SOMEWHERE BETWEEN INDIANA AND OHIO
He watched the land roll by as the train rumbled over the tracks. He had been released from the contract on his life. It had taken him almost 7 years and many unmarked graves but it had finally happened; he was going home.
PORT CHARLES, NEW YORK
"Sabrina Marie Corinthos, hurry up and get down here! Youíre going to be late for school!" Brenda Barrett-Jacks called to her 6 year old daughter. Small footsteps sounded on the top floor of the Jacksí home. A little girl with a long black braid falling down her back ran downstairs with a backpack slung over her shoulder.
"Mommy, Iím hurrying, but I canít find my other shoe," called out Sabrina.
Brenda smiled. She reached down and picked up a small black shoe and held it out to her daughter. "You mean this shoe?"
"Mommy! You hid it!"
"No I didnít Sweetheart, but I did remember that this is where you threw it last night instead of taking it up to your room," Brenda said with her eyebrows raised.
Sabrina looked sheepish. "Iím sorry. I ëmember now."
"Good girl. Now put on your shoe and Iíll drive you to school."
"In the cool car?"
Brenda burst out laughing. Sabrina loved the little red Porsche that Brenda had bought all those years ago in a small car dealership.
"Yes Sweetheart, weíll use the ëcool carí instead of Jaxís car."
"Great!" Sabrina said.
Sabrina quickly put on her shoe, grabbed her jacket, and ran out the door ahead of Brenda.
On the ride to Port Charles Elementary School Brenda thought about how much her life had changed in the past 7 years. After Brenda had accepted the fact that she wanted to live, she put her life back together piece by piece. It had been a long process on the road to recovery from her nervous and emotional breakdown but Brenda had an added incentive. She had found out she was pregnant in late January 1998. She had remarried Jax even though she was carrying Sonnyís child. Jax had accepted Sabrina with open arms. Brenda and Jax had built a wonderful marriage based on trust and friendship. Jax knew Brenda would never love him with her whole heart, but he didnít mind. He loved her and he raised Sabrina as though she were his own. Sabrina knew that Jax wasnít her real father but she liked him a lot. She called him Daddy Jax. Although Brenda had wanted more children, Jax had found out after two years of marriage that he was sterile. Brenda loved watching the Sabrina and Jax together although she felt a small twinge in her heart when she thought that she would never have anymore children and that Sonny would never know his daughter. Brenda had forgiven Sonny for what he had done the moment she laid eyes on Sabrina for the first time. Jason had explained why Sonny had left after much prompting from both Carly and Robin. She understood it and she accepted it. Brendaís train of thought was interrupted by Sabrinaís voice.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Sabrina said loudly.
"What is it Honey?"
Sabrina laughed. "You just drove by my school, silly!"
Brenda laughed along with her daughter. "Why so I did." Brenda quickly turned the car around and drove her daughter to school.
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN INDIANA AND OHIO
He opened his wallet and took out a picture. It was of her, the woman he loved more than life itself. She was smiling into the camera with one arm around him. He was wearing a tux and she a blue dress that bared her midriff. Although that night had many unpleasant memories, he would have done anything to go back in time to that day. It was a day of sadness and false accusations. They were remembering the death of their friend, and she had been taken in for questioning for a murder she didnít commit. The questioning was only the beginning. They had gone on a cat and mouse hunt for the real murderer and the man who had set her up. What had they discovered? His ex-father-in-law who was supposedly dead. After what they had thought would be the last day of their lives, it became one of the best. He had proposed and she had accepted. However, when the wedding day came he wasnít at the church. He sent his best friend instead to tell her it was off. He still stuck to his old excuse about why he didnít tell her what was going on: she would have insisted on going with him and he wouldnít see another one of his wives die. He had spent every day of his life since his wedding day missing her and wanting her. He groaned aloud as he thought of the touch of his lips.
"Damn," he said to himself, "Youíre such an idiot Sonny Corinthos. Brenda was the best thing that ever happened to you. I only hope sheís still in Port Charles."
