December 31, 2017

Bittersweet

As promised, Bittersweet finally returns! From today, December 31 through next Sunday, January 7, I will be reposting Chapters One through Eight. I’ve made some small cosmetic changes as well as fixed some continuity issues.

I wrote those chapters in November 2015 before I had plotted the end of the story, so a couple of lines had to change. I definitely recommend rereading if you haven’t read the chapters in a little while.

Starting January 8, I will be posting new chapters of Bittersweet on Mondays and Wednesdays. Posting Bittersweet will take about four or five months depending on a few factors.

I’ve run into some issues writing the last few chapters because I’m unsure of a plot point. I have some ideas to fix it, but I might have to write a few scenes to make it work. I’m still playing around with it, but it really shouldn’t effect the story until we get into March, so I have plenty of time to complete it. I also might be overthinking the issue, which means I don’t have to fix anything and I can just finish writing the story so you guys don’t get any interruptions.

So here is today’s update: Bittersweet, Chapter One. It has been updated here, at Archive of Our Own, and at Fanfiction.net. I am not updating it at Road to Nowhere. I’m not super wild about the transition to Tapatalk and haven’t decided if I’m going to keep posting there.

Also, Sean Kanan is AJ in my head, but I made the graphics for Bittersweet before I had decided that, so it’s still Billy Warlock. I have to fix that when I get a chance.

Workshop: Fool Me Twice

Thanks so much for the responses to Fool Me Twice. It’s definitely a struggle to write for Elizabeth in 2017, but as always, I’m trying some things out.  There are three reasons I wanted to workshop FMT rather than doing my usual process: I wanted to be sure I could write the characters as they are today, I wanted to figure out the supporting characters, and also it’s a current storyline. I wanted to write my version of it before I got influenced by what’s happening on screen.

I will probably workshop the entire main story and then go through and edit and add on to it. So it might feel choppy, it might  not feel as fleshed out as my usual work. It’s mostly me trying to get my thoughts out. Please tell me if the flow isn’t right, if there’s something you think I should add. An aspect I’m not dealing with. The workshop is where y’all get to beta 😛

Fool Me Twice will be updated in the Workshop at least once a week on Fridays. I may or may not toss some micro fiction writing sessions in there sometimes, but they will not be planned. As always, check out my Twitter feed (which is also on the sidebar) because I post

when I start the clock. It will be updated Friday evenings, between 6-9 PM EST.

Mad World

I did not get as far into my new draft this last week as I wanted to. I talked a few weeks ago about how I had re-envisioned Mad World into three parts of an overall story — and the first part requires me to rewrite the panic room storyline.

I’m trying to write a version of Elizabeth who would actually stay in the house without being the gullible idiot she is so often forced to be on the show. It’s like writing Sonny for The Best Thing. Writing that story took two years because I needed Sonny to be just right. Elizabeth is going to deal with a lot of things that real people deal with and I just feel a responsibility to make that actually feel realistic. I’ve heard from some people about Sonny in TBT that it was mostly authentic and that meant a lot to me.

So Mad World is just more difficult and draining than I had anticipated, but it’s moving along. I just have to set more realistic goals for myself than I did originally.  I will keep you all updated.

Other News

+ I’m playing around with longer synopses on the In Progress and Alternate History & Universe pages. Right now, there are just vague tag lines. But I wanted to try to write something a bit longer and descriptive, akin to what you might read on the back cover of a paperback. I posted a new synopsis for Bittersweet on the In Progress page, so let me know what you think about that.

+ I haven’t forgotten my other workshop series. I’m still not satisfied with the magical story, Homecoming, so expect a new opening for that. I really really like the idea I have for that story, I just have to find the right way to present it. I’m also working on the Scottish story and some thoughts about some of the others.

+ I was thinking of writing something less intense than Mad World for the next project and maybe dipping into a new time period. So far since I started writing again 2014, I’ve written for 2003, 2004, 2006, and now for 2002 and 2003 again. I plan on ordering the Liason DVDs for 2007-08 this spring, so it might be time to bring back These Small Hours, which is a lot more action and plot oriented than Mad World. Still thinking that over.

+ Damaged is still on my plate. I’ve got so many ideas, it’s just been difficult to figure out how to make them all work. I’ll keep y’all updated.

+ If you’ve been listening to my chatter for the last two years, you know I’ve been pursuing my teaching certification. This is the semester when I finally get to finish it. I’ll be student teaching fro January 2 through May 4. I’m teaching U.S. History I at the high school level, and I’ll have six classes of about 150 kids. I’ll be writing my own lesson plans, doing my own grading, etc. It’s going to be crazy and it has to absolutely take priority.

The good news is that I’m only taking on other class and I reduced my hours at my other job to make my schedule a bit more less evil like it as last semester. I don’t know yet what the impact on my writing will be, so we’ll play it by ear. Luckily, Bittersweet is designed to take us through most of the semester, so you won’t see too much of a difference.

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Flash Fiction: Fool Me Twice

Written in 58 minutes. Would have taken less, but I stopped to double check some of the details around Franco’s brain tumor.


