And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
– Fix You, Coldplay
Thursday, February 5, 2004
Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room
When Max told him Courtney was outside, Sonny sent Jason upstairs to sit with Cady. He thought Courtney might be more forthcoming without the glare of her ex-boyfriend.
In the hour between giving the order to have her brought here and her arrival, there was very little information. Freddy DiGarno had lit out of his apartment, probably having been warned by his cousin that his connection to the matter was going to be found. Dominic had disappeared. Stan and Spinelli had traced the SUV for half a mile before losing it.
And Elizabeth was now missing for almost five hours.
“Sonny?” Courtney entered the room, hesitantly. He looked at this woman whom genetics told him was his sister. He’d never felt particularly connected to her, but had done what he could to assist her as far as she would allow it. Duty and obligations told him that family should be cared for, but he’d never felt as though she were really part of his family.
And maybe she had sensed it, had sensed that Sonny felt far more fraternal towards the woman who had supplanted her. Elizabeth was now Carly’s closest confidante, though neither woman would have admitted that. Rather than becoming Morgan’s godmother as Carly and Courtney had once discussed, it was Elizabeth who would receive that honor. Emily had stopped talking to Courtney, turning back to Elizabeth. Even Jason had realized where his heart truly lay.
And Elizabeth had been more of a sister to him than the woman standing in front of him.
She looked at him, her eyes wide with confusion and apprehension. And he knew that Emily’s suspicions had been correct.
“Elizabeth was kidnapped a few hours ago,” Sonny said after a long moment.
Courtney blinked and stepped back. “But…why? Where’s the baby?” She looked around. “Is Jason’s daughter okay?”
“Why?” Sonny asked, wishing he could indulge in a Scotch or a bourbon. “Do you really care?”
“Of course…” Courtney swallowed. “Sonny, of course I care. We dated. He was good to me, until…” She shrugged. “But it’s water under the bridge. Why…why are you telling me this…?”
“You didn’t harass Elizabeth at Kelly’s earlier this week?” Sonny demanded. “You haven’t been nasty to her every single time you came across her from the moment Ric Lansing told you she was having Jason’s child?”
“I…tried to be okay with it,” she said softly. “Elizabeth will tell you that I was the only person who didn’t say anything to her. But…” She hesitated. “She started showing, you know. And I realized how true it all was. I think…maybe I could let myself forget. He wasn’t around her, and I thought if I played it cool, he’d remember why he’d left her and come back to me.”
“But it never happened.” Sonny gave in and poured water, just to have the weight of the glass in his hand. He’d allow Courtney to explain herself, if only to make the point that her actions were inexcusable. “Did it?”
“No.” Courtney looked at the floor. “She moved in with him. And I think they started seeing each other again, but I couldn’t be sure. It just…got to be too much, Sonny. She had trapped him. She knew how he felt about children, and she got pregnant on purpose—”
“He loved her long before you came in the picture, Courtney,” Sonny said, almost quietly, wishing he’d said something ages ago, hadn’t ever asked Jason to look after his sister. “Whatever else, I am sorry I couldn’t keep you from being hurt.”
“Well…” She shifted, uncomfortably. “Why…are you even bringing this up? Shouldn’t you be looking for her? Trying to figure out what happened?”
“And what,” Sonny said, slowly approaching her, “do you think I’m doing?”
Courtney’s eyes widened and she looked behind her, where Max was stationed almost as a sentinel. “S-Sonny, you can’t think I…” Her eyes widened. “What do you think I did?”
“I think that you manipulated Emily Quartermaine into talking about Elizabeth, hoping to get something that could be of use,” Sonny said. “And boy, you got something good. You found a hole in Elizabeth’s security.”
“No. I don’t…” But her eyes darted away.
“And you told someone. Someone who tried to kidnap her, while she was seven months pregnant.” He took another step towards her. “Who’d you tell, Courtney? Who did you tell?”
