Part Eighteen

“There was no need to spirit my daughter all the way across the globe,” Stefano DiMera chided his new son-in-law. He saw no point in pretending to the other man that he had not maintained close surveillance upon Alexandra and those around her.

“Alexandra is mine to do with as I please.”

Stefano bristled at Stavros' arrogant statement. The man really was a self-important jackass , Stefano thought. Still, he swallowed any response he was tempted to make. It would not help to further his plans by alienating his daughter's new husband.

“How long will it be before you rejoin Alexandra?” Stefano pried.

Stavros answered readily, though the smile he gave his father-in-law did not reach his eyes. “As soon as my business here is completed, I shall return to Port Charles and properly introduce the Princess Cassadine to the citizenry there. Unworthy though they are of such an honor.”

“Will Alexandra be received well?”

“She will,” Stavros was his most imperious, “be received as befits a Cassadine – and the wife of a Prince.” That said, Stavros strode from the room without a word of goodbye.

As he watched the man exit his home, the guilt and misgiving Stefano DiMera felt at his actions concerning his daughter Alexandra all came rushing back. His investigation of the man she was now bound to produced information that disturbed even him.

By all accounts the eldest son of Mikkos and Helena Cassadine was a cruel and sometime sadistic man. Many of those questioned about the dark prince requested anonymity before speaking. Others, blatantly afraid of the man, would not comment even under the promise of secrecy.

Oh, but those who did speak to Stefano's assistant Rolfe painted a picture of a man molded in much the same manner as Stefano himself! Stavros was sometimes ruthless in the pursuit of wealth; quite often willing to circumvent the law in the pursuit of vengeance. These were traits Stefano both understood and admired.

And it was grudgingly conceded that Stavros Cassadine was a man who valued family greatly. Indeed, many of those willing to speak had sarcastically added that the only thing the imperious Prince valued more than family was himself.

Stavros' love of family was something Stefano too could understand. All that Stefano had ever done in his life, the man internationally known as ‘The Phoenix' had done for his children.

His children…And therein was the problem. Stefano knew that despite his admiration of all Stavros was and had achieved, he could not afford to develop a fondness for the man. Not while he held Stefano's most precious treasure within his grasp.

No, his scheme would go on as planned. And before long his darling Alexandra would be home once more.

“What have you done?” the unexpected voice behind him startled Stefano. “Tell me now, Father,” Tony DiMera demanded, “what have you done to my sister?”