Carly slammed the door shut behind her, making sure every lock was secured and the alarm system was armed. She ran through the house, her gun drawn, checking every room for any sign anyone had gotten inside, making sure every window was secure.
She breathed a sigh of only mild relief when she found that her house was exactly as she left it.
She was also relieved that Michael was someplace Sonny wouldn't know to look for him. The boy was thankfully spending the night with a classmate. One parent was WSB, the other was with the FBI, both highly trained. She was sure he'd be okay there, be safe, but it never hurt to check.
She grabbed her cell phone and searched through her purse, trying to find the classmate's number as she vainly attempted to hold her panic in check. It was on a little scrap of paper and it seemed like there were a thousand scraps at the moment.
The phone didn't ring fast enough for her. Fear was telling her something was wrong, she tried not to listen to that.
Finally, she thought to herself as she heard the voice of the boy's mother, an FBI agent. "This is Caroline Benson," she said, attempting to fake calm. "I'm just checking to see if Michael is okay."
"He's fine. The boys are doing some research on the internet for their history reports."
"Can you just keep an eye out tonight for anyone strange hanging around?"
"Michael will be fine, Caroline," she assured Carly. "Don't worry."
Carly was sure she sounded like some overprotective, smothering schizoid, but she didn't care. "I... I know," she replied shakily. "I just worry about him, you know."
The woman chuckled a bit, probably a nervous reaction to Carly's panic. "We'll take good care of him, I promise."
Carly closed the phone. She was panicking over nothing, she was sure. There was no way Sonny could get to her, she reminded herself. This area was set up to protect agents from people much more dangerous and cunning than Sonny Corinthos, she was safe. But she didn't feel so safe when all she could see was the shocked expression on her ex-husband's face that had followed her all over the mall.
She rushed up to her bedroom and curled up in the space between her nightstand and the wall. Tears fell down her cheeks, Carly giving in to the emotions raging inside her. This was supposed to be her new start, away from all the fear. This wasn't supposed to happen again.
Andrew. She could call Andrew. He'd come over to comfort her. Reassure her that she was safe. She'd dropped the phone as she rushed through the room. It was resting a few feet at away, on the floor near the end of her bed. She crawled to it, then hurriedly crawled back to her spot with the phone, dialing his number.
He picked up on the first ring. "What?" he barked.
"Andrew?" she said, still crying.
"What is it? I'm kinda busy right now."
He was curt with her, a tone she'd recognized. Sonny had used it many times when she interrupted his 'business'. It jarred her. Andrew had never spoken to her like that. To this point, he'd been nothing but sweet and gentle with her. Even the day she'd told him she had been assigned to him, he had been a little standoffish, but nothing like this. He had never sounded even remotely like Sonny. Until now.
Her tears began to quickly dry up. "I need you."
"Caroline," he exhaled sharply, annoyance projecting through the phone. "I'm sorry, but I don't have time right now."
"Andrew, please! I have to see you! Please come over!" she pleaded.
"I can't right now."
"Something happened, I need to talk to you about it. Please, I need to see you."
"I can't just leave. I have a job to do."
"Andrew, please," she pleaded one last time, tears escaping from her eyes again.
"I'll see what I can do, but it won't be until late. That's the best I can do."
She just hung up the phone. So much for Andrew being different. He wasn't going to support her anymore than Sonny was. To hell with him.
Carly was on her own, as she always had been. But Andrew was the least of her problems at the moment. She had to put her fears to rest. She had to know where Sonny was.
Carly threw papers everywhere. She searched frantically for Mac Scorpio's number. She needed to know where Sonny was. She was terrified that she wasn't just seeing things. She finally found the numbers he'd sent to her with the files. She was too afraid to call the police station, so she dialed the number to the home he shared with Felicia since their reconciliation, her hands still shaking.
To her dismay, it was Felicia who answered the phone. "Hello?"
After Jason and Sonny had had to bail the woman out of her problems with Roy, in the process leaving Carly and Michael open to an attack by a rival organization, Carly had no desire to speak to her. "Mac Scorpio, please."
"Carly?" the older woman asked in disbelief.
"No, my name is not Carly," she lied. She tried to sound as together as possible, given the circumstances. "I work for the WSB. I need to speak to Commissioner Scorpio, please."
Carly couldn't tell if the woman bought her story or not. She heard some rustling through the phone. She sighed, trying to keep her panic in check, easier now she felt like she was doing something and not sitting in the dark crying about it.
