke of many emotions; anger, frustration, nervousness and no small amount of fear.
The Following Morning
RJ had just had his mouth swabbed for the DNA test to be run on him and Cooper. Now he was sitting beside Patrick.
“How ya feeling?”
Patrick shrugged. “Tired and in some pain. Mostly I feel lucky to be alive.”
RJ smiled slightly. “Yeah, I know that feeling. Listen, I came by because I wanted you to know that whatever is happening here, whatever’s gonna go down, it’s gonna be bad. I can feel that in my bones. Whether it’s Faison, or Cassadine’s unknown, or…the boogeyman, it’s gonna be a battle and it’s gonna be fierce. So…”
Patrick stared at his brother-in-law. “So, what?”
RJ met his stare. “So, I’m letting you know that you’re either going to have to go all in and learn to defend yourself, or you need to get out of the line of fire.”
“I’m not getting out of the line of fire while Robin and our kids are directly in it,” he insisted.
RJ nodded. “I figured that would be your answer. So, once you’re out of this dump, we’ll start your training.”
Patrick frowned just as Robin walked into the room. She walked to her husband and gave him a tender kiss.
“Hey, Robbie,” RJ greeted his sister. “You are just in time.”
“Time for what?”
RJ grinned. “I was just telling Patrick that once he’s cleared to leave this dump we’re gonna start his training. Martial arts, close quarters hand-to-hand, weapons…everything.”
Robin looked at Patrick. They shared a meaningful glance before Robin spoke. “Are you okay with that?”
Patrick nodded. “Yeah, I am. No more secrets, Robin. I need to…and want to know everything. I have to feel like I’m able to help when the chips are down.”
Robin brushed her fingers against his before he threaded them together. “You’re going to be learning things…things that go completely counter to your life as a doctor.”
He cleared his throat. “I understand that. Will these things give me a chance to live and protect the people I love?”
Robin nodded as tears gradually began to fall from her eyes. “Yes, they will; with deadly accuracy.”
RJ stood and quietly left the room. He knew his sister and brother-in-law needed to work things out between them. He was glad Patrick was so accepting of what was to come for him. He just hoped that the reality of those things didn’t hit him later. Robin would be devastated if Patrick ever left her. RJ also knew that when push came to shove, Robin was a Scorpio first. She’d sacrifice her marriage to Patrick if it meant eliminating any threat to the Scorpio family.
“How many different types of weapons can you use?”
Robin laughed. He asked the craziest questions out of nowhere. “Why do you want to know?”
“So I know how many I have to learn.”
She thought for a minute. “I guess…fifteen, maybe twenty. Handguns, semi-automatic and automatic weapons; my father made sure we all knew how to use them safely and with…”
Patrick grinned. “Deadly accuracy?”
Robin nodded. “Yes. Three in the chest, one in the head.”
Patrick knew he would never be completely comfortable with guns, knives or violence in general, but he was willing to learn to protect their little family.
“Does Justin know…?”
“Yeah, he does,” Robin answered, knowing the question without it being asked. “RJ took him to the gun range the first time when he was eight. He’s pretty good with a handgun and a rifle.”
They talked for a while more before Robin kissed him softly on the lips and then went back to work.
Patrick rested in his bed, his mind churning and his heart a whirl of emotions.
RJ arrived home and immediately saw a blank envelope on the welcome mat outside his apartment door. He picked it up and unlocked his door, shutting it tightly behind him and locking it.
He sat down heavily on his couch and opened the envelope.
This is a freebie for you. San Remo was the wrong place to look.
RJ flipped the postcard over and saw a city near the water, but didn’t recognize it off hand.
“Great,” he muttered to himself. “Another fucking mystery.”
Chapter 8: Chapter Seven
Three Weeks Later
Patrick was finally being released from the hospital. He had just finished pulling his t-shirt down when his door opened and Robin entered. Patrick’s eyebrows rose when he saw how she was dressed. He’d never seen her in military-style pants tucked into combat boots with a black sleeveless top tucked into the pants.
“Wow, you look kind of…sexy,” he said, smiling devilishly. “What’s the occasion?”
Robin smiled as she kissed him gently and rested her hand on his abdomen where he’d been shot. “Well, Dr. Fisher says your physical therapy has gone so well that you’re cleared for some moderate physical…exertion.”
Patrick’s eyes lit up.
Robin laughed. “Not that kind of exertion. We’re going to the gun range.”
Patrick sighed. He rested his hands on the bed. “I have to tell you, I’m not completely comfortable with…guns.”
Robin wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against his solid chest. “I know you aren’t. You don’t…you don’t have to do this, Patrick. You can…”
He pulled back. “I can what? Walk away and leave you and our kids in the line of fire? I’m not doing that. I’ll…I’ll find a way to deal with this.”
Robin wanted to believe that Patrick could find a way to deal with guns, bombs and fighting. She knew that if he couldn’t it would tear their marriage apart.
RJ walked into the darkened nightclub and headed right for the bar.
“Hey Detective,” Claude called out.
RJ smiled. “Claude, how many times have I told you to call me RJ?”
The bartender smiled. “If you’re looking for Luke, he’s in his office.”
RJ nodded as he headed for the back of the club. He knocked and stepped inside when Luke called out.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Robert Scorpio, Jr.. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
RJ sat down and, without preamble, placed the most recent postcard on Luke’s desk. “I’m hoping you’re good at geography. Can you tell me what city that is?”
Cigar in mouth, Luke picked up the photo and took a look. RJ could see recognition cross his face in minutes.
“Where did you get this?”
Condensing where he could, RJ told Luke everything; the postcard, puzzle piece and the shoot-up at Robin’s.
“This one came three weeks ago,” he explained. “Obviously my trip to San Remo was a bust. Maybe this place will yield better results.”
Luke blew out some smoke. “Maybe you should leave this one alone, Junior.”
RJ leaned back against his chair. “Luke, you know I can’t do that. Someone tried to kill Robin and the kids. Someone is baiting me. I have to figure out who, and why so I can end it. Now, where is that?”
Luke didn’t want to tell him. He didn’t want to open Pandora’s Box and he was sure telling RJ would do just that.
But he did it anyway. “It’s Athens, Junior. Athens, Greece.”
RJ’s eyes got wide in shock. “That changes things.”
“How so?” Luke wondered.
RJ sighed as he stood up and began pacing Luke’s office. “Mac and Robin think its Faison. Sean and Jamie think so, too. I told them…I told them this felt different and now I know why.”
Luke stood as well. “Listen, Junior, this…I don’t know if Faison is dead. When Bubba and I shot at that boat and it exploded, we wanted to believe we’d gotten the bastard, but…who knows. He’s worked with the Cassadine’s before.”
RJ remembered Lucky’s kidnapping years ago. Faison and Helena Cassadine had taken Lucky and made his family and friends think he was dead. By the time he’d been returned, he’d been brainwashed. It had taken years before Lucky was recovered, but he was never the same. That whole debacle is what had led to the shooting and explosion in the harbor that was believed to have finally killed Faison.
RJ faced Luke. “What would the Cassadine’s want with my family? Besides Helena, who’s left of them? Stefan is not a threat.”
Luke indicated for RJ to sit down as he did the same. “What do you know about your own family history?”
RJ frowned. “What do you mean?”
Luke turned to his safe and quickly opened it. He thrust a file at RJ. “Take a look. Your old man made me promise only to give you this in…well, this qualifies.”
RJ flipped the file open and the first thing he saw was a photo of a newborn infant clipped to a birth certificate.
“Who is this?”
“Read the certificate,” Luke instructed.
Alexios Alexander Liakos
“I don’t get it,” RJ said. “Who’s Alexios Liakos?”
Luke took a deep breath. “Your father.”
Patrick and Robin had been at the range for three hours. Patrick had made some progress, but he still was not a very good shot.
“I’m never going to be able to do this,” he told her.
Robin nodded. “Yes, you are. You’ve already improved from when we started.”
Patrick took a deep breath. “Okay, let’s go again.”
Robin moved to stand next to him. “Here, relax your grip. You’re holding the gun too tightly. When you tense your muscles too much, it throws your aim off.”
Patrick did as he was told and when he fired again, he hit the target square in the chest on four of six shots.
Robin laughed. “See, you can do this. Great shots.”
Losing some of his tension, Patrick laughed too. He leaned down and kissed Robin tenderly on the lips. “I think I’ll always have reservations about this, but…it feels good knowing I’ll be able to help protect you and the kids.”
Robin smiled. “You’d be surprised how many doctors are employed by the WSB. They all know how to fire weapons and are extremely proficient in hand to hand combat. This really isn’t all that uncommon.”
“Can’t wait for that training,” he quipped. “But for now, how about we take a break? Go get some lunch and see the kids?”
Robin agreed and the two of them headed off.
“What the hell are you talking about?” RJ asked as he continued flipping through the file.
He came across more photos of his father as a young boy with a woman RJ knew was not his grandmother Patricia Scorpio. He saw his father in photos playing in water he knew was the coast of Australia.
“You gonna tell me what the hell this means?”
Luke nodded and took another puff on his cigar. “A few months before your father took off after Anna and Faison, he’d been in Greece.”
RJ nodded. “Yeah, I know. He was there on a mission.”
“Well, he stumbled across some…interesting information. The first bit was that birth certificate and those photos. They were given to him by a man named Christos Melonakos, an alias for Demetrios Cassadine.”
“Never heard of him,” RJ said. “Who is he?”
Luke smiled. “A bastard son of Mikkos Cassadine, born very shortly before the old man kicked the bucket courtesy of yours truly and one Robert Scorpio.”
RJ’s mind was awash in theories and suspicions, none of which were pleasant.
“How would a Cassadine have this info?” RJ questioned. “Better yet, why?”
“Well, that’s where it gets really tricky,” Luke said. “Your dad spent the last weeks of his mission tracking down as much information about Alexios Liakos as he could. Everything he found is in that file I gave you. The trail ended when young Alexios was three years old.”
“What happened when he was three?”
“That’s when Alexios Alexander Liakos was adopted by Xavier and Patricia Scorpio,” Luke revealed. “They left Greece the next day and Alexios Liakos was reborn in Sydney, Australia as Robert Xavier Scorpio.”
“Sir, there is a Ms. Larisa Liakos to see you,” the guard informed his boss.
“Send her in, please.”
An older woman entered the room. The man stood.
“It is…good to see you again, Larisa.”
The woman with blonde hair and striking blue eyes, smiled. “There is no need for false pleasantries, Victor. You are not happy to see me, nor am I happy to see you. I have come for the truth. I want to know what happened to my son after you gave him away.”
Victor Cassadine, second son of Matthias Cassadine, frowned. “Why do you ask me this now? It has been…many years. You have never expressed an interest before.”
Larisa sat down. “I wish to know, Victor. You and I both know who my son was, why he was important. I want to know his fate.”
Victor sighed as he sat as well. “The family I selected, they were Australian but of Greek ancestry. They had an infant son when I met them; Malcolm, I believe his name was.”
“That does not tell me where he is now.”
“Larisa, I tried to protect you from my family, from Mikkos,” Victor began. “Had Mikkos ever discovered…you and your child would have been killed. I took him from you and sent him away to protect him. Do you truly believe that the danger is gone? My wretched sister-in-law Helena still lives. She will stop at nothing to make certain she controls all Cassadine business and that means eliminating any and all threats to her.”
“I understand that Prince Nikolas is not actually a prince at all,” Larisa said. “He is the son of Stefan Cassadine, your second nephew. What threat remains? Does she not have control since young Nikolas is not the heir?”
Victor nodded. “Yes, she does, and I aim to keep it that way. I will tell you this. Your son has a family, children and grandchildren. If Helena discovered the truth, they would all be in danger.”
Larisa stood then. “Perhaps now is the time to reveal the truth. If my son and his eldest son come forward, we can end this. Helena will have no power.”
With that, Larisa Liakos turned and left Victor Cassadine’s office. He simply hadn’t had the heart to tell her that her son had died long ago at the hands of a madman. He’d been kept safe from the Cassadine’s who meant him harm only to fall against a man obsessed with his wife.
He picked up his glass and downed the last of his Scotch. “To you, Robert Scorpio, my nephew, may you rest in peace.”
Chapter 9: Chapter Eight
February 3, 2009
PC General Hospital
RJ was pacing the halls of the hospital outside the lab. Erin and Cooper were seated.
“Will you sit down, please?” Erin asked him; irritation obvious in her tone.
RJ glared at her. The last place he wanted to be was in the hospital waiting to find out if he was a father. His mind was whirling with the implications of his father having been born in Greece and a Cassadine having that information.
He took a deep breath and sat down just as the doctor came out of the lab. RJ again jumped up.
“Well?” he questioned. “Is he mine, Doc?”
The doctor looked down at the results then back at RJ and Erin, who had come to stand next to RJ.
The doctor could see the impatience in the young man. “To a percentage of 98.8 percent, yes, Cooper is your son, Detective Scorpio.”
Erin smiled while RJ sighed and hung his head. His life had just gotten much more complicated.
Sean was already in the gym loosening up when Robin and Patrick walked in. Both were clad in sweats and tank tops.
“Hey guys,” Sean greeted. “Ready to kick some ass, Pattycakes?”
Robin chuckled at Sean’s nickname for her husband. “Yeah, he’s ready.”
Patrick didn’t look too sure, but he nodded.
“Have you ever punched someone before?” Sean asked.
Patrick shook his head. “Not since high school.”
“Okay, well, first things first then,” Sean began. “Normally martial arts are for defense first, and even though Robin and I are gonna teach you how to attack; you’ll still be using this as defense. If someone is coming at you, the best place to be is somewhere else.”
Patrick nodded, unsure.
Sean bent his knees a bit and settled on the balls of his feet. “Come at me, as hard and as fast as you can.”
Patrick shrugged. He was taller than Sean by a bit and figured with the shorter man crouched he might have an easier time.
He charged at Sean, left arm reaching in a punching motion as he neared him. Sean easily sidestepped Patrick, grabbed his arm at the wrist and flipped Patrick as if he weighed nothing.
Patrick landed on his back with a sickening thud. He grunted upon impact. “Oh, that hurt.”
Sean laughed. “It’s called Aikido. It’s a…blending of the attack and the defense. We’re taught to redirect the force of the attack rather than oppose it directly. In class we use throws and joint locks to subdue an opponent without injuring them.”
Patrick stood and worked out some kinks in his back. “Don’t I want to injure them?”
Robin stepped forward then. “Incapacitate them, not injure them. Now, sometimes injuring them will be your only option. That’s when other martial arts come in. You’ll learn to punch and kick as well as block those types of attacks.”
Thus began a long day of physically demanding training exercises. Patrick was amazed as he watched his wife and her younger brother spar. He was even more amazed when he was the recipient of Robin’s tactics. She was fast, strong and very agile.
Once more Patrick was pressed to the floor, the joint lock employed by Robin quite effective.
“Damn, that really hurts,” Patrick whined.
Robin laughed. “It’s supposed to. You’re doing so well.”
“I don’t feel like it,” Patrick said as he again stretched. “I just feel…beat up.”
Sean laughed as he took a drink of water. Robin wrapped her husband in a hug and rubbed his back gently.
“You’ve done amazing today,” Robin assured him. “You might not feel like you’re progressing, but you are.”
Sean agreed. “Yeah man, you pick this stuff up quick; you just gotta…let yourself feel it. Let the movements become a part of you, an extension. Don’t make it so…jointed. It has to be fluid.”
The three of them practiced for another few hours. Just before sunset, Patrick caught Sean in a perfect joint lock on his wrist and forced the younger man to the floor.
“Yes!” Robin yelled. “You did it!”
Patrick scooped her into his arms and spun her around. He was ecstatic.
Sean stood and gave his brother-in-law a high-five. “Great job, man. You’re gonna get this. I guarantee it.”
“How about we go grab some dinner?” Patrick asked as they gathered up their belongings.
Robin nodded. “I’d love to. We need to go get Justin and Emma from Uncle Mac and Aunt Felecia first.”
“I can’t guys,” Sean said. “Luke has Lulu tonight and I sort of…promised her I’d go have dinner with them.”
“Tell them both I said hello,” Robin told her brother, completely missing the confused look that crossed Patrick’s face.
After receiving the news that he was a father, RJ sent Erin and Cooper back to his apartment and told Erin not to leave until he got back. Then he’d left the hospital and wandered around for hours. He’d watched Sonny and Jason’s men unload a huge shipment of coffee. He’d walked along the river and gazed into St. Mark’s Cemetery in the direction of his parents’ memorial, but he hadn’t gone to them.
Now, he suddenly found himself standing in front of the home he shared with his parents and siblings for way too short a time; less than a year from his parents’ remarriage to their deaths. Now it belonged to Mac, Felicia, Maxie and Georgie.
Memories of that time flooded his mind. He remembered watching Australian rules football with his father, helping his mother wash the dinner dishes, running through the sprinklers with his little brothers and playing with Friday with Robin.
Just as RJ had shaken himself out of his reverie, he heard his name being called form the porch. He turned and smiled when he saw his cousin.
“Hey Georgie,” he said as he walked up the driveway and stepped onto the porch.
Georgie wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed tight. RJ hugged the thirteen-year-old back for a few minutes before pulling back.
“What are you doing here?”
RJ sighed. “Is Mac here?”
Georgie nodded. “Yeah, he’s inside. Come on.”
RJ followed Georgie inside and was immediately met with the sight of Mac sitting in his lounger watching television.
“Hey,” Mac called as soon as he saw his nephew.
RJ cleared his throat. “Hi. Um, listen, I…I need to talk to you. Can we…”
Mac jumped up. He could count on one hand the number of times his eldest nephew had come to him with a problem. He certainly wasn’t going to turn him away when he did.
“Let’s go to my study,” Mac said and led the way.
Once inside, RJ sat down and sighed.
“What’s wrong?” Mac questioned as he sat down behind his desk.
RJ leaned forward and began. “I’ll keep it short. Do you remember five years ago when I took that leave of absence from the PD and went to Pennsylvania?”
When Mac nodded in the affirmative, RJ continued. “I ended up in Pine Valley. Of course, the first person I ran into was Ryan. The last person I wanted to see was a Lavery.”
Mac chuckled. RJ had never hidden his distrust and dislike of Duke Lavery, even when his mother Anna had been married to the man.
