"There you are!" Stefan gave a wide grin as the young girl let out a loud giggle of delight as she sat perched in the tree. "Mrs. Landsbury is waiting with dinner, and you know how she values promptness," he scolded gently as he lifted the impish girl from her spot.
"I just wanted to watch the tide come in," Kristina insisted, pushing her unruly mane of hair from her twinkling eyes. She gave him her sweetest grin, knowing full well it would melt his heart. Stefan smiled back, but on the inside, his emotions swirled around painfully. So much like her Mother. Taking her small hand in his she chirped happily and recounted all that she had seen from her secret spot as they ambled back to the villa. "Do you think Mama liked my spot too?" Stefan startled back into reality and he bent down to face the child. "Oh yes," he said, a slight warble to his voice, "your Mama loved watching the tide come in." Kristina's innocent eyes gazed at him intently. "I think Mama told me about it in my dreams. She's in heaven but I'm glad she can see me in my dreams. I just wish I could talk back."
Stefan swallowed hard. "I wish for many things too. I miss your Mama also." He paused, before forcing a smile. "Let's hurry along." He watched as Kristina scampered off towards her waiting nanny. The child was too young to understand the tragedy of her Mother's death and he would do all he could to shield her from it, but he wondered if it was all for naught. Kristina was a Cassadine, she seemed destined to inherit all the misfortune her Mother had suffered as an orphan. Only this time there was no wicked witch to blame her misfortune on. Only her Father.