Written in 40 minutes. Ignore any previous description of Cameron. We’re going with NuCameron, William Lipton, who just started. No time for edits or fixing of typos.
Elizabeth was quiet during the drive from Port Charles Middle School to Sonny’s estate, and the air in the car was thick with tension.
Aiden and Jake both seemed to understand that something very bad had happened but neither of them could really understand why it was so awful that Franco had picked Cameron up from school. They both knew their mother’s moods and didn’t argue when Jason and Elizabeth packed them into the car and squealed out of the parking lot.
“I called Spinelli. He’s going to meet us at Sonny’s. The boys will be safe there.” Jason grimaced as they got stuck at another red light. “I asked him to try and figure out where Cam’s phone was when it got turned off.”
Jason glanced at her as the light changed to green and the SUV started across Central Avenue, the dividing avenue in downtown Port Charles. They could see both General Hospital and the Metro Court Hotel from here.
Greystone was ten minutes away. Ten long minutes that her little boy spent with a monster. A monster Elizabeth had allowed into their lives, had believed in, championed—let into her heart.
How many times would her boys pay the consequences of Elizabeth’s terrible choices in life? Aiden’s father couldn’t spend more than a day in Port Charles because of her affair with Nikolas. Jake had been kidnapped and brainwasheecause Helena Cassadine hated her—
And her sweet, beautiful Cameron had been kidnapped by a man who could be truly sadistic. With the knowledge that the brain tumor had never been to blame—
“We’re going to find him, Elizabeth.”
She squeezed her eyes shut. How many times had Jason promised that over years? They would find Jake. They would find Aiden. How many times would Jason have to save her boys from Elizabeth?
Jason pulled up to the guard house at the edge of Sonny’s estate, but whoever was in the little house waved them through. Jake and Aiden tumbled out of the car, blinking up at he mansion—neither of them had ever been there before and Sonny’s home was almost as large as the Quartermaines.
Elizabeth herded the boys towards the entrance, and Sonny threw open the door, gesturing for them to come in. “Spinelli is already here,” he told the quartet as they entered through the foyer. “He told us that Franco kidnapped Cameron.”
Elizabeth met Sonny’s eyes briefly but was relieved when she saw no judgment in their dark depths. Only concern. Carly and her daughter, Joss, were in the sitting room, Carly leaning over Spinelli’s shoulder, and Joss standing by the terrace, nibbling at the edges of her fingers.
“Jason. Hey.” Carly lunged to her feet. “Spinelli is just getting a trace on the phone—”
“Cam hates Franco. He’d never go anywhere with him,” Joss declared. “So how did he get him out of the school?”
“What happened?” Sonny asked. He glanced down, seemed to realize for the first time that Cam and Aiden were standing there, wide-eyed. “Ah, Joss—”
“Yeah. Okay.” Joss gestured for the boys to join them. “Come on. We can go upstairs. We got the game room—”
“Mom—” Jake hesitated even as Aiden started to follow Joss upstairs. “Is—Is Cam going to be okay?”
“Yes,” Elizabeth told him, hugging him swiftly. “Of course. Look how many people are looking for him—” She kissed the top of his head, and Jake went up the stairs, throwing another suspicious look over his shoulder.
“Have you traced his phone yet?” Elizabeth demanded as soon as she heard the door close. “Spinelli—”
“Not yet.” Spinelli hesitated. “It’s taking some time, I’m sorry. I wish it were faster—”
“We should call Sam and Drew,” Elizabeth interrupted, turning her attention back to Jason. “They were going to track down Andre.”
“Why? What happened?” Sonny repeated, with a bit more irritation this time. “Why would Franco kidnap Cameron? You’re living with him—”
“Not after this morning.” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “I threw him out, and he—he wouldn’t go at first. So Jason came over to help me change the locks. We found the flash drive with Drew’s memories.”
“The flash drive? Franco had it?” Carly snorted. “Why am I not surprised he was involved?”
“I got the phone!” Spinelli announced. Everyone turned to look at the computer hacker who only grimaced. “It was turned off…about an hour ago.”
“Right after Franco picked him up,” Elizabeth muttered. She wrapped her arms around her torso. “Where?”
“Near the school.” Spinelli hissed. “This doesn’t give us anything—Wait…it just turned back on!”
Elizabeth’s phone rang with a sharp jangle, startling all of them. She ripped the phone out of her handbag. Cameron’s photo flashed on her screen and she sobbed in relief.
“Cameron?” she demanded, pressing accept and putting the phone to her ear.
“Don’t you wish.”
Franco’s cool drawl was so at odds with the man she had lived with for the last year that she actually felt her heart skip a beat. Wordlessly, she placed the phone on speaker phone. “Franco. Where is my son?”
“He’s with me. Are you still with Jason? Hi, Jason!”
Elizabeth met Jason’s eyes for a moment before they both looked back at the phone. Her hand started to tremble. “Franco—”
“You made me believe I was a good person. I wanted to be a good person. I was, for you, wasn’t I?” When Elizabeth didn’t immediately answer, he repeated the question in a snarl. “Wasn’t I?”
