"Which was far longer than it should have been," Carlotta sniffed. She angled her body away from her husband. All but Stefan could see the twinkle in her eyes as she stiffened her body in mock anger.

“Ah, why don’t we order dessert?” Nikolas suggested, struggling to maintain a straight face. Dawn and Keesha quickly agreed. He flagged down a waiter. "We would like to order dessert."

"Of course, sir," the waiter replied smoothly. "What will you have?"

"We would like a piece of your Chocolate Decadence cake," Nikolas said, looking at Dawn intently.

"And we would like a slice of your White Russian cheesecake." Andresj' gave Keesha a warm smile. "We can share if you don't mind."

Stefan gave a small gesture of dismissal to the waiter. As he turned to leave, Carlotta's voice stopped him in his tracks. "One moment," she commanded. "I would like an ice cream cone."

The waiter frowned. "A bowl of ice cream, Ma'am?"

"An ice cream cone." She enunciated each word. "Is that a problem?"

"No, of course not." The young waiter hurried into the kitchen. He sincerely hoped they had cones in the back. He definitely didn't want to have to tell the wife of Stefan Cassadine that she couldn't have one.

"Carlotta," Stefan's voice sounded quietly in her ear, "there is no cause for you-"

The look she gave him warned Stefan that he tread on shaky ground. Falling silent, he studied her expressionless face.

The young waiter came rushing back with their desserts. Placing their orders before them, he handed Carrie her cone with a flourish.

"Thank you." Her gentle smile made the young man sigh with relief. He backed away from the table and made his escape.

Conversation at the table became hushed as two of the couples began to enjoy their sweets. Nikolas offered Dawn a small forkful of the rich dark chocolate concoction. As she took his offering, he whispered, "It is your fault that I have developed a fondness for chocolate." His eyes grew dark. "This will do, though I much prefer to lick it from your naked body."

Dawn began to choke. Nikolas smirked as he rubbed solicitously upon her back. With each stroke, his hand dipped lower until it rested intimately upon the small of her back. His fingers rested just within her waistband, a promise of things to come later.

Keesha watched the interplay between them. She looked back to see Andresj' watching her. Picking up the fork from the table, she removed any temptation he might have to follow Nikolas' example and feed her dessert. She was growing comfortable in his father's presence, but not that comfortable.

Andresj' smiled broadly. He knew that Keesha thought she could read his intentions. It gave him pleasure to always keep her off-guard.

He watched as she cut a small piece of the moist cheesecake and placed it in her mouth. "Is it good?" he asked.

Keesha took the time to savor the taste within her mouth. "Yes," she nodded, "it is very good."

"May I try?"

Before she could finish her nod of assent, Andresj' captured her mouth with his. His tongue darted into the recesses of her mouth and rubbed lazily against hers. He pulled away and smiled at her dazed expression. "You are right. It is good."

Stefan was distracted from the antics of the other couples by the sight of Carlotta beside him. He sat watching her with a growing fascination.

Carrie was aware of his interest. Totally ignoring him, she drew her tongue along the cone, catching the trickles of melting ice cream that threatened to cover her fingers.

Her face glowed with sensual pleasure as she swirled the delicious treat within her mouth. A small purr of satisfaction escaped her throat.

Stefan swallowed convulsively as he felt himself grow hard. Thoughts of loving his wife until she purred so for him bombarded his mind. His breath caught as Carlotta turned toward him and smiled devilishly. So, this was a deliberate seduction on her part!

His emerald eyes glittered dangerously. Never removing his gaze from hers, Stefan reached into his breast pocket and removed several large bills. He placed them on the table and stood, pulling Carrie with him. "I believe we will call it a night," he informed the others smoothly.

As one, they all pushed their chairs from the table. "So will we."