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Chapter IX


"Carly, wake up." Jason demands.

"Umunuah" is the only reply to his request.

"Carly, come on." Jason tries again.

Gia looks at him pitying shaking her head. "What's Carly's middle name?"

"Leigh... why?"

Gia takes a deep breath and closes her eyes channeling her mother. "Caroline Leigh Benson, Get your butt out of bed right now! Don't make me tell you twice!"

Carly instinctively rolls to the other side of the bed and off the edge. "I'm up. I'm up." She looks over at Jason and Gia on the other side of the bed. "OH! That was dirty." Carly yawns. "Okay. So I'm up... what now? Is the house on fire or something?"

Jason points to Gia. Gia shrugs. "I've never been compared to a fire before... hot yes not a fire."

"Okay. Gia, Jason is on the island. Now can I go back to bed?"

"She didn't find me in your room. She found me in mine."

"Oh. OH!" Carly grabs her robe. "I didn't think anyone would hike that trail." Carly points down at Gia's shoes. "Especially in those. They rock for trips down the boulevard but not exactly rock climbing shoes."

Jason winces and shakes his head. "I already told her that. Carly..."

Carly waves at him. "I got it from here."

Jason leaves using the front door this time. The surprise is already blown as far as he is concerned. Gia crosses her arms in front her. "What the hell is going on here?"

"Like I'd tell you." Carly goes over to the table and sits down in a sprawl near the pot of tea. She checks the pot and sighs when she finds it empty. Reaching over to the house phone she calls down to the kitchen requesting another pot of tea. "Fine. Have a seat. I have a few questions for you too. Like you were here for a whole day before Jason showed up. Like you knew Jason was on his way to kill Stavros and didn't say word one."

Gia sprawls into the chair across from Carly. "Like I was actually brought in on a consult. I didn't know Jason was on his way here until Stefan said something last night."

Carly curses. "Don't you just hate that?! But Nik knew right? Didn't tell you word one until you were already here. Isn't that just perfect. If you would have known you would have told them it was a big mistake." Carly sits up straight and leans in toward Gia. "He didn't want you to come either did he? Wanted you to stay in Port Charles where it was safe."

Gia shakes her head and mutters. "He's pulled that crap on me before."

Carly's eyes widen and she smiles. "Yes, he has, hasn't he? Nikolas cut you cold when he was battling Helena. Both of us out there on our own with only Lucien Caine for comfort-- totally out of the loop. Now I can understand that for me... Stavros had nothing to do with Sonny."

"You are a Spencer." Gia reminds her.

Carly laughs. "I think you're the only one who remembers that. But okay lets play like I'm a Spencer... you think maybe I might have gotten a little warning... from Mama? Luke was kinda wacked at the time so I guess he's off the hook this time. Laura maybe? Oh here's another good one.... How about my husband's newest latest best friend... You think Alexis would say anything? I figure she didn't say a word to Sonny... cause if she had then I would have been locked in some safe house somewhere in Canada. But we're getting off track here. We were talking about you."

"Actually we were talking about Jason being here."

"Jason is a good friend. The best. He thought I was in danger and he came to warn me. What a concept." Carly widens her eyes and allows the sarcasm to come thru.

"Carly, Stavros is dangerous."

"I bet the boys are down at the cove. You need to borrow a bathing suit?" Carly gets up from the table and strolls to her dressing room.

"Did you hear what I said? Carly, he is dangerous."

"It's a really stupid comment so I'm ignoring it." Carly comes out of the dressing room having quickly changed into a two piece bathing suit and tieing a length of fabric at her hip. "I figure Nik wasn't your first boyfriend... and he is kinda a boyscout... if they even had them on the island. But my boyfriends never have been. You're going to have come up with something other than he's dangerous if you're going to get me to leave. Did you want to borrow a suit? Stavros is probably down at the cove with Michael." Carly remembers the way that Jason was dressed. "And Jason."

