This is a little bit shorter and it represents Jason’s return. I didn’t really like the way I had plotted Jason’s return or how hard it was for me to write scenes where Jason explains himself. This is where I decided I had to change things.
Monday, October 7, 2002
Oasis Strip Club: Back Office
Zander checked his watch and thought about how long the ride to the airport would be once he was out of here. He’d been asked to come to Port Charles with Hector Ruiz as part of his entourage—but that had been a cover for him to check in with Nico and Roscoe and report back to Alcazar.
And now that Zander knew the fucking plan, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to the meeting at all. Idiots.
“It’s suicide to carry out a hit on Sonny while the Families are in Port Charles,” Zander told them. “Luis doesn’t—”
“Hey. It’s not up to him,” Nico leaned forward. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The organization has fallen apart since we took out Morgan. The Paradise is gone. We took out another club last week. The PCPD raided the warehouse twice—the drugs are all over the streets. We need to hit while we got the shot. Eventually Sonny is gonna right the ship—”
“You got cold feet, Smith, that’s your fucking problem,” Roscoe said with a sneer. “Alcazar tee’d us up for this, but there’s no reason Nico and I can’t finish this our way. We’ll divide the territory, and he gets what he wants. Sonny gone.”
Sure, because it would be that easy. Zander fought the urge to roll his eyes.
“Sonny isn’t gonna see it coming—” Nico said.
“You shatter the truce at a meeting like this, none of the Families will do business with you,” Zander retorted. “Maybe you get Vega. Tagliatti’s a creep. He can be bought. But you know Anthony Zacchara is fucking ruthless. He will take you and this city apart if you go against all the codes—”
“You scared of a little old man in a wheelchair?” Nico snorted, held out his empty tumbler to Lenny who promptly refilled it with tequila. “You’re not half the man I thought you were.”
And that was why Nico had been remained secondary in every organization he’d ever served. Under Frank Smith, Anthony Moreno, and Joseph Sorel—Nico thought too much of himself and too little of everyone else.
And Roscoe was just an idiot.
Why the hell had a man like Luis Alcazar trusted these assholes with destroying Sonny Corinthos? Why was he content to sit back and let them fuck up a damn good opportunity? They were so close to making this work, but at the crucial moment, Alcazar had stepped back.
“Your guys got their spot picked out at the restaurant?” Roscoe asked. “You got your best on this?”
“You’re using your own guys?” Zander asked. “What if it goes wrong—”
“You know what, Smith? I think we can handle it from here” Nico rose to his feet. “You did good for us, helping to get Morgan out of here. And that’s what you really wanted, isn’t it? So let’s just walk away. You go back to Ruiz and Miami, and leave Port Charles to us.” His dark eyes glinted. “It’s a one time offer. You go now, and we’ll call it quits.”
It was supposed to be a warning, but Zander didn’t feel threatened. “You know what? He smirked as he stood. “Not a problem. I wanted Jason Morgan gone. He’s gone. You can do what you want with what’s left.”
Once he was in his car in the parking lot, he made a short call to Hector Ruiz’s suite at the Port Charles Hotel before heading to the airport.
This was going to fall apart tomorrow, and Roscoe and Nico were going to get themselves killed, but not before they surrendered Zander and Alcazar’s name. And probably even toss in Ruiz’s for good measure.
Zander wanted to make sure Luis Alcazar and Hector Ruiz knew which side he was on once the shit hit the fan.
A Room Across from the No Name
Jason edged the blinds back from the window, adjusting the scope of his rifle. “You got your guys around the corner?”
“Yeah,” Johnny said as he loaded a magazine into his handgun. “They’re watching the traffic. And we got cars on either end of the street ready to block any cars.” He joined Jason at the window. “How do you think they’re gonna do it?”
