"Elizabeth, here's the chart for room thirty-two, could you please finish it off before break." In a no no nonsense tone, with the professional infliction of an iceberg, Emily Quartermaine dropped a thick file onto the already over flowing counter and waited for a reply.
Having already lived through two weeks of Emily's wounded pride, Elizabeth grit her teeth and locked onto her friend's hostile stare. "I'm going home in ten minutes."
Two weeks and not one apology. From neither her long time buddy or Robin for their desertion the other night. Leaving her in one of the most expensive restaurants in town, to foot a bill she could barely cover the tip for. Not to mention ditching her to Carly's clutches.
The longer Emily's silent treatment went, the more insulted and angry Elizabeth got. Lorenzo had been right that night. If Emily didn't want the truth then she shouldn't be asking for advice. Like it was her fault Emily couldn't quiet grasp onto the concept that what Sonny and Jason did was on the up and up. It didn't take a P.H.D to know that Sonny wasn't planning on going legit. He'd tried that and it never really stuck.
Jason was her brother for crying out loud. How much bigger of a clue did Emily need? If she really cared for Sonny like she claimed, she needed to relax and come to terms with his darker side. If not, she needed to cut bait and run.
It was that simple.
"Everyone's busy and I need to get going." Emily answered crisply. "Sonny's taking me to the island and I promised not to be late."
"Guess you better be skipping off then." Carly's voice interrupted from behind. "But first I came to drop off the check you must've forgotten to pay the other night."
Eyes flashing, Carly handed Emily an envelope. "Elizabeth already paid for her portion and now if you and Saint Robin could fork over what you owe I'll be off."
Elizabeth felt her cheeks burn, while her eyes dropped to the mess in front of her. Her portion of the bill may be paid for, but she sure hadn't paid a dime. Lorenzo Alcazar and Carly's nosiness could be thanked for that.
"I -." Her eyes going wide for a moment, Emily looked accusingly over at Elizabeth.
"Pfft. You think she has money to pay for appetizers, three dinners and a bottle of wine at my restaurant?" Cynically amused, Carly let out a less than humored laugh. "Oh and a bit of advise. Eating at the establishment of your lover's ex is a little tacky. Ditching the bill is just asking for trouble."
"I didn't think -." Stopping the second the words came out of her mouth, Emily held up a hand to ward off any sarcastic comments from her ex-sister in law. "I'll go and get my purse."
Throwing one last glare in Elizabeth's direction, Emily stalked off in the direction of the locker rooms. Wanting to pick up the file her good friend assumed she'd take care of, and throw it at her retreating back burned hot inside Elizabeth.
"When do you get off?" Not skipping a beat, Carly spun in Elizabeth's direction.
"Soon, why?" Picking up the abandoned file, Elizabeth sat it off to the side in defiance.
"Sonny's taking the kids out of town and I'm already bored." Studying her manicure, Carly looked even less thrilled to be asking Elizabeth about her plans.
"So?" Feeling the hairs on the back of her neck rise, Elizabeth didn't need to look up to know Carly was burning holes into her.
"I think." Carly said in a false calm, "That we should do something."
"You want to do something with me?" A smirk spread across her face and Elizabeth stared at Carly in disbelief.
"Why not?" Carly countered. "You proved to be entertaining the other night, maybe getting to know you won't kill me. Lorenzo's having some kind of gathering at the cottage tonight. Some group out of Texas he's trying to do business with. I thought we'd swing by."
Elizabeth paused and studied Carly. Knowing the blond was up to something, but unable to pinpoint what exactly, Elizabeth stacked the rest of the charts to the side for the next nurse on duty. "I can't. I need to pick Cameron up."
"So? Bring him along. If I had the boys I would be taking them."
The last place Elizabeth wanted to be was stuck at Lorenzo's house, with Carly for an evening. For one thing Carly was up to no good, her talking civilly to her for a second time was all the proof Elizabeth needed. Unless of course, Carly had hit dirt bottom on eligible female friends in town, either was a possibility.
After the humiliating night at the restaurant, she had vowed to stay far away from Lorenzo Alcazar. She'd shared way too much with a man who she hardly knew. But the alcohol seemed to have effected her ability to keep her big mouth shut. By the end of the evening he knew more about her than most people in town did. (Except maybe some of the diners who'd been privy to the show Emily had given) And that made her feel vulnerable.
"What else are you going to be doing?" Carly asked.
"I don't know, relaxing? I've been working all day."
