Chapter 74

"Ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low..." Tommy sung the words to one his favorite songs softly to himself as he walked briskly down the quiet hallway. He'd been helping Keesha move out of her General Hospital office all morning and he had one stop to make before they started the truck and headed out.

He knocked on the door with his gloved covered hand. The glove made the sound barely audible and he quickly removed it from his hand. He was about to raise his hand to knock again when the door suddenly opened. A huge smile covered his face as he said, "Hi."

"Hi, yourself," Gina replied as she returned his smile. She placed a finger to her lips to silence him before he could speak again and she pulled the door behind her. She linked her arm through his and led him away from Gail's office. "She has a patient in there who doesn't really like it when others are around."

"Oh," Tommy said, nodding his head. "I can understand that. Those sessions are bad enough sometimes without someone listening in."

"Yeah, that's true," Gina said slowly. "There's a staff lounge on this floor. Want to go there?"

"Sure, but I can't stay long."

Gina nodded and they were silent as they moved down the hallway. Gina stole a glance or two at her quiet companion as they neared the lounge. He looked good today, but then again, he always did, she thought. She wondered if he realized how attractive he was and how females gravitated towards him. He had an innocence about him that didn't disappear when he wore a pair of faded Levis and a gray t-shirt which emphasized his massive chest and ever-increasing biceps. The pain from his past sometimes clouded his emerald green eyes and made those around him want to hug it all away, Gina included, even when she was frustrated with him. As she linked her ivory fingers between his caramel colored ones, she felt proud to call him her friend and so very lucky that he was so much more.

The room was empty and before the door could fully close behind them, Gina was in Tommy's arms. He laced his fingers together and rested them at the small of her back. Her hands rested on his strong back and she was in the process of pulling him closer when he said, "Careful. I don't want to get you dirty."

"Who cares about a little dirt? I want a kiss!" Gina said with bright smile. She stood on tiptoe and brushed her lips against his. She sighed softly when his lips parted and his tongue darted out lightly to trace the outline of her lower lip. Since their first kiss in his bedroom a few weeks ago, they had come a long way in being relaxed with a physical relationship. Their kisses only recently progressed to a deeper level and both were very pleased with the progression.

Gina's hands trailed down his back to rest in his back pockets. She gave him a gentle squeeze which caused him to laugh and break the kiss. "Gina!" he said with a blush.

"What?" she asked, knowing he was still a little too shy to answer. She took his hand and led him to the table. They sat, facing each other and holding hands. "Are you almost done with Keesha's office?"

"I am done. I came up to let you know. We're heading over as soon as I leave you."

"So, you've been here all morning and you didn't stop by. Is that what you're telling me?" she asked with playful frown.

"Yep! That's exactly what I'm telling you, woman!" he said. He laughed as her eyes widened in surprise at his choice in words.

"Methinks you've been around Sly and Jordan too much," she said, poking him in his ribs.

He laughed again and took her hand before she could poke him again. He kissed her fingertips and then placed her hand back down on the table where he covered it with his own. "So, you have my tux, right?"

"Not yet. I'm picking it up after work. What are we doing? Should I drop it off at your place or...?"

"Or. I'll change at your place, if that's okay?"

"It's fine. Is Simone going with us?"

"Nope. She's going with Mrs. Jensen. In fact, she's at her house now, helping with Dawn's surprise. She wouldn't tell me what the surprise is, though," he finished sadly, puppy dog eyes and a small pout.

"Save it, sweetie. I've been sworn to secrecy," she said, grinning at his antics.

"Come on, Gina," he said, lightly running his fingers over hers. "One little hint won't hurt. I won't tell Nikolas."

Gina looked down at their hands and wanted to give in, but she couldn't. She wouldn't be swayed by his touch. No matter how wonderful it felt. "Sorry, but no can do."

"Aw," he said. With a shrug, he said, "Well, I tried."

Gina laughed and said, "You certainly did. are you driving the truck or...?"

"No, I'm not driving. I hate driving. Keesha is. That reminds me. She told me to tell you that she's sorry that she didn't stop by, but she'll see you at the party tonight. And on that, I have to go," he said, rising to stand.

"Okay," Gina said, standing up, too. "I'll see you later then."

"Aren't you going back to the office?"

"Nah, I'm hanging out in here for a while. Have fun moving on your day off from school," she said, grinning.

"Yeah, yeah." He lowered his head to hers and gave her brief, but sweet kiss. Then he left her, longing for more.


"He's gonna be great."

"Yeah, but he's not you," Sonny replied, his eyes on the door which the object of their conversation had just gone through.

