Sage burst into the kitchen and Alexis immediately tugged Emily in front of her as a shield.
“You killed my father,” the irate teen declared furiously. “And now Carly seems to think that we can just kiss and make up and eat dinner like some Stepford family.”
“Well, Carly was obviously mistaken, but please calm down, Sage,” Emily cautioned. “Alexis, let me go!” she hissed.
“What if she grabs a butcher knife?” Alexis retorted.
“And you want me to be the human shield?” Emily demanded.
Carly flew into the kitchen then. “Sage, please, can we just talk about this–”
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Sage hissed. “You were supposed to care about me–and you expect me to apologize to the woman who killed my father?” Her dark eyes were lit in fury and more than just Alexis were nervous about what she might do.
She turned back to Alexis. “How would you like it if someone expected you to sit down and play nice with the person who’s responsible for making you an orphan?” Sage spat. “When all you’d rather do is rip that person’s throat out.”
Carly crossed her arms. “Yeah, Alexis, how would you feel if Nikolas asked you to be the good little girl around Helena?”
Alexis narrowed her eyes. “That’s a low blow.”
“Who’s Helena?” Sage demanded.
“The woman who killed Alexis’s mother–right in front of her eyes,” Carly informed her. “Nikolas’s grandmother.”
Sage hesitated. “You saw her kill your mother?” she asked, her voice a little more quiet, the rage gone.
“When I was four,” Alexis said uncomfortably. “Helena was my father’s wife.”
“Oh.” Sage cleared her throat. “I’m sorry,” she offered, a little insincerely but Alexis recognized the gesture for what it was. She released Emily from her grip and knocked her out of the way.
“You’re welcome,” Emily muttered.
“I’m sorry as well. I didn’t…when Luis came to town, no one knew he had a daughter and I guess…no one imagined he had any sort of family to be honest so I didn’t know…I didn’t understand what I was taking from you.”
“He never told anyone about me?” Sage asked softly. She looked at Carly before looking around at the other women in the room. “Not even…in passing? Maybe when he was in the hospital?”
“I was his nurse and I never heard anything about you,” Bobbie said apologetically.
“Oh.” Sage blinked. She took a deep breath. “I’m sorry I made such a scene. I’ll just…I’ll go watch the game again, I guess.”
After she was gone, Carly rubbed her head. “Oh…someone tell me teenaged boys are easier,” she muttered.
“That poor girl,” Elizabeth sighed. “How could her father not even mention her?”
“Well, it is Luis Alcazar we’re talking about,” Bobbie reminded everyone as she returned to her cooking. “He doesn’t strike me as world’s best father.”
“Well, we only knew one side of him,” Alexis reminded her. “Obviously, he was someone completely different to his daughter.”
“I should have seen this coming but I honestly didn’t think of it this morning,” Carly sighed. “I’ll just go sit with her and see if she wants to talk.”
“Well, at least dinner is almost done,” Bobbie remarked with mock cheerfulness.
It was after dark when Sage arrived home, a large paper bag in her arms. “Carly’s mother overcooked so she sent a lot of the leftovers home with me and Carly,” Sage told her uncle as he took it from her.
“Well, that’s good then since neither of us is particularly adept at cooking,” Lorenzo replied. “Carly didn’t come up?” he asked, trying to sound nonchalant as he headed to the kitchen.
Sage rolled her eyes and smiled weakly. “Way to be obvious, Uncle Zo.”
“How was dinner?” Lorenzo asked as he unpacked the different containers of food. He took a plate out of the cabinet and started making himself some dinner.
“It was okay.” Sage slid up on the counter and sighed. “My dad…he didn’t love me did he?” she asked softly.
Lorenzo exhaled slowly. “Sage…I can’t answer what was in his heart.”
“He never told anyone here about me,” Sage informed him. “How can that be possible? I mean…everyone talks about their kids at least once in their life right? Carly’s all about the boys and I met Elizabeth Webber tonight and she even talked about her pregnancy as scandalous as it is and all…I just don’t understand why Daddy couldn’t love me.”
