Lost and Found
Author's note: Don't own 'em. If I did, I wouldn't be working retail.
Summary: Elizabeth is killed. Don't worry-all is not as it seems and this is very much a Liason fic.
Chapter 1: Losing Elizabeth
Elizabeth Spencer stepped from the elevator into the parking garage. It was late and the place was deserted. Just like she felt, old and empty. Would there ever be day when she wasn't wishing for what she couldn't have? She allowed herself the luxury of thinking about Jason Morgan as she approached her car. The distraction was a fatal mistake.
There was a man leaning against her sedan. She didn't see him until she was just ten feet away. He smiled and she stopped. He began walking and she turned back toward the elevators.
She ran, but he was faster. She struggled, but he was stronger. In those last precious moments, she was too scared to even scream.
Diane Miller woke early, ready to face whatever problems Sonny Corinthos threw her way. Being his attorney might pay well, very well actually, but it was easily the most demanding job she had ever had.
She turned the TV on as the coffee machine did its magic. The news anchor was looking appropriately concerned. Diane huffed and raised the remote to change channels when she heard a familiar name.
"Elizabeth Spencer was a nurse at General Hospital and apparently on her way home. Two small sons and her estranged husband, Port Charles Police Detective Lucky Spencer, survive her. Viewers may recall that Mrs. Spencer was a key defense witness in alleged mobster Jason Morgan's murder trial last summer. Police insiders are now speculating that her affair with Morgan is the most likely motive for her murder."
Diane sank down into the couch. She truly liked Elizabeth. Those poor boys! Shaking her head, Diane rose and quickly dressed. She needed to see Jason immediately.
Jason was running late. He needed to go over last month's invoices at the office. Then there was still the issue of Zacchara and Trevor Lansing. Sonny wasn't thinking straight and that left Jason to make the tough calls. As he rushed down the stairs, he tripped over a pair of Lulu's tennis shoes. When did he agree to open up a daycare?
The knock startled him. He wanted to ignore it but Spinelli was already crossing the living room. "Greetings, Stone Cold!"
Jason grunted and turned his attention to the files on his desk.
Spinelli opened the door and smiled. "Ah, the Courtroom Contessa! Please, enter our humble abode."
Diane frowned at the young man. Where did he come up with this crap? Before she could say anything, she saw Jason and remembered the reason for her visit. "Spinelli, upstairs NOW."
Spinelli nodded and retreated silently. Jason arched an eyebrow. "Can you come do that every morning?"
Diane set her briefcase on the desk and removed some files. "I take it you haven't heard?"
Jason went very still. "Heard what?" Had Elizabeth lost custody of their son to Lucky? He paid that judge good money to ensure a favorable decision.
Diane drew a deep breath. "There was an accident, well, not really an accident. I thought the police would have been here by now."
"Is Sonny okay?"
"He's fine," Diane quickly answered. "It's Elizabeth."
Jason turned and walked over to the fireplace. "She's not…" He couldn't say the words. He couldn't even think them.
"I'm so sorry, Jason. She was found in her car this morning."
Jason braced his hands on the mantle and hung his head. "How?"
Diane felt a tear slide down her cheek. She swiped it away. "Preliminary autopsy indicates that she was strangled. She was then placed in the car and it was set on fire."
Jason quickly faced the attorney. "How can they be sure it's her? Just because it's her car…"
"It's her, Jason. Her ID and jewelry were on her. A forensic dentist is confirming by x-ray. Again, Jason, I'm sorry."
Jason stared at the couch. He didn't want to think about her burned body. He wanted to remember her curled up in his arms, laughing and smiling.
Diane continued speaking. "There's more. With the divorce, I encouraged Elizabeth to make a will. She did." Diane held out an envelope. "Call me. I'll handle this however you want.
Jason took it. In Elizabeth's delicate handwriting was his name. He didn't hear the door close behind Diane. He turned the envelope over several times before opening it.
First, I love you. I'm so thankful that you were part of my life and that we created Jake together. I told myself that Jake could live with your absence as long as he had me. If you're reading this, then that's no longer true. Please consider claiming him. Diane has two wills. One gives custody of both Cameron and Jake to my grandmother. But the other gives it to you. I want you to raise my sons, Jason. I understand that nothing has changed; your life is still and will always be dangerous. I trust you to make the right decision for me, for them.
I love you,
Jason sank to the carpet. The world had tilted off its axis.
There was more knocking at the door but Jason didn't hear it. Spinelli bounded down the stairs and answered without even seeing his friend.
"Law-abiding ones!" He glanced from Mac Scorpio to Cruz Rodriguez. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
Jason stood. "They're here to see me."
"Stone Cold! I thought you left."
"Spinelli, you need to leave. Go find Diane and tell her, tell her I said yes."
Spinelli nodded. "And the…"
"Just go and tell her!" Jason rarely lost his patience with the computer whiz these days but today was different. Today, everything was different. Spinelli fled and the two other men closed the door behind him.
Mac cleared his throat. "You obviously know about Elizabeth Spencer."
Jason nodded, unwilling to share his grief.
Rodriguez pulled out a notepad. "So, where were you around three this morning?"
Jason's jaw dropped. "You think I did this?"
Mac raised a hand. "It's procedure. You know the drill, Morgan."
Jason wanted to punch them both. A fight suited his current mood. "I was here."
Jason sighed. "Spinelli and Lulu were here. They can tell you."
Rodriguez continued to probe. "Look, we know you have, had, a thing for Liz. So, maybe somebody is sending you a message. Anybody trying to move in on you and Corinthos?"
"No," Sonny answered firmly from the doorway. "We know nothing about this except what my lawyer saw on the news."
Jason was relieved to see his partner. Mac and Cruz were not.
Mac shook his head. "Sonny, we're just trying to figure out how a sweet woman like Elizabeth ended up dead in a parking garage. If either of you cared, you'd help us out."
Sonny motioned to the detective. "Have your boy wait outside, Mac."
Mac gestured for an unhappy Cruz to leave. Once the door closed, the police commissioner spoke. "Okay, what do you know?"
Sonny leaned in the other man's face. "I know that is personal and we will handle it."
Mac laughed. "You're kidding me, right? There's no way I'm going to sit back and let you 'handle it.' Elizabeth was married to one of my detectives. That makes this personal for me, too."
Jason had reached his limit. "Lucky has no claim on Elizabeth. They were finished a long time ago."
Mac turned to face him. "Their divorce was not final. They share a son. Sounds like a claim to me."
Jason closed his eyes. Before he could speak, Sonny jumped in. "Mac, you either stand aside or we'll shove you out of the way. This is our business."
Mac's eyes widened. "Are you threatening me?"
Sonny did not blink. "I'm stating a fact."
With a final look at Jason, Mac left.
Sonny wrapped his arms around his best friend and Jason finally lost it. He cried for Elizabeth, for the life they wanted but could never have, for their son and for Cameron. Mostly, he cried for himself. Without her, the world was an empty place.
Two hours later, Diane returned. She took in Jason's red eyes and fisted hands. She traded concerned looks with Sonny.
"Jason, if you want this, then we should move quickly. I have Elizabeth's will and the paternity test results. You need to claim those boys from Audrey before Lucky gets the chance."
Sonny pursed his lips. "How do we know that he doesn't already have them?"
Diane smiled. "Because he's still at the police station. Sooner or later, and unfortunately for us probably sooner, Commissioner Scorpio will convince him to leave. Jason, you need to have physical custody of the boys before then."
Jason nodded, suddenly very anxious to hold his son. "Let's go."