Chapter Three

It’s all right to make mistakes
You’re only human
Inside everybody’s hiding something
Take time to catch your breathe and choose your moment
Don’t slide

– Slide, Dido

Harborview Towers: Jason Morgan’s Penthouse – 9:07 P.M.

He held her in an almost suffocating embrace, devouring her mouth like a desperate man who hadn’t had a drink in years. And even if she’d been unable to breath, Elizabeth didn’t think she’d have the strength to push him away. She would have gladly died in his arms, if it meant that she’d never have to give up this intoxicating warmth.

His breath was hot against her face as he pulled away to set his teeth into her neck. He nipped at the soft skin and a moan trapped itself in her throat. She couldn’t find the energy to force it out and she lost the opportunity when he brought his lips back to hers.

She was so caught up, so lost in the moment that she didn’t even register when he lifted her into the air and set her on the edge of the pool table. She could feel her feet dangling in thin air and the wood beneath her but she only let that sunk in quickly before sliding her hands underneath his shirt to find the skin beneath it. It was slick and hot but she wanted more and she tugged at the hem, wanting to see the chest she remembered so clearly and had often been the subject of many fantasies once upon a time.

He swept the shirt off his head and sent it sailing and she dimly wondered if they’d find it hanging from the desk chair the next morning but then his mouth met hers again and she felt herself falling until her back met the cool green felt.

She didn’t feel empty or cold anymore and that was the last conscious thought she had.

General Hospital: Elevator Shaft B – 9:07

The silence was thick and the air was beginning to feel heavy. Robin plucked at the damp tank top that sweat had sticking to her skin. She didn’t realize how much she valued air conditioning until it was gone.

Her watch beeped and Robin sighed, reaching into her purse for her medication. She tugged out a pouch and a very warm bottle of water and started to take each pill.

She could feel his eyes on her but he didn’t speak and she was grateful for that. He’d seen her take the medication so many times–during the epidemic, during the transplant crisis with his father, and during the brief weeks where they’d spent nearly ever night together. He’d watched her take all these pills and had never said a word about them.

But it was the first time she’d taken them in front of him since his exposure.

She finished the dose and set the pouch and bottle back into her purse and stared at the light pink nail polish on her toes.

“So you never told me about your cousins,” Patrick broke the silence again.

“You can’t possibly want to know how Maxie or Georgie are,” Robin said, suspiciously. “You don’t even know them.”

“I don’t know Georgie, I don’t like Maxie, there’s a difference,” Patrick corrected bluntly. “And don’t start on me about Maxie’s difficult time–”

“No, no…” Robin shook her head. “I wasn’t going to. I still–it’s hard to believe that she slept with him and then…” she exhaled slowly. “If Maxie hadn’t told me myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.” She eyed him for a moment. “So you did see them kissing on the docks.”

Patrick shrugged. “Yeah but I was hoping it was a mistake, a one time thing and there’s no reason to hurt Elizabeth over something like that.” He licked his lips. “But, you know, if I had told her, maybe she wouldn’t have had to walk in on her husband screwing someone else. Twice.”

“Or she wouldn’t have believed you either,” Robin pointed out. “And all you would have done was wreck your friendship.” She sighed and let her head fall back against the elevator wall. “I look at Maxie and I don’t even recognize her anymore. I know we all handle grief in different ways and maybe I could have been there for her more, spent more time with her–made time. But I just can’t reconcile the girl that’s so proud of herself for sleeping with a married man with the one that I watched grow up. And what’s worse? I think Maxie is the one that fed into Lucky’s suspicions about you and Elizabeth.”

“You know, I don’t care what people think of me, I never have but I wish…I could I could have figured out a way to convince Lucky that nothing was going on but how do you prove a negative right?”

“You can’t.” Robin shook her head. “And she told me that it didn’t matter what Lucky did with anyone else, because everyone knew that Elizabeth was sleeping with you. I told her–that’s not possible because for one thing, Elizabeth would never do that–even if she weren’t married because she’s my friend and number two, you and I were sleeping together most of the summer and even though we didn’t do the monogamy thing…I got the feeling that you really didn’t…” she shrugged. “Sleep with anyone else.”

“Well, I didn’t,” Patrick admitted. He wasn’t about to tell her why. That would just make the business of being stuck in this elevator all that much worse. “What did she say when you told her that?”