“They haven’t done anything we expected,” Jason said after a moment. “You’d think a drive by, but—”
“You get the sense these assholes have watched Godfather one too many times,” Johnny muttered. “It’s not supposed to be a manual, but some of these assholes—”
“The restaurant has been cleared twice. And yeah, they checked the bathrooms,” Jason added dryly. He checked his watch. “They’re already inside, so they probably won’t make a move before the meeting was over.”
“And if they don’t make a move?”
“I’m gonna take a lawyer to the PCPD in the morning and tell them I was out of town.” Jason sighed. “Who is replacing Alexis? Did Sonny find someone?”
“The new partner in her practice checked out for now—” Johnny hesitated. “Listen, man, this isn’t my business and it’s not really the kind of friendship we have, but you should go to Elizabeth before the PCPD—”
“It’s not your business,” Jason said shortly.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s just—Sonny told me she didn’t know. And that he eventually did tell her, but I overheard her arguing with Carly—I just wanted a coffee, and they were going at it in the courtyard—”
“She just seemed like she was really going after Carly about it being her fault for destroying your life or something. And taking away her future with you.” He shrugged. “I just…thought it was a weird way to say it if she knew the truth. Are you sure—”
“He told her. Or he brought her to the house and sent her inside so I could tell her,” Jason muttered.
“I don’t know her that well, but, hell, man, we all know about her and you. I just figured after everything, you’d tell her—”
“Not my circus, not my monkeys,” the warehouse manager muttered as he peered through the curtain again. “Just seemed a bit…cruel. But I guess that’s Sonny’s influence. He never did forgive Carly for last year, and hell, Brenda really broke him into pieces. He probably didn’t think Elizabeth would be able to handle it.” Johnny eyed him. “Just surprised you agreed.”
“I didn’t—” Jason shook his head. He didn’t explain himself to anyone, but— “Sonny was supposed to tell her the truth but he backed out at the last minute. Said something about Roscoe’s guys watching her at the diner.”
“Yeah, I’ll admit he was sort of right on that. Dock workers were practically living there for a few days, and I caught a few of Nico’s guys last week. I guess they were testing her—and then you know, that crap with Zander. I mean, I guess it was useful that she didn’t have to pretend when it really mattered, but hell, still seems cold to me.”
Johnny waited, but Jason said nothing. What could he say? That yeah, Sonny had been partially right—that Elizabeth was probably the reason these assholes thought he was dead. Did that make it right? Just because Sonny’s gamble had worked, it made it okay?
“You never said what you think they’re gonna do—” Johnny said finally.
“Drive-by is the easiest. If it were anywhere else, maybe they’d have someone walk up to take the shot, and have the car waiting, but—”
“Not enough people around to make that work.” Johnny rolled his shoulders. “How long do you think this meeting is going to last?”
No Name Restaurant: Back Room
Sonny kept his face expressionless as Sammy Tagliatti expressed concern about the rise in drug traffic and Daniel Vega asked about the two arsons at his club.
At the other end of the table, Hector and Anthony just smirked at him. He couldn’t wait for those assholes to die—then again, considering that the Ruiz sons were worse than the father, maybe not.
“We’ve been having some issues,” Sonny granted. “We’ve narrowed it down and will likely be taking care of it in a few days. A week, maybe more—”
“Convenient,” Tagliatti growled.
“We’ve had our eye on some of the men who worked with Sorel.” Sonny spread his hands out, as if to say What can you do? “I had hopes for some of the men, but anyone who followed that idiot probably isn’t going anywhere anyway. We’re just wrapping up some things—make sure we have all the loose ends.”
“Care to be more specific?” Zacchara asked, lifting one bushy eyebrow.
“No. Your shipments will get through. With the exception of the warehouse explosion—which the police ruled an accident, by the way, no one here has been inconvenienced.” Sonny shrugged. “I don’t know what we’re doing here. You’re making more money with me in the last year than you did any year since…fuck, when have you made more money?”
