Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
“I’m gonna have to sit with her tonight so you might as well go back to the penthouse,” Jason told Carly. “I have to wake her up every so often.”
Carly nodded. “Okay. What…what are you going to do…tomorrow?” She wrapped her arms around herself and studied him.
“I know what I want to do,” Jason said. “But it doesn’t matter until I talk to her about it. And Carly, we will find a way to take care of this.”
Carly nodded. “I’d better get back before Sonny realizes I’m not home–”
“Carly…” he grasped her elbow. “I’m not saying you have to tell Sonny–that’s your choice. But you two can’t go on the way you have been.”
“I know,” Carly sighed. “I just…I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” She kissed him on the cheek. “I do appreciate how you’ve been there for me, even when you didn’t know. It means a lot to me.” She squeezed his hand. “Now, go take care of Elizabeth.”
When Carly slipped back inside the penthouse, the room was dark. She closed the door and the lamp by the sofa switched on.
She jumped. “Sonny, what the hell–”
“I think that’s my line.” He stood and folded his arms across his chest. “I heard you leave, come back and then leave again. So what’s wrong? Where did you go?” His eyes went flat. “Who were you with?”
Carly reached towards the wall and snapped the overhead light on, bringing light to the entire room. “Oh, yeah. Right. What about you? Brenda sleeping upstairs?”
“Damn it, Carly, that’s not what this is about and you know that!” He stalked towards her. “How long are you going to hold that against me? I would have expected you to be more mature–”
“Mature?” Carly gaped. “You self-centered son of a bitch! You kissed another woman–your former fiancé–I might add and I’m the immature one because maybe it upsets me? Go to hell, Sonny.” She stalked past him but he grabbed her arm.
“No more of this!” he roared. “You’re my wife, Carly, not Brenda–I kissed her to make sure I was over her–”
“You shouldn’t have needed that assurance,” Carly hissed, yanking her arm from his grasp. “Let me tell you something–this isn’t about Brenda. This is about you. You think that I’ve been avoiding you because of her? No. Because I can’t talk to you. Because you needed to a kiss to make sure you could still be with me and you don’t see a problem with that. That’s why I’ve been avoiding you–that’s why I moved to the guest room!”
Sonny snorted. “Right. So that’s it. That’s the only thing that’s bothering me. I wasn’t born yesterday, Carly. So you’ve been walking around like a little girl who hasn’t gotten her way because I kissed another woman–how mature you are,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Leave me alone,” she hissed. “Just leave me–”
“You know, you’re nothing like the woman I fell in love with,” Sonny shot at her. “She would have fought with me–she wouldn’t have let this fester–”
“I was raped!” Carly shrieked at the top of her lungs.
Morgan Penthouse: Guest Room
Jason checked the clock on the nightstand and reached over to gently shake her away. “Hey. It’s been an hour.”
She moaned a little. “Five more minutes, Gram.” She pressed her face into the pillow.
“Just open your eyes and look at me and I’ll let you go back to sleep,” Jason told her. He slid off his chair and kneeled next to the bed. “Elizabeth–”
She rolled away and opened her eyes–cloudy from sleep. “Hey. How long are you gonna do this? All night?”
“Just to make sure you don’t have a concussion.” He pushed her hair out of her eyes. “Do you feel okay?”
“I’m fine,” she told him. “How about you go to bed already? You need to sleep too.”
She sat up a little and rubbed her eyes. “How did it go with Carly?”
He sighed and moved to the side of the bed. “She told me what happened. About the night of the club opening, the next morning…” Jason shifted. “When you stopped by his room that morning, she was in the bathroom. And she threatened to tell you if he told anyone.”
“I’m glad…I’m glad she told you. I mean, I don’t like how you find out but…” She shrugged. “I think she trusts you more. I think she needs the kind of support you can give her.”
“She asked me about you a lot–before she told you. Because she’d heard that it had happened to you. And she asked about…about us.”
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “Why would she care? Just because we’re on better terms…it doesn’t make us friends, Jason. She still doesn’t think I’m good enough for you.”
“She wanted to know if I missed you,” Jason told her. “And she told me that you thought I’d been cheating on you.”
“I know…I know you weren’t,” Elizabeth explained quickly. “But you have to understand how it…how it looked. You were never here. And every time–every single time I saw you, you were with Courtney. And then the lipstick…and you just…” she sucked in a deep breath. “You just let me walk away.” Her eyes glistened with tears. “How could you do that?”
Sonny took a step back out of instinct. “What?” he demanded flatly.
“Never mind. I’m just…I’m just going to get dressed and go to Jason’s. I can’t deal with this right now.”
“You can’t just drop this on me and walk away. What do you mean raped?” Sonny took her arm, his touch gentle.
