Chapter 1

Seventeen year-old Emily Bowen Quartermaine was face to face with the man who'd been tormenting her for months. Tom, the photographer she'd entrusted to make her a modeling star, had drugged her and taken photographs of her naked, which he then used as blackmail. He figured since she was part of the most prestigious family in Port Charles, she'd be desperate to protect her reputation, and that family name. He was right, and Emily had been stealing money and objects from the Quartermaine Mansion in order to pay him off. But now she was realizing there was no end to his greed. "I can't get anymore!" she cried. Tom shrugged, "not my problem. No money, no protection for you. These photos will be in the next issue of Penthouse Magazine. There are some great poses…do you want to see them again?" Emily shuddered, she never wanted to see those disgusting photos again. She also noticed how cold it had gotten in the night air, out on the docks where they were standing. "You're a sick freak Tom!" she yelled, and then started sobbing. She was at her wits end, and didn't know what to do next.

Suddenly, several shadowy figures came out of nowhere, and ran towards them. Tom reacted first, "huh? What the…" That was all the reaction he was allowed before he was grabbed by multiple pairs of hands and dragged away. The envelope of photos had fallen to the ground as he struggled against his captors. Emily bent down to retrieve it; confused by what had just occurred. "Burn them, Emily," a deep voice spoke out of the darkness. Emily was startled, and turned towards the sound. "I'll destroy the negatives…and the man who has been victimizing you. You are free now." "What…who are you?" Emily called out. "Just think of me as…a special friend," the voice replied. "Can I see you? To say thank you?" Emily asked. There was no response. The wind whipped around her, and she shivered again. She had no idea what had just happened, but hoped her mysterious new friend could indeed end this nightmare for her.

After several weeks of hearing nothing further from Tom, Emily was confident the whole nasty episode had ended. She thought about her friend on the docks often; wondering who he was, why he had helped her, and if she'd ever hear from him again.

Five years later…

"It's a great plan grandfather, what's the problem?" AJ Quartermaine wondered why Edward was hesitant to embrace his plan for expanding the Quartermaine holdings on the docks. "Don't you read the papers boy?" Edward gruffly replied. "Everyone who has tried to take over property down there has been thwarted…even ruined. Kip Poindexter mysteriously disappeared…" "That's all coincidence," AJ snapped, irritated his grandfather has chosen now to become superstitious. "No, it's not. It's that hoodlum Corinthos. I'm sure of it." "Sonny Corinthos?" AJ asked incredulously. "He's a two-bit hood who runs a strip club. He's too small-time to affect anything on the docks!" Edward had no evidence to back up his theory, but he was sure Corinthos was a lot more than a strip-club operator. Emily stood outside the living room door, eavesdropping on her brother and grandfather discussing business. She'd heard the name "Sonny Corinthos" before. Some kids at PCU were boasting about doing jobs for him. She was worried that AJ wanted to tangle with someone who seemed so dangerous.

The doorbell rang, and Emily jumped. She hurried over to answer it, and received a certified letter from the mailman. It was addressed to AJ Quartermaine, CEO of ELQ. She knocked on the living room door, and then brought the letter in. "This just came for you AJ." "Thanks Em," he replied, taking it from her. He ripped it open, read it, and then looked incredulously up at Edward. "Well, what is it?" "It's an injunction against us attempting any docks expansion." "But…we only started discussing that last week. How could anyone…who?" AJ couldn't believe it, but his grandfather had been right all along. He solemnly answered Edward's question. "Sonny Corinthos."


Chapter 2

That evening, Emily walked along the docks with her best friend Elizabeth Webber. She'd been assured by her family that they weren't going to challenge the injunction or tangle with the alleged mobster Sonny Corinthos. Of course, they had lied to her. Edward was nervous, but AJ was determined to proceed. He got his lawyers working on the injunction immediately, and started asking around for information about his new nemesis. "Are you OK Em?" Elizabeth asked, noticing her friend was very distracted. "Yeah, sorry. Just some family stuff." Elizabeth often worried about Emily's state of mind since the incident with the photographer, which Emily had filled her in on after it was all over. Elizabeth wasn't sure, but thought Tom was the same man who had raped her in the park. He'd never been caught. Emily assured her that the man was gone…vanished off the face of the earth. Elizabeth hoped that was the case. "Oh no," Emily muttered, noticing a gang of young men approaching them. "Let's go Em," Elizabeth said, grabbing her friend's hand and leading her off the way they had arrived. Several more men cut them off from that angle. "Well lookie here," one of them said. "Two HOT little ladies." "We were just leaving," Elizabeth stated defiantly. Some of the other man laughed. "She told you Screach!" one commented. Screach wasn't amused. He looked at Emily, and thought she was too pretty to let get away. "You can leave," he said to Elizabeth without looking at her, "but your friend here is going to spend some time with me." Emily tried not to shake, but her fear was obvious. "Leave her alone!" Elizabeth yelled; surprising herself with her bravery.

"You heard the lady; leave them alone," another voice added. All the men turned to see who was invading their party. A dark man, impeccably dressed, was standing there, flanked by two other large men. Screach was the first to address him. "Mr. Corinthos! Hey, good to see you man." Sonny looked up at the sky and then back at Screach. "Are you hearing-impaired?" he calmly asked. "Huh?" Sonny shook his head. "Let me use smaller words…are you deaf?" No…I'm not deaf. Why?" Screach wasn't too bright, Sonny thought to himself, wondering why he employed some of these yahoos. Sonny sighed, and then stated, "I told you to leave them alone. You haven't. Therefore my only conclusion is that you've lost your hearing. Otherwise, I'd have to think you were disobeying me. Is that what you're doing Screach? Disobeying me?" One of Sonny's guards moved his coat aside to expose his holstered gun…just in case. Screach finally understood, and started to get nervous. "Uh, no sir. I'd never disobey you. We were just leaving. Sorry." The men all dissipated and hurried off. Sonny looked at one of his guards. "I want to have a conversation with that idiot later," he ordered under his breath. Max nodded his head, knowing having those kinds of "conversations" with Sonny Corinthos was never fun for the other guy.

Emily hadn't taken her eyes of the dark man the entire time. It took her a few moments to realize he was THE Sonny Corinthos her family had been talking about. "Thanks for your help," Elizabeth offered. Sonny walked closer to them. "You're welcome." Then, he addressed Emily. "Good evening Ms. Quartermaine." "Good evening," she quietly replied, wondering why he seemed so familiar to her. "You ladies might want to be more careful…coming out here at night isn't a great idea." "I know, we were foolish," Elizabeth answered. She reached out to grab Emily's arm. "We won't do it again. Thanks, again. Come on Em." "Goodnight, Emily," Sonny said as Elizabeth led her off. "Goodnight," Emily replied; "and…and thanks."

"Well, that was scary," Elizabeth commented as they reached Kelly's diner where she lived and worked. "If that guy hadn't shown up…" "I know him," Emily stated, mostly to herself. "Huh? What was his name…Corin…" "Sonny Corinthos," Emily finished her sentence. "Don't ask me how, because I've never seen him before." "Yeah, you'd remember seeing him," Elizabeth retorted. "He was one gorgeous man." Emily nodded her head, "yeah. But it's his voice…" She drifted off in her mind, trying to find Sonny's voice in her memory. "Well, I have to go in, my shift is starting," Elizabeth said. Emily barely heard her, as she had just figured out where she'd heard Sonny's voice before.


