Chapter Eleven

November 24, 2003

Kelly’s

It was early morning and Elizabeth was working the opening shift. The diner was pretty empty when Jason came in and she braced herself for the reprimand that was sure to come.

“You’ve been avoiding me since Friday night,” he said as soon as he sat down at the counter. “You weren’t at the hotel when you said you would be and then Emily told me you were staying at Wyndemere.”

“I don’t really like the hotel,” Elizabeth said hesitantly. “Emily offered and I took her up on it. I left a message–” she stopped. “No, that’s a lie. I didn’t try to call you or get in touch with you.”

“I was worried about you, Elizabeth. Why would you do that?”

“I needed time to think.” She sighed and poured him a cup of coffee. “This last week has just…it’s been insane and I really don’t know what my next move is. I have to tell my grandmother–and I know I have to make a decision about my living arrangements–and then there’s the guilt…” she shook her head. “It’s just a lot going on at once and I needed time.”

“You have nothing to feel guilty about,” Jason told her. “You aren’t responsible–”

“But I am,” Elizabeth interrupted. “Jason, I knew you were engaged to be married and you’d just finished telling me that all you two were doing was fighting. I knew and I still didn’t…” her cheeks flushed. “I still didn’t tell you to stop. So, I am partly responsible for whatever happens to your marriage.”

“Let me worry about that.” He sipped his coffee. “Did you…come to any conclusions this weekend?”

“I’ve fought very hard to be independent,” she began. “And it’s difficult to let go of that. Because I know for the rest of my life, I will never be that independent again. Because you will always want to pay for something–or take care of something. And it’s just…it’s not easy to come to terms with that.”

“I don’t want to take that independence from you. I just want to be the best father I can to this child and like it or not, Elizabeth, that means providing for you too. Especially right now. It’s the most crucial time to make sure you get the right care–the right everything.”

“I’ve always agreed to let you pay for Dr. Meadows,” Elizabeth said.

“But you need a good place to live–where the heat works and the electricity work. And your studio has been condemned so we can’t even remodel that. Will you please just let me find you something?”

“I can’t afford to pay for rent on a good place,” Elizabeth admitted. “But right now…I could pay utilities.” She tightened her hands around a dish cloth and looked down at it. “Would you at least…put the apartment in my name? In case you decide later that–”

“That’s not going to happen,” Jason interrupted. “You told me that I either in or I was out. I couldn’t back out. And I don’t want to.” He sat back in his chair. “But I will put the place in your name. Two bedroom apartment–I’ll get some listings and bring them back to you.”

“I only need one,” Elizabeth protested.

“Two,” Jason repeated. “I’ll be back after your shift.”

Haye’s Landing

Courtney pulled her jacket on and pulled her hair out from underneath the collar. “If I don’t go back now, I won’t,” she told Brian.

She pulled her keys out of her purse. “Thank you…for everything.”

Brian shook his head. “Don’t say it like we’re never going to see each other again. Haye’s Landing isn’t that far from Port Charles. We’re friends, right?”

“Definitely,” Courtney agreed. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. “I don’t know what I would have done this weekend without you.”

He cupped the back of her head and kissed her on the forehead. “I’m here for you, Courtney. You can always escape here.”

“It’s not fair to treat you that way though,” she sighed. “You…you deserve more.” She bit her lip and looked away. “Do you remember when I said that you make me feel things that you shouldn’t?”

“Yes.”

“I thought it was because I was away from Jason for so long–that because you were the only person I even knew around here…I thought it wasn’t real. That I was just imagining it.” She took a deep breath. “But it’s still true and I can’t…I’m not comfortable with it. But I thought you deserved the truth.”

“I’m not going to pressure you into anything you’re not ready for,” Brian told her. “And I will wait…until you’re ready.”

“I should go now,” she said softly.

“Call me when you get in. The roads are, ah, slick,” Brian cautioned her as he followed her out the door. She locked the front door and held out the keys to him. “You keep those. In case you need them.”

“Okay. And…I’ll call you when I get to town.” She moved towards her car but he stayed standing on the front step.

He was still there when she drove away and she took one last look in the rearview mirror. She’d miss him.

But it was time to stand on her own.

Port Charles High: Front Office

Sage watched intently as Carly filled out the necessary enrollment forms. She’d moved her things into Carly’s guest room the night before and she absolutely adored the new room. It had a great view of the street and it was a big room that just screamed for Sage’s personal touch.

Too bad it was only for a week.

“Okay, Mrs. Corinthos, we just need an in case of emergency number and we can work on Sage’s schedule,” the secretary told her with a bright smile.

Carly hesitated and glanced at Sage. “Who does your uncle usually put down?”

She shrugged. “Never had to fill one of those out before.”

After a moment, Carly put in her own information. “Until he gets back, we’ll just list me,” she said. She pushed the forms back across the desk. “That’s everything.”

