Welcome Home Parts 1-21 by PartyDoll



Brenda watched the scenery as it race past. This train moves to
fast, she thought, a little anxiously. She would soon be back in
Port Charles. Five years. It had been five years since she had run
from everyone and everything she knew. She still felt a little
pang of fear at the thought of what made her run. Jax. His
attacking her, raping her, had terrified her in ways she had never
thought possible. She closed her eyes at the memory that
threatened to overwhelm her. Going back to Sonny had been right
for her. The night she had nearly been shot and killed by Taggert
he had rescued her and taken her back to his place to calm her
down before he took her home to Jax. She had never made it home.
They had made love that night in what seemed like forever. She had
gone home the next morning to face a very angry and drunk Jax.
When she had finally gotten away she had been too ashamed to face
Sonny or anyone else, so she had left. She had gone all the way to
California, San Fransico to be exact. Jagger and Karen had helped
her find a place to live and a job. She felt someone move next to
her and looked down at the dark haired little boy next to her, his
sister was on the other side of her. These were her two reasons
for living. Marie Adela and Michael Stone. Her and Sonny's
chlidren. She had found out a month later and not being sure if
they were Sonny's or Jax's had kept her from sharing her secret
with anyone but Lois who had flown out to California and stayed
with her until she had gotten the blood results. Both babies had
been her and Sonny's blood type B-. Jax had been O. Lois had
wanted her to tell Sonny but Brenda had said no. She knew Jax was
still living in Port Charles and there was no way she was going to
live in the same city with that bastard. A small voice brought her
back to the present.

"Mommy?"

"What's up Marie?" She brushed Marie's hair away from her face.
She was so pretty. She and Michael both had Sonny's dimples, but
Marie had more of her features and Michael had more of Sonny's.

"Where's everyone going?" Brenda looked around. She had been so
deep in thought she hadn't noticed that the train had stopped. She
gently shook Michael and then gathered their stuff together. After
putting on her shoulder bag and taking the hands of the kids she
led them off the train.

Looking around the busy station she strained for a glance of Lois
or Robin. Then she heard the familar voice.

"Brenda! Over here!" She turned around and saw her two best
friends waving at her from twenty feet away. The kids went nuts
and ran for them. Lois and Robin each caught one and hugged them
fiercely. Then they hugged Brenda.

"It's so good see you two."

"I missed you so much, Brenda. I drove Jason looney the last two
weeks talking about you."

"Bren, Ned is so happy your back. He is over at the Charles Street
house you picked right now, unpacking all of your stuff and
directing Ruby, Mike, Laura, and Lucky."

"Well let's go! I want to see this place. I've only seen pictures.
I want to see the actual product."

20 Minutes later

"Ned!" Brenda shrieked upon walking into the house she had
purchased.

"Bren! Hey little sister." Ned walked over and gave Brenda an
enormous hug. "Where are my godchildren?"

"Right here." answered Lois walking in behind Brenda, Marie in
tow. Robin was right behind her with Michael. Ned stooped down and
gave Marie and Michael a hug.

"You guys want to go see your rooms?"

"Yeah!" Ned took the kids upstairs and Brenda looked around her.
The room was beautiful. Everything was perfect. She spotted Laura
in the kitchen and decided to go and say hello. She walked in and
say that Ruby and Mike were also there.

"Anyone know where I can get a good slice of peacan pie?" Ruby,
Laura, and Mike looked over at her and yelled. Mike hugged her
spinning her around. Ruby and Laura hugged her at the same time.
Ruby had slight tears in her eyes.

"Ruby what's wrong? Aren't you happy to see me?"

"Oh darling of course I am."

"Mike how are you?"

"I'm fine. Where are my grandkids?" Mike was one of the few people
who knew. Everyone that did was in this house.

"Ned took them upstairs. Why don't you go see them?" Mike nodded
and left. Laura sat her down and started to feed her. "Laura is
something wrong?" Ruby gave Laura a look, then Ruby sat across
from her.

"Honey Luke knows."

"What do mean he knows, Ruby?" Brenda felt panic start to rise up
in her.

"He found the last letter and picture you sent me, Brenda." Laura
said sitting down down next to Ruby.

"Oh God." Brenda got up and walked over to the window above the
kitchen sink and leaned on it. "Did he tell Sonny?"

"No I didn't." came Luke's voice from the kitchen door. Brenda
turned around and as she did she half-expected to see Sonny with
him. But he was alone. "So Brenda, do I get a hug hello?"

"Absolutely." Brenda walked over and gave him a big hug. He
squeezed her tight. "How are you Luke?"

"I'm fine. I'll be even better after we talk."

"I believe that's our cue, Ruby." Ruby and Laura left and Brenda
and Luke sat down at the table.

"You're probably furious at me."

"Furious? No. Curious? Yes. Why Brenda?"

"You do not know how many times I asked myself that same question
over the years. Why didn't I tell Sonny he had two children? Why
did I leave my home and my friends? Why didn't I press charges
against Jax after he-" Brenda stopped suddenly looking at Luke in
horror.

"Brenda it's okay. After I found out about Marie and Michael I
made Ruby spill the whole story. I know what Jax did."

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Everyone in this town knows
everything sooner or later."

"Mommy! Mommy!"

"Michael, what is it?" Brenda pulled her son up on her lap and
smoothed his hair.

"Uncle Ned said there was a hairy scary monster under my bed."

"Honey do remember what you and Uncle Jagger did to Marie on
Halloween?"

"Yeah."

"This is her revenge."

"What's revenge?"

"I'll explain it when you're older." Michael looked at Luke.

"Who are you?"

"This is an old friend of mine. Luke, I'd like you to meet my son,
Michael Stone." Luke looked at Michael with fondness and a slight
sadness. "Why don't you go ask Grandpa Mike to help you unpack?"

"Okay." Michael hopped off her lap and took off. Brenda looked at
Luke.

"Are you going to tell him?"
"You have a month Brenda. If you haven't told him by then, I
will."

"Fair enough. Thank you Luke."

"You're welcome. Michael Stone, huh? Good job Brenda."

"Our daughter's name is Marie Adela."

"He'll be happy."

"If he doesn't kill me first." Luke laughed and then stood up and
walked out of the kitchen. Brenda needed to think and she couldn't
do it here. She walked into the living room. "Lois, will you keep
an eye on the kids? I'm going to go out for a while. I need to
think."

"Of course I will. Go. We were going to order pizza for dinner,
okay?"

"Fine. Just don't forget that Marie's allegeric to mushrooms."

"I remember." Brenda smiled at her best friend who tossed her the
keys to her van. Twenty minutes later she stood on the Port
Charles Bridge.

"Hi Stone. Happy Anniversary. I guess remembering you for the last
five years is my way of trying to make up for the fact that I
forgot the first year. Guess you know why I'm here. I screwed up
big time Stone. But you probably already know that. Your namesake
looks just like his father. Growing everyday and I'm babbling
again, but you're probably used to that by now. I've babbled to
you enough over the years. I just really wish you were here. I
could use your advice right now." Brenda heard a noise behind her
and turned. Mac was standing there.

"Mac, hi. How are you?"

"I'm fine. Robin told me you were coming back today. I expected
you to be at the house unpacking."

"Everything's basically done. Ned took care of most of it. What
are you doing here?"

"Same thing you are. I woke up this morning and looked at the
calender. Hit me like a ton of bricks what today was." Mac walked
over and leaned on the rail looking out over the water. "I may not
have appreciated Stone until the end, but I do miss him."

"I know you do. Robin knows too. Ya know I remember being her the
night Robin scattered his ashes. The day he walked on stilts.
Helping him build the world's biggest ice cream sundae. I have so
many memories of him. I haven't lost one and every year on his
anniversary I'd remember them. From start to finish."

"I think Robin does that too."

"Mac, how long were you standing behind me?"

