Written in 55 minutes. Last scene inspired by Hope Floats. If you know, you know.
Kelly’s: Dining Room
“Georgie? Hey, Georgie—”
Georgie snapped back to attention when something pinched her. She looked away from her phone and the missed call from an unknown number to her irritated sister who had been the source of the pinch — and to her former stepfather with his concerned expression. “Sorry.” She slid the cell phone back into her purse. “Just a missed call.”
“Sorry if we’re interrupting your busy schedule,” Maxie said coolly. “Mac is trying to force back into school—”
“I’m not trying to force you—” Mac set the fork down and scowled at her. “I’m not trying to force you into anything. All I did was gently suggest that you might want to rethink not registering this fall—”
“I’m doing just fine at the hotel.” Maxie sat back in her chair. “I was just wasting time and money. Not everyone needs college. Coop didn’t—”
“You planning to enlist?”
Maxie pursed her lips. “Couldn’t if I even wanted to. Heart transplants can’t—”
Georgie rolled her eyes as Mac immediately started to back track. Never failed, she thought. As soon as Max scored any points, Maxie did something to bring the pity back to herself.
She felt her purse vibrate, but didn’t reach for the phone. It would just be another missed call. Another hangup. Now wasn’t the time to tell Mac about the flowers or the calls. Not when Maxie had his full irritation and attention.
She’d do it tomorrow. Probably.
Nikolas sifted through a stack of contracts on his desk, hesitating when he realized that some of the files belonged to Lucky. There were folders with the names of witnesses and some medical reports—
And one name that troubled him.
Nikolas picked it up, glanced at the partially ajar door, then down at the file. He opened it—but the mystery wasn’t resolved. It was filled with newspaper clippings from the previous summer, detailing the psycho’s death and the medal of honor Lucky had received — along with the copy of the official police report.
Why would Lucky being looking into Manny as part of his divorce case?
He was still musing over when he heard the footsteps in the hallway. He nearly put the file down, hid it beneath the others but he couldn’t. He’d given Lucky a blank check for his divorce lawyer, and maybe that didn’t give him a right to know what was going on, but it certainly entitled Nikolas to ask.
Lucky stepped inside. “Sorry — I forgot to grab some of this after I met with the lawyer today.” He stopped halfway across the study when he realized what Nikolas was holding. “What are you doing?”
“Looking at what my money is funding,” Nikolas said dryly. “Why do you have a file about Manny Ruiz? Is that supposed to make you look better in court? Is it a reputation thing?”
“Could be.” Lucky shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’m trying to keep this from going to court, okay? So don’t worry about the money—”
“The only way this stays out of a court is if you drop the demands for Jake.” Nikolas set the file down. “Is that what you’re doing?”
“No.” Lucky stalked over to the desk, gathered them into a pile. “It’s none of your business—”
“If it’s just about reputation, then you wouldn’t be so secretive. Lucky, I don’t want to get any nasty surprises—you know if you don’t put me on a witness stand, Elizabeth will. When it comes to the drugs—”
“I told you—” Lucky’s gaze was nearly malevolent. “Fine. I’m making sure that Jason drops the paternity suit. Otherwise, the whole world is going to find out that Jason murdered Manny Ruiz and used me to cover it up. He’ll be back on trial for murder—”
“What the hell—” Nikolas’s eyes were wide. “What are you talking about?”
“I didn’t—I didn’t kill him. Jason shoved him over the roof. And Elizabeth had to know about it. So unless he drops the suit, I’m going to make sure everyone knows what he did, and that she was part of it.”
Nikolas simply stared at him until Lucky’s face flushed. “You’re attempting to frame her as his accomplice because you think he won’t take the chance Elizabeth might end up in real trouble—”
“He won’t let her lose the boys. You know that—”
“I don’t—” Nikolas dragged his hands over his face, then sat down in the seat. “I don’t know what you’re thinking,” he said, nearly dazed. “I’ve known from the start this was a disaster. That you were making a mistake, but I wanted you to feel like you’d tried everything. I didn’t want you to feel like a failure—”
“You didn’t want me to end up back on the pills,” Lucky bit out nastily. “Yeah, I know what you think I’m capable of—”
“You’re going to lose. Because no, Jason probably isn’t going to let Elizabeth risk losing the boys. But this won’t be won in a court of law. If he thinks there’s a chance they’ll lose, he’ll pick up a phone and he’ll get whatever judge he needs to rule the way he wants.”
“And I’m not going to make the same call.” Nikolas met his brother’s angry eyes. “I won’t. You’ve got a right to be angry. To be furious what what she did and how she lied. But I’ve told you from the beginning that going after custody of Jake—tying it to Cameron—it’s a mistake—”
“This is going to work,” Lucky told Nikolas flatly. “Elizabeth doesn’t think I’m serious about walking away from Cameron. She will when we file. And then she’ll have to decide what kind of mother she’ll be.”
Lake House: Living Room
“I’m not particularly proud,” Alexis said as she skimmed a copy of the paperwork that Lucky’s lawyer had given Diane. “But I wouldn’t do it any differently.”
