“So, Will told me you stopped by Kelly’s tonight,” Sonny said over dinner. Carly glanced up at him. “He told me that while you were there, Zander Smith stopped in.”
Carly shifted in her seat. “That’s true,” she admitted. “He stopped in to talk to Elizabeth.”
“Does Jason know this?” Sonny asked.
She shrugged. “How am I supposed to know what the princess does or doesn’t tell her boyfriend?”
“Boyfriend?” Sonny repeated. “Since when did that happen?”
“I don’t know. Courtney mentioned it in passing while I was there,” Carly replied. “I’ve been meaning to tell you what happened tonight,” she said. “Zander told Elizabeth she should stay away from Jason because something was going to go down.”
“He said this. In front of you,” Sonny stated.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me,” Carly stated. “I’m sure Elizabeth is telling Jason, too. So, maybe you’ll believe it coming from her–”
“That’s not what I meant, Carly,” Sonny said, almost exasperated. “I meant I can’t believe Zander would do that. It’s such a stupid move.”
“Oh.” Carly shrugged. “Well, this is Zander we’re talking about. Personally, Elizabeth, Courtney and I all think–”
“Wait, the three of you discussed this?” Sonny asked amused. “Without killing each other?”
Carly glared at her husband. “You’re kidding, right? Is that all you think I do with other woman? Fight? Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence,” she drawled.
“I’m sorry,” Sonny said. “Okay, what did the three of you come up with?” he asked, amused.
Carly narrowed her eyes. He wasn’t going to take her seriously–she could already see it. “We think that Zander wants you to be on your toes because he’s got a way to blindside you anyway.”
Sonny shook his head. “That kid couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag,” he said, scornfully. “And Roy doesn’t have the resources.”
“Maybe they’re working for someone else,” Carly suggested.
Sonny rolled his eyes. “Carly, we knew that already.”
“Well, excuse me for breathing,” Carly muttered. She stood and headed for the stairs. “I’m going upstairs. When you feel like treating me like an adult rather than a child, you let me know, k?”
“Carly–” Sonny tried, but she ignored him and went up the stairs.
“I think you should stay away from Zander.”
Elizabeth sighed and shook her head. “Yeah, like that hasn’t already occurred to me,” she grumbled.
“I’m serious, Elizabeth,” Jason tried again. Elizabeth just shrugged and continued her sketching. Jason stood from the couch and stood behind her. “Are you ignoring me?”
“No,” Elizabeth replied. She set the sketchpad down and turned around to wrap her arms around his waist. “I’m just sick of talking about Zander, aren’t you?”
“I’ve been sick of Zander since the day I met him,” Jason muttered.
“Hey, have you found anything else on Marisa?” Elizabeth asked eagerly.
Jason shook his head. “No. Carmen covered her tracks pretty well–I’m sorry.”
“I didn’t expect to find her right away,” Elizabeth told him. “But thanks for at least trying.”
“Uh huh.” Jason eyed her. “Don’t think I don’t know what you did.”
“What?” Elizabeth asked, wide-eyed and innocent. “What did I do?”
“You’re avoiding the subject,” Jason replied. “Did he say anything else to you?”
“Nope,” Elizabeth said. “Just that something big was going to go down and he didn’t want me anywhere near you.” She bit the inside of her cheek, hesitating. “Carly, Courtney and I were talking about it after he left and we think he warned us because he’s got an angle you guys won’t think about.”
“Don’t worry about,” Jason told her. “Sonny and I will take care of it.” He frowned. “Maybe I should put someone on you.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “I don’t want a guard, Jason. I don’t need one.”
“Do we have to keep talking about this?” Elizabeth asked. She stood on her tip toes to press a kiss to the underside of his jaw. “I have other things I was looking forward to.”
“Oh, really?” Jason asked, amused. He tilted his head back a little as she continued moving her mouth down his neck.
“Uh huh.” Elizabeth pulled away from him and took his hand in hers, backing up towards the couch. “You have any plans for the rest of the night?”
“Elizabeth–” Jason began. He was cut off as Elizabeth fell onto the couch, pulling him on top of her. She kissed him again, thrusting her tongue in his mouth and he let himself give in for a little while before pulling away. “Elizabeth, this isn’t a good idea.”
She groaned and let her head fall back against the arm of the couch. “All right. Fine. Can’t blame a girl for trying.”
Jason chuckled and stood, pulling Elizabeth to her feet. “I’d better go before you tempt me further.” He kissed her briefly. “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I’ve got work and then Courtney and I were going to go shopping. You want to do something?”
“I’ll pick you up at eight?” Jason said as he headed for the door.
“See you then.”
Elizabeth stood on the docks looking out over the water. For the first time since leaving the hospital, she felt good. At peace. Like she had accomplished a major feat. And she had. She’d stood up and declared exactly what she wanted. What could be better?
For one, he could disappear. She sighed, irritated. “What do you want Zander?”
“You need to leave.” He didn’t wait for her answer and started dragging towards the stairs.
“Get your hands off of me.” She yanked her arm away and glared at him. “Don’t ever touch me again. I’m not going anywhere–”
Zander glared at her. “You need to go. Now.”
“I didn’t realize this was your property,” she snapped. “I don’t have to do anything.”
“Don’t be stubborn. You need to go.” He took her arm again.
“Why? Give me one good reason?” Elizabeth demanded. “You meeting someone to set up Jason?”
“It’s always about Jason,” Zander shot back. “Well you can tell your little boyfriend I’m not scared of him.”
“No? He put you in the hospital. That’s reason enough to be scared.”
“He got lucky.”
“Stay away from me. Stay away from Jason and stay away from Sonny, do you understand?” Elizabeth glared at him a few seconds more and turned to leave when she collided with a taller man with dark hair. He looked familiar in some way but Elizabeth couldn’t place him.
“I’m sorry, Miss…?” the man trailed off.
“Webber,” Elizabeth replied, not bothering to volunteer her first name. “And you are?”
“Alcazar. Luis Alcazar.” He flashed a smile that chilled her down to her bones. Luis Alcazar…Alejandro’s brother. Elizabeth paled. What was he doing in town?
“Pleasure meeting you,” she replied. She turned to glare and Zander one last time and fled up the stairs. She stopped around the corner and decided to eavesdrop. Zander hadn’t wanted her on the docks for a specific reason and she’d be damned if she’d leave before finding out more. Sticking close to the corner, she could hear their conversation.
“You shouldn’t have given your real name. She knows who I am.”
“I’m not worried. Morgan and Corinthos have no clue what’s going on. Is she really Jason Morgan’s girlfriend?”
“If she’s not, she will be. Why?”
“Just…an interesting turn of events. We’ve got a problem.”
“You’re making mistakes.”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes, you are. Don’t try and deny it, little brother. We had a plan and you’ve changed it. Don’t worry. I’ve got a way to fix it. You stay safe and the plan moves forward.”
“Get Morgan before he gets you.”
Elizabeth was still recovering from the “little brother” remark when the meaning of the older man’s remarks smacked her in the face.
Get Morgan before he gets you.
“You want me to kill him?”
“You think you can handle that?”
“Not a problem.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. If Emily could hear her ex-boyfriend now. Snapping to attention, she realized they were winding down their conversation. She slid away from her hiding spot and started running.
She had to warn Jason.
Stepping off the elevator, Elizabeth leaned against the wall to catch her breath. She had taken off and hadn’t stopped running until the elevator doors shut. She’d covered the fifteen minute walk in five minutes.
She was about to go to Jason’s when reality set in. She’d eavesdropped on purpose. Her intentions wouldn’t matter. He wouldn’t understand she was only trying to protect him. She’d tell Sonny first. Sonny could tell Jason. Run interference.
She turned left and noted that the ever present guard was absent. Frowning, she knocked on Sonny’s door.
The door swung open. “Elizabeth-” Sonny said, surprised.
“Sonny, I have something majorly important to tell you,” Elizabeth burst out. Her white face and shaking hands worried Sonny. He took by the arm and led her in. Without waiting for him to say anything, she launched right in. “I was on the docks arguing with Zander when this guy showed up. He gave Zander orders to kill Jason and he said something about a plan and he’s Zander’s brother and Zander said he’d kill Jason!”
“And he said all this in front of you?” a voice came from behind her. She whirled around. So much avoiding Jason.
“Um, not exactly,” Elizabeth said, sheepishly.
“Not exactly?” Jason lifted his eyebrows. Elizabeth had the grace to look guilty.
“All right. Sit down and start from the beginning. Take deep breaths and go slowly,” Sonny said. Elizabeth nodded and sat on the couch.
“Like I said I was arguing with Zander. He wanted me to leave and I was being stubborn. But eventually I turned to leave and ran into this guy. He asked for my name-”
“You didn’t give it to him, did you?” Jason asked, exasperated.
“I’m not a moron,” Elizabeth replied, irritated. “But it’s not like it makes any difference. He overheard Zander calling you my-” she stopped, flushed. “And Zander said my name a couple of times. Anyway, I asked him for his name and you’re not going to believe this, but it’s his brother, Luis. Luis Alcazar is here and they’re–”
“Alcazar?” Sonny cut in. He looked at Jason. “How did we not know that Zander was Alcazar’s brother?”
Jason shifted. “I knew. I found out the other day but I was trying to get some more information in before I told you,” he replied.
Sonny shook his head. “All right, Elizabeth. What else happened?”
“I felt weird and left then. But I, um…” she trailed off and looked at her hands.
Sonny had to grin. “You hid and listened.”
“Elizabeth-” Jason began.
She turned and glared at him. “Don’t start with me. If I hadn’t, then I wouldn’t be here and you two wouldn’t have this information. You want be protective? Fine. But can I finish first?”
“And, Alcazar asked if I was really–” She stopped, embarrassed.
“Go on. If you were what?” Sonny asked.
She sighed and looked at the ceiling. She mumbled something that neither of them quite heard.
“What?” Jason asked.
“If I was really Jason Morgan’s girlfriend,” she repeated, aggravated.
“And where did he get this piece of information?” Sonny asked, amused.
Elizabeth let out a frustrated breath. “Zander told me to tell my little boyfriend that he wasn’t scared of him.”
“This is not good,” Jason said, rubbing his eyes.
“Well it doesn’t get better. Alcazar said it was an interesting turn of events.” Jason groaned. “But then he went on to say that Zander had created a problem, but he knew how to fix it.”
“I’m guessing the problem would be getting thrown out of the organization,” Sonny stated.
“Probably.” Elizabeth shrugged. “It was around this time that he said to get rid of Morgan before he gets rid of you.” She grimaced. “Took a few seconds to sink in, but if I hadn’t understood, Zander would have made it real clear. He said ‘you want me to kill him.’ Alcazar told him if he could handle it. Then Zander said no problem. That’s when I came here.”
Sonny started pacing. “So Luis Alcazar is the man behind Roy.” He scratched his chin. “I don’t get it–we’ve always been friendly with the family. What the hell is Ramon’s kid doing in Port Charles?” Sonny demanded. “He ducked out on a murder charge a couple of years ago.” He shook his head. “And now Luis is in town. Great.”
“Sonny, we should discuss this later,” Jason said.
Elizabeth frowned. “I know a cue when I hear it. I’m going back to my studio.” She stood up. Sonny pushed her down by her shoulders.
“Oh, no you don’t. Stay right there.”
“Sonny-” Jason began.
“I can leave,” Elizabeth offered again. She didn’t want to be within ten feet of Jason after this conversation was over. He looked ready to set into her about eavesdropping and she wasn’t in the mood.
“I don’t want you in that studio alone,” Sonny said, thoughtfully. “Anywhere you can go?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “No.”
“Then you’ll stay here.” Elizabeth jerked her head up.
“Um, you know that Carly’s not my biggest fan, right? I mean, we’re sisters and all, but that’s like in name only. She’s not going to be thrilled with this.”
Sonny waved it away. “I’ll talk to her.”
Elizabeth shifted uncomfortably. “Okay,” she replied, her tone clearly stating she didn’t think Sonny could talk Carly into it.
“First, we gotta figure out what the Alcazars are doing here.” Sonny headed to the phone. “I’ll ask Benny to look into it. Jason, take Elizabeth to her studio and get some things.”
Elizabeth stood reluctantly. She’d rather face rabid dogs than the argument she was about to get into. “I have plans for today,” she told them. “I have a shift at noon and I was supposed to go shopping with Courtney.”
“Make excuses,” Sonny said. “See if Bobbie will give you a few days off. I really want to make sure you’re safe, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth gave him a brief smile. “Thanks, Sonny.” Well, the upshot was that if she, Carly and Courtney were going to go ahead with this plan of theirs, then at least she’d be in the penthouse to plan it.
Jason opened the penthouse door wordlessly. She walked through it and headed to the elevator. He followed her. He punched in the down button and turned to glare at her. “I want to make it clear that I’m not happy with you eavesdropping.”
“Crystal clear,” Elizabeth replied. She stepped into the elevator when the doors opened.
“I’m not kidding, Elizabeth. Don’t do it again. I thought I explained that this isn’t a game.”
“Darn. And I was having so much fun.”
“Jason, I never said it was a game. And if I didn’t know it, getting kidnapped and thrown into a crypt would have set me straight.” She put her hand on his arm and looked into his eyes. “Believe me; I know this isn’t a game.”
“All right. Then don’t do it again.”
“I’m not promising you that,” Elizabeth replied. She shrugged. “Face it. You can’t tell me what to do.”
Jason swore. “Damn it, Elizabeth, you’re not getting it. These people can and will use you to get to me.”
“You really ought to find new excuses.” She raised an eyebrow. “They already have.”
“And you want to go through that again?” Jason snapped. She looked down, stung. “I’m sorry, but you’re not making it easy. All I’m doing it trying to keep you safe.”
“I know, and I appreciate it. You know that I-” Elizabeth broke off. She didn’t want to go there so soon. “Look, Jason, I know there are things you can’t tell me. Quite frankly, there are things I don’t want to know. But if I think I have the opportunity to help? I will. I won’t think twice.” They stepped out of the elevator and headed towards the back where Jason’s bike was.
He grabbed her arm as she was about to get on the bike and pulled her towards him. He wrapped his arms around her and she let herself sink into the familiarity of his arms. “I don’t want to lose you.” His voice was low.
“I don’t want to lose you either.”
Carly walked into the penthouse, and pulled off her sunglasses. “Where’s Max?” She looked at Sonny standing in the middle of the room — like he was waiting for her. She gulped and felt a guilty flush flash through her body. Wait a second, she thought rationally, I haven’t even done anything. She gave her husband a bright smile and decided to walk straight past him.
“Wait, Carly. I have to talk to you.” Sonny grinned. “And you might want to sit down for this.”
He’s smiling. It can’t be about Alexis, Carly decided. She sat on the couch and looked at him warily.
“It’s about Elizabeth-”
“Elizabeth?” Carly said, surprised. She frowned. “What about her?” Her eyes widened. She jumped off the couch. “Did she hurt Jason again? I’ll kill her!” Eyes gleaming with anger, she headed towards the door. Sonny chuckled and caught her by the waist. He pulled her back.
“No, no. She didn’t do anything to Jason.” Carly didn’t look convinced. “She actually helped Jason.”
She narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “How do you figure?”
Sonny scratched his forehead. “I can’t really tell you. But suffice to say because she, uh, helped Jason, she’s not exactly safe by herself.”
“What do you mean–” Realization dawned in her eyes. “She is not staying here. No way. Are you insane?”
