Jeff entered Kelly’s, looking for someone he knew who’d know where Elizabeth was living. He needed to find her—needed to make her understand that she couldn’t tell anyone.
Jeff wasn’t proud of the way he’d raised Elizabeth. He knew he’d taken discipline too far sometimes—but every time he saw the girl, he was reminded of Katherine and Mike Corbin. His blood began to boil whenever he thought about the man and the affair he’d had with his wife.
Jeff searched the small diner—but couldn’t find anyone. He left and took a walk down by the docks.
He’d met Katherine Barrington just after she’d left finishing school and they’d been married a year later. He didn’t love her and she didn’t love him, but the match was socially acceptable and the two got along. Sarah and Steven were born within five years.
It was then the marriage began to sour. Katherine began to grow distant, would spend hours staring into space. It had been months before Jeff even noticed, but by the time he had, Katherine was already pregnant with Mike’s child.
Jeff’s eyes flashed as he remembered the day Katherine told him she was leaving him for Mike. She’d actually thought she could get away with it. She had gone—but it had only taken a sum of money and a few idle threats before Mike Corbin disappeared.
He’d expected Katherine to return right away, but it’d been a few months before she did. Jeff still wasn’t sure why he’d wanted the tramp back—maybe it was just to prove to her that no one left Jeff Webber and got away with it.
He’d worn her down and finally, Katherine had moved back home. The child had been born, a lovely little girl that looked like Katherine—with Mike Corbin’s eyes. Jeff had always been irritated when seeing Elizabeth, but it wasn’t until the little girl had been seven years old and had smarted off to him.
Her eyes had flashed and he was reminded of the way her mother had looked the day she’d left him. He’d smacked her straight across the face—and for the first time, his anger had been satisfied. And after a while, disciplining Elizabeth was the only thing that kept Jeff in line.
He’d never loved Elizabeth—and he was sorry if she’d ever had the illusion. Truth be told, Jeff wasn’t sure he loved anyone—including his daughter and son, neither of whom spoke to him anymore. He sure as hell didn’t love Katherine. Katherine didn’t love anyone except herself anyway.
Oh sure, for the first years since Jeff’s discipline of Elizabeth had begun, Katherine might speak up in her defense, but Jeff had taken care of that quickly. He’d threatened to cut Katherine off from the money and throw her out, without any contact with her three children. Katherine had never tried to stop him again.
The only time Jeff was ever worried about the way he’d treated Elizabeth was the morning that he’d caught her sneaking back in her room. When Jason Quartermaine had come to her rescue. For the first time, Jeff worried about Elizabeth and who else she’d told. It quickly became apparent that the Quartermaine boy was her only confidant. And after his accident, Jeff felt like he could breathe again. The boy didn’t remember Elizabeth, much less anything about her father.
Jeff’s anger had gotten worse after that—he’d been furious that Elizabeth had told anyone, much less a Quartermaine. Katherine was withdrawing again—and Jeff discovered that Mike Corbin had returned to town to claim his son, Sonny Corinthos. Shortly before Elizabeth’s eighteenth birthday, Jeff discovered that Katherine and Mike had been meeting again. Worried that Mike might try and claim Elizabeth, Jeff decided to take the initiative.
He’d told Elizabeth the truth and had her thrown out. He’d taken Katherine to Europe and they hadn’t returned until now. Jeff hadn’t expected to run into Elizabeth within his first week—but from the look in her eyes, he could tell she was still terrified.
A terror he could use to ensure that Elizabeth never told anyone again. But first, he had to find her. He knew she lived with Emily Quartermaine—but any information other than that was difficult to come by. Elizabeth had taken her place as Sonny’s sister, and Emily was a close family friend. No one discussed the Corinthos family or their friends for any amount of money, Jeff was quickly beginning to understand.
Because the history between himself and Elizabeth was no one’s business but his and hers. There was no need for anyone to come in and try to convince Elizabeth that it wasn’t her fault. Because Jeff knew it was. She was an illegitimate child he’d been forced to raise to save face. He’d given her his name, the best schools, the best upbringing and she’d still mouthed off to him. She’d provoked him to do everything—it was entirely Elizabeth’s fault.
Emily checked her watch and sighed. Lucky was late. She’d been so excited to see the WSB agent and now he was over twenty minutes late. She sat back on the park bench and crossed her legs. Lucky was only back in town for a little while and she hadn’t seen him for a year. She was anxious to fill him in on all the news. Jason being back, her relationship with Nikolas, the new snobby Deception model that Emily abhorred, the newest Quartermaine family news with Ned’s new baby and the newest illegitimate child, not to mention her relationship with Nikolas.
