The Path to Power
Chapter Fifty Nine
Edward flips thru the paper and rather than reading the business section or even the front page grabs the living section which has basically been given over to the review and pictures of the Chloe Morgan Memorial Park. Since he'd just gotten out of the dog house with Lila about everything that happened with Skye, he'd been minding his P&Q's and even stayed away so he wouldn't be a distraction to the cause.
The pictures are about all he is going to get.
There are pictures of everything-- the face painting booth complete with lions, tigers and butterflies, the safety seat installation with AJ helping a young couple make sure that the seat is fastened properly, a little girl proudly holding a teapot with a plant trailing out of it in front of the Garden Club booth, and a picture of Lila holding Kristina, surrounded by Faith and Skye and according to the caption his new granddaughter-in-law, Lydia. And that is just on the front page of the special section. The interior pages have even more pages including pictures of Ned working the sound board for the musical acts and pictures of couples dancing.
He pulls the section free from the rest of the paper and spreads it out on the desk so he can get comfortable and check out every detail. If Reggie actually worked for him he might have been able to get a real report but this was going to have to do. The Herald is using the section to cover the Memorial Park but also as a kick off to summer with all the various camps, lessons and events. "Sky is doing a good job with the Herald." Edward mutters and then looks around furtively to make sure no one heard him.
An intern slides uneasily from one foot to the other waiting for his boss' boss to look from the wall where the upcoming programming is displayed.
"WHAT?!" He comes in on Saturdays to get some work done not to be stared at.
Taking a deep breath the intern exhales. What could they do to him? Fire him? "We had a letter come into Pimp My Ride...."
"We have lots of letters come in. People love that show." The guy mutters. "Just proves they can't follow directions. They're supposed to send in emails if they want to be part of the show."
"This isn't about someone wanting to have their car done. It's about someone that does cars-- Eddie Maine's Nanny."
The boss blinks and for the first time turns around and actually looks at the intern. "Eddie Maine? Of Eddie Maine and the Idle Rich? The one who could have been the real life prototype for Eddie and the Cruisers he fell off the map so quickly? Eddie Maine AKA Ned Ashton former head of the now defunct L&B records? Eddie Maine who was actually filthy rich and quit the business to go run the family business? That Eddie Maine?!"
"I guess you've heard of him. I was just thinking... You know it has everything-- Pimp My Ride... Cribs... Where Are They Now... and if everything I've read about the Quartermaines is right-- The Osborne's. The Nanny for Goodness sake. I caught a break today. I was kind of following up on the letter and doing a little research. There was a big outdoor thing this weekend in Port Charles, New York where they live and they actually have pictures of Ned and his brand new wife." The intern snaps his fingers. "The Newlyweds! It's not Like Nick and Jessica are anymore... they're coming up on their third anniversary."
"Just tell me he hasn't gotten fat and bald."
"No way. And his new wife is hot." The intern spots the nearest flat surface, a coffee table, and opens up the file of pictures that he'd copied from the Herald Online: Ned, Faith, there is even a picture of Alice chowing down on some cotton candy. "That's the Nanny."
"You have got to be kidding!"
"I figure she'll pull in the wrestling crowd. Male demographic 13-35. You know the type that dig a gal who could break them in half... you know like Chyna. And she pimps cars. The guy who sent in the letter sent in some pictures of her projects." The intern flips to those before and after projects. "From the looks of it-- it's more restoring than really pimping but she's good."
The Boss gives the order while hanging onto the folder. "Get me everything that Eddie Maine has done since he quit the business. Gimme a timeline. Possible contact people to interview. Start digging."
"You got it." The intern says cheerfully, heading for the door.
"Good work." The boss goes back to the programming board. With a sharpie he fills out a 3x5 card and looking around sees the spot. He tucks it into the slot. Eddie Maine Project? Still might be a little premature. Might be a better fit over on VH1. "Wrestling crowd huh?"
"Thank you for getting here so early, Dr. Lewis." Stefan meets the launch at the dock so that he can have a private moment with Tasha's doctor.
"Thanks for letting it be so early. I'm booked from 9am on. " Cameron climbs from the launch to the dock. "What happened? Was there some kind of break thru that couldn't wait until Tasha's regular appointment?"
"What you were afraid of."
"Where Tasha is concerned I have a lot of concerns. Could you be a little more specific?"
