March 28, 2015

So with yesterday’s posting of All We Are, Chapter Eight, I am officially out of story chapters to post. I’ve been relatively good since I came back in November of not letting too much time pass between chapters but in late December, I caught a nasty cold and sinus infection I honestly don’t think I’ve kicked in the last few months. I spent last week sick as a dog AGAIN. It’s so frustrating. I’ve been so sick that I can’t work, my room looks like a pit and my brain feels fried.

Pretty sure I can trace my writing troubles back to that point in January, so now that my health insurance is kicking in on Wednesday, I can go to a doctor finally and hopefully begin to clear things. It’s so frustrating to me to want to write and feel unable to do so.

You guys are wonderfully patient, so I wanted you guys to know what was up and hopefully look forward to an end of my brain drain 🙂

 

March 27, 2015

This entry is part 8 of 18 in the series All We Are

And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Just let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I’m waiting for my real life to begin 

Waiting For My Real Life to Begin, Colin Hay


Friday, October 27, 2006

Port Charles Academy: Parking Lot

As Elizabeth approached the dark sedan where Cody stood waiting for her, she slowed her steps.

Emily stood at his side, her arms folded, her eyes narrowed.

Well, perhaps it would be easier to deal with Emily first. There was really nothing the woman could throw at her that she hadn’t said before.

“I knew I could find you here.” Emily let her arms fall to her side and gestured at Cody. “Doesn’t a bodyguard work better when he’s by your side?”

“Ah, not that it’s any of your business,” Elizabeth began, “but we ran into Michael, Morgan, and Rocco as we arrived. Cody decided to wait at the car while Rocco walked with us. You know how close Cam and Morgan are.” She eyed Cody who just offered a small shrug of his shoulder.

She’d been relieved to learn Cody Paul was still working security for Sonny and Jason when he’d been assigned to her the night before. Cody had guarded her briefly during the time she’d lived with Jason several years earlier, and for a few days while she’d been in the hospital with her pulmonary embolism.

He was a familiar and friendly face at a time she desperately needed one.

“I suppose you saw the newspaper,” Elizabeth said, leaning against the passenger door. “I wanted to tell you but—”

“Did you tell Lucky it was a Dominican divorce?” Emily demanded. “Nikolas says you didn’t. How could you do that to him?”

Elizabeth pressed her lips together briefly and counted to ten briefly before answering. “It was on the paperwork. Lucky declined to read it. That’s really not my problem.”

“And I’m sure your marital plans went unmentioned as well,” Emily snapped. “You sure as hell didn’t tell me you were marrying my brother before the ink on your divorce papers was even dry. How was that even legal?”

“Not that I owe you an explanations, but I had an expedited hearing on Monday in the Dominican Republic. I had the right paperwork, so it only takes twenty-four hours. Once the divorce was issued, Diane registered it here in New York so that left me free and clear.” Elizabeth arched a brow. “Lucky for me, I live in one of the few states in the US that recognizes that kind of divorce.”

“What the hell is this marriage even about? I know you’ve been harassing Jason the last few months—”

Elizabeth held up a hand. “Whoa. Excuse me? First of all, one of the reasons Jason and I started to get close again was because I went to see him on your behalf with Sonny. You’re going to call that harassing? Or when I risked my career to get Sam treatment? Or when he saved my life when Manny kidnapped me? What the hell, Em?”

“Lucky swore you were having an affair this summer.” Emily stepped towards her, her face taut with anger. “It wasn’t with Patrick, was it? You never denied anything too much. He was right. You were with my brother.”

“You believe what you want to believe,” Elizabeth snapped. “This conversation is over.”

She jerked open the passenger door. “Let’s go, Cody. I have somewhere to go.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Cody shot Emily a smirk, “Mrs. Morgan.”

Emily scowled as Cody rounded the car to get into the driver’s side.

“That wasn’t entirely helpful, Cody,” Elizabeth murmured as he put the car into gear and stepped on the gas pedal.

“Maybe, but I enjoyed it.”

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

His first visitor came about ten minutes after he would have expected her, but he thought Carly was mellowing a bit. Or that Jax had attempted to hold her back.

Jason calmly let Carly in. “Hello.”

“You know, I think I’m getting soft in my old age.” Carly slapped the newspaper at his chest. “You should sue these bastards for libel. I wouldn’t talk about my dog the way they talked about Elizabeth.”

“Carly—”

“Really, I should have seen this coming.” Carly planted her hands on her hips and whirled to face him. “Ric’s trying to get leverage on her to flip her against you. Easy, peasy. But, hee underestimated her.”

Jason frowned. Was…was that a compliment for Elizabeth?

“Elizabeth is way too obsessed with you to be the reason you go to jail.”

No, that sounded more like her.

“Carly—”

“I can’t think of how I would have screwed this up if you’d told me,” Carly continued, “but we both know I could have managed it. But hey, it’s done now. What can I do to help?”

Help. Carly. He hated those words together.

“Nothing. Just—don’t annoy Elizabeth.”

Carly pursed her lips. “I like her kid, you know. Most parents won’t let their kids within five feet of mine. But Elizabeth knows the score. She had no problem letting Cam play with Morgan, be his buddy at school. Morgan talks about this kid every day.”

“Yeah, I know they’re friends.” Jason leaned against the arm of the sofa. Better to let Carly just wind herself down. “Does that mean you’ll give her a break?”

“Isn’t she pregnant?” Carly wondered. “Cam said something about getting a new brother.” She frowned. “How is she going to work being married to you and carrying Lucky’s kid?”

Jason hesitated just a moment too long—he hadn’t been prepared for this train of conversation. Carly’s eyes bulged and she whacked him in the chest.

“It’s your kid! Holy hell!” She whacked him again. “I did not see that coming!”

“Carly—”

“Well, this will make everything easier.” She nodded. “Yeah. Sam will finally be out of all our lives—”

“What the hell is this?”

The penthouse door flew open again and the woman in question stormed in, the Port Charles Herald crumpled in her hand, tears streaming down her face.

“Oh, yay, I get to be here for this!” Carly rubbed her hands together. “Fantastic.”

“Carly, go away—” Jason began, but Sam shoved the paper in his face.

“Why did you marry her?” Sam screeched. “How could you do this to me?”

“Well, you screwed your stepfather,” Carly began, “so really, I don’t know what your problem is—”

“Carly—”

“You said you loved me—”

“Men say a lot of things for sex, you should be used to them—”

Carly—”

“Why wouldn’t you tell me?”

“Why the hell is it your business?” Carly snarled.

Jason rubbed his eyes. He wanted his quiet morning back. He wanted to be back in the kitchen making breakfast with Elizabeth and promising Cameron a set of race cars.

Was that so much to ask?

“Ah—” Elizabeth blinked as she stepped over the threshold, her eyes sweeping over a crying Sam and a smug Carly. “I guess I’m interrupting something.”

“You whore!” Sam threw the paper down and stepped towards her. Jason reached for his ex-girlfriend’s arm to hold her back, but then Carly grabbed a chunk of Sam’s hair and wrenched back.

“Son of a—”

“Carly?” Elizabeth said blankly.

“Hey, the only person who gets to scream at Elizabeth right now is someone who doesn’t live in a fucking glass house,” Carly hissed. She released Sam’s hair and pushed her away, putting herself between Sam and Elizabeth. “Is that you, tramp? No.”

“It’s certainly not you,” Sam spat. “You two have chasing Jason for years—you never liked that he was happy with me—”

“Yeah, because he certainly ran right to the altar.” Carly arched a brow. “Hey, Muffin, how long were you and Jason engaged?”

“I’m not answering that.” Elizabeth frowned. “Muffin? What the—”

“Carly, you should—” Jason stopped. “You should both go.”

Sam wheeled around on him. “How long were you engaged to her?” she demanded. “We were engaged almost a year—”

“I—” Jason just stared at her, because of course she was right. They’d been engaged for months. But then again, there’d been his illness and then Manny Ruiz. When would they have found time?

“Sam,” Elizabeth said, but stopped, because clearly she didn’t know what she would have said.

“Now that we have that settled.” Carly eyed Elizabeth. “Jury’s still out on how I feel about you, but you never slept with Sonny, so I suppose you’ve got that going for you.”

“Um.”

And Jason watched his wife fiddle with the strap of her tote bag, remembering that she was supposed to pick up the paternity test results.

If she was back, then—

“You should both go. Now.” Jason reached for Sam’s arm to propel her out the door. “Cody, make sure Sam gets out of the building—”

“How can you treat me like this?” Sam blinked. “Wait, how does Carly know about Ric?”

“Please.” Carly snorted. “Sonny told me.”

Jason closed his eyes and cursed his friend.

“Carly, don’t help,” Elizabeth said with a wince.

“Ah, Jase, we got a situation.” Cody finally spoke up from his position by the door. “The DA’s on his way up with an officer. So…maybe…” His eyes took in the scene. “We can stash Mrs. C and Sam across the hall—”

“What?” Sam screeched. “Why is Ric here—”

“Call Diane,” Carly ordered Jason. She reached for Sam’s hand. “We’ll be in the old maid’s room. And don’t worry about her.” She grinned. “I’ll keep her quiet.”

Carly, with a strength Jason hadn’t expected of her, hauled Sam away as the other woman continued to screech. The more she talked, the less Jason could remember why he’d been in love with her in the first place.

He sent Diane a quick text message to get her ass over here in case there was a search warrant or Ric tried to take Elizabeth into custody. He heard some more scuffles and another screech that was abruptly cut off from the direction of the maid’s room.

“This is insane…” Elizabeth pressed a hand to her forehead. “We can’t have him in here right now. What if Sam—”

“Carly will keep her quiet.” Jason closed the front door and took Elizabeth’s purse from her. “Listen, just—don’t say anything. Diane might not show up in time—”

“’I can’t keep quiet—what if he’s here to arrest me?” she hissed. “Jason—”

“He’s not going to arrest you today. He’s bringing the cop to scare you. He knows better.”

Cody knocked lightly. “The DA, Mr. Morgan.”

“Since when does he call you that?” Elizabeth demanded, perching on the edge of the sofa. “Jason—”

He pressed his mouth to hers for a brief moment. “I’ll take care of this, Elizabeth. Just don’t say anything—”

“Okay,” she murmured. “You’ve got more experience in this.”

“Let him in, Cody.”

When Ric walked in, Elizabeth remained perched on the sofa, while Jason angled himself in front of her, his arms crossed. “What do you want?”

“What do you think?” the piece of scum retorted. Ric glared at Elizabeth. “This is your bright idea for handling this, Elizabeth? You lose your job, so you run to the richest man you know—”

Elizabeth lunged to her feet, opened her mouth, but Jason held up a hand. It was essential she gave him no ammunition to work with.. “If you have anything you want to discuss with my wife, then you should talk to our attorney.”

“This isn’t even legal,” Ric snarled. “I’ll challenge whatever junk divorce you got, Elizabeth—”

“You can speak to Diane about that—she filed the papers.” Jason moved to the desk and handed him a card. “In case you forgot her number. Now get out.”

“Do you think this is over?” Ric hissed. He stepped towards Jason, who just stared at him. “Do you think you’ve protected her? You’ve just made her a target, Morgan. And now, when I take you down, she’s going with you.”

He and the unfamiliar cop left then. Jason moved to the doorway and waited until the elevator doors had closed. He looked to Cody. “Let me know when he’s out of the building, and from now on, no law enforcement gets clearance for this floor without a warrant.”

“Understood.” Cody nodded.

Jason exhaled slowly and then turned back to Elizabeth, whose face was a bit paler than he’d like. He had to get Carly and Sam out of here before they could deal with what might happen next. “Carly!” he called.

There was another yelp, then Sam rushed out of the back, rubbing her mouth. “That little bitch taped my mouth shut and my hands to the bed—”

Carly was tucking the duct tape in her purse. “Lucky finding that back there,” she said. “I’m keeping it by the way, you never know when it’ll come in handy.”

