Written in 30 minutes. Went a little over. No spell check.
Cassadine Island: Inlet
Elizabeth winced as Jason lifted her out of the dingy, but did her best to hide it. Everything was on fire, and she was pretty sure she was going to rip her stitches by the time this was done—
But she couldn’t risk Jake not going with Jason or Sonny, fighting them and drawing attention. She couldn’t take that chance—and from the grim expression on both their faces—she knew that they still agreed.
Even if Jason was probably itching to throw her back in the dingy and send her back to Laura, bobbing along on the small speedboat.
“We wait for Spinelli’s signal,” Jason reminded them both as he took out his phone, waiting for the text. “As soon as they’re in position—” He nodded as Spinelli’s message came in. “Okay, Patick and the others are going in.”
“We’re following you,” Sonny reminded him, before wrapping his hand around Elizabeth’s elbow, firmly. “Let’s go.”
Wordlessly, they set off on the short trek through the dense trees, Elizabeth trying desperately to hide how hard it was to breathe or keep moving. She stumbled over a weed, and Jason started to turn back.
“No, go—” Elizabeth sucked in a sharp, shallow breath. “I’m okay—”
“I got her, Jase. We’re halfway there,” Sonny murmured in her ear as Jason reluctantly moved forward, listening to the directions Spinelli was giving him in the ear piece. “We’re going to get to your boy, and then we’ll go home and laugh about this one day.”
She felt something warm against her skin, then the slow itch of something dribbling down her side. She pressed a hand to her wound, then looked at it—the red staining her fingertips.
Sonny hissed, lifted his head to call out to Jason who was pausing at a stream, getting some more information about where to cross.
“No. We’re not there yet,” Elizabeth said with a shake of her head. “Sonny—”
He grimaced as they caught up to Jason, but he said nothing. Jason turned to them and Elizabeth made sure she was slightly behind Sonny, where part of her body wouldn’t be visible to him.
“The cottage is two hundred feet away. Spinelli says it’s a straight shot. And the others are almost at the bunker with Robin.” Jason hesitated, met Elizabeth’s eyes. “We need to pick up the pace. We can’t let them off the island before us more than a few minutes—”
“Two hundred feet between me and my baby?” Elizabeth clenched her jaw. “I could run that if I had to.”
Jason nodded. “The stream isn’t deep here,” he told them, “not more than a foot. Let’s get moving.”
Nikolas checked his watch and looked over at his nephew, playing on the ground with a toy motorcycle. He checked out the window again, then wondered if maybe—
“Uncle Nikolas,” Jake said, pitching his voice low because Stavros was sleeping in the other room and no one interrupted Stavros’s naps. Not even small children who were being groomed to be the perfect Cassadine son. Nikolas gritted his teeth. It was the future Helena had wanted for Spencer once, but Stavros had taken a shining to Elizabeth’s brash, bold son with the big blue eyes and friendly smile.
He’d wanted him, he’d told his mother. Whatever Helena had wanted to for Jake, Stavros said he deserved a chance to raise a child. And why not Laura’s grandson?
Nikolas had been desperate to keep Jake’s paternity from them—his only value—the decent treatment was only because of the Spencer blood ties, but sometimes he saw his father looking at Jake strangely—
“Uncle Nikolas,” Jake repeated, drawing Nikolas’s attention. “We should wait in the garden,” he told him.
Then Nikolas saw something out of the corner of his eye—a movement in the trees just beyond the house. He saw a trio coming out of the trees—Jason, Elizabeth, and Sonny. He was going to get out of here. He was going home to his son—
He heard a voice from the back of the cottage. His father was awake. Damn it! He should have given him more—
Nikolas picked Jake up, motorcycle and all, and lunged towards the door. They had one chance to get this right, and he would be damned if Jake didn’t go home today—
Nikolas burst out of the door and loped across the short field of grass between the cottage and trees.
“What the—” Jason began, confused, pushing Elizabeth behind him. She cried out and fell to the ground. Worried, he turned—
“Mommy? Daddy?” Jake said, brightening. He shoved himself away from Nikolas, almost hurtling to the ground and closing the gap. “Uncle Nik said you were coming!” He threw himself at his father as Jason, in shock, closed his arms around his son.
“Let’s go,” Sonny ordered, hauling Elizabeth to her feet. “Damn it—” he said at the same time Jason saw the bloodstain on her side. Elizabeth swayed.
“Mommy?” Jake whimpered. “Daddy, Mommy’s hurt—”
“Nikolas!” A roar sounded from the cottage, and Nikolas turned to see his father at the door. The fury on Stavros’s face—the other man went back into the cottage, and Nikolas grimaced.
“We have to go—” he began.
“We’ll never make it in time!” Elizabeth said at the same time. “Get Jake out of here!”
“I’ll slow him down,” Nikolas said, swallowing hard. His chance to get off the island was done now. He had to stop Stavros from coming back out—and it was him or Elizabeth.
There was no choice at all.
Jason shoved Jake at Sonny, then lifted Elizabeth into his arms. “Stop him,” Jason ordered, and then they disappeared into the trees. Nikolas closed his eyes, thought of his son, then went back to the cottage.
Jake was safe. Wanting anything else had been selfish. He needed to stop his family once and for all.
Elizabeth cried out as Jason sloshed through the streams, and his heart was pounding—she was bleeding so much he could feel it against his skin. “We need to stop—we need to rewrap—”
“Can’t—” she panted, closing her eyes. “Jake—he has to be safe—”
“I’ll get Jake back to the boat,” Sonny promised as he held the wide-eyed child against his chest. “Elizabeth—”
“No! No! He needs one of us—” Elizabeth looked at Jason. “Please—”
“Not going to happen,” Jason bit out. “Sonny, get back to the boat.”
“Daddy?” Jake asked.
“I have to take care of Mommy,” he told his son, drinking in very feature of his precious son. “I love you. We both love you.”
“Jason—” Elizabeth sobbed as he lowered onto the ground and Sonny disappeared, taking Jake with him. “No! No! You have to go!”
“Not without you—” Jason tore off his short, tore it into two quick strips, pressing one hard against her wound—she only stopped herself from screaming in excruciating pain by biting her lip so hard as Jason used the other strip to tight it tightly around her waist. “He knew us,” she panted. “I didn’t—” Tears streamed down her cheek. “He knew us. Nikolas must have—”
“We can thank him later,” Jason muttered. He got to his feet, but before he could lift Elizabeth into his arms, he heard the crack of a branch. He whirled around — only to see a furious man with dark hair and eyes aiming a gun at him.
“If you move, I will shoot her in the head,” the man snarled
Jason was face to face with Stavros Cassadine, Elizabeth bleeding out behind him, and his own gun tucked into his waistband — but if Jason moved —
He swallowed hard.
Half a mile away, just as Anna was joyously hugging her daughter and Robert was growling at them both to get into the damn boat—Patrick’s head whipped around at the sound of a gunshot echoing over the island.
“Oh, damn it—” he swore. Robert—”
The other man pressed his ear piece. “Spinelli—” His face blanched. “Sonny got off the island. With Jake. But not Jason and Elizabeth.”