The Harem of Jason Morgan
The Hardy residence. "That is it, Lizabeth! I am calling your parents. These lies have to stop. I can't believe that you would do anything so ... so... thoughtless as planting test answers on your sister. And then planting condoms as well? What were you thinking? Don't you know that Barbie dolls are not anatomically correct?"
"Please, Gram I swear. I will never do anything like that again...Please don't call my folks. I couldn't bear that!"
"I told you if you ever lied to me again that this arrangement would end. As soon as I have word from where your parents are I'm forwarding you and your bags... and until then you are grounded! Go to your room, Lizabeth."
Stomping up the stairs and then slamming her door. Elizabeth begins to pace the room. She brushes her tears away absently her mind racing. "This can't be happening. I've been trying so hard; I haven't done a step out of line for months... okay weeks. I'm not some puppy that can be shuttled off to the pound cause it piddles on the rug now and again. This is all Sarah's fault... perfect, plastic Sarah. I can fix her little red wagon... I can; I can; I can! But how?"
A little bit later in the parking garage of Morgan's Penthouse. Renaldo watches the garage as Jason steps from the limo, offering Carly his hand as she steps out. Carly is dressed in a short strapless silk dress that matches the color of the emerald in the diamond and emerald necklace that she is wearing. Carly is laughing and even Jason is cracking a smile at a story that Carly had just finished.
"Mr. Morgan? Please Mr. Morgan, I need to talk to you!" Liz's progress is blocked by Renaldo. Jason keeps walking until he feels Carly's hand on his arm.
"Jase-- It's Liz Hardy; she's a friend of Em's."
Jason pauses and really looks at the girl for the first time but still holds his own counsel.
"Jase, she's soaking wet."
"Bring back memories?"
"Come on, kid. It's okay, Renaldo. I'll handle it from here."
"Thanks Mr. Morgan, you are the only one that can help me."
"Whatever it is can wait until we get upstairs and you get dried off."
A concerned Carly places an arm around Liz ignoring the spreading water spots on her silk dress. "You are soaked to the skin! Don't worry; everything is going to be all right."
About half an hour later in Jason's office. He sits behind the desk. Liz has a towel wrapped around her neck and her hands wrapped around a cup of coffee. Jason has put all conversation on hold until Carly arrived.
Carly breathlessly bounds into the room. "What did I miss?"
Jason replies, "Nothing. We waited for you. How is Michael?"
"He's sleeping like an angel. Graciella said he was sweet all night."
"Good. Okay, Ms. Webber you're up." Jason says.
"Mr. Morgan, you are the only one that can help me..." Liz begins.
Jason interrupts, "Call me Jason, and you're repeating yourself. What exactly do you need?"
Liz blurts out hurriedly, "I need a place to stay. My grandmother won't let me stay with her anymore and I don't know what I'm going to do."
Jason asks bluntly, "How old are you?"
Liz replies, "Eighteen." Carly who had been leaning against the bookcases behind Jason's seat closes her eyes and winces at the obvious lie.
Jason rocks forward in his chair, his arms leaning against the desk, his eyes icy blue. "Don't lie to me, little girl-- especially uninteresting lies in my own house."
Liz looks down at her feet. "Fifteen, but you see that's the problem. I can't stay at my gram's and my parents are in Bosnia. I'll end up in some girl's boarding school and I'd hate that-- I know I would."
"But why would you think that I would help you?"
"Your sister and Lucky Spencer. Mr. Morgan, I just need a little time."
"Time doesn't work for me. Having a 15 year old runaway under my roof is just the invitation that the PCPD needs to get in here." Jason states tersely.
"No one would know I'm here. I swear! I just need a few days to come up with a plan." Liz pleas.
Carly says, "Jase, I wish I would've known someone like you when I was fifteen. Things might have been so different."
"I wouldn't have been much use to you when you were fifteen and I don't think things would have been all that different even if I had. Liz, I am a businessman, and you would be nothing but trouble."
Carly interjects quietly, "Michael."
Jason turns his chair around smoothly. "What?"
Carly explains, "Graciella has her own family, and she didn't sign on to be a nanny. It really isn't fair...."
Liz begins talking really fast. "I'm really great with kids. I was volunteering at the hospital on the kids' ward, and I was Santa's helper at the GH Christmas party."
