November 18, 2017

Hey, just checking in another update. I wrote a ton this week (around 15,000 words) and I realized I had kind of…taken this story in a direction that didn’t quite work. It doesn’t really change much and I only have to go back and rewrite a few scenes in the last four chapters, but *fingers crossed* I should be around Chapter 22 by the end of the weekend, if not further along. I anticipate finishing through at least Chapter 30 during November, and finishing off the last four in the first week of December.

I’m currently at 39,826 words, so I’ll probably finish the 50,000 word goal sometime this week.

Since I had to delete some material, there are two snippets that aren’t going to be reused in the revised versions that I really liked. One of which is spoiler material, so I’ll that back until I post Chapter 19.

But this snippet with Gia telling a story doesn’t give anything away and was funny–at least I thought so 😛


“Hey,” Elizabeth said as she and Gia joined the group. She slid her arm around Jason’s waist waist, his went around her shoulders as she curled into a half-embrace. “Sorry we’re late. Gia got into an argument with the officer who gives out tickets in our neighborhood.”

“It was 9:01 and we were right in front of the car. She wants to write me a ticket, she’s going to have do it over my dead body,” Gia declared. “I threw out Marcus’s name, but of course she’s a bitter ex-girlfriend.” She scowled.

“She nearly got us arrested,” Elizabeth offered with a roll of her eyes.

Courtney managed a smile, and AJ had some amusement in his eyes. Which is why she had told the story.

“How’d you get out of it?” Bobbie asked, folding her arms rightly across her chest. “The last time Gia got into an argument with the parking officer—”

“By the way, when are you due in court for that?” Courtney asked.

“There is no way that she can get me for double parking. By the time she got there, the other car was gone, which means at best, I’m a shitty parker—”

“You keep getting cited for disorderly conduct, they’ll never let you be a lawyer,” AJ told her. “Right, Diane?”

“Well, if you have the right attorney…” the redhead produced a card from nowhere. “Diane Miller.”

Gia took the card. “Let me tell you, if my idiot brother keeps breaking the hearts of the female officers in the parking authority, I’m gonna kill him. You do criminal law, too?”

And this time, she saw a ghost of a smile at the corners of Jason’s lips which made her feel much better.

“Anyway,” Gia continued, tucking the card away, “I would still be there fighting for the common man—”

“You were parked illegally, Gia,” Elizabeth said, rolling her eyes.

“—but Elizabeth started to hassle me about places we needed to be. So I took the ticket. But I’m not happy.”


 

 

November 8, 2017

Hey! I just wanted to let you guys know how it’s going. We’re a week in and I’m at around 14,000 ish words which is great. I’ve written three chapters and I’m about halfway through a fourth. If I keep that rate up (four chapters a week), I might not quite finish Bittersweet, but I’ll only be a chapter or so away.

Had a bit of a setback today after writing 1100 word scene from Elizabeth’s POV that really needs to be from Jason’s POV. I had the same issue writing The Best Thing. My first draft of the opening scene was from Elizabeth’s POV, but TBT is definitely Jason’s journey and everything was easier once I started making his voice more present. So I have to rewrite it. But it’ll be better for it, I’m sure.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter or check out my Twitter feed widget because I’ve posted a few small snippets from Bittersweet thanks to the new 280-character limit.

November 2, 2017

While I’m working on NaNoWriMo (going great so far, added another 1100 words today!) I decided to add a workshop series with the various opening scenes I wrote for Bittersweet to kind of demonstrate how tough it can be to open a story and how if it doesn’t work, there’s nothing wrong with going back. None of these are bad — in fact, the deleted chapter is actually relatively good. But I wasn’t happy with my timeline or the tone I was setting for the Jason and Elizabeth relationship, so I kept going back until I found something that worked for me.

Some of the dialogue ended up being used, some of the prose as well. But they just weren’t quite right. That’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo — you can try out all the ideas until something clicks. Eventually it will.

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Bittersweet Opening Scenes

This was actually my original plan for Chapter 1 but I didn’t finish it and the final scene still only has dialogue.


Chapter One

Get up, get out, get away from these liars
‘Cause they don’t get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we’ll walk from this dark room for the last time
Open Your Eyes, Snow Patrol

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Elm Street

Spring had arrived early in upstate New York that year—the cherry blossom trees lining Elm Street were already in bloom as the sound of a motorcycle broke through the stillness of the early afternoon.

The bike rolled to a stop in front of a three-story brownstone as Jason Morgan switched off the ignition and studied the building for a long moment.

He hadn’t planned to come back to this town. Not after the events of the last few years. After losing Robin and Michael, after the Sonny and Carly debacle, after that day in the park…

He hadn’t had a choice. Not when Sonny’s phone call reached him in India. It had taken nearly a week, but Jason had called in all the favors he could muster in order to come home as soon as possible.

Jason parked the bike and started up the stairs, dreading this visit. Dreading the thought that maybe in the twenty-four hours since he’d spoken to Sonny, something had happened.

He knocked on the door. A moment later, he saw a rustling at the curtains. It was another few minutes before the door was finally opened.

Jason blinked and took a slight step back, swallowing. “Hey. I—I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

Looking just as stunned as he felt, Elizabeth Webber nodded slowly. “Jason. I’m—I’m staying with Michael while Bobbie is laying down.”

She stepped back, opening the door wider. He considered making an excuse and coming back later, but he wasn’t someone who walked away from a difficult situation.

He just—he didn’t know what to say to her.

It had been a year—almost to the day—since their last meeting. Since he’d put himself on the line and asked her to leave Port Charles with him.

Since she’d said no.

She looked different—her hear was longer, her eyes were tired. She was thinner, though she’d never carried much weight on her small frame.

