The Longest Night
Premise: Carly holds her charity benefit at the Metro Court but what was meant to be a six hour gala turns into a overnight event for her and her guests when the blizzard snows them in. Gh ensemble
This chapter takes place on February 7th in the city of Port Charles, New York between the hour 6pm and 7pm.
The First Hour- Part One
6: 00 pm
The second she saw him step off the elevator her heart soared. The not so secret worries she had been lugging around all day disappeared in a cloud of smoke when his eyes met hers.
"You showed up," Carly breathed out softly as he walked up to her at the bar.
His smile was not on his lips, but in his eyes, when he leaned over and kissed her cheek.
Dressed in his normal black t-shirt, leather jacket and jeans, Jason Morgan stuck out like a sore thumb at the glamorous gala, but Carly didn't care what he was wearing. She was just glad to see her best friend had not taken the out she gave him when she said he didn't have to put in an appearance at this party.
Though she had told Jason it wasn't important for him to be there, and she would have understood if he stayed home, the truth was it wouldn't have felt right to honor Michael's life without Jason standing by her side.
After a long day of worrying this night was going to be a disaster seeing Jason set her mind at ease. If he was here, it would all work out perfect.
He was her good luck charm. Always had been. The instant her eyes locked on his she stopped worrying that the party would turn into a hellish blood bath, reminiscent of the last one she attended at Wyndermere.
It was a miracle anyone at all decided to come to the benefit, and Carly Jacks knew it. Overall it was dangerous to go to any party in this town- what with the chances that half the room would be carrying concealed and at least two, if not more, rival mob families would show up. That was a shoot out waiting to happen.
Such was life in Port Charles though.
It wasn't just that fact that the last several parties had turned into living nightmares that could have kept the guests away from her event, it was also already starting to snow and the weather channel predicted over ten inches by morning. That had left Carly freaking out, sure that the charity ball she was holding to raise money for children with brain injuries would turn into a dismal failure.
Luckily, just the opposite seemed to be true. The room was packed to the brim with all her friends, associates, and even an enemy or two. She might cringe at the sight of Kate Howard and shiver slightly when Ric's eyes met hers, but money was money and she wasn't about to kick anyone out until she got their check in her hand first.
Then Jason could show their ass to the door.
Standing near him, she looked up into his eyes, "What changed your mind?"
"I just wanted to stop by, make sure its going okay."
"So far, so good, Jase." Carly smiled widely. "I know, I know, famous last words, right?"
Johnny Zacchara knew he was pushing his luck- in every way, shape and form possible. He shouldn't be standing in the middle of the Metro Court Grille, decked out in a tux playing the loyal boyfriend, when the party he was attending was for a kid he helped to get shot.
But Lulu had begged him to come with her. And since she was still salty at him over their fight the week before...and the fact that he moved out of her apartment and they were barely getting along at all anymore...Johnny hadn't wanted to follow his first instincts when she invited him to this party- which would have been to turn her down flat.
Too late now.
This noble shit was getting really old, really fast. It wasn't working and he didn't know how much longer he could do it. The truth was that when Coleman asked him to start stealing cars to make a quick buck the word yes had almost jumped off his tongue. Hell, it was one job he was actually qualified for and he badly needed the money.
Its not as if it would really be blood money- like his father made. The owners would get paid back by their insurance company. Johnny would get the cold hard cash he needed to keep from being homeless. Win. Win. But he said no. For Lulu.
Everything he did since she got released from Shadybrook had been for her. Every breath he took. But lately it was getting harder and harder to breathe, her hand holding his was feeling like a noose, instead of a comfort.
Maybe he wasn't born to be better than his father. Maybe he wasn't meant to break the curse his sister believed followed all Zaccharas when it came to love. Maybe he had been fooling himself for the last year and a half.
Damn it. He needed a drink.
Slipping his hand from Lulu's, he said "Be right back. I'm heading for the bar."
"I'll come with you."
Looking around for someone...anyone...who he could point out for her to talk to, Johnny spotted one of her closest friends. "Hey, there's Spinelli. Who is that with him?"
Lulu turned and looked across the room. "No, he didn't. I can't believe he brought her. What the hell could he be thinking?"
Probably that he wants to get laid, Johnny thought to himself but didn't say aloud. Instead he slipped off to the bar while Lulu headed over to confront Spinelli.
Maxie Jones walked across the lobby of the Metro Court with a small but very satisfied smile on her face when she saw how many men were checking her out.
She looked good and she knew it- in her borrowed couture gown, a shade of blue that made her eyes pop.
She was glad for the attention, since her ego had taken quite a bruising earlier in the day when she saw her very best friend on the whole planet Damian Spinelli huddled close to "The Priestess" - or as Maxie preferred to think of her "that bitch Fed"- in this very lobby.
What he saw in her Maxie would never know. She was barely a real woman, with the way she dressed and talked and behaved. Hell, Maxie had more style, more game, more moves in the third grade.
