August 15, 2003
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
“What time is your appointment?” Laura asked handing Elizabeth a cup of herbal tea.
“In an hour. You didn’t have to make this,” Elizabeth protested.
“Nonsense. You’re not supposed to exert yourself. I’m surprised Jason let me in this morning,” Laura laughed as she sat in the arm chair. “Have you even left this penthouse in the last three weeks?”
“I’ve been to the park. Under heavy guard, of course,” Elizabeth told her. “In the last week, I’ve been going on daily walks but no, not other than that. Jason’s trying to keep me from anyone and anything that might give me stress.”
“Smart man. If I ever see that social worker, I’ll skin her alive,” Laura muttered into her glass of iced tea. She set the glass down on the coffee table. “So, Sonny told Luke that Courtney called, complaining that Jason had broken up with her.”
“Yeah—Carly told me that, too. Seems she wasn’t too keen on the idea of Jason adopting the baby and told him it was over if he did.” She sighed. “I wish he’d have told me about it. We could have come up with another option—”
“If there had been another option, you would have taken it before agreeing on adoption. Courtney is a spoiled selfish little brat who thinks everything should revolve around her. She’s getting what she deserves.”
Elizabeth rested her hands on the bulge in her abdomen. “I can’t believe how big I’ve gotten. Once second I was tiny and the next—boom.”
“Fifth month does that. You start to notice in the fourth month that you’re getting fatter but the fifth month, the baby is just there.” Laura smiled. “You’ll be sure to get ultrasound photos right? And bring home the video so I can see my honorary granddaughter?”
“Yes.” Elizabeth sighed. “Gram still hasn’t called since that last time. And Jason has pretty much done everything except flat out forbid me to call her again. I guess he’s right—every time we talked, I just got angry and with that last scare, I don’t need it.”
“Just wait until she sees her great-granddaughter. She’ll change her mind, I promise. You can’t resist a baby.” Laura shifted. “Have you talked to Jason about a custody arrangement?”
“There are times when I start to bring it up but I don’t. I don’t know how to broach it, you know? How do you ask someone if they want to be the father of your child? I mean—I don’t want to be a Carly in his life. It almost destroyed him to lose Michael.”
“You wouldn’t be a Carly simply because you wouldn’t take a child from him. You love him too much to do that.”
“Laura—” Elizabeth sighed and sat up, setting her tea cup on the table. “It’s not that simple.”
“I know it’s not. Have you started on the mural for the nursery?”
“No, I decided against doing one. There’s no way of knowing if I’ll be here for the baby’s birth and I don’t want to do all that work only to have to do it somewhere else.” Elizabeth rubbed her eyes.
Laura nodded and dropped the subject. “Have you talked to Emily?”
“No,” Elizabeth said flatly. “She hasn’t called and I’m not calling her. I don’t know why she’s so angry at me but—it’s like she’s completely certain that I’ll hurt Jason. It’s like she doesn’t even know me.”
“I’m sorry, honey.” Laura sighed. “I wish there was something I could do.”
“You’re doing it,” Elizabeth said. “You’re supporting me and being there for me and I don’t think I could ask for more.”
General Hospital: Dr. Meadow’s Office
“She’ll be with you in a just a moment,” the nurse told them before walking away.
“You don’t have to be here, you know,” Elizabeth told Jason as she slid her purse strap higher on her shoulder. “I mean—”
“Do you want me to leave?” Jason asked.
“Well, no, but—”
“Then I’m staying.”
“Mr. Morgan, so glad to see you here,” Dr. Meadows said with a big smile. “Elizabeth, how are we feeling today?”
“Fine, completely calm and collected,” Elizabeth answered.
“Great. Step into my office and we’ll get this started.”
After the routine checkup and weigh in, Dr. Meadows led her into the ultrasound room. “You’re coming right along, honey. I think we’ll be able to see the baby’s gender this month.”
Jason helped Elizabeth into the chair and watched as Dr. Meadows pushed her gown up to reveal the bulging bump. He’d noticed her getting bigger but she’d been wearing baggy clothes and until this moment, he didn’t realize just how big she was.
“It’s hard to imagine that there’s a baby in there,” he said softly.
Elizabeth looked up and smiled at him. “Yeah, I know. How small she must be—” she hesitated and looked back at Dr. Meadows, “I want a girl,” she admitted.