Kelly’s: Dining Room

Elizabeth smiled and kissed Griffin Munro on the cheek as he lightly embraced her. “I’m so glad you were available for lunch today! I was afraid you’d be spending your day off with Ava.”

Griffin grimaced as they took their seats and he reached for the menu. “Ah, well, that’s probably not going to happen.”

“Oh?” Elizabeth arched a brow. “Are things okay?” She didn’t particularly like Ava Jerome, not after her scheming at ELQ had resulted in AJ Quatermaine’s last spiral in alcohol and tragedy. And of course, her final role in his murder. But Griffin liked her, and she was sort of Franco’s friend for some reason.

“I—” Griffin shook his head. “I really tried. You know? I tried to be the better man. To not make a big deal about it, but…every time I saw Julian Jerome, I remembered that I’ll never know my father. And that it’s his fault.” He held up a hand as if to ward off whatever Elizabeth might say next. “And sure, he says he was forced. But I don’t care.”

“I wasn’t going to stick up for him.” Elizabeth hesitated. “I just—you knew Ava’s brother was Julian before you got involved—”

“He was supposed to be in prison for the rest of his life. I could deal with from afar, but…we spent Christmas with him, and I just—” Griffin sat back in his chair. “I can’t do it. I tried. But I don’t know how to get past it. And I’m just hurting Ava by putting her in the middle. But I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I walked away from the priesthood for her—”

“No, hey…” Elizabeth leaned forward. “We talked about this when you made the final decision. Yeah, Ava was the factor, but…she wasn’t the reason. Or if she was, then she shouldn’t have been. Take it from me—the second you make one person your reason for changing your entire life, for changing who you are—it’ll never work.” She bit her lip. “You know about my ex-husband, Lucky Spencer and his drug addiction? He found out I was pregnant with Jake—he thought Jake was his biological child. And Jake was the reason he said he got clean. I was terrified what would happen if he found out Jake wasn’t his.”

“Did he relapse when he found out?” Griffin asked.

“No. But I made a lot of choices based on my fear. In my head, Jake was the reason Lucky was clean. And…well, there were other reasons, but I asked Jason to give Jake up. It was selfish of me to expect that of him. We never really recovered from that. And I’m still paying for that now.” She hesitated. “Was Ava the reason you left the priesthood, Griffin?”

“I guess….” Griffin shook his head. “No. She wasn’t my first relationship with a woman. And she wasn’t the reason I doubted myself. I just…I care about her, Elizabeth. But how do I get past when her brother did?”

“I don’t know,” she admitted.

“How did you get past what Franco did? I mean,” Griffin said when Elizabeth blinked at him. “He kidnapped your son, didn’t he? How…can you tell me how you can forgive something like that?”

“I—” Elizabeth hesitated. “The brain tumor, you know? He’s a different person now.”

Griffin shook his head. “I don’t understand. I thought his brain tumor was pressing on his prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobe.”

Elizabeth furrowed his brow. “I can’t…I don’t remember what Patrick said it was. But Diane Miller argued it in court, and Patrick supported the conclusion he wasn’t responsible—”

“I don’t know what happened then,” Griffin said, “but I’ve read Franco’s chart. His tumor was in the prefrontal cortex. That’s the impulse center. It deals with your reasoning and planning. Emotions. It doesn’t create a new personality. It generally amps up what already exists.”

“But—”

“I mean, sometimes tumors on the frontal lobe cause personality changes,” Griffin continued, “but it’s usually not that stark, like before the tumor, you’re Mr. Rogers, and afterwards, you’re Ted Bundy. It doesn’t usually create a violent schizophrenic sociopath without some sort of underlying cause—”

She could feel her heart pounding in her ears. Elizabeth stared at him. “I—I don’t understand.” She swallowed. “What are you saying to me?”

“I really shouldn’t—” Griffin grimaced. “I wasn’t his doctor. I just…I know what I saw from the charts. Maybe Patrick could say differently—”

“Griffin—” Elizabeth shook her head. “You’re right. You—you weren’t here. And Diane got the charges dismissed, so there must have been medical evidence.” She reached for the menu, her hand trembling slightly. “Let’s…let order—”

“I’m sorry, Elizabeth. I shouldn’t have brought it up—”

“He is a different man,” Elizabeth said, but this time, in her head, she could almost hear the desperation in her tone. “He is. You don’t know him the way I do—”

“No, I get it. He shows you one side of him. And another side to the rest of the world. He just always…struck me as arrogant. Dismissive—”

“No, he feels remorse for what he did—” Elizabeth closed her mouth. Closed her eyes. “You know what? I can’t—I can’t have lunch right now.” She’d lost her appetite.

“Elizabeth, I’m sorry—” Griffin got to his feet as she did as well. “I really didn’t have any right—”

“No, you didn’t. You weren’t his doctor. You weren’t the judge. You weren’t there.” Neither were you, a sinister voice whispered in her ear. She hadn’t paid attention to any of the details—it hadn’t mattered to her at the time.