“Oh my God…” Elizabeth pressed her hands to her face, her words coming out more as a half moan. “This is such a goddamn farce.”

“Is Ric coming after you?” Sam demanded. “Is that what’s going on here?” She looked to Elizabeth who just kept her eyes closed. “You should have said something—I wouldn’t give you away to him—”

“Whatever. Time to go.” Carly reached for Sam’s arm.

“I mean, I thought you were lying all this time,” Sam said, wrenching away from Carly and moving towards him. “That—you didn’t think that night was a mistake and maybe the affair had continued—”

Jason flinched and looked to Elizabeth whose face was now expressionless. He had never told Sam that night had been a mistake.

“You need to go now,” Jason told her. He opened the door. “Cody, make sure they get out the building.”

“We will be discussing this later—” Carly tapped Jason as she pushed Sam past him. “You owe me.”

Jason closed the door behind both of them and pressed his forehead to the door. That was a half hour of his life he was never going to get back.

Elizabeth cleared her throat. “So. Well, that takes care of most of the people that are going to flip out. At least on your side. I still have—” She stopped. “Anyway.”

Jason turned to her. “Elizabeth—I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t have let Sam leave with the wrong impression—”

She shook her head. “I don’t—I don’t want to talk about Sam. I’m sure Carly enjoyed herself.” She crossed to the desk where Jason had set her purse and drew out a white envelope. “I—I went to Mercy.”

He looked at it—this piece of paper that could change everything. “Ah. Well.”

“I couldn’t—I couldn’t open it. I wanted to, but I was afraid—” Elizabeth pressed her lips together and held it out to him. “I want—can you do it? I just…my hands are shaking too much to deal with it.” But just as he reached for it, she drew back. “Wait.”

“Elizabeth—” He thought about just yanking it from her—now that the knowledge about his future as a father was in front of them, he just wanted to know.

But he stopped himself.

“No, I just…” She gestured toward the recently closed door of the penthouse. “I just…it’s…I wanted to keep this to ourselves and this penthouse today has been like Grand Central station. Maybe we could…go upstairs where we can’t be…interrupted?”

Jason nodded, because she had a point. He couldn’t guarantee Carly wouldn’t come back, that Ric couldn’t slither past security again—

“Let’s go upstairs then.”

Morgan Penthouse: Master Bedroom

Elizabeth followed Jason into the room that she was still struggling to see as theirs—her two suitcases were near the closet where she had not yet begun unpacking in earnest, and there were several boxes of personal belongings that rested next to the bureau.

But it was still the sparse room it had been after Elizabeth had packed Sam’s belongings in June when Jason had broken up with her, and she was conscious of the fact that the night they had spent together had not been in this room. He had carried her into Brenda’s old room, a pink confection down the hall next to the room Cameron currently occupied.

At the time, she had not really considered his reasons for choosing that room but now that she was expected to share the master with him, Elizabeth wondered if even in that moment, he’d been thinking of Sam. Of not wanting another woman in their room.

It shouldn’t matter. Jason had walked away from Sam, and they were married. Not for the reasons Elizabeth might have dreamed of once, but it was a marriage. They shared a bed, they cared for one another.

And yet…wondering if in the middle of one of the most passionate and electric nights of her adult life when Elizabeth could barely remember she was married, if Jason had been thinking of Sam…

It dug at her just a bit.

She turned to face Jason as he closed the door, the sun streaming in through the sheer curtains. She again held out the envelope. “Moment of truth.”

Jason took the envelope and stared at it for a moment. What did he want? Did he want this baby to be his, to be theirs? It would make so much about this situation easier in the short-term, but a child was forever. Did he really want that connection?

And God, what would she do if it were Lucky’s child?

Jason slid the single sheet of paper out and slowly unfolded it, his face stoic as ever.

Then his shoulders slumped.

Her heart was slamming against her chest. “What does it say?”

“The—” Jason stopped, and his fingers tightened just slightly, the results crinkling in his grasp. “I’m…the baby is mine.”

Oh, God. All the air rushed out of her in one swoosh and she swayed slightly. “What?” She reached for the paper and he released it.

She skimmed down to the conclusion which did indeed read that Jason Morgan, with a 99.999999% match was proved to be the father of the fetus.

“Oh, God. This is—” Elizabeth pressed her lips together, afraid to reveal just how relieved she was.

“It’s…better this way, isn’t it?”

Jason’s uncertain tone had her raising her head from the results to meet his eyes. Though his expression had not changed, he looked…uncomfortable.

“This,” Elizabeth began as she folded the letter and slid it into her purse, intending to burn it as soon as possible, “is the only outcome I could think about. Jason—” She stepped closer. “I never wanted it to be Lucky.”

His lips parted just a bit. “But—”

“I would have dealt with it,” she told him. “But from the moment I learned I was pregnant, I wanted it to be yours.” She licked her lips. “I was afraid to admit that, to really hope for it—but, God, Jason, I wanted to give you a child—”

His hands cupped her face, his thumb sliding across the jawline. “I wanted it, too. More than I should have.”

She wasn’t sure who moved first—maybe they did so together, as if words were no longer enough. The terror and uncertainty had dissolved into a dizzying relief—even excitement.

“We’re going to have a baby,” she murmured against his lips, feeling him grin in response, her own joy tingling down to her toes.

The back of her calves hit the bed before she even realized they had begun to drift in that direction. It seemed right, it seemed natural to take this moment and celebrate it without words, using kisses and caresses to express what simple words never could.

She was having a child with Jason Morgan, her husband, and in this moment, nothing could touch them. For this brief time, her world and everything in it was perfect.

March 20, 2015

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series All We Are

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human

Human, Christina Perri


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hardy Home: Sidewalk

The day was fading into early evening when Jason pulled the SUV to a stop in front of Audrey Hardy’s home. He switched off the ignition, but Elizabeth made no move to exit the car.

“I can stay in the car,” he offered. “It might be easier for you to tell her—”

“Having you wait out here for us is like…” Elizabeth sighed, letting her head fall back against the head rest. “It’s being ashamed of what I did. It’s not going to make it any less true if you sit out here.” She turned her head to meet his eyes. “And I want her to believe me when I tell her I’m not sorry.”

“Okay.” There was no arguing with any of those reasons, though he didn’t care for the pressure she was putting on herself. But he knew what it was like to have family who claimed to care about you only as long as you performed to their expectations.

“My grandmother encouraged me to stay with Ric, so it’s not like her credibility with me is high anyway.” Elizabeth pushed open her door and stepped outside the car.

Jason removed the keys from the ignition, slipped them into his pocket and joined her on the sidewalk. “Did you tell her everything he did?”

“Well, no,” Elizabeth admitted as they started towards the house. “Holding Carly hostage in our local panic room didn’t seem quite believable, particularly when Scott Baldwin hired him to work at the DA’s office rather than you know, prosecuting the bastard.” She huffed. “I told her he’d had an affair—which was technically true.”

Should have shoved the scum off a cliff in Venezuela that summer—their lives would be a lot easier right now.

“And your grandmother still encouraged you to go back to him?” Jason asked, his respect for Audrey Hardy all but disappearing.

“Well, I think her exact words were something along the lines of—’at least he’s not Jason’ or my personal favorite, ‘he didn’t get you shot at or kidnapped’.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Yeah, because those were the worst things that ever happened to me.” She touched the door knob. “So, yeah, she really doesn’t care for you. I’m sorry. This is going to suck.”

“It’s not going to be nearly as bad as other people,” Jason told her, knowing that Sam was going to take it particularly hard since he hadn’t warned her and had ignored all of her calls for more than a week.

“You say that now,” she murmured as she pushed open the front door.

Audrey sat on the sofa, a book in her hands. Cameron was at her feet, using a pile of Legos to construct a large tower. At the door opening, Cameron’s head snapped up. He grinned and lunged to his feet, rushing towards Elizabeth.

“Mommy!” The curly-haired boy threw himself into her arms, and with a laugh, Elizabeth lifted him into a tight embrace.

“Cam, I missed you so much.” She pressed kisses to his cheeks until he giggled.

Audrey rose to her feet, not looking at her granddaughter any longer. Her eyes were on Jason. “Mr. Morgan.”

“Gram…” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Cam, do you remember my friend Jason?”

Cameron nodded, but buried his head in his mother’s chest with a small smile in Jason’s direction. “Hi,” he said quietly.

“Can you show Jason your room and let him get your things together so we can go home?” she asked him. “Mommy has to talk to Grandma for a minute.”

“Okay.”

Elizabeth carefully transferred Cameron into Jason’s arms. He’d held him before—when he was just a baby and then a few times in the ensuing years, but this time was different.

This was his stepson, a little boy who would be living with them, and part of the family they were putting together. Who had been shuffled back and forth between his apartment and his great-grandmother’s as his adopted father struggled with injuries and drug addiction.

“His room is upstairs,” Elizabeth murmured to him. “He doesn’t have much to put together, but knowing him, it’s strewn all over the room.”

“You’ll be okay?” he asked, glancing at Audrey who looked distinctly unhappy at being ignored.

“Okay is a relative term.”

He wanted to stay, to stand beside her as she told her grandmother about their marriage but maybe it would just make things worse if he insisted, so he started to climb the stairs.

Once Jason and Cameron were on the second floor, Elizabeth stepped further into the living room and knelt on the floor to begin putting Cameron’s Legos into a container.

“Elizabeth, I want an explanation.”

“I’ve been trying to think of the best way to tell you this since I left on Sunday,” Elizabeth said, tossing the last yellow plastic piece in the container and fitting on the top. She drew herself to her feet. “But I suppose the best way is to just say it, like ripping off a bandage. I divorced Lucky in the Dominican Republic in Tuesday morning. Diane filed the paperwork here to register the divorce that afternoon. And that evening, I married Jason.”

Audrey sucked in a sharp breath. “Elizabeth.”

“And I know you’re going to be angry, but I was afraid if I told you my plans, you would have—” Elizabeth sighed. “You would have tried to stop me.”

“I would have tried,” Audrey replied, her pale cheeks flushing. “What in the world could you have been thinking?”

“I know you don’t care for Jason, but you don’t know him,” she responded. “Not the way I do. You don’t know how good he is to me, how good he’s going to be for Cameron and this baby. He doesn’t treat me like garbage or—”

“No, he’ll just get you killed or put in jail,” the other woman snapped. “For heaven’s sake, Elizabeth, you were kidnapped because of him—shot at—”

“And I was raped because I walked through the park one night alone,” Elizabeth murmured. “And my ex-husband’s mistress poisoned me, put a venomous snake in my studio, and caused my miscarriage. The worst things in my life, Gram, cannot be laid at Jason’s feet. And I wasn’t shot at because of Jason.” She pursed her lips. “That was because of Zander.”

“Another one of your stellar choices,” Audrey retorted. “My God, Elizabeth, have you no self-respect?”

Tears burned in her eyes, but she refused to allow them to fall—she would not give her grandmother the satisfaction. “Maybe I didn’t for a long time. After all, why else would I stay with Ric Lansing when he’d brought me nothing but pain and misery? Or why would I put up with a drug addict who put my child in danger and slept with a teenager? I must have thought very little of myself to allow those situations to continue, but it’s over now. I’m done with guilt and obligations, doing the right thing because someone else told me what it is.” She tossed her hair over her shoulder. “I married Jason because I wanted to, and that’s good enough for me.”

“Well, I hope that’s a comfort to you in his bullet proof penthouse,” Audrey murmured. “With your guards and the danger—I hope you’re happy with the world you’re bringing your children into. I cannot imagine Lucky will allow you to keep them full-time after this.”

“If you think any judge is going to give him custody of my children,” Elizabeth said evenly, her blood boiling just at the thought, “you’re insane. He’s an unemployed and unstable drug addict who screwed an eighteen year old in our bed.”

“I see you have answers for everything.” Audrey pressed her lips together. “I can’t imagine what else we have to say to each other—”

“Neither can I, Gram.” She picked up the container and watched as Jason came down the steps, Cameron’s duffel bag swung over one shoulder and her son in his arms. “Thank you for watching Cameron for me.”