But she was still Elizabeth, and he hadn’t quite prepared himself for this conversation. Maybe he’d thought he could avoid it.

Though that now seemed like a strange fantasy of the sort he didn’t normally allow himself.

Conscious of the fact he’d allowed the moment to lapse into a tense silence, he cleared his throat. “I wanted to see how she was…” But he trailed off, because it seemed like a stupid thing to say.

“Yeah…” Elizabeth closed the door, brushing his shoulder as she did so. He stayed still, but her cheeks were flushed when she lifted her eyes to his, as if even the merest physical interaction reminded her of the previous spring.

Of all the things that had happened between them, and maybe some that hadn’t.

“She hasn’t had much sleep since…” she lifted her shoulder. “Dr. Collins prescribed some sleeping pills, but she wouldn’t take them until today.”

He nodded. “Where’s—What about Michael?”

She gestured into the open living room, and Jason saw his—his nephew, he told himself, just his nephew. He saw the little boy with shaggy blonde hair curled up on the sofa, his eyes closed with a crayon still loosely clutched in his hand.

“He’s coping,” Elizabeth replied She folded her arms, her gaze troubled. “He keeps asking for Carly, but Bobbie hasn’t wanted to tell him—”

And now Jason had to ask the question. “I haven’t—I haven’t talked to anyone since yesterday. Has there been any—”

Elizabeth’s lips pressed together, but her eyes changed. Sadness crept in. “Oh.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

He didn’t want to hear her answer.

“They called off the search this morning,” she said softly, opening her eyes and meeting his gaze. “The Coast Guard is finishing out the day, but they—today is the last day.”

His chest tightened, and he took an involuntary step back towards the door. If they were calling off the search, that meant—

“It’s only been a week,” he protested, but it sounded inane even to his ears. A week was long enough. Longer than many searches last.

Elizabeth nodded, tucking her hair behind her ears. “Sonny offered to keep funding a private search, but the Coast Guard told him it’s not about the money. The area where Carly had the accident—” She paused a moment, swallowing. “It’s the same place as Brenda’s accident.”

And Jason remembered what they’d said about that search. “The current dragged her car out before Jax could call in the report. And the lake—it’s too big to search—too deep—”

Carly’s car had gone over the cliff. Had she died before the car hit the water? Had she drowned—He shook his head. He’d never know, so there was no point in thinking about it.

“That’s the theory, yeah.” She folded her arms, shifting her weight and looking uncomfortable. “I’m sorry, Jason.”

He nodded, then looked around. He had his answers now.There was no point in lingering. But how often should he expect to see her here?

He didn’t want to see her, to think about her. To think about who she went home to. He could put her out of his head during the last year, but not now. Not in Port Charles. It would be an impossible task.

“I forgot you and Bobbie were close,” Jason said after a long moment. “I guess since the wedding—”

“I live upstairs,” she said at the same time, but then stopped. Elizabeth tilted her head, frowning. “What wedding?”

Was she going to force him to say it? “Yours. You-you were supposed to get married. At New Year’s.”

The last time he’d asked Sonny about her, that had been the plan. Sonny would have said something if it had changed.

“Oh.” Elizabeth’s cheeks flushed. “No. I didn’t—Gia and I—we live upstairs.”

Jason hesitated, because he didn’t know what to do with that information. How to process it. “I hadn’t heard.”

“It’s a long story,” she said, with a careless shrug of her shoulder. “I’ve been helping out with Michael as much as I can. It’s the least I can do since Sonny and Bobbie have always been so good to me. And…” The flush in her cheeks deepened as she looked away. “Well…you know.”

That her devotion to Michael stemmed from the way Jason felt about the little boy didn’t surprise him. Elizabeth had always been loyal.

And he wanted to change the subject. He didn’t—she wasn’t married, but that didn’t mean anything. “They’re sure Carly’s accident was—that it was an accident?”

“The PCPD thinks so,” Elizabeth said, looking relieved to be off the topic of her personal life. “Scott is pushing them to keep investigating. To be sure.”

Jason huffed at that. “I’ll bet.”

“Oh…” she shook her head. “No, it’s not about Sonny. I mean, yeah, Sonny said they asked about that, but Sonny and Carly have really gone their separate ways. I mean, I can’t even remember the last time they were even in the same room.”

Jason frowned. He didn’t understand—that wasn’t the way Sonny had described their post-divorce relationship. And… “What about Michael? Sonny adopted him. Didn’t he?”

“No, Carly decided not to go through with it.” She looked at the sleeping child. “He still has your name.”

“My—” Jason swallowed hard. That didn’t make sense. “Why?”

“Because Carly always believed she’d leave AJ to come back to you.” Elizabeth shrugged. “She kept putting off the name change and then Sonny never adopted him, so he’s still Michael Morgan.”

And now that he thought about it—that explanation made sense. Carly had schemed to come back to him almost until the day she married Sonny, and her marriage to AJ had been brief.

She continued, “Jason, I don’t know if you know anything about Carly’s will—”

“I didn’t know she had one.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth looked away. “Sonny made her get one after the divorce. In case of the Quartermaines—”

And now that he thought about it, if Sonny hadn’t adopted Michael, he was surprised AJ and the Quartermaines hadn’t swooped in and taken him away already. Which meant—

“She left me guardianship, didn’t she?” Jason asked. The foyer felt smaller, as if the walls were closing in. He wouldn’t be able to make this a quick trip. He was stuck in Port Charles. At least until custody was settled.

And if the Quartermaines had their way, it wouldn’t be until shortly after the birth of Michael’s first child.

“This isn’t how it was supposed to be,” he said, more to himself than anyone else. He’d given Sonny and Carly all the information they needed to keep Michael with them. He was supposed to be free. Finally.

