~ Back to the Beginning ~
Richard Capinger shook his head at the single glossy sheet in his hand. As proof went, it was questionable at best. Yet it had been presented as evidence and its information accepted with little more than a cursory glance. That such momentous decisions that followed were made based on the sheet's contents frankly baffled the detective. Wiser, less trusting heads would have demanded a thorough investigation before even considering taking action. His previous employers would have known the young woman's intent as soon as she began to inquire - discreetly, she no doubt believed - about the family.
Capinger allowed the 'borrowed' sheet to return to its original curled-up shape, just as he had found it in Samantha McCall's hiding place. After he had taken the time to study it and locate a duplicate, the detective realized he hadn't needed to remove the document from Miss McCall's possession. He had done so because he believed that there had to be more to her supposed proof of paternity than this. Apparently not. Trusted resources had scanned, examined, and all but dissected the document in question. It had been subjected to chromatography, been put under a high-powered microscope, and, after a bit of searching, been verified by the original printer. It was not found to be anything more than what it was...a page from a class yearbook belonging to a private school for girls.
Briarton Griggs Academy in New Hampshire, USA, was the place chosen by Mikkos Cassadine to educate his illegitimate teenaged daughter, Natasha. Known as Alexis, she had been conceived during the course of his marriage and Mikkos did not trust his wife Helena to allow the public proof of his infidelity to remain breathing. The gruesome death of the child's mother, opera singer Ingrid Bergman, was proof that his concerns in that arena were valid.
Away from Helena's vengeful eye, Alexis flourished at Briarton. Each report prepared for her father found the young woman emerging more and more from the shell she'd developed as a result of her mother's murder. Her grades were exemplary and her instructors spoke glowingly of the young woman's aptitude for logic and debate. All in all, Mikkos Cassadine's decision for his young daughter appeared to be the right one...until the fateful visit home when Alexis revealed that she was nearly eight weeks pregnant.
The news of his daughter's shocking pregnancy immediately sent the head of the Cassadine family into a fury. Mikkos was irate. The two Cassadine bodyguards tasked with Alexis' well-being while in America received the initial brunt of his anger. They were immediately dismissed. It was quietly rumored that both men had 'relocated' to parts unknown in search of employment but their families never heard from either again.
Mikkos traveled to New Hampshire and threatened retribution against Briarton Griggs Academy for not having a stricter policy in place regarding students from Smithfield West, their noted all-boy academy just down the road. One of the students there had to be the father of his daughter's baby, Mikkos railed. Briarton's female students were allowed no male contact except for supposedly supervised visits to school dances at Smithfield West. The entire teaching staff at Briarton was female.
No satisfaction was obtained from Mikkos' visit. None of the girls sharing the suite with Alexis had ever seen her in more than passing conversation with any male not a part of the Cassadine family. And Alexis herself refused to talk about the person who had fathered her child...not even when her father sent her flying across the room with a vicious back-handed blow to her face. Mikkos' anger only confirmed Alexis' certainty of what would happen to the father of her baby if she revealed his identity.
Her punishment for this bit of stubbornness was brutal. Because of her defiance, the infant Alexis carried would be removed from her life at the moment of its birth. She would not be allowed to see or hold her child, nor would she know its sex or fate. It would be as though the pregnancy never happened.
The Cassadine patriarch did a masterful job of erasing the tracks of Alexis' unexpected pregnancy. He made use of a resource outside of his normal channels, worried that to do otherwise would play into his wife's hands and enable her to locate the child she would then use against Alexis. In a series of moves worthy of the Bratva, Mikkos' new resource rid his daughter of the child and, at the same time, created a trail so twisted and convoluted that even he would not have been able to duplicate his moves.
All these details Richard Capinger learned from his predecessor just after the time of Mikkos Cassadine's death. Capinger's predecessor was the outgoing head of security for the Cassadine family. His long history of loyalty to Mikkos, Tony, and Victor Cassadine led Helena to remove him from his post. But before he departed, he shared with Capinger all the details he had managed to commit to memory about Alexis and the child.
It wasn't much.
Frankly, Richard Capinger had pushed any thoughts on the subject to the furthest reaches of his mind. Alexis had never sought to discover any details about her child and it seemed highly unlikely that the child would ever be able to unravel the tangled path Mikkos had ordered crafted. It had taken a twist of fate to place Samantha McCall on the trail that led to Alexis and the Cassadines. But now that it had, how much more difficult would it be for the detective to work his way backward and discover answers to an event that had remained untold for over twenty years?
It was time to shake young Miss McCall from her comfortable position, Capinger decided. He stepped into her bathroom and pushed back the top of the toilet tank. He unscrewed the black rubber float and placed an empty plastic baggy inside. He closed the tank, taking no care to insure that the young grifter's security measures were strictly duplicated. For good measure, the detective shifted the top so that it would be obvious to Samantha that it had been tampered with.
Then he took his leave.
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