When she heard the key in the door, Brenda set aside the magazine she’d been staring at since about eleven the previous night. She stood and crossed her arms.
Elizabeth pushed the door open and stopped in her tracks at the sight of her sister-in-law. “Brenda.”
“If you hadn’t shown up in about ten more minutes, I would have told Sonny you never came home,” Brenda said, quietly. “Where were you?”
“How long have you been here?” Elizabeth asked numbly, frozen in the doorway.
“Since I got a call from Bobbie saying you never showed up for your shift,” Brenda replied simply. “I called the seamstress and she said you left around six–nearly in tears. Where were you?”
Brenda took in her sister-in-law’s rumpled clothes, the buttons in the wrong holes and her messy hair. “Or maybe I should ask who you were with.”
She flushed then and looked away. “Brenda–”
“Are you insane?” Brenda asked stepping towards her. “You’re getting married next week–and I know you weren’t with Nikolas.”
“That’s right, I am getting married next week so why don’t you let me live my life the way I want to?” Elizabeth snapped suddenly. She shut the door and tossed her bag to the floor.
“God, Elizabeth, if anyone found out–”
“No one’s going to find out,” Elizabeth remarked acidly. She stalked into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee.
“But if they did, do you know what would happen?” Brenda demanded.
Elizabeth turned to face her, her skin suddenly pale, her eyes wide. “I can’t stop,” she whispered. Her hands were shaking and she brought them up to grip the counter. “I tried. But I can’t.”
Alarmed, Brenda pushed Elizabeth into a nearby chair and kneeled in front of her. “Can’t stop what?”
“I told myself I wasn’t going to go back,” Elizabeth said softly. “After the first night, it was just out of principle. Because I am engaged and it felt wrong. But when I found out who he was–”
“Who is it?” Brenda asked stricken.
“Jason,” Elizabeth whispered fearfully.
“Jason Morgan?” Brenda repeated. She sat back on her heels. “How the hell did that happen? He’s only been back for three days.”
“We didn’t know each other the first time–it was just supposed to be sex,” Elizabeth tried to explain. “And when I found out who he was, I knew I couldn’t go back.”
“But you did.”
Elizabeth nodded. “Brenda, I’ve never felt like this before–not with anyone. I don’t know how to explain it. When he touches me, the rest of the world fades away. I can’t even concentrate on anything else when he’s in the room.”
“It’s lust,” Brenda told her. “That’s all.”
“That’s what I thought until last night. I went to his room after the fitting. He wasn’t here but I just curled up on his bed and started to cry. And when he came home, he wasn’t angry or even put off.”
“What did he do?” Brenda asked resignedly.
“He pulled me into his arms and let me cry on him until I fell asleep,” Elizabeth remarked wistfully. “And when I woke up in the middle of the night…something was different. I was different.”
“What do you mean?” Brenda asked carefully.
“We made love,” Elizabeth confessed. “It wasn’t sex. It was…”
“Are you saying you’re in love with him?” Brenda hissed. This was worse than she thought. She needed to pay an immediate visit to Jason.
“No!” Elizabeth denied quickly. She faltered. “But I think…if we’d met at a different time, under different circumstances…I could have been.”
Which meant, given some more time–she could fall completely and Brenda had to put an immediate stop to this. Marriage to a man she didn’t love was going to be hard enough but if Elizabeth was going to be pining after Jason, it could only end badly for everyone.
“Listen to me, you need to end this. Now. You can’t see him again,” Brenda advised her. “Jesus, if Sonny found out Jason was sleeping with his sister…he could send him back to Puerto Rico…” she gulped. “Or worse.”
“I know.” Elizabeth clenched her fists. “I won’t go back tonight.”
The phone rang then and Elizabeth reached for the cordless sitting on her table. “Hello?”
“Jason,” Elizabeth breathed, glancing at Brenda. “Is something wrong? I just left there.”
“I need to see you again,” he said immediately. “Today.”
“Jason, I don’t think–”
“Meet me on the docks at two. Don’t be late–we can’t risk being seen.”
His voice dropped to almost a whisper then. “It’s important. Please.”
She closed her eyes. “Okay. I’ll be there.” Elizabeth hung up the phone and stared at Brenda with apprehension. “He wants to see me again.”
“You can’t go.”
Elizabeth stood and started for her bedroom. “He said it was important.”
“It doesn’t matter. You can’t go.”
