May 30, 2016

In October, Joanna, a reader from The Canvas, got in touch with me about having some of my older missing stories. She had No One Else Sees Me (set 2002) and The Ends of the Earth (set 2001). Both were written in 2002, when I was a shiny new writer in the fandom and a mere eighteen years old. I didn’t have a chance to clean either of them up until recently, and today, when my inspiration dried up, I decided to pull them out.

No One Else Sees Me is not a good story, haha, but it’s a fun read and another example of how much I’ve grown since I started writing fanfiction fourteen years ago.  While I used to hide these old stories away, now I recognize how much I learned from writing all of them and I look forward to seeing your reactions to these older stories.

I’ll be back later this week with the other older story, and soon with Bittersweet!

May 26, 2016

Years ago, I had planned to write my own version of GH based on 2006. I plotted it out to the craziest insane detail, but never got around to writing it before my hiatus, and now that so much time has passed, I don’t plan on using the majority of this.

But since I actually wrote a prologue and the first chapter, I thought you guys might enjoy seeing it. So here’s your setup:

The General Hospital universe stops about January 2006, so before the virus storyline. I had heard Courtney was going to leave, and I thought about how she might leave the canvas. I vastly prefer watching her die on screen because I still celebrate February 20, 2006 like a national holiday (that’s right, I remember the date).  It picks up again on New Year’s Eve. I had no idea GH would actually spend most of 2006 reuniting Jason and Liz, or I wouldn’t have skipped it 😛  In my universe, the virus happened, but not to the extent it did on the show.

I also have tons of slideshows dedicated to this story, ha. I spent way too much time planning.


Prologue: Auld Lang Syne

December 31, 2006

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?

Caroline Corinthos was a blur of red as she flitted from guest to guest at her second annual New Year’s Eve bash. Her honey blonde hair spilled down her back in a wild array of curls and flew around her face as she mingled.

She was a full fledged business success and she’d done it all without Sonny Corinthos–a fact that she rarely let anyone forget.

She was having the time of her life with her new career as a hotel manager and her life as a mother–if she ignored some of the peskier details such as her best friend’s misery, the disappearance of her ex-sister-in-law and the rebellious behavior of her eldest child–oh and the whirlwind relationships her ex-husband seemed to be addicted to.

But as long as she ignored those details, life was grand.

As Carly’s mind drifted to her ex, she spotted him across the room with his lady of the moment–a short brunette she didn’t recognize. She ignored him and searched the crowd for her best friend, whom she’d blackmailed into attending. She spotted him near the refreshment table and made a beeline for him.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

Jason Morgan stood in the corner of the room, sipping a warm beer and waiting for midnight so that he could go home. If he hadn’t let Carly talk him into this, he’d be there now. But as usual, the feisty blonde had talked circles around him until he’d almost thought he’d volunteered to attend.

The room was littered with people he didn’t care to talk to–people would just want to check on him–see that he was doing all right. He was tired of people asking that question. He was fine. It’d been a year after all, and six months since he’d given up the search. He’d long accepted ago that for whatever reason, Samantha McCall had abandoned her life here, abandoned him and their future. He wished he knew why but he was done worrying about her and done thinking about what might have been.

He was going back to the basics. He’d moved out of his penthouse–a place that had always felt too large to him anyway and had rented rooms above Jake’s. He was back to riding his bike, playing pool and doing all the things that had always distracted him before.

Carly stepped up to him and planted her hands on her hips. “Why are you hiding here?” she demanded. “You should be over with Sonny or something.”

“I’m only here because you asked me to be,” Jason said patiently. He took Carly’s wrist and turned to glance at the slim gold watch wrapped around it. “I have an hour and forty minutes left–can I spend it how I choose?”

Carly pursed her lips. “Fine, but I don’t have to like it. Are you going to be by this week to see Morgan and Michael?”

“I’ll come by,” Jason assured her. “You should go see to your other guests.”

“If you want me to go away, you don’t have to be polite about it,” Carly replied.

“Fine. Go away.”

And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.

She found her next target at the bar, loading up a tray to take back to his table. “Where’s Princess Purity?” Carly asked. “She’s usually glued to your side.”

Patrick Drake glanced at her from the corner of his eye as he shifted the tray of drinks to his other hand. “She’s with her family, I’m just getting some drinks–”

“Let a waiter take care of that.” Carly signaled to someone and a young man appeared at Patrick’s side. “Take that tray to the table where the twin sourpusses are seated,” she directed.

The waiter hesitated and Patrick took pity on him. “Commissioner Scorpio’s table,” he clarified. When the waiter left, he looked to Carly. “Thanks. Did you need something?”

“Just wanted to check in with my favorite doctor,” Carly said with a little smirk. She reached out to touch his hand but Patrick stepped back. “Worried that your little guard dog will see?”

“I’m worried that Commissioner Scorpio will tear my head off,” Patrick clarified. “He doesn’t like me.”

“Well, there’s an easy way solve that,” Carly remarked.

“Happy New Year, Carly,” Patrick cut off her next remarks and turned to rejoin Robin Scorpio, her parents and Mac and Felicia Scorpio.

Carly frowned but shook it off. He wasn’t anything more than someone to flirt with and even then, he’d been hard to track down the last few months. It was Princess Purity’s influence she decided as she spied her mother and Patrick’s father leaving the dance floor and started towards them.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

“You don’t even have to speak to that woman to know that she’s a twit,” Anna Devane remarked as she sipped her martini.

Robin Scorpio sighed and looked away from where Patrick had been waylaid by some colleagues from the hospital–he never missed a chance to do a little sucking up.

