Chapter 1

PH4 – The Living Room


Sonny came down the stairs after just having showered and changed into a pair of black slacks and one of his more casual button-down shirts.  After Carly had left, he had immediately gone upstairs to survey the damage she had done to his bed and bathrooms.  To his surprise, Carly had been true to her word, for once. Everything was exactly as it had been before their…encounter.  One would never know that just over and hour ago a storm had passed through his bedroom that threatened to destroy everything in its’ wake: him, Carly and most of all Jason.  How were they ever going to survive this?  Why did he always have to destroy the best things in his life?  Why did he have to destroy Jason? 


Disgusted with himself and the fact that the evidence of his and Carly’s betrayal could be so easily erased, Sonny had doffed his robe and headed to his bathroom for a long shower.  When he had finally emerged, with a towel wrapped loosely about his hips, he’d taken one look at the bed and knew he wouldn’t be spending the night there: the scene of the crime.  His emotions were too raw, his memory too fresh.  He had quickly dressed and made his way back downstairs, to wait for Hannah.


Now, an hour later, Sonny sat at his desk staring mindlessly at some warehouse invoices.  The numbers were all just one big blur but it didn’t really matter because the last thing Sonny had on his mind was going over the books.  He still didn’t know where things went wrong tonight but that was of no consequence either.  What happened, happened.  Right?  Wasn’t that what Jason always said?  The betrayal was done with.  He just had to figure out a way to live with it and with himself.


Sonny was still at his desk contemplating the mess he’d made of his life when Hannah arrived.  She came through the door and put her purse over the invoices at which he was blankly staring.  She cupped his chin in her hand, turned his head towards her and held him there while she gave him a long, slow kiss.


“Hey,” she greeted him with a smile but Sonny merely nodded in response.  “You didn’t have to wait up for me.  I’m sorry I took so long. I’m just – I’m so rusty with the library research.”  She untied the belt of her coat, undid the buttons and as she took the coat off she placed it over the back of Sonny’s chair.  When she moved to sit in Sonny’s lap, he rose and began to fix himself a drink from the sidebar. Hannah, a little caught off guard by his behaviour, haltingly continued, “Haven’t done it in a while.  And they want me to present something by tomorrow.”  He merely nodded again and took another sip of his drink.  “The job’s at the university.  Assistant research for a project.”


 “Stop it.”  Sonny carefully and deliberately placed his drink down on the bar.  He knew he was in serious danger of losing his temper, especially if he had to continue listening to her lies.


“Stop what, Sonny?” She smiled hesitantly unsure of what he was talking about.  “I don’t’ understand.”


“Just stop it. Stop it,” he demands, his voice rising with every word. “Stop.”  He could barely stand to look at her now.


“Sonny, what is it?”  Hannah questioned, a crease furrowing her brow.


He couldn’t take it – couldn’t take her anymore.  “The lies, Hannah!” he yelled, his eyes enraged.  “Stop lying to me! ”


Hannah shook her head in denial. “Sonny I --” 


He cut her off.  “Don’t bother, Hannah.  I’ve had enough of your lies.  Tell me, how is Agent Larkin?  I mean, I haven’t seen him since he ‘harassed’ you  at Kelly’s.  But you have, haven’t you?  Tonight?  And on all your other ‘interviews.’  Hmmm?”


Knowing that she was caught but unable to stop the denials, Hannah continued, “Sonny.  Sonny, I don’t know what you’re --”


“Oh, you don’t.  Huh?  Maybe this will refresh your memory.”  Sonny moved over to the stereo where the tape he’d wanted to play for her earlier still sat.  He put in the cassette and pressed play.  His back was still to her when she began to hear her own voice.


“Sonny Corinthos is my mark.  When he goes to jail he’s going to know that I put him there!”  Sonny pressed stop on the stereo and slowly turned around.


“There’s more if you’d like?”  he calmly inquired.  He quirked an eyebrow at her but can see that he’s made his point: she’d been had – in more ways than one.


Hannah couldn’t believe what was happening.  Somehow, Sonny had found out that she was an undercover agent and that she’s been lying to him the entire time they’ve been together.  “Sonny, please.  Give me a chance to explain.  It’s not like it seems.”