“Y-yes,” Elizabeth admitted with her voice shaking. “Yes. I was wrong. I made a mistake—”
“How stupid do you think I am? I was right, wasn’t I? I knew as soon as Jason flashed his pretty blue eyes that you’d go running back to him. Well, you can’t expect me to go without something to remember you by.”
Behind her, Sonny put a hand on her shoulder as if trying to reassure her. Across the room, Carly’s face was pale. She was sure they were thinking of the son they’d lost.
“See, I know everyone thinks Jake is your favorite because he’s Jason’s son. But I know the truth, don’t I?”
“Truth—” Elizabeth shook her head. “I love all my boys, you know that—”
“But you love Cameron best. Because he’s your first. He’s the reason you get up the morning. The reason you grew up. He was your miracle baby.”
“How—” Elizabeth’s mouth felt dry. How could he possibly know that? “Please. I’ll do anything. Anything.”
“Would you trade yourself? Leave the boys, leave Jason?” Franco asked.
“Yes,” Elizabeth said instantly. “Yes. I would do anything for my boys. Please—”
“It’s just a shame no one else loves Cameron. Just you. I didn’t love him. Neither did your savior, Jason or his drippy brother, Drew. Not Lucky. Not Ric. No one loves Cameron. He won’t even be missed.”
“That’s not true—please, I’ll do whatever—”
“You had your chance.”
And with that, the phone went dead. She stared at it, her heart pounding her ears. “No, no, come back!” She shook the phone as if it would force Franco to call back. “No!”
“Spinelli,” Carly murmured, her eyes shimmering with tears. “Where’s the phone?”
Spinelli grimaced, his eyes trained on the screen. “He’s…” He narrowed his eyes. Looked back at Jason and Elizabeth. “He’s on Lexington Avenue.”
“The old house,” Elizabeth murmured. “It…there was a fire. We didn’t rebuild—”
The door behind them flung open, and Drew and Sam rushed in, followed by Dante. Elizabeth frowned at both of them. “What—”
“I sent them a text,” Carly said. “While you were on the phone. I thought…we might be able to use Dante.” She swallowed. “Franco just called Elizabeth. They traced the call to Elizabeth’s old house.”
“Let’s go,” Elizabeth said immediately. “Right now.” When no one moved, she felt her composure—already fragile—shatter. “Jason, please. I know—I know he’s not your son, but he’s—”
“Hey—” Jason shook his head sharply. “Don’t think for one second that I don’t love Cameron. It’s just—it’s Franco—”
“It’s never that easy,” Drew said, and Jason looked at him—for once, not resenting the fact that his brother shared the same memories.
“I don’t care. If you won’t drive me, then give me your keys, and I’ll go myself—”
“Go,” Sam said, touching Drew’s arm. “Someone go with her, or I’ll go—”
“Let’s go.” Jason scooped his keys from the table where he’d dropped. “C’mon.”
Elizabeth dashed through the front doors, followed by Jason, and after a minute, Drew and Dante.
Sonny scrubbed his hands over his face. “Can someone tell me what the fuck is going on right now? What does Franco have to do with the flash drive and—what happened to the brain tumor?”
“It was a lie,” Sam said. She looked at Carly. “The brain tumor—we have proof that it didn’t exist until after…after he did all those things.”
“Oh…God…” Carly’s face paled, and she sank down onto the sofa. “Jesus, Cameron is with a full-fledged, psychopath.”
The house on Lexington Avenue had not yet been rebuilt—it remained a a charred wreckage in the middle of a suburban area.
Jason pulled the SUV to a stop several houses away, and behind them, Dante’s sedan pulled up. “Elizabeth—”
“He’s in there. He has to be—” Elizabeth blinked when her phone rang again in her hands. A video call. With shaky fingers, she pressed accept.
Her little boy’s face flashed into the screen, his scared blue eyes, his disheveled blonde hair, and tearstained face. “Mom.”
“Mom. He says…he says I have to go away. He says you don’t love me, I told him it wasn’t true—”
The phone was pulled away from Cameron and Franco’s face filled the screen with a light in his eyes Elizabeth hadn’t seen in years. She reeled back. “Please—”
“Time to say goodbye—”
And with that, the phone cut out, and what was left of her home on Lexington Avenue exploded.
It rocked the car, shaking it back and forth, shattering the windshield and windows. Jason swore and threw his body over Elziabeth—but she was already scrambling out of the car, screaming.
Screaming Cameron’s name as she raced towards the house.
“Elizabeth!” he shouted. He ran after her, and he could hear Drew and Dante’s voices mingling in shouts as he pounded up the sidewalk.
But he couldn’t catch her—she’d already plunged in the fire. Jason drew up short for just a minute—and Drew stopped next to him. They traded a glance and followed her, disappearing into the thick wall of smoke.