Chapter 24

Andresj' could hear voices coming from the living room of Ward House.. He recognized Keesha's and Justus', but the third voice was unfamiliar. As much as he hated intruding, he was desperate to discuss his situation with Keesha. He stood just outside the doorway and tried to catch her eye.

"Andresj'! Hi, come on in." Keesha waved him into the room.

"I'm sorry to disturb you. I see that you have a guest."

"No. Justus just brought his friend Diane by so that we could meet."

Andresj' nodded at Justus. "Hello, Justus."

"'Dre. I would like you to meet Diane Jennings. Diane," Justus nudged her forward, "this is Andresj' Cassadine."

As usual, Nurse Amy Vining had come on duty and stood at the nurses' station chattering nonstop for the last hour or so. If Barbara Spencer had bothered to listen, she would have heard about two extramarital affairs, an overnight engagement and the repossession of someone's car. So the sudden quiet drew Bobbie's attention faster than any loud noise would have.

Bobbie glanced at Amy. The normally talkative nurse was staring openmouthed at something over Bobbie's shoulder. She followed Amy's gaze and froze. A line of delivery men stood waiting before the nurses' station. 'Five,' Bobbie counted quickly.

"We got a delivery," the first man said, stating the obvious.

"I'll sign for it," Amy quickly volunteered.

"That's alright," Bobbie told her. "I will take care of this." If her suspicions were correct, then the last thing that was needed was for Amy Vining to get involved.

The first deliveryman handed her the clipboard to sign and stood bored as she complied. "Here ya go," he said and thrust a box and envelope at her. "Where do ya want this stuff?"

"Just a moment," Bobbie pleaded with the impatient deliveryman. She turned from Amy's prying eyes and withdrew the small card inside the envelope she held. The name on the card confirmed her suspicions. Bobbie slid the card back into the envelope, picked up the phone and quickly punched in several numbers.


"He is my son?"

"Yes." Sabrina embraced Stefan warmly. "I know how happy this must make you."

He returned the embrace. "It does. But I am also furious. Helena has managed to steal seventeen years of my son's life."

"And you will deal with your psychotic mother later." She pulled back in order to look into Stefan's eyes. "Right now your main priority is Andresj'."

The phone on the far wall began to ring. Stefan exchanged a look with Sabrina before deciding to answer it.

"Yes?" was his clipped response.

"I think you should come to the nurses' station," Bobbie insisted softly. "There is a situation here that you should handle."

"Very well." Stefan replaced the receiver and moved to see just what had caused such concern in his ex-wife. Sabrina followed closely behind.

The hospital administrator's footsteps faltered as he came into view of the desk. A crowd of both staff and patients were gathered there, fascinated by the scene before them. A group of delivery men bearing gifts waited impatiently.

The first man held a box in one hand and an envelope in the other. A second man carried ten decorative balloons on sticks that all said 'It's a Boy!' . The third delivery man carried a huge arrangement of brightly hued flowers. It was so expansive that he could not see, but relied on the man behind him to guide his progress. The fourth man carried several red-dotted boxes of cigars, while the last man struggled with a silky-looking teddy bear nearly twice his size.

Gracefully Stefan extended his hand for the envelope. "Hey, look," the first man said, "the redhead already signed for this. So just tell us where all this stuff goes. We got other deliveries to make."

"Nurse Vining," Stefan asked, "would you lead these men to my office? You may have them leave everything there."

Amy obeyed reluctantly. As she led the men off, she whispered to a co-worker nearby, "Take notes."

After some small talk, Andresj' and Keesha excused themselves. 'Dre sat on one of the decorative stone benches and waited for Keesha to return. He was relieved to be away from the strange atmosphere he had just experienced. Miss Jennings tendency to stare at him made him uncomfortable. It was as if he had walked into the middle of something he should have understood but didn't.

"What's wrong?" Keesha walked out of the house carrying two glasses of lemonade.

Andresj' began without hesitation. "You know that I am adopted. Well, today I had to take a paternity test at General Hospital." He got up and began to pace. "I thought it was because of some woman who knew my parents. That's what Stefan said. But Grandmother called me moments ago just to reassure me that the paternity test would finally prove what she already knew to be true." He looked at Keesha. "That I am Stefan's son."

Keesha put down the glass she held. "You mean biologically?" she asked incredulously.



"I don't know. I don't even know if such a thing is possible. What my father told me and what Helena said are directly opposite."

Andresj' dropped heavily onto the bench beside Keesha. She placed her hand atop his. "Shouldn't you ask Stefan if it is possible?"

"I don't think I want to hear his answer," he whispered. "Cause no matter what he says, my life will never be the same."

Stefan opened the envelope and removed the small card bearing his name. Turning it over, he immediately recognized the message's arrogant script.

I believe the Americans have a custom
of sending gifts to the new father.
So when in Rome...

"You have to give your mother credit," Sabrina laughed, looking over his shoulder. "No matter what, she maintains her standards."

Bobbie looked puzzled. "I don't understand," she said.

"Sabrina is referring to Helena's distorted sense of decorum." Stefan handed Bobbie the card to read. "To all watching, the objects those men delivered were merely traditional gifts."

"But to you?"

"Upon closer examination you would have seen that the balloons were, in reality, made of glass. And knowing my mother, hand-blown and individually decorated."

Sabrina chimed in, "The cigar boxes had red dots on them. That is the Cohiba brand. Each cigar is about forty dollars apiece."

"What about the teddy bear?" Bobbie asked, catching on.

"It is a classic Steif, covered with mohair and stuffed with Russian excelsior. One similar to it recently sold at auction for the sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars," Stefan explained.

"Those flowers were irises. There were a lot of them, but they certainly aren't expensive," Bobbie protested.

"True," Stefan agreed thoughtfully. "However, Helena would not having included them unless they had meaning . . ." His voice trailed off. "Damn you, Mother!"

"What is it?" Bobbie and Sabrina asked simultaneously.

He explained, "The meaning associated with the sending of irises is 'A Message Delivered'."

"She told Andresj'," Sabrina guessed.

"No doubt. I must go to him. Sabrina, do not worry about your travel arrangements. A car will-"

"Stefan, it's alright." Sabrina squeezed his arm. "Don't worry about me. With everything that is going on, I think that I will spend the night here in Port Charles."

"In that case, have Mrs. Landsbury prepare your usual suite. I will see you at home tonight." Stefan then gently grasped Bobbie's hand. "Barbara, thank you. Once again you have offered your assistance without reservation. It is a gift I am not worthy of." He came to a sudden decision. "Come to Wyndemere tonight. This is a time for family."

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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.*