The Harem of Jason Morgan
V takes a hard look at Jason Morgan and quickly decides that talking to him about this any further is not going to get her anywhere. His eyes were filled with a cold fury and the vein in his neck was starting to bulge out. She throws her hands in the air in surrender
"Okay Mr. Morgan, you win. We can't use the girls as bait but I'm still want to work closely with them. Even with your protection they need to know how to protect themselves so that they won't be like 'lambs to a slaughter' as you put it."
V turns to Dara gives her a wry smile and whispers, "Well, there's always plan B."
"Which is what?" Dara whispers back.
"I haven't figured that out yet", V raises her voice to a normal level, "Gotta go Dara, dream boy is here to escort me to the prom."
Giggling, Dara and V glance at Johnny who has walked over to V and gently but firmly starts guiding her out of the office. V stops at the doorway and turns around.
"Take it easy on her, Mr. Morgan, it was my idea and she really did her best to talk me out of it. We'll do it your way. For now. And do me a favor, Please don't blow my cover unless it's absolutely necessary, okay?"
Jason just stares woodenly back at her.
"Okay fine, I'll just take that as "A sure thing, V!" Heh heh, well, Oh! Look at the time, it's been real, gotta go "
With that V and Johnny leave the office leaving Dara cracking up and Jason asking "What? What are you laughing at? Was that funny?"
Out in the living room...
"So, Johnny, Mr. Morgan said I should talk to Carly about my sleeping arrangements. Any idea where I can find her?"
"Why don't you have a seat, Officer "
"V Johnny, just call me V"
"Uh, yeah, sure. Well, why don't you have a seat, V, and I'll get her for ya."
In a small room off the kitchen There's a soft knock on the door. Carly gets up from her bedside chair to see who's there.
"Hi Johnny, what's up?"
"Hey Ms. Roberts. How is she today?"
"Well, she's hanging in there. You know Robin, nothing will keep her down." Carly lets out a heavy sigh and shrugs, "I'm giving her stuff for the pain she feels from the broken collarbone and that puts her to sleep but then she's got to be woken up every couple of hours to make sure she's okay from the concussion. Is that why you're here? Did Jason send you for a report on her?"
Johnny looks closely at Carly. He sees a mixture of pain, anger and sadness in her eyes. He wonders if his boss has a clue of the strain this is putting on Carly. Having to take care of the woman that defended the kidnapper of your baby and who the boss had up on a pedestal, well that's a lot for anyone to take and especially hard for someone as hot tempered and insecure as Carly has shown herself to be in the past.
Johnny gives Carly a sympathetic smile, "No Ms. Roberts, this isn't about Ms. Scorpio, it's about Officer Ardanowski. She's waiting in the living room... to see you."
Carly's eyes widen as she steps out of the room and shuts the door. "What is the hell is she doing here, Johnny? What does she want? God! Don't they ever give up? If they're not harassing Jason they're after me! Does she have a warrant?"
"Relax Ms. Roberts, it's not like that. Jason told her to see you about sleeping arrangements."
Carly laughs in disbelief, "What? Did I hear you say sleeping arrangements? For the PCPD? Oh this is rich! This is really rich. "
Johnny just shrugs and starts heading back to the living room. Carly rolls her eyes, and follows him.
In the living room, V tires of waiting and starts looking around the periphery of the room. "It's here somewhere, it has to be!" she mutters. All of a sudden her fingers found what they'd been searching for.
*Click swish* V could hardly contain a squeal of excitement as a panel of the wall opened to reveal a small room. V's adrenaline started pumping, her breathing sped up just a little, and she broke out into one of her ear to ear grins. "Yessss!" she whispers to herself and with a quick glance over her shoulder to make certain she was alone, V popped into the secret room that had been created years ago by Robert Scorpio. She turned on the light, and shut the door behind her. Thinking better of it, V opened the door again, just a crack so she could hear if someone coming. "If Robert built this it's gotta be soundproof" she thinks. V looks around "I wonder if Jason even knows this room is here?" She spots the computer, "Hmmm, wonder if this still works?" Just as she's about to press the power button V hears Carly's voice coming from the hallway. She slips out of the room and shuts the door behind her. Walking over to the buffet, V pours herself a glass of water, takes a sip and with a knowing smile, waits.