Jason holds up a hand cutting off Liz. "Okay, fine! You can have two days but start making plans. If you're good with Michael then I'll help you with the next step and if it doesn't work out then we'll call it quits with no hard feelings. Carly, would you set her up with a room and fill her in on the way things are run around here?"
Later that night in Carly's room. Jason walks in, unbuttoning his dress shirt as he comes through the door. Carly sits at the vanity rubbing moisturizer on after her shower. She is dressed in a short nightgown with spaghetti straps.
Jason says, "Michael's asleep; I just checked on him."
Carly rises from the vanity and walks over to Jason. Brushing his hands away, she unbuttons his shirt trailing kisses down his chest. Jason threads his hands in her hair and studies her face intently before saying, "Something's bothering you."
Carly admits, "She reminds me of me. And I keep remembering what I did to Bobbie... moving in on her and taking over Tony."
"You aren't Bobbie, and I'm not Dr. Jones."
Carly replies with a throaty laugh. "Thank God!"
Jason frames Carly's face with his hands holding her at arm's length. "She's jailbait and she isn't you. This isn't my problem anymore; it's yours. Michael is your son. If she does anything to compromise my business or our custody of your son then she is gone. We've got a good thing going here. When I walk through that door I don't have to worry about a thing and you don't have to worry about anything outside that door."
Carly bites the inside of her lower lip. "She's been a friend to your sister and to my cousin."
Jason nods. "And that got her foot in the door. Now it's up to her. Are we done talking yet?" Gathering Carly close he lifts her from the floor wrapping his hands around her hips. Carly giggles and winding her legs around his waist she grabs hold of his shoulders.
"Oh yeah!... All done.. with that."
"What? Yeah, I can be there in about 20 minutes. Yeah, I'm on my way."
Carly pulls her head out of the pillow long enough to ask in a sleep thickened voice, "Is everything okay or should I even ask?"
Jason slides from the bed grabbing clothes as he goes. "That was Luke. He wants me to meet him at the club; it's some kind of emergency."
Carly's curiosity is piqued at the mention of her uncle and sits up in bed gathering the top sheet to her as she watches Jason dress. "But it's morning... it would have to be a real big emergency for Luke to even be awake at this hour?!"
"Well he wouldn't get into it on the phone so I doubt it's either the plumbing or the books."
"It's not that Moreno guy again, is it?"
"Don't know, but I doubt it."
Grabbing Jason's dress shirt from the floor Carly starts buttoning buttons and rolling up sleeves. "Oh Jeez-- if it's Luke and it's mysterious; it has got to be some Cassadine conspiracy. It's the only thing that keeps him occupied since I quit lying about Bobbie and Laura came home from Switzerland."
Sitting on the bed Jason pulls on his boots in rapid succession. A hint of impatience enters his voice. "I'll know when I get there."
Reading Jason from months of practice, Carly starts shaking her head. "Sorry. I'll butt out." Crawling across the bed, she presses against him as she offers him a long, slow moist kiss. "Tell Luke he hasn't been such a great uncle lately; he hasn't been over in weeks to see his nephew." Squeezing Jason's shoulder briefly, Carly bounds from the bed and heads toward the shower. "Since I'm up I might as well see what I can get done before Michael wakes."
"Yeah, and see what you can do about getting Liz some clothes. I already have one woman stealing my wardrobe; I'm not having another."
Turning to stand in the doorway backlit from the bathroom behind her, Carly strikes a pose. "Don't you like?"
Jason's gaze heats as he examines the woman before him. The tails of the shirt cover her front and back but rides up high on the sides showing off leg and thigh and the hurried buttoning job exposes cleavage down to her solar plexus. "Oh I like, but I also told Luke 20 minutes."
Real softly Carly teases, "Then you better get going, right?" Shrugging into his leather jacket, Jason stands and starts walking toward the door. "I'm leaving Renaldo here. If there's a problem that involves you or the kid you'll be the first to know-- anything else... I'll call when I can."
Luke's club the office. Luke is kicked back in his chair hands clasped behind his head as he studies the pattern of the ceiling tiles. Alexis Davis sits primly on the lumpy couch taking up as little space as possible. Everything in her demeanor screams that she is hiding within herself from her efforts to take up as little space as possible. Occasionally as if automatically her arms hug herself and she rocks a little back and forth before catching herself and returning to her rigid motionless pose.