Elizabeth looked miserable, her fingers twisting in front of her. “I just—I just thought you should have some warning. I didn’t know what you knew—”

Nothing. Clearly.

“Edward came to tell Bobbie how sorry he was, but he wanted to talk to Michael, too.”

Jason focused on her at that statement. “What did he say to him?”

“I wouldn’t let him,” Elizabeth said. “I don’t have anything against Edward personally. He’s always been nice to me, but I just—I know he and AJ are planning to do something at some point. I was afraid Edward would upset Michael.”

“How do you know what they’re planning?” And why was Elizabeth privy to so much about Sonny and Carly? About the Quartermaines? She hadn’t been close to any of these people when he left.

What the hell had happened in the last year?

“AJ’s married to Courtney—the sister Sonny found out about last year? Mike’s daughter? He married her about two months ago.”

“Sonny mentioned that.” And only that, apparently. “Do you know her well?”

“We work together at Kelly’s,” Elizabeth replied “We’re pretty close. Gia and I tried to talk her out of marrying AJ—I mean, we were all worried he was doing it to get back at Sonny—” She broke off abruptly. “I’m sorry, you don’t care about any of that.”

“No, it’s—” He hesitated. He wasn’t used to being out of the loop. He didn’t like having to ask her about Sonny’s sister and her marriage to AJ. That Elizabeth knew more about Michael’s situation and Sonny’s family than Jason did—

“I should check in with Sonny,” Jason said instead. “Could you ask Bobbie to get in touch with me when she wakes up?”

Elizabeth bit her lip and dipped her head. When she raised her eyes to meet his, he could no longer read them. “Yeah. I’ll make sure Lucas gives her the message.” He must have made a face because she continued with a hint of impatience. “He’s taking over for me in half hour. I have to get to work.”

“Oh.” Jason reached into his pocket for the slip of paper he’d prepared for this moment. He just hadn’t expected to give it to Elizabeth. “If there’s anything Michael or Bobbie needs…” He held it out. “My cell number.”

Without looking down, Elizabeth folded the paper in half and slid it into her jeans pocket. “I’ll give it to her.”

And because he thought maybe he’d been a little abrupt—he cleared his throat. “Or if you need anything.”

She nodded, but the awkward tension had returned. Or maybe he’d ignored it. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you and Sonny.”

He nodded, glanced in at Michael, then made his escape.

It seemed like he wasn’t going to be able to avoid Elizabeth while he was home, but hopefully they could keep it civil. Friendly.

And distant. As soon as he could transfer to custody to Bobbie and ensure Michael was safe from the Quartermaines, he was leaving Port Charles.

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

Sonny Corinthos glanced up as Max Giambetti pushed open the door. “Boss, Jason’s here.”

He set the bourbon back on the minibar and raised his tumbler to his lips, watching as his friend and partner passed the guard to enter the penthouse.

“Good to see you, Max,” Jason said. When the door was closed, the friendly expression had dissipated and Jason turned hard eyes back to Sonny.

Interesting. “I thought you were getting in tomorrow,” Sonny said after a moment. And he hadn’t told anyone Jason was coming back, so he was going to be in trouble on any number of fronts. “I guess you stopped in to see Bobbie first by the way you’re looking at me.”

“You didn’t tell me Elizabeth was living at the Brownstone,” Jason said, his tone clipped. “Or that you hadn’t adopted Michael.”

Ah. Well that explained some of the annoyance. “You check once, maybe twice a month,” Sonny said, ambling over to the sofa and taking a seat, stretching an arm out across the back. “For five minutes. It’s not really a lot of time to tell you what’s going on around here.”

Jason narrowed his eyes. “Two sentences. I wouldn’t have gone there without contacting Bobbie first—”

Sonny sipped his bourbon and considered the situation. “I suppose you know Elizabeth didn’t marry Lucky.”

“That isn’t important.” But the younger man’s eyes cast away. “I’m concerned with Michael. Elizabeth said something about Edward and Carly’s will.”

They’d come back to Elizabeth’s relationship status shortly, Sonny was sure, but allowed Jason to direct the conversation. “I feel sorry for her,” he said. “She’s really stuck in the middle with all of this, but I suppose she’s used to that.”

Jason scowled, but sat in the armchair. “What does that mean?”

“Well, she and I are friends, that’s probably clear to you. I figured you’d want me to look out for her, and after everything that happened last summer, then the fiasco with her wedding—well, I’m fond of her, Jason.” Sonny shrugged. “And living at the Brownstone, she and Carly finally managed to call a truce. She’s like family to Bobbie, Michael adores her. And she’s thick as thieves with my brand-new sister.”

“She said something like that.” But Jason waited a beat. “What wedding fiasco?”

Some things were so predictable. “Oh, well, to make a long story short — Lucky’s brainwashing wasn’t quite finished. I mentioned that she was faking her death to draw out Helena?”

A muscle ticked in Jason’s cheek. “You did. And told me she and Lucky were getting married when it was over.”

“That was the plan. She did her part. I put her up on the island for a few weeks to keep her out of sight. Luke and Laura finished off Helena, broke the brainwashing—again, or so I’m told though he’s still an annoying little shit.” Sonny shrugged. “She came home, started planning the wedding. Looked miserable, but you know her. Once she makes up her mind, she goes for it. Then right before the ceremony, Gia Campbell found out Helena left behind a little gift.”

When Jason didn’t say anything, Sonny continued. “According to Lucky, he didn’t love her anymore. Helena erased it.”

“What?” Jason shook his head. “That’s not even possible—”

“Well, of course Lucky didn’t tell her—he thought they’d just fall in love again like they had before. She dumped a glass of champagne on his head and walked out.” He grinned. “I enjoyed that.”

