Chapter Thirty-Eight

This entry is part 38 of 38 in the Fool Me Twice: Ricochet

I won’t give up so don’t give in
You’ve fallen down but you will rise again
I won’t give up

When the demon that’s inside you is ready to begin
And it feels like it’s a battle that you will never win
When you’re aching for the fire and begging for your sin
When there’s nothing left inside, there’s still a reason to fight

A Reason to Fight, Disturbed


April 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia

Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called

Britt’s hands were shaking as she sat down, her breath short and choppy. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry—”

“Britt—” Nikolas reached out for her but she just clenched her fingers into fists, the nails digging into her palm.

“I did everything right. I thought I did everything right. But he didn’t—he wouldn’t open his eyes—”

Nikolas’s breath escaped in a rush. “He didn’t—”

“He should have,” Britt insisted. “His heart beat changed. He should have been awake. But he didn’t—” She raised her tear-stained eyes to his. “I let you down. You asked me for one thing—and now—”

“And now we need a back up plan.” Nikolas scrubbed his hands over his face. “Christ. Okay. Okay. Damn it.”

“I’m sorry—”

“You did everything you could. I just—I have to depend on Maddox. He told me he put a fail safe in Jake’s brain. He can be stopped.” Nikolas dipped his head. “I need to be in Port Charles. I need to be there in case things go wrong.”

“But you didn’t want Valentin to know you were back—”

“I’ll call Lucky. He’s been working another angle for a few years. He can get me in and out without noticing. Britt—” Nikolas looked at her. “You did what I asked. It’s not your fault.”

“But—”

“Go back to Faison. If I need you again, I’ll call. Thank you.” He squeezed her hand. “Thank you for trying.” He left the church without another word, disappearing into the dark St. Petersburg night.

Britt remained where she was seated, her hands still shaking as someone else took his place.

“Is it done?”

“Yes.” Britt gritted her teeth. “Yes. Are you happy now? Is that what you needed?”

“Liebchen, ” Liesl Obrecht murmured, “if you are disappointed, then you ought not to have used your father’s name to gain admittance to the clinic. The punishment could have been worse.”

“But—”

“The boy will be fine,” Liesl said, dismissing Britt’s concerns. “Valentin does not intend to harm him—you heard the prince. There’s a fail safe—”

“If it doesn’t work—”

“It will be no business of ours. Now, we will return—”

“Why are you doing this? Don’t I deserve to know that much? Why do you care if Nikolas takes down Valentin Cassadine? Why are you trying to stop him?” Britt demanded. “He has nothing to do with us—”

Liesl made a face. “I wish that were so, Liebchen, but unfortunately your father continues to disappoint me.”

“What—” Britt blinked. “What does he—”

“Valentin Cassadine is not the Cassadine heir,” Liesl admitted with a careless shrug. “He’s one of your father’s many bastards.”

Britt’s eyes bulged out of her head. “Wait—what?”

“Yes, yes, he’s the mongrel offspring of Faison and Helena. As such, he’s dedicated to gaining the Cassadine resources for himself. That only works if Valentin stays in control.” Liesl touched Britt’s nose with her fingertip, very nearly a gesture of affection. “You did that very nicely by screwing up the protocol.”

Britt watched as her mother sauntered out of the church. Then she smiled. Oh — she’d screwed up the protocol all right, but not as she’d been directed. She’d merely made a few tweaks. Jason would be waking up on his own any day now. He might not be in time for the Nurse’s Ball—

But he’d be going home all the same.

She hadn’t been able to give Nikolas what he wanted, but she hoped—she very desperately hoped—she’d be able to give him what he needed.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Webber House: Living Room

Cameron stifled a yawn as he blearily came down the steps, then blinked at the air mattress on the floor in front of the sofa where Trina and Joss were sprawled out. Somewhere in his sleep-starved brain, he knew he’d have to hold this over them one day. Maybe he should take a picture as proof—

He made a face at the clock — barely five am — but he knew he’d heard a car in the driveway, and he wasn’t sure what time his mother had come in. He didn’t want any idiots waking her or his brothers up.

Cameron glanced out the front window, then stopped as his brain tried to compute what he was seeing.

Jason’s SUV sat in the driveway, behind his mother’s car with Cameron’s still parked at the curb. And there was Jason, helping his mother step down from the SUV, her hair down around her shoulders. She smiled up at him, said something—and then—

Cameron took a step back, and then hurried across the living room as fast as his legs could carry him. He did not want to see his mother when she came in the door because then they’d both know where she’d been the night before, and Cameron just wasn’t in the mood.