“Sweetheart…the lack was not in you,” Lorenzo cupped his niece’s face in his hands. “You are a wonderful, giving person and if he didn’t see that, then it was his loss, his problem. Not yours.”
“But he loved Brenda, right?” Sage asked. “He was always talking about her but he never let me meet her. Why do you think that was?”
“I don’t know,” Lorenzo answered honestly. “I only met Brenda briefly myself.”
“Do you think he told Brenda about me? She was the love of his life and all…he pretty much died for her. Wouldn’t he have at least mentioned me to her?” Sage’s voice was hopeful.
“It’s something you’d have to ask her,” Lorenzo shrugged. “Sage…I just don’t know how I can make this better for you.”
“I guess it’s enough that you want to,” she sighed. “He wasn’t a very good person, was he?” Sage asked. “I heard that he lied to Brenda about her disease and that he kidnapped Georgie and Maxie and that he left Alexis Davis almost dead in the snow…”
“The Davis woman was in premature labor and Luis found her in the park. He left her and she nearly lost the baby,” Lorenzo admitted. “He lied to Brenda because he was afraid she’d leave him and he kidnapped the Jones’ girls to gain leverage on Roy DiLucca. But no–your father wasn’t a good person.”
Sage nodded. “Yeah…I kind of figured that.” She crossed her legs and scratched her ankle. “You are, though. I mean…a good person. And…since I came to live with you…I really love you. I wish…” she took a deep breath. “I wish that you were my father,” she said in a rush.
He leaned over and kissed her softly on the forehead. “That is the single greatest thing anyone could ever say to me,” Lorenzo told her. “And I wish that you were my daughter.”
Sage threw her arms around him then and he hugged her tightly. Whether Lorenzo ended up marrying Carly and they all became or family or not…Sage finally felt accepted somewhere.
She’d finally found home.
December 1, 2003
Port Charles Courthouse
Elizabeth trailed after Ric, a sheaf of papers in her hands. “Sign them, damn it,” she demanded.
Ric turned at the doors of the court room and shook his head. “No. As long as I don’t sign them, you are still my wife.”
“I’m not your wife, damn it!” She shoved them at him again. “Sign them!”
“No,” he said again. He pushed the doors open again and headed down the aisle. “Morning, Scott,” he greeted.
“Mornin,” Scott Baldwin grunted. He glanced at the irate Elizabeth still holding out the papers. “Domestic troubles?”
“Sign the papers, Ric, damn it. We haven’t been married in five months. Why don’t you just end this?” she seethed.
“Because I’m not letting you go that easily,” Ric replied. “You still love me, Elizabeth. And I’m going to make you understand that it’s okay you’re pregnant with Jason’s baby. That doesn’t matter to me. I love you anyway.”
“I don’t want to be with you!” Elizabeth exploded. She slapped the papers down on the prosecution table. “Why does this have to be such an issue with you, Ric? You know if I sue for a contested divorce, I’ll get it. You drugged me–twice, I might add. You sat by and let me drink poisoned lemonade and then–then I find out you’re keeping a pregnant woman locked in our house.” She threw up her hands. “What part of I don’t love you anymore isn’t getting through your thick skull?”
“I made mistakes,” Ric began.
“And then you find out I’m pregnant, you run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to make sure everyone and their mother knows before I can even get a chance to process it all. How can you possibly say you love me?” Elizabeth slapped a pen down. “Sign them.”
Elizabeth made a strangled noise of frustration and dragged her hands through her hair. “I swear to God, Ric, why can’t you just think of someone other than yourself for once?”
“I am,” Ric replied, dropping the charming smile. “I would rather cut off my arm than sign these papers and let you be with that cold-hearted criminal,” he hissed.
“What the hell are you babbling about?” Elizabeth demanded. “I am not leaving you for Jason. I’m leaving you because you tried to kill me!”