“She told that you’d probably lied to me about that, that you couldn’t be trusted to tell anyone the truth because you’d tried to lie about the kiss on the docks. And I just…” Robin closed her eyes. “I just stared at her because I couldn’t understand how she could lie to my face like that and try–” she licked her lips. “She had to know that it would hurt me. To think that you and Elizabeth were sleeping together. I mean, she knows–” she shook her head. ”

The words were unsaid, but they hung in the air. She knows how I feel about you and that, of course, made Patrick perk up. Everywhere, unfortunately. “She knows only what she wants,” Patrick corrected. “And she’s not really seeing past that right now, Robin. The truth is going to come out eventually and it’s only going to make your cousin look like the bitch that she is. I’m sorry but I can’t pretend I like her–”

“No, no, I wouldn’t expect you to. She’s running around town, telling anyone who’ll hear her about your wild affair with Elizabeth. You get to dislike her.” Robin bit her lip. “But I have to involve my uncle Mac now and I think that’s going to get her sent off to a nunnery unfortunately.” She tapped her fingers restlessly against the floor. “So you’re really going to go six months,” she remarked, changing the subject.

“I can do it,” Patrick said somewhat defensively, though his earlier resolve was being worn down by the way her clothing was now sticking to her skin. It was really getting hot in here. Where thehell was the power?

“Have you ever gone six months?” Robin asked pointedly. “Since you started having sex? Have you ever gone a month?”

“Yes,” Patrick said, somewhat smugly. In fact, he’d gone six months very recently and he was damn proud of that. Of course, he hadn’t yet slept with Robin and he was pretty sure that was going to be his breaking point. “Before you and I slept together, I hadn’t been with anyone since you caught me in the OR with that nurse.”

Robin stared at him and for the first time, he realized she was completely speechless. Of all the days for him not to have a video camera or some sort of recording device–because no one else was ever going to believe this.

“I don’t think that was quite six months,” Patrick continued, “but it was pretty close and let me tell you, I do appreciate you finally giving in and ending that particular dry spell.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You can’t possibly be serious. You were out all the time with women and what about Carly? Why did you go six months?”

“I’m not exactly sure if I like the fact that you think I was sleeping with other women the entire time I was trying to sleep with you,” he replied, a little offended. “And I told you, I only pretended with Carly to annoy you. And it worked, so–”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute–” Robin held up her hands and waved them in front of her, so he’d shut up. “So the second we make any progress, you give me that speech about how you’re only in it for casual sex and you spend the next two months telling me you’ll sleep with any woman you want when you want to and now you’re telling me that the only woman you’ve been with for the last eight months is me?”

He scowled. “You’re intentionally putting it together so that it sounds stupid. That’s not how it happened.” It was, but she didn’t understand and he really thought she would have. She understood him in every other way, and usually could tell him what he was thinking before he could tell himself–a fact that would probably always piss him off. How could she not see how it was? It would have been so simpler if she’d understood without his having to tell her.

But then again, things were rarely simple between them and he was getting tired of it. Maybe it was time to finally lay it on the line.

She glared at him and folded her arms tightly across her chest. “Oh, yeah, jackass? How’d it happen then?”

He crooked his finger at her. “Come here.”

“You don’t want me any closer, I might lose my mind and tear your clothes off,” Robin retorted sarcastically.

“I’m willing to take that chance. Come over here.”

“No,” Robin said stubbornly. “You can’t make me.”

“Listen, pain in the ass, I am bigger, I’m meaner than you and now I’m ticked off so get your ass over here or I will just drag you,” he threatened.

Robin huffed and rolled her eyes before sliding across the car and settling in a good foot from Patrick. He grabbed her hand and she smacked him with her free one. “I’m not going to touch that–” she began.

“You and that gutter mind of yours,” Patrick shook his head before bringing her hand to his chest. “I told you that I didn’t want anything more than casual because I thought if I said it out loud, it would be true.”

Her brow wrinkled with confusion. “What do you mean–”

“I mean, that I wanted to believe that I still wanted another woman, any other woman. All women. But, the truth is, Robin,” he hesitated. “The truth is that since the moment you barreled into that operating room, the thought of sleeping with another woman became a distant memory and you were all I could think about for months.”

“It’s really hot in here,” Robin said suddenly, “I think it’s gone to your head. It’s making you act really weird–”

He clapped his free hand over her mouth. “You talk too much. Be quiet for a second and let me finish.”

She glared at him mutinously and then with great relish bit his hand. But he’d expected that from her and had already braced himself for it. “You’re going to feel really stupid in about five seconds,” he warned her.

He took a deep breath and ignored all the voices in his head screaming at him to shut up. “Robin, I know you think that this exposure has changed things between us–and it has. Because now I understand you more. And I can understand what it’s like wanting to put someone else’s safety in front of your own and that terrifying feeling that you could hurt the one person you want to protect more than anything.”

He removed his hand from her mouth, not wanting to say these words for the first time while physically restraining him. He shifted it to her chin and touched her bottom lip with his thumb. “Robin, I love you.”

General Hospital: Roof – 9:15 P.M.

Lulu wondered what her baby would look like. If she (she really wanted a little girl to name Laura) would have her light blonde hair or maybe she’d have Dillon’s dark blonde hair. Maybe their baby would look more like their relatives–dark red hair like her aunt Bobbie or dark brown hair like Dillon’s brother Ned.

