Elizabeth blinked at Patrick. The wave of confusion filtering through her brain was the first emotion she’d allowed herself to feel in hours. She tilted her head to the side and pursed her lips. “Why?”
The doctor grinned and stepped closer. “You want the ulterior motive or the selfless one?”
She narrowed her eyes. “I’ve had about all I can take of men and their lying tonight so why don’t you give me the ulterior motive?”
Patrick sighed. “Okay, so Robin and Bobbie wanted to check on you. They couldn’t find you, I figured if I could deliver you to Robin, she might not be so damn mad at me.”
Elizabeth folded her arms underneath her breasts and scowled at him. “What’d you do to her? Cheat on her?”
He hesitated. “No. But she thinks I did—look, it’s not important. So let me just take you back to the Brownstone–that’s where they’re waiting. I’ll take you back, you’ll do the girl thing with the ice cream and creating voodoo dolls, and I’ll have myself back in Robin’s good graces. Everybody wins.”
“Maybe if you men kept your pants on, you wouldn’t have to worry about it,” Elizabeth retorted. “Is sex really that important? I mean, is it really worth destroying everything you’ve built? Blowing your life out of the water? Making your children’s lives miserable?”
Uncomfortable, Patrick slid his hands into the pockets of his slacks and rocked back and forth on his feet. Clearly, she wasn’t going to go without a fight. Tracking her down had made a lot more sense an hour ago. “Well, it’s important but I don’t see the point in cheating,” he said after a moment. “Which is why I don’t make commitments so I can avoid hurting people like you’re hurting now.”
“Right,” Elizabeth drawled sarcastically. “It’s so much better for Robin to think you’d rather be with a lot of women and that you enjoy rolling from her bed to another woman’s. That’s so much more compassionate of you.”
“Hey, how did I become the villain here?” he demanded, a little put out. “I came looking for you out of the goodness of my heart–”
“You came looking for me because you wanted to further your own agenda,” Elizabeth shot back. “Don’t delude yourself. You men are all alike–”
“Hey, just because you’re pissed at Lucky–and rightfully so because he’s an ass–it doesn’t mean you get to dump all over me,” Patrick interrupted. “Ulterior motive be damned, I don’t see anyone else standing here.”
Suddenly tired, Elizabeth slumped on a park bench. “That’s because there is no one else. Nikolas is Lucky’s brother, Emily was Lucky’s best friend long before she was mine and I bet anyone else gave up the search a long time ago.” She shook her head. “Thank you for the attempt, as lame as it is.”
Still a little chagrined, Patrick jerked a shoulder. “Whatever. And for the record, it’s not my fault Carly decided to list all her past deeds in an effort to make Sam look even worse. And there was barely any attempt to seduce me so really, I don’t know what Robin’s all put out about.”
“Maybe because Carly almost single handedly destroyed Robin’s life the last time she lived in town.” Elizabeth frowned. “What did Carly do tonight?”
“She laid into Sam, and then Sam tried to turn it around on her. It would have been more amusing if she’d left me out of it.” He held out a hand. “Come on, I’ll take you back to Bobbie’s, so you can curse men around people who’ll appreciate it.”
“I’d rather not be around people right now, if it’s all the same to you.” She hesitated. “However, I will be sure to tell Robin that you very nicely came after me and that she’s lucky to be sleeping with the one jackass in town that’s not completely worthless–”
She stopped talking when Patrick sat down next to her and stretched out his legs, clearly settling in. “Can I help you?”
“Nope, I’m fine. I’m just staving off the hitting that’ll come from both Bobbie and Robin if I left you in the park after dark. So you just sit there with your thoughts, I’ll sit here with mine and then I’ll walk you wherever you want to go.”
Elizabeth stared at him for a long moment before turning her attention back to the fountain. She’d walked all over Port Charles that evening but had found herself back here–a place that she had rarely visited in the nine years since the rape. “Don’t you have a hot date tonight?”
“I would have if Carly hadn’t chased her away,” Patrick scowled. “Though I don’t know how many hot dates start as double dates with one’s father.” He paused thoughtfully. “I blame Robin for this you know.”
“A year ago, I could have ignored the entire situation, even if it had happened to someone I knew. And I’d be out, trying to pick someone up.” Patrick shifted. “Thanks to Robin, I’m sitting in the middle of the park, being verbally abused by someone who has hit me with a chart every time I’ve tried to pick her up. Thanks to her, my dinner dates are at a diner with my father and thanks to her, I’ve haven’t slept with anyone else since December.” He scowled. “So I blame Robin for this.”
“Yes, feel free to blame Robin for teaching you about compassion, kindness and the value of being selective with one’s partners. Oh and for giving you back your father. Clearly, she’s a menace to society and must be stopped,” Elizabeth said dryly.
“You’re not kidding,” Patrick grumbled.
There was a long silence before she spoke again. “Thank you,” she said softly. “For not walking away. People usually find it easy to walk away from me. Or to let me go. So thank you.”
Highly uncomfortable now, Patrick shrugged. “I’m only doing this to get Robin to not be irritated with me. It has nothing to do with you.”
Not convinced, Elizabeth smiled faintly. “Of course not. You just go out of your way for all of Robin’s friends. It’s nice that she’s important to you.”
“That’s not–I never–” he glared at her. “You’re a pain.”
She patted his arm. “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.”
She’d been crying for hours, or maybe it had been minutes. It was all bleeding together into one long miserable nightmare. She had sabotaged the best thing that had ever happened to her for an affair with someone who had run after his wife. Lucky didn’t love her–Sam didn’t delude herself about that, and if Jason had ever felt anything other obligation for her (she was not convinced he’d ever really loved her but she didn’t really know what love felt like so maybe he had) it was gone now, replaced with disgust and hatred.
But Jason could never hate her as much as Sam hated herself.
A hand appeared in front of her face and Sam looked up, blinking through her tears. “What do you want?” she demanded.