She’d been preoccupied with AJ’s case and worrying about him. About Michael. And worried what would happen if Franco was released. But Diane had stood up for Franco, and Patrick was supposed to have signed some sort of documentation.

Carly of all people had believed in him after everything Michael had gone through.

Griffin was wrong.

He had to be wrong.

Jason’s Apartment: Living Room

Carly Corinthos folded her arms and stared at the new sofa critically. “I don’t know if I like it after all.”

Jason sighed and leaned against the wall. “It’s a couch, Carly. I really don’t care what it looks like as long as it’s comfortable—”

“No, it has to be right.” She shook her head. “I did okay with the bedrooms, I think. I just…” Carly sighed, looked around the apartment. “It’s so hard to think of you somewhere other than the penthouse, you know? That was home. If Sam was going to abandon you like the cold-hearted bitch I always knew she was—”

Jason closed his eyes and just let Carly rant. It had become clear that Carly’s New Year’s scheme had failed—backfired really as Sam had kissed him, and then looked at him with those dark eyes he’d loved so much…

They’d been filled with regret. Bitterness. Guilt.

And goodbye.

That spark hadn’t been there for either of them, and whether Sam had gone home to tell Drew or not, Jason didn’t know and didn’t care. He was moving on with his life.

And Carly had accepted it for the most part. It just meant that she’d stopped pushing him towards Sam and was now back to treating Sam like trash. He didn’t care for that either—but at least it meant she left Sam alone to get on with her life.

“When is Elizabeth going to let you have Jake overnight?” Carly demanded. “She didn’t seem all that interested in giving me anything to make his room feel like his—”

“We’re taking that slow,” Jason said with another sigh. He really didn’t want Carly to bad mouth Sam to him, but he really wasn’t up for another tantrum about Elizabeth.

He had no idea what Carly’s problem was with Elizabeth, and had never understood her animosity towards Jake’s mother.

“Slow?” Carly snorted. “You mean you’re dragging your feet. You know, that’s your problem, Jase. You’ve been letting that waif drive the bus when it comes to Jake for the kid’s entire life. I mean, she lied to you about being Jake’s father, and you still let Lucky raise him—”

“It was safer,” Jason said, but the words felt hollow. “And you’re the one who lied to me about Lucky. Elizabeth just didn’t correct you.”

Not after Jason had gone and told her it was for the best. She’d thought she was doing them all a favor.

“Oh, sure, blame me.” Carly rolled her eyes. “Look, I think you should sue her for custody rights. She’s letting your kid live with that insane bastard—”

“No court in the world is going to give me custody,” Jason said dryly. “And that’s the last thing I would ever do. Elizabeth raised Jake. She raised him after I walked away. I—You were going to let Franco around Joss.”

“Oh, God. Do not remind me,” Carly muttered as she stalked across the room to look at the sofa from another angle. “And thank God he called it off. I almost married him—”

“He called it off?” Jason repeated. “I thought—”

“Oh—” Carly blinked at him. “Hell. He, ah, well—I cheated on him with Sonny, you know? But I was gonna go through with the wedding. I felt like I had to because—” She grimaced. “You know…that AJ was alive.”

“Yeah, Monica said something about it, but she didn’t want to go into the details. Just that he died a few years ago—” Jason stopped. “Carly. What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” Carly said with a huff. “Everyone thought AJ killed Connie, you know? It was obvious. Michael didn’t beleive it, but he’s a soft touch. You know AJ came back and tricked Michael into giving him a chance—”

“Get to the point, Carly.”

“Well, Sonny thought AJ killed Connie,” Carly said flatly. “And he walked in on AJ confronting Ava…because it turned out Ava actually killed Connie. And—”

“Sonny killed him.”

“Not…right away…” Carly twisted her hands together. “See, I’m not…I’m not proud of either of us, you know? We were wrong. But AJ…didn’t die. He made it to the hospital. And God, Michael was so upset—” She looked away. Her voice faltered. “And AJ…he told me before he died that it was Sonny. But I didn’t tell anyone. I lied to Michael for months. And I do feel awful about it. You know, I mean, I had my problems with AJ, I guess. But—he was better for a while. Before Ava Jerome screwed him out of ELQ by lying about Kiki’s paternity—he like the guy I knew all those years ago—and Michael got into ELQ because of AJ.”

“Carly…” Jason just stared at her. He swallowed hard. “You lied to Michael for months about what happened to AJ? And Franco knew?”

“That’s why I had to marry him.” Carly nodded resolutely. “Because if I left him, he’d tell Michael. Except…he had secretly taped me and Sonny together, and Sonny admitted it, and God, it was awful. I wish like hell you had been here. I mean, Drew was—but he was Jake Doe, and we didn’t really know him yet. Michael and Sonny were estranged for months. Everything almost fell apart.”

Jason rubbed his face. “Christ, Carly.”

