Hanging on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I’m hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will, will be okay
Broken light on the freeway
Left me here alone
I may have lost my way now
Haven’t forgotten my way home
– Broken, Lifehouse
It had been all over the news for days, and still Britta Westbourne couldn’t stop seeking out stories. She kept hoping for a miracle, hoping there was a mistake —
But as the days passed, the news started to dry up until one day — it wasn’t in the Port Charles newspapers or anywhere else.
Nikolas Cassadine was dead. Killed by Valentin Cassadine, apparently in self-defense.
Britt snorted at that. Cassadines didn’t kill in self-defense. They were always on the offense.
She rubbed a hand over her heart as she stared out the window of her flat, took in the majestic peaks of the mountains. She’d fled Port Charles two years ago when she’d destroyed the last vestiges of Nikolas’s love for her, and she hadn’t looked back.
Until now. Until she’d realized there would never be another chance.
With a shaky sigh, she closed her eyes. Would he still be alive if she’d lied to him less? She turned back to the three day old Port Charles Sun with Nikolas’s face emblazoned on the front. “I hope you didn’t suffer,” she said softly, tracing her fingers over his features. “I hope Spencer has all the family and love he needs—”
“I’m pleased to know you still care.”
Her fingers froze and her breath seized in her chest as Britt raised her head to find a man walking out of the shadows — from her bedroom.
“How did—” She curled her hand into a fist. Stupid question to ask a Cassadine how they got into the room.
How wasn’t important. It wasn’t the question she needed to ask.
“Why are you here?” Britt demanded. Of all the places, of all the people—why here and why her?
Nikolas strode towards her, his face grim, his eyes intent. “Because I need someone else who’s off the grid. Someone who doesn’t have a great moral compass and doesn’t mind lying.”
Acid burned in her throat. Well, she’d asked. “So you came to me?”
“I came to you,” Nikolas said. “Because not only do you have the qualities I need, but you have something else that’s important.”
She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t say anything stupid like ‘your heart’ because lines don’t work on me—”
“You loved my son,” Nikolas said, and Britt closed her mouth. “I know you loved Spencer. The Cassadines are up to something evil, Britt. We’re all in danger. I need you to help me stop Valentin from getting away with this. I need to make this a safer world for my son.”
Spencer. He knew how to hit where it hurt. Britt nodded. “Okay. I do that and you’ll drop the charges against me? I won’t have to keep running?”
“If I can go home, Britt, I’ll make sure you can come with me.” Nikolas arched a brow. “Can I count on you?”
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Davis House: Living Room
Alexis merely frowned at Laura as she closed the door behind her, considering her question. “Why do you want to know the last time I looked at the dagger Helena left me?”
“Because I don’t think she would have sent just sent files to me,” Laura told her. “She wanted to protect Nikolas, but she never thought very much of my intelligence. She sent me on a wild good chase that took months. She wanted me to work for it, but that would have put Nikolas at risk. I thought maybe—you got a very specific reminder of who Helena was.”
Alexis folded her arms, then wandered towards the fireplace. “You said over the phone that Nikolas was involved with Helena during her last year. More than we already knew?”
“Nikolas always told us that Helena had told him about Jake Doe being Jason Morgan because he found out something or tripped her up,” Laura said. “Or I think he caught her meeting with Drew when she had him under the influence of that chip. At least that was his story.”
“And we don’t believe him? Laura, he’s not here to defend himself—”
“I know that,” Laura snapped. “And I still intend to make Valentin pay for killing my son. But Nikolas was not innocent. He sent Lucky to Greece, Alexis. He knew Jake was alive.”
Alexis stared at her, then exhaled slowly, her face crumpling. She turned back to the fireplace. “I wondered,” she murmured. “He spent so much time in Greece those last few years. He’d hidden the truth about Stavros’s resurrection, didn’t he? And when Jake came back and he’d been in Greece all that time, it was there in the back of my head—”
“Helena left me a video on the drive,” Laura said. “She suggested Nikolas not only knew about Jake, but maybe he’d been part of Chimera. Part of me rejects that because I loved him. But I also have to wonder what he knew and when because Helena had the run of Spoon Island. She kept Jake, Jason, Drew, and God knows who else there. How did she manage all of that under Nikolas’s nose?”
“He had left by then—”
“And he wasn’t watching Helena anymore?” Laura challenged. “She was right there on Spoon Island, planning her revenge against me—and against Elizabeth. She played with Luke and Lucky, but you know how she loathed a woman who got the best of her.”
