Kissing Jason wasn't a test, not really, or at least not of him. Carly knows better than to doubt him now. But, she's not sure she can give him anything back. Not yet. So she tested herself and didn't fail. She refuses to think about anything after kissing though, choosing instead to focus on Michael for the day. It's a good plan, excellent if you consider how busy he can keep her when he has new toys and Letitia is off. But, he's too little to be awake all day. So when he falls asleep mid word, she puts him to bed and resigns herself to silence. Not thinking. It's too soon to think, and really there's nothing she wants to think about that won't hurt.
So, she turns to her design books for distraction. It's working out pretty well right up until the guard opens the door and announces, "There's a woman here to see you. Says her name is Marilyn and she has an appointment."
Carly frowns, "I don't think I know a Marilyn. Are you sure she's here for me?"
The guard pulls the door closed and Carly can hear the rumble of his voice, presumably asking questions. Finally the door pops open again, "She says she works at Wyndham's, something about measurements for new curtains?"
Carly shrugs, "I thought they had those on file. Oh well, let her in."
A vaguely familiar redhead steps into the room as the guard steps out again. Carly's trying to place when she rushes across the room with her hand out, "Sorry to bother you. We've had some problems with our file system, and I just want to be sure the measurements are correct. It won't take me long at all. I thought someone called you and set this up, but I guess not. I hope this isn't too inconvenient."
"It's fine." Carly gestured at the books on the coffee table, "I'm picking out some things right now anyway."
"You have such excellent taste." The woman bends forward to skim her fingers across one of the heavier swatches. "I'd suggest sheers under this one for the summer. Just to let some light in and maintain your privacy."
"That's a good idea. We love looking at the harbor, but it can be so bright in here." Carly replied absently, reaching for the books she added, "I'm still making up my mind about the rugs, but this is on my short list."
Marilyn touched Carly's hand and whispered, "I know what happened to Sonny Corinthos."
Carly jerked away, stumbling backwards, she fell into the side of the couch. Her first instinct was to run out of the room, or scream for the guard. But something in the other woman's eyes made her stop and ask, "What do you want?"
Marilyn smiled sadly, "To thank you. And to tell you how sorry I am that you got hurt."
"What?" Carly shook her head from side to side. In her waking nightmares sometimes she imagined being confronted about Sonny's death, but never by a woman she didn't know at all. Much less one who scared her, thanked her, and apologized. "Who...what is this?"
"I didn't mean to scare you." Marilyn said quietly, "I wasn't going to say anything, but then I was standing here, and I just couldn't lie to your face."
"Who are you? What do you want?" Carly wrapped her arms around her middle, hugging herself tightly, "Why are you here?"
"Because I was there that night. I heard you screaming." She looked at the floor, "Tommy told me to leave, and not to say anything."
Carly's brain starts running again at the name, it feels like the first thing in this bizarre moment that she can grasp, "Tommy, the guy on the door that night? You're what, his girlfriend?"
"Not exactly. He uh...we...my Dad borrowed money from Sonny and then he couldn't pay it back. He was going to pay him, but he got sick and Tommy came to collect." She raised her head, "I had this job, some savings, but not enough to pay him off. And my dad only took the loan because he was trying to save his business. Getting sick ate up everything he had. I told Tommy that we couldn't pay it all right away...he offered to take me instead of the money."
"Take you?" Carly's pretty sure she knows the answer but she asks anyway, "What does that mean?"
"He told me I could either work off my dad's debt at a place Sonny owned, or I could work it off with him." Marilyn scrubbed her hands across her face, "I didn't believe him at first, thought I could talk to Sonny. I didn't know him, but I knew about the AIDS ward and stuff, so I thought he'd help me."
"What did he say?" Carly's mouth feels like it's full of cotton, and she doesn't want to hear anything else about Sonny ever, but she can see Marilyn has to tell someone. And part of her already knows that whatever else Marilyn wants, it's not to harm Jason. The rage when the way she says Tommy and Sonny's names is oddly comforting on that front.
