Chapter 105

This entry is part 30 of 41 in the Mad World: Liberty

I don’t know
This could break my heart or save me
Nothing’s real
Until you let go completely
So here I go with all my thoughts I’ve been saving
So here I go with all my fears weighing on me

Sober, Kelly Clarkson

Saturday, April 26, 2004

Corinthos & Morgan Warehouse: Office

“Hey, I didn’t think we’d see you back here for at least a week,” Justus said as he came into the office with Bernie on his trail. “What’s up?”

Jason set the yellow bear on the desk. “Elizabeth went through the gifts last night,” he told them. “How did one from the Ruiz family get through?” he asked Justus. “You said you put those aside.” He flicked his eyes to Bernie who exhaled slowly. “And you had Elizabeth write a baby shower card for Solana Ruiz.”

“I did,” Bernie said. “We can afford to test the loyalty of some of the others involved with Zacchara, but too much of our business rests on the Miami ports,” he reminded Jason. “We have to stay on good terms until we have something concrete to use against them. Right now, all we have is Javier Ruiz. We can’t tie Hector to it, and everyone knows Javi and Manny aren’t trustworthy. Maybe we should have run it past you, but—”

“You don’t have a lot of patience with things that personally affect Elizabeth and Cameron,” Justus cut in, and Jason glared at him. “I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying we’ve been trying to walk a line with all of this. Cameron’s home and has a clean bill of health. I can be more annoying now. Yeah, we gotta deal with the assholes who faked the sightings for Zacchara, but you let Anthony Zacchara keep breathing. So you’re limited on what you can do to other people in retribution.”

Jason clenched his jaw, then nodded sharply. “Yeah. Okay. You’ve got a point. But it’s not just that the Ruiz family sent a gift. They sent this gift.” He nodded at the bear. “Elizabeth had one just like it last year. It was a gift from Ric when they got married for the child she miscarried. She made him get rid of it.”

Justus’s mouth formed an ‘o’ as he reached for the bear. “This has a price tag—”

“And it could be a coincidence,” Jason said. “But I’m not going to write it off. It means the Ruiz family gets watched. If they knew about the damn bear and sent it to Elizabeth deliberately, knowing she’d see it and remember—”

“Jason—” Justus set the bear back down. “That would be suicide—”

“Why go after Elizabeth like that?” Bernie cut in. “It’s one thing for them to fake the sighting. That was against Sonny, but sending a gift that they’d know would hurt Elizabeth after what she’s been through—I’ve seen Solana Ruiz’s handwriting. It’s a genuine gift. I don’t think Hector would go through these channels.”

Jason wanted to agree with them both, but he couldn’t. “I know all the reasons it would be insane for them to use this, but that doesn’t mean we ignore it. Things are finally quiet for the first time in a year. I need it to stay that way. Make sure that it’s not the Ruiz family sending a message. I’m going home.”

The Cellar: Bar

Carly slid the paperwork over to her brother. “I mean, I’m not going to charge you anything,” she told him, “but you’re underage, so—”

“For like another year,” Lucas muttered as he looked over the liability waiver. “I just wanted to throw a party for the end of the semester, and we’re already doing something else for Felix’s birthday.”

“What are you planning?” Carly asked. “Sign here,” she said, pointing. “That protects me from being sued by you morons if you sneak in any alcohol.”

“Some sister you’re turning out to be.” But he signed it. “Yeah, a bunch of us going down to a club in Rochester. Maxie suggested it.” He rolled his eyes. “She’s concerned that she hasn’t done enough to accept me being gay, so she wants to prove she’s an ally by taking Felix to a gay club for his birthday and dragging us all with her.”

“She sounds exhausting.” Carly signed her own name to the bottom of the contract. “But it’ll probably be fun. I used to go to those clubs all the time when I was living in Florida,” she added when he just blinked at her. “Oh, yeah. A lot of straight women like gay clubs. No one pinching our asses.”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good point.” Lucas turned at the sound of footsteps on the stairs, then tensed when Sonny appeared in the doorway. He immediately slid off the stool, leveling a glare at his sister’s estranged husband. “The club is closed.”

“I, uh, just hoped Carly would give me a second,” Sonny said, edging around to look at Carly who came out from the other side of the bar to stand beside her brother. “You can stay,” he told Lucas. “If you think I’m gonna do anything stupid.”

“Carly,” Lucas told her, “let me just go call someone—you still have a restraining order, don’t you?”

