January 31, 2014

I had a busy day today, so I only managed to move Truths (Series) here. Tomorrow and this weekend, I plan to finish episode tags and series, before moving on to the long chapter stuff. Stories like I Shall Believe and Sanctuary will probably be the last stories moved over, just because it’ll take more than a day to do each.

Would anyone be interested in a page for music? Where I post links to the songs I use in the stories. Putting it together would be very time consuming, so I’m only going to do so if there’s actual interest.

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Truths

Elizabeth belted herself into the seat and peered out the window, trying to concentrate on anything but their destination.

There’s a gentleness within

After nearly a month of switching identities and driving around in various rental cars, Jason had flown them to London under an alias and arranged for it to look as though they’d shared a hotel suite there since they’d left Port Charles.

Now a flight from Port Charles to London showed their names on the passenger lists for the day they’d actually flown to Seattle.

And they were returning home. To clear their names with the police, to show Sonny Corinthos that he couldn’t break them.

To start their respective lives over again. He was going to convince Courtney what the papers said wasn’t true…

And she wasn’t sure what she would do.

There’s a kindness that she’ll bring

Jason glanced over at her, mistaking her silence for something else. “It’s going to be okay,” he tried to assure her. “There’s no evidence against us.”

“I’m not worried about that,” she said softly. She met his eyes briefly before looking away.

He was about to say something else but the plane began its takeoff.

Through her eyes of sadness lies
All her love for him

Elizabeth pushed aside a curtain to peer down at the city. Three hours in the city and she could already feel the distance between them.

During the last month, they’d had to get along. Had to trust. Had to communicate. Their lives depended on it. She’d thought it meant something to him.

But he was in the next room, already on the phone with Courtney.

Imprisoned every day
A handsome price to pay

Jason rubbed the back of his neck. “Courtney–”

“No, I’m not listening. You have been gone for a month. If what they were saying wasn’t true, then you would have called. No, instead you take off with your ex-girlfriend and you don’t even come back for Carly’s funeral. We are through.”

He stared at the phone for a full minute after she’d hung up before sliding it into the back pockets of his jeans.

He walked into the bedroom and sighed when he saw Elizabeth curled up in a chair, staring out the window.

“You want something to eat?”

She shook her head. “I’m not hungry.”

“We should stay in tonight. Courtney knows we’re back so Sonny will know soon enough.”

“I’m sure she was glad to hear from you,” she murmured.

“Actually, she doesn’t believe a word I say.” He rubbed one of his eyebrows, a nervous tic she recognized all too well after having spent every second of every day for the last month with him.

She waited to feel sympathy for him–that his fiancée had broken their engagement off publicly and now refused to listen to the truth.

It never came.

Even when she’s done her time
She’ll insist that life is just fine

They received a visit from Scott Baldwin the next morning but Jason had their tickets from the plane to London and hotel bill from London. There was little Scott could do to break that alibi and he left–vowing he’d prove their guilt yet.

Neither of them had felt very worried about being charged for Ric’s murder. She also knew Jason wasn’t worried about Sonny–but she was.

Though none of Sonny’s men had caught up with them again after Seattle, she could still feel that man’s hands on her. He couldn’t protect her then and she wasn’t sure if he could protect her now.

“Sonny’s on the docks,” Jason said around noon that day. “Let’s go.”

“Go?” Elizabeth frowned. “Go where?”

“To the docks. To get this over with.”

Someday soon she’ll make her move
Seize her chance to shine

She stared at him before setting aside her sketch pad and standing. “You want to walk right up to him. Are you high?”

“We’re going to call his bluff. Put some shoes on.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Elizabeth said stubbornly. “This is your idea of protecting us? Taking us right to him?”

Jason exhaled slowly. “Elizabeth, you told me that you trusted me. Do you think I would put you in danger if I wasn’t sure of the outcome?”

“I think that you want to believe Sonny isn’t really serious about wanting you dead.” Elizabeth rubbed her arms. “All right,” she relented. “Let me find my sneakers.”

It’s all that she can do
To free herself from you

Whoever had told Jason Sonny was on the docks had left out the fact he was walking with his sister. Both were dressed in black–still grieving for Carly and her unborn child.

Jason and Elizabeth had been perpetuating the lie that most of Port Charles believed. His arm was around her shoulders and hers around his waist. From a distance, they looked like a normal couple.

To someone standing closer–they were stiff and uncomfortable.

“I thought you’d left town for good,” Sonny remarked.

“We had to come back and clear up a misunderstanding.” Jason’s arm tightened around her waist and she wondered if that was because Courtney was present or if he was overdoing it to convince Sonny of something.

Sonny exhaled slowly and whispered something to Courtney. She kissed his cheek, shot a nasty glare at the other two and walked away in the other direction.

“You and me…we go a long way back, Jason. A lot longer than either of us knew Carly.”

“I know.”

“I know that you didn’t want anything to happen to her–and I know what I asked you to do that last night…it was out of line.”

It’s her liberty (that she wants you to see)
It’s her liberty (that she wants you to free)

“It was,” Jason agreed. “I’m sorry about Carly. More than you’ll ever know.”

“Yeah.” Sonny cleared his throat. “Elizabeth, I know I can never make up for what I did to you. I was–I wasn’t in my right mind while she was gone and you know, we had to force Ric’s hand. It doesn’t make it right.”

There was nothing she could say to him. He wasn’t the man she’d been friends with once.

“I know that you’re just pretending to be together in order to get any charges dropped or head them off.” Sonny shrugged. “I’ve explained it to Courtney and–and with time I think she’ll get pass this.”

Elizabeth stepped away from Jason then–he would get his life back. He’d forgiven Sonny for sleeping with Carly–he’d forgive him anything it seemed. He’d get Courtney back.

And it would all be over.

Where has all her lifeblood gone
Will you ever see

“I don’t care if she forgives me,” Jason said simply. “There has to be trust and she didn’t trust me.”

“Come on, Jason–you disappeared with Elizabeth. You never called her–”

“Because she would tell you that I had and you would have tracked me down. So, I guess there wasn’t trust on either side.” He looked at Elizabeth. “Are you ready to go?”

“Actually…now that this is over…I need to go see Emily, my grandmother…just things I need to do.” She took another step away from him. “I’m sure you do too.”

“Elizabeth–”

“Thanks…for everything.” Not trusting herself to be any closer to him, she just smiled weakly and walked away.

Even if she understood
Is it written that she should

Jason watched her go, almost forgetting Sonny standing behind him. Was that it? Thanks for everything? That was all she had to say about the last month? Had it meant nothing to her?

“I know we have a lot to work out before our friendship resembles anything from before.”

Sonny’s voice broke into his thoughts and he turned back. “I’m not sure it ever will. I know how you get sometimes, Sonny. But you sent men to kill me, to kill Elizabeth. I’m not sure if I can ever forgive you for that.”

“And I accept that.” Sonny shifted. “But do you have to forgive me to be my friend?”

“I don’t know, Sonny. A lot of things changed this last month. A lot.”

Sonny nodded. “Then maybe you and Elizabeth aren’t pretending. You know–I proposed to Brenda right after we’d saved each other’s lives. The moment I felt the most close to her–when I knew that I trusted her with my life. Being in danger and only having that one person to trust–it can change things that you don’t even realize were staying still.”

Come and see him when she is gone
He’s surprised but knows he is wrong

Elizabeth knelt in front of the tombstone, brushing her fingers over the words etched in the marble stone. Richard Lansing.

She closed her eyes and tried to remember the last time that she’d seen him. The morning of the day Jason found her on the docks. He’d smiled at her, kissed her goodbye and told her that he loved her.

While a pregnant Carly was locked somewhere.

She’d never asked Jason for the details of Carly’s whereabouts during the time she’d been missing. She hadn’t wanted to know how deep Ric’s deception went.

A simple case of do or die
And now she’s cut and run

She wondered what his last moments were like. If he knew that she was safe. If he even gave a damn. Did he believe Sonny would give the order? He must have–since he returned Carly.

But he’d waited and if it’d been any other man in the room that night instead of Jason–she would have been dead.

Would she ever really matter to anyone?

Your vision let you down
You almost let her drown

“Emily told me you might be here.”

Elizabeth didn’t turn around, just wiped the tears from her eyes. “My grandmother buried him. She didn’t know he’d taken Carly–only that he’d been her granddaughter’s husband and no one else would claim his body.”

“Your grandmother’s a good woman,” Jason said simply.

“She didn’t believe the papers. That I had killed Ric and run off with you. She knew that I would come home and I would explain it to her. She believed in me and when I told her the truth, she still believed me.”

“You told her everything?” Jason asked, surprised. He stepped closer to her.

“I’m tired of lying, Jason.”

It’s her liberty (That she wants you to see)
It’s her liberty (That she wants you free)

“Yeah…I know how that is.” He slid his hands into his jean pockets. “Do you remember that last night in my penthouse? Not the night you left–but the one before that? Before Sonny faked his death?”

“What about it?” Elizabeth asked. She stood and stared down at the tombstone, thinking it would be easier if she didn’t turn around.

“You said that the Christmas we were in your studio, the red glass I gave you…the post card…you said those things changed you and you were hoping they changed me too.”

“I remember.”

“They did. I didn’t answer your question that night and I should have. Elizabeth…this last month changed me. I trust you in a way I’ve never trusted anyone.”

Where has all her lifeblood gone
Will you ever see

Elizabeth turned slowly and frowned. “What are you trying to tell me, Jason? I know that you trust me. You know that I trust you. We had no choice.”

Jason exhaled slowly. “Sonny accepts that I will most likely never forgive him for what he did. But he wants to make a fresh start.”

“He’d just lost his wife and child. I suppose with his history–it makes sense that he lost it for a little while,” Elizabeth murmured. She raised her eyes to his. “I’m glad–that you were able to pick your life like you’d planned.”

“But that’s just what I’m trying to tell you. All this month–the whole time we were gone, I thought I knew what we were trying to do. We were trying to stay alive long enough to come back home–back to our lives.”

“Right,” Elizabeth said slowly. “And we succeeded.”

“But that changed for me. I don’t want to go back to my life and for you to go back to yours.”

Even if she understood
Is it written that she should

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “I don’t–Jason, I don’t understand. What do you want from me?”

“Why’d you come here?” Jason asked instead. She bit back a groan at his abrupt change in topic.

“Because I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to try and remember something good about our life together.” She sighed and cast a glance over her shoulder. “It didn’t work. It’s all tainted. Every time I try to think of something good, I wonder what stage he was in his plan to kidnap Carly.”

“I want to be in your life, Elizabeth. Be part of it. ”

It’s her liberty (That she wants you to see)
It’s her liberty (That she wants you free)

“I want that too,” Elizabeth admitted. “But I don’t think we mean the same thing.”

“I think we do,” Jason stepped towards her. “I think the reason you walked away from the docks today is because you didn’t think I had changed–that my feelings had. That because Sonny was no longer a threat, we were finished.”

She hesitated and then nodded reluctantly. “I know you protected me out of obligation a-and I didn’t want to hope for more.”

“I thought the reason I protected you was because we’d once meant more to each other,” Jason admitted. “But I’ve come to realize that you still mean more.”

“So what now?” Elizabeth asked hesitantly.

After a moment of thought, Jason held out his hand. “Come with me?”

She met his eyes, bewildered and even a little amused at the feeling of déjà vu. “Where would we go?” she asked.

“Anywhere. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re with me.”