“She never did forgive Elizabeth for breaking the brainwashing,” Alexis murmured. She rubbed her hand against her cheek, taking a deep breath. “Was Nikolas part of what happened last spring? With Chimera?”
“Helena hinted that there was something that was being planned. But she filmed it before she died. Before Nikolas died. She didn’t know what was going on.” Laura raised her brows. “If she sent files to you, Alexis, they might be a newer version. Or an older version. I don’t know. But we need to know what else she might have planned—”
“You know better than anyone that Cassadines are more dangerous when you think they’re beaten.”
Alexis nodded, then went over to the painting that rested on the wall next to the fireplace. She swung it out to reveal a wall safe. A few twists and buttons later, the door had opened and Alexis retrieved a wooden box.
“Since Jason came back and we found out about the memory experiments,” Alexis said slowly as she extended the box to Laura, “I had a strange thought.” When Laura nodded, Alexis continued, “Cassadines have been obsessed with all kinds of control for decades—but Helena was especially interested in memory manipulation and control. Implantation of someone’s memories into another body—”
“I had the same thought when Helena promised we’d meet again,” Laura said as a chill slid down her spine. “Valentin is searching for something. That’s what Andre Maddox said. Where better to find whatever it is than in Helena’s files or memories? That’s why I need to be sure there’s nothing hidden in this dagger.”
She set the box on the top, then lifted it open to reveal the shiny dagger with the thick, bejeweled hilt. Alexis stared at it—all these decades later, and she could still see the blood spurting from her mother’s throat—
Laura slid her fingers down the blade, twisted the hilt every which way, then ran the electronic wand that Spinelli had loaned her over the dagger and the box.
Alexis released a breath. “Well, I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved that all Helena wanted was torment me.”
Laura replaced the dagger, then handed the box back to Alexis who quickly locked it back into the safe. “I have to stop Valentin, Alexis. He’s taken too much from my family. And if part of his plan is resurrecting Helena’s memories in someone else’s body—”
“Well, considering my family once tried to freeze the world, I’d say there’s an excellent chance out there that Helena already had someone in mind for those memories.” Alexis paused. “Or who Valentin would turn to for this.”
Penthouse: Living Room
Sam walked down the stairs, then stared at the suitcase at the bottom, her hand slipping from the railing as she looked at her husband standing by the fireplace, looking at a photograph of them on their wedding day a year and a half earlier.
“You’re leaving,” she stated. She’d been expecting it, but now she saw that she’d also never believed it would happen.
Drew turned to her, a heavy sigh sliding out of his throat. “I stayed for the holidays,” he said slowly, “and because at first, we didn’t know what we were going to do about Danny.”
Sam narrowed her eyes, then folded her arms. “And now we do?” she bit out sarcastically.
“We have a better idea anyway,” Drew stated. “I—” He paused. “I wanted to apologize. It’s hard to divorce myself from the memories in my head, Sam. And in my head, I know how much I—” He paused. “How much Jason hurt you when you were pregnant. It’s always made me angry because I couldn’t explain it to myself. I didn’t—I didn’t understand what happened. Or why.” He shook his head. “I think we can probably conclude that Maddox’s experiment failed. Memories don’t make the man. Not all the way.”
“I’m not sure even Jason really knows what he was thinking back then which is the nicest thing I can say about the whole thing.” Sam made a face. “So if you get what I’m trying to do, then why—”
“Because this still doesn’t change that things aren’t right with us,” Drew told her. “I still love you. I do. And knowing what I do know—what I understand about the memories — I remembered being Jason and being your husband, but I never had the love that went with it. And I know that now because I fell in love with you for the first time two years ago.”
Her eyes stung— “But you’re still leaving—”
“Because we both need the time,” Drew told her gently. He went over to the bottom of the stairs, took her hands in hers. “You didn’t love me when you found out the truth. You told yourself you did because I was supposed to be Jason—”
“Sam, we hated each other,” Drew reminded her. “In fact, you tried to have me arrested—”
“You—” Sam scowled. “You held me hostage at the police station—I mean, you didn’t mean to, but I didn’t know that. Drew—I love you.”
“I believe you. But I think both of us will always wonder about how this started. If it was for the right reasons. I couldn’t be Jake Doe anymore, so I tried being Jason Morgan, and we both know it never truly fit. You, Danny, Scout—and Jake—that fit for me, but nothing else. I’m still figuring out who I am now. Who I want to be.”
