Even though Max is right there when they get of the plane, Michael stays close to his mother. Again he is on guard knowing that he has to protect his mother and Morlee in unfamiliar territory, the Jefe is counting on him. His change in behavior gives Max pause wondering what the hell is going on. Luckily with Carly traveling so light it's easy for him to have the diaper bag over his left shoulder and not have to worry about being able to draw. Not that he expects trouble, but it appeared that the kid does.
"Welcome! Welcome!" A man in island casual is waiting at the end of the floating dock. Behind him is a car that instead of a roof has a canvas top and fringe. "It is good to have you with us again, Mrs. Corinthos. You've returned to the island just in time. The casino is in high gear getting ready for a major poker game... there will be fun for everyone!"
"Kill the sales pitch." Carly mutters not intending to be heard but she is.
"Mrs. Morgan is up at the casino making preparations for the game or would you like to go to your regular cottage?" The Driver assists Carly and Michael into the car.
Max who takes the front passenger seat is the one who answers. "Casino." He really wants to postpone the meeting between Sonny and his family until he finds out what kind of day Sonny is having. And Courtney up at the casino is not a good sign.
Lorenzo parts company with Luke outside of Bobbie's brownstone. Spencer hadn't been able to cover his ire at his sister's comments and had left without looking back. There's something there but that is going to have to wait. The two guys who are watching Bobbie's house come out of their hiding places to consult with The Jefe. Lorenzo doesn't have much to say however. "Don't let anything happen to La Senora's Mother." Alcazar has no need to add a threat. Instead he gets into a waiting car and goes to the apartment he'd purchased so long ago from Ric Lansing. He needs more information before he can make his move.
Inside the Brownstone, Bobbie watches Alcazar leave while on the cordless phone with Jason. "He just left. He brought Luke with him, Jason! LUKE! And you were right. I told him that Carly isn't coming back to Port Charles and the guards are back in plain sight."
"You okay with that?"
Bobbie grimaces. "For now. If they start causing a problem I could change my mind. They did come in handy that night Scotty was being an ass." Not wanting Jason's agreement on that one she continues quickly. "I didn't have time to tell him to leave you alone... having Luke here threw me for a loop."
"I never asked you to." Jason reminds Bobbie. It's not your worry, Bobbie. I have it from here. And as for Luke... well..."
Bobbie sighs. "Luke is Luke. And I'm sure he got Carly out. Alcazar was probably just the next available flight back to the states."
"Probably." Jason agrees.
After greeting both Carly and Michael with big hugs, Courtney quickly bonds with Morlee-- cooing and rubbing noses as she holds her niece for the first time. When she finally looks up, "You all look great! And look at this cutie." Courtney gives Morlee another cuddle. "Your Daddy is going to be so happy to see you! All of you."
"How is Sonny?" Carly asks already shedding her coat and dropping the baby's necessary bag on the floor as she sags into a chair in the casino's security office.
"Manny, this is my nephew, Michael, any chance you can set him up with a strawberry ice?"
"I'm staying with Mama and Morlee." Michael says flatly.
"Mr. Man, it'll just be girl talk. I'll be right here." Carly reassures him.
"Michael, we can place the order from right there." Manny points to a table out in the hallway. "So you'll be able to keep your Mama safe."
"Okay." Michael says reluctantly. He leaves with the big security chief.
"What was that all about?!" Courtney says in a low voice.
"Bad enough he saw Ric kidnap me. Then a WSB agent showed up at Alcazar's compound. He wasn't planning on kidnapping me or anything but he was acting... sly and Michael caught him at it."
"And Alcazar too." Courtney shakes her head.
"Michael doesn't know about Alcazar and I'd just as soon it stay that way." Carly warns.
"He doesn't know? How can he not know?!"
"We always told Michael that Lorenzo was a business associate who kept me safe while we waited for the baby. Lorenzo was there when Morlee was born. Watched Michael's soccer practices."
Carly nods. "Once we went to Florence. Michael's main body guard played for the town's club so they practiced every day rain or shine."
