Carly sits in the plush leather of the first class seat from Zurich to Miami. Morlee had gotten dirty looks from the others in first class. They took one look at a kid and figured that she'd be screaming for the entire eight plus hour trip. Course Morlee had fooled them. She'd had her dinner as the plane was taking off and fallen straight off to sleep. Michael hadn't been far behind. He'd been hypervigilant for too long and once in the air he figured they were as safe as they could be. Safe. The kid is working on an ulcer. But he's fallen asleep in the same seat with Morlee, holding the baby while she slept. Carly bites her lower lip and twists her rings. Looking at the ring, it's like his eyes are looking back at her. She twists the stone towards her palm and makes a fist. He's my husband. I had to do it. She opens up the fist and looks down at the ring and then closes it again. I had to do it.
"Yes?" Carly looks up at the flight attendant automatically.
"I'm sorry. But it's FAA regulation. If the baby isn't in a child seat then you need to be holding her."
"Oh. Right sorry. I haven't flown commercial in a while." Carly eases Morlee into her lap and tucks the blanket around Michael. Next time I go on the run I'll remember the car seat.
Bobbie steps up the pace as she comes into General Hospital. There was no way she could do surgeries today and had taken herself out of the OR. She still might get called in for emergencies but the rest of the nurses were happy enough to have someone trade to do the floor work. Bobbie locks up her coat and purse in her locker and when she turns around jumps about a foot in the air and clutches a hand to her chest.
"Sorry." Jason says wryly. He frequently gets that reaction. "You're still being watched."
"I don't see them."
"Yeah, but I bet you feel them right along the back of your neck."
Bobbie nods. "What's going on?"
"Carly contacted Stan last night. She's on her way."
"And if she's on her way..."
"Yeah, Alcazar's on his way back too." Jason shakes his head. "I can still get you out."
"No. I didn't leave when Frank Smith was after Luke. I'm not leaving now. Port Charles is my home."
"He uses women to control their men." Jason tells Bobbie. "That says something about him, what he fears."
"You're going to use that."
"Yeah. He wants Carly, Bobbie. If he hurts you then Carly wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole unless it's to stick the pointy end in him-- repeatedly. He stood off until Morlee was born."
"Not much longer after that." Bobbie says wryly.
Jason winces. "I don't want to know." He sees Bobbie's face. "Okay I don't want to know for sure." He shakes his head. "Anyway. What I'm saying is that they're all gone. Nobody knows where Sonny is. Where Carly is going. Everyone who knows anything about the island is already there."
"Everyone-- except for you."
"You know I'll never tell."
"Does Alcazar? Damn it, Jason. You can't do that. He could kill you before he figures it out!"
"It won't come to that."
The atmosphere in Alcazar's jet is icy. Luke, Frisco or Alcazar, nobody is talking. There had been no use in going to Zurich. Carly had already left on one of three flights. There had been no use in going back to Florence, whatever clues she'd left behind... Paolo and Vinnie would find and forward to him. Miami, Newark or Atlanta: Miami, Florida-- Carly's old stomping ground but she'd said in her note that she was going back to Sonny. Sonny was in New York. Atlanta? Well that could work as a distraction, as a delaying tactic. Not that Carly wouldn't use Atlanta or Miami but all roads led back to Port Charles eventually. He has to trust that Carly would get there safely and that's nearly impossible for him to do.
"You got any cards on this tub?" Luke asks out of the blue. "We're going to be here awhile might as well keep busy."
Frisco snorts at that and opens up his laptop computer.
"Don't see why you had to come with anyway. Unless maybe you were planning on seeing your kids. How old was Georgie the last time you saw her-- a week old?"
"How is Lulu doing, Luke?" Frisco retorts quickly.
"Pretty as a picture." Luke says easily and then lies. "Took her ice fishing just last week. She caught one about this big." He holds his hands about a foot and a half apart. "Had to quit having Georgie babysit though. The tattoo was one thing but I draw the line at tongue piercing."
WHAT?! Frisco comes out of his chair.
"He's pulling your leg." Lorenzo says calmly. "Georgie has neither tattoos nor piercings."
"Maxie on the other hand..." Lorenzo shrugs.