It’s her liberty (That she wants you to see)

Elizabeth stared at the hand she’d once turned down and then raised her eyes to his. “I think you should take me to Italy,” she remarked. “After all–you promised to show me the light.”

She slid her hand in his and he wrapped his own around it tightly–deciding that this time, he’d never let her go.

It’s her liberty (That she wants you free)

Song: Liberty by Olive

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Truths

Two Weeks Later

I just want to feel safe in my own skin
I just want to be happy again

They were somewhere in Arizona now, a small town just off the highway. As far as they knew, no one had any idea where they were.

But Elizabeth still didn’t sleep at night.

They’d been in this motel room for three days, by far the longest amount of time they’d spent anywhere. They only spoke when necessary.

She’d bought a book at a convenience store somewhere in Southern California and she sat at the small table near the window, reading it.

The shades were drawn, and she’d unplugged the lamp from the nightstand between the double beds. She’d set it up on the table and tried to convince herself she was back in her room at her grandmother’s instead of some small unknown town in the southwest.

I just want to feel deep in my own world
But I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

She sighed and set the book on the table, rubbing her eyes. She didn’t feel comfortable sitting in here by herself while Jason was getting something to eat. It was like she expected another hit man to jump out of the corner.

She separated the curtains to peer out to the street. When she saw Jason crossing the street, a pizza box and a six pack of soda in his hands, she let out a relieved breath and let the curtains fall back into place.

A few moments later, Jason entered. He set the food down and sat across from her. In the two weeks they’d been on the road, he’d never mentioned Carly, though Elizabeth knew he must be upset about it. He also never mentioned Courtney or Sonny and the only time they’d talked about Ric had been the day he’d told her husband was dead.

“You want a soda?” Jason asked. She nodded and after he handed it to her, she opened her book again and began reading. Immersing herself in a bad convenience store novel seemed a more enjoyable prospect than making conversation.

The sound of his cell phone shattered the silence and she glanced up sharply. His phone never rang. Of course she knew he was in contact with someone in Port Charles, but…was it really a good idea for someone to have his cell number?

On a different day
if I was safe in my own skin
then I wouldn’t feel lost and so frightened

He met her eyes briefly before taking the phone from his jeans pocket and answering it. “Yeah.”

“We’ve got a problem,” Johnny said in a hushed voice. He ducked into an unused office at the warehouse. “Baldwin can’t pin Lansing’s murder on Sonny, so he’s going a different route.”

Jason stood and turned away from Elizabeth’s eyes. “What does that mean?”

“It means that he’s using your disappearance to his advantage,” Johnny replied.

“That doesn’t surprise me.” Jason held his breath, knowing there was more.

“But his theory and how uh…people are reacting is why I’m calling.” Johnny hesitated. “He’s saying you and Elizabeth committed it together and then ran off.” There was another pause. “Jason–“

“They’re saying she’s guilty?” Jason cut in sharply, glancing at Elizabeth briefly who sat up and looked at him oddly.

“That’s not all,” Johnny continued. “The press is eating it up and they’re doing all these stories about you two. They found pictures of that warehouse fire on Valentine’s Day. They’re bringing up the kidnapping, the explosion and the shooting…Jase, it gets worse.”

He muttered something under his breath. “I can’t imagine how.”

“Courtney’s publicly ended the engagement.”

He couldn’t speak for a moment. He reached out his with free hand and braced it against the wall, an action that alarmed Elizabeth. She closed her book and stood up.

“Jason?” Johnny asked. “Are you okay?”

“You mean…she actually believes this?” Jason asked finally.

“I’m sorry, man. Listen, your sister has been defending you in the press and Lucky Spencer and Audrey Hardy are defending Liz, but it’s not doing much good.”

“What about Sonny?” Jason asked.

There was another pause. “He hasn’t said much,” the guard hedged.

“But?” Jason pressed.

“Look, Jase, the longer you two stay gone…the more time Baldwin’s got to spread this story. I know you don’t give a damn about yourself, but what about Elizabeth? She’s innocent in this.”

“Yeah…I know that.” Jason closed his eyes and dragged a hand through his hair. “Listen…I need to think about this. Talk it over with Elizabeth. I’ll call you back.”

“Okay.”

“Thanks for calling.” Jason hung up and leaned against the wall. “We’ve got a problem.”

But this is today
and I’m lost in my own skin

“I gathered as much from your side of the conversation,” Elizabeth said cautiously. “What’s wrong?”

“Scott Baldwin…I guess he didn’t have any luck prosecuting Sonny for Ric’s murder,” Jason told her carefully. “And he jumped on a new theory.”

“He thinks I did it,” Elizabeth said, slowly.

“He thinks we both did it and then ran off together,” Jason corrected.

Elizabeth widened her eyes. “And the people back home? What do they think?”

“I got the impression that it was pretty much accepted. Emily, Lucky and Audrey seem to think different but it’s not enough.” Jason sat on the edge of the bed, his mind already perusing their different options.

And I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

Elizabeth noticed the absence of Courtney’s name in that list and suddenly felt a sharp streak of sorrow for Jason. She remembered all too well what it was like when the person you loved didn’t trust you. “We have an alibi,” she pointed out. “At least a dozen people would put us on the flight to Seattle.”

“That’s true, but I bought those tickets under a different name. As far as anyone else is concerned, we vanished as soon as we left Port Charles. There’s no paper trail of either of us anywhere,” Jason told her. “We’re each other’s alibi and it won’t hold up in court.”

“But there’s no other evidence,” Elizabeth said, almost desperate. “There’s nothing linking either of us except the fact we left town.”

“And for Scott Baldwin, it’s enough. He’s corrupt, Elizabeth. He wants me in jail and he nearly succeeded last winter,” he reminded her.

“So…what? We run for the rest of our lives?” she asked, nearly panicked now.

He shook his head. “The longer we’re gone, the worse it’ll be.”

“But I thought it wasn’t safe to go to Port Charles. Especially since Sonny wants you dead.” Elizabeth crossed her arms tightly and studied him. After a moment of silence, she looked at the ground. “What should we do?”

“We have to go back,” Jason said after some hesitation. “Not right this second. Not even tomorrow, but sometime in the near future.”

“What about Sonny?”

Jason stood and shook his head. “Let me worry about Sonny.”

Elizabeth hesitated, her doubt in Jason showing again. He sighed, disappointed but understanding all at the same time.

And I just say oh, oh
I feel, oh, oh

“Elizabeth, I know what happened in Seattle upset you but you have to trust me. Once we’re back in Port Charles, on our own ground…I can protect you more.”

“I know,” she sighed. “I just…how are we supposed to get out of this without telling them Sonny put a hit on my life and then one on you?” she asked.

Jason frowned and sat back on the edge of the bed, deep in thought. She sat back at the small table and flipped the lid of the pizza box open. Her stomach had started to rumble a little and it was obvious Jason would need some time to come up with a plan.

And I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

She was halfway through a slice of plain when he stood and joined her at the table. “They already know we’re together,” Jason began. “I mean…that wherever we are…” he fumbled.

She nodded. “Right.”

“And the press has the idea that we killed your husband and then ran off somewhere together.” When he said together this time, she knew what he meant.

“We’re not going to be able to change their minds about that, you know that right?” Jason continued. “Once people get an idea in their head like that…”

“Yeah, I know. So how are we supposed to convince Scott Baldwin and the police that it’s not?”

I just say oh, oh
And I’m so lonely

“We don’t have to convince them of anything,” Jason replied. “We have time working with us. No one saw either of us after I took you to the warehouse, right?”

“Right,” Elizabeth said slowly. “But we didn’t leave until after midnight.”

“I can arrange to have records show we were on a flight to London before Ric’s murder,” Jason told her.

“Basically…we’re going to take their idea that we killed him and ran off together and just remove the kill part,” Elizabeth clarified.

“Yeah.” He shifted. “I know it’s not the best thing…but it’s the only believable explanation.”

“But what about Courtney?” Elizabeth asked, finally voicing the name that he hadn’t in two weeks.

I feel oh, oh
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

He hesitated then and looked away. “She, ah…she believes what the papers say. And she broke off the engagement.”

“Oh, Jason,” she sighed. “I’m so sorry.”

He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter right now. When we get back to Port Charles, I’ll talk to her. Straighten it out. But Elizabeth, this is the best and simplest explanation for what’s been going on.”

“And if we go back…you’re sure you can keep me safe from Sonny?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yes,” Jason said firmly. “I’m sure.”

“Okay then,” Elizabeth agreed. “Let’s go.”

I just want to feel safe in my own skin
I just want to be happy again

Song: Honestly OK by Dido

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Truths

I had a friend, he liked to test me
And disregard the rest of me

At 12:06 am the night Sonny Corinthos ordered Jason Morgan to kill Elizabeth Lansing in retaliation for his wife’s kidnapping, Carly Corinthos was left unconscious at General hospital with a message that said Sonny should come through on his end of the bargain.

By the time Sonny got the message and understood that Ric had just been moments late fulfilling Sonny’s demands, he’d been relieved to be able to make the phone call to Jason rescinding his order.

Instead, Jason’s cell phone was off. Sonny called Marco who said that Jason had told him to go home. That it was over.

And Sonny wondered if maybe he’d gone too far this time.

He sat by Carly’s hospital bed all night, waiting for her to wake up. Waiting for word from Jason. But Jason never called. And Carly never woke up.

Sonny had sent men to take care of Ric and other men to find Jason. With no confirmation of the order, Sonny knew what had happened. He’d ordered Jason to do the one thing he could never do. And Jason had refused in his own way.

He’d taken Elizabeth somewhere safe and secure, Sonny surmised, and he knew that if Jason didn’t want to be found, he wouldn’t.

And another who though she loved me
She could not help one night but do me wrong

She fell asleep shortly after they took off and didn’t wake until Jason was lifting her from her seat.

“Where are we going?” Elizabeth murmured sleepily. She didn’t open her eyes, didn’t struggle as she felt her body moving. She was so tired…so tired that she just fell asleep again before Jason could answer her question.

He rented a car under an assumed name with the help of the girl behind the counter who understood he didn’t want to wake his wife–which is what Jason told her–by sitting her down.

She’d called it romantic and all he’d said was to charge it to the first credit card she found in his wallet.

By the time he got her situated in the car and on the road, he himself felt the fatigue slipping in. It was early morning here, the middle of the morning back home. He’d taken her clear across the country and planned to disappear in Seattle for a day or two before he called someone back home to gauge the situation.

He knew he’d made the right decision–that he could no more kill Elizabeth than Sonny could kill Brenda. And since he felt responsible for her being in this situation, it was up to him to get her out.

He found a motel and registered them under the same names he’d used to get the car. He put her inside and just laid her on top of the covers. She hadn’t even woken slightly since the airplane and that worried Jason. She was a light sleeper. A creak in the floor, the sound of a coffee machine two floors down, just about anything woke her up.

But her breathing was deep, her color good and he didn’t let himself worry to long before sitting in a chair and falling asleep himself.

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

She was still sleeping when he woke a few hours later. He looked out the windows of the cramped room and found a diner across the street. He didn’t want to leave her alone but he knew she hadn’t eaten in nearly a day so he locked the door tightly behind him.

When he came back, the bed was empty but he could hear the shower so he set her order on the small table near the window before retreating to a corner of the room with his coffee.

Elizabeth emerged, still looking a little sleepy, towel-drying her hair. She wore her clothes from the day before and Jason made a mental note to find a store. There was no telling how long before he could take her back to Port Charles.

