Help me out here
All my words are falling short
And there’s so much I want to say
Want to tell you just how good it feels
When you look at me that way
When you look at me that way
– Please Forgive Me, David Gray
Friday, December 15, 2006
Greystone Manor: Living Room
When Max showed Diane in that morning, Sonny had a feeling he knew what the conversation would entail. Diane had made a mint representing both Jason and Sonny because their interests had always been intertwined.
“Sonny.” Diane hesitated, setting her briefcase on the desk. “I suppose Jason has been by, has mentioned our meeting with Scott Baldwin a few days ago.”
“It came up.” Sonny poured himself a glass of water, but he really wanted bourbon. Just when the situation had begun to feel resolved, damn lawyers had to come around. “You look a bit more nervous now. The charges are as bullshit now as they were before—”
“Not…” Diane exhaled slowly. “Not quite. I don’t want to admit it to Jason and Elizabeth but…” She lifted her hands. “I’m not a miracle worker, Sonny. Scott previewed his opening argument. Give him another few weeks, even months—and it will be rock solid. I can poke some holes in it, but Elizabeth is no longer the sympathetic nurse beaten down by the system. She’s the woman who left her cop husband for a mobster—”
“Damn it, Diane—”
“And Scott has prepared a theory of the case that allows him to introduce every alleged criminal activity Elizabeth has ever been involved with as long as he can show Jason’s involvement. The bomb in her studio, the fire at the warehouse, her kidnapping, the explosion at the warehouse, both times Manny Ruiz went after her—” Diane pressed a hand to her forehead. “And those are just the major points—Scott can call in character witnesses to show her connection to Jason—and there’s a plethora of cops who’d be happy to do it—”
“How is any of that relevant to the drug charges?” Sonny demanded. “Can you get it—whatever, suppressed?”
“It’s relevant because Elizabeth will now be charged with obstruction of justice—” Diane huffed. “Didn’t Jason tell you? Scott added a charge—for stealing and destroying police files relating to Jason—Scott can tie her to that in a much more solid manner. The drug charges are now just window dressing. He’s going to claim she’ll do anything to protect Jason, and he’ll use their history to prove it.”
Sonny blinked, then looked away. Because of course, it was true. And he wouldn’t ask if Elizabeth had committed this new crime—
He already knew she had.
“You don’t want to go to trial,” Sonny said finally. He looked at her. “You’re going to tell Jason to sandbag me. And you’re here to dump me as a client.”
Diane hesitated. “To be quite honest, Sonny, Jason retained me this summer after Justus Ward…” She pursed her lips. “Jason retained me while he was in charge. I don’t…exactly…officially represent you.”
“Ah.” Sonny nodded. “Fair enough. You’re just here to make sure I have my own counsel so I’m covered—”
“Jason hasn’t made—” Diane closed her mouth. “Sonny, you must appreciate the difficulty Jason is facing—”
“I do.” Sonny turned. “I get it. I know exactly what Elizabeth means to him. I set up their damn wedding didn’t I? I was the best man. They have a family. Of course he’s going to pick her. I want him to do that.” He turned away. “It’s the right thing to do. I don’t have to be happy about it though, do I?”
Diane waited a moment. “Sonny, I can give you the names of some very good attorneys—”
“Thanks, Diane.” Sonny looked at her. “But you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself.”
She waited another moment before leaving.
He’d told her the truth. He fully expected Jason to testify against him in the end. He knew his friend would agonize over it, that Elizabeth would try to find another way, but it wouldn’t matter. Jason would choose, as he should, the woman who had always stood by him.
And Sonny would have to live with it.
General Hospital: Examining Room
“A boy?” Elizabeth repeated, squeezing Jason’s hand as an ultrasound technician explained the image on the monitor to them. “Really?”
“Did you want a girl?” Kelly asked over the tech’s shoulder. She flashed a wicked smile. “You can always try again.”
Elizabeth flushed, but shook her head. “No, no, I guess…” She looked at Jason, who was squinting at the screen. “I didn’t know what to hope for beyond a healthy baby.”