“He’s not wrong about that,” Vega allowed to the others. “Still—”
“I don’t micro manage your territories,” Sonny continued. “We all got idiots who work for us. Some of them are even related to us,” he said in Ruiz’s direction. “I’m working through it. Losing Jason Morgan—that was a personal blow. Not a business blow. He wasn’t involved anymore.”
“Please.” Ruiz snorted. “He fired the boy you sent to me—”
“Because the idiot harassed Jason’s girlfriend. And then punched her in a bar fight. He’s lucky he walked out of Port Charles breathing.”
“Are you satisfied, Hector?” Tagliatti asked. “You called this meeting.”
The elder Cuban man sent a scathing glare at the Philadelphia don, who just shrugged. A chill slid down Sonny’s spine.
If Zander was a spy—had fed someone information on the organization and Jason’s habits—and Ruiz himself had asked for a meeting—
“Is there anything else?” Sonny asked. He rose to his feet. “If not, I have a territory to run.”
“Get it straightened out,” Zacchara said with a snarl. “Or I won’t be backing you the next time an upstart comes after you.”
“Hey, you do what you gotta do.” Sonny shrugged. “Now if you’ll excuse me.” He turned and waited as Max helped him into his overcoat. “Have a nice dinner.”
He strode out of the back room, across the dining room—sparsely populated—and then stopped for just a moment in the lobby, peered out through the glass door.
Across the street, Johnny flipped open his phone to take a call. “Yeah?” He looked at Jason. “A car is making a turn—driving slowly.”
Jason exhaled slowly, slid the curtain open slightly, checked his rife again. “Make sure we’re in position at the end of the block.”
“You got it.”
“Boss?” Max asked.
“Stay behind me when we go out,” Sonny murmured to Benny and Max. “You’re not wearing vests—”
“I’ll go outside, and you two go for the car.” Sonny turned to his guard and manager. “Go quickly. Get around the corner. If they make a move, I don’t want any casualties.”
He opened the door.
“Car is fifty feet away,” Jason murmured as he trained the rifle scope. He watched as Sonny stepped out, and then Max and Benny moved away from the mobster, disappearing towards the parking lot.
“It’s slowing down,” Johnny said from the other window.
Sonny saw the car before he saw the window sliding down. He ducked away, moving fast towards the valet booth that had been left empty for the evening, but before he could make it to safety, the night exploded with gunfire.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Sonny gritted as lead dug into his shoulder, the metal burning its way through skin. Another in his leg.
But the gunfire didn’t stop—bullets were raining down the front of the No Name—
As Sonny slumped to the ground and turned his head slightly towards the street, he saw men going towards the building where Jason and Johnny were staked out.
And then everything went black.
Elizabeth & Gia’s Apartment: Living Room
Elizabeth grimaced as a disgusting demon began slicing pieces of Willow’s skin and eating it. “Jesus Christ, what is this stuff? I liked it better when it just was badly dressed vampires—”
“Just tell me when it’s over,” Gia muttered, putting her hands over her eyes.
Footsteps pounded down the stairs and then they both heard fist against the door. “Gia! You open this door right now!”
Gia frowned as Elizabeth switched off the television. “Marcus? What on Earth is wrong with you—” She yanked open the door. “Civilized—”
“Did you know?” Taggert demanded as he shoved his way past his sister and turned angry eyes at Elizabeth. “Did you?”
Elizabeth just stared at him, shook her head. “Did I—”
“Marcus, what the damn hell is wrong with you?” Gia slapped his shoulder. “Tell us what’s going on or you can get out. We have rights—”
“There was a shooting at the No Name tonight,” Taggert bit out. “Sonny is on his way to the hospital.”
Elizabeth swallowed. “Is—what happened? Why would I know that?”
“Because shots were fired in another building across the street,” he continued. “And several men are also on their way to the hospital with injuries. Including Morgan.”