“It’s okay.” But she handed a phone to Lucas. “In case I change my mind.” She focused on Sonny. “You shouldn’t be talking to me. We should be communicating through our lawyers—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. But I just—I didn’t know—” He shoved his hands in the pockets of his suit. “You haven’t been by the penthouse. Jason’s, I mean. He just brought the kid home, didn’t he?”

“He did.” And Carly ached to see Jason’s son, the little boy that had already been through too much. “But I’ll see him when Cameron is strong enough. I went to the penthouse the day you got out, Sonny, and that was hard enough. It’s not my home anymore—”

“No, but I, uh, don’t—” Sonny took a deep breath. “I’m on medication,” he reminded her. “I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and no one is giving me a break—”

“Giving you a break—” Lucas scoffed. “Do you remember terrifying your kids and shoving me into a wall after punching my boyfriend in the jaw? You pushed Carly that day, too—”

“Lucas—” Carly held up a hand as Sonny’s eyes clouded with a mixture of irritation and shame. “Look, Sonny, I’m glad you’re feeling better. And you look better. But you don’t get to come home and expect everyone to go back to normal. We all went through hell, and we’re dealing with it. No, I haven’t been to see Cameron because he came home yesterday. I’m giving them a little space to get him settled in. You haven’t met him yet, have you?”

“No,” Sonny said shortly. “And I doubt I will.”

“Why the hell should Jason let you anywhere near his family after Elizabeth nearly died in front of you?” Lucas demanded. “You know, this is your problem. You make everything about you, and it’s not, Sonny. Great. You know what’s wrong with you and you’re getting treatment. Well, Jason’s kid nearly died, and Elizabeth still has to get surgery. Carly still has nightmares—”

Carly flinched. “I’m sorry,” Lucas muttered, “but you do.”

“It’s okay. It’s true, Sonny. I’m still struggling. I’m better, but I’m not okay yet. And I might never be. Ric’s dead. But that doesn’t make it over.” Carly folded her arms in front of her. “I begged you to get help months ago after you locked me in our room. You triggered my disorder when I’d already gotten it under control. It’s been harder to put away this time because you’re still in my life.”

Sonny swallowed hard. “I triggered…” he trailed off. “So it’s—it’s me—I mean, I’m—” He took a deep breath. “Ric being dead didn’t make it stop.”

“No. Because it came back after December. I don’t know how much of it you really understood at the time, Sonny, but I had a dissociative episode. I thought I was back in that panic room, clawing and screaming to get out.” Her eyes burned. “You hate small dark spaces because you think, for a minute, you’re back there with Deke. That’s what happened to me. Because of you. I’m not interested in giving you a break, Sonny. I’m sorry. I can’t. I want a divorce and I want you out of my life and away from my boys. Permanently.”

Sonny’s eyes were dark and tormented as they met hers, then he nodded. “Okay. Okay.” He turned and went up the stairs, disappearing.

Carly dragged her hands through her hair. “God, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing,” she muttered. “He’s not okay yet, and maybe he would be if he had more people supporting him.”

“That can’t be your problem,” Lucas began.

“Well, it needs to be someone’s,” she snapped, then subsided. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”

“It’s okay.” He patted her awkwardly on the shoulder. “You just gotta remember you did support him. You just couldn’t wait for rock bottom.”

“What if he goes off the meds?” Carly fretted. “What if he feels alone, like no one has his back, and he decides it’s not worth it?”

“That also can’t be your problem,” But her brother’s tone was more gentle as he said it. “Sonny is an adult who knows he has a mental illness. If you take that on now, Carly, you’ll never get out. He’s been home for two weeks. It’s not nearly enough time for anyone to come around and give him a second chance. Stop beating yourself up. You’re doing the best you can.”

“I know, but sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like enough,” she murmured.

Kelly’s: Dante’s Room

Lulu rolled over, then slid an arm across Dante’s chest, burrowing into his side. “How can it be almost May and your room is still cold?” she complained.

He laughed, then drew the blanket in tighter around them. “Because this blanket is about as thin as the sheets.”

“I’m going to buy you a new comforter,” she muttered. “We can’t go to my place because my dad still has a shotgun. It doesn’t matter how much he likes you—”

“Comforting.” Dante stared the ceiling, his fingers trailing across the smooth skin of her shoulder. “Cruz came by earlier this week. He wanted to know if he should look for a new roommate.”

Lulu stilled. “What did you tell him?”

“I told him I’d let him know. I’ve been paying my part of the rent,” he assured her. “So it’s not like I screwed him over, but I can’t keep paying for Kelly’s and my old place. Not on what I make here.” He sighed. “I was thinking I might move back in with him. I only left because of the press, and they’ve mostly moved on.”