“Sonny, you just…you don’t understand.” Courtney licked her lips. “I just…I wanted her to go away. If she would go away, like she did after she left Jason—she left town for a few weeks, and Jason looked at me. He loved me. But she trapped him. I don’t know how she did it, but she was going to keep trapping him. It wasn’t even his kid, but she suckered him in. I had to stop it.”
Sonny closed his eyes. Another person trying to protect Jason from Elizabeth had put her in danger. Emily had tried to protect him, and had set Ric loose. And now Courtney had done the same.
All these people who thought a woman who measured barely more than five feet three inches and a hundred pounds soaking wet represented something dangerous to a lethal mob enforcer. If it wasn’t so horrible, it might almost be funny.
“You wanted her gone so Jason would look at you again,” Sonny said, his voice flat. “Don’t pretend anything else. You knew he loved her, and you could ignore it when he wasn’t acting on it. But he let you walk away and stayed with her.” He clenched his hand around the glass in his hand. “Who did you tell?”
“I didn’t want Elizabeth to be hurt,” Courtney said quickly. “But she was stealing my life, Sonny. She had Jason and Carly and she always had you. And then Emily, too. Even Bobbie keeps asking me to be a better waitress, to be more like Elizabeth.” A tear slid down her cheek, and she pressed a hand to her chest, much the way he often did. “Don’t you see, Sonny? Everyone had looked at me and found me wanting. I wasn’t their perfect, precious Elizabeth.”
“Such a shame,” Sonny snarled. “Who did you tell, Courtney?”
“So…when I was walking home from work one night…in August…” Courtney cleared her throat. “A woman approached me. I didn’t…recognize her at first, but I knew her voice. She stepped out from the shadows, and I saw it was Faith Roscoe.” She was twisting her fingers together. “I was going to run, but she told me not to worry.” And now her voice was bitter. “I wasn’t important enough to go after. I didn’t matter to anyone.”
Faith Roscoe had seen the bitter wound in Courtney’s soul and exploited it. Sonny closed his eyes, because he could have done more to avoid this. He knew that the fault ultimately lay with Courtney, but he could not ignore his role. “That wasn’t true—”
“Don’t placate me, Sonny,” Courtney hissed. “She was right. She told me I didn’t matter enough, that hurting me wouldn’t make a point, except to say she could. So she asked me if I wanted to matter.”
“And you did.” Sonny walked away from his sister, then, because here was the proof that they were related. They may look as different as night and day, but under the surface, he and his sister were the same. They wanted to matter. They saw something they wanted and went after it, damn the consequences.
“She told me she could get Elizabeth out of Jason’s life. That she knew the baby wasn’t his, that Elizabeth was lying to Ric. I knew it. He was with her because he felt sorry for her,” Courtney spat. “Because Ric went after her because of Jason. I knew he didn’t love her. So I thought I could get Elizabeth and the baby away from him, that he’d see the truth. He’d know Elizabeth was trying to trap him.”
He exhaled slowly and turned. “Courtney…he always knew Cady wasn’t his biological daughter. It was Jason’s idea to claim her, because he wanted to protect Elizabeth and the baby. Because he did love her.”
“No, no…” Courtney shook her head. “If he was just trying to protect Elizabeth, he would have told me. He wouldn’t have let me think he cheated on me. He could have told me—”
“He didn’t trust you,” Sonny interrupted. “He didn’t even tell Carly or me the truth right away. Only…you believed it. Because you knew, deep down, that he loved her. That he didn’t love you. So you justified it by telling yourself Jason was the victim. You justified turning Elizabeth over to a man who you knew was dangerous because you wanted Jason for yourself.”
“You’re not understanding.” Courtney took a step forward. “I told Faith I would help her, but I didn’t want Elizabeth to be hurt. I just wanted her gone. And Faith said she didn’t particularly care what happened to Elizabeth, but she doubted Ric would hurt her. Not until after the baby was here. And maybe not even then.”
“Did she seem annoyed by that?” Sonny asked. “As if it was more his plan than hers?”
“I…” Courtney hesitated. “I guess. She didn’t like Elizabeth, I don’t think. But no, I didn’t think she was happy about it. But it didn’t matter. Elizabeth would be away from Jason. And…that was enough for me. So she gave me a number.”
