"A New Beginning" by Tara

      "Brenda!" Jax hollared as he strolled through the penthouse doors.
"Bren? Are you home?" There was no answer, and Jax was pleased. He picked up
the nearest phone and dialed Miranda's number.
"Hey there!"
"Jax you just left here!" Miranda laughed.
"I know but I just wanted to hear that sexy voice of your's again."
"I take it Brenda's not home."
"No she's not."
"I think I can take a wild guess as to where she is..." Miranda mumbled
under her breath. "So Jax...why don't you come back here so I can show you
just how sexy I am..."
He laughed "That sounds like the best offer I have had all day. I'll be
right over."

It was a fairly quiest night over at Luke's. Sonny was seated at Luke's
desk going over the infamous books. He rubbed his eyes and glanced at his
watch. His eyes were drawn and red and he yawned continuously Smiling, he
remembered when he received that watch for the first time.

'Brenda(giving Sonny the watch)-So you can count the minutes we're
'Sonny-I'd rather count the minutes we're together.'

"Sonny! Sonny are you listening to me?"
He abruptly looked up at Brenda standing in front of him. She had a
look of worry upon her face and was frustrated with Sonny's unattentiveness.
"When did you get here?"
"Just now. Where were you when I was just calling your name?"
"Thinking of you." he paused. " Lately, that's uh...that's about all I
can do." Their eyes locked and they gazed deeply into eachother's eyes for what seemed like eternity. "I um..." she cleared her throat. "I came to let you know that I got another gift. It arrived at my photo shoot this morning." She reached into her pocket and took out a small black box. "I don't know Sonny. I mean, it looks familiar and all, but is it really-" "My wedding ring." He whispered. "But how could-I mean why would-" "Brenda whoever is doing this is more dangerous than I thought. I've underestimated him. He's trouble Brenda, he's sick." "But how could he have gotten your wedding ring?" "I uh...I took it off and buried it by Lily's grave a few days ago. I told her that I couldn't fight for you with it on my finger." She glanced around the room, trying not to make eye contact. "Listen Sonny. I feel awful for having accused you of being the one sending me these gifts. I'm sorry." "Hey forget about it. As long as you are safe, that's all that matters to me. Can you please do me a favor though?" "What?" "Let me assign two of my men to keep an eye on you." "Nooo! We already went through this. I don't need bodyguards, okay? My husband can just as easily keep an eye on me himself. IF I asked him too." "Just like he kept an eye on you the other night, when I stayed on your couch? While he was off doing God knows what with his "dead" wife." "Hey that's not fair. He was getting a divorce that night and the car broke down-Wait a minute. Why am I even explaining this to you?" "You shouldn't have to explain Brenda. Excuses can't replace love. They can't replace what we have, what is real." "What we had, Sonny." She turned to the door, but was halted when he grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him. "How long Brenda? How long until you see what a mistake you are making by being with him?" They drew nearer and nearer to eachother and he pressed his lips on her forehead. Then down to her lips. They kissed passionately until she pulled back. "Don't do this. Not now, not here. I have to go home to my husband." "Be sure to say hi to Jaxy boy for me." And Sonny stood alone in sadness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ "Did Miss Barrett receive our gift?"asked a silver haired man. It was Harry Silver. He was seated at a desk, with a dark haired man standing in front of him. "Yes sir Mr. Silver. Everything went as planned." "Good work. This will please the boss very much. Where ever he is." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Jax! Are you here?" asked Brenda, entering her Penthouse. She always seemed to be wherever Jax wasn't these days. The phone beagn to ring. "Jax?" "No Brenda it's me. I just wanted to make sure that you got home okay." "Sonny you have to stop this. I told you not to worry. There aren't any mean scary monsters under my bed." "It's not a joke....I guess Jax isn't home again, huh?" "It really doesn't make a difference if he is or not does it?" "Hey! No need to get so defensive. So tell me Bren, do you have any idea where he is? Or more importantly, does he know where you are?" "God Sonny just leave it alone. I am fine. Nothing is wrong. I-would you hold on a minute, I have another call?" "Okay sure." Brenda clicked onto the other caller. "Hello?" "Brender it's me." "Jax!! Where are you? I thought we had reservations at the Outback in 15 minutes." "See that's why I am calling. I have to fly to England tonight on business." He felt bad lieing to her, but he knew that telling her he was spending the night at Miranda's wouldn't be wise either. "But Jax, we haven't spent anytime together in weeks. " "I'm sorry Brender." "Fine just go. I wouldn't want you to miss an imporant takeover opportunity or anything"she stated sarcastically. "Goodnite Bren." "Yeah goodnight." She frowned. It seemed strange to her that niether of them have said "I love you"anymore. She suddenly remembered Sonny waiting on the other line. "Still there?"She asked Sonny. "Yeah....anything wrong?" Brenda hesitated "Nope." "Bren I just want you to know that I am only being protective and persistent like this because I care about you and I am not willing to lose someone else that I love. Especially when that person is my life." "Sonny-" "I know. Shutup right?Don't worry I'll leave you alone soon. Just one more question: Is Jax coming home soon?" "Well he's uh...on the plane right now." She hoped that Sonny wouldn't ask any more questions. "Ok then be careful please." "I will." "Besides, Lucy would be pretty mad if something happened to that beautiful face of your's." She giggled. "Well I would just have to tell her to go after you!" "Yeah right! Taggert's bad enough. I don't need an angry Lucy Coe on my tail too!" They both laughed. "Well I should really be going." "Okay. Goodnight Brenda. Sleep well." "Goodnight Sonny." She hung up the phone and changed into her pajamas. After crawling into her empty bed, thoughts of Sonny and how sweetly he made love to her flooded her mind. ."Uggghhh. I have to stop this. I am married to Jax, and I am happy. I am in love....Who am I kidding? I love Sonny.... But I can't have him now. I won't let myself fall back into that life. Not ever again." