Title: "Waiting to Exhale"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: SAC, Alexis POV, Alexis/Sonny.
Disclaimer: I don't own these marvelous characters that Nancy Lee Grahn and Maurice Benard bring to life.
Summary: A brilliant lawyer and her charismatic mobster client...two friends with a lot in common...a little hyperventilation.

You can't breathe when he stares at you. Okay, you can't breathe around him most of the time...but side effects from juvenile sex fantasies aside, it's worse when he stares at you. Because he doesn't blink. He doesn't move a single muscle. The line of his jaw tightens... his whole body tightens, actually... not that you've been in the habit of noticing that sort of thing. And he pins you down with those coal-black eyes like the hapless little butterflies Stavros used to pull the wings off of when you were children.

Only, he's not your psychotic half-brother. And you're not afraid. You don't tremble at the thought of getting your wings ripped off...or your feet fitted in cement shoes--which everyone in town seems to think is inevitable.

You just can't breathe.

Because Sonny Corinthos sucks all the light and air out of a room the moment he walks into it...and he holds them in the palm of his hand. He holds them hostage almost tenderly...gently...until he gets what he wants.

In your dreams, what he wants is you.

In reality, you have no idea what he wants but you're willing to help him figure it out because you're his attorney and that's your job. That's what he pays you to do. And you're also his friend. Maybe his only friend.

Maybe his *best* friend.

You're not quite sure when he became yours.

It certainly wasn't in the middle of a shattering kiss he didn't even really give you...one that left Ned standing at the altar alone far more firmly than you and your wedding gown ever did. You're not sixteen--even at sixteen, you weren't sixteen--you're an adult and you know enough not to confuse a little haphazard lust with the relationship you've come to value so much.

Something about Sonny appeals to you. Something you can't explain. And it owns parts of your mind and heart that no one else ever has before.

He respects you. He listens to your legal advice. He asks for your opinion about things business-related...and personal. He lets you babble incessantly about stupid things. He hands you paper bags when you hyperventilate and holds your hand when you panic. He demands nothing less than the truth at all times. Even if that truth is that you're scared and you need to cry and you don't want to be alone. He pulls that truth out of you with his eyes...with his insistence... and then he sleeps on your couch to make sure you're really and truly okay.

Is it any wonder that you can't make your lungs work properly in his presence these days?

He probably owns them, too.

"Alexis?"

He owns half the city all ready...why shouldn't he own some of your vital organs? It's perfectly feasible that someone with Sonny's character and charisma and influence would hold stock in several actual warm bodies wandering the streets of Port Charles. Just as long as they don't become cold bodies...because that's just something you're not equipped to deal with from a legal and moral standpoint--

"A- LEX- is."

"What?" You jerk your head up, stop moving...halting your steady deterioration of the carpet.

"Did you hear anything I just said to you?" he wonders, enunciating each word carefully and slowly like he often does when he's interrupting your lunatic ranting.

"Sure I did." You nod firmly, smoothing your hands down the front of your suit, wondering where exactly you dropped your composure. Under the table? By the door. No, he's leaning on that...it can't be there. "Divorce papers. In the mail. Will be processed by the end of the week. But you still want to take care of Michael financially."

A small smile plays on his lips...a flash of white on gold. You think it's probably that smile that charmed Brenda Barrett and Lily and Carly and...(you)..."Wrong!" He shakes his head, looking, for all intents and purposes, like a kid in a Bensonhurst candy store. "Uh uh."

You cross your arms over your chest, tapping your foot restlessly on your much abused floor. "Then what was it?"

He moves away from the door...closes the space between you. Not that there really WAS space between you since he commandeered it with his remarkably impenetrable gaze. "I said 'thank you'," he informs, when you are face to face and you can smell the subtle oriental scent of his cologne and feel the physical manifestation of his power. He is a slight man...with more presence than people twice his size.

You want to back up, but years with the Cassadines have taught you to stand firm. And you counter with a smile of your own. Sardonic rather than sexual. "What are you thanking me for?"

"This."

You think you actually squeak. Or whimper. Something appallingly girlish. And then you aren't capable of any sound at all because his mouth is soft...hard...everything all at once. Real. Not imagined. Warm and hot and gentle and...and...pulling back and retreating...and going away. On the other side of the door. Presumably across the hall to it's own penthouse. Talented mouth. Annoying mouth...

"Oh."

Breathing is overrated.

You don't really need to breathe.

You can live without it.

Living without Sonny, however, might prove to be impossible.

 

--end--

November 27, 2001.



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