Part Thirty-Two


Nikolas’ steps slowed as he stepped into the little kitchen of the cottage they shared.  His fiancée Gia sat at the table eating a bowl of cold cereal and milk.  Ever since the argument over Gia’s lack of inclusion in his family’s trip to Greece and Stavros’ wedding, the young woman had religiously avoided being in the same place with Nikolas at any time.  They had even begun sleeping in separate beds.

Gia looked up from the style section of the morning paper and mumbled an indistinct ‘G’morning’.  She pushed the open cereal box toward the empty bowl opposite her.  It was, Nikolas supposed, Gia’s way of extending the olive branch of peace.

“Does this mean you’re not angry with me anymore?” Nikolas asked as he cautiously took a seat.

“It means that you stood up for me with that jerk of a brother of yours and I appreciate it, that’s all.”

Nikolas tentatively reached across the table and took her hand in his own.  “I am sorry about Andresj’s behavior,” he said.  “I don’t know what got into him.  He is really not like that.”  A skeptical look was Gia’s only response.

“Really, he isn’t,” Nikolas insisted.  “’Dre has always looked up to me.  I think I really hurt him when I decided to cut all my ties to the Cassadine family.”

“Yeah, well,” Gia firmly tugged her hand free, “if he loved you, he would support you.”  She stood abruptly and put some distance between them.  “Can’t he see how much happier you are now that the ‘Cassadine Prince’ thing is taken off your shoulders?”

The young woman did not miss the way Nikolas’ expression darkened at her words.  “You are happier, aren’t you?”

“Of course I am, Sparky.”  The words held just a hint of uncertainty.  Nikolas chose not to examine too closely just what his misgivings about disowning his family meant.   He continued quickly.  “I just don’t know if I am as free of the ‘Cassadine Prince thing’ as I thought.  My father has made up his mind that I will return to my place among the family.”

Gia was outraged.  “So?  He can’t force you to do anything!  You’re a man!  And besides, you signed papers!”

The simplicity of her beliefs made Nikolas realize how little Gia truly understood the man who was his father.  “Stavros does not care about papers and legalities, Gia!  If he makes up his mind to bring me back to the family, he will do whatever he has to in order to make that happen!  Whatever!”

“Then we’ll fight him!”

“You just don’t get it, do you?”  Nikolas raised his voice in frustration.  “If Stavros begins some kind of campaign to take over my life, the first thing that he will do is make sure you aren’t a part of it!”

Back | Next