To Protect my Love parts 1-5 by PartyDoll


"No, no." Brenda Barrett mutters in her sleep. Then she sits up in

bed screaming. "NOOOOOOOO!!!!" She opens her eyes and looks around

her room at Kelly's. She feels tears in her eyes and buries her

face in her hands. "Oh God. What's happening to me?" She got out

of bed and walked over to her window, looking up at the night sky.

Then she looked down at her hands. It still felt a little strange

not to see her wedding ring on them. Three months. Three months

since she and Jax had said goodbye. Or rather she had said

goodbye. It had not gone well......


"What the hell do you mean, it's over?"


"You still love Miranda and I'll always love Sonny, so it's better

this way, Jax. I'll always love you in my own way. I'm just not in

love with you and as much as you don't want to admit it you're not

in love with me either."


"Brenda--"


"No. Listen. You're in love with Miranda. You always will be. It's

time you accepted that. It's time we both did."


"You can leave, but if you go back to Sonny, I'll kill him."


"What?" She had shivered at the look in his eyes, it had been so

cold.


"You heard me. Stay away from Sonny."


"Why are you doing this? Don't you want me to be happy?"


"Yes, but I also want you alive. Sonny nearly got himself killed a

few months ago. What's to say you won't be next?"


"That's not fair."


"I'm not arguing with you Brenda. I don't make idle threats. You'd

do well to remember that."


"Fine Jax. Good-bye." She had left the apartment and headed to

Kelly's. Ruby had set her up in a room. Not her old one. It was

taken. A totally new room. Sonny had come over a couple days

later, to ask her why she hadn't been returning his phone calls.

She told him she had needed time to think about how she was going

to tell him what she was going to tell him....


"What do you mean what you're going to tell me?"


"I need to tell you we can't be together again."


"What?"


"I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that we could, but after I

left Jax I started to think and I realized that we can't. I'm

sorry Sonny."


"Alright Brenda, if that's the way you want it. I only have one

request."


"What?" She looked at him and she could see the hurt in his eyes.

She hated doing this to him.


"That you look at me. Look me in the eyes and tell me you don't

love me." She looked at him, straight in the eyes.


"I don't love you." It was the biggest lie she had ever told and

he believed her. He had walked out of her room, but not before she

could see the tears in his eyes. After she shut the door behind

him she sank to the floor, sobbing.


Brenda wiped her eyes. The memory could still make her cry. The

dark sky was starting to lighten as she remembered her dream....


She was standing on the docks with Sonny and then Jax had walked

up with some thug. The thug had grabbed her and Jax had grabbed

Sonny. They had forced them apart and then Jax had pulled out a

gun. He pointed it at Sonny and pulled the trigger. That's when

Brenda had woken up screaming.


A knock at the door brought Brenda out of her thoughts. She looked

at her watch. 7:15. Who was here that early? She walked over to

the door and opened it. Standing there was Jagger....


"Jagger?" Brenda looked at her old friend in shock.


"Hey Bren." He smiled that easy, totally adorable grin.


"Ahhh!" She shrieked, throwing herself at him. She pulled away and

pulled him into the room. "What are you doing here? When did you

get here?" She looked back at the door. "More importantly, where's

Karen?"


"I got here about fifteen minutes ago ahd I'm here because Port

Charles is my home."


"Well that answers two of my questions. Now answer the third,

where is Karen?"


"Karen?" Jagger avoided eye contact and studied the little statues

on the table by the window.


"Yeah, Karen. You remember her, right? Your wife. You got married

downstairs. Stone and Robin were your best man and maid of honor.

I was there, hell half of Port Charles was there."


"Speaking of married, I heard you got married."


"Won't work Jagger. You never could lie decently or change the

subject without blushing."


"I do NOT blush."


"The hell you don't." Brenda knew Jagger way too well not to know

when he was lying. Something was definately up. "Where is she

Jagger?"


"San Fransisco."


"What's she doing there?" Jagger sat down in a chair before he

answered.