But Winnie was the last person she wanted to think about right now. All it did was get her pissed off and that was not the way she wanted to walk into this party. There could very well be important people there...V.I.P type friends of Jasper Jacks...and Maxie had to be ready to hob nob at a moment's notice. Fashion never sleeps, and either could she if she expected to be promoted to junior editor before she hit twenty-five. Lulu would be her first assistant, if she was lucky and if she didn't keep calling off every time Johnny got drug down to the police station.
She really is not going to get anywhere with her career if she doesn't learn to prioritize, Maxie thought to herself.
Maxie was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't see Matt Hunter, standing with a group of people in front of the elevator, until she bumped into him. "Oh! What are you doing there?"
"Waiting for the elevator. What else would I be doing?"
"Well, you're doing it in my way."
With a boyish grin, he said "Its completely my fault. I'm sorry."
"You should be."
"I should know better than to stand in a public place, minding my own business, when you might come along and want to stand in that very same spot. What was I thinking?" He looked her up and down.
She rolled her eyes. "I know exactly what you're thinking and I find it disgusting."
"Do you really?"
"Are you sure there is no wiggle room in that answer? Come on, Maxie, you haven't even given me a shot. We used to live together, for God sake's. Don't you think its high time we become friends? Don't you need a little me in your life?"
The elevator doors opened and several other guests walked on- including Kelly Lee, Nadine Crowell and Patrick Drake, who had all come straight from the hospital together, after changing into their formal wear in the locker room.
Maxie walked into the crowd, turned around and faced Matt, "Friends with benefits is more like what you are offering and no....I don't think there is a shot in hell we will end up that."
Matt squeezed onto the elevator, with his cheeks slightly crimson. As the doors closed, Patrick said "Smooth, Dr. Hunter. Very smooth."
"Don't start," Matt said back.
"You've got nothing on me, that's for sure," Patrick teased his brother.
Patrick leaned closer and whispered, with a smirk on his lips, "I think you're wearing her down."
Maxie chimed in with a perky "He's not!"
Patrick chuckled. "Go ahead, Matt, try another line." Patrick hit the stop button on the elevator. "We've all got time, right?"
Shaking her head, Nadine started the elevator again, while saying "You know what, Patrick? You're just plain mean. My Aunt Raylene would say that you are as ornery as a three legged dog during hunting season who can't go out tracking fox. If I had a brother, which I don't because mama couldn't have any more kids after I was born due to a difficult breech birth, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't treat my brother the way you do. Aunt Raylene always said that family is the backbone
Matt let out a sigh. "Look what you started," he told Patrick. "Feel good about yourself?"
Patrick smiled. "Pretty good."
The elevator doors opened and they all walked off. Maxie's eyes moved around the room until she finally spotted Spinelli. With a happy smile gracing her pink painted lips, she headed over to talk to him. She noticed that he was in a group of people that included Milo and Lulu. Not until she said his name and he turned around did she realize that he had been blocking her view of Agent Winifred Leeds, who had one hand resting on Spinelli's arm. It look as if she had been leaning in close to talk to him.
Maxie's eyes hardened as she took in the woman, who looked remarkably unlike her normal self. She had on a classic black cocktail gown with her brown hair softly curled and her face made up. She actually looked pretty good.
There was only one thing that Maxie had to think about that: This man stealing bitch better take her hands up off him and I mean now.
This is my life, Alexis Davis thought as the car she was riding in slid into a snowbank, Sad but true. Stuck on the side of the road with a man I don't even like going to a charity event that will be full of a room full of people I can barely tolerate, a couple ex-lovers, and one loud mouthed harpy. But this is for Michael....just keep that in mind...for Michael...
The car came to a stop in the snow. It hadn't been a dangerous accident. They simply slipped slightly off the slippery pavement and the passenger wheels got stuck.
Garret Floyd grimaced as he shot her an apologetic look. "I'll get us out of here in a second. Don't worry."
"Worry. Whose worried?"
He climbed out of the car while she pulled out her cell phone and dialed. As soon as the other person picked up she said "Help!"
Diane chuckled. "It can't be that bad."
"I beg to disagree. Yes it is that bad when you have to go to a charity function with a colleague rather than a real, live man."
"Floyd is a man. Just a lousy version of one. But still a man. He has all the working parts."
"Probably. But I'd rather be spending the evening with either a member of the male species I actually find attractive and could imagine getting foot rubs from on a regular basis or spend it at home with my Bogart and bowl of freshly popped popcorn. Since the first will more than likely never happen again, I'd love to just call this night a wash and go for the latter."
"I'd love to be out, drinking and gossiping about who's doing who this month. Be grateful you are not buried in work tonight like moi. Free champagne is free champagne, Alexis. Don't be so quick to knock it. Where are you? In the bathroom, hiding from him?"
"I wish I was. The bathroom would be an improvement- and warmer. I'm sitting in a snowbank while he tries to dig out his car."
"Your night is off to a stellar start."
"My thoughts exactly."
Just then there was a knock at the window. Alexis startled, whipped her head around to look out the window, expecting to see Garret, but instead it was Sonny Corinthos standing there. He was dressed in a long black wool coat with snow rapidly covering him, and a dimple showing grin on his face.
She rolled down the window.
Sonny asked "Need a ride?"