Sitting alone at a table across the room, a man clad in dark clothing and sunglasses watched the exchange between Kevin and Lucy. She smiled; he didn't need to hear any words to know that the outcome of the discussion had no been postive.
"Good," he whispered. Everything was working out according to plan. Lucy still had feelings for the good doctor-- that would make the trgedy that was about to occur even sweeter. Without anyone to turn to, she would have to fall into his arms.
First, however, he had to get her alone. Then...
the night would explode.
Outside of Luke's Club, two young men hovered near the edge of the building. The taller of the two- a lanky boy that hadn't yet seen twenty-five- looked at the contraption in his hands uncertainly. "You sure you want to do this?"
The other, a heavy set man with a scratchy blonde beard, grinned. "The boss thinks he's got us under his control. You know he's gonna kill us as soon as this operation's over. He don't go for no witnesses."
"So you want to off him?" The taller man eyed the club. "There's lots of people in there. They ain't done nothing wrong."
"Look. Boss doesn't expect us to make the move until he gets the chick out of there. Them people are gonna get hurt either way. This way, Boss gets what he's got coming, and we walk away free men without pricetags on our heads. Got it?"
"Yeah," He handed the heavy opject to his partner. "You do the honors."
The heavy man chuckled. "With pleasure."
"Trouble?" Eve watched KEvin sit down on the bar stool, shoulders hunched.
"Nothing new. Just another serving of Lucy's off-base rationizations. That woman could justify the Holocaust if she thought it would get her out of trouble."
Eve smiled. "Is that your sense of humor I detect returning?"
"Nope," Kevin turned to the bartender. "Martini, two olives."
"Kevin, come on. Talk to me." Eve leaned against the bar.
He opened his mouth as if to sread his feelings across the table, then shook his head. "There's nothing left to say. Nothing that could change anything, at least."
Eve touched his hand. "When you do need to talk, I'm here to listen."
"Thanks," He turned to face the stage as Luther stepped back up to perform. Subsconsciously, he looked around to see where Lucy was. His gaze caught a man that looked oddly out of place. The man turned his head slightly and Kevin caught a glimpse of his face. Sunglasses hid the man's eyes, but there was something strangely familiar about him. The recognition clicked in his head. "Hey, isn't that--" Kevin squinted through the dim light for another glimpse at the man.
Eve followed his gaze. "Who?"
Kevin watched the man closely, convincing himself that it was impossible. "No, it was-- my eyes were playing tricks on me, I guess. For a second, I thought I saw-- well, never mind."
He glanced back through the crowd. The man was heading toward the front dining area. Kevin followed his path and, unintentionally, saw Lucy sitting alone at a table. She was staring into her drink, her posture evident of her mood.
She looked up suddenly. Their gazes met and locked, conveying a thousand unspoken emotions and lost memories.
In that second, a thousand things happened. Time seemed to move in slow motion. Lucy lifted one hand to brush the hair from her face, while keeping her eyes on Kevin. The entire club seemed to fall absolutely silent in that second, although Kevin registered belatedly that the illusion was impossible. The earth shook harshly, and the room suddenly exploded into blind light and numbing heat. Kevin was falling, and he wondered if he would ever hit the bottom of the dark pit he had slipped into.
Flames were shooting around him when Kevin finally regained control of his senses. He found himself on the floor, surrounded by thick smoke and the suffocating heat.
He blinked the water from his eyes and focused on the body laying beside him. "Eve!" he sputtered. A line of blood streaked her face, and her frail body was lifeless. He pulled her into his arms and felt around. They were pressed against the foot of the bar, and the fire was circling them.
Keeping close to the ground, he dragged Eve away from the closest flames. There was an emergency exit nearby, he remembered. On the other side of the bar. If he could make it that far...
Something crashed behind him, and he lept forward. "Hang on, Eve," he whisptered.
It was so hot. Flames danced through the thick smoke, sending snippets of wood down to the firey ground.
Kevin felt along the hot floor as he closed his eyes to the filthy air. The exit should be straight ahead, he guided himself. He nearly cried out in relief when his hand his the hot metal door of the emergency exit. He shoved it open and he and Eve stumbled into the cool summer air.
"Lucy," Kevin whispered hoarsely. He looked back into the blazing hell of the club, realizing that she could still be in there. He stood up with her face in mind and promptly fell unconscious to the ground.
The night was overcast with thick clouds, but the bright flames shooting out of the burning club lit the sky with morbid light. Nothing had been spared; rescuers could hardly get close enough to the building to make any attempts at helping the victims trapped inside.
