Written in 66 minutes. Ending scene needed to be just right, so it took an extra minute, and I added Alexis/Sonny.
PCPD: Squad Room
Lucky tapped on Mac’s open door. “Hey, Cruz said you wanted to see me when I got back. The preliminary autopsy isn’t back yet, so I thought I’d go over to the medical examiner and wait—”
Mac rose to his feet. “Hold off on that right now. Come in, close the door. There’s something we have to talk about.”
Lucky frowned, but obeyed, pushing the door shut. “Uh, crime scene didn’t find anything visible under the fingernails but that makes sense with the injury. Without manual strangulation, there’s less opportunity.”
Mac grimaced. “That’s…unfortunate. Hopefully they’ll find something that isn’t visible to the eye. But that makes what I have to say all the more necessary.”
“What’s going on? Did something happen?”
“On Halloween. Before we got the call for the hospital,” Mac began, “did Sam come in to make a complaint?”
Lucky grimaced, but the pit in his stomach released. He’d thought whatever was happening was more serious. “Oh. Yeah. She had some bullshit story about Jason threatening to kill her and assaulting her in front of Elizabeth and the kids. She didn’t have a mark on her, and she’d been bugging me for months to go after them. She wanted me to go harder in the custody and divorce, and was pretty pissed when I didn’t.” He shrugged. “I asked her to stay, to take a formal statement, but that I wasn’t going to arrest Jason until I could get the tapes from the diner. She made a scene and stormed out, and then the call came in. So I didn’t think about it again.”
“And was that the only time Sam asked about her case?” Mac asked.
Lucky exhaled slowly. “She came by my place a few days ago, I think. Acting like she was there to say how sorry she was, but then asked about her case. I was pretty pissed at her — I closed the door. Wait—”
“Apparently, Sam came by after you threw her out—her words, not mine,” Mac added when Lucky opened his mouth, “and she filed a complaint. Against you. And the officer on duty took her official statement. But the tapes from Kelly’s are gone, so there’s nothing he could do with her statement. And the complaint against you fell through the cracks.”
“I think we can both agree privately that this is bullshit,” Mac said. “I don’t think for one second Sam was in any danger from Jason or that he threatened her in front of the boys. You handled it exactly as you should have—but I wish like hell you’d filed even a basic report to cover your own ass.”
“I would have, but—”
“I thought giving the case to Robert, taking you off as primary would cover us.” Mac sat down, exhaustion in the lines of his face. “But now it looks like a cover up. Sam doesn’t fit the profile. And you’re on record right now stating she had a grudge against Jason. She tried to testify against him in the murder trial, tried to torpedo his custody case, and was now trying to have him arrested. It gives him motive.”
“The hell it does—” Lucky scowled. “Damn it, Mac, don’t make me defend the man, but why the hell would I cover up for the guy my wife left me for? Who’s going to raise my kids? What bullshit is this? I did everything right, and you’re going to let Sam screw me over from the grave? You’re going to let her lies put suspicion on a guy who lost his sister? Who the hell actually thinks he would have killed Sam that way with Elizabeth steps away—”
Mac looked pained. “The argument would be made that Elizabeth is romantically involved with him. That Robin once was—”
“And so they’d overlook cold-blooded murder?” The heat crawled up his neck, his cheeks were flushed as the fury set in. “Who is going to make that argument? The press? Floyd? Is that what this is about? This is bullshit, Mac—”
“I’m not worried that Jason will be seriously under suspicion. But I have to—” Mac hesitated. “I have to take you off the case, Lucky. You—you need to call your union rep—”
The fury disappeared in a blink. “What?”
“We need to do an investigation—”
“You’re—” He swallowed. “Mac, you can’t do this.”
“You need to go home. You’re suspended without pay. I’m sorry—”
“You’re suspending me.” His job. The one thing he had left. They were taking his job. “Mac.”
“I’m sorry. I need—I need your badge. And your gun.”
Numbly, Lucky reached down to his side, removed the gun from the holster, set it on the desk, then into his pocket where he kept the badge. He looked at it for a long moment, then set it by the desk. “This is a mistake. And you’re wasting resources. Elizabeth and Robin were steps away from being the next victims. He didn’t get the kill he wanted. He’ll be looking for new victims.”
“We’ll handle it, Lucky.”
No, they wouldn’t, Lucky thought, as he left the office, quietly closing the door and standing in the hallway for a long moment. They’d worry more about the optics. About the appearance of a cover-up. And there’d be one or two cops who saw a chance to nail Jason Morgan, a man they already thought was a killer.
But they didn’t care what he thought. He was a screw-up. He had left Sam unprotected and now she was dead.
His family was gone. His career was dead.
And the killer was still out there.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason frowned, felt Elizabeth tense beside him. “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”
“We need an alibi for you tonight,” David Harper repeated, slowing it down as if Jason was an idiot. “And for September 14 and October 31.”
