I Try To Believe You

February

Elizabeth wrapped the afghan around her body more tightly and curled into a ball on her couch. The last forty-eight hours felt like a blur now but while she’d been living through them, they’d felt like forever.

It was supposed to be a romantic evening. A night of dinner, dancing and some gambling under the stars with her husband as they got ready for the birth of their child.

But something had gone horribly wrong. The night had turned from bliss to terror when someone screamed–she should still hear it echoing in her head–“The boat’s sinking!”

There was a rush for the door and with her pregnancy, Elizabeth was slower. She and Ric were separated and she was thrown to the ground. Scared for herself and for her unborn child, she crawled to a corner to try and avoid everyone’s feet.

Ric never came back for her.

But Zander had seen her, hauled her to her feet and helped her to safety. Just as she’d cleared the boat, she realized Zander wasn’t with her anymore. His foot had gotten hooked on something.

He never made it out.

She’d spent the rest of the night in the hospital, her grandmother by her side. Ric called from the station–something about finding out what had happened. He was thankful she was all right and he’d be by to see her in the morning.

She came close to miscarrying twice that night but by morning, she was stable. And she’d discovered thanks to Zander’s hastily scrawled will he’d mailed to Emily that he’d been working with Ric to frame Nikolas.

Ric had come to the hospital but she’d refused his visits. She didn’t know what she wanted to do now. They’d gotten remarried and she’d promised him forever for the second time but once again, he’d proved to her that he hadn’t changed.

She closed her eyes when she heard knocking on the door. “Go away,” she said, curling up even more tightly. She wrapped the blanket more tightly and tucked it under her chin.

A few moments later, she heard the locks turn and the door slid open. Jason stepped in, a bit hesitant. “Hey. I went to see you at the hospital but they said you’d left.”

“As long as I don’t move too much, the doctors think I’ll be fine,” Elizabeth replied. “So, I guess you heard about Zander.”

“Emily told me that he saved your life.” Jason kneeled next to her. “And that he’d been helping Ric frame Nikolas.”

“Yeah,” Elizabeth sighed. “So I decided not to go home when I got out of the hospital and I really don’t want to deal with him right now. I just…I don’t know what I want to do, Jason.”

“I thought you might be here,” he replied. “I’m sorry about Ric.”

“No I told you sos?” Elizabeth asked.

“No…I know you love him, Elizabeth. We don’t choose who we love, no matter how much we wish we did.” He cleared his throat. “Do you need anything?”

“No…” Elizabeth hesitated and bit her lip. “Maybe if you could…stay here? Just until I fall asleep?”

“Sure,” Jason agreed. “That’s no problem.”

“Thanks,” she replied. “I just….I feel safer around you,” she admitted, closing her eyes.

“Seems to be an epidemic of that going around,” he said, with a smile.

“Yeah…well…it’s a good one,” she murmured. “Thanks, Jason.”

“Anytime.”

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