Elizabeth looked at her skeptically. “You can’t possibly be serious.”
Jessica sighed. “Look, I know it’s not the best situation. You and your ex don’t get along but everything you’ve told me and everything I’ve heard…Ric seems to genuinely want justice for you and your child. Wouldn’t he jump at the chance to do this?”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with Ric,” Elizabeth said firmly. “There’s got to be a different way.”
“I’ve been following the trial very closely,” Jessica told her. “Robyn Nichols is a fantastic lawyer–she’ll get Sonny off. There’s no doubt in my mind. But even if Sonny goes free, Faith might never be prosecuted.”
“They could find evidence,” Elizabeth protested.
Jessica shook her head. “There’s nothing substantial there. Just a grudge from before. Yeah, everyone knows that Faith pushed you. And the general consensus is that she ordered the shooting that killed Courtney. She pushed you down a flight of stairs and your baby died. Isn’t finding justice for that child and for Courtney Matthews…isn’t that more important than hating your ex-husband?”
Elizabeth bit her lip and closed her eyes. “You don’t understand, Jessica. Ric Lansing doesn’t do anything without thinking about how it might benefit him. If I go to him and I ask him to do this…he will want something in return.”
“Then I’m really glad you’re divorcing him,” Jessica replied. “Because that kind of guy sounds like a son of bitch.” She hesitated. “I’ll ask him.”
Elizabeth shook her head. “Why is this so important to you? So you can have the exclusive story when it’s done?”
Jessica sat back in her chair and ran a finger around the rim of her glass of soda. “When I was in college,” she began, “I got pregnant and I miscarried the baby. And I spent about a semester and a half in therapy trying to understand why.”
“I’m so sorry,” Elizabeth breathed. “It’s the most horrible feeling in the world, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Jessica admitted, her eyes a little glossy from tears. Her voice broke. “It’s like this empty feeling and you’re sure that something you did put it there. If maybe I’d taken better care of myself, eaten better food…” She cleared her throat. “There was this little life inside and now there’s not and you can’t change that no matter how much you want to.”
Elizabeth reached across the table and took Jessica’s hand in hers. “Or if maybe I had just stayed out of it?” she continued in a quiet voice. “If I hadn’t called Sonny that night and if I hadn’t taken Faith’s bait…” she shook her head. “So many what ifs.”
Jessica cleared her throat. “Anyway, that’s why I want to see this through. Because you have a reason–you have somewhere to put your anger and frustration. You can lock up the person who did this to you–we just need to get the evidence to put them there.”
“If you think you can talk Ric into doing this without making promises…” Elizabeth trailed off. “Then by all means, give it a shot.”
Jessica sat up straight and smiled a little. “Everyone has a selling price. You just have to know the angle.”
Robyn’s Hospital Room
Robyn shifted through some briefs and signed her name to a few before handing them to Georgie. “File those in the office and these at the courthouse,” she instructed.
“Sure.” Georgie slid the papers into brown file folder before sliding it neatly into her messenger bag. “I finished the filing system at the office,” she told her boss. “It’s all categorized and then alphabetized.”
Robyn smirked. “Trying to make yourself invaluable to me?” She snorted. “Too late. You already know how to use the copier machine without smacking it. You’ve got a job for life.”
There was a knock on the closed door and Robyn wrinkled her nose. “You don’t think it’s Carly again do you?”
Georgie smiled. “I doubt it. She doesn’t really like you that much and I think she had an appointment with the funeral home about Courtney.”
“Okay, then.” Robyn raised her voice. “Come in!”
The door opened and AJ Quartermaine entered. “Hey, have you seen the wayward one?” he asked.
“I’m going to need some details and your name,” Robyn said briskly with a smile. “Jones, do you know this person?”
“That’s Dillon’s cousin, AJ,” Georgie told her. “AJ, this is Robyn Nichols, the lawyer I’m working for.”
“Nice to meet you,” AJ said. He grinned. “The lawyer who he won’t leave alone in his endless quest to woo Georgie?”
“Shut up,” Georgie hissed.
“Ah, so you know of Dillon’s master plan,” Robyn said knowingly. “Do you help him come up with his angles?”
“I hope he’s not getting any tips from me, “AJ replied. “Since he’s been unsuccessful so far, what would that say about my love life?”
“If it’s anything like poor Dillon’s, it can’t be much fun,” Robyn quipped. “You were looking for him?”
“Yep. We’ve got a Class Four Emergency at the house and his presence has been requested.”
“He left about an hour ago to go do something,” Georgie reported. “He didn’t say what.”
“Which means it’s another dastardly plan to win your heart,” AJ replied, grinning.
“What’s a Class Four Emergency?” Robyn asked curiously.
“Oh, that means that someone unexpected has come into town and the family has to get together and get rid of them before they do anything to make them lose money,” Georgie said.
AJ’s grin grew wider. “Got it in one. She’s destined to be a Quartermaine.”
Georgie scowled. “Am not.”
