Thursday, April 3, 3014
ELQ: Tracy’s Office
Ned tossed some files on his mother’s desk and leaned back in his chair. “The initial quarterly reports look good, but we’re still a little shaky due to the problems last year.”
“I know.” Tracy made a notation on her calendar. “And with Monica’s decision to acknowledge Jake Webber as part of the family, we’re going to have to revisit how the shares are divvied up and prepare paperwork for Elizabeth to vote his proxy.”
“Ah, yes.” Ned nodded. “What is the current disposition of the shares? The grandchildren divide up sixty percent, the great grandchildren divide up thirty percent and Monica and Alice split the last ten.” He started jotting a few notes. “I believe we’ll also have to find out how AJ left his shares, though I suppose they went to Michael. He also had signed proxies from Skye, Lila Rae and Maya, which will have to be dealt with.”
Tracy tapped her pen and pursed her lips. “Actually…” she sighed. “Though Daddy controlled all the shares at the end, there was… Alan’s will.”
Ned frowned. “That will let Alan’s ten percent revert back to Grandfather and all cash assets went to you, didn’t it?” He arched an eyebrow. “What did you do, Mother?”
“Well, how was I to know Jason had knocked up a perfectly good woman?” Tracy demanded. “Alan left all his money and ELQ stock to Jason Morgan’s bloody children. Not even to Emily, but to Jason. And I thought Sam would be the mother of those children. I didn’t want her grubby paws on our money—”
“So Jake got cut out of his inheritance?” Ned rolled his eyes. “Mother—”
“I would give it back to him if I could,” Tracy snarled, “but Sam already has Danny’s five percent, and until Jason is declared legally dead, Jason’s ten percent. I reveal the will and that whore is up to twenty percent. I will be damned—”
“Wait…” Ned held up his hand. “First of all, we need to have Jason declared dead, and I’m sure a court will understand that he died before Grandfather, which means he isn’t entitled to anything, and we can also petition to have Danny’s shares put into a trust, so that Sam can’t touch it.”
“I do like the way you think.” Tracy leaned back. “Alan never liked Sam. He wouldn’t want her to inherit his money. I’m sure he didn’t think Jason wouldn’t be around to control the useless—”
“And if you forged it once, Mother, you can forge it again,” Ned said dryly. “I’m sure we can find a way to magically discover a new will. Now, how to keep Sam and Danny out of it while including Jake is another story.”
“I will keep that woman away from my family. She didn’t want to allow Monica to get to know Jason’s son, then he’s not part of this family, either.” Tracy lifted her chin. When she saw her son grinning at her, she scowled. “What?”
“I’m just enjoying you looking out for Monica’s best interests.”
Quartermaine Estate: Family Room
Michael entered the room, Starr at his side and frowned when he saw Elizabeth seated by the terrace at the breakfast table. “Hey, Elizabeth. I wasn’t expecting you.”
“How are you holding up?” Elizabeth asked, rising to her feet as Michael, Starr and Monica crossed the room to the sofa. They all took their seats, Michael keeping Starr’s hand in his own.
“Getting through it.” Michael hesitated. “Trying to concentrate on what to do next. I have to speak to Diane about AJ’s estate, I think. She called and said I was the co-executor.” He dipped his head, uncomfortable. “He gave me a lot of responsibility…with his medical proxy and…”
“He liked writing my son, Michael,” Elizabeth murmured, reaching over and squeezing his shoulder. “And I think he looked for any opportunity to reinforce that connection.”
“I figured as much.” Michael straightened his shoulders. “But I’m finishing up my business degree at PCU this term, so hopefully Aunt Tracy can find a place for me at ELQ.”
“Really?” Monica raised her eyebrows. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
“It’s what Dad would have wanted. For me to find a way to keep his legacy alive, and I think Aunt Tracy is feeling guilty enough about the way she treated him to let me in front door.” He took a deep breath and smiled at Starr. “And Starr is hoping to reopen the Haunted Star in a few weeks now that the renovations are finally finished.”
“I’m glad to see you two are getting back into a normal routine.” He saw his grandmother glance at Elizabeth, who just shifted uncomfortably.
Michael frowned. “Grandma, is everything all right?”
“You guys look like you’re upset,” Starr murmured.
“No, not upset.” Monica took a deep breath. “Michael, you know Elizabeth’s three boys…Cameron, Jake and Aidan.”
“Yeah.” Michael nodded, still confused. He looked at Elizabeth. “Cam is a grade below Morgan at school, but they’re on the same baseball team this year. He’s got a great arm.”