"The brother of the man Alexis killed was on the island Friday. He was pushing her on the swing. She was oblivious to the danger." Stefan replies grimly. "Tasha has already been reprimanded by the family and Lt. Taggart but I want to know where Alexis was? Why didn't she warn Tasha?"
"DID isn't Dial A Personality, Stefan. Tasha can't just call them up when she feels like it, or even when she needs them."
"I haven't... seen Alexis since her... breakdown but she's been here, Dr. Lewis. I have observed her in the... automatic... things that Tasha does. Tasha could have been killed! This is unsatisfactory!"
"I'm sorry Alexis wasn't more accommodating in scheduling her mental break." Cameron suggests wryly. "What else is going on? That is upsetting you?"
"You are my sister's doctor. Not mine." Stefan slams the door on that quickly.
"I have more chance of... success if I actually have some information, Stefan. Whatever is bothering you is surely affecting the way you deal with your sister and her illness."
"My mother was staying outside of town at the Cassadine Summer House."
"Great! So she's in custody."
"No. She killed her manservant yesterday and her current whereabouts are unknown. If Tasha will walk right up to the man who is the exact image of the man Alexis killed.... She has no memory of Helena as Helena is now."
"And no admission of a memory of back then either."
"Other than her reaction to Faith and her, as Lt. Taggart calls it, ghoulish nature."
Dr. Lewis nods. "I need pictures of Helena. The more current the better. Pictures of Luis Alcazar and his brother as well. Anyone else who might be gunning for your sister?"
"Isn't that enough?"
Taggart makes a visit to the crime lab to see if they have anything for him. From there it will be a trip to the morgue. He could wait for the reports. But that would involve waiting. And that cliché about the squeaky wheel getting the grease is just as true as the one about the wheels of justice grinding slow. "What have you got for me?"
"I wish my house was that clean-- even with the dead body." The tech shakes her head. "There was all the blood of course. I haven't seen a way yet you can kneecap a guy and keep it tidy. I haven't found any blood other than the vic's. This guy did not put up a struggle."
"Prints-- finger, shoes, tires... anything."
"I know there is going to be something. There always is. Everyone leaves something. Are we going to be able to find it? Has it already been tainted by the investigation or all of the cleaning supplies that were in that place?" The tech shrugs. "I'm doing the best I can."
"Thanks. Keep on it." Taggart sighs. "I'll go talk to the ME see if he has anything."
"There was one thing that was kind of odd." The tech calls Taggart back.
"What's that?" Taggart turns at the door of the lab.
"The house is spotless right? Or as close as you can get without having the place hermetically sealed." The tech waits until Taggart nods before adding. "So why was there Miracle Grow Potting soil on one of the hallway chairs?"
"The parking lot is done." Kyle tells his uncle as he pulls up a stool at the bar.
"You know what's next." Cole doesn't look up from the special section of the paper. Skye must have given her camera to the photographer of the Herald. Cause it's his picture of Skye, Faith, Lydia and Lila on the front. Shouldn't he be getting some $$ off of that? Since he took the picture and all. Maybe Skye would work it out in trade?
"How about a quick break? Maybe a shot of tequila to dull my senses... particularly my sense of smell?" Kyle suggests hopefully. He'd been doing this often enough now to know the first time he'd cleaned the restrooms hadn't been an accumulation of months like his uncle wanted him to be believe but rather just the result of a busy night.
"If you're passing tequila thru your nose you're doing it wrong." Cole answers absently still not looking up from the paper.
"Ah... I'll get on those bathrooms right now, Uncle Cole." Kyle jumps off the barstool and bolts from the room.
Cole looks up with a frown and sees what had gotten Kyle moving. "We're not open for a couple more hours, Commissioner."
"He doesn't clean behind the bar right?"
"I'm not that stupid. I am trying to turn a profit on this place." Cole flips a napkin down in front of The Commissioner. "What can I get for you?"
"How is the coffee?"
"Better than you got at the station." Cole pours a cup and sets it in front of Mac Scorpio.
"That isn't saying much." Mac takes a sip. "Javier here?"
"Didn't come back last night. Or if he did it was after closing and his car wasn't in the lot when I arrived. Why? You gonna lock him up?" Coleman asks hopefully.
"I got a call after I picked the girls up yesterday. Lorenzo Alcazar was on Spoon Island."
"Uncle Cole?" Kyle comes in from where he'd been eavesdropping.
"Skye's already at work. I dropped her off myself." Cole reminds Kyle. "Even on a Saturday she's got at least fifty people in that building with her."