"Not to long. Don't worry, whatever you said to Stone is still
between you and him."

"I better go. Lois is going to start wondering what happened to
me. Oh, by the way I heard about you and Felicia getting married.
Congratulations."

"Thanks. Bye Brenda."

"Bye Mac." Brenda got in the car and drove home. When she walked
in the door Lois was sitting on the couch with Brooke, Anthony,
Michael, and Marie. "Hi guys. What's going on?"

"Mommy, Aunt Lois is showing us her wedding pictures."

"Oh really." Brenda sat down on the couch and Marie immediately
climbed on her lap. "I missed you too sweetie. Where's Ned?"

"He and Mike went to pick the pizza up, Aunt Brenda." Brooke was
trying to get a better look at album. Just then Ned and Mike
walked in. Mike pulled Brenda aside as everyone went into the
kitchen.

"What is it Mike?"

"I saw Sonny tonight Brenda."
"How is he?"

"He heard you were back."

"I'm sure he did. Robin said she's been driving Jason crazy the
last two weeks talking about me. We all know that Jason tells
Sonny everything. Do you know what today is?"

"Yeah I do." Brenda smiled at him. She looked so sad.

"I need some air. Tell everyone to eat without me."

"You gonna be okay?"

"Yeah, I'll just be out on the porch." Brenda walked out the front
door just as Ned walked in from the kitchen.

"Where's Brenda?"

"Porch. She said she needed some air." Mike gave him a look and
went into the kitchen. Ned walked out onto the porch.

"Bren?" She turned around, smiled at him, and turned back around,
crossing her arms over her chest. He walked over and stood next to
her. "You okay?"

"I guess. What are you doing out here? I smelled pepperoni when
you guys walked in. I know that's your favorite."

"Won't work Bren."

"Yeah I know. Never could fool you, could I? Why is that?"

"Can't fool family." Brenda looked at him, smiling, then her smile
faded as she sighed.

"Oh Ned, what am I gonna do?"

"You could tell him the truth."

"That is the last thing I'd thought you'd say."

"Why? Just because I don't especially like Sonny, doesn't mean I
think you should deny him the chance to be a father and don't
think I think that's the only reason."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about the fact you still haven't told anyone outside
the "family" so to speak, that Jax raped you. You're afraid of
opening up Brenda."

"I'm not used to this you know."

"Used to what?"

"Being answered back when I talk about my problems."

"Who do you talk to that doesn't answer back?"

"Stone. You know a couple of times I even talked to my mother and
once I even talked to Lily."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Level with me Ned. You know why my mother left my father."

"Picked up a clue here and there over the years before I flat out
asked Julia what happened."

"She told you, huh? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I would have
told you if you had asked. I don't know why I didn't anyway. I
guess I was a little embarassed, maybe ashamed." Ned hugged her
and as they headed back inside they heard a car tear down the
street. Turning they saw a snazzy sports car screech to a halt.
Even from a distance Brenda recognized the driver. It was Jax.
"Ned you said-"

"I know. I haven't seen him in over a year. He moved out of the
hotel and left town. He took Miranda with him." Ned looked at
Brenda. He could see her shaking. He took her arm and put her
inside, closing the door behind him as he walked back out onto the
porch as Jax walked up on the porch.

"What are you doing here Jax?"
"I came to see Brender. Where is she?"

"Inside. But if you think you're getting in there you're sadly
mistaken."

"I just want to talk to her."

"You listen to me. You come anywhere near this house, my home, my
wife, or her best friend and I will beat the living hell out of
you. Now turn around, get back into your car and drive away and
don't come back." With that Ned went back into the house. Brenda
was sitting on the steps. Without a word he sat down next to her.

"This was a mistake. I should have stayed in California."

"You listen to me, you came back because this is your home. We're
your family. We are going to find a way to keep that bastard away
from you."

"It's not just me I'm worried about Ned. What if he goes after the
kids?"

"Brenda he doesn't even know about them."

"He could find out and he could try to do something to them."

"Brenda listen to me. You have a state of the art alarm system,
your speed dial is set to dial the police, us, and the Spencer's,
who by the way have a shot gun." Brenda erupted into giggles and
Ned did too. "So you see, you are not in danger."

"Thank you." She hugged Ned. Hours later she laid in bed thinking.
Her thoughts drifted. Her mind ran over some of the things Sonny
had said to her after he had brought Miranda back.

*"Safety's an illusion."

"I need you now. Not to rescue me to be with me."

"I love you and you love me."

"This is real. It may be messy, it may be inconvienent, but it is
the strongest thing you'll ever know."

"Those aren't emotions. They're excuses."* Brenda felt tears in
her eyes. Then there had been the last night they had been
together.

*"I almost lost you tonight." He had looked so sad.

"You'll never lose me Sonny. No matter what I'll always be with
you. Tell me you know that."

"I do. I better take you home. Jax is probably worried about you."
He had stood up but she placed a hand on his arm.

"I don't want you to take me home Sonny. I want to stay here with
you tonight."

"Brenda?" She stood and kissed him.

"I want to be with you tonight. Tonight and tommorrow and everyday
for the rest of our lives. I love you. I realized that tonight. I
looked down the barrel of a gun and I saw you. I saw us. I want
us, forever." He put his arms around her and started to kiss her.
Her face, her neck, everywhere....* The memory faded when she
heard the doorbell ring. She looked at the clock. It was almost
midnight. She thought about calling Luke. Nah. She pulled on her
robe and went downstairs. Flipping on the lights, she peered
through the peephole. It was Sonny. She opened the door.

"Come in."

"Thanks." He walked in and she closed the door. "I'm a little
surprised you let me in."

"Why wouldn't I? Do you want to sit?" She gestured towards the
couch and he sat down. She sat in the rocking chair across from
him.

"Well it is almost midnight."

"Yeah I noticed. So what's up?"

"Came to welcome you back. See how you were."

"You couldn't do that at a decent hour?"

"I could but I figured that if I came late at night no one else
would be around."

"You wanted to be alone?"

"Yeah. I didn't want Ned to be around when I tried to talk to
you."

"Why?"

"Because I have something to say and I didn't want anyone to
interupt." A creak sounded upstairs and Brenda looked up. Marie's
room was right above them.

"Will you excuse me a minute? I have to powder my nose." Sonny
nodded and she ran upstairs. She creaked open the door to Marie's
room and slipped inside. She smiled at her little girl who, as
usual had kicked all her blankets off. She covered her up and
kissed her forehead. She stirred a little. Brenda slipped back out
and quietly shut the door. Then she headed back downstairs. Sonny
was standing over by the fireplace examining a picture of her,
Lois, and the kids. "I'm back." He turned around.

"Cute kids." gesturing at the picture.

"They are, aren't they?" He put the picture back on the mantle as
she came down the rest of the stairs.

"I recognize Brooke and Anthony, but who are the other two?"
"Do you want some coffee?" She said dodging his question. She
walked into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. She busied
herself making a pot of coffee, then when she was done she leaned
on the counter. She breathed deeply. She couldn't dodge Sonny
forever. Sooner or later Sonny would find out about Michael and
Marie and then? What would he do? She heard him come into the
kitchen. She quickly composed herself. "Do you still like sugar?"

"Yeah I do. How do you have all this stuff? I thought you just
moved in. Yet everything's in place and you have groceries."

"Well Ned took care of almost everything. I ordered furniture and
he made sure it got here okay and that it went in the right rooms.
Lois and Robin went grocery shopping yesterday and everyone else
just helped. It was really nice of them."

"Yeah it was. So are you going to answer my question?"

"Which one?"

"The one about who the other two kids were in the picture of you,
Lois, Brooke, and Anthony."

"Oh they're Michael and Marie."

"Whose kids are they? Karen and Jagger's?"

"No." She turned around to face him. "They're mine."

"What?"

"You heard me. I have two children. Twins actually. Marie was for
my mother and Michael is for their father."