Oscar rolled over with a yawn as Cameron came into the room. “Whatzit?” he slurred, scrubbing a hand over his face as he sat up in his sleeping bag. Next to him, Spencer kept snoring. He focused on Cameron. “What’s wrong?”

“Uh. Nothing. I think—” Cameron sat on the edge of his bed, shoving Aiden’s foot out of the way. His brothers were supposed to have spent the night in Jake’s room the night before—but somehow, they’d stolen his bed and he’d had to drag out Jake’s Captain American sleeping bag since Oscar had borrowed Cameron’s. He looked at Oscar. “My mom just got home.”

“Oh. I guess they party hard in Port Charles.” Oscar said.

“Not my mom. I think—” He stopped. “I think she and Jason are, like, I don’t know, together.”

“Weren’t they already?” Oscar wanted to know. He stopped. “Does it, like, bother you? I thought you and Jason were good.”

“We are. We are,” Cameron repeated. And while he didn’t want to think too much about the whole thing, he did know his mother had been better lately, and looked pretty happy the night before when she’d left. Hadn’t he told her not to hold back on his account? “I don’t know,” he said finally. “Let’s go back to sleep.”

“Okay.” Oscar laid back down, wincing. “Oh, man, do you have any Tylenol or something? My head is killing me, and all we did was eat too much candy and pizza. I thought my stomach would feel like crap today.”

“In the cabinet in the bathroom,” Cameron murmured, sliding back into his sleeping bag, and rolling over onto his side, hoping to get a few more hours of sleep.

Wyndemere: Living Room

Nina stared at the text message on her phone, then raised her eyes to her stepdaughter who was waiting at the breakfast table, peering around the corner for her father to come down the stairs.

Because that was supposed to happen today. They’d gone to a beautiful restaurant the night before, then returned to the island last night for their anniversary. And Valentin had been everything he hadn’t these last few months—attentive, sweet, and completly focused on her—

Then she’d woken up to an empty bed, Valentin’s luggage absent from the closet, and now this—this text message.

Something came up. Out of town for a few days. I love you.

“Nina?” Charlotte asked, furrowing her brows. “Is Papa sick? He’s never late for breakfast.”

“If he’s not,” Nina said, her jaw clenched, “he’s going to wish he was when I get my hands on him.”

Nelle’s Condo: Bedroom

Michael pulled his dress pants on, then turned to find Nelle had propped herself up on her elbows and was peering at him. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Well—” Nelle shifted on her side, the sheet sliding further down her creamy shoulder so that she could peer on her phone charging on the nightstand. “It’s barely eight on New Year’s Day, and we only went to bed a few hours ago, so—”

“I have a few things I need to do today,” Michael said, apologetically. “I’m sorry—there are some meetings—” He sat on the edge of the bed. “And I wanted to stop by my mother’s.”

“What’s the point?” Nelle asked. She shoved the sheet aside and rose from the bed, reaching for a silk robe on the door of her closet. She tied a knot to secure it, then looked at him. “Your mother is never going to accept me. It doesn’t matter what you try. It’s only making it worse, Michael.”

“I know, but I think if I just find a way—”

“It just feels like everything is against us.” Nelle sat on the edge of the bed, her back to him. “No one supports us. Not really. Your mother would rather see me flying off a cliff than ever accept me, and just because Sonny isn’t fighting it—you know your grandmother doesn’t like me. And your uncle Jason doesn’t even know me, but he’ll listen to whatever Elizabeth says.”

Michael winced, looking away, remembering the disappointment he’d seen in Elizabeth’s eyes the night before. He didn’t even know how much he’d enjoyed having her respect until he’d lost it. She’d always been someone who was just around in his life—but the way she’d spoken to him—the things she’d said—

The boy who fought so hard for AJ, who was desperate to get him back on track, and accepted him for all his faults — I never expected that boy to grow up into a cold, hard man who thinks Nelle Benson is worth what you’re doing to your mother. But maybe you are Sonny’s son after all.

“Michael?”

He turned back to Nelle, shaking Elizabeth’s face and words out of his mind. “Maybe my parents are a lost cause,” he said, “but I know I can make Jason and Elizabeth understand. I will,” he promised her.

“Michael—”

“They just don’t know you the way I do,” he insisted. “And Jason’s put up with my mother all these years. He has to understand it. He will. And Elizabeth will do whatever he needs her to do. Don’t worry about any of them.”

