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Mike and Carrie Saga
by Bradygirl
Part 38

Sami walked into Titan Publishing like she owned every brick in the building. Why shouldn't she be confident, she thought. Austin loved her. He told her that himself just tonight. And he had told her without her once trying to influence him. Sami smiled a smug smile. Kate hated the fact that he was in her life. And now that he was in her life to stay, she was going to take her proper place in the family business. Sami was going to become an executive at Titan whether Kate liked it or not.

She knew Kate would be there. She practically lived at Titan now that Austin had changed his tune and said those three nasty words to her. Those words that were music to Sami's ears. I love you. She just bet the thought made Kate cringe. Sami laughed. She made her way through the hallway to Kate's office and peeked inside the door. No matter how good she was at getting Kate's goat, she still hated fighting with her and she wished there was a way to control her without using manipulation. When she poked her head inside the door, Kate wasn't the one working at the over-sized mahogany desk. It was another woman. Sami stared a minute and realized that it was Hope. She watched her pick up the phone and dial, but the minute she spoke, Sami discovered that it wasn't Hope sitting in Kate's chair. It was someone cleverly disguised as Hope. She wondered what Kate had up her sleeve now.

*****

"Angela," said Kate with a liquid voice. "I've changed my mind. Stop researching Mike Horton." She paused in mid thought.

"Why Kate? questioned Angela. " I thought the plan was to make him the center of attention so he'd put his focus on another woman, namely me."

"Change of plan. I want you to dig up every traffic ticket, every patient that has ever died under his hand. I want to know every evil sin Mike Horton has ever committed. No one is as squeaky clean as this guy seems to be. There has to be something dirty in his past, some skeletons in his closet. Find them!"

*****

"Kate!" said Sami to herself. "I should have known Kate would be involved. She's going to try and discredit Mike in Carrie's eyes so Carrie will go back to Austin. "Over my dead body," she bit out. " Sami stood in the hallway while the woman who looked like Hope talked to Kate. Kate was also in the building very near to where she stood. So near, she could hear Kate talking on her cell phone. She must have been standing somewhere around her secretary's desk. From there Sami could also hear the other woman's end of the conversation. Talk about being in the right place at the right time, thought Sami. She listened as they continued their conversation.

"You have to be careful though, we don't' want Sami finding out about this and throwing a wrench into our plans."

Sami smiled and softly chuckled thinking that it was too late to stop her now.

"Don't worry, I can handle Sami," said Angela confidently.

"I wouldn't jump to that conclusion too quickly, if I were you."

That's right Angela, said Sami to herself, I'm your worst nightmare.

"She's only a kid Kate, what harm could she possibly do?"

"More than you know, Angela. More than you know." Kate hung up the phone and carefully replaced the earring on her ear.

Sami stood hidden in a doorway only a few feet away from Kate. She'd almost given herself away twice. But now that she knew what Kate was up to, she could plan for anything Kate would throw her way.

"Angela Walters may be some big time writer," said Sami. "But she better not mess with me." Sami walked to the other side of the room and watched Kate saunter toward the elevators. "The evidence is mounting up, Kate," said Sami. "Pretty soon, I'll know all your deepest, darkest secrets, and then-" she dramatically paused as the elevator doors closed in front of Kate. "Then, I'll bury you with them!!"

*****

Ethan didn't know if this was what Shane Donovan had in mind when he told him to watch Mike and Carrie. From the rooftop of an adjacent building, he observed the two through special ISA-issued night vision goggles. The room was masked in darkness. The only bright spot was near the center of the room lit by what seemed to be candles. Light skipped across the walls and Ethan saw Mike and Carrie sway across the room in front of the window holding each other. He slapped his hand on his head.

Another romantic moment, he said to himself as he shook his head softly. This scene just reminded him of how screwed up his own love life was. His brother, Kevin was right. That fat Doctor Barnes get up he had been wearing had severely nipped his romantic nature in the bud. He wondered if he still knew any eligible women in town. Hell, he wondered if he still knew how to treat a woman. The man it that apartment obviously did. Maybe Shane could help him. His ex-wife lived here now after moving back a few months ago. She'd be a good place to start. Shane had always commented that Kimberly's family was one of the few founding families still living in town. She would surely know any eligible single women.

The light continued to dance across the walls of Mike's apartment as Ethan stared at them through the night vision goggles. The light shimmied across the walls, their faces, the floor. Ethan ran his hand through his hair. Not only was this embarrassing, he felt like an intruder who was eavesdropping on a very special moment, which, of course, he was. It was time to get back to business. No more sitting on rooftops circling your prey, he said to himself. He shoved the goggles into his jet black backpack and hoisted it over his shoulder.

"Sorry Mike, but it's show time!" Ethan swung his legs over the landing he'd been crouching on and stealthy made his way to Mike's apartment.

*****

There were no lights to brighten the Kiriakis Mansion. No light to welcome him home. It was nearly midnight, fireflies glowed golden across the canvas of the night. The city was deep in sleep, disturbed only by crickets chirping their timeless melody, the ominous howling of the wind and the thumping of cat-o-nine tails.