"Right now, I imagine she's sleeping. Long term, probably going to

a lawyer and filing for divorce."


"What?" Brenda couldn't believe her ears. "Jagger what's going

on?"


"Karen and I split up."


"I gathered that. Why?"


"I fell for someone else."


"What?"


"Her name was Nina. I met her while I was working undercover. She

was the one I was protecting. She had been witness to a murder and

the people were after her. She was sweet and beautiful. I just

fell in love. Why? I don't know."


"Oh Jagger I'm so sorry."


"It's not your fault Brenda. What are you doing here anyway? Robin

wrote that you and Jax broke up. I thought you'd be at Sonny's."


"Oh, well, you know...."


"Uh-huh. What's wrong Brenda?"


"Can you keep a secret?"


"Sure."


"Look, when I left Jax, he made me a promise."


"What kind of a promise?"


"He said that if I went back to Sonny, he'd kill him."


"Brenda, that's not a promise that's a threat. Did you tell

Sonny?"


"Are you kidding? I can't tell Sonny. He'd kill Jax."


"So what'd you tell Sonny?"


"I told him that I couldn't be with him and that I didn't love

him."


"He believed you?"


"Yeah. I'm one hell of a lier, remember?" Brenda felt her voice

crack, so did Jagger. He walked over and put his arms around her

and held her. The phone rang. They pulled away from each other.


"Are you going to get that?"


"No. Let the machine. I'm not in the mood for anyone this early."


"Okay." The machine clicked on.


"Hi this is Brenda and I'm not available right now. Leave a

message and I'll get back to you soon. Have a nice day. Bye." The

machine beeped.


"Brenda this is Jax. Look if you're there pick up I need to talk

to you about something. Call back. You know the number. Bye."


"Was that him?"


"Yep. That's the ex. Ex-husband, ex-lover, and ex-friend." The

phone rang again. "This is ridiculous." The machine clicked on and

the message played. The machine beeped.


"Bren, it's Sonny. Look I need to talk to you. Call me when you

get this message, please. Bye."


"Brenda....."


"Don't Jagger, just don't." A knock came at the door. "What is

this? Grand Central Station?" She walked over to the door and

opened it. Gina was standing there. "Gina? Close your eyes."


"What?"


"Just close your eyes."


"Alright." Gina closed her eyes and Brenda took her hands and led

her into the room. She positioned Gina in front of Jagger.


"Okay. Open 'em." Gina did as she was told.


"Jagger?"


"Hey sis."


"I don't believe it." She hugged her brother tightly. She pulled

away with a puzzled expression. "Where's Karen?"


"Karen and I are getting a divorce Gina."


"Oh Jagger." Gina hugged her brother tightly. "I'm sorry. But I'm

happy you're back. Are you staying?"


"If Ruby has room for me."


"Probably. I've got Brenda's old room but I think Keesha's room is

vacant since she moved in with AJ."


"It'd be perfect for you Jagger."


"Are you two ganging up on me?"


"Why Jagger what would give you that idea?" Brenda was glad to

have her friend back. She thought of those two messages on her

answering machine. She really didn't want to return them, but if

she didn't sooner or later Sonny and Jax would both come looking

for her. Better to get it over with now. First she had to get rid

of her company. "I think I hear Ruby downstairs. Why don't you go

surprise her? Just don't give her a heart attack."


"You got it Bren. Come on Gina."


"I can't wait for you to meet my friend, Nina, Jagger." Gina said

as they left the room. Brenda shut the door behind them. She

walked over to her phone and picked it up. She dialed a number and

put the phone to her ear waiting for someone to pick up. A

feminine voice answered.


"Hello."


"Miranda, hi. Can I talk to Jax?"


"Brenda, of course. Hold on." A few minutes later Jax picked up.


"Brender, thank you for calling me back."


"No problem. What's up?"


"I wanted to know if you had given any thought to my offer."


"Look Jax, I told you. I don't want anything to do with you or

your family anymore. My life with you, our life together is over.