“And who you want to be doesn’t want me—”
“Not like this,” Drew said softly. “Not when we’re both angry at each other about Jason, about Danny, and trying too hard to hold on. We can’t go back, Sam.”
Sam closed her eyes. “And you’re right. We can’t go forward. Not like this.” She swiped at a tear that slid down her cheek. “I told my mother this a few days ago, but it still hurts. I was happy, Drew. Before Jason came home. I just wanted that back.”
“I did, too,” Drew admitted. “And I clung to that as long as I could. But we were living a lie, Sam. And part of me still is struggling with that. It’s not fair to you if I’m not in this all the way, and I’m not ready for that.”
“Danny has made a choice for now,” Drew told her. “And Jason is—at least right now—honoring that. We haven’t talked about it beyond that, because honestly it’s something you and he need to talk about, and I don’t know if either of you are ready for that. But right now — I am still Danny’s father.”
Sam pulled her hands away from him. “Part of me wants to tell you to go to hell,” she told him. “In fact, there’s a large part of me that I’d be better off without either of you in my life, and just raising my kids on my own—”
“That part of me is screaming so loudly right now just to kick you out and take you for everything you have—” Sam squeezed her eyes shut. “That’s the voice that made me freeze when Maureen Harper took Jake out of that stroller. To just think about me. What I want. What I need.”
“Are you going to listen to that voice?” Drew said tightly. “Because Scout is my—”
“I was never going to tell anyone where he was,” Sam said, and the relief of stating it out loud, making it a fact and not a maybe—the relief was dizzying. “I have nightmares about it sometimes.”
He exhaled slowly. “Sam—”
“I always knew as long as Jake existed, Jason was going to leave me for Elizabeth one day,” Sam continued as if he wasn’t there. “I let that fester inside of me until it drove me insane . Maybe that’s why I couldn’t stand to stay out of it with Jake two years ago. Why I kept pushing him, why I scared him so badly he ran out of the house—because he was in the way of what I wanted. What I thought belonged to me. Maybe I wanted him to be gone.”
“Maybe?” he asked, more gently than she deserved.
She shook her head. There was no point in worrying about saving face or hiding. It was out. Everyone finally knew who she was. “I wanted him gone,” she said. “As long as I wanted Jason, Jake was in the way.”
Drew waited, but Sam said nothing else. He walked across the room, and lifted his suitcase. “I’ll have someone get in touch with you about Scout and Danny,” he said. He opened the door, then looked around once more at the home he’d thought he’d found and would stay forever—the stolen memories of all the years that he’d never spent here. “Good bye,” he told her.
Then he left.
Webber House: Living Room
Elizabeth stared at the sofa in her living room, then screwed up her face in an expression that did not give Cameron much hope that she would be willing to let Trina and Joss crash at their place that night.
“You want me to let you and your cousin have your girlfriends sleep over,” his mother stated dubiously. A statement, not a question.
“I hear you, Mom, I do, but I want to you look in the kitchen—” Cameron turned, gesturing at the two boys who were sitting at the table, giggling maniacally at the phone in Aiden’s hand as they watched a video. “I have to also keep them alive. Plus, Spencer will be here and it’s New Year’s, so no one is going to bed early.”
“They’ll sleep eventually,” Elizabeth said, narrowing her eyes.
“Hey, you ran away and slept under the docks with your boyfriend when you were my age,” Cameron reminded her, and Elizabeth made a face. “Yeah, you should have kept that one to yourself when you were trying to bond with me, huh?”
“You know, I’d say it’s a pain in the ass that you remember everything I’ve ever said to you,” Elizabeth muttered, “but I think you inherited it from me. I always kept a file of leverage in my head to get away with things.”
Cameron grinned broadly because he knew his mother was fair, and she absolutely trusted him. “And listen, you are not the only suspicious parent we’ve got to worry about. Trina has to call her mom every hour—and I think Dr. Rob might actually call Trina every 30 minutes—and Joss’s mom—well—” Cameron hesitated. “I think she just said that Joss understands safe sex.”
“And did Oscar ask Drew or Kim about it?” Elizabeth asked. “And don’t forget that I will call them both—”
“He asked his step mom because he lives with her, and Dr. Nero was mostly like you—until she found out Jake and Aiden would be here. And she’s up close and personal with Dr. Rob, so as the doc goes—so goes the nation.”
“Yeah, Trina’s mom is pretty protective,” Elizabeth admitted. “It probably comes from all those years being married to a DEA agent.” She wrinkled her nose. “Fine. Fine. But I’m trusting you.”
