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Chapter V



Carly gets up from the bed and grabbing some shorts slides them on under her nightgown. She goes into the dressing room and grabs a tshirt. The door is a bit ajar so she can keep talking to Jason. "What the hell is going on? Does AJ know where I am?" She calls out from the dressing room.

"By now-- who knows?" Jason says grimly. "Sonny told me. The Cassadines know."

Carly winces. "Figured that. Nikolas is here with Gia. But he said something about Mama." Carly comes out of the dressing room. "I have to tell Stavros the Quartermaines are on their way."

Jason grabs Carly's arm. "What do you mean tell him? You're going to get Michael and we're leaving. You aren't telling him shit."

"Oh Jase." Carly shakes her head. "Have you been listening to Cassadines? They all have agendas. Stavros is taking back his territory and they're freaking. You should meet him before you start picking who the bad guy is."

"Carly, Sonny..."

"That reminds me. You owe me twenty bucks." Carly holds out her hand. "Marrying Sonny was a huge mistake. We got divorced three months ago."

"You're not divorced."

"Now you sound like Stavros. He doesn't believe in divorce either."

"No. Carly, listen to me. You... are... not... divorced."

"But I signed the papers!"

"Sonny didn't."

Carly sits down on the bed. "Oh you have got to be kidding me. He put me thru hell to get me to sign those papers."

"Carly, we don't have time for this. Get Michael and lets go."

"Nope." Carly sits Indian style on the bed. "I'm not going anywhere until I hear a plan."

Carly's beach bag starts ringing. Michael dives on it and pulls out the cell phone before Stavros can get it. Remembering exactly how Carly always answers the phone he chirps. "Stavros Cassadine's Line." Michael frowns and holds out the phone to Stavros. "Somebody sounds funny."

Stavros' frown matches Michael's as he takes the phone. "Stavros Cassadine. Who is calling?" He stands up and walks a few steps away. Gia and Nik watch with interest. Stavros glances down at his watch and then up to the house. He hangs up without saying anything. Walking back to the others. "Michael, your mother is running late. We should have lunch at the house."

"That wasn't mama."

"No, of course not. But your mother normally deals with those calls. She is probably wondering where the phone is. Come. You can have your lunch while I give it to her."

Michael grabs the tote bag and strings it over his shoulder. He looks back at Nik and Gia. "Bye. See you later!" Michael takes Stavros hand and starts tugging him toward the house, chattering the whole way.

"What just happened?" Gia turns to Nik.

"I don't know but we're going to find out."

"And what was that about Carly answering his phone? You know that means she's up to her eyeballs in this."

"Sparky, let me think."

"Screw thinking-- lets go. Those two have been acting like everything is all nicey-nice. They can't keep it up." Nik and Gia start toward the house.

Carly and Jason see the door slowly opening at the same time. Jason gets between Carly and the door. Stavros steps in shutting the door behind him. "Your timing is excretible."

Jason reaches into his jacket and pulls out a glock with a round already chambered. "Where is Michael?"

Stavros maintains eye contact with the intruder. "Jason Morgan, I presume. My lawyer sends his best wishes for your speedy trip to hell."

Jason senses Carly coming up behind him but thinks nothing of it. "Where is Michael?"

"Having lunch." Stavros answers keeping his hands free of his sides looking for any opening. Jason crumples to the floor in a shower of broken porcelein. Stavros winces. "Couldn't you have used the lamp? That was Ming."

"It was ugly." Carly kneels down next to Jason. "I hope I didn't hurt him."

"Get up. You'll cut yourself." Stavros pulls Carly to her feet not waiting for her to get up on her own.

"Help me get him on the bed." Carly insists bending over to take Jason's arm.

"Caroline, you'll excuse me, but I'm rather confused." Going along with her, he brushes her aside and lifts Jason's dead weight from the floor and then deciding against Carly's bed carries Jason into Michael's room.

Carly runs into the bathroom and wets down a towel. She stops in her room only long enough to pick up the glock and follows Stavros into Michael's room. "Here take this and lock it up. Michael isn't suppose to be around guns." Carly shoves the pistol toward Stavros. She kneels next to Jason and presses the makeshift compress to the back of his head. She winces for him. "Oh yeah, that's going to be a big bump."

