Written in 61 minutes.
PCPD: Commissioner’s Office
“No, no, I told you. I’ll handle this myself. Yeah—I’ve been waiting for this.” Jordan hung up the phone and looked across the desk at Nathan West. “Get the surveillance report on Morgan and Corinthos for the last few days—” She got to her feet, tucking her gun in the holster at her back and clipping the badge to her belt. “That was Baker’s parole officer. He missed his appointment today and he hasn’t been to work since Thanksgiving.”
Nathan furrowed his brow. “I’ll pull the report, Commissioner, but if they saw a crime—”
“I never expected to catch them in the act.” Jordan jerked a shoulder and went towards the door. “All I have to do is put them in the area.”
Nathan pulled out his cell phone to make the call, but he wasn’t sure why Jordan was so confident—they’d need a whole lot more to put someone away than being in the area where a crime was committed.
Port Charles High School: Hallway
Joss pulled her algebra book from the shelf and tossed it in her bag. She slammed the locker shut, then jumped at the sight of Emma and Trina right next to it. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
“Sorry—” Emma elbowed Trina. “Go ahead.”
“Um, about Thanksgiving—” Trina began.
“No, don’t bother. I’m not interested in another truce that’s only going to last until you get annoyed with me again.” Joss slung her bag over her shoulder. “We’ve been irritating each other since the sand box. You don’t like me, and I—” She paused. “Well, you don’t like me. We don’t have to keep pretending—”
“No, just wait—” Emma snagged Joss by the elbow. “I feel bad because we did totally call a truce, and Trina was just saying that we haven’t pulled any pranks since the hair dye—”
“Which you deserved—”
“Because I told Oscar Nero that crap about you—yeah, well, I only did that because of what you told him,” Joss reminded her, and Trina made a face.
“Wait, what did you say?” Emma frowned. “Treen?”
“I—” Trina hissed. “I told Oscar that Joss’s mom is, like, a crazy person. Like, certifiably insane. Um, that she’s done time in a mental institution. Which isn’t really a lie—”
“Trina—” Emma scowled. “That’s almost as bad as Thanksgiving—”
“I know I did a lot of things when we were kids—I said things,” Joss corrected, “that I didn’t know were hurtful. And you’re never really going to like me because of it, Trina. I get it. I’m not looking for you to like me. We’re not friends.”
“It’s been pointed out to me,” Trina said slowly, “that we’re not kids anymore and we shouldn’t be acting like it.”
“I’m not looking for us to be okay,” Joss said. “I just—I just want it to be civil. When Cam’s around. He’s my best friend. I don’t want to lose that.”
“And you shouldn’t. Cam was really pissed about last week. He was right. We were totally out of line, and I’m sorry.”
“Me, too,” Trina offered.
“Okay.” Joss nodded. “Um, thanks, I guess.” The warning bell rang. “I gotta go, or I’m gonna get detention again.” She headed to class, but felt a bit lighter. Maybe things were going to be okay.
Baker House: Living Room
Jordan knew as soon as they got inside the house—the smell of sewage permeated the small, one-story house.
“Call for CSU,” Jordan told one of the officers, then nodded to Nathan. “Let’s go.” She headed towards the smell, across the living room, and down the short hallway—the bedroom door had been left open—
They could see Tom Baker sprawled on his back, simply laying as if he were asleep. Nathan approached the bed, coming around Jordan. He tapped the exposed foot—and it moved. “Body’s out of rigor,” he told Jordan.
“Looking at least twenty-four hours—” Jordan clicked on her flashlight, moved it around the room. “And judging by the smell and the missed shift on Thursday evening—” Her light stopped on the wall opposite of the bed. Her flashlight illuminated several photos pinned up. “What are those—”
Nathan went to take a closer look, his jaw clenching. “That’s Maxie’s little cousin, Emma. And Carly’s kid, Joss. Hell, that’s Morgan’s wife.” He turned back to Jordan. “And there’s another girl I’ve seen around Emma—”
“Trina,” Jordan murmured. Marcus’s little girl. Pinned up on the wall of a man suspected of rape. She exhaled slowly. “He’s got pictures of teenaged girls—”
“And one adult woman.” Nathan stepped even closer. “Shit, Commissioner, he was stalking them—” He turned back to Baker. “No signs of foul play—if Morgan did this, why did he leave the photos up?”