Period. I don't want to get back together and before you ask, yes

I'm keeping up my end of the deal. I haven't gone near Sonny in

over a month."


Meanwhile out in the hall.....


Sonny walked down the hall to Brenda's room. He had come up the

back stairs to avoid Ruby. He stopped in front of Brenda's door

and was about to knock when he heard Brenda's voice.


"...my end of the deal. I haven't gone near Sonny in over a

month." What was she talking about? More importantly who was she

talking to? He got his answer sooner than expected.


"Look Jax, I said I wouldn't go near Sonny as long as you didn't

harm him in any way. I'd do anything to protect him. I love him."

Sonny was flabergasted. She loves me. Suddenly every thought about

forgetting her and moving on flew out of his head. He had only one

thought now. I will get you back, Brenda. He heard her say

good-bye and decided to knock. He rapped lightly on the door. When

she answered it she was still in her pajamas. She looked so

beautiful. "Sonny. What are you doing here? I said I didn't want

to see you anymore."


"I know what you said Brenda. I also know what you just said to

Jax on the phone." Her eyes went wide.


"You listened to my conversation? How could you?" Sonny walked

past her into the room. She shut the door.


"How could I? How could you? Brenda, you looked me right in the

eye and you lied. You said you didn't love me. Do you have any

idea how that made me feel?"


"Sonny, I didn't want to lie to you but it was the only way you'd

give up on me. I would do or say anything to keep you safe. Don't

you understand that? I love you, so much." Sonny could see the

tears in her eyes. "It doesn't matter. It's done. It's over."


"No it's not. I don't care what Jax says or does, I'm not leaving

you alone to deal with him."


"Sonny, he'll kill you. I couldn't live with that. Please don't

make me."


"He's not going to get me Brenda. I'll do whatever is necessary to

keep you and me safe. First of all I'm moving in here."


"What?"


"You heard me."


"What about your bodyguards?"


"They can sleep in a car. I'm not leaving you alone."


"Don't you get it? That is the only way you'll be safe. I want you

alive and well. I want you to fall in love again. With someone

else."


"You know that will never happen, Bren." Brenda sat down on her

bed. Sonny sat beside her and put his arms around her. "I could

never love anyone the way I love you and I don't want to be

without you anymore. Please say you'll let me help." Brenda looked

at him. She loved him so much. She needed him so much.


"Alright, I'll let you stay here." As soon as the words were out

of her mouth she couldn't believe she had agreed to this insane

plan of his. What was she thinking?


"I must be crazy." Brenda muttered as she watched Jason walk by

her with yet another box.


"You? I'm the one sleeping in Gina's room. If Robin finds out

she's going to kill me." Jason said while looking around the

cluttered room for a place to put the box he was carrying.


"She won't hear it from me Jason. Besides it's not like you and

Gina will be doing anything or even pretending to do anything.

That's the only way we got Jagger to agree to this scheme. That

and the fact that you'll be sleeping on the couch in her room and

not in her bed." She watched as Jason put the box on her bed. "Is

that it?"


"Yeah that was the last of them. Now to go put my stuff in Gina's

room." Jason left and Brenda looked around her. In the last twelve

hours Sonny had gotten Ruby's permission for Jason and himself to

move into Gina and her room, packed up most of his clothes and

other necesseties and moved into Kelly's. She sighed looking at

the mess. Sonny was with Joseph looking for a discreet place to

park the car so no one would notice it. Shaking her head she began

to unpack some of the boxes. Jason had put all of Sonny's files in

his room so she wouldn't have to worry about opening them

accidently. Taking some of Sonny's shirts she made room in her

dresser and put them away. Half an hour later she was just about

done when Sonny came in.


"Hi. Everything set with the car?"


"Yeah." Looking around. "Where are all my boxes?"


"Oh they folded up after they were empty so I put them on the top

shelf of the closet. That way you can get at them when you move

out."


"You put my clothes away?"


"Yeah. Don't look so surprised. I do know how to fold clothes, you

know. Robin taught me."


