The Path to Power

Chapter Sixty Seven





The days are working to the longest days of the year. Itís a handy fact for soccer games. The PeeWees could get their game in and be home in time for dinner and the high schoolers could have their game after the dinner hour and maybe even not have to turn on the field lights.

There are bleachers on both sides of the field and since both teams are from Port Charles the bleachers are filled with parents, family and friends and then the sides are also. Skyeís SUV has become a feature at all of Kyleís games. She is set up to the side under a large umbrella with a comfortable chair and cooler that she has set up as a side table. Coleman actually provided the contents of the cooler. Jakes had taken to providing the midgame snacks of sliced veggies, fruits and other drinks. If there is something every bartender knows how to do... even in a beer joint like Jakes is how to slice a garnish.

In her breezy summer dresses with the sunhat and the umbrella for extra protection everything about Skyeís appearance screams southern belle rather than southern Pennsylvania. Even though she does nothing overt to draw attention to herself, sheíd blush if she knew the way the high school boys thought about her.

"Man, you are so lucky." One of Kyleís teammate groans as he looks over in Skyeís direction. All the girls their age are into tans and bare mid-drifts down past their hip bones leaving nothing to the imagination. Skye is a woman. "She look that good in the morning?"

"Yeah." Kyle admits.

"And she really kicked your ass."

"Oh yeah." Most of these guys had phys ed with him. Theyíd seen the bruises after the Maximum Maxie incident.

"Oh man." All of a sudden Skye isnít wearing a white linen dress but black leather bustier with black, no, red leather pants. Big pointy heels and a paddle, yeah a wooden paddle. "Oh man, You are so lucky."

"You are such a perv." Kyle moves away from the guy to keep warming up. The game would be starting in about twenty minutes. He looks over at Skye under the umbrella and she sees him and waves. Just then his uncle arrives carrying his own folding chair. He leans over and gives Skye a kiss that would get the couple suspended if they had tried that back in high school.

Over on the sidelines, Skye has her hand gripping firmly the front of Colemanís shirt and pulls him in again for another kiss. "I thought you were going to miss the start."

"Relief was almost late showing up." Cole nuzzles her neck inhaling deeply. Reluctantly he pulls away and sets up his own chair on the other side of the cooler. "We could be home. We know where the kid is going to be for the next couple of hours. I could give him some money for going out after the game..."

"Nope. Games weíre here. Practices weíre definitely not."

Coleman reaches over and gives her another passionate kiss.

Kyleís teammate comes over. "I take it all back. Your UNCLE is the lucky man."

Kyle doesnít say anything but he does realize he is a lucky guy. Skye and his Uncle are cool. His Mom never came to his games back in middle school. It was one of the reasons he quit, even if he didnít say that. And his father had never come to his games, ever. He watches as Skye touches base with one of the high school newspaper geeks. Skye makes a habit of buying pictures from the students for the Herald High School games coverage. Sheíd even made a deal where the top photographer would get a season press pass to the Stallion Games. It was almost enough to make you want to be a geek. Cept Skye had given him a look and rolled her eyes then told them that the paper had box seats anyway. Her brother owns the freaking team. Kyle watches a Hummer pull up to the sidelines. The coach calls them all over to the sideline.

AJ jumps down from the Hummer and comes around to help Lydia down. "Michael, keep the leash on Rosie, okay? Sheíll be in big trouble if she gets loose around here."

Michael doesnít answer but he does keep a close hand on Rosieís leash as he and the dog jump down from the hummer.

AJ winces and blanking his face goes around to the back of the hummer to grab some chairs and blankets. Lydia takes the picnic basket that Sally had filled. It was their souvenir from the trip to Washington DC. "Heíll be fine, AJ." Lydia says reassuringly.

