Teach Me, Part 3

At the sound of the intruder's soft cough, he looked up from his paperwork expectantly. No trace of surprise or fear registered upon his face. The identity of his visitor was neither surprising nor alarming.

"Stefan," he greeted his guest cordially, "I've been expecting you."

With a slight nod of acknowledgment, Stefan Cassadine lowered himself cautiously into the chair opposite his host. "You will forgive me if I do not call you Papa," he smiled wryly.

"Of course, " Justus laughed.

The young attorney rose from his seat and went to the bar across the room. He poured himself a drink and then turned to Stefan, who sat silently observing. "No, thank you."

Sighing, Justus returned to his seat and crossed his legs. Unblinkingly the two men stared at one another. "Rule three," Justus intoned, "always make your enemy commit first." He shrugged. "I don't believe that you and I are enemies, though."

"What are you doing?" Stefan dispensed with the games and cut straight to the heart of the matter. "Why have you allied yourself with my mother?"

"All that matters is that you know I have no quarrel with you." Justus leaned forward. "I see know reason why that has to change."

"Surely you cannot be so deluded," Stefan retorted. "Helena is a threat to all that is dear to me. And if you are her ally, then you are my enemy."

Justus' features hardened. "I'm sorry you see it that way."

The troubled Cassadine regent shook his head. Justus Ward had most certainly made a fatal mistake in choosing to follow Helena's path. He tried once more to warn him. "Do not be mistaken, Justus. My mother is a ruthless woman. Whatever hold she might have on you, in the end she will betray you. And if you are so foolish as to believe her capable of love..." He left the thought unfinished.

"Careful, Stefan," Justus responded quietly, "your jealousy is showing."

"So be it. I have given you warning." Stefan rose. "The consequences are now on you."