“I know, I know. But we got it back. Michael and Sonny patched things up—” Carly closed her mouth. “Anyway, Franco kind of went crazy. He showed the tape at the wedding. Humilated me in front of everyone. Destroyed Michael. Even if he’s not the same kind of crazy he was before the tumor…” She shook her head. “God help Elizabeth if she ever pisses him off. Because he’s still not right.”

December 26, 2017

I’ve been playing around with a couple of plot ideas for rewriting the fallout of the two Jasons and the Friz engagement. I decided, for various reasons, to workshop this plot to make sure it works and to deal with any kinks. I’m not a Friz fan, and Franco makes me want to vomit, so don’t worry about that. It’s also not a straight Liason romance, though it’s a Liason friendship story.

I wrote it in 45 minutes. So enjoy, Fool Me Twice: Part 1 1. I’ll be back with Part 2 on Friday, and then Bittersweet starts up Sunday, December 31.

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Flash Fiction: Fool Me Twice

Okay, so I had this plot bunny a few months about what might be the fallout of the current storylines of GH, but I hadn’t really worked out some of the details. The reason I’m workshopping this idea is that while I have a decent idea about the main structure, I’m not confident I can write the 2017 version of these characters, particularly an Elizabeth who is supposed to be in love with Franco.

So I wanted to see if I could work out some of the kinks.  I wrote this in about 45 minutes, and here is the setup.

I pick up the show from about December 22, 2017. Franco and Elizabeth are engaged. Danny has accepted Jason as his father, Jake wants nothing to do with him. Sam and Drew are together, Oscar is his son. They don’t know who the mysterious Faison traitor is, etc. This begins in February 2018.

It has not been spellchecked or reread for typos.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Webber Home: Kitchen

Elizabeth Webber wrinkled her nose as she tossed the last container of food into a brown paper bag, setting it next to the other brown lunch bag and an Avengers lunch box. Her two oldest were too cool for lunch boxes, but at least she still had one sweet baby.

“Mom, I’m not eatin’ the carrots. You can’t pay me enough to do that,” thirteen-year-old Cameron Webber declared with a sneer that announced her eldest baby was a teenager. God help them all if Cam was anything like Elizabeth had been at his age.

God help the world.

“Did you pack the cookies we made last night?” ten-year-old Jake Webber demanded as he climbed onto the stool in front of the breakfast counter and tugged his bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios towards him. “Franco and I made oatmeal raisin ones—”

Next to him, Cameron rolled his eyes, and seven-year-old Aidan Webber crossed his eyes, stuck a finger down his throat, and gagged.

“There weren’t enough for all of you, so no,” Elizabeth murmured. “You must have eaten more than we thought—”

“Probably only made enough for himself,” Cam muttered, elbowing Aidan in the ribs. The two of them shared a look that Elizabeth didn’t quite understand, but then again—she was an icky girl, and they were boys.

They were bound to start speaking languages she couldn’t understand, and Cam and Aidan just didn’t have the same rapport Jake had developed with her fiance, Franco Baldwin. Not that Franco played favorites—he and Jake just had so much more in common with their interest in art.

Cam and Aidan were into sports and video games in a way that Jake wasn’t.

“Where is Franco, anyway?” Jake asked, shoveling cereal into his mouth, then wiping it with the back of his sleeve. “He was supposed to drive me to school.”

“He’s not, is he?” Aidan asked with a scowl. He and Jake still attended the same school where Jake was a fifth grader, and Aidan a second grader. “Because I’m supposed to sit with Timmy today, and he was bringing his new iPhone. He got it for his birthday.” Aidan batted the blue eyes he’d inherited from his wayward father and a dimpled grin. “Can I get one for my birthday?”

“We’ll talk about it in July,” Elizabeth murmured as she started to wipe up the counter. To Jake, she said, “Franco had an appointment at the hospital, so you’re both taking the bus.”

She hurried the boys through the last of their breakfast, bundled them up into parkas and jackets, though both Jake and Cameron refused her help. Aidan let her adjust his scarf.

She walked them to the bus stop, missing as always, her home on Lexington Avenue in the Queens Point neighborhood. The new house was closer to the hospital, but she’d loved that house. It had been her first real home—she’d raised her boys there. Had lived around the corner from Patrick and Robin.

She and Patrick had traded off the bus stop duties back then, but like so many other things in her life—that was part of a different life. Robin and Patrick were happily living and practicing medicine in California, while Elizabeth…

Elizabeth was planning a brand-new future.

“Mom, are you really going to wait here?” Cam said with a huff. “I’m not a baby. My bus comes last. I can make sure these idiots get on there. It’s not like I’m gonna let Jake get kidnapped. Again.”

Elizabeth grimaced at the memory. “Cam—”

“You’re just jealous because I’ve been kidnapped three times,” Jake shot back.

“Jake!” Elizabeth flicked her son’s shoulder. “That’s not something to joke about.” Where had her little boy gone? He’d been doing so well—really blossoming over the summer and into the fall.

Until Jason Morgan had come home. For real. And the man Jake had grown to love and adore had been revealed to be the missing Quartermaine twin brother.