“I didn’t try to kill you–that was never my intention,” Ric protested.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You just wanted me to think I was infertile,” she fumed. “And you fed me birth control pills. That’s so much better than trying to kill me.”
“If you two can hold off on the lover’s spat, we have a case to prepare for here,” Scott said.
“If you were any kind of lawyer, this scum would be in prison for what he did to Carly instead of prosecuting other people,” Elizabeth raged. “I don’t know why I even bother,” she muttered. “Sign the papers,” she said again.
“No,” Ric remarked petulantly. “You love me. You just need to remember that.”
“I’ve got to get out of here before I lose my mind,” she moaned. She turned around and started towards the doors of the courtroom only to come face to face with someone she’d rather avoid.
Elizabeth halted in her steps and her cheeks flushed. “C-Courtney.”
Courtney shifted her weight from one foot to the other before looking at the tall dark-haired man next to her. “Hello, Elizabeth. Brian…this is Elizabeth Lansing, Elizabeth, this is Brian Beck.”
“It’s Webber,” Elizabeth corrected, shaking the hand Brian offered. She tossed a heated glance over her shoulder at her estranged husband who just waved and smiled at her. “Just as soon as he signs those papers.”
“I…I didn’t know you hadn’t taken care of that yet,” Courtney said, slightly uncomfortable.
“I’ve been trying to since August,” Elizabeth sighed. “He refuses to sign the papers.”
Brian lifted his eyebrows. “Yeah, he seemed to be the obstinate type when I met him.”
“Yeah, Ric came to Haye’s Landing two weeks ago,” Courtney said. “To, ah, give me the happy news.”
There it was. She’d said the words and they were hanging between them. Two women who’d once been friends and were now as far apart as they could ever be.
“Oh, Courtney, that’s not the way I wanted you to hear it,” Elizabeth said. “I–I am so sorry he’s a jackass and I am even more sorry this all happened–”
“It’s…it’s okay, Elizabeth. I’m–I’m not past it,” Courtney assured her. “But I’m working on it.”
“There should really be a pamphlet for situations like this,” Elizabeth muttered.
“Yeah,” Courtney agreed with a little smile. “Are you–are you staying for the trial?” she asked.
“I don’t think that’d be very appropriate,” Elizabeth replied. “I was just…trying to get Ric to sign the divorce papers.”
“Oh….I was hoping we might have a chance to talk. Clear the air, so to speak,” Courtney told her. “We used…we used to be friends, you know. And I just–I wish there was some way we could work this out.”
“Really?” Elizabeth asked surprised. “I didn’t…I never expected that from you.”
“Well…really, it’s not…it’s not as bad as it all seems. I mean…he was practically your boyfriend when I started seeing him and I never apologized for that and after everything we’ve been through this last year…I just don’t want to fight anymore. I am tired of fighting and feeling like I’m this horrible bad person.” Courtney tightened her hands around the straps of the purse she held in front of her. “So…why don’t you stay? I’m sure…I’m sure Jason could use the extra support and we could get a chance to talk.”
“Okay,” Elizabeth agreed with a wary note in her voice.
Outside The Courtroom
Carly pushed open the door and shut it immediately before turning to Jason. “Okay, I want you remember that you are not the bad guy and that while you are a jerk, you deserve to be happy,” she said in a rush. “Just don’t do anything stupid or say anything stupid.”
Jason frowned. “Carly?”
“Courtney’s in there and I think she brought her friend Brian from Haye’s Landing and well–she’s talking to Elizabeth.”
Jason paled. “She is?”
“Okay…then we’d better go in there.” Jason pushed past her and entered the courtroom.
Courtney and Brian turned at the entrance and the already uncomfortable situation became that more unnerving. “Hey, Carly.” Courtney walked forward and kissed her sister-in-law on the cheek. “How are you doing? Are you still seeing Cameron?”
Carly nodded. “Yeah, but with the boys home, it’s been difficult.”
