Chapter 13
Jason was waiting for information on the new family in Port Charles. A lot of blood had been shed. The organization was beginning to crumble. The five families no longer trusted the Corinthos organization. Jason didn't think that the new family was entirely to blame. Sonny had burned bridges. He got into bed with the Zacarra's who had not earned the trust of the other families. He let people get away who shouldn't and his son was a cop who tried to infiltrate the organization. They were all waiting for him to fall. They had begun to offer lucrative employment offers to Jason. Sonny needed someone to blame and Jason was always and has always been loyal. Since Sonny was over the edge and looking to persecute someone Jason's life had become miserable. He needed her. He needed to see her.

Robin had received flowers from Jason. She looked at them then read the note.

"I need to see you Robin. Please, Please meet me at the place where we took out first swim."

Robin read the note ten times trying to detect the intention and emotion in which it had been written. She sighed deeply her mind tried to will her not to go but her heart won.

Robin arrived at the lake dressed in a sundress. It was a gold dress that matched her skin tone. She didn't know why she needed to dress up. Maybe it was to show him what he had been missing. She struggled with the idea of being around him. The death of their son had become more than a distant memory with the presence of Zach. A young man with her father's smile; the eyes of her former lover; the hair of hers and her mother's along with her skin tone. Anger surfaced within her as she remembered going through that time in her life alone. She was afraid to tell her family and Jason didn't want to hear from her. He should have been there to get her cravings. He should have been there to rub her belly. He should have been there to hear their child's heartbeat. He just should have been there but he wasn't. She noticed that the door to the lake house was cracked. She moved to peek in. She noticed Jason sitting on the couch with his head in his hands.

Robin stepped into the house without thinking. Her body gravitated toward Jason. She could see that he was in turmoil. She wasn't sure what he needed from her but she wanted to ease his pain. She almost snorted at the idea. He had only shunned her. He never eased her pain, well at least not for a very long time. His head snapped up at her snort. His face contorted into an unreadable expression.

Jason heard Robin snort. Had it been the final straw for her? Had she grown to hate him, hate the man that he had become. Jason stared at her as he contemplated the questions on his mind. Maybe calling for her was a mistake. Maybe her honest words were what he needed to put things in perspective. She wouldn't sugar coat or make excuses, she would assess the situation and give an honest opinion. Robin was methodical in that way. He used to love that about her.

"Things are changing and I don't know what to do. Well there is one thing." He sighed standing.

"I don't deserve any acts of kindness from you. I don't deserve so much as a second glance or thought. I am asking though, I am asking you to forgive me. I have done a lot of thinking and Robin and I was wrong. I was so wrong. I wish that I could go back but we both know that it isn't possible and you would say that it is not even logical. I was wrong. I was wrong to continue being friends with Carly after I used her. After I hurt you. I was wrong to have her move in and to claim Michael. I was wrong for all of it. I am so very sorry. Please forgive me." He said hoarsely. Robin looked at Jason through skeptical eyes.

"What is going on? I read the papers Jason. Is this some sort sick dying wish because that is bullshit and I won't accept it." She spat. She did care if he lived or died

"Remember your grand Canada speech?" She approached him.

"Do you?' She shouted and he nodded numbly.

"Out there somewhere alive, just being. You were an ass Jason Morgan and that display that you claim was to protect me shows that you didn't change much. So run Jason, run fast and far away from here to one of those places we talked about. I may not want to see you but I need you to be alive." She paced.

"Why?" She spun on her heal immediately halting her pacing. She faced him.

"Because you are supposed to. You may not be the man for me. You may not be the best man I know Jason but you are my touch stone. Call me a selfish bitch but I need you to be alive out there. Even apart from me." She ran her hands through her hair.
"Damn it Jason why couldn't you just get out? You had opportunity. Is this what you wanted out of life?" She looked at him for a beat. She wanted to tell him but she didn't want him to sink lower. She felt like he was giving up, she wasn't used to it so she didn't know what to do with it. Jason looked at her.

"Because I was a fool Robin. I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. I wanted something of my own." He argued.

"Do you even realize how inhuman that makes you sound? Instead of working for something you chose to kill people. What kind of sense does that even make?" Robin finally asked the question that had been on her mind then. She tried to love him enough not to ask.

"Not any more than it did to have you making decisions for me and holding my hand through life." She started to speak but he held up his hand.

"It made sense to me not to you. In your hands I was almost childlike. I don't regret what you have taught me but Sonny gave me a choice and I took it. I didn't feel like a kid who needed to be spoon fed. I felt like a man in charge of his decisions, a man who could stand on his own two feet. Sonny didn't coddle me Robin." Jason stood sighing as he did so.

"Patrick asked me about you when we were dating. He felt that maybe you were the reason that I held back and he was right but.." She shrugged. "I told him that you were almost childlike and accepted a lot of what I had to say. Maybe it was the control freak in me then or just being young and wanting to guide someone else the way I had been. I didn't make decisions for you Jason. I explained things to you that you didn't understand. You say that Sonny allowed you to be a man but Sonny did the same as I. He knew you were hungry. You had a thirst to be your own man and to have your own identity and the choices he laid out for you were his. So while you were growing and making decisions to be a mob enforcer you were still being guided and had yet to be a man. You were seeking you own identity and latched on to Sonny's because he was unlike the one everyone wanted and expected of you. What is the difference really?" She moved across the room.