“Why?” Elizabeth demanded, but he looked at her, and she closed her mouth, the color in her cheeks rising. He’d worry about the answer to her question later. He needed to know how serious this was.
“I’m not answering any questions until my lawyer is present,” Jason said simply. “So if that’s all you came to ask you, you can go. And don’t come back without a warrant.”
“If you have nothing to hide—”
“I’m calling Diane,” Elizabeth cut in sharply, and went to the sofa where they’d left the cordless phone.
“It would clear this up—”
Jason walked past the cop, reached for the door to pull it open. “Ask someone downtime. They have Diane’s number. Get out.”
Harper pressed his lips together, moved towards the doorway, standing at the threshold. “You’re not doing yourself any favors—”
“Thirty seconds, or Diane’s going to add violation of civil rights to our complaint,” Elizabeth called, the phone against her ear. “Yeah, Diane? We need you at Jason’s. Okay. Thanks.”
“Why don’t I just wait for her—” Harper began, but Jason started to close the door, and he stepped back to avoid being hit with it. Jason flipped the locks, and now that questions started to crowd his mind.
“Why are they asking for your alibi? How can they think you actually had anything to do with Sam? Lucky and Robert both thought Sam wasn’t the target—” Elizabeth broke off as he turned to look at her. “This is insane. It’s insane. They can’t really think—”
“I don’t know what they think,” he said finally. Sam must have talked to someone about the threats he’d made against her. He wasn’t seriously worried that he was in trouble. It would have been Sam’s word against his—
And he had an alibi for tonight. Not a strong one, he admitted to himself. Spinelli wasn’t particular credible — members of the family never were. And they’d just argue Jason could have slipped out of the Towers without being caught on security footage. He knew he could — he’d done it before.
But they were asking about Georgie. About Emily. His chest tightened. Did they really think…
He cleared his throat, looked back at Elizabeth’s pinched, worried expression. “It’s fine. Diane will handle it. I have an alibi.”
“For all three nights. I was with you the first two, and Spinelli last night. They—” He took a deep breath. “You called me. There will be a record of that on your cell phone records. It’ll corroborate Spinelli’s story. The guards saw me leave. It’s not—” As he said it out loud, he felt better. “I couldn’t have made it back in time to leave again.” He’d forgotten that.
“But now they’re wasting time looking at you—” Her scowl deepened. “It’s bullshit. They just don’t want to admit they don’t have any damn leads. Two months. Almost three. Five women—” Elizabeth closed her eyes, dipped her head down. “Does it ever just stop?” she asked softly. “Are they ever going to find this guy?”
Thirty minutes ago, before Harper and his questions, Jason had felt more confident. But now?
“I don’t know,” he said finally. He drew her towards him, needing to hold her, to remind himself that she was all right. Safe. Home with him. And to remember that his life had kept her that way this time. Rather than bringing danger to her doorstep, she was alive because of him. He kissed the top of her forehead. “Diane will handle it. It’ll be okay.”
“I wish I could believe that.”
So did he, but he said nothing, and just held her tighter.
Lake House: Front Deck
Sonny peered through the glass front door, saw Alexis curled up on the sofa, and tried the knob. It twisted easily in his hand.
He stepped inside, and she looked at him, her eyes dry but devastated. “You ever heard of knocking?”
“Overrated.” He closed the door, then sat beside her. “The girls?”
“Ric came and picked them up. He offered to stay, but—” She touched the fringe on a throw a pillow. “I wanted to be alone. I don’t know how to tell them. They’re so young. Will they even understand?” She met his eyes again. “And how could they? I certainly don’t.”
“I’m sorry,” he told her gently. “I know you loved her.”
“It hasn’t hit yet,” she murmured. “I saw Mac standing out there. Looking at me. And I knew it was bad. I thought maybe it was Nikolas. In his grief — but I never thought—” She closed her eyes. “I only just found her, Sonny. We were just beginning to know each other. To love each other.”
He reached for her hand, squeezed it. “There are no words, Alexis. Not a single one. Nothing makes this better.”
Her breath was shaky as she exhaled. “No. There isn’t.”
“Come here.” She reluctantly leaned against him, stiff at first, then relaxed against his shoulder. He held her, hoping that Sam would be the last of the victims. That another mother, another family, would never have to grieve.
PCPD: Squad Room
“You’re bloody insane, you know that?” Robert demanded, throwing his hands up. “You suspended my best cop?”
“Your best cop?” Mac all but leapt to his feet. “Where do you get off—”
“My case, little brother, yeah, so my cop. And yours! I never would have given in so damn easily—”
“You never had to live in Port Charles under the shadow of Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan,” Mac bit out. He paced the length of the office. “You always got your guy! But my guys, my cops have watched year after year as Sonny and Jason get away with every little damn thing—Jason Morgan was just acquitted of murder three months ago—and my department took the heat for another botched investigation—”
“None of that has anything to do with my case! I’m trying to find a murderer!” Robert shot back. “And the cop you just sent home knows more about the case than anyone else. He’s the one who worked his ass off to eliminate suspects to get me a shortlist—”
“Yeah, well, where’s my killer, huh? If you’ve got that shortlist—”
“He gave it to me today, you dumb son of a—” Robert broke off abruptly at the knock on the door.