Before the ink can wear off of her hand, Carly grabs the phone from the seat in front of her and calls the number Stan gave her for Jason. Damn phone card she picked up in Zurich hadn't been cheap but nothing you buy in an airport ever is. They know you're screwed. What are you going to do-- leave? Run to the local Seven Eleven then have to go thru security all over again? Does Switzerland even have Seven Elevens? "Jase?"
"I don't think this is a good idea."
"It's a prepaid phone and I didn't buy that many minutes." Jason answers wryly. As soon as we get off the phone, it's going to the women's shelter for reprogramming and I'll already have the next one. There is going to be a packet of information waiting for you in Miami. It'll have your ID, cash and the number to the new cell phone. There will be a driver waiting for you..."
Carly interrupts. "Oh no. That is not a good idea. Jase, someone I don't know!"
"It'll be Max. Any of the bodyguards who know where Sonny is, well I moved them with him. Max will go with you to the island and stay there. How are Michael and the baby?"
"Morlee is fine. Michael has been a trooper. But I'll be glad when he can relax again and just be a kid. He's getting really good at soccer, Jase. I'll have to make sure he keeps playing when we're on the island. I should call him, Jase, when he gets back from his trip. Call him and tell him that I'm not going back to Port Charles."
"Why? Alcazar wouldn't believe you. If I were him I wouldn't. You've got a head start. You got to figure his people have already told him you're away."
Carly winces. That's the thing about Jason. He never really thinks like prey. He thinks like the hunter. It gives a great clarity of thinking in a sick and twisted way. "Yeah, but you know me."
"And he doesn't?" Jason lets that one hang there for awhile before going on. "Bobbie knows you won't be able to call her. She's gone thru this with Luke. She mention the Post to you?"
"Yeah, she was really freaky on the phone." Carly agrees she sorts thru the things she'd picked up the airport store and pulls out The Post. "It looks like a paper to me. Big headlines. Grainy pictures."
"Check out the personals. Bobbie ran one just after the call where she told you about the Post. It's one of those newspapers you can find in any really big city."
"I found it." Carly traces over the personal ad that her mother had placed that started... 1pcmom2another. "Thanks Jase. You're not going to come are you?"
"Somebody's got to keep the lights on." Jason quips. "Who knows? Look I want to leave a couple of minutes on this in case there is any problem in Miami. Give my love to the kids... and Courtney."
"Yeah, well you're just going to have to come down and kiss her yourself!" Carly suggests tearily.
"We'll know in a bit." Jason hangs up the phone.
"Love you." Carly says to the dial tone.
It isn't the first time that the conference table in the back of the plane had been used for a poker game. Long flights do get tedious. Frisco and Luke stopped snipping at each other as soon as they got into the game. The air is blue with cigar smoke and the level on the bourbon bottle steadily goes down. The steward is just there to make sure the ice keeps on coming. Sleeves are rolled up. Heck the jackets are off and thrown over the back of their seats.
Luke deals the cards and then looks at his hand. "You ever play cards with my niece?"
"Backgammon. Pool. Some darts." Lorenzo sorts his cards to his liking.
"Smart. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if she's a counter. Girl's got a thing for numbers. Used to do my books for the club." Luke says proudly. "Jason thinks I don't know that by the way."
"Mr. Morgan and I seldom speak."
"Why do I think that's going to change? Oh well. Where was I? Caroline." Luke deals the second round tucking the discards to the bottom of the deck. "Numbers. Never got audited by the IRS when she and Jason were doing the books. Bobbie on the other hand. As soon as she started doing the books..." Luke rolls his eyes. "Bobbie just doesn't get it. The IRS expects you to fudge. You don't and they get suspicious."
"Carly told me that the first time you two met that you had your hands around her throat." Lorenzo throws in the bet to the pot.
"Yeah, Cassadine set that one up." Luke sighs. "Should've seen that one coming. Don't get me wrong. Sweet Caroline was dipping her toes in someone else's pool. But it put Bobbie front and center with Cassadine. Which was what Vlad had in mind all along."
"That's Carly?!" Frisco almost comes out of his chair. "The bitch that broke up my brother's marriage? Shot him?! She ruined his life!"
