Ric froze, feeling the business end of the gun stab between his shoulder blades. His hand tightened on the remote, ready to ignite to bomb hidden in the trunk of the car. Originally, Ric planned an “accident” – which would result in the demise of young Jessica Alcazar – and frame Jason Morgan for it. This would in turn result in a grief stricken Lorenzo Alcazar killing Jason, leaving Sonny vulnerable to attack. But a better plan came to mind. Ric planted the bomb in the car and lured the three men to it. Once close enough, all Ric had to do was press the button and eliminate his biggest headache. And he was close to achieving that, that is, until Carly decided to butt in.
Ric knew that her connection to the three men would make her want to protect them, and his recent experience with her proved to him that she was gutsy and crazy enough to do it.
“Put the gun down Carly,” Ric said, using a tone he would have used with a small child. “I can press this button and blow them all to hell faster than you could pull that trigger.”
“You won’t get away with this Ric.” Carly wasn’t sure what to do. She knew that Ric was right, but she wasn’t about to let him kill three of the most important men in her life and get away with it.
Carly’s mind began to race as options and plans started to click in place. She had to make Ric believe that she was backing off and get the attentions of Sonny, Jason and Lorenzo. She knew that Jessica was safe and away from the car – something Ric did not yet know.
Carly reengaged the safety on the gun and took a step back. She watched as Ric’s shoulders relaxed slightly. He turned to her, a sick smile on his face. “Good choice Carly, but it will do little to save them.”
Carly’s eyes widened as he brought up the remote, his finger poised to set off the explosive. Then, movement just behind Ric caught Carly’s eyes as a large tree branch swung around and hit Ric on the side of the head like it was a wiffle ball sitting on a tee. As Ric went down, Carly watched in horror as his hand tightened around the detonator, pushing the button.
Raising the gun in the air over her head, Carly squeezed off two shots to get the men’s attention. When they turned toward her, Carly waved her arms and yelled “THERE’S A BOMB IN THE CAR!”
Sonny, Jason, and Alcazar looked at each other and then all three dove toward the cover of trees, Sonny and Jason instinctively tackling Alcazar to the ground as the other man moved toward the car. He had not seen Jessica escape.
Carly hit the ground beside Jessica once she knew the men were safe, seconds before the car exploded in a ball of orange-blue flames.
Once it was safe to get up, the men ran over to where Carly, Jessica and Ric were lying. They took in the scene in front of them. Ric was laying face down, a large gash on the side of his head, a thick tree branch beside him. Carly had thrown her body over Jessica’s, and as she got up, Jason saw Jessica’s blood soaked sleeve and battered face. He dropped to his knees beside her, looking for her pulse and breathing a sigh of relief when he found one. It was weak, but it was there.
Lorenzo dropped to her other side, taking in what Jason had seen. He looked up at Jason and saw the other man nod, indicating that she was alive. Lorenzo leaned over and murmured soothing words to her in Spanish.
“I called an ambulance,” said Sonny as he held onto Carly, thanking God that she was okay. He then looked over at his brother and shook his head. This time Ric had gone too far and he was going to have to suffer the consequences.
Jessica opened her eyes and looked around. The last thing she remembered was hearing Ric tell Carly that he was going to kill Sonny, Jason, and her father with one blow. Not remembering what happened after that, Jessica bolt up right in bed, crying out from the pain that ripped through her body.
Hands gently eased her back against the pillows and she heard a soft voice, a voice she knew, say, “Careful. You’ve been through a lot. You need to rest.”
Opening her eyes again, Jessica found herself looking into eyes that mirrored her own. “Dad?” she asked, hearing her voice crack from dryness. “You’re alive? What about Jason? And Carly?”
“Relax Jessie, everyone is fine,” Lorenzo assured his daughter. “They are all out in the hallway, waiting for you to wake up.”
“How long have I been here?” she asked after sipping some of the water her father had handed her.
“Three days.” Lorenzo had barely left her side since then, waiting for her to wake up, praying that she would survive. He had allowed Jason and Carly to sit with her at times, knowing it would be what Jessica wanted, although it had killed him to be away from her.
Jessica stared at her father, noticing the cuts on his face. “What happened to you?” she asked, bringing a hand to his cheek.
Lorenzo thought back to that afternoon when he had been called to the clearing. He remembered how Carly had yelled about a bomb being in the car, the car his daughter was in. He had tried to go to the car, but Sonny and Jason had grabbed him and thrown him onto the ground with them, saving his life.