“Why didn’t you tell me any of this?” Jason asked. “It was months ago—”

“I didn’t tell you about the changes in her life because, at first,” Sonny said, “I wasn’t sure they’d stick. You know how crazy she was about Lucky. How she twisted herself to help him, stick by him. I couldn’t be sure, and there was no point in telling you unless it was for real.”

“But they’ve stuck.”

“They have,” Sonny confirmed. “Gia walked out on Nikolas at the same time, and they moved in with Bobbie. They’re both attending PCU now.” He shifted. “I was going to tell you. The next time you called in.”

“There’s a lot you didn’t tell me.” Jason leaned forward. “You didn’t adopt Michael.”

“No, I didn’t.” Sonny sipped his drink. “And she left guardianship to you. It’s the way it should be.”

“It wasn’t supposed to be that way—”

“Carly wanted to break away from me,” Sonny interrupted. “Keeping her son part of my life kept me in her life. She wanted a fresh start.”

Jason didn’t look convinced, but nodded. He pushed himself to his feet. “It’s just…with Carly—” He swallowed hard. “With Carly gone, the Quartermaines—they’ve already hinted to Elizabeth they’re going to try something.”

And they would. Sonny rose to his feet. “Well, Elizabeth will be your best bet to keep on top of that. Her friendship with Courtney, and all.”

“Yeah, she mentioned that.” Jason rubbed the back of her neck. “I just—if she’s trying to work things out with Lucky, me being around her is just going to complicate—”

“You’re not usually this thick,” Sonny muttered. “Look, if you want to avoid contact with Elizabeth because your feelings aren’t the same or whatever, that’s fine. But don’t lie to yourself. For the record, she’s more likely to throw him out a window at this point. She walked out on him and built herself a new life.”

“That’s—” Jason hesitated. “They’re not together.”

“If you need it to be spelled out, then no, they’re not and I can’t see her going back to him.” Sonny fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Look, I don’t know what happened the last time you were home. Elizabeth never said, and God knows, getting information out of you is like prying a vault open with a crow bar. But whatever it was, it doesn’t change the fact that you aren’t going to be able to avoid her. She’s living with Bobbie, working at Kelly’s, and she’s a direct conduit to the Quartermaines.”

Jason nodded, but he didn’t look convinced. “I just—I wish you’d said something.”

“I know.” And Sonny had really been planning to drop it in conversation casually the very next time he talked to Jason. “I just didn’t expect Carly…”

“Elizabeth said it was the same area where Brenda had her accident.”

His chest tight, Sonny managed to nod. “Yeah. It was. I can’t really wrap my mind around it. She’s gone. I kind of figured if one of us would go—it’d be me. Carly is—” He sighed. “Carly was a survivor.”

“I’m sorry, Sonny.”

“I’m sorry for both of us. For Michael and Bobbie. For the life Carly was creating. She was going places, Jason. I’m just sorry she’s not going to get there.”

Kelly’s: Dining Room

“Hold on, hold on.” Gia Campbell held up a hand and shook her head. “Are you serious? He just showed up at the door?”

Elizabeth filled Gia’s coffee cup, keeping an eye on a table near the door where Courtney Quartermaine was rolling her eyes at Lucky Spencer and her sister, Sarah. If Sarah asked for one more substitution in her salad, Elizabeth was pretty sure Courtney was going to cut her.

“Webber.”

Elizabeth switched her focus back to her roommate and friend, wrinkling her nose. “I guess I kind of figured he’d be coming home. I just—” She shrugged and set the pot back on the burner. “I thought Sonny would give me some warning.”

“You didn’t ask him about Jason coming back?” Gia asked, closing her biology back and ending the charade of studying for finals.

“We don’t—” Elizabeth sipped her own coffee. “We don’t really talk about Jason.”

Gia groaned. “Seriously. You know Sexy McHot is probably going come riding home on his motorcycle and you’re, all…” She fluttered her eyelashes and clasped her hands under her chin. “We don’t really talk about Jason.”

“I hate you,” Elizabeth muttered as Courtney tossed the order at Don and joined them at the counter.

“Are we still talking about this?” Courtney asked. “I mean, it’s not like you guys dated.”

“If not for Tweedle-Dee back there,” Gia said, jerking a thumb over her shoulder, “she would have jumped those seriously fine bones.”

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “If I recall correctly, you tried to.”

Gia grinned. “Absolutely. Hey!” When Courtney scowled at her. “I was still technically single then.”

“And a bitch.”

“Hey.” Gia jabbed a finger at her. “Bygones, remember? Without me, you’re Mrs. Tweedle-Dee—”

“Which would have made you Mrs. Tweedle-Dumb,” Courtney reminded Gia with a sweet smile. “So you guys should just be grateful to one another.”

“Ha,” Elizabeth said with a grin. “That’s right.”

“Anyway,” Gia drawled. “That’s not the point, now is it, Miss Thing? I am not the reason you did not do the down and dirty with the sexy boy.”

“Just how pretty is this guy?” Courtney wanted to know. “I saw some pictures at the Quartermaines before they kicked us out, but he was young. Cute, but nothing to write home about.”

“Well, if you hang around Liz long enough,” Gia said with a wicked glint in her eyes, “you won’t be able to escape him. They’re like magnets. Like, they just wander towards one another.”

Elizabeth scowled at her. “Gia—”

“Yes, dear?”

Before she could set Gia straight on the complete absence of any relationship with Jason, Courtney grimaced. Sarah was waving at them from her table.

“Ugh, I’ll be right back,” the blonde said with a shake of her head.

Gia leaned forward. “How was it really?” she asked, her tone softening. “Was it as awkward as you thought it would be?”