“Oh.  Well, why don’t you explain it to me then, huh?  Why don’t you explain to me how you love me so much that you’ve been lying to me – spying on me for months?  That I’d really like to know.”  His body language however belied his words and told her he wasn’t interested in anything she had to say.  Still, she thought, she had to at least try to make him understand.


“Sonny you have to believe me.  I love you.  I would never hurt you. I --”


“You know what Hannah?  No.  I don’t want to hear it.  I just want you gone.”  Sonny moved briskly toward his desk and yanked open one of the top drawers.  He took out a few hundred dollars bills and shoved them into one of her hands.  “Take it,” he insisted, “you’ve earned it.”  In the back of his mind it dawned on him that this was the same money he’d offered Carly not two hours earlier for her “services rendered.”  Having realized this only served to make him madder and Sonny began to lose control of his temper.  “You were good.  I’ll give you that.”  He gave her body a quick, scathing once over letting her know he wasn’t talking about her skills as an agent.  “But I’ve had better.”  Not two hours ago, he thought.  Unbidden images of him and Carly together started bombarding his mind. He turned towards to bar and threw back the remains of his drink in one quick gulp.  He poured himself another.


Hannah, in tears from Sonny’s cutting remarks, was still not ready to give up on them, on him. “Sonny, no.  You have to understand.  I’m the reason why the FBI hasn’t gotten anything on you.  I’ve been protecting you because I love you so much!”  She moved towards him and placed her hand on his arm. “Sonny, please.” But her pleas fell on deaf ears.


Sonny shook her hand loose of his arm and turned abruptly to face her. “Get out!” he shouted.  “Go!”  Hannah visibly flinched at Sonny’s tone and at the look of anger on his face.  He saw her fear of him and it registered that this – this is the real reason they would never have worked out:  not her lies, but her fear -- of him.  She was always afraid of that secret aspect of himself he’d tried to keep hidden from her.  But sometimes, sometimes he just couldn’t keep the animal that raged within him at bay.  Like now.  Like the time he’d fought with Larkin at Kelly’s.  He’d known from then that he’d always have to be careful around her, to keep from driving her away. 


Sonny turned around and looked genuinely surprised to find Hannah still standing there.  “Why are you still here?  I told you to leave! You want more? Here!”  He took another large wad of bills from the desk drawer, threw it at her and turned his back to her.  “Consider it payment for a job well done,” he said to her from over his shoulder.  When he didn’t hear her leaving he turned around and yelled, “Take it!  Go!  I’ll have the rest of your things delivered to the Port Charles Hotel in the morning.”


Hannah let the money he had shoved into her hands fall to the floor with the other bills he had just thrown at her.  She walked to the door, grabbed her purse and her coat off the back of his chair as she passed his desk, and turned when she’s finished getting her arms through the sleeves.  “You can believe whatever you want, Sonny. But the truth is that I love you.  And I did everything I could to keep you safe.”  Sonny took another sip of his drink and didn’t even acknowledge that he heard her.  Having said what she needed to say, Hannah turned and made a quiet exit through the door.  Sonny leaned both his arms on the sidebar and lets his head fall.  He stood there for a while, slowly shaking his head back and forth as if this silent denial of tonight’s events could erase them from existence.  Sighing, he made his way back towards his desk, gathered the invoices about him and set in for a long night.


A Room at the PC Hotel


Carly took her room key from the bellboy, quietly thanked him and gave him a generous tip.


“Thank you and have a good night Mrs. Quartermaine.”   Carly inwardly flinched at being called that but merely smiled and sent the man of his way.  She closed the door behind him and rested her forehead against its cool surface for a moment.  She sighed heavily as she wondered again at what she was doing here?  All she knew was that she couldn’t go home – couldn’t go to the Quartermaines’ -- tonight.  When had that place ever been home to her, or to anyone?  She had wanted so badly to get Michael out of that place tonight. To finally, after all these months bring him home to Jason.  But then she had seen Jason slow dancing with that little Elizabeth Webber and she had lost it. 


