“Skye, I am fine,” Lorenzo insisted in a scratchy voice as she fussed with his pillows and blanket, fluffing, straightening, and tucking.
Skye shot Lorenzo a scathing look as she finished making sure he was settled and comfortable. “Now I know where Jessica gets it,” she muttered with a roll of her eyes as she returned to her seat. “Lorenzo, you were shot and in a coma for a whole week!” Skye said, shaking her head. “Stop being so stubborn.”
Lorenzo smiled as he watched her. No one had ever really fussed over him before or spoke so sternly to him about his well-being and he found that he liked it.
“What are you smiling at?” Skye asked as she tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. She had been filled with inexplicable relief when Monica told her that Lorenzo had woken during the night and seemed to be doing very well. He was alert and aware – so there were no worries about brain damage. Looking him over, Skye assessed him, taking in his still pale face and the dark circles under his eyes, as well as the gauntness of his cheeks from being in a coma for ten days.
“You. You are so beautiful Skye.” Lorenzo’s light blue eyes moved over her soft alabaster skin; to her full, rosy lips; back up to her jade green eyes and finally over her mane of deep red locks.
A blush came to her cheeks as she looked down modestly. This was a quality that endeared very much to Lorenzo. Skye was a breath of fresh air. She shared her thoughts and feelings and did not play head games with him.
Lorenzo took Skye’s hand in his and made her look at him. “Skye, I know you were scared – and I’m sorry for worrying you,” he said sincerely.
“I’m just so glad that you’re going to be okay Lorenzo,” said Skye with a small smile. “Seeing you lying there on the floor – bleeding – I was so scared-“ A shiver ran through her as the image of Lorenzo’s unmoving, bleeding body flashed in her mind – Skye knew she would never forget that for as long as she lived.
“Shhh . . . Skye, I am okay now. You don’t have to worry anymore,” Lorenzo tried to assure her as he rubbed his thumb over her hand. “I’m just glad that you and Jessica and Diego are okay – that none of you were hurt.” Lorenzo had spoken to a reluctant Monica about the events of that night at The Cellar. She had told him all that happened with Faith after Lorenzo lost consciousness. He had not been happy to hear that Faith had been released on bail and had been ready to pull his people together when, again, Monica reluctantly informed him that it was already taken care of – by Jason Morgan.
This surprised him the most because as far as Lorenzo was concerned, Jason Morgan was the last person he would have expected to offer support. After conferring with Alexander, his head guard, Lorenzo learned that Jason organized Lorenzo’s men in a rotating schedule outside his hospital room door, as well as guards on Jessica, Diego, and Skye. When pressed for a reason or explanation for Morgan’s actions, Alexander said that Morgan told them he was doing this for Jessica’s and the baby’s well-being. Although not particularly thrilled about being indebted to Morgan, Lorenzo understood the younger man’s reasoning and found himself respecting the man his daughter loved that much more.
Jessica excitedly put down the phone after talking with Monica. “Diego!” she yelled.
Diego came flying down the hall. “What? What is it?” he asked with wide eyes as he pulled a t-shirt over his head. He had expected to see his sister in labor or something, not standing there with her hand over the phone and a smile on her face.
“That was Monica. Dad’s awake,” she said.
“Dad’s awake? Jess, with the way you were screaming I thought the baby was coming!” Diego exclaimed, running his hands through his hair as he tried to slow his rapidly beating heart.
“Sorry,” said Jessica, not at all sounding sorry, as she moved around the room, gathering her things. “Get dressed. I want to get over there.”
“Did Monica say how he was doing?” Diego asked as he watched her. Even with her large belly, Jessica still moved quickly as she straightened up the living room, straightening the cushions on the couch and rearranging the candles and magazines on the coffee table.
“She said he’s alert and aware, sitting up and talking. Skye is with him now,” she said as she refolded a light blanket over the back of an armchair. “What?” she asked her brother when she turned and saw him still standing there.
“Jess, what are you doing?” Diego asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Straightening up Diego. And why are you still standing here? Either you get dressed now or I’m going without you,” threatened Jessica as she bent over to grab the throw blanket that had fallen to the floor. As she did, a sharp pain pierced through her lower abdomen and she gasped, grabbing the couch to keep from falling to her knees.
“Jessica!” exclaimed Diego and he was at her side instantly, supporting her as he helped her to sit on the couch.
Jessica took a few deep breaths as she rubbed her belly. “It’s okay,” she said softly, feeling the pain reduce and her muscles relax. “It’s going away.”
