There are certain things, which are so embedded in the human psyche that even the worst of events cannot destroy. Things like the smell of a loved one's favored perfume or cologne…the gentle touch of a trusting infant's head upon one's shoulder…the taste of home-made vanilla ice cream on a hot summer's day. Little things, simple things, that are often forgotten until one small moment in time. A moment were the sensations all come back at once, enveloping the mind and bringing with it everything that was first associated with the smell…the touch…the taste…
For Simone, the moment of remembrance was not a pleasant one. The spicy, yet airy scent, filled her nostrils… The touch of those familiar, demanding, insistent strong hands were everywhere: on her hips, her back and in her hair… The taste of his kiss quickly moved inside her, repelling her…
The final sensation—his taste—was the most powerful. It was impossible to ignore, and in that instant of total remembrance, it all came close to overwhelming her. She came very close—too close—to allowing the returned memories to control her…to compel her to draw back in revulsion, degradation and fear. But at the last moment, when she would have pulled away from his aroma, his body and his embrace, a stronger impulse took over. Her will, the will that tore her away from the light and brought her spirit back to her still body so many months before, that will compelled her to be still. To not react. To recognize that for the first time, she had the upper hand where Juan Valdez, or Giovanni Montega if you were blind enough to believe it, was concerned. And that this time, she would finally be the one in control.
She was floating. No, she was flying. Like an angel. High and light and free. And, everything was so beautiful. The colors and the feelings, and there he was. And, he loved her. This time she was certain of it. She didn't have to question and wonder who he saw when he looked at her. She knew. Lucky's sapphire blue eyes truly saw Heather Elizabeth Webber…the artist, the hellion, the free spirit, and the woman she was to become. And, she was happy. Far happier than she had ever been in her life. Her full, rose-colored lips puckered in anticipation of his kiss, and what a wonderful kiss it would be…
"We know, already," Tommy said, quietly as he cut Sonny off in mid-sentence, "you're doing all the talking. Just hurry up and do it already."
Sonny looked at Gina for her response, and she gave him a nod. He strode away from them and headed towards the glass doors of the hotel. He moved like a man with a purpose and not one to be reckoned with. Gina and Tommy followed at a slower pace. They took their time, but they both radiated the same attitude. They had a reason to be there, and they would not be deterred.
Gina and Tommy found the lobby as busy and rushed as the streets and sidewalks had been. Standing a few feet away from Sonny, they appeared to be just another couple out on the town. But if anyone took a closer look at them, he (or she) would have clearly seen the tense way they held themselves, the wariness in their eyes and the thin veneer of calmness, which just barely held it all together for them. These things were not obvious to the partygoers or to anyone who was not interested--who was not a good observer. But, if a person who was prone to making observations, who thrived on them, was to see them, well, maybe their 'calm' demeanor wouldn't be so easily believed.
"Are you okay?" Gina asked softly. Her back was to Sonny and whoever he was speaking with and her eyes were glued to the quiet young man in front of her. "Tommy?"
Tommy glanced from Sonny to look at Gina. He wanted to reassure her that he had the same amount of faith as she had and he knew that they would reach both Lizabeth and his mother in time, but he couldn't. He wasn't so sure. He had a strong feeling that something was off. He'd felt it earlier in Port Charles and now it had become huge, squeezing his heart and making him scared. He hadn't told Gina about the feeling. He was afraid to. He was afraid that by voicing it, he would make it real so he kept the nagging suspicion to himself and to her, he said, "I'm here."
The two little words spoke volumes to Gina. "But, Tommy-"
"He got it," Tommy said, drowning out Gina's words. He took her hand and they crossed the larger foyer to join Sonny in front of the elevators. His eyes stared at Sonny in gratitude. "How did you do it? They just gave you the key?"
"Nobody ever just gives you anything and especially not in this town," Sonny said with a small laugh. "I gave him a little something for his trouble and he gave me what I needed."
One of the elevator's doors opened and the trio stepped aside to give the passengers room to exit. Once the area was clear, they moved inside, quickly pressing the 'close door' button upon their entrance. When the car began to make its ascent to the thirtieth floor, Tommy asked, "How much did you give him?"
