Part Forty-Two

“Do you get the feeling that they won't be best buddies?” Sabrina drawled in her usual irreverent manner.

Stefan did not turn away from the revealing tableau before him. “Anthony DiMera is a powerful man in his own right, accustomed to controlling his circumstances. He is devious, ruthless, and in turns, cruel. Yet it is commonly accepted that Count DiMera's affection for his younger sister is genuine.”

“He is fiercely protective of his younger sister,” Stefan continued. “I would expect no less hostile reaction to our brother.” He glanced at the two women standing beside him. “There is no disputing the reputation that proceeds Stavros.”

Conversation between them ceased as Alexandra shyly introduced them to her older brother. They shared a moment of small talk before Stavros summoned them to the elaborately equipped table.

Stavros took his customary seat at the head of the table, with Alexandra seated at his right hand. Stefan and Faith sat beside Alexandra and Tony and Sabrina took their places across the table from them.

There was a surprisingly casual feel to the evening, despite the noticeable presence of the Cassadine servants, the priceless place settings and the ornate table that was capable of accommodating another thirty guests.

“Tony… how is father?” Alexandra asked under the cover of the noises made by the servants as they began serving the dinner guests. She carefully kept her tone casual and unrevealing.

“Father is fine. I spoke to him only an hour or so ago.” Tony tried to decipher Alexandra's blank expression, but could not. “Has he not been in contact with you? He is on his way to Maison Blanche for the next two weeks.” Maison Blanche was the name of the DiMera estate in New Orleans. Like the Cassadine estate Wyndemere, Maison Blanche was an opulently disguised fortress full of secrets and secret passages.

“And my mother? Has she gone to Maison Blanche with Father as well?”

Tony frowned. “I don't know. Celeste was not mentioned during my conversation with Father. Would you like me to have Rolfe search for her?”

Stavros joined the quiet conversation. “You need not bother,” he informed his brother-in-law. He turned to Alexandra. “Have no fear for your mother, Princess. She is in my care.”

“Just as I promised you she would be.”