I don’t care what you think,
As long as it’s about me
The best of us can find happiness, in misery
I don’t care what you think,
As long as it’s about me
The best of us can find happiness, in misery
– I Don’t Care, Fall Out Boy
Saturday, March 18, 2006
General Hospital: ICU
“Elizabeth, have you seen Alan around?”
Elizabeth glanced up from her chart to find Skye Chandler-Quartermaine standing in front of her, clutching some folders with her pretty red hair twisted up in a ponytail.
“No, he’s not usually up here this time of day. I can have him paged—”
“Oh, they said he was on the surgical floor.” Skye sighed, setting the folders down. She braced a hand at the small of her back, wincing. “How is it that my back is the first part that of me hurts? I’m barely even showing.”
Elizabeth managed a smile. “For me, it was my feet. I feel like they grew a size overnight.” She glanced down at her feet. “I’m not sure they’ve ever felt right again.”
“All the things they never tell you about being pregnant,” Skye sighed. “Anyway, I’m supposed to meet Alan about the charity auction he asked me to organize. To raise money for patients affected by the virus and having trouble paying the costs.”
“And he didn’t answer your page?” Elizabeth raised her brows and clicked into her OR rotation schedule screen on the computer. “Oh. It looks like he scrubbed in to observe surgery with Noah Drake. That’s weird.”
“Maybe he forgot I was coming by.” Skye sighed, lifted the folders again. “Well, I’ll leave a message with his secretary. I know he said he was nervous about Noah getting back into surgery, so maybe he just wanted to be there.”
“Still.” Elizabeth shrugged. “I’ll keep an eye out for him and let him know he missed you.”
“Thanks.” Skye waved as she stepped onto the elevator. As Elizabeth looked down at her chart, she caught sight of the tan uniform the hospital janitors wore as someone ducked back down a hallway.
Elizabeth hesitated, then went towards the hallway only to see Manny Ruiz as he disappeared down a service stairwell. Had he…been watching Skye? Why? And if he hadn’t been, why had he rushed away?
Uneasy, Elizabeth returned to the nurse’s station and to her charts. She knew that Manny hadn’t done anything to make Jason’s men suspicious yet, but she couldn’t shake the way she felt when she caught him looking at her—as if he was just laughing at them all.
“Hey, man.” Jesse Beaudry clapped a hand on Lucky’s shoulder as he took a seat on the barstool next to his partner. “How’s therapy going?” He ordered a beer from Coleman behind the bar. “You get a return date yet?”
Lucky grimaced. “No.” He tossed back the shot of whiskey he’d ordered just before Jesse had arrived. “Drake isn’t going to give me one until I can pass a goddamn physical.” He looked at his friend. “Give it to me straight. How much longer is Mac gonna hold my position on the squad?”
Jesse hesitated, distracted himself by taking a long pull from his Budweiser. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “We’re swamped, you know. The Escobars are starting to get restless. Mac is under a lot of pressure from the mayor—”
“Maybe a few more weeks. Hey, look, they can’t fire you—”
“No, but I’ll get stuck on desk duty for months, even if I get a return date.” Lucky scowled. “Therapy isn’t working,” he admitted. “I’m trying to double it up, but I can’t do it as much as I want. Elizabeth’s grandmother can only pick Cameron up twice a week. I have to do it the other four days she works.”
Jesse frowned. “Why can’t Elizabeth get someone else to do it? What about the kid’s real dad?”
“His real dad is dead,” Lucky said. With a sneer, he added, “You should look him up sometime — Zander Smith. He died in a shootout with the PCPD. He never even met Cameron.”
“How’d she hook up with him?” Jesse said, furrowing his brow. “He doesn’t seem like her type.”
“Oh, she’s got a thing about criminals,” Lucky muttered. “She screwed around with Jason Morgan, too, before we were married.” He nodded at Coleman to order another shot. “I’m the outlier.”
“Oh.” Jesse cleared his throat. “Well, listen, man, just do what you can in therapy. I’ll try to get Mac to hold off. But you gotta put your recovery first. Tell Elizabeth to take some time off or something. Change her shift. Marriage is supposed to be a compromise, right?” He shrugged. “Why should you have to lose your chance to get back on the job because her kid needs a babysitter?”
Lucky winced. “Listen, it’s—I’ve been Cameron’s stepfather for almost a year. He’s not even two. I’m the only father he’s ever known—”
“And what kind of dad are you gonna be if you get stuck on desk duty?” Jesse pushed. “You’re telling me Elizabeth won’t put you first for a little while so you can all get back on track? Seriously?”
