Written in 67 minutes.
General Hospital: Emergency Room
Robin’s fingers were laced through Patrick’s clinging tightly, her eyes locked on the ultrasound monitor as Kelly adjusted the gel against her abdomen. “I’m okay. He barely touched me—” She looked up at Patrick, hating how thin her voice sounded, the way it shook — she believed every single word —
It seemed like such a terrible dream now — a nightmare that had blurred into existence then winked out almost as quickly as it had happened. She’d climbed into the trunk under her own power. She’d crawled through the car on her own. She’d found the gun on her own.
But there had been that moment — when he’d lunged for her, his own momentum shoving her backwards — her back ached from slamming into the stone bridge — had that been enough? Would it be just enough to steal her dream, her miracle—
“I know, honey,” Kelly said, her own voice unsteady. “But your blood pressure was elevated in the ambulance, and it’s—” She took a deep breath. “It’s early. We want to be sure.”
Tears burned through her lashes, streaking down her cheeks, and Robin tipped her head back. They hadn’t heard the heartbeat at all yet — they were supposed to come next week for an ultrasound and now maybe there never would be—
Patrick brought her fist to his mouth, pressing his lips to her knuckles. “Whatever happens,” he told her, stroking her hair with his other hand, his eyes dark, fierce. “We’ll be okay. You’re okay. You’re here.”
“The—I want the baby. I know you weren’t sure, but I am, and I just—” She swallowed a sob, not wanting to watch Kelly reach for the wand—she couldn’t look at the screen. Didn’t want to know.
“I am sure,” Patrick said, and she focused on him, and now she saw the pain and worry in his eyes. “I want this baby, Robin. So let’s just take a deep breath, let Kelly work, and—”
A sound cut him off. Tinny at first, but then it came — the unmistakable thud thud of an electronic heartbeat.
Robin twisted her head back to look at the screen, the tears falling unchecked. “That’s—that’s the heartbeat.”
“Nice and steady, Mama.” Kelly took a deep breath, and the shine of her own tears was evidence. “Just what we’d expect.” She touched the screen, gesturing at the image. “There’s your baby. Eight weeks along, you said?”
“Closer to ten now,” Robin murmured, almost absently. That was her baby. Their baby. Right in front of them. And it was okay. It was still here.
Patrick’s breath was a bit shaky as he finally took a breath. “Steady. The—she’s okay? The baby, I mean.”
“So far so good. We’re going to keep you overnight, honey. Monitor, just as a precaution, but I’m cautiously optimistic.” Kelly squeezed Robin’s lower leg. “You’re okay, honey. Both of you.”
Robin could barely breath, couldn’t speak. She was okay. Their child had made it. And maybe there was some danger, but the worst was over—
“You’re okay.” Patrick leaned down, pressed his forehead against hers, and she felt his body shudder as he absorbed it. “When I got the call, when I thought—” He paused. “You’re okay,” he repeated. “Both of you. And Elizabeth. She’s okay. It’s over.”
“Over,” Robin echoed, closing her eyes. But was it really?
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Spinelli hardly knew what to do with all the nervous energy. He’d needed to stay behind because of the boys, of course, and the Jackal knew exactly where his place was. Fair Elizabeth and Stone Cold needed to know Little Dude and Stone Cold the Sequel were safe—
He’d been focused then, keeping his thoughts and actions on distracting Cameron from realizing his mother was in danger. And Audrey Hardy had been a lot of help, though he’d read the worry in her face as she put Jake to sleep, and they both kept Cameron busy.
But now it was over. The killer was quiet, and all were safe.
Spinelli sat on the sofa, staring blindly at the Moby Dick paper with which he continued to struggle. It seemed silly now to have complained so much or to worry about it now.
“It doesn’t help,” Spinelli said, and Audrey glanced over from the armchair where she’d been precariously perched, watching the news coverage of everything intently. “To know the who, I mean. To know he’s caught. I thought it would.” He swallowed hard. “But it was someone I knew.”
