I would swallow my pride
I would choke on the rhymes
But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside
I would swallow my doubt, turn it inside out
Find nothing but faith in nothing
Want to put my tender
Heart in a blender
Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion
Rendezvous, then I’m through with you
– Inside Out, Eve
Friday, September 27, 2002
Safe House: Living Room
Jason carefully edged his way down the hall, wincing at the pain in his side. Ripping his stitches the other day had probably set him back in his recovery—not to mention the week or so Sonny and the doctor had kept him drugged into oblivion.
He had been unable to sleep after Elizabeth had left that morning, and he couldn’t quite kick the idea that something was bothering her—something more drastic than Sonny lying to her and her worry over his condition. She had assumed he was hurt somewhere and Sonny was just not giving her the details, but her eyes had shifted away when she spoke.
He was missing something.
The front door opened, and Johnny strode in with a paper bag and a tray of coffees. It had been deemed relatively safe enough for Johnny to venture into the outskirts of Port Charles to replenish their supplies.
The single bag did not look as though it was enough to feed them for a day much less the weekend Jason had promised Sonny he would wait.
Johnny handed Jason a coffee and then set the bag down before fishing out a newspaper. “I take orders from Sonny,” the warehouse manager said. “I’ve worked for him longer than you have, you know.”
“I know,” Jason said, squinting. “Johnny—”
“And I was only a little irritated when you were promoted over guys who’d been here longer,” the other man continued. “You were younger. Less experienced. And there was a lot of grumbling. You know that.”
“Five minutes of working for you changed that. Even when you turned things over to Moreno, most of us knew why. And knew you’d be back. You were the right guy for the job at the wrong time.”
“When Sonny came back, and we went after the territory to get it back, that was fine by me. I respected you both—”
“Johnny, I get it. You followed orders.” Jason shook his head. “My problem isn’t with you—”
Johnny dropped the newspaper on the table in front of Jason as he spoke, and Jason abruptly closed his mouth, silenced by the headline. By the large color photographs. He had never been all that great at photographs, but these were easy to understand.
“’Morgan Memorial, No Suspects in Killing.’” Everything inside Jason seized as he unfolded the paper to read the caption beneath the grainy color photograph of Elizabeth, dressed in black, stepping out of a car with a similarly clad Bobbie at her side. “’Jason Morgan’s grieving girlfriend’—” He stopped. “What the hell is going on?”
“I didn’t know until Elizabeth came here yesterday.” Johnny’s mouth twisted. “And Sonny…he gave her a royal guilt trip, so she’d lie to you about it. Didn’t want to set back your recovery or put you in danger—”
Jason skimmed the article that recapped some of the events. He’d been missing for two weeks, presumed to be in hiding—until a decomposed body was pulled from the harbor the week before. Testing had later positively identified—next of kin—
“She thought I was dead,” Jason said flatly. “And Sonny waited until yesterday to tell her.” Because Jason had left him no choice. How the hell—Sonny knew what she’d been through in the last few years—knew better than anyone how much she had struggled after Lucky—
“Give me a phone. Now.”
Queen of Angels: Cemetery
It was a cold, dreary, gray afternoon the day they put his little brother in the ground. AJ stood with his wife’s hand firmly in his, next to his mother and father. Emily leaning hard on Ned, with Alexis next to her, an arm around her shoulder. Just a few paces away, on the other side of Courtney, stood Elizabeth, Gia and Bobbie.
Elizabeth’s face was pale. Blank. And he worried about her. He wanted to look after her because maybe it was the thing you were supposed to do when your brother was murdered. You should look after his family. And Elizabeth was his family.
But it was all AJ could do to get through the day.
He had been one of his brother’s pallbearers. Elizabeth had quietly asked him earlier that week, had asked Sonny if it would be okay. Sonny and some of the men who worked with Jason had also agreed, but Elizabeth wanted AJ to be there too.
To honor the relationship AJ and Jason had managed to create over the last few months.
He had carried his brother’s coffin from the church the day before and loaded it into the hearse. Had taken it from the hearse and carried it to the graveside.
And now he watched as the coffin was slowly lowered.
Soon his little brother would be alone. Beneath cold, dark dirt with nothing but a tombstone marking his place and time on this earth.
His grandparents left first, then his parents. Courtney drove back with Elizabeth and Emily. Slowly, one by one, the mourners at the grave left.