“That’s true.” Lulu folded her arm on his chest, then propped her chin on his shoulder. “But you also stayed away from all of them after you quit because you knew they’d badger you about going back.”

Dante exhaled slowly. Outside, he could hear the rain falling softly against the windowpane. “Yeah. I know.”

“Things have really died down,” Lulu said, echoing his earlier words. “I mean, if you went back, there might be a bit of a stir, but it would go away.”

“Until I made an arrest and it got brought up again.” Dante grunted, then rolled out of bed. He reached for the briefs he’d discarded on their way to bed and pulled them up, then tugged on his jeans.

“I guess we’re done with the nooner,” Lulu mumbled. She got out of bed and started to dress. “I’m not saying you should go back, Dante—”

“I know.”

“I just—” She buttoned her shirt. “You’re a great cook, and I love working together. I do. We’re having a lot of fun. But I know it’s not what you want. You told Sonny yesterday being a cop was all you ever wanted—”

“Lu, just drop it—”

“I can’t.” Lulu pressed her lips into a thin line. “Because I care about you, and I want you to be happy. I know you miss your job, and hanging out with Lucky and Cruz and everyone. I just don’t know why we can’t talk about ways to get that back—”

“Because every time I do something, they’ll bring up Sonny—”

“So what?” Lulu demanded. “After Capelli got fired, no one is going to screw you over. They know the department has your back. And it doesn’t matter if they bring up Sonny over and over again, you’re a clean cop. You’re one of the good guys, and it doesn’t seem fair that all the jackasses can chase you away—”

Dante growled. “Drop it, okay?” He glared at her. “This is exactly why I didn’t want to go back to living with Cruz—”

“Cruz isn’t going to bother you about the job. Not if you tell him not to. And I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I just—” She wrapped her arms around herself. “I just want you to be happy—”

He sighed and crossed the room, put his hands on her shoulders. “I know. And you’re right. I’d be happier if I could be a cop. But right now, I don’t see a way for that to be possible unless I sign up to be constantly reminded about who my father is. I couldn’t deal with it before, and I don’t want to go back unless I know I can.”

“Okay. Okay. I know you’re right. But Lucky and Cruz are still your friends. And you should have your own bathroom.”

Dante smirked and kissed the top of her nose. “You just don’t want to use that bathroom when you stay over.”

She scowled. “No. I really don’t. So, if you care about me and our sex life, you should move back in with Cruz.”

“When you put it that way—” He leaned down to draw her into another kiss. “Why don’t we go back to bed?” he murmured against her mouth.

Harborview Towers: Hallway

Jason stepped off the elevator and nearly ran straight into Sonny. He scowled and stepped back, holding the door open. “What are you doing?”

“I’m not going near your penthouse or anywhere else,” Sonny bit out. “I’m going for a walk or isn’t that allowed either?”

Jason shook his head and stepped off the elevator. “Whatever—”

“I’m getting real tired of everyone walking out on me—”

Jason turned back and just stared at his former best friend. “Walking out on you? What are you talking about?”

No one is giving me a chance,” Sonny snarled. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, aren’t I? I got the damn therapy. The meds. I’m doing it all, and I’m not even trying to take back the business—”

“No one owes you a damn thing, Sonny. You don’t get any credit because you’ve been on meds for two weeks.” Jason shook his head. “We begged you for months, and you ignored us—”

“Carly won’t give me the time of day—”

“You don’t—” Jason held up his hands, took a deep breath. “I’m not getting in the middle. Carly’s made her choice, and I’m standing behind her on this. I don’t have time for this, Sonny. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but I can’t clean this up for you. Not again.”

Sonny’s eyes were dark with pain. “I just want a chance. Dante doesn’t want to know me, Carly’s going to take my boys and I’ll never be able to fix things with Michael now—and you’re shoving me out of your life—” His hands were shaking. “What’s the point of the meds if there’s nothing left on the other side?”

He was an idiot, but Jason felt a twinge of sympathy for him now. He cleared his throat. “I’m not shoving you out of my life, Sonny. I just don’t have a lot of room right now. Cameron just came home and he needs a lot of care. We’re cleaning up after all the Zacchara problems. You want to make things better? Have your lawyer back down with Carly. You filed first and went nuclear. The custody — that’s not going to change. But you had no right to blame her for the divorce. You know she did everything she could.”