"What?"

"This isn't how I wanted to tell you."

"Tell me what?"

"Sonny you and I-- We have-- I can't do this."

"Yes you can." She turned around, putting her back to him again.
He walked up until he was standing directly behind her. He turned
her around and took her face in his hands. "Brenda, nothing can be
so terrible that you can't tell me. Don't you know that? When you
answered that door tonight and I looked at you it was like nothing
had changed. No time had passed. Those five years didn't exist. Do
you remember what we talked about that last night? Spending the
rest of our lives together. Having kids, being together till we
were eighty. I told you that I loved you with all my heart and I
meant it."

"Sonny we do have children. Those two children in that picture are
Michael Stone and Marie Adela. They're yours. They're ours."
Brenda closed her eyes, feeling tears escaping. When she opened
her eyes again she saw Sonny staring at her. The look in his eyes
was unreadable. "Sonny, I'm sorry." He took his hands away and
took a few steps back. "Sonny you're scaring me. Say something,
please."

"Two children?"

"Yes." She heard the pot whistling and she turned it off.

"Twins?"

"Yes."

"How did this happen?"

"That last night we were together. That's when it happened. As for
how I think you can guess."

"You left the next day. Nobody knew where you were. I was scared
to death until Lois and Robin got letters from you."

"I'm sorry if I scared you."

"You ran away. From everyone and everything."

"It was a long time ago and I didn't run, I left."

"You ran and I want to know why you ran."

"It doesn't matter why."

"The hell it doesn't. You left me. You didn't tell me I was going
to be a father. Instead you ran away. Now tell me, Brenda, why did
you run away?"

"You want to know why I left?"

"Yes Brenda I do. That's why I asked."

"The morning after we made love I told you I needed to go back and
end things with Jax. You asked me if I wanted you to come with me,
do you remember?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Did Deke ever force your mother?"

"What do you mean force?" Sonny's face started to clear as he
comprehended what Brenda was saying. "That son of a--"

"Sonny."

"I don't believe this. Why didn't you tell me?" Brenda sat down at
the table and Sonny sat across from her.

"I was ashamed and humilated. You know when I found out I was
pregnant I was scared to death. No matter what if the child had
been Jax's I wouldn't have kept it. There was no way I was going
to keep a child conceived in rape. Not after it happened to me."
Brenda wasn't aware of her words and when she realized they were
out she looked at Sonny. She got up and tried to walk around Sonny
into the living room but he got up and put his arms around her.
She just started to sob. He stroked her hair and just held her
until she stopped. Then he took her hand and led her into living
room. They sat on the couch, Sonny's arms around her and her head
on his chest. They just sat there not speaking for a few minutes.

"Why didn't you ever tell me baby?"

"About Jax or about me?"

"Both."

"With me, I guess I didn't think it mattered. With Jax I just
thought you might think differently of me."

"Well that's where you're wrong. It definately matters and as for
thinking differently of you. Never happen." He kissed the top of
her head and then rested his chin there.

"Thank you." She said in small voice.

"For what?"

"This. I know you must be furious at me because of Marie and
Michael."

"I'm not furious. I'm a little upset. Why didn't you tell me? Did
you think I wouldn't be a good father?"

"No. I knew that no matter what Deke did to you or how lonely you
felt after Mike left I knew that you would be a good father. Even
though Jagger said I was totally crazy."

"Bren, have you seen Jax since it happened?"

"Five years went by and I didn't see him and then today, BOOM! He
literally drives back into my life. Ned told me he hadn't seen him
in over a year before tonight."

"He was here?"

"He was out on the front porch. Ned headed him off. Then he came
inside and reminded me about the alarm system, the speed dial, and
the Spencer's shot gun. He had me laughing which was good because
at the time I was thinking about grabbing the kids and get on the
first plane back to California."

"I'm glad you didn't."

"Me too."

"Bren, do mind if I stay here tonight? It's just that I'd feel
better if I knew you were safe."

"Not a problem. I wouldn't mind. Just be up before the kids come
downstairs, okay?"

"Okay." Then phone rang and Brenda groaned.

"It's after one in the morning, who the hell is calling?" She
leaned over Sonny and picked up the phone. "Hello? What the hell
do you want? Look Ned made it clear you are not to come or call
here ever. If I have to I will get a restraining order." She
slammed down the phone. She was shaking. Sonny just wrapped his
arms around her and held her all the while thinking about how to
make sure that Jax left her alone and to make him pay for hurting
the love of his life...

Brenda shifted and her hand hit something that was soft and hard
at the same time. She opened her eyes and saw that her hand rested
on Sonny's stomach. She smiled softly and then pushed herself up
and looked around and realized that they had fallen asleep in the
living room. She looked at her watch and gasped. The kids could be
coming down the stairs any minute. She started to shake Sonny.

"Sonny! Sonny wake up!"

"Whaa? Brenda? You weren't a dream. You really are back." Brenda
smiled at his words.

"Yes sweetie, I'm really back, but you have to go. The kids could
be up at any minute and I have a really busy day ahead of me."

"Do the kids know about me? Did you tell them anything about their
father?" Sonny asked as he put his shoes on.

"I didn't lie and tell them you were dead if that's what you mean.
I told them that their father was some place else."

"Why didn't you tell me when you knew?"

"Because I wasn't ready to come back here and this is where your
life is."

"You're my life. Always have been, always will be."

"I love you. They're going to too."

"I'd like to meet them, get to know to them and someday soon,
marry their mother."

"You mean that?"

"Absolutely. So I'm going to go and wake Joseph up and have him
take me home. I'll see you later?"

"Yeah. You know Lois is going to take the kids to the park with
Laura and Lulu if you want to go and watch them. I'll tell Lois
ahead of time."

"Where are you going to be?"

"I have something I need to do." Sonny nodded, kissed her, and
left. A couple hours later after she had picked out a car and Lois
had taken the kids to the park Brenda stood in front of Lily's
grave.

"Hi Lily. Better late than never I guess. I think you know why I'm
here. Sonny told me this morning he wanted to marry me. I want to
make him happy and I think I can but I'm scared. I'm scared of
letting him down, of hurting him, of getting hurt. But most of all
I'm scared that he'll never really forgive me for keeping his
children from him."

"If you're so scared why marry him?" Brenda whirled around. Jax ws
standing there.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Brenda took a step back. She
felt terror swelling up in her.

"I wanted to see you so I waited until you were alone."

"You've been following me?"

"Not exactly."

"I'm going to walk around you, get into my car, and drive home and
if try to stop me, so help me I will scream bloody murder." Brenda
started to move towards the gate when Sonny stepped into her path.
He smiled at her but then he caught sight of Jax. His smile faded
and his expression became hard.

"Brenda go wait for me at your car. I walked here from the park,
so I'm going to need a ride home, okay?"

"Sonny, please.."

"Just go okay baby?" She nodded mouthing the words be careful. He
nodded and she walked away, thinking Heaven help Jax.

"So Jax what are you doing here?"

"I came to pay my respects to your wife."

"Very cute. You following Brenda?"

"What if I was?" Sonny never got a chance to answer because Brenda
came flying into the cemetary. She was out of breath and she was
crying. Sonny put his hands on her arms. "Brenda. What's wrong?"

"Lo- Lois." She was gasping for air and trying to calm down.

"Baby calm down. What about Lois?"

"Accident. Car."

"Are the kids okay?" Brenda nodded and her face crumpled as she
dissolved in sobs. He took her in his arms till she stopped.
"General Hospital?"

"Yes."

"Let's go."

"I'm coming too." Brenda whirled around.

"The hell you are. I do NOT want you anywhere near the hospital or
Lois. Am I making myself clear? Just remember that Ned threatened
to rip you apart if you came near me or her." With that she took
Sonny's arm and led him away, leaving Jax staring after them.

*10 minutes later*

Brenda and Sonny walked into the emergency room waiting room. She
spotted Ned.

