There are some people who were born to make a difference. When you meet these people, you can see that they’re somebody. That they’re making important decisions and changing lives. They’re not always the doctors or the lawyers or teachers. Sometimes…they’re not even good people.
Michael “Sonny” Corinthos was one of these people. He was born in Puerto Rico to a woman who never told his father. Adela Corinthos had smuggled herself and her son out of the country and they started out living in Miami, Florida.
After a few years, Adela married a traveling salesman and they moved to Brooklyn, New York. Sonny met his first wife, Lily, there. But he was only ten at that point and she was seven.
Pretty soon Adela was pregnant with another child, a boy. Richard Lansing was born when Sonny was twelve and shortly after his brother was born, Adela’s husband died, leaving the three of them on their own with no funds. Sonny took to the streets, getting a job as a runner for the local Don.
He was good at the work and he rose through the ranks quickly. He was the right-hand man when he was twenty and by then Lily Rivera was pregnant. He married her and he moved his entire family to a brownstone in their neighborhood. Life was good.
Elizabeth Adela Corinthos was born shortly after their move. The birth was very difficult for Lily and she was unable to have any more children. In Sonny’s world, not having a son was considered a weakness and he was prepared to despise his daughter for taking that chance from him. But one look at his beautiful little angel and he was hooked.
When he was twenty-five, the don was killed abruptly and the territory was left to Sonny, a surprising move since he was so young. But he’d been born to run Brooklyn and he took his brother Ric into the business despite his young age of thirteen. Ric had a friend that he brought home one day–a local boy who lived in the neighborhood. Jason Morgan was three years younger than Ric and had been recently entered into the foster system. Ric asked his brother to find a place for Jason so that he might stay and Sonny did–in their own home. Jason was brought into the family fold and the business but he kept his own name and Sonny and Lily never formally adopted him.
Elizabeth was a flourishing little girl at the age of five when this happened and she was very excited to have someone new around. She would tag after the two older boys, the hem of her dresses stained with dirt and her curling brown hair in messy braids. Ric was more of a brother than an uncle to her and she idolized Jason. He didn’t speak to her as though she were five but like she was his equal.
She announced to her father one day at the dinner table that she intended on marrying Jason, much to the boy’s alarm and her father’s amusement. Lily thought it was adorable that her daughter had found her soul mate so early in life–she was like her mother in that way.
When Elizabeth was ten, Ric went away to college and left Jason behind. Jason never intended on college and was more interested in working for Sonny than he was in high education. It was all Sonny could do to keep the boy in high school until he graduated.
When Elizabeth was thirteen, Lily was diagnosed with stomach cancer and passed away soon after. It devastated the entire family, and Sonny wallowed in despair over it. Jason was eighteen by then and one of the top “button men” working under Sonny.
She was at an awkward stage when her mother died–passing from childhood into being a woman. Her grandmother was no help, being from a different society, a different time. She was a beautiful young teen with pale skin, large blue eyes and curly brown hair. She often garnered attention from other young men in the neighborhood. Sometimes it frightened her–the cat calls, the whistles, the comments she’d receive as she’d walk outside.
One day she was sitting on the front stoop of the brownstone, drawing. She was always sketching then. Lily had always encouraged her daughter’s interest in the arts. She used to sit on Elizabeth’s bed and comb out her daughter’s long hair, weaving a tale about a prince that would sweep her daughter off her feet and take her to Paris where she could see the paintings she’d only read about in books.
She’d seen a shadow stop in front of her out of the corner of her eye and when she glanced up, she saw a short and stocky middle-aged man standing at the bottom of the stairs. He was balding and what little hair he had left looked like it was greasy. He licked his lips and his beady eyes traveled her body.
“Hello there,” he said, his voice sending a chill down her spine. She sat up straight and tucked her hair behind her ears.
“Hello,” she said in a tiny voice. No one had ever come up to her like this–not in front of Sonny Corinthos’s own house.