Sonny closed his eyes. “I can’t stop being angry. I can’t. If she’d just stayed—”

“You always told me you wished your mother had left the first time Deke put his hands on her.” Sonny’s eyes flew open and he stared at Jason. “You’ve shoved Carly. More than once. You locked her up and traumatized her.”

Sonny dragged a hand over his face, then nodded. “Okay. Yeah. I get it. Okay. I’ll—I’ll talk to Jordan.” He turned away, started towards his penthouse, then stopped. “Cameron.” He faced Jason. “He’s doing okay?”

“Stronger every day.” Jason shoved his hands into his pockets. “No complications or major health problems. We got lucky.”

“Yeah. Good. Good. You deserve it. Um—” He paused. “And Elizabeth. She’s okay, then. After…what happened.”

“Best she’s felt in months. She’ll have the surgery in a few months. It’s over, Sonny. Ric’s dead. Carly and Elizabeth are dealing with that. It’s time you did, too. It’s over,” Jason repeated.

“Hard to believe,” Sonny murmured. “But I guess you’re right. Time to move on.”

Lucky & Kelsey’s Apartment: Living Room

“Mom.” Lucky stepped back from the front door, and glanced back at Kelsey in the kitchen. “I didn’t expect you—”

“No, and I’m sorry to drop in like this.” She kissed his cheek, then offered Kelsey a hug. “But I waited until your father was at work.”

“Is something wrong?”

“No, no—” Laura bit her lip. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all of this since you came by,” she told Kelsey. She waited for Lucky to join them at the counter in the kitchen. “Luke knows more.”

“I know he does, Mom, but he’s stubborn—”

“Because he thinks he can get away with it,” Laura said. “Because he’s so sure he’s right.” She reached for Kelsey’s hand. “I’ll drop it if you want me to, but I think we can make him tell you everything.”

“I—” Kelsey licked her lips. “I don’t want to cause trouble—”

“You won’t—” Lucky began, but Laura shot him a look and he stopped.

“There’s no way to avoid that, sweetheart. From what Lucky’s said, your father’s case was covered up by someone at the PCPD. Someone knew he’d been murdered, and they closed him away. They checked off a box like he didn’t matter.”

Kelsey closed her eyes, swiped at her tears. “Everyone just accepted it, but people knew. The crime scene techs. That damn detective—”

“The truth might not make any of us happy, but it’s better than the secret. It’s better than letting your father be forgotten. Ollie was a good man. Good men can work for men like Frank Smith. Luke did—” Laura flashed her son another look. “Don’t start.”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“And Jason Morgan is a good man,” Laura continued. “It’s too easy to draw a line and say everyone who follows these laws is a good person, and everyone on the other side is a bad one. Humanity doesn’t work that way. Ollie was a good man,” she repeated. “And you deserve to know why he was taken from you.”

“You think you can make Dad tell the truth?” Lucky said. “How? We’ve all tried—”

“I’m going to talk to him again, but if you make it clear this is going to be public—take it to Anna, Lucky. Reopen the case. We’ll shine a light so bright Luke won’t be able to look away. I promise you I won’t let him.”

Morgan Penthouse: Master Bedroom

Jason came in just as Elizabeth sat down to feed Cameron. “Hey. I’m sorry, I’m late.” He winced. “I said I’d be here, and then—”

“You were gone for four hours yesterday and two today.” She lifted her brows. “The horror.”

He smiled faintly, perching on the edge of the bed, watching as Elizabeth fit the bottle into Cameron’s mouth. She stroked the side of his cheek to encourage his suction. “He’s already getting so big,” he murmured. “At the hospital, he seemed smaller.”

“It was all the tubes,” Elizabeth replied, the chair gently swaying back and forth. “We have a doctor’s appointment on Monday. The first of many.” She wrinkled her nose. “He’ll have so many tests this first year.”

“We’ll get through it.”

“I know. I just hate the idea of him struggling even for a minute, but we’re doing okay so far.” She met his eyes. “I was thinking about that bear.”

Jason tensed. “The bear?”

“The one from last night. I don’t want it,” she added, “so it’s okay if you already did something with it. But I’ve been working so hard to forgive myself for what happened to that baby, and I think—I think looking at Cameron, it’s easier,” she admitted. “Because I look at him, and I know that I would give my life for him. I almost did. I would have done anything to save that baby last year.”

“I know.”

“I wish I had trusted myself more though, or realized I could ask for help. Instead of marrying Ric, I should have called Emily. I have dreams about it sometimes,” she admitted. “I call Emily as soon as I get the test, and I go to California.” She stroked Cameron’s cheek again. “But if I’d saved that child, I wouldn’t be here with you right now, and we wouldn’t have Cameron.”


