At a small house outside of town, Moreno
reclines-- feet up on the
coffee table but his eyes belie the ease of his posture. "It
gone like clockwork but I'm going to need to get out of the
new face, new papers and lots of money. This is Morgan's doing,
for a truce."
"Boss, All this stuff happened before the truce." Blanching under Moreno's glare, his Lt. pulls out a folder of photos. "Here's the pictures so far."
Moreno fans the pictures out on the coffee table. "This isn't a stable; it's a harem!" Moreno starts picking up pictures and throwing them back down. "This one is the mother of his kid; this one is the kid's godmother. Well, Well, Well! Is this Brenda Barrett? Hmmm Sonny's old lady. How did you get this picture?"
"Helicopter. She was on the roof. Only the penthouse has access to the roof."
"Who's this one?" Moreno holds up a picture.
"That's the lawyer, Alexis Davis. She was talking to Jensen in the courtroom after you got pulled out of there."
"So... she might be the last person to see Dara before the explosion? Other than the cop... Garcia."
"Yeah, our contact in the PCPD says they're still sifting through her apartment but she isn't a priority 'cause they figure she is dead."
"Maybe little Daralee found some shelter after all. Big Mistake, Baby. A little pressure in the right place and Morgan will fold like a cheap tent."
"There's a picture missing." Moreno muses softly tapping his lip with his thumb.
The Lt. goes through the pictures again. "No, they're all there."
"Robin Scorpio, Duke Lavery's girl. Morgan got all puffed up when I introduced myself to her at the kid's baptism. Find her and find out what security is on her. Just pictures for now. She's bait for the trap."
A flurry of activity swamps the detectives' bullpen as all resources, favors and snitches are called in to find Moreno. All other pending cases are on hold until he is back in custody. The commissioner of police, sheriff and District Attorney, Mick Schultz meet in the commissioner's office. Schultz screams at the Sheriff. "What kind of jail are you running?! What kind of idiots did you hire?! The press is all over this, and it's your hairy white ass flapping in the breeze. I'm not going down for your incompetence! And YOU!" The DA turns on the PCPD Commissioner who had been grinning at the chewing out that his political rival had been receiving. "What are you doing standing around picking your nose? We finally get a conviction and it won't mean JACK if Moreno isn't caught!"
"Just Slow down! I'm down two detectives: Garcia is in the hospital and Taggert is still being pieced together for burial. They were my top team with organized crime."
"And I lost two corrections officers on escort duty, killed when Moreno escaped."
"Excuses! We've all lost people. Dara Jensen was my top ADA and they still haven't found her."
From the door a soft voice is heard. "And I don't think that they will. Because I don't think that she is dead." All three turn to the pasty faced man, beads of sweat formed on his brow, leaning in the doorway.
"Sweet Jesus! Garcia, What the hell are you doing out of the hospital?! Sit down before you fall down." The commissioner gives Garcia a hand to a chair that he sags gratefully into.
Garcia's speech comes in halting pauses as he gathers back his strength and his breath. "Heard Moreno escaped.... All started to make sense....he's got something on her."
Mick Schultz explodes. "THAT'S BULL! She did everything legal to bring him down!"
Garcia nods. "Yeah, but she was scared. The stuff he was screaming at her in the court didn't make sense to me... but it did to her. She was freaked. She only started asking about protection after that. I don't think that she went back to her apartment. That would be the first place that Moreno's people would look for her."
The sheriff interjects. "That's very interesting, Detective, but Moreno's our priority right now. We've got two more cases of Murder with Special Circumstances once he's caught."
"Three-- if we can link him to Taggert's. And too many assaults to be counted on both hands if he was behind the car bomb." Agrees the DA. "Poor Dara is just speculation at this point and even if you're right-- a statistic if Moreno isn't caught."
Garcia closes his eyes tired and frustrated by even more evidence of the Peter Principle in practice. "If we can find Dara, we'll find Moreno."
"Moreno is going to be getting out of the country ASAP. He isn't going to be looking to even the score with Dara. My people are already stretched thin covering every airport, train station and highway between here and Rochester." The commissioner dismisses Garcia's theory.
Garcia's dark gaze focuses on his boss with the piercing quality of a laser. "You have no idea what you are dealing with; I do. I was raised in that environment-- scores will be settled, then yeah, Moreno will be soaking up the rays in Rio."
"Damn it Garcia, I don't have the manpower to go off on some wild goose chase."
"Then I'll do it myself."
"You can't get your ass out of that chair without help-- let alone take on Moreno if you could find him! You should be in the hospital pinching nurses fannies. That's about all the excitement your body can take."