"I hope so. I really hope so." AJ reaches out and takes Lydiaís free hand. Once they get over to the umbrella the chairs are switched around so that Skye and Lydia are under the umbrella and closest to the cooler while AJ and Coleman sit on the other sides of their ladies. Michael and Rosie are kicking on the blanket in front of everybody. Michael doesnít say anything just keeps petting the dog who is laying slavishly across his lap luxuriating in the attention.

"So... anyone know the rules to this game?" Lydia asks.

"I did a little field hockey back in boarding school. At least with this they arenít beating each other with sticks." Skye replies. Then she reaches over and punches Coleman in the arm. "Forget it."

"I canít, Babe. This is one for the long nights when youíre at the paper. Was your hair in braids?"

AJ starts laughing and even Lydia cracks a smile. Skye looks over at them. "Donít encourage him." She gives a sigh of relief as the game starts. Hopefully Coleman would behave.





Itís isnít really a planned thing where Stefan was off the island one night and Nik the next. It never was spoken. But Tasha hasnít been alone on the island since the incident with Lorenzo Alcazar. With the heat off them thanks to the kidnapping, Penny and Nikolas went to a play in the park.

The breeze is kicking up off the water and Penny snuggles into Nikolas. The guy is a furnace. Must be something about genetics and Russian winters. "I had a great time."

"I would have taken you down to the city. To Broadway."

"Yeah, but could we have kicked back on the grass and watched the stars between the acts?"

"Well... I guess its all in how you define stars." Nik laughs. His cell phone rings and he reaches into his pocket. "Nikolas Cassadine. Why are you calling me; you just pulled up to the docks?" Nik hears the answer and frowns. "Thank you for letting us know. Have you already called the police?" Nik nods at the answer.

"What is it?" Penny looks at the Launch that is already at the end of the pier.

"There is a body in the water. The pilot didnít want you to see it."

"Oh youíve got to be kidding." Penny grimaces. "It seems to happen every summer, someone goes out in a boat and gets trashed."

"He has a knife in his back."

Penny opens her mouth but then closes it again and shakes her head. "Iím just going to be right up there trying to not throw up."

"I have to...."

"You could wait for the police."

"If itís about us then its best we know before the police. Please call Uncle and let him know what happened in case Tasha has questions about the lights." Nikolas strides toward the dock after giving Penny his jacket to keep her warm. Itís only after Nikolas is half way down the dock does Penny realize that sheíd been included in the us along with the Cassadines.





After the soccer game everyone descends on the ice cream store. Skye is surprised to see Faithís guy Bruno there but then when it becomes clear he is hitting on the gal behind the counter she just shrugs and tries to decide between the purist french vanilla and maybe the pistachio almond. She bites the inside of her lip.

Coleman comes up behind her and wraps his hands around her waist. "Get both." He growls in her ear.

"You are such a bad influence on me."

"Yeah." He nibbles on her ear delighting in her shivers and the way her eyes close as she leans back into him. The moment is interrupted by her cell phone going off.

Cursing Skye reaches for her phone and knows she will have to take it as soon as she sees itís the night editor at the paper. "French vanilla and pistachio almond but in a cup not a cone, okay?"

Coleman nods.

Skye goes outside and takes the call. She turns around and stares at Bruno until he notices and frowning goes outside too. Skye has a quick conversation with Bruno and then goes back inside.

Coleman is just putting in their order when she comes back.

"You going to have to go to work?"

"No. The night editor can handle it."

"But itís something Faith needs to know about?"

"Maybe." Skyeís face is too serious.

Coleman pulls her back under his arm and gives her a hug. "Nothing going on that a little Baskin and Robbins wonít fix." He grabs the cup of ice cream and a stupid little pink spoon and his milkshake and escorts Skye outside. They take a seat at the little white two topper outside. "Well."

"Alcazarís man Javier was found floating in the Charles. The night editor heard the body called in over the scanner and sent someone out to find out if it was hold the presses time or just get it on the website."