“Anyway, I met his sister Erin the same day,” RJ continued. “Long story short, we…well, you know. But she was involved at the time with some crazy British ex-special forces guy named Aidan. I walked away, told her there was no way we could be anything together.”
Mac nodded. “And?”
RJ took a deep breath. “She showed up on my doorstep a month ago with…”
Mac waited patiently.
“With a four-year-old boy,” he finished.
Mac eyes widened. “Is he…is he yours?”
RJ nodded as he ran his hands through his hair. “Yeah, he is. We got the results of the paternity test this morning. I’ve been…I’ve been walking around this damn city for hours trying to figure out how Dad handled two kids showing up on his doorstep out of the blue. I don’t…someone is targeting our family, Mac, and I can’t have a kid caught in the middle.”
“Do you even want to be a father to this boy?” Mac asked delicately.
RJ shrugged as he stood and began to pace. “I don’t know, Mac. I…yeah, I guess so. I’ve had less than twelve hours to even process this and I have so many other things to think about right now. Speaking of…”
He pulled an envelope out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Mac. “I got another postcard a few weeks ago. It’s in there. I took it to Luke and he identified the city and gave me all of the papers in that envelope.”
Mac opened everything and laid it out on his desk. RJ sat back down and waited for his uncle to process the information.
“I never…our parents never said anything,” Mac almost whispered.
“Yeah, well, I’m guessing it might have been imperative that everyone involved kept their mouths shut.”
“Where did Spencer get this?” Mac asked.
“Said Dad gave it to him for safe keeping,” RJ replied. “Told me that Dad made him promise he would only give it to me if circumstances warranted me having the information; whatever that means. Anyway, Luke said with the shooting and the postcards and everything going on, this qualified as the circumstances warranting it.”
“Did he mention where your dad got it?”
RJ nodded. “Yeah, that’s another weird thing; said Dad got it from some guy named Christos Melonakos which is an alias for Demetrios Cassadine.”
“Never heard of him,” Mac remarked.
RJ snickered. “That’s what I said to Luke. He told me that Demetrios is the youngest son of Matthias Cassadine, Mikkos’ father. Apparently he was born just before Matthias kicked the bucket.”
“An unknown Cassadine,” Mac said to himself.
“Yeah,” RJ confirmed. “I just don’t…I don’t get it. Someone, a Cassadine, knew Dad was adopted, and by whom. But that file stops with my grandparents’ arrival in Australia. There’s no name other than that Larisa Liakos on the birth certificate. Why would any of this be of interest to a Cassadine?”
Mac sighed. “I hate to say it because you know how I feel about him, but…Luke is probably the best person for these questions. He knows the Cassadine’s inside and out. I’m willing to bet he has some theories. You just have to ask him.”
“I have a few theories myself, and none of them are pleasant,” RJ said.
“That guy, Demetrios Cassadine, I can’t think of one reason why he would have cared about Dad, or given him this info unless…”
He let it hang, and Mac picked up immediately. “Unless he might be your Dad’s…father.”
“Exactly,” RJ agreed. “But then I started thinking about that too. If Demetrios was Matthias’ youngest son, then why would it have mattered if he fathered a son himself? Why didn’t he just tell Dad the truth then and there? The first son of the fourth son doesn’t mean anything in the Cassadine hierarchy. Alexios, my father, would have been safe. By birth order, he was a nobody, presumably. But then something happened when he was three and he was given away. What was that one thing? That’s what I keep asking myself.”
“Got an answer?” Mac wondered.
RJ nodded. “Yeah. Demetrios wasn’t his father, but he knows, or knew who was. I didn’t think to ask Luke if he knows if this Demetrios is still alive. Anyway, all of my theories lead to one conclusion; I think my dad was born a Cassadine.”
Patrick and Robin were enjoying a nice dinner with Justin and Emma at the MetroCourt.
“How was school today?” Robin asked her son.
The young man shrugged. “Okay, but I hate having the guards around.”
“Guards?” Patrick questioned as he looked over at Robin. “He has guards?”
Robin tried to hide her grimace. “Yes, he does.”
Patrick put down his fork. “Employed by whom, may I ask?”
Justin looked back and forth between his parents. “Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned the guards.”
“No, it’s good that you did,” Patrick said. “I’m your dad; I need to know these things.”
Robin sighed. “They work for Sonny. While you were in the hospital, Sonny and Jason asked if they could do anything to help. I asked…I asked them to watch Justin and Emma.”
Robin nodded. “Yes, when she’s in the hospital daycare or with a babysitter, she has guards outside, always watching. I…we can’t take any chances.”
Patrick noticed how she started to say I, and not we. She was trying to handle everything on her own, and he didn’t like it.
“Okay, look, we’ll talk about this later,” Patrick decided. “Let’s just enjoy dinner as a family.”
Justin and Emma were both asleep when Patrick sat down on the bed in their suite at the MetroCourt next to Robin.
“When were you gonna tell me about the guards?”
Robin sighed. “I don’t know that I was.”
Patrick was stunned. “What? You weren’t gonna tell me at all?”
Robin turned to face him. “I don’t know. Patrick, I…I need you to understand something for me. Can you do that?”
“When that shooting started and I knew you and the kids were in the house, I…I’ve never been that scared, Patrick,” she began. “I wasn’t scared for me. I knew exactly what to do and I knew that I could do it. But you and Justin and Emma, you have no protection. Yes, Justin knows how to shoot, but he’s thirteen years old. Emma is a baby, and you…I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
Patrick pulled her into his arms as he saw tears begin to fall. “You’re not gonna lose me, Robs. I promise.”
She wiped her eyes and nodded. “That’s why the guards. I have to make absolutely sure that our children are protected. The PCPD likes to do things by the book. They’re all good cops, RJ, Lucky and Jesse in particular. But Sonny and Jason’s men, they’ll shoot first in defense of Justin and Emma and not stick around to answer the questions. That’s what I need for them. Something bad is coming, Patrick; something so bad it’s going to tear this town apart and my family is at the center of it. Someone is coming for the Scorpio’s.”
Patrick kissed her forehead and rubbed her back gently. He didn’t know what to say to ease her fears.
Or his own.
“None of us are going to be safe.”
Chapter 10: Chapter Nine
The Following Morning
RJ Scorpio’s Apartment
RJ was standing in the doorway of the second bedroom in his apartment watching Erin and Cooper sleep. When he’d returned home the night before she’d wanted to talk. His mind had been too consumed with other things, so he’d sent them to bed and had retreated to his own room shortly after. He knew they needed to talk, and there were things he needed to tell her, but…
“How long are you going to stare?” Erin’s sleepy voice called out.
RJ snickered. “Not long. Get up; we need to talk. Meet me in the livingroom when you’re dressed.”
“Wait,” she called out as she stood. “When did…I don’t remember you having tattoos.”
RJ nodded. “It’s been five years, Erin. Things change.”
She moved closer to him and reached out and gently ran her finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder. “I like this one. What is it?”
RJ wasn’t immune to her touch. A small shiver ran through his body. “It’s a Phoenix; a mythical bird that dies…and rises from its own ashes to live again.”
Erin smiled. “It’s you.”
RJ shook his head. “No, it’s my family. We’ve risen from the ashes before, and we’ll do it again. It’s part of what you and I need to talk about; what I need to tell you. So, get dressed and…we’ll talk.”
He turned around and walked away before she could say another word.
Patrick and Robin had both rested uneasily and were now slowly getting ready for the day. Justin had already been taken to school and Emma was still asleep in her crib.
“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you,” Patrick said as he worked on his tie.
“What’s that?” Robin questioned as she pulled her scrub top over her black turtleneck.
“Why would your brother promise to have dinner with Luke Spencer and his daughter?”
Robin’s hands froze in the act of dressing. “Why would you ask me that?”
Patrick sighed as he sat down on the hotel bed. “I just have this…funny feeling that you and RJ have answered the questions I’ve asked, but…”
“But what?” she questioned as she sat next to him.
“But I feel like if I don’t ask the question, you won’t tell me anything,” he finished. “And if I don’t ask the right question, I won’t get the true answer. So, I’m asking; why did Sean promise Lulu Spencer to have dinner with her and Luke?”
Robin took a deep breath. “He promised Lulu because she’s…she’s his half-sister.”
By the time Erin had come into the livingroom, RJ had changed from his sweatpants into jeans and he’d put on a t-shirt.
“You didn’t have to dress on my account,” Erin quipped as he handed her a cup of coffee.
“What made you decide to come here?” RJ asked her.
Erin shrugged. "I thought you should meet your son.”
RJ shook his head. “No, you didn’t. It’s not that simple, Erin, and I know it. Tell me the truth. Why did you come here with Cooper?”
He could see she was afraid of something. He reached out and took her hand in his. “Listen to me, Erin. I need you to be honest with me, about everything. I can’t protect you if you don’t tell me the truth. Now, please, why did you come here? Why now after five years?”
A few tears slipped down her cheeks. She walked back to the bedroom and quickly came back with an envelope in her hands. She handed it to him.
“There,” she said. “That’s why I came. I left the Fusion offices late one night and went to pick Cooper up from his babysitter. I felt…I don’t know, I felt like someone was following me the entire time. I grabbed Cooper and practically ran into my apartment building. When I got to the door, that envelope was on my doorstep.”
RJ felt his heart begin to race as he opened the envelope.
“His…his sister?” Patrick stumbled. “How…how is that even…possible?”
“Luke is Sean’s biological father,” Robin revealed. “I’ll make this quick; long time ago Luke was engaged to a woman named Holly Sutton. Luke was believed to have died in an avalanche and then Holly found out she was pregnant shortly after. My dad and Holly fell in love and got married. Dad was going to raise Sean as his own. Luke came back, got pissed off that his woman and his best friend hooked up. Dad and Holly stayed married, moved to Australia and had Sean. Luke ran for mayor, won, and discovered that Laura was alive. They left town together to go get Nik and then Holly died in a plane crash when Sean was four. Dad and Sean came home; my mother took over the role of mother for Sean. So, there you have it. Sean is a Spencer by birth, but a Scorpio in every other way.”
Patrick didn’t know what to say. Robin hadn’t even taken a breath in all of that. “Wow.”
Robin laughed slightly. “Yeah, I know. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, that’s what happened. Luke was so angry he couldn’t see straight and he didn’t want any part of the baby then. I remember years later, not too long before my parents died, my dad had spoken to Luke on the phone and Luke told him that he regretted the decision to stay out of Sean’s life. By the time Luke and Laura came back to Port Charles, my parents were dead and he and Laura had Nik, Lucky and Ethan.”
“Has Sean always known the truth?” Patrick wondered out loud.
“Not always,” she said. “I think he was about eight when our parents told him about Luke. He always knew that Holly was his biological mother and that she was dead. But the Luke revelation wasn’t easy for him. For starters, Luke wasn’t even here. He wasn’t someone Sean could seek out for answers. That came later.”
Patrick cleared his throat. “I doubt that was an easy conversation for either of them.”
Robin shook her head. “No, it wasn’t. Sean had always had a curiosity about Luke, which was understandable. So, when Luke and Laura showed up, Sean want to Luke for the answers he wanted. Luke gave them to him; told him why he made the choices he did and that while he regretted some of them, letting his son grow to love and respect Robert Scorpio would never be something he considered a mistake.”
“What happened after that?”
“Sean came home,” she said. “He told Uncle Mac where he’d been and that he’d had a nice chat with Luke. Remember, Sean was only…ten or so when all this happened. Uncle Mac was angry at first. But, then Luke came to Uncle Mac one day and told him that he had no intention of doing anything. Sean was always going to be a Scorpio. It’s been that way ever since, until about six years ago.”
“What happened six years ago?”
RJ pulled a photograph of Cooper out of the envelope. It looked recent. He flipped it over and he saw words that chilled him to the bone.
Such a beautiful little prince.
“Did you see anyone around? Anyone who could have left this?” RJ asked when he recovered enough to speak.
Erin shook her head. “No, there wasn’t anyone there; just that envelope and the picture of Cooper inside it. I was…I got so scared and I just…I packed enough for the two of us for a few days, took Cooper the next morning and drove here to you.”
RJ stood and ran his hands through his messy hair and over his face. “I need to go see some people about this. I want…got get Cooper ready to go. I’ve gotta get you both somewhere safe.”
“Safe?” she asked. “What are you talking about? Why aren’t we safe here?”
RJ grasped her upper arms in his hands. “Erin, I do not have time to explain right now. Please, go get our son dressed. We have to leave. Now.”
Erin ran to the room and proceeded to do as RJ said.
RJ grabbed his cell phone and dialed a number he knew by heart.
“Luke, it’s RJ,” he began. “I need you to meet me on the docks by the launch. We gotta go out to Wyndemere.”
”Thirty minutes okay?”
“Fine,” he acknowledged. “Thanks.”
RJ hung up just as Erin and Cooper walked into the livingroom.
“We’re ready,” Erin stated.
RJ grabbed his wallet, Erin’s car keys and a NY Yankees baseball cap off the coffee table and headed for the door. He grabbed a black PCPD hoodie and put it on and tossed one to Erin. Cooper already had a jacket on.
They hustled out of the apartment and into Erin’s car. She quickly strapped Cooper into his child safety seat and then got into the passenger side of the car. RJ threw it into gear and sped off towards Harborview Towers.
“Where are you taking us?” Erin asked as they sped along Harbor View Drive.
“Somewhere you’ll both be safe from what’s coming,” he answered, already thinking ahead.
“What is coming, RJ?” Erin demanded. “Do you know who left that photo of Cooper? What does that note on the back mean?”
Instead of answering her, he asked a question of his own. “When you found out you were pregnant, did you tell anyone? Did you mention my name to anyone? Anyone at all?”
Erin shook her head. “No, no I didn’t…I didn’t tell anyone, not even Aidan. I left Pine Valley not too long after I found out and I only came back maybe a month or two ago. Tell me what’s going on, RJ. You’re freaking me out right now.”
He sighed as they pulled into the underground parking lot at Harborview Towers. He shut off the car and turned to face her.
“Listen to me; there…there are a lot of things I need to tell you, but they’re gonna have to wait,” he explained. “Suffice it to say, I’ve gotten a few postcards with cryptic messages on them as of late as well. I have some suspicions as to who’s behind it and why, and if I’m right…”
“If you’re right, then…what?” Erin asked.
RJ took a deep breath. “Then Cooper could be in a lot of danger.”
“Six years ago, when he was nineteen, Sean was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia,” Robin revealed. “It was a severe case and he needed a bone marrow transplant. Luke, Lucky, Ethan and Lulu were all tested but none of them were a match.”
“But he obviously got the transplant,” Patrick stated.
“Yeah, just in time too,” Robin told him. “He was pretty sick. Luke, the boys and Lulu spent a lot of time with him while he was in the hospital. Lulu got pretty attached. She was only eight then. Anyway, Sean started to spend time with them once he recovered. He’ll never claim anyone other than Robert Scorpio as his father, but he has a lot of respect for Luke, and he loves them, like a second family.”
Patrick just shook his head. “Your family is…convoluted.”
Robin laughed. “Yes, it is. Patrick, I don’t mean to hold information back from you. It’s not ever my intention to lie, or to tell half-truths. It’s very hard for me, for everyone in my family to be open with others, even the people we love.”
Patrick wrapped his arm around her. “I know. I just want to be able to protect you and our kids. I feel like I need to be in possession of all the info I can be to do that.”
“There is one other thing I should tell you,” Robin muttered.
Patrick smiled. “Oh, yeah?”
“Since you know all about Sean, I guess you should know about Jamie, too,” she began.
Patrick wondered what she could possibly tell him about his youngest brother-in-law.
“What kind of danger?”
“His life, Erin,” RJ told her. “His life could be in danger. That’s why we’re here. The men who live here can protect you and Cooper.”
“Why can’t you protect us?” she wanted to know.
RJ sighed deeply. “Erin, I need you to understand something. I’m gonna…I’m probably going to be leaving the country in the next few days. Where I’m going…it’s dangerous. I need to know that you and Cooper will be safe in case…”
Erin’s eyes had tears in them. “In case of what?”
RJ met her stare. “In case…I don’t come back.”
“Jamie’s not a Scorpio by birth, either,” Robin told her husband. “My mom and stepfather, Duke, had Jamie together. After Duke died, my dad adopted Jamie.”
Patrick laughed as he stood. “Like I said, convoluted.”
Robin stood as well. “We’re certainly an eclectic bunch, that’s for sure. Come on, we have to get Emma to the sitter and then go to work.”
They both finished getting ready and were out the door hotel door within minutes with Emma.
Marco Sanchez, a guard at Jason’s door smiled when he saw RJ.
“Hey Detective Scorpio,” he greeted.
“Hi, Marco, is Jason in?” RJ questioned without preamble.
Marco nodded, turned and knocked on the door once and cracked it open. “Jason, Detective Scorpio is here to see you.”
“Send him in,” Jason called.
RJ thanked Marco as he, Erin and Cooper walked into Jason’s penthouse.
“What can I…”Jason started, but stopped when he turned around and saw Erin and Cooper.
RJ just nodded. “Yeah, look, this is Erin Lavery, an old…friend.”
Jason looked at the boy. “And him?”
“My son, Cooper,” RJ revealed.
Jason stared at both the woman and the boy for several long moments before offering all three of them a seat.
“You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t need something,” Jason guessed. “What is it?”
“I need someplace safe for Erin and Cooper to stay while I’m gone,” RJ told his friend.
“Where are you going?” Jason wanted to know before he agreed to anything.
Jason’s blue eyes widened just a bit. “How long?”
RJ shrugged. “I don’t know. As long as it takes.”
Jason knew better than to question any further. RJ didn’t question what Jason did and Jason returned the favor. But he knew if RJ was going to Greece, whatever it was, it involved the Cassadine family.
“They can stay here,” Jason finally told them. “I’m gonna be out of town myself for a few weeks. The guards can be assigned to the if you need.”
“I need,” RJ confirmed. “Thanks, Jase.”
Jason nodded and excused himself from the room, sensing that RJ needed to talk to his…friend.
“He’s a stranger,” Erin complained. “I don’t like this.”
“Would you rather go back to Pine Valley where Cooper could be kidnapped, or worse,” he asked her. “Look, I’m trying to protect everyone here. I need for you to cooperate with me. I’m gonna go across the hall and explain things to another friend. He’s gonna make sure that you and Cooper are guarded while I’m gone. Please, just…just do this for me. I’ll be back tonight.”
