"Welcome to Paradise" by Heather

Port Charles

It's nearing midnight one warm early August night. Brenda Barrett sits looking out a window, thinking. Jax is away on business. But her thoughts aren't with Jax...they are with the man she can't forget. Sonny left again nearly a month ago, but it felt like so much longer. She tried lying to herself that she was over him and she almost convinced herself. But, try as she might, she can't pretend that she's still deeply in love with him.

"Why? Why did he have to leave me at the alter? Why did I have to lie to him when he returned? I could be with him in a tropical paradise and instead, I'm home alone because Jax is off on more urgent business." Brenda thought to herself.

"Somewhere warm"

The sun is setting and Sonny Corinthos stands by his penthouse window watching the ocean shine a brilliant reflection of the setting sun. He knows he did the right thing. Brenda has to be safer away from him...right? But she was grazed with a bullet in Port Charles that had nothing to do with him. And Jax and Jerry are getting deeper into the underworld where they don't belong.

"Maybe I was wrong. Brenda isn't any safer in Port Charles than she would be here with me. I certainly would be happier. I can't live with this empty feeling forever. But I have to be fair to her. I left her and she's moved on. I have to accept that...and go on feeling alone." Sonny thought to himself.

Port Charles

"What is keeping me here? Jax? No. Robin? She's doing fine on her own. I wish I just had one more chance to make things right with Sonny. I know that's not an option...I don't even know where he is! Jason knows...but will he ever tell me?" Brenda thinks out loud.

London, England

Jax is in a limo returning from a late ending business meetings. He is deep in thought as the limo takes him to his hotel.

"My life is perfect, except for one thing. Brenda says she is over the mobster, but I don't believe it. He ruined her life, but she can't get over him no matter how hard I try to prove to her that he's horrible for her. I'm the better man. Why can't she see that and erase the mobster from her life forever?"

Port Charles

It's the next day. Brenda goes to Jason's penthouse, presumedly to visit Robin, but knowing very well that she's not there.

"Jason, is Robin here?" Brenda asks.
"No, she's at GH. Is it urgent?" Jason asks.
"No, no. Actually, I didn't really come here to see Robin. I need to ask you something. It's sort of important."
"Go on." Brenda continues. "I need to know where Sonny is. I can't keep going on like this, pretending to be completely happy with my life."
"I can't do that." Jason replys.
"Jason, you can. What if Robin was away somewhere and you didn't know where and Sonny knew and wouldn't tell you? You'd want to know, wouldn't you? Please, tell me. You won't be sorry. Please trust me this once." Brenda pleads.
"I have a feeling I'm going to regret this. Take my plane. It's safer for you and Sonny. The pilot knows where to go. Don't make me regret this." Jason gives her the instructions on where to find the plane and calls the pilot.
"Thank you so much. I think this is the smartest thing I've ever done in my life. One more thing, don't tell Sonny. I want to surprise him" Brenda leaves, heading for her house to pack.

Brenda's House

Jax returned early in the morning to find Brenda already gone. He places the three dozen roses in different areas of the room to greet her. Brenda walks through the door and the color falls from her face when she sees the room.

"Jax, what are you doing here? You weren't supposed to return until tomorrow." Brenda says.
"Hello to you, too. I don't even get a hug?" Jax opens his arms.
Brenda reluctantly embraces him and backs away.
"I've got to go pack..." Brenda begins.
"Pack? For what? I just got back...I thought we could go somewhere together for a couple days to be alone."
"I've got a...modeling shoot. It came up last minute. I have to leave this afternoon." Brenda lies.
"An unscheduled modeling shoot today, huh? That sounds rather rude of them." Jax replies, confused.
"Yeah, the original model got sick so they called me." Brenda continues her lie.
"But I thought you were trying to get out of modeling? Why don't you just call them back and tell them you've decided to quit modeling. You've got to move on from modeling sometime, Brenda. You said yourself that you don't want to anymore." Jax argues
"I'm going and that's all there is to it!" Brenda says, frustrated.
"You aren't ususally so determined about a modeling shoot. Is there something you're not telling me?" Jax asks, softening.
"No, nothing at all. I've got to go pack." Brenda tries to make a quick exit from the room.
"Why don't I go with you? It'll be fun and we'll get to spend some time together." Jax insists.
"NO! I mean, theres no need for you to come. They will have me so busy that I'll hardly notice you're there and then I'll be so tired that we won't be able to do anything anyhow. I'll be back before you know it." Brenda continues with her story.
"Ok...just promise to hurry home." Jax says.
"I promise" Brenda puts on a fake smile.
She escapes to her bedroom to pack a suitcase.