"Is everything in order, Officer?" Carly sneers from behind her.
V, not liking Carly's tone of voice gets a mischievous glint in her eye and gasps as if startled, whips around which promptly sloshes the water from her glass all over Carly.
"OH! Ohmigosh! Ms. Roberts! Um, oh! Sorry! I... you startled me. Oh geeze,ah, here! Let me help you!" V sets her glass down, grabs some napkins and starts to go to wipe off Carly's blouse.
Carly grabs the napkins from her, "No, really. You don't need to do any thing else." She tells V through gritted teeth, "Why don't you just have a seat...OVER THERE!" Carly offers pointing at a chair across the room.
"Oh! Sure thing Ms. Roberts. Sorry about that again. Really" V says as she backs away from Carly. V thinks, "Okay, about 4 more steps and..."
"V! LOOK OUT!" Carly cried out just as V backs into the coffee table knocking over a crystal vase. Subtly, yet with the grace of a cat, V bounces off the table and twists around and "falls" just managing to catch the vase before it hits the ground. "Ohmigosh! I am so embarrassed. Ms. Roberts, I don't know what to say!"
Jason and Dara came running out from the office "Carly is everything okay? Why is your blouse all wet? What happened?"
Dara looks at V's innocent face and finds it very difficult to suppress a chuckle. She'd seen V in action on many occasions. She actually envied V's ability to perform her klutzy routine. It was flawless. Dara had even tried to imitate it a few times only to realize the intense control it took to perform was beyond her ability.
Carly lets out a deep breath "Yeah Jase, everything is just ducky! Thanks for asking"
"I'm not mad, Jase."
"You're lying; what's going on?"
"Fine. You want to know what's going on? I'll tell you what's going on mister, I'm taking care of Robin practically full-time, and now I find out that you've invited this walking accident, a COP no less, to stay here?"
Dara walks over to where V's still sitting on the floor and helps her up. V placed the vase back on the table and whispered to Dara, "This is sooooo cool! I found the Robert's secret room!"
"Yeah? I was wondering about that. No one around here mentioned it. I wonder if they know about it?" she whispered back. They continue their conversation in hushed tones.
"I don't think so. It was pretty dusty in there." V nods towards Carly. "Anything I need to know?"
"Yeah V, Carly runs this place like a well oiled machine. Jason gives her free reign. If you take your harem reference to heart, consider Carly #1 wife. She can be pretty cool. Give her a chance. You may even grow to like her. But whether you like her or not, do not mess with her!"
"Hmmmm, the big question is will she give ME a chance. She isn't too fond of the PCPD you know"
"True but she is fond of Jason. Just don't piss him off anymore and you'll be okay. Don't even mention Em or Liz to him for awhile"
Across the room Carly fills Jason in on what happened with V.
"So you startled her right? And when she spun around you got wet. Well it doesn't sound like it was done on purpose. And the vase didn't break, right? Look Carly, I know you're not happy about this. I need her to be here. I can't explain this right now but don't worry, she's not here as a cop. Tell you what. Why don't you stash her somewhere and then she can help you take care of Robin. In fact, have V take over for you and then you can spend more time with Michael. How's that sound?"
"Well, since you put it like that okay."
V murmurs to Dara "Jason has quite a way with her. He didn't even blow my cover. This may work out after all"
Carly walks over to V, "C'mon, let's get you settled in. You don't mind having a roommate do you? Do you like Fruit Loops?" Carly takes V by the arm and leads her over to the Penthouse across the hall.
"Fruit Loops? Is there any nutritional value in Fruit Loops? "
Dara smiles thinking 'Oh! THIS is gonna priceless. I'm not gonna miss this!' "Jason, I'm going go help V and Carly. Later!" and she takes off after them. Carly, V and Dara enter Penthouse B. Alexis, Liz and Em are sitting at the dining room table "Alexis, I don't understand. If you could get Liz declared emancipated why can't you do the same for me? How hard could it be? I mean, we go before a judge and as soon as they hear that I'm trapped in the House of Q they'll be sympathetic. It'll be a piece of cake!"
