Nothin’ goes as planned
Everything will break
People say goodbye
In their own special way
All that you rely on
And all that you can fake
Will leave you in the morning
But find you in the day
– In My Veins, Andrew Belle
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Elm Street Pier
When Jason saw Sam sitting on the bench by the waterfront, he nearly backtracked and took another route to the street. He had been successfully able to avoid his ex-girlfriend for nearly two months—since he’d sent her out of the penthouse with Carly.
Sam rose to her feet when she saw him coming. “I thought I might be able to catch you if I waited here long enough.” Her expression was pained as she continued, “I didn’t think you’d want me stopping by the penthouse.”
He didn’t respond to that—there was nothing he could say. He didn’t want her in the penthouse. “What’s up?” he asked after a moment.
“My mother knows about Ric,” Sam said flatly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Jason looked away, remembering that night as Alexis had struggled to catch her breath but had been unable to hide the shock, the pain in her expression. “She said she’d handle it. I guess she has.”
Sam huffed. “You told Sonny she knew. Can you guess who he told?”
Jason winced. Carly being in possession of that knowledge was a ticking time bomb. “I’m sorry if Carly told Alexis, but that’s her problem—”
“Carly told me,” Sam cut in. She slid her hands into the pockets of her coat. “And I decided that I wasn’t going to let her have the satisfaction of holding that over me. So I told Alexis.”
“Okay.” Jason blinked. “I don’t know what you want, Sam—”
“I want to know why you sandbagged me with this. I had a right to know she already knew—” Sam stopped. “And I want to know how you can live with yourself with what you’ve done.”
“What I’ve done?” Jason repeated. “Sam, you slept with your mother’s husband. That’s not my fault. Alexis had the right to deal with it the way she needed to—”
“The way you dealt with it?” Sam demanded. “You jumped on the first excuse you could and crawled into bed with Elizabeth. What kind of person does that make you?” She smirked. “But I guess she got the last laugh. She managed to knock herself up. Maybe if I had done that, you wouldn’t have left me.”
Jason exhaled slowly and looked away. He felt guilty for the way he’d walked away from Sam, but not as much as he had once. He’d walked away for a good reason, but he’d changed his mind. Sam’s actions had prevented their reconciliation, not his.
And God help him, he was grateful. He would rather have had the horror of finding her with Ric a thousand times if it meant he’d be with Elizabeth today.
“I don’t know what you want,” Jason repeated. “I’m sorry if you’re having trouble at home, Sam, but it has nothing to do with me—”
“How could you promise to love me and then turn around and marry her?” Sam demanded as he started to walk past her. “I thought it was just to get at Ric—I thought he was up to something, but it’s not just that, is it? What the hell was I, Jason? A rebound? A stand-in? Someone to keep the bed warm until Elizabeth came back around?”
He shook his head. She would never understand. “Sam, I don’t owe you any explanations. We were broken up. I—” He hesitated. “I moved on. You should do the same.”
“I can’t believe you can stand there and act like things weren’t completely different a year ago. Six months ago.” She jabbed a finger in his direction, her eyes burning into his. “She was married to another man five minutes ago. What makes you think she’s going to stick around this time?”
“Sam—” He shook his head. “I’m going now—”
“You think your little happy life is going to last forever?” Sam called after him as he walked up the stairs. “I hope she leaves you the way you walked out on me. With no warning, no damn good reason. I hope she crushes your heart when she goes. Then maybe you’ll understand what you’ve done to me.”
He turned at the top of the stairs for one last look at a woman with whom he’d spent the better part of two years, had planned a life and family with. She was glaring at him, her breaths sending little puffs into the chilly winter air.
He didn’t have the space to feel sorry for her anymore. He was going to Baldwin’s office to confess to whatever would keep Elizabeth out of jail. There just wasn’t room for a woman who had once meant so much to him. He reached down for something, some emotion he could offer her in recompense.
And found nothing. He felt nothing for this woman, only relief he hadn’t married her after all.
“Goodbye, Sam.” He turned and walked away, not bothering to wait for her response.
Municipal Building: Scott Baldwin’s Office
Scott frowned when Jason Morgan came in his office sans representation and closed the door behind him. This…this had not been the plan.
“Morgan.” Scott rose from his desk, and gestured for the younger man to take a seat. Morgan shook his head, indicating he would stand. “Is Ms. Miller parking the car?”
“She’s not coming,” Morgan said blandly. “She refused to represent me if I came here today, so I’ll waive my right to an attorney.”