Elizabeth smiled. “He does. Well, it’s Jake we wanted to talk to you about.” She cleared her throat. “We wanted you to be the first we tell…before Monica announces it to the rest of the world next month at his birthday party.”
And then Michael knew what this was about. Elizabeth and the boys had been to the mansion several times in the last year, more so Jake than the other two boys, but he’d thought she was there to see AJ. But she was bringing Jake to see Monica. “The rumors…they were true.”
“Yes.” Elizabeth smiled, a little half-heartedly. “Jake is Jason’s son, and Monica would like to welcome him into the family. We’ve been talking about it off and on since your uncle died last year, but we just…” She hesitated. “We felt like the time was right.”
Michael rose to his feet and crossed to the terrace before looking back at the three women. “But I don’t understand why it was a secret. Jason loved kids. He raised me for the most part, he looked out for Morgan and Joss, even for Kristina and Molly. Why would he wouldn’t he want to tell everyone about his son?”
“Michael, that’s not really—” Monica began, but Elizabeth held up her hand.
“Monica, he’s an adult now,” Elizabeth murmured. “And we promised each other that out of everyone in this family, Michael deserved the open and honest truth.” She stood and approached him. “Initially, it was complicated. Wires were crossed, and Jason believed my ex-husband was Jake’s father. I knew the truth, but I didn’t want to ruin things for him. He was getting back together with Sam, and Lucky was just out of rehab. So I kept quiet at first, because I knew how messy it would be.”
Michael hesitated, because it sounded like it had been her idea. But… “When did Jason find out?”
“After the hostage crisis at the Metro Court,” Elizabeth said. “I told him, but we didn’t know what to do about it. Lucky was still recovering, he knew Sam would take the news badly. And I was…nervous about his lifestyle. So…I did something unforgivable, something I don’t think Jason ever forgave me for. I asked him to let the lie continue.”
Michael nodded and looked away. “But he said yes. He didn’t have to.”
“I think he was worried about the danger, and Jason always wanted to make things right for everyone else. He knew this would be easier for Lucky, easier for Sam. In some ways, easier for me. But it wasn’t easy for him. Not then. It got more complicated later, after Jake was born. Sam found out the truth, Jake was kidnapped. Lucky found out. Carly and Sonny eventually learned the truth. It began to spiral out of control.”
“So why not come forward then and tell the truth?” Michael shook his head. Why was this making him angry, why did he feel like he’d been personally involved?
“Jason and I were seeing each other for a while,” Elizabeth admitted. “After my divorce. And we were making plans. We wanted Jake—and Cam—to have security in place before we made any decisions.” A small smile spread across her face. “And we were even engaged for a while.”
And for some reason, Michael put the timeline together in his head. He knew her second divorce had been shortly after Jake had been born, just before his aunt Emily’s murder. He closed his eyes. “And then I was shot.”
“Yes,” Elizabeth whispered. “And Jason broke off our engagement. He stopped all those plans. I didn’t…want to, but I won’t lie and say I wasn’t scared. I told him we could wait until things were calm, we didn’t have to do it right away. But then Jake was kidnapped again, and he…never wanted to tell after that. He told me we could never be together, never be a family.”
“I…” He looked at Starr, whose eyes were filled with anguish for him. “Elizabeth…I’m so sorry—”
“You don’t have to apologize for anything,” Elizabeth said forcefully. She touched his shoulder. “I understood Jason’s pain then. He loved you, he never stopped loving you like you were his own son. And I grieved for you, for him, for your parents when you were in that coma. When you woke up, I was so happy. And you’ve grown into a wonderful young man.”
“It still doesn’t…” He looked at her and saw the pain her eyes, the words she hadn’t spoken. “But Jason did marry someone else, he did have a family with Sam. He was going to raise Danny, even though he didn’t know he was the father.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. “I can’t…explain what changed in Jason after that. It was…as though he’d turned off his love for Jake, his desire to be his father. After that second kidnapping, there was never a right time, a right way to tell the truth. I begged him right up until he died.”
Michael drew out a slow breath. “Thank you, Elizabeth. I know I didn’t…have the right to ask all those questions—”
“You’ve been lied to your whole life,” Monica said firmly. She got to her feet and joined them at the window. Starr hesitantly stood as well. “I wanted to spare you the knowledge that Jason was as flawed as he turned out to be, and to spare Elizabeth from having to relate it at all. But…Jake is your cousin. The two of you are all I have left of my children. And I wanted you to know him. I want the world to know him as my grandson.”