Chapter 3

Three months later…

Emily wandered down to the docks, as she did often, hoping to see Sonny Corinthos again. She told herself she just wanted to thank him for helping her all those years ago, but it was more than that. He haunted her thoughts and her dreams. She wondered if she'd be thinking about him so much if she hadn't been told how dangerous he was. AJ talked about him constantly. He was obsessed with getting rid of Sonny, and having unfettered access to the properties on the docks. Emily believed AJ would stop at nothing…even breaking the law…to achieve his goals. She heard the voices of people approaching, and quickly hid behind some crates. If it was Sonny, she wanted to collect herself before speaking to him. If it was someone else, she wanted to get herself out of harm's way. Sonny's warning about the docks at night stuck with her…although it didn't prevent her from going there and trying to find him. And somehow she knew he'd only come there at night; as if he lived in the shadows, not to be seen by "polite society."

To her dismay, it wasn't Sonny…it was her brother AJ, and another man she didn't know. "Is it all set for tonight?" AJ asked the man. "Yup. Mr. Moreno's got everything arranged. He just wanted me to check with you about our understanding…that once Corinthos is eliminated, you're doing business with us." "Absolutely," AJ replied; snickering to himself. He fancied himself a brilliant strategist. He'd made a deal with Sonny's rival Anthony Moreno. Moreno would get rid of Sonny, believing that ELQ was taking him on as a silent partner on the docks. He'd get a sizeable cut of legitimate shipping, as well as controlling all the illegal smuggling that was now under Sonny's empire. Of course, AJ had no intention on keeping up his end of the bargain. He had a concurrent plan running with some FBI agents, who didn't mind Sonny Corinthos being murdered. They would then be handed Anthony Moreno on a silver platter, effectively wiping out all organized crime activity in Port Charles…except there'd be a new organization in place; one run by AJ Quartermaine.

Emily was petrified by what she'd just heard. Her brother had arranged for Sonny to be killed. She didn't know how she'd find him, but she knew she had to track Sonny down and warn him…immediately.

The Paradise Lounge was cold and quiet. Two months earlier, it had been shut down for employing an underage dancer. Sonny was irate, since the girl in question had given him ID showing she was 21 years old…when she was only 18. He managed to avoid jail time, but couldn't prevent the club from being closed by the authorities. Sonny still used it as his base of operations for his large, and ever-growing, criminal empire. And, since he still lived in an apartment above the club, he was there constantly. Some of his men wondered why Sonny didn't find himself a fancy penthouse to live in; he certainly could afford it. But Sonny liked living "dirty" as he put it; which was strange for a man who was always impeccably groomed and dressed. It was more the anonymity of living in the seedy part of town that he liked. Sonny felt most comfortable moving around in the shadows; unnoticed by most of society. It was an attitude formed when he was a young boy. Constantly in pain, and sporting bruises from the latest beating his stepfather had unleashed on him, Sonny would try to make himself as invisible as possible. He felt that everyone who looked at him knew his horrible secret…and was laughing at him. Those feelings never went away, and even now, as a powerful, rich man, he kept to himself as much as possible.

Emily tested the door to the Paradise Lounge, and was surprised to find it unlocked. That gave her hope that she'd find Sonny Corinthos inside. Instead, she found an empty club. It was eerily quiet, and she tried to imagine what it had been like before being shut down. She knew a lot more about Sonny Corinthos now. In the time since he helped her and Elizabeth on the docks, she'd done research on him at the PCU library. There was quite a lot written about him over the years in the PC Herald. Not many confirmed facts, but a lot of speculation. An article she found particularly fascinating was one called "The Phantom of The Docks." It chronicled how Sonny had quietly and steadily taken over most of the properties on the docks, preventing others like ELQ from doing so, and how he was using all that territory for illegal shipping and smuggling...never proven of course. The only thing Sonny had ever been convicted of was employing an underage girl at his strip club, and as a result, the club had been shut down. Emily figured it was a place to begin her search for him, since hanging out on the docks had proven fruitless.

Now, she looked around the club, assumed he wasn't there, and wondered where to look next. "This is a surprise," the familiar voice spoke from the darkness. Emily whipped around, "Sonny!" He approached her. "You're obviously here to see me, but how did you know where to look?" Emily found herself unable to lie to him. "I researched you at the library, and saw an article about this place." Sonny nodded his head. "So you know what happened here then," he stated. "Yes." "Aren't you afraid to be here…alone with me? After all, I'm such a menace to society and all…" Sonny assumed she thought the same of him as everyone else did. Emily shook her head. "I'm not afraid of you. You…you're my special friend." Sonny smiled. "You figured it out, huh?" "Why didn't you tell me?" Emily asked. "You saved my life Sonny. I owe you so much." "No, no, no, no, no," Sonny interrupted. "You don't owe me. I did what I did for my own reasons," he told her, thinking of his mother and how she'd been victimized by her second husband. "And then you saved me again, my friend and I, from that gang." "My gang," Sonny corrected her. "Those men all work for me. Well…worked for me in Screach's case." Emily shuddered. "What did you do to him?" Sonny stared at her and didn't reply. She then asked, "what did you do to Tom five years ago?" "You don't really expect me to answer, do you?" Sonny was getting suspicious. "Why are you here Emily? Why are you asking me all these questions? Are you trying to trip me up?" "No!" Emily exclaimed. "I'm here to warn you. You're in terrible danger!"


Chapter 4

Sonny listened intently as Emily told him everything she knew about AJ's plan. Sonny knew most of it himself…there wasn't much that happened in the underworld that he didn't know about. "I want to thank you for telling me all this Emily," he said in a sullen voice. "They're going to try to kill you...tonight!" Emily exclaimed. "Aren't you worried?" Sonny shrugged. "I knew it was coming. I'm prepared." Emily looked around, and wondered how he could be prepared when he was basically a sitting duck in the club. "There's more going on than you can always see Emily." Sonny informed her. "The shadows have a life of their own." Sonny had men positioned all around the perimeter of the club. He'd been upstairs in his apartment when Emily approached the door. One of his men called him immediately to inform him she was going in. Emily stared at him. "I know that. The shadows saved me from Tom that night, remember?" Sonny nodded his head. "I wish I could have stayed only a shadow as far as you're concerned. This world is too dangerous for you to be a part of." "And it's different from my world, how?" Emily questioned. "My brother wants to kill you and take everything over with that Moreno guy." "Moreno is a means to an end," Sonny informed her. "Your brother has no intention of doing business with him after I'm out of the way." "How do you know that? And how did you know what my brother was thinking months ago when you got that injunction against him?" "I have my sources," Sonny replied. His source was a key member of AJ's ELQ staff. Being the braggart that he was, AJ often boasted about his plans to his aide, who then turned around and told Sonny everything. He was rewarded handsomely for his information.

Sonny abruptly said, "it's time for you to leave now Emily." "Are you going to be all right?" Emily asked, not wanting to leave his side. "I'll be fine. I can't say the same for your brother though. This isn't going to end well for him. I'm sorry about that." Emily wasn't sure exactly what he was telling her, but decided she was better off not asking for clarification. AJ made his choices, now he was going to have to deal with the consequences. Sonny escorted Emily out of the club and to her car. "Will I see you again?" she asked hopefully. "I'll always be around," Sonny replied in a low voice; "in the shadows where you can't see me." "But I'll feel you," Emily stated, before closing the car door and driving off. Sonny stood and watched her go, knowing he couldn't stay on the outskirts of her life for too much longer. He wanted her too much. Max's voice rang out…"Boss, get down!"

