Taking Chances

Not for the first time Dara Jensen was thankful that she did not follow the throng of people who rushed for the elevators at quitting time. It was a mere three floors down from her office in the courthouse, and she enjoyed taking the back stairs.  They were hardly ever in use and they served a dual purpose: they got her out of the building quickly, and they ensured that the compliments on the shapeliness of her legs never waned. 

She hummed a jazzy little tune as she moved briskly downstairs.  Only sixty-seven more steps to go.  Dara had counted them once. Thereafter it became a routine. 

Three, two, one... and she was standing before the door to the parking garage.  Though the walk downstairs only took six or seven minutes, in that time just about everyone who was leaving had already started up their cars and was headed out for the weekend. 

Dara pulled open the door leading to the well-lit garage.  Confidently she strode toward her customary parking place. A feeling of disquiet came over her as she strained to decipher what was out of place in a scenario she knew so well. 

Ah, the bulb nearest her car must have blown.  The customary spotlight that illuminated her shiny black Mercedes was not giving off its usual shine.  She made a note to mention it to the courthouse custodian. 

Blithely she proceeded to her car, disregarding everything she knew to be safe and prudent.  The dim light made Dara lean in to place her key in the lock.  Before she could turn the key, a strong hand covered her mouth and a steel-like arm wrapped itself about her waist. 

"How many times have I warned you about taking chances?" a husky voice mouthed in her ear.  "Haven't I told you that you don't know what kind of danger you might find yourself in if you aren't careful?" 

His hand slid gently from her mouth.  "Am I in danger?" Dara asked, her voice low and husky. 

Michael Corinthos drew Dara closer to him, allowing her to feel his aroused body.  "What do you think?" 

"Michael," she whispered cautiously, "this is a public place." 

"My men have their orders," he replied, taking a moment to kiss the nape of her neck.  "We won't be disturbed." 

Dara twisted around in his arms.  Was this Sonny Corinthos, taking such a chance? 

He read the disbelief in her eyes.  "Unless you're too afraid, Coun-se-lor." 

Just as Sonny predicted, Dara would not let the challenge go unanswered.  He had been prepared for her refusal, just in case.  It would not have mattered. Here in the darkness of the parking garage, or in the backseat of the limousine, or up against the door of the penthouse...she was going to be his. 

“What did you have in mind?” Dara challenged. 

“Go away with me now.” 

In the weeks that Dara had danced around an involvement with Sonny Corinthos, she had come to know him quite well.   But all her supposed knowledge of the handsome, dark-eyed man staring so intently into her eyes had not prepared her to hear those particular words so soon.  “Go away?” 

Sonny heard easily the hesitancy in her voice.  He hid his disappointment behind a shield of assumed nonchalance.  “Hey,” he shrugged, “if you’re scared, I’ll just wait until you’re ready.” 

Dara reacted to his words despite the inner voice that warned her she was stepping into a trap.  “Go away where?” she asked calmly. 

“Somewhere you and I can be alone.  A safe house,” Sonny explained. 

Both Dara and Sonny understood immediately the enormity of his offer.  For several years the authorities had attempted – in vain – to locate even one of the safe houses used by Sonny’s organization.  That Sonny would expose to Dara the location of one such house was an indication of his trust in the young woman.  The Assistant District Attorney was touched at the gesture. 

“Michael,” she began, only to have Sonny gently press his finger against her full lips. 

He understood Dara’s dedication to the law and had no desire to compromise it needlessly.  “If you go there with me, I promise that it will never be used as a safe house by the organization again.”  His eyelids grew heavy with passion.  “We’ll make it our place, Dara.” 

Sonny’s low growl washed over her and sent a shiver down along her spine.  Of late Dara found it more and more difficult to resist him when he turned on his considerable charm. 

She placed a hand upon Sonny’s muscled chest to steady herself against the dizzying waves of desire that beset her.  Dara realized her mistake as soon as the heat of his skin seeped through his silken shirt and nearly burned her hand. 

“I don’t have any clothes, Michael,” she protested weakly. 

Sonny pressed her against the unyielding metal of the black Mercedes.  His lips were a hairs-breadth away from hers and Dara could feel his breath warm her skin. 

“You won’t need any,” Sonny promised.  His voice was raspy with need.  “I plan to make love to you every minute we’re together.”  He gently suckled her bottom lip. 

“Say yes, Counselor.”