Erin nodded. RJ stood and she grabbed his wrist before he could walk away. She stood as well and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips.
“I’m trusting you,” she whispered against his lips.
He kissed her back once. “Thank you.”
With that, he walked out and across the hall to Sonny’s penthouse.
Chapter 11: Chapter Ten
Luke was waiting for RJ when he arrived.
“Thanks for meeting me here, Luke.”
Luke took a puff on his cigar and nodded. “You mind telling me what exactly we’re traveling to Gothic Island for?”
“Those papers you gave me, and the story about Demetrios Cassadine got me thinking about some things,” RJ told the older man. “At first, my mind went to the fact that Demetrios Cassadine might have been Dad’s father.”
Luke nodded. “Yes, I thought that too once upon a time.”
RJ smiled. “But then I realized that Mikkos, Victor and Tony Cassadine were all older than Demetrios, so even if he was Dad’s father, it wouldn’t have mattered. The first son of the fourth son and all that…well, it wouldn’t have mattered to anyone in the Cassadine family.”
“So, what did you come up with, Junior?”
“Demetrios Cassadine knows, or knew who my dad’s father was,” RJ said. “That’s why he gave him the file in the first place. I’ve pretty much worked out that my father was born a Cassadine. I just need to find this Demetrios and talk to him. I find him, and maybe I can unravel all this craziness.”
Luke took another puff of his cigar. “You think going out there to talk to Count Vlad is gonna get you Demetrios?”
RJ sighed and shrugged. “I don’t know, Luke. It’s the only place I know to start.”
Luke seemed satisfied with that, and the two boarded the launch that would take them to Stefan Cassadine; and hopefully to some answers.
PC General Hospital
Robin was standing at the nurse’s station reviewing a chart when she heard the elevator doors open. She glanced over and her jaw dropped at who she saw.
“There’s my favorite goddaughter,” Frisco Jones called as soon as he caught site of Robin.
Robin grinned and tossed the chart aside. “Uncle Frisco!”
She ran to him and practically jumped into his arms. Frisco held her tightly. It had been too long. He had stayed away too long.
“What are you doing here?” Robin asked when they pulled apart.
Frisco shrugged. “I had some time between assignments and thought I’d…well, I’ve been missing Port Charles lately. I thought it was time I came home.”
Robin smiled brightly. “Well, whatever your reasons, I’m so glad you’re here. It’s been way too long.”
Frisco sighed. “Just about fifteen years. You’ve grown up so much. I’m sure…Maxie…”
In a way, Robin felt sorry for him. Maxie was his daughter and he hadn’t seen her since she nearly died when she was three-and-a-half years old. In another way, she felt like whatever reception he got from Maxie was exactly what he deserved because he’d stayed away by choice.
“She’ll be happy to see you,” Robin told him. “So will Aunt Felecia.”
“I don’t know about that, Robin,” Frisco sighed. “I’m afraid I’ve earned every bit of anger they have for me.”
The two continued to talk until Patrick walked around the corner and saw his wife. “Robin?”
Robin looked up and waved Patrick over. “Uncle Frisco, I want you to meet my husband, Dr. Patrick Drake. Patrick, this is my godfather, Frisco Jones.”
Patrick had heard the name many times from Robin and her family. Frisco stood and held out his hand.
“Nice to meet you, Dr. Drake,” Frisco said politely.
Patrick nodded. “Yeah, it’s good to finally meet you too. I’ve heard a lot over the last couple years from Robin.”
“I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not,” Frisco said with a grin.
Patrick laughed. “Robin tells me only good things. Well, I have rounds so I’ll be going, nice to meet you, Mr. Jones.”
Robin turned to Frisco once Patrick was out of sight. “Would you like to come to dinner with Patrick and me tonight?”
Frisco nodded. “I’d love that.”
“Okay, well, we’re staying at the MetroCourt Hotel at the moment, so…”
Frisco frowned. “Why? When I spoke to Felicia last, she said you two had your own home.”
Robin sighed. “Yeah, that’s…a long story. I’ll explain tonight at dinner.”
Frisco agreed. “Okay. Do you know where I might find Felicia?”
“Probably at the Outback,” Robin guessed. “She likes working there in the afternoons.”
Frisco gave Robin a goodbye kiss and headed off to the Scorpio-owned bar and grill.
Just as RJ and Luke stepped off of the launch, they were surprised to see Nikolas headed towards them.
“Hey RJ, Luke,” the twenty-five-year old greeted the two older men.
Luke gave the young man a tight hug. “How ya been, Nikky?”
Nikolas laughed. “Good, Luke.”
“Is your father around, Nik?” RJ got right to the point. “Luke and I need to see him. It’s…urgent.”
“Yeah, he was in his study when I saw him last,” Nikolas told them. “Come on.”
The trio walked to the main house and went inside. Laura had just come down the stairs and she smiled brightly when she saw RJ and Luke.
“What brings the two of you by?” Laura asked as she hugged RJ and then Luke.
“I need to speak with Stefan,” RJ said. “He might have some information I need for a…a case.”
Laura was a bit suspicious, but she led them to Stefan’s study. “Stefan, RJ Scorpio and Luke are here to see you.”
Stefan stood and reached out to shake RJ’s hand. He only nodded to Luke. The two men had come a long way over the years, their love for Laura, Nikolas, Lucky, Ethan and Lulu giving them common ground to stand on.
“What may I do for, Detective?” Stefan asked kindly as he sat behind his desk.
RJ and Luke sat down across from Stefan. RJ reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the papers. He tossed them onto Stefan’s desk.
“A long time ago, just a couple of weeks before my parents died, my father was in Greece and a man named Demetrios Cassadine gave those to him,” RJ explained. “I need to know if Demetrios is still alive and where I can find him if he is.”
Stefan donned his reading glasses and flipped through the file. It took him only moments, and when he was done his jaw was near the floor.
“I never…I was never aware of any of this,” Stefan said quietly. “I haven’t heard his name since I was a boy.”
“What about the others?” RJ wanted to know. “Larisa and Alexios Liakos, you know of them?”
Stefan shook his head. “No, I’ve never heard those names before.”
“Is this Demetrios still alive?” Luke demanded.
“I honestly do not know, Luke,” Stefan revealed. “I’ve never even met the man, not face to face anyway. I heard his name once, and once only, when I was eight years old. My father was in a business meeting and I overheard my father’s business associate introduce himself as Christos Melonakos. My father laughed and asked why the other man was not using his birth name of Demetrios Cassadine. I caught a glimpse of the man and as I recall he was in his late twenties, perhaps early thirties. I never heard his name again; until now.”
RJ sighed deeply. “Great. So, how the hell am I supposed to find this guy?”
“Why do you feel finding Demetrios is the key to solving your…mystery?” Stefan wanted to know.
RJ didn’t know if trusting Stefan was the right thing or not. He’d spent enough time with Luke to know that most things Cassadine were dangerous, but he’d also spent enough time with Nikolas and Stefan to know that not all things Cassadine were dangerous.
“Well, at first I thought that maybe he was my dad’s father,” RJ told Stefan. “But then I realized that whatever spooked this Larisa Liakos enough to give her son away when he was three years old couldn’t have been the fact that a fourth Cassadine son was his father.”
Stefan nodded and smiled a bit. “But you assume that Demetrios knows who your father’s father was.”
RJ nodded. “I’m pretty sure. I need to find him, Stefan. He could be the key to all of this.”
Stefan contemplated helping the young Scorpio for a few moments. Truth be told, the file didn’t really prove anything. A young Grecian boy born to a nineteen-year-old single young woman and no father’s name listed on the birth certificate; everything RJ had presented was little more than speculation on his part. If not for one thing that Stefan knew, and RJ didn’t.
Frisco could hear the music as he walked up to the doors. He peered through the window and saw Felicia standing behind the bar talking to a few customers. He took a deep breath and opened the doors and walked through.
Felicia turned when she heard the door open. Her blue eyes danced in immediate recognition. She dropped the towel she was holding and came from behind the bar slowly.
Frisco smiled lightly. “Hi, Felicia, it’s been a long time.”
She merely nodded, but made no attempt to speak as she approached her ex-husband. When she stopped directly in front of him, he reached out.
Felicia lifted her right hand and slapped him as hard as she could.
Stefan removed his glasses and stood. He walked over to the sideboard and pulled the top off of a decanter of bourbon.
“Would either of you gentlemen care for a drink?” he asked.
“Make it a double,” Luke called.
“No, thanks,” RJ said. “Stefan, is there anything you know that could help me?”
Stefan turned around and handed Luke his glass and then took a sip of his own. “You’re correct in the fact that Demetrios is not your father’s father. As I said, Demetrios was only in his late twenties when I caught a glimpse of him in 1968. When was your father born?”
“June 3, 1946,” RJ said. “My dad was born less than a decade after Demetrios if you’re right that he was only in his late twenties when you saw him.”
“What makes you think your father might have been a Cassadine himself?” Stefan wanted to know.
RJ frowned. “Nothing else makes sense. Why would Demetrios Cassadine have cared one little bit about my father unless another Cassadine was his father?”
“I truly am sorry I cannot be of more help, Robert,” Stefan apologized.
RJ waved him off as he stood. “I don’t think I really expected you to have answers for me. I was mostly…going out on a limb.”
“Perhaps there is someone who might be of help to you,” Stefan mentioned before RJ and Luke could leave.
“Who?” Luke questioned impatiently.
Stefan reached into his rolodex and pulled out a business card and handed it to RJ. “This man is an old…associate of my father’s. He knew many of my father’s secrets. He might be able to assist you in your search for Demetrios.”
RJ looked at the card. “Salem, Missouri. Titan Industries. Victor Kiriakis.”
Frisco’s hand shot to his reddened face. “What the hell was that for?”
“What do you think?”
“Look, I know it’s been a long time since I was home, but…” he was cut off by another slap.
“No buts,” Felicia cut in. “It’s been almost fifteen years since you had the decency to show your face in Port Charles. Why are you back now?”
Frisco walked to a table and sat down. “I wanted…I wanted to see you. I…Maxie…I wanted to come home and see Maxie, my little girl.”
Felicia sat across from him. “I hate to break it to you, but Maxie is all grown up. She’s not a little girl anymore, Frisco. She’s eighteen years old now and I moved on a long time ago.”
He nodded. “I know. I’ve known that since I left again all those years ago. I knew Mac wouldn’t let you get away. You have another daughter, don’t you?”
Felicia smiled. “Yes, Mac and I have a daughter. Her name is Georgie. She’ll be fourteen in March. How did you know that?”
“I’ve kept up with the goings on in Port Charles,” he revealed.
“Tony,” Felicia guessed. “You’ve kept in touch with your brother.”
Frisco shrugged. “Not really. I’ve spoken to him here and there. He mentioned you’d had a daughter.”
Felicia then shifted the conversation away from her family. “So, how long are you here for this time?”
“For good,” he said softly. “I’m home for good, Felicia.”
RJ and Luke were about to head out of Stefan’s study when he stopped them.
“One more thing; you might be interested in the fact that Helena spent time in Australia in the late sixties,” Stefan revealed to them.
RJ turned around. “Doing what?”
“That I do not know,” Stefan said. “Perhaps you can find that out from Victor Kiriakis. My father wasn’t the only one who knew Victor…well.”
Luke snickered. “Another one of the Black Widow’s conquests?”
Stefan nodded. “Indeed. I wish you good luck.”
RJ and Luke left the study and quickly made their way back to the launch.
“Think he was telling the truth?” RJ asked as the boat made its way back towards the mainland.
“Yeah, I do,” Luke told RJ, surprising the younger man. “He’s got no reason to lie in this case. Question is; will this Victor Kiriakis give up any info he might have?”
“I guess I’ll find out when I get there,” RJ said. “I gotta go talk to Mac. I need to talk to Robin and…this is all so crazy.”
Luke put his hand on RJ’s shoulder. “Hang in there, Junior. You’re a Scorpio, you’ll figure this out. I got faith in you.”
RJ smirked sadly. “Yeah, I’m a Scorpio. Only…maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m a Cassadine.”
Frisco walked into the five-star restaurant at the hotel with his cheek still smarting from Felicia’s slaps. He’d known she was going to be angry with him, but he’d never imagined the fury he’d encountered.
“Uncle Frisco,” Robin called.
He turned and smiled at his goddaughter. “Hi, sweetheart.”
“What happened to your cheek?” Robin questioned.
Frisco smiled gently. “I had a chat with Felicia. She…wasn’t very happy to see me.”
Robin sighed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think she’d actually hit you.”
The two sat down at a table near the back of the restaurant where it was quiet. “Yeah, well, like I told you, I’ve earned her anger. I can’t imagine it’ll be different with Maxie.”
Robin reached across the table and rested her hand on his. “I wish I could make it easier for you.”
“Why aren’t you angry with me?” he wanted to know. “I walked away from you, too. You and your brothers have as much right…”
Robin sighed. “It takes too much energy being angry. I’m just going to be happy you’re back.”
Patrick arrived just as the waitress came to the table.
“What can I get you to drink?”
“Water is fine for me,” Robin ordered.
“Beer,” Patrick and Frisco replied together.
As the waitress left, Frisco spoke. “So, you were gonna tell me why you’re living in a hotel.”
Robin and Patrick shared a look before Robin launched into the story of their lives since New Year’s Eve.
RJ stopped his car in front of the MetroCourt and practically ran inside. He’d spoken to Mac on the drive to the hotel and then had called his sister.
RJ was stunned when he saw Frisco Jones sitting with Robin and Patrick. “What the hell are you doing back here?”
Frisco stood and met RJ’s angry glare. “I decided it was time to come home, and just in time. Robin and Patrick were just telling me what’s been going on.”
RJ stared for several long moments at Frisco. “Am I supposed to believe that you care? You haven’t been here for fifteen years. Felicia is married, you know, to my uncle. Maxie’s all grown up and us Scorpio’s, we don’t need you either. So, you might as well just…”
“RJ, stop!” Robin commanded. “Uncle Frisco is…”
“Whatever,” RJ interrupted. “Look, I just came back from Wyndemere with Luke. We need to talk about some things. Now.”
“I can help,” Frisco mentioned as he sat back down. “My contacts within the WSB could…”
RJ sat down as well. “I don’t care about your WSB contacts. Every time those inept agents get involved in something, they usually screw it up.”
Patrick cleared his throat. “What do we need to talk about?”
While RJ hated discussing anything in front of Frisco, he knew he didn’t have a choice. “First, I need to ask you both something. Can you take leave from the hospital? Like a few weeks’ worth?”
Robin was taken aback by that request. “Are we going somewhere?”
RJ nodded. “Yeah. Stefan gave me a place to start with the postcards, as well as some papers that Luke gave me. He’d been keeping them safe with instructions from Dad to only give them to me when circumstances warranted it.”
“They do now?” Robin wondered just as the waitress came back to take their orders.
Everyone ordered dinner and once the young waitress was gone, RJ nodded. “Yeah, they did. Here, take a look.”
He handed her the papers and waited for her to read through them.
“Oh, my God,” Robin breathed.
Frisco and Patrick had moved to stand behind Robin and had been reading as well.
“Your father wasn’t a Scorpio?” Patrick questioned, amazed.
RJ shook his head. “Apparently not. He was born Alexios Liakos in Greece to Larisa Liakos, a nineteen-year-old girl. Three years later, for some unknown reason, she gave her son away. He was adopted and taken to Australia by his adoptive parents, Xavier and Patricia Scorpio.”
“Did Luke tell you who gave these files to your father?” Frisco questioned.
RJ nodded. “Yeah, a guy named Christos Melonakos. It’s an alias. His real name is Demetrios Cassadine. He gave those papers to Dad when he was in Greece those few weeks before…before he and Mom died.”
“What do we do now?” Robin asked.
“Like I asked, can you take some time off from the hospital?” he questioned again. “Stefan gave me the name of someone in Salem, Missouri who was a business associate of Mikkos Cassadine and the once upon a time lover of Helena. Stefan thinks he might have information about Demetrios. So, if you want to come along, I’m headed out tomorrow morning for Missouri.”
“What about Justin and Emma?” Patrick wondered.
“They can stay with Elizabeth and Lucky,” RJ said. “You know they’d love that.”
Robin knew that was the truth. But with everything going on, she worried about their safety.
Frisco could see her hesitation. “Listen, I’m staying in town. I’ll look out for them while you’re gone. I’ll dig into things here, too. Maybe I can find some info on Demetrios Cassadine from the WSB.”
RJ desperately wanted to warn him again to stay out of it, but figured it was pointless so he left it alone.
The conversation continued over dinner. Patrick stepped away for a few minutes to call the hospital. He spoke to Monica and let her know that something had come up and he and Robin needed to take a leave of absence for a few days, possibly longer.
When dinner was finished, RJ stood. “I’ll come by and pick you guys up in the morning. If we all take turns driving, we can go straight through.”
Everyone agreed and RJ left, headed to pick up Erin and Cooper. He’d decided that he wanted to spend the night with them before he left.
Robin and Patrick had gone to pick Justin and Emma up from Bobbie’s after dinner and were now in their suite at the hotel.
Robin was curled against Patrick as they lay in bed. “Are you sure about this?”
She nodded. “Yes. I know what RJ’s thinking even though he didn’t say it at dinner.”
“I do, too,” Patrick revealed. “He thinks your father was born a Cassadine.”
“Yeah, and I think he’s right, but…” she trailed off.
“But what?” he asked as he looked down at where her head rested against his chest.
She snuggled closer. “Only one thing makes sense to me where my father and the Cassadine family are concerned.”
“What do you mean?”
“If my dad was born a Cassadine, it wouldn’t matter if Demetrios or any of Mikkos’ brothers were his father,” Robin explained. “Like most royal families, only the eldest male child is the heir apparent.”
The wheels in Patrick’s head were turning. “But, it would matter a lot if your dad wasn’t the son of any old Cassadine son. If he was…”
Robin sat up, as did Patrick. “It would matter a lot if Mikkos Cassadine was my dad’s father. Why else all the secrecy?”
Patrick shook his head. “I don’t know. Wouldn’t Mikkos have known he fathered a son long before your dad…Alexios was three years old?”
Robin shrugged. “I don’t know. But, this changes everything. I think RJ is right. Our father was born a Cassadine. We just don’t know which Cassadine son was his father.”
“Well, we can hope this Victor Kiriakis can shed some light on that for us,” Patrick said. “For now, we should get some sleep. Something tells me we’re gonna have a long couple of days.”
