October 29, 2023

Update Link: Watch Me Burn – Epilogue

As promised — A short epilogue that I timed myself with today. Wrote it in about 27 minutes, though I set the timer for 25. I wasn’t really sure how long it should be, and I kept writing and cutting back, but I feel really good about what I included and where I left it, considering where this story started over a year ago.

Thanks so much for taking this ride with me. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

This entry is part 56 of 56 in the Flash Fiction: Watch Me Burn

Written in 28 minutes.

St. Timothy’s Church: Anteroom

There had been some thought that they’d delay the ceremony. A few more weeks, her grandmother had gently suggested. Until Elizabeth’s injuries had fully healed. Until the press had left them alone. Maybe even until the trial was over. After all, what was the hurry?

But Elizabeth hadn’t wanted to wait. Not the six months it would take for her nails to grow back or the year before a trial began because, of course, the madman who had stolen so much from them wouldn’t go quietly into the night —

So a few days before Christmas, barely four weeks after Elizabeth had tumbled over the edge of a cliff with a serial killer, she stood at the back of the church, the double doors closed. In her hands, a clutch of candy-colored tulips. She wore a pair of lace gloves to cover her healing nails.

She hadn’t wanted anyone to stand up with her, not even to escort her down the aisle, and while she’d waved slightly on that after what she and Robin had gone through together, Elizabeth had held firm.

So she stood in the anteroom alone for just another moment, took a deep breath, then reached for the handle.


She turned, her brows furrowed when Lucky stepped out of the shadows of the hallway. “What are you—” She tipped her head. “How did you get in?”

“I’m still Luke’s son,” he offered and she smiled faintly. “I won’t keep you. I just—Lu let it slip that it was today, and I wanted to—” He paused. “I wanted to wish you happiness. Before we were in love, we loved each other, you know?” His smile was crooked, just a corner turning up the way it had when they’d been teenagers. “You were my anchor when I didn’t think there was anything else. I want you—and the boys to be happy.” He cleared his throat. “The last time I told you that, everything was crazy and we were all so scared. I didn’t want you to think it was the pressure of the moment. I mean it.”

Elizabeth smiled, tipped her head. “I want you to be happy, too. I’ll always love you, Lucky.”

“You’d better get down that aisle before Jason starts to worry.” Lucky came forward, pulled the handle. When he opened it, he stayed behind so that no one would see him. Elizabeth turned away from her first love, then looked down the length of the aisle to her last.

Jason stood there, slightly turned towards Father Coates, though he turned when he heard the door, his smile — that sweet smile he rarely showed the world — blooming on his face.

For just a moment, Elizabeth thought maybe she could see Emily smiling behind her brother, her eyes lit with joy and mischief, but then she blinked and there was nothing behind Jason but the altar.

“Goodbye,” she murmured, not just to Lucky who had melted away again into the shadows, but to the sister of her heart who was gone but would never be forgotten. She was in the wind now, and she’d always be there. The pain of losing her would never fade completely, though it would dull with time. The love would always be there, as bright and vivid as the woman they’d lost.

She hadn’t wanted to wait one more day to marry Jason, to continue the life they’d already begun to build together. Emily would understand. The moment for grieving, for the loss, and the pain — it was over now.

It was time for everything that came next.

Elizabeth lifted her tulips to breathe in their sweet scent for a moment, then she walked into the future.


October 28, 2023

Update Link: Watch Me Burn – Part 55

Well, the final part except for the small epilogue I’m posting tomorrow. 😛  Stay tuned around the usual noon time. 

Saying Goodbye to This Story

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey! This is probably the first Flash Fiction series I’ve written where I knew from the outset that I was writing the first draft of what would be a novel. When I began the other story that ended up nearly as long (Signs of Life), I anticipated that it would run maybe sixteen parts. But I always knew Watch Me Burn would take us a while, lol. Though once I got going this summer, we made a lot of progress.

I’m looking forward to taking this first draft and reworking it. Adding more Robin/Patrick in the first Act, spending a bit more time with our minor characters as they grieve the deaths of those lost. We brushed on Maxie, Dillon, Lulu, Nikolas, Sonny, and Alexis, but I think they could all play more of a role in making the story a bit deeper considering how they’re all connected to our major characters.

Thank you so much for embracing Lucky on this journey. I rewatched the kidnapping story last summer, and I was struck by how much empathy I had for Lucky. How he had actually tried to be the husband Elizabeth wanted — and where I thought his story should take him. He wasn’t perfect, but it was really lovely to see how many of the readers were rooting for him towards the end.

What’s Next?

I’m ready with our next story, Hits Different, which was voted on back in August. That will be posted next Saturday, and then you’ll get a few double updates on my holiday weekends to get us moving. I’m excited to play with this one! Here’s the synopsis:

Set 1996. Jason Quartermaine woke up from a coma without a single memory of his first twenty-three years. All he knows is that the family claiming to love him are so controlling and arrogant that escaping them is his top priority. But the Quartermaines won’t let him go without a fight. First, they cut off his access to a trust fund that’s supposed to be his. Then they get him fired from any job he can find. Just when he’s ready to sleep under the docks, he learns that there’s an apartment lease in his name that they’re trying to cancel.

When he investigates, he finds Elizabeth – a bartender from Luke’s – and apparently, Jason Quartermaine’s wife. And that’s not the only secret the Quartermaines have been keeping. What is he going to do with the wife he didn’t pick and the family he can’t get rid of?

As for Fool Me Twice, I was able to start writing again this week. I finished Chapter 83 which has been in limo ALL month, and I wrote half of Chapter 84 last night. Going to keep writing through Tuesday, then work on These Small Hours for NaNoWriMo, starting November 1. Stay tuned for a much more productive November! Thanks for your patience and support!

I’ll see you tomorrow with the epilogue for Watch Me Burn.

This entry is part 55 of 56 in the Flash Fiction: Watch Me Burn

Written in 67 minutes.

General Hospital: Emergency Room

Robin’s fingers were laced through Patrick’s clinging tightly, her eyes locked on the ultrasound monitor as Kelly adjusted the gel against her abdomen. “I’m okay. He barely touched me—” She looked up at Patrick, hating how thin her voice sounded, the way it shook — she believed every single word —

It seemed like such a terrible dream now — a nightmare that had blurred into existence then winked out almost as quickly as it had happened. She’d climbed into the trunk under her own power. She’d crawled through the car on her own. She’d found the gun on her own.

But there had been that moment — when he’d lunged for her, his own momentum shoving her backwards — her back ached from slamming into the stone bridge — had that been enough? Would it be just enough to steal her dream, her miracle—

“I know, honey,” Kelly said, her own voice unsteady. “But your blood pressure was elevated in the ambulance, and it’s—” She took a deep breath. “It’s early. We want to be sure.”

Tears burned through her lashes, streaking down her cheeks, and Robin tipped her head back. They hadn’t heard the heartbeat at all yet — they were supposed to come next week for an ultrasound and now maybe there never would be—

Patrick brought her fist to his mouth, pressing his lips to her knuckles. “Whatever happens,” he told her, stroking her hair with his other hand, his eyes dark, fierce. “We’ll be okay. You’re okay. You’re here.”

“The—I want the baby. I know you weren’t sure, but I am, and I just—” She swallowed a sob, not wanting to watch Kelly reach for the wand—she couldn’t look at the screen. Didn’t want to know.

“I am sure,” Patrick said, and she focused on him, and now she saw the pain and worry in his eyes. “I want this baby, Robin. So let’s just take a deep breath, let Kelly work, and—”

A sound cut him off. Tinny at first, but then it came — the unmistakable thud thud of an electronic heartbeat.

Robin twisted her head back to look at the screen, the tears falling unchecked. “That’s—that’s the heartbeat.”

“Nice and steady, Mama.” Kelly took a deep breath, and the shine of her own tears was evidence. “Just what we’d expect.” She touched the screen, gesturing at the image. “There’s your baby. Eight weeks along, you said?”

“Closer to ten now,” Robin murmured, almost absently. That was her baby. Their baby. Right in front of them. And it was okay. It was still here.

Patrick’s breath was a bit shaky as he finally took a breath. “Steady. The—she’s okay? The baby, I mean.”

“So far so good. We’re going to keep you overnight, honey. Monitor, just as a precaution, but I’m cautiously optimistic.” Kelly squeezed Robin’s lower leg. “You’re okay, honey. Both of you.”

Robin could barely breath, couldn’t speak. She was okay. Their child had made it. And maybe there was some danger, but the worst was over—

“You’re okay.” Patrick leaned down, pressed his forehead against hers, and she felt his body shudder as he absorbed it. “When I got the call, when I thought—” He paused. “You’re okay,” he repeated. “Both of you. And Elizabeth. She’s okay. It’s over.”

“Over,” Robin echoed, closing her eyes. But was it really?

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Spinelli hardly knew what to do with all the nervous energy. He’d needed to stay behind because of the boys, of course, and the Jackal knew exactly where his place was. Fair Elizabeth and Stone Cold needed to know Little Dude and Stone Cold the Sequel were safe—

He’d been focused then, keeping his thoughts and actions on distracting Cameron from realizing his mother was in danger. And Audrey Hardy had been a lot of help, though he’d read the worry in her face as she put Jake to sleep, and they both kept Cameron busy.

But now it was over. The killer was quiet, and all were safe.


Spinelli sat on the sofa, staring blindly at the Moby Dick paper with which he continued to struggle. It seemed silly now to have complained so much or to worry about it now.

