“So… unless you intend to have them refuse me, I plan to visit you every two weeks.”

Sonny shook his head. He was having a difficult time trying to understand the motives of the woman seated beside him. “Why?”

“Why would I visit you? Because you are Marcus' brother.” Florence Taggert responded as though the answer should have been obvious to Sonny. She sat on the narrow metal cot and gazed at him with clear, kind eyes. “You don't have anyone else.” Florence laid a gentle hand on Sonny's knee. “But I am not trying to take anyone's place in your life.”

Sonny moved away from Florence Taggert. His emotions hung suspended by a fragile thread. Mrs. Taggert's genuine concern for him threatened to snap it. “You coming to visit me is a dead issue,” Sonny countered. “Your son would never allow that to happen.”

“It isn't Marcus' place to ‘allow' me anything. He is my child, not the other way around. Marcus will do what I tell him to – like it or not.”

Sonny realized that Florence Taggert's last sentence was intended for her son's benefit. Detective Marcus Taggert stood just outside Sonny's cell and glared. “What else are you gonna do that I don't like?” Marcus growled. “Because I am not crazy about you coming here to see him .”

“I told your brother,” Florence announced calmly, “that I would visit him regularly.”

Marcus responded almost cheerfully. “That is not going to happen. My ‘brother',” he emphasized the word, “is going to be transferred to a federal facility far away from New York State.” The detective's expression hardened. “He is going somewhere his mob connections won't matter.”

The announcement shocked Sonny. Outwardly, though, he gave no indication of his deep surprise. Many times over the years Sonny had imagined what would happen when the justice system finally managed to convict him of some crime. Throughout all his imaginings, it never occurred to the mob boss that he might be forced to serve his time in any facility other than a Port Charles jail cell.

The sense of panic that had been held at bay by Florence Taggert's visit returned to slam Sonny full force. “You need to go,” Sonny choked out. He refused to allow Marcus to witness his struggle with claustrophobia.

Dimly, Sonny heard Florence Taggert's murmured protest. He kept his back turned to Florence and Marcus and concentrated on not falling apart from his fear.

After several minutes of waiting and concentrated breathing, Sonny was finally alone.

Back | Next