“If it weren’t for her flair in giving parties, I wouldn’t be here at all,” Felicia Jones-Scorpio said. She reached for Mac’s glass of champagne in lieu of her requested margarita. “Stop watching them,” she chastised her husband, kicking him under the table.

“I can’t,” Mac muttered, his eyes glued to the dance floor where his daughter Maxie was slow dancing with Kyle Radcliffe. “I thought he was gone. She was dating a cop. She was doing so well.”

“And now she’s dating a Yale law student,” Robert Scorpio interjected. “At least she’ll be a little safer.”

“He’s not objecting to the boy he is now,” Robin said with a polite smile towards the father she still hadn’t completely forgiven. “To the boy he used to be…”

“Who’s that?” Patrick asked as he rejoined them.

“Maxie’s boyfriend, Kyle. Uncle Mac does not approve,” Robin said in a dramatic voice.

“Does he ever?” Felicia sighed mournfully. “No one’s ever going to be good enough for his girls.”

“Damn straight,” Mac muttered, sending a glare in Patrick’s direction before turning his gaze back to his daughters.

“Couldn’t have asked for a more overprotective father,” Robin said fondly. “Of course, the more he tried to protect me, the more I wanted to rebel so possibly it backfired but I appreciated the sentiment.”

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine

“You know, Mom, no one who sees you in that dress would ever believe you’re my mother,” Carly proclaimed as she draped an arm around Bobbie Spencer’s shoulders. “Doesn’t she look fantastic tonight, Noah?”

Noah Drake nodded and sipped his water–he’d been sober for ten months and twenty days. “I’ve told her that about half dozen times.”

“Carly, I’m glad you came over here,” Bobbie twisted out of her daughter’s grip and stood next to Noah, keeping Carly’s hand in hers. “I have something to tell you.”

“Oh, this is something out of a bad movie,” Carly sighed, sensing what was coming. “Mom, don’t be ridiculous. You can’t possibly be thinking of getting married.”

Bobbie frowned. “You sure know how to take the surprise out of an announcement. Carly, I’m not sure what the problem is now but–”

“Bobbie,” Noah cut in softly. He held a hand up in front of his fiancée before looking to her daughter. “Carly, you know that I love your mother and we’ve been seeing each other for the better part of a year. I’m too old for this dating crap and so is she. We want your blessing but the lack of it is not going to stop us from going forward.”

Carly bristled. “I already have one useless father figure in my life; I certainly don’t need a second.”

“And I already have one angry child, I certainly don’t need a second,” Noah retorted. He looked to Bobbie. “It’ll be midnight soon, let’s go find Patrick and Robin.”

Carly watched them going, a horrifying thought occurring to her. If this abomination were allowed to proceed, Patrick would end up being her stepbrother and God forbid, if he ever lost his mind and proposed marriage, Robin Scorpio would be her stepsister-in-law.

“I need a drink,” she muttered.

We’ve wandered mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne

“Okay, Lucas has stepped on my foot for the last time,” Lulu Spencer declared, stepping up to Dillon and Georgie Quartermaine. The young married couple stepped apart and Lulu smirked. “It’s so your turn, Maxie and I can’t feel our feet anymore.”

Georgie sighed and kissed Dillon’s cheek. “If I’m not back in ten minutes, come find me. I’ll be the one sprawled out on the dance floor in pain.”

When she’d gone off in search of her cousin, Lulu stepped up to her ex-stepbrother. “So, Dillon, your first anniversary is coming up. Doesn’t it scare the crap out of you to be saying that before you turn twenty?”

Dillon rolled his eyes and put his hands around her waist to start dancing. “Not at all. Except for the part where my mother won’t let us live at the mansion so we’re stuck in a dorm room with no room to breathe, things have been perfect.”

“It would have been a lot more romantic if you’d died,” Lulu said decisively. “I mean, the last gesture of undying love and then the actual death–it would have been a good ending for a movie. This whole being married young thing screams Molly Ringwold.”

“You saw that one, too, huh?” Dillon mused. “Yeah, it’s definitely the plot of an eighties teen movie but hey, that had a happy ending.”

“Yeah, ’cause it’s a movie,” Lulu replied cheerfully. “Since when do people get happy endings?”

“All the time,” Dillon argued. “Look at your parents. Laura’s home, Luke’s happy.”

“My parents are the exception to every rule that ever lived but they also had like sixteen different movie plots before they got to have the good ending. And you know it,” Lulu countered. “Name one other couple in here with a happy ending.”

Dillon frowned and scanned the room. “Robin and Patrick,” he said with conviction. “They’re still together after like eight months.”

“Patrick is still friends with Carly, which drives Robin insane. Also, they’ve broken up three times and he’s a dog that can’t stop flirting with the entire female gender. That’s a crappy pick.”

“Well, Lucky and Elizabeth are out, I don’t think I’ve seen her smile all night,” Dillon continued. “Mac and Felicia are good picks.”

“I’ll give you that,” Lulu conceded. “But that’s one out of like a hundred people, Dillon. Happy endings are the exception, they’re flukes. They don’t exist in reality.”

“You’re just full of sunshine and cheer, aren’t you?” Dillon asked. “Haven’t you ever heard of a turning over a new leaf, celebrating a new year?”

“Sure,” Lulu said easily. “But it’s been my experience that people tend to break their resolutions before the first hour of the new year is out.”

Sin’ auld lang syne, my dear
Sin’ auld lang syne

“At least we’re not freezing this year,” Elizabeth Spencer offered to her sullen husband Lucky.

“We’re some place we can’t afford to be,” Lucky muttered. “We can’t afford the tickets, the drinks, the dinner–”

“Hey, knock if off,” Elizabeth hissed with a worried glance to her in-laws. “I told you that my second job took care of these expenses. That’s why I took it–to give us some breathing room.”

