In every loss, in every lie
In every truth that you’d deny
And each regret, and each goodbye
Was a mistake too great to hide
And your voice was all I heard
That I get what I deserve
– New Divide, Linkin Park
Monday, May 5, 2004
PCPD: Squad Room
Taggert made sure that Lucky was out on a call when Sonny was due in for the interrogation. Lucky probably knew that Sonny was the suspect, but he didn’t see the point in getting the kid’s hopes up.
Better to tell Lucky and Kelsey together that despite his best efforts, there would be no arrest. Sonny would bring the lawyer, nothing would happen—
And then Sonny Corinthos sauntered into the squad room.
Taggert stared at him for a long moment. “Uh, do you want to wait for your lawyer in the interrogation room?”
“No lawyer.” Sonny shrugged. “I don’t have anything to hide and you don’t have anything to scare me with.”
Speechless, Taggert asked a uniform to show Sonny into the interrogation room while he went to get Anna.
She was in her office, picking up files from her desk. “Lieutenant, I was just walking over to observe—” Anna stopped when she saw his face. “Did he not show?”
“He did. Without his lawyer. Says he doesn’t need one.”
Anna blinked. “Are you—are you quite sure—”
“Positive. I’m gonna have him sign a Miranda warning and an official waiver or else Jordan Baines will toss anything we get, but—” Taggert shook his head. “I don’t know about this, Anna. He got out of Ferncliffe with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Without a lawyer—can we even say he’s competent to make that decision?”
“I’ll—I’ll get Baldwin on the line,” Anna said, reaching for the phone. “Start recording. I’ll be in the observation room shortly. Question him. If it gets thrown out, fine. But if we can get something on the record—it’s better than what we have now.”
Taggert returned to the squad room, scooped up his files, and snagged a waiver before opening the door to the interrogation room.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason closed his eyes, then opened them, focused on Cameron napping in his bassinet. “What did you just say?”
“I’m sorry, Jase—the car—it was like they knew—Claudia Zacchara put a gun on Bobbie—no way Carly and Elizabeth are gonna—Claudia fucking smiled, man—”
“Get down to the security room now and get me the parking garage feed. Stan and Spinelli will be there in ten minutes.” He hung up, then punched out the number for Edward.
“Jason?” Edward’s confused voice came over the line. “Why are you—”
“Elizabeth and Carly just got kidnapped from the hotel parking garage,” Jason bit out. “I need my guys to have security footage. They’re on their way to security. Can you make sure they get in?”
“What? What? Of course, of course—but—”
Jason hung up on his grandfather, then sent Stan and Spinelli to the hotel, letting them know they’d have full access. He couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe—just had to act. One foot in front of the other.
The phone on his desk rang and he looked at it blankly for a minute, then grabbed it. “What?”
“Jason, Johnny Zacchara is down here—says its an emergency—”
“Send him up,” Jason snapped. He stalked to the doorway, to see if Max was out in the hallway. When he wasn’t, he grimaced then stalked back to the penthouse. Okay, he couldn’t leave Cameron for more than five seconds alone—
Who could he call? Emily was working and wouldn’t be able to just walk out on her shift—damn it, where was—
He dialed another number. “Lulu?”
“Hey, Jase, what’s up—”
“Carly, Bobbie, and Elizabeth were grabbed in the hotel parking garage. I can’t leave the penthouse without someone being with Cameron—” His heart was starting to pound—his brain was starting to catch up with what had happened.
“Lucas and Felix are here—wait—” There was a rustle of voices.
“Lulu, damn it, I don’t have time—”
“Okay, okay, Felix is staying with Morgan, Lucas and I are on our way, and he’s not backing down on that, so don’t argue.” She hung up and Jason turned to find Johnny Zacchara in the doorway.
He stalked across the room, grabbed him and shoved the kid against the wall. “What the fuck is going on?”
“Uh—” Johnny’s eyes bulged. “You tell me, man! I came up here to warn you! What the fuck!”
Jason released him. “Warn me about what?”
“My sister—she’s behind everything. I guess—” He grimaced as Jason released him. “Am I too late? What happened?”
“Your psycho sister just kidnapped my wife,” Jason bit out. “What do you think?”