When Jason stepped on the landing, Elizabeth tilted her head to the door. “Let’s go.”

SUV

“Cameron,” Elizabeth began as Jason pulled away from the curb, “we’re not going back to the apartment.”

“Why?” Cameron asked from his booster seat in the back. “My toys are there.”

“Um.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “You know your friend Morgan from school? How his mommy is going to marry Jax?”

“Yep,” Cameron nodded. “Morgan is my best friend in the whole wide world. Jax is gonna be his second daddy and he’ll live with them.”

“Well…” Elizabeth glanced at Jason who pulled to a stop at a traffic light. “I married Jason, so we’re going to live with him.”

Cameron frowned. “So he’s my second daddy like Mister Jax?”

“He’s your stepfather now.” Elizabeth twisted in her seat to get a better view of him. “Is—is that okay?”

“Do I got my own room?” the little boy asked. “Because I gots my own room, it’s okay. I don’t wanna share. Does he got kids too?”

“Not yet,” Jason told Cameron. “You’ll be the only kid until your mom has the baby.”

“Okay.”  Cameron nodded. “Okay. It’s cool. But what about my toys?”

“I packed our things after I dropped you at Gram’s,” Elizabeth told him. “Some friends of Jason moved them for us, so we’ll unpack everything tomorrow after school, okay?”

“Okay. As long as I got my toys.”

“To be three years old,” Elizabeth murmured, leaning her head back against the head rest, “and that be the most important thing in the world.”

“It’s going to be okay.” Jason took a hand off the wheel and laced their fingers together. “I know it was rough with your grandmother, but we’ll get through it tomorrow.”

“Yeah, letting the Port Charles Herald announce it to the world may not have been the best idea,” she murmured.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Kelly’s: Dining Room

Emily slapped a newspaper down in front of Nikolas, the dark headline crawling across the front: Cop’s Ex Married to the Mob!

“What the hell is this?” she demanded.

Nikolas took the paper from her and frowned as he read the brief account. “Looks like Elizabeth divorced Lucky in the Dominican Republic and married your brother on the island that evening.” He set the paper aside. “I wondered.”

Emily dropped into the seat across from him. “You wondered?” she repeated. “What the hell does that mean?”

“When Elizabeth went out of town immediately after getting those papers signed, and Jason disappeared as well?” Nikolas shrugged, sipping his coffee. “I assumed they were Dominican divorce papers.” He tapped the headline. “The marriage…well that I didn’t see coming.”

“How could she do this to Lucky?”  Emily asked. “This is going to set his recovery back so badly—” She shook her head. “With the second baby coming—she should have waited. He’s going to get over this and be himself again—’

“And there’s no law that said Elizabeth had to wait around for him to get there. Christ, Emily, he had an affair with another woman.” Nikolas eyed her. “If you remember correctly, that was reason enough for you to leave me.”

“That is just—” Emily pressed her lips together. “That’s not the point, Nikolas.”

“I’m not sure what caused her to turn around and marry Jason so quickly,” Nikolas said. “I worry that maybe she’s in trouble, but I do know that your brother saved her life last spring. After the hell my family put her through—I don’t know that I have the right to judge.”

He set his coffee down and handed the paper back to her. “And I don’t know why you are.”

General Hospital: Nurse’s Station

“Well.” Kelly slapped the paper down, her dark eyes lit with excitement. “Never let it be said that our Lizzie doesn’t know how to make a splash.”

“I feel like this violates some sort of Girl Code,” Lainey murmured, taking the paper from her and skimming the text again. “I feel like a decision of this magnitude should been covered in some sort of way over drinks. Or tea, since she’s pregnant.”

“Hey, more power to her. She traded in a five for an eleven on the smoking hot scale.” Kelly leaned across the counter, her lips curved in a wicked smile. “I would not mind a piece of Jason Morgan—”

“Everywhere I go,” Patrick complained as he stepped up to next to Kelly with a chart in his hand. “People are poring over that damn paper.”

“Well, we’re concerned,” Lainey said. “We consider Elizabeth a friend. She divorced one man in the morning and married another by the end of the night. I just hope she knew what she was doing—”

“Oh, she did,” Patrick muttered, thumbing through the chart and scrawling his signature. “Wouldn’t listen to reason.”

Kelly and Lainey both stared at him for a long moment until he felt the heat of their gaze and raised his head. “What?”

“You knew?” Kelly shrieked.

“Oh, see, now you have to die,” Lainey said, jabbing him with the pen.

Carly’s Home: Dining Room

Carly stepped into the dining room and held the paper up. “So, this happened.”

Jax glanced up from his breakfast and coughed harshly. Next to him, fourteen-year-old Michael pounded him on the back until his future stepfather had regained his breath. “What the hell?”

“You know, I should have seen this coming,” Carly mused as she took a seat at the head of the table, skimming the paper. “Jason thought someone was threatening her—Elizabeth was calling him for help. She was being charged with a bunch of nonsense—this all makes sense.”

“In what bloody universe does it make sense that Elizabeth is now married to Jason?” Jax demanded, snatching the paper from her hands. “A Dominican divorce? Hell.”

“Ric must have tried blackmail,” Michael shrugged. “Ha. This is going to piss him off.”

“Watch your language in front of your brother,” Carly told her son as she glanced at three-year-old Morgan, who just blinked at his mother. “An angry Ric is a dangerous Ric.”

“True.” Jax shook his head. “I thought spousal privilege only protected you after the marriage?”

“That’s technically true,” Carly said reaching for a muffin and tearing off a piece. “But this makes it way more complicated to compel her testimony. She can only testify about what she sees with her own eyes. Communications with Jason are off limits. Ric could ask her about something before the marriage, but she could easily derail the whole thing by telling him something Jason told her after the marriage.” Carly grinned. “And then her testimony is thrown out, there’s a mistrial. Very expensive. Hardly worth the trouble.”

“Mom has some experience in this matter,” Michael told Jax wryly. “No one knows the spousal privilege laws better.”

“Eat your breakfast, smart mouth.” Carly grinned. “God, I would love to be a fly on the wall at the Davis-Lansing home when Ric and Sam read the news.”

Davis-Lansing Home: Breakfast Nook

Sam’s wail broke the silence of their normal quiet breakfast. Alexis stopped trying to force Molly to eat her oatmeal and turned towards the front door. “Sam?”

“What now?” Ric muttered, reaching for his coffee.

“Look at this!” Sam shoved the paper at her mother. “Just look! What the hell was he thinking? He loves me.”

The first inkling of danger seeped into Ric’s brain and he tuned back into the conversation. “Can I see the paper?”

“This is not an attractive headline,” Alexis murmured as she passed the paper to her husband. “I thought she’d left this life behind.”

Cop’s Ex Married to the Mob!

Son of a bitch.

Morgan Penthouse: Kitchen

Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “They make me sound…I don’t know…like some sort of femme fatale.”

Jason scowled and leaned against the kitchen counter. “Sonny said he was just putting an announcement in the paper. I didn’t think they’d go this far—”

“How could they resist?” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Listen to this: ‘The new Mrs. Morgan was not only previously married to a detective with the PCPD, but to our very own interim prosecuting attorney.” She huffed. “He wasn’t the DA when I married him, and he sucks at it now.”

“I’m going to call Diane,” Jason muttered. “Did you see what they said about Cameron?”

“Oh, yeah, where they insinuate he’s the illegitimate son of a wannabe gangster.” Elizabeth pursed her lips. “I want to be angry about this, Jason, but it’s not like it’s not true. I’m not sure what Diane can do.” She set the newspaper down. “Cameron is Zander’s son—it’s a fact I’ve never tried to hide. He was killed in a shootout with the PCPD, so you know, it’s not like I can pretend he was an upstanding citizen.”

She peered down at the newsprint. “Though I noticed they left out Lucky’s stint in drug rehab and his affair with the commissioner’s daughter. Are they more scared of Mac than they are of you?”

He continued to scowl. “Why aren’t you more angry?”

“Because I don’t see the point.” She wrapped her arms around his waist and tilted her head up to look at him. “They didn’t print anything that wasn’t true. And I’m glad they left out some of it.” She pressed a quick kiss to his lips and returned to making Cameron’s breakfast.

“Which parts?” Jason reached for the newspaper again. This wouldn’t bother him normally, but he didn’t like the way the Port Charles Herald had talked about her or Cameron.

Maybe they should buy the newspaper.

“I’m glad they left Maxie out of it.” Elizabeth stepped towards the doorway of the kitchen to peer into the living room where Cameron had been glued to his cartoons since waking up twenty minutes earlier. “She’s dealing with enough.”

Jason frowned and picked up his coffee mug. “Elizabeth, she slept with your husband—”

“I remember Maxie a year ago, when she first started to date Jesse.” Elizabeth scooped the last of the scrambled eggs onto a plate. “She was different—still headstrong, but a good heart. And then he was murdered. Right in front of her.” She turned to him. “I remember what that was like—to think you’ve got your future in front of you and then to see it literally shatter into a million pieces before your eyes.”

“Elizabeth—”

“And I know that it can make you so angry that you decide you’d rather feel anything other than the despair, the devastation.” Elizabeth pressed a hand to her chest. “So you start to do self-destructive things. I got lucky, Jason. The first time I decided to go wreck my life, I found you.” She arched a brow. “I should punish Maxie because she found Lucky?”

He exhaled slowly. “You’re giving me too much credit.”

She just smiled and set Cameron’s plate on the table. “Anyway. This is a phase for Maxie. It’ll pass. She and I will never be friendly again, I’m not crazy, but you know, I can see her pain. She’s clinging to Lucky because he makes that pain go away for a bit.” Elizabeth shrugged. “She’ll figure it out.”

She stepped towards him, her eyes soft. “And if she’s really fortunate,” she began, stressing the word, “she’ll find someone who doesn’t make her forget about the pain of losing someone you love, but helps her learn to live with it. And move on.” She kissed him again. “Like you did for me.”

She went to the doorway to call to Cameron as Jason tried to process the way she saw their early friendship. He remembered the night of the blackout—when she’d told him she’d been in love with him back then.  He had assumed she’d meant that last summer—before Courtney and Ric.

But maybe she had meant those first few months.

Cameron rushed into the kitchen and climbed into his booster seat. “I can’t wait to tell Morgan about my new room,” he chirped, shaking the ketchup bottle over his eggs. “It’s so big, Mommy.”

“And yet you still managed to make a mess in less than three hours.” Elizabeth slid into a chair at the table, sipping her tea. At her side, her cell phone vibrated and shook but she only reached for it to look at the caller id.

The only phone call either of them had taken all morning had been from Sonny. At last count, Jason had two missed calls from his sister, one from Carly, and three from Sam.

Elizabeth pursed her lips. “It’s Patrick again, but I bet he just wants his race cars back now that we’re back in town.”

Jason sat opposite of Cameron and furrowed his brow. “His race cars?”

“Yeah, Mister Patrick has the best!” Cameron told him, bouncing in his seat. “He lets me play with them sometimes.” He pouted. “Do I gotta give ‘em back, Mommy?”

“I’m sorry, baby.” Elizabeth ruffled his curls. “It was nice of Patrick to lend them to you this entire week, but he loves those things more than some people love family members.”

“Man.” Cameron huffed and pushed his plate back. “How come I gotta play with otha people’s toys?” He sniffled. “Morgan’s got a whole room for his toys.”

“Cam…” Elizabeth bit her lip. “I-I know I wasn’t able to do much this last year, and I’m sorry—but things are going to be different—”

And that was all Jason was going to listen to. “Cam, you know, I missed your birthday last year.”

“Jason…” Elizabeth began. She laid a hand over his. “You don’t have to—”

“I-I know, but I didn’t get him anything and I should have. We’re friends,” he told her. “I mean, then. We were friends—”

“But—”

“Can I have race cars for my birfday now?” Cameron demanded, not interested in his mother’s protests. “I don’t gotta wait until I’m four do I?”

