Chapter 32

This entry is part 32 of 37 in the Counting Stars

Even at a time like this when the morning seems so far
Think that pain belongs to you but it’s happened to us all
It’s all right to make mistakes you’re only human
Inside everybody’s hiding something
Take time to catch your breath and choose your moment

Slide, Dido

Friday, May 12, 2000

Mykonos, Greece: Frangias Beach

She hadn’t been back to Greece since her mad escape almost two decades earlier, but little had changed about the beauty of the land, the pebbly beach, the tucked away villas, the shine of the Aegean Sea–

Laura shielded her face from the sun, then turned back to the cluster of people on the beach, awaiting the arrival of the boat Luke had promised would take them the six miles out to Cassadine Island, a hunk of rock and cliffs that encased the ancient medieval estate and the neighboring village.

“We have been arguing about this for at least ten time zones,” Elizabeth was saying to Luke as Laura rejoined the group, though she was only partially listening, her mind already across the water and thinking of what they might find on the island.

“And at least for the hour it took us to drive from the airport,” Emily added. Luke scowled. “Just so we’re keeping track.”

“I’d letting Laura go with us because she might be able to talk some sense into the boy—”

“I flew all this damn way because I’m a nurse,” Bobbie interrupted. “Emily is that boy’s sister, and Elizabeth is carrying his child—”

“Exactly why the three of you should stay here,” Sonny cut in. “Jason would never forgive us—”

“He’s not here, and he’s not the one you should worry about. If you don’t let me go, Luke, I’m just going to nearest marina and renting a boat myself. Emily—you know how to drive one.”

“Uh—” Emily’s eyes widened, then she nodded. “Yes. I can make it work. Or I’ve got the credit card. We can hire a driver—”

“And I’ll be right there behind them,” Bobbie argued.

“There’s no discussion to be had,” Laura said, speaking for the first time.  She looked at Luke. “As much as you and I may see Elizabeth as ours to protect—and we do, honey—this isn’t something we get to say no to.”


“I agree with Laura. You’re acting as you’re expecting a battle,” Alexis said. “You don’t have to break into the estate. I grew up here. Maybe I was just the poor relation back then, but I had the run of the house. And Stefan is here. He’ll let us in.” She took a quick, bracing breath, almost as if to reassure herself. “He will.”

“Nikolas had his own men orchestrating this,” Luke retorted. “You’re telling me you can swear it’s safe—”

Sonny sighed. “The only reason to keep her back, Luke, is to keep her safe. And it’s just not our choice to make.”

“Thank you.” Elizabeth turned back to Luke. “Nikolas thinks Jason—and Sonny—are responsible for Lucky’s death. It’s one of the reasons he’s angry with me. He thinks I’m betraying Lucky. But he snapped because of the baby. He wanted to hurt me, Luke. And to take away the father of my child.” Her eyes burned. “I have the right to confront him.”

“I know you do, sweetheart.” Luke closed his eyes. “I just—I don’t know what we’re going to find on the island, if there’s anything to be found at all.” He looked past her at the white boat that had sailed around a curve of the island and was dropping anchor, lowering a dingy that would transport them from the beach.

“I’ll deal with it if I have to, Luke. But Emily, Bobbie, and I—we’re going.”

Cassadine Island: Hall

Stefan watched as Nikolas disappeared down another corridor, one whose only value was the hidden entrance to the dungeons, despite his promise the day before to stay out of them. He started down the hall, contemplated following but then there was a rustling behind him.

Arturo, the estate manager, appeared. “Sir, Madame Davis is at the gate requesting access for herself and her party.”

“Alexis—” Stefan stepped back from the hallway, towards the butler. His sister had said nothing about coming to Greece. And her party? Who could she have brought with her—

Stefan looked back at the corridor, a twist in his gut. Alexis arriving on the heels of Nikolas’s strange behavior and newfound obsession with the dungeons—

“Show her in, and take her to the family parlor. I’ll await her there.”


It was like something out of a movie, Elizabeth thought as they had cruised from the island of Mykonos to the smaller island in the distance. They’d docked the boat at a marina that served the local village, a cluster of stone and wood buildings that curved around another beach.

Looming above the village, Cassadine estate was a hulking castle made of the same cream colored and sun-washed stone she’d seen everywhere else. She kept waiting for something to go wrong—for someone to stop them.

No one did. Alexis was well-known here, having grown up here as a girl before leaving for boarding school in the States, and she was greeted warmly with some Greek endearments Elizabeth didn’t quite understand. Alexis returned the greetings, speaking in the unfamiliar language.

