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Chapter XX

Long Time Coming


Gia stalks into the cottage slamming the door behind her. The door is stopped by Nik's hand before it can hit his face. "Damn it, Sparky! You know you had no business telling Jason anything about Elizabeth!"

Gia keeps going up the stairs. Once in the master bedroom she grabs the overnight case that hasn't even been unpacked since their return from Greece. She stuffs a few other things in it and reaches for the phone. "I'd like a cab please..." Gia gives the address of the cottage. "How long will it be? I want a cab now! Look there's an extra $100 in it for the driver. I know the weather is shit... that's why the hazard pay. Right. Just have them lean on the horn." Gia hangs up the phone and starts in packing the rest of her favorite clothes in another bag.

"What are you doing?"


"I can see that." Nik moves the suitcase out of the way so that the clothes that Gia is about to stuff in the case land on the bed. "Sparky, what is going on?"

"I told you. I told you in Greece. I will not be disrespected by my fiance. You got a problem with me. Take it up with me. You don't start ripping me in front of the whole world."


"No. You want to do this. Fine. Lets do this now. Jason is a friend of Elizabeth's." Gia makes little quote marks in the air around the friend. "He eats at Kelly's constantly. I don't think that the guy knows how to cook... I know there is no kitchen in the rooms at Jakes. Did you really think he wouldn't find out that she'd been fired?"

"How do you know there is no kitchen in his room." Nikolas gets distracted from the issue at hand.

"Gee... let me see... could it have been when I found Elizabeth playing house with him? Why do you think she withdrew from Face of Deception? It wasn't 'cause she thought I was better for the job. It was because she knew she was busted. The only reason I kept quiet was because of your brother. And that was a big freaking mistake. I should have blown her out of the water then. She was playing him then and she's playing him now. She's no saint, Nikolas."

"Gia, she's going through a rough time." Elizabeth was in Jason's room?

"No, buddy, You are going thru a rough time because I am out of here. Why don't you just give little lizibitch a call and you can all get together and cry about your hard lives. You won't have to worry about me upsetting her 'cause as soon as my cab gets here-- I'm gone. You can have the rest of my things forwarded to the Port Charles Hotel." Gia grabs back her suitcase from Nikolas and stuffs the items from the bed into it. She zips it a quick furious movement and grabs it and her overnight bag and starts heading for the door. When she gets to the front door she drops her bag to open the door.

By the time she is reaching for the knob, Nikolas is there blocking the door. "Gia, don't be foolish. It's freezing out there."

"I'd rather freeze than spend one more minute in this house with you. Get out of my way, Nikolas. Get out of my way or the next call I make is to the cops. I am not staying here."

Nikolas moves out of the doorway but tries one more time. "Gia." His unspoken plea is clear.

"Here." Gia wrenches the square cut emerald off of her finger and thrusts it at him. When Nikolas doesn't take it she allows it to drop to the floor. "Have a nice life, Nikolas." The promise of an extra hundred had done it's work. A cab is pulling up the drive as Gia walks down the front steps carrying her bags. She opens the back door and shoves the big bag in and then climbs in beside it. "Port Charles Hotel."

"Gia! Don't do this!" Nikolas calls from the front steps.

"Go." Gia orders the driver as she slams the back door.

"You got it, Lady." The cab starts reversing up the drive after the cabbie engages the meter. "I used to come out here all the time. You know Carly Roberts?"

"Yeah, she goes by Corinthos now." The front Gia has been putting up since Nik started in on her at the club about talking about Elizabeth to Jason cracks and she begins to sob.

"Are you okay?" The cabbie asks looking in the rear view mirror.

"No. Just drive alright?" Gia leans her head back against the headrest and closes her eyes.


The next morning.

The boat isn't moving. Alexis' eyes open as it really sinks in. The boat isn't moving. Rolling out of bed she goes over to the port hole. She can't see anything but water. There is the sound of a door being unlocked and after a single rap on the door Andreas enters. "We aren't moving."