"Fine. Let me see what you've got." Gia finally gives in with a sigh. Carly is right. It is a stupid comment to tell her that Stavros is dangerous. Hell she'd already been with both Jason and Sonny. The two most dangerous guys she'd come across before meeting up with Stavros.

"You want me to call Nik and let him know where we'll be?" Carly leaves Gia going thru her closet.

"Nope. I'm not talking to him right now."

Carly leans up against the door jam outside of the dressing room. "Oh you got to fill me in on that one, girlfriend."

"Girlfriend? Now you are calling me girlfriend?"

"Closest I've got to one." Carly shrugs. "Come on. Spill. If there is anything I know it's man trouble."

Gia laughs. "Oh understatment there." She comes out of the dressing room wearing one of Carly's bathing suits. The wardrobe provided by Stavros was extensive. She'd had a choice of suits that all still had the tags on. She knots a pareau at her hip. "It's just same ole same ole."

"That blackmail thing?" Carly raises a brow. "Or Elisabeth?"

"Both." Gia says grimly. "And Stefan can't stand me... so Nik brings up both of them in front of him. Oh no wait. It was perfect Emily he brought up in front of Stefan. I was actually the one who brought up Lizzie."

Carly winces. "Rough. He's suppose to be on your side you know? That's what finally had me signing the divorce papers with Sonny. It's been a long, long time since he was on my side. It was always Laura, or Alexis or Liz. I was always the bad guy. You were there when I threw that shower for Alexis."

"Oh yeah. Ugly." Gia remembers. "I was wondering why the hell you put yourself thru that."

"Look in the mirror, sweetheart." Carly says quietly. "Maybe Nik is different. I never called Sonny on his crap. I just took it like it was all my fault... until I was buried under it. Gia, I had to get out of there. I know Stavros likes you. And he likes you and Nikolas together but it's the way you love Nik. He sees that you will do anything for Nik and have. But you have to take care of you. I'll back your play."

"You're going after Deception again, aren't you?" Gia guesses.

"Who is asking... The Face I fought for? Or Laura's oft forgotten son's girlfriend?" Carly reminds Gia of her loyalties.

"Then don't tell me." Gia nods. "I'll just know what is going down when it happens. Stavros is helping you?"

"I thought you weren't going to ask?" Carly gathers up her beach gear and stuffs it in a tote that matches her outfit. And picks up the cell phone and tucks it in too. "I'm done taking money from men. It comes with too many strings. What I do with my divorce settlement is nobody's business. My business will be mine."


Stavros, Jason and Michael wade from the warm water of the cove. Michael leads the way to the umbrella'd table set up back from the water. The servants had already been hard at work making sure a selection of snacks and drinks are available. They'd also set up a net and brought equipment for volleyball. "You guys do this every day?" Jason asks.

"Every morning." Michael allows himself to be dried off by Jason. "We come to the beach and build castles and swim and go sailing.

"The cove is sheltered enough and the reef tall enough to keep out predators of the sea and the worst of the waves." Stavros adds. "In the afternoon it is too hot with insufficient breeze."

"Yeah, forget going surfing." Jason nods looking out to where the reef around the cove knocks off the tops of the waves.

Michael looks thru his beach bag and pulls out a swim mask. "But if you wear this and float real quiet you can see all kinds of fish in the water. Really cool fish in all kinds of colors. I have pictures of them hung up in my classroom."

"I'll have to check them out this afternoon."

"Check out what?" Carly asks from behind Jason. He looks back to see Carly and Gia standing there.

"Michael's artwork." Jason and Stavros rise to seat the ladies.

"Michael, you should show Uncle Jason that sculpture you made. I bet that will be his favorite." Carly turns to Jason. "It's made out of clay. And it looks just like a bird." Carly sees the volleyball net set up. "Gia do you play?" Carly points to the net.

varsity lettered all four years of high school. "It's been awhile." Gia shrugs. "It was required in PE. But I've never played on sand."