"I loved you enough to let you find your way. Forgive me for fearing for your life. You didn't seem to have any value or care for it but me, I loved you. I wanted the best for you and for you to be happy. When I realized that happiness was in your career choice I accepted it. You fought long and hard for this life why give up now?" She approached him. "Tell me." He looked down on him.
"Because I may not have a choice. This new guy is young and hungry. Some times that is the worst adversary to face. I know he is the one behind a lot of things that set off this chain of events but the coward won't show his face." She looked at him.

"Whoever he is I am sure you will find and take care of him. I just wanted you to be safe and you aren't not have you ever been. Jason sometimes I lie awake at night worrying for you. Like Alcazar's death, the emergence of Franco. I testified for Manny because it was my duty but I worried for you. I have been tempted to ring you in the middle of the night just to see that you are ok." She refused her tears as he is shocked by her confession. He never wanted her to worry. " But I know how unreceptive you are to my calls." She added bitterly. He nodded knowing she had every right to believe that.

"I don't forgive you Jason. It is not a gift wrapped and presented for someone just because it is asked for or even wished for. No you have to earn my forgiveness." He knew what she was doing. Somehow she thought giving him something to prove, to hold on to would keep him around, he closed his eyes to soothe the sting of tears that threatened.

"Robin" he breathed her name in a way that made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand.

"I am not giving up here. I just, I don't know what will happen.
He tried to reason with her. He couldn't rest without her forgiveness.

"Then figure it out and stop it. If that is all that you asked me here for, I have a date and need to get going." It wasn't a date technically. It was drinks with Patrick. Jason offered a wry smile to hide his jealousy.

"Hmm, could Patrick be your Carly?" He cursed himself as soon as the words came out. He knew her response even before she could utter the words.

"Patrick is the father of my child. He is not pretending to be, get it?" She spat venomously. He advanced on her.

"Get it; yeah I got it a child that should have been mine. The child that you never asked anyone to lie about, right?" She gave him a heated look. Her eyes were narrowed into slits. She let out a hearty laugh.

"Should have been yours? That is the biggest crock that I have ever heard. You denied me your sperm, A and B Emma may be four soon but I am quite sure conceiving a child means seeing the other person's face. Unless of course you are a woman being artificially inseminated the way it is intended." He kept moving near her and she kept backing up until she was stuck between him and the wall,

"Robin do you think that I missed that my name was at the top of the list? You set out to ask me because you know it too. Emma should be our daughter." He breathed unsure of himself because he just wanted to act on what he was feeling. She laughed in his face.

"Emma is Patrick's as she should be. She doesn't need guards nor do we have to dodge bullets. Brenda left Sonny to protect Alex and I would have left you to protect our child. I don't know what I was thinking calling you." Robin slipped.

"Wha what are you talking about?" He looked at her. Robin froze in that moment. If she told him he would blame himself. She was angry but she didn't wish that kind of guilt on anyone.

"I called you. Don't pretend not to know. I also wrote but you wanted zero communication. What if you had answered? Would you have forgiven me? Would I have come crawling back like a weak pathetic nobody? Would I have had your child and subjected that child to this life?" She went for the jugular but she didn't care. All she could feel was how close he was to her. Her mind swirled with visions of them in the throes of passion. She didn't even understand how it happened.

"I was hurt and it was how I dealt with it. Why did you wear that dress Robin?" He had been acutely aware of how it clung to all the right places.

"You wore it to remind me of the night we had, of what I have been missing. I already know that. You mean so much to me." He caressed her face but she recoiled.

"You don't believe me and I don't blame you but it is the truth. No one could ever be you but everyone was measured against the standard that was you." He kissed her. She didn't respond but he didn't stop. His tongue begged for access at her lips. She held them together in a thin line.

"I miss you. I have missed you so much." He whispered against her lips. Robin was taken back to their conversation about the concept of missing someone. She knew that he loved her then. She also knew that no one had ever made her feel as loved again. He traced her lips again with his tongue, she parted her lips without thinking. He kissed her deeply, before long they were moaning into each other mouths. She slid down the wall with him and again became his fool.

Chapter 14

Jason held on to Robin refusing to allow her to escape. He still knew her and knew that she was angry with herself and with him. She laughed.

"You just know don't you?" She turned in his arms to face him. "You just know that I will give in if you ask, any way you ask." He sighed.

"No, I never thought that I would be able to touch you again. It doesn't mean that I don't want to. Things have happened; feelings that never died are rushing to the surface. I feel helpless because no matter how much I would like to act on them my main objective is to keep you safe. I tried to rationalize my lifestyle choices after Jake died. I said I let him go for no reason because his death had nothing to do with me." He frowned.

"Only it had everything to do with me. I received a package a week ago. There was evidence that Anthony had been driving the car that hit Jake. He was also responsible for Lucky getting back on drugs. So you see everything that I touch is ruined. I never wanted to act on what I felt that night. I .. My will was broken. I was so scared when I saw him with his hands around your neck. I was so scared my heart stopped. The idea of losing you brought back feelings I thought I had buried. Then you try to help me and I turn on you again. Now you can't forgive me. Anthony was killed but it. Something inside of me is restless. I hate not being able to avenge Jake's death." Robin reached up to wipe away the tears that had escaped.

"It was not your fault. Anthony was a sick individual and he had been that way long before he met you. If he killed Jake then Jake's death is on him." He looked at her.

"If it were Emma you wouldn't see it that way." He reminded.