“They’re your family, Michael. I can’t be responsible for you losing them—” Nelle rose to her feet. “Maybe we should just—we should just let it go. We tried, but there’s too much against us—”

“I don’t believe that,” Michael declared. He took hold of her hands, squeezed them hard. “Mom misses Morgan, and we all do. But she’ll get over it. She won’t think about you the same way. We just have to keep you away from her a while. Last night was a mistake. But we’re not a mistake, Nelle. You and me.”

“All right,” Nelle said with a heavy sigh. “If you’re sure you’re still willing to sign up for any of this.”

“I am.” Michael drew her into his arms, kissed the side of her head. She burrowed her head in his neck. “We’re in this together. And if it means that I don’t see my mom for a while, well, then that’s what I have to do.”

Nelle raised her head to make eye contact with herself over his shoulder in the mirror across the room.

Then she smiled.

Some things were just too easy.

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

Spinelli hurried off the elevator and across the room to where Jason and Drew were seated, waiting for him.

“Morning, morning. Sorry to call you both on a holiday,” Spinelli said as he sat down, grinning at the orange soda that was waiting for him. “But it was important—”

“It’s fine. It’s not like I had to do more than use an elevator to get here,” Drew said. He glanced at Jason. “Jason just got here. Where did you go last night anyway? I didn’t see you at the party after a while.”

Jason simply looked at his brother, then focused on Spinelli, neatly evading the question. Drew hid a slight grin as he sipped his coffee. “What’s up, Spinelli?”

“Valentin Cassadine boarded a plane about—” Spinelli checked the text on his phone. “Ninety minutes ago. It didn’t pop up because it wasn’t a planned flight,” he added as the brothers straightened, the amusement sliding from Drew’s face. “No flight plan, no tickets. He chartered a plane at one in the morning, and took off at seven. And judging from the phone calls he’s ignoring from Nina—”

“Wait, you’re monitoring his phone calls?” Drew demanded. “When did this start—”

“Not his, just hers,” Spinelli clarified. “I haven’t been able to crack his phone yet, but Nina isn’t, uh, that bright,” he admitted. “I sent her a virus on her phone — as soon as she clicked the link, I got everything. So I’ve been tracking Valentin through her. She’s been calling him and texting every five minutes since six-thirty this morning. He isn’t answering.”

“That—” Drew lifted his brows. “That’s interesting. Where is he heading? Russia? Greece?”

“Turkey,” Spinelli said. “Which isn’t on my radar at all. I called Robert and Anna, and they’re looking into it, but uh, there’s really only two options.”

“Either he’s running,” Jason said.

“Or he’s up to something.” Drew’s lips thinned as he pressed them together. “Both of those suck. Do we go to Turkey after him?”

Spinelli waited for Jason to immediately jump on that suggestion — the Stone Cold of yesteryear would already be on the road to the airport.

“Where would we go?” Jason asked. “Do we even have a way of tracking him once he’s on the ground? And I don’t—I don’t know Turkish. I can’t get around there as well. If he’d gone somewhere else—”

“I can manage some Turkish,” Drew admitted. “I also have a bit of Arabic, but yeah, I guess you’ve got a point. If we go after him now—we don’t know what we’re walking into.” He rubbed the side of his face. “Do you think he found what he was looking for?”

“Maybe,” Spinelli admitted. “I just wish we knew what that was. I was able to decrypt a few more of Andre’s files,” he told them. “They’re medical like Helena’s. Some of them might match, but it’s not going to happen over night.”

“No, that’d be too easy,” Drew said dryly. He focused on Jason. “We could go,” he told him. “Maybe we’d find out something, but I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. We have the files and investigation here. Spinelli—Robert and Anna said they’re on it?”

“They’re getting the WSB in the area to check in for what what’s worth,” Spinelli said. Drew made a face. “Yeah, that’s what I said. I wish we had someone on the inside,” he admitted. “Not just Robert or Anna—”

“But an active field agent who Valentin wouldn’t know about,” Jason said. “Yeah. Well, we don’t have that. Spinelli—keep on the wife. He might end up contacting her or his daughter. If we get a location—” He looked at Drew. “If we know where in Turkey he is, then one of should go. I don’t trust the Spencers, and Spinelli’s right. The WSB isn’t on our side either.”

“All right. Then we wait for a location, but, uh, we should both go, because if anything happens to you, I’m not explaining it to Elizabeth,” Drew said, “and you do not want to have that conversation with Curtis.”

“Fair enough,” Jason said. “Then let’s wait for more information.” He finished his coffee. “I have somewhere I need to be.”