“Do you have it?”
“I…” Courtney nodded. “Yeah. It’s in my phone.” She lifted her purse and Max took it from her.
“And you called her about what Emily had told you.” His sister reluctantly nodded. Sonny frowned. “Anything else?”
Courtney paused. “I told her about the guard shifts. Who was on them, who I had seen her around. I didn’t remember everyone’s names, but Dominic guarded me a little bit when Jason couldn’t during the stalking. And I knew Francis, Marco. Cody.”
“What else?” Sonny pressed.
“I…didn’t know much else,” she admitted. “Elizabeth and I weren’t working together anymore. I said she was close with you and Carly. That she was on the outs with her best friend.” She shrugged. “I don’t know anything about this new kidnapping, Sonny. I mean, she contacted me around Christmas, and I told her the baby had been born, but I didn’t know anything else. Emily wasn’t talking to me, hadn’t really been since the kidnapping…” She nodded. “Emily realized that I was involved.”
“She protected you longer than she should have,” Sonny said, his back to his sister, unable to look her in the face. “Because she didn’t want to see it.”
He turned to her. “I didn’t want Jason here when we had this meeting because I wasn’t sure what would happen if he looked at you and realized you were responsible for what happened to the woman he loved, for putting his daughter in danger—”
“She’s not his daughter,” Courtney snarled.
“She’s his daughter in every way that actually matters,” Sonny said, almost patiently. “You know what happened the last time I told Jason he couldn’t deal with one of my half-siblings the way he wanted to. Ten months later, we’re still trying to find the sick bastard. So…I wasn’t sure what would happen when he came face to face with another sibling of mine who had betrayed his family.”
And now, for the first time, Courtney looked nervous. Her fingers played the strap of the purse Max had returned to her after fishing out her phone and taking it to Jason’s penthouse where Stan, Spinelli and Benny were working.
“Sonny…I didn’t want her to be hurt—”
“I’m not sure that’s going to matter if Jason doesn’t find her.” Sonny set the water on the mini bar. “Do you think he’s going to care that this time you weren’t personally involved? Do you know who kidnapped Elizabeth? Who shot her other guard? Who pressed chloroform to her mouth until she passed out and then dragged her away?” He paused. “Dominic. One of the guards whose name you turned over. He turned on Elizabeth, after eight months of protecting her. So, what do you think I should do to you Courtney?”
“I’m your…I’m your sister,” Courtney said, her voice trembling. “It…you can’t.”
“No, you can’t.”
They both turned to see Jason step around the corner, clearly having been standing there for some time. As he stepped down the stairs, Courtney backed up until she was practically against the closed penthouse door. “J-Jason.”
He stopped near the sofa and just stared at his ex-girlfriend. “I started this,” he said slowly. “Because I began a relationship with you when I knew I didn’t care about you the way you wanted me to. I continued to let you believe we had a future, when the truth was I didn’t give a damn about the future anymore.”
Sonny watched his sister swallow, because it was one thing for other people to tell her these things, but even he felt a little sorry for the harsh truths Jason wasn’t holding back.
“I was already trying to figure out how to break it off without making things worse for you, for me…for Sonny.” Jason cast a glance toward him, but Sonny just shrugged. “I don’t know if I thought I could have a chance with Elizabeth again, but being with you wasn’t helping. It wasn’t making me miss or love her less. So I was looking for a way out.”
“And you found it,” Courtney said tightly. “Sonny told me you always knew the baby wasn’t yours.”
“Because I didn’t sleep with Elizabeth.” Jason hesitated, and apparently deciding to channel the Jason of old, he continued, “but if I thought I had the chance to, I might have.”
Courtney’s mouth tightened. “I’m sorry, what’s the point of this?”
“I didn’t tell you the truth about the baby,” Jason said, as if she hadn’t spoken. “But you should know Elizabeth wanted me to tell you. She knew you would be angry about it, that you might not forgive a lie, but I didn’t care. Because I think, even then, I knew I couldn’t trust you. There was no way I was potentially placing Elizabeth’s life and her child’s in your hands.”