"Yes I would. I would be angry with you for making choices that allowed him to be introduced into our lives and you know that I would call you on it. I might have even blamed you during periods of initial grief when I wasn't thinking clearly but that happens all the time when something so tragic happens. We cannot understand it so we need to place blame." Robin tried to explain. She hated to see him in pain.
"I need you to stay with me tonight. Could you do that?" She nodded without hesitating. She would do as he asked because a part of her still belonged to him just as a part of him still belonged to her. She stayed to convince him that he was worth more than she could ever express in words. She held him there in a moment in time. A moment that she cherished because she had missed his embrace. She had missed the feel of him, she treasured every second of it.

Chapter 15
Zach met Zoe at Jake's, it had been their meeting place during the course of their friendship. Zach had no idea that she enjoyed his company to the level of falling for him. She didn't think that he was interested in her that way. She had begun to accept just being the friend. She still felt that he needed her and she was prepared to be there. It was karaoke night at Jakes. He had preferred the other place. It seemed to be a private spot that she only shared with him. She took him back to demonstrate her talent for the canvas. She drew her interpretation of a poem that someone recited. So to show his appreciation for her talent he had her draw at Jakes for an unknown artist. Coleman announced them. He got onto stage. He smiled at Zoe.

"This isn't my thing really. It is an original however. Feel free to laugh. Just refrain from throwing things." He laughed.

"Here it is

She's like the wind
I know it is a song but she is
Like the wind
I feel her breezing by
I feel her caress my face gently before
She disappears leaving me asking why
Her beauty only graces me for just a minute
I try to capture each moment
But she just fades not knowing my heart is in it
I know who she is and who she wants to be
She puts on the brakes when I look at her lips, longing
For a taste the vision of sweetness taunts me
She's like the wind
I am lost in her eyes
They draw me in
I don't know how to tell her
She has quickly become a great friend
She's like the wind her mood
Eludes me and I dance in her rapture
My hunger cannot be quenched with food
I plot to try to capture
She's like the wind
My feelings unknown I wait
For the chance just to see her again
Maybe one day I will get the gall
To whisper honesty in her ear
To let her in to be my after all
Thank you, my buddy here has captured my words on canvas. " She turned it around. It was a drawing of a woman in the distance with her hair blowing in the wind covering her face. There were multiple versions of this woman that was further and further away until the last was barely a vision to be seen.

"Wow you work fast." He smiled. She stepped off the stage and walked over to the bar ignoring him. Maybe the reason he had left that night was because he was into someone else. They had never kissed or made out. They spent a lot of time together but she seemed to be the one with the feelings. He grabbed the painting and followed her but stopped short when Michael approached her.

"So who was that about, you look pissed?" He sat next to her. He rubbed her back. She looked at him.

"Where's Abby?" She asked.

"I don't know and I am really tired of caring. Abby has been spending way too much time with Asher." She turned to him.

"Abby isn't into Asher and he isn't into her. You are seeing things that aren't there." Zach approached.

"Nice picture. Don't let me interrupt." He looked at her. "For the record, she is you. I have no fucking idea what the attitude is about." He left. She followed him.

"Hey wait a minute. You don't get to say something like that and walk away." He looked at her. He laughed.

"It doesn't matter. You are getting what you wanted." He nodded toward Jake's indicating she had gotten Michael's attention.

"I am happy for you." He turned to get on his bike.

"What if he is not what I want? Zach you have not made any moves here. You have given me no reason to think that you are interested in being more than friends. Is that what you want?" He paused. His life was getting dangerous. Corinthos was hanging on by a thread. He didn't want him dead though. He had learned about Robin's allegiance to him and the reason behind it. He just arranged it so that he could buy everything from under him or take it. Still he had feelings for her that were new to him. He could talk to her easily and he missed her when they were apart. She knew more about who he was than anyone which was strange considering he had known her a few short months. He was good at keeping his lives separate. What he did as a Jerome never touched Blake. He moved to her.

"I didn't want to take advantage of you. I also didn't want any confusion surrounding how you feel or about whom you feel that way for. I was building. I usually.. I don't know how to do relationships. Most of mine have started sexual and they weren't relationships. I just, you are different so I wanted to do things differently, slowly." He bit his lip as he tried to read her expression. She looked at him with her eyes full of something he could not place. He took the chance and pulled her into a kiss. She wrapped her arms around his neck. They deepened the kiss. They were glued to each other; he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer to him. She pulled away.

"Do you want to get out of here?" She looked up at him.

"Um, yeah. Can we go to your place, its closer? " She looked at him. Was he stalling from his place again? Did it mean that they could only go there at certain times of the week and if so did it mean he had someone there waiting for him?

"My cousin is in town and we won't have any privacy. But we do need to stop past so that I can grab a few things." He smiled that dazzling smile that would always get to her.

"Okay fine." She got on the bike with him.

Zoe was sitting in the living room waiting for Zach when Evan walked in. He smiled at her.

"You must be a friend of Zach's I am Evan." He extended his hand.

"Zoe, nice to meet you Evan." She shook his hand.

"You're Zoe?" He looked surprised.

"In the flesh, don't look so surprised. " He looked at her.

"Well Zach sounds serious about Zoe so I assumed she was Italian or something close enough." She nodded.

"But my sitting here made you think he was fulfilling his sexual urges because women who look like me are good for that at least." She shook her head.

