Sonny Corinthos came slowly down the stairs of his penthouse apartment. His dark hair was tousled and his eyes bloodshot. The short amount of time he had been asleep had obviously not done him much good. At that moment he looked far worse than he had when he'd fallen into bed, exhausted.

“Sonny!” Carly was the first to notice his approach. Her startled outcry alerted Jason, who was in the next room deep in a telephone conversation with one of Sonny's men. Carly hastily put down the mug of coffee she held and rushed to her husband's side.

“Go upstairs, Carly.” Sonny's voice was hard and flat. His gaze was fixed upon Jason, who had just entered the room. Hurt, Carly pulled her hand away from Sonny's arm. Once again he was shutting her out, despite all her efforts to help him with his pain.

Jason explained quietly, “It's business, Carly.”

Sonny watched as some silent communication passed between his wife and his best friend. He had been prepared for Carly's resistance to his command, so her grudging compliance came as a bit of a shock.

“I'll be upstairs,” she informed Sonny needlessly. “Will you call me as soon as you are finished with business?” Her hand reached up to cup his cheek and turn his face her way. “Please?”

Sonny nodded curtly before pulling away from her touch. In stony silence he waited until she had gone up the steps. Both men remained silent until the sound of the upstairs' bedroom door signaled Carly's genuine departure.

“What do you know?” The mob boss wasted no time getting down to business.

Jason pulled a key from his pocket, unlocked the desk drawer and pulled out the folder Carly had spotted earlier. “I made some calls . . .”


Marcus Taggert stood fuming. He had just been in the middle of a discussion with Federal Agent Larkin when Mac Scorpio put an end to it all. Now he was under orders to go home until the Commissioner called for him.

“He's looking out for you, Marcus,” Dara insisted. “You're tired and you're not thinking straight. You need some rest.”

“I can rest later. Dara, this is the best chance we will ever have of ridding Port Charles of the likes of Sonny Corinthos and his mob. Mac is gonna screw it up by being worried about whether I am thinking straight or not!” His expression was outraged. “Have I given him one reason to think my judgment is off where Corinthos is concerned?”

“No.” Dara met his gaze unflinchingly. “But then, he doesn't have all the facts, does he?”

The counselor's knowing tone of voice confirmed Taggert's suspicions. “ I do not believe she told you .” The words, clipped and terse, were uttered through a jaw so tightly clenched that Dara was afraid a vein would burst inside his head.

“Marcus, your mother told me because she knows that I am your friend.”

The seething man advanced on Dara until they were nearly touching. “You want to be my friend,” he hissed, looking down at her, “stay the hell outta my business.”

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