She turned to face her, tears in her eyes. “He said please.”
Brenda’s hands fell to her side. “Elizabeth–”
“He said it was important and he said please.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I have to go.” She went into her bedroom then and Brenda sighed.
Time to reason with the less passionate one.
When Jason got to his temporary office at the warehouse that morning, he found Brenda waiting for him. “What’s going on?” he asked.
She sighed. “You have to stop this Jason.”
He frowned. “Stop what?”
Brenda shook her head and leaned against his desk. “I know about Elizabeth.”
He blanched and closed the door immediately. “How did you find out?” he asked quietly.
“She never showed up for her shift at Kelly’s last night so I went over to her apartment to find her. She didn’t come home until about eight this morning.”
“Brenda, I can explain–”
“I sure hope so. Because do you have any idea what Sonny would do to you if he found out?”
“I know what could happen and–”
“You can’t see her again,” Brenda interrupted. “Not later today, not tonight, not again. Jesus, Jason–”
“I can’t. I have to see her today,” Jason replied.
“Oh, son of a…” Brenda swore under her breath. “What the hell is wrong with the two of you? Neither of you can seem to stop this. Don’t you get it? If you get caught now, Sonny will send you to Puerto Rico but if you continue this after her wedding–”
“Look, I know what would happen and I’m willing to accept the consequences,” Jason muttered.
“What…is she that good in bed?” Brenda snapped.
He glared at her. “Don’t speak about her like she’s a whore. That’s not what this is.”
“Oh, it didn’t start out as a one night stand?” she demanded shrilly.
“It did,” Jason admitted. “It’s…it’s more than that. She’s…I’ve never felt this way before.”
“Why? Because you made love last night instead of just fucking?”
Jason frowned. “How…” he couldn’t help the hopeful look in his eyes. “Did she say it was like that?”
Brenda threw up her in hands in exasperation. “Jesus Christ, you’re hopeless. Look, if neither of you are going to stop this…then please be careful.” She touched his arm. “For what it’s worth, Jason, I’m glad it’s you. And I wish you guys could have met in a better time.”
“Yeah. Yeah, me too.”
She was on the docks at two and he was there a second later, guiding her around the corner and onto his bike. Within moments, he had started the motorcycle and they were on their way out of town.
They drove for nearly twenty minutes before he pulled off onto an old road off the highway. After another twenty minutes of riding along a bumpy dirt road, he pulled to a stop near an old bridge.
She took the helmet off and shook her hair out. “Where are we?”
He turned off the motorcycle and swung his leg over the seat. “An old estate that burned down–this is the road that connected it to the highway.”
She followed him onto the bridge and leaned against the side. “What did you need to talk to me about?”
“Brenda came to see me this morning,” Jason told her. “To talk me out of seeing you again.”
Elizabeth sighed and stared at the ground. “It would be for the best,” she told him softly. “This won’t end well.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I told her I wouldn’t see you. But then you called and I couldn’t say no.” Elizabeth peered up at him. “I can’t…I can’t seem stay away.”
“The reason I wanted to see you today was to talk about last night,” Jason told her. “It was different. We were different.”
“Jason…” Elizabeth protested. “We can’t…”
“I know you told Brenda something along the same lines,” Jason argued. “Why can’t you admit it?”
“What good would it do to say it out loud?” she asked tearfully. “We need to stop this. Because if anyone else ever found out–”
“I’m going to go back to Puerto Rico after the wedding,” Jason cut in. “Because if we’re in the same city, I don’t know that I could stay away from you.” He moved in front of her and brushed the back of his hand down her cheek. She closed her eyes, reveling in the sensation. “Just give me until then. Please.”
Her eyelids fluttered opened, revealing her eyes–their blue surface darkened with desire. “Every time you touch me,” she breathed, “I just want you more.”
He cupped her smooth cheek in his large hand and lowered his face to kiss her gently, his tongue sweeping through her mouth as if trying to memorize every recess. She moaned and stepped closer to him, curling her hand in the flap of his jacket.
If he didn’t stop this right now, he’d make love to her right on the bridge. He started to ease the kiss back but she wanted more. She pushed his jacket off his shoulders and dragged her nails down his shirt-clad chest, feeling the muscles underneath ripple.
Jason fisted a hand in her long dark locks, tilting her head back so that he could nibble his way down her throat.
“Make love to me,” she whispered, tugging his shirt from inside his jeans. She met his eyes. “Please.”
