CHAPTER SIXTY TWO
Jason was disturbed. Something was wrong.. He’d broken protocol. When he took an assignment undercover, it meant no regular contact except with Sonny himself, and those contacts were far and few between. But he’d tried calling Eliana several times over the weeks he’d been gone. And something different was in her voice.
A sinking feeling filled him as he wondered if Eliana had discovered in his absence that she couldn't live with his lifestyle after all. That thought made him more determine to see her and get to the botttom of this. After he'd checked in with Sonny, face to face, he go to her and find out what was going on.
Jason walked past Sonny as he let him in. The rich smell of cooking wafted in from the kitchen.
"So, any news?" Sonny said.
Jason glanced up towards the stairs. "Is Carly here?"
"Yeah, but she’s upstairs giving Michael a bath and getting him ready for bed. We took him to the street carnival down on the waterfront. The poor kid’s all tired out."
"I bet he had a great time." Jason said. His smile faded as he turned the conversation to business.
"Just like we thought – none of the ground crew scheduled to be on duty that night are available. The two maintenance mechanics are on vacation to parts unknown, the chief mechanic took an early retirement and has departed to parts unknown. The same stories with his three workers. They’ve left the company’s employ and for right now, have decided to relocate." Jason had driven up to the airfield where Sonny’s jet had been serviced while he’d met with the Council. Just outside of town, he’d disabled his car, then called for a towing service. Deliberately, the part that needed replacement was one that would have to sent for, leaving Jason supposedly stranded for a few days. He spent them sniffing around the small town nearby and the airfield itself.
"So, no one is available to either confirm or deny whether there was sabotage to the jet." Sonny turned away for a moment, momentarily overcome with anger. He knew that this was a deliberate attempt at sabotage; no a deliberate attempt at his murder, but without any proof, he couldn’t bring any charges to lay before the council. That had been just as deliberate. "I can make some calls, spread the net a little further and see what we catch in it."
Carly looked down on her son. Michael was asleep practically the moment his head had hit the pillow. Well, no bedtime story tonight." She thought to herself as she closed Goodnight Moon. She leaned over and kissed Michael on his forehead softly, laid the book down on nightstand beside his bed and tiptoed out of the room.
That leaves me time for a quick shower. Carly smiled as she headed down to hallway to the master bedroom. And there was that new supply of honey dust that she’d bought from Victoria’s Secret today…. Sonny might think he was fixing them desert, but she had the real topping all ready for him. Surprise, surprise, Sonny. Carly laughed to herself. She looked around the room, searching for the smallish shopping bag. Darn….she must have left it downstairs. She didn’t want Sonny to see it until she was ready. He was busy cooking, maybe she could sneak downstairs and get it before he even got a chance to notice.
She started down the stairs, pausing on the upper level as she heard voices. Someone was here with Sonny. That usually meant business. Please don’t let Sonny have to go out tonight… she thought to herself… A second later and Carly relaxed, recognizing Jason’s voice. But she hesitated, curbing her first instinct to go flying downstairs to welcome Jason home. But she didn’t want to interrupt them if they were talking "business."
"Gotta check on things in the kitchen." Sonny said, sniffing the air. "I burn something, and Carly will never let me hear the end of it."
Carly grinned. No, she wouldn’t. But she’d let him have this little secret…for now.
While Sonny was in the kitchen, Jason decided to call Eliana. Since he’d arrived back in Port Charles, earlier that evening, there’d been one thing after the other taking his time and attention. Eliana hadn’t known that he’d be back tonight…he hadn’t known himself until maybe an hour before he’d left. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed.
Dead air. Damn, he swore softly to himself. It was dead…it wasn’t surprising that it needed a charge. Shoving it back in his jacket pocket, he called out to Sonny that he was using the phone. "I’m calling Eliana."
"Did you miss her?" Sonny’s voice was teasing.
"I figured she might have missed me." Jason shot back.
"That’s my sister you’re talking about." Sonny said in an almost threatening tone, then laughed. "Go ahead, man, call her."
Jason missed Eliana. How sweet…Carly couldn’t resist. She just had to hear this. She tiptoed back upstairs and hurried back into the bedroom, closing the door quietly behind her. Maybe she’d send the honey dust over with Jason as a present for the both of them. She laughed at the thought of the look on Jason’s face if she gave it to him. He’d sure as hell thank her later though. Okay maybe he wouldn’t…but if he didn’t, Eliana sure would. She’d called in sick the last few days, but more than likely she was feeling a little down because Jason had been out of town.