"He talked to Tommy first, I don't know about what exactly, but then he came into the room where I was waiting. He looked at me, and then Sonny told Tommy he could have me as long he bought my father's debt from him." Marilyn shuddered, "It was like I wasn't even in the room. I was just something to haggle over."
"I'm sorry that happened to you." her stomach is roiling, and there's a part of Carly that is always going to be scared, but now she's angrier than she's ever been in her life, "I had no idea this was happening. We had no idea about any of it."
"Sonny had everyone convinced he was some kind of hero. I thought that too until he told Tommy he could have me." A tear ran down her cheek, "I told Tommy I didn't care if he killed me, that I'd rather be dead than be with him. He told me that he'd hurt my dad in front of me until I changed my mind."
Marilyn sank to her knees, "I couldn't let him get hurt, so I told myself it wouldn't be so bad. But it was awful. Every time. I hated it, I hated them, and Tommy kept changing the deal. It was supposed to be a month at first, then it was six. By the time Sonny attacked you, Tommy had me at his beck and call for almost a year."
"Oh God." Carly raised a quivering hand to her mouth. The idea of touching Sonny once was nauseating enough, but to be forced to let him put his hands on her repeatedly is too much to contemplate "I can't imagine, how did you..."
"You get through it. There's nothing else to do, but get through it." Marilyn smiled bitterly, "Besides, after a while Tommy only wanted me so he could hurt me. It was a game to him, I was a game to him. I figured out that if I cried he wanted me more, but if I turned my face to the wall and didn't make a sound he'd hurt me for a while, but eventually he'd leave me alone."
"I'm sorry." The words are useless and Carly knows it, but she doesn't have any others so she says it again, "I'm so sorry that happened to you. But I didn't do anything. Not really."
Carly sat down on the floor opposite Marilyn, "I fought with Sonny, but I didn't stop him."
"I learned to turn myself off, but I didn't fight back. Not really. When Tommy made me come see him that night, I'd just about made up my mind to kill myself. But I'm free now. So is my dad." Marilyn leaned forward, "You saved us."
Carly stared as Marilyn continued, "Don't worry, I'm never going to tell anyone. I just wanted you to know that I'm grateful."
Carly replied hesitantly, "I really didn't do anything. If anyone saved you it wasn't me." She can't bring herself to say that Marilyn should thank Jason. It's too close to admitting that he killed Sonny, but she's determined not to take credit for ending this nightmare. "I was just the last person that got in the way."
Marilyn laughed then, a bright happy sound that sliced through the heavy weight of the secrets being unveiled in the room, "Because of you, because of what you did, I'm free. You don't see it that way, but I do."
Carly reached over to squeeze the other woman's hand and asked, "Do you need money? Is your dad still sick? Can I help you with anything?"
"No. You've done enough. My dad...he's dying. Not any time soon, but we know it's coming. I'm going to take off work for a while to be with him at the end." Marilyn covered Carly's hand with her own, "I just needed to look you in the face and thank you. I think you're the only person in town I can tell this story to, and I'm sorry to dump it all in your lap like this, but it really helped me."
"It helped me too." Carly's voice is steady, and she feels like she's really herself for the first time in days, "I'm glad he's dead. That they're both dead. We're probably the only people in town who will say that out loud."
"Maybe." Marilyn frowned, "I don't know, Tommy was always so cocky about it. And there were other women around some times. But they're all like me, all too scared to tell anyone anything."
Carly pressed her hands to her face, "It doesn't matter. They don't matter. I think..I think I needed to hear that Sonny deserved to die for more than what he did to me. That Tommy wasn't just the poor schmuck who happened to be on the door that night."
"Tommy was filth." Marilyn snapped, "He deserved whatever hell they put him through and more. I'm going to go measure your windows now, and then I'm going to get out of your hair."
"You don't have to rush." Carly smiled at her, "Would you like a cup of coffee? Or a really strong drink and some ice cream?"
"Could we make booze floats? Today feels like a good day for that." Marilyn got to her feet, "I mean it you know, if you ever need anything from me..."
"Take care of your dad. Take care of you." Carly ran her hand through her hair as she stood up, "Teach me how to make a float with booze?"