Pronunciation Key: ZoŽ=Zo-ee
"Excuse me, Miss, but this is a private party."
"Oh, I know that." The girl reached into her purse and pulled out an engraved invitation to the First Annual Quartermaine ELQ - General Hospital Gala.
The guard inspected the invitation, checking for copying or forgery. He handed it back to the girl.
"Sorry, Miss, please continue." He stepped back. The girl nodded, took her invitation, and placed it back in her purse while walking into the mansion. What looked like a butler stepped into her path.
"May I take your coat, ma'am?" She flashed him a dazzling smile.
"Of course." She took off her long black coat, revealing her dark blue dress. She handed her coat to him, as he practically drooled on the fabric of it. She rolled her eyes and walked into the party.
"Grandfather, who is that girl over there?" Ned whispered to Edward.
"Hmm? Her? I haven't the foggiest. Ask Monica or Alan. Perhaps it's one of his hospital cohorts or - or one of Emily's friends, hmm?" Edward replied.
"Alan's on call at the hospital and Emily and Monica are in Bosnia with Sarah Webber, Grandfather."
"Oh. Oh yes, well, then, ask around. I need to go see what is keeping Lila." Edward turned and left the living room.
Ned sighed and spotted Jason. He would know if anyone would.
"Carly, can you excuse us for a moment?" Ned asked.
"Oh sure, just ask the pregnant woman to waddle away. Uh-uh. If you wanna talk to Jason, just say it in front of me. I can take it, Ned, I'm a big girl - literally." Carly rubbed her hand over her bulging stomach protectively. Ned sighed.
"Fine. Jason, do you know who that girl is over there?"
"The one wearing the blue dress. With the short hair." Jason's eyes scanned the room before landing on the girl in question.
"Never seen her before." Jason turned to look at Ned. "Why? You don't know her either?"
"Nope. Grandfather doesn't either. I wonder if I should walk up to her and ask her."
"One second, Carly." Carly closed her eyes. She reached up and grabbed his hand. "What is it?" Jason looked down to see her wincing in pain. "Carly, how long have you been having contractions?"
"An hour," she replied in a small voice.
"AN HOUR?" Jason replied. He took a deep breath. "OK, Carly, this is your second child. They usually come quicker, I think."
"That's right, sir. OK, ma'am, how far along are you in your pregnancy?"
"Who are you?" Jason asked the girl in the blue dress who had hurried over to them. The girl stuck her hand out.
"Doctor ZoŽ Edmundson."
"Jason Morgan." Jason shook her hand.
"Nice to meet you. Call an ambulance and tell them we've got a nine-month pregnan- "ZoŽ knelt down next to Carly. "Ma'am, when's your due date?"
"Tomorrow? Ugh. OK, Mr. Morgan, call an ambulance, tell them we've got a woman in labor, due tomorrow, and tell them to get over here now!" ZoŽ turned back to Carly, who was having another contraction. "OK, I heard this is your second child. How old is the first?"
"Michael's two years old. He's with his grandmother tonight."
"OK, good, ma'am, what is your name?"
"Carly - Carly Morgan."
"Morgan? Is-is that- Jason your husband?"
"Ye-es" Carly felt another contraction. ZoŽ glanced at her watch.
"Geez, those things are getting close. OK, Mrs. Morgan, I'm going to ask you to lay back on the couch." ZoŽ turned around to see the crowd gathered around her.
"OK! Everybody outta here! Show's over!" ZoŽ shooed everyone out of the room before returning to Carly. Ned shut the door as Jason reentered.
"The ambulance is on its way, Dr. Edmundson."
"Great. Mr. Morgan, your wife's in labor. OK, Carly, breathe!"
Pronunciation Key: Goppa=Gah-puh, short for Godpa (Godfather)
"Gamma! Gamma!" a little voice called, running down the hallway at full speed.
"What is it, Michael?" Bobbie Corbin asked, peering down at the eager little boy in pajamas.
"Goppa said you tell story!"
"Oh he did, did he? Well, which story do you want to hear before you go to bed?"
"A new one? Hmm, let me think. Oh! I know a story I haven't told you yet. Come on, lead the way to your bedroom, OK?" The telephone rang. "Mike? Can you get that?"