“Carly, she doesn’t have anywhere else to go,” Sonny replied.
“Sure she does. She can go back to Kelly’s. To her grandmother’s. She can go to the Spencers. There’s a ton of places she can go.” She shook her head. “She is not staying here.”
“Besides Jason’s, this is the only place where I know she’ll be safe.” He grinned. “Do you want her at Jason’s?”
“Hell, no.” She started pacing. “Why, Sonny? How did she help Jason? Give me a hint. You can’t ask me to take in someone I hate without a really good reason.”
“You don’t hate Elizabeth.”
“Don’t tell me who I do and do not hate. I hate Elizabeth. Jason left town because of her.”
“I sent him away on business.”
“And he stayed away because of her.”
Sonny shook his head in amusement. “Elizabeth overheard a conversation that provided some good information for me. She came straight here with that information.”
“If she overheard it, then they don’t know she did. So she’s not in danger.” Carly looked hopeful.
“You’re not going to like this part.”
“I don’t like any of this.”
“The people that had this conversation know Elizabeth is Jason’s girlfriend.”
“And your point?” Carly crossed her arms.
“They were very interested in that fact. Now you know that Jason cares about Elizabeth. I know you hate that, but I also know you’d do anything for Jason.”
“Yeah,” Carly said, grudgingly. He was going to play the best friend card.
“And I would do anything for Jason. Including keeping Elizabeth safe. Can you do this for him?”
She glared at him. “You don’t play fair. You can’t play the best friend card.”
“Yes I can. Do it for Jason.”
“Fine.” Carly narrowed her eyes. “But she hurts Jason just once and she’s gone.” She looked at him carefully. “Is that clear?”
Carly sat back on the couch and glared at nothing in particular. Just because she, Courtney and Elizabeth had gotten along the other night at Kelly’s and had come to an understand and an agreement to work together…that did not mean she wanted the little twit under her roof. This was Carly’s domain. Carly’s world.
And if Elizabeth Webber didn’t understand that, then Carly would just have to beat it into her.
Elizabeth entered the penthouse behind Jason. She stopped when she saw Carly waiting her, unhappily. Oh boy, she thought.
“You,” Carly said, her voice dripping with disdain, “can stay in the guest room at the top of the stairs.” She pointed a finger towards the stairs.
Elizabeth stayed rooted to the spot by the door. “I know this is a difficult situation,” she began stiffly, “but I do appreciate it.”
“I’m not doing it for you little girl.” Carly glared at her.”I’m doing it for Jason. Just because he has rotten taste–”
“No, Jason. I’ll handle this.” Elizabeth smiled at him briefly before looking at Carly dead-on. “I think you and me have got a few things we need to work out.”
“Oh, we got more than that,” Carly replied.
“So why don’t you show me my room and maybe we can get started.” Elizabeth grinned. “Unless of course, you can’t handle that.”
“I can handle anything you can dish out.”
“Uh, ladies-” Sonny began.
“Back off,” Carly said. She crossed her arms and raised her chin. “I’m a big girl. Unless of course, the princess here needs rescuing.” Raising her eyebrow, “Why don’t we go upstairs?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” Elizabeth picked her bag off the floor and headed towards the stairs, Carly right after her.
“That’s…that’s not good,” Jason said, his eyes on the stairs.
“Please, no bloodshed!” Sonny called up after them. “It’s expensive to get blood out of rugs.” Turning to Jason, he only grinned, “Nah. I think they’ll be fine. It’s also long overdue.”
“Has Benny turned up anything?” Jason asked.
Sonny nodded. “Yeah. He found out that Luis Alcazar arranged for his brother to work for Sorel under the name Zander Smith. Almost makes me wish that idiot wasn’t dead so we could get more details about the deal.” He grinned. “Almost.”
“So, whatever they’ve been planning has been long-term,” Jason noted. “Maybe they wanted Zander to get really involved here.”
“It’s possible. In the last two years, he has managed to make a few connections. With your sister, Carly, me, and Elizabeth. When it comes right down to it, the only people he’s been around are connected to either you or me,” Sonny remarked.
“You want me to tail him?” Jason asked.
“Yeah. That sounds like a plan.”
Carly threw open the guest room door and stalked in. She turned to face Elizabeth who put her bag on the floor and closed the door. “Let me make this simple. You hurt Jason, you pay.”
“I think you need to shut up.”
“Excuse me?” Carly retorted.
“You heard me. For once in your life, listen to someone else.”
“I would if I thought you had anything constructive to say.”
“Look, you don’t get it. I care about Jason. More than you know,” Elizabeth admitted. “Sometimes so much that it scares me. And the only reason I’m telling you this is because despite our mutual dislike, I know you care about him too. You are his best friend, Carly.”
“Damn right. Which means you don’t get to hurt him.”
“I’ve made mistakes when it comes to him. I’ll be the first one to admit it. But, Carly, we all make mistakes when it comes to the people that we lo…” Elizabeth broke off and turned away. “When it comes to the people that we love,” she finished in a hushed voice. “You know that better than most people. We think we’re helping a situation and we end up making it worse.”
Carly was beginning to worry. The little twit was making far too sense for her taste.
“And then we try to fix it, but it just keeps getting worse and worse until there’s no going back.”
Carly crossed her arms. “Okay. You do have a point. I have done a few things that I regret.” She stopped and looked up. “All right. More than a few. Especially when it came to Jason and Sonny.” She bit her lip. “And I have made a couple of situations a lot worse than they would have been because I was trying to help.”
“All right.” Elizabeth picked up her bag and set it on the bed. She unzipped it and began taking clothes out of it.
“Oh, no. We’re not done yet. See, Jason, he becomes a bit tight lipped when it comes to you. So all I know is that you hurt him. I figure, you tell what you did and why and maybe I won’t hate you.”
“Why should I tell you anything?” Elizabeth asked quietly. She started putting clothes in drawers.
Carly took a deep breath. She was making a fresh start. Being honest. Being a better person. She could do this. “Because I’ve been where you are. I had a lot of guilt wrapped in me because of things I did. I didn’t have a person in the world to turn to when I betrayed Jason and slept with Sonny. I would have appreciated having somebody to talk to.”
“We’re not friends, Carly.”
“I never said we were. But I think we understand each other.” Carly took a deep breath. “And it’s obvious that you are close to the most important men in my life. It would probably be in our best interests. Besides, we are supposed to be working together. I need to be able to trust you.”
“That looked like it hurt,” Elizabeth said, amused. She sat on the bed.
“You have no idea. So?” Carly asked.
“Well, when Jason came back to town last year, I knew I was attracted to him.”
“Girl, nuns would be attracted to that man.”
Elizabeth grinned. “Well, that’s true.” She shook her head. “Anyway, but besides that, we were really close. He was the only one who could help me when Lucky died. But last year, it all changed. I was with Lucky, and I was beginning to have problems with him. But I wouldn’t let myself see them.” She started to wring her hands. “Lucky was insane with jealousy, and I realize now that I gave him a lot to be jealous about. But he asked me to stay from Jason.”
“Don’t tell me you actually listened.” Carly stared her, dumbstruck. “Letting a man order you around? That’s pretty bad.”
“Yeah. But, you have to realize something was off with Lucky. I didn’t want to see it, but it was there. When he attacked Jason both times–I didn’t want to believe it.”
“So hurting Jason comes in how?” Carly asked. “Believe me, it didn’t matter to him you didn’t believe that Lucky attacked him the first time. He was more worried about you.”
“When he attacked Jason that last time…I finally realized that something was wrong with him. Jason asked me to leave with him.”
“He what?” Carly shot off the bed. “Jason asked you to leave town? And you turned him down?”
“Yeah. I know I was crazy. He offered to take my to Italy. And believe me, if I could take it back, I would. But he knows that. But before he did, he…” Elizabeth closed her eyes. “We both admitted that we wanted more.”
“And you still turned him down?” Carly yelped. “Forget crazy, you’re insane.”
“I had an obligation. I had to help Lucky.”
“Why?” Carly demanded. “What could you do that no one else could?” She put her hands on her hips. “You’re lucky I’ve done worse or you’d be dead.”
“Lucky once helped me. He helped me through one of the worst experiences of my life. He never flinched, he never backed down and he never looked back. How could I leave knowing he needed my help?”
Carly pursed her lips. “So, you were told to stay away from Jason.”
“I was trying to. But every time I tried to get myself to tell him, I couldn’t do it. I mean, I’d tell him. He’d accept it. But then I’d run to him with another problem. You were right Carly; I didn’t have the guts to go after what I wanted.”
Carly decided to pass on the chance to gloat. She’d do that later. “So you were jerking him around.”
“Yes.” Elizabeth eyed her. “You gonna hit me?”
“No. That was only last year. You haven’t even gotten to the big stuff yet.” Carly resumed her position on the bed. “What have you done lately?”
“Something really bad. And it kept getting worse,” Elizabeth groaned. She laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. “I slept with Zander. And Jason found out.”
This was beginning to sound familiar. “Yeah, I was wondering about that. So, what happened? How’d he find out?”
“That’s the worst part. He came to my studio the next morning. There’d been a fire and he wanted to make sure I was all right. He knew I hated fire. I was hoping to get him out of there before he saw Zander. But…” Elizabeth sighed. “Zander pushed open the door and told him I was fine. And that so was he.” She shook her head. “It was like he couldn’t wait to tell him. Look, Jason. Look what I got. And for some reason, I forgave him.”
“It could have been worse.” Carly tilted her head. “He could have been shot and you could have been wearing Zander’s shirt.”
“Now that we got the how, let’s get to the why.” Carly looked at her carefully. She didn’t like the twinges of respect she was started to gain for this girl and she was hoping her explanation would crush them.
“Did you know that I was kidnapped?”
“I remember something about it.”
“I was locked in a crypt with Zander. I wasn’t worried at first. I mean, I knew Jason would find me. And he did. But Zander and I had time to connect. I thought I was getting to know him.”
“Never trust a man when his life is in danger,” Carly advised. “They tell you what you want to hear.”
“You know this how?” Elizabeth asked.
Carly shrugged. “My experience with men. No, actually when I was in Florida as a teenager, my best friend—the real Carly Roberts–was killed in an accident. I was in the car with her and so was one of our friends. He had been driving–and he was drunk. He wanted to me lie and tell everyone I was driving. I was underage and hadn’t been drinking. I’d get off easier. On the other hand, he was eighteen, he’d been drinking and it wasn’t his first offense. He would go to jail.”
“What happened?” Elizabeth asked, curiously. She sat up.
“He told me he loved me and that he always had. Wanted to tell me how much I meant to him. Crazy me, I believed it. I had a crush on him and he took advantage of the fact. I almost did get blamed. But in the end, I came clean.” She shook head, clearing it. She was bonding with Elizabeth Webber. This was getting scary. “Anyway, so you and Zander connected.”
“Well, I got locked in the stairwell one night. It raining and dark, I was having some trouble breathing. But Zander got me out. We went back to my studio and I was still having trouble getting my bearings back. Zander hugged me, and all I wanted was to be comforted. So I let him. And then he kissed me. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
“So if Jason hadn’t found out, what do you think would have happened?” Carly asked. The stupid little twinges weren’t going away.
“I don’t know. I don’t really want to think about it either. It hurts too much.” Elizabeth made a swipe at her eyes.
Damn it, the twinges were growing. Come on, Webber; say something I can get mad at. “So after Jason found out, what happened?”
“I knew I didn’t want anything more with Zander, so I told him it had been a mistake. Zander didn’t take that well–you’ve seen his reaction. So I tried to make it better with Jason. Right in the middle of that, my father died, I found out I had two sisters, that Zander wanted to kill Jason and somehow somewhere in there…Jason and I got together.”
Carly frowned. “I can’t believe you’re still around him. If I did half the things you did, I would have been gone.”
Elizabeth snorted. “Carly, what I’ve done couldn’t even measure up to you. You nearly got him arrested for kidnapping, you drove Robin away, you took Michael away, you married his brother, you slept with his best friend, you married his best friend–”
“Okay, okay, okay,” Carly glared at her. “I get the point. I’m a bitch and you’re no angel.” She sighed. “So, truce?”
Elizabeth stared at her. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Carly shuddered. “That’s the scary part.”
“All right. And you accept that Jason is my friend and so is Sonny, and that’s not going to change because you want it to?”
Carly gritted her teeth. “They must see something I’m missing.”
Elizabeth stuck out her hand. “So, we don’t bite each other’s heads anymore?”
Carly shook it. “Agreed. Besides, we actually have some things in common.”
“Who knew?” Elizabeth smiled. “You’d better go reassure Sonny that we’re both alive.”
“As if he’d believe me. Don’t be too shocked if he comes to make sure.” Carly walked towards the door. She turned back. “Elizabeth, for what it’s worth, Jason deserves the best. And for some reason, he seems to think that’s you. Don’t make him regret that.”
She closed the door behind her.
— Living Room —
Sonny looked up as his wife descended the stairs. She looked a bit too calm for his liking.
“Please tell she’s still breathing.”
Carly grinned. “Don’t worry. We came to an understanding. Hell, we even called a truce.”
“Yeah. Believe it or not, we had a civil conversation.” Carly sat on the couch and started flipping through some papers. “She really cares about Jason doesn’t she?”
Sonny blinked. “What?”
“Elizabeth. She cares about him.” Carly clenched her jaw. “You know what that takes for me to admit that.”
“I do know. And the next time you see Jason, I want you to let him know you and Elizabeth are getting along.”
Carly stood up and looked at him. “Why? Aren’t you going to tell him?”
“Yeah, but I know he’d appreciate it coming from you.”
“He wouldn’t believe it coming from me.” She looked around. “Well, I’m going pick up Michael.” She grabbed her purse. “See when I get back.” She kissed him and left.
Sonny looked after his wife in amusement. Every day, something surprised him about Carly. At least today’s surprise was good.
— Elizabeth’s Room —
“Yeah, so I’m at Sonny’s,” Elizabeth told Courtney. She shifted the receiver from ear to the other and sighed. “I don’t know how long I’m staying here.”
“Well, Bobbie said you can have as much time as you want,” Courtney replied. “So, how’s living with the Godfather and his evil sidekick?”
Elizabeth giggled. “Courtney, he is your brother.”
“Maybe by blood. Seriously. I know you and Carly were getting along the other night, but you don’t really think you’re going to survive living under the same roof.”
“Of course not,” Elizabeth replied. “No, we’re going to do what we set out to do–we’re going to have to change our plan a bit since there’s no way I’m going to get anywhere near him after he threatened to kill Jason.”
“That’s no problem. So, since I don’t step foot inside the lair, why don’t you and Carly come to Kelly’s tomorrow?” Courtney suggested.
“It’s not that bad here,” Elizabeth argued.
“Well, no, you are living across the hall from your boyfriend, so I can see why you wouldn’t think it was that bad. I step foot inside there and Sonny will start thinking I’m ten and he can order me around. Nope. Not going near the penthouse. It’s Kelly’s or your studio or my apartment.”
Elizabeth snorted. “Could you see Carly in my studio? She’d be complaining about the couch before she even sat down.”
“And you know if she even came near my apartment, she and AJ would be attacking each other. So, Kelly’s it is, then. Come in after the lunch rush, okay?” Courtney said
“We’ll be there,” Elizabeth replied. “See you tomorrow.”
