"You look tired," Grant observed to Kirkland, Sarah having silently backed out of the living room and into the adjacent study, softly closing the door behind her.
"Yeah, you look like crap, too." Kirkland flipped open his phone, turning the screen towards Grant. "I was up most of last night, waiting for Dad to call, let me know if Lorna and the baby were okay."
"Lorna had her baby?" Grant felt his throat close up as, terrified of the answer, he forced himself to choke out, "And was everything... okay?"
"See for yourself. Dad sent pictures."
Grant peered at the thumb-sized images of Lorna cradling her swaddled newborn, one emotion crashing up against another until he honestly wasn't sure what he felt. "They're both fine," he sighed in relief.
"No thanks to you and Aunt Marley."
"You don't honestly think we meant for "
"Save it, okay? Forget it." Kirkland pulled a pen out of his messenger bag, uncapped it and held it out to Grant. "Just sign."
"Can't we "
"No," Kirkland cut him off, the pen unwavering. "Stop stalling and sign this like you said you would. Or was that another promise you had no intention of honoring?"
"I didn't agree to you changing your name."
"Once you bartered me away to save your own ass you pretty much gave up any right to dictate what came after."
"I was wrong. I... what I did... offering you to Jamie like... I was wrong. Don't compound it by doing this. Don't make the same mistake that I did."
"Wow. You segued from apology right into blame shifting without missing a beat. We are not standing here right now because I suddenly decided I wanted just Jamie as my father. I loved you both. I wanted you both. Your actions and lies brought us here. Not my lack of family honor, Don Corleone. As if you even know what those words mean." Kirkland dropped his pen atop the document on the table between them. "Now are you going to sign this, or do I have to hire Mike Bauer to do a legal emancipation?"
"You wouldn't," Grant whispered.
"Unlike you, I keep my promises," Kirkland said, the familiar, infuriating Love/Hudson expression on his face inciting Grant like a red cape in front of a bull.
"Try and I'll see you live to regret it." Grant fired back reflexively.
Kirkland blinked, cringing, Vicky's all too familiar bravado gone; shrinking as he processed Grant's words. "This is how it was with Mom, wasn't it? How it really was? Saying you love her in one breath, threatening to kill her with the next?"
"No! I...she "
"Made you do it?"
"No! I didn't mean... I would never... not you... I would never hurt you."
"Your anger at me, son, your disappointment... it won't go away with my signing these papers. Cutting me out of your life is not the way."
"You cut yourself out of my life by trading me for Marley."
"You still need me, Kirkland. I'm a part of who you are."
"I've lived without you before. I can do it again."
"Not after everything we've been done, accomplished "
"What did we accomplish exactly? You still lie, you still cheat, and you still do whatever you want, hurting people for your own gain."
"We forged a bond."
"That you broke."
"Impossible. I'm your father."
"You keep throwing that word at me like you know what it means."
"It means you are my world; I live and breathe for you. I would do anything sacrifice my life for you!"
"Just your signature is fine."
"Have you even listened to a word I've said? Or are you too scared?"
"Sorry. I tuned out after all the 'my, my, my' and 'I, I, I's."
"Where do you get off talking to me like that? Show some respect."
"As soon as you do the same for me. Sign the papers. Be a real father for once in your life the kind of father you'd have wanted for yourself. Let me go. Just let me move on and get over... get over... you. No more fighting, no more threats, just sign. Please."
It was the utter desperation and despair in that last word which made Grant pick up the pen, and, fingers trembling, scrawl out his signature, the head of the pen nearly cutting straight through the paper.
"I'll make you proud again," Grant called to Kirkland, his son pausing at the threshold of the door. "I promise, I will."
"Take care, Grant," Kirkland said to his father, offering him a final sad, broken look, the signed papers clutched in his hands.
"Got a minute?" Kevin poked his head into Jen's office at BCU, finding her surrounded by papers, text-books, and a detailed spreadsheet on the computer screen.