“Aren’t you just a sweet looking little thing?”
“Are you here to see my father?” Elizabeth asked softly.
The man stepped up, coming closer to her and she shrank back. “Because he’s not here,” Elizabeth continued.
She heard the front door open behind her and someone stepped out onto the top stop. “Who are you?” Jason demanded shortly.
The man stepped away. “Just admiring the scenery.”
Jason stepped down. “This is Elizabeth Corinthos. I assume you’ve heard of her father.”
His eyes widened and he stepped even further back. “Of course. I’ll be going now.” He walked away briskly.
Elizabeth glanced up at him. “Thanks.”
He shrugged and dropped down to the step next to her. “Are you okay?”
She nodded and stared down at her sketchpad, her eyes stinging with tears. “Why do they do that?” she asked.
Jason frowned. “Do they come up to you often?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “Not like that, no. But…sometimes the others whistle or say things…” She darted a quick look at him. “Why do they do that?”
“You’re a beautiful girl, Elizabeth,” he told her. “And some men aren’t like your father or Ric. They’re not good men.”
“What about you?” she asked him. “Why don’t you include yourself in that list?”
He exhaled slowly. “I could only hope to be like them.”
Elizabeth shifted her focus to her bare feet and wiggled her toes a little. “I think you’re a good man,” she admitted in a small voice.
“Promise me you’ll be careful,” Jason said. “Men like that…they don’t always take no for an answer and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
She sighed. “It’s not like Daddy would even notice,” she said mournfully.
“He’s in a bad place,” Jason admitted. “Your mother’s death…it hit him hard.”
“I know. But…she was my mother too and I miss her just as much as he does.” She stretched her long legs down the steps. “Ric’s at college and you’re always working. It’s just me, Daddy and Grandmother.” Elizabeth sighed. “It’s not fair, Jason.”
“Kid, up until now, you’ve had it pretty good.”
“Are you kidding me?” Elizabeth gaped. “Do you know that I’ve never had a friend that Daddy didn’t run a background check on? I never went to a normal school–always private tutors. Jason, I’ve never even met another boy my own age.” She shook her head. “No wonder I told him I was going to marry you. What other options do I have?”
Jason chuckled. “That’ll all change, Elizabeth. Your father’s just being protective of you–you’re his only child.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I always wanted a brother and instead I got Ric and you.” Elizabeth scowled. “I think I was jipped.” She slid him a glance out of the corner of her eye. “Do you remember your family?” she asked.
He shrugged. “My father was gone by the time I was born and I only remember my mother vaguely. She wasn’t around much. And then she died and I was in foster care until your parents took me in.” He stood. “Come on. It’s almost time for you to come in.”
Elizabeth tucked her box of pencils in the back pocket of her jean shorts and tucked her sketch pad underneath her arm. She stood and faced him. They were standing on the same step but he towered over her, looking so much older at eighteen. She scrutinized him for a moment, taking in the short cut of his dark blonde hair, his light blue eyes, the way his black t-shirt stretched across his broad chest. It wasn’t that he was really the only boy she’d ever known–but she really did think he was most gorgeous guy she’d ever seen.
“I’m not a little kid anymore,” she told him, even as her hair was slipping from a messy pony tail, a scab on her knee and a hole in the shoulder of her plain blue t-shirt.
“You’re still only thirteen.” Jason pulled the front door open and went in, expecting her to follow him.
“So?” she asked stubbornly. “Mama used to tell me stories about her older sister who was married when she was fifteen.”
“Lily’s sister isn’t you,” Jason told her. “It was a different generation, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “I’m not saying I want to do it tomorrow…but I’m not a little kid. Why does everyone treat me like I am?”
“Because we still see you that way,” Jason replied, getting impatient. “Come on. It’s dinner time.”
Elizabeth glared at him. “Just you wait, Jason Morgan. You’ll see that I’m not a little kid anymore.” She stormed past him and went into the house.