The first scene is the opening scene of Fool Me Twice, Chapter One and is set in 2010. The last three scenes are set in October 2017 and from Chapter Two. Enjoy!
August 2010 in Bern, Switzerland
Church of St. Peter and Paul
Victor Cassadine smiled as he walked towards the altar of the church, finding great amusement in the sight of the woman dressed from head to toe in unrelieved black with a lace veil covering her face.
“I’m always surprised that you can step foot in a place like this,” he drawled. The woman turned away from the altar where she had been lighting candles. “I thought it might be you asking for this meeting when I received the message.” He glanced around the empty chapel, then lifted a brow at her. “You always had a flair for the dramatic.”
She lit the last candle, then stepped down to meet Victor at the front row of the pews. “And you came anyway?”
“It’s never boring,” Victor told her. He sat in the front pew, stretching his arm across the back of the wooden bench. “Why a Catholic church, darling? We’re Orthodox.”
“We’re practical,” she murmured. “I’ve always believed in covering all my bases.” She sat next to him, then lifted the veil on her hat. “You’ve heard the good news?”
“Of course. You’re a great-grandmother again. A little boy born to Nikolas.” Victor narrowed his eyes as the woman’s lips curved. “For someone who has been cast out of his life more than once, I don’t see why you’re so happy.”
“I had a thought, my dear Victor,” she said, “that Mikkos would be disappointed in the children he sired. None of them have taken up the reins the way they ought to.” She tilted her head at him. “What about Liesl’s brats? Wasn’t one of them yours?”
“Possibly,” Victor said with a light shrug. “They might also be Cesar’s. With Liesl, one never knows. You shouldn’t look for the Cassadine line to continue through me. No, Nikolas and his boys — they’re your best bet.”
“Perhaps,” she purred. “If only there were two of them.”
Victor felt the corner of his mouth tug up. “Darling, what are you up to?”
“Reviving the Cassadine line,” she replied with a sigh. She straightened the cuffs of her long black sleeves. “It’s not always in the blood, but in the breeding. I have a plan, Victor, but I’m afraid I cannot do it alone.”
“And what can I do for you?”
“You have some old friends that I might want to speak with. And now that you’re at the WSB—” Her smile deepened. “You have so many resources. I thought we might find it amusing to revive some old experiments.”
“You’ll have to be more specific, dear.” Victor shifted. “What experiments?”
“Controlling the mind, manipulating memory—” she sighed, dreamily. “I came close with my beloved Lucky. So close to finally cracking it all and getting my revenge on Luke and Laura but I was stopped.”
“And you can’t abide while a Spencer lives?”
“Luke and Laura are on the list. So are their children, but no. I think it’s time that I take my revenge on the people who stopped me. My grandson who lied to me—” Her lips trembled before she pressed them together as the fury in her eyes grew. “He deceived me, led me to believe he had finally come to my side—and he might have. But she always stopped him.”
“Elizabeth Webber. The mother of Nikolas’s new son.” She laughed then, a dark chilling laugh. “So many fathers for her children, what’s one more lie for her to live?”
“If Nikolas had killed Elizabeth Webber when he was supposed to, I would have the power I deserve. She made him weak. And she keeps him tied to the good. With the death that insipid girl—” She took a deep breath. “When I have broken Elizabeth, I can take my grandson back.”
“And the experiments,” Victor said, slowly. “They’ll help you do that?”
“Oh, I couldn’t destroy her without them. This little lie about Aiden—” She examined her nails. “It’s just the first of the tortures I have planned. And when she’s gone, when Nikolas has fallen — then it will be time to finish Luke and Laura—”
“Then how are you going to revive the Cassadines?” Victor asked, as the woman rose to her feet and reset her veil. “Without Nikolas, there’s just the one boy—”
“The Cassadine line is weak. Nikolas proves that. His son will be as useless as him. Will you help?”
Victor mused on this for a long moment, then nodded. “I have been thinking about getting into that line of research,” he admitted. “And, interestingly enough, I have some research going on in the labs now that might be useful.” He stood as well. “Did Mikkos have another bastard son, or—”
“No, it’s time to look to a new branch.” Helena Cassadine lifted her face into the light for a brief moment and her smile would have sent chills down a lesser man’s spine. “Mine.”
Greystone Manor: Living Room
Carly folded her arms and made a face. “Stop it with the silent treatment. I just said what we were all thinking.”
“I’m not—” Sonny broke off and shook his head. He sipped his water. “I’m not giving you the silent treatment, Carly. I just don’t know why everything with Jason has to be a fight—”
“Well, why am I the only one who sees that this is insane?” she demanded. She stalked over to the terrace doors and stared out gloomily over the grounds. “Jason. Going into the corporate life. He would have gnawed his arm off rather than go into business.”