“If it’s okay with your mother,” Jason said, glancing at Elizabeth, “maybe we can go to Wyndham’s after school.”

“Please, Mommy?” Cameron asked. “Pretty please?”

She sighed. “All right.”

“Yay!” Cameron slid off his chair and rounded the table to launch himself at Jason. “Thank you, thank you!”

Jason hugged him and set him back on the ground. “Finish eating so you can go to school.”

After Cameron had finished eating and returned to his cartoons, Elizabeth started to clean up. “I didn’t overstep, did I?” Jason asked, setting his dirty coffee mug in the sink.

“What?” Elizabeth blinked at him. “No. No. I—I just hate that I haven’t been able to do much for him.” She sighed and tucked a plate in the drying rack. “We were barely able to celebrate his birthday at all this year. Lucky had just left the hospital and he was still in so much pain.” She bit her lip. “I was working on Sam’s case. There wasn’t much money because Lucky’s health insurance with the department only covers him when he’s working, which idiotic but it’s not like I make the rules.”

She sighed. “Bobbie made him a cake, and my grandmother bought him a few toys. There were some clothes, but it’s hard for him. He started preschool this year and he’s absolutely in love with Morgan. But Morgan has a big house and lots of toys—”

“I get it.” Jason touched her back lightly. “I just—there’s no reason for him to go without something he really loves. I have money—”

“But it’s not why—” She stopped. “Never mind. I know you don’t think I married you for money, so there’s no point in arguing that. It’s more that…” She pressed her lips together. “I’m not entirely used to having someone to…share in the decisions.”

“But Lucky’s been in his life—”

“Yeah, Lucky and I have been together since Cameron was a baby, but—” she paused for a long moment. “He left most of it to me. I took Cam to the doctor, got him ready for daycare, spent my free time with him. I’m not saying Lucky was a bad father….just…” She shrugged. “Not very involved. He never got around to adopting him—never enough money for that either.”

Jason didn’t know what to say to that, so he didn’t respond at all. The more he learned about Elizabeth’s marriage to Lucky even before the drugs continued to leave him confused as to why she’d married the bastard at all.

“Um, so when I turned my phone on this morning,” Elizabeth said, wiping her hands dry on a towel. “I had a voicemail from Mercy.”

He tensed. “They—they didn’t give you the results over the phone did they?”

“No, but it was a message to let me know the results are ready today.” Her cheeks flushed. “Um, I thought I’d pick them up after I drop Cameron at school. And-and if you’ll still be here, I could bring them back…” Flustered, she twisted her hands together. “I mean, unless you have to go meet Sonny or something—”

“I told Sonny we were getting the results back today,” Jason said. “And that we’re getting everything settled. I’ve got the day clear.”

“Okay. Good.” She smiled, but it was nervous now. “I mean, I just—I think we should look at the results together.”

“Hey, whatever they say, Elizabeth…” He drew her close and pressed his lips to her forehead. “We can deal with it.”

March 18, 2015

Nothing like constantly opening up your writing projects only to close them after almost an hour of nothing that you want to show the rest of the world.

So I’m going through a bit of a dry spell, so to speak. I get moments where I feell good about writing, but they’re small and few between lately. Inspiration is easy, it’s translating my thoughts from outline to prose.

I’m not sure what it is or why I’ve been having trouble the last few weeks, but this is just a note to let you guys knowt that updates are going to slow down for a while. Damaged is not back on hiatus, just slowing down a bit. I don’t want to start posting in the new format until I have several episodes ready to go. I have two more chapters of All We Are ready to go and will be posted this week and next. After that? It’s really up in the air.

I’m going to keep opening my writing projects and hoping for the best, but I’m not going to promise anything.

March 14, 2015

So I took a few minutes and scheduled three weeks ahead for All We Are because we got to Thursday night and I hadn’t posted for this morning yet. Yikes!  All We Are has been updated to Chapter Six, our honeymoon chapter.

I did almost no writing this week save one scene for an episode of Damaged. I have no good excuse for this except that I got my hands on SimCity and got horribly distracted. Also it was my nephew’s birthday, I worked, and I’m studying math for the Praxis.

Anyway. I’m sorry. I’ll be better next week. I updated the music page finally and All We Are has a full Volume 2 soundtrack, which is good for everyone else. You can find that link on the story page or click here to check it out on Spotify. I try to keep Grooveshark updated but tracks keep randomly disappearing and it’s annoying.

And because I feel like this got missed in the long annoying update from last week, Damaged has a brand-new theme. I intend to tweak it further now that I’ve got it looking much more the way I want it too. Please head over and let me know what you think. I worry that the text is too small. Monday is your first new episode of the new format so stay tuned!

March 13, 2015

This entry is part 6 of 18 in the series All We Are

Well, you have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
You’ve made it now

Falling Slowly, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Morgan Villa: Bedroom

The sun was warm on her bare shoulder when she drifted into consciousness the next morning. Elizabeth blinked once, then twice, before shifting slightly on her side, the thin dark sheet sliding down her torso.

The Caribbean sun burned in through the balcony that stretched across the opposite side of the room, the ocean a wall of sparkling diamonds.

For a moment, she wasn’t sure where she was, but the warmth at her side quickly brought back the events of the day before.

And the night before.

She pushed her hair away from her face and peered over at Jason, who still lay asleep. Sprawled on his stomach, his arms half under the pillow on his side of the bed, his blond hair tousled and a morning stubble on his cheeks.

This was her husband with whom she had had a passionate wedding night.

Her lips curved into a smile just at the thought of it, and for the first time in months, she felt the weight of her problems, her burdens…just drift away. They didn’t disappear—and she knew they’d be waiting for her back in Port Charles.

But for this moment, for this day, she was going to embrace this new life. Robin had told her to ask Jason what he wanted, and Elizabeth was profoundly grateful she had listened.

Not wanting to wake him, Elizabeth slowly slid from beneath the sheets, reaching for the button down white shirt he’d worn the day before as it lay discarded on the floor nearby.

She slipped into it, wrapping the ends around herself rather than buttoning it. The sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, the smell of the salt air, and the vision of the sun glinting off the water drew her out to the balcony with its wooden rails.

Elizabeth braced a hip against it and surveyed the beach below, the greenery that dotted the edge of civilization, away from the golden sand dunes.

She heard rustling behind her and glanced back just as Jason slipped into a pair of black briefs.

She liked to think she wasn’t a particularly shallow person, but was there anything more delicious than the vision of Jason Morgan and his golden skin in nothing but a brief piece of black cloth?

“I’m sorry if I woke you,” she murmured as Jason joined her, sliding a warm arm around her waist. Elizabeth leaned her head back against his chest, tucking her head under his chin simply because she could. How many times had she wanted to touch him and resisted?

She wasn’t depriving herself any longer.

“I don’t sleep much anyway.” His lips brushed against her hair. “You okay?”

“Practically perfect.” Elizabeth held her left hand out slightly, her eyes on the newly minted rings on her finger.

She’d worn Lucky’s rings until Monday morning, and had left the slim bands on the top of her bureau in the apartment. Maybe she should feel guilty that she now wore another man’s rings, but she just couldn’t dredge up the emotion.

She’d spent too many years trapped by guilt and obligation.

“We don’t have to be back in Port Charles until tomorrow,” Jason said after a long moment. “Did—Did you want to do something today?”

Elizabeth turned so that she was facing him. Tilting her head to the side, she peered up at him. “You’re always asking me what I want.”

“Well,” Jason said, cupping her chin, his thumb smoothing along her jaw. “I have what I want.”

She grinned—it seemed as if they had both discarded whatever guards they’d constructed over the last few years. It was the most in tune she’d felt with him since the early halcyon days of their friendship.

Could it be this simple? If she had just taken one step forward all those years ago—would he have followed?

“You always know exactly the right thing to say.”

He dipped his head down to kiss her, but she giggled and drew away. “Morning breath,” Elizabeth told him with a wagging finger. “I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.”

“In that case…” Jason surprised her by plucking her up as if she weighed nothing more than air.

In less than a minute, he had carried her into the adjoining master bathroom, set her back on her feet, and handed her a bottle of mouth wash. “Ladies first.”

Morgan Villa: Kitchen

Jason glanced up as Elizabeth emerged from the short hallway that connected the bedrooms to the front of the house.

Her smile was quick and genuine, her eyes were clear and content, and the tension he’d seen in her for months had dissipated.

As she perched on a stool on the other side of the kitchen island, her hair tumbling to the middle of her back in a mass of waves, he noticed the blue bikini she had changed into after their shower, and the floral fabric tied at her waist.

He set a plate of food in front of her along with a glass of orange juice. “I guess you’re not interested in spending part of the day at the casinos or resort.”

“Mmm…is this a frittata?” Elizabeth picked up the fork and knife he’d set out. “And no.” She wrinkled her nose. “I spent way too much time on that side of the island the last time I was here.” She took a small bite and closed her eyes. “I wish I could cook like this.”

“Still only confined to brownies?” he asked with a light smile. “I would have thought you’d branched out by now.”

“Hey.” She jabbed the fork at him, her eyes sparkling. “I’ll have you know I can make anything that comes in a box.”

“I stand corrected.”

He leaned back against the stove, his mug of coffee in his hand and watched her eat with enthusiasm.

She was his wife.  They were married.

It should feel odd, even awkward. But it didn’t. Was it simply being away from Port Charles? From the outside tensions that so often influenced their interactions?

“Anyway,” Elizabeth said a few moments later, taking a swig of juice. “I was never any good at the casinos. I managed to lose even when I suspected Sonny was fixing the tables in my favor.” She laughed. “I know that’s the only way Carly ever won.”

“There’s the resort,” Jason offered. “They’ve got, I don’t know, shopping and spas or something.”

“That’s where everyone thinks I am anyway.” But her smile faded a bit. “Did—did you want me to go the resort for a while or something? Do-do you need to do something? With Sonny, I mean?” She bit her lip, and for the first time since the ceremony, a bit of uncertainty flashing in her eyes. “Or do you just want some time to yourself—”

“No.” Jason set his coffee down abruptly. “No, that’s not—” He exhaled slowly. “I just…I thought you might want to go—”

“Because if you need to meet with Sonny while we’re here, that’s okay.” Elizabeth pushed her half-eaten plate away from her a bit. “I mean, it’s…it’s your job, Jason. I-I can go get a massage—”

She started to slide down the stool, but he rounded the granite counter and stopped her descent, his hands at her hips. “Elizabeth. Sonny asked us to dinner tonight so you could keep Robin company for a bit while we dealt with anything we need to talk about. I just—” He stopped. “I’m sorry, I just thought you might want—”

“No, I’m sorry.” Elizabeth looked past him, her eyes cast down as if trained on the marble tiles. “I guess, I mean…this morning—and-and last night, it’s just…maybe I don’t always trust feeling happy for more than a few hours.” The corner of her mouth lifted. “There’s…there’s always something waiting just around the corner—”

“I know.” He let her slide the rest of the way to the floor, then tipped her chin up to force her meet his eyes. “Elizabeth. Remember what we talked about yesterday?”

“Honesty.” Her smile was back now, smaller and maybe a bit shaky—but genuine. “Right. So I guess I just have…to trust that. I’m sorry—”

“Don’t apologize—” He cut her off with a firm shake of his head. “I know what you went through with Lucky—I saw it. I watched him try to break you into little pieces every time he accused you of having an affair with Patrick—”

“To the point when I merely mentioned a paternity test to Kelly and Epiphany, they both assumed Patrick was the other party.” She sighed. “I’m working on it, Jason. I guess—I mean, we knew it would be more complicated than just…getting married to keep me from testifying—”

“That’s why we started this,” Jason said, “but it’s—it’s not entirely why we went through with it. Is it?”

“No,” she whispered. “Can—can we have more mornings like before? I mean, once we go back to Port Charles, this—it won’t go away?”

“No.” His thumb passed over her bottom lip, tracing its softness. Her eyes changed again—darkened. He replaced his thumb with his mouth.

