Chapter 28
The Boxcar


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Valentine's Day
    Elizabeth, Emily, and I were busy getting ready in my room in the cottage while the guys paced anxiously downstairs. We could occasionally hear one of them mutter about how long it took for us to get ready. "Oh, but wait until they see us," Elizabeth said, and we all laughed. I had gained 3 pounds in the last week and I was starting to notice subtle changes, but I still wasn't far enough along to show. "Thankfully I don't show yet or this dress wouldn't fit me anymore," I said smiling. We did our hair and make-up and finally started down the stairs, "before the guys have a stroke," Emily said laughing.
    About a half an hour later we were sitting in the park. Elizabeth and I needed to come here to put our rapes further behind us. We sat on the edge of the fountain because neither of us could get too close to the bushes. All of a sudden Nikolas, Lucky, and Zander dropped to one knee in front of us and proposed, pulling small velvet boxes out of the pockets of their tuxedo jackets. We said yes of course and started crying and laughing at the same time. "Well we should get going, we have to show those rings off," Nikolas said. We got to Luke's and noticed the beautiful decorations and centerpieces on the tables near the dance floor. Luke and Laura came over and we started talking, but we didn't share our little surprise with them yet. We ate ribs and cheese fries and danced a little. Then Claude came over and offered us a glass of champagne which we girls turned down in favor of sparkling cider. "I hope nobody noticed that we aren't drinking alcohol," I said quietly to Elizabeth. "I know, but I feel bad hiding this from Lucky," she said. "I want to tell Nikolas, I just want to make sure nothing happens and I lose it or something," I said.
    We walked back to the table and rejoined the conversation. Nikolas finally decided to share our little surprise and took my hand so that the ring was on top where Luke and Laura could see it. Lucky and Zander did the same thing. It took Laura a minute to realize what it meant but she smiled and congratulated us. Luke looked confused so Elizabeth, Emily, and I said that we were finally making honest men of them. Everyone laughed. Luke said this should be a family celebration so he called Bobbie, Carly, Sonny, Amy, Audrey, and Lesley to come over to the club. Emily decided she wanted to enjoy her engagement for a little while so she told Luke not to call the Quartermaines because they would just cause trouble. Unfortunetly Lesley was with Monica and Alan at the hospital when Luke called and invited them to come along as friends of the family, so they came.
    "Alright everyone, these young people have something to announce tonight, on Valentine's Day," Luke said lifting his drink in our direction. Lucky, Zander, and Nikolas stood up and took our hands, pulling us to our feet. "We would like to announce that tonight we proposed to our girlfriends in the park," Nikolas said smiling. "We said yes of course," I said. "It was about time for you to get around to that Cowboy," Luke said, while Laura tried to shush him so that he wouldn't embarass us any more than we already were.   
    Monica and Alan looked stunned, but surprisingly didn't immediately start screaming at Emily about marrying Zander. "It's a delayed reaction fight, I will hear about it as soon as I walk into the house tomorrow to show Grandmother, believe me Grandfather wouldn't miss an opprotunity to comment on my choice in men," Emily said whispering. "Just wait until you tell them that you are almost 2 months pregnant," I said smiling. "Being engaged will be the least of your problems with Edward then," Elizabeth said laughing quietly.
    "The girls are being awfully secretive over there," Zander said watching us. "They are probably making bets with Emily over how soon Edward will want to kill you," Lucky said, laughing at the stricken look on Zander's face. "Well I guess our announcement went over well, and no surprise visitors, Luke even had the decency to cover up the nude of Helena before we came," Nikolas said. "That's because Mom threatened to sleep in her office tonight if he didn't get rid of it or make sure we didn't have to stare at it all night," Lucky said laughing.
    Our family and friends crowded around us to congratulate us all and ask us about a million questions about when the weddings were going to be, and where, and to offer us their help in planning everything. Then we got back to dancing and having fun. Before we knew it Nikolas looked at his watch and it was midnight.
    "First Tom, Steve, and Faison are killed for being incompetent, and now Nikolas is actually considering marrying that tramp. This will end everything once and for all." Helena said as she watched one of her servants cut the seatbelt most of the way thru on the passenger side where she knew Autumn was going to be sitting. "She won't survive and neither will the child and Nikolas will be devastated. He will be much easier to control that way, and if anyone else dies, then it's that much less work for me later," Helena said to Stavros who laughed ominously in the shadows behind Luke's club. "They won't know what hit them mother," Stavros said, as Helena's man fiddled with the brake line.   
Back Inside
    We had celebrated for quite awhile. I was starting to get exhausted and everyone else looked just about as tired. We decided to wrap up the party back at the cottage and leave Kelly's for another day. Nikolas had been teaching me how to drive his car and had promised that I could drive home, especially since he had 3 glasses of champagne. I jumped in the driver's seat and Lucky, Elizabeth, Zander, and Emily squeezed into the back. Nikolas sat in the passenger seat and put his seatbelt on. I decided to drive the shorter route instead of the curvy cliff road, but I did decide to drive the hilly road around the back of the cottage so that I could get a little more practice.
     We were laughing and singing along to the radio when I came to the hill. As I crested the top of the hill and switched gears I stepped on the brake to slow down a little. I realized that the brakes weren't doing anything and I stopped singing. We continued to pick up speed and the car was getting harder to control. Everyone had stopped singing and laughing and Nikolas was grabbing the steering wheel to try to help control the now out of control car.
    Just as I thought we had made it okay the road curved sharply to the left and I knew there was no way I could make the turn. I let out a terrified scream as I plowed through the intersection at almost 60 mph and I realized the car was headed straight for a guardrail which was all that was keeping us from plunging into the Port Charles River. At the absolute last moment I was able to turn so that my side of the car skimmed the guardrail and we crashed into the tree farther down the road. Everything was spinning and bright, but the last thing I saw before losing consciousness was that the passenger seat where Nikolas had been sitting was now empty. Then the world went dark.

Chapter 29