Path To Power

Trouble in the River City

The whole don't take candy or poisoned apples from strangers thing was going a little over the top. Old enough to drive. Old enough to shave--most days. From the time Manny picked him up from the florist shop, pretty much all night long and then again this morning. Hearing it over and over again. Helena Cassadine is the wicked witches of the east and west combined. She had been in Europe killing people but now she's back in Port Charles and using arachnids to do her dirty work.
Okay, so Faith wasn't like most adults that would give you a pat on the head and send ya to your room so the grown up could talk. Even baby Kristina had heard the warnings because Faith hadn't wanted to repeat herself to give Alice the heads up. The "family" room of the bunkhouse had been standing room only. And Faith really knew how to work a room. The guys were ready to kill for Faith anyway but they'd started to get crazy looks in their eyes. Forget Postal-- the mail carriers better just stay away from the gate cause anyone bringing a package to the cabin was taking their life into their own hands.
After the meeting, Faith had pulled him aside to talk privately. She still wasn't going to let him drive but now the reason had changed. Unless he was willing to sweep the car for bombs and bugs every single time he got into it then he was going to be in a vehicle where someone had done the sweep. The parking lot at the school is too wide open and too easy to tamper. For about thirty seconds he was about to ask how she knew that-- but had bitten his tongue. Faith had been swearing already under her breath about him taking the job at the florist shop instead of the video store because of the exposure but he'd gotten to hang onto that by the skin of his teeth by adding walkie talkies to the standard equipment of the van. He was to check in after every call with address of the next place he was going to be. Which if he thought about it would really tick him off but he's trying to think of it like a movie-- cops had to check in after every call. It's a safety precaution-- not a leash.

There is the sound of snapping fingers that brings him out of the his thoughts. "You in there?"

"Yeah, just thinking. Sorry." Dillon looks over at Georgie. "What's up?"

"We were all just planning on going over to Kelly's for another study session. Are you in?"

"Thanks but I have to work after school and then do the family thing. Maybe another time." Dillon picks up his books as the bell rings ending study hall and walks out the door.

Georgie looks after him with a frown. Family thing is right. Ever since Faith had caught them ditching, Dillon had been practically cold to her. Okay so he'd been okay at Kelly's but then he'd pulled back again. "Dillon! Wait up!" Georgie gathers her books and races after him.

"Elizabeth!" Ric pounds on the door to the studio. This isn't the first time he'd tried to talk to Elizabeth since Faith had dropped her bomb at the Cellar. He'd always thought that Courtney and Liz weren't friends, wouldn't be exchanging confidences. What if Courtney told her about the mine shaft?! About trying to get Sonny's attention? She had to let him explain. The marriage proposal-- that was about being family with Sonny not because he loved Courtney. Nobody made him feel the way Elizabeth does. Made him have hope for the future like Elizabeth does. But he has to do this. He owes it to his mother, the mother he'd never known. To his father who'd married that bitch to make a family for him-- that hadn't worked out so well. "Elizabeth, I know you're in there. I've already checked the diner and your grandmother's. Your car is outside. Do you really want to discuss this thru the door?! I can explain!"

Lucky is putting his cell phone back in his pocket as he is walking around the corner. "Step away from the door, Ric."

"This isn't any of your business, Lucky."

Liz opens up the door. "I made it his business. I called him." Liz's chin is up and her expression is strained. She isn't going to lose it. Not again. "You're the one that doesn't have any business here, Ric. You dumped me remember?"

"Elizabeth, I can explain. It's all just been a huge misunderstanding." Ric smiles earnestly and his voice is low and confidence building. "If you'll just let me explain my side... privately."

"Your side of what?" Lucky asks intrusively.

"Do you mind?!" Ric snarls.

"Nah. Pretend I'm not even here." Lucky leans up against the wall, crossing his arms. "You were about to tell Elizabeth about a... misunderstanding? Does that mean you really didn't mean to break up with her and propose marriage to Courtney Matthews? Your brother's sister?" Lucky smiles at Ric encouragingly.