"There is nothing wrong with my brain. I know the players-- YOU NEED ME. And Dara was my responsibility."
All four fall silent until finally the Sheriff speaks. "How do you feel about working with a woman?" Garcia shrugs. "I've got a reserve; she was laid off last year. She's been bugging me about getting back in the action. She's annoying as hell, but a crack shot and she can take care of herself. She helped take down Rivera and the Tinman so she's not totally green."
Garcia groans. "Ardanowski."
"I see her rep precedes her. You need legs and she has a pretty pair. I'd say that you are short of options. Ardanowski or back to GH and pinching fannies."
"Call her. I want to see Moreno's phone logs and visitor's list."
The sheriff hands Garcia a file off the commissioner's desk. and pulls out a cell phone to call personnel for V's number. While waiting he informs Garcia, "There were only three visitors the last day. Moreno's new lawyer, his assistant and Rex Stanton." Garcia looks over curiously and the Sheriff shrugs. "Don't ask me. Stanton's a nutcase, but we've never believed that he was mobbed up." Garcia sees the name of the lawyer's assistant and begins to swear in English and Spanish. "What? What is it?"
"The lawyer's assistant... he's Moreno's right hand. Let me guess-- 'cause he was with the lawyer he wasn't searched and the conversation wasn't monitored."
Mick Schultz replies mendaciously. "That would be a violation of privilege."
Garcia snorts disbelievingly and then changes the subject from the lost cause. "What symptoms was Moreno displaying?"
"Shortness of breath, tight chest. Looked like a heart attack or some kind of allergic reaction."
Garcia grins. "GOT HIM!" "What? Who?" asks the commissioner.
"Morgan. He did the same thing to get Sonny away from police surveillance."
"You think that Moreno and Morgan have teamed up?"
"You better hope so." Replies Garcia.
"Why is that?" the Sheriff asks incredulously.
"Cause if they haven't, then Morgan is going to make a grab for Moreno's territory and the bodies are going to start piling up."
Jason sits on the couch giving Michael his afternoon bottle before the kid goes down for a nap. Carly and Emily come in shedding coats and books. Jason looks over to them and smiles as they both run fingers through their hair trying to get rid of the imprints of 'hat hair'. Jason's eyes narrow as he sees the evidence of red swollen eyes on Emily and looks questioningly at Carly who shrugs. Deciding the Emily needs some time with Jason, Carly announces to the room, "I'm going over to the other apartment and make up a shopping list. Looks like Michael is in good hands... the best."
Emily comes over to the couch and stands in front of Jason and looks longingly at the baby. "Do you want to hold him?" Jason asks.
"Would he mind?"
"At this point Dr. Jones could be holding the bottle 'cause that's all Michael is interested in. Come here and sit down next to me." Emily sits down close to Jason. He transfers the baby to Emily who grabs the bottle so that the feeding is uninterrupted. Michael with eyes closed blissfully ignores the transfer, safe in steady arms. Jason sits close to Emily one arm along the couch and the other plays with Michael's free hand. "You okay?"
"Yeah, It was a rough day. Everything is fine now."
"A little of everything. There are some girls at school who specialize in making everyone's life hell-- especially if you're different. And a tall, skinny, grade curve busting, recovering drug addict is just too much of a target to resist. Liz and Lucky ran interference but I can't avoid the clique all the time."
"You want me to have a chat with them?"
"No, in some ways that makes it worse. It doesn't stop them from talking and plotting."
"Okay-- it's your choice. But I want to be the first to know if you change your mind. Did you notice anyone or anything strange at the school?"
"No, but Carly and Alexis told me to be careful 'cause of that Moreno guy. Alexis had me take her cell phone to school."
"I'm glad they're looking out for you."
"Everyone looks out for each other here. It's not like at the house."
"Ah... part two of the rough day?" Jason gives Emily's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
Yeah, Grandfather, Alan and AJ were home. Grandfather was picking fights. Alan is more like a grizzly bear than a teddy bear 'cause he's off the drugs and everything rubs him the wrong way. AJ was trying to keep them from butting heads but as soon as he saw Carly...."
Jason grins. "The fur started to fly?"
"Alan was so stressed; he left the room. Grandfather was blustering 'cause Carly didn't bring Michael. Grandmother just shook her head in disgust."
"Was loving it." Emily replies in amazement. "Grandmother noticed it too. I think the only thing that upset Lila was Alan. By the time we left Carly had a bounce in her step and looked as if she was looking for Monica to go another round. Grandfather was stuttering, he was so ticked and AJ looked as if he wanted to hit something."
"You may have noticed something about Carly...." Emily looks over at Jason questioningly. "She likes to fight. She's kind of perverse that way. Luke says it's in the Spencer genes."
