~ Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth ~

Two more bouts of chemotherapy. Well, actually, one more after today, Alexis thought wearily. She still hadn't quite regained her stride after the last round. But, the lawyer reflected, if the treatments succeeded in disrupting the cancer anywhere near the level it debilitated her , then she would see treatment through to its conclusion.

"Oh, good!" Sam McCall hurtled around the corner. "I thought I was too late!"

Attorney Alexis Davis frowned. "Sam, what are you doing here?"

"My mother is going through chemotherapy," Sam replied brightly. "Where else would I be?"

Funny, Alexis mused privately, how Sam's newfound sense of familial responsibility appeared right after a drunken sexual encounter with her mother's husband, Ric Lansing. Alexis wondered what drove Sam in the aftermath of that devastating tryst; was it guilt or just a desire to remain close to Alexis in order to find out her mother's suspicions about her husband. "Sam, you didn't have to come."

Irritation furrowed the young woman's brow. " You are welcome, Mother ," Sam bit out. "Really. Why do I even bother with you?"

"That is a good question, Samantha? Why do you bother?"

Sam's features hardened. "You would think I would learn my lesson. I mean...the fact that you threw me away when I was a baby should have opened my eyes about just how you feel about having me for a daughter."

Such statements normally prompted an immediate apologetic response from her, Alexis privately acknowledged. The guilt of having given up her newborn daughter – however unwillingly – ate at her every day. Even now she fought the instinct to shoulder the blame for the angry – but established – dialogue between she and the young woman standing defiantly before her.

"I don't have the strength to fight with you today, Sam. Please," Alexis gestured wearily, "just go home."

"You really are a bitch."

Alexis did not even flinch at Sam's hissed words. She just stared in silence at the young woman until Sam whirled about and stalked angrily down the hallway toward the bank of elevators.

"Are you alright?" The soft query startled Alexis. Much as Sam had done, the lawyer whirled around to face the owner of the soft, solicitous voice. "I'm sorry, Miss Davis. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. Are you alright?"

Alexis smiled weakly. "I am okay. I am sorry you had to be a party to that. Sam and I can't quite seem to interact any other way."

Psychiatrist Lainey Winters winced. "I am sorry to hear that."

"Yes, well..." Alexis shrugged. "Thank you for your concern, though." The stress of her encounter with Sam swept over Alexis like a giant wave. She wavered for just a moment before marshaling her strength. "If you'll excuse me, I have a chemotherapy session to get through."

Lainey lightly gripped Alexis' elbow. "If you don't mind, I will just take the walk with you there."

*Title - 'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child'