Chapter 2

June 1, 2006

General Hospital: Trauma Room

“It was supposed to be me.”

Jason stared at her for a long moment before shaking his head. “I don’t understand.”

Elizabeth smiled humorlessly and looked away. “Robin and I look alike from a distance.”

“You both have dark hair,” Jason shrugged. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“In a dark room, lying in a bed, Robin could have easily been mistaken for me,” Elizabeth continued, her voice soft. “She’s in that that operating room possibly because my husband thought it was me.”

Jason exhaled slowly and shook his head again. Clearly there was a piece to this that he was missing–even on Lucky’s worst day, he wouldn’t hurt Elizabeth.

Would he?

He had a flash of Lucky, five years ago, on the docks, pulling on a knife on him. Demanding that Jason stay away from Elizabeth. He’d been so angry back then but he’d never turned that anger on Elizabeth. What reason could there be now?

“Elizabeth–”

“Patrick’s been helping me study to be a surgical nurse,” Elizabeth interrupted. “But I wanted to surprise Lucky. I don’t even know why now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. So Patrick and I met at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for a while and then Robin found out and offered to help me too so we started meeting at Patrick’s hotel room.” She swallowed hard. “Lucky apparently got suspicious and told Nikolas that I was having an affair with Patrick. Nikolas hired a private investigator and tonight, he gave Lucky photographs of my meetings with Patrick. And unfortunately, I kissed Patrick on the cheek after I left his room today.” Her mouth twisted into a wry smile. “I was helping him set up his room for a romantic evening with Robin.”

“That–” Jason hesitated and moved behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder. “That doesn’t mean Lucky shot Robin–”

“Nikolas gave those photos to Jason and for some reason, his first reaction after finding out Robin was shot in Patrick’s room was to look for Lucky.” Elizabeth turned and peered up at Jason. “And he can’t find him.”

“Okay…” Jason nodded. “I’m not saying that it doesn’t make sense to me, Elizabeth, or that it couldn’t happen–”

“Nikolas would never accuse Lucky unless he had a good reason,” Elizabeth murmured. “Lucky hasn’t been himself lately–not since he was injured. He’s been cranky, he’s been very short with me and for a while, he was–” she hesitated. “I asked Patrick to take him off the morphine drip, to change it to pain pills. He was using too much of it too often. And he’s gone through his prescriptions very quickly. I didn’t–I didn’t want to think that he was getting addicted–”

“Elizabeth–”

“But when he takes those pills, his mood swings become worse,” Elizabeth continued. “And he’s angrier. He’s angry all the time. I thought it was the pain and the money problems so I just told myself if I could get my certification and make more money, it would all be okay–” Her voice broke. “I don’t want to think he’s capable of this, Jason, I don’t!”

Jason curled an arm around her shoulders and drew her against his chest. “What can I do?” he asked quietly.

Elizabeth closed her eyes and was silent for a long moment, struggling with the realization that her husband, the man she had vowed to honor and love for all the days of her life, might have tried to kill her. She weighed that against the idea that instead of killing her, Lucky may have shot Robin instead.

She swallowed hard and drew away from his embrace. Her eyes were rimmed with red and swollen from her tears but they were also determined. “I need you to find Lucky. Because if he did do this and Nikolas finds him first, Nikolas will help him run. And Robin deserves better.” She took a deep breath. “I know it’s a lot to ask and I know you have so much going on right now with Sam and Alexis–”

“Don’t worry about any of that,” Jason said softly. “I want to find out who did this as much as you do. For you and for Robin.” He hesitated. “She didn’t deserve this, even if it was meant for her.”

Elizabeth bit her lip. “She was happy since she got back from the islands. Her father was back in town and they were getting along, Patrick had finally stopped acting like an ass, she had her family…it’s so unfair.” She closed her eyes again. “If she dies and it turns out that it was Lucky, I will never forgive myself–”

“This is not your fault,” Jason cut in. “Even if you had been having affair, nothing makes it okay for Lucky to try to–” he couldn’t even say it, he couldn’t say it. It was unfathomable to him.

Elizabeth swiped at her eyes. “I have to go tell Mac what happened. He needs to know so it can be investigated. I just…I need to tell him.”

“Do you–do you want me to come with you?” Jason asked. “Mac doesn’t like me–”

“No, I think it would be better if you didn’t,” Elizabeth sighed. “I mean, I appreciate it but Mac doesn’t need anything else right now and whether you deserve it or not, you raise his blood pressure.” She smiled faintly. “Even when you’re not doing anything wrong.”

“Then I’ll go start looking for Lucky.” Jason skimmed his fingers down her cheek. “You have my number, call me if anything–if you need me. Or if Robin’s condition changes, okay?”

“Okay,” Elizabeth agreed. “Thank you, Jason. You’re always there when it counts.”

General Hospital: Surgical Waiting Room

Carly and Jax entered the room at the same time and while Jax moved over to where Mac was waiting, Carly moved to the corner of the room where Patrick was seated. She sank into the seat next to him. “I tried–I tried to call you.”