Alexis sighs, "Em, it's just not that simple. With Liz, her parents were in Bosnia and well, the circumstances are completely different. The Quartermaine's would never allow it."
"Hey, who's that?"
Em and Alexis turn to look at the person Liz was referring to. Em turns to Alexis, "The cops can't make me go back there can they?"
V is the one to respond, "Yes Em, they could but don't worry. That's not why I'm here so relax. Just think, this could be to your advantage. Next time you get a call from your grandfather and he starts harassing you just tell him that I'm here with you and looking out for you." V walks over to the table, and sticks her hand to Liz, "Hi, V Ardanowski, nice to meetcha."
V turns to Alexis and gazes at her coolly, "Alexis"
Carly and Dara watch the exchange between Alexis and V and both are wondering what the deal is. Dara plans on getting the dirt on that just as soon as she and V can get a minute alone while Carly plans on doing the same with Alexis. "Whoa! So if I tell Grandfather that you're here maybe he'll lay off! Cool! I didn't think of that! But Um, is that why you're here? Because of me? I mean, did Ned ya know, did he hire you to baby-sit me or something?"
V laughs, "No Em. I haven't seen Ned in ages. Too bad really, he's kind of cute-- he's kind of single, I'm kind of single. Anyway, why I'm here isn't anything you need to concern yourself about okay? But that doesn't mean you can't use it to your advantage. What do you say we get together later. Dara says she's been teaching you guys some stuff and I could use a partner for my daily training. You can fill me in your hunky cousin while we train."
"I don't know V, I'm really awful at all this stuff. I feel like such a geek. Why don't you train with Liz? She's really gotten good!"
"Yeah! I'll do it! I can't believe how much I love this stuff! So why would it make a difference if you were here or not?"
"Because I'm a cop. No offense to you Liz, but I really want to get some dirt on Ned if ya know what I mean. Besides, Dara already told me that she's planning on training with you a little later."
Dara shoots a glare V's way when she hears this. "Damn! There goes my time with Rinaldo", she thinks.
Carly gets a little impatient. While the mystery of why V and Alexis are so cold to each other's intriguing, Carly really wanted to see what would happen when V and her roommate came face to face. It was time to move things along.
"Okay you guys, this has been nice and all but I need to get V settled in. C'mon V, I 'll show you where your room is."
"Oh, sure thing, Carly." V picks up her stuff and follows Carly upstairs.
"Well, looks like your roommate is out for a smoke again, so just make yourself comfortable. I'm sure there's some empty drawers and closet space."
"Smoker? Um, can I just stay on the couch or something? Do you know how high the instance of cancer from secondary smoke is? I read this article..."
Carly smiled. Yup, this is gonna interesting! "V, it's okay. House rules. No smoking inside the penthouses. We won't let anyone smoke around Michael."
"Oh! Well, then, good." V looks around the room, the closet door was open revealing a lot of tiny black clothing and a few pairs of Doc Martens, the dresser was covered with all kinds of make-up, mostly M.A.C. and Lancome . On one of the beds there were issues of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Soap Opera Digest and in the corner was a tripod? V groans inwardly, "Like I even need to ask this" she thought.
"So, Carly, who exactly is my roommate anyway?"
"Roommate? Did I hear that right? ROOMMATE!?! No! I refuse! NO ROOMMATES!"
V and Carly turn to see Brenda standing in the doorway, hands on her hips, jaw jutting out and fire in her eyes.
Carly smirks, "Yeah? Well I say you guys are rooming together, if you don't like it you can always leave; isn't that right, Brenda?"
As Carly steps out of the way, Brenda gets a really good look at her new roommate. "YOU! Did Jax send you after me? Well, forget it. You can just tell him to go to hell! I'm through with both him and Sonny! Between the two of them it's a wonder that I ever got out of the funny farm!"
