November 25, 2003
“I need to start the drive back to Haye’s Landing,” Courtney said, breaking the silence. She slid into her jacket.
Carly pulled away from Lorenzo and crossed to her. “You know you’re welcome here as long as you want to be here.”
“Yeah but I need to be…I need to be by myself,” Courtney replied. She kissed Carly’s cheek and hugged. “Goodbye,” she said hurriedly moving past Lorenzo and leaving.
“I know I make her uncomfortable,” Lorenzo sighed.
“No, no, she’s going through a difficult time,” Carly told him. She took his hand and led him towards the couch. “She and Jason are getting a divorce.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.” He frowned. “Can I ask why?”
“There are a number of reasons–most notably Jason slept with his ex-girlfriend and she’s pregnant.”
“Well…” he chuckled a little. “I guess that would do it.” He smoothed her hair down and smiled at her. “You look better than you did when I left on Sunday.”
“I feel better,” Carly admitted. “Today, I woke up late and Sage and Michael were nearly late getting to school but it felt good to be normal like that.” Carly turned towards him, tucking one of her legs underneath her. “I wanted to talk to you about Sage.”
“She sounded good on the phone this morning,” Lorenzo remarked. “What happened at school yesterday?”
“She decided she wanted a fresh start and went to apologize to Georgie Jones and her boyfriend,” Carly told him. “They weren’t very accepting and then my dear half-brother ripped into her shortly after. He told her to go back to her tutors because no one wanted her here.”
Lorenzo exhaled slowly and stood. “I don’t know why I agreed to let her attend that place–”
“She came home, almost hysterical, telling me she refused to go back to a place where someone didn’t want her. She said she was tired of being where she wasn’t wanted.”
He looked at her sharply. “Does she think…?”
“She thinks her parents never wanted her, that you didn’t want her and that you just dumped her on me.”
“That’s not true,” Lorenzo said. “I wanted her here, I did. But the situation was precarious when she first broached the idea. I never knew if Sonny was going to come after me and during the summer with the panic room…it was out of question. I want her with me, Carly, but I want her safe.”
“I thought that might be it but…Lorenzo, she’s a teenaged girl. She’s already dealing with the onslaught of maturity and adulthood while letting go of her childhood–she’s in a very lonely place right now.” Carly leaned back against the couch. “I promised her that she always had home here with me. I hope that was okay.”
“Of course. I’m glad Sage feels close to you. Her mother…” he grimaced. “Her mother was a waste. Luis was at a stage in his life where he wanted a family and he married the first willing woman. Marisol…wanted the life his money would give her but she never wanted a husband or a daughter.” He sighed. “She left when Sage was young–maybe six or seven. Luis was crushed and sent Sage away to boarding schools.”
“She just needs some extra attention,” Carly told him. “I don’t claim to be a good mother or even know anything about raising teens–but I know how I felt at her age and I feel like if someone had just…taken the time to really look at me and learn who I was and where I was going…maybe my life would have been different.”
“I already decided that Sage needs a home. Not a temporary apartment but a real house. A place where she can feel comfortable and not have to worry about the next time she has to leave. And I’m doing to delegate certain parts of my business so I can be here more.”
“When she comes home from school, I was going to ask her to baby-sit the boys for a few hours while I go to an appointment with Dara but maybe you should take her out to dinner or something–”
“Why don’t Sage and I stay here and look after them? We can talk, and we’ll make dinner for you.”
“You really want to do that?” Carly asked. “I’d…I’d have to talk to Michael. He’s not really that comfortable with you but he adores Sage.”
“I want to be in your life Carly, I’ll do anything to stay there–”
She stood and took his hands in hers. “You don’t have to work at it,” she told him softly. “You’re already in my life. You’re part of my life, Lorenzo. I don’t know which part yet but it’s a good part. And I want you to know that no matter what happens between us, you will always be a part of my life.”
Lorenzo sighed and looked away. “I take it that you haven’t made any concrete decisions yet.”
She shook her head. “No…Cameron suggested I hold off making any permanent ones until I have more time adjust to my life–to living it and having all my emotions back. There’s so much going on in my life, Lorenzo. My best friends’ marriage is crumbling, my little boy is growing into a young man, my husband is about to go on trial and plead temporary insanity…and now I have this wonderful girl in my life who trusts me. And…I have this man…” she smiled up at him. “This incredible man who believes in me and is so kind…so patient…I don’t want to screw any of that up.”