PORT CHARLES, NEW YORK
Brenda sat at her desk in L&B and remembered everything that Sonny was remembering at the same time he was. She reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a photograph. It was the same picture as he had. The last one taken that had the two of them of together. Brenda had just put the picture back in the drawer when there was a knock at the door. Brenda got up to open it.
"Hello Brenda, I thought Iíd bring you some lunch," Jax said smiling into Brendaís face.
"Hi Jax. Címon in. You know you donít have to knock," Brenda replied.
"Well," Jax said, "I looked through the window and saw you looking at Sonnyís picture and I didnít want to interrupt you." Jaxís face was slightly down cast. Brenda reached up and kissed him.
"Honey, you know that Iíll always love Sonny. I love you, too though. Youíve been a great husband and a great father."
Jax smiled at that. "Well I must say, Corinthos has two things in his favor. One, he fell in love with you so he must have good taste."
Brenda laughed and hugged Jax. "Thanks. Whatís the second one?"
"He helped make the most beautiful little girl in the world."
Brenda looked up at Jax with tears in her eyes. "Jax, you know that I love you and that Sabrina loves you, too. Itís just that Sonny was my first real love and I canít help but wonder about him especially now that I know he left me to save me."
"I know that Brenda. But what would happen if one day he decided to come back and still want you?" Jax asked his face filled with curiosity.
Brenda frowned thoughtfully. "I honestly donít know. I love you and youíre my husband, but heíll always have my whole heart. I have to consider Sabrina though. She loves you and even though she knows that Sonny is her father, she loves you."
Jax nodded. "I suppose that was what I needed to know."
Gently, Jax placed his lips on Brendaís and kissed her. She deepened the kiss by leaning into him and wrapping her arms around his neck. The kiss was interrupted by Ned coming into the gatehouse. He cleared his throat loudly and Brenda and Jax pulled apart.
"Okay lovebirds, cut it out. Brenda and I have work to do."
Jax leaned over and kissed Brenda forehead. "I love you. Do you want me to pick Sabrina up after school?"
"Yeah, thatíd be great. Thanks Honey," Brenda said.
Later that afternoon, when Brenda was at home in the little house she had bought 7 years ago, Jax and Sabrina came in smiling.
"Mommy, Mommy, guess what!" shouted Sabrina.
"What is it Sweetheart?"
"Daddy Jax bought me ice cream on the way home from school!"
"Well thatís great, Sabrina. What flavour did you get?" asked Brenda.
"I got strawberry! Itís my new favourite!" Sabrina announced.
Brenda chuckled. Sabrina changed her favourite flavour of ice cream at least once a month. "You know what Brin? You take after your daddy and me with favourite flavours. We both LOVE strawberries!" Brendaís face became thoughtful as she remembered the day in her and Sonnyís old apartment with the strawberries.
"Daddy Jax, I thought your favourite ice cream flavour was símores."
Brenda suddenly realized that she was referring to Sonny instead of Jax. "I meant your other daddy Brin."
Jaxís face lost the confused look it had and became slightly downcast.
"Oh," said Sabrina. "Thatís cool. I have something in common with Daddy. Will I ever get to meet my daddy, Mommy?"
Jax excused himself and went into the kitchen.
"Well Sweetheart, Iím sure if he can your daddy will come back one day but I canít make any promises," Brenda said.
"Thatís okay. I have Daddy Jax for now."
Brenda smiled. "Yes, Jax is a wonderful daddy and ya know what?"
"We should do something special for Daddy Jax for being such a good daddy."
"What will we do, Mommy?"
"Weíll think of something. Maybe we can make him a cake," Brenda said.
"Your special cake?"
"Yeah! I love your mistake cake!" Sabrina cheered.
"My what cake?"
"Uh oh. Thatís what Daddy Jax and I call the cakes you try to make."
"Why do you call it mistake cake?"
"Because," Sabrina said with a smile on her little face, "your cakes are always crooked and look funny like mistakes."
Brenda burst out laughing. Her cooking had improved some, but it was nowhere near gourmet material yet. "Crooked huh? Looks funny huh?" Brenda grabbed her daughter and started tickling her mercilessly.
