Chapter 14: The Arrangements
Sam never imagined that this would be her life. When she was younger, she vowed that she would never have children. She hadn't had any good examples of parents, and she was scared that that would make her a terrible mother. But now, she had gone from a mother of one to a mother of five.
Walking into the large building that she had been directed to by the social workers was nerve wracking. She couldn't imagine how these children were feeling. Practically all of them were science experiments, created just for the amusement of Viktor and Helena.
She had left Ava and Jake with her mother so that there wouldn't be any distractions. Right now, she was just concerned about trying to get to know these three children.
"Sam!" she turned around at the sound of her ex-boyfriend's voice. It had been a while since she saw Johnny Zacchara, and he still looked the same. The two of them had a good relationship and dated for a little over a year before breaking up on good terms. Immediately after, she had jumped into her relationship with Sonny, which she would always regret, especially since she hadn't known that he was her little half-sister's father.
"Hey, Johnny." She smiled at him. "This is all pretty crazy, huh?"
"I just don't understand." Johnny hadn't been involved in any of the meetings. Sam had told Vanessa, Scott, and Trisha that she would get into contact with him. All he knew was that they apparently had a two year old daughter, and his older sister was alive but couldn't remember anything.
"Helena Cassadine and my biological father, Viktor, teamed up to try and make the perfect Cassadine. They tried to do it with Nikolas and I, but we both got away, so they started kidnapping children or stealing eggs and sperm and creating them by themselves. Do you remember Emily Quartermaine?"
"Uh-huh. She's actually alive and was taken by Helena and Viktor. They've been using her, her twin sister Rebecca, and Claudia, who thinks her name is Amelia, as human incubators. It's disgusting."
"How is Claudia? Have you seen her?"
"Yeah, a couple of times. She just seems really overwhelmed and confused. How would you feel if you suddenly found out that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?"
"I guess that makes sense. I just want everything to be okay."
"You and me both." They arrived to the office they had been told to go to and walked inside together.
There was a large table set out with chairs around it for everyone to sit in. Johnny was shocked by the amount of children sitting around. Some of them were playing games, and some of them were just waiting for the others to arrive.
He leaned down so he was closer to Sam. "Which one is ours?"
"Right there." She pointed to one of the most beautiful children he had ever seen. She was sitting all by herself and seemed scared. "Her name is Scarlett Adelaide Nikoletta Cassadine. She's two, as you know. I'm warning you now that she's going to have some issues. She was what they called the 'Perfect Cassadine'. She was pampered and spoiled by Viktor and he favored her to the others. She was apparently very close to him, and she was there when I killed him."
"Y-You killed him?" Johnny knew, of course, that Sam had some involvement with the mob and all of that, but he couldn't imagine what it would be like to kill your own father, whether he was a good person or not.
"I had to. He tried to take her. At that point, I didn't know she was mine, but I knew that I had to get off of that boat and that I wasn't letting him get off too. I shot him in the head, grabbed her, and ran."
"She looks a lot like you."
"Mmhmm." Sam agreed. She even had the dimples that had come from her grandmother, Alexis.
"How is Jason reacting to all of this?"
"You having a child with another man."
"Jason and I aren't together."
"Yeah, but for how long? The two of you have this pull that will always bring you back to each other."
"Right now, my kids are my main concern. I never imagined that I would have this many children, especially when I'm still pretty young, and I need to worry about them. Jake keeps asking about Elizabeth, and then there's these three."
"Which of the others are yours?"
"That little boy, his name is Dominic. His biological father is Lucky." She pointed to the five year old. "And Lila. That's the baby that I was pregnant with and gave birth to and was then told that she had been stillborn."
"So Lila is Jason's?"
"You and Jason will be back together in no time."
Sam rolled her eyes, not bothering to respond. Secretly, she hoped he was right, but she needed to focus on the kids for now.
"Hey." Carly came in with Sonny behind her. She was holding Josslyn, who she hadn't let out of her sight since she was returned yesterday afternoon.
"Hi. Where are the boys?"
