The Harem of Jason Morgan
The breakfast table is set to her liking as Robin takes the seat at the head of the table. Brenda, Alexis and Dara are in deep conversation as Emily emerges down the stairs gloomily. Robin frowns at her. "What's the matter, Em?"
Emily ignores her as she takes a seat next to Brenda. "Are you still up to taking me for that drive today?"
"Sure Em, where do you want to go?" Brenda asks, her concern obvious.
"I don't care." Em replies as Graciella places a plate of Eggs Benedict in front of her. Emily chuckles angrily. "How appropriate."
Jason joins them at the table, taking a seat next to Robin. "What's for breakfast?"
Emily snaps angrily. "Whatever Robin decided on, I've lost my appetite, Brenda, let me know when you're ready." Tossing her napkin down, Emily leaves as Brenda shoots a glare at Robin.
"What's with Emily?" Jason asks, as he digs into his breakfast.
Alexis rolls her eyes as Dara excuses her self from the table. "I'm not to hungry either, and I have plenty to do today, Alexis, remember we have to meet V for lunch today."
"I was just leaving, I needed to discuss a case with you anyway." They make their exit, leaving Brenda, Robin and Jason at the table.
"You know how teenagers are Jason, she's probably just in a bad mood. Maybe she misses her family." Robin offers helpfully.
"We are her family." Jason responds.
"Jase, we can't pretend to be her parents. Emily needs Alan and Monica, when was the last time she even called them?"
"I don't know, the last time she wanted too. Robin, Em has been happy here, why would she want to go back to Alan and Monica's?"
"Because they're her parents, Jason."
"She doesn't want to go back." Brenda replies, finally breaking her silence.
"Brenda, Emily may say that she doesn't, but it's pretty obvious that she misses them." Robin folds her arms across her chest as she makes eye contact with Brenda. "She's been moping around here all last night."
"Maybe it has something to do with Carly, Michael and Liz being gone? Don't use the condescending tone with me, Robin. I'm not Jason, I won't tolerate it. You pushed Carly out, which is why you are so smugly sitting in her chair right now."
Jason glares at Brenda. "This subject is closed."
"The hell it is." Brenda retorts. "You may allow Robin to pull you around by the short hairs, but the rest of us don't work that way. I care about you, Robin, but quite frankly, you make me sick these days. Your smug little-- 'I know what's best for you act' is a little to close to Jax. Why the hell do you think I left him?"
"You left Jax because Sonny drove you crazy." Robin tosses out angrily, before looking apologetic. "I'm sorry Brenda, I didn't mean that."
Brenda laughs as she stares at her little sister. "Sure you did, I've noticed that about you. When you get ticked off, your true feelings come out, well lay it on me, kiddo, tell me how you really feel? You arrived here and you didn't like the arrangement. Jason was doing just fine without you and you couldn't stand that could you? So many women living under Jason's roof, Carly running the show, so you did everything possible to make the place the way you want it."
Jason rises from the table, clearly annoyed. "I'm leaving, if you two want to argue about this, be my guest, but keep Carly out of it."
Brenda looks at him open mouthed. "Excuse me, but did you actually just
defend Carly? I think hell just froze over. To bad you didn't while she
was around to appreciate it."
"Shut you mouth, Brenda. I don't ask for much, but respect is something I demand. You will respect my orders to not discuss my relationship with Carly or Robin, it's not your business."
Robin smiles smugly at Jason's turned back. Her facial expression quickly turns to despair as his eyes meet hers. "It's okay, Jason, I can handle Brenda. We obviously have some issues to discuss."
Jason leaves as Brenda claps her hands. "Bravo, that was a great performance. Now cut the crap and let's get to the heart of the matter, you want all of us out of here so that you can go back to controlling Jason without interruption."
"No, Brenda, let's get to the heart of the matter, you want Jason because he reminds you of Sonny. The same reason you sleep with Renaldo, the danger excites you."
"You know nothing about me and
Renaldo." Brenda replies angrily. "And
for Jason? Not in this lifetime, Yeah, I respect him, but he wouldn't
touch me with a ten foot pole, cause in his eyes I'm Sonny's woman."