“Carly–” Patrick closed his eyes. “Now is really not the time–”

“No, I know. I just…I wanted to tell you before she got to the hospital. I didn’t think you should find out like that. But I couldn’t get through to the hospital and then once I got here, I had to get through security and it took longer than I thought–I just…I’m so sorry, Patrick.”

He looked at her oddly. “You don’t even like Robin.”

“No,” Carly said matter-of-factly. “I can’t stand her. But I like you and you care about her and right now that’s all that matters to me.” She took his hand in hers and squeezed it. “For your sake, I’ll pray for her. But do me a favor? Don’t let that get out.”

“I called Brenda,” Jax said in a quiet voice. “She’s taking the next flight in from Rome but she won’t be here until tomorrow evening.”

Mac rubbed a hand over his face. “I hope Robin is still–” he broke off. That was a possibility he just couldn’t handle right now.

The door burst open and Robert Scorpio strode in. “Mac, what the hell–”

“She’s in surgery,” Mac stood and crossed to his brother. “We don’t know anything yet and we won’t for a few more hours. Are Felicia and the girls with you?”

“They’re down in the cafeteria getting coffee,” Robert answered. He gripped Mac’s shoulder. “The investigation? Is there anything I can do? Anyone who needs to be roughed up? Do we know anything at all?”

“Nothing,” Mac said dejectedly. “I’ve got my best men on it but until Robin can tell us what happened, all they can do is process the scene and look for fingerprints.” He gestured for Patrick to join them. “Patrick, if there’s anything you need from the room, you’ll have to get it immediately because the room will be sealed after that.”

The idea of stepping back into that room made Patrick’s stomach lurch but he had to think logically. His wallet and credit cards were in the room, his clothes, patient files. He swallowed hard. “I should go now before Robin gets out of surgery.”

“I’ll go with you,” Carly volunteered. “I’m sure there are still some things at the hotel I have to do anyway. Mac…I know that Robin and I–” she shrugged. “None of that matters right now. Whatever you need from me and Jax, all you have to do is ask. The hotel, the employees, whatever you need.”

“Thank you, Carly. It’ll go easier that way. There will be someone at the room, Patrick, who will make sure that you don’t touch–” Mac swallowed hard. “That you don’t touch anything we need but the scene is mostly processed.”

“Jax, can I have the keys?” Carly held out her hand. “You should wait here so you can update Brenda.”

Jax silently held out the keys to his car and watched as Carly lead Patrick out of the room. Mac Scorpio frowned after them and then looked at Jax. “Was that really Carly?”

Before Jax could answer, Elizabeth hesitantly entered the room and was relieved that only Mac, Robert, Noah and Jax was present. If Patrick had been here, she would have felt obligated to tell him as well and that was something she wasn’t sure if she could handle right now. She cleared her throat, “Mac…I need to speak with you.” She eyed the other occupants warily. “Privately.”

“Ah…”

Felicia Scorpio Jones and her daughters Georgie and Maxie entered behind Elizabeth and Felicia immediately threw herself into Mac’s arms, pressing her face into his shoulder. “I can’t believe this! It’s all over the radio!”

“It’s so awful,” Georgie murmured. “I can’t believe anyone would want to hurt Robin.”

“I know, I mean, she’s like the sweetest person,” Maxie sighed. She looked to Elizabeth. “Do you know anything about her condition?”

“Just that it was critical when she went into surgery.” Elizabeth hesitated, “But I’ll go get an update for you guys.” She slipped from the room.

Metro Court Hotel: Patrick’s Room

Patrick stared at the room and swallowed hard. The bed had been stripped of the sheets, blankets and pillows but the blood had seeped into the mattress. There were blood spatters smeared on the wall, the lamp that his pants had been thrown over earlier that night had been shattered…and the flowers lay in a soggy mess, petals strewn over the nightstand and stained with blood.

“I can’t–” He shook his head. “I can’t go in there.”

Carly nodded. “Okay, well, then just tell me what you need and I’ll get it for you.”

Patrick shook his head again. “If I hadn’t asked her to stay, she never would have been here.”

“You can’t think like that,” Carly said stricken. “You can’t blame yourself for this. You are not the one that shot her. And as long as that’s true, this is not your fault.” She touched his forearm. “Robin would never blame you.”

“All the other times I’ve been called in on a surgery while with a woman, she’s gone home,” Patrick ignored her. “I’ve never asked anyone to stay the night. Ever. Surgery or not. Why did I have to pick the one night that some maniac–”

“Hey!” Carly cut in. “Now you’re just being stupid. So you’re going to punish yourself for falling in love? For wanting someone in your life for more than ten minutes? That’s insane, Patrick, and Robin would smack the crap out of you for saying that.”

“For someone who doesn’t like Robin, you sure think you know her,” he said dryly.

“The trouble with me and Robin is we both always think we’re right,” Carly replied. “And we never back down. And we both refuse to admit we’re wrong. No matter how many years pass, that’s never going to change. But I know her well enough to know that she’s got some common sense. Now, all those thoughts in your head? Anyone would be thinking them right now but you got to stop it. Because this isn’t about you right now. Robin, if she makes it, is going to need you. So let’s get what you need and get you back to the hospital.”

Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer

“Gosh, it’s awful about Robin,” Lesley Lu Spencer sighed to her brother. “She’s really awesome. I was going to go the hospital but Dad said–”

“Lu, have you seen Lucky tonight?” Nikolas cut her off abruptly.

Lulu planted her hands on her hips. “Hey, I was speaking! It’s not polite to interrupt. And no, I haven’t seen Lucky in a few weeks. Not since I got back from the islands. Why?”

“Because I need to find him,” Nikolas said. “If you hear from him, you have to tell me immediately.”

Lulu studied her brother carefully. “Nikolas, you’re pretty odd to begin with but it’s worse than usual. What is going on?”

Nikolas shook his head. “Nothing.” He kissed her forehead. “I’ll be in touch.”

He left, slamming the front door to the mansion behind him. Lulu pursed her lips and tapped her chin.

“What did he want?” Dillon asked coming down the steps, keys in hand. “Did you still want to head the hospital? Georgie just called–Monica says her family should be there tonight just in case.”

“Something is weird with Nikolas,” Lulu remarked instead. “Robin’s always been one of his friends but he just stormed in here tonight looking for Lucky and didn’t even want to talk about Robin.” She glanced at her stepbrother. “Why do you suppose that is?”

“He’s a Cassadine,” Dillon said as though that answered everything.

“Yeah, but my instincts tell me that it’s something more this time. And his sudden search for Lucky seems awfully coincidental. Why would Lucky disappear the same time as Robin getting shot?” She tapped her foot. “What’s the connection?”

“You know, you’re being more paranoid than usual.” He took her by the elbow. “Let’s go to the hospital before you start talking about tailing your brother.” When she opened her mouth, he pointed at her. “Don’t even say it.”

She closed her mouth and glared at him. “Fine, let’s go to the hospital. But I’m telling you, something is going on here and I’m going to find out.”

General Hospital: Waiting Room

“Have you been able to get a hold of Anna?” Mac asked. He sipped the coffee that Felicia had brought up and winced at the strong–translation: awful–taste. But it was caffeine and that was more important right now.

“I keep trying but she’s not picking up.” Robert took his cell phone out and moved to a corner of the room to try again. Her phone was on this time and when she picked up, he began, “Anna, it’s Robert–”

Click.

He glared at the phone. “Bloody stubborn woman,” he growled. He started to dial again.

Elizabeth slipped back in the room, her eyes tired, her shoulders slumped. She joined Mac and Jax. “The surgery is still going, it’s going to be a few more hours but Robin’s hold her own and that’s encouraging.”

“Good, that’s good.” Mac sipped his coffee again and this time he was more accustomed to the taste and didn’t wince nearly as bad. “Liz, you needed to speak to me before…?”

“It can…” Elizabeth broke off. It mostly certainly could not wait. “It’s about what happened tonight. I think…” She bit her lip, took a deep breath. “I think I know–”

“I finally managed to get through to her on the third try without her hanging up,” Robert interrupted, joining them. “She’s taking the first flight from London. Do you have an update for us, Elizabeth?”

“Robin’s holding her own,” Elizabeth repeated. “But it’ll be a few more hours.”

“What were you going to say about the shooting?” Mac pressed. “Do you know something?”

Elizabeth opened her mouth to speak again but was interrupted when Patrick reentered. “Is there any word?” he demanded immediately.

“She’s holding her own,” Mac said impatiently. “Now, Liz…?”

This was going to be both the most painful and mortifying moment in recent memories, Elizabeth realized as Mac’s voice had been raised and now all eyes were on her. But she had to get through this and it wouldn’t be a secret much longer. “Nikolas came here tonight, he was looking for Lucky and it occurred to me that there’s a strong possibility to that Lucky might have shot Robin,” she said, speaking so fast that her words were coming out and tumbling over each other.

Mac shook his head. “That’s impossible, Elizabeth. What in the world would make you think that? What would make anyone think that? Robin and Lucky have been friends for years–”

“I know and it’s awful and I really hope I’m wrong,” But the longer this nightmare continued, the more Elizabeth realized that she could be right. Because otherwise, Lucky would have heard the news and would be here right now. In pain or not. “But Nikolas told me tonight that he gave Lucky news that would have upset him and with the pain medication he’s been on, he hasn’t been acting himself–” she licked her lips and wondered if there was a way she could get this out without having to say what Lucky and Nikolas both believed.

“What news?” Robert pressed. “I can’t imagine what news Lucky could have received that would make him break into Drake’s room and shoot an innocent woman.”

“If it was Lucky,” Elizabeth said painfully, “he would have thought it was me…not Robin.”

The room was so silent, a pin could drop and make a sound. Elizabeth lowered her eyes, ashamed.

A split second before Robert Scorpio lunged for Patrick Drake’s neck, Elizabeth realized that she’d forgotten to tell them that the news Lucky would have received was false.

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