“It ought to,” Lucky replied shortly, “You’re never home.”

Elizabeth rubbed her temple. “Can we not have this argument tonight?” she asked.

“It looks like my favorite nurse needs a drink,” Luke stepped up to the married couple and handed his daughter-in-law a margarita. “Have one on me.”

“Thanks, Luke,” Elizabeth sipped the drink gratefully. She’d thought a night out among friends would be a good idea but apparently, it just drove home to Lucky all the things they didn’t have. But a few more months at her second job would change that, she promised herself. And then things would be okay again.

“Hello, there, cousin dear,” Carly said, sidling up to the trio, “where’s my darling aunt?”

“Please don’t say that too loudly,” Laura Spencer sighed joining them. “I don’t want to remind people of our familial connection.”

“I hear you,” Carly sighed. “If my luck doesn’t turn soon, I might be related to the princess over there and I just can’t handle that prospect.” She shook her head. “Everyone having a good time? Enough to drink?”

“You don’t have to play nice,” Lucky remarked. “No one here actually cares if you get along with every single guest.” He set his drink on a nearby table, some of the liquid sloshing from the rim. “And everyone knows that we’re only here to–”

“Lucky,” Laura said softly, “that’s enough. Carly, we’re fine, here. Thanks for checking in.”

“I can’t even play nice hostess for one evening,” Carly muttered as she disappeared into the crowd.

“Lucky, I think you’ve had enough to drink for the night,” Laura reached for Lucky’s drink but he blocked her and picked the cup up to take another gulp.

“And I think I need another one,” he muttered. He took off towards the bar.

Elizabeth flushed and buried her embarrassment by focusing on her feet.

We’ve wandered mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld ang syne

“The party’s looking like a success,” Jax remarked as he caught Carly going towards Robin’s table. He pulled her out onto the dance floor.

“Did you ever doubt it?” Carly replied with a grin. She looked up at the ceiling. “The balloons and confetti will definitely come down right? I don’t want a repeat of the test run.”

“We certainly paid them enough,” Jax reported. He twirled her and did a dip. “Relax, no one thinks of you as Sonny’s ornament anymore. You’ve proved yourself.”

“That’s not what I’m worried about,” Carly said, bristling. She cast her eyes toward Commissioner Scorpio’s table and frowned at her mother showing off her ring to a enthusiastic Robin. “My mother’s engaged to Noah Drake.”

“That could put a crimp in your fling with Junior Drake.” Jax grinned. “Which was already on life support after he fell head over heels for Robin.”

“It’s an aberration,” Carly muttered. “He’s blinded by…I don’t know what exactly, but he’s got to be blind to date her for ten months.” She focused on Jax. “Not that I care. I don’t want him anyway, but he was a nice distraction.”

“You know, if Noah and Bobbie get married, you and Robin will practically be related,” Jax observed.

Carly glared at him. “That thought has occurred to me and I wish that you would never bring it up again. Besides, it’s not a remote possibility. I know men and that man is not the marrying type. Eventually, he’ll make that known to her and the precious princess will run crying in the other direction.”

Jax frowned. “I dislike admitting it, but you have a point. He doesn’t seem to be the faithful type.”

“Exactly,” Carly smacked his shoulder to emphasize her point. “Someone else sees it! I’m amazed he’s lasted this long, you know? I mean, they’ve been off and on but I bet it’s just a matter of time. I wouldn’t even need to meddle.” She grinned. “Not that that’s ever stopped me.”

“Carly, the last time you tried to meddle in their relationship, you ended up carrying on Lucy’s tradition at the Nurses’ Ball,” Jax reminded her. “Don’t you think you’ve learned your lesson?”

“That was a fluke,” Carly waved it off. “Besides, I either stop my mother’s wedding or…make Princess Purity see the light. The second way is easier and I have less guilt attached because Robin means nothing to me.”

“If she means nothing to you, why does it matter if you’re related to her through marriage?” Jax asked. “Which isn’t likely to happen.”

“Would you want to be related to Sonny through marriage?” Carly asked and then winced. “Right. Yeah. Never mind.”

“No, no, it’s okay.” Jax exhaled slowly. “I’m okay with Courtney not being here. And you’ve got a point. Before I met Courtney, I wouldn’t have wanted to be related to him for all the money in the world. Why not let it run its natural course, Carly?”

“Now, where would the fun be in that?”

We twa hae sported i’ the burn
From morning sun till dine

“Hey, partner,” Sonny Corinthos greeted Luke. “How’s the new year going so far?”

“Well, it actually hasn’t started yet, so it’s going pretty well,” Luke said absently, his eyes on his son and his wife as Elizabeth tried to take Lucky’s drink from him. “Yours?”

“Same as usual, I guess. I gotta say, it’s still good to see Laura around.” Sonny watched as Dillon Quartermaine swung Laura around the dance floor. “You look a thousand times better.”

“I’d feel even better if that weren’t happening,” Luke nodded towards Lucky and Elizabeth, whose arguing was rapidly spinning out of control. “I’d go break it up but I’m not sure how to do that without making it worse.”

“A situation like this calls for charm, something that you lack,” Sonny remarked. He ambled over to the duo. “Elizabeth, you’re looking lovely tonight.”

Elizabeth shut her mouth abruptly and smiled thinly at her old friend. “Sonny, I could say the same for you. Except that…well lovely isn’t right.”

“What do you want?” Lucky demanded rudely.

“A dance with the lovely Mrs. Spencer.” Sonny held out a hand and Elizabeth accepted it without a backwards glance to her fuming husband.

“You should be smiling tonight,” Sonny said softly once they were out on the dance floor.

“And you shouldn’t be with your newest flavor of the month, either,” Elizabeth replied with a soft sigh. She rested her forehead on his shoulder. “When did life get so complicated Sonny? We were happy once.”

