“Good morning, Marcus. Can we talk?”

Detective Marcus Taggert paused mid-stride and grimaced. “Alexis. What could possibly be important enough for us to talk about his early in the morning?” He turned to glare at her. “And your answer had better not contain the name ‘Sonny'.”

Alexis ignored his irritation. “Come on.” She turned and headed for her car. “I will give you a ride to the station and we can talk along the way.”

“No, thanks.” Marcus strode to his recently purchased Dodge Ram. The big black truck gleamed from the latest waxing applied by its owner. “I have seen the inside of your car.” He shuddered involuntarily. “You might wanna think about having a crew clean it up.”

“Fine, then.” Alexis clambered into the powerful truck so very much like Marcus Taggert. “I will ride with you to the police station and catch a taxi back to my office.”

“Your choice.” Marcus sat with his hand on the ignition until Alexis donned her seatbelt. As the mother of a young child, Marcus knew that Alexis appreciated the belt's value. She had merely grown accustomed to riding in armored limousines where safety belts were not a consideration.

“First,” Alexis said as they pulled out onto the street, “let me say that such neatness is just not natural.” She ran a finger along the dashboard and found no trace of dust. “I suppose a quick pass through the fast food drive-thru is out of the question?”

Marcus shrugged. “If that's what you want, I have no problem with that.”

“And I can eat my breakfast in here?”

“Yeah. Of course.” Marcus frowned in confusion. “Why not?”

Alexis gave the detective a brilliant smile. “You are a very sweet, considerate man. I am going to buy you breakfast.”

“No thanks,” Marcus groaned. “My mother cooked enough breakfast for the whole department. If I hadn't stepped out of there while she was distracted, I would still be eating bacon and waffles.”

“She is your mother. We mothers do all kinds of things out of love for our children.”


“Like try to help Sonny.” Alexis took a quick breath. “He is Kristina's father.”

Marcus' hands tightened on the steering wheel, but he did not comment. “You are only the third person that I have told,” Alexis continued. “Ned knew the truth from the beginning and I told Stefan several months ago.”

“Sonny doesn't know that Kristina is his daughter?”

“No. And I don't intend to tell him.”

“So why help him?” Marcus asked. “The Feds will convict Sonny and he will spend the rest of his life in Statesville prison.”

Alexis waved Marcus off as he prepared to turn into the fast food restaurant. Now that the subject of Sonny Corinthos was broached, breakfast was quickly forgotten. “Don't think,” Alexis began slowly, “that I haven't asked myself that very same question.” Not to mention, she thought, how many times Stefan had demanded that same thing. “What it comes down to is this. When Kristina is grown, I will sit her down and tell her the truth about her father. The whole truth,” Alexis insisted quietly. “Not that varnished version I have kept for so long.” She looked over at Marcus. “And if my little girl asks me whether I ever tried to help her father, I want to be able to honestly say yes.”

“I can understand that,” Marcus allowed. “I'm just not clear on where – or why – I come into all this.” He maneuvered the big Dodge into the empty parking lot of a nearby private clinic and turned off the key. “Alexis, I have never made a secret of what I think about Sonny Corinthos and people like him. It is more than just my job to put them away and keep them from hurting innocent people. Now you are asking me – a cop – to do what? Help Sonny avoid the consequences of his choices?”

“I would never do that, Marcus. A part of what I admire most about you is your principles.” Alexis placed a hand upon his arm. The muscles were corded like steel. “I just need to know what the feds plan to do with Sonny. They have already held him a week. How much time do I have to try and help him?”

“That's it? That's all you want from me?”

Alexis nodded. “That's all.”

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