Morgan Penthouse: Kitchen
When Jason walked into the kitchen the next morning, he was surprised to smell coffee and some eggs and bacon. “Should you be up and around?” he asked Elizabeth.
She turned to look at him. “I can’t sleep anymore. Are you hungry?”
He shook his head. “I don’t really eat breakfast.”
“Okay…well the coffee’s almost done.” She scooped some of the scrambled eggs onto a plate next to some bacon. She put the plate on the table next to a glass of orange juice. “I wanted–I wanted to apologize for what I said last night.”
He poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down. “There’s nothing to apologize for you. You were right. I am capable of violence. You’ve seen…you’ve seen that. I can’t hide it from you.”
Elizabeth sat on one of her legs and brought the other one up to rest her chin on as she left her food untouched. “But I don’t want you to think that’s what made me…” her cheeks flushed. “That it’s what it attracted me to you. Because…it’s not.” She cleared her throat.
“Okay,” Jason replied.
“Do you believe me?” she asked softly.
“Do you believe you?” he asked instead.
She picked up her fork and pushed at the rapidly cooling food. “I can’t make you believe me, I guess. I don’t look at you and see that side of you. That’s not who you are to me.”
“Then who am I?” Jason challenged.
Without blinking, without hesitation, she answered. “You’re Jason. And that’s enough for me.”
“Is it?” he asked pointedly. “You walked out on me.”
“Because I did everything to prove that that I deserved your trust and you lied to me,” Elizabeth said bluntly. “Carly–who turned Sonny into the feds, I might add–she was told. But me…the girl who found you bleeding in the snow, who hid you in her studio, who had a bomb in that studio, who’s been accosted by God knows how many people–who was kidnapped–” She cut herself off and looked away. “Was it Zander? Is that why you didn’t trust me?”
“Elizabeth, I was just…I trying to protect you,” Jason said lamely. “Plausible deniability.”
“Carly lied to the police. Planned a funeral.” Her lips curved into a smirk. “Didn’t forget to use Sonny’s death as a way to get pity from me. I guess I’m just confused. What were you trying to protect me from?”
“Elizabeth…” Jason sighed.
“But it’s okay, I guess. I mean, Carly’s his wife. She obviously couldn’t be expected to grieve for him. What was I supposed to be?” She shoved her plate away, obviously a little frustrated by the whole conversation.
“I think that I was wrong,” Jason admitted. “I think that I should have told you. And if I could do it again…I would.”
“Why?” she demanded.
“Because I don’t want to lose you,” he said simply. “Elizabeth, I want you back in my life. And I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.”
She sighed and looked away. “I want that, too,” she admitted. He reached across the table and took her hand in his.
“There’s something else we need to talk about,” Jason told her. “Ric.”
Her face paled and she looked away. “I…I don’t want to know,” Elizabeth replied. “Whatever Carly wants to do or you want to do, it’s fine with me. I just…I don’t want to know, okay?”
“Okay,” Jason agreed. “Are we…are we okay now?”
Elizabeth hesitate and looked down at their joined hands. “Yeah,” she said, finally. “We are.”
He stood and pulled her to her feet. “I have to go…take care of some things,” he told her. “Will you stay here until I get back? So I know you’re safe?”
She nodded. “Okay.” Elizabeth lifted herself onto the tips of her toes and kissed his cheek. “Be careful, okay?”
Carly watched from the couch as Sonny pulled his suit jacket on. “I spoke with Jason,” he told her. “And Elizabeth has no preferences for how we deal with this–only that she’ll go along with what you want. But she doesn’t want to know.”
Carly nodded. “Do whatever you want to do…but I don’t want to know either,” she told him. She wrapped her arms around her knees and sighed. “Now that you know…I thought I would feel different–better.” Her dark eyes met him. “But I don’t.”
He sat on the couch and pulled her into his arms. “There’s no hurry to heal,” he told her. “You take as long as you need and you do whatever you need. I love you, Carly. And I hate that you felt like you couldn’t tell me this–but it’s my fault you felt that way. I made you doubt our relationship–doubt me.” He traced her bottom lip with his thumb. “And I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Carly told him. “This is just…another one of those things that we need to get through.” She managed a weak smile. “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, right?”
“Right.” He kissed her forehead and stood. “Please don’t leave this floor until we get back. I want to be sure you’re safe.”
Carly nodded. “Okay.”
With one last glance in her direction, Sonny left. He met Jason in the hallway and they got onto the elevator.
A few moments after being left alone, Carly stood and went over to the other penthouse where Elizabeth was seated on the couch, holding an ice pack to her bruised jaw. “Hey,” Elizabeth said. “You okay?”
“I told Sonny,” Carly murmured. She curled up in the armchair. “He doesn’t blame me. And he says he’ll let me have all the time I need to be okay.” She eyed the younger woman apprehensively. “Am…am I going to be okay?”
“If you mean will you forget about it…get past it…” Elizabeth shook her head. “You never forget. And part of you will always feel like you’re lying in that bed. But you have to find a way to get up in the morning. A reason to breathe, to move, to live. And every day that you do that–that part of you gets smaller and smaller.” She sighed. “But it doesn’t go away. And I can only speak for myself–but I’m still not okay. All these years–three boyfriends and a one-night stand later and I still don’t feel safe walking through the park alone or being alone in a crowd.”
“I guess the trick is to find a way to live and not think about it,” Carly sighed, rubbing her hands up and down her bare arms.
“The trick is to live your life in spite of it,” Elizabeth corrected. “Tom Baker tried to break me and he almost did. But I fought back. Ric tried to gain leverage over you–over Sonny and everyone else. But he chose the wrong person to do it, Carly. Because you’re strong. You’re better than he is. And you will survive this. And you will be happy again and you will make love to your husband and not think about Ric’s hands on your spine.”
“You sure about that?” Carly asked. “Because it sounds nice.”
“I’m sure,” Elizabeth replied. She moved the ice pack to her other cheek. “It’s okay…not to be okay, though. No one says that in order to be a normal person, you have to be okay.”
“Maybe one day I’ll believe that,” Carly sighed. “But for now…I’ll settle for being able to tolerate my husband’s touch without cringing.”
“You will, Carly,” Elizabeth said. “I have faith.”
After that day, Ric Lansing disappeared from Port Charles, never to be heard of again.
On the one year anniversary of the club opening, Carly went back up to the room of Kelly’s. It was empty–it had been since Ric had left. No one wanted the room–consider it cursed.
She flipped the light on and stood just inside the door, her dark eyes looking over the room. And after a moment, she smiled a little.
“You didn’t break me, Ric,” she said softly. “You never even had a chance.”
She turned off the light and went back downstairs to her family.