“It doesn’t help,” Spinelli said, and Audrey glanced over from the armchair where she’d been precariously perched, watching the news coverage of everything intently. “To know the who, I mean. To know he’s caught. I thought it would.” He swallowed hard. “But it was someone I knew.”

“I didn’t realize…” Audrey straightened. “But he worked for Jason and Sonny—”

“Not that way,” Spinelli corrected hastily. “Just owned the security company. Not that there’s any other way,” he mumbled, staring at his hands.

“No, I—I heard what the news said. They contracted to the hospital, as well, Spinelli. I’m not holding Jason responsible for this. If this…” Audrey’s lips thinned. “If it hadn’t been tonight in this building, it might have been back at the hospital. Or anywhere else.”

“He knew Georgie a little,” Spinell said faintly. “Maybe that’s how he focused on her. And Emily. They both came here.” He swallowed hard. “Maybe Georgie’s dead because she knew me—”

“She’s dead because Ben Davis, for whatever reason, murdered her,” Audrey said gently. “If it hadn’t been her, it might have been someone else. We might never know what exactly happened in his brain to trigger any of this. The why might only make sense to him.”

“Doesn’t fix anything. I wanted to be relieved. To be happy. But it’s just…Fair Elizabeth and Dr. Robin are safe, this brings the Jackal joy,” Spinelli said awkwardly. “But it all feels…thin. Underneath, it’s just…numb, I guess.” He grimaced. “I’m not explaining it well.”

“Knowing that he can’t hurt anyone else, that my granddaughter and Robin are safe is a relief, and we’ll make that enough for now. But it doesn’t restore what’s been lost,” she said. She sat next to him, reaching for his hand. “For the lives we can’t bring back. For the families changed forever. But it’s at an end, my darling. At least we have that.”

General Hospital: Emergency Room

Maxie darted through the double doors, searching the crowd of people for her stepfather’s curly hair.

“Maxie, just—” Cooper tried to hold her back but Maxie wouldn’t be denied. She had to know. Had to be sure. She found him by the check-in desk and made a beeline for him.

“Mac?” She touched his arm. “Mac, they said on the news they found him. Was it—is it really—they said there were more hostages, but—”

Mac turned, brought her close. “It was Robin,” he said, and Maxie tensed, shoving back. “Robin and Elizabeth. He kidnapped and took them to another location, but they fought back. They escaped. Robin’s all right,” he added quickly. “And they caught the guy. Ben Davis. A security guy. His company contracted out to the campus.”

Maxie swallowed hard. “Robin? He had her—no one called or told me—” She pressed a fist to her chest. “But she’s okay. And the baby?” When he nodded, she took a deep breath. “Okay, okay. But you caught him. He’s in jail?”

“He’ll be transferred over in the morning. He’s in the hospital now. Maxie—”

“They caught him. It’s over.” Maxie looked at Cooper, but he was quiet, considering, waiting for her reaction. Her lips trembled. “It’s over.”

“Yes. It’s over. They nailed him, dead to rights. For the kidnapping and attempt today. It’s — it’s over, honey.” Mac stroked her hair, but Maxie stepped back.

“I thought I’d at least feel something when it was over,” she said softly. “But I don’t. There’s nothing. Georgie’s still dead, isn’t she?” Tears spilled over her lashes. “She’s still dead and I’m still here. Alone.”

She pressed her hands to her mouth, sobs wracking her frame, and sank to the floor before Cooper or Mac could catch her.

Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer

Monica emerged from the double doors of the parlor, closing the door and heading for the stairs. The front door opened, and Dillon stepped in, his face grave. Monica paused, her hand at the railing, her heart fluttering.

The last time Dillon had come to the house late in the evening—


“Hey. Um, listen—” He dragged a hand through his disheveled hair. “It’s on the news, and Lu just called — they caught the guy. They caught him.”

“Oh. Oh.” Monica absorbed this, then frowned. “There’s more, isn’t there? What else?”

“They caught him up at Rice Creek Bridge,” Dillon continued. “Um, he worked for a security company, the news said. That’s—that’s the connection. To the campus, the hospital, and to Harborview Towers.”

“Harbor—” Monica closed her mouth. “Dillon—”

“Everyone is safe,” Dillon added quickly. “But he kidnapped Robin and Elizabeth and took them to the bridge. I—I know they’re okay—” he continued as Monica flew towards the phone. “The news said so, but Lu talked to Spinelli, and she said they have to keep them both in the hospital—but they’re okay. It’s over.”

Monica clutched the edge of the table in the center of the foyer, her fingers digging into the rim. “Over,” she repeated. “The boys? They weren’t hurt.”

“No. Everyone’s good. Jason’s at the hospital with Elizabeth. I just—I wanted to make sure you knew. Or didn’t see it on the news or whatever. But it’s good. It’s over. They caught him. No question it’s the same guy.”

Monica nodded. “Okay. Okay. I should call Ned down at the gatehouse—oh, Edward already went up for the night.” She pressed her fingers to her lips, considering. “It’s over. Do—do they know the motive?”

“No. Does it matter?” Dillon asked, and she met his eyes. “I mean, knowing the why isn’t going to help. It won’t change it. Georgie will still be gone. Georgie and Chelsea and Emily—” He looked away. “I don’t care about why,” he said roughly. “He’s probably some kind of lunatic, and they’re dead. So who cares?”

He jerked open the mansion door and left, slamming the door behind. Monica exhaled slowly, then picked up the phone to call Ned.

General Hospital: Hallway

“Lucky. Lucky.”

Lucky found Nikolas jogging through the hallway, his face flushed. “Nikolas.”

“Is it true, is it? They found him—” Nikolas snagged Lucky’s arm. “Tell me it’s over.”

“Yeah.” Lucky stepped back from his brother. “Yeah, they found him. Excuse me—” he saw Mac over Nikolas’s shoulder, who had Robert following behind him. “I have work to do.”

“Wait. Wait, Lucky. Can I—”

“No.” Lucky turned away from Nikolas, uninterested in his apologies. Nikolas was good at that — being cruel in the moment, and apologizing later. But Lucky wasn’t ready to forget the pills tossed at him, to forgive the coldness.  Not yet.

“I know I shouldn’t be here. Or that I wasn’t supposed to be at the bridge,” Lucky began as Mac stopped in front of him.

“I’m sorry,” Mac said, and Lucky closed his mouth. “I already made the calls to reinstate you. To make sure the suspension or complaint doesn’t even go on the record. I’m sorry,” he said again. He nodded towards the door behind him. “I thought you might want to come in. Be part of the questioning.”

Lucky cleared his throat, turned towards the door. Behind it lay the man who had murdered five women. Who had nearly murdered two more tonight. He’d wrapped a wire around Emily’s neck and choked the life from her. He’d tried to do the same to Elizabeth.

“No, I don’t,” Lucky said finally. “Thank you. For saying you’d clear the record. But I think I need some time. I need—I need some time,” was all he could say.

“Of course—” Mac frowned, watching him walk away.

“Let’s get this over with,” Robert said grimly. He pushed open the door to find Ben Davis laying on the hospital bed, one hand handcuffed to the railing. A uniform stood up from where he’d sat next to the bed.

The killer was in traction, a leg pinned precariously up. There needed to be surgery to set it correctly, Robert knew. It would be done tonight, and he’d be moved to the county jail infirmary in the morning. Or as soon as possible.

But Robert just saw the man who’d tried to take his baby from him. Who had murdered so many.

“Has he said anything?” Robert asked the cop.

“Just mumbling about the job not being done. It didn’t make sense.”

“Hmm,” Robert nodded. He stepped up the bed. “You awake?” he asked, his voice harshly. “I have a question for you.”

Ben Davis opened his eyes, the pain in the dull brown depths reflecting back. “Hurts.”

“Why? Why did you do this? Why did you try to murder my daughter? Why did you murder those women?”

“Didn’t murder.” Ben closed his eyes again, sighed. “Saved them. My girls. All my girls. With bright smiles and bright lights. They’ll live forever now. In me.”


“Pairs. All perfect things in pairs. Two college girls. Two doctors. Two nurses.” His lips twisted. “Didn’t finish. Didn’t do the job. My final girls. They weren’t right. Chose badly. Their lights weren’t bright enough.”

Robert grimaced, then looked at Mac standing just inside the door. His little brother stalked out of the room, and Robert followed.


“Maxie—she said it wouldn’t matter. That knowing why wouldn’t fix it.” Mac met his eyes. “He’s crazy. Bright lights. Pairs. He stole my Georgie because of that? Christ—” His body shuddered. “Nearly killed Robin because of her light? Fuck that. Fuck it all.”

“It’s lunatic nonsense. The why never mattered, little brother. It will never bring you peace or happiness. The who is the only mystery that matters and we’ve solved it. It’s over. Georgie can rest. They can all rest. He can’t hurt them again. That’s the only promise we can ever make.”

General Hospital: Hospital Room

Elizabeth turned her head, resting her cheek against the thin white pillow, exhausted beyond measure. Adrenaline had drained away what little remained of her energy. And now she just wanted to close her eyes, and wish away the world.

Her hands had been bandaged — the tips of her fingers throbbed where her nails had been ripped off. Her throat was on fire, throbbing from the screaming and the thin wire—

She opened her eyes, saw Jason in one of the plastic uncomfortable chairs. Their eyes met. “Did I fall asleep?” she forced out.

