The Path to Power

Chapter Fifty




Lydia looks around the living room. It had been a week since her meeting with Dara. The paperwork is all together-- already signed even. Maybe it's going out of order to wait to get married until she's actually pregnant but it just felt safer for all of them if the Karenin-Quartermaine heir is more potential than pipedream. She's been living low key and would continue to do so until after the marriage-- her choice. As she'd told Dara there was a lot of money riding on her grandfather's will for the trustees and it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for them to attempt to sabotage her efforts to beat them.
In the past week, AJ had hired Wilson to oversee the planned changes to the back grounds; Sally to oversee the house and the remodeling of the apartment over the garage-- one of the bribes AJ had offered to get her to take the job. The remodeling project is complicated by the fact that the Hummer wouldn't fit in the garage alone let alone with any other vehicle-- including a bicycle. Neither of them had any doubts about Sally but hiring Wilson had been a favor to AJ's grandmother. It had only happened after Mrs. Quartermaine had convinced AJ she would do the actual landscape planning but Wilson needed employment to stay out of jail. Scarcely a reassuring recommendation.
There are still breaks in the decorating of the brownstone but they are intentional spaces left for items in her Grandfather's apartment in Monaco or at the country house. Things she isn't going to pick up until after the marriage is fait accompli and the lawyers have no say. Everything in place is either a Quartermaine castoff or something Sally had managed to pull together as Lydia pointed out a need. Somehow they'd managed to avoid anything screaming new and put together. Sally seemed to discern early on that while Fashion and Shoes may have to be the very latest... home is about physical comfort and emotional security. And everything had to be done on the generous budget AJ had set up for his household. Another way to avoid detection by the lawyers and Helena.
She'd have gone crazy without fresh flowers. Luckily AJ has a connection at a local florist and knew the delivery driver-- actually a family member. Once they'd been introduced she'd remembered him vaguely from the infamous luncheon at the Port Charles Grille. Dillon Quartermaine, AJ's cousin, lives with his brother outside of town. She doesn't even ask what flowers are going to be delivered anymore but instead likes to be surprised by what ever the florist thinks looks the best and is the freshest.
Dillon has never disappointed. According to AJ, he is still in high school although about ready to be on summer break. AJ said it isn't unusual for young people to have jobs to earn their own monies, although it is unusual for a Quartermaine-- evidently AJ's youthful experience had been being paid by the family to stay away. And it had been Dillon's experience as well-- until he'd moved in with Ned and his new wife.
Dillon had given them a name of someone that could do the remodeling for the garage. He didn't actually know the people but indicated they were people who'd worked with Faith's staff in the past. Curious that. It had been Faith's staff, not Ned's. And if the names Dillon gave him were any indication her staff is diverse, Dillon gave her a sheet with names of electricians, plumbers and a variety of a local tradesmen all guaranteed to be discreet. It had been somewhat... unsettling.

"Everything is ready, Miss Lydia." Sally announces. Because company is expected she is wearing her more formal uniform of a black dress with a white apron. The uniform she'd worn every day working at the Quartermaines. Things are different here-- when nobody is expected, and because of Lydia's situation nobody is expected unless they have an appointment, her work uniform is jeans and a t-shirt. It is more in keeping with the neighborhood and made her inconspicuous when running errands.

"What is going to happen?" Lydia asks nervously. She tweaks the placement of a vase of fresh flowers. "You've known AJ's mother for a number of years."

"Honestly or do you want me to tell you everything is going to be fine?" Sally inquires wryly.

Lydia winces. "Honestly."

"Dr. Monica has never liked any of AJ's girlfriends but that is no surprise since most days she's doesn't like AJ. Loves him... yes. Respects him... no. Sure, she thinks he's turned over a new leaf with this." Sally indicates the house with a wave of the hand. "But he's turned over new leaves before. Lots of them. Thing about leaves... sooner or later they crack, break and turn to slime. She's being nice to AJ now because she has an empty nest thing going on. If any of her other kids moved home she wouldn't give him a second look."

Lydia sighs and closes her eyes. "Hell. I asked. Okay, lie to me."

"Everything will be just fine."

"You're a peach."

"That's why you pay me the big bucks." Sally grins but then she snaps her fingers. "I know how to do it!"

"How to do what?"

"You want to get the Quartermaines eating out of your hand? That's what you have to do. You have 6 months."

