Port Charles Update Wednesday 8/21/02
Marissa answers Jamal's knock at the door. Since the phone went dead right after she told him to come over, he thought something was wrong and came as fast as he could. Marissa says the phone went dead because she hung up. She asked him over because she has a surprise. She spins around, telling him to take a good look and see what's different, but he doesn't know what to look for. Marissa proudly announces that she's the new star reporter for the Port Charles Herald. She jumps into Jamal's arms and he spins her around. It's ironic that she just got this great job and the last thing she wants to do is work. Jamal really gets to her, and she can't concentrate on anything else when he's around. Jamal admits she finally got to him when she had the chance to do a story on the cash giveaway in the park but went after him instead. Marissa admits she even surprised herself with that one. She's always been so focused on her career, never giving much thought to dating before, but Jamal's different, and she couldn't let him walk away. Jamal admits he was afraid he blew it by pushing her away, but it sure feels good to mean that much to somebody. It's been a long time since he's felt this way. Marissa says she's really excited about her job but the best thing about coming to Port Charles was meeting Jamal. While they kiss, Jamal expresses the desire to make love. Marissa eases him back on the bed in consent, and they make love for the first time.
Ricky tells Karen to take it easy, thinking she's probably still shaken up from being kidnapped by Lancelot. Karen insists he didn't kidnap her, and she felt safe. Ricky scoffs at this; she can't possibly know that he wouldn't have hurt her. He won't let her out of his sight again. Karen initiates lovemaking on the couch. Afterward, she starts thinking about her encounter with Lancelot in his hideout, and it freaks her out. Exhausted, Ricky wants to stay right where they are, but Karen jumps up and says she promised to take a shift tonight. Not wanting her to drive alone at night, Ricky wants to drive her to the hospital, but Karen insists on having her own car there. With promises to be careful and call him later, she heads out the door. Ricky warns himself not to screw this up. He goes to the closet and removes the box containing his mementos of Casey. He looks at the photo of the two of them, then places it back inside the box and throws it all away. Later, he absently channel surfs before turning off the TV. He looks over at the trash can and reminisces about his final moments with Casey. He gets the box out of the trash and looks inside, touching first the special key she used to save his life, then the photo. He closes the memory box and places it back in the closet.
Rafe and Ian strategize about how to defeat the Avatar. As far as they know, it's never been seen without its shroud. They try to figure out why it needs the shroud, and Ian thinks it's a simple matter of concealing the host. Rafe has a different explanation. There are other ways to hide the identity of the host, so the shroud must be its source of power, like a talisman. Ian thinks about this, relating it to something Alison told Jack that night in the park when the Avatar went after her and Danny. According to Alison, she couldn't think clearly when she was inside the cloak, as if her mind had somehow been cut off. This convinces Rafe that if they can destroy the shroud, the Avatar will lose its powers and be destroyed. Ian's concern is how they're going to trap the Avatar long enough to rip its protective shroud off its head, but Rafe's open to ideas. Ian points out that it needs adoration, and they interfered with that and pushed it to take risks it really didn't want to take. It should have left town, but something's keeping it here. He considers the possibility that a woman is its tie to Port Charles. Maybe they can get close enough to get the shroud. Rafe thinks that may be a good place to start. The conversation over for now, Ian says he's going to see a friend, and Rafe suggests that they get together later to brainstorm some more. Wondering what's keeping the Avatar in town, Rafe leaves to find Livvie.
As Livvie waits in the park, "Frank" appears right behind her. He's glad she's a little shaky after their last visit; he wanted to see whether his message finally got through to her. Livvie protests that he didn't have to scare her, but Frank wants her to know exactly who's in control. She should think about what might have happened if her friends hadn't interrupted his little talk with her before. Things are finally working out for him and he doesn't want her screwing up anything. He got the public back on his side, and now even the police are going to work with him. As long as he's happy, Livvie's secret is safe. Livvie tells him that since both their lives are going so well, they should just leave each other alone. When she adds that this baby isn't really his and he doesn't want it anyway, Frank reminds her that it is indeed his child that she's carrying. They can't go their separate ways because she's going to help him. His job is to get rid of evil people, and she certainly qualifies, so she's going to spy on Rafe for him. Livvie argues that Rafe's starting to fall in love with her and she doesn't want to mess that up, but Frank says it's not up for negotiation. She was supposed to stop Rafe from going after him, but she keeps failing at that. Her only use now is for information. Livvie tries to convince him to leave town, not knowing why he would want to stay if Rafe is such a threat. Then she realizes that Frank is still in love with Karen; that's why he's staying. She reminds him that Karen's with Ricky now, thinking it must hurt to stay in town while knowing he can't have her, but he orders her to shut up and never speak Karen's name. Livvie cries out when he grabs her arms, accusing him of hurting her, but he points out that she doesn't know what pain is. Neither seems to be aware that Rafe is watching.
Karen goes to Eve's grave to talk. The red rose Ian left is still on the ground in front of the grave. Karen says she could really use Eve's advice. Eve wouldn't even recognize Karen's life now because it's changed so much. She talks about the new man in her life, mentioning that while they just had the best sex ever, she kept thinking about another man. She doesn't even know who he is, but he's known as Lancelot, and he protects the women in town. She just can't stop thinking about him, and she thinks she's affected him somehow and that he wants her. She tells about how Lancelot took her to his place, and she thinks she's the only one who's been there. He told her she's beautiful, and when he touched her, it was so electric. She can't let him go, and she thinks he feels the same way about her. Karen has no idea that Ian has been listening from the nearby cemetery gate.
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