"Ned." He turned and opened his arms wide. She ran for him and he
caught her in his arms. "You okay?" He pulled back.

"No. I'm scared to death. I can't lose her Brenda." He sat down on
the bench and she sat down next to him. Sonny sat in a chair a few
feet away.

"Alright big brother, time for you to listen to me. You are not
going to lose her. Lois Marie Cerullo Ashton is a fighter. She
fought for your life together and the life of your child. That's
why you love her and that's why you married her." Ned looked at
her. What Brenda said had sunk in. She was right. He hugged her.
"Ned this is going to sound a little weird, but where are the
kids?"

"I'm sorry. Laura took them home with her."

"All of them?"

"Yeah. Emily and Lucky are there and Laura is under strict orders
not to let Emily take Brooke and Anthony home with her."

"Well I'm going to go call them. You gonna be okay?"

"Yeah. Go." Brenda smiled and walked in the direction of a pay
phone. Ned noticed Sonny. "Hi Sonny."

"Ned. How are you?"

"I've been better."

"This is going to sound a little stupid but did you call Gloria
and Carmine?" Ned's eyes went wide.

"No." He started to get up but Sonny motioned for him to stay.

"I'll go. Stay here in case there's any news."

"Alright. Thanks Sonny." Sonny nodded and walked away. He found
Brenda in front of pay phone. She was smiling fondly. As he got
closer he could hear her words.

"You listen to Laura sweetie. Tell Michael if he doesn't behave I
won't let him watch Sesame Street for a week. Yes you have to eat
your vegetables. Same rules apply there as home. I love you too
sweetie. Now put Laura back on. Laura? I'm sorry about all that.
We will. Alright. Bye." Brenda hung up the phone and immediatley
picked it up again. She dialed and a moment later someone
answered. "Can I speak to Robin Scorpio please? Yes I'll hold."
She spotted Sonny and waved him over. "Hi. How long have you been
standing there?"

"Long enough to realize you are a great mother."

"Well thank you kindly. Robin? Hi. Everything's fine. Well maybe
not totally fine. Lois was in an accident tonight. We don't know.
I will. I will. I promise. Right. Love you too, little sister.
Bye." She hung up the phone and looked at Sonny.

"I gotta call Gloria and Carmine."

"Oh God. Do you want me to do it?"

"No but I want you to stay with me while I do it."

"You got it. Need some change?"

"No." He put his own change into the phone and dialed Bensonhurst.
"Hello? Gloria? It's Sonny. I'm fine but Lois was in a car
accident. Yeah. Right. See you soon. Bye."

"They're on their way?"

"Yeah." Brenda turned away from him and walked toward the window
at the end of hall. He walked towards her. As he got nearer he
could see that she was sobbing. He put his arms around her and she
leaned back against him.

"I'm scared Sonny."

"I know. Me too."

"I hate hospitals. After Stone died I never wanted to be near one
again. Correction after you nearly died from that heroin overdose
I never wanted to be near one again."

"Bren, she's not gonna die."

"You're right. I hope." Just then Alan came out of the trauma room
and walked towards Ned. Sonny and Brenda walked over.

"Alan, is she okay?

"It'll be touch and go for a while, but we think she'll be
fine...." Suddenly Brenda wasn't hearing Alan's words anymore she
was hearing the words of the emergency room doctor the night of
the car crash that nearly killed Karen, herself, and Marie and had
killed Jagger's daughter Jessica.

"And my daughter?"

"We're sorry Mr. Cates but Jessica didn't survive. We did our
best." Jagger had nodded numbly and Brenda had taken his arm and
sat him down. One of the nurses brought Marie out and she had run
for Brenda. Jagger had looked at them with tears in his eyes....

"Brenda? Brenda!" She heard Ned's voice.

"I'm sorry. What?" Ned noticed the look on her face and knew what
she had been thinking of. He and Lois had been visiting at the
time of the accident. "I need to be alone for a while. Excuse me."
She turned away and walked down the hall.

"Brenda!" Sonny started after her but Ned grabbed his arm.

"Let her go, Sonny. She needs time."

"Time for what?"

"Sit down." Sonny and Ned sat down on some chairs. "A couple
months ago Brenda and Marie were in a car accident with Karen and
her daughter Jessica. Brenda and Marie came out of it without a
scratch but Karen and Jessica weren't so lucky. Jessica lost her
life and Karen lost the child she had been carrying. Brenda feels
responsible because she was driving. I think what Alan just said
brought back some bad memories for her. They were basically the
same words that the other doctor said to Jagger."

"Oh God. I gotta find her." Sonny stood up. "Thanks Ned." Sonny
walked down the hall in search of Brenda. As he made his way down
the hall he passed the hospital chapel. He paused and looked in.
There she was in the front pew. He slowly approached her. One leg
was drawn up to her chest and the other rest on the floor. He sat
next to her without a word. After a few minutes she looked at him.

"Hi. How'd you find me?"

"I passed by and saw you. You okay?"

"No. I'm scared to death and I don't want to break down on Ned or
Gloria and Carmine because I'm supposed to be the strong one for
them. I figured coming here would make me feel calmer."

"C'mere." He pulled her onto his lap. "Now I want you to listen to
me. I don't want you to ever feel like you have to put on an act
with me. You can cry or scream or do anything you feel you have
to. Okay?"

"Okay. Thank you." She laid her head on his shoulder and sighed.
They sat like that for what seemed forever.

"I love you Bren. I don't ever want you to forget that." She
raised her head off his shoulder and looked at him.

"I never have. I knew you loved me even when you said you hated me
because I did the same thing. I've loved you forever."

"Well then I guess I have only one question."

"What?"

"Will you marry me?"

"Will I what?" Brenda wasn't sure she had heard him right.

"Will you marry me?" She could feel tears in her eyes. She
couldn't believe this was happening. She had been waiting for
years for those words from this man and now she was finally
hearing them. She tried to speak and found she couldn't so she
just started to nod. Sonny leaned forward slightly and whispered.
"Yes?"

"Yes! Absolutely positively yes!" Sonny kissed her long and hard.
When they got too urgent Brenda pulled back. "Sweetie we're in the
middle of a hospital chapel."

"Good point. Can I take you home?"

"What about Lois?"

"Ned'll call if there's any change besides I think she'll
understand."

"What about the kids?"

"Laura's got them at her house and she's probably expecting to
take care of them all night."

"True."

"So any other problems?"

"None that I can think of."

"Then let's go home." Brenda stood up and offered her hand to
Sonny. He took it and they walked out of the chapel. After a quick
stop to tell Ned to call them if there was any change they headed
back to Brenda's house. They made their way upstairs to her
bedroom. Brenda sat Sonny down on the bed and said she'd be right
back. Then she disappeared into the bathroom. Sonny laid back on
her bed and waited. About fifteen minutes later she appeared in
the doorway. She walked over to him and kneeled on the bed. He sat
up and put his arms around her kissing her and then laying her
gently on the bed. Sonny pulled back for a moment and took his
shirt off. He rested his hands on either side of her and she
reached out taking his face in her hands. He looked in her eyes.
He had seen that look before. It was there the first time they had
made love in Washington. A combination of fear and calmness. She
pulled him toward her and they kissed and kissed and kissed and
(well you get the idea).

Hours later Brenda woke up. She rolled over and saw Sonny watching
her. She smiled at him and he pulled her into his arms.

"Happy?"

"Very." She said giggling.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing. I feel drunk for some reason."

"Really? What a coinsidence, so do I."

"Robin told me she used to feel this way after she and Stone used
to make love."

"I felt this way after the first time we made love."

"I love feeling this way again."

"Mmmmm Me too." The doorbell rang and Brenda whimpered. "What time
is it?" Brenda lifted her head and looked at the clock next to her
bed.

"It's quarter after eleven."

"A.M. or P.M.?"