Outside the police line, worried family members and shell-shocked citizens watched the prominant social center of Port Charles disappear into a pile of smoldering ashes, with the distant cries of the victims floating out with the black smoke. The media ate the situation with a sickening delight. Broadcasters standing in front of the camera put on distraught faces while they secretly relished in the fact that their channel had a chance at getting the "inside scoop".
People cried and begged for answers to their questions, but all sound was silent compared to the roar of the inferno. It seemed to drown out everything else and capture the attention of every soul.
Except one. Behind the building, a man clad in dark clothing and sunglasses turned away from the fire and headed out through the alley. The car would be waiting for him and his travel guest, waiting to take them to safety.
He glanced at the face of the woman in his arms. The force from the fire and her possible injuries might have kept her in the peace of unconsciousness for a while, but he didn't want to take any chances. The mild sedative coursing through her system right now would keep her at bay until he could get her settled in.
He couldn't help but smile. Even with soot smudged on her face and her hair wildly mussed, she was beautiful. Those deep set eyes, those inviting lips, those slashing cheekbones... he could almost fall in love with a face like that. He imagined her conniving smile, that glint of the devil in her eyes... yes, she certainly had her fine qualities.
He pulled open the car door and set her in the backseat. The poor dear. Limp as a corpse, but not nearly as revolting. He shut the door and slid into the driver's seat. It would be a short ride to freedom, and an even shorter time to eternity.
"Oh, Lucy," he whispered, glancing into the rearview mirror at her still body. "The fun is just beginning."
For a moment, he thought he had died and gone to heaven. Only the steady beeps of a nearby machine and the intense pain that was coursing through his body proved that the garish white surroundings were not the gates to Eternity.
Kevin blinked hard at the bright light. It was a hospital, he realized dimly. He was in a hospital. Why? And how long had he been there?"
He turned his head slightly toward the sound of the voice and smiled. "Eve."
She visibly relaxed. "Thank God you're all right."
He glanced at the wires connected to his arm. "What happened?"
"There was a fire-- a bomb-- at Luke's Club. You got us out... you saved my life."
Kevin shut his eyes as teh memories came to him with a vengence. L & B's party. The explosion. The fire. The smoke. The pure and incredible fear. And Eve-- lying unconscious in the midst of the disaster with blood streaming down the side of her face.
"Are you all right?" he asked her finally.
"Thanks to you, yes. Just a minor concussion. I hit my head on the bar as a result of the force of the explosion. And I cut my face pretty good."
He looked her over. There was a bandage across her forehead and a line of stitches down the side of her cheek, in addition to a few bruises that were beginning to appear. He leaned back in the bed. His own head was throbbing, and he wondered if he looked as bad as she did. "I'm so tired."
She reached for his hand. "I'll let you rest. I'm here, though, and I'm not going anywhere."
He clasped her hand in his. "Wait." Another memory flashed in front of his eyes. His gaze had locked with Lucy's; the moment had been shattered when the room exploded into merciless flames. She had vanished behind the wall of fire, her eyes still staring into his soul.
"Lucy," he pronounced carefully. For the first time in weeks, he spoke her name without first thinking of the betrayal or the deception or the hurt. It was love, and concern. Is she all right?"
Eve looked away. "I don't know."
"Tell me. Is she hurt? Is she here in the hospital?"
"I haven't heard anything," she lied. "Just rest, okay? Sleep for awhile. You'll feel better, I promise."
"I guess," he gave her a last look, then shut his eyes. "I'll talk to you later."
Eve watched his still form for a minute, waiting until his breathing evened out to ensure he was sleeping peacefully before she stepped out of his room. She closed the door softly and leaned against the wall.
She had told herself she would never lie to Kevin, and she had broken that vow. It was for the best, she knew. He wasn't prepared to hear the truth. He had come dangerously close to death as a result of smoke inhilation, and was suffering from several second degree burns and a minor concussion. The truth could wait.
Over a dozen people had perished in the fire. The reality still hadn't hit Eve, not completely. She didn't msot of the victims personally, although she had heard their names around town. The whole town was in mourning, and GH had never seemed so quiet.
She had told Kevin she didn't know where Lucy was or her condition. Quite the contrary-- she had, in her one good samaritan act of the year, gone out of her way to locate Lucy-- for Kevin's sake, of course. What she had turned up had hit her in a piece of her heart she didn't realize Lucy inhabited.
Lucy had never made it out of the club. Her name, in all its social fame, had been near the top of the list of casualties of the bombing.