Johnny swallowed hard. “She was behind the other night. And maybe the bear. I don’t know. I just know she’s coming for you.”
“Damn it.” Jason swung away. Why make another move so quickly? Had she been unhappy Friday didn’t make him do anything right away?
“Would she try to go after me without your father knowing?” Jason demanded, turning back to Johnny who was rubbing his throat. “Would she do this alone to show him that she could handle the business? Is that what this is?”
“No, more like she’d toss your dead body in front of him like a cat tosses a mouse in front of a a bird. To show him she could before she slices his head off. Claudia hates my father. She always has. But she—” Johnny cleared his throat. “She wouldn’t go against him alone. She must have found help.”
Jason stared him for a long moment, and then, like a bolt of lighting jolting through his body, he remembered Claudia’s words the night he’d confronted them in Crimson Pointe.
“Dad got into one of his moods—you might be familiar with them—and choked Ric. We dumped his body and deactivated the ankle thing.”
We dumped his body.
He clenched his fists at his side and closed his eyes.
God damn it.
The yellow bear. The only way Claudia could have known about it—
“Who dumped Ric’s body?” Jason demanded. He looked at Johnny. “The night your father choked him—”
“A couple of the guards—and yeah, Claudia went with them.” He swallowed. “I’m pretty sure she took guards who are loyal to her.”
“Did you see his body?” Jason demanded. “Are you sure he was dead—”
“I don’t know,” Johnny managed. “It’s not the first time my dad went crazy and didn’t actually kill someone he thought was dead. The guards were supposed to put a bullet in his head to be sure. I can’t tell you if my father followed up.”
Jason scrubbed his hands over his face. “Where would she go? Does she have any resources up here? A safe house she could take them to?”
“Who is them?” Johnny demanded. “Who else—”
“Your sister kidnapped my wife, Carly and Carly’s mother,” Jason bit out. “She just signed her death warrant, so if you’re not in the mood for that, you should go—”
Johnny’s face was pale, but he stayed firm. “Let me help you find her. Find them. My family doesn’t need any more blood on their hands.”
Jason’s phone buzzed, and he saw the call from Stan. “I’ll take this—and you better think of anything you know that might help me find my family.”
PCPD: Interrogation Room
Sonny was getting really tired of people treating him like he was crazy and weak. He didn’t need a goddamn lawyer to talk to the police—he knew how to get through these meetings without saying a damn word.
And he didn’t even have anything to say—not since Jason had locked him out of the business and refused to let him back in—
When Taggert asked him to sign a paper stating he was waiving counsel, Sonny did it with a sneer. Fucking cops thought they were smarter than him.
“What’s this about? You apologizing for those charges you filed?” Sonny demanded.
“Old business,” Taggert said. He flipped open a file. “You, uh, heard about Karen Wexler, didn’t you?”
Sonny sat up then, frowning slightly. “Karen—Karen Wexler?” He hadn’t heard that name in years. “What about her?”
“Died in a car accident about a year ago.” Taggert slid a picture across the table. A photo of Karen the way Sonny had known her. Beautiful, young—
“Didn’t hear that,” Sonny admitted. “A shame. She was a nice kid.”
“Nice kid,” Taggert repeated. “Karen is why you’re here. Some old rumors surfaced about the Paradise Lounge. You remember that place?”
“Uh, yeah.” Sonny cleared his throat. He wasn’t—he wasn’t prepared for this. Hadn’t expected to get questions about Karen. The Paradise. What was the angle? “That place has been gone for a while—”
“Yeah, you leased the land out for another club. I like Luke’s,” Taggert told him. “Great music, good food, cheap drinks. Smart choice. Luke Spencer’s made you some good money down there.”
“I’m not involved anymore,” Sonny said, squinting. “Sold my interest after the fire. The one at the garage.”
“The fire, right. Luke blamed you for it. Shame for you to have lost a place like Luke’s since it gave you a start, but it served its purpose, didn’t it?”
“Not sure I follow—”
“The Paradise was a seedy strip joint with girls who were rumored to be underage and drugged up to work there.” Taggert focused on Sonny. “The blues club is night and day. Just like you. Part of your own image makeover, huh?”