"We've reached our destination and await further direction from The Prince." Andreas says calmly. He sets the breakfast tray on the table and removes the warming lids.

"Where are we?"

"Off of Puerto Rico."

"But... Puerto Rico.. that's a US territory. He'll be arrested for Chloe's murder if he's caught here."

"I do not question my directions. Only trust that is something that The Prince has already considered. You should eat. Once you have finished breakfast, ring me and we will go up on deck." Andreas makes a minute adjustment to the silverware and then looks at his handiwork. Stepping back toward the door, he pauses. "Mrs Jacks, please don't believe that because you are near Puerto Rico that you will gain assistance from... your client's minions. We are near Puerto Rico. We aren't in Puerto Rico." Andreas steps back into the corridor and locks the door shutting Alexis back in.


"Senor Jacks?" The white jacketed waiter rolls in a breakfast cart.

"Put it over there." Jax orders. He gets up from his laptop computer and walks over to the roomservice waiter. He takes the ticket from the man and scribbles his name at the bottom of the ticket and then reaching into his pocket offers a significant tip. "I'm suppose to be meeting up with a friend... they're coming in by yacht. Any clue where they might be moored?"

The man eyes the tip regretfully wishing he had better news. "Senor, Puerto Rico is an island. Hay mucho. There are many places to moor a yacht."

Jax says the name of the yacht and pulls out another bill. "I really want to find this boat. If you can find out where it is... this is yours."

"I will make... inquiries." The waiter lets himself out.

Jax goes over to the breakfast and grabs a piece of fruit and then goes back to the laptop and starts over again. "Nothing. The Cassadine own absolutely nothing in Puerto Rico. The closest thing is an island off of South America." Jax mutters to himself. "Why in the hell would he be coming here?"


Lucky comes around to the kitchen door of his parent's house in Port Charles. He sees his mother thru the kitchen window and waves at her and then just walks in the back. "Hey Mom."

"Lucky. Hey." Laura wipes her hands and then comes over to give him a hug. "How are you?"

"Fine. Is Dad awake?"

"Barely." Laura grins. She goes over to the coffee maker and pours an oversized mug. "Here. Why don't you take this to him..." As she is handing him the mug she pauses. "This isn't about Stavros, is it? I haven't mentioned it to him. It would really be better coming from me."

"Nah, it's about Kelly's. Mom, you are going to have to let me know how you are going to play this Stavros thing though."

"Lucky..." Laura sighs and frowns wondering how she is going to say this. "The last battle with Helena... Your dad seems fine but he was in the hospital, close to death. I know we have to take Stavros down before he gets ready for whatever he's plotting but I really don't want your father trying something before he is ready."

Lucky stiffens at the memory of almost killing his own father at Helena's biding. "I'll be careful."

Laura realizes the minefield she just step in and tries to take the step back out. "Lucky, it wasn't your fault. It was Helena."

"Yeah, I was just her pawn." Lucky takes the coffee from his mother and walks out of the kitchen and up the stairs to his parents room. He can hear his dad humming in the bathroom the door slightly ajar. Catching a glimpse of him via the mirror. Luke is standing in front of the sink dressed only in his jeans with a towel wrapped around his neck and is in process of shaving. Lucky knocks on the door when the razor is away from his father's neck. And then pushes the door open leading with the coffee.

"Cowboy!" Luke takes the coffee from Lucky and takes a quick sip. "Ah. Now that is the stuff." Luke wipes the shaving foam off of the mug. "And what brings you by too damn early in the morning?"

Lucky puts the lid down on the toilet and has a seat. "Aunt Bobbie fired Elizabeth yesterday from Kelly's."

That startles Luke awake and he looks over at Lucky. "Did I hear you just say that Elizabeth was fired?!"

"Yeah. Elizabeth says it was all a misunderstanding but that Bobbie wouldn't listen to her. She walked into Kelly's. Bobbie met her there. Told her she was fired and to look for another place to live."

"That really doesn't sound like my baby sister." Luke shakes his head.

