The double funeral was expected to draw several hundreds of people from all corners of the world to Port Charles on that unforgivably bright and sunny day. Some would be there out of genuine respect to the deceased, while others would be there mainly due to obligation or a sense of duty. One common bond however, would hold every single mourner together as one.
They all would be there to see if it was indeed true. To see that both of them were actually dead.
The bomb had gone off not quite a week before, and the reality still hadn't set in to most. Four lives had been taken, three others gravely threatened.
Two families forever ripped apart.
It was how she got through the last week. By listing and counting and focusing on fact and detail, rather than feeling and emotion and anything else that would indeed make her crazy.
When she woke up that morning from a sedative-induced sleep she still couldn't, or maybe wouldn't, believe what she had to do.
How? How could she bury her husband and his best friend? How could she sit there and accept the condolences of concerned well-wishers and business associates knowing that among them would be the ones responsible. How could she keep her sanity, and make sure her best friend didn't lose hers either?
How could she say good-bye?
Carly Corinthos got out of her bed, slipped into her bathrobe, and headed across the hallway to another bedroom, where no doubt, the same thoughts were running through another woman's head.
She was still in bed, her body facing away from the door. Her oldest son was sitting on the bed next to her.
"How is she?" Carly asked softly. However brutal the last week had been on her, it was nowhere near the pain Courtney Morgan was going through. While they were burying their husbands today, Courtney had already buried a son the day before.
Jason Jr., or Jack, as they all called him, looked up and Carly was immediately struck by how much he looked like Jason. He shook his head slightly, standing up.
Carly nodded in understanding. "Leave me with her a minute, why don't you go check on the others and make sure they're all getting ready?" she asked. She shut the door behind him and walked over to the bed.
Courtney finally stirred. She turned around and looked up at Carly. "I can't do this," she whispered. "I can't."
Carly didn't say anything. Wordlessly, she got into bed next to Courtney and the two of them clung together, sobbing over what was lost. They stayed like that, crying, for nearly half an hour before finally, Carly pulled back slightly.
"We'll get through today," she promised. She was always the stronger of the two of them; she couldn't lose that now. "You'll see. We'll get through today, and then we'll get through tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. You know why?"
"We have to. Courtney, we have to go on not just for us, but for our children." Carly's eyes and tone of voice darkened somewhat over the next words. "And especially for Sonny and Jason and Jacob."
Courtney raised her head slowly and looked Carly in the eye. "Carly," she whispered, as the meaning behind Carly's words sunk in.
Carly nodded slowly. "We have all of Sonny and Jason's resources available to us at the snap of our fingers. The bidding wars for their territories are just beginning to heat up, but nothing can be done until the reading of the wills." Her voice got caught in her throat at the mention of the will. "So we have time, Courtney. Time to come up with a plan to make sure whoever is responsible for this pays for the pain that they are causing us right now."
Courtney shook her head. "We don't even know who did this," she said, her voice stronger and louder than it had been in days. "I will not put the rest of my family in danger because of your reckless pursuit of anyone you think crossed Jason and Sonny!"
"You think I'm going to put any of us in any more danger? I'm protecting us!" Carly argued. "For god sakes Court! Michael is in the hospital in a coma! When he wakes up, I'm going to have to go in there and tell him his father is dead. You know Michael. He's going to do something stupid like try and go after the Five Families himself. I can't let that happen. I have to have a plan to keep him and us safe."
"You mean like Sonny and Jason did?" Courtney's hands flew to her mouth as she realized what she said.
Carly leaned down and drew Courtney close to her in a hug again. "That's the most reaction I've gotten out of you all week," she whispered as Courtney cried. "You feel that anger in your heart? Feel how it bites and stings? Hold onto that Court, but don't direct it towards Jason or Sonny. Put all of your hurt and anger and sadness into revenge Courtney." She spoke low and carefully. "That's what's going to get us through today. Knowing that we will get revenge on anyone that may have had anything to do with this."
Courtney nodded. She wasn't sure if she believed Carly was right, but if it got her through today, she could fake it for now.
Carly left Courtney alone then, so that they could both get dressed and ready for the day.
Back in her bedroom, Carly sat down at her desk and pulled a notebook out of the bottom drawer. The last week had been full of sleepless nights, and Carly had taken advantage.
The notebook was Carly's new baby, her prized possession of late. In it, she had penned a very detailed, extensive plan of attack.
Lorenzo Alcazar, Faith Roscoe, Frank Paretti, Marcus Del Rossi and Robert Giancamo, aka, the Five Families. One of them had something to do with the deaths and she would find out which one. They all had similar vested interests in Sonny and Jason's territories, and all had the power to eliminate them.
Carly stared at the names, knowing all five would be at the funeral today. She closed the notebook and placed it back in the desk drawer, sliding it shut once more.
Revenge would be hers, this much was certain, she thought, tracing her fingers over the framed picture of her and Sonny that sat next to a vase of flowers. But it could wait. She was not going to disgrace her husband or her best friend on the day they were laid to rest.
Once dressed, she gave herself a once-over in the full-length mirror. The picture of a grieving widow, in a black dress and heels and the strand of pearls Sonny had given her on their tenth wedding anniversary.
She smiled bitterly into the mirror, adjusting her hair. Faith Roscoe may have the monopoly on the nickname the Black Widow, but as anyone in Port Charles knew, Carly Corinthos was not a force to be reckoned with.
Before leaving the room, she paused and picked up the picture of her and Sonny. "I'll do everything I can for you," she whispered.
Author's Note Well, this is certainly a different story than the other's I've written. I've had this one floating around my head and on paper for a few weeks now and finally decided to see if I could make it work. I know there are quite a few stories surrounding other people taking over the "Business", and I've read most of them and noticed that not one of them has Courtney taking any part in it. I decided to explore this idea, because I think the irony of it is going to make for a good story. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.
Oh, and I know that on the show Courtney can't have kids, but the next chapter will explain everything that was brought up in this chapter. Please please please let me know what you think!!!