Chapter Fifty-Six

Lorenzo stopped in front of the door marked as Dr. Lainey Winters. It had taken him a week to bring himself to this point. Saying what he intended to do and then taking the steps to do it are two different things.

He knew Diego had already taken this step and he was proud that his son was taking charge of his life. There was so much Lorenzo wanted for his so and he had come to realize that he couldn’t force Diego to live in a certain way. He had to let his son choose his own path and just provide guidance and support. Unfortunately it was a lesson he had learned the hard way. If I had been less controlling of Jessica’s future, things might be different now, he thought. He would have his daughter in his life. She would be here to raise her little girl, maybe even had more children by now.

Even as he thought this, he remembered a conversation he had with his mother shortly after finding out Skye was pregnant.

“Sometimes I find myself wondering how life would have worked out had Jessica lived,” Lorenzo admitted to his mother.

“Playing what if will only give you a headache,” Esmerelda told her son. I have always told you that things happen for a reason.”

Lorenzo nodded. It was something she whole-heartedly believed in. “So you’re saying that Jessica’s fate was to die young and never have a chance to raise her daughter?”

“In a way, yes,” Esmerelda said. “You loved your daughter and did the best you were able for her. I’m not saying it’s good that you lost your daughter – because it’s a horrible experience for a parent to go through – but you have to see, Lorenzo, that Jessica’s unfortunate death put in motion the path all of our lives are on now.”

Lorenzo nodded. So many things would be different – both good and bad.

Bringing himself back, Lorenzo understood that he couldn’t stay stuck in the past. And that’s why I’m here, Lorenzo reminded himself, focusing on the door in front of him.

Taking in and letting out a cleansing breath, Lorenzo squared his shoulders and knocked on the door.


Focusing was becoming an issue for Jason as the afternoon wore on. He had spent the morning going over reports from the warehouses and reading the report the accountant faxed.

Dropping the papers onto his desk, Jason leaned back, his black leather chair tilting back, crossing his arms behind his head.

Over the last couple of years so much had changed it sometimes made his head spin. At one time he had been the right-hand man to one of Port Charles’ leading mob bosses. He had been considered nothing more than a hired killer. Then a beautiful, independent, dynamic young woman had come into his life. She lit up the darkness he was living in. She accepted him for who he was, taking his flaws in stride without trying to change him, made him feel things he never thought were really important.

After Sonny’s betrayal and Jessica being ripped from him, he hadn’t been sure he could go on – wasn’t sure he wanted to. And out of that tragedy he had found another life. He had a daughter that meant more to him than anything else in the world. And when he was sure it would never happen again, he fell in love.

Sam brought love and laughter back into his life. She forced him to rejoin the living and take responsibility for his daughter’s upbringing.

A few months ago Jason would have felt guilty for acknowledging his feelings for Sam after all he and Jessica had gone through to be together, but not now. Jason had never told anyone about seeing Jessica as he clung to life after being shot by Manny. Whatever it was – a hallucination, a vision – had brought him a sense of peace. After that experience, Jason admitted that he had fallen in love with Samantha Alcazar.

Sitting forward in his chair, Jason picked up the framed photo of Jessica sitting on his desk. “You gave me a beautiful little girl . . . you will always be in my heart . . . but I have to move on. Not just for myself, but for Elaina as well. Sam has been a wonderful mother to her – and she didn’t have to stay and help me. I love Sam and I want her to be in my life permanently. I want to ask her to be my wife . . . I just hope it’s something she’ll want as well.”

Replacing the frame Jason stood. He had some plans to make.


“Did you find anything else?” Diego asked as he walked into Spinelli bedroom/office, or as Spinelli termed it – the Jackal’s Domain.

Spinelli barely looked up from his screen as he indicated the file folder on the edge of his desk. “All you requested on the Terrifying Duo.”

Diego picked up the folder. He had put Spinelli on the job of gathering all he could find on Mateo Ruiz before he went to his father with this information. He doubted his father, or even Jason knew of this other Ruiz brother. He flipped through the folder.

“You did good, Spinelli,” Diego commented as he perused the information and pictures. He shook his head. “I still can’t believe this . . . identical twins, including all of the tattoos.”

“Scary,” Spinelli said, distracted.

Diego looked over at him. “What are you doing?” He moved to stand behind Spinelli.

“Uh, nothing,” Spinelli said, snapping the lid of his laptop closed.

Intrigued, Diego tucked the file under his arm and crossed his arms across his chest. “Is that so?” he asked, his eyebrow raised. “Doesn’t seem like nothing to me.”

Eyes wide, Spinelli moved closer to his precious computer. “It is of a most personal nature,” he stammered.