“Thanks,” she said quietly as she sat down and pulled the bagel out of the bag. It was toasted and she found some strawberry cream cheese in the bag as well. “You remembered,” she remarked with a tiny smile.

He shrugged and she just used the plastic knife to spread the topping. He’d gotten her an orange juice and she finished eating without saying anything.

When she was done, she threw out her trash before sitting on the bed and staring out the window. “Where are we?” she asked.

“Seattle,” Jason answered. He tossed his coffee cup into the trash. “I want to stay out of sight until I get in touch with someone back home. To make sure the situation’s cleared up.”

Elizabeth nodded. She was silent a few moments, staring at her hands. “Thanks.” He crossed to the window, slid the curtain shut so that no one could see in. “I mean that, Jason. I know you’d rather be looking for Carly.”

“We know Ric has her,” Jason said simply. “Any competent man would find her with that information and there are other people in the organization who can take care of it.”

“I figured that, but I still know you’d rather be back home helping them,” Elizabeth said again. “I know how much you love Carly.”

“If I’d left you in Port Charles,” Jason began, choosing his words carefully, “there are other men that Sonny would have given this order to. Men who don’t know you, who never guarded you. Who never knew that…” his eyes met hers briefly before looking away. “Who never knew that we were friends. Men who are looking for the chance to prove their loyalty. I know that Carly will be found, but I couldn’t know that you’d safe.”

She nodded and let it go, preferring not to think about those men that Sonny could send after them. He could see the brief flicker of fear in her eyes before she masked it. “What’s wrong?”

Elizabeth hesitated. “How do you know Sonny doesn’t already know where we are?” she asked quietly.

“Because I know more about disappearing than he does,” Jason answered. “I have a dozen different sets of ID that I can use that Sonny doesn’t know about and each of those Ids has a few credits cards to it with offshore accounts attached. He can’t find us if he doesn’t know what name we’re using.”

Elizabeth nodded and trusted her instinct that Jason knew what he was doing. After all, this was his line of work and he was completely sure they were safe, who was she to continue questioning?

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

He found a Kmart a few blocks from their hotel and against her arguments, gave her a credit card and told her to buy whatever she needed. Elizabeth stared at the credit card in some wonder as she realized it was in her name. Well not her name exactly. She certainly wasn’t Caley Fitzsimmons.

He saw the question in her eyes and just said he’d called someone before they got on the plane and a package with IDs to match his was waiting. Telling herself she’d pay him back when they got home, she grabbed some jeans and tank tops and some undergarments before meeting him outside with her purchases.

They went straight back but he went in the room first to make sure no one had been in there in their absence. Satisfied, he told her to go in and he stayed outside to make a call.

He’d originally planned to wait two days before calling, but he had to know the immediate situation and so he called one of the few men in the organization he trusted.

“Johnny?”

Johnny O’Brien was standing guard outside the Corinthos penthouse despite the fact that the floor was empty and Sonny was at the hospital with Carly. He was free to talk and did so. “Morgan, were the fuck are you?”

“Don’t worry about that. What’s going on there?”

“Three minutes after Sonny called you and I mean three minutes, Sonny got a call from GH. Lansing had dumped Carly there. She’s asleep right now. The doctors say she’s in shock.” Johnny hesitated. “Morgan, you didn’t…”

“No,” Jason snapped. “She’s with me. I’m not bringing her back until I know it’s safe. What about Lansing?”

“Sonny had him taken care of already. He’s not sure whether you took her and ran or if you did it and took off yourself. Either way, he’s been in a black mood since the news came.”

“Has he called down to the island?” Jason asked.

“No. I don’t know that he’s gonna. You’d better stay out sight for a bit. He’s…” Johnny hesitated for the second time. “Carly’s case of shock is a little more extreme than the doctors would like, so nothing’s guaranteed yet.”

“Okay. You’ve got the number of the Fitzsimmons cell. That’s the one we’re using here,” Jason told him. “Call me if anything changes.”

“What if you ditch the ID?”

“I’ll call you the first chance I get,” Jason answered.

“Do you have IDs for her?” Johnny asked. “Because I know a guy–“

“I got them already. Don’t worry.” He hung up then and took a moment before going inside.

Now watch me stand outside
I’m waiting for my shotgun ride

She was sitting at the table, with a small sketchpad and a pencil. She’d grabbed them at the store to keep her from going insane here. When Jason entered, she looked up. “Did you call home?” she asked.

He nodded and took a seat on the bed, rubbing the back of his neck. Sonny had had Ric taken care of and he wondered if it was a good idea to tell her. “Elizabeth, a few minutes after Sonny called me, he got a call from the hospital. Ric had left Carly there.”

Some of the tension lifted from her shoulders and she set the pad on the table. “That’s good, right?” she asked. “She’s okay, then.”

“She was in shock and I guess with the pregnancy, the doctors are worried,” Jason told her. “Uh…Ric…well…he…”

“He’s been taken care of,” Elizabeth finished softly. She was surprised to find her hands shaking a little and she realized she was still wearing her engagement and wedding rings. She was dismayed to find tears in her eyes. Her husband had been a kidnapper. “Did he, ah, did he know what would happen if he hadn’t returned Carly by midnight?”

“Yeah. He knew.”

She closed her eyes. He’d waited too long, it’d gotten too close. He knew Sonny would order Jason to kill her if he hadn’t returned Carly by midnight and he’d waited anyway.

Elizabeth stood abruptly and went into the bathroom. She shut the door behind her and turned the sink on to mask any other sounds coming from the room.

She took her rings off and stared at them for a little while, remembering the pure streak of happiness that had gone through her the night of their wedding. She’d thought that he loved her. That when he told her he’d love her first, last and always that he’d meant it.

Just another person in a long line of people who had lied to her.

She slid to the floor, and started to cry.

Two days I’m crossing the Kansas plains
I know my life won’t ever be the same

When Jason heard the water, he knew she’d gone in there to cry and he didn’t begrudge her that right. She hadn’t known until yesterday exactly who she’d married and she had a right to grieve for him.

She came out ten minutes later and set her rings on the table. “I want to get rid of these,” Elizabeth said softly. “I don’t care how or when. I just don’t want to see them anymore.”

“Why?” Jason had to ask.

“Because he gave these to me the night we said our vows,” Elizabeth replied. She’d shut down. There was no emotion in her voice, no feeling. A cold recitation of the facts. “He promised to put me first and he didn’t. I don’t want a reminder of another broken promise.”

Jason nodded. “We passed a pawnshop,” he told her. “I’ll take you there tomorrow.”

“I want you to have the money I get from it,” Elizabeth told him. “To pay for any food or–”

Jason shook his head. “I’m not taking money from you,” he said firmly. “I don’t care what you do with it, but I won’t take it.”

“Jason–” she protested.

“It’s not open for discussion.” Out of habit, he stood and crossed to the window, peering out of the curtains. “It’s my fault you’re here.”

“It’s because of you I’m still alive,” Elizabeth corrected. “I believe you when you say there are men who would have carried out that order.”

“It’s my life that did this,” Jason said instead. “I probably trained the men you’re talking about. Taught them that loyalty to Sonny was absolute. That there was never any exceptions. That loyalty came before personal feelings and objections.”

Elizabeth accepted that without argument. She’d known that about his job. Instead, she asked, “Then why didn’t you kill me?”

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

He frowned at her. “What?”

She shrugged. “If part of your job is putting loyalty to Sonny before personal objections, then what made you decide not to kill me?”

He hesitated for a moment before answering. “Because there are some lines I won’t cross. Not for Sonny. You were innocent in this, Elizabeth. Your only mistake was marrying him and you shouldn’t have to pay for that with your life.” He was agitated now. Felt like his loyalty was being questioned. He was loyal to Sonny, there was no argument about that. But who was he more loyal to? Sonny…or himself?

Elizabeth frowned. “I’m not saying you’re not loyal,” she said quietly. “I just wanted to know–”

“I know,” Jason interrupted. “And you have a right to ask. I just…I couldn’t kill you anymore than I could kill Brenda. Or Carly. Or Emily. Because I guess I’m more loyal to myself than to Sonny.”

The conversation lapsed after that and she returned to her half-hearted sketching and he went back to peering out the window.

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

The stress of the last month inside the panic room had worn on Carly’s pregnant body and with her body in shock, her heart had simply been unable to keep going. She died less than twenty-four hours after she’d been found.

Sonny received the news quietly and returned to his penthouse. He said only one thing before sealing himself inside. He told Johnny and another guard who was there, a newer guard who unlike the rest of the men had more loyalty to Sonny than to Jason. “Jason Morgan is my enemy,” Sonny told them in a low hissing voice. “He is the reason my wife is dead. I want him found and I want him dead.”

Johnny was prepared to tell the other guard to hold off on the order once Sonny had gone inside, but the guard, Peter, was already heading for the elevator. Johnny followed him, but the doors slid shut first.

Cursing, Johnny went into his stairwell to call Jason. He wanted to him to move now. It didn’t matter Sonny or any of the other guards didn’t have the slightest clue where to look for him. Jason needed move and take on a new identity.

He left a message, despite how dangerous he knew that’d be and went back to his post. He only hoped Jason got the message and hadn’t slipped up.

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

Unfortunately, Peter talked to one person who mentioned that Jason used a particular guy for his IDs. With a few threats and relatively little trouble, Peter got the names of Jason’s aliases and the fact that the forger had sent a matching set to the Seattle Airport. It wasn’t hard to see that Jason was on the run with Elizabeth in tow.

Peter had worked for the organization only a few months, he’d been hired during that terrible time when Jason and Sonny were at each other’s throats. He took his job seriously and when they told him he was to be loyal to Sonny above anyone else, Peter had listened.

He was in the air twenty minutes later.

Well as I try then I begin to see
The lazy trade their dignity

It was getting dark and Elizabeth was about to go out of her mind with boredom. She’d done a few sketches, but didn’t have a lot of motivation to continue. She almost wished there was a television here so she could distract herself with some mindless reality show.

Jason was still stationed at the window. He’d left once since they went to the store. He’d gotten dinner and gone to the pawnshop. Elizabeth had refused to take the money, but he tucked it in her purse when she wasn’t looking.

He’d gone back to the store to get a few more essentials. He’d gotten Johnny’s phone call and knew they’d have to try and lay a little bit lower than he’d planned. He’d gotten some hats, sunglasses. They were going to travel light and he’d bought a cheap crappy car. They were going to leave in the morning and toss the Fitzsimmons IDs.

He hadn’t told Elizabeth any of this yet. He was worried about her, worried that she wasn’t going to be able to keep up. Jason didn’t know how long before they could go home, now that Sonny’s grief had moved him to take action against them.

Elizabeth glanced at him, saw the pensive look on his face and frowned. “Jason?”

“Yeah?”

“Is there something wrong?” she asked softly. “You looked…upset when you came in.”

“I got a call from Johnny while I was gone,” Jason said after a moment. “Carly died in the hospital.” He heard her inhale sharply and went on. “Sonny gave the order to find me and kill me. He holds me responsible.”

But the root of the conspiracy
Is the corporate claim on all our needs

“What?” Elizabeth demanded. She stood. “Why?”

Jason shrugged, trying not to let it show how much Sonny’s newfound hatred affected him. “Maybe he thinks I should have found Carly sooner or that I should have stayed. I don’t know what he’s thinking.”