Lorenzo hit the ground hard, with Jason and Sonny each holding his arms down, keeping him from getting up and running to the car. “Get the hell off of me! My daughter is in that car!” he yelled, not believing that Jason was keeping him from saving her.
“Jessica is already out of the car!” Jason yelled at him, losing his grip on Lorenzo’s arm and ducking to avoid the fist that came swinging at his head. “She escaped before you got here. Ric never saw her.”
“Lansing? What is he doing here?” Lorenzo asked, not understanding what was going on.
“He’s the one that’s been behind all of this,” said Sonny as he stood and brushed his clothes off.
Lorenzo stood as well and looked at the charred remains of the car. He then followed the other two men to where Carly, Jessica and Ric were.
~ End Flashback ~
Lorenzo knew he would never get the images of his bloodied and battered daughter out his mind. Just looking at her, he had thought that she was dead. Lorenzo couldn’t even explain the relief that went through is body when he saw Jason check her pulse and nod, letting him know that she was still alive, if barely.
Lorenzo looked into Jessica’s worried face and smiled gently, taking her hand in his. “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. Why don’t you rest and I will let everyone know that you’re awake.”
Jessica nodded, feeling her eyes growing heavy. Fighting to keep them open, she asked her father the question that had been on her mind since she woke up. “Dad, what happened to Ric Lansing? I know he’s the only that took me and did this to me. I remember . . . I remember hitting him . . . I heard him tell Carly that he was going to kill you . . . and Jason and Sonny, and there was nothing Carly could do to stop him. I know I hit him with . . . a tree branch? Did I kill him?”
Lorenzo looked at his daughter, not knowing how to answer her question, not wanting to. He stayed silent and watched as her eyes finally closed and she fell asleep.
Carly jumped up when she saw Lorenzo come out of Jessica’s room. “How is she?”
Lorenzo looked at the people standing there. At Carly, the one woman he had truly loved after Sophie. At Sonny, his sworn enemy and the one block to Carly. At Jason, a one man killing machine who had fallen in love with his daughter, a man who had risked his own life for her. “Yes, she woke up briefly, but is asleep again.”
“What did she say?” asked Jason, who was itching to get in there and see her. He had respected Alcazar’s wishes these past few days, and did not force the man to let him see her, but he needed to know that she was okay now.
“She wanted to know that we were all alright. I assured her that we were,” Lorenzo began, looking at Jason. “She remembered hearing Lansing threaten our lives, and she remembered hitting him. She asked if she had killed him.”
“What did you tell her?” Jason asked. He looked between Carly and Sonny before turning his gaze back to the older man.
“She fell asleep before I could answer her question.”
“Are you going to tell her the truth?” Carly asked. She felt horrible for what Jessica went through at the hands of Ric, and she personally felt that he got whatever he deserved, but she wasn’t sure how Jessica would handle the truth.
Lorenzo looked at Carly. “No. At least not right now. Jessica has a long recovery ahead of her, and I don’t think her knowing that she took another man’s life, no matter how much he was deserving of it, will help her any.” He looked right at Jason and then added. “I don’t want anyone telling her the truth, no matter how much she asks.”
“Our silence will give her the answer Alcazar,” said Jason. Even though he wanted to shield and protect Jessica from what happened, he knew that he couldn’t look her in the face and lie to her. “It would be better if she knew the truth, and that it be one of us who told her.”
When Jessica woke up again, the sun was shining through the windows and her father was at her bedside again. “Hey,” she said, getting his attention.
“How are you feeling?” Lorenzo asked, moving closer to her bed. He had sat there all night thinking about what Jason had said, knowing that he was right. It would be best if Jessica knew the truth about what had happened. She would probably hear about it anyway. Lorenzo had decided that he would be the one to tell her, feeling that as her father, it was his responsibility. But how do you tell your nineteen-year-old daughter that she killed a man, despite the fact that he had kidnapped you, beat and injured you with the intention of blowing you and those you cared about away?
“Groggy and sore,” answered Jessica. She could tell that her father wanted to tell her something. “What is it?” she asked.
“I think you need to know the truth Jessie. You asked me before what happened to Lansing. I was going to lie to you. I was going to with hold the truth from you. But I can’t do that.”
Jessica looked at her father. She saw the truth in his eyes. “No . . . Oh my God . . .” she couldn’t breath, she was gasping for air.
Lorenzo pulled the door opened and called for help. Dr. Monica Quartermaine came rushing into the room. “Okay, Jessica, I need you to calm down . . . Mr. Alcazar, I need you to wait outside.”