Not sure if he really wanted to know, Diego shook his head. “Whatever man,” he said. “We’re meeting with my dad when he gets back. Be ready.”

Spinelli nodded, still protecting his computer.

Rolling his eyes, Diego left the room, taking the file on Mateo Ruiz with him. He wanted to study it before meeting with his father and Jason.


“He’ll be okay,” Esmerelda said to Skye as she watched the other woman pace across the living room floor.

“It’s hard for Lorenzo to open up and talk about his feelings,” Skye said, still pacing.

“Believe me, I know this. I am his mother,” Esmerelda said with a smile.

“Was he always like this?”

“Always,” Esmerelda said. “Even as a little boy, he never wanted to bother any one else with his troubles. I’m not sure why, but he was always the calm, rational one. It took a lot to rattle my Lorenzo, to get a strong reaction out of him. And believe me when I say that Luis did all he could to push his brother. But no matter what Luis did, Lorenzo always stayed in control. I think that frustrated Luis more than anything else. I was always proud of that strength, proud of the fact that he didn’t overreact a the drop of a hat like his father and brother.”

“I think a lot of people see that control in him,” Skye said, finally sitting down. “It’s a part of him that so many people look to, look up to even.”

“Although I think – and have always thought – that he takes too much on himself at times and needs to unburden himself. But no matter how many times I tell him that, he turns a deaf ear.”

“I guess in a way, he still feels like he would be bothering those he loves and cares about,” Skye mused.

Esmerelda nodded in agreement as the two women sat in companionable silence.


Lainey smiled as she opened the door to her office. “Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” she asked.

Lorenzo chuckled. “I guess it wasn’t,” he admitted. “I can see why Diego comes to talk to you.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Lainey acknowledged with a nod. “So, we’ll make this a regular thing?”

Lorenzo nodded. “Yes, we will,” he said before leaving.


“Jason! I’m home!” Sam called as she walked into the little cottage she shared with Jason and Elaina. “Hello?” There was no answer.

Putting her shopping bags down, Sam went to investigate. Jason hadn’t said anything about going out this afternoon and if something had come up, he would have called her. No one was in the living room and Sam made her way to the kitchen.

On the table, there was a folded note. Picking it up, Sam opened it as she sat in the chair.

Sam, I needed to run out on a quick errand. Elaina is at Carly’s for the afternoon. I’ll see you in a little while.

Love, Jason

Smiling at the note, Sam put it down, curious as to what Jason was up to. Putting the note down, Sam returned to the kitchen, gathered her bags and headed upstairs. If Elaina was with Carly for the afternoon, then she was going to take advantage of the time she’ll have with Jason.


After his session with Lainey, Lorenzo found himself on the docks, breathing in the scent of the ocean as he lapped against the wood pilings of the peer. He had been honest with the therapist when he said the session hadn’t been too bad, it had actually helped to talk to someone outside of everything. Lainey didn’t have the intimate knowledge of the business as his family did. She had the luxury of being objective.

He would be the first to admit that part of his hesitation about going to see Lainey in the first place stemmed from bringing someone else into his dangerous world. Just by talking to her, he was afraid he would be putting her in the uncomfortable position of being perceived as having insider information. But he had quickly found that she wasn’t concerned with the ins and outs of his business world. All she cared about was helping him to heal, helping him to realize that he couldn’t take everything on himself, that what happened wasn’t always in his control and he couldn’t punish himself for it.

Today was only the first session, but already Lorenzo was feeling that this was going to be beneficial. He had noticed a difference in his son. Diego seemed more freer, more comfortable and at peace with himself. That’s what I want. I want to be able to enjoy my family without worrying about all the creatures hiding in the shadows. With Lainey’s help, he was going to learn how to balance the pleasure of his family with the darkness of his business.

Breathing in the ocean air again, Lorenzo stuck his hand in his pocket as his phone buzzed. He had forgotten to turn it up when he left the hospital. “Alcazar,” he said.

“Where are you?”

“On the docks,” Lorenzo replied.

“Stay there. I’m on my way over. I need to talk to you about something.”

“I’ll be here.”

Ending the call, Lorenzo sat on a bench to wait.


Trotting down the stairs to the docks, Jason nodded as Lorenzo stood. “How did it go?” he asked.

“Not too bad,” Lorenzo said, finding that was the safest way to answer that question. He just hoped his mother and Skye accepted it as well as Lainey and Jason did.

“Good,” Jason said.

“So, what did you want to talk about?” Lorenzo prodded, noticing how Jason seemed to be bouncing on his toes.

Jason knew this was what he wanted to do. After two years together and all they had shared, this was the right step to take.