Emily frowned as she heard laughter drifting her way. She recognized Lucky’s…and the girl with him. She stood and glared as Lucky Spencer emerged from a path—Gia Campbell on his arm. He’d been in town two days and he’d already met Gia?
“Em!” Lucky said, releasing Gia’s arm and wrapping her in a tight hug. “It’s been too long!”
Emily hugged him back, gritting her teeth. “You too! What’s going on?” She pulled away and threw a look at Gia. “How do you know Gia?”
Lucky turned and extended his hand towards the model. “I met Gia in France a few months ago. We’ve been writing each other.”
Emily studied Gia’s face as she stood next to Lucky. The snobby girl…she looked happy. Emily frowned. Did Gia like Lucky that way? “So are you two together?”
Emily gaped as Gia flushed. “Yeah,” she admitted.
Emily grinned at Lucky. “That’s amazing!” She hugged her friend again. “I’m glad you found someone.”
“Actually—” Lucky hesitated. “We need your help.”
Emily gestured towards the bench. They sat down and she turned to him. “What’s up?”
Lucky and Gia exchanged looks. “We’re actually flying to London tonight.”
Emily’s face fell. “But you just got home!”
“I know, Em, and I’m sorry,” Lucky said quickly. “But I’ll only be gone for a few weeks. Gia…and I….well, we’re getting married.”
Emily’s head began to spin. “Wait, I just find out today that not only do you know each other, that you’re getting married…are you two sure?”
Gia nodded firmly. “More than sure,” she said. “I love him.”
Lucky looked at her fondly. “I love her.”
Emily wondered idly if the way they were looking at each other was the way she and Nikolas looked at one other. If so, she and Nikolas needed to discuss the pukage factor. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts she said, “All right. What do you need me to do?”
“Run interference with Carly,” Gia said. “I know we don’t get along, Emily, but Carly hates me more than you do. I don’t want to wreck this amazing day by getting into a fight with her.”
“You want me to tell Carly?” Emily said, skeptically. “Do I look like I have a death wish? Why not tell Laura? I mean, she’ll be happy for you.”
Lucky scratched his head. “We just came from there. Dad supports the marriage, but Mom’s a bit upset with Gia.”
Gia bit her lip. “I told her I was giving up my career.”
Emily gaped at her. “Why?”
“I can’t be with Lucky and be a model,” Gia explains. “You know what he does–and I want to be able to be with him. So I’m going to train.”
“You’re going into the WSB?” Emily asked in a hushed voice. “You?”
Gia looked irritated. “What’s that supposed to mean? Just because I’m pretty I can’t be an agent? Felicia Jones is an agent—why am I any different?”
Emily took a deep breath. “Look, the two of you have thrown me for a loop today. You need to give me a few seconds to absorb this.” She fiddled with her purse strap for a few moments. “All right. I’ll run interference with Carly—but you have to promise me that this is what you really want.”
Gia nodded firmly. “I do.”
Lucky grinned. “Thanks. You’re the best.”
“Yeah,” Emily grumbled as they stood. “I am, aren’t I?” She sighed. “If it’s not one thing…it’s another.”
Lucky frowned. Turning to Gia, he said, “Hey…why don’t you give me and Em some time…? I’ll meet you at the club in an hour.”
Gia nodded and kissed him. She disappeared down the path. Emily watched her go.
“You know, I can’t stand her,” Emily murmured. “I never thought you’d end up with her.”
“She was in France a few months ago…doing a shoot. Me and Dad were on assignment—” Lucky stopped and shook his head. “That’s not what’s important. What’s wrong?”
Emily rubbed her eyes. “Everything—but it’s nothing I can tell you.”
“Are you okay?” Lucky asked. “I mean…can you tell me that?”
“Yeah. I’m confused…and…” she paused. “One of my friends…is going through a bad time and I’m trying to be there for her, but I don’t know what to do to help. I mean, I could listen—but she’s got that. And I hate not being able to help,” Emily said.
Lucky took her hand in his and squeezed. “I’m sure your friend knows how much you love her. We can’t always help the people we love.”
“I know. But it doesn’t help me,” Emily muttered. “I also…I’m angry with her—she didn’t tell me—for years…she didn’t let me in. Then she told me and she shut me right out again. And I know it’s a stupid and selfish reason to be angry but I can’t help that.”
Lucky shrugged. “You’re human, Em. You have your own life to lead and no matter how much you want to help, you can’t all the time.”
Emily wrinkled her nose, irritated. “I hate when you make sense.”