"Which is why you're ticked." Robin pounces.
"No, which is why I respect him, even if the fact of the matter remains that I am nobody's woman, except my own. I learned a lot in that hospital, and the biggest lesson was I've never been my own person. I changed myself to suit whatever relationship I was in. Well, hasta la vista to that way of life, because it'll never happen again. I'm sure not going to change myself to suit your needs, little sister."
"You're deluded. You're wearing some kind of medieval slave bracelets with Renaldo's initials on them, but yeah, you're your own woman." Robin rolls her eyes as Brenda cocks an eyebrow at her.
"Yeah, I wear these. I care about Renaldo, and he cares about me. I honor his wishes, but he doesn't try and change me to suit his needs. The rules are simple, do as he says or leave. I accept that, I embrace it. I have a structure in my life that was my choice and I'm happy. He doesn't care if I sleep with other men, I could care less if he sleeps with Dara every night of the week, because when push comes to shove, he's there for ME. We may have a dysfunctional relationship, but at least we're based on honesty, which is more than I can say for you and Jason. Who's really deluded, Robin? You hate Jason's career, you hate the choices he makes, you try to mold him into the perfect man that you so desire, how long will it be before he's shacked up at the Q mansion serving tea to Lila? You don't love Jason Morgan, you love Jason Quartermaine, you don't even KNOW Jason Morgan." Brenda turns on her heel and walks away. "OK, little sister, you get to have your wish fulfilled, cause I'm leaving this train wreck."
In the renegade penthouse, Brenda finds Renaldo and Dara talking as Alexis fixes a snack in the kitchen. "I'm out of here." She pronounces as she makes her way into her room.
Renaldo follows as does Dara and Alexis. "What do you mean? You're leaving?" He asks, watching her toss her things into a bag.
"I'm not living by Robin's stupid little rules; I'm sure as hell not going to bite my tongue for as long as Carly did. Robin can take her advice and good intentions and kiss my ass. You coming or staying?" She asks, without bothering to look up.
"Coming, let me talk to Jason first." Renaldo replies before walking out the door.
"Can you hand me my makeup case?" She asks, as Dara hands it to her. "Thanks, here take this." She passes her the lipstick that she used the night of the set up on Moreno. "It looked better on you anyway. I've grown closer to you guys, as twisted as that sounds, than I ever was to Julia or my dad. I don't really want to lose touch with ya. Even if you both can be overbearing and opinionated. I just got to break out of this place before I go nuts..." She giggles softly before adding, "...again."
Dara smiles at her with a new respect. "I hear ya girlfriend, we probably won't be far behind you."
Alexis replies cryptically. "Speak for yourself, some of us still need his protection."
Brenda meets her worried gaze and replies honestly. "Be careful, Lex. Robin doesn't like sharing her home with other women, she practically tried to ship Emily off to the Q's today." Remembering Emily, Brenda sighs. "How am I going to tell her that I'm leaving too?"
Alexis smiles as she embraces Brenda. "Leave Emily to me, I will see to her needs. Take care of yourself now."
Dara nods as she gives her a quick hug too. "If we're supposed to be like sisters now, I guess that makes you the annoying brat, so stay the hell out of trouble."
"Yeah, whatever, you nag." Brenda teases as Emily walks into the room, her eyes filled with tears as she sees the suitcases.
"Not you too!" She replies before sinking to the floor in tears. Brenda rushes over and wraps her arm around her.
"Em, I'll visit, I promise." She assures her, but Emily shakes her head.
"No, Robin keeps driving people away, everything was cool until she arrived, and now look at us.. what's left of us."
"Baby, it was never going to be a permanent thing, ya know. I have to move out on my own sometime. The original plan was for me to totally disappear but thanks to you guys I don't feel like I have to that anymore. And yeah, you're right it's going to take a hell of a lot for me to step foot next door but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to see you."
"You wouldn't be leaving if it weren't for her! I'm not a stupid little kid ya know, I can see what's happening. She wants us out of here, and won't stop until we're all gone!"
