CHAPTER FORTY EIGHT
Act Three / Case Closed
After Zander's testimony, the trial went pretty much in the direction that
Sonny had thought it would. Sorel's defense really didn't have much of one.
Sonny had seen to that. The D.A.'s office had enough evidence, thanks to what
he had made available to them to seal Sorel's fate. Sonny was there for the
final curtain call.
He was satisfied with a seat in the back of the courtroom. Sonny didn't want
to call undue attention to himself. Benny had made an attempt at dissuading
him from appearing at all. But this was something that Sonny had to see with
his own eyes.
The courtroom was filling up when the side doors that let the accused into
the court itself began to part. Smiling softly, Sonny was on his feet, the
milling crowd instantly parting for him as he moved to the front. That smile
moved even the most obstinate voyeur in the crowd to make way for him because
it in no way reached his eyes. He positioned himself directly behind the
The doors opened and Sorel was brought in. His usual cockiness had been
ground out of him by the reality of a presumed guilty verdict. It was written
all over his face. Despite his carefully tailored court suit, it was obvious.
From the shuffle in his walk, burdened with shackles, to the new grey in his
hair to the deepened lines on his face. Sorel was a defeated man.
Sonny's smile was a cold one.
As his eyes fell upon his chief enemy, Sorel straightened. His eyes burned as
he glared at Sonny.
Sonny leaned forward. "Just wanted to see you off. You do know this is the
end, don't you?"
"It ain't over 'til it's over, Corinthos." Sorel snarled. "Don't count me out
"Counting is exactly what I'm getting at. I wouldn't count on too much more
cooperation from your lawyer. As soon as he finds out that you can't pay his
fee, he'll be hasta la vista, baby."
"What're you talking about?" Sorel demanded. "You don't know nothing.'"
"I know something. I know that your cash reserves are almost bottomed out. I
know this, because while you've been busy being otherwise occupied." Sonny
gestured around the court room. "I've been a little busy too. Your drug
empire. Gone. And the jackals you called your loyal followers are ripping
themselves to shreds for the remains."
Before Sorel can react, the bailiff is calling the court to order. Sonny
smiles at him a final time and slips into a seat.
Eliana slips into the courtroom and takes the seat next to him. She and Sonny
exchange a glance. Sonny coughs loudly, and Sorel turns his head to look at
him. With his eyes, Sonny gestures towards Eliana. Sorel looks to her, and
she returns his gaze without flinching. Never have the two of them looked
"All rise." The judge enters.
They take their seats and then after a little speech. pronounces sentence,
which is an automatic death penalty.
"There is no need for a separate date for sentencing. This is a heinous crime
perpetrated on a servant of the people. Detective Wilson was a valued member
of the law enforcement community and his presence will be sorely missed.
"The audacity shown by the deliberate and premeditated murder of a servant of
the law shows the utter disregard and contempt that the defendant has for the
rules and laws of our society. It is with a great sense of justice that I now
"The killing of a police officer in the line of duty carries with it an
automatic death sentence. Therefore, Joseph Sorel is sentenced to death by
lethal injection. The date of your execution shall be determined at a later
date, to be no more than six months from this day. May God have mercy on your
No expression crossed either one of their faces, but Sonny reached out and
squeezed Eliana's hand. She squeezed it back. Hard.
Sorel, pale and silent, is led away in handcuffs. Soon after, the room
To avoid the media frenzy, the police didn't try to return Joseph Sorel to
the county lockup for an hour after the verdict had been rendered. They'd
shuffled him off to one of the small nondescript offices. Now that the horde
of reporters had left the courthouse to file their story, they brought him
back through the courtroom while they arranged his transport.
The ignominy struck him. Him, Joseph Sorel, in a garish orange prison garb,
shackled at the wrists and the ankles, being led by two guards back into the
courtroom where his life had been examined and cast away. He'd lost
everything. His lawyers had mumbled their apologies. It was true then. They'd
go through the motions, of course, but the truth of it was, there was no
appeal from his sentence.
The guards handled him roughly as they escorted him to the defense table.
"Take care." Sorel snapped. "Do you know who I am?"
"We know who you were." One of them sneered. "It doesn't impress us much. Who
you were." The words seem a grim foreshadowing of his fate.
"Yeah - cop-killers ain't got much pull with us." The second one said.
They forced him to sit and manacled him to the railing. "Now you sit right
there like a good boy. We have to go see about your ride to County." The
first guard leaves.
"Lucky you." the second guard informed him. "They won't be taking you up to
the big house for another week or so. So we get the pleasure of your company
for a few more days. Gives you a chance to say goodbye to good old Port
He refused to rise to their baiting. He turned his head away instead. The
silence in the empty courtroom pressed down on him suffocatingly.
Sorel watched the guard as he looked at the clock on the wall and then back
at him. Something was going on here, he could feel it. Was it a hit about to
go down? He'd made plenty of enemies over the years besides Sonny Corinthos.
Maybe someone wasn't satisfied to wait for the state to take him out.
The guard looked at the clock again, then turned and walked back through the
doorway they had come. Sorel tugged at his cuffs, knowing the futility of the
gesture. At the sound of a door opening, his heart thundered in his chest and
Sorel snapped his head around.