They found transportation from the village up to the main estate, and three hours after they’d landed in Greece, they were at the entrance of the Cassadine estate, being ushered inside.

“I keep looking for a Trojan horse or something,” Emily muttered, wrapping her arm through Elizabeth’s. “This is crazy. Nikolas grew up here?

A butler led them through the foyer, down a long corridor into a room that seemed out of place for the sunshine they’d seen elsewhere—a dark, cold room that reminded Elizabeth of Wyndemere. Behind a heavy oak desk, Stefan Cassadine sat as if he were presiding over a hospital meeting.

“Alexis—” His eyes scanned the group that entered with her. “Is there a reason you’ve brought the Spencers—” His mouth twisted, “including my ex-wife?”

Elizabeth widened her eyes, and she looked at Bobbie who winced. She’d forgotten about their shared history—the marriage over before she’d moved to Port Charles. “Would you believe it’s a social call?” Alexis asked.

“No.” Stefan rose to his feet. “Laura. Are you here to see Nikolas? I see you’ve brought Miss Quartermaine and Miss Webber. Perhaps to stage an intervention?”

“On Monday, five days ago—” Elizabeth pushed to the front, elbowing Luke out the way. “Jason Morgan went missing in Portland, Oregon. While he was at the airport with me and Sonny, someone else cleared out our hotel room and drove his bike out of the parking garage.”

“Nikolas was here—”

“It was one of ours,” Alexis told her brother and Stefan focused on her. “I recognized myself. And he’s not from Port Charles. He’s from here. Georgios. He’s been devoted to Nikolas since he was a child.”

“You—” Stefan fisted his hands at his side. “You cannot think Nikolas would have anything to do with this—”

“Cassadines love to kidnap people. It’s practically a rite of passage for the men in this family,” Luke drawled. Stefan sent him a scathing glance, then turned a pleading look on Laura.

“He isn’t Stavros, Lasha. For all that he’s said, for all that he’s done, you must believe in that—”

“I want to,” Laura said softly. “I want to believe that he’s your son in all the ways that matter, but I need to speak with him. I need to understand how one of his servants was on that camera footage—”

Stefan closed his eyes. “He’s in the dungeons,” he said finally. “He’s spent a great deal of time there—”

“I knew it—” Sonny muttered. “Where are these dungeons—”

“I’ll take you to them. But I must—” Stefan came from around the desk, went to Laura even as Luke hissed. “You must remember that he’s your son, too. For all the Cassadine blood that runs through him, he has yours as well.”

“I’m counting on that,” Laura told him, her eyes bright with unshed tears. “I am praying that he’s just made a dreadful mistake that we can correct.”

“You won’t hurt him. Whatever’s he done—”

“No promises—” Sonny began, but Elizabeth stepped up beside Laura.

“If Jason is alive, if I get him back in one piece, we can speak of how this can end without violence or more pain. But first—you’ll take us to the dungeons.”

Cassadine Island: Dungeon

Nikolas grinned as he ambled around the corner in the passages, to the cell where Jason had been kept since he’d arrived on the island since early Tuesday morning. Jason lay unmoving on the floor, his breathing shallow.

The end stages of dehydration, perhaps helped by starvation. He’d lasted longer than Nikolas had hoped he would, but there was nothing to do about that. It was essential that Nikolas not hasten the end. It would defeat his purpose

He wanted to be here when Jason’s chest stopped rising, when this killer left this mortal plane. It wouldn’t bring his brother back, but it might begin to tip the scales of justice. And maybe when Nikolas had everything he wanted, he might turn his attention to making Sonny Corinthos pay, but it was Jason who Lucky had trusted. Jason who had manipulated Elizabeth into abandoning her obligations to Lucky and his family.

It was Jason who deserved to burn in hell for his crimes. His crimes must take precedence.

“I don’t know if you can still hear me.” Nikolas stepped closer to the cell, gratified to see Jason perfectly still, not even a flutter from his eyelids. He wrapped his hands around the bars. “Elizabeth went back to Port Charles yesterday. She only spent one day looking for you.”

