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.”
“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.
“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!”
“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—”
“You said you loved me—”
“Men say a lot of things for sex, you should be used to them—”
“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.”
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.