— The Lakehouse —
Skye eyed the safe. She was wondering how difficult it would be to crack it when a knock at the door distracted her. She walked to the door and opened it only to find no one there. She was about to turn away when she noticed an envelope on the floor. Curious, she picked it up and turned it over. It had her name written in large and looping script. She opened it and removed the letter.
Do you want to get out of your contract with your grandfather? Be at the Elm St. Pier at 8 o’clock tonight. Tell no one.
— Felicia’s House —
Across town, Felicia was reading her own letter.
If you want to keep Roy DiLucca alive, be at the Elm St. Pier at 8’clock tonight. Tell no one.
The pier was dark and deserted when Felicia arrived. She stood to wait. After a few moments, she heard footsteps and turned. A figure emerged out of the darkness.
“What are you doing here?” Felicia demanded. Skye tossed her head arrogantly.
“I have an appointment,” Skye replied.
“And so do I,” Felicia shot back.
“Good, I’m glad you could both make it,” a female voice said from beyond them. They both turned.
“Oh my God,” Felicia whispered as a woman she hadn’t seen in four years came into view. “You…you’re…”
“Dead?” Brenda Barrett smirked. “Sorry to disappoint you my dear, but rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
“Who are you?” Skye asked, curiously. She shot a look at Felicia. “I’ve never met you before in my life.”
“No, you haven’t,” Brenda replied, “but your fiancé knows me very well. In fact, I was his second wife.”
“Oh my God,” Skye breathed. “But you’re dead.”
“If we can move on from that,” Brenda said, “I’ve got a proposition for you both.”
Felicia traded suspicious looks with the redhead. “What kind of proposition?”
Brenda smirked. “Felicia, your boyfriend is out for respect but he’s not willing to let you in on anything he does. Skye seems to have a contract that she just can’t remove herself from. Have I got it straight?”
“Yes,” Skye said, irritated. “How did you know about that contract?”
Brenda waved her hand. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is taking matters into our own hands. You see, I have a grudge I’m taking care of.”
“A grudge against whom?” Felicia questioned.
“All the people who didn’t care enough to search for my body. The people who have hurt me,” Brenda replied, her dark eyes burning with anger. “Sonny and Jax are at the top of that list.”
“And what are we supposed to do about that?” Skye demanded.
“Just a few things to ensure my goal is reached,” Brenda replied coolly.
“I’m not going to help you destroy Jax,” Skye declared. “He’s my fiancé, and I love him.”
“That’s very sweet, but I don’t care. Just because you now believe he loves you doesn’t change that little old contract,” Brenda said. She crossed her arms. “And I’m not really interested in destroying Jax as much as Sonny. I just want Jax to suffer. ”
“And if I help you,” Skye said hesitatingly, “you’ll see that my contract disappears?”
“Jax won’t even have to know if ever existed,” Brenda promised. “What about you, Felicia?”
“I don’t know,” Felicia bit her lip. “What would we have to do?”
“Just help me play little mind games with them. Little notes, messages.” Brenda smiled coolly. “Nothing that will be traced back to either of you.”
“And that’s it?” Felicia asked.
“That’s it. I’d go to Roy, but he might tell Luis. And I want Luis to go about his business. He’s still of some use. So, do we have a deal?” Brenda asked.
Felicia took a deep breath. “All right. I’ll help you.”
“Skye?” Brenda pressed.
“I help. But Jax can’t ever know,” Skye said, desperately.
“You have my word.”
— Kelly’s —
“I hate this place,” Carly grumbled, sliding into a seat at a courtyard table. “It’s so ordinary.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “You’re such a whiner.”
“Where is Courtney?” Carly demanded. “How much longer is it going to be?”
“Well, if Sonny and Jason would let me work, then Courtney wouldn’t be handling the rush all by herself,” Elizabeth reminded her sweetly.
“Let you?” Carly snorted. “I didn’t realize that Jason ordered you around. I thought you hated that.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Carly, you’re being ridiculous and I was being sarcastic. Sonny suggested that I take a few days off and I agreed. Then Jason asked me to take a leave of absence until they know what’s going on a little more. He calmly and rationally explained that he just wanted me to safe. He doesn’t order me around, he’s not like that.” She paused for effect. “I mean, he’s not Sonny after all.”
Carly narrowed her eyes. “You trying to tell me I’ve got a controlling husband?”
“I don’t need to tell you,” Elizabeth replied. She shrugged. “After being with him for so long, you probably already know it.”
Carly frowned. “Yeah, well, I need the discipline. Left to my own devices…” she smirked. “Who knows what kind of trouble I’d get into?”
“I think we’re about to find out,” Elizabeth murmured.
Carly grinned. “I love scheming. It’s my favorite hobby.” She sat back in her chair, keeping her eye on Marco and Francis in the distance. “First, I think we’re going to have to come up with a cover story.”
“Cover story?” Elizabeth asked. “Why?”
“Because Sonny and Jason are going to want to know why we’re meeting Courtney,” Carly told her.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Why not just tell them we met her for lunch?” she asked pointedly. “No reason to lie if we can avoid it.”
“They’re not going to believe us.”
“Correction, Jason will believe me because he knows I wouldn’t lie to him,” Elizabeth replied. “And Jason will convince Sonny.”
Carly eyed her. “You think you’ve got Jason pegged, don’t you?”
“I know Jason very well,” Elizabeth replied. “I’m in his life, Carly. Deal with that.”
“I’m working on it, but I’m afraid I don’t see the attraction,” Carly snarled.
“Good,” Elizabeth replied simply. “I don’t swing that way.”
Carly stared at her a moment and started to laugh. “You know what? If I didn’t hate you, I might have to like you.”
“Can’t have that,” Elizabeth replied, grinning.
“I hate this job,” Courtney muttered, coming to a stop in front of the table. “You know, we miss you in here,” she remarked sweetly.
Elizabeth grinned. “After all these years, it’s nice to know I’m appreciated.”
“Very funny,” Courtney remarked dryly. “You sure you don’t want to pitch in?”
“Sorry. I’ve got my vacation and I’m going to enjoy it.”
“Yeah, well, when you come back, I am so going to make you pay for this,” Courtney threatened good-naturedly. “Anyway, I wanted to get your orders before I go on my break.”
“The usual for me,” Elizabeth remarked.
“Same for me,” Carly replied. She shifted. “And make it quick. It’s too hot out here.”
“Coming right up, your highness,” Courtney said sweetly as she headed back into the diner.
“That girl needs to learn some manners,” Carly remarked.
“Lay off,” Elizabeth advised. “I happen to like Courtney just the way she is. Besides, truce, remember?”
“I agreed to a truce with you,” Carly reminded her. “Not the Quartermaine wife.”
“You know, I know this is hard for you to believe, but AJ and Courtney really love each other,” Elizabeth told her. “He’s changed. He’s cleaned up his act.”
Carly snorted. “Impossible.”
“Why? Because no one changes?” Elizabeth demanded. “You and Sonny used to hate each other. That changed.”
“That was different. Circumstances changed that. Sonny tried to warn Courtney about AJ and she wouldn’t listen.”
“Maybe because Sonny’s opinion isn’t the end of the subject,” Elizabeth replied. “Maybe AJ is more than just who he used to be. Maybe he is the recovering alcoholic disinherited Quartermaine who now operates a forklift on the docks, lives in a tiny apartment and is married to a waitress. Why is that so difficult for you to accept that he makes Courtney happy?”
Carly stared at Elizabeth for a second. “What, are you going for sainthood or something?”
“Here are your orders,” Courtney interrupted. She set their drinks and plates down in front of them and pulled a chair up to the table. “Let’s get cracking. I’ve only got fifteen minutes for break.”
“Okay, my original idea was to tail Zander,” Carly said, “but I think that Jason is probably on that now.”
“How can you tell?” Courtney asked.
“Because I saw Zander on the docks on our way over here and Jason was around the corner,” Carly smirked. “It’s been a while since Jason tailed anyone-it’s not in his usual job description. He’s a little off. Not enough for Zander to find him though.”
“I personally wish Sonny would have put someone else on Zander,” Elizabeth said. “I mean, Zander’s trying to find Jason to kill him. How’s it look with Jason following him?”
“So, anyway, we need to find another angle,” Carly decided. “Elizabeth mentioned that the brother was in town now. Can we use that?”
“We can if we knew why,” Courtney said. She looked at Elizabeth. “Did Sonny say anything we can use?”
“He mentioned that they were always friendly with Ramon Alcazar, that he didn’t understand why that’s changed,” Elizabeth replied. “So, I don’t think this is about business.”
“Not if Zander’s been here for two years,” Courtney said. “And let’s look at that. Who did he get himself involved with?”
“Sorel, Sonny’s enemy,” Elizabeth answered. “And then he switched sides.”
“He dated Emily, befriended me and you,” Carly pointed out. “Everyone he’s come into any kind of close contact with is directly linked to Sonny or Jason.”
“Whatever has been going on, they’ve been planning it for some time,” Courtney pointed out. “What kind of plan requires that type of strategizing?”
Carly frowned as she sipped her drink. “You know, I must have planned out my revenge plan for my biological mother my entire life. Every single detail was mapped out. I’d integrate myself into her life, take what I wanted and rip it into shreds. I put a lot of work into it. Revenge. Carefully planned revenge.”
Elizabeth snorted. “Great. Now we just have to figure out which one of Sonny’s numerous enemies wanted revenge this time.”
“This isn’t the typical mob-related revenge,” Carly said decisively. “Way too much planning, too much consideration. This is personal revenge.”
“But who?” Courtney asked. “Who has a reason to hate Sonny and Jason if it’s not for business?” She hesitated before adding, “Besides AJ.”
“I think we’ll just have to keep our ears open,” Elizabeth said. “I’m sure we’ll figure out something.”
“If that’s it for today,” Courtney murmured, checking her watch. “I’ve got to get back to work. Call me later, k?” she asked Elizabeth. “I get off around eight.”
“I’ll do that.” Courtney stood and disappeared into the doors.
Carly was about to suggest that they leave themselves when they saw Skye Chandler-Quartermaine and Felicia Scorpio-Jones enter the courtyard. She frowned. “Now, when did the two of them become friends?”
“They look worried,” Elizabeth murmured as the blonde and redhead took a seat at the table across from them.
Carly shifted positions in order to hear parts of the conversation. “They can’t believe this is happening to them,” she murmured. “Something about a contract and Roy DiLucca. Delivering a letter…” her eyes lit up. “Something about Sonny and Jax.”
“We’d better go,” Elizabeth said. “We don’t want to get caught.”
Carly nodded and tossed a twenty on the table. “We’ll talk about this back at the penthouse.”
— Penthouse —
“So you think Skye and Felicia are in on this whole thing?” Elizabeth asked, flopping down on the couch and pulling out her sketch pad. She flipped open a box of pencils and selected a color.
“I think what happened today was very suspicious,” Carly replied, sitting next to her. “I think we also have an angle to work.”
“What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked.
“I think we should follow Felicia,” Carly said decisively.
“Why Felicia and not Skye?” Elizabeth asked. “Wouldn’t it make sense to follow them both?”
“I don’t like Skye,” Carly remarked stubbornly.
“And you like Felicia?” Elizabeth asked doubtfully.
“No. But I really don’t like Skye.”
Elizabeth shrugged. “All right. But we’re gonna have to ditch the guards.”
Carly grinned. “Leave it to me.”
— Harborview Towers: Lobby —
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Felicia muttered, glancing around as she stopped in front of the mail boxes. She found Penthouse 4 and looked around one more time to ensure no one was looking. She slipped the letter out of her purse and into the box. “When this is over, I am so moving to Texas. I am done with the mob and all this crap,” she mumbled as she left the building.
— Penthouse: Later —
Sonny frowned at the envelope in his hands. No return address, only his name scrawled across the front.
He slit it open and pulled out the paper inside.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful model that was on top of the world. She had everything–money, beauty and love. Until the man she was in love with ran away. It destroyed her and she’s never been the same.
What’s done is done and there’s more to come. Keep those you love close and your enemies closer. There’s no one left trust. If I were you, I’d watch out. Because the past is back and she’s a bitch.
— Corinthos Penthouse: Elizabeth’s Bedroom —
“I’m worried,” Carly declared, barging into her room after dinner that night. Elizabeth set her sketchpad aside and frowned.
“Well, it was your idea. We can always call it off.”
Carly shook her head. “No, not the Felicia thing. I’m worried about Sonny.”
“What about him?”
“He was distracted at dinner tonight,” Carly told her. “And so was Jason. You could tell. Something happened.”
Elizabeth chewed her lip for a second. “Yeah, they were, weren’t they? I wonder what’s up.”
“They wouldn’t tell us, that’s for sure.” Carly sighed and sank onto the bed. “Something doesn’t feel right about this whole thing.”
“I wish Sonny would assign someone else to tail Zander,” Elizabeth mused. “I really don’t like the idea of Zander’s assigned target tailing him.”
“You know, I don’t know why Jason was given this. After all, he’s not some guard, you know?” Carly said. “He’s like…”
“The second-in-command,” Elizabeth finished quietly. “Things are so different this time around. The last couple of times he was in town, he wasn’t so focused on business, you know? Even when the stuff with Sorel was out of control, we always found time to take a ride or talk and it’s not like that now.”
“Are you regretting being with him?”
“Never,” Elizabeth said firmly. “It’s just…I get to know a new part of him every time he’s home, that’s all. It’s not a bad thing…it just takes time to adjust.”
Carly shifted. “This all feels really surreal,” she said. “A month ago, we were barely on speaking terms. Now, we’re half-sisters, scheming to help the men in our lives.” She glared at Elizabeth. “None of this means I like you.”
“Of course not,” Elizabeth smirked. “If the two of us teamed up permanently, why, the whole world would shift on its axis.”
“Right. This is temporary,” Carly told her. “You’ll move back into your studio and you’ll be far away from me.”
“Jason’s looking for Marisa,” Elizabeth reported. “Did I tell you that?”
“Marisa….” Carly said slowly. “That would be the sister we share with Zander and all, right?”
“Yeah. Our other half-sister. I didn’t want to ask Jason originally, but he offered and let’s face it, I never would have found her on my own.”
“I don’t know how I feel about all this,” Carly told her. “I mean, for my entire life, I just had my mother, Virginia. And suddenly, I’ve got these two sisters I knew nothing about. It’s like finding out I was adopted all over again.”
“I think it’s pretty amazing,” Elizabeth reported. “But I’m the only Webber who thinks though. I talked to Sarah and Steven and neither of them are happy about it. Sarah remembers you and she thinks being related to you would be bad for her career. Steven doesn’t really…he and I don’t talk much, so it’s like he’s not even part of the family anymore. Or maybe it’s me who’s not part of the family…” Elizabeth sighed.
The already ajar door slid open a little more and Jason stepped in. “Hey,” he said, frowning when he saw the two women sitting civilly on the bed. “Everything okay?”
Carly smirked. “You know the best thing about this truce of ours?” she asked Elizabeth.
“The fact that it confuses the hell out of the two of them.” Carly stood and sighed. “Tomorrow? The park? Sketching with Michael?”
Jason watched Carly suspiciously as she left and then looked at Elizabeth. “The two of you are getting along?”
“Don’t sound so surprised,” Elizabeth remarked, amused. “Carly is my sister after all. Even I got along with Sarah every once in a while.”
He frowned and studied her. “Are you okay here?” he asked.
Elizabeth shrugged. “Sure. It’s a nice change, sleeping on a bed. Why?”