Rapping once on the door, Jason walks into the silent office. "Okay, what's the emergency?"
Luke waves a cigar in the direction of Alexis. "I need to stash the counselor here. She had an unexpected guest in her room last night.... of the viperous persuasion."
"Helena came calling?"
Alexis shudders. "No, literally a viper... a snake. God, I hate snakes... especially snakes that bite."
"Now Babe, it wouldn't have bit you... until morning. Not with you being all nice and toasty... It was used to lot warmer temperatures than upstate New York in the middle of winter."
"You are so twisted, Luke Spencer, and I am not in the mood for your baiting. I think it's about time I looked into a career counting spotted owls in the great northwest under another name."
"You can run babe, but you can't hide. And there are only a few people that can make you disappear but Jase here is one of them."
Crossing his arms before him, Jason interjects, "If she wants to count spotted owls that's her choice. Seems kind of isolated though with plenty of space to bury a body if it came to it."
Alexis closes her eyes briefly. "I see now why you two get on so well. You are both twisted."
Jason looks at Luke confused. "What did I say? That's what I would do if I were hunting her."
Luke waves off the concern. "She doesn't get it yet that she needs to start thinking like a predator rather than like prey to avoid getting killed."
"I don't care what you think... this was Helena's work, not Stefan's! Stefan is family and he wouldn't hurt me!"
"And you nailed right on the head why I think that this was a warning from the Prince of gloom and doom. If it was Helena she would have just slit your throat ... that would have had a kind of symmetry that she would have relished. This was a warning from someone that knows you really, really well. It's time for you to stop sitting on the fence, Sweetheart. If you come between two dogs fighting over a juicy bone you're going to get mauled."
Alexis sighs. "What do I need to do?"
Luke grins easily. "Wow that's a change in tune, counselor."
"Don't gloat, Spencer. I'm not quite as stupid as you have accused me of being on occasion."
Taking a seat in the barber chair across from the desk Jason stretches out his legs before asking in bored tones, "Why am I here?"
Luke repeats, "I need a place to stash the counselor here. I'm the first person that they are going to be looking at for her. Stiff knows that I've been courting her on my off hours and Helena's seen a few of our meetings as well."
"Not to mention that your wife would kill you for bringing another woman into her house, especially since you're skating on thin ice with her for not telling her about her son being shot and having a stroke."
"There is that. I could set it up for her to get out of town but I would just as soon have Alexis close by when the dust settles between Stiff and the Gorgon. She knows all the players and now that she is thinking again..."
"You know I really hate being talked about like I'm not in the room."
"So Jase, Do you have a safe house in town that I can go to without suspicion?"
Jason grimaces and closes his eyes. "Your niece says that you haven't been over to see your great-nephew lately."
"And how is the little rugrat? Mr. Michael Spencer Morgan?" Luke inquires with a note of pride in his voice.
"Eating, sleeping and growing with other bodily functions thrown in on a daily basis." Jason pulls out a cellular phone and dials a preset number asking Luke as he waits for the phone to pick up, "What's my cut of this deal?" Just then the phone is picked up on the other end. "Yeah Carly, get another room ready we're going to have another houseguest... looking pretty open ended right now. And you were right, it's another Cassadine Conspiracy."
Carly and Renaldo are walking through the park on a bright, crisp, breezeless winter day that smells just slightly of spring. Carly pushes a stroller with a bundled Michael who looks out curiously at the blue sky and barren trees. Carly sets a brisk pace that is easily matched by Renaldo who is dressed in casual attire with a zipped windbreaker.
Carly teases, "I didn't know that you owned any jeans!"
Renaldo retorts, "I'd look kinda stupid power-walking in an Italian suit."
Carly wrinkling her nose laughs. "True, very true." Carly hesitates as she recognizes someone she knows sitting on a park bench. Renaldo looks around briskly until he too sees the familiar face. Carly takes in the air of sadness that surrounds Emily and pushes Michael to where Em is staring blankly in to space. "Hey Emily." Carly plops down next to Emily startling her.
"Oh Hi." Emily quickly smiles but it doesn't reach her eyes.
"I see you had the same idea to get out and enjoy the sunshine while we've got it. Michael and I needed the fresh air. I think I'm going to try and find some ducks... He's got a stuffed duck at home that he slobbers all over."
