I hope you’re not intending
To be so condescending
It’s as much as I can take
And you’re so independent
You just refuse to bend
So I keep bending till I break
– Right Here, Staind
Sunday, June 29, 2003
General Hospital: Conference Room
Monica kept her features even as Ric strode into the room around one in the morning. The younger man took in the room’s occupants and scowled. “Why are they here?”
“Representing my client’s interests,” Justus said with a cold smile. “In eight hours, we’ll be back in a court room, Lansing, and you don’t have a prayer to keep control of Elizabeth’s medical care.”
“We’ll see.” Ric took his seat, shooting Alexis a dark look. “And I suppose you’re here because of the hospital.”
“I’ll be filing an amicus brief on behalf of the hospital demanding Elizabeth’s rights be respected.” Alexis arched a brow. “You’re wasting time.”
“Fine. Bring me up to date on my wife’s case.”
“Elizabeth suffered a pulmonary embolism around two this afternoon. She was quickly diagnosed due to information received at the scene regarding birth control pills—”
“There is no proof birth control pills—”
Alexis, as if she’d known exactly what Ric would say, slid a piece of paper across the table. “Lab results. Elizabeth’s estrogen levels were through the roof. By nine A.M., I will have three experts from the best hospitals in the country to testify that those estrogen levels are artificially induced, and that it is a leading cause of pulmonary embolisms in women of Elizabeth’s age with no other risk factors.”
Ric scowled. “Go on,” he told Monica, but his expression seemed less smug.
“Elizabeth went into cardiac arrest at 2:06 P.M, and then again at 2:18 P.M. Paramedics were able to stabilize her, and she arrived here at General Hospital at 2:24 PM.” Monica tapped her pen. “At which time, we took her for an echocardiogram and confirmed the embolism as well as a heart attack brought on a by blood clot to the heart.”
Some of the color had drained from Ric’s face. “She…a heart attack?”
“Blood clots are tricky bastards,” Justus murmured, and then Alexis kicked him.
“We took her to the catheter lab where we administered a combination of thrombolytic treatment as well as a physical breakup of the clots. We were able to eliminate most of them, but her pressure began to drop, and we had to pull back.”
“And her condition now?” Ric asked, the smug tone having dissipated.
“We upgraded her from critical to serious at 4:46 PM,” Monica continued. “By then, it was clear Elizabeth had fallen into a coma—not uncommon in heart attack and cardiac arrest patients. There was, of course, some oxygen deprivation to the brain. We don’t believe it was enough to compromise her, but it can contribute to a coma state.” She rubbed her eyes. “I had hoped to take her back to the cath lab around midnight to continue breaking up the clots—”
“You instructed the hospital not to continue any other treatment until you arrived.” Alexis offered a sour smile. “That was four hours ago.”
“I have…many things on my plate right now, including finding representation for court tomorrow,” Ric said, his teeth clenched. “What are the treatment options?”
“At the moment, we are treating Elizabeth with thrombolytic medications—blood thinners—with the intention to return to the cath lab and break up the last of the clots. This is the fastest and most effective course of treatment,” Monica said, briskly.
“And…the risks of putting her through another round in the cath lab?” Ric asked. “I want the full picture.”
Of course he did. Smarmy bastard. “Infection is always a risk. There is also the possibility that bleeding could happen somewhere else in the body—”
“Like where? The brain?”
“Yes,” Monica admitted. “But we are monitoring very carefully, and the risks are, I believe, necessary.”
“And the risks of keeping Elizabeth on the blood thinners without the catheter treatment?”
“Believe it or not, the risks are the same. Thinning the blood increases the chance that bleeding will occur in other areas, particularly in the brain. The benefit of the catheter treatment is that it’s faster. And Elizabeth will be able to start recovery sooner.”
“I understand the risks are similar,” Ric said evenly. “Are the rates of those risks occurring similar? Do they happen more with catheter—”
“This is ridiculous,” Alexis murmured. “The doctor is giving you the most effective treatment—”
“She’s giving me the treatment plan she went over with her son who is my wife’s lover. I hardly think I should take their word for it without questioning it. You’re lucky I’m not requesting another doctor.”