Elizabeth didn’t have to fake the shock and fury as she shot to her feet. The paralyzing fear that they had gone through all of this for nothing—that Jason would still be critically injured enough to go to the hospital when she damn well knew the organization took care of non-threatening conditions on their own.
“What are you talking about?” she demanded, her voice trembling. “That’s not—That’s not possible!”
“Marcus, you were here the day after he died. Why the hell do you think she would know anything? How the hell is Jason in the hospital? He’s dead. We buried him.” Gia hesitated. “Didn’t we?” She cast her eyes to Elizabeth. “Sonny—he never let—”
“You told me not to insist on seeing him,” Elizabeth said, as tears slid down her cheeks. Nothing about this was false, she realized. The disgust she felt in lying—in using Taggert’s affection for her—to keep Jason and Sonny’s secret—
It was easy to make that disgust look like shock and horror.
“Sonny told me he was dead. Why would he do that if it’s not true?” Elizabeth shook her head. “No. They—they were wrong. It’s someone else. How am I supposed to trust any of you? You all—there were photos, weren’t they? And someone performed—” And then she simply stopped. “I don’t understand what’s going on.”
“You got the sensitivity of an ox,” Gia muttered, smacking her brother’s arm again. “What’s going on? Are you sure it’s him? She’s right. Y’all fucked it up the first time, and now—”
“We’ll get to the bottom of it, you can be sure. I got a page from Capelli at work. He’s cleaning up the scene—not there’s much of a scene.” Taggert hesitated. “I don’t know anyone’s injuries—” He stopped as his beeper vibrated at his belt. He took it out, grimaced. “I gotta report to the station.” He looked at Elizabeth. “I’m—I’m sorry.”
“If this is true,” Elizabeth said slowly, “then…I don’t know. I don’t think it’s you who needs to be sorry.” She looked at Gia. “Can we go? I don’t think I can drive.”
“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Gia reached for her purse. “Can we show you the way out, Marcus? You moron.”
“Yeah, yeah, shut up,” her brother muttered as he led the way into the tiny landing that separated the two apartments on the second floor of the Brownstone. He hurried down the steps as Gia locked the door behind her.
Elizabeth couldn’t bring herself to move until the front door had closed behind him. “So this is how it’s gonna be—”
“My brother is an idiot—”
“He wasn’t wrong. I did know—”
“You didn’t know that it was all gonna blow up like this. What the fuck is wrong with these people? They can’t ever give you a heads up?” Gia scowled as she and Elizabeth started down the stairs.
“Are you surprised?” Elizabeth asked. Gia pulled open the front door, allowing the chill of October to fill the foyer. “Because I’m not.” She sighed. “Nothing surprised me anymore. Let’s just get this over with.”
Tuesday, September 8, 2002
AJ & Courtney’s Home: Living Room
The special report from WKPC faded to black, the red breaking news alert proclaiming the resurrection of Jason Morgan lasting seconds longer.
Courtney pressed the power button on the remote and turned to Michael whose brow was furrowed. “Michael?”
“I told you,” the little boy said calmly. “It was like Mommy.” He frowned at his stepmother and father, both of whom were in shock. “How come this keeps happening? Why don’t people know how to tell when people are dead and not?”
“Um…” AJ blinked. How did he explain this when he didn’t know what he was thinking himself?
“I hope ‘Lizabeth knew,” Michael continued in that wise beyond his years tone that AJ was beginning to worry about. They’d be lucky if he didn’t spend years in therapy at this rate. “She was really sad.”
Courtney hesitated. “I hope so, too,” she murmured. “Are…are you okay?”
“I told you he was okay,” Michael reminded her. “Is it time to brush my teeth?”
“Um, yeah. I’ll be up to tuck you in a minute.” AJ watched as Michael started towards the back of the house where bedrooms and bathroom were. When he heard the running water of the sink, he looked at his wife. “Do you think—”
“I think Sonny lied to her,” Courtney interrupted. “At first. She knew by the time Emily left, I think. I thought something was weird with her, you know? But what did I know? But yeah, I think he lied to her. And then told her.”
