Lost my mind thinking it through
The light inside has left me too
Now I know what empty is
I’ve had enough, had enough of this
I’m tired of barely holding on
To something that’s already gone
I’m tired of being the one who’s in this all alone
– Had Enough, Lifehouse
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Lake House: Living Room
Elizabeth set down a pair of books on the sofa, then lowered herself next to Jason. “We have work to do.”
Jason frowned at her, put aside his travel book. “We do?”
“The baby needs the name.” She picked up a book, Names Through the Ages. “We can start here. Go find some paper and something to write with. I’ll tell you all the names I like, and then we can narrow it down from there.”
Jason grinned, reached over to tug down the edge of the book so he could see her face. “We’re not seriously going to go through every page of this, are we?”
“Listen, it’s the middle of winter in upstate New York, we can’t go a lot of places, and I can only manage sex once a day,” Elizabeth told him with mock seriousness. “We can talk about baby names, or you can have sex. But choose wisely.”
“Well—” He made a show of looking at the clock on the wall. “It’s only about nine in the morning. Seems a little early if I only get to have sex once.”
“That’s what I thought.” She opened the book again. “Now, the reason I made Emily get this book is that it had all kinds of old names—”
“This is the name our kid is going to have the rest of his life—” She pretended to glare at him. “If you tell me names don’t matter, we’re gonna have our first fight.”
“Well, I know how much you like your middle name,” Jason said, reaching for the other book. “We’re naming our first daughter after you. Imogen Morgan.”
“Don’t even joke about that—” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “My parents just wanted to make sure Great-Grandma Imogen Martin wouldn’t leave them out of the will. They tried to suck up at the end.”
“Did it work?”
“Nope. Which does, in hindsight, make me happy. Don’t distract me. We’re not doing daughters yet.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Boys.”
“These are all fine—”
“I mean, what’s the difference between Brian and Mark?” Jason asked.
“Brian was a kid in my first grade class who tripped me. That’s why I have that scar on my knee.”
Jason nodded sagely. “Of course. That makes sense. Mark?”
“Sarah had a ridiculous crush on Marky Mark, and I’d never be able to look at our kid without thinking about it.” She snickered when Jason just stared at her with confusion. “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch? Oh man, you know, you’re lucky to have that memory wiped. Anyway. Brian and Mark are out. So are…” She ran her fingers down a list. “Michael, Jeffrey, Alan, Edward—”
“Yeah, we only need one Edward,” Jason agreed.
“And it has to sound right with the rest of his name, okay? Because I have a middle name picked out.” She flipped a page. “Ooh, Scottish names.”
“What about…” He frowned. “Kevin—no. He was my doctor after the accident. And Carly’s.”
“See, that’s what I mean—”
“You did this to me,” he told her. “I never would have thought about it—”
“Right, until the day we had baby Kevin in the park and ran into adult Kevin, and then he’d be like, whoa, weird, you named your kid after me—” Elizabeth shook her head. “Nope. I am not setting my son up for failure.”
“This seems more complicated than it needs to be.” Jason sighed but now looked more closely at the book in front of him.
Elizabeth grinned at him, pleased. “This is why I love you.”
Jason looked at her, arching a brow. “Because I let you talk me into being ridiculous?”
“Yes.” She nodded. “Because you don’t mind when I talk circles around you and drag you into my silliness—”
“I just like seeing you like this,” he said. He leaned forward and kissed her. “Happy.”
“Me, too.” She sighed against his lips and let the book fall to the ground. Jason wrapped his arm around her waist and lowered her onto her back. “You know, today is a good day,” she murmured. “Maybe we can manage it twice.”
“Well…” Jason raised his head to meet her eyes, still dancing with laughter. “You could just lay back and let me do all the work.”
“You have the best ideas.”
Corinthos & Morgan Warehouse: Bernie’s Office
Bernie Abrams set down the phone staring at the hunk of black plastic, his brows drawn together before looking across the desk at Justus Ward “This doesn’t make any sense.”
“What’s up? What did Frank want?”
“Lansing passed through Atlanta a few days ago, but it was under the radar. He only found out about it from one of his boys during an accounting thing.”
“Lansing in Atlanta.” Justus cleared his throat. “He was supposed to have been in Miami last week.”
