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Tell Me What to Do

The Prologue

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The months had passed slowly since Carly was freed from her imprisonment. However, life hadn't been the same for any of those involved. It had taken more background and research to be done on Ric before she was freed; it uncovered more than anyone expected. Ric Lansing had an alias Richard Williams, just over a year ago Richard Williams had the world, he had a wife and a daughter and his life was good, he was a pillar of his community. He had started out as a district attorney, but soon realized he wanted to be there to watch his little girl grow up. He was a partner in his law firm, the youngest one they'd ever had and his life was going smoothly until his father, who he loved, but he never wanted to be like had asked for his help.

His friend, his associate Luis Alcazar wanted to break away from his family business, the family business; he had fallen in love and wanted to change his world to better suit her, as many people in love or obsession do. This had been four years ago, three years from when Richard's life fell apart. Richard went to work for him; it gave him more time to spend on worthwhile cases, helping the underprivileged, helping coach his daughter's soccer team and spending more time with his beloved Julia. Then one day when he'd flown in with new contracts for Luis to sign he was taken to a room and for hours he was beaten as Luis yelled at him for betraying him. It wasn't until his beating was over and he thought death was near lying on the moldy prison mattress that Luis told him how he'd betrayed him. He'd betrayed him by sharing the same blood as his enemy, a man Richard had never met and only knew that he had an older brother named Michael, who was the reason his mother had never been by his side and he was left to be raised by a string of nannies who only changed with only a slightly higher frequency than his string of stepmothers.

He had only been there for 3 weeks when Luis came in seemingly remorseful and full of sorrow and told him his wife had taken an entire bottle of Valium and his little girl after coming home from school had discovered her mother covered in her own vomit who had been dead for hours, next to her lay a note saying how she couldn't face a world without Rich, he had been by her side since she was 18. In the time before and after that Luis had had filled his head with stories of Sonny, pictures of the children of the men he'd killed, stories of how he'd gotten his own wife and child killed because he wanted another, worse he wanted a model, not the sweet school teacher he had promised to love forever. For months Luis filled his head with these stories, these stories that became half truths and finally facts, and then they came.

Jason and Carly, she loved him, Sonny that is, that was clear. Sonny apparently had chased after the model again, once more forgetting he had a wife and child at home to protect, something Rich would have never forgotten. She was spoiled, selfish, even immature, but she just like Jason was loyal to this man who had run off from them with his model. They escaped and days later he was released, his father had realized what had happened at that the car accident that had taken place in the neighboring town didn't contain Richard, but an unfortunate young fellow who had decided to set off on his own, with no real plan in site, which made locating him very difficult for his worried family and their search made Trevor realize his own child might still be alive.

There was one thought that had kept Richard going in those long, lonely and terrifying months and that was his sweet Sam, his darling, little Samantha. As the door opened to the house of his wife's sister, with whom Sam had been staying with, his daughter stopped in her tracks and he saw into her eyes and he saw fear, he saw hatred, he saw a total absence of the overwhelming love she had once had for him and she ran off. Whenever he tried to go near her after that she'd run off or scream, whenever anyone tried to talk to her about him, she'd cover her ears and sing or grow so icily quiet that they had to stop because they couldn't stand the sound of their own voice combined with that deafening silence. So within days of returning back into the town where he'd once been so loved and was now greeted with such fakeness he couldn't figure how to respond, he left.

He became Ric Lansing for the first time since he left for college when he was 17, he had only one mission and that was to make his 'brother' suffer just as he had. Of course, he couldn't kill his wife or his girlfriend because that still wasn't in him, but he knew given enough time he would find a way to destroy him as completely as he himself had been destroyed.

Of course he hadn't counted on Elizabeth, she made him want to forget all of that, and she made him want to become a good guy again. But he couldn't let his family down like that, he had to seek vengeance on behalf of his little girl who had found her mother covered in that filth and INXS's "Beautiful Girl" coming from the stereo which was set on repeat and the same guitar he had used when he sung that to her freshman year in college was propped up next to it.

