Flash Fiction: A Shot in the Dark – Part 3

Written in 56 minutes. Time for a basic spell check but not a read through.


Webber Home: Kitchen

It was a few days before Elizabeth could get Cameron on his own long enough to bring up the topic of adoption which was for the best, honestly, because Elizabeth wasn’t sure how she felt it about it herself.

Not that Jason wouldn’t be good for Cameron or that either of them would regret it, but she wondered what it said about her that she was willing to literally give Jason one of her boys — both of them really since Lucky barely managed to call Aiden once a month these days — but was hesitating to make any other kind of commitment.

She’d give him the boys she loved more than herself, but not herself.

And that was such a strange realization that Elizabeth almost let the whole idea drop, knowing Jason wouldn’t bring it up again if she didn’t.

Then Cameron trudged in after school on her day off, dragging his backpack by the strap. He let it go in the foyer, then went into the kitchen without a word to her. Elizabeth frowned, followed him, and watched him take out the gallon of milk, pour himself a glass, and get a box of cookies.

She folded her arms. “Tough day?” Elizabeth asked, leaning against the door frame. Cameron sighed, climbing up on the stool before dunking his first chocolate chunk cookie.

“Can I move to a new class?” he asked dully.

Elizabeth walked over to the counter, put the cap back on the milk, then put it away. “What happened?”

Cameron jerked a shoulder as he crammed the cookie into his mouth. “Emma’s mad at me.”

“She never stays mad—”

She thinks I like Joss.”

Elizabeth furrowed her brow. “Joss? When did that happen?”

“Dunno. Girls are weird. She got mad at me because Trina hates Joss, and Trina is Emma’s girl best friend, and I think that’s supposed to mean something to me, but Trina isn’t in our class so it doesn’t matter if I like Joss—”

Elizabeth tipped her head, trying to follow this logic. “Wait, are Trina and Joss still mortal enemies?”

“Trina swore on blood,” Cameron told his mother very seriously. “Joss’s blood.”

“Oh—” Elizabeth squeezed her eyes shut. “Do I want to know?”

“Last year,” Cameron replied. “We were on the playground, and Joss told Trina to brush her hair—”

Elizabeth winced. “She didn’t.”

“She did. Trina made that face, too, but then she punched Joss in the face—” Cameron’s mouth quirked up in a half smile. “That was funny. She hit her really hard, then started, like, hopping up and down, because she hurt her hand. Then everyone got in all kinds of trouble—their moms came to school—but anyway—before the teachers stopped it—Trina had Joss’s blood on her knuckles, and swore on it that she’d hate that—” Cameron hesitated. “Well, there were some words I’m not allowed to say—”

“I get the gist. I guess I missed this,” Elizabeth said with a sigh. She scratched her temple.

“It’s okay. Joss’s mom didn’t know what the big deal was, so Trina’s mom threatened to sue the school for something, and Mrs. Jacks had to take some sort of sensitivity course. So did Joss. She told me that it’s rude and mean to say things about a Black girl’s hair like she did, but that she wasn’t wrong, so she didn’t mean it when she said she was sorry—”

“Oh, Lord—” Elizabeth exhaled. “So wait—”

“Joss gave me that stupid Valentine,” Cameron muttered, “and Spencer told Emma about it, but I’m not supposed to be friends with her anymore, Emma said.”

“Cam—”

“But it was forever ago,” Cameron complained, “and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Emma said I was supposed to tear it up in front of Joss so she’d know, but that seemed really mean, Mom.”

“It does,” Elizabeth said, making a mental note to talk to Patrick — and possibly pass this on to Jason in case Carly was going to get into more trouble at some point. It didn’t surprise her at all that Joss had a mouth on her like her mother.

I

And they’d only been in fourth grade the year before—Elizabeth couldn’t even bring herself to imagine what they’d do in high school—

“So I told Emma that, and instead of not hurting Joss, Emma and Trina are mad at me, Spencer thought it was hysterical, and Joss is always mad at me because of Emma—” He sighed. “I tried to be nice to Spencer, Mom. Just like I told you and Jason. But it doesn’t work. How come I always got to be the good guy? Everyone else gets to be mean and stupid. It works for them.”

“You never did ask the easy questions.” Elizabeth reached for a cookie, dunked it in Cameron’s milk. “It’s hard to be a good person when it feels like everyone gets rewarded for doing the wrong thing. I get it, I do. But I’ve been on the other side.” She pursed her lips. “Actually, I wasn’t that different from Joss when I was a kid.” Maybe not passively racist, she allowed, but — “I talked back to my parents, I skipped school whenever I could, I smoked—”

Cameron’s eyes were wide. “Mom, smoking is really bad—”

“I know, I know. But I wanted people to look at me. And I didn’t care if it was good or bad. I just wanted attention. I was selfish, and I was mean. A lot.”