“Okay, okay.” He sighed and smiled a little. “You can understand my eagerness to get this all behind us…and hopefully build a life together.”
“I…I want that too,” Carly admitted. “But we’ve got to take this one step at a time. There are people in my life that aren’t comfortable with the idea you and me and I need them to be because they are part of me, too. And I need to make it okay with them. And I don’t want to do anything to hurt my boys. They need to understand that while I still love their father…the woman I used to be is not who I want to be anymore.”
“I will wait as long as you need me too,” Lorenzo told her. “And I will work at my relationship with Sage. For me, for her and for you. I think we could be a family.”
“I think so too,” Carly agreed. She kissed his cheek. “I’m going to go check on Morgan.”
“I’ll be sorry to let go of this place,” Elizabeth sighed as she taped a box full of supplies shut.
“I won’t be sorry to see you out of here, though,” Lucky told her. “As much as I hate the idea of you being around Jason again, I’m glad he’s convinced you to move.”
Elizabeth pressed her lips together. “Yeah. Okay. Well, I’m not happy with the situation but I can’t put it off anymore. I need to get my life in order and the only way this baby and I are going to have a chance is if I let Jason do this now.”
“Jason and I are never going to be like we were once,” he told her. “But he’s a good guy. He’ll take care of you and he’ll be a good father.”
“I’m not worried about any of those things,” Elizabeth sighed. “I just…I’m worried that one day…when he and Courtney are ready to start a family of their own, what happens then? And how am I supposed to live in this town, day in and day out…being the other woman?”
“You’re not the other woman. To be the other woman, you’d have to be actively sleeping with Jason and it was just that one night. And as for when Jason starts a family with Courtney, that’s not your problem. He’s got a responsibility to you now–”
“I don’t want to be an obligation, damn it!” Elizabeth cut in sharply. “I don’t want to be a responsibility. I don’t want to be taken care of–”
“Then what do you want?” Lucky interrupted. He set the stack of canvases aside. “Why’d you sleep with him that night? All you had to do was say no–he would have stopped in a second. But you didn’t. Are you still in love with him, Elizabeth? Is that what this is all about?”
“Don’t say it like that–” she let out a frustrated breath and turned away, her eyes burning with tears. “I don’t know why that night happened, okay? I think about it all the time and I just–I don’t know!”
“You do know,” Lucky challenged. “I know you better than anyone else in the world, Elizabeth. We’ve been through tough times, you and me. From rock bottom to the best of times. You know me, youknow I’m here for you.” He pressed a hand to his chest. “Talk to me.”
“He kissed me,” Elizabeth told him tearfully. “I don’t know why he did it but he did a-and no, I didn’t stop him. I didn’t push him away b-because I…I miss him, Lucky. Is that so wrong? Yes, I miss what being with him was like. Before everything went to shit, I miss it. I miss him.”
“You miss him,” Lucky nodded. “Okay. That’s okay. That’s not wrong. I know exactly how you feel, Elizabeth, because I miss you sometimes. But it’s not usually about missing you in particular. It’s not about not having that person anymore–it’s about being alone. And no one wants that–”
“No…Lucky, that’s not it.” She sighed and sat on the arm of the couch. “I mean, yeah, okay, maybe that’s part of it. But…you and I–we ended it. We had definitive beginning and a definitive end. I knew when Ric and I started and I knew when we ended. But I don’t…Jason and I–” she shook her head. “I don’t know. I mean it’s over but it’s not. A-and I don’t know what that means–but I know that I miss him. I miss going on rides and just talking to him–I miss the way he used to look at me o-or the way he’d let me just ramble on. I miss him, Lucky. I don’t miss having someone around–I miss Jason. And I kissed him back–I made love to him because I thought it would help me. I thought if we did this–maybe I would feel like it was over.”
“I…well it’s obviously not since I’m pregnant,” she sighed.
“Before you knew you were pregnant,” Lucky told her, “and after that night was over, did it feel like it was over?”