Carly turned around and pushed herself off the door.  She threw her purse on a nearby table and moved towards the bed.  She sat down and took her boots off one at a time and threw them across the room at the door.  Carly glanced at the clock and was surprised at the time.  It was still so early, she thought.  The evening was barely half done and she’d managed a fairly decent job of wrecking her life. She fell back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling.  She had lost it.  Once again, she jumped to conclusions and ran to Sonny of all people for the truth.  What was she thinking, she wondered.  Lying here in this bed she let everything Sonny said to her run through her mind.  That he’d hoped Liz and Jason were together since that would mean Jason would be rid of her.  That she was no good for Jason and Sonny was glad that Jason was falling for someone else.  Why did she let him goad her like that?  She should have realized what he was doing but something about that man just got to her.  He had a way of saying things that made her believe they were true.  And she had believed him.  Everything he said to her made so much sense.  Why should Jason wait around for her and the family she’d unceremoniously ripped away.  She did ruin Jason’s life and he did deserve to find happiness and, if not with her why not with that little twit Elizabeth?


“Ah!” she exclaimed letting out her frustration.  Sonny had goaded her, and she had goaded him right back.  How they ended up in Sonny’s bed she didn’t really know.  One minute they were insulting each other and the next she’d wrapped herself around him and he was carrying her up the stairs.  Carly stopped her mind from wandering any further.  She was in no shape to analyze what had transpired between her and Sonny once they made it up those stairs.  Try as she might though, she couldn’t forget the look on Sonny’s face when he’d grabbed her and rolled her under him.  It was like he wanted her, but didn’t want to want her. And his kiss had shown that.  It had been so brutal, filled with passion and hate all at once.


Carly shook her head and quickly rolled of the bed.  Sonny was right about one thing tonight though: a shower hadn’t helped.  Nothing could erase those moments spent in Sonny’s bed, no matter what she tried.  She quickly stripped leaving her clothes where they fell on the floor.  She moved to the bathroom and started the shower, turning the hot water valve on high.  Carly moved under the spray and was momentarily shocked at how hot the water really was; but she welcomed the pain, anything to keep her mind off of tonight’s events.  But that wasn’t possible was it?  It was the whole reason why she was here, torturing herself under this scorching deluge, trying to feel clean again. 


It seemed as if Sonny was right about something else tonight also. He’d wanted to prove that she was a tramp who would sleep with her man’s best friend, and she had.  And she was. A tramp. A whore. And every other ugly name the man had thrown at her.  Finally the dam broke and the tears that she refused to cry in front of Sonny, and had held at bay thus far began to fall.  Soon her body was shaking so badly with her sobs she could no longer support herself.  She leaned against the back of the shower stall and slowly slid down until she was sitting with her head bent low and her arms wrapped around her bent knees.  She stayed that way for quite some time, crying, the water beating down on her head. 


When she was out of tears, Carly reached out and turned off the water.  She sat there a little while longer but soon got cold without the constant cascade of water to warm her.  Almost reluctantly, she rose, and began to dry herself off.  She rubbed herself vigorously with the towel and winced when she reached her upper arm.  When she looked, she could see the beginnings of a nasty bruise forming.   Another reminder of her night with Sonny, she thought.  Sighing, Carly finished towelling off, put on the hotel’s complimentary robe that was hanging on the back of the door and wrapped her wet hair in a towel. 


When she emerged from the bathroom, she was surprised to find she spent almost an hour in there, under the cleansing spray.  An exhausted, Carly turned out the lights and crawled under the covers of the bed, robe and all.  She curled up on her side clutching one of the unused pillows close to her chest.   Try as she might, sleep came slowly.  She was too busy worrying, trying to figure out how to fix this.  But could she fix this, she wondered?  Could they come back from this? 


Finally Carly drifted off to sleep.  Her rest was fitful and she spent most of the night tossing and turning in various states of unrest.  Her dreams were disjointed, chaotic; full of images of accusing, passion-filled eyes that seem to see right through to the very core of her and of feelings of longing and lust, the depths of which she had never felt before, not even with Jason.


PH4 – The Living Room/Entrance Way


Sonny sat on the couch staring into the fireplace having long given up any pretence of getting some work done.  He had an untouched snifter of brandy in is left hand which hung over the edge of the couch’s armrest.  Sitting at his desk earlier he hadn’t been able to concentrate.  He couldn’t keep his mind off of her and what had happened between them.  And then there was Jason.  How was he going to tell Jason about this?  That had been his excuse for taking her to bed in the first place, to prove that she couldn’t be trusted.  To prove that she wasn’t worth it, wasn’t worth anything. To prove that she would sleep with anyone who offered her something better. Maybe if he kept repeating that he would believe it, he thought.  When it became clear that he wouldn’t be getting any work done this night, he had given up.  He had put his files away and retired to the couch where he could just think.