“And Puerto Rico before that.” Bernie grimaced. “I don’t know about this. These sightings—they’ve felt wrong from the start.”
“No one ever sees him in person, except Puerto Rico. That one seemed legit,” Justus admitted, “but it’s never anyone directly, you know? Someone is always telling someone else—”
“I know we put the syndicate on the alert,” Bernie said slowly, “but all of the sightings have been internal. On our side. Didn’t Jason tell you that the PCPD had the international authorities on this?”
“Yeah. That’s the part that doesn’t feel right. The FBI, the WSB, and Interpol haven’t had so much as a whiff of Lansing since he disappeared, but our guys are seeing him left and right?” Justus shook his head. “This feels like a setup.”
“Setup or not—” Bernie craned his head to the door. “I think we can both agree that we don’t need to take this to Sonny. When Jason calls today, you pass it on to him, but I don’t trust this any more than I trusted Javier Ruiz in Miami. None of this smells right. Everyone owes a favor to someone else—”
“Yeah, wasn’t something between his family and Manhattan?” Justus asked. “Maybe—”
The door behind them crashed open, and Sonny stalked in. Behind him, a red-faced and irritated Cody Paul followed, with Max at his side. Cody, usually Elizabeth’s guard, had been temporarily reassigned to the warehouse while she was out of town, and he didn’t look happy about Sonny forcing his way in.
“Sonny.” Warily, Bernie got to his feet, as did Justus. “I wasn’t expecting you in the offices today.”
“I bet,” Sonny snarled. “How long have you known about Atlanta?”
Justus saw the flare of surprise in Bernie’s eyes before the older man shut it down, and Sonny sneered. “You trying to hide it from me like Puerto Rico and Miami?” he demanded. “This is my business! My organization!”
“No one is keeping anything from you,” Justus said, stepping in front of Bernie. “We literally just got off the phone with Frank. We’re just surprised that you know already—”
“Yeah, well, I heard it directly from the Babe,” Sonny sneered. “At least he knows who’s in charge around here—”
“The Babe?” Justus echoed. Anthony “the Babe” Pellacosta was as old school as they came, part of a branch of the Gambino family, transported to the south. “The Babe doesn’t call anyone—” And he’d never given Sonny or Jason the time of day before. Why the hell was he calling Sonny personally?
Sonny shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. The bastard is back in the country and clearly making his way back to New York.” He held out his hand. “Give me the damn number.”
Neither Justus nor Bernie needed to ask which number Sonny was demanding.
“I’m not going to do that,” Justus said. “I’ll call Jason, but there’s nothing he can do where he is—”
“That’s not your call to make—”
“Jason made it my call,” Justus retorted, cutting Sonny off. “And if you don’t like it, take it up with him when he gets back. Bernie and I will send some guys down to Atlanta to look into it, but this is gonna be just like Venezuela and Puerto Rico. It’s going nowhere.”
“How the hell do you know that—”
“You don’t think it’s strange that someone is always mysteriously catching sight of Lansing without any damn proof?” Justus charged. “Either they’re screwing with us, or they’re trying to get you to give them favors—”
“What the hell do you know—”
“There’s nothing Jason can do here that we’re not already doing,” Bernie said, his tone softer, a bit more conciliatory. “We’ll send the guys. We’ll check over the security on the Towers and the Brownstone—”
“So you’re not giving me his number?” Sonny said to Justus, narrowing his eyes. “You’re going to disobey a direct order?”
“I don’t take orders from you, Sonny.”
Sonny looked like he clearly wanted to argue that, but then he huffed. “Fine. I’ll get it myself.” Then he stalked out, Max hurrying after him.
“I’m sorry,” Cody said. “I’m supposed to stop anyone coming in, but—”
“It’s fine. With Sonny, it’s better just to let him go. We’re not women he can push around,” Justus muttered. He reached for his phone. “Let me leave a voicemail for Jason and give him the heads up. He’ll let me know if there’s anything he wants handled.”
Kelly’s: Dining Room
Lucky Spencer couldn’t decide if finding his mother sitting at a table with his girlfriend was a good or bad thing. There were a lot of stories that he didn’t necessarily want Kelsey to hear from his mother.