Elizabeth sighed, her ire disappearing. “Well, the last time I saw him, he asked me to run away with him, so yeah, it wasn’t great.” She wiped the counter, keeping her eyes cast away from Gia. “He didn’t know I’d be there.”

“Which means he probably didn’t know you were single.” Gia hesitated. “Did he?”

“Sonny never told him, so I had to.” Elizabeth wiggled her shoulders, trying to shake away the tense memory. “It was like talking to a wall. He didn’t care—he wanted to be away from me, so he grabbed the first excuse and left.”

“Well, you’ll tell him what happened, he’ll take about five seconds before he turns those baby blues on you, and you’ll be jumping him by May.” Gia shrugged. “You’re making it more complicated than it has to be.”

“What if Sonny tells him first?”

“So what if he does?”

“Sonny’s going to make it sound like I only called off the wedding because of the brainwashing.”

“So you’ll get the chance to tell him it was also because you didn’t love the little miscreant any more and this was the perfect chance to make your escape.” She twisted in her chair.

“Thanks, Gia,” she replied dryly. “Always a pleasure.” She sighed. “I kind of hope Sonny does tell him.”

“Well, that’s a copout.”

Courtney returned, placing the water pitcher back in the mini fridge behind the counter. “What’s a copout?”

“Hoping Sonny will do her dirty work,” Gia answered.

Elizabeth shot her friend a dirty look. “I just—Jason and I spent most of his last visit home dealing with that. I don’t want to do it again.”

“Are you going to go after him this time?” Courtney asked.

“I doubt it,” Elizabeth murmured, reaching for a rag to wipe the counter for the one thousandth time.

“Oh, my God, don’t make me hurt you.” Gia stabbed a finger at her. “Get out of your own way, bitch.”

“Hey.” Elizabeth slapped the rag on the counter. “It’s been a year. How—” She swallowed. “How do I know he’s single? Maybe there’s another woman.”

“Oh.” Courtney pursed her lips. “Well, yeah, that’d be an issue.”

“Not a problem,” Gia said. “I can get rid of her.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Well, in that case—” She frowned when she saw her sister standing and walking towards the counter. “Excuse me while I take the trash out and head to Mexico.”

She ducked out the door just as Sarah reached the counter, the blonde woman scowling. “Where did my sister go?” Sarah demanded.

“To a land far far away from you,” Gia snarled.

Sarah sneered at her sister’s roommate. “I don’t like you.”

“Well, now I may cry myself asleep at night—”

Before anything could be thrown, Courtney jumped in. “Sarah, can I get you anything?”

“You know,” Sarah said, “I wish my sister would just find her path in life. She’s still working…” She cast her eyes around the diner. “Here…living off Bobbie’s good graces—”

“Hey, we pay rent, you twit—”

“She’s going nowhere—”

“How about I send you somewhere?”

Jason pushed open the door to Kelly’s, and scowled when he saw Lucky Spencer sitting at a table. The blonde returned his look with a sneer but didn’t stand up.

Jason ignored him and focused on the trio behind the counter—Gia Campbell and two blondes he didn’t recognize though the one next to Gia looked less strange. He approached them.

Gia saw him first and grinned. “Jason Morgan!”

He didn’t want to do this. He just wanted to find Elizabeth, clear the air, get some answers, then go to Jake’s to get a room. He hated dealing with people he didn’t know or, quite frankly, didn’t like.

“Gia.” He looked at the other blondes.

“Courtney,” the blonde in the apron offered. “I think we’re technically in-laws. Or something. That’s Sarah.” She paused. “Elizabeth’s sister.”

Sarah frowned at him, and now he remembered why she was vaguely familiar. She’d been present the night Nikolas had been shot at Luke’s.

And Elizabeth had told him enough about her sister not to be interested.

“Jason Morgan?” Sarah was saying when he tuned back into the conversation. “Since when do you know Lizzie? This is what I’m talking about. How many bad choices is she going to make—”

“If you don’t knock it off,” Gia snarled, “you’re going to be wearing this coffee—”

Jason ignored them both and looked to Courtney, who looked even more annoyed. In a low voice, she said, “Elizabeth went out back on her break.”

“Thanks,” Jason said and went out the back, casting a glance over his shoulder hoping neither Lucky nor Sarah would follow him.

Kelly’s: Alley

Elizabeth tosses a large black bag in the trash can, then lights a cigarette. She takes a long drag.

JASON
I thought you quit.

She turns at him, but doesn’t toss it.

ELIZABETH
Oh. I did. Just–when I see my sister. (beat) I wasn’t expecting to see you today. Again, I mean.
JASON
I went to Sonny’s.
ELIZABETH
Yeah? Is he okay? I was gonna check in on him before my shift, but Lucas was running late.
JASON
He’s okay. He told me about–about the wedding.
ELIZABETH
(rolls eyes)
Figures. Probably made it sound like I’m a poor little waif whose fiance fell out of love with her.
JASON
Well, I don’t know about the waif part, but yeah. He told me Helena brainwashed Lucky or something.
ELIZABETH
Or something. That’s his story. It doesn’t even matter. By the time Gia told me what was going on, I was halfway out the window.
JASON
You–I thought you wanted to marry Lucky.
ELIZABETH
Well, you can want something right up until you get it. I looked at myself in that ugly wedding dress Laura insisted I buy and I wanted to jab a fork in my eye. We weren’t getting married in the church I wanted, but at the Spencers. Laura and Lucky planned it all. I had no say–
(shakes her head)
It’s not important. I was a different person.
JASON
Four months ago?
ELIZABETH
You’ve never woken up and realized everything about your life was a complete lie? Lucky you.
(shrugs)
Anyway. I’ve spent, like, a quarter of my life whining about Lucky Spencer. I’m so over it.
(frowns)
Did you come here to ask me about that?
JASON
No. I guess. A little. I also wanted–I wanted to ask about AJ.
ELIZABETH
(sighs)
Yeah. Sonny probably told you I’m a good inside source for that.
JASON
He told me you and Courtney were friends.
ELIZABETH
Exactly. And all I know is what I told you earlier–
JASON
But if AJ changes his mind–
ELIZABETH
Will I give you heads up?