Emily sat on her bed, clutching her pillow and rocking back and forth with anxiety. She'd been watching the local 24-hour new station, and all they had reported was that there was a gangland shooting in downtown Port Charles near the docks. Emily was petrified that Sonny had been hurt…or worse. Morning came, and she still didn't know what had happened to him. She made her way downstairs for breakfast…although she had no appetite to speak of…and found her brother AJ sipping coffee and looking very proud of himself. Her heart sank and she asked, "what are you so happy about AJ?" "Good morning Em!" He cheerily replied. "We had a very good night." "We?" "ELQ. That low-life Corinthos…the one whose been preventing our docks expansion project…was killed last night. You can always count on those gangsters to knock each other off! The fool was standing right outside his club…out in the open." All Emily heard after that was a ringing in her ears. Sonny was dead…because of her brother, and because he had walked her out to her car. Her going to warn him had gotten him killed. How was she supposed to live with that? She ran from the room, and out the front door. AJ didn't even notice; he was too busy congratulating himself.

Emily didn't stop running until she reached the docks…a mile from her home. She sank down on her knees and sobbed. "I'm so sorry Sonny," she said in between taking gulps of air. "He knew you did everything you could to protect him," a man said. Emily quickly stood up and looked at the man approaching her. "You…you were with him last time…here." "Yes," the man replied. "My name is Max. I was one of Mr. Corinthos' bodyguards. I did a lousy job, huh?" "I'm sure you did your best," Emily automatically replied. "Before he died, he asked me to look out for you," Max continued. That made Emily cry even harder. She missed him so much already. Max handed her a piece of paper. "Here's my phone number. I'll be around, but if you ever need anything, call me." And then, he walked away. Emily sank back down to her knees. "You're still protecting me Sonny," she whispered. "I wish I could have protected you."


Chapter 5

Over the next month, Emily tried to find a way to get on with her life. Every day that seemed to get harder, not easier. More and more was coming out about Sonny in the newspapers. People couldn't stop talking about him. He was turning into a cult hero to some…and remained a real villain to others. Emily read everything that was printed. She was sickened to read an interview given by someone who claimed to have grown up with Sonny. The man said Sonny had been abused by his stepfather and that's why he turned to a life of crime. Emily pictured Sonny as a scared little boy, and could see how that experience led him to his life in the shadows as a man. In addition to her feelings of guilt and grief, she had overwhelming feelings of hatred towards AJ. She wanted to take revenge on Sonny's behalf, but didn't know what to do. She thought about telling Max, Sonny's guard, but couldn't bring herself to sign AJ's death warrant. And she didn't feel she had enough evidence to go to the authorities. It would be AJ's word against hers.

She needn't have worried herself about AJ. Max, and everyone else, knew what had gone down. Anthony Moreno, who had been lulled into a false sense of security by Max and the rest of Sonny's men staying clear of him, now realized that AJ had taken him for a ride. He'd already been cut out of the docks project, and the FBI was arresting his men on a daily basis. He knew his days were numbered. If the FBI didn't get him, he'd be looking over his shoulder the rest of his life for Sonny's men to take revenge. Max was surely just waiting for the opportunity to present itself. Moreno went and spilled his guts to Max about killing Sonny; AJ's part in it; and begged for mercy. Max in turn offered to spare Moreno's life, if he took care of AJ and then left the country. At the time, Max thought it was a good plan. He could keep his hands clean, (which was important with all the attention the Feds were paying to Moreno), and get rid of both enemies at once. It also seemed like a good deal to Moreno, so he agreed. AJ Quartermaine was found dead, behind a new warehouse that ELQ was building on the docks. He'd been beaten to death. While the rest of the family mourned, Emily silently celebrated justice being served.

One Year Later…

Emily lugged her heavy textbooks to her next class. Most days, she was happy she chose to go to medical school. Today wasn't one of those days. "Need some help with those?" One of the residents, who was a teaching assistant in her class offered to carry her books. "Thanks," Emily said, letting him take the pile. Joe Douglas was a nice man. And by all accounts, he was going to be a brilliant doctor. He wanted to specialize in corrective surgery, mostly to help children born with birth defects. Emily found that admirable. She had decided to become a doctor to help people too. In addition to both her parents being physicians, Emily thought it would help her find purpose in life. Since losing Sonny that dark night, finding purpose was a difficult prospect for her. She knew Joe was interested in her romantically. She didn't share his feelings, but doubted she would ever love any other man as she loved Sonny. It wasn't until after his death that she realized he had captured her heart without even trying. She vowed she'd be faithful to him in her heart forever. But she was also a realist, and knew eventually she'd date and maybe even marry…trying to have some semblance of a normal life. Joe was probably as good as any place to start. The next time he asked her out, Emily would say "yes."

Meanwhile, at The Paradise Lounge…

Max was cursing himself for his stupidity. Why did he believe that Moreno would leave and stay gone? Max had managed to keep control of most of Sonny's territory until now. But, Moreno was back with more resources, men, and ambition. "I'm a soldier, not a leader," Max mused. He didn't have the experience or intelligence to figure out how to handle the situation. There was only one man who did, and knowing he was going to have confess how he screwed up, Max was going to have to go to that man for help.


Chapter 6

Emily & Joe walked along the docks after having a quiet dinner at a nearby café. They were having a pleasant evening, but Emily was bored. Joe didn't excite her on any level, which was good, she thought, because the last thing she wanted was to sleep with the man. Something in the summer breeze made her shiver. "Are you cold?" Joe asked, taking off his sport coat and putting it around her shoulders. He smoothed down her hair as he moved his hands away. The wind blew more strongly, and Emily thought she heard a voice being carried on it. "Don't touch her…" "Did you hear that?" she exclaimed, looking around. "Hear what?" Joe asked. Emily put her hand to her forehead. "I must be really tired. I thought I heard someone's voice." "Anyone in particular, or just a voice?" It was someone in particular, but Emily wasn't going to tell Joe that. "Just a voice," she replied. "I want to go home…I'm tired." As they walked away, Emily couldn't help but glance back into the shadows. She didn't see the eyes watching her every move, but she felt a presence. "Don't be insane," she told herself, and she got into Joe's car.

A man emerged from his hiding place on the docks and hurried back to a small, run-down shack under the interstate. He was breathing heavily, both from the run, and from seeing her again. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. But she was with that man…that man who dared to touch her. He was filled with rage and pain. "Emily!" he screamed into the small room. "Boss!" Sonny Corinthos turned at the sound of Max's voice in the room. "Oh, hello Max." Having just seen Sonny returning, Max incredulously asked, "you went out?" Max hadn't realized until now, that Sonny ever left the shack. In reality, he went to the docks often, hoping to see Emily there. Returning after his outings, and trying to sleep on a discolored cot, he would constantly relive the night he was shot in his nightmares…as if it had just happened.