“Shh, rest your voice,” he murmured. He picked up her hand, stroking the palm. “Yeah, for a little. They said if you wanted something to help you sleep longer, to call for it. The boys are all right,” he added when she opened her mouth again. “Spinelli and Audrey are looking after them. Cameron never even knew you were in danger. He thought you went to see Robin and watch a movie.”

Elizabeth nodded. “Gram. Can I?”

“Yeah. Yeah.” Jason leaned to one side, dug out his phone from his pocket. He pressed a button, then another so that the ringing echoed on the speaker phone.

“Hello? Jason?” Audrey’s voice asked.

Another tears slid down her cheek. “Gram.”

“Oh, honey.” Audrey’s voice thickened. “Darling. How are you?”

“Her throat is sore, so it’s hard for her to say a lot,” Jason said, then brought the phone closer to Elizabeth’s mouth.

“Okay, Gram. I’m okay. Love you.”

“I love you, too, sweetheart. Rest, let Jason take care of you. I’ll look after the boys.”

“Spinelli?” Elizabeth coughed, tried to clear her throat. “Take—he’s okay?”

“Fair Elizabeth, the Jackal is beyond happy to hear your lovely voice,” Spinelli said, though his voice sounded a bit further away. “She is kind to even think of the Jackal in this moment.”

Talking about himself and everyone as if they were characters again. Trying to protect himself.  “You’re one of my boys, aren’t you?” By the end of her words, her voice had faded to almost nothing.

“Of course he is,” Audrey said. “And you’ll be sure that I’ll look after Damien. I love you, Elizabeth. But you need to rest and take care of yourself.”

When they’d hung up, Elizabeth closed her eyes, then but they flew open. She looked at her hand — and her lips trembled. How silly to think of it right now, to worry about something that didn’t matter, but—

Jason took her hand, sliding the tip of his finger over the bare space where her engagement ring had rested. “I can try to find it,” he offered quietly. “Maybe it’s up at the bridge. Or in the car.”

“No,” she mouthed, the word little more than breath against her lips. “No.”

“Then I’ll get you another one. We’ll pick it out together. Or I’ll do it. Or you can. Whatever you want.” Jason brought her hand to his mouth, pressing his lips against the inside of her palm, then resting it against his cheek. “Whatever you want.”


“She’s okay. Baby is, too,” he added. He exhaled slowly, then stroked her hair with his other hand, gazing into her eyes. “I love you.” He leaned down, brushed his lips tenderly against ihs.

“Ditto,” was all Elizabeth could manage as their breath mingled. “You found me.”

He kissed her again. “Always.”

October 26, 2023

This entry is part 27 of 41 in the Signs of Life

I burn, burn like a wicker cabinet
Chalk white and oh so frail
I see our time has gotten stale
The tick tock of the clock is painful
All sane and logical
I want to tear it off the wall
I hear words in clips and phrases
I think sick like ginger ale
But my stomach turns and I exhale

Inside Out, Eve 6

Friday, January 14, 2000

No Name Restaurant: Lobby

Jason kept a hand at Elizabeth’s waist as he ushered her past the guards at the front of the restaurant and inside. The No Name was decorated much like Sonny’s penthouse, with dark wood and muted colors.

He hesitated just before they went inside the main room, and Elizabeth leaned in close to him. “It’s going to be fine,” she said, and he glanced down at her, their eyes meeting. She smiled, a bit tremulously. “I can do this.”

“It’s not you I’m worried about,” he muttered. No matter what Elizabeth thought, he knew she’d be able to hold her own. But Joseph Sorel was in this room, and he’d already tried to kill Elizabeth once. The bomb in her studio hadn’t been fake or a dud. It had been a live explosive that had only failed because of a faulty wire.

He never would have reached her in time, and there was no guarantee she wouldn’t have been killed in the explosion, no matter how much she’d tried to protect herself in the closet.

But there was no going back. He took her hand in his, squeezed, and guided her into the room where Sonny was waiting.

“There’s the happy couple,” Sonny said, with a grin that didn’t reach his eyes. “Elizabeth, I want to introduce you to some friends.” He gestured at an older couple, both of them elegantly dressed. “This is Daniel Vega and his wife, the lovely Carlotta. This is—”

“Michael, you’ve forgotten your manners,” Carlotta interrupted smoothly. “I believe Jason should be introducing his new wife.” Sonny tensed, and Jason enjoyed a moment of satisfaction. In his eagerness to get the evening underway, Sonny had forgotten one of his stupid rules. She flicked her dark eyes to Jason. “Unless, of course, he’s forgotten our names.”

“No, of course not, Mrs. Vega.” Almost relieved, Jason shook the hand Daniel offered, and kissed Carlotta’s cheek. “Sonny likes people more than I do.”

“My left foot likes people more than you do,” Daniel Vega said dryly. “I hope your new bride is an exception.” He quirked a brow, as if daring Jason to disagree with him. After all, the syndicate didn’t really know anything about Elizabeth or their relationship. She’d come out of nowhere and was now married to one of their junior members.

“Daniel, Carlotta, this is Elizabeth, my wife,” Jason said, finishing the introductions, hating how awkward it felt, and unsure really what to do after that.

“It’s nice to meet you both. I’m relieved to be on the very short list of people Jason can stand to be around for long,” Elizabeth said, flashing him a smile. “Unless I’m asking him to let me drive his bike.”

Carlotta shivered. “You can’t possibly enjoy that death machine.”

“I absolutely love it.” Elizabeth smiled at him again, but this time was smile was a real one—reaching her eyes and radiating out to anyone who could see it. “It’s one of our favorite things to do together. I love the way the wind rushes past and it’s loud—” She broke off. “It’s hard to describe,” she admitted.

“You did a good job painting it,” Jason said, brushing her knuckles with his lips. “She’s a gifted artist,” he told Daniel and Carlotta.

“Really?” Carlotta studied him for a long moment, then looked at Elizabeth. “Come. I will introduce you to the others. Let the men do their nonsense.”

Elizabeth took a deep breath and went forward, letting Carlotta take her arm and guide her away. Jason followed them, his heart picking up pace when she slipped out of sight.

“I do believe that my wife likes yours,” Daniel said. “Let’s get you a drink.” He looked at Sonny. “Corinthos, I believe we have some business to discuss.”


Of all the women that she knew would be attending to night, Carlotta Vega had made Elizabeth the most nervous. She’d been married to her husband longer than any of the other wives, making her the undisputed leader of the motley group of wives, girlfriends, and mistresses that the older woman introduced her to.

At each group, Elizabeth saw the same looks—the ones she’d remembered from Kelly’s — taking in the fit of her dress, the fabric, and her lack of jewelry, dismissing her as a unimportant.

“Who designed your dress?” one of the women asked breathlessly, her large breasts practically bursting from the low-cut bodice of her cocktail dress every time she drew a breath. Around her neck was a rope of pearls studded with diamonds, flashing every time it caught the light.

“I have no idea,” Elizabeth said truthfully. “It was on sale at Wydham’s, and it fit.”

“It’s off the rack? Oh, you poor dear,” a dark-haired woman said, though the malice in her eyes belied the sincerity of her words. “Hasn’t your husband given you a credit card?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth said, and then added nothing. The other woman narrowed her eyes. Elizabeth didn’t know who she was — she hadn’t been important enough, she supposed, to merit a biography.

“I’m sure Jason will take care of it before long,” the first woman said. What was her name? Elizabeth couldn’t remember. “Carly was always so well-dressed and put together.”

“Which jeweler do you shop at?” the second woman asked. “I think that Bradford on Central Avenue is the best.”

“I don’t wear a lot of jewelry,” Elizabeth said. She flashed her left hand with its diamond wedding ring. “Just the ring Jason gave me on our wedding day. Can I see yours?” She pressed her hand to her lips. “Oh. I’m so sorry. I’ve forgotten. You’re not married, are you?”

Something akin to hatred flashed in the other woman’s eyes, and she opened her mouth.

“Well, this has been lovely,” Carlotta cut in. “But I must finish introducing Elizabeth to the others.”

“Yes, you must,” the dark-haired woman said sourly.

“I’m sorry, that was a little mean of me, wasn’t it?” Elizabeth asked as Carlotta ushered her away.

“Yes. Which is why it was perfect.” Carlotta patted her hand and escorted to a table with other, more sedately dressed women. “Elizabeth, let me introduce you to a few of my closest friends. I think you’ll fit right in.”


Jason craned his neck to check on Elizabeth, who was wiggling her fingers so that one of the younger women could admire her ring. That same woman touched the long rope of jewels around her neck with a smirk, as if Elizabeth wasn’t valuable enough to him to drape her in gems. Carly had been like that, he thought. He hadn’t cared what she bought with his money, but—

Then Carlotta escorted Elizabeth away from the cluster of young women to her own private table. He shook his head in disbelief. He wasn’t sure exactly what had happened, but inviting Elizabeth to sit with her was the stamp of approval none of them had expected tonight.

“She’s quite a charmer, your Elizabeth.”

Jason turned to Daniel who offered him a glass of wine. He hated wine, but he could live with it. “Yes, she is,” he said shortly, and the older man laughed, clapping him on the back.

“I know you hate every minute of this. You always looked like a fish out of water when you took those meetings.” Daniel sipped his wine. “But you do the job and you give enough respect that we can live with it. You know what I always liked about you?”

Jason didn’t care, but — “What?”

