The mayor of Port Charles, Peter Schoenfeldt, had remained mayor for over ten years simply because he was one of the few public officials that couldn’t be bought with money.
But with Nikolas Cassadine sitting in front of him in his simply decorated office talking about millions of dollars, Peter couldn’t help but think of his wife’s credit card bills and the sailboat she’d insisted they buy.
He cleared his throat. “Mr. Cassadine, I know you’re still mourning your brother’s death, but I cannot, in all good conscience, order Mac Scorpio to open an investigation when he feels one isn’t necessary.”
Nikolas’s expression hardened and he stood. “Why is everyone in this town so quick to believe a murderer?”
“Lucky Spencer worked for this office, if you remember,” Peter said. “He was an excellent young man and good judge of character. I was at the wedding and I was one of the first people to find out he was getting married.” Peter stared at Lucky’s brother. “He loved her. Do you think he’d want you doing this?”
“Lucky would want justice,” Nikolas snarled. “Do you know she killed her grandparents?”
Peter rubbed his forehead. “What are you talking about?”
Nikolas smirked. Finally. “Come to the hearing I have later today for my lawsuit. You’ll hear all about it.”
“I’m a busy man,” Peter murmured, picturing his empty schedule for the day. “Talk now or leave.”
“Her grandparents died in a suspicious fire when she was nineteen,” Nikolas reported. “It was originally ruled arson, with Elizabeth as the sole beneficiary. She was the only suspect, naturally.”
Nikolas glared at him for a second before continuing. “But the report got changed to an accidental fire–”
“Which means she didn’t do it, which means you have no case,” Peter said, leaning back in his chair. “You’ll never get that admitted into court. Not with the lawyer Elizabeth Spencer has.”
Nikolas narrowed his eyes. “What lawyer?”
“Alexis Davis,” Peter replied, making sure to watch the other man’s reaction. “Isn’t she your–”
Nikolas had fled the room before Peter could even finish the statement.
Lily watched the events in the courtroom with curious eyes. Nikolas had a team of lawyers at his table and was glaring at Elizabeth’s table–or more accurately, at Alexis as she gathered papers around her.
Finally, the court was called into session and Lily watched Alexis work her magic.
“Alexis Davis for Elizabeth Spencer, your honor,” Alexis said as she stood and adjusted her glasses. “I trust you’ve had time to examine the briefs I’ve sent you.”
Judge Countryman, an old woman with warm blue eyes, peered at her through her bifocals. “Good morning, Ms. Davis.”
Alexis smiled. “Good morning. I’m sorry for my abruptness, but my client is upset with these proceedings and wishes them to be out of the way as soon as possible.”
A tall man in a luxurious and expensive gray suit stood. “Richard Dick for the petitioner, your honor–”
“Sit down, Mr. Dick,” Countryman barked, turning her cold eyes to the Cassadine team. Alexis managed to smile. Like Peter Schoenfeldt, Jacqueline Countryman had attended Elizabeth and Lucky’s wedding. Lucky had always been willing to lend a hand wherever he was needed, fixing computers at City Hall and here at the courthouse.
Elizabeth Spencer was a lucky woman, indeed.
“As I was saying, Your Honor,” Alexis continued. “There is absolutely no basis for this complaint as you can see with the evidence set in front of you. Mr. Cassadine’s only evidence is the timeline of events.”
“Your Honor,” Dick broke in. “Mrs. Spencer met Lucas Spencer in the summer of last year. Two months later, she was pregnant. They married a month later. Five months later, Spencer is killed in a car wreck on his way to pick up his wife–”
“All of which proves nothing,” Alexis cut in. “The fact that my client was pregnant before her marriage means nothing.”
“There’s also the issue of the insurance money Mrs. Spencer used to buy her place of work,” Dick tossed out.
“I have a signed statement by Luke Spencer, the client’s father-in-law, stating that he suggested the use of the money. I have another statement from Mac Scorpio–the police commissioner–that Lucky and Elizabeth were considering buying The Outback before his death.”
Countryman turned to the Cassadine team. “Any other circumstantial evidence you want to throw in my face?”
“Your Honor, Mrs. Spencer comes from a small town in Pennsylvania–”
“And her husband is from a town in New York. What’s your point?” Alexis interrupted.
“Ms. Davis,” Countryman warned.
“Sorry, Your Honor.”
“As I was saying, Elizabeth Spencer lost her parents in a freak accident and lived with her grandparents until she was nineteen. There was a fire that killed her grandparents which was originally ruled as arson with Elizabeth as the sole suspect–”
“That fire was later determined to be accidental, clearing my client of any suspicion. None of which, by the way, is admissible in these proceedings.”
“It proves that she killed for money before!” Nikolas suddenly shouted, lunging from his chair.
Sitting next to Alexis, Elizabeth was sorely tempted to stand up and throttle the Cassadine. But she knew it wouldn’t go very far in convincing the court she wasn’t a murderer.
Although Nikolas Cassadine was a tempting first victim.
“Mr. Cassadine, sit your butt in that chair,” Countryman barked pointing at the red-faced young man. “Mr. Dick, you do realize that absolutely nothing that you’ve said here is admissible in court. You’ve given me no proof; no real evidence other than rumors and unsubstantiated theories. If you don’t have anything else, I’ll be forced to dismiss this case.”
“Your Honor–” Dick began. He looked down at his client before looking back at the judge. “No, we have nothing else.”
“This lawsuit is dismissed.”
“Thank you so much, Alexis,” Elizabeth gushed giving the uncomfortable woman another hug.