"Night night, Goppa!" Michael cried as Mike walked past them.
"Night night, Michael." Mike smiled before answering the phone. "Hello?"
"Mike, is that you?"
"Jason? What's wrong?"
"Carly went into labor. We're at GH right now."
"Okay, um, do you want Michael over there or do you want him to stay here?"
"I don't know. What do people usually do?"
"He can stay here."
"Great. Uh, can you call the people who need to know?"
"Who would that be?"
"The family, I guess. But not the-"
"Not the Quartermaines, only Emily and Lila, right?"
"Right. Listen, I've got to go. Thanks, Mike."
"No problem." Mike hung up the phone.
"Who was that?" Bobbie whispered, closing the door of Michael's room behind her.
"Jason. Carly went into labor."
"Damn you, Jason Morgan! I am never letting you anywhere near me again!" Carly hissed between contractions.
"Yeah, I love you, too." Jason replied.
"Hi, Carly." A voice said close by. Jason was smiling. Carly turned her head.
"Bobbie! Are you the nurse for me?"
"I am now. It's a new law, all of my grandchildren must be delivered by me!"
"Asleep, at the brownstone, with Mike, who called the family."
"Why, the best part, darlin'!" Carly rolled her eyes and half-smiled, half-sighed.
"Hello, Luke... Whoa, boy!" Carly cried as another contraction began. Luke laughed.
"Hey Jason, has she threatened to kill you yet?"
"What is going on here? Is this a birth or a matinee? All of you except Mr. Morgan, out!" ZoŽ cried, walking in to check on her patient.
"Actually, I'm a nurse here. I just haven't had a chance to change yet." Bobbie explained, pulling out her ID card.
"OK, hurry and change. She's due any time now. You should probably have Nurse Vining page her regular doctor, if it hasn't been done yet."
"And you would be?"
"Doctor Edmundson. I'm replacing Doctor London as head of pediatrics." ZoŽ showed Bobbie her ID tag. Bobbie patted Carly on the shoulder and left.
"Sir, please leave. She's only allowed to have one extra person in here. Otherwise it becomes a bit cramped."
"Darlin', do you know who I am?"
"I don't give a crap who you are. Your name could be Cassadine and you could be payin' my bills, but I don't friggin' care. Get out!" ZoŽ grabbed a shocked Luke by the arm and "escorted" him outside.
"Congratulations, Jason and Carly. You have a beautiful baby girl." Bobbie whispered, placing the infant in Carly's arms. "What's her name?" Carly smiled at the child.
"Virginia Jean Morgan, named for my mothers." Carly replied before focusing all her attention on Virginia Jean. "Hi, Virginia Jean. I'm your mommy. And this here is your daddy. His name's Jason. And you have a big brother named Michael. We live in a big penthouse with two guards, named Rinaldo and Johnny, and a cook named Graciella, and a nanny named Leticia. And..." Bobbie ducked out of the room, wiping away a tear.
"Barbara, what's the word?" Luke asked as soon as he spotted her.
"You have a beautiful grand-niece, Luke," Bobbie replied, her eyes misty.
"What's with the tears then?"
"She's named Virginia Jean."
"Did she do that on accident or on purpose?"
"Purpose." Bobbie laughed. "When I left, Carly was explaining about Rinaldo, Johnny, Graciella, and Leticia." She wiped away a tear and composed herself. "Do you want to go see them?"
"Is that doctor still around?"
"Who? Dr. Edmundson? Probably. I heard she kicked you out."
"She called me a Cassadine!"
"I did not call you a Cassadine. I said that I didn't care if you were a Cassadine who owned this hospital." ZoŽ piped up from the nurse's station that Bobbie and Luke were standing next to. She turned to Bobbie. "How is she?"
"Fine. She had a girl named Virginia Jean Morgan." ZoŽ's solemn face broke into a grin.
"That's great. Oh, and Mr. Not-A-Cassadine, you can go visit them now."
"Thank you, milady." Luke replied sarcastically, giving a fake bow.
"You're welcome, but I'd hurry. You only have fifteen minutes left of visiting hours." ZoŽ smiled sweetly as Luke stalked away.
"You really get under his skin!" Bobbie commented.
