Title: Somewhere In Between
Summary: Kidnapped and held captive by her brother's enemy, Emily Quartermaine is about to find out exactly what it's like to be torn between the life you know, the people you love, and the one person you have every reason to hate. NEm/Lorenzo, Journey, CarSon
Authors Note: Hey all. I am pretty much newbie to the fanfic world and this is my very first GH story, but the idea had been rattling around in my head for few weeks now, and I had to get it down before I went nuts. I wanted to clear up a few things about the story before we get started. First off, Ric botches his attempt at kidnapping Carly, and that's what sets off the story, Ric's failure and Alcazar having no choice but to sort of pick up where Ric left off. Next up, and this is a big one but necessary for the story, Emily has come home just as she did a few months ago, but she doesn't have cancer. Emily is perfectly healthy, and also perfectly detached from Zander. Her and Zander did not re-connect when she came home. Instead I'm having her rediscover the four musketeers part of her life, by spending more time with Nikolas, Lucky and Liz. There was a bond between those four that I really miss, and one that I hope the real show gets back to soon, oh, I almost forgot, Lydia and Summer… they don't exist. They just didn't 'fit' into the story that well, so I axed 'em. And the other bond that I wanted to bring to the front burner was the incredible brother/sister relationship between Jason and Emily. It (hopefully) will be the driving force of the fic, and sort of the focus. Other than those few things, everything in Port Charles is pretty much as is. Well, now that that's over… lets get started. J I hope you guys enjoy it!
Pairings: Because I wanted to do this story pretty much in the current time frame of the show, I'm using most the same couples that are on at the moment. So basically, the pairings are: Sonny/Carly, Jason/Courtney (I couldn't bare to do too much of this one, but oh well, the seem to do okay together), Ric/Liz, Zander/Gia (a mention here and there) and my new absolute favorite, Nikolas/Emily, and some strong, old school Emily/Lucky friendship stuff… triangle maybe? I'm not sure yet.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters related to "General Hospital". I only borrow them and torment them for my own amusement. Miguel Garcia-Covas is, however, purely my creation.
Chapter One: Letting Down, Pushing Up
Business partners who harbor passionate agendas will always, at some point and time, bring about their own undoing, and if you aren't careful, yours as well. It was a lesson he had learned on a deeply personal level, and one that should have, under normal circumstances, steered him clear of Ric Lansing, and everything his brother's former moneyman had in mind. But the circumstances were anything but normal, and Lorenzo Alcazar had spent more than enough time delaying the reality of the situation. His usage of Sonny Corinthos' territory for the trafficking of his 'product' would no longer be gained through quiet, civilized business dealings. The time for reason had long since passed, and Alcazar was wearing thin on patience. So, as the saying goes, he did what he had to do. He aligned himself with a madman.
Lorenzo Alcazar had much experience taking advantage of the blind desires of desperate men. It was a practice that had found him face-to-face with many a dark and twisted individual, and all in the name of business, and the expansion of his brother's empire. He had seen the worst of men, ones who were at their rope's end, frantically grasping at any semblance of hope, and he had used it to his advantage every time. It still amazed him as to how incredibly generous a desperate man could be. But Ric Lansing had done from the beginning what few of those men ever had: unnerved him. The man was just unbalanced, and in turn, more dangerous than anyone could possibly imagine. But, just because Alcazar was adept at manipulating the emotionally and financially fraught for his own gain, didn't mean he wasn't just as much of a slave to his own stresses. As much as he hated to admit it, he, himself, was desperate. Extremely so. He needed Sonny's docks, and with his back firmly against the wall, waiting became impossible. So, even though latching onto Ric's twisted plans for Carly Corinthos had clearly not been his favorite means to an end, it at the moment had been his only recourse, and one that by some chance, appeared to have great potential. Or would have, had that maniacal bastard not just sent all his promising outcomes, plummeting into oblivion…
"What do you mean 'she got away'?" Lorenzo Alcazar stood, his left hand tucked away within his pocket, while the other tensely gripped the small cell phone he held up to his ear.
"She got away from him… he didn't even manage to get her into the car," said the raspy voice on the other end.
"How?" The words seemed more a command than a question, a cold fury taking hold of his voice.
"A well placed kick, left Lansing seeing stars no doubt," sneered the man.