She took a deep breath. “The night I didn’t come home. The night of the club opening. I had a drink but I was feeling well so Ric said he’d take me home–”
Ric, the slimy son of bitch, he’d kill him.
“A-and he took me to his room instead–I asked him to call Jason but he didn’t and the next thing I remember…” Her breathing hitched. “It was morning and I was in his bed.” She choked down a sob. “I don’t remember anything, Sonny, I swear–”
“Come here.” Sonny drew her close and cradled her against him and she started to sob heavily. “Oh, God, baby…I’m so sorry…”
Morgan Penthouse: Guest Room
“I thought…” he cleared his throat roughly and stood. “I didn’t know that you thought any of those things. I didn’t…I didn’t realize what it looked like to you. Elizabeth…I thought you had decided you didn’t want this life and…I…that was your decision to make. I couldn’t force you to live this way.”
Elizabeth shoved her blanket aside and got to her feet. She was a little unsteady on her feet but gained her balance after a moment. She padded over to him in Carly’s borrowed nightgown. “Jason, if it had been that, I would have said so. I know your life. It was never that.”
“If I’d thought for one moment I had a right to, I would have gone after you,” Jason told her. He took a deep breath. “I guess it doesn’t matter since Sonny and I aren’t exactly getting along right now. I haven’t done any work in the past few weeks–not since he found out about…” he trailed off.
Elizabeth touched his arm. “He’s just upset,” she assured him. “Maybe he just needs time.”
“What about you?” he asked. He took her hands in his. “Will you forgive me?”
“I–” Elizabeth hesitated. “I don’t know. I just…I want to. I want to trust you like I did before but…” she bit her lip and looked away. “It’s hard,” she confessed. “Do you realize I was dating a rapist and I had no idea?”
“That must have been hard for you to find out,” he remarked.
She pulled away from him and sat back down on the bed, staring at one of the bruises beginning to form on her arm. “When I was in therapy after the rape…Gail–my therapist–she was always giving me these…articles and pamphlets about it and I read this study about women…rape survivors…and sometimes they’re attracted to men who…” she bit her lip. “Men who are capable of violence and…I didn’t think about it then because well…I wasn’t really thinking about it then because Lucky was the only guy I would even let near me…”
Elizabeth exhaled frustrated. “I’m kind of rambling and not even making a point. Never mind.”
“No, no…I can understand what you’re trying to say and…” Jason kneeled in front of her. “You think that’s why you were attracted to Ric?”
“Yeah.” She frowned a little. “And…maybe you.”
He frowned and reeled back a little. “I would never hurt you,” he told her quickly.
“No, I know that but…” Elizabeth bit her lip and looked at him. “You are…capable of violence.”
“Yeah.” He sighed and looked down. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“I’m sorry…none of this is coming out right,” Elizabeth said, irritated. “I’m not saying this to hurt you–”
“No, no…I know that.” He stood. “I should get some sleep. I think–I think you’re going to be okay. You know? No concussion.” He kissed her forehead.
“Jason,” Elizabeth protested. She stood and reached for him. “I–”
“We’ll…we’ll talk in the morning. Good night.”
He closed the door behind him and she laid back on the bed, feeling absolutely horrible for what she’d just said.
Carly pulled away from Sonny abruptly. “I should…I should get some sleep. You know…I just…I have–”
Sonny tugged on her hand and pulled her to the couch. “Where did you go earlier?” he asked, any of the earlier accusation gone from his voice.
She took a deep breath. “Jason’s. He found out what happened and he wanted to talk to me and then…then he got a call from Elizabeth…Ric…he, ah, attacked her on the docks–”
“Is she okay?” Sonny cut in.
“Yeah…Jason scared him off, but she’s gonna have some bruises…a headache. She knew what happened.”
Sonny nodded. “Yeah. I see that now. You told her because she was dating Ric.”
“I didn’t want her to go through that,” Carly said quietly. She let Sonny draw her to his side, grateful to have it out. She felt a thousand times lighter. “Sonny, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you–”
“No. Don’t be. I haven’t…” he exhaled slowly. “What I said earlier wasn’t true. About you being a little girl and…I just…I wanted to get a reaction. I was so worried, baby. You weren’t talking to me and every day that passed, I felt like I was losing you a little more and more. I just…I wanted to try and get this out. I didn’t mean any of it.”
“In a way, I’m glad you said it. I already feel better having told you. The more people I tell, the less…the less I feel like it was my fault.”
“It wasn’t,” Sonny told her. “It wasn’t. I don’t care if you had a hundred drinks or you went up to his room on purpose. He had no right to touch you and I want you to remember that.”
“I know it here,” Carly said, touching her temple. She pressed her other hand over her chest. “I’m having some problems realizing it here.”
He pulled her to him in a crushing hug and pressed his lips to the top of her head. “We’ll get through this. I promise.”
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