"At home with the guards. We didn't want to bring them here, but I couldn't put Joss down." Carly kissed her daughter's cheek.
Sonny scanned his eyes around the room, trying to find the two sons that he would be gaining today. When Carly had told him about the whole situation, he had been doubtful, but after seeing the test results, he knew it was true.
"Logan and Colton, right?" he whispered to his ex-wife.
"Right." She agreed, reaching for his hand. They may not be together, but they shared children and would stick with each other in hard times.
That was when the door opened and Rebecca, Emily, and the woman they all knew now was Claudia came in. Sonny studied his wife (they had been married at the time of her death, so they were technically still married), noting the little changes in her.
"Hey guys." Sam smiled at the three women. She turned to the oldest. "Do you know what you want to be called?"
She nodded her head. "I've decided to go by Claudia. It's what everyone knows me by, and it's my real name. I can't keep living in the Cassadine fantasy world."
Emily went over and gave Sonny a hug. "Hey."
"Hi. How are you?"
"I'm okay." She said, and for the first time, she actually believed it. "This is all just a little crazy. I-I never thought we would be found."
"You're safe now." Sam assured her.
She smiled. "I know. Helena and Viktor are gone and they can't hurt us anymore." She looked at the kids, addressing them for the first time. "Well look at all of you! It looks like you've grown overnight!"
Caterina and Logan were the most weary. They stayed together, with Colton in Caterina's arms.
Dominic and Lila were playing quietly with each other, both of them occasionally going over to sit by Brennan and talk to him.
Scarlett was all by herself, her knees pulled up to her chest and her eyes constantly looking around, studying all of the new people.
Ellie walked around the room in amazement. There were all kinds of toys, and she was just staring at them. She would interact with Dominic and Lila, but none of the others.
Jason, Robin, Patrick, Nikolas, and Lucky arrived at the same time. They took seats next to Sam, Johnny, Carly, and Sonny. After looking at the children for a couple of minutes longer, Rebecca, Emily, and Amelia sat down too.
Finally, Trisha, Vanessa, and Scott entered. The only man of the group looked around. "Stone Cates is deceased, correct?"
"Yes." Robin answered, feeling the familiar ache whenever she talked about her first love. She looked up at Caterina, trying to see if she had any of his features.
"We are still missing Elizabeth Webber and Jasper Jacks."
"Jax is in Paris on business." Carly spoke for her husband. "He was unable to make it today, but he has signed all of the proper documentation." She honestly couldn't believe that he wasn't here. His child was alive and well, and they had just nearly lost Josslyn.
"What about Elizabeth Webber?"
"No one has heard from her." Lucky answered.
"As you are all aware, this will be a process. These children have experienced an amazing trauma, and they don't know anything about you, just like you don't know anything about them. It won't be like bringing a new baby home from the hospital. They have a history, and most of them only know abuse and neglect."
"Don't talk about us like we're not here." Logan called out, interrupting Trisha's little speech. "We're all capable of understanding, even if we have been held captive by a couple of psychos for our entire lives."
"I apologize." Trisha told the oldest of the children. "As you can see, there is even a divide in the kids. They don't all know each other, and some of them weren't even aware that there were other kids living with them."
"Can I ask a question?" Sonny wondered. The social workers nodded for him to go ahead. "How long were you on that boat? Is that where you've always lived?"
"No, we were only on there for maybe a month?" Logan said, looking to the older women for guidance.
"One month, two weeks, three days." Rebecca corrected. "Before that, we were in a house in Los Angeles, and before that, it was Greece, and Russia even earlier than that. We've been all over."
"We don't want to be separated." Logan said suddenly. Everyone looked at him in surprise. "I know that you all say that my biological parents are here, but I don't know anything about them. The only people I know are Caterina, Colton, and Emily."
Heads turned in Emily's direction. "Were you held captive with them?" Patrick wondered.
"They let me move around. I was the only one, and it was just because of my medical degree. They didn't want the kids to get hurt or die, and Helena thought I was too weak to fight or escape anyway. The kids were held in little groups, except Scarlett, who was by herself unless Viktor was around. Ellie grew up with only Claudia. Rebecca, Dominic, Brennan, and Lila were together, and then Logan, Caterina, and Colton."