At those words, Scott sank into his chair. No one had ever heard those words from Jason Morgan, and the fact that he was saying them at all—this could not bode well for Scott’s plans.
“Ah. Okay. Have you decided what you’d like to do, then?” Scott asked. He took a deep breath. He needed to be in control. “Which charges should I file tomorrow morning?”
Morgan stared at him, his expression as blank as it had ever been. “Whatever you want to charge me with, I’ll confess to it.”
Hell. Scott stood again. “What?”
“That’s what I want you to do,” Morgan said. “I want you to pick any of the thousand things the PCPD has tried to stick on me, and I’ll confess to it. I’ll go to jail, but you have to leave Elizabeth alone.”
And despite Scott’s best effort, he felt a grudging respect for this man who wanted to remain loyal to his wife as well as his friend and had picked the option of self-sacrifice.
To walk in here and tell Scott he would confess to anything—knowing Scott could put him jail for the rest of his life—it took a measure of gravitas that he had not credited Morgan with.
“You don’t think you’re being overdramatic?” Scott asked, arching a brow. “I might ask for the maximum for Elizabeth, and maybe I’d get it, but it’s more likely she’d serve no more than five years. That’s better than whatever you or Corinthos could face.”
“Testifying against Sonny isn’t an option,” Morgan said, firmly. “I wouldn’t survive long enough to give the testimony.”
Ah. Well, that was a wrinkle Scott hadn’t quite considered, but he doubted Morgan would be in serious danger if he testified. And it was a risk Scott was willing to take. “We could always arrange protective custody, even witness protection.”
“You get me, Baldwin. I’m not testifying against Sonny, and you’re not putting Elizabeth in jail.”
Scott hesitated, and considered taking the deal. Without Jason Morgan to bolster his organization, Corinthos would follow in a matter of years, maybe even less. Morgan’s wife and children would likely be well-cared for if his assets weren’t frozen.
But Jason Morgan wasn’t Sonny Corinthos.
“I don’t want you,” Scott said after a long moment of silence. “If I wanted you, that would have been the deal. I want Sonny Corinthos. And if I have to prosecute your wife to make you understand that, I’ll do it.”
Morgan’s face faded in color, just a little. “You won’t take a confession from me?”
“I’ll tell you why.” Scott leaned forward. “If not for Sonny Corinthos, you and Elizabeth would not be in this mess. She did what she did to protect you. I get it. I even understand it to a certain extent. I’ve seen a little of the difficulties she’s faced in life. I’m sure she panicked when she stole that file, didn’t quite think it through. She’s not a master criminal, that’s for sure. She’s in this mess because she loves you. And you’re here to sacrifice yourself because you love her, too.”
“I told you—”
“If not for Sonny Corinthos, Jason, you’d be a different person. In a different line of work. Where your wife would not have had to protect you by lying to the police and committing crimes.” Scott leaned back in his chair. “I knew you before your accident—a little bit. But I also knew your family. And I know the challenges you faced after your accident.”
“I’m not interested in what you think—”
“You maybe didn’t have much of a career parking cars and working in construction, but you had a future. You didn’t give a damn about it then, but you do now, don’t you?” Scott raised his brows. “You know I’m right. Sonny Corinthos took advantage of you, Morgan. He took a kid who didn’t care about tomorrow, and he removed any chance of you ever changing your mind. You can never walk away from this business, and that’s because of Sonny Corinthos. Do you think I want to put a pregnant mother on trial?”
“But you will,” Morgan stated, his voice cold. “You think I give a damn what you think about me?”
“I know you don’t.” Scott stood. “I’m not the bad guy in this, Morgan. You, your wife, your lawyer—you all seem to want to paint me that way. I get it. Ric Lansing was a piece of dirt. I don’t think I’ll go ahead with the drug charges because, while they may fit my narrative, they don’t fit Elizabeth as a person. So when I take Elizabeth to court, we all know I’ll be prosecuting her for something she did. Your attorney has told you about the security footage. You know the evidence. That’s my job, Morgan. To go after people who break the law. Your wife did that.”
To this, Morgan said nothing, but he didn’t leave either.
“If you’re truly concerned about the safety of your family, of yourself,” Scott continued, “I’m willing to work with you. Maybe you don’t have to testify. Maybe you cooperate and give us information so we can pursue independent charges. I don’t want any harm to come to your family. I have kids—” He hesitated then, thinking of Karen. Of the life she would never have.
“I don’t want you on a silver platter, Morgan, though maybe I’m crazy for turning that down. I don’t want your wife. I want Sonny. Putting him in jail will make the bigger difference. I’ll use whatever I have at my disposal in order to put him there, including Elizabeth. I’m not the bad guy, Morgan.”