“I just don’t like that you had to make this huge change because of me,” Jason replied. He sat next to her on the bed. “I mean, I understand if–”
“Jason, stop,” Elizabeth told him firmly. “I eavesdropped, no one forced me too.” She shrugged. “Honestly, it’s not that bad. I get to eat Sonny’s cooking on a regular basis, I’m getting to know a side of Carly I didn’t know existed.”
“I’m gonna be kind of busy for the next few days,” Jason told her. “This thing with Alcazar…I’m not ignoring you or anything and I’ll try to stop by and–”
“It’s okay. I understand. Besides, Carly and I are working this series of sketches of her and Michael for Bobbie’s birthday in September.” She smirked. “Come to think of it, I probably won’t have time for you,” she teased.
Jason chuckled and kissed her briefly. “I should go,” he told her pulling back a little.
Elizabeth grinned and hooked her arm around his neck. “You sure you can’t stay?” she murmured, kissing him again. She frowned when his lips remained motionless and decided that two could play that game. She nibbled and use her tongue until he finally kissed her back hard. His mouth devoured hers greedily and he started to lean her back on the bed.
But abruptly, he stopped and stood. He smirked. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She threw a pillow at his retreating back, seething. “Tease,” she muttered.
— Club 101 —
“Okay, she’s parting with Roy,” Carly murmured, putting her binoculars down. Elizabeth peered at her from the driver’s seat of her grandmother’s car which she’d borrowed for the day.
Ditching Carly’s guard had been almost too easy. After their morning session of sketching, Carly had dropped Michael off with Leticia and they’d gone to Elizabeth’s art studio. Elizabeth had insisted that Will stay near the stairwell while she and Carly used the opportunity to sneak out the back stair well.
Luckily, Elizabeth had managed to talk both Sonny and Jason out of assigning her a guard so once they’d ditched Will and snagged Audrey’s car, they were good to go.
“Carly, you don’t need binoculars,” Elizabeth sighed. “She’s ten feet away.”
“Whatever,” Carly replied, slipping a pair of sunglasses on. “She’s going somewhere. Let’s go.”
Elizabeth slid the car into gear and pulled onto the road behind Felicia’s car. She frowned when Felicia drove into the parking garage of Harborview Towers. “What’s she doing here?”
“I don’t know.” Carly chewed her lip. “Okay, if she sees me, she might freak. She doesn’t know you’re really involved. You go follow her.”
“Okay.” Elizabeth turned off the car. “Wait here. We’ll need to get back to the studio soon.”
Elizabeth followed Felicia from the garage into the lobby of the building, keeping a good distance. Felicia was carrying a parcel and muttering to herself, nothing that Elizabeth could hear.
Felicia went to the mailboxes, opened one and slipped the box in. When she turned to look at her surroundings suspiciously, Elizabeth ducked behind a large planter. Felicia exited the building through the garage and Elizabeth hurried over to check the mailbox.
“Oh, yeah, Felicia’s involved,” Elizabeth murmured. Penthouse Four, Sonny’s place. She sighed and headed back to Carly.
— Elizabeth’s Studio —
“Okay, so Felicia put a box in Sonny’s mailbox,” Carly said. “Well obviously, we have to get back to the penthouse and get the mail.”
“Obviously,” Elizabeth replied. She unlocked her studio door. “She seemed really nervous,” she continued, opening the door. “It’s not–” She broke off abruptly and frowned. “Jason. What are you doing here?”
“I came to see if you wanted to go for a ride,” Jason remarked. He crossed his arms and studied the two women. “Will said you’d both been in here for a few hours. But obviously you ditched him.”
“Ditched,” Carly snorted. “He makes it sound like high school, doesn’t he?”
“We didn’t ditch anyone,” Elizabeth said, irritated. “I told you I didn’t want a guard and I don’t want Will reporting to you when I’m with Carly.”
“And further more, what if I did encourage Carly to ditch her baby-sitter and go somewhere?” Elizabeth pressed. “We’re fine. Nothing happened.”
“He’s not a baby-sitter,” Jason managed to get in finally. “He’s her guard. He’s supposed to take her places and look out for her.”
“Seems to me that Carly’s been looking out for herself for most of her life. Why does she need a guard now?”
“Okay, I know what you’re doing and it’s not working,” Jason remarked. “Where did you go?”
“You’re my boyfriend, not my father,” Elizabeth said sweetly. He narrowed his eyes.
“Careful, Jase,” Carly warned. “I think she’s said all she’s gonna say on the subject.”
“Carly, stay out of this,” Jason told her. “In fact, go meet Will and tell him to take you back to the penthouse.”
“Oh, I know I didn’t just hear you order me around,” Carly replied. “You know, you’re starting to adopt some of Sonny’s less than attractive qualities.”
“Carly, please?” Elizabeth asked. “I’ll meet you at home and we can talk about the sketches.”
“Fine.” Carly leveled one last glare at her friend before leaving. When she was gone, Elizabeth glared at Jason.
“I wasn’t aware one of the rules of this relationship was that I have tell you exactly where I am and where I’ll be,” Elizabeth said coolly. “But if that’s the way you want–”
“Elizabeth, stop trying to turn this around,” Jason snapped impatiently. “You and Carly are up to something–”
“I love the little bit of condescension you stuck in here,” Elizabeth cut in. “You and Sonny do your job, but Carly and I are up to something, like we’re good little mob molls with no real minds of our own.”
“You know that’s not what I think–”
“No?” Elizabeth replied, raising her eyebrows. “You didn’t come in here and immediately start grilling me and Carly on our whereabouts? You didn’t immediately insinuate that we’re up to something? You didn’t demand to know where we were?”
He exhaled slowly. “I don’t want to fight with you, Elizabeth. I just want to know what’s going on.”
Elizabeth hesitated. “It’s nothing. We just went down to the docks. Believe it or not, Carly feels kind of suffocated constantly having a guard breathing down her neck. She knows he’s there to protect her, but sometimes a person just wants some time to themselves.”
“I understand that, but I don’t think that’s all you were doing,” Jason remarked.
“Oh, so now I’m lying?” Elizabeth retorted, feeling the smallest smidgen of guilt now–well, because she was actually lying. “Okay, fine. Carly and I went and tracked down Luis Alcazar. She searched the place while he and I had a quickie. Is that better?” She pushed past him and stared out the window.
“That’s not funny. This is serious–”
“You think I don’t know that?” Elizabeth demanded, whirling around. “Do you honestly still think that I see this as a game?”
“Well, when you joke about it like that, what am I supposed to think?”
“Jason, I was kidnapped. I was locked in a dark crypt with dead bodies for days!” Elizabeth cried. “I think I got the picture then that your job and your lifestyle is anything but a game.”
“You’re not treating it that way. You and Carly ditched the guard–”
“Her guard, not mine,” Elizabeth stuck in. “I won’t let the fear of what could happen destroy my life. I did that once–I let the fear eat away at me until I could barely breathe. After the rape, I was scared to walk down a brightly lit sidewalk at night. It hurt to be inside my own skin. When I was finally able to get past that, I promised myself that I would never do it again–that no matter what I had to sacrifice, I wasn’t going to live my life, looking over my shoulder.”
“Asking you to have a guard is not the same thing as living in fear,” Jason said patiently.
“It is to me.” She crossed her arms. “I don’t want to fight with you, Jason. But the longer you try to control me, the more and more I’m gonna pull away. It took me a long time see that I wasn’t happy with Lucky–that I wanted to live my life for me. I’m not going to get trapped into another relationship where I have to do what my boyfriend wants. I can’t live like that.”
He nodded. “Yeah. Okay, that’s fair.” Jason shook his head. “I need to go. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Wait, we’re not done talking,” Elizabeth said, stepping forward.
“I’ve said what I need to say. This isn’t a game, Elizabeth. Ditching Carly’s guard, disappearing for hours on end, lying to me. You can’t be with someone who controls you…and I can’t be with someone who doesn’t get my life.” He pulled the open the door he’d had installed and shut it behind him.
She blinked and wrapped her arms around her trembling body.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Carly entered the penthouse, the mail in her hands. She closed the door, and set it all on the desk. The package Felicia had put in the box wasn’t very large and was actually addressed to Carly.
She frowned and slit the tape on the box. She opened it and pulled the flaps back. The second a part of the package material moved, the red clock began to count down and the box began to tick.
Carly shrieked and moved back immediately. “Will!” she shrieked. “Will!”
— Kelly’s —
Courtney came out of the kitchen and smiled when she saw Elizabeth sitting at the counter. “Hey, you,” she greeted, warmly. “How’s it going at the penthouse?”
Elizabeth cleared her throat and kept her eyes on the counter. “I just stopped by to tell you that the thing with Felicia…panned out. She sent a package to Sonny. So, she’s involved.”
Courtney nodded. “Okay. So what was in it?”
“I don’t know. I stopped in on my way back to the penthouse. I gotta go.” Elizabeth slipped off the stool, but Courtney reached and grasped her arm.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” she asked. “You look upset.”
“It’s nothing,” Elizabeth said. “I just…Jason and I had a fight and it’s just upsetting, that’s all.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Courtney apologized. “Look, I’ll stop by after my shift and we’ll talk, okay?”
Elizabeth cracked a small smile. “You’ll step inside the lair? What if Sonny tries to take over your life?”
Courtney shrugged. “I’ll just bash him over the head with one of those god awful vases Carly’s decorated the place with.”
“I’ll see you tonight,” Elizabeth said. She waved as she headed out of the diner.
— Harborview Towers: Hallway —
Elizabeth stepped off the elevator and her eyes widened as she took in the guards swarming the hallway. “What’s going on?” she asked.
“Ms. Webber,” Marco said, pulling her aside. “We need you to go Jason’s penthouse. You can’t go into Mr. Corinthos’s.”
“What?” Elizabeth looked towards penthouse four. “What happened? Where’s Carly?”
“She’s in there already. Ms. Webber, please. We’ve got make sure everyone’s safe. Mrs. Corinthos will explain.”
Elizabeth didn’t reply, she just pushed past the rest of the guards and entered the other penthouse. Carly was sitting stiffly on the couch while Jason was near the stairwell on his phone. She paused and their eyes met before she broke contact and hurried to Carly.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Elizabeth demanded. “Are you okay?”
Carly nodded. “I’m fine,” she said faintly. “There was a package addressed to me and when I opened it, the clock on it began to count down and it started to tick.”
“It was a bomb?” Elizabeth asked, her voice rising with fear. “Did it go off? Where’s Michael and Leticia?”
“I called for Will and he made me come over here. Michael and Leticia are at my mother’s,” Carly explained. Elizabeth sat next to her and did her best to concentrate on Carly rather than Jason.
Jason hung up his phone. “Okay, it wasn’t a bomb. It was just a mock-up of one. Sonny’s on his way home now.”
Carly let out a whoosh of breath, relieved. She closed her eyes. “Thank God.”
“He wants to send you to the island,” Jason told her. “You, Michael, Leticia and Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth bit her lip, knowing a refusal now wouldn’t go over well at all. She and Jason were already on rocky ground–they didn’t need the extra trouble.
Carly shook her head. “No. I’m not going. I will send Michael and Leticia but I’m not going anywhere.”
“Carly, Sonny would be able to work better if he knew you were safe. He’s not doing this to control you; he’s doing this because he’s worried.” Jason met Elizabeth’s eyes and looked away after a moment. “Will you…will you at least think about it?”
“Yeah, I’ll think about it,” Carly agreed. “Can we go back in there?”
“Yeah,” Jason told her. “Sonny will be home in a little while. You can argue with him then.”
Carly sighed. “Yeah, fine. Come on, Elizabeth.” Elizabeth followed her until she was out of the room but she turned around to face Jason.
“Can we talk?” she asked softly.
He shook his head. “I’ve got some things to do. Later, okay?”
“Yeah…later,” Elizabeth said. She sighed and left the penthouse. “Story of my life,” she muttered.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Carly was pacing when Elizabeth entered. “I can’t believe some lunatic sent me a fake bomb!” she fumed. “Addressed to me, not Sonny. What the hell?”
Elizabeth sighed and crossed her arms. “Carly…I think we should tell Jason and Sonny that Felicia delivered the package.”
Carly halted. “What? No! We don’t know she’s working for!”
“Carly…” Elizabeth shook her head. “We’re not going to be able to find out. They want us to go to the island.”
“Bah,” Carly said, waving her hand in dismissal. “Sonny always wants to send me to the island. This is no different. We can’t give in.”
Elizabeth sat on the loveseat and curled her legs underneath her body. “I don’t like lying to Jason,” she told Carly. “It’s not fair to him. We’re just starting our relationship and…I don’t want to start it off with so many lies.”
“It’s a lie to protect them,” Carly insisted. She sat on the couch. “We’re doing this for them.”
“If I keep lying…I’ll lose him,” Elizabeth told her. “And I just got him back in my life. I couldn’t handle that.”
Carly frowned. “What happened after I left the studio?”
Elizabeth sighed heavily. “We got into a huge fight. I accused him of trying to control me and he told me I was treating this all like a game. He left saying he couldn’t be with someone who didn’t get his life.”
“Wait, so did…did you like break up?”
“I don’t know really,” Elizabeth replied. “I tried to talk to him just now but he just brushed me off, saying we’d talk later.”
“I’m sorry, Elizabeth. I guess…well, I’ve been scheming and plotting behind Sonny’s back for so long, he just tends to expect it from me now. But I didn’t really get that you and Jason are that honest with each other.”
“He knows when I’m lying,” Elizabeth offered weakly. “I’ve never been able to keep anything from him.”
“Okay, let’s make a deal. Let’s investigate just a little more. If after a week, you still feel this way, then we’ll tell them everything, okay?” Carly asked.
“Okay,” Elizabeth agreed.
Sonny pushed open the door. “Carly?” he called.
Carly stood up and crossed the room to hug him tightly. “I’m okay,” she promised him. “It was fake.”
“You’re going to the island,” Sonny told her forcefully. “You, Michael, Leticia and you, too Elizabeth. I don’t want any arguments.”
Carly smirked. “You obviously don’t know who you’re dealing with.”
Elizabeth stood. “Sonny, I know that you just want us to be safe, but I don’t want to go to the island. I want to be here.”
“Elizabeth, you’re already out there without a guard,” Sonny protested.
“If it means that much to you and Jason, you can give me a guard,” Elizabeth replied. “I just…I don’t want to leave town. There’s too much going on.”
Carly bit her lip and leaned closer to Sonny, lowering her voice so only he could hear. “She and Jason had a really bad fight today. She doesn’t to leave it unresolved.”
“Okay.” Sonny sighed. “All right. Michael and Leticia are going, and the two of you will stay.” He pulled away from Carly. “You’ll have Will and Elizabeth, if it’s okay, I want to assign Travis. When the two of you are together, you’ll only have Will. When you’re separated, Travis will take you anywhere you want to go.”
“Will I be able to go back to work?” Elizabeth asked.
“Sure, as long as Travis is with you.” Sonny kissed Carly on the cheek. “What do you say we head over to the Brownstone to pick up Michael and talk to him about the island?”
“Sure. Will you be okay?” Carly asked Elizabeth.
“Yeah. Courtney’s coming over in a little while anyway,” Elizabeth replied.
“Okay. We’re going to head out then,” Sonny told her. “If Jason stops by, let me know, okay?”
— Hallway —
Courtney stepped off the elevator and ran smack into Jason. “Oh, sorry,” she said, stepping aside. “Is Elizabeth here?”