Lucky exhaled slowly, then nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. It’s hard right now, but Elizabeth has always had my back. And her supervisor loves her. She’ll do us the favor. Thanks, man.”
Greystone Manor: Foyer
Jason was already annoyed when he walked into the foyer that night — he’d learned from the guards at the entrance that Sonny wasn’t home yet. It had taken Jason three days to catch Sonny on the phone and set up a meeting to talk about the Escobars, and now it looked like Sonny was ditching him. Again
He frowned when he saw Rocco, Carly’s guard, lounging in the foyer with an irritated look on his face. “What are you doing here? Where’s—” He grimaced.
“Oh, that’s real nice.”
Jason turned to find Carly Corinthos, Sonny’s ex-wife and Jason’s sort of best friend, leaning against the doorway to the living room. She raised a brow. “You don’t look happy to see me.”
“I’m not. You only come over here to yell at Sonny, and I’m not in the mood for this tonight—”
“Well, don’t worry.” Carly rolled her eyes and stalked into the living room. Jason followed, closing the doors behind them. She poured herself a glass of water from Sonny’s minibar. “He’s not here.”
“Yeah, they told me down at the guardhouse, but we’re meeting tonight, so he should be here eventually—”
“Sure.” Carly rolled her eyes. “Just like he promised Michael and Morgan he’d have dinner with us tonight, then didn’t show up.” She pressed her lips together. “You know, it’s one thing to dick you over, but to break a promise to the boys?”
Jason frowned. Sonny didn’t usually do either of those things unless—he closed his eyes. “Damn it.”
“Oh, man, the last time Sonny was blowing you and the boys off, he was bouncing with his last mattress buddy.” Carly winced. “I’m not in the mood for this. The boys both keep asking for Courtney, I’m trying to help Jax with little John—I do not have time for the car crash of Sonny’s love life.”
She jabbed a finger at him. “It’s your job to clean up after Sonny.”
“It’s really not,” Jason said flatly. “I don’t have time for this, either.”
“Oh, right—” Carly pursed her lips. “Speaking of Sonny’s mattress buddies, how is Sam doing? Her brother died, right?”
Jason shot her a dirty look, but Carly just stared at him blandly. “She’s handling it.”
“Hey, I indicated an interest in someone other than myself. I’m trying—” She tapped her foot. “Who do you think it is? Because the last time Sonny was hiding his romantic interests, it was because we were still married and he was trying really hard not to lose custody of the boys—”
“Plus half of everything he owned,” Jason reminded her.
Carly smiled sweetly at him. “If Sonny didn’t think I was owed half of everything, then he should have asked for a prenup. Which reminds me — you better get Justus to take care of that for you. You don’t want Sam taking you for everything—”
“Hey, I know what I’m talking about. It took a lot to get me out of my prenup with AJ—” She shook her head. “In retrospect, Sonny really should have seen my demands coming. He helped me out of the first marriage.”
“Yeah, I mentioned that.”
“I’m going home to the boys. I’m done waiting around for Sonny Corinthos. You tell him this is the last time he’s going to break a promise to the boys—”
“The last time?” Jason frowned. “He’s done it before? I mean, recently?”
“Last week.” Carly sighed. “I know I like to snark about Sonny—and torture him. But the boys—I know you and Courtney broke up, and it’s fine. But they loved her. Tell Sonny I’m not going to let him disappoint them anymore.”
“I’ll talk to him. Carly—” He touched her elbow as she left. “I’m sorry. I should have checked in on you. How are you holding up?”
“I’m dealing. Having Courtney’s son, taking care of him—” She flashed him a smile. “It’s helping. And the boys love their cousin. I just—I don’t want to make them part of this war with Sonny. He’s not leaving me any choice. I’m not going through this again with him.”
“I get it, Carly. I’ll talk to him.” Jason grimaced. “Eventually.”
Carly folded her arms, narrowed her eyes. “What’s wrong? You think I can’t tell when you’ve got a bug up your ass.” She lifted her chin. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Jason said. “I’ll talk to Sonny—”
“Look, I know—” Carly exhaled in a huff. “I know I said it was your job to clean up after Sonny, but, Jase, you know I don’t mean it.”
Jason looked at her. “Carly—”
“I’m tired,” she admitted. “I’m tired of this fight with him. Every time he gets distracted by someone or something else, the boys get put through this.” She met his eyes. “Aren’t you tired, too?”