Ric looks at Liz accusingly. Liz blurts defensively. "What? Was it a secret? It didn't seem like a secret when you broke up with me on the street in front of your apartment! Where you were under survellience by the police?!"

"Elizabeth, can we please go inside. I can explain."

Liz reachs back into the apartment and pulls out the brown envelope that had been shoved under her door. She hands it to Ric.

"What is this?" Ric is already opening the envelope. As soon as he sees the contents he is shoving the black and white photos back into the envelope. He'd been paying blackmail on these pictures since about a week after the motel incident just to avoid this situation. "Elizabeth, I can explain. This isn't what it looks like."

"Explain why you were having sex with your brother's wife?"

"I didn't have sex with Carly."

"You were just naked in bed with her."

"Someone slipped her a drug at Jakes the night The Cellar opened. She didn't want to go home. Sonny had been kissing an ex girlfriend or something. She thought her marriage was over."

"So you got naked with her in a hotel room and comforted each other."

"It isn't what it looks like."

"So you were drugged too." Elizabeth asks hopefully. Maybe it was like Emily and dead Ted. Maybe Ric and Carly had both been set up... set up by whoever was taking the pictures.

"No," But before Ric can continue....

Elizabeth interrupts when her hopes are dashed. "So you were getting nekkid with a drugged woman. Isn't there a law against that?" She looks from Lucky back to Ric.

"I love her when she's like this." Lucky grins. "But it sucks to be you." Then his smile falls away... it was fake anyway. "If, no when I go to my cousin and ask her about those pictures is she going to tell me that nothing happened?" Rick might be a hotshot lawyer but Lucky is a Spencer and reads the answer in Ric's face before he can say anything, before he can cover. "I didn't think so." Lucky straightens away from the wall and takes a step toward Ric. "There is a word for that. It's called rape."

"Elizabeth, I didn't..." Ric pleads with Elizabeth. "I didn't have sex with Carly."

Elizabeth has grown pale almost gray and she swallows hard. "But you let her think she had. You let her think that she'd had sex with you. Probably that she wanted to get back at Sonny. That's why you're working at the Cellar even though Sonny hates you... oh gawd I'm going to be sick."

"Elizabeth... " Ric reaches for her.

"Don't touch me. DON'T TOUCH ME OR I'LL KILL YOU!" Elizabeth reaches for the palette knife on the counter next to the sink and waves it in Ric's direction. "Get away from me! GET AWAY!"

Lucky gets between Ric and Liz. "You heard her. Get away. And don't come back."

"Why won't you listen?! This isn't the way it seems."

"Sell it to Sonny." Lucky gives Ric a push and then steps back into the studio and shuts the door-- locking the heavy duty locks that Jason had insisted on when he'd been dating Elizabeth. He turns around to check on her. Elizabeth is collapsed on the floor. "Elizabeth..."

"I'm going to be sick." Elizabeth half crawls and then gets to her feet and races to the bathroom slamming the door.

Lucky can hear the sound of retching inside. He gets a dishtowel and wets it in the sink. He is ready when Elizabeth comes out of the bathroom. "Are you okay?"

"I'm pregnant."

Gia sorts thru the mail on the reception area desk of Dara's office and drops her bookbag on the floor. This is getting just as bad as when she was trying to run Alexis' office while Alexis was losing it over her sister, Kristina's death, having the baby premature and then going crazy. There is too much stuff here to do. Dara needs help: a paralegal, an office manager, another lawyer. Something other than a law student still a year away from the bar. Because nothing is going to get between her and the bar, and passing it the first time. Which meant she could love and respect Dara as the awesome mentor she is-- but no way is she going to be able to bail her ass out of this one. Getting out the letter opener, Gia gets comfortable behind the desk and starts opening and time stamping the correspondance. She doesn't even look up when Dara comes in from the afternoon session of court. "You need to hire somebody."

"I know. I know." Dara sighs. "Let me at least take my jacket off before you start."

Gia waits impatiently for Dara to set down her bag and unbutton her jacket and hang it on the hanger then on the coatrack. Once that is accomplished. "You need to hire somebody. A few somebodies. I've got a full caseload at the university, Dara..."