The plane

"Am I doing the right thing? My life seems so perfect in Port Charles with Jax. Do I really want to risk everything for Sonny?.......Who am I kidding? I'd do anything to make things right between us. I want to be Mrs. Brenda Corinthos. Even if it means never seeing Port Charles again."

The plane takes off, headed to Sonny.

The casino

Sonny finishes his nightly walk around the activities of the casino he manages and starts to head to his penthouse when he changes his mind and heads for a walk on the beach.

"It'll take my mind off of things...things that will never be the way I want them."

A short distance away

Brenda arrives at the casino and starts to enter when she sees someone walking on the beach. Immediately she knows who it is.

She removes her sandles and starts to quietly and quickly walk across the cool sand to the man strolling along the shore.

Sonny heard the car pull up and woman's shoes walk the pavement to, he assumed, his casino and thought nothing more of it. He heard footsteps quickly approaching him and assumed it was a beach runner and didn't bother to turn around.

A few steps later, he felt something urging him to turn around.

When he did, he thought he was dreaming.

"Brenda!?" Sonny said out loud.

The next thing he knew, he was on his back on the wet sand with Brenda on top of him.

"What are you doing here? How did you find me?" Sonny asked.
"I made Jason help me find you. There's nothing keeping me in Port Charles...my life isn't what I want. Jax can give me everything I want...except for one thing...you." Brenda says looking into his eyes.
"Who am I to argue with that?" Sonny smiles. "You do know that it's a risk, though, being with me."
"I know and I don't care. I can live my whole life pretending to be safe and happy in Port Charles and for what? I want to be happy...I want to stay with you. I love you." Brenda says.
"Then it's settled. Except for one thing." Sonny says seriously.
"What's that?" Brenda asks.
"This" Sonny says and kisses her as the ocean waves come in just slightly under them and the last of the sun disappears.

Back in Port Charles...

Jax paces his penthouse floor.

"Why hasn't Brenda called me? She always calls me when she goes away." Jax wonders.

Unable to wait for Brenda to call anymore, he calls her agent to get the phone number of the hotel she is staying in.

"What are you talking about? She is on a modeling shoot. Brenda wouldn't lie to me. She's on a shoot." Jax says, getting upset.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Jacks, but Brenda has the week off." Brenda's agent says.

"She said that she was called to replace a model that couldn't make it to her shoot." Jax states.

"I'm sorry again, Mr. Jacks. I haven't spoken to Brenda in five days. I must go now. Goodbye." Brenda's agent hangs up.

"But wait!" Jax starts and slams the phone when he hears the dial tone.

"Where is she?" Jax questions.

Sonny's penthouse

Brenda awakes to find that Sonny has already woken up and is staring at her.

"What are you thinking?" Brenda asks.
"I'm thinking it's been awhile since I told you how much I love you." Sonny says.
"Well, now is a good time." Brenda smiles.
"I love you, Brenda." Sonny says and they kiss.

Later that day

"Sonny, I have a question." Brenda begins.
"Go ahead and ask." Sonny says.
"How can I get in touch with Jax and not have it be traced here?" Brenda asks.
"There is a phone line that can be used that is very difficult to trace. It can only be used on occassion. Do you mind if I ask why you want to talk to him?" Sonny replies.
"I'm going to tell him that I'm with you. And that I don't plan to come back...at least not to him." Brenda says.

Jax's Penthouse

"Brenda, call. Ring phone. What is going on? Why hasn't she...AHH!" Jax screams as the phone rings.
"Hello?" he answers.
"Jax, it's me." Brenda says quietly.
"Brenda, where are you? I called your agent and he didn't know where you where. He said you didn't have a shoot at all...is everything alright?" Jax questions.
"Yes, Jax, everything is perfectly alright. I'm with Sonny." Brenda says quickly.
"Huh?! Why did you go back to that mobster? I can give you anything you want...and you went back to him?" Jax yells.
"I love him. I'm sorry, Jax, but I can't live without love." Brenda says.
"But I love you, Brenda!" Jax exclaims.
"I know. But it's not the same." Brenda says.
"What do you mean it's not the same?" Jax asks.
"I've got to go, Jax. I can't stay on this line any longer." Brenda hangs up.
"Brenda...Brenda! Brenda, wait! I..." he slams the phone for the second time that day.
"What is going on?" Jax wonders.

Sonny's penthouse

"How did it go?" Sonny asks as Brenda returns.
"Not good, but I didn't think it would be. He knows and that's what counts. It's officially over between us." Brenda says then smiles. "It's just you and me now."
"Then I guess there's just one more thing for me to say" Sonny smiles.
"And what's that?" Brenda smiles back.
Sonny bends down on one knee. "Will you be my wife? Marry me, Brenda."
"Yes! A thousand times, yes." Brenda accepts.
"Nothing will stop us this time. Never again. I won't let anything stop us." Sonny vows.

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