“It’s not your job to clean up after Sonny all the time. Or me,” she continued with a grimace. “I just—you look tired, too. And you won’t tell me what’s wrong. You never do.” Carly hesitated. “You’re not Superman. You know that, right?”
“I’ll talk to you later, Carly.”
Lucky & Elizabeth’s Apartment: Living Room
Elizabeth dragged her hand through her hair and sighed as she cradled the receiver in the crook of the neck and cheek so she could finish tucking Cameron’s toys away.
“No, Gram. I understand. I wish I could come, too. No, really—I’ll figure something out with Cam—”
As Audrey again apologized for the short notice, Elizabeth sighed and grimaced as Lucky came through the door, leaving heavily on his cane. “Okay, Gram. Yeah. Okay. I’ll talk to you later. Have a good trip.”
She hung the phone up and picked up the cane from the floor where Lucky had let it drop to the floor after he’d sat down. “How was therapy?”
“Same,” Lucky grunted as he laid back on the sofa, putting his feet up with a wince. “Nothing changed. Still hurts like hell.” He lifted his head up slightly as Elizabeth finished putting away Cameron’s toys and moved on to folding the laundry she’d picked up from the laundromat that morning. “What did Audrey want?”
“She’s going to Memphis next week,” Elizabeth told him. “And she’s gonna stay for like a month.”
“A month?” Lucky sat up, then scowled. “Who’s gonna pick Cameron up? Why is she going now?”
“Steven just got engaged,” Elizabeth told him with a bit of a wistful sigh. She’d like to meet her brother’s fiancée, but there was no time off for her, and Steven probably wasn’t going to come to Port Charles anytime soon. “Gram wanted to go down and spend some time with him. My parents are supposed to fly in, too, and Gram hasn’t seen them in a couple of years.” She laughed absently as she folded one of Cameron’s shirts. “I haven’t seen them since I moved here.”
Lucky eyed her with a strangely panicked look. “You can’t go. You don’t even like your family, and we can’t afford it.”
Elizabeth frowned at him. What a strange thing to say. “I—” She blinked at him. “No, I can’t go. I was just…thinking about them, that’s all. They haven’t even met Cameron yet. At the rate we’re going, they probably never will.” It didn’t bother her that her family was so uninvolved. Not really. But it might have been nice to go for a weekend just to catch up. She’d always liked her brother.
“Anyway, I’m not sure what to do about Cameron. I work better hours, but I still work until six or seven most nights,” she pointed out. “And if we leave him in daycare past four, they charge double the hourly rate.”
“So you’ll have to cut back hours at work,” Lucky said. He hauled himself to his feet and shuffled into the kitchen, where he pulled out a beer. She grimaced as he pulled off the top. He really shouldn’t be mixing alcohol with pain medication, but she knew better than to tell him that. “I was going to talk to you about it anyway. I need to double up on my therapy sessions, so I can’t pick up Cameron anymore. You need to change your shift or cut back—”
Elizabeth held up her hand. “Whoa. That’s—that’s not an option. I can’t cut my hours, Lucky. I just transferred upstairs. I can probably move some of my shifts around and get out early, but then I’m still dropping him off early at a daycare, which is still going to cost money.” She hesitated. “You know the best thing—at least for a few weeks—”
“I’m not rescheduling my rehab—”
“You don’t have to. You can go earlier,” Elizabeth pointed out. “Mac told you that you could go to therapy during your work hours—”
“And have them carry me, pay me to do nothing?” Lucky glared at her. “You’re always complaining we don’t have any damn money, and now you want me to give up what little I do make?”
“It’ll cost us more than you make to keep him in daycare,” Elizabeth told him. Her stomach twisted as she continued folding clothes. She was trying very hard not to think about the fact that she was practically begging Lucky to take care of the little boy he’d promised to love as his own. “It would just be—”
“You think your job is better than mine?” Lucky demanded. “I’m a cop. I save lives, damn it! You just clean up piss and shit.”
And that was absolutely it. She’d had enough.
She shot her to her feet, incensed. “Yeah, the PCPD did a bang-up job with Manny Ruiz. I have to see that psycho every damn day! But tell me how you save lives?”
Lucky took a long swig of his beer, then dragged the back of his hand over his mouth, his glare deepening into something like that looked like hatred. “Oh, I bet your fucking lover boy Jason Morgan could take care of him, right? You’re always picking him over me!”