"Oops." Luke looks at his cards. "Guess he didn't put that one together. Probably a good thing." Guess that's kinda reasonable considering that Bobbie didn't know that Carly was her daughter until after Michael was born. No reason to really put together that the chippy Tony had cheated on his wife with was actually his stepdaughter. At least Doc Bro in law hadn't raised Caroline. That would have made it just too Woody Allen. It was one thing to lust after a sweet young thing. That's just being a man. Totally different to be lusting after your own kid.
"Your brother is Dr. Anthony Jones, the kidnapper?" Lorenzo grinds his teeth. Mentally kicking himself, he remembers Carly's reaction to the WSB being called in. This is the man she didn't want involved. It is this man's brother who she doesn't want her mother owing favors.
"You didn't know that?" Luke looks at Lorenzo. "What did you two do when I wasn't around?"
"She almost killed my brother!" Frisco says again pushing away from the table.
Lorenzo matches him. "He kidnapped her child."
Luke mutters under his breath. "pot/kettle."
"What did you just say?!" Lorenzo turns on Luke looking down at the only guy who'd remained seated at the table.
Frisco smirks which really pisses Luke off. "I'm saying you kidnapped my niece and her kids not once but twice. Okay Michael only once." Then Luke turns around and points at Frisco with a long pointy finger. "And you helped him." Luke sighs and folds his hand. There isn't going to be any poker played for awhile. This is all Sean's fault. Sean's the one who had the codes to get Frisco in the right place to distract Alcazar clearing Carly's path. "Fine. The WSB helped him."
"This is none of your business." Lorenzo declares softly to Luke. "You've never been involved in Carly's life before. Never concerned for her safety. Isn't it a little late to be starting now?"
"I was there for the high points." Luke shrugs almost defensively. It always pisses him off when he's called on not being the head of his family. It isn't like he asked for the job! "Gave her to the lawyer when she was born so she could have a decent life. Was at the hospital when she went into premature labor with Michael and did her damndest to bleed to death. Jason and I were the only ones who knew who she was, really was. Even her mother didn't know." Luke shudders. There is just something so sick about a kid in the hospital: first Lulu and then Michael. Michael had been so damn small and wires going in and out, every which way.
"And Hey Who says I'm starting now by the way? I'm just hitching a ride back from France. If Caroline decides to go for a train ride it's not my deal. I didn't talk to her let alone buy a ticket on this ride. And even if I was involved-- and I'm not saying I was. You're the one getting jacked about her safety. Would you rather have had nobody watching her back when she decided to go for a little walk? Not that I'm saying I did." Luke adds just to be clear.
"A little walk." Frisco snorts at that. "Only a Spencer."
"Or a Cummings." Luke snaps back. "Felicia seemed to understand that urge just fine."
"You son of a bitch." Frisco comes over the table.
Luke leans back out of Frisco's reach. "Don't know why that struck a nerve. You haven't been married to Felicia for decades. You were off saving the world. Whatever she does, the girls do, well-- it's really none of your business, by your choice."
"Enough!" Alcazar demands. "Please excuse us, Agent Jones. I need to speak with Mr. Spencer... privately."
"No problem." Frisco shrugs and walks to the forward cabin and shuts the door after him.
"So. What's on your mind?" Luke asks.
"Carly is not our only mutual interest."
"You feel like talking cigars?" Luke examines the one he'd been enjoying.
"Now you're talking."
"MAX!!" Michael goes running to the familiar body guard. Max was out of his unusual uniform of custom Italian suit and is wearing a very loud Hawaiian style shirt with a jacket, khaki trousers and boat shoes. He'd locked his gun in the car. They really don't like guns in airports.
"Hey Buddy." Max gives Michael a toss setting him back down and then looks beyond Michael. "Where's your mom?"
Michael has climbed Max and is looking over his shoulder as he points. "There."
Carly is talking to one of the passengers from first class who is helping her with the diaper bag. Max curses the new security that makes him wait until she actually gets to the concourse so he can take her bag. Carly turns to the man. "Thanks I really appreciate your help."
"I got it from here." Max says quietly but firmly as he takes the diaper bag from the other passenger and strings it on his own shoulder.