“You’re welcome, Elizabeth,” Alexis said. She turned to Lily. “You hug me, you’re dead.”
Lily just beamed. “You’re the best lawyer in town.”
“Well, yes,” Alexis admitted without modesty.
Lily grimaced. “There’s a voice I’ll never forget.”
Alexis sighed and turned to face her nephew. “Hello, Nikolas.”
“You are out of the family.”
Alexis rubbed her eyes. “Yeah. Wouldn’t be the first time. Did you run this banishment by Stefan yet?”
Nikolas glared at his aunt. “He has returned to Greece.”
Alexis nodded. “Which means he has no idea that you’re doing this. Typical.” She picked her briefcase up. “Nikolas, I wouldn’t try anything like this again.” She nodded to Lily and Elizabeth. “Let’s go.”
“This isn’t over, Elizabeth!” Nikolas called. “I’ll make sure you pay!”
Alexis let the double doors swing closed behind her and she shook her head. “Never changes, does he?”
“Thanks again, Alexis. I have to go to work.” Elizabeth waved goodbye to the ladies and headed for the elevator.
Once she was out of earshot, Alexis said, “So, any idea why Jason’s paying her legal bills?”
Lily grinned happily. “He likes her.”
Alexis glanced at her, clearly skeptical. “Are you serious?”
“As a heart attack. He took her out last night…on his bike,” Lily confided in a hushed voice. “And he’s been very tight-lipped about it. I can’t even nag any info out of him.”
“Wow. I didn’t think Jason would ever recover from Robin.”
Lily’s smile turned brilliant. “He has–he just doesn’t know it. And that girl right there is going to prove it to him.”
“What?” Lily asked, defensively.
“Don’t do anything stupid.”
Lily raised an eyebrow. “Like what?”
“Like the time you barred Robin from the building?” Alexis reminded her.
“She’d just broken up with him and kept coming by to apologize. Jason couldn’t take it anymore.”
“You mean you couldn’t take it anymore.”
“You know, you’re not the same person you were when you married Sonny,” Alexis said suddenly.
Lily sighed. “Yeah. I know. I’ve got a backbone now–I’ve had no choice but to change. It was either that or let Jason wallow in his misery.”
“He’s still wallowing.”
“True. But not as deep.”
“You’re impossible, you know that?” Alexis said.
Lily grinned. “It’s what makes life fun.”
Elizabeth was humming as she cleaned up that night. She was so uncharacteristically happy that she’d told Ariel and the others to go home–she’d close for the night. She owed it to them to do it. Lily had agreed to keep Lex as late as possible.
She was stacking the chairs on the top of the table when the door flew open. “We’re closed!” she called without turning her back. She moved to the next table.
“You’re a despicable human being!”
The shrieking words alone were enough to stop Elizabeth dead in her tracks, but the voice…
Elizabeth turned around and sighed. “Laura.”
Laura Spencer was enraged. Her blue eyes were wild with fury and her face red. “You killed my son and now you’ve made a fool of my other son!”
“Nikolas made a fool of himself,” Elizabeth replied softly.
Laura took a step closer. “You little tramp. I bet Lucky didn’t know you killed you killed your own grandparents!”
Elizabeth took a step back and clutched the rag she’d been wiping the tables tightly in her fists. “Laura, that fire–”
“What did you do? Sleep with someone to get it fixed?” Laura snapped.
“I didn’t want to believe Nikolas…I didn’t want to think that Lucky had chosen so wrongly, but I have no choice–Nikolas is right. You killed Lucky.”
“No!” Elizabeth cried. “No. Laura–”
“You took my son from me because you were greedy!” Laura’s eyes narrowed into slits. “Well you picked the wrong boy to kill!”
“I didn’t kill Lucky!”
“You’re going to pay for what you’ve done to this family,” Laura warned her. She glared at Elizabeth for a moment longer before leaving.
Elizabeth stood in the middle of the Outback, trembling.
The elevators opened on the penthouse floor and Elizabeth emerged, wiping her eyes so Lex wouldn’t be worried.
She was in such a hurry to pick her daughter up that she didn’t look where she was going and ran straight into Jason.
“Hey,” he said, putting his hands on her shoulders to steady her. “You okay?”
She sniffled and nodded, not trusting her voice. She wiped at her eyes again. “I’m fine. I just need to pick up Lex.”
“What happened?” Jason asked, noting the tears. “Are you okay?”
“I-I’m fine.” Elizabeth tried to brush past him and he knew he should let her. But he stopped her anyway.
She sighed and looked up at him. “Laura came to the Outback today.”
He frowned. “What happened?”
“She…” Elizabeth looked down at the ground. “She accused me of killing Lucky. I mean, it wasn’t easy hearing those words from Nikolas…but Laura used…she used…” her voice faltered as she tried to go on. “Laura used to care–she used…” The tears Elizabeth had just gotten under control started slipping down her cheeks. “I didn’t realize how much I m-missed my mother until I had L-laura and now she thinks…she thinks I killed her son.” Elizabeth cleared her throat and looked past him at the wall. “I just wasn’t prepared to hear it from Laura.”
He knew it was a bad idea–he knew it–but by the time he’d decided that he’d already pulled her into his arms and she’d already started to cry again.
Lily had been peeking through the peephole waiting for Elizabeth but when she saw Jason stop her outside the elevator, she’d been concerned. She could tell something was wrong and was about to step outside when Jason pulled Elizabeth into a hug. He initiated it.
And then she watched as Jason led Elizabeth away–towards his apartment.
She backed away from the peephole and smiled. Those two would definitely be good for one another.