"What the hell's the matter with you?"

The words were Sonny's only warning before an irate Marcus Taggert was upon him. The startled mob boss grabbed the taller man's wrists and tried futilely to remove Taggert's hands from about his throat.       

"Marcus! Stop!" Above the rush of blood pounding in his ears, Sonny heard the frantic voice of Florence Taggert imploring with her son to release him. "For God's sake, Marcus, don't do it! Don't kill your brother!"       

Tiny bursts of light danced before Sonny's eyes as he blinked away the darkness trying to overtake him. The lightheaded mobster went sprawling to the floor when the hands clenched about his throat were suddenly removed. Gasping for breath, he looked up to see Marcus Taggert violently shrug off Jason Morgan's hold upon his arms.       

"Get off me!" Marcus screamed. His eyes were wild with fury and it was obvious to anyone watching that the handsome detective flirted dangerously with the loss of self-control.       

Florence moved to help Sonny to his feet but was stopped abruptly by her son, who stepped into her path. "Go into the kitchen!" he ordered, sending her to the room farthest from where they stood. "Now!"       

"You won't hurt him?"       

Florence watched the muscles in Marcus' jaw clench with the effort it took to respond calmly. "Please, Mom. Just go."       

All three men stood in a frozen tableau until Florence reluctantly made her way from the room. "Get out of my mother's house," Marcus quietly demanded through clenched teeth. "Don't you ever come anywhere near her again!"       

With the atmosphere between them so potentially explosive, the mob boss did not bother to point out the obvious. Sonny and Marcus both knew that another confrontation between the newly found brothers was inevitable.


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