Chapter 23

"When this is all over, there will finally be indisputable scientific proof that you are Stefan's biological son."

"His son? Grandmother-"

The conversation was going just as she planned it. Helena knew that her grandson was desperate for clarification. "I must go, my dear. Goodbye." She hung up the phone, a self-satisfied smile on her face. "Once again my weakling son has remained true to form. My little revelation came as a complete surprise to Andresj'."

"Madam?" Her personal assistant Spiros appeared out of the shadows.

"Has my gift been delivered?"

"Just as you ordered, Madam. I saw to it myself."

"Very good." She beckoned him closer. "For that, you deserve a reward."

Bobbie watched the proceedings with a growing sense of deja' vu that was confirmed when Stefan extended his arm for a blood sample. For a long moment Bobbie just stared at him, seeking the answer to a question she wasn't sure she should put into words.

Stefan's expression gave no hint to his thoughts. So she simply took his arm and drew the blood as requested. "Why would a world-renown researcher agree to fly all the way to Port Charles just to act as a glorified lab tech?" Bobbie asked him.

"A million dollars," the doctor replied from across the room without looking up from her microscope.

"I'm sorry?"

"You asked Stefan why I came. Well, he offered me a million dollars for a couple of hours' work. It was an offer I couldn't pass up." She looked up from her work to flash a mischievous smile at Stefan. "I would have done it for free."

"So you say now," Stefan smiled.

Bobbie observed their easy interaction with a twinge of jealousy. That they shared a longtime friendship was obvious. Her ex-husband did not allow many people such familiarity. "How long have you been friends?"

"I have known ‘Brina forever," Stefan replied.

"Yes," the doctor agreed. "Who do you think he tried out all his pick-up lines on?"

Stefan drew himself up and replied arrogantly, "I assure you that I have never had need of pick-up lines."

"Uh-huh." The doctor paused in her work. "The stories I could tell you . . ." She wiggled her eyebrows dramatically.

"Barbara is not interested in your exaggerations, Sabrina."

"Speak for yourself, Stefan. And hold this." Bobbie pressed a cotton ball to his arm. She walked across the room and handed Stefan's sample to Doctor DeLane. "I'll tell you what," Bobbie began, "when you finish this, come and find me. We'll have a cup of coffee and trade stories."

"It's a deal."

"Sabrina will not have the time," Stefan began to protest.

"I'll make time," Sabrina said. "And if he gives you a hard time . . ."

Bobbie walked toward the door. "Oh, I'm not worried. I've found the key to dealing with Stefan." She threw her ex-husband a look of pure devilment. "You've just got to keep him firmly in hand."

Page after page of detectives' reports lay strewn over the bed. There were also pictures from afar and up close. The woman read the reports and scanned the photos without satisfaction. "These don't tell me anything!" She swept a handful onto the floor in disgust. "Is Justus up to something or not?"

"Well-" the man began, putting down the medical journal he held.

"I wasn't asking you, you idiot! I was thinking aloud." She paced back and forth.

"Maybe if you try having a discussion with me, you might find that I can help."

The brunette ignored him and continued to mutter to herself. "I have to figure out what he's doing with the Cassadines. I mean, if this is strictly Cassadine business I have no problems with that."

"You could always go back to Port Charles and find out for yourself."

"No!" she said forcefully. "The time isn't right. But when I do return," she smiled evilly, "they will all be sorry."

His mind still reeling from his grandmother's call, Andresj stared ahead unseeing. The insistent beep of the phone finally jolted him into awareness. Andresj' looked down and absently thumbed the phone's off button.

Could Helena be telling the truth? Was it even possible for him to be Stefan's biological son? ‘Dre's heart began to race. To truly be Papa's flesh and blood!

He should have stayed at General Hospital. Maybe he would know the truth by now. Doctor DeLane might have completed her tests, turned to him and said Congratulations! He smiled at the thought.

Just as quickly a small voice whispered, ‘What if you aren't his?'

Andresj' felt suddenly ill. ‘This is stupid,' he told himself, trying to slow his breathing. ‘I have lived all my life as his adoptive son. If the tests should prove negative, nothing will have changed.'

He told himself over and over that it didn't matter. That perhaps Helena was simply using him in some new scheme against his father. Or maybe there had been a big misunderstanding about the whole thing. Or . . .

"Master Andresj'?"

He stared blankly at the guard holding the car's door open for him.

"We have arrived at the launch," the man explained.

"I have changed my mind," Andresj' told the driver. "I am not going home. Take me to Ward House instead."

The driver hesitated for a split second then moved to comply. After all, Mr. Cassadine had not expressly instructed him to take the young master to Wyndemere. "Very well, sir," he replied and swung the limousine around.

Doctor DeLane pushed away from her microscope and began stripping off the latex gloves that she wore. She balled them up then reached over to dispose of them in the medical waste container. Grabbing her pen and clipboard, she began to write. The only sound within the room was the scratch of the pen on paper.

Stefan did not attempt to decipher her scribbles. Instead he watched the doctor intently and attempted to determine by her body language the test results. She was so intent upon her writing that his intense stare did not even register. Had it been anyone else, Stefan would have suspected them of ‘staging' the moment. But not Sabrina. She knew how important these results were to him. Her very presence was testimony to that.

"I have concluded," she began, putting down her pen, "that with all variables factored, and a probability of error within one-hundredth of a percentage point -"

"Sabrina!" Stefan interrupted her impatiently.


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*General Hospital and its characters are not mine. I make no profit from this. The characters Andresj' Cassadine, and Diane Jennings are my creation.*