“Hey, would I let you down?” Cameron asked, grinning at her, but his mother’s face took on a serious cast that told him that she’d taken the question to heart.
“Never,” Elizabeth said with a shake of her head. “Not once since the day you were born, Cameron. It’s usually the other way around.”
“Mom—” Cameron ducked his head, looked at the ground. “Look, I told you. I’m fine. All that crap at Christmas—I’m gonna leave it there. We agreed. I used to have a dad, now I don’t. And it’s his loss, not mine, right?”
“Right, but knowing that, baby, here—” She touched her temple, “doesn’t always convince us here—” Elizabeth pressed a fist against her heart, and he sighed. “He will regret all the things he threw away, Cam, but it’ll be too late. I’m just sorry you had to get hurt.”
“Yeah, well, once Joss and the others started talking about getting him deported from Ireland, and leaving him to roast in the Sahara, I figured I could concentrate on the idiot that doesn’t want me or the friends who do.”
“Good.” Elizabeth frowned. “Wait, what did Joss want to do?”
Cameron grinned, then wandered over to look at the car in his driveway. “So, Jason signed that lease? When do I get to start working on my car?”
“A few more weeks, I think,” Elizabeth said, following him. “I was worried about the gift,” she admitted. “After what happened on Christmas. He wasn’t trying to bribe you or anything—”
“Yeah, no one tries to bribe anyone with a 2004 Chevy,” Cameron said with a wince. “But I get it. It’s a good gift. Joss said Jason was always good at that.”
“Yeah, it’s one of his good qualities,” Elizabeth replied. She smiled wistfully, looking at the car.
“What did he get you this year? You never said.”
Elizabeth frowned, then looked at Cameron. “What?”
“Jason. I mean, he didn’t forget your Christmas gift. He’s not that dumb,” Cameron continued. “So what did he give you?”
Elizabeth tipped her head. “You wouldn’t understand,” she said, even as she smiled.
“Try me. I mean, I got a car. You better have gotten jewelry.”
Elizabeth just shook her head, then looked back out the window. “He let me drive.”
Cameron waited for the rest of it — drive a Porsche, maybe a plane, or something impressive. But his mother didn’t say anything else, just stood there with a smile on her face. Women. He’d never understand them.
“Right. So that’s—normal and everything. Uh, listen, Mom. Whatever you’re doing with Jason—”
“And I do not want to know,” Cameron said flatly, stabbing a finger at her. “No. But if you were maybe not doing anything because of me or what happened at Christmas or whatever, don’t be stupid.”
His mother narrowed her eyes. “Cameron Hardy—”
“I mean, don’t think just because you made a dumb ass mistake with Franco—and it turned out so bad—that you should just, like, give up. You’re the best mom,” Cameron told her. “But I’m not going to be here forever. And neither are Jake and Aiden. So it’s okay to make sure you’ve got some happy, too. Just, uh, no more serial killers if that’s cool with you.”
“Yeah.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes and started for the kitchen. “No more serial killers.”
General Hospital: Chief of Staff’s Office
Monica smiled easily as her secretary let Robert into her office. She rose to her feet. “Well, I can’t imagine what brings a WSB agent to my door,” she said, offering a hand, “but it’s always good to see you.”
“You, too,” Robert said as he settled himself in the chair in front of the desk. “I actually came on some old business. Ancient, really.” He waited as Monica took her seat again. “This whole Drew thing—the fact that there were twins—” He studied Monica’s face. “You know I’ve been helping the boys look into it since Victor and Maddox was were part of the WSB when it all went down.”
“They both mentioned it. Any luck?” Monica asked.
“All of it, and none of it,” Robert said. “We have a lot of evidence, but it’s taking time to put it together in a picture that makes sense. More questions than answers. Drew thought it was worth starting at the beginning of this whole thing. With the fact that Victor knew something no one else did.”
“Oh?” Monica lifted her brows.
“That Jason Morgan had a twin brother,” Robert said softly. “Because until then, Monica, I’d say no one knew that, am I right?”
“Well, of course you are,” Monica said with a huff. “If we’d known, don’t you think Alan would have gone to get him?”
“Of course. Of course. Well, Drew put Curtis Ashford on the trail, and he dug up some really interesting documents.” Robert took out the folder he’d brought and slid it over to Monica. “There’s some copies for you. They’re making us look back at what happened when Jason and Drew would have been small children.”
“What—” Monica stared at the birth certificates. The pair of them. “Jason’s original—” She stopped. “Is this how Victor knew?”