"And hello to you too, Miss Barrett. Geeze, what truck ran over you? That's a nasty shiner there! And is your nose broken too?"
"That's none of your business, V! You can just leave now and tell Jax to back off!"
"I hate to interrupt this happy reunion but I need to get back to Michael. V, why don't you come by later. I could use your help taking care of Robin."
"No! She's MY little sister and if anyone is going to help; it'll be me!" Brenda roars.
"Fine whatever, as long as one of you do it. I've got other things to do. Have fun you two and don't break anything!" Carly leaves.
"Look Brenda, let's get something straight. I am NOT here because of Jax. I haven't worked for him for awhile now. I'm a cop again. And even if I was still working for him, you should know that he's been over you for a very long time. He finally realized what a fool of himself he made over you. He paid for your hospital stay because he felt partly responsible for your condition. But that's it. He does not love you. He does not want you."
"Oh, and I suppose you're gonna try to make me believe that he's in love with you right?"
V smiles at Brenda, "The ONLY thing I'm gonna try to make you believe is that you have absolutely nothing to do with why I'm here. What's between Jax and me is just that. Between Jax and me. Now are you gonna tell me what happened to you?"
"Oh, that would be me, excuse me Brenda", Dara pushes past Brenda into the room. "She pulled a gun me, I got pissed. What can I say?" Dara plops down on the bed.
"Brenda, is that true? Wow! You really are crazy!"
"Arrrrrgh! I can't take this!" Brenda stomps away.
Dara and V laugh and Dara fills V in on the whole sordid story up to and including Dara's sexcapades with Rinaldo who Brenda claims as her own. The two get V unpacked , catch up on things and set a time for their work-outs with the girls. Once Dara leaves and V is alone, she pulls out her laptop, plugs in, gets herself comfortable on the bed and goes online to check her email.
"You have mail"
V smiled. Maybe it was Jerry with more info. She opened up her mail file and saw that there was a message from Jerry but the one that intrigued her was the one from email@example.com . She clicked that one open first. "Yes! I knew I'd hear from you again Sonny! Now, then what do you have to tell me " V hunkers down to read the message. She was so focused that she was almost caught by a left hook from an out of control Brenda. V shoves the computer away from her and rolls off the bed in the nick of time.
"Geeze Brenda! Get a grip! You do NOT want to do this, trust me!"
"YOU BITCH!" Brenda yelled, "You're not here to get me for Jax, you're after me for SONNY! Well, let me tell you something, you are NOT gonna get the satisfaction of telling him I'm dead DO YOU HEAR ME?" Brenda screams and lunges for V again who deflects her attack easily.
"C'mon Brenda, calm down. Let's talk about this okay? I'm a third degree blackbelt in Akido among other things. Don't make me hurt you. Please? I am NOT after you! Now lets talk about this."
"Shut up! SHUT UP! I am not some stupid little girl anymore, V. I know that you're up to something and I'm not about to sit here and let you or anyone else control my life. Not now, not EVER" Brenda throws herself at V and tackles her. V uses her momentum and flips Brenda without barely a movement. By this time Dara, Em, Liz and Alexis are in the doorway watching.
"Dara, aren't you gonna do something?"
"No Em, I'm not. Now watch V. Watch how she uses Brenda's movements against Brenda. See how easily she's handling the attack?"
"I'll say! She's dumped Brenda on her butt at least 6 or 7 times now? Why is V taking this anyway?"
"I don't know Em but I don't think she will for much longer look!"
"Hey, what's going on?" Carly asks as she comes bounding up the stairs.
V was pretty fed up by this point. She'd tried to reason with Brenda as best she could but nothing was getting through. Brenda swung at V and again V dodged it. V shook her head muttered "I'm sorry Brenda" just before she hauled off and slammed her fist into Brenda's face. Brenda fell like a ton of bricks and this time didn't get back up. V rolls her eyes. "Brenda, you're being totally irrational. Now c'mon, I'll explain things okay?"