Sonny exhaled slowly. “What’s this about? Why am I here?”
“It’s just a shame about Karen,” Taggert said. “But you know, women around you and their cars—” He shrugged. “Not a lot of luck with that, huh?”
Sonny tensed, stared at him. “Excuse me?”
“I was wondering about Karen’s accident,” Taggert continued. “I guess that’s what made me think about Luke’s. About how you still kept your interest in the club even after that night in the parking lot. Surprised you could go back, day after day, after what happened. But maybe it didn’t matter. I mean, everyone knows you married Lily Rivera for her father’s connections. Maybe he did you a favor when he blew her up.”
Sonny stared at Taggert, then slowly looked past him, swallowing hard as the woman in the light pink dress leaned past the cop, resting her elbow on the table.
Lily smiled at him, as young and as beautiful as she’d been the day she walked away from him—dangling the keys in her hand.
“I told you, Sonny. Everyone knows the truth. You couldn’t protect me. You didn’t care that I was dead. That our son died.”
Sonny shook his head. “No,” he said roughly. “I—I wanted my son. You were—She was—we would have made a family.”
“Maybe. Karen wanted to make a family,” Taggert said. “Nice young woman, you know? Starting out in life. She ever hunt you up to talk about the old days?”
“No. No—” Sonny shook his head. “No. No reason to. The old days were—they weren’t good for her. For me, either. I’m not that man anymore.”
Taggert lifted his brows, surprised. “No?”
“I didn’t—I wouldn’t hurt Karen. There’s nothing to say—no one who could say anything—” Sonny straightened. “I—I made sure of that.”
“Did you?” Taggert leaned forward. “How did you make sure, Sonny?”
He looked past him again, at Lily and now—Karen? Was that Karen standing next to his dead wife?
Sonny focused on Taggert, blinked again, and Lily and Karen were both gone. “What?”
“How did you make sure that there was no one who could say anything about Karen?”
Lexington House: Entrance
Carly stumbled as Claudia and another man shoved her inside the entry of the house. She fell into her mother.
“Careful, blondie,” Claudia snapped as she yanked Elizabeth by the arm and held the gun under her chin. “Or I’ll take out your bestie’s wife. You might not like her, but he does, doesn’t he?”
“Just stop—” Carly swallowed hard, looked at Elizabeth’s terrified eyes, not wanting to look at her mother. Oh, God. “I’ll do what you want, okay? We got in the car. We’re in the house. Just don’t—”
Her voice broke. “Just don’t hurt her anymore, okay? We’ll do whatever you want. Whatever you want us to tell Jason—”
“I don’t want you tell Jason anything—” Claudia smirked, kicked the door shut behind her. “You think it’s that easy? I’d think you’d know better after the year you’ve had.”
Carly took a deep breath. Thank God her babies were somewhere else, safe. Jason would have been told by now—he’d keep Michael and Morgan safe. Cameron was safe. The people that mattered most outside of this room.
“When Jason gets his hands on you, he’ll rip you to shreds,” Bobbie hissed. Claudia smiled, started to say something—
And then Carly heard it.
She heard the voice that haunted her dreams, that slipped into her nightmares and whispered to her in the dark that she was never leaving, never seeing her baby—
“If Jason wanted me dead, he should have done it when he had the chance.”
Carly started to tremble, started to shake—and knew who was behind her even if she hadn’t seen the gloss of terror in Elizabeth’s eyes. She turned around and saw that her mother had another gun to her head.
And this time it was held by Ric.
PCPD: Interrogation Room
“Sonny,” Taggert said again. “What did you do to make Karen go away?”
“Nothing.” Sonny shook his head. Had to think. Karen wasn’t important. She was gone. Gone forever. “I didn’t hurt her. Wouldn’t hurt her. I don’t—I don’t hurt women—” But his voice faltered there, and Taggert scowled.
They both knew that was a lie.
“You don’t hurt women. Really?” Taggert nodded with a sarcastic sniff. “What about Carly? You shoved her a few months ago. Locked her in a room in December. Bobbie told me you shoved Elizabeth the same night you locked up Carly. A real prince.”
“I was sick—I didn’t mean it—” Couldn’t think. Couldn’t make it work clear. He was just so tired. Just wanted it all over.