Lucky grinned. “I know.”
She hugged him tightly. “Be happy, Lucky.”
He smiled into her hair. “I will.”
Carly’s day wasn’t going half bad. She’d gone to work, managed to avoid Laura Spencer, and had even stopped thinking about Elizabeth for a little while.
She was in the lobby of the Harborview Towers when a man stepped in her path. Slightly irritated but determined not to let it ruin her day, she gave him a bright smile and tried to pass him.
“Do you know which apartment Elizabeth Webber lives in?” the man asked.
Immediately, Carly frowned. “Why? Who are you?”
Jeff Webber stuck out his hand out. “I’m her father. Jeff Webber.”
Carly’s eyes narrowed and glittered angrily. “Is that so? Well, I’m Carly. Carly Corinthos. Sonny’s wife. And Elizabeth’s sister-in-law.”
Jeff froze—and wondered if he was too late for stop Elizabeth from telling anyone. He relaxed—trying not to panic. “Nice to meet you.” His hand wavered in the air a little longer before it became apparent that Carly wasn’t going to take it. “Ah, yes, well, do you know which apartment she’s in?”
“If you’re her father,” Carly said, the disgust dripping from her voice, “then you ought to know.” She took a step closer to him, her face only a breath away. “Stay away from her, if you know what’s good for you. Don’t talk to her, don’t talk about her, don’t even think about her. You’d be better off pretending you’d never met her. Do we understand one another?”
“I raised her,” Jeff argued. “I have a right to her.”
“Your rights ended the day you tossed her out of your house and onto my husband’s doorstep, got it?” Carly stepped back and crossed her arms. “Is there anything else?”
“You can’t keep me from her,” Jeff protested—albeit weakly. He knew that Elizabeth had said something—what he wasn’t sure.
“No…maybe I can’t,” Carly said. She tilted her head to the side. “But Jason can.”
“Jason?” Jeff frowned. Jason Quartermaine?
“You remember Jason,” Carly spit out. “He and Elizabeth were close when they were younger—and they’re just as close now.” She waited a beat. “No secrets between them.”
Jeff took a step back, understanding the meaning of Carly’s words. He stared at her for another moment before turning and leaving.
Carly stared after him and ran a shaky hand through her hair. She turned back towards the elevators.
Elizabeth tucked her feet underneath and sipped her hot chocolate. Jason was next to her going over warehouse invoices. Things had been awkward between them most of the day and she didn’t really understand why. She got the distinct feeling that something was on his mind.
She was considering going home to the apartment tonight. While staying here helped her to sleep, she couldn’t depend on him the rest of her life. She had to stand strong, on her own two feet. She hadn’t even left the penthouse since seeing Jeff a few days ago. She’d been hiding—and she’d told herself that it wasn’t going to happen anymore.
Finally Jason set the papers on the table and turned to her. “We need to talk.”
“Yes,” Elizabeth agreed. “We do.” She sipped her drink, waiting for him to continue.
“I like when you’re here,” Jason started. “And I was wondering—”
Elizabeth bit her lip and looked away. She knew what he was going to ask and she didn’t want him to finish the question. Because she knew she had to say no. It’d be all too easy to move in with him and let him protect her from everything—including seeing Jeff. And as tempting as it was, she knew that it wouldn’t help in the end. Because all she would be doing is delaying the inevitable.
“Jason, wait,” she cut in before he could finish. “I know what you’re going to ask.”
“You do?” Jason asked, hesitantly.
“You’re asking me to move in,” Elizabeth stated. Jason nodded, confirming it. She sighed. “You know I want to, right? That there’s nothing I’d like more.”
“But?” Jason prompted.
“But,” Elizabeth continued, “I’d feel like I was taking the easy way out and that’s not what I want to do. I could move in—and I could continue to hole up here where Jeff Webber can’t touch me—but that’s not going to solve my problems.” She took a deep breath. “The only way to solve my problem is show him that he’s not going to rule my life, that he hasn’t won. And that means going home, going back to work, taking my life back.”
“Do you?” she asked. “Do you really? Because the last I want to do is hurt you, Jason. You’re too important to me.”
“I do understand,” Jason answered. “And I even agree. I want to help, that’s all. You know that.”
“Yeah, I know,” Elizabeth said quietly. She met his eyes. “But doesn’t mean I still don’t want to see you. Just that…we can’t move as fast as we’d like. I have a lot of things to work through…”
“I know.” Jason took her hand in his. “And I’ll do whatever you need.”
“No matter what it is?” Elizabeth asked, hesitantly.
“Anything,” Jason said, firmly.