Robin leaned in and the couple shared a long, sweet kiss before lying back down and drifting off to sleep.
“Your friend doesn’t talk much,” Erin commented as she sat down next to RJ on the couch.
He laughed. “No, Jason isn’t really much of a talker. But, I trust him and I trust Sonny and their men. They’ll keep you and Cooper safe while I’m gone.”
Erin didn’t know if she believed that, but she trusted RJ. “You’re coming back, right?”
RJ smiled. “I’m gonna do my level best.”
A few tears clouded her eyes. “I want Cooper to know his father.”
RJ pulled her close and pressed a kiss to her temple. “Erin, I can’t…I can’t promise anything. But, I can tell you that I’m going to do everything I can to stay alive and come home to Cooper, and to you.”
He leaned in then and pressed his lips against hers. They were soon out of breath and pulled away. RJ tenderly ran his fingers through her long hair.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispered before standing up and holding out his hand.
Erin took it and followed RJ into his bedroom. “Are you sure about this?”
RJ leaned down and kissed her softly. “I am if you are.”
The two climbed into RJ’s bed and slowly made love for the first time in five years.
Chapter 12: Chapter Eleven
Driving straight through, the trip from Port Charles had taken just under eighteen hours. Robin, Patrick and RJ had taken turns driving. When they’d arrived, they checked into a motel and slept all night.
Now, it was just after nine the following morning and they were standing on the sidewalk outside the large high-rise building which housed Titan Industries.
“What do we say to this guy?” Robin wondered out loud as they walked into the building.
“May I help you?” the young female receptionist asked.
RJ smiled, his dimples shining. “We’re here to see Victor Kiriakis.”
The young woman blushed as Robin rolled her eyes at her brother. He was a natural flirt, just like their dad.
“Is Mr. Kiriakis expecting you?”
“Um, no, he isn’t,” RJ admitted. “But, if you would call him and let him know that Robert Scorpio Jr. is here to see him, and that Stefan Cassadine sent me, I’m sure he’ll see us.”
She picked up the phone and dialed Victor’s office. RJ listened as she relayed his message exactly as he’d told it to her. He was pleased when he heard her end of the conversation.
“Of course, Mr. Kiriakis, I’ll send them right up, Sir,” she said into her phone. “Thank you.”
She put down the phone and smiled at RJ. “Mr. Kiriakis said to come right to his office. You’ll take these elevators to the twenty-fifth floor. When you exit, make a left and his office is the first door on the right.”
“Thank you,” RJ said, flashing his dimples one more time.
The trio headed into the elevator.
“You are an incurable flirt,” Robin admonished her twin.
RJ laughed. “Oh, come on. No harm, no foul. I just wanted the quickest way to see this Kiriakis guy. Flirting with the secretary seemed the fastest way to accomplish my goal.”
They arrived on the twenty-fifth floor and walked right to Victor’s office. RJ knocked and when they heard the man call for them to enter, he pushed the door open.
“You must be Robert Scorpio Jr.,” Victor stated as he stood and moved out from behind his desk.
RJ nodded. “Yeah, that’s me. This is my sister, Robin and her husband, Patrick. Thank you for agreeing to see us.”
Victor shook hands with the three of them and offered them each a chair. “Now, tell me what I can do for you. I was intrigued when I heard Stefan Cassadine’s name.”
RJ got right to the point. “You can tell me what you know about Demetrios Cassadine and a young woman named Larisa Liakos.”
Victor nearly fell into his chair. As it was, he sat down much quicker than he meant to. “Where did you hear those names?”
Patrick knew RJ had struck a chord. This man knew Demetrios.
RJ had the papers Luke had given him in his pocket, but he wanted to see what he could get out of Victor first without them.
“Stefan Cassadine mentioned to me that you were an old friend of Mikkos Cassadine, his father,” RJ stated. “He also told me you knew many of Mikkos’ secrets and you might have information I need.”
Victor nodded slowly. “What information might that be?”
Robin picked up the story then. “Many years ago, back in late 1991, early 1992, our father, Robert Scorpio was in Greece. He was approached by a man named Christos Melonakos, which we found out was an alias. His real name was…”
“Demetrios Cassadine,” Victor interrupted. “Yes, I was a friend of Mikkos’ many years ago. Shortly before his father Matthias passed away, Mikkos discovered that Matthias had fathered another son, Demetrios. Mikkos wanted to find his half-brother and get to know him.”
“I assume he found him?” Patrick questioned.
Victor nodded. “Yes, Mikkos tracked him to Australia. He was living under the name Christos Melonakos by then. He lived with his mother and stepfather, Niko Melonakos.”
“When was this?” RJ wanted to know.
“It was the summer of 1944,” Victor answered immediately. “Christos, or Demetrios rather, was only a boy at the time, about five years old or so.”
Robin nodded. That confirmed that Demetrios was certainly not their grandfather. “What did Mikkos do?”
“Nothing, Victor answered. “Mikkos watched him for several days and then returned to Greece. To my knowledge, he never saw him again until the late 1960’s in a business meeting in Athens, at which I was also present. Of course, he’d kept track of Demetrios and watched his rise in the business world.”
“What do you know about Larisa Liakos?” RJ then asked. He’d seen Victor’s reaction, and he knew it couldn’t have only been in regards to Demetrios.
“Larisa Liakos was an impossibly beautiful young woman when Mikkos and I met her,” Victor revealed, a look of fondness on his face. “She was the daughter of a business associate of ours. Mikkos was…smitten from the start.”
“Was he married to Helena by then?” Robin wondered.
Victor shook his head. “No, he wasn’t. We met Larisa in late 1945. She was just eighteen then and as I said, very beautiful. Mikkos didn’t marry Helena until 1949. Her only purpose then was to produce an heir to the Cassadine name, title and fortune. Unfortunately for her, she was able to conceive, but had suffered several miscarriages between 1949 and 1958 when Stavros was finally born.”
Patrick detected something in Victor’s voice when he saw Stavros’ name; a softening in his tone.
“Mikkos wasn’t Stavros’ father, was he?” Patrick took a stab; his intuition telling him he had to be right.
Victor’s eyes narrowed. “How did…how do you know that? No one knows that except for…”
RJ leaned forward. “Helena and you, right? You and Mikkos both found Larisa attractive, but she chose him, so years later, you went after Helena, and she chose you. Am I right?”
Victor sighed deeply. “Yes, you’re right, more or less anyway. Larisa chose Mikkos over me. They had a whirlwind romance. He fell deeply in love with her, but her father found out and the very next day, Larisa was gone. Mikkos was heartbroken. When Helena came around, Mikkos married her to try and forget about Larisa. It didn’t work. He was constantly comparing Helena to Larisa, berating her for not being able to carry a child to term. He even…he even hit her at times, perhaps causing some of those miscarriages. To make a long story short, I found Helena crying one night in the gardens on Cassadine Island as I was leaving after a meeting with Mikkos. She confided in me the horrible things Mikkos said to her and…”
“You’re Stavros’ father, aren’t you?” Robin asked him.
With a wistful look in his eyes, Victor nodded. “Yes. Stavros Cassadine was my son, mine and Helena’s.”
“Did Mikkos know the truth?” RJ questioned. “Did he ever discover that you and Helena had betrayed him?”
“I don’t believe so,” Victor revealed. “Helena certainly never told him and neither did I. It was a foolish mistake on my part. Helena Cassadine never cared for anyone but herself, not until Stavros came along. But he was her trump card. She passed off my son as the heir to the Cassadine name.”
Patrick and Robin knew what RJ was going to ask next. It was the questions that would give Robin and RJ the answers they needed.
“Mikkos and Larisa, were they…you said the fell in love,” RJ started. “Did they…were they ever intimate?”
Victor nodded. “Yes, they were. I recall a late-night business meeting between us when he crudely remarked that it was nice to have a woman who had never been touched by another man. He said she would only ever belong to him. “
RJ swallowed. “Did Mikkos ever know that…that Larisa…”
Victor could see RJ struggling with something. “Did Mikkos ever know that Larisa…what?”
“Did he ever know that she had become pregnant?” RJ blurted out.
“Pregnant?” Victor gasped. “Larisa…she had a child?”
RJ reached then into his jacket pocket and handed Victor the birth certificate for Alexios Liakos.
“Demetrios Cassadine gave that to my father in late 1991 when he was in Greece,” RJ explained. “It’s a birth certificate for Alexios Liakos, son of Larisa Liakos, born in Greece in June of 1946. That boy was raised in Athens until he was three years old at which time, for some unexplained reason, Larisa gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by my grandparents, Xavier and Patricia Scorpio and taken to Australia where he was raised as Robert Scorpio.”
“My God,” Victor said, his hands shaking as he held the document. “I never…I don’t think Mikkos knew. He would have…”
“He had to have known,” Patrick chimed in. “Why else would that woman have given up her son? He must have known and threatened her, or…”
“You think Mikkos would have threatened her?” Victor demanded. “He loved her beyond reason. If he’d known she had a child, his child, he would have moved heaven and Earth for her and that boy. He would never have…”
“Wouldn’t he?” RJ questioned. “I’m gonna guess you know what became of your friend in later years. He tried to freeze the city where I grew up, Port Charles, New York. He was insane. So is Helena. If he’d discovered that Larisa had borne a child, a son, and that the boy was his, he’d have seen that child as a threat to his plans to have a family with Helena. She was the…”
Victor shook his head. “No, I don’t…I won’t believe it. If Mikkos had known…he would never have harmed his own child.”
“But he did,” Patrick stated. “You said it yourself. He used to hit Helena. He was the cause of some of the miscarriages she had. If he could do that to his own wife, why not to a child that already existed? Something scared Larisa Liakos enough to give her son away. I’m guessing that something was Mikkos himself.”
“There is someone who would know,” Victor revealed. “But you’ll have to travel to Germany to find him.”
“Who,” RJ asked. “Who do we need to speak to when we get there?”
Victor handed him a business card where he had scribbled a phone number and an address. “He can tell you everything. He never told Mikkos, but…he kept his eyes on Larisa for years after her father sent her away from Mikkos. If anyone can tell you why she gave her son away, it’s him.”
“Who is he?” Robin asked.
“His name is Marc Berger,” Victor said. “But you may know of him as Victor Cassadine.”
The three of them had decided that they would stay in Salem until the following morning when they could catch a flight out to Hamburg, Germany.
RJ was pacing the room like a caged animal. He was shaking. He was wringing his hands together.
“Calm down,” Robin instructed.
RJ shook his head. “I can’t. Robin, I…I just can’t. Don’t you realize what this means?”
She shook her head. “Yes, we’re…Cassadine’s. We’re related to Nikolas.”
RJ sat down and sighed. “I know, but…but that isn’t what I mean. Nikolas is a Cassadine. You’re a Cassadine. Alexis, Sam, Kristina and Molly are Cassadine’s. But me, Robin, I’m the Cassadine. Someone knows it, too, and they know about…”
“About what?” Robin asked.
He realized then that he hadn’t told her about Erin and Cooper. He took a deep breath and relayed the story to her and Patrick. When he was done, he was up and pacing again.
“So, Erin got that postcard on her doorstep?” Patrick asked to be clear. “You think it was Helena?”
RJ shrugged. “I don’t know. Erin swears she never told anyone she was pregnant and she never mentioned my name to anyone. If both of those things are true, then I don’t know how anyone could possibly have known that I was Cooper’s father.”
“Maybe no one knows,” Robin played devil’s advocate. “Maybe someone is guessing because they saw you two together. Plus, we’re assuming that the child Larisa Liakos gave birth to was Mikkos’ child as well.”
“What, you think her father dragged her from Mikkos’ grasp and she fell into bed with someone else the next day and got pregnant?” RJ asked sarcastically.
Robin glared at her brother. “Don’t be an ass.”
Patrick smirked. “Look, I think we all need to calm down. It’s a pretty safe bet that Mikkos Cassadine was…your grandfather. Now we need to find out if he knew it or not, and maybe more importantly, if Helena knew it or not.”
RJ’s eyes lit up. “Oh, my God, she did. Helena knew it and she tried…she tried to kill Dad.”
Robin was dumbstruck. “What? How do you figure that?”
“When Luke and I went to Wyndemere to talk to Stefan, right before we left, he told me that Helena had traveled to and spent some time in Australia in the late sixties,” RJ told them.
“How do you get that she tried to kill Dad from the fact that she was in Australia in the late sixties?” Robin wanted to know.
RJ looked at her hard. “Robin, what happened to our grandparents in 1969?”
It suddenly dawned on her and her mouth dropped open. Patrick was looking back and forth between the two siblings.
“What?” Patrick asked. “What happened to them?”
“Our grandparents, Dad, Dad’s fiancée and Uncle Mac were all on a plane in 1969,” Robin began. “Uncle Mac was flying and the way Dad told it, he was being careless and reckless in an attempt to impress our grandfather. The plane crashed. Our grandparents and our Dad’s fiancée were all killed and Dad was seriously injured. Uncle Mac went to get help. Dad assumed he’d run off, leaving Dad to save himself. Dad was rescued by someone else, and…”
Patrick grasped her hand tightly in his as she continued. “He held a grudge for a long time. Turned out that Uncle Mac had come back with rescuers, but Dad had already been found by someone else.”
“You think it wasn’t Mac’s flying that caused the crash?” Patrick asked RJ.
“Mac has always sworn that he wasn’t doing anything stupid,” RJ said. “He said the engine blew and that’s what caused the plane to go haywire. I think Helena, or someone she hired, did something to the plane that caused the engine to blow and the plane to crash. She knew the entire family was on board, including Dad’s fiancée, who was…”
“Was what?” Robin asked.
“I didn’t know you never knew,” RJ told her first. “Dad’s fiancée was pregnant. I think Helena knew who Dad really was and she knew that his fiancée was pregnant and she tried to kill them both. But, Dad survived and not too long after that, he became a WSB agent. She must have lost track of him after that. He did deep undercover those first few years.”
“Why would she have stopped coming after him though once he reappeared here in Port Charles?” Patrick wondered.
“I don’t know,” Robin said. “Stavros had kidnapped Laura by then and Nikolas was born. Maybe she didn’t feel the need to go after Dad anymore. She’d secured her hold on the Cassadine fortune with Stavros and Nikolas. I’m sure she never intended for anyone to find out that Stavros wasn’t Mikkos’ son, and no one did. But then it didn’t matter when…”
RJ continued. “When everyone found out that Nikolas was really Stefan’s son. Maybe Helena was satisfied that Dad had no idea who he really was; that he was the true heir of the Cassadine family.”
Patrick stood and began pacing. “Why is all of this so important? I mean, it’s just money, right? Who cares about the eldest son and all that crap? Why does Helena care so much?”
Robin’s answer was immediate. “She cares because of the rumors.”
“What rumors?” Patrick wondered.
RJ chuckled. He’s never put much stock in the rumor, mostly because Nikolas didn’t, but now he wondered.
“Rumor has it that…” he hesitated because it sounded ridiculous. “The way Nikolas and Stefan tell it; Mikkos’ father Matthias wasn’t really Matthias Cassadine at all.”
Patrick frowned. “What the hell does that mean? Then who was he?”
“There really was a Matthias Cassadine,” RJ explained. “He was born in Greece in 1902 and he…he died in Greece in 1906. He then miraculously reappeared in 1921 as the supposedly hidden away eldest son of Pavlos Cassadine, himself the eldest son of the eldest son and so on.”
“How can a dead guy reappear?” Patrick wanted to know as he sat back down.
Robin laughed. “That’s the interesting part of the story. People reported that the newly reappeared Matthias had a Russian accent. The Cassadine cover story was that Matthias was reported dead in 1906 and sent away to Russia to live with relatives where he would be safe. But, Nikolas and Stefan say the truth was that Matthias really did die and that years later, in July of 1918, Pavlos and his brother were traveling through Yekaterinburg and happened upon a badly wounded, nearly fourteen-year old boy.”
Patrick’s eyes widened as he recognized the story Robin was telling him.
“Are you seriously telling me that…that Matthias Cassadine was really…” he couldn’t even finish the question.
RJ nodded. “Yep, that’s what she’s telling you. Matthias Cassadine was really named Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov, Tsarevich and heir apparent to the Russian throne.”
Chapter 13: Chapter Twelve
The Following Morning
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Robin had her head on Patrick’s shoulder as they both watched RJ twirling his PCPD badge in his hands.
“What’s he doing?” Patrick wondered quietly.
Robin kept watching her twin brother. They had shared their mother’s womb for nine months and had spent their lives together and she had no idea what he was thinking.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Contemplating, I suppose. RJ’s always known who he was; Robert Scorpio’s son. Now that it appears we’re Cassadine’s, it’s thrown his world off its axis.”
“He’s still your dad’s son,” Patrick pointed out. “Different last name shouldn’t matter.”
“It doesn’t, to a point,” Robin said. “But, being the prince, that matters.”
Patrick sighed. “I’ve been thinking about all this. RJ thinks its Helena behind the postcards and the attack on our house because she knows the truth about your father and RJ.”
“You don’t think so?” Robin questioned.
“No, I don’t,” he confirmed. “She has no reason. Stavros wasn’t the heir.”
Robin nodded. “That’s exactly why she does care.”
Patrick nodded. “I know, but my point is that she shouldn’t. Look, Stavros wasn’t the heir. He was the son of Victor Kiriakis. But, Stefan is Mikkos’ son and Nik is Stefan’s son. The Cassadine family still has an heir. As far as we know, Helena and maybe Victor and Demetrios Cassadine are the only ones who know the truth about your dad being Mikkos’ firstborn son. Everyone else, the entire world can be told that it’s Stefan and Nikolas. Helena could simply tell everyone that Mikkos lied about Stavros; that he knew Stavros wasn’t his and that Stefan was. There is no threat to her, whether she knows the truth or not.”
“He’s right,” RJ said suddenly from his seat. “Helena knowing the truth doesn’t matter. Stavros is long dead and she wouldn’t hesitate to pass off her lies as Mikkos’. With Stefan and Nikolas, she still has a way to ultimate power. She doesn’t need me or Cooper to have it. Hell, she doesn’t even need Stefan and Nikolas. She’s in control now; has been since the news came out all those years ago about Nikolas being Stefan’s son. As long as the world as a whole doesn’t know the truth, she’s safe, and if it is revealed, she’ll reveal that Stefan was Mikkos’ eldest son rather than Stavros. DNA tests will back her up.”