“I didn’t realize…” Audrey straightened. “But he worked for Jason and Sonny—”
“Not that way,” Spinelli corrected hastily. “Just owned the security company. Not that there’s any other way,” he mumbled, staring at his hands.
“No, I—I heard what the news said. They contracted to the hospital, as well, Spinelli. I’m not holding Jason responsible for this. If this…” Audrey’s lips thinned. “If it hadn’t been tonight in this building, it might have been back at the hospital. Or anywhere else.”
“He knew Georgie a little,” Spinell said faintly. “Maybe that’s how he focused on her. And Emily. They both came here.” He swallowed hard. “Maybe Georgie’s dead because she knew me—”
“She’s dead because Ben Davis, for whatever reason, murdered her,” Audrey said gently. “If it hadn’t been her, it might have been someone else. We might never know what exactly happened in his brain to trigger any of this. The why might only make sense to him.”
“Doesn’t fix anything. I wanted to be relieved. To be happy. But it’s just…Fair Elizabeth and Dr. Robin are safe, this brings the Jackal joy,” Spinelli said awkwardly. “But it all feels…thin. Underneath, it’s just…numb, I guess.” He grimaced. “I’m not explaining it well.”
“Knowing that he can’t hurt anyone else, that my granddaughter and Robin are safe is a relief, and we’ll make that enough for now. But it doesn’t restore what’s been lost,” she said. She sat next to him, reaching for his hand. “For the lives we can’t bring back. For the families changed forever. But it’s at an end, my darling. At least we have that.”
General Hospital: Emergency Room
Maxie darted through the double doors, searching the crowd of people for her stepfather’s curly hair.
“Maxie, just—” Cooper tried to hold her back but Maxie wouldn’t be denied. She had to know. Had to be sure. She found him by the check-in desk and made a beeline for him.
“Mac?” She touched his arm. “Mac, they said on the news they found him. Was it—is it really—they said there were more hostages, but—”
Mac turned, brought her close. “It was Robin,” he said, and Maxie tensed, shoving back. “Robin and Elizabeth. He kidnapped and took them to another location, but they fought back. They escaped. Robin’s all right,” he added quickly. “And they caught the guy. Ben Davis. A security guy. His company contracted out to the campus.”
Maxie swallowed hard. “Robin? He had her—no one called or told me—” She pressed a fist to her chest. “But she’s okay. And the baby?” When he nodded, she took a deep breath. “Okay, okay. But you caught him. He’s in jail?”
“He’ll be transferred over in the morning. He’s in the hospital now. Maxie—”
“They caught him. It’s over.” Maxie looked at Cooper, but he was quiet, considering, waiting for her reaction. Her lips trembled. “It’s over.”
“Yes. It’s over. They nailed him, dead to rights. For the kidnapping and attempt today. It’s — it’s over, honey.” Mac stroked her hair, but Maxie stepped back.
“I thought I’d at least feel something when it was over,” she said softly. “But I don’t. There’s nothing. Georgie’s still dead, isn’t she?” Tears spilled over her lashes. “She’s still dead and I’m still here. Alone.”
She pressed her hands to her mouth, sobs wracking her frame, and sank to the floor before Cooper or Mac could catch her.
Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer
Monica emerged from the double doors of the parlor, closing the door and heading for the stairs. The front door opened, and Dillon stepped in, his face grave. Monica paused, her hand at the railing, her heart fluttering.
The last time Dillon had come to the house late in the evening—
“Hey. Um, listen—” He dragged a hand through his disheveled hair. “It’s on the news, and Lu just called — they caught the guy. They caught him.”
“Oh. Oh.” Monica absorbed this, then frowned. “There’s more, isn’t there? What else?”
“They caught him up at Rice Creek Bridge,” Dillon continued. “Um, he worked for a security company, the news said. That’s—that’s the connection. To the campus, the hospital, and to Harborview Towers.”