"Yes, that is what I thought. Any woman who is not Zoe sitting here would have to be a booty call for a couple of reasons. A he doesn't bring women home so it would be a desperate move. B you don't look like a Zoe. Zach doesn't care about labels the way I do but he should for reasons"

"I don't care and don't speak on what I should and should not Ev. " Zach said calmly.

"Z you know I don't have a problem with this. However you have to think about the business. She is not the face of a wife Zach. You know it. Why bring her into this to hurt her later?" Having grown annoyed Zach took her by the hand.

"You already know that I don't want this. So no one needs to be concerned with the woman in my life. I don't want to hear you mention it again." Zoe stood. They leave. On the elevator he pulls her into a hug.

"I am sorry about Evan. He says what he feels without thinking." She looked at him.

"I can respect that. I didn't take offense. He made valid points we have just never discussed it or thought about it because we haven't needed to." He sighed.

"we don't need to. If it comes from my family or my business dealings I will handle it. You shouldn't have to." He kissed her.

Michael banged on Zoe's door. She was cooking with Zack but it became a full on make out session. She opened the door finally with her hair down and in a mess.

"Hey what are you doing here?" She smiled.

"I came to see you. We haven't hung out in a while. Since the last time your boyfriend was MIA. Even then you talked about him all the time." Zach walked to the door.

"Awwe honey it is nice to know you miss while I am away." His shirt was open. Michael looked at Zoe.

"Do you know him well enough Zoe? Your first time should be special." She looked at him shocked he would go so far.

"Michael, go home." She slammed the door in his face.

"Is that true?" Zach looked at her. She walked away from him back into the kitchen with him on her heels. "why didn't you tell me?" He turned her to face him.

"Because I am 21 and I am a little embarrassed." She blushed.

"It is nothing you should be embarrassed about. Do you mind if I ask why? " She looked at him.

"well, I spent a lot of time in an all girl's school. I also wanted to wait until I got married then I changed my mind and decided to wait for the right person. Time passed and before I knew it I was no longer a teenager." She shrugged.
"I want to make love to you." She looked at him.

"I want it to be special for you." He countered. "So not tonight." She moved away from him.

"This is why I didn't tell you. I don't want to plan it I just want it to happen." He sighed when his phone rang.

"Yeah." He listened then he closed his eyes. "Hold him off. I am on my way." He looked at Zoe.

"I am sorry, I have to go. I will be back." He kissed her.

"Where are you going?" He looked at her.

"I have something to do. I can't talk about it. I don't have time to argue about it either." He left.

Jason was moving in on Johnny. He needed Johnny alive.

Chapter 16

Anna had given Robin all the information she needed on Zachary Blake. She looked at her daughter.

"That is not all Luv. Whoever did this had to have been Faison or Helena. Amanda Blake was married to Julian Jerome Jr." Robin shot her mother a look of disbelief.

"Yes, so you see. Someone wanted my grandchild to be raised by my enemies. I am so sorry Luv." Anna said sadly.

"Mom I have to go. I will be back. Zach is in trouble. If my hunch is correct Jason is after his own son." Robin cried. She rushed out of the house in search of Jason. She had to find a way to tell him. She feared that he would hate her but she could handle it. They had awoken that morning unsure of where they stood. When he left her that morning she had agreed to meet him at the lake house again to discuss things but she knew that he may go after Johnny. She begged him not to but he said it was something he couldn't discuss with her.

Jason found Johnny on the docks that night. He pointed his gun at him.

"I just need to know one thing. Did you know?" Johnny looked at him curiously. Did Jason know about Zach?

"Did you know that Anthony killed my son?" Jason shouted. He could tell by the surprise in Johnny's features that he didn't know.

"Interesting, so Jason is here for redemption. He didn't get to kill Anthony so you are the next best thing." Zach interrupted the men.

"You are an animal. I wanted to find some redeeming quality in you but they don't exist." Zach glowered at Jason.

"Why do you care about finding any qualities in me?" Jason kept his eyes trained on Johnny.

"Because he is Zachary Jerome. He has been setting you and Sonny up for months." Zach laughed.

"I have done no such thing. I have sat down with the remaining families. I am sure you are aware that they no longer trust Sonny. Some have made offers to you but you have refused. They have aligned themselves with me." Zach admitted. He still had work to do but Johnny played his card. It was time to step into the light. Jason turned the gun on Zach.

"You, I knew there was something about you that didn't make sense. I checked you out but turned up nothing." Zach smiled unflinching. He had stared down the barrel of a gun before. He wasn't afraid to die. He didn't know why he didn't have such fear at his age.

"If you are going to kill me do it now because you won't get a second chance to pull a gun on me." Jason looked at him as he put his finger on the trigger. Robin ran toward them screaming.

"Jason don't." She breathed.

"Robin get out of here." Jason shouted.

"Jason please he is your son." He looked at her.

"I know it is a lot to take in but if you both just come with me we can talk." Johnny looked at them. It made sense. Helena had filled him in on who Zach was. She said that depending on his choices it would work one of two ways. He would step up and claim is rightful place in the family by taking out Jason or she would tire of his antics and allow Jason to take him out. The connection was twisted. If Zach complied he would have had to kill his own father. If he didn't his father would kill him. Johnny walked away. Jason looked at Robin. He felt like he had been punched in the stomach.

"What are you talking about?" Jason looked at her.

"He is our son." She started to explain but something cracked inside of Jason. He turned to her.

"How do you know that?" He shouted.

"I did a DNA test and had my mom help me find out information to confirm. I had lunch in the park with Zach. I used the DNA from a cup." He looked at her not fully understanding.