“You’re not in it for the power. I am,” Daniel added. “Which means I value partners like you. You have my promise that no harm will come to your wife. I don’t—” He glanced over at the bar where Sorel was chatting with Sammy Tagliatti. “I don’t like this new generation willing to use the families. I don’t like collateral damage. He made a fatal mistake on New Year’s,” Daniel murmured. “I wonder if he fully realizes it yet.”

Jason sipped the wine which didn’t suck. “He’ll find out,” he said.

“He thought to hurt you. To break you. He’s done the opposite. We’re not so different, you and I. A threat to my Carlotta—” Daniel’s dark eyes flashed, icing over. “I will put the grief aside until I’ve scorched the earth. ”

No, Jason supposed they weren’t. There was a reason Sonny was still struggling for the respect and power within the Five Families. Daniel Vega had been the unquestioned power for more than a decade because he didn’t allow emotions or personal vendettas to rule. He’d let Sonny take over for Frank Smith, just as he’d allowed Jason to take over when Sonny became a liability. He hadn’t been behind the threat to Brenda that caused Sonny to run — but Jason had always suspected Vega hadn’t minded it either.

“It’s time for dinner,” Sonny said, touching Jason’s elbow. “She’s doing great.”

He’d been thinking the same, but Jason didn’t need Sonny’s approval. “I know—”

“I’m just—you don’t have to worry. This was the hardest part of the night—”

“I’ve got it,” Jason snapped, striding forward to greet Elizabeth as she returned from Carlotta’s table.

“I think I like her,” Elizabeth murmured, sliding her arm into Jason’s. “Is there a reason I shouldn’t?”

“No.” Jason pulled out a chair at the head table, hating that they were about to be put on display for everyone to gawk at the rest of the night. Dinner, some dancing, and then they could leave. He could handle that. “She was always nice to me. Lily liked her.”

“Lily?” Elizabeth asked, blinking in surprise. “Sonny’s first wife?”

“He was married to her when I met him.” Jason’s lips curved into a slight, sad smile at the memory. “She taught me to dance.” And then she’d been gone, stolen in an explosion of heat and flames. Nothing had really been the same since, he thought. But he’d liked her. She’d sweet and kind to him.

“Well, then I’m grateful to her. I know from experience you’re not bad at that,” Elizabeth teased and his smile spread a bit more. She grinned, then reached for the glass of wine that had been set in front of her, a stark reminder that these people did not care for rules or regulations. Something as petty as a legal drinking age wouldn’t concern them.

Dinner went smoothly, and Elizabeth could feel some of the tension sliding from Jason as the evening continued. Then he scowled when Sorel got to his feet to give a long, rambling speech about love and promises that no one listened to. Then he clinked a spoon against his wine glass, an action joined in by others in the room.

Jason fought the urge to grimace because it wouldn’t reflect on Elizabeth, when his chief complaint was that he didn’t want to be on display like an animal at the zoo. He turned to her. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.” She leaned in, with that smirk on her lips that made him wish they were anywhere else. “I like kissing you, and the way some of those women have been staring at you tonight—I want them to go home miserable.”

He laughed, a sound that definitely caught those who could hear it off guard because no one had thought him capable of humor. He leaned in and kissed, curving his hand around her neck, threading his fingers through the tendrils of hair she’d left loose. “Is that enough?” he murmured against her mouth.

“Mmm—maybe—” But Elizabeth drew back, catching that dark-haired woman’s eye, who had questioned Elizabeth about credit cards and jewelry. She wore a sour scowl, and Elizabeth felt pretty good about it. They might have married for reasons that weren’t about forever, but Jason was happy to go home with her and no one else. That would be enough for now. He didn’t care that her dress was off the rack or that she didn’t bathe in jewels.

Dinner was cleared away, and all that was left was dancing. A group of musicians came into play some boring music that was slow and mind numbing. But it gave him an excuse to keep Elizabeth close and look around the room to see how it was being taken in.

“Almost over,” she murmured, and he looked down at her. “Hasn’t been so bad, has it?”

“Well, I like you,” he said, echoing her words earlier, and she laughed. “But I could do without the rest of it. Unless—I mean, I know you like stuff like this—”

“This?” She wrinkled her nose. “I mean, it’s not terrible. But it’s not our friends or family. Maybe if our grandmothers were here. If Emily or even Alexis—” She sighed. “I might even settle for my sister.”

She hadn’t had any of that, he remembered. Just a quick wedding ceremony that had been interrupted by Carly and a wedding dress destroyed by the police the next day. He tugged her a bit closer. “I like this part.”

“Me, too.” She laid her head against his chest, the way she had that first night. “You know, the first time we danced, I was trying to pretend you were someone else, but it didn’t work. I wish—” She tilted her head back to meet his eyes. “I wish we were somewhere else.”

Somewhere where they weren’t on display. He’d do that for her, he decided. He’d find a moment where he could dance with her that wasn’t about anyone else. He’d done that first dance for her, and now she was doing this for him, but it still wasn’t right. She deserved better. Maybe they both did.

The song drew to a close, and Jason exhaled in a rush of relief. Just one more dance. He’d hand her off to Daniel Vega who wasn’t someone to worry about, and he’d get through dancing with Carlotta, and then he could get Elizabeth away from this place.

Daniel and his wife were approaching with wide smiles. “I hope you’ll allow us to cut in,” he said. “I don’t move as well I as did once,” he told Elizabeth, “but I can hold my own.” He whirled her away, which Jason hated. But it was necessary.

He reluctantly started to dance with Carlotta, feeling stiff and uncomfortable. He hated dancing. “I find myself feeling quite protective of that young woman,” Carlotta told him, and he frowned, focused on her. “When Daniel told me of tonight, I was upset.”

Jason tilted his head. “Why?”

“He knows I dislike these events,” Carlotta muttered. “Why do you think we never hold them? I’ll do what’s necessary to keep the peace, but I won’t be used. Some of these women—they don’t mind. I do.” She focused on him. “And I respect the men who use women even less.”

Jason’s throat tightened. He was using Elizabeth, but—

“But then I met her and I’ve seen you. And the obvious affection—” Carlotta glanced at her husband and Elizabeth as they circled past. “She’s not like the others. I realized that the moment I saw her. She’ll be an asset to you in the best way.” She squeezed his upper arm. “I hope you see the value you have in her.”

“I do,” Jason promised. “And I’m not the one using her tonight.”

“No. I can see that.” She started to say something else, but then Jason saw Sorel out of the corner of his eye, striding across the dance floor. He cut in between Daniel and Elizabeth.

Jason tensed, but Carlotta tightened her hands on him. “That’s what he wants,” she breathed. “Don’t let him win. He can do nothing in this room, Jason. And she can handle herself.”

“She shouldn’t have to,” he bit out. “This isn’t her fight—”

“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong, my dear.” Startled at that, Jason swung his eyes back to the older woman, her eyes fierce. “It became her fight the moment she made her vows. Don’t diminish her by suggesting less.”

Somehow, Jason managed to complete the dance without pummeling Sorel into the ground for going near Elizabeth. Sonny’s face was tense as he approach the dance floor once the song had ended, and other couples had come out to dance.

Carlotta kept Jason at his side, forcing Sorel to bring Elizabeth to him. “Joseph,” Carlotta said with a lift of her chin. “You’ve broken traditions. You know how that disappoints me.”

“I apologize, Mrs. Vega.” Sorel smiled at Elizabeth who managed a polite curve of her lips though her eyes were blank. “I couldn’t resist the chance to give my congratulations to the lovely Mrs. Morgan.”

“I’m sorry to hear you are so very impulsive.” Carlotta sniffed, wound her arm through Elizabeth’s, dislodging her from Sorel’s grasp. “You are such a lovely bride,” she told Elizabeth who beamed. “And I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet you. I will invite you to tea.”

“That would be great.”

“But now, it’s time for the newlyweds to enjoy their privacy.” Carlotta handed Elizabeth off to Jason, who gratefully tucked her against her side, creating more distance between her and Sorel. “Joseph, you will take me to peruse the dessert table.”

Sorel scowled, but did as Carlotta directed. And just like that, the woman had dissolved the tension and averted crisis.

“I like her,” Elizabeth told Jason. “I wanna be just like her.”

Jason kissed her fingertips. “You already are,” he told her, and her smile broadened. He turned to Sonny. “We’re leaving.”

“I already have the car pulled up. It went well—”

“We’re leaving,” Jason repeated. He put a hand at Elizabeth’s waist and headed for the entry way, leaving the private room and winding through the dining room until they reached the lobby. Just a few more feet. He didn’t stop to say goodbye to anyone — didn’t care about it.

Sorel had had his hands on Elizabeth, and Jason wanted her as far as way as possible — as quickly as they could make it happen.

Outside, the limo was at the curb as Sonny had said. Jason didn’t even bother to wait for Max to get out of the front seat to open the door for them. He opened it himself, ushered her inside the backseat, and followed.

“It’s over,” Elizabeth said, leaning her head back against the seat. The car started to move, picking up speed as it left the quiet street where the No Name was located.

Jason wouldn’t feel that same rush of relief until he got the word from Sonny that Sorel was gone, but he wouldn’t begrudge her. “You’re better at this than I am,” he admitted with a bit of surprise.

Elizabeth opened her eyes, and met his. “I’ve had a lot more practice pretending,” she murmured. She reached for his hand. “You hate that part of it, I know. But I think I’m going to be good at it.”

“Carlotta Vega invited you for tea,” Jason told her. “There are guys in there whose wives have been around for years that haven’t gotten that invite.” He shook his head, a bit in shock. Even Lily had to work longer for Carlotta Vega’s approval.