But AJ couldn’t bring himself to walk away.
AJ turned to his cousin. “Oh. Hey. You’re still here—”
“I keep thinking about that last Christmas,” Ned murmured. “When he was Jason Quartermaine. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Jason Morgan. Now they’re both gone.” He put an arm around AJ’s shoulders. “I hate it. I knew he’d never get his memories back but if he was here—we could still hope.”
AJ closed his eyes, but the overwhelming guilt he normally felt—the knowledge that he had stolen that young man from his life and family—it wasn’t as sharp. It wasn’t his fault Jason was dead.
“I called Alexis yesterday because…I wasn’t sure what would happen with Jason gone,” AJ murmured. “I didn’t know what to do about the guardianship. Carly hasn’t said anything—”
“She can’t take him from you, can she?” Ned asked. His dark eyes glittered with anger. “After everything—”
“I asked Alexis, and—he left everything not related to the business to Elizabeth. Except guardianship. He left that to me. She just—she doesn’t know it yet.” He sighed. “So, I think I’m probably okay. Carly still would have to go to court to establish legal custody, and…”
AJ was quiet for a minute. Let the world settle around him. “All my life I tried to live up to him, to be a better man. And when I failed, I used it as an excuse to destroy my life. I’m looking at his grave, and I can’t—I wasted so much time trying to outdo him. I just…I want him back.” AJ’s eyes burned.
“But I don’t want a drink. So that’s good, right? I don’t want to drown myself in alcohol to lose the grief. I want to hold on to it. Because I finally got to know my brother this summer, and I don’t want to lose that.”
Ned’s arm around AJ’s shoulders tightened into a one-armed hug. “Hey, you want some good news? I’m going to tell the family tonight.”
“Alexis is pregnant.” Ned managed a half-smile. “We’re having a baby.”
AJ grinned—and for the first time in a week, felt lightness in his heart. “That’s incredible! Congratulations!” He hugged his cousin more tightly. “Michael’s gonna love having a younger cousin.”
“Let’s go back to the house so Alexis and I can tell the family.” Ned’s smile was a bit more genuine. “We could all use the boost.”
Quartermaine Mansion: Terrace
Emily rubbed her arms as she stepped out of the family room and smiled when she found Lucky standing there, with Nikolas at his side. “My guys.”
“Hey, Em.” Lucky kissed her cheek. “We were just coming back in—”
“It’s fine.” Emily shook her head. “It’s…this reception isn’t really for Jason—it’s for my family, and I know the Quartermaines are a lot to take in.” She turned and through the window, she could see Elizabeth sitting on the sofa, looking down at her lap. Next to her, AJ’s wife, Courtney, touched her shoulder.
She had returned to find that her best friend had…become someone else. Not that Elizabeth still wasn’t her best friend—but she could see the intimacy between Elizabeth and Courtney—the trust. And…with Gia.
“What happened last year?” Emily asked quietly. “Why is Elizabeth so distant—” She looked back at them and was surprised to catch guilty looks being exchanged. “All I knew was that everyone had broken up and that Liz was living with Gia—but I didn’t understand.”
“It’s complicated,” Nikolas began, but Lucky shook his head.
“The why is complicated, but the what isn’t. Nikolas and I lied to them. We lied to Gia for months. And then I lied to Elizabeth. And…” Lucky offered a light shrug. “We weren’t in love anymore. She just…had the courage to walk away first.” He nodded at Nikolas. “And he and Gia realized they brought out the worst in each other.”
“She also saw it first,” his brother said with a dry tone.
Emily bit her lip. “I guess it was naive of me to hope the four of us would be family forever,” she murmured.
“You don’t always have to like your family,” Lucky said, tipping her chin up and offering her a smile. “Sometimes you hate them. You fight. You walk away. And you come back better. We’re still family, Em. We’re just…estranged.” He nodded towards the window. “Elizabeth is still your best friend. When you come home next spring, when you graduate—she’ll be here. So will me and Nikolas.”
“You’re in New York—”
“At the moment,” Lucky said with a nod. “I went there for space. To do an internship with a photographer my mother knew. I needed to figure out who I wanted to be. Because the guy I was going to be here? He was a selfish asshole who hurt people.”
