The Compound


 

 


Carly snuggles in next to Lorenzo as a slow song plays on the jukebox. One hand is up on his shoulder around his neck, the other is cupped in his. Lorenzo has his hand at the base of her spine half on her jeans and half on the soft red shirt. "Sonny never takes me dancing-- okay maybe a song or two down at The Cellar but not really. Jason will dance with me... but only if I beat him at pool first."

I can understand why. You are a siren. Lorenzo thinks wryly. His thumb starts moving in a sliding motion on Carly's back. He goes with the subject to one less romantically nostalgic. "What is this pool thing with Morgan?"

Carly leans back a little so she can look up at Lorenzo. "Jason and I met in a place kinda like this." She nods and grins at the memory. "Jakes."

"That dive outside of Port Charles?"

"Yeah. I needed a place to let off steam where I wouldn't run into anyone I knew, and Jase was living up above the bar. We danced, played pool, had a few beers. Jase always says he doesn't really know how to dance. Sonny's first wife Lily taught him the basics. But I'd really have to corner him to get him out on the dance floor-- either beat him at pool which is darn near impossible because he is good or start dancing by myself."

Lorenzo chuckles at that one. "Yes. Morgan strikes me as someone that nips trouble in the bud rather than waiting to see what develops."

"Are you calling me trouble?" Carly drawls. But she relents. "Yeah." Carly looks around the dimly lit pub. "I remember this time... Luis had run off with Brenda. Sonny had figured out what was going on and sneaked on to the plane to rescue the little twit. They ended up crashing on this island. If I could have got my hands around Brenda's neck... anyway... Jason and I went looking for them. I guess it was a race to see who could get to them first... me and Jase or Luis' guys..." Carly thinks about it. "...I guess that would have been you. Anyway there was this bar..." She grins.

"What happened?" Lorenzo realizes the timeframe and wishes that he had been a little faster to come to Luis' rescue. Everything would have been so much easier if his first encounter with Carly would have been while she was disenchanted with her husband.

"The one guy with a boat that would have gotten us to the island we thought they had crashed on wouldn't let us rent the boat. And he caught me when I stole the keys." Carly shakes her head, in disgust at her own sloppiness. "But he agreed whoever won a drinking contest would get to use the boat."

"And your good friend, Jason, drank the man under the table and everything was happily ever after." Lorenzo rolls his eyes. He did tire of hearing all about Jason, The Perfect. Maybe it was better to hear all about Sonny.

"If you're going to tell the story get it right!" Carly gives Lorenzo a sharp tap against the back. "I drank him under the table. Me. And he was a big guy. Bigger than you. It was some kind of local brew, and it was nasty. Oh I was so hung-over the next day." Carly laughs. "But we got the boat."

"And you remember all of it."

"Oh yeah. I may do really stupid things when I'm drunk but I always remember every vivid detail. That's why I freaked so hard when I couldn't remember going to bed with Ric."

Lorenzo stops moving on the little cleared space that passes for a dance floor.

"That was Ric's story anyway." Carly says bitterly. "That I got drunk and was all over him. Nothing happened. At least that is what he said later. That he lied because he wanted to blackmail me into getting him close to Sonny. I still don't know if Ric was lying when he said he had sex with me or when he said he didn't. I told Sonny what happened after I had an amnio done. Once I knew for sure the baby was Sonny's."

"You were drugged."

Carly nods. "Ruffies. The night The Cellar opened. At Jakes, I'd gone to have a beer and clear my head. Joke ended up being on me. Ric picked at me forever before he kidnapped me. My whole pregnancy with Morlee has been one thing after another. It's really a miracle that she's alive and healthy."

Lorenzo resumes dancing. Lansing had never mentioned any of this when he'd been excusing himself of all responsibility in taking Carly hostage. "I've never seen you... intoxicated."

"You've never really seen me when I'm not pregnant." Carly reminds and then shrugs. "...or I guess nursing now."

"You could probably have a glass of wine now if you wanted."