“Sure, when you were kids and the future was bright and all the possibilities were at your fingertips,” Sonny replied.

Elizabeth leaned back a little frowned. “We were happy this time last year,” she argued.

“Were you?” Sonny asked. “I mean, really really happy?”

She sighed and put her head back on his shoulder. “Well, no. But we could have been. If not for the money. They knew what they were talking about when they said money is the root of all evil.”

“Well, not all evil.” Sonny sighed. “If you would just let me help–”

“No,” Elizabeth shook her head. “Absolutely not. It’s bad enough I’m hiding the job with you at the warehouse from Lucky. I could never explain where I got the money–”

“You shouldn’t have to hide either,” Sonny chastised.

“Lucky has his pride,” Elizabeth said. “I can’t take that from him. I don’t want to talk about this anymore–let’s talk about something else.”

“Okay…” Sonny let his eyes linger on the crowd where he knew Jason was lurking. “Would you do me a favor?”

“Anything,” she promised.

“Go over and say hi to Jason. He’s been hiding from Carly most of the night and I think he needs a friendly face. ”

“Done.”

Metro Court Hotel: Terrace

But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.

Skye Quartermaine braced a hand on her back and stared out over the elaborate gardens her ex-husband had planted behind the hotel. She had come only at his urging this year and wished she’d ignored him. After being all but abandoned by Lorenzo Alcazar, the last thing she needed was to see the happiness of Luke and Laura Spencer, even though Skye was naturally thrilled for Luke.

This had been a nightmare of a year but Skye was going to put that all behind her now. She had other responsibilities to worry about–to concentrate on and she would make the most of it.

Someone cleared their throat at the terrace doors and she turned to see who had intruded on her moment of privacy.

“Skye–” Lorenzo broke off in mid sentence as he took in her full figure–at nine months pregnant. “You’re pregnant.”

“Nothing gets by you,” Skye said dryly. She started towards the door. “Welcome back, Lorenzo,” she said flippantly as she went past him. He touched her elbow.

“Skye…you didn’t tell me before I left,” Lorenzo said quietly.

“I didn’t know and once you were gone…” Skye shrugged. “With no word for six months, I didn’t even know you’d care.”

“There were circumstances–” Lorenzo began.

“There always are,” Skye cut in. “Something is always more important than me. Well, not anymore. Happy New Year, Lorenzo.”

She disappeared inside.

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

Sin’ auld lang syne, my dear
Sin’ auld lang syne

10…

The countdown began just as Elizabeth joined Jason in the corner. “I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year,” she began.

Jason’s lips curved into a half smile. “Sonny didn’t want me to be alone, you mean.”

“He’s worried about you,” Elizabeth said quietly. “I am, too.”

But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.

9, 8…

Lorenzo tracked Skye down at the doors to the restaurant. “That’s all you’re going to say?” he demanded. “You’re pregnant, Skye!”

“Yes, I am. It never supposed to be possible,” Skye spat at him, “but it is and you left me. What else is there to say?”

Port Charles Airport

And ther’s a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine;

7, 6…

A man stepped out of the gate and his driver. It was hell trying to get a cab at the airport these days, especially on a holiday and he was in a mood to avoid it altogether.

He spotted his driver standing near the luggage claim and hoisted his carry on over his shoulder and strode towards the card bearing his name.

Jerry Jacks.

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

5, 4…

“I can’t believe she left me for him,” Jesse Beaudry snarls in the general direction of Maxie and Kyle. He sips his drink and turns to his partner. “It just doesn’t make any sense. I’m a cop, I work with her dad–”

“All girls want bad boys,” Lucky muttered. He eyes fell on his wife, speaking to the worst of them all.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,

3, 2…

Carly was headed for Jason’s corner when Jax stepped in front of her. “We’re not off to begin our plan of mayhem are we?”

“No, I’m going to find Jason and make sure he’s not alone.” Carly tried to side step him but Jax blocked her again. “No one should be alone at midnight.”

“Precisely,” Jax grinned. He took her hand in his and kissed it. “So keep me company then.”

We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet

1…

“I’m fine,” Jason insisted. He glanced over the crowd, who were quickly counting down the last second of 2006. “Happy New Year, Elizabeth.”

She smiled wistfully and reached up to kiss his cheek. “It will be, because of you.”

“Happy New Year!”

For auld lang syne

 

Collision — Chapter One

Monday, January 1, 2007

General Hospital: Locker Room

“Just the way I want to start the new year,” Robin sighed as she spun the combination for the lock and pulled it open. “A shift in the ER.”

Elizabeth glanced over from her own locker. “It could be worse.”

“Yeah, I suppose.” Robin tugged her scrubs top on. “It could be a double shift.”

Elizabeth tied her hair up and closed the locker door. “Oh…it might as well be. I’m on until three and then I’m picking Cameron up from day care, dropping him at my grandmother’s so I can work until nine at my second job.”

“You’re going to work a thirteen hour day?” Robin asked. She clipped her pager to her waistband.

“I usually work sixteen, so this will be a bit of a break for me,” Elizabeth replied, “but they didn’t need me in this morning until eight.” She pinned her ID badge to her shirt. “Did you have fun at the party last night?”

“Most of it, yeah.” Robin put her white jacket on and followed Elizabeth into the hallway. “It was weird to be sharing a holiday with my entire family. With my parents. But Jax kept Carly away from the table all night so that helped. What about you?”

“It was fine. Better than I would have expected going to a party hosted by Carly Corinthos.” Elizabeth stepped into the nurse’s station and scanned her patient list for that shift. “It was nice to see everyone together.”

