A Room at the PC Hotel


Carly awoke to silence and knew immediately something was wrong.  Absent was Edward’s constant bellowing while the rest of the Quartermaines’ bickered over the daily breakfast bar.  She rolled over and found herself entangled in a mess of bathrobe and bed sheets.  Her fitful rest during the night had caused her robe to unravel and entwine itself with the sheets, imprisoning her within a combination of terry cloth and smooth satin.  The feel of the satin caressing her skin brought her memory back, crashing down on her like an avalanche upon unsuspecting skiers – one moment all was well and the next the world came crashing down on her.  She opened her eyes, suddenly remembering where she was and why. 


She groaned as the events of the previous night started flooding her mind:  the fight with AJ, Jason slow dancing with Elizabeth and finally going to Sonny’s and what had happened between the two of them when she got there.    She ran her hands through her hair in frustration, berating herself for going over there, for doing what she always did.  She had felt insecure, confused, was scared she had lost Jason for good, that he had finally gotten tired of waiting for her to bring Michael home to him.    And, in that moment, standing lost and confused in the middle of Sonny’s living room, she had needed to be wanted, needed to know that someone wanted her – Carly.  And, she had known Sonny would do that for her.  That he would do what she needed.  So, she had dared him to do what he had dared her to do many times before, with his words and with his eyes.  She had thrown down the gauntlet and challenged him to take that irreversible trek up the stairs. 


And he had accepted. 


Why, she wondered.  Even when she had made the overture, she half expected him to throw her out, accusing her of being the faithless whore he thought – he knew – her to be.  She had known he’d always wanted her, but he had always held himself in check; never seriously acting on his desire for her.  Out of respect for Jason, if nothing else.  At that moment, Sonny’s words from the night before came to her as clearly as if he was in the room, saying them to her now.  “The best thing I can do for Jason, is set him free.  Of you.”  Sonny’s reason became all to clear to her then, and she wondered how she could ever have forgotten.  He meant to tell Jason.  About them.  About her.  About what she did, and what she was.  He was going to lay the entire mess at her feet so Jason would leave her, walk away and shut her out of his life for good. 


A firm resolve took over her.  She knew she could not – would not – let this happen.  She would not let Sonny Corinthos lay to ruins all the hard work, the planning and the sacrifices she had made in the last year to bring her family together.  She would not let him do this.  But in order to stop him, she realized, she must find Jason first, before Sonny had a chance to poison him against her.   She knew if she found Jason, and explained to him what happened, she could make him understand and forgive her.  Because that’s what Jason did:  he understood her and always forgave her her transgressions.


She glanced at the clock and hurriedly began to disengage herself from among the tangled sheets.  It was still morning, but she knew she must act quickly if she was going to intercept Jason and explain to him what happened before Sonny had an opportunity.   In a mad rush, Carly threw on her clothes ran out the door, and made her way towards the elevator, hoping against hope she would not be too late.


After a ride that seemed impossibly long, due to her impatience, Carly stepped off the elevator and made her way quickly over to the concierge’s desk.  Seeing her there, anxiously tapping a pen against the service desk, the man promptly came over to greet her.


“Good morning, Mrs. Quartermaine” he greeted.  “Did you enjoy your stay?” he asked extra solicitously. 


“Hardly,” she replied as once again she recalled the reason for her spending the night there.


A little non-plused at her response, the concierge started obsequiously, “Well I’m sorry Mrs. Quartermaine.  Was there something wrong with the service?  Just tell me—“


“Look you can relax – “ Carly leaned forward and read the man’s name from the  tag on his chest. “--  Donovan.  Everything was great.  Peachy, in fact.  No need for you to worry.  Your job is still safe – for the moment.” 


Donovan immediately sensed danger in dealing with this particular Quartermaine and decided to tread carefully.  “If there is anything more I can do for you Mrs Quart-“


“Actually, there is,” she cut in.  “Be sure to send the bill to my husband.”  With that last remark, she tossed the pen she had been fidgeting with back onto the counter, turned around and ran straight into Hannah.


