Chapter Nine

Lily sat behind the defense table during the bail hearing. She was relieved to see Luke Spencer slip into a seat next to her–at least Elizabeth still had the man in her corner. She knew how much Luke meant to Elizabeth and it was a relief to know that Lucky’s father felt the same way.

“Did Morgan send you here?” he asked Lily just as the court was called into session.

“Yeah,” Lily admitted. “But I would have come anyway. Neither one of us wants her to spend a night in jail, so I’m going to bail her out.”

“No matter what the price?” Luke asked, curiously.

“No matter what,” Lily confirmed. Feeling the need to explain why Jason hadn’t shown up and deciding the truth wasn’t a good idea, she said, “Jason didn’t think his presence would help very much–he thought the judge would deny her bail.”

“Probably,” Luke agreed. “I hear Mac and Taggart were the two who arrested her. Mac’s a good guy–he probably didn’t even use the cuffs.”

Lily wrinkled her nose at the names of Port Charles’s two cops. Despite how nice they’d been to Elizabeth, they still hassled Jason every chance they got. Well, not Mac Scorpio. He seemed content to wait for actual evidence before hauling Jason in for questioning. “I hope not,” she finally said before returning her attention to the hearing.

“Your Honor, Elizabeth Spencer is an upstanding citizen,” Alexis was saying. “She has lived in Port Charles for nearly two years, has ties to the community–”

“A night club does not count,” Scott Baldwin cut in. Alexis glared at him.

“The Outback is a family restaurant,” Alexis corrected. “Which Mrs. Spencer has operated for a little over three months. She is close with the former owners, Police Commissioner Mac Scorpio and his wife, Felicia.” She gestured towards the back of the room where the two were seated. “They’re both willing to testify on her behalf. She is the daughter-in-law of former mayor, Luke Spencer, who will also testify.”

“Who knew that mayor thing would come in handy?” Luke muttered. Lily smiled.

“Elizabeth Spencer is also a known associate of Jason Morgan,” Scott cut in.

Elizabeth whispered something to Alexis then who looked at her oddly before saying, “Mrs. Spencer says that she and Mr. Morgan were acquaintances, having met through Lily Corinthos.”

“Widow of Sonny Corinthos,” Scott clarified.

“Widow being the operative word. Sonny Corinthos has been dead for three years,” Alexis argued. “He was never convicted of anything higher than a traffic ticket and neither has Jason Morgan.”

“She’s right, Baldwin,” the judge said. “Bail set for a hundred thousand dollars.”

Lily grimaced. “Definitely gonna have to use Jason’s checkbook for this.”

Alexis and Elizabeth noticed Lily then. “Lily,” she stated, the surprise evident on her face.

“Hey, girl,” Lily said, leaning over the barrier to pull the other woman into a hug. “How are you?”

“I-I’m fine,” Elizabeth murmured, hugging her back. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“As soon as Alexis called, I came down,” Lily said. She leaned closer to her so only Elizabeth would hear her next words. “I know what happened and he’s a jerk.”

Elizabeth tried to smile and instead, starting to cry. Luke frowned at the other woman. “You’re not supposed to make her cry, Corinthos.”

“Listen, I’m posting bail, and you and Lex are coming to stay with me, all right?” Lily said.

Elizabeth shook her head. “I couldn’t let you do that.”

“Don’t worry. The beast will stay in his own apartment, I promise.”

Elizabeth managed a teary smile. “Thanks, Lily.”

“And here’s some sweet justice…my bank account doesn’t have that amount in it right this second, so I have to use Jason’s checkbook.” Lily grinned. “I love spending his money.”

—-

“Alexis is pretty confident she can get the testimony thrown out,” Lily said later that night to Jason.

“That’s good,” Jason murmured. He looked up from the paperwork he was going over. “Is she….is she okay?”

“About arrest, yeah. She knew Nikolas wasn’t going to let up. About what happened earlier–”

“Lily.”