He looked up at the man who had become more than a mentor of the last couple of years, he was his family. They had suffered the same heartache when they lost Jessica and the joys of watching Elaina grow up. They were there for each other within the organization – Jason acting more as Lorenzo’s right hand and adviser than just a simple hitman.

“You know I look to you like a brother . . . a part of my family,” Jason began.

“True,” Lorenzo said. “I know in the beginning, we never thought we’d be able to get to where we are . . . but I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.”

“I feel the same way,” Jason said. “Which is why I’m coming to you first. I want to ask Sam to be my wife.”

If he was honest with himself, Lorenzo would admit that he wasn’t surprised. He had been watching Sam and Jason over the last couple of years and had seen the way they connected. “You have my blessing if that’s what you’re asking.”

“It is, and thank you,” Jason said. “I never thought I’d be able to love anyone after losing Jessica . . . I know I can make this work with Sam.”

“I know you will,” Lorenzo agreed. “When I look back on that time, I regret the way I reacted to you and Jessica. Even then I knew you were too good to work for the likes of Sonny, but when my daughter wanted to get involved with you . . . I couldn’t handle it. I was wrong Jason.”

Jason held up his hand to stop him. “Things were different then,” he said. “We can’t keep looking back to the past and wishing we could change it.”

Lorenzo clapped Jason on the shoulder. “Welcome to the family, kid.”


The house was quiet when he arrived home. On the way down the long driveway he had noticed that all the guards were in place – with extra men added here and there. As he walked into the living room he expected to see Skye or his mother waiting for him – but there was no one there.

Shrugging, Lorenzo slid off his jacket, hanging on the back of his desk chair. He checked the phone for messages, there was none. Opening another button on his shirt, he headed into the kitchen. Like the living room, it was empty. Where was everyone?

Pulling open the fridge, Lorenzo pulled out a bottle of water, downing half the bottle in one gulp, leaning on the stainless steel door.

“Hey Pop!”

Chocking on the water, Lorenzo leaned forward to avoid spilling the rest of it on himself. He turned. “Diego! You scared the crap out of me!”

Eyebrow raised, Diego did his best to hold back his laughter, failing miserably. “Sorry Pop. You okay?”

Lorenzo put the bottle down and shut the door to the fridge. “I’m fine,” he said, brushing some water off his shirt. “What are you doing sneaking up on me?”

“I didn’t realize you were in here,” Diego responded with a shrug. “How was your session?”

“Not too bad,” Lorenzo said, sticking to his standard reply. It was working so far – if it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Diego nodded. “That’s what I said the first time,” he said as he pulled out a chair at the table.

Lorenzo chuckled. “Well, I’m sticking to it for a while,” he said, pulling out his own chair. “Where is everyone? It’s too quiet around here.”

“Elaina’s at Carly’s,” Diego said. “I haven’t seen Jason or Sam all day. Skye went to lie down and I think grandmother’s around here somewhere.”

Nodding, Lorenzo ran his hands through his hair. “Diego, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”

“Sure Pop.” In fact, he wanted to talk to his father as well, but it could wait until later that evening when they were meeting with Jason and the rest of the security detail. “What’s up?”

“With everything’s that been going on I never had a chance to sit down with you and find out what you thought about me and Skye . . . and babies.”

Diego sat back in his chair. “What do you mean?” he asked.

Lorenzo shrugged. “I’m not sure,” he said. “But I figured with all the of the changes . . . couple of new babies . . . I guess I didn’t want you to feel like I was trying to replace you and Jessica with a new set of kids.”

Chuckling, Diego shook his head. “Never,” he said. “Jessica would be ecstatic over this. You know she wanted you and Skye together. And I think it’s great. I can see how much you and Skye love each other, Pop. It’s the real thing. And these babies are proof of that.”

“I do love her. More than I thought would be possible,” Lorenzo admitted to his son. “After Jessica’s mother I didn’t think it would be possible for me to find someone who would accept all that I was . . . the business and all it came with. I even tried to shut myself off to love – I didn’t think it was for me. Skye is different. She’s a fighter. There is so much I admire about her.”

“Well, I hope there is something there that will make you want to marry the woman.”

He didn’t have to turn. “I knew that was going to come up soon. Hello Mother,” he said.

Esmerelda came into the kitchen, kissing her son on the head. “You know I’m not wrong.”

“No, you’re not,” Lorenzo said, looking up at her. He then looked at his son. “Actually, I am planning on asking Skye to marry me.”

“Finally!” Esmerelda exclaimed happily, hugging her son.

Diego laughed and clapped his father on his shoulder. “Awesome Pop!”