Nothing from the near corpse on the ground. Emboldened, Nikolas continued. “She’s there, right now, maybe crying herself to sleep because you’ve left her. It won’t be the first time you’ve caused her tears. As soon I’ve seen to your watery grave, I’ll be going back to comfort her. This time she’ll understand that I was right. And when your child is born, we’ll be there to take care of her. Maybe it’ll be a boy. Maybe I’ll name him for my brother. That would be justice, wouldn’t it? Why should you get to have a family when he’s lying cold and dead—”

Nikolas never saw it coming, never even noticed a hint of movement—he was too wrapped up in the fantasy he drew in his head to see Jason launching himself off the ground, reaching through the bars to wrap his hands around Nikolas’s neck—then began to choke—

“You’re—” Nikolas gasped, his hands digging at Jason’s fists, frantically. “You’re supposed to be dead—”

“I saved my energy,”  Jason growled, his eyes bloodshot, his eyes wild, and the stubble on his chin making him look like a madman.

“I’ll give you the keys—just let me—” Nikolas fumbled in his pockets, but he couldn’t quite latch on—

“I’d rather kill you now and take my chances—” Jason yanked Nikolas against the bars again, his head slamming against the rusted metal. Nikolas moaned, losing consciousness for a moment. Better to kill Nikolas now and guarantee Elizabeth and their child would be safe.  “What’s stopping me from killing you and getting the keys from your cold, dead body—”


Jason’s grip slipped at the new voice and Nikolas was able to break loose. The voice sounded so familiar—and the burst of energy Jason had mustered began to wane. “Who—”

“Stefan—”  Laura Spencer melted out of the darkness—but she wasn’t alone. She hurried over to  Nikolas slumped over on the floor and started to search his pockets. Stefan Cassadine knelt on the other side—

And with her—Jason’s vision began to swim. “Em—”

“Jason—” His little sister burst into tears, her fingers wrapping around the bars. “I’m here—Liz—” She sniffled and turned, and then Elizabeth was there, stepping from behind Sonny. Her eyes were rimmed with red, her face pale—

But she was here, and she was real, wasn’t she? Oh, God, he didn’t dream. He didn’t see images, but what if he was hallucinating? What if this she was here to lead him into the next stage?

What if he was already dead?

“We’re going to get you out,” Elizabeth said softly. “It’s going to be all right.”

“Are you real?” he managed, his voice rusty, hoarse. He looked again at Emily, then at Elizabeth. “You’re both—”

“Real—” Elizabeth reached for his hand, brought it through the cell and held it against her face. She was so warm—and he felt a cool tear as it slid down her cheek. She was here. Not a dream. Not a hallucination. She was real.

“I’ve got the keys—” Laura got to her feet, but Sonny was already there, already shoving it into the lock, dragging it open. Then the door was open—and he was free.

She had nearly convinced herself that Jason wouldn’t be here. That it would be some terrible trick of the mind—that Nikolas would be talking to nothing in the dungeons—but they’d come down one of the passages, and she’d heard the voices.

She’d heard Jason’s voice for the first time in days, and she’d nearly broken into a run. Would have, if Sonny hadn’t held her back.

When the door to the cell opened, Jason stumbled back, then fell to his knees, gasping for air. Bobbie hurried past them both into the cell to kneel down. “Hey, Jason. Honey, can you hear me?”


“When was the last time you had water and and something to eat?” she wanted to know. He shook his head, and Bobbie looked at Luke. “He needs to get out of here. Now.”

Luke and Sonny went into the cell, one on each side of Jason to drag him back to his feet. Elizabeth pressed her hands to her mouth as she took in Jason’s condition for the first time—the blue shirt and jeans he’d worn that last day were were filthy, the shirt itself tattered. His feet were bare, and he could barely stand—Five days without food or water. It was a miracle he was still alive.

Elizabeth stepped out of the way as Luke and Sonny dragged him out of the cell.

“He’ll be okay,” Emily told her, holding her arm fiercely. “That’s why we brought Bobbie—”

Elizabeth turned to respond, but then she was being dragged back, a hand gripped in her hair, then an arm around her neck—she tried to scream, but the arm tightened and she just gagged—

“Nikolas, no!”

Luke and Sonny turned, and Jason’s head swung towards them. At the sight of Nikolas holding Elizabeth by the neck, he burst forward but didn’t make it more than a few steps before falling to his hands and knees again, then slumping over. Still, he tried to crawl.

“Nikolas!” Emily cried. She tried to go forward, but Alexis snagged her back. “No, please, don’t hurt her!”

“Don’t hurt her?” Nikolas demanded, starting to back up. “Don’t hurt her? All I want to do is protect her! That’s what I was supposed to do!”

“Please, let me—” Elizabeth clawed at his forearm, digging her nails into the skin. “Let me go—”

“Nikolas,” Laura said, putting up her hands. “Please. Please, don’t do this.”