His mother beamed when she saw him in the doorway. “Lucky! Come on over! I stopped in for some lunch, and I ran into Kelsey.”
Kelsey’s smile matched his mother’s. “She said she found some pictures of my dad from the old days.”
Kelsey’s father had died in a car accident when she was thirteen, and Lucky knew she’d been happy to learn that Oliver Joyce had once been friendly with Laura during her marriage to Scott Baldwin. In fact, Lucky had been surprised to learn that Luke had known him, too.
“After dinner a few months ago,” Laura said, “I just knew I had some things in the attic. I haven’t looked at some of that stuff in years.” She cleared her throat. “I brought over a lot of things when we first moved back to Port Charles,” she told Lucky. “Remember? Ruby had stored some of it for me.”
“Yeah. You went through it when Grandma came back,” Lucky said, which was a mild way to refer to Lesley Webber’s return from the dead after years of being hidden away by the Cassadines. “You found some things with her dad?”
“Photos from law school mostly. And, of course, Ollie was at the wedding.” Laura hesitated. “To Scott,” she added. “He was never much of a fan of Luke, though I can’t really blame him for that. He was such a cutie back then. You’ll have to come by the house, and I’ll give them to you.”
“Oh, but they’re your memories—”
“Lucky can scan them, can’t you?” Laura asked. “I’ll happily take the digital to save myself some space. I have those memories in my head, you should have the photos.” She squeezed Kelsey’s hand. “I wish Ollie and I hadn’t fallen out of touch after the divorce. He and your mother—they were happy?”
“To me, yeah. She couldn’t live here without him,” Kelsey continued, “and she’s never come back. It hurts too much, she says.” She shifted. “I went by our old house when I first moved here, and it brought back a lot of good memories. I think it might do her good to come back and be part of it.”
“Well,” Laura said, eying Lucky, who had a feeling he knew where this was going, “maybe she’ll have a good reason soon enough.”
Kelsey’s cheeks reddened, and she looked at Lucky, who quickly cleared his throat. “Let’s order,” he suggested. “I have to be back on duty in thirty.”
General Hospital: Nurse’s Station
“Oh, look at this one—” Bobbie sighed, pulling another picture out of the stack she’d had developed. “Look at how adorable Michael looks with Jason—”
“That’s one of my favorites,” Monica murmured. She didn’t really get to see Michael all that often, and the little boy barely knew her as his grandmother. But if Carly stayed away from Sonny—maybe Jason would see a way for her to be part of Michael’s life.
“Did you get one of Jason when Elizabeth started down the aisle?” Emily wanted to know. “I gave my camera to Lucky, but his thumb was in the way—”
“Lu grabbed a few—you can have one of my doubles.” Bobbie handed it to Emily. “It was such a beautiful wedding. You did a great job of planning it.”
“Well, it was Elizabeth’s vision. I just took care of the details. The food ended up being pretty good. Kelly’s should cater more often,” Emily said.
“It would have made Ruby proud to see her chili on the menu, but I wish I knew why Elizabeth did it at the last minute—” Bobbie caught the exchange of glances between mother and daughter. “Oh, is this related to those tests I’m not supposed to know about?”
“Worst kept secret,” Monica muttered. “Yes,” she admitted. “I’m sure it was. I think Elizabeth will fill everyone in when she and Jason get back. She just—”
“She wanted everyone to be happy at the wedding,” Emily added. “You know, concentrating on the good stuff. She didn’t want to leave you out, Bobbie, I practically forced it out of her—”
“I’m not mad,” Bobbie assured them. “I’m just worried. I’m glad Jason made time for a honeymoon, even if it is just a few hours away.”
Monica opened her mouth to respond, but the elevator doors slid open, and Sonny stalked out. She grimaced. “Here we go,” she muttered.
Bobbie quickly stowed the wedding photos. “Sonny—”
“I’m not here to argue, I’m not here to make trouble,” he said flatly. “I know Jason gave one of you his contact information. Give it to me, and I’ll go.”
Emily lifted her brows. “I thought Jason gave his number to Justus. Why didn’t you ask him for it?” She smirked when Sonny’s scowl deepened. “If Justus doesn’t think Jason needs to be called—” She shrugged, grabbed a chart, and sauntered off.
