Part Seventeen

It was a very strange sensation. For all his life he had ridden in cars very similar to this one. Nikolas had grown so accustomed to the experience that it went unnoticed by him. Such an accommodation was merely his due as heir to the Cassadine ‘throne'.

Since refuting his name and family legacy, Nikolas had begun to notice small things. Like now. The chauffeur and guard his Uncle Stefan had dispatched to transport him home were polite and professional. But the air of reverent deference was no longer there. News of the young heir's voluntary severing of Cassadine ties had spread through the ranks of employees and left them just a little disapproving. Most were loyal to his Uncle Stefan, and did not appreciate Nikolas' seeming lack of appreciation for Stefan's sacrifices.

Nikolas stepped out of the family limousine and waited as the bodyguard removed his bags from the trunk. Deceptively strong, the slender guard easily hoisted the four bags and deposited them at the cottage door.

He did not spare Nikolas even a glance, but returned swiftly to the waiting car. The chauffeur allowed the guard only enough time to climb inside before he pulled smoothly away down the driveway.

The cottage was dark and still. Nikolas had not expected an enthusiastic welcome home from his fiancée, but neither had he expected Gia to totally disregard his return. During his time in Greece, Gia had not taken any of his calls, choosing instead to allow the answering machine to handle them.

Gia was still angry that she had not been invited to Prince Stavros' wedding. She felt that Nikolas had not made a sufficient effort to argue her inclusion into the wedding party.

Looking back on all factors involved, Nikolas was grateful that Gia had not attended his father's wedding. Stavros made his disdain for his son's fiancée quite plain. What Nikolas could not understand was ‘why'? 

Faith Ward, Stefan's intended bride, was readily included in all the nuptial celebrations. His father consistently referred to Miss Ward as his ‘new sister'. And Faith's ethnic makeup, unlike Gia's, was without question. Therefore the problem Stavros had with Gia could not be one of race.

Not that Nikolas ever really thought it was. But it would have solved his dilemma had he been able to attribute his father's behavior to something so distasteful as racism. He would have been able to defend Gia with justifiable anger.

Now, he just didn't know what to do. Stavros had made it plain that he was not willing to allow Nikolas to walk away from the Cassadine fold. Nikolas believed the older man when he said that he would go to any lengths to ensure that his son took his rightful place among the family.

Stavros had made it equally plain that once Nikolas did, Gia would not be welcomed.