The Harem of Jason Morgan
Late that same morning in the Renegade Penthouse
Keesha was seated at the table, still trying to focus on her notes about Lizzie Webber. For all practices and purposes, she seemed to be thriving in her current environment: She and Emily were becoming close chums, she even seemed a bit more focused as 'focused' as one can be at 16, Keesha chuckled. And most surprising of all, she was attending school on a regular basis; one of her teachers even said he'd noticed an improvement in her grades. Still, Keesha knew - from a professional point of view - Jason's "world" was not the ideal place for a teenager. And damn if Jason didn't have the strangest collection of women in his "world."
Instantly, Keesha thought of Dara. She'd been trying to corner her to get the REAL story on why she was under Jason's roof. That lunatic Brenda Barrett was going on about her being a "Secret Agent." Yeah, right! Like she was gonna believe ANYTHING that came out the mouth of the Penthouse Psycho. She was about to call out for Dara when she remembered Dara mentioning she'd be gone most of the day "on business." She knew not to go across the hall to "Carly's Domain." Keesha rolled her eyes just thinking about her past meeting with Carly. She wasn't home - Keesha had seen her leaving early in the morning with Emily and Lizzie - but just the same, Keesha kept her distance from the other Penthouse. Miss Fruit Loops was gone, too. Glancing at the clock, Keesha sighed as she realized it would be hours before Alexis returned. Although the place was like a fortress, she still found it creepy to be alone in the Penthouse.
Again she began writing, but once again, her thoughts drifted this time, back to her "conversation" with Jason in his Penthouse. Shaking her head, Keesha told herself to get over it. The man's a criminal. He's kills people for a living. He's far more dangerous than Sonny Corinthos ever was. When it comes to his "business," he's got ice water flowing through his veins. Well, not ALL his veins, Keesha smiled to herself. The smile grew wider as Keesha allowed herself to embrace the truth: He's bad. He's dangerous. And you want him so bad you can TASTE it. Throwing the pencil down, Keesha rose from the table. Music! That's what she needed. It always helped to take her mind off the situation. Then again, maybe it wouldn't. She began to chuckle as she recognized the song that was playing, a wicked dance jam by Next called, "Too Close." "This is the WRONG song for me to be listening to right about now," she muttered. Closing her eyes, she smiled and turned up the volume. As she began sway and swivel her hips, she tried to ignore the lyrics but she couldn't, because she knew the words were a dead-on take on the situation when it came to Jason:
Baby, no more cryin' I get so excited You know how I like it I try but I can't fight it
Oh, you're dancing real close Plus real, real slow You're making it hard for me!
Still lost in the music, Keesha was now doing moves that would make the kids down at the local dance club blush. She continued on with her bump and grind until.
"Do that thing where you smack your hips again. That's real sexy."
"JASON!" Keesha shrieked as she turned around. If looks could kill, Jason would've been hanging with Elvis. Taking deep breaths, Keesha tried to regain her composure. "I know you own this Penthouse, but do you ever KNOCK?!" she snapped.
"The living room over here is like Grand Central Station, Keesha. You want privacy, that's what the bedrooms are for," he shrugged. "And yes, I DO knock before going in those."
"What business do you have in the bedrooms over here?" Keesha backed up as Jason made his way towards her.
" 'Business' that doesn't concern you," he replied smoothly. "Where you going? You're not gonna finish your dance?"
"How long were you standing there?" Keesha tried to sound pissed, but she wasn't any more convinced by her tone than Jason was.
"Long enough to know that my hunch was right." Jason's eyes slowly roamed Keesha's body as he spoke. "You only LOOK sweet and innocent. Deep down inside, baby? You're a true FREAK."
"Ha! You call ME a freak? You MUST be thinking of the one who warms your bed at night. I take that back. That's an insult to freaks everywhere to put Carly in their company!" She continued to back up until she bumped against the kitchen counter.