"End of year madness," she shrugged apologetically. "Got to get final grades out."
"You teaching over the summer?" Kevin found a seat across from her desk.
"No. I'm actually taking it off, believe it or not."
"First time in how long? I remember begging you to take it easy, go to the beach, have some fun. But there was always another course to take, a fellowship to apply for..."
"Look who's talking! We were the Father/Daughter Type A personality poster children! The only way you'd ever stop working was if..." Jen began, then, remembering the suspension, instantly backtracked. "I mean..."
"It's okay," he told her gently. "I'm... handling it. And I'm happy you, for one, have decided to take a vacation without being censured by a licensing board. GQ's influence?" he guessed.
"We had a rough year," Jen said. "We agreed the only way to get back on track was to take some time to focus on each other. No Allie, no Hudson... just us."
"For real?" She cocked her head. "He's not exactly one of your favorite people."
"Doesn't matter. As long as he's yours. I want you to be happy, Jenny. If GQ makes you feel that way, then yes, you should be doing everything in your power to make it work. I wish you luck."
"Thanks," she said softly. Then, unable to ditch the Type A persona completely not until the grade reports were in, anyway wondered, "So, what did you come to talk to me about?"
He sighed, rubbing his chin with the dip between his thumb and forefinger. "I... have some news."
"Should I sit down?" She braced herself.
"Not sure. I've had no prior experience with this sort of thing." He looked down at the ground. "Jenny, I... Amanda Cory and I got married the other night."
Cautiously, Kevin raised his eyes to gauge his daughter's reaction.
"I think I'll sit down," Jen said.
He waited until she had done so, then winced. "Sorry to just blurt it out like that. I couldn't think of a gentler way to break it."
"I don't suppose there is one." Jen tapped her hands on the desk in a random rhythm, taking a moment to compose her thoughts before asking the obvious. "Why, Daddy?"
He laughed. For no particular reason. And then he said, "She wouldn't give up on me. No matter what I said or did, Amanda stuck by me. I thought I'd lost everything with this suspension."
"You still had me," Jen reminded, somewhat hurt.
"I know. But, you have your own life. No way was I going to become one of those parents who clings to his kid like an emotional lifeboat. I couldn't use you for my own validation. I had to have something else going on. I don't have to tell you what my work meant to "
"Means. You're only on suspension for six months. This isn't the end of the world."
Kevin said, "I was at loose ends. I didn't know where to turn or what to do with myself."
"So you decided to get married to the first woman who came along?"
"No. I decided to marry the first woman who made me think that maybe there was more to me than just being a lawyer."
"Do you love her, Daddy?"
"I I think I... could. Again. I mean, I did once. I cut Amanda out of my life because she didn't understand why I couldn't tell her about Allie being pregnant. She refused to believe that my personal life was different from my professional one, and that the actions I took in one had nothing to do with the other."
"I know," Jen said. "I kind of walked in on that... discussion."
"Right. I thought I couldn't be with a woman whose first assumption would always default to my being a liar. No matter how many times Amanda apologized afterwards, I wouldn't let it go."
"Until it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I was being a tad... obstinate."
"Wow. That was a big realization."
He wagged his finger. "How about a little more respect for your elders there, young lady."
"In any case, I didn't think anyone would ever again be on my side after I was censured. But, Amanda was. She didn't give up on me. It was... nice."
"Okay," Jen said, her voice distant.
"Come on, let me have it. Tell me what you're really thinking."
"I... Honestly, Daddy, the only thing I'm thinking is: This makes Allie my stepsister."
"Hey, Jeanne," Matt coughed awkwardly into his fist, stepping into an editing bay and gesturing for the technician to give them a few minutes alone. Seeing as how Mr. Cory was the boss, his request was instantly carried out.
"Hi, Matt," she set aside her notes, looking up at him, even smiling a little. It wasn't what Matt had expected.