“I’m sorry, Jason. I know how much you love Sonny and Carly,” Elizabeth told him. She crossed the room, standing next to him at the window. “I–”

“We’re leaving in the morning,” Jason cut in. “I got a car so we don’t have to leave a credit trail. There’s a backpack for you to use so that we don’t look like we’re moving from town to town. We’re leaving in the morning.”

Stung by his brusque tone, Elizabeth just nodded and went into the bathroom to change for bed. If he didn’t want to talk about it, that his problem not hers. She didn’t care anymore.

She sighed and glanced in the mirror before she left. Like hell she didn’t.

Down goes the small man dream
The franchise rise and provide

She was still sleeping when he woke up the next morning, so he left a note that he was getting breakfast and they’d leave when they finished eating. He locked and shut the door tightly behind him.

It took twenty minutes to get a bagel, an orange juice and a coffee to go. The diner was busy and he’d had to wait in line most of those twenty minutes.

As he approached the door to their motel room, he slowed, his eyes trained on the slightly ajar door. He told Elizabeth never to open the door unless he was with her and he knew he’d locked the door behind him.

He set the food on the hood of their car and stepped up next to the door. Glancing around him, he pulled his gun the waistband of his jeans and kicked the door open.

A man had Elizabeth with a gun to her throat. He had one arm around her waist and he was poking the barrel of the gun upwards, digging it into the soft skin of her chin.

“Well, well, Morgan. I didn’t think I’d catch you off guard this easily,” the man taunted.

Jason’s eyes narrowed as he recognized him. A guard…Peter. “Let her go or I’ll kill you,” Jason threatened.

“Put the gun down,” Peter snarled. “We’ll make this nice and easy. I’ll even lock the little slut in the bathroom so she doesn’t have to see you die. Corinthos wants her back in PC anyway.”

Jason ignored him and cocked the hammer back on his gun. “Let her go,” he repeated.

“No. Corinthos wants you dead,” Peter replied. “Unlike you, I know how to follow orders.” His hand on her waist tightened. “Though I can’t blame you for running off. She might be small but she’s cute.”

Elizabeth’s eyes met Jason’s in horror as the guard’s hand started to slide up her rib cage. When his hand closed over her breast, Jason was about to try and get a shot off but Elizabeth rammed her elbow in Peter’s gut, knocking him off balance and getting the gun away from her throat.

America how do you like it
This is what we will be

She whirled around and leapt on him, kicking and punching. He went flying to the ground, his gun thrown out of his hand. She was crying as she attacked him. No man was going to touch like that again–not ever again.

Jason grabbed her by the waist and hauled her off him, planting her firmly on her feet behind him. He reached for the guard’s gun because it had the silence and he shot the man twice, one in each knee.

He would have killed him but he wouldn’t have been able to get rid of the body and right now all he wanted was to get them both out of here.

“Get your things,” he ordered her. Mutely Elizabeth grabbed her sandals from the floor and the backpack she’d been in the middle of packing when Peter had grabbed her. She shoved the rest of her clothes into it and darted out the door behind Jason, not eager to look back to see the moaning guard behind them.

She tossed her things in the back of the car and managed to grab their food from the hood before she got in the car. Jason started the ignition and they tore out of the parking lot.

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

They were on the highway and well out of Seattle before either of them spoke. Her voice was still shaky. “I thought you said they couldn’t find us.”

He didn’t answer at first, concentrated on driving. “I was wrong,” he said finally. “But they’re not going to get that close again.”

This time, she didn’t believe him. She didn’t trust it. He’d told her she was safe with him and she’d practically been molested right in front of his eyes. She was out of trust.

“Are you okay?” Jason asked her after a moment.

“I’m fine,” she answered stiffly.

“I underestimated them. I’m sorry, Elizabeth.”

“Okay.”

“We’re going to have change IDs,” he told her. “Go in my duffle bag. The right side unzips. Grab a new set.”

She leaned in the back and pulled out the envelope he carried them in. “You said you had my set waiting at the airport when we got there.”

“Yeah.”

“How much do you trust the person who shipped them?”

He didn’t answer her at first but his voice was regretful. “More than I should have.”

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

“We’re not going to be able to go home any time soon, are we?” Elizabeth asked knowingly.

“Probably not. I’m hoping if we can stay off radar long enough, Sonny will calm down and call them off.”

“What if he doesn’t?”

He didn’t have an answer for her and she could somehow guess that. Instead she flipped through the different driver’s licenses, each with her face on it. “Do all of these match yours, name wise?” she asked him. “Like last names?”

“Yeah. It’s just easier that way,” Jason told her. “Which ones do you have?”

“I guess I’ll use Joy Patterson,” Elizabeth remarked. She slipped the license into her purse along with the matching credit cards before pulling out the pile of male licenses. “And you’re John Patterson,” she told him, setting his aside. “Okay?”

“That’s fine.”

Goodbye, I’m leavin now
I’ll see you sometime

After a few more moments, she sighed and put the envelope in the glove compartment. “You don’t think I can do this, do you?” she asked quietly.

“It’s not that, Elizabeth.”

“Then what is it?” she asked pointedly. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Do you trust me?” Jason asked instead.

“I’m not sure,” Elizabeth told him honestly. “I trusted you when you said they couldn’t find us and it barely took twenty-four hours.”

“You’ve never done this before,” he said, ignoring her remark for now. “I have. I’ve always traveled alone. It’s not a matter of not trusting you, it’s just…I’m worried you don’t have the experience.”

“I didn’t know how to take care of a gunshot wound, but I caught on pretty quick, didn’t I?” Elizabeth reminded him. “I’m a quick learner, Jason. I can do this.”

“Okay.”

“Thank you,” Elizabeth said again. He glanced at her before looking back at the road. “For saving my life. I know now what it cost you.”

“This isn’t your fault,” Jason assured her quickly.

“And it’s not yours either.”

I’ll see you sometime

They didn’t stop that night, wanting to put as much distance between them and Seattle as possible. They were well into Oregon when dawn broke the next morning. For once it was a comfortable silence in the car as they both understood that they were only people left to trust. That they were in this thing together.

She convinced him to let her drive for a while about midnight, promising to wake him up if she saw anything suspicious. He was a light sleeper and every time she drove over a pothole, he woke up. But when they stopped for breakfast, he looked better than he had when she’d forced him from the wheel and once he had coffee in him, he was even better.

For better or for worse, for the next few weeks, this was it. It was the two of them running from Sonny Corinthos.

I’ll see you sometime

Song: Sometime by Lizzie West

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Truths

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be

If this was going to be done at all, he was determined to do this his way. He was going to ask her very calmly to come with them. He wasn’t going to put her through what her husband had put his own best friend through.

They might be breaking their number one principle about not going after family, but they were going to do this without violence.

She deserved that much.

She was on the docks, her hands in her pockets, her hair gathered in a loose bun. Pieces of her hair trailed down around her face and she kept brushing it back. The night was hot and she was wearing a tank top and a pair of jean shorts. She looked more sixteen than twenty-two.

He stepped forward and cleared his throat. “Elizabeth.”

She turned and narrowed her eyes. “What do you want?” she demanded.

He indicated for Max and Marco to hang back. “I need you to come with me.”

She eyed him for a moment, eyed the familiar guards behind him and then looked back at him. He looked nervous and almost out of place. She drew her hands out of her shorts and crossed her arms tightly. “No.”

You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

Jason exhaled slowly. “This is important, Elizabeth. Please.”

She bit her lip and looked down at the wooden planks of the docks. “You lost the right to ask questions like that. Now you either tell me what you want from me or leave me alone.”

“I need you to come with me,” Jason said again. “I’m asking now. But if you refuse again…”

Her eyebrows lifted slightly and she smirked. “What? You’ll make me?” she mocked. “I thought you didn’t attack innocent people.”

“Elizabeth, don’t make this more difficult than it has to be.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t want things to be hard,” she muttered. She let her arms dropped and headed for the stairs.

Jason sighed. “Max, Marco. Go get her.”

The second the words were out of his mouth, Elizabeth whirled around to find the large guards coming near her. She backed up into the railing of the stairs. “Whoa, wait a second–”

“I need you to come with me, Elizabeth. You can come willingly or we’ll take you,” Jason told her.

Her eyes burned with sudden tears. “So basically you’re kidnapping me.”

He looked away, unable to meet her accusing glare. “That’s not what this is.”

“Oh, yeah?” she demanded. “Then let me walk away without sending them after me.”

“I can’t do that, Elizabeth.”

She stared at him, helplessly. “What’s wrong with you?” she demanded in a broken whisper. “Why are you doing this?”

“I…” Jason trailed off, not wanting to explain his actions in front of the guards. “Look, just come with me and I’ll explain.”

She sighed and started forward, bowing her head, unable to look at him and not let the tears slip down her cheeks.

You’re so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret

He took her to the warehouse, into an empty room. “Sit in the chair,” he told her, indicating a bleak wooden chair that sat in the middle of the room. “We have to…” Jason hesitated and looked at Max and Marco. “Leave us alone a minute okay?”

The guards nodded and exited. Jason dragged a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, Elizabeth. This isn’t something I wanted to do, but it’s Sonny’s orders.”

“S-Sonny ordered you to kidnap me?” Elizabeth asked, stunned. “Why? What could it possibly serve?”

“Because he thinks Ric values you above anything else and he’s going to trade you for Carly,” Jason admitted.

“You still believe he has her?” Elizabeth asked, surprised. “You’ve only searched our house a dozen times–”

“I know, but Michael was there when Carly was kidnapped,” Jason informed her. “Whatever Ric did, it traumatized him to the point where he couldn’t tell us what happened. But he’s been remembering pieces…and yesterday, he remembered that he saw Ric.”

The tears hovering in her eyes finally released and soundlessly streamed down her cheeks. What could she say to that? Accuse Michael of lying? Michael, the boy that Jason still considered in some ways his son? Michael, a small boy with no reason for lying?

“What makes you think that Ric would give into this?” she asked softly, her voice almost dead.

“We don’t know, but it’s the best option we’ve come up with so far,” Jason admitted. “We need…We need to tie you up, take a picture to send to him. Let him know we’re serious.”

She nodded and without another word, sat down. She looked at him pointedly. “Will I be tied up the entire time?”

“No,” Jason said immediately. “Just for a minute. But you have to stay here. Until we get Carly back.”

She nodded and stared at the floor. Jason sighed and opened the door to let the guards back in. Marco carried a piece of cloth and a coil of rope, Max had a camera which he set aside.

Marco kneeled behind her. “Ms. Webber,” he said, almost apologetically. “I need your hands.”

She unclasped her hands and brought them behind her back, closing her eyes as she felt the guard begin to tie her hands. Max kneeled in front of her with another set of rope and started to tie her legs to the chair.

When they were done, Marco stared at the piece of cloth which would be used as a gag. He looked at it for a moment before looking to Max. “I…” he faltered for the first time, remembering that he’d once guarded this woman.

Max reached for it and stood next to him, wrapping the gag around Elizabeth’s face. She opened her mouth a little and the tears started again as she felt the material. This was really happening. She was really being tied to a chair by Jason and Sonny’s guards. Her life would be bargained for Carly’s.

Max finished fastening it and the two guards went to the front of the room. Jason wasn’t look at Elizabeth–couldn’t look at her and not think of the previous summer, not think about the fact at this time last year, she’d been kidnapped by his enemy and now…

You’re broken
When your heart’s not open

Max snapped the picture quickly and the two guards set about untying her as fast as possible. “I’m sorry,” Max apologized under his breath. “This…this isn’t right.”