"Six months to what?"

"To pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner with turkey. The Quartermaines have never been able to do it. They try every year and always end up having to send out for pizza. They have a Thanksgiving Turkey Curse. I have no idea who laid it on them. Probably Helena Cassadine, she's cursed just about everyone else in town."

"You aren't kidding." Lydia mutters. "One dinner. One dinner and they'd respect me and AJ?"

"One Thanksgiving dinner. It's a big deal. Too soon for me to request that weekend off?"

Lydia laughs. "After what you just told me, you can have Christmas off. You can have New Year's off. There isn't a chance in hell of you getting Thanksgiving off."

"I'm going to hold you to that. Christmas and New Years both in exchange for Thanksgiving." What the hell I've been putting up with the Q Thanksgivings for years. The doorbell rings. "Show time." Sally tells Lydia. At Lydia's nod, she goes to get the door. "Good Morning, Dr. Quartermaine. May I take your coat?"

"Thank you, Sally." Monica looks around the house that she hasn't seen since she walked thru it with AJ. Then it had been vacant and lonely. Now it isn't.



"I can't just keep hanging out here." Liz tells Lucky. It seems like old times with her crashing in the bed and Lucky on the floor. But it isn't fair. This time around it's Lucky's bed, and his floor in his rooms over Kelly's. He'd taken over the manager's apartment over Kelly's which meant it was the one apartment with a bathroom and even a washer and dryer. Bobbie had been redoing it with the plan of offering it to Penny with the manager's job before the waitress had won the lottery and basically went into hiding on Spoon Island. Still Lucky isn't as young as he used to be and she swears she could hear a creak this morning when Lucky had gotten up to go take a shower. "I should go back to my studio. Or to Grams. Gram has been practically begging for me to move back."

"Was Ric there the last time you tried to stop by the studio to pick up stuff?"

"You know he was."

"Worse he was there within ten minutes of you showing up. He's got someone watching the studio. Hell probably watching you all the time just waiting for you to be alone and have a weak moment."

"Paranoid much, Spencer?"

"Family trait, Webber." Lucky reminds.

"What are you going to do today?"

Lucky sighs. "Quit my job. It's been coming ever since Capelli died. I'm not cut out for sitting behind a desk... at least not all day everyday. Don't know if that means I'll be working for my Dad... maybe covering the bar while he's off chasing Helena. Although Claude has that covered and I'd just be backup." Lucky shrugs. Money had never been an issue for him. If he needed some he went out and got it.

"Luke having any luck with that?" Liz asks with a shudder. She'd had her own run-ins with Helena. Been a pawn in Helena's game with Nikolas and Lucky. Just another trophy in the Spencer/Cassadine war. She rubs her belly absently. The last thing she wants is to be in the middle of anther turf war. It's one reason why she hasn't gone to Sonny for assistance. He'd always come thru for her in the past. Him and Jason both. And he's help her fast enough... both of them would-- happily-- as long as she is firm in her resolve to keep Ric kicked to the curb. Sonny is the baby's uncle after all. But that would put her in the middle of Ric and Sonny. And if there was something to be said about the bone between two dogs is that it got chewed up and spit out and then chewed on some more.

"Haven't heard anything from him. I doubt I will until he either needs information or a shower." Lucky jokes. "Nobody goes to ground like my dad."

"Is it bad for me to say that I wish you could still be a cop? I know it's selfish but I think it would have been safer than you being...."

"A Spencer?" Lucky pulls on a shirt. "Yeah, I think that's what my father hated about it so much. Me being part of the them rather than just taking care of things. I should have known about Capelli, Elizabeth. He should never have been flying under my radar. There is no excuse; I should have seen him coming."

"I think you did. That's why you never took him over to Spoon Island." Liz counters. "It might never have been anything you said or even thought but one way or another it didn't happen."

"You're putting on the rose colored glasses. You get that prescription from Aunt Bobbie?" Lucky grins as Liz sticks her tongue out at him. "What are you doing today?"

"I have a check up over at the hospital with Dr. Meadows. Then I thought I'd do lunch with Gram. I'm going to try to talk her into here rather than the cafeteria at the hospital. The smell of coffee might make me want to hurl but anything they serve at the GH cafeteria will have me tossing for sure."

"Well getting quit/fired probably won't take long. Give me a ring if you need anything."