The night of the shooting…

"Boss, get down!" Max cried as shots rang out. Sonny hit the ground, but not before a bullet hit him. When he first regained consciousness, he was in one of the organization's safehouses, and a doctor was stitching up his face. The bullet had gone right through his right cheek, shattering the bone, and leaving an entrance and exit wound. "Argh!" Sonny screamed in pain. "Give him something you quack!" Max yelled. "Ok, ok! I didn't think he'd wake up!" the mob doctor quickly gave Sonny a sedative, and he fell back to sleep. The next morning, he woke to find Max sitting vigil at his bedside. "Where am I?" Sonny slowly asked. Max filled him in on what had happened. "How many men...lost?" "Five," Max sadly informed him. "I think we got three of Moreno's guys, but I'm not totally sure." "Puts you at... disadvantage," Sonny labored. "Me?" Max replied. "Yeah...because I'm dead," Sonny stated. "No sir!" Max exclaimed, assuming Sonny was confused. "You're alive…it's just, well your face is a mess." Sonny reached a hand up and felt the bandage covering his wounds. "No...telling you, I'm dead. Tell everyone I died...Max. When you can...make Moreno and AJ pay for this... then...walk away." Max shook his head vehemently. "No sir. I won't do it. You want to play dead? Fine, I'm sure you've got your reasons. And I'll handle those bastards. But no way am I walking away from you!" Sonny was touched by his loyalty, and decided to take advantage of it. "I need you...keep business together...'til I can... deal. Don't know...right now..." "Yes sir." "If they think I'm dead…let their guard down...easier for you to get them." Sonny painfully explained. Every word he spoke was torturous, as if a knife was being stuck in his face. Max nodded, and then asked, "Will you stay at The Paradise?" Max inquired. "No," Sonny replied. "Disappear in Port Charles…I'll find a place." Max nodded his head again. "One more thing...Max." "Yes sir, anything." "Watch out for my...Emily."

Emily was tortured by her own dreams. She would see Sonny getting shot, over and over again, and crumbling to the ground. Emily would run to him, and sink down next to him. Cradling his head in her hands, she would beg him not to die. And then, she'd notice her hands were covered with his blood. And that's when she would always wake up. "Sonny," she moaned in despair, turning over and burying her head in her pillow.

"You look like you've got something to ask me Max," Sonny now stated, after studying his right-hand man's expression. "Yes sir, please don't get angry with me." Sonny rolled his eyes; "that doesn't sound good." "Moreno's back," Max told him. Sonny was confused. "Back? Back from the dead? I thought I was the only one…" "I didn't kill him sir," Max confessed. "Obviously," Sonny retorted, "but why? Didn't I order you to take care of everyone involved?" "Yes. I had Moreno take care of Quartermaine, in exchange for letting him live," Max reluctantly informed Sonny. "He swore he'd leave town and never come back." "And you believed him? And…you came in here and told me he was dealt with?" "I didn't lie to you! I just…didn't tell you the whole story." "And now he's back, and what, you can't deal with him…again?" "I'm not the boss!" Max cried. "We need you back…" "No!" Sonny bellowed. "Look at me, I'm useless!" Sonny ripped a cloth from his face…the cloth he wore wrapped around the right side of his head like an off-kilter bandana. Max grimaced at the sight. That side of Sonny's face was heavily scarred; his eye partially closed. "Sir…you're fucked up…not useless. There's a difference." Sonny couldn't tell him the real reason he planned to remain in hiding forever…Emily Quartermaine. He never wanted her to see him like this. The doctor who stitched him up did an awful job, and Sonny felt like a circus a beaten eight-year-old boy. He never wanted Emily to look at him with pity, disgust or fear. "My decision is final Max. You have to handle Moreno…or don't handle him, I really don't care. Just make sure Emily stays safe." "And if I can't?" Max questioned. Sonny paused before replying. "If the day comes that she's at risk and you can't protect her, then, and only then, will I rise from the dead."


Chapter 7

For the next few weeks, Max spent his time keeping an eye on Moreno…who had yet to make a move on Sonny's territory…and on Emily Quartermaine. Emily spent her time studying, dating Joe…such as it was (they hadn't even kissed)…and visiting the docks. She felt so close to Sonny, it made her happy to linger there. She knew it wasn't the smartest thing to do; Sonny's warning to her about not going to the docks at night was always in her head. But nighttime was when she felt his presence in the shadows, so that was when she went. This night, the feeling was particularly intense. "Sonny…I miss you so much," she confessed out loud. Sonny fought with himself to remain hidden…remembering he'd have to be content with seeing her from a distance. She was better off thinking he was dead and recalling him fondly. "Or maybe I'm better off?" he pondered. He watched her as she walked away, and felt reassured when he saw Max come out of his hiding place and follow her. Then, Sonny stepped out into the light, his face partially swathed in cloth, and the rest of him wrapped in a dark coat. He took one final glance after Emily's vanishing form, and then headed back to his shack.

There was one more person on the docks…one who had gone unseen by Emily, Max & Sonny. But that man saw it all, including the unbelievable sight of Sonny Corinthos emerging from the darkness, looking like a crazy, homeless man. "Mr. Moreno's not going to believe this," he muttered to himself.

"Have you been drinking?!" Moreno yelled. "No! I swear Mr. Moreno, it was Sonny Corinthos. He's not dead! He was slithering around, watching this girl. He looked seriously scary man. He had all this shit wrapped around part of his face." Moreno was shocked. Could Sonny Corinthos really be alive? And if so, why was he hiding from the world? "Well, if that's true…" he mused out loud; "we need to figure out how to use it to our advantage." "Maybe we should grab him?" His man suggested. "Maybe he's…you know…not mentally all there anymore. His men might just hand us the territory to get him back." Moreno shook his head, and said, "no, no…not grab him. Grab HER." "Her, who?" "The girl you said he was watching. Find out who she is. Clearly, she means something to him. We grab her, Corinthos will come to us."

The next night, Emily cut short her dinner with Joe, claiming fatigue. She felt compelled to get back to the docks. She should have heeded Sonny's old warning, for she was followed as soon as she left the restaurant. Max was following her too, and when he saw that he wasn't alone, he took out his gun. He never got a chance to use it. He was hit from behind, and everything went black. The last thing Emily remembered was someone grabbing her, and a prick in her arm. Sonny arrived at the docks moments too late. He saw Max on the ground and knew something horrible had happened to Emily. He rushed over, got down next to Max, and slapped him in the face. "Uh…ow!" Max cried, reacting more to the pain in the back of his head than Sonny smacking him to wake him up. "What happened!" Sonny anxiously asked. Max looked him in his one exposed eye, "I failed you again boss. They grabbed her." Sonny's heart was in his throat. "Who, who grabbed her? Moreno?" "Yes…his guys." Sonny reached down and took Max's gun that was still clenched in his hand. "You take care of your head Max," he ordered. "I'll handle Moreno." Max sat up and watched Sonny rush off into the night. He felt a strange sense of peace knowing that Sonny was back handling things again. Then he shuddered, knowing that Sonny was about to unleash holy hell.