Carly shrugs. "Not worth it. I drink for the buzz and I'd get as much of a buzz off of taking a whiff off whatever your drinking, as having one glass. I think it's genetic. I might have Mama's eyes but I think I have Uncle Luke's tolerance for alcohol."



 



Bobbie walks into Jakes like she owns the place. Sure enough there's Jason running the pool table. He didn't like to spend much time at the penthouse and instead would crash at the warehouse or wherever.

"What can I get for you?" Coleman asks from behind the bar, distracting Bobbie's attention from Jason.

"White wi... make it a bourbon. Double-- straight up."

"You got it." Coleman walks to the other end of the bar where the well is and starts pouring.

Bobbie walks over to the pool table. "Anyone giving you a game?"

Jason straightens from the table. He puts the cue away. "Not really. What's up?" He walks Bobbie to a two top where his longneck still has condensation on the bottle. Jason holds a chair for Bobbie and then takes one of his own, flipping it around so he can rest his arms on the back of the chair.

"Sean got a call from Conner tonight, his son." Bobbie clams up as she waits for Coleman to leave after dropping off her drink.

"Put it on mine." Jason tells Coleman referring to the tab that he'd settle at the end of the evening.

"Right." Knowing that nothing will be said while he's around, Coleman keeps moving picking up empties and dumping ashtrays as he goes.

"Anyway." Bobbie takes a sip of the whiskey and then exhales blowing out the fumes. "The WSB has Conner again. There was going to be some kind of debriefing and then Conner was going to head here to Port Charles."

"Carly?"

"Alcazar moved Carly and the kids before Conner was released."

"Great. That's great. She's out of the Compound." Jason murmurs then takes a long pull on his beer as he figures the angles. Carly was better at angles and trying to think like she does naturally would give him a headache. "She still calling regularly?"

Bobbie nods. "Alcazar's guys bring me the phone when there is a call coming thru. They are out in the parking lot now. Oops spoke too soon." Two of Alcazar's guys get comfortable up by the bar.

"They are definitely on the spot." Jason eyes them carefully. If he had the guys to spare then he'd have a tail on them just as obvious as they are on Bobbie. "Causing you any trouble?"

"No, not really." Bobbie takes another drink of the bourbon and lifts the glass for emphasis. "I'll probably have one of them drive me home. Scotty stopped by last night... they escorted him from my property."

"What did he want?!" Jason asks tersely.

"For me to intervene for him. Why he thought having me on his side would do him any good..." Bobbie shakes her head. "And with whom? You? The Mayor? Everyone is pretending to not know him because they don't want to be linked to the scandal." Bobbie sighs. "I know he dug this hole but...."

"You aren't feeling sorry for him are you?" Jason looks at Bobbie with raised brows.

Bobbie throws her chin up. "No. I'm not. Carly and Courtney didn't do a thing to Scotty and he made their lives living hells."

"Senora?" El Jefe had made it clear. La Senora's Mother was not to spend too much time with Jason Morgan. Morgan is a target in a turf war and it would upset La Senora if something should happen to her Mother or Brother.

"Yes?"

"La Senora will be calling you this evening. Did you want to take the call here or at your house so that Senor Donnelly can talk to the Jefe after you speak to the La Senora?"

Bobbie gives Jason a look as if to say See? She stands up and hands her SUV keys to the bodyguard. He picks up her coat from the back of the chair and assists her into it. Bobbie picks up the glass and bottoms up the last of the bourbon. "Don't be a stranger, Jase. Any message you want me to pass on to Carly?"

"Just make sure she's taking pictures of the kids for Sonny."

"I'll remind her." She leans over to give Jason a kiss on the cheek actually more by his ear. "I'll set things up for you to talk to Conner too." Bobbie straightens and starts for the door. The guard who had been at the bar gets the door for her. The one with her keys walks her to the car and gets her settled in the passenger seat before he comes around to the drivers side. He waits for his partner to signal him all clear before pulling out of the rutted slushy parking lot.

As soon as Bobbie and Alcazar's guys are gone, Stan comes over to Jason's table. "Did I hear Bobbie say that Scotty had come over to her house?!"

