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Scene 1
(This begins with Sorel just back in town.)

Sonny slammed his glass against the wall. The force of its shatter made Alexis flinch. She bit her lip and frowned into the phone.

"Sonny? Sonny, talk to me."

"How the hell did this happen?" His voice was measured - chillingly so.

She tried to mollify his anger. "A pesky little thing called 'lack of evidence', and it can be a very compelling thing in the eyes of a judge." Alexis shook her head in frustration, fully aware of how absurd this all sounded.

"Lack of evidence." Sonny repeated numbly. He rubbed his hand back and forth over his mouth as his mind raced.

Alexis continued. "Except, of course, for the pending testimony of a drug-dealing, kidnapping, bail-jumping, and for all the judge knows, COP-KILLING kid. If Zander could get bail under HIS mountain of misdeeds, why NOT Sorel?"

Sonny's hand moved up to his forehead, as he squeezed his eyes shut. "Now, see, that just doesn't add up Alexis. Those idiots at the police department have been trying to nail Sorel for a LONG time. They know that he did this. Mac Scorpio KNOWS that he did this!"

"Yes, well, they've also been trying to nail YOU for a long time Sonny. Again, lack of evidence. And unfortunately for us commissioner Scorpio's credibility is less than stellar right now because of his recent DISREGARD for lack of evidence."

Alexis shifted uneasily against the hard wooden bench, switching the phone to her other ear. "I'm sure you remember his blind insistence on prosecuting Luke Spencer for my brother's murder? My not-dead brother?"

Sonny's lack of response made Alexis uneasy. She bit her lip again. His steely silences made her nervous and she her attempts at levity usually just made it worse. Still, old habits were hard to break.

"Really - it happened! It was in all the papers."

"Yes counselor, I remember!" Sonny barked into the phone. He turned away, at once regretful of his tone. He sighed heavily, staring at the thousand bits of glass surrounding his feet.

"I'm sorry, Sonny." Alexis said softly. She shivered at the cold gust of wind that enveloped her, pulling her woolen scarf close around her neck. A light snow was beginning to fall against the trees, flecks of soft white settling against her coat.

"I know this is bad, REALLY bad. But by the time I heard from my contact at the court it was a done deal and there was nothing I..."

"It's not your fault, Alexis. It's not your fault." He began to pace, crunching the glass beneath him. "Look, I need...I need to put some people in place, take care of..."

Alexis closed her eyes. "No, stop! I don't think I should hear whatever it is that you need to do, other than helping me keep Zander from setting foot outside my door for the next three days. You don't think we'll need handcuffs, do you?"

Sonny smiled at her predictability - and at how she'd just laid herself wide open for the kind of zinger he loved to toss her way.

"Are you asking if I OWN handcuffs, Alexis? That's a very personal question, don't you think?"

True to form, Alexis blushed with both anger and embarrassment. "You know...this isn't funny! I mean it Sonny, you can't tell me these things! I mean BUSINESS things!"

"Now, why would I tell you things that you wouldn't want to know?"

She stammered. "I...well...you just...okay, we do talk, a LOT, the two of us, and there's a chance, a small chance, that at some point you'll momentarily forget that your FRIEND, Alexis, also happens to be your ATTORNEY, Miss Davis, and I'll inadvertently be told something I shouldn't...be told." There was a long silence on the other end of the line. "Sonny?"

"Does that brain of yours NEVER stop?"

Alexis frowned, not sure if that remark was an insult or a complement. The sound of Sonny's chuckle didn't help.

"Okay, that's enough from you, really! So how IS Zander?"

"Safe and sound. And staying that way, so don't worry. That boy will NOT be setting foot outside your door until Friday."

Alexis closed her eyes, leaning back against the bench with a cleansing sigh. "Oh God, will I be grateful when Friday has come and gone! Zander will tell the truth one last time, Sorel will be in prison..."

"You mean, on death row," Sonny corrected.

"And all will be right...well, MOST will be right with the world," Alexis mused. Her voice drifted, and Sonny could feel the pain she'd been holding in her heart. He knew how much this had cost her. She hadn't mentioned him in days, and he didn't know if this was a good thing or bad. Ashton was a fool. How any man could walk away from such an extraordinary woman...

"Okay then." Alexis's voice startled him back. "Tell Zander I'll be home within the hour and, well, to just be good in the meantime."

"I will."

There was a short pause. "Sonny?"

"Alexis?"

"Be careful you don't cut yourself while you're cleaning up all that broken glass."

Sonny's dimples flashed. "How do you know I won't have Johnny clean it up?"

"I just do."

Sonny laughed, his foot pushing at the sparkling floor. "Bye." Abruptly, his smile was gone as he gave the glass a hard, angry kick. "Johnny!"

Alexis clicked off her phone with a satisfied grin. She knew him all right. As she slid her phone into her purse, another faint rustling sound brushed past her. The soft snowfall was beginning to carpet the grass, but there was no more wind. Before she could turn, a familiar voice intoned in her ear.

"Miss Davis. What a coincidence to keep running into you here like this. All alone. In the cold, empty park."

Alexis slowly lifted her head. With a marked stiffening of her spine, she turned her gaze steadily, deliberately, and looked Joseph Sorel dead in the eyes.