The car ride to the farm house is silent as Liz watches Carly stare out the window sadly, every once in awhile a silent tear escaping. Michael, oblivious to his mother's sadness, sleeps in his car seat. Johnny pulls into the driveway and brings the car to a stop. Helping the ladies out of the car, he begins picking up their bags as Carly, carrying a sleeping Michael, and Liz close behind her, climb the steps into their new home.
Liz stops dead in her tracks as her eyes fall on the man wearing a "Kiss the Cook" apron, who stands dumbfounded by the doorway. Undaunted Carly hands him the sleeping baby, and quips, "Meet your namesake... Michael." Dropping the diaper bag off her shoulder onto the floor, she peers into the kitchen and breathes in the sweet aroma of marinara. "Lasagna? Great, I'm starved. Liz, set up in one of the bedrooms, I don't care which one. Then come back in here for dinner."
"You don't seem surprised to find me here." Sonny cradles Michael in his arms and hides a smile as an open mouthed Liz backs down the hallway to the bedrooms.
Carly shakes her head. "Naa, you seem more shocked to find ME here. It's about time Michael spent some quality time with his namesake anyway. You don't mind sharing the house with us, right?" Easing into the couch, she props her feet up on the coffee table, already making herself at home. "Why didn't you tell Jason you were here?"
Taking a seat in the recliner, he shrugs his shoulders. "I almost did, until I saw Brenda walking into the penthouse. I didn't want to complicate things further with her. She's had it pretty rough since I left."
"After you dumped her," Carly points out bluntly. "Brenda's okay, though. A hell of a lot different than who she used to be, but it works for her. How long have you been here?"
"Long enough to have seen and heard things. Jason has himself a real harem going on over there." Sonny's amused pride is unmistakable.
"Well, we'll see how long that lasts with Buttercup pulling him around by the short hairs." Carly smiles at him mockingly. "Oh sorry, you're friends with her. Guess I'll have to tiptoe around here as well."
Cocking a brow at her, Sonny tilts his head curiously. "From what I've figured out, Jason is taking responsibility for Michael, has a complicated relationship with you, and still loves Robin... right?"
"And people say I'm blunt. Jason is Michael's father, plain and simple end of story. Our relationship was working fine until the Sorbonne princess of sainthood decided to renew her claim. I never wanted to compete with her. Jason and I are friends and we raise our son together. She's the one who's threatened by it, not me."
"Right, it's just peachy with you that he's in love with her," Sonny comments, obviously not buying it in the least. "This isn't any of my business, but Robin is like my little sister."
"You're right, but we're going to be living together so you may as well know why. Although you may not like my version of it. Yes, I hated the fact that she has this sick kinda hold on him. He may feel it's love, but it's freaking similar to my relationship with Tony."
"Ah, Dr. Jones."
Carly nods. "Right, it was this sicko, almost father/daughter thing. I mean, he said he loved me, but that was a total crock. He loved the image of me being who he wanted me to be. Some plastic, perfect doctor's wife. Robin controls Jason, and the bitch gets off on it. It's that simple, she treats him like a child, 'Jason do this, wear this, eat this.' It's gross. Jason isn't some idiotic rag doll with no common sense."
"Wait a second, One-- she's not a bitch, and Two-- their relationship isn't as cut and dry as you make it out to be! You say that Jason isn't an idiot, then why would he be in a relationship with some control freak, as you just described her?" Sonny questions angrily.
"Jason doesn't see what's right in front of his face where Robin's concerned. I don't try and control him, and neither did you. That's why he respects you, because you've never tried to manage him the way the Q's tried. You trust the man he is, and don't treat him like some half wit or shattered image of Jason Quartermaine." She laughs. "Heck, I didn't even know he was AJ's brother at first. I had no idea he was Monica's son, that he'd been in a accident. I just thought he was this incredibly gorgeous, sexy, honest guy. It wasn't until way down the line that he told me everything. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have ever guessed he was brain damaged, hell I just thought he was a little cold and rude."
