Chapter Nineteen

This entry is part 19 of 21 in the series Bittersweet

Couldn’t take the blame
Sick with shame
Must be exhausting to lose your own game
Selfishly hated
No wonder you’re jaded
You can’t play the victim this time
And you’re too late

Call Me When You’re Sober, Evanescence

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Kelly’s: Courtyard

Bobbie poked at her lunch, unable to muster the appetite necessary to lift the fork. Across the table, Felicia Jones tipped her head. “Hey. This was supposed to distract you.”

“As if that were possible.” Bobbie moved her salad listlessly across the plate. “She’s been home an entire week.”

“I know.”

“And I haven’t seen her.” Bobbie pursed her lips. “Haven’t wanted to. I know where she’s staying. I know Jason is keeping watch—I just don’t care. God. How awful that sounds.”

“I know that I can’t imagine either of my daughters ever doing anything that would get me to that point,” Felicia said slowly, “but then again, Bobbie, you didn’t raise Carly. She’s only been in your life for four years as your daughter. Before that—”

“She was the conniving bitch who broke up my marriage.” Bobbie sighed, pressing a hand to her head. “Yes, I know. And I’ve moved on from that. Because—because I see myself in her, you know? That willingness to do whatever I had to to get what I thought I deserved. I mean, I’m not some shining example—”

“You did things when you were younger, sure.” Felicia shrugged. “We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. I mean, I broke up a marriage to a good man for…something that didn’t exist. You and Tony both did that, too. Everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone revels in it the way Carly does. I honestly think she gets off on the damage.”

“I wouldn’t have thought so before,” Bobbie murmured. “But the woman who came back…something happened during those five months, Felicia. I just…I feel like if she would just tell me, we could get past this. Maybe not Jason and Carly—I honestly think he’s done with her—but maybe I could get over it.”

“Maybe. Or maybe her reasons wouldn’t be good enough. I mean, it sounds like they’re not good enough for Jason. Is he still not turning custody over to her?”

“No, but—” Bobbie sighed. “I’m surprised.” She paused. “Or maybe I’m not. I remember thinking when she came home that I didn’t want him to get caught up in her games again. Not just because I care about him, but…”

“But because he’s dating Elizabeth Webber?”

“Yes. I didn’t want that for her, either. You were at that stupid wedding, Felicia. You saw the reaction when she walked away from Lucky. From that entire fiasco. She’s kept walking, and she’s…she’s the girl I always thought she’d grow up to be. I wanted that for her, and I wanted her to be happy. And…Jason chasing Carly isn’t the life I wanted for her.”

“I always thought it was a shame that Robin and Jason broke up the way they did,” Felicia said slowly. “Mac was relieved. He hated how Robin just…let Carly walk all over her. But I never saw it that way. I think Robin knew she and Jason were on borrowed time once she left for college that first time. She was just holding on to him. To the familiarity. And he was, too. They were already over, they just didn’t know it.”

“I guess.” Bobbie leaned back in her chair. “But since Carly’s been home, I’m relieved that Jason hasn’t given in. Because it means he’s putting Michael first. And Elizabeth, if not first as well, a close second—”

“Because everyone is better than me.”

The venomous bitter words startled both women as they turned to see Carly standing just behind the table. When had she—

“Carly,” Bobbie said. But then stopped. What could she say to this woman? This woman who wore the same anger that she’d known all those years ago when they’d first known one another? Her daughter hated her again the same visceral way she’d had when she’d first come to Port Charles.

“Everyone is a better person than me,” Carly continued. Almost growling. “Right? Elizabeth is a better daughter. A better girlfriend. Probably a better mother. Michael probably just loved her.”

When Felicia picked up her milkshake and just slurped it, Bobbie shot her a dirty look. “Carly,” she began again. “That’s not how it was—we all missed you—” Well, not all, but that was important. “I grieved for you—”

“I’m not the daughter you wanted,” Carly retorted. “I got that from the moment I came to Port Charles. All everyone could ever talk about was BJ and how perfect she was—”

“God, Carly—” Bobbie just closed her eyes as a shaft a pain pierced her. Nearly a decade and it still took her breath away. “That’s not fair—”

“I come back again, and it’s all about Elizabeth Goddamn Webber. Jason loves her. You love her. God knows Sonny loves her more than his own damned sister—but what about me?”

