A/N: Here's the second of ten one shots that will potentially be up for continuation at a later date. Enjoy!
A One Shot
FNF#36: Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for? ~ Robert Browning
He had been watching her all night, and he was pretty sure, among other things, that she was new to town. It wasn't the fact that she seemed uninformed about her new home but, rather, the fact that she was almost too informed. If someone was originally from Port Charles or, at least, had lived there for several years, they knew things by experience, but they certainly didn't know everything, and the woman he had kept within his sight line all night did. While his boss might have been too flattered and too turned on to realize the truth, he had remained objective, and it was obvious to Jason Morgan that the beautiful brunette had done her research. Now, it was his turn. However, he had a sneaking suspicion he would be going about such a chore in a far different manner than his target had.
It was by sheer luck… or perhaps bad luck… that he had even been made aware of the stranger in the first place. After accompanying Sonny to the Grille, practically escorting his paranoid boss to the restaurant, despite the fact that such a tedious chore was not a part of his job description, he had been cornered by Edward, his denied, biological grandfather. The old, pompous fool had ranted on for several minutes, long enough to both annoy the enforcer and allow him to catch a glimpse of the woman who had so rapidly approached his boss. While ignoring the Quartermaine patriarch, he had watched the brunette make an obviously favorable impression with his employer. Immediately, his own plans for the evening changed.
The fact that Sonny so easily decided to keep female company that evening didn't surprise him. It was well known to both those in their world and to those on the outside of it that Sonny Corinthos was, if nothing else, a lothario. The Cuban oozed charm, and women seemed to fall at his feet. He wined and dined them, took them out dancing, and lavished expensive gifts upon his particular suitor of the week. But he also lost interest quickly. Whether this was because he was afraid to let anyone get close, his suspicious nature rearing its ugly head once again, or simply a case of a wandering eye, Jason didn't know, and, quite frankly, he didn't care. As long as Sonny didn't allow his conquests to interfere in business, as far as he was concerned, the mob boss could sleep with the entire female population of New York… if he hadn't already.
However, the problem was that the women did interfere with business. They distracted his partner, made him both forgetful and complacent, and that was just one of his business flaws. Sonny was also jealous, headstrong, and impulsive, three traits that did not serve a crime lord well. It often left Jason in the lurch, dangerously holding together the fraying ends of their organization, and he was getting sick and tired of cleaning up his employer's messes. With just a single glance at Sonny's apparent intended target of the night, though he wasn't sure who had made that decision – the mobster or the moll, it was obvious the brunette could and, in all likelihood, would end up being even more trouble that he would have to take care of and clean up after.
Already in his three years of experience with Sonny Corinthos there had been unwanted pregnancies, blackmail cases, and even a couple murders involving his boss' conquests that he had been told to 'take care of.' And he had done so, not to please the Cuban but so that the business could continue to run smoothly. After everything he had already accomplished, he wasn't going to let anyone, not even Sonny, throw away all his hard work for a good fuck. Plus, there were the other men in the business to consider, too. They deserved as much stability and job security as they could be provided with, and, if Sonny wasn't going to provide that for them, then Jason would. With his thoughts leading him in that direction, the hitman found himself contemplating an idea just six months prior he would have found ridiculous, impossible, downright disloyal, but now…
Sonny's date for the evening was unlike any other woman the Cuban had ever been with. While physically she was attractive, just all like all of Sonny's women, there seemed to be more to the brunette than just a pretty face. She was attentive, but she didn't overly fawn upon the mobster. She was graceful but not coquettishly so. She was intelligent enough to have a thought provoking, adult conversation, but she didn't dominate the discussion; she knew how to introduce her comments at the appropriate times so that the talk could flow. And her laughter… As forged as her chance meeting with the mob boss was, her mirth was genuine. In fact, if the blonde would close his eyes for a moment and forget the reason for why he was hiding behind a potted palm to spy on his employer and his employer's date, he could see the woman as someone who was real, someone who could drink beer and play pool with the best of them, someone who would enjoy motorcycle rides and traveling to unknown places.
