Unwelcome Exception

So many memories pushed forward, demanding to be recalled. Alexis thought back to days as a young girl, sitting rapt as her mother’s voice rose and fell from the demanding vocal runs of her latest operatic assignment. It was long before her abrupt introduction to her father’s world, and life was simple.

Alexis allowed her thoughts to bask for just a moment in the warmth and innocence such memories brought. She could not afford to indulge for long, though. She was beginning to lose count of the number of times she'd had to drag her thoughts back to the subject of the codicil she was outlining. Stefan had been informed about the documentation that Sabrina and Dara were compiling and suggested that Alexis do the same with regard to the Cassadine bylaws.

With appropriate revisions, of course.

Perhaps she was having such difficulty because the changes Stefan required would effectively serve to eliminate someone such as herself from any hope of a claim to the leadership of future Cassadine clans. It was a poorly kept family secret that Alexis had once plotted to maneuver control of the family from Stefan's hands.

She had underestimated her brother and paid the price for it. Her mind danced away from the painful recollection of Stefan’s confrontation of her deception regarding Katherine Bell. For several years, Alexis ceased to exist in his life. That was not an experience she wished to relive.

The lawyer sighed and dropped her head onto the leather blotter pad atop the desk. For as long as Alexis could remember, she admired the large desk that was the centerpiece of the main study. Made of rare African blackwood, its surface held a rich, natural polish that could not be duplicated by other types of wood. Despite its age, the desk had no scratches or imperfections. Save one. A deep gouge right in the center of the writing surface marred what was otherwise a flawless piece of artistry.

The gouge was courtesy of their older brother, Prince Stavros Nikolai Mikkosovich Cassadine. Stavros was first born and so automatically inherited the leadership of the Cassadine family. He believed that the family’s wealth, their loyalty, and their very lives were his to do with as he saw fit.

Stefan once recounted that it was that frame of mind which led Stavros to take offense at the sight of his younger brother seated so comfortably behind their father’s desk. Stefan was busy completing his tutor’s required assignment and so did not notice 19-year-old Stavros dart across the room and snatch their father’s sterling silver letter opener from the desktop. A flash of movement alerted Stefan at the last moment and he threw himself unceremoniously out of the chair and onto the floor. But not before a line of fire from the opener’s sharpened tip raced across the back of his hand.

Stefan had jerked his hand back just in time. As he peered cautiously up at his mercurial older brother, Stavros’ seething anger turned suddenly into what passed for his affectionate amusement. He turned and strode for the door. The letter opener still vibrated from the force with which Stavros had driven it into the desk.

Later, when their father Mikkos discovered the damage to the desk, Stefan silently accepted punishment for circumstances in which he'd actually been the victim. Alexis didn't understand it. Not even after Stefan's simple response: "He is my brother.’

Though Alexis had long adapted to the Cassadine way of life, such misplaced loyalty weighed against self-preservation still made little sense to her. But it was apparently a sentiment fully embraced by her daughter Kristina. Kristina was the product of Alexis’ relationship with Sonny Corinthos. Alexis had begun as Sonny’s lawyer. In time, they’d grown closer.

Sonny fought to have Kristina remain a part of his life. And for that effort, he had been granted his daughter’s absolute, unwavering devotion. So much so, that when given a chance at survival with her mother and younger sister, Kristina chose instead to face certain destruction alongside her father and his other children.

Alexis had almost accepted Kristina’s decision; she'd had no choice but to do so. Her headstrong daughter made it clear that she would fight any attempt her Cassadine family made to force her from her father’s side.

Then it happened. Jason Morgan appeared on the docks with an unconscious Dara Jensen in his arms. Cassadine sentries had no trouble seeing Jason; the hitman's lethal presence parted the daily gatherers with the ease of Moses parting the Red Sea.

Jason waited around only long enough to entrust Dara’s safety into the hands of the massive sentry who stepped from the launch and gently transferred the unconscious lawyer from Jason's arms to his own. The guard’s twin brother stood watch.

When Sabrina told her about Dara's arrival at Spoon Island, Alexis was surprised that the lawyer had chosen to leave Sonny's side. She immediately rose and headed for the hallway. Dara would be able to give Alexis details about Kristina's well-being, something she was desperate to hear. Sabrina stopped her by providing the ‘minor’ detail about Dara’s arrival that she had omitted – her unconscious state.

Almost 2 days passed before Alexis had the opportunity to speak with Dara. The lawyer had spent most of the first day recovering from the effects of the sedative she had been given. She spent the second day (according to Ellen Burgess) trying to come to terms with what had happened.

"Was this your idea?"

"No." Dara didn't appear surprised by the seemingly random question. "It should have been… But no. One moment I was with Michael. The next, I woke up here."

Sonny chose a chance at life for Dara. It was a demonstration of his love for her. Why, then, Alexis railed silently, hadn't he done the same for their daughter Kristina? Despite all of Kristina’s threats to resist being a part of their survival attempt, Alexis knew that her headstrong daughter would have recognized Sonny's gesture for what it was and accepted her fate.

In all the years Alexis had known Sonny, she'd never hated him. She had been frustrated by him and angered by him. But she had never hated him.

Until now.


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