Emily nods. "I think he's right. Lucky looks for fights on occasion too. Not fistfights but trash talking, you know? Jason? Michael was suppose to be with us. I mean, Carly said that she'd bring the baby so grandmother could see him. It's good that he wasn't but...."
"Moreno escaped from jail. I was going to talk to both you and Liz. Staying with me just got more dangerous. Emily, that is why Dara is here. She knows things about Moreno that I don't, and if I don't have that information, things will be a lot messier."
"So she has to stay."
"Yeah, but she's playing on our team. Moreno wants her as badly as he wants me. And she's smart, Dara knows she has greater odds of living if she stays with me than if she asks the system to protect her."
"But Jason that's wrong; she should be able to go to the police."
"It's her choice and believe me, I'll watch her. But you and Liz need to know what is going down. Where is Liz?"
"We dropped her off at the hospital before going to the mansion. She said that she owes Alexis some time for doing all that paperwork for her. Liz decided it was time to clear the air with her grandmother too."
"You think she's going to move home?"
"I don't know."
"Well now would be the time. This building is as secure as I can make it. All the security, all the drivers that make deliveries to this building are all my people. But being seen with me or being associated with me could get you hurt."
"What are Carly and the baby doing?"
"Carly's staying. Like I said-- She likes a fight. But Michael won't be leaving the penthouse until Moreno is caught and his organization destroyed. It's a war, Emily. The smart thing to do would be to move back to the mansion."
Emily takes the finished bottle from Michael's lips and shifts him to her shoulder rubbing his back gently but firmly. Her eyes are old with life experience--her mother's death, Matt's death, Dorman, all the Quartermaine rows. "No. Not unless you make me and I don't think that you will. Jason, Moreno knows who I am; he was at the baptism. Moving back to the mansion would be putting everyone else in danger. And he would come after me whether I was here or not. Carly says that Moreno is worse than Dorman would ever dream of being... and that is what Dorman would have done."
Jason rises from the couch and taking Emily's chin in his hand, kisses her on the side of the forehead. "You shouldn't have to think that way, Emily."
"If I had thought this way before, Dorman couldn't have hurt me or the family."
General Hospital Social worker's office-- a
phone rings. Continuing to
finish up paperwork, Keesha picks up the phone and places it to
ear. "Keesha Ward. How may I help you?"
"So how does your cousin like working for a pimp?"
"Who is this?" Keesha snaps back emphatically.
"...Or does Morgan just like nailing underage girls like Elizabeth Weber? She looks like she'd be a wildcat in the sack, the kind that likes it a little rough, if you know what I mean. Is your cousin getting a little piece of that action? Part of his benefit package maybe?"
"Shut your filthy mouth!" Keesha slams down the phone. Furiously angry she counts to ten and then to twenty. Then Keesha tries deep breathing; finally she rises and gathering her purse stalks from the office.
The office of GH counsel-- Alexis Davis.
"Elizabeth, I really appreciate you helping out; I just thought that you'd be answering some phones while my secretary is off at a doctor's appointment. I really didn't expect the filing and typing."
Liz looks over from the filing cabinets where she's methodically replacing files that Alexis had finished with. "Well it was really obvious to my parents when I wasn't attempting to calculate the square root of pi in my cradle that I wasn't going to be a brainiac like my sister so they shuffled me off to the vocational track in high school: typing, office machines. Stuff where you don't have to think... where the work is faster if you don't think."
"But Elizabeth... ninety words a minute is amazing! And I've had temps before where finding a file afterwards was impossible. don't tell my secretary but your work product is better than hers. Do you want to do this full time when she goes on maternity leave? Scratch that-- you're still in school."
"I can help out if you want; I mean, I barely ever get to take care of Michael. Between Carly, Jason and Emily, I'm the babysitter on call who never gets called."
Johnny pokes his head in the door. "Ms. Davis, I'm going to do a quick round on the floor-- check the exits." While Johnny's words are respectful his tone is not and his eyes never meet Alexis' instead they are focused about a foot lower. He leaves without waiting for a reply.
"What's his deal?" Liz asks curiously.
"He was present during a very humiliating moment of my life and he never lets me forget it." Alexis grimaces at the memory.
"I, what is the word... ticked, yes, ticked Jason off and was reminded of my place. Sometimes I don't understand Jason-- actually all of the time. One day he is humiliating me if front of that cretin and the next he is giving me more autonomy with his business than I ever dreamed of having in my family business."
"Wow. So it's like he knows you, right? I mean, he knows what would mess with your head."