“I–no…and that’s the thing that really sucks,” she muttered. “I spent a year telling myself that we weren’t real, that whatever I felt for him was dead and I got really good at it, Lucky. I mean…I really believed it. I married Ric–and I loved the man I thought he was and maybe if he’d really been that man…”
“But he wasn’t.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Elizabeth stood and took a deep breath. “Whatever I feel for Jason–that night or right now…none of that matters because he’s married. He doesn’t feel that way for me.”
“You don’t know that,” Lucky argued. “You said it yourself–he kissed you. I think it’s time you asked him why he did it.”
Port Charles High: Library
Sage wrinkled her nose. “I hate trigonometry.”
Lucas leaned towards her and pointed at some of scratch work with the tip of his pencil. “You need multiply this–not add.”
“How do people remember all this?” she grumbled, furiously erasing the work. “I hate math. And history. All those dates, formulas–it’s insane.”
“What do you like?” Lucas asked amused. “All you done all day is complain. You hate your history class, your psych class, your trig class–your locker smells, the food is bad–”
Sage sat back with a sigh. “I’m a bitch, aren’t I?” she asked, miserably. “I’m sorry–I really tried to make a better impression today–”
“No, no.” Lucas shook his head. “I’m just…so school’s not your thing. Not everyone’s academic.” He closed his book and sat back. “What do you do when you’re not complaining?”
Sage hesitated and frowned. “I don’t…I don’t know really. I don’t really have any hobbies, if that’s what you mean.”
“You don’t do anything for fun?” Lucas asked surprised.
“Well…at my boarding schools, I was on the swim team and I did a lot of horse back riding,” Sage told him. “But nothing normal–that I could around here.”
“That kind of sucks.”
She laughed. “Yeah, I guess it does. What’s there to do for fun here?”
“Well, not much,” Lucas admitted. “There’s dances. There’s Club 101 that Jasper Jacks owns. He recently made it an under 21 club, so that’s pretty cool. We’ve got a mall, there’s a movie theater–two actually. A vintage one and another that shows the newer stuff.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” Sage said. “Sounds normal.”
“You’re going to learn that normal isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do,” Lucas said.
“Quite the contrary…I’m looking for normal, safe and boring,” Sage sighed. “It’d be a welcome change.”
The bell rang, signifying the end of both eighth period and the day. She slid her books inside her book bag and stood.
“Did you need a ride home or anything?” Lucas asked as they left the library.
“Sure,” Sage agreed.
They were almost at the door before his cousin spotted them. Georgie stalked over and without a word to Sage, she yanked Lucas away by his elbow. “What are you doing?” she hissed.
“I’m driving Sage home,” Lucas said.
“Why?” Georgie demanded. “She’s a viper.”
“You don’t even know her,” Lucas challenged. “All you know is what she did with Dillon and if you ask me, it only shows that he’s a jerk–”
“That’s not the point. How can you be her friend after what she did to me?” Georgie asked softly.
“She apologized,” Lucas said lamely.
“Look, I get that she is pretty or whatever but you can do better,” Georgie bit out, throwing Sage a nasty look.
“Why do you even care what she does?” he replied. “She’s not bothering you is she? She’s not messing with Dillon.”
“No, but–” Georgie sighed. “Lucas, I don’t want to see you hurt and a girl like that–”
“A girl like what?” Lucas interrupted. “You don’t even know her, Georgie. She made a mistake and she apologized for it. Her apology was good enough for Dillon and good enough for me.”
Georgie threw her hands up in frustration and stalked back over to Sage. “Look, I want to make this real clear. I don’t like you. I don’t want my cousin anywhere near you.”
“I hardly think that’s your choice to make,” Sage retorted haughtily. She bit her lip–literally–to keep from going off on the younger girl. Tearing into Georgie Jones would hardly help her burgeoning friendship with her cousin.
“No, it’s not. So let’s just say this–if you hurt him in anyway, you will regret it.” With another glare, Georgie stomped off and turned down another hallway.
“Well, that was fun,” Sage murmured. “I’m gonna just walk–”
“No, no, I offered the ride.” Lucas pushed open the door for her. “Come on.”
Courtney entered the house and immediately kicked off her shoes, dropped her jacket over the banister and set her purse on a chair before picking up the phone.
