Chapter One

Sonny’s Penthouse

Sonny was glaring at Johnny when Carly came down the steps. “Hey, what’s going on?” she asked, peering at her husband and her best friend before looking at the guard.

“Elizabeth’s in the hospital,” Sonny told her. “Someone pushed her down the stairs after I left her at the Rice Plaza. She lost the baby.”

Carly inhaled sharply. “Oh my God. She must be devastated.”

Sonny shook his head. “I feel bad for her, but–”

“But what, Sonny?” Carly demanded. “She just had a miscarriage. I don’t care if she was stupid enough to drag you out just so she could plead for Ric’s life or that she was an idiot for marrying him in the first place. She just had one of the worst things in the world happen to her.”

“Since when do you care about Elizabeth Webber?” Sonny snapped, feeling even more defensive.

“I don’t need to be her best friend to sympathize with her,” Carly retorted. “If Alexis had lost her baby, I would have felt bad. God, Sonny. Do I look inhuman to you?”

Johnny stifled a snort, causing Carly to throw him a nasty look. Johnny cleared his throat. “Anyway, I’d expect a visit from the police as soon as they take Elizabeth’s statement.”

Carly rolled her eyes. “Great. So Sonny’s going to be accused of pushing the girl down the steps?”

“Well,” Johnny drawled, “Sonny was the last person to see Ms. Webber before she was pushed. He’s the only witness…and probably the only suspect at this point.”

Jason, who’d remained characteristically silent up until now, spoke up. “Elizabeth should know that Sonny wouldn’t do that to her.”

“Yeah, because Sonny is known for his cool temper and well-thought out decisions,” Johnny remarked dryly.

Sonny glared at his guard. “You’re coming real close to disappearing, Johnny.”

“Yeah, okay,” Johnny replied, clearly amused by the idea of Sonny knocking him off. Johnny was the third most important person in the organization, right after Jason. He was the head guard, he trained all the newcomers, regulated assignments–Sonny wasn’t going to take him on a long trip to the country because he spoke his mind. “You want me to keep an eye on Ric?”

“No,” Sonny said. “Clearly, you’re biased in this situation and I think you’d be better off somewhere else.”

“Like where?” Johnny asked, hoping he wasn’t assigned Courtney’s detail. He shuddered at the thought.

“Tell you what,” Sonny began, “you’re such of a fan of her and someone obviously has it out for her, why don’t you look after Elizabeth?”

Johnny narrowed his eyes. “You’re kidding right? You’re assigning me Ric Lansing’s wife? Maybe you are serious about me disappearing.”

“She doesn’t have to know you’re there,” Sonny said, shrugging. “Can you handle that?”

“Yeah, I can handle that,” Johnny replied. He eyed Carly. “You know, if you really feel bad, you could tell her so.”

Carly raised her eyebrows. “You’re awfully talkative these days, Johnny.”

Johnny shrugged. “Well, I know that Francis always spoke highly of Elizabeth. He really admired her and the way she tried to comfort when she thought Sonny was dead. I’m sure it wouldn’t kill you to try and show a little decency.”

“Johnny,” Sonny warned.

“Okay, I’m going. Don’t want to disappear or anything.” Johnny strode towards the door. “But I’m serious about the police. Don’t be surprised if Taggart shows up and arrests you right away.”

“Yeah, okay. Thanks, Johnny.”

After Johnny was gone, Carly laughed. “Who knew he had that kind of personality? He’s a kick.”

Sonny gave her a withering glance. “I don’t know what’s gotten into him today, but please don’t encourage him Carly.”

Carly shook her head. “Oh, no, Sonny. I like Johnny this way. Besides, he’s right. Elizabeth made me brownies and cleaned the penthouse and was…nice to me when she thought you were dead. The least I could do is offer my condolences.” She eyes Jason. “Stupid question. You want to come with?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Jason said.

“I’d ask Courtney, but that’s an even more ridiculous idea,” Carly replied. She turned back towards the stairs. “I’ll go get ready.”