“She knows even if you’ve discovered the truth, you certainly won’t go yelling it from the rooftops,” Robin factored. “Perfect plan. She has a plan for power on all sides.”
“It begs the question, if not Helena, then who?” Patrick wondered out loud.
“Maybe Victor Cassadine can tell us that,” Robin offered.
RJ nodded. “Maybe.”
Church of All Saints
“Ты поздно, мой друг,” a man with dark, graying hair said quietly as his companion slid into the pew next to him at the back of the church.
“Мои извинения,” he replied softly in Dutch-accented Russian. “Я проверка на наши цели в планы поездок.”
“Они являются в настоящее время пути в Гамбург, Германия,” he revealed.
The other man pondered that answer. “Кто мы знаем в Германии?”
“No one,” he answered in English.
The man pinned his friend with an intense gaze. “They are not traveling to Germany for the fun of it, Cesar. You will find out why and I expect a report by tomorrow morning.”
Cesar Faison nodded once. He wasn’t intimidated by his associate, but he knew not to push Demetrios Cassadine too far. The man was cold. He possessed no fear.
Cesar stood and exited the church. He breathed deeply the cold Yekaterinburg air into his lungs. It had been too long since he’d stood on Russian soil; his ancestral home. His father, Gustaaf had been born in Siberia to a Russian father and Dutch mother. In turn, Gustaaf’s father, Dmitri had also been born in Siberia, as had his father Grigori.
“I will return our name to glory,” Faison whispered into the winds as he gazed back at the church that had been built over the former site of the Ipatiev House. “Our name will be spoken again and when it is, my dear Robin will take her mother’s place at my side.”
With that, Cesar Faison, born Anton Rasputin, the great-grandson of Grigori Rasputin set off to discover why his beloved Robin, her husband and brother were traveling to Germany.
“Father?” Nikolas asked as he entered Stefan’s study. “May I have a word?”
Stefan eyed his eldest son and smiled. “Of course. Sit, please. What may I do for you, Nikolas?”
Nik sat down and took a deep breath. “What did RJ and Luke want to speak to you about?”
Stefan sat down and explained the conversation to his son. Once finished, Nikolas was astonished.
“Unbelievable,” Nikolas finally managed. “But, if Demetrios wasn’t Robert Scorpio’s biological father, then who was? I don’t recall any stories of Uncle Tony or Uncle Victor having any sons; any children at all.”
Stefan sighed and rubbed his eyes. “I know. That leaves one person.”
Nikolas’ eyes widened. “Grandfather?”
“Yes,” Stefan revealed. “After the whole conversation, seeing the papers RJ presented, I am fairly certain that before your grandfather married your grandmother; before your Uncle Stavros and I came along, Mikkos Cassadine had already fathered a son.”
“Robert Scorpio,” Nikolas said.
“Robert Scorpio,” Stefan agreed.
36 Hours Later
Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg
“I love you, you know,” Patrick said out of the blue as he watched Robin dress for bed.
She smiled back at him as she climbed into bed and snuggled against his side. “I love you, too.”
Patrick pressed a gentle kiss to her mouth, lightly running his tongue across her lower lip; coaxing her mouth open.
Robin leaned back pulling Patrick down against her body as their tongues tangled. Robin’s hands were pulling at Patrick’s shirt as he kissed his way from her mouth to her neck.
“Patrick,” Robin moaned his name softly.
Slowly they divested each other of their clothes and made love gently and tenderly through the night.
Unable to sleep, RJ was sitting at the window of his room staring out into the night. For nearly an hour he’d felt like he was being watched. Finally, after searching the nearly empty street below, he noticed movement across the street beneath an awning.
He watched for several long moments before the figure was visible, and when it was, RJ felt a chill run up his spine, making the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end.
It was Cesar Faison.
Ты поздно, мой друг. (You’re late, my friend.)
“Мои извинения. Я проверка на наши цели в планы поездок. (I was checking up on our targets travel plans.
Они являются в настоящее время пути в Гамбург, Германия. (They are currently en route to Hamburg, Germany.)
Кто мы знаем в Германии? (Who do we know in Germany?)
Chapter 14: Chapter Thirteen
RJ wasn’t sure if he should keep watching or scramble up from his chair and run next door to Robin and Patrick’s. After several long moments, he reached for his cell phone. He dialed quickly, knowing the person on the other end would answer.
”Spencer,” came Luke’s voice.
“Faison’s alive,” was all RJ said, knowing it would be enough.
”Where are you?” Luke asked, already tossing papers into his desk and grabbing his car keys.
“Hamburg, Germany,” he said. “We got in a couple of hours ago. Robin and Patrick are sleeping. I felt like I was being watched and…I looked out the window and there he was, Luke. The bastard’s alive.”
”Okay, calm down, Junior. First, did Faison see you?”
RJ took a deep breath. “No. No, I don’t think so. He never turned in my direction.”
”Here’s what you’re gonna do,” Luke began. ”You’re gonna go to bed and get some sleep. In the morning when you wake up, the three of you are gonna track down Victor Cassadine. When you’re done there, I want you to call me back.”
RJ agreed and when they hung up, he felt a little better. He pulled off his shirt and jeans and climbed into bed. Morning would dawn before he knew it and he wanted to be fresh for tracking down Marc Berger; Victor Cassadine.
Robin didn’t know what woke her up; it was just past four in the morning when she looked at the clock. She looked over at Patrick and determined that he was still sound asleep. Slowly she rose from the bed and pulled on a thin robe and tightened it as she walked slowly to the window.
Carefully she pulled back the curtains and looked out into the early morning moonlight. There was a light rain falling and Robin scanned the street below, searching the darkness for the source of the unease she felt.
“Robin, what’s wrong?” Patrick asked as he sat up in the bed after noticing she wasn’t next to him.
Robin took one last look before turning around and smiling at her husband. “Nothing. I just woke and couldn’t get back to sleep.”
Patrick stood and walked to her at the window. “What’s so interesting outside?”
Robin didn’t answer right away. She allowed herself a moment to acknowledge the fact that Patrick had become much more observant.
“Nothing,” she answered again. “Like I said, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I just got up and decided to look outside. It’s raining.”
Patrick wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her back against his chest. “I know you, Robin; something’s wrong. What is it, baby?”
She sighed. “I…I don’t know. I felt…uneasy. It’s what woke me up, I think. I came to the window and looked out.”
Patrick’s eyebrows raised. “Did you see anything?”
Robin shook her head. “Just the rain. We didn’t bring umbrellas with us.”
Patrick chuckled a little. “I bet we can buy some in one of the hotel shops. We should head back to bed; get a few more hours sleep before we have to be up.”
Robin pulled herself from his grasp. “I just need to use the restroom. I’ll meet you back in bed.”
Patrick watched her walk to the bathroom before he turned back and carefully drew back the curtains to peek outside. At first all he saw was the rain. But just before he let the curtain go, he saw a dark figure across the street; staring straight at him.
After his short conversation with RJ, Luke had left his club. His first stop had been at the PCPD to speak with Mac. He’d relayed the fact that RJ believed that Faison was alive. They’d had a brief conversation in which Luke had told Mac he would be traveling to Hamburg to meet up with RJ, Robin and Patrick.
Luke’s next stop had been Wyndemere to speak with Lucky and Ethan. Both Spencer young men had immediately volunteered to go with Luke, but he had tasked them with staying behind and helping Stefan coordinate security for everyone who might be targeted in Port Charles. He had also asked Stefan for use of one of the Cassadine planes, to which Stefan readily agreed.
Lastly, Luke had gone by PCU and collected Jamie before both headed off to Sean’s apartment. He had quickly explained the situation and waited for the reaction.
“I’m coming with you,” Sean announced as he stood and headed for his bedroom to pack a bag.
“Sean, wait for…”
Sean spun on his heel and glared at Luke.
“Wait for what?!” he demanded loudly. “That bastard took our parents away, Luke. He murdered them! I’m not waiting for anything. I’m gonna find him and I’m gonna kill him!”
He slammed his bedroom door behind him, leaving Jamie and Luke sitting side by side on the couch.
“Sorry about that, Luke,” Jamie said. “He gets…”
Luke held up his hand. “No need to apologize. The two of you were cheated out of a lot when your parents died. Robin and RJ were too, but you and Sean…it’s different for you guys.”
“Sean had you,” Jamie commented.
Luke sighed heavily. “Not really, Jamie, because there was no need. Yes, I am biologically his father, but in every way that mattered, and still matters, Robert was his father; yours, too. He never took his responsibility as your dad lightly and he loved you both.”
Jamie nodded; a few tears in his eyes. “I know he did. Listen, I’m…I’m gonna go, too. I think Mom and Dad would want us chasing this down together.”
“We’ll stop back by PCU so you can pack a bag,” Luke assured the young man.
Sean was back in the livingroom within twenty minutes, dressed and packed; gun in hand.
Luke pointed to it. “How do you plan on getting that through airport security?”
Sean grinned. “Are we flying commercial?”
Luke grinned back. “Now that you mention it, no. Count Vlad has agreed to let us use the jet.”
“We still have to go through security when we land in Germany,” Jamie pointed out. “Unless…”
“Unless we’re met on the tarmac by Cassadine employees,” Luke said. “I hate doing it, playing nice with Cassadine associates, but it’s the only way to get in quickly and unobstructed.”
All three men headed out then, none of them knowing what they might be facing.
Patrick, Robin and RJ stood in front of a large office building called Chilehaus. Patrick had a photograph and was comparing.
“Looks like this is it,” he said, tucking the photo into his jeans pocket. “According to the concierge this is where we’ll find Marc Berger.”
RJ scrutinized the building. It looked old, but he was hard pressed to guess how old. There were lots of windows and a few balconies he could see, but not so many entrances and exits. In all, it didn’t appear that Marc Berger was hiding from anyone in this building. More like he was simply confident in his assumed identity and felt no need to hide. As far as he knew, no one was in possession of the knowledge that he was actually Victor Cassadine.
“Let’s go,” Robin said as she led the men into the building’s front entrance.
There was a small reception area with a middle-aged man sitting behind the desk. Robin surprised Patrick and RJ when she marched right up to him and in perfect German, began to speak.
“We’re here to see Herr Berger,” she said with a smile. “If you would be so kind as to tell him that Robert Scorpio is here to see him.”
Later, RJ would swear he saw a flash of fear in the man’s eyes before he pressed the intercom to speak with Marc Berger.
Victor Cassadine was seated behind his desk when the door opened and the man calling himself Robert Scorpio, along with two companions were escorted into the room by an older man. He wasn’t certain he managed it, but he tried hard to not react to the resemblance he saw in this young man and young woman to his deceased nephew.
“Your visitors, Herr Berger,” the man said.
Victor waved him off as he stood. “Thank you, Philip, you may go. I’ll tend to our guests.”
As the man left, Victor smiled at his visitors. He had no idea if they knew his true identity. There were very few people who did; Larisa Liakos and Victor Kiriakis came to mind first. The vast majority of people who’d known Victor Cassadine had been told he’d died in prison long ago.
“I was intrigued when I heard the name Robert Scorpio,” Victor began, fleshing out what information they had, and what their purpose was. “I once knew a man named Robert Scorpio. Both of you young men are far too young to be him, so I’ll assume I’m speaking to a son of the man I knew.”
RJ smiled back and gave a nod. “That’s right. I’m Robert Scorpio Jr. This is my sister, Robin, and her husband Patrick. I apologize for the unexpected intrusion, but we have some questions and were told you might have the answers we’re looking for.”
Victor offered them all a seat while he took his own. “What questions might those be, young man?”
“Mr. Berger, have you ever heard the name Larisa Liakos?” Patrick questioned.
Victor visibly flinched. “No, I cannot say that I have. Should I?”
RJ leaned forward. He wasn’t one for games. “Look, Mr. Berger, we just arrived recently after having a nice long chat in a place called Salem, Missouri with a man named Victor Kiriakis. He had some very interesting things to say about some of your relatives.”
“My relatives?” Victor asked, confusion written all over his face. “That’s impossible, young man. First, I have no recollection of ever having known a man named Victor Kiriakis, and second, I have no relatives. I am an only child and my parents are quite dead.”
“Cut the crap, Mr. Berger,” Robin burst out. “Your name is Victor Cassadine. We have questions about our father and Mikkos Cassadine and you’re going to answer them for us. Now.”
Victor’s expression was neutral. Obviously they knew much more than he’d hoped, but possibly not as much as he feared. So, he decide to allow some questioning.
“All right,” he began. “My name is indeed Victor Cassadine. Ask me your questions and if I am able to answer, I might.”
RJ, Robin and Patrick shared a look before silently agreeing to the terms.
“What do you know about our father, Robert Scorpio?”
Chapter 15: Chapter Fourteen
“What do you know about our father, Robert Scorpio?” RJ asked point blank.
Victor leaned forward on his desk. “Very little, actually. When last I saw your father, he was a small boy of three, snuggled in the arms of his mother, Larisa. Beyond that, I was informed years ago of his death. In between those events, I never saw him.”
“So, you did know Larisa Liakos?” Patrick asked.
Victor acquiesced. “Yes, I did. Not well, but yes, I knew her.”
“You knew her well enough to go to her and make her give up her son,” Robin said. “We want to know why? What was so important that she gave our father away?”
“Forgive me, but if the three of you are sitting in my office, then surely you already know the answer to these questions,” Victor told them. “Why come here and ask me?”
“We don’t know anything,” RJ said adamantly. “We have theories, speculations; no real answers. We want the truth.”
Victor sighed deeply. He was certain that he was the only person in the family, other than Helena, who knew the real truth about Robert Scorpio and his origins.
“I’m not certain there is much I can tell you,” he revealed.
“Tell us what you know,” Robin instructed. “We just want the truth.”
“Why is it so important to you?” Victor questioned. “He was your father, isn’t that enough information?”
“No!” RJ snapped. He reached into his bag and pulled out the postcards and tossed them onto the desk. “Those are why I want the truth. Someone knows the truth and they’re…taunting me with it. I need to know where to look.”
Victor was looking through the postcards and then got to the photo of Cooper and his eyes widened when he saw the words written on the back.
“Your son?” he asked RJ.
When RJ nodded, Victor stood and walked over to a safe in the corner and quickly opened it. He walked back to his desk and handed a file folder to RJ. When he opened it, he laughed and tossed it back.
“I’ve seen that,” RJ told him. “A friend gave it to me. My father was in Greece a few weeks before he died. A man named Christos Melonakos gave him those papers. He in turn gave them to his best friend and told him to only give me the papers if the situation warranted it.”
Victor frowned. “Your father knew he was adopted?”
RJ nodded. “Yes, he did. He found out then, when Christos Melonakos gave him that file.”
“Demetrios Cassadine,” Victor muttered. “His real name is Demetrios Cassadine.”
Patrick nodded. “We know that. He’s the youngest son of your father, Matthias. At first, we thought he was Robert Scorpio’s father.”
Victor actually chuckled. “I’m sure you came to rule that out fairly quickly, yes? There is only about a decade between their birth years.”
RJ smiled. “Yeah, we ruled that out. We knew that you and your brother Tony had no children at all, so that left one person.”
“Mikkos,” Victor answered. “Since you’ve obviously spoken to Victor Kiriakis, I’m sure you know the story of my brother and a young woman named Larisa Liakos.”
The three nodded in the affirmative, prompting Victor to continue.
“They had a very brief, very passionate affair when Larisa was only eighteen years old,” he told them. “Mikkos was unaware of Larisa’s subsequent pregnancy. He never once tried to find her. However, I kept an eye on her and discovered her pregnancy. I never told my brother, or anyone else in my family. I knew when she gave birth, and I knew it was a son.”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Robin asked then. “You didn’t think Mikkos would have been happy?”
Victor smiled at his great-niece. “He would have been ecstatic. I knew that, but I also knew he had commitments to our family and chasing after a teenager who’d had his son did not factor into those commitments.”
“You’re hiding something,” Patrick suddenly said. “You know who discovered Larisa had given birth to the heir to the Cassadine fortune, and the Russian throne.”
Victor couldn’t hide his shock.
RJ snickered. “Did we forget to mention that we know about the rumors that Matthias Cassadine was actually Alexei Romanov? I can see by the look on your face that it’s true. Isn’t it?”
Victor sighed deeply. These were secrets he’d kept since childhood and early adulthood. Secrets he’d never spoken aloud to anyone in more years that he could count.
“Yes, it is true,” he whispered. “My father was Alexei Romanov. My nephew, your father would have been in grave danger had the wrong people discovered his existence and true identity. Just several weeks before I convinced Larisa her child was already in danger, I’d discovered a woman had been asking around about Larisa and the rumors of her dalliance with the Cassadine prince. She had a Russian accent. She was older and she was traveling with a child, her son presumably. When I received word she was questioning people about the possible existence of an heir, I went to Larisa and…for lack of a better word, took your father from her and arranged for a quick adoption. The rest is, as they say, history. You know who he grew up to become and you know how and why he died, and at who’s hand.”
“Who was the woman?” RJ demanded. “Who was asking questions? Was she a Cassadine?”
Victor cleared his throat and thumbed through some old photographs in the contents he’d retrieved from the safe. When he came across the one he was looking for, he handed it to RJ.
“That is her,” he said. “That was a surveillance photo an…associate of mine managed to capture.”
RJ and Robin looked at the picture and gasped at the same time. They knew of this woman. They’d seen photos before. Their father had shown them when they were children.
“We learned only her name. Ekaterina Rostova. The boy, Valentin. Should it interest you, Rostova is Helena’s maiden name.”
The woman was their father’s first WSB teacher and partner. O’Reilly.
Chapter 16: Chapter Fifteen
“Oh, my God,” Robin breathed. “Oh, my…no, no this…”
“You know this woman?” Victor demanded.
RJ nodded and swallowed deeply. “Yeah. Well, no, not really. We never met her. She was our dad’s mentor when he first became a WSB agent.”
“Brighton O’Reilly was her name,” Robin said softly. “Dad always…always spoke so fondly of her. She taught him…”
Victor stood and began to pace. “All the precautions I took. I took him from Larisa to keep him safe and she got to him even before I…”
RJ stood as well. “I don’t understand. How could a woman you came across in 1949 be the same person my father was partnered with in the WSB so many years later?”
“I…I don’t know,” Victor answered.
“What did you saw her name was?” Robin questioned as she pulled out her cell phone.