“So there’s truth to what Lucky is saying.” Diane paced the small living room, her jaw clenched. “You and Jason—”
“Jason was never part of any of this.” Alexis rose. “It happened so fast, Diane. And I wasn’t on that roof. I know that Manny went over the edge and he died from the fall. And I know that Jason nearly bled out from a ruptured artery in his heart. He was still in surgery when the preliminary report came back.” She set the paperwork down. “Lucky was running around telling everyone he’d killed Manny, that he’d shot him. And Manny was covered in blood. If Lucky is trying to make it sound like he had to be convinced he was the real hero—” She snorted, folded her arms. “I know a decent amount of hospital staff who’d say differently.”
“Why did you bury this?” Diane tipped her head. “It seems like a case of self-defense—”
“There were members of the PCPD who would have done anything to get to Jason. He’d just saved my daughter’s life. He had nearly died to do it. And—” Alexis paused. “I felt guilty, I suppose. He’d broken up with Sam because I’d convinced him to do it. He only did what had to be done, Diane.”
“But the official autopsy report?”
“The official autopsy and the police report support Lucky Spencer’s version of events.” Alexis gestured at the paperwork on her coffee table. “And before you ask, Elizabeth had nothing to do with any of it. She was Jason’s nurse. She rushed after him and found him bleeding to death out front of the hospital. She got him into surgery. She was still scrubbed in when I made the decision. The only cover up was mine.” She lifted her chin. “I’ll testify to that if I have to.”
“You could lose your license—”
“Maybe. I have prosecutorial discretion—or I did. I made the decision it was a self-defense case and said nothing to correct the final versions of events. You said Lucky’s trying to use this against Elizabeth in the custody battle?”
“He’s trying to scare Jason away from filing the paternity suit.” Diane sneered. “I’m going to wipe the floor with this little twerp.”
Port Charles Park
“I wanna swing, Mommy!” Cameron dashed towards the swingset, trying to haul himself up into the seat. Elizabeth followed and lifted him to sit properly, glancing back at the picnic table where Jason was sitting, Jake in his lap.
“Mommy! Mommy! Go zoom in the sky!” Cameron kicked his legs and she turned her attention back to him, quickly going behind the little boy so that Jake was in her sight. She knew Jason would take care of him—that there was no where safer for their son than in Jason’s arms—
But they were back in the park, and Elizabeth would never shake the feeling that nothing good would ever happen here. A hundred yards away stood a fountain where her world had been shattered a life time ago.
And just beyond those trees was the area she’d been sitting when her child had vanished.
“Sorry.” Elizabeth forced a smile on her face and began to push Cameron, her shoulders easing a bit as the little boy squealed and giggled, demanding that she push him higher and higher—
When her arms had grown sore, Cameron eagerly agreed to head over to the sandbox and was happily digging holes. Elizabeth sat next to Jason, sliding her fingers over the soft, silky blond hair of the infant who kicked and giggled, his arms waving.
“We don’t have to stay much longer,” Jason told her. “I know you don’t like having them both in the park—”
“It’s okay. It will be okay,” she corrected. “I’m not alone today. If Cameron needs me, you’re here. Jake’s not alone.” She nodded at the sandbox. “He’s always loved the park. He likes getting dirty and playing on the swings.”
Jason opened his mouth to say something—what, she’d never know. Because the bushes rustled and a pair came around the corner, stopping dead when they reached the little park.
Lucky and Lulu.
Elizabeth felt Jason tense next to her, Lucky’s eyes hot and irritated as he took in the scene at the picnic table, with Jake in Jason’s arms. Lulu touched his sleeve and looked at them both with worry.
Cameron was singing to himself when he must have felt something in the air change. He looked up, then his eyes lit up. “Daddy!” He leapt to his feet and climbed out of the sandbox.
All of this was worth it, Elizabeth reminded herself. Cameron loved Lucky. The only father he knew—
And then Lucky stepped back, putting his hands up, palms facing out. “Not today, Cameron.”
“Lucky?” Lulu asked, her brows drawn together. “What—”
“Daddy—” Cameron took another step, but Lucky moved back. “Daddy, what are you doing—”
Elizabeth’s breath caught as her little boy stood only few feet from Lucky, frozen. She rose. Beside her, Jason also got to his feet and put Jake into the stroller. “Lucky—”
“Daddy, I miss you—” Cameron must have decided he didn’t understand or to ignore Lucky because he made a quick dash and wrapped his arms around Lucky’s leg, burying his face in the jeans. “Daddy—”
“I’m sorry—” Lucky pried the little boy off his leg and picked him up—but didn’t hold him close, didn’t cuddle him. Hug him. He might have been carrying a sack of potatoes—it wasn’t the way he’d held Cameron any day of his life—
Elizabeth took a step forward, helpless as Cameron started to cry, his little arms just dangling at his side as Lucky set him on his feet. “Daddy!” he sobbed and threw himself at Lucky’s legs again. “I’ll be good, I’ll be good!
And again, Lucky pried him off but this time he strode over to the picnic table and dumped Cameron into Elizabeth’s arms. “I can’t. Ask your mother why,” he said shortly and turned around and left.
Jason took a few steps forward, his eyes flashing with fury as Elizabeth’s brain absolutely flicked off.
Lulu stared after him with shocked eyes, then rushed to follow. “Lucky!”
“Daddy!” Cameron sobbed. He started to kick and scream, trying to climb down from his mother’s arms. “Daddy, wait!”
Elizabeth just held him more tightly, his tiny body shaking as he continued to sob for the only father he’d ever known. She finally looked at Jason as tears slid down her cheek, burning her skin.
“Daddy! Daddy, don’t go! I’ll be good!”