“As far as I know,” Jason remarked, stepping onto the elevator. He hit the lobby button, but Courtney pressed her hand against the doors to stop them from closing.
“She was real upset when she came by Kelly’s earlier,” Courtney told him. “I hope you know how much she cares about you.”
“I don’t have time for this,” Jason said, impatiently.
“Yeah, well if she means anything to you, you should make time,” Courtney snapped, stepping back. “You’re no better than my brother.”
He frowned but before he could reply, the doors slid shut.
Courtney sighed and headed for the penthouse. The guard in front held a hand up. “I wasn’t told to expect anyone.”
“I have got to get my girl out of here,” she sighed. “Courtney Quartermaine? Sonny’s sister?”
“Oh. Sorry, Mrs. Quartermaine. I didn’t realize that was you.” The guard slid the door open. “Ms. Webber? Mrs. Quartermaine is here.”
“Thanks, Travis,” Elizabeth replied.
Courtney shook her head as she entered the room. When the door was shut, she said, “This is ridiculous. It’s like you’re a prisoner.”
Elizabeth sighed. “No. Security was just tightened a little while ago. Carly got a fake bomb in the mail and everyone’s a little jumpy.”
Courtney shrugged and sat on the couch. “So, have you talked to Jason?”
“I tried. But he just said we’d talk later.” She picked a piece of lint on her jeans. “We fought because he was waiting at the studio when Carly and I got back. He wanted to know where we’d been. He was…I don’t know how to describe it, Courtney. He was so demanding, and even a little condescending. He said that we were up to something–making it sound like we were children. I know that it’s partly my fault, I mean…I am lying to him, but it just feels like he’s trying to control me.”
“Did you tell him that?” Courtney asked.
“I tried to, but he doesn’t see it that. I know he’s just trying to keep me safe, but it just feels so…constricting. I’ve been in a relationship where my boyfriend had to know where I was at all times and I was miserable. Lucky controlled everything about me–from who I hung out with to where I spent my time. I know Jason’s not like that, but it just…I never want to feel like I’m not in charge of my own life.”
“I feel bad for you,” Courtney said. “I mean, you’ve made this huge sacrifice for him–you left your own place to stay here because he and Sonny wanted you safe. You took time off from work. You made all the sacrifices and it’s not unusual for you to want some kind of freedom.”
“I love him,” Elizabeth admitted softly. “I want this to work between us. But not at the price of my self-respect.”
— Felicia’s House —
“Mom,” Maxie whined. “Why do we have to go to Texas so early?”
“Because I said so,” Felicia snapped. “Finish packing and make sure your sister’s almost ready. We’re leaving for the airport in an hour.”
Mac Scorpio shook his head as he watched Maxie climb the stairs. “Why are you sending the girls to Texas a week early?”
“Because I want to send them there,” Felicia replied, irritated. She sighed and pushed her blonde hair off her forehead. “Mac, don’t argue with me. Why is everyone arguing with me today?”
“You’re acting a little odd lately,” Mac said, narrowing his eyes. “What’s with you?”
“Nothing’s with me,” Felicia sighed. “I’m just…tired. And run down. Having the girls out of the house for a while will be good for me.”
“Is this about Roy? Are the two of you getting into trouble?”
“Mac, I know this is hard for you to understand–but I’m not five,” Felicia remarked. “I’m perfectly capable of handling my own life and my own family. My grandmother is looking forward to having the girls down there early and you have a police department to run, so why don’t we leave it that?”
The ring of the phone interrupted any further arguments from her ex-husband and Felicia hurried to answer it. “Hello?”
“Hello, darling,” Brenda greeted cheerfully. “How did it go today?”
Felicia sighed. “It went fine. Did you need something?”
“Nope. I’m just checking in. I’ll call when I need you again. Toodles.”
Felicia glared at the receiver, the dial tone echoing in the room. She replaced it in a hurry when she noticed Mac’s strange look. “Just an irritating client,” she told him. “Very bitchy. Never satisfied.”
“Right,” Mac nodded, unconvinced. “I’m going to head back to the station.” He crossed to the stairs. “Girls, I’m leaving. I’ll give you a call when you get down there.”
“Bye!” Maxie called.
“See you later!” Georgie yelled.
“Good bye. I’ll talk to you later,” Mac told Felicia.
“Why do I get this feeling that a lecture is coming?” Felicia complained.
— Lakehouse: The Next Day —
Skye slipped her letter in with the stack of incoming mail and sighed as she crossed the living room to set the entire pile on the table next to the mini bar. She could do this. She could deliver a few cryptic letters if it meant that Jax would never find out about that stupid contract.
“Good morning,” Jax greeted as he strode out of the bedroom. He kissed her soundly and reached for the mail. “You’re up early.”
Skye smiled. “There’s a shipment coming in at Club 101. I’ve got to get there early to take care of it,” she replied. She kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll see you later?”
“I’ll come by for some late lunch,” Jax assured her as he flipped through the mail and stopped at a small envelope with his name written in large, loopy script. It had no postage and no return address. Frowning, he slit it open and unfolded the letter.
Once upon a time, a man rescued a beautiful woman who had lost her true love. He married her and took care of her. She left him after a while for her true love, and nearly married the man. She was abandoned by him and nearly lost her mind. The man rescued her again, but the beautiful woman died a year later and he barely searched for her. If he had only looked a little harder…
What’s done is done and there’s more to come. Keep your loved ones close and your enemies closer. There’s no one left trust. If I were you, I’d watch out. Because the past is back and she’s a bitch.
Jax stared at the letter, frozen. That was Brenda’s handwriting. He’d know it anywhere. He stood up, letting the rest of his mail fall from his lap. So Brenda was angry with him.. He hadn’t looked for her long enough. Or hard enough. Didn’t she realize he’d searched to the ends of the Earth for her?
“Darling, is there something wrong?” Skye asked. She watched him nervously. She hoped he never found out she was involved. She’d made so many mistakes…and this seemed to be one with the least amount of risks. Brenda just wanted to hurt Jax, right?
“Nothing,” Jax said, softly. Clearing his throat, he looked up at her. “Just a bit of surprising news. I have some calls to make.” Still clutching the letter, he left the room leaving the mail strewn on the floor.
Skye sighed and left the lakehouse.
— Docks —
“Ms. Webber, we shouldn’t be out in the open,” Travis told her. Elizabeth sighed and slipped her hand into her pockets.
“Just a little longer?” she asked. “Carly and Sonny aren’t due back from the airport for another hour and I don’t want to go back to an empty penthouse.”
“All right,” Travis replied. Elizabeth sat on the bench and peered out at the river.
“How long have you worked for Sonny?” she asked him.
Travis shrugged. “About a year. This is the first guarding assignment I’ve had.”
“Well, this is the first time I’ve really been guarded,” Elizabeth told him. “Well, except for a few weeks a few years ago when Francis guarded me. Do you know him?”
“Yeah. He trained me actually.” Travis straightened and the friendly look disappeared from his face. Elizabeth frowned but sighed when she heard Jason’s tell tale boots on the stairs behind her.
“Travis, I’ve got her,” Jason told him. “I’ll take her home when we’re done.”
“Okay, Mr. Morgan,” Travis remarked. He walked away without another word.
“I know I’m not supposed to be out in the open,” Elizabeth sighed, “but I just didn’t feel like going back to the penthouse until Carly and Sonny were back.”
“That’s not what I was going to say,” Jason replied. “I wanted to talk to you.”
She bit inside of her cheek and looked at the wooden planks. “Jason, I know you just want to protect me.”
He stepped towards her. “Elizabeth you mean so much to me–I don’t want something to happen to you because of me.”
“I know that, and I understand that. But you’ve got to understand that I am not always going to agree with how you want to keep me safe. I don’t mind having a guard when security is heightened right now, but when things are okay–and I know you guys have periods when things aren’t like this, right?”
“Yeah,” Jason admitted. “We do. Not often and they don’t last long.”
“When that happens, I don’t want a guard, okay?” Elizabeth asked. “I don’t want to have to depend on someone to take me places. I’m independent–I’ve always been independent and I don’t want to lose that.”
“I know.” He exhaled slowly. “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.”
Tears built in her eyes and she shook her head. “Don’t say that, Jason.”
“I always knew a woman would bring you down eventually, Morgan.”
At the sound of Zander’s voice, Jason spun around and glared at the intrusion, cursing himself for not hearing the other man’s approach.
Elizabeth glared at her former friend. “Go away,” she snarled.
“Shut up,” Zander snapped. “You had your chance. I warned you to stay away from him, but you wouldn’t listen. It’s your own fault now.”
“Zander, what about Emily?” Elizabeth demanded. “Do you think she’d want you to do this?”
Zander hesitated only a moment. “Emily’s not here now,” he replied stiffly. He reached behind him to withdraw a gun. “And I’m going to take care of my mistake.”
“Elizabeth,” Jason said carefully, “Go. Go to the penthouse.”
“What?” she demanded. “No!”
“She moves, I shoot,” Zander threatened.
“Elizabeth, just go,” Jason ordered. Elizabeth hesitated. “Go now!”
She took a step and Zander cocked the hammer back to pull the trigger. Elizabeth froze, her wide eyes trained on him. “You would really shoot me?”
“You’d better believe it,” Zander retorted. “I made mistakes with this. I fell in love with Emily when I wasn’t supposed to. But I made a promise to my family to see this through and believe me, I will.”
“Zander, we share a sister,” Elizabeth told him. “Marisa. She’s my father’s daughter–”
“I honestly don’t know her,” Zander shrugged. “I’ve only met her a few times. I doubt she’d give a damn about you. She hates the mob life. That’s why she chose to go with my mother. The lastthing she’d want is a sister who willingly chose it.”
“Elizabeth, please go,” Jason said again.
“I won’t warn you again,” Zander snapped. “Move and I will shoot her.” He smirked. “I’ll probably have to shoot her away. Can’t leave any witnesses.”
Elizabeth hesitated only one more moment before bolting for the stairs.
The sound of the gunshot echoed on the docks.
Elizabeth was around the corner when she heard the shot. Not caring that Zander could still be there, she whirled around and clattered down the steps.
Jason was on his phone, standing over Zander. The younger man was lying on the docks, a bullet wound to his abdomen.
At the sound of her approach, Jason turned and waved her away. “Get out of here, now, Elizabeth. You can’t be found here.”
She bit her lip, not bothering to hide the tears streaming down her face. “Jason–”
“Yeah, the Elm St. Pier,” Jason said, turning around, concentrating on the situation at hand. “He needs medical attention and to be taken to a safe house. Okay.” He hung up his cell and tucked in his pocket.
He turned back around and strode towards Elizabeth, forcibly turning her around and steering her towards the steps. “Please just go back to the penthouse, okay?”
“What if the police come before the others?” Elizabeth asked. “You’ll need someone to give you an alibi.”
Jason exhaled slowly. “Elizabeth, you can’t be found here. I’m almost sure the shot was muffled by the water, okay? Please just go.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck in a tight and quick hug. “Please be careful,” she begged.
“I will,” Jason replied, allowing himself a moment to hug her back. “Please just go, okay?”
She nodded and pulled away, climbing the steps quickly until she was around the corner and out of sight.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Sonny only stopped in briefly before leaving for the safe house to talk to Jason about Zander and when he was gone, Elizabeth had an announcement for Carly.
“We need to tell him about Felicia.”
“Elizabeth,” Carly sighed. “We had a deal.”
“Yeah, but that was before Zander Smith tried to kill us,” Elizabeth remarked. “Look, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know who’s behind this, but I know that we are not capable of handling this by ourselves.”
“You’re probably right,” Carly replied. She crossed her arms and stared out the window. “It just doesn’t feel right. None of this does. Felicia’s delivering fake bombs and working with Roy, who’s working for someone else. Zander’s connected to a mob family from New York who suddenly have this grudge against Sonny and Jason that’s obviously personal. I mean…two years, they’ve been planning this. Two years.”
“Maybe the person Roy and Felicia are working for is Luis Alcazar,” Elizabeth said.
“I don’t think so. Luis gave Zander the order to kill Jason. Why would he waste time with having Felicia play weird mind games?”
“I still say this is all connected,” Elizabeth told her. “We’re missing something.”
“Yeah…we probably are.”
— Luis Alcazar’s Yacht —
Luis managed to duck as the bottle of brandy smashed over his head. “Watch it, you nearly hit me!”
“That was the point!” Brenda Barrett seethed. “You stupid, stupid fool. All of this is going to hell now!”
“Look, it’s time to step this up and get over it!” Luis shouted. “I’m tired of waiting.”
“This is my plan, my revenge, not an attempt to enlarge your damn territory!” Brenda cried. “This was my way of making them pay! And you send Alex to kill Jason! What for?”
“Because Morgan was on to him,” Luis snarled. “And they know that Zander Smith is Alejandro Alcazar. Something had to be done. His cover was blown. It wouldn’t take long before they tracked down photos of you in New York!”
“I was finally ready to finish this, finally ready to make them pay and you had to go and fuck it up.” Brenda shook her head. “It’s too early for violence.”
“It’s been two years since we planted Alex here. How long did you expect us to wait?”
“I guess I underestimated my value to you,” Brenda said softly. “I thought family was supposed to be important to you.”
“It is important,” Luis remarked. “You are my sister and I promised to take care of you, to help you with this. And I will. But I am not in the mood to play stupid mind games after two years of sitting in New York, waiting for Corinthos to trust Alex.”
“It’s no wonder Alex was nearly tried and convicted,” Brenda hissed. “You two have no fucking patience. I know Sonny and Jax. I know them better than anyone. I knew what I was doing when I contacted Edward about trapping Skye and forcing her to help. I knew what I was doing when I asked you and Alex for your help. Alex was on his way in the organization–he was getting the important jobs. But he went and fucked it up by getting greedy and turning on him. Once Jason came home, Sonny had no use for him.”
“And getting rid of Morgan was the necessary option. We tried to make him vulnerable by kidnapping that girlfriend of his and we nearly succeeded when the little twit latched onto Alex, but he screwed it up by pushing too hard, sending the Webber girl straight back to Morgan.”
“We need to immobilize Jason,” Brenda decided. “We need to do it now before Alex screws this up even further.”
“And how do you suggest we do that?” Luis mocked. “We’ve already tried the obvious, going through the girl.”
Brenda laughed then. “You almost had it, but you sent Alex in with her. That was fucking stupid. Jason was about to find them because the incompetent morons you hired gave it away. Sending Alex in there with her, making her form an attachment–it only served to make Jason focus on work more. You have to make sure he doesn’t have a choice!”
“What do you want me to do?” Luis roared. “Kidnap her again? Kill her?”
Brenda smirked. “Not exactly. In fact, maybe it should go a little like this…”
— Safe house —
Dr. Joel McKean stepped into the hallway, closing the bedroom door behind him. “He’ll live.”
“Pity,” Sonny murmured. “How long will he be out?”
“Until tomorrow, I would assume. The wound was clean, didn’t hit any organs but I gave him a mild sedative anyway. Do you need me for anything else?”
Sonny shook his head. “No. Marco will drove you home. Thank you.”
Dr. McKean nodded and moved down the hallway into the living room. When they heard the door shut, Sonny sighed. “I’m glad you’re quick with that gun. Who was he aiming at? You or Elizabeth?”
“Elizabeth,” Jason stiffly. “I told her to run so that she didn’t have to see me shoot him. But he aimed at her as she was running so I shot him before it was safe.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I aimed to kill, but I only managed to get that shot off.”