She grounds the cigarette on the ground with the heel of her boot.

ELIZABETH (CONT’D)
I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.

Jason stops her before she goes inside.

JASON
Are you–are you mad at me?
ELIZABETH
Why would I be mad at you?
JASON
You just–you sound mad.
ELIZABETH
Well, hell, Jason. What do you expect? We haven’t seen each other since–
(she looks away)
Since that day in the park. I haven’t heard from you, and it’s obvious you didn’t want to know anything about me since you didn’t know about the wedding.
JASON
Did you ask Sonny about me?
ELIZABETH
No. No, I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to know.
JASON
Then why are you angry at me for not asking?
ELIZABETH
Because I’m a hypocrite. How is that news to you? I was afraid–
(annoyed with herself)
I was afraid if I asked, he’d tell me you were on the French Riviera with some twit named Bambi and I’d want to throw myself off the cliff. Which is insane because I was the one that walked away from you.
JASON
Bambi?
ELIZABETH
Shut up.

But they’re both kind of smiling at one another. The tense mood is gone.

JASON
I didn’t want to hear about your wedding. Sonny told me you faked your death because he didn’t want me finding out from someone else. And he told me then you were engaged.
ELIZABETH
I’m sorry–I’m sorry that I was so stupid last year.
JASON
You weren’t–
ELIZABETH
I was. I was an idiotic little girl who didn’t know how to stand up for herself. I didn’t know how to deal with what going on inside me. Like having feelings for you made me this horrible person–and it doesn’t–it didn’t, I mean. I wasn’t married to Lucky. And I don’t know why I let people guilt me into living a life I planned when I was seventeen years old. I mean, it’s just–it’s insane. Lucky died. I didn’t. And then I had to go back in time and be that girl. I was stupid, and I hurt you, and I’m sorry. But I’m glad I figured it out for myself.
JASON
I am, too. Elizabeth, I was never angry with you–
ELIZABETH
Well, that’s fine, because I was pissed enough for the both of us.
JASON
Elizabeth–
ELIZABETH
Seriously, though. I don’t want to think about it anymore. I lived it. I’m done with it.
JASON
Okay.
ELIZABETH
Okay.
(a beat)
I really do have to get back to work.
JASON
Okay. Do you–when are you done?
ELIZABETH
I close, so around eleven.
JASON
Did you–did you want to take a ride?
ELIZABETH
Is that even in question?

INT. PORT CHARLES DEPARTMENT – SQUAD ROOM
Scott Baldwin, Marcus Taggart, and Mac Sporpio are gathered around a desk.

SCOTT
Let’s go over it again.
TAGGART
Baldwin–
SCOTT
Again.
MAC
One last time, Taggart. Just to make sure we didn’t let anything through the cracks.

That’s not why they’re doing it, and they all know it but Taggart reaches for the file.

TAGGART
Carly leaves Club 101 at one in the morning on Saturday. It’s her normal hours for the weekend. Thirty minutes later, a witness calls in a report of swerving vehicle.

He picks up another piece of a paper.

TAGGART (CONT’D)
Josh Palmer, 29. Heading to the observatory for work. He’s calling in the report when the car suddenly careens off the road, crashes through the guard rail and into the lake.
MAC
By the time officers arrive on the scene, the Coast Guard tells us that the currents would have dragged the car three miles in. They start their search there. But it takes almost three hours to start the search.
TAGGART
Palmer’s car is examined. No sign of dents, no signs of an accident. The skid marks on the road lend credence to the report that it was a single car accident.
SCOTT
On a deserted road that barely sees one car all night, much less two at the same time.
MAC
I know, Scott-
SCOTT
And what the hell was she doing there? Carly always came home after work.
TAGGART
That’s what her mother tells us. Baldwin, we’ve looked at the witness. His car is clean. There’s no sign of another car. The license plate he gave us is Carly’s car. She’s been missing since she left the club.
SCOTT
I know, but-
MAC
She had no enemies. She and Sonny divorced last August. There’s no connection between them.
TAGGART
And the only person that benefits from Carly’s death is Jason Morgan. Her estate goes to Michael in trust with Morgan as guardian and executor.
SCOTT
And he’s not going to kill his friend for custody.
TAGGART
No. Much as I’d like to nail Morgan for something, this isn’t an option.
SCOTT
So we’re just going to let it go?
MAC
We’re going to file it as undetermined. Without a body, without a car, there’s nothing else we can do. I’m sorry, Scott.
TAGGART
We may never know why Carly was on the road that night or what caused her to go over that cliff, but knowing isn’t going to change anything. Not for Bobbie.
SCOTT
Yeah. Yeah.

He leaves without another word.

MAC
He just doesn’t want to tell Bobbie they’ll never know what happened to her daughter. After BJ…
TAGGART
Yeah, I get it. And it sucks for him.
MAC
Let’s just keep the file open for a few more weeks.
(a beat)
It won’t change anything, but it’ll give him time to come to terms with it. It’s the first major case since he took over.

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Bittersweet Opening Scenes

Note: Some of this dialogue got reused in the story and other versions of this scene.


Kelly’s: Diner

Gia Campell boosted herself on a stool at the counter and, with a heavy thud, set a textbook in front of her. “Do you see this? The amount of biology I have to memorize before my finals next week is criminal.” She jabbed her finger at her roommate. “And do not give me that look, Elizabeth Webber.”