Dr. Meadows smiled and spread the cold jelly on the side of Elizabeth’s abdomen, causing Elizabeth to shiver a little and tighten her hand around Jason’s. “Well, if you give me a moment or two…”
An image appeared on the screen and Elizabeth leaned forward a little, a large smile spreading across her face. “There’s my baby,” she said in a hushed voice.
Jason couldn’t see anything but some colors on the screen but he could appreciate that she’d see a baby in all of that. He squinted, trying to see it himself.
Almost as if she could sense his slight frustration, Elizabeth pointed with her free hand. “Look, Jason, there’s her head—oh and her little hands and her feet…”
“And there are her genitals,” Dr. Meadows remarked. “And boy, I hope you have a name picked out for your daughter.”
“She’s really a girl?” Elizabeth asked. “Are you sure?”
“Well, if she’s not, we’re going to have some issues if you want grandchildren,” Dr. Meadows laughed. “You want pictures and a video, right?”
“I’ll be right back.” Dr. Meadows left the room.
“Can you see her, Jason?” Elizabeth asked hopefully.
“Yeah, I can see her when you point her out,” Jason admitted. “She’s so small, though.”
“Laura. That’s what her name is.” Elizabeth swiped at her eyes, a few tears streaking down her cheeks. “Look how beautiful she is. I can’t wait to feel her kicking and I can’t wait to hold her.”
He instinctively leaned down and kissed her forehead. “You’re going to make an incredible mother,” Jason said softly.
Elizabeth wrapped her free hand around their joined ones. “Be her father,” she blurted.
“What?” Jason asked, stunned.
“She needs a father a-and I know it’s not fair to ask but if I sat down and thought of the best father I could give my little girl, you’d be the top of every list, Jason—I know it’s the worst thing I could ask you after everything you’ve given up for me but I’ve been thinking about it constantly and even Carly said I should ask you—”
“Yes,” Jason interrupted. “Yes,” he repeated.
“Really?” she replied, surprised by his quick agreement.
“Sonny—he brought it up a few weeks ago and Laura even said something about to me and I’ve been thinking about it too,” Jason admitted. “I just—I couldn’t think of a way to bring it up. I mean, you didn’t even want me to adopt her—how could I ask you to let me…” he shook his head. “I’d be honored, Elizabeth.”
“Okay, I have your video ready,” Dr. Meadows said, re-entering the room. “And your pictures. We’ll make another appointment for next month—I assume you’ll be coming again?” she asked Jason.
“I’ll be coming to all of her appointments,” Jason informed Dr. Meadows.
The doctor laughed. “It’s the ultrasound—works every time.”
Harborview Towers: Hallway
“We can get Dara to draw up a custody agreement if you want,'” Elizabeth was saying as she and Jason stepped off the elevator.
He opened his mouth to reply but found himself face to face with Sonny. “Hey—is something wrong?”
“I’m not sure. We need to talk.”
Elizabeth hesitated. “Well—I’ll just go call Laura—”
“No, Elizabeth, this concerns you, too. Why don’t you both come over to my place and I’ll let you know what’s going on.”
They followed Sonny into the penthouse to find a pensive Carly sitting on the sofa. She stood and smiled weakly. “Did you tell them?”
“Tell us what?” Jason asked suspiciously. “Sonny—”
“We had a call from Spain,” Sonny interrupted. “There was a farmhouse there registered to one of Faith’s aliases. There were some bodies inside and we’re just waiting for confirmation.”
Elizabeth blinked. “C-confirmation?” she repeated. “You mean you think Faith and Ric were inside?”
Sonny nodded. “They were identified by one of my men but I contacted Johnny and Francis. They were in France, following up another lead. I’m just waiting to hear from them.”
“Bodies…meaning that they were dead,” Jason said slowly. “Any word on how?”
“Not yet but we’re looking into it.”
“So—this is—this is almost over,” Carly said softly. “We can get back to our normal lives.”
“How soon will you know?” Elizabeth asked.
“We heard this an hour ago—I don’t know how quick they’ll get there. But they’ve got my plane. It could—it could be any second now.”
“Uh…so, how did the ultrasound go?” Carly asked. She crossed to Elizabeth. “Did you find out the gender?”
“Girl,” Elizabeth said faintly. “Everything’s healthy and my blood pressure is right where it should be.”