“I’m glad that he’s family.” Michael looked at Elizabeth. “Whatever my uncle’s faults were at the end, he raised me to love my family, to take care of the people who matter to me. Jake matters to me. And I promise you, that if you want him to know the good things about his father, I will do that, too.” He embraced Elizabeth awkwardly, and she gingerly hugged him back. “But…I think I need time to think about…what I’ve learned about Jason.”
He passed Starr and held out his hand, as they left together. He needed to think.
Dante & Lulu’s Apartment
Diane Miller was an excellent lawyer. Stellar even, but it was difficult to ignore the fact that she was not, despite evidence to the contrary, a miracle worker. Standing in this living room, telling these two lovely people she could not simply give them their son was not the highlight of her day.
“I know…” Lulu Falconeri drew in a shaky breath. “I know what Alexis said that night, and that even Dante can’t argue with it, but I just…don’t understand. Ben is our son. Biologically.”
“Yes.” Diane sighed and lowered herself into an armchair. “And that is not in dispute. However, at the moment, Britt is not guilty of anything other than misappropriation. What she did with the embryos is not, precisely, a crime. She carried Ben, gave birth to him. She is his legal mother. And as you did not have surrogacy paperwork in place—”
“Because she wasn’t our surrogate!” Dante Falconeri shot to his feet. “This is insane, Diane. She stole our kid—”
“She stole material that eventually became your biological child.” Diane pursed her lips. “I’m not saying I don’t like our chances in court, Dante. What Britt did is appalling, and family court judges will not look kindly on her. She may lose her license, but there is nothing in family court law that says they can simply hand Ben to you. We must go to court and sue for him.”
“This is insane.” Lulu reached for a tissue and wiped her eyes. “We just wanted a child, Diane, and at every turn, we’re being blocked.”
Diane did not usually indulge in sympathy, but she could not help herself. She leaned forward and squeezed the young woman’s hand. “I know, dear. But I do believe I can win custody. Now, can I offer some advice in the meantime as we prepare?”
“Sure.” Dante heaved a sigh and sat next to his wife. “Whatever you tell us to do, Diane. We just want our son.”
“Start getting back into your normal routines,” Diane said. “Dante, throw yourself into work. Be an exemplary police officer. Lulu, help Miss Manning reopen the Haunted Star. Look like the well-adjusted people with ties to the community that you know yourselves to be. The judge will look at two hard-working young people with character witnesses out the wazoo. Lulu, your mother is coming home?”
“She’s wrapping up some business and tests in Paris,” Lulu nodded, “but she’ll be here by the time the hearings start. My aunt Bobbie and cousin Lucas are living back in Port Charles. And Dante has his mother. There’s Anna, even his new partner.”
“Exactly.” Diane punched the air with her fist, trying to sound encouraging. “And Britt Westbourne has no one but her wacko mother. I know this is difficult, but I have confidence in the legal system.”
“When you put it that way.” Lulu squeezed her eyes shut. “This could go better than our last custody hearing, I can just feel it. But I wish she could be charged with a crime. It’s not enough for her to lose Ben or her medical license. I want her to suffer.”
Greystone Manor: Living Room
Olivia Falconeri was beyond pissed. Her hands were at her waist, her fingers tapping in time with her foot as Max made her wait to see Sonny. Wait to see the father of the child, the man she was seeing. God. The absolute nerve.
Finally, the door was opened and she was ushered through. She stalked in. “I have put up with enough of this bull,” she snarled, jabbing her finger at the figure slouched in a chair. “I have been calling you for days about Dante and Ben, but you have not returned a single message—”
“I’ve been busy.” Sonny stood and crossed to the mini bar to pour himself a tumbler of bourbon. “Michael…he’s—”
“You know I have had enough of listening to you whine about Michael. It is a tragedy that Michael is mourning his father, though I doubt anyone else is,” Olivia retorted. “But you have not even made a courtesy visit to your son and daughter-in-law, who are dealing with another horrible custody dispute.”
“Olivia, I…” Sonny dipped his head, and looked away.
“Got nothing to say?” Olivia demanded. “I didn’t think so. You know what, Sonny, I’m not sure what I saw in you, because none of that warmth or charm is very evident right now. I know you love Michael. He’s a good man, but he’s not your only child, though you’d never know it. When was the last time you even spoke to Morgan or Kristina? Because I know you haven’t spoken to Dante since the engagement party.”
“If you can’t be bothered to be with your son in this time of need, then you might as well forget you have one.” And with that, Olivia whirled and headed for the exit.