“It’s better now,” Lucky said simply. “I know what I want from life, and I’ve finally…I’ve finally stopped hating myself for not being the guy everyone wanted me to be—” He held up a hand at Emily’s anguished expression. “The guy I thought everyone wanted me to be. And Nikolas and Gia stopped trying to outdo each other to be the most selfish. Elizabeth—”
The trio looked again at the window, at the brunette who had finished the foursome as she flashed a sad smile at Emily’s grandmother.
“And Elizabeth will get through this,” Lucky finished.
Emily turned back to him with a sigh. Had she spent the last few years completely blind to the people around her? Lucky seemed so different from the boy she’d left behind a year ago—but he seemed so at peace, so much…lighter. Nikolas looked unhappy, with lines at the corners of his mouth no one in their mid-twenties should have.
She didn’t know them anymore, didn’t know the ins and outs of their lives or why they had changed. She didn’t know how her brother and Elizabeth had fallen in love—only knew that Jason had seemed happy when they’d last spoken—that Elizabeth’s phone calls had been more frequent and joyful over the last summer—
It was so unfair that all that promise was gone—that Emily would never be able to see what her brother and best friend were like together—that they wouldn’t get to have that life together.
“C’mon, let’s go in and give Elizabeth a break from having to be strong for everyone else,” Emily suggested, linking arms with her friends.
Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer
Bobbie slid her pager back into her bag and touched Monica’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry—I got called in and—”
“Oh.” Monica shook her head. “Thank you for coming—does—does Elizabeth have a way home? I thought she came with you to the cemetery—” Her voice faltered as she said the final words.
“She drove with me, but Gia’s here, so—can you let her know I had to leave?” Bobbie paused as the door to the family room opened, and Edward found them.
She had not seen the Quartermaine patriarch since their tense and bitter dispute at Carly’s will reading in May, and they had not spoken after Bobbie found out Edward had visited Michael’s school.
“Bobbie. I was hoping to find you—”
“I was just on my way out—”
“This won’t take long.” Edward stepped towards her, and then touched Monica’s arm. “Is everything all right?”
“I was just…going to tell Elizabeth that Bobbie had to go—” Monica flashed a smile at Bobbie. “I’ll make sure she gets back to the Brownstone.” She disappeared into the family room.
Edward sighed, looking after her. “It seems so final,” he murmured. “I didn’t realize I had held out hope he could still…come back to us until…” He trailed off, then focused on Bobbie. “I wanted to—I realize I was—I was not—after Carly—”
“Be good to AJ,” Bobbie said. “He’s worked hard, and he deserves your trust. I—” She hesitated. “I always understood your anger, Edward. And I know what happened with Michael wasn’t about me.”
“Still. I thought I knew best, and I could have ruined AJ’s chances. I just—I should trust him more. He’s earned it this summer.” His voice became even more gruff. “You look out for Elizabeth. Take care of her. She’s been good to this family, and we all worry about her.”
“She won’t be alone,” Bobbie said. “I really do have to get to the hospital. Take care of yourself, Edward, and Lila. My prayers are with you.”
“And ours with you.”
Quartermaine: Living Room
Most of the mourners had gravitated towards the family room where the terrace opened out into the garden, so when Emily drew Elizabeth away from the others, she took her to the front foyer. She had also invited Gia and Courtney, and AJ had followed them. She wanted Elizabeth to feel comfortable, to have her support system around her.
But Emily also wanted to find a way to still be part of Elizabeth’s life—not just because she had been so close to her once, but Elizabeth…was the last link to her brother.
“How long are you staying?” Lucky asked as a slightly awkward silence fell on the group. “Do you have to go back right away?”
Emily sighed. “I could only get a few days this week, but I have a break coming up in a few weeks—I’m coming back for about a week in early October. I moved some things around, talked to some professors—I wanted to stay longer—” She shook her head. “I wish like hell I hadn’t gone to UCLA after my rehab finished. I just want to be home.”
“But you’re doing okay out there, right?” Gia asked with a forced casual smile. “You like it?”
“Oh. Yeah. It’s a great program. And I’ll be able to finish my degree in half the amount of time, so—yeah.” She exhaled slowly.