"You sound surprised. Am I the only one?"
"No, but usually he annoys them more than they annoy him."
"What can I say, it's a talent." Bobbie smiled. ZoŽ stuck out her hand. "ZoŽ Edmundson."
"Bobbie Corbin." Bobbie looked at the girl strangely.
"You want to know how old I am."
"What? No, I-" Bobbie replied, shocked that this strange girl knew what she was thinking.
"It's OK. Everybody does. I'm 22. I got my GED when I was 15 and went to college immediately. I entered medical school when I was about 17."
"You got your GED when you were 15?!"
"That test is so much simpler than high school, believe me! I got a fake ID saying I was 18 so that I could take the test early." Bobbie laughed. "What?"
"When my nephew was 15, he was getting fake IDs saying he was 18 so he could get out of being in school!"
"What can I say? I'm original."
"So's he!" Bobbie rolled her eyes suggestively.
"Well, I better go check on my patients. I still need to meet one! It was nice to meet you, Bobbie."
"You too, ZoŽ." Bobbie waved as ZoŽ left, and sat there wondering why that girl seemed so familiar.
ZoŽ knocked on the door of Carly's room before opening it. Although technically she didn't have to, she thought it gave her patients a sense of privacy.
"Well then, how's my newest little patient?" ZoŽ asked. She caught sight of Luke talking with Jason. Carly was in her own little world with Virginia Jean. She glanced up at the clock over Carly's bed. "Excuse me, sir, but visiting hours are finito."
"So?" Luke asked in annoyance.
"Lemme translate for ya: Get the hell outta this room before I call security." ZoŽ replied.
"Listen here, darlin'. This here's my niece and I ain't goin' nowhere until I want to! Comprendez?"
"No, you listen here. This here's a hospital. I asked you nicely, now get your ass out the door unless you want your niece to be visiting you at the PCPD!" Luke, Jason, and Carly began to laugh.
"Honey, ever since their belov'd Bubba left, the PCPD hasn't had a prayer." Luke replied. ZoŽ gave a short laugh before become dead serious.
"Get out, or God help me, I'll throw you out myself." Luke and Jason exchanged a worried look.
"I'm goin', I'm goin'!" Luke cried. He kissed Carly's hand and Virginia Jean's forehead. "But come hell or high-and-mighty Cassadines, I'll be back!" he said, walking out the door.
"Bye, Luke!" Carly called. She turned to ZoŽ. "You had to mention the Cassadines, didn't you?" Jason grinned.
"I'll warn Laura."
"Sorry, but I think I should remind you that I've only been in this town for a week. I just knew that the Cassadines owned this hospital. I didn't think I was treading on personal vendettas or anything." ZoŽ replied, taking Virginia Jean from Carly's arms for examination.
"The Spencers and the Cassadines have been at each others throats for generations. It's best just to smile and nod and quickly run away," Jason replied. ZoŽ laughed, her handing Virginia Jean back to Carly. She stuck her head down into a folder, writing furiously.
"The Spencers? I thought you were the Morgans."
"Oh no. Let's see, there's the infamous Lucas Lorenzo Spencer you just ran into, then there's Laura Spencer, Lucky Spencer, Lulu Spencer, uh, my mother, Barbara Jean Spencer-"
"Corbin." Jason interrupted.
"Bobbie Corbin, uh, Lucas Jones, I guess, and me, Caroline Benson Spencer Morgan- or would it be Spencer Benson Morgan? Oh wait, then there's Roberts. Uh, Caroline Spencer Benson Roberts Spencer Morgan?" Virginia Jean began to cry. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Virginia Jean. I know, all those names are confusing!"
ZoŽ stuck her head up from the folder and put it back on its container at the foot of Carly's bed. Jason thought she looked a bit distraught.
"Are you OK, Dr. Edmundson?"
"Huh? Yeah. Uh, Carly, you and Virginia Jean should be ready for release tomorrow. I'll send Nurse Corbin in to put Virginia Jean in the nursery. Good night, Carly, Jason, Virginia Jean." ZoŽ smiled and stepped out the door.
She closed it slowly, her eyes widening as she leaned against the door, her pasted-on smile looking strange, her eyes going through a million thoughts a minute.
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