When she was gone, Sonny shook his head. “I don’t know about this Jason.”

Jason frowned. “About what?”

“I don’t…” Sonny hesitated. He looked away. His eyes were troubled. “I don’t remember much of the conversation with Elizabeth. I don’t remember walking away. All I knew was one second I was yelling at her…and the next…I was back in the car.”

“What are you saying?” Jason asked. “You think you could have pushed her?” He shook his head. “No way, Sonny. And even if she accuses you, there’s no way you could have done this.”

“She questioned my honor,” Sonny continued. “And she was throwing the baby’s death in my face–about how she was there for me that night and that I owed her.” He exhaled slowly. “I honestly don’t know if she walked away first or I did.”

“Sonny–”

“What if I did push her?” Sonny asked, agitated. “Even accidentally? What then?”

Jason was skeptical. “You think you pushed a pregnant woman down a flight of stairs?”

“Why not?” Sonny murmured. “It’s not like I haven’t done it before.”

General Hospital

When the report of Elizabeth Lansing’s assault crossed his desk, Commissioner Mac Scorpio made sure to be the one to follow up on it. If he let Scott Baldwin within five feet of Sonny Corinthos’s sister-in-law, this case would go away before it got a chance to be prosecuted. Scott would muck it up like he had most of the past few cases.

He’d waited until early afternoon of Elizabeth’s second full day in the hospital before he went to take her statement. She was pale and she had some bruises on the visible skin of her arms, but for the most she looked as normal as she ever had.

“I’m very sorry, Elizabeth,” Mac began gently. “I understand that is a difficult time for you.”

Elizabeth nodded and looked down at the sheets of her hospital bed. “Thank you, Commissioner Scorpio,” she said quietly. “I didn’t expect you to handle this yourself.”

“What happened to you was abominable,” Mac told her firmly. “And I want to do my best to see that this person is prosecuted. But…”

“But what?” Elizabeth asked, meeting his eyes. “Commissioner?”

“We won’t be able to charge him with the death of your child,” Mac said contritely. “In New York, the fetus has to be twenty-five weeks old and yours was only nine weeks.”

She sighed and looked away. “I understand.”

“But they will be charged with assault,” Mac told her. “So, what I need you to do is tell me exactly what happened.”

“I went to Rice Plaza to speak with Sonny Corinthos,” Elizabeth told him. She hesitated. “He’s Ric’s half-brother and well…they don’t get along. I guess you could say I was trying to work on the situation.”

Mac nodded, having a pretty good idea of what Elizabeth was talking to Sonny about. “And Sonny showed up?”

She nodded. “We were talking for about ten minutes or so. We were arguing and I walked away. As I started down the steps, I felt someone’s hand on my back and they pushed me. That’s the last thing I remember before I woke up.”

Mac noted this down. “Did Sonny leave before you left?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No. I turned my back and that’s the last I saw of him.”

“And it was just the two of you?”

“Sonny brought one of his men,” Elizabeth reported. “Max Giambetti, I think. But he told Max to wait inside.”

Still scribbling, Mac asked, “You said you argued. Were you yelling? Was he angry?”

Elizabeth hesitated. “Commissioner, I don’t think Sonny pushed me if that’s what you’re getting at.”

“For the record, Elizabeth, I don’t think he did either. But if we want this done right, we need to look at all suspects,” Mac replied.

“I understand. We were both angry, and yes there was some yelling. He can’t stand Ric and I don’t think he’s fond of me right now either. I called in a debt I probably shouldn’t have and I think we both said things we didn’t mean.” Elizabeth paused and sighed. “At least I did.”

Mac capped his pen. “This is off the record, Elizabeth. You went to Sonny to ask him not to hurt Ric didn’t you?”

“Possibly,” she hedged. “But Sonny…he wouldn’t hurt a woman. Not a pregnant one.”