"That's probably why he respects you then, at least part of the reason. You never came into a relationship pitying him about his accident. "Sonny rises from his seat, hands the baby over to Carly and smiles. "I have no problems with you staying here, and there's no need to tiptoe around my feelings. Just don't feel the need to preach the gospel on why you hate Robin to me. I love Robin, but I'm a firm believer in everyone has the right to like and dislike whomever they choose. Just know I don't totally agree, or disagree, with your assessment of her. Now... I'm going to check on dinner."
Alexis swallows the growing lump in her throat as she walks through Jason's office door. "Jason, I need to talk to you."
"Whatever it is, take it up with Carly." The words leave his mouth before it registers what he's said. Meeting her anxious gaze, he replies coolly, "Something I can help you with?"
"I hope so, but I'm afraid I'm about to cross some major boundary lines here," Alexis admits as she takes a seat.
"Then why cross them?"
"Because I won't feel safe until I do." Alexis chooses her words carefully as she shifts under Jason's intense gaze. This won't be easy. "Ever since I've come to live here, I have felt safe. Even when we were fighting against Moreno's attacks, I felt safe. Until now."
"What's changed?" He asks, closing his file and giving her his full attention. It wasn't like Alexis to be so fidgety. In fact, she hadn't been since the first night at the club. "Helena make contact or something?"
"No, nothing like that, at least not yet. Jason, may I be honest with you?" She asks, already knowing his answer. Honesty was what Jason respected most in people, she could only pray he'd respect what truths she was about to lay at his feet.
"Lay it on the line, Alexis." He answers, sitting back in his chair.
"Before Robin came to live in the penthouse, I felt safe. Everything ran smoothly, I knew where I stood with you and everyone else."
Jason interrupts her. "I won't listen to another Robin bitch fest. I've had my fill of it."
"Fine, then tell me where I can go and still be protected." Her words are short and to the point, and immediately grab his attention.
"Continue with what you were saying," He replies evenly, his eyes boring into her.
"We may not have all gotten along like one big happy family, but everyone respected each other's reasons for being here. We were all on sinking ships and you were our lifeboat. I put my life in your hands, as did the rest of the occupants of this place, and we did it without reserve." Taking a deep breath, she manages to continue. "I know you love Robin, it's obvious her well being is your top concern, so what I need to know is where does my well being rank with you?"
"You are under my protection, Alexis. Nothing will change that."
"Until she decides that I need to leave too," Alexis counters. "Look around you, Jason. People are abandoning ship, taking their chances out in the cold, harsh water. I can't afford to do that; the sharks in my water will eat me alive. I turned to you because I couldn't sleep at night, because I was so overwhelmed with fear. Since coming here, I have been sleeping through the night, safe and sound, content with the responsibilities you've bestowed upon me. You have given me more freedom and trust than any member of my family ever dreamed of. To lose it scares me." Alexis places her hands on top of his own. "It didn't take her long to free you of your son. How long will it be before I'm out too?"
At the mention of Michael, Jason recoils from her touch, but her words hit home. "Carly left because she doesn't like Robin."
"You can't be this blind, Jason. Carly left because you wouldn't allow
her to defend herself with Robin. She had to walk on eggshells and bite
her tongue and be uncomfortable in her own home. The home that she made
for you, me and everyone you dropped in her lap, I might add. She hates
Keesha, but allowed her to live here without packing up her things and
moving on. You have this jaded image of Carly. You see her as tough as
nails, able to handle anything thrown at her just brushing it off and
moving on to the next crisis."
"Carly handles things," Jason points out. "She doesn't need me the way Robin does."
"She doesn't? That's news to me. Carly needed you to stick up for her, to defend her from Robin's line of fire. You see things in black and white, Jason. But life is full of shades of gray."
"Could you please talk in regular sentences instead of all these comparisons?" He asks angrily.
"Fine, you see Robin as weak and defenseless, as this little angel who
needs your protection, and Carly as this tower of strength who never
needs you." Alexis takes a deep breath, then continues. "Jason, Carly is
the one who accepts you for who you are. She knows you, she loves you,
and she would do anything for you, no questions asked. Robin spouts her
love of you, and then dresses you in Armani suits and chooses which
knife you should cut your steak with. Can't you see that one adores you
for who you are and the other wants you to be someone else? Robin is
driving everyone that you care about away from you. How long will it be
before your sister bails out of here too?"