Ava and Julian’s Apartment
Julian Jerome tossed aside the newspaper he’d been pretending to read when his sister emerged from her bedroom, perfectly coiffed. “I was wondering if you’d grace us with your presence today.”
Ava arched her brow and looked around the empty apartment. “Us?”
“The world. Port Charles.” He lifted a careless shoulder. “It’s past noon, Ava. You up late?”
“I was unaware that I had to run my schedule past you,” she murmured, crossing to their small mini bar and pouring herself a glass of water. “Don’t you have anything better to do than to lurk?”
“Not today,” Julian replied with a grin designed to annoy her. “I’ve wondered whether we should continue living in a place someone was brutally murdered in cold blood.”
“Please.” Ava snorted. “It’s not as though you’re sensitive to blood. And I’d say AJ Quartermaine was more of a mercy killing. He was just taking up air.”
“Harsh.” Julian rose. “I didn’t feel one way or another about AJ Quartermaine until I was arrested for his shooting. Glad he managed to wake up long enough to clear me.” He paused, deliberately. “It’s a shame he didn’t bother to let anyone know what happened to him.”
“Do you have a point, Julian? Because if this is your long-winded way of telling me you’re moving out…” She flicked her hand. “Good riddance.”
“You know…” he sidled up next to her, his mouth next to her ear. “For a woman who once said she’d kill to protect me, you’ve become awfully dismissive of me as of late. Tell me, Ava.” Julian’s lips curved into a half-smile. “Do you think you could hide all your secrets from me?”
Ava peered at him over her shoulder. “I’ll keep my secrets to myself, thank you. You serve a purpose, Julian. As do I for you. Let’s not forget that.”
“Oh, I won’t.” Julian reached for his suit jacket and swung it over his arm. “I wonder why AJ Quartermaine was in our apartment at all, Ava. Perhaps he wanted to…confront you about something.” He shot her another grin and then casually wandered out of the room.
She set the glass down with a thud, and crossed to her purse where her phone rested. She yanked it out and dialed. “I have had almost enough of this waiting. I want to take action, and I want—you always say the same thing. My time will come. Well, damn it, I’m tired of waiting. Start making plans or I’ll do it for you.”
She hit the end button and thought about throwing it across the room, but before she could launch it, Ava took a deep breath. She was fine. Everything was under control. Julian may think he knew what he was talking about, but like everyone else, he underestimated her.
She wasn’t going to stand for it much longer.
General Hospital: Britt Westbourne’s Office
Britt Westbourne stared at the papers in her hands. In the back of her mind, she had expected this it—was surprised no one had sought action such as this before. But as the daughter of master criminals, she supposed she must have expected to get away with this as her parents had always managed to slither away from their misdeeds.
Her medical license was being suspended, pending investigation regarding her unethical actions regarding her patients Dante and Lulu Falconeri, and her misappropriation of their genetic material. An additional letter revealed that she had until the end of the day to vacate her office at General Hospital. Her contract had been terminated.
She had several messages from Brad on her voice mail that she’d ignored thus far. She assumed that he had received a similar set of letters, ending his employment. She considered feeling sorry for him—she’d swept him along in her own damage after all, but she was too numb to care.
Nikolas Cassadine pushed open her already ajar office door. “I see that you have been informed of the changes in your status at General Hospital,” he murmured.
Britt raised her eyes to see the cool-eyed man standing across from her. “I suppose this is payback for not simply handing my son over to your simpering little sister.”
His eyebrow quirked, but Nikolas did not show any other sense of emotion. The angry, bitter, almost violent man from the night of her engagement party had vanished, and in his place…was a man she’d never seen. “You know, my family once bought out the board of directors of General Hospital when it was going bankrupt.” He flicked an imaginary piece of lint from his button down shirt.
“I’d heard rumors.” Britt set the papers down. “But you don’t have a seat on the board any longer, so how—”
“We sold our interests about a decade ago,” Nikolas continued, and the eerily conversational tone of this encounter raised goose bumps on her skin. “When my family ran into money problems. Fortunately, we have more than rebounded, and…the scandal attached to you, and of course, your mother, is simply more than the current board of directors wanted to be associated with.”
Britt exhaled slowly. “You bought them out again. So that you could get rid of me.”
“A side benefit. I have not been satisfied with the way the hospital has been run in some time, and I suppose, I thought it might help me keep Emily’s memory alive.” He slid his hands into the pockets of his charcoal trousers. “But I will not lie and say that I am not pleased to have you and Liesl Obrecht gone from my sight.”