“For what—” AJ broke off. “Are…she lied to you, too, then.” And everyone else.
“Of course she did.” Courtney got to her feet and grabbed Michael’s discarded ice cream bowl. “What did you think she’d do? If she did know, and I’m only guessing she did, if she’d told me—I would have had to lie to you. Or break a promise to her. She didn’t put me in that position.” Courtney grimaced. “I should call her, but she’s probably at the hospital.”
AJ followed her into the kitchen and leaned against the counter, watching as Courtney loaded dishes into the dishwasher. “I don’t know what to think. I mean, he doesn’t owe me anything. Any…connection I thought we had, it’s mostly in my head, I know that—”
“Why would he fake his death on purpose?” Courtney asked, irritated. “Why would he put everyone through that? Your grandmother. Emily. Elizabeth. I’ll never believe she knew the entire time. I was there when Sonny came in. The light just went out of her, you know? You saw her.”
“Yeah, I guess.” AJ waited. “I’m angry. I’m pissed as hell at him for doing this to our family, but I guess…that doesn’t matter. They’re not his family.”
“Well, I imagine tonight you’ll have to get in line. There’s going to be a long line of people pissed at him.”
General Hospital: Emergency Room
Behind a curtain in the emergency room, Jason waited for someone to come deal with the deep bullet graze in his upper arm.
If he weren’t bleeding like a stuck pig, he’d already be out of the hospital. Already trying to find Elizabeth.
This was not how it was supposed to happen. This was supposed to be a clean operation, and Jason would have gone to her. Included her in the end of this. Let her know what was happening.
Instead, Jason knew she’d likely found out from the news or an interested party. By the time they had cleaned up the scene, got the cars out of there and arranged for Sonny to get to the hospital, the PCPD had been on the scene. They had only just managed to get the shooters to a secure location for questioning.
This entire plan had been a disaster from the moment they had concocted it, and Jason knew it was only going to get worse.
The curtain was shoved back as a furious Bobbie stalked past it, her dark eyes flashing. “You son of a bitch.”
“IF you weren’t already shot, I’d take a gun to you myself—” Bobbie pressed her lips together and jerked a tray forward as she cut Jason’s t-shirt away from the shoulder wound. “What were you thinking? No, don’t answer that, I don’t know what the hell answer you could give—”
“Don’t bother with that either—”
She said nothing else as she focused on cleaning and bandaging the wound, but when she had taped the final piece on—
“You destroyed her.”
Jason didn’t need to ask what she meant or who Bobbie was talking about. He exhaled slowly. “Yeah. I know. It wasn’t—it wasn’t supposed to be like this—”
“When you came home last spring,” Bobbie said, her jaw so tight that it looked like stone, “we sat and talked about Elizabeth. About how she had worked so hard to put herself back together. I told you—”
“Then how could you do this to her?” Bobbie cried. “To me? To Michael? Why don’t any of us matter? How could you put any of this through this?”
“It wasn’t—” Jason stopped. He couldn’t make this go away. Couldn’t undo the damage. Bobbie was absolutely right. In the moment, he had agreed to a plan that completely dismantled his entire life.
And he couldn’t understand why.
“She was supposed to know,” Jason managed to say. “Sonny wasn’t supposed to—” He shook his head. “It doesn’t make it better—”
“No, it really doesn’t.” Bobbie closed her eyes. “I consider you part of my family, Jason. Not because of Michael or Carly. Or because of Elizabeth. Because of you. You watched me grieve for my daughter, and then consoled me when it turned out to be a lie. You were a lifeline to Elizabeth in her own grief. How could you think that this would be okay?”
“I—” Jason faltered. He swallowed. And was honest. “I thought as long as Elizabeth knew, that…it wouldn’t really matter to anyone else.”