"Can I hold him?"
"Sure, I don't mind sharing." The baby is transferred to Emily's arms from the stroller.
Emily holds the baby close to her and croons, "Hi, I'm your Aunt Emily... can you say Auntie Em, Auntie Em?"
Carly starts laughing and can't stop. "Remind me to never have a kid named Dorothy around you!" Even Renaldo, who watches everything but the two women with the baby, grins.
Emily asks hesitantly, "What you said about sharing. Is that true? I mean, after everything that's happened?"
Carly gets serious fast. "That was never about you, Emily. That was about some of your relatives trying to take Michael away from me and Jason. They weren't interested in sharing just taking. Tony, AJ and your folks not only wanted my baby but they wanted to cut me out of his life. No way was I going to let that happen. For a long time when I was growing up it was just me and my mom. I want Michael to be a part of a family: mom, dad... and aunts!"
Emily inquires, "But Dr. Jones....?"
Carly replies honestly. "Tony was a mistake. The result of watching too much television, I guess. I wanted Father Knows Best... The Donna Reed Show. The perfect family with the perfect father and with me as the perfect wife. I was deluding myself and eventually I woke up and realized what Tony and I had wasn't going to be fixed in thirty minutes or an hour. And while we're being honest here-- What is bothering you?"
Emily hands the baby back to Carly. "I was just missing Matt. He might not have gone about it the right way but he tried to be there for me... until Dorman killed him."
Carly blanches. "I remember. I remember walking into the morgue and seeing Jason kneeling by Dorman's body. I figured out then how much Jase means to me. I would have said anything to protect him and he wanted me to tell the truth. The truth-- I couldn't believe it.
Renaldo interjects, "Carly."
Carly looks at her watch and then nods. "Em, I have to get back to the apartment. If you ever want to talk or see Michael, call okay? Renaldo or one of the guys will come pick you up wherever you are and bring you by the apartment-- Night or Day, okay?!" Carly takes off one of her gloves and takes one of Emily's gloveless hands and squeezes it reassuringly. "You're important to me and not just 'cause you're Michael's aunt or one of the few people that Jason cares about but because you are a good person. And I am the lying conniving b...um witch your mother says I am, but I'm your lying and conniving witch, okay?!
Emily laughs and squeezes Carly's hand. "Okay." Carly rises and fusses briefly with the stroller before starting down the path. "Carly."
Carly looks over her shoulder. " Yeah?"
"Just call, Em." Striding purposefully Carly and Renaldo head back to the apartment.
Later that evening Carly and Jason get ready to go out to Luke's--take him his books and shoot a game of pool.
Carly runs a quick brush through her hair. "I can't believe that Alexis Davis is staying here! I mean, she is Tony's lawyer."
Jason tosses the towel from his shoulder to the dresser and pulls out a clean t-shirt. "Yeah, well I seem to be running a haven for wayward females with family problems. And Carly, no one can know she is here."
Carly grins. "My specialty. You duck the questions and if it comes down to it... I'll lie like crazy."
Jason retorts, "One of these days people are going to start catching on."
Carly replies smugly. "Nope. Since Michael was born I've been telling the truth at least ... oh half the time. And hanging with you fulltime, I've been getting rusty; although Liz is a refresher course. I saw Emily in the park today and got real honest with her. Oh Jase, she was just sitting there staring into space-- she didn't even notice me until I was right beside her."
Jason asks seriously, "Was she high?"
Carly shakes her head. "No, I don't think so but Jase, she was so sad and she was missing Matt."
Jason confirms, "Her dealer?"
Carly nods. "Yeah, I just think that things must be really bad if the person that you're thinking about and missing is the guy that you used to get high with."
Jason agrees. "I'll check it out. I've already talked to Reginald and things are set up for me and Michael to see grandmother tomorrow.
Carly goes over to the dresser and pulls a packet from a stack in one drawer. "I've got new pictures if you want to drop them off for me."
The next morning at the Quartermaine Mansion Jason enters through the patio doors with Michael. Lila looks up from her book as the doors open.
"Darling! And you brought that precious child with you!"
Jason walks over and places Michael in Lila's waiting arms before giving her a kiss on her powdered cheek. Sitting on the couch next to her chair, Jason rolls his eyes slightly as Lila greets her great grandchild with coos and cuddles.