When he found out Liz was pregnant, he knew he couldn't go through any plans of revenge, he knew he couldn't jeopardize her life or that of their child and he finally realized he had to allow himself to live again, and to live meant that he had to let go of the anger. When Liz 'fell' though, he knew it wasn't over and when he received a package from one of his former partners containing the full details of Julia's death, everything his father had excluded telling him, he knew that he had to because not only had Ric lost six months of his life, which he didn't really care about, not only did he lose his wife, not only did his daughter spend 2 days a week in therapy and refuse to acknowledge her father as being alive, he had lost two children because of this man who shared his blood. Julia had been 6 weeks pregnant when she had taken the bottle of pills, destroying any chance Ric ever had of having a real again.

So he set his plans in motion, and watched them crumple when Jason uncovered the truths about his past. Ric didn't try to run when he came in and found Jason and Sonny in the living room with the wall open exposing his secret to the world.

He just looked at them blankly, "I had too because there are times when you have to become something you hate. Being your brother destroyed my life. So I had to destroy yours. I didn't care that I was their pawn, I couldn't let it go. At least it's over now. It's finally over."

"You have a child Ric, a little girl" Sonny says trying to understand

Ric shakes his head and cuts him off "I had a little girl, I had sweet little daughter who adored me and now when she sees me or hears my voice or even my name mentioned she screams, she runs away. Imagine having your life slowly ripped apart, not suddenly destroyed, slowly, like flesh being torn from your skin, you almost felt it, but it wasn't….

Ric shakes his head, Sonny hadn't even come close to what he'd felt, what he'd gone through, "One day it's perfect, the next your taken from those you love, three weeks later your wife kills herself because she thinks your dead. Imagine surviving those long months that followed because of your child, your flesh and blood. Imagine hearing her screams and seeing her run when she sees your face. Imagine falling in love again, the complete impossibility of falling in love again, the prospect of having a normal life again, allowing yourself to live again to only have it ripped away again. Another child lost and you find out it truly is another child lost because your wife had been pregnant when she killed herself. You realize there really aren't second chances in this life. My entire life I tried to become something I could be proud to be, someone my father could respect, someone my mother would be proud to call her son, but any chance I had of being him died before I even got a chance to want to be him because I was born your brother."

Sonny just stared at him

"At least it's going to be over now. Do me a favor though, don't really have any right to ask, but can you tell Liz I really did love her and I really did want to be that man again for her, but it was just too late for me."

"I'm not going to kill you"

"What?" Jason and Ric said in unison.

"Sonny, I kidnapped your wife, I plotted to keep your child from you."

Sonny shook his head, trying to ignore how easy it would be to give into Ric's pleas to kill him, "Why did you do that? Why didn't you just kill her? Or shove her down a flight of stairs like you believe I did to our mother, like you believe I did to Elizabeth?"

"I refuse to become that much like you, I refuse to take any life because I had the misfortune of sharing your blood. I can only go so far Sonny. I hated having to punish people like I had been punished, but at least she chose you, I didn't even get that much, my fate was decided from birth."

Jason raised up his gun and aimed it at Ric

"Don't Jason" Sonny ordered

"Why the hell not? Give me one good reason? Don't you dare say your mother."

Just then a shot was fired and Ric fell to the floor clutching his stomach.

Sonny ran towards him as Carly came in holding the gun. He looked at Carly in a way he had never looked at another as he tore off his coat and applied pressure with one hand as he hit 911 on his cell phone. There were many emotions as he looked at her, but most importantly was the fact that not only was Ric his flesh and blood, not only had their mother left one child for what she thought was the best for them both, was that how different were he and Ric? Ric had set out his own to try and prove that he was nothing like his father; Ric lived for his family because he hadn't one of his own before. Sonny had no idea what he would do if he was put into a situation like Ric was. He couldn't imagine surviving that, he couldn't imagine the man he'd become if he was forced into it.

As he barked orders into the phone he pressed down with both of his hands hoping not to watch his brother die before his very eyes because it would be like watching a part of him die. As he looked into those eyes, he saw fear that very few men could hide in their final moments, "Make sure Liz knows…" he started coughing, he turned his head and out came the blood. Sonny didn't know what else to do, but turn to Jason and pray he would do something that would stop him from seeing this. He could do nothing else but sit on the floor and watch the life bleed from the man his mother ended up giving up her life to protect and wishing that he could switch places with him.