“–no, she’s not okay.” She leaned over the dining room table, her hands braced on the surface. “Alexis told me that Elizabeth was stunned when she agreed to come to the station. Seems she thought Alexis wouldn’t be her lawyer anymore.”

“Alexis likes Elizabeth,” Jason said. “She’s not limited to just working for me.”

“And she was positively surprised when I showed up in the courtroom. She thought she’d lose me too.”

“But she didn’t.”

“Damn it, Jason, you don’t understand–she’s been charged with murder. She feels like she’s hit rock bottom. Having you kick her out of your life was the last thing she needed today.”

“I didn’t know she was going to be arrested–you can’t blame that on me,” Jason argued.

“Oh, do not try and pass yourself off as innocent,” Lily fumed. “You are the one who dumped her, remember? For no other reason than your own stupidity.”

“Lily, I swear–”

Lily sighed and straightened. She pulled the chair out from the table and sat down. “I know you still feel guilty,” she began quietly. “And I don’t want you to think there’s a day that goes by when I don’t feel guilty either.”

“You have nothing to feel guilty about,” Jason said firmly.

“I was his wife,” Lily said. “And I will always feel guilty that he got into that car alone.” She looked away. “So I know how you feel. But you can’t think that because of Sonny’s stupid mistake…you can’t think that means you can’t have someone in your life.”

“It has nothing to do with Sonny,” Jason insisted.

“Right,” Lily replied. “It’s because you don’t want her hurt.”

“Right,” Jason agreed.

“And that’s bullshit.”

Jason muttered something under his breath before glaring at Lily. “Why don’t you leave this alone?”

“Because this is my fault,” Lily told him. “I’m the one who encouraged Elizabeth. And now that her heart’s been broken, I feel responsible. So I can’t let this go. Because I know you’re in love with her.”

“Lily, arguing with me is not going to change my mind.”

“You don’t even deny it.” Lily leaned forward. “I think she’s in love with you, too.”

“Stop it.”

“You don’t want to hear it, do you?” Lily accused. “Because then it makes it real–then you have to really think about what you’re giving up.”

Jason looked ready to strangle his friend but before he could, Johnny opened the door. “Mrs. Spencer would like to speak with Mrs. Corinthos.”

“Tell her to come in,” Lily said.

“Lily,” Jason hissed. Lily just raised her eyebrows and smirked at him. Elizabeth appeared around the edge of the open door to the penthouse. She avoided Jason entirely.

“Um, Michael’s asking for you,” Elizabeth said.

“I’ll be right over.” Lily stood and looked back at Jason. “Do you want to say goodnight to him?”

Jason glared at her. “No. I’ll see him tomorrow.”

“Fine,” Lily said. She deliberately took her time pushing the chair in and took great joy in the way Jason was shifting uncomfortably in his chair. As she walked away from the table, Jason looked up for some reason and met Elizabeth’s eyes.

She broke the contact almost immediately and crossed her arms tightly waiting for Lily to finish her slow walk across the room.

Finally, she’d reached the door and Elizabeth practically flew out. Lily turned back to look at Jason. “You think about what I said. Think about what you’re giving up.”

—-

Lily came down the steps from tucking her son into bed. Elizabeth had already put Lex down for the night and was sitting on the couch.

“Ariel called–the manager at the Outback,” Elizabeth said. “The police searched it, from top to bottom. She closed it for the night.”

“I really am sorry about all of this,” Lily said.

Elizabeth shrugged. “It’s not a big deal. I’m innocent, so I know Alexis can take care of this. I also know there’s almost no evidence against me except the driver.”

“Right.” Lily looked away. “But I meant I was sorry about Jason.”

“That’s not your fault. I made a bad judgment call,” Elizabeth said softly. “I read too much into things.”

“No,” Lily insisted. “You didn’t. He does care about you. He’s just…he’s scared.”