Courtney lifted her chin. “Then you should have killed Ric when you had the chance and none of this would have happened.”
“I’m sorry for hurting you,” Jason said, again ignoring her. “But that’s where the guilt stops. Because I didn’t force you to continue holding onto the anger. I never gave you an indication once you broke up with me that I wanted to have anything to do with you. I didn’t lead you on after that. Elizabeth never did anything to you that you didn’t deserve. You crossed a line, Courtney, when you agreed to help Faith Roscoe. When you gave information that placed Elizabeth and my daughter in danger, when you turned over the names of the men guarding Elizabeth. If you were anyone else, I wouldn’t wait for Sonny to give me permission, you’d already be dead.”
The blonde swallowed. “S-Sonny…Mike would never forgive you.”
“Why should he have to know anything?” Sonny said, taunting her. “We can have you leave a message on his machine. You’re leaving town, you’ll be in touch. We can even send him letters that eventually fade away. You and Mike didn’t know each other for most of your life, who would be surprised if you fell out touch?”
A muscle leaped in Courtney’s throat and she swallowed. “I—”
“You wanted to play in this world, Courtney,” Jason said, his voice devoid of emotion. “You made that clear when you told Faith about the security hole, about Dominic.” His eyes hardened. “The birth of my daughter. You put yourself in this world, why are you surprised Sonny and I might treat you accordingly?”
And for a moment, Sonny believed Jason meant it. And if he did, then Sonny would let him. It was his fault this was happening. It was his family, his blood, that threatened everything that mattered the most to Jason.
“It’s up to you, Jase,” Sonny said. He looked at his friend to make sure he understood that he really meant it. “It’s your family in danger. It’s your fiancée missing.”
“F-fiancée?” Courtney blinked. “I…” She squared her shoulders. “Emily knows I’m involved. If I disappear, she’ll know.”
“I don’t think she’d argue about it,” Sonny retorted. “She came to us. Not the police. She knew what we would do.”
“Ending your life won’t bring me Elizabeth,” Jason said after a long moment. “It won’t tell me where she is, if Ric is hurting her. It would just make me feel better, and it’s not enough right now. So I’m going to do what Elizabeth would want.”
Courtney blanched, probably because the bitch knew what she would do if the situations were reversed.
“I’m going to let you live, but you’re going to go away, Courtney.” Jason stepped towards her, his hands fisted at his sides. “I think sending you to live in Puerto Rico with constant guards is almost too kind, but it’s what I can live with. Maybe after five years of living under constant guard, of never having the freedom of movement, you might understand…just a little…the kind of stress Elizabeth lived under while she was pregnant.” He stepped back. “Is that acceptable to you, Sonny?”
“Little nicer than I had anticipated,” Sonny said after a moment, “but it’s something I can live with, too.” He nodded to Max. “Please take Ms. Matthews to the apartment directly under us. Keep her under guard until I say differently.”
When Elizabeth finally opened her eyes, she tried to move. Her arms were twisted behind her, tied to a chair. She blinked, blearily, saw that her legs were also lashed to the bottom rungs. “W-What?”
“I’d like to untie you, Beautiful,” came the silky soft voice she’d only heard in her nightmares these last few months. Ric Lansing bled out of the shadows, stepping in front of her for the first time since that awful day on the docks when Jason had almost killed him.
“O-Okay…” Elizabeth cleared her throat, and coughed. It was too dry. “Why d-don’t you?”
He lifted a bottle of water from a nearby table and held it out to her. “You can see I haven’t removed the cap. It’s not drugged.” When she nodded, he twisted the cap off and then held it to her lips. At the brush of his skin against hers, she almost twisted away. Instead, she drank thirstily, wetting her throat.
“I can’t untie you,” he said. He stepped back and leaned against the table. “Because I’m not sure you won’t leave.”
She hesitated. “Why did you kidnap me?” she asked. “How…does this help you against Sonny?”