“Well look who’s here.”  Her mood immediately brightened upon seeing the look of abject misery on the other woman’s face.  Hannah looked like she had spent the entire night trying to cry herself to sleep – with no success.  “Oh.  What happened?” Carly pouted in mock sympathy.  “Sonny finally kicked your sorry butt to the curb?”  When Hannah moved to walk away, Carly blocked her path and taunted, “Hmm?  It’s about time.  That’s all I have to say.”  And, for the first time since last night, Carly smiled genuinely.


“Shut your mouth, Carly.  You know nothing about Sonny and me.”  Not wanting to spend another moment in the unbearable woman’s presence, Hannah moved passed Carly to the service desk. 


“Don’t I?” Carly questioned as she turned around, goading Hannah who had her back turned towards her.  Hannah visibly stiffened at Carly’s remark.  She wondered what Carly could possibly know about her situation with Sonny.  She didn’t have to wait too long for an answer.  Seeing she had struck a nerve, Carly moved in a little closer for her next strike. She whispered quietly into Hannah’s ear, “I know you betrayed him.  He would have done anything for you and twisted a knife in his back.”


Hannah spun around, a denial on her lips, “I love him.  I would never –“


“You did!” Carly shouted, her eyes blazing as she met Hannah gaze for hostile gaze.  Suddenly, she smiled and took a step backwards, regrouping for her final attack.   “You know, the people around here, they call me a slut, a whore, the town tramp.  Little did they know perfect princess Hannah Scott was better suited to the role.”  She moved in again, a huntress stalking her prey.  She held Hannah captive with her gaze and asked quietly, “Tell me, what’s the government rate for a working girl these days?”


“You bitch!”  Hannah struck Carly with a blow that held enough force to send her reeling backwards. 


Hoping to break up the altercation, that was now garnering much attention from the rest of the Hotel patrons, Donovan came around the desk to intercede. “Mrs Quartermaine, are you all right?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.


 Holding her hand to her check Carly laughed and shook it off.  “I’m fine Jives.  But do me a favour, would you?”  Donovan nodded, but Carly was unaware as she still held Hannah’s gaze in a death grip.  “Call me cab.  I’ve had about enough of this place as I can stomach.”  The scathing look she gave Hannah, and her tone of voice however, made it clear that it was not so much the place as the woman standing before her that turned her stomach.


“Right away Mrs Quartermaine.”  Donovan hesitated before leaving the two women alone unsure of whether or not his assistance would be required again.  When Carly finally broke her gaze from Hannah and nodded at him he backed away with uncertainty, turned and went to call the requested cab.


Before leaving, Carly could not resist asking one final question.  “So, when you leaving town?”


“Sonny and I are not over,” Hannah asserted with little confidence in her voice.


“Oh really?”  Carly laughed in disbelief, assured of the knowledge she knew otherwise.  “Believe that if you want to, honey.  But I know better.  Sonny’s through with you.”    And as she walked away, Carly thought she knew that better than anyone.  She didn’t know Sonny, not really, but she knew once you betrayed him like this, there was no going back.  She just hoped this was one lesson from Sonny Jason hadn’t learned.



PH4 – The Guestroom


Sonny quietly opened the door to the guest room with one hand, gently pushing it open with his hip as he balanced a tray in his other hand.  He hoped he wouldn’t disturb a resting Jason whom he knew to be a light sleeper.  It was a requirement for the line of work they were in.  His efforts, he quickly realized, were in vain as he found Jason already awake, sitting up in bed.


“Hey,” greeted Sonny.  “You look better.”  And he did.  He had gained back most of his colour, no longer looking like the ghost of a man who had walked in the penthouse last night, slowly bleeding to death.  Sonny walked over to the night table and put the tray that held a pitcher of water and a glass gently down on its’ smooth surface.  Not wanting to jar Jason unduly, he took a stance at the side of the bed, his hands placed casually at his hips.


Jason noted Sonny was still in the same clothes that he wore last night and commented,  “You didn’t sleep.”  It was a statement of fact, not a question.


Sonny shook his head, “no” in confirmation and added as a means of explanation, “A lot happened last night.”


“Sonny, I told you— “ Jason began.


 “So how you feeling?” Sonny cut him off, making it clear he did not want a rehash of last night’s conversation.


Jason let the subject drop for the time being and answered, “Better.  It hurts when I move, but other than that, I’m fine.” 