"Everyday. And on days when it rained they watched matches on Satellite. How is Sonny?" Carly abruptly changes the subject.
Courtney makes a tilting motion with one hand. "Good days and bad. Seeing you and the kids will make all of the difference."
"Courtney, cut the crap." Carly says flatly. "I know Sonny, and I might not have done it for long but I did work physical therapy at GH. Sonny's probably in a funk: drinking too much and breaking things."
Courtney laughs wryly. "You do know him too well. Yeah, he's in a funk. Anyone who provides him with booze gets fired and Maria says he's too right handed to get much power into throwing things. But I do think seeing you, Michael and this precious girl is going to be just the medicine the doctor should have ordered."
"Mama?" Michael interrupts.
"You ready to go see your Daddy, Mr. Man?" At Michael's nod Carly gets up. Michael picks up the baby's bag.
"I'll walk back with you." Courtney says quickly not ready to give up holding her niece just yet.
Lorenzo walks into the dive on the outskirts of Port Charles. Carly had told him about this place when they'd been in Florence. It feels familiar. His gaze automatically goes to the juke box expecting for a minute to see her standing there staring intently at the selections and then when he doesn't-- his gaze falls to the pool table. "You asked for a meeting. Why?"
"Message from Bobbie you were back in town." Jason finishes his last shot and walks over to the two top table where his beer sits. The tailored Italian suit jacket is hung casually over the back of a chair. The long sleeves of his dress suit are rolled up and the collar unbuttoned. "Carly isn't in Port Charles. Neither is Sonny. Anybody who knows where they are has already been moved or eliminated. Bobbie doesn't know where they are." Jason takes a long pull on his drink but he doesn't look away from Lorenzo. This meeting had been called under a flag of truce but he'd been shot before while taking such meetings.
"Nobody except for you." Lorenzo's eyes narrow. "You are almost waxing poetic. Why the sudden sharing of information? What makes you think I won't get her location from you." any way I can.
"You could try." Jason shrugs then replies pointedly. "I think its as likely as me getting the same information out of you when Carly was down at the Compound. The way I figure it... you think you still have a shot. Anything happens to me.... Carly will see you in the ground before she'll ever come back to you." Jason grins. "Did you want a drink?"
"I'm not Faith. If I were going to kill you, you'd see me coming."
Alcazar considers that and makes a nod in the direction of the barkeep, a fashion victim who looks as if he's been Rip Van Winkling since the days of disco. Considering the options, he winces. Even without intentional poisoning there was always the possibility of unintentional. "Whiskey. Whatever passes for Top Shelf."
"You got it." Coleman agrees with a nod and walks back toward the bar.
Jason takes a seat at the table. Might as well get comfortable. Lorenzo sits down across from him. "Your life would be a lot easier if I were dead." Lorenzo suggests to Jason.
"Yes, It would." Jason agrees. "If you were dead, my wife and best friends would be here in Port Charles."
"And yet I'm not."
"Because Carly told me what happened. I'll hold up my end of the truce. I expect the same from you." Both of the men fall silent as Coleman brings Alcazar his drink.
Only once he is gone does Lorenzo state his case. "Sonny is in no position to protect Carly or the children. While I understand Carly's desire to have Sonny see Morlee and I understand your need to protect your... mentor-- he forfeited his rights to his family when he was too drunk to get on that plane when Carly needed him."
"If you move against Sonny, Carly will defend him. Haven't you figured that out yet?! It was just business up until Sonny had his stroke and Carly understood that. If there is one thing Carly knows it's business. You took the choice out of Carly's hands when you refused to allow her to come back to Port Charles when Sonny had his stroke."
"You agreed with me! It was too dangerous!"
"Yeah, but I didn't tell Carly that. It's all on you." Jason lifts his beer in a mocking salute.
"Because you knew she'd run." Lorenzo realizes.
"Yeah, and if you knew her as well as you think you do you'd have known it too. If you care about her as much as you say you do. Carly was setting you up from the minute you told her no. The move out of the Compound to Europe... whatever else she did." Jason's gaze is knowing. "It was all leading up to this. Nobody tells Carly no. She does what she wants to do-- always."