"This ain't about Carly. This is about you and me." Jason continued towards Keesha, until their bodies were pressed against each other's. "We have some "unfinished business," if you'll recall." He looked down to see Keesha's chest heaving. He then began to undo the buttons on her sweater. When they wouldn't give way, he simply tore the sweater open. Slowly, his hands roamed across Keesha's chest, then teasingly he slipped his fingers beneath the sheer material of her bra, causing her to moan. "Of course, if you'd rather I stopped ." Leaning in, he allowed his tongue to lightly graze her earlobe, then bit down. Not too hard, but just enough to cause Keesha to whimper in delight. "Just say so, and I will." His hands still busy, Jason drew back, the slightest hint of a smile on his face, a challenge in his eyes.
Never taking her eyes off Jason, Keesha eased his hands out of her bra, then leaned back and swept the counter clear, sending pots, plates, and various other items crashing to the floor. What the hell? You KNOW you want this, girl. You want it BAD. "You know something, Jason?" Slowly, she slid out of her skirt, then hopped up on the counter. "The more I think about it, the more convinced I become that you have no idea what a TRUE freak is capable of." Grabbing Jason by the front of his shirt, Keesha drew him to her for a deep, lingering kiss. "But, I'm gonna show you, baby-- am I going to SHOW you!"
Early afternoon, PCPD Headquarters....
Garcia sat at his desk, growing more impatient by the minute. He hadn't heard from V. since last night, when he sent her to pick Jax's brain regarding his big brother Jerry. And the longer he waited the tighter the knots in his stomach grew...all of which convinced Garcia his hunch was right: Dara was still alive...and somehow tied to this WSB Agent Jerry Jacks. As he reached for the phone for the umpteenth time to leave a message on V.'s answering machine he stopped as he caught sight of an obviously sleep deprived V. trudging through the double doors. As she slumped into the nearby chair, V. said nothing. "Is it too much to hope your silence means what you found is so mind blowing it left you speechless?" Garcia inquired.
V shook her head wearily. "Mr. Jax wouldn't give up any info that we couldn't get from the Agency itself. I could've called the Personnel department - which I did, this morning - and found out more than what he gave me. He wasn't giving up ANYTHING on his brother. " V paused. "It was kinda strange, almost like he EXPECTED someone to come around asking questions about his brother or something."
"Like he'd been coached on what answers to give?"
"Yes, Sir. You think this Jerry Jacks has been in touch with Mr. Jacks?"
"I'd stake my badge on it." Pounding his fist on the desk, Garcia swore under his breath in Spanish. "Is it too much to ask for just a BIT of a break when it comes to this investigation?"
V was about to respond when her cell phone rang. After a few minutes she hung up, a triumphant smile on her face. "I think you just got that 'break' you were hoping for. That was a friend of a friend of my Dad. Turns out he has a few connections with Interpol. He's gonna pull a few strings and get me some info on Mr. Jacks' brother."
"ALL RIGHT! Finally, we're getting somewhere." Garcia was wheeling his way to the fax machine, perched and ready to snatch the first page.
"Uh, Detective Garcia...I mean, Alex? I wouldn't get too comfortable in front of that fax machine." V. stood and headed for the doors. "My Dad's friend said it'll be 48 hours before he can get the info to us. Until then, all we can do is wait. I don't know about you, but *I* plan to catch up on some much needed sleep."
Again, Garcia swore...this time in English. And this time, anyone within listening distance could hear him.
An abandoned Warehouse
"You sure sticking around near Port Charles is such a good idea, Boss?"
Moreno tuned out his Lt. as he continued to scan the Classifieds. "You just let ME worry about what's a good idea and what's not," he growled. His eyes continued to roam the page, a venomous smile easing its way across his face. "I think I just may be able to get next to DaraLee after all."
The Lt. was about to ask what Moreno meant, then thought better of it. He knew from experience when his boss was in a mood like this it was better to leave him be - just continue with business as usual. "Everything's set for later this afternoon. You gonna come along?"
Moreno shook his head, continuing to make notations along the margins of the Classifieds. "The less I'm seen out, the better." He put the paper away. "Besides," as he turned to face his Lt., "I'll make my presence known to that snot-nosed punk Morgan soon enough." The smile returned once again as Moreno's eyes came to rest upon the two photos on his desk: One was of Robin Scorpio. The other was of Emily.