"One of my attorneys told Mr Morgan where we were."

"I told you, you couldn't trust the attorneys."

"Mr Morgan broke my man's hand to get the information."

Carly winces. "Sorry. He was worried about me." Carly brushes Jason's hair back. "Jase has always been there for me. I have to be there for him."

Stavros leans back against the door. "How is bashing him over the head with a priceless Ming vase being there for him?"

"It's very simple really. Jason was going to kill you. You wanted to kill him. It's a lose/lose for me. If Jason killed you then I'd be really upset. If you killed him then I would have had to kill you. No offense."

"None taken-- but you will note he was the one with the gun." Stavros says dryly.

"See and that's part of it too. You know that split second between when you drop a hammer on your foot and when the pain hits? When you say to yourself damn this is going to hurt? Jason doesn't have it."

"The split second?"

"No, the pain. Or it takes a hell of a lot longer than a split second. It's one of the things he got in the accident. He doesn't feel the cold. And he has a real high tolerance for pain. It doesn't mean he can't be hurt... just that he won't stop because of it. Neither one of you is in the mood to talk and that's what you need to do... Talk. Stavros, there have been times in my life when everything was just wrong and Jason was the only person I could count on. I can't lose him and I don't want to lose you either. That means the two of you have to get along."


Jason groans without opening his eyes. "She hit me over the head, didn't she?"

"I'm afraid so." Stavros says dryly. He sits across the room in the chair Carly uses to read to Michael. "And I'm afraid we're both been put on notice." The amusement in Stavros' voice comes thru.

Jason opens his eyes making instant eye contact with Stavros. "You think this is funny?!"

"Quite. But then I'm not the one who was bashed over the head.... with a very expensive vase I might add."

"That's 'cause she couldn't get an angle on you."

Stavros thinks about it and then grins. "Probably." Jason sits up swinging his feet to the floor. He clutches his head in pain. Stavros asks curiously. "Caroline said you didn't feel pain."

"Carly frequently gives me a headache." Jason says wryly. "And I also know a concussion when I get one-- blurred vision... spins..."

"She does regret the necessity."

"Necessity, my ass. What necessity?"

"Well it appeared you were more than willing to shoot me; and I more than willing to incapacitate you...."

"Oh yeah." Jason agrees with a growl. "Where is Carly?"

"Ensuring your presence remains undetected by my son and his girlfriend."

"Maybe she'll bash them over the head too."

"I've found Caroline seldom repeats herself. Somehow I find it less troublesome in her than in her relations."

"Yeah, I've been in on a few of Luke's schemes. What's Nik doing here and how did he beat me here?"

"You knew Nikolas was on his way?"

"I found out about you the same time he found out about Carly. How did he get here first?"

"Talked to Caroline's mother. While Ms Spencer doesn't know where Caroline and Michael are... she must have known something that clued Nikolas as to our whereabouts. How did you discover my attorney?"

"Alexis told me the name of the firm. I took it from there."

Stavros tsks. "Turning on one of her own ilk. How troublesome. I would have thought she would have had more... professional courtesy. Is it too much to hope for that you broke her hand as well?"

"I don't beat women."

"How chivalrious and short sighted of you. I've never erred on the side of considering women the weaker sex."

"Considering the evil bitch who spawned you, I can understand that. I might even make an exception for her." Jason makes an effort to stand keeping a hand on the bed and one holding his head. "Is there any aspirin in this place?"

Stavros indicates the bedside table. "Caroline left some for you."

Jason pops the tablets and washes it down with water. "Where is my gun?"

"In a safe place." Stavros answers. Jason quirks a brow. "Safe from Michael. It will be returned to you upon your departure."

"Good. Then give it to me now. Carly, Michael and I are out of here."

"I'm afraid I can't allow that."

"So Carly is a prisoner here."

"No, Caroline can leave any time she likes and knows that. She... chooses to be here. The time is not yet right for her return to Port Charles-- if she is so inclined. If she returns ahead of her schedule she risks all."

"Excuse me? Nothing is going to happen to Carly. I'll take care of her."