Lorenzo drew in a deep breath. Now was not the time to shoot the messenger, now was the time to locate his associate and find out how in the hell he let someone as harmless as Carly Corinthos escape his grasp.
"Where is he now?"
"He's at the corner of Chestnut and Harper, looks to be on his way home."
Home? How careless could Lansing be? Lorenzo quickly found himself regretting his decision to go along with Ric's fiendish plot. If Lansing would be sloppy enough to go home after botching the job on Carly, then ratting Alcazar out in and effort to save his own tail could definitely become his next misstep. If Sonny found out about Lorenzo's involvement too early, and in a failed attempt no less, it would only be a matter of time before Corinthos' vengeful mind sought him out, effectively crushing any hopes he had at attaining usage of Sonny's ports. Damn it, Ric…
"Stay on him. I'm on my way."
Courtney Matthews, still clad in her sparking white, silk brocade wedding gown, kneeled before a visibly shaken Carly Corinthos, her hands resting on the other woman's knees. "It's going to be okay, Carly," she said softly. "Sonny and Jason are gonna find who did this."
Carly looked up, meeting her sister-in-law's concerned gaze, and gave a small, hesitant nod. "I know Court, I know…" Inwardly, Carly winced at the sound of her own voice. It sounded small and wobbly. It sounded nothing like her.
Courtney hated when Carly did this, when she tried to sweep it all away and pretend just because she wanted everyone to believe she was strong. Carly had been through so much over the last few weeks, and now this… She shouldn't have to pretend. Everyone is allowed a breaking point. Everyone. "Carly, don't," she pleaded softly. "Don't put up the brave front, okay? Someone just tried to kidnap you; it's all right to be upset."
"Courtney, I'm fine… a little shaken up, but fine," she said, smiling bravely, her eyes giving her away. "I just wish Sonny would get back. I need him here…" Carly's voice fell away as her tired eyes focused on the penthouse door, as if she was willing it to open, and bring her husband home.
Almost immediately after bringing them back, Sonny and Jason tore out of the penthouse, their minds set on one thing: tracking down the bastard who tried to abduct her. Only, Carly wasn't sure what good it would do. She barely gave them anything to go on, just that the guy was tall and well built. The darkness of the church veranda, and her own panic, had prevented her from noticing much else. She was convinced it would be a wasted pursuit, and she had tried to convince them of that, but as usual her words of reason fell on deaf ears.
Tucking a slip of hair behind Carly's ear, Courtney drew her sister-in-law into a hug. "He'll be back, sweetie. They both will. Just hang in there, okay?"
Closing her eyes, a ragged breath shuddered through her small body. "That's all we ever seem to do."
"It couldn't have been him, Jason." Sonny Corinthos watched cautiously as his long time friend and enforcer, paced angrily before him.
Jason Morgan drew in a frustrated breath and halted his steps. "Who else would want to hurt you like this, Sonny?" he demanded, closing the distance between them. "Who else?"
"Well, the list isn't exactly short."
"That's not what I mean." Jason could feel his patience fading a little more with every second that passed. Why couldn't Sonny just open his eyes? The truth was right there; he just had to look. "This is different, Sonny, and you know it. I'm telling you, that sick bastard is the only one who would have the gall to do something like this, the only one."
He wasn't sure where his conviction on the subject came from, but what he did know was that Ric had made him a promise, one Sonny wanted to have faith in. Sonny crossed his arms in front of him and leaned back on his heels, observing his friend for a moment. Jason had so much anger pent up inside, and all of it, every last ounce was reserved for Sonny's brother. It was a thought that left Sonny uneasy, because there were too many bad things that could result from that kind of blind hate. Ric was living proof of that. "You need to get past your hatred for Ric, Jason," he said quietly. "It's won't do us any good."
Call him brain damaged if you will, but Jason Morgan wasn't completely gone. He knew what a man in denial looked like, and at this moment it was the very picture of his boss. "Look, I know how important family is to you, and that you don't want to see this but—" Jason tried to continue, but Sonny put up a hand in protest.
"No, Jason… this has nothing to do with that."
"Would you just trust me? It was Ric, Sonny. It's the only thing that makes sense."
Sonny tilted his brow warningly. "Jason…"
"Ric hates you. He wants nothing more than to see you lose everything you love, everything you hold dear. He wants to destroy you, Sonny. What better way to get to go about that than kidnapping your pregnant wife?"