Jax came in and saw the two women in his life having the time of their lives and joined in. He pinned Brenda down and tickled her with Sabrinaís help. To anyone who didnít know them, they would have looked like a perfect picture of familial bliss; what they wouldnít know is that the woman was dreaming of another man.
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF PENNSYLVANIA
The train continued to chug along as Sonny sat in his seat dreaming of Brenda. He hadnít had contact with anyone in Port Charles since he left. Not even with Jason. He didnít read any New York newspapers or watch American news broadcasts in case he happened to see Brenda. If he so much as saw her on t.v. walking around and talking he would have been on the first flight to Port Charles. The only reason he was going on a train to P.C. was because he wanted time to think. He wondered what Brenda was up to now.
PORT CHARLES, NEW YORK
The next day, Brenda went for a walk to the park so she could have time to think. She sat down on a bench and started imagining what her life would have been like if Sonny hadnít left her.
~*~*~*~ "Honey Iím home!" called Sonny as her entered his and Brendaís home.
Brenda came into the living room to give Sonny a kiss. "Hi Baby. That was such a clichÈ. What brought that on?"
Sonny laughed. "I just feel happy. For the first time in my life I feel complete. I have you and our baby thatís growing inside you. What else could I want?"
Brenda smiled. "I love you Sonny."
"I love you, too," he replied. ~*~*~*~
Brenda shook the fantasy away. "God I miss you Sonny. Why did you have to leave? I would have gone anywhere to be with you. I didnít care about the danger. That was what first attracted me to you. I still love you. Even after all these years. I know I married Jax but he knows that I still love you. I even loved you when I hated you. He knew that. I just hope that someday you come back to me," Brenda said wistfully. She heard a sigh behind her and turned around. Jax stood there staring at Brenda. "Jax!"
"Itís okay, Brenda. You donít have to apologize," he said.
"No Brenda. After 7 years I know you still carry a flame for Sonny. Donít explain yourself."
Brenda stood up and looked at the man who was her husband. She took his hand and kissed it. His eyes were tear-filled and he was smiling sadly. "I do love you Jax, just not like I love Sonny."
"I know. Come on, letís go home."
CROSSING THE BORDER INTO NEW YORK
Sonny could feel his heart pounding. He was getting closer to her all the time. He felt her heartbeat and knew she was thinking of him. He reached in his pocket and pulled out his gold pocket watch. He remembered what she had said when she gave it to him.
~*~*~*~ Itís so you can minutes weíre apart." ~*~*~*~
"Well Brenda, itís been 3,623,894 minutes since I last saw you standing outside St. Timothyís. I hope it will be a lot less than that for you to forgive me."
PORT CHARLES, NEW YORK
Brenda and Jax spent a quiet night at home with Sabrina. After Brendaís revelation about her feelings for Sonny, Brenda had tried to make it up to Jax. Sabrina had helped Brenda make "mistake cake" for Jax and he had been really thrilled by it. It had helped to calm things down between Brenda and Jax. Brenda and Jax went to bed early and as always, Brenda dreamed of Sonny even though she was sharing a bed with Jax.
ACROSS TOWN IN PORT CHARLES
Sonny collected his bags from the train and caught a cab to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Gone were the limos and the bodyguards that went with being a mob boss. When he arrived at the hotel, he requested the same room as Brenda had had when she had left Jax to be with him. Fortunately for Sonny, it was free. A porter took his bags upstairs and he settled in. Memories surrounded him like a fog, as he lay on the bed. He only hoped that some of the things he and Brenda had dreamed about together while lying on that very same bed would come true.
~*~*~*~ "Children?" asked Brenda.
"One after another," Sonny replied. ~*~*~*~
For the second morning in a row Brenda went for a walk. Although today, she didnít go the park. Instead, she went to the docks. She felt a magnetic-like force pulling her there; and rather than resisting it, she let it lead her. She reached the bench where she and Sonny had reconciled and sat down to think and dream.
