MARTYWRITES.COM Presents "THE SEVENTH ROSE" a GH Fan Fiction "The Seventh Rose"


It was fairly early in the morning, and the sun had barely risen above the horizon, but Ruby opened the door for her patrons, figuring that Port Charles probably couldn't function without a mug of her famous coffee. Apparently, at least Ned Ashton couldn't. His eyes bore signs of a sleepless night, or so she thought.

"You aren't sleeping well," she commented as she poured him a steaming cup of coffee. Her tone was the concern of a friend who wasn't impressed with wealth or power.

"Does it show?" Ned asked, giving a rueful smile.

"Indeed it does," she answered firmly. "Now listen to me, young man. Money can't buy everything, as you well know. But, what it can buy is time off, vacations, and medical help if you need it."

"It's not overwork," Ned found himself confessing. "ELQ is running as smoothly as silk just now. And, I don't need a vacation." He wouldn't allow himself to mention the nightmares. "But, you're right. I haven't been sleeping well."

"You heard about Brenda?"

"I heard." He shook his head. "I can't believe it. Grandmother is beside herself, and nothing Grandfather says or does seems to help. You'd think that Lois would come back at least long enough to try to comfort her, but apparently she can't tear herself away from L&B. Ironic, isn't it?"

"You still miss them, don't you?" Ruby spoke of Lois and Brooke Lynn, his ex-wife and his daughter, one of the many and unfortunately the deepest of his relationships gone awry, and away.

"I miss what might have been," Ned answered honestly. "I miss what I never had, the fairy tale that I'd come to believe."

"It's not fair," Ruby told him as a blond man and a little girl entered the diner. "Brooke's your daughter, too."

"Is she?" Ned asked, bitterly. "Did you know that Lois has petitioned the courts to change Brooke's name to Cerrulo? She's already using that name, herself. It's like we were never married."

"Are you going to allow it?"

Ned lifted the mug of coffee to his lips and drank deeply. "Do I want my only child, my daughter, to grow up not knowing me or my family? To know nothing of our heritage?" He laughed, but wasn't amused. "Maybe it's better that way."

"No," Ruby stated flatly. "It's not better. That little girl needs you, Ned. She needs to know who her daddy is, and that he loves her."

"Yep!" piped up a small voice beside him. A little blonde girl was busy trying to climb up on the stool at Ruby's bar.

"You know about daddies?" Ned asked, unable to resist the deep dimples that flashed as she grinned. He grinned back, instantly charmed by the little girl, his troubles receding as the light of her smile lifted his heart.

"I know lots about daddies," she answered brightly. "Don't I, Daddy?"

"Yes," answered the blond man who was sitting down next to her. He looked at Ned and the child, and smiled to himself. Then, he turned to the child. "And you know better…"

"Than to talk to strangers," she sighed. "I know, Daddy, but he's sad without his little girl, and I'll bet she's sad without him. I know I'd be sad without my Daddy."

Jamie bit back a comment as he looked into her eyes, seeing feigned innocence, grimacing as the child put a finger in one of her dimples. She smiled impishly, and Jamie reflected that a man and his little girl could always use friends in Port Charles.

"Then, let's not be strangers." Ned could see that the man had obviously been wrapped around his daughter's little finger, and grinned, in spite of himself, finding something strangely beguiling about this little girl. He extended his hand to her. "I'm Ned Ashton."

"And I'm Jillian Rose," she responded, politely.

"Jacks," the man finished for her. "Jamie and Jillian Jacks."

Ned's smile faded somewhat. "You related to Jacks and Jacks of Alaska?"

"Distant cousin," Jamie answered. "Not a business partner."

The little girl was still holding his hand as Felicia Jones entered the grill, accompanied by her daughters. Raising his eyebrows, Jamie looked away, wondering which of the fates was laughing her a** off just now.

"Peter?" Felicia asked, walking over to him. "Peter Harrell?

"Jamie Jacks," he told her, determined to stick with the truth. It was, he realized, a new experience, as far as his past with Felicia was concerned. "And this is my daughter, Jillian."

"Odd, but you look just like my ex-fiancé."