“Jess, that one was more intense than usual, wasn’t it?” Diego asked as he got her a glass of water and returned to the couch with it.
She took the glass and slowly sipped it nodding. “Yeah, but it just might be the excitement, you know? With Dad being awake and all.”
Diego picked up on the nervousness in her voice. “How often have they been happening?” he asked, sitting beside her.
Jessica thought about it a moment. “Well, that’s the first one today . . . but it’s never been this intense before.”
“How about we stop by Dr. Meadows before seeing Dad?” Diego suggested as he got up and grabbed his shoes and his jacket.
The pain now gone, Jessica would have normally protested, but this one scared her. “Yeah, I think that would be a good idea,” she said, letting Diego help her up and gather her things. “Hey, Diego, can you call Jason and have him meet us there?”
Jason stretched and rubbed his eyes. He had pulled an all-nighter at the warehouse and was now paying the price. With Faith on the loose again, Jason doubled the security and his efforts to locate her, but it seemed as if Faith was lying low and not drawing attention to herself. Jason knew that would not last long. She was bound to resurface soon and when she did, he would be there to stop her.
Sitting back in his chair, Jason propped his feet on his desk and sighed. His conversation with Sonny the other day was still on his mind and the two men had steered clear of each other since then.
Jason understood how Sonny was feeling. Hell, he was sure he would be feeling the same way if the situations were reversed. Lorenzo Alcazar had been nothing but a thorn in their sides since he arrived in town. First he teamed up with Ric Lansing in the abduction of a pregnant Carly. Then, when he could have saved Carly and let her go, he took her and continued to hold her captive on his yacht, leading Jason and Sonny on a wild goose chase and putting Carly and an unborn Morgan in danger. Then, when he allowed Carly to return to her husband, he continued to hound her, stalking her and not leaving her alone. He was always there.
But things had changed over time. Lorenzo gave up on Carly and his apparent obsession with her. His daughter arrived in town and Alcazar’s priorities shifted. Sure, Alcazar was not out of their lives, not with Jason and Jessica being together and the man had done everything he could to keep the two apart once the relationship was revealed, but Jason was still standing by his decisions – whether Sonny agreed or not. Anyway, this wasn’t the first time he and Sonny had disagreed on something, so Jason knew his mentor would come around. There was too much history between them for this to drive them apart. Sonny just needed to understand that Jason had other priorities now – a family to take care of and protect, just as Sonny did.
The ringing of his cell phone brought Jason’s attention back to the present. “Morgan,” he said, once the phone was connected and at his ear.
“Jason, its Diego. I need you to meet me and Jessica at GH.”
Jason was on his feet instantly. “What’s going on Diego?” he asked, already moving out of the office and across the open warehouse floor.
“I’m not sure, really,” said Diego. “But Jess and I were getting ready to head out to see Dad and she doubled over in pain. I think it was the Braxton Hicks because it didn’t last too long, but she said it was a little more intense. The pain stopped, but we’re going to see Dr. Meadows anyway.”
“Alright, I’m on my way,” said Jason. Once the call was disconnected, Jason climbed onto his bike and headed to GH as quickly as he could.
Jessica sat in the waiting area with Diego. The pain had not come again and she was glad for that, but was still nervous. “Are you sure Jason is on his way?” she asked, looking up at her pacing brother. Jessica hated to make him worry like this.
Diego nodded not sure how much more of this he could take. First his father had been shot and spent days somewhere between life and death and now it seemed as if Jessica and his niece might be in some kind of distress and he blamed it all on Faith Roscoe. She had done nothing but cause pain and grief since she arrived and Diego would be damned if he let her get away with it.
He had never had a family before. All of his life he had been shipped from one foster home to another, never making connections or feeling a part of something. Although things weren’t perfect, Diego now had the family he had always wanted. He had a father who loved him and had been willing to give Diego time to adjust. He had a sister who loved him unconditionally and wanted him to be a big part of her life. Hell, she wanted him to move in with her. And now he had a niece on the way. This was his family and Diego was not going to let anyone take that away from him.
“Diego? Are you okay?” Jessica asked gently as she watched her brother. Diego looked to be lost deep in thought and she wished she knew what was going on in his head.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine,” said Diego as he shook himself out of his revere. “Has there been anymore pain?” he asked. Diego needed to focus on what was important right now. His plans and feelings concerning Faith would have to wait.