She was waiting for him to say something. And Matt had something to say, too. He just wasn't precisely sure what, at the moment.
He began, "I wanted to apologize. I've been giving it some thought, and I can see now how you might have been... confused about why I was so upset earlier."
She nodded, encouraging him to go on.
"Uhm... I guess I did send you some pretty mixed messages. And you being so straightforward and all... I take full responsibility for what happened between us."
"Thank you, Matt. You're very sweet."
"Not really," he demurred guiltily.
"All couples fight. It's okay."
"I I'm sorry."
"Don't be. It's okay."
"I'm sorry about what I'm about I'm sorry, Jeanne, but we... it... we can't work."
"Because of one fight?" She appeared genuinely confused. "Is it because I didn't apologize, too? I can "
"No. Don't. It's not necessary. I Donna and I...."
"Oh," Jeanne said. "I see."
"I've been in love with her for over fifteen years," Matt didn't know why he was pleading his case to Jeanne, but it felt imperative that she understand. "Donna and I belong together, I've always thought so. The trick was getting her to believe... I never meant to lead you on."
"Then why did you? You didn't have to. I would have still... Didn't I make it clear from the start? I never made any demands on you. I never asked you to say... what you said."
"I meant it, though. You are a wonderful person, Jeanne."
"Just not for you."
"Our timing was... off."
"By about fifteen years, I guess...."
"You shouldn't have kissed me," Allie told GQ plainly, catching up with him at his apartment.
"I know. I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me."
"And I shouldn't have kissed you back." Unwilling to look him in the eye, Allie let her gaze drift around the room, only to settle on a framed photo of Hudson, sitting on a swing, laughing and kicking his bare feet in delight. She looked away and back at GQ. "Did you tell Jen what happened?"
"Because... I I wasn't sure what did, exactly."
"I talked to my grandmother about it."
GQ groaned under his breath.
"She told me not to confuse wanting to win the man who doesn't want you, with love."
"Do you love me, Allie?"
"No!" she gritted.
"Okay. Good. I mean, I didn't think you did. Just...."
"You said in court that you loved me once."
"I meant it."
"What about now?"
"I love Jen."
"Right. Because she's perfect for you."
"No. I mean, yes, she is. But, that's not the only reason.... Jen is terrific."
"Okay," her tone echoed his earlier one.
"Are you going to... Are you going to tell Jen?"
"What would be the point?"
"To get back at me."
"You think I still care about that?"
"I don't know."
"Do you want to get back at me?"
"No. Not anymore."
"Why did you kiss me, GQ?"
"Because you looked so sad," he admitted. "I hate seeing you sad. Even now. You deserve to be happy, Allie."
"That's what everybody keeps telling me. But, since when do people get what they deserve? If anyone deserved to be happy, it was Gregory. He got screwed over. More than once. How can I deserve to be happy when he's gone? How can any of us?"
"Where the hell is Harrison?" Chase flung open the door of Lila's office, his bellow preceding the rest of his enraged countenance.
"Why are you asking me?" Lila wondered, looking up in surprise at his vehemence.
"Aren't you his keeper?"
"I believe Grant is at home," she ignored the not-particularly flattering designation.
"I don't pay him to sit at home. I pay him to be around when I need him."
"He's had a rough couple of days," Lila defended.
"I know. Jamie Frame called me a while back to talk out a hypothetical situation involving a hit and run and a cover up."
"Oh. I didn't realize... What did you tell him?"
"Grant's a member of my administration. What do you think I told Jamie?"
Lila took a wild guess that didn't feel at all wild. "You covered your own ass."
"You want to work for an idiot, try that Congressman in New York with the twitchy Twitter finger. I know how to protect myself."
"Then protect yourself by leaving Grant alone for a few days. He's in bad shape."
"How do you know? I thought the good ex-Senator was persona non-gratta with you?"
"So why did you ask me about him?"
Chase cocked an eyebrow. "You know who my political role model is?"