“Same,” Drew said. “Spinelli, thanks for the leg work on this. We’d be lost without you.”

“Just doing my part to save the brothers Stone Cold.” Spinelli grabbed the can of orange soda, offered them a jaunty salute, and sauntered off.

Drew made a face, then looked at Jason. “Yeah, I don’t like that nickname. He needs to come up with a new one.”

“You know better than that,” Jason said, with a shake of his head. “He’ll just come up with one you hate more.”

Kelly’s: Dining Room

“Fancy running into you here.”

Elizabeth turned away from the counter as Sonny slid onto the stool next to her. “Hey,” she said, with a warm smile. “I’m just grabbing lunch for the boys. Thanks again for letting Joss sleep over last night.”

“Carly seemed to think Aiden and Jake would keep them all on their best behavior. Me, I’m more interested in keeping boys away from Joss,” Sonny admitted. He ordered a cup of coffee, flipping the cup over so the waitress could fill it. “But I’m glad the kids have each other. All of them,” he added. “Sometimes I think if I’d had more friends like them when I was their age—”

“You might not be Sonny Corinthos?” Elizabeth suggested.

“I might be a better person,” Sonny said with a nod. “Thank you, by the way. For trying to mediate with Michael and Carly. I’m not sure what made you think you could fix the situation, but, uh, Carly seemed to be handling it better last night after the party.” He tipped his head. “What did make you go out on a limb for Carly? She’d never do it for you.”

“Michael keeps asking me that, too.” Elizabeth frowned slightly. “Why do you think that matters?”

Sonny hesitated, then didn’t say anything. He picked up his coffee and took a long sip.

“Do you think there has to be something in it for me, Sonny? That I’m trying to win some credit with Carly so she’ll back off?” she pushed.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if maybe you were just trying to, you know, make the road a little easier for you. I wouldn’t blame you,” Sonny added. “It’s not my business—it never was. But you and Jason weren’t around at midnight, and Carly being less…” He paused. “Carly,” he finally decided, “would give you less of a headache.”

“Being less Carly,” Elizabeth repeated. She looked away as the waitress came out and put her bagged order in front of her, then turned back to Sonny. “You know, I wasn’t with Jason when we lost Jake. We couldn’t grieve together. Lucky wasn’t much help either. I mostly drowned on my own.”

“Elizabeth—”

“I always wondered if it would have been better if I’d had someone who loved me—really loved me—who loved Jake and understood how my entire world had just—” Elizabeth paused. “It broke apart. It shattered. It’s better now, but it will never be the way it was before. I used to think that if I wasn’t alone, maybe it wouldn’t have hurt so much.”

Sonny frowned. “I don’t really know what you’re getting at—”

“Carly isn’t just being Carly, Sonny. But thank you for making me see how much worse it is to be with someone who says they love you—and they still let you drown. And what’s more, they shove your head down while you struggle to breathe.”

She made it all the way to her car before Sonny caught up with her, his eyes dark and intense, his hand grabbing her elbow to stop her from opening the door. “What does that mean?” he demanded, sharply. “I’m not—”

“I’m sorry,” Elizabeth said immediately. “Because it’s not fair of me to think that you’re not drowning on your own, but I just—I don’t know. Maybe the reason Carly and I don’t get along is we see each other too clearly. Carly isn’t okay, Sonny. Tell me you know that.”

Sonny exhaled slowly. “She’s getting better.” He paused. “But you’re right. Maybe I’m just—I’m trying to pretend things are normal. If we act like it’s okay, we’ll just—” He stopped, took a deep breath. “One day, we’ll wake up and it will be.”

“And maybe that’s working for you, Sonny. I hope so. I really want that for both of you. But I don’t think it’s working for Carly.” Elizabeth paused. “Carly and I might never be friends, but you and I were once. We’ve known each other too long, Sonny, to pretend with each other, you know? I tried to help Carly because I couldn’t stand seeing someone in the same pain I was and being left alone to deal with it.”

“And that’s the difference between you and I,” he admitted on a sad sigh. “I used to be that way, but I lost it somewhere.” He looked out over the parking lot, his eyes a bit distant. “A long time ago.”

“I know. It’s a shame. It was one of the reasons I wanted you as a friend.”

Sonny’s eyes swung back to her with a lift of his brows. “Well, if you’re planning to hang around this time, some of that empathy will rub off on me and Carly. We could use it.” He paused. “You are sticking this time?”

“I never wanted to let go in the first place.”