Almost four months later, Elizabeth still couldn’t quite wrap her mind around it. Most days, she put it out of her head. Jason and Drew belonged to a different life. A different Elizabeth. Jake was all they shared, and even that was a tentative at best these days.

Jason and Drew had been preoccupied trying to find out who had kidnapped them both and tried to have Jason killed. Drew had reached out once or twice to Jake, but he spent most of his time with Oscar Nero, the son he hadn’t known about.

And Jason….

Jake was only tolerating Jason because of Danny. And it broke her heart that Jake might never get to know the kind of father she knew Jason could be. Though it was hardly her fault Jake didn’t have many memories of Jason.

Elizabeth might have started the lie, but Jason had been the one to walk away from all of them.

“Was I ever kidnapped?” Aidan asked with worried eyes. “No one is going to take me right?”

“You got kidnapped once,” Cam said with a furrowed brow. “When you were a baby, right, Mom?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth sighed, hoping that would be the end of it.

Though she imagined one day…they’d have to find a way to explain to Aidan that Elizabeth had married the man that kidnapped him.

She grimaced at the memory, but put it away almost as quickly as it had emerged. She didn’t like to think about those days. About that Franco. He’d been a different man.

The tumor had changed him. She believed it.

She had to believe it.

Even if things had been difficult since Jason had returned and Franco had been…sensitive about him. And it was likely going to get worse before it got better because eventually Jake would open his heart to Jason, and Jason would be a more permanent fixture.

Franco was just going to have to suck it up, because Elizabeth wasn’t going to turn Jason away from his son. Not now.

“I don’t remember what happened though,” Cam continued. “I was seven, I think. But you were gone. And then you came back. It wasn’t like Jake. He was gone for years.” He sobered at that memory. “Why did he get kidnapped so much, Mom?”

Thank God, the bus arrived before Elizabeth had to go into the sordid details of Jake’s various kidnappings.

She waited while Jake and Aidan climbed onto their bus and then it left. Cam’s arrived a moment later, and she saw her eldest off. He was getting so much older.

So much harder to pretend he was a little boy that couldn’t understand what was going on around him.

God, she hoped her boys wouldn’t need therapy one day.

Pozzulo’s Restaurant: Office

Jason Morgan rolled his shoulders and set his hands at his waist as he stood in front of Sonny Corinthos’ mahogany desk and waited while his best friend and partner went over some paperwork from the Puerto Rico run.

He had taken on some of his previous duties the month before when the trail into Cesar Faison’s mysterious partner and traitor had gone cold shortly after Christmas. He would never give up trying to learn who had kidnapped him, stolen his memories, and set up his twin brother to take over his life, but…

Jason had to get back to some kind of life. He had family here, and if he didn’t try to build some sort of relationship with his sons, then he was never going to feel like himself again.

Danny had been easier, but Jason wasn’t surprised by that, and he was just so…completely in awe of the miracle that Jake was alive at all…he would put up with any attitude from the boy if it meant Jake was still breathing.

Even though Jake lived with a man who personified evil and thought he was a good guy. It still didn’t make sense to him how anyone could believe Franco could change, that he was worth a second chance.

But somehow, he was unsurprised to learn that Elizabeth had decided to give him one. She’d always found the good in people, even if she’d had to make it up her in her head.

“Looks good,” Sonny murmured. He glanced up. “Things were good at the casinos? You didn’t have any issues?”

“Nah.” Jason shook his head quickly. “A couple of weird stares, but I guess…Drew didn’t go down there much.”

“Yeah, he never took to any of this. I guess…” Sonny sighed. “I guess there were a lot of signs. I just—I wanted you to be alive so damn much, you know?” He tossed the papers aside. “You get settled in? Carly didn’t over decorate the new place much, did she?”

“No.” Jason lowered himself into the one of the wooden chairs in front of the desk. He couldn’t stay at the Metro Court forever—he’d wanted a place where, if it was ever possible, that Danny and Jake could stay.  So while he’d been in Puerto Rico, Carly had found an apartment downtown for him and had it furnished. She’d finished rooms for both the boys and surprised him with a pool table in the dining room.

He hadn’t realized how much he’d missed his own space until he’d tossed his duffel bag on the sofa and seen the table. How much he’d needed something from his old life to make him feel like he was home again.

“She said she got some things from Elizabeth and Sam to make the boys’ rooms feel like theirs,” Sonny continued. “You, ah, think they’ll be spending much time with you?”

“Danny probably,” Jason said. “But…” He shook his head. “Jake only…agrees to see me if Danny is there. And then he only talks to Danny.”

“He’ll come around. He’s been through hell, but you know that? Not only the kidnapping but the bullshit Helena Cassadine put him through last year. It sucks, but Drew was there for him. And—” Sonny grimaced. “Franco was the one who saw something was wrong. I’ll give him that. Something about art therapy and his drawings.”

“I hate it,” Jason murmured. “He lives with my son. I don’t want him near Franco, but what am I supposed to say to Elizabeth? You know she doesn’t listen to me.”