"Enough," was Sonny's response. His tone was soft, but firm. Tommy's mouth opened to protest, but the glint in Sonny's dark eyes told him that his protests would fall on deaf ears. In response, the teenager simply said,
Sonny's smile and shrug was his only response. The remainder of the ride was done in silence. Each person was consumed with thoughts of what they would find in Suite 3033 and with the hope that they had arrived in time.
After what had seemed like an eternity for them, the elevator car reached its destination. The doors opened for them and without any hesitation, they exited the car. Keeping their paces just a little shy of a jog, they reached the suite. Sonny slid the small key card inside the slot. As soon as the green light appeared and the small click sounded, they were inside the room. None of them had considered what Simone, Lizzie or John's reaction would be upon their unexpected arrival because at that moment, they didn't care.
"Mama!" Tommy called out as he swept past Sonny and stormed into the room.
"Simone!" Gina called, following him. "Lizzie!"
As they called out, Sonny looked around the room. The dead silence spoke to him. The suite was empty. The words were just about to be uttered when Gina called out to them from the other room. "Get in here quick!"
Sonny was closer to the bedroom and he entered as soon as Gina called out. Tommy was fast on his heels and Sonny moved aside to let him in. The younger man whispered, "Lizabeth!" before he rushed over to the bed.
Elizabeth's skin was pale. Unintelligible words came from her lips as her body writhed on the bed. Tommy rushed to her and gathered her into his arms. "Lizabeth! Wake up!"
"She's out," Sonny said, moving to sit beside Gina on the bed. He took reached for Lizzie's wrist and found her pulse. "It's faint. I'd say she was drugged."
"How can you know that?" Gina asked, not wanting to believe it, but feeling that it was true. The way Lizzie looked when she first entered the room had startled her and she had called out before she had taken a moment to think about it. "Maybe she's sick."
"You don't believe that anymore than we do," Tommy said softly. He brushed aside the damp, dark brown curls, which rested on his cousin's forehead. "Juan did this to her. My mother's not anywhere to be seen and that means only one thing. He has her and he…" His voice croaked and he swallowed hard in preparation to begin again. "She could be anywhere with him. How are we gonna find them?"
"We'll find them," Sonny said with genuine confidence. "But first, we need to get some help for Miss Webber."
"You're right," Gina murmured. She rose from the bed to go to the bedside telephone.
"No," Sonny said, stopping her. "Don't use their phone. My driver is still downstairs. Once we get your cousin downstairs, he can take care of her-"
"No!" Tommy said, his voice firm. "I'm not handing my cousin off to some stranger-"
"I'll go with them," Gina volunteered.
"I don't want you to go off with him either," Tommy said. His anticipation had him on edge. He wanted—NO, he needed all of his loved ones around him where he could see them, where he knew they were safe.
Sonny raised his hand to silence Gina and he spoke to his young worried friend. "My men will take care of both of them. They'll be safer with them than the police, I can assure you of that. Gina, do you have your cell phone?"
"Yeah," she nodded. "And, that's not all I have either." She placed her hand on Tommy's shoulder as she added, "I have my little friend with me, too. We'll be okay."
"You brought your blade?" he asked with a relieved and knowing smile.
"You know it," she told him.
"Okay," Tommy nodded. With Lizzie's listless form still in his arms, he rose from the bed. "Let's go."
As Tommy carried Lizzie from the room, Gina placed her hand on Sonny's arm to stop him. "I have a feeling that you know more than what you've said so far, and I'm holding on to the idea that by some miracle, you know where Simone is. You don't have to say anything, but listen to me, Sonny. He's just barely holding it together. She means everything to him, and I know that he will do whatever it takes to not lose her. Watch out for him. Juan has always hated him and would want nothing more than to see him dead. Don't let that happen."
"I won't," Sonny told her. He opened his mouth to add more, but changed his mind. He'd said the words, made the promise. He would honor it. It was as simple as that.
Go to Chapter 119, Part 2