"And you've been a big help." Dara sighs and drops onto the couch across from the reception desk. "Believe me I know. I've already called a temp agency. I appreciate all the time you put in, and I really don't want you stuck opening the mail. Especially when everything is going on with the new stadium and that rookie contract. The coach and manager both ask for you before they'll talk to me."

"Sorry." It's a real apology but there is an element of preening in it as well. It's great that the guys still look for and trust her after all this time. And from the way the others talked at school it was never too early to start looking for your first job.

"Hey. It works. Generally." Dara says wryly. "Maybe it's having a big brother but you seem to speak their language. And I really don't. Give me a nice tight contract and I'm a happy woman."

"I cleaned up a few messes while I was doing PR." Gia shrugs.

"Anyway, Ric Lansing stopped by to offer to go into partnership..."

"Um... ah... Dara."

"I turned him down flat."

Gia gives a sigh of relief. "I know I said you needed help but that would have been..."

"A snake pit." Dara offers helpfully. "Yeah. Lets start with paralegal/office manager. I called the temp agency on the way back to the office. They are supposed to be sending someone by." She glances down at her watch. "I'd better get as much done as I can before they get here."

"I'm just glad I didn't have to twist your arm to get you to see things my way." Gia hands Dara the opened mail.

"Right. Like that would have happened." Dara laughs.

"Is he back in the office?" Skye Chandler pauses at the bar of Jake's to ask the question.

"Hey Skye." The day bartender finishes what she is doing and moves down to the end of the bar where Skye is standing. At the sound of her name, a guy at a table looks up to check out the red head at the end of the bar. He quietly goes outside, careful to not draw attention to himself. The bartender gets comfortable on her side of the bar. "Cole left pretty much after I showed up at eleven. He'll probably be back for shift change but he did all the orders and adios!"

Skye frowns. "I tried him on his cell and at home."

"Well I can explain part of that." The bartender points to a coat that is hanging on a peg behind the counter. She reaches into the pocket and pulls out the cell phone. "I turned it to vibrate cause there was no way I was answering his phone."

"Why on earth would he leave his phone..." Skye shakes her head.

The bartender shrugs and suggests. "Do you know how close I was to calling in? Other than the fact I knew I would be so fired? It is too gorgeous of a day for working. And way too nice for a heavy coat." The bartender puts the cell phone back in the pocket of the coat.

"Ahhh." Skye nods her agreement. "True." She laughs. "Let me take the coat. I'll see him before you do."

"You got it." The bartender passes the coat to Skye. "So I hear you got a job at the Herald. Cole has been bragging on you for days although he says the hours are just as screwed as tending bar?"

"It'll settle down. But yeah, I could get called in at 2am. I'm hoping to keep it to a minimum. Nothing later than six. Unless Cole has to close."

"It's great you have such a flexible schedule." The bartender nods in the direction of one of the tables. "I'll be right with you." She calls out.

"Go take care of that. I'll talk to you later. Anything else that Cole needs to see?"

"Nope. OH wait. My boyfriend dropped this off. It's the proofs for the entertainment schedule next month. He wanted Cole to check it out before doing the print. If I can get it done before shift change it'll shave a day off getting it back."

"Got it." Skye takes the folder. "Talk to you later." Skye goes out to her car. She comes up on the passenger side first so she hits the unlock button on her remote and opens the door putting in her bag, Cole's coat and the folder on top. Then she comes around the car. "Oh you have got to be kidding. DAMN IT!" The back tire is totally flat. The temptation to kick it is almost too much to bear but she restrains herself. She looks at her neatly manicured nails and down at the hose she pays 12 bucks a pair for cause they are so silky shear and wouldn't hold up to changing a tire in a gravel parking lot that probably has broken glass and gawd knows what else which is the reason why she is in this position to begin with....

An accented voice interrupts her thoughts "Excuse me?" Skye jumps and puts a hand to her chest. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you. If you have a spare and the jack I will change the tire for you."

"That's really nice of you to offer. But I have triple A and OnStar too. They'll send someone out to fix it."

"But that will take some time and I am right here."