Sonny nodded, glad to hear Jason wasn’t suffering unduly.    He motioned towards the painkillers and antibiotics on the nightstand and announced with a bright dimpled smile and forced joviality,  “Breakfast.”


“I’m not hungry.” 


Jason’s tone clearly indicated the subject was not a matter for debate but Sonny tried anyway.  “Jason –“


“I’ll take the antibiotics.  Save the rest for another time.  I don’t need them. “


Knowing this was a losing battle, Sonny nodded and placed the bottle of painkillers back on the night stand.  He opened the antibiotics, handed Jason two pills, poured and then gave him a glass of water.  He watched to ensure Jason actually swallowed the medication and finished the glass of water.  Wiping his lips, Jason handed the empty glass back to Sonny who returned it to the serving tray.


Jason shifted into a more comfortable position and looked up at Sonny who was staring at the bandages around his midsection.  He paused, reluctant to broach the subject because he could tell last night’s events had shaken Sonny, but he needed to know, “Any news from Benny yet?”


“Nothing.  It may take some time.  Like I said, a lot happened last night.”  At that moment, Sonny’s thoughts turned from the shooting towards what happened between him and Carly.  Jason sensed the change in him but didn’t quite know what to make of it.  Sonny carefully avoided his gaze, wondering if Jason could read the guilt that must have been written all over his face.


“Sonny, what happened last night?  Not the shooting,” he clarified.  “What happened here? To you?”


Sonny met his gaze and thought surely Jason could see the truth.  Carly happened to me, he thought as images of her rising above him, lost in him – lost with him – paraded through his mind.  He took a deep breath, let it out with a big expulsion of air and prepared to tell Jason had happened.  “Well I – “ he began, unsure of how to start and what to say.  “I started to tell you this last night.  Carly.  She uh… she came over last night.”   He broke his gaze from Jason’s, not wanting to see the pain on his best friend’s face when he told him what came next.


Jason nodded.  He had a vague recollection of Sonny trying to tell him something about Carly when he had first walked in the night before.  “What happened?”


“She came.”  Sonny shrugged wondering how to say what needed to be said.   “We argued.”


“You and Carly always argue,” Jason stated unequivocally, wondering what was so different about last night’s argument that Sonny could barely stand to look at him.


“Yeah, Jason.  But not like this.  It got pretty bad.”  Sony turned and began to restlessly pace about the room.  He ran his hands through his hair in frustration and began again, “I – I don’t know how it happened but – “ he cut himself off, at a loss for words.


At the window now, Sonny stared out at the bright beautiful December morning.  The sun was shining and after last night’s snow fall the sky was clear.  He marvelled that everything could look so warm and inviting when he knew if he were to step outside, he would be hit with the worst of winter chills.  It was so easy, he thought, how everything could seem one way and be another.  Like him.  Jason believed him to be his best friend, when he was his greatest enemy.   The kind of man who would send his best friend out to get shot for him.  Who would sleep with his best friend’s woman, damn the consequences.  Staring out at the window, Sonny realized he couldn’t tell Jason the truth – at least not now.  He rationalized Jason needed time to regain his strength but deep down he knew better:  he didn’t want to face the man he had called friend, brother and sometimes son and see the pain in his eyes as the reality of this betrayal registered on his face.  Sonny couldn’t bear knowing he will be the one to put it there and needed a reprieve until he could gather the strength to do what was needed, to prepare to destroy the best thing in his life and then walk away.


It was funny, he thought, last night, he had gone over it a thousand times in his mind: how to tell Jason the truth.  But now, he found he couldn’t.  The words wouldn’t come.   “We screamed at each other… we said stuff – it got pretty bad,” he finished lamely.  He pushed away from the window and turned back towards the bed.  “So uh, you hungry?”


Sonny was obviously unwilling, or not able, to share what he was struggling with and so Jason let it go – for now.  “No.”


“You need to keep your strength up.”


“Maybe later,” Jason replied as he shifted once again among the sheets wincing slightly as he did so.


Sonny nodded his head in acceptance.  “Alright.  Get some rest.  I’ll be back in a few hours.”  He poured Jason another glass of water and arranged it, along with the pitcher, close to the edge of the nightstand within Jason’s reach.  He turned and quietly left the room leaving the door slightly ajar so he could hear Jason if he called.



