No I would not sleep in this bed of lies
So toss me out and turn in…
November 26, 2007
Elizabeth Webber’s Apartment: Living Room
“This is one of the worst things I’ve ever had to see,” Robin Scorpio murmured to her boyfriend as they stood towards the back, watching their friend and co-worker struggling to keep her composure as she related information about her daughter to Sam McCall and Jason Morgan.
“I should rip his heart out,” Patrick Drake muttered. “He’s just lucky my hands are worth more than his trashy girlfriend.”
“She’s starting to sleep through the night,” Elizabeth said softly, cuddling five-month-old Cadence close to her, “but sometimes she wakes up–”
“Jason’s taken care of infants before,” Sam interrupted. She held her hands out. “Why don’t you just give her to me so we can get out of here?”
Robin narrowed her eyes and started forward but Patrick clamped a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t make this worse,” he cautioned her.
Elizabeth pressed her lips to her daughter’s head and rested her cheek against the soft downy blonde hair that was beginning to grow into curls. “Always remember that Mommy loves you, Cady,” she murmured, but she knew in a few months Cady wouldn’t remember her at all, much less that Elizabeth loved her with every breath in her body.
She carefully placed her daughter into Sam’s waiting arms and reached down to grab the diaper bag but Sam shook her head. “We don’t need that,” she said rudely. “Cady’s going to have everything brand new.” Her lips curled into a smug smile. “No hand me downs.”
Elizabeth’s hands tightened around the diaper bag that had seen better days, more important, days when Cady’s brother Cameron had still needed it. “It was Cameron’s,” she said softly, her voice breaking. “Can she at least take her dog?” Elizabeth unzipped the bag and withdrew a floppy ear brown stuffed dog that had been Cameron’s gift to his sister upon her birth that May. “It’s her favorite–”
“She won’t remember in a few days–” Sam began but Jason reached forward and took the dog from Elizabeth’s hands, not meeting her eyes.
“Is that everything?” he asked quietly.
“Yeah,” Elizabeth replied. She held out her hand, intending to touch Cady once more but Sam turned away and left, not even giving the heartbroken mother a chance to say goodbye one more time.
Jason hesitated and stared down at the dog in his hands. “I’m sorry about Cameron,” he said roughly. “I never thought–”
“You did your best to demonstrate that I was a terrible mother,” Elizabeth cut in harshly. “Did you really think any judge in their right mind would leave any child with me after what your lawyers brought out in court?” She folded her arms and looked away. “They took Cameron this morning and I’m not allowed visitation with him either.” For the first time since the horrible day Sam had come to her door a few months ago, her eyes met his. Shadows had dug deep circles under her eyes, anger lined her face and she looked much older than her twenty-six years. “You have what you wanted from me. Complete custody of our daughter and me out of her life. So get out.”
“Elizabeth, I didn’t–” Jason began.
But Patrick–who had sat through the custody hearing from start to finish and had tried to help Elizabeth on her fruitless search to find a lawyer willing to take on Jason Morgan–Patrick had had enough.
He strode forward and took the enforcer by the arm and shoved him back. “You took her kids from her, you son of a bitch. Are you trying to destroy what little dignity she has left? Get the hell out!”
There were not many times Jason Morgan, enforcer to Sonny Corinthos, would stand down to a neurosurgeon who he knew would never become physically violent but for whatever reason, Jason didn’t push the matter.
He left the apartment and the second the door clicked shut, Elizabeth’s knees gave out and she sank to the floor, sobbing. In the space of two hours, her children–the reason she woke up in the morning, the reason she drove herself to be better and to work hard–her children had been taken from her and she had no idea if she would ever hold them in her arms again.
And there’ll be no rest for these tired eyes
I’m marking it down to learning
Sam pressed her lips to Cady’s head and breathed in the fresh scent of baby powder. This was justice, she told herself. Three years ago this month, her daughter had been stolen from her and now she finally had one to take her place.
She glanced up to find Jason staring out the window, a blank expression on his face. She knew it troubled him that it had to be this way, that they’d had to sue for custody, that it had ended up taking Elizabeth’s remaining child from her but she knew it was better this way. If Jason and Elizabeth had had their way, Cady would be shuffled back and forth between them, never having a real permanent home and she would never accept Sam as her mother if Elizabeth were around.
Eventually, she would have lost Jason to Elizabeth. He would have been drawn to the mother of his child and Sam was still troubled by the fact that neither of them had ever expressed any real regret for their night together. They weren’t sorry and that meant it had been real between them.