“And that’s your final answer?” Morgan asked after a long moment. “You’re refusing to take me into custody. You’ll continue to go after Elizabeth unless I cooperate with you?”
“I will prosecute a criminal,” Scott said. “I told you, it’s up to you how I proceed at this point. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.”
Looking a bit stunned, Jason Morgan left his office, and Scott wondered if he’d made the right decision. Had he lost a chance here? But he still didn’t see a way for Morgan to get out of this without turning on someone.
And Scott still had his money on Morgan sacrificing his boss to save his wife.
Outside the office, a paralegal saw Jason Morgan striding down the hall, his face set in annoyance. He picked up the phone to call Diane Miller, wondering if she knew her client was meeting with the special prosecutor—without his attorney.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
“I think Patrick is convinced I want to have a baby next month,” Robin complained as she tucked her feet underneath her and faced Elizabeth on the sofa. “He keeps sending me these panicked looks.”
Elizabeth laughed, sipping her tea. “Did you tell him to relax?”
“Hey, I’m just relieved he hasn’t headed for the hills yet,” Robin replied. She sighed. “He’s great, but he’s a jackass.” Her expression sobered. “Any word from Diane?”
“No, but Jason said she’d call today.” Elizabeth hesitated. “He said she was optimistic yesterday, so that’s good. I’ll go to trial if Diane feels comfortable.” She shifted a bit, moving her hand to the small of her back. “I made sure Jason had guardianship of Cameron in case something happens before the adoption goes through.” She bit her lip. “And I drew up paperwork stating you would be guardian if something happened to Jason and me.”
“Me?” Robin repeated. “Why? What about—” She swallowed. “Carly? Or Sonny?”
“We talked about both of them, and I hope they’d be a part of the boys’ lives, but if something—Robin, in the worst case scenario and my children were left without the both of us, I’d like it if they were with someone who knew both their parents and liked them. Carly puts up with me because Jason told her to, and she likes Cam. It’s not the same.”
“Oh. I’m—” She pressed a hand to her chest. “I’m honored. Of course, not that it would ever happen, but if I were needed, I would step up.” Robin squeezed Elizabeth’s hand. “It’s not going to be necessary.”
Cody knocked and pushed open the door. “Ah, Ms. Miller is on her way up,” he told them. “Should I just let her right in?”
“Um, sure…” Elizabeth unfolded her legs and stood, hearing Robin do the same. “Should I call Jason to tell him? I’m surprised she didn’t call and make sure we were together.”
“Maybe it’s good news and she didn’t want to wait,” Robin suggested.
They heard Diane the moment she stepped off the elevator. “Where is he?” her voice boomed as she pushed past Cody and swept into the room. “Jason Morgan, you come out here right now before I tear this place apart!”
Elizabeth blinked, stepping forward. “Diane! What’s going on? Jason’s at work—”
“The hell he is!” Diane growled, planting her hands at her hips. “I told him I wouldn’t set up a meeting, and the stupid fool went to Scott Baldwin without me! How am I supposed to do my job unless he lets me?”
“Why would Jason go to Scott without you?” Elizabeth asked, her heart pounding. “Diane—”
“Jason doesn’t breathe without a lawyer at the PCPD,” Robin chimed in. “There’s no way—”
“My source in the DA’s office reported Jason talked to Scott Baldwin for twenty minutes, then stormed out. So thank God, Baldwin didn’t take the deal—”
“Deal?” Elizabeth demanded. “Diane, what the hell is going on?”
“Your husband wanted to be the sacrificial lamb,” Diane replied. If it were possible, her eyes would have shot darts. “He offered himself to Scott Baldwin on a silver platter. Wanted to have Baldwin charge him with anything he wanted as long as he left you alone.”
Stunned, Elizabeth dropped onto the sofa. “What?”
“No way, Jason wouldn’t—” Robin hesitated. “Baldwin turned him down?”
“He did not leave the office looking like a man who had won the day,” Diane replied. She narrowed his eyes. “You didn’t know what he was up to?”
“Do you think I would have let him out the door?” Elizabeth demanded, though she was feeling a bit dizzy. Jason had tried to sacrifice his own freedom in order to save her and Sonny. Oh, God. And it hadn’t worked. Where was he? “I thought you were feeling optimistic. Jason said—” She closed her eyes. “He lied to me.”
“To throw you off the scent,” Robin said. “Oh, God, Elizabeth—” She looked to Diane. “Then you don’t feel good?”