Alexis rocks back in her chair considering Liz's words. "What a horrifying thought. But I believe you are correct. He reads people. "Alexis nods as the light goes on. "And then he gives them what they want."
"IF he wants. I almost blew it the first night when I lied to him. I mean I have YEARS of practice at lying and he caught me in nothing flat. Carly took me aside later and told me to NEVER lie to Jason that it was a waste of time. Emily says its 'cause of the car accident that he was in."
"Yeah, you knew about that right? I mean that's why he isn't Jason Quartermaine anymore. He lost all that but now he can look at someone and just know that they are lying; it's so weird."
Just then there is a lull in the conversation and Stefan Cassadine walks into the office. The file cabinets are out of sight of the door and Stefan is unaware of Liz's presence. "Alexis."
"Your thug has left his post. His presence here is making the patients uncomfortable."
"Don't you mean you were lurking until he left, and he makes you uncomfortable? How can I help you, Stefan?"
"How could you, Alexis? You have the blood of royalty running through your veins. How could you whore yourself to that gangster?"
"Maybe I have more of my mother's blood running through me than I ever believed. And I've stopped thinking that being a Cassadine is the greatest gift to the world. Something that you taught me, Brother dearest."
Liz's laugh is cut off in a snort drawing Stefan's attention. "I see that not all your watchdogs have left."
"Wow... Did you just call me a bitch?''
"Elizabeth!" Alexis' disapproving tone is vaguely maternal.
"HEY! He started it!"
"Elizabeth, it is alright; I'll speak with Stefan."
"I'm not stopping ya."
"Privately." Stefan grinds out through clenched teeth.
"No way! You've got a bad habit of almost killing people without half trying: Nikky, Alexis... my grandmother. You got somethin' to say-- say it. If you just wanna make Alexis feel bad, you can leave!" Stefan draws even straighter his face flushed with fury. "What's the problem big guy? Don't you like hearing the truth? Wanna hit me?" Liz moves closer to Stefan within arms reach. "Go ahead. Take a shot. I can take a punch-- I've had worse and it would be worth it to see your ass in jail."
"ELIZABETH!" Alexis has risen from her desk tossing her spectacles to it's surface. "That's enough! I'll speak with Stefan. If leaving us alone makes you uncomfortable then go get Johnny. Nothing will happen."
Liz looks over at Alexis then takes a step back from Stefan. Turning away she pauses to fire her parting shot. "You touch Alexis and Jason will kill you.... and I'll ask him if I can watch." Liz slams the door behind her.
"That... that.. blood-thirsty, impudent, adolescent peasant!" Stefan sputters.
"Actually I find her quite refreshing. Now Stefan, your time is limited. I'm afraid I must agree with Elizabeth. If you've come to insult me, you're wasting both of our time. And anything relevant to my position here could have been said in front of Elizabeth."
Out in the corridor Liz looks around for Johnny; she spies him in the corner of the main floor lobby. His demeanor is distracted as he focuses on a phone call. He looks up when Liz is within two steps of him and blanches as he realizes his luck in it being friend and not foe. "Yeah, thanks for the heads up. We'll be there ASAP. I'll call back with an ETA after I've talked to Ms. Davis." Johnny hangs up the phone. "What's up, Liz?"
"Stefan Cassadine waited until you were gone to go into Alexis' office. She told me to come get you."
Johnny looks annoyed but places his hand at the small of Liz's back as they walk back to Alexis' office. They are observed by Keesha as she storms from her office. "Come on lets go break up that little chat. That was Rinaldo on the phone. The boss wants us back a the penthouse for a powwow now."
"Something wrong?" Liz doesn't see Keesha watching them as she moves closer to Johnny so that their conversation can be semi-discrete.
"Yeah, Moreno escaped and has probably already started to make his move." Johnny whispers in her ear his head bent next to hers and he maintains the confidential information from making it to the hospital grapevine but unwittingly starting another rumor.
The penthouse other apartment. Using a sample grocery list out of the Herald food section Carly goes through the kitchen making notes of everything that is missing. Everything with the exception of a cupboard full of Fruitloops. She looks up from her muttering and writing as Brenda says, "You ought not talk to yourself. People might think you are crazy."
Carly replies impatiently returning to her list. "Pot and kettle right?"
"Oh I'm not thinking that you are insane. Character disordered definitely probably sociopathic, narcissistic and any other 'ics that an over educated anal priss can come up with."
"Gee. I don't quite know how to take that one." Carly snips back sarcastically.
"Any way you want." Flicking on the exhaust fan over the stove Brenda lights up a cigarette. "I've decided that I'm not leaving. That means that you and me need to find a way to get along."
"What happened to being afraid that Jax was going to run your life?"