"Attila the Hun?"
"When it came to the Soviets, he said Trust But Verify. That's my motto, too. If you're sneaking around behind my back with Grant, I want to know about it."
Lila burst out laughing. "You think I'm a public policy slut?"
Chase didn't look amused. "What's going on with you two, really?"
"Grant's father turned on him. So has his son, and the woman he risked everything for. I felt sorry for the man. Yes, he's a son-of-a-bitch. But, nine times out of ten, he ends up hurting his own self the most. I offered him a shoulder to cry on."
"You sure that was your only body part up for grabs?"
"Yes! And even if it weren't, what business is it of yours?"
"Grant ran against me for mayor. I suspect he intends to do so again in another four years. I may have gone the keep your friends close and your enemies closer rout, but, at the same time, I can't have anyone on my staff sleeping with the enemy, either."
"I am not.... Grant and I are friends. If that's a problem, Lord Mayor, then go ahead and fire me now, because, unless he gives me reason not to "
"I plan to stay that way."
"I swear to you, the child has no bad angles." Lucas couldn't stop flipping through the digital album Jamie had sent out earlier. "Understand, I'm not just saying this as a proud grandfather. That was a completely unbiased, utterly professional opinion. I've done a lot of photo-shoots in my day. I know what I'm talking about."
"She is beautiful," Felicia agreed. "Devon..."
"Her name," Lucas soothed. "It took you by surprise, that's all."
"Our daughter named her baby after the family who stole her from us."
"This is Lorna we're talking about," Lucas corrected. "She named that child after herself, no one else. Let's be real clear on that point."
"I want to be happy for her. I am happy for her. But, at the same time, looking at those pictures, walking down those halls, it takes me back to Lori Ann. She was born in that same hospital. Jenna died in that same hospital. And, ever since then, I've been... off."
"You're working on getting better, I can see that."
"I couldn't even meet my new granddaughter without Lorna and I leaping for each other's throats."
"Emotions were running high. It's to be expected. Most people don't go from wedding to attempted kidnapping to life threatening childbirth within the space of a few days."
"Emotional is one thing. Wrong is another. What if she wasn't wrong, Luke? What if she sensed something I'd never admitted, not even to myself? Was I a part of me, anyway was I... relieved... when I thought I'd lost her?"
"No," he said with utter conviction. "Your mourning, that was no act."
"I did mourn. I did. I mourned her, and you, and what we had, and what we could have been. But, at the same time, I was a kid. I had dreams. I wanted more than the life I had, certainly more than the life my mother had had. I wanted to be somebody. That couldn't have happened with a baby to take care of. Not then. There is no way I would or could have become Felicia Gallant, if I'd had a child to take care of, too."
"You underestimate yourself. I've got no doubt you'd have figured out a way to become the woman you were meant to be and a mother to our daughter. If anything, she'd have been another reason for you not to settle, to make a better life for yourself. Our little girl would've been your partner in crime; co-pilot, muse and inspiration all rolled into one."
"Or she'd have been the Veda to my Mildred Pierce."
"I see you more as the Stella Dallas type."
Felicia raised an eyebrow. "You do know how that movie ends, right?"
"I meant all the stuff that came before; you and me against the world. Fact is, Fanny, you don't know how things might have turned out had Lorna stayed with you. Even if you hadn't become Felicia Gallant, world renowned romance novelist, you still would have been one incredible woman, no matter what. And Lorna would've been a part of that, not a hindrance."
"We had a deal. Earlier. Don't think I've forgotten. You were ready to walk out the door over what I did to Jamie. You only agreed to stay with me until after the baby was born, so our separating wouldn't risk causing Lorna any complications."
"Yes..." he answered cautiously.
"Well, Lorna's had her baby. Lorna is fine. And the Devon is fine. There's no longer any reason for you to stay with me... unless you want to. Unless, despite everything, you're willing to give me... us... another chance."
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