In one hand Michael Corinthos, Jr., balanced a wooden tray loaded with food. The other hand carefully carried two glasses of red wine. The Port Charles mob boss made his way down the corridor to the bedroom he shared with his wife of just over three months. “You missed dinner.” With his shoe Sonny nudged open the partially closed bedroom door. “I brought you a couple of different things to snack on.”
Dara Jensen Corinthos sat cross-legged in the middle of the bed. Weighty law books, each opened to a particular page surrounded her. Dara glanced up briefly at his announcement but just as quickly returned her attention to her law journals.
“Take a break, Counselor.” Sonny set the tray down on the low table beside the bed. “What are you working on anyway? Something for Faith?”
Dara looked at him. “I am researching the foundation for a claim of false pretenses,” she replied calmly.
Sonny smirked. “What did Cassadine do now?”
“This isn't about Stefan.”
“Well, whoever it's about,” Sonny said, “you can put it aside long enough to try these.”
Obediently, Dara moved the legal tomes to one side. She accepted the tray of goodies from her husband and began to sample. The tapenade she nibbled at but put aside immediately. Dara could taste the anchovies it contained. It was a taste she had never cared for.
The baby vegetables she savored, however. Dara ate each one slowly, leaving the tiny ears of corn for last. Throughout the process Sonny watched in silence. Like some scientific observer he took note of his wife's reactions to each dish.
One by one Dara sampled or rejected the appetizers on the tray until all that was left was a hand full of stuffed olives. Dara speared one with her fork and raised it to her mouth for a taste. The biting aroma of habanero peppers singed her nostrils and she paused. But only for a moment. Visibly steeling herself, Dara took a bite.
“Here, Counselor.” Sonny offered up a piece of Parker House roll. He held the wine just out of her reach. “Wine will only make the burn worse.” With a strange sense of pride, Sonny watched Dara wipe her eyes. “You know, that's one of the things I love most about you, Counselor. And one of the things that drives me crazy, too. You jump right into the very situations that you shouldn't.”
“Is that why,” Dara asked calmly, “you were so certain that I would marry you when you lied to me about an FBI investigation that didn't exist?”
Sonny froze. His mind raced to find a plausible response to his wife's impossible query. It was not that Sonny hadn't practiced responses to that very question. He had. Every day since Dara became his wife. What kept Sonny silent now was the shock of not having any clue that Dara somehow knew the truth.
“Should I repeat the question, Michael?”
Sonny abandoned his attempt to answer carefully. He threw caution to the wind and replied with honesty. “If you're expecting me to be sorry about the way I finally got you to make us legit,” he said, “then you're gonna be disappointed.”
“You? Regret beginning our marriage in deceit? It never crossed my mind.” Dara rose from the bed. She gathered her law books and stacked them on one end of the dresser they shared. With a calmness that alarmed Sonny, Dara pulled a small travel bag from the closet and began to fill it with clothes.
“Dara, what are you doing?”
“I'm going to spend a few days away from you, Michael. I have things to think about.” Dara made her way to the door. “And decisions to make.”
Sonny did not try to stop her. They both knew that no matter where she went, Dara would still be under her husband's watchful eye. “While you're thinking,” Sonny said, too softly, “think about this. I love you. You're my wife now... and there's no fuckin' way I'm letting you go.”