"Yeah, how is the rest of the research going there?"

"I'm feeling kinda like Deep Throat." Stan rolls his eyes when Jason just looks at him blankly. "I got a reporter who thinks I'm a God. Multi-piece exposť on local corruption. I think she's going for a Pulitzer or something. But don't worry boss-- I'm only giving up the ones that were rolling for someone else. When Alcazar gets back in town he won't have an automatic get out of jail free card."

"The WSB has already given him one of those." Jason counters. "The agent that was being held at the Compound has been released. But not before Alcazar got Carly and the kids out of there."

"Stop looking for the Compound. Check. Any clues where they might be?"

"I'll have a better idea once Bobbie talks to Carly. Just be ready to go anytime. Wherever Carly calls from... there will have to be plane tickets within ten minutes on the next available flight out... anywhere. The second hop will get her to Sonny." Jason snaps his fingers twice in quick succession to show how fast he wants things to go.



 



Carly is still humming when they are walking back from the pub, she's feeling loose and relaxed like she hasn't in months, feels like years! For a few hours, nothing has messed with her good time. She'd danced, flirted with the old men at the bar, lost badly at darts, taken a sip of Lorenzo's wine just to be sociable. Beer is better.

"Felice notte, Capo e Signora." The bodyguard breaks off from the duo taking up a position at the perimeter of the estate in a small building at the end of the driveway.

"Night." Carly waves figuring that's what he'd said. Lorenzo takes her hand. Carly catches up with him to walk along side. "That was fun. I haven't had that much fun..." Carly thinks about it. "In awhile?"

"The opening of your club perhaps?" Lorenzo suggests.

"Which one... oh the Cellar. Gawd No! That was an awful night. Don't get me wrong. It was a wonderful success and I was, am, very proud of it. But I'm talking fun, a really good time. You can't have fun when you're wondering if you have enough Cristal chilled. It was just so great to turn my brain off and listen to the music. You know that old guy at the end of the bar?"

where did that one come from? "Yes?"

"I think he pinched me. The guy had to be like 80!" Carly grins up at Lorenzo.

"You are in Italy now. I would suggest keeping your back to a wall. Very close to a wall. Or maybe the whole time you are here you should just walk like this." Lorenzo spins Carly around so that she is standing in front of him with her back to him. They walk up the final last bit to the front door in close tandem. Lorenzo lets her go.

Carly turns and looks up at Lorenzo. There is a long moment as they just look at each other. "I had a really great time tonight." Why does this feel like a first date?

"So did I. We should do it again soon." Lorenzo takes a half step closer, his head tilting in. He pauses lingeringly before brushing his lips across Carly's.

Carly puts out a hand to support herself and then leans back breaking the connection. Her face is flushed and her tone flustered. "I should go in. Check on the kids. I'm going in." Carly reaches for the door knob. Lorenzo reaches at the same time. With his hand covering hers, they open the door.

Lorenzo catches Carly as she half falls in the house. "Careful."

"Um.. thanks." Carly takes a couple of steps away.

"As soon as you're ready, I'll place the call to your mother. Time zones. It shouldn't be too late."

"Right. Not too late." Carly keeps backing up until she hits the edge of the staircase. "I'll just check on the kids." Turning around she keeps a hand on the rail and races up the stairs. She doesn't stop until she is up the stairs and in her room. She leans against the door to catch her breath. My Gawd, Caroline, What have you done?! Carly strips off her coat and flings it on the bed and then after taking some deep breaths goes to each of the kids rooms to check on them brushing hair back from their foreheads and giving them a kiss on the forehead. The Nanny is sitting up, reading. "Were they any trouble?"

"No trouble, Senora. The baby should be up again anytime."

"Gonna have to figure out a way to get hold of me if Morlee wakes up while I'm away. If I were back in New York I'd have a cell phone or something."

"The Jefe left his cell phone number if there had been an emergency." The Nanny agrees with a nod.