Monica fought the urge to bare her teeth and growl at the moron. “The rates are comparable, but I believe it’s riskier to wait. Elizabeth has already had one clot travel to her lungs. I fear the next one might go to her brain—it’s a miracle she’s survived this long. I can tell you she will not survive a ruptured aneurysm—”
“But you’re monitoring her,” Ric said. “I think it might be more stressful for my wife to go back into a procedure without giving medication the time to work.” He got to his feet, slid his hand down his gray polo shirt. “We’ll revisit this in the morning. After I win my case.”
“I have to strongly encourage you to reconsider—”
“Is she even stable enough for the cath lab?” Ric asked, lifting his brows. “If she had been, you would have done it already—”
“Elizabeth’s blood pressure and other vitals have stabilized. They were stable at eleven, but we couldn’t do anything. Ric—”
“I haven’t given you permission to use my first name.” Ric stared at her coolly. “You have my directive. I also request that access to my wife’s room be limited to just me. I don’t want to find anyone else in there.”
He nodded to them, then left.
“He’s not really interested in trying to kill her,” Alexis said with a tap to her chin. “If he was, then there are things he could have done to destabilize her. Demand another doctor, demand a transfer—change her treatment, but he didn’t do that.”
“You’re telling me he doesn’t see that his case is better off if Elizabeth never wakes up?” Justus demanded, leaning forward. “You’re kidding me—”
“I’m telling you what I just heard. He was legitimately surprised by the seriousness of her condition—by the fact that we can prove birth control did this—and that it led to a heart attack. He didn’t know the side effects would be this bad. And he went with a treatment that a lot of people might have given the risks.”
Monica exhaled slowly. “He wanted to know her condition. How serious it is.”
“He’s working on his defense. He’s about to be arraigned on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder. How he frames it during the arraignment tomorrow—” Alexis shrugged. “I think if Jason had decided to go with the medication only treatment, Ric would have gone for the opposite. You heard him. He didn’t want the treatment you and Jason came up with.”
“What does this mean about the hearing tomorrow? Don’t tell me you’re not going to be able to lift the injunction and give Jason back control—” Monica leaned forward.
Justus smirked. “Oh, I’ll win. Elizabeth has the right to dictate her own medical care. She never destroyed the paperwork. It only required Jason’s signature in front of a notary. And no one can prove an affair. Even if they could, it’s not relevant.”
“And my amicus brief is going to remind the court why this hearing exists. Hopefully, they’ll have officially charged him by then—”
“Baldwin said they’d hoped to have the charges ready by seven.” Monica sighed. “I should get some sleep while I can—after I call down to ICU and give them Ric’s directive.”
“You’re not going to warn Jason that Ric is here?” Alexis said. She stifled a yawn as she got to her feet. “I would have thought—”
“I had Jason told as soon as Ric entered the building.” Monica pressed her lips together. “It’s insanity. I could be giving Elizabeth relief right now, making sure she’s out of danger—”
“We have to work with the situation we’re given. If Elizabeth makes it through the night—we’ll be able to call from the court house. You can have her in the cath lab as soon as you get the word.” Justus started to gather his paperwork.
“If Elizabeth makes it through the night,” Monica said, darkly.
General Hospital: Hospital Administrator Suite
It was nearly six-thirty in the morning when Lucky found his brother at the hospital, deep in conference with Jason. Both men looked equally exhausted, their eyes rimmed with red and almost blood shot.
They looked up at Lucky’s arrival, and Nikolas frowned, taking in Lucky’s uniform. “You’re not on duty, are you?”
“I got called in to assist with an imminent arrest.” Lucky frowned at them. “Have either of you slept—”
“No. I’m trying to make sure that Alexis has all the paperwork the hospital needs to petition—we’re not banking on the family court to lift the injunction on Jason—” Nikolas scowled. “The same judge is hearing the petition. Alexis wants to be ready to file for an immediate injunction against Ric, and allow for her act as guardian.”
“Guardian —” Lucky narrowed his eyes. “Isn’t that for kids?”
“Typically, but in this case,Alexis is going to argue that someone without a stake should be in charge—if the family court doesn’t want to give the control to a man suspected of, apparently, the awful crime of having an affair with another consenting adult, then he can’t leave it with someone who is also accused of trying—” Nikolas stifled a yawn. “Trying to kill her.”
“Uh huh,” Lucky said, with a squint. “Is adultery against the law in New York? Why would that even be relevant—”
“The judge cited statutes—it’s apparently a class B misdemeanor.” Nikolas snorted.