Skye glances at her watch. Kyle would be home from school soon. She still hadn't connected with Cole. She bites her lip. "Are you sure?"

"No problema." The man grins. "Is the spare in the trunk?"

"I think so. I have the car regularly serviced. But this is the first time I've had a flat with it." Skye goes to the trunk and opens it up and has a sigh of relief when she sees the spare there and looking in much better shape than the tire on her car. She steps back so that she is out of arms reach. What kind of idiot am I? Some guy offers to change my tire in a parking lot of a seedy bar and I practically climb in the trunk for him? Skye moves to the other side of the car and opens up the passenger side door again. She grabs her cell phone. "I really do appreciate this."

The man's dark eyes are knowing. "Would you like to wait inside while I change this? It will not take long."

"No. Of course not." Skye poopoohs that. But she keeps the cell phone in her hand.

The man takes off the hubcap and starts loosening the lug nuts. "My name is Javier."


"Skye? That is an unusual name. I am pleased to meet you, Skye. Even under such circumstances. I will have you on the road again in no time at all."

Kyle looks in the rearview mirror of his car. Georgie is back there just staring out a window. There had been no insults, no sarcastic quips. It's... weird. "Is she okay?" Kyle mutters to Maxie.

Maxie looks over her shoulder and frowns at her sister. "Dillon was acting weird today."

"Dillon is weird."

"Oh you're one to talk, Mighty Dong! And she isn't deaf, Moron." Georgie snaps.

"And she's baaaacccckkk." Kyle grins at Maxie.

"I don't know why you have to be such a little bitch." Maxie turns on Georgie. "Kyle was just worried about you and Dillon was acting weird today. You think so too."

"Will you please remember that you're just pretending to like this asshole?! He isn't really your boyfriend-- he's got no business getting in my business-- even if he was!"

"How many times do I have to tell you that he didn't know what Beavis was doing?! It wasn't Kyle's fault, Georgie."

Georgie meets Kyle's eyes in the rearview mirror. "Oh I believe he didn't know that Beavis was going to attempt to become the porn king of Port Charles. But he knew that web cam was on. He knew exactly what he was doing. And I'll be so glad when school is out and I don't have to see your degenerate perverted self for the whole summer."

"Well be careful what you wish for!" Kyle snaps back burning from Georgie's caustic but true take on the situation. "Because school is the only reason you're seeing Dillon. And as soon as school is out, your little boyfriend will be nowhere to be found. Why would he want you when he has Faith?!"

"That's just gross, Kyle." Maxie protests.

"She's his sister in law! There is nothing going on between Faith and Dillon."

"Right. Which is why she planted that liplock on him in the middle of the school parking lot and let him drive the Porsche. Looks to me like Dillon is getting schooled more at home than at school."

"You're just sick." Georgie turns to look out the window again wishing they were already home.

The remainder of the trip to the Scorpio home is made in silence. Georgie slams out of the car. Kyle winces and says to Maxie. "I shouldn't have said..."

"You weren't the only one that saw that kiss. Everyone did. All the kids were talking about it." Maxie reminds. "She'll calm down."

"See you tomorrow?"

"Sure. You start summer soccer practice tomorrow after school. So we'll get home on our own."

"Damn. I forgot about that." Kyle winces. "You should really come to a few of the practices. Just for..."

"Right." There is a long pause. "I should go inside. Georgie is so ticked she'll probably call Mac if I don't."

"Okay. I'll see you tomorrow."

"See ya." Maxie climbs out of the car. When Kyle doesn't immediately pull out of the drive way she walks to the front door. Only once she is inside does Kyle leave and head out to the lakehouse.

"Are you okay?" Liz applies the damp dishcloth to the back of Lucky's neck.

"You can't just say things like that. Blurt them out like that." Lucky protests. He holds the dishcloth to the back of his neck but lifts his head from between his knees.

"You're not the one who is pregnant. I don't see why you're the one that practically passed out."

"There has to be some lead up. Some foreplay. Not just BAM -- laying it out there."

"Oh there was." Liz suggests wryly.

Lucky winces. "Forget I said that. I don't want to know. Can we just pretend it was an immaculate conception?"