“Yeah, yeah, it was.” Robin took a chart from the stack and slid it under her arm. “I’ll catch you for some coffee later?”

“Sure.”

Robin disappeared down the hallway as the elevator doors slid open and Skye stepped out. She slowly made her way to the nurse’s station. “Hey, Elizabeth. I have an appointment with Dr. Lee.”

“Yeah, she’s running a little behind schedule. Do you want help sitting down?” Elizabeth asked.

Skye shifted uncomfortably. “Ah, no. It’d probably be better if I stayed standing.” She touched the small of her back. “Some party last night.”

“That’s what everyone’s saying,” Elizabeth murmured. “I’ve paged Dr. Lee for you, so she knows you’re waiting. If you need anything…”

“Elizabeth…” Skye bit her lip and leaned forward. “I couldn’t help but notice that Lucky was…well…he spent a lot of time at the bar. I just…if there’s anything you need…”

“It was a party, Skye. Everyone spent some time at the bar.” Elizabeth picked up a chart. “Dr. Lee will be with you shortly.”

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

“You’re up early,” Carly chirped. She sat in the seat across from Patrick without waiting for an invitation. “Whatever happened to sleeping in on New Year’s?” she wondered as she signaled for a waiter.

“I have a shift at the hospital,” Patrick said flatly. He took a sip of his coffee.

Carly ordered her own cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin. “So, I guess you’ve heard the news.”

“That we’re going to be step siblings?” he replied. “Yeah, sure.” He shrugged. “We’re too old for it to really matter to either of us so whatever keeps my dad sober.”

“Well, my mother doesn’t have the track record of successful marriages.” Carly thought for a moment. “She might still be married to Tony Jones if I hadn’t seduced him though.” She shook away that horrible memory. “Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you weren’t considering any insane and terrifying thoughts that end with me related to Saint Robin through marriage.”

Patrick’s coffee went down his windpipe and he started coughing. “What the hell?” he managed to say.

“I’m just making sure you’re not planning any permanent commitments,” Carly said innocently. “And from your reaction, that would be a no.”

Patrick coughed again and took a long sip of water. “Carly, I don’t know what gives you the right to ask questions like that–”

“You’re my friend and I want to make sure you don’t do anything you can’t take back. I’ve been trying to tell you for months that she’s poison–”

Patrick tossed his napkin onto the table. “You don’t know anything about Robin or our relationship.”

“It would be a mistake,” Carly said firmly. “Because she’s always going to want something you can’t give her.” She leaned forward and lowered her voice. “She’s a family girl, Patrick. Despite her disease, she wants a family, she wants children. I know that about her just like I know that’s the last thing you want.”

Patrick hesitated for a brief moment before standing. “Put the bill on my room tab,” he muttered.

As he left the restaurant, a man stepped by him and grinned when he saw the blonde still seated at Patrick’s table. She was sipping her coffee and smiling to herself. “Hello, Carly,” Jerry remarked. “Ruin someone’s life today?”

Carly leapt up from her chair, startled. “Jerry–you-you’re supposed to be in jail–or on the run–” Her eyes narrowed and she took a step towards him. “So help me God, if you’re here to bother my mother–”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Jerry held up a hand. “Bobbie’s settled in her life, I understand that. I’m here to see my brother. I know he lives in one of the penthouses but I’m not sure which one. I was hoping you could direct me towards it–”

“Top floor,” Carly said, irritated. “Stay away from my mother–she’s happy now.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Jerry saluted her and headed for the bank of elevators. She glared after him for a long moment before she brightened.

If she couldn’t finish off Robin and Patrick…Jerry would be a nice addition for the Bobbie and Noah side of the plan.

Jones-Scorpio House: Living Room

Bobbie wiggled her finger in Felicia’s face. “Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?” She sat next to her friend on the sofa. “And he asked in the most darling way.”

“It’s nice to see you so happy,” Felicia replied. She grabbed Bobbie’s hands and squeezed. “Since Tony died last winter, it’s only with Noah and Lucas that you’ve even smiled.”

“It was a tough year,” Bobbie said softly. “But Noah makes me happy and I know Carly will accept it in time.”

“Carly…” Felicia rolled her eyes. “She’s a harpy–do you know how she’s tortured my poor Robin this last year? It’s no wonder Mac doesn’t like Patrick, if he’s going to associate with that…” She sighed. “I know she’s your daughter, Bobbie, but she drives the rest of world crazy. I wouldn’t worry too much about her acceptance.”

“She’s my daughter, Felicia. I have to love her anyway.” Bobbie leaned back against the pillows and closed her eyes. “But she drives me crazy most of the time. I wish she would just back off Patrick–she only does it to annoy Robin.”

“That’s what I keep telling Mac.” Felicia smiled. “But no one’s good enough for his girls.” She twisted her hands together. “Which is I think we should adopt a boy. With three girls, Mac needs a boy, I think.”

Bobbie frowned. “Adopt? Boy? Did I miss a chapter somewhere? When did you two decide to adopt?”

“Before Christmas,” Felicia replied with a slow smile. “We want children but…I’m not exactly looking forward to the idea of pregnancy not to mention that neither one of us wants to wait nine months. We’ve been remarried for four months and trying just as long. I mean, if it happens, it happens but the girls are out of the house and they have their own lives…you don’t think it’s a bad idea, do you?”

“No, no–I think it’s fabulous and there’s no one that deserves children of his own more than Mac.” Bobbie bit her lip. “Not that he doesn’t think of Robin, Maxie and Georgie as his own but…well…you know what I mean…”

“No, I do know and I’ve been very lucky that my girls have had Mac in their life.” Felicia frowned. “Anyway, we’re just in the preliminary stages naturally. We contacted a lawyer who has an excellent reputation and we’re just waiting for the call now.”

