— Port Charles Courthouse —
Alexis stared at Courtney. “Excuse me?” she finally managed to say, after the stunned silence that seemed to have settled over the people in the audience.
Brenda sighed and reached over to pat Jason’s hand awkwardly. “Hey,” she whispered. “It’s okay. We all do it.”
Jason jerked his hand away and glared at her, causing Ric to give him the obligatory jab in the ribs.
Courtney’s face flushed and she looked down. “He called me Elizabeth,” she repeated.
“Uh…” Alexis blinked and struggled for a direction to take. “I’m probably going to regret asking this–but when?”
“While we were in bed,” Courtney murmured. She stared down at her lap, her fingers twisting in the fabric of her dark blue skirt. “We were sleeping a-and I heard him talking in his sleep. I leaned closer to hear what he was saying and I heard her name.”
“O–okay,” Alexis said. She took a deep breath and turned back to the judge. “I renew my objection. Scott Baldwin has no evidence of an affair, save for this woman’s testimony. I move that her testimony be stricken from the record and that you instruct the jury to disregard.”
“I have the tape!” Scott argued.
“A tape that did not follow the proper chain of evidence,” Alexis clarified. “Your Honor, you must suppress the tape or I will have an excellent point on appeal.”
“She’s right, Baldwin,” the judge told him. “The tape is out–you can’t play it and don’t let me hear you mention it again. Mrs. Courtney Quartermaine’s testimony is out as well.” He looked to the jury. “You are not to consider the testimony of this witness when you retire to your deliberations.”
“Wait a second,” Courtney argued.
“You may step down, Mrs. Quartermaine.”
“Step down, Mrs. Quartermaine,” the judge repeated. He turned to the court. “I know it’s early, but quite frankly, I’m sick of this. We’ll reconvene tomorrow at nine.” He tapped the gavel and left the room.
Courtney finally stood and left the courtroom with a second glance to anyone else. The courtroom slowly emptied out, leaving the Corinthos family and the defense team the only people left in the room.
“Well…” Ric shifted. “At least we got Courtney’s testimony thrown out.”
“Right,” Alexis said firmly. “That’s a good thing.” She started gathering her things into her briefcase. “All in all, I think it was a good day.”
“I need to go talk to Courtney,” Sonny said, abruptly standing and leaving. Carly stood and looked after him.
“I’d better go after him. We just got the mini bar replaced,” she said, taking off after her husband.
Brenda took a deep breath and turned to look at Elizabeth. “We’re still on for brownies tonight right?”
“Right.” Elizabeth didn’t look at Jason, no matter how much she wanted to. “I think…I think I’m gonna need them.”
“Okay, so we’ll go shopping too, right?” Brenda asked. “Because I have this sudden urge to go grocery shopping.”
Jason smirked. “You? Buying food? Better stock up on the microwave brand.”
“Hey, that’s so not fair,” Brenda retorted. “You don’t cook either.”
“Well, I’ll be at the hospital the rest of the evening,” Alexis told them. “Ric? Maybe we should discuss the rest of the trial there?”
“Sure,” Ric said, eager to be away from the arguing duo and Elizabeth. He gathered his on things and left the courtroom with Alexis.
“Well, we should go,” Elizabeth told Brenda.
“Sure, let’s–” Brenda stopped, her eyes catching someone outside. “Ooohh…you know what? I’ll be right back,” she murmured, taking off.
Elizabeth frowned. “No, wait, Brenda–”
Brenda was already out of the doors and Elizabeth glimpsed Jax as the doors swung closed. Jason frowned. “So much for being discreet.”
Elizabeth stood and shifted. “Um…maybe I should wait–”
“Thank you,” Jason interrupted. “For doing what you did today.”
“Well…you’re welcome,” Elizabeth replied. “I’m just sorry it had to come to this. But I think it’s going to be okay, you know? Alexis and Ric are good…I’m sure the rest of the trial will go fine.”
“Yeah.” Jason rubbed the back of his neck. “About what Courtney said–”
“You know what?” Elizabeth broke in hurriedly. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Hey, Webber,” Brenda said, peering around one of the courtroom doors. “Let’s hit the stores.”
Elizabeth hurried away from Jason and out the doors. Brenda eyed Jason. “What’d you do?” she demanded.
“Nothing,” Jason said defensively.
Brenda rolled her eyes. “Sure.” She grinned. “See ya at home honey.”
Jason glared at her.
— Grocery Store —
“I want the most chocolate available,” Brenda mused, examining a box of brownie mix. “I am definitely in need.”
“I noticed Jax wasn’t in the courtroom today,” Elizabeth said, eyeing the display of Pepsi at the end of the aisle.
“Yeah, Alexis banned him,” Brenda replied. She set the mix in the cart and put another two boxes in after it. “So, what’s your take on Courtney?”
Elizabeth snorted as she put the bottles of soda in the cart. “Little psycho.”
“Psycho…nah, she’s too dumb to be psychotic,” Brenda murmured. Her eyes lit up. “Hey, you wanna make a pizza?”
“Pizza?” Elizabeth asked. “If you’re talking the frozen kind you pop into the oven, sure.”
“Oooh…no, when I was dating Sonny, about the only things I picked up was to duck in the shower and how to make the most unbelievable Italian pizza you’ve ever tasted.”
“Duck in the shower?” Elizabeth repeated.
“Don’t ask. So, you think that was the only time he said your name or do you think he did it during sex, too?” Brenda asked.
Elizabeth jerked to a stop in the middle of the aisle and stared at her.
