AN:

Woo hoo! Finally another update. The good news chapter nine is nearly done. Even better news we're finally half way.

~Kelly~


Chapter Eight

"How was your day," Jason asked pulling Sam down to join him of the sofa.

"I told your mother about us trying to have a baby."

Of all the things Sam could have said he wasn't expecting that. "Not quite what I expected. How did it go?"

"Oh, Jason she was so happy for us. I can't wait to have your child."

"So, Dr. Lee gave you good news then?"

"The best," Sam gushed turning to wrap her arms around his neck. "She told me the damage might not be as bad as she originally thought. And that means we can get started right away."

"So soon?"

"I thought you'd be happy," she pouted hurt that Jason didn't seem as happy as her. He had been distant ever since Jake died. That brat was still causing problems for her.

"Of course I'm happy," he defended dropped a kiss onto her lips. "I'm also worried about you. Losing you..." Jason trialed off getting lost in his own pain for a moment. He'd lost so many people over the years. Making Sam happy was important to him but not at the expense of her life. "I don't want anything to happen."

"That's so sweet of you to worry," she said letting out a sigh of relief. Carly had warned her Jason might try and stop the procedure. Thankfully that didn't seem to be the case. "But you know nothing's going to go wrong. I trust Dr. Lee completely."

"Then I can't wait."

"Me either. You are going to be the perfect father."

"You're going to be pretty great too," Jason teased laughing when she smacked his chest.

"Only pretty great?"

"Well..." he was cut off by a sharp knock to the penthouse door. "Come in."

"Sorry to interrupt," Dante said closing the door behind him,"but I received some info on that situation we discussed."

"I guess this is my cue to leave. Don't take too long we still have to celebrate," she reminded Jason before heading up the stairs.

"Celebrate," the younger man asked clearly confused by not only Sam's words but her attitude as well.

"Sam and I are trying to have a baby," Jason admitted after several moments of uncomfortable silence passed. Knowing his girlfriend most of Port Charles was already aware of the situation.

"Oh," Dante mumbled half in shock at the news. A baby? Didn't Jake Spencer just die? He would never understand these people's logic. "Good luck, I guess?"

"Thanks. What do you have?"

"Dr. Thomas Hardy is, absolutely, Elizabeth's uncle," he said thankful to be back on somewhat solid ground. "Steve Hardy apparently adopted him as a boy."

"Go on."

"This isn't the first time he's treated her."

Jason let out a sigh and ran a hand through his hair. Something about this felt wrong. Elizabeth had never mentioned an Uncle Tom let alone the rest of it. "How is it that no one knows anything about this guy?"

"I don't know," the younger man shrugged. Nothing he'd found was hidden. From all appearances the young mother had simply chose to keep it secret. "But the file dates back to April of 2004."

"Wait, that's just before Cameron was born. She was in California," Jason said putting some of the pieces together.

Dante nodded at the information before confirming it. "According to what I found Dr. Hardy was working in San Francisco before moving to moving NYC."

"Which is only a few hours away."

"Yeah. Jason," he started letting out a sigh, "the guy is well respected in the psychiatric field especially in PTSD. Which happens to be what she was diagnosed with."

"Pretty coincidental if you ask me. What about his personal life?"

"Divorced. One kid. He's currently living with the mom. She's a doctor too. Pediatrician in case you care."

"Not really. That's it?"

"Pretty much. The man doesn't seem to have any real secrets."

"Or he's great at hiding them," Jason pointed out to Dante. He couldn't shake the feeling that something bigger was going on.

"Or that," he admitted reluctantly. It seemed the enforcer wasn't ready to let this go just yet. Of course Dante wasn't complaining. "You want me to keep digging?"

"Yeah. We both know that people aren't this clean."

"Alright. I'll get back on it."

"Dante," he called out just before the other man shut the door, "Thank you."

"I'm just doing my job Jason."

Jason shook his head and clarified. "I meant with the Franco stuff. I really owe you one."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Is this some kind of joke," Kate asked looking over the contract Nikolas gave her more closely. The document appeared to be genuine. However, this was the last thing she's expected. She had just spoken with Jax yesterday and the man gave no indication he was going to sell the magazine. Especially to Lulu Spencer's brother.

Dealing with Nikolas might be even worse than dealing with Carly. Maybe. Although it would certainly be a tight race.

Point being with Jax's divorce she'd hoped to be rid of her useless assistant. Lord, she missed Clarice. The young woman was easily the best assistant Kate ever had. She was everything both of her replacements weren't.

"I was just as surprised as you. However, Jax assures me he is serious."

"Alright," she said letting out a long sigh. "So it appears we'll be working together from now on."

"Not exactly," Nikolas said surprising his new partner a little. "You see, Ms. Howard, I know very little about woman's fashion. And even less about running a fashion magazine."

"So you intend to be a silent partner then?"

"With a few minor exceptions, yes."

Kate immediately bristled at the idea of more demands. All she wanted was to run the magazine her way. And, no, not even Nikolas Cassadine was going to stop her. "I'm not agreeing to anything, yet."

"You're forgetting I don't need you to agree," he reminded her in a firm but gentle tone. Nikolas didn't want to make her the enemy. Truth was the woman had connections he could use. Especially to Sonny's past.

"Fine. What are these exceptions?"

"First my accountants will be here in the morning to begin going over the books."

"For what," she snapped unable to stop herself. Logically Kate knew the request was reasonable, even expected, still it grated on her nerves. "In case Jax didn't tell we're actually making a profit."

"And I happen to think that the magazine could be doing even better."

She couldn't exactly argue with that, although she really wanted to. Toying with a pen she took a moment to collect herself. "What else," Kate finally asked.

"Lulu."

"What about her?"

Nikolas paused unsure how to word his next request. He knew how it was going to look from the outside. Cold. Cruel. Cassadine. Trouble was he didn't care how it looked as long as Kate agreed. "Jax explained your arrangement with her."

"I assume you're referring to the fact Carly forced me to hire her."

"He didn't exaggerate the situation then?"

"Hardly."

"Excellent."

"Wh... what," the fashionista finally managed to choke out.

"My understanding is you want to fire Lulu."

"I think we can both agree that's putting it mildly."

"Has she done something to warrant this opinion," Nikolas asked knowing what the answer would be. "Besides the fact you didn't want to hire her," he continued before Kate could answer.

"Well... let's see. She shows up late. That is when she bothers to show up at all. And then, there's the constant personal phone calls, the total lack of respect. Shall I go on?"

Nikolas shook his head regretfully, "I wish I could say I was surprised."

"You're not?"

"Lulu is my sister and I love her. Really," he said standing to pace the room. After a moment he continued. "However, she is a Spencer and far too much like her cousin Carly."

Kate understood, or at least thought she understood, the young prince. He was trying to teach his sister a lesson. Something she wasn't willing to prevent. "So, you would be okay with me firing your sister?"

"In fact I'm insisting you fire her."