She had sensed a threat to the life she wanted and she had neutralized it. It had been almost pathetically easy to play the parents against each other, planting herself as a sympathetic go between. She’d tell Jason that Elizabeth was being stubborn, that she refused to see Jason and furthermore, refused to discuss anything less than complete custody with no visitation from Jason.
And she’d tell Elizabeth that Jason was disgusted with her for keeping the truth from him for so long and forcing him to continue to keep the secret, that he wanted his daughter and was pursuing complete custody, despite Sam’s pleading to the contrary.
In the end, each had believed her and she’d been able to push Jason into fighting for his daughter in court–and the lawyers had pried out information about Elizabeth designed to make her look bad in court. They’d tugged a few pieces from Jason, but most they had found on their own.
It had been satisfying to sit in court and listen as Diane Miller had torn Elizabeth to shreds on the stand, finally exposing her and pushing her from that pedestal she’d been on for so many years. Sam felt vindicated and knew she had secured her place in Jason’s life for good.
“I wish there was something we could do about Cameron,” Sam sighed. “But the judge might overturn his ruling and we’d lose Cady.”
Jason glanced at her and Sam shifted, unnerved by the look in his eyes. “I wish she would have agreed to joint custody,” he said quietly. “I never wanted it to come to this.”
“I know,” Sam replied. “But Elizabeth wouldn’t budge and no one can blame you for fighting for your daughter. Everyone’s on your side. Emily, the Spencer family, the Quartermaines, Sonny and Carly–”
“Leaving Elizabeth with no one,” Jason said more to himself but Sam heard it and narrowed her eyes. He was weakening.
“She has Patrick and Robin,” Sam argued. “And I’m sure they’ll help her get custody of Cameron again. Jason, she didn’t leave you with much choice. She forced you to do this. I mean, didn’t you offer time and time again for joint custody?”
“Right.” But Sam could see Jason wasn’t convinced and she wasn’t entirely surprised. She was smart enough to know that even if Jason had stayed with her, part of him would always be in love with Elizabeth. Courtney had warned her that once–that neither of them had ever measured up and if Sam wanted a life with him, she’d have to be able to accept that. And she could. She didn’t need his whole heart, just the majority of it. But the small piece that would always belong to Elizabeth would keep Jason from believing the worst about her.
If Sam wanted to keep the current status quo, she’d have to work at it and make sure Elizabeth never got custody of her kids again.
Don’t think that I can take another empty moment
Don’t think that I can fake another hollow smile
General Hospital: Locker Room
“I should have taken the night off,” Robin said, pulling her lab coat on and securing her dark hair into a ponytail. “Elizabeth shouldn’t be alone–”
“I’ll stop by between surgeries tonight,” Patrick promised. “But she wanted us to leave, she needed to be alone.”
“She needed her family, her friends,” Robin muttered. “But those bastards–”
“Jason took Cady today?” a new voice demanded from the next row. A second later, Emily Quartermaine emerged, looking shocked. “He actually took her?”
“Did you think Sam would let him wait more than twenty-four hours?” Patrick replied. “She and Jason showed up not an hour after some bitch from Social Services carted Cameron away.”
Emily sank onto the bench. “This is just one big mistake,” she said softly. “Jason never wanted complete custody. He wanted to see her, to provide for her. And he would never take Cameron from her, no matter how stubborn she was being.”
“Wake up, Pollyanna,” Patrick snapped. “Your brother wanted that kid enough to scare any reputable lawyer away from this case. Alexis refused to take it on basis of conflict of interest and the only other lawyer who might have done it for cheap is Ric Lansing and I’d rather chew my leg off than let her go to that slime for help.” He looked to Robin. “We should have gone with our first instincts and hired someone from out of state, that wouldn’t have known to be scared of Jason Morgan.”
“What are you talking about?” Emily asked. “Jason wouldn’t do that to Elizabeth–”
“I would have agreed with you once,” Robin said quietly. “The man I knew would never have put the mother of his child through a custody battle like that. But I think we all know what drove Jason to this point.”
“How could Sam have possibly–” Emily began.
“Don’t be stupid. Sam’s been salivating for that kid since she found out it was Jason’s,” Patrick said, disgusted with the entire situation. “You would have been sick if you’d seen the way Sam hauled Cady out of the apartment this morning –” he paused. “Well, you wouldn’t have been.” He slammed the locker shut and hung his stethoscope around his neck. “You did take your brother’s side.”
