Carly showed Eliana around the villa proudly. There were stunning views of the sun and sand and ocean on all sides of the spacious house. A formal dining room, and cozy breakfast nook, Carly showed her the four bedroom suites. The ivory suite was hers and Sonny's. The one next door was the gold suite, which is where Michael and Leticia stayed. On the opposite side of the house were the other two suites, the rose and the jade.
"Don't worry about me and Michael; you can have as much or as little privacy as you need." Carly explained as she opened the door to the rose suite and flung them wide.
Eliana smiled with delight. A table by the luxurious bed held a vase filled with Amazon roses. Their rich heady scent filled the room, mingling with the crisp ocean air.
"I remembered you saying these were your favorites. They're a welcome gift from me and Sonny." Carly said. "You'll have a fresh bouquet of them every day you are here."
"Thank you, Carly, they're magnificent."
Carly smiled to see the pleasure on Eliana's face. She watched as the other woman crossed the room and took one heavy, deep pink blossom, breathing in its deep sweet scent, then turned to look around the room in delight.
The room was spacious and airy. A high poster bed with sheer curtains, luxurious cushioned settees and a verandah facing the ocean. There was room for a few lushly upholstered settees and divans A few body size body cushions were piled in one corner. Carly showed her the view. One wall held double French doors. Carly pointed out that the two suites shared the balcony. A slope of beach spread out to the ocean below, and you could hear, very clearly, the roar of the waves. Eliana stood in the center of the room, looking around in delight. "This entire place is magnificent."
"Jason usually stays in the jade suite next door, when he's here." Carly said mischievously. She watched to see Eliana's reaction; and grinned to see her smile in spite of her best efforts. "Too bad that he had business to take care of back in PC."
"I'm sure he's glad of being free from babysitting me." Eliana said unconvincingly.
Wanna bet, sweetheart? Carly thought. She didn't say anything aloud, but a plan began percolating in the back of her head.
Eliana played with Carly and Michael on the beach for a short time. That afternoon, after lunch, she took a long walk along the beach. She tried to apologize to Carly for being poor company, but the other woman shrugged it off, understanding her need for solitude. "Whatever floats your boat, hon." Carly has said. "Do whatever it is you need to do. And quit trying to apologize, okay?"
Later that evening, Eliana watched the beautiful sunset and the rising of the first star of the night. And knew she wished that Jason was here with her.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Carly said as she came up behind her. She sat down and set a bottle of wine between them and handed her one of the two glasses of wine she'd brought.
"Absolutely. I'm in love with this place already. How's Michael?" Eliana asked, taking the glass Carly handed her.
"Out like a light already. All this ocean sea and air puts him right to sleep. He didn't even last through his bedtime story." Carly smiled, remembering how he looked asleep, tousled and half-tanned already, in his bed. When Michael was happy, she was happy. All she needed was Sonny here to make her joy complete.
Carly was content, for once, to just sit and listen to the ocean's soft roar. She glanced over at Eliana, to see her doing the same. In a friendly, peaceful silence, they sipped at their drinks and watched the stars as they sparked into being, diamante splinters of light against the darkening velvet of the night sky. It was nice, having a female friend. She hadn't had one since Carly Roberts back in Florida. Or especially since coming to Port Charles. But this was different. Eliana was a woman she would never have to worry about competing with, never have to worry about being betrayed by, or being hurt by her. She was Sonny's sister. She was family.
"Out here, all your problems seem so far away…" Eliana said, her voice quiet against the sighing of the ocean waves. She continued to gaze out at the dark waves crashing and foaming in against the shore. "I can forget about everything bad and just concentrate on the good things in my life."
"I know what you mean. It's something about the sound of the sea and the air here is so clean, it seems to clear your mind, puts everything in its place." Eliana smiled at her, encouraging her to continue. "You know, we didn't fall in love like ordinary couples do. What we felt at first, was probably closer to hate. We didn't like each other, we didn't trust each other. Worst of all, we didn't trust our own hearts."
Carly sighed. "We wasted so much time to realize how right we were for each other. But now, I love him with everything that is in me, with everything that I am."
Eliana watched Carly as she spoke. She could see the truth of her words in her face. If ever a woman loved a man, it was what Carly felt for Sonny. Eliana almost felt a sense of wonder as she felt the emotion pour out of her brother's wife. The fact that Carly could speak of him like this, told her more about him than anything that anyone else could tell her. Carly saw into the core of him. No matter what else he was, he was this..the man that Carly loved.