“I need to be . . .” Lorenzo started, but Monica turned back to him.
“Out,” she said sternly.
Lorenzo nodded and went out into the hallway, worried about what was happening to Jessica.
Monica came out a couple of minutes later. “How is she?”
“She’s resting. I take it you told her about Ric Lansing?”
“Yes, I felt she needed to know the truth sooner rather then later,” Lorenzo answered.
“Well, I needed to sedate her in order to calm her. She should be out for most of the day.” Monica then left for her rounds.
Jason quietly opened the door to Jessica’s room. Monica had told him about Jessica’s reaction to learning the truth, and she had cautioned him to be careful about what he talked about with her.
Jessica was sitting up in bed and looked up when Jason walked in. “I was wondering when you would come by.”
“I wanted to give you some time, and your father asked that I wait before I saw you.”
“And you actually agreed with him?” Jessica asked with a slight smile.
“Not at first, but I was willing to do anything if it helped you,” Jason answered, puzzled and a little concerned at how clam she was.
Jessica shifted slightly, wincing in pain as she did. “You don’t have to tiptoe around me Jason, I know the truth and I have had the last couple of days to digest it.”
Jason sat in the chair beside her, not liking the coldness he heard in her voice, or the emptiness he saw in her eyes. “Jess, I know it was hard to hear. . . “
“No Jason, it wasn’t just hard to hear, it was excruciating. I am not saying that Ric didn’t get what he had coming to him, after what he did to me . . . but I cannot accept with the fact that I took another human’s life. How do you deal with it Jason? How do you look at yourself in the mirror the next day, knowing that you killed someone?”
Jason was taken aback by Jessica’s questions. “I guess I never thought about it before. Jessica, I don’t kill for the pleasure of it, if I have to kill someone, it is to protect those that I care about. You were protecting yourself and us. If it wasn’t for you and Carly, me, Sonny and Alcazar would all be dead right now.”
“That’s supposed to make me feel better?” Jessica snapped at Jason. “There is no excuse for what I did Jason. Please, I want to be alone.” Jessica turned her head away from Jason, waiting for him to leave. When he did, Jessica allowed the tears to fall.
The next week was difficult on everyone. Jessica had shut down and refused to talk about what happened to her. She only spoke to the police, and even then it was just the facts, delivered in a cold, monotone voice. No one knew what to do for her and were afraid to push too hard, not sure how Jessica would react.
Finally, Carly had had enough and went to Lorenzo’s apartment where Jessica was staying. “Okay, you need to snap out of this funk and join the living Jessica!” Carly exclaimed as she barged into the apartment, finding Jessica curled up in the corner of the couch staring at nothing.
With a sigh, Jessica barely moved as she shifted her eyes to Carly. “Go away Carly. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Too bad, because I am going to talk about it. I know that what you went through was horrible Jessica, but you have two men who love you and are worried about you. They are not sure how to help you,” Carly ranted as she paced around the room, throwing her hands in the air.
Jessica rolled her eyes and sat up, watching the woman who had become a close friend over the last few months. “Carly, how do you do it?” she asked, stopping the older woman in her tracks.
“How do I do what?” Carly asked, curious as to what Jessica was referring to.
“Carly, you married into this life; you chose it, why do you stay? I mean, you have been kidnapped multiple times, held hostage, had your life threatened, have been shot in the head and almost killed, why don’t you just take your kids and leave?”
“Jessica, you have to understand, I have never been innocent myself in all of that, but I love Sonny and accept him for who he is and what he does. I know that no matter what happens to me, Sonny and even Jason will always be there to rescue me. Sonny and Jason are the two most important men in my life Jessica, I could never abandon them,” Carly explained, hoping the younger girl could understand.
Jessica looked up at Carly, tears glistening in her eyes. “What if love isn’t enough?” she asked in a whisper.
. . . . or is it?
Author’s Note: I hope that you all enjoyed this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I already have ideas for a sequel, so look for it coming soon!!!
I want to thank all of you who have been loyal readers and offered great feedback. I want to especially thank Nicole (EvenAngelsFall22) for being a sounding board and a fresh eye when I was stuck. And thanks to Jenny who has always challenged me in my writing and for being a great writing partner. And thanks to my mom, who believes I can be a great writer.
This was my first General Hospital fan fiction and it has opened up for me a new experience in my writing, allowing me to take what I have always loved to do more seriously.
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