“Well, I think that is going to a great year for both of us then.” Bobbie reached forward and hugged her best friend. “Just as long as nothing goes wrong.”

Felicia laughed. “Don’t tempt Fate.”

Metro Court Hotel: Jax’s Penthouse

The last person Jax expected to see when he opened his penthouse door that morning was his fugitive brother leaned against the door frame. “Hello there, little brother,” Jerry said cheerfully.

Jax frowned, glanced up and down the hallway before focusing on his brother. “You’re awfully nonchalant for someone who I last saw running from the authorities.”

“Oh, that.” Jerry grinned and ambled past his brother and headed for the table where Jax’s breakfast was set up. He seated himself and poured a glass of orange juice. “I made a deal of course. In exchange for some information and signing my life away to the WSB, the charges against me disappeared.”

“Right,” Jax drawled. He slid his hands into the pockets of his pants. “When did this deal get made?”

“Oh, going on seven years now,” Jerry replied. He pointed at Jax’s plate of scrambled eggs, sausage links and toast. “Are you going to eat that?” Without waiting for his brother to answer, he took the plate and set it across from him. “Sorry about not keeping in touch, part of the deal.”

“Well, I always like wondering if my brother is dead or alive.” Jax shifted. “You heard about Dad, right?”

Jerry sobered for a moment, “Yeah,” he said quietly. “I was up to see Mum before coming here. As soon as I was able to, Jasper, I came to see my family. I hope you believe that.”

“Okay, I’ll accept that.” Jax finally relaxed and sat across from his brother. “So what brings you to Port Charles?”

“Well, unofficially to let you know that I’m still alive and officially to recruit an old member of the organization to help me out on a case. I’ve tracked a girl wanted for questioning in a smuggling ring from Greece. She’s holed up here in PC and I’m looking up the old recruit to get his help. Plus, the WSB likes to remind people that even if they are retired, you never get out.” Jerry raised his glass to his brother. “Cheers, mate.”

Jax sighed and sat back. “Well, at any rate, it’s nice to see you’re alive. Have you stopped by Bobbie’s?”

“God no,” Jerry said, sounding horrified. “She would kill me. I’m staying clear of that particular redhead, believe you me.”

Spencer House: Lulu’s Room

Nik,

So big brother, are you finished sulking in Greece yet? Because we could really use the big bad Cassadine branch of the family back in PC.

Life is getting kind of crazy. Mom’s her usual overbearing self–trying to make up for four years of absence. I keep telling her it’s all good but she insists on joining every parent club at school and having mother-daughter nights. I like to humor her and besides, she’s still one of the coolest moms.

Lucky is insane and I wish I meant that in a fun way. We were at this totally awesome party at the Metro Court and he got seriously wasted. I felt so bad for poor Liz, I mean, she had to go home with them. Dad and Mom argued again about them again last night. Mom wants to give them money and Dad says Lucky would never accept it which is totally right because Lucky’s got that annoying Spencer pride going for him and it makes me want to scream because he’s so unhappy and Liz is totally miserable. She works way too hard and the only time she sees anyone is when we stop by the hospital. She’s also got this mysterious second job that she’s tight lipped about.

So Dillon got a letter from Emily last week and not that I’m trying to you know make a point or anything but Em’s doing okay. I know you’d never ask, but whatever, it has to be said. Dillon thinks she’s lonely in NYC all by herself but if you ask me, that girl makes herself miserable. It’s like a train ride away and she could totally visits but she’s probably super embarrassed at the way her relationship with the big bad mobster crashed and burned.

School’s okay. It’s not tons of fun or anything, but it’s so lonely now that Georgie’s all graduated and in college. I’m the only one left and I can’t wait to graduate. Every time I bring it up, Mom gets all teary eyed like she can’t believe her baby’s all grown up. Very sickening.

So, listen, it would be tre fab if you would just come home. If Courtney wanted to be found, she would be. And she’s an idiot if she chose to run instead of choosing between you and Jax. I mean, he’s way old but he’s like a millionaire and not that I’m biased, but you’re all kinds of cute. She’s a twit and you deserve better.

So…come home already!

Always,

 Lu

Lulu pressed send on her email screen and then scanned her incoming messages. She clicked on one from Georgie.

Lu,

We have got to talk! Don’t call me, Dillon’s here and he’ll hear us. So, reply when you get this so we can set up a time and place.

Georgie

Lulu rolled her eyes and replied to Georgie. One day the girl would have to learn that she was only Georgie’s friend because Lulu was friends with Dillon. They were not long lost soul sisters, they were not close. Honestly, Georgie grated on her nerves at times with her eternal naivety. Life was not perfect and after they’d been cut off by the Quartermaines, they’d both been forced to take jobs. If not for Georgie’s scholarships, she wouldn’t even be in college.

It was all well and good to get married when they thought Dillon would die but they should have had it annulled after he got well. So what if they would have decided to tie the knot eventually? That didn’t mean they were ready at eighteen.

But she was still Dillon’s wife and Lulu respected that for the most part so she played nice and was now privy to a very annoying secret. She hated the fact that her parents had drilled into her the idea when you swear to keep a secret, you keep it.

No matter who it hurts.

Lansing Apartment: Bedroom

“Can I please…can I please just hold her a little longer?” Alexis Davidovitch asked the nurse softly. She touched the soft hair on her daughter’s head and wondered if it would turn darker like her own hair or stay the light brown like her father’s.

“You’re really not supposed to,” the nurse replied sympathetically. “But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt…” She touched Alexis on the shoulder and gestured towards the hallway. “I’ll wait outside.”

“I wish I could keep you,” Alexis whispered to her daughter. “But I can’t. I hope you’ll be given to parents who can love you without reservations, with conditions. I hope that they will love and encourage you to be whoever you want to be.”