"And now, I can't imagine my life without him." Carly finished up. She turned to Eliana. Surprised at her own eloquence, she grinned a little self-consciously. "Have you ever felt that way about somebody?"
"Not yet." Eliana answered with a small smile. "But it sounds like you and Sonny have found the real thing."
"It is. Before Sonny, I was always fighting to get what I wanted. Always planning, always scheming. I didn't know any other way. I always wondered what it would be like to just stop..and trust someone. But until I met Sonny, I didn't know what that could be like. And for all the fighting that we do, there's a peace in it…like we're in the eye of the storm. It may rage all around us, but in the center..there's the calm…"
Being here made her think of Sonny. Carly missed him so much; it felt strange to be here without him. Everywhere she looked, she saw him, she couldn't help it. The longer she sat here, the more her memories recalled all her past times here. She could see Sonny's eyes sparkling, as he teased her in the casino, then that same intense gaze as they darkened with desire just before he kissed her, the look in eyes as he made love to her the last time, right here, on this beach. Carly stood up suddenly. "I gotta make a phone call, " she said to Eliana.
"Okay," Eliana smiled as Carly all but ran back to the house. Eliana smiled again as she recalled Carly's words. The way she looked when she spoke about Sonny and their love…she couldn't help but wonder if that what she felt for Jason was the same…was it too soon? She didn't know, all she knew was that that was her head talking, her heart had already answered for her. She turned her gaze back to the waves rolling onto the beach. This beach was an incredibly romantic place; Carly and Sonny probably had a lot of memories here. Just the little time she'd spent here had helped her heal. She spent the next little while alone by the ocean's edge, watching the endless waves, feeling the ocean's ebb and flow wash away the last vestiges of the pain Sorel had inflicted upon her. Like Jason, the sound of living water eased her soul somehow. Gave her peace, somehow.
She knew that there would always be a place deep down where the effects and the memories of the attack would never go away. But she could feel the scab healing over that wound. Acknowledging that did a lot to bring her back to herself. She was ready to be with Jason. In all ways.
Sorel, you lose.
The clock was ticking. Everything was in place. All Sonny could do now is wait. The phone rang.
"Yeah." He barked into the receiver.
"And hi honey, I miss you too." Carly said sarcastically.
Sonny felt himself smile just at the sound of her voice. "Hey babe."
"Hey, yourself. When am I going to see you down here? Everywhere I look everything I see, reminds me of you - of us." She also tried to talk him into bringing Jason with him. "The both of you could use the R&R, you know I'm right. Admit it, Corinthos."
"Carly, what is Jason going to do down there while you and I, well, you know, you and I are enjoying ourselves?"
"Sonny, in case you didn't notice, Eliana is here as well. She's a beautiful woman and Jason is not a blind man."
There was silence on the other end of the line.
"This is the last time I am going to interfere in Jason's life." Carly said.
"Why do I find this so hard to believe?" His words were half-scolding, half-amused.
"Sonny, seriously. I've seen the two of them together. There's something there; I know it. They just need a little help."
"I don't doubt it, but shouldn't you stay out of it? On top of everything else, now I got a matchmaker for a wife?" There was the briefest of pauses before he spoke again. "Carly, can you really let him go?"
The question didn't surprise her.
"Yes, Sonny, I can. It's time. It's way past time. I love Jason. I will always love Jason. And now, I can love him enough so that I can want him to be happy. The way that I could never make him. I think she can."
"I promise nothing, but if I can make it, I will. About Jason, that's his decision."
"Carlybabes says she can live with that. But she's not gonna be happy if you're a no-show."
""I'm working on it. After all, I wouldn't want to disappoint my Carlybabes."
"See that you don't."
Sonny and Jason were in the penthouse when the call they'd been waiting for finally came.
The phone rang and Sonny answered it, speaking briefly. He looked at Jason.
"Bingo." Sonny says.
They made their way to the docks, where a group of their men waited for them. Two of his men were restraining Sorel, while two others stood by if more help will be necessary. One of Sorel's own soldiers had turned him in, tricking Sorel into meeting him here with a promise of a boat and escape. He stood by, waiting for Sonny's arrival.
"Mr. Corinthos." He said respectfully as Sonny and Jason strode onto the pier.
"Mr. Smith." Sonny said, going along with the subterfuge. He removed a thick manila envelope from his inside coat pocket and handed it to the man. "Thank you for your services."
As the man bowed his head in acknowledgement, Sonny beckoned him closer. "Mitchell's family. You'll look out for them?"
"With my life. His wife is my sister." The man answered, his voice breaking just the tiniest fraction. "I introduced them. Gave her away at her wedding."