“You can see there it clearly marks him as a twin birth,” Robert nodded. “And below that — Andrew Moore. That’s Andrew and Jason Moore, born September 1973. Three years later, Jason Moore is refiled as Jason Morgan Quartermaine. The Moore name is dropped, but, uh, little Andrew disappears entirely, and the second birth certificate for Jason lists him as single birth.”
“Well, that’s what we knew to be the truth—” Monica stopped as she came to the third document. “What is this?”
“This—” Robert leaned forward, tapped the document. “This is a document that surrenders custody of Andrew Moore to the state of New York. Putting the boy—barely three years old—into the foster system. He ended up in a group home until he turned eighteen. He joined the military, became a decorated officer, and went to college. Got married, had himself a son. Then got kidnapped at the age of thirty eight in 2012, just before his birthday.”
Monica’s lips thinned. “What does this have to do with me or Alan? This paperwork says it was Susan—”
“Look at the date,” Robert said and she dropped her eyes. “March 25, 1976. Do you remember when Susan Moore was murdered?”
“February 11.” Monica’s face was ashen as she raised her eyes. “Robert—”
“We’ve been wracking our brains,” Robert said, easily, “trying to understand what the connection is. I mean, surrendering him to the state—fine. But he’s still Andrew Moore. His birth certificate still lists Alan and Susan. Anyone who wanted to find him—they could have.”
“But he didn’t stay Andrew Moore,” Monica said faintly. “He couldn’t have. They would have found Alan.”
“No, he didn’t. And that’s the last piece of paperwork I thought you might be interested in. Someone—at the same time they sent little Andrew into the system not only requested a name change, but they refiled his birth certificate. Curtis didn’t find that,” Robert said, “but I located it last night.”
Monica looked down at the paperwork, but said nothing.
“Little Andrew Moore came Andrew Cain, son of a unknown mother and father. Separated from his family, from his brother for more than forty years.” When Monica looked at him, Robert continued, “And it makes me wonder if I might have accused the wrong person of murder for the wrong reasons.”
Monica carefully closed the folder, trapping the paperwork inside, then slid it across the desk. “I think,” she said slowly, “that nearly all the suspects are long gone, Robert. Edward, Lila, Alan—Heather’s in a loony bin. It’s just me and Scott left. Do you think either of us would have thrown a child into the system like this?”
“Do I think that the woman sitting in front of me would do that to an innocent child who hadn’t done anything to deserve it?” Robert’s smile was thin. “No. But that’s not the woman I interviewed four decades ago either, is it?”
“Then I guess it’s a good thing that you do know who killed Susan Moore,” Monica said, rising to her feet. “Tolliver Crane. Just as we’ve known for all this time. You can show yourself out.”
Metro Court Hotel: Spinelli’s Suite
Spinelli scowled at the growing list of emails that were shoved into the medical folder — whatever Helena and her minions had been handling, it had been shady as hell. He’d never understand half of the lab reports and scans he’d perused.
Then his phone lit up with a FaceTime request from his second favorite doctor in the world right now—Spinelli grinned, scooping it up. “Please tell me you have something good.”
“Happy New Year to you, too,” Patrick grumbled but dragged a hand through his hair. “I don’t know why the hell there are so many brain scans — have you been able to match them up with the reports?”
“No, that’s what I wanted you to do. I thought you could read the descriptions—”
“I can, but not in just two days. Robin and I are working our way through them, but Jason and Elizabeth sent their own batch—and Laura sent more—I think we have almost two thousand files alone,” he said with a heavy sigh. “We’re going to print them out, blow them up like real scans and try to match them that way, but it’s not going to be today, Spinelli.”
“Damn it. Can you give us anything? You know the brothers Stone Cold are frustrated. We have Andre and Helena’s files but we still have nothing,” Spinelli said. “I haven’t been able to do anything I wanted to do—I haven’t helped at all—”
“Hey. You’re doing your best,” Patrick reminded him. “We all are. These are the Cassadines. Look, what I can say is I think we’re dealing with anywhere from seven to eight patients. At least so far. Robin and I are going to try and group them by patient the best we can, then match individual scans to reports. You said Jason, Jake, and Drew were numbered?”
“Patients Three, Five, and Six.”
“Well, then we definitely have records from a child—and I think I see one that reminds me of Jason’s brain from the last time I operated on it,” Patrick said, squinting at something. “I did that surgery in 2005 when I moved to Port Charles, and you can still see the scars. Which gives us something to work with.”
