Prelude to a Kiss

This is a Brenda Barrett/Sonny Corinthos; and Kate Howard/David Harper fic. Basically the story is a simple story of breakups, love and longing and a few kisses along the way. Thanks so much for reading. Please note: Kate doesn't have DID or any hints of it in this story.

Chapter 1: Losing Ground

September 2008

"I can't do this anymore, Sonny, I just can't," Kate Howard said as she watched the man she had given her heart to so many years before sitting on the edge of the sofa, and felt his big, warm hands wrapped around her smaller ones. She wanted so badly to allow herself to slip into his arms and forget everything but the two of them, but she wouldn't allow herself to bend so easily, never again. "You slept with Carly …"

Sonny Corinthos's dark chocolate eyes were stormy. "Kate, for the last time, it didn't mean anything."

"It may not mean anything to you but it means something to me, Sonny," Kate said stiffly. Her body was wound tight as a drum, so much so that she physically ached all over, and she was feeling the need to get the hell out of there before she did something stupid like welcome Sonny back into her life. She was so good at running. That has always been her M.O. when things got too uncomfortable as they were now.

"It's no excuse but we were grieving, Kate," Sonny said, standing and reaching for Kate but she twisted out of his grasp. He sighed and dropped his hands to his sides. "We just lost our son – maybe forever. It was a momentary minute of insanity. She cried the whole time, I felt like shit …"

Kate nodded. "I understand that, I do, Sonny, but the worst part is that you lied about it. And it wasn't the first time. You slept with that she-viper Claudia as well."

It hurt Kate to even talk about that indiscretion let alone the one with Carly, someone Kate knew meant a lot more to Sonny than just being the mother of his children. "I have to go to work now," Kate said. "I'll … see you later." Maybe, maybe not, she added silently.

She slipped her purse over her shoulder and walked to the door of the Greystone, looking it over once more, trying to memorize every detail as if she knew somehow she would never be welcome there ever again.

XoXoXo

"Miss … M'am?" A female voice interrupted her muddled thoughts.

She snapped to attention and watched the flight attendant look around the now-empty plane pointedly. "Oh, yeah, sorry," Brenda mumbled. She grabbed her bag and with a deep breath started for the exit. She smoothed down her knee-length black Fredrico skirt nervously as she exited the jet way and spotted him standing there, shifting from foot to foot anxiously.

Without thinking, she immediately walked over to him and threw her arms around his broad shoulders. "I am so sorry," she said, tears beading in her dark eyes.

Jason Morgan sighed and tapped her back a bit awkwardly in a half-attempt to return the embrace. "Sorry for what?"

"Sorry that I wasn't here sooner," Brenda said. "That I didn't come when I heard about the … what happened from Robin."

"It's okay," Jason said.

"No, it really wasn't."

"It's not a big deal."

"Don't lie to me, Jason. I know it's a big deal. You raised Michael as your own …" Once that would have pained her to say, to think of the way Jason had hurt her best friend, the girl she thought of as a sister for Carly of all people, but a lot of Brenda's anger over the situation had evaporated over time and now she just felt incredibly bad for Carly. Incredibly sad that Carly had lost her son to brain death. No one deserved that, in Brenda's mind. No one.

"I know," Jason finally answered and stepped out of her embrace with a pointed cough.

"Still shunning human affection huh?" Brenda said, in an attempt to make him smile. It only partly worked and the warmth never met his cobalt eyes.

Jason reached for her bag and she thought about stopping him, arguing him because that was their way of communicating, but decided not to. He hated public spectacles more than anything and he probably wouldn't appreciate her attempt to make him feel human again.

They started walking through the terminal to the baggage claim and Brenda watched his stony expression. "How are you? Really?"

"I'm dealing," Jason said and she knew that that was the best she could get out of him.

"And him?" Brenda asked. "How's he holding up?"

"He's broken," Jason answered. "Sonny is in bad shape. He lost everything and the worst part is that I helped take everything away from him …"

"Jason, don't go blaming yourself," Brenda said. "You do that way too much."

He just shrugged. "This will be good for him, seeing you …"

Brenda shook her head. "For now I don't want him to know I'm in town. I really don't want anyone to know just yet."

Jason eyed her curiously. "Why is that?"

"I just can't retread over old ground right now. I came here to see Robin, to check on her, see how she's holding up being pregnant and warring with the father all the time. I also wanted to check on you …"

The truth was Brenda was scared. Terrified, actually, and nothing had never intimidated her like the thought of facing her old life, facing her painful past. That seemed like a daunting task and she was sure if she saw Sonny now, she would never be able to walk away from him and she knew she had come too far to go back now.