She nodded and rubbed her wrists. “It’s okay,” she said softly. She looked at Jason. “So, I just sit here and hope this plan works?”

He swallowed hard. “Yeah.”

She nodded and looked down. “Okay.”

He stared at her bowed head for a moment before clearing his throat. “Marco, stay here. Get Elizabeth anything she needs. Food, whatever. If it gets past ten, take her to the closest safe house so she can sleep. Max, come with me.”

If I could melt your heart
We’d never be apart
Give yourself to me
You hold the key

Jason entered the penthouse wordlessly and shut the door. “Where’s Michael?” he asked.

“He’s across the hall at your place, asleep,” Sonny answered. “Is it done?”

“Yeah,” Jason answered. “She’s at the warehouse until ten. I told Marco to take her to the safe house if Ric didn’t contact us by then.”

“Why?” Sonny demanded. “She should just stay in the same place.”

“In the empty room?” Jason asked, incredulously. “It could take days. There’s no reason to make this difficult on her–”

“Do you think Ric cares about Carly?” Sonny interrupted. “Do you think he’s making sure she’s comfortable? Making sure he’s not making it difficult for her?”

“I don’t care what he does, we are not going to punish Elizabeth for the actions of her psychotic husband. It’s bad enough we had to tie her up for even a second, much less locking her in an empty room with no end in sight. We’re better than that, damn it and she deserves more respect from you,” Jason bit out, angrily.

“You don’t agree with this plan, do you?” Sonny challenged. “You think it’s a bad one?”

“Yes, I do,” Jason snapped. “I think involving an innocent woman who had no idea what Ric kidnapped anyone is a bad idea.”

“Especially Elizabeth.”

“Yeah, especially Elizabeth,” Jason confirmed. “She’s not just the wife of your enemy, Sonny. She used to matter to you.”

“She used to matter to you, too,” Sonny pointed out quietly.

Now there’s no point in placing the blame
And you should know I suffer the same

Sounds from outside the penthouse kept Jason from answering. Ric’s loud voice and some fighting broke the tension and Jason pulled the door open. Immediately, Ric was in the penthouse, shoving Jason against the wall.

“Where is she?” he demanded, infuriated.

Sonny called to the two guards outside who entered and pulling Ric away from Jason. Ric struggled, but Max and Francis kept a tight grip on him. “What have you done to Elizabeth?” Ric shouted.

“You return my wife to me and I’ll return yours,” Sonny said calmly.

Ric stared at Sonny in shock. “I-I don’t have Carly,” he stammered.

Sonny smirked. “Yeah, okay. It’s simple, Ric. We get Carly by midnight or Elizabeth…” he shrugged.

Jason stared at Sonny in complete shock. “What?” he sputtered.

Ric narrowed his eyes. “You’ll kill her?” he asked in disbelief.

Sonny said nothing and pointedly avoided Jason’s angry gaze. “Midnight, Ric.” He snapped his fingers. “Escort him out.”

Once Ric was gone, Jason turned to his friend and partner. “Tell me you were bluffing,” he said quietly.

Sonny remained silent.

“You can’t really mean you’ll kill Elizabeth if Ric doesn’t return Carly,” Jason said again. “I know you, Sonny. You’d never hurt an innocent woman, much less Elizabeth.”

“I’ll do anything to get my wife back,” Sonny said calmly.

And in that moment, Jason believed him. Believed Sonny would take any measures, no matter how drastic or unreasonable or unfathomable they may be, he’d do it if he thought it’d bring Carly home.

“I can’t…I won’t let you do it,” Jason told him. “You can’t kill her, Sonny. I don’t care what Ric’s done. Elizabeth is not just his wife. She’s more Sonny, and you know that.”

“It’s an order Jason. If Carly’s not home by midnight, it’ll happen,” Sonny told him. “Whether I give you the order or I give it to someone else. It’ll happen.”

If I lose you
My heart will be broken

He went to the warehouse but didn’t go inside the room. The minutes ticked by slowly and Jason found himself sitting on the floor outside the room, staring at a clock on a wall nearby.

9:20 p.m.

9:45 p.m

10:00 p.m.

10:29 p.m.

10:59 p.m.

His cell phone didn’t ring once. He even checked it a few times to make sure it was working before he realized that Ric wasn’t going to bring Carly back. Whatever reason he’d taken her for, it obviously was more important than his own wife.

His fists clenched as the hands on the clock crawled towards midnight. Last summer, he would have given anything to see her again. He’d gone to the police, to the Quartermaines–he’d begged them for information and for help. He’d barely slept, all that mattered was finding her and bringing her back.

How could her own husband, someone who’d taken vows to love and to cherish her…how could he do any less?

When his phone finally rang, Jason looked at the clock automatically even though he knew what time it was. 12:03 a.m.

He took it out of his pocket slowly and answered it. “Yeah?”

“He didn’t make the deadline,” Sonny said coldly. “Do it.”

“Sonny–”

The phone clicked off and Jason found himself standing. He slipped the phone into his pocket and stared at the door.

Love is a bird, she needs to fly
Let all the hurt inside of you die
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

He entered the room and looked at Marco. “Leave us alone for a minute,” he directed quietly. “In fact, you’re relieved. Go home for the night.”

Marco nodded and left quickly. Jason stared at Elizabeth who was sitting on the floor, her knees raised, her arms around around them. “Did Ric bring Carly back?” she asked softly.

Jason shook his head and her heart fell. “Then…why did you send him home?”

“Because Sonny gave me instructions…orders…on what to do if Ric didn’t bring her home by midnight.”

Her heart stopped for a moment before beginning to beat rapidly. “Orders,” she repeated softly. She stared at him, her eyes lush with tears.

“Elizabeth…” He stared at the floor and shook his head. He couldn’t do it. He’d been fooling himself thinking it was possible. Sonny’s orders…he’d questioned them before, but defying this one was different. Sonny had ordered this in retaliation, for revenge. Anyone else, Jason would have still had trouble accepting the order but he had an odd sinking feeling, that in the end he would have gone through with it.

It was a feeling that his stomach lurch and bile rise in his throat. He was what everyone had told him. Sonny’s lapdog, a brain damaged thug with no honor, no decency. He was just…Sonny’s enforcer.

If I could melt your heart
We’d never be apart
Give yourself to me
You hold the key

He stared at her, knowing that if she’d been anyone else, he would have done it already.

But she wasn’t anyone else. She was Elizabeth. And that made the difference. It should have meant something to Sonny, but damn it, it still meant something to him.

He couldn’t take out his gun and shoot the woman who’d found him in the snow, forced him to accept her help and who shoved gallons of soup down his throat. He couldn’t end of the life of someone who hummed when she painted and got so lost in her work that she’d end up covering herself in paint and not remember she did it.

He couldn’t kill someone who’d once trusted him, cared for him and had meant the world to him.

He was violently ashamed that he’d even considered it all.

The silence was scaring her and she swallowed hard. “What were the orders?” she whispered.

“To kill you,” Jason admitted.

She inhaled sharply and began blinking rapidly. She was terrified now, and he could see it in her eyes. He could see that she expected him to do it. And that thought rocked him to his core. They’d drifted so far apart that she believed him capable of ending her life in cold blood.

“I’m not going to do it,” Jason said, finally.

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

Elizabeth closed her eyes, feeling the rush of relief flood her body. For a moment, she’d been so scared, she’d been so cold. But he wouldn’t do it. He couldn’t and she should have known that.

“I can’t just let you go either,” Jason replied after another moment. “Because if I don’t do it…Sonny will send someone else.”

She nodded and lowered her eyes to the floor. “What do you want me to do?”

He stared at her for a moment, formulating possible solutions. Finally, he held out his hand in an achingly familiar pose. “Come with me.”

If I could melt your heart
We’d never be apart
Give yourself to me
You hold the key

She stared at him, holding her breath for a moment. “What?”

“You can’t stay here,” Jason told her. “And I’m not going to let Sonny touch you. I need to get you out of town.”

Elizabeth pushed herself into a standing position. “Jason, Sonny…he’s just angry. He might not mean it–”

“He meant it,” Jason said flatly. “Elizabeth, just please come with me.”

“Why?” she whispered. “Why would you go against Sonny like this?”

“Because if I did what Sonny ordered me to do this time…I’d be no better than what people say I am,” Jason answered quietly. His hand was still stretched out. “Let me…just let me protect you.”

Scared that he was right about Sonny, Elizabeth slipped her hand into Jason’s. “Let’s go,” she said softly.

If I could melt your heart

 

Song: Frozen (Madonna)

January 30, 2014

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series A Second Chance

Elizabeth opened her eyes and blinked. Christmas morning again.

She smiled and closed her eyes, snuggling to fall asleep again. She relished sleeping in these days.

“I know you’re awake,” Jason murmured in her ear, tightening his arms around her waist.

“I know we’re about to be woken up, so I just want to stay in bed as long as possible,” Elizabeth replied.

“You? Sleep in on Christmas?” Jason replied, amused. Elizabeth laughed softly and rolled onto her back.

“Well, there are certain benefits to staying in bed,” Elizabeth reminded him. He leaned down to kiss her.

“Do you ever think about that Christmas?” Jason asked, propping himself up on an elbow.

What a loaded question. She thought about that day almost all the time. There wasn’t a moment that passed that she didn’t silently thank whoever was responsible for giving her the chance to relive the last three years and make the right choices.

She’d left with Jason shortly after New Year’s. They’d been able to avoid the bomb incident with a simple guard on the door that day. Elizabeth had confided in Emily that she cared for Jason and that she was going to away with him–as friends for now. Emily was a little confused, but happy for her friends. Elizabeth had thought about telling her grandmother and Nikolas, but she left them a letter. She’d also written to the Spencers once she and Jason had left.

They’d gone everywhere–traveled the States first while Jason got the necessary information for Carly to get out of her marriage and gain custody of Michael. Elizabeth wasn’t sure why Jason felt the need to do so, but she also didn’t argue with him.

It was in May when Luke Spencer managed to find Jason and Elizabeth in Scotland to tell Elizabeth about Lucky’s miraculous resurrection. He’d expected her to come right home, but Elizabeth had gently explained she was past Lucky. She was glad he was alive, but she wasn’t going to halt her life and rush right home.

Besides, in April, Jason had told her that he was in love with her and Elizabeth considered that more important.

In June, Elizabeth convinced Jason to invite Emily for a few weeks–just long enough so Emily could avoid the rave. They were staying in a small apartment in France then and Emily jumped at the chance.

Apparently, not much had changed with Elizabeth’s absence. Lucky had returned–he was incredibly angry with everyone except Emily and Nikolas. He seemed to miss Elizabeth at times. Emily was a little curious as to why Elizabeth didn’t come home as soon as she found out Lucky was alive.

Elizabeth told Emily that while she still loved Lucky, he was part of her past. Her first love and she was happy with Jason. Emily could tell that she was telling the truth and it was the last Elizabeth heard of it.

Emily went home in July, and Jason and Elizabeth returned to Port Charles when the Sonny and Carly situation blew up. This time, it was completely different. Sonny and Carly were married–with Elizabeth and Carly still very much at each other’s throats. Since Emily hadn’t gone to the rave, she was still dating Juan–much to Elizabeth’s chagrin.

And then there was Lucky.

Elizabeth went to visit Laura and Lulu and ran into Lucky. Lucky seemed happy to see her, but upset that she was dating Jason. His words?

You belong with Nikolas.

Elizabeth was more used to this than she let on and the words just flew right past her. She calmly told Lucky that she and Jason were together and nothing was going to change her mind.