“To make sure we knew what he was,” Jordan murmured. Her stomach twisted. Oh, God. Had Tom Baker hunted girls connected to Elizabeth and Marcus? “I don’t care what it looks like. We treat it like a murder until the autopsy comes back.”
She looked back at the body. “We work it until we know the truth, Nathan. We don’t pick the victim—”
“No, but he sure hell did,” Nathan retorted.
“Yeah, I got the message. We don’t pick the victim. We just find the answers.”
Greystone: Living Room
Sonny closed the double doors behind Jason and turned to his partner, his face somber and pale. “I got a call from the PCPD—”
“What’s wrong? You look like—” Jason stilled. “Is it one of the kids? Morgan—”
“No. No. Nothing like that—” Sonny shook his head. “Baker’s dead.”
“Baker—” Jason stared at him. “I don’t—what are you talking about?”
“Parole called in a welfare check after a missed appointment. Baker hasn’t shown for work since Thursday evening. Thanksgiving,” Sonny clarified. “They found him in his house.”
“What happened?” Jason’s chest tightened, and he thought of the strange conversation with Robin—
“No signs of foul play,” Sonny said. “So it might be natural, but she’s gonna look at us hard.” He smiled faintly. “Aren’t we lucky we’ve got a good alibi for the entire day? Jordan can ask a couple of former cops, WSB agents, and commissioners about us.”
“Yeah,” Jason said slowly. “Lucky for us.”
“I thought you might want to tell Elizabeth yourself. I didn’t think she should hear it through the grapevine.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’ll make sure to get to her.” Jason left then, and pulled out his phone as he left the house. But it wasn’t Elizabeth he called—
He had a feeling she wouldn’t be surprised.
“Robin. Where are you?”
“At home. Why?”
“Stay there. I’ll be right there.”
Scorpio-Drake House: Living Room
Robin hadn’t seen Jason this unsettled in a long time, but as her ex-boyfriend paced the room, she started to get worried. “Jason—”
“Thanksgiving. Who’s idea was it this year?” he wanted to know. He stopped, looked at her. “I mean, Elizabeth and I usually go to Sonny’s. You’ve never invited Sonny here. ”
“No, I guess—” Robin tipped her head. “It was Patrick’s, I think. He said it would be funny to have Sonny here with my dad and Uncle Mac, and I figured why not—Jason, what’s going on?”
“Tom Baker is dead,” he said flatly. “I don’t have the details yet, but apparently it was some time on Thanksgiving. The PCPD has had me and Sonny under surveillance since Baker was paroled—”
“Wait a second—” Robin put up her hands. “What are you saying—”
“Elizabeth and Patrick arranged for Sonny and I have to alibis. She knew Jordan had pulled people from Baker—that they were still watching us—we just talked about it. And they were late—”
“I—” Robin shook her head. “It’s a coincidence, okay? How was he killed?”
“No signs of foul play,” Jason said. Instead of reassuring her, the news sent a shiver down her spine, and she closed her eyes. “Yeah. That’s what I thought.”
“Jason, are you telling me you think your wife murdered Tom Baker and that my husband helped? Do you hear yourself? Elizabeth is pregnant—”
“She was bleeding out from a stab wound to the gut in the middle of the woods on that damn island, and managed to get to my gun and blow out Stavros Cassadine’s brains,” Jason said, and she closed her mouth. “And your husband operated on her in the middle of a flat with a first aid kit. He’s done brain surgery by flashlight. I know who my wife is and what she’s capable of—”
“If she’s under threat,” Robin reminded him. “What’s the threat? Baker’s been out for months! Do you really think she’s been waiting all along—”
“No. But something happened—it had to.” Jason scrubbed a hand down his face. “You knew they were lying, Robin.”