"Right. Nice talking to ya." The man gives Carly a look and then Max. He walks off.
"Hey Max." Carly grins up at the affable bodyguard. "Hear you're not on Mama's Christmas card list this year." She leans up on her tiptoes and gives him a kiss on the cheek.
"I think I'm off it for good." He gives Carly a one armed hug. "So can I see her?"
Carly steps back and unzips her jacket. It's too hot for it anyway. "Max, may I introduce you to Miss Morgan Leigh Corinthos?" Morlee is curled up against Carly's chest in the carrier. Her eyelashes lay against her cheeks. Her head is covered with curly dark hair. Max touches the back of one finger against her cheek. Seems like one of his fingers is as big as her whole arm.
"She's Morlee." Michael tells the guard. "Least till she grows into her whole name."
Max nods his agreement and his voice gets hushed. "Wow. She's gorgeous, Carly."
"Oh yeah, you'll think so when she wakes up at two am."
"I sleep with my door shut." Michael informs Max before asking, "Where's Uncle Sonny?"
That brings Max's head up and his eyes go wide as he looks at Carly. "Um.. Michael... your dad is waiting on the island. We've got a float plane ride to go yet. But then it's beaches and boats-- fast ones."
Max sees the hand motion that Carly gives him an abbreviated wave her hand indicating that he should let it go. He nods. "Your chariot awaits."
"Thanks Max." Carly says gratefully-- for more than just the lift.
Bobbie opens the door after a brief look. "Why am I not surprised? So did you wait until Sean was gone on purpose or were you just feeling lucky?!" Bobbie turns around and goes into the family room and sits down.
Lorenzo follows her in and leaves the door open for the person behind him.
"You might as well either really pull the guards or put them back where they can be useful." Bobbie declares from the top. "Carly isn't going to be coming here. I figure if you're here that means she isn't coming back to you either."
"I tried to tell him." Luke says. "He wouldn't believe me."
"Luke?!" Bobbie almost comes out of her chair. "What are you doing with him?"
Luke comes over and gives his sister a kiss, then presses her shoulders down so she collapses back in the chair. "Barbara Jean. Just hear the man out."
"Hear him out? Hear him OUT?! Have you been smoking crack? Do you know what he did? I might have to be professional when Ric Lansing comes into the hospital to see Elizabeth but this is my house!"
"Now Barbara, you know I never touch the hard stuff." Luke jokes trying to lighten the air.
Alcazar begins "Sonny never kept Carly safe...."
"From you." Bobbie mutters under her breathe.
"From anyone. That's why it was necessary for her to come stay with me. I could guarantee the last months of her pregnancy where less stressful, less taxing. Something Corinthos couldn't do, was unwilling to do."
"You kidnapped her!"
"There was a doctor at the compound full time over a month before her due date. He was monitoring her blood pressure constantly. Whenever Corinthos would visit, Carly's blood pressure would... spike. The last time he visited a month before Morlee was born... It was so extreme the pressure he put her under... she actually passed out."
"I remember that visit. That was the visit you kidnapped Michael too." Bobbie if anything has become more steeled in her resolve. Up until today she really hadn't seen a purpose in a poison ring like the one Faith Roscoe had worn until the day she disappeared. But between Luke and Alcazar she was ready to mix up a batch of lemonade herself. "What do you want?" Bobbie states flatly. "If Carly were with you then she'd be with you pleading your case if she wanted to be with you. I don't see her. If Carly's not with you then she's with Sonny. I really don't think you want to know which of the two of you I think is better for my daughter or who I'd suggest she stay with. And if she's not with Sonny well then bully for her. It's a great big world with more than controlling jerks in it and I hope she's very happy." Bobbie leaps to her feet and walks over to the kitchen. She puts the kettle on. Between the boiling water and the knives she actually feels safer in the kitchen.
Lorenzo takes a dog-eared pack of photos from his inside jacket pocket and opening it starts laying them out on the breakfast bar. "Does she look unhappy? Does she look afraid? When was the last time you saw her laughing? When was the last time Sonny made her laugh? He is no good for her."