“What?” Bobbie reared back, her eyes wide. “We thought you were dead—your grandparents, your entire family grieved for you. They may not always show it, but the Quartermaines loved you—” She paused. “Jason—”
“It’s not—” Jason shook his head. “I’m not Jason Quartermaine—”
“Do you think they don’t know that? Do you think that means they love you any less?” Bobbie demanded. They can miss Jason Quartermaine and still love the man you are today.” She paused. “You’re trying to prove to the world that you’re not damaged, but you’re the only one who thinks so.”
“Yeah. Maybe.” Jason hesitated. “I have to go. I have to find Elizabeth—”
“You’re as good as you’re going to get,” Bobbie muttered. She sighed and then hugged him tightly. “Thank you for not being dead. You do anything this stupid again, and I’ll kill you myself.”
General Hospital: Emergency Room
Elizabeth was getting nowhere with the nurse behind the desk. She wasn’t family, so she didn’t get to know Jason Morgan’s status.
“A bunch of assholes,” Gia muttered as they stepped back from the desk. “C’mon, let’s try to find Bobbie—”
But before they could get far, Monica Quartermaine descended upon them.
“How could you?” Jason’s mother demanded angrily. “We allowed you into our home. You sat with Lila. You grieved—”
“Monica—” Elizabeth began, but her throat closed. “I didn’t—”
“What kind of person can be so cold? So cruel?”
“Whoa, whoa, back up—time out—” Gia waved her arms. “Dr. Quartermaine, she didn’t know—”
“You expect me to believe that Jason faked his own death and didn’t tell you?” Monica demanded, her words like claws raking down Elizabeth’s flaming cheeks.
“I don’t—” She couldn’t speak, so she just shook her head. “I can’t—”
“She didn’t know,” Gia repeated harshly, this time stepping between the doctor and her roommate. “You want to go at someone? Go drag Sonny Corinthos out of surgery and give him this shit. He came to Kelly’s and told her Jason had been shot in the head. Your goddamn hospital signed a death certificate. And you want come at Elizabeth? For what exactly?”
“I—” Monica faltered. She looked at Elizabeth. “I—”
“You’re not the only one who thinks she should have known. But she didn’t. My brother came over and shouted at her, too. We’re here trying to find out what the hell is going on, so why don’t you make yourself useful and tell us if he’s dead this time or not—”
“Gia—” Elizabeth said, weakly. “Don’t—”
A curtain shoved back and Jason strode out into the emergency room proper, Bobbie scowling behind him. He stopped short when he saw the three women standing there.
Monica took a step towards him. “Jason—” She swallowed hard. “You—how could you do this—”
Jason spared her a brief look before focusing on Elizabeth. “Hey. I’m sorry—this wasn’t—”
It wasn’t until this moment that Elizabeth realized that part of her had thought that day at the safe house was a hallucination. That yes, she had known Jason was alive, but she hadn’t…accepted the reality of that.
Part of her had still kept going as if it weren’t true.
Except it was true. Jason was alive, he’d faked his death, she’d been forced to lie, and now he was standing here in the middle of the emergency room—looking at her as if nothing had changed.
As if he hadn’t been all but dead for a month.
As if she hadn’t grieved for him. Mourned him. Buried him.
“I’m sorry, I can’t—” She sucked in a deep breath. “I can’t do this—”
She spun around and rushed out the doors.
Jason started after her, but Monica stepped in front of him. “You lied to her,” she said flatly. “And you lied to everyone else. I don’t know you don’t give a damn me or your father, but I would have thought Emily and Lila mattered.”
“Monica—” Jason took a deep breath. “Listen. I can’t—I have to go fix this—”
“Fix it?” Monica laughed harshly. “You think I’m going to be the only person who assumed she knew? Apparently, I’m not even the first person tonight to come after her, and for that I’ll have to apologize—but how in the hell do you think you can fix this? You pretended to be dead, Jason.”
“I know that!” Jason snapped.