“Nikolas…” She had always been able to talk around him before, make him understand. “You know what it’s like to be raised in a crazy family. It’s not like I was raised with much of a moral compass—”
“You are using the wrong argument with a Cassadine,” Nikolas interrupted, sounding almost bored. “My father kidnapped, then forcibly married and impregnated my mother. My grandmother was one of the most homicidal women to have ever walked the Earth. Yet, somehow, my uncle managed to emerge from that childhood with his own moral compass. It became damaged at times, and eventually he made choices that I could not understand, but he also raised me to share that moral compass. You cannot blame your mother for everything, Britt. You cannot blame Patrick, Sabrina, Elizabeth or even Maxie for the things you have done this last year.”
“Are you here to make me a deal?” Britt said flatly. “I keep my job and medical license if I sign over my son?”
“Would you?” Nikolas asked, tilted his head, almost interested.
Britt considered him and somehow, she felt her lips curve into a smile. “I don’t think that’s a deal you’re going to make with me. Even if I agreed…”
“It might weigh in your favor with the licensing board,” he mused.
She laughed then, harshly, because she suddenly understood what was happening here. He was making a point. He held all the power and she had none. “You wouldn’t help me with them or leave me here at my job.”
“It’s worth a try.” Nikolas arched an eyebrow. “What do you say, Britt?”
“Why should I just hand over my son?” Britt demanded. “It’s not like you’d reward me and take me back. I have nothing else, so I will be damned if you take him, too.”
Nikolas shrugged. “I hadn’t really intended to help you any way. You’ll lose your custody hearing, Britt. And you’ll lose your medical license. You’ve already lost your job and your fiancé. I don’t even have to seek out further revenge. You’ve done it for yourself.”
“You reported me to the medical board and bought out the directors so you could fire me—”
“You mistake me, Britt.” Nikolas leaned forward. “I believe it was Lulu and Dante who reported you to the medical board, and well…the second is true, but you would have lost your job regardless once you had no license. Again, Britt. You have destroyed your own life. Enjoy Ben now, because I assure you, my sister and her husband will have their son.”
Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant
Elizabeth stepped into the restaurant, and spied Carly seated at the bar, a martini in her hand. This particular conversation probably should have happened before she and Monica spoke to Michael this morning, but…well, Elizabeth’s life simply did not revolve around Carly.
They had singled out Michael and his girlfriend to tell first because of who Michael was. He was the son of Jason’s heart, the soul of the Quartermaine family, and he was Jake’s cousin. She had almost accepted the events of the last seven years, the twists and turns that had left Jake without a father, but she knew it would be difficult for Michael to have Jason slip off the pedestal he’d been on.
Elizabeth crossed the room. “It’s a little early for that, isn’t it?” she murmured.
Carly eyed her, almost amused. “Do you care?”
“Not really,” Elizabeth admitted. She took the seat next to the blonde. “Have you talked to Michael today?”
“No.” Carly hesitated and sipped her drink. “No. I don’t…know what to say to him. How I can offer him any sort of…sympathy that he’d believe.”
Elizabeth pursed her lips, but she acknowledged that Carly very likely was not sorry to see AJ gone from this Earth. “You did well enough in the hospital, Carly. You can just be sorry for what Michael’s going through. He’d understand that.”
“So now you’re going to explain my son to me?” Carly demanded. “I don’t—”
Elizabeth held up her hand. “Carly, I didn’t come here to fight. I asked if you spoke to Michael today because Monica and I told him about Jake today.”
“Ah.” Carly set the martini glass down. “Good. I never…” She exhaled and shook her head. “I never understood it. From day one, I wanted him to claim Jake. I know…I wasn’t particularly helpful when I told him it was Lucky’s child, but you know…” She huffed. “You could have corrected me.”
“If I could go back to that moment, I would.” Elizabeth set her purse on the bar and signaled the bartender to bring her the same thing as Carly. She was going to need a drink for this conversation. “But he told me it was for the best, and I just…figured a baby he didn’t want would complicate his life.”
“Yeah, well, Jason was famous for letting people get away with bullshit they shouldn’t.” Carly closed her eyes. “But I wish he were here right now. He’d know what to say to Michael. He always did.” She opened her eyes and focused on Elizabeth. “Did you tell him all of it?”
“You mean did Michael want to know why Jason didn’t claim what he thought to be his only biological child while being Michael’s honorary father, agreeing to have a family with Sam, then to raise Danny when he believed him to be Franco’s child? He asked. I answered.”