Another silence fell on the group, but Lucky broke it after a moment. “Do you remember when I introduced you to Jason?” he said to Elizabeth. “I think you’d met him before, but it was that day in the boxcar—”
“Oh.” Elizabeth grimaced. “When he came to tell you he was…changing jobs and I embarrassed myself.” She rolled her eyes. “God, I was such a kid—”
“I thought it was funny.” Lucky looked at the others. “She asked if, like, his enemies were gonna come after me—”
“Oh, come on, I did not say it that way—” Elizabeth bit her lip and winced. “Oh, God. But that’s what I meant, and he knew it. He was laughing at me. You know how he does that—he doesn’t actually laugh—” She stopped, as if realizing she was still talking about him as if he were alive. A shadow started to creep back into her expression.
“But you could see it in the way he responded that he was enjoying himself at your expense on the inside,” AJ said quickly with a wry grin. “Yeah. I remember. Obviously, he didn’t think you were too ridiculous.”
“He was a good guy,” Lucky said. “I didn’t always remember that, but it’s easier now. He gave me a job, gave me a way to support myself when I left home. Gave me a home. I should have—” He shook his head. “I should have remembered that before.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Nikolas said with a stubborn glare at Elizabeth who returned his scowl.
“It wasn’t his,” Lucky said easily, and Emily squinted at him. He’d only left Port Charles in May. Could three months away really have given him this kind of peace of mind?
“It was both of ours,” Elizabeth murmured. “But we stopped it.”
“Hey, the first time I met Jason, I totally tried to get him into bed,” Gia said, with a brash grin. Nikolas turned his irritation on her and she just shrugged. “What? I hated Elizabeth, and she clearly wanted him, so it seemed like a good idea.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes—it obviously wasn’t the first time she’d heard that story, so Emily tried to smile at it.
“The first time I met Jason, I got shot,” Nikolas muttered.
“And he saved your life,” Elizabeth shot back. She got to her feet. “I’m going to go—”
“No.” Emily rose. “Nikolas, c’mon—”
“What? We’re sitting around eulogizing the guy like he didn’t get himself killed. People around him die—”
“What about you?” Elizabeth demanded. “You’re a Cassadine. How many people have died around you?”
“Hey, I don’t invite the danger,” Nikolas retorted.
“Really?” Elizabeth snorted. “Pretty sure last year was entirely your idiotic idea—”
“And it worked,” Nikolas said flatly. “Stavros is dead. Lucky is free. And Helena is locked away. The danger is over for me, but you don’t even see that this is the best thing that could have happened to you—”
“Nikolas!” Emily growled. “That’s my brother you’re talking about—”
“Whatever. You stay, Liz. Clearly, I’m the only person here who lives in reality—”
Elizabeth stopped him as he started to stand. “Don’t talk to me about reality, Nikolas. All I have ever done is support you. You wanted to marry Katherine Bell? I stood by you even though everyone of us knew you were insane—”
“Katherine Bell?” Lucky said with a frown.
“That’s not fair—”
“You wanted to date the woman who blackmailed Emily—”
“Hey—” Gia said with a scowl.
“And I stood by you even though she was literally the worst—”
“I mean, that’s some strong language,” Gia muttered. “I’m not that bad—”
“And every time you told me that I just had to stick it out, that if I walked away from Lucky, he’d be lost forever, I let you punish me. I let you guilt me into staying. Don’t—” She broke off, shook her head. “You don’t have some high moral ground here, Nikolas. You have been punishing me for years—”
“Punishing you for what?” Nikolas demanded.
“Don’t make me—” Elizabeth huffed. “Don’t make me say this in front of them.”
“No, say it—”
“You don’t like Jason because I fell in love with him, and not with you when we thought Lucky was dead,” Elizabeth snarled. “That’s where this started, and you damn well know it. You tried to kiss me the night of my birthday party, and I pushed you away. And you have never forgiven me for turning to someone else.”
Nikolas’s face stilled as he swallowed. “That is not true—”
“And when you thought I had moved on, you threw Lucky in my face. You used him against me, tried to make me feel guilty like I was supposed to be alone forever—”
Lucky squinted. “Is that why Helena made me say you belonged with Nikolas all the goddamn time? Because you wanted Elizabeth—”
“This is fascinating,” Gia murmured to Courtney who smacked her in the arm. “Ow, what? I’m not supposed to be entertained?”
“You can throw Jason’s life in my face all you want, but we both know the truth.” She looked to Gia. “I want to leave. Can you—Bobbie was my ride—”
“Yeah, yeah. Even though I’m literally the worst.” Gia got to her feet and shook her head at her former fiancé. “Man, you should have just let it go. You really are a dink.”