"P.M." She started to get up but he pulled her back down.

"Ignore them and they'll go away."

"What if it's Laura?"

"She would've called."

"Then who could it be?" She looked a little scared. He knew what
she was thinking.

"You stay here. I'll go." He got up and began to dress. He headed
downstairs. He reached the front door just as the bell rang again.
He opened the door and found Jax standing there along with
Miranda....

"Fred, Ethel. Come on in." He turned and shouted up the stairs. "Lucy we got
company."

"What the blazes are you talking about Corinthos?" Jax said stalking in. He looked
around. "Where's Brender?"

"Right here. What are you doing here? Hello Miranda." Brenda said coming down the
stairs.

"Well we just came to see how you were. We heard Lois is going to be fine."

"That's right she is. What did you come over here hoping to find me alone? I know you
were gonna have Miranda watch you rape me this time. Maybe you thought it'd turn
her on." Sonny put his hands on her shoulders to calm her. She took a deep breath.
She fixed her steely gaze on Jax. "Get out of my house before I call the police. I'm sure
Mac would love to throw you in jail."

"I'm not leaving you alone with a mobster. Besides we should talk."

"Get over it Jax. That line about Sonny got old and tired a long time ago. Besides say
what you will about Sonny but he never forced himself on me. He never had to." Jax's
face turned white. "Now get out." Jax grabbed Miranda's hand and dragged her out the
door. Sonny held it open for them.

"It's been real." He shouted out after them slamming the door. A few seconds later they
heard his car peal out. He turned around to the sight of Brenda picking up the phone.

"Hi Mac, it's Brenda. Call me when you get this message. The number is 555-9497.
Thanks. Bye." She hung up the phone and turned around. She smiled at him as he
walked towards her. He took her in his arms and hugged her.

"You okay, baby?" As he settled her on the couch and turned on the stereo before
sitting beside her.

"Yeah, I guess." She leaned against him and he put his arm around her.

"What'd you call Mac for?"

"I'm getting a restraining order."

"Joseph could restrain him."

"That's something I wanted to talk to you about." She sat up and looked at him.
"You're going to make me your wife. Am I going to have to take Joseph with me
everytime I go to the store or take the kids to the park? What about when Marie and
Michael start school? I don't want them to have to take a bodyguard to school with
them. I'll be damned if those kids grow up in a fishbowl."

"If you don't want a bodyguard then you don't have to have one. Can I at least get you
a driver?"

"A driver? I guess that'd be okay. But when I take the kids to the mall or something I
want to be able to drive them. You can send Joseph in a seperate car or something."

"You seem really oppposed to a bodyguard, any special reason?" She leaned back
against him.

"I had one for a couple of years when I was younger."

"Really? I didn't know your old man cared so much."

"He didn't. My grandfather did though. I'm telling you it drove me bananas." She said
yawning.

"No bodyguard, I promise. Now can we talk about something else, please?" His
answer was deep, even breathing. "Bren?" He smiled and kissed the top of her head.
"Night baby."


"Sweetie, stop pacing. You're going to wear a hole in the carpet." Brenda watched
Sonny with a smile.

"I'm a little nervous. Can you blame me?"

"No. But don't you think you're being just a little silly?"

"I'm about to meet my children for the first time. I don't think I'm being silly." He
looked at his watch. "Where is Mike anyway?"

"He took the kids to the park and he should be back soon. So will you please relax?
You're making me nervous." Sonny looked at her and knew she was right. He was
being a little silly but he couldn't help it. For the first time in who knows how long he
was nervous. Hell forget nervous he was scared stiff.

Brenda looked at the man she loved so much and knew what he was feeling. She
patted the seat next to her. "Come sit here." He obliged and when he sat she took his
hand and looked in his eyes. "You have nothing to be scared about, okay? Those kids
are going to love you. They have asked Mike about you a million times and he has told
them everything they wanted to know about their daddy. So relax and that's an order."

"Have I told you how much I love you lately?"

"Yes and I believed you showed me the other night." She smiled at him and he felt his
nervousness start to evaporate. Then the door opened and Mike walked in with two
dark haired children. They looked like younger versions of himself and Brenda. Brenda
stood up and walked over to Mike giving him a hug. "Thanks for taking them, Mike."

"No thanks necessary Brenda. Always willing to take my grandkids." He spotted
Sonny and nodded. He kissed Brenda's cheek and then kissed the kids. "Bye guys."

"Bye Grandpa." The kids were taking off their coats and hats. It was pretty cold out
even for early December. After everything was put away Brenda led the kids over to
the couch. She sat them down in between him and her.

"Kids, do you remember how we always told you that your daddy wasn't dead but that
he was someplace else?"

"Sure Mommy."

"Do you remember how I told you that one day you'd meet him?"

"Mommy?"

"What Marie?"

"Is he our daddy?" She said pointing at Sonny.

"Why do ask that?"

"Cause Grandpa showed us a picture of a man and he said that he was our daddy and
he was the man in the picture."

"Well Marie, yes he is your daddy." Silence followed Brenda's announcement and she
bit her lip, waiting. Finally Marie, who was sitting next to Sonny reached up her arms
and gave Sonny a big hug. Brenda looked at Sonny with tears in her eyes as he hugged
his little girl back.

"Me too! Me too!" Michael piped up and crawled over to his sister and father. Marie
moved over to make room for her brother and Sonny hugged his son and daughter
tightly. He opened his eyes and Brenda could see they were glistening. He mouthed the
words thank you. Brenda nodded. When Sonny finally released the kids they looked at
Brenda.

"Mommy why are you crying?" Michael asked.

"Because I'm happy sweetie."

"Why are you happy?"

"Because I have something back that I lost a long time ago." The kids looked confused
but they let the subject go. Brenda looked at Sonny and knew he knew what she was
talking about. "Hey who wants dinner?"

"Is Daddy staying?"

"Yes Daddy's staying. In fact Daddy's a much better cook than Mommy so he's
cooking."

"Am I really?"

"Yes. Why don't you give the kids a lesson in your specialty and I'll be right there."

"You okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine."

"Sure?"

"Yeah. Go. Take the kids and help them make dinner." Sonny smiled at her and kissed
her on top of the head. Then he took the kids by the hand and they led him into the
kitchen. Brenda looked out the window up towards the sky. "Thank you Stone." she
whispered. "I owe you one." Then she got up and went into the kitchen to help Sonny
and their children.

Hours later after the kids were in bed she and Sonny sat on the couch talking.

"I loved the look on Marie's face when you told her we were getting married."

"I wasn't out of line was I? I didn't know if you wanted to tell anyone yet."

"It's fine. I told Lois yesterday and she was estatic. Said it was about time we got
hitched."

"I'm sure Ned won't echo her sentiments."

"You'd be surprised. Ned doesn't think you're that bad of a guy."

"Ned doesn't think I'm that bad?"

"I think he'll be happy for us."

"It doesn't matter to me whether or not he's happy for us. All that matters to me is if
you're happy."

"I'm very happy. I have the man I love and two beautiful children. What more could I
ask for?"

"Well...." Sonny leaned forward and whispered in her ear. She let out a peal of
laughter.

"You are bad Sonny Corinthos." He leaned forward and kissed her. As they kissed he
picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. Neither one of them heard the front
door open and a man make his way up the stairs....

As the man made his way up the stairs to the second floor of Brenda's home, he heard
Brenda's laughter. His fist clenched and unclenched. He reached the door to Marie's
room and slipped inside. He walked over to the sleeping girl and injected her with a
sedative, then picked her up and slipped back out of the room and down the stairs. He
shut the door and walked to the van parked across the street. He knocked once and
the door opened. He handed the girl over to the woman sitting in the back. The door
shut and he climbed into the driver's seat and drove into the night.

LATER.....