“Does anyone even care that it’s not true?” Jason demanded with a low growl. “We were not—”
“Do we really want to travel that road? Anyway, if the judge denies a guardian appointed by the hospital, then Bobbie is having Scott file a petition for her—”
“And Bobbie has standing?” Lucky asked, skeptically.
“Listed as an emergency contact.” Nikolas rubbed his eyes. “Wait. Imminent arrest?”
“Yeah. Baldwin is filing the arrest warrant with the courts at seven—he can’t do it any earlier. He wanted me to be here so we can arrest Ric before he gets word and has a chance to flee.”
“Did you already go by the ICU?” Jason asked hesitantly, his eyes reluctantly meeting Lucky’s. “I had—I had to leave around one. And I haven’t—” He swallowed. “Nikolas didn’t access her files. We didn’t want anything to mess up our chances in court.”
“Elizabeth is still stable, and he’s there with her,” Lucky admitted. “I ran into Monica, and she said that you can go up as soon as we arrest him. She’s not obligated to follow his orders if he’s not here to annoy her.” He looked at his watch. “This is all bullshit. Fucking lawyers. How can anyone think the man charged with domestic abuse should be in charge of that woman’s care? This goddamn city. That judge is off his rocker.”
Nikolas eyed Jason who stared back at him blandly. “Somehow, I doubt we’re going to have to worry about the judge today. Did you…” He slid his eyes over to Lucky. “Are you technically on duty yet?”
“I don’t hit the clock until Baldwin calls,” Lucky said, taking a seat. “So, until then, in this specific case, I’m Luke Spencer’s son.”
“You shouldn’t have to worry about filing any other petitions,” Jason said evenly. “I ran an errand when I left the hospital.” He reached for his cup of coffee.
“Then why…” Lucky gestured to the paperwork. “You stayed up all night—”
“Because I don’t know what connections Ric has,” Jason admitted. “I know what’s supposed to happen, but if there’s even the slightest risk—”
“Got it.” Lucky studied the other man. Objectively, he knew there had been bad blood between them. He had played the part long enough last year with Sarah, Elizabeth, and then the kidnapping—but somewhere along the line, since his mother’s breakdown, he’d stopped trying to play the role of Lucky Spencer…and just be who he was.
And who he was…remembered Jason Morgan more as the guy who’d helped him out when he’d needed a job and looked out for him.
His phone buzzed, and he grabbed it. “Spencer.”
“This fucking system is a piece of shit, and I am going to burn it to the ground—” Scott seethed. “I filed the paperwork for the charges, and do you know what the piece of shit judge said?”
“He said that Ric Lansing was a respected member of the community and had business before the court in a few hours. We could wait until then to take him into custody and allow him to surrender on his recognizance. This goddamn—why are we the ones getting roasted in the papers? I’m going to leak the shit out of this—” Then the call hung up without warning as Scott apparently went to go kill someone.
“Lucky, is that the arrest—” Nikolas sighed when he saw Lucky put the phone down. “What happened?”
“The charges got filed, but the judge wouldn’t sign the arrest warrant. Apparently, since Ric is going to be in court later today, they’re going to give him a chance to surrender.” Lucky exhaled slowly. “I—I don’t understand. He’s being charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. He’s already accused of domestic violence. What the hell is going on?”
“And this is why we killed ourselves with paperwork. I can’t depend on the system, so I have to be ready for all scenarios—” Nikolas began.
“What if none of it works?” Lucky asked. He looked at Jason, then at his brother. “What happens then? I can’t—this is Mom all over again, Nikolas. This is why I wanted to—” He pulled the badge from his shirt and stared at it. “I wanted to stop it from happening to another family, thenthe PCPD practically put Elizabeth in that hospital bed.”
Nikolas put his head in his hands. “Watching Mom get railroaded, badgered, and harassed until her mind broke with the pressure—I don’t know if I could forgive Scott Baldwin or the PCPD enough to work for them.”
Lucky sighed. “Yeah, I get that. I just—Baldwin made it sound like it was something I couldn’t do.” His mouth curved into a half smile. “I never could turn down a dare.”
He pinned his badge back to his shirt. “If all the petitions fail, then what’s the plan?” he asked.
“I don’t have one. One of these has to work,” Nikolas said. He looked to Jason who just shook his head. Whatever choices were left, Jason wasn’t willing to share them with a cop—even one who was Luke Spencer’s son.
“I better go check in and see what’s going on.” Lucky got to his feet. “Keep me posted.”
