Written in 60 minutes.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Elizabeth pushed the door open with one hand, the other on the phone at her ear, frowning slightly when she realized the room was empty. “What? No, sorry. I just walked in. Let me know when you hear from her, okay? I want to call Patrick. No, I know she doesn’t—Lainey, the guy is worried and trying to respect her feelings about keeping his distance.” She dropped her keys and the small black clutch on the desk. “He didn’t stop loving her—I’m not taking his side—”
She heard sounds in the kitchen, the clinking of plates and Cameron’s giggle, her shoulders relaxed. So that’s where her guys were. She refocused on on her phone conversation. “Lainey, there aren’t sides here, okay? He doesn’t have to want children. It doesn’t—okay, I’m not doing this with you. Don’t tell me when Robin calls back. Whatever. Let Patrick worry for nothing because you’re a narrow-minded bitch—” She stopped mid-sentence and snapped her phone shut.
There was no point in letting her old frustrations with Lainey Winters spill out when it wasn’t even about this. Lainey and Kelly had landed firmly on Robin’s side in the break-up, while Emily and Elizabeth had tried not to take sides at all. And after Lainey had tried to paint Elizabeth as a crazy post-partum mother who’d hurt her child, she wasn’t in the mood for any of this.
She kicked off her black heels, then padded into the kitchen, her stocking-clad feet making no sounds on the hardwood.
In the kitchen, she found Cameron in his booster seat, a study plastic fork in his hand as he dug into a bowl of Spaghetti-Os, his face covered in the red sauce. Jake in a green plastic seat, belted in on top of the table, shoving a plastic ring in his mouth.
And Jason crouched on the floor, cleaning up what looked like more Spaghetti-Os on the floor.
“Well, it looks like we had ourselves quite the afternoon,” Elizabeth said, leaning against the door frame.
“Hi, Mommy!” Cameron waved his fork, sending small circle-shaped noodles flying through the air. Jason just sighed and wiped at the floor where they landed. He got to his feet and tossed the towels in the trash.
“Maybe I should have just fed him in the tub,” he decided, and she laughed, crossing the kitchen, avoiding the remnants on the ground, and slid her arms around his waist, leaning up for a kiss. “Hey. How was it?”
“Terrible,” Elizabeth admitted, closing her eyes as he folded her into his arms. “Robin was barely managing to get through it, then Maxie went crazy. Insisted Frisco and Felicia leave. It was so bad. And Patrick was worried about her, but he promised he wouldn’t call, and then Lainey just—” She made a face. “Anyway. It’s over.”
“Where did Spinelli go?”
“Dinner with Lulu and Dillon while he’s in town.” Elizabeth went to the table to unbuckle Jake and lift him in her arms. He reached for the necklace she wore, trying to put it in his mouth. Now that he’d figured out how to use his hands and fingers, he loved grabbing everything. “He said he’d be home later.” She kissed the top of Jake’s head, cuddling him close. “I felt so bad for Georgie’s parents, and for Robin—but you know—” She looked at him. “It wasn’t the time or place, but I’m not sure I blame Maxie. I’ve lived in this town for almost a decade, and I don’t think her dad has ever been back. And Felicia went away years ago. It’d be like, God forbid, something happening to me and my parents showing up.”
Jason leaned against the counter, his arms folded. “I think Robin told me the last time Frisco was around was when Maxie was sick. When she needed the heart transplant. He was never really around with Georgie. I know in all the time we were together, I never saw him.”
“I don’t think causing a scene was the right way to handle it, but I guess Maxie just couldn’t take one more minute of the hypocrisy. They can have their regrets, I guess, but sitting up front, especially her dad—” Elizabeth shook her head. “Don’t let my parents do that to me—”
“Sorry. I know it’s morbid, and terrible. But I don’t want Jeff or Carolyn Webber anywhere near me in death when they couldn’t be bothered in life.” She paused. “Let’s change the subject Jake needs a diaper change, and Cameron—” She looked down and he grinned up at her sunnily. Somehow he had noodles in his hair. “Cameron needs a deep cleaning. Wanna draw straws?”
General Hospital: Hallway
Emily made a notation on a chart, then turned a corner stopping short when she barreled into someone else. “Oof, sorry—” She drew her brows together. “Nikolas? What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you.” Nikolas stepped back. “Are you on all night?”
“Yeah, I’m on nights until Thanksgiving. I drew the short-straw,” she said, moving past him. “What did you need?”
“You haven’t really been returning my calls or texts. I mean, I know you’re angry with me—”
“Because you’re funding Lucky’s desperation and giving him the means to drag Elizabeth and the boys into court? Yeah, I’m avoiding you.” Returning to the nurse’s station, she dumped off the charts in her arms.