Brenda just nods. V helps her up and looks at the crew by the doorway. " Okay ladies, demonstration over. "
Carly laughs and thinks having V around may not be such a bad thing afterall.
The next day all seems pretty calm. Brenda and V had cleared the air. V had just finished a session with Emily and hit the fridge for some water. When she came out she saw Brenda sitting in the living room reading a magazine.
"Hey Brenda, listen. I really am sorry about yesterday."
"Yeah, well don't worry about it. I guess I kind of went off the deep end."
"You know, if you could channel that rage of yours you could kick some major butt. The only thing holding you back is you're too emotional"
"Yeah, Dara said the same thing after she threw me on my butt a few times. How's Em doing?"
"Better. She's got a lot of potential physically but she's so filled with self-doubt"
"Mmmm, I know all about that"
Dara walks to her room in a daze walking past V without a word.
"Excuse me-- I need to see what's up with Ms Jensen." V's movements are quick and sure in contrast with her earlier clumsiness. Closing the door behind her she asks quietly, "Dara?"
"Jason found Moreno-- okay a way into Moreno; it's going down."
"But that's great! That's what you've been working on since you got here." V studies Dara. "What else?"
"Jason made a connection between what happened to Emma and her sister to Moreno."
V's jaw drops. "That bastard! Pardon my french. And the WSB was dealing with him? What happened to Emma's sister wasn't human. That isn't right, animals don't do that either." V paces the room her fury rising, her hand gestures growing. "I want in. I want to shoot him like the rabid dog he is! He's the kind of thing that my daddy would have taken hunting; if you know what I mean..." V looks over at Dara giving her both a significant glance and a nod. "And I won't even tell you what Grandmother Ardanowski would have done. He's a butcher!" With every word Dara grows progressively calmer, her spine straightens and a steely glint returns to her eyes.
"He's going down-- HARD."
"Damn straight, pardon the expression. When do we leave?"
"We don't. I'm the bait. You're the backup. If this goes south call Jerry. Hell, call Corinthos. But whatever happens Moreno or his goons NEVER get on this floor. Jason is ice except where three people are concerned and they're all here-- Robin,
Emily and Michael. When Michael was kidnapped he set Albany on fire. I need him cool not crazed."
"What about Carly?" V asks momentarily distracted.
"Jason has as big a blind spot where Carly is concerned as he does with Robin. He thinks that nothing will ever beat Carly over the long run. That she is invincible, always bounces back. And she lets him or doesn't realize. What ever Jason needs she makes happen." Dara shakes her head. "Jason doesn't think about things like that but if he did he'd probably be more worried what Carly would do to Moreno than what Moreno would do to Carly."
"Wait a minute... Bait? Like Emma's sister?" V's eyes go wide. "What are you going to wear?"
Dara shrugs. "This kind of undercover wasn't what I packed for. You had better get Carly." V goes to open the door and Brenda practically falls in. "How much did you hear?"
"Enough to know that you need my help." Brenda replies smugly before going back to the room that she shares with V to get her makeup kit. Lugging it back she flips it open exposing about a million different compartments. So what kind of look are you going for: girl next door, sophisticated lady or... tart?"
"My specialty-- cheap or expensive?"
"Expensive, very expensive."
"OH! Well, if that's what you want, let me do it. You'll need to put it on heavy like for a photo shoot and I can do this."
Dara looks at V who shrugs her shoulders. "Why not Dara? While she's doing your makeup and hair I'll go scope out some of the others for clothes."
Dara agrees and V goes to see Carly.
V goes across the hall to find Carly. Rinaldo is standing guard and lets her in. As Rinaldo heads back out the door, V gives him the once over.
"I just love a man in Armani", V sighs. When the door closes V gets back to business. There isn't much time.
The door to Jason's office opens and he sticks his head out.
"V, good you're here. I was just about to send for you, come in."
As V enters the office she sees Carly who is visibly upset and Alexis who is busy looking over some papers and making some notations.
Jason clears his throat to get her attention, "V, has Dara filled you in?"