She shifted the small bundle and grasped one of her daughter’s hands with her pinky. “I wonder what your new family will name you. I’m not allowed to do it officially but I think I’ll always think of you as Kristen, for my mother.”

There was a soft knock on the door and the nurse smiled sadly. “I’m sorry, but it’s time.”

Alexis jerked away and sat up, rubbing sleep out of her eyes. She wasn’t in a home for unwed mothers but in her bedroom, in the apartment that she shared with her husband. She looked at her daughters, Kristina and Molly curled up in the bed next to her as they napped and she bit her lip, remembering her daughter that she had loved so fiercely and so briefly all those years ago.

She had put Kristen out of her head for years, successfully pretending that she had never been a mother, never carried a child but the dreams about holding Kristen had begun haunting her when Kristina had needed a bone marrow transplant. Alexis had contemplated finding her daughter at that point–had even called a lawyer but then Sam’s baby had presented an opportunity that would allow Alexis’s secret to be kept and she had put Kristen out of her mind again.

And since the virus, when Ric had had that awful hallucination about his mother giving him up and Alexis had briefly flashed back to the moment she’d given her own child away, she’d never been able to put Kristen out of her mind again.

Alexis sighed and rubbed her eyes again. Kristen would be almost twenty-seven now. Far too old to look up and present herself as her mother. It would be ridiculous and once again, Alexis put the thought out of her head once.

PCU: Georgie and Dillon’s Dorm Apartment

“It’s a good thing you got a scholarship.”

Georgie looked up from her letter, a guilty expression on her face. “What?”

Dillon never glanced up from his computer where he was balancing their budget. “My tuition for this semester nearly put us in the red so it’s good that you had your scholarship,” he repeated.

“Oh…” Georgie sighed and looked back at the letter she was writing to Diego, congratulating him on his upcoming early release and repeating her promise not to tell his father or any of her friends. She’d been unable to keep the information to herself and since Lulu Spencer had once become privy to her letter writing, she had seemed to be the right person to tell.

Georgie had become a lot more careful about hiding her correspondence with Diego Alcazar since Lulu had accidentally found a letter on her desk when she’d been visiting their apartment last semester. She kept them under lock and key and each time she set another letter on the growing pile, she promised herself that she would tell Dillon when the time was right.

Not that the time had ever been right. After the virus and their hasty marriage, they’d been thrown into early adulthood when Tracy had cut her son off financially. Dillon had gotten a full-time job that summer and Georgie had worked, too and together they had scraped enough money together to live on this academic year but she knew she had another summer of work to look forward to.

It was worth it, she told herself every morning when she had to make a choice between paying for gas in their car or eating breakfast with her sister. Being married to Dillon made it all worth it.

She hoped that the more she repeated it, the more she would believe it.

The door to their tiny apartment swung open and an annoyed Maxie entered, dropping her purse on the floor by the door and flung herself on their couch. “I had another run in with Jesse,” she sighed.

“He’s still giving you a hard time?” Dillon asked as he saved their meager budget plan and shut the lid of his laptop. “I honestly would have thought that he’d be over that.” He tilted his head as if considering the situation again. “Then again, you did dump him for Kyle Radcliffe, so it’s understandable he’s somewhat miffed.”

“Come on, all of that crap was four years ago,” Maxie complained. “Kyle’s at Yale, you know. He’s going to law school, he’s a great guy and he makes me happy.”

“Well, Jesse thought he was a great guy and that he made you happy,” Georgie pointed out. “Can you blame him for being upset that you dumped him for someone else?”

“No,” Maxie admitted. “But it was six months ago.” She sighed impatiently. “I just want him to get over it and move on. We weren’t even together all that long, you know?”

“Nine months might not seem long to you, but it’s long to guys. It’s practically a lifetime commitment,” Dillon told her. “Just be patient, Max. Eventually, he’s gotta realize he’s mooning over you and want to smack himself.”

Maxie glared at him. “Bite me.”

Port Charles Police Department: Squad Room

Lucky dropped his coat on his chair and slumped into his chair, yawning and rubbing his face. Jesse leaned across his adjoining desk. “You’re late, you know.”

“No, I couldn’t tell,” Lucky muttered. He shook his head and reached a file on the top of pile of pending investigations. Before he could even flip it open, his named was bellowed from the commissioner’s office.

“Spencer, get in here!”

Lucky sighed and ambled his way towards Mac’s office, not in the mood to hear any litany of his behavior for the last few months. So what if he’d been late a few times? He’d done his work, he’d made his shifts. What was Mac always harping about anyway?

“You were late again,” Mac said as soon as Lucky closed the door behind him. “This is the fifth time in the last four weeks.”

Lucky shrugged. “I overslept. I’m sorry.” He clasped his hands behind his back and assumed his usual defensive stance. “What do you want from me?”

“I want you to do your damn job. You’re late, your paperwork is sloppy and I’m concerned about how much drinking you’ve been doing–”

Lucky bristled. “I don’t drink on duty.”

“Maybe not but you barely walked away from the bar last night,” Mac pointed out.

“What I do in my off hours is none of your business,” Lucky snarled. Mac’s eyes narrowed at the tone.

“No,” Mac drawled, “but when you’re too hung over to do your job, that makes it my business. Shape up, Lucky. You’re on probation as of right now. Get your act together or find yourself suspended and facing the review board, you got that?”

“Fine,” Lucky muttered. He stalked out of the office and back to his desk where he grabbed his jacket. “Let’s go,” he barked at Jesse before heading out of the squad room.