“Harbor—” Monica closed her mouth. “Dillon—”
“Everyone is safe,” Dillon added quickly. “But he kidnapped Robin and Elizabeth and took them to the bridge. I—I know they’re okay—” he continued as Monica flew towards the phone. “The news said so, but Lu talked to Spinelli, and she said they have to keep them both in the hospital—but they’re okay. It’s over.”
Monica clutched the edge of the table in the center of the foyer, her fingers digging into the rim. “Over,” she repeated. “The boys? They weren’t hurt.”
“No. Everyone’s good. Jason’s at the hospital with Elizabeth. I just—I wanted to make sure you knew. Or didn’t see it on the news or whatever. But it’s good. It’s over. They caught him. No question it’s the same guy.”
Monica nodded. “Okay. Okay. I should call Ned down at the gatehouse—oh, Edward already went up for the night.” She pressed her fingers to her lips, considering. “It’s over. Do—do they know the motive?”
“No. Does it matter?” Dillon asked, and she met his eyes. “I mean, knowing the why isn’t going to help. It won’t change it. Georgie will still be gone. Georgie and Chelsea and Emily—” He looked away. “I don’t care about why,” he said roughly. “He’s probably some kind of lunatic, and they’re dead. So who cares?”
He jerked open the mansion door and left, slamming the door behind. Monica exhaled slowly, then picked up the phone to call Ned.
General Hospital: Hallway
Lucky found Nikolas jogging through the hallway, his face flushed. “Nikolas.”
“Is it true, is it? They found him—” Nikolas snagged Lucky’s arm. “Tell me it’s over.”
“Yeah.” Lucky stepped back from his brother. “Yeah, they found him. Excuse me—” he saw Mac over Nikolas’s shoulder, who had Robert following behind him. “I have work to do.”
“Wait. Wait, Lucky. Can I—”
“No.” Lucky turned away from Nikolas, uninterested in his apologies. Nikolas was good at that — being cruel in the moment, and apologizing later. But Lucky wasn’t ready to forget the pills tossed at him, to forgive the coldness. Not yet.
“I know I shouldn’t be here. Or that I wasn’t supposed to be at the bridge,” Lucky began as Mac stopped in front of him.
“I’m sorry,” Mac said, and Lucky closed his mouth. “I already made the calls to reinstate you. To make sure the suspension or complaint doesn’t even go on the record. I’m sorry,” he said again. He nodded towards the door behind him. “I thought you might want to come in. Be part of the questioning.”
Lucky cleared his throat, turned towards the door. Behind it lay the man who had murdered five women. Who had nearly murdered two more tonight. He’d wrapped a wire around Emily’s neck and choked the life from her. He’d tried to do the same to Elizabeth.
“No, I don’t,” Lucky said finally. “Thank you. For saying you’d clear the record. But I think I need some time. I need—I need some time,” was all he could say.
“Of course—” Mac frowned, watching him walk away.
“Let’s get this over with,” Robert said grimly. He pushed open the door to find Ben Davis laying on the hospital bed, one hand handcuffed to the railing. A uniform stood up from where he’d sat next to the bed.
The killer was in traction, a leg pinned precariously up. There needed to be surgery to set it correctly, Robert knew. It would be done tonight, and he’d be moved to the county jail infirmary in the morning. Or as soon as possible.
But Robert just saw the man who’d tried to take his baby from him. Who had murdered so many.
“Has he said anything?” Robert asked the cop.
“Just mumbling about the job not being done. It didn’t make sense.”
“Hmm,” Robert nodded. He stepped up the bed. “You awake?” he asked, his voice harshly. “I have a question for you.”
Ben Davis opened his eyes, the pain in the dull brown depths reflecting back. “Hurts.”
“Why? Why did you do this? Why did you try to murder my daughter? Why did you murder those women?”
“Didn’t murder.” Ben closed his eyes again, sighed. “Saved them. My girls. All my girls. With bright smiles and bright lights. They’ll live forever now. In me.”