Quartermaine Mansion: Family Room

Drew hesitated in the doorway of the room, looking over the woman sitting at the desk, quietly writing, lost in her own thoughts.

He had such a jumble of memories about Monica—the ones that didn’t belong to him—the angry ones, the warm ones—the memories after he’d woke up as Jake Doe and started to put his life back together—and the sorrow when she hadn’t reached out after that night at the Metro Court.

Had she been drowning in her own guilt? Was that why she’d disappeared from his life?

He knew Curtis had a point. Whatever had happened when he was a child — it was over. He had enough to worry about. What was Valentin up to? And what was going to happen to Sam? Would he be able to make Aurora work? Would he be able to be good father to Danny and Scout even if he wasn’t around all the time? And what was his relationship with Oscar  going to look like?

He had so many questions—some of which he might never get answer to. Did it really matter what had happened between a bunch of people he’d never know?

Monica looked up, surprised to find him there. Her eyes wrinkled with confusion, even apprehension as she got to her feet. “Drew? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah.” He cleared his throat. “Sorry. Alice told me to come on back. I hope that’s okay.”

“You’re always welcome here. I’m sorry I haven’t—I know I haven’t made that clear, but I will now.” Monica approached him. “Is something on your mind?”

“Yeah.” Drew paused. “I wanted to know how Victor Cassadine knew Jason and I were twins, so I looked into my birth records. Now that I had a place to start, they were easier to find.”

“You—” Monica stopped. “Robert came to see me about this, Drew, and I just—” She shook her head. “It was so long ago—”

“I know. I know, Monica,” he repeated. “And I just—” He met her eyes. “I want you to know that if you’d known about me then, I understand why you might not have been happy about it. Maybe that’s why Susan didn’t tell anyone. In her own way, she was trying not to make it worse for you.”

“Drew—”

“I just—” Drew paused, forced himself to ask the question. “I just need to know if you ever regretted it. Signing the papers.”

Monica stared at him, but said nothing.

“Maybe later, when Jason was older and you loved him, too. If you thought about me. Did you ever look for me?”

They stood in silence for a long moment as his question hung between them, the air heavy with tension.

“I told you,” Monica said slowly, “If Alan had known—if we could have brought you home, Drew, we would have. I need—” Her voice trembled. “I need you to believe that.”

And he did believe that. He absolutely believed there might have come a day at some point when Monica had felt overwhelmed by the guilt, but maybe it had been too late. Maybe he’d been buried in the system too deep—

“All right,” Drew said finally. “We can—we can let it go at that. I love you,” he told her. “No matter what. You’ve been my mother for the last two years. I don’t want to lose that.”

“I don’t either.”

“I’m going to hold you to that.” He kissed her cheek, and then left. Monica watched him go, closed her eyes, and then went over to the desk where she’d left her cell phone.

She picked it up, dialed a familiar number, and waited for the line to connect. “We have a problem,” Monica said without preamble.

“You always have a problem,” the woman on the other line drawled. “Why should I care?”

“Because Robert Scorpio is looking into Susan Moore’s murder and they found the papers. They know.”

There was a long pause, and then —

“I’ll be on the next flight, Monica. Don’t do anything stupid. That’s what got us into this damn mess in the first place.”

With that, Tracy Quartermaine ended the call, and Monica sat down at her desk to stare out the window and remember.

Webber House: Kitchen

“We don’t have to say anything,” Jason told Elizabeth as she loaded up the dishwasher full from the party the night before. She arched a brow at him, and he winced. “Not that we’re keeping it a secret,” he muttered.

“No, we’ve already tried that,” Elizabeth said. “I’m not nervous—” She folded her arms. “I don’t know. Things are really good. With the boys. And you. You’re here all the time anyway, and it’s not like you’re moving in—”

Jason pulled her arms away from her waist, laced both their hands together between them. “Hey. I know. We don’t always do so well when we try to change things—”

“It’s usually the time it all falls apart.” She closed her eyes. “I’m being insane. You’re used to this by now.”

“I am.”

She scowled, then slapped his chest lightly. “You’re supposed to tell me I’m not insane—”

“Hey, we wanna start the movie.”

They turned to find Cameron standing in the archway, hesitating. “So, uh, whatever you’re talking about in here that you think we don’t know about, can we just get on with it? Because if Aiden doesn’t get to find out what happened to Baby Groot, I’m not gonna be responsible for what happens next.”

Elizabeth made a face as Jason looked at Cameron. “We’ll be there in a minute. We’re waiting on the popcorn.”