“We said we wouldn’t take sides—”
“You know, we’ve said that before, but we’ve never been good at it. Somehow we always manage to fall on Lucky’s side.” Emily shook her head. “You and I both encouraged them to get married again. To give it another shot. Why would we do that?”
“Because they love each other. Or I thought—”
“Lucky had an affair. Repeatedly,” Emily said. “I knew that. I knew he’d had that affair and had accused her of having one with Patrick—”
“No, it was just with Jason—”
“No. No, don’t you do that—” Emily jabbed a finger at him. “You don’t get to decide that months of Lucky emotionally abusing Elizabeth and accusing her of having an affair with Patrick is retroactively okay because she slept with Jason after she found Lucky and Maxie together. You don’t get to do that, and neither does he.”
“Two wrongs don’t make it right—”
“And sleeping with another woman while your wife is struggling with trauma isn’t a good choice either, but you did that, too.”
Nikolas grimaced. “We’re not back to that, are we?”
“We are. Because I can’t, for the life of me, understand how you can stand there and help Lucky do this to those kids. You know what he did to Cameron in the park the other day, don’t you?”
“That—” Nikolas nodded. “Yes. It was a mistake—”
“A mistake that devastated that little boy. How could you stand by and let him continue this—and don’t tell me you can’t stop it. Cut off the funds.”
“He’s my brother—”
“And she’s my sister.” Emily tipped up her chin. “She’s my best friend. It’s time I acted like it. There isn’t a middle ground here. He’s objectively wrong for what he did—”
“And she was wrong, too—”
“She’s the only one trying to fix her mistakes. All I see Lucky doing is making new ones. And your support isn’t just financial. You agree with him. Don’t you?”
“I think,” Nikolas said, carefully, “that there’s an argument to be made that Lucky doesn’t deserve to be cut out of Jake’s life overnight—”
“And what does Cameron deserve? Because Lucky had no problem cutting Cam out of his life overnight. Don’t talk to me about what a grown man deserves when that little boy was crying for him, and Lucky walked away. You want to take his side, fine. But don’t be surprised when you’re the only one who does.”
Scorpio House: Maxie’s Bedroom
“It’s not fair!” Maxie wailed, curled up in a ball, facing away from Robin. Her shoulders were shaking as she continued to sob. “It’s not fair. Why isn’t she here? Why—”
“I don’t know, honey.” Robin stroked her cousin’s shoulder. “Life isn’t fair. But Georgie wouldn’t want you to be so angry. So torn up—”
“Well, Georgie isn’t here,” Maxie said bitterly. “And you can’t make me apologize. I won’t.”
“All right. Why don’t you get some rest? I’ll send Cooper up, okay?”
Robin went downstairs and did just as she’d promised, sending Maxie’s confused and exhausted boyfriend up to take over comforting her. She spent a few minutes with her parents and uncle, reassuring them that Maxie would be okay. Then she went to the front porch where she found Felicia on the porch swing.
“Where’s Frisco?” Robin asked, taking a seat next to her. “He could have come over—”
“He went to get a hotel room.” Felicia closed her eyes, the tear stains on her cheeks shimmering under the porch light. “She’s so broken, my baby. I’ve failed her so much. I’ve failed them both—”
“Felicia—” Robin fell silent, and the blonde smiled sadly.
“You can’t even defend me.”
“Maxie shouldn’t have done that in front of everyone.”
“But you don’t necessarily disagree with her, do you?”
“I think,” Robin said slowly, “that I understand why you came back. Why Frisco came with you. But Maxie hasn’t been doing all that well for a few years. Since last year, when her boyfriend died. She’s gone off the rails, and losing Georgie—it’s not going to make it any easier. Seeing her parents—particularly you—when she’s already feeling abandoned by the world, no I don’t disagree with her.” Robin exhaled slowly. “I know how it felt when my father showed up after all those years, without any really good excuse for why he’d been gone. Frisco didn’t raise Maxie or Georgie. Mac did. And to see him sitting in the front row—I think it was more than she could handle.”
“Seeing me there—”
“Seeing you there hurt more. Because you were here, Felicia. Until you weren’t. You and Frisco—” Robin got to her feet. “You’re not much different than my parents. You deliberately chose a life that was dangerous and meant you had to leave your families behind. Uncle Mac told me you’re at the WSB with Frisco now. You left before the girls were finished growing up.”
“I know it. And I’ll regret it for the rest of my days.”
“You should.” Robin winced when Felicia flinched, but couldn’t find the energy to be sorry for what she’d said.
She left the porch, went down to the driveway and got in her car, staring blindly at the steering wheel.
What did she do now? Where was she supposed to go?