“Pairs. All perfect things in pairs. Two college girls. Two doctors. Two nurses.” His lips twisted. “Didn’t finish. Didn’t do the job. My final girls. They weren’t right. Chose badly. Their lights weren’t bright enough.”
Robert grimaced, then looked at Mac standing just inside the door. His little brother stalked out of the room, and Robert followed.
“Maxie—she said it wouldn’t matter. That knowing why wouldn’t fix it.” Mac met his eyes. “He’s crazy. Bright lights. Pairs. He stole my Georgie because of that? Christ—” His body shuddered. “Nearly killed Robin because of her light? Fuck that. Fuck it all.”
“It’s lunatic nonsense. The why never mattered, little brother. It will never bring you peace or happiness. The who is the only mystery that matters and we’ve solved it. It’s over. Georgie can rest. They can all rest. He can’t hurt them again. That’s the only promise we can ever make.”
General Hospital: Hospital Room
Elizabeth turned her head, resting her cheek against the thin white pillow, exhausted beyond measure. Adrenaline had drained away what little remained of her energy. And now she just wanted to close her eyes, and wish away the world.
Her hands had been bandaged — the tips of her fingers throbbed where her nails had been ripped off. Her throat was on fire, throbbing from the screaming and the thin wire—
She opened her eyes, saw Jason in one of the plastic uncomfortable chairs. Their eyes met. “Did I fall asleep?” she forced out.
“Shh, rest your voice,” he murmured. He picked up her hand, stroking the palm. “Yeah, for a little. They said if you wanted something to help you sleep longer, to call for it. The boys are all right,” he added when she opened her mouth again. “Spinelli and Audrey are looking after them. Cameron never even knew you were in danger. He thought you went to see Robin and watch a movie.”
Elizabeth nodded. “Gram. Can I?”
“Yeah. Yeah.” Jason leaned to one side, dug out his phone from his pocket. He pressed a button, then another so that the ringing echoed on the speaker phone.
“Hello? Jason?” Audrey’s voice asked.
Another tears slid down her cheek. “Gram.”
“Oh, honey.” Audrey’s voice thickened. “Darling. How are you?”
“Her throat is sore, so it’s hard for her to say a lot,” Jason said, then brought the phone closer to Elizabeth’s mouth.
“Okay, Gram. I’m okay. Love you.”
“I love you, too, sweetheart. Rest, let Jason take care of you. I’ll look after the boys.”
“Spinelli?” Elizabeth coughed, tried to clear her throat. “Take—he’s okay?”
“Fair Elizabeth, the Jackal is beyond happy to hear your lovely voice,” Spinelli said, though his voice sounded a bit further away. “She is kind to even think of the Jackal in this moment.”
Talking about himself and everyone as if they were characters again. Trying to protect himself. “You’re one of my boys, aren’t you?” By the end of her words, her voice had faded to almost nothing.
“Of course he is,” Audrey said. “And you’ll be sure that I’ll look after Damien. I love you, Elizabeth. But you need to rest and take care of yourself.”
When they’d hung up, Elizabeth closed her eyes, then but they flew open. She looked at her hand — and her lips trembled. How silly to think of it right now, to worry about something that didn’t matter, but—
Jason took her hand, sliding the tip of his finger over the bare space where her engagement ring had rested. “I can try to find it,” he offered quietly. “Maybe it’s up at the bridge. Or in the car.”
“No,” she mouthed, the word little more than breath against her lips. “No.”
“Then I’ll get you another one. We’ll pick it out together. Or I’ll do it. Or you can. Whatever you want.” Jason brought her hand to his mouth, pressing his lips against the inside of her palm, then resting it against his cheek. “Whatever you want.”
“She’s okay. Baby is, too,” he added. He exhaled slowly, then stroked her hair with his other hand, gazing into her eyes. “I love you.” He leaned down, brushed his lips tenderly against ihs.
“Ditto,” was all Elizabeth could manage as their breath mingled. “You found me.”
He kissed her again. “Always.”