“Cam asked for a brother,” Jason said idly. “To boss around. Then he wants a sister so she’ll have two older brothers.” He blinked at that, as if realizing what he’d insinuated. “So, ah,” he coughed. “He’ll be excited.”
“As for healthy…” The tech looked at them. “He looks good. The right length, heart beat is strong.” She looked at Kelly. “What do you think, Kel?”
“Everything looks fantastic.” Kelly nodded. “Your blood tests are great, your blood pressure is so much better—right in the levels we want to see at this point. Everything is on track for a safe and happy delivery around May 6.” Her grin flashed again. “Now that we have more accurate information, we’ve moved your due date up a bit.”
“I’m so glad.” Elizabeth winced as the tech cleaned the gel from her abdomen and then sat up, using Jason’s hands to climb down from the examining table. “I was so tired for most of November, but my energy is back.” Her pregnancy had been the only aspect of her life to run smoothly.
“We’ll see you again next month.” Kelly tapped the tech. “Haddie, make sure they’ve got prints and a video so they can share with friends, okay?”
After the tech had printed the picture from the ultrasound and Elizabeth had tucked the video in her large tote, they left the maternity wing and headed for the elevators. As they approached the nurse’s station, Elizabeth’s steps slowed.
Her grandmother stood by the counter, speaking with Bobbie Spencer and another nurse. Audrey looked at her for a long moment, then her eyes moved to Jason. Her expression somber, she murmured something to Bobbie, then turned her back and walked away, disappearing around the corner.
Elizabeth drew in a shaky breath. Nearly two months after that difficult day in her living room, it was clear her grandmother hadn’t changed her mind. She felt Jason’s hand at her back.
“You should—” She swallowed hard. “You should call Carly. Tell her we’ll go to the island for Christmas.”
Might as well have one more vacation, one more holiday before it all blew up in their faces.
“Okay,” Jason said slowly. They moved in front of the elevators, and he pressed the button. “Did you want to grab something to eat? We don’t have to pick Cam up for a few more hours—”
“Maybe something from Kelly’s—” But Elizabeth stopped as someone came around the corner. Emily looked at both of them, pursed her lips, but said nothing. “Emily,” Elizabeth said softly. “Hey.”
“Hey.” Emily shifted. She looked down at the photo in Elizabeth’s hands. “I—I guess you had an appointment.”
“Yeah.” She held out the print, but Emily didn’t take it. “We’re—we’re having a boy.”
“Oh.” Emily looked at Jason, then back at Elizabeth. “And I guess every thing’s going okay?”
“They’re fine.” Elizabeth drew her hand back.
“Well.” Emily rocked back on her heels. “I guess I’ll see you around.” She tucked her chart back under her arm and then continued down the hall.
The elevator door finally slid open, and Jason gently propelled Elizabeth forward. “You okay?” he asked, as the doors closed.
“Um. Yeah.” She took a deep breath. “Just…a weird…couple of moments.” She looked at him. “Let’s get some lunch at Kelly’s.”
Metro Court: Restaurant
Carly ended the phone call from Jason and lounged against the bar and looked over the lunch crowd. Elizabeth had finally given in to their experimental family Christmas celebration on the island, which she knew would send Morgan into fits of happiness. Carly wasn’t entirely sold on Elizabeth sticking around forever, but Cam—he could stay.
She saw Alexis and Sam sitting at a table and smirked. She might not be completely wild about Elizabeth, but she couldn’t deny she was happy to see the backside of Sam McCall for once and for all.
Alexis stood and walked away, probably towards the bathroom. Carly perked up. She hadn’t had fun in ages. Not since the duct tape.
“Well, well….” Carly sauntered up to Sam’s table and took one of the empty seats. “I hope you’re enjoying your meal.”
Sam narrowed her eyes. “What do you want? Come to bar me from the restaurant?”
“Oh, no, no…whatever momentary enjoyment it might give me to kick you out…” Carly leaned forward. “I prefer to keep my friends close, and my enemies even closer.”