"So where are they?"


"In the dresser and in the closet. You can change anything you

don't like. Your colonge and shaving stuff is on the dressing

table."


"Thanks."


"So where were you planning on sleeping?"


"What do you mean?"


"You don't think you're sleeping in the same bed as me, do you?"

Seeing the look on his face she knew that's exactly what he was

thinking. "You smug little--"


"Well what did you expect Brenda?"


"I expected you to have a little respect for my wishes and my

personal space. You've already moved into my room. Did you really

think I'd let you sleep in my bed?"


"Well,no, but I was hoping you'd come around to the idea. What if

I promise that nothing will happen."


"Nothing?"


"Absolutely nothing. You sleep on one side, I'll sleep on the

other and that's all we'll do. Just sleep." He knew her resolve

was melting and he meant what he said. Nothing would happen. For

now.


"Alright. As long as NOTHING happens."


"Nothing. Not a thing."


"Deal." She stuck out her hand and he shook it firmly.


THAT NIGHT.....


Brenda put on her flannel pajamas and her hair into a ponytail.

She frowned slightly at her reflection, but then she smiled. This

was just one more way to ensure that nothing happened between her

and Sonny that night. She just hoped the dream that she had been

having for the last three months didn't come tonight.


Sonny put on his silk pajamas and robe and walked back down the

hall to Brenda's room. He walked in and saw her reading in bed.

Smiling at her he took off his robe and climbed into bed.


"Are you tired?" she asked.


"A little."


"Okay." She put a marker in her book and leaned over and put it on

the nightstand. She snuggled under the covers and he turned off

the lights.


"Night Bren."


"Night Sonny." They turned over with their backs to each other and

fell asleep. A few hours later Sonny was woken by Brenda's

screaming. He flipped on the lights and found Brenda sitting up

crying hysterically. He slid his arms around her and held her

until she stopped shaking. He pulled away slightly and looked at

her.


"Bren? What's wrong?"


"I don't want to talk about it tonight. Just hold me." She put her

arms around him and they laid back down. Sonny turned off the

lights and held Brenda as they both drifted off again.


Sonny awoke slowly. He could feel something in his arms. He opened

his eyes and looked down. He smiled at the sight of Brenda's head

on his chest. Then he remembered what had gotten her there. He

wondered what had been so horrible that she had woken up screaming

and sobbing. His hand stroked her hair absentmindedley as he

thought. Then he felt her move slightly. She lifted up her head

and looked up at him a little confused.


"Morning."


"Morning?"


"Yeah. Morning."


"How did we get like this?"


"Don't you remember?"


"No. Yes." Her face cleared and she looked a little ashamed.


"Baby, it's alright. You have nothing to be embarassed or ashamed

about."


"I feel like such a little kid. I mean a nightmare."


"How many times Brenda?"


"What?"


"How many times have you had that nightmare?"


"What are you talking about?"


"I heard you last night. When you were drifting off you said not

again. So how many times have you woken up sobbing? How many times

wasn't I there to tell you it was okay, to wipe away your tears,

to hold you until you stopped shaking and fell asleep again?"

Brenda pushed herself up and rolled over onto her back. Sonny

rolled over, propped himself up on his elbow and looked at her.

She met his gaze.


"It started happening right after I told you I couldn't see you

anymore."


"Brenda that was three months ago. You've been having this same

dream for three months?" She looked so sad and tired.


"Yeah." She closed her eyes and a tear escaped. "Usually I don't

go back to sleep. I just get up because normally it's around six

thirty when I wake up. So I just get up."


"No wonder you've looked so tired every time I've seen you lately.

Baby if I had known..."


"You would've tried to make it better. I couldn't let you do that.

Don't you see? If I had let you near, Jax would've found out and

he would have..."


"Shhhh... It's okay." Sonny pulled her into his arms and they just

laid there holding each other until a knock at the door startled

them both.