Finally, she heard the Australian's voice as he took the phone. "This is Scorpio."
"I need to know where Sonny is," she ordered, rushing the words. "I need to know if he's in Port Charles."
"Hold on, tell me what happened," he replied calmly.
"I saw him today!" she shrieked, losing her cool. She took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves. "I don't know if it was actually him, that's why I'm calling you. I need to know if he was there today."
"It'll take me some time to find out."
"I'll call back in a half an hour."
She hung up, not giving him a chance to argue. She curled up and waited, counting the minutes until she could call back.
Carly called back thirty minutes later, right on the dot. She was relieved to hear Mac answer this time, not Felicia.
"You find out anything?"
"Yes." Mac sighed. "The suspect hasn't left the city."
By the official tone of his voice, Carly assumed Felicia was still within earshot. She smiled sadly. He was trying to protect her. The thought of Mac Scorpio helping her still floored her. "Sonny was in Port Charles all day?" she asked, just trying to make sure she'd heard him correctly.
"You verified it with the feds?"
She closed her eyes, feeling the hot tears flowing down her cheeks. "No chance he made a little trip here this afternoon?" she asked in vain.
"No. I'm sorry, but it wasn't him."
She felt relief and fear, all at the same time. "Okay. Thanks for checking, Mac."
"I fax the reports to your office in the morning, if you want."
"I appreciate that. Thank you."
"Your welcome. Sorry I couldn't be of more help."
Carly hung up, feeling all emotion drain out of her. It wasn't Sonny, just her fears getting the best of her. She dropped her head, squeezing her watery eyes shut.
She couldn't take much more of this.
It was late when Carly heard the knock on her door. She almost didn't answer it. She remembered Andrew said he'd try to get away, but she wasn't sure she wanted to see him. Not after he chose work when she really needed him.
A knock resonated through the empty house a second time. She couldn't just ignore him, she admitted to herself. Better to confront him now, rather than let this simmer between them, like she had most of her problems with Sonny.
She opened the door and walked back into the living room, silent. Andrew came inside, shutting the door behind him. He did not look happy.
"I can't stay long," he said softly, not a trace of friendliness in his voice.
"Good," she replied coldly, crossing her arms as she turned to face him. "Because I have nothing to say to you."
Confusion and anger mixed in his expression. "What the hell! You called me over here, Caroline."
"I needed you tonight, Andrew. I needed you and you weren't here. End of story."
"I'm sorry, but I didn't have a choice. We had a mission blown all to hell and I've been busy trying to fix things halfway across the world from the goddamn problem, trying to make arrangements to get every agent back home in one piece."
Just like with Sonny, it was always something. She shook her head. "Your business comes first, just like it did with my ex-husband."
"That's part of my job!"
"It's just a job, Andrew!"
"My whole life is my job!" he shot back. "You haven't figured it out by now? It's a 24/7 job. Terrorists don't have business hours and they don't take vacations. The world doesn't stop turning at five o'clock so I can go home at night. If that was the way it worked, I'd still be married."
"You think I haven't heard that before? The mob is no different."
"I am not your ex-husband," he growled.
"What do you know about the mob?" she asked, not interested in an answer. "Since when did you become an expert on my life? You don't know what I've been through. You hardly know me."
"There's a reason for that, sweetheart. You won't let me in."
"You don't trust me. You're afraid."
"Oh yeah, smart guy? What do I have to be afraid of?"
"Me. That I might get too close, that I might hurt you like that ass you were married to."
That was the most ridiculous thing Carly had ever heard. "That is the biggest bunch of bullshit..."
Andrew closed the space between them. "Oh, I know a lot more than you think I do. One of my best friends was abused by her husband. I know the signs of a battered wife when I see 'em."
Whatever. She wasn't interested in his opinion. "To hell with you. I don't need you. And now I don't want you."
He opened his mouth to say something, but changed his mind. "Fine," he said coldly. He walked to the door, grabbing the door handle. He turned around and stomped back into living room. "Look, Caroline. I understand your ex-husband was an ass of the lowest order. He abused you and beat you down at every opportunity. But don't take that out on me. I'm not him. Got it?"
Carly's voice was icy. "Go to hell." She headed for the stairs, avoiding looking at him.
"So that's it?"
She stopped at the foot of the stairs. She turned her head, taking one last glance at Andrew. "Please lock the door behind you when you leave."