"You.." Jason studied Zach and began to mentally count the years. "You were pregnant when you left?" He looked at her.

"Yes." She whispered.

"And you didn't tell me? You kept another child from me." He shouted. "Was it pay back?" She looked at him.

"No of course not." She started but he laughed bitterly.

"I want a DNA test of my own. I can't trust you and I certainly cannot trust someone who has been trying to destroy me." Zach snickered at that.

"To hell with you. I didn't come here to forge a relationship with you. I hate you. I never expected a warm fuzzy reunion. See pops I am not trying to ruin you, I am succeeding at it. I am determined and I will destroy you. You wanna do something about it? Pull the trigger." Zach challenged.

"Wait a minute you knew?" Robin asked. "You, I told you about my son and you said nothing." Zach looked at her.

"Choose your words carefully because dad is kind of fragile we wouldn't want him knowing the truth would we?" He sighed.

"I am sorry, I am not angry with you. I was but not anymore. I was told that Amanda was my mother and that she didn't want me. What I learned is that she was a decoy. You were the mother that left me. You were the one who never wanted to see me. That is what I was told and it was what I believed. When you told me your story I didn't know how to approach you. I also had business that I needed to take care of. If you want to talk." He gave her his card. "I am here but keep him away from me. I want nothing to do with him and he obviously feels the same. I will never give a DNA sample." He shrugged. Part of him was hurt by Jason's words but he would never admit it to himself. He had the card Robin would be angry at him for but he had to use it.

"I am sorry Robin." He turned to Jason. "You are angry with her right now aren't you? You want to say horrible things to her like never wanting to see her face again. You want to throw things." He laughed.

"What she isn't saying is that she tried telling you that she was pregnant but you couldn't be bothered. She found out in Paris. She went into preterm labor alone and afraid. She lapsed into a coma and when she woke was told that I was dead. You have no idea how hard it has been seeing her with Emma. Seeing you grieve over a child you gave up. To know that you are both capable of being parents. I hated you both for so long. Then I met Robin and I couldn't hate her. I understood. If you had been a man; if you had chosen her first; if you would have just answered her calls maybe things would be different. Maybe my life would have been normal. Maybe my parents could have raised me. She makes excuses for you but I won't." Robin was crying at that point not wanting to imagine the life he had endured.

"For that reason I will always hate you and I will win. Believe it or not but I am your son. What Johnny didn't tell you is that I was raised a Cassidine. My name was changed to Jerome when I was 15 then to Blake when I was 19. My Aunt Helen raised me for many years. I have discovered that she is actually Helena. I am still figuring her out. Anyway , my point is I will not back down. You may not believe I am your son and I really don't care. Do what you want and bring your best. I love a challenge." He walked away.

Jason stood watching his son walk away. He was visibly shaking. He looked at Robin.

"I don't think he will submit to another test but we do have his DNA on file. If you would like I can submit another test and you can have Monica oversee it." She walked away. He reached to stop her.

"I"

"I don't have time. Don't you get it? His life was terrible and it is all my fault. I should have known better Jason I should have known. I need to let him know that I love him and that I never stopped. You wait for DNA but that is my son and I have to make things right. If you harm one hair on his head I will kill you myself." She snatched away from him.

"I am in shock right now Robin." Jason cried.

"Just don't let that shock cause you to choose the business over your son. I promise you I will make your life non-existent. I need to go to him." Robin left Jason alone feeling like he had truly failed her more than he could ever imagine possible.

Chapter 17
Zach knocked on Zoe's door. She looked at him. He was red with anger. She let him in and he began to pace. He explained to her who he was. She was shocked as well as angry but she stood by him. She understood what it meant to be lied to your whole life. She stopped him from pacing.
When I was 12 I was sent to live with the Wards." She laughed. "My father had an affair. I was a product of that affair. My mother died like I told you and I went to live with my dad. My stepmom wasn't too thrilled to say the least. I felt like an outsider. Sometimes I still do. With Maya and Cristian it is different. I am told it is all in my head but still I tried to forge a relationship." She stopped she didn't want to pressure him.
"I want a relationship with my mother but he doesn't believe it. Not that I care. My plans haven't changed. This is his fault. I cannot forgive his sins." Zoe sighed.

"Here is the thing." She took his hand and led him to the couch.

"In your quest to destroy him you are sacrificing the man that you are. This isn't you Zach. Revenge is all consuming and sometimes it is best to let it go. You are playing on his worst fear but you are too concerned with hating him to see it. What about your mom and your sister? The choices you are making in the name of revenge are making you just like him." His head snapped up. He glared at her.

"I am nothing like him. I don't kill people for sport." She shook her head.

"The lines are blurring Zach and what scares me is that you refuse to see it." He sank back thinking about what she said. The truth was the lines had blurred. The business demanded so much from him that he had to cross lines that he never wanted to cross. There was an urgent knock at the door. Zoe answered it then stepped aside to let Robin in.

"I will leave you alone." She walked to her bed room. Robin looked at Zach.

"I need you to know that I wanted you. More than anything. With HIV and just being on the cocktail for a year I never imagined motherhood to be even the slightest possibility. When I found out that I was pregnant and by Jason I was over the moon." She smiled wistfully.

"But that was short lived because you had to do it alone." Zach reminded.

"I wouldn't have had to do it alone Zach. Once I gave birth and we could travel I would have come back home to introduce you to your father. He would have been shocked but he would have been there. He wouldn't have abandoned us." Robin tried to explain.