"I'll find her."
"Maybe. Probably. Eventually." Jason shrugs. "But unless she wants to go with you then we're doing this all over again. Until you get it. Unless it's Carly's choice, it's not happening."
"And when she chooses me?"
Jason snorts. "Now that Sonny needs her? You're delusional. It's never going to happen." Jason sighs. "If Carly chooses you, then she chooses you."
"And you won't interfere."
"If Carly chooses you then I won't have to interfere." Jason says flatly but then he warns. "But it's Carly's choice-- not some business deal or hostage situation. If Carly doesn't want to be with you then she won't be."
Lorenzo contemplates the younger man. He'd seen it when Carly had placed Morlee in Jason's arms down at the Compound. There is a closeness between Carly and Jason that even Sonny didn't have with his wife. Morgan's right. If he gets rid of Jason then it might be easier to get to Carly but she'll never forgive him. "Tell Carly you and I have a truce. On one condition..." When Jason just looks at him, Lorenzo resumes. "...I want to hear it from her. I want her to know I'll be there whenever she needs me."
"She won't need you. If she calls, and she won't, I'll tell her." Jason rises to his feet and then shrugs on his jacket. He nods to his bodyguard at the end of the bar and together they leave.
Sonny sits in a comfortable chair on the lanai overlooking the beach. If he had his way he'd still be in bed. If he couldn't dull the edge with alcohol then he might as well be asleep. All of a sudden his eyes are covered.
"Guess who?" Is whispered in his ear and a kiss brushes his cheek close to his jaw.
Carly comes around the chair to pull up another next to Sonny. "Hi, sorry it took so long; I took a shortcut thru Europe." She jokes dryly.
Courtney comes around and places Morlee in Sonny's arm. "Here's your daughter, Sonny."
"Morgan Leigh Corinthos," Carly announces proudly. "This is your Daddy." While Carly observes the bonding she holds a hand out to Michael who is hanging back from everyone. Carly wraps an arm around his waist and rests her chin in his shoulder as they both watch Sonny meet his daughter for the first time.
Sonny looks up from the baby. "Mike." It's an emotional moment even stressful as everyone is back together. Sonny's voice more than a little slurred as he acknowledges his adopted son.
"Hi." Michael says distantly.
"Hey Buddy." Even two handed, Sonny wouldn't have felt comfortable juggling the baby to reach out to his son.
"Go give your Daddy a hug." Carly whispers in Michael's ear then says in a normal voice. "Michael was a big help on the trip. Especially on the flight to Miami. Between the two of us there was more whining from a sales manager from Atlanta who was sitting across the aisle!" Carly jokes to fill the moment.
Michael gives Sonny an awkward hug then steps back to stand by Carly.
"Honey, why don't you get your stuff situated in your room and find Leticia. Let her know we're here. I know she's probably missed you like the dickens."
"Okay." Michael quickly runs off.
"Sorry-- I guess he's got a case of jet lag."
"Some." Carly agrees. "It's been a long couple of days."
Courtney watches the two of them. She doesn't know if she should leave to give them some privacy-- or stay to try to break up some of the awful tension in the room. Hoping she is making the right choice, she steps up. "Here. Why don't you let me introduce Morlee to Leticia? Give you guys some time to catch up."
Carly transfers the baby from Sonny to Courtney giving the baby a little smooch and then sits back down in the chair next to Sonny. She takes Sonny's hand in both of hers.
Courtney steps back to the doorway, she releases the breath that she'd been holding. It might still work out. It had to work out. Slowly backing away she goes to find Michael. She finds him in his room just laying on the bed staring at the ceiling. "Michael?"
"Do you want me to take Morlee, Aunt Courtney?"
"No, I've got her." Courtney comes over toward the bed and reaches out with one hand to place the back of it against Michael's forehead. "Are you okay? You seem kinda quiet. Aren't you glad to be home?"
"This isn't home."