Late afternoon, outside the shooting range
Carly shook her head, stifling the urge to laugh as she watched Johnny guide Brenda towards the limo. What she wouldn't have given to be the one who punched her in the nose! She glanced over at Lizzie, who looked as if she was about to burst; she knew she was dying to get Em alone so they could dish. Emily hadn't said much during their "break," but Carly felt she'd been able to get through to her and that hopefully, she'd cut Dara a little slack. Dara hadn't said much after the scene with Brenda. She spent the remaining hours making sure everyone was familiar with the guns and knew the proper form for loading, drawing, and firing them.
To her surprise, Carly discovered she was quite a shot, as was Lizzie. Em was still a bit skittish, but she knew enough to be able to shoot if necessary. And Brenda? When she wasn't busy fretting over whether or not she'd need surgery to reset her nose (which it turned out WASN'T broken), it turned out she was a pretty decent shot, too. All in all, the day had gone well. As she neared the limo, Carly looked across the way. Emily and Rinaldo were still in front of the kiddie store. Emily mentioned she wanted to window shop for a few things for Michael before heading back to the Penthouse.
"You want me to call for her, Miss Roberts?"
"That's okay, Johnny. Let's give her a few more minutes."
Across the street, Emily and Rinaldo were making their way back .
"You okay, Em?" Rinaldo asked softly.
"Yeah," she sighed. "I guess I'm just having a hard time with Dara suddenly being on Jason's side, after trying to put him away for so long."
Rinaldo was about to remind her that things were different now when he heard something that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up: The sound of new tires - riding low to the ground, as if the car had armor plating - rolling along at no more than 25 or 30 mph when all the other cars - few that there were - were doing AT LEAST 55 as they whizzed by. He turned in time to see a black Eldorado, its window slowly being lowered a sawed-off shotgun aimed in his and Emily's direction.
Spinning around, Rinaldo pushed Emily to the ground. With his right hand he drew his piece and fired off a burst of rounds. He was almost positive he'd hit the bastard in the back with the gun, but he couldn't be sure. For suddenly, he was lifted off the ground, being flung backwards feeling as if he'd been hit in the chest by a wrecking ball. As he crashed through the plate glass window, the darkness enveloping him, the last thing Rinaldo remembered was hoping that Emily could make it to the car in time.
Across the street, Carly was about to turn and call for Emily when she saw Dara narrow her eyes, then slowly turn her head as if she was trying to listen for something.
From that moment on, everything else seemed to happen in slow, dizzying blur.
Next thing she knew, both Dara and Johnny had their guns drawn, and she, Brenda, and Lizzie were being shoved into the limo. Johnny proceeded to fly across the hood of the car with amazing speed and agility. He had the engine started before they were all inside. As the door slammed shut behind her, out of the corner of her eye, Carly saw Dara take off across the street. Inside the limo, pandemonium was slowly beginning to reign.
"What in the HELL is going on?!" Brenda yelled.
"STAY DOWN!" Johnny roared from the front seat. No longer the sweet-tempered bodyguard, he was as serious as a heart attack now.
"Where's Em? WHERE'S EM???" Lizzie cried out as she buried her face in Carly's chest.
"She's with Rinaldo; she's safe, Lizzie." The words rolled off Carly's tongue with the greatest of ease. But inside, she was as scared as everyone else. Sliding down in the seat as far as she could go, Carly held on to Liz with one hand, while trying to use the other to dial the cell phone. This isn't good, she told herself. As the car spun around, Carly and Lizzie were thrown to the floor.
This is NOT good.
The Harem of Jason Morgan
Dara made it across the street just as the
driver's side back door of
the Eldorado was swinging open. The car was still going along at
snail's pace, as if the driver were waiting for someone. Deciding
take out the figure emerging from the back first and worry about
driver later, without even stopping, she fired off a burst of
dropped her would-be assailant to the ground. Out of the corner
eye, she noticed the passenger's side door was open. Not good.
she was about to ponder where the party who'd exited the limo had
the answer came from around the corner.
