I’ve been playing with two ideas for a story taking place in 1999. I wanted to workshop this one a little bit to get a feel for the characters and work out some story kinks.
Starts after the infamous Christmas Party fight and written in about 45 minutes, give or take a computer crash. Not spell checked or edited for grammar.
December 27, 1999
Bannister’s Wharf & Elm St. Pier
Elizabeth Webber slowly made her way down the stairs at the wharf, grimacing as she stepped off the landing to the pier that lay adjacent to her building.
Even from this distance, she recognized the figures milling at the base of the dock stairs, next to the bench. The last thing she needed after a double shift at Kelly’s was a run-in with the Port Charles Police Department.
But there was no avoiding them—it was either today, tomorrow, or another day. She supposed she should thank someone in the universe that it had taken Detectives Marcus Taggert and Andrew Capelli nearly forty-eight hours to follow up on the accusation that she was sleeping with Jason Morgan.
It hadn’t taken anyone else in her life nearly that long to weigh in with an opinion. Emily had arrived the day before shortly after Jason had abruptly decided to move out and demanded answers. Elizabeth had been so annoyed with best friend that she’d smirked and said nothing.
Bobbie had given her that worried look, her grandmother had looked disappointed—and Edward Quartermaine had decided it was worth slumming it at Kelly’s to check in on the rumors.
And that was just the people she knew. Apparently the fight at the hospital had been written up in the local gossip papers and she’d had giggling girls in her section at the diner all day.
“Gentlemen,” Elizabeth murmured as she stopped in front of them, “Are you blocking the steps for a reason or can I get past?”
“Elizabeth.” Taggert managed a warm smile for her. “How was your Christmas?”
“Fine.” She lifted her chin. “Can I help you? I’ve been on my feet all day, which I’m sure you know since you also knew when my shift ended.”
Capelli arched his brows. “Why—”
“Because I doubt you were waiting for me here all that long. Did you ask Bobbie my schedule?” Elizabeth asked. “If you’re not waiting for me, then you can move. I’m tired.”
“Nikolas Cassadine came into file assault charges on Jason Morgan.” Taggert tipped his head. “You’re a witness, aren’t you?”
Elizabeth scowled. “Nikolas pushed Jason first. It was—” She shook her head. She’d take a page from Jason’s book for a change. “I have nothing to say to you. You can talk to the other witnesses or the surveillance tape.”
“I didn’t realize you and Morgan were so close,” Taggert said. He rocked back on his heels. “How long have you been dating?”
Elizabeth stared at him for a long moment before pressing her lips together. “Why don’t you ask me what you really want to know?”
“What makes you think we’re not here about the assault?” Capelli asked with a smirk. “Cassadine filed a report—”
“Which, I’m sure, was easily refuted since most of the hospital was there when it happened. You’re not here on assault charges, Taggert.”
“I guess you’re not as dumb as you look,” Capelli retorted. “I didn’t expect that much from someone who screws a criminal—”
“Yeah, we’re done now.” Elizabeth attempted to move past them, but Taggert blocked her again. “Am I under arrest?”
“No. I apologize for my partner here. He’s new.” Taggert shot a death glare at the younger man who just shrugged. “Where were you on December 1?”
“December 1—” Elizabeth blinked. The night before she’d found Jason at the boxcar. Damn it. “I don’t know. That was like a month ago.”
“It was a Wednesday, the week after Thanksgiving. Ring a bell?”
“I don’t know. I think—” Elizabeth bit her lip, trying to look as if she was remembering it. Not cooperating at all would just keep them looking at her or Jason, so could she give them enough to go away? “I think I had my last classes of the semester that Wednesday—yeah, I guess that makes sense. I had classes and then a shift at Kelly’s until closing. You can check my schedule with Bobbie.”
“Did you see Jason Morgan that night?” Capelli cut in as Taggert began to open his mouth. “How long?”
Elizabeth wrinkled her brows. This was tricky. “He came in at closing. Roy DiLucca was leaving at the same time—”
“Oh, now you remember specifics?” Capelli said with a smirk. “Sure. Morgan told you to give him an alibi, huh—”
“I was having a bad night,” Elizabeth cut in sharply. “I had a bad grade on a project that last day. I forgot to give Roy his change and knocked over the tip jar. Jason helped me clean up. Anything else?”
“How long were you with Morgan that night?” Taggert demanded.
Elizabeth scowled at him. “What exactly are you asking me right now, Detective? None of this is your business. I answered your questions. I want to go—”
“We pulled a body from the harbor yesterday,’’ Taggert said, holding up a hand as she tried to pass him. “Anthony Moreno. No one’s seen him since December 1.”
“That has nothing to do with me. Now either let me pass—”
“What do you think Lucky Spencer would say about you screwing around five minutes after he died? With a man like Jason Morgan?”
Taggert scowled at his partner as Elizabeth stepped back. Tears swelled in her eyes. “Do you think he’d be angry?” Her voice quavered.
“Elizabeth—” Taggert sighed, looked at her. “Don’t—”
“I mean, Lucky loved me. I thought he’d be happy I was…happy again. That I found someone to c-care—” She allowed her voice to stop as she sucked in a deep breath. “He and Jason were friends. Am I—maybe I should be alone. I mean, maybe you’re only supposed to love someone once. I’m only eighteen, but maybe that was it–”
“That’s not what—” He scowled. “Damn it, Capelli.” He grabbed his partner’s arm and shoved him away, clearing the steps. “We’ll finish this another time.”
Elizabeth sniffled, rushed up the stairs, and made for the entrance to her building where she stopped and looked back. Taggert and Capelli were already tiny figures crossing the wharf where it met the street and parking lot.
“Works every time,” she muttered as she flicked away the tears. Imagine them throwing Lucky in her face like Lucky would begrudge her moving on.
Not that she was moving on. She wasn’t. Even if she wanted to, there was no one to move on with. Jason had made that clear by moving out the second he could.
“Are you okay?”
Elizabeth turned to find Jason emerging from the corner of her building, concern etched in his features, in his pale blue eyes. “I thought it would be worse if they saw me—”
“Oh.” Elizabeth shrugged. “Yeah, no it’s fine. They wanted to know if I was with you on December 1 because apparently that’s the last time anyone saw Anthony Moreno alive. By the way, they pulled him from the harbor a couple of days ago.” She pulled her keys out of her purse. “Are you coming up?”
Jason stared at her for a long moment before tilting his head to the side. “You—you’re not upset. You were messing with them.”
“They wouldn’t go away, and I don’t have a lawyer on speed dial. Nothing makes a man run faster than tears. At least that’s what my mom always said.” She held her keys up. “Coming up or not?”