“I hope you made sure everyone got blamed for it, including yourself.” Carly tapped her fingers against the stem of her glass. “I hope Michael knows it was your bright idea to let Jason go on thinking that. That, later, you asked Jason to give him up.”
“I did.” Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “And I had to tell him the rest. About the last dozen or so times I begged Jason to be a father to his son.”
Carly downed the rest of her martini in one gulp and signaled for the other. “Great. Michael really needed to know his uncle was human. After losing AJ and suspecting…Sonny of what we all think happened, and you know…having me as a mother, he really needed one more person in his life to let him down.”
“Well, what did you want me to do, Carly?” Elizabeth demanded. “Pretend that it didn’t happen that way? That yes, initially I wanted to keep the secret, but at some point, Jason stopped giving a damn about his own son? I begged him, until the end.”
“You always did beg him to stay with you.” Carly eyed her glass, and then to Elizabeth’s surprise, she tossed this one down in one shot.
“How many drinks have you had?” Elizabeth murmured, concerned.
Carly raised her martini glass in salute. “To the women who’ve lied and used Jason. All we need are the whore and the saint, and we’d have the full set.”
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “And what nickname would you give Courtney? I notice you leave her off the list.”
Carly frowned and nodded. “Fair enough. So, counting me…there’s Saint, Crazy Bitch, Muffin-Faced Little Girl, Moron Who Forgot Jason’s Job Entailed Bad Stuff, and the Whore.”
Exhausted, Elizabeth sipped her own drink. “So, what? Jason gets a white wash? It’s all our faults? He let you abuse him, Carly. Over and over again. He let me keep that secret. He told Robin about Michael, which gave her the ammunition. And as for Sam and Courtney…well…he got involved with them in the first place, so maybe he got what he deserved.”
Carly raised her eyebrows. “That does not sound like a woman who was in love with him until the bitter end.”
“Well…” Elizabeth mused, “maybe I wasn’t. He certainly didn’t love me as much as I thought he did. He told me we couldn’t be a family—that it was too dangerous for me and the boys to have him in our lives, and he turned around and had that family with Sam.
“So I think I stopped loving him the day he told me he was marrying Sam. Or maybe it was the day he suggested I let Jake die in peace, and turn off the machines. Or maybe it was the day he told me he couldn’t be a father to our son because Sam was going through a rough time. Or maybe it was the thousandth time he chose Sam rather than me. I don’t know, Carly…” She stood and took one last swig of her drink. “There were a thousand moments Jason broke my heart. Are you surprised I hate him more than love him now?”
“I feel ya, Muffin.” Carly looked at her empty glass. “I really do. We choose these men. We give them children. And all they do is break our hearts. And we are so devastated when they turn out be someone other than we thought. You know who pays the price? The kids. They always do.”
Elizabeth hesitated, because there was something in the undercurrent here that she just wasn’t seeing. “Carly, Michael loves you. He has always loved you. He won’t blame you if Sonny turns out to be guilty.”
“He should.” Carly twisted on her seat. “I’m the one that took him away from AJ and gave him to Sonny, which started us down this path.”
“You have started it, Carly, but if Sonny killed AJ, you certainly didn’t finish it.” Elizabeth opened her purse to pay for her drink, but Carly waved it away.
“Your money’s no good here.” Carly hesitated. “I think it’s good that people will know about Jake. Not because Jason deserved it, because he didn’t at the end, I agree. But Monica needs all the family she can get. And Michael will love him the way Jason taught him to once, in another lifetime. I’m sorry that Michael found out the rest of it, but you know…” She looked away. “Maybe the less lying we do, the better off we are.”
“Carly…” Elizabeth sighed. “I know we’re not close, but we’ve been in and out of each other’s lives too long not to look out for one another at this point. If something is wrong, you know…I’ll help.”
“God.” Carly let her drop to the bar. “God. I almost want to say yes, but then you’ll have to live with this too, and I think I’ve screwed you over enough. Go away now. Before I change my mind and tell you, which I assure you, you don’t need.”
And because Carly looked like she meant it, Elizabeth walked away.
Lake House: Living Room
Alexis Davis stood to one side as she allowed her ex-husband into the room. “I still think it’s a bad idea.”
Ric Lansing rolled his eyes as he turned to face. “It makes perfect sense to me. Molly has one marking period left this year and applied for this program months ago. She wants to study in Germany because she doesn’t want to be in Port Charles right now.”
“But she’s only going now because TJ moved back in with his mother in Chicago.” Alexis threw up her hands. “How can I allow my daughter to make this kind of decision based on a boy?”