"Yes, she has, Mr. Morgan. She's getting ready now. In fact, that's why I'm here. Well, not to see you sir. To see Ms. Roberts here. See, Dara thought that she recalled Ms. Roberts wearing a leather skirt and bustier and well, she thought that maybe she might borrow it." V turns towards Carly "Ms Roberts, is that okay?"
Carly wipes away a few stray tears, "Yeah, sure. Jason, do you need me here or should I go get the clothes for Dara?"
Jason walks over to Carly and looks her straight in the eye, "Carly you know this has to happen. I'm picking the time and place rather than getting ambushed Now, go ahead and get Dara whatever she needs, I need to talk to V for a minute."
Carly nods " Just be careful, Jason. Michael needs you. I need you," she says softly and leaves.
Jason turns to Alexis, "Are we done here?"
"Yes. I'll go draw these up. It'll take me just a couple minutes and I'll be back for your signature." Alexis gathers up her papers and leaves the office.
"V, I don't know what kind of fallout to expect from what we're about to do. I'm pretty certain that most of Moreno's men will be at his compound but you never know. Can you handle things here? Can you keep everyone safe?"
"Dara and I have already discussed my role in this, Mr. Morgan. Will Miss Roberts try to stop me from taking control if need be?"
"No. I'll let her know that if an attack is made on this place that you will take charge. I doubt she'll question it. If she does, I not going to promise you that I'll keep your cover. I don't lie. In fact, I can't lie so don't expect me to."
"I understand and thank you. Now, if we're done here I'd really like to get back to Dara."
Jason nods. As V is about to open the door Jason calls out to her
"V, please. Don't let ANYTHING happen to Michael."
V smiles at Jason, "Don't you worry, Mr. Morgan. If anything goes down I know the perfect place to put Michael where nothing can harm him. Did you know you have a secret room in this penthouse?"
"I think Robin may have mentioned it to Sonny a long time ago. You know where
V's smile turns into a grin "Sure do Mr. Morgan, that was my first order of business. Don't worry, I'll hold down the fort if it comes to that"
With that V leaves the office and bumps into Liz who's carrying a pair of thigh high boots.
"Hey Liz! Whatcha got there?"
"They're for Dara. Turns out we wear the same size."
"Great, let's go see how things are going over there"
Liz and V walk into whirlwind of activity. Brenda has her makeup spread out all over the place and is checking out tube after tube of lipstick..
"Oh! Here Dara! This is perfect! Put this on!" Dara grabs the lipstick from Brenda. She had to admit, it was a perfect shade of red. Liz's jaw dropped. "Wow! Never in a million years would I have pictured you looking like that!"
"Is that good?" Dara inquires.
"Yeah, if you're trying to get the attention of every man in a 5 mile radius! Here's the boots."
Dara smiles at Liz and take the boots from her. "Thanks."
"Yeah, well don't mention it, just bring them back. With you still wearing them!"
Dara goes to put the boots on ..."Damn!"
V looks up, "What? what happened?"
"I've got a huge run. Anyone got an extra pair of stockings?"
From the doorway they hear "Will these do?"
They look over at the door and there Emily holding a pair of black fishnet stockings in one hand and a belt with a clasp made from handcuffs in the other.
Brenda starts to giggle, "Em! Where did you get those?"
Dara looks in the full length mirror from the teased out Tina Turner wig (from Emily's school talent show) to the thigh high boots with the six inch heels from Liz (who lives in keds but seems to have a serious and expensive yen for Italian leather footwear) to the leather mini and bustier from Carly that emphasizes her assets. Carly and Brenda look on.
Brenda tilts her head and studies Dara's reflection before quipping. "Well if I were a guy, I'd do ya."
"I think that the skirt looked better on me" Carly shrugs, "but you look hot." Carly hands Dara a light raincoat that covers the outfit. "No use in giving the doorman a heart attack."
V from the doorway silently communicates a need to speak privately. Carly picks up on the nonverbal and ushers Brenda out. Pausing at the door Carly tells Dara, "I know Jason will be watching your back, but watch his too OK?" Dara nods.