“Well, that’s great news,” Sonny said, smiling warmly. “Are you hungry?”
The phone rang and Elizabeth snapped her mouth shut. She stared down at her left hand—at the wedding ring that would be taken from her fingers in a matter of days if this phone call gave them the news they thought it would.
It rang again and finally Sonny leaned over to retrieve it. “Corinthos.”
A moment passed—all eyes were locked on Sonny. He closed his eyes and nodded. “You’re sure? Okay…okay, well then—yeah, stay there. Look into it. Call me when you know more.” Sonny set the phone down softly and met Elizabeth’s eyes first. “Positive confirmation. Ric and Faith are dead.”
Elizabeth’s shoulders sagged and she closed her eyes, relief mixed with bitter sorrow. “They’re positive?” she asked.
“Johnny saw them himself. They’re gonna stick around the area for a while and figure out what’s up and how they died but—well, as soon as the families give me the word—you’re officially safe.”
Carly touched Elizabeth’s shoulder. “You okay? You’re—you’re not as happy as I thought you’d be.”
“It’s hard to be happy about something like this—I mean I thought I’d be ecstatic but…” Elizabeth sighed and avoided Jason’s eyes. Surely he’d withdraw his agreement to be Laura’s father. Now that this was over—there was no reason for the adoption to go through, no reason for their marriage to continue. She’d be out of his life. “I guess I feel numb—it’ll take some time to sink in.”
Jason cleared his throat and slid his hands in his pockets. “I’ll call Dara tomorrow and tell her to start the annulment process.”
“Yeah.” Sonny frowned—surprised that Jason had been the one to bring it up. “She called while you were at the appointment. The adoption papers are ready to be signed but I guess there’s no point in doing that now, huh?”
“Well—” Jason hesitated and glanced at Elizabeth. Would she still want him even though the danger was passed? Or would she relish the opportunity to get out of this life for good?
Deciding that Jason’s hedging answer and his hurry to get their marriage annulled confirmed her suspicions, Elizabeth nodded. “I guess not.” She stared at her wedding ring again and slowly slid it off her finger. She set it on Sonny’s desk. “I’m—I’m gonna go to the Spencers. Give Luke and Laura the good news.”
Sonny nodded. “Take Andrew with you. The families don’t know about Ric yet—and we just want to be careful.”
Elizabeth nodded and left the penthouse as quickly as possible not even sparing a glance at Jason.
When the door had clicked shut, Carly exhaled slowly. “I—well, I’m sure you have things to talk about so I’ll grab Marco and go see my mother at the hospital. Michael’s upstairs watching cartoons in his room.” She kissed her husband’s cheek and gave Jason a supporting hug before leaving the room.
“When you came off the elevator, Elizabeth was saying something about a custody arrangement,” Sonny said slowly. “What was that about?”
“She asked me to be Laura’s father,” Jason said softly. He picked Elizabeth’s ring off the desk and held it between his thumb and index fingers. It was so tiny it probably wouldn’t fit over his pinky. “But—I guess that doesn’t matter anymore.”
Sonny frowned. “Why wouldn’t it?”
“You heard her. No point in finalizing the adoption. She’s free and she gets to leave this life behind—for good this time.”
“You shouldn’t assume—Jason, there is no guarantee that she’s safe right now. Until the families formally call off the hit on Ric—”
“Which they will as soon as they find out he’s dead. It’s over Sonny, why are you trying to tell me it’s not?” Jason demanded. “We all knew this was a temporary solution. Elizabeth needed to be protected and I was in a position to do it. It’s over.”
August 16, 2003
Quartermaine Estate: Emily’s Bedroom
“It’s done, sweet pea. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were filing for divorce right now.”
Emily picked at her bedspread. “You’ll leave them alone from now on right?” she demanded. “It’s over isn’t it?”
Faith laughed. “Oh, honey—that wasn’t part of the deal. You said I couldn’t hurt them while trying to separate them. And in return—you fill me in on anything I needed to know. Silly little girl. You should know better.”
“Wait a second—you said—”
“I kept my end of it. They think we’re dead. Ingenious really. Now Sonny and Jason won’t even see us coming.” She laughed again. “And the beauty is you’re the only one who knows differently. You won’t be saying a word or your precious brother finds out who betrayed him.”
Emily’s protest was heard only by a dial tone. She stared at the receiver in naked horror. What had she done?