"I've taken care of that." Brenda takes a drag on her cigarette. Her overly long sleeves falling back revealing a gold bracelet approximately four inches in width that cover the scars left from her suicide attempt.
"Like it? It's a set." Brenda pushes back her other sleeve revealing another bracelet. "It was a present from an admirer. Don't worry it wasn't Jason."
"I'm not worried. he wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole."
"Not like Alexis, right? Or what about Dara. How long before he tries a piece of her? I guess Jase is making up for lost time when he was practicing to be a monk."
"You said something about getting along?"
"Yeah right. So what is it going to take?"
"Not much really in the scheme of things... but I don't think that you could do it."
"If you don't have something nice to say about Jason... just keep your damn mouth shut. I won't have you badmouthing him around Emily, Liz or our son. In fact I don't want you around our son ever."
There is a knock at the door of the
penthouse. Jason who had been
sitting at the table calls out. "Yeah, What is it Johnny?"
"There is a Keesha Ward to see you."
"Tell her, I'm not interested, and to send any requests for a donation to Benny."
Keesha bursts into the room. " I'm not here to beg for money. I'm here to tell you to send Lizzie back to her Grandmother or... I'm gonna bust your ass!"
"Well, my my...who would have thought such language would be coming from such a pristine young woman. So, what's this about Liz?"
"She's under age, Jason. Ever heard the term '16 will get you 20?'"
"I'm not boffing her, Keesha. She's the baby's Nanny."
"And I'll bet she has a labor permit, right? Jason, Audrey wants her home."
"She doesn't want to go. And I won't make her."
"Well, then you force me to bring back some deputies and we'll take her home."
"You'd love to bring in the cops, wouldn't you? So, that they can mess things up, don't you?"
"I wouldn't lose any sleep over it."
"I bet you wouldn't. What if I were to say that I like having Liz here? And that I won't let her go."
"I would say that you and Detectives Garcia are going to become very friendly. And you're going to be famous. As Port Charles' New Don: Jason Morgan, the Child Molester."
"Baby, if I was with Liz, I sure in hell wouldn't have to molest her."
"You are so vile."
"Am I, Keesha? IS that's what's been going on in those big eyes of yours. I mean, why so much anger towards me."
"It's because you treat AJ like garbage. You live with, and stick up for a piece of garbage, and your life has turned to garbage."
"Oh. So, this is all because of what's been done to poor AJ, is it? Here she is, saintly Keesha Ward. Never thinks of herself, does she? Or, is it something else."
"Like what, you clown."
"Like this." Jason pulls Keesha towards him and they kiss. She resists him, at first, but then they are going at it hot and heavy. He pushes her back onto the table, and begins to unbutton her blouse. As he nuzzles her like a famished dog, all Keesha could do is moan. They continue towards varied states of undress when Keesha pushes him off of her, springs up, and rushes towards the other side of the room. She stares at Jason, who just smiles, almost evilly. " I knew that no one could be as saintly as you pretend to be."
"I don't know what happened between us."
"Oh, it's what's been happening, since that night, in the Quartermaine Gym. Your mouth said that you were disgusted with me, but your eyes, said something else. You know, as me, I have some of Jason Quartermaine's memories. Now, they aren't clear, but they come in flashes. And, I remember you-- the feel of your skin, the sounds you would make when I was inside you. Most times, it was placid. But, I remember instinctively certain things about you..."
"Enough to know that AJ can't possibly be satisfying your darkest desires."
"You're completely disgusting."
"And you want me. So, what does that make you?"
"This was a mistake. Why don't we get back to Lizzie."
"I won't let you take her. It's that simple. BUT..."
"But, if you stay here, and observe her for awhile, you can a) report to Audrey that she's fine, b) see for yourself that she is, and c) maybe even work on Lizzie and get her to leave on her own. Much better plan, than you swooping down on her, knowing that she doesn't want to go. And besides, we could continue our 'conversation'."
"And where would I stay, IF, I actually was giving any credence to this ridiculous proposition?"
"Over in Kat Bell's place. There's room for another."
"Oh. What do you have going on here. A Harem?"
Jason laughs. "Maybe so. Wanna toss your hat into my ring, and fight to see who becomes #1?"
"You already said that. Got another one?"
"How about delusional! 'Cause there's NO WAY, I'm going to stay here with you. So, go to Hell, Jason. I'll be back for Lizzie." Keesha turns to leave, and Jason presses a buzzer on the wall. When Keesha opens the door, there are bodyguards there.
"Let me pass!"
"Nope, they won't, Keesha. We haven't finished negotiating."
"I told you. There is nothing to negotiate."
