Chapter 10: Wishing You
Now I'm pacing back and forth, wishing you were at my door. I'd open up and you would say...
Sonny didn't want a lot of things. He wanted his family safe, healthy, and happy. And for himself? Well, he didn't really think of that anymore. He spent most of his days just going through the motions, going to the office, checking in on his children, having meals with his wife and mother-in-law. He didn't mind it all too much.
He loved Alexis. He may not have when they first met, but he learned to respect and care for her over the years, especially after she gave birth to their daughter Kristina. And he loved her the most for that. Dante was his pride and joy, Krissy was his angel, and he couldn't love Sam and Nik any more than if they were his own. One thing he always wanted Dante to have was siblings. He never had any and was convinced that he missed out. He never expected things to turn out the way they did. When he met attorney Alexis Cassadine, the initial reaction was recoil. She was about as lively as a corpse, and she didn't seem to find any interest in him. But they were both fierce in their business dealings, and this was all about business. Alexis's mother, Helena, came up with the idea of marriage to seal the deal, and Sonny was rightfully reluctant. But he knew that she also had a child, so he decided to use that as an ice breaker. And man, could she talk about her daughter. That really helped Sonny to picture a future with this woman, who only smiled when she talked about her daughter and nephew, who she obviously loved like a son. They were around Dante's age, so that soothed his mind some. When Sonny met Sam and Nik, they were Stepford-child perfect, and Dante didn't get along with them at all. But Sonny helped them learn to accept each other by taking them out and teaching them how to enjoy life the way the other kid did. They were still so different, but they grew to like each other and soon became inseparable the way little kids do.
Sonny and Alexis got married, and soon conceived Kristina. They raised their children pretty well, despite Helena's controlling ways. Having more free time than Alexis usually, Sonny attended concerts and recitals and plays and mini-graduations for all four of the kids. Alexis was dutifully at his side for every company picnic, charity event, and holiday meals where they served as the hosts. In return, he accompanied her to judges' balls and ridiculous made-up causes where the sole purpose was to brag about oneself, like tonight for the Quartermaine's ball. The kids—none of them really kids anymore—had since gone their separate ways, and Helena left in search of a husband for Kristina. He wasn't having that argument with her anymore—she would have nothing to do with Kristina's life as much as he could manage it—he would just let her think her final word was law for now. He knew his daughter was as outspoken as he was, but she tended to get lost in Helena's world sometimes. Still, he knew that Krissy could fight her own battles, and he would be there for backup. He wished he could say the same about Alexis having Kristina's back, but he knew that she was Helena's most prized puppet. He also knew that after years of Helena's antics and abuse, Alexis learned not to fight the current anymore.
When Sam was in high school, she came to him and Alexis crying because Helena had forbidden her from going to a Sadie Hawkins dance. She explained to them that her grandmother had somehow heard that she was making out with a boy from the brother high school to her all-girls prep school, even though she insisted that she wasn't. She begged Alexis to give her permission to go, but Alexis just said that Helena knew what was best, so Sam couldn't go. The disbelief in the teenager's eyes wrenched Sonny's heart, but she wiped her tears and left the room. He didn't think he ever heard Sam ask her mother for anything else after that day. This was a few years into their marriage, and Sonny still couldn't understand how Alexis could do things like that. He was so disappointed.
Alexis was the only mother that Dante knew, and he was always respectful to her. Alexis didn't know anything about raising a teenage boy, but Sonny thought that she really tried. But he couldn't help but wonder how Olivia would have done things differently. One day, when Alexis was pregnant with Kristina, he asked her why she never asked about Dante's mother. She said it was because he never asked about Sam's father, which she didn't mind. All he knew was that Alexis was a teen parent, too, and that the father was never around. When he found the courage to question her about him, she took a deep breath and reluctantly gave him the facts. She told him how she met this guy from a neighboring all-boys school when their schools had a combined dance. She thought he was so cool because he smoked and he had an accent. After that dance she would show up at the local after-school hangout. He didn't talk much, except to her. He made her feel special, because nobody ever looked at her. They started dating secretly because she wasn't allowed to. She fell in love with him, she thought. Their relationship escalated quickly, and she wasn't too careful and got pregnant. When she told her boyfriend, he was scared but promised to be there for her no matter what. She was terrified to get an abortion, and even more scared to tell her parents, so she hid her pregnancy for months. Her mother didn't find out until Alexis thought she was having contractions and started yelling for help. Helena was beyond furious and demanded to know who the boy was. Alexis wasn't going to tell her, but he showed up at the hospital worried for her and the baby. Helena took Alexis home that night, not allowing her to be alone with the father. Alexis never saw or heard from him after that. She knew that her parents had something to do with that. She fought for information, but everyone kept their mouths shut. But that wasn't the only battle she was fighting at the time; Helena and Mikkos started talking about sending the baby away before people started to talk. They'd already taken her out of school under the guise of studying abroad. When Alexis learned that they wanted to take her baby away, she stood up to her parents. She threatened to leave their home and make her affliction public knowledge if they did this to her. Fortunately, Mikkos had a soft spot for his only daughter, and he agreed to let Alexis keep her child, as long as she continued with her education and future career. With that understanding, Alexis was able to give birth to and raise a healthy little girl. She tried to find Sam's father, but her parents had made it impossible. They also took it upon themselves to raise Samantha the way they felt was suitable. Still a student and with no real money of her own or a place to go, Alexis had to concede to her parents' rules. She said that she wished she'd been stronger for Sam and gotten the hell out of there. But she did love her family, and their way of life was all she really knew.