“Go to hell,” Monica said shortly and followed her daughter. Sonny’s eyes tracked after them before turning back to Bobbie.
“I need to talk to him—”
“I’m sure Justus will pass on anything he needs to know.” Bobbie picked up a chart of her own. “I don’t owe you anything, Sonny. You’ve traumatized my daughter and made her life a living hell for months. I’m not going to let you intrude on Jason and Elizabeth’s honeymoon.”
“Fine.” Sonny gritted his teeth, then went back to the elevators, jabbing the button. When he was gone, Bobbie sighed and pulled out her phone to leave a message for Justus just in case.
Brownstone: Living Room
“Hey, Michael—” Lucas sat next to his nephew and reached for his Playstation controller. “Felix and me are gonna play Silent Hill. You want to watch? You can help us with some of the puzzles.”
His seven-year-old nephew frowned, then put down his comic book. “Okay. Maybe I could try playing.”
When Lucas might have resisted because he’d been working on this game save for a good month, Felix elbowed him. Michael was a good kid in the middle of a nasty separation and divorce. Lucas knew all about that, didn’t he?
“Yeah, sure. We could try it.”
Lucas clicked through a few menus, and within a few minutes, they were all intently watching as his character walked through the dark, eerie streets of the video game world.
The doorbell rang, and Felix got up to go answer it. He looked through the peephole and winced. He turned to Lucas. “It’s Sonny.”
Michael flinched and curled up on the sofa, drawing his legs up under his chin and wrapping his arms around them. “Is he gonna try to make me go with him again?”
“No.” Lucas touched Michael’s shoulder. “Not a chance.” He ruffled Michael’s hair and got to his feet as Sonny pressed on the doorbell again, then started knocking. “Michael, do me a favor? Go find your mom, okay? Tell her your dad is here.”
Grateful to have a task, Michael rushed down the back hallway to his mother’s bedroom. Lucas took a deep breath and prepared to face his brother-in-law.
“Maybe we should wait,” Felix said, but Lucas shook his head and pulled open the door, angling himself so that Sonny would have to shove him out of the way to get through the door.
“What do you want, Sonny?” Lucas asked.
“Where’s my wife?” Sonny demanded. “My sons?”
“Does Carly know you’re coming?”
“I don’t need an appointment—” Sonny’s nostrils flared. “Who do you think you are?”
“Sonny, you need to call ahead—”
“I got this, Lucas,” Carly said quietly as she came up behind Lucas and Felix. She sent him a grateful look. “But thanks. Sonny, what do you want?”
“Lansing’s getting closer. They saw him in Atlanta a few days ago—he might already be here—”
“I have guards,” Carly said, even as her face leeched color. “We went over this at the wedding, Sonny. Jason checked the security on the Brownstone. Taggert lives upstairs, and Lucas and Felix have the apartment across the hall.”
Sonny glared past at her at Lucas and Felix, who hadn’t left the foyer. Lucas wasn’t particularly close to his sister, but she didn’t deserve to be left alone with a screaming maniac. “You think these two….” He wiggled his fingers. “You think they can take on Ric?”
Carly narrowed her eyes. “What, exactly, are you suggesting?” she demanded hotly. The knuckles her hand whitened as she clenched the door more tightly. “Is there some reason two men who are younger and stronger than Ric can’t kick his ass?”
“Wait, is he saying we can’t because we’re gay?” Felix hissed. “I—”
“—will stand down because he’s Sonny Corinthos,” Lucas muttered, tugging his boyfriend back.
“You know, I agree with Jason,” Carly said. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. This Atlanta thing is just like all the others, isn’t it? Some guy he doesn’t trust thinks he saw Ric — that’s been the story for six months, Sonny! I’m done! I am done letting Ric Lansing control my life! You either start accepting that or—”
“Or what?” Sonny retorted. He shoved the door back, and Carly jumped, startled by the sudden movement. “Where are the boys? I’m taking them with me now. You can do whatever the hell you want with your life, but my boys—”
“Get out, Sonny! Don’t make me call the police!” Carly shoved him back.
