Chapter Three

"Brenda! Will you put that damn thing away?" The bright blue eyes of Brenda’s best friend and business partner in L&B Records, Lois Cerullo-Ashton, were darkly clouded with annoyance and frustration. "Alexis will be here any minute and we need to get this meeting started. Can’t you just check your email later?" Brenda nodded, and in nervousness, surveyed the Port Charles Grill, hoping that the emergency L&B meeting wouldn’t take to long. What was wrong with her? Isn’t this exactly what FlyGuy had said-that he couldn't even sit through meetings without being desperate to talk to her?

Brenda nearly fell off of her chair when the hand flew in front of her face. "Hello? Earth to Brenda? Come in Brenda." Embarrassment crept up Brenda’s cheeks, and she hoped her two best friends, Lois and Alexis, wouldn’t notice her strange behavior. Alexis and Lois looked at her strangely, but began the meeting in spite of all of Brenda’s nervous habits, like drumming her fingernails, tapping her silverware, and generally spacing out.

"Enough!" Lois reached under the table and pulled out Brenda’s notebook computer. "Here! Just go ahead, but make it snappy, okay?" Alexis and Lois shared a laugh as Brenda tried to resist, but the temptation was too great, as she grabbed her cell phone out of her purse and logged-on to AOL.

"You’ve Got Mail." Brenda was sure that as long as she lived, no sound would be more welcome or lovely. She sighed, and opened the mail: from FlyGuy, and skimmed it quickly, though she knew that later, in the privacy of her tower, she’d examine every single word, and commit them to memory.

As Brenda laughed and sighed at each comment, and as tears welled up in Brenda’s eyes, Alexis and Lois exchanged puzzled looks before Alexis, glasses perched on her nose, turned to the still-engrossed Miss Barrett. "So? What exactly does this magical, mystery email say?"
"Yeah, girlfriend! Spill it!" Brenda took a deep breath, surveying her two best friends, and hesitated, even though this was the exact opportunity she had been waiting for.

She had met Lois when Lois had married her sister’s ex, Ned Ashton; they had immediately hit it off, and had gone into business together, forming L&B Records. Not long afterward, her old boarding school friend, Alexis Davis, had shown up in Port Charles, fresh out of law school, and Brenda couldn’t resist being in business with her two best friends. Luckily, Lois and Alexis had hit it off right away, and as Brenda looked at them, she knew, correction-she hoped, that they’d understand. "Okay, you guys. Read this!" She tilted the computer towards Alexis, and Lois came to stand behind them, as all three read the email.
"Holy Toledo! "It’s a genuine hunger-for communication, for connection, unlike anything I’ve ever known.’ Wow, Bren!"

"’But hersoul, only partially/unpackaged, sings/through the slate that guards it,/contacts those of us waiting here/with a splay of its soft, /scrutinizing fingers./Her soul is a sapling thing,/something green, dew-damp/but resolute, entering this world/with an angel’s thumb pressed/to her unformed body at the very last,/a template affixed to her body/when they decided it was time/to let her go, for her to come to us/and their good work was done./An angel’s thumbprint, a signature, her soul.’ Brenda? Who *is* this guy?"


"Who is she, Jax?" Before he could even muster a response, his big brother, Jerry, continued. "And don’t even try to give me that cock-and-bull story that you don’t know what I’m talking about. Bloody hell, Jax! Just get it out of your system. Who is she and where did you meet?"


"You met him on the computer? Are you kidding me, Brenda?" Lois had nearly fallen off of her chair when Brenda finally spilled the beans regarding her mystery man. "He could be 60 years old!"

"He could be 16 years old!" Alexis found the situation just as incredible as Lois did.

"He could be a *she*!"

"He could be incarcerated on death row!"

Brenda was getting annoyed at her less-than-supportive friends. "Thank you, counselor."

"He could have a girlfriend."

Lois took a deep breath, "He could have a wife."


"He doesn’t have a wife!" Since it was clear that neither Alexis, nor Lois believed her, Brenda continued. "Trust me, guys. I know him."


"You *know* her Jax? Who are you kidding? She’s a psychopath!"

"She’s not a psychopath." Jax’s had very little patience left for his brother.

"She’s a stalker! She’s figured out who you are and now she wants-"

"Jerry!" The entire lobby of the Port Charles Hotel heard Jax’s exclamation, and saw the deadly glance he directed at his brother. "She is NOT a stalker. She’s sweet and beautiful, and-" Noticing the look Jerry was giving him, Jax quickly regained his train of thought. "-and you can shut the hell up!"

"Fine, fine, Jax. I won’t say another word. *But*, let me at least read one of the letters she wrote you?"


"Don’t you have them?"

"That’s not the point."

"C’mon Jax!"

"Fine, but after that you’d better shut the hell up about this." Jax reached for his laptop and connected to America Online. He waited for a second, and felt a peculiar ache when he had no new mail, until he saw it, and his breath caught in his throat.

"Poor Jax. No news from your cyber-girl? Hey, have you two had cyber-sex yet? I’d heard that it was-Jax, what is it?"

"Jerry, she’s online" There it was, as clear as the nose on his face: his buddy list. Jax took a deep breath before clicking on the instant message button, and typing two simple letters.

FlyGuy: Hi

Brenda, Lois, and Alexis were still arguing over Brenda’s cyber-relationship, when a small chiming noise caused a hush to fall over the table. "Oh my God. He’s online. He im-ed me. He says 'hi.’ What do I do?" Brenda turned to her two friends and did her little dance of excitement, before placing her hands on the keyboard and typing a response:

PrncessBB: Hi