“That’s not—” Cameron shook his head. “No. I don’t believe it.”

“I should put you on the phone with my sister one day.” She chewed her cookie. “She’d tell you about the time I stole test answers in English class and planted them on her to get her kicked out of school.”

“Mom!” Cameron was scandalized. “That’s really bad!”

“It is. And it was exhausting being like that all the time. Never having anyone to talk to. The thing this, Cam, when you’re the bad guy — when you’re mean and stupid — you don’t get to have any friends. Not really. I didn’t have a single best friend until I was sixteen.” She sighed, thinking wistfully of those days. Of the Four Musketeers and sharing brownies at Kelly’s.

“My life isn’t always easy, Cam, and I’m not always happy. Sometimes I still want to do the wrong thing because it’s easier. And it might get me what I want in the moment. But at the end of the day — doing the right thing — being a good person — it’s worth it.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I turned out okay, right? I’m not perfect,” she said with a smile as Cameron smiled back at her. “But I do okay. And I’ve got great friends. I’ve got Patrick and your uncle Steven. I had Aunt Emily—” Her throat tightened lightly as it always did. “I have the best boys.”

“And you have Jason,” Cameron said. He poked out a chocolate chip. “I like having him around. And you’re happy with him. Did you do the good stuff? And that’s why you got to be happy this time?”

“Yeah,” she said softly. “I did the good stuff. The right stuff. Even though it was hard. Life isn’t easy, Cam. And the right choice is sometimes going to be the worst one. Joss and Trina might be enemies until death.” And since Joss was Carly’s daughter, and Carly still hated Elizabeth because Jason had let Elizabeth help him after being shot, not Carly —

“They probably will,” she corrected. “But how you treat people is up to you. Would it make you feel better to laugh in Joss’s face? Rip up her card?”

“No. I don’t like that Emma’s mad or that Trina got mad. She was really mad last year. And she cried. I don’t like that either.”

“You can’t win all the fights, Cam. Take the hits, get back up, and then live to fight another day.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Actually, there’s something I wanted to ask you. About Jason.”

“Yeah? Emma said that since I’m the man of the house,” Cameron told her, “that when he wants to marry you, he’s gotta ask me. Is that true?”

“Well…” Elizabeth squinted. “No. Because you’re eight.”

“Almost nine.”

“And being nine won’t give you the ability to grant my hand in marriage either.”

“Okay.” Cameron shrugged. “So what about Jason?”

She cleared her throat. “He loves you and Aiden. And me,” she added. “You know we dated a little a few years ago. You were only about four.”

“I remember. He was around, and then he wasn’t. I thought—” Cameron stared down at the counter. “I thought he was gonna stay. And he didn’t. Why not? He’s Jake’s real dad. Didn’t he love him?”

“He did—he does love Jake. We will always love Jake,” Elizabeth said. She reached across the island counter, squeezed Cameron’s hand. Waited for him to meet her eyes. “And what happened four years ago—Michael got hurt. You remember? He has that scar. And he was asleep for a whole year. Jason got scared you and Jake would get hurt. So he left. But it was a mistake. We know that. I shouldn’t have let him leave, and he shouldn’t have gone.”

“Okay.” Cameron frowned at her. “So are you getting married?”

“No. But back then—Jason was going to adopt you,” Elizabeth said. “So that he would be your father legally. And forever.”

Cameron looked away, looked down at the counter. “Is…do you want him to adopt me?”

“That’s up to you, baby. Because this didn’t come from me. This is something Jason suggested. Something he wants.”

“He—” Cameron swallowed hard. Looked at her again. “He does? Why?”

“Because he loves you.”

“But—if you got married, he’d be my stepfather. I don’t—”

“If you don’t want it—”

“I—I just—” Cameron blinked hard, swiping an hand under his eyes. “I want it,” he said in a small voice. “I don’t need a dad. You’re awesome, Mom. Just you. But it’d be okay. To have a guy. In case I needed one.”

“But?” she prompted softly.

“He…wanted me before, you said. But he left. And I didn’t know him anymore. What—” Cameron shoved cookie crumbs around the counter. “What if he changes his mind again?”

Elizabeth bit her lip. “Cam—”

“Or you guys have another baby. You might want another kid. And what if Jason gets a real one?”