So tired. Sonny blinked. Had to focus. Couldn’t slip up.
He wasn’t weak.
“Sure. What about Brenda, huh? Didn’t put your hands on her, but broke her into pieces all the same, didn’t you?” Taggert retorted. “Cheated on Hannah, didn’t you? We’ve already talked about Lily—”
“Didn’t hurt Lily. I didn’t—”
“And you know what you did to Karen Wexler. Not even old enough to drink, was she? High on drugs you were feeding her—” Taggert asked. “And you killed your mother, didn’t you—”
“No—No!” Sonny’s eyes flared. He shoved himself to his feet. “No! I didn’t mean for her—I knew better—shouldn’t have talked back—shouldn’t have talked back to Deke—knew he’d take it out on her—”
“What?” Taggert shot up. “Don’t you dare—”
“He couldn’t—he couldn’t do it to me anymore—” Wasn’t his fault. Not his fault. Not really. Didn’t meant for it to happen. “Too big to lock up—couldn’t put me in the closet anymore—No one puts me in a closet!” Sonny raged. “He couldn’t hurt me, so he just took it out on Mami—not my fault—never meant—”
He sagged back into his seat, closed his eyes. “She shoulda left with me. Wanted her to leave him.”
Shaken slightly, Taggert sank back into seat. “But you did hurt Karen Wexler. You know you did. Drugged. Stripping in your club. Did you stop it? Did you protect her?”
“No.” Sonny looked at Taggert, weary and worn. “No. I didn’t.”
“You slept with her.”
“While she was drugged.”
Sonny closed his eyes. “God, yes.”
“Something you had in common with your brother, huh? Is that why you let Ric live? Because he wasn’t any worse than you?”
His eyes flew open and Sonny jerked his back and forth. “No! No! I never—I’m better—I made myself better!” He slapped his hand against his chest. “I made that go away! I made sure no one could say that about me—”
“No one?” Taggert repeated softly. “You mean you made sure Ollie couldn’t say anything?”
“Ollie—” A name he hadn’t heard in a decade. “Ollie. Yes. I made sure Ollie couldn’t tell anyone.”
When Sonny opened his eyes again, Lily and Karen were back, looking at him. Judging him. Karen just sighed and looked over behind Sonny.
Sonny twisted in his chair, his face paling as Oliver Joyce walked towards him, blood trickling down from a bullet wound in his head. He shoved out of his chair. “No! No! I didn’t—”
Taggert frowned, looked around. “Corinthos—who—”
“Why’d you hurt Ollie?” Karen asked, those sad eyes—those eyes he’d wanted to touch, to own— “He just wanted to help.”
“Corinthos,” Taggert said. Sonny focused on him, blinking. The room was empty, and sweat was dribbling down his face. “Take a seat. Let me get you some water.”
Sonny nodded, sat down, and put his head on the table.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
“Can you take him upstairs?” Jason said as he handed the baby to Lulu. He didn’t want Cameron around this. “There’s a bottle in the fridge—he’ll need it in about any hour. It’s already sterilized, it just needs to be warmed up—”
“I remember from baby sitting Morgan.” Lulu took Cameron in her arms, traded a look with Lucas and Johnny. “I’ll make sure he’s safe. Just bring them home, okay?”
“What do you know?” Lucas demanded as his cousin climbed the stairs. “Where’s my mother and sister?”
“We got the make of the car from the security footage,” Jason told him. “But there’s—” He looked at Johnny. “There’s another problem.”
“There always is,” Lucas sneered.
“This isn’t about me,” Jason said, then took a deep breath. Because it wasn’t about him now, but it had started with him. With Sonny. “It’s not about my business, Lucas. His sister,” he nodded at Johnny, “is Claudia Zacchara, and Johnny says she’s not working with her father.”
“Not working—” Lucas frowned at Johnny as if noticing him for the first time. “Who the hell is she working with? What—”
“Ric. She’s working with Ric Lansing,” Jason said.
His shocked eyes swung back to Jason. “He’s dead. You told us he was dead—”
“Because my father supposedly choked him to death,” Johnny told him. “And my sister got rid of the body.”