As the door closes Dara asks. "What's up?"
"My contribution." V hands Dara a small neatly wrapped cylinder. Dara looks at her blankly then awareness dawns.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Ardanowski Special.-- I figure that they'll search you for the obvious weapons. If it's a guy searching you, you know he won't even touch this. I should know. How do you think I got it in here?"
"Thanks V!" Dara gingerly places the cylinder at the top of her stocking for easy access and concealment. "Okay, now get going. Jason's waiting. And Dara? Good luck!"
The Harem of Jason Morgan
A little "massage parlor" on the outskirts of town .
"We can do business when you let me see some money--and I'm talking the kind that folds, not the kind that slides." The woman looked to Jason who nodded his approval, as if to say she was doing just fine. "And that'll be 10% extra on top of what you're paying--I gotta call her in from home. What's her name?" The woman looked to Jason, her eyes wide. "Whatever you WANT it to be, shug," she stalled.
"How 'bout Lola?" Rinaldo volunteered.
"Lola. Her name's Lola. And I want her back just like I sent her to you--you don't do nuthin' to the face, you hear? She's one of my prettiest and most popular girls. I'm gonna have a hard enough time as it is explaining to all her regulars that she's not gonna be available tomorrow night--if she comes back banged up, it's gonna be real bad for business." The woman smiled, then laid it on thick. "But you up that bonus to 15%, and I can see to it that she's yours for an extra day." No answer. The room was silent as Jason, Dara, Rinaldo, and the Madam waited for a response--from the man running the trace on the call. "Know what? On second thought, I don't know if I CAN spare her for that long ."
"Give her to me for 3 days and I'll up your bonus to 25%," Moreno replied. "I send over half now, including your bonus--you get the rest when I give her back. Deal?"
The Madam let out a low whistle, stalling for time as she looked to Jason, whose attention was focused on the contact who, try though he might, couldn't get a trace on the call. "Damn," Jason hissed. He's using some kind of scrambler." Turning his attention back to the Madam, he nodded his head, signaling to take the offer.
As the Madam and Moreno finished their transaction, Jason turned to face Dara. "No go on the call. We're gonna have to follow you there."
"I thought Rinaldo was gonna pose as the driver?" Dara inquired. "If he's scrambling his calls, you can bet he's not gonna let anyone not in his regime bring a visitor out to his hideout."
For the briefest of seconds, Jason saw Dara's face contort into a mask of worry. "Hey," he said softly. "You KNOW if there was any other way--"
"Yeah, I know," as she raked her hands through her hair. "Sending in a real hooker would be too risky---if she knew someone was waiting in the wings she might get nervous and say or do something to tip Moreno's boys off." Dara was silent for a few seconds, then turned to the Madam. "You got somewhere for me to hang my coat?" The madam nods pointing to the back room.
"Damn!" Again, the Madam let loose with a low whistle, this time, as she took in the sight of Dara emerging from the back room. "If only I had girls in my crew that looked THAT good in leather."
Ignoring the woman's comments, Dara turned her attention to Jason and Rinaldo, both of whom seemed to be momentarily speechless. Dara had to admit the Tina Turner-esque getup - high heels, fishnet hose, black leather skirt and matching bustier-styled top, all topped off by a dark blonde Tina-like wig - WAS a bit much--but she had to look the part. When she was done reviewing the plan with Jason and Rinaldo and was ready to leave, Jason pulled her aside, slipping something into her palm. She opened her hand to find a small button-shaped object. A state of the art homing device.
"I know it's not much," Jason said quietly. "But it'll give us SOME contact with you, until we can get inside."
"Every little bit helps," as she headed for the door; Moreno's driver would be arriving shortly. Just as she was about to step outside, she turned and looked back at Jason and Rinaldo. "You guys make sure the calvary is on time, okay?" Again, she forced a smile.
"Don't worry," Rinaldo replied. "It WILL be."
"I'll be waiting!" as she managed a light laugh. She glanced over at Jason, his face set like flint as usual. "Hope to see you back at the Penthouse."