“Your grandfather went into his suite with Lila for days,” Monica said simply. “He looks a thousand years older. And Lila was devastated. Emily could barely breathe through her tears. You wanted to be free of the Quartermaines, Jason? This might finally do it. I don’t know how any of us could ever trust you again.”
She stepped aside. “But go ahead. Go fix things with Elizabeth, if you can. At least someone’s opinion matters to you.”
General Hospital: Parking Lot
Outside, in the parking lot, when the bitter wind hit her cheeks, the tears began to freeze against her skin. Elizabeth stopped and turned back to Gia.
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
“I’m not sure there’s a manual for this, Liz—”
“I just—” She shook her head. “I can’t do this. I don’t know how to do this. I thought I knew—I knew people were going to be angry, but—” Elizabeth sighed. “You shouldn’t keep…going after people on my behalf, Gia—”
“First of all, I’m not even lying. You didn’t know,” Gia said flatly. “Who gives a shit if you found out later? It doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t lie. Not on purpose. And by the time you did, what choice did you have? And it’s no one’s god damn business what you knew. They ain’t paying your bills. You don’t owe anyone anything, Elizabeth. Just yourself.”
“I wish I believed that,” she murmured.
The door opened behind them, and Jason strode out. “Elizabeth—”
“What part of her running away did you not get, you jackass?” Gia snarled. She poked at him. “And what the hell did I say about hurting her? You think I’m afraid of you—”
“Gia—” Elizabeth sighed. “Go get the car, okay? I’ll…I’ll be right there. We should check in with Courtney.”
“Yeah, hopefully she’s still talking to you,” Gia said with another dirty look towards Jason. But mercifully, she stalked off to do as Elizabeth asked.
“I’m sorry,” Jason said, but she couldn’t see him that well in the dim lights of the parking lot. Couldn’t see his eyes. “I can’t go back and not—can we just go somewhere and talk?” He paused. “Please.”
That was the last thing Elizabeth wanted to do because she didn’t know what the hell she was going to say, but then she saw a dark sedan turn into the lot. She knew that car—it was always parked outside the Brownstone.
The PCPD had arrived.
Elizabeth waited until the car had parked and the doors had opened before she spoke again.
“The last thing I want to do is go anywhere with you,” she said. “You think you being alive is enough? You think I’m just going to run and jump into your arms because it was a lie? You lied to me, Jason. And—” Her voice broke. “How am I ever supposed to trust you again?”
“Trouble in Paradise, Anger Boy?” Taggart mocked as he and Capelli approached.
She saw Jason frown—had he not seen them before now? Hadn’t he seen them pull in as well?
“What, are you here to yell at me some more?” Elizabeth demanded, coolly. “You gonna haul me in with Jason?”
Some of the swagger disappeared from Taggert as they closed the distance between them. “Elizabeth, I’m sorry—”.
And for the first time in weeks, the universe was on her side, because Gia pulled up then. Elizabeth opened the car, and then looked at Jason again. “I think you’re going to have your hands too full to worry about me, anyway. Wouldn’t be the first time.”
She got into the car, and Gia drove away.
“So that last dig—” she said after a long moment. “Was that for my brother’s benefit?”
“Not entirely.” Elizabeth let her forehead rest against the window. “Let’s go to Courtney’s. If she’s gonna yell at me, too, I’d rather get it over with tonight.”
“She won’t. I only said that to get at Jason.” Gia paused. “If my brother hadn’t showed up—”
“He wanted to go somewhere and talk.”
“Would you have gone?”
“No.” Elizabeth sighed. “No. I can’t—I don’t know what I would say to him. I’m so angry, Gia. So hurt. I don’t know what supposed to be feeling. How I’m supposed—”
“Stop worrying about what you’re supposed to do, Liz. And just do what feels right. You want him to give you space while things settle? Then do that. You want him to get away from you because you won’t be able to look at him again? Then do that. But stop worrying about what you’re supposed to do.”