“Look right now, Sonny is both the prime suspect and the only witness,” Mac admitted. “He’s the only person you can remember seeing there and I’ve already taken your husband’s statement. He didn’t see anyone either. Just you.”

“What are you going to do?” Elizabeth asked.

“Well, I’m going to question Sonny,” Mac told her. “And right now, I’m going to handle it personally. Because just between you and me, Scott Baldwin would screw this up and Taggart would let it get too personal.”

“Thank you, Commissioner. I appreciate everything you’ve tried to do,” Elizabeth told him. “And even if this never goes to court or you never arrest anyone, I know that you’ll do your best.”

“Thank you.” Mac stood and put his notepad away. “Rest, Elizabeth. I’ll keep you updated on the investigation.”

As soon as Mac exited, Ric entered. “Are you okay? What did he say?”

She sighed and held out her hand. He came forward and took her hand in both of his, sitting on the side of the bed.

“Even if they make an arrest, they can’t charge anyone because of the miscarriage,” Elizabeth told him. “Because the baby wasn’t old enough.”

“I know that,” Ric said.

Elizabeth sighed and looked down. “Mac is considering Sonny as both the prime suspect and only witness.”

Ric’s hands tightened around hers. “I assumed that would be the case,” he said as calmly as possible.

“Are you angry with me?” she asked softly. “For talking to him?”

Ric shook his head. “No. I don’t know why you felt the need to do so, but I know you had a good reason.”

“I wanted to ask him not to hurt you,” Elizabeth confessed. She sighed. “I just…I wanted to protect our family.”

He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “I understand, Elizabeth. And I love you for wanting to protect me.”

“I only knew about the baby for a week,” Elizabeth said softly, “but it was long enough for me to fall in love with it. Long enough for me to have dreams about what our little girl or boy would have been like.” She sighed and leaned her head against the pillows. “I just don’t understand why this had to happen.”

Later

Ric had stepped out for some dinner and Carly made sure of this before she knocked lightly on Elizabeth’s hospital door.

“Come in.”

Carly pushed it open and Elizabeth’s face tightened at the sight of the blonde. “What do you want?” she asked scathingly.

Carly hesitated. “I just…I wanted to say I was sorry–”

“Are you?” Elizabeth demanded. “I mean, since when do you care about what happens to me?”

“I really don’t,” Carly snapped. “But I’ve been where you are and I know how devastating this can be. I just wanted to tell you I was sorry.”

The fight drained from her face and Elizabeth looked away. “Thank you,” she said softly. “Did…did anyone from the PCPD talk to Sonny yet?”

“No,” Carly replied. “But you know what’s going to happen when you tell them you two were arguing and that you were both alone.”

“Mac already told me he’s going to have to look at Sonny as both the prime suspect and the only witness,” Elizabeth replied. “I told Mac that I don’t think Sonny did this and I want you tell Sonny that, too. That I would never accuse him out of spite.”

“I didn’t think you would,” Carly told her. “But I know it would mean a lot to Sonny to know that. Do you think that Mac will listen to you?”

“Mac is probably the best person to handle this case,” Elizabeth said. “He’s fair and he’s not going to arrest Sonny for the hell of it.”

“Well, I’m glad one of us trusts him,” Carly answered. “I should probably go. I’m glad you’re all right.”

“Thank you for coming, Carly,” Elizabeth replied.

Carly slipped back out and caught a glimpse of Ric stepping off the elevator. She turned and hurried down the hall to find another set of elevators.

Ric entered Elizabeth’s room and frowned. “Was that Carly I saw leaving here? Did she upset you?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No. She just…wanted to say she was sorry about the baby.” She looked away. “When I found out I was pregnant, I was filling out forms for an abortion and Carly was here at the hospital too. She saw them…and she tried to talk me out of it.”

“She did?” Ric asked, clearly surprised. “Why would she care?”