Stavros shakes his head. "And this is where our... styles differ. I believe Caroline would rather take care of herself. And until certain conditions are met, her return would be met with numerous obstacles and distractions."

"Then I'll get rid of them." Jason shrugs.

"You haven't in the past. Why would I... or Caroline believe you will in the future?"

"You don't know anything about me and Carly!"

"No, I don't. But I do know of her relationship with her ex-husband, Sonny Corinthos, that with the Quartermaines, and with my wife. The betrayal all of them have visited upon her. Where were you then?"

Carly bursts into the room not giving Jason a chance to answer. "It's getting a little thick out there. Stavros, you're going to have to make an appearance. And I know you want to spend time with Nik but he's really messing things up. We've got things on the burner we can't have him knowing about and taking back to Laura or to Stefan. And we need a place to hide Jason until they're gone. No way could Michael keep it a secret."
Carly turns to Jason. "He's going to be so happy to see you! He still sleeps with the giraffe you gave him. And Stavros has been making sure he keeps up on his geography." Carly turns back toward Stavros. "Jason read travel books to Michael from the time he was a baby.... all about France, the Caribbean, Africa."

"He's remembered your lessons." Stavros indicates with a tilt of the head.

"Somewhere to hide Jason. Come on, Stavros!" Carly insists.

"Come with me." Stavros goes back into Carly's room and hits the sweet spot on a paneled wall. "This goes out beyond the compound to a... cottage. It can only be accessed from this room and doesn't go into any of the other tunnels." Stavros tells Carly and Jason as the panelling slides back to reveal a narrow set of stairs.

"What is it with you Cassadines and your damn tunnels?" Jason bitches as he squints down the dark passage. A guy could break his neck on the things. "Carly, get Michael and lets just go."

"Didn't you talk to him?" Carly looks toward Stavros.

"I don't think he agreed with my argument." Stavros says dryly.

"Jase, you don't have a plan. I have a plan. Until you come up with a better one-- I'm sticking with mine."

Jason groans. "Oh great. A plan."

"Don't make me hit you over the head again. This one will work!"

Stavros looks down at his watch. "Michael will be with his tutors for another two hours. I will distract Nikolas and Gia. Caroline, you have that amount of time to settle Mr Morgan in at his accommodations. All this will be for naught if you are late for dinner."

"Got it. Just tell them I had a headache and took a nap. Nik will buy that one. That way I won't be disturbed." Carly walks with Stavros over to the door.

"Lock it after me to be on the safe side."

" 'Kay." Carly agrees. Stavros steps out of the room. Carly shuts the door and locks it.

"What in the hell do you think you are doing? You are not staying here with that nutcase." Jason demands.

"Lets talk about it at the cottage rather than here." Carly takes the lead down the tunnel.


A little shiver goes thru Gia. The curse of a good imagination. Okay so it's gorgeous here. Sun, surf, being waited on hand and foot. Definite perks but... she's getting a serious gilded cage feeling. Every silver cloud has a dark lining. Being waited on hand and foot meant someone watching your every move. Sun and surf meant island-- you can't just hop a bus or catch a ride. A wardrobe of clothes supplied meant no shopping-- someone picking out her clothes was something she'd outgrown when she was seven. How in the hell did Carly stand it?

Nik reaches out and takes her hand. "Where did you go?"

"Just trying to imagine living here full time. It's very... isolated."

"Yeah, not much of a music scene here."

"I guess I'm just a city girl. I need people. lots and lots of people. Don't get me wrong this is great for a vacation but...

Message received, Sparky. Nik chuckles, but he hears what she is saying. Gia would never be comfortable on the island long term. "Let me talk to my father and then we'll head home."

Stavros winces as he walks up behind them. home "Ask me your questions then." Stavros says sadly startling them both. "I would never let it be said I held you when you wished to be free. I had hoped... nevermind. You have questions for me."

Nik is flustered and a little embarassed. And because he is, his tone comes out angry. "What are you doing?"

Stavros takes a seat across from the two of them. "I am reclaiming what is mine by birth. My heritage, my legacy-- preserved to be passed on to you at my demise and not before. You've railed against your place in the family... made it clear you have no interest in taking control when you reach 26. Relax. You are ... off the hook."