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ The next day: "Brenda!" robin yelled across Kelly's. "Robin! Hey Jason. What are you two doing here?" "Just having lunch" Jason answered. "Why don't you join us Brenda?" "Actually I have to see Ruby about something and then I am on my way to the Grill to have lunch with Jax. So you two enjoy eacother as much as you can before you go back to school." "You and Jason both seem to think that I am leaving tomorrow! I have another month." "Yeah well Robin, time flies." "Good point."said Jason anxiously, holding Robin's hand. Brenda laughed "Bye you two!" She walked over to the counter and spotted Ruby emerging from the kitchen. "Ruby can I ask you something?" "Hello to you too Brenda!" "Oh sorry, hi. Listen I need a favor." "Uh-oh. What is it Brenda?" "Do you have an extra room available?" "Brenda did you and Jax-" "No" Brenda's voice grew somber. "At least not yet. I just need a place to get away from everything and everyone." "Well. Keesha's old place is empty since she got the insane idea to move into the Quartermaine mansion with AJ yesterday. It's yours if you want it." " Great. I'll take it. Thanks alot Ruby." At the Port Charles Grill Jax glanced at his watch noticing that Brenda was late as usual. He heard his name being called and found Brenda standing in front of him. "Hi Jax." She took a seat across from him at the table. "Fashionably late, huh Luv?" "Always." "Was it your friend the mobster who kept you this time?" "I haven't seen Sonny today." Brenda retorted. "Yet." "Jax where is this all coming from? You don't hear me getting on your case after you spend "quality" time with Miranda." " She's my wife!" he exclaimed.. Brenda was taken back for a moment after what he had just said. She was astonished that he could be so cold-hearted. "So then what does that make me?"she asked, agitated at him. Sensing her anger, Jax decided it would be best if he were to leave that question alone. "Look Brender. I'm sorry if you can't understand why I despise that man. He comes into my home nearly everyday and makes eyes at my wife. And she doesn't even seem to mind it. Then he has the audasity to involve her in one of his cockied, dangerous plans to find the guy who shot him up with heroin when it was probably himself-" "You don't know what you're talking about so just stop it." "No Brenda. I think you need to hear this. Because when he talks you become hypnotized by his lies...But see that's all fine and dandy because you can have your fun, but you attack me when the name Miranda comes up. She's not going away, so deal with it." "I'M attacking YOU? Please Jax I think you should listen to yourself for a change." "Oh Brenda please. Miranda and I are going throught a difficult time right now and I think it would be nice if you would just-" Jax cut himself off noticing his rising voice. "I just think that it would be decent of you to at least acknowledge my loss." "You want to know something Jax? I don't give a damn about your 'loss'. And if you can't accept that than maybe we shouldn't be putting ourselves through this anymore. Maybe it'd be best if we just got divorced instead of you and Miranda!" "Maybe we should..." "Well hey, ya know, if that's what you want than I hope that you and your perfect little wife are happy together." She grabbed her coat and stormed out of the restaurant. When she got outside she was in tears. She leaned against the wall of the Grill and took a deep breath before continuing home, or wherever she ended up. While her face was buried in her hands she felt a gentle hand grab her own. "Sonny!" she looked startled. "Brenda tell me what's wrong. No one tried to hurt you, did they?" "No Sonny. It's my..." "Your what?" "My marriage is falling apart, okay? Are you happy now that you have what you want? Did you really need to hear me say it?" "Brenda I never wanted you to be unhappy like this." "God"she sighed."Why am I even telling you this?" "Because you love me" "Stop saying that!"she groaned Sonny ignored her request and continued "Eventhough I would love nothing more than to see Jax alone and miserable, I don't want you getting hurt in the process. I care about you Brenda. And I love you. I just want you to be happy. Let me make you happy Bren...." They gazed longinly into eachother's eyes, standing only millimeters apart. "Tell me that you don't love me Brenda and I will walk away right now. I promise you that I will leave you alone for the rest of your life if you can honestly tell me that." She lowered her head, avoiding his stare. "Answer me"he whispered, holding her chin in his hand. She turned back to meet his eyes. "Baby you know that I can't tell you that I am not in love with you. That would be a blatent lie." "The why can't you just let yourself be with me? You and I, we're like...like destined to be together Brenda." "Sonny."she whispered. "I-I love Jax also." He looked at her suspiciously. She stumbled over those words. They just seemed all wrong. "If you really loved Jax than you wouldn't be here with me now. You wouldn't look at me the way you do. Like someone burning for something that they know they can't have. You wouldn't sit up at nights and regret all of the hurtful words that we have said to one another either. And don't you deny that you don't do that Brenda. I know you do. I do the same thing. And when I do sleep I see only you in my dreams. I wonder what it would be like for us if Jax wasn't around, or if that wire was never used. I tell myself that we would probably be married by now, maybe have a child. All this if we hadn't been so damn stubborn." He sighed and took her face in his hands. "You can't be truly happy with him if you still burn for me." They both leaned in and their burning exploded into a long and passionate kiss. Their hands raced all over the other's body until Brenda broke away. "Wait."she moaned, pushing him off of her. "I'm sorry. I can't-we can't let this happen. I'm still a married woman no matter how much you don't believe it. I-I have to leave." She hopped into a cab, leaving Sonny alone to face another sleepless night without her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ Sonny awoke abruptly to the ringing of his doorbell. It was 12:23 AM and he was in the middle of the most amazing dream about Brenda. "This better be good." he stated as he threw on his robe and walked like a zombie to the front door. "Jax. What a pleasure. What do you want?" "I want to know where my wife is Corinthos." "Wait a minute. Brenda's missing?" "Don't play dumb with me Sonny. I know that she is here." Jax ushered Sonny out of the way, barging into the apartment. "Brenda!! Brenda wherever you are come out and talk to me. I think it's about time that you came home." "Hey hey whoa!"Sonny shouted as equally loud as Jax. "She ain't here Candy boy." As soon as he got Jax's attention, he continued calmly. "When was the last time you saw her?" "Last time I saw her was this afternoon at lunch." "And you don't have any idea where she might be?" "Besides here? No. I called Robin, Lucy and Ned. They haven't seen her since this morning." Sonny picked up the phone and dialed Jason. "Yeah it's me. I want you to get a hold of Joseph and Anthony and tell them to start a search tonight. It's very important okay? "Sure Sonny. But you didn't tell me who we are looking for?" "It's Brenda." "I'm on it Sonny."