“You would be his real kid—” She paused. “It’s okay to say no, Cameron. It’s important for you to be comfortable.”

“I—don’t wanna say no. I just—” Cameron sniffled. “It’s just scary to say yes.”

“I know. It’s a lot to ask. And you know, Jason would answer these questions if you want to talk to him about it,” Elizabeth told him.

“Can I—can I think about it?” he asked.

“Sure.” Elizabeth forced a smile as her stomach twisted. Her little boy had the same trust issues as she did. Neither of them had a lot of experience with people who wanted to stay.

And she really didn’t know what to do with that realization.

Spencer House: Living Room

Laura scowled as she scanned the note from Spencer’s teacher, then raised her eyes to glare at her grandson. “Spencer Michael Cassadine—”

“It’s really not that serious,” Spencer began as he flashed a smile at her. “It’s one little F—”

“Because you didn’t bother to even start the math test—”

“I don’t need any of that,” Spencer said scornfully. “I’m a prince—”

“Not if I don’t let you live to reach eighteen,” Laura muttered as she stalked away from him, towards her ringing cell phone. She hadn’t really raised Luke or Lulu once they’d hit the teen years, but Lucky hadn’t been this mouthy—

Had he? Luke had always known how to handle him—he’d always been Luke’s son—

“Hello?” Laura demanded, not bothering to check the caller ID. “I have a nine-year-old for sale if you’re interested. Slightly used, bit of a mouth—”

“Well, Darlin’, I don’t think that’s a good idea seeing as he’s the Spawn of the Dark Prince.”

Laura sighed and turned away from Spencer’s eye roll. “Luke?” she said. “What’s going on? I haven’t heard from you in months—”

“I know, I know, I’ve been looking up some things with Cowboy,” her ex-husband said. “That’s why I’m calling. Uh, we—I got myself into something here. And I need you.”

“You need me,” Laura said. She narrowed her eyes. “What did you do?”

“For once,” Luke said carefully, “I feel like I might be on the side of the angels—”

“That has literally never been true a day in your life, Lucas Lorenzo Spencer—”

“I’m glad I’m not the only one getting the full name treatment,” Spencer muttered.

“Now, Laura—”

“Don’t Laura me. Call Robert. Or Ethan,” Laura retorted. “I have things to do—”

“Robert and Ethan can’t take care of these things, Angel,” Luke said. “It’s Cowboy. I can’t—I think he needs you. I—I thought I could help. I thought we do this on our own, but he’s—he’s starting to look wrong. Like he did before.”

Her blood chilled. “Luke—”

“And Helena’s up to no good. Some serious, serious no good. I just—I need you to come to Greece. I need you to help me with our boy. Before we lose him for good.”

“I can’t just come to Greece. You need to tell me more—”

“I—”

Laura heard nothing but his breathing on the phone for a long minute. “He’s threatening to kill Nikolas, Laura. He thinks Nikolas kidnapped his son.”

“What?” Laura demanded, her shrill tone grabbing Spencer’s attention. He furrowed his brow, sitting up from his flip on the couch. “Spencer right here—”

“Not Nikolas’s son. Lucky’s—” Luke paused. “Well, I guess he’s still Lucky’s. On paper.”

Laura closed her eyes. She put her hand against the back of the sofa. “Luke. You need to tell me everything. Now.”

Webber Home: Living Room

Elizabeth frowned as she passed in front of the living room window and saw Laura’s car in her driveway—and Laura and Spencer walking across the front lawn—followed by Patrick and Emma. “Jason,” she murmured.”

Jason looked up from the dinner table where he was coaxing Aiden to eat his vegetables—he always refused to eat them for her—and got to his feet. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” Elizabeth said. She went over to the door, reaching it just as Laura raised her hand to knock. “What’s wrong?” she said to her former mother-in-law. Laura’s face was pale, her eyes looked shocky. And Spencer wasn’t even glowering as the four of them stepped inside.

“I’ll explain in a minute. I’m sorry just to show up like this—um—” She pressed a hand to her head.

“She asked me to come over,” Patrick told Elizabeth. “Emma—” He nodded at Cameron. “Cam, Spencer, go upstairs. Don’t kill each other. I mean it.”

Cameron got warily to his feet, pausing his Mario Kart game. “Mom—”

“Go upstairs,” Elizabeth repeated. “Please.” Her palms felt sweaty. God, what if something had happened to Lucky? But why would Laura bring Patrick over—

Cameron start up the stairs, and the bewildered Emma and Spencer followed him. A few minutes later, Elizabeth heard his bedroom door close. She paused, leaned up the stairs.