"Well, then, you aren't leaving here. Everyone negotiates with me--sooner or later."
Keesha turns around and glares at him. She sees the iciness in his eyes. " OK. How long would I be in this Zoo?"
"Two weeks. Then, you can leave. So, give me your keys." Keesha opens her purse and gives them to him. " Rinaldo!"
"Here are the keys to Ms. Ward's apartment. She lives above Kelly's. Take her and let her pack clothing for a couple of weeks. And then, take her over to the Bell place." Jason turns towards Keesha. " See Keesha, compromise."
"Uh-huh." Keesha storms out with Rinaldo trying to keep up. Jason can't help but admire the form that was leaving his office in such a fury. He hadn't been lying about those flashbacks of him and Keesha. That girl was a ball of passion, when she let loose of all that prim and proper. He remembered certain things, that he was sure she had to have learned from professionals. Two weeks. He would wear her down. But, he had to make sure that she and Carly stayed on the opposite sides of the table. He had heard about their catfights. And he knew that it could get UGLY. Jason picks up the phone and dials a speed dial number. "Yeah, Justus, you don't have to worry about Keesha over at Kelly's..... She'll be staying a the penthouse..... You don't want to know how I did it."
Keesha got her bags packed. Rinaldo didn't let her use the phone, but once. And she left a message on Justus' machine telling him that she would be out of touch for the next couple of weeks. She opened the door to Katherine's apartment. She saw Alexis and Brenda. They had shot glasses on the table. And a bottle of tequila and some limes with them.
"Alexis? Brenda? What are you doing here?"
"Bonding babe. Keesha, what's a gal like you, doing in a place like this?" Brenda asks tossing down a lime peel.
"I thought you were in the hospital."
"I was. But, the great one sprung me. What's your excuse. What's Jason doing for you. Or is he DOING you?"
"Not yet, I see." Both Alexis and Brenda break out in laughter and then take shots.
"OH, NO YOU DIDN'T!!! TELL ME YOU DIDN'T!!!"
Jason ducks as Carly throws one of Michael's stuffed animals at him.
"I Just KNOW that you DID NOT invite Keesha Ward to stay here!"
"Carly, come on.."
"NO, Jason. What the HELL is the matter with you? I go to the store to stock YOUR home for a DAMN siege and when I return Keesha's HERE? That sanctimonious, uptight, judgmental twerp is NOT staying here."
"For the next couple of weeks, she has to."
"Look, she showed up. Waiving some legal document that says she has the right to take Liz out of here."
"You have Alexis getting Liz free."
"Well, she ain't free yet. Keesha came in here, threatened to bring the cops back with her, and forcibly removed from here."
"Doesn't Liz's Grandmother know that she'll just run away again?"
"Well, it seems, she's willing to take her chances. She wants Liz out of here."
"So, if little Miss DoGooder wants Liz, why isn't she gone?"
"Well, I told Keesha that she should stay here, for a couple of weeks, and observe Liz here, before she makes any decisions to bring the cops in."
"And, what happens AFTER the two weeks?"
"Hopefully Alexis is as good as I think she is, and Liz will be emancipated."
"Oh, so little Polly Purebread is here, and we're faking her out, are we?"
"You know Jason. You're so full of BULL sometimes, I can barely stand it. I've seen you talking to the twit. And, you didn't have the SCAM look in your eyes, you had the SLAM look in your eyes. Now, Jason, I believe that we have a great groove on here. I love being here. And being in charge. But, there are limits--even for me. That goody-goody and the petite Princess Robin are it."
"Well, then, you go and tell Liz to hit the road. And tell her to say her goodbyes to Michael."
"Low blow, Jase. You know how much Michael loves Liz."
"Yeah. Well, he can still love her IF we play our cards right. Carly, this is YOUR house. YOU'RE in charge. Keesha is in the other apartment. YOU make all the rules. And, I'll abide by them. But, if we don't humor her, we can kiss Liz goodbye. And, I don't want to do that."
"Why, because you like her?"
"She's cool enough. She's good with Michael, which does make her look good. But, she's really become close to Emily. And Em needs a friend or two. I don't want to take that away from her."
Carly sighs. "Yeah, I know you're right on both accounts.
"Alright. Miss Self-Righteous has two weeks. But, emancipation or no...she's OUT! Do you understand me?"
"Good. Well, have Johnny go get her and I'll give her the rules."
"YOU'LL give her the rules. I thought that was my job.", Jason laughed.
"I'm going to enjoy this.", Carly says with a grin on her face. " Hey, Johnny!"
Liz and Keesha were sitting opposite one another on the couch. Brenda is pretending to read a magazine while listening.