He walked quickly up the steps, across the sidewalk and placed his hand on the door knob. It glinted moonlight like a silver star. Twisting to the right and left, he discovered that it was locked. He searched for his keys. They were gone along with his wallet. Why hadn't he brought his wallet with him? He couldn't recall very clearly the events of the past few hours. Searching his memory, a vague stirring tingled at the back of his head. He had escaped from the hospital tonight, from the doctors and nurses who only wanted to only prod and poke him. But mainly he remembered escaping from the sickening smell of antiseptic and the never ending slew of questions he had no answers for.

Austin made his way around back. It was hard to see without the grounds lit and beaming. Each footstep clicked on the maze of concrete circles leading to the veranda at the rear of the mansion. He couldn't remember the last time he's come this way which made him unfamiliar with whatever obstacle might lie in his path. Minutes later he found such an obstacle.

He felt like a blind man counting his footsteps when a large metal object abruptly halted his progress. He couldn't see it for the canopy of trees above him hid the moon from view. Sprawling face first over the object, he landed in the soft Illinois mud. El Nino had been quite severe this year and as a result the ground was wet from a recent rain shower. The mud clung to him like a second skin. Austin got up in haste kicking the metal demon. It emitted a dull lifeless clunk in reply. Mud covered his forearms, elbows and knees. Just great, he thought. His anger grew as he finally found the back door.

Through the small kitchen window he could see Sami and Lucas. They looked awfully chummy. He couldn't hear what they were saying but he could tell it was bad. They were laughing and playing with Will. What was Lucas doing playing with HIS son? Lucas wasn't Will's father, he was! Austin prepared to storm through the door but it too was locked. He pounded rapid thrusts on the expensive pine which drew Lucas' attention. Lucas made his way through the kitchen to the back door but Henderson arrived first. Henderson peered out the window to see the mud splotched face of this employer's son. He hastily opened the door.

"Sir, are you all right?" asked Henderson with concern.

"Out of my way, Henderson!" grunted Austin as he brushed by the servant with such a force it flung him into the refrigerator. He had never seen Austin act this way before and what was he doing out of the hospital anyway?

Austin stormed a bee-line straight to Lucas. Before his brother could say hello, Austin hauled back and slammed a right cross to his cheek. Lucas never knew what hit him, he fell to the floor, knocked out with one punch. Sami stood in shock with a blank look on her face.

"What's going on with you and Lucas, Sami? Was he comforting you while I was hold up in the hospital?" Austin spat out the words with a venomous tone she'd never heard him use before. Sami held Will closer to her chest.

"Austin, stop it, you're scaring Will," cried Sami.

Something in Austin's head clicked and the anger vanished as quickly as it had come. His face softened as did his tone.

"I'm so sorry, Sami. I don't know what came over me."

Lucas stirred, his eyelashes fluttered until he was conscious and fully alert. He jumped to his feet holding his jaw with one hand.

"What in the hell is going on here?" Kate materialized from an adjacent room to see Lucas' unkempt appearance and Austin covered from head to toe with mud. "Sami, you better not have had anything to do with this!" Sami gave Kate the same blank look she'd given Austin. Was everybody around here going crazy, thought Sami. Austin's acting like a mad man and now Kate's accusing me of things I didn't even do?

"It wasn't her mom, it was me," said Austin in defense of his wife.

Kate stood hips thrust to one side and hands placed firmly on her waist. "I'll believe that, " bit out Kate. "When I see it!"

Lucas rubbed his tender jaw but remained silent. He didn't want whatever had sparked Austin's anger to flare up again. From what little Sami had told him of his brother's sudden affection for her, he knew it was only a matter of time before a scene like this happened again. He only hoped that the next time Sami wasn't the object of his aggression.

*****

Mike held Carrie lightly in his arms. Just being around her was a heady experience. Sometimes he didn't know how he controlled himself. As they swayed, Mike accidentally kicked the radio and it unplugged itself from the wall. The music that had filled the room with song abruptly stopped. Only Mike didn't notice the silence. The wind had picked up some playing a special melody with the chimes hanging by the window.

"The music stopped," whispered Carrie huskily.

"Did it?" said Mike as he continued to sway holding her close. At that moment a knock came at his door. Mike looked at his watch. Who could be calling this late at night? The knock came again. He whined and lightly tapped his forehead on Carrie's shoulder. Not now, he thought.

"Don't get it," she said holding onto him tighter. Mike reluctantly released her.

"I have to. What if it's an emergency. I am a doctor, remember." Carrie nodded and followed him to the door curious to know who would interrupt them at such a late hour. The door opened and before they could see who was on the other side a strange, wet mist was sprayed in their faces.

Ethan hated taking such extreme measures but this was important. They needed Mike's help and this was the easiest way. He'd just have to explain later. He sprayed another dose of the sleeping agent in their faces causing them to fall in lifeless heaps. Ethan hoisted Mike over his shoulders in a fireman's carry.

"Sorry about this lover boy, but your country needs you." Ethan left Carrie on the floor, silently closed the door and disappeared into the night.

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