"Why don't you give her a call and volunteer to bring her some lunch at the office... so she doesn't have to go out. Call her from the kitchen." Coleman orders. He waits until Kyle leaves. "Sorry. Kyle is starting to get the impression Skye gets stalked a lot."
"I wonder why?" Mac says wryly. "You and I both knew this was coming. Didn't know it was going to be happening this fast."
"Have you got anything that links Alcazar to Capelli?"
"To Capelli-- yes. To his death..." Mac shakes his head. "We're following all possible leads." Mac gives the copspeak for we don't have jack.
"I was afraid of that."
Skye doesn't take her eyes off the door as she answers the phone. She knows she has to make it good or there was going to be blood all over the office. Whose is anyone's guess. "Skye Chandler. Cole, no, you can't come over. I need to get some work done specially if Kyle is going to be bringing me lunch. He said he was coming straight from Jakes to Eli's to here. Maybe you should have arranged things better. We could have made it a long lunch and Kyle could have driven me home. Right. I'll see you later." Skye disconnects the call and then dials 9-1- and holds her finger over the one. "I've been expecting you."
"Really." Lorenzo Alcazar straightens from the door jam. "Who called? Cassadine? Lansing?"
Skye shakes her head. "Great. Thanks for letting me know who isn't on the Christmas Card List this year."
"Were they on the Christmas List before?"
"Good point. No. They weren't." Skye says wryly.
Lorenzo glances over at the phone. "That is unnecessary. You have nothing to fear from me, Ms. Chandler-Quartermaine. I know my brother died a happy man."
"No, he didn't." Skye declares flatly but hangs up the phone anyway. She points to the chair on the other side of the desk. She waits for him to take a seat and then sighs. "It's one of those things I don't know what to wish for. If I wasn't so drunk I wouldn't have passed out. And your brother would probably be alive. But if I wasn't so drunk, I wouldn't have been with him. Although who knows-- I wasn't exactly in a great state of mind even on the rare occasions I was sober back then."
"Brenda and your husband."
"Ex husband now but you knew that because you've been keeping up on what is going on in Port Charles." Skye leans in so she can speak confidentially. "Just so you know if Javier comes near my house I'm going to shoot him--12 gauge-- they'll be picking pieces of him up from the front door to the driveway. Fool me once and all that. I want him moved out of Jake's before Coleman loses patience. Preferably out of the country." For Coleman's sake, cause I hate the lighting in the jail visiting rooms.
"Ah yes, Coleman Radcliff." Lorenzo makes a tsking noise and shaking his head he strokes his beard. "He's not good enough for you."
"Stop." Skye leans back in the chair. "You say you don't have a problem with me. Great. I won't have a problem with you either unless you start thinking that my sleeping with your brother once gives you the right to any say in my life. The role of overprotective male in my life has already been filled."
"Skye?" Kyle looks from Skye to the man on the opposite side of the desk.
Wonderful. Overprotective male in training. "Oh Good you're here. I'm starving." Skye smiles at Kyle and then looks back at Alcazar. "Are we done here?"
"For now." Lorenzo agrees with a nods as he rises to his feet. He and Kyle pass at the doorway. He waits outside the door knowing that there is going to be something to hear.
"What did he want? What did you mean overprotective male?" Kyle demands looking back over his shoulder but only seeing the open doorway.
"Evidently the newspaper business is a man's job around here." Skye makes a few quote marks in the air. "And cause he's got a pair he thought he could tell me how to run things."
"I'm the one that can testify that you kick ass-- literally." Kyle raises a right hand as if swearing to the Almighty. "I might still be able to find a bruise or two."
Skye grimaces and then straightens. "You can't really can you?"
"Nah, they're soccer now. But you were excellent prep for anything any opposing team could throw at me. I had it coming. If I hadn't then the Police Commissioner would have stopped you."
"Coleman would have stopped me." Skye says guiltily.
Kyle laughs and starts sorting out the order from Eli's. "Right. Uncle Cole doesn't stop you from doing anything."
Lorenzo quietly leaves. There is evidently even more to Ms. Skye Chandler- Quartermaine than first impressions.
"When am I going to be... permitted to have the cleaners come in?" Stefan inquires of Lt. Taggart.
"I wanted you to check this place out before everything is shoved under those big Cassadine carpets you got." Taggart waits for Stefan to open the door to the summer house. "Everything started right here. No sign of forced entry. He opened the door to the shooter."
"Of course he did. My mother killed him."