"A New Beginning" (continued) PARTII by Tara Two hours went by and the two men waited restlessly in Sonny's Penthouse. "That's it! I can't just sit around here and wait for something to happen. I have to do something myself." stated Jax dourly, watching the snow fall from the sky. "And what the hell are you going to do wonderboy? Look outside. You aren't going to get anywhere with that snow coming down so hard." "I don't care about the damn snow, Corinthos. My wife is out there somewhere..." "Oh is Miranda missing too?" asked Sonny sarcastically. "You shutup about Miranda.". Jax sneered. "So help you God if Brenda is in danger right now because of you, I'll-" "Is that a threat Jaxy boy?" "Take it however you like-I'm not about to waste my breath on you any longer-" "Oh that one hurt-" "All I know is that I am not helping Brenda by sitting here and not looking for her myself. I'm going to find her." Jax threw his coat on and stormed out the door. "How could Brenda bring herself to sharing a bed with such a pig-headed idiot?" Sonny asked himself. But before he could find an answer he was in his car searching for Brenda as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ Over at Kelly's, Brenda sat staring out the window of her newly rented room. "Maybe this place is exactly what I need right now to get away from my everything." Thoughts of Sonny and the past events of this afternoon rushed through her mind. She knew that her marriage was on the rocks, yet she was unsure of how to repair it. But did she even want to repair it? Ever since Miranda had arrived in town last November, her husband's attention had been given all to his "back-from-the-dead" first wife. She claimed that she didn't want Jax back....by then why was she still here? Why did she even come here in the first place? In a word...Sonny. Was he really her "destiny"? Could she ever really love another man like she loved him? Why was it so hard to resist his passes? She knew she loved him still, but had an obligation to Jax and her marriage. "Some marriage"she thought. "Uggggghhhh. I'm driving myself crazy!"she told herself. "I just shouldn't think anymore tonight." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ Jax drove as fast as the snow permitted down the icy streets of Port Charles. The visibility was nearly zero, but Jax was not aware of that. He was determined to find Brenda before Sonny did. He was not about to let some lowlife mobster play the hero in this fairytale. Jax was so preoccupied in his egotistic thoughts that he lost control of the steering wheel and slammed right into a parking meter. His leg was severely cut, and his two front tires were deflated. Finding himself right outside of the PC Hotel, he decided to give up for the night. "Damn this snow!" he yelled as he made his way up to his home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ At about the same time, Sonny was experiencing car trouble as well. His engine had failed and he was on his cellular phone with the towing company. "No I have no idea where I am! Everything is covered with snow and, and all I can see is white. What? No. Hello...hello...hello are you still there?Hello!!!." The line went dead. "Damnit!" He rushed back into his car and tried to find a way out of this predicament, but the car was too cold. Plus he still hadn't given up on finding Brenda. He rubbed his hands together and took a deep breath. Then he began his long and treacherous walk to finding the woman he loved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ At Kelly's: Brenda was fast asleep until she heard a knock at the door. "Gina!"she exclaimed as she opened her door. "What's going on?" "Brenda? I was expecting Keesha to answer." "Gina, Keesha moved out yesterday. Do you know what time it is?" "I know it's like 2 in the morning Brenda. I'm sorry to wake you up, but see, I heard a loud noise and I came in here to ask Keesha if she could come and check it out with me." "Wait. Why didn't you go to Ruby with this first?" "Well you know how much Ruby worries. I didn't want to add to that if it turned out to be nothing." Another loud noise was heard from downstairs. Quickly, Brenda grabbed a vase off of her dresser and motioned for Gina to follow her down the stairs. "There is somebody down there." whispered Brenda from the top of the staircase. Gina's face was now as white as a ghost. The two women slowly creeped down the stairs. She raised the vase above her head began to shake, feeling her hands sweat exorbitantly. The man at the bottom of the stairs heard the movement and placed his hand on his gun. But before he was able to even turn around, Brenda had cracked the vase over his head. He feel to the ground immediatley and the two women just stood there in shock. "Oh my God Sonny!" Brenda cried after she knelt next to him on the ground. "Gina help me. Go get me some ice and then help me get him up to his feet. Gina followed the instructions and disappeared into the kitchen. "Oh baby I'm so sorry. I didn't know it was you." She kissed his forehead. "Here Brenda." "Thanks." Sonny awoke to find Brenda hovering over him. "Oh baby are you okay?" she asked apologetically. "Besides a splitting headache? Yeah I'm okay. Boy do you have some aim there." They both laughed as she helped him to his feet. "Well if everything is okay down here than I am going back to bed." "Okay Gina. Thanks for your help." responded Brenda. "Goodnite guys." "Goodnite" Sonny and Brenda both echoed. "Alright. Now tell me why you are here." "I'm here looking for you Bren. You just disappeared without telling anyone where you were going." "Oh see I didn't know I had to check in with Jax everytime I left the Penthouse. If he is in a panick you can tell him to go find comfort in Miranda." "It's not just Jax that was worried you know." She smiled at him. "How did you figure out I was here?" "I didn't. My car broke down and this was the first shelter I could find. I guess fate just brought us together. "You must really love me Sonny." "True. But why are you just realizing this now?" "Well" she began. "Not only did you come out in this awful snowstorm to find me, you also took the chance of being beaten to death by my vase!" Sonny smiled that sexy smile of his as he moved closer to her. "So what are YOU doing here Brenda?" "I uh, I rent a room here now." "You mean you and Jax-" "No no. At least not yet. Today Jax and I had a big fight and I couldn't face him, so I decided to come here. It's just a place where I can get away ya know?" " An escape?" "Yes. Exactly." "Tell me Brenda. What is it that you are escaping from? Is it your marriage? Or is it your true feelings for me?" There was a long pause. "Maybe it's both. Maybe I realize know that my marriage to Jax is just an act. My love for him was just a way to forget about you. But it didn't work. He has told me that I wear this look on my face when I am thinking about you. They were now only inches apart. "Is it working?" he asked in his sexy voice. "I mean, did you decide what you wanted?" She was pinned against the wall. His hands in her's. "I did. But I am still unsure of one question..." "And what would that be?" she whispered. "Whether or not I should let you kiss me right now?" "And what if you didn't have a choice?" They searched eacother's eyes until their lips met for a tender kiss. Sparks flew and this time Brenda could not bring herself to resisting him. He slowly made his way down to her neck, and then to her shoulders. "Sonny I...I-I love you." He stopped and looked into her eyes mysteriously. "What is it?" Sonny released her hands and sat down at the nearest table, and she followed. He opened his mouth to say something, but the words did not come out. "You know I have waited for so long to hear you say that Brenda. I wished and hoped everyday that I would FINALLY hear those words from your mouth. But is this really it?" " Sonny I don't understand..." "Niether do I." He took her hand from across the table. "I guess what I am trying to say is that I want to make sure that tomorrow morning you'll be here with me where you belong. So that we can start fresh. Make sure their are no more lies and total honesty. Because my life begun when you entered it for the first time. I have waited, since I pushed you out of it, to be reborn." "Sonny I-" "I know you are still with Jax. But Brenda, technically you are not married to him. You and I