Elizabeth had subtly let a few things drop to Emily about Lucky’s brainwashing before she and Jason left town again. Since Emily wasn’t kidnapped and never went to the rave, she never met Zander Smith.

Luck worked out — Zander had decided on his own to get his life under control and while Emily was waiting for Lucky outside of Kevin Collins’ office, she met Zander who was visiting a friend. The two struck up a conversation and this time…it worked out.

Nikolas didn’t meet Gia because of her blackmailing–but they came into contact while Gia was testing for the Face of Deception. They instantly clicked, and it worked out for them as well.

Lucky’s brainwashing was quickly done away with the first time around. He reconnected with his parents and became a photographer for Deception. He didn’t have the brainwashing the second time, which meant Nikolas never dropped Gia to go back to the family. Helena eventually went back to Greece. Luke followed and the Cassadine matriarch met her untimely death in a boating accident.

As for Elizabeth…the year 2000 ended a lot better the second time around. On December 25, a year after Elizabeth woke up, she and Jason were married in Italy. Carly, Sonny, and Emily flew to Venice for the ceremony. Elizabeth invited her grandmother and the Spencers, but Audrey flat-out refused to accept her involvement with Jason. The Spencers couldn’t get away, but sent their love.

She invited Nikolas and Lucky, but neither of them could get away either. They sent gifts, which Elizabeth was grateful for.

Elizabeth and Jason returned to Port Charles again in January and hid out in her old studio much like Jason had the first time around. Sonny was the only one who knew they were in town, but after the warehouse fire (which Elizabeth was still uneasy about), news of both their return and marriage leaked out.

They stayed in town until April, just like Jason had the first time. Elizabeth wanted to keep Jason’s comings and goings pretty much the same as to avoid more drastic changes. She did, however, manage to befriend Carly this time around and talked her out of her plan to turn Sonny in.

When Jason left town to track down Sorel’s men, Elizabeth stayed at the penthouse with Carly and Sonny. She found out she was pregnant just after Jason left, but elected to wait until he returned.

Jason came back to collect her, and they left again. This time, they went to Italy immediately and settled into an apartment to await the birth of their child. Caroline Emily Morgan came into the world in late August.

Jason and Elizabeth made a final return in May, but not for Carly’s “funeral.” Carly and Sonny had stayed together and had a child to show for it. Michael got a new little sister in time for Easter. Carly had named her Adella Elizabeth, but tried to explain that Elizabeth was a family name for Sonny. Elizabeth let her get away with it.

Luis Alcazar came to town with Brenda and Elizabeth managed to let Jason know pretty much everything in advance. Sonny was a little suspicious about the way Jason managed to stay ahead of Alcazar the entire time, but it ended the same way.

Alcazar was eventually killed–and Elizabeth still didn’t know who had done it–Brenda or Skye or even Sonny or Jason. She particularly didn’t care since she’d managed to get kidnapped again anyway.

But all had ended well. It was Christmas morning 2002, and Elizabeth couldn’t help but feel that she’d gotten it right this time around.

“I think about it all the time,” she admitted.

“You know…I still wonder if you were hallucinating,” Jason said lightly. “But after this summer, I think I finally believe it.”

“Well, all of my inside knowledge is completely used up,” Elizabeth remarked. She grinned. “As of last night, the future is exactly that…the future.”

“So, out of curiosity…” Jason said, leaning down to brush a soft kiss across her lips. “Which reality do you prefer?”

“Hmm…” Elizabeth pretended to think. It wasn’t really a contest. Living without Jason, watching him with Courtney in no way compared to having spent the last three years being in love with him…being married to him and being the mother to their child. “Definitely this one,” she replied. “Hands down.”

“Good to hear.” Jason wrinkled his nose. “Although…I have to admit…I wonder if you dreamed Sonny’s sister.”

Elizabeth laughed. “Yeah. I wonder why she and Janine never ended up in Port Charles.” She frowned. “Do you think I should tell Sonny?”

“He wouldn’t believe you if you tried,” Jason told her.

“That’s true.”

The sound of Caroline crying interrupted their conversation and Elizabeth looked towards the door. “I’ll get her.”

Jason swung his legs over the other side of the bed. “No, I will.”

Elizabeth smiled and tied her robe. “We’ll both get her.” Jason stopped her just before she reached the door and gave her a good, sound kiss.

“Happy anniversary,” he murmured in her ear.

She wrapped her arms around his neck. “You know…I’m really glad I got to change my future,” Elizabeth told him. “I think we deserved a second chance.”

“Since I wasn’t exactly there for our first chance, I’ll take your word for it,” Jason replied. He kissed her again before pulling away. “Come on. I think Caroline wants to open her presents.”

Elizabeth followed him down the hall to the nursery, laughing. “Jason, she’s only fourteen months old. She’ll be more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents.”

Jason grinned as he pushed the door open and stood over the crib. He lifted Caroline out and kissed her forehead. “I notice that didn’t stop you from buying out the baby section in Wyndhams.”

Elizabeth laughed and smoothed Caroline’s already unruly blonde curly hair. “She’s my little baby and she deserves the best.”

“Come on,” Jason said, heading for the door. “We’d better get the presents opened before Carly comes over. You know she can’t wait to see what we got her.”

Elizabeth stood in the nursery for a beat after Jason and Caroline went downstairs. Sometimes she was a little nostalgic for pieces of her last life. She and Audrey had never gotten their relationship back on track and she missed her grandmother immensely. She’d become close with Lila through Jason and Caroline and somehow she and Carly had managed to bond. She and Emily were still as close as ever–she’d also forged better friendships with Nikolas, Lucky and even Gia.

“Elizabeth?” Jason called from the downstairs.

“I’m coming!” Elizabeth replied. She looked around the nursery that she, Carly and Emily had decorated for Caroline.

Everyone deserved a second chance.

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series A Second Chance

Jason blinked. I either stop you from leaving town or go with you.

He sat back and stared at her, a little stunned. He was a rational, literal man. He believed that Elizabeth truly believed she’d traveled back in time. And hell, he was inclined to believe it. She was still Elizabeth–still the bright, beautiful, sparkling girl she’d been yesterday.

But today she was different. She still had her curly hair, but her eyes–still ocean blue–had lost some innocence, a little bit of their sparkle. She didn’t look as sad as she had when he first met her–she looked a little more miserable, actually. The Elizabeth sitting in front of him might as well have come from three years from now.

But Jason had only admitted to himself that he was attracted to her. For all he knew–three years from now, he was hopelessly in love with her. But if he was, why would he sleep with Sonny’s sister–or anyone else for that matter? This wasn’t like Robin where they couldn’t be together.

He wasn’t sure he was ready for Elizabeth to become such a permanent part of his life. If he left town, it was probably a good idea to do that anyway. He didn’t really want to screw up the future. But to bring her with him? Let her pack up her life, say goodbye to family and friends and come with him?

Elizabeth smirked. “Not an easy decision to make on the spot, huh?” she asked.

He frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked.

She shrugged. “Well, you asked me to do it once. Asked me to come with you. Just go away and then you didn’t even have the nerve to tell me how you felt. Told me to see the world. I could do it with you if I wanted to. Not once did you ever open your mouth about how you felt.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I admit an hour before that I want more than a friendship and you ask for everything. It’s not fun to be put on the spot, is it?”

Jason scowled. “That wasn’t fair.”

“Neither was asking me to go with you and never telling me how you felt,” Elizabeth retorted. She shook her head. “I’m sorry. I’m talking to the wrong Jason again.”

He frowned. “If I’m such a jerk, why’d you put up with me for so long?”

“You’re not a jerk!” Elizabeth protested. She pursed her lips. “You’re just confused.”

“Confused.”

“You’re sleeping with Sonny’s sister,” Elizabeth reminded him. “You don’t want to tell anyone, much less Sonny. And since you’re married to Brenda, who’s under suspicion for murder…” Elizabeth stopped. “You know what? I really should stop telling you what’s going to happen.” She sighed. “And I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, too. I’ve hurt you probably worse than you ever hurt me.”

“I doubt that,” Jason replied.

Elizabeth sighed and looked away. “Yeah, well, I’m hoping I can change that because you are the last person I ever wanted to hurt.”

He reached out and took her hand. “Same goes for me. I’m sorry for whatever pain I might have caused,” Jason told her, sincerely.

“Once again, it’s not your fault,” Elizabeth murmured. She sighed. “I really think that you leaving next month is the big thing I was sent here to change. I think you need to leave. I’m not sure what happened, you know…we never talked about it. You just said something happened and you needed to figure out how to live through it.”

“The reason I went to the boxcar that night…” Jason began. He looked down at her hand in his. Tightened his grip. “I had a meeting that night…Sonny was supposed to go, but I went instead. I was shot and I went to the penthouse to get help.”

Elizabeth frowned at him. “But then, why did you…” She stopped. Understanding dawned in her eyes. “That’s when it happened.”

“He was just sitting on the couch,” Jason said quietly, looking down. “He wouldn’t look at me.” He met her eyes. “And then Carly came down the stairs. Wearing his shirt.”

“Oh, Jason,” Elizabeth murmured. She brought her other hand up to touch his face. “That must have been so…”

“I’m not in love with her,” Jason told her. “I think I convinced myself that I was, but I…it was more of the idea. You know…with Michael.”

“A family,” Elizabeth supplied.

“Right,” Jason agreed. “It’s just…I don’t understand what makes her do the things she does sometimes. I think I understand her…I think I know her and she does something like this. But Carly’s always doing stupid things. I’m pretty much used to the backwards way she thinks. But…” Jason stopped and looked away.

“But?” Elizabeth prompted.

“Sonny,” Jason said softly. “He was my best friend. I know he was trying to prove to me what kind of person Carly is…but that…that’s not the way to go about it, you know?”

“I know,” Elizabeth replied. “And sometimes, it’s that kind of act…it’s hard to forget. Hard to forgive. But…you did it,” she said. She squeezed his hand. “If it’s any consolation…you, Sonny and Carly…you all get past this.”

“Really?” Jason asked, a tinge of disbelief in his voice. “But you said they get married. I assume Michael lives with them. I’m still friends with them?”

“Yeah,” Elizabeth confirmed. “I don’t get why…but I never asked. Your friendship with Carly, mostly…it’s something I don’t understand and I really don’t want to either. It works for you. She asks for something, you deliver.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Which is probably why you married Brenda. I know Carly had to be feeling insecure about her marriage with Brenda back. Sonny certainly seemed to be bending over backwards to help her.”

“Let me get this straight…Carly, the woman who has slept with my best friend…married AJ in some weird way to get Michael and come back to me…I marry Brenda Barrett to so she’s out of Sonny’s way?” Jason asked, skeptically.

“Yeah, it does seem a little strange, huh?” Elizabeth shrugged. “I told you, Jason. You’re not the same three years from now. You know you love to let people live their own lives and you’re all about doing what you want when you want…but you’re not like that anymore.”

He exhaled slowly and looked down. “So, I turn my life over to Sonny and Carly.”

“In essence, yeah,” Elizabeth agreed. “You’re all about the job. You don’t have the time to call me and tell me you’re alive–you use your job as an excuse for everything.” Elizabeth smirked. “Like why you watched Courtney strip.”

“I did what?” Jason asked, jerking his eyes back up to meet hers. “I go to a strip club?”