"I'll go with that." Taggart shrugs. "But your mother didn't get to him first. There something you want to tell me about that anonymous caller who told you Helena was here?"
"I didn't recognize the voice and it came up private on the caller ID." Stefan covers.
"Right. So anyway. Blew the guy's knees out mob style right here standing in the doorway. Dragged him out of sight of the door. Let him lay. See where there are pools of blood soaked into the hardwood?"
"Is this really necessary, Lt.?" Stefan's distaste at the subject matter is clear.
"Just want you to know for sure who you're dealing with." Taggart retorts. "So um... somebody pulled up a chair and had a little chat with the vic. Now look here. The blood trail isn't as straight. Maybe the guy was trying to reach something. Probably the phone since a home invasion was reported from this address. And then look-- another trail across the foyer, whatever he was going for he didn't get though-- bang. Dead right here. Same gun did the knees and the kill shot. But the ME figures they were done about an hour apart. The call to 911 on the home invasion pretty well clears the first person of the murder and puts it square on your mother."
Stefan curses Faith's impatience. If she would have just waited a little bit longer she could have rid the world of his mother as well. An hour. And part of that time would have been interrogating the manservant. "Do you know who he... was?"
"I'm betting his prints are on file somewhere. But considering it's your mother, it'll probably be Interpol that finally comes thru." Taggart reaches into his inside pocket and pulls out the police sketch. "It's a decent likeness when you have the two of them together. Guy wanted for questioning in the bombing of a lab down in Pennsylvania."
"Yeah. Lets go back outside." Taggart goes back out to the front porch. "How is Tasha today?"
"Not giving us the silent treatment. She knows she had an error in judgment and will accept the consequences of her actions."
Taggart shakes his head. He felt for the kid but there is an irony in that. Tasha standing up for her punishment, and Alexis getting away with murder.
"Skye darling, it's Grandmother, I hope you don't mind me calling you at the office? I tried you first at home and Coleman's nephew let me know you were there."
"Even if we didn't consider I wouldn't have an office without you making that first call for me-- I never mind a call from you, Grandmother. I had a great time yesterday, and I know Cole and Kyle did too."
"I was hoping I'd be able to get copies of the pictures from yesterday. Especially that one with all of us. I think enlargements on that one-- your grandfather is going to want one, and your father of course, AJ and Ned too. I'm sure Ned needs pictures at his house. I really do need to call Lois too." Lila mutters as kind of an aside. "Lois probably has some extra pictures of Brooke Lynn around."
"Right. The fire. I'll look thru all the pictures, not just the ones that made the paper, and make copies of pictures with Ned, Dillon, Kristina and Faith. I haven't been over to the cabin since they were moving in. You said that Faith has been doing a lot with the place." There is a quest for more information in that comment.
"I did stop by to talk to Faith about well I suppose building a bridge between her and Edward would be too much to expect but to at least open a door to those two not bumping heads. Oh and Darling?"
"I want to have a small gathering for Lydia and AJ-- to welcome her to the family, after Jason and Courtney's wedding of course, so the focus isn't split. And it can't be at the house because I do want Ned and Faith to be there. I was hoping you'd have an idea?"
"I think that the Cellar has an elevator." Skye muses. "Faith took that back over from Carly. I'll check with Faith when I drop off the pictures see if she'll let Edward in. Otherwise Grandmother, I think the best bet would be the Grille. It would be... neutral territory."
"I do appreciate you checking on that for me, Darling, and the pictures as well for me and for Ned. So your grandfather and I will see you tomorrow?"
There is a long pause on the other end of the line as Skye chews on the phrasing of that last comment. "Sure. I'll see you tomorrow." Skye hangs up the phone.
"She'll do it?" Edward demands as he takes the phone from Lila and hangs it up. "She'll bring over copies of the pictures?"
"Yes, but frankly, Edward, if you blot your copybook this time there won't be a thing that I can do to mend the situation. This has to go well. Ned won't relent until Faith does. You won't be out of the doghouse with Alan until you accept Skye. And Lydia is an absolutely clean slate with the family-- with you."
"Ha! That's not likely. I'm sure AJ had plenty to say." Edward grumbles.
"Edward!" Lila rebukes him with a single word at a shake of her head. She hits the go button on the wheel chair. Reggie is probably growing impatient out in the greenhouse wondering where she is. Perhaps there is a chance for the family to mend before she's gone. After all Edward had come to her about the pictures; it's a start.
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