Morgan Penthouse: Master Bedroom
Elizabeth tugged the tie on her robe more tightly, listening on the baby monitor as Jason tucked Cameron in for the night, then a murmur as he checked on Jake.
She heard a soft click as the bedroom door at the end of the hall closed, and then Jason had walked down the short hallway, already in a pair of sweat pants and t-shirt he’d changed into after soaking his jeans earlier bathing Cameron, cleaning off his dinner.
“Spinelli’s still not home. Should I—” Jason cut off in mid-sentence as he closed the door, and saw her standing by the bed, wearing a silky black robe that just skimmed the tops of her thighs. He cleared his throat. “Uh. Hey.”
“Spinelli has his phone,” Elizabeth said, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. “And you already called him after Cameron had his bath. He’s fine.”
“I’m just—” Jason shook his head as she approached him, losing the thread again. “You—”
“This morning, we didn’t have a lot of time,” Elizabeth said, sliding her hands up his chest. “But I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind if we finished our conversation.”
“Were we having a conversation?” he asked, his hands at her shoulders. “That’s not how I remember it.”
“Well, then—” Her smile deepened. “Feel free to correct me.”
Jason tipped her head up, leaning down to brush his mouth against hers. “I didn’t see this when you unpacked,” he murmured, slowly untying the sash of the robe and pushing it from her shoulders.
“It’s new. I bought it after I moved in.” She sighed when his lips found the pulse at her throat. “If you like it, I can get it in more colors—”
“It’s nice,” he replied, his voice a bit rusty. His thumbs plucked at the straps, lifting them off her shoulders so that the negligee pooled at her feet. “But I like what’s under better.”
She laughed as he lifted her and carried her to the bed.
Patrick’s Condo: Living Room
Patrick paced the length of the room, glaring at his cell phone, willing it to ring — for someone to tell him that they’d caught up with Robin after the service and that she was all right—
Lainey had refused to take his call, Kelly had told him she’d deal with it and to drop dead. Emily was at work, and Elizabeth hadn’t heard anything yet—
At this rate, he could either call her uncle or break his promise and track her down himself. He hated this. He hated wondering how she was, if she was with her family, or alone so they wouldn’t see her grief, or maybe she was with Lainey and Kelly and they were just being assholes about it—
He picked up the phone, brought up Robin’s contact information, then hissed, tossing it aside. He didn’t want to hurt. Didn’t want to force himself on her, but honestly, he was coming out of his skin, worried that she was taking care of everyone but herself—
There was a knock at his door and Patrick leapt towards it, hoping that it was Elizabeth or Lainey, Kelly—someone who would give him some relief—
But it was Robin.
He stared at her for a moment, his jaw slightly dropped — was he hallucinating? In his worry, was he actually having a fever dream?
“I’m sorry to just—” Robin fiddled with the strap of the bag she wore over one shoulder. “I’m sorry to just show up.” Her voice broke, and he snapped out of his stupor. “If you’re busy—”
“No,” he said immediately. He put a hand under her elbow, drew her inside. “No. I’m not. I’ve been—” He took a deep breath. “I’ve been worried about you.”
“I—” Her eyes shimmered and she squeezed them shut. “I didn’t want to be alone. Or to be with people. I just—I don’t know. It’s too much. It hurts too much, it’s drowning me, and I can’t breathe—”
“It’s okay, it’s okay.” He embraced her, wincing at the chill through the light fabric of her dress. Where was her coat? How had someone let her go out in October without a damn jacket? Why wasn’t anyone taking care of her?
“I can’t stop thinking about it how scared she was, or how terrible the world is now—” Robin’s breath hiccuped, a sob escaping. “They stole her away, they broke our world into pieces and we don’t know who, or why, and she’s gone. And knowing won’t fix it. Nothing fixes it.”
Her body was trembling violently, and he just hung on, his fingers stroking through her dark hair as her sobs wracked her body.
“I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I don’t want it. It has to go away. I can’t breathe.” Robin drew back, her hands flat against his chest, and her eyes damp with tears as they met his. “I want to feel something else. Can you—please. Can you make it go away?”
He swallowed hard. “What do you want me to do?” He knew, of course, but she needed to say it. He needed to hear it.
“I know it’s not fair, but—” She dragged in a shuddering breath. “I just want to be with you. I want the world to stop, and you—” Her fingers curled in his white dress shirt. She licked her lips. “You always make the world stop.”
Patrick nodded, then kissed her, lightly at first because she might still change her mind, but she exploded against him, deepening the kiss, her hands racing to tug his shirt out of his pants, to rip off the buttons. He wanted to slow it down, to savor it, but that’s not what she needed — and after her hands reached the buckle of his belt, it’s not what either of them wanted.
He only hoped she wouldn’t regret it in the morning.