Chapter Three

Time: 2:03 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: Oak Crest Motel; Room 13

Jason entered the room and sat at the small table, looking out the window. “Elizabeth.”

“What?” she asked, hugging her knees to her chest and not looking at him from her position on the bed. She stared at the white shoelaces of her sneakers.

“Uh…we found out who it was that shot at you.”

She looked up sharply. “Wow. That was quick.”

Jason muttered something under his breath before continuing. “We found out a few hours ago that this guy was in town, more than likely to do a hit. We were just going to keep out eyes open, just in case.” He didn’t look at her as he said the next words. “Francis saw the guy earlier today. He was looking at you on the docks.”

Elizabeth felt a shudder ripple through her. A professional hitman had obviously been hired to get rid of her and now she found out he’d been watching for a while.

“Francis told Sonny and Sonny put a guard on you,” Jason said, neglecting to mention that his best friend had been reluctant to do so and had ended up putting the guard with the worst record on her. “But I guess Karl didn’t find you.”

“So what you’re saying is someone hired this guy to kill me,” Elizabeth said slowly.

“That’s what it looks like,” Jason admitted. “Look, I want to keep you out of sight. Sonny’s gonna find him, but it might take a while. Do you need to call out of work?”

“Nope,” Elizabeth remarked bitterly. She sighed. “I don’t have a job.”

Jason frowned. “You were working at Kelly’s this morning, weren’t you?”

“I got fired,” she grumbled. “Five years of dedicated service and Bobbie fired me. Can you believe it?”

“Bobbie fired you?” Jason said, almost incredulously. “What did you do?”

Elizabeth shifted. “I don’t think you want to know.”

He hesitated. “Why not?”

“Because it concerns Courtney,” Elizabeth admitted. “Courtney’s the reason I got fired.”

“What happened with Courtney?” Jason asked, a little surprised and to be honest, worried.

Elizabeth sighed. He’d asked for it. “Courtney’s…she’s been kind of pain to work with at work lately. She almost never shows up for her shifts and when she does show up, it’s near the end of the shift. She ignores customers to talk on the phone and when she does actually do her job, she’s rude to them. I made the mistake of being the one to tell Bobbie that the rest of us couldn’t deal with it anymore.”

“And Bobbie fired you for that,” Jason stated a little confused.

“I think…this might not be the part you want to hear,” Elizabeth said, hesitantly.

“If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine,” Jason said. “I mean…I know we’re not really on the best of terms right now, but–”

“That’s not what I meant.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Apparently, Courtney has told Bobbie that I’ve been really nasty to her. That I tell her that you’re only with her to get back at me and a bunch of other ridiculous things that people who actually know me know I’d never say.” She shook her head. “So, Bobbie fired me.”

Jason was silent, for a moment, trying to wrap his mind around the fact that his girlfriend had obviously sabotaged Elizabeth’s job and her relationship with Bobbie.

Elizabeth sighed, mistaking his silence for disbelief. “Yeah…well…I understand that you don’t believe me. I mean Courtney’s so perfect, right? How could anyone think she did anything wrong?”

“Elizabeth,” Jason began.

But Elizabeth stood up and switched on the television, clearly indicating the conversation was over.

Time: 2:14 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: Corinthos Penthouse

Courtney and Carly entered the penthouse, bags galore in their hands. Sonny was waiting for them–going over some files.

“Hey, what’re you doing home?” Carly asked.

Sonny shrugged. “Didn’t need to be at the warehouse. Looks like you two had fun.”

“Yup,” Carly said. She looked at Courtney. “Hey, why don’t you invite Jason for dinner tonight? We can all eat together.”

“That won’t be possible,” Sonny said. “Jason’s on assignment. He probably won’t be back until late, if at all.”

“Sonny, why’d you have to send him on an assignment?” Carly whined. “What if he’s not back in time for Valentine’s Day?”

“I don’t think he’s worried about that right now,” Sonny shot back.

Courtney shifted and leaned against the closed door. “What kind of assignment is he on?” she asked her brother.

Sonny scratched the back of his head. “Uh…he’s guarding someone.”

“Jason’s guarding someone?” Carly asked. She rolled her eyes. “Jason isn’t a guard. He’s your enforcer. Why don’t you send Marco to relieve him and bring Jason home?”

“Carly,” Sonny warned. “You don’t get to make business decisions for me.”