Carly smiled as she sat on the side of the bed and pressed the speakerphone button. After she knew their plan for the evening, maybe she’d call Eliana a little later and suggest a little more time off was in order. And she could talk to Sonny, and arrange a trip to the island for just the two of them, after all, didn’t Jason deserve some R&R after his trip?…the beginnings of a plan began to take shape in her mind and she smiled. But it faded from her lips as she heard them. Jason, she expected him to be, well a little cool. That was just his way. But Eliana, something was definitely different in her voice.
"I still have some things that need to be taken care of," Jason was saying. "but if you didn’t mind and it wasn’t too late, I could come by to see you… you know, after…"
Instead of the happy banter Carly expected, there was an awkward, long drawn out pause…Then Eliana spoke. "I don’t know Jason…maybe it’s not the greatest idea."
She got the feeling that this was not a conversation she should be listening to. Carly quietly clicked the speakerphone off and sat on the bed, puzzled. Maybe they had had a little tiff before Jason had left town. That would explain why Eliana hadn’t been herself lately. All they needed was some time together. She had an idea.
"I wouldn’t stay long…" This time the pause was from Jason. "I just wanted to say hello."
"Actually, it’s kind of really late now, Jason. If I had had some sort of warning…. It’s...it’s just that it was a killer day at work today, all week actually, and I brought home a lot more home with me. I’ve been at it all evening…and…and I’m just really worn out."
"Eliana, what’s wrong? Do we need to talk?" He was aware that he had basically dropped out of sight, but he’d thought that Eliana would have understood. She knew what the life was like.
"Talk? Yes, maybe that would be a good idea…Later…later would be good. I’ll call you as soon as I get time." The phone clicked. "That’s an business call that I’ve been waiting for…I’ve got to go, Jason. I might be busy, but I’ll call you if I have the time and we can get together later tonight. We do need to talk."
Okay, Eliana. I miss…" Before Jason could finish his sentence, she was gone. He was speaking the words to nothing more than a dial tone.
Carly came back downstairs just as Jason was getting off the phone. She pretended she didn’t know who he’d called and hugged him to welcome him back and quickly excused herself into the kitchen quickly and started searching the cabinets.
"What are you doing, Carly?" Sonny asked as she dragged out a picnic hamper. Next she began spooning up what was supposed to be hers and Sonny’s dinner into containers.
"It’s for Jason and Eliana. I was just thinking that a nice hot meal is exactly what the two of them need."
"Need? Is this another one of your plans?" Sonny asked. "you know that your plans never work out the way you plan them."
"Sonny, what could possibly go wrong with this? It’s not a plan...not really. I’m just fixing up a meal for Jason to take over to Eliana’s for the two of them to enjoy."
"Uh huh...sounds like a plan to me. But a harmless one." Sonny grinned. "I spoke to Eliana this morning and told her that I expected Jason in sometime tonight, but this will be an extra nice surprise for them."
"Thank you. She’s been a little down lately, in case you hadn’t noticed."
"I did notice; that’s why I called her as soon as I had heard from Jason."
Carly said…"Great, now all I need are a bottle of good wine, some scented candles… that should do it." She rushed back into the living room, just in time to see Jason heading out the door.
"Jason.. – wait!" Carly caught up to him in the hallway and pushed the picnic basket into his hands.
"What is this?"
"Oh, you’ve never seen a picnic basket before?" Carly asked sarcastically. "Do I have to explain to you what it’s for, too? Or who?"
"Why are you trying to plan a romantic dinner for us, Carly?" Jason asked. "We can make our own plans…Eliana told me she’d had a lot of overtime, but we’d be together tonight. She wants to talk… or maybe you already know that. Leave us to our own dinners, Carly. And no breakfast deliveries either." Jason was about to laugh, until he saw the change in Carly’s expression.
"What is it?"
"Jase…Overtime? Eliana hasn’t been in the office for the past two days. And I got a phone call this afternoon, saying that she had to fly out to New York tonight. Something about her gallery connections… I’m not sure I understood what it was about."
"Did she say what time she was leaving?"
Carly was suddenly apprehensive at the look that had crept into Jason’s eyes… What was wrong? What had she said….then she realized that Jason had had no idea of Eliana’s plans. She couldn’t tell him that she’d been listening to their phone conversation, and she’d just assumed that Eliana would have told him that she was catching a flight out of Port Charles tonight..
"I…I’m not sure… I just know that she’s leaving tonight."
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