“What about you?” Bobbie shoved herself to her feet. “I buried you, Carly. I wept for you. What do you want from any of us? You were dead—”

“You sure didn’t look very hard,” Carly cut in. “From what I hear, the Coast Guard called off the search within twenty-four hours? You all just jumped at the chance to be rid of me.”

“Carly, Bobbie was inconsolable,” Felicia said, finally. “She went to the PCPD day after day, trying to convince them to keep searching. They kept it open longer than they might have because of her—”

“Then why isn’t she helping me get my son back?” Carly demanded. She focused those angry dark eyes on Bobbie’s. “Why aren’t you helping me?”

“I’m not—” Bobbie exhaled slowly. “You weren’t gone a week. Or two weeks, Carly. You were gone five months. Where were you?” she demanded, her voice breaking. “What happened?”

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Carly said with a shake of her head. “I couldn’t believe that you would all forget me. That I didn’t matter. But it was like I never existed. My son, living with the man who killed my child. My best friend in the world, dating someone else, breaking bread with that son of a bitch. My own mother helping them—My ex-husband didn’t even go to my memorial—” Her voice broke. “You all forgot me. It was like I never existed.”

Felicia frowned, but Bobbie just shook her head. “No, no. That’s not—we all struggled to put it back together. Those first two months were horrible. I couldn’t tell one day from the next, and Lucas had to practically take over. Get Michael to school. Look out for him—I couldn’t breathe, Carly—”

Her daughter just shook her head. “I don’t believe that. How could I believe that? You gave my son away to a dangerous and violent alcoholic like he didn’t matter—just one more reminder of your mistake, right, Mama?” She swiped at her tears. “And Jason never loved me. How could he? How could he love me and then not even help—”


“You’re all going to be sorry,” Carly growled. “I’ll get my son back and then I’m taking him away from all of you.” She spun on her heel and stalked back to the parking lot.

“Damn it,” Bobbie muttered, sitting back down. “Damn it. How could she think we didn’t miss her? That we could have forgotten—”

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Felicia echoed softly. She looked at Bobbie. “She couldn’t believe you would all forget her. She didn’t want to believe it.”

“She just can’t see how it was—”

“Bobbie. Listen to me,” Felicia cut in, and her sharp tone forced Bobbie to take a deep breath. To look at her. “Listen to me. Carly came home last week ready to go to war. She was already angry when she came to your house, remember? And you told me that Jason thought she already knew about AJ. Already knew where Michael was.”

“Right.” Bobbie exhaled slowly. “She didn’t want to believe that we all forgot her.”

“Which means…someone told her that.” Felicia tapped her nails. “Not that it excuses any of the bullshit she’s pulling, Bobbie, but I think you might want to tell Jason that someone was feeding Carly information while she was gone.”

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

“I don’t understand how she could just disappear,” Sonny said slowly, squinting at Benny and Stan, “and then reappear, and there be nothing to explain it.”

“I wish I could help you,” Stan said with a shrug. “We’ve dug into all of her accounts. She was declared legally dead about two weeks after the accident. Her estate went into probate. And nothing. Nothing before. Nothing until she showed up at the Cosmopolitan. Bobbie hadn’t dealt with Carly’s accounts—”

“And it didn’t occur to me to do anything about them either,” Jason interrupted. “Custody came first.” He rubbed his eyes. “I don’t see why anyone would fake her death to get at us.”

“She was barely connected,” Sonny mused. “Why fake it at all? Why not kill her outright? What is served by having her come home? It’s not adding up, Jase. It just isn’t. If she had faked her own death, there would have been a trail. Carly’s smart, but not that smart. The fact that we can’t pick up her scent—”

“What about the witness that called in the accident?” Jason asked. He looked to Stan. “If she wasn’t in the accident—”

“He’s in the wind,” Stan said. “If he ever existed. To be honest, we didn’t—” He hesitated. “We didn’t really check him out before. It all seemed on the up and up.”

“Witness calls in an accident with Carly’s car,” Sonny said with a nod. “I didn’t even know anything until the morning, but by then the Coast Guard was already searching. The PCPD had confirmed something happened up there. Carly never came home. It all added up.”