“Yeah, the microwave is done—” Cameron stopped, then came into the kitchen. “Listen, you’re gonna tell us you guys are dating for real now and we know.”

“You—” Elizabeth stared at him. “You know,” she repeated.

“Yeah, Mom, you’re not exactly the world’s best actress. I mean, maybe with other people,” Cameron continued as Elizabeth glared at him. “But you don’t get much past me. And also, uh, Jake and Aiden thought you guys were dating like a month ago, so this isn’t news to them.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth looked at Jason who looked as surprised as she felt. “Uh, well, all right then. Um, you’re okay with this?”

“With you and Jason dating?” Cameron flicked his eyes to Jason. “You’re still staying at your place?”

“Yes,” Jason said. “Nothing is going to change, Cameron. Not yet,” he added.

“Good. Mom goes too fast sometimes,” Cameron said. “That’s okay. It’s a Webber thing. We think the whole thing is gonna fall apart anyway, so we try to get it all done at once.” He flashed her a grin. “Probably a good sign if you’re not moving him in yet. Bring the popcorn, Mom. Or Jake and Aiden will overdose on soda before they can suck it up with carbs.”

He sauntered back into the living room as Elizabeth scowled after him. “I do not go too fast,” she muttered. She folded her arms, then looked at Jason. “Do you believe that?”

“It sounds like—” Jason leaned forward, kissed her forehead gently. “You were worried for nothing. I told you. We’re going to be okay.”

She closed her eyes, letting herself soak up the feeling of being in his arms again. “I always believe it when you say it.”

“Good.” Jason leaned down and kissed her lightly. “Get the popcorn,” he murmured against her mouth. “I’ll go hold them back from drinking their weight in soda.”

“Good plan.”

Jason left Elizabeth reaching for a bowl from the cabinet, then stopped in the archway to look at the boys as they had arranged themselves around the room—Jake and Aiden on the floor, each of them with a can of soda on the coffee table, Cameron in the armchair, his feet slung over the arm of it.

“You ready?” Elizabeth asked, appearing at his side, the popcorn ready.

He looked down at her, at her face, at her smile, at everything that made Elizabeth who she was and perfect for who Jason wanted to be for the rest of his life — and nodded. “Yeah, I’m ready. I want to know what a Baby Groot is.”

And refused to let himself think about what the hell Valentin Cassadine was doing in Turkey.

Istanbul, Turkey

Clinic: Office

Valentin stalked into the office, the door banging off the wall and slapping back as Klein shoved himself up in surprise. “Is it ready yet?” he demanded. “Is he awake?”

“Uh, not yet,” Klein said, a bit apprehensively.

“You said it would be forty-eight hours—”

“The protocol isn’t—we—” He paused. “Without Robin Scorpio administering it, it takes longer. She developed it, but didn’t exactly leave us instructions. And we don’t have the staff here—”

“Here is the only place where no one knows to look for me,” Valentin snapped. He turned to leave—and then something snapped into place in his head. He turned back to Klein. “How do you know it’s the protocol?”

“What?” Klein frowned. Valentin stepped forward, and the doctor hastily stepped back. “I told you. He’s not awake yet so that must be why—”

“But you were ready with that explanation,” Valentin said. He narrowed his eyes. “Did Jason Morgan have some help in waking up last spring?”

“What?” Klein stammered, his face flush, sweat breaking out on his forehead. “No. Of course not. We told you—we didn’t even know he was awake—”

“And yet he was awake enough for you to put him in a wheelchair,” Valentin murmured. “To let him loose in the clinic. Something you never told me or otherwise I might never have thought it was safe to send an associate there for a few weeks.”

“I—” Klein swallowed hard. “Mr. Cassadine—”

“You’re not the only doctor in the world, Klein. I can snap my fingers and get another one—I can kidnap someone who has vested interest in waking this patient so you tell me what the hell—”

“Faison,” Klein choked out. “Faison sent his daughter to work the protocol. He wanted Jason Morgan awake. He had plans for him, but Morgan escaped first—”

Valentin narrowed his eyes as he took in that information, then turned around, grabbed the bag he’d dropped when he’d entered, and stalked out. He charged down the hallway towards the patient room where he knew one of the obstacles to his victory lay.

The man in the bed didn’t look like much—of course he wouldn’t after all the time he’d spent asleep, but Valentin knew the truth. He knew how dangerous this man could be if he was awoken without care. Without control.

He turned to the bag and went over to remove a box. Valentin slipped it open, and drew out a dagger. He smiled faintly at the jeweled hilt, flicking his nail over the seam until it slid away — and revealed the thumb drive that held the answers Valentin had searched for all these years.