" 'Mene mene tekel upharsin' " Sonny said as he entered the courtroom. "You
have been weighed on the scales and been found wanting…"
"Quoting scripture now, Corinthos?" Sorel said weakly. He fell silent as
Sonny held the door and Eliana Salazar came in behind him. The two of them
come to face him. She took a seat, never taking her eyes off of him, while
Sonny remained standing before him, emphasizing the difference in their
"Just wanted a little time to say goodbye, Sorel." Sonny leaned on the
banister separating then. His tone was relaxed, but his eyes were on Sorel.
They held him like a hooded cobra regarding his prey. "I wonder if you can
appreciate the irony of all this. You made your existence dependent on
illegal drugs, and it's going to be legal ones that take you out.
"Did you ever stop and think about all the people who died because of the
poison you peddled?" Sonny continued. "How they died, in pain and agony? And
here you are, getting a nice little drug cocktail that will put you to sleep,
in a nice quiet way. It doesn't seem fair, does it? Well, I want to let you
in on a little secret. Lethal injection isn't what it's all cracked up to be.
Do you know that there's a percentage of people who don't get put to sleep by
the first injection? You know, the one that's supposed to knock you out. I've
done some research on the matter, having taken a personal interest lately.
And the data says that some people live right through the first two
injections. Of course, they're paralyzed, and so no one realizes until too
late, that they were awake and aware through the entire event." He smiled as
Sorel's face went decidedly pale.
"This could have all been avoided. But you got greedy. You wanted what wasn't
yours to have." Sonny's eyes flicked to his sister and back. His tone
"You made it personal. So when they strap you down to that gurney, I want you
to remember me. As they plug you into the IV and your heart begins to race in
panic as your mind realizes your life is counting down to its last few
minutes of existence, I want you to remember me. When you feel the drugs
sizzle into your bloodstream, feeling the invasion of a foreign substance
boil through your veins, carrying their deadly flood of toxins, I want you to
"When your heart begins its last struggle to fight against the drugs that
will still its beating, and your body starts to die as the poison sears
through every particle of your being, your vision fading to black from lack
of oxygen, let your last thoughts be of me, the man who sent you to hell."
Sonny leaned down until the two men were face to face. "And remember, you
made this personal."
"You'll never forget me, will you, Eliana?" Sorel said loudly. He'd be damned
if he let Corinthos see how much his words has shaken him.
Eliana stood. "Soon you'll be nothing more than a memory. I'll find it very
easy to forget you then."
They left him then.
Sonny walked through the park to the playground, his heart lighter than it
had been for a long time. Sorel only got what he deserved. He'd keep the
guards up for awhile, but for the most part, this particular danger had been
dealt with. Sorel's organization was in a shambles and the jackals that
remained were scrabbling among themselves for what was left.
He turned a curve in the path and there they were. Carly and Michael. Max and
a second guard hovering unobtrusively in the background. She was just about
to help him onto the swings when she looked up and saw him. Sonny smiled with
all of his being as she bent down to whisper in Michael's ear and point at
his direction. As Michael turned and saw him, his face lit up with a smile
that brightened Sonny's soul, and then the little boy was running towards him
calling his name excitedly. Sonny squatted down and held out his arms,
laughing as Michael barreled into them, Carly following him.
They both laughed as Sonny stood up and swung him into the air. By this time,
Carly had joined them; Sonny leaned down and brushed his lips over Carly's in
a soft caress. She smiled up at him.
"Hey." She said.
"Hey yourself." Sonny answered.
"Is it over?" Carly asked.
Sonny nodded. "Guilty. With a one way ticket. Sorel will never bother us
"What about Eliana?"
"She wanted to be alone for awhile. She said to tell you she'd meet you back
at the office."
Carly relaxed in his embrace. For this moment, at least, they were all safe.
She smiled at him as Sonny used his free hand to caress a errant strand of
hair from her face. His fingers lingered against her cheek.
"Isn't this just a touching scene? The mob boss, my ex-wife, and my son."
They turned to see AJ standing there.
"I'm Sonny's wife, now AJ. And Michael is my son. And we're happier than
we've ever been…" Carly started forward angrily. Sonny stopped her with a
hand on her arm. He handed Michael over to her.
"Don't do this, Carly." Sonny said quietly. "Don't let Michael have this
Carly took Michael into her arms and hugged him tightly, moving back towards
the swings while Sonny crossed the space between them and AJ.
"What are you doing here?" he said to AJ. "I've told you to stay away from
Carly and Michael."
"You don't own the park, Corinthos." AJ answered roughly. "I can still walk
where I want to."
"Can you even walk, AJ? I could smell the liquor on you ten paces away."
"Do I care what you think, Corinthos? All I want is to see my son. He doesn't
even know I'm his father - because of you and Carly and Jason." AJ snarled.
"I'm a stranger to my own son."
"I'm a stranger to my own son, too, AJ." Sonny reminded him, his voice soft
and cold and still.
AJ flushed. "That was an accident."
"I'm not going to discuss this with you AJ. Stay away from Michael. Stay away
from Carly. And definitely…stay away from me." Mindful of Michael and Carly's
presence, he didn't trust himself to say anything else. Sonny turned and