Maybe I’m crazy to suppose
I’d ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
Aah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s
New Year’s Eve?
– What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?, Ella Fitzgerald
Port Charles Hotel: Ballroom
“I’ve changed my mind,” Kiki declared. “I want you to introduce me to Michael.”
Elizabeth gestured for orchestra leader to begin setting up before turning her attention to her assistant. “What, are you insane? I still have to figure out if I want to be introduced to anymore Quartermaines. You think I’m fixing you up?”
“Just a thought.” Kiki followed her to the wall where Elizabeth briefly conferred with the hotel employee that had set up the balloons and confetti meant to fall at midnight. “I thought I was taking point tonight.” She tapped her ear piece. “Isn’t that why I’ve got this?”
“I still have mine for emergencies,” Elizabeth murmured. She pursed her lips, considering the placement of the silver silk draping across several of the tables. “I think that’s dragging a bit—”
“So it’s been a week,” Kiki said as Elizabeth straightened the silk. “Are you taking Hottie back?”
Elizabeth sighed and briefly touched the snowflake she’d yet to take off. “It’s not that simple, Kiki. I…may have overreacted.”
“Listen, his aunt called me a stripper and I’m pretty sure his dad tried to hit on you.” Kiki pursed her lips. “I’m not sure that can be overreacted to.”
“She’s got a point about the nickname,” Elizabeth murmured, taking a clipboard from the caterer and scrawling her name.
“It annoys my mother, so that’s reason enough.” Kiki blinked. “Um, I thought the guests weren’t arriving for another hour.”
“They’re not supposed to,” Elizabeth said as a blonde woman in a blue velvet dress approached them. “Ma’am? I’m sorry, the ballroom is still closed—”
“Oh, I just…” The woman stopped a few feet away from her. “You are Elizabeth Webber, right?”
“Yes.” Elizabeth handed the clipboard back to the caterer. “Can I help you with something?”
“I’m Courtney Matthews…” The blonde glanced at Kiki, who just folded her arms and lifted her chin. “Since I arrived in town yesterday, your name has been mentioned to me more than once. I’m assuming mine isn’t exactly unfamiliar.”
“There’s a vague bell ringing,” Elizabeth murmured. “You used to work at ELQ?”
“I did, in New York, but I was in Port Charles for a few months about two years ago.” Courtney stepped closer. “And I dated Jason while I was here.”
“Oh, hell, can’t people just leave her alone?” Kiki demanded. “This is getting ridiculous—”
Courtney held up her hands. “I—I’m sorry, this isn’t…what you think. No, I just wondered—you’re probably getting some of the same treatment I did.” A faint smile appeared. “The Quartermaines close ranks, even when they’re not wanted.”
“Ah, so you’re another social climbing whore,” Elizabeth nodded. She looked to Kiki. “Can you make sure the servers are ready to go?”
Kiki nodded and headed across the room for the bar. Courtney watched her go. “She’s a fierce one.”
“I rescued her from employment with Ava Jerome, so her loyalty is undying.” Elizabeth twirled a pen in her fingers. “I don’t really know what you want from me—”
“It’s…more to make sure you’re not…that you have the right idea about what happened between Jason and I.” She held up her hand where a large diamond flashed. “I’m engaged, so I promise you, I come in peace.”
Elizabeth sighed. “I’m not really sure it’s my business—”
“It is if you’re being fed the same lines…” Courtney stepped closer. “Jason’s not like the rest of his family, I’m sure you get that by now. He and I…it was casual. I worked in Port Charles on a deal with Jacks Industries, which is how I met my fiancé, Jax. Meeting him changed my life, because I saw him and I just knew—so Jason and I very amicably broke things off. I went to work with Jax because I wasn’t comfortable dating him and working for a competitor, though I’m sure the gossip has me unceremoniously removed due to the end of my time with Jason.”
“That’s the general gossip,” Elizabeth agreed. “You really don’t have to explain anything—”
“I worked for ELQ long enough to get the family dynamics,” Courtney continued, “and I’m sure you picked up on it, too. This current crop of Quartermaine men? They date, sure. But they’re nothing like Edward or Alan. AJ was burned really badly with his ex-wife, and Ned is an eternal romantic, which is why he gets married so often. Jason—”
“I’ve heard he was married once,” she murmured in response.
“For five minutes.” Courtney flashed a smile. “I’ll let Jason explain the details, but it was annulled within two days.” She tilted her head. “I don’t know what happened with the last one—Sam—but I’m sure it’s nothing like the gossip.” She shrugged. “Anyway, Jason was really good to me. I don’t like being used to annoy someone else he cares about.”
“Fair enough. I appreciate the gesture.”
As Courtney exited the way she came in, Elizabeth sighed. So the marriage had lasted five seconds, probably a drunken weekend. Courtney had left voluntarily.