"Emily hasn't mentioned anything to me." Jason replies, her words piercing into him. "I know she seems depressed, but Robin says she misses Alan and Monica."
"Isn't that convenient? I mean, that way Em can move back into the mansion and there's one less girl. When will she tell you that my presence here is bothersome to her? How long before I'm out of here, Jason? I can't live like this. Not knowing my fate is a Cassadine curse bestowed onto me by that venomous demon of a stepmother, who coincidentally found ways to get rid of the other women in my father's life as well."
"You're comparing Robin to Helena?" Jason asks, stunned at her statement.
"If the broom fits..." Her voice trails off as she pleads with him. "Brenda and Renaldo are leaving, where are they going?"
"You want to follow them?" He asks, already knowing the answer. "That is doable, I know of someone who can protect you as well as I can, perhaps better, though it might take some doing. Maybe Emily should go for a visit too."
"That would just leave you, Robin and Dara." She points out.
"I know, but Emily is miserable here without Carly and Michael and Liz.." His voice trails off as he leaves the list unfinished. "If I do this, I need a promise from you."
"Keep me posted on how they are all doing."
She smiles and kisses him on the cheek. "You never had to ask."
"Pack your things, I need to make a phone call and arrange it." He watches her leave and lets out a sigh. The home that Carly had made for him is quickly unraveling.
Sonny tenses as he hears a car door slam, turning to Carly, he whispers. "Who is it?"
Carly peers out the window and tries to decide between laughing or crying; this isn't going to be good. "Um, we have guests."
Sonny chuckles, thinking Jason has finally decided to pay a visit. "The more the merrier."
"You say that now." Carly mutters under breath.
Brenda bounds into the home, her eyes meet Sonny's shocked gaze before flashing a smile at Carly. "Honey, I'm home!" Carly busts out laughing.
Sonny regains his composure and smiles seductively at her. "Brenda, I was wondering if you knew I was in town."
"Didn't... until now," She responds before turning her attention back to Carly. "So, where do Renaldo and I stay?"
Renaldo shifts uncomfortably under his former employer's gaze. Things couldn't get worse, could they?
"You and Renaldo, eh? That's interesting." Sonny feels his temperature rise as he looks from Renaldo to Brenda. "So, this is how you repay me? Sleeping with him?"
Brenda rolls her eyes dramatically. "Oh God, get over yourself already! You made a choice, I made a choice, we all made choices... yadda yadda yadda. I went a little nuts when you left, I got over it. Renaldo was there, he was able, and bing bam boom, it just kinda worked out. Sonny, you should really move on with your life. You and me were a great ride, but it's over now." Turning on her heel, she walks down the hall way to her room.
Renaldo starts to follow her, but Sonny reaches out and stops him. "So, you were just there to pick up the pieces?"
"Look, I don't want there to be problems here," Carly interrupts, but Renaldo holds up his hand.
"It's okay, Carly. There won't be any problems. Sonny, Brenda isn't the person you remember. She's different now and she has moved on with her life." Renaldo shrugs his shoulders. "I have no beef with you, but I won't allow you to stress her out. You left and she found some way to move on, now let her be."
Sonny throws his hands up in frustration. "Are you and Jax reading from the same script here? I am not going to bother her. I don't want to hurt her any more than I already have. She's different, I can see it in the eyes. I was just thrown for a loop, okay? Give me a break already."
"I better check on her." Renaldo walks down the hall and finds Brenda sitting on the bed, hands in her lap, staring at the wall. "You okay?"
"Yep, just a little shocked. You'd think Jason would have told us he was here." Laying back on the bed she chuckles. "But it probably didn't cross his mind, he's funny like that."
"I don't think Jason knew. I don't think Jason would have surprised Sonny like this."
Brenda sighs. "I can't believe you left with me."
"You asked me too." Renaldo replies, joining her on the bed. He wraps an arm around her tiny waist and kisses her neck. "I've kinda gotten used to having you around."
"Right, because I belong to you, right?"