Sonny walked along the familiar streets that hadnít changed a bit since he left. He ended up at the docks. When he walked down the stairs to sit on "their" bench he gasped. She was there. He slowly walked toward her praying she wasnít a mirage. When he reached the bench he paused, unsure of what to say.
Brenda heard footsteps behind her and froze. She knew those footsteps. She had heard the same pair of black leather shoes walk to her many times in her life, and prayed this wasnít a dream. She stood up and turned around slowly. They stared at each other without moving. Sonny spoke first.
"Am I dreaming?"
"I, I donít know," Brenda whispered. Her face drained of colour as she heard his voice. The voice she had imagined for years. She slowly walked around the bench to stand face-to-face with him. "What are you doing here?"
"I donít know if you know, but the reason I leftÖ" he started.
"Shhhhh. Jason told me why you left. What about the contract?"
Sonny smiled. "Iíve been released from it. The men Rivera paid to kill me, well, lets just say we finally reached an understanding. Iím safe. Youíre safe. Iíve really missed you Brenda."
Brenda slowly reached her hand up to touch his cheek. There was a small scar near his eye. "How did you get this?" she asked.
"One of Riveraís men decided to try and torture me a couple years back. He ran a knife blade from my ear to the corner of my eye. Luckily a good plastic surgeon was able to get rid of most of the scar," he answered.
"Are you okay?"
"Iím fine now. I always feel better with you around. I still love you, Brenda."
Brendaís eyes filled with tears when she heard the tenderness in his words. "I still love you, too."
Sonnyís eyes lit up with joy. He bent his head, and with a small moan, pressed his lips to hers. The softness and the taste of her was too much for him. He started to cry. She held him until he settled down, just as she held Sabrina when she scraped her knee. "Shhhhh," she said soothingly. He looked up to gaze into her eyes but his gaze fell upon her wedding band.
"WhoÖ" he choked out, "did you marry?"
Brenda looked down. "Jax and I remarried when I found outÖ"
"Found out what?"
Brenda looked straight at Sonny. "When I found out I was pregnant with your child."
Sonny was shocked. "My child?"
"Yes. I gave birth to your Sabrina Marie Corinthos on June 14th of 1998. "It must have happened just before you left me."
"You gave her my name?"
"Yes, she deserved to know about her real father. She loves Jax, but she always asks about you."
"Thank-you. You didnít have to do that."
"Yes I did, you left to protect me and I would not let our daughter live a lie about her parentage because you left."
Sonny kissed Brenda again and they stood up and walked to Brendaís house. The whole way there, Brenda and Sonny discussed Sabrina and what they would do about Brendaís marriage. When they got to the house, Sabrina was still at school but Jax was there. Jax saw a look of pure joy on Brendaís face as she brought Sonny into her house. Jax and Brenda had a heartfelt talk in which Jax graciously agreed to a divorce and wished Brenda well. He was still extremely angry at Sonny for leaving Brenda, but seeing the happiness on her face, and knowing the reason why Sonny had left, he didnít do anything about it. Until Sabrina got home, Sonny looked at pictures of his daughter. When the school bus dropped Sabrina she entered the living room to discover Sonny and Brenda on the sofa with photograph albums scattered all around them. She accepted Sonny with open arms who cried as he held his daughter for the first time. Brenda and Jax had a friendly divorce and he still visited Sabrina often. Sabrina relished the idea of having two daddyís although Jax remained "Daddy Jax" and Sonny was just "Daddy". Brenda and Sonny married on a warm, sunny July day in 2004. Sonny loved having a family around in his and Brendaís house. The same house she had bought after he had left her.
All was calm in the Corinthos house until one day in late September of 2004. Brenda came running into the house calling for Sonny excitedly.
"What is it, Sweetheart?" he asked.
"Iím pregnant!" she cried joyfully.
Sonnyís face turned from shock to joy quickly. He covered Brendaís face in kisses. As soon as he had heard Brenda say she was pregnant, he realized something. He, Brenda, and Sabrina didnít have to be in Port Charles for it to be home. He just had to be with his family. The old saying really was true; home is where the heart is.