“Oh, yeah, just look at her motivations rather than the opportunity.” He still cared about this woman, but she was goddamned neurotic. “I’d think you’d want her to take the chance. She’ll have a good time, she’ll learn the language. She’ll get over TJ.” He grimaced. “She’s too young to be dating one boy this long anyhow.”
Alexis scowled. “You didn’t think that when you were taking her side when she wanted to have sex with him!”
“Because your way worked so well.” He exhaled slowly. “Alexis, Molly wants to study the rest of this year in Berlin. She may decide to stay the summer if she can get into the program there. I want my daughter to have opportunities, don’t you? Or would you rather put her in a girl’s school, which worked so well for you.”
Alexis pointed at him. “Low blow, Ric.” She wrapped her arms around herself. “I don’t disagree it’s a good opportunity…I just…” She sighed.
“Don’t want your daughter across the ocean.” Ric nodded. “I get it. Kristina’s in Dartmouth, it’s only a few hours away, but Molly will be time zones away. It makes me nervous as well. I didn’t like having the entire country between us, which is why I came home.”
“Oh…” Alexis lifted her brows. “Is that why you came home? I thought it was to continue your endless one-upping of your brother.”
“For the last time, I want nothing to do with my brother,” Ric snarled. “He’ll dig his own grave without my help.”
“What the hell does that mean?” she demanded as he started for the door. He turned back.
“The whole town knows he killed AJ Quartermaine. It’s just a matter of time until Anna can prove it.” Ric stepped towards her. “Alexis, I came home for two reasons. Because I love my daughter and I want a better relationship with her. And secondly, because I want Elizabeth back.”
“Oh for…” Alexis dug the heel of her hand into her forehead. “Like she doesn’t have enough headaches in her life, she really needs you now, too.”
“I’m just being honest.” Ric spread his hands out. “I loved you, but I messed that up. I know that. And I know you loved me, too. But neither of us were each other’s soul mates. We were settling, because it was comfortable. For a while.”
“Yeah.” She looked away. “Yeah. That’s true.” She flicked her eyes back to him. “And Elizabeth is your soul mate? Do you think she feels the same way?”
“Why not?” he retorted. “It’s not like anyone else has gone out their way to make her happy. Lucky cheated on her, Jason abandoned her, Nikolas treats her like crap…why shouldn’t someone go out of their way to make her feel loved?”
“And it’s gotta be you?” she asked dryly. “Didn’t you almost kill her? Twice?”
“Oh…” Ric grimaced. “Don’t you pretend like you’ve never done anything stupid in your life. I know what I did wrong. Better yet, Elizabeth knows it, too. She knows me inside and out, Alexis. So just maybe, she sees something in me worth loving. She did once, maybe she can again.”
“Yeah…you definitely need to ask her more about the last five years, because I think Elizabeth is over the whole romance thing after what AJ Quartermaine and my nephew put her through last year, not to mention Lucky and Jason.” Alexis snorted. “But hey…good luck.”
Haunted Star: Main Room
“I’m hoping Lulu will get interested soon,” Starr said as she watched some of the workers repairing the bar after the shootout that had happened the year before between Luke and the Cassadines. “To take her mind off the custody battle.”
Michael nodded, but she knew he was only partially listening. He’d come with her to the club to keep busy, to keep his mind off what happened that morning, but it wasn’t working.
“Michael, it’s okay to be disappointed, but you know, we only know what Elizabeth knows.” She hesitated. “Maybe Jason had his reasons.”
“Starr…” Michael set his hands at his waist and just shook his head. “I just…can’t think of what they would be. Or why they would be good enough. The man I knew growing up, the man I loved, I…just find it hard to believe he would abandon his own son. Why he would raise a family with another woman, while Elizabeth raised Jake alone. Especially after Lucky Spencer left her alone with all three of them.”
“I’m sorry, I just…I don’t know what to tell you. I only knew Jason a little. He seemed like an okay guy, but…” Starr shrugged. “Maybe he never forgave Elizabeth for asking him to keep the secret in the first place.”
“Which would explain why he walked away from her, but his own son? Jason went to jail to protect me, Starr.” He pressed a hand against his chest. “How that must have made her feel, to know that Jason would do that for a boy that wasn’t his son—”
“Michael…your uncle is gone,” she interrupted gently. “You can drive yourself crazy wondering why he did the things he did, but maybe…you should remember what you learned today. You have a cousin. A younger cousin who doesn’t have a father in his life. I’m not saying you could be a father figure, and I know he has an older brother…but maybe you could take a page from your uncle’s book…the one that taught you how to love. Blood doesn’t make a family. So maybe, you look at Jake and his brothers as a chance to grow your own family.”