"Well, it was 'play the by rules' at the penthouse, I guess we could change them here." He brushes her silky hair away from her face and smiles. "If you want to change them?"
"I like them the way they are, thank you very much. It adds some structure to my life. So, will Dara be joining us here?" She asks, with a mischievous twinkle in her brown eyes.
"You want her too?" He teases, only to be hit over the head with a stray pillow.
"I'm not jealous of her, you know. I was just curious as to how serious you are about her?"
"She's fun, sexy, extremely intelligent and turns me on. But I'm not the love of her life, that position is already filled."
"Aww, so are you looking to be the love of somebody's life?" Brenda teases as she traces the curves of his face with her finger tips. "Because, I don't think I'm ready to jump that deep into the relationship pool yet."
"I like things the way they are now, Kitten. Why mess with something that works for us?"
"So... I could go sleep with Sonny and it wouldn't bother you?" She searches his face for some kind of reaction, but is met with only a bemused stare.
"That would be your choice, but considering the brush off you gave him, I'm not to worried about it." He teases, before lowering his lips onto hers.
Back in the living room, Carly watches quietly as Sonny silently broods. He senses her stare and sighs. "Yes, Carly?"
"Nothing, just watching you sulk over Brenda. It's actually kind of amusing, I mean I thought you were over her and all."
"You have no tact." He snaps.
"I'm a Spencer, go figure." She retorts. "Come on, fess up, you still in love with her?"
"No, but the fact that she's messing with one of my former soldiers doesn't make my day." Sonny sinks back into his chair and props his feet up. "Did you know she was coming?"
"I would have told you if I had." Carly replies. "I'm not cruel. Jason probably didn't think to call and warn us. Of course, he still doesn't know you're here."
"I wonder why she left?" He asks, but Brenda answers.
"Robin started reminding me a bit too much of Jax for my taste." Flopping down on the couch next to Carly, she grins. "Liz is helping Renaldo unpack, think she's happy to see us?"
"Most definitely, too bad you didn't bring Emily," Carly remarks with a note of sadness in her voice.
"It won't be long before she's here too." Giggling, she winks at Sonny. "You'll have your own little harem soon."
"Is Robin that bad?" Sonny asks, incredulous that her own best friend has left the penthouse because of her. Something is wrong with this picture.
"Okay, all I'm saying is, I care about her and all, but I feel for Jason. Being in a relationship with a control freak is not my idea of a happy day at the beach. Robin can't handle the idea of any woman getting close to Jason. Last I saw, she practically shipped Emily off to the Q's."
Carly rises from the couch, filled with rage. "I'll kill that little runt if she even thinks about messing with Em."
"Relax, situation has been handled, Emily's not going anywhere. Jason is so blind when it comes to Robin, hell he's blind when it comes to women anyway. But man, Robin is trying to turn him into Jason Quartermaine. She just doesn't get that Jason actually likes his life the way it is and enjoys his job." Brenda throws up her hands in frustration. "But hey, how can I convince her that loving a guy from the organization will only lead to heartache unless you can honestly accept his way of life?"
Sonny shakes his head in disbelief. "She wouldn't listen to you?"
"Nope, in fact she turned on me. She got this smug look on her face and started saying my wanting Jason for myself was the true problem in our friendship."
"Do you?" Sonny asks, before thinking.
"Bite me." Brenda snaps as Carly chuckles. "Even if I wanted him, he wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole, I was yours."
"Anyway, that's not a big deal, I'm just worried about Emily now." Carly says as the phone rings. "Hello? Wait, stop right there, you're talking to the wrong person." She hands the phone to Sonny and then motions to Brenda to follow her out of the room.
Sonny watches Carly leave the room before answering. "Yeah."
"Sonny?!" Jason is thrown for a moment. "When did you get there and why didn't anyone tell me?"
"Good to hear your voice too, Jason," Sonny answers with a smirk. "We've been kind of busy around here, as you might guess. Brenda and Renaldo just got here."
Jason winces. "Oh man. I can find them another place."
"Nah, don't bother. After a few tense moments, we've worked it out. What can I do for you?"
"I need a favor." Jason states simply. "Actually a couple."