"Lizzie, don't you know that your Grandmother and Sister miss you? "
"Oh, please. Little Miss Barbie want me home. How dumb do you think I am?"
"Yes, your sister misses you. And, especially your Grandmother. She would tell me about the small things that you would do for her when you didn't think anyone was watching. How you would make things easier around the house. Lizzie, don't you miss your Grandmother?"
Sheepishly, "Sometimes, I miss Gram. But, I don't miss that living arrangement. And, I'm not going Back!!"
"Lizzie, surely you know that this arrangement is completely intolerable. After all, you're a teenage girl. What are you doing living with a Mobster?"
Brenda cackles, "You know, Keesha. I asked myself the same thing in the funny farm. And, the only answer I got back was...GREAT SEX!!!"
Keesha glares at Brenda. "Lizzie, you have your whole life ahead of you. You've had time to cool off. Don't you see that the path that you've chosen will not bring you anything but disappointment?"
Liz bursts out in laughter. "Do you ever LISTEN TO YOURSELF?!? I know that you're supposed to be barely out of college, but MAN!! If I close my eyes, and listen to the words, I would SWEAR that I was hearing my Gram and her cronies. You need a life, Keesha. Way more than I do."
Keesha is about to respond when they hear a knock on the door.
"Come in, Johnny.", Brenda says.
Johnny comes in. "How did you know it was me?"
"Because, you're just dumb enough to think of us as ladies deserving of privacy." Johnny has a hurt look on his face. Brenda jumps up and rushes over to him. "Aw, Johnny, I'm sorry. It's just that I'm not used to being respected like a lady."
"A lady? That's rich.", Alexis says as she comes down the stairs.
Brenda glares at her. "So, Johnny, I guess I become flippant about it. Do you accept my apology?" Brenda leans in and kisses him on the cheek. Johnny turns red.
"I hate to interrupt this Hallmark moment, but, is there a reason that you're here, Johnny?"
"Yeah. The boss would like to see you, Keesha."
"Yeah, now." Johnny and Keesha leave the apartment.
Keesha enters the study. The back of the chair at the desk is turned away from Keesha. She had been told that Jason never lets anyone in. Johnny closes the door. Keesha stands there for a few moments and then says, with a note of impatience in her voice, "Jason?"
The chair turns around and there's..
"You were expecting someone else?"
"The bodyguard said that JASON wanted to see me."
"Well, if you were doing business with Jason, you would be seeing him. But, you, fall under MY domain."
"Yes, MY domain. Jason takes care of his business. And I run this house. So, you'll be dealing with me. If you don't like it, tough. You can always leave."
"Then, I'll just go and take Lizzie with me."
"Oh, come on, Keesha. You know that even if you take Liz today, she'll be back within hours; you have nothing she wants."
"IF she comes back here, you and Jason will be brought up on charges."
"And what are those gonna be? Are we gonna be charged with 'helping a girl who's lost?' or, how about ' giving shelter to a kid with nowhere else to go.', but my favorite could be, ' having a teenager under 24 hour supervision.' Who are you kidding, Keesha? I know more about Liz's whereabouts than Audrey Hardy ever did. The girl can't take living there. She needs space. Didn't you ever need space? Oops, I forgot who I was talking to. Little Miss Perfect. I can see it now, Mom, Dad, daughter, a couple of overprotective brothers who mumbled as they got dressed to go to whatever play or concert you were involved with. I bet that your parents never missed a one, and always had flowers afterwards. Sorry, but the rest of humanity isn't like that."
"I know that. I've learned a lot, Carly. Through my work at Ward House and the Foundation.."
"Through your work. Oh, please. What troubles have you had, Keesha? Tell me. What troubles. Oh, I know, you lost your boyfriend. Big deal. But, you've lived this charmed little life, with everyone thinking you're just the cat's meow all your life. Well, some haven't had it as kind. And most of us can't reach your pedestals."
"I don't think I'm on a pedestal. Just because you're in the gutter...." Keesha shrugs
"No, I won't. You run this house? Fine. Give me your rules, and I'll see if I can deal with them. If I can, then I'll honor the agreement that I made WITH JASON, to give Lizzie 2 weeks to convince me. If I can't. I'll make this deal with you. I'll be back in a week, with the cops. But, I am NOT going to sit here and listen to a lecture from YOU!"
"OK. Then, here are the rules. You don't set a FOOT! In this Penthouse. You want to talk to Liz, you call her over there. You want to talk to Jason-- Make sure I'm not around. You are NOT welcome to meals, the refrigerator over in the other apartment is stocked. All in all, I don't want to even think that you're in the vicinity, Keesha. I have my life, and I certainly don't want you around.."