Lost in thought, Sonny did not hear the door as it opened behind him.  Jason entered slowly and shut the door.  He began walking toward the couch in uneven steps, his breath laboured. 


“Sonny,” Jason said, his voice raspy and hoarse.  He leaned over slightly favouring his right hand side, his left hand inside his jacket as if holding something.   His brow was covered in sweat to the point where little beads fell unheeded to the floored.


“What happened?”  Sonny remained on the couch, his back to Jason.  He wasn’t ready to look him in the eye after what he’d done, or before what he was about to do.  ”Never mind,” he said shaking his head.  “Forget the specifics.”  Although business was the last thing he wanted to discuss, he feigned interest hoping the delay would help him prepare for what was to come.  As if you could prepare for ripping out your best friend’s heart.  “Did the meeting go down tonight?”


“No,” Jason replied.  He started to continue but stopped himself, realizing it may not be safe.  “Where’s Hannah?” Jason asked, looking around for signs of her presence.


“Forget Hannah,” Sonny snapped, a little too defensively.


Taking that as his answer, Jason continued, “The meeting… went wrong.”  His breathing was becoming increasingly unsteady and laboured but still Sonny didn’t notice as his preoccupation with telling Jason what happened weighed heavily on his mind. 


Sonny sighed.  “Well, I guess things played out exactly the way they were supposed to.”  He paused a moment, unsure of how to start what needed to be said. Before he could change his mind, he took a reassuring sip of his drink and began, ”Listen man, I got to tell you something.  Carly – she uh, she came over here tonight and –“


“Sonny,” Jason interrupted, his tone insistent but Sonny continued.


“No wait.”  Sonny finally found the courage to face the man he was about to destroy.  His friend.  His best friend.  Some would say his only friend.  He placed his drink on the table before him, for once not caring that there was no coaster nearby to protect its smooth surface.  He rose slowly.  “I have to say this before – “ He turned and saw Jason for the first time since he’d entered.  “What the hell happened?” he asked, his face full of concern. 


“The meeting was a hit.  Darius and Lorenzo are dead.” Jason paused and took a deep breath, wincing at the pain it caused him.  He continued more slowly, “I’m hit.  I shot Moreno…not sure if I killed him.”


“Let me have a look.” Sonny moved quickly around the couch and moved in close by Jason’s side.  Jason opened the folds of his leather jacket, and took in a harsh breath at the pain the movement caused him.  Sonny looked him full in the face and read the pain in his eyes.  He slowly reached out, as if afraid of what he might find, and lifted the hem of Jason’s shirt.  What met his gaze shocked and dismayed him.  Jason had a hole in his side that was weeping blood, the flow seemingly unable to stop.


Sonny reached around Jason’s back and felt the telltale signs of an exit wound: his flesh was torn; his back wet, bloody.  Sonny pulled his hand away, and stared at it transfixed; it was warm, all covered in a mix of fresh and congealed blood.  Jason’s blood.   This last thought snapped him out of his morbid thoughts and he sprung into action.


“We need to get this patched up,” he said righting Jason’s clothes.  “Oh, man.  Go upstairs.  Lie down,” he ordered.  “I’ll get someone here. “ 


As Jason slowly made his way upstairs, Sonny moved to the phone and pushed speed dial.   “Benny.  It’s me.  You need to get a doctor over here now, one of our guys.”


“What happened?” Benny asked, preparing for the worst.


“Tonight’s meeting went sour.  Jason’s been shot,” Sonny replied, still unable to believe what happened.


“What about the others?” Benny asked, already knowing the answer, but needing to hear it anyways.


“Jason’s the only one left to worry about,” Sonny said, his voice cold, distant.  “Just get a doctor over to the penthouse now.”


“I’m on it boss,” said Benny, but before he finished Sonny had already hung up the phone and was halfway up the stairs to see to Jason.


PH4 – The Living Room


It was late.  The penthouse was dark.  Quiet.  Still.  Sonny sat on the couch, staring into a fire that had long since grown cold.  How long he remained there he couldn’t say, enshrouded in darkness and silence, as if he belonged there, as if he was a part of it. He couldn’t get tonight’s events out of his mind; he knew he never would.  But then, why should he be able to?  The things you do, you carry.  Isn’t that what he always said?  He just didn’t know how he was going to carry this; getting Jason shot – almost killed, all the while sleeping with Jason’s woman while he was out dying for him.