"Sorry, I know. Jason is still up in Port Charles. It doesn't quite feel like Christmas is coming with no possibility of snow. But we've stayed here before-- it's like a second home I guess." Courtney eyes Michael with some concern. "And the good thing, I'm sure there are lots of people who play soccer on the island if you want to keep playing. Your mom says you are getting really good. You wouldn't be able to play back in Port Charles."
"This is just a visit. We'll be leaving soon. Mama and Morlee need to be someplace safe." And I already told Santa where I'd be this Christmas.
"You're safe here, Michael."
"I'm really tired, Aunt Courtney."
"Sure. Your body probably doesn't know what time zone it's in. You go ahead and close your eyes, get some rest. Everything will make more sense when you wake up." Courtney waits until Michael's eyes close and then she leaves to find Leticia.
Michael's eyes open as soon as he hears the click of the door shutting.
Lorenzo looks at the double shot of whiskey that had sat untouched in front of him. Reaching for it, he tosses back the potent liquor exhaling the burn. He isn't surprised when Simon takes the seat that Jason Morgan just vacated. "Well?"
"The penthouse is empty. Morgan's place across the hall is as good as empty, doesn't look like anyone really lives in either place. Checking known safe houses in the area. Nothing. Nobody knows anything about Corinthos being gone or La Senora being back."
The Jefe's answer is more of a musing comment as he contemplates the empty glass. "My life was so much easier before I met Carly. Everything was a business problem that could be solved with money or a gun. If I won, I turned a profit. If I lost..." Lorenzo shrugs and then grins wryly. "Well I didn't lose. Nothing was at stake. Nothing I cared about. How did I end up here?"
"You fell in love, Jefe. La Senora-- she makes it easy." Simon suggests softly with a nod.
Lorenzo laughs at that. "In love with another man's wife. It was the last thing I expected. The last thing I would have planned or wanted. Unwilling to leave her, rearranging my life, my business to keep her by my side. How did it go from business to feeling that life without her would be unimaginable?"
"You know exactly what your life would be like without her, Jefe. You don't have to imagine."
"She's trapped inside a dream, Simon. What she has with Corinthos isn't reality. It's a habit. He doesn't respect her, he doesn't honor her. He was too drunk to even get on the plane when Morlee was born! Michael told him Ric Lansing kidnapped Carly and he dismissed the boy! Lansing should be..." Lorenzo makes a snapping motion with his fingers and then a slash across his throat. "For what he did to Carly and to Michael tambien."
Simon nods his agreement. It was nothing he hadn't thought as well from Lansing's first betrayal of Luis. The smarmy lawyer should have been chopped into little bits and used as fish food. But Luis had wanted him around to get information on Corinthos, to protect Brenda.
"And Faith Roscoe? She keeps breathing until Morgan took charge?! Dios! Carly was safer away from this town, away from her so called husband, safe with me."
"Jason Morgan is a cat of a different color." Simon's comment is more just to let the Jefe know that he is listening.
Lorenzo's eyes narrow. "Yes, he is. Threats and guns won't work with him. The only thing that will convince him is Carly and the knowledge that her being with me is her choice."
"La Senora trusts you. I know this. I saw this. You can build on that. And being around Corinthos, maybe that's okay too. I think maybe she forgets what a pendejo he is. Or how crazy he makes her."
Alcazar gives a glare that could melt lead. The idea of Corinthos putting his hands on Carly again is enough to make him crazy. Exhaling and bringing himself back under control he sets the liquor glass upside down on the table and starts to get up when his phone starts ringing. Reaching into his jacket pocket he pulls out the cell phone. "Alcazar." He says impatiently.
Lorenzo sits back down and focuses totally on the call that he can barely hear. "Michael? Where are you?"
The End? Well at least the end for now. Since we all know Lorenzo-- we know he's on his way to the island. And he'll find a way to win. That phase of the story is just going to have to live in y'alls imaginations. This chapter actually had a lot of help from the show and some parts may make you go hmmm. One of those things where there was great dialogue... it was just to the wrong person! Deb