"I don't think so either. I called her but she shut me down. Said it was between her and Elizabeth. Bobbie's been doing a lot of strange things lately."

"Like what?" Luke wipes off the stray bits of shaving foam with the towel around his neck and then reaches for the after shave rubbing a bit between his hands and then on his face.

Lucky winces; he shouldn't have gone there. "Will you talk to her about Elizabeth? I know Bobbie is fair. Once she realizes that it was all a misunderstanding... that someone fed her a line of bull or something. Look... whatever it is, is probably my fault. I know I spend a lot of time at Kelly's. Maybe Elizabeth hasn't been paying as much attention or something, but there was no warning, Dad."

"I'll talk to Barbara Jean." Luke nods. He leans up against the vanity and takes another sip of coffee.

"Where is Lulu? Normally she watches you shave."

Luke sighs and grimaces. "Princess is over at Baldwin's having a sleep over with Serena. I hate that guy."

"Yeah, I wonder why." Lucky quips. "I really appreciate you looking into this for me, Dad."

Luke picks up his watch from beside him and squints at it, then fastens is to his wrist. "I'll swing by the hospital on my way to the club. Get more info face to face. You gonna stay for breakfast? Your mom said something about popping a few waffles in the toaster. It isn't cold pizza but it'll do."

"Sounds good." Lucky agrees and stands up. He and Luke head down to the kitchen.


"EEKKK" Elton takes one look at Gia and screeches. "Oh this won't do. Honey, you could take a round the world cruise with the bags under your eyes!"

"Gee thanks make me feel better." Gia retorts. She tries to ease the crick out of her neck. Sleeping in a strange bed, even one as nice as the Port Charles Hotel provided, always gave her a pain. Not that she'd been able to get much sleep.

"Come with me." Elton pops up from behind his desk. He tugs Gia into Carly's old office. He pushes her down on the couch there and goes over to the mini fridge where he keeps his emergency supplies. He pulls out a cucumber and slices off two rounds. "Lay down. Elton will fix everything." Gia gives herself over to Elton's ministrations. He places the two slices of cucumber over her eyes. Gia sighs as the cool veggies hit her eyes soothing the burning of a night spent without much sleep and with a lot of crying. "Get it off your chest, girlfriend. Tell Elton everything."

"Well you'll be happy you aren't planning the wedding. It's off."

"The Wedding is off? Your wedding to The Prince? OhmyGawd! You aren't kidding."

"I'm not kidding. Elton, is there anyway to move up the shoot in Italy? I really don't want to be here in town."

"Oh Sweetie." Elton pats her hand. "I'm afraid not. It was a pain to get the permits as it was. I had to pull all kinds of strings. If I try to rearrange things now... it will end up taking even longer." Elton pauses dramatically. "Does Mrs Spencer know?"

Gia sighs. "Not unless Nikolas told her. It all happened last night... or early this morning. I don't know. I'm staying at the Port Charles Hotel again."

"Oh you poor thing. This is just terrible." boy, am I glad I didn't get that wedding gig afterall. Damn Cassadines. Seems like none of them can actually get down the aisle. It would have put the last nail in my career as an event planner. "What happened? Was he... cheating?" Elton says the last word in a low hiss. Gia starts to peel off the cucumber to set Elton straight but Elton reaches over and presses her back down on the couch. "Leave those be for at least twenty minutes."

"No. He wasn't cheating on me." Gia asserts. "He is just never on my side. He's on everybody's side but mine. Why can't he ever be on my side? I just couldn't take it anymore."

"Oh dear."


"For a minute there you sounded just like Mrs Corinthos." Elton leans in to say confidentially. "And you know how that one turned out." Elton tsks. "Men can be such bastards. Especially the handsome ones."

"Elton... do you think this is going to... mess things up for me here?"

There is a weighted pause before Elton answers. Gia knows he is lying and just giving the company line. "Of Course Not, sweetie. How could it? You have a contract. And it's not like there is another Face. You are it."