The Quartermaine Mansion


Carly opened the patio entrance to the Quartermaine living room, entered and quietly closed the door behind her.  She was halfway to the entrance to the foyer when she heard a voice behind her.


“Well, if isn’t my wayward wife.” AJ sat reclined at Alan’s desk, his feet crossed casually on top of its’ surface and his hands folded behind his head.


Carly stopped in her tracks and turned around, bracing her hands on her hips.  “What do you want, AJ?”  Her disdain was evident in the tone of her voice and the look of pure loathing on her face.


“Is that any way to greet your husband?”  She said nothing, unwilling to acknowledge him as such. He continued, “Is it wrong of me to inquire as to where my wife spent the evening?  Carly shrugged, making her disinterest in AJ’s latest interrogation painfully obvious.  Hesitantly, AJ asked the one question that had burned through his mind all last night as he had waited for her to come home.  “So, uh, tell me:  how was Jason last night?”


“Better than you’ve ever been”, she retorted not in the mood for this confrontation but seemingly unable to avoid it.


Unwilling to let her see how much her words had wounded him, AJ went on the attack, “You just never know when to quit. Do you, Carly?”  He rose from his seat behind Alan’s desk and came to stand directly in front of her.


“Not when it comes to getting my son out of this hellhole you call a home.”  She moved forward, coming face to face with him in a challenge, a dare.


“And you think taunting me – flaunting your affair with my brother in front of my face is going to do that for you?”  He laughed at the absurdity of the situation and at himself – for falling in love with a woman who would never love him back.


“Whatever it takes AJ.  You remember that.” 


Carly’s eyes took on a lethal quality AJ could not name. The threat in her words he could not let go unacknowledged.  “No, you remember this:  I told you last night and I’ll tell you until it finally registers in that crazy psychotic thing you call a mind – you are free to go, but Michael is not leaving this house.  He stays here where he belongs.”


“He belongs with his mother,” she asserted.


“Which in this unfortunate circumstance happens to be you.  There is no way my son is going to be left with you to take care of him.  You’re nuts.”  AJ leaned in real close, shook his hands by the side of his in pantomime and whispered,  “Crazy.”  He moved past her towards the wet bar, poured himself a glass of water and continued casually, “As soon as you get him, you’ll probably dump him off with your gangster boyfriend so you can go and relax on a beach somewhere.”


“I’m a good mother AJ.”  Her mood was quickly moving from severe annoyance to cool anger.


“Yeah?  And how do you plan on proving that Carly?  Ah let’s see.”  AJ cocked his head to the side as if deep in thought, tapping his finger at the side of his cheek.  He didn’t have to think long to come up with the extensive list of her past transgressions.   He began, itemizing the first offence by ticking it off on his fingers, “You abandoned him not three days after he was born.” 


“I was sick—“ she interjected, desperate to defend herself in the face of his accusation.


“I won’t argue with you there, baby.”  He continued as if there was no interruption, “And, you left him in the care of a known criminal no less.  The city’s very own godfather.  And what else is there?”  He paused as if deep in thought.  “Oh!” he exclaimed hitting the side of his head with his hand in a ‘how could he have forgotten motion.’ “Let’s not forget the good Dr., Tony Jones.  Your mother’s ex with whom you just happened to have an affair.   And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, for good measure, you shot him.” 


“He kidnapped my son!”


“ – in open court, Carly; in front of a room full of witnesses.  Didn’t that earn you an extended stay at one of Port Charles’ finest mental institutions?”  He ticked the next item off on his hand as item number four in his list, silently recounted and marked it off as number five instead.  “And let’s not forget your ongoing affair with my brother.  The very same aforementioned gangster.”  He spread his hands wide and smirked as he said, “I got to hand it to you Carly, you really know how to make things easy.”  He put his hands in his pockets, leaned forward towards her and said self assuredly, “There’s no way a court would appoint you sole custody of Michael.”


“And you’re just the paragon of parenthood, hmm?”  Hurt by this latest addition to AJ’s seemingly unending onslaught of accusations, and driven by her fear that he was right, Carly took an offensive stance and struck where she knew it would hurt him the most, “You’re a known drunk!”