“Okay. Okay. So they were running an actual experiment with medical research.”
“Maybe monthly scans to see how whatever they were doing was affecting the brain,” Patrick suggested. “The rest of the scans—none of them leaps out. I think I might have seen Drew’s—from when we removed the chip, but I’m not sure until I can look at it more closely. There’s one patient we’ve been grouping together. The scans look familiar, like maybe he was one of my patients once.”
Spinelli furrowed his brow. “You’ve had many patients.”
“I have, so that’s not much to go on. Robin and I will finish sorting them, and then look through my own files. You might need to get someone at GH to pull my old patient files and see if we can match it from there. Other than that, Spinelli—I don’t have much.”
“You gave me something to work with,” Spinelli promised. “If you’re right, then these files are legit. These are Helena’s, so maybe Andre will have matching ones once I break the encryption.”
“Keep me in the loop. Happy New Year’s, Spinelli. Go celebrate with your daughter. I’m taking the night off. We all should.”
Webber House: Living Room
Elizabeth smiled with a roll of her eyes as Trina and Joss gushed over her dress and demanded that she turn around to show it off.
“That is gorgeous,” Joss declared. “And I could never do the mermaid skirt thing,” she told Trina. “My legs are too stubby. You’d look good in gold.”
“I look good in everything,” Trina declared, but she grinned. “Thanks for letting us crash tonight, Miss Webber. Mom is gonna call, like every minute, so if you want reports, she said she’d text you.”
“I talked to her,” Elizabeth said dryly as she walked over to join Jason by the sofa where he was attempting to teach Aiden how to play war with a deck of playing cards. “I can’t remember the last time I saw you in a suit,” she told him.
Jason winced, tugging at the collar of his white shirt, though he’d left off the tie. “Carly left it at the house for me. I hate these things,” he muttered.
“Me, too,” Jake said. “But Mom likes ’em, so what’re you gonna do? Ha! WAR!” he said with a maniacal grin, flipping his card to show that he’d won this round. Aiden scowled.
“Hey, I ordered the pizza,” Cameron said as he, Spencer, and Oscar came in from the kitchen. “So—” He raised his brows at his mother and Jason. “You can go now.”
“I think he’s eager to have the house to himself,” Elizabeth told Jason as he stood from the sofa. She straightened the lapels on his jacket, smiling at him briefly before looking over at the kids. “Don’t forget to set the security system. I don’t know when I’ll be home, but you’re only opening the door to the pizza guy or someone you know.”
“Uh, I know a lot of criminals,” Cameron said. “So, like, I need more direction than that—”
“Don’t play your mom,” Trina hissed, slapping his shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep them alive if he’s too stupid.”
“WAR!” Aiden roared, but then Jake flipped his card—and still had the higher card. “THAT IS NOT FAIR MAKE HIM STOP WINNING—”
“Go to the party,” Joss said, shoving at Jason’s elbow. “I got this. Hey, Aiden, let’s go see what trouble we can get into in the kitchen—”
Aiden slunk away, following Joss, tossing another murderous glare at his brother who just cackled.
Jason slid Elizabeth’s long black coat over her shoulders as she looked wistfully at the group gathered in her living room, as Cameron, Spencer and Oscar started to boot up a game system, and Trina challenged Jake to a new card game.
“We could stay,” he offered. “It would probably be more fun.”
“No, it’s just—” She sighed. “They’re growing up so fast,” she murmured. “I keep thinking I’ll blink and they’ll be in college.”
“And then they’ll come home,” Jason told her. He pulled open the door, and she went out onto the front step, into the bitter December night. Jason closed out the sounds of laughter from inside. “They don’t go to Carly’s. They don’t to Oscar’s or Trina’s. They come to your house, Elizabeth. Because your boys will always come back, and that’s because of you.”
Elizabeth smiled, leaned forward to drop her forehead against his chest lightly. He kissed the top of her head. “That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.” She looked up, their eyes held in the dim shadows, then she smiled. “You ready to go to a swanky Port Charles party where Carly will probably try to force you into having fun?”
Jason smiled weakly. “Only if you’re there to scare her away.”
“Ha, ha, funny—” Elizabeth’s heels clicked as they walked down the driveway towards his SUV. Jason opened the door for her, helping her up into the seat so she didn’t slip, then closed the door, going around to the other side of the car.
He backed out of the driveway, neither of them noticing the man who lurked in the shadows, stopped to look into the windows of the house full of teenagers and children, then slid into a car of his own to follow them across town.