“He always liked doing the paperwork at the warehouse,” Sonny mused, and she shot him a nasty look over her shoulder.
“He liked doing the books,” she corrected. “The numbers. They—” Carly closed her eyes, hating the way tears stung her eyes. “He said they were predictable. Comforting. They never changed. He used to do the books at Kelly’s for Mama when she was managing the place.”
“I know. He did them for Mike, too. Carly—” Sonny paused. “You’re not the only one who thinks this is strange. You heard Jason. Elizabeth agrees with you.”
“Yeah, well, she’s stalked him for decades,” Carly muttered. “She’d know—”
“Uh, am I interrupting something?”
They both turned at the new voice in the room as Michael came in, his brow arched. He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “Max said I should just come in—is everything okay?”
“It’s fine.” Carly swiped at her eyes and forced a smile. “I didn’t know you were coming back from Morocco today.” She looked around, then though clenched teeth asked, “Where’s Nelle?”
“Not that you care,” Michael said slowly, “but I dropped her home. We were both pretty jet legged and she needs to be back at work tomorrow. What’s wrong?”
“Your mother is a bit upset,” Sonny said. “Jason asked me to buy him out of the warehouse. He’s buying Julian Jerome’s media company.”
Michael laughed, a nervous burst of sound falling from his mouth as he looked skeptically from his mother to his father. “No, really. What’s going on?”
“See?” Carly said, gesturing at Michael. “The three people who know Jason best know this is bullshit—”
“Let’s mark this moment because I think you just said something nice about Elizabeth,” Sonny said dryly. “And hey, Carly, I never said this wasn’t weird, I just said—”
“Wait, this is really happening?” Michael said, puting up a hand, his brows deepening into a frown. “Jason is buying a media company. My uncle? With the leather jacket and refusal to wear a helmet?”
“He barely even uses the bike anymore,” Carly muttered. “Helena Cassadine must have fried his brains just like she did to Lucky and Jake, and it’s taken us years to figure it out—”
“He wants a safer life for his family,” Sonny said. “After Jason got shot in August—”
“Because Sam got involved like she always did—” Carly huffed and sat down. “You know, the one good thing I can say about Elizabeth is she let him do his damn job.”
“I was only gone for two weeks,” Michael said to Sonny, a bit helplessly. “Mom’s on Elizabeth’s side, Jason’s quitting the business—which I didn’t know was an option—and he’s buying a media company? Like—with offices? And suits?”
“I’m gonna call Uncle Luke,” Carly decided. “He’d be able to come to town and look at Jason and see if Helena put the whammy on him or something—”
Sonny rolled his eyes and pulled his vibrating phone from his pocket. “People are allowed to change their minds—” He frowned at the message. Breach at the Queen’s Point house.
“Dad?” Michael asked. “What’s going on?”
“There’s—” He paused, met his son’s eyes. “Back when Elizabeth moved out to Queen’s Point,” he began slowly, “Jason wanted a safe house in that neighborhood, close to theirs so they’d have a quick escape route where we could extract them if we needed. I knew he was worried about Jake. About all of them—” He ignored Carly’s snort. “So we bought the place, but only Jason and I ever knew about it. And Spinelli. He bought the house and buried the deed. No one ever knew it was connected to us.”
“Sonny?” Carly asked, focusing. “What is it?”
“We never used it,” Sonny continued. “I forgot—I forgot about it. But this—” He held up his phone. “Spinelli sent me a text from Portland. Someone just disengaged the security.”
“Someone knows about one of the safe houses?” Carly rubbed a hand up her arm. “Why would anyone care? Elizabeth doesn’t even live in that neighborhood anymore—”
“I know,” Sonny murmured. “I’m gonna go check it out—”
“Oh—” Carly winced as her husband walked past her. “Don’t go alone—”
“I’ll take Max. Don’t worry. It’s probably nothing.” He kissed her cheek. “Rant with Michael about Jason. If I run late, I’ll just meet you at the hotel.”
Carly scowled after him, then turned her attention to her son as Sonny left the house. “I don’t like the sound of this.”
“Well, then take your own advice,” Michael suggested, “and stay out of it. Just like Sam should have in August. If he had, then he wouldn’t—” He made a face. “Is he really buying am media company?”
“Apparently, and I’m supposed to just be happy about it,” Carly muttered, flopping on the sofa. “Jason and Sonny know better than to expect me to suck it up and hide how I feel.”
“Yeah, I don’t know why anyone expects civility and manners from you. Don’t they know who they’re talking to?”
Carly slid a glare at him out of the corner of her eye. “I used to wipe your ass, kid.”