When Lucky had left, Nikolas lifted his brows at Jason. “What are you thinking?”
“If the judge doesn’t give the power of attorney to me, Bobbie, or the hospital, then Ric is going to stop being a problem, and to hell with it,” Jason muttered. “They’ll come at me, I might end up in jail. But Elizabeth will never have to look at him again. That’s the promise I made her. He’s not going to be in control of her. Not ever again.”
“I’m surprised he’s still breathing,” Nikolas admitted. “I would have thought this kind of thing was in your wheelhouse. You could do it without a trace.”
“I could,” Jason admitted. “But it’s not just me. If I didn’t get away with it, if I ended up in jail, Elizabeth would blame herself. And there’s Sonny to think about. It puts pressure on him with the cops, and he barely got through Carly’s kidnapping.” He scrubbed his hands over his face. “But I can’t take the chance that he could have control over her when it’s the last thing she wanted.”
“If it makes you feel better, I think Ric could buy a few judges, but I highly doubt anyone is going to go against you,” Nikolas told him. “Ric’s going away for this. Everyone knows it. Going against you is going against Sonny. And…I made a few calls of my own. We’ll be prepared for everything, but I doubt the legal system in this city is willing to go to war against you and the Cassadines.”
He got to his feet. “I’m going to check in with the ICU and then I’m going to grab some sleep before court. We’ve done what we can, Jason. There’s nothing left to do.”
General Hospital: Carly’s Room
Carly blinked at her husband as his mouth moved and sounds came out. She couldn’t make herself follow him. Couldn’t quite seem to focus.
She was…dressed to leave—she was being released at eight, and Sonny—was—he was trying to tell her something but her mind kept drifting.
She closed her eyes, turned her head away, and let herself drift again.
As Carly fell asleep, Sonny closed his mouth and just stared at his wife. In his entire memory, Carly had never just…gone to sleep in the middle of a conversation.
Not that it had been an actual conversation. He’d been reluctantly telling her all the things that had happened over night—Ric getting released, not being arrested, ending up with control of Elizabeth’s care—he’d told her how excited Michael was to see her. And she’d just stared at him.
Maybe Bobbie was right, and there was something more that they would need to do—something more than time or rest.
Sonny sighed and left to find a doctor. Maybe Carly wasn’t ready to leave the hospital.
Port Charles Courthouse: Family Court Division, Room C
Scott Baldwin tapped a pen against his notepad and studied the proceedings as they unfolded. His interaction with Ric Lansing had been limited to scattered court appearances but none in the last six months. In fact, Ric’s legal practice in Port Charles had never really launched, and the man now accused of domestic abuse, kidnapping, and attempted murder hadn’t been in a court room in months.
Scott had been livid upon learning that the criminal court had rejected an arrest warrant based on Ric’s appearance in court this morning. It was beyond Scott’s legal experience for a man to be accused of such crimes to not immediately be taken into custody.
Why was Lansing being given a chance to surrender himself? He’d been a resident of the city less than a year and his crimes were against his own wife, a member of one of Port Charles’s finest families.
And was this a sign of things to come? Scott was prepared to file an emergency petition on Bobbie’s behalf if neither the hospital nor Jason Morgan was able to wrest power of attorney back from Ric Lansing this morning, but Scott hoped it wouldn’t go that far. The precedent was clear—power of attorney belonged to the person granting it. Spouses were in charge only if nothing else existed.
And Scott knew that Justus was prepared to argue to the State Supreme Court if he needed to—if Elizabeth survived that long. Scott put a hand over Bobbie’s as she kept cracking her knuckles. “You’re driving me nuts. Relax.”
“Relax,” Bobbie muttered. “I should be with my daughter. I should be with Elizabeth, but no, I have to be here because this city is full of criminals—”
She only subsided when the judge called the room to order. As Ric came in, he cast a nervous glance at Jason Morgan. and Scott was amused to see Ric’s eyes narrow in confusion when he met Scott’s eyes in the gallery.
“Your Honor, my client is petitioning to have the injunction lifted against his power of attorney in the case of Elizabeth Webber—”
“Elizabeth Lansing,” Ric corrected smoothly as he got to his feet and shot Justus a smug smile. “She’s married now—”
“And never filed any name change so her legal name remains Webber,” Justus shot back just as cheerfully. “Don’t interrupt me.”
“Counsel.” The judge lifted a bushy eyebrow at them. “Mr. Ward, carry on.”
