The Strange Romance Of General Hospital's Sonny And Emily

There have certainly been some odd romantic pairings on "General Hospital" over its nearly 50 years on the air — Carly and Franco, anyone? — but there is one that some viewers might not even remember because it was so bizarre and short-lived. Back in 2005, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) had become the city's most notorious mob boss and was raising his two sons, Michael and Morgan. At the same time, the much younger Emily Quartermaine (Natalia Livingston) was married to Prince Nikolas Cassadine and working as a doctor. Needless to say, the two didn't run in the same circles or have much in common.

Though distantly connected, as Emily was the adopted sister of Sonny's right-hand man Jason Morgan (Steve Burton), the two characters didn't have much crossover on the show until "GH" decided to experiment with their pairing. Sonny's life up until that point had been primarily characterized by his mob organization and romances with Brenda Barrett and Carly Corinthos. Emily, on the other hand, had been part of the younger crowd that included Nikolas, his brother Lucky Spencer, her best friend Elizabeth Webber, and Zander Smith (via Soaps in Depth). However, circumstances pushed Emily and Sonny together and their taboo relationship seemed to act as a brief reprieve from their complicated lives, though it was never destined to last.

Circumstance pushed Sonny and Emily together

In 2005, Emily Quartermaine's marriage to Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher) fell on hard times after she was raped by her husband's doppelgänger Connor Bishop (via Soap Central). Following that awful experience, Emily had trouble being intimate with Nikolas and her coldness led him to cheat on her with Courtney Matthews (Alicia Leigh Willis) — who happened to be Sonny Corinthos' sister. After filing for divorce, Emily decided to leave their castle, Wyndemere, and Sonny suggested she come stay at his home.

Sonny, himself, was going through a difficult time as his ex-wife, Carly Corinthos, had recently been institutionalized and he was now left to care for his children alone (via Soaps in Depth). The benefit of Sonny's offer to Emily was threefold: She would have a place to stay and recover from her assault and divorce, he would have someone to help take care of his two sons, and they could bond over their mutual disdain for Nikolas and Courtney's relationship. However, it didn't take very long after the two started cohabitating that Emily began developing feelings for the older man. It was clear that both she and Sonny were attracted to each other, but he attempted to keep their relationship platonic out of respect for his best friend and her brother, Jason Morgan. Yet, eventually, their willpower was worn down.

Sonny tried to fight his feelings for Emily

After drinking too much wine at dinner one night in January 2006, Emily Quartermaine revealed to Sonny Corinthos that she was falling in love with him (via Soap Central). He was flattered but told her that they could only be friends and she fled out of embarrassment. Later, Sonny discussed what happened with Jason Morgan and revealed that he did, in fact, share Emily's feelings.

Later that same night, Emily was conveniently walking by the pier when young Michael, who had run away from his mother, fell through the ice into frigid water and began to drown. She was able to fish the boy out of the water and perform CPR until help arrived. After Michael was taken care of, Sonny welcomed Emily back to his home to warm up. Overwhelmed with gratitude for saving his son's life, he gave in to his impulses and kissed her.

In the days after their first kiss, Sonny continued to send Emily mixed messages by telling her they couldn't be together, then kissing her, and repeating the cycle. Jason made his disapproval of their relationship clear to both Sonny and Emily, due to his concern for his sister's safety if she got involved with a mob boss. Eventually, he gave Sonny an ultimatum and Sonny chose Jason and his business over pursuing Emily. He then staged a kiss with Carly to get Emily to leave him so he wouldn't have to break her heart directly (via Soaps in Depth).

Sonny and Emily couldn't make their relationship work

Just a month after Sonny Corinthos and Emily Quartermaine's blossoming romance ended, a viral outbreak of encephalitis swept through Port Charles, infecting and killing many of its residents. One victim was none other than Sonny's sister, Courtney Matthews, who succumbed to the illness shortly after giving birth to her only child (via Soaps in Depth). Sonny was also infected by the virus and Emily's feelings for him made her petrified that he was going to die. She visited him in the hospital and the two agreed that life was too short not to follow their hearts and decided to start dating in secret (via Soap Central).

Months later, Sonny's extreme mood swings, violent outbursts, and heavy drinking became a concern for Emily. She realized that he might be suffering from a mental illness and encouraged him to seek professional help (via Soap Central). Sonny eventually went to therapy and discovered that he had bipolar disorder — a diagnosis he shares with his portrayer Maurice Benard. Though Sonny was thankful to Emily for helping him turn his life around, he realized that he didn't want her to have to deal with all of the darkness in his life and broke things off.

However, Sonny's decision wasn't enough to save Emily from the dangers of the mob. The following year, Diego Alcazar (Ignacio Serricchio) — aka the Text Message Killer — murdered Emily as revenge against Sonny and Jason Morgan for killing his father Lorenzo. Ultimately, cutting romantic ties with Sonny wasn't enough to protect Emily from a tragic end.