AJ smiled and shrugged his shoulders.  “I prefer the term “recovering alcoholic,” myself.”  His mannerisms were cocky, confident even, but his eyes told a different story.  His drinking was the one thing he had control of in his life and he did not appreciate her bringing it up as another of his failures.


Knowing she hit a nerve, Carly dug deeper, “You hated your brother so much you drove his head into a tree.”  She smiled coldly while giving him a dismissive once over glance.  “You killed Jason Quartermaine because you couldn’t measure up.” 


“It was an accident.”  The smile he kept plastered on his face in an attempt to remain casual and aloof was brittle, his eyes cold and angry.


Carly laughed, the sound hollow as it echoed throughout the room.  “Is that what you keep telling yourself? You were jealous so you killed him.”  He flinched inwardly at her words, absently wondering why when he had heard much the same from Edward and Ned these past years.  Carly watched as the facade finally fell from AJ’s face.  She could clearly see the pain in his eyes and for a moment felt remorse for the hurt she knew she was causing. 


But the moment passed and she wasn’t finished yet. 


She took a step closer to him.  “But you know what AJ?” she asked.  “It’s kind of ironic really,” she commented almost to herself.  She leaned in close and whispered quietly in his ear,  “You still don’t measure up to Jason.”  AJ closed his eyes at her words and shook his head in denial at the truth he already knew in his heart.   Carly being so close to him felt but did not see the motion.  She stepped back and continued,  “Quartermaine.   Morgan.  It doesn’t matter.  You never will.  You could kill him a thousand times and the family would still prefer whatever was left of him…over you.”  She paused surveying the devastation her words had wrought but could not help herself from quietly finishing,  “You’ll always be second best.”   She slowly began backing away from him.  When he didn’t retaliate she turned on her heals and headed to the foyer on her way upstairs to see her son.


AJ snapped out of his inward musings of rising self doubt and self pity when he realized she was leaving.  “Where are you going?” he demanded harshly.  “We’re not finished here.”


She spun around and spat, “Yes we are.”


“I want to know where you were last night,” he said between clenched teeth, struggling to keep from reaching out and … he didn’t know what.


“I thought you had it all figured out, AJ?” she asked rather flippantly.  He maintained her gaze, unwilling to ask again if she was with Jason the past night.  Seeing he wouldn’t ask again but that she wouldn’t be leaving without giving him some kind of answer she cryptically added,  “Don’t worry, honey, you’ll find out eventually.”


“What’s that suppose to mean?”  Carly shrugged her shoulders and gave him an innocent wide-eyed stare.  “Carly?”


Tired of the game and anxious to see her son and change, Carly relented,  “I spent the night at the hotel, AJ.”  He quirked an eyebrow in obvious disbelief.  Seeing his doubt she said, “Thanks to you actually.  You should be getting the bill any day now.”


Suspecting she wouldn’t lie about something he could so easily check he asked,  “If you weren’t with Jason, then why didn’t you come home last night?”


“I needed some time to think,” she replied honestly. 


“About what?” he asked, his tone suspicious.


Her thoughts first turned to Sonny and what happened the night before.  She closed her eyes briefly as the memories again overwhelmed her.  Somehow, she didn’t think her explosive one night stand with Sonny was the explanation her husband was expecting. She scrambled quickly for an acceptable answer and said the next thing that came to mind, “About this –  ” she motioned between the two of them indicating their constant fights and ceaseless bickering.  “ – us.  We can’t continue like this, AJ. It’s not good for us and it’s certainly not good for Michael.”


Still not quite sure if he believed her, he said  “You know where I stand on this: Michael’s not leaving.  Not with you.  Not ever.”  His tone was one of finality that brooked no argument.


Sensing there was more to his words than just their superficial meaning, she narrowed her eyes and asked, “What are you saying?”


“Well, it’s really rather simple, Carly.  If you ever try to take Michael out of the house like you did last night, I’ll have you arrested for kidnapping.”  He said it so casually she almost thought he was joking.  Almost.


“What?” she asked incredulously.  “He’s my son, AJ.  I have the right to take him anywhere I want!”