Coleman takes a sip of his shake as he considers his answer. He isnít going to be a hypocrite. One stalker down and one to go. Good riddance to bad rubbish. He hadnít forgotten that Javier had forced an introduction to Skye by slashing her tire. "Then itís a good thing Kyle and I have alibis."

Skye is quick to retort. "Donít even joke!"

"Iím not joking. Couldnít have happened to a more perfect guy. Donít even worry, Babe. Other than having the perfect alibisĖ Kyle and I would be way down on the list that would have wanted this guy gone. Hell even Faith is a ways down the list."

"How do you figure?" Skye canít imagine Faith being down on any list that involved criminal doings.

"Javier is the wink wink suspect in Capelliís death remember?" Coleman counters. "And he works for Alcazar which means not too popular with Corinthos, Morgan, Lansing, hell even Jax."

"Stabbed in the back." Skye says flatly. "I refuse to believe Jax has anything to do with this."

"That probably eliminates Morgan too. If heís going to kill someone heís going to shoot them. Puts Faith even lower on the list. If sheís involved there is either a hole you could drive a truck thru or not a scratch on them. Course they all have people who could be tasked to get it done. The last real stabbing in town was..." Coleman curses his runaway mouth.





Kyle is still in his soccer gear when he stops by Kellyís. He should be surprised to see Maxie there but he really isnít. "Missed you at the game."

"I am so sorry." Maxie apologizes even though sheíd texted him earlier to let him know what was going on. "Mike called in. He is either hanging out with Courtney and Sonny or he found a floating craps game. And Bobbie is over at AJís house helping out with Michael. I couldnít call her and tell her that Mike pulled a no show. I really wasnít planning on pulling a double when I came in this morning. My feet are killing me."

"No good deed goes unpunished." Kyle says piously and then shakes his head. "Look, youíre going to close in about ten minutes. If there is one thing that Iíve learned how to do since my mom split and I started living with my Uncle itís how to clean a kitchen. You let me help and weíll be out of here ten minutes after you close."

"You mean it?"

"Oh yeah."

"I called Mac and let him know what was going on. He got called out on another case. So he isnít expecting me home until at least midnight."

Kyle rubs his hands together. "Let me at the cleaning supplies. I think we can get you out of here within 5 minutes of closing. Anyone comes in tell them the grill is closed." Kyle heads back to the kitchen. It appears whoever started Kellyís had gone to the same school of organization as his Uncle because he quickly finds all the supplies he needs to start shutting down the kitchen and scrubbing pots, pans, counters and floors. He grabs a work apron from off a shelf and puts it on. If he didnít then his soccer uniform is going to be specked with holes from getting hit with hot grease.

"Donít make it look too good or Aunt Bobbie will never believe I did it." Maxie calls thru the pass through. She is not expecting an answer and is already on her way to the tables to flip the chairs up and turn the juke box up. The sugar, salt, pepper and napkins had already been refilled earlier during a lull. So she grabs a broom and starts sweeping.

For once itís like the teenage gods are smiling, everything goes as planned and they are out the door within 15 minutes of Maxie flipping the sign around. Maxie had been dropped off at work by Mac since she was only supposed to be working until 2p so itís good that Kyle has his... "That is not your car."

"My Uncleís." Kyle tosses the keys. "He drove home with Skye from the game. I had a feeling which is why I hitched a ride to the game with one of the other guys."

"I feel so gross." Maxie tugs at her t-shirt. "You could probably make an order of fries off all the grease Iíve got on my skin."

"And I came to Kellyís straight from the field." Kyle nods. Then the brilliant idea occurs. "Why donít we go over to my house? I still have some clothes there. We could use both showers... or one." He looks over at Maxie.

She looks back at him and nods. "That sounds great."

Kyle resists the temptation to floor it. The last thing he wants to happen now is to get a ticket.





Faith strides into the bunkhouse. "This had better be important. The baby had a series of shots today at the doctor and sheís being a little bitch. Alice finally got her to go down."