“No one was listening! No one was trying to save her! I had to be the one! All she did was lie to me but I was going to save her!”

“Is this saving me?” Elizabeth managed to choke out. “What are you saving me from?”

“He killed my brother and he’ll kill you, too! I had to take you away—and we’re going—” Nikolas backed up another step. “We’re going somewhere you can’t escape, and you’ll have your baby, and you’ll be safe. It’ll all be okay. It won’t be like Katherine. I can fix this—”

“This isn’t what Lucky would wanted—”

“Don’t—” Jason managed to get his feet, bracing his hand against the stone wall. “Don’t do—I’ll stay. I’ll go back in the cell. Another day, maybe two, it’ll finish the job—” he closed his eyes, forced out the rest of it. “Just let her go—”

“Don’t be stupid,”  Nikolas sneered. “I put you in the cell, my mother will let you out as soon as my back is turned—no, no, this is the way. I should have started with Elizabeth—”

“This is what Stavros did,” Stefan reminded his son roughly. “He saw someone he thought belonged to him and took her. He destroyed her life, Nikolas. You know what your mother has been through—”

Nikolas looked at Laura, at the tears streaming down her face. “It’s not the same—”

“Lucky wouldn’t want this. Your brother wanted Elizabeth to be happy,” Laura said softly. “Happy and free. You’d lock her up to keep her safe. If Lucky were right here right now—”

“He’d tell you to let the girl go,” Luke growled. “You think you’re getting off this island with her? I’m not the only person here who would hunt you to the ends of the Earth—”

“Lucky loved you, Nikolas,” Elizabeth managed. “Please. Just let me go. Let me go—”

Nikolas shoved her forward and she went flying. Sonny lunged forward, catching her just before she hit the wall.

Then Nikolas sank to the ground, put his head on his knees and started to sob. Stefan and Laura crouched by him.

“Let’s get out of this damn prison,” Luke muttered. He put Jason’s arm over his shoulders again. “Liz, you okay?”

“I’m fine—” She touched her neck, looked to Sonny. “I’m okay. Help him, please.” Sonny went to Jason’s side to help him stand again though Jason was starting to sway, barely able to keep himself upright, his head lolling to one side. What if they were already too late?

Behind them, Nikolas was still sobbing, his ragged breaths echoing off the walls, Stefan’s urgent, but soft voice trying to console him. Still in shock, Alexis stood against the opposite wall. Luke and Sonny began the long walk back to the upstairs corridor, practically carrying him.

Laura sat quietly next to her son, tears staining her pale cheeks. She looked at Elizabeth, her eyes shattered. “I’m so sorry,” she managed. “So sorry.”

Emily put an hand on Elizabeth’s forearm. “We need to get out of here. Jason—” Her voice trembled as she looked at their friend, at a man Elizabeth knew Emily had thought she loved. “We need to go.”

Cassadine Estate: Library

The library down the hallway from the entrance to the dungeons was closest room. Luke and Sonny dragged Jason to a chaise lounge, and dumped him. Bobbie hurried over with the medical kit.

“Bring me water,” she barked at no one in particular.

“He’s going to need more than water,” Luke told Sonny. “I’ll make some calls.  We need a doctor, and faster transportation off this island. The boat won’t be enough.”

Elizabeth poured a glass of water from the glass jug that sat near the minibar, then hurried over to sit next to Jason. His eyes were barely visible, just slits of blue in a pale, clammy face. She raised the glass to his lips. “Drink. Please. You need water.”

Jason shook his head, so she poured the water into his mouth—he nearly sputtered, then rose up, coughing. “I’m sorry—” Then he sank back against the cushions, his breathing short and shallow. He tried to reach for the glass, but couldn’t grip it, so she helped him drink. It was gone almost before she could take another breath.

Bobbie was already there, ready with another glass. “He needs fluids through an IV and rest,” she said. “We can’t keep giving him water. It might make him sicker.”

Elizabeth smoothed Jason’s hair back, it had grown longer since he’d left Port Charles in January and without the gel he thought she didn’t know about—it hung over his face, making him appear younger. “Okay. We’ll stop after these two. Then wait to give him more—”

“I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this—” Across from them, Emily was pacing. “Nikolas had him in a dungeon, trying to starve him to death—how could he think that was okay? What, an eye for an eye? How could he do this? And then he was going to kidnap you!”

“It’s over,” Elizabeth murmured. She took the wet cloth Bobbie handed her and gently washed Jason’s face. “It’s over, and he’s going to be okay.” She had to believe it. They hadn’t rescued him only to lose him now.