“Go ahead and try it! Those are my kids!” Sonny snarled. “Michael!” he called, raising his voice and starting for the foyer. Carly grabbed his arm and tried to drag him away—
Then Sonny shoved her away—Carly fell backward, hitting the column that separated the foyer from the living room. Her eyes were wide, her face even paler. Sonny didn’t even seem to notice—he just kept heading back towards the bedrooms—
“That’s it—” Lucas overtook Sonny before he could start throwing open doors. He shoved the mobster back. “Get out!”
“You’re going to stop me?” Sonny snorted. “What are you going to do?”
“He’s going to kick your ass if you put your hands on Carly again,” Felix said. Sonny turned to lift his brows at the other man. “And when he’s done, I’m next. No one is going to shove a woman around in front of me—”
“Guys—” Carly said weakly. “It’s—”
“Do you know who I am?” Sonny demanded, dismissing Lucas and glaring at Felix. “Do you know what I could do to you?”
“You think you scare me?” Felix retorted. He smirked. “You’re not even the scariest asshole I’ve met this week. I’m a gay, Black man dating a white boy. What are you gonna do to me that the rest of the world hasn’t tried?”
“Sonny, I’m calling the police,” Carly said. She grabbed the landline on the end table. “This is your last chance—”
“I’m not leaving without my kids!” Sonny shoved Lucas out of the way and started down the hallway. “Michael! Morgan!”
“You’re not getting near those kids!” Lucas charged after him. Carly nearly dropped the phone, but Felix snapped at her to finish the call and followed.
Lucas grabbed Sonny’s arm before he could open the first door. He yanked and swung the older man until Sonny slammed into the wall. Lucas pushed him back towards the living room. A baby’s shrill cry came from the back bedrooms.
Sonny swung at Lucas, who sidestepped him, letting Sonny crash into another wall. When Sonny went for Lucas again, Felix grabbed his arm and shoved him back, but then Felix tripped as he was trying to get out of the way, and Sonny’s next fist landed on Felix’s jaw. Felix sprawled back, hit Lucas, and both men went tumbling to the floor.
“The police are on their way!” Carly cried as she tried to wade in. “Sonny—”
Sonny scowled at Lucas and Felix, who got back up again to block him. Then, he whirled around on Carly. “You’re going to get them killed! Why can’t you just listen to me!”
“Carly, get out of the way,” Lucas said. “Go back into the living room—”
“I’m leaving,” Sonny retorted. “You think I’m gonna let you have me arrested? You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” He glared at Carly and just waited. Maybe for Carly to say something back, to go at him—
Instead, she stared at him like she’d never seen him before. When she continued to say nothing, Lucas shoved past Sonny and planted himself in front of his sister.
“Get out before Michael has to see you being arrested. You’ll be lucky if I don’t press charges for trespassing. Or maybe Felix can press charges for assault. We can pick the crime—”
“I’m out of here!” Sonny shoved past them both. A few minutes later, they heard the door slam shut.
Carly just stood there, the cordless phone clutched in her hand. She stared straight ahead at nothing at all.
Lucas ignored her for a minute, going to check on his boyfriend. “You okay?” Lucas asked. He touched Felix’s jaw.
“Yeah, he’s got a weak left hook,” Felix muttered. “Look, go take care of your sister. I’ll check on the kids, get them calmed down.”
Lucas grimaced — he’d rather switch the roles, but he turned back to Carly, who had started to breathe again. She met his eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “I’m just….” She took a deep breath—
Then her shoulders started to tremble as she dropped the phone and pressed her hands to her face. “I’m sorry,” she continued to repeat. “I’m sorry.”
“Okay—” Lucas took her by the shoulders and steered her towards the living room. “Sit down—”
“I freeze sometimes,” Carly said finally. She wrapped her arms around herself. “I—since the—since the panic room—sometimes—” She looked at him. “I’m sorry. I keep messing things up.”
Lucas frowned — because this was not the woman he’d known most of his life. This was not the woman who had waltzed into his life and destroyed his parents’ marriage, driving his father over the edge.
“I’m okay.” Carly closed her eyes, took another deep breath. “I have to remember to breathe. I have to—”
“I’ll call my mom—”
They heard the police sirens outside. Carly winced. “Oh, God, what am I going to do?”
“We’ll deal with it,” Lucas told her. “Let’s just—” He got to his feet as Felix came out, cradling a calmed down Morgan, Michael trailing after him. “Hey.”