"It is, Faith." Bruno nods.

Faith looks around at all the grim faced guys in the bunk house. "I take it Iím not the first to hear this?"

"Itíll be on the news but I doubt theyíll be naming any names. That Javier dude bought it down off the Harrison Fishing Pier. Knife in the back." Mouse blurts out Brunoís news.

Bruno gives him the glare of death. It is his news after all. "I ran into Coleman and the redhead at Baskin and Robbins. She just got a call cause it came over the police scanner. Her reporter on the scene heard one of the cops ID the guy."

"I do like having Skye owning the Herald." Faith murmurs. "Should have thought of that." She looks around the room. "Anyone here missing any knives?"

"No, Faith." All the guys shake their heads.

"Good. Cause you know I donít like surprises. This is a good heads up, Bruno." Faith nods. "We got no beef with Alcazar so far. At least as far Port Charles is concerned, we got people in common on the karmic Couldnít Happen to A Nicer Guy list. I wouldnít mind knowing who did it but just to find out if there is another player in town."

"You gonna talk to your guy down at the morgue, Faith?"

Faith nods but is slow to answer. "Not in our best interest to appear too interested, ya know? Going to drop this one on Cassadine. Heís the one that needs an alibi. Him and the nutjob. Sheís got a history of playing with knives. We need to keep on our own game here." Faith starts holding up fingers. "One-- find the hag and send her back to hell. Two--cut the Corinthos organization off at the balls and three-- make some money. Iím paying you guys too much to have you sitting on your asses waiting for Coleman and Skye to put a hot tub in."




Kyle races around the front of the classic Pontiac Firebird to open the door for Maxie. He helps her out of the car and gathers her close. They have trouble walking up the walk to the house because they canít keep their hands off each other. This is the first time theyíve really been alone, alone since the internet incident. As they end up on the stoop Maxie has her back to the door and Kyle is sliding his hands everywhere they can reach while ravishing her mouth.

"Inside. Shower." Maxie gasps.

"Right." Kyle groans. He fumbles for the keys to open the door and the dead bolt. They fall back into the entryway as the door opens. Kyle goes right back to devouring Maxie.

She finally has to punch him in the side to get his attention. "Kyle!"


"I know I wasnít paying much attention before but I donít think your house looked like this last time."

Kyle takes a step back and starts swearing as he looks around. Heís been burglared. There is nothing on either side of the entryway. No furniture or electronics in the living room. No dining room set or china cabinet on the other. "Son of a bitch!" You could still see the dents in the carpet where the furniture had been. Even the area rugs were gone. "Son of a bitch." Setting Maxie aside he starts racing upstairs.

"Donít touch anything!" The Top Copís daughter hollers after him already reaching for her cell phone. "I canít believe this happened! Our house is one street over from here. Mac made sure there is the best neighborhood watch in the whole city around here. Cause he knows heís always getting called out and wants to feel okay with leaving me and Georgie alone."

Kyle comes back downstairs much more slowly than he went up. "All my stuff is still here. Who are you calling?"

"The cops." Maxie replies.

"Wait a second on that okay? Itís not like we caught them in the act. Fuck! They would have had to show up with a moving van to do this." Kyle wanders into the kitchen. Even the fridge is gone. He opens up a cupboard and isnít surprised that everything is gone: dishes, pots, pans and Captain Crunch.

Maxie is the one that finds the business length envelope on the counter addressed to Coleman. Getting Kyleís attention she hands it to him.

Kyle doesnít care who itís addressed to and rips the envelope open. "My mother. My mother did this. Now who are you calling?"

"Your Uncle and Skye."