Valentin had done Alexis a favor after all — Helena hadn’t sent the true dagger that had murdered Alexis’s mother. No, that had been the present Valentin had left her when he’d had a man make the switch.

Valentin turned back to the man lying in the bed. Soon — he’d have his mother’s files and the answer to all the questions. He’d be able to stop anyone from taking what belonged to him.

As long his new patient didn’t ruin everything by waking up and escaping like Jason Morgan nearly had. Valentin approached the bed, staring own into the slack expression of Stefan Cassadine and smiled faintly. He was so close to everything he deserved.

As soon as he found out where his mother had stashed the true Cassadine heir, Valentin would find him and eliminate him. But first — he’d need someone to take on Helena’s memories.

Wasn’t it fortunate that he knew exactly who to ask?

THE END


Comments

  • I loved this story so much!!!! There are so many moving pieces and you did such an amazing job holing so many plots/people together!!

    I loved Liason here. I really enjoyed how they reconnected and how that played out. I also like that they are at a point in the timeline where there is a lot they can talk about (ie Jason giving a life with a family to Sam, the way Jason acted during Sam’s pregnancy and his thoughts on fatherhood)

    I loved Cam so much here! His relationships with his friends, Elizabeth, and Jason were all wonderful to see.

    I feel more invested in Drew than I thought I would at the start of the story. I’m especially enjoying his relationships with Jason and Oscar.

    I love that you are delving into Susan’s murder! It’s such a fantastic use of history and I’m really excited to see where that goes!

    I liked what you did with Kristina and Molly because it provided an interesting look at Sam from another prospective.

    Amazing job with this book and I can’t wait for more in this series!!!!

    According to Laura on June 14, 2021
  • Also, one of the fun things of reading the alpha draft is seeing all the ways the story changes on its way to being complete! I love what you decided to do with the flashbacks!

    According to Laura on June 14, 2021
  • Loved it! Love Cam…..can’t wait for the next series.

    According to Michelle on June 14, 2021
  • Love Cam, i hope here on out only good thing happen to him because he deserve happiness.
    I like this version of Kristina.
    I really love how Liason reconnect.
    Love this story so much. Looking forward for the next installment.
    by the way would like more of Liz and Patrick friendship.

    According to Yasmin J on June 14, 2021
  • Adding my compliments to the rest. This really is one of the best stories I’ve read. I’m in awe of how you tie everything together, give everyone their moments and still have liason be the wonderful heart. I seriously love this Cam/liz relationship, their bond, respect and love for each other just jumps of the page. Looking forward to whatever comes next!

    According to Aradia on June 14, 2021
  • This was so good can’t wait for book 2 or 3 my guess is that where the OG flash story for FMT come in with Franco kidnapping Cam. Is book 2 going to include Oscar tumor that why he has the headache is that one of the reason why you brought back Robin and Patrick to town to saved him. Not surprise that Tracy was part of the Susan mess with Monica. Sam is about to go off the deep in it looks like. Glade Liason is now together.

    According to Jamie Byrd on June 14, 2021
  • Such great writing! If only the show would hire you ☺️ Love how you had Liason reconnect. And again…the kids are awesome. Can’t wait for more!

    According to Amy on June 14, 2021
  • Ah, so Monica IS a great poker player. I knew Tracy wouldn’t just deprive Alan of his son on her own.

    Sucks that Michael just thinks he knows Nelle; I would’ve preferred the cat-in-mouse, personally, but more because I hate the idea of Michael Q. being such a patsy–when do those Quartermaine genes start kicking in, by the way?–than having any real affection for Nelle. Would’ve nice to see Nelle be Carly’s karma… the Carly to her Monice…

    Still think Elizabeth is too nice to Carly. Of course, I think she’s too nice to everyone so there’s that.

    Adored Anna&Robert, PATRICK, poor Nikolas, Cameron and crew, can’t wait to see Sam’s stupidity blow up in her face, and, of course, Jason&Elizabeth!!! I may have said this before but, outside of Damaged (because I will never not want to erase post-’09), this is by far my favorite iteration of Liason yet! Moreover, this is the most I’ve loved Jason in… forever!

    Thank you so much, Melissa, for continuing to be the best fanfic writer in the business.

    According to EternalLiason on June 14, 2021
  • I hope Cam is truly okay with Liason dating. I know that has to bring out some emotions in him. I loved their family scenes near then end and that they get some happy moments leading into the next book.