Elizabeth just arched her brow and held up a pitcher of coffee. “What look would that be?”

“I realize if I had kept up with my reading all semester I wouldn’t be in this position.” Gia turned over the white porcelain mug in front her. “Fill it and keep it coming. I had other priorities.”

“I know,” Elizabeth agreed as the steaming liquid poured. “And I can’t deny that Greg and Tommy weren’t important priorities.”

“You forgot Emmett.” Courtney Matthews-Quartermaine joined them behind the counter to start a fresh pot of coffee. “And Andy.”

“For good reasons.” Gia snorted and turned to the third chapter in her textbook. “I needed to make up for lost time. Don’t judge me.” She shot a dark look over her shoulder at a table where her ex-fiance sat with his brother and a perky blonde. “I needed to wash off the stink.”

“That’s not very nice,” Elizabeth murmured, but she smirked because she understood completely. After Elizabeth had walked out on her wedding due to Gia’s badly-timed but very welcomed announcement that her own fiance no longer was in love with and intended to marry her out of obligation, she and Gia had both washed their hands of the Spencer-Cassadine boys and moved in together.

Somehow, Elizabeth had come to consider Gia Campbell one of her favorite people.

She still couldn’t explain it.

“While I love to discuss my three least favorite customers,” Courtney remarked as she set a filter in place and flipped a switch to start the brewing, “I was wondering how Bobbie was doing. I haven’t seen her since…”

Gia’s smile faded as she sighed. “Yeah. Liz sees her more often, all things considered. She went back to work today, didn’t she?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Maxie’s hanging out with Michael while I work today. And I have to return a call to Taggart when I get done.”

“Ugh.” Gia stirred some sugar into her coffee. “Marcus has a one track mind—it was a horrible accident—”

“I think he’s let go of of it being Sonny’s fault.” Elizabeth poured herself a glass of orange juice. “It’s pretty open and shut, I guess. I saw him the other day when I drove Bobbie down for her statement.”

“Why do you have to talk to him again?” Courtney asked, grimacing when Elizabeth’s sister Sarah gestured for her to come to them. “I mean, Carly just lived down stairs from you. It’s not like you guys were friends.”

“No,” Elizabeth said. “But we were friendly.”

“Hold that thought while I see what Dumb, Dumber and Twit want.”

Courtney rounded the counter to check on the trio in question, while Gia turned back to Elizabeth. “Speaking of Sonny, any word if you know who is coming back for a funeral or anything?”

“What?” Elizabeth blinked. “What—” She pressed her lips together. “I haven’t asked, Gia. Sonny and I—we don’t talk about it.”

“Honestly.” She rolled her eyes. “Girl, you’re in denial. Sexy McHot might ride back into town on his motorcycle, and you’re all like—” She fluttered her lashes. “Sonny and I don’t talk about it.”

“We don’t talk about it,” Elizabeth repeated, her teeth clenched.

Courtney returned to the counter, putting the coffee back in its place.

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Bittersweet Opening Scenes

Note:  This particular scene cuts off in mid sentence. You’re not crazy.


April 2002

Spring arrived early in upstate New York that April, with warm days and cool nights. The beautiful weather and turning of the season was lost on the residents of 1242 Elm Street—inside Bobbie Spencer’s Brownstone, Lieutenant Marcus Taggart had elected to to deliver tragic news to his landlord.

“They could keep looking, Bobbie,” he said quietly, “but the currents and the depth of the lake where the car went in—”

Bobbie nodded, her fifteen-year-old son’s hand clutched tightly in her own. “I understand. I—” She swallowed hard. “I know the PCPD did everything they could. And the Coast Guard.”

Taggart looked his younger sister and her roommate who lived in the apartment below his before returning his attention the stricken redhead. “If there’s anything I can do—”

“Have you told Sonny?” Bobbie asked. “He should—” She looked at Elizabeth Webber. “Shouldn’t he know they’re not looking anymore?”

“I can tell him,” Elizabeth assured her. “I’m sure he’s going to want to help with—well, anything you need.”

Taggart’s lips thinned at the mention of his nemesis, Sonny Corinthos, but to his credit, he offered no criticism. Instead, he looked across the room, where six-year-old Michael Morgan sat at a table quietly coloring. “Will he be taking Michael in?”

“Oh.” Bobbie blinked. “No. No, I can’t…” A tear slid down her cheek. “Lucas.”

“They didn’t go through with the adoption,” Lucas told the lieutenant. “Not after the divorce. That’s why—”

“They didn’t change his name,” Elizabeth said. “Why he still has Jason’s name.” She cleared her throat. “I think—I’m pretty sure Jason is his legal guardian.”

“Ah.” Taggart touched Bobbie’s shoulder. “I have to get back to the station, but let me know if you need anything.” He nodded to his sister, then left.

“Bobbie,” Gia Campbell said, sitting on the other side of her landlord. “I’m so sorry. Is there anything you need from us?”

“I’ll call Aunt Felicia,” Lucas told his mother, getting to his feet. “Should I call Uncle Luke?”

“Yes, thank you.” Bobbie smiled at them, but it faltered after a moment. “I know you have finals to study for, Gia. Thank you. And Elizabeth, if you could—I need to know if Sonny contacted Jason yet.”

Elizabeth bit her lip, but nodded. “Of course. Anything you need.” She embraced her friend. “I’m so sorry, Bobbie. We were all hoping for—well, for something else.”

“I know.”

Elizabeth and Gia left Bobbie in the care of her son as they went upstairs to their apartment. “This sucks large,” Gia said as she pushed open the door and grabbed her book bag from the sofa. “I really thought Marcus would have better news.”