"Thanks Lucky." Elizabeth waits until he's gone to get out of bed and gathering her stuff together goes to the shower. Time to start moving. Too much time alone is all the time Ric needs to ambush her and start pleading his case. It's still too soon. Every time she saw Ric-- his face morphed into Tom's and all she wanted to do was slice it off. Homicidal couldn't be good for the baby. "I don't care if you have his eyes. I don't care if you have my artistic... temperament. But please, baby, be more than whatever insanity runs thru your daddy's side of the family."


There had been awkward pleasantries. Basic polite getting to know you. Places they had in common in Italy. Evidently Dr. Quartermaine took a vacation to Italy whenever the family was too much for her, often in the company of her daughter, Emily. Everything under the Tuscan sun except anything to do with AJ and what Lydia's doing in his house.

"You wanted to know when it was getting close." Sally adds fresh hot water to the tea pot.

"Thank you." Lydia rises to her feet and goes over to the entertainment center in the den. She opens it up to reveal the television. Picking up the remote, She turns to the public access station and turns up the volume.

"Is there something going on?" Monica asks curiously. It's really rather rude to be turning on the television when a guest was there. Course that would be admitting that she was a guest in AJ's house and this Lydia person the hostess.

"Planning Commission is hearing testimony on the football stadium today and giving their recommendation. AJ recusing himself of course because of the conflict of interest but he will be there." Lydia says absently. The production values aren't all that great but it's clear enough to see. AJ is sitting in the first row of the Gallery. His sister Skye is sitting next to him with a tape recorder going. There is another reporter in the second row... probably the sports reporter. Dara, as AJ's representative, was there to state the case to the balance of the planning commission. "Just in case they have any questions that Ms. Jensen can't answer. I hope you don't mind. I want to know how it went before AJ returns home."

"Thank you for being here today, Ms. Jensen. We are ready to hear testimony regarding the new stadium."

Dara takes a sip of water and then clears her throat. "Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission. I hope you have all had time to review the proposal that was messenger'd over." She rises to her feet and activates the power point presentation regarding the new development and the economic and environmental impact it would have on the community. The presentation is smoothly done with all questions being held to the end.

"I didn't know this was happening today." Monica mutters. I didn't know this was happening at all.

Lydia gets comfortable and sets the remote on the table next to the tea set. Now that the tea had a chance to steep, Lydia pours herself a refill and one for Monica as well. "I suspect Skye is there to write an editorial for the Herald. Doesn't look as if she is recusing herself from the situation. Maybe it's advantageous she ended up not being a biological Quartermaine. Less likely for her to be called on a conflict of interest for supporting AJ's plan." Lydia studies Monica out of the corner of her eye.

Monica stiffens at the mention of Skye. "She's still using the Quartermaine name."

"But if I read the scene correctly at the Port Charles Grille her mother won't be... anytime soon or ever. And woman to woman-- isn't that really the most important thing?!"

"That is none of your business." Monica sets down her tea cup.

"No. Not really." Lydia agrees. "It's just that I do understand and empathize with your position considering I am becoming involved with a man who has a child with another woman. Another woman who has proven to be... unstable?"

Monica laughs bitterly. "If you're talking about Carly-- how about an amoral, gold digging slut? Unstable is just the most endearing of her qualities."

Lydia winces. "And yet she is the mother of your grandchild and thus will be a part of any relationship that AJ has with his son. But I have to bite my tongue. You see I do understand your difficulty with Skye. Skye is an adult; scarcely one to have to have Daddy called when she skins her knee. And now with the revelation she is not your husband's biological child even less reason for her mother to use a grown woman to manipulate him and your marriage. Michael on the other hand is just a little boy."

Monica considers Lydia and what she's said. "So you're a part of whatever plan that AJ has?"

Lydia shakes her head. "Not really." She frowns. "I believe AJ does have a plan to get his son back but I am not privy to the details. I told him that I have no experience as a mother or stepmother but he doesn't seem concerned. If he was going to marry to provide a mother for his child there are many more suitable candidates. My only piece of the plan, as far as I know, is to make sure that Michael is not AJ's only child. I do have your son's best interests at heart, Dr. Quartermaine. He will get his son back. He'll have a political career if that is to what he aspires. Alan James Quartermaine will be the founder of his own dynasty."

Monica is taken aback. "I don't know you. I don't know anything about you other than the fact that Helena Cassadine wants you dead."