Brenda watched as Sonny slept beside her. She really didn't want to get up but she
wanted to check on the kids. Michael had looked a little flushed before and Marie had
seemed a little pale. She silently got out of bed and put her robe on. She quietly made
her way into the hall. She opened Michael's door and slipped inside. She walked over
to the side of his bed and rested her hand on his forehead. He felt a little warm. She'd
give it till morning and then take his temperature. She just hoped he didn't have the flu.
She slipped out of his room and walked down the hall to Marie's room. She pushed
open the door and slipped inside. She looked at her bed. It was empty. She forced
herself not to panic. She walked back outside into the hall and checked the bathroom.
Nothing. Now she was starting to worry. She went downstairs hoping to find her
watching T.V. She wasn't there. She ran back upstairs and into her room. She ran to
the bed and started to shake Sonny hard.

"Bren, what's the matter? What's wrong?"

"She's gone! I can't find her!"

"Who's gone? Who can't you find?"

"Marie!" Sonny felt panic start to build in him.

"Brenda are you sure?"

"She's not in her room, or the bathroom and she's not downstairs. Where else could
she be?"

"Is she in Michael's room?"

"I was just in there. She's not there. Sonny where could she be?"

"I don't know. Look stay here. I'm going to go check around. Call Laura maybe she
found her way over there." Brenda nodded. Sonny got up and put a pair of pants on.
He headed out into the hall and Brenda picked up the phone and dialed Laura.

"Hello." It was Luke.

"Luke, hi. It's Brenda. Marie isn't over there is she?"

"Brenda, it's two in the morning."

"I know. But we can't find her and I was just wondering if maybe she was on your
porch or something."

"Hold on. I'll check. Here talk to Laura." A few seconds later Brenda heard Laura's
voice.

"Brenda?"

"Hi Laura. I'm sorry to wake you."

"It's alright. What's up?"

"We can't find Marie."

"Oh God."

"Tell me about it. I got up to check on them and Marie was just gone. Sonny's double
checking. Hold on a minute." Brenda said as Sonny walked back into the room.
"Anything?"

"Nothing."

"Laura? Luke back yet?"

"Yeah he just came in. Here he is."

"Brenda?"

"Yeah. Anything Luke?"

"Sorry. Nothing."

"Damn. Thanks anyway Luke."

"Brenda, Laura and I are going to come over."

"Thanks, but-"

"No buts. We'll be over in about ten minutes."

"Okay. Bye." Brenda hung up the phone and looked at Sonny. "They're coming over
and I'm calling Mac."

"Good idea." Brenda picked up the phone and began to dial. Even from where he was
standing he could see her shaking. "Commisioner Scorpio please. Of course he's not in.
It's two in the morning. Why should he be in? Is there a detective around? Garcia? I
thought he transferred. Oh he transferred back. Sure I'll hold." Brenda rolled her eyes
impatiently. Sonny knew this defense mechinism. Get mad at everyone else instead of
freaking out. "Detective Garcia? This is Brenda Barrett. I'd like to file a missing persons
report. She's five years old. Okay see you soon." She hung up the phone.

"He's coming over?"

"Yeah. That's okay, right?"

"Yeah it's okay."

"C'mere." She held out her hand. He walked over, took it, and sat down across from
her. "I'm really glad you're here. I don't think I could do this alone."

"I'm glad I'm here too. At least this time I can help you. Make up for the time I wasn't
there."

"Sonny what are you talking about?"

"Nothing. I'm not talking about anything." Sonny looked down at the bed.

"Hey. Look at me." Brenda put her hand on the side of his face and looked into his
eyes. She knew what he was talking about. He hadn't been there to protect her from
Jax. He blamed himself for what had happened. "Baby, there was no way you could
have known he would do something like that. I didn't even know and I was married to
the guy, so how could you?"

"I should have been there to protect you. If I had, we would have been together the
last five years instead of apart."

"It wasn't your fault. I wouldn't let you come with me. I told you I had to go alone."

"I should have at least followed you and stayed in the hall. I broke my promise to
always protect you."

"You didn't do anything wrong. You protected me from Taggert and from Harry. You
did everything you could to protect me."

"And it still wasn't enough. I couldn't protect you when it really counted and I lost five
years with you." Brenda looked at him. She could see the pain and anger in his eyes.
She could see the guilt in his eyes. She wanted so much to erase it. She wrapped her
arms around him and held him tight. He hesitated a moment before doing the same.
They sat there for a few minutes just holding each other before the doorbell startled
them both.

"Must be Luke."

"Why don't you get it? I'm gonna get dressed."

"Okay." Sonny kissed her and got up and walked towards the door.

"Sonny?" He turned around. "I love you."

"Love you too. Hurry up." Brenda nodded. Sonny left and she looked to her side of
the bed. On her nightstand was a picture of Michael and Marie. She crawled over and
picked it up. She traced her finger over Marie's face and then she hugged the picture to
her chest. Tears started to run down her face.

"Marie, where are you?"

MEANWHILE IN A SEEDY HOTEL ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN.....

"What were you thinking? Don't you realize that she's going to call the police and they
are going to take fingerprints. How could you not wear gloves?"

"Look my fingerprints aren't in the files of the PCPD so don't worry about it. Now
what are we going to do with the girl?"

"Why ask me? This was your idea. remember? Steal Brenda's daughter and make her
suffer."

"Look Brender's daughter is very important to me. She's my key to getting everything I
want."



Brenda slowly descended the stairs and when she reached the bottom
she looked around the living room. Luke and Sonny sat on the
couch, Garcia in an arm chair and Laura was just entering from the
kitchen with a tray of coffee.

"Hi everyone." Luke, Sonny, and Garcia stood up and Laura set the
tray on the coffee table. Brenda walked in and sat in her rocking
chair. Everyone else sat down as well.

"What kind of questions do you have for me Detective?"

"Well Ms. Barrett Sonny answered just about everything I needed to
know. I just need to double check some things. Child's full name
is Marie Adela Barrett, correct?"

"No it's Marie Adela Corinthos." Brenda saw Sonny look at her
questioningly.

"Okay. Got it. Age is five. When's her birthday?"

"January fifth."

"Relatives in the area?"

"Her grandfather, Mike Corbin, who lives in Port Charles above
Luke's and her aunt Julia Barrett Branca lives in Manhattan."

"Okay. Ms. Barrett, I'm aware that Sonny has some enemies but can
you think of anyone that might want to get back at you for
anything?"

"You might want to check out Jasper Jacks, Detective."

"And he is?"

"My ex-husband."

"Marie's not his, I'm going to assume."

"That's right. I left him to be with Sonny." She looked down at
her hands fiddling with the ring she wore on her left hand. Lois
and Robin had given it to her when the twins were born. It was two
garnet hearts.

"Where might I be able to find him?"

"Port Charles Hotel, possibly. I really don't know. Mac might know
where Miranda is and she might know where Jax is." Garcia made a
note on his pad and stood up.

"We'll do our best to find her, ma'am."

"Thank you." Luke got up and showed Garica the door. On his way
back to sit down he briefly touched Brenda's shoulder. "Jax did
this Sonny. I know he did."



Sonny laid on his side watching Brenda sleep. He felt a little bad
about putting a sleeping pill in her soup, but she hadn't slept in
weeks and she needed the rest. He brushed the hair out of her eyes
and rolled onto his back with a sigh. There had been no word on
Marie and no sight of Miranda or Jax for weeks and it was driving
him crazy to watch Brenda suffer like this. A parent's worst
nightmare Luke had called it. Oh it was a nightmare alright, but
both he and Brenda were wide awake. He was just about to get up
and put on his pajama bottoms when his cell phone started to ring.
He turned on the lamp on the nightstand and picked up his phone.

"Hello?" He shot a look at Brenda who was still sleeping soundly.

"Sonny?"

"Yeah, hi Jason. What's up?"

"We found Jax."

"Is Marie with him?"

"We're not sure yet, but we will be soon."

"How soon?"