“Not about the idiots she lets in her life, no,” Sonny said with a shrug. “She’s been making self-destructive choices for the better part of her adult life, Jason.” He shook his head. “I didn’t understand it when Carly nearly married the psycho, but—I don’t know. Maybe I understand how she ended up with him. She told you that she lied about Drew’s identity, right?”

“She mentioned it the first day she came to see me. At the jail.” Jason shifted. “And someone else said—she nearly married him.”

“Yeah, Carly stopped the wedding to tell everyone.” Sonny rubbed his mouth. “It was…it wasn’t pretty. Pretty much destroyed her life. And then Nikolas Cassadine died. Patrick Drake moved out of town with Robin.” He hesitated. “Carly was like that after you went off the pier. I was….in my own head about Kate and Connie, and all of that. AJ ended up coming back from the damn dead and telling Michael every sordid detail of Carly’s life. Carly needed someone, and well…there he was. Plus, you know, he was supposed to be your twin.”

“Yeah, she said something like that.” Jason hesitated. “I don’t trust Franco. It’s only a matter of time before something happens. I just don’t want Elizabeth and the boys in the crossfire.” Like they had been when Lucky Spencer had been addicted to drugs or when Jason’s Russian enemies had driven them from their home and nearly gotten Jake killed.

Elizabeth and her boys had been through enough. Even if Franco was her choice, that didn’t mean he wanted her to find out it was a mistake the hard way.

He looked at his watch. “I’m meeting Carly for lunch, so I’d better get going.” He got to his feet. “Call me if you need anything.”

“Will do. Hey, Jase?” Sonny stopped him as he started out of the room. “I know there’s a lot still up in the air, what with not knowing who Faison was working with, and Drew not having his memories back, Sam sticking to him like glue—but don’t take on more troubles by making Franco your problem again.”

“He lives with Elizabeth and the boys. With my son,” Jason said. “As long he draws breath—he’s my problem.”

December 25, 2017

I’d wanted to write a story for Christmas for a few weeks but my schedule prevented from doing anything in depth. I really wanted to write a sequel to my 2014 AU, All I Want For Christmas, but I couldn’t quite settle on a plot.

So instead of writing a full-fledged sequel, I wrote a second epilogue in the style of Julia Quinn’s second epilogues for her Bridgerton series. It’s a peek into Jason and Elizabeth a year after the first epilogue.

So refresh yourself on the original: All I Want For Christmas and then read the second epilogue.

I also did some housekeeping and the soundtrack is now embedded on the main page.

Merry Christmas! I’ll see you guys on Friday for the Workshop.

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series All I Want For Christmas

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
All I Want for Christmas, Mariah Carey


One Year Later

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

It was already technically Christmas when Jason Morgan ushered his girlfriend through the front door of their penthouse, a pair of gold stiletto heels dangling from one hand, a matching evening clutch in the other.

Elizabeth Webber grimaced as she limped over the threshold and tossed the Manolo Blahniks on the sofa. She perched on the arm and wiggled her toes. “Men created heels, you know that right?”

He just smiled as he flipped a switch that turned on the lights of their Christmas tree arranged between the fireplace and the terrace doors. The white lights twinkled against the red and green paper chains they’d created from construction paper earlier that month.

She’d laughed when she’d brought home the materials, a bit embarrassed. It had been a holiday tradition at her grandparents’ house to make paper chains, and she’d thought it’d be nice to continue the tradition with him.

His family couldn’t offer much in the way of holiday traditions beyond pizza on Thanksgiving and arguments on Christmas, so Jason had happily volunteered to continue one of hers.

“You’re not going to ask me why I wear them?” Elizabeth asked as she straightened and joined him at the tree, naturally sliding her arms around his waist. He drew her closer with an arm around her shoulders, tucking her head under his chin.

“You’ll just tell me something about fashion and image, and I’ll regret asking, so we’re skipping that.” His fingers danced down the bare skin of her upper shoulder as they stood there a long moment—their first quiet moment in days with the holiday rush, the corporate parties, and the general insanity of being employees at ELQ this time of year.

“We didn’t get to do this last year,” Jason began as he pulled away with a hesitant smile, “but my father used to let us open one present on Christmas Eve. When we were kids, he told us it was the presents from him and—” His smile faltered a bit. “And the rest would be there in the morning from Santa.”

“That’s sweet,” Elizabeth said, gratefully letting the moment pass by. They both knew that even at Christmas, as a child, his stepmother Monica had likely made it clear any present to Jason would not include her. “I have just the right one for you.”

She moved past a few gifts for Nadine and Robin—they were going to have dinner with her former roommates and their boyfriends after brunch at the Quartermaines. Six months earlier, Elizabeth had moved out of their loft to live with Jason amid tears and promises that nothing would ever change.

But it had—Nadine had started to date Johnny Zacchara a few months earlier, and Robin was eight months into dating a doctor she worked with at the hospital, Patrick Drake. It was hard to believe that just a year earlier they had been single, commiserating their romantic woes over wine and chocolate. She missed that sometimes, even though they made it a point to get together once a month.