She thought their baby would probably have her eyes instead of Dillon’s but she wanted the baby to have his nose and his mouth. She really liked those features.

Lulu wanted her baby to feel wanted and loved from the first second she breathed, and to never be an afterthought or be told that her mother had wanted her but her father had tolerated her. And she was scared that if she did tell Dillon, he would look at her with horror before fulfilling his obligations. And to him, their daughter would be a mistake, a nice one, but a mistake nonetheless. And no matter what, that would always color their interaction, he would never able to look at their Laura and not wish she’d happened at a different time, with a different girl.

So, really, she was protecting Dillon and their baby by not telling him. She loved Dillon. She thought she had before, but now she knew what that meant and love meant protecting that person, even if it took them away from you. It meant wanting them to be happy, even if it wasn’t with you.

Her stomach rumbled and she wished she’d eaten something. It rumbled again, and then it lurched and suddenly, she knew she was going to be sick. Lulu stumbled to her feet and made her way out of Dillon’s sight, trying not to brace her hand against her stomach.

Dillon followed her, worried and when he realized she was throwing up, he stepped respectfully out of sight for a moment, feeling angry at himself for having yelled at her earlier now that he knew she was sick–

And then it all clicked for him. The arranged meeting, the need to tell him something, the touching of her stomach, the throwing up–his mouth felt dry and all the blood drained out of his head.

Oh, God. Oh, God.

He bit down on his fist to keep himself from speaking out loud. He was only going to get do this once, only get to give her a first reaction once and he didn’t want it be anything other than surprise. He didn’t want it be disappointment and terror, he wanted, for once, to do the right thing where Lulu was concerned.

Lulu finished and straightened, rubbing her hand over her mouth. She fished the mints she kept in her pockets for moments like this and popped one in her mouth and wished that she had water.

She went back to the main part of the roof and found Dillon standing there, his hand in his pockets, his gaze out on the darkened city. “No lights on yet,” he mused.

“I wonder what’s taking so long,” Lulu rubbed her arms, feeling goose bumps rise for some reason. She glanced at him nervously and found that he was looking at her now, in a manner that she didn’t recognize. “What?”

“You weren’t going to tell me, were you?” he asked. “Why?”

She widened her eyes in what she thought would be innocence. “Tell you what?”

He swallowed and hoped his voice and face were as level as he was striving for. “Lulu. How did you think I wouldn’t notice? I mean, you can’t hide that sort of thing.”

Her breath caught and shook her head. “No, I don’t know what you mean–”

“Lulu,” he repeated. “Come on. No more lies, remember? You promised me that before and I just told you a half hour ago that I didn’t want there to be any lies or secrets between us.” He stepped towards her. “You can tell me anything, Lu. You always could.”

“No,” Lulu shook her head. It was better this way, she told herself. It was better and it didn’t matter that he already knew. She had to keep lying, she had to protect herself and she had to protect their baby and he didn’t love her the way she loved him–

But he took her hand in his, and squeezed. “I know you have to be scared, Lu. I know it, because I’m scared, too. It’s a scary idea but hey…” he smiled weakly. “I have a history of doing things before most people our age. I’ve already been married and divorced, you know.”

“Dillon–” she began, but her voice broke and suddenly she couldn’t understand why she was protecting herself anymore. He was right in front of her, and he looked strong and she was tired of standing by herself anymore, tired of pretending she didn’t feel like breaking. “I didn’t mean for this to happen but I can’t–” she blinked back tears. “I can’t say it’s a mistake because it’s not fair–”

“It’s not a mistake,” he cut in. And then he folded her into his arms and she broke, clinging to him, pretending for a moment that he would always be there to hold her and protect her. “It’s a surprise,” he laughed weakly. “But it’s not a mistake. It’s okay, Lu–” he stroked her hair as he felt her warm tears on his shoulder. “It’s okay, we’ll get through this together.”

This must be what growing up was, Dillon thought, cradling the mother of his child in his arms and wishing he could have made this better for her somehow. It meant taking the bad and the good together and making something great out of it. It meant making things okay for someone when they were far from okay.

So he was gonna be a dad. That was okay, he’d figure it out as he went along. He’d never let the kid grow up in hotels with movies for best friends. And he’d never make him (or her) feel like an afterthought or run their life or make it miserable. He thought he’d be a pretty good dad and Lu would be a good mom and that’s what was important right now. Everything else could wait until they got off the roof but right now, the belief that he could make it work for her and make it okay again was enough.

Port Charles Courthouse: Elevator Shaft – 9:20 P.M.

Carly closed her eyes and prayed for the power to come back on, though she was surprised when she wasn’t struck down by lightening at the very idea of praying for something. After all the sins she’d committed and would likely commit before her time on this rock was finished, her room in hell was reserved and had been for some time.