Chapter 8

Emily woke slowly, her head filled with fog. She sat up, and realized she was shackled to a bed by her wrist. The metal handcuff dug into her skin. She was alone, in a small room. It looked like a motel. She quickly looked herself over and was relieved to see that her clothing hadn't been disturbed. She was fairly confident she hadn't been assaulted. "So I've been kidnapped," she stated out loud. "Now the question is, why?" "I can answer that," a man's voice replied. She looked up at the man who had entered the room. "Who are you?" she asked. "Anthony Moreno." "You…you're the man who killed Sonny Corinthos…and my brother AJ." "That's right," Moreno admitted; "I killed them both." He wasn't ready to tell her that Sonny wasn't dead. There were moments he didn't believe it himself. "AJ deserved it," Emily continued. "But Sonny…" "Sonny Corinthos was a ruthless man, like me" Moreno told her; "you obviously didn't know him that well." "I knew him well enough to know he was nothing like you. He had a soul," Emily retorted. Moreno was stung by her words, and was envious that Corinthos had such a beautiful admirer.

"Well, now his soul's in hell," Moreno spat back. Emily was filled with sadness and anger. She never thought of Sonny being in hell. She believed he was in heaven, waiting for her. "Why did you kidnap me?" she asked. Moreno thought about what he should tell her. His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of heavy gunfire outside the motel. He drew his own weapon and went to the window. "Max must be here for me," Emily thought. Then, there was silence. Moreno continued to look out the window, but could see nothing. Suddenly, a figure came crashing in through the window, slamming into Moreno, and driving him to the floor. The man moved with lightening speed, depriving Moreno of his weapon. He struck Moreno in the face with it, and blood spouted from his mouth. Emily couldn't see the man's face from her vantage-point on the bed, but it didn't seem like Max to her. "I thought you were in hell waiting for me!" Moreno sputtered. The man didn't reply. He put the barrel of Moreno's gun under his chin, and pulled the trigger. Moreno's head blew apart, and Emily fainted at the sight.

When she woke this time, it was to a very different environment. She was in a luxuriously appointed bedroom, filled with sweet smelling roses in vases, and the finest satin sheets were on the bed where she lay. She sat up and checked her wrist, finding it free of any restraints. Though disoriented, she felt oddly safe in her new surroundings. The lights in the room were dim, but she could make out a man sitting in an arm chair on the other side of the room. He was shrouded in darkness, and…what looked like a white mask sat on his face. In fact, the mask was all she could clearly see. "Where am I?" Emily asked. "Why did you take me from Moreno?" Then, she remembered the man killing Moreno. "Ugh, his head…" "He had to die," the man said softly. A chill washed over Emily's entire body. She'd know that voice anywhere. "Sonny?" she cried. Sonny stood, and stepped forward. When he walked into the moonlight streaming in through the window, Emily could clearly see that it was him. Only…he was different. He wore a dark suit and shirt, no tie, dark overcoat, and had on the oddest white mask…it covered the right half of his face. "Is it really you?" she asked with a trembling voice. "Am I dead too? Or are you a ghost?" "You're not dead," Sonny replied. "Call me what you want." "So you are a ghost. I've felt you around me before Sonny. Why didn't you show yourself to me? Did you think I'd be afraid?" Sonny shrugged, "some people would be." "I could never be afraid of you," Emily stated. Sonny couldn't help but laugh; he didn't believe her. Emily felt chills again…his laugh sounded sinister. "Why are you wearing that mask?" she asked. "It doesn't matter," Sonny replied, his laugh ceasing instantly. "All that matters is you're all right. And you are now, because Moreno is dead. His men are all dead. I killed them all." "How many?" Emily asked. "Fifteen men," Sonny matter-of-factly replied. "You killed fifteen men? I didn't know ghosts could do that." She got up off the bed and slowly walked towards him. "Ghost or whatever, I want to touch you Sonny. I want to kiss you. Kiss me Sonny…" He let her walk right up to him. Emily breathed in his scent and knew he was as alive as one could be. "Sonny…" she reached up to touch his mask. She wanted to remove it and see what he was so afraid to show her; to understand why he'd pretended to be dead. "Don't!" Sonny yelled, jumping back. But Emily's hand grabbed the mask as he moved, and it fell to the floor. "No, no, no, no, no!!" Sonny wailed, covering his face with his hands. "Shhh, let me see…" Emily coaxed. Sonny pulled back from her, but didn't run away. "Sonny…" she pulled his hands away from his face…and screamed.


Chapter 9

Emily's reaction didn't surprise Sonny, but it made his heart ache none-the-less. He bent down, grabbed his mask off the floor, and ran out of the room. "Sonny!" Emily cried, and took off after him. But when she reached the bottom of the stairs, he had vanished; the front door left wide open. "He was real!" she stated out loud; "ghosts don't need to open doors!" Max appeared in the doorway. "Yes, he's real Emily. He's alive. But now I think I understand why he didn't want you to know it. You reacted badly when you saw…didn't you?" "It…it was a shock. His beautiful face…all scarred like that." Max nodded, "I know. He didn't want to scare you; to disgust you." He turned and looked back out the open door. "I just hope he goes somewhere I can find him." "Wouldn't he come back here?" Emily asked. "This is his home, right?" Max looked around. "He had me buy this house for him months ago. He never told me why. And tonight is the first night he's ever set foot in it." "How strange," Emily mumbled. Max nodded, "yeah, well, where he's been living is even stranger. How about I take you there and you fill me in on what happened tonight?" Emily agreed, and together they left the house. Max locked up behind them. Emily hoped one day she'd be back there, with Sonny.

When they arrived at Sonny's shack, he was no where to be found. "Oh God," Emily said, taking it all in. "He's been living here?" "Yes," Max replied. "Like an animal basically. And I'm the only person he would see or talk to. That is…until I realized he was going out and hanging out on the docks hoping to see you." Emily's face lit up, and her heart soared as she realized that he'd been there with her all those nights. "Maybe he'd go there now?" she wondered, looking at Max hopefully. He shrugged, "it's possible I guess. Let's go see." Emily hurried out the door. She needed to find Sonny; to explain that she felt nothing but love for him. She hoped she'd get the chance.

On the docks…

Sonny sat on a crate, behind a stack of other crates. The night was dark, and getting cold. He realized he was kidding himself by thinking Emily would come there. She probably was so revolted by his face she'd run right into that doctor Joe's arms. The very thought created a bad taste in his mouth, which Sonny spat onto the ground. When he heard voices, he shrunk down to make sure he wouldn't be seen. "I don't see him," Max stated. "You wouldn't," Emily replied. "He stays hidden in the shadows. But I'll know if he's here." Sonny's heart raced at the sound of her voice. "She's come!" he thought. "You can leave now Max," Emily ordered. "Uh, I don't think so," Max replied. "I've failed him in just about every way possible…mostly tonight when I let you get nabbed. No way am I risking that again." "I told you, Sonny said he'd taken care of all of Moreno's men." "Yeah, but there are other men in the world…" "Leave!" Emily yelled. Sonny smiled at her forcefulness with his employee. Under different circumstances, she'd make a perfect boss' wife. "But that'll never happen," he sadly thought.

Max reluctantly walked off, but only went as far as being out of Emily's direct sight. He could still hear if she got into trouble and needed him. Emily looked around, sensing she wasn't alone. "Sonny? Sonny, is that you?" Sonny didn't answer her call. He was too afraid to come face to face with her again. "Sonny…I'm sorry. I handled that all wrong…back at the house I mean. I was just startled, that's all. It's hard seeing someone you care about so, well…maimed I guess is the best word." Sonny cringed. "But it doesn't mean I'm afraid of you…or that you disgust me. You don't." She took a few steps towards the darker part of the docks. "And seeing you alive again, is the greatest gift I could ever be given. I've mourned you. I've missed you." Still no reply from Sonny, who was mesmerized by her words…unable to move. "The truth is…I love you. I think I have from the start, but I didn't realize it until after you were gone. Please, come out and talk to me Sonny."