“Great. Mr. Alcazar had his niece’s records faxed to us over the weekend and it appears that she is a junior,” the woman remarked, glancing over some of the forms. “If you’ll give me a moment, I’ll give you the schedule and call down a student to show Sage around.”

The woman disappeared around the corner and Carly shoved her pen inside her purse and checked her watch. Court was supposed to go into session in an hour and she wanted to be there. To support Sonny of course.

Even if she’d made at least the decision that her marriage was over.

“Carly…I really appreciate this,” Sage told her. “This is my first time in a public school and I’m just…I’m really glad you decided you wanted my uncle,” she said suddenly.

Carly couldn’t fight an amused smile at the girl’s nervous ramblings. Sage came off as a tough as nails bitch but the more she got to know her, the more she was just sure that all Sage needed was a family and a consistent home.

“Lorenzo is a good man,” Carly replied. “And he adores you.”

“Well, I think he’s the best so I guess we’re all equal.”

“Here’s your schedule, Miss Alcazar.” The secretary handed her a slip of paper. “And…” she hesitated, looking towards the front of the office. “Lucas Jones? Are you here yet?”

“Yes, Mrs. Kane.” Lucas Jones stepped up to the counter. “I’m Lucas,” he introduced himself.

Sage blinked. “Sage,” she murmured, extending her hand. “Sage Alcazar.”

Lucas’s eyes narrowed. “Sage Alcazar?” he echoed. “Oh. I’ve heard of you.”

“You…have?” Sage asked, hesitantly. She glanced at Carly as if for some support. “Your last name is Jones? Are…you’re not related to Georgie Jones are you?” she asked, a little desperately.

“Actually, she’s my cousin,” Lucas said flatly. “And I really don’t like people who treat her like dirt.”

Carly raised her eyebrows. “Lucas. I really don’t think Mom would approve of you being so rude to a girl you’ve never met before.”

Lucas slid a glance towards his half-sister as if just noticing her for the first time. “Carly. I’m glad you’re feeling better,” he offered.

“Yeah, well…Sage, I need to get going.” She squeezed Sage’s hand and kissed her cheek. “You have my cell number. Call me for whatever reason and Max will take you back to the house after school.”

“Thanks, Carly.” Sage watched her only ally walk through the door and turned back to Lucas. “Look…about Georgie…I–”

“Let me see your schedule,” Lucas interrupted. He yanked it from her hand. “Okay, you have History with Anderson. Let’s go.”

“Wait, seriously…I want to apologize for Georgie–” Sage sighed as she watched Lucas’s back disappear through the office doors.

Whether she was the daughter of a criminal or a would-be slut–it seemed she just couldn’t win.

She hurried to catch up with Lucas, intent on finding Georgie Jones the first second she could and apologizing.

Port Charles Courthouse

“Have you heard from Courtney?” Carly asked as she slipped into a seat next to Jason.

“No.” Jason shifted in his seat. “But she’s in Haye’s Landing again. One of her guards let me know that much.” He glanced at her. “The kids with Leticia?”

“Yeah. Sorry, I’m late. Who knew it took so long to get a girl enrolled in high school?” Carly said. She bit her lip. “Jason…there’s something we have to talk about. It’s about Lorenzo.”

“We can talk about it later,” Jason told her. “How are you feeling?”

“Better,” Carly answered honestly. “I have an appointment with Cameron after this. I think I’m getting into a better place and I just…I really want to apologize for Friday night–and for Saturday. I wasn’t being a good friend and you deserve better.”

“It’s okay–” Jason began but he saw Dara walking down the aisle, looking troubled. “Dara? What’s wrong?”

“Baldwin refused the deal,” she sighed. She set her briefcase on the table and sat down. “We’ve pleading guilty by reason of mental defect anyway so I’ve got to get Sonny examined by someone and unfortunately, we can’t use Cameron Lewis since he’s already treating Carly.”

“Well, there are other doctors. There’s Kevin Collins or Gail Baldwin,” Carly suggested. “They’ve both been around for a while. Why not call them?”

“I’ve already got an appointment set up with Kevin but Cameron’s the best out there for criminal insanity. It’s okay, though. I’m just disappointed Baldwin didn’t do the right thing. This all could have been over today.”

“Doesn’t surprise me though,” Carly muttered.

A bailiff brought Sonny in then and her heart lurched. He looked so haunted–so thin in his orange scrubs. Oh, God…he couldn’t survive in there much longer.

“Hey, guys,” he greeted quietly. He locked eyes with Carly before taking his seat.

“How’s the bail issue doing?” Jason asked, intently, troubled by Sonny’s appearance.

“We’re going to get a trial date set and petition then,” Dara told them. “I think we’ll be able to get something set up.”

“Court is now in session. All rise for the Honorable Judge Cooper,” a court officer announced.

Once Judge Cooper was seated, he cleared his throat. “You may take your seats. What’s the first case?”

“The People of New York versus Michael Corinthos for the attempted murder of Lorenzo Alcazar and Caroline Corinthos and the felony assault of Caroline Corinthos.”

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