belong together. We always have. We used to be inseparable. We were unhealthy, but happy." "We can't go back Sonny." "But we can move foward Brenda. We can start over." "Are you ready to do that? Can we really start again? I mean, I hurt you so much. I pushed you away over and over again. It took me more energy to resist you than to let myself be with you. And I tried so hard....I tried so hard to stay away. I knew that if I let myself fall, I would never be able to get back up again. I am so scared of losing you because we started off with that intensity again." "You aren't ever going to lose me, because once you are in my arms I am NEVER going to let you go. We'll talk this time Brenda. We'll communicate and trust eachother. No more deception. Agreed?" "Sonny I love you so much. Everyday I fall deeper and deeper in love with you." "I'll take that as a yes!" He brushed his hand against her cheek and looked longingly into her eyes. "So this is it, huh?" "I can't deny my heart any longer. Life is too short to push away my one true love. Make love to me Sonny." He carried her up the stairs and layed her on the bed."I love you Brenda." he whispered. Then he granted her request by making sweet, passionate love to her all through the night. They blocked out the rest of the world as their souls slowly became one again. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ Jax paced the floor of his apartment. He had woken up excpecting to find Brenda next to him, but she was still not home. His eyes were bloodshot and swollen. That was not due ot lack of sleep, but from a hangover. He had been drinking a substantial amount of alcohol lately, and spent many mornings in the bathroom hovered over the tiolet. "What if Sonny got to her last night?"he asked himself angrily. "If she is with him right now God help him. God help both of them." His "marriage" to Brenda was not as valuable to him as he let on. He frequently pondered the question of why he was even still with her and not with Miranda. The only reasonable conclusion he could come up with was that he loved to watch Corinthos squirm. The look of jealousy on Sonny's face whenever he saw Jax and Brenda together was all too satisfying for Jax. The only thing that Sonny wanted was in Jax's hands, and in Jax's bed. Or so he thought........ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ "She has to be an angel." Sonny thought as he stared at Brenda in his arms. "She makes me feel so alive...so good." He stroked her hair with his hand until she opened her eyes and stretched her arms out above her head. Sonny smiled flirtaciously at her and she kissed him passionatley. "Well good morning to you too sweetheart." "Mmmm. Great morning baby." She was light-headed and all warm inside. "I don't remember the last time that I felt so..so-" "Alive?" "Yeah. You made me feel so good last night. So free and so incredible. Last night was just so amazing!" "Amazing." he reiterated. "I didn't completely know what I missed until I held you in my arms again." She giggled and kissed him. She attempted to get out of bed, but collapsed back into his arms. "I can't leave this bed. I know that once I do leave, I won't feel this way until the next time." "I am already anxiously awaiting the next time." he laughed and flashed his sexy dimples. "When I think of all those nights that you weren't here beside me, I-" "Shh. Bren, I'm here now okay? I'll be here for as long as you want me to be. Forever I hope." They kissed again until Brenda spoke, "And about last night:It was even better than all of those fantasies I have had." "Fantasies huh? You want me to fulfill some more of those fantasies for you?" They rolled over in bed, laughing and kissing. And once again, Sonny made love to her for hours. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ When Brenda arrived home late that afternoon Jax was not home to greet her. "Thank God!" she thought. Taking off her coat and picked up a note on the desk. 'Brenda- If you do decide to come home then don't expect me to be here. I have a business meeting in Berlin tonight and I won't be home until tomorrow night. See you then. -Jax-' Her eyes lit up with happiness and she ran to the phone. "Hey baby. It's me. How would you like a house guest for the night? Great! I'll be over in a few. No I don't need Joseph to pick me up. Okay. I love you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ One week later in Brenda's room at Kelly's: Sonny and Brenda have spent the past week spending hours a day there either talking laughing or making love. "Sonny?" Brenda asked quietly in his arm's. "Yeah sweetheart." "Sonny I have a feeling that Jax knows about this place.I think he is having me followed." "Why do you say that baby?" "Well, I heard him on the phone yesterday talking to someone about 'a very special lady who needs constant supervision'." "Why wouldn't that be Miranda?" "Why wouldn't it be me?" She left the bed and walked to the window. "Hey it just seems that Miranda would be the more likely candidate these days to be called 'a very special lady' by Candyboy." "You think that they are having an affair?" "Yes I do. But why does it matter? You are doing the same thing." "What's that supposed to mean?" "All I am saying is that you haven't told Jax about us, so why would he feel obligated to tell you about his affair?" Brenda turned her gaze back out the window. "I don't know Sonny. It's not like I haven't tried to tell him. I'm just scared..." "Of what?" he exclaimed. "Of how he'll react. Just forget it." She slowly turned to face him. "I told you that I couldn't promise you anything when we started this a week ago." "Sorry I guess that I just figured that we meant more to you than that." They were now both shouting at eachother. "Don't do that to me. You aren't being fair." "No see fair would be telling your husband about us." "He isn't my husband-" "You know what I mean. I just thought that you cared enough to tell Jax that we love eachother and want to be together." "Just like you told Lily about us running away together?" From the moment the words left her lips, she regretted saying them. Sonny's eyes turned cold and distant. "I, uh..." He cleared his throat. "I think I should be going now. I am tired of fighting." "Sonny I'm sorry." She ran and tried to pull him away from the door, but he just shrugged her off. He opened the door and before he left, said one last thing "Either you tell him tonight or I won't be around much longer Brenda." And Brenda was left alone to decide her future. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ "Jax?" Brenda shouted as she entered the Penthouse. "Are you home?" "Yeah I'm up here." Brenda groaned at his words. She knew that to hold onto Sonny, she would have to tell Jax the truth. Right now. "Where have you been?" He questioned vehemently. Brenda opened her mouth as if to say something, until she noticed the brandy in his hand. "He had been drinking an awful lot lately" she thought to herself. "Out." She breezed by him without making eye contact. "You think I'm stupid Brenda?" "No but I know you're drunk." "I'm not drunk. And I want you to tell me where you have been." "I was at Kelly's okay? Why the third degree lately?" "Because ever since that night that you disappeared you have been hiding from me and our marriage." "I could say the same for you, but I guess I should have tried Miranda's apartment first right?" "Miranda has nothing to do with our marriage." " Like hell she doesn't. And stop saying that we are married when we legally aren't." Jax flashed Brenda a nasty look and walked away to pour himself another brandy. " Ya know if anyone is unnecessarily involved in our marriage it's Sonny." "Leave Sonny out of this." "Ha Ha! Too late for that Brenda. He already involved himself a long time ago. And I'm sure you would love nothing more than to go crawl back to him. That is if you haven't already." "You know what?"yelled Brenda. "Maybe we should just end this miserable excuse for a relationship right now." "Oh so I should just hand you over to that lowlife mobster?" " At least he isn't a lowlife drunk." "You'd shutup if you knew what was good for you." "I want out Jax. I'm leaving you. This is not good for either of us anymore. That honesty and comfort that built our marriage isn't there anymore. There isn't an 'us' anymore. And I'm sorry if that hurts that inflated ego of your's. Really I am. You gave me protection and a peace of mind for a long time. But you took that away the minute you ran to Miranda's bed. I love Sonny. I can't deny what I really feel anymore. I love him and you love Miranda. Go to her and make her happy." There was a relentless, uncomforting silence. She raised her head to meet his indignant eyes. All of the love and warmth that was once there was replaced by rage and resentment. "I'm leaving now. I'll be back later on this week for some of my stuff." She began to make her way out of the bedroom until his heavy grasp clenched her arm. "You are not going anywhere Brenda. I won't let Sonny win." (to be continued)

