These are the two opening scenes to my Tangle rewrite.
I’m alive but tell me am I free
I got eyes but tell me can I see
The sky is falling and no one knows
It shouldn’t be hard to believe
Shouldn’t be this difficult to breathe
The sky is falling and no one knows
– Sky is Falling, Lifehouse
Monday, November 15, 2010
Morgan Home: Kitchen
The last time Jason Morgan saw his wife, she was smiling at him. She stood by her open car door, facing the street as he fastened the car seat for their three-year-old son, Jake.
“I’m going to miss you guys so much,” she murmured, leaning over the car door to kiss him softly. “I wish I weren’t going back today.”
Jason smoothed his hand down the back of her hand, over her chestnut hair and tilted his head to the side. “You don’t have to go, you know. You can call, ask for extra time.”
She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “I can’t. I’ve already been out six months. I think I was spoiled because I was only out three with Jake.” She cast her sapphire eyes at their blond son who was chattering with six-year-old Cameron. “And you know…the last month of that was…” She sighed. “I’m not going to think about that anymore.”
He didn’t much like to think about the few weeks their newborn son had been kidnapped by a grief-stricken mother, made possible by his girlfriend’s anger at the situation, as she had stood and watched the woman lift an innocent boy from his carriage and leave the park.
“We don’t have to.” He kissed her again. “But you know…Juliet is going to miss you.”
She laughed, the sorrow clearing from her eyes. “Oh, she is not. She has you wrapped around her tiny finger.” She punctuated each word with a soft finger poking him in the chest. “Admit it, big bad Jason Morgan is a softy.”
He scowled at her, but only in fun because it was true. He’d only raised boys before, from Michael to Jake and Cameron. He’d been around girls, but never his own daughter. “I have a reputation to protect.”
She smirked. “I have to get the boys to school, and then to the hospital before Epiphany sets the hounds loose.” He stepped back and closed the door. He kissed her one more time. “I love you,” she murmured against his lips. “I’ll see you later.”
He stepped back from the car, and repeated their usual goodbye, one that went back more than a decade. “I’ll see you later.”
His wife smiled, and slid into the car. As she fastened her seatbelt, Jason, out of habit, glanced to the street where a dark car was waiting to follow his wife to the boys’ school and then to General Hospital.
With a wave, Elizabeth Morgan pulled out of the driveway and then drove down the street. Her silver car turned a corner, and she was gone.
Jason returned to the house where his six-month-old daughter slept peacefully never knowing that she would grow up without the mother who loved her so much.
Morgan Home: Study
Four hours later, Jason sat behind the desk in the study Elizabeth had insisted on setting up when they’d moved into the home the year before. He hated bringing his work home, but she had successfully argued that if he did paperwork and met with trusted people the kids already knew at the house, he would be home more. After missing nearly a year of Jake’s life, any decision that allowed him more time with his children was easy to make.
So today, the meeting was with Cody Paul, the enforcer in his organization, and his business partner, Johnny Zacchara. Juliet peacefully slumbered in a playpen a few feet outside the door, in the living room.
“Vega’s an impatient old woman,” Johnny grumbled, scribbling his name on a page. “I told him that we would have answer by the end of the week, and he’s already hassling me. It’s Monday, for f—” He coughed. “Anyway. We’ll have to figure out what to tell him about the pier.”
“We will,” Jason said. “At the end of the week.” He rubbed his forehead. “Anything else?”
“Nope,” Cody said, gathering up the ledgers. “I’ll take these down to Max at the warehouse. See ya guys.” The enforcer left, and a few minutes later he heard the door open and close.
Johnny leaned back in his chair. “Nadine said Liz was going back to work today. How’d she take it?”
Jason shrugged. He and Johnny were mostly relaxed with one another, despite the fact Johnny was responsible for the death of Sonny Corinthos two years earlier.
Their business partnership had just seen its first anniversary, having been struck when his now-wife Nadine agreed to marry him. Johnny had, sensibly, argued that they would be stronger together than apart and since they were both family men now, they would be well-served to preserve the peace.
“I told her she could stay home,” he answered finally.
“Yeah, I told Nadine the same thing last month.” Johnny smirked. “She thought I was nuts. What would she do when Lia was older, started going to school?” His grin broadened. “I told her we’d have more kids if she wanted to stay busy. She whacked me. Just easier to let them do what they’re gonna do.”
“Elizabeth loves her job.” And that was enough for him. It was a logistical nightmare securing the hospital at times, but it was important to him that his wife not be isolated, stuck in his penthouse. Carly had been that way with Sonny, and it had driven her insane—almost literally.
The landline on his desk rang and Jason reached for it. “Morgan?”
“Jason? Oh. Hey. It’s Nadine.”
Jason frowned at the sound of his partner’s wife. “Nadine? Are you looking for Johnny?” He glanced at the other man who took out his cell, as if to examine its condition.
“Oh. No, no. I guess Elizabeth forgot its her first day back. I tried her cell, but she probably left it with Jules again, she can’t get enough of it but I’ve managed to hold Epiphany off for a while, but she’s super late—”
His fist clenched on the desk, and Johnny leaned forward. “What’s wrong?”
“Nadine, Elizabeth left for work four hours ago,” Jason said, careful to keep his voice very calm. He met Johnny’s eyes, and his partner immediately started to dial Elizabeth’s guards.
“Oh.” There was a pause, and then a sucking in of her breath. “Oh. God. Okay. Well…I…don’t know what to do. Should I call the police?”
“No.” Jason swallowed. He could not panic. There was an explanation. A reasonable one. “No. I’ll…drive the route she took. Maybe she got stuck somewhere.”
“Okay…well, let me know.” But Nadine’s voice was skeptical, and they both knew he didn’t believe it.
Jason carefully set the phone on the hook, and took a deep breath. “Johnny?”
“No answer on the guards,” Johnny confirmed. “I’m calling Max and Cody to start the search.” He hesitated. “Jason, doesn’t she usually drive the boys to school?”
And if Jason had been fighting panic before, he now tasted the terror.
Snatching the phone back up, he punched in the number for St. Andrew’s Academy. “Hello, this is Jason Morgan. I’m calling to find out if my sons, Cameron and Jake, made it class today. Cameron is in first grade, and Jake is in nursery school.”
When the woman on the other line confirmed that the boys had been dropped off on time, the vise around his lungs eased…only slightly. He hung up the phone. “They made it.”
“Okay.” Johnny exhaled slowly. “Okay. I’ll stay here, with Jules, Jason. You’re not…” He shook his head. “You’re not going to be able to sit back and let other people search for her, I know it. So…go trace her route. Go look.”
But Jason couldn’t move. If he moved, left the house, started looking, it would mean this was real. That his wife had not made it work, that her guards were not answering their phones.
“Jason,” Johnny said. “I’ll stay with Jules. I’ll play point for the guys, for Cody and Max. Go look.”
Johnny’s quiet words broke through his stupor and he looked across the desk, at the man who was not nearly the friend Sonny Corinthos had been, but in that moment, he just didn’t care. “If something happened to her…”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, Jase.”