Lila looks over at Jason. "I think he's grown since the last time you were here. He's definitely heavier."
Jason shrugs. "Carly just about weighs every ounce that goes into the kid and she agrees with you. She is still freaking on the time he spent in the hospital when he was born."
Lila nods her head sagely. "It was a very frightening time for all of us but a mother's worst nightmare. How is Carly?"
"Better. She's over the blues now and having no worries about Michael helped with that. Gets out into the sunshine whenever she can, takes the kid with her. She sent these over for you." Jason reaches into his leather jacket to an inside pocket and pulls out the packet of photos.
"Oh you must thank her for me. Reggie and I have just finished the last packet she sent over. I ordered a lovely set of photo albums from Wyndams and you know..."
Jason shakes his head ruefully. "Yeah, I know...they deliver.
Grandmother, Carly saw Emily in the park yesterday and she was
concerned. She says that Em seemed sad. Have you noticed
"Oh Dear, Emily HAS been more quiet of late. I know that my Edward has been watching her like a hawk! He is so concerned that she isn't eating right. She is the only grandchild he has at home now and so he fusses a bit, I know."
Jason looks up as he hears the click of the french doors opening, he relaxes slightly when he realizes that it is Reginald but picks up quickly on the clue that Reg wants to talk to him... privately.
Stepping over to the windows, Jason asks in an undertone. "What's up?"
"I was just upstairs. Dr. Alan didn't go into work today; he called in sick. I had no idea that he was still home."
Jason grimaces slightly, "I'll try to be gone before he gets down here." Just then the doors open.
Reg quips ruefully, "Too late, I'm out of here. Call me in case of blood or breakage."
Jason stands over by the windows out of direct view which allows him to observe Alan-- the lost weight, the slight tremor in his hands, muddied complexion, the hollows under his eyes. And even though Alan is home sick, it hasn't stopped him from being dressed in a suit and tie which has Jason wincing in disbelief. Jason watches as Alan places his hand in his pocket and then a minute later pats that same pocket as if for reassurance.
Alan calls out in a falsely cheerful voice. "Good Morning, Mother!"
Lila replies, "Good morning, Alan; see who has come to visit me?"
Alan does a double take as he recognizes the baby. "Is that Michael?" Then starts at the voice behind him.
"Yeah. Alan, can I talk to you... outside?" As the two men walk toward the patio doors Jason smoothly brushes up against Alan and picks his jacket pocket folding the pill container into a closed fist. Once outside the men face off. "Alan, you look like hell."
Alan is rocked slightly at the blunt comment. "I'm fine just a little under the weather is all. Michael is looking good." Alan pats his pocket and is NOT reassured. Sliding his hand into his pocket he searches for the small vial... not finding it; he reaches into his other pocket and starts to sweat.
"Looking for these?" Jason raises his clenched fist and opening it examines the bottle then opens the lid and confirms the pills. "Hydrocodone. A synthetic opiate. Isn't that the same drug that Brenda was hooked on?"
"Brenda took more than the recommended dosage. Those are quite safe. Now return those to me. They were prescribed to me for my hand."
Jason snaps the pills out of Alan's reach observing his flushed face and the sweat that has begun to appear. The tremble in Alan's hands is more evident. "You aren't in pain... you are looking for a pill to stop the craving. Don't tell me that these things are safe 'cause right now, you aren't. I don't want you near the kid, Carly, me, any of my people. What you want to do with your life is your choice, if you choose to slowly kill yourself with this poison I'm not going to stop you. But if you hurt one of mine in your drug induced fog you won't have to worry about suicide." Jason's eyes narrow as Alan is reduced in stature by his cutting phrases. "This has been going on for months, hasn't it? You were there the night that Cassadine was shot and you could have helped and didn't-- because of these." Jason holds up the pills. "Emily knows, Alan. She might not know about these, but she knows something isn't right. She was there that night too. Just stay away from me and the kid. We'll be out of here soon enough." Jason tosses Alan back his pills. "Here, I don't need these."
Late that night there is a phone call that rings by Carly's bed.
