They’re tryin’ to come back, all my senses push
Untie the weight bags, I never thought I could
Steady feet, don’t fail me now
I’m gonna run till you can’t walk
Something pulls my focus out
And I’m standing down
– Stop and Stare, OneRepublic
Saturday, May 18, 2002
Elizabeth & Gia’s Apartment: Living Room
As Elizabeth went to get a broom and dustpan, Jason reached for his cell phone. The last thing any of them needed was someone coming in and blowing the warehouse sky high.
And he was almost positive it was a bomb—the force of the blast—the fact that windows had shattered five blocks away—what else could it be?
“Where are you?” Sonny’s voice picked up almost before the phone rang. “Did you see? Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m good. I’m at the Brownstone with Elizabeth. It—Sonny, the windows shattered here. Probably almost everywhere else on the block.”
He heard a knock and turned to the door as Elizabeth let Bobbie in. The redhead was a bit shaken as she took in the broken windows. “Bobbie just came in.” He looked at her. “Your windows, too?”
“Yeah.” Bobbie blinked at him. “I—it woke us up. I just—I left Lucas with Michael because I wanted—” She pressed her fingers to her lips. “I wanted to see if Elizabeth knew where you were—I saw it was at the warehouse—”
“The whole area is engulfed,” Sonny said, and Jason turned his attention back to the phone. “Not just our building. But most of the pier. No way it’s an accident. Alexis and I are on our way down—”
“We talked about this, Jase. You need to stick where you are. You need to be out of this.”
“Sonny—” Jason gritted his teeth. It had made sense in the moment, but now he wasn’t so sure. “This was serious—”
He saw Elizabeth dump glass in the recycle bin and then go back towards the bedrooms to check the other windows, but Bobbie stood there, her dark eyes sober. Worried.
“I know. I don’t know who was there tonight. I’ll let you know when I know something else, but we gotta—we gotta stick to the plan.”
“Yeah, all right. I’ll talk to you later.” Jason hung up the phone and just stared at it for a long moment. He hated being out of the loop. Unable to fix anything. To not be right there when the information came in.
He turned to Bobbie. “Hey. I’m—I’m gonna make some calls. I’ll have someone out here to fix the windows by the morning, but—Is…is Michael okay? I’m sure he was scared.”
“He’s all right. Lucas distracted him with video games. He’s getting good at that.” Bobbie watched Elizabeth return from the back of the apartment, more glass in the dustpan. “I’m glad…I’m glad you were here, Jason.”
She left then, and Jason looked at Elizabeth who met his eyes without hesitation. With understanding. “Are you going to meet Sonny?” she asked softly.
“I—” Jason exhaled slowly and slid the cell phone back in his pocket. He picked up his gun from the table where he had set it, and put the safety back on and tucked the gun back in placce. “There are things I won’t be able to tell you. I know you know that. But…that was before…” He looked away, leaned against the back of the sofa. “Before.”
“Before we started dating.” Elizabeth set the broom and dustpan aside, then sat at the small circular table she and Gia had used to dump their books and papers throughout the semester. “Okay.”
“Sonny—he likes to think it’s better when you don’t tell anyone anything ever. And I guess after Brenda and Carly, that makes sense for him, but it just—I don’t know. I never told Robin much, I guess. And it usually meant we argued about what I wasn’t telling her. And Carly turned Sonny into the Feds. And Brenda wore a wire. So, I think—”
“Jason.” She managed a brief smile, a light of amusement in her eyes. “You’re rambling. I get it. There’s stuff I don’t need to know because…I don’t need to know it. But there’s things you think I should know because it makes us both safer. And I know you don’t want to lie to me. So, tell me what you want me to know.”
Her quiet acceptance of everything he was—it was so different than anything he had ever had in his life before and it took him a minute to gather his thoughts again.
Jason pulled out another chair next to her and sat down. “After I left last year, I—I didn’t think I’d come back so Sonny had to—what I used to do for him—”
“He gave your job to someone else,” she said with a nod. “Makes sense.” And neither of them commented on the reason he hadn’t planned on returning to Port Charles. It just wasn’t important anymore.
“So technically…I’m as out as I could be. And if I left Port Charles, I’d be out.” Jason hesitated. “And I haven’t…gotten my job back. In the same way. I’m…” He searched for the right way to explain it. “You know that Sorel died last year.”