"Sounds to me that your trust in him is more like what you hoped would have happened. I am not convinced that Carly wouldn't have talked him into choosing Michael over his own son. What do you really think would have happened? He had already bonded with Michael. He would have divided his time between living with Carly and coming to visit us." He laughed.

"I am not convinced that he is this noble man you describe." She looked at him.

"How do you know all this?" Robin asked.

"I talked to people. I have my ways of getting information. Besides it is pretty common knowledge around here." Robin sighed.

"I don't think it would have been that way. Your father saved my life." Robin explained how they met and his convincing her to go on the protocol.
"And for that you will always give him a free pass no matter how much he has trampled on your heart. No I don't get that. You owe him no loyalty and neither do I. I want to build with you and Emma but I can't with him. I need you not to ask." Robin knew that he needed time.

"Okay, so tell me about your life. Growing up." He smiled at her.

"I would love to but I am pretty beat. Why don't we have lunch tomorrow and we can start with years one through ten." She smiled.

"I would really like that. Can I please hug you?" He stood. He opened his arms. He hugged her. She stepped back and looked at him.

"I knew it. I just felt connected to you. Maybe it is why I told you everything. That day at the park Emma saw it too. You have a smile like my father's. I had to know if it were possible. I am so glad that you are here. We have so much time to make up for. I know that you need time and I can respect that but be prepared. I am going to bug you every day." She sniffed.

"I want you to meet your paternal family. I know you don't want to acknowledge Jason but they need you." Robin rambled she was nervous.

"I am uh.. Can we take this one day at a time? I am not ready to meet everyone just yet. My identity has just come out and I need to do damage control." She looked at him sadly. She never wanted him to be part of that life.

"I know, not exactly what you would have planned for me. I cannot explain my reasons because I don't believe in excuses. I did what I had to at the time it seemed like a good idea." She put her hand on his shoulder.

"I wish you would change your path but I am not here to judge you. I will see you tomorrow." She hugged him again then left.

Chapter 18

Jason went through his box of old things. He had returned almost every letter that Robin had sent him but he held on to two. He never opened them because he never could bring himself to hear her excuses or reasons. He opened the first one.

"Jason,

I know that you never want to see my face again. You don't have to really. Maybe we can find a way to be good parents to our child. Here is a picture." He looked at the sonogram. It was old and falling apart. In tears he opened the second letter.

"Jason,

I have been cramping. I have been sick. So I cannot write you anymore. I have to stop doing this to myself. My doctor says that I need to dial down on the stress. I love you so much. I wish you could be here for us but you aren't so I have to give up the idea for the sake of our child. When we are strong enough I will bring him to Port Charles to meet you. Hopefully you won't slam the door in our face.

Robin"
Jason looked deeper into the box. He found another letter. He opened it with a shaky breathe. It was postmarked two months after the previous letter.

"There are no words to express how much I hate you right now. I am sending this letter because I need to say it. I know you'll never read it so. Today was the worst day of my life. I hate you so much because I am so pathetic. I still cannot bring myself to say it to you. I know you. I need you here. You are so selfish. I don't have the strength to write anymore. I just" the letter ended there. He could see the bubbles from the tears. He sat on the floor with his body racking with sobs.

Jason thought about Zach. His eyes should have been a dead giveaway but he wasn't concerned about having another son somewhere out there in the world. It was the furthest thing from his mind. He wondered how Robin could have forgiven him. Why did she come back to save his life? He had so many questions. He walked out on her again when she needed him. He asked for a DNA test knowing it wasn't necessary. He trusted Robin implicitly and knew that she ran and reran every test. His was brought out of his thoughts by a knock at the door. He didn't answer because he knew that it was Robin coming to check on him. He didn't deserve her kindness. Robin knocked for 15 minutes knowing that he was there. She used her skills as a Scorpio to pick the lock. She found him sitting on the floor among boxes. She went to him.

"Oh Jason. Jason look at me." He refused.

"Why are you here?" He asked brokenly.

"Because I know you didn't mean what you said. I needed to calm down. I am worried about our son. I'm sorry that I never told you." He held up the letter.

"This one where you say you hate me; it was when he died or was buried, right?" He didn't look at her when she approached him. She took the letter. She read it.

"It was the day he was buried." She whispered.

"And all these years you have grieved for him alone." She sat behind him and wrapped her arms around him.

"I. You didn't know and I didn't know how to tell you. I was afraid of how you would react. That you would blame me or blame yourself. After a while I told myself there was no need for us both to hurt. I held him once." She sniffed.

"It wasn't your fault but I get why you would think that I would blame you. Look at how I reacted back there." He sniffed.

"You were in shock"

"Don't" He cut her off. "Don't make excuses for me I am not worth it. Do you even understand that our son is paying for my sins? He is everything that I feared for Jake and Michael." He sighed.

"We can help him Jason. Don't give up on him." Robin tried to encourage him.

"I'm never going to give up on him Robin but where in the hell do I start?" Jason asked.

"Start by getting him out." Robin was desperate to keep him safe.

"He has been planning this take over for years. He has done it methodically. My credibility is diminishing by the second. Sonny is losing his business piece by piece. It isn't even that he is ruthless. He is just very good at manipulating people. He exploits people's fears and greed to get what he wants. In the end they turn on each other. It is happening with our organization and it happened with the Lopez brothers and others. He said he was raised Cassadine so that makes some sense. Julian wasn't as smart as Zach. He was a lot like Sonny. I will do what I can but he already hates me this could make it worse." Jason explained.