“On July 23, 2002, Elizabeth Webber began paperwork to name Jason Morgan as her durable power of attorney, giving him the final say in any decisions on her behalf. That paperwork was completed and signed yesterday. Pursuant to Statute 5-1501B, she has the right to name any person she so chooses.”
“Your Honor, it is generally accepted that the next of kin has the final say,” Ric began.
“Unless there is superseding paperwork. Which there is.” Justus held up the form. “In fact, her paperwork has a list of people who can make those decisions if Jason Morgan is unable or unwilling. If the court finds that Jason Morgan is not a suitable person, Miss Webber indicated that Barbara Jean Spencer can make those decisions. If not Miss Spencer, then Emily Quartermaine. If Miss Quartermaine is not available, Nikolas Cassadine I think this list goes down to the janitor at General Hospital—”
“Your Honor, my wife—”
“Has also filed notice of legal separation from Richard Lansing, alleging cruel and inhumane treatment. He is the defendant in a domestic abuse case as well as a newly brought charge of attempted murder—”
“It is irresponsible to allow medical care for Elizabeth Webber to remain with her estranged husband,” Justus continued. “And I can promise you that if she does not survive the injuries inflicted on her by her husband, I have any number of clients who intend to file a wrongful death suit against him, the city—”
The judge held up his hand and looked to Ric. “Counsel, why should I discard legal precedent and allow your rights as the spouse to supersede the wishes of your wife?”
“That paperwork was begun by my wife before we met and married. A year ago,” Ric lifted his chin. “They dug it out yesterday and had Jason Morgan sign it. Also, he is a suspected criminal, and I intend to ask the PCPD to charge him under Penal Law 255.17. He may have a vested interest in my wife not surviving either—”
“Penal Law…” The judge trailed off. “Are you suggesting that you intend to press charges against this man for adultery? And…that he might allow Elizabeth Webber to die so he can avoid thirty days in jail?”
Ric hesitated. It was clearly the only leg on which he had to stand, and Scott rolled his eyes. He rose to his feet. “Your Honor.”
“DA Baldwin.” The judge sat back. “I imagine you’re here to tell me that Jason Morgan isn’t going to be facing any such charges—”
“The District Attorney’s office has no pending investigation against Jason Morgan in any respect. Not for this scurrilous charge of adultery—I’d almost like to see you prove it, Lansing—or on any other charge. Nor do I imagine that situation to change at any point. Unlike Mr. Lansing who is about to be remanded into custody, Mr. Morgan is free to make Elizabeth Webber his number one priority.”
“Thank you, DA Baldwin. You may take your seat.”
As Scott sat down, he was aware of Bobbie’s wide eyes. He looked at her and wagged a finger. “Don’t you ever say I never did anything for you.”
“Is that everything?” the judge asked. When Justus and Ric nodded, he continued, “I have both your briefs. I will consider them and render my decision in an hour.”
“Your Honor,” Justus got to his feet. “This is an emergency—I have notes from Dr. Quartermaine—”
“Which is why you’ll get my decision in an hour. I can understand if Mr. Lansing and Mr. Morgan would prefer to await my decision at the hospital.”
“Ah, Your Honor.” Scott got to his feet. He gestured to Lucky Spencer behind him. “Officer Spencer is here to take Ric Lansing into custody—’
“And he can do that at General Hospital, Mr. Baldwin. You don’t run my court room. The arrest warrant is held pending the outcome of this hearing.”
“Pending…” Scott stared at the judge. “Are you whacked in the head? If you give him control of Elizabeth Webber’s case, he has no vested interest in her survival. He can’t take care of her from the jail cell unless you’re telling me you’re going to quash the warrant. What the ever loving—”
“I suggest you leave now, Mr. Baldwin, before I hold you in contempt.”
“Hold me in contempt? Listen, Bozo—”
“Scott,” Bobbie hissed as Justus made a slicing gesture across his neck. Cut it out! his eyes seemed to scream.
“You give Elizabeth’s care to this man, then you might as well sign her death warrant. Where the hell is the justice—”
“Officer Spencer, it looks like you’ll be able to take someone into custody after all,” the judge said dryly as he got to his feet. “Please place DA Baldwin under arrest for contempt of court.”
Hell. So much for keeping his cool. Scott turned to Lucky who tried like hell to fight his smirk. Little bastard hated him with good reason. “No cuffs necessary,” he told the rookie. “I’ll go quietly.”