“Yeah, and Sonny merged the territories.” When he blinked at her, she shrugged. “You pick up some things on the street, and Sonny gave some hints. He put a guard on me for a little bit during the worst of it because Sorel’s men knew me from before.”
“Oh.” He felt out of his depth, didn’t know what to do with someone he could…explain things to without them demanding more. Who just…understood him. “It meant taking in a lot of new guys. New clubs. And Sonny’s been expanding elsewhere. In Atlantic City. He’s talking about Las Vegas.”
“I imagine it’s been difficult with so many new people.” Elizabeth tilted her head. “Is that what you’re doing? Sorting through them?”
“Yeah. Kind of. Auditing records, actually.” He rubbed his hands against his jeans. “There’s…some irregularities. We think we know who and how, but we’re just…we don’t have enough. This, though…” He heard the sirens of ambulances, fire engines, and police cars as they raced towards the scene. “This is out of the blue. I don’t know of any threat that…would explain this.”
“Okay,” she drew out the word with a squint of her eyes. “But you’re not leaving to meet with Sonny because you’re not technically back at work?” Elizabeth frowned. “Do…do you want people to think you’re not there?”
“Yeah. If I’m out, then there’s no reason for me to be there tonight.” He frowned and looked at the door. “I’m surprised Taggert isn’t banging on the door yet. He would have seen my bike parked on the street—”
“He went to Buffalo with Gia. He’ll probably harass you when he gets back.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Thanks. I mean for telling me. I know you don’t like to talk about any of this.”
“I don’t because—” Jason took her hand in his, felt the soft skin of her fingers. Ignored the bruise developing on her forearm. “I don’t like to think about of that when we’re together.”
“But the real world is what it is.” She laced her fingers with his. “For what it’s worth, Jason, not that my opinion matters or anything, but if you’re trying to find a traitor or whatever, it’s probably good that they don’t think you’re doing more than the books. You’ve got a reputation.”
He scowled at that. “What do you mean?”
She lifted a brow. “No one messes with you. I remember that day on the docks when you almost threw Sorel in the harbor for talking to me. I mean, yeah, he approached me one time when you left and there was that bomb, but I was mostly left alone after that. Anyway… I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but people talk about you, and I’ve…” She shrugged. “I’ve seen you in action. Anyone who wants to get one over on Sonny knows they have to go through you. If you’re not really back at the job, if people think you’re just here to deal with Michael and might go away again, they’re not going to cover their tracks as much.”
Jason leaned back, drawing his hand from hers. “None of this bothers you?” he asked, feeling a bit skeptical. Robin had never spoken so matter of factly about his job. Or what he did. And Carly had really only enjoyed spending the money.
But no one had ever spoken to him bluntly about the work he did. Or how well he did it.
Elizabeth frowned. “Are…are you mad because I get it?” She pressed her lips together. “I would think it would actually be easier for you if I didn’t. I mean, Jesus, Jason, what do you want me to say? I found you bleeding in the snow and changed your bandages. I hid you in my studio because you didn’t want anyone to know you were here. And I’ve seen you hold on a gun on people. I know what you do. I know who you are.”
“Do I wish that you…had a safer job? I guess. I don’t really think about it. You were a mechanic for a while, but I know you didn’t like it. And…” she shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s not black and white. You work in a violent world. But you know what? The whole damn world is violent. You don’t have the monopoly on danger. I mean, I walked through the park at night and that turned out to be—” Her voice stopped.
“I’m sorry,” Jason said roughly. “I don’t mean—I just…” He swallowed hard. “I don’t know. We’ve never talked about any of this.”
“You need to understand that I don’t see you through rose-colored glasses. That yeah, there’s the guy you are with me or with Michael or Bobbie—then there’s another side of you. But I’ve seen that side of you, Jason.” She learned forward and forced him to meet her eyes. “I’ve seen it. I know you know how to use that gun. I know you’ve been shot more often than I want to think about. I’ve seen what you’re capable of. And my face isn’t going to change.”
She held up a hand before he could speak. If he could have even spoken. “And don’t tell me it did with Lucky. That was—that wasn’t you. That was me. I was terrified last year. I didn’t know what to think. Who to believe. I wanted to believe Lucky because that meant I didn’t have to blow up my life. It was easier to believe him. I spent two years taking the easy way out. Because I was too afraid to do anything else.”