“She was cutting him out of his daughter’s life,” Emily protested, but her once vehement protest had softened considerably. “He just wanted visitation rights–”
“You never showed up in court,” Patrick argued. “You have no idea what he wanted. You have no idea what those lawyers put her through–”
“I couldn’t take sides,” Emily said. “He’s my brother. She’s my best friend–”
“Save it.” Patrick slammed out of the locker room.
Robin sighed. “I’m sorry about him. He’s just–he’s not really used to giving a damn about other people so he’s not always very good at expressing himself.” She sat down on the bench and looked up at the girl she’d known for so long and shook her head. “Watching Elizabeth have to go through that twice…it’s not something I ever want to do again.”
“I know she feels I let her down,” Emily said. “And I guess…maybe I have.” She sat next to Robin. “I just…I didn’t know what to do, who to support. Jason is my brother, he’s my family and you know I have precious little of that left and I haven’t really agreed with a lot of the decisions Elizabeth has made–”
“I’m too tired to listen,” Robin interrupted. “I’m not interested in listening to you rationalize and explain why you couldn’t be bothered to even talk to your brother and plead on her behalf. She did it for you when Jason refused to speak to you after you got involved with Sonny. She begged with Jason to understand, to accept what he couldn’t change. And she supported you, when few others did. It’s a shame you had to prove you’re less of a friend.” Robin stood and left Emily alone in the locker room.
It’s not enough just to be lonely
Don’t think that I could take another talk about it
For a few brief months, Cameron had shared a room with his baby sister. The small two-bedroom apartment had been all that Elizabeth could afford, but she’d given her children the larger of the two rooms.
That had been something else that Diane Miller had used against her. She had twisted the fact that a three month old girl and a four year old boy shared a room when the same practice was in use all over the country. She was not the only single mother whose children were forced to share a room, but unfortunately she was the only single mother whose daughter had a father like Jason.
She was ashamed to admit that it had never crossed her mind that Jason would do this to her, despite the hell she’d put him through the previous spring. She hadn’t blamed him when he’d stopped her wedding to Lucky and announced that he was the true father. She’d been secretly relieved that he’d taken that responsibility from her but Jason had clearly never forgiven her for first keeping the secret and then asking him to give up his child.
For a time it seemed like they were going to make it, that they were going to find a way to work together and bring their child up together, though they lived apart. Cadence Alana Morgan had been born in May and until August, it seemed like they had found a way to handle the situation. Jason had stopped by nearly every day to spend time with her and their family seemed to be accepting the situation–Emily had finally started speaking to her again.
Out of the blue, one morning in September, Sam had stopped by instead of Jason. She said that Jason was tired of coming to this tiny apartment every day and pretending to be okay with the situation, pretending that he wasn’t completely disgusted by Elizabeth and her actions. He wanted Cady to live with him.
In Elizabeth’s opinion, Cady was too young to spend much time away from her mother. She would be breastfeeding for at least another three months and maybe by Christmas, they could talk about an overnight visit.
She had misunderstood, Sam said coldly. Jason wanted Cady with him. He thought that Elizabeth was a terrible mother and wanted Cady away from her. Elizabeth had been stunned and she’d been devastated by that, but she hadn’t believed Sam initially. She’d sent the woman away and told herself that Sam had always resented the fact Elizabeth had given Jason the child Sam never could.
But Jason stopped visiting and in his place a set of legal papers filing for complete custody of Cadence Alana Morgan was delivered and finally, Elizabeth had accepted that there would be a custody hearing.
Naively, Elizabeth thought the judge would see through the weak arguments that she was an unfit mother and at worst, he would award joint custody. Even after Diane Miller ripped her to shreds on the stands and left her sobbing, she’d believed that no judge would give full custody to Jason Morgan, an alleged mobster over a hardworking nurse with strong ties to the community.
But she had underestimated the lengths Jason would go to and she was sure he had bribed the judge into giving him complete custody. Whether he had gone the extra mile and asked for Cameron to be taken away, she wasn’t sure, but she hadn’t lost Cady without a little back room dealing.
She stood in the doorway to her children’s bedroom and took in the small double bed that Cameron had been so excited to buy (“A big boy bed, Mommy!”) and crib with the frilly pink trim that Emily had bought for her baby shower (“All girls love pink”) to the mountains of stuffed animals that had been showered on each child by Cady’s godparents, Robin and Patrick.
She drank in each sight slowly before closing the door and walking away. She would never walk in that room again, Elizabeth vowed, unless she had one of her children to bring home.