But living with Jason? Being with him for an entire year? Watching her best friends find love, too?

Some change was good.

Elizabeth plucked a medium rectangle wrapped gift and handed it to Jason. “Here. I mean, it might not be good or anything, but you said—”

He offered her an exasperated smile as he tore the silver wrapping paper away to reveal a framed canvas of the Piazza San Marco and the markets and vendors surrounding the Venetian square. “You finished it,” Jason murmured, holding it one hand and tracing his fingers over the market stalls with the other.

“I hadn’t painted in ages, but when we went to Italy last winter…I don’t know—taking photographs wasn’t enough, you know? I had to find a way to capture the way the light hits the water. I’m not sure I did it, but—”

He stopped her rambles with a quick press of his lips to hers. “Thank you. This is—I want to say it’s great, but I don’t know if that’s the right word. I’m—I’m not good at this. I can…I can remember walking through this square with you.”

Elizabeth’s smile bloomed. “That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to hold on to that moment, and like I said, painting does that for me. I never have much time anymore with everything at ELQ—and I love designing parties, I do—but this was always my first love.”

“You should do it more,” he murmured, looking back at the scene. At the market stalls. “And you know, I’m glad you gave me this one. Because…it goes with my gift.”

Jason carefully set aside the painting on the flat green surface of the nearby pool table and kissed her again, lingering over the softness of her lips, the faint taste of chocolate from the pastries she’d eaten at the party earlier that night.

Then he stepped back and drew a small box from behind another stack of neatly wrapped gifts.

Elizabeth stared at the box for a longer moment before raising her eyes to him. “Jason—”

Jason handed her the box, wrapped in shiny gold paper. “I saw this in Venice last year. I wanted—I wanted to give it to you then, but I knew—”

Elizabeth carefully tore back the paper, letting it fall to the ground, revealing a white box. She flipped it open to find a silver ring inside, with a crimson red stone.

She furrowed her brow at it before raising her eyes towards the table in front of the sofa where a vase sat. “This is—the glass from the market. I bought the crimson-colored glass from—”

“I know it doesn’t look like a—” He hesitated, feeling an uncharacteristic flutter of nerves in his chest. “I would have asked you six months ago, Elizabeth. A year ago. Because I knew.”

“Are you—” Elizabeth’s voice trembled. “Are you asking me—”

Jason took the box from her and drew out the ring. “I love you. And I want to love you for the rest of our lives. I want to have a family with you. I want to make paper chains with our kids.”

She laughed, the sound mixed with a sob as a tear slid down her cheek. “That’s what I want. I want that so much, Jason—” Elizabeth held out her hand, wiggled her fingers. “I can’t believe you’ve had this since January. I love you, too. Yes. Yes!”

He grinned, slid the ring onto her fourth finger and then caught her as she launched herself into his arms.

“When?” he asked, pressing his face into her silky hair.

“Tomorrow? Now? I don’t want to wait another minute.” Elizabeth drew back with, framing his face in her hands. “I don’t care how or when. Kiki can work magic and get everything together. I want to start on the rest of our lives.”

“Sounds good to me.”

THE END

December 24, 2017

I knew I had posted some original plot sketches and outlines at one point, but I lost the category for the longest time. I found them, fixed the page, and added it to the “Extras” section. It’s messy and I’ll come back to it after the holidays.

For now, it just has a discarded partial story that set up the Jake is alive and kept by Cassadines plot I had in mind back in 2014 before they cast Billy Miller as “Jason” and started down that path. Also, there’s an outline and beta conversation about All We Are and plot sketches for A Few Words Too Many that are really different. So check out Plot Sketches.

I’ll try to post more after the new year — some of The Best Thing stuff is available, and I have some other discarded material to deal with. I want to clean up what I already posted as well.

I’ll be back this week with some more news 🙂

December 8, 2017

I set my timer for 30 minutes, but I wasn’t quite finished the scene. So this was finished in 39 minutes. This is a second attempt at the magical story I started in October (Homecoming). I mentioned that the stuff in the workshop would be fluid and that if I didn’t like the way it was going, I would just start it again.

So, here’s Homecoming, Take 2: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Homecoming, Take 2

I went over time a bit — I set my timer for 30 minutes, this took about 39. This is a second attempt at the magic story I started in October.


The house on Cherry Blossom Lane had always seemed like something out of a dream. A two-story white colonial with black shutters and rose bushes clustered under the windows.

Elizabeth Webber hadn’t grown up here, but she had dreamed about it. Had desperately wanted it once.

But she hadn’t been welcomed here any more than she had been at her own home across town.

Still, it was to this house that she had come today.

Elizabeth switched off the ignition and tossed her keys into her purse. Then stared down at her palm.

The mark had appeared the month before—she couldn’t be sure exactly when but she had looked down one morning as she made lunch and there it was.

The small pentagram was tucked in the soft skin between her index finger and thumb.

She had never met her mother, but she knew Gracie Devane-Webber had had the same mark.