"He wants peace, and I believe him. You're the one who can't let go of this, Jason."
Waving a hand, he halted Jason midstream. "Enough! You are allowing your personal feelings towards my brother to cloud your judgment, and it needs to stop." Sonny paused, looking off at something in the distance, and then back at his enforcer. "Carly said herself that she didn't get a good enough look at the guy. The church veranda was too dark, and she was too shaken up to take notice. All she could tell us was that he was tall… and from that you get Ric? How does that work, Jason? Where's your head?"
Shrugging off Sonny's words, Jason pushed on, counting down his reasons. "He had the motive, the opportunity—"
"You need to drop this, Jason, and you need to do it now." Sonny focused his mounting anger on the man before him. "We need to find out who really tried to kidnap my wife, and to do that I need your head in this, not off somewhere plotting Ric's demise, okay?" Taking a step closer, Sonny placed his hands on Jason's shoulders and bore into him with a stare that was as cold and as stern as his tone. "Unless you can do that, Jason, you are useless to me. Do you understand?"
He had gotten good at quelling his anger over the years, at keeping it down until just the right moment, until a moment when it would be needed. Jason realized that though Sonny was allowing Ric to blind him to the truth, now was not the time to convince Sonny of that. No, that moment would come later, and until then Jason would have to keep his suspicions to himself, be Sonny's good little soldier and fall in line. "Fine," he said, his jaw set, his voice low.
Releasing Jason and watching him join Francis and Johnny at the far end of the dock, Sonny wanted to believe that he was genuine. But something deep down told him Jason was far from finished with Ric. And for some reason, Sonny couldn't shake the intense feeling of foreboding that had settled in his gut. Like somehow the tragedy that had almost befallen his family a few hours ago, was only the beginning of their troubles.
Emerging from the dark that shrouded the Lasing home, Lorenzo Alcazar stepped beside a tall, dark-haired man, known as Pedro, who stood hidden, just outside the reach of Ric's security cameras. "How long ago did he get here?" he asked, keeping his eyes on Ric's front door.
Pedro pushed up his coat sleeve and shot a glance at his watch. "Ten minutes, give or take."
"Is he alone?"
Pedro nodded. "Mrs. Lansing took off a few minutes ago… in quite a huff."
This caught Lorenzo's attention. "Huff?" he asked, floating the other man a questioning glance.
"I guess the honeymoon's over," Pedro laughed sarcastically. "It is a shame though; she's a gorgeous little thing."
Lorenzo leaned back and pitched his gaze back toward the Lansing home, noticing what appeared to be a very agitated Ric through the living room window. The man was a wreck; pacing circles around himself and constantly running his hands over his face. Pathetic…
"No… I don't believe Elizabeth's charms are lost on Ric, yet. In fact, I think he's still hopelessly in love with her. Which means," he said, a snide grin overtaking his features. "She could still prove very useful."
Biting back the unwise urge to scoff, Pedro shook his head. "That might be, but from what I saw, I won't give this marriage much longer, not if he doesn't loosen that leash she's on."
"Possibly," he paused, tucking his hands into his pockets. "But she is at the current time still his wife, and just the edge I need to finally put and end to this ridiculous vendetta Lansing has against Corinthos. If I want any chance at opening up those docks, I need to keep Lansing far, far away from this. He's unstable and unpredictable, and his interference could have already cost us too much."
Raising an eyebrow, Pedro's eyes darkened. "Do you want me to take care of it?"
Drawing in a deep breath, Lorenzo spoke, "No, not yet. Let's keep this civilized. For now, at least."
The ruby red vase shattered against the wall. The explosion sending sparkling shards of glass tumbling to the ground, embedding in the soft, crème colored rug.
Entangling his shaky fingers in his dark, curly hair, Ric sunk his weight onto the Sofa, clenching his eyes closed in disgust. "How could I have let this happen! How could I have let her get away!"
"My thoughts exactly."
Ric snapped his head up, his heated gaze falling on none other than Lorenzo Alcazar, the one link to his past the seemed destined never to go away. "What do you want?" he snapped, bolting up from his seat.
"An explanation, to start with." Alcazar crossed the living room, his demeanor never once betraying the anger and utter contempt he felt for the man before him, the man who could have cost him his last chance.
"She…" Ric fidgeted nervously, rubbing at the back of his neck. "Carly got away."