Elizabeth threw up her hands. “You know sometimes you’re just impossible! Jason has nothing to do with this! I told you Manny makes me uncomfortable at work. I asked you if Mac was gonna do anything about him working there—and he’s done nothing—”
“Nothing he can do,” Lucky bit out. “The system let him out. It’s not perfect, but it’s what we got. And he hasn’t done anything, so maybe the tumor thing is real—”
“Except today I saw him following Skye Quartermaine,” she shot back, planting her hands on her hips. “Mac can’t even get someone to follow him around the damn hospital?”
“Oh, come on, was he actually following her?” Lucky demanded. “You’re just pissed because I won’t drop everything to fix a problem that has nothing to do with me—”
Elizabeth stared at him for a long moment, her fury draining as quickly as it had risen. “Cameron has nothing to do with you?”
“I didn’t mean it that way. I just—” Lucky growled under his breath as he tossed his empty bottle into the trash. “It’s not my job to pick him up and change my whole life around. If I weren’t here, you’d have to pay the extra money, so just do it. I need my job, too, Elizabeth. And I’m getting tired of being expected to sacrifice my time so you can save a little money.”
She didn’t know what to say to that. She didn’t understand how he could stand there as Cameron’s stepfather—the only father Cameron had ever known—and pretend that refusing to pick him up from daycare wasn’t part of a bigger problem.
“So, it was just a lie then,” she said softly.
Lucky hesitated, then frowned. “What?”
“When you asked me to marry you, you promised that Cameron would be ours. That we’d be a family. But he’s still my problem to you.” Elizabeth folded her arms, looked at him. “You said you’d love him like your own.”
“I—I do.” Lucky shook his head. “Look, I’m sorry. I’m just—God, Elizabeth, I’m just so frustrated.” He collapsed onto the sofa, dragging both of his hands through his hair. “If I don’t get back to work soon, off the desk, the department isn’t legally obligated to hold my job open with my old squad. I could be permanently replaced. Stuck on the desk forever. I need to prove myself to Mac. I need all the therapy sessions I can get. And it’s not like…I mean, your grandmother promised us she’d pitch in. She’s the one screwing us over, not me. I’m just—I’m not handling it well, okay?”
“Okay.” Elizabeth sighed, looked away. She didn’t want to argue about this anymore. Not when she was afraid of where the conversation would go. “Let me make a few calls. I’ll talk to Epiphany. Maybe she can—do something.”
“Yeah.” Lucky brightened. He got to his feet and took her hands in his. “Epiphany loves you. You know that. It’s hard right now, and I’m terrible to be around. I know that.” He brushed his lips over her forehead. “But as soon as I get back to work, it’s all going to be okay. I promise. I’ll make it up to you.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” she murmured, squeezing her eyes closed and praying for a miracle. Because if Lucky was off active duty much longer, she might go insane.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason scrubbed his hands over his face as Sam sullenly sunk into the corner of the sofa, reading the Port Charles Sun. For nearly a week, they’d managed to avoid speaking to one another. Not since she’d stormed out the night he’d told her about the maternity test.
They hadn’t talked about the test or anything else.
Jason opened his mouth to try to say something — to apologize again or maybe to defend himself. Even if he’d knew now he was wrong, he still felt a bit…irritated that she refused to even try to understand that he’d just been trying to help.
But before he could decide exactly what he would do, Sam’s cell phone rang. She leaned over and dug it out of the pocket of her sweat pants. “Yeah? Hey, Paulie.”
He pressed his lips together, turned back to his paperwork, trying to hide his scowl. He listened as she talked with the man who had asked her to go back to being a con artist again.
“Yeah? Okay. Yeah. No, I get it. And you’re right, it’s not like I need a lot to do this. Not exactly rocket science.” Sam laughed, the happiest sound she’d made since her brother had died.
He sighed, sat back in his chair. Maybe this didn’t need to be a big deal. Maybe she’d just do this one thing, and it would make her feel like herself again.
But there was something about the whole thing that made him…uncomfortable. Like an itch between his shoulders he couldn’t quite scratch. And she’d told him she would do the job in exchange for information about her past.
But they had the information now. Sam knew who Natasha Davis really was. She could just ask Alexis what happened. Why she’d been put up for adoption, how she’d ended up with Cody McCall, where her father was—who he was—
Sam didn’t need to do this job. Which meant she wanted to.
And if she wanted to do it once, maybe she’d want it again.
“Okay. Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you then, Paulie.”
He heard Sam get to her feet and walk towards him, her feet quiet on the hardwood floor. “That was my dad’s friend, Paulie.”