"Logan, I know that this whole situation is scary, but you all have different parents. You have to go with them." Vanessa explained gently.
"Why can't we just stay with Emily?"
"As much as I would love that, you have parents who love you and they want you, Lo."
"How can they love me? They didn't even know about me until a week ago."
"Because I loved you when I was pregnant with you." Carly stated. "I carried you inside of me for seven months, and then I went into labor and they told me you were gone. I loved you that whole time, even if I never got to see you."
"Why didn't you try and find me?" Logan asked angrily. "You should have looked for me."
"I would have if I knew there was any chance you could have been alive. They switched you with another baby and I looked at him and I saw how cold he was and I thought he was my son. I know that you're angry with the situation and you're scared, but I'm not going to hurt you."
"We're not going to hurt you." Sonny corrected. "Besides, Colton is your little brother and you've done a great job keeping him safe so far. The two of you will get to stay together."
"But Cat won't be with us." Logan looked at the girl he had considered a sister for as long as he could remember. She was his best friend, the only person who knew all of his thoughts and fears.
"You can see each other whenever you want." Robin promised.
"It's not enough. You don't understand. What would you do if you were suddenly ripped away from everyone you care about?" Caterina wondered. "I wanna stay in my foster home with Logan and Colton."
"Colton won't be staying anywhere." Claudia said as she stood, surprising everyone. "He's too young to remember any of this, and I won't have him living some crazy life. I may not have known that he was my son before, but I do now, and I'm not going to let anything happen to him. He's coming home with me, no matter what either of you decide to do."
"You can't just steal him away from us!" Logan argued.
"I wouldn't be if you would go live with your biological parents. Then, you both could see him and each other any time you want to. If you don't, then you're on the foster parents' schedule and they will not be concerned with this, trust me."
The adults watched Caterina and Logan look at each other. It was clear that they had realized they would be separated.
Caterina wrapped her arms tightly around Logan. "Lo…"
"It's alright, Cat. You're always gonna be my sister, okay? I'll always be here for you, even if we're living in different homes. You can always talk to me."
Caterina nodded her head. She pulled back from Logan and passed Colton to him. She turned and went to Robin. "So you're my mom, right?"
"Right. I'm Robin." She gestured to the man next to her. "This is my husband, Patrick."
"Who is my dad?"
Robin bit her lip. "Your dad's name was Stone Cates. He died fifteen years ago. He never even knew I was pregnant with you. Let me tell you something, okay? Colton and Logan's father is Sonny. He's always been like an older brother to me, and I consider him my family. Even if it's not by blood, those boys are still your family."
Caterina nodded her head. "Okay."
Emily walked over to them with five month old Brennan in her arms. Patrick looked down at the little boy that he now knew was his son. He studied his tiny little face to see if he had any of his features.
"Would you like to hold him?"
Patrick nodded his head, so Emily gave him to him. "He's beautiful."
"Yes, he is. He's very calm too, not much of a temper. He loves to smile." Emily ran a hand over his light brown hair. "I don't really know where we go from here. You're a nice guy, Patrick, but it's so weird that you're the father of my child."
"I agree with you. We'll just figure it out one day at a time. He can live with you; you know him a lot better than I do. But I want to see him."
"You can whenever you want." Emily promised. She turned to Robin. "As long as you promise that I can see Miss Caterina here."
"Of course." Robin assured her.
Caterina went into Emily's arms. "I wish I could stay with you."
"Trust me, Cat, you're going home with some great people. I've known Robin since I was a teenager and she's amazing. Plus, you've got a little sister at home named Emma who you'll need to play with and teach to do stuff."
"You have a daughter named Emma?" Caterina asked Robin.
"Yeah. She's three and she loves princesses and games. You'll meet her later today."
Emily looked at Patrick. "Would you like to take Brennan for tonight?"
"Yeah. I've spent plenty of nights with him. You deserve to have him too."
