The Bed You Make
~ A Bitter Cup ~
Dara sped down the courthouse stairs. Blindly she made her way past the first floor guard and out into the parking lot. She pulled up short just as the Cassadine limousine idled to a stop before her. “Can we just ride somewhere for a while?” she asked the driver. The words were choked, forced past teeth clenched with disappointment.
“As you desire, Mrs. Cassadine.”
Dara slipped into the back seat. She was grateful for the tinted window that separated her from the driver. Her disappointment was a living thing; her emotions were too raw to expose to strangers.
The meeting of only minutes earlier replayed itself in her mind. The shock she'd felt at hearing Michael Schultz offer her the position of District Attorney. The pride she'd felt at his absolute conviction that Dara was more than capable of handling the position. The crushing realization that she would have to turn the opportunity down.
How many times had she glanced at the District Attorney's chair and pictured herself seated there? Or silently mouthed the words ‘District Attorney Dara Jensen' while standing before her bathroom mirror each morning? Now the job was being offered to her on a silver platter and, cruelly, she had no choice but to refuse.
Far too soon the limousine eased to a stop. Through its darkly tinted windows Dara could see the docks near the Cassadine launch. The rear door of the limousine opened; the hand extended to assist her from the car bore a larger, masculine version of the wedding ring on Dara's left hand.
“Stefan.” Dara took a deep breath. She pushed her emotions far behind a protective wall and accepted his assistance. “Do you keep track of everyone?” she murmured as Stefan escorted her to the launch. “Or is it just me?”
“It is only you.” Stefan's terse reply came without delay. “Security measures will not be eased until both Yuri Petrov and I are satisfied with your knowledge of the protocols.”
The couple was silent during the ride across Spoon Lake. That suited Dara just fine. She had no desire to discuss her meeting with the District Attorney. Idly, she wondered how much of that meeting Stefan already knew. Dara did not delude herself that her husband was above somehow listening in on the conversation. After all, wasn't one of his guards stationed just outside Schultz's door? How else could the man have gotten to Dara's side so quickly when Alex intercepted her?
Alex… Dara recalled the hurt in his eyes when she took advantage of the guard's intervention and made her escape. She never thought – when all this began – that she would hurt Alex so deeply. Or continually.