“I’m not as interested in Sonny anymore.” Ric shrugged. “Faith still wants to take him down, and I suppose if I can, I will. But you know…that’s all changed.” He stepped towards her, and she saw that smile on his face, the one that she’d once found so attractive.
She pressed her lips together, refusing to ask him why again.
“You changed it for me,” Ric told her. He crouched in front of her, and she felt nauseous at the soft look in his eyes. “When I found out you were pregnant…I was so angry that you were trying to take our child away from me. Like my father did with my mother. I scared you, and I shouldn’t have. I should have understood that you were upset, that you realized our relationship was less honest than you believed.”
“I just…I want to go home to my daughter,” Elizabeth said softly. “Let me go home to my daughter, Ric.”
“I never knew my mother,” Ric continued. “Because of Sonny. I wouldn’t take you away from our daughter, Elizabeth. I know what it’s like when a child grows up without both parents. I wouldn’t do that.”
Her chest was tight, because she was starting to understand. “Do you think…”
“It’s true that I initially targeted you because of Sonny and Jason,” Ric admitted, almost sheepishly. “And by now, you realize that I was having an affair with Faith while we were seeing one another.”
Her eyes were gritty and burning, but she couldn’t close them. Couldn’t let him think she was weak. That’s why he thought this would work. He believed her to be weak, that she might give in, let her daughter near him.
He could kill her for all she cared, her daughter was safe. Jason would raise her, he would protect her.
“I should have broken things off with you as soon as I realized Jason Morgan didn’t give a damn about you.” Ric stood and started to pace. “But I couldn’t. You…you’re so beautiful, Elizabeth. Inside and out. I wanted you to love me.”
“Sleeping with Faith Roscoe seems like an odd way to make that happen,” she bit out. “Or telling Jason and Sonny that screwing me was useless but oh, so much fun.”
“I…I had to keep face with them, Elizabeth. They couldn’t see what you mean to me.” He pressed a hand to his chest, and in her bleary vision, her exhaustion, she almost thought he looked like Sonny with the motion. “If they knew, they’d know they could use you against me.”
“Funny…” Her throat was thick. “You never thought that was Jason’s reason. You wanted me to believe he didn’t care about me then, and that he doesn’t care now.”
“He wanted our daughter, Elizabeth,” Ric said, still using that careful, charming tone. “I know how he feels about kids, and he saw you as a way to have a child. And bonus, he could get rid of me. Elizabeth, if he really loved you, he would have done something about it before you needed protection.”
“Do you think you can really convince me to leave Jason, to bring my daughter to you…so we can…” Elizabeth blinked, shook her head. “So we can raise her together? What…what can you possibly be thinking?”
“We could be a family. You, me…Adela.” Ric paused. “I want us to be a family.”
“Her name is not Adela. Her name is Cadence Audrey Caroline Morgan, and she is not your daughter. Not in any way that matters.” She struggled with the bonds around her wrists. “And I don’t care if you kill me, you will never come close to being in her life.”
His eyes narrowed, but he took a deep breath. “You’ve had a rough year, Elizabeth. I understand. That’s why we connected so well. I understood how hurt you were. I tried to show you that Jason won’t change. All those business problems, he was never home again. I know he never went to the doctor’s appointments, that he never took you out anywhere. He doesn’t love you the way I do. I would give you the finest things—”
“You don’t know a thing about me, Ric. You never did.” She shifted in her chair. “Jason will protect our daughter from you, and if you take him out, Sonny and Carly will protect her. And if by some impossible means you get past all of them, well then I hope you’re ready for Edward Quartermaine, because he’ll set the world on fire before he lets another great-grandchild out of his clutches. I will never let my child know you.”
“Our child,” Ric said, his teeth clenched. “She’s my daughter, Elizabeth. I named her for my mother—”
“We will never be a family,” Elizabeth snarled.
Faith Roscoe bled out of the shadows, a perturbed look on her face. “You know…I have had nearly enough of this.”
Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room
Courtney had been taken to a secure location, but her information had offered them nothing substantial, only an explanation for October’s attempt. They’d lost the car with Elizabeth inside after almost a mile, but Jason knew Stan and Spinelli hadn’t given up on that angle. None of them knew anything about the location of Freddy or Dominic, no sign of Ric or Faith.
