Rest of My life
Em looks around the small room that had been her boundries for the last six months. Boarding school three thousand miles away from anyone she knew. No family, no friends. This had been her penance for defending Zander: from the system from her family from her friends. You could say she'd been banished to Siberia if it wasnt 85 degrees outside and sunny as all get out. But the sentence is finally up. She would graduate in two days and is done with finals. All that's left is to pack the things accumlated over the last half year and put the plan for the rest of her life in motion.
Zander had been held in jail under adminstrative segregation until he testified against Sorel. Alexis had worked him a sweet deal in return for his testimony. Anything that he testified to against Sorel had been a walk-- the drug dealing, Ted's murder, in return for the testimony. That left only the kidnapping and the gun charges. With credit for time served he'd been released to the Witness Relocation Program as soon as he testified. No probation, a new name and a new place. They'd wanted Sorel so bad, Zander had even gotten to pick the place. A condition of the program was he had to give up his past associations but since he'd basically been alone before all this that had not proven a barrier.
Juan had sent letters, flowers, himself on occasion before finally getting the message that Em blamed him for her current situation. Running around her back and conniving with the Q's had put her in this position. Something she wasn't going to forgive him for. When he begged and pleaded and finally reminded her that she'd been the reason he had a career as a singer, Em had finally broken down and told him that his career was Sonny's doing. Sonny was the one who backed him at L&B. Guess fair was fair. She'd gone behind his back, and he'd gone behind hers. He'd finally given up after blow up number three hundred and twelve and gone on a world wide tour.
Her birthday had been a quiet one. No kidnapping attempts, No finding guests getting horizontal with the town bike. None of the family had shown up, they'd all called but been busy with their own lives. Grandfather had sent a check. Grandmother had sent her love and they'd had a wonderful hour long conversation. But turning eighteen had it's perks. Quietly she'd made arrangements for the transfer of her trust fund to her bank out here in California. Independence has a sweet taste.
As is biding time, the plan was in place had been since the weekend after she'd woken up on plane on her way to the private boarding school in Los Angeles. Her first instinct had been to run away. But Alexis had taken pity on her and arranged a private phone call with Zander. Zander had used Alexis' cell phone for the call. He'd convinced her to stay where she was. That the only way Sorel could be taken down was if he knew she was safe. Three thousand miles safe.
Looking around the room she packs up the last of her things, into the last of the trunks. Alan and Monica had called to let her know they were arriving the morning of graduation. Two days from now. By the time they arrived she'd be long gone. That was part of the plan too. She'd keep in contact but it would be by her time frame not theirs. That's the thing with banishment-- sometimes you find something saner than what you'd left behind.
The trial had been over two months ago. Zander had vanished from Port Charles as if he'd never been. Sonny had been the one to call and let her know that Sorel had been shanked by a rival gangster in the yard of Pentonville within two weeks of his arrival. Sorel was no longer a threat to anyone she loved. Lots of things had come out after the trial. How he had killed Moreno, how he had shot Jason. There is no regret in his death. Only relief he couldn't hurt anyone else. Emily didn't ask if somehow Sonny had arranged the death, not wanting to know. Not needing to know.
There is a knock on the door. "Are you all packed?"
"Yeah, Last box done. Do you have the truck downstairs?"
"Parked on the lawn so we'd better hurry." The man laughs. "And the rental came with a handtruck so this will be shortwork." He starts stacking boxes on the handtruck. Emily grabs the more oddball shaped stuff and follows him down to the truck. Together they manouver the load making sure it's balanced and neatly packed with his stuff. Load after load until finally the back is packed. Emily goes back upstairs and looks at the barren room making sure that nothing has been left behind. Sliding her keys off the ring she leaves them on the built in desk and goes back down to the truck. The engine is already running. "Where to?"
"Head North." Em directs. "I've been doing research on a little town just over the Oregon border. It's called Ashland. There is a college there, a Shakespeare festival where I'd love to work, even skiing in the winter. I want to see the seasons again."
"Are you sure?"
"I've thought of nothing else since your last letter from PC. I knew I couldn't bear to go back there. Back to the fighting. I love my family but now you've seen how crazy they can be."
"They love you."
"And I had bars on my windows here to prove it."
"Potayto/ potahto. If this is going to work we have to be able to do it on our own. I have my money from modeling. You have your references to be able to get a job. There are at least a dozen dealerships up by Ashland. And they are hiring for mechanics. I looked."
"Anywhere you are is where I want to be."
Em holds out her hand to the man driving the car. He reaches out to take it and rests their clasped hands on his thigh. Thank goodness the truck is an automatic. "When do I get to drive?"
"No way, Miss Leadfoot. I've heard California highway patrol goes slack on the speeders but I don't want to find out."
"You'll get tired soon enough." Em says confidently. With her freehand she pulls out the map from her purse. It was a straight enough shot. I-5 all the way from Los Angeles to Ashland. "The first stop is at the garlic capitol of the world. It's the right distance to take a break."
"You know they are going to try to find you."
"Yep, but I'm over eighteen now, I have my money; I have my diploma. I'm still trying to decide if I should change my name or not."
"Going to go back to calling yourself Paige Bowen?" The man teases.
"Maybe. Although that is the first thing they'd check."
"You could always use Smith there is only about a million of them." The driver tenses waiting for her reaction.
"Are you going to be using Smith again? Now that Sorel is dead?" Emily asks him.
"Yeah, I never could get used to Joseph Xavier Bemish."
"Eww. Bemish?" Em grimaces.
"Yeah, I got to pick the place not the name. But all the references that the Witness Protection Program developed for me were under the name Bemish." Zander frowns. "I guess I'll have to use it, or at least mention it. As soon as Sorel died I was free to leave the program it's not like I really had a lot of experience since I got of jail using it. So... about Smith."
Emily bites her lip for a moment. "Zander, I love you. I've had plenty of time to think, to do nothing but think. Only your letters and calls kept me sane sometimes. I know I want to be with you. I think I want to be with you for the rest of my life. But the only people I've only lived with has been my mother and then the Q's. Don't you think you should wait until after you've lived with me for awhile before we go the common last name route?"
"You're the best thing that's ever happened in my life. Meeting you even before I took you hostage changed my life. If you want time, you've got it. As long as we're together."
The End 2:01
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