“I’m still working on something, but honestly, Elizabeth, no.” Diane pursed her lips. “I don’t feel quite optimistic. That does not mean I’ve given up.” She lifted her chin. “You tell your husband I don’t appreciate martyrs. He needs to let me do the job I’ve been paid to do. You tell him that!”
And with that, she swept of the penthouse, slamming the door behind her.
“He’s at Sonny’s, isn’t he?” Elizabeth lifted her eyes to Robin’s. “He went to Scott Baldwin, and Baldwin turned him down. Because he wants Sonny, not Jason. So Jason’s going to give him Sonny.”
“I don’t know.” Robin sat next to her. “But it looks like it—Elizabeth, I’m sure Sonny has a plan. He knew about this last week. And he had to know that if Jason were forced to choose, he’d pick you.”
“He can’t. I can’t let him do this.” She pressed a trembling hand to her mouth. “This is my fault—”
“Well, it’s a little bit Jason and Sonny’s fault, don’t you think?” Robin asked. “They knew what they were getting into—”
“And they’d still be getting away with it if it weren’t for me,” she said. She looked to Robin. “I have to turn myself in.”
“What?” Robin demanded. “No, no, no. That—Diane will flay you.”
“It’s the only way.” Elizabeth rose to her feet. “Then Jason won’t have do this. He can’t. I can’t let him.”
“Elizabeth, just wait a second—”
Elizabeth reached for her purse, and dragged her coat out of the closet. “Robin, I have to do this. This is my fault, and I have to fix it.”
“Let’s just talk to Sonny and Jason. Let’s let Diane do her job!” Robin pleaded.
“Cody,” Elizabeth said pulling the door open. “I need to go to the PCPD.”
“Cody, don’t!” Robin ordered, grabbing her own coat. “Elizabeth, just—just don’t—”
“Did Jason or Sonny get arrested?” Cody asked, confusion in his eyes. “Mrs. Morgan—”
“Cody, you either take me to the PCPD or I’ll drive myself.” She lifted her chin. “And you know I’ll do it.”
“Mrs. Morgan, don’t make me do this—”
“Then I’ll go by myself.” Elizabeth swept past him, and pushed the button for the elevator.
“Stop her!” Robin hissed to Cody, pulling out her cell phone.
“How?” the guard demanded. “Should I tackle her—” Cody jumped forward to make the elevator before they closed.
“Hell, Jason and Sonny are going to kill me,” Robin muttered as she pressed Jason’s number in her speed dial.
Greystone Manor: Living Room
“I’m sorry, Sonny,” Jason said after a long moment of silence. “I’ve tried every way out of this, but short of disappearing and taking Elizabeth and Cam with me, there’s nothing.”
Sonny nodded, but he hadn’t said much since Jason had announced his decision. “And that would just turn you all into fugitives. It’s no way for the boys to grow up.” He rubbed his chin. “Baldwin wouldn’t let you confess?”
“I thought about forcing his hand,” Jason said. “Just—going to the PCPD and confessing to Mac, but there’s no guarantee Scott wouldn’t continue going after Elizabeth. I can’t—” He dipped his head, looking at the ground. “I can’t let her go to jail. Not for this.”
“Of course not.” Sonny paused. “Jase, I’m not angry. I’m annoyed that Baldwin boxed us in so neatly, but I guess once he realized he knew your Achilles heel, he couldn’t resist exploiting it.” He waited. “Ah, what kind of evidence were you thinking of turning over?”
“I don’t know,” Jason began, but his phone rang. He pulled it out and frowned at seeing Robin’s name. “It’s Robin. She’s with Elizabeth—” He answered it. “Robin?”
“Go to the PCPD, you have to go right now!” Robin’s panicked voice all but screamed out of his receiver.
“Robin? What? What’s going on?”
“Diane told Elizabeth you tried to turn yourself in! Elizabeth went to the PCPD to confess. You have to stop her! I tried, but I couldn’t—Jason—”
“I’m on my way.” Jason hit the end button and just stared at it for heartbeat. “Elizabeth found out what I tried to do.”
“Oh, hell.” Sonny was already moving towards the door. “Max, we need the goddamn car!” He turned to Jason. “We should have seen this coming. She went all noble on us.”
“I can’t—” Jason swallowed. “She can’t—I can’t—”
Sonny nodded as he pushed his friend towards the door. “I get it, Jason. We’ll stop it. You’ll turn me in. It’s fine. Let’s just go stop Elizabeth from doing the right thing. And call your goddamn lawyer!”