"What about you, Jase?"

Jason shrugs. "Don't know. If I have I'll remember how once I'm playing."

"Me and Stavros against you and Gia." Carly challenges.

"What about me, Mama?" Michael asks.

"You get to be the judge and make sure nobody cheats. And you're in charge of the music. No slow sappy songs. Got to be something..."
Carly starts snapping her fingers in a rapid beat.

Michael starts doing a little head bob and moving his shoulders to the beat his mom is snapping out. Definitely his mother's son. He starts digging thru his mother's CD's. Carly burns her own and has them color coded... blue for slow sappy, red for growlly music and yellow for fun music.

No wind, (No wind) no rain, (no rain)
Nor winter's cold
Can stop me, babe (oh, babe) baby (baby)
If you're my goal

No wind, no rain,
Can stop me, babe
If you wanna go

I know, I know you must follow the sun
Wherever it leads
But remember
If you should fall short of your desires
Remember life holds for you one guarantee
You'll always have me...

Stefan and Bobbie started searching outside the compound for Gia after Nik had come into the dining room. "What do you think happened?"

"Ms Campbell wandered off." Stefan answers tersely.

"Stefan, Gia wouldn't have wandered off. Do you think Stavros did something to her? Or maybe she and Nik had a fight? They seemed fine last night though. Did you notice anything?"

"Barbara..." Stefan says impatiently. "...Nikolas prefers I stay out of his personal affairs."

"AFFAIRS?! Stefan, they are engaged for goodness sake!"

"Barbara please!" Stefan continues to look around for any sign Gia's been there.

Bobbie falls silent. A tune starts playing in her subconscious and she starts humming. Bobbie stops in her tracks and looks around. It takes Stefan a minute to notice she is no longer following him. He turns around and comes back. Bobbie is turned toward the cove. 'Is there someone else expected on this little trip? Someone you didn't tell me about?"

Ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough (Say it again)
Ain't no river wild enough
To keep me from you

"Why do you ask?"

"Just a feeling." Bobbie strikes out toward the cove ignoring Stefan. As she gets closer the music gets louder carried on the breezes.

And if you should miss my love
One of these old days
If you should ever miss the arms
That used to hold you so close, or the lips
That used to touch you so tenderly
Just remember what I told you
The day I set you free

Finally she has a vantage of the cove below. There are five people there. From a distance she identifies Carly, Gia, Michael and even Stavros. "I knew it."

"Knew what?"

"Jason is here. As soon as I heard that song. Maybe he can talk some sense into Carly." Bobbie stops after a few steps and turns around. "You aren't surprised he's here either. You knew!"

"It was not... unforeseen."

"Since when? Never mind." Bobbie continues on down to the cove. Stefan turns around toward the house. Nikolas should know his fiancee has been found.

Ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough (One more time)
Ain't no river wild enough (Say it again)
To keep me from you

Ain't no mountain high enough
Nothing can keep me
To keep me from you


Carly slides up next to the net. Stavros is back ready to serve. "You're going down." Carly tells Gia. The trashtalking begins. Gia is already bent over ready for the serve but it doesn't stop her from getting colorful with Carly much to the amusement of the guys. One of the comments so startles Stavros that he flubs the serve and the ball changes team.

Jason and Gia change positions and Gia comes up for serve. It's her first serve of the game. So far it has been a rough adjustment from court to beach volleyball. It's tough getting footing and getting the height in her jumps. Carly and Stavros had definitely had an advantage but that is about to change. Gia steps back from the out of bounds line and calls out the score and then "Service!" WHAM! The volleyball skims within an inch of the top of the net and neither Carly nor Stavros can get it before it takes a huge divet from the sand... in bounds.

"Damn Girl! You've been holding out on me." Carly compliments Gia. "You didn't just play volleyball in high school; you played volleyball."

Gia walks up to the net to accept the ball under the net. "Lettered four years-- All City... All State." She says smugly.