Michael sat next to his mother and offered her a grin. “So did Robin. You guys have a lot in common. It’s a shame you’re not friends.”
“The whole world is against me,” she moaned.
Webber House: Living Room
Elizabeth slid her phone into her pocket and walked into the living room where Cameron was trying very hard not to beat Aiden at a video game, but judging from the growling of her youngest son, he wasn’t doing a good job.
“Hey, Franco said he’s spending the night at his studio, so Cam, you’re keeping the the boys alive. Trina should be able to help with that. Is she still coming?” she asked, leaning a hip against the sofa.
“Yeah.” Cameron frowned at the screen. “Her mom might call yours to double check on the creeper situation.”
Elizabeth furrowed her brow. “Excuse me?”
“Dr. Rob does not like your current mistake,” Cameron continued, not looking at her. “So Trina can’t come over if he’s here.”
“You—” Elizabeth bit her lip. “You didn’t tell me that.”
“Didn’t come up before now. Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll be in college in another year—”
“Two,” Elizabeth muttered, not liking how close her baby was to being eighteen and graduating. “Cameron—”
“Joey’s mom doesn’t let him over here either,” Aiden volunteered. “Ever since Joey told her that Franco moved in before the Nurse’s Ball.” He shrugged. “Joey doesn’t have any brothers, so we never gotta fight for the video games.”
Why hadn’t she known that Franco’s presencen in her life caused problems for her boys? And Cameron—he’d called him the creeper. How—when—
“I’m sorry, Mom—” Cameron said. “I didn’t mean—” He scowled when his car went off the track. “I wasn’t paying attention. I shouldn’t have called him that in front of you.” He shifted, turned towards her on the sofa. “It’s not a big deal—”
“It—is that something you say when I’m not around?” Elizabeth asked. “I mean—” She hesitated when Jake stepped off the stairs, his arms clutched around one of Elizabeth’s photo albums from her room. “Jake, are your friends allowed to come over?”
“Not when Franco’s the only adult,” Jake said easily. He set the album on the table and opened it. “Mom, I don’t care what you and Dr. Maddox said. I don’t think the guy just looked like Dad did. I think he looked exactly like him—”
“Jake—” She could only handle so many crises at a time. She exhaled on a low breath. She’d deal with Franco and the boys later. “I told you—”
“See—I knew it—” He handed her a photograph. “I knew we had a picture of Dad in a hat.”
“Really? Jason in a hat?” Cameron leaned over. “He does not look comfortable—hey, Aunt Em looks really young!”
Elizabeth sighed. Jake had grabbed an album from nearly two decades ago—she and Lucky had gone to the Canadian border looking for Emily when she’d been kidnapped by Zander. Jason had rescued her, and they’d returned to Port Charles. She remembered Emily and Jason saying goodbye at Kelly’s, and Emily finding a hat in Jason’s bag as he’d packed the bike up in the pakring lot. He’d bought it at a store at the border to blend in.
She’d insisted he put it on for her, and Elizabeth had snapped a picture of them. She’d given one copy to Emily—and kept the other for herself.
What a different man he’d been once.
“Jake—” Elizabeth looked at her middle, miracle boy. “I believe you. I just—I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. People can look alike.”
“I told you I’d make some calls and see if Spinelli could look into this. But it’s not going to do any good to keep worrying about it.” She kissed Jake’s head and handed the photo back to him. “I’m going upstairs to get ready for the party. Try not to kill each other.”
Safe House: Porch
The house, six blocks away from the empty lot on Lexington Avenue where Elizabeth and the boys had lived until a year earlier, looked like it had the last time Sonny had seen it—almost a decade earlier when he’d visited it.
He’d understood Jason’s worries about Elizabeth and the boys living in what had been a new development—so far from the center of town, from Towers where Jason was. It would take Jason almost a half hour to get to her if anything went wrong—he’d wanted something closer if she needed to run.
Now, Sonny realized he didn’t know if Elizabeth had ever known about the house. They’d never spoken about it.
He punched in the security code, noting that it had been armed when he’d arrived. Maybe it was a vagrant—maybe the security code had failed after all these years—
And maybe it had been a technical glitch on Spinelli’s end.
But the hairs on the back of Sonny’s neck lifted as he slid the door open and he found the the light on by the sofa, a duffel bag next to the table.
Someone was here. Someone who knew about this house and how to get in.
Something that only three people should known.
Sonny closed the door behind him, then walked over to the kitchen. It was dark—empty. He turned back at the creak of steps on the stairs. He slid the gun from the holster in inside his jacket and held it low.
“Who’s there?” he demanded.
Then a man turned the corner of the stairwell and came down to the first landing where it wrapped around to meet the first floor. As he came into the light of the living room, Sonny stared into the eyes of a ghost.