Author's Note: [Written 11-30-11] I felt so disgusted when I was reminded of what day today was that Barb and I became bound and determined to fix-it! Hope everybody likes what I came up with!

The Truth

Part 1
Carly walked down the street with a sparkle in her eye and a bounce in her step. She felt free. As she strolled through the crisp winter air, she breathed deep wanting to remember every single detail of this night. It was a life-changing kind of night… you could feel it in the air, just like she could feel the coming snow. Carly paused at the corner considering what route to take. To the left is a straight shot to Harborview Towers and Jason's penthouse. To her right was the more winding route past Kelly's and their bench on the docks. She thought about going straight to his penthouse, but quickly decided against it. It just wasn't in her nature to do things the easy way. Besides, they were both creatures of the night and she might run into him her travels.

Grinning at her thoughts, she turned right and headed for Kelly's. It was late so Kelly's might be closed or closing, but it wasn't out of the realm of possibility for Jason to rush in for a last minute order of burger and fries, a cup of decaf, or a slice of pie for one of her spontaneous visits to his penthouse. Not at all surprisingly since it was November 30, 1999 and well on its way to being one of the coldest winters she had ever experienced. Then again, it was only her third winter. She snuggled into her coat and wished for her fur. After today, she wouldn't ever have to go without it again. Her mind refocused as she realized she'd reached her first stop. Smiling, she leaned against the window to check for Jason. What she saw stopped her heart.

Jason was dancing with her dead cousin Lucky's girlfriend. She just stared frozen as fear and pain poured out of her in waves. They stood so closed and danced slowly with their arms wrapped around each other so tightly. They even had their eyes closed.

"Maybe I've decided to take my chances."

Carly continued standing there staring as her world threatened to shatter, but she refused to move an inch as she silently begged him to open his eyes. To just look up and into her eyes and reassure her that everything really would be ok because he was still willing to take his chances.

A tickle on her cheek let her know that she had begun crying. She pulled away from the window and rushed desperately towards the docks and their bench. She reached in record time and collapsed. As she wrapped her arms around herself, she began rocking. She tried desperately to focuses on how close they were getting and how he kissed her and told her was ready to take his chances, but AJ's mocking voice kept trying to drown it out. She had never felt so cold. She was so afraid she would never feel warm again.

When she finally began to calm, she felt her body moving as if on autopilot. She searched her mind for a destination. Harborview Towers was the answer that came to her in a moment of clarity. When she found herself wondering why, it was Sonny's face that filled her mind, and she knew he would be the one who could give her the answers she needed. He could help her find the truth.

Jason opened his eyes wondering when he could end the dance without hurting Elizabeth's feelings. He frowned sudden as he recognized the feeling and began scanning the courtyard beyond Kelly's front windows. He began pulling away when he thought he caught sight of who he was looking for turning the corner. Before Elizabeth even noticed him pulling away, his phone rang distracting him from his search for Carly at the same moment. With the jarring ring, Jason felt his attention snapping back to reality and he remembered what he had to do and where he need to be and when. He made his excuses hand said good night to his sister's best friend. That's how he thought of her most of the time… or Lucky's girl. Thinking of Lucky her felt the guilt that had incited their friendship to flare.

"Morgan," Jason answered shutting out all distractions. "The limo is meeting me now. I'll be five minutes early… I'll take care of everything… of course. I trust you, sonny. I'll take care of it. OK. Later."

Some instinct kept causing him to look in the direction he thought he'd seen Carly go. He had to fight the urge to go after her and be sure. Part of him was almost positive it was her and could feel like his own heartbeat. His thoughts were broken by the sound of the limo's arrival. He began refocusing on the task at hand. He would just check on Carly after he'd briefed Sonny on tonight's meeting.

Carly's mind felt like a jumbled mess as she rode the elevator toward the penthouse level. She began the trip with an outward appearance of calm that unraveled more with each passing floor.

Could he have lied? she thought desperately. No. Jason would never lie—not to me! He wants us to be together. He wants to be with me!

She frantically tried to reassure herself of all they has survived to get to where they were.

"I'm ready to take my chances."His words repeated in her head for what felt like the millionth time as if it were some kind of mantra.

When the elevator doors opened, she was a wild-eyed mess. She nodded to Johnny and attempted a watery smile. He nodded and turned toward Jason's penthouse. But Carly shook her head vehemently.

"No," she gasped trying to bring herself back under some semblance of control. "No. I need to see Sonny."

"Please, Johnny," she added when she saw his hesitation unaware it was concern for her.

Sighing heavily, he nodded and turned back towards Sonny's penthouse.