"What about Stefan? Helena?"

"I have no need of a regent. They too are... off the hook."

"You took all of Helena's money. She called Stefan collect." Gia interjects.

Stavros grins at the thought. He'll have to share that one with Caroline later. Then he grows serious. While Gia had been the one asking the question the answer is to Nik. "Your grandmother doesn't have any money. The money she's been spending so easily are funds siphoned from the estate. And while the funds were for my... maintence; I had no complaints. That is no longer the case. Your grandfather's will is specific." Stavros reads Nik's face. "But you already knew that."

"Alexis said as much." Nikolas admits.

"Then it appears the funds spent on her education weren't entirely wasted." Stavros is still kinda ticked about Jason's appearance.

"What about Carly?" Nik asks unable to resist.

"Caroline's presence here is her business I hope I can rely on your descretion."


The long set of stairs carved into solid rock wind down to a doorway. Carly opens the door and whistles. "Wow I was thinking cottage... you know something made out of gingerbread or something." She steps out of the way so that Jason can enter.

Jason looks around. "It's a cave."

"Yeah, Like Aladdin had a cave." Jason looks at her blankly. "That's a story where a guy robs a bunch of thieves of all their goodies that they had stashed in a cave."

"Then it wasn't Aladdin's cave, was it?"

"Don't be a spoilsport." Carly starts checking out the cavern. It might have been partially the work of mother nature but someone had come along to put in the homey touches. The staircase had actually came from the back of the cave. Carly walks toward the front. "Oh wow. Check this out!" The front of the cave is glass and screen. The curtains are of the same color as the rocks surrounding the cave. There is a little ledge outside with what looks like a goat path going up to the top of the bluff and down to the cove. But if you didn't know the cave was there you'd never be able to see at from a distance.

"It's a good spot." Jason nods. if you were going to spy on people down at the cove

The interior of the cave is plush with thick rugs and cushy furnishings, kinda a contrast to the rock hard walls. The decorations provide all the color-- red, gold, a hint of blue. Carly goes over to a lamp and flips it on. The cave brightens up from the light thrown from the lamp. "This is so cool! Stavros has the best toys."


"I'm not an idiot, Jase. Okay, He's got a bad side but he's a lonely. The Cassadines have made him the designated badass. I know that one. You know that one."

"He made himself the designated badass. It's not just the Cassadines, Carly. It's the Spencers, the Scorpios... you want me to keep going?"

"He woke up and the whole world had changed. When he went to sleep he had a wife and a child and then it was all gone."

"After your uncle killed him for kidnapping Laura..."

Carly sighs. "You are going to make things difficult, aren't you? They all had something to gain by making him the bad guy. Laura, Stefan, Luke. Laura never had to admit anything she did. Stefan got a son and a shot at his brother's wife. Luke, well, lets not even go there. You know how psycho Luke gets-- look how he treated you after Lucky was killed in that fire. You and Sonny both got the blame for that and it was Helena all along. Have they ever apologized for that one? Oh hell no. They just keep showing up like you owe them something. You and Sonny are expected to haul their cookies out of the fire but they wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire."
She sighs again. "Look all I'm doing is helping him get his territory back okay? That means he's going up against Helena and against Stefan." She leaves the part out about Jax even though she doesn't think that would bother Jason. "It's a family thing. And really nobody else's business and just as big a headache as when the Quartermaines get in a squabble."

"And what do you get out of it?"

"I want my company back. Stavros is going to help me get it. We had already worked out a plan before me and Sonny went to Martinique and Stavros' cover was blown in Port Charles. Since his cover was blown and I knew I'd be walking back into hell as soon as I stepped foot in Port Charles without Sonny. There was no reason to go back... not yet. And every reason to stay away."

"How in the hell did you lose it anyway? That whole thing between Gia and Liz?"