Liz sits down next to Lucky on the floor. Both of them have their back resting against the couch she'd crashed on too many times to count. "I wish. How could I be so stupid? I believed everything he ever told me. Courtney tried to tell me. Hell even Carly tried to tell me."

"Like you'd take anything Carly said at face value after everything that happened with Deception."

"Yeah, us being buds. Not likely. Ever." Liz agrees.

"You think that was going to keep Lansing from your door?"

Liz sighs. "No. Specially once I start showing."

"So you're going to..." There is no polite way to phrase a question about terminating a pregnancy.

"Ric and I had already broken up when I found out I was pregnant." Liz reminds Lucky. "I've already had the mental conversation, hell had the actual conversation with Gram, about keeping the baby--my baby. I knew that Ric wasn't going to be in the picture."

"But you just said he'd be back when he found out you were pregnant."

"That doesn't mean I would have taken him back. Gees Lucky! How pathetic do you think I am?! I'm not your cousin. I don't need to get pregnant to hang on to a man! Oh hell."


"This baby and Carly's are going to be cousins."

"If they're not half siblings." Lucky counters.

Liz winces. If Ric lied, and he'd proven what a capable liar he could be... it's entirely possible. "Yeah. What a mess."

"You know, this is really twisted and I know I have no right to think it-- but I never thought of you ever having a baby other than mine. Something I guess Helena never got round to programming out of me." Lucky says wryly.

"After the fire, you don't know how many times I prayed that the birth control would have failed so I could have had you with me. A part of you anyway. But we were always so freaking responsible!" Liz gives Lucky a punch in the arm.

"Yeah, we were." Lucky looks at Liz. "So what the hell happened? Did he poke holes in the condoms or something?"

Dara looks at the resume of the woman in front of her. "You just moved from Boston?"

The woman quips with a lopsided smile. "I really did edit the Harvard Law Review. Not for content as for spelling and the like. Guarded the gate for the head of the department."

"It's really amazing. That you've accomplished so much so fast. And still managed to move about every eighteen months, Ms Bishop." Dara says kindly but suspiciously. A job hopper is the last thing she needs. The plan is to sustain the business not let it go back to the pre-Cassadine addition to her caseload.

"My husband was in the Marines."

"And he's out now?"

"He's dead. Conner was killed in Iraq." Mary Bishop states bluntly. Knowing what a conversation stopper that can be and not wanting the other woman's pity she hurries on. "Before Boston most of my office work was in JAG offices whereever Conner was stationed. The first one was a fluke. Every base after that was sort of planned. I took the job at Harvard because we'd planned on staying in Boston after Conner got out of the Marines but then Conner shipped out and didn't come home... anyway. There was no reason for me to stay. Ms Jensen, we...I own a small place outside of town. I listed with the temp agency because I'm looking for a long term position and didn't want to get locked into anything until I found a good fit. Port Charles was where Conner and I always vacationed but I'm not familiar with the opportunities."

"But you want to stay in the legal arena?" Dara takes her clue from Mary and slides over the loss of the woman's husband. There would be enough time for that if she was going to be a member of the team. At Mary's nod, Dara continues. "Port Charles does have it's share of everything: criminal, corporate, family. I have a... general practice. I just left the DAs office in the last year. So... it's not exactly... risk free."

"You've already got a partner..."

Dara smiles. "Gia isn't a partner-- yet. She's coming up on her last year of law school at the University. Gia worked for another lawyer in town for a couple of years until the other lawyer had to close their practice due to illness. I inherited the practice." Dara adds wryly. "Controlled growth kind of went out of the window. Tell you what. We don't know each other and I have to do my own checks but I do trust the agency. How about we give it a try? I'm in for the rest of the day with appointments. Gia would love to be stuck in the library studying for her finals rather than working the phones."

"Point me at them."

"Come on let me show you the set up." Dara walks Mary out to the entry way. Gia is in the conference room/library but she has the door open incase someone should come in. "Appointment book, phones, pc, internet access, standard software. If you have any questions-- I'm right in there. And if I'm with a client..."