He shook his finger at her in warning.  “Don’t test me on this, Carly.  You won’t like the results.”


“No, AJ.  You don’t test me.  You don’t like how things are now? Things haven’t even begun to get bad between us.”  She backed away while keeping his steady gaze.  After a few steps, she abruptly turned and left the room.


AJ watched her exit and wondered what that parting comment had meant and what could she possibly have in store for him next.  After a few moments he walked behind the desk and sat down.  He tapped his fingers anxiously on the desktop while he stared at the phone, a myriad of different emotions sweeping over him at once.  This could be the moment of truth: the time when he finally caught Carly in the midst of one of her lies.  But with that thought quickly came another:  he knew he didn’t want to catch her in a lie, wanted her to be telling the truth in fact.  And that’s what scared him.  He took a deep breath, braced himself for what was to come next, reached forward and quickly dialled the telephone before he could change his mind. 


After a few rings, a polite courteous voice answered the phone.  “Port Charles Hotel.  My name is Donovan.  How may I help you?”


AJ took a deep breath and plunged ahead, “Yeah, this is AJ Quartermaine.  My wife thinks she left one of her earrings in her suite last night.  Could you have someone check her room for me?” 


“Since she just left, I doubt the cleaning staff have had a chance to clean her room yet.  I’ll take care of this personally, Mr. Quartermaine.  Would you like me to contact you directly?” Donovan asked, his voice the epitome of conviviality.


“Oh wait!”  AJ partially covered the telephone receiver with the palm of his hand while he pretended to speak with Carly in the background.  “What’s that honey?  After a few moments, he uncovered the receiver and said in an apologetic voice, “False alarm.  It looks like she’s found it after all.  My wife is always misplacing things.”


“Oh, I know how it is,” placated Donovan, his voice conspiratorial as if speaking from one husband to another.  The concierge knew however, the sound of a man checking up on his wife when he heard one.


“Thank you anyway.”  AJ hung up the phone without a proper goodbye, having gotten the information he needed.


He stood up and looked out the doorway towards the stairs where his wife had disappeared.  Quietly he spoke to himself, his voice clearly amazed yet somewhat relieved, “Well, who knew?  You can tell the truth.”  Still, AJ couldn’t help but think there was something he was missing.



Harborview Towers


The elevator doors opened and Carly stepped out into the hallway with a feeling of trepidation.  She was somewhat surprised not to be met by the ever present Johnny and surmised that perhaps the man did sleep after all.  She rummaged around in her purse for her keys.  She opened the door to Jason’s penthouse and quietly let herself in.  The apartment was dark and not for the first time that day she immediately had the feeling something was wrong.  She walked over to the desk and checked the answering machine.  The message light blinked rapidly indicating there were unchecked messages waiting to be heard.  Knowing Jason always checked his messages, Carly knew he hadn’t come home last night. 


She wondered if he’d spent the night with Elizabeth.  After what she had done last night with Sonny, she had no right to feel jealous, but she did. What happened last night with Sonny, … what happened between the two of them…it had nothing to do with them actually caring for each other.  At the time, it was about wanting and the need to be wanted.  It had nothing to do with love.  They didn’t even like each other.  But if Jason had spent the night with Elizabeth, she knew it would mean he had fallen for another lily-white princess.  Another Robin. 


Carly sat down on the couch, brought a pillow to her chest and laid back, resting her head against the arm rest of the couch.  She closed her eyes and wondered why she was never enough.  Men wanted her, but they didn’t want to be with her.  Not one had ever wanted to stick around for the long haul.  Not even Jason, she realized.  He was Michael’s father, but he had never wanted to be anything but friends with her.  She silently laughed in a self-deprecating manner.  She was good enough to sleep with, but when it came to wanting a life with someone, she always fell short of the list.  She would never be one of those ‘Angelic Beauties’ she had accused Sonny of wanting last night.  Sonny knew that about her.  And now, maybe she did too.  No, she thought.  She wasn’t going to do this – let Sonny convince her he was right about her all along.  There was someone inside her worth loving.  And Jason saw that person.  She knew that he did.  Jason loved her.  And she loved him.  The three of them, her, Jason and Michael, would be a family and they would be happy.  Hugging the pillow tightly to her chest, Carly stretched out on the couch.  With thoughts of her family and the life they would have together, she did the impossible:  she fell into the deep, restful sleep that had eluded her all the night before.