“Brian, this is Carly Corinthos and you’ve…met Jason,” Courtney remarked. “Jason, Carly, this is Brian Beck.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Brian,” Carly said, shaking his hand. “I’m glad…I’m glad Courtney’s doing well in Haye’s Landing.”
“We’re glad to have her there,” Brian remarked, the only one who didn’t seem to be avoiding eyes and staring the floor.
“Well, this is just the oddest gathering of people I’ve ever seen.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Ric, go away and sign the damn papers,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Nonsense, darling,” Ric said, putting his arm around her shoulders which Elizabeth immediately knocked away and she backed up into Jason accidentally.
“Ric, why don’t you go somewhere else you’re not wanted?” Carly said coolly. “I think this is already bad enough without your little help.”
“Oh…it can always get worse,” Ric remarked with some false cheer. “Brian, right? We didn’t get a chance to really get introduced when I paid Courtney a visit.”
Courtney glared at him. “Yeah, well, you weren’t welcome then and you sure as hell aren’t welcome now.”
“Well, if you and Elizabeth are going to be the best of friends and I can already see Brian and Jason are going to get along famously, why not just include one more in this twisted group?” Ric remarked, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
“Go away,” Elizabeth hissed. “You are just being an asshole.”
“Now that’s no way to get a divorce,” Ric admonished her with a smile.
Carly put a hand on Jason’s arm, seeing the tension in his body. “Why don’t you just give the poor girl her damn divorce already?” she demanded. “She doesn’t want you anymore, Ric.”
“She’s confused,” Ric retorted. “She doesn’t know what she wants. One day she wants Jason, the next she wants me, then she wants Zander. Hell, Courtney, you’d better keep an eye on your new boy toy before Elizabeth decides she wants him.”
“That’s it,” Jason muttered. He took a step forward but Elizabeth found a surprising defender.
“Oh, that’s real rich coming from you,” Courtney spat out. “One day you want Elizabeth, the next you want revenge on your brother, then you want to be this perfect ADA, and then you come over here into a situation that is none of your business and think you can make trouble. Newsflash, Ric, there’s nothing you can say that I don’t already know so why don’t you take your little one liners and your hateful words and take them over to Scott where they might be appreciated.”
“Dear deluded Courtney,” Ric sighed.
“Okay, I don’t really know you and I don’t care to but I believe you’ve been asked to leave us alone about three different times,” Brian remarked. “I’m not going to let you stand there and insult everyone. You’ve got a trial to prepare for so why don’t you go over there and do that?”
“And sign the papers while you’re at it,” Elizabeth seethed.
“Normally, I wouldn’t just slink away but I believe it’s almost to call court into session.” Ric stepped towards Elizabeth as if to kiss her goodbye but she backed up even further, nearly stepping in between Carly and Jason. “Goodbye.”
He moved back to the prosecution table. “We’d better take our seats so that we’re not blocking everyone,” Brian informed Courtney.
“Do you need a ride somewhere?” Jason asked, consciously turning away from his estranged wife and her new male friend.
“Well…I was only here to talk to Ric about the divorce but…”
“I asked her to stay,” Courtney said. “I wanted…to talk to her.”
“Right. If you’re still sure…” Elizabeth hesitated.
“I’m still sure.”
Elizabeth followed Courtney and Brian to the row behind the defense table and Carly frowned. “That’s…odd.”
“That’s one way of putting it.”
Jason closed his eyes and turned to see Sonny standing behind them with Dara next to him. “Sonny,” he stated.
“I’ve been leaving messages for you,” Sonny remarked coldly.
“I’ve been busy,” Jason remarked. “Dara…do you have a moment?”
“Sure,” Dara remarked. She glanced at Sonny. “Why don’t you go have a seat? Try not to talk to anyone or get into an argument?”
Sonny didn’t answer nor did he talk to his wife. Carly studiously kept her eyes on the ground. Once Sonny was seated, Carly moved into the row behind Courtney.
“What can I help you with?” Dara asked.
“I’m not sure if this is your area and if it’s not, you can recommend me another lawyer but I need to file for divorce.”