"You will." Again, Jason caught a glimpse of that look in Dara's eyes. Fear. Pure, unadulterated fear. Then just as quickly, it was gone. "He's going down, Dara," Jason replied, matter-of-factly, then paused. "And you're coming back. Period." The slightest hint of a smile crossed Jason's lips. "Besides, who else is gonna help me deal with the WSB when they come to town; Ardanowski talks too much and gives me a headache."
"I'm gonna hold you to that, but don't judge V by her babble that's part of her camouflage." as she returned the smile. Pausing, she gripped the doorknob, pressing her head against the door. Turning to take a final look around, she took a deep breath, steeling herself, then stepped outside.
Moments later, Rinaldo received a call on his radio that the driver had picked Dara up. "Time to roll, Jase."
Jason nodded, then turned to face the Madam, handing her a wad of bills. "You never saw us; we were never here," he replied, his gaze as piercing as his tone.
There was no need for him to ask the Madam if she understood. The money on this deal was good but getting on Morgan's good side was a bigger benefit knowing that while Jason didn't have his fingers into the prostitution rackets that he could make her life in Port Charles unbearable. She liked the hands off way that he handled his business and the way that he had never butted into hers and no way she was gonna mess with that.
The Warehouse .
"You got everything set up?" Moreno asked.
"Yeah," his Lt. replied. "All your "toys" are in the room," he sneered.
"Not that. I'm talking about the explosives. You get 'em moved?"
"Not quite. C-4 may look like bricks of playdough but it isn't exactly the kinda stuff you can throw in a box and haul around, you know?" Jeezus, the Lt. mused; for a former friggin' Secret Agent you'd think he'd know how delicate the stuff was to handle.
"That's NOT the answer I'm looking for," Moreno replied evenly. "Now I'm tired of excuses--I want RESULTS. And damn it C-4 is exactly like playdough, you moron, as long as there are no detonators involved." Moreno rubs his hands together his mind already back on the fun to come. "The men know where to send this Lola chick when she gets here, right?" The Lt. nodded. "Good. Unless it's a life and death emergency, I am NOT to be disturbed. Understood?"
"Yeah," the Lt. muttered.
With that, Moreno headed down the hall towards his "playroom."
"So, you're Lola, huh?" the driver asked.
"Yeah--what of it?" Dara snapped.
"Jeezus, you don't gotta take my head off, Lady. I'm just trying to make conversation."
"Show me some green, and we can conversate about anything you like, Boo," Dara smiled. "Otherwise, bugger off!"
"That's Ms. Bitch to you, sugar. Do I need to come up there and show you how to drive this tank? Move it--you're costin' me and your boss money!"
As the driver raised the glass partition, he shot Dara a venomous look--which told her, her act was going over quite well. With her right arm resting on the back of the seat, she pretended to glance at her watch--all the while sneaking a peek out the rear window. So far, so good. Jason, Rinaldo & Co. were keeping a very discreet distance. They were still on the city roads, but the further along they went, the less and less urban the surroundings became; Dara knew it was only a matter of time before the driver would be hitting a back road--and when he did, it would sever all visual contact between her and Jason.
Moments later, Dara was jostled about the back seat as the car veered off the asphalt onto the soft shoulder of the road. They were almost there. As the limo inched closer and closer to the hideout, Dara closed her eyes and sent up a silent prayer. She was on her own now, nothing but the wireless transmitter in her earring and the homing device she'd slipped under the car's rear bumper keeping her in touch with Jason. Taking one last glance back, she saw Jason's car sail by. Of course, he couldn't follow her down the dirt road--not right away, anyway. In about 10 or 15 minutes, she knew they'd be on the scene but until then, she was solo. As the warehouse came into view, Dara clasped her hands together, this time, not in an act of prayer, but to keep them from shaking. Seconds later, the car came to a stop. Slowly, the driver's footfalls could be heard heading in her direction.
Again, she sent up a silent prayer that the calvary would be on time. "Well," she sighed. "I guess this is where the rubber meets the road, DaraLee."