“Your family actually has a list of these emergencies?” Robyn asked, surprised. “Do you write them down or is it kind of ingrained from birth?”
“Sort of both,” AJ replied. “Just ask Georgie to decipher the language. Seems like she knows it pretty well.” He earned a glare from the teen. “If you see Dillon, tell him the Flamingo is in town and he’ll want to get home as soon as possible. Oh, and tell him to bring you. She’d get a kick out of it.”
“Who’s the Flamingo and why would she want to meet Georgie?” Robyn asked suspiciously.
“The Flamingo is Dillon’s mother and I am not meeting the woman who abandoned her son into that asylum,” Georgie retorted.
“You give each other code names?” Robyn asked, amused. “I’ve got to meet this family.”
“That can definitely be arranged,” AJ replied. “But be careful, once you go Quartermaine, you don’t go back.”
Robyn smiled at him. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Georgie grimaced when she realized the two had practically been flirting the whole time that AJ had been in the room. When he was gone, she shook her head. “What do people see in him?”
“Oh, he’s kind of charming,” Robyn remarked. “Kind of like your Dillon.”
“He’s not my Dillon.”
“So, if he were to go and ask some other girl out–”
“She’d be wearing her guts as a hair band,” Georgie retorted hotly.
“Yep. That’s what I thought.”
He was in the middle of packing his law books when someone knocked on the door. He set the heavy book back on his desk and crossed to open it.
Ric frowned when an unfamiliar young woman was revealed to him. “Who are you?”
“Jessica Mitchell, Port Charles Herald,” Jessica said briskly. “I’m here on an errand from your ex-wife.”
“Estranged wife,” Ric corrected automatically. “We’re not divorced yet.” He stepped aside. “You want to come in?”
“Not a problem.” She entered and he closed the door. “Nice place.”
“It was good while it lasted.” Ric returned to the desk and started putting books inside. “You said you were here on an errand for Elizabeth?”
“By now it should be completely clear that Sonny Corinthos didn’t push her,” Jessica began.
“He hasn’t been found innocent yet,” Ric reminded her.
She glared at him. “You want be quiet while I do this? Thanks.” She took a deep breath. “Your ex–”
“–wife thinks it might have been Faith Roscoe,” Jessica continued, her eyes turning frosty with his interruption. “I happen to agree but I also know that there’s no evidence against her.”
“What does any of this have to do with me?” Ric asked shortly, taping the box shut and setting it next to the door. He put his hands on his hips. “As you obviously know, my wife is no longer speaking to me.”
“She mentioned that Faith admitted to you that she put a snake in Elizabeth’s studio prior to your marriage,” Jessica went on. “Is that true?”
“Yes.” Ric smirked. “And you want me to trick her into confessing that she pushed Elizabeth as well? I’m sorry, no.”
“You’re not interested in learning who killed your baby?” Jessica asked coldly. Ric glared at her.
“I already know who killed my baby,” he retorted. “Sonny Corinthos. He pushed Elizabeth down the stairs and now he’s crying innocent. And she’s naïve enough to believe that he didn’t do it.” His voice began to rise. “But what she’s conveniently forgetting is that Sonny has already pushed another pregnant woman down the stairs–only he didn’t succeed in killing that baby, did he?”
“Look, I don’t care about your grudge against your brother–that has nothing to do with me–”
“None of this has anything to do with you,” Ric snapped. “You’re just butting in where no one wants you.”
“Your wife wants my help,” Jessica corrected. “And she wants to know who’s responsible for killing her child and effectively ruining her marriage. I would have thought you’d want to know too.” She tilted her head to the side. “Unless…you blame her.”
“Of course I don’t blame her,” Ric said immediately. He turned away from Jessica, driving his fingers through his hair and squeezing his eyes shut. “Elizabeth was the only good thing in my life–the only person who ever loved me. And because of Sonny–”
“That’s a fucking copout and you know it,” Jessica cut in swiftly, her eyes cold and hard. “If you don’t blame Elizabeth, then you blame yourself. You think about the reason Elizabeth even went to Rice Plaza and you realize that if it wasn’t for your stupid vendetta, she might have been home safe where she belonged. Because she was looking out for you–this makes it your fault.”
He spun to look at the petite brunette who’d managed to voice the very things that he’d been thinking over and over since the day Elizabeth fell. “If I hadn’t given her a reason not to trust me, she wouldn’t have thought I tried to blow Sonny’s limo up. She wouldn’t have feared retaliation. She wouldn’t have tried to fix it.”
“And she wouldn’t have been at Rice Plaza May 23,” Jessica said softly. “You blame Sonny so you don’t have to blame yourself.” When he didn’t say anything, she sighed. “He didn’t do it and I think you know it.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Doing this isn’t going to get your wife back but maybe…” Jessica hesitated. “Maybe it will make you feel better about your part in this.”
He nodded. “Yeah.” Ric sighed heavily. “Yeah, tell Elizabeth I’m in.”