Elizabeth sighed as she pulled a soda from their fridge. “It’s been a week since Carly went into the lake. What did you think was going to happen?”

“I guess.” Gia slung her back over her shoulder. “Are you going to Sonny’s?”

“He should know they’ve called off the search,” Elizabeth said as she twisted off the cap. But she didn’t look at Gia.

“And Jason?”

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Bittersweet Opening Scenes

Harborview Towers: Corinthos Penthouse

Elizabeth Webber shifted from one foot to the other as she waited for Max Giambetti to announce her to his boss before allowing her inside the penthouse.

“You can go ahead,” the dark-haired man nodded to her and propped the door open more widely. “Nice to see you, Ms. Webber.”

“You, too, Max,” she murmured as she pressed past him to find Sonny Corinthos standing by his mini bar, a tumbler of dark-colored liquid—probably bourbon—in his hand. “Sonny.”

“Hey.” He set the tumbler down and closed the distance between them, reaching for her hands. “How are you doing?”

“I’m here to ask you the same thing.” Elizabeth squeezed his hands before releasing them. “It’s been…” She exhaled slowly. “It’s been a rough week.”

“Yeah…yeah.” Sonny rubbed his forehead with his thumb. “Ah, how is Bobbie? Michael? I can’t—” He paused. “I mean, I’ve lost a child, but not—”

Elizabeth nodded. “Yeah, Bobbie is mostly…you know her, nothing much stops her. She’s—” Elizabeth stopped and looked away. “Did…did the police call you? I wasn’t—I don’t know whether they’re keeping you in the loop.”

“Not since the initial visit to question me.” He frowned. “Did—” He swallowed hard. “Did they find her?”

“No, no…” She bit her lip. “It’s—it’s the opposite. They’re calling off the search.” Elizabeth dropped her bag on an armchair. “It’s been a week, and the Coast Guard thinks the currents that night dragged her car deep into the lake—I mean, they offered to keep looking, but between the currents and the depth—”

“Yeah.” Sonny lowered himself onto the sofa and bowed his head. “Yeah. No, I can’t—I mean, if it was a matter of money, but—” He exhaled slowly and looked away. “I just—”

“I know.” Elizabeth perched on the edge of the armchair. “I—I read in the papers it was the same road as Brenda’s accident. I can’t imagine…” She twisted her fingers together. “Are you okay with that?”

“It’s hard,” he admitted. “Losing both the same way, you know? But I guess…I always figured Carly would turn up somewhere. In a hospital. On a shore. She’s a…” He cleared his throat. “She was a survivor.”

“I know.” Elizabeth paused. “We weren’t really all that close—I’m not even sure I knew her all that well until I moved into the Brownstone in January. She was doing so well, you know. With the new club, with Michael.” She sighed. “I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem fair.”

“Yeah.” Sonny sighed. “Bobbie’s okay?”

“As okay as she can be after the last week. I mean, she went back to work yesterday, and you know, she’s already trying to schedule the memorial. As if…” She hesitated. “It’s like if she keeps moving, keeps taking the next step, she’ll wake up and be past the worst of it.”

“Yeah, I know what that’s like.”

“Anyway,” Elizabeth continued after a moment. “I wasn’t sure how much you knew about the search, and I wanted to stop by.” She rose to her feet. “I’m on my way to work.”

“Elizabeth—”

She turned to see Sonny on his feet as well. “Yeah?”

“Ah, you should know I put a call into Jason as soon as Carly went missing.”

Her expression blank, Elizabeth met Sonny’s eyes. “That’s good. I’ll, ah, let Bobbie know to expect him—”

“He’ll be in town tomorrow.” Sonny stepped forward. “It took a few days for him to check in, and another couple of days for him to get back here. Elizabeth, ah, he hasn’t asked about you since…since I told him you and Lucky were engaged last year.”

“Oh.” She bit her lip. “Oh. Well, yeah, I mean, that makes sense. He didn’t—” She frowned. “You didn’t tell him what happened at New Year’s?”

“Never a good time,” Sonny told her. “He only calls in once, maybe twice a month. And I thought—well, maybe, he’s not living here. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I don’t know. Anyway, he’s coming home tomorrow, and he’ll be stopping by here first. Should I tell him then?”

She hoped the dark interior of the penthouse hid the flush in her burning cheeks. “Um. I don’t know. I mean, I’m renting an apartment from Bobbie. Maybe—maybe you should tell him I’m there. So if he doesn’t want to see me, he can find a way to avoid me.” She bit her lip. “I mean, Sonny, we didn’t—I—we didn’t part on good terms. I was an idiot and just awful to him—”

“Elizabeth—” Sonny set a hand on his arm. “That was last year. And you and I both know that you are light years away from that girl. Tell you what. I’ll tell Jason you’re living with Gia at the Brownstone and things didn’t work out with Lucky. Anything else he wants to know, he’ll have to ask.”

“Fair enough.” She twisted her fingers together. “I should get to work. Sonny—call me if you need anything.”

“You do the same.” He kissed her cheek. “Take care of yourself. And Bobbie and Michael.”

“I will.”

November 1, 2017

I just finished the last NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) session for today and I clocked in at 5,022 words and three completed scenes. Pretty excited about that. I won’t be blogging everyday, but make sure to check my Twitter feed. Maybe I’ll check on once a month.

To celebrate a really good first day, I’m giving you the finalized soundtrack for the story — the songs for each chapter to kind of give you some hints about the mood of the overall story.

Only Bother (Corey Taylor) is not available on Spotify, so I’ll have to upload that separately. I hope you enjoy this and I can’t wait for you guys to get to the material I wrote today. Because I love it!