Trisha stepped forward. "We've got a few outfits that were donated, a pack of diapers and wipes, and a car seat that you can take with you. I can help you bring them to your car if you would like."
Patrick nodded his head in agreement. "Are you ready to go?" he asked Robin.
She looked to Caterina. "Do you want to go see your new home?"
The fourteen-year-old looked around the room one last time. She made eye contact with Logan, who smiled at her. She nodded her head. "Yeah, let's go." Trisha led Robin, Patrick, Caterina, and Brennan from the room.
Emily went over and sat on the other side of the room next to Rebecca. Her twin sister didn't have any biological children (at least out of the ones they had found on the boat), so she was alone. Emily already missed her baby, but she trusted Patrick and Robin and she knew they would take care of him. It was a bad situation and she wasn't going to let Brennan suffer because of it.
"You okay?" Rebecca wondered.
"Yeah, I'm alright. I know he's safe."
"What is our plan now?" they both looked up as Claudia approached them with Colton in her arms. "I'm not giving up my son."
"You don't have to give him up." Emily reassured her. "But you are going to have to share him."
"Amelia…" Emily stopped herself. "I'm sorry. Claudia, this is going to be rough. We are going to have to get along with these people and share our kids."
"It's easy for you to say. You knew Patrick. I don't remember ever knowing Sonny."
"You were married to him."
"It started off as a business relationship." The three women looked over as Sonny came to them. "We were only married to try and keep our families from starting a war over territory. But real feelings developed. We found out you were pregnant and a month later, you disappeared. I was sent pictures of your body and told that you and the baby were dead."
"I'm sorry." Claudia said, mainly because she didn't know what else to say. "I don't know what to say."
"I don't know what to say either. I have no idea how to raise a baby that I thought was dead with my wife who doesn't remember me, or how to try and take care of a sixteen-year-old with my ex-wife. I don't know what the right balance is here or how to act. But I do know that I'm not giving up on you or our son."
"I'm not going to lose him."
"I'm not going to take him away." Sonny promised. "But I would like to get to know him."
"Claudia, Sonny is a good person. He has plenty of flaws, but don't we all? He is Colton's father." Emily tried to persuade her.
Claudia took a deep breath and then passed her little boy over to the stranger standing in front of her who she was allegedly married to. She was going to have to trust him a little bit in order to make this work.
Across the room, Sam wasn't sure what her first move should be. She apparently had three new children that she had never known and she wasn't sure which one would be the best to approach.
She saw that Lila and Dominic were sitting on the floor together and playing with their toys. She knew they had been raised together, so at least they knew each other and got along. She went over and knelt down next to them.
"Hey guys. What are you playing?"
"Truck race." Dominic informed her. He had a small version of a semi-truck in his hand, while Lila was holding a little Hot Wheels car.
"That's really cool. Could I play with you?"
"Uh-huh." Dominic handed her a little toy tractor. He looked at her for a few seconds. "Are you my mama?"
"Yes, I am."
"And Lila's Mama?"
"Yes, and Scarlett's."
He frowned. "Who's Scarlett?"
"She's over there." Sam pointed to the area of the room where the little girl sat all on her own.
"Becca said I have to go live with you. Can Becca come too?"
Sam looked across the room to where the woman who gave birth to her son was sitting. "Becca is going to be figuring out her own life now while we figure out ours. But you'll still get to see her all the time."
Dominic looked upset. "That's what they said about Maggie."
"Race, Dom!" Lila shouted.
Sam turned her attention to the beautiful little girl in front of her. She couldn't believe that her daughter had survived and that she was Jason's.
"Hi, Lila." She greeted.
The two-year-old looked up and smiled. "Hi."
"Hey Dominic, you know I'm your mama, right?" he nodded his head. "You also have a Daddy. His name is Lucky and he's very excited to meet you." She ushered over the man.
"Is he Lila's Daddy too?"
"No, Lila has a different Daddy, but he really wants to meet her too." She looked at Jason, who got the message and came over. "Dominic, this is Lucky."