He also noticed that she didn't give in to Sonny's advances either. While she would allow his boss to escort her out of the restaurant, his hand situated softly on the small of her back, she would lean away when the kingpin attempted to kiss her, and she would twist out of his reach when the Cuban attempted to lower his hand to the firm roundness of her backside. That intrigued Jason. For a woman who so obviously found, trapped, and then proceeded to seduce her target, the brunette wouldn't allow Sonny the pleasures of her company before she went in for the kill, and the enforcer found himself wondering if maybe she didn't want a one night stand with his employer, if she was after something else.
So, he followed them. Without Sonny realizing his duplicity, he tailed the couple. When they finished their dinner at the Grille, he went after them when they decided to go for an after-dinner drink at the hotel's bar. From there, they went dancing, and, again, Jason trailed them. Finally, the stranger declined an invitation back to Harbor View Towers with his boss, so he watched as Sonny dropped her off at the steps of a Brownstone apartment complex, kissed her cheek, and then rode off into the darkness of the night.
Secretly, it made the hitman smirk that his employer had gone through all the trouble of courting the pretty young woman only to be shut down with no more than an embrace befitting a brother and sister or a pair of long time, platonic friends. If he knew Sonny at all, and Jason did, he knew that the crime lord was pissed off, fuming, and ready to take his anger out on someone else. He was pretty sure that his boss would ring up an expensive escort service and request one of his regulars for the rest of the evening, taking out his sexual frustration on a call girl, and that served the blonde's purposes perfectly. With his employer otherwise occupied, he'd be free to continue following and observing the other man's self-respecting date, and he had to admit, even if only to himself, that he wasn't all together surprised when the woman waited until the taillights of Sonny's limo faded before she stepped down from the building's stoop and proceeded to walk down the sidewalk.
Eventually, she ended up several blocks away and plopped down on a barstool at Luke's. While it wasn't one of Jason's usual haunts, for he preferred Jake's, it could have been worse, too, and Claude wouldn't say a word to him as he hunkered down in a discrete corner and observed his mark. After ordering a drink, a non-alcoholic one, the hitman took note of, he watched as she contentedly sipped from the frothy concoction, making idle, friendly conversation with the bartender and those who came up around her to order their own drinks.
It was as though she was unwinding after a long day's work, relaxing and releasing the stress of the evening with a personal, quiet moment in an otherwise rowdy club. He saw her foot tap rhythmically to the beat of the continual blues pumping through the colorful bar, and, occasionally, her head would bob with the bass as well. All in all, she reminded him of his younger sister, and, with that realization, Jason also realized just how young the stranger was.
There was no way she was a day over twenty-five, and chances were that she was several years younger. In fact, he found himself wondering if it was her age that actually prevented her from ordering an alcoholic drink and not out of a desire to not become inebriated. After all, she definitely looked like a light weight… and totally and completely innocent, too, for that matter. While it both appalled and pissed him off, he was pretty sure it was that virtuousness that had attracted Sonny to the beautiful brunette in the first place. She was so unlike all the other women the mobster had been with in the past that she was no doubt a great temptation for the older man.
But the point still remained that older he was, quite a bit so, in fact, and Jason knew that his employer had no business going out with a girl that was, in all likelihood, half his age. He himself was no saint. Hell, he had been harboring inappropriate thoughts about the woman all evening, but he couldn't help himself. She was hot, and he was definitely attracted to her, but that did not mean that he would act upon that attraction. No, instead, the hitman stuck with woman who had similar natures to his own – older woman, if not by age at least by experience, women who had been around the block, so to speak, a few times and who would not be hurt by his one night stand rules, women who were looking for nothing more than he was willing to offer.