"GET YOUR HANDS *OFF* ME!" Emily screamed.
The man literally had his hands full, as Emily was wailing away on his face and kicking at every available limb in sight. Having had enough of being slapped and scratched in the face, the man reared back to slap Emily. Dara was about to drop him right where he stood when Emily saved her the trouble: When he drew back his left hand to strike her, he released Emily's right hand; the instant it was free, she reared back and put all of her weigh behind a punch aimed right at the man's Adam's Apple. And just like Dara told her would happen, the man was instantly brought to his knees gasping for breath. By now, Emily was on her feet running towards Dara. She saw Dara raise her gun and knew enough to not look back, but rather drop to the ground. Just as Dara prepared to fire a shot at Emily's would-be abductor, a tall muscular figure emerged from the sunroof of the limo and pumped five rounds in the man. Just as Dara turned her gun on him, the man pounded twice on the hood of the limo then ducked back in as it sped away.
As Johnny pulled up to the curb, his door swung open and he snatched Emily inside. "You get a look at the plates?" His words tumbled out in a rush. Dara shook her head.
"Rinaldo! Where's Rinaldo?" Lizzie and Brenda yelled in unison.
Johnny was about to ask Dara the same, when he heard Emily tell the others he'd been shot. As he began to emerge from the limo to see what - if anything - could be done for his fallen friend, Dara held up her hand to stop him.
"I'm already out here. May as well be me."
Tuning out the terrified voices from within the limo, her feet like lead, she turned and trudged back towards the storefront. She was NOT looking forward to what was inside. As the glass crackled underfoot, her mind instantly flashed back to the carnage outside of the Courthouse the day of the explosion.
When she finally reached Rinaldo's body, she saw that the front of his suit was peppered with holes, but no blood. Closing her eyes as she knelt beside his body, she silently gave thanks. Death had been instantaneous. She leaned over his body and gingerly began to pry the gun from his hand.
"JEEZUS!" Dara screeched as she fell backwards. She looked over to find Rinaldo, a thin smile plastered on his face, trying not to laugh, but looking like it hurt too bad to even try. "You jackass! Are you wearing?"
"No, Jensen," he wheezed. "I'm a flippin' alien; gimme about 10 seconds and I'll be totally healed."
Dara ripped open the double-breasted suit jacket to find good ol' Kevlar beneath the expensive designer shirt. She'd never been so happy to see a slab of steel reinforced plastic in all her life. "I don't know whether to kick your ass or kiss you!" as she smacked the vest. Immediately, Rinaldo rolled over, wincing. "Sorry," she replied. Extending her hand, she slowly helped him to his feet.
"The shape I'm in right now," as she clutched his side, "you probably COULD kick my ass." Leaning on Dara for support, he looked down at her, a wicked smile on his face. "But you wouldn't enjoy it HALF as much as you would a kiss."
"Get your bulletproof, teasin' self into the car, Rinaldo!" Dara laughed.
Miles ahead, the black Eldorado sped towards its destination .
"Speak!" Moreno barked.
The Lt. hesitated as he clutched the cell phone. "Mission unsuccessful." The Lt. jerked the phone away as Moreno began to let lose with a litany of expletives, all the while throwing any and everything in sight. "Are you finished?" the Lt. asked evenly.
"Do you know who the f .?" Moreno paused. His Lt. knew better than to take that tone with him. There was only one reason he'd have the balls to come like that . "Wait a minute. You got something, don't you?"
"Sure do," the Lt. smiled. "We may have lost out on lil' Ms. Moneybags, but Morgan's got something you want even MORE."
Moreno was practically salivating as he clutched the cell phone. "DaraLee?"
The Harem limo
Carly and Em were in the front with Johnny. Emily hadn't uttered a word since she spoke to Jason.
"Is she okay, Miss Roberts?" Johnny was doing about 85, but every now and then, he'd steal a peek over in Emily's direction.
Carly glanced over at Emily. True, she'd just escaped being kidnapped, but she'd have thought Em would say or do SOMETHING. Cry, scream, get angry. Anything. Silently, she prayed the kid wasn't going into shock. "Em, honey?"