    Jason and Drew bonding are awesome and I can’t wait for more of their relationship to unfold. I was quite impressed that Jason thought things out and didn’t just jump on a plane.

    I also liked that talk with Sonny and Elizabeth and I hope that he continues to try to be better and was happy that he didn’t lash out at her just because it is what he does.

    I am also kind of enjoying the Nicholas and Britt interaction.

    Let me preface this with I love all of your stories and honestly thought Mad World was my favorite and it still is a favorite but you have honestly gone above and beyond with this. I have to say it is hands down my favorite. It will be read again many times. Thank you for sharing your time, energy and talent.

    According to nanci on June 14, 2021
  • Cam is funny the way he eggs his mother and Jason on. I can’t wait for the next chapters to begin. I am loving the Carly and Liz communication. Thanks for a great update.

    According to Shelly Samuel on June 14, 2021
  • I keep thinking of other things I loved! I really enjoyed seeing Liz with both Felix and Patrick, I like seeing her with friends!

    According to Laura on June 14, 2021
  • I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to read the next book. I still hold out hope that Danny is Franco’s biological son and that really pushes Sam into the deep end. I don’t know if I’d want Drew to get back together with Kim considering he doesn’t remember her and she’s been sort of peripheral in this story. I’d rather he stay single trying to figure out his own life before diving into a relationship. I definitely don’t want him to get back together with Sam. She doesn’t deserve him. She only wanted him when she thought he was Jason Morgan and the minute the truth came out that he wasn’t, she wanted to ignore everything else and pretend like nothing changed in their lives and that Drew should just keep the status quo for her. I also still hold out hope that Cameron is Jason’s son…I know, a long shot, but I’m hoping that there has to be more to Lucky’s dismissal of Cam and Jake because they look like their fathers, when he raised them for years knowing this information. Not that Lucky isn’t a b@stard who wouldn’t come up with a stupid, lame excuse like that but I hope there’s more to it which also explains why he stays away from Aiden. Ugh, can Nelle just fall off a cliff already? So much going on! I can’t wait for it.

    According to Xenares1 on June 14, 2021
  • Amazing! Really enjoyed the flashback scenes and the evolution of Jason. God if only that Jason still existed on tv, but I digress… I loved the conversations and the POV from characters. The Cassidine history being pulled into the story is also a great walk down memory lane! Thank you for sharing your talent and imagination, it obviously takes enormous time and effort to do what you do while maintaining a job and life! But for OG Liason fans it’s a wonderful gift

    According to liketoread on June 14, 2021
  • Awesome story. So many questions. I enjoy how you leave us clues without really telling us anything. I loved the scene with Cam, Jason, and Elizabeth. I’m looking forward to the next book. I may need to reread this to try and find things I may have missed.

    According to Realitycheck A on June 14, 2021
  • This is such a good story. Can’t wait for more. Great job.

    According to Anonymous on June 15, 2021
  • I love your work. Jason and Elizabeth are my favorite couple. I can’t wait till your second and third book come out for this story. I am also looking forward to any of the other stories. I am glad that you are bringing back Flash Fiction.

    According to Carolyn Grandchamp on June 16, 2021
  • Echoing all of the comments above. You are by far one of the best Liason writers out there. In addition to everything Laura, Eternal Liason, and others said, I have to add how impressed I am that this is how I feel about this story. Like you, I hate everything about Franco and wasn’t really sure I even wanted this story because of that and this being one of my least favorite times in GH history (well that and everything that followed which I haven’t watched even a scene from). I read it because I knew you would make it better, I just wasn’t prepared to love it. Never again will I doubt you. So well done!!!!!!! Thank you for all the time you share with us through your writing!

    According to LivingLiason on November 19, 2021
  • being that i totally loved the og flashff,
    and i only caught up on a few chaps on ffnet of this,
    and well, since i gave up on GH awhile ago…
    it took me a bit to jump in and read this
    and WOW, it was so worth it.
    absolute brilliancy here
    totally not bs-ing u
    the twists u gave us,
    the histories u used,
    AND have it all tie in
    amazing
    impatient for more
    and know i have a long wait for it…
    so for now
    i’ll applaud you
    and enjoy YOUR GH

    According to vicki on December 2, 2021
  • I reread this one and realized I never commented the first time. You know I loved this. I think I’m your biggest FMT fan. I like how you incorporated Helen’s plan with the present. Can’t wait for the next book which I’m sure won’t be for awhile but I’ll wait patiently.

    According to Kimmie on September 1, 2022