Michael Corinthos paused just outside the door of the simple little building that was used as the Ward Street Legal Clinic. As he stood there rehearsing again the things he needed to say, a young Hispanic woman carrying a baby on her hip stepped out of the building. She paused and turned back to bid a cheerful ‘thank you' to the inhabitants of the office. The young woman's bright smile faltered a bit as she eased past Sonny and recognized his face.
Being loved by Dara had done wonders for his reputation in the Ward Street neighborhood. In a little under two months, Sonny had gone from being the frightening mobster in the penthouse to being their frightening mobster in the penthouse. That change was just another in the long list of reasons he couldn't let Dara go.
The object of his thoughts had her back to him when he stepped into her office. Sonny took advantage of the moment to just watch her move about the room. “What are you doing here, Michael?” Dara asked without turning around.
“Watching you prove my point.” Sonny pulled the door behind him. Francis had instructions to ensure their privacy until his employer said otherwise. “We're tied, Counselor. In a way that can't be broken.”
Dara turned to look at him. Her face was an unrevealing mask. Or so she thought. For Sonny, his wife's blank expression was a giant red flag signaling just how desperately Dara was trying to remain invulnerable to him. “Except by deceit,” she countered.
Sonny shook his head. “Not even then.” He changed tactics. “Do you know,” he asked, “why I came here to talk to you?”
“Because the guard you had following me reported to you that I was here?”
“No,” Sonny replied quietly. “I came here looking for you because I knew that after last night you would want to bury yourself in someone else's problems.”
Clap. Clap. Clap. “Very good, Michael. You know me. Now for your next trick,” the beautiful attorney suggested, “maybe you can tell me what happened to all your so-called knowledge when you decided to trick me into marriage.”
“I knew that it would take almost losing us to make you realize how you were letting other people decide your life for you.”
“And you couldn't have that, could you, Michael?” Dara shot back. “Deciding my life is your job!”
“I'm not sorry for taking charge of our lives.” Sonny's jaw tightened. “I got tired - tired of all the bullshit excuses you used to keep from really committing to us!”
“I beg your pardon?” Husband and wife became studies in opposites. Dara was now ice-cold to her husband's volatile heat.
“Oh, I think you heard me, Counselor. It was the same thing every time. You couldn't marry me because of your job or because of my business. Or because you were afraid of what people would think about the ‘good girl' being involved with the big bad mobster.”
Dara was stung by her husband's mocking tone. “Excuse me if I don't follow the same flexible moral code that you do.”
“You didn't,” Sonny sneered, “have a problem with my moral code when I had you flat on your back screaming my name.”
“Classy, Michael. Very classy.”
Sonny crowded Dara until they were nearly nose-to-nose. “You never wanted classy, Counselor. If you did, you'd be with one of those stuck-up old boyfriends of yours.” He smiled, but the expression contained no humor. “You wanted a man who would love you and fuck you… and not be intimidated by your fancy education, your big-shot friends or your little girl hang-ups. Well, I held up my end of the bargain, Dara. Maybe you should try and return the favor.”
“You know, Counselor, you think that I don't get that you're angry I tricked you. I get that.” Sonny prepared to leave. “What I don't get is how you're gonna let that anger make you walk away from a marriage we both know is the best thing to happen to either one of us.”