looked down at the tiny bundle he cradled in his arms.
Long dark lashes rested starkly against skin hued like the lightest of
milk chocolate. The
lights in the room were subdued, as though to help ease the little one into its
new home. A hushed quiet cloaked
little one,” Andresj’ whispered, his voice hoarse with emotion.
stared at the baby and his mind was flooded with both memories and
possibilities. Images of its
smiling mother whirled and danced through his thoughts like a fluttering
butterfly, touching down here and there, but never staying still for very long.
many long minutes he sat there, gently rocking the little angel in his arms.
Cassadine . . . ” the nurse intruded quietly, reaching out for the bundle he
held. “It is time. I’ve already broken the rules for you.”
looked up at the young woman before him. “And
I am grateful.” He tightened his
arms about the little one and lifted her so that her ear was to his lips.
In Russian he whispered something that the nurse strained to hear, but
“Thank you,” Andresj’ murmured, handing the baby to the nurse. He took a long last look at her and gently stroked a lock of hair from the tiny forehead.
So lost in thought was he that Andresj’
found himself standing just outside her door before he even realized it.
His heart contracted as he peered inside and saw her resting in the
hospital bed. In sleep, her face
was just a more mature version of her daughter’s.
The beautiful mocha skin was a shade darker, but in every other way they
were the same.
As he watched her sleep, she opened her
eyes and looked directly at him. Andresj’
hesitated before stepping into the room. He
walked up to her bedside and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Sh-” He was forced to
clear his throat and begin again. “She
quietly spoken words broke through the haze in which she dwelled.
“Did you see her?”, Keesha asked quickly. “She is perfect, isn’t she?”
leaned back against the pillows. A
tender smile graced as her face and her eyes grew misty.
“Ten perfect little fingers, and ten perfect little toes. And a head full of hair.”
Her voice grew softer. “My
perfect little angel.”
did you name her?” Andresj’ prompted Keesha when she seemed lost in thought.
she smiled, even as the tears began to course down her face.
“After her father.” Keesha
began to sob. “He never even got
to see her.”
face hardened at the thought of the man whose lifestyle had brought about this
whole tragedy. He knew that he
should feel some sympathy for Jason Morgan.
After all, he had lost his life in the Mob hit that had sent Keesha into
all he could think about was Keesha . . . And Jae.
know,” he said, squeezing Keesha’s hands within his as he tried to comfort
her. “I know.” She
looked at Andresj’ through tear-filled eyes.
“That is why I went for him.”
breath caught at Andresj’s kindness and generosity.
Despite the way she had broken his heart, he was still there for her.
The realization made her heartache worse.
held her,” Andresj’ recounted tenderly, “and I kissed her, and I told her
her daddy loved her.”
God, ‘Dre!” Keesha burst into
Wordlessly, Andresj’ opened his arms and gathered her up. He held Keesha and let her mourn the husband and baby that she had just lost.