Jason was upstairs resting comfortably.  After the doctor had given him something for the pain he had quickly drifted off into a painless sleep.  If only Sonny could be so lucky.  Would he ever sleep peacefully again, after this?  Sonny exhaled heavily as he began to replay the scenes of what transpired upstairs over in his mind again.  It was like he was caught in a loop of continuous playback, unable  -- or perhaps unwilling -- to break the cycle.


After speaking with Benny, Sonny had rushed upstairs to help Jason.  He had found him in one of the guest bedrooms; his leather jacket carelessly discarded on the floor, struggling to remove the bloody shirt that clung to him with as little effort as possible. Trying to cause as little pain as possible.


“Here, let me help you with that,” Sonny offered moving away from the doorway to Jason’s side.   He gently eased Jason’s shirt away from his wounds being careful not to disturbed what healing if any had already began.  He held onto the sleeve of Jason’s good side and let him pull his arm out.  From there it was merely a matter of lifting the shirt over Jason’s head and then off his other arm.


That was when sonny got his first, clear, unobstructed view of the damage done to Jason’s side.  It was a mess of blood and torn, discoloured flesh.  It was one of his greatest nightmares become manifest:  Jason dying for him.


“It looks worse than it is”, Jason reassured him, seeing concern and guilt in Sonny’s eyes.  Sonny however, was not buying it and knew that Jason was in a lot of pain but denying it for his sake.  But that was difference between them wasn’t it, Sonny thought.  When Jason was in pain he still put others’ needs ahead of his own.  Whereas Sonny always made those around him hurt when he was hurting.  He was selfish to the core; always putting his needs, his wants ahead of others.  No matter what the cost.  But not this one time, he silently vowed. 


He tossed Jason’s shirt onto the nightstand and pointed at the bed.  “Let’s get you into bed”, Sonny said, as he moved toward the bed and pulled back the sheets.  With his arms under Jason’s he helped ease him slowly, gently onto the bed, to comfortably recline against the pillows.  The clean white sheets soon began to stain a bright crimson red as the re-opened wound in Jason’s back began to bleed anew.  The changing contrast held Sonny steadfast as the red on white too soon became white on red.


“Let me go get something to clean this up,” Sonny said, needing to be able to fix this somehow.  He moved quickly to the adjoining bathroom.  It was not long before Jason heard the rush of running water and the sounds of Sonny rummaging through the cabinets in search of first aid supplies.   Sonny made two trips between the bathroom and Jason’s bedside.  The first was with a basin of warm water.  The second was with fresh towels and a first aid kit.  He gently eased himself onto the bed at Jason’s side being careful not to disturb Jason’s position as he did so.  He grabbed the topmost towel from the stack he had brought, dampened it a bit with the warm water and motioned Jason forward.  Jason leaned forward, bracing his arms on Sonny’s shoulders as Sonny bunched the towel behind his back.  Leaning backward to rest Jason closed his eyes a few moments.  Sonny took the opportunity to soak a washcloth and began to wipe down Jason’s sweat stained brow.  Jason opened his eyes and took over the task while Sonny wet yet another towel and put it to his side.


“Thanks,” Jason slightly groaned as Sonny continued his careful inspection his wound.  Sonny’s head snapped up at this unexpected expression of gratitude.  He looked at Jason, dumbfounded by what he just heard.  “Sonny, what is it?”


“You’re thanking me?” he began, his voice almost accusatory, “I sent you out tonight, to a meeting I damn well know I should have attended – that I knew was dangerous—“ he abruptly stopped, unable to control the anger that was slowly building within.  He started again, his voice controlled, his self rage contained,  “I sent you in my place to get shot for me.  And you thank me.  I almost got you killed tonight all the while I was –“ he cut himself off before saying too much – before saying what could never be unsaid.