“Yes, but—” Her voice faltered. “Jason. What exactly are we talking about here? I mean, if it’s true—” She folded her arms. “What are we supposed to do?”
“I’m going to make sure it goes away,” Jason told her, and she bit her lip, nodded. “So far you and I are the only ones that know anything was a little weird that day. I think we were the only ones who noticed they were late.”
“Right. And we couldn’t testify against them even if we wanted to.” Robin bit her lip. “Do we ask them about it?” Did she really want to know?
“They lied to us last week, so I don’t think they’re planning to bring us in—” Jason grimaced. “I need to know what happened so I can make sure they’re safe. You can—you can do whatever you need to. I just—we need to be on the same page. If anyone asks about Thanksgiving—”
“Nothing happened,” Robin said softly. “Except some teenage drama. It was a great day.”
“Good. Thank you—”
“No, thank you for—I don’t know. For whatever you’re going to do. I don’t need to know about it, but thank you.”
Morgan House: Driveway
Elizabeth locked her car, frowning at Jason’s SUV parked at the curb. He was usually at the warehouse for a few more hours—
Then she saw the door open across the street, and Jason step outside — say something to Robin before turning towards their house. Their eyes met, and her insides tightened. He knew something. Even from this distance—
And then a car turned around the curve and slid into the space behind Jason’s SUV. Jordan stepped out, followed by Nathan.
Baker had been found.
“Well, this is good timing,” Jordan called as she came up th front walk, a manila folder tucked under her arm. Jason was crossing the street. “I was hoping to talk to both of you.”
“What’s going on?” Elizabeth tightened her hand around the strap of her purse. “Nothing happened to the kids, did it—”
“No, no. Hello, Mr. Morgan,” Jordan said coolly. “Have a few minutes for some questions?”
“Do I need to call Diane?” Jason wanted to know, already bored with the conversation. He stepped up next to Elizabeth. To Jordan, he would appear to be stone-faced, but Elizabeth knew her husband—she could feel tension and tightness radiating—
“Well, why don’t you listen to my questions and you can make that decision?” Jordan offered. She opened the folder, and Elizabeth’s stomach twisted. “Tom Baker. Died sometime Thursday — preliminary autopsy says maybe the afternoon. No cause of death just yet, but I thought we’d find out where some interested parties were—”
“So you came right over to the house of the woman he raped as a teenager,” Elizabeth said. She folded her arms, took a deep a breath.
“He was never convicted of that crime,” Jordan retorted. “So can I get an alibi or—”
“Thanksgiving,” Jason said. “You can ask about twenty people,” he told her. “Give or take. Robin and Patrick invited us over. So my sons saw me all day. So did my mother-in-law. Robin’s uncle and dad. Her mother—”
Jordan’s mouth tightened. “You were with Mac and Robert Scorpio—and Laura Spencer and Anna Devane.”
“So was Sonny. He deep fried a turkey. There were a lot of kids there, too. You can ask them. Elizabeth had work until about noon—but she saw me all afternoon.” Jason lifted his brows. “Any other questions?”
“Just one.” Jordan flipped to another photo — Baker’s wall. “Did you know he was talking your wife and teenage girls close to her?”
Jason stared at the photo, the muscles in his cheeks twitching as Elizabeth digested the horror of what Jordan was asking—
“Wait, wait—” Elizabeth reached for the photo, finding it no trouble to find the horror and disgust she’d lived with for days. Weeks. “This is me—that’s my girls—Jason—” Her voice broke. “He was watching all of them?”
Jordan hesitated. “I—”
“How could this happen? How could someone on parole take all these—” Elizabeth shoved the photo away. “How could no one have seen him do it?”
Jason put a hand at her waist, and she closed her mouth, still shaking. Because her fury was real. How could Jordan have not known? “We’re done here. You have my alibi. Any thing else, call Diane.”