"Then I'm right in here." Gia hollars from the conference room. "Up to my ears in three hundred years of the fifth amendment."

Mary takes off her suit coat and rolls up her sleeves a couple of turns. She takes the seat behind the desk. "Ah yes, the joys of self incrimination. That one had some fun clauses that I dealt with on the military side."

"That's right. There are all kinds of exceptions for the military on that one isn't there?"

...except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger ...." Mary quotes. "Vague enough to keep the JAG in business. Don't worry. I'll call out if there is any problem."

There is a knock on the door. "Is this Dara Jensen's office?"

"It is... and you are?" Mary demands of the young black man.

"My friends call me Dawg."

"Yes, but what would your lawyer call you?" Dara asks.

"Marshall Wilson."

"You come recommended, Mr Wilson." Dara says with a nod. She indicates with a wave of her hand where her office is.

"He does?" Mary asks cautiously as Dara and her client go into the office and shut the door behind them.

"He does." Gia says from the conference room doorway. "Lila Quartermaine called to confirm his appointment. And when Lila Quartermaine gives someone a thumbs up then they are recommended."

Kyle is kicking on the front deck of the lakehouse in a pair of jams and no shirt with his boombox blasting when Skye pulls up. He leans over and turns down the stereo. True to the deal they'd made from the start, if anyone was around then the headphones would go on.

Skye walks up the stairs. "Is your uncle here?"


"Damn. He wasn't at Jake's either." Skye worries her lower lip.

"Why don't you just call him?" Kyle asks.

Skye holds up Coleman's coat and reaching into one pocket pulls out the cell phone. When she does a small folded piece of paper falls on the deck. Skye leans over and picks it up. She recognizes the barely legible handwriting as Cole's: Lil and a local phone number. Skye blanches and crumpling the paper stuffs it back in the pocket of the jacket. Probably just someone he was going to hire at the club. "He didn't take his phone."

"You're not going to kick my ass if I say you look like you aren't having a good day? Is this a good time or bad to tell you that Dr Quartermaine left a message he said he was going to come over for dinner tonight-- you know to sign my soccer thing."

Skye pushes her hair back from her face. "You know I was having a really great day. Got off work early went over to see Cole see if I could talk him into playing hookie from the bar and it's gone down hill from there."

"What else happened?"

"I had a flat tire. Right in the parking lot. Someone probably broke a bottle or something..."

Kyle doesn't think that too likely since he's been sweeping the parking lot at Jakes on a regular basis. Plenty of cigarette butts but not too many bottles.

"...Luckily there was someone there that offered to change it. Alan is coming over because he wants some artery clogging porterhouse steak like Coleman made for him the last time he was over. I totally forgot about it."

"Tell you what. One of the kids from school works at a tire place in town. I could probably get the flat fixed and pick up some ribs. Those clog arteries too right?"

Skye laughs. "Yeah, they do. Do you mind?"

"Dr Quartermaine is the one doing me the favor so I can start soccer tomorrow. I just need some money for the ribs and fixings."

"You're a lifesaver." Skye juggles everything and reaching into her bag grabs a couple of twenties. "The flat too. I have no idea how much they charge for that even if you know somebody." She pulls out a couple more. "Max out on the ribs. Whatever you three don't eat tonight I'm sure you'll take care of tomorrow."

"Right. Keys?"

"Oh right to get the tire put back on. Here." Skye tosses the keys to Kyle in an quick underhand toss.

Kyle catches them easily. "I'm out of here."

"Kyle?" Skye stops him in his tracks.

"Yeah?" He turns around on the stairs.

She reminds. "Shirt."

"Right." Kyle brushes by Skye and racing to the room he's taken over grabs a muscle tshirt pulling it on over his head. "Don't worry about Uncle Cole. He'll show up. He always does."


"Yeah?" Kyle asks impatiently.

"Wreck my car or yourself and I will kick your ass again. And don't mess with my presets."

"Got it." Kyle grins at his uncle's girlfriend. He makes sure he drives very conservatively until he is down the driveway and halfway to town before he opens it up.