"Yeah? Em... is that you? Where are you? Okay, I'm on my way-- just stay put." Carly flips on a light and then flipping her hair out of her eyes, eyes the clock questioningly and the empty bed beside her. Hitting the speed dial on the phone, she orders up a car and driver. Quickly she dives into sweats and pulls on running shoes gathering her purse she stops briefly by Liz's door. "Liz, I'm so glad you're still up. I have to go out and Jason isn't home yet... could you keep an ear for Michael? He should sleep until I get back but just in case."
"Yeah, No problem; how long are you going to be gone?"
"No longer than an hour. I'll see you in a little bit."
Inside the rebuilt wing of the Forest Hills Psychiatric Hospital. "Okay, I'm here-- What does she want?"
"You told me to call if she asked for you."
"Yeah, but after the last time I didn't think that she'd ask. How is she?"
Lorraine shrugs. "She's as stable as they get in this looney bin." Together they start walking down a long hallway toward a steel door.
"Your bedside manner could use some work, Lorraine"
"And if Carly hadn't blown it with Dr. Jones I could have had a cushy desk job at GH. They get what they pay for and believe me-- nothing is worth getting beat up by these psychos. But they had an opening and I needed the rent money."
"Well I hope that you don't smoke; that's what killed the last nurse, I hear."
"Yeah, that and Greg Cooper. Can you believe that he is here? They brought him back for a psych eval. He has to have one every six months. His parents think if he stands trial that they are off the hook. They'd rather have a kid that's a criminal than crazy."
"And then there are parents that would prefer the reverse. Is Jax still monitoring her visitor's list?"
"Everyday when he comes in to see her. Now that's a fine looking man-- and rich."
"Whatever. Does she know I'm here?"
"Yeah, I told her that I called you. They're all locked up for the night so just beep me when you want out..."
"Right." A thick heavy door swings open to a dayroom where a small brunette stares out into the darkness by a wired shatterproof window. "Hello Brenda."
"Hello Jason." There is a long pause.
"You asked for this meeting."
"I want to disappear. You're good at making people disappear." Brenda throws her hands wide and cocks her head to the side. "So Abracadabra!"
Jason pulls out a chair from a table and reversing the chair straddles it. He rests his arms along the back of the chair. Pointing to the chair across the table, "Are you sane?"
Brenda sits in the chair across from Jason with one leg curled beneath her. "Sane enough to know that if I don't get away from Jax I'll be back on a psych ward within weeks. I'm getting out of here tomorrow. Jax comes by every day at 10am; I can be released at seven. I want to be long gone before he shows up."
"He must know that you're getting out."
"My 'Doctor' and I have come to an... accommodation-- being a former model still has some advantages. Unlike you, some men still think with their crotch. Jax has no idea that I'm due to be released."
"I had to. Like you said being locked up it was either be killed or kill myself. Well the old Brenda Barrett, nearly Jacks, nearly Corinthos, is dead and this is what's left over."
"Okay that answers the Jax question. What about Sonny?"
"Sonny's gone and frankly I wouldn't spit on him if he was on fire. He left me holding the bag in our relationship and it got awful heavy."
"Brenda, that was never his intention."
"I think I read a bumper sticker once-- The road to hell...? Well I've been to hell, and I'm not going back. Are you going to help me or not?"
"Why should I? You've been nothing but trouble-- first for Sonny and then for me. Making you disappear sounds like a tall order."
"Because you owe me. If it weren't for me, you'd be living in one room over a seedy bar taking orders rather than giving them. And you like giving the orders... I can tell."
"It'll take at least a few days to set things up." Jason rises from the table, and taking out his cell phone dials Lorraine's pager. "The last place Jax will look for you is my place especially after what happened last time."
Coming around the table, Brenda frames Jason's face with both hands and kisses him on the mouth lingering in the embrace. Jason reaches up and takes her hands in his removing them from his face.
"I already have a woman."
"She has my condolences."
Turning Brenda's hands over, Jason examines the thick healing scares that crisscross the inside of Brenda's wrists. "I know a plastic surgeon that can take care of these."
"It was a lesson learned. It can't be erased."
"A cab will be waiting for you outside at seven AM. One of my guys will be driving it."
"See you tomorrow."
"Oh and Brenda-- you're right. I like my life; you do anything to complicate it and you're on your own."
"Get me clear of Jax and his delusions of a pretty little woman on a pretty beach and we'll be even."