"Bitch!" Gia just does a little happy dance on her way to the line and prepares to serve again. Carly walks over to Stavros. "We're going to get out butts kicked if we don't break her serve. You take the net face me and be ready for anything." Carly says decisively. This time when Gia serves Carly is ready.WHAM She dives for the ball popping it up so Stavros can get under it and get it back over the net giving Carly time to regain her footing. A swift vicious volley ensues neither side willing to give any quarter... there isn't a gracious loser in the bunch.


"Did you find her?" Nik has just finished searching thru the stables and wooded side of the island.

Stefan sighs. "Yes. There is a... complication."

"What kind of complication?"

"Jason Morgan is here."

"What does that have to do with Gia?"

"They are all down at the cove."

"Has Jason made any move..."

"They are all playing volleyball." Stefan is still kind of... perturbed by that one.

Nik's eyes narrow. "Interesting. Looks like he decided to not harm my father afterall. I wonder what is going on." Nik starts toward the front door and down to the cove. "Are you coming?"

"I should contact Alexis."

Glancing down at his watch, Nik shakes his head. "It's the middle of the night back there. Nothing is going on that can't wait until later. I need to talk to Gia."

"Nikolas... Barbara was wondering if there was a problem... something I could assist you with?"

"It's my problem. I'll handle it." Nik gives Stefan a quick hug. "But thanks for the offer."

Bobbie winces as another player hits the sand digging for an almost impossibley placed ball. The last time she'd seen anyone take a game so seriously it had been the Japanese v. Chinese in the last olympics-- talk about a grudge match. She is beginning to wonder if maybe she should have brought a first aid kit with her to the cove. Bobbie settles back at the nearby table. The umbrella shades her from the strengthing rays of the sun. So far the only blood drawn had been scrapes here and there there is no guarantee if it is allowed to go on that will remain true. Another song comes on Carly's CD's player.

I never cared too much for love
It was all a bunch of mush that I just did not want
Paid,was the issue of the day
If a girlfriend's got some game Couldn't be more fly,
gettin paid was everything

Gia pauses and ties her hair back with one of her braids to get it off of her neck. The song seems to be speaking straight to her. Her fingers start snapping along with the song. While her focus is on the game, it doesn't stop her from singing along.

But I'm not every girl
and I don't need that world to validate me
Cuz shorty got a job,
sure shorty got a car,
shorty can pay for rent
Don't wanna dance if it's not in my heart!!

Carly starts nodding as well. There was something about being here. Back in Port Charles it was like her whole life could have been something off of Garbage 2.0-- temptation waits, I think I'm paranoid, Medication etc. But since hooking up with Stavros, everything was kinda Pink-- Can't take me home. Carly takes a long slide in the sand. And joins in on the chorus.

Most girls want a man with the bling~bling
Got my own thing got the ching~ching
I just want real love
Most girls want a man with the mean green
Don't wanna dance if he can't be everything that I dream of
a man that understands real love

Stavros and Jason make eye contact. Jason shrugs. It's all a foreign language to him. But he got the feeling by the way Gia and Carly were reacting to the song that it was some kind of female empowerment thing going on.

I was a girl about the floss
It was all about the cost how much he spent on me
Seek, for a man who's got the means to be giving you diamond rings
It's what every fly girl could want or even dream
But I'm not every girl and I don't need no G to take care of me
Cuz shorty got a job,Shorty got a car,
shorty can pay her own rent
Don't wanna dance if it's not in my heart

Bobbie smiles. "Yes. It's about time." She mutters to herself. Maybe Carly was finally getting it. "Michael, honey, crank this one; I like it." Michael minding his grandmother turns up the volume on the boom box.