"Oh." Carly shrugs. "Well that works. We're in for the night. I'm just going to be downstairs." Carly takes her time walking back down the stairs. She is just about to knock on the study door when she hears the conversation inside.

"Signora's Mother asked for assistance from the men in removing a Mr. Scott Baldwin from her residence." Paolo informs Lorenzo.

Carly pushes the door open. "What?!" Carly looks at Lorenzo. "What was that bastard doing at the brownstone? I thought you had people watching Mama's house? You told Jason that Mama would be safe!"

"Leave us." Lorenzo instructs his lieutenant. As soon as Paolo leaves and shuts the door, Lorenzo answers Carly's concerns. "Your Mother is fine. She had the situation well in hand. In fact I think she played them both-- Baldwin and my man."

"What happened?" Carly goes over to the couch and sits down.

"The guard on your Mother called me after the altercation with Baldwin. It wasn't following the chain of command but... " Lorenzo shrugs. "All of Mr. Baldwin's laundry has been aired on the front page of the Port Charles paper. He has resigned as District Attorney. Evidently he stopped by your mother's house late last night... intoxicated."

"When do we get to the part where Mama played them?" Carly demands.

Lorenzo nods. "Your Mother made her point with Mr. Baldwin and then managed to convince my guy that Baldwin had called him... gay."

Carly starts giggling. She'd been around enough macho men to know that they didn't take that one well. "Oh really." She smirks. "What did he do?"

"Bounced Mr. Baldwin down your Mother's front steps." Lorenzo goes over to the speaker phone and dials in the cell phone number.

"Hello."

"Has Mr. Baldwin been any further problem for Senora Spencer?"

"No, Jefe. Senora Spencer met with Senor Morgan at a club called Jakes. Had one drink and then I drove her back to her house. She knows La Senora is going to call tonight."

"Bueno. La Senora is ready."

"Cinco minutos, Jefe." The man hangs up the phone.

"Your guy is driving Mama now?" Carly gives Lorenzo a look.



 



As soon as the phone rings, Bobbie pounces on top of it. She had taken the phone directly to Sean's apartment knowing he would want to hear what is going on too. "Carly?"

"Mama. How is Sonny?"

"Jason got him the best possible therapists. He's working hard, honey, but you know it's tough. Courtney is really stepping up. I don't think she's left Sonny's side since he got home." nice cover for her not being seen leaving the Harborview

Carly processes that, receiving the info that Bobbie is sliding her way and then changing the subject quickly to not draw attention to it. "So when did you start going drinking with Jase, Mama?"

"Oh get over it, Caroline. I let Jason know the WSB got Conner back. You know he'd never have anything to do with them. But no reason for him to be out of the loop and I didn't want to worry Sonny since the one thing Conner said was that you aren't at the Compound anymore."

"Right. Not at the Compound."

Bobbie can practically hear the wince in Carly's tone. "My Gawd Caroline, what have you done?!"

Carly takes a deep breath. "There was... a problem. It upset Michael. I solved it. I did the best I could, Mama. And as far as you being out of the loop, I would have loved to let you know that Ric was holding me hostage in his house. But I wasn't too close to a PHONE!"

"I know, baby." Bobbie sighs. "My issue isn't with you. It's with Sonny, and I can't really take it up with him. Believe me when that man is back standing without a cane I'm going to... take it up with him. Did I tell you I put Max on notice?"

"What on earth did poor Max do?!"

"He didn't tell me that you'd had the baby. That Jason had gone down to see you. Told that man if-- no, when he gets shot that he should go straight to Mercy 'cause he's going to find none from me."

"Mama!" Carly half laughs which is just what Bobbie had intended.

"If you're asking about Jase then you probably know about what happened with Scott." Bobbie thinks on what Carly had said earlier. "There was a problem. I solved it the best I could. There is nothing for you to worry about, Caroline. Scott got what he had coming and I don't think he'll be coming back around." Bobbie takes a deep breath. "Besides I really don't want to discuss Scott with you; he makes us both too furious." Bobbie changes the subject. "Jason suggested that you make sure that you are making photo albums for Sonny."