“Mommy, is Daddy gone?” Michael asked, his voice ragged from sobbing. “I don’t want to see him anymore.”
“He’s gone,” Lucas assured his nephew when Carly couldn’t answer. He took Morgan from Felix when the doorbell rang. “Go let them in.” He turned back to his sister, relieved to see color in her cheeks. Michael had crawled next to her on the sofa and burrowed into her side. “Carly,” he said, “do you want me to handle this?”
“I—” Carly bit her lip. “No.” She kissed Michael’s head. “No. But thank you. I—” She managed a thin smile for him. “I’m fortunate to have you. Both of you,” she told Felix as he returned to the living room, Lucky and Dante in tow. Carly stood up to greet them.
“Uh, hey,” Lucky said, his eyes sweeping the room. “What’s up?”
“Sonny came over,” Carly said, and Lucas frowned as he saw Dante flinch. “He forced his way inside even though I asked him to leave. Lucas and Felix tried to stop him, but he nearly got down the hallway to the kids.” She looked at Lucas. “Then—I don’t know—I was calling the police—”
“He took a swing at me, missed, and then the second time, he hit Felix. He left when he knew you guys were coming.”
Lucky exchanged a troubled look with his partner, grimacing and looking at the floor. “Okay, uh, do you—are you pressing charges?”
Felix looked at Lucas, who turned to Carly. “Do you want to press charges?” he asked her.
Carly looked down at Michael, who had also stood and was now clutching her waist. She ruffled his hair, then looked at Lucky. “It’s not that I want Sonny arrested,” she said after a long moment. “But I—I need a police report. For my lawyer. Can—” She shot Felix an apologetic look. “Unless—he hit you—”
“I’m not out to make this harder for you, Carly,” Felix told her. “Whatever you need.”
Carly scrubbed her hands over her face and then squared her shoulders. “I don’t want Sonny arrested. He wouldn’t—he wouldn’t do great in jail. Can we just—can I get a police report? And maybe, I don’t know—can someone talk to him?” She bit her lip. “I don’t know,” she repeated.
“We’ll write up an incident report,” Lucky said, frowning when Dante remained silent. “We’ll make it official, take all the statements. And I’ll go see him. I’ve known him forever. I’ll tell him you’re not pressing charges as long as he doesn’t come back.” He hesitated. “You might want to think about a restraining order.”
Carly smiled wanly. “Thank you.” She reached over to take Morgan from Lucas. “Let me know if you need anything else from me.”
She went down the hallway, followed by Michael.
“How bad was it really?” Lucky asked Lucas and Felix. “Was it—”
“Pretty bad. Sonny was trying to take the kids—he also shoved Carly, but I don’t think she’s registering that yet.” Lucas pressed his lips together, looked at Felix. “After the panic room last summer, Mom said she had some problems. Processing it all, I mean. And there was some other stuff before she came back here.”
“Sonny shoved her away from the door, then when she tried to stop him from going down the hall—” Felix shook his head. “You think a restraining order is going to help?”
“Will it stop him?” Lucky asked. “Probably not.” He looked at Dante. “What do you think?”
“What—” Dante blinked. “Oh. Yeah, well, no, most of the time, restraining orders are violated within twenty-four hours. But it makes it easier to arrest him. You can call the next time he shows up, and you won’t have to wait for him to commit assault or trespassing.” He cleared his throat. “I’ll, uh, go to the car and get the forms. To start their statements.”
Lucky looked after him frowning. Lucas raised his brows. “What’s his problem?”
“That’s a good question.”
Lake House: Bedroom
Elizabeth grinned as Jason walked in, his cell phone in hand. She spread out the baby name book in her lap. “I found it. The perfect name.”
“Yeah?” Jason climbed back into bed, stretching his legs out over the rumbled bedspread. “You sure?”
“Yep.” She hesitated, the smile dimming slightly as she took in his expression. “You checked the voicemails, didn’t you?”
“Yeah. Don’t worry about it right now. Tell me—”
“Jason.” She closed the book and set it aside. “What happened—”
“Nothing we can do from here,” Jason argued. “And I promised you—”
“You promised me that we’d have two weeks free from Sonny.” She leaned forward to kiss him. “And we’ve had a few days. Today was a good day, Jason. The first day in weeks I’ve felt like myself again.” She threaded her arms through his and leaned her head against his shoulder. “When was the last time we could spend the whole day in bed?”