"That much I figured out. What I want to know is how."
What did Alcazar think -- that he was stupid? Ric knew full well that Lorenzo had already been apprised of the details and didn't need the blow-by-blow; he just wanted to force it out of him, to make him squirm. "I'm sure Miguel already informed you about the pitfalls of my evening," he said, a shaky edge building in his voice.
"Well, for once Ric, you're right about something. I do already know that you allowed Carly Corinthos, a woman who weighs no more that 105Ilbs soaking wet, to kick you in a most uncomfortable place, and scurry off back to her family, leaving us… in quite the quandary."
"I-it wasn't supposed to work out this way."
Ric flinched at Alcazar's tone. He had to do something. Everything depended on him doing something. Elizabeth, the baby, their future together, Sonny finally paying for all the pain he'd caused… it all hinged on Carly. "I will fix this," he vowed shakily, making a sudden dash for the front door. "I'll get Carly, I-I just need another chance."
Closing the distance between Lansing and himself, Alcazar gripped the man by the arm and dragged him away from the door. "No," he said, a deadly calm to his words. "You aren't going anywhere near Carly Corinthos."
Ric's eyes widened as he shrugged free from Alcazar. "What are you talking about?"
"It's over, Ric." Striding past Ric, Lorenzo positioned himself between the door and Lansing. "Your plans for Carly will not become a reality."
Shock quickly melded with panic, and then anger, as Ric tried to force himself past Alcazar. It didn't work, however, as the other man lifted a hand to his throat, and forced him around, pinning him against the door.
"I said, it's over." Alcazar's once calm voice dipped to a low, frightening rumble.
"I-I thought we h-had an understanding!" Ric was frantic, clawing desperately at the fingers wound around his neck.
"No," he said, showing no sign of loosening his grip. "I had a purpose for you. I used you and your demented plans to suit me. But you couldn't deliver, so now it ends."
"No!" Ric cried, his face reddening from the struggle. It can't be over! Sonny has to pay…
Alcazar held Ric there, trapped against the door. As much as Lorenzo would hate to admit it, sinking to this level, teetering a man, this man, on the edge of suffocation, felt good. Damn good. He watched as Ric's eyes bulged, as the veins on his temples surged, and looked as if they would pop. And when he believed the inflicted pain to be enough, he pried Ric off the door and flung him to the ground.
Ric recoiled into a ball, sputtering and coughing wildly as he tried to catch his breath.
Running a straitening hand over the front of his dress shirt, Alcazar stared down at Ric. "You had your opportunity to be helpful Mr. Lansing, and it seems you've made a mess of it." Crouching down beside Ric, Lorenzo watched amused, as Ric peered back at him, an unmistakable spark of fear in his eyes. "I had a clear agenda, Mr. Lansing, and you knew this. Now, if you had kept up your end of the deal, we both could have gotten what we wanted. But you couldn't do that, could you? So, as a result, I'm left to take preventative measures, and put an end to this before your haphazard actions cause any further problems for me."
Seeing Ric's body tense at his words, he realized the man believed the worst. "No," he paused, shaking his head. "I'm not going to kill you, Ric. But I am going to stop you."
"W-what do you mean?" Ric asked, a hand still tending to his injured neck.
Alcazar narrowed his eyes. "It means, Ric, that this sick vendetta you have against your brother dies tonight. And if for some reason you decide to resurrect it, I'll make sure your pretty little wife is the one that ends up buried instead."
Straightening up, Alcazar watched as Ric's face crumpled in panic. "No," he pleaded, scrambling to his feet. "Not Elizabeth…"
"Mark my words, Lansing. Keep your distance from Sonny and stay out of my affairs, or there will no longer be an Elizabeth to avenge." Alcazar turned away from Ric, and strode silently to the door, letting it slam shut behind him.
(Just a note, I thought good old Alky needed a decent cohort to connive with, someone worthy of his sneakiness. Basically, he needed a Jason to his Sonny.)
Miguel Garcia-Covas had been Lorenzo Alcazar's right hand man for many years now, and had managed within those years to earn the trust of that man in a way no one ever had. Luis Alcazar may have been Lorenzo's blood, but Miguel was his brother, in every way that counted.
The pair stood together, overlooking the shining lights of Port Charles from the deck of the yacht. Lorenzo had not spoken once since he had returned from handling Ric Lansing's incompetence, and it was beginning to worry Miguel, deeply. This degree of silence was odd even for Lorenzo.