“I want to talk to you upstairs,” Carly said, unceremoniously dropping her bags in the middle of the penthouse. She all but dragged her husband up the stairs.

When they were out of earshot, Courtney leaned over the desk and picked up the phone. She dialed. “It’s me.” Her eyes narrowed. “What do you mean, it didn’t go off? Someone got her?” Courtney sighed. “Shit. All right. So, he’s dropped out of sight. Makes sense–”

She stopped, her eyes catching a piece of paper on the desk. “J, check out Oak Crest Motel. Room 13, okay?” She rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry about why. Just do it. Fine. Bye.” She hung up the phone.

Someone cleared their throat behind them and Courtney turned.

“What are you doing?” Sonny asked in a quiet voice.

“S-sonny,” Courtney murmured. “I thought you were upstairs.”

“I came down because I remembered I didn’t put something away,” Sonny replied. He stepped towards his sister. “Who were you talking to?”

“Oh, someone from work,” Courtney lied. “I needed to check the schedule.”

“Uh huh,” Sonny replied. “And that includes telling someone to check out Oak Crest Motel? Room 13?” His eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Tell me it’s not true and I’ll believe you.”

“What’s not true?” Courtney asked, a little nervously.

“Tell me you didn’t hire someone to kill Elizabeth Webber,” Sonny stated.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Courtney said, bravely.

“You’re lying,” Sonny said. “I can see it in your face. What’s going on?”

“Nothing’s going on,” Courtney replied. “I don’t know what’s with you, Sonny, but you need to get a grip.” She crossed her arms. “Jason’s guarding Elizabeth, isn’t he? That’s whose in that motel room isn’t it?”

“Why do you care, Courtney?” Sonny asked, his voice deceptively calm.

“Why do I care that Jason’s guarding his ex-girlfriend?” Courtney said. “Tell me you’re not that stupid.”

Sonny shook his head. “Just stop it, Courtney. Stop the act and tell me what’s going on. Why’d you hire someone to kill her? Did you think Jason still cared about her? How’d you know how to find someone?”

“You know what, Sonny? You’re way too paranoid,” Courtney replied. She stormed past him and out of the penthouse.

Sonny closed his eyes and shook his head. He couldn’t believe his own sister had hired someone to kill Elizabeth Webber and had lied to his face.

He picked up the phone.

Time: 2:21 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: Oak Crest Motel; Room 13

They’d been sitting in silence for a couple of minutes when his cell phone rang. Not bothering to step outside, Jason pulled it out of his back pocket and answered it.

“Morgan.”

“It’s me. You need to get Elizabeth out of there now.”

Jason frowned and stood. “Why? What’s happening?”

Sonny sighed. “I found out who hired Ortolino.”

“Who?” Jason demanded, casting a glance at Elizabeth who was studiously ignoring him and his conversation.

Sonny took a deep breath. “It’s Courtney. She hired Ortolino.”

Jason just shook his head. “No. You…you’ve got to be wrong. Sonny, she wouldn’t do that.”

“Look, I know you want to believe that, but she did. She called Ortolino from the penthouse to check on the situation and she told him where you where.”

“How’d she know where we were?” Jason demanded.

Elizabeth looked up then and frowned.

“I had it written down and she saw it before I could put it away. Listen, Jason. Just get her out of there. I don’t care where you go, but she already called Ortolino. He’s already on his way there. You need to get Elizabeth out of there.”

“All right. I’ll call you back.” Jason hung up and looked at Elizabeth. “We’ve got to go. Now.”

“What’s wrong?” Elizabeth asked, even as she shut off the television and started pulling on her coat.

“Sonny seems to think Ortolino’s on his way here,” Jason said, herding her out of the room.

“How’d he know where we are?” Elizabeth asked, panic finally showing in her voice as Jason pulled her towards the bike. “Jason, what–”

He stopped and turned to her. She looked up him, not bothering to mask the fear she was feeling. “Sonny found out who hired him.”

Elizabeth swallowed. “W-who?” she asked softly.

Jason’s shoulders slumped. “Courtney did. Come on. We’ve got to go. I want to be gone before he gets here.”

Elizabeth nodded, trying to wrap her mind around the fact that Courtney Quartermaine had ordered her death. Jason pulled her to the bike.

Time: 2:39 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: Oak Crest Motel

Jackie Ortolino carefully picked open the lock to Room 13 and entered. He wasn’t sure why he’d been sent here, but looking inside he was sure glad he had been.

