Strange Bedfellows


It was a truth that she had no trouble admitting privately. Stefan Cassadine was an elegant man. He stood on the far side of his study dressed in an exquisitely tailored suit that looked like it had been crafted solely for his toned frame. Scholarly metal­rimmed eyeglasses, which seemed anything but scholarly on him, rested low upon the bridge of his nose. 

Stefan stretched out a hand to retrieve a sheet of paper from his desk and the light flashed across the surface of a monogrammed, polished cuff link in his sleeve. It was at once a reminder of the "old world' manner of the man. 

"Good morning," Dara announced. 

Her cheerful greeting pulled Stefan from his calculations. Of all the possible demeanors he had thought to encounter in the young attorney that morning, cheerful anticipation was not one of them. "Good morning." Stefan met Dara's clear, untroubled gaze. "You are in unexpectedly good spirits today," he observed truthfully. 

Dara smiled. "What you said yesterday finally hit home." 

"What exactly did I say that had such a dramatic effect on your outlook toward this endeavor?" 

"Oh, I think that I will let you wonder about that," she teased. "There is no sense in my supplying you with information that will make things easier for you to try and manipulate me in the future."  Dara walked over to the study's window, leaving Stefan staring after her in bemusement. "Has the judge arrived yet?" she asked. 

"He will be here directly." Stefan's tone grew pointed. "As will our other expected guests." 


"Yes. As I warned you." 

"Well, I am ready." Dara turned away from the window to meet Stefan's gaze. The shadowed sun bathed her in gentle sunlight that pooled about her like a silken shroud, and Stefan was struck once more by a quiet beauty that he had overlooked in his admiration of Dara's considerable intellect. 

"Is there a problem with the outfit that I have chosen for today?" Dara looked down at the suit she wore. She was not an insecure woman regarding her looks, but Stefan's silent, intense scrutiny of her was a bit unnerving in light of the task they sought to accomplish within the next hours. 

“Your choice of attire is without fault,” Stefan reassured her somberly.  He glanced again at the cobalt blue Luciano Soprani original that Dara wore.  The suit’s simple cut was offset by subtle curves that accentuated Dara’s form and wordlessly teased at the possibility of more.  It was understated but extremely elegant in design.   

“Shall we go?”