“You were what?” Jason prompted.  “Sonny?”  Misunderstanding the reason for Sonny’s agitation he continued, “Hannah had to be taken care –“


“I said forget Hannah!” Sonny snapped waving his hand in dismissal.  He shook his head and continued in a softer tone,  “I’m sorry.  It’s just, the last thing you should be doing Jason, is thanking me.  What I have I ever done for you except bring you into this life; knowing that it could get you killed but doing it anyways?”  He paused to look Jason full in the face, “Some friend I turned out to be.  I’m your greatest enemy; you just don’t see it yet.”  Sonny smiled as if at some inner joke, “But you will.”


“Sonny, you didn’t do this.  I—“ 


When Sonny motioned to object, Jason insistently curbed his denials,  “Sonny.  You didn’t do this.  I chose to take that meeting tonight. Nobody forced me.” He held Sonny’s gaze willing him to accept these words as truth.  “Just like nobody forced me into this life.  I chose it. “


“Nobody chooses this life, Jason” Sonny refuted.  He closed his eyes as if picturing a time in the past, before he was Sonny – before he became Sonny.  “It sucks you in. Subtly.  Seductively.  So slowly at first that you never see it coming:” He cocked his head to the side as if awaiting some signal or a sign, and then focused his gaze steadily on Jason before finishing, “the day you realize you can’t EVER get out.”  He paused before casually adding,  “Not alive anyway.  No matter how much you may want to.”  He motioned around the expensively decorated room and continued,  “The money.  The power.  It sucks you in, then bleeds you dry.  That’s – this,” he corrected motioning toward Jason’s gunshot wound, “this is what I gave you. 


“Sonny, where is this coming from?”  Jason inquired, instinctively knowing that something else was at work here.  Knowing there was more to Sonny’s mood than him being shot.  After all, this wasn’t the first time he’d been shot at under Sonny’s employ.  Although it was the first time that he’d been hit.


“I nearly get you killed tonight and you ask me where this is coming from?” Sonny asked, his disbelief palpable.


“Sonny, I told you: you didn’t do this.”  Jason paused before venturing further.  Normally Sonny confided in him when something was bothering him.  But tonight, something was eating at Sonny, something that Sonny didn’t want him to know about.  He took a deep breath, almost choking on pain that ripped through his side and haltingly probed, “Did something else happen tonight?”


Sonny looked up almost guiltily, caught off guard by Jason’s inquiry.  “What makes you say that?” he evaded, a bit too defensively.


“I don’t know.” Jason hedged.  “I just get this feeling.  Maybe –“


“Boss?”  Sonny turned to the sound of Benny’s voice coming from the bottom of the stairs.


“We’re up here,” Sonny called as he rose from the bed, glad for the timely interruption for reasons more than Jason getting the care he needs.  He grabbed Jason’s discarded shirt from the night stand and wiped his hands in the blood soaked material as he made his way to the doorway to meet Benny and the doctor he had brought.  A few moments later, Benny and short, thin man who held a doctor’s bag rounded the landing at the end of the hallway.  Sonny beckoned to them from his stance by the doorway and moved back toward the bed where Jason lay.


“Boss this is Dr. Mills,” Benny indicted the nondescript man beside him, by way of introduction.  “I’ve explained to him that privacy is of the utmost importance.”  Sonny stared at the doctor, holding his gaze as if mentally weighing him against some imaginary scale.  Finally he nodded, satisfied with what he saw and stepped away from the bed allowing the doctor access to Jason.


“Ok.  Now let me have a look at what we’re dealing with,” said Dr Mills, carefully removing the bloody towel from Jason’s side.  He took one look at the nasty wound and smiled reassuringly at Jason when he met his concerned gaze.   He quickly reached for his bag and set to work.  Something told him that failure was not an option here.


Sonny and Benny watched the doctor perform his ministrations, scrutinizing his every movement.  Once satisfied the doctor was indeed capable, Sonny gestured Benny out into the hall, knowing they could be of no assistance in there.  Besides, they had business to discuss.


“Alright,” Sonny began, his head angled down and his voice lowered so the doctor couldn’t hear what was being said, “we need to put a lock on this as soon as possible.  I want to know exactly what went down tonight and why.  Surely Moreno’s not stupid enough to think this will go un-retaliated?” he asked, an edge to his voice that he had kept restrained until now. 


“He was obviously after you tonight.”  Benny baldly stated.


