Part Twelve

Stavros stood in the doorway and watched his new bride converse pleasantly with his younger brother. Upon spying the shy smile Alexandra gave Stefan, the Prince's spine stiffened involuntarily.

“My bride is quite wonderful, is she not?” Stavros asked, stepping into the room. “Already she has mastered the art of making insignificant beings feel important.”

Stefan did not bother to take offense to his brother's dig. “Good morning, Stavros.”

“Stefan was kind enough to keep me company while I awaited your arrival,” Alexandra explained softly.

“You will find,” Stavros remarked cryptically, “that my little brother is adept at entertaining my brides. Be careful that you do not succumb to his charms.”

Because the comment was uttered teasingly, Alexandra gave it no weight. But Stefan understood all too well his brother's warning. The veiled reference to Stefan's clandestine relationship with Laura Spencer was Stavros' reminder that the offense was neither forgiven nor forgotten.

“Why is the family not in attendance?” Stavros asked, abruptly changing the subject.

Stefan calmly beckoned the nearby servant to begin dispensing breakfast. “They were not alerted that you would vacate your suite and dine among them. If their presence is required, the servants will find them in their various suites preparing for this afternoon's journey back to Port Charles.”

Stefan did not miss the look of startled dismay that crossed the new Princess' face. Neither did her husband.

“It is quite fortuitous, then, that Alexandra and I attended breakfast this day.” Stavros turned to his bride. “I shall entrust you to Stefan's care and bid you return with the family to Port Charles.”

“What about you?”

Stavros nearly smiled. Once again he had managed to catch his new bride off-guard. “I shall join you at Wyndemere in several days,” he explained. “There are some loose ends I must tie up before we can continue our lives uninterrupted.”