“I got a contact in Athens,” Luke said, returning to them. “He’s sending a helicopter here. Me, Bobbie, and Liz will go. Corinthos, you wait to see what Laura and Alexis want to do. Em—” He looked at Jason’s sister. “I wish there was room, but I need to go since it’s my guy—”

“No, this is okay.” Emily nodded. “I’ll wait here. It’ll be okay,” she repeated more to herself than to the others. “Get him to the boat. Get him healthy.” She sat next to Elizabeth, squeezed Jason’s hand. “You’re going to be a daddy,” she said with a whisper, and Jason smiled, just a slight curve of his lips. “So you have to be okay. I’ll see you soon.”

Cassadine Estate: Dungeons

“I don’t want to ask the obvious question,” Alexis began as the voices of the others disappeared up the passage. “But how are we going to stop Nikolas from doing this again?”  She shivered. “Or something worse.”

Stefan shot her a dirty look, but Laura just sighed and got to her feet. “I don’t know,” she managed. She swiped at her cheeks.

“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here,” Nikolas managed, through another choking sob.

“You might as well not be here,” Alexis snapped. “What the hell were you thinking? How could you do this? It’s going to take everything I have to keep Sonny and Jason from dumping you in the ocean—”

“Alexis, this isn’t helping,” Stefan snarled.

“Well, neither are you—some parents you both turned out to be. Your son just kidnapped a man and tried to starve him to death. What are we going to do?”

“Maybe I should just die.” Nikolas hurled himself to his feet and started towards Alexis who just lifted her chin in defiance. Stefan grabbed his arm before Nikolas get too close to his aunt. “So you can all get rid of the mistake that ruined your life—”


“No one thinks that,” Laura said. “We just—I don’t know how we fix this.” Her eyes burned. “I don’t know if I want to.”

“Typical,” Nikolas sneered, though the impact was ruined slightly as his voice wobbled. He wiped his face with his sleeve. “Mother’s giving up—”

“To hell with this—” Alexis shoved Nikolas hard and he flew backwards.

Into the cell.

By the time he was on his feet, Alexis had swung it shut and the lock had reengaged. Stefan just stared at Alexis while Laura put her head in her hands.

“What did you just—”

“As a temporary solution,” Alexis said, dragging a hand down her face, avoiding Nikolas’s burning gaze. “He doesn’t see the reality of this situation, Stefan. And until he does, he’s too dangerous to be on the loose. He’s lucky to be alive, and if we can’t come to some sort of understanding, he won’t be for long.”


  • I love how Alexis took charge of what Nicholas needed. I am so happy that they found Jason and are getting him help. Thanks for the update.

    According to Shelly Samuel on January 8, 2023
  • Yes Alexis!
    Love this angle for you & not what I was expecting
    Maybe a couple of days without food or water will help Nikolas realise what he did to Jason & that getting rid of him won’t make Elizabeth want him
    He needs to face that he’s not some crusading hero just a jealous spiteful child & he attacked Elizabeth so how’s he going to explain that? Good thing I wasn’t a character there because I’m not willing to indulge his pity party of trying to guilt Laura & everyone w ‘maybe I should die’ thinking because I’d be like ‘ok fine no skin off my nose’ not helpful I know lol
    Laura needs to tell him what he was planning for Elizabeth is what happened to her & make him realise the depths of the issues k his abhorrent behaviour
    I just powered through this update on my lunch break so I’m sure I rushed & missed a ton so I’ll have to reread later but I loved it
    Can’t wait for the next update
    So glad they found Jason so quickly (just in time I know but that in chapters it was pretty quick, I was worried it would be drawn out, I’m so impatient lol

    According to Jess on January 8, 2023
  • I am so glad they found Jason alive. I hope he will be alright. I jumped when Jason grabbed Nikolas threw the bars. So glad Alexis pushed Nikolas into the cell.

    According to Carla P on January 8, 2023
  • I vote with Alexis

    According to leasmom on January 9, 2023
  • Love this story. Jason and Liz are my favorite couple. I try to see them with others and no one can come close to that except when Lucky and Elizabeth were together before Helena got a hold of him.

    According to Carolyn Grandchamp on January 9, 2023
  • All caught up!

    According to Tammy on January 10, 2023
  • Wow that was tense. Some much packed into the last half of this chapter.

    Nic is an ass.

    Alexis is the superhero

    loved it

    According to Pamela Hedstrom on January 12, 2023