“Yeah,” he nodded.  “Too bad for him he didn’t succeed,” Sonny said, his eyes hard, unyielding, making Benny slightly uncomfortably with what he saw in them.  It was then that Benny noticed Sonny was absentmindedly, yet methodically, wiping his hands clean with Jason’s bloodied shirt.  He coughed, breaking Sonny away from his vengeful thoughts.  “And find out where my men are.  I owe them at least that much.“


“I’ll get right on it,” Benny replied and turned to leave.


“And tell Deloris I apologize for getting you outta bed at this time of night,” Sonny added, a parting thought as he turned and made his way back into the bedroom.


Benny nodded and continued down the hall toward the stairs, caught off guard yet once again at how Sonny’s thoughts could just shift with the drop of a dime.   He mentally shrugged off his wayward thoughts and made his way out of the penthouse towards the elevator, on his way to get to the bottom of what happened tonight.


Sonny, seeing the doctor still at work, made his way toward the adjoining washroom to get himself cleaned up.  Realizing he still held onto Jason’s bloodied shirt, he threw the ruined garment into the garbage and turned on the tap.  The second his hands interrupted the flow of warm clear water, the white porcelain basin was awash in red.  His mind immediately jumped to the scene earlier when he had helped Jason onto the bed.  The white sheets had quickly stained red.  It was a contrast glaringly shocking in its’ intensity.  Sonny stood transfixed, mesmerized by that same contrast as he stood over the sink; caught by the crimson flow that poured down the drain -- watching immovable as the blood of his best friend poured down the drain.  At the reminder that this was Jason’s blood on his hands, Sonny snapped out of his reverie and mindlessly grabbed for the soap. He scrubbed until his hands were raw and the lather frothed as white as the snow that fell outside the bullet proofed windows, but somehow he knew that no amount of scrubbing could ever make his hands clean again.  He absently wondered if they ever were clean.  Was there ever such a time in his life?  When his hands were not stained with the blood of those around him?  Those that he loved, cherished?  It was always the blood of the innocent that was shed.  Never the guilty.  Never -- him.  He replaced the half used bar of soap in its’ holder, turned off the tap and quickly dried his hands on one of the few towels that remained.


Sonny entered the bedroom, just as Dr. Mills began packing his supplies.  The doctor must have heard something because he turned around even though Sonny’s approach was silent.  He handed him a bottle of pain relievers and instructed,  “He’ll need two every four hours for the first twenty four hours.  Two every eight hours after that.”  Sonny nodded and took the bottle of pills knowing he will have a battle on his hands – trying to convince Jason to take the medication.


Sonny looked passed the doctor to a sleeping Jason on the bed.  His colour was slowly returning and he looked peaceful, resting comfortably on the pillow.  Now he could truly believe that Jason would be all right.  “Anything else?” he asked. 


“He shouldn’t be moved,” the doctor replied.  “He needs as much bed rest as possible.”  Again Sonny nodded, wondering how he would accomplish that feat as well.  “Thank you, doctor.”


Dr. Mills smiled hesitantly in acknowledgement of Sonny’s thanks and offered, “I can show myself out.”  At Sonny’s silent agreement, the doctor quickly gathered the rest of his belongings and made his way out the door, leaving Sonny alone with Jason.


After the doctor left, Sonny had stood over Jason a few minutes, relishing the simple act of watching the steady, measured rise and fall of his chest.  Who knew you could derive such contentment from just watching someone breathe?  Reassured that Jason was indeed all right, or at least that he would be, Sonny had left him alone to get his much needed rest and had headed down the stairs to sit out the rest of this nightmarish night in his familiar position on the couch in front of the fire.


Now, he sat alone in the dark in front of the unlit fire staring unseeingly at his hands that lay in his lap, palms facing upwards.  To the common observer, they were clean, unblemished.  But Sonny knew better.  They were stained with blood.  And that’s all he saw: the blood staining his pristinely clean hands.  Stone’s.  Lily’s.  His unborn child’s.  Brenda’s.  And now Jason’s.  It was always the blood of the innocent -- never the guilty.  And never, never his.  Sonny remained lost in thought as the penthouse slowly brightened.  The sun had begun its’ slow ascent into the sky and slowly the light began to fend off the dark and the shadows that surrounded him, once again reclaiming what was once its’ own.  Sonny however, still sat unaware of the coming dawn, enshrouded in his own darkness, staring lost, into the depths of the fathomless sea of the blood he had shed.