“It’s been a while,” Jason admitted. He rested his hand on her knee, letting his fingertips drift up and down her thigh. “I’m glad you’re feeling better. And that’s because we’re keeping them out—”
“But the world is still turning. I won’t break, Jason, so tell me what’s going on.”
Jason nodded. “There was a call from Justus. Someone thinks they saw Lansing in Atlanta, but it’s not any different than the others. No proof. They’re going to send someone to look.”
“They don’t think it’s serious?” she asked, scrunching her nose. “But it’s the third one in the last month—”
“Yeah, but I don’t like the way they’re coming in,” he continued. “Bernie pointed out that the only people seeing Lansing are from our side. I don’t think much of law enforcement,” he admitted, “but they haven’t been able to pick up any trail. Not even once.”
“Okay. Well, if they’re not worried, and you’re not worried—” She paused, tilting her head. “Then why do you look like the world is still on fire? What else happened?”
“Bobbie and Monica both called,” Jason admitted. “Sonny found out about Atlanta, demanded my number. Justus refused to give it to him, so he went to the hospital. When Bobbie and Monica refused —”
“He went to the Brownstone,” Elizabeth murmured.
“Yeah.” Jason scrubbed a hand down his face. “He forced his way in, pushed Carly out of the way. Then he ended up in a physical fight with Lucas and his boyfriend because he was trying to get to the kids. The boyfriend ended up getting punched.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Damn it.”
“Yeah, Carly called the police. She filled out a report but didn’t press the charges.” Jason exhaled slowly. “Bobbie says things are calmed down now, but Carly wants to call Kevin and schedule a session. And she wants Michael to talk to someone because he heard all of it.”
Elizabeth’s hand slid down to her belly where their son kicked firmly, her heart aching for the little boy that would always be a little bit Jason’s. “She hasn’t talked to Kevin in months.”
“Yeah, well, it’s a lot, Bobbie said.” He looked at her. “She’s okay—”
Elizabeth sat up and reached for the phone in his hand. He let her take it without a word. She pressed a speed dial then handed the phone to Jason. “You’ll feel better if you talk to her.”
Jason sighed but took the phone just as Carly answered, her voice a bit hesitant. “Hello?”
“It’s me,” Jason said, remembering that he was using a different phone and she wouldn’t have recognized the number.
“You aren’t supposed to be calling me,” Carly said, but Jason could hear the forced cheerfulness in her voice. “How’s the honeymoon?”
“Good,” Jason told her. “Uh, Elizabeth says hi.” He hesitated. “I listened to the messages—”
“Yeah, I figured you weren’t calling to chat.” Carly was quiet for a moment. “I’m okay,” she said. “I mean it. It was a bad day, but I was lucky. It turns out there are people I can rely on when you’re not around, and—well, you know, that wasn’t always true.”
“I know. But I just—I don’t know. I wanted to check on you for myself.” He looked at Elizabeth, and she smiled at him. He already looked a bit brighter. “Is there anything I can do?”
“I can handle it,” Carly told him. “The only thing I want you to do is to concentrate on your new wife, that baby she’s carrying, and having the time away from this you deserve. I’m glad that you weren’t home—that Elizabeth wasn’t across the hall.” She paused. “I’ll be okay. I promise.”
“I love you, Jase. Thanks for calling.” Carly hung up first, and Jason stared at the phone for a long moment.
“Everything okay?” Elizabeth asked.
“Yeah. Yeah.” He set the phone aside. “Thank you for making me call her—”
“She’s your best friend, and she’s been through hell. If it’s bad enough she’s reaching out to her therapist—” Elizabeth shook her head. “Then she needed to hear your voice. And you needed to hear hers.”
“Yeah.” He lifted his arm to put it around her shoulders so she could snuggle into his side. “So, before we talk about dinner, what were you saying about the perfect name?”
“Oh, I was thinking Cameron.” She beamed up at him. “Cameron Hardy Morgan. What do you think?”
“I think it sounds great.” He kissed her again. “You hungry?”
“Oh, yeah.” Elizabeth’s grin turned sly as he slid out of bed again. “We’ve worked up an appetite today.”