“That’s probably the first time I’ve charmed someone on sight,” Elizabeth said dryly. She sat up. “Usually, I’m an acquired taste.”

“Well, most people are idiots—” Jason stopped, his heart beginning to pound as he saw the privacy screen lowered. Not all the way down, but cracked.

Max would never do that. And it had been firmly up when they’d gotten in the car. In He’d checked.

Jason took Elizabeth’s hand and drew her close, pulling her in for a lingering kiss, angling himself so that his back was to the window. He broke the kiss but stayed close enough for their lips to brush. “Can you do something for me?” he asked, carefully to keep his voice nearly inaudible.

“What’s wrong?” she breathed, following his lead to pitch her voice low. “I can tell—”

“The window. Press the button and roll it down,” he murmured, then slowly kissed her again. “The driver is listening,” he breathed against her mouth. He could feel the pulse in her neck pick up. “I need to know where we are.”

He felt her hands slide up and down his back, slowly stroking, and then one moved away. He heard the light whirring of the window. “What do you see? Can you—”

“Buildings.” She swallowed hard and her startled eyes flew to him. “They shouldn’t be there.” She kissed him again, drawing her legs up, knowing her dress would slide higher on her thigh. If someone was listening, they might be watching, too, Jason realized, even though he hated that she was trying to use her body to distract them.

She was right. They should be on the highway back into downtown Port Charles, but there was a long stretch of woods between the No Name and the ramp back into town. There shouldn’t be buildings for another ten minutes. Which meant whoever was driving wasn’t taking them home.

He cupped her face, sliding his thumb over her lips. “We need to run,” he murmured. Then he kissed her again. “We’re in a different part of the city—”

“Traffic light or stop sign,” she breathed. She draped her legs over his lap. “Heels. Take them off.”

Christ. She was right. She was wearing shoes she couldn’t possible run in, but then she’d be stockinged feet—if she tripped and fell in the shoes, she might hurt an ankle. He reached for the straps and let the shoes drop to the floor of the car.

“I’m going to make this okay,” he told her with one more hard kiss. “You’re going to be okay.”

She kissed him back, feeling the car slowing down. “We’re going to be okay,” Elizabeth said.

Then the car stopped. Jason shoved the car door open, flew out, Elizabeth’s hand in his, and ran.

Updated: Signs of Life – Chapter 27

Look at me updating on time, or mostly, lol. We had PSAT/SAT testing today, and my school made it a half day for the kids. They got to leave between 11-12 and the admin gave us the rest of the day as a teacher work day which was really nice. In my last district, they made the poor kids go to classes and kept them. Just exhausting for everyone. I had hall duty and had to wander for three hours, but from 11-3, I was able to just work in my room which was great. I got a lot done and feel pretty good about the next few weeks.

Now that things are back on track with work, I’m looking to get back into writing which I know I say a lot, but it’s hard to force yourself to add something to your routine when energy is low. But you have to force it a bit to make it part of the routine. I’m still exploring what time is right  — at the last job, I used to do around 7 but I’ve been more tired. I still need a break when I get home, so I’m thinking more like 5-6? I’ll figure it out and play with a few times.

I wanted to use November as a break from FMT — because at the time, I thought I’d be writing more of FMT but then my shoulder got so much worse and I just couldn’t write at all. I’m contemplating doing both (hear me out — ) Doing a 25 min sprint on FMT and then doing the 1700ish goal on These Small Hours for NaNo. At least for a few days to see how it works out. I’ll keep you posted.

Anyway, let me finish this post so I can go write tonight and maybe finish a chapter.

October 25, 2023

This entry is part 26 of 41 in the Signs of Life

If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when

Everlong, Foo Fighters

Friday, January 14, 2000

Kelly’s: Diner

Bobbie had kept quiet for days, arguing with herself about things that were not her business. It wasn’t her place to blow up lives with truths that no one asked for, was it? But if she didn’t say anything now, would she really be able to hold on for months? Years? Forever?

If there was one thing Bobbie had learned living in Port Charles, it was that the truth always came out. All that mattered was where you stood when the pieces fell. Where did Bobbie want to be?

With that in mind, as soon as Carly walked into the diner late that morning, Bobbie pulled her into the kitchen, into a back pantry and closed the door.

“Oh, I guess we’re talking to me now,” her daughter grumbled as Bobbie pulled her. “What’s your problem now?”

“My problem,” Bobbie said, her teeth clenched and her voice pitched low, “is that Monica asked if I was happy about another grandchild.”

Carly stared at her for a beat, then offered a careless shrug. “I hadn’t had a chance to tell you, and I didn’t know if you’d even care. You were pretty mad at me—”

“I still am.” Bobbie planted her fisted hands on her hips. “You might be pregnant but we both know that AJ Quartermaine isn’t the father.”

Carly lifted her chin. “Says you—”

“Says anyone with a brain. I don’t know what the hell game AJ’s playing now, but I don’t care. I want to know what you’re doing—”

“I don’t see the problem—”

“A few weeks ago, you’d have jumped to tell Jason about this baby. Jason can’t be with Michael, but a baby that’s his?” And it sickened Bobbie that she was doing this. If Carly did blow up everyone with the truth, Elizabeth would be one of those casualties. It would crush her — just as it had crushed poor Robin.

But Bobbie couldn’t stay quiet. “Why haven’t you told him?”

“Because I don’t want to.” Carly folded her arms. “And it would mess things up for Michael. AJ is a lot of things, but he’s a half-decent father, and my children are better off as Quartermaines. Jason doesn’t want me. He made that clear. So I’m going to leave him and his pasty angel alone. You should be happy—”

“I would be if I thought for one second you weren’t up to something—”

“You’ll never trust me, will you?”

“Do you blame me?” Bobbie scoffed. “You nearly had me taken in for aiding and abetting a fugitive. You don’t care about me, Carly. Not really. Not when I might be in the way of something you want.”

“What a terrible thing to say—”

“What’s going to happen when Jason finds out about this baby? Do you think for one second he’s not going to demand a paternity test and visitation?”

“Jason is going to leave this alone,” Carly said flatly. “Because we’re all better off. He’s going his way, and I’m going mine. I tried to get him to love me. To take me away from this, but he said no—”

“He would have if you’d told him about the baby—”

“I deserve more than that,” Carly hissed. “I deserve someone who loves me. AJ doesn’t, but at least he’s got something to show for it. Jason didn’t want me, so he gets nothing. And if you want Michael to have any happiness, you’ll keep your mouth shut.”

Carly yanked open the door and stormed out, Bobbie staring after her, troubled.  Jason would find out Carly was pregnant at some point, but would he think to ask for the test? Or would he also, maybe, tell himself it was better off this way?

She just didn’t know.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Elizabeth tossed aside her sketchbook and padded over to the desk, her socks silent against the hardwood. She picked up the ringing phone. “Hello?”

“Elizabeth. Thank God you’re home.”

“Hey, Em.” Elizabeth took the cordless with her and returned to the sofa. “Are you okay?” She heard boots on the steps and looked up to find Jason turning the corner around the landing.

“Mom didn’t call me right away, I think she wanted to think the whole thing was a terrible joke or a nightmare. I don’t know. But now that bitch is in my family forever and there’s no way to make it stop—”

“Em—” Elizabeth frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“Is she okay?” Jason asked. He sat next to her, his brows furrowed. “What’s wrong?”

“Carly,” Emily spat. “She’s pregnant. There’s no way we’re getting rid of her now.”

“What?” Elizabeth repeated, dumbfounded. “Are you sure? Are they sure?”

“AJ seems to be, but he’s a moron,” Emily huffed. “I don’t know, but it seems to be. I’m going to have to see her at every holiday for the rest of my life, aren’t I? Can I come to your place instead?”

Elizabeth just shook her head, met Jason’s eyes. “Emily, I have to call you back—”

“But you agree. This is terrible news, right? This is apocalyptic—”

“It’s not good news, that’s for sure. I’ll call you later.” Elizabeth tossed the cordless aside. “Jason, Carly’s pregnant.”

His eyes widened and he drew back. “What?” he repeated, his voice rising slightly. “Pregnant?”

“Pregnant.” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “The Quartermaines apparently know, and I guess they’re accepting AJ as the baby’s father, but—”

“It’s not mine,” Jason said in a rush. “I told you—”

“No, I know.” She reached for his hand, smiled to reassure him. “You told me you haven’t been together in years, and I believe you. And I’m sure there’s a chance AJ is the father, but—”

“There’s also a chance Sonny is,” Jason murmured. He looked away, troubled. “Carly could be faking it.”

“She could be. It’s a risky trick to pull,” Elizabeth pointed out. “With a family that basically runs the hospital. AJ could insist on a blood test run by Alan or Monica, and she’d have no choice.” She wrinkled her nose. “And AJ certainly knows she can hide test results if he’s not on top of it. That’s what happened with Michael.”

“Yeah.” Jason rubbed the side of his face. “If AJ finds out about Sonny, he’ll file for divorce. He made her sign a prenup — infidelity means she surrenders full custody of Michael, and any other divorce cause was automatic joint custody.”

“Ah.” Elizabeth nodded. “I wondered—” She paused when he looked at her. “She married him to stop him from going for full custody in the first place, but I wondered why they were still married. Since…” Since it was clear that Jason and Carly were involved emotionally—why hadn’t it tipped over physically?