The only reason Jason hadn’t crawled completely out of his skin was that he now believed Elizabeth had been part of Ric’s plan all along. He thought…he might not hurt her. Not this soon. Maybe eventually after she made it clear his plans weren’t going to work. But not seven hours after finally getting his hands on her.
The door pushed open and Sonny strode in, Max dragging someone behind him. “Look who came straight to us,” his friend all but snarled. He yanked his coat off and tossed it on the sofa.
Jason shot to his feet. Freddy DiGarno, cousin to Dominic and the man on the inside at the warehouse. The man was short, stocky and brunette. His dark eyes were bulging as Max kept one clamped around his neck, never letting the man stand fully on his own weight.
“He came to us?” Jason said, his hands fisting at the sight of one of the men responsible for the last seven hours of his life. For the last ten months. “Is he stupid?”
“Not so much.” Sonny gave Max a signal, and the guard released Freddy. The other man collapsed to the ground, gasping for air. “He came to Benny. Hoping Benny might help him. Put in a good word.”
“Good word?” Jason growled. He strode forward, not entirely sure what he might do if he reached the piece of shit. “You worked with Faith Roscoe—”
“I just want to die quick!” Freddy scrambled to his feet and held his hands up in front of his face. “You was going to find me, I knew it. Dom left me high and dry. I don’t know nothin’ about disappearin’ and I tried to get out of town, but I saw the men near the highway ramp and the docks, and the airports, the train station, the bus depot. There’s no way out.”
“You got that right.” Jason took another step, but Sonny held up his hand.
“All in good time. Freddy here knows about a warehouse. And more importantly, he knows why Dominic picked today.”
Jason huffed. “I don’t care why today—I want the warehouse.” He advanced again and Freddy actually hid behind Max for protection. How had they allowed this miscreant into their organization in the first place…
“It seems Spinelli was on the right track with those numbered accounts,” Sonny said, and Jason knew he was trying to keep them both calm. To keep this situation under control. They had their break, now they had to take advantage of everything this man knew so that Ric and Faith couldn’t catch them unaware. “He not only found Freddy’s account, but he was getting pretty close to Dominic’s. And once you found both of them, he knew he’d lose his chance to grab Elizabeth.”
“So he contacted Ric or Faith to tell them to move up their plan.” Jason’s eyes snapped back to the traitor. “What was the original timeline? How much longer were they gonna wait?”
“I d-don’t know for sure,” Freddy replied. “Maybe a few more weeks, but Faith Roscoe was gettin’ impatient. Talkin’ about cuttin’ her losses, you know. And how much she hated the…” He swallowed hard. “She’s not real fond of your…um…well…she’s not fond of her.”
They’d been right. Faith had been playing along with the plan, but it had been drawn out too long and it was clear now to Faith that Ric was using her to get Elizabeth as well. A pissed off Faith Roscoe was not something either of them should underestimate. “So your covers were almost blown.” Jason nodded. “I want the warehouse address. How many men?”
“Maybe half a dozen,” Freddy all but whimpered. “Faith don’t have the resources to keep anyone around for long, and Lansing kept refusing to use his own money, it would draw attention.” He reeled off an address. “I just…I don’t wanna suffer.”
Sonny raised his eyebrows and looked at Jason. “Well, Jase, it’s your woman he helped to kidnap. Your daughter he placed in danger. You get to decide what happens to him. I’ll get the men together in the garage and work up a plan.” He left the penthouse, leaving Freddy alone with Max and Jason.
Part of him wanted to snap this man’s neck like twig right here and now, but every second spent dealing with him was one more Elizabeth was alone with Ric. He looked at the little dirtbag. “If you were Dominic, the man I entrusted with her safety for eight months, depended on to keep her safe…if you were the man who shot Cody, and drugged Elizabeth as she kicked and screamed to get away, then I’d make you suffer. Personally. For hours.”