“But the accident was a set up if this witness is gone.” Jason exhaled slowly. “I keep going back to it being connected to us, Sonny. But I just—it doesn’t make work for me.”

“Roscoe does not have the resources to pull this off. And we’re watching Nico’s money too closely. We weren’t in April, but we were by the end of May. Where could they have kept Carly that we wouldn’t have had noticed?” Benny pointed out. “But even so—”

“What do they gain?” Sonny pressed. “She’s my ex-wife, yeah. Your ex…whatever. But not now. Everyone had to know about the divorce. We barely saw one another those last few months. Why Carly? Why not—” And he hesitated at that. “Why not someone who was still in my life? I have a sister. There’s Courtney. Mike. And Elizabeth has been around for years. Why Carly?”

“It brought you home, Jase,” Stan pointed out. “Maybe someone knew you would have custody of her son. That you’d have to be here.”

“Then there’s no way it’s Nico or Roscoe, because the last thing they wanted was your eyes on the paperwork again,” Benny argued. “But who else?”

They were arguing in circles, but Jason finally shook his head. “This all depends on whether or not we believe Carly did this on her own or if she had help. Or if it was unwillingly. Everything else….it doesn’t matter. Because—”

“You think Carly managed this all on her own?” Sonny shook his head. “I know I said as much to her, and she let me think it was about you, but I’m not buying it, Jase. She doesn’t have the resources—”

“I think it’s possible that she was in an accident,” Jason said slowly. “And maybe…she planned to stay away a day or two. Or just long enough to make a point. Maybe it was for you. Maybe it was me. I don’t know. I doubt she meant to stay away for months, but—”

“Maybe it started as her idea but got twisted by someone else,” Sonny said with a nod. “Remember what Bobbie said—that Carly didn’t want to believe we had forgotten her. You don’t have to believe something you don’t know about. She came back to Port Charles already pissed off, playing it like she didn’t know where Michael was—”

“Elizabeth suggested she followed us the night we took Michael to AJ’s,” Jason said. “I think she followed us longer than that. Or someone did. Because—” And at this hesitated, because it was personal. But it might be important. “We usually spend the night together. At Jake’s most of the time. I don’t like the apartment because of Taggart, and her studio doesn’t—” He shook his head. “Anyway, Elizabeth wasn’t at my place for more than a week. And Carly knew it. She thought it meant we were having issues.”

“And if she knew Elizabeth was usually at your place—someone had to tell her, or she followed you for several days.”

“So we’re back to thinking Carly had help,” Jason said, a bit relieved by that. “She’ll have to tell us eventually, Sonny.” It was what he had clung to all month—this assurance that when it came down to a choice between whatever secret she was holding and her son, Carly would come clean.

Then Jason could—

And then he stopped himself. He didn’t want to fix this for her. It was reflex to look at this situation as a problem he had to solve for Carly. Carly had made her choice that first night she’d been back. Every time she had called him and not told him the truth.  And when she come to Jake’s and attempted to exploit his issues with Elizabeth.

She didn’t care about him. About what was important to him. And if he was honest with himself, Carly had never concerned herself with that. She told herself she did—but it had never been true.

And he let himself think it was—if he let himself get sucked into helping Carly, making her problems go away—he knew it wouldn’t stop there.

Carly would take it as invitation to go back to where she had been in his life before Sonny. Looking over his shoulder. Taking care of herself first and then punishing him later.

He’d already let it happen once and watched Robin walk away from him.

He would be damned if he’d let Elizabeth go to take care of Carly.

“Or maybe she won’t come,” Jason admitted. “I don’t know. I’ve given up trying to predict Carly’s next move, Sonny. But I don’t think we can just…assume there’s nothing behind it. It doesn’t make sense right now. But nothing in the last week has made sense. We should just—keep our eyes open. Because whatever she’s up to—”

“—we’re not going to know what hit us.”

Vista Point: Cliff Road

Elizabeth frowned when Jason pulled the bike over to the shoulder near the guard rail where Carly had had her accident.  “What—”

He switched off the engine and then walked to the edge of the road. The rail had been replaced at some point that summer. Like the accident had never happened.

