On Common Ground

Chapter 20


Everyone left the estate. Alexis returned to Port Charles while Stefan, Luke, Lucky and Nikolas headed off to a private airstrip. Luke had called in a few favors and they boarded a small plane. There were some places Luke knew of where Robert Scorpio might have taken Zander. At the very least there were a few people Luke knew who might be able to point them in Robert Scorpio's direction. Luke also had someone tracking Robert. Someone had to have seen him leaving with Zander, and Luke knew a guy who was good at finding people. He was a persuasive kind of fellow.


Stefan was worried. He knew that Robert Scorpio would not harm Zander. But he did not trust the man to be able to protect him the way Zander needed to be protected. And as much as Stefan wanted to find Zander and bring him back home, a part of him doubted that Zander would ever want to see him again. That thought, and the memory of his actions, weighed heavily on Stefan's mind and in his heart.




Stefan looked up as Nikolas sat down beside him. "Is everything all right?" he asked.


Nikolas smiled. "I was just going to ask you that. Are you all right?"


"I'm worried…about Zander," Stefan confessed. "About what I did to him and how it will affect him." Stefan broke off and shook his head. "How could I have done such a thing?"


"You played into Grandmother's hand the way she intended, Uncle," Nikolas replied, matter-of-factly. "She knows how to push your buttons better than anyone. And from what you told me, she used Zander to do it. She knew how you would react."

Stefan nodded. "Yes…but Zander didn't know and I punished him for that. For loving me."


Nikolas sighed. "You punished him in a moment of darkness...for hurting. That he could push you to do what you did...that tells me how much you love him."


"Yes…I love him so much that I raped him!" Stefan snarled. Then he buried his face in his hands and fought back tears.


"You lashed out when he hurt you. When he lied to you about that love." Nikolas touched Stefan's shoulder. "Zander understands pain, Uncle. I think he'll understand what you did."

Stefan prayed that Nikolas was right. "But will he be able to forgive me?" he asked.


Nikolas shrugged. "That I can't say for sure, but if he loves you as much as I think he does...I think he'll try."


"Thank you," Stefan replied, then he watched Nikolas stand up and walk away, leaving him alone with his thoughts and his fears.


* * * * *


Zander pounded on the door, then he kicked it for good measure. He had woken up to find himself locked in a luxurious bedroom. He had screamed to be released and ignored. Then he had trashed the room and had been ignored. Now he tried pounding on the door. Still nothing. Finally Zander sagged down to the floor and sat with his back against the wall. He buried his face in his hands. He was tired but he was afraid to sleep. Afraid to dream again. To remember what happened between him and Stefan. Zander had never seen such dark madness in another man's eyes before. And it had been directed at him. A part of Zander blamed himself. He had pushed Stefan into his actions with his lies. Lies that had hurt them both.




He jumped at the sound of his name and stood up as the door swung open. There was one vase that Zander hadn't destroyed. He picked it up and when the person stepped into the room he swung it with all his might. The big guard hit the floor with a thud, but even as Zander made to run out the door, another one appeared and grabbed him. All of his struggles were in vain as he was hauled over to the bed and pretty much sat on.


Robert strolled over. "We can talk in a civilized manner, or I can put you in restraints and then we can talk. Your choice."

Zander glared at the man then sighed. "I'll behave."


"Good." Robert called off the guard but ordered him to stay outside the door. Then he looked at Zander. "I had you examined, Zander. I know what happened. I knew anyway."


"You did what?" Zander was horrified.


Robert nodded. "While you were still out. I figured it would be easier on both you and the doctor."

Zander shuddered in reaction. It felt like more of a violation than the rape. At least he had been aware of that happening. He eyed his father with hatred glowing in his eyes. "You had no right to do that!" Zander snarled.


"I had to be sure that you were all right," Robert replied. "I'm trying to help you, Zander. To make things better for you and to keep you safe."


"I don't want that from you! I don't want anything from you!" Zander shot back. He slid off the bed and began to pace. "Don't you get that? I want to go home!"


Robert rubbed a hand over his face. "And don't you get that it's not safe for you to go home. You can't go back to your old life, Zander. Not with Helena out there. And do you really want to go back to Stefan after he raped you?"

Zander picked up a lamp that had somehow remained untouched and hurled it at the wall. "Shut up!" he shouted. "You know nothing about what happened!"


"What's to know? Stefan raped you, Zander. It's pretty simple to follow."

"Stefan loves me!"


Robert sighed. "Rape isn't love, Zander. I know that you've had a fucked up childhood. Hell...a fucked up life in general. But even you know better than that."


Zander paced away from Robert and backed himself into a corner. He slid down the wall and drew his knees up, wrapping his arms around them. "I don't want to talk about it," he whispered. "You don't understand."


"Then explain it to me." Robert went to Zander and crouched beside him.


"You can't keep me here forever," Zander stated.

Robert smiled grimly. "Watch me," he replied. Then he stood up and left the room.

Zander heard the click as the door locked behind him. "Bastard!" he hissed. Then he buried his face in his hands and fought back tears.


* * * * *


Luke got a call from his tracker. Robert had a place in the Bahamas so they headed there. Luke then took Stefan aside to talk to him. About Zander. "I just wanted to say something to you about the kid. About...what you and him have."


Stefan looked at Luke then shook his head. "What we had...I destroyed."

"Maybe...maybe not. But you know what happened between me and Laura all those years ago. We moved past it. It wasn't easy, but we made it. She forgave me." Luke clapped Stefan on the back. "Zander, of people, understands the dark side of a person's soul. He's wise beyond his years when it comes to pain. If you don't give up on what you have with him....on the love. He will forgive you." That said, Luke wandered off.


"But will I be able to forgive myself?" Stefan mused. Somehow, he doubted that he would.


* * * * *


Robert was enjoying a cognac when one of his guards came bursting onto the veranda. "What's going on?" Robert asked, instantly on the alert.


"Its your son, sir," the guard replied. "He's gone."

"What?" Robert cursed. In the past three days Zander had made four escape attempts. The first time he had made it outside and Robert had put him in restraints when the guards hauled him back in. Zander had been furious. Robert had tried to reason with him to no avail. Zander was not interested in giving them a chance to get to know each other.

The second attempt was made later that night. Robert had come to say goodnight and had freed Zander from his restraints. Big mistake. Zander had slugged him, nearly breaking his nose, then he had made another run for it. He didn't make it to the front door that time, however. The two times after that had pretty much been repeats of the first two. "How did he get out?" Robert asked, even as he headed for the door.


The guard shook his head. "I don't know, sir. I checked on him like you ordered and he was gone."


"Dammit!" Robert raged, then he grabbed the phone. He punched in a number then barked, "Secure the perimeter. If my son escapes there will be hell to pay!"




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