Part Thirty-Seven

Prince Stavros Cassadine stood in the doorway and watched his young bride brush her auburn locks. Her movements were slow and careful, but she performed the task with quiet pleasure. “I am pleased to see that you are feeling better,” he said into the silence of the royal suite. “The items Sabrina provided were helpful to you?”

“Yes, thank you.” Alexandra placed her hair brush down on the dresser and turned to face her husband. Her clear hazel eyes studied him fearlessly.

Stavros was intrigued by the sense of calm he felt surrounding Alexandra. But rather than press her for an explanation of her new-found calm, he simply made note of it in his mind. There would be ample time in the comfort of their bed to probe for answers.

His mental play on words caused Stavros' body to stir. The idea of ‘probing' his young wife nearly derailed the Prince's attention from the task at hand. “My Princess,” Stavros murmured, “since you are feeling a bit better, I have several surprises for you.”

He did not miss the way Alexandra's eyes flew to his empty hands. “Your brother Anthony is in Port Charles. I have invited him to dine with us tonight.”

“Tony is here?” Despite her efforts to the contrary, Stavros heard the hopeful undertones of her words.

“I trust my invitation pleases you?”

“Very much. Thank you.”

Stavros was inordinately pleased by Alexandra's soft, cautious response. Despite her obvious confusion about his motives for such an action, he could still detect some genuine gratitude in the words she spoke.

“But that is not my only surprise.” Stavros left the suite and returned almost immediately holding aloft a sterling silver birdcage. Inside the cage was the most beautiful bird Alexandra had seen. A deep cobalt blue, the bird looked to weigh about two or three pounds. “This is Piorun.”

“He's beautiful,” Alexandra gasped.

Stavros placed the cage down on the bed and opened the door. He placed his hand before the opening and the beautiful animal climbed gingerly onto the Prince's fingers. “He is quite gentle and affectionate.” Stavros held the bird near his wife so that she could gently stroke its feathers. “But easily capable,” he added as the bird playfully pecked Alexandra's finger, “of biting completely through a human finger if provoked.”

Alexandra carefully withdrew her hand from range. “No,” Stavros commanded. “Don't be afraid. Piorun would not dare to harm you. He belongs to you now.” As if to prove the truth of his words, Stavros jerked his arm upward, urging the macaw to flight. He laughed aloud at his bride's startled gasp as the magnificent bird flew like a shot through the open door of their suite.

“It is alright, Princess,” Stavros laughed. He took Alexandra's hand and began leading her in the direction Piorun had taken. “Come. See my final surprise for you.”