“She made her choice. I told her that months ago,” Jason said, uncomfortably. “I mean, maybe I thought—” He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. Things are what they are, and I’m glad.” He brought her hand to his mouth, kissed it when she smiled weakly at him. “I mean it. I’m glad to be done with her.”

“I know.” Though he’d never have looked at her if Carly hadn’t slept with Sonny, Elizabeth knew. Better not to dwell on that. “Are you worried about Michael?”

“Yeah. Carly’s…she’s not a good person,” Jason said, “but I don’t—”

“You don’t think she should lose her son,” Elizabeth finished, and he nodded. “No, I guess not. But she knew what she was signing, Jason.”

“I know—” Jason got to his feet and paced over to the mantel. “It’s not that I want to protect her—”

“You do,” Elizabeth said. He turned, stared at her wordlessly. “You care about her, even after everything she’s done. And you still love Michael. You don’t want them to lose each other.”

“No,” Jason admitted. He rubbed the back of his neck. “But what if it’s not Sonny’s baby? What if it’s AJ’s? Why would I screw everything up for Michael on a maybe?”

That made sense, but Elizabeth couldn’t help but wonder how much of Jason’s reluctance to say anything was about Michael or about Carly. Jason had told her he hadn’t really been in love with Carly, but maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe he didn’t want to be in love with her. You couldn’t always help the way you felt.

“It’s none of my business,” Elizabeth said, when Jason remained silent. “I’m not going to say anything, if you’re worried. I don’t owe Sonny any loyalty, and I can understand staying quiet until you know more. Maybe we’re wrong, and Carly does know.” Maybe the timing was wrong. Women knew those kinds of things, didn’t they?

“Maybe,” Jason murmured. He exhaled slowly. “I can’t say anything right now anyway. With the reception tonight, I want Sonny focused on that. I don’t want anything to go wrong.” He grimaced. “I’m going over to the No Name to check the security.”

Elizabeth glanced at the clock on the mantel behind him and winced. “And I should start getting ready.”

“Now?” Jason reached for her hand, stopping her from getting too far. She turned back to him, a brow raised. “You have three hours—”

“I have to wash and dry my hair. Some of us can’t just slap on some gel and go,” she teased. He rolled his eyes and drew her against him, kissing her long and deep, savoring. No matter what was in the past, she had him right now and that was enough for her.

Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer

Carly strolled down the stairs, her fingers sliding down the banister. In the foyer, by the entrance, she saw Monica and Ned at the doors of the parlor. At her approach, they looked at her, and she saw the identical irritated expressions cross their face.

It was nothing new — just the same reaction she’d been dealing with since they’d told everyone the news. No one wanted Carly to be pregnant with a second Quartermaine. A second baby would only tie her more firmly to the family—

Carly was going enjoy every single second of forcing Sonny Corinthos’s child on these bastards. Walking around like she was some kind of trailer trash not fit to be part of their family.

“Hello,” Carly purred. “What a nice surprise to see you home in the middle of the day.” She stopped at the bottom of the stairs. “Monica, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been married to AJ almost a year, and now with another baby coming—” She fluttered her lashes, delighting in Monica’s scowl. “Maybe I should start calling you Mother. Or Mom. Because we’re all one happy family.”

Ned smirked. “I’d pay money—”

“Shut up,” Monica told him, slapping his arm. She focused on Carly. “The day you call me Mother is the day I go out and buy a shovel to bury you. You’re not fooling anyone, you know. Your days are numbered.”

“We’ll see about that.”

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Jason tugged at the tie around his neck, grimacing. He hated getting dressed up. He hated suits. He might be able to put up with it if he was at least interested in where he was going. He’d worn a tuxedo the day of the wedding and had barely noticed how uncomfortable it was.

He’d rather toss on a pair of jeans, a jacket, and be on the cliff roads with Elizabeth, feeling the wind rush past—

Instead, they were getting ready for a party neither one of them asked for and couldn’t avoid. He didn’t want Elizabeth anywhere near his job, but now she’d be walking straight into the viper’s nest.

There was a light knock on the door, then Sonny came in, dressed in a suit of his own. “Uh, hey. I thought we could go over the game plan one more time—”

“I know what we’re doing,” Jason snapped, but he closed his mouth when he heard the click of heels on the steps above them. He didn’t want Elizabeth worried that the tension between him and Sonny tonight had anything to do with Emily’s phone call earlier that day. He knew she had her doubts about his past with Carly, and he wasn’t going to do anything that would make it worse.

He’d keep his damn mouth shut until he knew more. He wanted to get out of this reception unscathed, which meant keeping everyone focused. Sonny played games with Jason’s life all the damn time—why couldn’t Jason do it for a few days?

“Sorry, I’m late.” Elizabeth wrinkled her nose as she came down the steps, wearing a soft purple dress that looked like it floated around her, held up by thin straps.  Her curls were piled loosely on her head, with tendrils escaping down the side. She draped a darker purple shawl around her shoulders and smiled at them both, her lips painted a dark red. “I hope I didn’t hold anyone up.”

“No, no.” Sonny smiled at her. “You look beautiful, doesn’t she?” He elbowed Jason who glared at him. He could compliment his own wife, and Elizabeth always looked beautiful—

“Yeah.” Jason cleared his throat when Elizabeth looked at him, her brows drawn together with worry. “You look great.”

“So do you.” Elizabeth’s smile had dimmed slightly but she stepped forward and adjusted his tie, loosening it slightly. “You hate ties. You look better without them.”

He sighed, kissed the tips of her fingers, hating that she’d picked up the tension anyway and absorbed it. “They’re pretty formal at these things.”

“Still.” She adjusted the lapels of his suit jacket, then turned to Sonny. “So what’s the plan?” she asked him. “I’m sure you want to go over it one more time.”

Sonny shot Jason a told you so glance, and Jason suddenly had the urge to growl. “I’m glad you asked.” He cleared his throat. “We’ll go over together in the limo. Max will drive. It’s a show of unity,” he added when Jason opened his mouth to protest. “I know you’d rather drive yourself, but you’ll be offered drinks tonight, and it’ll be rude not to accept them.”

“Is it always this exhausting?” Elizabeth wanted to know. She folded her arms. “How do you guys have time to commit crimes when you’re worried about rules and expectations?” she added on a mutter, and Jason smirked. She was back on his side. Not that there were sides, but it was still reassuring that if there were, she was on his.

Sonny made a face. “There’s a protocol. We’ll arrive together,” he began. “There will be cocktails. You’ll have to schmooze with the wives,” he told Elizabeth. “Did Jason—”

“You sent over those pictures and bios,” Elizabeth said quickly before Jason could snap. “Jason had more important things to do than quiz me, so I asked Alexis. I’m ready. I’ll make nice with the women while their husbands give Jason alcohol. Got it.”

Sonny narrowed his eyes, as if unsure she was taking him seriously. “After cocktails,” he said slowly, “we’ll do dinner. There will be toasts. Sorel might be one of them. You can’t punch him,” he reminded Jason, and Elizabeth scowled. When she opened her mouth, Jason tightened his arm around her waist and she said nothing.

“Then a few dances. You’ll dance with each other. Then Elizabeth will dance with Daniel Vega. You’ll dance with Carlotta. That’s—”

“‘I know,” Jason interrupted, “who Carlotta Vega is. This isn’t my first day on the job, Sonny.”

“I’m just making sure Elizabeth knows,” Sonny said, his mouth pinched. “That’s Daniel Vega’s wife,” he told her. “And—”

“And she’s notoriously hard to impress. She probably won’t like me but as long as I follow the protocol, it won’t be a problem.” Elizabeth lifted her brows. “I told you. I read the material.”


Jason bristled—Sonny sounded like he was complimenting a dog, but Elizabeth just squeezed his hand.

“After that,” Sonny continued, “you’ll be able to leave. I’ll stay another hour or so. The limo will come back for me.”

“If Sorel comes near her, he’s going to leave in a body bag,” Jason said. “Does he know that?”

Sonny wrinkled his nose. “Yes, but remember—that’s the object of the entire night.” He offered Elizabeth an apologetic glance before looking back at Jason. “So whatever crime you think he’s committing, do your best to let it go. We’ll make him pay later.”

There would never be enough payment for the fear Sorel had inflicted on Elizabeth on New Year’s, but Jason nodded. “Fine. Let’s get this over.”


The drive to the No Name Restaurant was thick with tension and irritation, mostly because Sonny had insisted on going over the night a second time. And then a third. Elizabeth could understand that he was nervous, that he knew a lot was riding on this night, and if anything went wrong, Jason might never forgive him.

But she also knew that Jason didn’t see it that way, and that every time Sonny reviewed the rules and procedures, it felt like he was telling Jason how to do his job—the same job that Sonny had forced on him two years earlier when he’d jilted Brenda.

And there was nothing she could really do to the bridge the gap. If she pointed out Sonny’s nerves to Jason, he’d take it as a sign that even Sonny didn’t believe in the plan, or worse—he might see it as taking Sonny’s side.

She’d never do that to him, so she stayed quiet.

The limo rolled to a slow stop, and then the door opened. Sonny slid out, but Elizabeth stopped Jason from following. “Can we have a minute?” she asked him. She looked at Sonny. “Just one.”

“I’ll meet you inside.” Sonny closed the door, and Jason frowned at Elizabeth.

“What’s wrong? I can tell him to turn around—we can stop this—”

“No, we can’t.” She laid her hands on his cheeks and leaned in to kiss him. “But once we get out of the car, we have to turn into people that neither of us want to be.”