Jason looked at her carefully blank face and sighed. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
“He wanted to let me know the date of the job.” She held up her phone, then lifted her chin. “And I’m gonna go. It’s in two weeks.”
“Okay,” Jason said. He got to his feet and walked away from the desk towards the closet.
“Is that all you’re going to say?” Sam demanded when he said nothing else. She scowled. “You don’t have an opinion?”
“What do you want me to say?” He turned back to look at her. Shrugged with a casualness, he didn’t feel. “You’re an adult, Sam. I don’t tell you what to do.”
“But you’re not happy about it, are you?”
He sighed, rolled his head back to look at the ceiling, before meeting her eyes again. “No. You don’t need to do this job. This guy—he doesn’t have any answers you can’t get by just calling Alexis—”
“Shut up—” Sam stabbed a finger at him. “You don’t get to talk about her. Not after what you did.”
“Fine.” Jason crossed to the closet and yanked his jacket out of it. “Then we don’t have anything to say.”
“Where are you going?” Sam darted forward, sliding in front of the door and blocking him just as he reached for the doorknob. “You’re just leaving?”
“What am I supposed to say? You don’t want to talk about Alexis, and you already know what I think about you pulling a job—”
“No. You’re dancing around it, but, no, I don’t know what you think.” She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Come on. Tell me.”
“You want me to tell you not to do it so you can fight with me and have a new reason to be pissed with me.” He shook his head. “I’m not going to be the bad guy. You’re an adult, Sam,” Jason repeated. “Do what you want.”
“I just—” Sam fisted her hands at her sides. “I don’t get why this bothers you so much. You’re in the mob, Jason. You smuggle all kinds of crap back and forth over the border. You break the law every day, so can’t I do the same?”
“It’s different,” Jason said finally. “But if you need to do this to make yourself feel better, then you do what you have to do. It’s not up to me.”
Sam scowled and moved away from the door, so he could open it. He turned back to face her. “I’m sorry about Alexis. I’m sorry about the way I handled it. I was trying to protect you, but I was wrong. But don’t pretend you’re gonna take this job for answers. You want to do it. Don’t lie to me or yourself.”
He hesitated, but she said nothing, her dark eyes glinting with irritation.
So he finally told her the truth. “No, I don’t want you to do this. Because this won’t be the only time. You’re good at it, remember? You told me so yourself.”
“So, remember the cons you were best at, Sam, and then tell me why I don’t want you to go back to it.”
He closed the door behind him.
Kelly’s: Parking Lot
Elizabeth scowled as she approached her car and saw the back tire had finally given up on her. The little warning signal had been flickering on her dashboard for weeks, warning her that her tire pressure was low, but she kept putting getting it fixed and now—
Now she was stuck at Kelly’s, the quick lunch she’d wanted to grab growing cold in the brown paper bag in her hands. She looked back at her tire, down at her lunch, then trudged back to the courtyard where she dumped the bag on the table and started to unpack it.
She wasn’t wasting Ruby’s chili by sitting in the parking lot waiting for someone to come help, though she didn’t know who she’d call. Lucky was at physical therapy, her grandmother was with Cameron at her house, and…
Well, her options were limited. Nearly everyone she knew was working at General Hospital today—the same place she was due back within the hour. She grimaced. So much for enjoying her lunch hour for a change.
She heard the motorcycle before she saw its owner. Jason ducked through the gate that separated Kelly’s from the parking lot and paused, seeing her with her lunch spread out on the table. “Oh. Hey.”
“Hey.” She brightened. “I don’t suppose you have, like, any air pumps or something hiding on your bike, do you?”
“Uh, no—” Jason squinted, then pulled out the chair and sat across from her. “Why?”
“I procrastinated on routine car maintenance, and I have a flat. I’m just making a mental list while I eat my lunch before it gets cold.” She rolled her eyes. “You know, I’m more organized than I used to be, but like all of my energy is making sure Cameron is okay. Or my patients. I just don’t have the space to worry about my car.”
Jason smirked as he pulled out his phone and pressed a number, obviously calling someone on speed dial. “Hey, Max, you at the warehouse? Can you find someone with an air pump to fix a flat at Kelly’s? No, for a car—Yeah, okay, I’ll see you when you get here.”
“Thanks.” Elizabeth shook her head. “Normally, I’d argue with you about how I can do things for myself, but you know, I’m just—” She blew out an exasperated breath. “I’m too tired, to be honest, and I still have to get back to work.”