Sonny started to get up, but then stopped when he heard footsteps and another voice. "Emily?" It was Edward Quartermaine. "What in tarnation are you doing out here alone at this hour?!" Edward bellowed. "I…was out with Joe," Emily lied; "and he got paged and had to go to General Hospital, so I was just about to get a cab home." "I'm going to have to talk to that young man about his manners!" Edward exclaimed, leading Emily off. She looked back over her shoulder, and just caught a glimpse of Sonny in the shadows. When they'd gone, Sonny stepped out fully into the light. Max hurried over to him. "Are you ok boss?" Sonny straightened his suit and overcoat. "Yes, I'm fine Max. Let's go home." "Home sir?" Max asked, unsure where that was exactly. "Greystone Manor," Sonny replied. "We have a party to plan."


Chapter 10

When Emily received a party invitation the next day by special messenger, she opened it with shaking hands. The enveloped simply said, "Emily," and she knew instinctively it was from Sonny.

"The pleasure of your company is requested at a Charity Ball, to benefit the Pediatrics AIDS Wing at General Hospital. Dress is formal, black or white, and a minimum donation of $1,000 is requested."

Then it said the time and date, which was that Saturday night, at Greystone Manor, Port Charles. And, the minimum donation item on Emily's invitation had been crossed out by hand. At the bottom, there was a signature of one letter, "S." There was a photograph of Greystone Manor included, and Emily recognized it at once as Sonny's house.

"Oh you got one too?" Edward asked, as he walked by her. "I guess we'll all attend, although, I have no idea who the host is. I knew that house had been bought, but don't know by whom…" his voice trailed off as he walked into the living room. Emily was excited. She knew this was Sonny's way of seeing her again, and maybe this time, he'd stop hiding from her…and the rest of the world. She grabbed her purse and hurried out the door. She had some serious clothes shopping to do.

When Edward reached his desk, he picked up the phone. He didn't know who the new owner of Greystone Manor was, but he was determined to find out before he attended any party there.

After what seemed like a never-ending week, Saturday finally arrived. Emily went with her family to Greystone Manor. They were greeted by a butler; a man Emily had never seen. She looked around for a familiar face like Max's, but didn't see him…or Sonny. She did see Joe, and was quite surprised. Joe came over to say hello to the Quartermaines, and Emily of course. He told her how stunning she looked in her white gown. "You got invited to this?" Emily asked him. "Sure, everyone connected to GH did. Isn't that why you're here?" An orchestra began playing, saving Emily from responding. "Let's dance," Joe said cheerily. Emily didn't really want to, but let him lead her into the main room where people had begun dancing.

Upstairs, Sonny watched the guests arrive on a monitor. When he saw Emily, his heart clenched. When he saw Joe lead her off, he felt anger. But he wanted Joe there, he reminded himself, so that Joe and everyone else would know that Emily belonged to him. And he planned to get that message across in the most dramatic fashion. But he just had to wait…be patient a bit longer.

Meanwhile, Emily was being spun around the room by Joe. She was getting dizzy, because she was trying to look around for Sonny as they turned. She finally spotted Max, and excused herself from another dance as soon as the music changed. She rushed off, leaving Joe wondering if he had stepped on her feet. "Max!" Max motioned to Emily to follow him to a quieter area of the downstairs. "Where is he?" Emily demanded. "He'll be here. I'm just collecting donations. We want to get these people's money for the hospital before Sonny shocks the hell out of them." "What's he going to do?" Emily asked. Max smiled. "You'll see. You'll all see."


Chapter 11

After another hour of dancing and boring small talk, Emily had just about had enough. If Sonny didn't show up soon, she was going to search the house for him. Just then, the orchestra started playing the oddest selection. Emily recognized it as being from the show "Phantom of the Opera." The irony didn't escape her for a moment, and she knew Sonny was about to make his appearance. A man's voice filled the air…all of sudden there was a singer she'd never noticed before.

Past the point of no return - no backward glances:
the games we've played till now are at an end ...
Past all thought of "if" or "when" -
no use resisting: abandon thought, and let the dream descend ...

What raging fire shall flood the soul?
What rich desire unlocks its door?
What sweet seduction lies before us ...?

Past the point of no return, the final threshold -
what warm, unspoken secrets will we learn?
Beyond the point of no return ...

You have brought me to that moment where words run dry,
to that moment where speech disappears into silence, silence ...

I have come here, hardly knowing the reason why ...
In my mind, I've already imagined our bodies entwining
defenseless and silent - and now I am here with you: no second thoughts,

Past the point of no return - no going back now:
our passion-play has now, at last, begun ...
Past all thought of right or wrong -
one final question: how long should we two wait, before we're one ...?

When will the blood begin to race the sleeping bud burst into bloom?
When will the flames, at last, consume us ...?
Past the point of no return the final threshold -
the bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn ...
We've passed the point of no return ...

Emily closed her eyes, and let the music wash over her. It was Sonny's way of telling her they'd soon be together…as a man and woman should be. And Emily couldn't wait for that moment to arrive. And then, the music and singing ceased, and a hush fell over the room. As the music stopped, all eyes…including Emily's…were on the man who had just descended the stairs, stopping short of the last one. "At last, he is here," she realized; her eyes then filling with tears of joy.

The room echoed with whispers and murmurs… "Who is that?" "Didn't he die?" "It can't be…" "But…you're dead!" Edward Quartermaine loudly exclaimed. Sonny Corinthos smiled. "There's dead, and then there's dead, Edward. I was dead, inside, and some would say on the outside too." No one could miss the white mask that covered half of Sonny's handsome face. It complimented his white tuxedo very well. The reporters who had been invited to the ball, scurried over to Sonny, their cameras flashing…questions flying. Sonny put up his hand. "I'm not answering questions tonight. I just have a statement to make." Everyone remained quiet, waiting for him to continue. "Thank you all for coming to my home and for your generosity on behalf of General Hospital." He paused, and looked around a bit. "It's a beautiful home, wouldn't you say? Truly fit for my beautiful bride." Emily's heart pounded, as Sonny's eyes came to rest on her. "Who would marry you?" Edward shouted out. "Even back from the dead, and with a fancy suit and that…that thing on your face…you're still a criminal! You killed my grandson!"

The room then erupted in commotion, and Max noticed some men moving towards Sonny. Edward had brought reinforcements…and Max didn't know if they were the law, or not, or if it even mattered. "Boss!" he called out. Sonny turned and saw Max pointing out the men. Sonny groaned in frustration; he'd come too far to be railroaded for something he didn't do...or to be shot again. Not when he was just about to get what he wanted most in the world. He looked back at Emily, who was trying to figure out what was happening, and what she should do next. "Emily!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. That was all she needed. With one hand, she hiked her gown up to her ankles and ran towards him. Sonny put out his hand, which she took, and together they ran up the stairs.