“Scared?” Elizabeth echoed. “What does he have to be scared about?”

Lily hesitated. “Did he ever say anything about my husband’s death?” she asked.

“He told me his best friend died three years ago,” Elizabeth replied. “And that he pushed everyone away. You, his sister, his family, and Robin.”

“Sonny’s death…it’s had…it’s had a bad effect on Jason,” Lily said quietly. “A very bad one. It’s changed him. Before Sonny died, Jason wasn’t all that open, but if you knew him, if you really knew him–he couldn’t hide what he was feeling. Robin used to love that. She used to say it like it was their little secret–that Jason really wore his heart on his sleeve if anyone ever cared enough to look.” Lily looked up to meet Elizabeth’s eyes. “Robin was good for him in the beginning. He was still struggling with the aftermath of the accident–”

“Accident?” Elizabeth asked. “What accident?”

Lily frowned. “You don’t know about the accident?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No. I don’t. Tell me.”

“Well, about a year or so before Sonny’s death, Jason’s brother AJ got them both in a car accident. He was drunk, you know. Jason was in a coma and when he woke up, he couldn’t remember a thing. In fact, he had brain damage which prevented him from remembering his life. His family kept pushing for him to remember, but he couldn’t and when it got to be too much he left the house. He changed his name. He’s a completely different person now.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth looked away. “I had…I had no idea.”

Lily leaned forward. “Does this change the way you feel about him?”

“No,” Elizabeth said. “Not at all. It’s just sad.”

“It is. Well, Jason was still struggling with finding a new path in life, and Robin was good to him in the beginning. But after Sonny’s death, Jason was expected…to well…step up, you know.” Lily shifted and sighed. “And that’s when the second transformation took place. He closed off, stopped talking to most of the people he cared about. Emily, Robin, Sonny’s father, Mike…” Lily looked back to Elizabeth. “When I first met Jason, I was also a different person. I’d grown up in this business, the marriage to Sonny was originally a business deal. But I loved him and I think Sonny loved me too. Anyway, I was as sweet and quiet as they came–”

“You? Quiet?” Elizabeth couldn’t help but smile.

“Yep. I never spoke up, never tried to take charge. But after Sonny’s death, when Jason started pulling away, I just felt like I couldn’t let that happen. I knew he was hurting–and I was, too. I thought we could help each other. So I made the decision to not let Jason shove me out, too.”

“I guess it worked.”

“It was hard at first,” Lily admitted. “Because I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Forcing myself on Jason. I knew Sonny had made Jason promise to take care of me if anything were to happen, and I used that promise. I practically guilt tripped him into this friendship, but in the end, it worked. I’m still the only person Jason didn’t force out and he couldn’t now if he tried. He’s my best friend and I want is for him to be happy.”

“He won’t let himself be happy,” Elizabeth said. She stared down at the couch.

“He doesn’t think he deserves to,” Lily confessed. “He’s never said it, but I just know it. He thinks that his life is too complicated for someone else to handle and I think personally, that you got way too close for his comfort. So he reacted on instinct. He shut down and shoved out.”

“I wish I could have changed his mind,” Elizabeth said quietly. She looked up at Lily. “He has such a nice smile and a good laugh. I wish he’d do both more often.”

“Me, too.” Lily leaned forward. “Don’t give up yet. He’ll come around. Like I said, he’s just scared. He needs some time to adjust to his feelings for you and with me around, he won’t have a choice.”

Elizabeth gave her a little smile. “Why do I suddenly feel sorry for Jason?”

Lily laughed. “Because with the ideas I’ve got, he’ll need sympathy by the time I’m done with him.” She grasped Elizabeth’s hands. “But no matter how that works out or whatever else happens, you’re not getting rid of me either.”

Elizabeth smiled gratefully. “Thanks, Lily.” She frowned. “Lily?”

“Yeah?”

“How did Sonny die?”

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