Emily opened her eyes. "I'm fine, Carly. Thanks for asking, Johnny. Really. I'm fine." Snuggling next to Carly, Emily tightened her arms around Carly's waist. She looked up at Carly and smiled. "Boy, I'll bet you're glad KEESHA didn't come along today, huh?"
Carly didn't even want to THINK about the implications had Keesha been present. Kissing Emily on the cheek, all Carly could do was nod her head and laugh.
In the back, Dara, with a little help from Lizzie, was administering as much medical attention to Rinaldo as was possible, given the limited supply of First Aid items available. Rinaldo was stretched out in the seat, his head resting on Brenda's lap as he talked to Jason. "The Cleaner should be there before you guys leave the city limits," Jason replied.
"You talk to the owner of the range?"
"Yeah. He's clean. It wasn't him. I've dealt with him for too long. He KNOWS what I do to those who cross me."
"If it wasn't him, then who?"
"An employee. Actually, a FORMER employee." Rinaldo understood implicitly. "When you get back to the Penthouse and we get you checked out, I'll brief you on what our next move will be. You up to it?"
"Yeah. I'm okay." Rinaldo winced as Dara tightened the gauze wrap about his waist. "I'll be a little sore for a few days, but I'll live. You know, you must be doing a good job of wiping out Moreno's connections, 'cause he's getting sloppy. Those guys he used weren't local. More like some thugs for hire. He's running scared, Boss."
"Yep. And now he knows Dara's thrown in with me." Jason shook his head as he stood and began pacing his office. "That's not good. The man's a maniac; when it comes to evening the score, he'll take unbelievable risks. I got a feeling it's gonna get really nasty from here on out." Jason paused, his voice turning grim. "REALLY nasty."
Later that evening, back at the Penthouse
The gang was preparing to gather for dinner when an out of breath Keesha burst into the room.
"I thought I made it clear you were NOT to set foot in THIS penthouse!" Carly snarled.
Waving Carly away, Keesha made a beeline for Jason. "You had those teenagers handling GUNS?!"
Seconds later, Emily and Lizzie rushed into the room. "Don't look at ME!" they replied in unison, as Carly's heated gaze fell upon them.
"How did you find out?" Jason asked in a bored voice.
"I overheard Liz and Em talking on the roof." She cut her eyes at Carly. "And NO, I wasn't spying on them. I went up there to clear my head. Since it's the only place I seem to be welcome in this damn fortress!"
Jason continued to stare at Keesha, his expression unchanged. "What happened today doesn't concern you, Keesha."
"Do you HEAR yourself, Jason?! You had not one, but TWO minors in possession of firearms."
"They need to learn to defend themselves," Jason replied flatly. "You make it sound like they were smuggling AK47s into the country."
"Is that all you have to say?" Keesha was incredulous.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jason saw Carly rise from the table, her eyes blazing. As he stood, a wave of his hand told her he'd take care of the situation. "I'll say it again, Keesha," Jason's voice even, his tone menacing. "This does NOT concern you. If you have a problem with what happened today, that's too bad. You've still got a week left. If you wanna stay, fine. You wanna leave?" He shrugged. "That's fine, too. But either way, understand this: Don't make what goes on outside this Penthouse your business. It will prove hazardous to your health."
"If you think your threats..." The sound of Alexis' cell phone cut her words off.
"It's not a threat, Keisha," Alexis replied matter-of-factly as she flipped open the phone.
"It's a FACT," Brenda finished.
"So that's how it is?" Keisha asked looking around her at the resolute faces of the women.
As Keisha stared again at Jason, she tried desperately to convince herself that the man before her was not the same man she'd been with hours earlier. The man she'd done things to that would send A.J. running from the bedroom. The man who'd made her feel . Pushing those memories of ecstasy aside, she realized she'd made the mistake of not being able to separate pleasure from business. As she looked into Jasons icy blue eyes, she realized that was NOT a problem for him. Never had been. Never would be.
"That's how it is," Jason replied, his voice as cold as his stare.
"If you can't deal," Carly smirked. "There's the door!"