“That’s fine. He’s more valuable alive. We need to find out what’s going on with the Alcazar family and why they’ve suddenly targeted us.” Sonny shook his head. “Let’s head back to the penthouse. I want to check on Elizabeth, make sure she’s okay.”
“You want me to stay with him tonight?” Jason asked.
Sonny frowned. “I thought you’d be more than willing to go home and check on her. The two of you still fighting?”
Jason shook his head. “We’re not fighting. We’ve just both agreed that it’s not a good time to be in a relationship. How did you find out?”
“Carly told me. Seems Elizabeth doesn’t want to go to the island with this unresolved. You sure you both agreed?”
“Sonny, I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Fine,” Sonny shrugged, heading towards the living room. “You can talk to Carly.”
“She doesn’t understand how serious this is,” Jason remarked. “She and Carly ditched Will the other day, disappeared for hours on end and then she lied to me when they got back. She thinks I’m trying to control her.”
“And you explain that you just want to protect her, right?” Sonny prompted.
“Right,” Jason replied. “But…”
“And she didn’t really see it that way, so you tossed in towel.” Sonny nodded. “Okay, giving up was your first mistake.”
“I don’t want her to sacrifice her independence to be with me,” Jason argued.
“Who says she has to? The two of you just need to work together to find a balance that works for you.”
“It’s not a good time to be working out a balance,” Jason said, shaking his head. “With everything that’s going on…”
“What if Zander had shot her?” Sonny asked. “What if he’d shot her and killed her?”
Jason grimaced. “Sonny, I don’t think about what ifs.”
“Yeah, live for today and all that. But what happens when you wait too long to work this out with her? You, more than anyone, should know what I mean. Look, until Zander wakes up and unless they make another move, we’re just sitting ducks. We can’t develop an offensive–we can barely handle a defense. So, I’m going to go home to my wife and try and concentrate on what is going right in my life. I suggest you do the same.”
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Sonny’s idea of a pleasant evening was cut off the second he and Jason entered the penthouse and saw Elizabeth and Carly sitting on the couch, talking intently.
Carly sighed when she saw them in the door way. “Get the funeral march ready,” she whispered to Elizabeth. “Hey. We have something to tell you.”
Elizabeth stood and folded her arms tightly, keeping her eyes low on the ground. “You didn’t really listen to us when we warned you that Zander was after you. It took the discovery that his brother was here, too, for you to believe us.”
“By that time, Elizabeth, Courtney and I had already agreed to look into this ourselves,” Carly informed them.
Jason narrowed his eyes. “Oh, really.”
“We saw Felicia Jones and Skye Chandler-Quartermaine acting strangely so we decided to follow Felicia,” Elizabeth continued. “Felicia is the one who put the package in the mailbox.”
Sonny stared at them. “You knew this yesterday and didn’t tell us?”
Carly sighed. “We’ve been arguing about it all day and now that it’s turned violent, we knew we had to come clean.”
Sonny rubbed the side of his face. “Carly, we have discussed this over and over again. It just doesn’t seem to sink in. You can’t get involved.”
“Look, it just fell into our laps!” Carly argued. “What were we supposed to do?”
“Tell us?” Sonny suggested, sarcastically. “We might have been able to flush out whoever sent Felicia with that package!”
“Oh, so now it’s our fault?” Carly sputtered.
“If you guys don’t mind, can Travis take me to work now?” Elizabeth cut in. “I’ve got the closing shift.”
“Elizabeth, you might want to ask Bobbie for more time off. Tomorrow morning, the two of you are leaving for the island if I have to tie and gag you to get you on the plane.”
“Fine,” Elizabeth sighed. She smiled wanly at Carly. “See you when I get back.” She pushed past Sonny and Jason and left the penthouse.
“Typical,” Carly snorted. “Send away what you can’t deal with.” She glared at Jason. “And, you, my good friend, are a jackass.”
“You both lied to me,” Jason spoke up finally. “You can’t get mad because I called her on it and she just lied some more.”
“She was trying to help you,” Carly retorted. “And this lying thing was really eating her up inside.”
“When did you start defending Elizabeth?” Jason demanded.
“Why does that matter?” Carly retorted. “She’s family. I didn’t want her in my life, but now she’s here. I’ve got a sister who for some reason is in love with you and all you can do is concentrate on the fact that she lied to you–”
“I don’t have the patience for this,” Jason snapped. “I’m going back to the safe house. Call me when you leave for the airport,” he told Sonny.
When he was Sonny just sighed and shook his head. “Carly.”
“What?” Carly asked, defensively. “It’s not like I lied to you. I just didn’t tell you.”
He managed a small smile. “So, I see that you and Elizabeth are getting along.”
Carly frowned. “Take that back.”
He wagged his finger at her. “Watch it, honey. First you call her family, you stick up for her with Jason, you plan schemes with her…you like her don’t you?”
“I do not!” Carly said, outraged. She shook her head vehemently. “That’s just ridiculous.”
“Yeah, okay.” Sonny chuckled. “I’ll go make some dinner, okay? We’ll have a quiet night here and then you’ll go pack.”
Carly snorted. “Whatever.”
— Later —
“Okay, I’ll get the phone,” Carly said, “but you have to get me a slice of that pie I know you’re hiding in the kitchen.”
Sonny laughed and they went in opposite direction–him towards the kitchen and her to the phone.
“Carly, it’s Courtney.”
“What do you want?” Carly asked, frowning. Courtney only called the penthouse for Elizabeth and she was at work.
“I’m calling to check on Elizabeth,” Courtney replied.
“What do you mean?” Carly asked. Her frown deepened.
“Well, she’s an hour late for her shift and she didn’t call out. It’s her first night back, so I was worried. Is she feeling all right?”
“You mean she never showed?” Carly demanded. “Courtney, why didn’t you call earlier?”
“You don’t know where she is either?” Courtney cried.
“Carly,” Sonny called, entering the room. ‘What’s wrong?”
“I gotta go Courtney, I’ll let you know what’s up.” Carly hung up hastily and started dialing Jason. “Elizabeth never showed up for her shift. I’m calling Jason.”
Sonny headed towards the door to tell one of the guards to find Travis when a knock sounded. He jerked the door open to reveal an ashen-faced Johnny. “What?”
“We found Travis ten minutes ago. Francis stumbled over him during one of his rounds.” Johnny scrubbed a hand over his face. “He’s dead. Ms. Webber is gone. This was in his pocket.” He extended the folded paper to Sonny who snatched it and ripped it open.
“What’s it say?” Carly demanded.
You know, I honestly expected more difficulty in procuring Ms. Webber. But, like the first time, it was just almost too easy. You should really be more careful with those you love. She’s alive. For now. I’ll be in touch.
“Call Jason,” Sonny murmured.
“What does it say?” Carly cried.
“They’ve got her.”
— Safehouse —
By the time Jason arrived back at the house, Zander had come out of his sleep a little and was murmuring things. The guards had been noting all of the words, which included Jason’s, name, Elizabeth’s, Alcazar, his mother Carmen and a surprising one.
Jason was on the phone to Benny trying to track down a possible connection between Brenda and the Alcazar family and missed the first frantic call from Sonny. He hung up with the other man about twenty minutes later. The only link Benny had unearthed was that Harlan Barrett and Ramon Alcazar frequently did business together.
But it was a start.
His phone rang almost immediately and Jason answered it without checking the display. “Yeah?”
“Where have you been?” Sonny demanded. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for almost a half hour.”
“I was on the phone with Benny,” Jason replied. “I think I’ve got something–”
“Elizabeth’s gone,” Sonny interrupted.
Jason didn’t say anything for a moment as the news sunk in. Finally, he asked, “What do you mean gone?”
“Travis was taking her to Kelly’s. She was supposed to show up for her shift an hour ago, but Courtney just called and said she never made it. Francis found Travis’s body on the docks a little while go.”
Jason was already heading for the door, intent on returning to the penthouse. “What do we know?” he demanded.
“It’s definitely Alcazar behind this,” Sonny told him. “He left a note in Travis’s pocket saying that he’d be in touch. We’re just waiting for the call.”
“You’re just sitting around and waiting?” Jason asked incredulously. “Do you have someone canvassing the docks? Looking for clues? A witness?”
Sonny took a deep breath, forcing himself to be calm and reminded himself that Jason was just in panic mode right now. “That’s being done now. You’d better come back here.”
“I’m on my way.”
— Corinthos Penthouse —
By the time Jason had gotten there, the results of the docks sweep were in and the men had found nothing.
“I want to see the note,” Jason said immediately. Sonny handed it to him and Jason skimmed it before handing it back. “It doesn’t say when he’ll be getting in touch.”
“No,” Sonny replied, “but he wants something. He’ll be in touch.”
“I swear to God, he messes with one hair on her head, I will rip his throat out,” Carly muttered as she paced in front of the couch.
“Zander was mumbling in his sleep,” Jason told Sonny. “He was saying people’s names. Mine, Elizabeth’s, Alcazar’s, their mother Carmen and Brenda’s.”
Carly halted her in tracks. “Brenda?”
Sonny arched an eyebrow in question. “Brenda?”
“Yeah. All Benny could find that Harlan Barrett and Ramon Alcazar did business together in the late seventies. Barrett financed Alcazar’s first takeover,” Jason explained. “Benny’s still looking for more.”
“Okay, Brenda might explain a few things,” Carly said after another moment. “I mean Elizabeth and I figured all along it was a personal thing. We just couldn’t figure out the reason why Felicia and Skye–” She halted in her words. “Oh. Did I mention we think Skye’s involved?”
Sonny narrowed his eyes. “You know, I’m tired of learning things about this after the fact.”
“Sorry,” Carly apologized. “But the reason we decided to follow Felicia was that she and Skye were acting oddly at Kelly’s yesterday. So if Felicia’s involved, Skye must be too.”
“Felicia delivered the package,” Jason remarked. “You think Skye’s a delivery girl for someone else?”
“Maybe this is about Brenda,” Carly pointed out. “And maybe someone thinks that you and Jax are to blame. Skye could be delivering stuff to Jax.”
“She’s got a point,” Jason said. Before Sonny could say anything in response, the phone rang. Sonny waited another moment before picking it up.
“Ah. Corinthos. I don’t think we’ve been introduced. I am Luis Alcazar.”
Sonny made eye contact with Jason. “Luis. How can I help you?”
“I believe I’m in possession of something that means a great deal to your wife and your best friend,” Luis replied.
“Look, Alcazar, I don’t know what game you’re playing,” Sonny began, his patience wearing thin.
“It’s simple actually,” Luis cut in. “You want Ms. Webber back? Come and get her.”
“I’m supposed to believe you’ll just have Elizabeth waiting at a bus stop or something.”
“Well no. You’ll have to come to a place of our choice and agree to our terms.”
Luis ignored Sonny’s questions and continued smoothly. “Bring my brother to the warehouse on Pier 45. I think you know which one it is. Come with your pretty wife and your enforcer. I’m sure Ms. Webber would love to see them.”
Sonny narrowed his eyes. “I am not bringing my wife.”
“You don’t bring her, she never sees her sister again.”
Sonny muttered a curse under his breath. “When?” he demanded.
“Tonight. At midnight. Goodbye.”
Sonny hung up the phone and sighed. “He wants the three of us to go to a warehouse on Pier 45. We’re to bring Zander with us.”
“We can’t bring Carly,” Jason remarked.
“We have to,” Sonny snapped. He looked at his wife. “I’m not happy about it, but I know you want Elizabeth back as much as we do.”
“Yeah,” Carly admitted reluctantly. “For some reason that appears to be the truth.” She folded her arms across her chest. “So, any idea what this is all about?”
“No.” Sonny sighed. “But one way or another, we’re going to find out tonight.”
— Pier 45 Warehouse —
Elizabeth glared at Luis Alcazar’s back and tried to force the gag from her mouth. She was seriously getting tired of this tactic. Stupid frigging mob idiots and their idiotic vendettas. Why the hell wasn’t Carly ever kidnapped? Why was it always her?
“A car just pulled up outside,” someone told Luis and Elizabeth glared at the door. Idiots. Walking right into a trap.
Luis turned around and met his hostage’s murderous eyes. He smirked. “Looks like you matter to your sister after all. Will wonders ever cease?” He looked back at the man who’d reported the arrival. “Bring them to me. It’s time to end this.”
She would have opened her mouth in shock if the gag hadn’t prevented that, but the sight of Carly entering the room behind Sonny and Jason just floored her. What the hell…?
No bruises or cuts , Carly noted with some relief. Elizabeth looked fine, albeit slightly pissed as she was tied to a chair and gagged.
“Okay.” Sonny shrugged. “We’re here, Luis. What do you want?”
Luis stood behind Elizabeth and removed the gag, but left her tied to the chair. “It’s time to end this,” he said simply. “Where’s my brother?”
“We have him,” one of the men said. “He’s being taken to the yacht now.”
Luis nodded. “Fine.” He met Carly’s eyes. “You’ve got a very beautiful sister here. I understand you were just recently made aware of your relationship.”
“That’s right,” Carly said slowly. “She’s a pain in the ass.”
“Same to you,” Elizabeth retorted.
“You want to save the bonding until later?” Sonny asked his wife in exasperation. “You’ve got Zander back. I want my sister-in-law and I want to know what the hell this is all about.”
“That’s what I want to know!” an enraged female voice demanded. She stepped out of the shadows, her dark eyes boring into her half-brother. “Luis, what in the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Sonny blinked. He blinked again. “Bre–Brenda?”
“Oh my God,” Carly groaned. “I thought it couldn’t get any worse. First the twit is my sister and now you’re alive. Jesus, who did I piss off to deserve this?”
Brenda Barrett shot a scathing look at the blonde before looking back at her brother. “I thought we agreed that we were going to do this my way,” she said, seething. “We were just going to grab her. There was nothing about exchanging Alex.”
Luis started to untie Elizabeth’s ropes. “There’s been a change in plans, Brenda. You can get your revenge all you want but I prefer my brother alive and breathing. I have a territory to run. I don’t have time for this.”
“Oh?” Brenda demanded. She reached into her purse and withdrew a pistol. “Do you have time for this?”
“Of course, the psycho has a gun,” Elizabeth muttered. Luis glanced up from his task.
“Brenda. Put the gun down. You shoot me and you don’t make it out of here alive and you know that.”
He untied the last rope and Elizabeth, fighting the urge to bolt and run into Jason’s arms, stood slowly and walked leisurely over to her sister. “Do people ever stay dead around here?” she asked.
“Not as much as I wish they would,” Carly muttered.
“Well, I can see the two of you have some business to discuss,” Sonny said, visibly shaken from Brenda’s emergence. He took a step back. “You’ve got Zander, I’ve got Elizabeth. I think it’s time for–”
“You’re not going anywhere,” Brenda retorted. She didn’t glance away from Luis. “You’re going to stay right and we are going to finish this.”
“Finish what?” Carly demanded, out of patience. “What is your problem?”
“She blames Corinthos for her accident,” Luis revealed, slightly bored. Brenda’s eyes filled with hurt at her brother’s betrayal. “She blames him far more than she blames the real culprit, her own mother. You see, my darling half-sister isn’t exactly in her right mind.”
“Your what?” Carly asked incredulously. She exchanged glances with her husband before looking at Jason, who’d been silent up until now.
“I’m fine!” Brenda shrieked, her hands shaking. “I’m fine!”
“She has her mother’s disease,” Luis continued. He stepped forward. “She knows her time is close and she wanted her revenge before she died.”