PH4 – The Living Room/Entrance Way



Sonny came down the stairs after just having checked on Jason who was resting comfortably.  He moved quickly toward the desk, picked up the phone and started to dial only to be stopped by a knock at the door.  “Johnny, not now,” he shouted unwilling to deal with unwanted guests at the moment.  When the knocking continued, Sonny remembered he sent Johnny out to rid him of Hannah’s things and to get refills of the medication the doctor had prescribed for Jason’s gunshot wounds.  He hung up the phone, crossed over to the door and opened it, to come face to face with Carly.  His stomach clenched involuntarily at the sight of her and he absently wondered if seeing him after last night was having the same effect on her as it was on him.  Annoyed at himself for thinking this way, he moved toward the bar a poured himself a glass of water. 


Carly, taking the fact he didn’t slam the door in her face as a positive sign, moved inside the entranceway and closed the door behind her.  She used the moments while he sipped his drink to study him.  He looked terrible, like he hadn’t slept all night, which was understandable considering she hadn’t sleep well either.  But, there was something more to his demeanour and it wasn’t his usual hostility towards her.  Sonny was agitated about something and it wasn’t her.


Sonny finished off his water and turned to face her.  He made a motion with his hands as if to say “what?” and gestured for her to speak.  Carly bit her lip and looked down at the floor.  After a few moments, she raised her head and looked towards to dining table and then finally at him.  “Have you seen Jason?” she asked, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.  Sonny shook his head as if sick of the same old song and dance.  “No. Sonny, please.  I’ve been waiting at his penthouse for who knows how long.  His messages haven’t been checked.  I don’t think he even made it home last night.  Sonny, I’m worried about him.”  And if she were more honest with herself, she would admit she was more worried about whom he was with.


Sonny started to feel for her, witnessing her genuine concern for Jason first hand.  He felt the wall of resolve he was shakily holding up around himself start to crumble but then remembered it was Carly he was dealing with.  He refused to fall prey to her tears.  “I told you last night and I’ll tell you again.  Jason doesn’t need you ruining his life more than you already have.”


“Uh-uh.” Carly shook her head back and forth in denial.  “I won’t loose him.  I can’t.  It’s – it’s not over for me and Jason.”  She remembered hearing those words earlier and how she had laughed at Hannah for saying them.  She continued, faltering only slightly, “It never will be.  No matter what you do or what you say.  Jason knows me.”  She nodded her head as if in confirmation, “He KNOWS me.  He -- he will understand this.  He has to,” she finished quietly.  Whether she was trying to convince herself or Sonny of this was uncertain.


“What’s to understand, Carly?” he baited, unable to resist opening her wounds a little deeper.  “You betrayed him with his best friend.  Once Jason learns the truth, he won’t want any part of you.” He held her gaze and twisted the knife one last time and said quietly, “You’ll finally be where you belong: out of his life for good.”


“So what?” she demanded, shrugging her shoulders in a questioning manner.  “I loose Jason over this, while for you it’s just “business as usual”?” Something changed imperceptibly in Sonny’s demeanour at her words; it was an inward shift, something not revealed by a change in his posture or a stiffening of his stance, but a change Carly could see – could feel – nonetheless.  Intuitively she knew Sonny has known exactly where Jason was during all this time they spent arguing.  “You’ve seen him, haven’t you?” she held his gaze, but Sonny, uncertain of what to tell her said nothing.  His silence confirmed her suspicions and she accused, “You told him, didn’t you?  You smug, selfish, bastard!”


“Keep your voice down” Sonny hissed between clenched teeth with a furtive glance up the stairs.  The glance however, went unnoticed by Carly who continued her accusations unheeded.


“How could you? Why couldn’t you let me be the one, hmm?  Why couldn’t you let me be the one to tell him?”


“Because we both know you wouldn’t tell him anything!” he exclaimed, his anger at her and at himself breaking through his resolve not to loose control.


“Tell me what?” asked Jason from his stance at the top of the stairs.