Bobbie comes over to the breakfast bar and picks up the photos one by one. There are pictures of Michael playing soccer. Pictures of Lorenzo sitting with Carly, holding hands. Pictures of him behind her with Carly tilting her head back to look at him. She sets down the last picture. "Did I say he was? Frankly Sonny has nothing to do with whether Carly comes back to you. I have nothing to do with whether Carly comes back to you or not. It's up to her. It's her choice now."
"You could call her once she arrives in Port Charles. I know we beat her flight here since we came directly. Tell her to come over here. I just want to speak with her."
"No. I couldn't." Bobbie says flatly. "If you want to get Carly out of the penthouse then go talk to her yourself."
Lorenzo looks at Bobbie and realizes. "She's not coming to Port Charles."
"No. She's not and she's not going to. Neither is Sonny."
"You were seen..."
"Pushing a guy in a wheel chair into the Harborview Towers. Going over there on a regular basis." Bobbie interrupts with a nod. "I have no idea where Carly is, where Sonny is. I didn't ask and Carly knew not to tell. She won't be calling me. She won't be stopping by. I might get a letter or note but I'm sure there won't be a return post mark on it. All contact will be initiated by Carly."
Luke whistles. "She's more of a Spencer than I thought. That's slick."
Both Bobbie and Lorenzo looks at Luke, furious at his comment. But it's Bobbie who snaps back. "She's always been more of a Spencer than you gave her credit for. How could you, Luke? How could you do this? How could you walk in here with him?!"
"Hell, Baby Sis, I'm just along for the ride. I don't have anything to do with any of this. No skin off my nose if Sweet Caroline is bumping Sonny, this one, or BoBo, the freak show's tattooed man."
"You think it's just fine that my daughter, your niece, was forced into having sex with the man who kidnapped her." Bobbie goes for the double low blow. "You're becoming more and more like Daddy every day, Luke. Thank Gawd Laura went crazy and didn't see this. Get out. Both of you. Get out of my house. I won't help you, either of you."
"I never forced Carly." Lorenzo defends himself but allows himself and Luke to be ushered to the door.
"Could she leave?!" Bobbie slams the door after the two of them. Then she goes over to the phone and calls Jason. "Alcazar was just here. Luke was with him if you can believe that! I'm sure you're next." Bobbie nods and then hangs up the phone. She goes back into the kitchen. Alcazar had retrieved all the pictures except for one. It's a picture of Carly and the kids with Alcazar. Bobbie holds it close trying to get a good look at the baby. It's more recent than the pictures Jason had brought back when Morlee had been born.
The five passenger Cessna float plane makes for a scenic trip to the island. The climb to altitude is gradual enough Morlee never cries. The heat of southern Florida and the Keys starts getting to Carly and she has Michael take the baby long enough so she can get out of her coat. Getting into something lighter is going to have to wait until they get to the island. Nothing is going to go wrong now, not this close. She might as well just do it. Carly unzips the pocket on the sleeve of the coat and pulls out two rings. It takes a twist and pull and one set of rings is off and then a second later another set is on. She looks down at the rings in her hand. What she ought to do is get rid of them. What she does instead is put them in the pocket on the jacket and zips them in with the Venezuelan passport. Then she stuffs the jacket in the diaper bag. "Here, Michael, I'll take Morlee again. Why don't you get out of that coat?"
Michael doesn't have to be told twice and pulls off his shirt too to reveal the t-shirt underneath. Carly takes both and stuffs them in the diaper bag too. The whole time he is looking out the window checking out the boats below that appear to be getting closer.
"Senora?" The pilot asks.
"Yes?" Carly answers automatically.
"We'll be coming in for a landing if you want to make sure everyone is secure?"
Carly watches Michael fasten down his seat belt tighter and makes an adjustment on her own. They come down smoothly like a duck to the water and taxi over to a dock where someone notified of their approach is there to secure the lines from the plane to the floating dock. Max is the first one out of the plane. Then Michael and the diaper bag, Carly is the last passenger off the plane and makes sure she has a firm grip on Max's hand before she makes the step from the plane to the dock since both of them are moving with each wave lapping against them.
"Welcome home, Mrs. Corinthos." The dockhand announces.
"Thanks." I think.
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