“Hey, this Brian. Leave a message after the beep.”
“Hey, Brian, I’m back,” she sighed. “I talked with Carly most of the day and it went–it went well. I’ve made some decisions, you know? Jason asked me to wait until Sonny’s legal issues were over to file and originally. I just wanted to get it over with but I am going to wait until that’s done. I can support Carly through it–and it just makes more sense to deal with Dara instead of someone else.”
“Anyway, I was really only calling to let you know I got back safely. Um…I was thinking…you know, if you had any free time in the next few days or whatever…maybe you could show me around town more. I mean…I really didn’t have the time before with the boys and all…so…okay, I’m rambling now.” She laughed. “Okay, I’m going to go now. Call me back.”
She hung up the phone and sat down on the couch. In the two days she spent in Port Charles, she’d asked her husband for a divorce and accepted that her brother’s marriage to Carly was over.
Now she just needed a plan. A plan to get her life back–to get a job, be independent again.
“I’ve been in negotiations with Scott and he’s very adamant about his refusal to deal. He’s seeing this as his big chance to put Sonny away,” Dara began.
“But you’re pleading temporary insanity,” Carly broke in. “That’s going to help right?”
“Well…” Dara sighed. “I’ve got an appointment set up with Kevin Collins for him. But I’m not worried about that part of it right now. I’m almost positive Kevin will give me the evaluation I need. However…the jury needs to believe in him.”
“And you don’t think they will,” Carly replied.
“No, I don’t. I think that if I call the two of you, Baldwin or Ric Lansing is going to use that opportunity to probe into both your personal lives. I do not want Ric cross-examining you,” Dara told Jason. “Right now, I’m worried that the scene at the hearing yesterday will weigh negatively. We’ve got a very angry Sonny on tape, lunging for you. That doesn’t help him.”
“It was a bad situation,” Carly said. “Sonny had just found out about Elizabeth’s pregnancy.”
“I understand that…but Jason, do you really want to be on that stand, answering questions about your marriage to Courtney and relationship with Elizabeth?”
“How is it even relevant?” Jason asked, perplexed.
“Because you are his best friend, Baldwin can claim that anything going on in your life would have bearing on Sonny’s well being.”
Jason hesitated. “It wouldn’t bother me but I don’t think Courtney would appreciate our problems being aired out in the press and Elizabeth is already getting crap from the media after yesterday–she’s already in a slightly high risk pregnancy. I can’t risk anything else.”
Dara nodded. “So you understand that while your testimony would be helpful in some ways, it would be damaging to the people in your life. And Carly…bringing up your relationship with Lorenzo Alcazar is something I don’t want to even touch.”
“So you brought us here to tell us we wouldn’t be testifying,” Carly said slowly.
Dara nodded. “I also want to warn you that while your presence in the courtroom is fine…you might be careful who you sit with. Elizabeth would be a bad idea,” she told Jason. “And so would be Lorenzo Alcazar.”
“Elizabeth wasn’t even planning on coming to the trial,” Jason said. “She’s got a job and she’s moving into a new apartment.”
“Okay, well that’s pretty much all I had to say.”
“Do you think the jury will convict him?” Carly asked softly.
“I think that eventually Scott will see that a deal is his only way and then we can get Sonny into a hospital where he’ll get the help you both want him to have. I’ve talked to Sonny about this, and he’s already agreed.”
“I should go see him,” Carly sighed. She checked her watch. “I have time before dinner. Do you want to come with?” she asked Jason.
“I have a meeting at six and then I need to meet with the realtor,” he told her. “Thanks, Dara.”
Once they were outside her office and heading towards the elevator, Jason sighed. “How are the boys? I haven’t seen them in a few days.”
“They’re good,” Carly told him. “I’d invite you for dinner but Lorenzo is there and I really don’t want to force you two on each other right now.”
“It’s probably for the best,” Jason agreed.
“I talked to Courtney earlier.” Carly hesitated. “She seems to think you’re still in love with Elizabeth and that you never denied it.” She eyed him. “Are you?”
Boy I wouldn’t mind moving into Liz’s new place. But yes everyone will believe that she is a gold digger trying to trap a rich man