"Oh. Okay."

"Carly?"

"Mrs. Spencer, is Mr. Donnelly there?" Alcazars low strong tones are her only reply. Carly's portion of the call is over.

Bobbie hands the phone to Sean. "This is Donnelly."

Bobbie steps away to let them talk. Not that they should have much to talk about now that Conner was released. Bobbie goes over to Sean's phone and takes it to a private corner to call Jason and let him know how the call had went. Carly really hadn't given any clues as to where they were. The only thing she said was that there was a problem with Michael. Jason would definitely need to know that.


 



Lorenzo hangs up the phone after a brief conversation with Donnelly. There was no reason for him to talk to the man now. Donnelly's son is the WSB's problem now. And it's not like the elder Donnelly had been involved in the negotiations. The only reason to talk to him was really to be in the same room with Carly when she spoke with her mother. The calls always seem to upset her and tonight is no exception. Carly is standing by the fireplace. She is chewing the inside of her cheek, staring at the flames and twisting her wedding set... round and round. Lorenzo comes over by the fire, standing beside her. "Listening to you on the phone with your mother is like... being on a rollercoaster."

Carly snorts at that and stuffs her hands in her pockets. "Yeah, that's about right. Did you notice that every stupid thing I do is fair game but she doesn't want to talk about her major screwups?"

"Baldwin?"

"She has had a thing for him forever! And the only thing he's ever wanted is to see Luke rot in hell. And Scott was willing to use Mama, Me, anybody and anything. And she had the blinders on about him... until he threatened to take Michael away from me if I didn't say what he wanted me to say."

Lorenzo frowns and files that one away for later. "Baldwin didn't seem too fond of Sonny either."

"Well yeah, there is that." Carly shrugs.

"Why? It didn't seem to be any moral stand considering he was accepting bribes to drop charges." Lorenzo steers Carly over to the couch and waits until she curls up in the corner of it. Her arms wrapped around one knee. She still looks at the fire. "Why?" Lorenzo asks again as he sits down next to her.

Carly avoids the topic of Sonny. "Luke? Because Scott's wife dumped him to marry Luke. And Scott has been out to get him ever since. Sore loser. And Laura's not with either of them now. It was like..." Carly thinks about it. "I don't know how long ago it all started. However old Nikolas Cassadine is add a few years."

"And Sonny?"

Carly shrugs. No dodging this one "Sonny doesn't discuss that around me. He'll talk about Lily. I saw him around Brenda." Carly rolls her eyes. "The thing between Scott and Sonny is about Scott's daughter. The only time I hear anything about it is when Scott goes off on a rant."

"A woman."

"Whatever it was, is long over." Carly says confidently. "And yeah, since Sonny won't talk about it..." Carly shrugs. "... I'm sure he's got regrets. Things he wishes he'd done differently. But he and Karrie made their peace a long time ago. Scott was the one that tried to stir things up. And he's gotten kinda insane about it lately because Karrie was killed in some kinda accident."

Lorenzo nods. He slides one arm along the back of the couch. The move is casual, comfortable, non-threatening even as it increases the intimacy level. "I've heard enough of your battles with your Mother... you really didn't get upset until she mentioned photos."

"I should have thought of it. And of course Jason thought of it. It's the same thing he did for me when I wasn't around Michael. He took pictures of him everyday... so I wouldn't miss anything, not so much the month I was gone when Michael was born cause he was expecting me back any day... but when I was locked up. And Michael brought albums with him when he came to the Compound too. Everything he did when I wasn't there. That's why Jason had Michael take so many pictures at Morlee's baptism. So there would be something for Sonny."

"They'd use whatever photos you sent them to track you."

"I know." Carly starts twisting her rings again. "I just remember how much the pictures meant to me. They hurt because I wasn't there and I didn't actually see all those things... Michael's first step, his first hair cut. But it was better than nothing."

Lorenzo puts a hand over her hers to stop the action. "I'll figure out.. something."

 

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