“The same—” Lucas clenched his fists. “The same sister who just kidnapped Carly, Elizabeth, and my mother?”
“Yeah,” Jason said. “Johnny says she’d never do it alone. Which means Ric is—probably—alive.”
“The man who traumatized my sister—your wife—is alive—and kidnapped them—” Lucas cleared his throat. “Okay. Okay. It’s not going to help if I just repeat what we already know. What now?”
“My tech guy is already looking into anything Claudia owns,” Jason told him. “Are there any aliases she might use?”
“Try anything under my uncle — Dominic Bianco. He was my mother’s brother,” Johnny added. “And raised Claudia like a daughter. Also my mother — Maria Bianco.”
Jason turned away to text Stan those names, waiting like hell for anything to change. He couldn’t run, couldn’t search, not until he knew where to go.
He felt useless, felt helpless. Ric had Carly and Elizabeth again—and Bobbie—and it was Jason’s fault for trusting the Zaccharas, for believing them about Ric.
His phone buzzed with a message from Stan. “A house was bought two months ago on the outskirts of town in the name of Maria Bianco.”
Lexington House: Foyer
“You’re dead,” Carly told him. “You’re dead. They said you were dead—”
“Well, they lied.” Ric smiled at her—that smooth, easy smile that had opened all those doors a year ago. “Now, come into the living room, take a seat, and if you’re really good, I might let you live.”
“That’s a lie,” Elizabeth managed as Claudia shoved her forward. Ric stepped back, keeping the gun under Bobbie’s chin. She and Carly edged past Ric into the living room, Carly desperately trying to keep herself present, in the moment—
Don’t slip away, don’t slip away. Stay in control. Can’t leave them alone. Can’t be weak.
“I have to go,” Claudia told Ric. “Mikey is going to call as soon as Morgan leaves. I’ll get it done and we’ll move on to the next part.”
“Go ahead. I’ll handle it from here.” When Claudia left, Ric looked at them. “Take a seat,” he repeated. “And we’ll catch up.”
PCPD: Interrogation Room
Sonny stared at the glass of water but didn’t drink it. He should leave. Taggert didn’t have anything on him. Nothing except what Sonny gave him.
He’d been so fucking arrogant to walk into this room thinking he had things under control. He should have stopped everything the second he’d looked behind Taggert and seen Lily.
He shouldn’t see the ghosts of the women he’d failed. That was supposed to be over. He was supposed to be better now. Hadn’t he done the therapy? Taken the meds?
But Jason had been right to lock him out. Carly was right to take his kids.
And Taggert was right. He’d destroyed everyone he’d ever come into contact with, and it was time to stop.
“Are you ready to continue?” Taggert asked, taking a seat across from him again. “Or do you want to stop? You can call a lawyer—”
“No.” Sonny raised his eyes, met Taggert’s. “I never killed my mother. Deke told you that, didn’t he?”
Taggert’s mouth tightened. “Yes.”
“He was good at that,” Sonny mused. “Good at convincing people he was some kind of hero. Always taking in kids from the neighborhood. You—” He squinted at him. “You were one of the kids. You saw the other side of him. The side that made my mother stay all those years.”
Taggert exhaled slowly. “We’re not talking about the past—”
“Deke was a monster, and Joe Scully killed him. For me. Because of what he did to my mother. Scully couldn’t handle beating on women. He didn’t care that Deke was a cop.” Sonny wiped at his mouth. “I didn’t kill my mother.”
“Okay. Tell me about Karen. About the Paradise and Oliver Joyce.”
“Ollie was—” Sonny rubbed his chest. “Ollie was a good guy. Shoulda been a DA or something. Always looked out for the girls. Didn’t like the ones that used. I told him to butt out. None of his business. They made their choices.”
“Karen Wexler was already clean and gone—”
“He—he told me she was a friend’s daughter,” Sonny said numbly. “He didn’t know it. Easier to forget her until then. She was just one of many. Ollie never liked it—but it was personal now. Scott’s kid. He knew Scott. Told me he was going to get the Paradise shut down. I—I said okay. I didn’t—I wanted to move on, too—”
“You were plotting with Luke to take down Frank Smith.”
“Yeah.” Sonny closed his eyes. “Not enough for Ollie. Not enough. Wanted me to pay.”
