Written in 20 minutes. No time for edits.
Jason and Ric had hated each other almost from the moment Jason had started to work for Sonny, and the situation had only worsened when Elizabeth had filed for divorce after a short, disastrous two months only to marry Jason six months later. While Ric worked for Sonny out of familial loyalty and because Sonny had promised their mother he’d look after his little brother — Jason had risen to his place in Sonny’s organization through actual loyalty and merit.
Elizabeth hadn’t intended to get in the middle of all of that, but neither had she really paid attention. Maybe she should have, she thought the next morning as she walked out of her former home and crossed the hallway to Sonny’s penthouse.
She smiled at Max Giambetti, the long time guard for Sonny. “Hey.”
“Mrs. Morgan.” Max straightened. “Uh—I didn’t realize you were still here—” He looked at the door, then back at her. “Mr. C isn’t taking visitors—”
“I know, I understand. I was hoping Ric might talk to me.” She fluttered her lashes slightly because she knew Max was easily flustered by women. “Does he know I’m here?”
“Uh…maybe. I don’t know. I should check.”
Max knocked lightly on the door. “Go away,” Ric barked, his voice muffled by the heavy oak door.
“Say Elizabeth is here,” she told him quickly. “Or my maiden name. Or something.”
“Right—Uh, Miss Webber is here—”
The door was yanked open even before Max could finish his sentence. Her former husband was disheveled, his dress shirt unbuttoned to his collar, his usually sleek hair tumbling over his eyes. “Elizabeth.”
“Hey. I was hoping you might agree to see me. I know Sonny isn’t up for visitors.” She folded her arms. “But I wanted to check on you guys.”
“Uh…yeah. Okay.” Ric dragged his hands through his hair and stepped away from the door. Elizabeth stepped inside, but left the door slightly ajar. “I didn’t—I didn’t think you’d come back from Boston.”
“Well, Carly and I never had problems with each other,” Elizabeth said. “But I haven’t heard from my brother in a few days.” She took a deep breath. “With the next couple of weeks—it’s just not a time when Steven would be out of touch with me, you know?”
Ric blinked at her. “The next couple—” He nodded. “Right. Right. Uh, I’m sorry. I think I lost—it’s been a rough couple of days.”
“I’ll bet. Is Michael here?” Elizabeth asked.
“No, he’s with Bobbie—uh, Sonny thought that would be—” Ric shook his head, cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. I really wasn’t expecting you. I haven’t seen you since you moved.”
“Well, other than Steven, I don’t really have a lot of good memories in Port Charles,” Elizabeth murmured. “And since my divorce will be finalized soon…” She let that dangle, hoping that would make Ric give her a bit more information.
If he had anything to give.
“Justus said something about that. It’s been tough here. You’re not the only one Jason abandoned,” Ric said tightly, his eyes flashing. “I told you he would disappoint you, didn’t I?”
“You did,” Elizabeth said carefully. “It’s hard to say if things would have been different—” She sighed. “I suppose I’m not meant to be a mother.”
“Don’t—” Ric reached out to her, but Elizabeth couldn’t fight the old habit—she stepped back. His hand curled into a fist between them as he nodded. “I’m sorry. I forgot. I’m sorry,” he repeated. “You still haven’t forgiven me.”
“No,” Elizabeth said. And suddenly, the air was heavy and she couldn’t force a full breath. Being around him—remembering those final devastating weeks. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I’m sorry. Look, I really just came by to check on Sonny. I know he and Carly had their problems, but I’m sure he’s taking this badly. And I was hoping you’d heard from my brother.”
“No. I haven’t,” Ric said flatly. “And Sonny’s fine. I’ll have some of the men look around for Steven. Are you at the hotel?”
“No,” Elizabeth admitted. “I’m across the hall—”
“Jason’s staying across the hall. He got back yesterday.” His eyes flashed. “I thought you said your divorce was nearly final—”
“It is. But there’s no point in wasting money when I can stay in a guest room. There are still a few things I need to pack anyway.” Elizabeth folded her arms. “Let me know if Sonny needs anything.”
She turned and left the penthouse, barely giving Max a second glance as she hurried back to the other penthouse where Jason and Justus were waiting.
She closed the door behind her and leaned back against it, her heart pounding. Jason and Justus both shot to her feet.
“What is it?” Jason demanded as Justus crossed the room to her. “What did he do?”
“Nothing.” Elizabeth exhaled. “Except lie to me. Everything he said was a lie.” She stepped away from the door. “He knows something about Steven. He claimed not to know I was in town or staying over here. And—” She swallowed hard. “He claimed he didn’t know it’s been almost a year.”
Jason frowned. “How does that—”
“Because he still sends me flowers every May, Jason, that’s why. For the last three years, he’s sent me flowers to remind me that his mistress shoved me down a flight of stairs and I miscarried my first child. You’re telling me he doesn’t remember that my second child died in July?” Elizabeth demanded harshly.
Jason pressed his lips together and looked away. “So why would he lie?”
“To make her think he’s forgotten her,” Justus said. “That he hasn’t been thinking about her. He knew Steven was missing. And he knew you were here. Max told him yesterday. Max tells him every time someone comes to the Towers.”
“So he’s lying about something. About my brother, about me, I don’t know. Take your pick.” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “You said Sonny ordered the bomb and Carly picked it up,” she said softly. “What if they were both framed?”
Jason shook his head, looked at her. “What? Why?”
“Sonny never does the work directly. You told me that,” she reminded him.
Justus inhaled sharply. “Ric could have done it in his name. Tommy wouldn’t have thought anything of it.”
“He ordered it in May, didn’t he?” Elizabeth pressed Jason. “That’s when your guy started working on it. Ric came back from a business trip and he’d been for months. I wasn’t showing when he left—”
“But you were when he came back.” Jason fisted his hands at his side. “I never thought—I never thought he’d go after you—”
Elizabeth smiled thinly. “I should have. It wouldn’t even be the first time.”