He pulled away from her then and spread his jacket out over the surface of the bridge before gently pulling her down to next to him so that she could sit on it. “You’re so beautiful,” he breathed. He pulled her t-shirt over her head and laid her back on the jacket.
Later, while she was cradled in his arms, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You know…you said it.”
She frowned and looked up at him. “What’s that?”
“You asked me to make love to you.”
She flushed. “Jason–”
“Because that’s what it is.” He smoothed her hair from her face. “I’m falling in love with you.”
She sat up then and shook her head. “No. It’s only been three days. It’s impossible–”
“I don’t care,” Jason remarked stubbornly. “I know how I feel and I think you feel the same–”
“It’s too soon,” she said. She snapped her bra back on and reached for jeans and panties. “We should get back before someone misses us.”
He slid his jeans on. “Elizabeth–”
“Jason, this has been so wonderful…” she hesitated and pressed two fingers to his soft lips. “Can we not argue about this right now?”
He sighed. “Yeah. We’ll talk about this later.”
They didn’t talk about it later. The next five days flew by. Elizabeth spent every night at Jake’s–she’d leave her house around nine at night and she’d be back by seven every morning. They didn’t always make love–sometimes she’d just curl up next to him and talk. She’d tell him about growing up with Sonny, her friendship with Brenda, how much she missed her parents. He’d talk about growing up in Miami never knowing his parents, about being grateful to Sonny for giving him this opportunity to prove himself.
The changes in their behavior didn’t go unnoticed. Jason wasn’t looking Sonny in the eye and Elizabeth was always ducking her brother’s phone calls. To top it off whenever Sonny would talk to Brenda about this, she’d change the subject or leave.
He was beginning to become slightly paranoid. He wondered if something he’d said or done had caused this.
And he wanted to clear the air between him and Jason as soon as possible.
Elizabeth giggled and leaned down to kiss him again from her position straddling his hips. She was using her arms to keep his at his side and alternating between biting and licking his chest as she worked her way down to his erection.
She was somewhere down near his abdomen when the knock came and they were both too lost in their actions to hear it or the second one. Jason groaned when Elizabeth’s lips closed over his tip and as soon as the sound left his mouth, the door swung open.
“What the fuck–?”
At the sound of her brother’s voice, Elizabeth squealed and ducked under the covers as soon as possible while Jason brought a sheet up to cover him. “Jesus, Sonny–”
Sonny stared at his right-hand man and the lump next to him that he was almost sure had been his sister. He closed his eyes. “Tell me that wasn’t Elizabeth I saw when I came in.”
“Tell me that wasn’t my sister I saw when I walked in!” Sonny ordered.
Not wanting to put Jason in the position to lie, Elizabeth poked her head out, careful to keep the blanket clutched to her chest. “Michael–”
“Son of a bitch.” Sonny punched the wall, leaving a hole in the plaster. He smoothed a hand over his head. “I’m going outside and the two of you are going to get dressed, do you understand?”
“Michael–” Elizabeth pleaded. Her brother just shook his head and closed the door behind him.
Elizabeth was frozen where she sat even as Jason got out of the bed and pulled his jeans on. She started to tremble and tears started to slide down her cheeks. Jason sat in front of her on the bed and pulled her into his arms. “Oh, God, Jason, what are we going to do?”
“You’re going to get dressed and he’s probably going to send you home while he deals with me,” Jason told her quietly.
“I’m not going to leave here like that,” she said, a desperate edge to her voice. “Jason, what if–”
“Listen to me, I can take care of myself. Please just promise me that when he tells you to go, you’ll go. Don’t argue with him, don’t try to explain–”
She shook her head. “No, Jason, I have to–”
He cut her off with a hard and brutal kiss. “Promise me,” he whispered against her lips.
“I love you,” she whispered back. She hugged him tightly. “I love you, Jason.”
He closed his eyes. “I love you, too. Promise me.”
“I promise,” she choked out. She let him go and stood to reach for her clothes. When Elizabeth was ready and he’d pulled on a shirt, Jason opened the door.
Sonny entered and cleared his throat. “Elizabeth. Go wait in the car.”
She opened her mouth to protest but then she caught Jason’s eye and shut it. She passed by Sonny and stopped, touching his arm. “Michael, I want you to promise me something.”
“I love him,” she whispered. “Please…don’t do anything you’ll regret. Please.”