“Well, I’m glad I stopped for coffee.” He shifted in his seat. “You okay? I mean, is there a reason you’re tired, or is it just…” Jason raised his brows, waiting.
“Well, I’m getting used to my new job. I haven’t been able to scrub in on a surgery yet, but I’m learning about the paperwork and post-op. I mean, I knew all of it before, but now I get to do pre-op stuff, too. And it’s fun working with Patrick and Robin more. And Epiphany.” She sipped her soda. “But it’s a lot of stuff I need to get a handle on before Patrick will let me scrub in. And Cameron—” She grinned. “He’s into everything. He’s hitting that age — he’ll be two this year and he’s—I mean, he’s been walking for a year, but I think he’s figured out how to run.”
Elizabeth finally stopped, then laughed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to just go on and on like that. It’s just—”
No one who actually knew her had asked if she was okay in a long time.
“What about you?” Elizabeth bit her lip. “It’s none of my business, I know, but I guess I’ve been worried since you left the hospital last week.”
“Uh, yeah.” Jason scratched the corner of his eyebrow. “Well, you were right. Sam was angry.”
Elizabeth waited, but he didn’t say anything else. Fair enough. They weren’t friends like that anymore. She might tell him about her job or talk about Cameron, but she wasn’t going to tell him about her fight with Lucky or search for cheaper daycare, so why would he open up about his own relationship issues?
Asking him for help with a flat tire wasn’t the same thing as opening her heart up to him and pouring out all her troubles. That wasn’t who she was anymore.
“Well, I hope she’s okay,” Elizabeth said, finally. She paused. “There is something, I guess—I don’t know, I’m probably overreacting, and Lucky said I was seeing things, but it’s about Manny.”
Jason raised his brows. “Yeah? Did he say something to you? None of my guys said anything.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth sat back. “Then I guess I’m wrong. I mean, if they’re watching him and he hasn’t done anything, then…” She shrugged, picked up her soda.
Jason frowned, tilting his head to the side. “He hasn’t done anything, no,” he said, “but Beto told me Manny seemed to be…all over the hospital. Like he was trying to learn the layout. He thinks he might be looking for places to hide. Whether he wants to smuggle something in or out, or just have a place for himself, he doesn’t know. I don’t know what that means, but it made Beto uncomfortable.”
When she didn’t say anything, he lifted his brows. “Elizabeth, you work at the hospital every day. You know that place better than my guys do. What did you see?”
“It’s probably nothing, but Skye was at the hospital yesterday and—I don’t know, it just felt like Manny was watching her. I mean, I don’t know why he would—”
“Actually…” Jason hesitated, leaned back in the chair, looking a bit disturbed. “No, that makes sense. She’s pregnant, right? And seeing Lorenzo Alcazar.” He grimaced. “Manny…blames Alcazar…for his brother and father’s deaths last fall.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth blinked. “I hadn’t—I forgot about that. Should I warn her? Or—I don’t even think she had anyone with her. Why would Alcazar let her go to the hospital alone?”
“I don’t know, but if he is watching her, then that’s probably his motive. Manny Ruiz is…he’s—” Jason paused. “I mean, you know his reputation. But he earned it. He’s…known for his violence against women.” He looked away. “At least three women he’s been involved with have…disappeared.”
“Oh,” she repeated softly. “Well….that’s…” Terrifying.
Jason leaned forward, his eyes on her. “I have two guys at the hospital,” he reminded her. “Beto is on Manny at all times. And Vic used to work on the pediatrics floor with you and Emily. I put him there to watch you both. I’m trying to get Alan to let me put someone on the surgery floor with you—”
“Thank you,” she said. She reached across the table to touch his hand briefly. “For looking out for us. I’m not worried about me. I’m worried about Skye. She’s pregnant—and—” Elizabeth grimaced. She couldn’t really explain it. “And I just—I had to tell someone.”
“I’ll let Beto and Vic know to keep their eyes out for that. Remember, don’t get involved.” He grimaced. “I was gonna tell you to let me know if you see something else, but you’re…I mean, you’re married to a cop—”
“I tried to tell Lucky about Manny and Skye. He told me there’s nothing he can do. So…” Elizabeth lifted a shoulder. “You know, I believe in the system. Most of the time. But the system isn’t built for someone who twists everything like Manny Ruiz. So if I see something else, you’ll be the first person I call.”
“But stay out of it,” he reminded her as he saw Max approach them. “C’mon, let’s go fix your car.”