Stefan put away the pocket watch and reached for the phone just at his elbow.  Tersely he ordered the Cassadine chauffeur to bring one of the limousines around to the docks.  His expression was stony as he shrugged on his heavy winter coat and headed for the launch.

The bitter cold wind blowing across the waters surrounding Spoon Island did not even register with Stefan.  He stood at the launch’s railing, his keen green eyes focused toward the portion of Port Charles where today’s wedding was set to take place momentarily.

He slid into the waiting limousine and issued a single curt instruction to the chauffeur.  “To the church.”  The sound of the rising partition drowned out any response the dark-suited driver might have made.

As the big limousine pulled smoothly out into traffic, Stefan shuffled through several national newspapers, all which shared to some degree the same front-page story.  He opened once again his well-worn copy of that day’s local newspaper.  Just below a clear, sharp color photograph, the front-page headlines trumpeted the news of the “Alliance of the Decade”.

Alliance.  That was how the news media referred to the impending marriage of Faith Ward and Michael Brennan, Jr.  Both bride and groom were the offspring of two of America’s most prominent Civil Rights leaders of the last century.

Years ago Michael Brennan, Sr., had been secretly assassinated and his body then dumped upon the steps of his hometown Chicago courthouse to be found the next morning.  Faith’s father, Bradley Ward, had similarly been killed and his body hidden for decades.

To the many who had placed their hopes and dreams for a better life upon the shoulders of Michael Brennan, Sr., and Bradley Ward, it was completely understandable that they find immense happiness in the prospect of a marriage between the two families.  It was also understandable, Stefan reflected bitterly, that he could admit no such joy.

Faith Ward was meant to be his.  She had given Stefan her heart just as surely and completely as he had surrendered his own.  What kept Faith bound to her husband-to-be was obligation – unyielding, smothering family obligation.

The tawny beauty had tried to explain the politics of the entire situation.  Futilely he had argued in return that marriage between the two of them was a perfect representative of the dream espoused by the two men.  And though Stefan had stubbornly pretended not to understand her response, he knew all too well the truth of her words.  Just as he was Greco-Russian royalty, Faith and her intended were a type of American royalty all their own.

Stefan glanced up in surprise as the car eased to a stop beside Mount Hebron Church.  Numerous trucks bearing the assorted insignia of media networks lined the normally quiet little street for as far as the eye could see.

A gust of freezing wind exploded into the interior of the limousine as the back door was unceremoniously jerked open.  Startled, Stefan looked into the somber face of Justus Ward, Faith’s beloved younger brother.

“Above everything else I want my sister to be happy,” he said without preamble.  Justus turned his head and looked pointedly toward the little church.  “It’s not too late,” he said quietly.  “Go speak now … or forever hold your peace.”