"Now you know what I get out of the plan as you called it. My only living relative just passed away and I want a family." Lydia says frankly. "I admire your son and believe we will suit."

"What about about love?"

"What about respect, admiration and trust?" Lydia counters. "I came to this country to get married and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Once I'm married I'll be of no interest to Helena. I want you on my side, on our side, Dr. Quartermaine." Lydia leans in.

"Are there any questions about the proposal?" Dara asks from the television.

"AJ, you've been sitting back there like the cat that ate the damn canary. Lay it out there, Boy. If we don't suggest approval to the mayor-- what are you planning on doing?"

AJ gets up and walks past the bar to the podium. He leans into the mic and shrugs. "Take the proposal to Beecher's Corners. It won't affect the players or even the season ticket holders since it's within a reasonable range. People travel a lot further for a good game. Beecher's Corners would reap the economic benefit and I wouldn't have the conflict between my job on the commission and the team. I'm not willing to give up either, Bob."

"Planning on having it all, AJ?"

"It's looking that way, Bob." AJ agrees with a small smile then he gets serious. "Unlike many of the people that stand on this side of the podium, I do know, the long range development plan for Port Charles. I have a framed copy hanging in my office. I know this is ahead of schedule. Port Charles isn't looking for a new stadium to break ground until 2015-- I know it. But the team is outgrowing the current facility now and I can't wait until 2015 to break ground. The team needs to be in and practicing. And I think you've already seen that I believe in... multi-use. Dara touched on that with the proposal. I know it's quite the investment but there would be a benefit to the community at every facet of the development. The only question now is which community... and that's up to you.

Monica watches Lydia's face as she watches AJ.

"Isn't he wonderful?" Lydia asks.



"I'll have a beer." What the hell. I'm not on duty. Lucky tells the bartender at the Outback.

"Same." Mac agrees as he slides in the booth across from his ex employee. "You're probably wondering why I asked you to meet me here after you finished up with Personnel."

"Yeah, you might say that."

Mac looks around the place. "I'm damn lucky that this place runs itself thanks to Brian. It keeps the girls in trips to the mall. You have any idea what a prom dress costs these days?" He grins wryly. "But the same can't be said of the detective agency. Felicia was running it when she wasn't running off..." with your father. "She's in Texas now taking care of Mariah and I don't know when she's going to be back."

Brian comes back with the beers and sets them down in front of the guys. Lucky takes a careful sip before he asks. "I don't know if I'm presuming something here but are you offering me a job?"

"Not exactly. I'm offering you a business: some stationary, a phone, a closet you can call an office and a rolodex. No pay other than what you bring in. Hell I'll throw in an apartment if you want one. Nobody has lived over the restaurant since V left on that world cruise with Simon. Getting thru the police academy will be a good start to getting your license if that is what you want. You had more computer skills at sixteen than I ever will." Mac shrugs. "It's up to you."

"How much is this because you need someone or the business will fold and how much is to piss off my dad?" Lucky asks suspiciously.

"The business is already folded. You would be starting from scratch." Mac clarifies. "If you've already got something going..." Mac lets his voice trail off.

"Why don't you show me this closet." Lucky takes a long pull on the beer and then rises to his feet.



Ric is waiting in the visitor's area for Elizabeth to come out of whatever appointment she had at General Hospital. When he sees her walking up to the nurse's station with a black woman in a white lab coat he rises to his feet but hangs back waiting for Elizabeth to be alone. She had to understand. Had to be made to understand.

"Thanks, Dr. Meadows." Elizabeth signs the papers that she needs to at the nurse's station. "I appreciate you seeing me on such short notice."

"Audrey is a tremendous advocate and it's actually a relief to see someone that isn't high risk on occasion."

Elizabeth sighs and smiles. "That is so good to hear."

"Just remember that the nausea and lethargy are a common occurrence. It'll ease and then hit you hard again toward the end. You can fill the prenatal prescription down at the pharmacy." Dr. Meadows looks at the nurse behind the counter. "I'll see Elizabeth in about a month."

The nurse nods and sorting thru Dr. Meadows schedule finds the next available appointment about a month out. "Did you prefer mornings or afternoons?"

"Afternoon." Elizabeth interjects. "If I'm working I end up sleeping late." The nurse writes down the appointment on a card and hands it to Elizabeth. "Thanks."