Chapter 12

Sonny hurried Emily along the upstairs corridor, and into the master bedroom. He then locked the door behind them. "Come on…we don't have much time." He pulled her towards the large, walk-in closet. "But Sonny, we're trapped!" Emily cried; wondering why they were headed into a dead-end. At the back of the closet, there was a normal-looking set of cubbyholes for shoe storage. Sonny reached inside one of them, touched something, and the entire unit swung open. "Come on!" He guided Emily inside, and the secret door shut behind them. They were in a dimly-lit stairwell. "Watch your step," Sonny cautioned, and started leading her down the stairs. Emily marveled at his resourcefulness. To Edward and the men chasing them, it would look as if they vanished into thin air. At the bottom of two flights of stairs was a long tunnel. It was tall enough for them to walk through fully upright, but was even darker than the stairs had been. "Careful," Sonny cautioned her again, putting his arm around her waist to make sure she didn't fall. They walked, and walked, and Emily wondered when they'd feel the night air on their faces. Finally, the tunnel inclined upwards, and after a bit of difficult walking up a steep angle, they emerged into the night. "Where are we?" Emily whispered. "Behind the property," Sonny whispered back. "There's conservation land…we're in the middle of it." "And where are we going?" "Somewhere we can stop and figure out what to do next," Sonny replied. "Come on."

They kept walking, but Emily was finding it difficult with her high heels on. She stopped, kicked them off, bent to pick them up, and then kept walking. Sonny was concerned about her cutting her feet…but knew she'd just as easily roll an ankle wearing those three-inch sandals. After another half mile or so, they reached a small road. And there, a car was waiting. "Is that yours?" Emily asked, hoping they could finally stop walking. "Yes." They rushed to the car, and got in. The keys were in the ignition, and Sonny turned on the engine and drove off. "You had this waiting here…how did you know my grandfather would go after you like that?" Emily wondered. "I figured someone, probably Edward, would freak out when I got down on my knee and proposed to you," Sonny answered. "You…you were going to do that?" Emily was stunned. Sonny had referred to her as 'his bride' but she had no idea he was planning to make such a public show of his feelings for her. "Yeah…would you have accepted?" Sonny asked with a grin…at least Emily thought he was grinning. It was hard to tell with his mask in the way. "Do you have to ask?" Emily replied with a smile. "Of course I would have accepted. I love you." "I know. I heard you on the docks." "I'm glad," Emily said. "I was hoping you were there, and that you heard me. Sonny…about the other night…I'm sorry." "Shhh," Sonny turned the wheel of the car, and brought it to a stop, killing the engine. He turned in his seat to face her. "It doesn't matter Emily. All that matters now is that you love me…and that I love you more than life itself. I had no reason to claim my life back until I heard you say those words on the docks. And now…we're going to be together forever." Emily swooned in her seat. "We're here," Sonny informed her, getting out of the car. Emily opened her door before Sonny could make it around the car to do it for her. He took her hand and helped her out…she was still carrying her shoes. "It's too dangerous for you to walk barefoot here," Sonny said, knowing there was debris and broken glass all over the place. He bent at the knees, and scooped her up in his arms. Emily rested her head on his shoulder as he carried her into a building. It wasn't until they were inside that she realized where they were…it was the small shack where Sonny had been living.

"Sit here," Sonny said, putting her down in the only chair in the room. "I want to check your feet; make sure they're not cut." Emily did as he asked. "I can't believe you used to live here," she commented. Sonny whipped around from the sink. "How did you know that?!" he asked, embarrassed. "Max brought me here that night you ran away from me at Greystone. We both wanted to find you. Please don't be angry with him." Sonny shook his head, and turned back to the sink. "He shouldn't have done that," he mumbled, more humiliated than angry. He couldn't imagine what Emily thought of him, living like an animal in this place. He filled a bowl with soap and water, and then picked up a clean towel that lay nearby. Despite appearances, Sonny always kept the shack as clean as possible. He walked over to Emily, and knelt at her feet. "Let me see," he said, picking one of them up. He examined the bottom of it. "Doesn't look too bad," he commented. He proceeded to wash both her feet off in the bowl, and dried them with the towel. Emily watched him adoringly. She felt so many things for this man, but pity certainly wasn't one of them. "Sonny, look at me." Sonny slowly looked up into her eyes. "This place…you staying here…it doesn't change anything. It doesn't change how much I love and admire you. You're so brave…so strong. And I would gladly spend the rest of my life living here with you."

Sonny was floored, but replied, "no, no, no, no, no…you're not going to live here. You're going to live in that mansion, and be treated like the queen you are. I just have to figure out what to do about Edward…and whomever he's got after me." Emily sat up straighter as she got an idea. "I know! I'll just go and tell the authorities that you didn't kill AJ! Moreno admitted to me that he did…when he kidnapped me. They've got nothing on you Sonny!" Sonny sadly smiled and shook his head. "I killed Moreno, didn't I? And his men. If they want, they've got plenty on me. Besides…I don't trust the cops." "So what do we do now?" Emily asked. "We wait," Sonny replied. "We wait until Max gets here. And then, we'll have him figure out exactly who Edward is working with, and then I'll decide how we should proceed." Emily nodded in agreement. "Sounds like a plan. So, until then…" Sonny put Emily's shoes back on her feet. He didn't want her walking around the shack barefoot either. "Until then, let me see if I can find us something to eat." Sonny stepped away from her, and started rummaging in the cabinets. "Sonny…" Emily got up and walked over to him. She moved in behind him, her face at the back of his neck. Inhaling his scent, she wrapped her arms around his chest. "Please," she begged, aching with need for him. "Turn around and kiss me Sonny." Sonny groaned, and put his hands against the cabinet. He was fighting like mad to not turn around, because he didn't trust his self-control. If he kissed her, he'd want to take her right there. And no way was he going to make love to her for the first time in a run-down shanty. "Sonny…" Emily breathed in his ear, and nibbled the earlobe. Sonny's knees buckled; his resolve crumbling. He started to turn around…

"Oh good! I knew you'd make it back here," Max cheerfully exclaimed from the doorway.


Chapter 13

Emily moved away from Sonny and turned to face Max. Sonny composed himself for a moment, and then did the same. "Your timing sucks Max," he gruffly stated. Emily giggled, and Max turned red. "Uh…sorry boss." He closed the door behind him. Sonny walked over to him and added in a low voice, "and you brought Emily to this place before…that wasn't right Max." Max shuddered, and replied, "I'm…s…sorry. We both were worried about you. It seemed like a good…" Sonny put his hand up so Max would stop speaking. "What happened at the house?" Sonny asked. "Well, they tried to get me to tell how you escaped, but of course I didn't say a word." "Who is 'they'? The Feds?" Max nodded his head, "yeah, Quartermaine had three agents there. From what I could figure out so far…I made a few calls…they're on the take from ELQ." "So those were the guys AJ was dealing with?" "That's right…So, what do you want to do about them?" Max asked, assuming the order to kill them would come next. Sonny glanced over his shoulder at Emily, who was trying to keep her distance and not listen in. But the shack was so small, she could hear every word. Sonny turned his head back to Max. "What about our guys at the Bureau? Can they help us?" Max nodded his head, "yeah, they said if we wanted they'd bring charges against the agents. That would probably bring Edward Q. down as well. Otherwise…well, they didn't say, but I got the feeling they'd look the other way if the agents disappeared…which they're willing do to about Moreno getting whacked, by the way." Sonny thought the options over, and quickly decided killing FBI agents, no matter how crooked they were, wasn't good for business. "Call them back. Tell them…no, ask them…to take care of the situation for us." Max nodded again, turned, and left.