Elizabeth looked at Emily’s stricken face. “I’ll call you later. We’ll—we’ll talk.”
And then she left the room, Gia hurrying after her.
“Is that true?” Emily asked softly. “Did you—kiss her—and then throw Lucky—”
“She makes it sound simple,” Nikolas muttered as he scrubbed his hands over his face. “It wasn’t like that.”
“Except it was.” Lucky tilted his head. “Carly told me that they were sleeping together, and I went to you. And you…you had to know the truth by then. Except—you didn’t tell me. You told me that Jason was a bad influence on her, that he’d nearly gotten her killed. You never told me they weren’t together.” He rose to his feet. “And you know, I didn’t…I didn’t believe her when she said nothing happened. Because you were my brother, and I thought she was trying to spare my feelings.”
“Lucky—” Nikolas paused. “I don’t know what you want from me.”
“Well, this has been fun,” Emily said with some irritation. “Now I remember why I went to school in California. I just wanted to sit here with people I loved and mourn my brother. I wanted Elizabeth to feel safe here. And you had to make it about you,” she said with derision towards the man she had loved once so fiercely. Nikolas grimaced.
“You can show yourself out,” she said with a snarl and stalked from the room.
“I didn’t mean it.”
Gia shrugged as she maneuvered down the Quartermaine’s long driveway towards Harborview Road. “I literally was the worst, so it’s okay.”
“Hey, let me tell you how much fun it was to see you finally let loose on my idiot ex-fiancé.” Gia made a left and turned towards the waterfront. “He’s the only one who didn’t get to hear your wrath when it all went down, so I was wondering if you’d get around to him.”
“I just— I can’t believe he did that. That he made it all about him. Emily just wanted to talk about her brother. To be with her friends. And Lucky was trying so hard—”
“It was nice, hearing him talk about Jason without violence in his eyes.” Gia glanced at her. “Look, you’re already dealing with the guilt of having to bury a casket with a fake body, and then mourn with his family. Don’t take on Nikolas’s idiocy with that.”
“He’s just—” Elizabeth closed her mouth. “He hasn’t been right since Stefan faked his death that summer after we lost Lucky. And then Katherine Bell lied about being pregnant—he wasn’t in love with me, Gia. I was just…safe. A link to Lucky. And I don’t know, maybe if I hadn’t…found Jason. Hadn’t already started to work through my grief—maybe I would have been—” She stopped. “But I can’t make excuses for him. He had no right to do that to Emily. And for all he knows, I’m actually grieving Jason.”
She looked at the window as they left behind the ritzy neighborhood of the Quartermaines. “And I’m already irritated with myself for lying to Jason. It didn’t take a lot to set me off today.”
“Jason will understand.”
“I just…” Elizabeth was quiet for a moment. “When this is over, everything will change. You weren’t here when Jason found out about Sonny and Carly, but it was—he wouldn’t tell me exactly what happened. He’s always held things close to the chest, but I knew they’d done something. He cut them both out, but he just seemed so uncertain, and God, that’s the one thing Jason just never—he was never uncertain. He always knew what he was doing. Where he was going. What he was thinking. They stole that from him.”
Gia pulled up to a red light and flicked on her blinker to turn onto Elm Street. “And now, Sonny has forced the people who love Jason to mourn him. To memorialize and bury him. He’s stolen Jason’s entire life this time.”
“He couldn’t figure out how to do his job after what happened with Carly. He tried for a little, but it was part of the reason he left. Sonny isn’t just his partner, Gia. Not just his friend. He’s—he’s a brother—”
“He’s a father figure,” Gia corrected. “Brothers get to mess up. Father figures get put on pedestals. When they mess up, it screws with the whole order of things.” She was quiet for a moment. “I know what it’s like for the man you think of as your father to destroy your entire world.”
Elizabeth frowned at her. Gia didn’t often speak of the time before she’d arrived in Port Charles, of her life after her brother had left home and Elizabeth had never pushed her. “Gia—”
“Anyway. It’s a mess no matter how you look at it. You’re pissed at Sonny, pissed at yourself for being in the position of having to grieve at all—just because Jason wasn’t actually dead, as far as you were concerned, he was. And you gotta deal with that. Plus, Sonny lied to Jason. And Jason’s gonna find out. How are you supposed to protect yourself when all you wanna do right now is protect him?”