He exhaled slowly. “Go wait in the car.”
Casting one last lingering look at Jason, Elizabeth obeyed and when they heard her footsteps on the staircase, Sonny cleared his throat again. “Is there anything you have to say for yourself?”
“I’m in love with her,” Jason said bluntly. “But it was never going to go past her wedding. I was going to go back to Puerto Rico.” He squared his shoulders. “I knew the possible consequences and I don’t regret a single moment I spent with her.”
Sonny nodded. “Yeah. Okay. If I did anything to hurt you, I could never look my sister in the eye again, so here is what’s going to happen. You’re going to leave for Puerto Rico tonight and you’re not going to see my sister again. Ever.”
Jason swallowed hard. “Okay.”
“She’s going to get married at the end of the week and eventually, you’ll both forget about each other. Understood?”
Brenda drew a brush through her long dark hair and met Sonny’s eyes in the mirror. “You did the right thing by just letting them end it and sending him back to the island.”
Sonny shook his head. “I can’t believe this was going on under my nose and you couldn’t even tell me.”
She sighed. “Baby, Elizabeth was going insane with this wedding–she needed Jason to distract her, to keep her together. And I couldn’t tell you because I was scared of what would happen.”
“If Nikolas Cassadine ever found out–”
“Oh, screw Nikolas Cassadine!” Brenda exploded. She stood up from the vanity and whirled to glare at him. “Screw the whole thing. Jesus, Jason stood up to you tonight. He told you he loved your sister and didn’t regret one moment they’d been together and I bet your ass she feels the same way. I could see it that day I confronted her. She was scared of what was happening but underneath it all, she was happy. Because he made her feel good–he made her feel different and I am so sorry she had to give that kind of love up so that you could have your precious territory,” she spat out.
Sonny blinked. “You always did think I was wrong when I asked Elizabeth to do this for me.”
“I didn’t think it–I knew it. She is twenty-four years old and she is going to marry a man she doesn’t know, doesn’t love and probably doesn’t respect. While I–at that same age–got to marry someone that I loved deeply and until this moment, I respected.” Brenda chuckled harshly. “You know, I briefly entertained the idea that the moment they confessed their love to you, you’d tell Elizabeth that Nikolas and the territory could go to hell–you were going to do what made her happy.”
“You think I should call off the wedding, chance a bloody street war so that my sister can go and sleep with Jason Morgan?” Sonny demanded.
“I think you should call off the wedding so your sister can be happy with the man that she loves,” Brenda challenged.
Jason slid his hands inside his pockets and sat down on the white sandy beach of Sonny’s private island. Instead of going straight to Puerto Rico, he’d detoured here for some time to himself.
He’d left Port Charles with only the memory of Elizabeth to keep him sane. The memory of her face, of her touch, her taste, her scent, her smile, her laugh. God…if only he’d gone to Port Charles a year ago. He could have been with her.
She was due to marry Nikolas Cassadine the next day. He’d even tortured himself by picturing her in a wedding gown, walking down the aisle towards a faceless man. If he ever found out he’d hurt her, there’d be no place on Earth Nikolas Cassadine could hide.
“I haven’t been down here in years.”
Jason snapped his head up at the sound of her voice. Was he hallucinating now?
“I’ve forgotten how beautiful it is.”
When he heard her again, he got to his feet and turned to see her standing a few yards away, dressed in a bikini, a sarong around her waist. She was smiling tentatively. “Hi.”
“Brenda threatened to leave Michael if he didn’t call off the wedding and send me to you,” Elizabeth reported. She twisted her fingers and bit her lip. “So, he did and here I am.”
He stepped towards her hesitantly and reached out to touch her cheek. “I can’t believe you’re really here.”
Elizabeth smiled a little and stepped closer to him. “I missed you so much,” she whispered. She slid a hand up his chest to curl around his neck. Her eyes searched his. “When I found out you were gone, I felt like someone had ripped out my heart.”
He moved an arm around her waist and tugged her closer before kissing her hard–letting out the built up ache and passion. She moaned and threaded her fingers in his hair. “I missed you too,” he told her.
“Can we do something?” she asked, smiling now.
“Anything you want,” Jason replied.
“Can we be happy for a while?” Elizabeth asked. “We’ve spent the past two weeks suspended in this world where it could all end at any moment and I just want to be happy for a while.”
“I think we can handle that,” Jason replied. He kissed her again. “I definitely think we can handle that.”