“I’ll bail you out—” Bobbie began.
“Call my dad or Gail,” Scott said with a shake of his head. “You’re needed here.” He followed Lucky out of the courtroom.
Jason eyed Ric across the room gathering his paperwork. “I’m going back to the hospital. Did—did Baldwin’s outburst hurt us?”
“The judge hadn’t seen Elizabeth’s paperwork in detail. The fact is even if he doesn’t like you, Elizabeth gave him other choices. That should take care of his primary issue. Bobbie is next in line, which means we don’t need Baldwin anyway.”
“He has to know he’ll be overturned if he doesn’t give her care to someone else,” Bobbie hissed, sending a scathing glare at Lansing. “But I guess the damage will be done.”
“Go back to the hospital, Jason,” Justus told Jason. “Bobbie and I will wait here for the outcome. And you want to be there before Ric leaves here.”
It took everything inside Jason to walk past Ric at the other table and not pound the life out of him. That day would come, but first—first he couldn’t do anything that would put Elizabeth in danger.
General Hospital: ICU
When Jason got back to the hospital twenty minutes later, his mother was there to give him an update. Though it went against privacy laws, Monica was a Quartermaine and a mother just as much as she was a doctor, and sometimes her conscience had to come first.
“Elizabeth has developed another clot in her lungs,” Monica said as Jason joined her at the hub near Elizabeth’s room. Behind her, other nurses and doctors worked quietly. “She’s stable enough for the cath lab but I don’t have permission to take her. Ric has told me it’s medication only.”
Jason hissed. “The judge is delivering a decision in another—” He looked at the clock behind Monica on the computer. “Forty minutes. Maybe less.” He obviously hadn’t made it clear to the judge the night before. There was no guilt or regret in the thought—if Elizabeth died because this judge had kept Jason from her—because he had taken Ric’s side—then he’d forfeited his own life.
End of story.
“This can’t stand. I can make her better, I can save her life, but I am being held back.” Monica clenched her teeth. “I should have done more. I should have checked on her last week. I could have seen the signs—”
“I saw the signs,” Jason said quietly. “She knew something was wrong. We just thought it was withdrawal. It wasn’t clear until today that—”
“I know, but I wish—” Monica pressed a hand to her head. “Emily is flying out tonight. She had to make arrangements with her program and get a flight—she’ll never forgive herself for going back last week.”
“I told her to go, Monica.” Jason saw the elevator doors slide open and grimaced as he saw his ex-fiancée walk towards them. “Great.”
“Oh.” Monica narrowed her eyes. “I really don’t like her.”
“Yeah, I noticed that before last week.” Jason left his mother behind and cut Courtney off before she got to Elizabeth’s room. She blinked as if she hadn’t seen him there.
“Oh.” She wrapped her hand around the strap over her shoulder, clutching it tightly. “I didn’t see you there. I was, um, coming to see you.”
He gestured for her to go towards the small waiting area with the couches. “Carly get home okay?”
“No, um, that’s why—” Courtney bit her lip. “Sonny said he didn’t want to bother you because of what’s—” She shifted. “They’re keeping her another few days. Sonny said they’re bringing in a shrink.”
“A shrink—” Jason shook his head. “Why? What happened?” He should have checked on Carly after he’d been barred from Elizabeth’s room, but it just—it hadn’t occurred to him. Carly had been in his waking thoughts every moment for the last week, and knowing she was safe a few floors below them had been enough apparently to dismiss her as an immediate concern.
“Kevin Collins told us it’s acute stress disorder, and if they don’t treat it, it could turn into post-traumatic stress. I guess that’s really bad, and they want to prevent it. Um…” She licked her lips. “Are you coming down? I mean…Elizabeth is okay for now, why can’t you come see Carly—”
“I haven’t heard back from the judge. As soon as I get the injunction lifted, I have to give Monica new orders—” Jason shook his head. “I’ll check in as soon as I can, but I have to be here in case Ric starts something—”
“I don’t get this,” Courtney snapped. She lunged to her feet, the vulnerability and uncertainty he’d seen in her expression fading into anger. “We were going to get married a week ago. You left her, Jason. You came to me. And now that she needs you—now that she’s a goddamn damsel in distress—”
“I don’t have time for this,” Jason said, and he turned away, dismissing her. Courtney grabbed his arm, her nails digging into his forearm and he grimaced. “Courtney—”
“How dare you look at me like I’m nothing,” Courtney hissed. “How dare you treat me like I’m trash you forgot to get rid of. You asked me to marry you. You told me you didn’t love her. You made me feel important, and now I don’t mean anything? What is wrong with you? Are you as damaged as everyone says you are?”