Kyle groans but this time doesnít try to stop her. They were going to be in deep trouble over this. But not as much trouble as if they didnít call. He knows that his Uncle will know at a glance what they were up to. "Lets wait for them outside. I canít look at this." Maxie hands the phone over to Kyle. "Yeah? Uncle Cole, I stopped by here to get a change of clothes bring some more stuff out to the lake house. The house has been emptied, and there is a letter from my Mom." Kyle winces. He can hear his Uncle swearing not only at his mother but at him too for what he KNEW Kyle had been planning at the house. They are calling on Maxieís phone after all.

Talk about a mood killer, Maxie and Kyle wait on the front porch for Coleman to arrive. Neither are surprised when Skye is with him but neither know if this is cause for a sigh of relief or a sign that things are going to get real ugly real fast.

"Whereís the letter?" Coleman demands. Kyle offers the letter without word.

"Kyle, why donít you take Maxie home and come straight back." Skye says quietly. As soon as she heard that Kyleís mother had done this sheíd started to get a very bad feeling. The last thing she wants to have happen is two ticked off guys together when they canít get at the person they are really ticked at. "Straight back, Kyle. Oh and Maxie? Tell Mac about this before I get a chance to."

"Right." Kyle gives Maxie a hand up and heads over to the Firebird.

"That fucking bitch." Coleman swears. "I canít believe she did this to her own kid!"

Skye takes the letter and scans thru it. She winces at the part where Margery lays the blame at Colemanís door. How because he wouldnít help her that sheís had to resort to this. "Lets see how bad it is before Kyle gets back."

Coleman goes into the house and if anything gets more furious as he walks thru the empty rooms. The only room with anything in it is Kyleís. That had been left intact. Everything else is gone as a big screw you. "I canít believe she did this to her own kid." Coleman shakes his head again. If Margery were here right now heíd snap her neck without a second thought.

"Itís not that bad really." Skye offers scrambling to make lemonade out of this situation. What would Lila do?

Coleman looks at her like sheís finally lost her mind. "Babe, are you sure you didnít get the buttered rum ice cream?"

Skye scrambles to make something positive out of this. "Well we know what would have been happening here if Margery hadnít... cleaned house." At Coleís growl she knows that might have been a step in the wrong direction. Different track but what? "Okay well. I think that tomorrow you and Kyle should rent a van and finish what Margery started. Bring all his stuff out to the lake house so he can have his own things in his room. And then... rent this place out. Put the money in an account for Kyleís expenses. Start the college fund now. And then if there is another family in here, he wonít have the urge to use it as his private love nest?"

That gives Cole pause. He still has his apartment. Most of Kyleís stuff had been left here and heíd been just crashing in the guest room. This would be... official. Him moving in with Skye. Itís a hell of a silver lining in a truly fucked situation. He had tried to maneuver things so that she hadnít spent the night alone out at the lake house ever since busting Jax on his stalking. "You serious?" He asks very quietly. He doesnít want there to be any misunderstandings.

"Itís not a big deal. You and Kyle are already living with me." Skye shrugs.

"It is a big deal, Babe. And make sure before you make the offer. Cause if I take you up on this then Iím cleaning my apartment out too."

Skyeís eyes narrow at that. "Oh now slow down, buster. If you think youíre bringing your bachelor pad decor out to the Lake House you can just think again. You donít even have to bring your clothes. In fact Iíd rather you didnít." Skye cries out in surprise as she is swept off her feet in a huge circle. "Put me down you maniac!"

The last thing Kyle expects to see when he arrives back at the house is Uncle Cole sitting on the stairs with Skye in his lap making out. He clears his throat. If this was the lake house he would have just retreated back to his room without saying anything but Skye had been real clear. Straight to Maxieís and back. He was going to need the alibi with Maxieís dad. He clears his throat again. He isnít particularly surprised when his Uncle growls in his direction.

Cole keeps his hands right where they are and looks up at his poorly timed nephew. "What are you doing here?"

"Heís going upstairs to pack whatever he wants straight away because it will take you a few days to arrange for van to pick up the rest and bring it out to the lake house." Skye reminds Cole.