This room had not only been used recently–it’d been vacated quickly. A chair was shoved out. The bedspread was rumpled.

And someone had left their purse behind.

Ortolino picked it up and rifled through it quickly, confirming that it was Elizabeth Webber’s.

The phone call from Courtney Quartermaine had cleared up a lot–he’d finally realized why Elizabeth Webber had a hit on her.

Jason Morgan, Sonny Corinthos’s right hand man, had gotten her from the strip mall and brought her here to hide out. That much was obvious.

He hadn’t realized that the Webber girl was connected to Corinthos or he might have figured it out earlier.

He shook his head as he let himself out of the room. He could almost believe Courtney was Sonny’s sister. The plan she’d been pulling off almost flawlessly for over a year was going off perfectly.

And once he finished his part of the plan, it would be smooth sailing from here on.

Time: 3:38 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: A Small House outside of Port Charles

Elizabeth folded her arms tightly across her chest and peered out the window. “He can’t find us here?” she asked softly.

Jason shook his head. “This is one of Sonny’s safe houses,” he explained. “No one knows about this place except for Sonny, me and a few other people.”

“Okay,” she said softly. “Is Sonny…is he sure that it…that it was Courtney?” Elizabeth asked, not turning to look at him.

Jason sat down on the couch and sighed. “I don’t know. But Sonny wouldn’t accuse her unless he was sure.”

“Why would Courtney want me dead?” Elizabeth asked. She turned away from the window and wandered towards the unlit fireplace. “I don’t talk to her, I go out of my way to avoid her.”

“I don’t know,” Jason answered. “Maybe when we find Ortolino, he can tell us that.” He watched her closely, took in the tenseness of her body. “I’m not going to let him get to you, Elizabeth.”

“I know,” she replied. She looked at him. “I called you because I knew I could trust you.”

He frowned and stood. “Still…after everything?”

She shrugged. “I guess so. I don’t think you’re the type of person to just let someone die, either. So…I asked you for help. Good thing I guess.”

Jason hesitated. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why Courtney’s doing this, but I can only surmise it has something to do with me.”

“I didn’t want to say it,” Elizabeth said, “but I think you’re right. I just don’t see why she’d think I was any kind of threat. You and I have barely talked to each other in months.”

“Courtney’s…she’s been asking about you a lot,” Jason admitted. “Mainly about our past and how I feel about you. I don’t talk about it, because honestly, it’s none of her business. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth didn’t know what to say to that, so she didn’t say anything. “So, how long do you think we’re going to be here?” Elizabeth asked, wanting to get off the subject of Courtney.

Jason shrugged. “Until we find Ortolino. It could be in the next five minutes, it could be tomorrow. I don’t know.” He glanced at her. “Is that okay with you?”

Elizabeth nodded. “That’s fine. I was just wondering.”

Time: 3:40 p.m.
Date: February 12, 2003
Place: Courtney’s Loft

“I can’t believe you made the call from his penthouse,” AJ grumbled, helping Courtney pack the rest of her things. “That was stupid.”

“Shut up,” Courtney replied. “I needed to know ASAP if the job had been done.”

“I still don’t understand what Elizabeth Webber has to do with this,” AJ said. “Why kill her? How does that help us?”

“I told you. Jason is in love with her,” Courtney replied. She zipped her suitcase shut. “He can deny it all he wants, but he is. If she were dead, he’d be that much easier to get rid of. He’d be off balance long enough. We get rid of Jason, we get rid of Sonny. And that’s what you wanted, remember?”

“Yeah,” AJ grumbled. “But I don’t like seeing someone innocent getting hurt,” he argued. “It’s stupid and it was bound to fail. You can’t guarantee that calling in a favor from your uncle wouldn’t have gotten tracked back to you.”

Courtney smiled smugly. “AJ, who do you think has been financing this thing all along? I can’t believe Sonny doesn’t know that Janine is Frankie Gregory’s half-sister. You’d think that would have turned up by now.”

AJ shook his head and hefted on her suitcases. “I don’t care. We need to get out of town, now. Before Sonny figures out what’s going on.”

“Jackie better hope he finds her,” Courtney said, shutting off the light and closing the door. “Or I’ll have to finish it myself.”

AJ stared at her for a moment. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

She rolled her eyes. “What do you think it means?”

AJ swallowed and turned away. He was all for revenge–as long he didn’t actually have to do any of the dirty work.

It seemed he’d grossly underestimated his wife.

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