“I met with Sonny today while you were in class,” he told her when she joined him. “We were talking about how Carly could have pulled off faking her death without help.”


He looked at her with a wary expression. “I know you’re sick of Carly—”

“I am,” she admitted. “But she’s a problem that exists whether I’m here or not, and I’d rather be here. So what are you thinking?”

“Sonny thought she might have faked the accident to get his attention. Or mine.”

“Because if she were missing, Sonny would call you.”

“I keep coming back to that…because it seems logical. It seems like an asinine plan Carly would pull to make a point. I didn’t talk to her all that much, but she was always asking me to come back.” Jason hesitated. “And I was starting to consider it. I wanted—” He looked at her. “I knew you weren’t seeing Lucky. I guess I was starting to wonder if it would be different this time.”

She managed a smile for him. “I’m glad you did come home. I’m just sorry any of this is happening. Is that you think Carly did?”

“I don’t know. Because…the guard rail was damaged. It was ripped apart and mangled. Something went over this cliff.”

“Maybe Carly’s car.” Elizabeth pursed her lips. “She loved that car. First thing she bought when the divorce settlement came through. She used to drive Bobbie crazy with it—you could hear her speeding down the block.” She hesitated. “I’m not saying Carly wouldn’t…fake her death to get to you or Sonny. Because there’s literally nothing Carly wouldn’t do. But…I don’t know. She loved that car.”

“I think someone took her,” Jason said quietly. “And I don’t know what happened after that. I don’t know if she stayed away willingly. I know someone told her we were all living our lives like she hadn’t ever been here. Like she didn’t matter. That doesn’t make what Carly’s doing right—”

“She thinks we were all better off without her. Happier without her.” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “Yeah. I can see how—I mean, we talked about it back then, Jason. How there were only a handful of people who were really going to miss her.”

“When Carly gets angry, she doesn’t usually stop to think until she’s forced to,” Jason murmured. “And she hasn’t been forced to. She’s running on that anger now. She thinks it’ll work. But she hasn’t gone to court. Hasn’t asked a lawyer to get custody.”

“Because she doesn’t think she’d win. Or she’d have to tell everyone where she’s been.”

“And she doesn’t want to do that.” Jason turned, leaned against the guard rail. “She could get joint custody at least at this point if she told us the truth. Joint custody is better than what she has now. She’s not telling us.”

“Which means it’s more complicated than a plan that backfired.” Elizabeth nodded. She folded her arms and looked away. “It’s not just the car that has me hesitating to completely…blame her. I want to blame her, Jason. Because it’s convenient. Because I don’t like her. But…she loved that car. And she loves Michael. And you. If this was designed to get you home, Jason—she never would have stayed away for five months. It’s not like you and I got together right away. There was a window for her to come home. And she didn’t.”

“Because she couldn’t.” Jason looked away. “I don’t know. I can’t explain why someone would fake her death and then just send her back. Maybe they threatened her if she told the truth. I just—I can’t put Michael in the middle of it. Even if it ends it sooner.”

Elizabeth’s shoulders relaxed as she exhaled slowly. “I know what I said before about…Carly using him. But I wonder if…he’s been asking about her, Courtney told me. And everyone thought…Carly would come clean by now.”

Jason raised his brows. “I thought you said—”

“I didn’t want you to bring Michael to her because Carly manipulated you. This is different. That was four days ago. She’s been home a week and a half…and she’s just treading water. She’s waiting for you to give in, Jason.”

“So you think I should—”

“I don’t know. I don’t…” Elizabeth chewed on her bottom lip. “I just know that we can’t keep waiting. We’re at a stalemate, Jason, and if Carly is the first one to make a move…that’s kind of a terrifying thought. She once shot a man in open court. And it was her idea to—” She bit her lip. “You know why AJ surrendered his rights, don’t you?”

“I figured Sonny or Carly blackmailed him—” Jason hissed. “What happened?”

“Sonny threatened his life. Hung him on a meat hook and left him in a freezer for a few hours to make his point. Either AJ signed Michael away or…” Elizabeth trailed off. “It was the only way Carly agreed to go quietly in the divorce. And Sonny wanted the divorce. You know he’s never liked AJ.”