For so many years, she’d been at the edges of his life—someone he cared about but could never hope for more. If he could have even guessed how good it would feel to touch her, to be with her—

He wouldn’t have needed the tequila to work up the courage.

Maybe this had all started as a mutual agreement to protect one another, but those reasons were a distant memory as he tugged her away from the kitchen, towards a nearby sofa. The fabric at her waist slipped to the marble floor, his shirt was tossed somewhere.

They tumbled to the sofa, his back against the cushions and her soft curves pressed against him. Her curls caressed his skin as he swept them away from her face, his fingers sliding through the strands.

Elizabeth broke away from him, straightening. She pressed her hands flat against his chest as he began to sit up.  “Elizabeth,” he began.

“I just—” Her breath was shallow, her chest rising and falling rapidly. “I just—this is different. Not like last night. Or this morning. I just—” She bit her lip. “I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings between us—”

Jason’s hands slid from her hips, curling into fists to keep from reaching for her. “Do you want to stop—”

“No.” The corner of her mouth curved up. “I just wanted you to know that my eyes are wide open. This isn’t about wanting to feel something, to forget about anyone else. It’s not our wedding night or the afterglow.” Her fingertips trailed down his chest towards the waistband of his sweats.

“There’s no one else here,” he replied, his voice raspy. “It’s just you and me.”

“Exactly.” Her fingers slid lower, and everything in him tensed as that hesitant smile turned a bit wicked. “Now where were we?”

Corinthos Villa: Veranda

Robin stepped through the open arch that connected Sonny’s living room to the sprawling veranda at the front of his face.

“What are you doing out here?” she asked Sonny as she joined him. “Are you waiting for Jason and Elizabeth?”

“A bit.” Sonny leaned against one of the large granite pillars. “They looked good yesterday, didn’t they? You don’t think I pushed too much?”

“I think,” Robin said, perching on the edge of a white railing, “it was a lovely ceremony and they’ll have good memories of it. They looked startled, but not upset.” She peered over the vast greenery that separated Sonny’s home from Jason’s.  “I never would have put them together. Even when Elizabeth told me what had happened this summer—I still couldn’t see it.”

She smiled and looked back at him. “But now that I have? I like it.” Robin laughed, wrinkling her nose. “It’s weird to think of him of being right for someone else. I mean, I’ve moved on with Patrick and I love him, I really do. I know Jason was married to your sister, that he was engaged with Sam, but I don’t know…he always seemed…” She wiggled her shoulders. “Stressful. Every time I saw him with Sam, he was tense. Not because of her, I guess, but—”

“She didn’t offer him a break from his world,” Sonny murmured. “She miscalculated there. She knew that Courtney had left him over the job, heard the rumors it was why Elizabeth had walked out—so she turned herself into the perfect sidekick.”

“But Jason didn’t want a sidekick.”

“He thought he did, and I can see how it made sense.” Sonny sipped his bourbon. “But maybe he’s starting to get that you need something else. A sense of separation, of…”

“Peace,” Robin murmured. “Of quiet. Of something stronger than the next rival, the next catastrophe.” Her lips curved. “Well, Sonny, I think you gave them a really good start. What they do with it from here out is up to them.”

Through the sounds of the waves behind them the roar of a motorcycle broke though. Around a corner of trees and bushes, the bike appeared, then turned into the drive.

Sonny grinned. “Still got the bug I see.” He took Robin’s arm and drew her back into the shadows by the house.

“Ugh, I tolerated that bike, but he always went too fast—” Robin broke off when Jason pulled his bike to a stop.

Elizabeth drew off her helmet, letting her hair tumble down her back. Whatever she said to Jason was lost to the wind and ocean, but there was no mistaking the broad smile on her face and her laughter.

They stood close to one another after climbing off the bike for a long moment, before finally making their way up towards the front of the house.

“I think they’ll be just fine,” Sonny murmured. “We better get inside before they catch us spying.”

Corinthos Villa: Terrace

Robin tipped some sparkling cider into Elizabeth’s glass. “So, while the boys are talking business, I think it’s time you tell me how the honeymoon is going.”

Elizabeth’s cheeks flushed and she dipped her head. “Robin…”

“Listen.” Robin settled onto the long chaises dotting the area around the pool, tucking her legs underneath her. “You forget, I’ve been in this since the beginning. I remember the way you looked a week ago, in that parking garage.”

Elizabeth sighed and sipped her cider. She looked to her left, and saw through the open terrace doors into the kitchen where Jason and Sonny were talking as Sonny cooked.

“It feels so far away,” she murmured. “You told me to ask him what he wanted.”

“Oh, wait, don’t tell me I was right—” Robin held up a hand. “Let me get a witness or Patrick won’t believe me—”

“Jason and I used to be honest with each other, but I guess…that was only until I looked at him one day and realized he just wasn’t just…my friend.”

“He was the sexy man standing over there.” Robin sipped her wine. “I remember.” She frowned. “Wait, is that weird? Because I mean, I dated him—”

“It’s fine. It feels like another lifetime ago.” Elizabeth lifted a shoulder. “I don’t know, Robin, we just started talking again in the spring and it’s like…all those feelings—all that love I had for him, and maybe whatever he felt for me, it was just…dormant.”

“Like kindling waiting for a match,” Robin nodded. “It happens sometimes, you know. It doesn’t mean you were destined to have an affair—”

“But we did. Technically.” Elizabeth sighed. “Or I did. Part of the reason I never really lost it when Lucky accused me of being with Patrick was the fact I knew something wasn’t right. I was—” She lifted her free hand in the air. “Overly involved in Jason’s life by that point. Turning to him when things with Lucky were falling apart, trying so hard to get him to go back to Sam—”

“I guess.” Robin pursed her lips. “But nothing happened until you found out about Maxie—”

“And I didn’t go find Emily or Nikolas, or even you. I didn’t stay with my grandmother.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “I took the first excuse I could find, Robin, to crawl into bed with Jason. I have to be honest with myself about that.”

“Fair enough.” Her friend tilted her head to the side. “Are you sorry?”

“No—but I felt so guilty about not being sorry I ran right back to Lucky to prove I wasn’t that kind of woman…” Elizabeth shrugged. “But I was. I married two other men because I didn’t believe I could ever have the one I wanted. I kept settling—”

“And the universe kept dumping Jason in your path, so maybe it’s trying to tell you something.” Robin leaned forward. “What’s going to happen next in Port Charles is going to be tough. I’m not even talking about Ric Lansing—”

“I know. There’s Carly, my grandmother, Lucky, Emily—Sam—” Elizabeth chewed on her lip. “That’s why I’m just…I’m going to trust Jason. We can make this work. He’s going to be so wonderful with Cameron, I know that. And this baby…” She pressed a hand to her abdomen. “I’m going to hope like hell we find out on Friday this is Jason’s child. Because I want to give him a child, I want a child with him, Robin. But even if it’s not, I can’t let that shake what we’re trying to do.”

“Exactly.” Robin gestured with her glass of wine. “It’s going to be you two against the world—with a little help from me and Sonny.” She frowned. “And Patrick, because I’ll make him. But if you guys can keep your foundation strong, you’ll get through whatever Ric has ready for you.”

“Yeah, I’m not crazy. Just getting Diane to get Ric tossed off my case and marrying Jason is not going to fix anything.” Elizabeth rolled her shoulders. “It’s only going to piss him off. You’re not that familiar with a vengeful Ric Lansing.” She dipped her eyes down. “But I am.”

“Then we’ll just have to beat him.” Robin held her glass out. “To kicking ass and taking what we want in life.”

Elizabeth clinked her glass with a grin. “And I’ll tell you what, Robin, for the first time in years? I’m going to do exactly that.”

Morgan Villa: Terrace

“So back to Port Charles in the morning.”

They were stretched out in one of the wicker chaise lounges, Elizabeth’s head tucked under his chin, his arms wrapped around her waist.

Elizabeth sighed. “I know. My grandmother is expecting me in the afternoon to pick up Cameron.” She tilted her head back to catch a glimpse of his face from the light of the torches. “Should…should I tell her? Or should I wait until the notice is in the papers—”

“It’s done now,” Jason replied, idly lacing the fingers of their hand together as they had that night in his penthouse. “You might as well let her know before the papers. If you don’t—”

“It would probably be even worse later,” Elizabeth murmured. “I know Ric isn’t going away. I just hope he’s distracted enough by Alexis and her health that he won’t take extreme measures—”

“He’s capable of anything,” Jason replied. “But we’ll be ready.”

“I’m glad we had this today.” Her eyes grew heavy as the steady beat of the waves crashing against the shore echoed in her mind. “It was perfect.”

“Yeah.” Jason pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “It was. Do-do you want to go inside?”

“Mmm…” She curled her hand into a fist and rested it against his heart. “Just…a little longer. I love it out here.”

“We’ll come back,” he promised her. “For longer. And we’ll bring Cameron. And-and maybe the baby, too. Does Cameron like the water?”

But she didn’t answer him. Her eyes were closed, her lips curved into a gentle smile. She was so beautiful, this woman who had trusted him with so much.

She could have done the bare minimum—Diane had assured him that the charges were all but baseless and Ric’s involvement a pure conflict of interest. Elizabeth had never been in any true danger of going to jail.

But she’d refused to stand by while Ric had gone after him—the loyalty she had always shown him even in the darkest of moments humbled him even as it frustrated and worried him.

He didn’t know what the future held for them, but Jason thought if they could just hold on to this day, maybe it would be okay.

March 6, 2015

So it’s Friday, which means if all has gone well, you’ve read updates for All We Are, The Best Thing, Damaged, and the additions to Fiction Graveyard. Yay! If it’s gone badly, well, there’s not much I can do about it now.

bestthingAnyway. Before we get into the nitty gritty, The Best Thing is going on hiatus again for at least two weeks. I know, you guys must really hate me by now, but hey, if you’ve been putting off reading it because it’s too long, this is a fantastic chance to grab the ebook that has all the current chapters (even through Chapter 21) so you can be fresh and ready when the second half the story starts.

I ran out of my buffer chapters again, oy. I tried to get one done in time for next week, but I know even if I rush the next chapter, it likely wouldn’t be beta’d in time, and there’s no way I’m going try and hurry it through Cora, who has her own life going on. So, a slight hiatus is best for everyone.

But it’s okay because not only do you get both TBT and All We Are this week, but starting March 16, shorter episodes of Damaged will be posted, each about three scenes long which are much easier to write since I do one a day. You’ll have damageda lot to read, so you might not even miss TBT so much.

If you did not receive an email with Episode 005 of Damaged on Monday, then you’re not signed up for those specific updates. Damaged is on a separate website so it can have a different look, but it does not share the same update list. Please go to the website and sign up! Otherwise, you’re stuck waiting until I get around to a summary update after I post All We Are on Fridays. So go sign up! Don’t miss it when I start posting twice a week!

Yesterdays was the featured story since November 2014, but now, your featured story is The Witness. I know it’s been featured before, but I can’t help myself. Of all my older stories, it’s my personal favorite. Read, revisit it, let me know if you like 🙂

fictionOkay, with that out of the way, what are your updates this week?  In the Fiction Graveyard, I posted all of Lupercalia. I was going to add more but it looks like the stories that are left to add all have the same editing issues that keep me from posting Poisonous Dreams #1 in bulk, so Fiction Graveyard is off the regular roster for updating again. I’ll work on getting chapters edited, but it’ll be updated when I get the chance.

You also have Chapter 21 of The Best Thing, which officially delineates our halfway point. Omg, you’re saying, I’m sure, this bastard has another 21 chapters to go? What the hell. Ha. I feel ya. I still have to write those 21 chapters, how do you think I feel? This was not supposed to be so insane, but I added the first part of the story to the outline, in which Jason and Elizabeth fall in love again–I had originally planned to just open the story with them engaged, so you know, yeah, that added a good sixteen chapters to the whole thing. I have issues.

