"Mr. Jacks, I need a few days off. There's been a death in my family," A red-eyed V came into Jax's office.
"God, V, you look like hell. Take a few weeks off!"
"No, I-" V took an unsteady breath. "I need to go and help with the funeral and go back to work to get my mind off of things."
"Who was it?"
"That's horrible, V, I insist you take off at least a week."
"As you wish, Mr. Jacks. I'll be back soon." V walked out of the office.
"V!" a voice called as she stepped off of the plane.
"Ria!" V cried, running into her little sister's arms.
"How was the trip?"
"Fine. How's Jean?"
"Holding up. It's great to have you back, V. Jack and Anda are coming home too."
"Great a family reunion. At least it's not extended family."
"What do you mean?" Ria stared at her sister in confusion. V bit her lip.
"Ria, we need to have a long talk. Just you, me, and Anda. There's some stuff you should know."
"I already know you're working for the one-and-only Jasper Jacks."
"Ugh. Does Anda know?"
"Not yet." Ria smiled sadly. "Mom would have loved to tell her." V smiled back.
"I know, baby sis, I know," V whispered holding Ria tightly.
"Dad!" V cried, as she and Ria stepped out of the car. Jack Ardanowski held his arms open as his daughter ran into them.
"Thank you for coming." V whispered hoarsely.
"I'm here for you no matter what. You know that, baby." Jack looked up and saw Ria standing alone at the end of the driveway. "Ria, come here."
Ria threw her arms around Jack and the three of them stood, like a strange sculpture in the middle of the lawn.
"Liz!" A female voice yelled. Elizabeth jumped three feet in the air and shut the door of the rape support group guiltily.
"Emily?" Elizabeth replied, out of breath.
"What do you mean?"
"Nobody's answering at his house, his aunt doesn't know where he is, he's never at school, and he's never at Kelly's or Luke's Club." Emily stopped speaking and looked where Elizabeth had just been. Suddenly Elizabeth's strange behavior for the past month makes sense.
"I- I don't know where Lucky is. I haven't seen him a week or so." Elizabeth bit her lip, needing someone to talk to since Lucky had vanished. She knew he was still around, but she didn't know where.
"Liz," Emily began, uncertain of what to say. "If you need someone to talk to, I'm the master of keeping secrets. And being a Quartermaine makes you very non-judgmental." Elizabeth began to cry. Emily put her arm around Elizabeth's shoulders and the two walked down the corridor of GH.
"What's the branch?" Nikolas asked, calming down. He would deal with Alexis later.
"Your great-uncle, Victor Cassadine, is still alive."
"I thought he died in prison."
"Nope. He's living in Port Charles under the name Victor Collins."
"Collins? As in Dr. Kevin Collins?"
"Dr. Kevin, brother of Ryan Chamberlain, insane stalker/kidnapper/obsessor."
"Sounds like a Cassadine all right."
"Now the two I haven't found yet are Mikkos' sisters, Sonja and Janna. They left home before Mikkos' freeze-the-world thing started up."
"Well, they might be dead by now. Just let them be for now. OK, I believe it's time for phase two of part one, is it not?" Lucky nodded in agreement.
"Time to contact Valéria, Andrew, and Miranda."
The brothers nodded to one another and walked away calmly, each going his separate way.
"Anda, it's time to tell Ria." V whispered to her sister after the funeral. Anda's eyes widened.
"Are you sure?"
"I knew when I was thirteen. You knew when you were fifteen. She should already know."
"I know, V, I just don't want to ruin her innocence."
"Innocent Teenager is an oxymoron, Anda. It's time." V and Anda stood up and walked over to Ria.
"Ria. We need to talk." Anda said.
"Before we lose our nerve." V replied, leading the way into the empty living room.
"Ria, it's time for you to learn your history."
"Have you studied the Russian Revolution yet?"
"What? Uh, yeah."
"You know how all of the royalty went into exile?"
"Well, one family fled to Greece. At first the family was very large, but it deteriorated until, in about 1950 or so there were only five Cassadines left. Three brothers and two sisters. They lived on an island in Greece, protected by guards. Their names were Mikkos, Victor, Anthony, Sonja, and Janna Cassadine." V and Anda looked at each other, inwardly cursing the names.
"Cassadine? Never heard of 'em."
"Good." Anda said.
"Anda!" V replied harshly.
"Sorry. Do continue, V."
"Now Mikkos, the heir to the Cassadine fortune, married this-" another look between V and Anda. " this woman named Helena. As soon as Sonja and Janna met Helena they smelled trouble. So they fled the island as fast as they could. Sonja married a man named Andre Johanssen and they had a daughter named Yvette. Um, Yvette married a man named Carl Bherk. Yvette and Carl also had one daughter. And her name was Venus." Ria stared at V.
"You're Venus Bherk?"
"Then how did you-"
"I'm getting to that, Ria."