"About the working, Elizabeth... just make sure you're in a well ventilated area... be careful around the solvents... and have you ever considered watercolors?"

Elizabeth laughs. "Not my preferred medium but I'll be careful, Dr. Meadows."

Dr. Meadows walks Elizabeth to the elevator and they chat until the elevator comes and then the doctor walks back to her office.

Ric sits down abruptly on the nearby couch. His legs have turned to butter-- melted butter. "Prenatal vitamins?" He whispers. "Elizabeth is having my baby. We're going to have a baby."



"The lady wants you to bring those up to her room." The concierge at the Port Charles Hotel tells Dillon.

Dillon winces. "That isn't the way things normally work. I drop the flowers off at your desk and you have them taken up. That way you get the tip."

"I know. But it's either my job or yours and I'm keeping my job. She wants to see you."

"That's what you think." Dillon counters with a threat of his own. "Ned isn't going to like it."

"Ned is reasonable. Your mother is not." The concierge makes a shooing motion with both hands and then turns to the next guest.

"I'm going to remember this." Dillon gets the last word as he goes over to the bank of elevators. He hits the up button and is cursed when it immediately opens. Maybe it would break, maybe he would hit every floor on the way up, maybe the hotel would be struck by lightening and the power would go out. Before he can come up with even more options of delaying, the elevator opens on his mother's floor. He goes up to the door and taking a deep breath raps on it. "Delivery."

The door swings open before he even finishes the word. "Darling!"

"Hi, Mom."

"It's appalling I have to call the florist shop to see my baby." Tracy gives him a huge hug.

I should have taken the job in the video store. "If I would have known, Mom, I would have made you the last delivery of the day. I can't stay long. Where did you want these?"

"Oh there is fine." Tracy points to an occasional table. She sits down on a couch and pats the spot next to her. "Tell me how you're doing? School! Yes, how is school? Do you have a girlfriend?"

"MOM!" Dillon reluctantly sits down next to his mother, knowing he isn't getting out of here until he gives her something. He sighs. "There is a girl I like. Her name is Georgie but I don't think it will go anywhere."

"Why not?!" Tracy protests ready to jump to the defense of her cub.

"She's the police commissioner's daughter. Faith would tear her to shreds."

"Well I think you should follow your heart, Dillon. If you like her that's good enough for me."

Dillon looks at his Mother with narrowed eyes. He can't decide if it's Invasion of the Body Snatchers with his Mother as a pod person or maybe PuppetMasters starring Donald Sutherland and then it strikes him. Of course his mother would like Georgie-- he'd just said that Faith didn't. He stands up. "I really do need to get going, Mom. I have a delivery outside of town and I don't want to be out too late. It was great to see you."

"Bring Georgie over for dinner one night. I promise to be good." Tracy gives him a kiss on the cheek and then wipes ineffectively at the smear of lipstick.


"Mr. Lansing, this house had everything that you had on your list?" The dark haired woman in her thirties unlocks the door of the suburban house. There is nothing to draw attention to the house from the outside. It has a lovely yard, just like the neighbors. A sturdy fence-- just like the neighbor's. There is only one thing on the list that made this house different from the rest.

"Even the..."

"Let me show you." The woman walks over to a built in bookcase in the living room and opening the glass front pushes a button inside. "There is also a remote. But this room is totally autonomous. There are monitors to the house and the entrances. Someone went a little overboard with the Y2K scare I think..." Realizing she'd just motormouthed herself out of a potential sale, the real estate agent starts backtracking. "Although it's ideal for collectors. You said your wife is an artist?"

"Yes, She'll be having her first gallery show after our child is born."


"Thank you." Ric looks around. "I'll take it. There is a problem with our apartment and we're staying at the Port Charles Hotel right now while it's being straightened out. How soon can we move in? The sooner the better."

"Well..." The real estate agent is flabbergasted. This wasn't a negotiation but a flat out offer. "It's vacant now but there is some paperwork that needs to be completed."

"Then lets go back to your office." Ric takes the keys and locks up after taking a lingering look at the living room. Elizabeth would be happy here. Happy and safe.



"Don't take your coat off." Lucky orders turning away from the counter and hopping down to meet Elizabeth half way into Kelly's.

"Excuse me?!" Liz demands. "Please, thank you?!"

"Have I got something to show you." He grabs her by the arm and starts dragging her out of Kelly's and to his pickup truck.