But if there was ever a moment she wanted God to be listening to her, it was this one. She prayed for the power, she prayed for the air conditioning, because damn it was hot in here. She prayed for her children’s father, to give him the strength to do what was right and she prayed for her best friend, to find someone who wouldn’t sleep with his enemy. As long as he didn’t love that someone more than her, Carly qualified. And she prayed for the woman across from her, she prayed that she would have a miracle and that she would continue to live.

She opened her eyes and looked at Alexis, concerned at the pallor of the woman’s skin and the labored breathing. The sweat was trickling down her face in small streams and the air felt thicker, hotter and it was like a layer of heavy cloth being wrapped around them, more and more tightly so that breathing became more and more of a chore.

Could you get heatstroke from being stuck in an elevator? Carly wondered.

She cleared her throat, it was so hoarse from the lack of liquid. She’d given her water bottle to Alexis when the lawyer had drained her own. “Alexis,” she said, coughing because the sweat felt like it was in her throat now, like it was clogging her airways. “If we get out of here alive–”

“This feels familiar,” Alexis murmured and Carly smiled faintly.

“We’ve made it out of worse, honey,” Carly replied. “But if we get out of here, I want you know to know that I don’t think it’s too late for me to be a good person, you know? I think I could still do it.”

Alexis cracked an eye and peered at the blonde, baffled. “Okay,” she said slowly.

“No, no, listen, this is how I’m going to be a good person–well better,” Carly clarified. “I might be too far gone to be a good one. Anyway…” she waved her hand weakly. “You and me…I don’t really remember why we don’t like each other, you know? Because I think it started when you slept with Sonny, but that doesn’t matter now. Because that was then, and I was a different person, you know? I still loved him and I wanted him and I don’t know.” She closed her eyes, feeling really tired. “But you and me, we’re different now. And you have the girls and I have my boys and we’re family, you know.”

Alexis laughed weakly. “Yeah, someone’s laughing about that somewhere. I bet it’s Stefan, he always had a perverse sense of humor.”

“Could be my mama Virginia, she always told me my bad karma would come back to bite me in the butt,” Carly countered. “Anyway, that’s not the point.” She frowned. “What was my point?”

“Something about you being a good person or a better one.”

“Right, right, so here’s how I’m going to do it.” Carly straightened. “You’re gonna need someone. A friend, if we can use that term loosely. And this next year is gonna be rough, you know? So I’m gonna be a better person by being a friend to you. There’s a reason we keep getting stuck in elevators, Alexis and I think it’s God way of telling us we should stick together.”

“The heat’s getting to you, Carly. I think you’re hallucinating,” Alexis mumbled.

“Or maybe it’s the devil, but either way, Alexis, you’re gonna need someone to help you out and seeing as how we’re family, there’s really no one else who understands what you’re going through with Ric and Sam more.” Carly reached out her hand. “So what to do you say to a truce? Pinky swear?” She arranged her hand so her pinky was out.

“What the hell?” Alexis shrugged and latched her own pinky to Carly’s. “Pinky swear.”

Harborview Towers: Jason Morgan’s Penthouse – 9:30 P.M.

Elizabeth reached under her back and retrieved the cue ball. She giggled and then stopped. “I can’t believe I want to laugh,” she said.

Jason leaned up on an elbow next to her and peered at her curiously. “You want to laugh?” he repeated. “That’s not usually the reaction I get.”

Now she did laugh, her shoulders shaking. “Oh, I’m sorry, should I have gone with, ‘Wow, that was the best I’ve ever had?'”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “I think I’m insulted now.”

It was wonderful, she thought, closing her eyes and stretching her hands over her head. It was wonderful to feel this loose and this warm and this peaceful inside. It appeared that she’d finally nailed the concept of comfort sex. She giggled again. Nailed, she repeated to herself.

“It’s nice to see you smile.” Jason toyed with a strand of her hair. She brought her fingers up to trace his mouth.

“You’re smiling too. It’s nice to see that again,” she told him. She slid her fingers in his hair and drew his face back down to hers. After a long moment during which she forgot her name, age and place of residence, she sighed. “This pool table looks a lot more comfortable than it actually is.”

Jason chuckled and rolled off the table, getting to his feet. She sat up and realized that they were both completely naked. And there were some things that only got better with age, she decided, taking a good look at him–or at least as good as the moonlight filtering through the windows would allow. The candles they’d lit earlier had long since flickered out.

“Why don’t I take you upstairs?” he suggested, scooping her up in his arms like she weighed less than a feather. “You can look for your clothes later.”

She frowned. “How did you know I was thinking about looking for them?”

He didn’t answer her but just started to the stairs. Halfway to the first landing, the lights in the penthouse flickered on, then off, on and then off again before finally staying on the third time around.

“Power’s back,” Elizabeth murmured.

Comments

No comments yet