"A New Beginning" PARTIII by Tara Brenda lay unconcious on the floor of her bedroom in the Penthouse. All was silent in the Jax's apartment until there came a knock on the door. "Brenda! Brenda, let me in. I need to talk to you!" demanded Sonny. "Please sweetheart, I'm sorry. I should have never given you that stupid altimatum this afternoon. Please Bren, just let me in. I want to make sure that you are okay." He waited impatiently outside the door for a reply. But all that he received was a long silence. Noticing that the door was slightly ajar, he proceeded in letting himself into the all to silent apartment. "Bren...I know you are here, please come here and talk to me." He searched the penthouse until he reached the bedroom. Upon entering it, he found Brenda collapsed on the floor. Her clothes were torn and her body brusied from head to toe. He fell to the floor next to her. "Oh my God...baby answer me." Quickly he checked her pulse and felt it beating weakly. He ripped out his cell phone from inside his jacket. "Hello?Yes this is Sonny Corinthos. I need an ambulance at the PC Hotel as soon as possible. It's for Brenda Ba-Jax. What? I don't know, that's why I need an ambulance. Um...she's unconcious-and, and she's been beaten up pretty bad. Okay, hurry." Sonny pulled Brenda into his arms and held onto her as tight as he could. "I love you Brenda. Don't you dare leave me now." He kissed the top of her head and cradled her in his arms. "Don't you dare leave me." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Still unconsciencous, Brenda lay in the Emergency Room while Alan examined her listless body. "There are no apparent signs of internal bleeding, and her vital signs are getting stronger. I'm just alittle worried that she hasn't woken up yet. I'll be back to check on her later." Sonny felt alittle relieved, but still wasn't satisfied. "Alan...wait. Can I talk to you outside for a minute?" They stepped outside into the hall. "When I found her Alan, her clothes were all torn. I was thinking..." Sonny's voice trailed off. He could barely get the words out. "Are there any signs of rape?" "Yes Sonny. Actually I did run some tests and sent them down to the lab to determine if she was sexually assaulted. Then we should be able to find out exactly what happened, and exactly who did this to her. By the way, do you have any ideas as to who it could be?" "Oh I have one...." Jason rushed from the elevator of GH with Robin at his side. They received Sonny's frantic phone call just as Robin had given Jason some happy news: The new medication she was taking was working effectively. And, since it was so hard to balance her pill-taking, studies, and AIDS lectures; she decided to transfer to the PCU advanced student program so that she could stay in Port Charles indefinitely. "Oh Sonny." Robin gave her friend a reassuring hug. "Oh God am I glad to see you two." "I called Ned like you told me to, Sonny. He should be here any minute." "Good. Thanks Jason." "Sonny how is she?" asked Robin fearfully. "Well, Alan seems to think she is going to be okay. But I just talked to him and he assured my suspicions about what really happened to her." "What do you mean what really happened?" "Robin. Sit down." "No Sonny I don't need to sit down. What happened to Brenda?" "Sweetheart, I'm almost sure that she was raped." Robin's eyes lit up in horror as she stared at Brenda's helpless body. "Who Sonny? Who would do this to her?" "In a word...Jax." "Wait a minute...why would Jax rape Brenda if he already has her. I thought that they were planning on getting remarried and-" "Robin there is alot that has been going down lately between Brenda and myself, that I asked Jason not to tell you." "Sonny you are starting to scare me." "Robin, maybe you and I should go down to the cafateria and get something to eat. You look alittle pale." "Jason I'm fine." "It's okay Jason. It's time I told her what's going on." "I'm sorry. Look, about a week ago, Brenda and I were caught together in that huge blizzard that we Port Charles had. That night, she disappeared without telling anyone where she was going, and I got real nervous after Jax told me that he hadn't seen her since that afternoon." He clenched his teeth together and squeezed his eyes shut. "With that damn stalker on the loose, I was afraid that maybe she was kidnapped or something." His eyes became glossy and distant. "I uh, I found her at Kelly's. See she has a room there that she goes to when she needs to be alone. It was snowing like crazy and it was the only shelter around for miles....so I spent the night there in her room." "Okay I can guess what happened..." replied Robin. "Yeah well, we tried-I mean, she tried-so hard to keep her distance from me, but as you said 'you can guess what happened'. So she decided to break things off with Jax this afternoon. Actually, um..." His head lowered in shame as the first tear fell to his cheek. "I told her that if she didn't leave him then I wouldn't be around much longer." "Sonny. Why?" "I don't know." He paced the room anxiously, running his fingers through his disheveled hair. "I guess I am too selfish when it comes to her." The first smile in hours appeared on his face. "I love her too much to handle not having her to myself any longer. You know it took me so long to admit that to myself? I couldn't be patient anymore Robin." She wrapped her arms around him. "Sonny she is going to pull through this okay? If not for herself, than for your love." He pulled away and walked to the window of Brenda's room. "Damnit what have I done to her? What have I done to us?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next morning was bright and optomistic. Sonny was curled up in a chair beneath the window of Brenda's private room. He had stayed their that night after refusing everyone's persistent pleas for him to go home the night before. He told everyone over and over again that there was no way he was leaving the love of his life alone and unprotected. After taking that chance once, he wasn't about to take it again. He had promised her before that he wouldn't be careless with her life, and he intended to keep every promise he made to her from now on. The sharp gleam of the sun forced his tired red eyes open. After yawning a few million times, he sluggishly pulled the chair beside Brenda's hospital bed and held her hand. "Good morning sweetheart." he whispered, gently kissing her dry lips. "Sonny?" she moaned, trying to open her swollen eyes. "Yes baby. It's me. Do you know where you are?" "I'm...in the hospital right?" Sonny sighed with great relief. "Yes Bren, I'm so glad you finally woke up. You had everyone really worried about you ya know?" "Yeah." she tried to laugh, but winced in pain."Jax. It was him." "I know sweetheart. He's going to pay. One way or another he's gonna pay for what he did to you." "Sonny, I...I love you. Don't let go of me." And then she dozed off to sleep. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jason and Sonny met outside the ER the next morning. "So. Tell me. Did you find anything yet on Jax?" "No not yet. But I put the word out that you were looking for him." "Good."Sonny nodded. "Jason I swear to you. When I find that waste of a life I'm gonna-" "Going to what, Mr Corinthos?" snarled Detective Taggert. "Taggert? I thought by now that Mac would have had that pretty little badge of yours taken away." "Keep talking Sonny. It just makes me want to take you down even more." "Now why would you want to do that De-tec-tive? I know the only reason you took this job was to follow me around town like a lost puppy dog." Sonny flashed a smile. "Hardly." Taggert cleared his throat. "Actually I am here because your little girlfriend was beaten up pretty bad a few nights ago." Sonny turned to Jason. "I'm uh, so relieved that our new detective here did his homework." Jason smirked, not taking his glare off of Taggert. "You're a jealous man aren't you Mr. Corinthos?" "Hey!" hollared Jason. "You're dead wrong if you think that for one minute Sonny did that to Brenda." "Hey Taggert. I think we, uh...we can save you alot of trouble here." "What are you babbling Corinthos?" "Well, there is no need to go hassle Brenda when I can tell you exactly who did it." "Oh ok...I'm curious to know who that would be." "Jasper Jax." "Her husband?" he asked suspiciously. "That's right." "I think I like my theory better." "Maybe for once, you should do your job, and not obssess over taking me down Taggert." "Juuuust wait Corinthos. I'm counting the days until I get to kick your sorry butt in jail and throw away the key." "Be sure to mark it on your calendar detective." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next week: "Hey big sister." "Hey Robin." "You know that everyday you are looking better and better." "Nah. You're just saying that to put a smile on my face." "Well is it working?" She considered the question for a moment. "I wish it was Robin. I really do." "That's okay. I've got alot of time to keep trying." "Sit down." Robin obided by Brenda's wishes and took a seat next to the hospital bed. "Seriously Bren, you are looking a hell of alot better than when they brought you in here a few days ago." "Thanks. But these marks on my body can fade ya know? It just doesn't make a difference in the long-run. I am still carrying around this anger and this hurt inside." "Did you think about seeing someone to talk to? Like Tom Hardy maybe?" "Yeah ya know, Alan suggested it. He also told me about some support group of women that went through the same thing. But-well, I don't know. I really don't think that hearing other people's horrible experiences is going to help me." "Yeah I hear ya...So is there any word on-Jax?" "No one has seen either him or Miranda since that night. And you know what Robin? I don't even know if I want them to be found." "Brenda, why would you say something like that?" Brenda's eyes filled with tears as she tried to mutter out her next words. "I am just really scared right now. I can't even imagine coming face-to-face with him again. And just knowing that he may be within two miles of me, scares me to death." "Yeah I can imagine what you are going through with this. But you do know that Sonny will NEVER let anything or anyone hurt you, right?" "Yeah I know he would do anything to keep me safe. He is so good like that. And I regret so much that he is blaming himself for this right now." "Blaming himself?" "He is beating himself up because he wasn't there to protect me from Jax. I'm just scared of what he'll do when he DOES find Jax." "Sonny may hate Jax, Brenda, but I know that he has too much to lose if he killed him. He is so determined not to lose you again." She smiled at Robin. "I know." There was a continuous, calming silence in the hospital room. "So where is Sonny?" "Um...haha you know I don't even remember where he said he was going. Something about seeing Luke I think. So I would guess that he is probably either at the club or at the Spencer house." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "So how is Brenda?" "Well Luke, physically she is doing great. But emotionally, well-I'm starting to get worried." The club was crowded and loud. It was at the height of dinner hour, so there had been a continuous volume of people entering the club. Sonny was seated behind the counter waiting for Luke to refill his empty shot glass. "Yeah but that kind of goes with the territory Corinthos. After what she has been through, you can't expect her to be back to her happy, old spoiled self again." "I know man. I'm just worried about her. It's like an instinct now. I can't help it anymore. It's just there." "Tell me about it Sonny. I know what you are going through. But just take it easy. Brenda needs you now to be strong, and you gotta do that for her sake." "For her I will." And he quickly poured the liquer down his dry throat. "I should be going. I hate leaving her alone these days." "Sure. And send her the best from me and the Mrs. I know that Laura wanted to go see her soon." "Okay man. Stay out of trouble." Luke gave a smirk and laughed sarcastically. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The following morning: Sonny took Brenda's hand in his own as he kissed her ran his fingers through her soft, shining hair. Though the bruises on her face were now fading, she was pallid and weak. It had been a slow, tiresome week since the rape, and yet the bruises on her body hurt less than the scars inside. Left by Jax as a constant reminder of that night. "You know I can't wait to get you home today, where you belong. It's about time they let you out of here." Brenda was lost in her thoughts, unable to listen to Sonny's words. That was common this past week. She heard, but did not listen. "I have this small little home-made dinner planned. Actually, Mike suggested it, but I did the cooking and-Bren?" "Oh I'm sorry. What were you saying?" "I am just so happy to have you home again, and out of this place and all it's awful food." "Yeah, right...home." "So are you gonna tell me what's bothering you?" "Oh I would love to know where home is." Sonny was speechless, but disappointed. He had just as well assumed that he would take Brenda home with him, to the Penthouse. "I'm not quite sure I know what you mean sweetheart. I thought we decided that you would live at my place. I mean, we can FINALLY be together. Like we should be." Her lips turned to a somber smile. "Sure Sonny. Whatever you want is fine with me. I'll stay at the Penthouse." Sonny caressed her face until their lips met. Apprehensively, he pulled away from her. "Are you sure there is nothing wrong Brenda?" "Yes I'm sure. Now can you please get me out of here. These walls seem to be closing in on me more everyday." "You got it baby." (to be continued)

Brenda stood firmly at the Penthouse Window overlooking Port Charles. Her fatigue was overwhelming her brain, but she gave up on trying to sleep hours ago. She glanced at her watch hoping that she would not have to start her day anytime soon. "Sweetheart. What are you doing down here?" Sonny walked like a zombie down the stairs, confused at seeing Brenda there. "Couldn't sleep." At this point, Sonny was kissing her neck and had his arms wrapped around her waist. Brenda closed her eyes and aquirmed uncomfortably. "So how did you sleep last night?" She broke away from him and poured herself a glass of water. "I uh...I slept alright. Would have been better with you in my arms though." "Yeah um-I just had alot on my mind last night." He gave her one of those sexy smiles. "Care to tell me about it?" She smiled nervously. "I -don't want to bore you with my silly problems." "Nothing you could ever say would bore me." They locked eyes for what seemed like forever, but really only lasted a few seconds. Sonny noticed the tear fall from her eye and reached out his hand to hold hers. "Brenda, tell me what's on your mind." "I'm sorry Sonny. I just-can't-be who you need me to be right now. I-I can't be the Brenda that you want." She sighed and placed her hand over her forehead. "This is coming out all wrong." "Just say what you have to say Bren." "Okay. See, there's just this empty space inside me that can't be filled by you or anyone else right now. Ya know, I did alot of thinking when I as staring at those walls in the hospital. And I realized that for months, no for nearly 2 years, all I wanted was to be with you. And I'm not saying that I don't want that anymore...but I just can't be sure of anything that I want anymore. Everything that I should be feeling, everything that I used to feel, is just buried under this incredible rage that I carry around with me. Ever since the rape I haven't been able to be happy. I can't feel anymore Sonny. I am just so angry all the time, so scared." "Brenda, what exactly are you saying here?" "I don't know Sonny. I don't know anything anymore. Maybe I just need more time to think. Maybe I just shouldn't think anymore. I haven't been able to make any decisions by myself lately. I think that I should just learn how to resolve these feelings on my own." Sonny shook his head. "Baby why are you doing this? Why are you running away from us?" "Sonny don't you understand? It's not running. I'm just trying to make sense of my life." "Than why won't you let me help you make sense of it?" "Sonny, listen to me. I can't do this with anyone else but myself. I can't be with you like you want, until I am at peace with me." She looked at him, but he avoided eye contact. "I really need for you to understand this." "Yeah. I, I understand it. But I can't just sit here and let you leave without helping you." "You can help me by letting me do this." He searched her eyes for something. Anything better than what she just told him. But she was doing the same thing with him. "How much ti- I mean, how long will you be gone?" "I don't know. A few weeks, a month maybe." "A month?" he reiterated. "Baby I'm sorry about this." she sobbed. "Shh." He calmed her. "Come here." She crawled next to him on the sofa and into his arms. "You gotta do what's best for you sweetheart. And I'll be here when you're done doing it." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That night Brenda put herself on the first plane to Chicago. Saying goodbye to Sonny was hard, and the fact that he wanted nothing more than to drive her to the aiport did not make it any easier. Instead, she kissed his forehead and left him standing in the doorway of the Penthouse. So Brenda headed to the airport, determined to get herself on the next flight to Chicago. When Robin found out about the rape, she had let Jagger and Karen Cates know how poorly Brenda was doing. They immediately phoned Brenda and discussed how concerned they were. Brenda was offered and invitation to visit them for awhile, but she declined the proposal. As the days went by, the thought of being thousands of miles away seemed more deisrable every minute. When her plane touched down at Chicago Airport, Jagger and Karen were waiting anxiously for her at the terminal. After leaving the airport, the Cates took her out to dinner at their favorite restaurant. And for those few hours, renda was able to forget the events of the past few weeks. "So um..I'm sure Robin has told you about Gina right?" Brenda asked cautiously. "Yeah Robin had mentioned it. Gina called us about three or four months ago to talk. I think it was her attempt to make up for last time." responded Jagger. "And what happened?" "Well she's my sister and I love her, but I can't forget how she treated Michael after he got sick." "We all make mistakes Jagger. But Stone was a forgiving guy. I know he has forgiven her wherever he is." Jagger raised his head to the ceiling. "God Bless him." "Hey, did you hear about the Stone Cates Memorial Wing at GH?" Karen and Jagger glanced at eachother warily until Jagger's beeper went off. "Ah it's the station. Excuse me ladies, I gotta go make a phone call." Brenda and Karen were left sitting in silence. "So...." "So...." Karen answered. "So why did Jagger get so upset when I mentioned Stone's hospital wing?" "Well Brenda, Jagger wasn't too thrilled about the idea when he heard about it." "Why-No wait, lemme guess...Sonny, right?" "You know how Jagger feels about Sonny. He thinks Sonny is laundering his dirty money in that wing." "Woah, Karen. Sonny wouldn't do that okay? It's not like that at all. Stone was like a brother to Sonny. Sonny just wants Stone's legacy to live on through that wing." "You know that, and even I believe it. But you know how suspicious Jagger is of Sonny." " You know sometimes I can't understand how everyone could judge him just by how he earns his income. People don't want to see the man behind the reputation. They just-they can't give him a chance. He is the most generous, most amazing man I know." "Brenda I know that we've never been great friends , or even as close as you and my husband are right now. But I just remember how miserable you were after you and Sonny broke up. When Jagger and I came back to Port Charles I mean. I could see how alone you felt." Brenda laughed. "I tried SO hard to cover that up." "Just be careful alright?" "I am, ya know? Sonny makes me feel so safe. I never thought I would say that again, but it's true. When I am in his arms I feel so safe. See that's the problem. I can't be there because-" "I know... I know. After what Jax did to you, you don't feel like you will ever be able to be intimate with Sonny ever again, right?" "Exactly." "And everytime he gets close to you, you can't help but feel how you did right after the rape. No matter how badly you want Sonny to make it all better, he can't." "Woah. You just took the words right out of my mouth...I guess you would understand better than anyone." "Brenda, do you remember when I used to work for Sonny as a stripper?" "Yeah..." "That was the lowest point of my life. Next to what Ray did to me, I had never felt cheaper or dirtier than I did at that point. But then I took a look at myself and knew that 'surviving' without anyone wasn't getting me anywhere. I saw Jagger, this incredible man, that wanted to help me so badly. He was the light at the end of my tunnel. The one peson who could love me unconditionally, regardless of how poorly I viewed myself. He didn't care what had happened to me or what I did in the past, he just loved me for who I was. Sonny is your light Brenda. And nothing that has happened to you is your fault. The only way to let Sonny help you is to focus on getting strong, not on the pain." "Woah." Brenda stated in amazement. "Tell me again why we weren't friends?" "Sheer ignorance." Karen laughed. When Jagger returned to the table, both women were laughing through their tears. He sat down suspiciously, putting his arm around his wife. "I shouldn't ask questions, should I?" Brenda and Karen looked mischeviously at eachother for a moment until Karen broke in. "No honey, I think you should leave this one alone." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back in PC: Sonny was at Luke's trying his best to avoid conversation. He knew that he would have to answer questions about Brenda's whereabouts, and he was in no mood to do that. "I gotta get outta here." He told himself. Just as he stood up and headed for the door, he heard his name being called. "Michael." Sonny turned around slowly to meet eyes with his father. "What is it Mike? I'm tired and I am on my way home." "I wanted to know how Brenda is doing." "Okay I guess." "She's at home resting or something?" "Listen Mike. I don't feel like 'chatting' now okay? I'm outta here so don't forget to lock up." Again he started for the door. "Son, where is Brenda?" Sonny raised his head and groaned. "I don't know." "What do you mean you don't know? You're supposed to be protecting her. After what Jax did to her she's-she's scared of her own shadow- I mean,-" "DON'T tell me about Brenda okay? Don't you think I know how fragile she is right now?" "Well than why don't you know where she is?" "I don't know where she is because she wanted it that way." "I-I don't understand..." Sonny sighed. "She needed space. Some time alone. And because I love her, I'm giving her that." "But you two are still-" "YES! We are still together. Why can't you get your own life and stop worrying about mine?" Mike laughed. "It wouldn't be as much fun this Michael." Sonny rolled his eyes at Mike. "Okay, I'm going home now. If you have anymore questions than you can just leave a message on my machine." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A week later: "Hey lazy, get up already!" Brenda, who was still in bed, opened her eyes slowly and read the clock-6:58. "Jagger, it's 7:00. What are you doing waking me up this early?" "You mean you forgot already? You promised me that you'd come jogging with me on my day off. Now get dressed so we can go." "She flashed an angry look at him and stumbled out of bed. "I can't believe I'm up this early." "Yeah yeah! I know models need their beauty sleep, but one day won't kill you!" Brenda entered the bathroom and got dressed for the jog. "I'm still on New York time ya know." "Nice try Bren, but you can't use PC to get out of this one. Now hurry up!" Brenda thought about Port Charles and what Sonny was doing. She wondered if he missed her as much as she missed him. "Of course he does you idiot!" she thought. "You're hurting him so much right now." "Bren let's go!" Jagger shouted. She was immeadiately shaken out of her thoughts. "Okay." she said while opening the bathroom door. "Let's go."