Which meant the phone calls from Sam McCall likely had a logical explanation.
“I hate being wrong,” she muttered.
It was several hours later before Elizabeth finally had the courage to approach Jason, trying to wait until he had separated from the majority of his family. When he was just standing with his nephew Michael, she finally went for it.
“Ah, Jason?” She fought the urge to clasp her hands her back. “I…was wondering if I could speak to you for a moment.”
Jason turned to look at her, his eyes focusing on the necklace she wore. He exhaled slowly. “Of course. Michael, if you’ll excuse me?”
“Of course. Ah, Ms. Webber, I had a quick question for you,” AJ’s son said with a grin. “You’ve got that assistant…Kiki right? I was wondering if you might introduce me or put in a good word. Jason can vouch for me—”
Quartermaine men. But she just smiled. “Don’t tell her this because she’ll kill me, but she’s begging me to arrange an introduction for about a week, so if you ask her to dance, she’ll say yes.”
“Fantastic.” Michael drained his champagne and disappeared into the crowd.
“You Quartermaines have to get out more,” Elizabeth said with an easy smile she did not feel. “There’s probably a reason you only date women who work at ELQ.”
“Probably,” Jason agreed. He stepped forward. “Elizabeth, listen—”
“Let—let me.” She glanced around and stepped closer to make sure her words weren’t overheard. “I just wanted to apologize. I—I overreacted…in certain ways. I…let the things people said to me get in my head.” She lifted a shoulder. “Mostly because I know what this is, and what it can’t be.”
Jason frowned. “I don’t know what that means. I—”
“Well, isn’t it obvious?” Elizabeth lifted her champagne glass to gesture at the gold gown she wore. “You’re a Quartermaine and I’m—”
“I’m a Quartermaine by default,” Jason interrupted. “Not because my father wanted me to be, but because he either took me home when my mother died or I was shuffled into the system. I don’t care what my aunt says or anyone else—”
Elizabeth sighed and rubbed her head. “I know. I’m sorry. I did it again. I…that part of my apology is a lot more complicated than I have time for right now. “
Jason set his empty champagne on the tray of a passing server and snagged another. “Is there something I’m supposed to say to reassure you that none of that matters to me?”
“No, that’s…my own crap to deal with.” She looked down. “I’m just—I’m sorry—”
“I don’t want you to be sorry.” Jason stepped closer and tipped her chin up to force her to meet her eyes. “I know you…saw my phone. That you think I was talking to my ex-girlfriend.”
“Um…I may have glanced at something like that,” Elizabeth admitted, with a sheepish smile. “And I’m sure there’s a logical explanation—”
“She’s mad that I found out she was trying to sleep with Ned. And had made a pass at AJ. So I dumped her, and Ned transferred her to New York to keep Olivia from ripping her hair out.” Jason shrugged. “She worked for me back then, and wants her job back. I told her no. Again.”
“Well, now I feel like an idiot,” she muttered.
“Don’t. I should have mentioned it. There’s just…no easy way to bring that up.” His thumb brushed over her bottom lip. “Are we done fighting now? It’ll be midnight in about—” Jason glanced at his watch. “Thirty seconds.”
“Well, in that case, I declare our first fight officially at the end,” Elizabeth said. She wiggled her eyebrows. “Now comes the best part.”
He grinned. “The making up, right?”
She wrapped her arms around his neck and sank into his kiss as the clock struck midnight and the balloons and confetti released as scheduled.
It was going to be a very happy new year.
Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home
– Home for the Holidays, Cyndi Lauper & Norah Jones
ELQ: Elizabeth’s Office
Emily Quartermaine breezed into her assistant’s office, her smile bright, her skin sun kissed from her weeks in the Greek sun. “Elizabeth!”
Elizabeth was waiting for her with a bright smile and a pile of paperwork. She dumped it straight in her arms. “Here’s the contracts for the next quarter.”
Emily blinked as the brunette breezed past her. “Wait a second—”
She followed Elizabeth into the outer offices where Kiki sat at her desk. “Where are you going?”
Elizabeth swept her jacket on and stepped onto the elevator. “Your brother’s taking me to Italy. I’ll see you in two weeks.”
As the elevator slid closed, Emily huffed and set the contracts on the desk.
When she was sure Elizabeth was gone, she grinned at Kiki. “How did it go, kiddo?”
“Well,” Kiki said, “I’d say it couldn’t have gone better if you’d planned it, but…”
Emily smirked. “Better to keep letting them think I had nothing to do with it. Ned still doesn’t know I helped him with Olivia.”
She set off towards her office, but spun around with one last smile. “Isn’t it fantastic when a plan works exactly as you intended it? It’s going to be a fantastic year.”
Thanks for reading my little alternative universe fluff 😛 Well, as fluffy as I get. I’d love to revisit this particular universe, but I don’t know what to write about Ideas? Leave a message.
Happy New Year!