Gia winces. "Great." just give me time to get my bills in order, Laura. And to find time to find a place cheaper than the PC Hotel to stay. What in the hell am I going to do? "Elton, I know you have work to do. Just let me hang here for a few... let these veggies do their work."

Unable to resist the pull of the phones with the hottest gossip to hit Port Charles since the news that Stavros Cassadine was alive and masquerading as Lucien Caine, Elton allows himself to be persuaded. "If you're sure...."

"Yeah, let me just get some quiet."

"You leave those cucumbers on. I'll be back in twenty minutes." Elton starts to the door ready to hit the phones.

As soon as the door is shut, Gia sits up and throws the slices in the garbage. She pushes her hair back. What to do? She needs some advice. Going over to the phone in the office she dials up a familiar number.

Stavros Cassadine's line.

"Carly? Can you talk... privately."

Reading trouble in her voice, Carly jumps right to the chase. "What's up?"

"Nik and I broke up."

"Damn, I was afraid that was going to happen. Let me guess-- you figure the next step is Laura firing you and hiring Miss Pasty Face."


"You know you are rushing things for me, don't you? Gia can hear Carly's loud put upon sigh and then a long pause as she considers the ramifications. "Okay this is what you do. You fulfill every letter of your contract. Read that sucker forward and backward. You be perfect. Don't give her any cause whatsoever to invoke any small print. Small print sucks. Don't involve the press. Don't involve the cops for goodness sake. Not until I tell you to. Contact a lawyer... Lee Baldwin. He'd be good. Have him go over your contract with you. And if anyone knows all of Snotty's tricks it's his father. Document everything. She'll try to make you quit. If she actually gets around to firing you... I want you to sue. And sue BIG, HUGE. Go for millions. Defamation, loss of opportunity, loss of income. Whatever Lee can come up with. That's when you go to the press. Don't let her buy out your contract. Make it messy and expensive."

"How am I suppose to be able to afford that? I really get the feeling I'm about to be unemployed!"

"You are The Face, Gia. You are going to be The Face. As soon as I am in charge again." Another thing occurs to Carly. "And Gia, this is all about Laura. All about Deception. If you mudsling on Nik you risk the possiblity of Stavros getting involved and not being on your side. You don't want that. Stavros is the only one who supported you being with Nikolas... you know that. He knows and likes you. He knows you love Nikolas and that Nik pushed you to this point. Both Stefan and Laura have treated you like the ugly redhaired step child. Right now Stavros will probably blame everyone but you and Nik for the breakup. You want to keep it that way. I'll take on Laura for you but I'm not going up against Stavros."

"You're taking on Laura for yourself." Gia reminds. "Istanbul remember?"

"Details. You want my help or not?"

"I'll take your advice. Only 'cause it sounds like good advice." Gia retorts.

"Hang tough. It won't be much longer. Six months tops."


"Yeah, like I said. You're rushing me. Istanbul isn't due to really hit for a couple of months. I'm going to have to push a few things. I'll try to make it three, okay?"

"Okay. Fine. I gotta go." Gia is about to hang up but hears Carly's voice.

"Gia, Nik was treating you like dirt. Walking all over you. You called him on it when you were here. Stavros called him on it too. Nikolas will come back to you. The question is do you really want him? 'Cause you saw it here. The Cassadines are nuts about marriage. You have to be sure because there is no way out once you tie the knot. Call me." Carly hangs up the phone.

"Great." Gia hangs up the phone. She goes into the small private bathroom off of the office and pulls out her makeup bag. There weren't enough cucumbers in the world to take care of the bags under her eyes. Only sleep would help... sleep or a hell of a lot of concealer.


Luke has already been at General Hospital for about ten minutes. Time enough to do an evasive maneuver on Amy and to grab a large cup of coffee. He is sitting in the visitors area up on six when Bobbie walks off the elevator with Vlad. Luke recalls Lucky's comment about Bobbie doing a lot of off things lately and starts shaking his head. "Damn girl. Didn't you learn your lesson the first time?" Luke mutters to himself never relating his comment to his own reconciliation with Laura.