"Couple of hours."

"Keep me posted."

"Will do. Bye Sonny."

"Bye Jason." Sonny hung up the phone and placed it back on the
nightstand. He looked back over at Brenda and stroked her hair,
whispering, "Soon Baby. We'll have our daughter back soon and then
you and I are going to be together forever. Soon Baby, soon."

*****************

Jason trained his binoculars on the motel room door just as it
opened and Miranda emerged with a brown haired little girl. Marie.
He got on his walkie-talkie.

"Joseph, we got a positive ID on the girl. It's Marie. Get Mac and
Garcia up here."

"Gotcha Jason." Jason watched as Miranda lead Marie towards the
hotel's indoor pool. Marie jumped in and began swimming around and
Miranda sat in beach chair with a book. He saw out of the corner
his eye, a car pull into the parking lot and Mac get out along
with Garcia. Mac spotted him and Jason motioned towards the pool.
Mac nodded and began to walk towards the pool along with Garcia.
Miranda didn't notice them until Mac was right next to her. Jason
couldn't hear what was going on but he saw Miranda nod and point
to the bar. Garcia took off in that direction. Marie went and got
Marie out of the pool. She dried her off and talked to her and
then Mac took her hand and lead her to the car, put her in it and
drove off.

*************

Brenda slowly woke up. She opened her eyes to see Sonny asleep
beside her. She wondered how she had gotten up here and then
decided it didn't matter. She could hear the doorbell ringing and
got up to answer it. When she opened it she couldn't believe her
eyes. Marie was standing there.

"Mommy!" Marie said running for her. She stooped down and caught
her in her arms.

"Marie. Oh my baby girl. Are you alright?"

"I'm fine Mommy. Jax and Miranda were real nice to me." Brenda
looked up at Mac. He nodded at her wordless question.

"Sweetie, why don't you go wake up Daddy? He's upstairs."

"Okay Mommy." Marie ran upstairs shouting for Sonny and Brenda
stood and looked at Mac.

"How can I thank you for bringing back my little girl?"

"No thanks necessary. Just take care of her and her brother."

"What's going to happen to Jax and Miranda?"

"They'll be brought up on charges of kidnapping and probably serve
some jail time."

"Good. Thank you so much Mac."

"Bye Brenda." Brenda shut the door and leaned against it. She
looked up when she heard footsteps on the stairs and saw Sonny,
Marie, and Michael heading towards her. They all sat on the couch.
Michael on her lap, Marie on Sonny's.

"Well Bren, you've got your family back, anything you want to do
now?"

"Yes. I want to marry the man I love and the father of my
children." Sonny kisses her and the scene fades out on this happy
family.

Next time: Courtroom Battles and Wedding belles. Not necessarily
in that order



Sonny took Brenda's hand as they walked into the courtroom and
whispered in her ear.

"You sure you want to be here for this?"

"Absolutely." She still looked a little pale. She hadn't been
feeling well for a couple of days, but he chalked it up to stress.
They went in and sat in the last row, next to Lucy and Kevin. A
few minutes later Alexis and Dara Jensen walked in. Brenda wasn't
surprised to see Alexis Davis Baldwin defending Jax and Miranda,
being that she was Miranda's cousin. They stood as the judge
entered and then Jax and Miranda were led in. She looked at Jax,
still not believing his nerve at pleading not guilty. What an
arrogant bastard. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Lois and
Ned enter, with Scotty Baldwin right behind them. They took a seat
in the opposite row. All of a sudden a wave of nausea hit her. She
clutched Sonny's hand and he looked at her, a little concerned.

"You okay?"

"I just felt really nausious all of a sudden. I want to get some
air, will you come with me?"

"Of course. C'mon." He took her arm and led her out of the
courtroom. Ned and Lois noticed and followed them out.

"Bren, you okay?" Lois asked looking at her best friend closely.
She was as white as a ghost.

"Yeah, I'm fine. You guys didn't have to follow me. I just felt a
little sick. Guess I ate to much at Ruby's." As she finished the
sentence the room started to spin and then went completely black
as she fell back into Sonny's arms in a faint.

"Bren? Brenda!" Sonny lowered her to the ground and felt for a
pulse. He looked up at Ned and Lois. Ned looked as worried as he
felt, but Lois was a different story. She was actually smiling a
little. She looked like someone who knew a secret. Then he heard
Brenda moan and turned his attention to her. Her eyelids fluttered
open and she focused her brown eyes on Sonny.

"What happened?"

"You said you felt sick, so I brought you out here and then while
we were talking to Ned and Lois you fainted. How do you feel? Can
you think of any reason why you'd faint?" He noticed Brenda
looking at Lois. They were both smiling.

"Do you remember the last time that happened Bren?"

"Yeah I do."

"Is it possible Bren?"

"Oh yeah I'd say it's possible."

"That'd be so great."

"Yeah it would, wouldn't it?"

"Ned you as confused as I am?"

"Yes. Would you two ladies mind explaining what you are talking
about?"

"Ned you should know you were there." Ned's face scrunches up in
confusion and then clears.

"No way."

"Maybe. I'd have to have it checked out to be sure."

"Have what checked out? Would someone mind telling me what's going
on here?"

"Well sweetie the last time I got nauseous and dizzy and then
passed out was right before I found out about Marie and Michael."



"Does that mean that you might be- that we might be-?" Sonny was
so amazed by what Brenda was insinuating that he was having
trouble thinking and that was affecting his speaking abilities. A
baby! Well maybe.

"It means that we might be pregnant. Mostly me though. Sweetie,
you should sit down. You look like *you're* going to faint." Sonny
sat down limply next to Brenda. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, I think. A baby?"

"It's possible. Very possible if you think about it." Sonny smiled
thinking about it. "Wipe that smile off your face. Geez people are
going to know what you're thinking just by looking at you."

"Can't help myself. How soon can we find out?"

"I'll call Alan and make an appointment for as soon as possible.
Sonny, wouldn't it be great?" Brenda looked so damned beautiful
with that hopeful look on her face, he had to restrain himself
from kissing her with all the passion he had in him for her. He
could wait until he got her home. Home. What a beautiful word it
was when it included Brenda, Marie, and Michael. Over the last
couple of months he had gotten to know his children. They were
wonderful and having Brenda and them in his life had made
everything absolutely perfect. He had offically moved into the
house a week after they had gotten Marie back. The penthouse had
been sold to Alexis and Scotty, who had gotten sick of living on
Spoon Island with Stefan and Katherine. He and Brenda hadn't set a
date for the wedding yet but if they were pregnant it was going to
be as soon as possible.

Sonny watched as Brenda pulled out her cell phone and started to
dial. A few seconds later she got an answer. "Hi I need to make an
appointment with Dr. Alan Quatermaine. Yes I'll hold." Brenda
squeezed his hand and smiled at him. Lois and Ned smiled at each
other. They hadn't told Brenda and Sonny yet but they were going
to have another baby. They had found out a couple of days ago and
they were waiting for the right time to tell everyone. "Yes I'm
still here. Tomorrow at two? Yes I'll be there. Thank you." Brenda
hung up the phone. "So who's coming with me?"

"I am, of course." Sonny answered.

-NEXT AFTERNOON-

"So what brings you here Brenda? Hello Sonny." Alan said as he
walked into the office.

"I need a test done Alan."

"What kind of test?"

"A pregnancy test. I've been feeling lousy the last couple of days
and yesterday I passed out and the last time that happened was
when I found out that I was going to have Marie and Michael. So I
just wanted to know if that's what's going to happen everytime I
get pregnant."

"Well let's see what we can do. I just need you to come with me
and give some blood. You can go with her if you'd like Sonny."
Sonny knew how Brenda felt about needles and decided to go to give
her moral support.

"He's coming." Brenda spoke up and took Sonny's hand, pulling him
up.