You have Chapter 5 of All We Are, of which I am particuarly proud. It took a week to write in order to strike the right tone, but I think I nailed it (if I say so myself), and I’m looking forward to posting Chapter Six, which is the last of the calm allwearebefore the storm. I’m writing this story pretty fast, so as soon as it’s finished, I can dig into Mad World have that ready to for posting.

And of course, Episode 005 of Damaged, which finished up my introductory arc of five super long episodes to build and establish my version of Port Charles, April 2014. Episodes from the future arcs will begin again with the numbering, so you’ll get Episode 001 of an Untitled Arc starting March 16.  Damaged also has a new theme to make it more distinctive from this website and I’m still working on it 🙂

Your Links
The Best Thing, Chapter 21
All We Are, Chapter 5
Damaged,  Introductory Arc: Episode 005
Fiction Graveyard: Lupercalia, Prologue-Chapter Two

This entry is part 5 of 18 in the series All We Are

It’s alright if you don’t know what you need
I’m right here when
You need someone to see
It’s not speak
Or forever hold your peace
It’s alright to take time
And find where you’ve been

Porcelain, Marianas Trench


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

West Plana Cays, Bahamas: Corinthos Villa

 When Elizabeth was ten minutes late to meet them downstairs for the ceremony, Jason reluctantly went in to check on her.  The strain of the day, the surprise of  finding the terrace at Sonny’s island home decorated with flowers for the wedding with someone standing by with a damn camera to make the event look good…he wasn’t surprised she was having second thoughts.

And he told himself as he lifted his hand to knock on the door, that if she wanted to back out, he would let her. It didn’t matter that he’d half been looking forward to living with Elizabeth and her son, with a child he believed might be his.

He would let her go.

“Elizabeth?”

“J-Jason?” Her trembling voice wafted out. Below him, he could see Sonny and Robin milling about on the terrace. Sonny had constructed his villa with a long winding stairway on the outside of the building rather than inside.

Sonny avoided walls whenever he could.

“Hey.” He kept his voice light. He didn’t care if Sonny or the justice of the peace were getting impatient. If Elizabeth wasn’t ready, then they weren’t doing this. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I-I’m s-sorry. I c-can’t…” Her voice faltered. “I can’t d-do this. I thought I could, but I-I can’t.”

He closed his eyes, resting his forehead briefly against the oak door. After a moment, he exhaled slowly and straightened. “It’s okay, Elizabeth. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I told you that.”

Then the door opened, and she was standing there a strapless white dress that fell to her knees.  She wore some makeup, but her eyes were red and some of her mascara had smeared. “But—”

“This part of it was just to keep you from testifying.” Jason slid his hands into the pockets of his khakis. “You’ll be in the clear on the other charges—”

“I want to protect you,” she said, her hand gripping the door so tightly her knuckles were white. “B-But I’m just…I don’t know what happens next.”

He furrowed his brows. “What do you mean?”

Elizabeth stepped away from the door and gestured for him to come in. He did so, and closed the door behind him, wanting some privacy. “I mean, it’s not…the wedding that has me upset, okay? It’s…not like I don’t get what Sonny’s doing. He’s done this before. I have to wear a dress, and you have to…” She hesitated, and chewed on her bottom lip, looking at the white button down shirt he wore and the light pants. “You look nice.”

“I can tell Sonny to get rid of the flowers and the photographer,” Jason said. “Robin has one of those phones with a camera if the court wants it—”

“No, none of that…” She sighed, pressed a hand to her forehead and turned away. “It’s not the wedding. It’s…the marriage part of it.”

He blinked, because that didn’t make sense. Weren’t they the same thing? “I don’t—I don’t understand.”

“It’s…about tomorrow and all the days that come after it.” She turned back to him. “What about Cameron? What if this baby is Lucky’s? What if you fall in love with someone else? What if this doesn’t work and Ric makes me testify or—”

Jason held up both hands to halt her rapid flurry of questions. “Wait, wait—” He stepped towards her. “Let’s just…take this one step at a time.” She pressed her lips together and looked away. “About Cameron? I don’t know what—I’d be his stepfather. I’d love and care for him. As for the baby…”

He hesitated because he didn’t like to think about the alternative. He wanted this child to be his, not Lucky’s. But she was right to be concerned. “If the baby isn’t mine, we’ll handle it however you want. We can—we can keep that to ourselves. Or if you think Lucky should be in the child’s life, then we can do that, too.”

Her eyes were closed, but tears were slowly sliding down her face. He didn’t know if any of these answers were helping, but he didn’t want her to say no for the wrong reasons.

Jason stepped closer to her, sliding his hand along her cheekbone so she’d open her eyes. When she was looking at him again, he cleared his throat and continued. “I’m not going to fall in love with anyone else, Elizabeth.”

Her lips trembled, then parted. “Right. I mean, of course not. I—you’re in love with Sam, so what if you want her back a-and you’re stuck with me—”

“That’s not going to happen,” he told her, rather than explaining all the reasons he was finished with Sam or why he’d never look at being married to her as being stuck. Damn Ric and Lucky for dragging her down, for making her feel less.

“Jason…” His name was almost a plea as she stepped back and his hand fell away. “I just—I don’t know what you see for us. What kind of marriage you want.”

He frowned. “Elizabeth, I’ll do whatever you want—”

Elizabeth actually growled and dug her hands into her hair. “Don’t say that! Stop saying that!”

“Then what do you want me to say?” Jason demanded, finally frustrated. Damn it, he just wanted her to be happy but how was he supposed to accomplish that if she wouldn’t tell him what she needed? “I don’t know what you want from me—”

“I don’t care about what I want!” Elizabeth retorted. Her eyes were angry now, sparks all but flying from them. “God, Jason, stop asking me that. I asked you what you wanted—”

“I want whatever you want,” Jason interrupted. “Why does it have to be more complicated than that—”

“Because you always leave it up to me.” She slashed her hand through the air. “You leave it up to me, so I try to do the right thing for both of us and I think my track record has proved that I suck at it. So, for once, just tell me what you want.”

“I want—” Jason shook his head. “Elizabeth—I just want—” He stopped and sat on the edge of the bed.

After a long pause, he finally spoke. “You asked me—if we go ahead with this—what kind of marriage I want.” He looked up from his hands and met her eyes briefly before looking away again. “I want you to trust me. I want…” He hesitated. “I want to come home to something that’s separate from my…job. I want to listen to you ramble about your art, about the people you saw that day…so I don’t have to think about the things I do when I’m not with you.”

“Jason…”

He felt the bed dip as she settled next to him. “I want you to trust me,” she murmured. “And I want to trust you. I want you to listen to me ramble on about a problem and then say something that’s so simple, it seems to solve all my problems at once. I want to stop pretending to be someone I’m not.”

“I—” Jason looked up and met her eyes, still damp but not as panicked. “I never wanted you to be anyone else.”

“I know,” she responded with a small smile. “Which always confused me.” She reached for his hand and laced their fingers together. “If we’re going to do this, Jason, I want us to be honest with each other. Like we used to be. I don’t want to always be afraid or worrying about protecting myself.”

Jason stood then, and drew her to her feet as well. He reached into his pocket and drew out a small velvet bag. “I—I bought rings for today,” he told her, pulling the string to loosen the bag. “I was just going to buy the set, but—”

He drew out the small diamond ring he’d seen in the jewelry case and held it between his thumb and index fingers. He reached for the hand he had just released and held it still as it shook slightly.

“Jason, you didn’t have to do—” she began, her voice trembling as much as her hand had.

“I wanted to.” He slid the ring over her knuckle. “I could have bought something bigger, but your hand is small—”

“I don’t care about that.” Elizabeth lifted her hands and framed his face. “This is going to work, isn’t it?”

Rather than answering her with words, he took a chance and dipped his head down to taste her mouth, her sweet taste mixed with the slight salt from her earlier tears. “Will you marry me?” he whispered against her lips, hoping the second time he posed this question would bring him a different answer.

“Yes.” She laughed then and nipped at his mouth. “Let me redo my makeup and I’ll meet you out there.” Elizabeth drew back, the shadows lifted from her expression. “Go before Sonny sends in a search party.”

Sonny’s Villa:  Ocean Terrace

Elizabeth stepped to the top of the stairs and glanced over the side of the railing, down to the terraced pool where Jason, Sonny, and Robin waited. The explosion of flowers, the wildflower arbor where she and Jason were expected to stand, even the photographer Sonny had arranged—she understood it was all part of a carefully crafted image.

But as she clutched the small bouquet of orange and yellow orchids Sonny had sent to her, as she looked at the diamond engagement ring she wore, as she remembered their conversation just minutes earlier…

This was starting to feel less and less like a marriage of convenience.

“’I’m sorry I’m late,” Elizabeth called as she started down the stairs, her voice nearly lost in the sound of the rushing ocean a few hundred feet away from Sonny’s villa.

“The bride,” Sonny declared as he met her halfway, “is never late.” He offered his arm. “Everyone else is just appallingly early.”

“Sonny…” But his easy smile was contagious, and she linked arms. “You’re having fun with this aren’t you?”

“I think I have untapped talents,” he replied, escorting her to the bottom of the stairs.  “Now, just remember, I have your best interests in mind.” They stepped down from the stairs onto the stone terrace.

“The only way that would scare me more if is if Carly had said it,” Elizabeth murmured as they approached Jason and Robin and the justice of the peace. In the distant, the sun was beginning to set into the ocean horizon, but Sonny had lit some scattered torches around the terrace and pool.

“That really hurts.” Sonny stopped in front of Jason and put Elizabeth’s hand in his. “Humor me, both of you.”

Elizabeth laughed lightly, but it felt shaky to her as she handed Robin the bouquet and linked both hands with Jason. There they were, standing under an arbor of flowers in front of someone would say a few words before pronouncing them man and wife.

She could do this. She really could. She met Jason’s eyes and was relieved to see the same tinge of anxiety in them. For all their promises upstairs, there was something about this moment was so terrifying she had trouble breathing properly.

The minister, a dark-skinned man with kind brown eyes, lightly cleared his throat and spread his hands out. “We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes to the words which shall unite Jason and Elizabeth in marriage.”

Her breath caught at the words and she saw Sonny’s unabashed grin over Jason’s shoulder. Then she looked back at Jason with a hesitant smile. His hands tightened around hers, reassuring her.

“Before the vows, Miss Robin would like to say something on behalf of the couple,” the justice continued in his lyrical Bahamian accent, his voice carrying as if there were three hundred guests rather than just the four of them.

“What?” Elizabeth blinked as the justice stepped back and Robin handed both her flowers and Elizabeth to Sonny. “Robin—”

“Sonny had a very specific vision for today,” Robin said with a good-natured smile. “But he at least let me pick what I wanted to say. Well, he gave me three options.” She reached into her bodice and unfolded a small slip of paper.

“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us,” she began. “But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this?” She glanced up with a smirk at Jason, perhaps in shared memory of their past. Jason just sighed, but didn’t appear to be annoyed, which Elizabeth decided to take it as a good sign.

“Because you yourself are wrong in some way,” Robin continued, “and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness.”

Elizabeth broke out into startled laughter. “Seriously, Robin?”

Robin stuck her tongue out at her but forged on. “And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that truly make you who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you know what you’re looking for.”

Elizabeth turned her attention from Robin then to Jason, and in the pit of her stomach, something stopped twisting. She was beginning to understand why Sonny had suggested this particular reading and why Robin had chosen it. Jason’s eyes were on her as well.

“You’re looking for the wrong person,” Robin said. “But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you gaze lovingly upon, and think…” She hesitated, probably for effect. “This is the problem I want to have.”

And God, wasn’t that the truth? Hadn’t she been denying that for months?

Robin folded the slip of paper and tucked it back in her bodice. “So you guys, go forth and be as wrong as possible.” She took her flowers back and resumed her position at Elizabeth’s side.

The justice grinned. “What honest friends you have.” Then he cleared his throat and looked to Jason. “Do you, Jason, take Elizabeth, to be your wife? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only unto her?”