"Traitor!" Sorel hissed as 'Smith' accepted the packet.
"You have to have loyalty first, before you can have betrayal. You never had my loyalty. That was dead in the water the night you murdered our boss Moreno. You didn't know it, but I was there. Morgan only wounded him. You pulled the trigger that took his life." Smith said coldly. He nodded to Sonny and Jason, turned on his heel and walked away.
"Well, there's a piece of information the Council would be very interested in having." Sonny said to Sorel. He turned back to his men. "Jackie, see that Mr. Smith makes it out of Port Charles safely." Sonny said. One of the men followed Smith.
"So, is that his final reward? A bullet in the back of the head. I wish I could see it." Sorel said.
Sonny shook his head. "No no, Sorel, I intend to make sure he actually makes it safely out of town. Service rendered, service paid. I believe in payback."
"Like this." Sonny stepped forward until the two men were face to face. "This is for my sister." He said, his voice deceptively quiet, just before he backhanded Sorel with all his strength. He slapped him insultingly two more times, snapping Sorel's head first to one side, then the other.
"Don't hold back, Corinthos. Tell me what you really think." Sorel lifted his head and spat defiantly on the ground. His bloody spittle landed dangerously near Sonny's feet. He jerked free of his captors for a moment. Carefully, he wiped his split and bleeding lip, then somehow managed a vicious grin. "You want to slap me because I'm not man enough for you? Ask your baby sister if I was or wasn't man enough for her. It doesn't matter what you think, 'cause I got you, man. I got you where you live. You can do whatever you want - the fact remains that your little game is over. I had your sister. She got what she deserved, just like you're gonna get what you deserve. And I gave it to her."
It was Deke's voice that echoed in Sonny's head. He could hear him shouting at him and his mother all over again. "…she got what she deserved, just like you're gonna get what you deserve…what you deserve… what you deserve…
This time he was going to protect her. That bastard would never hurt her again…Sonny lunged forward, his hands going to his enemy's throat. He crushed his hands around his neck, sank his fingers into flesh, wanting to rip and tear and grind it into pulp. Like a python's merciless grip, his hands constricted around his victim's flesh.
Jason watched as Sonny's face changed, going flat and lifeless. He stared at Sorel like he was staring at some lower form of life. Then he was lunging at him. Alarm bells went off when Sonny showed no signs of releasing his death grip on Sorel's throat. Sorel's eyes began to bulge from his head.
"Sonny." his voice was low, but still tense. Jason repeated himself; Sonny made no indication that he had even heard him. His eyes blazed. Now Sorel's color started to change and small, strangling sounds came from his throat.
Sonny continued to squeeze.
Jason moved to Sonny's side, his voice low and urgent. "Sonny, you can't do this, man. This isn't part of the plan." He kept repeating himself, hoping to break through to wherever Sonny was. He couldn't let him destroy himself this way. Killing Sorel wasn't a problem, but there were witnesses here. He couldn't let Sonny do this with his bare hands with others there to see. "Sonny. Sonny."
Sonny blinked. His eyes refocused and met Sorel's, holding them, relishing the terror he saw at last. Sonny flung his hands away from his throat, watching impassively as Sorel slumped to his knees, gasping for air.
Jason was looking at him, eyes filled with concern. Sonny shot him a quick glance, nodding almost imperceptibly, and Jason breathed easier. He was back in control.
"Let's get this over with." Sorel gasped, fully expecting a bullet of his own.
"You heard the man." Sonny said. The little smile he had on his face chilled Sorel more than anything.
Sorel was surprised when the men drag him back to the nearest lamppost and begin tying him to it with heavy rope. They wound it around him until he was trussed like a turkey at Thanksgiving time.
"What is this, Corinthos?" he demanded. "Some kind of sick joke?"
"You'll get the punch line in a minute, Sorel. Hold on." Sonny nodded to one of his men. "Do it."
His man made a call. "PCPD? I'd like to report that Joseph Sorel is down at the 16th street docks, pier thirty-two. If you hurry you can catch him." There was a pause. "That's right, pier thirty-two." He chuckled. "Just call me a concerned citizen and let's just leave it at that."
"Why you dirty, S.O.B…." Sorel got out, before one of Sonny's men shoved a gag in his mouth.
"I'd love to be here when the boys in blue catch up with you, but you can't have everything. Catch ya later, Sorel." Sonny said with a feral smile. "Have a nice weekend."
Walking away, he says to Jason. "Let's take a trip. I feel like celebrating."