“This was Carly’s idea?” Jason asked, in disbelief. “I mean…I know AJ has his issues, but that’s…that’s—”

“I didn’t know about it at the time. AJ told Courtney, and Courtney told me and Gia. He doesn’t know I know. I think he’s ashamed of himself for giving in. For not being a better father or something. I don’t know. Anyway, that’s not my point.” She hesitated. “My point is that if we wait for Carly to make the next move, I don’t think any of us are going to be happy. I don’t want Michael in the middle of this, Jason, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is.”

“Yeah, I guess. I can’t—I can’t just…do it on my own.” He grimaced. “It’s not just my decision.”

“We can talk to AJ and Courtney tomorrow,” she told him. “They’re both…worried as well. AJ’s kind of…terrified you’ll change your mind and he’ll have to fight for Michael in court. So we’ll figure this out.” She took his face in her hands. “I don’t really care where she was, Jason, but I always understood you did. And that for all of our sakes, you needed to know. What bothered me was that—”

“I let her manipulate me because I wanted the answers,” he said quietly. “I know. And I’m sorry. I wasn’t fair to either of us.” He wrapped his hands around her wrists and leaned down to brush her lips with his. “You want to drive back?”

“Wow, you really are sorry.” She offered him a wicked grin. “I want a rain check on that offer because I’d rather go nowhere. Fast.”


Cosmopolitan Hotel: Carly’s Suite

Carly paced in her hotel suite, growling at her phone. Why the hell wasn’t Jason answering her calls? He had to be desperate by now.

If he would just give her Michael, she could tell him everything. That was the deal. She’d been so sure of him—so sure of their friendship, of his loyalty—

It had never occurred to her that Jason would betray her. That he would be like everyone else.

That he would steal her son and give him away to Carly’s worst enemy. To the man who had murdered her baby.

If Jason didn’t give her back Michael, Carly was going to make him pay just like all the rest—

The knock at her door had her leaping across the room. Finally! Maybe he had Michael with him—that was why he hadn’t answered any of her calls—

“Ah, Ms. Benson.”

Carly scowled. “What do you want?”

“I’m checking in. We agreed you would have some time to convince Mr. Morgan to cooperate. To give you back your son.” Mickey Roscoe tipped his head with a knowing smile. “I see he hasn’t come through. It’s just as I told you.”

“I just need a little more time—”

“I know how we can force Mr. Morgan’s hand. And…” Mickey’s lips curved into a smile. “Don’t you want a little revenge?”



  • Finally we find out who is blackmailing Carly if she would just say something a little hint then Jason and the others can take care of the problem.

    According to Shelly Samuel on February 28, 2018
  • Carly never learns. If she goes thru with this revenge thing then Jason will make her regret it

    According to Anonymous on February 28, 2018
  • So it’s Roscoe but why. Poor, poor, Bobbie, she loves her but hates her daughter. Carly is the worse kind of person and I’m scared for Jason and Elizabeth. Wonderful chapter. Thanks.

    According to Kikimoo on March 3, 2018
  • Ah, well this just gets more interesting. So did Mickey orchestrate Carly’s accident or took advantage after the fact? Either way it seems even if Carly is being forced to do something she doesn’t want to do, she is still enjoying being manipulative. Unless she is being forced to wear a wire every where she goes, she has had many opportunities to reach out for help. Good update and cannot wait for the next.

    According to nanci on March 3, 2018
  • That’s a fair point, Nanci. Guess it’s just further proof of GH’s biased plot armor that nobody’s taken advantage of Carly’s narcissism to destroy Sason on the show before. RME.

    Also, you still rock, Melissa. Keep on keeping on.

    According to EternalLiason on March 3, 2018
  • Good update. Glad Carly ‘fessed up, hopefully she is being honest (ok as honest as Carly can be) I hope Liz doesn’t decide to go to the warehouse and end up in trouble. EternalLiason, it astounds me how Carly can have Jason and Sonny to this day wound up tight and can play them so well and they let her (not a Sonny fan but she has wrecked her damage there too) it was a dark day with the advent of Carly and Courtney and how they “fit” with Sonny and Jason and somehow the feisty Elizabeth was no longer able to survive in that orbit. Okay off soapbox now and Melissa you absolutely rock and I’m glad you are updating as regularly as you can.

    According to nanci on March 6, 2018