"Messing it up?"
"No. That would imply that you had some sort of capability. I'll think of you like garbage: I know it's around, but doesn't mean I have to look at it. JOHNNY!!"
"Keesha's ready to go now."
Keesha glares at Carly as she leaves. After Keesha Leaves, Jason comes out of the secret room.
"When you said you and Keesha didn't get along, I didn't know that you were THAT serious."
"Yeah, well, she's looked her nose down on me since I hit town. I think she's an uptight crank who doesn't have a life of her own, so she's 'devoted' herself to 'saving' others. God, I hate do-gooders like her. They haven't been through anything in their own lives, but feel quite welcome to go and lecture others on theirs. She needs to live a little before preaching in judgement."
"I can't disagree with you on that."
"So, do you think the rules are too harsh?"
"Nope. They're simple. "
"And if she doesn't follow them?"
Keesha sits in a chair out on the terrace. It's twilight. She couldn't believe where she was. How in the hell did she get here, of all places? She'd closed her eyes for just a few minutes, when she heard a tap on her shoulder. She looks up and sees Jason's bodyguard Rinaldo.
"Ms. Ward. Jason wants to see you."
"I thought I wasn't supposed to go to the Penthouse."
"He's waiting for you in the car."
Keesha slides smoothly into the limo where Jason waits for her.
"So. What do you want?", Keesha said hostilely.
"I thought we should talk."
"About what almost happened the first time you came to see me."
"I don't know what you mean."
"Cut the bull, Keesha. There were and are some very serious vibes going on between us."
"They're all in your brain-damaged head." Keesha regretted it as it sprung from her mouth.
"Oh. Well. And Carly said that you didn't know how to be a bitch. I'm going to have to tell her that she's wrong."
"Why? Because you sullied your image by showing a little spite. What's up with you thinking that you have to be good all the time? Isn't that a bit boring?"
"As opposed to the chaos that is your life. Never a dull moment."
"Honestly, no.", Jason says laughing.
"Well, sorry, if some of us like normalcy."
"Oh, I believe that you think you do, but I don't think you like it as much as you wish you did."
"And YOU know me?"
" I want to."
Keesha laughs. " Ok, I'll humor you. What do you want?"
"How did you meet Jason Quartermaine?"
"It was at the Nurses Ball."
"What were you wearing?"
"Black and white bandage dress."
"Yes. It fits snugly over.."
" Every groove and curve." Keesha noted that Jason was looking at her deeply now. That he was outlining her body with his eyes. The stare of those blue eyes, which she once welcomed, because they were so warm, are cold as ice. Yet, there was something hypnotic in them. Her eyes met his, and she was almost paralyzed. Jason reached out and went to the top of Keesha's head. He feels her hair in his hand. He touches the side of her face. He goes down the side crossing over and stopping when he comes to the mouth. With almost a feathery touch, he outlines the lips...once...twice...the third time around Keesha opens her mouth and sucks at his fingers. A little bit at first...just the tips, and then Jason puts his fingers deep into her mouth. Keesha slowly draws back her mouth. When Jason's fingertips are touching her mouth, Keesha opens her mouth to draw them back in, but Jason begins to tease her, slightly moving his fingers just as they are about to meet her mouth. After several tries, Keesha sits back, and reaches over to the bar. She picks up a cherry and starts playing with it with her tongue. Rolling her tongue all over it, never taking her eyes off Jason. She eats the cherry and Jason watches her as she swallows it. Keesha leans over and gets another cherry. She takes it over to Jason and dangles it in front of him. It's only there for a second when he snaps at it and swallows it whole.
" Hungry boy, aren't you?" Keesha purrs.
Jason doesn't get a chance to respond because of a knock on the partition. " WHAT!?"
Jason lowers the partition to see Renaldo there. " We're back home, Jason."
By the time that Jason turns back to Keesha, she is already getting out of the car. Jason has to rush out to catch her at the elevator. They get on the elevator and ride up in silence. When the elevator opens up onto their floor, Keesha gets out, in silence. She and Jason walk to their separate Penthouses. As Jason is about to go into his Penthouse, he turns. He sees Keesha standing there, smile on her face, placing a cherry in her mouth. Jason laughs and goes inside.
Inside the outcast Penthouse, Brenda is sitting in a chair, Alexis and Dara are involved in a game of backgammon. Keesha acknowledges the ladies, but goes upstairs in silence.
Alexis and Dara give each other a curious look. There is silence for a bit, and then, Brenda speaks up, " Well, she's still standing. So, no action took place. But, it looks like there's GONNA BE...Little Miss Priss will soon be doing The WILD THING!" Brenda gloats.
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