“I’m not doing that again. I’m done living my life in fear. So, yeah, I know what you do for a living, Jason. And no, it doesn’t bother me. If it bothers you that I’m not wringing my hands over it—” She rose to her feet, shrugging a shoulder as she did so. “Then maybe this isn’t going to work—”
He reached for her hand as she started to walk away, just to stop her. To turn her back. “Hey. I’m sorry. I just—what I do is…”
“You’re used to people looking at you differently because of it.” Elizabeth sighed. “I get it. You’ve had to deal with my baggage about Lucky so many times, it’s only fair that I get some of yours.” She framed his face with her hands. “I am not Robin. And I will never walk away because of your job.”
“Okay.” He tugged her closer to him and kissed her. He wasn’t entirely sure he believed her, but he knew she believed it, and that was enough for him.
It was more than he’d ever had before.
Monday, May 20, 2002
AJ hesitated for just a moment before knocking briskly on Lucky Spencer’s door. It was jerked open and the blond man scowled. “What? I’m packing.” He squinted. “Why are you here?”
“Because if it wasn’t me making sure you were leaving, it’d be Jason.” AJ raised his brows. “Pretty sure that would be bad idea.”
Lucky scowled and jerked away from the door, disappearing back into the room. “I told Liz I’d go, and I’m going.”
“Okay.” AJ moved inside the doorway and leaned against the frame. He didn’t like the younger man—didn’t much care for anyone who put their hands on a woman. Beyond that one horrible fight with Carly, he could honestly say he’d never stooped to that.
But there was something in the way he carried himself, something just beneath the anger that radiated from his lanky frame.
AJ understood that. He’d lived it.
“It’s easy to stay angry.”
Lucky paused as he shoved some clothes into a duffel and looked at him. “What?”
“When your world blows up,” AJ continued. “When people disappoint you. When you disappoint yourself. Being angry is easy. It feels good. And sometimes, you get stuck in it.”
Lucky exhaled slowly. “I’m not angry all of the time—” But the protest seemed weak and he couldn’t finish it.
“When I found out Jason had lied about Michael, I got angry. And I stayed angry.” He shrugged. “Not that my marriage to Carly ever really had a chance, but maybe if I had been kinder. More understanding. I don’t know. Maybe. But I made choices that led me to losing her and Michael. And then I—I started drinking. And—”
“Yeah.” AJ rubbed his mouth, trying to block out that moment. To forget his part in it. He hadn’t pushed her. He knew that in his heart and in his soul. But he’d been part of the moment. And he should have walked away.
“I spent years drowning out all the voices that told me I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t Jason. I wasn’t Ned. I wasn’t the right kind of Quartermaine. I crumbled under that pressure, Lucky. And I ruined my life. I didn’t push her, but that doesn’t make me any less guilty.”
Lucky looked down at his hands as if they belonged to strangers. “I know I left marks on her,” he murmured. “I had to have.”
“I know what it’s like to feel like you’re not going to measure up to Jason. To come in a distant second.” He’d done with the family. With Keesha. With Carly.
The younger man looked up, his mouth pressed into angry lines. “Yeah, and he just stands there because he doesn’t actually give a damn. He’s not—”
“He’s not even competing. Yeah.” AJ hesitated. “I understand being hurt about how Elizabeth called off the wedding. That she didn’t call it off before. That she waited until—”
“We were standing in front of everyone who loved us. Family. Friends. Everyone who—” Lucky broke off. “You didn’t know us before. Before I died.”
“No, but I remember—I remember you. Around the house, with Emily. And I—I went with Emily to your funeral.” AJ rubbed his chest, thinking of his younger sister. “She was devastated. Everyone was. But Elizabeth was beyond that.”
“Yeah.” Lucky resumed packing. “She said that. When I came home. That she almost drowned in it. But that Jason helped her figure out how to live with it. And you know, I’m glad. I want to be glad,” he corrected. “She didn’t know I was alive. And I wouldn’t have wanted her to lose herself.” His voice dimmed. “She worked too hard to put herself back together. I would have hated if she’d gone back to that place. And so, yeah, when she told me Jason helped her. Was there for her, I was glad. I liked Jason. He was good to me.”