“Ekaterina Rostova, born in Moscow,” Victor revealed.
Robin dialed quickly and the phone was answered quickly.
“Uncle Sean, it’s Robin,” she said in a rush. “RJ and I need your help.”
”Anything, sweetheart, what is it?”
Robin explained the situation as quickly as possible. “Can you look up the names Ekaterina Rostova and Valentin Rostov? We…I think she died in 1981, but I’m betting he is alive somewhere.”
”Of course, I’ll find what I can and have it to you today.”
Robin put her phone back in her bag.
“Why do you think she’s dead?” Victor questioned, already knowing the answer.
RJ smirked. “You’re the one who killed her. During the whole Ice Princess debacle in 1981. You shot and killed Brighton O’Reilly, my dad’s partner. You know, back when you and your crazy big brother Mikkos were trying to freeze the world.”
Victor smiled coldly. “We do what we have to do, my boy. Oh, and please do try and remember that we crazy Cassadine’s are your family.”
RJ and Robin shared a look while Patrick grasped his wife’s hand in his; tightly.
Sean hung up the phone and quickly and pressed a button on his desk. His secretary came in and Sean motioned her over.
“I need you to pull the files on Ekaterina Rostova and Valentin Rostov from the archives,” Sean instructed. “Bring them to me immediately.”
The young woman flinched. “Sir, I don’t have the required…”
Sean stood and handed her a disk. “This will bypass the security protocols. Go, now.”
Without hesitation, the young woman did Sean’s bidding.
Once she was gone, a side-panel slid open in Sean’s office and out stepped Demetrios Cassadine.
“You’re doing well, Valentin,” Demetrios said between puffs on a cigar. “How are our assets coming along with Dr. Wesson?”
Sean cleared his throat. “Dr. Wesson informs they are ready for duty. They’ve recovered no memories of their previous lives and they aren’t likely to ever recover them. They are superbly trained.”
Demetrios smiled. “Excellent. Now, tell me, do you know why RJ and Robin Scorpio have gone to Germany?”
Sean sat down and sighed. “No, I don’t. My sources tell me they have been meeting with a man named Marc Berger. He was born and raised in Berlin, attended university in England and returned to Germany, to Hamburg where he built a successful business empire.”
“Interesting,” Demetrios muttered as he took a seat.
Sean leaned forward. “You don’t think Marc Berger is who he says he is?”
Demetrios pulled a photograph out of his pocket and handed it to Sean. It was an old black and white photograph of a tombstone. It read: Marcus Berger.
“Marcus Berger was both born and died in Berlin, Germany in 1940,” Demetrios revealed. “I’ve been…investigating the man calling himself Marc Berger for a few years now.”
“Who do you think he is?” Sean wondered.
Demetrios was quiet for a few moments before answering. “I think he’s the man who killed your mother, Valentin.”
Sean’s eyes practically glowed red in anger. “Victor Cassadine.”
“Yes,” Demetrios said. “I never believed that my dear older half-brother had perished behind bars. Neither did your Aunt Helena, but we could never prove otherwise. Victor, you know, murdered your mother during Mikkos’ unfortunate weather machine debacle in Port Charles.”
“My mother, she…she would not approve of me helping you,” Sean said softly. “Her original mission when she was recruited by the MGB was to find and kill the rumored heir to the throne. She never believed the child actually existed until…”
Demetrios nodded. “Until?”
Sean cleared his throat. “Until she was in Greece in 1949, three years after Robert, Alexios had been born. When she began asking questions, the responses she received convinced her that a child had been born of Mikkos.”
“Why did she not kill him years later when she discovered that Robert Scorpio was in fact Alexios Liakos, son of Mikkos Cassadine?” Demetrios wondered.
Sean smiled fondly, memories of his mother and his friend Robert assaulting his senses. “She tried, once in the late 1960’s, but she came to…to care for Robert once they met officially. She’d been placed in a position of having to trust him with her life. She learned of his honor, his sense of duty and his commitment to doing the right thing. She knew he was unaware of his origins and she did everything she could to make sure he never discovered any of it.”
“Do you think he ever did discover any of it?”
Sean shook his head. “No, I don’t believe so. Anyone else who did, or might have known the truth would never have spoken of it.”
Demetrios smiled. “He was your friend. You said your mother would not approve of you helping me. Why are you?”
Sean shrugged. “My mother adored Mikkos Cassadine; loved him beyond all reason. Had it not been for Larisa Liakos, he would have been with my mother and I would be the heir to the throne, not Robert and his son and grandson. I want what should have always been mine, I want…”
Sean never even saw the gun before Demetrios fired. One bullet was all it took. Sean Donely, born Valentin Rostov, was dead.
Chapter 17: Chapter Sixteen
RJ, Robin and Patrick were still sitting in Victor’s office.
“If there’s anything to find, Uncle Sean will find it,” Robin said.
RJ stood and began pacing the office. As he ran his hands through his hair, he noticed for the first time a television in the corner.
He pointed to it as he turned to Victor. “What is this?”
“A television,” Victor answered as he took a sip of his drink.
RJ sighed. “The program. What is it?”
Victor walked towards his great-nephew and listened to the words for a moment. They were in Russian and when he realized what was being said, he turned up the television.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was speaking to parliament. But that isn’t what drew his attention.
“What is he saying?” Patrick asked as he and Robin walked over.
“He’s speaking…about the Bolsheviks and the Revolution and my…my grandfather, Nikolai,” Victor told them as he listened closely. “He’s…oh, my…”
“What?” RJ demanded.
“This isn’t possible,” Victor whispered. “How could it have been overlooked?”
“How could what have been overlooked?” Robin questioned. “I know a little Russian but not enough to translate so quickly. He’s...saying something about…no new laws were made. No…”
Victor sat down heavily in his chair. “The Russian president has just informed Parliament, and the rest of the rest of the world that after the Revolution, the laws were not changed, not rewritten. Any heirs that were left were…they renounced all claims on the throne, others left the country. But the government…the laws…”
Patrick gasped. “That’s it!”
RJ turned to his brother-in-law. “What’s it?”
Patrick grinned. “Someone knew this information before the president went on television just now. Someone knew that the laws were never rewritten and that someone with a legitimate claim on the throne could…take it. Right, Victor? That is what he’s saying, isn’t it?”
Victor nodded slowly. “But that is…impossible. So few people knew the truth of our family.”
RJ tossed the photo of Ekaterina Rostova at him. “She knew. She knew, and you can bet if he did, so did Helena. Maybe her son knew, too. How many others could have figured it out? Were there any rumors about Larissa Liakos? Anything that suggested at all that she’d been involved with Mikkos, that she’d given birth?”
Victor shook his head. “None that could easily be substantiated. Of course there were people who had seen them together. Surely some saw her later with a child and could infer who his father was. But…”
“But nothing,” Robin finished. “We have to assume a lot of people know the truth, the whole truth; the Romanovs, Larissa, my father, all of it. They knew about RJ and Cooper and…”
Victor suddenly sat up. “They don’t want you, my nephew. They want your son.”
“Why?” RJ asked. “Why a child?”
Victor spread his hands out in front of him. “Who would be easier to control? You? Or a small child? He wants the son, not the father.”
“He who?” Patrick wondered, having picked up Victor’s words. “You know who’s doing this?”
Victor stood and breathed a deep sigh. “I have a fairly good idea. However, I was…unaware that he knew any part of the truth of the Cassadine family he was born into. I didn’t imagine that Mikkos would ever have been idiotic enough to share it with him. I never answered your earlier suspicion that I knew who figured out the truth. But, yes, I do believe that I know.”
“Your brother,” RJ answered for him. “Right? I mean, I’ve assumed from the beginning of this that Demetrios knew the truth.”
“Mikkos would never have told him,” Victor assured them. “From the time Mikkos and I were small children, our father impressed upon us the importance of keeping the secret. Divulging it would mean our certain deaths. I don’t believe our brother Tony was ever told, and I know Demetrios was not. But, yes, I believe somehow, he knows.”
“We’ve been speculating that Helena knows,” Patrick said. “Let’s assume that she does, that Mikkos told her the deep, dark family secret. Would she have told anyone else? Which would have served her own agenda better, shouting it to anyone who would listen, or keeping silent so as to keep one of her own sons as the heir?”
“She would have kept such knowledge to herself,” Victor decided. “Knowing that Stavros was a fraud, she’d never have put herself in a position to have to reveal the secret.”
“What do you know about a man named Cesar Faison?” RJ suddenly questioned. “His picture is in that file.”
Victor pulled out the photo and studied it for several long moments. “I know his birth name is not Cesar Faison. I know his ancestry is closely…entwined with mine.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Robin burst out. “Who is he? He’s been obsessed with my mother since RJ and I were children.”
Victor smiled at his niece. “Well. Obsessive tendencies do not surprise me. Downright psychotic behavior from this man would not surprise me. This…Cesar, was born Anton Rasputin. He is the great-grandson of…”
“Grigori Rasputin!?” Robin shuddered.
“One and the same, my dear,” Victor told her. “I heard he perished years ago in your own small town of Port Charles.”
RJ took a deep breath. “I don’t think he did.”
Robin whirled around. “What? You’re the one…”
RJ ran a hand through his hair. “I…this is gonna sound crazy, but…I saw him, Robs. Last night, I was looking out my room window. I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I was being…watched or something. I saw him. He was across the street. The light shined on his face just right, and it…it was him. Faison is alive.”
Patrick wrapped his arms around Robin’s waist and pulled her back against his body. “Tell him, sweetheart.”
“Tell me what?” RJ asked.
“I woke up last night; something woke me, a feeling of…extreme unease. I searched outside but didn’t see anything.”
“But I did,” Patrick suddenly said. “When you went into the bathroom, I pulled back the curtains and…there he was, staring right back at me. It was the man in that photo.”
“This presents a problem,” Victor told them. “The Rasputin family has a long history of…a sort of pull towards the royal family of Russia. Grigori was obsessed with Alexandra, you’re great-great grandmother. She in turn considered him a friend. She brought his madness into their home. I’m sure his great-grandson possesses the same…tendencies.”
“He does,” RJ said. “Especially in regards to my mother. But, my mother is dead. So, now who’s he after?”
“Me,” Robin said. “He’s after me. With Mom gone, he’d have…replaced her in his mind. He’s crazy.”
RJ began pacing. “I called Luke. He knows I saw Faison. He’s on his way here.”
Victor’s dark eyes widened. “Luke Spencer?”
RJ nodded. “Yeah, he’s…a friend.”
“I know who he is,” Victor stated. “He killed my brother and my nephew.”
RJ laughed. “Oh, like you killed O’Reilly? Like that, Uncle Victor? Let’s not debate who killed who and which was worse. My goal here, in all of this, is to keep my family and myself alive. I don’t care about the Russian throne or the Cassadine fortune. I’m a Scorpio, period.”
Victor lit a cigar and took a few puffs before speaking again. “That may not be enough, my boy. We may need to take drastic steps to keep you and your family alive, and it might mean becoming the one thing I’m sure you don’t want to be.”
RJ closed his eyes and sighed deeply. “A Cassadine.”
Chapter 18: Chapter Seventeen
After leaving Victor, Patrick and Robin had returned to the hotel where they enjoyed a quiet dinner together in the hotel restaurant while RJ had gone straight to his room to retrieve his laptop and had headed right back out to an Internet café a few blocks from the hotel.
“RJ’s not answering his cell,” Robin commented. “Or the phone in his room.”
Patrick glanced at his watch. “We ate dinner three hours ago. He said he’d only be gone an hour.”
Robin sighed. “He’s up to something.”
Patrick laughed. “Probably. Your brother is unique.”
Robin shook her head. “No, he isn’t. He’s…he’s our father all over again. He’s so full of this deep sense of right and wrong, honor, duty, family. That’s why he’s chasing this instead of letting it come to him. Our dad was the same what. It’s how and why…”
When she stopped, Patrick grasped her hand in his. “It’s how and why your parents died, right?”
With a few tears in her eyes, she nodded. “Yeah. When Faison kidnapped our mother, my dad knew he would come after him, too. Faison didn’t just want my mom, he wanted my dad dead. I told you that before.”
“Yes, you did,” he acknowledged.
Robin shrugged. “Rather than let Faison come to him, on his turf, my dad went after him, guns blazing.”
“You think things would have turned out differently if your dad had stayed in Port Charles and waited for Faison to come to him?”
She shook her head. “I really don’t know. I’ve spent my life, since I was fourteen anyway, trying to convince myself that it wouldn’t have made a difference. But I don’t know. All I do know is that RJ is ready to go full force at whoever is after our family.”
RJ was typing furiously when he felt a gun barrel at his back. He turned around slowly and set eyes upon Cesar Faison. The man had on a long trench coat over an all-black ensemble.
“Faison,” RJ acknowledged. “Or should I call you Anton?”
If Faison was surprised that RJ knew his true identity, he didn’t show it. He simply sat down across from him and gave him a smile.
“Robert Scorpio Jr.,” he said. “Named after such a…a coward.”
“You’d better watch your language, old man,” RJ snapped. “I don’t play nice with people who insult my father.”
Faison laughed. “We shall see. You’re going to come with me. Some…associates of mine have need of you.”
RJ could still see the gun in Faison’s hand where it resided in his pocket. He knew there was no way he could get out of this. He had no doubt that if he tried to fight, Faison would open fire in the crowded café.
“Stand up, pick up your bag and head out,” Faison instructed. “Once outside, there will be a car waiting.”
RJ did as he was instructed. But as he picked up his backpack, he carefully pressed a button on the side of his watch without Faison knowing.
Faison kept the gun pointed at RJ until they were safely inside the vehicle.
RJ looked at everyone’s faces, committing them to memory. He didn’t recognize any of them.
Against her better judgement, Robin and Patrick had gone back to their hotel room and tried to get some sleep. It was just past midnight when Patrick was awakened by a beeping sound coming from Robin’s bag.
“Robin,” he said softly, nudging her. “Wake up. Something’s beeping.”
Robin stirred and as she opened her eyes, she too heard the beeping. It registered quickly what it was. She jumped from the bed and ran to her backpack and opened it up. She pulled out what looked like a cell phone.
“What is that?”
“It’s a tracking device,” she answered. “RJ activated the tracking chip in his watch.”
Patrick jumped up from the bed. “Why would he do that?”
Robin watched the blip on the screen for a while before she tossed it down on the bed and began pulling out clothes.
“Get dressed,” she ordered in a voice he’d never heard before. “RJ’s in trouble.”
“What…how do you…?”
Robin spun on her heel and pinned her husband with a glare. “I know. When we were kids, my parents gave us watches with tracking devices in them. There’s a button on the side to activate the microchip inside. We were always told only to use them in an emergency. I know, Patrick. He’s in trouble and he’s telling me.”
Before Patrick could say anything, there was a knock on the door. Patrick moved to open it but Robin’s hand grasping his forearm stopped him. He watched her pick up her handgun and move slowly towards the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Ahab, Starbuck, open the damn door,” came a voice Robin knew instantly.
She flung the door open and was quickly in the arms of Luke Spencer. It only took her a moment to realize there were others with him; Sean, Jamie, Frisco and a few men she didn’t recognize.
“What are you…Luke, why did you let them come?” she demanded.
“Hey,” Sean said as he stepped into the room and slammed the door shut behind him. “I’m a Scorpio, too. RJ’s my brother same as he is yours. They were my parents, too. You don’t get a monopoly on going after whoever is behind this.”
Patrick stepped between the siblings. “Arguing isn’t getting us anywhere. Let’s sit down and figure out our next move.”
“Good idea, Drake Junior,” Luke said as they all took seats and began brainstorming the situation.
RJ kept track of the time they drove along winding roads. Mountains, he thought. When the car finally stopped and he was ushered out, he looked around for a moment before he was hit across the back of the head and passed out.
“Brave man you are, Cesar, touching a Cassadine prince,” Demetrios Cassadine said as he looked upon his unconscious great-nephew.
Faison snarled. “I did what you asked. I got him here.”
Demetrios smiled. “Yes, you did. When he awakes, he’ll be greeted by a sight he never thought possible. His beloved parents. Alive.”
Chapter 19: Chapter Eighteen
Faison’s expression was one of shock. “What do…alive? How is that possible? I blew that boat…”
Demetrios sneered. “You survived, Anton. Is it so hard to believe that Robert and Anna Scorpio did as well?”
“I saw them die,” Faison said. “I saw my beloved Anna…”
Demetrios chuckled. “You saw what I wanted you to see. You saw what Sean Donnelly wanted you to see.”
“Donnelly,” Faison spat. “That incompetent fool. He wasn’t…”
Demetrios pinned Faison with a glare. “Donnelly was…useful, to a point. Not so regrettably, he is now dead.”
The door suddenly slammer open. “You killed my nephew?”
Demetrios and Faison turned to face an angry Helena Cassadine.
“Who are these two?” Robin asked, pointing at the two me she didn’t recognize.
Frisco pointed to the first one. “Former FBI agent and current WSB agent John McBain.”
John inclined his head. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Drake.”
Robin nodded, but her attention had turned to the other man. He was tall, about the same height as RJ. His dark eyes were a match for her own and he had dark, spiked hair.
“You look…familiar,” she said.
He smiled. “So do you. I’m Aidan…Aidan Devane. Newly-minted WSB agent.”
Robin gasped at both his British accent and his surname.
“Devane?” she questioned softly; her brothers and Luke now interested as well.
Aidan nodded. “Yeah, Devane. Why? You know that name?”
“It’s my…was my mother’s maiden name,” Robin told him. “Anna Devane.”
“Anna Devane,” Aidan repeated. “My mum, Lindsay, she had a…a younger sister named…Anna.”
“Oh, my God,” Robin said. “My…a long time ago, my mother mentioned her older sister, Lindsay. I think…”
“…we’re cousins,” Aidan finished.
“Hey, listen, this is all great, really,” Luke said. “But we’ve got a situation to handle. Where’s that tracker?”
Robin pointed and Luke picked it up. “The signal is coming from about 50 kilometers north of here, in the mountains. It’s stationary now. They must have stopped.”
“What do we do?” Patrick questioned.
“You learn how to shoot yet Drake Junior?” Luke asked.
Patrick nodded. “Yeah.”
Sean glanced at his brother-in-law. “Can you do it under pressure? Can you, a doctor, fire at another human being with the intent to kill?”
