Written in 20 minutes. No time for edits or typos.
Jason shook his head. “No. He wouldn’t have killed Carly—” He struggled to sit up, wincing as Steven finished stitching the cut on his leg. “You said—you said you left.”
“He tried to kill me,” Steven said, his jaw clenched. “He came downstairs — raging — I didn’t even know she was dead. I got home and he was less then ten minutes behind me. He threw me against the wall, tried to choke me — I managed to push him. He fell, hit his head—” He cleared his throat. “And I left.”
“That doesn’t make sense,” Elizabeth murmured. “I went to your place—it looks like you’d just left. There’s nothing out of place—”
Jason looked at Elizabeth as she stopped talking, and they seemed to realize it at the same time. “Someone cleaned up.”
“You think it was Ric?” Kelly asked. “I mean, he’s done everything else—”
“We think he’s done everything else. I know you think Carly was framed for picking up the bomb, but—” Elizabeth grimaced. “Sonny still ordered them.”
She dragged her hands through her hair. “It’s—we keep running from theory to theory and we still don’t know anything for sure. We know Carly’s dead. We know Sonny ordered the bomb and Carly picked it up, but how we do even know it was the bomb in the SUV?”
Steven frowned at her, got to his feet. “What?”
“How do we know the bomb Carly picked up was in the car? Because the explosives guy died after Jason talked to him? That doesn’t prove anything. The guy might have made another bomb. The only thing we know for sure is that my daughter—” She looked at Jason. “Our daughter is alive. We don’t know how Sam ended up with her. Right now, I don’t care. I want her back.”
She exhaled slowly. “You said she’s probably being moved. Why? I thought Sam left town—”
“Sam moved to Rochester after her daughter was born,” Steven told her. “I called her—and she hung up on me. The next time I called—her number had been disconnected. She went underground right after Carly died. I don’t know where she is, but if Sam is working with Ric—”
“If,” Elizabeth repeated. “I can’t keep doing this, Steven. I can’t keep playing these games. We’re no closer to finding out who planted that bomb than we were a year ago. All I know—I want my daughter. I need—” Her voice broke.
Jason struggled to his feet, pulling out his phone, wincing. The screen was cracked but it still worked. “Let me call him. He found Kelly’s address—”
“That’s how they knew you were there,” Steven snapped. “He told someone—”
“No—” Elizabeth shook her head. “No—that doesn’t make sense. The car exploded after we’d been driving in it—the bomb must have already been in it. They waited until after we’d talked to Kelly.” She bit at her thumb. “Someone was following us. They didn’t need Spinelli to find out anything. They followed us and detonated the bomb. They must have thought you told us something.”
“I don’t know anything,” Kelly insisted. “Except—”
“Except enough to put us on the trail for our daughter,” Elizabeth told her. “They know I went to the hospital. I came straight here. Steven was looking for you. They don’t even need to know what I found out from Patrick.”
“And you don’t think they is Ric?” Jason asked.
“I think that it would be a mistake to say we know who is behind this. Jason—Ric’s been in Port Charles for most of the last year,” she told him. “He didn’t come after you personally in Cairo. Which means he sent someone. This is bigger than Ric. He’s part of it—I’m sure of that. I just—I just want to find our daughter.”
She looked at Steven. “I know contacting Spinelli might make us vulnerable, but I also know if anyone can find Sam, it’ll be him. I think it’s worth it.”
Steven pressed his lips together, then nodded. “Okay. It’s your call.”
“Call him,” Elizabeth told Jason. “Because I think if we find Sam, we might get closer to an answer. She has to know she has our daughter. Otherwise, why move? Why not stay in Port Charles? She’s running.”
Jason nodded, then texted Spinelli to call him on a secure line. As he finished sending the message, Elizabeth’s phone buzzed. She frowned, pulled it out of her pocket, and her face paled.
“Don’t answer it,” Steven snapped.
“I don’t think I have a choice.” Elizabeth pressed the speaker phone. “Ric.”
Her skin crawled at his use of the endearment. “What do you want?”
“I hear you’ve had quite a day today. I thought maybe we could discuss a deal.”
“A deal?” she repeated. What a strange thing to say—
“I have something—well, someone—you want. And you have someone I want.”
Elizabeth frowned, looked at Jason. Did he want Jason? “I don’t understand.”
“It’s simple. I’ll tell you where Lily is if you come to see me. Alone.”