Title: Family Matters Summary: A late-night conversation and some unexpected discoveries set Alexis, Julian and the Davis/Jerome family on a path they never expected. Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of GH, Days, One Life or All My Children and I am not making any money off of this. Prologue Port Charles, New York January 29, 2014 The choppiness of the water below matched Julian’s turbulent emotions as he stood staring out at the oncoming storm. In the span of fifteen minutes, Alexis had bantered with him, backed away from him, kissed him and then run away from him. One step forward, two steps back, he thought. “You shouldn’t be out here alone,” a voice said from behind, breaking into his thoughts. Julian smirked, but didn’t turn around. “You trying to handle me, Carlos?” Carlos Rivera chuckled as he stepped next to Julian and leaned against the railing overlooking the harbor. “How’s the shoulder?” Julian questioned. Carlos shrugged. “Hurts a bit still. Nothing too bad. I was lucky it was only the shoulder. If Corinthos was a better shot, I’d be dead. What about you? Your face looks painful.” “My ribs hurt worse,” Julian commented. “Corinthos?” Julian shook his head. “No, Lavery and Butler. Sonny was content to watch.” Carlos shook his head. “So, Lavery’s gone to work for Corinthos? I wonder if the lovely PCPD Commissioner Devane is aware of that.” Julian cracked a devilish smile. “She is as of yesterday.” Carlos laughed. “You told her?” Julian nodded as he motioned for Carlos to walk with him. “Sure did. I know it’s not part of our agenda here, but I just couldn’t help sticking it to Lavery. Never could stand that damned Scotsman.” “Well, you’ve never been one for sticking to an agenda,” Carlos commented. “Have any of the feelers we put out come back since I’ve been out of commission?” Julian nodded. “Santorelli called in yesterday. Says Corinthos has him and two others picking up a shipment in three days. He thinks it’s big; drugs or human trafficking.” “The man is a pig,” Carlos spat. “Makes me sick.” Julian nodded. “Yeah, me too. Hey, I need you to check into something else for me while we wait on Santorelli. Sam asked me to help her prove that Dr. Silas Clay is innocent of trying to murder his wife.” Carlos’ eyes widened at those words. “His what? You daughter’s boyfriend is married?” Julian scowled. “Apparently. Her name is Nina Clay and she’s been in a coma at some long-term care facility in the city for close to twenty years.” “What’s the story behind that?” Carlos wondered out loud. Julian sighed. “According to my daughter, Nina Clay came from a wealthy family who thought Silas was only with her for her money. They married after graduation and she paid his way through medical school. Few years after that, he had an affair with…” Carlos shook his head as he finished the sentence. “Ava Jerome.” Julian nodded. “Yes, with my dear baby sister. Nina Clay found out, took some pills and has been in a coma and on a ventilator for two decades. Sam says Nina’s family refuses to pull the plug and refuses to let Silas anywhere near her. They have always suspected foul play and now there is a Det. Nathan West in town going after Silas and he’s starting to ask questions of Ava as well.” “What do you want me to do?” “Sam seems convinced he’s innocent,” Julian began. “But I’m not so sure he is. Dig up everything you can on him and…and on Ava, too. I want to know every step either of them might have taken in Nina Clay’s direction right before Dr. Clay discovered her unconscious in their apartment. Also, check into what Clay did right after his wife fell into the coma. Where did he go? Who did he talk to?” Carlos nodded. “Sure thing, Boss. Anything else?” “No, that’s all for now,” he told his lieutenant. “He’ll be out of lockup in twenty-four hours if they don’t charge him. Get me something by then.” Carlos walked away and Julian continued on his way. ************************************************************************* Davis Lakehouse Alexis had been sitting in front of a warm fire since she’d left Julian standing in Ava’s suite hours before. Her best efforts to the contrary, all she could think about was Julian; the smoldering fire in his eyes, the feel of his hands on her, the taste of his lips, the brush of his tongue against hers. She’d spent the past hours trying to convince herself that it was nothing more than a moment of weakness that would not be felt again. She tried to convince herself that the sight of his bare chest didn’t make her heart beat faster or that his hands framing her face didn’t melt her resolve to stay away from him or that kissing him didn’t erase every bit of anger in her. She groaned out loud and ran her hands through her hair as she stood. She was almost to the kitchen when there was a knock on the front door. She turned and pulled it open and was stunned to see Julian.