He exhaled slowly, tucking a tendril of her hair behind her ear. “I hate this.”

“I know. But it’s too late to turn back. I can do this, Jason. You don’t have to worry about me. I know how to make small talk and not say anything. I’ve done it my whole life. You know how to do this. You ran this business, remember? I’m the wild card—”

“You’re not—”

“I am,” she insisted. “I can hold my own, but it’s what you’re worried about. I’m asking you trust me. I can do this.”

“It’s not about trust,” he murmured, kissing her again, lingering. “You’re fearless, and that scares the hell out of me.”

“I can live with that,” she breathed. “Let’s get this over with.”

Update: Signs of Life – Chapter 26

Hope everyone is having a better week than me, lol. My Phillies lost last night and our season is done. It’s always interesting to look at the social media reactions and see how unhinged people can be. I think it’s more sad that more people can’t just take a deep breath, acknowledge that it sucks, but that it was, in many ways, a great season that gave us a lot of entertaining games and fun with the players. No, it’s more fun to get on Twitter and call the players a bunch of names, sometimes even tagging them as if Nick Castellanos doesn’t know how he played or what his out in the 4th inning might have cost us in momentum or Bryce doesn’t know he had a moment for another swing of his life and fell short. People need to touch grass.

Anyway. Social media is usually a mistake, and I’m going back to spending less time there. People are great when things are good, but the toxicity is depressing.

See you tomorrow for another update!

October 24, 2023

This entry is part 25 of 41 in the Signs of Life

In a way, I know my heart is waking up
As all the walls come tumbling down
Closer than I’ve ever felt before
And I know, and you know
There’s no need for words right now

Breathe, Faith Hill

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Quartermaine Mansion: Family Room

Carly’s palms were sweating as she followed AJ into the family room that morning. This was too soon, she told herself. What if Jason heard and had questions? What if he told Sonny and demanded a paternity test? What was AJ thinking? If they could just wait a few more weeks to give them all time and space—

“It’ll be fine,” AJ told her before turning to his family scattered between the breakfast table and the sofa where Lila was sipping her tea and Edward was reading a newspaper. “Good morning—”

“Hardly,” Edward muttered. “Did you see the stock market? I’ll be making some calls—”

“Don’t call Moynihan again,” Ned complained from the table. “We need him for actually important things—”

“Don’t tell me—”

Lila ignored her husband and grandson and offered AJ a warm smile. Though it cooled just a touch when she met Carly’s eyes, it was still less hostile than the rest of the family. “Good morning, darling. How lucky we are to have you both join us.”

“Lucky isn’t the word I’d use,” Alan muttered and Monica elbowed him.

Carly folded her arms, looked at AJ. “I told you,” she muttered, but he didn’t indicate that he’d heard her.

Instead, he raised his voice, “Carly and I have something to tell everyone.”

The conversations dimmed and now they were all looking at AJ and Carly. Oh, man, he was doing this to torture her, wasn’t he? This was terrible. This was stupid. Why had she agreed to this—

“Do you?” Monica asked. She twisted in the chair and arched a brow. “Go on.”

“Michael is going to be a big brother soon,” AJ declared, sliding an arm around Carly’s waist. He pinched her and she forced a smile. “Carly’s pregnant.”

“Oh, how lovely,” Lila said with a smile that actually looked genuine. Monica pursed her lips and Alan picked up his coffee. “Another baby—”

“Not that we got to enjoy the last one as an infant,” Edward muttered.

“When are you due?” Ned asked, rising to his feet. “I didn’t realize you were thinking of expanding the family.”

“It was a bit of a surprise,” AJ said. He turned to Carly. “When did you say you were due?”

Ned was only asking to check conception dates, and Carly bristled at it. What, was he going to count back forty weeks and see if AJ was in town?

“September 10,” Carly said. “Give or take a week or two. You know how inaccurate they can be. Michael wasn’t due until January—”

“No, that’s certainly true.” Monica rose. “Well, congratulations.” She kissed her son on the cheek, ignored Carly. “You’ll have to excuse your father and I. We have a meeting at the hospital.”

Alan’s brows drew together slightly, the only indication that he hadn’t heard of this meeting before now. Still, he set aside his coffee. “Of course.” He shook AJ’s hand and kissed Carly’s cheek. “Michael will be an excellent big brother.”

Carly managed a weak smile. Either they didn’t think AJ was the father of this child or they were all horrified that Carly would have a second claim on the Quartermaine fortune and name. Indignation flooded her veins. She was good enough for their son to marry but not have another child with? It didn’t matter that the baby wasn’t a Quartermaine by blood—neither was that stupid bitch, Emily, but this baby would be born in wedlock.

She was glad now that she was foisting Sonny’s kid on them. They deserved it. Bunch of stuck-up snobs.

PCPD: Squad Room

Taggert tossed aside a robbery file, then dug through the stack of open cases on his desk—pausing when he saw the Moreno file.

His blood boiled all over again, knowing this case was not only going to remain open but go cold. He glanced across the squad room where Capelli’s empty desk sat. The asshole had only ended up with a ten-day suspension, which in Taggert’s opinion, wasn’t nearly enough. He’d tanked Taggert’s case and engaged in vicious witness intimidation. Capelli should be off the force.

He opened the report, removed the statement Carly had given. He read it for what had to be the hundredth time, looking for something—anything—that might give him a fresh lead.

Carly couldn’t say when Jason had been shot, only that she’d seen him November 30 at Kelly’s with Elizabeth Webber, and then two weeks later, she’d seen him at Elizabeth’s art studio. He’d been sleeping on the sofa, clearly injured. Carly had tried to encourage him to go to the hospital, but he’d refused.

Taggert saw a scribble in the margins — there’d been a false fire alarm at the studio around the same time. Maybe Carly pulled it?

There was something about her statement that felt off to him, and he wondered how Morgan had recovered from a gunshot wound in that cold, damp studio. He’d had help, of course. Corinthos had any number of doctors on his payroll.

He could always check in with Bobbie Spencer. Elizabeth was close to her—and it would make sense if Carly had left her out of the statement.

How far would he get? Bobbie wasn’t a green kid. She’d likely refuse to answer questions and that would be the end of it. He’d never be able to prove it.

Taggert tossed the file back into the stack. No, he’d need a real break in the case, and that was as likely as a blizzard in July.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Hardy Home: Dining Room

Dinner with Elizabeth’s grandmother began as awkwardly as Jason expected, but he was determined to get through it without showing his unease. Audrey Hardy didn’t like him, but she clearly loved her granddaughter.

Elizabeth had spent most of the evening searching for topics they could talk about safely, but they really didn’t have much to work with. Jason didn’t have a lot of interests, and Audrey had bitten her tongue more than once to avoid talking about what he did for a living.

“You know, my grandmother used to be a flight attendant,” Elizabeth said to Jason about halfway through the meal of pot roast and potatoes. “Jason has a whole shelf of travel books,” she told Audrey.

“Really?” Audrey cleared her throat. “Do you enjoy traveling?”

“I haven’t really—” Jason saw Elizabeth’s hopeful expression because she was clearly grasping at anything she could find. “I haven’t traveled much,” he continued. “Since the accident, I mean. But I want to.”

“Oh, well—” Audrey’s eyes softened a bit. “I do recall you traveled often during the summers. You did a lot of internships and programs that took you everywhere. Maybe…well, maybe there’s a piece of you that does remember that.”

He hadn’t known that, but— “Maybe,” he allowed. “I remembered some of the medical things I studied. That make sense.” He didn’t like talking about his accident. “So you weren’t always a nurse.”

“Well, I had completed my studies,” Audrey said, “but rather than going to work in the field, I decided I wanted to see more of the world. Lucille thought I was wasting my life. My older sister,” she clarified when Jason frowned. “But I thought the world was much bigger than Port Charles and I was determined to see it.”

Jason nodded. He could understand that. Sometimes he wondered about the world outside, and wanted to see the places in the books he’d read. “What made you change your mind?”

Audrey smiled at Elizabeth, before looking at Jason again. “Well, I came home to visit Lucille, and I went to General Hospital. The emergency room had just opened the year before,” she said, “and they were looking for nurses. Lucille was trying to get me to apply—to make something of myself—and I was refusing. But then—”

“You saw Gramps,” Elizabeth finished, putting her chin on her fist, her eyes shining. She’d clearly heard this story before. “Right?”

“It seems silly to me now that I changed everything just because I’d met someone, but I just felt something click.” Audrey’s fingers rested on her fingers. “Of course, Steve and I didn’t quite manage to get it right, and I ended up leaving. I worked in Vietnam during the war,” she told Jason. “But the few years I lived here working as a nurse, it became clear to me that was what I was meant to do. But I’m so glad I took the chance and saw the world first. Oh, flying was so different then! Pilots and stewardesses were treated like traveling VIPs, and I was so lucky to be given an international route. I was able to see London and Paris, and for a time, I worked on the Barcelona tour, and I flew to Cairo—”

“You’ve been to Egypt?” Jason interrupted. “Did you see the pyramids?” He’d read about them, but the pictures didn’t look right, and he’d wondered about them ever since.

“Oh, of course! Giza is just outside of Cairo, and I couldn’t pass up the chance. Have you?”

“No, but I—” Jason paused. “No, but I read about Egypt a lot. A lot of the books are about Africa,” he added. “The Egyptian ones are my favorite. I like the history.” It had appealed to him, all the long-lasting dynasties, maybe because he hadn’t any history of his own. “And—” His throat tightened. “Michael liked hearing about the animals.”