"Right. What she said." Cole nuzzles Skyes neck.

Skye gives him an elbow and crawls off Colemanís lap. "Kyle, weíre going to head back to the Lake House. Just take the things youíll want for the next few days before every thing else can be delivered. And the rest... I think it would be better if you and your Uncle talked later after youíve both had a chance to calm down and think things thru."

"One hour, Kyle." Cole demands. He knows itís only going to take about that. But the nonverbal is clear. Longer and heíd ben in trouble. Earlier and heíd really be in trouble.

"Iíll get my stuff." Kyle nods. He waits until they have left, then calls Maxie. "Iím still breathing. Skye put some kind of mojo on Uncle Cole. Heíll probably still be ticked in the morning but she bought me some time to get my story straight."

"Well maybe by the time we get our stories straight Mac will be ready to hear them. The case he got called out on is a murder, down by the docks."

"Thatís not too far from Kelly's!" Kyle protests.

"Oh I know. Iíll probably be hearing about that too. In about 12 hours, if I donít do some very fast talking, Iím going to be losing my boyfriend and my job."





Nikolas opens the door to a suite at the Port Charles Hotel. Penny walks in first and looks over her shoulder. "We could have waited until they were done down at the docks."

"I donít think they are going to be done until morning." Nik disagrees. He tosses the mag key on the desk just inside the door. "Iím sure they will be looking for clues once the sun comes back up. And there is no way I wanted to take you to the Summer House."

Penny shudders at the thought. And then remembers that Helena had done her own dirty work here at the hotel. "The Quartermaineís did beef up security here right?"

"Very much so and they had the entire hotel fumigated." Nik nods. "And I signed in under an assumed name and paid cash. The desk clerk may have recognized me but there is no record."

"Ohhh Sneaky."

"I am The Cassadine. It is part of the job description." Nik proclaims self mockingly. He notices then that Penny has burrowed deeper in his jacket rather than removing it. "Are you still cold?"

"I canít seem to get warm." Penny shivers.

"Go take a hot shower. Iíll call room service to bring up some tea." Nik orders. He gathers her in his arms and hugs her close.

Penny apologizes her voice muffled against Nikís chest. "Sorry. First I faint when I win the lottery and now Iím doing the damsel in distress imitation. Iím not like this really."

"I know. I know. You are my reason. Please, Penny, go get warm. Iíll join you as soon as I make the call." Nikolas releases her and urges her in the direction of the bathroom. He picks up the phone and is already calling when Penny looks over her shoulder.





Skye hears Kyle pull up to the Lake House and eases out from under Colemanís arm. Sliding her silk robe on she belts it tightly before going out into the main part of the house. "Kyle?"

"Iím not late." Kyleís voice is defensive.

"I know. I was just hoping to get to talk to you. Your Uncle is still very angry. Maybe too angry to be measured in his answers."

"Why shouldn't he be?! Iím angry too! She said that she couldnít come back because of Uncle Cole!"

"Do you believe her?"

"I donít know what to believe." Kyle says bitterly.

"Would you believe me?" Skye asks. She goes over to the fridge and pours them both a glass of juice. Kyle pulls up a stool at the breakfast bar. Skye leans against the other side of the counter. "Itís no big secret that Iím an alcoholic. Your uncle has seen me when Iíve been drunk and when Iíve been sober. I like myself better sober. He knows that and supports me. The night I met your mother..." Skye shakes her head. "I donít know your mother at her best. Iím sure you do. Youíve got memories of her being something off of the Cosby show or something."

Kyle snorts at that. He rolls the glass between his hands and doesnít look at Skye.

"Or not. Right now I donít like your mother too much. But I donít know her either. Iím willing to sayĖ hell I donít know, maybe sheís drinking? Maybe sheís drugging? I donít like the idea that someone would be so cold as to come to town, clean out the house and then try to alienate you from the guy who has stood up for you from the first day I met you!" Skye stops and takes two deep breaths and then another one. "Sorry. I guess Iím having a tough time giving measured responses too. I just canít believe that letter."