Jessica shook her head. “She’s moved around a bit, but no pains.” Her hand gently rubbed over her belly in soothing circles, which Jessica had found calmed her daughter. “Maybe I just overreacted, you know?”
“I don’t think you did Jess. I saw your face when it hit, it was stronger than usual,” Diego said as he sat beside her. “But I’m sure everything is fine. We’ve all been under a lot of stress lately – so it’s understandable that my little niece would be feeling it too.”
“Just don’t tell Dad about this, okay? He just woke up and I don’t want him worrying about me and the baby.”
Diego nodded his agreement and then looked up when Jason exited the elevators and rushed over to them. He could feel the relief in Jessica’s body when she saw him.
“I’m going to check on Dad,” he said as he got up and nodded to Jason as he walked away.
“Are you okay?” Jason asked as he dropped to a knee in front of her, his hands going to her belly as he looked up into her eyes.
“I am now,” Jessica said. “I think all this stress just got to be too much.”
“Have you seen Dr. Meadows yet?”
Jessica shook her head. “We just got here a couple of minutes ago.”
Jason got up and went to the nurse’s station, seeing Liz there. “Hey Liz, can you page Dr. Meadows?”
“She’s actually doing a delivery right now Jason,” said Liz apologetically. She saw the worry in his eyes. “But I think Monica is available.”
“Then page her,” Jason said, right now he just wanted someone to check on Jessica and his daughter and assure him they were alright.
After a lot of insisting, Lorenzo finally convinced Skye to leave, get some rest, a decent meal and come back later. He knew she didn’t want to leave, but finally agreed. It took her another five minutes to gather her things and assure herself that Lorenzo would be okay without her. As he watched her go, Lorenzo felt a pull at his heart and he knew it had nothing to do with his recent injury.
Taking in the relative quiet, Lorenzo leaned his head back against the pillows and closed his eyes. Although all Lorenzo wanted to do was get out of bed and track Faith down, he knew he couldn’t. He had already been chewed out by Elizabeth Webber, Skye and Monica when they caught him trying to get out of bed earlier – and he would prefer not to repeat that experience.
Sensing there was someone in the room watching him, Lorenzo opened his eyes. “Diego.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” Diego said, standing by the end of the bed. He had gone in quietly when he saw that his father was sleeping.
“No, you didn’t wake me. I just figured if it looked like I was sleeping, Monica and Liz would stop threatening to sedate me.”
Diego nodded. “Jess and I came down as soon as we heard,” he said, moving closer.
Lorenzo picked up easily on Diego’s nervousness, but he wasn’t sure how to ease his son. “Sit down Diego,” he said, figuring he would take a stab at it.
Diego did as he was told, settling into the chair beside the bed. “How are you feeling?” he asked, knowing he sounded lame.
“Better. Are you okay?” Lorenzo could see Diego’s tense posture and the anger in his eyes. In that moment Lorenzo saw himself in his son’s eyes and it unsettled him.
Diego did not miss the way his father looked at him, like he saw something he didn’t like. “I’m glad you’re awake Pop, that’s all that matters,” he said.
Lorenzo heard the hardness in Diego’s voice. “Diego, listen, I do not want you doing anything rash,” he began, jumping right into it with both feet.
“What are you talking about?”
“Faith. Diego, I know that look. Going after her impulsively will only get you killed and I will not lose you to her,” Lorenzo said, shifting to sit up straighter, ignoring the pain ripping through his body.
“And I’m just supposed to sit back and let her kill you?” Diego asked hotly.
“She won’t Diego. I will make sure of that.”
“How? Come on Pop, you’re laying here recovering from a gun shot wound and being in a coma! How will you make sure she won’t try to kill you?” Diego asked, jumping from his seat and pacing.
“Diego, listen to me. I am not dead. She can and will try, but it won’t happen – ever. I do not want you going after her.”
Diego just shook his head. “You know, I’ve always wanted a family – somewhere where I belonged. And now that I have it, I am not going to let her take it away from me.”
“Diego, I understand-"
“No! You don’t understand! How could you? You grew up in a family with both of your parents and you’re brother! You had family around you. You knew where you belonged! I grew up living a lie until I was ten and then I was shipped from one foster home to another. And still, I was lied to! And I will do anything I have to to not lose what I have now!” Diego knew he was shouting, but he didn’t care. He was scared.
“Diego, please –“ but Lorenzo was cut off again when Diego stopped pacing to look down at him.
“I’m sorry you don’t agree Pop, but I’m going to do whatever I have to to save my family.” With that said, the younger man turned and stalked out of the room.
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