Corinthos-Morgan Warehouse: Office

Elizabeth switched her on her computer and then dialed in for the messages. As each message played, she jotted down the name of the caller, their return number and the general gist of the call. It was safe, boring work and it allowed her to wind down a bit after the difficult shift she’d just gone through.

Robin had been in a bad mood when they’d taken their coffee break that morning–she and Patrick had had one of their customary arguments though Robin seemed mystified about this particular one. She’d merely asked him what he wanted to do that night and he flew off the handle at the idea of making any plans whatsoever and Robin taking him for granted.

Elizabeth usually got the urge to smack Patrick upside the head after one of these occasions. If he’d just stop being such a man, maybe the two of them wouldn’t break up every few weeks or so.

She started to sort the mail that had come in during her last few days off and glanced up when Sonny entered. “Hey–I didn’t think you’d be in today.”

“Carly has the boys for the afternoon. I didn’t think you’d be in today,” Sonny turned it around. “It is a holiday, you know.” He sat in the chair across from her desk.

She smiled faintly. “Lucky had work and it just seemed like a good time to pick up some extra hours here. Besides, it’s nice and quiet here–I definitely need the silence after today.”

“Busy day saving lives?” Sonny quipped. He stood and went to the coffee machine to pour himself a cup.

“Busy day playing best friend to a pair of idiots,” Elizabeth replied. She slit another letter open and stamped it received. “Patrick is getting his monthly dose of cold feet and Robin’s being snarky about it. Nothing puts her in a bad mood more than remembering she’s dating the definition of a ladies man.”

Sonny scowled and sipped his coffee. “She deserves better than Patrick Drake,” he muttered. “She deserves someone who will give her the family and the attention she deserves.”

“Oh, he’s in love with her,” Elizabeth assured him. “He won’t admit it to himself or anyone else, but you’d have to be deaf, dumb or blind not to see it.” She considered it. “Or you’d have to be Robin. Anyway, he’s mostly a good guy. I was actually surprised to hear he was up to old behavior. They’ve been doing so well.” She shrugged. “Have you been to the club today?”

“Nah, I’ll stop by tonight for the New Year’s Day party. Are you going?” Sonny asked.

“I can’t. Lucky’s on until midnight and I want to spend some time with Cameron. I feel like I’ve barely seen him.” Elizabeth gathered up the mail and the various messages before she stood.

“We’ve talked about this, Elizabeth,” Sonny said quietly. “Anytime you want to come here full time–I’d make it worth your while. Flexible schedule, excellent pay.”

“You shouldn’t tempt me on a day like today,” Elizabeth replied with a wry smile. “I love my job and eventually, I’ll have some room to breathe and I won’t have to work myself so hard.”

Sonny sighed and reached for his stack of mail and messages. “Is Jason in yet?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No, I’m not sure when he’ll be in today but he said he’d be in. Do you want me to send him in when he gets here?”

Sonny nodded and disappeared into his office. Elizabeth set Jason’s mail and messages on his desk and then went back to the outer office to type some memos and made herself busy. She knew they didn’t really need a secretary when she’d began working but Sonny had been kind enough to create this job for her when he’d become aware of her financial difficulties.

Shortly after returning for his search for Sam, he’d been down on the docks and Elizabeth had been sitting on a bench staring at the latest of the collection notices. They’d cut her hours at work and Cameron’s medical bills had sent their debt soaring. She’d been on the verge of tears and really, it had only taken a kind word from Sonny before all the depression, desperation and bitterness had flown from her like an angry wave.

He’d handed her a handkerchief from his coat and told her to come over to the warehouse so they could work things out. She’d been at such a low point that she’d accepted a position that had been really no more than charity at that point but Sonny had sworn off romance and instead threw himself into the legitimate side of his business so by the beginning of the new year, the orders were pouring in and Elizabeth actually had something to do. It had helped her financially but with the longer hours away from home, it was slowly breaking down her marriage.

She put that out of her mind and focused on the task at hand. Jason came in, looking a little tired and got himself a cup of coffee. After some small talk–he always asked about Cameron–he disappeared into his office.

No more than ten minutes later, Jason exited with a thin manila envelope in his hand. Elizabeth knew that envelope–she set it on his desk every week without fail and hoping that for once, it would hold some good news. After he and Sonny had given up the personal search for Sam, Jason had hired a private investigator to keep up the effort and each week, he sent his progress report.

And each week, it held same words. No sign of Samantha McCall.

“I want you to throw this out,” Jason said. He set it back on her desk. “And I need you to contact Andrews to tell them that I no longer require their services.”

Elizabeth bit her lip. “Jason, are you sure? I mean, they could still find her–”

“It’s been a year,” Jason interrupted. “A year with no word. If something had happened to her, I would have…there would have been something to go on. But there’s been no sign of her. She doesn’t want to be found and I’m through caring about where she went.”

“Okay,” Elizabeth agreed. She took the envelope and set it aside her desk before reaching for her telephone book to find the number for Andrews Investigations. “You’re not even going to open this one?”

“No,” Jason said. “It’ll say the same thing the last fifty have said. There’s no word. Just toss it, okay?”

“Okay,” Elizabeth repeated. When he was back in his office, she set it inside a drawer in her desk. Just in case.

May 11, 2016

I have literally eaten, breathed, and slept school work for the last two weeks — when I wasn’t actually working. From sunup to sundown, I studied Macroeconomics, education, trade networks in the early modern period, and the U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic, 1916-1924.

I just emailed my last paper. This semester is done. I can’t even process that right now. I’m going to relax today, go to training tomorrow for my summer job, and then work on Friday.

And then next week, once my brain has relaxed and recharged, I’m going to write. So see you guys in June with the first chapters of Bittersweet and a better idea of what the summer is going to bring you at Crimson Glass. Thanks for your support. I can’t wait to get back to creative writing!