In the quiet of the penthouse, Carly tipped carefully down the stairs. She looked around in surprise, expecting to see the carnage from Sonny's earlier tirade. The penthouse was spotless. Gone was the broken glass and overturned chairs. If she hadn't been in the midst of her husband's mindless rampage, Carly could easily believe that it had not happened.

A noise from the kitchen stopped her in her tracks before she remembered that guards protected the entire building. “Jase!” she hissed in relief, “I should have known!”

Jason lowered the glass of juice from which he drank and looked toward the staircase. “How is Sonny?”

“He is still asleep,” Carly whispered. “After he trashed this place, it's like he just shut down.”

Worry momentarily clouded Jason's blue eyes. “Sonny will be fine.” He moved to the mob leader's desk and gathered up all the paperwork which was strewn there. Putting it all neatly into a manila folder, Jason placed it in the top drawer. He selected a key from the sparse ring attached to his belt and made a deliberate show of turning the lock. Carly did not miss the action.

“Have you found Sorrell? Has he been taken care of?” The questions flew rapid-fire at Jason. “Did he confess?”

“Stay out of it, Carly,” Jason advised her. It was important that she understood that she could not interfere in any of this. Her good intentions would be the last thing anyone - especially Sonny - needed right now. “If you really want to help Sonny, just stay out of it.”

“Of course I want to help him. He's my husband.”

“Then stay out of what happens with Sorrell.” Jason confirmed that the rival mobster was indeed involved. “The best thing you can do for Sonny is just be there.” His expression grew stern. “Don't push him, Carly!”

Her eyes widened in protest. Jason cut her off before she could speak. “If Sonny doesn't want to talk, don't try to make him. Sit - quietly ,” he emphasized, “and just listen.”

“Is that what you did last time?”


Carly bit her lip and began to wander aimlessly around the room. Absently she fingered the leather that covered the expansive couch. Jason watched his best friend's wife intently. He knew that Carly was building toward something. “Was Sonny this bad over Lily?” she finally asked.

“Carly...” Jason warned, exasperated.

“Is it so wrong for me to want to know about her?” the insecure young woman cried. “I can't even mention her name in front of Sonny without him biting my head off. ” Carly could not keep the bitterness from her voice. “Now you're doing the same!”

“Sonny loves you, Carly.” Jason's voice was soft. “Now isn't the time to question that.”


Mac Scorpio sat surrounded by federal agents and a growing mound of paperwork. After seventeen straight hours on the job, the agents had become familiar enough with their temporary surroundings to discard the dark jackets they uniformly wore.

The station was currently as abuzz with activity as the moment it had been when news of the fatal explosion blared from the police scanners. The recent shift change had given the Port Charles Police Department headquarters an infusion of needed energy. An entire squad of alert and well-rested officers stepped in to continue the investigation begun by the shift before.

Commissioner Scorpio looked over the chaos and spotted a face he shouldn't have seen. He excused himself from the table and strode angrily across the room. "Marcus," he grabbed the weary officer's arm and swung him around, "why are you still here? I told you to go home hours ago!"

Taggert respectfully pulled his arm from Mac's grip. "There are still things to be handled. Most of these guys haven't been brought up to speed on what we've done."

"And someone will take care of all that," Mac interrupted. "Go home, Marcus. That's an order!"

"Excuse me, Commissioner. I couldn't help but overhear." A dark-suited federal agent sidled up beside the duo. Mac had been introduced earlier, but in the confusion of the moment he had only caught the phrase Agent-in-Charge . "The Bureau is quite impressed with the work Officer Taggert has done combating the presence of organized crime here in Port Charles."

"What do you know about what goes on in my city?" Mac demanded.

"Just that the groundwork your officer has laid down regarding the Corinthos crime family is appreciated by us. Believe me when I say, Commissioner, that the Bureau is positive that Officer Taggert is going to be the key to nailing Michael Corinthos." He paused. "If it is alright with you, I would really appreciate his input in these first critical hours."

Grudgingly, Mac nodded his assent. Something about the man didn't sit right with him. Mac made a mental note to keep him in sight.

"Wonderful. Then let's get started." He patted Marcus on the back and turned to lead the way back to the strategy room.

Commissioner Scorpio blocked the agent's path with his arm. "I'm sorry, I didn't get your name."

"Agent Larkin."

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