"What do you know about Alexis Davis?"
"I've met her, Cassadine chick right?"
"How much has Carly told you about the women in my life?" Jason asks, his eyes focused on a picture of Carly and Michael.
"Not much. You rescued her from some of her mistakes; you gave Brenda a way out from a life with Jax; and you took your sister in from the dysfunction that is known as Quartermaine."
"And you've met Elizabeth. She came to me asking me to stop her Grandmother from shipping her off to her parents in Bosnia. Dara needed assistance hiding out from Moreno, as you know. You sent V to me. Robin was nearly killed in a message meant to shake me up. And then there's Alexis. She had some family problems... to put it mildly. Luke, Helena and Stefan were pulling her in opposing directions to the point that she was jumping at her own shadow. Stefan and Helena were demanding that she pick a side, and either choice would have ended up with her dead. So Luke asked me to assist and now I'm asking you to do the same."
"What do you want me to do exactly?"
"Take her in and protect her. She doesn't feel safe here anymore and you're the only person I trust to protect her. She misses Liz and Carly and I think she'll be happier with you." Jason turns the photograph over and asks softly. "How are Carly and Michael?"
"They're fine. Jason, I have a question."
"Why doesn't she feel safe at the penthouse anymore? Moreno is dead." Sonny takes a sip of his cola and listens as silence comes from the other end of the line.
After a moment, Jason answers coolly. "She has her reasons. It's not really my place to discuss. So, will you take her in?"
"Yeah, consider it done. By the way, what the hell happened to Brenda? She didn't even make eye contact with me when she first arrived."
"She did what you wanted her to do, she moved on."
Carly knocks on Brenda's door. "It's open." Brenda calls out. Looking up from her magazine she smiles. "What's up?"
Taking a seat on the edge of her bed, Carly blurts out bluntly. "Are you
okay with being in the same room with Sonny?"
"Gee, Sonny, you sure look a lot like Carly. Flaring nostrils and all." Brenda teases, ducking a flying pillow "Sorry, it amused me."
"Seriously, I'm a little worried about you."
"I'm sane, no tripod within fifty feet." Brenda manages a slight smile. "So, admit it, you don't totally hate me."
Rolling her eyes in amusement, Carly replies. "Not totally. You make me want to beat the tar out of you sometimes, but you always come through for the family when we need you. So that makes you kind of like that bratty sister that I just can't get rid of."
"Awww, I don't totally hate you either, Carly. This bonding stuff is kind of cool."
"Want to go shopping?" Carly asks with a grin, watching Brenda perk up.
"Don't tease me, it's not nice." Brenda warns.
"Let's go. I found this great flea market with some cool Indian rugs and antique pottery."
Outside, Renaldo watches with amusement as Liz tries to coax a frightened kitten from under the big green tractor. "Here, Kitty, Kitty, come on out and see your new pal Liz."
"Bored?" He asks, already knowing the answer.
"I miss Em." She admits as she hops on o the tractor. "Can you teach me to drive this?"
"Sure, but it will be the blind leading the blind." Renaldo says with a laugh. "Ya know, now that you mention it, I'm kind of missing Johnny." His eyes twinkle with mischievousness.
Liz laughs at him. "You slay me."
"What?" He asks, looking wounded. "Johnny and I go way back."
"I'm sorry, I forgot about the two of you spending time together as little boys. Holding up convenience stores with water pistols." She teases.
"They could never prove that." He replies defensively before hauling her easily over his shoulder. "Now, smart butt, what are you going to do?"
Kicking and giggling, Liz begs him. "Let me down!!"
"Your wish is my command." He says as he reaches the end of the dock. He tosses her into the cool water.
Surfacing while fighting back laughter, Liz points a finger at him. "I'll get you for this."
"Nooo, let me." Johnny begs as he suddenly appears on the scene. He pushes Renaldo, jeans and all, into the lake.
Emily giggles as she waves at Liz. "Guess we aren't that late after all."
Liz grins at Renaldo. "Thanks."
He shrugs before splashing water at her. "I didn't do it for you, Runt. I told you I missed Johnny."