"And if sheís drinking or drugging?"

"Itís a disease. She needs help. But until she wants help, gets help then something else is doing the talking for herĖ the addiction." Skye reaches across the bar and lifts Kyleís head so he is making eye contact with him. "I told your uncle to lie to you, and Iím sorry about that now. When your mother called him at the bar she didnít ask about you. She asked about money. Thatís why I think the addiction is still in control. She was furious that she hadnít gotten her child support."

"Why was she calling Uncle Cole about that?"

Skye takes a sip of juice to avoid answering the question. "And when Cole told her to talk to your father about the support payments she threatened to take a mortgage out on the house and get money that way. The thing is...." Skye takes a deep, deep breath and knows that she is betraying a confidence. But Cole and Kyleís relationship is too important. "... you remember when your Uncle got shot? He took a job watching my brotherís ex wife, Courtney. She caught him, freaked and shot Cole. Your uncle spent weeks in the hospital. Had all kinds of run ins with the cops about it. He earned every penny of the money that AJ paid him. And he spent all that money on the mortgage on your house to make sure it was free and clear. Maybe he knew or maybe Cole was just being Cole but he set things up so that your mom couldnít get any money out of the house. When he reminded her of that...."

"She couldnít take the house so she took the furniture." Kyle figures out.

"Yeah, thatís about it." Cole growls from the bedroom doorway. He is standing there in his shorts, hair gone wild.

"So it isnít my Momís house. Itís your house." Kyle counters.

"Not exactly." Cole mutters. He goes around to the kitchen and grabs Skyeís juice and drains the glass. "Weíre done. You want to talk about it tomorrow. Weíll talk about it tomorrow. Not going to happen tonight." He puts an arm around Skyeís shoulders and starts walking her back to the bedroom.

"Hit the lights please, Kyle." Skye asks as she wraps an arm around Coleís waist.

Kyle watches them leave and the door shut after them. He grabs his bags and heads back to his room. Itís off on the other side of the house far away from the master bedroom and itís a good thing. His cell phone is vibrating so he grabs it and knows there is one person who would be calling. "Hey, babe."

"Are you okay?"

"Skye worked some more mojo on Uncle Cole. Weíre still going to have a chat no doubt but it isnít going to be tonight."

Maxie can tell from Kyleís voice that Cole isnít the only one that Skye had mojoíd. "What is going to happen? About your Mom I mean?"

"Itís her stuff." Kyle shrugs. "Iíd love to know when she did it though. I was just over there a couple of days ago to mow the lawn and make sure that the mail was picked up."

"If you really want to know, if you want to find her..." Maxie hesitates. "My dad sold his detective agency to Lucky Spencer. You know Elizabethís boyfriend? He could find out."

"It may come to that. I donít think that Uncle Cole wants her back in town. If Mom showed up, hell he might just stuff her in a freezer somewhere."

"Kyle..."Maxie doesnít know quite how to put this but decides to get blunt. "I saw that letter too. She wants you to be ticked at your Uncle Cole. And sure fine whatever. Thing is what happens if she comes back and decides you need to go with her? Are you going to go? How could you not go? I mean sheís your mother. Your uncle was only supposed to be in the picture for a couple of days until she got out of detox. There is nothing official right? Georgie and I have been thru this with our mother. Every once in awhile she decides itís time for us to go be with her. Nevermind that our lives are here with Mac. Itís like we donít get a say."

"If Skyís right then sheíll be back. One way or another sheíll be back."

"What did Skye say?"

"Skye wants to believe that treatment didnít take and the reason why Mom dumped me is because sheís still drinking and drugging. If Skye is right then sheís going to need money as soon as she runs through whatever the furniture will get her. Iím her ticket. She doesnít get child support unless sheís supporting the child."


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