“We weren’t enemies last year,” Sam snarled. “You’re such a hypocritical bitch, you know that? A year ago, you and I were fighting to save Jason’s life, and now, you’re cozying up to Elizabeth Webber. You hate her.”
Carly rolled her eyes. “I don’t give a damn about either of you, to tell the truth. I’m not loyal to anyone. Except Jason. And where Jason goes, I go. He wanted you, I put up with it. Now he wants her. I’m putting up with it.”
“I can’t stand you,” Sam hissed. “You’re supposed to be his friend, but you don’t even care. She trapped him. He won’t leave her now. She’s pregnant with his kid, and he feels sorry for her.”
“Oh.” Carly pursed her lips. “I get it. You think she took advantage of him. I bet she wrestled him to the ground and practically violated him in order to conceive that baby.” Sam’s scowl deepened. “Oh, maybe she cried woes me, woes me, I need someone strong to help me with my baby.” Carly fluttered her eyelashes. “Someone strong and wealthy,” she continued in a breathy voice.
“You’re such a bitch—”
“The problem, Sam, is that you’re pissed that Elizabeth plays the game better than you. Because you conned Jason into sticking around for your kid and hooked into his money, you think she must have as well.”
“Jason loved me,” Sam shot back.
“He probably did,” Carly responded. “And maybe you eventually stopped seeing him as a bank account. You’re the only one who can know that for sure, Sam. The thing is, people think that just because you love one another, that means something. Like every time you love someone, it’s forever.”
She tilted her head. “It’s not. You were a moment. A phase he went through. He thought he wanted someone strong, who could go toe to toe in his business. He doesn’t. There’s a reason you were engaged all those months and never got married.”
“Shut up, Carly. You’re not any better than I am,” Sam snarled.
“I don’t know about that,” Carly responded. “But I know you. I do,” she insisted when Sam just rolled her eyes. “I was you. You know your little summer indiscretion?”
Sam’s cheeks flushed as she cast her eyes to the empty hallway leading the bathrooms. “Shut up, Carly.”
“I slept with my stepfather once, too.” Carly leaned back in her chair, but pitched her voice a bit lower. “And I did it for the same reasons you did. I did it to destroy my mother because I blamed her for everything that was wrong in my life.”
“That’s not how it happened—”
“And maybe I could even understand that,” Carly continued, ignoring Sam’s protestations. “Alexis did her part to convince Jason to walk away from you. But you didn’t stop at trying to destroy her. You decided to punish Jason for leaving you.”
“I did not—”
“Yeah, you did. I told you, Sam, I know you. We’re alike. We do whatever we can to survive, and we don’t particularly care about collateral damage. Alexis took something from you, so you decided to take something from her. But that wasn’t enough. You went to Jason and you told him what happened, didn’t you? If it was a mistake, then why not just sweep it under the rug?”
“I wanted to be honest with him.” But Sam’s voice had lost some of the righteousness.
“And I’m sure he thinks you hated it, that you did it to punish yourself.” Carly smirked. “But revenge doesn’t work if no one knows, Sam. If Alexis wasn’t sick, how did you plan on letting her find out? Maybe you were going to let Ric seduce you again, and maybe the next time, you were going to let Alexis catch you in the act.” She smirked. “Until Jason told you about Elizabeth and you realized you had just given him the excuse he’d always wanted to be with her.”
“We’re not talking about this anymore.”
“Doesn’t really matter to me.” Carly rose. “But here’s a little something I’ll do for you. For old time’s sake.” She leaned down. “Jason told you he saw you, didn’t he? That he looked in those windows and walked away?”
“Sonny told me the part Jason left out.” She lowered her mouth until her lips all but brushed Sam’s ear as they both watched Alexis emerge from the bathroom. “Alexis saw, too. She’s known all along.”
Sam looked up sharply, her face drained of color as Alexis joined them at the table. “Carly,” Alexis said with a warning in her voice. “What’s going on?”
“Oh, just torturing Sam with tales of the happy newlyweds,” Carly said flashing a bright smile at Sam’s pale face. “How’s Ric taking that setback at work? Must suck to know your husband has pretty much lost your job at the DA’s office and that Scotty Baldwin is ready to swoop in.”
