~ Everything left over ~

Samantha McCall yanked another pair of low-rise jeans from the drawer and matched it with one of the many t-shirts she'd already tried on and rejected. Last week she had promised her little sister Kristina that she would join the family for dinner out at Wyndemere. The little girl had already called Sam to remind her of her promise. Sam grabbed the outfit she'd chosen and made her way to the bathroom to change. She was running behind schedule thanks to her inability to decide on an outfit.

Her indecisiveness had nothing to do with Kristina or the family dinner. She liked Kristina. People always said that kids were born with built-in lie detectors. That was true. But they were also born with an amazing capacity for acceptance. Unlike her mother Alexis, Kristina welcomed Sam into their family with open arms and unreserved affection.

No, Sam's inability to settle on an outfit had everything to do with her cousin Nikolas. As the Cassadine Prince, Nikolas held the family's purse strings. He had been promising to finance the venture of Sam's choosing. Sam was entitled to that much, he said, because she was a Cassadine. Tonight was Sam's chance to subtly remind Nikolas of his offer.

Her gaze flew to the mirror. Thoughts of her new family tended to make Sam anxious to reassure herself that her trump card - the weathered document that proved her paternity - remained safely ensconced in its hiding place. Automatically she lined up the reflection of the toilet lid with the narrow seam that ran across the bathroom mirror... and breathed an unconscious sigh of relief. As always, the two edges aligned perfectly. It was an old grifter's trick, taught to her by the man she'd believed to be her father.

Without that paper, there was no real proof that she was Alexis' daughter. Blood tests were useless; Sam had manipulated a few of those herself during her grifter days. No, without that fragile document binding her to Alexis Davis, she had no doubt that her 'mother' would not give her the time of day. As it was, Alexis had made no effort to explain to Sam just how the circumstances of her youth were so terrible that she had to give away her first-born child. No matter how many times Sam circled the subject, Alexis would not engage. The young grifter's features hardened. Apparently not even the threat of death from cancer could persuade Alexis to take responsibility for throwing her daughter away like yesterday's trash. Heaven forbid Sam should know the truth about her conception.

Thankfully Nikolas made it clear that he sympathized. He understood how deeply wronged Sam had been by his aunt. He, too, had been abandoned at birth. But unlike Sam, Nikolas had someone to dote on his every move. In Stefan Cassadine, he'd had someone who made it clear that the young prince was the very center of his universe.

Young Nikolas had also enjoyed the benefits of the Cassadine fortune. Something Sam should have had as well. Thanks to Alexis' selfishness, she had grown up poor. Now that she knew the truth about who she was, Sam thought, she wasn't going to let anyone make her poor ever again.