Just like me you got needs
And they’re only a whisper away
December 1, 2007
Jason Morgan’s Penthouse
When Jason pulled his front door open that morning, the last person he had expected to see was Robin Scorpio. His ex-girlfriend had not spoken to him since he sued Elizabeth for visitation rights. There had been icy glares, of course but all words had come from her furious boyfriend. To find her standing there was a surprise, but he could guess it was not a friendly visit.
“I want to see Cady,” Robin announced. “She’s my goddaughter and she loves me and I want to see her.”
Jason hesitated but nodded. At the very least, he was sure Elizabeth would want an update on her daughter and he was willing to do what it took to get them through this situation. He had been upset to learn that she was not budging on joint custody, that she had refused all of Sam’s overtures. He had never wanted it to be like this, had never wanted to take Elizabeth’s daughter from her but he had a right to his child and for whatever reason, Elizabeth had chosen to ignore that.
“She’s in the nursery,” Jason said, stepping aside. He closed the door after Robin strode in and led her to the upstairs room that Sam had decorated for Cady.
Cady was crying–as she had been nearly every day for the past five days. He had hoped she would have adjusted to the situation by now but she continued to cry. Robin made a cooing sound and lifted her out of the crib. “Here now, it’s Aunt Robin.” She patted Cady’s back and Jason was irritated when the infant slowed her crying to a whimper. “That’s right, honey bear.” She eyed Jason over Cady’s shoulder. “You have her on formula, I bet.”
“The doctor said it would be okay,” Jason said, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “She’s six months old.”
“Hmm.” She continued to rub Cady’s back in small circles. “It’s okay, Cady. You’re just missing your mommy.”
Jason exhaled slowly and turned his eyes towards the window. “Elizabeth didn’t really give me much choice, you know. I didn’t want it this way–”
“Save it,” Robin interrupted. “I don’t give a damn about anyone’s excuses anymore. Yours for putting Elizabeth through this, Emily’s for abandoning Elizabeth and Audrey’s for still not speaking to Elizabeth simply because you turned out to be the father.” She kept her voice and light breezy so she wouldn’t disturb Cady, who had finally stopped whimpering.
“What was I supposed to do?” Jason demanded. “Just let her take Cady?”
“You’re a hypocrite,” Robin replied. “You treated AJ like the dirt under your finger tips simply because he had the nerve to want to see his own son. You kept the truth from him, you helped Sonny and Carly keep Michael from him and if you don’t think that didn’t drive AJ to the edge, you’re an idiot.” She set Cady back in her crib and made sure her stuffed dog–the one toy from her familiar room–next to her. “But the second you don’t think you’re being given all the access you want to your own child, you pull out all the stops and dirty tricks to take her from her mother.” She met Jason’s eyes. “How does that make you any different than the Quartermaines?”
“That’s–” Jason swallowed. “That’s not how this was,” he said. “Michael was different–”
“Why?” Robin demanded. “If Elizabeth had gone to Lucky and told him the truth from the outset, and asked him to claim Cady because she didn’t want her child around you and Lucky agreed, how would that have been any different than what you and Carly did?” she retorted. “The rights of the mother above all else, right?”
Jason remained silent, unable to find the flaw in that argument. It would not have been different and he was ashamed to know that. He looked at his daughter and drank in the delicate features that were nearly a direct copy of her mother’s. Her nose, her eyes, her mouth. She was going to grow up to be as beautiful as her mother.
“Is she okay?” he asked quietly.
“Don’t pretend you care,” Robin replied.
“She hasn’t filed an appeal yet,” he continued. “I thought she’d at least file an injunction–”
“She can’t–” she said shortly. She huffed. “There’s no money left. Her last lawyer cleaned her out, no one will loan her any money and even if I thought she’d accept it, all my resources and Patrick’s are tied up in the house. We won’t have anything until after the escrow.” She stepped away from the crib and left the room. Jason followed after a moment.
“I’m going to be coming by weekly, after I’m sure Sam is gone,” Robin said as she walked down the steps. “Elizabeth deserves to know how Cady is and if you’re going to be a bastard about it…” she shrugged. “I’ll call my father. He’s already offered to help Elizabeth and the kids disappear.”
Jason stopped short. “What?”
Robin turned, one foot on the last step. “He hates men bullying women, you should know that and he hates you to begin with.”
“I don’t want it to be like this,” Jason called after her.
Robin stopped at the door and looked back at him. ” You cut off communication with Elizabeth, you took her to court and you bribed the judges–”
“–you made your bed, Jason. Now you have to lie in it.”
She slammed the door behind her, and somewhere above him, Cady started to cry again.