"Imagine that," Jamie commented. "And I thought I was unique."

"What's unique?" Jillian asked of Ned. She batted her eyelashes and smiled again.

"One of a kind," Ned answered, completely captivated by the child. "Just like you."

Jax and Garcia stood at the edge of the cliff, looking at the spot where Brenda's car had apparently gone over.

"No skid marks," Garcia pointed out. "Nothing to indicate that the driver attempted to stop."

"The report on the railing indicated that the car hit it at a high rate of speed," Jax added, noting that the aforementioned bit of mangled metal had been removed and replaced. He and Garcia retraced the path of the car, coming to stop at some strange markings in the road. "What do you make of this?"

Garcia studied the marks, then said, "Assuming that the car made these marks, then this was no accident."


"Look. No skid marks to indicate that the driver was trying to brake, but here we have marks that suggest that the driver accelerated very quickly--i.e., floored it, from a standstill. Now, most people don't do that unless they're racing, or desperate to get away from someone, or something. Now and then, however, you see marks like this in suicides, or homicides. I wouldn't suggest the former, but in cases of the latter, the killer turns on the car, keeps it in neutral while wedging a stick between a fixed object and the accelerator pedal. This revs up the engine, and then the car is suddenly forced into drive. The killer has an instant to jump from the car--see the tires spin for a second, leaving those marks--and then, the car surges forward, in this case, into the railing and over the cliff."

"And the explosion?"

"Considering that this was probably murder, the car may have been primed with gasoline as an accelerant. One would expect to find that at the scene of an accident, and having the car drop so far down would guarantee an impact that might have been sufficient to rupture the gas tank, causing an explosion."

"So we're looking for a murderer?"

"I'd say so."

"'Tis Education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd.'"

Julian Rose looked up to see the lovely young woman known as Jade Wu as she observed his work. He clipped another branch of the bonsai tree, then turned to her. "Alexander Pope. I see you understand."

"Yes," she smiled, strolling closer to the small, twisted tree over which Julian carefully worked. "By giving or denying food, water, light or attention, and by carefully pruning it, one can shape the most defiant living thing." She studied the carefully shaped juniper, artistically dwarfed and bent, rooted in the shallow dish that would control its growth. "It becomes what you want it to be."

"And serves its purpose very elegantly." He snipped one last tiny, rebellious shoot and smiled. "Did you know that this tree is over fifty years old?"

Jade nodded. "I recognize it. My grandfather had such a tree, but some years ago, he gave it to a dear friend. That friend was you."

Julian smiled. "Yes. We corresponded over the years concerning our mutual interest in gardening." He lifted the small tree and returned it to its place. "We both know well the benefits of a controlled environment, both for the gardener and the plant."

Jade Wu looked around again, at the huge number of plants, many carefully twisted into exotic shapes and suppressed a shudder. For a moment, she thought of the plants as her sisters, as the women of a time gone by whose feet had been trained into horribly distorted shapes in the name of beauty and gentility. For over one thousand years, higher class women had been forced by fashion and custom, thanks to some sick minded tenth century Chinese prince who had loved the "lily feet" of his concubine. Their feet had been bound, and forced to grow into misshapen parts that would fit into shoes as small as three inches long, and never over four inches. All for the pleasure of a man, she thought in disgust. Men like her grandfather who sought to bend small, helpless things to their liking, and Julian Rose was one of them. She smiled. "I, too, understand the benefits of control. That's what brought me to you."

Julian looked up, his gaze raking her slight form. "Indeed?" he asked, a glint of something terrifying, yet to her somehow fascinating in his eyes.

"And to demonstrate my regard, I brought you two gifts."


"One is a mind to peruse at your leisure. A mind with vast quantities of information concerning your enemies." She watched as he registered this thought.

"And what do you know of my enemies?"

Without another word, she unwrapped the second gift, an item she'd been carrying and held it out to him. It was a perfect rose--carved from jadeite, precious jade, and he instantly identified it as approaching five thousand years old. "Shang?"

Jade nodded, while Julian carefully accepted the five petaled flower that had offered its pale pink beauty for five millennia. Their eyes met, and both smiled.