Stefan pauses by the nurse's station. "I will call down to Virginia and have them send all the information here."

Bobbie nods. "It might be... easier coming from one of the specialists on staff. They'd speak the same language. There are two levels of trials, Stefan. I don't want Lucas in the first level. That's one step up from guinea pig. But the second level... if it looks good."

Stefan nods. "I will make phone calls. Shall we meet for lunch? I should have more information then."

Bobbie sighs and looks at her ex husband. "Let me see what the OR schedule is like first. I'll call you." Stefan makes a small bow and turns toward his office.

Luke waits until Stefan is clear to confront Bobbie. "Putting your hand in the snake pit once wasn't enough for you? How thick are those rose colored glasses, Barbara Jean?"

Bobbie puts a finger to her forehead. "I seem to remember something... a truce... yeah, sealed over shots of cheap bourbon down on the docks?"

"Me agreeing to not cap his ass is not the same as wanting him putting a hand on my sister. And it was very good bourbon."

Bobbie smiles and shakes her head. "I'm a big girl, Luke. I know what I'm doing. Stay out of it." She glances over at the clock on the wall and doubletakes. "What are you doing here? Isn't this the middle of your REM or something?"

"That's what I'd like to know too. You fired Elizabeth from Kelly's. What the hell is that all about?" Bobbie's smile fades. She goes over to the nurses desk and picks up her messages starting to sort through them. "I told Lucky I was sure it was a misunderstanding... and we'd get it straightened out."

"There is no misunderstanding, Luke. She's fired. And unlike you with Claude... I mean it. She won't work another shift at Kelly's. I've already adjusted the schedule to cover her absence. Her final paycheck is waiting for her in the register whenever she is ready to pick it up."

"Now, Baby Sis, don't you think you should have consulted me?" Luke suggests.

Bobbie hears that tinge of condescension in Luke's voice. Just a tinge but a tinge too much for her. She reaches into her purse and pulls out her key ring. She pulls off a bunch of keys and hands them to Luke. "Here you go."

"What are these?"

"The keys to the diner. It's all yours. Have a great time." Bobbie goes around the counter and begins to pull charts.

"What the hell? Barbara Jean!"

"I have been running the diner since Aunt Ruby died. I've been doing the hiring, the firing, the ordering, the books, paying the taxes. I've been doing it because it's half mine and you couldn't be bothered. Since you don't support my decisions-- it's time for you to start making them and I won't be bothered. See you later, Luke."

"Barbara Jean, I just wanna know what the hell is going on!"

"Luke, Elizabeth was fired for cause. She knows exactly why. There is no misunderstanding. I told her I would keep it between the two of us. But it's really starting to tick me off that I get a call from Lucky and then a visit from you pleading her case when you two are the ones that don't have the facts."

"Then tell me the damn facts!"

"No. You either trust my decisions or you don't. And if you don't then keep the damn keys and run the place yourself. No skin off my nose."

"She was fired for cause?" Luke repeats.

"Yes." Bobbie doesn't look up from the file she is reviewing.

"It's all a big misunderstanding?" Luke suggests.

"No." She flips the page in a sharp movement.


Bobbie finally looks up at her brother. Her face is flushed with fury. "How do you think I feel? Her grandmother is my boss. Her boyfriend is my nephew. My brother thinks of her as a daughter. But you know what... I fired her. Because it was the right thing to do. You can either back me or you can take over. Your call, Luke."

"Damn." Luke hands Bobbie back the keys. "When did you get so stubborn?"

"I got it from hanging with you." Bobbie takes the keys and drops them in her purse. "Now I have to get to work."

Luke shakes his head. "So do I. Damn! Claude is lucky you aren't running the club."

Okay remember the timing on this one folks... Kristina knows Carly from her trips out to see Angel at Loon Lake. Not from her living across the hall from Sonny.

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