Skye can guess exactly what he is going to do but at this point really doesn't care. All she wants is a hot tub with bubbles and no interruptions. She checks the messages to find out when Alan is coming by and then dropping everything in a chair goes back to the master bedroom. She is already kicking off her shoes and stripping out of her clothes as she goes. She grabs a scrunchie to get her hair out of her face. Drawing the bath, she adds a liberal handful of bathsalts. Grabbing her own walkman, she drops in a Billie Holiday cd, slides into the hot scented water, sighing as she does so. She puts on the earphones and turns on the music. Her eyes close and she starts to hum along focusing on the music to take her away from her doubts but maybe Billie isn't the right one for that....

I'm a fool to want you
I'm a fool to want you
To want a love that can't be true
A love that's there for others too

Coleman is expecting Kyle to be home when he walks in the door. Kyle's car is there. His music is playing on the box out on the deck. Maybe the kid went for a walk down by the lake. Cole puts the porterhouse steaks in the marinade and puts all the fixings away for a salad. Dr Quartermaine was stopping by today. Probably a good thing for Skye to keep ties with the good doctor since if his suspicions were on track, her bio-father didn't have much to recommend him. He starts when he hears a voice from the back bedroom.

I'm a fool to hold you
Such a fool to hold you
To seek a kiss not mine alone
To share a kiss that devil has known

Time and time again I said I'd leave you
Time and time again I went away
But then would come the time when I would need you
And once again these words I had to say

The hair goes up on Coleman's neck. Something is up. And it couldn't be good. Is Skye thinking of going back to Jax? He follows the trail of clothes he hadn't noticed before to the master bath. Skye is in another world. Her eyes closed and singing along with Billie Holiday. He watches as with one foot, Skye adds a little more hot water to the mix while plaintively singing about a cheating man.

Take me back, I love you
...I need you
I know it's wrong, it must be wrong
But right or wrong I can't get along
Without you

Unable to take it anymore, Coleman stops her voice with a kiss. Skye straightens in the tub her eyes opening wide and her hands splashing down into the tub. "Ohmygawd, Cole. You scared me to death. Where have you been?!"

Coleman kisses her again. He threads his fingers thru her hair and pulls it from the scrunchie so it falls into his hands. "I didn't see your car."

"Kyle has it."

That has Cole rocking back on his heels. "What?!"

Skye takes off the walkman and puts the earphones on the floor next to the stereo. "He offered to take my car in and get a flat fixed."

"You had a flat? Why didn't you call me?" Cole demands instantly ticked.

"Where? On what?" Skye counters just as quickly.

Coleman realizes that he hasn't heard his phone ring once all day. And that is a rarity when you own your own business. "Oh shit. Where did I leave it?"

"At the bar with your jacket." Skye offers. "I stopped by there when I got off work early."

"Damn. I'm sorry, Babe. I really screwed up this time."

"Luckily one of the guys from the bar changed the flat for me."

"One of the guys from my bar?! Which one so I can buy him a round or two."

"He said his name was Javier."

That bad feeling that has just been easing is back and growing. But just then the phone rings.

"You better get that. It's probably Kyle wanting to know what kind of ribs."

Cole protests. "Hey! I'm making steaks tonight."

"Oh good I didn't know if you remembered. Tell Kyle that then. It might save him a trip."

"Don't go anywhere." Coleman demands. "I'm coming right back to scrub your back." He goes into the bedroom and tries to grab the phone before the machine picks up. "Yeah."

"Uncle Cole?"

"Yeah." He can hear something dire in his nephew's voice. "Don't tell me you wrecked Skye's car?!" Cole's voice is a low hiss. "I swear to God above, Kyle, I will kick your ass...."

"It's not that, Uncle Cole. Skye didn't get a flat. At least she didn't just get a flat. Someone slashed her tire, Uncle Cole. There is no way to fix or patch it. It's bad. She's going to need a new tire. Two new tires actually cause that kind you have to buy in sets. And the way it was slashed. It would have had to be someone coming up behind the tire... you you can't tell from the front. Hell you couldn't tell when I pulled it out of the trunk not until you turned it over. Somebody is trying to mess with Skye, Uncle Cole."


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