— Corinthos Penthouse —
“I’m trying really hard to be understanding about this,” Sonny said, glaring at his partner. “But the fact that I had to hear about you and my sister in front of half the town–”
“And I already apologized for it,” Jason cut in.
“Hey, listen you two,” Carly tried to break in. “Sonny, Jason–”
“How could you betray me like this?” Sonny demanded, ignoring his wife.
“Betray?” Jason repeated. “I did not betray you.”
“You broke my sister’s heart–”
“And Courtney tried to have Jason convicted,” Carly argued. “I think they’ve both done enough damage without you adding to it.”
“Carly, stay out of–”
“The hell I will,” Carly snapped. “Butt out, Sonny. Courtney is over eighteen and can handle her own life.”
“Did you know about this?” Sonny demanded. Sensing that the fight no longer concerned him, Jason rubbed the back of his neck and exited the penthouse.
He needed a ride.
— Grocery Store —
Brenda shrugged. “Well, I figured we could either dance around it all night or get right down to it.”
Elizabeth blinked and shook her head. “I…I don’t want to think about it,” she murmured. She pushed cart down the aisle. “What kind of sauce do you want?”
“Come on, Elizabeth–”
“Brenda, I like you. I think you’re a great person but I don’t–”
“Are you in love with him?” Brenda interrupted.
Elizabeth stared at her. “Does the word tact mean anything to you?” she asked.
“Not a thing,” Brenda replied. She picked up a can of sauce and studied the back of it. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“We’re not having this conversation.”
“He’s in love with you, you know.”
“I’m serious,” Brenda replied, picking up another can. She set it in the cart as well as three other cans of the same brand.
“I have no doubt of that,” Elizabeth replied. “But it doesn’t mean anything.”
“It doesn’t?” Brenda asked. She raised her eyebrows. “You’re in love with him, he’s in the love with you. Gee, I’d say that means a lot.”
“He’s with Courtney and I’m dating Ric,” Elizabeth replied. “Let’s get some cheese.”
“I don’t think he’s going to be with the little nut much longer and Ric?” Brenda snorted. “Please. He’s a nice guy and all, but he’s not your type.”
“Not my type, huh?” Elizabeth raised her eyebrows. “You’ve known me for like a day.”
“Yeah, well, time is a relative thing,” Brenda told her. “You’re just like me. Attracted to bad boys.”
“And this has nothing to do with your crazy theory about me and Jason?” Elizabeth asked, bluntly.
“Not a thing,” Brenda replied firmly. “You get a sense about some people. You like what being with a bad boy can give you.”
“And what’s that?” Elizabeth asked, scanning a row of mozzarella cheese.
“Freedom,” Brenda said simply. Elizabeth straightened and stared at her for a minute. Brenda shifted. “What?”
“How…” she shook her head and looked away. “So, how does Jax fit in with your bad boy thing?”
“He doesn’t,” Brenda replied. “I found Jax when I wasn’t looking for anything. Sonny and I had just broken up and I wanted a way to forget the pain of losing him. So I married Jax. And to tell you the truth? Haven’t regretted it.” Brenda gave her new friend an easy smile. “Sometimes the best things in life happen when you’re not looking for them.”
— Morgan Penthouse —
When Jason entered the penthouse later that night, he heard laughing and giggling from the kitchen. He knew it was Brenda and Elizabeth and that sane thing to do would be to go upstairs and pretend they weren’t there.
Instead, he headed towards the kitchen and couldn’t help but smile grudgingly. There were two pizza pies sitting on the counter and Elizabeth and Brenda were presently covered in chocolate.
Brenda heard his approach and turned to wave at him. “Hey, husband. Hungry?”
Elizabeth’s smile faded at the sight of him and she turned towards the sink to grab a washrag to start to wipe off the brownie mix.
Brenda glared at Elizabeth’s back. “I’m going to go upstairs to clean up,” she said. “Jase, feel free to have some pizza. Don’t worry, it’s Sonny’s recipe.” She disappeared.
“Sorry about the mess,” Elizabeth murmured as she slid a pan of brownies into the oven. “Brenda started it.”
“Yeah–she can be a little strange,” Jason replied. He watched her for a minute–her movements were stiff and jerky.
“Is it always going to be like this?” he asked her. Elizabeth stopped and turned to look at him.
“What?” Elizabeth asked. She shifted and leaned against the counter.
“You and me,” Jason clarified. He gestured towards her. “Is it always going to be…this…awkward?”
“I don’t know,” Elizabeth replied. She rummaged through one of the drawers. “I don’t suppose you have a pizza cutter?”
“I doubt it,” Jason answered.
She fished out a steak knife. “This will have to do,” Elizabeth said. “You want a piece?”
“Depends. Will eating it kill me?” Jason asked, leaning against the doorframe.
Elizabeth chuckled. “I don’t know–the combination of me and Brenda in the kitchen is a strange one.” She sunk the knife into one of the pies and started cutting it. “But they smell good, don’t they?”
“Yeah,” Jason agreed. He watched her as she cut a few slices and set them on paper plates. A bit of sauce was on her thumb and she licked it off. He wondered if this was what it was like–to come home to the person you wanted to be with–that you loved and cared about.
“I’m sorry,” he blurted out suddenly. Elizabeth frowned and looked at him.
“I’m sorry,” Jason repeated.
She set the knife in the kitchen sink and eyed him curiously. “You’re sorry,” she reiterated. “For what?”
“I’m sorry that you had to hear it from Courtney,” Jason said.
Elizabeth stared at him, her heartbeat speeding up rapidly. Brenda, who had caught the end of Jason’s statement, lurked just out of sight and hoped like hell Jason was going where she thought he was going.
“Hear what?” she asked softly.
“That I love you.”