THE
RIPPLE
EFFECT

Chapter Four

"The doctors say that youíre going to be fine," Sonny told Jason who lay quietly, recuperating from surgery. Sonnyís tone was calm. Too calm. He strolled to the window and looked out briefly, then returned to the bedside. "The kid is okay, too. Fortunately, heís not your worry anymore, since youíre going to have a lot more problems now."

"Iím aware of that," Jason admitted. "Dr. Jones is considering filing lawsuits against me, though I hope that we can work something out."

"Itís not Tony Jones that you should be worrying about."

"Look, Sonny. I know that Moreno is still bent on causing trouble, but we can handle that."

"You got it wrong, Jason." Sonny sighed deeply. "So wrong! Your problem is with me. Yeah, me. You lied to me, Jason. Lied. You lied to me. Now, I donít care if you lied to Robin, whom you jerked around for that bitch Carly, Robin, who is worth an infinite number of Carlys, but when you started lying to me, all for that little kid, you crossed the line.

Jason looked at Sonny who was well and truly angry. "You stole a kid, Jason. A kid. An innocent kid whom you made a pawn in your world. Then, when Dr. Jones took the kid, not that I blame him now, knowing the truth, you hurt his hand, and got him shot by that nutty bitch. Guys in our profession have got to take care of doctors Ė we make use of them often enough.

"But that isnít all. You put our organization at risk because you had to take care of that kid, a kid who should have been safe with his real dad. Now, no matter what you think of Dr. Jones, until he met that Carly tramp, he was a decent man. A good man. He helped Stone. He helped Robin. He helped lots of people. Yeah, he was a little on the self-righteous side, and his brother is WSB, but aside from that, he was okay.

"But Carly runs to you, Carly, who leaves misery and pain in her wake, Carly who lies to anybody who will listen, Carly who didnít even know the fatherís name for certain, and begs for help, and you fall all over yourself to do it."

"Sonny, I did what I thought was the right thing to do."

"Baby-stealing is the right thing to do? Are you nuts?"

"I was just trying to make sure that Carly had a chance to raise her own kid."

"Jason, you knew what she was, so why did you do it? Why risk everything?"

"Sonny, I promised her that Iíd do it."

"Why?"

Jason paused and then admitted, "Maybe because she didnít treat me like I was damaged goods, like I was not the old Jason. Hell, she never knew Jason Quartermaine, so she couldnít compare us."

"So you put everything at risk because somebody that nobody respects respected you? And you threw away the best thing that ever happened to you because of that? You lied to Robin because of Carly and her baby?"

"Robin betrayed me."

"Not until after you betrayed her by lying to her time and time again. She was right when she told me that Carly would screw you over, Jason."

"Sonny, can we talk about this later?"

Just then, a nurse entered, "Excuse me, but youíll have to leave. Mr. Morgan needs his rest."

Sonny gave a disgusted look at the nurse who stared back. "Okay, but give me one more minute with Mr. Morgan. Alone."

Seconds later, alone in the room with Jason, Sonny told him. "Jason, itís over. I gave you something that I valued, something that I thought you valued. Your priorities are screwed and because of that, Iím taking it back. Your stuff will be moved out of the penthouseóand placed in storage. You will have no protection from me or mine. Do you understand?"

Jason stared at the cold, bleak eyes of a man he had once emulated, a man whose friendship he had once held dear. Those dark eyes now held nothing but unforgiving contempt. "I wonít betray you."

"You already have."

"I wonít tell the police or Moreno anything."

"You lied to me before, Jason. You know the old saying, ĎFool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.í No, Jason. Itís over."

"Are you going to eliminate me?"

"What would you do?" Sonny asked, heading to the door of the room.


"Monica?" Bobbie asked, seeing her friend in the lounge. "How is Lila?"

"None of your damned business," Monica answered. "And my son, AJ, is dead, thank you very much."

"Monica, Iím so sorry."

"But not sorry enough to refrain from involving him and my other son in a lie that resulted in this nightmare. AJ is dead, Jason has been shot, and will probably wind up in jail for kidnapping, Lila has had a heart attack, as has Edward, Emily is under sedation and will probably have to have more therapy, Alan is with his father and an AA counselor is standing by. Our family is in a horrible situation because of you and your trampy daughter. But then, I should have known that the apple doesnít fall too far from the tree, does it? You didnít know who her father was, either."

"Monica, thatís not fair."

"Fair? You want to talk to me about fair? Is AJ being dead Ďfairí?"

Bobbie blinked, taken aback at Monicaís tirade. "Please, Monica, Weíve been friends for so long. Donít let this..."

Monica stared at Bobbie in stark disbelief. "Donít let this what? Come between us? Just because this can all be laid at your lying feet, I shouldnít let this come between us? Damn you, Bobbie Spencer! My son is dead! Dead! Donít you realize what that means? Saying ĎIím sorry,í just isnít going to take care of that. Now, excuse me. Iíve got to check on Lila, Edward, and Jason."

"Monica," Bobbie begged as Stefan approached.

"Bobbie," Stefan said simply, as Monica looked at him. "Your services are no longer required her at General Hospital. You will turn in your hospital identification and leave the premises. You will, however, be allowed to visit your daughter in the psychiatric ward until such time as she can be returned to Ferncliff."

"But Stefan..."

"I will accept no argument," Stefan informed her, icily. "You may expect to hear from our lawyers. I suggest that you retain one of your own as quickly as possible."

Monica smiled and strode away.


Kathryn Bell was taking a leisurely stroll in the park when she happened upon a slender man tossing pebbles in the pond. There was something naggingly familiar about him, something that caused her to pause and watch his actions.

The man continued, occasionally skipping a stone over the water, watching as it bounced off the surface, only to sink beneath the water after another skip or two. Intrigued, Kat found a pebble or two and tried to duplicate his actions.

"How do you do that?" she asked, oddly curious.

The man turned to her, his straight, shoulder length brown hair framing his narrow face. He puffed on the small, thin cigar that he had clinched in his teeth and smiled. "Do what?" he asked, his accent even more familiar to her. Sheíd heard it somewhere before. Recently.

"Make the rocks bounce on the water."

"Itís easy. I wonít trouble you with the scientific explanation, but one throws them rapidly and at an angle, and when done correctly, they ricochet off the surface. But, you notice, they still create ripples in the water. That fascinates me."

"Ripples?"

"Yes. Ripples. Watch this." He picked up a handful of pebbles of various sizes and tossed them, one at a time, into the water. Some he threw with greater force than others, and some caused greater splashes depending on the force and on their size. "You see, the ripples vary depending on a variety of things. Now, if I were to drop a small stone into the water I could cause a large splash. Or, if I were to carefully place a much larger stone into the water, I could do so with little or no water movement at all. Yet, the rock would still be there, still displace water. Just go unnoticed by most. You see, Ms. Bell." He smiled. "Yes, I know your name. Your face is quite well known around here. You see, much of what goes on around us can be likened to pebbles in the pond."

"Oh?"

"Yes. Some of us like to cause ripples for entertainment. Others of us like to do so for effect. Still others enjoy seeing how large a rock we can add to the water without making any ripple at all."

"And you? Why do you like to cause ripplesóin the water or elsewhere?"

"Sometimes for sport. Sometimes, just because I can. And, sometimes, because ripples cause other ripples which cause still others." He gave one last, odd smile, then added, "Little ripples in the water..."

Cesar Faison watched with satisfaction as Katís face took on a faraway expression. "Perfect, my dear. Now, at your next tryst, I want you to kill your young lover, Nikolas Cassadine." He handed her a small package. "Do it with this."


BACK E-MAIL NEXT