Patrick looked at Robin. He saw a strong, passionate, obstinate, bold woman. But he also saw his wife, who he had taken a vow to love and cherish for all his days. That meant protecting her at all costs.
He met Sean’s stare. “Yeah, I can.”
“Good,” Frisco said. “Now, we need to put together groups and decide on our way in. Luke, you and Aidan go together. I’ll lead Sean and Jamie. John, you take Robin and Patrick. Robin knows her way around these things, but…keep a watch on Drake.”
If Patrick was offended, he didn’t let it show. Instead, he like everyone else, began slipping into their combat gear. Weapons were checked and ammo was stored on ballistic vests. Patrick watched as Robin expertly tested a pair of night-vision goggles.
“Okay, folks, this might get a little…hairy,” Frisco said. “Everyone watch everyone else’s backs and we’ll come through just fine.”
Just as they headed for the door, there was a knock. Luke opened it and was stunned to see none other than Victor Cassadine standing there. His eyes widened and he was about to lunge at Victor before he was restrained by Frisco.
“Explain yourself, Cassadine!” Luke hissed.
Victor stepped into the room and gave Robin a smile. “Wonderful to see you again, my dear. I’ve come to offer my assistance in the search for my nephew.”
“How did you know RJ’s missing?” Robin questioned as she stepped forward.
“I put a surveillance team on both of you when you left my office,” he revealed. “Newly discovered we may be, we are family. I…failed in my attempt to protect Larisa’s son. I won’t fail in protecting his children.”
“How magnanimous of you, Cassadine,” Luke sneered, having been let go by Frisco.
Ignoring Luke, Victor turned to Frisco. “The cabin where my nephew is being held is an old Cassadine property. My family have used it for generations.”
“You know the layout?” Frisco asked.
“Very well,” Victor acknowledged. “Our father used to take Mikkos, Tony and myself there as children all the time.”
“Who else knows about this place?” Aidan wondered. “What’s security like? Who are we likely to run into?”
“Other than myself, I’d venture a guess that Helena knows,” Victor answered. “As far as I’m aware, there is no security. My father only employed security when the family was in residence. As for who we may run into, your guess is as a good as mine, young man.”
The questioning went back and forth for the next ten minutes before Frisco finally held up his hands to stop the bickering.
“Look, we need all the help we can get,” he finally said. “We’ve got Cesar Faison, Cassadine’s unknown and whoever else we may run into. Cassadine, you and your men are with us.”
From there, things began to get chaotic again as more plans were laid out. Watching the others with a critical eye, Patrick missed Robin coming to stand beside him. He felt her smaller hand take hold of his.
“Are you going to be okay?” she asked her husband.
He looked down at her, mouth agape. “Me? What about you? This is all so…”
She chuckled. “It’s all so Scorpio.”
She tugged on his hand and pulled him over to the small sofa in the corner of the room. Together they sat down and Robin began to speak.
“When RJ and I were little kids, we didn’t go to birthday parties or skating rinks,” she said softly. “We learned how to tie people up, we took swimming lessons because you never know when you may need to swim away from an enemy. We were taught self-defense and how to handle most firearms. We were…we were sort of built for this kind of thing.”
Patrick just shook his head. “I don’t…”
She squeezed his hand tighter. “I know. You don’t truly understand, even after everything you’ve been told and seen. Maybe because of everything you’ve been told and seen. Me being a doctor and a mom; that’s who I am. But I’m also…this; this person you see now. This is what it means to be a Scorpio. I wish so much, now, that I had told you everything before we…”
“No,” he said with a shake of his head. “Would have, should have, it doesn’t matter now. This is what is, Robin. We’re here now. I just…I worry about Justin and Emma with both of us here.”
Robin looked down at the floor and Patrick knew there was something else he didn’t know. So he took to his new custom and asked the question.
“What is it?” he wanted to know. “Something about Justin and Emma?”
She looked up into his eyes and nodded. “If anything…if anything happens to us, Lucky and Elizabeth have instructions to take Justin and Emma and…disappear.”
Patrick’s eyes widened. “You’re serious?”
She nodded. “Scorpio-Spencer pact. We watch each other’s backs, no matter what. Stefan will make sure Lucky had everything he needs, and he and Elizabeth will take their kids and ours out of the country to protect them.”
Patrick let out a breath as he shook his head. “Okay. Well, while I trust Lucky and I know he’s a great cop, how about we both go home safe when this is all over and…no need for any of that other stuff.”
Robin smiled and held out her hand. “Okay. Scorpio-Drake pact.”
He grasped her hand and pulled her close. Their lips met in a soft kiss as Patrick ran his fingers through Robin’s long hair.
“I love you, Robin Scorpio-Drake,” Patrick whispered as he pulled back.
“I love you, Patrick Drake.”
Chapter 20: Chapter Nineteen
RJ slowly opened his eyes. His vision was blurry and he knew it was from the blow to his head. He shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs. He had no idea how long he’d been out. He’d completely lost his sense of time.
“Well, well, look who’s decide to join us,” Demetrios said as he sat down in a chair in front of RJ.
He focused on the man and instantly recognized him from the photos. “You’re Demetrios Cassadine.”
Demetrios, having lit a cigar smiled. “At your service.”
“What the hell do you want with me?” RJ snapped. “Why give that information to my father all those years ago? What do you want?!”
Before Demetrios answered, RJ heard a noise behind him. His eyes drifted to the left and he caught sight of Helena. Immediately, her finger went to her lips, motioning RJ to stay quiet. Something inside RJ told him to trust Helena.
He averted his eyes from her and looked back at Demetrios. “You know, it doesn’t matter what you want. You won’t get it. My father is dead and when Sean Donnelly and the WSB find me, you’re gonna be sorry you ever…”
Demetrios laughed. “Sean Donnelly? Oh, my boy, you can stop waiting for Sean Donnelly and the WSB to break down the door. Let me tell you a little secret about your godfather, Sean. He was born in Moscow to a woman named Ekaterina Rostova.”
RJ’s eyes widened.
“Ah, I see that name rings a bell,” Demetrios taunted. “His birth name was Valentin Rostov.”
Traitor, ran through RJ’s mind. Sean was a traitor.
Demetrios took a puff on his cigar. “Such a shame, really. He’d given me valuable information over the years. I was a bit sad to have to kill him.”
RJ started struggling against his bindings. “I’ll kill you! You’re a dead man, Cassadine!”
Demetrios chuckled as he reached out and rested his hand on RJ’s leg. “Now, now, calm yourself, nephew-mine. This is no way for the Cassadine prince to behave.”
RJ felt the bile rise in his throat. He already knew the truth, but to hear Demetrios acknowledge it out loud set RJ’s guts on fire. The fact that he had even a drop of Cassadine blood made him want to scream.
“I’m no prince, man,” RJ spit out.
“Oh, but you are,” Demetrios told him. “So was…is your father.”
“Doesn’t look too difficult,” Luke said into the headset he wore. “I only see three…no, four guards on the northeast corner.”
“Okay, here’s the plan,” Frisco instructed. “We’ve got all side covered. We’re going in together. Storm the cabin, overwhelm the captors and get RJ out. From insertion to extraction, no more than fifteen minutes. Fire only if necessary and for God’s sake, no hit RJ. Okay, go.”
Frisco and John moved first with Robin and Patrick behind them. Robin had only taken a few steps when out of the corner of her eye she saw two figures in the distance. They looked familiar, and after a quick study, Robin knew why.
The gun fell from her hand and she was about to yell out when a hand clamped over her mouth. Frisco was right beside her.
“I saw them, too,” he said quietly.
“Saw who?” came over their earpieces; it was Luke.
Frisco didn’t know how to say it. “Robin and I just saw two more people enter the cabin. I don’t know how, Luke, but…I’d swear for all the world it was…it was Robert and Anna.”
“Why did you give that file to my father?” RJ asked, his breathing starting to slow as he calmed down.
Demetrios stood. “I don’t believe in secrets. My dear half-brothers Mikkos and Victor never saw fit to mention our own family history to me.”
“How did you find out?”
Demetrios smiled. Oddly, RJ noticed that it was very similar to his own smile.
“My brother Victor didn’t cover his tracks as well as he thought he did when he took young Larisa’s baby boy and gave him away,” he revealed. “A few people had an inkling of what had gone on between her and Mikkos and were watching.”
“You mean Helena’s sister, right? Ekaterina Rostova?” RJ asked, noticing Helena flinch slightly at the mention of her dead sister.
“Exactly,” Demetrios revealed. He was a bit surprised RJ had so much information. “Among a few others.”
“Who?” RJ demanded. “Who else knew the truth? Why did you want my father to know who he was? Who tried to kill him back in…?”
“Enough!” Demetrios yelled suddenly. “I have plans to enact. Cesar, will you please show our guests in?”
Faison was becoming very uneasy in his alliance with Demetrios. The man had become far more unstable than he’d realized. Nevertheless, he nodded and stepped to open the door.
“Oh, my God,” Robin muttered. “It’s Faison. RJ was…you and he were right, Patrick. It’s him. He’s alive.”
“We go now,” Frisco ordered. “Now!”
“What guests?” RJ questioned as he turned in his chair as much as he could.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw two people enter the room and his heart began beating wildly in his chest. Despite the nearly seventeen years since he’d seen them last in the flesh, RJ immediately recognized his parents.
Tears came to his eyes.
“Mom, Dad,” he said softly, barely managing to contain the sob of joy he wanted to let loose.
Demetrios flinched when he heard gunshots. Faison jumped into action, tearing his obsessive eyes from Anna.
“You fool!” Helena spat at Faison. “You were followed.”
RJ managed a laugh. “No Helena, he wasn’t. I activated the tracking chip in my watch.”
Demetrios had just pulled his weapon when the door slammed open and Frisco, John, Luke and Aidan stormed the room.
Frisco’s eyes went immediately to RJ. He had tipped his chair over and was out of immediate danger of being shot.
“Faison!” Luke yelled as he shot in the direction of his adversary.
“Ah, ah, Helena, not another move from you,” Victor said as he stepped up to his sister-in-law.
“Perhaps you should all take a step back,” Demetrios said.
Frisco saw that he had a grenade in his hand. Luke hadn’t taken his eyes off of Robert and Anna while Victor made sure Helena didn’t make any sudden moves.
“Well, well, I didn’t foresee this complication in my plans,” Demetrios said. “However, I can work with it.”
“Um, could someone untie me?” RJ asked from his position on the ground just as Robin and Patrick stepped into the cabin.
Her eyes immediately went to her parents. Tears gathered in her eyes as she looked at them while RJ stood and joined her.
“Mom?” she asked softly.
Robert didn’t take his eyes off of Demetrios, but Anna finally looked at Robin and RJ.
She took a tentative step forward and tilted her head to the side. “Robin?”
Robin let her tears fall at the sound of her mother’s voice. “Yeah, Mom, it’s…it’s me. Oh, my God, you’re…”
Anna pulled Robin into her arms and held her a moment before reaching for RJ as well. He slowly moved into his mother’s embrace.
And it felt all wrong.
Luke’s attention had shifted only for a moment to Robert and Anna, but it had been enough for Faison to back up slowly and exit the cabin unnoticed.
“Damn it!” Luke said when he realized what had happened.
“What is all of this about, Demetrios?” Helena asked, never taking her eyes from Victor.
“You don’t know, Hells?” Luke demanded.
“I followed Demetrios in an attempt to discover what he was up to,” Helena revealed. “I knew he was planning something but I didn’t know what, or who it involved.”
Pulling away from their mother, Robin and RJ faced Helena.
“You expect us to believe that you didn’t know the truth the whole time?” RJ questioned, his eyes constantly drifting between his parents and Demetrios.
Helena laughed. “Of course I knew the truth, you daft child. I’ve spent the last thirty years trying to protect that secret; trying to make certain your father never learned his true identity. I believed my mission a success until I heard rumblings from some…associates that a couple calling themselves Robert and Anna Scorpio had surfaced in 2008.”
RJ knew then he and Patrick had been right. Helena had no interest in exposing the truth.
“What about you?” Patrick spoke up, looking at Demetrios.
“Yeah, what do you hope to gain from all of this, Uncle Demetrios,” RJ demanded. “You don’t really believe you can use my father to…”
“I’ve been using your father for seventeen years, boy!” he snapped. “Your mother as well, and your beloved Sean Donnelly.”
Helena watched her brother-in-law. She hadn’t forgotten that he’d killed her nephew, Sean; Valentin.
“Helena’s dear sister Ekaterina, known better to you as Brighton O’Rielly was quite helpful to me for some time before her attack of conscience,” Demetrios told them. “She tried to eliminate Robert for me once, long ago. When that didn’t work and she later informed me that he and her own son, Sean, had become involved with the WSB, I saw another opportunity.”
“Enter Faison,” Robin guessed. “You knew he was obsessed with my mother. You used that to…”
Demetrios smiled at his great-niece. “Correct you are, Robin. When Ekaterina informed me of your parents’ first meeting and subsequent…involvement and Cesar’s obsession, I saw my opportunity. I had a meeting with Valentin and made certain he understood what needed to be done.”
“He’s the reason they died,” RJ said. “Sean, Valentin set it up, didn’t he? He helped Faison grab my mother and…the WSB set up that explosion. He convinced them that my mother needed to be eliminated because she was a double agent. Right?”
Demetrios tipped his head. “Yes. Only Faison had begun acting on his own. What was supposed to be a WSB sanctioned kill turned into Faison trying to kill your father and take Anna for himself. I couldn’t have that. It had become apparent to me my plan would work much better with your father alive.”
“But Faison blew the boat before the WSB got there, didn’t he?” Aidan joined the conversation. “He wanted to kill my Uncle Robert so he could have Aunt Anna for himself. He didn’t expect her to die, too.”
Everyone was slowly moving around the room. All eyes were still on the grenade Demetrios was holding. If he pulled the pin and dropped it, they were all dead.
“Correct,” he confirmed. “They were both confirmed dead. Imagine my own surprise when I received a call from Valentin informing me of their survival. Oh, they were gravely injured, but they were alive. Over the years they recovered, were re-trained and put to work for me. They eliminated many of my enemies on several continents.”
“So, what now?” RJ wondered. “You have my father and me. Let everyone else go.”
Demetrios laughed. “Oh, no, I cannot do that. They will remain here while you and your father will come with me to Moscow. We have a throne to claim.”
Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty
Helena laughed. “You cannot possibly believe that you can waltz into Russia and simply take over. There are laws. Medvedev and Putin won’t allow…”
Demetrios glanced at his sister-in-law. “Why not, dear Helena? The Russian government, by their own admission, states the law was never rewritten. All I need is an heir to the throne; one I can prove exists through DNA. As it happens, I have two standing right here.”
Robert took a moment to glance at his eldest son as he moved closer to Demetrios; pulling Anna along with him.
Demetrios smiled at his nephew. “Isn’t that right, Alexios?”
RJ and Robin watched as their father’s blue eyes glossed over at the sound of his birth name. It was as if a switch had been flipped.
“Of course, Uncle Demetrios,” he answered in a monotone voice. “Anna and I will be leaving for Moscow tonight. The men we have in place inside the Kremlin will begin execution of the plan in exactly three hours.”
“What the hell have you done to them, Cassadine!?” RJ yelled.
Demetrios just laughed. “You will be traveling with me, young Scorpio.”
“Like hell I’m going anywhere with you!” RJ spat. “Dad, why…”
“It’s who we are,” Robert said. “It’s our birthright.”
“Demetrios, you cannot do this,” Helena said as she stepped up beside him. “You will destabilize the entire Cassadine…”
He faced her. “I will not destabilize anything, Helena. I will be taking back what you stole from the Cassadine’s; what the Bolshevik’s and Lenin and Sverdlov stole from the Romanov’s. We will rise again. We will rule Russia again. Like a phoenix from the ashes, we will rise.”
“You’re a real psycho, man,” Patrick snapped.
Demetrios reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a small pistol. He pointed it at Patrick and pulled the trigger.
Robin screamed as she saw Patrick fall.
Luke and Aidan lunged for Demetrios at the same time but were intercepted by Robert. Luke swung with his left, but Robert ducked under it and came up in time to deliver a swift kick to Aidan’s mid-section.
The ex-British special forces officer went down. Frisco came up behind Luke as he again went for Robert.
RJ snapped out of his shock at seeing his father fight and was about to move when he was grabbed from behind. He whirled around and barely missed punching his brothers.
“You two be careful,” he ordered. “I’m going…”
RJ froze when he saw Demetrios pull the pin on the grenade.
WSB Medical Facility
“It’s empty, Shane, there’s no one left here,” Steve “Patch” Johnson told his friend and brother-in-law.
Shane Donovan, ISA director ran a hand through his hair. “Damn it! He was here, Patch, I know he was.”
“Who is this guy to you?” Patch finally asked. “I mean, man, you’re losing it over this. He must be…”
“He saved my life!” Shane snapped. “A long…a long time ago. We crossed paths on a mission. He’s a…he was a WSB agent; a damn good one, the best even.”
Patch spread his arms wide. “So where is he now? What do you mean was?”
Shane sighed deeply. “About…seventeen years ago, he was reported dead. Him and his wife, both black boxed by the WSB. Someone else got to them first; a man named Cesar Faison. He has a few connections to one Stefano DiMera.”
Patch frowned. “If this guy is dead, why’re we here looking for him?”
Shane sat down in front of one of the remaining computers and turned it on. “I don’t believe he’s dead, Patch. I never have. Robert was too smart to let the WSB, or Cesar Faison get him, and he would have done anything, anything for his wife, Anna. They survived. I know they did. I just have to find them.”
Everything moved in slow motion then. RJ lunged for the grenade. Luke managed to land a punch on Robert. Frisco grabbed Anna. Aidan hoisted Patrick onto his back.
“Run!” Sean and Jamie shouted in tandem.
The blast was heard miles away. Dark black smoke permeated the air as the cabin burned white hot.
Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-One
Robin felt the heat on her back as she fell face first to the ground. She reached out with her hands to brace herself and felt her left wrist break.
Aidan was thrown off his feet by the blast. He couldn’t hold onto Patrick as they both fell hard to the ground.
Jamie was thrown into the air by the blast and he felt a white hot pain in his back as his body was flung to the ground.
Luke watched in horror as a piece of debris from the cabin pierced the back of Sean’s thigh as he tried to run.
Robert covered Anna’s body as they were also thrown down by the fierceness of the explosion.