"He will come around. I am sure he will. It will just take time." Jason shook his head. He remembered being that age. He never gave Alan the chance he wished Zach would give him.

"I wish that I would have answered your calls. Do you know how badly I wanted a child with you?" She shook her head, she didn't know.

"Be honest with me. Was it because of Carly?" She stood and walked over to the window.

"She made me feel defective. She knew that I couldn't give you a child and she used it to separate me from her. She knew that I had your love and loyalty and she hated it. So she exploited what I could never give you. I figured you had basically put away the idea because you knew it wasn't possible. That it was something you had to give up for me. Part of me wondered if that is the reason you held on to Michael. He was your son in every way that mattered in your mind. Maybe subconsciously I kept the secret for that reason. " She sighed.

"I never felt that way. I felt that when the time was right we would discuss our options for being parents. We were young so I didn't think it was a discussion to have since we hadn't even discussed marriage. I am so sorry that you were made to feel that way. I loved you so much Robin. I still love you. You are the strongest woman I know. I know it is a lot to face right now and we have a lot to think about. I think that you should have a relationship with Zach. I know you will. For me it will take time if at all. Don't push him, he will hate that. I will talk to him. I wanted to see you tonight to tell you that I still love you. That when this war is over I want to get out of the business and that you were right. I know that you want to be there for me right now but I need to be alone." He approached her and hugged her from behind. She turned in his arms.

"Ok. Jason please be careful. Sonny is going to be hard to deal with." Jason looked down at her.

"For right now he doesn't know. Let me handle Sonny." She pulled away.

"If you don't I will. I love Sonny but I love Zach more, he is our son." Robin reminded.

"I am on the same page there Robin. I may not have liked Zach but he is our son and I will do whatever it takes to protect him." He promised hoping Sonny would understand. He would hate to kill his best friend but if that is what it took he would. A light bulb went off in his head. Did Zach want him to make that decision? Was it part of his plan? He walked Robin out and made sure guards followed her. He hoped to reach Zach. He needed to know that the truth being out put his family at risk.

Chapter 19

Zoe joined Zach on the couch. He was staring into space thinking about his family and his choices. When he laid out his plan he didn't expect to care about the people that could be impacted. He was dead set on revenge. Now his world was changing fast. It was the reason he never got close to anyone. So was an unexpected development. He had only meant to be her friend and possibly sex buddy. He was falling for her before his lips had even touched his. He was off of his game and it angered him.
"How did it go?" She rubbed his back but he moved.

"She seemed genuine." He really believed Robin and that made his plan seem more and more ridiculous by the minute.

"I believe her too." Zach wasn't angry with Zoe. He was angry at himself for caring about her. His feelings confused him so he took it out on her.

"Did I hear Michael say that you hung out while I was gone?" She looked at him curiously.

"Yes we are friends and friends hang out." Zoe explained keeping her temper in check.

"I realize that but I am confused. Am I a stand in for him or is it the other way around? I mean if I go out of town on business will he be here munching on popcorn catching up? " She smiled at him.

"Hon are you jealous?" He rolled his eyes in response.

"I like to know what to expect. The guy is an ass. I don't understand why you even hang out with him. Where is breathe less?" She moved to his lap.

"I am not going to let you do this. You are running from me. I don't understand why." She took his face in her hands. "Look at me." He looked at her then moved her hands.

"Zoe you don't know me. You are a good girl, I see that. However, your presumptions are irritating. You didn't know that Robin was my mother. You didn't know about my family. So you really don't know a whole lot about me to say such things like I am a good man and all the other lovely crap you spout. If you knew me you would know that I woo women when I want to sleep with them. When I am done I lose interest." He looked her in the eye.

"Are you so desperate to lose your virginity that you will sleep with a man like me?" She took his jabs. They hurt but she refused to show it.

"Evan told me that Zoe means a lot to you." He laughed.

"Of course he did. Why do you think I brought you back to my place where he was?" He lied and he was good at it. He didn't need romance clouding his judgment. She was silently watching him, trying to read him.

"Zach if you didn't care about me you would f me and leave. You haven't done that. " He snorted.

"Earlier you had no idea the poem was for you. Now you are certain that I wouldn't have sex with you and leave. Do you want to risk that Zoe?" She played with the buttons on his shirt.

"It is my risk to take. I don't believe that you can hurt me like that. You may be good at lying Zach but I can tell you are lying. Maybe you want to protect me. Maybe you are scared to let me all the way in but I know you care. I can feel it." She kissed him. He let her. Soon he was returning her kisses and each one grew hotter. He took off her tank top then removed her bra as she removed his shirt. He picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. He took his time with her. Everything that he felt he showed her with his touches and kisses. He was gentle with her. He stopped when he thought that he was hurting her and she would urge him to continue. He got her past the pain and brought her into ecstasy that had fantasized about only it was better. After he held her in his arms.

"Don't move." He got up to run her a hot bubble bath. He returned and scooped her up off the bed causing her to squeal. He placed her gently in the tub.

"I hear this helps." He smiled. "I am going to change your sheets." He left her alone. When he returned she looked at him.

"Get in." She beckoned for him.

"Too hot. In a second." He washed her body from head to toe. He dried her off then put her back to bed. "I am going to take a shower." He left her with a smile on her face. She fell asleep feeling that her first time was better than she imagined minus the fight.