“Lunch is on me, ladies. We need to stick together, you know.” Carly was practically giddy. “As the women Sonny’s knocked up, I mean. See you around!”
She offered a little wave and headed for the elevators.
She had the best life.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Lunch had been relatively quiet, and Jason knew it had been ridiculous to think they could avoid talking about the elephant in the room, even for a day. They were both tense, waiting for Diane to call.
Elizabeth entered the penthouse in front of him, and set her bag down on the desk as she drew out the ultrasound photo of their son. Their son. The baby had been real to him, so much more than abstract, and yet—looking at him on the screen—knowing they were having a boy—it made it worse.
How could he let her go to trial? The drug charges were nonsense and they both knew it. And it was his fault she’d tried to protect him by destroying that police file. If not for him, Elizabeth wouldn’t be in danger. Ric Lansing wouldn’t be looking at him, Scott Baldwin wouldn’t know she existed.
Jason knew Diane was a good lawyer, but she’d looked worried when they’d discussed a trial. And if Elizabeth were convicted, it would be too late to make any deal.
But how did he turn Sonny in? How did he let go of the loyalty that had been drummed in him for the better of the decade? He’d been accused of being more loyal to Sonny than himself, and part of Jason had always believed it to be true.
Maybe it was, but it didn’t mean he could let Elizabeth pay the price for his choices in life.
“I want to call Diane.” Elizabeth turned to face him. “I want to talk to her. Today.”
“She said—” Jason hesitated. “She said she would call us when she was ready.” When she’d found a miracle.
“Not about—” She chewed on her bottom lip. “Not about that. I want to make sure you have guardianship of Cameron.”
Jason frowned, sliding his hands in his pockets. “We started the adoption papers, Elizabeth. It’ll take a few months, maybe even six. But—”
“I want to make sure the boys can’t be separated.” Her fingers tightened around the photo, crinkling the edges slightly. “If I’m convicted—”
“You’re not going to be—”
“I don’t want my grandmother or Lucky coming after Cameron because the adoption isn’t final,” she continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “I need to be sure Cameron will be okay.”
“Elizabeth…” He took the photo from her before she twisted it beyond recognition. “I told you. You’re not going to jail. I won’t let you.”
“Jason, just—please. Let’s draw up the guardianship papers, okay?” He was a little taken back to see the tears swimming in her eyes. “Cameron loves you so much, and if I can’t be here, you need to be—”
He wanted to shake her, to make her stop talking about something that just wasn’t going to happen. She wasn’t going to spend a day in jail, not a minute. It was never going to get that far.
The PCPD had never been able to pin a damn thing on either him or Sonny. They were not going to start with his wife.
He exhaled slowly. “Elizabeth—”
“We can’t pretend this isn’t happening,” she cut in. “They’re not trying to dump some imaginary drug charges on me, Jason. They’re going after me for something we both know I did.” Her mouth was pressed into thin lines. “And I’d do it again. You did it for me.”
“What?” He shook his head. “Elizabeth—”
“You lied to the police about Zander. You put yourself at risk to protect me.” She lifted her chin. “And I destroyed that file to protect you. I’m not sorry I did it, I’m just sorry I got caught.”
Hell. He scrubbed his hands over his face. “Elizabeth,” he said for the third time.
“I have to do what’s right for my children.” She set her hand over the swell of her belly. “Our children. They should be with you.”
“They’re going to be with both of us—”
“But I’ll call Diane.” Jason reached for the phone, because he wanted to make some of the tension disappear. If she knew Cameron was safe, then maybe she could trust him to make this go away.
“Thank you.” Her shoulders slumped. “I’m just—I’m scared, Jason. If Diane had a way to get out of this, don’t you think she would have called us already?”
Yes, but there was no way in hell Jason was going to answer that question.
“You’re not going to jail,” Jason said. He could promise her that, because it wasn’t a possibility. Their sons were going to grow up with their mother.
No matter what he had to sacrifice to make that happen.