Jason swallowed hard but his steady voice and calm eyes kept her pulse from racing too fast as he responded, “I do,” while looking straight at her.

“And do you, Elizabeth, take Jason, to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him?”

“I do,” Elizabeth responded, feeling her fingers tingle where they touched Jason’s. They were really doing this.

“Wedding rings,” the justice continued, completely unaware of the byplay in front of him, “are an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace and unbroken circle of love, signifying to all the union of this man and this woman in marriage.”

Sonny stepped forward and placed slim diamond and sapphire band in Jason’s palm, while Elizabeth retrieved a silver band from Robin.

“Please place this ring on each other’s finger,” the justice continued, “as a promise to one another.”

Jason took Elizabeth’s trembling hand in his steady one and, as he had only little earlier, slid the ring over her finger until it rested against the engagement ring.

And somehow that action steadied her hand, no longer shaking, as she mirrored his movement on his own finger. She rubbed her thumb over the silver metal, feeling as though this were some sort of dream and at any moment, she’d return to the nightmare of her old life.

“Jason and Elizabeth,” the justice said, breaking the moment, “as the two of you come into this marriage, I would ask remember that you must be able to forgive, to not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together—as from this day forward you shall be each other’s home, comfort, and refuge.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Elizabeth exhaled slowly as Jason released one hand and cupped her cheek. His lips brushed over hers lightly until she fisted her hand in his light cotton shirt and pulled him closer.

She was going to have the marriage she wanted, and she was going to start it right.

His hand slid into her hair, tilting her head back to deepen the kiss.

The clapping drew her back, her cheeks heating, as she looked towards Sonny, then at Robin, before looking at Jason with an embarrassed smile.

“Since I’m the only one here,” Robin said, “I guess throwing the bouquet is really a gimme, huh?”

West Plana Cays: Morgan Villa

Jason pulled into the winding drive in front of his home on the island and looked at Elizabeth, whose eyes were on the two story structure situated on the tip of the western side of the island, a fifteen minute drive from Sonny.

“You can go ahead if you want,” Jason said. “I’ll bring in the bags.”

Elizabeth looked away from the house and offered a half smile. “All right.”

When he set down his duffel bag and her small suitcase by the sofa, he saw that she had gone towards the terrace that overlooked his view of the ocean.

“Is everything okay?” he asked, stepping out to join her, his hands in the pockets of his khakis.

“What?” She turned slightly and smiled again. “Oh, yeah. I just…I just saw the view. It’s so beautiful.” Elizabeth turned back to the ocean. “I grew up in Colorado, and even with the lake in Port Charles, I don’t get to the beach much.” She wrapped her arms around herself, her rings catching a reflection from the pool just in front of her. “And I’m trying to picture you in this house.”

Jason shrugged. “Sonny built it. He lived on the island for a while after he left Brenda at the altar.” He stepped towards her, their shoulders brushing. “And after he was done with his place, he did this. I never—I never use it much.”

“I didn’t come to this part of the island when I was here a few years ago,” Elizabeth said. She glanced at him. “I had to fake my death during the whole Cassadine nonsense. Sonny offered me a cottage near the resort and casino to keep me out of sight.”

“I—” Jason hesitated. “Yeah, I know.” His mouth twisted. “Carly called me to tell me you were dead. Sonny called me later to sort it out.” He didn’t like to think about that, so he said nothing more.

“Ah.” Elizabeth pursed her lips. “Well, anyway. I can see Sonny saved the best views for this side of the island. They don’t compare to the resort.” She closed her eyes and tilted her head up as the ocean breeze gently lifted her hair from her bare shoulders.

“You—you can come here any time you want.” Jason cleared his throat. “I mean, you can—the jet only takes three hours.”

She laughed, the soft sound rippling through the air. “Any time I want, I have a jet at my disposal? That sounds too good to be true.”

“You can—” He stopped for a second. “You can have anything you want, Elizabeth.”

“Anything?” She turned then, with a glint he didn’t quite recognize in her eyes. “You don’t want to put any limitations on that?”

Something squeezed inside as she smiled and tilted her head, her hair falling like waterfall to one side. “Why would I?” he asked, his voice feeling rusty.

Her hands were sliding down his chest until they reached waistband of his pants. She tugged him forward. “What if what I want,” Elizabeth drawled, “is you?”

“Y-You have me.” He slid his hand into her hair, the silky strands slipping through his fingers.

“Well, then…” She leaned up on her toes to press her mouth to his, open and soft, then gone before he could respond. “What do you want?”

“I want…” Jason leaned down to capture her lips, his hand at the nape of her neck so she couldn’t escape again. “To be with you.”

“You are,” she whispered as his mouth found the skin under her ear, tasted the sweetness. “I want you to take me inside.” He drew away slightly, and she licked her lips. “To your room,” she finished.

He lifted her then, bracing his arms at her hips. Her fingertips were light against his temples as their eyes met. Elizabeth leaned down and kissed him.

Without breaking their kiss, he strode through the open terrace doors into the living, down a short hallway to the master bedroom.

He set her on her feet and dived into her mouth again, her fingers almost ripping the buttons of his shirt. “I want to see you,” he breathed, reaching for the zipper of her dress, underneath her arm, tugging the bodice down.

“I want to be in your bed this time.” She drew back, letting her dress float down to her feet.  Elizabeth kicked off her heels and reached for him again.

When she was underneath him, her pale skin against the dark sheets, he stopped to look at her. Her eyes were wide, her skin flushed, her lips parted. “I don’t want you to walk away tomorrow,” he said, dragging his thumb over her bottom lip.

“And I don’t want you to let me,” she responded. She drew his head down to hers and it was the last words they spoke.

March 5, 2015

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Fiction Graveyard: Lupercalia

The Present

“Elizabeth! Phone!”

“I’ve got it Mom!” Elizabeth called back down the stairs before going back into her bedroom to snatch up her cordless. “Brenda?”

“No, actually it’s Jason.”

Her lips pressed together firmly. “You’ve got about five seconds before I hang up.”

“Look, both of us are going for college scholarships and I know we both need to keep our grades up,” Jason said quickly. “So…let’s just get this project over with. We’ll do the report and then we can just go back to our lives.”

He had a point. She needed that scholarship badly. Her parents may be doctors, but her father was a researcher and her mother was pediatrician. Not exactly the Fortune 500 class. “Okay. When do you want to do it?”

“Tonight?” he suggested. “I can stop by about eight and we can get started. We need to decide on the topic so we can turn it into Murty tomorrow.”

“Make it seven and that’s fine,” Elizabeth replied.

“Well, there’s a basketball game at school–“

“Seven or forget it,” Elizabeth cut in.

“Yeah. Whatever.”

She went downstairs to find her mother holding up a plate for her father to test. “What’s going on tonight?”

“We’re having some guests over tonight. Who was on the phone, honey?”

“Jason Morgan,” Elizabeth sighed. “We’ve got a history report to do and he’ll be here about seven. Can we use the study upstairs?”

“Jason Morgan?” her mother repeated. “I haven’t seen him around here since last November,” Claire Webber trailed off and exchanged a thoughtful look with her husband. “Honey–”

“No,” Elizabeth cut them off. “He’s not the one and…it’s just…it’s not him.” She tucked her hair behind her ears. “I thought you promised you weren’t going to push.”

“I know but sweetheart…the boy who is responsible…” Claire shook her head. “You can use the study. Keep an eye on Danielle though–she seemed to be coming down with a cold.”

“I’ll go check on her right now. Send Jason to the study when he gets here? I don’t…” She hesitated. “You know what I mean.”

“Yeah. We will.”

Elizabeth went up into the nursery and leaned over the side of the crib. Danielle–or Dani–was wide awake and she smiled a little. She waved her arms and gurgled.

Elizabeth picked her up and cradled her close, moving to the rocking chair. “You feeling all right, Dani-bear?” she cooed.

She put Dani’s head against her shoulder and rubbed her back in smooth slow circles. “Hush little baby, don’t say a word…Momma’s gonna buy you a mockingbird,” she sang softly, “and if that mocking bird don’t sing…Momma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”

She was on her third time through the song when Jason knocked on the open door. “Elizabeth?”

Elizabeth broke off mid-verse. “You were supposed to go to the study,” she said, thrown.

Confused by Elizabeth’s sharp tone, Dani raised her head and let out a protesting wail. “Shh…” Elizabeth soothed. She kissed the top of her head. “Shh…baby, it’s okay.”

“Sorry…your mom just said you were upstairs.” Jason frowned. “I didn’t know you had a sister.”

“Well…I do.” Elizabeth stood and rocked Dani a little more. “Go to the study. It’s the next room over. I need to put her down for the night, okay?”

“Yeah, fine…” Jason glanced at Dani and just before he left the room, his eyes caught a picture on top of the dresser. A smiling Elizabeth in hospital gown.

Holding Dani.

He picked it up and his frown deepened. “She’s not your sister is she?”

Elizabeth whipped her head around, paling when she saw him near the picture. “Put that down,” she ordered softly. She carefully laid Dani back in the crib and yanked it out of his grasp. “This is none of your business.”

“She’s your daughter,” Jason accused. “Did you even bother to tell Ric?”

Elizabeth pressed her lips together. “He knows,” she said softly. “Can you just drop it and pretend you never saw her?” she pleaded.

Jason hesitated. “If he knew, he’d be doing something. He’d be helping–”

“Oh, please,” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Don’t be so naïve. You don’t still have him on a pedestal do you? There’s a lot about your friend you don’t know.”

“He would have told me!” Jason hissed. “If he knew you were pregnant–”

And then something clicked in his head and he shut up. His mind focused on a night he’d chalked up to drunken bragging.

“Man…I wish I hadn’t dropped that Webber girl so quickly,” Ric laughed, uncapping another beer. “She was a wildcat in the sack, y’know? I probably have scratches.”

“Yeah…well, something happened to her when she left your house, man, because she showed up here with her clothes all torn and her arms were covered in bruises and stuff.”

“No shit huh?” Ric shrugged and gulped half of the bottle at once. “Well, the clothes were me. I couldn’t wait to get her out of them. You know, she played hard to get–fought me every step of the way but I wore her down. I wore her down.”

“Yeah, must be that charm. So then why’d you dump her then if she was so good in bed?” Jason asked.

“She got too clingy. Saying anything to keep me around, you know? Wouldn’t put it past her to fake a kid or something. Too much drama. Give me another one.”

“He all but told me he did it,” Jason said quietly. He took a step back. “He said you fought him every step of the way but I just…I thought he meant that first three months.”

Elizabeth sighed and slowly placed the picture back on the dresser. “I thought he was just joking most of the time. He seemed like such a good guy. And then he was even helping me with my chemistry that night.”

“But then I told him that I would just get you to help…” her lower lip trembled. “I always understood it when you explained it.”

“Elizabeth–”

“He got angry with me…told me that you were his friend not mine. That if he dropped me that night, no one would even talk to me on Monday. I was just a nobody until he picked me from a crowd…I thought he just having a bad night so I wanted to leave.” Her hands gripped the edge of the dresser. “He told me that he could do anything to me and no one would believe me.”

“Elizabeth–”

“I tried to leave but he got to the door before I could get out. He slammed it shut and grabbed me. He kissed me a-and I tried to push him away but he’s stronger a-and I couldn’t. He pushed me on the couch and he tore my shirt. I kicked him and I think that just made him madder and then the next time he kissed me, I bit his lip hard so he hit me.” Her voice caught. “I tried to stop him but I couldn’t…and when it was over, I just…curled up in a ball and started to cry.”

“You don’t…you don’t have to tell me anything. I believe you–” Jason said, desperate for her to stop.

“And then I felt something being poured on me…it was whiskey…just in case you try to tell anyone he told me…” She wrapped her arms around herself.

“He called me that night…he wanted to be sure I wouldn’t believe you when you came over,” Jason realized. “He knew you would probably come to me…either that night or eventually.”

“Would you have believed me if Ric hadn’t called?” Elizabeth asked pointedly. “Would have occurred to you that your best friend in the whole world was a rapist?” she demanded.