“Apparently,” Elizabeth replied. “I don’t really know. I overheard AJ accusing you of doing it. I asked you and you told me it was business. Then I saw the lipstick.” She frowned. “You know, I never did find out if that was Brenda or Courtney’s lipstick on your neck.”

“I’ve never set foot in a strip club,” Jason said, ignoring the rest of her comment. “I don’t get why I would want to.”

“Man, I miss you,” Elizabeth murmured, shaking her head.

“The future sounds pretty…” Jason hesitated, looking for the right word. “Sounds kind of bleak.”

“Yeah, it does,” Elizabeth agreed. “Man, I have a whole list of things I’m doing differently. First of all, I’m gonna punch Lucky the first time he tells me to be with Nikolas.” She started ticking the things off on her fingers. “I am saying no to the rave and I am not letting Emily within five feet of Juan Santiago, that’s for damn sure. Let’s see…Gia Campbell is gonna get cold-cocked when she tries to blackmail me.” Elizabeth grinned. “I’m going to rip her little braids out, and then–”

“Whoa, whoa,” Jason said, chuckling. “Calm down. First things, first.” He took a deep breath. “Were you serious about the coming with me thing?”

Elizabeth frowned. “That depends. Why?”

“I think…” he shrugged a little. “I think we could both use a vacation. We can go as friends,” Jason continued. “And then…well, who really knows?” He held out his free hand. “So?”

“I am not screwing this up again,” Elizabeth said firmly, placing her hand in his. “I am so in.”

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series A Second Chance

“I think I know what I’m supposed to do!”

Jason regarded her suspiciously. “I’m not going to like this idea, am I?”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “You know, I forgot how paranoid you used to be.” She frowned. “You know you’re still paranoid, you just weren’t as annoying as you are now.” Her frown deepened. “Well…you’re paranoid in a really annoying way three years from now…”

“Right,” Jason said, hopelessly lost.

Anyway,” Elizabeth drawled. “I think I understand why I woke up here instead of like next April.”

“Next April?” Jason asked. “What did you do next April?”

“Uh…I chose Lucky over someone I really wanted to be with…anyway–”

“Over who?” Jason asked, a wicked gleam in his eye. Elizabeth folded her arms and glared at him.

“You know who, so don’t be so irritating,” she retorted. “You know, this has got to be the strangest conversation I’ve ever had.” Elizabeth snorted. “Then again, you manage to carry on conversations with Carly, so maybe it’s not all that strange for you.”

“So,” Jason asked, unable to resist. “How long did it take before we got together?”

“What?” Elizabeth asked, blinking in surprise.

“I’m just kind of confused by the timeline of events,” Jason replied. “So, I’m just curious–in next April, we were obviously at a point where we had feelings for each other or there’d be no reason to choose Lucky over me.”

“You know, you’re a lot quicker than some people give you credit for,” Elizabeth said. “You know, I never asked you that. I assumed it was because of all the time you spent in my studio that winter.” She eyed him. “Do you have plans to leave town?”

He looked startled. “How did you know that?”

“You little stinker,” she said, punching him in the arm. “You were already thinking about it?”

“Wait, wait, do I leave town or something?” Jason asked. “I’ve only thought about it in passing. I didn’t really give it any real consideration.”

“Oh…well, you leave town next month. You come back in August, but then you leave again. You come back next January, but you leave in April. You finally came back in May of 2002–”

“Why did I come and go so often?” Jason interrupted.

Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “How in the hell should I know? You have crazy reasons, sometimes.”

“Oh, really?” Jason asked. “You know, you avoided my question.”

“What question would that be?” Elizabeth asked innocently.

Taking a chance he never would have yesterday, Jason leaned forward just a little, bringing his face within a few inches of hers. “So tell me,” he said, lowering his voice. “If we dated for…eight seconds, as you say…where was our first kiss?”

“Uh…” Elizabeth blinked, trying to clear her thoughts and concentrate on the question rather the nearness of the man in front of her. “Our first kiss?” she repeated a little faintly.

He resisted the urge to smile. He’d actually thought about kissing Elizabeth for weeks, but she was so young and still mourning Lucky. If her story was to be believed, she was three years older, no longer cared about Lucky and if her behavior the entire morning so far could be trusted, she was definitely attracted to him.

He closed the distance a little–another inch or so. “Yeah,” he confirmed. “Our first kiss. I assume we’ve had one.”

“We’ve had one or two,” Elizabeth replied softly.

Their lips were now two inches apart and he could tell it was affecting her–her breathing was a little shallow and slightly erratic. “So where was it?” he asked, completely amused by the entire situation.

“Here,” she breathed, her eyes locked on his lips. “In the studio.”

“Really,” he replied. “So, how was it?”

“It was okay,” Elizabeth replied, not really paying attention to his questions.

“Okay?” he raised his eyebrows. “Is that it? Well…I should try to be more memorable in the future.” Without waiting for any kind of answer from her, he closed the distance and kissed her.

It was strange set of coincidences. Elizabeth had kissed Jason before, but he’d never kissed her.

He meant for the kiss to be short–as just a way to prove to both of them that the attraction three years from now had started here in this studio while he was recuperating from the gunshot wound. He’d never dreamed she’d seen him this way–not now, while she was still mourning Lucky.

But Elizabeth must be telling the truth, because the girl sitting in front of him was no longer the girl who’d lost Lucky. She was the woman who’d lost him, found him and apparently thrown him back.

But just like everything else between Elizabeth and Jason, the kiss was out of control the second their lips touched. Her eyelids fluttered shut and her fingers threaded through his hair. She kissed him back with an intensity that surprised him. She matched every thrust of his tongue.

When he finally pulled back, Elizabeth licked her lips, smiled and then opened her mouth. “You know…that works so much better when you’re not walking away afterwards.”

“I walked away after kissing you?” Jason asked, startled. “What, was I nuts?”

“Probably,” Elizabeth replied. “No, the last time we kissed, it was during your entire it’s too dangerous to know me much less date me phase. Although,” Elizabeth continued, frowning, “I notice that doesn’t seem to apply to Courtney,”

“Sonny’s sister again,” Jason said, nodding.

“Yeah, well, I think you’re just using her for sex,” Elizabeth joked, looking away. She looked towards the tree. “I forgot how much fun I had this Christmas.”

“I’d never do that,” Jason said, sounding insulted.

“Do what?” she asked, swinging her eyes back to him.

“Use someone for sex,” Jason said. He frowned. “Well…not again. And definitely not Sonny’s sister.”

“Not again?” Elizabeth repeated. “Oh…Carly.” She shrugged. “Well, I’d never sleep with someone who drugged me, but hey, we all do things we wouldn’t normally when things are going crazy.”

“You were drugged?” Jason asked.

“Um…” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Maybe.”

“And you slept with him?” Jason asked. “What, before or after?”

“After,” Elizabeth answered reluctantly. “But it was like two years after and he’s a completely different person now,” she said, defensively. “And it was just that one time because I was really scared–”

“Who was it and why did he drug you?” Jason demanded.

“You know what?” Elizabeth said, “This is getting us nowhere.” She was not about to tell him it was Zander. “None of this stuff has actually happened.” She frowned. “You’re not…jealous…are you?” she asked, smiling at the thought.

“No,” Jason said, scowling.

“Right,” Elizabeth replied, clearing not believing him.

“So, you said you knew what you had to do?” Jason prompted.

“Oh, right. I completely forgot about that,” Elizabeth replied. She shifted on the couch. “Well, it’s actually really simple. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it before.”

“You gonna tell me?” Jason asked.

She grinned. “I either stop you from leaving town or go with you.”

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series A Second Chance

“Whoa, whoa, I’m married to Brenda?”

Elizabeth started to giggle. “The look on your face!”

Jason shook his head. “Now, I know you’re crazy. Why would I marry Brenda?”

She took a deep breath to control her giggles and said, “I don’t really know. I think she was sick or something.”

“Yeah, but why would I marry her?” Jason asked. “Do you have any idea how irritating that woman was?”

“Don’t ask me,” Elizabeth said. “I had to find out from Courtney.”

“Wait, who’s Courtney?” Jason asked. “And why wouldn’t I tell you myself?”

“Are you blocking out the fact that we’re not talking?” Elizabeth asked. “Courtney’s Sonny’s sister, although I think he should ask for a DNA test.”

“And we’re not talking because I lied to you,” Jason said.

“There’s that, and the fact that you ignored me, you guarded Courtney personally while I got a stupid guard at the penthouse door,” Elizabeth ticked off the reasons, “Not to mention you’re sleeping with her and you told me it was too dangerous…”

“Wow, did I do anything right?” Jason asked. “Wait, I’m confused.”

“Yeah? Me, too,” Elizabeth grumbled. “You know, I got shot at–I would think I warranted better protection. Courtney got some heavy breathing. Johnny could have taken care of that.”

“You were shot at?” Jason repeated. “You know, I don’t think I’m liking the future all that well.”

“Makes two of us,” Elizabeth muttered. “I was also kidnapped, too. And I got shot–well, grazed by a bullet.”

“Was this because of me?” Jason asked, dreading the answer.

“Oh, here we go,” Elizabeth said, rolling her eyes. “Yes, I was kidnapped because they thought I was your girlfriend, I’ll give you that one. But Zander’s the one who picked up the gun I got shot with…” She frowned. “He was pointing it at you because you were trying to beat up Roy.”

“Who’s Zander?” Jason asked. “Can you write a list so I can keep these people straight?”

Elizabeth glared at him. “Are you teasing me again?”

“No, no. Really, who’s Zander?”

“He’s a boyfriend of Emily’s you’re not gonna like,” Elizabeth replied.

“Well, if he goes around shooting you, I can see why.”

“Well, that’s not why you don’t like him,” Elizabeth replied. “Anyway, I also got shot at because I was with Zander.”

“Wait, I thought you were my girlfriend–or was this when we weren’t speaking?” Jason asked.

“You thought I liked Zander,” Elizabeth explained. “But I didn’t. And I wasn’t with Zander like that. I was sitting next to him when someone else was aiming at him.”

“Okay, so let me see if I’ve got this straight,” Jason said. “Three years from now, Emily’s dating a guy named Zander–”

“They broke up from two years from now,” Elizabeth cut in. “She doesn’t live in town right now. She had a car accident and she’s away in therapy.”

“Emily was in a car accident?” Jason repeated.

“She’s all right,” she said quickly. “She’s coming home in two months.” Elizabeth frowned. “Well, three years and two months from now.”

“Okay, Emily dated a guy named Zander who I don’t like who shot you, got you shot at and I think you like him. We’re not talking because I didn’t tell you Sonny was faking his death and because I ignored you. I’m married to Brenda, who’s alive but I’m sleeping with Courtney, who’s Sonny sister, but she’s married too.”

“Wow, that sounds really weird when you put it like that,” Elizabeth said. “But, in a nutshell, that’s it.”

“And that’s just three years from now,” Jason said. “I don’t want to know what happened before that, do I?”

She shook her head. “No, probably not.”

“So, were we dating?” Jason asked.

“For about eight seconds,” Elizabeth replied, bitterly. “Then you lied to me.”

“I’m sorry,” Jason said. “I think.”

She shrugged. “Still not your fault. I’m just having a hard a time separating the two of you.”

“Yeah, not the first time that’s happened to me,” Jason said.

She bit her lip and looked down. “Sorry. I just…it’s really weird talking to you right now. Back…well…there…we haven’t spoken since September, not really. A few conversations here and there, but we’ve mostly been on the outs. Couple that with Brenda and Courtney and then waking up to find myself back before things got complicated…” she exhaled slowly. “I’m really not in the right frame of mind right now.”