“I didn’t hear enough steps over my head—”

“How does she always know?” Emma hissed. A few minutes later, they heard the door again—and this time, there were steps over Elizabeth’s head.

“Laura—”

“I asked Patrick to come over because if—if I’m right—if Luke is right—” Laura twisted her hands together. “You’ll want someone to take care of the boys—”

Jason lifted Aiden into his arms and came over to stand next to Elizabeth. “Laura, what’s going on—”

“Luke called me tonight. He needs me to come to Greece because Lucky is there. He’s threatening to kill Nikolas.”

“I—” Elizabeth started to shake her head, exchanging a bewildered look with Jason because what did that have to do with them—

“He says Nikolas kidnapped his son. And Luke said—Luke said—” Laura’s voice almost broke. “He said he saw him.”

“Saw—” Elizabeth’s entire body froze. Her brain simply stumbled to a halt.

“Laura—” Patrick said.

“Elizabeth, Luke said he saw Jake on the grounds of the Cassadine estate,” Laura told her. She reached for Elizabeth’s hand as Elizabeth stared at her blankly. “He saw him. Alive.”

“I can’t—” Elizabeth shook her head. “No—No—”

“Jake is alive,” Laura repeated, more firmly. “But there’s more—”

“More—” Patrick demanded, his face pale, his dark eyes stark against the color. “How can there be more—”

“He saw Jake with Nikolas,” Elizabeth finished faintly.

“Not just Nikolas. Elizabeth—it’s not just Jake who’s alive. It’s Stavros.”

“St-Stavros,” Elizabeth repeated, her pulse skittering. “Stavros. Your—Nikolas’s—”

“Who the hell is Stavros?” Patrick demanded.

Elizabeth looked at him, as her head felt faint. “Can you imagine someone worse than Helena? Because that’s—That’s who has my little boy” She swayed slightly and Jason shoved Aiden at his grandmother, catching Elizabeth before she hit the floor.

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Comments

  • OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really there is nothing else to say

    According to Laura on September 16, 2020
  • Ahhh! I’m loving this so much! And I’m glad Jason and Elizabeth know now!

    According to Laura on September 16, 2020
  • Alright now we’re cookin’. Jason and Elizabeth know their boy is alive. I sense a trip to Greece coming up. Poor Patrick stuck with three cantankerous kids. I loved the talk Elizabeth and Cam had and how conflicted he is but how much he wants Jason to adopt him too.

    Lord Lucky is always the weak link. He’ll probably get himself shot.

    Can’t wait for the next update.

    According to nanci on September 16, 2020
  • I can’t wait to find out what is going on and did Nik took Jake or is he trying to bring back Jake to Liz.

    According to Shelly Samuel on September 16, 2020
  • Wow! I wasn’t expecting that. I loved the conversation with Cam and Elizabeth. They want to believe in Jason so badly. I can see them all working together to bring Jake home. I’m thinking Lucky isn’t going to be much help. Poor Patrick stuck with all of the kids.

    According to arcoiris0502 on September 16, 2020
  • I feel so bad for Cam and Elizabeth. They both want to say yes to Jason, but afraid it will all go away again. I hope they can get Jake back without anyone getting hurt. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    According to Carla P on September 16, 2020
  • Truly a great! I really don’t know where to start. You captured the kids perfectly. I laughed and then I felt bad for poor Cam, and Elizabeth is such a good mother — I just love her. Her straight talk with Cam was just what he needed and I love that he’s taking his time making his adoption decision. And then wham, Laura drops the bombshell. I love this story. Thanks for sharing. Great writing.

    According to Felicia on September 16, 2020
  • Truly a “TREAT”

    According to Felicia on September 16, 2020
  • Poor Cam, he has the same abandonment issues that Elizabeth has. They all need counseling. Lucky a drunk just like Luke. At least Laura sees Spencer’s problems. Go get your kid liason. Thanks

    According to Sandra on September 17, 2020
  • I love this story SO much! I can’t wait till they find JAKE!!!!!!

    According to Tania on September 17, 2020
  • wow great update– I loved the Mom and son talk.
    Lucky is crazy just like Luke I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
    How is Jason going to handle this?

    According to Pamela Hedstrom on September 17, 2020
  • I actually got goosebumps when Laura was explaining why she was there to Elizabeth. Loving all your stories, thank you!

    According to jill on September 17, 2020
  • Oh, the cliffhanger! Can’t wait for the next part.

    According to Xenares1 on September 17, 2020