"I assume Lansing has been taken care of," Miguel said finally, breaking the quiet that had settled over them.
Lorenzo didn't answer right away. Instead he nodded slowly and carefully as he leaned his forearms against the rail, and settled his gaze on the water below. "Ric Lansing won't be a problem any longer."
"So, you had Pedro… handle it?" Miguel asked, arching an eyebrow.
Lorenzo shook his head. "No," he said. "There wasn't a need for that. But if Lansing decides not to heed my warnings, the future could play out quite differently."
That awkward silence settled again, ticking away the minutes as both men stayed in quiet contemplation.
"Where do we go from here?" Miguel asked, after a while.
"Truthfully…" Lorenzo paused, considering his words. "I'm not entirely sure. But whatever it turns out to be, it will have to be drastic. Endless power and money are slipping through our hands with every passing day that we are denied the territory we need."
Miguel thought for a moment, mulling over their options, the few, if any, they had. "His wife?" Miguel asked
Lorenzo sighed. "No. The Carly ship has sailed. Corinthos won't allow another opening like we had at the church. In fact, he's probably shipping her, and the boy off to parts unknown as we speak."
"Sonny's sister? She could be even better, having such intense ties to both men."
"I had considered it, but I can't see Morgan or Corinthos allowing her to stay in Port Charles when such an obvious threat has been posed to their family."
An acidic laugh escaped Miguel. "Then where does that leave us, back at negotiations?"
"Unfortunately," Lorenzo answered bitterly. "But in my experience, negotiations tend to go better if you have something to hold over the other party's head."
"But what?" Miguel asked doubtingly. "Mrs. Corinthos was our only rock-solid option, and now even Sonny's sister can't be used. These men are tight; they keep their family close for this very reason. Anyone who means a damn thing to them is as good as untouchable."
Sinking his head, Miguel eyed the flickering lights of the docks. "I hate to say this, Lorenzo, but we may have no other choice than to walk away."
"No, Miguel, this can't be over," Lorenzo said, turning to look at his friend. "There has to be something… someone we can use. Morgan is, after all, a Quartermaine ."
"Was, Lorenzo. He was a Quartermaine . Jason Morgan has long since renounced the family name, and severed all ties. They mean nothing to him. If one of them were to be taken, he wouldn't bat an…" Miguel's voice fell away as a light seemed to go on in his head, an apparent connection being made.
"What is it?"
Miguel's eyes seemed to brighten slightly as his thought became whole, more of a possibility. "Well, there is one person."
"A Quartermaine ?"
Miguel nodded. "If I remember correctly, Morgan has a sister that lives in the mansion."
Lorenzo's eyes darkened. "Skye," he murmured.
"No, not her," Miguel corrected, shaking his head. "A younger one."
A younger one, Lorenzo thought. This could be very useful. Exactly what would Morgan do to have his baby sister returned to him, unharmed? "Are they close?" he asked suddenly.
"As far as I can see," Miguel shrugged. "She's been out of town for a while, but I have witnessed a few meetings in the park and at the docks. She is also a regular visitor of the penthouse. Mr. Morgan seems quite fond of her."
"What about Corinthos? Does he care about the girl?"
Running a hand over his face, he thought for a moment. "I'm fuzzy on his history with her, but I can research it. Though, if the girl is close enough to Morgan to frequent both their penthouses, then there must be some attachment."
Lorenzo could almost feel the weight being lifted. They could have their leverage after all. "Good, very good," he said. "I want extra men put on Morgan and Corinthos, and I want extensive surveillance put on Ms. Quartermaine ." Pausing briefly, Lorenzo straitened his frame and turned to face his friend. "I want to know exactly what this girl means to them, Miguel. She could be our last hope."
Staying silent and stoic as ever, Miguel nodded knowingly and turned away, disappearing into the immense yacht.
Focusing his attention back on the water, Lorenzo immersed himself in the possibilities of their new discovery. If this Quartermaine girl proved to be as important as he hoped she would be, she could change everything. Maybe they could continue with their plans, but with one minor substitution. A baby sister in the place of a wife… it could work.
Flickering his gaze over the shimmering waterfront of Port Charles, Lorenzo watched as a small container ship pulled into port, a smug smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. Looks like you forgot about somebody, Corinthos…