“And then he came home.”
“And she looked at him.” Lucky turned to AJ. “And you know what I mean. She told me she loved me. But she looked at him.”
“And stayed with you.”
“And that’s—I can’t stop being pissed off about it. But I made that choice, too. I stayed. I guilted her into staying with me. I knew I could. And I did.” He looked back at his hands. “And last night, I—I don’t know.”
“It’s easy to stay angry,” AJ said again. “Because, man, it feels good. It feels righteous. When you’re angry, you can throw it at someone. Make them hurt the way you hurt. So, I get that. And I get how that anger turns into something like last night. The only person in my entire world that loved me anyway was my brother. And he’s gone because of me. Jason’s alive, but he’s not my brother. I killed that man. I took him away from my family. From me. From everyone. And I have to live with that.”
“I don’t know how to stop being angry,” Lucky said dully. “And it’s not just Liz. It’s…it’s my whole damn life. I look around at it, and I just—” He shook his head. “I’m tired of everyone looking at me and wanting me to be that guy. Who I used to be.”
Lucky wouldn’t appreciate the comparison, but he had more in common with Jason that he thought. And maybe one day, AJ could tell him that. But for now, he stood there while Lucky packed the rest of his things and helped him put them in his car.
“Where are you going to go?”
“I’m going to go home and stay with my mom for a while. She and my dad are planning a second wedding,” Lucky said. “I guess I’ll help them do that. Do some photography for my mom’s company. I don’t know.” He hesitated as he opened his car door. “You’re right. I’ve…I’ve held on to the anger. Because I don’t know what else is there.”
“A year ago, I woke up,” AJ said. “And I was hungover. I stumbled into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and I was just…I was done with it. Because the alcohol drowned out the voices, yeah. But I was killing myself. Nothing horrible happened. Nothing traumatic. I just woke up one day and I was done. But until that day comes, Lucky, you gotta stay away from the people who make you angry.”
“Yeah. Not the worst idea. Thanks. For not…for not treating me like…well, for not kicking my ass.”
“Thought about it, but I’ve been there, Lucky. And it doesn’t help. You know you were wrong. Make it better.”
AJ stepped back and watched as Lucky pulled out of the parking lot. He’d done what he could to reach out to someone else who was drowning, but there was no way to know if it had worked.
Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room
Sonny ran his hands through his hair and winced as Benny listed the casualties from the explosion. Seven of their night shift workers hadn’t been able to escape the building, including their manager who had been with Sonny since he’d managed the Paradise a decade ago.
“What does the fire chief say?” Jason asked from across the room by the fireplace.
“They found remnants of a bomb,” Benny reported. “Too early to be more specific but we got our guys at the PD on it. We’ll know when the full report comes in.” He shook his head. “I didn’t—I didn’t see this coming.”
“It wasn’t just us they hit,” Sonny murmured. “The fire spread to a few of the other businesses. The Quartermaines lost a building. A restaurant went up in flames. Two stores. Whoever planted this one—they meant to destroy everything.”
“I’ve never seen anything do this kind of damage here,” Jason admitted. “Five blocks away, most of the buildings lost their windows. I got someone out there today replacing what we can, but car windows—what do the Families say?”
Benny spread his hands. “Johnny called last night—he was in touch with the Zaccharas. We’ve heard from Hector in Miami. There’s just nothing from their end. And this isn’t Tagliatti or Vega’s signature. They’ve got no reason to blow up our place.”
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Sonny murmured. “A smaller bomb. A fire. Something to get our attention. But taking out the entire building and most of the crew that handles shipments—it’s nothing but problems for anyone going through us. It’ll be a month before we’re back up to speed. If not longer if the PCPD wants to be assholes about it.”
“What about Nico?” Benny asked. “I wouldn’t think he’d have the resources—”
“He’d have to get them from somewhere and I don’t know anyone who’s willing to destroy the waterfront to get to you,” Jason cut in. “Even Roscoe can’t be that stupid. This doesn’t make sense, Sonny. There’s…there’s no escalation here. It’s just nuclear right away.”
“I want to hear from Tagliatti and Vega to be sure. And make sure we got eyes and ears everywhere.” Sonny rubbed his eyes. He hadn’t slept. Had spent half the night down at the PCPD trying to explain to Mac he really wasn’t stone walling.