“He was setting me up the whole time,” Jason protested. “He told me a lot of things that probably weren’t true. That you liked to party. That you looked innocent but were wild. He was surprised that you were holding out but he knew it was just a matter of time. And…I believed him because he’s never had a problem before–” Jason hesitated. “A lot of his ex-girlfriends don’t talk to him anymore but I just…girls are like that. My exes don’t really talk to me either.”

“Look…it’s over. It’s in the past. It doesn’t matter anymore. Let’s just do this stupid project and we can go back to our lives. Just like you said.”

“Wait a second…why didn’t you ever go to the authorities about Ric?” Jason demanded. “Why didn’t your parents make you?”

“Because I never told them I was raped!” she hissed. “They don’t know who the father is. And I’m not telling them. I told Ric and he laughed in my face. So I just…I don’t tell anyone I’ve got a baby. Please don’t tell anyone,” Elizabeth pleaded.

“Ric has to pay for what he did–for what he may have done to other girls,” Jason argued. “Or who knows what else he’ll do–”

“Look, I don’t care about any of that. I don’t want anyone to know!” Elizabeth protested.

“I can’t just let him get away with this!”

“It didn’t happen to you!” she cried. “It happened to me!”

“But he used me to keep it a secret.” Jason shook his head. “He’s not getting away with it.”

Jason spun on his heel and stalked out of the room. Elizabeth took off after him.

She rushed past her parents and their surprised guests. Jason was getting into his car. She threw herself into the passenger seat just as he started the engine. “Jason, please don’t do this.”

“Look…I won’t….I won’t say anything about you, okay?” Jason promised. “You just stay in the car or go back in the house. But he used me to rape you. And who knows how many other girls he hurt. It makes me sick and I’m not letting him get away with it.”

“Look…you aren’t thinking right,” Elizabeth challenged. “You just realized who Ric really is–you need to take some time to digest this–”

“I guess you’re staying in the car then,” Jason sighed as he pulled the car out of the spot and onto the street.


But he didn’t go to Ric’s house or to the high school. He drove to the nearby park and pulled into the parking lot that was next to the lake.

“What are we doing here?” Elizabeth asked as he switched off the engine and just stared at the frozen lake.

“As angry as I am…this didn’t happen to me.”

Elizabeth let out a relieved breath and sat back against the seat, closing her eyes. “Look, I know why you’re angry and I don’t blame you. But you have to promise me that you’re not going to say anything to anyone, okay?”

“I have to say something,” Jason argued. “I can’t be around him. Just the thought of it…”

“Okay…then just…do your best to keep me out of it. I don’t want him anywhere near Dani. So just don’t bring her up, don’t say anything about me.”

“I won’t.” Jason looked over at her. “I’m sorry. For not believing you, for turning you away last year…I should have known better. I wish…” he hesitated. “I wish I could have been there for you.”

“It’s too late for regrets.” She sighed. “I know why you didn’t believe me but it doesn’t mean it didn’t–and still doesn’t–hurt. Can we just go back to my house and do this project?”

“Yeah.” Jason started the engine. “Yeah, sure.”

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Fiction Graveyard: Lupercalia

One Year Ago

Elizabeth popped a piece of spearmint gum in her mouth and reached forward to change the radio station. “What’re we doing after the game tonight?” she asked.

Ric shrugged and shifted the car into gear, pulling it out of the parking spot and heading for the street entrance of the high school. “Don’t know. Grab a burger? See a movie? Depends if we win. What’re you up for?”

“I have a test in calculus on Monday so we can’t make it a late night tonight if we want to go Jason’s party tomorrow,” Elizabeth said, twisting the radio knobs to find a station she liked.

“We could go back to my place,” Ric suggested with a sly grin and a quick glance at her out of the corner of his eye. “My parents are visiting my aunt in the city this weekend.”

Elizabeth shifted uncomfortably. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Ric. We’ve talked about this–”

“Come on, Liz. It’s been three months. How much longer are you going to hold on to that virginity deal?” Ric demanded. He steered the car onto her street and stopped at a traffic light.

“Until I’m ready,” Elizabeth said, defensively. She tugged her book bag into her lap. “We’ve been having this discussion since our fifth date. I’m seventeen years old and I am not going to just have sex with every guy I date, okay?”

“After three months, I’m hardly just any guy, ” Ric shot back.

“After a year, maybe,” Elizabeth retorted. “I want to wait and the more you push this, the more I’m going to say no.”

“Whatever. Look, we don’t have to do anything tonight,” Ric sighed. “You’re having trouble in chemistry right? We’ll look over this week’s stuff. Is that okay?

“Yeah, sure.” As soon as he pulled up to her house, she pushed the car door open and practically ran up the path to her house. She was so sick of having this argument with him.


“So, I’m gonna nail her tonight.”

Jason glanced up from his locker and frowned. “What?”

Ric strapped on his shoulder pads. “Elizabeth,” he clarified. “Tonight’s the night. I’m getting tired of this virginal act.”

“What makes you think she’s gonna go for you tonight when she’s turned you down for three months?” Jason asked. “And what’s the big deal? She’s a great girl–sex shouldn’t be the end all thing between you.”

“What am I gonna do with someone who won’t put out?” Ric demanded. “There are plenty of girls out there–I don’t need Elizabeth Webber.”

“Then leave her alone,” Jason advised. “She’s turned you down for three straight months. She’s not going to give in tonight.”

“That’s what you think.” Ric smirked and reached for his helmet.


“I just don’t understand quadratic formulas,” Elizabeth sighed. She propped her chin on her hand and doodled on her homework.

“You should just drop chemistry,” Ric advised, shutting his textbook. “You’re hopeless.”

Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “Gee…thanks for the support.” She folded her homework papers and stuffed them into the book. “Jason was helping me in study hall this week and it seemed to make sense then. You’d think he’d tutor me?”

Ric narrowed his eyes. “You’ve been spending a lot of time with him lately.”

Elizabeth shrugged and stood to put her things back in her bag. “He’s a good guy. I’m glad I got a chance to become friends with him this year.”

“He’s not your friend, Elizabeth,” Ric remarked. He stood and grabbed her elbow, startling her. “He’s mine. He’s only nice to you because he wants to nail you.”

Elizabeth glared at him and yanked her arm from his grasp. “Not everyone is obsessed with sex, Ric. Jason is my friend–”

“He’s my friend, Elizabeth. All the people you think are your friends are mine,” Ric retorted. “If I dropped you right now, not one of those people would give you a second glance on Monday morning.”

“That’s not true,” Elizabeth said softly. “Maybe we started to hang out because I’m dating you but it’s not true now–”

“Really?” Ric shook his head. “You know better, Elizabeth. Until I picked you out of a crowd, you were nothing. Nobody. Just another chick destined to be unmemorable.”

She stepped away from him. “Ric…I don’t know what’s gotten into you but I think I’d better go home. I don’t really like you right now–”

“Oh you don’t like me right now…” Ric chuckled. “Elizabeth…you’re not getting the concept here. Without me…you’re just another geek from the school newspaper. I could do anythingto you and no one would believe you.”

A little disturbed now, Elizabeth reached for her bag and slowly started to back up. “Ric…I’m gonna leave now, okay? We’ll…” she hesitated and swallowed hard. “I’ll call you tomorrow and we can talk a-about this.”

She turned and made a mad dash for the door but he was quick and he slammed it shut before she could get out.


Jason flicked through the channels a little bored. His parents were with Ric’s in the city, catching the new Broadway show and he wasn’t interested in going to the after game parties.

When the phone rang, he let it go for a few rings before reaching across the coffee table and digging cordless out from underneath a bag of chips. “Yeah?”

“You really shouldn’t doubt me,” Ric laughed. “Elizabeth just left here.”

Jason frowned and glanced at his wrist watch. “It’s nearly three in the morning–” He couldn’t help but grin. “How the hell did you manage to talk her into it?”

“Charm, Morgan, charm. Look…she was mad when she left though…I had to kick her out–didn’t want my parents to see her when they get home tomorrow. She was pissed, so she’s probably gonna call you and bitch about me.”

“Yeah…I know what to expect now,” Jason laughed. “You treat girls great until you sleep with them. And then they hate your guts. I’m beginning to think it’s something you’re doing.”

“Yeah, you wish,” Ric snorted. “I’m gonna go, I’ll see ya tomorrow.”

Just as Jason set the phone back down, he heard a loud banging on his front door. He jumped up and pulled the screen door open before stepping onto his porch.

He pulled that door open and Elizabeth all but fell through it, sobbing. Alarmed, he caught her before she hit the ground and he hoisted her up. “Jesus, Elizabeth!”

“J-Jason,” Elizabeth chattered. She clung to him, her eye-make up smeared from her tears, her shirt torn on one side from the shoulder to the wrist. She was trembling violently and Jason could smell some alcohol on her.

“Where were you?” he demanded, helping to one of the porch chairs. He sat her down and kneeled in front of her. “Did something happen to you on the way home from Ric’s?”

Elizabeth crossed her arms tightly and shook her head. “N-no–” she hesitated and took a deep breath. “How’d you know I was at Ric’s?”

“He just called,” Jason remarked, a little confused. “Where’d you go when you left there?”

She stared at him. “R-ric called you?” she asked a little disconcerted. She let her hands drop to her lap, trying to tuck the torn side of her skirt underneath herself.

“Yeah…to tell me…” Jason flushed. “Well…that doesn’t matter. He said you were mad at him…did you go somewhere? Meet up with someone?” he leaned forward and took a little whiff of her scent. “Were you drinking?”

She stared at him, her glazed over. “You don’t get it do you? It’s not even…” she glanced down at herself and looked back at him.

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what happened,” Jason told her. He took her hands in his. “What ever it is…we can deal with it, okay? I’ll do whatever you need.”

She nodded. “I… was at Ric’s a-and we were fighting. And I tried to leave b-but he wouldn’t let–” her voice broke and she cast her eyes away. “He wouldn’t let me,” she finished in a hushed tone.

“I don’t…I don’t understand. How’d you get from arguing with Ric to sleeping with him?” Jason pressed.

Her head snapped up and her mouth dropped open. “What exactly did Ric say?”

Confused, Jason shrugged. “That you’d slept together but he made you leave so his parents wouldn’t catch you. You were mad–” he narrowed his eyes. “What are you trying to insinuate here, Elizabeth?”

“Insinuate?” Elizabeth repeated, mystified. “That son of bitch raped me and then poured whiskey on me so people would think I’d been drinking!” she shrieked.

Jason stood. “Look, I think you’re a nice girl and everything but I’m not going to sit her and you let you tell lies like this about my best friend. You got a problem with Ric? Take it up with him. Don’t get me in the middle of this.”

“Lies?” Elizabeth shakily got to her feet and held her arms up. “D-do you think I did this to myself to get back at him?” she asked, horrified.

I could do anything to you and no one would believe you.

“Elizabeth, Ric’s been my best friend since we were kids. Do you really think I’m gonna believe someone I’ve know for three months over him?” Jason demanded.

Her eyes burned with tears. I could do anything to you

“Jason…please…” her voice broke. “You have to believe me.”

He took a deep breath and looked down to block out the sight of her torn clothes and tear-stained face. Blocked out the scratches on her arms and the shaking of her hands. Ric had told her ages ago that while she looked innocent, Elizabeth liked to party. It wasn’t hard to believe that she and Ric had had a fight, she’d found someone else and he’d beaten her up pretty bad. And who was Jason supposed to believe? His best friend or a girl he helped out with chemistry sometimes?

“I think you’d better go home,” Jason said quietly.

“Jason–”

…and no one would believe you.

“I’m not going to tell Ric what you said and maybe you’ll think better of this in the morning.” He touched her shoulder but she jerked away from his touch. “If you ever want to talk about what really happened tonight…”

“I wouldn’t tell you what happened if I were being force fed arsenic,” she snarled. She shoved him out of her way and darted out of his house.

I could do anything to you and no one would believe you.