Jason shrugged. “Can’t say I blame you. So, what are you going to do?”

“I have no idea,” Elizabeth said. She sighed and leaned her head against the back of the couch. “I wish I knew why this is happening. I don’t think I’m dreaming now, but I also don’t think I was dreaming the last three years either.” She turned her head to look at him. “You think I’m here to correct a major mistake and then once that’s done, I get to go back?”

“Possible,” Jason replied.

“But I don’t remember making any mistakes at this point,” Elizabeth protested. “I mean, until Lucky came back–”

“Came back?” Jason repeated. “What are you talking about?”

“Oh…I forgot to tell you,” Elizabeth said. She grimaced. “Lucky’s not dead. He’s being held by Faison, one of Luke’s enemies. Helena Cassadine and Faison have brainwashed him and eventually it’s going to start up this huge Cassadine/Spencer war all over again.” She wrinkled her nose. “I am so not faking my death again.”

“Faking your death?” Jason echoed. “Are you sure you weren’t dreaming that part?”

Elizabeth glared at him. “I remember taking poison that could potentially kill me. I don’t think I dreamed that or the month I spent on Sonny’s island.”

“Okay. So, you were saying about mistakes and Lucky?” Jason prompted.

“Well, until Lucky came back, I was doing pretty well. I was standing up for myself, not letting people shove me around. But once he came home, I had to go back to being the girl I’d been before the fire.”

“Why?” Jason asked. “Why go back to someone you used to be?”

Elizabeth snorted. “If I’d known Lucky was gonna sleep with Sarah, I would have done a lot of things…” She sat up with a start and turned to him, her eyes excited. “I think I know what I’m supposed to do!”

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series A Second Chance

“Okay, wait a second.” Jason shifted his position, straightened his legs out so there wasn’t as much pressure on his wound.

“You okay?” Elizabeth asked, automatically. Old habits die hard, she thought bitterly.

“Yeah, yeah. You, um, want to run that by me one more time?” Jason asked.

“I told you. Three years from now. We’re not talking and you–”

“I’m sleeping with Sonny’s sister,” Jason replied. “Yeah, I caught that. Elizabeth, Sonny doesn’t have a sister.”

“Yeah, well, she didn’t show up until last year.” Elizabeth stopped. “Well, two years from now. Anyway, you’re sleeping with her.” She grimaced. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Wait, wait, you wanna back up a little?” Jason asked. “Why aren’t we talking?”

“Because you lied to me,” Elizabeth replied. “You know what? This might not be a conversation we should be having.”

“Why?” Jason asked. “It was probably a dream, Elizabeth. No big deal.”

“No.” Elizabeth shook her head. “It couldn’t have been a dream. I mean, I couldn’t have lived three years and…” she paused. “Well, a lot of unbelievable things did happen. I mean, I faked my death, I got kidnapped, Lucky came back from the dead, he was brainwashed, oh and he attacked you…” Elizabeth stopped. “You know, the more I think about it, the more I really hope it was a dream.”

“See?” Jason said. “It was just a dream.”

“You know, not all of it was bad,” Elizabeth said, pushing herself up into a standing position.

“Really?” Jason asked, following her to the tree. “What was good?”

She turned back and looked at him hesitantly. It did not seem like a good time tell him that she knew what it felt like to kiss him. That might not go over well. “Well…I got to see Lucky again,” Elizabeth said. “Even if he was a little strange. I mean, he did push me to be with Nikolas, and then he attacked you–twice nonetheless. He also told me to stay away from you…” She trailed off. “You know what? Never mind.”

She paused in front of the Christmas tree and felt rush of déja vu. Would he be giving her a leather jacket?

Would he be moving out of the studio in a few days?

She grimaced. Would he be leaving next month?

How could it have been a dream? She would have woken up, and whatever would have happened would have melted away, and she would feel like she had before. She’d be glad Jason was there and she’d be missing Lucky.

And right now, she was glad she and Lucky had broken up and she wished Jason would leave, because seeing him was reminding her a lot of things she would rather forget.

This was a surreal situation. Had she been dreaming…or was she dreaming now?

“Elizabeth.”

She blinked and looked up at him. “Hmm….what?”

“You’re still thinking about that dream, aren’t you?” Jason asked, joining her next to the tree. He reached out and took a wrapped box that Elizabeth was suddenly sure held the leather jacket she didn’t wear anymore because it reminded her of Jason and better times.

“I can’t help it,” Elizabeth replied. She reached for one the boxes to hand to Jason. At least she knew he’d like the shirt she’d bought him. “It felt so real. I mean, how could I have dreamt three years in one night and have it feel like three years?”

Jason shrugged. “Don’t know. I don’t dream.”

“Yeah, well, you’re lucky,” Elizabeth said. “Because this is just…I mean, I don’t feel like I did yesterday.”

“What’s different?” he asked. He handed her the box. “Here.”

“Thanks,” Elizabeth said. “Here’s yours.”

“You didn’t–”

“Yes, I did.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Jason, I don’t think I was dreaming. Because I feel so different. I mean, I don’t feel like I’m in love with Lucky anymore. I don’t even miss him.”

“Elizabeth, there’s no other explanation,” Jason said. “I mean, you’re not dreaming now, right?”

“Okay, let me prove it to you,” Elizabeth said. She held up the box. “If I can tell you what you got me before I open it, will you believe me?”

“How do I know you didn’t peek?” Jason asked, warily.

“Because I didn’t,” Elizabeth insisted. “Come on, you know when I’m lying, don’t you?” She bit her lip and looked down then. “At least you used to.”

“Elizabeth…does this have anything to do with what happened in your dream?” Jason asked, leaning towards her.

“A little,” she admitted. “I know, I know, holding you responsible for something you either did in a dream or aren’t going to do for another three years is stupid, but hey, I’ve never been the world’s most logical or rational person.”

“All right,” Jason agreed. “If you can guess what I got you, then I’ll believe you.”

“Okay.” Elizabeth looked down at the box and then back at him. “It’s a black leather jacket.”

He frowned. “You sure you didn’t peek?” he asked.

“I’m positive. In fact, this is my going to be my favorite jacket,” she told him. “I’m going to wear it all the time unless it’s too hot. I’ll wear it right up until we stop speaking.”

“Well, I’m glad you like it,” Jason said. “So…”

“You believe me now?” Elizabeth asked. “Because something’s happening and it’s really weird. I swear, Jason, when I went to sleep last night, the studio was empty, I was by myself and I woke up back here. And it’s freaking me out.”

“So, why aren’t we talking again?” Jason asked, pulling the wrapping off his own gift. He pulled out the long-sleeved black shirt. “Hey, thanks.”

“No problem,” Elizabeth replied. “I told you. You lied and ignored–you know what…it doesn’t really matter.” She moved past him to grab some clothes to change into. He grabbed her arm.

“Hey, wait a second.” He studied her for a second. “Are you trying to tell me that I lied to you and ignored you?”

She bit her lip and shifted. “Yeah.”

“Why?” Jason asked. “I mean…I don’t lie. So, are you sure I did?”

“Well, you didn’t exactly lie,” Elizabeth said. She put her hands on her hips and raised her eyebrows. “You just let me believe Sonny was dead. I suppose that makes it better.” Shrugging, she continued, “You also never came home, you never called to let me know you were alive and you hugged Courtney every time I saw you.”

“Okay, wait a second.” Jason rubbed his temple with thumb and forefinger. “I never came home. Home being…?”

She flushed, realizing she’d said way too much. Jason three years from now wanted more from her. Well, he had. The Jason she was looking at was involved with Carly or he had been. “Your penthouse,” she answered.

“And just for curiosity’s sake…how would you know I didn’t go there?” Jason asked.

“Um…I was living there…” she said. She turned around, intent on getting some clothes. Maybe it had been a dream. Or maybe she was dreaming now. Either way, she didn’t want to have this conversation.

“We were living together?” Jason asked. “Are you sure?”

She turned back around and frowned. “What kind of question is that?” She crossed her arms. “You know what? It doesn’t matter. I’m just going to get changed and I’m just going to–”

“I’m sorry,” Jason cut in. “I just don’t…I don’t understand. You woke up this morning, telling me that you had pretty much gone back in time and apparently, three years from now, we were living together, we’re not speaking now, Sonny’s got a sister that I’m sleeping with and…” he narrowed his eyes. “Was there something about Sonny being dead?”

“No, he faked his death,” Elizabeth said. “Do you really believe me?” she asked. “Because most people would just ship me off to the hospital to have tests run.”

“Uh…let’s just say I believe that you believe it.”

“Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence,” Elizabeth muttered. She sat on the couch. “What am I supposed to do? Not figure out why I’m here and just live my life all over again, or try and figure out a way to fix this…?”

Jason sighed and sat next to her. He leaned back and stretched his legs out. “Maybe you’re here for a reason.”

“Maybe I’m here to fix a mistake,” Elizabeth murmured. “But I can’t think of a mistake I made now that’s any worse than…” She stopped and looked down. “One I made about a year or so from now.”

“Which mistake would that be?” Jason asked.

“The one where I walked away from you,” Elizabeth admitted. She looked at him. “I don’t know that I should be telling you any of this. Because I could seriously mess up the future if I tell you, because it’s obvious that anything that I dreamt is gonna happen.”

“You guessed the leather jacket,” Jason argued. “That’s not hard pressing evidence.”

She hesitated. She could certainly come up with something, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to. “I could tell you something else.”

“Like what?” Jason asked.

“Um…” She shifted on the couch, tucking one leg underneath him so she could face him. “I know that Sonny and Carly are going to get married.”

Jason frowned. “Are you nuts? They hate each other.”

“Well, that’s going to change,” Elizabeth said. “Carly gets pregnant–” She stopped and bit her lip. “Oh…you know what? Never mind.”

“What do you mean she gets pregnant?” Jason asked. “When is–” He stopped abruptly.

“Hey, Emily breaks up with Juan,” Elizabeth volunteered, changing the subject. “That’s good right?”

“I guess,” Jason said, grudgingly. “But is there anything you can prove?”

“Not especially,” Elizabeth replied. She frowned. “So you still don’t believe me?”

“I told you…I believe that you believe,” Jason replied. “So, you gonna tell me anything else about the future?”

“See, now you’re just teasing me,” Elizabeth complained.

“No, no,” Jason protested, but unable to keep himself from smiling.

She sighed and leaned against the back of the couch. “You know, I’d rather stay here than go back anyway.”

“What’s so bad about three years from now?” Jason asked.

“Haven’t you heard a word I’ve said?” Elizabeth asked, irritated. “We’re not talking and you’re sleeping with Sonny’s sister.” She wrinkled her nose. “I have no idea what you see in her. Well, I mean, she’s blonde and she’s pretty, but honestly Jason, every other word out of her mouth is something stupid.” She shook her head.

“I’m sorry…I think,” Jason apologized.

“It’s not your fault,” Elizabeth grumbled. “It’s your fault three years from now.”

He chuckled. “Elizabeth–”

“And she’s married too,” Elizabeth continued. “Then again, so are you.”

“Wait, I’m married?” Jason repeated. “To who? You?”

Elizabeth snorted. “No, not me. You’d have to spend more than five minutes with me in order to do that.” She shook her head. “No, you’re married to…wait, first I should tell you that she’s alive.”

“Who’s alive?” Jason asked, now genuinely interested.

“Brenda Barrett.”

“Whoa, whoa, I’m married to Brenda?”