That revealed so much to Sonny. He could understand that Alexis's spirit had been broken by her parents at a young age. He decided then that when Alexis couldn't find it in her to fight for her daughters, he would. He made sure to treat Sam the same as he did Kristina, to let her know that someone was always looking out for her. He also made sure that Dante and Nikolas knew to watch after the girls too. Sam didn't like being looked after like that, though, even as a kid. She was overprotective of her family and as rowdy as Dante at times. She reminded him a bit of Dante's mom, Olivia. She was spunky, and he really appreciated that, especially since it turned out that Kristina was more of a princess, which he also loved.
He was only mildly concerned about Kristina's decision to discontinue her education after graduating high school. His little girl may have been a bit impulsive, but she always managed to land on her feet. She might never be as book smart as her sister, but she was streetwise like Dante. He wouldn't be surprised to learn that she'd gotten herself into and out of trouble many times without her parents ever being the wiser. From what he could see, Kristina was happy most of the time. She could be a brat sometimes, but she was also generous and caring. She wasn't as carefree as Dante, who didn't really give a damn about what anyone—except maybe his siblings—ever thought of him, but she was definitely happier than Sam and Nik. Sonny felt sorry for them sometimes, as they tried to live up to Helena's standards and earn her approval. He was glad that he didn't have to grow up that way. His grandfather came into a lot of money in the automobile industry, so his father Mike and subsequently Sonny grew up with money. The only differences between his childhood and Alexis's were that his dad never flashed their money and he made Sonny earn almost all of the money he ever spent. The only time he needed to rely on his father for financial support was in Dante's first few years. But once Sonny graduated college, he was on his own again.
It wasn't easy raising a son alone, especially when the boy got old enough to consciously voice his need for a mother. Sonny never dated after Dante's biological mother Olivia died. There was only one woman he would consider dating, but she didn't want him. He felt lousy for falling for his girlfriend's closest cousin, but he couldn't control his feelings for Connie. Right before he found out that Olivia was pregnant, he thought he actually had a chance with her, but then reality set in. So he raised his son, focused on his business, and wound up married to his best friend and raising their kids together. Sonny got the feeling that Dante, Sam, and Nik thought that he and Alexis didn't love each other, but that was far from the truth. Over the years, they kept finding more and more things that they had in common; they had the same senses of humor, family, and work ethic. They got along great. They just weren't in love with each other. Their great loves had long passed them by, so they were content to stay by each other's side. They were still intimate and loyal to each other, but they knew that the kids didn't believe that their marriage was rooted in love.
Still, they were a united front, so when Alexis had so adamantly pushed the Quartermaine's ball on him—much to Helena's pleasure—he wouldn't deny her. Formal gatherings weren't something Sonny looked forward to, but tonight wasn't turning out to be so bad. For starters, Helena quickly left him and Alexis, which lightened his mood loads. He saw his children start to scurry off and enjoy themselves. For most of the evening he stayed with Alexis, who seemed unusually distracted. When she excused herself from his side, his eyes followed after her with a tinge of envy as she left him with a group of fellow entrepreneurs.
"So," Jasper Jacks was telling him, "she seemed like she would be a perfectly suitable business partner. I'm more the face of the hotels than she is—better at public speaking, I suppose. But the arrangement has been beneficial for the both of us, and we can still manage our own separate businesses and—oh, here she is now. Kate!" the blonde man called, looking somewhere behind Sonny.
"Jax, I haven't seen you all night!" a woman cooed. Sonny's heart quickened its beating. When the woman walked around him to get to Jacks, he was almost certain that he knew this woman. From behind, all he saw was her wavy blonde hair almost down to the middle of her back, leading his eyes in the direction of her other assets, accentuated by a pair of black stilettos. The purple dress she wore that stopped a little above her knees fit her perfectly.
"I was just telling these fine gentlemen about you. Allow me to introduce you all to Miss Kate Howard."
The name and the face didn't match, but Sonny put on a poker face after a moment of sheer shock. Connie's smile faltered when she turned around and saw the boy she left in Bensonhurst decades ago. She took a little longer than Sonny to regain her composure and place a smile on her face. Jax introduced her to all the men and she shook their hands accordingly. Lastly he said, "And this is Sonny Corinthos. I'm sure you've heard of him."
Kate hesitantly reached for Sonny's hand as she saw the questions roaming through his mind. When they touched, they were thrown back to their teenage years. She first smiled fondly as she remembered her first love, then sadly as she remembered running away from him.