Sonny walked back over to Emily. "You heard?" "Yes. I would have supported whatever you decided to do Sonny, but…I think you made the right choice." "Even if your grandfather gets arrested too?" Sonny asked; "your whole family will be affected by this." "Yes, even if that happens. So…how long are you going to avoid kissing me?" she inquired. Sonny smiled, and somehow feeling emboldened enough to control himself from taking things too far, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her into him. "I've waited a lifetime for this…" he whispered before capturing her mouth with his. Emily moaned, and melted into his embrace.

A few days later, the three rogue FBI agents and Edward Quartermaine, the current CEO of ELQ, were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder…as well as the taking and giving of bribes and other offenses. The value of ELQ's stock plummeted, and the entire family was forced to sell off their shares due to shareholder and board outrage. Sonny quickly swooped in and bought up all their stock, becoming the majority shareholder. He figured the company was rightfully his at this point…and since Emily was going to be his wife, he'd be keeping it in the Quartermaine family anyways. Emily was called to give a deposition about what she knew: How she overheard AJ's plan, and how Moreno confessed to her that he had killed AJ and Sonny…or so he had thought. The Quartermaine clan was in disarray, but Emily's parents continued practicing medicine and didn't dwell too much on the damage their son and Edward had caused. They also tried not to dwell on their daughter marrying Sonny Corinthos. As much as they hated the idea, they could see as well as anyone that Sonny & Emily had an once-in-a-lifetime love that no one was going to stop.

Sonny & Emily were married in a small ceremony at The Queen of Angels Church, due to Sonny's request for a Catholic ceremony. Emily had a request herself: That Sonny stop wearing his mask…especially for the wedding. Sonny fought against her, but she finally convinced him that his scars were a part of who he was, and she wanted their wedding photographs to be honest and real. They spent their wedding night at Greystone Manor. Sonny had planned a honeymoon get-away for later, but was determined that the first time they made love would be in the home he had bought with Emily in mind. Emily didn't care where they were, she was blissfully happy, and was finally going to give herself heart, body, and soul to the man she loved.

Their bedroom was aglow with candles and white roses. Emily looked around and smiled. She hadn't been back in the room since that night they'd escaped through the closet. After deciding to let the FBI handle the situation, Sonny & Emily spent several nights in one of the organization's safehouses…in separate bedrooms. Sonny insisted they wait until they were married to make love. Emily didn't want to wait another second, but reluctantly agreed. Now, she was glad she did, because the enormity of the moment just made it that more intense. Sonny walked up behind her, moved her hair aside, and kissed her neck. "Mmmm," Emily moaned in approval, and then said, "I need to tell you something, Sonny." "What baby?" "I want you to know…I've been true to you. Even though I went out with Joe…" "Shhhh…" Sonny cut her off. "I know." "How?" Emily asked. Sonny reached around her and started caressing her breasts through her clothes. "Because I knew as long as you felt me out there somewhere, you could never give yourself to another man. Thank you for waiting for me Emily." "I'm so glad I did…" Emily whispered.

"I'm going to take it real slow with you," Sonny told her as he continued nuzzling her neck and running his hands over her body. "Take my time…give you so much pleasure…" Emily's legs got weak, and she replied, "don't take too much time, I can't wait much longer to feel you inside of me." Sonny pulled her back into him. She could feel his hardness pressing against her. He rotated his hips, grinding into her, moving one hand down to press against her stomach…


Chapter 14

Emily lay on the satin sheets with Sonny on top of her. He was holding himself above her on his elbows, his manhood buried deep within her. He moved with barely perceptible motions, causing Emily to moan and strain beneath him. In between kisses, Sonny stared into her eyes. "I love you…my Emily…my wife." "I love you too Sonny," she breathlessly replied. "Please…you're torturing me. Do it harder…go deeper." Sonny groaned. He had wanted to make love to her very slowly, letting them both savor every delicious sensation. But he had to agree that after fifteen minutes or so, it was time for more. Never taking his eyes from hers, Sonny thrust harder, sinking even deeper into her. "Ohhhhhhhhhh!" Emily wailed in total ecstasy. And then, she was lost in a haze of movement and pleasure. Sonny took her to a place she never even imagined, and he took her there again, and again, and again.

Emily's body shuddered as wave after wave washed over her. Sonny felt the explosion building in him, and quickened his movements even more. When he released, he let out a scream…a scream that vented all the frustration and pain of the past. He collapsed down onto Emily, burying his face into her neck, and feeling totally renewed. Emily hugged him tightly, moving her hips up and down; milking those final currents of pleasure for all they were worth. "Mmmm…my god!" Sonny groaned against her skin. Emily beamed. "That was something else, wasn't it?" Sonny picked his head up to look into her eyes again. "Something else." Emily moved a hand up to stroke his face. Sonny recoiled slightly as she touched his scarred side. "Shhhh, it's OK baby," Emily tried to reassure him. Sonny let her touch him, but replied, "no…it's not. But I think I know how it can be."

Dr. Joe Douglas read the newspaper with a heavy heart. Emily was married…to a presumed-dead mobster. That didn't do much for Joe's ego. But, he couldn't deny how overjoyed Emily looked in the wedding photo that was printed in the society pages…and he was happy for her. He then studied her husband's face, and cringed at the state of it. It offended him that anyone could call themselves a doctor and do work like that. "Hi Joe." His thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice. He looked up to find Emily Quartermaine Corinthos looking down at him.

"I was just reading about your wedding," Joe confessed. He stood up, and put the paper down. "Congratulations. I hope you'll be very happy." He leaned forward to kiss her on the cheek. Emily let him, knowing Sonny wasn't there to see it, so Joe's life was safe. "Your husband is a very lucky man," Joe added. "Actually," Emily replied, "he's the reason I'm here. I think you can help him…help us." "Strangely enough, I was just thinking the same thing," Joe told her. "I'm not surprised you want to see what can be done. It must be hard looking at his face like that every day." Emily shook her head. "No, it's not hard at all. And I don't care if he ever gets help for it. But Sonny wants to see what can be done, so for his sake, I suggested that I speak with you." Joe couldn't think of thing to say to that obvious declaration of unconditional love, except "let's set up a time for him to come in."

After a year, and three difficult surgeries, Sonny's face was approaching some form of "normalcy." He'd always have scars, Joe told them, but nothing too noticeable from a distance. Sonny was grateful for Joe's help, and made another large contribution to General Hospital, this time to Joe's department. Emily continued on her path to becoming a doctor, and enjoyed being mistress of Greystone Manor. Sonny had appointed himself CEO of ELQ, and was making a real success of the company again.

Max approached Sonny in his office at ELQ. "Uh, seems like we've got some new competition, boss." Sonny assumed he meant another Fortune 500 company was making a move to takeover. "Our stock is strong," Sonny replied; "we can fend off any takeover." Max shook his head, "no, I mean competition. The Ruiz Family from Miami is making noise. They're shaking down some business owners on the docks, trying to get a hold of their properties." Sonny shook his head. He'd been trying like hell to stay legit, but knew that one day someone would show up and make that impossible. "Well," he said, standing up from his desk. "Looks like it's time for the Phantom to rise again."