He stepped closer, saw the man’s eyes nearly roll back in his head. “Maybe even days. But you’re nothing to Dominic, Ric or Faith. They left you holding the bag, and for that, I’m not going to do a thing.” He saw Max and Freddy jolt in surprise. He continued, “Not because you deserve mercy, but because I don’t want to waste any more time.”
He looked at Max. “Make him disappear. How and where is up to you.”
When Max had dragged the traitor out, Jason started up the stairs to check on his daughter before joining Sonny in the garage.
Ric stepped back and cleared his throat. “Faith…you were supposed to be arranging our exit.”
Elizabeth’s darted between the two co-conspirators, and her lips curved. “Oh, you mean Faith doesn’t know your master plan? About dragging me here to convince me we should be a family.” She clucked her tongue. “Not very up front of you, Ric, after everything Faith has done to help you.”
Ric blanched, but Faith smirked and raised one slim brow. “I completely agree, Princess. Not sporting at all.” Dismissing her then, Faith turned to look at her captor. “We had a plan once, Ric. You were going to go after the women. Gain their trust. You went after Morgan’s waif, but he didn’t seem to care. You got messy with Corinthos’ wife and the Families, but you told me you had an endgame that they’d never see coming.”
She picked her away across the room, her stiletto heels clicking across the cement floor as she drew closer to Ric. “You told me you wanted your child because it would screw with Corinthos and Morgan. Because they’d be distracted looking for the waif, and we could take them apart.”
“Faith,” Ric began, switching the charm to the blonde. Elizabeth rolled her eyes. He had just one shtick.
“But every time it didn’t work that way, I questioned you.” She planted her hands on her hips, the black coat, parting to reveal an equally black dress underneath. “I questioned whether you wanted to bring down Sonny, because all you could talk about was the little bastard you’d sired.” From an inside pocket of her coat, she withdrew a gun.
Elizabeth straightened in her chair, and now even Ric looked wary. “Listen, I know we’ve had some setbacks—”
“You used me, Ric.” Faith tilted her head to the side and pursed her lips. “And I don’t like being used.” She tapped the blood red tip of a nail against the silver metal of the gun. “What should I do about that?”
Elizabeth remained silent, understanding that her future rested on what Faith did next. She could eliminate them both if she wanted to. Instead, Faith just smiled.
“I think…I’m going to take my men and leave,” she murmured. She stepped back but now trained the gun on Ric. “I’m going to leave you with your delicate little princess, because after all, you think you can convince her to leave that strapping Jason Morgan and bring her kid to you. Isn’t that why she’s here?” Faith’s eyes positively danced with amusement. “So you can use that legendary charm to sweep her off her feet again?”
Her eyes hardened. “You should know, Ric, your charm only works once. We believe you once. And then we never believe you again. Because once you see through that smile, you understand what’s beneath it…nothing at all.”
“Faith, you don’t understand what’s happening,” Ric began.
“I think it’s you who doesn’t understand. Goodbye, Ric.” Faith cast her eyes towards Elizabeth. “Good luck with your waif, but somehow, I just don’t see the two of you lasting.”
She waited one more second and then turned and left.
Ric turned his eyes back to Elizabeth, and in them, she saw the truth. Without Faith’s men to back him up, he didn’t have a prayer of going against Sonny and Jason.
Which meant she was a liability.
Corinthos Penthouse: Morgan’s Nursery
Carly had set Cady up in a portable crib in a corner of Morgan’s room. Jason stepped through the doorway and gently lifted his sleeping daughter into his arms. She fussed and made a few sounds, but he arranged her against his chest and pressed his cheek to her head.
“Sorry, Cady,” he murmured. “I didn’t want to wake you, but I wasn’t sure…” He swallowed. “I’m going to get your mother, and I promise you, if it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to bring her home to you.”
Cady batted her fist against his t-shirt, and his chest tightened. “I might…not come home, though. But you should know that I love you. I loved you long before you were born, before I could admit it to anyone. You were always mine, no matter what anyone says.”
He breathed in her scent one last time, kissed her on the forehead and put her back in the crib.