“Can I even do both?” she asked softly. “Should I even try? I’m…I’m just tired of pretending to be something I’m not. Someone I’m not. I really thought this part of my life was over.”
Safe House: Living Room
Sonny had thought he might have more time before Jason discovered the truth. A few more days—there were hints that a hit was being planned, some rumors that someone was shopping out for a hired gun. Nothing tangible, nothing Sonny could use to find out who was involved—
But he thought he might be close.
And then Jason’s phone call had come that morning.
He’d always known Jason would never have agreed to this plan if he’d known—if Sonny had given him the choice. He’d known that Jason would be angry. That it would strain the bonds of friendship—
But Jason didn’t want to hear Sonny’s reasons, didn’t care that Sonny had seen it as a choice between hurting Elizabeth and his family for a little while to protect them from something worse happening. Something more permanent.
“They all think I’m dead, Sonny.” Jason threw the newspaper at him, his face set in that empty expression Sonny knew so well. Jason only retreated like this when he was too angry or too hurt to deal with the emotions.
“I know.” Sonny picked the paper up from the floor and smoothed his hand over the photo of Elizabeth and Bobbie at the funeral. “I told you. They were going to try something to drag you out of hiding—we were lucky to intercept those guys before they grabbed Elizabeth at her studio. She was almost kidnapped—”
“Then you tell me. And we deal with it. You don’t fake my death, Sonny!” Jason shot back. “And you let Elizabeth think I was dead—and then you convinced her to lie about it. What the hell did you think you were going to prove?”
“I—” Sonny hesitated. Sat down. “I knew that the second they confirmed the identity, Taggert would go straight for her. To tell her. To test her reaction. If the cops didn’t believe it, if Elizabeth didn’t believe it—”
“Bullshit,” Jason said quietly. “You deliberately lied to Elizabeth. You know she could have done this. She’s lied before. She lied to me, and I almost bought it. She could have done this. But you cut her out.” He looked away. “Everyone who matters the most to me in the world, Sonny—they think I’m dead. My grandmother. My sister.” He swallowed. “Michael. My parents. Bobbie.”
“I—” Sonny exhaled slowly. “I keep underestimating the people doing this. I keep thinking that if we do this one thing, then we’ll find them. If you go to the warehouse, we’ll get answers. If I keep you out of sight, if I fake your death—I can’t get ahead of them, Jason. Maybe I lied to Elizabeth for other reasons, but I’m not lying about the danger she was in—”
“How long do you expect me to wait?” Jason demanded roughly. “To put my family through this?”
At his side, Benny cleared his throat. “We’ve had some rumors about some men moving around. We know Roscoe’s behind Carly’s disappearance. Nico’s involved—he’s been seen meeting with Roscoe, but we got some evidence that Zander Smith might still be a factor.”
“Which means Hector Ruiz might be the mastermind,” Sonny cut off Jason’s surprised reply. “We confirmed Zander’s running a crew down there. But he was in Port Charles a few days ago—and he made it a point to seek out Elizabeth. He was testing her reaction. She got angry at him, went after him—and he got on a plane shortly afterwards. He never tried to see Emily or anyone else.”
Jason waited a moment. “Hector Ruiz. Those men moving around—”
“Are his men. And wherever Hector goes—”
“Javier and Manny do, too.” Jason looked away. Swallowed hard. And Sonny knew he had him. “Okay. What’s the plan?”
“They wanted you out of the way, Jason, to get at Sonny,” Benny said. “That’s another reason we think Zander is involved. There aren’t many people who would know that taking out Sonny can’t be the endgame if you’re still in play. He came to see Elizabeth—because Zander probably knows you wouldn’t lie to her. And nothing would draw you out of hiding like going after Elizabeth. He’s the inside track.”
Jason scrubbed his hands over his face. “I’m not hearing a goddamn plan, Benny.”
“We’re still working that out,” Sonny admitted. “A week, Jase. No longer. I promise.”
Jason looked at him with that same empty expression. “That’s all you get. But the lying to Elizabeth stops now. Do you get that? I trusted—” He stopped. Shook his head. “It just stops now.”
“Yeah.” Sonny stepped back, set the newspaper he still held on the back of the sofa. “Yeah, okay. A week, and this will all be over.”
But the words felt empty even as he said them. He’d made his choices. He would defend them to his last breath.
And ultimately, Sonny would have to live with them.