Marcus winced guiltily at the hesitation he saw in his mother's eyes. Florence Taggert waited at the kitchen door; uncertainty was written all over her face.

With a deep sigh, Marcus opened his arms and silently offered up an invitation. Florence flew into her son's arms and hugged him tightly. “I am sorry, Mama. You don't deserve the way I have been treating you.” Marcus kissed the top of her head. “I am still angry that you lied to me all these years.” He felt her stiffen. “But I won't judge your reasons for doing it anymore.”

Florence hugged her son once more. She stepped back and searched his face thoroughly. “Marcus, what has happened?”

The detective urged both women to take a seat at the kitchen table. Dara had been standing just off to one side, unwilling to break the moment of closeness between mother and son. Now she made her way fully into the kitchen and took a seat as Marcus directed.

“Mike Corbin's death was just the first shot in what will probably be a real bloody war.” Marcus ran a hand across the smooth flesh of his bald head. “A big-time mobster named Anthony Sorrell wants to get rid of Sonny and his gang. And he's doing whatever he has to in order to make sure that happens.”

Dara was familiar with the name ‘Anthony Sorrell'. The mobster's name had come up several years earlier in a case where a mob informant was shot in cold blood in front of over two hundred witnesses. Yet mysteriously no one present had seen or heard anything. “What has Sorrell done?”

“Sonny tried to send his family out of town, but Sorrell's people found them. Now Jason Morgan is dead.” He hesitated. “And so is Bobbie Spencer's daughter Carly.”

The two women gasped. “What about the little boy?” Florence asked once she had recovered from her shock.

“They took him but then sent him back to the Quartermaines without a scratch on him.” Marcus was grateful for whatever urge had spared Carly's young son, but it made him realize anew that he would never understand the supposed code of mob life.

“Poor Michael…to lose his father and now his family.” Florence froze. She had not meant to voice her sentiments aloud. She knew that the subject of Michael Corinthos Jr. was still too raw for Marcus to deal with.

“You're right.” Dara gave her ex-lover a pointed stare. “What kind of human being would not be able to find some kind of sympathy for Sonny at a time like this?”

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