Elizabeth stepped out of the car and walked up the path, slowly. Deliberately.

But the door was thrust open before Elizabeth had even reached the steps. A tall, rail thin woman with dark hair and dark eyes stood there.

Of course Anna Devane had known her niece was on the front step.

Anna always knew everything.

Her aunt rushed forward to embrace her, throwing her arms around Elizabeth in an easy, natural expression of affection that always felt alien to her.

“Anna,” Elizabeth said as she drew back. “I came—”

“Because of this.” She turned Elizabeth’s palm over and sighed heavily. “Oh, my love, I was hoping you had escaped this. I cannot understand how any of this is happening—”

“I’m not the only one?” she asked, her heart pounding. “But—but Nona said—”

“I know.” Anna put an arm around her shoulders. “Come in. I’ll explain everything.”

——

Elizabeth accepted the mug of coffee her aunt handed her and sipped it as much as she could.

She hated coffee, but her aunt had never really known that.

“I wondered if I should call you when Nadine found the mark last month,” Anna admitted as she took a seat across from Elizabeth in the large, open, sunny kitchen at the back of the house.

“But we weren’t sure where to find you,” Anna continued. “You, ah, haven’t kept in touch.”

“No, I haven’t.” Elizabeth tipped her head. “Only Nadine?”

“So far, which leads me to wonder…” Anna hesitated. “If perhaps I escaped the curse because I am the eldest. We had hoped Gracie and Maria…had been enough sacrifice…”

“But they passed it on to us.” Elizabeth chewed her lip. “I don’t understand. Nadine and I didn’t get the mark until we were thirty years old. And I already—”

She closed her eyes. “When Cameron was born, you…you said he was the first boy in five generations. And then…” She looked down at her phone, at the wallpaper with the two smiling faces, and then slid the phone towards her aunt.

“And then I had Jake.”

Anna took the phone, looked down at the little boy, then raised dark eyes to her niece. “You had another son.”

“Yes.”

She swallowed. “You didn’t…tell us.”

“No.”

Anna cleared her throat. “I know that you…had difficulties before you left. That…things ended badly—I know mistakes were made…Elizabeth, he looks quite like—”

“He does.” Elizabeth waited a long moment. “And that’s why I’m here. I don’t know how the curse is going—we don’t know anything. It’s never…my boys are much older than Nadine and I were when we lost our mothers. And older than Nona was when she lost her mother. They’re ten and seven, Anna.”

“You must be worried about your boys, Elizabeth. But…perhaps there’s…I don’t know—”

“If the curse didn’t…manifest itself until now, I might have as little as a few months or as long as three years.” Elizabeth took her phone back. “Or days. We can’t know. So I came to Port Charles so my boys would—I need for Jake to know his father.”

“I—” Anna paused. “You’re sure Jason is his father, then? You won’t need—”

Elizabeth could see the doubt radiating from her aunt, the worry that Elizabeth was lying to herself.

And she mentally flipped the switch.

She didn’t want to know how little her aunt trusted her. How little she believed her.

“If Jason wants tests, that’s his prerogative.” Elizabeth lifted her chin. “I know what Robin told him.”

“I—” Anna paused. Her eyes darkened. “It was a lie, then?”

“It doesn’t matter. I’ll deal with Jason on my own. What worries me is Cameron. His father…” Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t know where he is. I doubt if he’d even be interested.”

“Of course I’ll look after him, but we won’t have to worry about that. We’ll find a way to make all of this go away—”

“I didn’t—” Elizabeth closed her eyes. “I can’t be sure of that. And you’re…I’m not sure if this is the right place for Cameron. I just—I don’t have many options. It’s the only way to be sure he’ll still be able to see his brother.”

“If this is about Robin, she would never take what happened out on your son—” Then Anna closed her mouth.

Because they both knew that was a lie.

“However Jason feels about me, I know he’ll be good to Jake.” Elizabeth rose to her feet. “I know you say we’ll solve this. But I can’t—that’s what Nona told my mother. And she was dead within weeks.”

“We didn’t understand the magic as well.” Anna stood. “But I’ve spent so much time studying. I trained Nadine and Robin—I would have trained you if your father had allowed it—”

“I trained myself.” Eventually.

After it had nearly destroyed her life.

“I have to go see Jason. To tell him about Jake.”

“Elizabeth, I know so much more about your magic now.” Anna touched her arm. “You were the first empath in the family in generations—we didn’t know how hard it would be—I should have pushed your father to let me in—”

“Dad wouldn’t have—”

“You only got into all that trouble cause you couldn’t control—”

“Anna—” Elizabeth held up her hands. “I get it. You’re sorry. I’m sorry, too. And yes, of course, we need to find a way to break the curse. I’m sure Nadine wants answers, too. But right now, I need to make sure my boys are safe. That they’ll be cared for.”

Her boys were the only reason she got out of bed in the morning. The only thing that kept her from screaming.

From giving up.

“Of course. Elizabeth—”

“I just wanted you to know I was here. In town. And that…I had the mark. I’ll—I’ll be in touch.”