Frisco, closest to the explosion when it happened, was lifted from his feet and was flung into a tree. He fell to the ground unconscious.
RJ’s head impacted the ground as he was tossed off his feet. He was quickly unconscious.
John felt the flames chasing him as he dove to the ground. He felt shrapnel enter his back as he hit the ground.
The Aegean Sea was a beautiful sight. The crystal blue water and the slight breeze were a balm to the tortured soul of the man gazing out at the water from his wheelchair.
“Sir, there’s…there’s been an explosion at the cabin in Germany,” a voice sounded from behind the wheelchair-bound man.
He turned slowly in his chair. “Fatalities?”
“We don’t know yet, Sir,” he answered. “Orders?”
The man sighed deeply, feeling every one of his eighty-seven years. “Where are our men in Port Charles?”
“They are watching the Scorpio boy and the Drake children,” the other man said. “Robert Scorpio Jr. seems to have…made use of the local criminal element in aiding in their protection. The children’s uncle, Mac Scorpio, has a police detail on them as well. According to the reports, all three are well guarded.”
When there was no reply, the other man spoke again. “Sir, do you want me to alert your…?”
“No,” came the curt reply. “No, he needn’t know of this yet. But, you can alert my cousin. The web of our past is unraveling. Too many people have come to the truth.”
The old man smiled. “Thank you, Reginald. Thank you for coming so quickly. I’m sure Lila was not keen on letting you go.”
Reginald Jennings, the longtime butler of the Quartermaine family, nodded. “Lady Lila was insistent, in fact. I believe she knows more than she’s letting on.”
The man smiled. “That would certainly be like her. Give her my best, Reginald, and let her know that she is always welcome here. As are you and your family.”
Reginald thanked him and was quickly on his way.
RJ came to slowly. He blinked rapidly trying to clear his vision. As he took in the carnage around him, he tried to sit up. A wave of nausea overwhelmed him and he vomited on the ground.
“RJ?” came Robin’s soft voice.
“Rob…Robin,” he responded. “Are you…?”
“I’m…I’m okay, I think,” she responded. “My left wrist is broken, though. I can’t…oh, my God, RJ! Look at this.”
RJ and Robin pulled themselves to their feet and began to survey the damage.
“Patrick!” Robin screamed.
She and RJ both ran to the injured doctor. Patrick was shaking his head as he began to sit up. Pain tore through his right shoulder where Demetrios’ bullet had entered.
“Patrick,” Robin cried as she got to him.
“It’s…it’s okay,” he muttered through the pain. “Went…through. Clean wound.”
RJ ran to his brothers. Sean and Jamie were only lying a few feet from each other. As he got closer, he could see them both moving. He could also see the serious shrapnel wounds they’d suffered as he knelt by them. The back of Sean’s thigh had a large piece of splintered wood sticking out. Jamie’s back was littered with glass; blood everywhere on both young men.
“Junior, we gotta get out of here!” Luke suddenly yelled as he stood.
RJ ran a hand through his hair. “We need…we need a medivac. Check Frisco, he probably has his WSB radio on him.”
Luke knelt down by Frisco, who was completely still, blood oozing from several shrapnel wounds on his back. Luke felt for a pulse and found a faint one. He quickly turned him over and found the radio. Remarkably, it looked intact.
“Here, Junior,” he said as he walked it back to RJ. “Look, Victor’s two men are dead. John’s moving, but he’s injured. Victor and Demetrios…are gone. Disappeared. I don’t know how they escaped that explosion.”
“Seems Demetrios is like Faison; they both favor fire,” RJ commented as he stood and held Frisco’s radio up.
“WSB, come in, over,” RJ said simply. “WSB, come in, over.”
”Who are you? Where is Agent Jones?”
“My name is RJ Scorpio,” he answered. “I’m with Agent Jones. He’s injured, along with a half-dozen others. We need a medivac.”
”We need verification on identity and location.”
RJ sighed. “I’m sure you’ve already activated your tracking system. We’re north of Hamburg, Germany in the mountains at a small cabin that was just blown sky high. I’m fairly certain you can trace Frisco’s location. If not, then lock onto the signal being emitted from my watch. It’s a WSB-issue Skylark 556 with a tacking chip inside. My father…”
”Scorpio? You’re…Robert’s son?”
“Yes! Damn, it!” RJ exclaimed. “Robert Scorpio was my father. Look, we can play twenty questions later. I’ve got injured here that need to get the hell out of here.”
”Okay, Scorpio, we’ve locked on to Agent Jones’ signal, and yours. We’ll have a medical team there in fifteen minutes.”
RJ didn’t bother to acknowledge the response. He tossed the radio down and went back to kneeling beside his brothers.
“RJ,” Jamie suddenly called softly; so softly RJ almost missed it.
He touched Jamie’s hand. “Hey, baby brother. Don’t talk, and try not to move. Help is on the way. You’re…you’re gonna be fine. I promise.”
Jamie’s eyes slipped closed again but his fingers tightened slightly around RJ’s.
Next to him, Robin was tending to Sean. She was palpating the area around his thigh wound. He groaned in pain.
“Hurts, Robs,” he muttered.
With tears in her eyes, Robin touched his back. “I know, but help is coming. You just gotta hang in there for me.”
Sean managed to nod a little as Luke took Robin’s place. He held his son’s hand as she moved on to Aidan and John.
“Aidan,” she called to her cousin. “Can you hear me, Aidan?”
Aidan stirred. “Yeah, I hear ya. Hearing a lot of bells, too.”
Robin made him look directly at her so she could check his eyes. “You took a pretty good hit to the head, I’d say. Can you follow my finger?”
As she waved it front of his face, he laughed. “Which one? I see four.”
Robin’s expression was grim. “You have a concussion. So does RJ. Help is on the way. You’ll be fine.”
He nodded as he sat up. He stayed on the ground. He knew he was too dizzy to stand.
“Robin!” Patrick yelled.
Robin ran over to him and John. “What’s his status?”
“He’s got some serious shrapnel wounds to his back,” Patrick said, grimacing against the pain in his shoulder. “He’s losing a lot of blood. This piece here looks deep. I’m…I’m worried about his spinal cord.”
Robin wiped a dirty hand over her face, cradling her other against her chest. “The WSB is on the way. I just hope they’re in time.”
“Me, too,” said Patrick as he looked down at John McBain.
Once RJ was sure Jamie would be okay for a few moments, he got up and made his way to his parents, both of whom were on their feet and watching everyone.
“You two okay?” he asked.
Anna nodded, her eyes focused on her two younger sons.
“Fine,” Robert replied as he looked around. “Where is Uncle Demetrios?”
RJ’s eyes widened. “Uncle…? Why the hell are you calling that bastard uncle?”
Robert eyed RJ warily. “He is my uncle. Yours, too. He’s the reason your mother and I are here at all. He saved us from the WSB, rescued us. Explained my birthright to me.”
“Rescued you from the WSB?” RJ questioned. “After the tanker explosion?”
Robert merely nodded, but didn’t say anything else. His eyes were still unfocused. RJ felt certain that whatever Demetrios had triggered by using Robert’s birth name was still in effect.
“Dad, listen to me,” RJ said as he stepped closer to his father. “Whatever Demetrios explained to you, it’s…it’s wrong. You are Robert Scorpio!”
“I am Alexios Alexander Liakos-Cassadine, heir to the…”
RJ slammed his hands down on Roberts’ shoulders. “You are Robert Xavier Scorpio, damn it!”
Robert’s eyes closed and he shook his head. When he opened his eyes, they were clear. He looked around; at Anna, RJ, his other children, Luke.
“Where…what the hell happened? Where are we?”
RJ backed up. Something wasn’t right with his father, or his mother. She seemed dazed and off balance, and she’d seemed that way before the cabin blew up.
“Junior, you okay!?” Luke yelled from a few yards away.
Still staring at his parents, RJ shook his head just as the sound of helicopters sounded overhead.
“No,” he whispered. “Neither are they.”
Chapter 23: Chapter Twenty-Two
Robin was sitting in a chair next to Patrick’s hospital bed. The WSB doctors had set her wrist and applied a cast. Now she was waiting for the anesthesia to wear off from Patrick’s surgery so he would wake up.
Her thoughts were running wild; back and forth between worry for Patrick and her brother, fear for her children, unease over the mysterious return of her parents. Everything had happened so fast, and only when the explosion had brought events to a halt did she have time to begin to process things.
“Robin,” Patrick muttered as his eyes fluttered open.
Robin leapt from her chair and over to Patrick’s side. “Hey, welcome back.”
He groaned as he tried to sit up. “How long have…have we been here? Where is here?”
“We’re in Brussels, Belgium at WSB headquarters,” she told him as she took his hand in her good one. “We’ve been here about twelve hours now; long enough for everyone to have surgery and be recovering.”
“Everyone’s okay?” he asked quietly.
Robin lowered her gaze and sighed. “Not everyone and not completely.”
“Who?” he questioned as he tightened his grip on her hand.
When she looked up, there were tears gathering in her dark eyes. “Jamie. He had a…a lot of shrapnel wounds in his back and he…he’d lost a lot of blood. He’s…he’s in the ICU and he’s on a vent. He…he coded twice, but they…they got him back.”
Patrick closed his eyes. “Who else?”
Robin wiped her tears. “Sean is…okay. He had a bad wound to the back of his thigh. Like Jamie, he lost a lot of blood. RJ and Aidan both have concussions. Luke’s left arm is broken.”
“Your parents and Frisco?”
She sat on the edge of the bed. “Frisco’s hurt pretty bad, like Jamie. Lots of blood loss and shrapnel wounds. The other man, the WSB agent, John, he’s…if he makes it he’s going to paralyzed from the waist down. A piece of the metal rain gutter entered his back and…and severed his spinal cord.”
Patrick didn’t miss the fact that she hadn’t mentioned her parents. “Your parents?”
Robin took a deep breath. “They seem…fine. Physically, they are fine. They have cuts, bruises, that type of thing. But, something just isn’t…right. They were dead, Patrick. The WSB confirmed it. Now, here they are, alive and well. Where have they been for the past seventeen or so years? How did Demetrios find them?”
Patrick pulled her down next to him on the bed. “We’ll find the answers, whatever they are. I don’t know how, or when, but we will. I promise.”
Robin kissed him softly and the two settled into a peaceful sleep.
“What are you doing out of bed?” a tall man with dark hair and glasses asked RJ as he stood staring out the window of his hospital room.
RJ turned and noticed the man he’d met when they’d first arrived. WSB Director Colin Williams. He’d been appointed when Sean Donnelly had been found murdered in his office.
RJ shrugged. “If I stay in that bed any longer, I’ll go crazy.”
Colin smiled and moved to stand next to RJ. “I don’t have to tell you that your story sounds…outlandish.”
RJ laughed heartily. “No, you don’t. It sounds that way to me, too, and I’ve been living it. But it’s the truth, Director Williams. Every word is the truth.”
Colin nodded. “It might surprise you to know that I believe you. The WSB has long been known to have some rather…unsavory people and methods within its employ. I’ve already got a team of agents looking into former director Donnelly’s private files. They’ve already found a treasure trove of information in just a few hours, dating all the way back to when he and your father first met.”
RJ nodded his thanks and walked back to his bed. “Can I ask you something and…get a straight answer?”
“Back in 1992, when Sean came to tell us my parents were dead, he said they’d both been black boxed by the WSB,” RJ stated. “Was that true? Did it happen without his knowledge? Did he know they were alive?”
Colin took a seat in the chair by the bed and leaned forward, resting his forearms on his thighs.
“I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone before,” he began. “Your parents were black boxed and the order did come from Sean.”
RJ was stunned. “How could…how could you possibly know that?”
Colin reached into his breast pocket and pulled out an old photograph. He handed it to RJ and awaited the reaction.
RJ stared at the photo for many long moments before he looked up. “You knew them? You knew my parents?”
Colin nodded. “I did. A long time ago, I knew them both. RJ, I was the lead agent on the team sent after them in ’92. We were told, by Sean, that Anna…”
RJ sighed. “That she was a double agent. Yeah, I know. She and my father explained all this to me and Robin a long time ago.”
“Sean ordered her black boxed,” Colin revealed. “Some of us who knew your parents and Sean were…we were shocked. We couldn’t believe he was ordering the death of one of his best friends. But, the thing was, and this was off the record. Your father told me this; Sean had betrayed them both before.”
“Swede,” RJ whispered.
“Yes, exactly,” Colin acknowledged. “Sean had set them up. He knew your mother was the double agent, that she’d worked for Faison and the DVX. He let Robert believe it was someone else and let Robert believe that he’d killed that someone else. Then he and Cesar Faison made sure he discovered that it was really Anna.”
“So he was responsible for all of it?” RJ questioned. “Their first marriage ending, them being black boxed? All of it was his doing?”
Colin nodded. “Yes, it was. Sean orchestrated it all.”
RJ ran his hands through his hair. “I can’t…that man was my godfather. He betrayed everyone. Why?”
“We may never know,” Colin answered. “With him dead, all we have are the files and…”
“Helena!” RJ exclaimed. “Helena was gone, too, from the cabin. She’s still alive. We have her, Demetrios and Faison. They’re out there. I’ll find them. I don’t believe all of this is about the Russian throne, that Demetrios just wants to rule Russia through my father, or me.”
Colin smiled as he stood. “Oh, there’s more. More than half of the world’s natural oil reserves reside in the former Soviet Union. If Demetrios manages to gain control of Russia, and reunites the Soviet Union, then he…”
“He controls all that oil,” RJ finished. “He controls the world. World domination; that sounds much more like a Cassadine.”
Colin chuckled. “Yes, it does. Look, there are a lot of layers here, and a lot of questions. We’ll find the answers. When my men have more on Sean, I’ll let you know.”
The two men shook hands and Colin left the room.
Three Days Later
“Do you recognize these people?” Colin asked RJ as he handed him an old photograph.
RJ shrugged and shook his head. “No, can’t say I do.”
He handed the photograph to Robin, who gasped when she saw the two people smiling back at her. Patrick touched her hand gently.
“What is it?” he questioned. “You know them?”
Robin nodded. “So does RJ. Here, look again.”
Her brother took the photograph and studied the faces closer. They were familiar, but actual recognition wasn’t coming to him.
“RJ, think San Remo,” Robin said to him. “Think…”
“Oh, my God,” RJ said as he stood. “Oh, my…Robin, is this…is this…Filomena?”
“Yeah, but look at the man,” she advised. “We know him, too.”
RJ studied the smiling male figure. The hair line, shape of the jaw, the dimples. Again, he was so familiar, but the photograph was old.
“Shall I shed some light on the mysterious man’s identity?” Colin asked.
RJ handed him the photo back and sat back down. “Please. I’m really not in the mood for guessing games.”
Colin sat on the edge of his desk. “One of the agents came across this photo, and many others when they began looking into Sean’s files. Your sister seems to have figured it out, but for you, I’ll tell. This smiling young man is one Valentin Rostov in the company of his aunt, Olga Rostova. You knew her as Filomena Soltini, your supposed grandmother.”
Patrick spoke then. “Wait, you’re telling us that this woman who had a hand in protecting and raising Robin and RJ, was actually related to Helena and Sean?”
Colin nodded as he tossed the photo down on his desk. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Olga Rostova was born in Italy to an Italian mother and Russian father, Dmitry Rostov and Antonia Soltini. At some point, Dmitry left his wife and daughter and Antonia changed the child’s name to Filomena Soltini.”
RJ cleared his throat. “Where did Dmitry go?”
“He went back to Russia where he met Svetlana Kostonova, with whom he had two children,” Colin revealed.
Robin nodded. “Let me guess, Ekaterina and Helena.”
“Exactly,” Colin said.
Robin took a deep breath. “Is there…did Filomena know…”
Patrick wrapped his arm around Robin as a few tears fell down her cheeks. She’d told him all about her beloved grandmother, and to discover that she may have been part of the plot was killing her.
Colin shook his head. “No, it…according to Sean’s notes and files, Filomena was only mildly aware that her biological father had two other daughters after her. That photograph was taken in 1975 upon her one and only meeting with Ekaterina and Valentin. Seems she never met Helena at all. As near as we can tell, the fact that she met your parents in 1978 was purely coincidental.”
“Where are my parents now?” Robin asked, still in Patrick’s embrace.
“Holding cell,” Colin replied. “They’re being questioned. We want to know how they survived the tanker explosion and where they’ve been for the past seventeen years. As you know, it wasn’t Sean who confirmed them dead, it was us, the WSB. It was me.”
RJ sighed. “Why did you confirm it with no bodies?”
Colin raked a hand through his short, graying hair. “The boat we were on was only about a quarter mile from the explosion. I had binoculars, I saw the whole thing, and quite clearly. I didn’t see anyone jump from that tanker or hit the water. I didn’t see anyone swimming away. They were dead. All three of them, so I confirmed it and we set back to shore.”
Robin stood. “Guess you were wrong, Director.”
Colin smiled. “Yes, I was. Between us, I’m quite glad of that, except for Cesar Faison. That bastard I’d like to see dead, once and for all.”
“You and me both,” RJ quipped. “If I have to put the bullet in his brain myself, he’s gonna meet his end. Soon.”
An hour later, Robin and Patrick were standing at the window of an interrogation room where her parents were being questioned.
“Where were you standing on the tanker?” a man in a dark suit asked.
Anna’s head tilted slightly as she tried to remember. “I was…I was on the stern, port…no, starboard side. Faison was…ten feet from me and Robert was…I can’t remember.”
“I was behind Anna,” Robert said quietly. “Only a few feet from her.”
“What were you doing?” was the next question.
Robert met his stare. “I was pointing a gun at Faison’s head.”
Robin felt a chill go through her at the cold tone of her father’s voice. Patrick grasped her hand and pulled her body against his.
“You were going to shoot him?”
“I was gonna kill him,” Robert stated. “He took my wife, and I…as far as I was concerned he needed to die.”
Patrick shivered this time. He didn’t know what he’d imagined Robin’s father to be like, but he was pretty sure cold, calculating and merciless wasn’t it.
”Why didn’t you kill him? You had the gun pointed at him; what changed?”
“I reached out and pulled Anna behind me and…I was about to pull the trigger when I…when we both heard the other boat,” he said. “We’d seen the first one coming at us. We both assumed it was the WSB. But, the other one…that was a surprise.”
Robin and Patrick looked at each other. “No one ever mentioned another boat.”