"I've seen your truck." I've even seen the stars from the bed of your truck more than once upon a time.

"Come on, Elizabeth. Don't be difficult. We're going to have to give Ric's goon the slip anyway."

"Where do you want to go that he can't follow? He already knows about the studio and Kelly's. Oh hell. He probably even knows about my doctor's appointment." Liz frowns at that thought.

"Pregnancy is something that can't be hidden for long. Mom was HUGE with Lulu. Started to wear big floral hats so nobody would look at her ankles."

"You are not funny."

"Just making a suggestion." Lucky helps Liz up into the truck. "I think you'd look great in a big floppy hat with fake flowers on the brim."

Liz shudders. "Stop I beg of you." She buckles up. "So where are we going?"

"You are looking at the first ever franchisee of Scorpio Investigations. Absolutely no money in it to start." Lucky says cheerfully as he pumps the gas twice and then turns the key in the ignition. The truck roars to life with a cloud of smoke. "But it comes with an apartment with all utilities included. An apartment nobody has used since V Ardanowski left town."

"Over the Outback!" Liz realizes.

"Bingo. You never went there with Ric right?"

"No. Never. Thank Goodness."

"I checked out the apartment. It's got a room that would be good for the kid or for a studio. Great Light. I think that's from when Lucy was living there. Wouldn't surprise me if she knocked out a wall, window and parts of the ceiling. I know that Kevin Collins used to hang his art in the Outback."

"What is the downside?" Liz asks.

"Getting all your stuff over there without clueing in Lansing."



Lydia flips from one screen to another and back again. She makes a note on the pad on the desk. "AEEEEE! Oh My GAWD, AJ, don't scare me like that!"

AJ leans over and kisses her again. This time there is a little more enthusiasm as Lydia focuses on him. "Sorry. I thought you heard me come in. What are you working on?"

"I'll tell you in a minute. Well?" Lydia looks at him questioningly.

AJ looks back the same way. "Well?"

"What happened? Did they approve? Tell me!"

AJ slowly grins. "It'll be recommended to the mayor and will be on the next ballot for approval."

"That's because you were brilliant. Your Mother thought so too."

"My Mother?"

"She was over having tea and we watched together."

AJ pulls Lydia out of the chair behind the desk and then pulls her back into his lap. "Did you just say you had tea with my mother? Lydia..."

Lydia wraps an arm along his shoulders and replies matter of factly. "I was going to have to meet her eventually. I did already met your father although the circumstances were less than auspicious. It went very well."

AJ raises a single brow.

"It did. Even Sally said so." Lydia adds defensively. "Okay. It could go either way. I think I laid the ground work for your mother and me to be allies. Or she could turn on me the first time I step out of line."

"Or both." AJ says wryly. "Family loyalty is kinda..." AJ makes a rocking motion with one hand. "Iffy. It last longer than business loyalty which means about 3 months on the outside. That's how long it takes the family to rotate the CEO position of ELQ around."

"Business loyalty pfft." Lydia makes a dismissive noise. "You have your position with the city, the team and your investments. It is as you told your grandfather, you are too busy for his ELQ. If they want your vote they will run things the way you want. And if they don't then it is their loss."

It takes AJ a while to let that one absorb so he changes the subject. "What were you working on?" He looks over at the computer screen.

"Sally told me about this family loyalty problem and she believes she has found a way around it."


"You and I will host The Quartermaine Thanksgiving Dinner."

"Ah... Lydia..." AJ starts shaking his head. "You have no idea what you're getting into... Thanksgiving is a disaster. We should be out of the country. Going skiing... heading down to the Bahamas for sun and fun."

"Oyster or Sage?" Lydia demands.


"Which kind of dressing? Oyster or sage?"

AJ closes his eyes and sighs resignedly. "Oyster. But it will never work."

Lydia leans in and gives him a kiss and then another one. "I have six months; don't be such a pessimist. Besides I've already told Sally that she has to work-- Christmas off, New Year's off but she has agreed to work Thanksgiving. How much loyalty would the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner get us?"

"It would get you thru New Years." AJ says honestly. "And then they'd start being nice to us again the closer to Thanksgiving coming around because they'd be expecting you to do it all over again."

"So three months here... two months there. That's almost a year." Considering I plan to be very pregnant by New Year's. "It'll work."

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