"Fine." Keisha turned and made her way to the phone. "But Lizzie's coming with me!"
"WHAT?! Jason, she can't do that can she?!" Emily yelled.
Bolting from the table, Lizzie snatched the phone out of Keesha's hand with such force, the cord was dislodged from the outlet. "You take me back to Gram's, and so help me, before you even set foot in your HOUSE I'll be outta Gram's!" Lizzie spat.
Carly looked over at Jason who the entire time had not so much as blinked. "Are you gonna DO something?" she whispered.
"Don't need to." Jason nodded his head towards Alexis.
After her call, Alexis had excused herself from the gathering and went next door. Carly was about to ask what ALEXIS would be able to do when she took in the triumphant smile which was slowly easing its way across Alexis' face.
"You're just making this harder on yourself, Lizzie."
"Excuse me, Keesha," Alexis replied coolly. "I have something for you, Lizabeth," as she handed her the facsimile.
Lizzie s eye scanned the document, her mouth agape. She looked to Alexis. "Is this for real?!" Smiling, Alexis nodded.
Keisha was rapidly losing her patience. "Look, with our WITHOUT your cooperation, you re leaving this Penthouse!"
"I don't THINK so!" Lizzie taunted.
"Lizzie, I don't want to have to call the police."
"Call the police, call the POPE for all I care you can t make me go ANYWHERE!" Lizzie flung the document at Keisha. "Say hello to Lizabeth Webber Emancipated Freakin Minor!"
"Th-th-that can't be!" Keisha stammered.
"It can. It is," Alexis replied.
"Okay, Everyone. Now that that's out of the way, do you think we can sit down and EAT?" Carly inquired. Looking over at Jason, she couldn't help but smile. As usual, he always took care of everything. As the girls and Alexis made their way to the table, Graciella began to bring out the main dish, chicken and rice, one of her best. Jason cast a glance back at Keesha, who was still slumped against the table, clutching the fax. "What about her?"
"When she gets tired of staring at that piece of paper, I imagine she'll sit down and eat," Carly shrugged.
"YOU are gonna eat at the same table as Keesha?!" Lizzie was incredulous.
"Hell yeah! You gotta be outta your mind if you think I'm gonna pass up the chance to watch her eat crow TWICE in one day."
"It's chicken, Carly," Jason replied flatly.
"You WOULD point that out, Jason," Carly snickered. "Still, it's the THOUGHT that counts!"
"Anybody seen Dara?" Emily asked. "I wanted to say thanks."
"She said she'd be late for dinner," Alexis volunteered. "I ran into her across the hall. She said she wanted to go check on Rinaldo."
"Oh, DID she?" Brenda inquired as she proceeded to forcefully impale her chicken with her fork.
Taking it all in, Jason merely raised his glass, smiling into his drink.
"Hold still," Dara replied. "Almost done. THERE," as she finished re-wrapping the gauze around Rinaldo's torso.
"Thanks." Rinaldo grimmaced slightly as Dara helped lower him onto his bed.
"Don't mention it." Dara took a seat on the edge of the bed. "What made you wear a vest today? Do you usually?"
"Nope. Every now and then I do. But I just had a real weird feeling about today. I don't know like a hunch something was gonna go down." Rinaldo winced as he raised himself up on his elbows.
"Hey, hey!" Dara scolded. "You're supposed to REST. Doctor's Orders!" she smiled. Gently wrapping her arms around his waist, Dara slowly eased Rinaldo into a sitting position. "Is that better?" He nodded. She leaned over and began fluffing his pillows. "Well, let this be a lesson: when you have a hunch-- follow it."
"Thanks. I will." Cupping the back of Dara's head, Rinaldo drew her to him for a slow, deep kiss.
Drawing back, nearly out of breath Dara replied, "And what was THAT?"
"Just a hunch," Rinaldo smirked.
"Well, by all means...." Slowly, gently, Dara straddled Rinaldo. "Follow through on your... hunch," she smiled.
Returning her smile, Rinaldo winced ever so slightly as he eased Dara's shirt over her head. "Oh, don't worry," he murmured as he drew her to him for another kiss. "I plan to."