"Jeez, you can relax on Lorenzo's deck. While eating his food." The bored expression was starting to slip from Carly's face. "I'm trying to be nice and you're not making it easy."
"That's because I can't help but wonder why you're being so nice." Elizabeth answered honestly.
"You are way too paranoid." Snorting, Carly glanced down at her watch. "I'm offering you the olive branch here. Let bygones be bygones and all that."
"So you want to become friends?" When pigs fly, Elizabeth thought, as every public incident came to mind.
"I'm not saying I want to braid your hair or anything." Adjusting the strap to her Kate Spade handbag, Carly lifted a brow in challenge. "Come on Webber. It's not like you've got any other grand plans for the night. No hot dates."
"You're not going away are you?" Elizabeth sighed.
"Nope." Carly flashed a dazzling smile at her. "I'll meet you at Kelley's at six? I'll drive."
"Fine." Less than thrilled, Elizabeth let her shoulders slump. Her life was on a downward slide if she was agreeing to willing spend time with Carly.
"Here's your money." With a shrewish snap, Emily interrupted the conversation by holding out a check to Carly.
"We don't take checks." Carly answered sweetly, blinking a few times in mockery back at Emily. "Why don't I put it on Sonny's tab. He has an on going one for his kept women."
With that, Carly turned on her heel and headed to the elevator. Pushing the button she looked over her shoulder at the nurses desk. "See you at six Elizabeth."
The door slid closed before Elizabeth could reply, leaving her the target of a sputtering Emily. "That bitch."
Looking up beneath her thick lashes, Elizabeth gave a silent huff. She'd been irritated before how neither Emily or Robin had apologized for ditching her with the bill. Having been friends with Emily for almost ten years, Elizabeth knew she was going to be given the silent treatment. But to have looked at her accusingly when Carly had pointed out the stiffed bill pissed her off.
"She just said I was a kept woman." Full of indignation, Emily turned back to the elevator as if Carly was going to suddenly appear again. "Did she just say that you two have plans?"
"Uh-huh." Murmuring her answer, Elizabeth signed on last piece of paper, shoved it into the folder and gave Emily a fake flash of a smile. "Night."
With that she headed for the locker room.
S S S
"Cam, what I am about to do is so asinine. So stupid. So unthinkable. That I can only be grateful that you'll never remember this night." Pulling into the parking lot near Kelley's dinner, Elizabeth eyed Carly's Mercedes-Benz with apprehension.
There was a knot growing inside her stomach. She shouldn't be doing this. Meeting with Carly to go to some 'get together' Lorenzo was throwing. She should be at home right now, in a pair of faded boxers and her favorite tank top. Cooking supper, while Cameron played with his toys.
Christ she didn't even like Carly. She was bossy and mean and . . . and . . . so much like Lizzie Webber that it sometimes made her wonder if that's how she would've turned out if Valentine's Day hadn't happened. Where she did everything she was told not to. Took what she wanted. Said what she was thinking. Did what suited her best. No one told Lizzie Webber what to do and if they did, Lizzie made sure they learned from their mistake the first time.
To go to Lorenzo's? Why was she putting herself in his path? She'd proven twice she did reckless and bizarre things around the man. Making out with him, while extremely hot, was something she could never – ever, do again. Spilling out her soul. She shared the highlights of the most disastrous marriage known to mankind. She was quite shocked he hadn't gnawed his arm off to escape.
Then she'd kissed him again.
Well that wasn't actually true. She'd planned on kissing him. They'd been sitting on a bench and she just leaned in – and practically toppled over.
Cheeks blooming red, Elizabeth dropped her head to the steering wheel. "We're not going."
On the other side of the parking lot, Carly let out a sigh and rolled her eyes at the man on the other end of the line.
"She's talking herself into backing out."
"Carly." Lorenzo drawled into the phone. "You're only job was to get her here."
"I only have so much to work with." Carly snapped, her eyes on the late model Civic at least twenty feet away.
"You know, I am starting to wonder if the feud you two have going is not as vile as you make it out to be."
"Not likely." Carly snapped, irked when he laughed knowingly at her. "I just don't want her to get her claws into Jason again. If she's with you, Jason can't do something stupid. Like fall in love with her again."
"Jason Morgan could do a lot worse . . . actually he has done a lot worse." Humor may have been laced through his words, but the steel behind them was hard to miss.
"You do realize how High Schoolish this is right?"
"Like you aren't enjoying every minute." Pausing for a moment, he continued. "Just make sure she comes. I promise you will both have a wonderful evening."