He didn’t know what the fuck was going on.
Benny excused himself to deal with the details and left Jason and Sonny alone. “You said you got the windows at the Brownstone replaced?”
“They’re there now,” Jason said. He hesitated. “We’ll figure this out, Sonny.”
“There used to be a way of doing business,” Sonny muttered. “A code. It’s all gone to hell.”
Friday, June 7, 2002
Miami, Florida: Cafe de Lune
Zander slid off his sunglasses and scanned the interior of the small cafe. He found his target across the room, in a corner. He hadn’t expected to hear from Luis Alcazar for a few more weeks and certainly hadn’t thought to be summoned to meet in public.
“Senor Smith.” Luis folded the Venezuelan newspaper and set it down on the table. “Would you like an espresso?” He raised his hand to summon the waitress, but Zander shook it off.
“Nah, I don’t like that stuff.” He sat across from the other man and frowned. “I’m surprised you wanted to meet with me. Here.”
Alcazar shrugged. “Corinthos doesn’t have time to worry about a guy he fired a month ago. He confirmed your new employment and moved on. You heard about their warehouse?”
“Yeah.” Zander pressed his lips together. “Doesn’t seem like that was the plan.”
“It wasn’t. Senor Roscoe is impatient.” Alcazar sipped his own drink, somehow making the act of drinking from a miniature cup look intimidating. “Wanted to send a message.”
“Some message. Hector is pissed about it. All movement has halted. No profits. Everyone’s ticked off. And he’s looking at me funny.”
Zander wasn’t interested in working for another half-assed idiot who didn’t take Corinthos and Morgan seriously.
“I’ll speak to him. I’ve dealt with our associate. He knows if he moves again without my say-so, it will be to his detriment.” Alcazar pursed his lips. “Though it was interesting to learn that Jason Morgan did not report to the penthouse until the next day. He stayed with his girlfriend. Is she the type who needs her hand held?”
“Elizabeth?” Zander scowled, remembering the scrape of her nails as she’d clawed at his face. “She can take care of herself. And it’s not her first rodeo. Morgan’s sister told me she hid Morgan after he was shot. And had a bomb in her studio for her troubles. She wasn’t hurt, but it didn’t sour her none. She’s tougher than she looks.”
“Is it possible Morgan is staying out of the business while he is in Port Charles? That this trip home is temporary?”
Zander hesitated. “I would have said yes when he first came back. Corinthos split his job between O’Brien and Corelli after the merger. He hadn’t done that before. And the way I hear it, that hasn’t changed yet. But I know he was looking at the books. Nico was getting freaked out. Dumped the product.”
He waited for a moment. “I would have said it was temporary,” he repeated. “That he would have settled the custody issues and left. But it got complicated with AJ Quartermaine going after custody. And if he’s seeing Elizabeth Webber, he’s probably not pulling up stakes.”
“The Webber girl has been involved with him for several years—never stopped him before—”
“They never dated before,” Zander interrupted. “There was always Lucky Spencer. He’s not a factor now. Trust me, if they’re together, it’s serious. And she’s got roots here. She’s managing that restaurant. She has friends. She’s in college. She’s not gonna go away with him.”
Alcazar nodded, steepling his fingers under his nose. “Thank you for your insight. It helps a great deal.”
“Are you still planning an ambush?”
“I’ve had to readjust that plan a bit. This warehouse incident has heightened security. Made them suspicious. My plan works when they’re not expecting it. We’ll have to wait.” Alcazar dropped a twenty on the table. “I’ll smooth things over with Hector and be in touch when we’re ready.” He rose to his feet. “You had a reputation for being a hothead. I’m pleased to see you’ve throttled it back.”
“Well,” Zander said with some consideration, “you seem to take Corinthos and Morgan seriously. They’re not weak. Or easy to take it down. Not impossible. But not easy. It’s irritating when no one else sees what you see.”
“Indeed. Keep out of trouble.”
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose as she scrubbed dried milkshake from one of the outside tables. “Goddamn assholes can’t even wipe up after themselves,” she muttered.
She heard a sound behind her and turned to find Lucky standing just inside the entrance.
She hadn’t seen him in nearly three weeks, not since that night. AJ had told her he’d seen Lucky to his car himself, and she’d been relieved by that news.