“I always wanted to go back,” Audrey said. “To see the animals. To do a safari. Steve and I—” Her voice faltered. “We talked about traveling when we retired, but—”

Jason remembered now that Steve Hardy had died in his office at GH—that he had never retired. And he knew Audrey still worked. They’d never had that chance. “I’m sorry. Dr. Hardy was a good doctor.”

“The best.” Audrey took another deep breath. “Well, Elizabeth has also talked often about traveling. There are so many museums she wants to see.”

Elizabeth cleared her throat when they both looked at her. “Um, yeah, I guess. I took an art history class last semester and I knew some of it, but the Renaissance really—I want to see Italy,” she added. “And definitely France. There’s some really amazing architecture and beautiful buildings. But I don’t really have the time for traveling right now with school and work.”

Audrey tilted her head. “You’re still at Kelly’s? I would have thought—”

Elizabeth made a face. “Gram.”

Whatever Audrey had intended to say, she dropped it. Instead she smiled, “Summer will be here before you know it,” she told her granddaughter. “I can understand not taking a honeymoon right now with classes starting in a week, but—”

“Gram—” Elizabeth’s cheeks flushed, and she shoved her hair behind her ears. “We haven’t talked about that—”

“But we could,” Jason said, and Audrey smiled at him. A genuine one with warmth and softness. They’d taken a turn there during the dinner, even though he wasn’t really sure where. He was just glad it had happened, and that Elizabeth was smiling even as her cheeks were still stained with the flush of embarrassment. She met his eyes as she sipped her water and smiled at him. Maybe she would go with him this summer. He could take her to Italy, couldn’t he? And she could see the pyramids with him in Egypt. Why not?

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

“Do you have anything better to do than sic contracts on people?” Sonny wanted to know Alexis set yet another pile of paper in his face. “What’s this one?”

“Your partnership agreement.” She sat down. “Jason wanted to update it, remember? A survivor contract—”

“Right. Right.” Sonny skimmed it. “Do I have one of these?”

“You didn’t need one,” Alexis said. “Your estate leaves everything to Jason, including the business. This—” She tapped the paper. “Protects Elizabeth from you stealing Jason’s side of the business if he’s not there to advocate for himself. Not that you would, but it’s just safer to have it in writing.”

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense.” Sonny initialed the first page. “I’ve been thinking of updating the will. You know, because Jason was complaining about all the paperwork — I was thinking maybe of leaving something to Elizabeth.”


“Yeah. I mean, Jason doesn’t need any of it. And I just have my dad. I’d leave him something, I guess.” Sonny wrinkled his nose. He hoped Mike would stay away from the gambling tables long enough to enjoy an inheritance. “But you know, Jason doesn’t need the money—”

“Mmmm—” Alexis rested her chin on her fist. “And how do you think Jason would feel about you leaving your estate to his wife?”

“I don’t think he’d care—”

“This is about that reception next week. The one at the restaurant.”

Sonny shoved the contract back at her. “Look, it was just a thought—”

“Did you do something to piss Jason off?” Alexis straightened the edges of the contracts, then slid them into an envelope. “He doesn’t seem happy with you.”

Sonny sighed. “Do you want me to answer that or do you want plausible deniability?”

Alexis just stared at him, and he sighed. “There’s a way to do things—”

“I’m a Cassadine,” she interrupted. “And I’ve seen the Godfather.” She tipped her head. “Is that why you started going by Sonny?”

“No.” Sonny wiggled his shoulders. “It’s just a coincidence,” he muttered.

“Uh huh, well, as long as you don’t plan to have the same fate as your namesake—”

“Are you just gonna crack jokes, or—”

“No. Sorry. Go ahead.”

“I’m not planning any crimes,” Sonny said after a long moment. “I don’t have specific knowledge of any that are going to be committed either,” he added. “But I’m not going to be mad if they are.” He paused. “You’ve read about Joseph Sorel in the papers.”

“Ah. So this reception is designed to assist you with the problem.”

“I have no idea what’s going to happen at this reception once I leave,” Sonny said, flatly.

“Right.” Alexis squinted. “Why do you need an elaborate reception so you can deal with this guy when the lake is right there?”

“You really don’t want the answer to that—”

“I think the reason you’re doing this is why Jason’s pissed at you, so I do. If I’m supposed to represent both of you—”

“Fine. There were two ways I could have dealt with Sorel.” He went over to the window. “One was quick and painless for everyone. And the other…” He raised his head and caught his reflection in the mirror. He looked away. “The other way served my long-term goals.”

“Ah. And your long-term goals were important enough that you decided to drag Elizabeth into all of this.” She rose. “I begin to understand Jason’s position.”


“It’s common courtesy to inform you that you may need to engage another attorney to continue representing you,” Alexis said finally. “At least when it comes to your partnership agreements.”

Sonny frowned. “What? Why?”

“Because if I am asked to draw up a contract to make Jason a silent partner or sell his share of company, it wouldn’t be ethical to represent a potential buyer. And Jason is the one who retained me.”

Sell— “Jason is thinking of selling out of the business.” Sonny rubbed his chest. “I—I didn’t—”

“I don’t know if he is or isn’t. Just that we need to prepare for that. Unless he agrees to waive any possible conflict of interest. Something you should keep in mind, when you’re considering any other long-term goals.”

Morgan Penthouse: Master Bedroom

Elizabeth switched off the bathroom light and crawled into bed next to Jason who had one of his travel books in his hands. She curled on her side, watching him read for a while before she realized the cover was the Piazza del Marco from Venice.

“You’re reading about Italy?”

Jason laid the book on his chest. “Yeah. I bought it when I replaced the others.” The only personal possessions of Jason’s that had been destroyed in the police search. He often reread his favorites, she knew, and Egypt was sitting on his nightstand. His usual go-to night reading. “I thought I’d brush up on it after dinner tonight. It was nice, talking to your grandmother about the places she’d been.”

“Yeah. Sometimes I forget what a full life she’s lived. I’ve always known her as the upright and steady nurse who took on her husband’s grandchildren and loved them like her own. She’s not my biological grandmother,” she added. “And she didn’t even raise my dad, but I’ve never once felt that way.”

“You’d never know it,” Jason said. He paused. “Monica’s not my biological mother, either,” he said. “But I know she raised me like I was.”

“That must have been strange after the accident,” Elizabeth said, “learning about all the secrets and craziness from when you were a kid.”

“Not really,” Jason said. “Monica used it to try to explain that even if I didn’t remember her, that it wouldn’t change anything. Blood didn’t make a family.” He stared at the ceiling for a moment. “It’s always been easier with her. Not as easy as Emily or my grandmother, but more than anyone else.”

“I’m sorry if Gram brought back any sore spots with the accident—”

He shook his head. “It’s fine. It’s—” He frowned. “It’s interesting, I guess, what stayed the same. I used to think of myself as a different person but the more time that passes, I can hear about him now. Or myself. I still know some medical things, and the traveling—I didn’t know I’d been a lot of places.”

“You spent a summer with my parents,” Elizabeth told him, and he blinked at her. “Doctors Without Borders. Before they joined it permanently a few years ago, they did a stint that summer, and you applied to the program, I think, your freshman year. You were in Sarajevo.”

“I didn’t—” He exhaled slowly. “Sarajevo, my freshman year. That would have been when things were getting bad.”

“Yeah. It’s one of the reasons Mom and Dad kept going back, and why they just…made it their life’s mission. They’re terrible parents, but amazing doctors. The world’s lucky to have them.” Elizabeth reached for the book laying on his chest. “You always read about all these places. Why haven’t you gone?”

“Never seemed like a good time,” Jason told her. “First I didn’t have the money, and then I was working for Sonny. I went to Paris to see Robin,” he added. “But Sonny left, and there was Michael—” He shook his head. “You never told me about your art history class before. We could go, you know—”

“Oh, don’t let my grandmother think—”

“You don’t have to work at Kelly’s,” Jason said, and she frowned at him. “I mean, you can. I know you like it. But you should have more time for your art. I just…if you wanted to.”

Elizabeth sat up, thumbed through the pages of the book, sliding her fingers over the pictures. “Tammy said the same thing,” she murmured. “She said I’d always have a place there, but when classes start next week, I won’t have much time. Last semester, I felt like I always working and going to class. Maybe that’s why my art wasn’t as good. I was so tired.” She looked at him. “I’ve heard the light in Italy isn’t like anywhere else in the world. That’s it’s amazing for artists and why so many important works are from there.”

“We could find out. After your semester is over,” he added. “But—”

“We could,” Elizabeth said. She handed him back the book. “One condition. We go to Egypt first.”

He grinned, tossed the book aside and reached for her. “Anything you want,” he murmured against her mouth.

“I’ve got everything I want right here.”

Updated Link: Signs of Life – Chapter 25

Hope everyone is having a better Tuesday than I am. Tonight’s Game 7 of the NLCS, and if the Phillies lose tonight, our season ends. First Game 7 in our entire 141-year history, so who knows what’s going to happen.

Thanks for all the kind words after I posted on Saturday. I’m feeling better — sometimes things feel worse than you think they are. I sat down on Sunday, made out a list of what needed to be done at work, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Still a lot, but I’ve made progress, and I was even able to write a little bit on Sunday. I’m hoping to write more today, but I’ll definitely be able to write the rest of the week as I’ll be caught up with the big things today.

See you tomorrow for another update!