"Guess, I'm coming." Sonny said smiling as he stood up and
followed Brenda and Alan out of the room and down the hall.

-LATER-

Brenda sat on the couch watching Marie and Michael wrestling
playfully with Sonny and waiting for the phone to ring. Alan had
said he would call as soon as possible. She felt a little nervous.
It would so wonderful if she was pregnant. The phone rang and for
a minute she just stared at it, a little afraid to pick it up all
of sudden. But she leaned over and picked it up.

"Hello?"

"Brenda?"

"Yes."

"This is Alan. Congratulations. You are two months pregnant."
Brenda kept her expression blank so Sonny wouldn't guess the news
before she could tell him. She immediately thought of how they
could celebrate. They'd order in from Luke's tonight. Ruby and
Mike could take the kids and they could watch movies. Just the two
of them. Alone together celebrating the new life they had created.
That was her idea of heaven. They could tell the kids later.
Tonight would be for her and Sonny.

"I see. Thank you." She hung up.

"Bren, what'd he say?"



"Kids go get some cookies and milk. You know where your cups are."
The kids obeyed without question and ran for the kitchen. Brenda
reached her hand out for Sonny. "Come here." He got up and walked
over. When he reached her, he kneeled before her, and looked up at
her. She put her hands on his face and he put his hands on top of
hers. "Ready to be a Daddy, again?" She asked with a smile on her
face.

"Really?" He asked, his dimples blazing.

"Really." She said nodding.

"YAHOOO!" He shouted standing up and pulling Brenda with him. He
picked her up and spun her around.

"Sonny! Put me down!" He obliged and once she was on the floor he
covered her face with kisses.

"I wanna celebrate." He said once he had stopped kissing her.

"My thoughts exactly. So I am going to go call Mike and Ruby and
you are going to go and pack up the kids. If Mike and Ruby can't
take them, then I'm sure that Lois and Ned would LOVE to have
them. Then I'm calling Luke's and on your way back you can pick up
some take-out and movies from the video store. After dinner we can
go upstairs and continue to celebrate. We also have to talk about
getting married."

"You don't want to go out?"

"No I want you all to myself for the night. Is that OK?"

"Yeah. I don't want to share you tonight either. Let's do it.
Michael! Marie! Get out here!" The kids ran in from the next room.
"Alright kids. Who's up for a night at Grandpa and Grandma's?"

"Me! Me!" The kids shouted.

"Alright then. Let's go. I'll help you pack." Sonny followed the
kids upstairs and Brenda went into the kitchen. As she cleaned up
the kids' mess she dialed Kelly's.

"Kelly's."

"Hi Mike. It's me."

"Brenda. What's up?"

"Can you take the kids tonight? Sonny and I want to be alone. We
have something to celebrate."

"Sure. Do you need me to pick them up?"

"No. Sonny'll drop'em off in about fifteen minutes and Mike? Did
Ruby make any chocolate cake today?"

"Sure."

"Good. Wrap up two slices and I'll pay you when I come and get the
kids tomorrow."

"You'll do no such thing. My grandchildren's mother does not pay
at my place of business."

"Mike..."

"I don't want to hear another word on the subject. Is that clear?"

"Yes sir, General Sir!" Brenda giggled.

"Very funny. Any special reason you and Sonny celebrating
tonight?"

"Maybe."

"Maybe?"

"Maybe I'll tell ya later. Don't forget the cake. Bye Mike."
Brenda hung help giggling. She was about to pick up the phone and
dial LUKE'S when the phone rang. She picked it up.

"Hello."

"Hey Little Sister!"

"Julia? Where are you?"

"About halfway between Manhattan and Port Charles."

"You're kidding."

"Nope. So mind if I come over tonight?"

"Jules, don't take this the wrong way, but if you come within ten
feet of this house tonight, you won't live to see your next niece
or nephew."

"What?"

"I'm two months pregnant Jules. Sonny and I want to celebrate so
go visit Ruby and Mike. They'll have the kids tonight but don't
tell them the news, okay? Keep it to yourself." The doorbell rang.
"Jules, I gotta go. See ya tomorrow."

"You got it. Bye Bren."

"Bye." Brenda hung up the phone and walked into the living room
and answered the door. Standing on her porch was Miranda.

Creepy confrontation music plays




"Who let you out of jail?" Brenda asked, a little surprised. After
all bail had been denied for both Jax and Miranda.

"My lawyer arranged it after I turned state's evidence. Can I come
in a minute?"

"No. Say what you have to say and then leave and don't ever come
back."

"Fine. I came to say I'm sorry about Marie."

"You're sorry? You put me, Sonny, and our family through hell and
all you can say is you're sorry. You're unbelievable. Is there
anything else?" Miranda was about to answer when Sonny came down
the stairs.

"Hey Bren? Marie wants to know where her teddy bear is..." His
voice trailed off when he saw Miranda standing at the door.
"What're you doing here?"

"She came to apologize, isn't that sweet?" Brenda said
sarcastically.

"Yeah real sweet. If you're done, I'd like you to remove yourself
from our property."

"Your property? I was under the impression that this house
belonged to Brenda."

"Sonny owns half this house. He bought it when he moved in after
Marie was brought home. Now is there anything else?"

"I'd like to give you this." She took something out of her purse
and gave it to Brenda. "I hope this makes up for a small part of
what I did to you." With that she left. Sonny shut the door while
Brenda opened the package Miranda had handed her. It was a
cassette tape.

"What do you think it is?"

"Play it and find out." Brenda nodded and went over to the stereo.
She popped in the tape and pressed play. A minute later her voice
filled the air.

*"Jax, I'm telling you it's over. I don't know how much clearer I
can make that."

"You think I'm going to let you go back to that mobster. He'll get
you killed."

"What he does or who he is isn't important to me. I love him."

"You love me."

"No I don't. I'm so sorry Jax." Brenda's voice began to break.

"You love me and I'm going to prove it to you."

"Jax, don't come near me."

"Or what? You'll scream? Go ahead. No one will hear you."

"Jax stay away. Jax, NOOOOO!"*

The tape stopped there. Sonny saw that Brenda was shaking. He went
up behind her and wrapped his arms around as she began to sob. She
turned to him and wrapped her arms around him, sobbing into his
chest. He stroked her hair trying to calm her down. Once she did
she began to speak in a quiet voice.

"It felt like it was happening all over again. The fear, the pain,
the anger. After it was over I ran down every flight of stairs. I
didn't stop until I reached the bottom, and then I didn't know
what to do so I just walked. My first thought was to go to you but
then I started to think about how you might react. I guess my
imagination got the better of me. I imagined you throwing me out
in the street because you were so disgusted with me. I was just so
scared." She looked at him, the pain in her eyes unmistakable. At
that moment he wanted to kill Jax for doing this to her. It took
all of his self-restraint not to race to the courthouse, find Jax,
and kill him. Besides leaving Brenda alone right now was
definately not a good idea.

"Baby, he's never gonna hurt you again. I promise you that.
Never." He hugged her to him afraid to let her go. Just then the
kids bounded down the stairs.

"We're ready Daddy." Brenda pulled away, wiping at her eyes with
the back of her hands.

"Go get in the car. I'll be right their."

"Okay Dad. I've got shotgun." Marie yelled. She and Michael raced
out of the house and hopped into the car.

"You gonna be okay?"

"Yeah go. I'll be fine. I have to call Luke's and order that
food."

"I've got a better idea. Call Ruby and tell her to pack something
special for us. That way I'll be back sooner."

"Okay and I've got enough movies here. You don't need to rent
any."

"I'll be back soon." Sonny kissed Brenda and headed out the door.
He paused at the door and turned around. "I love you."

"I love you, too. Hurry home."

"I will. Promise." Sonny left and Brenda picked up the phone and
called Kelly's. She quickly placed her order and then she called
Mac.

"Mac? It's Brenda. I want to press rape charges against Jax and
this time I have proof."

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