Michael met her eyes and she was relieved to see some of the anguish had faded. “You’re right. Once, Jason would have taken them all under his wing, because Cam and Aidan are Jake’s brothers, too. Which makes them family. I can’t change what Jason did, but I can…remember the best of what he taught me and teach it to my cousins. So the best parts of Jason live on.” His mouth firmed and he looked away. “And the worst can fade into nothing.”
Port Charles Police Department: Commissioner’s Office
Anna Devane actually liked the recently sworn in mayor, Leah Richardson. The woman met with her once a week to go over active cases, to see if there was any assistance her office could offer, and even to offer encouragement when things went sour.
“I suppose AJ Quartermaine is at the top of your active case file,” Leah said, leaned back in her chair and crossing her slim legs at the ankle. “The family isn’t pressuring us as of yet since they believe you’re doing everything you can.”
“We are,” Anna admitted. “But I won’t say it hasn’t been difficult. AJ was only able to tell us it was not Julian Jerome, and unfortunately, he passed last week without being able to tell anyone what happened. Our two prime suspects have alibis.”
“Sonny Corinthos and Ava Jerome.” Leah peered at her over the rim of her glasses. “Do you believe their alibis?”
“No,” Anna admitted, though it pained her to admit that she knew Duke was lying to her. She couldn’t prove it, and she didn’t know what to do with that information. “No, but at the moment, I’m finding it difficult to break them. I’m not giving up.”
“I trust you’ll work it out. It would be wonderful to finally nail Sonny Corinthos for something he actually did.” Leah flipped a page. “Now, I have received phone calls from Nikolas Cassadine regarding Britt Westbourne and her son Ben. Any hope of building a case against her?”
“Difficult,” Anna admitted, hating the word. It seemed everything was difficult these days. “There simply is not a law against what she did, and whether we like it or not, Britt legally gave birth to him. There was no surrogacy paperwork in place to prevent her from keeping him.”
“Appalling,” Leah muttered. “Even ghastly. Mr. Cassadine and his sister seem to be understanding about our problems, with Dante Falconeri a member of the department, they know if it were possible, we would bring charges.”
“I could use a good DA to find some creative charges,” Anna admitted. “Any luck finding me an interim DA with Scott Baldwin leaving town?”
“Actually, yes. She’ll be arriving in a few days.” Leah pulled out a folder from her purse and set it on Anna’s desk. “A rising star in the State Attorney’s office. They sent a few feelers out to mid-size city mayors to find a place for her as she’s become bored with civil work. She used to live in town, I think.”
“Oh?” Anna opened the folder. “Gia Campbell. She looks familiar.”
“Worked as a model for a short term before starting law school. Her brother served with some distinction for a long time before he transferred to Seattle.” Leah made a notation in her file. “If anyone can find something to charge Britt Westbourne with, I hope it will be her.”
“And it’s lovely that for once, the mayor has given me a DA who isn’t related to Sonny Corinthos, hasn’t had a child with him, or believed he killed his daughter. Refreshing.” Anna leaned back.
“I’ve often wondered if the reason Sonny Corinthos still operates is due to the incompetent DAs,” Leah remarked. “I liked your brother-in-law, Anna, but he often had few resources and was hamstrung by DAs and officers with agendas. There was little he could do against that. But you’ve changed that, even though Sonny’s son is a cop.”
“Dante is exemplary,” Anna said quickly.
“I believe it.” Leah put her notepad in her purse. “Keep me apprised of the Quartermaine and Westbourne matters. I look forward to seeing those cases resolved.”
Drake Home: Porch
Patrick Drake stomped to the door, ready to rip someone’s throat out. This was not his day. Emma was home sick with the flu, he’d missed another doctor’s appointment with Sabrina, who was so goddamn understanding and nice about it he was tempted to yell at her until he found something to trigger her temper.
And Robin still wasn’t there.
He yanked the door open and stepped back immediately. “What…”
Maxie Jones propped her hand on her hip, cocking it to one side, and held her cell phone out with the other. “So I finally get back to this forsaken country, and as soon as I landed in Los Angeles, I turned my phone back on and there is this absolutely ridiculous message from Robin about leaving town and being sorry she couldn’t see me before she left. What the frick, Patrick? I’m gone for five minutes and you all fall apart.” She clucked her tongue. “Seriously.”
And now he had a headache.