He was just about to call it a night when he noticed the stranger stand and prepare to leave herself. As she went to pay, his eyes bulged when he realized that she withdrew his boss' wallet. Even from across the wide expanse of the club that separated them, there was no mistaking the one of a kind, expensive, Italian leather wallet. He had seen Sonny handle it too many times to forget its intricate stitching and detailed metal work.
Smirking to himself, Jason waited until the brunette left the club before following her again, a plan firmly taking root in his mind. Without so much as tipping Sonny off or even catching his own attention, she had managed to pick the most dangerous man in Port Charles' pocket, stealing from one of the most powerful crime bosses on the east coast. To say that the enforcer was impressed would be a grievous understatement. To say that he wasn't intrigued by the pretty thief would have been an outright fib. And to say that her devious ways didn't turn him on even more would have been the lie of the century.
She hailed a cab outside of the blues club, and, to keep any unwanted suspicion or detection off of himself, Jason copied her actions and hailed one of his own. After both yellow cars dropped their occupants off on the docks, just steps away from Banister's Wharf, he watched as the brunette let herself into a rundown, decrepit warehouse that he knew now offered cheap, studio apartments to struggling college students and other young residents of Port Charles. It only took him a few moments to follow her inside, take the steep, concrete steps to the third floor, and then knock on the stranger's door. She opened it seconds later, appearing before him still dressed in her date finery. The only change Jason noticed was that she had let her hair down. It was thick and slightly curly, and he liked it much better free and wild, swirling around her shoulders. Why that should matter to him, though, he wasn't sure.
Without waiting for invitation, he pushed himself into her home and quickly noticed that she was, along with being a petty criminal, an artist. Grudgingly, he smirked. It was odd, sometimes, how, under the strangest of circumstances, one of the Quartermaine's voices would pop into his head. Perhaps it was because he had just been talking to his grandfather earlier that evening or maybe he hadn't been able to separate himself entirely from the suffocating clan, but, whatever the reason, he found himself hearing Edward's voice taunt that the two occupations – thievery and painting – went hand in hand.
The brunette, standing with her hands haughtily arranged on her curvaceous hips, demanded information, jarring him out of the ridiculous wandering of his traitorous mind. "Who the hell do you think you are, barging into my home like this?"
"You live here?"
"No," she replied sarcastically, shooting imaginary daggers in his direction. "I just pretend to."
"Well, earlier this evening, you pretended to live at a Brownstone on Madison Avenue, so the thought definitely crossed my mind."
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he watched as the brunette visibly tensed, became wary, and backed up several paces until she was standing against the door of her own studio as if she might flee at any moment. "What do you want?"
He ignored her question. "I also saw you pay for a non-alcoholic drink at Luke's with money you found inside of a wallet you stole from my boss, Sonny Corinthos. Is any of this ringing any bells for you, Miss…?"
Snapping back at him, she asked, "do you really think I'm that stupid to just give you my name." The question was obviously rhetorical, so he remained silent. "For now, you can call me Polly. You know, like the toys little girls play with, Polly Pockets."
"No, I don't, but that's immaterial."
"That still doesn't answer my question, Mr. Morgan." Without censure, he found his own eyebrows shoot up in surprise. His earlier assumptions had been correct; she had done her research, so her query just moments before as to who he was had been a front, one that he had fallen for hook, line, and sinker. The girl was good, perhaps too good but not if she was working with him instead of against him. Enunciating carefully, the brunette reiterated. "What. Do. You. Want?"
"I want you," he found himself answering without delay. The stranger – Polly's – eyes bulged in astonishment, and her mouth fell open to form a distressed 'O.' However, she didn't seem scared just amazed and slightly startled. Jason stored that information away for later use and examination. Clarifying his announcement, he continued. "I want you to help me take down Sonny Corinthos; I want you to help me make him think that he's losing his mind."
"And if I don't consent to your proposal?"
To answer her question, he just smirked, because, quite frankly, no matter how spirited the brunette might be, she had no choice; she was going to help him. Polly was in his pocket now… whether she liked it or not. Pun intended.