“Shut up!” Brenda ordered.
“I didn’t see any harm in indulging her this one last time. After all, I’d gain a very profitable territory.”
“Luis, stop it,” Brenda begged. “Stop this.”
“But it’s not working in my best interest and I’ve decided to pull out and go home.” Luis shrugged. “No harm, no foul.”
“You can’t!” Brenda cried. “Luis, you promised!” She charged at him, but one of his men snatched her easily and before Brenda knew what was happening, he’d rolled up her sleeve and injected her with something.
“A sedative,” Luis remarked. “She’s gotten worse since we came to Port Charles. Another reason this is ending.” He waved his hand. “Take her back to the yacht. We’re finished here.”
“Not yet,” Sonny said. “We have some issues we need to take care of.” He looked at the girls. “Why don’t the two of you wait in the limo?”
“Sonny–” Carly began to protest.
“Mrs. Corinthos, Ms. Webber, I hear we have a sister in common,” Luis cut in swiftly. “Marisa Galvez?”
Elizabeth’s eyes lit up interest. “Do you know where she is?”
“Elizabeth,” Sonny began, “we can discuss this later–”
“Mr. Corinthos, I believe that family is more important than business,” Luis said, with a charming smile. “Our other business will keep for a few moments while we talk about Marisa.”
Sonny narrowed his eyes. “I don’t think–”
“Sonny,” Jason interrupted. “Just…let him tell her, okay?”
Sonny glanced at his enforcer in surprise but after a looking at Elizabeth’s hopeful eyes, he sighed and nodded. “All right.”
“Not here,” Luis said. He gestured around the dank room. “I do not wish to discuss my sister in this environment. My yacht is moored outside. We can go there and I can arrange for a driver to take the ladies home while we discuss business.”
Sonny hesitated but nodded. If it was a trap, it was a trap. But he didn’t think it was, so they filed out.
— Yacht —
“Have a seat,” Luis said as they entered a sitting room. “Would you like something to drink?”
“No,” Sonny remarked.
“Fine.” Luis sat in an arm chair. “I didn’t know that Marisa was my half-sister until a few years ago. My parents divorced shortly after she was born and she took Marisa and my brother Ricky to live with her while Alex and I stayed with my father.”
Sonny shifted, obviously bored with the conversation and anxious to get down to the real business, but Elizabeth was very interested to finally have the holes filled in.
“I don’t see her as often as I wish, but more often now that I’ve taken over the business. She’s a very lovely girl, around your age, Ms. Webber. She lives in Arizona and I’d be happy to get in touch with her to tell her about you.”
Elizabeth blinked, not really believing it was that easy. “You’ll just…tell her about me and Carly? It’s that easy?”
“Why not?” Luis asked, “You wish to meet your sister and I like to make my sister happy. I’ll call her when my business is done here.”
Elziabeth met Carly’s eyes for a moment and nodded. “Okay. Thank you,” she said, feeling strangely odd about thanking a man who had kidnapped her a few hours ago.
“Is that it?” Sonny asked, impatiently.
“We’ll go now,” Carly said. She stood and Elizabeth followed suit.
“Jason, go with them,” Sonny directed. “Make sure that they get home safely. I’ll be fine.”
Jason hesitated but led the girls back to the deck.
Luis shifted and smiled. “You don’t believe in putting off business for anything, do you?”
“I want to know why you suddenly just decided to stop helping Brenda,” Sonny remarked.
“Once Alex’s identity was uncovered, I knew it wouldn’t take long before word reached New York and I’ve been trying to get him off a murder charge for the past two years. It wouldn’t serve me well to have my younger brother in jail for the rest of his life,” Luis replied. “So, I began making the plans to withdraw.”
“But you gave Zander the order to kill Jason.”
“Alex was being careless as always,” Luis told the other man. “Confronting Elizabeth in public places, not taking care of the situation. He got himself thrown out of your organization because he was greedy and that couldn’t be tolerated. I gave him the order knowing he’d be unable to carry it out.”
“And what if Jason had killed him?” Sonny asked pointedly.
“You still needed information from him,” Luis said simply. “I took a risk and it paid off. I do apologize for the guard that died while we were procuring Elizabeth. The man who did it was dealt with in a similar fashion. I don’t have room in my organization for men that don’t follow orders.”
“So I’m to believe you’ve just stopped it and you’re going to go back to New York quietly?” Sonny asked skeptically. “And how is that she’s your sister?”
Luis stood and Sonny did as well. “For now, we’re at peace as far as I’m concerned,” the taller man said. “I have a sister to take care of and a brother to clear. Until those are done, I don’t think that I have time to fight a territory war.” He cleared his throat. “As for being my sister, her mother and my father had an affair that resulted in her birth. She discovered this shortly after her accident and she’s been staying with me in New York ever since.”
Sonny nodded, accepting the words as truth. The man had no reason to lie. “You’ll let me know, of course, if there’s anything I can do for Brenda.”
Luis shook his head. “I think it would be better if she didn’t see you once you leave her. I have some damage to repair now the plan has been aborted.” He showed Sonny out then, arranging for the man to be taken home.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Elizabeth entered the penthouse, yawning. “It’s been a long day,” she said. “I’m going to sleep.”
“Oh no you’re not,” Carly said. She slammed the door shut and put her hands on her hips. “You are going to stand right there until I’m finished yelling at Jason and then you two are going to deal with whatever fight you had and then I’m going to sleep.”
“Carly–” Jason began.
“If you’d get over your pride for eight seconds, you might see that we were just trying to help,” Carly said, ignoring his glare. “She didn’t want to lie to you, I made her do it–”
“Carly, don’t take the blame. No one makes me do anything I don’t want to do,” Elizabeth interrupted.
“Fine. Well, then it was my idea and I talked her into it,” Carly corrected. “You are an idiot–”
“And I think you should give her a chance to explain herself before you all stone silent on her because it’s only fair–”
“And I swear to God if you start yelling at me to mind my own business, I’ll deck you. That’s my sister and that makes it my business,” Carly finished, glowering.
Jason smirked. “Your sister?”
Elizabeth arched her eyebrows and looked at the blonde oddly. Carly blanched, stricken. “Ah…that’s not what I mean. I meant that…she’s…um…related to me…and that we….reached…” She threw her hands up in the air. “Oh, to hell with it. Yes, my sister and perhaps we should have a discussion about which body parts get cut off when you hurt her–”
“Carly–” Jason tried to cut in again.
“Because you of all people should know I look out for what’s mine and for some twisted and really unfair reason, she does happen to be mine–”
“Oh, really?” Elizabeth remarked amused by this entire display.
“Oh, be quiet,” Carly hissed. She was quiet then and crossed her arms to glare at Jason. “Well?”
“Well what?” Jason asked.
“Oh for the love of God!” Carly muttered. “For some reason, you seem to love her and God knows, she’s crazy enough to be in love with you so what I do not get is why you are being so damn stubborn–” Carly broke off abruptly when Jason grabbed Elizabeth’s by the arm and all but dragged her out of the penthouse, closing the door behind her. “That was unbelievably rude!” she shrieked. “I was in the middle of yelling at you!”
— Morgan Penthouse —
Elizabeth was still highly amused when Jason shut the door behind them. “I can’t believe she just did the big sister routine on you. I think hell must have frozen over or something.”
Jason managed a weak smile. “Yeah, well, once Carly decides she likes you…there’s no going back.”
“The scary thing? I think I like her too.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I’ll never hear the end of this from Courtney.” She looked away and shoved her hands into the pockets of her jeans. “So…did you pull the Neanderthal act to get away from Carly or did you actually have something to say to me?”
Jason exhaled slowly and leaned against the desk. “I’m not going to lie to you, Elizabeth. You know what my life is like. You’ve been kidnapped twice now, shot at…”
“I do know all of that but it was always a risk I was willing to take,” Elizabeth assured him. “Look, I’m sorry I lied to you. It’s not something I wanted to do or anything I’m particularly proud of, but I was just trying to help.”
“You’ve got to understand something, Elizabeth. You can’t help,” Jason told her. He shook his head. “I mean, I understand if sometimes things just fall into your lap and then yeah, I want you to tell me. But you can’t go investigating on your own–”
“We did tell you but you didn’t believe us,” Elizabeth reminded him. “So when the thing with Skye and Felicia happened, we assumed that you still wouldn’t believe us.”
“You’re right. We should have taken you more seriously. The two of you have good instincts.” He grimaced. “That doesn’t mean I want you to put yourself in danger.”
Elizabeth shook her head, amused. “Jason, I may be only twenty-one, but I’ve seen a lot in my life. And I’ve taken on Helena Cassadine–I highly doubt any of your enemies would ever compare to the havoc that psycho caused. I’m not five, Jason. I can take care of myself.”
“Like you did tonight?” Jason asked pointedly.
“Okay, so I still have a few things to learn. Maybe Carly and I will take some self-defense classes,” Elizabeth slid up onto the desk next to him. “I know that I don’t want to give up on making it work between us. We’ve come too far, Jason, to just let it fall apart now.”
“I agree but we’re going to have to make some compromises,” Jason told her. “I don’t want this life to touch you.”
She shook her head. “That’s not realistic. I’m in this now. Maybe not like you are, but I am. This life…it’s your life and it touches me because it’s your life.”
“But you can’t do what you and Carly did,” Jason argued. “You can’t run around trying to help. You don’t have all the information–”
“You don’t trust me at all, do you?” Elizabeth asked, stung. “Carly and I didn’t do anything that we wouldn’t do normally. Zander came to us. Not the other way around. It’s not our fault we ran into Skye and Felicia and picked up on their behavior. It’s not like we went looking for trouble.”
“But you didn’t turn away from it either,” Jason reminded her.
Elizabeth smirked. “Where’s the fun in that?” Seeing Jason’s exasperated look, she rolled her eyes. “Okay, you’ve got to lighten up. Look, that’s not the type of person I am. You say you want me safe. Well, is it so hard to believe that I want you safe too?”
“I understand that,” Jason answered. “But I don’t want you involved, Elizabeth. Not if you can avoid it.”
“All right. I’ll stay out of it. I won’t go looking for trouble but can we agree on something? It’s not always my fault. Sometimes it finds me.” She slid off the desk and faced him. “But you’ve got to promise me something.”
“If I can.”
“I don’t want a guard,” Elizabeth told him. “Not if we can avoid it. Okay?”
“I don’t know about that, Elizabeth. Carly’s okay with a guard–”
“I’m not Carly. I like my freedom.” She sighed and looked down. “Look, I get that you want me safe but I do not want this to be the deal breaker.”
“I know how much your independence means to you and I don’t want you to lose that to be with me.”
She slipped his hands into his. “And I don’t want to lose you to have it, either,” Elizabeth told him. She stepped closer to him. “Can’t we just…work it out along the way? Do we have to have all the answers tonight?”
“It would make it easier,” Jason admitted.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and slid her fingers into his hair. “Now where’s the fun in that?”
“What are you doing?” he asked as she stepped closer and shoved him slightly so he was just sitting on the desk and they were about eye level.
She shook her head. “If you have to ask, it has been way too long.” She leaned down to kiss him, but he stopped her. “What?” she asked, frowning. He always stopped them before it went too far.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked her quietly. “I mean…really sure?”
“I love you, Jason,” Elizabeth told him. Without waiting for him to respond, she kissed him, fisting her hands in his hair. He wrapped his arms around her waist and stood suddenly, lifting her off her feet. He turned them around and set her on his desk instead.
He pulled away and she glared at him, slightly out of breath. “Oh, don’t tell me you’re pulling away again,” she said, irritated.
Jason framed her face in his hands. “I love you,” he told her. He felt his face match her smile and he kissed her again.
— Corinthos Penthouse ––
Sonny entered the penthouse and frowned when he saw Carly wolfing down a slice of the apple pie he’d hidden in the kitchen.
She glanced up guiltily. “Um…you promised I could have a slice.”
“Where’s Jason?” Sonny asked instead of chastising her. “I need to talk to him.”
Carly frowned and glanced at the clock on the mantel. “Well, he dragged Elizabeth out of here about a half hour ago. I’m going to give her about fifteen minutes to have talked some sense into him and since they’ve been apart the last few days–”
Sonny held up a hand. “Okay, stop. No more information needed.” He sat down next to her on the couch. “Can I have a bite of that?”
She fed him a piece and decided just to get it over with and ask. “Is Alcazar really leaving?”
Sonny glared at her. “You know I can’t talk about that.”
“Well…come on…I was there when he said it,” Carly whined. “Besides, I know how much finding Marisa would mean to Elizabeth so I figure she’s got a right to know if he’s going to go through with it–”
“Okay.” Sonny sighed. “He says he’s taking Zander and Brenda back to New York. That he’s done here.”
“But you don’t trust him,” Carly said. “Right?”
“No. I’m sending men to follow him and keep an eye on him in the city,” sonny replied. “I think that he might be serious about pulling out right now, but I wouldn’t put it past him to try again.”
“Good,” Carly decided. “That’s a good decision.”
“And now you and me are going to go over the rules again.”
Carly grimaced. “Do we have to?”
“Are you going to stay out of it from now on?”
Carly grinned. “What do you think?”
“Then, yeah, we have to,” Sonny replied.
“You know what? Let’s put it off,” she suggested. She stood and lowered herself into his lap. “I know where we can find some whipped cream and–”
“Carly, you are not going to distract me,” Sonny said firmly, trying to still his wife’s hands as she unbuttoned his shirt.
“Oh, yes I am,” Carly replied. “Don’t be mistaken about that. We can talk about the rules again tomorrow.” Her eyes lit up. “Or if you really want…” She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a pouting a look. “You know…I’ve been a really bad girl.”
He laughed then. “One track mind Carly, one track mind.”
— Morgan Penthouse: Upstairs Hallway —
“I can’t find the door knob,” Jason muttered, trying to look past Elizabeth’s hair and concentrate on something other than her lips trailing down his neck.
She giggled. “Am I a distraction?”
“Are you kidding me?” Jason grumbled. He leaned his back against the door and fumbled with the doorknob. Finally, it twisted and the door fell back, catapulting them both to the ground.
Elizabeth pulled herself up a little, bracing her hands on Jason’s chest, still laughing. “Well, this is romantic,” she teased.
He sat up, situating her on his lap. “Does it bother you?”
“Not at all,” Elizabeth replied, reaching for the hem of his shirt and tugging it off him. “I’ll take you anyway I can get you.”
“We should get off the floor,” Jason told her even as he was unbuttoning her shirt and pushing it off her shoulders. He started kissing her collarbone.
“Yeah…probably.” Elizabeth pushed at Jason’s shoulders and laid him against the ground. “If you ask me, the floor’s good.”
“You’re not the one laying on it,” Jason grumbled. She cut off any further complaining with her mouth and her hands fumbled with the button on his jeans.
He kicked off his boots when she started pulling his jeans down his legs. He reached for the front clasp of her bra and practically tore it off her. He wrapped his arms around her back and rolled them over. “Are you sure you don’t want to get off the floor?”
“I don’t think I can wait that long,” Elizabeth murmured. “You know…I’m ready if you are.”
Jason raised his head and looked down at her oddly. “What?”
She reached for his hands and brought them to the snap on her jeans. “Any time you’re good.”
“You mean…just skip the rest of it?” Jason asked, curiously.
She nodded eagerly. “I want you, Jason. I’ve been trying to get into your pants since the day we got together, or didn’t you notice?”
