Alan James Quartermaine did not allow his eyes to leave his son. Michael splashed happily at the edge of the shallow duck pond, laughing aloud as the ducks paddled frantically out of his reach. The grass was lush and green and the sun shone gently down on them.

The scene was everything A.J. hoped to share with his son. Somewhere in the back of his mind, though, A.J. kept waiting for… something … to happen. The obstacles to his happiness with Michael were either dead or legally neutralized. Still they loomed ominously in A.J.'s mind.

Jason and Carly were shadows that time would erase from young Michael's memory. People like Bobbie and Emily would of course present the pair as loving, flawless individuals. A.J. was not overly concerned about them. There would be enough people in Michael's future who would not hesitate to tell his son the dirty details of his mother's numerous deeds or his uncle's criminal lifestyle.

Sonny Corinthos cast the most ominous shadow on what should have been A.J.'s happiest day. Just because Michael's stepfather was on his way to Pentonville Federal prison did not mean that Sonny was powerless. A.J. knew all too well how easily Sonny and his compatriots could sidestep the law.

What A.J. feared was his own safety. Sonny Corinthos had threatened his life before, even going as far as hanging A.J. upon a meat hook and leaving him there to die. A.J. believed it was totally within Sonny's character to permanently remove him from Michael's life out of pure spite.

Disappointment rose like bile in his throat. Ten minutes earlier A.J. received a call from the private investigator he'd hired. Sonny's transfer from the Port Charles Police Department had gone off without a hitch. Wrong or not, A.J. secretly hoped that the people who had killed Jason and Carly would finish the job and remove the threat of Sonny Corinthos from his son's life. A.J. would never feel a moment's peace until Sonny Corinthos was dead.

Despite the irony of it, A.J. prayed for Sonny. He prayed for his death.


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