“She had a miscarriage a few years ago. Her and Sonny’s first child–it really devastated them both,” Elizabeth told him. “She told me that when she was first pregnant, she was thinking of getting rid of the baby, but that she was glad she hadn’t. She wanted me to think about that…to concentrate on the baby, not the father.”

“Well…” Ric paused. “That was very nice of her.”

“She hates you,” Elizabeth said unnecessarily. “For what you did to her.” She hesitated and met his eyes. “Why would you do something like that? What purpose did it serve?”

Sonny’s Penthouse

Carly set her purse on the desk. “Well, she’s all right if that matters,” she told Sonny and Jason. “She’s already talked to Mac Scorpio about what happened.”

“What did she say?” Sonny demanded.

“We didn’t get into semantics,” Carly told him. “But I assume she told the truth. That you were alone and arguing.”

“Did she tell them that Sonny pushed her?” Jason questioned.

Carly frowned and studied her best friend. “Are-are you serious? Do you…do you really think she’d do that?” Jason just shuffled his feet and looked away. Carly sighed. “No. She even told Mac that she didn’t think you did it. But he’ll probably be by anyway.”

Sonny exhaled slowly. “So…she doesn’t think it was me?”

“Nope.” Carly frowned. “Sonny…” She stepped towards him. “I know you’re not sure what happened…but you didn’t do it. I know you didn’t do it.”

Sonny nodded and looked away. “Okay.”

“Sonny–”

Marco opened the door. “Commissioner Scorpio is here.”

“Send him in,” Sonny directed. Mac entered by himself and Sonny raised his eyebrows. “No Baldwin?”

“As of right now, no one else knows about this case,” Mac told him. “I’m handling it personally.” He shifted and looked around. “Do you want to call a lawyer or anything?”

“Sonny doesn’t have anything to hide,” Carly snapped.

“Carly…go upstairs and see if Michael’s okay,” Sonny directed. Carly glared at him as she passed to go to the stairs. “No, Mac. I don’t need a lawyer.”

“All right. Elizabeth says that the two of you met alone at Rice Plaza,” Mac began. “That you brought Max Giambetti with you, but he waited inside. The two of you argued about her husband, Ric Lansing. How am I doing so far?”

“That’s all fine,” Sonny said, hesitantly.

“Elizabeth went on to say that the argument got pretty heated, that you were both yelling. She turned her back and walked away towards the stairs where she felt a hand on her back. She fell down a set of fifteen concrete steps and she was unconscious for most of the night, so the last thing she remembers is the hand on her back.”

“After Elizabeth walked away, I left too,” Sonny told him. “I didn’t see anything or anybody.”

“What about Max Giambetti?” Mac questioned. “Where can I get a hold of him?”

Sonny glanced at Jason who’d been following the conversation carefully. “Jason, get Max. He’s at the warehouse.”

“I’ll go call,” Jason said, crossing to the door and leaving heading for his own penthouse.

“Max will be here shortly. Unless you want him to meet you at the PCPD?” Sonny asked.

Mac shook his head. “No. I’ll wait.” He paused. “Elizabeth doesn’t believe that you had anything to do with this and I’m inclined to agree with her. But I will follow up because honestly, you are the only other person who was there that night. You didn’t see anyone. There’s no one who saw you leave until you went to Mr. Giambetti inside. You realize what it looks like.”

“Yeah.” Sonny shrugged. “It looks like I pushed her.”

Mac nodded. “I’m not going to let Taggart or Baldwin near this until I rule you out as a suspect,” he told the other man. “Because we both know what will happen then.”

“Yeah. Thanks.”

“I’m not doing this for you,” Mac told him coldly. “I’m doing this because someone pushed a defenseless pregnant woman down a flight of concrete steps and left her there. They killed her child and it was done deliberately. I’m doing this because I intend to bring that person in and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

General Hospital

Faith Roscoe peered in through the window of Elizabeth’s hospital room and smirked at the newlyweds sitting on her bed.

“You’re going to wish you didn’t wake up,” she muttered under breath.

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