“And you made it go away.”
Sonny looked at him, feeling like he’d been stretched out over a table until his skin had torn. “You know what I did.”
“Yeah, but you gotta say it.”
“I told him I’d come clean, but I needed help. He offered to drive me to the department. Even represent me. Said I’d feel better once it was over. I’d serve a few years, but I could start over. I was young.”
“You gotta say it.”
“I killed him.” He exhaled in a rush of air, tears leaking out of the corner of his eyes, dribbling down his cheeks. “Shot him in the head.”
Sonny looked at Taggert. “He wanted to take everything from me. Couldn’t let it happen. Couldn’t be locked up. Not again.”
Lexington House: Living Room
Elizabeth and Carly were perched on the edge of the sofa, their eyes locked on Ric who still stood in the doorway, a gun tucked under Bobbie’s chin. Carly had an arm looped through Elizabeth’s, their hands clenched together in a joint fist.
She couldn’t stand this. Couldn’t stand looking at this man, at this walking, living nightmare—watching him threaten the closest person Elizabeth had in this world to a mother—knowing that Carly was in danger next to her—that there was no chance that Ric was letting any of them walk out of the room alive.
Jason thought Ric was dead. Claudia clearly wanted a war with her family and Jason. Elizabeth knew Ric and Claudia intended to be the last people standing at the end. And Claudia was on her way to the Towers, waiting for Jason to leave.
There was only one reason for that.
They were going after her son.
Ric and Claudia were going to make sure the Zaccharas were held responsible for killing the three of them and taking Cameron. Jason would burn Crimson Pointe estate to the ground, with Anthony and Trevor inside.
It was—in fact—a very clever plan.
“Why did you wait so long?” Elizabeth asked softly.
Ric frowned at the sound of her voice, dragged Bobbie a few steps closer. “What did you say?”
“You’ve been out on bail since July,” Elizabeth continued, her voice stronger. She looked at him and realized this was the closest she would ever get to letting him know he hadn’t broken her.
He might end her life, but she was not going down without a fight. Without making sure he knew that she saw him for what he was.
“You knew the Zaccharas thought you were dead. Why wait so long to make Jason think so, too?”
Carly cleared her throat—her voice was wavering when she spoke. “Because it wasn’t just about Sonny. It’s about Anthony. You wanted him dead, too. And if you pushed Sonny enough—”
Ric smirked. “Very good, Carly. Why waste my energy and limited resources when I knew that the slightest thing might send Sonny over the edge and they could get rid of each other and clear my path? But Sonny didn’t crack.”
“And then you found out about the truce,” Elizabeth said. “So you decided to wait until Jason’s guard was down. You knew the security measures. When Friday didn’t work out—” She smiled. “Does Claudia know you set her up to take the fall?”
“No, she’s nearly as dumb as you were,” Ric said. “But women as gullible as you aren’t always easy to find. Claudia thinks we’re going rise from the ashes like a phoenix when Jason and her father destroy each other—” He shook his head, then sighed. “It’ll be sad, but I think part of her will understand when Jason doesn’t let her live. He didn’t let Faith live, did he? He’s an equal opportunity killer.”
“Do you know what I find interesting?” Elizabeth asked. She met Bobbie’s eyes. “How men are always underestimating women. Especially women they think are gullible.”
“Well, if you can find me an intelligent woman—” Ric began—then his hand moved slightly — the tip of the gun away from Bobbie’s chin just long enough—
Then Elizabeth jerked her head. “Now!”
Bobbie stomped on Ric’s foot and jabbed him hard in the stomach—by the time Ric had regained his footing, Bobbie was already diving behind a chair, and Elizabeth had gone for the gun in his hand. She bit hard on his wrist and he yelped, grabbing for her hair—
And released the gun. She snatched it—and squeezed the trigger three times. Ric dropped to the ground.
Breathing hard, Elizabeth walked towards Ric as he lay on the ground. She watched Ric’s brown eyes as life slid out of them and his chest stopped rising. Elizabeth turned to Bobbie. “Oh, thank God—”
“Elizabeth, watch out!” Carly screamed.
Elizabeth spun around only to see Ric charging for her.