The cupcake was iced with garishly pink cream and some sort of candy hearts and it was set in front of her with candle already lit.
“Make a wish.”
Elizabeth Webber propped her chin on her fist and gave her best friend a dirty look. “Wishes are for kids. Birthdays are for kids. Who told you?”
“I snuck a look at your driver’s license when I realized we’d been working together for a year and it hadn’t come up.” Johnny Zacchara shrugged. “Blow it out.”
“Thought about it,” he said carelessly as he sat across from her, behind his side of their battered partner’s desk in their shabby office. “It wouldn’t work.”
“That’s because you laugh too much,” she muttered, eying the cupcake as it were toxic poison. “It distracted me. Also, you don’t do it for me.” Though it was a mystery because Johnny was, objectively speaking, pretty fucking sexy with his dark hair, soft brown eyes, and killer smile. And yet… “And your girlfriend would kick my ass.”
“This is true. Nadine is tiny, but feisty.” Johnny frowned now. “The candle is going to melt the cupcake if you don’t blow it out. C’mon, Bits. Make a wish.”
“Wishes are bullshit,” she muttered. “Fine. You know what I wish for?”
“Jesus, don’t say it. That’s not how this works.” He looked faintly horrified. “They don’t come true if you say them outloud.”
“God save me from Catholics and their superstitions.” She sighed. “Fine. I’ll wish something to myself, I’ll blow this out, and we can go back to work.”
“It has to be a real wish, not something stupid—”
“There are a lot of rules for a goddamn birthday cupcake,” Elizabeth retorted. She closed her eyes and decided what the hell. She wanted to see Jason. Just one more time. She opened her eyes, blew out the candle, and then shoved the cupcake across the desk. “You eat it. I’m not in the mood for a sugar rush. I have a defendant I have to keep from going to prison for the rest of his life.”
“You’re no fun,” Johnny said, but he grabbed the cupcake, tossed the candle, and ate it. Then he mercifully stopped reminding her it was her goddamn birthday, got back to work, and let her work in peace.
A half hour later, he headed home to the lovely Nadine while Elizabeth continued reviewing the lab reports for court the next morning. If she had a prayer of keeping Dillon Quartermaine from doing ten to fifteen years for a crime he hadn’t committed, she needed to keep her head in the game and poke as many holes into the DA’s case as possible.
A knock on the door to their suite distracted her about an hour after Johnny had left. She blinked bearily when the knock sounded again, but realized it was likely that their receptionist had left for the day. “Come in—it should be open.”
The voice was muffled, but its identity was unmistakable.
Elizabeth rose slowly to her feet and went into the cramped room that served as their waiting room, passing the wastebasket where she could see the gaudy cupcake wrapping and the candle still decorated with icing. “What the fuck are you?” she muttered down.
She slowly unlocked the deadbolt and tugged it open to find out that she was not, as hoped, hallucinating.
Lieutenant Jason Morgan was, indeed, standing at the threshold of her office.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, and then winced because damn if that hadn’t sounded like more angry than she had intended. Well, better than happy or relieved, or aroused. Because she was all of those things to. He didn’t dress like a high-ranking member of the Port Charles Police Department—not in his jeans that wouldn’t be called tight, but they certainly clung to the right parts, and a t-shirt that stretched across a broad chest with rippling muscles.
God he was gorgeous.
And standing in front of her. Fucking birthdays.
“You gonna let me in?” he asked, his brow arched.
She stepped back to do so, closing the door when he passed her. He turned at the tiny desk that Maxie Jones usually sat behind and faced her. “What are you doing here?” Elizabeth tried again, and was pleased her tone was way more even than it had been before.
“It’s your birthday,” Jason said, leaning against the desk. “Did you think I’d forget?”
Hoping. Praying. “You did last year.”
“You told me not to come by last year,” he reminded her. “But this year…well, it’s been two years. I wanted to check in.”
Check in. Sure. “Well, you’ve checked in. I’m alive. Looks like you are, too. Great. I have court tomorrow.” She went back to her desk.
“You always have court tomorrow,” Jason retorted as he followed. “Are you seriously still mad at me?”
No. Yes. Damn it. “I don’t know,” she muttered, but she felt better behind her desk. “Are you still mad at me?” she demanded.
He hesitated. “I don’t know,” he echoed. “I just…it’s been two years. I just thought…we should acknowledge it.”
“It’s been acknowledged. Your sister is dead and it’s my fault. You made that clear then, and since you can’t decided if you’re still mad or not, you still think so.” She shrugged. “So if there’s anything else…”
“Damn it.” It was more of a hiss than an actual swear, but he closed his eyes for a minute. “I came here to check on you, yeah. But also…Diego Alcazar escaped from Sing Sing about three hours ago, and I thought he might…”
“Come to finish what he started.” Her bones chilled. “Because he escaped on my birthday and the anniversary of the day he killed Emily and nearly killed me.”