Most girls want a man with the bling~bling
Got my own thing got the ching~ching
I just want real love
Most girls want a man with the mean green
Don't wanna dance if he can't be everything that I dream of
a man that understands real love
I'm not every girl and I don't need no G to take care of me,
no-- Cuz shorty got a job, shorty got a car, shorty can pay for rent Don't wanna dance if it's not in my heart

Bobbie realizes there is no better time. The score is tied. "You all look like you need a break. Anyone for lemonade?" Bobbie holds up the pitcher. The combatants look at each other really not wanting to let it go.

"Rematch?" Gia offers reluctantly.

"Deal." Carly agrees. "And no sneaky tricks next time."

Gia laughs. "Right. This from the queen of sneaky tricks. It's not my fault you weren't more specific when you asked about my playing before. Nice digs though-- not many could return my serves back in school. You play back in school too?"

"Oh hell no." Carly laughs. "I played for money down in Florida-- ditched school to go to the beach and did pick up games. Volleyball is year round down there." Carly deciding against the lemonade instead races to the water diving in to get rid of the sand that coats her body. Soon almost everyone is in the water including Michael who practices his paddling skills under everyone's watchful eye.

Bobbie watches from the shore. This was more like it. Less cutthroat competition and more sun and fun. Jason is the first one out of the water and joins her. "Hey Bobbie."

"Jase. It's good to see you. I wish I'd known you were coming. I would have left it to you to get Carly out of this jam."

"So you think she's in a jam."

Bobbie gets serious. "Yeah. She just doesn't know it yet. It's nothing that Stavros has said. It's who he is. Sooner or later she is going to get on his bad side..."

"I already talked to him about that."

"Jason, he doesn't know what Carly is like... He doesn't really know. Not the way we do. And you didn't come here to just check things out. You came here to get her out."

Jason sits down after drying off. He hangs the towel over the back of his chair. "It's Carly's choice, Bobbie. Yeah, I came here to pull her out but I'm getting the feeling that things were/are really messed up in Port Charles." Jason gets serious. "She might be safer here. At least until I take care of things back in PC. Carly decides to leave here I'm not going to recommend she return to Port Charles. Not until I take care of some things."

"What kind of things.... Nevermind." Bobbie sighs. "I don't think I want to know." She allows it to drop when they are joined by the others.

When Nik arrives everyone is around the table drinking lemonade and laughing. Gia isn't dressed like she was when she'd left their rooms. He half hesitates before interjecting. "Hello." While there is a chorus of hi's and hellos only Bobbie's and Michael's don't have an undertone to them. Nik draws closer to Gia and says in a low voice. "I was worried about you."

"I'm fine." Gia doesn't look at him. She is so not fine with him right now.

Just then Carly's bag starts to ring. She grabs it and walks away from the table. Nik slides into her seat ready to try to get Gia to open up to him. Carly is frowning and not saying much. "Stavros."

"Excuse me." Stavros rises and walks over to Carly. "Is there a problem?"

"It's my bank; I left them a voice message to call me today. There was no withdrawl. What the hell is going on? Did you put up the money for the purchase over in Turkey?" Carly asks suspiciously.

Stavros shakes his head. "No, it's your game. You made the withdrawl; I was with you. Ask again what happened."

"I have the same balance as before I went to Turkey. Something is messed up." Carly insists. She gives her attention to the call. "Okay explain this to me like I'm an idiot. How can I have..." Carly calls out an amount. " my account when I made a withdrawl for 1.3 two days ago? You do have the documentation on the withdrawl right?" Stavros starts moving toward the table again satisfied that Carly can handle this one. She reaches out and grabs him. "What deposit? When? Who made it? Right. Thanks a hell of a lot." Carly shuts the phone down. "You didn't put any money in my account?"

Stavros shakes his head and then looks over at the table. A slow grin builds. "But I think I know who did. Someone who recently had a chat with one of my attorneys in Switzerland."

"JASON!" Carly bellows as the realization hits her.

Pink Song title Most Girls Album: Can't Take Me Home
Ashford/Simpson. Ain't no mountain.

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