Carly snorts and makes a face. "Oh no. Alexis wrote a little clause into the contract when I wasn't looking. If I betrayed Sonny then he could take it back and sell it out from under me. Which he did. Sold my half to Laura for a dollar! And then sent me to my room like I was Michael's age. I screwed up alright? I went to Roy and he set things up with the FBI. All I wanted was us all to be safe. Sonny didn't get that and it's not like he was keeping me in the loop so I'd know when to be scared. I was scared all the time. At least when I was with you I know things were getting hairy when you revised your will. I so want that twenty back. I guess he felt bad about it after. So he gave me 2 million dollars and patted me on the hand and said he'd get me another company."

Jason shakes his head. Sonny really didn't have a clue about Carly. "So you stashed the 2 mil in the swiss account... Sonny doesn't know about that account, does he?"

"Nope. Not unless you told him."

"So why don't you just let him get you another company?"

"Un-uh." Carly shakes her head. "I'm not going thru that again. Deception is mine; I'm getting it back on my terms. I'm not going to have Laura and Sonny teaming up against me."

"Excuse me?"

"It's that whole guilt thing. I told you. Laura would go whining to Sonny cause I did something that would make the company a lot of money but she didn't like how I did it. And Sonny would side with her over me, his wife. Laura could do no wrong and I was the one always in the doghouse. She's the one that came to Sonny looking for the money cause nobody would give her the cash to open a lemonade stand! She's the one that agreed to work with me. Then she stuck me in a linen closet and didn't tell me shit.
I'm sick of it, Jase. Deception is using the model I picked. They are using ad campaigns I worked on. And Laura is acting like she is the queen of the world. It's not fair. It's mine. I'm getting it back. And Stavros is teaching me how to do it. When I get it back-- Sonny is going to have nothing to do it with it and Laura, well, she can just go knit."

Jason closes his eyes and starts rubbing his forehead. The headache was back big time. "Carly, what about Sonny? He didn't sign the divorce papers, didn't file them. He came back looking for you and all he found was a note from Cassadine telling him to be careful what he wished for. He's worried about you and it's destroying him. He's messing up everything."

Carly frowns. "I didn't know about the note. I guess I was busy packing." She curls up on the couch next to Jason. "You should go back to Port Charles and make sure he's okay. I'm fine, Jase. I'll be in Port Charles soon-- I just need a few more pieces of the plan to fall into place so it will be safe for me and Michael. I'll give you my number and my email address so you'll be able to get hold of me."

"Carly, it's destroying him."

Carly bites her lip. The tears start falling and she brushes them away impatiently. "What am I suppose to do, Jase? It was destroying me; he was destroying me. Bit by bit I was turning into someone I hate. I screwed up. Everytime I tried to make it right he'd hit me in the face again with how he couldn't trust me. How I always screwed things up. We were so close and then I lost the baby and everything went to hell. We never got back on track. Maybe if... but no, he wouldn't have another baby-- that's a blessing now I guess.
And then there was Sorel. And Angel." Carly sneers at the last. "Sonny let me think he was dead so he could spend time with her. He'd never talk to me. For talking he had Alexis. I tried with Alexis I really did. I helped her plan her wedding. I threw her a bridal shower. Boy, wasn't that a bundle of laughs. I tried! It was just like Laura all over again. Alexis could do no wrong and I couldn't do anything right. Him and Alexis down in the living room and me sent to my room.
Toward the end he wouldn't even... so I signed the papers. It was what he wanted. The only thing I didn't do that he wanted was let him adopt Michael. If we were a family that would be one thing... but it just struck me down in Martinique. What if it was like Deception all over again? What if I did something to tick him off and he snatched Michael? You know cause he was right and I was wrong... again."

"Carly, Sonny would never..." Jason doesn't complete the thought even before Carly interrupts him. There were things going on here that he never could have imagined happening the last time he left Port Charles.

"I thought that about Deception too. The company is one thing. My son is entirely different. I won't lose Michael." Carly rises up on her knees and gives Jason a quick kiss on the cheek. "I have to get back to the house. I'll bring you some dinner later when it's safe. And as soon as I can get rid of Nik and Gia, you can visit with Michael." She hops up from the couch.


"Yeah?" Carly is already by the door ready to head back up the stairs.

"Bring a book."

"You got it. Damn, it's good to see you, Jase. Kinda like old times but this is a hell of lot nicer than the boxcar or Jakes."


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