Mac sent him a fulminating glare, then yanked the door open, almost grateful to see Harper. “You’re back already?”
“We’ve got a problem.” Harper scowled, shook his head. “I think we were too quick to cross Morgan off the list—he refused to give me an alibi, so that’s an issue—”
“Damn it.” Mac grimaced. “I didn’t—he’s been cooperating so far—”
“Because he’s been a witness until now,” Robert said flatly. “You went to this man tonight? You’re dumber than I thought. He lost his sister three weeks ago and tonight, his fiancee was steps away from being the next woman on the slab. His ex-fiancee was killed instead—”
“Another woman connected to Morgan—”
“Oh, shut up,” Robert retorted, dismissing Harper’s protest. “If you actually think this guy killed his own sister, we’ve got bigger problems—”
“I don’t—” Harper took a deep breath. “I don’t think he’s our killer in the other four. But I damn well know he’s a murderer many times over, so why the hell would I dismiss him on this?”
“I don’t remember asking you about my case. And you won’t be interviewing any more of my witnesses, you cretin.” Robert gestured towards the door. “Out. Now.”
“It’s going to leak, Mac, that Sam isn’t part of this—”
“I’m going to commit violence in another minute,” Robert said, taking a step towards Harper. “You’ve mucked up my case, and just torched any chance I had of talking to my witness again. You think after you accuse him of murder, Morgan’s lawyer is going to let Elizabeth anywhere near us?”
Harper snorted. “Okay. Yeah. Clearly, you’re new around here. Morgan—”
“Out, Harper. I’ll take it from here,” Mac said. “Go.”
He closed the door behind the detective. Took a deep breath. “I didn’t—he asked to snip off the thread, Robert. He made it seem like he didn’t think it was Jason. Like he just wanted to cross off the possibility for a possible defense—”
“You asked me to oversee this case, Mac.” Robert’s tone was quieter, but no less annoyed. “But within a matter an hour, you’ve made it harder for me to do that. Spencer made a mistake, but not a fatal one. And maybe Morgan needed to be asked the question to clear it up, but you could have told me. I could have seen it done. Hell, Spencer has a better relationship with the man. You better hope I can clean this up.”
“You have no right—”
“I have every right,” Robert spat. “Because if you’d asked me for my alibi after I learned that Robin nearly died to night at that madman’s hands, you’d have to peel me off the ceiling. Go home, Mac. You’re too close, and I’m not going to let you make another mistake when we’re closer than ever to nailing this son of a bitch.
Spencer Home: Living Room
Lucky tossed his keys towards the desk, but they slid off, clinking against the floor. He stared at the silver glinting in the moonlight shimmering through the curtains. He hadn’t switched on any lights. He didn’t want any.
He should just go to bed. Just take a shower, go to sleep, and clear his head. He’d barely slept in weeks. Months, really. Not since that phone call.
He climbed the stairs, his head aching. He knew he hadn’t replaced the empty bottle of aspirin in his medicine cabinet, but maybe —
Lucky passed by the closed bedroom he’d shared with Elizabeth, past the empty rooms where Cameron and Jake had slept, passed Lulu’s empty bedroom, and went to the ensuite his grandmother had used before moving away. Lesley had always kept a few bottles of aspirin on hand, from the headache of dealing with Lulu.
He flipped on the bathroom light, and opened the cabinet, reaching for the familiar colors of Tylenol—
Then paused on the little orange-brown bottle. He picked it up, hearing the pills inside click against each other. Hydrocodone. Not oxy, but not that different. Lesley must have left this behind.
They were old. Probably not even that potent.
That old craving slid through him, and he tightened his fingers. Elizabeth was gone. He’d destroyed her, hadn’t he? He’d heard her on the witness stand, sobbing as she spoke of her exhaustion and fears. He’d broken Cameron — the little boy’s cries would haunt him — and Jake, he was gone, too.
His parents, the idyllic childhood, the certainty Lucky had had as a teenager, the surety of who Luke and Laura had been — that had been gone for years. And it had been a lie. And if his parents were a lie, then what was he? Was anything he remembered about those years real?
Emily, his best friend. His one touchstone. The first person he’d met his own age who liked him and knew him. His brother. Nikolas thought he was useless. That pills were all he was good for. And Lulu, she only felt sorry for him.
The job. The one piece of his life that he’d felt good about, that he knew he could do, that he could hold on to—well, that was gone, too.
It would all go away. It would disappear and he could close his eyes and just drift. Nothing would hurt. He wouldn’t feel anymore.
He didn’t want to feel anything.
He wanted to feel nothing.
It was where he lived, after all.