Zach watched Zoe's sleeping form. He sunk lower than he had in a long time and left her with a note on her pillow. It hurt him to walk away but it needed to be done.

Zoe woke with a simple note on her pillow that read "I warned you.". She balled the paper up and threw it across the room. She had tried calling him but he wouldn't answer.

It had been two days since Zoe had seen or talked to Zach. He was at his apartment with Evan and Kristina. Evan was 25 and Kristina was 20. Zach had warned Evan away from her but he said he had helped her out of a jam and she was just hanging out. Zoe knocked loudly.

"Kristina can you do me a favor?" Zach looked at her.

"I can try." He smiled.

"I need you to come over here." She did. "I am going to act as though we are having a thrilling conversation about a Bronx Tale as I am showing you how to make a target." He placed her in front of him so that he could put his arms around her. "Ev get the door." Evan got the door intrigued by the turn of events. Zoe didn't wait to be invited in.

Zach pretended not to notice that Zoe walked in. He was cracking jokes with Kristina and she was laughing. She watched them her heart breaking.

"Ask her to leave Zach." She demanded.

"This is my house and she is my guest. You are being rude now you leave." He said not looking at her.
"Ask her to leave Zach." She repeated crossing her arms to control her shaking.

"No but if you want to stay I am sure Ev" He stopped himself. He didn't want to go that far.

"That Ev what? Huh?" She shouted. "What is it? You share everything. Now that you are done he gets a turn. Is that what you think of me now?" He didn't answer because his throat was dry. He could detect the pain in her voice.

"Come on Evan, it has been a couple days since I have been screwed over. Which room are you in?" Evan looked at Zach who had frozen with a confused Kristina in his arms.

"Uh the guest room but I don't think that is such a good idea." Evan said slightly amused. Zach let go of Kristina and turned to them. Zoe was calling his bluff and he knew that but it still made him angry.

"No Zach it is a great idea. He is in the guest room. You know the one." He challenged with a nod. She was not going to back down so easily. She approached Evan. She took his hand.

"I know the one. Come on. I am a disposable whore one of many I presume in his lifetime. So let's get to it." Zoe pulled him to her.

"I never called you a whore. I knew I was crossing a line and I stopped myself." He shouted.

"I just wanted you to go away. Why can't you just listen to what I am saying? You try to read into things. You are trying to read into something that isn't there. I got what I wanted and now I am done. It is simple really." She slapped him hard across the face. He laughed.

"That anger is misplaced. You should be pissed at yourself because I tried to avoid this. You thought that you could prove me wrong and it came back to bite you. Own that and leave my house please." She stared at him.
"I don't believe you. Ask her to leave." He sighed.

"You are starting to look pathetic." He said coldly. She turned away with her back straight. She refused to look defeated in front of them.

"One day you will regret this choice Zachary." She left and he whispered 'I know'. He looked at Kristina.

"Thanks"

"Don't thank me what was that? I like Zoe and the only reason I stood there like an idiot is because maybe Michael will have a shot. I hate Abby and was hoping he and Zoe would get together. Looks like you made it a real possibility." He walked away and made a call.

"Follow her." He said needing her to get to where she was going safely. He hung up. He went to his room quietly shooting a glare Evan's way when he started to speak.

"I am just saying man that was pretty brutal and if I say so then you know it must be true." Evan argued.

"It had to be done. Leave it alone." He retreated to his room.

Chapter 20

It was as if fate had played a cruel joke on Zach. Michael had been sticking by her because she was threatened by Nico Lopez. He knocked on her door and Michael answered, he pushed his way inside. Zoe was sitting on the couch. He could see that she was visibly shaken. He went to her.

"Hey, are you okay?" He looked at her.

"No she is not okay." Michael shouted. "That freak had his hands all over her." Michael started but she interrupted him.

"Michael don't. I am fine Zachary. You can see that now you can leave." He frowned unsure of what to do with his emotions. He had broken her heart as well as his own but it needed to be done. He needed her to give up. He started wondering if it was worth it. His life touched her.

"He won't bother you again." He said hoarsely. "I'm sorry." He walked out.

"Zach wait." She called getting off the couch. He stopped and turned to her. She was limping, he felt awful.

"Yes." He looked at her.

"Please be careful." She whispered.

"Oh Zoe you shouldn't care." He walked out. He was going to make sure that Lopez paid even if he had to do it himself.

Later that night Zach had Lopez in his sight. Jason stepped in front of him.

"We need to talk. You are getting sloppy. I know you didn't meticulously plan this whole thing to have it unravel at the finish." Jason challenged.

"I know that you care a lot about her but you have to be smart." Zach rolled his eyes. The warm and fuzzy moment wasn't for him. He had to admit that he was acting out of emotion and not thinking it through. He didn't need the PCPD investigating him.

"You don't know anything about me or my methods." He barked and walked away. Jason followed him.
"Can we talk?" Jason asked. Zach stopped.

"I was shocked. I know Robin would never lie to me. You may not want me in your life but I embrace you As my son. I am begging you to give this up. You want to make me suffer. Missing out on 21 years is hell. Knowing that the love of my life did it alone is hell. Seeing you follow in my footsteps is hell." Zach laughed.

"I'm not done dad. I am also not following in your footsteps. I am making my own; I am better than you have ever been or ever will be." He walked away. He hated that he had hurt Zoe and began to wonder if hurting her made him somewhat like his father. He needed to pull it together fast.