Sonny had a million things he wanted to say to her. Maybe in a different life he would have. When she gave him that dearly missed smile, he could picture himself taking her in his arms and having her to himself, once and for all. But that was just a fantasy.
They only held hands for about a second longer than a normal handshake might take, but they'd shared an entire conversation.
"Kate?" Sonny asked, testing out her new name.
She nodded tight-lipped.
"Oh, Sonny. You were saying that Kristina was interested in fashion. Kate happens to own a fashion magazine."
"Is that right?" he asked her.
"Well I...no, I don't. I don't own it, I just run it. Um, Kristina?" she questioned.
"Yes. My daughter. She isn't really interested in the law school thing like her mother. But she just graduated high school and she seems to be really serious about getting into fashion."
Sonny wasn't telling her about his new family to hurt her, and she knew that. He was just letting her know how his life turned out.
"Well if she's really serious about it, I wouldn't mind talking to her and helping her get started somewhere in the business. Actually, I have a card with me."
Kate dug in her purse through the different business cards to find the right one. She pulled out the Crimson card and held it out.
"Please, have her give me a call or shoot me an e-mail to set up an appointment. I'd really like to meet her."
Sonny took the card from her hand, careful not to touch her fingers again.
"I'll do that."
Kate smiled at him once more before telling everyone that it was nice to meet them but that she had to go mingle and excused herself.
Sonny looked down at the card and flipped it between his fingers. "Katherine Hardwicke Howard," it read. What a name, Sonny thought. He chuckled to himself. How things had changed...
He had the residual desire to run after Connie, except that she wasn't Connie anymore. Their lives diverged years ago, but for some reason they reconnected tonight. He believed that it was to set them both at peace, to know that they hadn't made the wrong decisions when they were younger, and to know that they were where they were supposed to be. Ages ago, he realized that he wasn't meant to have Connie. Otherwise he would have had her. But obviously she had done just fine without him and he was glad for it. They both had great lives now, and that's all he could really ask for.
Kate didn't look back as she walked away from Sonny. She just knew that he wouldn't be looking for her as she eased back into the crowd. She wasn't sure how she felt about the situation. On one hand, it was good to see Sonny doing well, but there were still so many things that she wanted to ask him. For now, though, she could deal with not knowing everything about Sonny's life. He seemed happy, didn't he? On her way to the bar, she passed her assistant Lulu with that boy—man—Dante. She couldn't hear what he was saying to her, but the way he had his head cocked and one eyebrow raised, he could only be his mother's son.
She hastily found a secluded hallway and pulled out her phone. She called the first number on her speed-dial, and waited somewhat impatiently for him to pick up. After the fifth ring she was about to give up when she heard a breathless voice answer.
"Hey, baby. I was...just thinking about you, wanted to see how you're doing."
He chuckled, used to her worrying. "I'm fine. How's your snooty party?"
Kate rolled her eyes. "It's not snooty. It's fine."
"Not much fun though, huh? Otherwise you wouldn't be calling me while I'm at the gym."
"Oh, shoot I forgot. I'm sorry. I can let you go if y—"
"Nah, it's cool. I can talk. Do you need to use me as an excuse to get out of there?"
She sighed, seriously considering it for a moment. "No, I'd better stay. It wouldn't look too good if I left the party so soon. I haven't even eaten yet"
"Well if you say so."
After a moment of silence, he spoke again.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm just thinking. I saw somebody from the old neighborhood tonight."
"Somebody from Bensonhurst? Really? What are the odds?"
"Yeah. Saw a couple of them, actually."
"And how was it?"
"It was...yeah, it was good."
"Hmm. You know, you said 'yeah' about ten times already. How many times have you scolded me for doing that? Careful, Mom. You Bensonhurst is starting to show."
Kate laughed indulgently. "Whatever, kid. I guess I'll get back to the party. I just needed to talk to you."
"Alright. Hey, are you sure you're okay? You're sounding all emotional."
She cleared her throat. "What can I say? I'm an emotional person. And don't worry about me, kid. I'll be fine."
"If you say so. You can call me later if you need to, 'kay?"
"I won't need to, but thanks for giving me permission," she said sarcastically.
"Yep. Alright, I love you, Mom."
"I love you too, Trey. Goodnight."
Kate sighed wistfully. She spent years wishing that someday, Sonny would find her. She would open the door, and he would somehow just be there. But she had to move on from those dreams long ago, and she was glad that she did. If she was still holding out hope for that, she might have missed the great life she had now. And she wouldn't trade this life for anything.
Aww. A much deserved Kate&Trey moment, I thought. Honestly, I've always been indifferent to Sonny and Kate (may have strongly disliked Sonny at times), but these two chapters were actually my top favorite to write. And sorry it's been so long. Hopefully it won't be so much a wait. And maybe, if you're interested, kind of, a little Nook in the next part? (I shipped Nik&Brook so hard for that brief moment of time they had on the show.) Okay, I hope you all enjoyed! Let me know what you think.