“Maybe the miscarriage was supposed to happen. Maybe there was never anything I could do to save that baby. It’s hard to admit that,” she continued.

“I know.”

“When I saw that bear after the miscarriage, I made Ric get rid of it,” she said again. “Because it reminded me of what I’d done to cause my baby’s death. I’d fallen down those stairs, I’d thought, because I’d been arrogant enough to think I could ask Sonny for peace.”

“It wasn’t arrogant—but—”

“But I didn’t fall. I was pushed. I know. I’m glad Faith Roscoe is gone,” she continued. “She pushed me for no other reason than jealousy. She murdered my child because she wanted my husband. I would have given him to her to save that baby.” A ghost a smile played on her lips. “Faith might still be alive if she’d just asked nicely.”

Jason grimaced. He knew Elizabeth was aware Faith was gone, and that he’d been one to kill her, but it never sat well with him to think about it. Faith’s death had been personal, an act he rarely allowed himself.

He had no regrets, though, and would do it again.

“I might need to go in again on Monday,” Jason said, regretfully. “I’m trying to take more time off, but there’s a lot of cleanup from Sonny and the last few months. And from Tommy. I’ll try to be back in time for the appointment or meet you at the hospital.”

“It’s okay. Cameron’s going to have a lot of doctor’s appointments. You can go to the next one.” She finished Cameron’s feeding, waited for him to burp, then smiled as Jason lifted their son into his arms to put him back in the cradle. “The worst is behind us. Cameron is home and healthy, and I’m going to have that surgery in June. What else can we ask for?”

Manhattan, New York

Hôtel Plaza Athénée: Luxury Suite

“Well?” Ric demanded when Claudia strolled in that evening. “Were you able to make contact?”

“Oh, yeah.” Claudia went over to the bar. “I’ll try remember to thank Zander Smith,” she said. “Not all the names came in handy, but one of them works in the warehouse and saw Jason come in today. He had a gift bag in his hand. He checked with one of the clerks in the offices. Apparently, the wifey didn’t like the gift from the Ruiz family.”

Ric’s lips curved into a smile. “She remembered.”

“Possibly. Or maybe Jason didn’t want anything from the Ruiz family, but if that were true, he wouldn’t have even taken it to the penthouse to show the wife.” Claudia sipped her gin and tonic. “And the clerk was very clear on what he’d heard. Elizabeth is still doing the thank you note, but the gift isn’t staying.”

“She remembered,” Ric repeated with a reassured nod. She’d seen the bear and known. Maybe she didn’t think it was about Ric, but he could deal with that. He’d only wanted to remind her of what she’d promised him.

“And interesting — one of the other names Smith gave us — this Richie guy. Just got the promotion to guard the wife.” Claudia fluttered her eyelashes. “He might not turn yet, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye on him. If we can get to her guard once, why not twice?”

“Why not, indeed? Let’s hope it happens soon,” Ric said. “The kid is home and out of the woods. It’s time for the endgame.”


  • Great update. Loved the Liason and Cam moments. I sort of felt for Sonny in this chapter. He really does need someone he trusts in his corner to help keep him on an even keel but he has burned his bridges and it is wrong of him to expect the instant forgiveness and loyalty he wants back out of Carly and Jason without putting in the work. I can’t wait for Ric to get his and hopefully Cody will be there to keep Elizabeth safe in the event Ritchie does turn against Jason.

    According to nanci on August 2, 2022
  • Ric and Claudia need to die a slow and painful death. I am so happy that Lucas stood up for Carly and let Sonny know what she went through. Thanks for the update.

    According to Shelly Samuel on August 2, 2022
  • I hope Ritchie doesn’t turn. I wish Claudia and Ric get caught before anyone gets hurt. I felt sorry for Sonny, but hopefully he stays on his meds.

    According to Carla P on August 2, 2022
  • I loved the Lucus/Carly/Sonny scenes
    I can’t believe none of them are the least suspicious about Ric’s death, that should happen maybe Ritchie will tell JM if they contact him.
    I can’t wait to find out what Luke knows.

    According to Pamela Hedstrom on August 6, 2022
  • I do feel a little sad for Sonny but he still doesn’t get it. Laura is going to get Luke to tell what he knows. It was sweet that Jason and Elizabeth talked while she fed Cam. Ric makes me so sick. I can’t wait for Claudia and him to be handled for good.

    According to arcoiris0502 on September 6, 2022