V took a deep breath.
"Now, Mikkos began to look for his sisters, but by that time, Janna had changed her name and was married, and Sonja was dead. But Mikkos found Yvette. Yvette panicked and sent me to live with her aunt. Yvette and Carl vanished soon after that." V bit her lip and looked away. "Anda, your turn, please."
Chapters 1-5 | Return to Lifelike Main Page | Chapters 11-15
"OK. Remember Anthony Cassadine, brother of Mikkos, Sonja, and Janna?" Ria nodded. "Good. Anthony fell for this girl named Alexandria Quartermaine. Anthony knew where Janna was, but wanted to keep her safe, so he allowed her to stay hidden. When his girlfriend became pregnant, he knew that any threat to Mikkos' sons' inheritance would be terminated-"
"You mean killed?"
"Yes. Even though Anthony's child was years younger, he knew Mikkos' wife wouldn't stand for it. So, he hid Alexandria away and as soon as their daughter was born, he sent the girl to live with his sister. The girl was named Miranda."
"Anda! You're a Cassadine too! Oh God! So wait, you're V's aunt?"
"Kind of, but we don't honor it." V replied. Ria looked at them.
"There's more isn't there?"
"Yes." V replied. "Mikkos and Helena had three sons. Stavros, Stefan, and
Alexander. Alexander died shortly after his birth, however. A few years after Mikkos and Anthony died, Helena and Stavros were running the show, so to speak. The only problem was that they were, well, insane."
"To put it mildly." Anda replied drily.
"Hold it, how did Mikkos and Anthony die?"
"Mikkos was nutso. He decided to freeze the entire world. He invited a bunch of people to his island to celebrate him slowly killing off the entire town of Port Charles."
"Where you live, V?"
"Yeah. Anyway, these spies from the WSB
"Then, Mikkos and Luke started fighting and somehow Mikkos got thrown into his little ice machine."
"So, this Luke Spencer killed Mikkos." Ria said. V and Anda exchanged a look.
"Don't go there, Ria. Don't go there. Luke and Laura went home and got married. Helena went to their wedding and cursed them. Which I think was acceptable, considering. Then-"
"Then they crossed the line." Anda interrupted.
"The only living Cassadines were Helena, Stefan, Stavros, and the distant cousin, Alexis Davidovich."
"What happened to Victor?"
"He went to prison and died." Anda replied.
"For revenge against Luke, one day Stavros kidnapped Laura."
"Wait, honey, it gets worse." Anda made Ria sit back down.
"They gave Laura a newspaper one morning, the Port Charles Herald. The headline read 'Luke Spencer Killed In Avalanche.' By this time, poor Laura was already doing... stuff... in order to be able to walk around the island freely and in order to not spark Stavros' temper. As soon as she heard Luke was dead, she was forced to marry Stavros."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"You must know! Laura became pregnant. She gave birth to twins, but one of them was stillborn. The other was a boy, named Nikolas, who lives in Port Charles."
"But the stillborn child was not stillborn. Alexis, the only sane Cassadine left on that island, paid off the doctors to say it was stillborn and shipped the baby off to Janna." Ria had fear in her eyes.
"What is Janna's name?" she asked in a whisper-soft voice.
"Marianna. And the baby's name was Valéria." Ria closed her eyes.
"Jack was married to Janna when V came, so she took his last name. She wasn't married when I came, so I took her new last name, and she had just married Jean when you came, Ria."
"Where-where are my parents?" Ria asked, tears streaming down her face.
"One morning, not too long after you and Nikolas were born, Laura received another newspaper. This headline read 'Luke Spencer Elected Mayor Of Port Charles.' Luke was thought dead for about two weeks, before he was found. Laura left to see Luke, to see if he was really alive. But Stavros followed her and Luke killed him with a bedpost. Helena told Laura that if she ever tried to return, Laura would be killed. Laura tried to return anyway. Her mother Lesley was ordered to be killed, but Stefan kept her alive and returned her to Laura a year or so ago."
"My father is dead."
'My mother is alive."
"Yes. She's still married to Luke and she has two children, Lucky and Lulu."
"Alive. Living with his Uncle in Port Charles."
"I'm not sure. She nearly died awhile back, but she's still alive."
"He's the one who raised Nikolas and is keeping Helena under control."
"Living in Port Charles. She and Stefan got in a big fight though."
"All of them think I'm dead."
"Yes. Don't tip them off. Helena can - and will - kill all of us, me, Anda, and you."
"I have to see them."
"I know. Come on."
"Two tickets back to Port Charles. I can get Mr. Jacks to set up an appointment with the Cassadines that Nikolas will attend."
"Mr. Jacks?" Anda replied, her eyes widening.
V and Ria burst out laughing, clearing some of the tension and overwhelming sorrow in the room.
Chapters 1-5 | Return to Lifelike Main Page | Chapters 11-15