Sam saw Lucky start to tear up. He had been through a lot in the past couple of days, so she knew he needed this. He needed to know that there was at least one child who was undoubtedly his.
"Hi Dominic." Lucky said as he sat down.
The little boy grinned. "Hi, Daddy."
Sam's own heart melted as she felt herself fall in love with the little boy. He seemed sweet; she knew he had definitely gotten that from his father.
"Hey Lila, this is Jason. He's your daddy. He's always going to love you and protect you and play with you."
Lila stood up and brought her car over to Jason. She put it in his hand and then grabbed a car of her own. She started rolling hers across the floor and Jason followed her lead.
Sam knew that the two children were okay for now. She stood up and went to Johnny. "Ready to meet our girl?"
"Yeah." She could tell her nervous he was, so she walked ahead of him. The two of them sat down across from the child.
"Hi Scarlett. I'm your Mama, and this is your Daddy."
"No." she protested.
"I know that you're scared, but we're not going to hurt you, okay? We just want to take care of you."
"Do you like to play with toys? We'll buy you lots of toys and take you to the park and play games." Johnny attempted. Sam didn't want to have to bribe her to get her to open up to them, but if it was their only chance, then they would have to accept that.
Vanessa walked over to them. "Scarlett has not been responsive to efforts to get her to play with other children or talk to anyone. When we put the children in foster care, we tried to keep them with the groups they were raised with. Since Scarlett and Ellie were both alone, we put them together and their foster family said Ellie tried many times to get her to play, but Scarlett refused. You're going to have a long road ahead of you with her."
"We've got plenty of time to figure her out." Sam told the social worker.
"Hi Logan, I'm Carly." The blonde introduced. She studied the young boy in front of her and couldn't believe that he was actually standing there.
"Sonny is married to Claudia, right? What about you?"
"I have a husband named Jax, but he's in Paris right now for work."
"Am I going to live with you or Sonny?"
"You'll live with me and go back and forth, like your brothers do."
"Brothers?" Logan asked curiously.
"Yeah, Sonny and I have two boys together already. Michael is almost 19, and Morgan is 14. Jax and I have an almost one-year-old daughter, Josslyn, and then Sonny has a daughter named Kristina, who is 18."
"Big family." Logan commented.
"It is, but it's nice. I think you'll like having a big family. You'll still be able to see all the rest of the kids too, whenever you want. I know you didn't know them all, but they're still your family too because of what you all went through."
Logan nodded his head. He scanned the room and his eyes landed on one little girl in the corner. "Where are her parents?"
Carly recognized the child as Ellie, the little girl belonging to Elizabeth and Jax. Since Jax was out of town and Elizabeth was nowhere to be found, she didn't know who would take her.
"Come on." Carly led Logan over to her. "Hi, Ellie. I'm Carly and this is Logan."
"Hi." Ellie smiled and Carly could tell instantly that she had Jax's smile. It was the same happy little smile that Josslyn gave her every day.
Vanessa came over. "Ellie's parents didn't show up, so she'll go back to her foster home."
"No, I'll take her."
"I'm sorry, but I can't allow that."
"She's my stepdaughter. Jasper Jacks is my husband, and we have a daughter together. Doesn't she deserve to be raised with her sister?"
Vanessa sighed. "I need to talk to Mr. Jacks."
"I'll give you his phone number." Carly recited it and Vanessa dialed. She listened as the woman spoke to him. Logan and Ellie talked as Ellie showed him the dolls she was holding.
"Alright, you're good to take her. Just sign this paperwork."
Carly wrote her signature in all of the places that needed it and then turned to the kids. "Are the two of you ready to go?"
"Yes!" Ellie cheered. "Carly, will I get a room?"
"Of course you will. You'll both have your own rooms. I've got a few things for you right now, but tomorrow, we'll go shopping and get other stuff that you want, okay?"
"Okay." Logan agreed. Though he didn't know Ellie well, it made him feel better to be going to a strange house with another one of Helena's Children. He just hoped that life with Carly and Sonny as his parents would be way better than being around Helena and Viktor.