At that, something inside Jason shut down. He looked down at his arm and pried her fingers from it, flinging it back. “I’m sorry that I hurt you. I apologized for that two days ago. I broke up with you then. I get that you’re hurt. But if you want to be blunt with you, Courtney, I will be. I don’t love you. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I knew before Carly got kidnapped that it was a mistake. And any future we had ended the minute you called the PCPD and let them search the penthouses. You knew that.”
“Jason—I’m sorry. I-I didn’t mean it—” Her face was ashen as she stumbled back. “You don’t—you’re worried about Elizabeth—”
“Go be with Sonny and Carly,” Jason continued, but then the elevator opened again, and Ric stepped out. On his heels was an officer Jason hadn’t seen before.
“What are you doing here?” Ric demanded, his face scrunching up in anger. He turned to Monica who was still at the hub. “I barred him from the ICU—”
“You barred him from Elizabeth’s room,” Monica said dryly. “You don’t have the right to bar him from the entire ward.”
“Bullshit, ICU is only for family,” Ric shot back.
“And he’s my son,” Monica said with a bit of smugness that Jason almost enjoyed. “He’s visiting me.”
“Bullshit,” Ric repeated. He glared as Jason returned to his mother side, leaving Courtney without a second glance. “He doesn’t even like you.”
“We’re Quartermaines,” Monica returned with a lift of her brow. “We never like each other. That’s not how it works.”
“Look, Lansing, it’s not worth it. You‘re here to wait for the judge’s decision, but I remind you you’re in my custody,” the cop said, putting a hand on Ric’s arm. Ric shrugged him off. “You’re causing a scene.”
Ric opened his mouth to protest—but then the area was filled with the sound of beeping and Jason turned, dreading the location. The alarms were screaming in Elizabeth’s room.
Monica abandoned them all and rushed towards the room, followed by another doctor and several nurses. “She’s in tachycardia,” she announced as she took in the screen. “Get the crash cart!”
“What’s going on?” Jason demanded, having followed his mother, with Ric hot on his heels, the cop trotting behind them both.
“Her heart is racing.” Monica studied the monitors. “Give her 300 mg of Amiodarone,” she ordered the nurse who rushed to inject the medication into Elizabeth’s IV.
“What is that?” Ric demanded. “I haven’t okayed that. You have to let me—”
“It’s not working,” the doctor said as Elizabeth’s heart beat continued to go wild. “Monica—”
“Push another 150mg.She’s going to go into cardiac arrest if this clot—Damn it—” She looked at Ric. “I need to get her into the cath lab ASAP.”
“Is that just as risky?” Ric demanded.
“This clot goes to her heart and we won’t have to argue anymore because she’ll be dead,” Monica snapped.
“Not if the treatment is going—”
And Ric stopped talking because Jason had had enough. He punched the asshole so hard that he flew back into the cop and then slumped to the floor.
Jason knew exactly how to aim his fist in order to cause unconsciousness.
Monica stared at the prone man for a moment. “Well, that’s one way to deal with it. All right, in the absence of anyone telling me something else, let’s go. We’ll take her now.”
Monica and the team quickly readied Elizabeth and lifted her onto a gurney before rushing her out of the room.
The officer stared down at Ric. “When he wakes up and starts screaming assault, the story we’ll go with is that he tripped and fell on his face.”
Jason squinted at him. First Lucky that morning, then Baldwin, now this kid—was there something in the water at the PCPD? He left the room, intending to follow the gurney, but he was stopped as Justus came out of the elevator, followed by Scott and Bobbie.
“We won. We officially have—” Justus’s face fell as the trio took in the empty room. “Oh, Jesus.”
“Were we too late?” Bobbie asked, grasping Scott’s arm. “Jason—”
“Monica took her to the cath lab. Elizabeth had…another clot.” Jason swallowed. “And Ric…” They turned to find the other man slowing to getting his feet, exchange a few words with the cop before his face turned red. “He fell. He wasn’t available to consult.”
Scott lifted his brows. “As long as Falconieri backs that up, I hope it felt good.” He gestured at Jason’s hand. “You might want to ice those down before Ric tries to press actual charges.”