“Lucky,” she said, a bit warily. She glanced over her shoulder through the window. Courtney and Gia were at the counter as always, bickering as Courtney refilled sugar canisters.
“I just wanted—” Lucky hesitated. “We met here, you know.”
How could she forget? It had practically been her first day in town, and she’d made an irritation of herself to practically everyone—including Lucky when she’d insulted the bracelet his little sister made for him and his name. Love at first sight, obviously.
“I remember.” She tossed the milkshake-stained rag into the plastic tub with the other dirty dishes. “You didn’t much like me then, so I guess we’ve come full circle.”
“I thought I had all the answers back then,” he murmured. “I was Luke and Laura Spencer’s kid. That made me special.” He looked away, off to the side as if remembering that. “I don’t remember why I felt that way. I just know it was part of my DNA. And then…somehow, during that year, I lost it. And I keep trying to find it.”
She managed a sigh, feeling a bit of…empathy. She’d grieved that year, but he’d been kidnapped. Brainwashed. “I know. And I know I wasn’t—I looked at you like you were supposed to still be that boy. And that wasn’t fair.”
“I thought you should still be that girl.” He met her eyes there, and the anger…it was still there, but it was dimmer. And she didn’t feel it radiating towards her. “But so did everyone else. Everyone kept looking at me and you and I guess they thought if we could be those people again, it would all be okay. It could go back the way it was.”
“It’s too much pressure to put on a relationship,” she murmured. “I never stopped loving you—”
“But you stopped being in love with me,” he finished. Lucky nodded, slipping his hands in his pockets. “Yeah, I know. Because I stopped being in love with you, too. But I couldn’t admit it. Couldn’t face it. I just wanted to be that kid again. I wanted to be Lucky Spencer.”
“I went up to my room that night,” he continued, “and I just stared at my hands.” He looked down at them now, spreading his fingers out. “I…I grabbed you. Maybe I didn’t hit you. But I don’t think that changes it. I promised you once I would never hurt you. And that’s all I’ve done for years. And that night—” He shook his head. “I don’t recognize myself, Elizabeth.”
She sighed. “I hurt you, too. And I am sorry for that, I am. But at some point, Lucky, it’s going to have to be enough. I—I have to live my life. And I want—I deserve to be happy again.”
“Yeah.” Lucky nodded. “Yeah. You’re right. And maybe—maybe that’s why I can’t seem to put it away. Why I can’t stop being angry. Because I don’t know how to stop wanting my life back. I don’t even know what life I have now. And you do. You didn’t wait around for someone to give you the answers. You went out and got them.” Lucky looked away, his mouth twisting in disgust. “And I think maybe I almost hate you for being able to do that.”
She closed her eyes, accepted the words. “I didn’t have the answers when I left you, Lucky. I didn’t know what I wanted. I just…I tried things. I went back to school. I threw myself into my job. And I just tried to move past it all.” Elizabeth hesitated. “And, yeah…I found someone to be with. I can’t apologize for that.” She paused. “I won’t apologize for that.”
“I just…I came here to tell you I was sorry for that night. For all the nights—” Lucky shrugged. “It’s not enough. It never takes it back. But I just…I need you to know that I know I was wrong. And AJ didn’t have to force me to go. I’m surprised Jason hasn’t taken my head off. If it had been him who walked in—”
He exhaled slowly. “I try to remember that Jason is a man I used to respect. That I considered a friend. He looked out for me when I wasn’t living at home. And I—I’m—” He swallowed hard. “I’m mostly glad you had someone to talk to when I was gone. And I know he’ll treat you well. I just—I can’t seem to be happy for you.”
“Fair enough.” Elizabeth twisted her fingers in front her. “So—”
“Mom has some connections with some photography studios in New York,” Lucky cut in. “Photography…it’s the only thing I’ve kind of…felt good about since I came home. I’m going to try—I’m going to see if I can do something with it, you know? So I just—I’m going away. I think it’s better for both of us if I’m not around. Maybe I’ll be able to put something together and I can…stop being so goddamn angry.”
She was relieved to hear that he would be leaving Port Charles, but somewhere, deep inside, she grieved for the boy. And hoped he’d find peace. “Good luck, Lucky. I wish you the best.”
“Yeah.” He nodded slowly. “Thanks. You…you, too.”