He chuckled and let his drop into the crook of her shoulder. “You’re not like anyone else I know, do you know that?”
“Why are we still talking?” she asked, slightly irritated. She braced her hands on his shoulders and rolled them over again.
He sat them up again and framed her face in his hands again. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she murmured. She narrowed her eyes. “Now…are you gonna sleep with me or not?”
— Yacht —
Brenda slid her eyes open and frowned when she saw her brother sitting by her side. She rolled over. “I’m not speaking to you.”
Luis sighed. “Brenda. You know I made the right decision.”
“You’re supposed to be my family. You were supposed to love me,” she mumbled into the pillow.
“I do love you, Brenda. You’re my sister. And you being in Port Charles, trying to make Corinthos and Jacks pay for something that wasn’t their fault…it’s only making you worse.”
“I’m not sick,” Brenda denied stubbornly.
“Yes, you are,” Luis told her. “You know you are. I was trying to give you want you wanted but it’s not, is it? You don’t know what you want.”
“I want you to leave,” Brenda hissed.
“We’re leaving for New York City in the morning,” Luis told her. “I’m going to send Alex away to Europe to hide from the authorities until I’m able to get him cleared of these charges and I want you to go with him. You love Europe.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“It does.” He smoothed his hand over her hair. “You have such precious little time left. Let me help you make the best of it.”
“Stop saying that like I’m going to die,” Brenda whispered. She rolled over, her eyes glossy with tears. “I’ll kill myself before I turn into my mother.”
“I’m tired, Luis,” Brenda murmured. She closed her eyes. “I want to sleep.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes, trying to catch her breath. “Mmmm…well…we made it to the bed.”
She felt Jason laugh next to her. “Yeah…only took three tries.”
Elizabeth stretched her arms over her head and sighed happily. “I think that was almost worth waiting for.”
Jason braced himself up one elbow and glared at her. “Almost huh?”
She opened one eye and grinned. “Well…maybe a little more bit more convincing could change my mind.”
“More convincing?” Jason shook his head as he tugged body on top of his. “You’re going to be the death of me.”
She inhaled sharply as he slid into her again. She arched her back. “Well…it’s a good way to go,” she managed to say.
— Elm St. Pier —
Felicia stepped gingerly onto the docks and peered around suspiciously. This entire summer had been a disaster, she decided and she was through with it. If Roy wanted to involve himself with this, that was his problem. She had better things to deal with, more important things to worry about–namely her daughters.
She spied Skye standing at the end of the pier and crossed to join her. “So you got another summons?”
“Yes,” Skye bit off angrily. “But I am going to tell that psycho that it’s off. I’m telling Jax the truth–participating in Brenda Barrett’s revenge scheme is only going to make things worse.”
Felicia nodded. “That’s what I’m going to do. If Roy wants to get himself killed, that’s his business. Who knows what she had me mail to Sonny Corinthos? Roy’s not worth making Sonny my enemy.”
“Which is precisely why I’m here.”
The unfamiliar voice had the two women whirling around to see who had crept up behind them.
Luis Alcazar’s lips curved into a smile that would have almost been characterized as charming had it not been for the cold expression in his eyes. “This is over,” he told them. “Brenda will not be requiring your assistance any longer.”
Skye narrowed her eyes. “I don’t believe that we’d get off that easily. Who are you?”
“I am friend of the family,” Luis said simply. “Brenda’s scheme has been ended, ladies. You’re free of all obligations to her.”
Felicia shook her head. “No, I don’t believe that. She wouldn’t give up on this–”
“It is no longer her choice,” Luis cut in. “You can choose to believe that Brenda will divulge your secrets, that is your prerogative. You can wait for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. You will be waiting some time, naturally.” He nodded to them and walked away, fading into the shadows.
Skye crossed her arms, warding off a chill that did not come from the weather. “If I tell Jax the truth, it won’t matter,” she said almost absently. “I’d rather not have to depend on that man to keep my secret.”
“Well I don’t have to worry about anything,” Felicia remarked. “I was only in this to keep Roy alive and now I don’t even care enough to do that.” She held her hand out to Skye. “Good luck. It’s been…I wish I’d never had to work with you.”
Skye cracked a small smile. “Ditto.”
— Jason’s Penthouse: Bedroom —
Elizabeth propped herself up on her elbows and watched as Jason tugged a pair of jeans on. She wiggled her eyebrows. “And where do you think you’re going?” she asked. She pulled the covers up under her arms.
“We have to eat sometime.” Jason brushed a kiss over her forehead. “I’m just going downstairs to grab something. I’ll be right back.”
“Eating is entirely overrated,” Elizabeth murmured but she leaned back and rested her head against the pillows.
Jason found his phone in the jeans he’d been wearing before and as he descended the stairs, he scrolled through the missed calls. There were only a few–two from Benny, one from Bobbie and one from Emily.
He was listening to his voicemail as he pulled a bag of pretzels from his cabinets.
“Hey, Jase!” Emily chirped. “I just wanted you to be the first to get the good news! I’m being sprung from the rehab clinic next month and I can’t wait to see you!”
— Lake House —
Skye paced the living of the lake house nervously. She knew she should tell Jax. He might even forgive her. After all, she’d barely done anything. Other than deliver some letters that she wasn’t going to even consider telling him about. Signing a contract with Edward because she was upset was one thing – giving him letters from his ex-wife with the purpose of hurting him was another.
She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn’t hear Jax come in. She finally heard him chuckle and she looked up. How long had he been standing there watching her lose her mind?
“Something on your mind Skye?” Jax asked, grinning. He strode forward and kissed her. She was so tempted to give into the kiss but pulled back.
“Jax, we need to talk,” she said in a small voice. “I need to tell you something.”
“Skye?” he asked, concerned. “What’s wrong?”
Skye suddenly felt unable to stand. She sank onto the couch and stared at her hands, clasped tightly in her lap. “I did something horrible,” she breathed.
He kneeled in front of her. “Skye, you’re scaring me. What’s going on?” he pressed.
“I thought you cheated on me. I thought that you didn’t love me,” Skye whispered. She refused to look into his eyes. One look into those worried blue eyes and she might lose her resolve. She had to say something. “I did something that I shouldn’t have and I’ve been paying for it ever since.”
“Skye, what’s happened?” Jax demanded. He took her hands in his. “Look at me.”
“I can’t,” she said, softly. “I made a deal with Edward. I was so angry and I was hurt and all I could think was that I had to hurt you because you had hurt me.” She took a deep shuddering breath. “He wanted to bankrupt you and in exchange for my help, I was going to be sole heir.” She heard him draw in a sharp breath, but she continued anyway. “I thought I could do it, but then you proposed and you explained away everything that had happened and all I could think was ‘what have I done?’ I took this love and trust and I just threw it out the window. I tried to get out of the contract, but Edward won’t let me. He’s giving me ultimatums and I can’t do it.” Skye stopped, her voice showing signs of hysteria. “He told me if I backed out he’d tell you. But I can’t do it, Jax. I can’t.”
Without looking at him, she withdrew her hands from his and stood. She faced the wall, letting the tears streak down her face. “I knew that by telling you that I would more than likely lose you. But I couldn’t help Edward and I couldn’t let Edward be the one to tell you.”
She heard him stand up, but he made no move towards her. “Are you telling me everything?” he asked, quietly. Her heart broke at the tone in his voice. He was never going to forgive her. Might as well tell him everything. It was too late now.
She covered her mouth with her hand and looked at the ceiling. “No, that’s not it,” she said, shakily. “I’m the one who delivered those letters,” she breathed.
She felt an arm on her shoulder and turned her roughly around to face him. He jerked her chin up so she was forced to look him in the eyes. She shut her eyes almost immediately. She couldn’t look at him and see the anger and betrayal in his eyes. “What the hell do you mean you delivered those letters?” Jax demanded. He shook her shoulders. “Tell me!”
“I got a note,” Skye said, softly. She opened her eyes and concentrated on the top open button of his shirt. “It said if I wanted my contract to disappear, all I had to do was go the pier. I went and…” Her hands started to shake. “Brenda met me.”
He let go of her shoulders and took a step backwards. “Why would you do that?” he asked, stunned. “Why would you deliberately hurt me like that?”
Drawing in a shaky breath, Skye said, “I never knew what was in the letters, I swear. I just wanted to get rid of that contract and forget it ever happened!” She covered her eyes with her hands. “If I had known what was in the letter, I swear I would never have gone along. She promised she could get rid of the contract.”
“Why are you telling me now?” Jax demanded. “If Brenda was going to get rid of the contract, why tell me?”
“Sonny Corinthos found out I was delivering the letters,” Skye replied. “He wanted to know why, so I told him. And he told me that Brenda told you not to trust me.” Rubbing her forehead, she finished, “And he told me that it would be better if you heard if from me.” She waited for a few moments as Jax stared at her in stunned silence. Skye lifted her hand and slowly slipped her engagement ring off her finger and placed it next to the phone. She picked up her purse and left.
Jax picked up the ring and looked at it. He closed his fist around it and sat back on the couch. Hostile takeovers he could handle. He could deal with Sonny Corinthos and his organization.
Betrayal from the woman he loved was something completely different.
— Felicia’s House: Felicia’s Bedroom —
Mac crossed his arms and glared at his ex-wife. “You’re still not telling me the whole story.”
Felicia huffed and shoved some more clothes into her suitcase. “I don’t have to tell you the whole story. That’s what being divorced means. I was working on a project and now it’s done, so I’m joining the girls in Texas. Comprende?”
“No,” Mac said dryly. “I know you when you’re lying and this is your face when you’re lying. What was the project?”
“Making monkeys dance,” Felicia muttered. She zipped the suitcase shut.
“Fine.” She threw her hands up in the air. “I was helping Brenda Barrett get revenge on Sonny Corinthos because she threatened to kill Roy.”
Mac narrowed his eyes. “If you’re not going to tell me the truth–”
“All right, fine,” Felicia said, exasperated. “I was channeling an alternate dimension full of demons. It’s a great dimension, it’s always Wednesday there which you know is my favorite day of the week because Law and Order and West Wing are on. Satisfied?”
Mac arched his eyebrows. “So Brenda’s alive then?”
Felicia tugged another suitcase from her closet. “Nah,” she said dryly. “In addition to witchcraft, I’ve decided to make the dead rise from the grave. You know I get bored when my girls are gone.”
“Cut the wise cracks.” Mac crossed the room and put his hands on her shoulders forcing her to meet his eyes. “Just because we’re divorced, it does not mean I stopped caring about you. I worry about you and I get to because we’re friends, got it?”
“I know,” Felicia sighed. She sank onto the bed. “Look, I got in over my head with Roy, I know that. I’m willing to cut my losses and chalk it up to extreme loneliness.” She eyed Mac. “As someone who once dated Katherine Bell, you might have some sympathy for me.”
“Low blow,” Mac muttered. He sat next to her. “So, how did you help Brenda Barrett get revenge on Sonny?”
Felicia shrugged. “I delivered a box to him. I don’t know what it was and I don’t care. I’m not interested in making him my enemy.”
“Do you know why Brenda wanted revenge?” Mac asked.
“Sonny never searched for her body, and neither did Jax. They just accepted her for dead. She was upset, she wanted to make them pay. She’s connected to Luis Alcazar by the way,” Felicia said as an afterthought.
“The New York mobster?” Mac rubbed his chin. “Would have been nice if you could have mentioned that earlier. If I’d known Luis was in town, I would have looked into why.”
“Doesn’t matter. His yacht’s gone from the harbor.” Felicia sighed again and stood to resume her packing. “I told Roy last night that we’re done. He can do whatever he wants because he’s obviously not going to listen to me and stay out of this whole thing. I’m going to go to Texas, spend the rest of the summer with the girls and when we come back, this whole thing is going to seem like a bad memory.”
“We can only hope,” Mac replied.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
Carly smiled at Michael and drew her napkin over her lap. “Mmm, Belgian waffles,” she sniffed. “Do I get strawberry sauce?”
Sonny set the small pitcher in front of her. “I never forget the strawberry sauce.”
“Are Uncle Jason and Liz coming over for breakfast?” Michael asked, digging into his meal.
Carly shook her head. “I doubt it, Mr. Man, I think they’re going to be a bit too tired to get up this morning.”
“Carly,” Sonny hissed.
“They shouldn’t stay up late, it’s not ‘sponsible,” Michael said gravely.
“No, it’s not and I will tell them as soon as I see them.” Carly started to cut her waffles. “I’m actually meeting her at her studio later this afternoon. She’s moving into the penthouse, she called me last night to tell me.”
“Sisterly bonding,” Sonny sighed. “It’s almost scary to see.”
“You think me and the Muffin getting along is scary?” Carly snorted. “Courtney’s supposed to be there too. This should be interesting.”
“Mama and Liz are sisters?” Michael asked curiously.
“You never told him?” Sonny asked pointedly.
“Well, no.” Carly shrugged. “At first, I was trying to forget and then I just…a lot of was happening.” She looked at her son. “Yes, Michael, Elizabeth and I are sisters–half sisters. We share the same father.”
Michael nodded. “Okay, so she’s my aunt like Aunt Court is.” He looked at his father. “How come we don’t see Aunt Court more?”
“Yeah, Dad, how come we don’t see Aunt Court more?” Carly teased.
Sonny cleared his throat. “Because your aunt seems to think I am slightly…overbearing.”
Michael furrowed his brow. “What’s overbearing?”
“Your father likes to believe he’s in charge of everyone’s lives,” Carly said dryly. “That he can make everyone’s decisions for them.”
“I just want to make sure they’re making the right decisions,” Sonny said, almost primly.
“He’s a bit of a bully,” Carly confided to her son. “A very sweet, well-meaning bully.”
Sonny scowled but Michael just giggled. “A bully can’t be sweet!”
“Ha!” Carly snorted.
— Elizabeth’s Studio —
Carly peered suspiciously at a canvas. “Are you sure you want to take this?”
Elizabeth glanced over from the art supplies she was boxing up. “I’m taking all the canvases–” she peered at the one Carly was indicating and grimaced. “Except for that one.” She picked it up and tossed it in the scrap pile. “No canvases of Lucky.”
“Best news I’ve heard all day,” Courtney said from across the room. She frowned at an old Styrofoam package from Kelly’s. “I’m only just guessing that this is tossable.”
“You might as well toss everything in the fridge,” Elizabeth shrugged. “I haven’t been here in a while so most of it’s bad.”
“And besides, Sonny stocks Jason’s fridge weekly, so it’s not like you’ll need to hit the grocery store.” Carly’s finger caught the edge of the one of the canvases she was boxing and she yelped. “Splinter.”
“Here, let me get it–” Elizabeth reached for a needle from her table and took Carly’s hand in hers. “I’m an old pro at this by now.”
“Aww,” Courtney teased with an mischevious smirk. “It just warms my heart to see sisters who love each other so much.”
“Bite me, Barbie,” Carly muttered. “Or I’ll sic Sonny on you.” She all but growled as Elizabeth dug the splinter. “Hey, watch it, Muffin! That’s real skin there!”
“Oh, don’t be such a baby.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes and let Carly’s hand go. “See, it’s gone now.”
“You’re a butcher,” Carly whined, sucking the tip of her finger. “It hurts!”
“I’d hate to see you get a real injury,” Elizabeth smirked. “You’d probably keel over right there.”
As their bickering continued to escalate, Courtney rolled her eyes and turned back to her packing. Some things would never change.