"Jagger we have to stop and rest for a minute!" Brenda sighed, trying
to catch up to Jagger.
"Okay. Let's go get some breakfast."
They jogged into the closest diner they could find and looked over the
menu. While deciding on what she wanted to eat, she noticed a handsome,
dark-haired man standing across the room.
"Hello! Earth to Brenda!"
"What? Oh sorry."
"Where were you just now? You seemed a million miles away."
She pointed across the room. "See that guy over there? The waitor I
"Yeah what about him?"
"Doesn't he look just like Sonny?" she asked, not taking her eyes off
of the man.
"Um, not realy Bren. Are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"Ya know what Jagger, I'm not okay. I don't know if I ever will be
either." She tilted her head to rest it on her hand.
"You miss him huh?" he asked pitifully.
"Like crazy."
" You know what? I really don't understand you sometimes."
"Sometimes I don't understand me either. But I'd love to hear someone
else's opinion on it."
"Okay. I'll tell you what I think about the situation you're in right
now. To be brutally honest Brenda, I think you're making too much out of it."
"What do you mean?"
"Okay well first of all you and the mobster break up. Then you
desparately try to get him back, only to realize that he is marrying someone
else, who you despise no less. So you marry this monster who you really don't
love, at the exact same time that Sonny becomes a free agent again. You find
eachother again, and then you call it off. I don't get it Brenda."
"Jagger it's not that simple. It's not so black and white."
"It is, you're making it more complicated. See I know that you are
going through alot right now. You were abused and emotionally scarred. I
understand that. But if I were in that situation, I would want to have
someone to go through it with me."
"I just-" She clenched her hands together, covering her face and began
to weep. "I just want to resolve these emotions that I'm experiencing from
the rape."
"I'll probably regret saying this, but I'm going to anyway."
"What's that?"
"You should let Sonny help you resolve those feelings Bren."
"I can't do this. Please can we just drop it?"
"Fine. But don't think that things will get any easier on your own."
Brenda sat in bed sorting through hundreds of legal papers. She had
been putting off going through Miguel's new L&B Contracts, and decided that
now was as good a time as any to do it. It was early into the morning, but
the sun had not risen yet. There was still another reason as to why Brenda
was awake. She did not reveal it to anyone, but sleep was hard to come by
these days. Since the rape, she has been haunted by memories of it in her
When Brenda could not keep her eyes open any longer, she rested her
head on her pillow. Instead of a nightmare, this time she saw a vision of
Sonny in her head. She dreamt about the first time they made love. The way he
touched her so gently and how they melted into one that night. How good it
felt to wake up in his arms, wearing his shirt the next morning. She was
suddenly scared awake and sat up abruptly in bed. Beads of sweat were rolling
down her face as she frantically tried to wipe away the tears. What had
awakened her was the memories of Jax and the rape.
"What's happening to me?" she asked herself. In an attempt to calm
herself down, she tried to go back to sleep. But before she could lay back
down in bed the telephone suddenly caught her eye.
Back in PC:
Sonny sat awake in bed staring at a "Jax Cosmetics" ad of Brenda. He
was growing tired of being apart from her every waking minute. With all that
time to think on his hands, he had contemplated finding her, but remembered
that she needed this time on her own. When the phone rang, Sonny grew
suspicious. He cautiously picked up the phone.
"Hello?" he asked. No response. "Hello?" Again followed a silence.
"Listen, I'm gonna hang up if you won't talk-"
"NO! I mean, don't." Brenda begged with her slightly trembling voice.
"Brenda? Sweetheart is that you?"
She cleared her throat effortlessly "Yeah it's me."
"I've missed hearing that voice of your's."
"Same here. So how are you?"
"I'm fine. Hanging in their, ya know."
"Well you always find a way of landing on your feet."
"Us Bensonhurst kids always do....So tell me, how have you been?"
"I'm good. Things are good."
"Yeah." she whispered.
There was this underlying tension in her voice that Sonny picked up on. The
awkward silence was tearing him apart inside, and he was unable to play the
part of the cool, understanding boyfriend for any longer.
"Who am I kidding? Brenda I miss you. I'm not *good* alright? In fact,
I'm miserable. I close my eyes and I see that beautiful face of your's, or if
I listen hard enough I can almost hear you whispering to me in bed at night.
I don't know, maybe I'm delusional."
"Sonny..." she pleaded.
"Would you believe that I see perfect strangers, and take another look
to see if it's you?"
"Yeah I believe it. Honey, I do the same thing with you."
"So if we are both so miserable than why are we both apart?"
"Sonny, I already explained this to you..."
"I know." he stated somberly. "I guess I was just making one last plea
for you to come home. With me, where you belong."
"Listen, I miss you, but...Wait a minute. One last plea? What does that
mean? Are you giving up on us?"
"No I'm not. I am just getting alittle bored with this waiting thing. I
understand you need your space, but what I don't understand is how you can
throw away what we have."
"But what about all that stuff about giving me all the time I need?"
"I still mean that, but I can't hold out much longer."
"So that's it? If I don't come home now, dont even bother Brenda?"
"No, I don't mean that. I just want you here with me. So that I can
love you through this."

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