Knowing it was going to come out, Lorenzo held up a hand. “I’m not the only one looking toward marriage,” he said.

Esmerelda looked at her grandson who held up his hands defensively.

“Not me!” Diego protested.

“Jason is going to ask Sam to marry him,” Lorenzo revealed.

“Did he do it yet? Where is he?” Esmerelda asked.

Lorenzo looked at his mother quizzically. “I don’t know. He just wanted my blessing – which I gave – and then he took off.”

“Call him. Tell him to come here right now,” Esmerelda insisted.

Not wanting to question what his mother was up to just yet, Lorenzo made the call. Jason had been on his way onto the property. Hanging up, he turned to her. “What’s this all about?”

“You’ll see,” she said with a mysterious smile before disappearing from the kitchen.

Lorenzo looked at his son. “Do you know what this is about?”

“No clue, but I don’t plan on missing this for anything.”


Jason walked into the kitchen of Lorenzo’s house, a quizzical look on his face. “What’s going on?” he asked when he saw Lorenzo sitting at the kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee.

Lorenzo shrugged. “Got me,” he said. “My mother wanted me to call you and have you come over here. I told her you wanted to marry Sam and I wanted to marry Skye and she wanted you here.”

“Did she have a problem with me wanting to marry Sam?” Jason asked with concern. He had been worried Lorenzo would have some objection, but if Esmerelda was against this it would tear at Sam’s heart. He knew she would want her whole family to be a part of this.

“Of course I don’t have a problem with it,” Esmerelda said as she reentered the kitchen. When both men went to stand, she shooed them back into their seats. “And I couldn’t be happier.”

“Good to know Mother,” Lorenzo said, watching her. She was up to something. He could tell by the gleam in her eyes – it was the same gleam he used to see in Jessica’s eyes and the one he now saw in his granddaughter’s. “Why did you want to see me and Jason?”

“You know, you used to have a lot more patience,” she admonished her son gently as she sat at the table, facing the two men. “I wanted to give you these.” She pulled two ring boxes from her pocket. “Jason, my Jessica loved you so much and knew you felt the same about her. She was happy with you. And I can see that same happiness in Sam.” She chuckled a little. “Sam has always been a free spirit and from the moment she came into my life I could never blame her for the transgressions of her father. She was just a little girl who wanted to be loved. I always thought of her as my own.” Esmerelda slid the box to Jason. “This is my engagement ring. I know my marriage to Ramon wasn’t always perfect, but the one thing I knew was that he loved me. Sam used to always beg to try on my ring. Of course, it was too large for her tiny hands, but I promised myself that when she found the right man who would love her, accept her and treasure her wild spirit, I would make sure she had this ring. I hope you accept it and give it to her as a symbol of the life you want to spend with her.”

Jason picked up the small velvet box an opened it. Inside, nestled in the lining of the box was a beautiful, simple, but exquisite diamond ring. It was set in a platinum band crusted with tiny sapphires and diamonds. Looking at the ring, Jason knew it would look perfect on Sam. He lifted his eyes to Esmerelda. “Are you sure?” he asked.

Esmerelda nodded. “I’m sure,” she confirmed. “You are a part of this family Jason – and not just because you are Elaina’s father. I never thought Sam would find a man who would love her and respect her the way you do. I can’t think of anyone more I want my ring to go to.”

Jason had to swallow a couple of times before he could answer. “Thank you, Esmerelda,” he said. Getting up, he bent and hugged the small woman. “It’s perfect.”

Once Jason had resumed his seat, Esmerelda looked at her son. “Lorenzo. You are strong, a fighter, and you have found a woman who is just as strong, if not stronger. Skye has been the light in your life. She was there for you as you struggled to accept that your daughter was becoming a woman with her own life. She was there when you went through one of the most terrible experiences of your life. And she as stayed by your side, fighting with you every step of the way. Now she is going to give you two beautiful children. She reminds me a lot of your grandmother – my mother. She and my father were married for 50 years and loved each other through thick and thin. They honored and respected each other. I’ve always hoped this day would come. The day when you found a woman who loved you for you. For the amazing man you have become.” She slid the other box over to her son. “I want you to give Skye your grandmother’s ring.”

His hand shaking slightly, Lorenzo picked up the box and opened it. Inside was his grandmother’s ring – a platinum band with three garnet stones, the center one larger than the ones on either side. A small diamond separated the three blood red stones from one another. He looked at his mother.

Esmerelda smiled. “She’s has fiery and head-strong as your grandmother. I know you see it too, Lorenzo. I believe, like your grandmother, this ring was made for her. For you to give to her.”

Unable to speak for the lump in his throat, Lorenzo pulled his mother into his arms.

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