"Stay here and don't move." Brenda ordered getting out of bed and

covering Sonny with her blankets. She walked over to the door and

opened it a crack. She breathed a sigh of relief and opened it

wider to admit Jason. "Come on in. Sonny it's for you." Sonny

pushed the covers away and got out of bed.


"What's up Jason?"


"We have a problem."






"What kind of a problem?"


"Jax is downstairs and he won't leave. Ruby won't let him upstairs

but he says he won't leave until he sees Brenda."


"Jason tell him, wait did he see you?"


"No, I heard him as I was going down the stairs. I stopped and

listened and then I headed back up here to tell you guys what was

going on."


"Okay then I'll get dressed and go down and deal with him. Jason

you go out the back way and come into Kelly's through the front

door. If you start to sense trouble, rescue me. Spill something on

me or Jax, preferably Jax."


"This okay with you Sonny?"


"Sounds like a plan to me. Let's do it."


"One more thing Sonny you stay here. Don't argue. I don't want you

in Kelly's while Jax is there. I don't want to aggravate him. I'll

be back soon and we can continue our discussion, alright?"


"Okay."


20 Minutes Later


Brenda walked downstairs into Kelly's feeling a little

apprehensive. She saw Jagger sitting at the counter. He nodded

ever so slightly. He knew what was up. She spotted Jax at a table

near the door. His back was to her. As she walked over to him

Jason walked in the door.


"Morning Jason."


"Brenda." A slight smile and he sat down at the counter next to

Jagger.


"Hi Jax."


"Brender, how are you?"


"Fine. So what are you doing here?"


"Ruby makes the best breakfast in town."


"Even better than room service at the PC Hotel?"


"Much."


"Anything you want to talk about?"


"As a matter of fact there is. But can we go somewhere else?"


"I'd rather not. In fact I want you to meet an old friend of

mine." Standing up she raised her voice slightly. "Jagger! Come

here a minute!" Jagger walked over and Brenda sat down. "Jax this

is Jagger Cates. You've met his sister Gina Williams. Jagger and I

are old friends. Jagger this Jasper Jacks, better known as Jax."

Jagger stuck out his hand and Jax returned the gesture.


"Nice to meet you Jagger. Brender's mentioned you before and your

sister is a lovely person."


"Thank you. It's nice to meet you too. I've heard a lot about you

from Robin's letters to my wife, Karen."


"Robin is also a very lovely girl." As Jax and Jagger made small

talk Brenda spotted Sonny on the stairs. Still watching out for

me, Sonny? she thought a little wistfully. Jagger said goodbye and

returned to the counter as Gina walked in the front door of

Kelly's. She went to the counter and sat in between Jagger and

Jason. They started to talk quietly and Gina nodded her head every

once in awhile. "So Brender, is there any chance that you've given

my offer more thought and come to your senses?"


"Jax, how many times do I have to tell you? I don't want to get

back together. You have a wife, you're married, remember? Or did

that convinently slip your mind, like it did to tell me you'd been

married before?"


"You should be my wife and you would be if Sonny hadn't

interferred."


"He loves me and I love him. That's why he did what he did. That's

why I did what I did."


"I guess there's nothing left to say."


"There hasn't been anything left to say for months Jax."


"Brenda, if Sonny makes you happy then you should be with him."


"What?"


"I'm taking back my threat. Be with him. Be happy. Mirander and I

are leaving town so I can't really ask you to be alone anymore.

Take care of yourself Brender." He stood up threw some money on

the table and walked out of Kelly's. Brenda felt a little dazed.

She was free! She looked back over to the stairs. Sonny was gone.


"Brenda?" Looking towards the counter she saw Jason in front of

her. "Everything okay?"


"Better than okay." She could be with Sonny. She stood up and

hugged Jason, then she raced up the stairs to her room. She opened

the door and saw Sonny pacing. He looked at her anxiously.


"Are you okay?" Instead of answering him with words she kissed him

passionately. They pulled away a little breathless. "I'll take

that as a yes." She laughed and took his hand leading him to her

bed.......

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