Jason smiled at his mentor and best friend. He gave him a pat on the back as he rose from the sofa. He began to look around his former home as he spoke. "No, he's not, but that's probably a good thing. He's been around longer and the men respect him. And, that's more important than whether or not he's me."

"Oh, is it?" Sonny asked with a small chuckle. He shook his head in admiration as he looked at Jason. "I can't get over how you've changed. Keesha must be some kind of woman. Look at you. All relaxed and happy. Hell, you're even smiling."

"She's an amazing woman. I still don't quite understand how I forgot about her...about us. I'm just glad that I remembered, and I'm eternally grateful that she took me back."

"Yeah, and I'm happy for you, too. So, how's the new career coming? The house coming along, okay? Need me to put the squeeze on anybody? You know, speed things along?"

"Nah, Sonny, we're fine," Jason said with a laugh. "Everything is running according to schedule. The move for us is tomorrow and the house will be opened for kids in two weeks. We have a few more inspections to pass and we're clear. The Ward House* will be up and running again."

"I'm sure Keesha is pleased with that," Sonny said softly, choosing his words carefully.

"She is," Jason said, defensively. "Look, I know what you're getting at, but I'm not doing it just to please to her. In fact, she didn't even ask me to do it. I'm doing it because I want to. There's a lot of needy people out there and if I can help a few, I will. Rescuing those people from that awful hell they were in opened my eyes to a few things. The world isn't a happy place and if I can..."

"If you can what? Please, go on," Sonny said, his dark eyes transfixed on Jason's animated face. "I was just about to write a check on behalf of your campaign because Congressman Morgan-Quartermaine, you definitely have my vote."

Jason shook his head, "Alright, I'm off my soapbox now. Sorry 'bout that. It's just that the thought of helping those who need it feels good. The need to be a doctor is gone, but the desire to help isn't. It's just a part of me that won't go away, I guess."

Sonny nodded. He understood his friend completely. There were some things, like Destiny, that a person just couldn't run away from. He was glad to see that Jason was embracing what refused to let him go, but he couldn't help but wonder how he would 'embrace' his next tidbit of information.

"Speaking of things that won't go away... A bit of correspondence from Ferncliff was delivered here for you today. I didn't open it. It's there on the table," he said, pointing towards the stack of mail on the desk.

Jason visibly stiffened and prepared himself for the lecture and whatever information the envelope contained. He picked up the letter which was addressed to "Mr. Jason Morgan" and held it in his hands. He then directed his piercing blue eyes to Sonny's equally piercing black ones. "Say it. You know you want to."

"I have nothing to say," Sonny said with a shrug as he moved to the mini-bar and poured himself a shot of bourbon.

"Except?" Jason asked, not convinced by Sonny's nonchalance.

"She's coming out soon. You asked me to, and my men are working on her release. Have you thought of what happens when she's released? She and Keesha aren't the best of buds, and man, you gotta admit that the blonde has a thing for you."

"She knows I'm involved," Jason said, turning the envelope over in his hands.

"With Keesha?" Sonny asked and when Jason merely looked at him, he had his answer. "She thinks you're still with Robin?! Oh, please, invite me over when you tell her. Hell, when you tell both of them. I love Robin. She's like a sister to me, but she was never a match for Carly. But Keesha... My friend, I would *not* want to be you the day the $hit hits the fan."

Jason rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest as he watched Sonny laugh at his expense. "It won't be *that* bad."

"Oh, no?! Jason, my boy, it will be *that* bad and worse. Carly is a loose cannon. The things you've told me about her... Drugging A.J., switching sonogram charts, *attempting* to run the docks with that call for strike... She will not take Keesha as the new woman in your life very lightly, and when she learns how Keesha's been taking care of her son instead of Letiticia..." The rest of Sonny's speech was lost as he began to shake with laughter. He set his untouched glass of bourbon on the bar and plopped down on the sofa.

"She may be a little upset at first, but it's not anything I can't handle. I've taken care of her and I always will. She knows that. Also-"

"You mean you *took* care of Carly. Past tense. C'mon, Jase. Man, you've gotta know that Keesha will not stand for your taking care of the Lazy One. What are you thinking about?" Sonny asked.

"I'm thinking that Michael's too young to have his life disrupted. Keesha will understand that. She may be headstrong, opinionated and tough as nails, but she has a huge heart, too. She and I will find a way to deal with Carly. Together."

"Mm...well, you sound like you have good intentions, but you know what they say..."

"They pave the road to hell?" Jason asked, humorlessly.


[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm not too sure what the deal is with the Ward House, so for storyline purposes after Damien set the fire, it was never rebuilt...until now. ] Chapter 75

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